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9/13 c36 lurkweed it odd that I'm still sorta pulling for Tezima? Solid, nasty but vaguely understandable mid-tier antagonist whose origin I really didn't see coming. Anyhow, good for Isane, Nanao & Momo for getting waaaayyyy more to effectively do here than at any point I can recall in the official story (hell, stories). Speaking of character relevance, oddly good to see Kanonji again. Finally: real shitkicker of a bookend for Yoshi.
9/13 c35 lurkweed *that's* why the fucker's second release is Cerberus: triple-stacked possession. Why do I get the impression some extra involved necromancy and/or mortal-realm magick will be necessary to unglue this particular matryoshka? In other news, that ploy with the 'miracle cures' is less viscerally grim than I'd been anticipating but still one doozy of a strategic move. Nice to get some answers on these very long-run plot points.
9/2 c36 23Simply Christian
And now for the second chapter released!

When the shadowy defender had fought Tosen, I admit it slipped my mind that Hinamori now had Katen Kyokotsu, even as I thought to myself that the shadows and the scimitars reminded me of Kyoraku.
And fortunately, Momo narrowly avoided getting Medusa’d by Nanao again, and delivered a powerful psychological blow against Tosen by revealing her parentage.

It is hilarious that Ichigo chose Kanonji to hide Minazuki, but also makes perfect sense: nobody would ever look there.

Between Rangiku, Momo, and Gin, it seems like the SWA unwittingly hosted a “Traitor to Soul Society” convention.

I love Isane’s big moment, where she managed to fight off a toxin crafted by Unohana. Shows how far she’s come.

And what a way to end the chapter; Shoto and Hiruko succeed in getting away with Minazuki only after the latter threatens to accuse Kon of rape, only to be face-to-face with Aizen and Unohana, and there is a Hollow assault starting on Tanelorn.
I’m going to take a wild guess and say that the next chapter will not be “War Approaches” but “War is Here.”
9/2 c35 Simply Christian
Great to see another chapter!

I loved the introduction of Sora at the beginning of this chapter. One of the many great missed opportunities in canon was for Orihime to meet up with her brother in Soul Society. I could understand it not happening in their first trip, as it would seem a bit too contrived for the team to meet up with two souls they knew in life in the same place, but it would have been nice for it to happen at a later date.
Not to mention that technically in canon, we have never seen a confirmation of the claim that Hollows purified by shinigami arrive in Soul Society…

And man, coming back to this story I completely forgot how many years has passed that Yuzu is old enough to be studying for a PhD.

The scene between Arashi and Aizen was good, with the uncle tearing into his nephew for his deceit and expressing his full intent to oppose him… while still offering unconditional love for him. Definitely something that Sosuke is going to be unsettled by in the upcoming war.

And Gin found a lead to kill Starrk using a method introduced in one of the earliest episodes of Bleach, and for the cherry on top, this was subtly foreshadowed by how the first scene of this chapter featured the soul who had been a victim of that method.
8/30 c36 Bhoddisatva
Happy to see a couple new chapters! Always a fine read! Looking forward to the next chapter.
8/29 c36 4PA2 was a thing, huh?

Seriously, this latest update had so much going on that I'm running into some processing issues, and I mean that in the best way possible. The intensity, the emotion, the plots within plots, the reveals, all of it was just so perfect and so worth the nearly year-long-wait to get to them. If I had to narrow it down to some favorite scenes in particular, absolutely one of the top ones would be Katsurou's confrontation with Aizen, and not just because of the plot drops regarding the Sogyoku garden. No, what made the scene was the emotional impact it had, as not only has it showed just how far Katsurou has come since the start of the story, but also made me feel for Aizen. Aizen, of all people! That alone is worth high praise!

And then there was that supremely high-tension encounter with Tosen and Tezima, Gin's revelation on the way to properly defeat Stark, Kujako and Hiruko playing right into Unohana's hands, that attempted revival of Ichigo's Hollow, and of course the grand return of Yoshi Hitsujikai, who is probably wishing right now that he'd been forgotten. These chapters truly felt like the beginning of the end, and my only complaint is that I'm worried that if I have to wait another year for the next installment the anxiety may be detrimental to my health. As all these plans converge, what will be the outcome? Who will live? Who will die? I don't know, but I can hardly wait to find out!
11/26/2022 c33 lurkweed
I'd be truly remiss not to mention how stupendously, queasily eerie this 'pregnancies garden Sokyoku...?' buildup's progression has gotten. Especially the bit where the Ichiruki kids learn their mom was apparently an early Unohana experiment prior to the big success in superdupercharging Takuiyoku/Aizen (though way to cut that scene off so it *still* retains some aggravating mystery. Seriously, frustrating but sage call). Also morbidly tickled to know Mayuri's obscene weaponizing of Gramps Ishida gave him a terminal ass-bite. And Cernunnos' long game toward possessing Stark? Talk about 'whoever wins, most of the afterlife loses'.
11/25/2022 c33 23Simply Christian
Toshiro’s last moments with Shirabe were heart-breaking, especially when Hinamori’s visit was brought up.

And Kyoraku was the captain of the Second Division at one point? When did he become captain of the Eighth?

I like the touch that the Gotei 13 was not always the Gotei *13*. I recall that it was revealed in the TYBW arc that a thousand years ago, they were just known as “divisions,” implying they were unnumbered earlier in their history, and this was further supported in one of the filler arcs in a flashback, where we saw several captains wear haoris without numbers on the back. Unfortunately, this recently got retconned by the reveal of who the original thirteen captains were, but I still prefer the back story that the Gotei 13 were once just the Gotei.

The ancient hunter who was murdered… was that based on Otzi the Iceman?

Okay, so Kyoraku isn’t Hinamori’s illegitimate father, but instead the daughter of Sakezuki Akio. And I admit, while I felt like I should have recognized the name, it wasn’t until I saw the scene of his death that I recalled exactly who he was.

And holy crap, Kyoraku was privy to quite a bit of Unohana and Aizen’s machinations without connecting the dots. The death of Sosuke’s mother, the murders Hinamori committed, the death of Sakezuki; all those times Kyoraku could have been a monkey wrench for Unohana's plans if he had taken action...

The assault on Kyoraku and Ukitake was intense! It was brilliant how the servants of the household were able to create traps to defend themselves against Hollows. And the flash-bombs were an ingenious counter to the sense-dampening effect of Kaname’s power.
While Kyoraku’s death wasn’t surprising, I had really hoped Ukitake could have survived.

And it turned out the maid is Hinamori! And she now bears Katen Kyokotsu! I’m really hoping things go well for her on her journey forward.

One thing I was expecting but didn’t see was the fallout of Ichigo going behind Rukia’s back to have the Arashi mages examine their kids. Though I can’t help but think it is a contributing factor to Ichigo’s “midlife crisis.”

Well done, and I look forward to the next chapter!
11/23/2022 c33 Ero-kun
Good bye, Jushiro. Good bye, Shunsui.

Once again I'm left feeling both immense satisfaction and annoyance. Satisfaction, because you never fail to deliver. Annoyance, because I'm greedy and want more. Lifted Up is an absolute gem.

Thank you, Tomas.
11/23/2022 c1 ItsNotTheMoon
This is a sequel, so I’m looking for the prequel.
I can’t find it,I would like to read this but reading out of order doesn’t do it for me.
9/18/2022 c32 lurkweed
Gotta second that last poster WRT Hammered Down & Lifted up being worthy of preservation-through-relocation if this site finally croaks. This is honestly the only Bleach-related anything I follow anymore, and absolutely deserves a wider audience.
9/18/2022 c1 Lucy
Hello Thomas. Sorry not a review. I was just wondering if you will consider putting your fanfic on archive of our own ? There's persistent rumors that has not been looked after for quite a while and will eventually go down... I also think you'll reach a lot more readers on AO3 and your stories really deserves to be more well known. Just a thought. Wish you the best. Take care
8/20/2022 c32 lurkweed
There's still something about (a) each chapter's flow, (b) the unfolding revelations and (c) your awesome takes on the Espada. Harribel remains my favorite for the snazzy resurrecion, but Tatsuki's timeshare pals are also a pip. In other news here's hoping Noboru gets let down easy or finds a new crush 'cause I'm getting a real 'Karin-Kon debacle Mk II' vibe here.
7/9/2022 c32 Simply Christian
It’s nice to return to this story again!

In that first scene, when Yumichika called in Nemu about a Quincy, I thought for a moment that you were going with canon he was talking about Masaki. Then it hit me…
It probably is for the best that he’s long dead now, otherwise Uryu would have a few words with him.

Nel… is pregnant. Renji might be the father. No other news to report.

I had to laugh at Ulquiorra protesting the idea of Grimmjow being a new roommate in Tatsuki’s head.

Noboru’s feelings for Soifon are a tricky one. The first issue being the age gap. While a very subjective and case-by-case factor for shinigami, isn’t Noboru still an equivalent of a teenager? Then again, perhaps Noboru is following in his father’s footsteps in pursuing older women who happen to be masters at Shunpo.
Really, the bigger issue is the power imbalance. Soifon is hardwired to obey any command her lieges make, so a relationship between her and Noboru would not exactly be an equitable one.

Wait, Mayuri is keeping Yammy’s reanimated remains as a steed? That’s… actually not too far from some of his proclivities in canon.

A lot happened in that last segment: Tosen was betrayed by Aizen, is now freed from Nirvana with his Hollow side dominated as the new Hunt Master; meanwhile, Rukia finds out Ichigo went behind her back to have the kids looked at by the Arashi mages, they all got a front row seat as Hollow Tosen passed by, and Hiruko became a spirit long enough to somehow be able to hold Sode no Shirayuki. Lot of fallout from this incident.

And most evil of all, the chapter ends in a cliffhanger as Shirabe reunites with Momo.
Given we don’t see Hitsugaya’s conversation with Kyoraku in this chapter, and the next time he’s mentioned is here taking care of Shirabe, combined with all the familial revelations, I’m not strongly suspecting that Hinamori is somehow related to Shunsui. Whether she’s an illegitimate child of his like Toshiro is of Ukitake, or something else, I highly anticipate how this long-running investigation of Hitsugaya’s will be resolved.
6/20/2022 c32 Ero-kun
As always, equal parts awesome and unsettling. Each chapter keeps me on the edge of my seat, thank you.
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