Thoughts on Bleach Volume 14: White Tower Rocks

At the end of volume thirteen, Ganju and Hanatarô reached their goal. However, the arrival of a certain someone means that they are in some serious trouble.
Meanwhile, Ichigo has some recuperation to do.
Volume fourteen contains eight chapters, starting with chapter one hundred and sixteen and finishing up with chapter one hundred and twenty-three.

bleach-volume-14-white-tower-rocks

Creak, creak, tower of purgatory
Piercing the world like light
Sway, sway, tower of spine
Will it be us or the sky that falls?

Ichigo and Yoruichi race to save Ichigo’s friends from Rukia’s cold-blooded brother, Byakuya Kuchiki. They arrive to find Ganju in tatters, and Rukia with him. Ichigo is bent on defeating her brother this time, but he is nowhere near prepared. Can he learn decades’ worth of skill in just a matter of days?

We start with chapter 116, ‘White Tower Rocks’, which opens with the news of Aizen’s death being reported to 13th Company captain, Jûshirô Ukitake.
Ganju and Hanatarô find themselves confronted by Byakuya Kuchiki. As you might expect, Byakuya totally outclasses Ganju in strength – fortunately, Captain Ukitake shows up to prevent Byakuya from properly finishing him off.
Ichigo recovers consciousness elsewhere, and we get to see Yoruichi’s true form.
Ichigo wastes no time in making his way to Ganju and Hanatarô, using a special tool that allows him to fly.
Ichigo arrives, tells Rukia that he is there to save her and announces his intention to defeat Byakuya.

‘Remnant 2 (Deny the Shadow)’ is the title of chapter 117, where Ichigo tries to take on Byakuya, despite Rukia’s protests. However, Yoruichi interrupts their battle.

Renji communicates with his zanpaku-tô, Zabimaru, in chapter 118, ‘Supernal Tag’. Zabimaru is keen to fight Zangetsu again, but Renji says that Ichigo is no longer his enemy.
Yoruichi knocks Ichigo unconscious, and flees from Byakuya with him in tow. She tells Byakuya that she will make Ichigo stronger than him in just three days.

In chapter 119, ‘Secret of the Moon’, Byakuya leaves Jûshirô to deal with Ganju and Hanatarô. We are introduced to the two officers who share the 3rd seat position of the 13th company: Sentarô Kotsubaki and Kiyone Kotetsu.
Ukitake has Rukia returned to her cell. Ukitake tells Hanatarô he’ll let him live because he was trying to protect one of his subordinates.
Elsewhere, Uryû and Orihime acquire some Soul Reaper uniforms in order to blend in with their enemy. They draw the attention of someone, though.
This chapter ends with Yoruichi telling an unconscious Ichigo that they’ll talk about the real secret power of Zangetsu.

Yoruichi reveals to Ichigo that zanpaku-tô have a second release called bankai in chapter 120, ‘Shake Hands with Grenades’. Bankai should take ten or more years to master, but Yoruichi intends to have Ichigo learn it in just three days.
Elsewhere in the Seireitei, Uryû and Orihime have an encounter with some soul reapers – soul reapers who have been made into living bombs by Captain Kurotsuchi.

Orihime is able to erect a barrier just in time to protect herself and Uyrû from the explosion in chapter 121, ‘In Sane We Trust’. She also manages to protect a soul reaper from the 11th company, too.
Mayuri takes an interest in Orihime due to her powers, but it is Uryû who decides to fight him. He has the 11th company soul reaper take Orihime and run so he can fight the captain on his own.

The 11th company soul reaper runs as fast and far as he can in chapter 122, ‘Don’t Lose Your Grip’. He ends up knocking Orihime unconscious, as she struggles to get away from him.
Uryû fights Mayuri, going so far as to push him to release his shikai – Ashisogi Jizô. Uryû ends up getting wounded when Mayuri’s subordinate, Nemu Kurotsuchi, grabs him.

‘Pledge My Pride’ is the title of chapter 123. Uryû is disgusted by Mayuri sacrificing his assistant. When Mayuri continues to abuse the injured Nemu, Uryû tries to move only to discover that he can’t – a result of being cut by Ashisogi Jizô.
Mayuri ends up revealing that he experimented on Uryû’s grandfather and shows him a photo of the remains. Upon seeing this, Uryû is able to do something that allows him to get back on his feet. He swears on his honour as a Quincy that he will kill Mayuri.

That wraps up the 14th volume, which contains the first mention of bankai. We also get to witness the beginning of the fight between Uryu and Mayuri.
We also have the reveal of Yoruichi’s real form, and she leaves a naked first impression. She’s pretty casual about the whole thing and has no problem teasing Ichigo about it.
Once she gets serious, though, she sets things in motion for Ichigo to get his next power-up. Before that, we get to see whether if another of Ichigo’s friends is actually capable of defeating a captain.

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About Rory

I enjoy writing, manga, anime and video games, so naturally here on my blog, you will find anime reviews, my art, Nintendo news and other such things that I deem interesting.
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