Blog Archive

Sunday, March 16, 2014

SAO, Bleach, etc:

Gun Gale Online is apparently only covering the Phantom Bullet arc, light novels 5 and 6.  This excludes Mother's Rosario, volume 8.  (Volume 7, early and late, was partially covered in the original anime, so it's not a big deal either way.)  Since Mother's Rosario is the reason SAO is so good, I'm bitterly disappointed with this decision.

Without Mother's Rosario, SAO will never be a true emotional masterpiece.  Furthermore, without the Alicization arc after Rosario, it won't be the epic fantasy adventure it was always meant to be.  Both are necessary for SAO to reach the highest heights.  However, just because we're not getting these two stories now doesn't mean I believe the animation studio will abandon them.  They just want to draw the series out and release parts bit by bit, like they're doing with Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, which will only be covering the third arc, Stardust Crusaders.  I'm sure if Gun Gale Online succeeds, they'll start planning for the next section to be released later.  I just wish I could watch it now, because now is always better than later.  Until I hear definitive proof that SAO won't be animating Mother's Rosario or Alicization, I'll keep it at the high rank it's been given.

Meanwhile, the next batch of Ranma 1/2 bd, episodes 55-108, has been released.  This time seemingly not by Doki, but whichever group does it is fine by me, so long as it gets done.  Only one more bd box to go.  Over half of the episodes in this batch, and the next batch, are filler.  Once they all come out, because the blu-ray is in a different order than the dvds were listed, I'll redo my Ranma 1/2 filler guide based around the bd release and filter out all the junk once more.

Speaking of filler guides, when I first released my Bleach filler guide I had a lot of unanswered questions about the series.  Now, two years later, most of those questions have been resolved in the manga.

It turns out Ichigo's heritage is 1/3 Shinigami, 1/3 hollow and 1/3 Quincy.  Since a hollow invaded his Quincy mother before he was born and lived together with her in a volatile equilibrium, that makes him a unique being in the universe with unrivaled power and potential.  It also explains his ability to become a full bringer.  Ichigo's dad really is his dad, just a normal captain class Shinigami in the past.  It was truly Ichigo's mom who was special.  The reason she died so easily due to a hollow attack wasn't because she was a normal human, but because her Quincy powers were taken away from her at that very moment by the evil Quincy overlord Ywach.  Who could have guessed?

The source of most of Ichigo's strength in all his previous fights came from his Quincy heritage.  The next time Ichigo fights, it will be more on the basis of his Shinigami heritage.  It will be interesting to see how much his fighting style changes as a result.

Meanwhile, some other happy developments have occurred.  Yachiru, the pink-haired 11th squad lieutenant, has finally revealed her shikai and her power level by being somewhat effective before she was overwhelmed by a Quincy who fights with the power of imagination.  Imagination power is pretty ridiculous, so it's no wonder she lost, but now at last we have found her lower bound and upper bound of strength.  She's basically as good as an average lieutenant has shown to be these days -- no match for the Quincys.  She probably would have done fine against an Arrancar opponent, but sadly no such opportunity presented itself.

We also have seen a few more bankai in the past two years.  Rose's bankai, which relies on auditory illusions, lost miserably.  Plus Kensei's bankai, which repetitively hits people with lots of powerful blasts so long as its in contact with the enemy, also failed miserably.  These bankais weren't really a priority on my to-do list, but at least they've been revealed.  The captain commander's bankai is also revealed, only to lose to Ywach who's clearly the strongest being in the series.  That commander's lieutenant also had a lightning based bankai, but it was easily defeated by the Quincies as well.  Quincies are just that fearsome as opponents.  Unlike the Arrancar, who ended up losing every fight, these Quincies are giving as good as they get, which makes for a much more exciting fighting arc than last time around.  We've also seen a new bankai for Renji and Rukia, which is nice but not very important.

We are still waiting on Hirako's bankai, Yoruichi's bankai, Urahara's bankai, Kyouraku's bankai, Love's bankai, Ukitake's bankai, Aizen's bankai and  Isshin's bankai.  Just eight more to go.  I hope the author is keeping track and doesn't blow his opportunity to show them all off in turn.  The fact that Captains are willing to lose fights without ever even releasing their bankais is the greatest mystery in Bleach of all.  There's also the matter of the Soul King.  Who is he?  Why did Aizen rebel against him?  At some point this question should be answered before the series ends.  If Bleach really is ending soon, it needs to hurry up with answers to these questions.  Just ignore everything else and keep resolving loose plot threads to the very end.  That's what the fans want to see.  That's what we've been waiting for all this time.

Because this Quincy arc has far tougher opponents than any who came before, I think it would be much more popular as an anime than the previous arcs have been.  Tough, hard, explosive fights are as exciting as it gets, so I don't see why studios don't take the risk and bring this series back.  Bleach was wildly popular in the past, so all it would take is a few reassuringly good episodes in a row and the fanbase would definitely come back for more.  Bleach is a series that deserves an ending.  We've come this far together, it would be silly to stop now, when the end is right in sight.  Studio Pierrot or whoever, let's get this done!

No comments: