The following is a page by page breakdown of this weeks Bleach chapter. Recently I have just become so fed up with the garbage that I need to let it out. I also wouldn't mind if some Bleach came to realize how terrible it was through this, but my hopes are low. There will be SPOILERS.
Page 1 Kubo wastes no time getting into his swing in this chapter, right off the bat he gives us the laziness and horrendously slow pace we all have come to expect from Kubo. On this page Ichigo is having a phone conversation with the man from "Xcution". The man gives Ichigo the most convoluted and retarded instructions for calling someone I have ever heard and can only be described as the most blatant filler I had ever seen (note the word "had", as in past tense).
As for the art on this page, it's Kubo at his best. This chapter has seven of Kubo's classic empty black panels. Three of them are on this page. The second panel of the page is another classic Kubo move, the character's face with absolutely nothing else. As for the other two panels, they weren't half bad. To be fair to Kubo, Ichigo is on the phone and there's really nothing to be shown, so his random drawing of a telephone pole is acceptable. On the second to last panel he even includes a background! No joke, there's actually a background! Could Kubo be improving?!
Page 2 No. First, on this page the man from "Xcution" concludes his really overly complicated instruction of how to cal him again. After he finishes, as if to speak for fans everywhere, Ichigo callls the man out on the stupidity of the instructions. Perhaps I was wrong about the long instructions just being there for filler... or perhaps I'm reading Bleach. Yup, I'm reading Bleach.
Now on to the art. Half this page is the mans shoulder. It could be worse though, it could be one of Kubo's black panels with one speech bubble in it, but not even Kubo has the balls to fill up half a page with that. Right? On the second half of the page there are three more panels. Two of them are typical Kubo garbage, yet one seems as though he way have spent more than one minute on it. Which is to say that there are two lines and one window in the background signifying that Ichigo is standing in front of a building.
Page 3When I read this page, I didn't know whether to be frustrated at its absurdity or to just laugh it off. I went the latter route and had quite the chuckle. I feel that I need to quote this page for those of you not reading along. I'll add commentary in between in italics.
Ichigo: I want to talk to you about something...
I had a snide response to this but Kubo beat me to the punch.
Xcution guy: I expected as much
At this point, we are at the halfway mark of the page (there is another half the page left, what might Kubo toss in there?). Wait for it... ... ...
Xcution guy: Otherwise you wouldn't be calling here, would you?
/Page. Remeber when I said Kubo didn't have the balls to fill up half the page with on of his empty black panels? I was wrong. Half of page 3 is a black box with a speech bubble saying the most obvious thing I've ever read. This page took the cake for obvious filler and it's why I used the past tense back on page 1.
Page 4 This page transitions into an entirely different scene where we see Ichigo and Orihime talking. Orihime gets down to the tacks and asks the question on every readers mind, "Really Kubo, 10 more years of this shit?". No, the other question, "What happened to Chad?". You know, that mexican guy who was supposed to be your friend but you never actually do anything that friends would do together. Ichigo is baffled.
In the art section, I was blown away. Is this the Bleach I know and don't love? Four out of five of the panels had backgrounds. I know, I couldn't believe it either. Sure one of the panels was just a window, but beggars can't be choosers. Unfortunately, the characters on this page looked really ugly.
Page 5 This page was probably the best utilized page of the entire chapter. We learn that Chad was absent from school lately. Orihime suspects that Ichigo might know something about it, but being the good friend that he is, Ichigo didn't even notice he was gone. Seriously, this douche is the main character. After that Orihime invites him to go check on Chad with her, Ichigo declines.
At first glance (I read this on my computer so I could only see the first 2 panels) this page looks like it will be amazing. The first panel looks fantastic with a complete background and 2 characters in the same panel. The second panel is almost as good, but if you look, three quarters of the way through the panel Kubo just said "fuck it" and went back to his lazy drawings. The rest of the page is just terribly drawn pictures with no background.
Page 6 Ichigo tells Orihime that he's busy and walks away. They decide they'll talk about tomorrow. Ichigo is worried. For all the shit I give Bleach, this page wasn't terrible. A superior author would have put a little more on the page, but it was decent.
If ever there were ever an appropriate time use one of those black boxes, it would be on the second panel. Some monster appears in Orihime's place with freakishly huge breasts four times as big as her hands and an indescribably ugly face. The fifth and sixth panel are nothing amazing, but they have backgrounds. On the last panel, Kubo draws a small portion of Ichigo's face then realizes it's been three pages since he used a black box and fills up the rest of the panel with one.
Page 7 Before I describe what occurs on this page, let's recap the situations so everybody understands what's going on here. Ichigo's friends are being attacked, one has been hospitalized. Another friend seems to have disappeared. A third friend invites him to go check on the missing one. Ichigo declines because he's busy. With what you ask? Lets find out. On this page Ichigo schedules a meting with the Xcution guy for 8:00 PM the next day. That was your big plan Ichigo? You couldn't go check up on your friend because you were busy scheduling an appointment? How much time could you possibly need in order to do that? Ichigo is a douche. Maybe I'm being to harsh though. Those instructions from page 1 probably took him a good couple of hours to get through.
The art is just average Bleach (no background). Fortunately Kubo has stopped drawing hideous characters like he was doing on the last few pages.
Page 8 Chad doesn't seem to be home. Orihime recalls Uryuu's father speculating Chad may be attacked. As with page 6, this page is not bad, just slow.
The art on this page was inconsistent, but in a mange where being consistent means every panel is bad, inconsistency is a good thing. The second panel is well detailed and everything else is typical. There's a black box sighting in the second to last panel, but it's small and filled with thought bubbles so it's easy to excuse. The people are fairly well drawn, Orihime looks normal again.
Page 9 Orihime tells herself to think positive, she leaves a bag full of bread on Chad's door knob with a note to get well soon. This page suffers the same problem as 6 and 8, it's so damn slow! I excused the slowness the first and second time, but I feel as though this entire page could have been done in one or two panels of any other manga.
You only get one clear shot of Orihime's face on this page and it appears to be decent. Two panels have backgrounds and the rest of the panels are drawn by Kubo.
Page 10 Ichigo looks for the meeting place. The unfortunate thing is, I feel like hardly anybody calls Kubo out on this bullshit. I admit that the art on this page is good, but good art can't make up for absolutely nothing happening. This entire page should have been one small panel.
As I said, the art here is actually good. The second to last panel has Ichigo looking a little poorly drawn, but I'm inclined to give Kubo the benefit of the doubt on this one and blame it on the scan that I'm reading from. It's incredibly frustrating that Kubo could not pair this with good writing, but it's better than his usual combination of crappy writing and crappy art.
Page 11 Ichigo finds the place, the guy from Xcution says Ichigo is five minutes early and therefore must be serious. Ichigo says he's only 3 minutes early. At this point the entire chapter changed in my eyes, for Ichigo to be 5 minutes early according to one guy, but 3 according to Ichigo. Kubo is truly a god among gods. I don't even look at life the same any more. It really gives you an entirely new view of Aizen when you think about it. If writing like this does not earn you an award, I can't fathom what does. Ichigo's earlyness and the disagreement about how early he is is clearly allegorical of the economic downturn in the United States and a rock solid solution towards fixing it.
Seriously though, this page was terrible.
The art in the first panel is fairly good and the rest is just terrible.
Page 12Ichigo asks for help. He says that the guy from Xcution is probably nor normal. Ignoring how slow this page is, page 11 could have been completely ignored and the reader would not have missed anything.
The pictures look like Kubo is doing a manga adaptation of the walk off from Zoolander. Both characters just strike a cool pose, we get a close of both of their eyes then they strike another cool pose. No backgrounds by the way.
Page 13 Ichigo says he doesn't trust the guy and that he has nobody else. The guy finishes his sentence by saying, "To count on. Is that it?". This the most retarded point of the chapter, even if you ignore the fact that he has both Orihime and Chad to count on. Why would you count on some random guy that has been stalking you for the last few days that knows a creepy amount about your family and showed up just before your friend got beat up. The fact that he's part of a group called "Xcution" doesn't
help much either. But yeah, I'd totally rather let somebody like that have my back than I would my friends.
The first 2 panels are just dumb eye shots. The fourth panels is actually good, it has a background, it's kind of sad though that my standards are set so low that having a background makes a panel good. The fifth is a mind blowing shot of somebody's white gators. It probably isn't even Ichigo or the other guy's, Kubo just wanted to show off his new shoes that he bought. I saved the third panel for last, It's half of the guy's face and his shoulder. I bring it up because I swear One Piece has a panel that looks exactly like that one except it's of Crocodile.
Page 14 The guy tells Ichigo that he still wants him to complete the request regarding his dad. Ichigo says he hasn't had any time to do it. The guy says that he doesn't really care, it was just to attract Ichigo's attention. Translation: Kubo has no idea where he was going with that and everybody should just forget about it. They arrive at the meeting place and the guy tells Ichigo to swipe his card in some terminal thing.
An entire panel is wasted showing that they are on the third floor, but other than that the art was what you'd expect in some places and decent in others.
Page 15This page serves as a really late title page. I would shit on it for nothing happening, but it's a title page. Kubo shows off how creative he is by naming the chapter "Welcome to Our Execution 3", it's no "Deicide 19", but it's up their as one of the most creative chapters titles I've ever heard.
The art is as bland as always on this page.
Page 16-17Nothing really happens on this double spread, but that's not to say it's a terrible use of two pages. We get to see Xcutions layer and I believe we are introduced to 2 new characters, we also see a gentleman looking guy with an eye-patch, but I think we've seen him before. Their layer looks like a really fancy bar. One of the new characters looks like a 20 year old Oliver Twist and the other looks like a pair of boobs. Knowing Kubo, that's probably all we can really expect out of her.
Page 18We learn the building specs of their layer, which is really all you could hope for while reading a Bleach chapter
No backgrounds in sight on this page. All the guys from Xcution look really bummed. To be fair though, I would be too if I knew I was going to be fodder in Bleach, hell I'd be bummed to even be in Bleach at all.
Page 19The guy from Xcution reveals to Ichigo that his entire purpose is to restore his shinigami powers. Some people may say that it's too soon, but to be honest, Kubo wasn't going to do anything good anyways so we might as well get it out of the way so we can move on to what bleach isn't god awful at (fighting). Also, at the pace Kubo rights, I would be surprised if he got his power's back soon.
We are gifted with a black box on this page. There are no backgrounds.
Chapter Summary*Ichigo finishes his phone call
*Ichigo talks with Orihime
*Chad is missing (?)
*Chad doesn't seem to be home
*See Xcution's layer
*See members of Xcution
*Xcution is here to restore Ichigo's powers
7 things happen in this chapter and most of them are pretty lame.