Spoiler free summary: In Volume 62 of Bleach by Tite Kubo, the renown captains are without their most powerful tool, and it’s making the battle against the Quincy army look grim. Can they hold on until someone comes up with a solution?
Character: This is one of the more interesting turns in the battle. Before this arc, characters were pretty fast and loose with their Bankai, and so it seemed that they relied on them pretty heavily. Taking that away from the characters showed us more and revealed some of their resolve. I’ve probably been pretty negative about this arc as a whole (and I’ve made my reasons clear as I made my complaints), but this was a plot twist I enjoyed. As much as I liked the idea, I wish they’d have shown more. We got some decent character development here, but we could have had a lot more.
Exposition: This volume was probably a bit heavier than the others in terms of exposition through dialogue. This is because the author has to set the terms this plot twist creates. Yeah, it slowed the pace a bit, but this entire volume was sort of a setting of the table so to speak. It’s probably not the manga you can’t put down, but it isn’t any different than any other volume of any other manga where pieces are being set for a new push or prep us for a new fight.
Worldbuilding: I have normally been praising or at least complementing the world building of this particular arc (if for no other reason than it provided data that filled in some gaps for us). Here I thought we had this great chance to really explore how characters react or how they are affected by this loss, and I don’t feel like I got what I wanted there. It’s a minor gripe in this regard, but it sort of demonstrates the overall point. There is so much lost opportunity here, and there has been lost opportunity. Most of that lost opportunity was in regard to character, but not in this case.
Dialogue: Most of the dialogue in this volume was spoken exposition, so it’s sort of draining to get through, but that tends to be par for the course in manga.
Description: The art here is as good as it normally is when there isn’t much action to speak of, which is to say it isn’t bad, but there isn’t much to do but look at panels, most of which display characters talking or pontificating. So it’s not very dynamic.
Overall: I liked the idea of taking Bankai away from the main characters, but I wish there was more consequence. It sort of felt like a hold plot, where the main characters are waiting to spring their trap or make their move, but it lacked the tension an arc like that needs, which is probably why this arc falls flat for me.
Thanks for reading,