• Hello everyone! In anticipation of the upcoming release of Tite Kubo's new manga we have opened up a designated section for Burn the Witch. The One Piece, Naruto and Fairy Tail Sections are now all under one umbrella in the updated Anime and Manga Section. Thank you! The BA Staff.

POTM Voting!

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The Gigas
Aug 24, 2001
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This is the voting thread where all the nominated posts for the current month will be collected. You will vote in this thread from the 1st till the 11th of each month to decide a winner! Unlike last time we did this, there will only be 1 thread for all the voting instead of one thread for each month. I'll just take a screen shot of the poll each month and post it and there will be a bit more editing on my part to keep all the winners collected here, but I'll manage. :XD

2nd and 3rd place badges that can be put in your signature will be provided by Otome-san once again! Everyone be sure to thank her for doing that again!

Voting Rules

  • Voting starts on the 1st of the month, for the previous month.
  • Voting lasts for 10 days.
  • Voting is multiple choice.
  • Voting is anonymous.
  • You may vote for yourself.
  • Vote only for the posts you actually think deserve to win. Voting for many nominations defeats the purpose.
  • You may win more than once, but there is a limit to how many times you can win within a year.
  • You will stay in the winners' group for 1 year after your last win; after that you will be removed.

Click here to nominate a post and to see who nominated these great posts!

POTM May 2015​

Only links are provided this time around.

BlackSoul: About fangirls
vine: The effect of mythology on Bleach
CrayonsToChaos: The complex relationship between writers, their readers, and the media
Lortastic: Why Bleach needs improvement
B. Haddrell: Why Bleach is still enjoyable
The Outlier: Yuhabach—Seven eyes and seven spirits
Minerva: Urahara's remodeling
Xanctus the Abyss Breaker: A connection between Ichigo and Yuhabach
Ryin: Why I enjoy Bleach
The Outlier: Happy birthday to Aizen
Willster328: How does Yuhabach's "Almighty" work?
Elementalist: If he were writing Bleach
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Mar 24, 2013
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All POTM winners!

2013 POTM Winners
July 2013 POTM Winner - Herakles. Votes, Winners and Nominated posts.

1. Herakles - 543 Chapter review - http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?926-Bleach-543-quot-Letters-quot-spoilers-and-discussion/page47&p=73190#post73190
2. B. Haddrell - Chapter 544 - Uryuu and Bach - http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?962-Bleach-544-quot-Walking-With-Watchers-quot-spoilers-and-discussion/page8&p=74026#post74026
3. Caelestis - Chapter 544 - Ishida, Black Widows and Predictions - http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?962-Bleach-544-quot-Walking-With-Watchers-quot-spoilers-and-discussion/page28&p=75040#post75040
4. FlareglooM - Surviving the Auswahlen - http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1017-Surviving-the-Auswahlen-the-Ishida-s-and-the-Kurosaki-s&p=77266#post77266
5. Herakles - 544 Chapter review - http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?962-Bleach-544-quot-Walking-With-Watchers-quot-spoilers-and-discussion/page37&p=77983#post77983
6. Sariniste - Chapter 544 review - http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?962-Bleach-544-quot-Walking-With-Watchers-quot-spoilers-and-discussion/page33&p=75978#post75978
7. pirateaddict - Chapter 545 review - http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1018-Bleach-545-quot-Blue-Stripes-quot-spoilers-and-discussion/page16&p=78890#post78890
8. B. Haddrell - Ryuuken bad father? - http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1023-Is-Ryuuken-a-child-abuser&p=77917#post77917
9. Andygoesrawr - 545 chapter review - http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1018-Bleach-545-quot-Blue-Stripes-quot-spoilers-and-discussion/page24&p=79403#post79403
10. Franco - 545 chapter review - http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1018-Bleach-545-quot-Blue-Stripes-quot-spoilers-and-discussion/page23&p=79280#post79280
11. Oreramar - Parting with Ichigo? - http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1029-Parting-with-Ichigo-Why/page2&p=78908#post78908
12. NeoPlatonist - 545 chapter review - http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1018-Bleach-545-quot-Blue-Stripes-quot-spoilers-and-discussion/page25&p=79418#post79418
13. Belias - 545 chapter review - http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1018-Bleach-545-quot-Blue-Stripes-quot-spoilers-and-discussion/page26&p=79560#post79560
14. Seri55 - 545 chapter review - http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1018-Bleach-545-quot-Blue-Stripes-quot-spoilers-and-discussion/page26&p=79737#post79737
15. Asasininja4827 - Bleach vs One Piece - http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1013-Bleach-vs-One-Piece/page2&p=78073#post78073
16. NeoPlatonist - The House of Shiba - http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1052-The-House-of-Shiba&p=80504#post80504
17. Franco - In Defense of Ryuuken Ishida - http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1023-Is-Ryuuken-a-child-abuser&p=82149#post82149
18. Sariniste - Chapter 544 review - http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?962-Bleach-544-quot-Walking-With-Watchers-quot-spoilers-and-discussion/page33&p=75978#post75978
19. Andygoesrawr - Engestsu's Zanpakuto type - http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1061-What-type-of-zanpakutou-is-Engetsu/page2&p=82754#post82754
20. Belias - Chapter 546 review - http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1068-Bleach-546-quot-The-Last-9-Days-quot-spoilers-and-discussion/page30&p=84469#post84469
21. Elementalist - Chapter 546 review - http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1068-Bleach-546-quot-The-Last-9-Days-quot-spoilers-and-discussion/page30&p=84463#post84463
22. Caelestis - Quincy Ice Palace location - http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?17-Kubo-s-4-Levels-of-Secrets-(Establishable-Theories)/page59&p=84696#post84696
23. FlareglooM - 546 chapter review - http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1068-Bleach-546-quot-The-Last-9-Days-quot-spoilers-and-discussion/page21&p=84157#post84157
24. Sir Nimbus - Game review - Zelda Twilight Princess - http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1065-Nimbus-Reviews&p=82759#post82759
25. FlareglooM - Bleach building blocks - http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1130-Building-blocks-of-the-Bleach-verse&p=88065#post88065
26. czeliate - The Dagger summary - http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1128-Bleach-The-Dagger/page9&p=88848#post88848
27. B. Haddrell - Final Arc Summary - http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1108-Opinions-on-the-Final-Arc-(Yhwach)&p=86856#post86856
28. Quevache - The Dagger summary - http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1128-Bleach-The-Dagger/page20&p=89828#post89828
29. Otome-san - Aizen over Yhwach - http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?292-Aizen-or-Yhwach/page23&p=83144#post83144
30. Neoplatonist - Chapter 546 review - http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1068-Bleach-546-quot-The-Last-9-Days-quot-spoilers-and-discussion/page27&p=84354#post84354
August 2013 POTM Winner - Jethro Lukarikate. Votes, Winners and Nominated posts.

1. Herakles - The Dagger Translation -
2. NeoPlatonist - The House of Shiba.
3. B. Haddrell - Gender Equality in Bleach.
4. MZaki - Hitsugaya Analysis.
5. Tom2rules - Alternate Character Interpretation .
6. NeoPlatonist - House of Shiba V2.
7. eljay - Gay Marriage Debate.
8. Jethro Lukarikate - NCIS Fan Club post 1.
9. Kurogasa - Squad Zero vs Yama-jii.
10. Kurogasa - The Gaming Community.
11. DavidJ - Ishida Fanclub post.
12. Andygoesrawr - Flames of the Phoenix.
13. MugetsuOfTheEnd - Ginjo's Bankai not his own.
14. Nick - The Dagger #5
15. NeoPlatonist - In Defense of Ganju
16. B. Haddrell - Gender Equality in Bleach 2
September 2013 POTM Winner - NeoPlatonist. Votes, Winners and Nominated posts.
October 2013 POTM Winner - Franco. Votes, Winners and Nominated posts.

1. Quevache - Chpater 551 review. http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1385-Bleach-551-quot-The-Burnt-Offerings-quot-spoilers-and-discussion/page29&p=117121#post117121
2. Otome-san - Aizen isn't about evolutions! http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1408-Bleach-Without-Aizen/page3&p=117654#post117654
3. Gohara - Bleach vs Dragonball Z. http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1416-Is-Bleach-The-Second-Dragon-Ball&p=118580#post118580
4. Franco - Why are Shinigami so powerful? http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1425-Why-are-Shinigami-so-powerful&p=119149#post119149
5. Kurogasa - Why are Shinigami so powerful?! http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1425-Why-are-Shinigami-so-powerful&p=119473#post119473
6. NeoPlatonist - Bleach 553 chapter review. http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1442-Bleach-553-quot-Frozen-Cross-quot-spoilers-and-discussion/page42&p=122146#post122146
7. Saiyan5ninetail - The four Spiritual Beings. http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1435-The-four-Spiritual-Beings-The-Significance-of-Souls&p=119613#post119613
8. FlareglooM - Bleach 552 chapter review. http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1410-Bleach-552-quot-The-Fundamental-Virulence-quot-spoilers-and-discussion/page17&p=118380#post118380
9. Blacksoul - 554 chapter poem. http://bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1468-Bleach-554-quot-Desperate-Lights-quot-spoilers-and-discussion/page28&p=123510#post123510
November 2013 POTM Winner - Andygoesrawr. Votes, Winners and Nominated posts.

1. Andygoesrawr - Bleach and Buddhism. http://www.bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?16-Crack-Theories-amp-Ideas-(Baseless-Posts)/page83&p=126845#post126845
2. Nick - The Hero. http://www.bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?247-Bleach-Captions-and-Edits-Thread/page10&p=128276#post128276
3. Minerva - Power of the Heart. http://www.bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1502-The-Power-of-the-Heart/page2&p=127524#post127524
4. Polgarena - 556 review. http://www.bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1503-Bleach-556-quot-The-Wolfsbane-quot-spoilers-and-discussion/page18&p=126721#post126721
5. pirateaddict - 557 review. http://www.bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1524-Bleach-557-quot-I-Already-Threw-Away-My-Life-quot-spoilers-and-discussion/page11&p=128052#post128052
6. NeoPlatonist - Beasts and the Children. http://www.bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1502-The-Power-of-the-Heart/page2&p=128710#post128710
7. B. Haddrell - Heart of the Wolf. http://www.bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1502-The-Power-of-the-Heart/page2&p=128941#post128941
8. ReiWen - The defense of Komamura. http://www.bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1524-Bleach-557-quot-I-Already-Threw-Away-My-Life-quot-spoilers-and-discussion/page22&p=128291#post128291
9. Seri55 - Sousuke Aizen: Personification of Evil. http://www.bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?176-Mirror-Flower-Water-Moon-%96-Aizen-S%F4suke-FC-V-16/page62&p=128441#post128441
10. NeoPlatonist - Chapter 558 review. http://www.bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1543-Bleach-558-quot-The-Heart-of-the-Wolf-quot-spoilers-and-discussion/page30&p=130061#post130061
11. Elementalist - Nanao's barrier. http://www.bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1584-Are-we-supposed-to-believe-that-Nanao-s-kidou-barrier-held-off-Hashwalth-for-3-hours/page2&p=131470#post131470
12. Seraphina - WWE's problems. http://www.bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1583-Wrestling&p=131275#post131275
13. Gohara - WWE issues rebuttal. http://www.bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1583-Wrestling&p=131377#post131377
14. Ceria - WWE needs changes. http://www.bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1583-Wrestling&p=131495#post131495
15. Tekken13 - Quincies and Coffins. http://www.bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?16-Crack-Theories-amp-Ideas-(Baseless-Posts)/page88&p=129958#post129958
16. Otome-san - Power of the Heart. http://www.bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?1502-The-Power-of-the-Heart/page2&p=128992#post128992
17. Otome-san - Aizen in detail. http://www.bleachasylum.com/showthread.php?176-Mirror-Flower-Water-Moon-%96-Aizen-S%F4suke-FC-V-16/page63&p=130218#post130218

December 2013 POTM Winner - Polgarena. Votes, Winners and Nominated posts.

January 2014 POTM Winner - Minerva. Votes, Winners and Nominated posts.

February 2014 POTM Winner - Polgarena. Votes, Winners and Nominated posts.

March 2014 POTM Winner - Senbonzakura. Votes, Winners and Nominated posts.

April 2014 POTM Winner: B. Haddrell
Votes, winners, and nominated posts

April 2014 Nominated Posts.​

1. Tekken13 - Crack matchups.
We know that Yhwach is 1,000+ years old and fought Yamamoto in the previous war. But what about Unohana, Shunsui, or Ukitake? This is a little crack theory that Haschwalth, Gordon, and Askin are all senior SRs who were around 1,000 years ago. Haschwalth knows a little too much that be a new recruit and based on the page below, Askin was speaking as if he was there those years ago and was a key member in establishing the Wandenreich

Yhwach vs. Yamamoto:

Their abilities fit their dominating personalities. Yamamoto becomes the sun in bankai; Yhwach becomes God in Vollstandig. Their battle was a game of tactics, just Yamamoto was a little dirtier back then. What led to Yhwach's defeat was not because of Yamamoto's bankai was stronger than his Vollstandig. It was due to the death of Zeidritz, whom at the time was Yhwach's right-hand man. Zeidritz was featured as one of Yamamoto's skeleton soldiers in 509, which made Fake Yhwach break down. He was in a sense what Chojiro was to Yamamoto. Yhwach went ballistic and started killing hundreds of Shinigami fodder and several of the captains while in god form.Due to the immense power of this form, Yhwach can't hold this form for long if he's not constantly absorbing soul fragments. Yhwach was gradually losing strength, so Yamamoto took advantage of this weakness and overwhelmed him with a fraction of his bankai power.

Haschwalth vs. Unohana

1,000 years ago, their appearances were the same as today. For some reason, these two age very slowly. Maybe it has something to do with them embodying balance. Kubo didn't elaborate on what Unohana bankai does, but my guess is it fits into the category of balance-type ability, which intriguingly brings forth another connection Unohana, Haschwalth, and Zaraki all have in common. When she hit Kenpachi with acid-like liquid and melted his flesh, her flesh was also completely melted. It seem the trick is to out do the other before the effect wears off.

In terms of power, these two are arguably as powerful as Yhwach and Yamamoto, respectively. However, their abilities do not lie in causing complete destruction and domination, but something suited for their love of the sword and their passive nature and applying fairness in battle. Unohana is a master of the sword, and it's safe to assume that Haschwalth is also a sword master. It's funny how both have female assistants who more or less address them in a very respectful manner. 1,000 years ago when these two fought, it was a complete stand still, in part due to their abilities. No one suffered a wound. Hence, why Unohana's first battle scar was by Zaraki Kenpachi. They enjoyed each other company and forgot that a they were in a war. Unohana never had a fight like that since, except when she went off to the outskirts and found Kenpachi Zaraki. They did't fight in the first invasion because Yhwach and Yamamoto knew that their fight will never end. Interesting though, Haschwalth did meet Kenpachi Zaraki- Unohana's successor.:XD

Gordon vs. Shunsui

These two fought in the first invasion, and judging by how Shunsui assumed that he will need bankai to beat him, there's a possibility that Shunsui have fought a powerful Quincy like Gordon before, if not the same person. One thing to note about the two capabilities are that they are both adequate in high-tech speed and sort of opportunists.

Askin vs. Ukitake:

Kubo didn't show who fought Ukitake, but chances are it was Askin. The common denominator these two both have is that their abilities seem more like support than something they can entirely depend on in battle. Askin felt that he would need to use different attack combinations to kill Mayuri. If his epithet is indeed "the dimension", then it probably doesn't possess any killing power on its own and he relies on Heilig Pfeil and other stuff.
2. B. Haddrell - Bleach's antagonists.
@ DavidJ

A leader who attracts followers and holds a group of people together, this is a pattern we have seen repeatedly in Bleach. It starts with Ichigo. He is definitely the lynchpin of the nakama group. Without him, the group would fall apart but having said that, it is obvious that the connections between the members vary a lot. Some are very strong and might even survive the removal of the lynchpin. When it comes to Rukia and Renji, they definitely would. Some have never been there in the first place. I am mainly wondering about Uryuu and Chad.

What makes Ichigo different from other groups we met in Bleach is that he genuinely cares for its members. This is a community consisting of people who share a common interest, all of them have powers but there is no force involved except a willing commitment to each other - at least in theory.

Ichigo reached out his hand in friendship to Uryuu. To Uryuu, this was an amazing gesture. He never had friends since his grandfather died. He never had friends his own age. But Ichigo showed that he understood him and he respected his powers. Being a Quincy was Uryuu`s pride and joy. I am sure, this is what kept him going, what gave his life meaning in his situation. To Uryuu it was obvious that Ichigo invited him into his group because of his abilities and experience as a fighter, as a Quincy.

I don`t think Uryuu ever fully understood what friendship really means but it is obvious how much his friends mean to him, especially Ichigo and Orihime. He repeatedly, continuously gave everything he had and made sacrifices that were sometimes very difficult, like breaking the promise his father forced on him. Uryuu never asked for anything in return, never made a big deal out of anything. More, most of what Uryuu did happened quietly, behind the scenes. It wouldn`t surprise me if Uryuu asked Orihime to keep quiet about what happened on the dome as well.

I think the sad fact is, Uryuu felt that his efforts were never really good enough. He couldn`t keep up with Ichigo no matter how hard he tried and was abandoned, left behind after he was unable to fight repeatedly. I am sure he views his actions on the dome as a failure as well. Maybe he even believes that the treatment he received afterwards, no matter how emotionally painful it must have been, was what he deserved.

The Ishida clan was one of the last, maybe even THE last, Quincy clan. It was once a powerful, respected community. Uryuu`s birth was the beginning of the end. All that was left is a father who detested the Quincy heritage, abandoned his powers and who treated his son with contempt. He was never good enough for him in any way.

What I find so sad when looking back is that we have seen how much Uryuu means to Ichigo but this never happened in his presence, in a situation when Uryuu could really appreciate it. I don`t think Uryuu ever felt that he really belongs in the nakama group but still, these are his friends and even if he is not on Ichigo`s level, his pride and determination were driving him forward. Uryuu didn`t give up, the contrary. He always picked himself up after he fell, he worked hard to become stronger and supported Ichigo openly and quietly, hidden whatever was required.

During his adventures with Ichigo and the nakama they had to deal with other groups. Aizen and Ginjou are both strong personalities who attract followers but there is one main difference: What held these groups together was not friendship, it was a mix of force and manipulation. These followers were used and although they were not trapped in a way that is comparable to what Bach seems to do, there was also some kind of psychological trapping involved. Aizen also went that far to physically strike down Espadas who disappointed him.

There is still so much we don`t know. I have to try to rely on observation and educated guesses. Tite Kubo said that everything that happened is leading to this last, big arc. With this history in mind, it is no surprise to me that Uryuu became a Wandenreich member. Looking back I have the strong suspicion what the main cause was: a conspiracy of silence, something also Ichigo experienced. Only now, when it was nearly too late, Ichigo learned (most, not all, I am sure!) the truth about himself and what else he needed to know.

Uryuu grew up having been lied to all his life by everyone he knew, including his grandfather. He grew up with a very one sided, idealized vision of the Quincies. His growth as a Quincy was stunted. But I think what might have made the final impact is that this conspiracy also seemed to include Ichigo as well - I looked numerous times but I don`t think he ever mentioned to Uryuu the Quincy cross the quincified Arrrancar used.

If I am right, Uryuu was at a crossroads when he was saying that he can`t come with Ichigo this time. If Ichigo would have told him the truth, there would have been a good chance that Uryuu would have accompanied Ichigo after all. And then Uryuu would have pushed for answers, for finding out the truth.

Being ignorant, having been fed legends and a one sided reality with the ugly side missing, Uryuu had no mental defenses that could deal with whatever Haschwalth used to convince Uryuu to come with him. What Tite Kubo has shown us so far is very patchy but I was left with the impression that Uryuu arrived in the Wandenreich ready to receive the soul mark. I think after receiving it Uryuu began to realize that he made a terrible mistake but it was too late.

Uryuu joined based on incomplete, missing and I am sure, also false information. Bach could still have appeared as a father figure to him. Ryuuken probably never praised Uryuu and their relationship was strained. But Ryuuken is Uryuu`s father and therefore I think even now, being praised by him, being accepted, perhaps even respected would mean very much to him. Bach is the father of all Quincies and he is good at reading people. He also knows Uryuu very well indeed, as we have seen when Opie was talking about him. At the beginning he gave him what he wanted - until Uryuu finished the ritual by drinking his blood. Then the mask fell and he revealed to Uryuu the truth about his mother`s death, forcing Uryuu to connect the dots of information he received the right way. I am sure Bach was amused and pleased that he showed this youngster who is a inferior mixed blood but also has something unique and precious he wants to use who is superior, who is boss here.

Ginjou was not on the same level as Aizen and Aizen is not on the same level as Bach. When it comes to using and abusing people, Bach is definitely the master.

All Quincies are destined to be Bach`s fodder but if you have been chosen, meaning if you have a marked soul, and are on top of that one of the most powerful, living under Bach is a constant balancing act. What happened to Aes Noedt shows what Bach is capable of doing to people who badly annoy him but are still valuable enough to stay alive.

Bach seems to enjoy it to give mixed messages that confuse and also frighten people, something that helps to keep them under control and also serves as part of his amusement. Bach doesn`t like fights and violence in his presence - but ripped people literally to pieces in the presence of others. To a lesser degree Aizen did the same, like when he played with Orihime`s emotions, made her feel powerful and special, and then ripped all of it away from her.

This "good cop, bad cop" treatment definitely has an impact on Uryuu. Maybe Bach and possibly also Haschwalth are just playing with Uryuu but I think it is more likely that especially Bach has the intention of breaking him. At the same time I am not talking about breaking him by making him useless - it is more about making him dependant on Bach, physically and emotionally. Aes Noedt showed strong signs of this and Gremmy could be another example.

Unfortunately Uryuu is in real danger when it comes to this because of his history. He has mixed feelings about Ryuuken, his father who was either extremely emotionally strict for his own good or emotionally abused him all his life (or both), depending on your viewpoint. Uryuu`s friend Ichigo means the world to him and he would do (nearly) anything for him but still, also Ichigo never managed to fill the void in his life, his soul and Uryuu wasn`t good enough for him either.

Uryuu is isolated from his friends, from anybody he could talk to and who could give him guidance. A mix of truth, half truths and lies drove Ichigo in a very emotional state to the point when he was willing to kill Tsukishima. Uryuu probably wonders if he will ever feel the pride, the joy of being a Quincy again. Even after all they have been through, Ichigo didn`t trust him, didn`t give him the crucial piece of information he needed to have. There will be a build up but I am afraid, step by step, Bach will get Uryuu to the point that he will fight Ichigo. Bach will find other uses for Uryuu as well before he executes his final plan he already has for him.
3. NeoPlatonist - Bazzb & God.
Many have wondered if there is another Supreme Being other than Yhwach that the Sternritter worship...

4. Polgarena - Boom, doom & gloom.
Hello all!
Thank you NeoPlatonist for inspiring me to do this caption. It's random as usual. Enjoy! :lala

5. NeoPlatonist - Constructive criticism in general.
When I think of "constructive criticism", in general I think of suggesting ways to improve something for its future advancement.

Because I like words and meaning and lore - I looked up the word "constructive." Interestingly, dictionary.com cited "constructive criticism" as an example of usage.

1. constructing or tending to construct; helping to improve; promoting further development or advancement (opposed to destructive ): constructive criticism.

While I can appreciate heated discussion, and passionate expression over a beloved subject, it is difficult at times to wade through the hyperbole and rant that seems to be passing as "constructive" by some.

I have no desire to re-write this manga. I have a job, it's creative and I work with talented writers, actors, musicians, directors and other creators. Frequently we engage in critique, not only of literary works but also of each other's work. It's fun and often informative and beneficial to do so.

Much of what I read here, and by extension in the Chapter threads, seems to be contradictory. For instance regarding pacing. While some feel it drags, others feel it's much too fast. Another is art. While some enjoyed the depiction say of Rukia's Bankai, others did not. And yet another issue is battle strategy. Having heard so many decry the one-chapter-wonder battles, only to now hear many wishing for the current battle between Zaraki & Gremmy to be over faster.

This list of contrary and contradictory preferences goes on and on. It is the essence of the creative process. One man's meat is another man's poison. You can't please all the people all the time. Without these contradictions in personal taste, there would be no fans of anything.

Where some attempt to cross the line is by insinuating their preference and taste trumps another fan's likes and dislikes. No one is "dumb" for liking or disliking chocolate. I am very much happy to disagree with those who don't. That means more chocolate for me! :D

And then there are what I think of as frustrated writers. They wish to create their own manga world. When a student of mine wishes for this, I genuinely encourage them to do exactly that. Take that great creative energy and "construct" something wonderful.

Destruction is terribly, terribly easy. It takes no creative thought at all. All you need is a big stick and you can beat a horse to death. Try making a horse! Building is much more difficult, but I really hope many of our talented peers will strongly consider careers as manga and fanficiton writers. I have privately encouraged a few here to write.

I am not saying to anyone, "Stop being critical." I very much think critique greatly enhances the discourse. I have read some extremely measured and reasoned essays in this thread (and voted for a few in POTM.) I want to strongly state that the vast majority of the criticism posted here has helped to refine and temper my own opinions in a positive and informed manner.

But I think some of the supposed critiques simply cancel each other out. Polar opposite criticisms that come under a heading of "I would do it differently" or one's individual taste and fandom.

That doesn't really strike me as all that constructive.

So while everyone is entitled to their opinion, I can certainly understand why one would get frustrated with some of the more destructive, contradictory, and ego-driven opining.

Some of it does not appear to be aimed at being constructive at all and more aimed at justifying a thinly veiled antagonism. Venting is the word that comes to mind. Fighting words. Name calling.

I have read only a few posts here actually defending the mangaka. (Which is fine, btw, this is the "criticism" thread, after all!) But the few that do appear seem to be more or less shouted down by the tyranny of the majority. It sometimes feels like only the "cool" people can feel free to post their heartfelt opinions - everyone else is automatically written off as being the blind kubo-lovers clique and therefore, invalid.

I've seen more than a few defenses written for those that are dissatisfied. This is my humble attempt to defend those of us who, with some criticism occasionally, are mostly, let me say again, mostly, enjoying the ride.

I have to say, that it is possible to be intelligent, to be experienced, to be discerning, and yet also to enjoy reading something that doesn't always go where one wants it to go, and even, dare I say it, stretches credibility.

When I feel like I want to write my own manga, I will. Until then, I'm mostly happy to enjoy another writer, imperfections and all.
6. Rayl - End of the streak.
Well since it seems that only myself and Sera were bothering to actually spoil things i'll go ahead and post more my feelings on the streak ending.

I don't mind that it's over, Lesnar being the one to do it? Not what my problem about this is.

What pisses me off about this? Pretty much everything else if i'm honest.

The Streak has been something that has been made a pretty big deal out of, either brought up as a statistic going in or as a target for those wishing to cement their place in history and to that end people have BROUGHT their A game, not just in the matches themselves but in the confrontations leading up to the match itself.

Think to yourselves for a few moments of a few matches in the past, the lead up to his second match with Shawn Michaels as a great example, charged with emotion both in and out of the ring they told an amazing story and it was easily one of the best matches of the year, hell it WON match of the year (Although granted that's Shawn Michaels for you) and then think to yourselves, how well was this match built up? It was barely built up at all, the only person who contributed anything was Paul Heyman and even then the only real promo i remember is the one where he talks about CM Punk for a few minutes before cutting into his usual "MY CLIENT BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRROCK LESSSSSSSSSSSSSSNAR" shtick. Oh and Taker stabbed Brock between his fingers causing him lots and lots of pain.

The match itself? Passable. If this were a Raw main event that is. I don't exactly go into a Undertaker match these days expecting five stars out of the man but i do expect both men to do better than what was done, they're part timers for god sake, they shouldn't be botching as much as they were but you know what? I'd let that all slide if it wasn't for one, teeny, tiny thing.

The finish.

The end of the streak.

It is, quite possibly, the single most, unbelievable thing i've ever seen in all my years watching wrestling. I get that some people will say "The point of it was to be unexpected" but it honestly felt WEAK as an ending to something as big as the Streak, it might have been acceptable as a finish for a TV main event, a regular PPV main event finish even but THAT is how the streak ends? For christs sake, he took a Sweet Chin Music into a Pedigree but it's the F-5, ON IT'S OWN, that does him in? At a point in the match which i considered to be 3/4s done?

Get the weak fucking shit out of here.

Yes, the F-5 is a great move and yes Brock Lesnar is a beast but again, this is the STREAK and he's kicked out of WORSE DAMMIT. Have some god damn imagination or at the very least, have him F-5 him once, then pick him up and give him another F-5 straight afterwards.

It honestly feels like nobody's come out of this looking very good, Lesnar should have come out of this looking exhausted, he should have come out looking like he'd FOUGHT for that victory but instead? Lesnar looks like he's just been handed a victory and Taker's streak was buried.

Well done WWE, you have created the biggest anti-climax of all time. As far as i'm concerned, this is worse than Daniel Bryan losing to Sheamus in 18 seconds.
7. Seraphina - End of the streak V2.
So, the Streak...here are my thoughts:

For a long time now, the streak has - arguably - been the most important thing in wrestling. Even more so than the world title. Sure, anyone can win money in the bank...there's always another guy who'll win it next year. Anyone can become world champion, and there's always someone to win it from you later. The streak, however, was something that was only ever going to happen once. There was never going to be another streak, and there was only ever going to be one time it was ended. And, when it was ended, it was going to be a history making moment.

I honestly wanted the streak to go on forever. I saw it as Undertaker's legacy and his reward for everything he'd done for the business. I know that Taker himself has wanted multiple people to end it (indeed, Brock Lesnar is one of the those very people, though that was back in 2005 or something). Taker has always been a firm believer in "go out on your back" and, since we know that Taker is probably going to be retiring soon, that he would take one of his last matches to create a new legend in Brock Lesnar makes sense.

It doesn't even bother me so much that Brock Lesnar - a part timer - was the one to do it. It was a) shocking as hell and b) it even makes a certain amount of sense. For someone on the main roster, ending the streak would be the career highlight. There is literally no higher accolade you would ever achieve than ending the streak (again, it's the only thing in wrestling that can ever happen once). If you've got someone who's out there every night, and you see them wrestle against everyone else on the roster, it almost diminishes the achievement and degrades the streak.

Brock Lesnar doing it simply adds to the fact that he's a special attraction. He's 'The Beast', and when he comes back to work a match, it's something to get excited over. Now he's the man who ended the streak, and that just makes him an even bigger deal. So, does it bother me that the streak ended? No, not especially.

But here's what did:

It wasn't the match that the streak deserved.

Remember years ago, when the Intercontinental title belt was retired for the first time in a match between the Triper and Kane, and it was when Kane was really starting to lose his edge and slow down in the ring? And they put on a match where the IC belt, with all its history and legacy, honestly deserved better? I have much the same feeling right now...only more so. The streak, and the Undertaker, deserved better.

The technical aspects of the match aren't the problem, because you don't expect the Undertaker to put on the kind of matches he used to. The fact that he was out there for 25 minutes and kept it going throughout was enough for me. However, Brock shouldn't have been able to walk after that match. He should have needed to be rolled out of the ring. He should have looked like he had been through a war. After that F-5, Taker should have kicked out and Brock would have needed to pick him up and hit him with three more of them in a row just to keep him down.

If they had finished it like that, showing Taker kick out of F-5 after F-5 before finally one more is finally enough to put him away, then that would have impressed me and it would have been what the streak deserved. I appreciate that the way they did it made it a huge surprise (my reaction was much the same as the audiance's was), but it just felt somehow....hollow.

But oh well, what's done it done. The genie is out of the bottle and there will almost certainly never again be another streak like it.
8. timmyjingoro - WSJ Bleach rankings.
See. If fans are generally loving a series, the series has momentum. And if a series has momentum, I think they'll keep voting for its chapters (regardless of individually good or bad) as one of the best of the week. And if fans generally don't care about a series or hate a series, momentum is low and they are probably not going to vote for an odd good chapter.

You can see this trend in the rankings from chapter 1. In the early days when Bleach was new, people in general didn't know about it or care about it as much. So even though Bleach started getting REALLY REALLY good in the Soul Society arc, the early chapters of the arc were still not as highly rated as deserved (I'm counting from Byakuya & Renji's arrival onwards). But over time, due to consistent high quality, people started to care about Bleach and enjoy it. The popular momentum of the series shot up and THEN Bleach rose up through the ranks to being frequently in the top 3 or so.

In my opinion at least, Bleach was excellent until it started dropping in quality around the top five Espada fights (Ichi v. Ulqui, Bya/Ken v. Yam, Shun v. Stark, Soi v. Bar, Hitsu v. Harribel). But even though Bleach was dropping in quality, it continued to rate highly up until the end of the awful Deicide arc. Why? because of good-will and momentum. It didn't matter that the quality sucked. As long as the fans loved the series in general, they continued to rate it highly.

As a matter of fact, the early chapters of the godawful Fullbring arc were also rated highly for this same reason. Not for long though, Bleach began losing its goodwill due to continued low quality and the momentum it had as one of the "big three" withered away. From then on, the chapters have largely stopped ranking too high. It got a little better again around the end of the Fullbring arc. But I think this really might have been more because fans were happy that the shitty arc was ending and enjoyed the return of the Shinigami characters that they cared about.

But this was temporary. The series continued to suck quality-wise in the current Quincy saga. So it lost all goodwill. It lost its popularity. And now the momentum is dead. Nowadays, even when there is a bunch of great chapters here and there, they don't get the votes (Koma v. Bambi, Juhabach's flashback). Even if the chapters are enjoyable enough they don't get the votes (Rukia's bankai, As Nodt's flashback).

Bleach is currently suffering from a general ill-will because it has literally sucked for YEARS now. It's going to take months and months of consistently great chapters to rebuild lost momentum and for it to ever rate highly with any regularity ever again.

((EDITED: "momentum" is a better explanation for what I'm talking about that "fan bias"))
9. B. Haddrell - Why we should care about the Quincys.
The underlying topic of Bleach is the conflict between Shinigami and Quincies. We discovered together with Ichigo and his friends step by step how deep, how serious this conflict really is. This includes how little any of them knew - about the Soul Society, about the Quincies, about the Hollow world but also about each other and sometimes themselves.

With each conflict in Bleach`s history, more was at stake and people got deeper involved. The on the surface straight forward "rescue Rukia" story was about much more than that. People like Ichigo, like Uryuu learned about the Soul Society first hand, the good, the bad and the ugly. Especially Ichigo started the process of awakening this stagnant, ancient society and that includes the revelations around Aizen.

When I look at the Espada and compare them with the Stern Ritters, I also see people who have been used and manipulated. Some of them got good background stories in the form of flashbacks but not all of them. Some were short lived and were killed when they were no longer needed in the story. A few survived, being put on hold in Bleach until they can be useful in the story again. Nevertheless, who are the good and bad guys in spite of a lot of grey areas was obvious.

The Fullbringer arc is a stepping stone into this latest one. I don`t consider it to be a real arc of its own.

I think a lot of people are missing the point when looking at the last arc. This is not a war of good vs. evil, one side deserves to win and the other one should - what? Die? To me it is obvious that there is no way this war can be won with battles alone. The choice is, stop fighting or both sides will die. Mutual Assured Destruction. Or, maybe, drastic measures will be used eventually, as it has already been hinted at with the arrival of the hollow pills. There is the possibility of using weapons of mass destruction on a scientific basis, something that could wipe out all Quincies, something that would lead to the death of all infected Shinigami too. Is that desirable? And what would that do to the balance of the worlds?

Tite Kubo is giving us mixed messages on purpose, in order to manipulate our emotions. At the beginning we have seen how powerful, how inhumane, monstrous Quincies are. Shinigami were shown as noble warriors or helpless victims of a ruthless force. But at the same time Tite Kubo already pointed out certain developments that disturbed that image, like the secret mass execution of Rukongai citizens.

We learned a lot about the true nature of Bach. I think it is very likely that we still don`t know the whole story but it shows very clearly that the true villain here is Bach and that he is a much darker character than even Aizen. These ruthless, monstrous Quincies are revealed as villains but also as victims. What Aizen did to the Espadas was bad. What Bach does to the Quincies is much worse.

I agree, I also think Stern Ritters like Mask and Aes Noedt were examples showing us that Stern Ritters are strong but can also become dangerously unstable. And when that happens, when they lose control of themselves, they become weak and vulnerable when faced with a strong oppponent.

Tite Kubo needed time to build this cruel world of the Quincies, giving us an idea, a feeling of how these Stern Ritters, these people live together. With that knowledge we can try to understand how both sides will react to whatever developments Tite Kubo has in mind. After Tite Kubo de-humanized the Quincies in the past I hope we will indeed be left with a handful of Stern Ritters who will be part of the cast that will somehow end this war, bringing both sides together.

Therefore, yes, I think we should "give a damn" about these guys. I am not only saying that because, eventually, we might get more flashback scenes. It is important to be aware of it of what might have been. Knowing about their fate could help to save others to end in a similar way.
10. timmyjingoro - Caring about the Quincys V2.
I would like nothing more than for these Sternritters to be threatening and interesting villainous CHARACTERS like we used to have in good old-school Bleach.

In the Soul Society arc, the heroes were just a ragtag bunch of kids going up against literally and empire of gods (of death). In the Arrancar arc, the very foundation of Soul Society was threatened by the powerful Espadas and the transcendental one Lord Aizen. In both arcs, the villains were a diverse group of characters with interesting personalities and conflict within themselves and each other.

But the Fullbringers were a joke. When Ginjo first asked Ichigo to spy on Isshin for him, it seemed like he would destroy Ichigo emotionally by revealing something shady about Isshin's past. But nothing. Then nobody thought they'd pose a threat to the likes of Kenpachi and Byakuya... They had something interesting about them personality-wise initially. But Kubo just chose to give most of them (not even all of them) a little flashback as consolation prize while they were curb-stomped into oblivion.

Now these Sternritters...
Bankais were stolen. Byakuya was killed. Yamamoto was killed. The Soul Society was broken. We were starting to get to know Sternritters like As Nodt, Bambietta, BG9, Cangdu, Mask, Bazz-B, Askin etc who seemed interesting and in conflict with one another.

Then Byakuya's death was retconned. King of deus-ex-machina Urahara helped them quickly regain the lost Bankais with the magic pills of anti-climax. Rukia got a random massive powerup. Renji got a random massive powerup. Byakuya seems like he's got some sort of powerup. Ichigo seems to have gotten a sudden massive powerup. Cangdu kaput. BG9 kaput. Bambietta kaput. Mask kaput. As Nodt kaput. I'm hoping against hope that "strongest Sternritter" Gremmy ends up living through his fight with Kenpachi somehow and ends up having a long term feud with Kenpachi as well as more character development. It'd be cool to see this neat-and-tidy looking "strongest Sternritter" slowly crumble and fall apart physically and mentally through the course of the arc as opposed to crumbling for three pages in awe of Kenpachi's awesome power before being bifurcated and and one-liner'd. But there is a strong, strong possibility that he's just here to show off how cool Kenpachi is. And then we'll have "strongest Espada" Gremmy going kaput. Are any of these Sternritters worth a damn? Are characters like Bazz-B and Askin being built up simply so someone Shinigami can show off how cool he is? What about Colonel Sanders? Is he just there so Shunsui has someone to kill before Juhabach defeats him? Even though Ginjo/Tsuki/Giriko were jobbers before, I'm sure they'll need a Sternritter or three to show off how cool they are. What about Grimmjow? Of course, at least one more Sternritter will be fed to him for lunchtime.

Like I said, I would like nothing more than for the Sternritters to be threatening and interesting and be long-term real CHARACTERS. Not just fodder for heroes to kill. But they're not a real physical threat. They're not getting any real character development beyond an odd two page flashback before getting their head blown off. They just seem to be there to kill time before Juhabach/Hasch/Uryu. Are we supposed to give a damn about these guys or what?
11. timmyjingoro - Quincy character development.
@B. Haddrell

I see where you're coming from. And trust me, I do want to like the Sternritters and enjoy this arc. But the thing with themes and concepts like good, evil, or lack thereof, or power, powerlessness, aims, aimlessness, duty, sacrifice, fear, courage, love, hate, legacy, self-destruction, mutually-assured destruction etc etc. You cannot just explain these concepts. These concepts cannot simply be sensical. They have to be dramatized for it to be effective storytelling.

Kubo used to be great at dramatizing themes. He doesn't really do that much anymore. To establish the Arrancars as unruly wild animals and Hueco Mundo as their jungle, Kubo showed them bickering, and disrespecting each other, and disobeying commands, and constantly looking for a fight, and competing, and being ok with cannibalizing (figuratively and even literally in flashbacks). We see Hueco Mundo as a dark, lonesome land. To establish the power imbalance between them and Aizen, who has forcefully become their Emperor, we see Aizen manipulating them. We see him crippling them with the raw power of his reiatsu from the comfort of his seat while sipping on some delicious Darjeeling tea. We can see that the Arrancars have been put in an environment unnatural to them from how Las Noches is all fancy looking and there is artificial sunlight. When Byakuya cut down Ichigo and took Rukia back to the Soul Society, we saw the tears in Rukia's eyes, we saw Ichigo grovelling in the dirt, having not even enough power in the scene to stand up. And we saw Byakuya in control and at ease barely paying attention with a cold aloof expression on his face. When Byakuya defeats Renji. It isn't just a simple straightforward fight where Byakuya talks about how he has broken Renji's heart and destroyed every chance of fighting for what he wants to protect and then KOs him. Sure it would make sense if Byakuya did. Sure it would even make sense if Byakuya said nothing at all. But Kubo dramatizes this by showing Zabimaru not just defeated but shattered into a billion f'n pieces. Byakuya destroy his bankai, i.e. Byakuya has shattered Renji's last fighting chance to protect Rukia. blah blah blah

I could go on forever praising all the scenes and little details in the old arcs. My point really is that instead of just saying the themes, or having them make sense if you think about it, Kubo used to dramatize them so that we can not only see and understand them, but feel them too.

In the new arc, we have Cangdu just giving us a throwaway line at the corner of a page about "pantheism", and how he doesn't consider Zanpakutos living beings. Then Hitsugaya just refrigerates his ass. As Nodt babbles about fear. And we see that he fears death. But Kubo never plays it dramatically into the story in a way that makes us feel a damn thing about him. Mask talks about being a hero. But Kubo never dramatizes why he feels like one. If Kubo did, we might be feel that he is justified in his own way. But all he does is just talk "hero", "hero", "hero" and comes off like some deluded twerp. Sure it makes sense why he'd think of himself as a hero if you think about it. But wouldn't it be far more emotionally fulfilling to have it dramatized and getting to feel it?

Here is a small example of when Kubo did dramatize the themes:

Soul Society is broken = the picture is drawn with a dutch angle, indicating imbalance and filled with debris. Ichigo is in poor shape but will protect what is left of it from Juhabach = Ichigo is holding up his sword, clothes tattered, bleeding... literally standing between Juhabach and the debris as a guard-dog/protector.
12. saiyan5ninetail - Bleach 578 review.
Chapter 578 Review

The Words that Seal Fate

This chapter opened with the remaining chunks of the meteor that were not destroyed crashing down onto the buildings in the Seireitiei, and Gremmy is completely shocked that Zaraki destroyed the meteor with only one cut. This is probably the first time anyone has ever outright defied Gremmy's power - the meteor was intended to kill everyone, but Zaraki up and eradicated in a single swing of his sword.

In response to this, Gremmy called Zaraki a 'monster'. It really takes a lot for someone like Gremmy to call someone else a 'monster', and it was these words that would seal his fate later on in the fight.

The term 'monster' can referred to someone or something that is unimaginable or that we cannot understand. Gremmy couldn't understand how Zaraki did what he did, so he could only imagine him to be a monster. And with a power like his, 'imagining' your opponent to be a monster is the last thing you want to do.

There Is Nothing I cannot Cut

As Zaraki repeated what said to Gremmy at the beginning of his fight, it gives potential insight into what the ability of Nozarashi is - a blade that can cut through anything. Normally, something as vast as the meteor would be nigh-impossible to stop without so completely, but it is apparent that Zaraki obliterated the majority of the meteor, and only fragments fell down to the Seireitei afterwards.

In short, whatever Zaraki chooses to cut through, Nozarashi will cut it, no matter what it is.

It is really befitting for Zaraki to have such a Zanpakuto ability, and it speaks volumes of his power that he could cut something like the meteor.

Breaking Space

In response to Zaraki destroying the meteor, Gremmy proceeds to bring out all his remaining stops by creating six more of himself (along with the one he created two chapters prior) to trap Zaraki in a pocket dimension made up of the void of space.

At this moment, we know that Gremmy really wants to kill Zaraki, and we actually saw that Gremmy did some damage to Zaraki through this method, as his blood boiled out of his wounds, the water evaporated from his mouth and eyes as he was dropped into a vacuum with no protection. A normal opponent would probably have been finished by this.

But as I said, Nozarashi can cut through anything, and Zaraki proceeds to cut straight through the pocket dimension and slice one of the Gremmy in half. As he does this, Zaraki makes a comment that Gremmy forgot to keep his body 'hardened' from attack.

This implies two possibilities for how Blut is linked to Gremmy's "The Visionary" - when Gremmy 'hardens' his body to be stronger than the strongest steel, he is drawing on his Blut Vene, but when he is creating something with his imagination to fight with, he uses Blut Arterie for the more extreme reaches of his power.

Creating the "void in space" most likely required Gremmy to have his Blut Arterie full active in order to pull off such a feat (even with seven Gremmy doing it).

Exhausted Gremmy

At the same moment Zaraki cut one Gremmy, that same Gremmy has a bomb appear on his chest, leading to the other six Gremmy latching onto Zaraki to keep him from moving as the bomb detonates, destroying all seven "Imagination-Gremmy" and doing a lot of damage to Zaraki.

As the scene cuts back to Gremmy, we see that the kid is exhausted for the first time in this entire battle. Zaraki is most likely the only person who has ever pushed Gremmy this far, and the mental strain likely associated with creating seven of himself, using the other seven to trap Zaraki in a pocket dimension and detonating one of them in a super-powerful explosion really took its toll on Gremmy, both physically and mentally.

Blind Desire

With "the monster" surviving the explosion, "the child" decides that the only way to defeat "the monster" is to become more powerful than it.

This is not the calm and collected Gremmy, and it would not be far from the truth to say Zaraki won the moment he convinced Gremmy he wanted to prove his strength. Now that Gremmy has run out of tricks, he is resorting to "imagining" himself becoming stronger than the man he called a "monster" in a last effort to prove his strength.

You can see Zaraki is not smiling at this. When Zaraki saw the veins appearing on Gremmy's face, he probably knew what was going to happen to Gremmy.

And he knew the reason why.

Limits of Imagination

As Gremmy tried to imagine himself being stronger than Zaraki, his own body tore itself apart.

In the end, Gremmy was wrong - there are limits to what his imagination can accomplish. We saw this early on when he turned Yachiru's bones into cookies - he had to keep his mind focused on what he "imagined" or else it would revert back to normal.

What happened at the end of this fight is simple: Gremmy tried to imagine the "impossible". He tried to make himself stronger than Zaraki, but that meant going far beyond what his natural limits were. He pushed his own body too far with his power and it self-destructed.

Before he met Zaraki, Gremmy has most likely never had any true experience in battle - much less against an equal opponent - so he failed to understand, as young as he is, that his power did have its limits.

In a sense, what happened to Gremmy parallels with the true power of Rukia's Sode no Shirayuki. Both Rukia and Gremmy's abilities are incredible, but also incredibly dangerous if mishandled. If Rukia is not careful with her power, she could severely hurt or kill herself; as we saw, Gremmy pushed his power too far, and his body self-destructed.

Even if you can make anything you imagine into reality, there are still those absolutes that you cannot surpass, the rules of reality that are impossible to change. Gremmy tried to use his power to become stronger than Zaraki, and his body could not handle the strain he put on it.

The Unimaginable

Zaraki most likely said it best at the end of the chapter - Gremmy had "imagined" Zaraki to be an 'unimaginable monster' because of what he did to the meteor and what he survived afterwards, and the end result of Gremmy trying to become stronger than that 'unimaginable monster' proved to be impossible in the end.

In short, "The Visionary" destroyed himself when he tried "to make the impossible into reality", "when he tried to surpass the unimaginable".
13. NeoPlatonist - The Bed Time Story.
This one goes out to Franco, whose slightly salacious review of Chapter 575 inspired this cautionary tale...



May 2014 POTM winner: NeoPlatonist
Posts, Nominees, and Winners

1. Kurogasa - Yachiru is no Zanpakuto.
This is precisely why the theory claiming that she's his zanpakutou makes no sense to me.

Zaraki scavenged an asauchi from a corpse, and it had already taken the familiar form of his zanpakutou by the time we see him fight Unohana for the first time. That means that the zanpakutou spirit was already present from 1,000+ years ago.

On the other hand, he didn't meet Yachiru until he was already a grown man, and Yachiru herself directly tells us in the flashback that she was an abandoned baby in Kusajishi. We can conclude this because she tells us that it wouldn't have been unusual for a baby to be stepped on and die - this coupled with the fact that she is shown as a baby in the flashback is indicative that she's reflecting on her good fortune in surviving in such a chaotic world until she met Zaraki. Zaraki, using the zanpakutou we know he already had - which we know must have already contained Nozarashi's spirit - physically rescued her from the blood and chaos that she knew all her life and gave her the name Yachiru Kusajishi.

Yachiru has been portrayed as her own person with her own story, and Nozarashi had already existed for hundreds of years - probably 800-900 years - before Kenpachi ever met her. If that doesn't directly contradict the idea that she's somehow his zanpakutou, then I honestly don't know what does.

Other strikes against the zanpakutou theory:

1. She is clearly a shinagami herself with her own shinigami powers, her own asauchi, and has her own shikai, all of which are completely distinct from Kenpachi's.

2. She has aged like a normal individual. We saw her as a baby in the Kusajishi flashback, and by the time of the present she's obviously older. To my knowledge, no zanpakutou spirit has displayed this kind of age progression.

In the face of all of this, concluding that Yachiru must be a zanpakutou because she vanished and left her clothes behind seems extremely presumptuous, and unless Kubo is going to overturn years of canon, too much of a stretch for me to accept. Oh, sure, he could troll us super hard and do it if he wanted to, but if we're going to predicate our theories upon established facts, then we have to say that there is a mountain of hard evidence against the idea and perhaps a little circumstantial evidence that could be said to be in favor of it...if you kind of angle your head to the right and squint really hard. Heck, I'd accept the idea that she has elected to go streaking just because she can before I'd ever legitimately entertain the idea that she is Nozarashi's spirit that somehow materialized out of the blue as a baby hundreds of years after Kenpachi obtained his zanpakutou, was physically saved by him, has become a shinigami, and has been living, growing up, playing, eating, and driving people absolutely nuts in Seireitei for at least a few decades without anyone being the wiser. It reminds me too much of a conspiracy theory for me to take it seriously. Once again, Kubo could go that road, but I'll still be calling shenanigans if he does.

So, if she's not Nozarashi, then why did she vanish? My opinion is that it is likely due to the ability of a Sternritter. In particular, I have a feeling Gigi had something to do with it. The way she was talking to Bambietta seems to hint at some kind of absorption ability; perhaps Yachiru has been absorbed, Gigi will need to be defeated in order to free her?

I'm not entirely sure of what has happened, but I am fairly certain that her being a zanpakutou has nothing to do with it.
2. Nick - Bleach chapter 579 review.
I'm unsure as to how to rate this chapter. There was nothing great in it and it went by rather quickly.
The Brain
Points to ponder:

  • [#] Did Bach visit a museum on his vacation and decide to give a preserved brain a Letter? :lmao

    [#] Kenpachi did take some damage. Thank god. After all this hype, if he didn't have a single scratch on him (sans the burn marks), I'd cry foul. He spat up some blood; some organ damage. Checks tickbox.

    [#] Sasuga 11th squad fodder shinigami :thumbs Let's help Taichou now that the battle is over. I know that they can't really do anything, but that was just hilarious to read. :lmao

    [#] Not really what's happening with Kid Yachiru. I'm guessing she musta have disappeared. But I'm not buying the "She was a sword all along! :zomg " theory. Please, how and why should a sword have a sword? Even by Bleach rules, this must be stretching it.

    []Bambi Brigade show up. If Kenpachi can cut through anything, hasn't used kendo, hasn't used advanced sword techniques and still standing with some organ damage (which is nothing in the Bleachverse), this is going to be a slaughter fest for the Shinigami side. Unless of course, someone conveniently steps in and takes over the battle and gives Kenpachi a break. But who? Nakama?
3. Quevache - 579 chapter review.
Fell behind again, dagnabbit :(! I'll sure be glad when the spring flingin' and summer heat (literal and figurative) dies down, and I can get back to lurking about proper :amuse.

In the interest of keeping my own FAIL at a minimum 'til then, though, maybe (?) I can be a little bit more jejune with my posting. And, luckily, these four chs. that've built-up are nigh-all part of the great "Fantasia Fall" (Zaraki vs. Imagination Lad) saga, so most of this is still on-topic. :)

Thoumeaux's still fairly uncreative with his Godlike, transfinite-scope powers of Imaginationland:


"You're boring," he intones... right before just smacking down on Zaraki with a single, open-palmed giant hand :facepalm. Not that a hand in and of itself is dull, but it's kind of part of a trend.

For some inceptive and tentative ideas for how I might "improve" (IMO) this, see my previous, ch. 575 post.

Then he acts surprised when Zaraki isn't dead--in fact, is so isn't dead that he slashes Kid Kool before he can even much react, slowing him down:




Yeah, no sh**. It kinda reminds me of a panel from Bongo's Radioactive Man comic: two of the title character's comrades are about to be crushed by a falling bit of equipment, one of them exclaiming something like, "*Gasp!* No time to leap out of the way, only time to talk about it!" :amuse.

Kubo skates dangerously close to what I feared he might do--have Thoumeaux imagine himself to death :notrust. Thank goodness he didn't, but the fact that he was on a razor's edge of a brink of doing this, and is actually SAVED from it by Zaraki, is still WTH: can't he control his own powers even to this degree? What happens when he has nightmares? Do the other Quincy have to contend with dream goblins and maybe inexplicable hot cheerleaders pouring, unchecked, from this unconscious lathe of hell?

Still, it's a good thing he does that. A real good thing...
Natheless, this particular omnipotence's can of worms is still something I think Kubo should've avoided, because the only ways it can turn out are a) it's a plot-breaker power that not even Zaraki, with all his phlebotinum, should be able to counter, or b) it's a plot-breaker power that not even Zaraki, with all his phlebotinum, should be able to counter... but he still will, because it was a dumb idea to loose such a power in the first place and all we're seeing him [Thoumeaux] use it for is (relatively-speaking, since they end up being thwartable/ineffective) piddling crap and parlor tricks in a vain attempt to make his inevitable trouncing still semi-"acceptable".


So how are you gonna end up dying, then, kid? 'Cause you almost certainly must.

Please keep meteorites and other scientificky stuff out of BLEACH; this includes A-bombs, plastique, Uzis, etc. It's bad enough we have "ghost cell phones". Also, why stop at 2 of you? Why not a kajillion?

Luckily, Zaraki's smiling, which means he's going to defeat this latest trouble. And it seems Nozarashi is sort of like a cooperative version of Yumichika's Ruriiro Kojaku because, despite already being in permanent Shikai mode, it only goes reeeeeeally Shikai when Zaraki (and presumably, itself) deem the opponent worthy, and turns into a mighty cigar with a furry tassel at the top, and which tapers into a shiv at the bottom :amuse. Now, the destroid meteoroid's pieces will only devastate large amounts of the Seireitei individually.

With the kaigou (release call) "drink", it would be ironic if, after all Zaraki's noise about keeping his power in check to prolong the span--and enhance the joy--of his battles, his Zanpakutou's power was to absorb. But I guess not, though I've no idea what the hell "drink" has to do with cutting through anything.

Oops! Looks like Nozarashi's actually a big, spruced-up meat cleaver or whatever. And Thoumeaux is SHOCK!! again :facepalm. Kid, you shoulda paid attention to the Daten: maybe Zaraki was outclassed by Yhfake before, but the fact that he's back to party now means you should know he's dis close to becoming a Super Saiyajin.
Oh, dere's the Multimeauxs! ('Meauxtitude ?):


Bit more science as Thoumeaux speaks of Zaraki's savaged, precious bodily fluids. Then it turns into some lame-since-feigned-as-serious version of Looney Tunes, as Zaraki just inexplicably shakes off being depressurized by the vacuum of space, coming out of it with a skin rash and pink eye:

But... but you can't just brush
off outer space! It's against
the law of, like... everything!

Heh... I never studied law.

... Da f***? From all I could tell, Thoumeaux tried to go all Stretch Armstrong to match and surpass Zaraki... and just tore himself apart bubbling partly into Steroid-Man before his sinews gave out? How lame. I'm guessing we'll get some lame further exposition on how this was some result of Nozarashi's power, but, for now especially, it's just a limp coda in keeping with just shrugging off the void... "he just, um, splits apart."

... Oh, guess not; instead, it was still his own power of imagination that killed him :notrust. He imagined the power necessary to match Zaraki's, Zaraki's own true power... but couldn't endure, much less wield it, himself.

Still sucks. Poesy and philosophy and creativity (at least here) aside, it sucks. Instead of a real defeat after a real struggle, we get something like a running tally of 1 futile fusillade of cannons, 1 big hand, 1 meteorite gone kablooey, a slash here and there, and then Silly the Kid Mortal-Hernias himself to death not at Zaraki's hands, but at trying to use those hands himself (?!)--"a [STRIKE]partridge in pear tree[/STRIKE] far-fetched, hollow vict'ry. War's over, everyone can go home: Zaraki just aced the "strongest Sternritter who can make nigh anything he thinks of real"... and all without even having to use a Bankai, or even Shikai with much effort. The Kid practically killed himself in the end. "My power lets me murder myself... that's just great."

And no, it's not a struggle if an opponent has the luxury of keeping their full power in check. I don't care how sunburned Zaraki's skin nor how acid-wash jeansed his shihakushou got.

Then it turns out the kid was really Mother Brain. That's weird. Anyway...

Yachiru disappeared?! Hmm... and the last time we saw her was, like, right before Nozarashi was released for-reals, right? Or something? Is she, after all, like some theorized... the soul of his Zanpakutou, so long without a name save the tributary one Zaraki gave her when they met? With her own Zanpakutou, to boot? ... Wait...

Hahaha, I'll see what people are saying in that theory's thread!
Verdammt! All of a sudden, der Blitz those guys getz! Seems that even in "the strongest troop in the Gotei Juusantai", redshirts is still redshirts. I'm curious to see where Kubo's going with this in particular, since I can't see how (uninspired though much of it was) you can go from "The Visionary" to the Mean Girls without the threat level taking a serious nose-dive.

Ooh! Maybe they'll turn out to be the [STRIKE]Cero[/STRIKE] Null [STRIKE]Espada[/STRIKE] Schwert!


Art looked good, and at least even the mundane exercises of Thoumeaux's power and such were drawn with dynamic allure. I did also enjoy near the end of ch. 579 when his duplicates dog-pile on Zaraki and blow up, dealing him some damage.

Nozarashi, as a kind of even-bigger, more cleaverlike twin to Shikai Zangetsu, suits Zaraki; and the name itself, "weathered", more lit. "field exposed" (and, if as BadKarma elaborates, also figurative for bones similarly bleached by exposure to the elements) is also fitting for Zaraki's fight 'til forced down, rough-rider ways. Dunno why having the rapport with Nozarashi doesn't make its "self-handicapped" Shikai form look any different than its pre-rapport form but, then, that's minor, and fits the aesthetic, anyway.

Welp, this one wasn't too jejune, but it's understandable--I was making up for a few. Besides, jejune is still a memonth away :rotflmao Hope this isn't too filled with typos or anything.

4. Saiyan5ninetail - Bleach 580 review.
Picking on the Weak

This will cover the first part of the chapter, as I feel that those pages established the general MO of Bambietta's group of Stern Ritter.

As someone else pointed out earlier in the thread, the Magical Girls Reject Squad acts like vultures, deliberately targeting those who are weakened in battle or those who are much weaker than them, rather than trying for a fair fight. In this case, they waited for Zaraki to be worn down before trying to take him on, and the effects from Zaraki's battle with Gremmy - and his lack of motivation following Yachiru's disappearance - really shows.

Just look at how Candice reacted when Zaraki went to strike her. It was clear she wasn't expecting Zaraki to be able to move like that after the fight, pretty much implying she stood no chance against Zaraki in a fair fight. After all, Zaraki was coughing up blood last chapter due to a number of organs being damaged from the void of space, not to mention how that explosion likely did a lot of damage to Zaraki as well.

Power Analysis

1. The Thunderbolt

Pretty self-explanatory when you look at how her ability functions. Power-wise, Candice probably has the strongest ability among the four of them. Not only is her lightning powerful enough to even harm Zaraki (albeit a worn out Zaraki), but she can even use it for very fast movements, using it to dodge out of the way of Zaraki's attack and get behind him, appearing to turn into lightning as well.

2. The Glutton

*shivers* Good job, Kubo. I was hesitant of the idea of Liltotto's power being "The Glutton" - despite all the signs - but you went and made it creepy on some Madoka Magica kind of horror. I don't know if she literally eats her victims (her "mouth" is spewing out some kind of exhaust"), but it is still a creepy ability, nonetheless. She's like if The Thing and Charlotte from "Madoka Magica" got together and had a kid.

I do not know if that bite-mark outline on the page is an extension of her ability, but it possibly could be, since it traces the outlines of the bodies that were bitten off by The Glutton-Charlotte-Thing.

3. The Power

Kind of self-explanatory. Her ability is geared towards raw physical strength with no other abilities attached, but still impressive nonetheless. After all, she uprooted three buildings and their foundations to use them as a blunt-force instrument to crush a bunch of Shinigami - and she did use it to punch Zaraki into the ground.

Like Liltotto, her ability can be seen as one that is deceptive when you look at her overall appearance. One is a little girl whose power involves turning her mouth into a Thing-Charlotte hybrid, and the other possesses raw physical power.

4. The Zombie

Just about everyone was expecting Giselle to be "The Zombie" - there's only so many words that start with "Z" that can be a power - but Kubo surpassed my expectations once again, as well as upped the horror factor. Not only does she seem unable to be killed by conventional attacks (AIM FOR THE HEAD!), but "The Zombie" is spread through her spurting blood. In a way, it is similar to Zommari's Amor, but the Espada has more leverage with his ability, even if Giselle gets complete control from just a drop of blood touching you.

Not only that, but it doesn't "kill" or "turn" those it comes into contact with - it simply puts them under Giselle's power - which she used to make these guys commit SUICIDE.

Not quite the Haitian variety I was expecting, but this is far more horrific. I wonder if her power will also bring up the "undead" aspect, since she described anyone who was touched by her blood in this manner as a "corpse".

Lost Humanity

I have said it before, and I will say it again - the Vandenreich Quincy are the product of the Quincy losing their Humanity in their quest for power. With each new, horrifying ability revealed that sentiment is further given form. Just look at Giselle and Liltotto's power, and tell me those would be abilities that normal Humans should possess.

That said, it also makes me wonder if these 'inhuman' abilities of the Quincy are actually a by-product of Yhwach engraving the Schrift onto their souls. Some of these abilities feel like they should be channelled through a Spirit Weapon rather than utilizing the user's own body - especially "The Glutton" and "The Zombie" - so the Schrift might actually act in the place of the Quincy Cross for a number of Quincy, turning their own bodies into the conduit of their power.

There are still Quincy who use the Spirit Weapon as a channel for their power (Haschwalth and Quilge), but it really depends on how the ability might be channelled in the first place. After all, Quilge's "The Jail" is one of the few Quincy abilities thus far that still uses the Heilig Pfiel as part of their power - but Biskiel is proof of how Quilge lost his humanity.

In the end, turning into monsters such as this is most likely one of Souken's worst nightmares made reality, and why he held onto the old ways.

Lost Will to Fight

Near the end of the chapter, we get something that likely took many of us off-guard - Zaraki is wondering if he is finished. That doesn't seem like Zaraki at all, but let us look at what he's been through in the last two chapters - he found that Yachiru, who is essentially his daughter, is missing without a trace, and now he was completely powerless to protect the lives of his subordinates. We know Zaraki cares about the lives of his subordinates - as demonstrated in this chapter - so not being able to save them likely took its toll on Zaraki mentally and emotionally.

Add that onto Zaraki suffering from the effects of his fight with Gremmy (the void of space is not something you shrug off), and Zaraki is pretty much unable to defend himself from their attacks.

So yes, the Magical Girls Reject Squad is a pack of vulture - they are even making a game of who is going to kill him.

I didn't like them before, and I still don't care for them. Which brings me to the end of the chapter...

Death is Coming

The chapter ends where the volume would - an explosion in the sky that is in the shape of a skull we are very familiar with: the Shinigami Representative Badge. There are only two possibilities for who it could be:

It is Ginjo arriving with the Xcutioners and Ganju. It would make sense thematically, considering there are four of them and four of the Magical Girls Reject Squad, so their numbers would be equally matched with one another. Also, we heard Kukaku say that Ganju would fight in the next battle, yet he has yet to appear yet. If they are coming in such a flashy manner, it likely means they came by way of the Kukaku Cannon.

The alternative is that Ichigo has finally showed up. He said yesterday in-story that it'd take him half a day to reach the Seireitei when it was around 8 P.M., so he is about due to arrive at any moment. Given Zaraki's current state, Ichigo will likely show up to Zaraki's aid and show the true power of his Zanpakuto. It might appear to be "wasted" on these four, but all we need is a demonstration at the moment.

As I said in the title, death is coming on swift heels for these four. Be it in one-on-one battles with Ganju, Ginjo, Giriko and Tsukishima, or being curb-stomped all at once by Ichigo, I believe these four will not be living much longer.
Chapter rating: 10/10
5. Zaeruaporo - Chapter 580 chapter review.
The Light? ... The Light!

As per usual, the chapter starts off with all the fodder Shinigami being, well-- fodder and idiots, really. You know you've got fodder when they watch their squadmates get blasted by lightning because they all grouped up, and then said fodder begins to group up again despite watching the said result of it. That was just asking to get... electrocuted, devoured by a giant nightmare fuel mouth, smashed by a sectioned off portion of three buildings, a street, and the foundation beneath it, annnnnnd being forced to commit seppuku after being turned into zombies -- just without the zombie look and hunger for brains part.

I actually am indeed horrified by this thing, don't mind me. Thank you, Kubo. :sweat

Onto the actual content of the chapter!

First off-- Four epithets revealed within the matter of a few pages! Very databook-ish as stated by some, but I felt it was at least executed in an appropriately manner with all four of the Femritters deciding to try and lay waste to the Eleventh all at once, rather than the four of them choosing to instead go at it one at a time and introducing everything once their fights began with whoever they'd be matched against (in regards to actual named characters; not the whole ______ vs. fodder group #_ ).

  • Candice Catnipp, The Thunderbolt -- The first epithet revealed of the four, and one certainly expected from the beginning. Kubo had placed enough hints as to what Candice would be, be it her hair/eyebrows or Vollständig wings, so this one had been pretty much guessed from the get-go. Not much outside of the typical expected attack was shown last week or here, but it was interesting to see how it was used against Kenpachi when he had went to attack her. Candice actually turned into lightning, just for a second, in order to escape the slash from Kenpachi.
  • Liltotto Lamperd, The Glutton -- Another somewhat predicted epithet, but only in name. Many had figured it'd be something related to 'Glutton' or 'Gluttony' based upon her habit to continuously eat food whenever she appeared, but nothing of the sort when it came to her ability. Extended, stretching mouth of nightmares-- that's definitely nightmare fuel for me, as I already said.
  • Meninas McAllon, The Power -- This one I think is the one no one saw coming, or at least the majority didn't. We had all expected something along the lines of the 'Poison' or maybe even the 'Plant'-- but I was beyond surprised when she managed to down Kenpachi into a giant crater with a single punch, as well as lift three buildings plus its foundation with one arm. That strength is beyond abnormal, and even if its solely responsible from her letter ability, it's strength rivaling Komamura's when he lifted up Poww back in the FKT arc.
  • Giselle Gewelle, The Zombie -- And, of course, last but not least-- the fourth ability revealed, and also one expected yet met with some confusion as to what it would do. I guess that's the case when you give someone a letter such as 'Z', which has as few words as possible. Many had seen this as more of a case where Giselle would be able to revive the dead, and have them do whatever her will was-- and it's quite odd to actually see it being more so of a contact/control basis through her blood, and whoever comes into contact with it.

    The only question I have is how will this avoid being similar to Pepe's assumed 'Control' ability, and how this may have been used on Bambietta. And again-- Seppuku? That's just brutal.

Kenpachi... is down for the count?

I can easily see this is where most criticism will lie within the chapter, more so when it comes to characters and how they're being regarded. While everyone was expecting Kenpachi to just wreck all four of the Femritters -- something that obviously wasn't going to happen, fortunately; I'd be a bit more displeased than I am now in some cases -- before brushing all the dust off his shoulders, to then just search for Yachiru and whatnot before moving onto stomping someone else. However-- I can understand the reactions towards this, and how odd it actually seems -- but not in the case of the wounds Kenpachi was taking, and how they managed to effect him. Even if he is the tank we all know and love, two-three strikes of lightning and an über-punch wasn't something I'd expect him to brush off easily. The guy just survived being bombed by a bunch of clones, as well as sent into space-- even he is going to have his limits, even if they're presented in the most odd ways.

The only question here is as to why he isn't taking off the eyepatch. I'm not under the belief it would've prevented him from losing, but it definitely would have given a bit more time and a fair chance against the Femritters (some would say unfair, and he'd just definitely wreck the floor then-- which, I can see) before they downed him in the manner he did. I'm still not sure what Kubo is trying to prove here with having Kenpachi holding himself back, when the purpose of the fight with Unohana was to have him do just the opposite. A moment to save for a future fight, I suppose-- implying he gets one, which makes the training seem to be in vain.

Suddenly, a blast shakes the skies!

I think we all know where this one is going -- and we all know exactly who is coming, based upon the obvious shape of the explosion: Ichigo, or Ginjō, both of which have their reasons to be affiliated with the shape of said explosion. I've mixed reactions on it if it's the former, personally, because it can mean several things.

  1. Ichigo is here to stomp everyone -- in this case, the Femritters -- with his new dual-Zangetsu, as well as the training received at the Royal Realm in order to save Kenpachi in something very similar to when Kenpachi saves Ichigo from Tesra -- and then probably proceeds to stomp everyone again in a timely manner.
  2. The same as above, but Ichigo ends up getting stomped by someone else afterwards -- therefore making things seem redundant.
  3. Ichigo, or Ginjou, show up to combat the Femritters -- but have a struggle against it and Kubo creates some pseudo-situation of leading us into failing hopes that either one may just lose, when it's painfully obvious Ichigo or Ginjou will come out on top, and drag us into a fight lasting several chapters just because.

I've no real preference as to what happens at this point, just because I don't know what's going to happen. I can hope for what happens-- but it's going to be the opposite.

Overall verdict.

This one scored a 9/10 in terms of personal enjoyment from me because of the content, and pretty much how enjoyable it was to me in its own regards. By far is it no grand exposition chapter such as 565, but it definitely presented a lot in terms of characters and revealing their abilities, regardless of whether or not we were able to predict them from the hints Kubo implemented to try and get us thinking. Again, very databook-ish in the way powers and epithets were revealed-- but very enjoyable to me, nonetheless.

The only real criticism I have here has to be how Kenpachi has been treated, and how his situation seems to be similar to the problems the Vizards have been receiving. They have all these abilities to utilize, but it's as if they're forgetting them for the sake of plot convenience which is a definite 'what, no' from me right at the start. The other half would have to be the potential this entrance of other characters prepared to battle the Femritters may have, and how Kubo is going to play it out. As listed above-- I'm not seeing much of a favorable outcome, and that won't change until we see who is actually coming.

9/10 for personal enjoyment, but a 6-7/10 in terms of giving it an actual fair ranking that takes into account the pros and cons.
6. ReiWen - 579 chapter review.
Seriously I've read non of BA posts since early Tuesday... Having a little baby in your house even if it's not your baby can really destroy your daily routine....

I don't know what to think.... First of all the chapter was yet again empty.
I howevr think that Gremmy's death was done wery well... The problem is that he was a random character that appeared 10 chapters ago, if we would see him for longer and really got to know him I think it would be a very emotional moment because the art, him vanishing... Really well done....
The other problem is.... GREMMY WAS A BRAIN!!!... WTF?... I understand that Kubo wanted to go around the "killing a kid" problem so he made the kid kill himself, but making the kid non existing is a bit too much.... How did a brain alone imagined something? Didn't Gremmy said that he was super strong since his birth? If he did than I don't think that only a brain came out of his mother....:laser....

Good thing that Zaraki was at least a bit damaged because of the fight.
We yet again see the random shinigamies.... Just a few chapters ago everyone were running away because of a meteorite, but now they seems to be standing there like nothing ever happened... Of course they have all the time in the world since there is no war going around so it's the perfect time to change profession from a shinigami to a cheerleder.

We have Zaraki looking for Yachiru.... He can't find her, but eventualy he finds her... robe... That's odd.... I hate those teories about her being the Zan's spirit. Im certain that it's not the case.... He was already talking to his Zan and would release it by saying it's name so if Yachiru would disappear because of it she would disappear back then. Besides Kenny told her to go to Isane and if Zaraki would like to find Yachiru he would look for Isane... So most likely non of them is there.... Question is.... Where are they and why the hell would Yachiru be without her clothes? It's lkely that some SR kidnaped them.... Maybe even the Femritters.... Still why without clothes.... or maybe Isane and the rest are there, but Yachiru escaped because she theoreticaly lost even if it's against Gremmy she may still feel that she is unworth of being Kenny's VC.... It would explain all of her sad faces when she saw Kenny for the first time and pretty much her entire attitude since he came back... Well this is theory material so let's leave it...or not yet.... The fact that Zaraki said her name in his head semms to also indicate that he may know what is going on and if she is not his Zan he clearly uderstands why she is gone.

Later on Kenny tells his underlings to look for Yachiru and they say that if he can't find her they also won't be able to do it... Totaly correct since being so close to someone makes it so much easier to find their reiatsu.... However Zaraki doesn't care.... He really looks worried.... I can't make it out of the one panel of his face, but is he crying? Anyway it's really touching.... The shinigamies are forced to look for Yachiru, but they are killed in an instand by... Candy.... The Femritters appear.... That's unexpected.... It's nice to use this word since nothing unexpected happened in ages... Im curious how do they want to deal with Kenny.... They may not be powerhouses... They may be... Point is that they really seems to be a good team and they seems to be bitches.... They will use whatever tactic they can to get the desired effect.... If they have Yachiru it will be nice to see what they are going to do..... Even if they don't have her it will still be nice to see what they will do. I think that it's nice chapter to close a volume and start a new one.

We are left wondering whatever Kensei was Kensei'd again, or are we going to see him and Rose.... alive, or dead?.... Of course alive....
Oh there is also the fact that Zaraki can come back to his partial shikai state.... Well not that it's surprising since he needed to release it so he can seal it..... Otherwise he wouldn't need to release it and would just jump into the battlefield with an axe

I also think that the Femritters may end up not fighting Kenny.... It may be the time for the HM Group to enter "Seiretei" through a Garuganta at the end of the next chapter.

The chapter was unexpected... Somehow in a good and sometimes in a bad way, but unexpected.... So it's good.... I acknowledge that if someone really liked Gremmy the death scene itself is something to like and Zaraki being so emotional and all it's nice to see and touching..... If I wouldn't be so tottaly stripped off any feeling toward Bleach I think I may have really enjoyed it..... However it doesn't change the fact that the way Gremmy was defeated and the fact that he was a brain as also the fact that there yet again was no content since almost all of Gremmy's death scene were things that we heard before..... The entire Volume with Zaraki's "fight" will probably be the volume with the last amount of content in all of Bleach's history, It was Zaraki hype all along till the end..... To many chapters were wasted for it... and yet again another "plot point"( you need a plot to have a plot point) ended out of nowhere after severall underwhelming, empty chapters.
We also have some unresolved issues like the eyepatch that seems to be reduced to a purely fashion releated thing. We have the issue of "why the hell did it took 2 days for Zaraki to gett to the battlefield when he was basicaly on the battlefield.....

So I will give it like 4/10.
7. Quevache - 580 chapter review.
Not one but two ZOMG!-strikes! from the sky this ch.—and ZOMG! sky stuff has been frequent in this arc.

So Candace Catnipp—who so far still reigns as Worst-Named Sternritter of All Time, narrowly edging out strong contender Mask de Masculine, is “The Thunderbolt”. That’s alright, I suppose.

And Kubo, with making Meninas “The Power”, actually used an idea I was going to implement in my BLEACH revision for Mask (in my version renamed Verdeck Weiss), remaking him from “The Superstar” to “The Strength”, so that’s interesting.

I love how the seated officers and/or red shirts keep commanding each other/proclaiming about “protecting the captain!”. With how admiring these usu. are of their superiors—esp. here, with Zaraki’s Troop 11—it makes sense, of course; but, really, they’re just marching into the abattoir if they take on the folks that just felled Captain Smile-‘n’-Win.

Liltotto, as “The Glutton”, is prob. the worst of the bunch in terms of ideation, although Giselle, as “The Zombie”, is also kinda dumb (mostly in the execution):


I know it’s early on with this, but it just seems a bit meh. They’re not exactly “zombies” she’s creating, either, although thanks to Meninas, she couldn’t be “P - The Puppeteer”, so I understand (and I guess it could be said that, shrugging off her grave wound, Gigi is “undead”—if not “The Undead”—herself).

I still have a hard time accepting, even with the thrown-in “Good thing Gremmy softened him up for us!” etc., that one bolt, and one punch from Meninas, turned Zaraki into an incapacitated Ichigo Myna bird (I can’t move... my body... !).

If Yachiru, a.k.a. Skull-Aura Juniora, reappears (presumably naked, since her shihakushou’s just lying on the ground) next ch. (’cause girls nearly always have to fight girls) and trounces the girls who just thrashed Zaraki, it’s gonna be just another sign of how ludicrous BLEACH keeps getting. For every fun moment, like the Yamamoto vs. Yhfake and his demise, that we get, we seem due to be subjected to a “Balancer’s Injustice” of goofiness or overly zany plotting that results in a nigh-nude wrestler with stars on his nipples, and that’s why I fear things could turn out this way—however, of course, it’s just a paranoid guess currently. We do, sadly, have plenty of settled-canon examples of this already, though.

And yeah, I know Zaraki got soooo hurt in his fight with Thoumeaux, had to fight soooo hard with his eyepatch still on and being only in Shikai; but, still, Bambietta’s Fly Girls are doing a lot better than Imagination Lad, and now Yachiru might be the one to his rescue?

Come on. :amuse

I don’t buy this half-assed backfilling-that-it-was-dire


anymore than I did the same kind of please-buy-it gyp service we got after Byakuya and he returned from defeating Yammy:

I wonder if the ’Ritter gals are gonna combine into the Megazord, or reveal that they each ate a piece of Bambietta on their way to evolving into higher Menos stages. Like I said at the advent of the Ritterinen at the close of last ch., it’s hard to see, after the (at least purported) scope of the previous battle, what Yachiru could contribute, either. She’s prob. just been maneuvered here, fairly haphazardly, to pick up the slack so that Zaraki doesn’t have to fight with females.

It’s looking like, and it’s to the detriment of the story in my opinion that, with the Sternritter, Kubo’s still trying too hard to channel the lost spirit of the Arrancar. Ever since he flushed them—and the greatest amongst them, the Espada—down the toilet during the fake Karakura arc—prob. because the ideas/impetus for this last arc were already floating, inchoate, in his head—and made it so like 30 antagonists were left in fair-to-good condition for Aizen alone to have to one-shot, he’s apparently still been obsessing over them in subtle but inescapable ways: even though he dumped them, diminished them, he can’t quite seem to let at least some of them—but, esp., their characteristics—go.

Whence, the Quincy of the Wandenreich, despite (as Quincy) being ostensibly humans empowered by Yhwach’s hoodoo-that-he-do-so-well, are transformed from kind of “anti-Shinigami” (who seem to pretty much be human
souls themselves) into Arrancar with Germano-Abrahamic accoutrements, complete with [STRIKE]Resurrección[/STRIKE] er, I mean, Vollständig! Yeah, that’s the ticket! And that’s when Kubo even remembers that Vollständig exists, since Thoumeaux seemed not to use his.

Thus, we get “The Fear” turning first into something half-Miniature Jesus and half-Silent Hill, with wing-walls made of scare-eyes, then some inexplicable giant fien(d fet)us that’s mostly/wholly Silent Hill; we get “The Zombie” spraying blood from a gruesome wound that, if it’s fortunate enough to gout onto her opponents, lets her use advanced Brujería on them (and seems it may ape a controlling power Pepe von Weirdbeard used on Jidanbou and Rin during the first invasion); we get “The Glutton”, who can turn one of her jowls into a Piranha Plant and *et* up her foes—put a bit of her together with a bit of Äs Nödt, and you have a more complete self-plagiarism of Glotonería, etc. ;)

If Kubo wanted his Hollow-freak flag to keep flying, he prob. should’ve included some new, (actually) formidable Arrancar amongst the enemy legion. I mean, he’s already smooshed them back into the story as tenuous and highly expendable foot solders of the Wandenreich. Make up some B.S. about them recruiting a few Vasto Lorde-levels who were hold-outs to Aizen, or newly come to their power, maybe, or something.

But stop nursing this boner which you yourself (via the Arrancar/Espada villain decay cited above) left wanting, when you had them as the main antagonists, by creating Quincy who are somehow ultra-freakazoids whose arms become napalm bananas and can melt anything they kiss.

Oh, yeah: and tamp down other dumb ’Ritter ideas. A luchador healed by the praise of an unkillable Handy Andy, even when his ears can’t hear it? A robot that (if the trans. be correct) “[has] never breathed” somehow being able to use Blut and the powers of a soullike some ersatz Talos? A child who wields f***ing “imagination” and “creates life”, but is soooo imaginative that while he can conceive of Zaraki’s awesome power, his body can’t go along as the soma to his psycho and gets blowed up trying—a body, mind you, that he for some reason designed to be capable of wounding, bleeding, etc... even though it’s fabrication, ’cause he’s really just a f***ing brain—and finds that the only [STRIKE]heart[/STRIKE] life he can’t
[STRIKE]heal[/STRIKE] create... is his own :)weeps, so beautiful) :notrust.
Please, try to rein this in, Kubo sensei: spare us a future wherein the possibilities may include Sternritter that can only super-inflate one hand like Dave Grohl in the video for “Everlong”, or one that’s actually a mass of hive-minded reishi just so Kurotsuchi gets a chance to ’front he’s “hard” with more science-pocus “I win *nyah nyah!*” bacteriahttps://www.google.com/url?q=http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DirtyCoward.

Ebern being able to use Quincy powers despite the preposterous asspull of “The Fundamental Virulence”, which is supposed to make Hollow and Quincy anathema to each other, is another thing I could’ve done without.

Art was still pretty cool, and there were some dynamic things with the thunder-bolts and -punches being dealt, so that was attractive—although certain panels, like the one with Candice, looked a bit less polished and more rushed.

However, it continues to be not that inspired nor inspiring. Hope we get more scenes of wheat along with the chaff soon. Then again, I'm likely being too hard on at least some of these things while the scenes are fresh and the blood hot, so I may find good things to say or more accepting perspectives on these later. :)

8. Quincy Aizen - Ichigo and the clock tower.
Ichigo and the clock tower

Perhaps Ichigo's disregard for destroying piece of WR is foreshadowing...

1. During Deicide Ichigo was concerned about collateral damage, and he wanted to know if Bach was the one who destroyed SS.
2. Perhaps now Ichigo will go all out in WR and come close to leveling the place.
3. Maybe this is what Bach wants bc WR seems like spirit rich land and all the quincy fodder could count as human souls.
4. Bach could be letting the shinigami create a ouken right in front of their eyes.

Besides his reishi steps I dont know how else he plans on getting to the RR.
9. ReiWen - Chapter 581 review.
Thanks for the Spoilers and translations everyone

Damn this was a really good chapter.... Even better than the last one which mean that I will need to give it more than 7/10..... It's been ages since the last time I've did that:h5

Let's start with the bad part.... Well not bad, but something I've noticed and Idk if I like it.
The CP.... It seems that Kubo really went into the "make the hair and the eyes have the same color" system. I mean it doesn't look bad and I guess considering how big the cast is it's hard to keep track of who has what eye color... Kubo made mistakes in this department in the past.... Still I don't like it that much, but I don't dislike it either.... The CP was great overall.... The text on it was great too...

Damn I thought that it's going to be one of the times when we see something at the end of the chapter, but we will gat a flashback of what happened right before.... Shame I almost never post in the prediction thread:wah

So let's start.... It's a second chapter in a short time that I can say is unexpected.... Awesome!.... There were a lot of panels and text.... and KUBO FREAKIN REMEMBERED HOW TO SWTITCH SCENES IN AN EFFECTIVE MANNER!!!... Why he hell can't he do that more often? We have a lot of content and more story progresion in one chapter than in the last 40 even when not including Ichigo's arrival.

So the chapter starts with Oomada of all people.... Good... At this point I want to see anyone who isn't overused, or powered up in a ridiculous way.
OMG IM FEELING SOMETHING OTHER THAN EMPTINESS AFTER READING A BLEACH CHAPTER:wtf.... How many decades was it since the last time?:urahara

Ok back to reality....

So Oomada took Mareyo and Soifon and is protecting them.... Nice to see such a good attitude from him..... I also always like to see his beilief in his captain.... He is surelly not mistaken, the Soldats would be gone without them, or Oomada knowing what hit them if Soifon would be in a better condition.... Unfortunately Soifon has the bad luck of always being really exhausted before using her BK.... The fate of an assassin and one that on top of that have a hax power in a Shonen manga is horrible:mwhaha....
Of course I wouldn't be myself if I wouldn't notice the fact that Mareyo without a tentacle in her body and being neglanced for quite a while and later having no medical treatment, on top of probably having a very low level of spiritual power should be dead.... Of course everyone knew that it wouldn't happened so it's ok....
There also the fact that the rest of Oomadas family was forgoten...well...whatever....

:scared....BOOM.... Soldats were blasted out of existence... Great momment, even more so considering that it was Momo who did that.... Speaking of Momo.... Kubo lost his touch here.... She really llokks like a boy..... In most cases Kubo being more lazy and making the hairstyles simpler wasn't a bad thing, but in this case it really hurt his ability to draw Hinamori....
I like the contrastic personalities.... Hirakio is cocky and Momo is honest about her feelings... She basicaly translates Hirako's words for people who may not like his attitude.

So Hirako seems a bit embarrassed about what happened to hm... Of course he was like " I don't want to fight a little girl" Well he didn't since she one-shoted him:whoops
At least we can put to rest some predictions that he may have played Shunsui from FKT... Idk from where did those come from, but now we know that he really needed some help from Hinamor... She did what she could, but she wasn't a part of the 4th div like Kira so healing Kido isn't exactly her thing.

So it seems that Oomada just like most people understands that Zaraki is needed.... So on top of protecting those close to him he also though about someone that really wouldn't give a shit about him.... That makes his attitude even better. Hirako aproves such attitude and it seems he wanted to do the same... He puts his serious face one and starts to explaining.... This is the moment when I though " Bravo to those who were sure that it's going to be Ichigo to the rescue:applause".... I wasn't one of those, but it was because I've lost faith in Kubo.... Of corse it doesn't mean that I've regained it, but the fact that Ichigo enters the scene so early may have many good stuff to it... but I will touch this topic later....

Hirako starts to say some quite oddly sounding things.... He pretty much said that those who havn't yet fough are trash in comparsio to Zaraki.... yet again more Zaraki hype, but this time around it was actualy Ichigo's hype.... Kenny may have more reiatsu, but many have better combat captailities and use their reiatsu in a batter way and can combat all kinds of people which can't be said about Zaraki.... Still hype is hype..... Of course Hirako doesn't know about Ichigo.... We also have confirmation that Byabya isn't Zaraki's level of reiatsu and so Rukia and Renji are even lower..... As I've said in the past the seniors, Urahara ect will be adjusted to the situation and no matter how impresive Renji and Rukia may have looked the seniors will be much stronger.... Most likely even by a decent margin stronger than Byakuya.

Then Shinji's monologue is interupted.... Damn now I really would like for the old BA to be here since although it was based on nothing I made a prediction about Shinji fighting Bazz.... Am I a prophet?

Now we see another Burner Finger.... It's nice to see and it's nice to see that Bazz isn't just power.... He is actualy thinking since idk if his Burner finger is lava, but I know that he certainly used a building be melting some of it to make some lava. He basicaly pumpet his reiatsu into a building.... It's nice to see that he is creative with the use of his abilities.... Maybe if Kubo will end to play with his usual formula of how a "fight" looks like we can see a really nice fight.
Bazz's attack are certainly fast, before Shinji reaced the lava was already at his feet..... Of course since the fight is just starting he and Oomada will be ok.
As for a little prediction since I have usualy a good feeling about those things.... Bazz certainly won't lose.... The fight may be inconclusive(why will be presented later).... I expect him to be around for much longer.

So we are at the moment when Candy used her 2nd lightning on Kenny.... Damm they certainly weren't that high in the previous chapter..... Whatever....
We see Rukia and Byakuya.... What's odd is that Rukia is leading the way.... Well it's not shocking since again there isn't really any hint that ByaBya actualy trained in the RR.... Lying for 4 days in a pool and then having to do some Jinzen with his zan which must have taken more than 5 minutes would certainly leave him no time to go through Ichibei's enhancing training... So the reiatsu of his Zan could have been boosted, but Rukia may have passed him in the speed department . Especialy when we consider that Nodt couldn't react and when Byakuya fought Nodt it doesn't seems like Nodt had problems with Byakuya's speed as evident by the fact that Nodt wasn't hit even once before he hit Byakuya with a spike..... Well we shall see....
Oh yet another person lost their clothes.... I see Kubo isn't really found of those things and.... well it's certainly troblesome to draw those..... I can buy the fact that maybe those clothes just allow to pass the Shakonmaku since the RR people seems to have no problem passing it.... It doesn't even slow them down as seen thanks to Ichigo.... It's not the time for Ichigo yet....

First the entire world needs to stop moving and everyone need to look at the sky with hope in their eyes.... Even fodder shinigami who don't know Ichigo can sense his reiatsu despite him still being above the Shakonmaku.... Of course we need an entire page of 3 panels with nothing in it just for the cinematic feeling....and then a huge panel of Ichigo geting close to the Shakonmaku that isn't so cinematic and 3 more panels with no words and Renji is really badly drawn.... Oh and damn we have Ikkaku with his Zan released.... So he wasn't destryed by the Super Nova?:surprise... Yeah Kenseing and magicaly reappearing at it's best:h5.... Then we get a Rukia and Ichigo's.... cloath.... panel ala Zaraki releasing Nozarashi and Yachiru.... That gives us tottal of 4 pages of pretty much nothing since the one Rukia said Nisama... the reiatsu... blah blah had a huge panel of Rukia's head and the sky....

Oh wait there is another one.... Well this one at least have 5 panels so I can overlook it.... Poor Femritters everyone noticed Ichigo, but they couldn't do it till he went through the Shakonmaku:hm
Basicaly a repeat of the CP just with shocked faces.... Good since soon the Femritters may have no faces....
There is another empty page.... However this one is perfect.... It seems that ichigo is taking a page from his dad's book of " How to ruin an epic moment"... it's really nice to see such thing.... The big eye... Candy's eye... before the next sequence of panels makes it really great.... Yet another empty page with shocked faces.... Damn Ichigo is fast.....
Than another not so empty, but still pretty empty page, but still a cool one.... Oh Kenny is back to his normal self..... The "Am I done?" thing from last chapter was so OOC.... Now even in death he can't admit to Ichigo that he is done and that he would like to get some help.... Luckly for him Ichigo hit the ground in the right place at the right time:triumphant

And we have the last page.... Of course empty... However it's the last page so what to expect.... It's drawn in the same manner as chapter 555 The Hero.... Idk if I like it.... I mean it's good, but Ichigo looks a bit old. Especialy the side of his face that have shading on it.
well anyway the art was of course great in this chapter.
So all in all we have 9 empty pages out of 17, but somehow most of the empty ones are cool and still give an ilusion of content so it's cool.

Anyway the last topic is Ichigo and why I though that Shinji's fight may not be concluded.

So with Ichigo showing up so early and showing up at all we are presented with a few nice and not nice possibilities.
First of all Im really gld that Kubo for once remembered a detail.... In this case the fact that it suposed to take Ichigo 12h to get to "Seiretei". Ichigo started his little walk down the stairs at 8pa and we have early morning so it's all good.

So let's start with the instant problem.... The Femritters..... The first time when Ichigo has a female for a reall enemy. As we have already seen their ability to follow him movement are nionexistent.... I doub't that their volstadig will help much.... They will be stomped no matter if it means killd, or finished Isane style from back in SS arc.
I hope it's the laster since ther may be some use for them later and Gigi needs to live since we have the Bambietta storyline. The Girls may later fight some weaker characters.... Maybe than some people will understand that SR's who recently learned Volstandig are being exhaustad by it at a fast rate and can't even control it well aren;'t powerhouses.

The esential word in the entire sentence was "Later"

Ichigo is here yet many major, but in comparsion to him minor players are not only not showed, they are nowhere near "Seiretei"..... So untill Bleach is geing canceled which is the dramatic scenario Ichigo's arrival can't mean that war being nearly over and him stomping on all the SR's.

I know that some people don't even want to think about it, but as I was saying since before the last break when we just found out that Seiretei is turning into WR.... The G13 will lose..... They will somehow get out of "Seiretei" (like for xample the RG will take away the walls which idk why they havn't done that yet) Ichigo will need yet another powerup and we will have another round.
I love this option since this is really the only chance for character development and it's nthe only way to give some reason as to why everything that happened in the second invasion was so freaking underwhelming.
Ichigo besides power will be able to develop some good skill, we ma be introduced to some tactic, some flashback, Uryuu may have time to interact with the SRs and see them as something more than the people who work for the guy who killed his mother, We can get some flashback other than the "death scene" type of flashback during such a break.... Maybe the history of the war from 1000 yeas ago and all that.... Maybe Ichigo who also as for now see the Quincies just as an enemy will be able to see them as people, and maybe we will be able to see them as people thanks to them having time to interact with each other..... Uryuu will have the time that maybe their mindless way of following Yhwach isn't good.... Maybe they will get some reall, deep life motivation..... Since Ichigo and Uryuu will most likely mett there will be tie to make some drama..... I mean this is a Shonen and the dream that Soken had about Quincy and Shinigami being at peace must come true and some of the Quincies that we have seen already showed some Qualities that may allow them to turn good.....Of course there is where the lack of antagonist comes into play, but this is nothing that can't be somehow niocely fixed if only Kubo will up his level....

Yeah I want something like that....

There is of course a scenario where every other missing person jumps ino the mix later, but that would mean that Ichigo would be at the battlefield and at the same time we would barely see him, or that he would get defeated and others would fight till he get;s healed, or a scenario when we simply skipp over all the people who should still show up and end Bleach.... Both scenarios are lame

As I've said.... There is no much to complaion about so I will give this chapter a freaking 8/10:stfu


Dama I've just read my post and it seems I completely forgoten to writte about the Ichigo saving Kenny like Kenny saved Ichigo in HM despite wanting to write about it. Well, but as I've said I wasn't of the opinion that it's going to be Ichigo since I've lost my faith in Kubo and so I wanted fullbringers, but this chapter gave my hope that Kubo can do good things even with Ichigo alrready being on the battlefield.... Just let's hope that Kubo will do something of what I want

It's soo odd giving a chapter 8/10 when I don't like Ichigo and I certainly don't like the "OH THE HERO IS COMMING: type of moments
10. NeoPlatonist - Kenpachi & Zachiru.
Kubo's amazing character art inspired this offering. I give you "Ken-chan & Yachiru"

This next one goes out to all my fellow Ichigo fans - BlackSoul, Polgarena and others.
Just for fun, I give you Chapter 581: The Hero 2:

I'm learning about shading - what do you think?

Before & After:

11. hasanalshaikh727 - Roger Federer's tennis in his prime.
lots of novak fans here.....

anyways as for who's the best tennis player of all time- it's a simple choice for me. Roger Federer. even though I am a nadal fan, I have no hesitation in admitting that Federer is by far the superior player in his prime. in fact, Roger at his prime is just about as close to perfect as a tennis player can be. not only from a technical point of view but also from a aesthetic point of view, a prime Federer has no equal. his whipping forehands and artistic backhands combined with his graceful movement about the court is a such a joy to watch. his game is so effortless and is so delightful to watch that sometimes the viewer is bound to feel "hey, even I can play this game. it's easy". at the same time his brilliance is so understated and yet meticulous that everyone can appreciate it.

a prime Federer in full flow is like a wave of sea. it will soothe, mesmerize but at the same time it is perfectly capable of washing one away. intoxicating is perhaps the best way to describe a prime Federer's tennis.
12. NeoPlatonist - Bleach Chapter 582.
Thanks to wowzers & chapin for the Spoilers, and to Belias for posting them so quickly. Thank you luneth22 & Andygoesrawr for the translations. Thank you DraMas26 for posting the Chapter link, and a special thanks to all who moderate and contribute to the Forum. :thumbs

Full of surprises, this Chapter had so many different elements that I enjoyed. There was Ichigo. Then fun banter with Kenpachi. Then Ichigo. Then the Femritters using Heilig Pfeil. Then Ichigo again. Ywhach subterfuge with Haschwalth and Uryū talking about Ichigo. Intrigue with Askin which might or might not have been about Ichigo. And then... did I mention...

Ichigo! :love

I very much enjoyed the opening banter. Zaraki SMILED??? Yes, I do believe he smiled. I've modified his response here just a wee bit...
Now, Ichigo's TV Medical Show question of "Can you stand?" made me smile. What is he now, a Paramedic? I think Captain Clueless really should have received a more seriously sarcastic response...
Alas, it was not to be, as Kenpachi rightfully pointed out there were much bigger fish to fry. The Fab Femmes Four!

My first surprise of this Chapter was that Ichigo actually fought them. There was a lot of speculation last week that he would not. I thought he might give them a punch, like he did in Chapter 152 with Sasakibe, Ōmaeda and Isane. And that he did indeed do. Wow, did he ever! His speed at grabbing Candice's wrist was stunning. He flung her like a rag doll. Then bam, the other three were introduced to concrete.

As Willster328 points out - it looks like Giselle has snapped her neck. It also appeared to me to be love at first sight!
The way Giselle adjusts it back in place reminds me a great deal of Quilge Opie, and made me wonder if Blut Vene/Arterie strength was involved.
After tanking Candy's [STRIKE]silliest name ever[/STRIKE] "Galvano Blast" we get an admirable closeup of Ichigo's foot... What is it with Kubo and shoes???
Ah, but along with that came a much needed explanation of how it is he can now fight women. Sort of. With all the hoopla surrounding his previous distaste for battling with women, I guess we needed something before he started wailing on Liltoto...

But that was just a set-up! My second Surprise of the Chapter was Ichigo's new duds. :wha
Now as Andy, and many others have pointed out - he appears to be wearing wristbands which later disappear. They may be nothing at all, of course, but call me Mr. Crack, because they reminded me a bit of this image from Chapter 402:
So, I am still wondering if Senjumaru outfitted the Royal Trainees with some sort of protective membrane that shields them from things like Yhwach Contamination and Zombie infection too! :zomg

I am slowly, [STRIKE]don't quote me,[/STRIKE] beginning to enjoy these ladies. I like that, so far, they have not had a mental breadown. I like that they utilize teamwork. I like that they make fun of each other. And I like that they have gadgets! :wha

Surprise number three was when they punched their hearts, which then flipped up into the air and transformed into bows. Heilig Pfeil! What a fun trick. Each bow resembling their signature abilities. Lightning Bolt for Candi, Bones for Gigi, Teeth for Lil... and umm.... stylized somethings for Meni-Me.
There was additional character development here, as we now see a pattern with Liltoto being the sensible one who reads the Daten, Giselle is just a ditz, Candice is a totally vain hothead, and Meninas is.... uh.... TBA.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Girls this week, and what they revealed not only about each other, but also about Ichigo. And the Battle continues, it is not yet over. As Andygoesrawr first pointed out in his post here, it is most likely that this week's Chapter Title "The Headless Star" is in reference to Bambietta. So my best guess is she will be arriving to complete the Star-Squad, and possibly soon.

As if Ichigo were not enough for my enjoyment, there was the Fourth Surprise of seeing Yhwach step onto the high tower of Silbern. His flowing hair and the view from above were excellent IMO. And, even though it's only from the back, something about him seemed revitalized. I could almost see a quickening spring in his step.

The Fifth surprise was the biggest of them all. Askin. Decision time. So many possible theories here: "Aizen in disguise," "Son of Aizen," "I Was a Teenage Aizen," and the list goes on. D for Dimension, Decision, Deception, and Disguise. Your guess is as good as mine, but the added Palace Intrigue was the topper for me. Does the Chalice from the Palace hold the Brew that is True? :jk

It is fascinating that Askin is hiding right by the gates of Silbern. He is the Spy-er near the Spire. Just for fun I created this perspective on his vantage point:
If you couldn't tell, I had a good time this week. :D I look forward to the possible return of Bambietta, the reveal of Uryū, the continued maneuvering of Askin, and so much more. It was great to see the Hero, fun to be surprised, and the art, as always, was stellar.
13. Suharu - Uruhara's role in Bleach.
Thanks for the kind words everyone!

Polgarena, Kirisaki means "tear to pieces" ([SIZE=+1][SIZE=+1]斬[/SIZE][SIZE=+1]り[/SIZE]裂[SIZE=+1]き). It's a compound word - the first kanji means "to kill/cut" and the second means "to tear/rip up".[/SIZE][/SIZE] And yes hacking skills are are a cool and intellectual way of being badass. :urahara

I think these bits of info also debunk the argument that Urahara might be some final villain of sorts... I've read some threads speculating that he might be, and just by reading the manga and anime, one does not get insight into the character's introspection, so it could be argued that every responsible action that Urahara took (including the apology at the end of the SS arc) was just an act to get people to trust him so he could continue to "use" them. But these novels give one insight into Urahara's thoughts and emotions, so it would now make it very hard or at least implausible for Kubo to suddenly make Urahara a villain.

And yes, I believe Isshin and Urahara have to trust each other quite a bit, because:
1) On Isshin's part, trusting another person with your son is never an easy thing, especially because Urahara seems to have let Ichigo go through a lot of pretty risky situations. And since the novel registered Isshin's reluctance to see Ichigo take part in battle, he must really have swallowed a lot of his misgivings to choose to continue to work with Urahara.
2) Also, Urahara must have had joint training or at least planning with Yoruichi and Isshin for their final battle with Aizen. There's no way they could have coordinated that well (they pulled off quite a number of coordinated stunts) without some prior collusion.
3) The reason why Urahara knew about the Mugetsu's consequences must have been because he and Isshin had discussed it before. Isshin must have given Urahara data on the potential of the Mugetsu too, so Urahara could factor it into his calculations of how much Aizen would be weakened by Ichigo in order for the final seal to take effect on Aizen.

So yeap, overall, I think like Yoruichi, Isshin is also one of Urahara's "partners in crime". =) I'd like to think of them as "Gotei Team Urahara" haha. Which is pretty cool because not only are they an enigmatic team, but they are also all captain-class.

Incidentally, another Jap trivia: Urahara is also a homonym to an actual Jap word that means "opposite", "contrary" or "contrast" ([SIZE=+1]裏腹). That, along with his haori which is the colour-inverted version of the Gotei captains' haori[/SIZE], makes for a very interesting thematic analysis - Team Urahara would be a version of the Gotei 13 in negative shades, only that the Urahara Shouten, not the Seireitei, is the headquarters haha.

Also, I realised that the poor formatting of my post resulted in a misunderstanding - the long bits that you referred to as the best sequence are from the book The Death Save the Strawberry. I've reformatted the post to make it clearer.

By the way, I find the novel titles extremely hilarious by virtue of being tacky LOL. I initially didn't buy any of the novels because I thought the titles sounded horrible. But after reading through the synopses at the back, I finally decided to buy them and had no regrets. =)

June 2014 POTM Winner - Sariniste. Votes, Winners and Nominated posts.

July 2014 POTM Winner: Andygoesrawr. Votes, winners, and nominees

August 2014 POTM Winner: Herakles. Votes, winners, and nominees

September 2014 POTM Winner: Otome-san
Votes, winners, and nominated posts:

September 2014 Nominated Posts.​

1. Franco's funny take on Bleach 595

Ahhh, this chapter! This chapter is just really good! A masterpiece! Possibly the greatest thing to ever grace Kubo's wonderful Bleach series! Muy excelente, that's what this is! Bravo, Kubo, for this and the great effort you put in for this manga!

What's not to ~LOVE~ :love about this chapter? It's got everything you could ever ask for: romance, action, philosophy, humor... and did I mention the romance? Pepe-sama is the best, seriously. Don't you just ~LOVE~ :love him?

What makes this chapter so, so good is how it manages to teach us long-forgotten lessons of ~LOVE~ :love which, admit it, we all need a refresher course on. Leave it to Kubo Tite, Master of Subtlety, to reeducate us on ~LOVE~ :love and similar topics in this fictional materpiece. But what's even better is Pepe-sama. Everything about him screams perfection, ya feel me? He's the best Sternritter thus far. I think I'm in ~LOVE~ :love with him.

Oh, Pepe-sama, how do I ~LOVE~ :love thee? Let me count the ways:

Lesson 1: ~LOVE~ :love makes you stupid.
He's rendered Byakuya Kuchiki, renowned Captain of the 6th Division and Royal Guard Trainee, completely and utterly stupid. Just look at how he struggles to think of a way to bring down a lowly VC like Hisagi. A lowly VC, who, an era ago, Byakuya wouldn't have cared about. After all, that's who he is, right? An arrogant guy with a stick up his ass who doesn't give a shit about anyone who's name isn't Hisana or Rukia? Amirite?

And yet, here he is, seemingly looking out for the welfare of Hisagi, a guy who shouldn't even register on his radar. That's real ~LOVE~ :love if you ask me.

But back to the stupid.

See how Pepe-sama's power renders this Kuchiki cold-ass bastard useless - despite being a master of so many kidou levels and a master tactician (he has to be - he is a Captain after all), he just can't figure out a way to immobilize a mind-controlled friendly without resorting to a killshot. It's not that he forgot about his past techniques, like bakudo or even shunpo, it's more of a side effect of Pepe-sama's ~LOVE~ :love on the guy.

Case in point: Byakuya blocks Pepe-sama's ~LOVE~ :love attacks with his zanpaktou, despite knowing that all living things with ~HEARTS~ are affected by Pepe-sama's power.

Very symbolic of Pepe-sama and of real life, I should think. After all, ~LOVE~ :love makes you stupid. ~LOVE~ :love makes you do boneheaded things. ~LOVE~ :love makes people do things they'd never do as bachelors/bachelorettes.

This, friends, is a testament to Kubo's writing skill: in a fantastical world of Death Gods and talking swords, he manages to invoke some real world lessons and values. To think he made something so real like ~LOVE~ :love so big a deal in a fake world like this. You gotta ~LOVE~ :love it.

Lesson 2: We cannot hope to understand ~LOVE~ :love
Truly a very important lesson on ~LOVE~ :love and other matters of the heart, yet the most overlooked. It makes us do stupid things and makes you like someone despite their bad qualities, but to try and understand ~LOVE~ :love is but a folly of man.

Observe how Kubo masterfully brings this lesson to life in this chapter: by making Pepe-sama look completely "hideous" (he's eccentric, that's all), "disgusting" (original), and those other derogatory, distasteful remarks y'all toss at him, Kubo reminds us that Pepe-sama, this universe's personification of ~LOVE~ :love is not someone we can immediately understand.

He looks strange, sure, but he's still deadly. He talks a lot, but he's really poetic. His characterization is rushed, but he's a truly memorable guy. Pepe-sama is a perverse sort of Cupid (known as "Eros" in Greek - so, ha! chalk another one up for Kubo and his genius), but there is a reason why a man like him embodies something like ~LOVE~ :love you know? You just gotta take the bad with the good, see. Ain't this what ~LOVE~ :love is all about?

This is something we cannot even begin to understand - but you know what? That's completely okay! That's how ~LOVE~ :love is in the real world after all, amirite?

Lesson 3: ~LOVE~ :love is poetic.
Plato once said: "At the touch of ~LOVE~ :love everyone becomes a poet." And boy, was he ever right!

See, this here is another reason why we should all bow down to Kubo and his great attention to detail: he remembers the little stuff like this and turns them into major plot points for his stories. A great, great mangaka with immeasurable talent, if you ask me.

Notice how much character he's crammed into just one chapter. A week ago, we didn't know anything about Pepe-sama. Now, BAM, we know everything about him - his motivations, his verbal tics, his philosophy in life... heck, the only thing missing here's his backstory! That's one of the few flaws I've observed this week, you see. Despite his lengthy spiel about ~LOVE~ :love it would have helped if we saw his backstory. You know, so we know where he comes from, his roots, and why he thinks this way? I need my details, see, and I can't have the complete picture I've always wanted if there's no backstory.

But that's all a minor issue. I can deal with it. It's still a perfect chapter either way. I guess this only means I'm free to interpret everything the way I want to. Such a good thing of Kubo to do, making us figure everything out by ourselves without spoonfeeding us. Masterful, that's what it is.

Okay, so maybe it feels like he's rushing the fight and making it end quicker than necessary by having a lot of surprises - but that's exactly the point! Don't y'all get it? He's keeping us on our toes! Making us feel the actual frenzied pace of a real war! And no, I have never been in a real war before, but I have seen movies! And all those movies tell me that war is messy and frantic, without any moment of rest. Renji was just lucky he grabbed some shuteye all those chapters ago, that's all.

Plus, another thing we can learn from Pepe-sama is that ~LOVE~ :love truly is everywhere - including a battlefield.

~LOVE~ :love is a battlefield. Ha! Bet Pepe-sama'd ~LOVE~ :love that one. He's in ~LOVE~ :love with anything and everything, because that's the way to go.

Lesson 4: ~LOVE~ :love makes you do the impossible.
Exhibit A: Hisagi wielding Senbonzakura.

Friends, I don't know how to phrase this exactly, but Hisagi's really gone over and beyond all expectations for the glorious Pepe-sama. Never mind how he's been "immobilized," keep your eyes on how he's wielding Senbonzakura so easily like that! Truly, ~LOVE~ :love makes you do things you've never thought of before.

Another wonderful lesson brought to us by this chapter. Man, Kubo is seriously on a roll with these subtle things, isn't he?

Lesson 5: ~LOVE~ :love is a two-way street.
Just look at Kensei and Rose interfering at the last minute.

You may grumble that this only rushes the fight and that their entrance prevents you from savoring a long, drawn-out, better-developed fight, like that stuff you remember from the old days.

(An aside: to all those clamoring for the old days, please get over yourselves and get with the times! It's a new day for a new generation of readers! Why can't you just accept that Bleach is different now from how it was before?!)

But no. Friends, with the Vizards' appearance now, it just goes to show that ~LOVE~ :love does exist on all planes of the battlefield - including ~LOVE~ :love for a guy like Byakuya. Could the Vizards have been sent by Mayuri to aid his fallen colleague? Is this their sense of duty speaking; their ~LOVE~ :love for dear old Yamamoto? Or maybe it's their ~LOVE~ :love for Mayuri driving them to do such things?

We'll never really know until next week, I guess. And this is all good and well, seeing how Kubo's more than willing to make us wait instead of shocking us in one go. Yet another master stroke from the greatest mangaka alive. Other manga authors would do well to follow Kubo's examples. Seriously, whatever he's doing with this arc? Pure genius. I wish I could write manga just like him.

(For those who didn't get the joke, please refer to the poll for my real reaction on the chapter. Yes, I voted on it for the first time ever, because this joke was just too good to pass up. :jk)

Edit by Nick: Franco, your ~LOVE~ :love for Pepe-sama moves me to tears. Such ~LOVE~ :love is rare to see these days when our ~Hearts~ are cold like clam chowder. ~Rabbu~ :love ando Peace (Sideways Peace Sign)

2. Ryin's thoughts about parallels and dualism between Byakuya's and Mayuri's fights

What I think I really loved about this chapter is getting to see the parallels drawn between this fight, the fight with Giselle and Mayuri and the Byakua/Zommari, Mayuri/Sazayelaporro fights in the HM arc. Kubo loves to use repetition to help make a certain point or take a certain idea and present it in a new light by presenting the repeated scenes in a new way and while a lot of people might accuse this of lazy writing or not being able to come up with anything new or creative, I see it as just the opposite.

The Pepe/Byakuya fight is mirroring the Zommari/Byakua fight for many reasons. And while I do think that the two characters ARE similar, I also think they exist for different reasons. However, it's not just the Byakuya fights which are similar. There are also quite a few similarities between Giselle and Szayelaporro as well. It's just that the differences aren't as obvious. Giselle isn't going around saying s/he's a scientist or anything like that, for example. Giselle and Pepe represent aspects of Love and Death, two of the absolutes in this world, the things that drive humans in various directions and two themes that come up often in the series.. Zommari and Szayel were the same sort of fights but they were introverted versions. Giselle and Pepe control, command, conquer, spread. It's a much more extroverted versions of Death and Love. It's very in your face.

The stuff with Szayel and Zommari was much more introverted. It was almost as if they were being chased by the aspects of Love and Death and were running from them. Zommari is piteous and desperate, driven by an utter loneliness where as Pepe wants to give his love to anything and everything. Zommari's Amor is a rejection where as Goduero (or however it's spelled >.<) is an embrace. It was the same for Szayel and Giselle. Szayel sought to avoid the eternal embrace of death. He was searching for loopholes through his research. consumed and driven by it internally. Giselle relishes death and wants to make as many zombies as s/she can.

These fights are almost continuations of each other with the scripts flipped. Byakua is fighting off the role of the heartless and lonely (I do not believe he is either of these things) while Mayuri must become the man who embraces immortality (despite him loathing it)

The obvious representation of Pepe as cupid, I think is something that fits much better when seen as part of a connecting story of Love and Death and the fight with Mayuri/Giselle. Cupid and Mors, the Roman god of death who had gender issues of his own.

This is the stuff in bleach that I really love and it's why I thought this chapter really pushed it into a better place from last week's chapter. I think it shows a great amount of consideration for the work that is being produced myself, even if there may be a lot to be desired at a glance.

3. GypsyDanger's opinion on Kubo's writing regarding Chapter 596.

Honestly, and this is going to be really mean, but I laughed at how ridiculous this chapter was. It was slightly better but not because of the Sternritters, nor character development. I could be wrong on a few things since we certainly have to wait til next chapter to find out more, but with what this chapter implies is certainly terrible character development and plot progression.

Giselle and Meninas
First of all, if Gigi and Meninas are defeated/dead then Kubo wasted a hell of a lot of chapters to unceremoniously remove them from the story. Especially on Meninas. Its like he just ran out of steam with them. How Giselle was impaled, and the shocked look on her face, plus Mayuri pretty much implying the game was over and she lost, could mean that she's actually dead. And it happened in a boring way. Plus one panel showing her stabbed is still just as bad as it happening offscreen because we spent chapters and chapters of her not being present at all and people wondering what the hell she was doing while the Shinigami / Arrancar / Zombies were fighting, to just get a cut back to her getting stabbed and its over. And Meninas? What a useless character if she really is dead. Why did Kubo even bother keeping her around if this was going to be her fate? We saw next to nothing from her. A little display of power against no namers, one punch against Kenpachi, one punch against Ichigo, one punch against Liltotto and we're done with this character. Too early to tell if she really is dead (though I'm going by the feeling that she is in some vain attempt to justify why Liltotto is even around still) so I'll wait til next chapter. The way the Sternritter have just been downed in the last 3 chapters screams there was some sort of shake up. Like the editors stepped in and told Kubo what to write:

Editors - "Alright, we're new here so let's get things back on track. I know you may pretend to not listen to fans and be all macho about it, but we actually do because we want their money. And that means giving them what they want. We have to milk as much cash out of this before it ends. So you destroyed Byakuya in the first invasion and it put people on suicide watch. In the second one, let's have him be completely boss. How about he takes on like 5 Sternritter at once, maybe kill off 3 of them? Kinda like you did with Kenpachi."

Kubo - "What?! But I can't kill off 3 Sternritter just like that. I don't have that many left. Plus that would mean Byakuya had all five remaining Sternritter around him, while everyone else only had to deal with one. Just seems unreal."

Editors - "This whole arc seems unreal." Laughs in Kubo's face with their evil corporate laughs. "And sure you can. Just pick like one the girls. They've been on long enough. And then two more that you haven't really developed. Do you have any like that?"

Kubo - "I mean, we've seen a lot of Candice, so maybe her. And there's Nanana, but I was saving him for Renji. And the mustache Sternritter, but I haven't even given him a name or anything."

Editors - "Oh, dude, that's perfect. No one will care when they die then and we can just move on with the story. What about the other girls?"

Kubo cries a little inside. "I was saving some of them for the Fullbringer return."

Editors - "Fullbirngers? People even give a crap about those characters? Just have them be lost for a long time or something. Maybe make the little girl eat the other one and kill off the zombie transvestite thing you made." Kubo dies a little inside.

Of course, I'm just hamming that up to be funny, and it is mean. But it could explain why the writing seems so different the last couple of chapters. Could be conflicts of what Kubo wants to write and what the editors want to see, and there's some clashing going on. The fact that even here on this website people couldn't find themselves giving it as many positive notes is a sign that they've been rather lackluster. OR, Kubo could genuinely think these are awesome plot points and story progression, but falling flat with the fans.

So Pepe is a "monster"? Really? If you only read the last two chapters and didn't see the part with Askin saying they were both monsters, would you even have assumed that Pepe was that much of a threat beyond his letter? I knew the second it was neutralized that Pepe was going to be trolled hard. I was not disappointed. Once he showed off a whole slew of abilities and his transformation, I knew he only had one, maybe two more chapters left. And now it looks like he'll be eaten to hype up Loltitto. Oh look, a kid Sternritter who happens to be the most powerful enemy on the battlefield right now. Hmmm, where have I seen that before? (Remembers a time when Gremmy was a thing for 7 chapters. Shudders at the possibility of seeing 7 chapters of hulked out, love spewing Loltitto)

Let me guess: the more she eats, the more powerful she beceomes? So that'll be 3 characters who get stronger when using their letter abilities. Driscoll: "The more things I kill, the stronger I get." Mask: "The more cheers I get, the stronger I get." Loltitto: "The more things I eat, the stronger I get." Honestly, these powers are really becoming uninspiring. Maybe she'll have access to their abilities, but what a cop out. She'll be like Quilge's Slave ability in a sense. Use the enemy's power against them. Just a mash up of abilities we've seen. And when she showed off her ability for the first time, it looked lazily drawn. Why Kubo felt that the Femritters deserved this much screen time will continue to be unknown to me. I just don't see their popularity, nor the justification to think they should have even been a threat. They could've been an opportunity for the lieutenants to shine, like Yumi and Ikkaku, but alas, the lieutenants are reserved for eating the floor at every opportunity.

So. Much. Wasted. Potential. When I saw Yumi fight and how Kubo really brought up his character, I immediately thought Hisagi was going to get the same treatment. Nope, all the battles we've seen him in consisted of: being slammed against a wall (Driscoll), dropped to the ground (Mask), dropped to the ground again (Byakuya), dropped to the ground a third time (Kensei). That's his battle record this arc. I don't think Bankai is in his future anymore. If it is, he's just too outclassed by everyone around him currently.

Man of convenience and has vials filled with dues ex / plot stabilizers. Really? Have the blood of every single Shinigami serving and so happened to whip up a drug that transforms someone's blood into synthetic blood so an undead controlling Sternritter's powers somehow no longer work? Yup, he'll have a drug to rectify any hole Kubo dug himself into.

So when Hitsugaya is controlled by Giselle, he trounces everyone in his path, including the Arrancar. When he controls Kensei and Rose, the Arrancar seemingly easily trounce the two captains. But when Mayuri controls them, they easily trounce a Volts Sternritter and VC with no effort whatsoever while in base. Rolls eyes.

On a Positive Note
Kensei, my main man, shows up and shows up with motherfucking style. Beats the ever living crap out of Pepe in just base form and then trounces Hisagi with just Hakuda. Guess Byakuya was wrong? But then again he was too concerned with hurting him, and not incapacitating him. My only gripe is that he's gotten the same Zombie power-up that Hitsugaya got. Alive, couldn't do anything of worth. Dead, owns Volts enhanced Sternritter in base form, and drops a lieutenant like a sack of potatoes. Maybe when Liltotto gets her Lol-powerup, he'll go Bankai and wreck house? But I feel like Kubo wants to force the point that she's uber powerful and we NEED to think that, so she'll own him and Rose once again and restore balance to his universe.

4. The Outlier's poetic outtake on Chapter 596.

(Thanks everybody for their desired impressions and thanks to the respective ones for the spoilers and translations.)
Also, please forgive my mistakes...

So you came, Kensei and Rose,
Zombified by Mayuri, that's what Kubo chose.

You both did real good, but couldn't find rest
Fate has chosen you, to fulfill an important quest.

No matter how your legacy will end, you've earned respect,
Sacrificed yourselves twice, and twice be able to resurrect

This time with Mayuri, you've become his puppets
For protecting Seireitei, engrossed by his covets.

Oh Hisagi, why you had to accept Pepe's twisted fake love?
This led you to suffer more, smacked down with Kensei above!

Fans were dying to see a Bankai from your will,
That thing alone was enough for Pepe's miserable kill

There comes Mayuri, contributing his mad research,
'What did you do to them?' was what Byakuya referred.

Responded Mayri: "Don't impugn my honor as such",
"I saved those two, now thank you very much".

He retrogrades towards the episode of the past,
Trying to explain what happened so much fast.

His body is immune to the drugs he creates,
Amount of blood required for Zombification variates

Depending upon the altering Reiatsu of his underlying subjects,
Particularly of captains' class skin, have reddish-black hue effects.

His drugs of blood changed the fundamental composition,
As he got samples from each Seireitei's member in addition.

He replaced the bloods of others using this medication
With his developed ones, overwhelming GiGi's education.

Clueless GiGi, looking stunned and devastated,
Foreseeing her defeat, which surely was well awaited.

Game over zombie girl, thank you for your time,
Severed with the penetrating blade, for your crime.

Well that escalated quickly, and thankfully isn't totally off-panel,
May be the editor forced Kubo to show this through proper channel.

Byakuya Kuchiki showing empathy and compassion,
No effect on Mayuri, still having ruthless aggression!

Here comes Pepe's love, while they were talking.
It lands on Kensei's shoulder as Pepe is barely walking.

He thought love will make Gigi's zombies be deceived,
His nose, bleeding from the previous kick he received

And yet received a mighty powerful falcon punch,
Kudos to Kensei, for shutting him more than once.

"Love doesn't work on my zombies", says the genius Mayuri,
Pepe's jaw is dropped, and diced up by Kensei's fists of fury

Demeaning Pepe coughs, curses, suffers flameout,
Liltotto emerges with her cold eyes full of doubt.

5.Saiyan5ninetail on Zanpakutos power and the rebuilding of the Gotei 13.
As we all know, the Zanpakuto is the source of the Shinigami's powers and abilities, each Zanpakuto being unique to its owner. However, for as much as we know about the Zanpakuto, there are a number of subtle details that may have escaped the sights of many people who are reading the series.

As we know, the Zanpakuto is a reflection of the Shinigami's own soul, essentially their "inner self" manifested through a blade. Throughout the series, I have noticed a certain trend that exists in regards to the Zanpakuto: the most powerful Shinigami tend to have the most powerful Zanpakuto. One could say that the Zanpakuto is powerful simply because the Shinigami is powerful, but I believe it is more subtle than that, and that it is the other way around. To be precise, the nature, power and ability of a Zanpakuto can be used to determine and estimate the potential a Shinigami possesses.

Toshiro is probably one of the best examples of this. He is the youngest of the Captains of the Gotei 13, and he also possesses the most powerful Ice-type Zanpakuto. Kyoraku even made mention of Toshiro's potential back in the Fake Karakura Town arc, stating that Toshiro could surpass him in a century - barring any intervention on the Royal Guard's part. Hyorinmaru's title as "The Most Powerful Ice-type Zanpakuto" also hints at how high Toshiro's potential power can go.

Other more recent - not to mention heavily debated and criticized - examples are Renji and Rukia. People have complained vehemently about how strong Rukia and Renji became after they went through the Royal Realm training, ranging from "they were never shown to have such potential" to "it makes no sense for the Royal Guard training to have made them so powerful". The first complaint is the one I will tackle in this post, the truth may actually be the opposite of what the complaint states - Rukia and Renji actually did have that potential, and I believe the key to understanding how and why rests with their Zanpakuto and their abilities.

I originally intended to discuss their Shikai, but I decided they wouldn't really convey my point well, so let us look at their Zanpakuto post-Royal Realm training - namely the Bankai, where a Zanpakuto's power is best shown.

Renji's Soo Zabimaru is an interesting case, since its existence shows a new aspect to the relationship between Shinigami and Zanpakuto. Perhaps it is because there are two personalities to his Zanpakuto that Renji actually had to earn acknowledgement from (the Baboon and the Snake), but the reveal that his Bankai was "unrealized" means a Zanpakuto spirit can withhold part of their Bankai's whole name from the Shinigami if they only partly acknowledge the Shinigami in question. This gives an explanation for the fragility of Hihio Zabimaru, because it was not the "true Bankai", but an "unrealized" version based on only one of the personalities.

In terms of its power and ability, Souou Zabimaru clearly showed its worth when it completely overpowered Mask De Masculine, who had previously bested two Captains within two chapters without entering into his full-powered form or using Vollstandig. Hihio (Baboon King) acts as a third arm with immense physical power, "Orochiou" aguments the blade's cutting and piercing power, and Zaga Teppo is completely superior to Hikotsu Taiho, not causing the Bankai to fall apart as it did in the past. In every way, Souou Zabimaru was superior to Renji's former Hihio Zabimaru in terms of utility and power and lacks its weaknesses.

Rukia has gotten a lot of complaints since her Royal Realm training (I've complained about it sometimes as well), but it cannot be denied that her Zanpakuto's true ability is very powerful. Sode no Shirayuki reduces her body's temperature to below zero, with the Zanpakuto - and the various Dances, most likely - being a means of extending the below zero effects to other effects. The fact it took the Royal Guard training to draw out this aspect of Sode no Shirayuki's power can also speak of how powerful the ability really is - before then, her Zanpakuto withheld the power to protect Rukia from hurting herself with it.

The fact that it can reduce her temperature all the way down to Absolute Zero, and use that temperature to flash-freeze her opponent, shows just how powerful the Zanpakuto really is, and speaks volumes of Rukia's potential as a result. While Toshiro can manipulate the weather and water in the atmosphere with his Zanpakuto, Sode no Shirayuki is conceivably - forgive the boast - the anti-thesis to Ryujin Jakka - where one embodies "heat and fire" to its highest extent, the other embodies "ice and cold".

But what is truly curious about Rukia's Zanpakuto is Hakka no Togame. The instant she activated it, As Nodt was flash-frozen by Absolute Zero temperatures and crumbled away into a white mist, but the power is not what is curious - it is the appearance. The majority of Bankai generate large effects or weapons in comparison to the original Shikai, either augmenting the basic ability or expanding it with new forms and techniques. Rukia is one of five (that we know of) where this does not necessarily occur, and one of three where their clothing changing when the Bankai activate, with that clothing being part of the Bankai. Of the latter, the only other two are Ginjo and Ichigo, both of them Shinigami Representatives; of the former, Ichigo and Ginjo are like this, while the other two are Unohana and Yamamoto.

NOTE: Some might say I'm cheating by using Ginjo because he's a "Fullbringer", but his Fullbring contained the power of a Shinigami, so it counts.

Minazuki's Shikai is a manta ray-like creature that can heal individuals inside its stomach, and Ryujin Jakka is a blazing sword that is often accompanied by a fire storm in the area and a ring of fire behind Yamamoto. It is an entirely different matter when they use Bankai. Most Bankai either change the form of the Zanpakuto into a massive weapon, expand the effect of the already-active Shikai, or manifest some giant creature.

Minazuki's Bankai and Zanka no Tachi do neither, instead compressing the power of a Bankai into the shape, size and form of a sword. Zanka no Tachi compresses all of the heat and flames of his Zanpakuto into the sword's edge, and the Bankai also has the effect of heating Yamamoto's reiatsu to fifteen million degrees, turning it into an impenetrable armour of heat. Minazuki (All Things' End) liquefies into a blood-red substance and solidifies itself into a blade that said substance pours off from.

The above are not unlike Ichigo's former Zanpakuto, which compressed its power into the form of a black daito from the large cleaver knife it was before. With Ginjo, the extent of change to "Cross of Scaffold" was in the hilt and guard, becoming more skeletal to reflect the Hollow influence of Fullbring. The same goes for Hakka no Togame, where the only change was the blade becoming ice.

All three of the above have their clothing change, or even their physical appearance change, when they use their Bankai as well. Ichigo's Shinigami clothing is replaced with a long-sleeved, ankle-length black coat; the Fullbring that Ginjo stole from Ichigo wraps more tightly around his body, four protrusions of Fullbring light arc from his back, and his face takes on features not unlike those of Zangetsu, with white hair, red sclera and white eyes, and a Hollow marking across his face; Rukia's Shinigami robe change into a white kimono, her hair becomes white from the Bankai release, and she also gains a crown of ice in the form.

But these are not the only unique Zanpakuto that exist - when Ichigo attained his true Zanpakuto, he became one of three Shinigami to have Zanpakuto that come in pairs (not counting Hisagi because he's only got one Zanpakuto spirit compared to Kyoraku and Ukitake's two), and Ichigo is also one of two Shinigami to possess Constant-release Zanpakuto.

The fact Ichigo's true Zanpakuto comes in a pair gives interesting implications for both Kyoraku and Ukitake, possibly explaining why we have seen neither of their Bankai yet, and possible explanations for the uniqueness of their abilities. In the case of Constant-release Zanpakuto, that is a definite sign of both Ichigo and Zaraki's potential power - their Zanpakuto and the potential power they represent are so strong that they cannot be sealed.

Now, I know some people will likely think that Zaraki does not count anymore because he needs to speak the release command of Nozarashi to fully activate it, but it more likely means that the Zanpakuto that Zaraki is normally seen using is a "partial release", not unlike Yumichika's Fuji Kujaku.
The one thing that all of the above Zanpakuto I mentioned have in common is that all of the Shinigami who wield them are either immensely powerful, or have been revealed to possess immense potential power.

Essentially, a powerful Zanpakuto reflects the potential the Shinigami who possesses the Zanpakuto has. I think this can be missed by a number of people because we are used to seeing these individuals and their Zanpakuto when they've reached already high levels of power, and they come to assume that the Zanpakuto is so powerful because the Shinigami is powerful, rather than realizing that it is because the Zanpakuto is so powerful that the Shinigami was able to reach such heights of power in the first place because the Zanpakuto is a reflection of the Shinigami's inner self.

Just look at Zaraki and Ichigo. At the beginning of the series, neither of them were near the levels of power that Shinigami like Yamamoto and Aizen possessed, but they were the only two Shinigami in the entire series to possess Constant-release Zanpakuto. Taking that into consideration, it is no surprise that Zaraki was revealed to have possessed so much power as he does now, and the same is true for Ichigo.
With all of this said, I guess I will take the time to made guesses about which Shinigami could be taken to the Royal Realm next (assuming the Royal Guard will take more Shinigami up there to train).

While most people seem to think that the Royal Guard members only took Rukia, Renji and Byakuya to the Royal Realm because of "main character privileges", I came up with the theory about Zanpakuto representing the potential of the Shinigami as a reason why the Royal Guard actually did choose these three and Ichigo to go to the Royal Realm. If I'm right, the Royal Guard chose them to bring to the Royal Realm not only because they were severely injured and could not recuperate fully under Unohana's watch (Byakuya would have died), but also to bring out their full potential as Shinigami.

So without further ado, here is my list:

I believe Yumichika is a given. Among the Zanpakuto seen in the possession of Vice-Captain level Shinigami, Ruri'iro Kujaku is on an entirely different level in comparison to the majority of them. As we saw against Hisagi and Charlotte, the moment he released that Zanpakuto was the moment his victory was assured. His Zanpakuto also appears to be unique among Zanpakuto, since it drains the reiatsu of the target completely, and the flowers that bloom from that reiatsu can be used by Yumichika to heal his injuries, including a broken arm.

I know people will disagree with this one, but I believe Ikkaku will be taken to the Royal Realm as well. I feel it was all but announced this would be the case when Ichibei explained there is a technique in the Royal Realm for re-forging Bankai, and how this came two chapters after we learnt that damaged Bankai can never return to their original state. Ikkaku's Bankai was heavily damaged, and he is one of the few non-Captain Shinigami to possess a Bankai. Also, if Renji and Ichigo's test by Nimaiya was any indication, he would most likely need to go through that test, seeing how his Zanpakuto has been broken numerous times in the past.

I do believe that Hisagi might also be taken up to the Royal Realm later on. Like Renji's Zabimaru above, Kazeshini is quite unique and powerful for a Vice-Captain's Zanpakuto, and he is also another Vice-Captain level Shinigami who possesses a Bankai (assuming Kensei's training actually worked).

NOTE: As it happens, all three of the above have been put through the ringer as of late, but isn't that the same thing that happened to Renji, Rukia and Byakuya before they were taken to the Royal Realm?

The last person on my list at the moment is Toshiro. Like the three guys above, he has been put through the ringer by the Stern Ritter, but he also has immense potential that has been commented upon in-series in the past, and his Zanpakuto is also the most powerful Ice-type Zanpakuto, as I explained before. In order to help the Shinigami stand against the Stern Ritter and rebuild the Gotei 13's ranks, I do believe the Royal Guard would definitely bring one of the Shinigami who has the greatest potential up to the Royal Realm to bring that potential out.
I have been carrying on long enough with this post (worked more than a couple hours on it), so I will make this last point quick.

I mention "rebuilding" the Gotei 13's ranks because this is the only context I can think of in which this line can make sense now. After all, they definitely did not have the time to "rebuild the Gotei 13" before the Vandenreich began their second invasion, and over half the Captains who were in the Gotei 13 at the time of the invasion have already fallen in battle or suffered pyrrhic victories against the Stern Ritter. So, with the deaths of a number of Captains in the second invasion, who would be left to refill the ranks?

Answer: The Royal Guard-trained Shinigami.

Just look at how Renji, Byakuya and Rukia have fared after the Royal Realm training. In the first invasion, all of them were defeated by the Quincy, and Byakuya nearly died and needed to be brought to the Royal Realm and Kirinji in order to survive his injuries and be healed.

But after the Royal Guard training, Renji utterly annihilated Mask De Masculine after the latter had just defeated two Captains easily without using his full power; Rukia completely overpowered and killed As Nodt, the same Stern Ritter who nearly killed Byakuya, and Byakuya has just defeated three Stern Ritter off-screen. Their feats have shown that the Royal Guard-trained Shinigami are at a completely different level from the average Captain of the Gotei 13, and able to completely curb-stomp the same enemy that had the Captains of the Gotei 13 on the ropes.

"Rebuilding the Gotei 13" essentially amounts to the Royal Guard replacing the Captains who have died thus far against the Vandenreich with Shinigami that are hand-picked and trained by them, or strengthening current Captains who have potential that the others do not. After the first invasion, Yamamoto was dead and Unohana would give her life in unlocking Zaraki's true potential; with Kyoraku promoted as Captain-Commander, Rukia and Renji are more than powerful enough to fill the positions left vacant by their deaths.

In the case of the second invasion, both Kensei and Rose are confirmed dead, and I have a feeling at least one more Captain will die by the end of the second invasion - as I stated in the recent chapter discussion thread, I believe this will be Mayuri.

With the Captains who have died and/or will die in the second invasion, that leaves open the possibility for the Royal Guard to choose more Shinigami to train in order to replace those losses, to "rebuild the Gotei 13" with a new generation of Captains personally trained by them.

6. Starky's very innovative and creative look back at possible Sternritters' pasts
I'm going to write a brief backstory to each of the Sternritters. On why they received the power they have.

Jugram Haschwalth
Jugram was born with OCD. Everything had to be perfect. If he was building towers with lego, he would make sure there are the same amount of bricks, and the same colors. Pictures had to be perfectly straight. His desk neat, things had to be parallel. He would only be able to stop reading a book on a page with an even number, and couldn't read a book with uneven numbers. He just wanted everything to be balanced out. When they weren't, he'd start to freak out and panic. (This is assuming B is for Balance).

Askin Nakk Le Vaar
Askin always had this desire to travel the world. But due to coming from a poor family he could never afford it. Regardless of his families wealth he was still very care-free. But at night would still be wishing he could be somewhere else in the world. Juha offered the letter D for Door, so that he could open any door to any place (a.k.a. portals). This assuming D is for Door).

Bambietta Basterbine
Bambietta was a loner in school, because she hated everything and always had a short temper with people. While in school she was avoided due to this. She loved watching action movies with a lot of explosions. She would illegally import fireworks, simply for the explosion. One day she brought fireworks into school and planned to fire them off in the canteen. Because she cared about nobody in the school and because it would be "cool". She set them off, killing a few people in the process. Being of age, she was taken to prison for her actions. She is visited by Juha who granted her E for The Explode. Using her new powers she destroyed her jail cell and escaped and proceeded to join the Quincy.

As Nodt
As Nodt as a child began to fear everything after he was; bitten by a spider, stung by a bee, tripped off a curb, fell out of a tree, got caught in a terrifying hurricane and left alone for a week in an abandoned house. When he got older he never left his house, he was afraid of people, he was afraid of the sun, he was afraid there was deadly pathogens in the air. He was a conspiracy theorist. One day he had to leave his house, but was hit by a car which ended him up in hospital. He then began to fear his own death. Whilst in hospital, Juha payed him a visit and grant him F for The Fear, so that he could make others fear what he feared.

Liltotto Lamperd
Liltotto was a genius for her age, at only 13 years old she was in her final year of high school. However, despite her intellect, she was constantly bullied for her weight. She would eat a lot of food at lunch and even during class sometimes. People didn't like her for this. All she ever wanted to do was make friends and eat as much as she wanted without gaining a pound. 2 years later she was in university, where she was continued to be bullied as she was almost twice as big as she was in high school. One day she got fed up with it, and attempted suicide, but was stopped by Juha who promised her that she could eat as much as she'd like without gaining any weight, but only if she joined his army. She agreed, and she was given G for The Glutton.

Bazz-B lived a very wet region of England that was very cold. He was a punk, who would steal, smoke, drink alcohol and enjoyed burning things. His mother was very disapproving of his actions as she was extremely religious. One day he decided to drop out of school and join a gang. While he was in the gang, over the years his appearance changed. He dyed his dark brown hair pink, and shaved it in the shape of a Mohawk. He then decided to get a bunch of piercings. Bazz-B who's real name was Brian, still loved to burn things. Finally, he had found something he really wanted to burn. His own gang members. Why? Because he wanted to burn something new. He doused the building in petrol and went to light a cigarette to throw on it. But his lighter was out of gas. His gang members realized what he was doing and they beat him badly, putting him in hospital. Bazz-B was in a coma for 2 years, when he awoke his mother had disowned him and he had no family. Juha visited him and told him he could grant him the power to burn anything he wanted. Bazz-B agreed and burned down the hospital he was in, after Juha gave H for The Heat.

Cang Du
Cang Du was a Kung Fu master. He was unbeaten in all of his battles. Nobody had been able to hurt him. He constantly challenged stronger fighters, and kept on winning. He then picked a fight with a member of the Triads. He beat him to a pulp. But when the other members of the Triad found this out, their boss put a bounty on him. When they found him, they ganged up on him, he took down a lot of them and began shouting saying he could never be beaten. Just as he finished that speech he was stabbed in the back, and the stabbed in the front. He was left for dead. Once he recovered he went to find the guys who stabbed him, but his movement was weak since he had only just recovered, he was beaten badly and stabbed again. He was about to die when Juha finds him lying on the street. Cang had thought his body was impenetrable. This had proven it wasn't. Juha offered him that body. He accepted and was given I for The Iron.

Quilge Opie
Quilge once reaching his 30's became a police officer. Over the years he never caught one criminal. They always got away when he was chasing them down. All he ever wanted to do was become a good cop. He was a police officer for over 10 years when they decided it was time to let him go as he was no good at his job. As he was fired he threatened that he would join another police force, and he would arrest every single on of them for their corruption. He traveled Germany, hoping to get a job in another town or city, but to no avail. Quilge became overly depressed and became an alcoholic. One day in the bar he met Juha, Quilge being drunk, told him his life story. Juha told him he could join his police force and gave him all the details. Quilge agreed to join, and Juha gave him J for The Jail so that he could easily catch people no matter how superior they were to him.

BG9 was a young genius from Japan, who always loved robots. He loved the anime Gundam and watched it on a daily basis. He studied everything he could in order to build his own robot. He needed knowledge. He needed to know absolutely everything so that he would not fail. He spent years building them, and seeing them fail horribly. One day he built his 7th model, and brought it a science fair. It was able to move, but was very slow and couldn't do much. The judges at the fair told him it was nothing special. He swore he'd come back the following year and win it. He decided to start building an 8th model, but tried a different method. Once his 8th model was complete, it worked. He had finally done it! He had finally built his robot on his 8th attempt. But as he was prepared to take it to the fair to win, it exploded, badly injuring most of his body, he was barely alive when Juha appeared before him. He offered him the knowledge to build the ultimate robot. Juha healed him and gave him K for The Knowledge. Instead of simply building another robot, he decided to turn himself into a robot. He was able to do it quickly as he had the knowledge of everything, he made no mistakes. He called himself BG9. He decided to remove his memory from when he was human, so he could become the perfect robot.

Pepe Waccabrada
Pepe had gone through his whole life alone. He desired love, but nobody wanted to love him because they thought he was a creep. He didn't care if the love came from a man or a woman, or anyone of any age. He just wanted to be loved. He had been turned down every time he had asked someone out. It started to anger him, to the point where he would kidnap people and force them to "love" him. But it never worked out for him. He decided to kill those he kidnapped because of it. Juha visited him and gave him L for The Love. Pepe used this to his advantage and everyone who had ever turned him down was forced into love by him due to his newly obtained power.

Driscoll Berci
Driscoll, ever since he was young, loved to kill animals, he got a kick out of it. He decided he wanted something bigger. He wanted to kill people. But each time he tried to, he just got beat. He was in and out of prison for over 40 years. He continued to attempt to kill, but was pathetically weak. He needed to get stronger so that he could kill, but he never could. He met Juha one day and he tried to kill him, but Juha took him down with ease. He asked why Driscoll had a desire to kill. Driscoll was not sure, he just desired it. So Juha offered him a place in his army, and gave him O for The Overkill. The more he killed, the stronger he got.

Meninas McAllon
Meninas was a rich girl, she was beautiful. The other girls were jealous of this, and refused to allow her to be friends with them. They would beat her up and take her money so that they could buy money for lunch in school. She decided to get a strong boyfriend to protect her. She eventually met someone who was tough. She got into a fight in school with another girl, who got her boyfriend to beat her. Meninas' boyfriend stepped in a beat the crap out of him. However, all of his friend then joined in and beat him up. They beat him to death, Meninas screamed and tried to hit them, but they just beat her up too. She ended up in hospital. She had all of this money, but nobody to enjoy it with. She wanted to be stronger so that she could protect herself, and done private boxing lessons, but her teacher was abusive, he wasn't trying to teach her, he just wanted to beat her. Juha met with her, and gave her P for The Power so that she could defend herself in a fight. Since then, nobody has been able to beat her.

Bernice Gabrielli
Bernice was a rebellious person all through her life. Never listening to her parents. She had a rebellious style, multi coloured hair, and punky clothes. Eventually she began to question herself. Why was she doing this? Why doesn't she stop? Why don't people like her? She began to self doubt herself. for years she done this, to the point where she would just wear ridiculous clothing. She met Juha who asked her various questions and she began to freak out. He told her he could fix that. He granted her Q for The Question.

Jerome Guizbatt
Jerome used to love animals. He would visit the zoo often. He was especially fond of Gorillas and Apes and the likes. One day as a child, he decided to climb into the cage where the Gorillas were being held. One of them attacked him and damaged his throat. From then on Jerome couldn't speak any more. Juha met him many years later and asked if he wished to speak once more. He granted him R for The Roar. Which gave him the ability to speak and become to Gorilla that took his voice away.

Mask De Masculine
James was a big wrestling fan, especially Luchador wrestling. He done tryouts in his school, he was good, but not good enough. He had the potential to be so much better, but nobody knew him and nobody really liked him either. Every time he wrestled someone, they always had cheering going on. He wanted fans. Having fans cheer for him in a wrestling match would have encouraged him to fight better, it would have pushed him harder to show his fans that he cared for them. One time he entered a tournament, and came out victorious, but nobody cheered for him. Except for one person. Juha Bach. Juha talked to him after the tournament and told him he was a fan and told him he could give him more fans to cheer him on, and granted him S for The Superstar.

Candice Catnipp
Candice growing up was a very unlucky girl. Throughout her whole life, family members dropped like flies around her, why? Because they had all been struck by lightning, except for her. This often depressed her. But she never gave up, she used the lightning strikes as a plus for her, she styled her hair like lightning and wore it like armor, so that when people bullied her about people dying in her family due to lightning, she was able to show them that she was still strong. However, it started to get out of hand. The bullying got worse, she was beaten and people thought she was cursed because everyone around her was killed by lightning. One night during a storm she stood outside hoping to get struck by lightning so that she could be gone from the abuse. But it didn't work. She wanted to hurt the bullies for doing this. She wanted a normal life, she wanted to be prom queen, she wanted to be beautiful, but alas, she was cursed and people were afraid to even talk to her. Juha met her during the storm, and gave her T for The Thunderbolt. She could now get her revenge on everyone.

Nanana Najahkoop
Nanana was born blind, but he never understood why people could be born with such problems. He was never able to research because he was blind. He could hear things, but not very well. He could never understand why there were so many problems in the world, why people felt pain, why people felt love, why people felt fear or hate. He needed to know, but he had no way. Juha sought him out and offered him all the information he needed. He told him he could understand anything he wanted by just being in it's presence. Nanana accepted immediately and was bestowed U for The Understand. (Assuming that's what the U stands for).

Gremmy Thoumaux
Gremmy as a child had a wild imagination. He would always daydream about the stuff he wanted to happen. He would even cosplay and pretend as if he was in the world of the character he was cosplaying. But he was crazy, he got way too much into character and always cosplayed the villains. One time at a convention, he cosplayed as a torturer from an anime. He found someone from the same anime and tortured her. She screamed and screamed but there was nothing anyone can do. He told everyone this was his world, he created it, not God. He was kicked out and badly beaten. He was then brought into a mental facility where he was constantly monitored. Juha paid him a visit and gave him V for The Visionary. Anything he could imagine, became reality!

Lloyd and Royd Lloyd
The twins were completely identical. Even their parents got mixed up with them over the years. They could never tell the difference between them. they were shunned due to their deformity of a third eye. they only ever spoke to each other in their own cryptic language. The boys were geniuses. They played pranks on people using themselves to confuse other people. But they wanted to pull better pranks on people. they wanted to confuse them by looking like them. Enter Juha, who offered these now, mid-twentysomething parnkers the ability they always wished for, he granted them Y for The Yourself.

Giselle Gewelle
Giselle was a strange boy from birth. He had always had a thing for horror, he loved strange murders, mainly those where women were murdered. At the age of 16 Giselle decided he wanted a sex change to become a girl. He loved women, and loved to see them be murdered. But he hated his own body, it repulsed him. Nobody liked him either so he thought if he became a girl, perhaps they would like him. He was denied a sex change by his parents. One night while at home he was sitting in the dark, wishing zombies were real, maybe they could be his friends? One late night he went to the graveyard near his home. He exhumed four graves and pulled the bodies out. He sat with them all night, talking to them, making perverted jokes. All the corpses were female. Juha arrived shortly after that, and called him a weird one. He demanded her call him a girl. Juha asked why he was with these dead bodies, and he just told him that they were his friends. Juha offered him the ability to make them actually "live" and to be his slaves for eternity. He wanted that. Juha gave him Z for The Zombie. Once he got the hang of his powers he murdered some women, and used his powers to take their body parts and essentially gave him a female body.

I'm not going to do Colonel Sanders or Shaz Domino because we know absolutely nothing about them.

7. An appreciation of Otome-san's efforts on the POTM Hall of Fame

Think of this as BA's POTM museum. Here, we'll honor winners of the POTM and post other tidbits of POTM history. Stay tuned as our Hall of Fame grows. (Unfortunately, most of the information about POTM before the server crash has been lost, so information may be incomplete. Sorry.)

1. When and how was POTM conceived and implemented?

Belias was looking for ways to engage members and encourage them to participate. I suggested Post of the Month, but the original idea was much different from what you see now. The original idea was for forum staff to look for posts around the forum during our regular mod duties. Belias expanded on that. Members would feel more engaged if they themselves nominated posts and then voted on them. We worked together on the rules, and the finalized version was rolled out not long after (I think June or July 2012). As we started to rebuild after the crash, some of the rules changed so that members who had won in previous months could still be nominated.

2. So tell me about the signature badges.

Originally, there were no plans to reward anyone other than the first-place winner every month. I made some badges on a lark for the second- and third-place winners of the very first POTM, and the reaction was positive. So I offered to make signature badges for the top three places every month, since it seems more "official" if a mod makes the badges. Since signature badges are a reward from forum staff, we decided that those who earned any badge could wear up to two of them outside a spoiler tag, in addition to a signature graphic, for one year. Some members use their badges as their signatures, in which case we let those members wear those badges indefinitely.

I try to choose three characters with some sort of connection, such as being in the same squad or being Espada or Fullbringers. Groups are purposely spaced out for variety's sake. So you may see a Gotei 13 squad featured one month, but it will be several months before another one is featured.

Generally, I make badges several months in advance. That way, I have an idea which characters still need to be featured and can either look for renders or request colorings. Also, working on badges early gives me plenty of time to tweak them or, in some cases, overhaul them. That's also why I don't let members request particular characters or stock images for their badges.

To maintain some element of surprise, only I know who is going to be featured in any given month. On rare occasions, I'll ask one of our members to make the badges for one month. I still choose the characters because I know which ones I'm working on for future months. Other than that, the individual has free rein so far as renders, colors, fonts, and such.

Of the badges I've made, the Ryuuken badge, which NeoPlatonist earned in August 2013, seems to have gotten the best response.

3. Why is voting anonymous? Will this ever change?

Voting is anonymous so that no one feels pressured to vote for a particular post. We want members to vote for the posts that they truly believe are the most deserving, without being concerned that they might offend someone. Voting will always be anonymous, meaning that only red names are able to see who voted.

Here's our list of "firsts" and "mosts." Want to know who has been nominated the most times? Or do you want to know which month had the most nominations? Here's your stop.

As of today, we have had four members win POTM more than once:

1. Polgarena won her first POTM in December 2013. She won again two months later, in February 2014. So far, that is the record for shortest time between wins.

2. Our second repeat winner was NeoPlatonist. He won his first POTM in September 2013 and his second one in May 2014. Neo holds the distinction of being the first person to win POTM for a post in the captions and edits thread.

3. Our third repeat winner was Andygoesrawr, who won his first POTM in November 2013. He won his second POTM in July 2014. Andy holds the distinction of having twice as many votes as the second-place winner.

4. Our most recent repeat winner was Herakles, whose first win was in July 2013. He then won the August 2014 POTM. Herakles holds the distinction of being the first winner chosen by administrative prerogative, when Belias voted to break a tie for first place.

Firsts and Mosts

  • In which month(s) were the most posts nominated? For the July 2013 POTM, 29 posts were nominated.
  • In which month(s) were the fewest posts nominated? Only eight posts were nominated in September 2013 and August 2014.
  • In which month(s) did the most members vote? Forty-two people voted in the August 2013 POTM. In a close second is the 37 votes in the July 2014 POTM.
  • Which POTM winner received the most votes?
    For the August 2013 POTM, Jethro Lukarikate's friends joined together and helped him win with 21 votes. He holds the distinction of being the first person to win POTM for a post not related to anime or manga.
    Next is Andygoesrawr, who received 17 votes in the July 2014 POTM.
    In a very close third place is Herakles, who received 16 votes in the July 2013 POTM.​
  • Which members have won multiple badges in the same month?
    B. Haddrell has accomplished this twice, once in the February 2014 POTM (second and third places) and once in the April 2014 POTM (first and third places). She holds the distinction of being the first person to earn two badges in the same month without tying for either one.
    NeoPlatonist has accomplished this once, in the May 2014 POTM (first and third places)​
  • Who has won the most runner-up badges (second or third place)
    Among mods: Kurogasa and I (Otome-san) have each won three runner-up badges. Kurogasa has earned second place twice and tied for third place once. I have earned second place once and tied for third place twice.
    Among non-mod members: B. Haddrell has earned six runner-up badges, including tying for third place twice. NeoPlatonist, however, holds the record. He has earned eight runner-up badges, including tying for third place twice and second place once.​

8. "How/why do you read Bleach?" by Lortastic
I couldn't find a thread for this (either that or I have poor use of the 'Search' function) but I'm curious as to why/how people read the Bleach manga. After all, we are a forum of varying opinions and over the years of reading Bleach, many have begun to either criticise or appreciate Bleach more.

This question can be answered both simply and deeply. Like reading a children's picture book, the answer can be something as simple as enjoying the colours and pictures or it can have a deeply rooted answer. What I am really interested in are the deeply rooted answers. Everyone has a different approach to reading Bleach and some have more personal links to the series than others. But to what degree does reading Bleach go to? Is it for pure enjoyment? Are you taken by the story? The characters? The art? Do you read for fun or do you read with a certain expectation in mind? There are a lot of ways this question can be answered

It's only fair if I share my why/how I read Bleach so let's kick off the thread with that~

Why/How I Read Bleach

Bleach is a manga series that I can easily say I read purely for the enjoyment and fun of a long running series but the more I think about, the more I come to realise it has shaped an aspect of my life. I think like most people around my age, we were reeled into the world of anime and manga by being introduced to Naruto, Bleach and One Piece. As a child, the only exposure I had to anime (which as a kid I thought was explicitly cartoon with no understanding of Japanese animation whatsoever) were Pokemon and Dragon Ball Z. It was only when I started High School and finally had access to the internet that I discovered the Naruto and Bleach anime.

It was through this discovery that I started to understand what anime and manga truly were about. It was also how I discovered the Bleach manga [STRIKE]along with torrenting and downloading scanlations[/STRIKE]. Whatever I Google-d back then to find out about the manga world, I am truly grateful for it. I enjoyed both of these series a lot, both in TV and paper format. I started to enjoy Bleach more so than Naruto because it made me realise how much I love Zanjutsu. I enjoyed seeing them fight with their swords, I was swept away by them yelling BANKAI and showcasing a wonderful array of abilities each respective sword had. I was also captivated by the character designs, both Shinigami and Arrancar included.

That said, during my high school years, they were only a handful of friends I could really talk to Bleach about. Even then, I also knew that they weren't into it as much as I was. It was somewhat disappointing but it was also then I made another great discovery - the existence of forums.

Forums had everything I wanted. It was a place to share my thoughts of the latest chapters, other things besides Bleach and interact with interesting [STRIKE]and creepy[/STRIKE] people. It was also an informative place. I have learnt a lot of things about Bleach, Japanese culture and how different people around the world have a different take on Bleach. I'm simply amazed (both genuinely and at times, sarcastically) at what people come up with. The posts I've read have broadened my understanding of Bleach, opened up new perspectives of Bleach and overall has given me a greater appreciation of the manga than I initially had - simply showcasing of badassery.

The most recent examples can be found in this very forum. I am always amazed by what I read whether it'd be a simple post about a recent chapter or an essay about certain aspects of the story. B.Haddrell's essay about emotional development of Bleach, Introvert's take on Bleach's recent story being influenced by the Holy Roman Empire, Neoplatonist's exploration of Symbols and Crosses found in Bleach and Franco's witty posts about each chapter are the most recent examples I can think of that have truly given me a greater appreciation of Kubo's writing. Apologies if I didn't mention your name but just because I haven't, it by no means your posts are horrible. These examples are just the first ones that come to mind.

While I still read Bleach primarily still for the pure enjoyment of the series, the 'why' and 'hows' have evolved over time. Now it's not about reading the series chapter by chapter, it's reading the series as a part of a community. The community is there to accentuate my enjoyment of the series. It's there to show me the ups and downs of the series. It's there to showcase how Bleach works as a story as well as a product of a magazine company. It's there for me to take part in predictions of any story elements, character abilities and get my personal thoughts across without restriction or restraint.

Also, it's obvious to those who have seen me post in the Manga Collection Thread but Bleach has also shaped a core part of my lifestyle - collecting manga as a hobby. Obviously, Bleach was the first series I started collected. When I first began collecting it, I thought it was simply a collection of chapters printed in a readable paperback format. However, I got something more out of it. It came with a poem, omakes and a cleaner print in the artwork. It added a touch of poetic symbolism that I didn't have before when reading the series.

With that said, I don't think I turned out to be a hardcore, delusional fan boy. I appreciate both the strengths and weakness the series has offered. At times I can be overly joyful and there are times where I can be critical. Despite this, I still read Bleach for the fun of it, but now that fun has value to it as I am able to share it with a community who enjoys Bleach as much as I do.

-End Rant-

So how/why do you read Bleach? I think this question may sound more simple than a "what got you into Bleach?" question but there has to be a deeper reason as to why you are still reading it today. Perhaps when you take a think about it, it has impacted you in more ways than you initially thought. Otherwise, what else is compelling you to come to a forum (especially a Bleach forum) to share your thoughts with others? Even perhaps by the end of this, you will develop a more broader or more critical perspective of Bleach. Whatever the case may be, Bleach still has a solid chunk of the story to go and we should enjoy it in every way possible~

9. Quevache's review of Bleach chapter 598
To whom it may concern: Sorry, I missed posting for like 4 chs. again :oops. I really hadn't meant to let this happen again, even with the recurrent poor sleeping, but this time I was also thwarted by mechanical failures of various kinds. Now I'll try to make up for this. Hope it's on-topic enough, still. :amuse

For my frontispiece, this picture, which I captioned myself--all thanks to the hard-working scanslators who made it possible; I think it works well to set the theme:

To be fair, this same caption (and so theme) could be used for any number of images/plot points that've occurred in BLEACH, including many in this very, final arc--but I thought this was both the most recent and most salient-in-that-recentness one I could use.

This makes me sad...

Yeah, you and me both, Dom DeLuise cartoon character. :notrust

Hisagi fights Byakuya on behalf of Waccabrada, but apparently doesn't love him enough to use his (probable) newly-attained Bankai on him and give us, maybe, some novel entertainment. You might say, "Wouldn't a Hisagi Bankai reveal be wasted in the indignity of first wielding it due to his 'Love' for this goof-ass Sternritter?" Yeah, I can mostly agree--although BLEACH has really been heaping the indignities lately, so it gets hard to parse them sometimes.

Senbonzakura is made to fall in *lurv* with Waccabrada, too, so Byakuya discards it (yeah, I know that his "Love" sh** isn't exactly the same as Rureaux's "Amor", but it's boringly close)--man, this arc is like freakin' Musical Chairs with Zanpakutou and Bankai! "You put your 'Pakutou in, they take your Bankai out, you put some Hollow in, and your 'Pakutou comes back 'round!"... nah, that's enough of that :amuse.

Byakuya gets hit by the Love Bug, but he's so cold, he's so c-c-c-c-cold (or more bullcrap about how "strong his will is, OMG! he's so keen!"), and he's able to resist it and being speared by "Love Ropes" (*shudder*). In his diaper-esque, lame-o Vollständig, Waccabrada gives Mask de Masculine a run for his money as one of the most embarrassing characters in BLEACH (or ever).

Kurotsuchi arrives and turns out he's made Kensei and Love his zombies! How? With drugs, of course! More drugs! Drugs can do anything (including prob. inspiring all these dumb plot developments)! And blood! Whatever! Gigi was killed (??? who cares either way) off-screen, we'll show you real quick, and now Zombsei and Zombve are pounding the crap out of Waccabrada, apparently without even using Shikai--screw Vollständig some more, it's continued its descent from major power-up to just pretty Christmas ornaments on your head and fancier Pfeil.

In the Reiou Palace, Kirinji's in trouble until he gets backed up by Shutara and her own version of the Onmitsu Kidou--they prove about as effective, too! Careful--we only have thousands more underlings we can feed the cannon in this oh-so-exclusive and tough-to-get-into realm of ours! At least they look fairly cool--there's some "darker and edgier" Marvel hero they remind me of, but I can't, for the life of me, remember his name. But not even she can hit Yhwach?! It's because of our new character--"W" - "The Wind"! And he melts up from the floor with Kageoni--just like the wind! Don't ask how he could exercise his powers while somehow in a shadow-dimension as had been the Wandenreich pre-invasion, just assume it's more Schatten Be-whatever; too bad no one in the Palace has a suit that shines like the golden sun--only a Zanpakutou named after this.

Why the hell's it taking so long for Urahara's rocket ship to blast off? Did he start the countdown with T-minus 1,000,000? "Don't rush--we need time for more grating or pointless banter!"

You know, this really does take me back...
... To that time when the series seemed like
it was a bit better handled... and there was
nary a bearded guy in a diaper, or a luchador
mask, at all. Nostalgic, isn't it...


Alright, Ganju's here, so now *ju* can get gone! We'll get Ishida back, and beat him up until he's no longer insane!

"The Wind" still looks--and talks--dumb[ly], including his whole "The enemieth I thee with my intuition" (?!) line, but I'd still hoped for more from him than we're gonna get--he'll prob. still be alive come next ch., gloat some more, and then be decisively done-in in some even less satisfying, more humiliating[ly one-sided] way. Previously invincible, now that he's revealed himself/his power, "W" is doomed--'tis the BLEACH way. Even Shutara can't resist pointing this case of Bond-villain-spilling-his-plan idiocy out to him/the readers. :notrust

Shutara is well on her way to joining the ranks of Urahara, Kurotsuchi, and villain-decayed Aizen as characters with the pocketfuls of waaaay too many unsatisfying dei ex machina, like trump cards, to play. Look, I know how hard it can be to plot-in real brain-twisters and WTF?! surprise turnarounds, so I'm not demanding the likes of them; but if you're going to involve these super genius! characters, you'd best tread carefully, and lightly, because otherwise, you end up with them. While I thrilled at, say, the cunning and dangerous stratagems that Light and L played out against each other in Death Note, I never really get that same kind of fun out of any of these science magicians--it's more like they just suddenly can do stuff because the plot demands it, and that's not fun, it's cheap, lazy writing.

There's not even the ghost of fun in, for example, Kurotsuchi's "cleverness"; he just reaches into his utility belt, rifles around for a minute, and produces the near-ideal solution for any very specific problem. I don't care if it's the result of "research"--it's always way too easy. And, even worse, its very ease is what beggars the greater question, which I think bears repeating forever whenever it's provoked--If he can do ALL THIS, why hasn't his side WON yet? Why didn't he ever weaponize that dumb-ass "monitor bacteria" that he can conveniently infect anyone with? The only good reason one can think of is not an in-universe one, but an out-universe one--Because then the series would be over fast (and, impossibly it might seem, even LESS satisfactorily), and who'd want that? So maybe you shouldn't have opened that can of worms to begin with.

Ditto with Shutara and her, unnoticedly, reweaving "W" 's garments into a death-jacket faster than even The Waco Kid (LOL, mission accomplished). "Oh, no! I could easily deflect the murder-water and release of the lightning-fast powerhouse of the ultimate Troop of the Soul Society, but putting spikes in my clothes--that's my Kryptonite!" More and more characters who can, when pressed, science-pocus up solutions that would make MacGyver green with envy... but the only thing they can't do is concoct the silver bullet that will give their side the decisive victory--at least, not until the battle's been drawn out and the villains have been decayed to the right level.

It does feel like what some posters have speculated is true--that is, it feels right, even if it's not empirically confirmed: that Kubo has something else lined-up for after BLEACH ends that he's (for now) much more focused on, and that's why the Sternritter are going the way of the Arrancar and becoming goof-ass pushovers whose names, appearances and powers sound like bad hands in Cards Against Humanity, and any gravitas and respectability the series had left--or developed with actual fun turns-of-events like the last stand of Yamamoto--is being steadily flushed down der Drain. Like I said, we have no proof of this, but the echoes are disturbing...

If you ask, Why do you still READ BLEACH anymore, then?, the answer is the same as before: the art is still good (even if what it's used for often looks ridiculous) most of the time; I still wanna know what ends up happening in the series, esp. given all the time I've already spent with it (I've never been one to just take my ball and go home on a series); and I'm still sifting for those few nuggets (or even dust motes) of gold in all the dirt. It's not that I'm all negative--but when I think it sucks, I'll tell ya; and I'm being given lots to think about lately ;).

On the constructive side: I don't have everything filled in, and maybe never will, but I still plan to express how I'd revise things in BLEACH in my "funfiction" someday. Even so, maybe I can give some tentative ideas right now: probably no zombies (what to replace them with? still working on that); Sternritter are still dangerous opponents, usually more for strength or nasty skills that aren't having a big mouth that *OM-MOM-MOM!*s people or makes them *lurv* you; Waccabrada would be "P" - "The Puppetry"; he keeps his clothes on; Vollständig still means something.

More to follow!

Did this post go nuts? Or was it at least as coherent as my usual rants? :rotflmao


October 2014 Winner: Patapon​
Votes, winners, and nominated posts:​
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Mar 19, 2013
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Thanks for the reminder, Herakles. :elmo Voting does last through Saturday, 10 August 2013.


Here's how the voting looks so far:

Holding tightly on to first place is Herakles for his review of chapter 543. Will anyone catch up to his twelve votes, or will he hang on to his lead until the end?

In second place, with seven votes each, are czeliate for her translation in the "Dagger" thread and Franco for his defense of Ishida Ryuuken as a father.

And, with six votes each, we have a three-way tie for third place: NeoPlatonist's description of the Shiba clan, Elementalist's review of chapter 546, and Franco's review of chapter 545. Could Franco end up with two badges?


Mar 19, 2013
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We're now on day 10—the last day to vote for the July POTM. :elmo If you haven't voted yet, please be sure to get your vote in before midnight.

Here are the rankings thus far:

Still holding on to first place is Herakles, who so far has received fifteen votes for his comprehensive review of chapter 543.

In a close second is Sariniste, whose review of chapter 544 was nominated twice. She has eleven votes right now.

And...we still have a tie for third place, with nine votes each:
  • NeoPlatonist - The House of Shiba
  • Franco - In Defense of Ryuuken Ishida
  • czeliate - The Dagger summary

Will we break the tie for third place? And will Herakles remain in first place through today? There's only one way to find out.


Mar 19, 2013
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And voting is now over for the July 2013 POTM! :yay

First, a huge THANK YOU to everyone who nominated or voted for posts. Voting was difficult but rewarding for me as I read through the nominations.

Be sure to congratulate the winners of first, second, and third places. :elmo

Our first-place winner, who held on to his spot for most of the voting, is Herakles, who went into great detail and clearly put great thought into his analysis and review of chapter 543. He has earned this badge plus the other perks described by Belias.

Keeping her grasp on second place is Sariniste, whose clear review of chapter 544 earned her two nominations and eleven votes. She has earned this badge:

And we never did break the three-way tie for third place. :lmao These posts all resonated with voters, who gave each one ten votes.

  • NeoPlatonist - The House of Shiba
  • Franco - In Defense of Ryuuken Ishida
  • czeliate - The Dagger summary

They have all earned this badge:


Mar 19, 2013
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We're now on day five of POTM voting. :yay

So far, the standings look like this:

Holding strong in first place with an impressive 21 votes is Jethro Lukarikite, who was nominated for his thorough summary of NCIS in the series' fan club. Will he have a runaway victory?

We have four worthwhile posts battling for sole possession of second place, with seven posts each. Will these members all hold on to their one-vote lead over third place?

Herakles - The Dagger Translation
NeoPlatonist - The House of Shiba
Nick - The Dagger #5
B. Haddrell - Gender Equality in Bleach 2

And in third place, NeoPlatonist once again makes an appearance. With six votes, he's just barely behind second place, this time for his post in defense of Ganju. Could he win two badges? Or will he overtake second place?

There are still five days left to vote for the most deserving posts. Be sure to stop by and read all the nominated posts and congratulate everyone who was nominated. Thanks again to those who nominated posts this time around.


Mar 19, 2013
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And the voting is now over for August. :yay

In first place by a landslide is Jethro Lukarikite, whose introductory post for the NCIS fan club impressed 21 voters. He has earned this badge plus the perks described by Belias.

Taking second place for himself is NeoPlatonist, who for the second month in a row was nominated for his insights into the house of Shiba. He ended up with ten votes and has earned this badge:

And in sole possession of third place is B. Haddrell, who was nominated twice for posts in the "Gender Equality in Bleach" thread. She ended up with nine votes and has earned this badge:

Congratulations to everyone who was nominated, and a big THANK YOU to those who nominated posts. Keep up the great work. :elmo


Mar 19, 2013
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And the voting is underway on day 4. :uhuh

But...I'd feel kind of awkward tying for third place with one vote. :lmao So remember to browse the nominated posts (there are only eight this time) and vote for the most deserving ones.

Badges are ready to go, too. :yay


Quit BA. No PMs or VMs.
Mar 24, 2013
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Dear guys and gals @ BA!

There's just 4 days left for you to head on over here and vote for who you think deserves to walk away with Post of the Month for September!

Voting is multiple choice, anonymous and there are some pretty good posts to read through.

Get some coffee and get back here! :D


Mar 19, 2013
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Two days remain to vote in POTM. Let's get those votes in. :uhuh

Here's how the voting looks so far:

In first place, with six (? :zomg) votes, is NeoPlatonist's humorous look at Omaeda's potential, using edited (and colored!) panels. :dances

Close behind in second place, with five votes, is Nick's post explaining the purpose of Omaeda's recent bit of attention in the series. A good, comprehensive read. :uhuh

And barely holding on to third place, with four votes, is me. :eek: I took a break from writing about Aizen to write about Ryuuken instead. :elmo
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