I often hear BLEACH suffer under the criticism that creator Tite Kubo drags out his story. There was even a time that I would agree, but not after the way Kishimoto has dragged out the Fourth Shinobi World War arc. I normally don't like drawing comparisons between the series as I review, but NARUTO has one chapter of combat then two of exposition leading to another short fight. Now that BLEACH has really started this final war, this has been two straight chapters of some really intense battle.
Hitsugaya and Soi Fon are on fire as they battle their Stern Ritter opponents. -- Probably a poor choice of words given the chapter's closing. -- Yes, I'm a bit disappointed that the captains didn't have at least one solid victory to start this off, but a little back and forth can be entertaining.
I understand that it's a shōnen cliché, but I still can't overlook how foolish it is to explain your powers and techniques to your enemy that can still fight back. The characters have been through these sort of events enough times to understand that could come back to bite them.
Even if you need to explain the abilities to the audience, you could accomplish that by using a flashback or allies talking amongst themselves. Maybe only tell the enemy after you've put a giant hole through their chest. Though, knowing this series even that might not stop someone.
I also find it a touch too hard to believe that Bazz-B has a fire equal or stronger to Captain Yamamoto. His fire was so devastating that he threatened the entire Soul Society just by using it. If Bazz-B was really that powerful, why not drop him in alone and let him go wild?
As I read BLEACH, I want some thrilling action from some of my favorite characters. While I have some issues with the chapter, I still got what I was looking for. The art from this chapter looks great, and I'm excited to see more. You're also unlikely to ever see me complain when it comes to Soi Fon.
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