Book Review: Bleach Volume 52 by Tite Kubo

PERSONAL NOTE: My new graphic novel Hazel is out right now, and I’d be honored if you considered picking up a copy!

Spoiler free summary: In Volume 52 of Bleach by Tite Kubo, Ichigo growing in power, but things seem to be going astray. What are Ginjo’s true motives, and how does Tsukishima play into the equation?

Character: There is a small plot twist here that breaks from the pattern of the previous arcs. I’m not sure it’s “enough” to be satisfying to some readers, but it was at least a break from the norm. It’s hard to discuss character in this volume because there is a plot-related reason the characters frustrated me, and that’s actually good. When characters cause readers to get frustrated, it makes them read. I don’t know that I’m the best at calling out the plot twists. This one got me, and that’s to the volume’s credit.

Exposition: This area of a story sort of held steady from the previous volume as well. An average manga doesn’t typically have a lot of exposition to begin with, and this sort of fell in the “normal” range for me.

Worldbuilding: Despite similarities to the Visard arc, this volume did expand the universe and magic system of the series, and that’s always a plus. I need the right mix of character and world building to hook me, but this at least did some interesting things and took the series in a new (ish) direction.

Dialogue: It wasn’t snappy or anything spectacular, but Ichigo is a much more dramatic character than some of his contemporaries. So there is a lot more development in the dialogue than other volumes or manga. The trick here is those who love the characters will be compelled to keep reading, especially as the plot begins to turn.

Description: I’m not sure the action here is higher than other volumes, and when there isn’t much fighting going on, the panels are more simplistic. Sure, the detail is amazing, but there’s not a lot of dynamic information in them. What action sequences are there are cool.

Overall: The plot twist that came in this volume was satisfying enough for me, but it might not be enough for others. The training is cool, and the expanded data is equally interesting if not enough to stand out as an arc.

Thanks for reading,


Book Review: Bleach Volume 51 by Tite Kubo

Book Review: Bleach Volume 51 by Tite Kubo

Spoiler free summary: In Volume 51 of Bleach by Tite Kubo, Ichigo Kurosaki is quickly getting the hang of his Fullbring powers, but it’s a race against time as Tsukishima is targeting Ichigo. He’s apparently attacked at least two of his friends, so Ichigo needs to gain more power quickly before he’s too late.

Character: If you can get past the fact that this feels very much like Ichigo’s training as a Visard, you get to know these characters. Yes, the formula is yawn-worthy familiar, but at least you’re getting to know knew people and what drives them. I will say you get to connect with them, and that’s something to this volume’s credit.

Exposition: This was better than the last volume. There’s more action (not in terms of a fight, but in terms of training). So the conversations add to the context, but it’s just about what it would be with any manga, so one has to let that sort of thing go.

Worldbuilding: So we start to understand Fullbring a bit more. Because this feels so much like the Visard arc, even though we’re understanding a different ability, it doesn’t feel unique at all.

Dialogue: There’s some cute dialogue here and there. The characters are unique, but this is generally a strength of the series (even with the exception of the last issue). All manga tend to have those occasional volumes where one character or another explains pretty much the plot of the entire arc. This volume is more witty banter between punches, which is fun if not really content adding.

Description: The art here is cool. It’s not as sweepingly majestic as Demon Slayer, but it is pretty cool to watch. A lot of the moves are more effective for black and white, and that says something for the series.

Overall: This volume is sort of more on track with what I said about the arc overall. Like I mentioned in the character setting, this sequence of events was so formulaically like the Visard arc, it buried what might be great characters. In future arcs, there were some changes and plot development that, even if it is still true to the basic anime patter, give the events an original feel. Not so with this volume. It’s cool in a way, but it’s unoriginal.

Thanks for reading,