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Why Hinata Should Have Been A Member Of Team 7 Instead Of Sakura

So it looks like The Fourth Ninja War is finally over. This was probably the most badly handled arc in the whole Naruto series but that’s a blog post for another day. Today, I want to talk to you about Team 7. Firstly, let’s take a look at this picture :
 
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Ain’t it just beautiful? I honestly think the greatest thing about this picture is the fact it shows that Sakura is the reason Naruto and Sasuke were able to seal Kaguya away.

 
I think it’s safe to say Sakura is the most hated character in the entire Naruto universe and arguably the most hated character in the whole manga/anime universe. Why? Because she is useless. There’s actually no other way to put it. She’s absolutely, 100% useless.

Sakura Useless
 
 

Before I go any further, I just want to state that this isn’t going to be an article bashing Sakura. But before I can talk about why Hinata would be a better fit for Team 7, I need to talk about what’s wrong with the current model.

 

Sakura has been a very poorly handled and designed character from the very beginning. Out of the members of Team 7, she was the only one with no real aspirations or reasons for getting stronger. Naruto has been alone pretty much since birth and was shunned by the entire village for reasons he had no control over. He wanted to become stronger so he could become Hokage so everyone would finally acknowledge him. Sasuke witnessed the brother he so dearly loved and admired slaughter his entire clan and so grew up without a family. He wanted to become stronger so he could seek vengeance against Itachi as well as resurrecting the Uchiha Clan. Kakashi grew up with the shame of his father forever hanging over his head and was also the reason both his team mates died. He wanted to become stronger so none of his team mates would ever be killed again. Sakura has no real back story and her only aspiration was to end up with Sasuke.

 

Throughout her whole life she’s been very two dimensional. There have been glimpses of potential here and there but not enough to warrant her being the main female character of the series. There wasn’t much character development for her because there wasn’t much for her character to be developed from. There was no jutsu she specialised in and the only thing she had was that she was book smart which lost all relevance very quickly. To try and make up for this she became a medical ninja which automatically sidelines her for most fights. The super strength she gained isn’t even used in a way that can be classed as taijutsu. She just throws punches and kicks with power behind them.

 
Sakura Punch
 

All in all, Sakura was doomed to fail from the very beginning.

 

Hinata, on the other hand, would have bought so much more depth to the series, had she been the main female protagonist. Lemme break it down for you.

 
  • She’s a woman in a man’s world
Unlike Sakura, who is just female for being a female’s sake, Hinata is a girl who will one day become the Head of one the most powerful and respected clans in the Naruto universe. There aren’t too many clans who are more revered than the Hyuga. That being said, the ninja world is one that is very male dominated. Out of all the Kage only two are female. So not only is there pressure on her becoming Head of the clan, there’s also the added pressure of her doing it whilst being female. She would have been a great role model for all the female fans of the show.
Hyuuga
  • She’s an introvert
There’s nothing wrong with being an introvert (I, myself, am a proud one) and she’s definitely proved that. At the beginning of the series she was so shy with zero self confidence yet as the series progressed she’s shown time after time, even in her fight with Neji, that she won’t allow that to hold her back. She even tried to take on Pein for flip’s sake! She definitely has guts when it’s needed. There are actually so many life lessons to be learnt from her.
Hinata vs Pein
 
 
  • Gentle Fist
Juken is by far the most beautiful and one of the most powerful taijutsu styles in the series. The Eight Trigrams Sixty-Four Palms is actually crazy!! If the female lead’s attack style is going to be taijutsu based, it might as well be one that has actually techniques which gives births to other techniques. Also, if Hinata had be trained by Tsunade, she would be able to incorporate the Sannin’s super strength into her already powerful Gentle Fist technique. Don’t let Naruto’s plotkai armour make you believe that Juken can’t kill you with one hit.
 
  • Byakugan
Personally, I’m actually disgusted with how the Byakugan has been treated. I don’t understand why it was thrown to the side like it was. For one of the Three Great Eye Techniques it was made to pale in comparison to the Sharingan and Rinnegan for no reason at all. The Sharingan kept being loaded with new abilities to the point it no longer made sense whilst the the Rinnegan was haxed even when it was introduced. If Hinata had been a main character, I’m positive all three eye techniques would have had their powers distrusted more equally. Please don’t forget that Kaguya used the Sharingan, Rinnegan AND Byakugan so it would have made sense if all three were involved to defeat her.
 
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  • Neji, the Head and the Branch families
I didn’t know how to break this one so I’m gonna do it all under one title. First let’s talk about Neji. The whole Neji/Hinata conflict was great but was a bit underdeveloped. Neji didn’t hate Hinata, he hated the Head family because of their dominance over the Branch family as well as them being the reason his father was killed. I think Kishimoto could have spun it in such a way that Neji hated Hinata because she was the reason his father was killed because it was her that got kidnapped. At first this may seem like a weak reason but if you couple it with the fact that Neji (being the genius he is) was a way better candidate for successor than she was, he could have hated her because, even though she was saved, she grew up to be a pathetic excuse of a Hyuga so it’s almost like his father died for nothing. This would’ve set up a nice little rivalry which would have grown throughout the series.

 
naruto - hinata vs neji
 

One thing I want to point out is that Hinata is as much a caged bird as Neji is. She has no choice but to become Head of the Hyuga even though everyone knows that she isn’t cut out to be the successor but she can’t do anything about because she’s trapped by destiny and tradition. This could be her reason for wanting to become stronger. Firstly, to prove to her father that she is worthy of being his successor. Secondly, to prove to Neji that his father wasn’t sacrificed in vain by surpassing her cousin in every way shape and form, whilst removing the ‘darkness’ in his heart. And thirdly (if Kishimoto wanted to hit it out of the park), so she could become Head and abolish the whole Head/Branch system and then step down to allow Neji to become Head. That would actually make Naruto perfect.

 

Well that’s my take on it folks. Hinata, even in the role she has now, has done more for the Narutoverse than Sakura ever could. If the Hyuga was made lead female she could have done so much more. Alas, what’s done is done but maybe we’ll see a better constructed Team 7 who all have so sort of actual depth in another lifetime.

 
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Minato and the Nine Tails

Sooooo….on the last page of this week’s chapter we had this amazing panel…

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And before that we see that Minato, like his son Naruto, has a Nine Tails Chakra Mode.

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Naruto fans all over the world were going crazy over this father-and-son-both-having-a-Kyubi-mode moment.

 

To be honest this really annoyed me because it MAKES NO SENSE!!!

 

I think it’s time for a little history lesson to explain why. We’ll look at three events when the Dead Demon Consuming Seal appeared because that seems to be the basis of Minato’s new found power.

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Event One: Orochimaru vs the Third Hokage

 

I’m not even gonna touch on the fact that the Third was able to stand his ground against the two strongest Hokage (a discussion for another post). We’ll solely look at when the Third used DDCS.

 

He used it in two different yet similar ways. When he used it on the First and Second, their souls were taken completely out of their bodies and sealed each into a Shadow Clone’s body.

 

When he used it on Orochimaru, the Third didn’t have enough strength to pull his student’s soul out completely (might have had something to do with the sword sticking outta his chest), so instead he only sealed the bit of Orochimaru’s soul that resided in his arms, hence stopping him from being able to use any ninjutsu ever again. This part of the Sannin’s soul was then stored inside the Third. The Reaper then gobbled up all the souls where they would be for the rest of eternity.

 

Event Two: Minato and Kushina vs the Nine Tails.

 

Minato used the DDCS with the intention of sealing the Nine Tails’ Yin chakra away. I already have a gripe with this since the Death God consumes souls, not chakra, but let’s continue none the less. So Minato sealed the Nine Tail’s Yin chakra into his own body and used the Eight Trigrams Seal to seal its Yang chakra into Naruto. The DDCS wasn’t used to seal the Kyubi inside Naruto. It’s not that kind of sealing jutsu.

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The Reaper then gobbled up all the souls where they would be for the rest of eternity.

 

Event Three: Orochimaru and the DDCS Reversal.

 

So Orochimaru found a way to reverse the DDCS technique and is able to rescue the souls of the Four Hokages and his arms. I repeat…

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THE FOUR HOKAGES AND HIS ARMS WERE RELEASED!!!

 

Even though the First, Second and Orochimaru’s arms were sealed inside the Third, after the sealing ceremony was over their final resting place was inside the Reaper’s stomach – not inside the Third – which is how Orochimaru was able to retrieve them. By the same logic the Nine Tail’s Yin chakra should be inside the Reaper’s stomach…not inside Minato.

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And even if the Yin chakra did somehow find its way into Minato, are you really going to tell me that the Fourth conquered the Nine Tails and learned to use the NTCM all whilst being dead? The Edo Tensei Shinobi have all but confirmed that they aren’t conscious whilst in the afterlife and Minato was planning to spending eternity inside the Reaper so he would have no need to learn to control the Nine Tails ‘within him’.

 

Anyways that’s my take on the whole situation. Please lemme know what you think. Your comments are always welcome.

 

Peace

 

Mizuoni.


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Bixlow

Fairy Tail’s Bixlow (also written Bickslow) was a character who immediately caught my attention. I’ve always been a fan of the dark and sinister and that pretty much sums Bixlow up. And the fact he was a member of Fairy Tail just compounded my interest him, he looked like a villain yet here he was. His personality wasn’t as sinister as I thought it would be but I love how eccentric he is, especially the way he relates Lucy with Cosplay and his constant trolling of Evergreen about her relationship with Elfman. For some reason I thought he’d have long flowing hair but ah well lol. And his tongue tattoo…epic.

Bixlow’s magic of choice, Human Possession Magic, is one of the more creative types of magic in the Fairy Tail Universe. Stemming from Seith Magic – magic allowing the caster to trap wandering souls (human or animal) and manipulating them as they wish – Bixlow uses dolls as his medium and he pretty much switch up what he puts his dolls into. I think it’s cute he’s given them all individual names lol (they are called Pappa, Peppe, Pippi, Poppo and Puppu). The fact that he’s part of Raijinshu – Laxus’ personal group of bodyguards – is a testament to his power. He, Freed and Evergreen pretty much wiped out most of Fairy Tail on their own.

Battle-wise Bixlow is solid. His dolls fire beams of energy which makes him good for short, medium and long range battles. He can even ride his dolls through the air.

Add the fact he can seemingly make things explode from the inside outwards, he’s not someone you want to mess with.

If you then add his Figure Eyes magic – which allows him to control the soul of anyone who looks directly into his eyes – Bixlow poses a hell of a problem to anyone he fights.

His Human Possession/Figure Eyes combo means you basically have to fight with your eyes closed if you don’t want him controlling your soul as well as dodging his ‘babies’. It’s an almost foolproof strategy (I could poke holes in it but I won’t lol) which all but a select few could beat.

All in all Bixlow is a great character. It would have been amazing if he had participated in the Grand Magic Games (I cry myself to sleep every night because he wasn’t included in the Fairy Tail team). Hopefully he’ll get some more screen time and we’ll get to see more of his awesomeness!!!


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Asuma Sarutobi

The first time I saw Asuma fight (when he was protecting Shikamaru from that group of Sound Nin) I knew I had sorely underestimated him. In this world of ninjas where most people used ninjutsu or genjutsu, here we have one hell of a taijutsu specialist. And I’m not talking about the almost graceful style of taijustu used by Guy and Rock Lee, I’m talking about a nitty-gritty raw brawling style of fighting. And if that wasn’t enough, this guy fights with a pair of bladed knuckle dusters!!

So who was Asuma Sarutobi? Asuma was the son of Hiruzen Sarutobi  – the Third Hokage. So from birth he was destined to become a great ninja. He was a member of the Twelve Guardian Ninja – a group of elite ninja who were bodyguards to the Fire Daimyo. His skills were so legendary that he had a bounty of 35 million ryo on his head on the black market. He became the Sensei of Team 10 (which consisted of Shikamaru, Ino and Chouji) who went on to become one of the best tag teams in the Naruto Universe. But I think his best achievement was hooking up with one of the hottest kunoichi Naruto has to offer – Kurenai Yuhi. Asuma was definitely living the life!

Jutsu-wise, Asuma was a pretty rounded guy. His taijutsu was amazing to watch and he specialised in fire and wind nature ninjustu. His Fire Style: Ash Pile Burning Jutsu is one of my favourite jutsu in the Naruto Universe. It’s such an effective move. First it surrounds its victim in a smokescreen of ash then BOOM!!! A massive and destructive explosion of fire using the ash as its medium. His chakra blades are nothing to turn your nose up at either. When infused with his wind chakra, their cutting potential is greatly increased and can even block an attack from Kisame’s Samehada.

I dont think Asuma’s death wasn’t as big as a blow as Kishimoto was possibly expecting but that’s to be expected since he hardly got any screen time and there wasn’t really anything that memorable about him. Plus the fact he was killed at the beginning of the Kakazu/Hidan ‘arc’ just made him seem like a throwaway character. But the scene where he said his last words to his pupils was amazing!

 

I loved how even whilst dying he was still cracking jokes.

When he got brought back by the Edo Tensei Jutsu I was actually really excited at the prospect of him going up against Team 10. I was pretty happy with how the fight panned out (no plotkai complaints here lol), they truly deserved that win..although I feel that Asuma could have easily won that fight. And his final words to his pupils…

 

Truly beautiful. I feel like that was a perfect end for him.

In conclusion, he may have hardly had any screen time but he did more than enough to find his way into our heart – the chain-smoking, bladed knuckle duster boxing ninja that was Asuma. RIP Dude.

 


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Racism in Bleach?!

I feel one of Bleach’s defining features is the fact it actually has black characters that have actual relevance to the story and what characters they are! Kaname Tousen is actually one of favourite manga characters of all time – his amazing Zanpakuto, his cool visor…what’s not to love?! But something has been in the back of my mind for a long time – is there racial prejudice towards the ethic characters in Bleach. Does Kubo poke fun at the stereotypical views held of people that have coloured skin?

Kaname Tousen

The first black character we come in contact with in the Bleach universe. He has so much going on for him but at the same time he has a lot against him. First of all he’s blind. Out of all the characters he could have chosen he picked the black guy to be the blind one. Coincidence? So that makes him Kaname Tousen: the blind man looking for revenge – this oxymoron is actually hilarious but why Tousen? And on top of that he might not even be blind. Remember this?

 

The man, who at one time was the pinnacle for justice and righteousness, is demoted to a mere lackey who wants to take out the law enforcement agency that did wrong by him…definitely living the thug life.

Lastly he’s a thief. Suzumushi is an amazing Zanpakuto but it’s not his, it was his lady friend’s. And if it wasn’t bad enough that he stole, try adding the fact that he took it from her coffin during her wake!!! Really Tousen? Really?

 

Zommari Rureaux

Next up we have the Septima Espada, Zommari. Apart the fact his nose and lips were ENORMOUS, Zommari had the level of arrogance that seems all too common in the young male black community these days. And, like a lot of ‘gangsters’, this arrogance is a front as we see when he pleads for his life when he knows he is beat.

 

Next we have his Resurreccion, Brujeria (which by the way means ‘witchcraft’ in Spanish…). If this isn’t a representation of black magic I don’t know what is. I mean his head turns 90 degrees for this form to be activated for crying out loud. It also shows the materialistic nature of black people that we see every time we watch a rap music video. ‘Taking ownership of whatever he sees and wants’ pretty much sums up the type of black man Zommari is being made to portray.

And the whole “WHY WON’T YOU ACCEPT MY LOVE?!” thing…-___-….

Tier Harribel

To put it bluntly, Harribel is a prostitute and not a classy high society escort type either. Was it too much to ask for a jacket that completely covered her breasts instead of finishing half way up? To make matters worse, the only way she thought she could get the upper hand during her fight was to flash a pre-pubescent (gotta admit I’ve been watching a lot of Big Bang Theory lately) boy.

And like a prostitute, she was discarded once her usefulness was over. Harribel was the only Espada not killed by a Gotei 13 Shinigami/Vizard and the only one of the top three Espada not to get any sort of backstory chapter. Surely such a powerful character should be treated with more respect? But then again she is at least part black so could we really expect anything more?

Baraggan Louisenbairn

Poor poor Baraggan. I can’t even find the words to express how sorry I feel for this guy. He started at the bottom and worked all the way to the top and became God of Hueco Mundo. He was actually living the life and rightly he should. Then what happens? Aizen comes along and steals the empire Baraggan worked so hard to create. It seems, even in the world of manga, not only can the white man come and take whatever the black man has, he can then go on and enslave him. Where’s Martin Luther King Jr when you need him? And it seems Aizen (more precisely Kubo who created Aizen) isn’t above rubbing salt in Baraggan wounds. Abilities-wise Baraggan would DESTROY Starrk any day of the week (just to say I love Starrk just as much as I love Baraggan) and yet Starrk is the Primero Espada. Just another example of how no matter how superior a black man is, his white colleague will always be put ahead of him. And was it really necessary to make his breath so bad it killed people?! The indirect insults go on and on.

Well folks, these are just but a few examples of how the ethnic community has been portrayed in Bleach. Is this manga racist or is it all just coincidence? You decide.

[P.S. Just to point out I am black and I don’t actually believe Bleach or Kubo is racist in any way shape or form. This is all in the name of banter ^_^]


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Chapter Review: Naruto 601 – Obito and Madara

Soooo…Madara makes an appearance and seemingly knows Obito even though there’s like three or four generations between them. How is this possible? I just don’t know. Obito is just as surprised as everyone that Madara is still there even though the Edo Tensei was released. But to be fair, like he said, this is Madara Uchiha we’re talking about XD.

Naruto overreacts as usual (definitely needs some anger management classes) and misses the point completely. He’s asking why the Uchiha is where he is and not where the Kages are…shouldn’t he be asking how he is still ‘alive’ even though the Edo Tensei was released?     And this guy wants to be Hokage? And in typical Madara fashion he instantly knows that this Naruto is a shadow clone. Then there’s some more overreacting Naruto and demanding what happened to the Kages. And the response we get from Madara is “I wonder…I guess…”

Madara’s complete disregard for human life is really funny. These are five of the strongest, most respected ninja of this time and he couldn’t care less. So how did he beat them? WE DON’T KNOW!!! Skipped fight scenes have to be the BIGGEST taboo in manga and yet they happen sooo often! Firstly it’s disrespectful to the Kages. Five of the strongest living ninja and we don’t get to see how they met their end. Keep in mind they’re not fighting for fighting’s sake but to ensure the continuation of the free world as they know it. Everyone’s hope, dreams and ideals are banking on the outcome of this fight and we don’t get to see how those hopes and dreams are crushed?! Secondly it’s disrespectful to Madara. Going 5 on 1 with the Kages is by no means an easy feat for any ninja. Yes, it’s a plotkai, but in honour of such an important plotkai it should be shown how it happened. Lastly it’s disrespectful to the FANS!! We deserve to see how these epic characters met their end!!

That’s my rant over lol. So next Tsunade regains consciousness and summons Katsuyu the Slug…where she gets the chakra to do this from I don’t know. And then what do we see?

It seemed a bit strange that the Kages were all intact but then we see Tsunade’s upper and lower body have been separated. How they managed to become separated either side of that giant tree branch is mystery that will probably remain unanswered forever but bravo to Madara for the creativity. Here we see the true mark of a Kage. Instead of saving herself first she decides to put what little strength she has into healing her comrades. This is more deep and pivotal than it seems. This is the ninja world we’re talking about. These guys have been fighting each other for generations in one form of another. Chances are, after the war the villages will go back to fighting amongst themselves because that’s what they do. You might think this would be a great opportunity to get rid of some of the competition and make your village the strongest military force in the world. But instead Tsunade makes a move towards the united ninja world her close friend Jiraya dreamed of…but it will probably come at the expense of her own life… Or leave her in a wheel chair at the very least.

Next up Naruto removes the spikes Obito planted in the Eight-Tails and launches them at the Uchihas. Obito returns Madara’s fan to him and Madara activates Susanoo. It was actually very interesting to see how casually Obito talks to Madara. There’s absolutely no sense of hierarchy between them even though Madara is a legend.

Madara blocks the spikes with ease and we find out that he seemingly knows about the Tsuki no Me plan. The more the chapter goes on, the more questions there are to be answered. Obito has a bit of a healing moment while Madara questions why he started the plan early. Then we find out Madara knew of Nagato too and finally the jutsu that caused me so much annoyance, the Rinne Tensei Jutsu, finally made sense. When Nagato killed half of Konoha only to bring them back to life I was not impressed in the slightest. But now we know that jutsu had an actual purpose – to revive Madara. Before I go on I want to draw your attention back to chapters 559 and 560.

When Madara was first summoned using the Impure World Technique he assumed it was Nagato using the Rinne Tensei Jutsu that brought him back to life. Also his seemingly unimportant rambling about things not going to plan finally makes sense – he was in on the Tsuki no Me plan from the beginning!! He then finds out about Nagato’s betrayal and says “Everyone’s doing as they like…”. It’s pretty clear now that this whole plan was Madara’s idea to begin with.

Then, in typical Naruto fashion, Naruto attacks Madara – the guy who just took out five Kages – only for his Mini Biju Bomb to be blocked by Madara’s fan and then absorbed using the Rinnengan. Then comes that devastating Uchiha Gaeshi. I can’t say for certain but I think, based on the attack’s name, he used the power of the Biju Bomb against Naruto…not too sure though. And poof…the shadow clone disappears. Madara then goes after the Eight and Nine Tails and leaves Kakashi and Guy to Obito. And then…

So Obito did survive…and was apparently saved by an old, decrepit Madara Uchiha. I see a few things wrong with that. Firstly, Obito’s whole right side was crushed and yet his eye is completely intact. Erm how? Secondly, how could Madara be alive? To be honest it is possible since he was alive when Oniki, the Third Tsuchikage, was so it’s plausible. But from everything we’ve been told Madara was killed by Hashirama, the first Hokage, and someone like Madara couldn’t just vanish off the face of the world, could he?

It’s interesting how he says “between your world and the next…” instead of “between our world and the next”. Obviously he doesn’t think of himself being part of the normal world and/or lives in another dimension. I’m sure we’ll find out next week lol.

I gave this chapter 7/10 because of the skipped Kage battle.


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Shunsui Kyoraku

Who is Shunsui Kyoraku?

Shunsui, one of the strongest captains the Gotei 13 has ever had (only after being forced to go to the Bleach version of military school), likes to spend his time sleeping, drinking alcohol (roping anyone he can find to join him even if they are underage) and flirting with any female he comes across, especially his Lieutenant Nanao Ise who works extremely hard to make up for the inactivity of her commander. When he does decide to become serious and fight an enemy (which is not very often), he treats the whole affair like one big game in which he will happily cheat to win by lurking in shadows and stabbing people in the back whilst they fight up to three other opponents.

The Real Shunsui

To start with, let’s have a look at a man behind the swords. Shunsui is the second son of the Kyoraku Family, a high ranking family in Soul Society (the place where spirits live). Being the second son he wouldn’t have been trained as head of the family like his older brother, instead he would have been trained academically and would have become a doctor or lawyer or something. Alas Shunsui hated studying and training, preferring to spend his time chasing after girls (a man after my own heart ^_^). Unfortunately for him the Captain-Commander of the Gotei 13 (basically an army full of samurai warriors) saw through his laziness and saw his potential and he was sent off to the Bleach version to military school – Shino Academy. Here he met his best friend Jushiro Ukitake and the pair quickly topped their class and became the personal favourites of Yamamoto himself. They would go on to become the first graduates of the Academy to go on and become Captains of the Gotei 13, Shunsui leading the 8th Division.

So what’s so amazing about Shunsui? His laid back demeanour and lack of work ethic make him an instantly likeable character. Add to the fact he knows he can do squat-all and get away with it because his pretty lieutenant Nanao will pick up his slack, leaving him plenty of time to drink alcohol and sleep – he’s definitely living the life. You’d think someone like that would be arrogant and cocky but Shunsui is one of the most humble, respectful guys you’ll ever meet. And his insight is something else. My favourite quote of his is “Don’t try to be a good guy. It doesn’t matter who owes who. From the instant they enter into a war, both sides are evil” He doesn’t try and justify fighting because to him it’s wrong whichever way you look at it which is probably why he tries to avoid a fight whenever he can. But when he does fight…damn!! He’s an ‘all’s fair in love and war’ type of guy and will do whatever it takes to win. I wouldn’t be surprised if he took his opponent’s mother hostage just to get an opening. But all in all, a very cool dude.

 

Katen Kyokotsu

Shunsui’s swords,  Katen Kyokotsu, have to be one of my favourite in the Bleach universe. Whilst every other Shinigami in the Bleach universe has one sword, Shunsui’s zanpakuto (in typical go-against-the-grain Shunsui fashion) exist as two separate swords and what gorgeous swords they are! A pair of beautifully designed scimitars with those lavish red tassels…definitely one of the best looking Shikai. And on top of that she has a personality to match her sharp looks. Imagine. She only allows Shunsui to use the abilities she wants him to use and only when she feels like letting him use them, but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t mind being ordered around by a woman like that ;).

 

 

Abilities-wise Katen Kyokotsu is pretty sweet. Before we actually knew what she could do it was pretty much assumed she had the ability to manipulate wind because of her release command (Flower Wind Rage and Flower God Roar, Heavenly Wind Rage and Heavenly Demon Sneer) and Kubo Tite, being the troll that he is, “confirmed” this with Bushogoma which basically a big swirling wind prison.  When we found out what he ability really was I can honestly say we were all surprised – the ability to “make children’s games real”. That’s a pretty ambiguous statement but it has a vast amount of potential with a million different possible techniques. The techniques we have seen have all been creative but some are lacking in quality whilst others are just amazing. The greatest and most unique thing about Katen Kyokotsu is the fact that it is it can be as harmful to Shunsui as it is to his opponent – she doesn’t play favourites. If you have a grasp of the game concepts then Shunsui’s greatest asset could also become his greatest weakness.

Bushogoma (meaning Lazy Spinning Top, the equivalent of Beyblades ) ensnares the opponent in powerful tornado-like winds, buffeting them and obscuring their view. This is a nice opening technique which gives Shunsui time to lead into a number of other techiques.

Takaoni (meaning Mountain Ogre) was stopped by Starrk before Shunsui use it but I can’t see how the “If you’re higher, you win” will be anything amazing. Maybe it makes the person’s attack stronger if they are above their opponent.

With Kageoni (Shadow Ogre) you “lose if you step on a shadow”. This is a really effective attack since you don’t have to be near your opponent to hit them since shadows can stretch quite far depending on the lighting. Being allowed to hide in shadows is also a cool ability.

Irooni (Colour Ogre) is definitely my favourite of Shunsui’s abilities because, unless he tells you how it works (or you’re just that guy like Starrk was), you’re pretty much a sitting duck. Only being able to cut a certain colour is an unusual technique, even by Bleach standards, especially since cutting a colour you aren’t wearing (or wearing a little of) will do minimal damage and vice-versa. This technique could be a game changer especially against people like Kenpachi. The only thing I don’t like about this technique is the way it was used to plotkai Starrk, the Primero Espada who was in Ressurecion Form. Defeating an Espada with a Shikai (I don’t condone Rukia’s win either btw) is just disrespect on Kubo’s part. Staark deserved much better but that’s a topic for another blog post.   

 

Possible Bankai

I think Shunsui’s Bankai will be similar to Tousen’s as in it won’t be a weapon as such but rather a space/area/dimension. I think he will retain a pair of swords (probably the same as his Shikai) whilst the Bankai is active. As for abilities I think the game theme will be carried over as well as the unbiasedness of the Shikai. The ability will be something along the lines of everyone within the boundary of the Bankai takes it in turns to make up a rule that everyone within the boundary is forced to follow or suffer the consequences. The games only end when someone dies.

 

Future Captain-Commander?

Out of all the current Gotei Captains I feel Shunsui is the best candidate to take Yamamoto’s job should the old timer decide it’s time to retire or kick the bucket. He has over 200 years of experience as a Gotei Captain, his battle prowess is unmatched by all but a very few individuals and his zanpakuto is as deadly and versatile as he is. His insight was remarkable enough to be commended by the Captain-Commander himself. His laid back demeanour would be a change to the Gotei, certainly making him more approachable by his subordinates and fellow captains but whether this would be a good change or not, I’m not sure.

Ukitake has the wisdom but his health is waaaaaay to temperamental and his Zanpakuto’s ability is pretty limited (whether his Bankai makes up for this we’ll find out). Unohana certainly has the many admirable qualities but her role as a medic is too important for her to have additional duties put on her. Kenpachi has the power but he’s all about battle, forget politics. Shinji and Byakuya will make excellent candidates in about a hundred years. In my opinion the only thing they lack is the experience.

 

Conclusion

 Shunsui is a pretty epic character. He’s a lazy, alcoholic who chases women but he’ll still take you out before you know what happened with a zanpakuto which is just as unique as he is. His only let down is he doesn’t get as much screen time as other characters even though he’s much cooler and stronger. Some more information and developments about his past, his relationships with Ukitake, Lisa and Nanao would also be greatly appreciated and maybe a situation where he loses his cool and goes berserk!! But all in all…EPIC!!!

Character Rating: 9/10