In an attempt to show that manga can have recap episodes too, Urahara explains everything that has happened to Ichigo. Unfortunately, his plans are broken up when the weird looking Vandy they've been fighting traps Ichigo in a cage, creating new content for the chapter and thwarting Kisuke's diabolical plans.
Not much to really get excited or upset about other than the goofy clothes that Inoue and Chad are wearing. Oh, I'll say that Kubo seems to have finally gotten over the idea that every story must be based around some girl getting captured by evil forces who don't actually do her any harm. Sadly, it's not all new. He's just decided that a strong character getting trapped in a cage while much of the fighting takes place should be the new thing that every story has.
I give this chapter a C. Kisuke's attempt at making this a recap chapter was upsetting but there was some new content. It wasn't particularly good content, but it was new.
Akon (sadly, not of Konvict Music fame) tries to contact Ichigo but finds out that he isn't at home right now and will have to leave a message. Meanwhile, Ichigo is beating the crap out of a Vandenreich who is puzzled that the he's having difficulty fighting against the guy who manhandled ^4 powered up Aizen to the same degree that ^1 powered up Aizen manhandled all of Soul Society.
Another pretty good chapter of Bleach. In the old days, I would read a chapter like this and say to myself, this might be pretty awesome once they animate it. Alas, that's no longer and option and it makes me frown. Also...
I give this chapter a B, just like last week's. Nothing mind-blowing or super great, but nothing that made me groan either. The comedic bits were actually decent rather than the usual Kubo thing of being facepalm worthy and the action was pretty nice.
As the Edo's say their goodbyes, Dan spirit travels to Tsunade to say wassup. Madara, still wanting to kick ass and take names, undoes his Edo Tensei contract in order to continue the fight.
It really boils down to one thing: Hell yes, Madara isn't dead. I loved that even when his spirit was leaving his body, he was the only one trying to get in one last attack while all the other Edo were basically like, "ahh, now I can rest." I've long thought that the Edo body is the perfect body. It's extremely hackable, indestructible, and has infinite chakra. Why oh why didn't Orochimaru want a body like that rather than some Uchiha body that he'd lose after a few years anyways?
I give this chapter a B+. A better chapter than last week, which was a pretty darn good to begin with. Madara rocks. There's really no more to be said other than that. He's a bad enough dude to fight the Kages and he's here to stay.
Despite knowing that the Vandenreich could seal their Bankai and willingly sacrificing their powers in the previous chapter, the Shinigami captains are completely baffled and taken aback by the realization that their Bankai won't be of use against the Vandies. Meanwhile, someone in the science division calls in Ichigo "I Carry Soul Society On My Back" Kurosaki to save the day.
I felt this way about the anime often, but Bleach has a way of making things look cool. Tite Kubo should probably be taken out back and shot as a writer, but I seriously think he has a good eye for framing things in interesting ways and slicing up the page. Maybe he could storyboard movies or something. Anyways, there was a lot of Bleach visual splendor in this chapter and I especially love how they made Matsumoto look while she casts that kido spell. Plus, someone got shot in the eye.
I give this chapter a B. Chapters like this are about as good as Bleach gets. Cool art, some decent fighting, interesting looking powers, and no focus on pretty boy shinigami, lame ass flaming gay stereotype ballerina arrancar, tutu Espada, luchador Quincies and other nonsense.
The Edo start packing up to leave and Itachi tells Sasuke that he killed his own people out of a love for his enslav... village.
If you're into the whole Itachi is a hero thing, there was some good stuff in this, but I've never been able to get that line of thought. When they first introduced Itachi to the series as this psycho who massacred his own people just to see if he could, I thought that was pretty insane and interesting. It wasn't particularly deep, but in a sea of Naruto (shonen in general) featuring bad guys who were really just sad and lonely children, this was refreshing. Once they revealed the truth behind his actions... all his likability went out the window for me. My views are that basically, Itach is like a slave who not only told "massa" about the rebellion, but actually went and then murdered all of the slaves so that he could protect the safety and comfortable liestyles of all those kind ole slave owners who oppressed him. I never got the heroism in that and never will. This chapter is basically nothing but more, "he's really a hero," talk that I just can't comprehend.
I give this chapter a B. I hate the whole Itachi is a hero slant, but the chapter was pretty entertaining and it was interesting. It sucks that the Madara Edo is gone, though. He was a favorite of mine.