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9:00 PM on 09.01.2014

Annotated Manga: Naruto chapter 690

Welcome (again) to the second incarnation of this week's Annotated Manga for Naruto! It seems that some technical foulup wiped all the text from the recap while the watchers were looking the other way (or asleep). Never fear, though, for a good ninja always keeps a backup, and this is it. Apologies for the mixup!

Josh Tolentino




Annotated Manga: Bleach chapter 593 photo
Annotated Manga: Bleach chapter 593
by Josh Tolentino

Bleach is lookin' good, if you don't mind my saying. 

I don't mean that by the state of its plot or the quality of its writing, but I do think that this last chapter has put out surprisingly striking visuals, a strong contrast to the relatively lackluster panels of the last few weeks.

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Annotated Manga: Bleach chapter 592 photo
Annotated Manga: Bleach chapter 592
by Josh Tolentino

When last we left the latest melee on Bleach's order of battle, Captain Kurotsuchi's revived Arrancar seemed to have GiGi Gewelle and her zombie troops in the bag. 

That is, until she brought out her trump card, a "zombie" Captain Hitsugaya, who was last seen half-dead following a tussle with Bazz-B and Cang Du. Will the frozen prince live up to his reputation as a (now-posthumous) prodigy?

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Annotated Manga: Naruto 688 photo
Annotated Manga: Naruto 688
by Josh Tolentino

Though we did just bid goodbye to the fifth wheel in Team 7's Reunion of Destiny, we were still left with a lingering question: Without the former final boss, how would the leads stand up to a risen deity? 

More particularly, what would Kakashi do, robbed as he was of his Sharingan, so long the key to all his abilities? 

This chapter answers that question, though not necessarily in the manner one might expect.

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Annotated Manga: Bleach chapter 591 photo
Annotated Manga: Bleach chapter 591
by Josh Tolentino

This week's chapter of Bleach is all about endings. Not about the ending, of course, but about the endings of the fights that much up this big, dumb manga, and how they can, on occasion, not be the end.

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Annotated Manga: Naruto chapter 687 photo
Annotated Manga: Naruto chapter 687
by Josh Tolentino

Well, that was sort of a long goodbye. 

Obito meets his end this chapter, and thanks to the magic of conveniently slow death-curses, he gets a chance to say his goodbyes.

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Annotated Manga: Naruto chapter 686 photo
Annotated Manga: Naruto chapter 686
by Josh Tolentino

And now it's time for everyone's favorite cowboy manga recap! Mosey on down to this 'ere ranch and let's get caught up in the tales of rootin'-est, tootin'-est cowboy that ever fought in the Fourth Ninja World War!

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Annotated Manga: Bleach chapter 590 photo
Annotated Manga: Bleach chapter 590
by Josh Tolentino

What is it with Quincy and creepers? I mean, every army has one or two creepy types, but it seems to me that when Ywach summoned all the "true" Quincy to his side the only place that had them was the madhouse. 

Well, whatever the reason for the Sternritter's unusually high nutball quotient, it seems that Kubo is grooming young Giselle "Gigi" Gewelle for a top spot.

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Annotated Manga: Naruto chapter 685 photo
Annotated Manga: Naruto chapter 685
by Josh Tolentino

Welcome again to your weekly dose of Association Ninja Soccer coverage. In today's update from the Interdimensional Ninja Cup 2014, and top-tier striker, Sasuke Uchiha, is ninja-running at speed toward his goal!

Will he make it? Or will humanity lose against the rabbit goddess in a crushing 7-1 final tally? Check out our detailed pitch analysis below!

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Annotated Manga: Bleach chapter 589 photo
Annotated Manga: Bleach chapter 589
by Josh Tolentino

Y'know, when Urahara said that getting transport ready to take Ichigo and crew to the Royal Palace would take "a minute or sixty", he wasn't kidding. Or maybe he was kidding, since I took him about two weeks worth of chapters to start us on this journey.

Either way, this week we get the principals ready for the next big fight while unfortunate humor and other nonsense tides us over back at the front lines.

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Annotated Manga: Bleach chapter 588 photo
Annotated Manga: Bleach chapter 588
by Josh Tolentino

I was reading through a bunch of my old recaps for Bleach - reading your old writing is a great way to make sure you don't get too full of yourself - and realized that I spend a lot of time talking about Bleach in generalities, rather than tackling the specifics of a given chapter or episode.

Let's do that again for a bit, shall we?

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Annotated Manga: Naruto chapter 684 photo
Annotated Manga: Naruto chapter 684
by Josh Tolentino

It's time to consider what would actually happen if the above panel was more a certainty than a bait-and-switch. What if Naruto died?

Well, for one, we'd probably have to change the title to Obito or Sasuke or even Team 7 if they wanted to honor the whole crew. And then the ending would probably be pretty dark.

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