Spoiler free summary: In Volume 68 of Bleach by Tite Kubo, Yhwach has murdered the soul king, and everything (literally) starts falling apart. All seems lost until Ukitake’s secret offers some hope. Kyoraku also has a plan, but that plan involves a terrifying enemy.
Character: There are a few moments here where we learn about Ukitake and Kyoraku. As per my frustration with this, the characters we’ve really had a lot of time with sort of fall off, but these two do have a nice arc that really builds their sympathy. They shine in this volume for different reasons. You learn why Ukitake always seems so sickly, and you learn just how clever and driven Kyoraku really is.
Exposition: This volume was probably lighter in this area than others. I think the dialogue still carried the bulk of the expository weight here, but given how it wasn’t spoken bravado during a fight, it felt fresh.
Worldbuilding: This volume expands the soul society. We finally see how everything sort of comes together as it relates to the monarchy (or more accurately the religion) of this world. It gets a bit tough to explain without spoilers. Still, this volume is a bit of a gem because it gave us this broader level, and it’s sort of the payoff for people reading this arc.
Dialogue: Again, because the things being discussed here aren’t the finer aspects of a character’s power or how they cleverly outfought the enemy, it feels fresh. There’s still a lot of conversation offering the history of the soul king. The thing is, in this case, it’s not so bad because we’re talking about old data. There aren’t a lot of ways to provide historical information. If you know a few, please feel free to say so in the comments below.
Description: This was interesting because we were seeing new places and new things. Most Shonen stuff is going to have epic fight scenes with awesome moves. The trick with this volume was that we see the world in a different way. Also, the world is crumbling, and that illustration is pretty cool.
Overall: This volume stands out because it has some nice character arc, and the world is expanded. I don’t know that it was done the best way, but it’s still cool information that lets us consider the history of this world more. I have the first light novel, and I mean to get to it at some point, but what interest me is this how this world is built around this concept, and that at least has me curious.
Thanks for reading,