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Bleach Chapter 524: The Drop

Chapter 524: The Drop
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It’s been a little while since we had a full on battle. It starts of in their respective captain barracks. Unohana has left a (farewell?) note for Isane. Zaraki didn’t leave a not, but he did leave his eye patch behind making even Yachiru worried.

Zaraki is having a blast as the battle hits off in full swing. Unohana easily dodges the large heavy strikes of the 11th squad captain.

She already looks bored as she easily parries his attacks before she finally does onto the offensive. Her nimble movements are no match for Zaraki’s cumbersome motions.

easily parrying and striking at him wounding him more and more with every strike.

In this battle of skill and strength, Zaraki finds himself on the losing end as Unohana makes note of his missing eye-patch and his apparent lack of strength to fight her.

Unlike Zaraki, Unohana doesn’t waste movements for the sake of battle as the strikes him with a short blade stabbing it into his shoulder.

A conversation finally springs up. they both have quite a different view over another. Zaraki seems to have respected the old Unohana. Unohana easily puts him with his back against the wall.

They had been in battle a long time ago. Hell, it surprised when she actually said the old Zaraki was a better fighter than the current one. Was even more surprised than when Zaraki said he pretty much worshipped her.

The first time he felt fear, the first time he experienced the true pleasure of battle.

Unohana stabs him through his throat. The page later he is looking fine and dandy. Now, at first I thought it was something similar that Ichigo experienced when fighting Zaraki, but then I noticed the blood spatters were still on Unohana’s voice.

It seems Unohana will not let him die. She will make him stronger by bringing him across the border of death only to heal him again. Which each cycle he will become stronger and stronger. I wonder if she will end up sacrificing herself just to make him stronger. Judges by Isane’s reaction to the letter… she just might, which seems an odd thing to do when SS needs their strength.

Time will tell.


24 Responses

  1. 2 Kenpachi’s are defo better than 1 an i hope Unohana lives on! In a mere 4 chapters Kubo has turnt this character into one of the best, its almost like its a completely different writer when u compare this arc to arrancar an fullbring arcs. I doubt this’ll happen but i wanna see unohana break down the different styles to Zaraki like a true master would

  2. What is really interesting is that it is implied that Unohana may be responsible for zaraki”s entire fighting style and quite possibly this alluded to ability to get stronger upon near death fights.

    Is it also possible that Zaraki has never been able to learn bankai because some how in his past dealings with Unohana he awakend his bankai and some how he got stuck or maybe even Unohana locked him into a permanent state of bankai? it would help explain how it is that he is such a beast compared to other SS captains even when they are using their bankai, and why it is that he is constantly pumping out reitsu. It could also be the reason why he cant communicate with his zanpakto.

  3. Zarakis shikai: his eye patch
    Zarakais bankai: his left arm

  4. The reasoning is probably that Zaraki’s potential puts him in Zero Squad range of lethality so this 1 Kenpachi would indeed be better than 2!

  5. Zaraki is a super saiyan! lol

  6. Aren’t we forgetting that Unohana still has a shikai and bakai to call upon? This training to amp Zaraki up could take a while.

  7. @ pretend3r. Good job.

    @ Tensa Gizzla. You are right. I doubt that we will see much of Unohana the teacher. I think that we are in for Unohana the warrior instead. I am enjoying this arc. Kubo has shown his maturity as a writer in the current complex weave. With his pen, he has been able to portray the slashing cuts to the heart of this battle between the two combatants, where emotions counts as much as wild and dangerous slashes.

    @ Telemacus. Permanent state of bankai. Interesting suggestion. But, if Zaraki were in a Permanent state of bankai, he would have little chance of getting better. I looked for it in the manga, but could not find it, but in the battle between Zaraki and Ichigo, doesn’t Zangetsu ask ichigo if he can hear Zaraki’s sword calling out to him. Then he remarks that Zaraki can’t hear his own sword. Is that little piece only in the anime? Anyway, if that is true and it appears that it is, when Zaraki admits that he doesn’t know the name of his sword. Wouldn’t that prevent him from being in shikai, let alone in bankai, where the dialogue between sword and wielder could take as long as ten years.

    @ Tawuya-sama. I just wonder if Unohana had resigned her post as a Kenpachi after meeting the one that we know of as Kenpachi Zaraki. We see the early Zaraki in three brief scenes. The first when he met and then named Yachiru and named himself Kenpachi Zaraki. The second scene is where he defeated Ikkaku and he seems to have been using the name of Kenpachi for a while. Whatever time necessary for Ikkaku to recover transpired, and Yumichika shares that Kenpachi has killed the former Kenpachi and become the Captain of the Eleventh Division. He killed a man, not Unohana.

  8. @cobray – agree that there’s now way Zaraki has released his sword

  9. @corbray
    Yah it is stated that zaraki cant hear his sword, but thats what i mean what if uhnohana in a previous fight with zaraki did something that now prevents him from hearing his sword, or what if she did something to his sword. Either way it could be that this whole training exercise is to get zaraki and his sword communicating again.

  10. @ Tawuya-sama. At least by the example of the other soul reapers that we have met. Or at least as far as we understand. Please see below.

    @ telemacus. Interesting thoughts. We have seen the early communication between a Shinigam and their sword at least twice.
    We have Tōshirō Hitsugaya being warned by soul reaper Rangiku Matsumoto that his spiritual pressure is hurting his grandmother. These appear to be early attempts by Hyorinmaru, trying to reach him in his dreams, even before Toshiro became a soul reaper.
    The other very early encounter is when Kisuke Urahara had Ichigo’s chain of fate cut by his assistant in the second stage of helping Ichigo re-acquire his powers and turn into a soul reaper. As he lies in the bottom of Shattered Shaft, and what was left of the chain eaten away, he begins to turn into a Hollow. At that point, he is thrusts into his inner world and Zangetsu appears. However, Ichigo can still not hear his sword’s name. That can only be heard, after Ichigo has dropped the hollow exterior and turned into a soul reaper. Even then, it takes his full attention for the boy to recognize which box holds the hilt of his own sword. Then he can shout out his sword’s name.

    As we do not have a normal to compare these actions, we have no idea how long or difficult this process is for most soul reapers. It is likely that Ichigo’s father (or Kisuke Urahara with his father’s permission) had sealed away his powers, because he was growing up in the mortal world. Thus, it is possible that it may have taken more effort for him to regain them.
    It may also be possible maybe that Unohana figured out a means by which to seal Zaraki’s power, but that wouldn’t work in this case. How is a governor going to help him enjoy battle more? Actually, his eye patch accomplishes that goal nicely. Note – we have seen several times that his spiritual pressure is so strong with the eye patch on, that he can still weaken less powerful individuals.

  11. @Telemacus – interesting theory on Unohana purposely making Zaraki deaf to his own sword..

  12. @Cobray – The main issue remains the name of the sword… As you’ve stated, from what we’ve seen thus far, shikai and bankai releases REQUIRE the name of the zanpaktou to be said; from Captain Commander to 3rd seat Madarame. The time taken and current relationship between the wielder and sword are unique and unknown to each individual. Ichigo has always been and will continue to be a special case (he formed an almost instantaneous bond with “his” sword when he was stabbed through the chest (plot-hole) whereas others have had to eat, sleep and train with their assauchi for a significant period of time.

    I see this week’s chapter jumping to Renji and Kurosaki to lay the ground for when Zaraki eventually does start to speak to his Zanpaktou.

  13. @ Tawuya-sama. I still can’t make what @ Telemacus said in that regard work for me. If Zaraki were locked in a full continuous state of bankai, why would his sword keep trying to reach him? It seems more likely that the sword can feel all the huge reserves of spirit energy in Zaraki, and is begging his wielder to open the lines of communication.

    @ Tawuya-sama. I take some exception to your first statement. Even before Ichigo had learned shikai, with his use of Rukia’s sword, the blade changed to a shikai like appearance in its growth and strength. As far as we know, this was simply generated by Ichigo’s high reserve of spirit pressure. I agree that Ichigo is a special case, likely because of his in essence double supply of spiritual pressure. Part from what Rukia’s Zanpaktou deposited inside him and part from his inherited reserve from his father.

    As far as any bond that he formed with Rukia’s Zanpaktou, I do not remember any real communication. Actually at that point, it was more like Zaraki’s link with his sword – lots of power, but not from any joining. If Ichigo had joined with Rukia’s sword, we would have seen some of the snow and Ice abilities, rather than just power. In the extended example, we do not see the abilities of Zaraki’s sword.

    Here is a thought, can a person continue to use a sword from another person reach shikai and bankai? Maybe Zaraki’s sword, really belonged to someone else.

  14. @alerie – wait, what? “continuous state of bankai”?! That part I don’t agree with.

    With regards to Ichigo being stabbed and Rukia sword going “shikai”-like wasnt that explained by Byakuya or someone as Ichigo being clumsy with his reiatsu hence the huge ugly kitchen knife like appearance of his blade? The whole thing about Ichigo weilding Rukia’s sword was never clearly explained. Nor was the whole “zangetsu” and “engetsu” thing explained… Guess we’ll have to wait for later today for this to be (hopefully) explained!

  15. @ Tawuya-sama. Sorry for the confusion. Continous state of bankai refers to a post @ Telemacus, on January 25, 2013 at 5:54 pm said:
    I also do not agree with that statement.

    I would think by now, I would have near memorized Ichigo’s first contact with Byakuya. I will check again because I do not remember a comment on the size of the blade, only something that Ichigo says about only having Rukia’s blade to compare it to… The one place I do remember a comment about size is by Ichigo’s dad when he is comparing swords with Grandfisher, where he says something along the lines of captain’s blades would be as big as skyscrapers, if they didn’t control their size. I just thought of another place, when Byakuya sees Ichigo’s Bankai blade for the first time and accuses Ichigo of making fun of the Soul Society’s traditions. ”

    As far as his being able to wield her sword, I guess that the thrusting of it deep into his soul makes some sense, although, I just re-read and watch the manga and the anime covering that incident. I may be wrong, but I do not believe that they deal with what happened to his body the first time.
    Anyway back to the issue, they never covered just how much control would be given to a visitor along for a ride, or in this case, a stranger using someone else’s blade. Perhaps the deep thrusting is necessary to give the recipient maximum ability. Maybe Unohana thrusts her sword deep into Zaraki chest, and then gave him her blade. Her current Zanpaktou, we have only seen when it forms into a large transport and healing animal. It could be a different blade. If she was a fighting specialist, she might have many blades. Maybe the one that she gave to Zaraki is what helps him get stronger and stronger, through dying and then reviving him, which sounds like magic. But, isn’t their medical practice mostly magic. 🙂

  16. ..testing my comment section. havin issues puttin up comments

  17. @Token – “testing” received

  18. ITS OUT!!!!!!!!!!


  19. Genius chapter! We were all wrong, lol! Tite has had it and is done playing around!!!

  20. I don’ think Ichiro ever had rukia’s sword but rather his own awakened by Rulia’s riatsu. The sword he had with Rukia’s riatsu is exactly the same as the one he had after awakening his own power, hos pre-shikai sword.
    That giant sword looked nothing like Rukia’s ice sword, hence it was Ichigo’s own.

  21. WOW!!!! What a chapter. It is almost as though Tite Kubo has written a completely new story; and what a story.

    @ Tawuya-sama. Thanks, but I gave up last night and went to bed.
    @ Tawuya-sama. BLEACH 525. This truly is a genius chapter. The author has flung such a wild tale, that I do not care if I was wrong. I love seeing Zaraki as a child. Although it does raise a bunch of questions. Such as – what name did Unohana or anyone else use to call the murderous boy?

    @cesc. I do believe that you are correct. That explains some stuff that never made sense to me. I wondered from the first time that I watched the anime, why didn’t Byakuya and Renji take Rukia’s sword back with them. The answer being that Rukia’s sword was inside of her, Ichigo had used his own blade. What he borrowed from her was the potential and ability to manifest his own Zanpaktou.

  22. Guess all the reviewing for 525 is being done here. I have been busy last week, hence no summary

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