Book Review: Bleach Volume 67 by Tite Kubo

Spoiler free summary: In Volume 67 of Bleach by Tite Kubo, the assault on Soul Society continues, and the big guns are out in full force. Hyosube, Squad Zero’s Leader, might just force Yhwach to display his power again.

Character: Like I said, whatever middling effort was made to develop characters in this arc is all gone. It’s all about swinging swords now, which isn’t terrible. It’s just not as awesome as it could have been because I don’t care about the characters as much as I could.

Exposition: This was par for the course. The upside to manga is we get to literally show in the the show vs tell range. We’re not immune to certain things (see below), but the visuals do a lot for storytelling.

Worldbuilding: Squad Zero has been around for a few volumes now, but this is when we get to see them in action. The down side is the purpose they serve. Without anything but reputation to work with, we’re left pretty dissatisfied with how that reputation fairs against the “big bad” the author is trying to make more threatening. It’s one thing to watch one of the captains go down because we’ve seen them beat others before, but then they were used as fodder against Aizen. Now these guys come along, and we don’t get any of the fight. It’s like old school WWE, when they’d bring in someone who looks tough, but he’s just another guy the current push character runs over. It lacks power if we’ve never seen those guys throw down and win.

Dialogue: Behold! Look at how awesome my power is! I can do amazing things! See how amazing that is. Yhwach, “Psst.” Character leans in. Yhwach, “I’m the big threat of the fight.” Other guy, “Oh, right! Sorry. Falls down defeated.” I’m not kidding. That’s just about accurate in terms of dialogue here.

Description: Now as bad as the dialogue is sometimes (and it’s much worse when we don’t have any developmental dialogue so to speak), this fight was cool to see on the pages. The power was wicked interesting. So it’s a trade off that maybe doesn’t need to exist, but it felt a little fair to me.

Overall: This volume had one of the better fights, and that says something. I don’t think any volumes compare to the Aizen saga at all, but this one was cool. It also sets the table for some worldbuilding in the next volume.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Book Review: Bleach Volume 66 by Tite Kubo 

Book Review: Bleach Volume 66 by Tite Kubo 

Spoiler free summary: In Volume 66 of Bleach by Tite Kubo, things get stranger as the tide turns for the worst. Heroes have become zombified enemies, and Yhwach, the king of Quincies, has made his move toward the Soul Society’s royal palace. Can Squad Zero stop him?

Character: This volume is a continuation of the ramp up we’ve been expecting. There was more lost opportunity here. One would think seeing one of your best friends turned into a zombi would have more of an impact on the characters. I’m not saying there isn’t any reaction, but I think the reaction was pretty lack luster.

Exposition: I don’t think there were any surprises here. The more action-oriented volumes tend to have a quicker pace. Most of the panels were devoted to cool moves and dialogue.

Worldbuilding: This volume teases at some of the more impressive wolrdbuilding that is to come. We don’t get the payoff, but there’s nice foreshadowing here that lets us anticipate what’s to come.

Dialogue: I think there’s a bit more development in this volume than normal, but it’s not that significant. Most of it follows the typical, “Behold my master plan,” and “No one dares take us on,” sort of boasting we expect to see.

Description: The art is still pretty awesome here. Most fight scenes should be. We do get some scope here as well. Some of the panels looked pretty iconic in the moment. I have to word it that way because this arc has a nasty habit of making something look tragic or awesome and then undercuts it in a future volume.

Overall: Even with the fighting, this volume feels like a set-up volume. We’re watching the undercard or the early night stuff, and we’re about to get into the main fights. That’s not to say that some of the other battles weren’t cool. The Captain Commander fight was pretty epic, and I loved Ken’s fight too. We just know that there are bigger things coming, and this volume alludes to that.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Book Review: Bleach Volume 65 by Tite Kubo

Book Review: Bleach Volume 65 by Tite Kubo

Spoiler free summary: In Volume 65 of Bleach by Tite Kubo, Kenpachi is fighting for his life, and Ichigo has just made it to the battle. His opponents, while odd, wield an even stranger power, and it could mean the end for the Soul Society.

Character: The stage is fairly established by this point. On one hand, all the wonderful opportunities for character development are gone. On the other hand, the ones that were there were (for the most part) wasted. However, now that the big push has started and the final objective has been revealed, we can sit back and enjoy the action. For those of you who only read/watch Bleach for that, then you’ve been getting what you want since the beginning. For guys like me, I feel like the fights that were happening weren’t as great as they could have been if we cared more about the characters or the consequences of those fights.

Exposition: This is pretty standard with regard to what it has been. We get a bit more information, but we’re really just learning about abilities and watching things unfold at this point.

Worldbuilding: This has other news in regard to the Soul King, which is probably the coolest worldbuilding aspect of this second saga. We also see how that fits in with the Quincies plans.

Dialogue: Again we have more of the people boasting and such, but that’s par for the course. There is some dialogue I remember that gives us a bit more insight. We also learn about the Quncies leader based on some of his conversation, so this volume might be a little stronger than others.

Description: This volume’s art was a bit more impressive in a manner of speaking because it had much more in the way of scope. There was so much going on. Depicting that much chaos must have been a feat for the artist to accomplish.

Overall: I remembered this particular fight (or at least these opponents), so it’s pretty memorable. There are some pretty epic moments coming up, and this volume sort of kicks off that whole sequence.

Thanks for reading,

Matt