Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Bleach 140 and 141

Has it been that long? Perhaps we will review not one, but two episodes in this one entry. So as to spare you the pain of watching them for yourselves. Because we know you don’t.

Bleach 140

So if you’ve been reading you know that the shinigami are busy fighting some Espada, and it’s not going so well. Urahara just manages to avoid the energy blast from the spaced-out Wonderwice. The kid stares at his hand, and so would I if my hand could fire purple bolts at my friends and enemies. Urahara asks what it is, but doesn’t get an answer because everything goes all red behind him and he falls to the earth in pain. Yami appears behind him and explains (naturally) that Wonderwice just fired some super fast Cero thing. Not quite as powerful as the full version, but twenty (gasp!) times faster. I’m glad they tell me that’s twenty times faster. It makes me gasp in awe. Anyway, Yami starts laughing and firing off his little blasts in rapid succession at Urahara and calls him a “sandal wearing bastard.”

Luppi looks on in disgust. He turns back toward Rangiku, who he’s managed to catch again. She notes that he talks too much, and that grosses her out. Luppi looks like he’s about to abuse her, but, suddenly, half of his big white tentacle things become icy and frozen. He turns around and sees Captain Hitsugaya! The little shinigami tells the Espada that his zanpaktou is the most powerful ice-based sword, and that as long as there’s water around it was reform itself again and again. That seems pretty bad for Luppi, because the Earth’s atmosphere is filled with water! A bunch of giant ice columns appear around Luppi and come crashing in on him. He screams like a little girl Espada.

Yami scoffs some and prepares to keep firing at Urahara, but that wily shop owner appears behind him! Yami asks how he’s still alive and fires another bolt at him. It’s a direct hit! But, no! Urahara appears right behind him (again) and delivers a powerful blast of his own. Urahara explains (people like explaining on this show) by inflating some weird balloon doll Urahara-shaped thing. It’s a decoy, to confuse one’s enemy. Urahara switched places with the doll and let Yami fire away at it. Yami fires off another blast, but Urahara completely blocks it. Turns out the attack just isn’t effective against him anymore. He prepares to whup Yami’s ass.

Meanwhile, Ichigo is being kicked around by Grimmjaw. He’s on the ground, panting and sweating. His mask won’t hold together, so he’s completely useless. Grimmjaw does a flying kick and blows him away again. He impales Ichigo’s forearm with his sword and readies up a big Cero to fire at his brain. Just then, however, ice envelopes his hand. It’s Rukia! Commercial break!

We return from happy commercial hand, and there’s Rukia again. She fires off her White Ripple and freezes Grimmjaw in a big block of ice. She runs up to Ichigo and starts yanking on the sword stuck in his forearm. It’s a tender moment (almost), but Grimmjaw bursts out of his ice prison and grabs her head. He was clearly unimpressed. He’s going to Cero her brain now, but another energy blasts suddenly interrupts him. What could this be?!

It’s Shinji, the helpful Vizard. You remember him, right? He was helping to train Ichigo with his new powers? Turns out Shinji just can’t avoid a good rumble, even if he doesn’t want to get involved in shinigami matters. Weird clown music starts. Grimmjaw flies to attack, but Shinji avoids him completely. They fight for a few moments, until Shinji puts on his Hollow mask. Even weirder music starts up. Grimmjaw is surprised, and Shinji pushes him away before pressing the attack. Turns out he’s pretty good. He loads up a huge Cero and fires it at Grimmjaw. Grimmjaw deflects some of it by firing off his own little Cero quickly, but he’s still quite injured.

Shinji comes to look at him. Grimmjaw jumps up to attack, but he doesn’t complete the maneuver, for at that instant Ulquiorra appears. He announces that the mission is accomplished. Negation things appear all around the Espada and pull them back toward Hueco Mundo (cue Spanish guitar music). Even Luppi gets yanked back, because he survived Captain Hitsugaya’s attack. He vows to crush the little shinigami, and I don’t think that Espada’s so cool anymore. What an ass. Urahara is pissed that he didn’t get to kill Yami. Everyone is quite unhappy, to be honest.

Ulquiorra stares at Ichigo and notes that he’s at the limit of his power and makes some ominous statements about the future.

Bleach 141

I have to admit that I really like the present opening. Good song, good opening graphics. Just hits the right mood. I hope that the next opening doesn’t suck.

So into the episode. Orihime is in her home writing out practical advice, such as where to find the towels and when to put out the garbage. She looks at a weird bracelet on her wrist and starts remembering things, namely Ulquiorra giving her said bracelet. The bracelet hides her from everyone and everything, lets the Espada track her, and she can pass through physical objects with it. Ulquiorra gives Orihime twelve hours to say goodbye to one person, and one person only. End flashback. Orihime looks sad and stands up and walks away. We zoom in on the notebook in which she’s been writing; it’s empty. Guess even her penmanship is hidden whilst she wears the bracelet.

We cut away to a filler scene. The shinigami from the last episode are being bandaged and tended to by Urahara’s crew. There’s much yelling and running around. Captain Hitsugaya watches Urahara fume about something. The captain realizes that Soul Society better step up its preparations for the upcoming battle royale with Aizen’s folks.

Back to Orihime. She’s walking down the street and her big breasts bump into someone. She starts apologizing, but the guy doesn’t hear her, or even see her. “I walked into some breasts,” he says, “but where are they? WHERE?!” Orihime is confused and wanders over to a store window. She has no reflection. No one can detect her, and she puts her hand through the glass to see if she can indeed pass through physical objects. Next we see her at her school, where she’s staring at Ichigo’s desk. She hears some people in the hallway and starts to run, because she’s apparently forgotten that no one can see her, but nonetheless manages to knock over a desk before hiding under the teacher’s big desk. Two of her classmates, Asano and that other guy, come into the room. They note the overturned desk and muse on how so many of their classmates are missing from school.

Orihime wanders outside and sits under a tree and thinks about her best friend, Tatsuki. She runs to find her in line for karate practice. Some irresponsible kids behind Orihime suddenly kick a ball through her. The ball lands near Tatsuki, and she stares at it, and in Orihime’s direction, but she of course can’t see her. Tatsuki runs off and Orhime looks very sad, but she doesn’t say goodbye to her. She goes to stand on a pier and looks at the moonlit water rippling below her.

We next find Rukia sitting on the floor of a room. She can’t reach Orihime on her special shinigami phone. How many minutes does that plan have? Rukia closes the phone and turns to look at Ichigo on a bed next to her. She thinks back (flashback!) to a bunch of Vizard, one of whom, Hacchi, the big guy with pink hair, has just healed Ichigo’s injuries. The boy needs to rest now, he says, and Rukia stares the ground. Back in the house, Rukia stares at Ichigo some more. She decides to go find Orihime, but Ichigo’s little sisters suddenly appear. They convince her stay and eat with them. Yuzu has drawn Rukia’s face on the rice, or macaroni and cheese, whatever it is. Aren’t kids cute?

Later, we find Rukia washing the dishes. She runs into Ichigo’s father and apologizes again for getting Ichigo involved with delinquents and ruffians (she must have told him that a bunch of bullies beat Ichigo up). She leaves the house, but not before Ichigo’s dad offers some fatherly advice. This scene doesn't really add anything to the show.

Back with Ichigo, all the food is eaten, and his little sisters are asleep on the floor next to him. The curtain rustles in the wind, and Orihime walks through the fabric to join them. She’s come to say goodbye to Ichigo, but stops to notice Yuzu and Karin asleep nearby. Orihime suddenly realizes that she’s in Ichigo’s room and starts blushing. She thinks to herself that the room smells like him. She reaches down to take his hand. The show is veering into uncomfortable emotional territory here, and I’m not quite sure what to think.

She leans over Ichigo, moving in for that kiss she wants to give him. But she can’t do it. She starts crying and pulls away. Orihime waxes poetic, wishing that she’d had five lives to live, so that she could have eaten five lifetime’s worth of food, and had five careers. And so that she could have fallen in love with the same person five time. That person, of course, being Ichigo. She doesn’t say this, of course. We have to realize it for ourselves, but I’m sure that some of you won’t get it, so that’s why I’m telling you.

So now things make a little bit of sense, with the overall series, particularly Orihime's insane desire to help Ichigo and fight alongside him when she’s obviously weak and undertrained. Orihime is crazy, but, from what I’ve determined through research and observation, love makes people crazy. She just wants to be with Ichigo. I feel a twinge of regret for having mocked Orihime so much these past few years (years?!), but the twinge turns out to be indigestion and I’m okay again.

We look back at Orihime’s notebook. We can see that she’s written “Goodbye halcyon days.”

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