I know – has it been a year later? Sometimes I can crank out an article or two in a day, and sometimes I cannot. Too much to show and little time.
What are the next BEST fights?
Kurosaki Ichigo vs Kuchiki Byakuya
朽木白哉 vs 黒崎 一護
ARC: Soul Society
Obligatory Rival Fight!
You know that I like a darn good rival battle. I think Byakuya has been a thorn in Ichigo’s side at least twice before the two finally duked it out. Zangetsu’s unrefined form was easily broken by Captain Kuchiki’s power, and even while in Soul Society, Ichigo was pressed to never face him. Until it was time for Ichigo to do so, he had been in plenty of battles and Zangetsu had to advance through different phases (just like the Saint Seiya armor). Also, it was the mark of Ichigo’s bankai. It establishes a great moment for BLEACH as the main character takes a stand at the pedestal and uses his power at the apex. You may laugh; I say this because Soul Society was the first important arc.
We also learn that the same technique doesn’t work twice, also like Saint Seiya, and Ichigo can actually improve. Of course, he surpassed all of his challenges for this moment. Also, the battle wasn’t particularly smooth as Byakuya still maintained top tier. That’s the best – you’ll have an upper hand in some area. Ichigo’s speed increased, but was still backed in a corner, and Byakuya gets surprised by the Hollow Form of Ichigo. Do you ask how Ichigo improved? Especially against a guy who trained for years? Potentially centuries?
It’s a funny thing in these shounen products, especially if Kubo Tite was inspired by Saint Seiya, battle, friendship, pain and inner spirit happen to make you stronger. In this case, it’s Ichigo’s inner spirit. Hollows and Shinigami, and tempering them, became a large theme. As I reflect, Ichigo is not a particularly good swordsman, nor is he good with spirit magic/spells (like Byakuya). He and his attacks are is pretty straight-forward. A good sword battle would be something along Rurouni Kenshin series. But I did notice that Ichigo was comfortable with his sword use unlike before.
No winner or loser here.
Kurostcuhi Mayuri vs Szayelaporro Granz
涅マユリ vs ザエルアポロ・グランツ
ARC: Aizen sucks/Arrancar Arc
Just plain weird.
Kurotsuchi is unbelievable, and so are the names of these antagonists. Kurotsuchi is nearly an epitome of this entire series – everyone’s a freak. You get quite afraid when it’s time for him to battle. To be honest, Kurotsuchi is a bit of a cheater, but he’s so entertainingly genius. Szayel is an oddball himself and has a penchant to..eat anything? Including sharp objects. So, he is able to eat you and “poop” (or spit?) you back out as a voodoo doll. And if you hurt the voodoo doll, you’ll get hurt of course. Also, Szayel is able to impregnate you and pop out of your body alive.
Also, this is probably one of the best, and most excruciating death scenes in BLEACH. I guess when you can heal yourself, such things happen.
Be careful what you eat, people.
What do you think?