Author: Tite Kubo
Publisher: Viz Media
American release date: December 2, 2008
Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Supernatural/210 pages
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★
Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes
After his less than spectacular encounter with Grimmjow, Ichigo approaches the Visoreds—Dutch Boy (aka Shinji) assumed he plans to join up with them, but that isn’t the case. He wants them to teach him how to control the Hollow inside. Ichigo threatens to take the information from them by force, if necessary, so Dutch Boy agrees to fight him. Tired of watching the two spar without getting anywhere, Hiyori steps between them and informs Ichigo of the facts of life, ie he has no choice in the matter but to join them should they agree to accept him. If he doesn’t agree, the hollow will eventually swallow him whole. Ichigo has to learn to control his inner Hollow, while at the same time battling against the Visored, one at a time!
Meanwhile, Orihime, unaware of what is going on, misses Ichigo, since he hasn’t been to school for a few days. When she heads home, she learns from a neighbor that her new roommates carried something strange into her home, so she wonders what that can be, and ends up seeing a communication devise, like a giant screen TV, which connects to Soul Society, and General Yamamoto! She tries to excuse herself, as if she is intruding, but the old man invites her to stay, since his news concerns humans too, and Aizen’s plans.
Most of this volume deals with Ichigo and his battle to control his inner Hollow, with the help of the Visored. In the process, we learn, along with Ichigo, the answer to this riddle: What’s the difference between a king and the horse he rides?
Aizen’s plans are on a pretty large scale, and are potentially disastrous to not just humans, but the Soul Society as well! Apparently his ambitions are pretty grandiose. Hopefully his overweening hubris will be the source of his downfall—along with the sword of Ichigo Kurosaki… if he lives past his current test!
Looking forward to the next volume!