Author: Tite Kubo
Publisher: Viz Media
American release date: April 3, 2012
Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Supernatural/192 pages
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★
Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes
Omaeda thinks he’s rather handily won his battle against the fraccione but suddenly he’s in over his head. Yet when he sees Sai Fon in trouble, it’s Omaeda to the rescue! How can that guy she’s fighting be her equal? But in reality Sai Fon has everything well in hand.
Matsumoto is facing three opponents. They start to argue amongst themselves as to who should sit out the battle, in order to even the odds, but Matsumoto shows them she is more than up to the challenge they present! However, she is surprised by the arrival of Hinamori. And even from his own battle, Hitsugaya is perturbed by her presence as well, momentarily distracted by his concern for her.
Shunsui decides it’s time to get serious with his Espada opponent, who wants to know why Shunsui has not even drawn his second sword. Naturally he explains why that isn’t necessary. Looks like he’ll have to use both, though, after all. Meanwhile, Ukitake refuses to fight a child, to the child’s dismay.
Matsumoto and Hinamori’s three opponents have combined in a horrible manner to become one horrible opponent, taking out both Matsumoto and Hinamori. Luckily, Hisagi is there to continue the fight and keep them safe. While he does that, Kira sees to his companions’ wounds. Iba enters the fray as well, but the beast is strong, so Captain General Yamamoto himself takes to the field!
And back in Hueco Mundo, the fight continues…
If you don’t like battles, then this part of the Bleach arc is sure to disappoint, but in all honesty, each battle is well done and interesting, as well as necessary. Personally, I could never find them boring. I think they bring out aspects of each combatant’s personality, and we get to see more of them than we generally do. I mean, they’re Soul Reapers, surely you want to understand what makes them so special to Soul Society.
Yes, I admit there isn’t a lot of Ichigo lately, but hey, he’s not the only Soul Reaper out there, just because he’s the main character. Don’t worry, he’ll be back. In the meantime, enjoy watching the others in action. And seeing the old man do battle is priceless. I’ve always enjoyed the relationship between him and Shunsui and Ukitake, the light banter and the give-and-take. Did you know they were the first graduates of the Soul Academy and the first captains?
Very interesting volume of Bleach, but there’s more to come. And at some point, you know Aizen et al will come out of their fiery time-out and get back into the game. Can’t wait!