Bleach 541 Review – “The Blade and Me 2”
Written by: ClayDragon
Time for more exposition! Hooray!
This time, the action takes place entirely in Ichigo’s Inner World. He realises that, when Yhwach invaded the Soul Society, Ichigo found him immediately, knew that he was the bad guy and almost found him familiar. As it turns out, this was all due to Zangetsu (I’m still going to call the old guy Zangetsu, the name ‘Inner-Quincy-Yhwach’ doesn’t have the same ring to it). Zangetsu confirms what Ouetsu told Ichigo last chapter, and says that his name is not ‘Zangetsu’. As a fairly apt metaphor, the buildings in the Inner World begin to collapse as Ichigo processes this information.
|It doesn't matter what your name is, everyone's going to keep calling you Zangetsu.|
However, when Ichigo asks if Zangetsu is really Yhwach, Zangetsu decides to answer in riddles, saying he is and is not Yhwach. Understandably confused, Ichigo bombards Zangetsu with questions, to which he gets the reply that Zangetsu is neither his enemy nor his ally, although he claims to never have lied to Ichigo, except when he told him his name. He then goes on to say that every time he taught Ichigo something or tried to save his life, he always used a Hollow’s power as opposed to his own.
|Don't worry, you're not the only one.|
It turns out that Zangetsu didn’t want Ichigo to become a Soul Reaper, and so he continually tried to suppress his strength, going as far as to merge with the Inner Hollow in order to be the core of Ichigo’s power. His reason for this is to prevent Ichigo from getting hurt (although, if he had let Ichigo use his full power from the start, Ichigo probably wouldn’t have lost some of his fights). Zangetsu believed that if Ichigo became a proper Soul Reaper, then he would have to kill Ichigo himself.
|Wait, so death is a better option than being a Soul Reaper?|
However, when Ichigo actually became a Soul Reaper, Zangetsu had second thoughts and decided to start helping Ichigo instead. After saying this, Zangetsu reveals that he’s happy to step back and let Ichigo use his full power. As he slowly begins to fade away, he says that watching Ichigo grow and being near him made Zangetsu extremely happy, and he properly disappears.
*Insert sad violin music.*
In his place, a massive glowing sword appears, and Ichigo hears Zangetsu telling him to pick it up, as that is his real Zanpakuto. As Ichigo approaches it, the sword begins to glow.
|"In other words, I'm not going to babysit you any more."|
Whilst this chapter tied up some loose ends from last week, it was still very confusing. For example, if the glowing sword at the end is really Ichigo’s proper Zanpakuto, why doesn’t it take the shape of Hollow Ichigo? Is Ichigo’s Inner Quincy gone for good? And if so, can he still use Quincy powers like Blut Vene?
On the other hand, this chapter did answer a number of questions about Zangetsu. The fact that he didn’t do anything to stop Hollow Ichigo taking over is confusing though, as surely having your body possessed by a psychotic version of yourself counts as you being hurt? I’m looking forward to seeing how Ichigo’s new Zanpakuto actually looks, although even if it resembles the flaming sword Zangetsu leaves behind, I’ll be happy.
Good Things: More answers about Zangetsu.
Ichigo gets a new Zanpakuto.
Emotional goodbye to Zangetsu.
Bad Things: Zangetsu leaving.
Still many unanswered questions.
Manga Rating: 3/5
ClayDragon is currently studying Physics at university, and is constantly bewildered by it. The main method of contacting him is his Gmail account at firstname.lastname@example.org. The alternative is his Skype account at kyleroulston1993. When not playing games or reading, he can be found with his head in his hands whilst trying in vain to understand quantum physics. He has now become very hyped for Pokemon X and Y.