The cover for this volume was taken from its Amazon buy page for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine.

Spoiler free summary: In Volume 73 of Bleach by Tite Kubo, finally, Urahara is up against an opponent who pushes him to his limit, and we see his Bankai. Meanwhile, Ichigo finally comes face to face against Yhwach, his final opponent and his terrifying omnipotence.

Character: This volume has a lot of “I’ve always wondered” or “I’ve always wanted to see that” sort of moments. The main cast starts to take center stage, and things begin to align for the overall resolution to the saga. I wouldn’t say this has great development for character, but we do get to see characters sort of come of age. It’s strange because I don’t know how much the characters changed so much as establish who they are at this point. Given all the fan service, I thought it was cool. It wasn’t the best payoff ever, but it was fun.

Exposition: This is probably even less (which is good) than most manga (which is common). This volume has a lot of build up that rewards readers who probably had flights of fancy when the Aizen arc ended. Now a majority of the loose ends are tied up, and we can enjoy the fight.

Worldbuilding: I remember a bit about Urahara’s fight (which actually started in the previous volume), but that’s about it. Like most in this series, the fight wasn’t memorable, and you might argue the Bankai was forgettable (because I forgot it). There are several Bankai in this series (Rukia’s and Kenpachi’s) that were awesome and so visually stunning. So maybe Urahara’s was awesome, especially to those who really loved Urahara. I liked the guy, and I did wonder what his Bankai was like, but whatever it was didn’t have a lasting impact like those others did when revealed.

Dialogue: I’d assume this was stronger. Somewhere in here we learn that there were a list of people Yhwach targeted because of their threat level, and that plays out in the neighborhood of this volume. So this didn’t feel as wooden as other manga volumes could get. The angle with the high threat targets was presented via dialogue in a manner that didn’t feel silly. I’m not really complaining in this aspect because it’s still par for the course in manga, but this volume stands out because it doesn’t conform to that pattern.

Description: Urahara’s fight was one of the better (top ten?) fights of this arc. It wasn’t in the top five, but it had some cool art. Yhwach’s throne room is interesting. The detail of this volume was probably above the series’ norm.

Overall: I think the main fight was overshadowed by another, but I may be getting this volume confused with the one before it or the one after it. While overshadowed by its contemporaries, it’s still fun to read. It might be a tad disappointing because there was one fight that I felt teased about but I didn’t get, but all-in-all, this volume was up there in the rankings.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

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