Bleach Chapter 536-544 – The Embrace Of Bonds

Bleach chapter 542 - The Blade is Me - by i-azu (http://i-azu.deviantart.com)

The Blade is Me – colour by i-azu

This final arc in Bleach has seriously won me over and with each chapter, it gets better and better, it is such a pleasure to read. All the separated threads created and developed in past chapters have started to weave together and have begun to form an image that embodies just what Bleach is about.

In the past I have felt that emotion was lacking in Bleach, but with these recent chapters this arc, emotion has become one of the major tools chapters are illustrated and understood by. On top of the story of Genryuusai Yamamoto, Kenpachi and Unohana, Isshin and Masaki, we now have the story of Ichigo and Zangetsu, and goodness what a surprising and enjoyable development that is.

It was obvious that there was some connection between Zangetsu and Juhabach, since they both resemble each other but who would have expected the exact way things played out to play out, it was just took shocking of a twist to think about. Zangetsu is not in fact Ichigo’s zanpakutou but was the Quincy blood in him acting like his zanpakutou. I was wondering if any character could top the way Kuugo trolled Ichigo in the Fullbring arc and it looks like this version of Juhabach was able to do just that and fool Ichigo into believing for a very long time that he was in fact his zanpakutou.

Bleach ch541 - The Real Zangetsu - by hyugasosby (http://hyugasosby.deviantart.com)

The man known as Zangetsu – colour by hyugasosby

I was worried that Zangetsu’s character would be completely destroyed when his character was dramatically cast into the villain spotlight, but the story developed in a way totally exceeding my expectations towards an end that seems just so fitting, exciting and badass. Ichigo’s Quincy blood may have manifested  into a form totally against his actual form but in the end the sides representing Ichigo coincided in feelings and harmonized to create the blade reflecting just how Ichigo feels, a blade made up of two blades, the blade known as “Zangetsu”.

Bleach chapter 542 - Ichigo and Zangetsu

How unbelievable cool, Ichigo forming Zangetsu based on the two sides representing himself – his Hollow and Quincy self

Bleach chapter 542 - Ichigo and Zangetsu 2 Bleach chapter 542 - Ichigo and Zangetsu 2

Ever since it was revealed Ichigo had Quincy blood, I expected to see some form of merging of the Quincy powers in his current powers but I did not expect this. To think Ichigo would start back up from the ground up, going back to recreating his zanpakutou and incorporating all the sides to him within his zanpakutou. And that developed didn’t just come about, it was backed up by comprehensive foreshadowing made in past chapters and Ichigo actually changing personally through trails and struggles he faced so far this arc. The way elements connected to reach this point is something I’m really impressed and excited about.

Bleach chapter 541 - Zangetsu

Zangestu, the silent protector in the world known as “Ichigo”

Also I was wondering what the truth behind Masaki’s death was, so it was actually Juhabach that created such an unfortunate situation, because of him and the “Ausscheren”, Masaki lost her Quincy powers and was unable to battle the Grand Fisher. I had suspected Uryuu’s mother to be Katagiri Kanae and I was wondering what happened to her, so she also lost her powers during the “Ausscheren” and as a result ending up succumbing to her weak body and passed away three months later.

The twist with Uryuu joining the Stern Ritter was surprising but you can tell Uryuu doesn’t actually intend to follow Juhabach although Juhabach has come up with a shrewd way to force Uryuu to play his game and follow his lead. Will be looking forward to seeing how Uryuu deals with the clearly unhappy Stern Ritter members and the fact that he is know the successor to Juhabach.

Enjoying how the story has turned towards focusing on all the main characters, including Inoue and Sado. I’m very curious to see who that mysterious character is – my guess is still the same as before, I believe like most people, that the mysterious character is Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez! C’mon Grimmjow! Unless that character is totally different from the one who saved them before and this character is in fact Rukia!

The artwork, absolutely beautiful, Kubo-sensei has been bringing forward such spectacular artwork these chapters and is continuing to express emotion and tell the story through the artwork. Very much looking forward to the coming chapters and the climax of this arc.

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