Welcome to another weekly installment of Shonen Showdown, the only place you'll find (besides Oguie's room and certain communities in Florida) old, bald, bearded men giving you smoldering, passionate stares. As demonstrated by visiting Soul Reaper Genryusai.
Anyway, once you're done being lost in his eyes (and fire), you can check out our slate of hot, smoky battling action recaps! We've got the JUMP trinity online today, folks, with the latest in One Piece, Naruto, and indie darling newcomer Bleach!
One Piece Episode 563
This week's episode mostly covered what's been going on while Luffy's been fighting out in the water. Wadatsumi decides to blow himself up to gargantuan proportions, which Sanji is obviously taking advantage of. Robin frees the human slaves, who join Neptune's army in fighting back against Hordy's forces. The end of the episode has Fukaboshi revealing that Hordy has no reason behind his grudge against humanity. He's simple a mad man who wants to perpetuate his hatred against humans. Pretty chilling, especially with that last shot of all the New Fishman Pirates and their steroid-enhanced eyes.
Naruto Shippuden episode 278
Filler in action, folks! Though every event here so far is canon, mainly concerning the White Zetsu's infiltration of the Allies' camps via convenient chakra cloning. But somehow they manage to drag out the allies' confusion over the whole Body Snatchers-like paranoia feel a little less like filler, in part due to how briefly the situation was treated in the original, which got about half a chapter's worth of page space before Naruto showed up to solve everyone's problems.
Which he'll do...eventually, as we get to the "Filler in action" portion of this recap, which notes that they're stretching the whole White Zetsu infiltration - and dealing with it - into an original escapade starring Hinata, Neji, Kiba and Shino.
And what of poor Sakura? A brief frame bashing the Neji impostor is all the action she's gotten since before Gaara's rescue, and barring whatever's in the movie or some other planned filler, nothing going forward. What a way to treat the main heroine, guys!
One Piece Chapter 680
As Brownbeard and the Strawhats head further into the lab, Tashigi and the G-5 Marines are first attacked by the now awakened dragon and then by Vergo. The vice-admiral/spy takes out the Marines and is about to kill Tashigi when Sanji leaps in and kicks the bastard in the face. Meanwhile, Luffy and Smoker make it to Caesar's command center. Lacking any sort of subtlety, Luffy nails the gas man. We've seemingly established Sanji and Luffy's main fight of the arc, but I wonder who or what everybody else will fight. I guess we'll find out soon!
Naruto chapter 600
Be warned, folks expecting some kind of major revelation following the "revelation" of Obito as the man behind the Moon's Eye Plan may be disappointed, as we basically get an invitation for Kakashi to explain just why the "Sakura" of their trio died and how she's supposed to be connected to all this. As far as I remember, they never did expand on Rin's role beyond the first flashbacks, so she must be pretty dang important. If we're lucky.
But first, Madara - the real one - is here, which means he either trashed the Kages completely (a process we will see in brief flashback) and Naruto and crew are boned, or the Kages are set to enter the field as well and a glorious eight-versus-two (Naruto, Guy, Kakashi and the Kages versus Obito and Madara) fight is afoot.
Bleach chapter 506
Talk is cheap, and for all the fighting going on, we readers have actually seen very little of it, mostly treated to the cheap stuff.
Well, enough of that, because Yamamoto's angry and up in arms, and we're treated to a ton of lovingly-drawn panels that emphasize just how much of a badass this old bald, bearded one-armed dude is.
Points of interest here include Juha Bach's cool sword (stored as a military style badge on his chest), the reveal that he's probably the guy that gave Yamamoto his first head scar (just how old is he?), the fact that Yamamoto slaughters three full Sternritter in one hit (including the As Nodt, the guy who "killed" Byakuya), and most importantly, this:
Yep, it's Zanka no Tachi, the old man's Bankai. Funny that I was more certain that we'd see his eventually than any other still-hidden bankai to date. At this rate we'll probably never see Kyouraku or Ukitake's.
You Bleach historians out there might notice a fun bit of visual thematic connection here between Ichigo and Yamamoto. Remember back when Ichigo first revealed his Tensa Zangetsu, and Byakuya was all "LOL THAT'S NOT A BANKAI NO BANKAI CAN BE SMALLER THAN THE DEFAULT SWORD IT'S THE RULES"
If he were alive, he'd probably have to eat those words.
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