Bleach – Nation Mourns Whats-His-Face

Bleach 486

Maybe if he had some practice with the damn thing...

How many times have I brought up how little I know about Bleach? I don’t know, but it’s definitely less than 486 times. Well now we have a chapter where almost everyone reading is having the same reaction I usually have to major events. Sasakibe’s recent death came right out of nowhere, and it strongly gave the impression that it was done to allow one or two plot developments later on, rather than for any emotional response. Sure, that happens all the time in stories, but the audience shouldn’t know you’re doing that. Death is supposed to be tragic, not something to move the story out of convenience, so no matter why someone dies, the default response should be one of tragedy.

The problem is that we knew almost nothing about Sasakibe. He was just one of those guys who was around sometimes, taking up a slot in the Gotei 13 roster. He’s kinda like Tenten from Naruto, except worse because there are a dozen other Tentens scattered around. If I had taken the opportunity to read the early chapters of Bleach, I don’t think I would know much more about him than I do now. That’s why he was chosen to die, since there was an attack on Soul Society and there needed to be a familiar face in it. The one dead character you barely know is more memorable than the dozens of dead characters you don’t know at all.

Of course the other purpose for having him die is for his Bankai to get taken. I still don’t know the exact method by which that happened, though I’m sure this plot point came from everyone asking about the unknown Bankais lots of people have and there needing to be an excuse to show them. Most likely this will lead to someone who knew Sasakibe fighting against the person using the Bankai, though I’m not sure how they’ll recognize it if he hasn’t used it before. I don’t even remember what his Shikai was supposed to be. I do find it interesting that Bankai, which was once the pinnacle of Shinigami power, may have effectively become a tradeable commodity, if those disks holding them are significant.

There’s not much else to say. It’s hard to think of much to talk about when the person who died was fairly unremarkable. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about him in the future, since we’ll probably get a flashback when his killer or Bankai holder shows up. And since it looks like all the scattered groups are being gathered together, don’t be surprised if we have more funerals for random side characters in the near future.

And now a moment of silence for the other recent loss we’ve had recently. The Bleach anime has ended after seven and a half years. I still remember seeing the occasional episode on TV back when it was still about Ichigo and Rukia fighting random Hollows. The story may have gone up and down, but I know it will be sadly missed.

Posted on March 31, 2012, in Bleach, Chapter Discussions, Series and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I hope there are no more side character deaths, not that I particularly care about them but it just makes for very boring reading. The problem with Bleach, as it has been since the Soul Society arc ended, is that it moves far too much at its own pace. The author seems to be perfectly content to let the audience dawdle with it for 50 chapters before anything interesting happens. Now, not to say writing and drawing manga is easy (all credit is given where it is due) however, I would have thought with the steep decline in Bleach fandom and the anime’s inevitable cancellation, he would have set this last arc up to start as he would want it to finish – fast paced and exciting, like everyone felt when we did first see Bankais.

    Now I’m not even interested in Bankais. I’m not particularly bothered what Sasakibe’s bankai was. Too many characters and far too many of them are so under developed, I find it hard to care about their zanpakutou nor their deaths. I will keep reading but so far, the manga doesn’t seem like it knows its ending, it seems to just be going at it usual pace. Which is what got it in this sticky position with whats his face dying and no one particularly doing a double take about it. I hope it picks up.

    • It’s very strange how the pace of Bleach has been. Everything goes very slowly, and then events like Sasakibe’s death just appear out of nowhere. I expected the pacing to be a little slow to allow the series to last a bit longer, but I’m hoping it doesn’t reach Deicide levels.

    • II think Kubo’s been creating Bleach with a “Screw it, I’m gonna do whatever the hell I want” attitude from the start, with little consideration for either the overall structure of the manga or his audience.

  2. I must’ve misinterpreted the whole thing because I didn’t think he died because his Bankai was taken. Oh well, can’t say he’ll be missed. I barely know Sasakibe. I didn’t know his name until like late in the series too.

    • I don’t think taking his Bankai is what killed him, but from a story perspective it’s part of why they revealed him to have Bankai. They want to use it later for even more DRAMA!

  3. Ok, as someone that has sat down and read all of the Bleach Manga, i must ask … Who the fuck is Sasakibe? was he a character in the background sometimes, did he fight anyone? I’m sorry, but eith a cast so big, you gotta kill someone a little more relevant to the story.

    • I believe he’s one of the lieutenants from the Soul Society arc who Ichigo beat in one punch. Clearly he was a powerful individual whose death clearly shows how strong the Vandenreich is. Clearly.

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