Tag Archives: Quincies

Book Review: Bleach, Vol 57 by Tite Kubo

Bleach, Vol 57   

Author: Tite Kubo

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: April 2, 2013

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Supernatural/192 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

Word spreads throughout the Seretei – Ichigo Kurosaki is on the way, and his bankai cannot be stolen by the Quincies!  Everyone rejoices until Akon notices that Ichigo’s presence in the Garganta is gone, and Ichigo has to inform him that he has been trapped in a cage and is currently unable to escape. Unfortunately, his message doesn’t get through. Things are really starting to go haywire now!

Byakuya is facing Quincy Äs Nödt. Renji wants to attack but his captain warns they need to identify his ability first. Byakuya begins to feel an unfamiliar sensation, as if his arms and legs are freezing. Although he fears poison, the Quincy tells him that it is only fear that he feels, an unaccustomed sensation indeed. An indignant Renji attacks when the Quincy steals Byakuya’s bankai and dares to use it on him. Renji is put out of commission just before he is about to use bankai by an overzealous Quincy who assumed only Captains could do such things, irritating Äs Nödt.

Just after the so-called Majesty learns of the death of the Captain, Kenpachi arrives, carrying three Quincies he has defeated, and he’s glad to tell how he did it. Kenpachi announces he wants to battle His Majesty, even as things are falling apart for the Soul Reapers, and Ichigo is still contained in the cage, put there by Quilgie Opie J! Apparently, J stands for Jail!

In an unexpected twist, things are looking bleak for Kenpachi, when Captain General Yamamoto steps in to face the so-called majesty, whom he addresses as Yhwach. Turns out he’s known him for a thousand years and foresaw this day. But can he defeat this megalomaniac?

Things are only getting worse. In fact they’re downright horrifying. First Kira, now Byakuya. Where will this madness end? Is no one safe? I fear even more for my Shunsui. There is a great deal of back story here for the Captain General, which has been a long time coming, as I think he’s the least known of the Soul Reapers. Gives a lot more dimension to his character. The ending threw me off a bit, and I admit to being a little confused, but hopefully that will be cleared up in the next volume. I know this fight is far from over, as this thousand year bloodwar arc has just begun. I am afraid to find out who will be lost next.

Looking forward with trepidation to the next volume!

Book Review: Bleach, Vol 56 by Tite Kubo

Bleach, Vol 56     

Author: Tite Kubo

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: April 2, 2013

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Supernatural/192 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

An army of Quincies known as the Stern Ritter (Star Knights) has attacked the Soul Society. Meanwhile, one of them, Quilgie Opie, is facing Ichigo in Hueco Mundo. Ichigo went there, along with Orihime, Chad, and Urahara, after Nel informed him that it was under attack. When Ichigo tells Quilgie that his arrows are stronger than Uryu’s, the Quincy is confused and begins to say something but decides that silence is golden instead. What was he about to say? And what does he know of Ishida?

The Quincy keeps talking about His Majesty, but when Ichigo presses him for information, he just tells him that His Majesty has said Ichigo must die. Quilgie changes into his Holy Form and the battle continues, while the others search for Nel’s companion, Dondochakka. Their fight is interrupted by three female Arrancars and their monster, Aon, who was created using their three left arms. Since their fight is not with Ichigo, they tell him he can go so he doesn’t die. Like that would ever happen.

Back at the Soul Society, pillars of light have descended upon them, leaving the captains and lieutenants to wonder what is going on. Captain General Yamamoto announces he is stepping out and leaves the defense to his third seat, Genshiro. Sensing spiritual pressure, some of the Soul Reapers attack, and they suffer a devastating loss in the death of one of their own, a lieutenant. The newcomers announce they have orders to kill everyone, and it’s time for the purge.

Each Stern Ritter has a letter after their name which corresponds with their ability. The Soul Reapers are quickly dismayed to learn that the enemy can seal their bankai so they are unable to use them. They determine to find a way to break the seal. Byakuya is the first to realize the bankai haven’t been sealed, they’ve been stolen! The order goes out to not use Bankai. But this is a problem, because the Bankai are their only means of defeating the invaders. What to do? “Then how are we supposed to fight them?” Renji cries. Akon realizes they need Ichigo, and on his own he determines to contact the Deputy Soul Reaper.  But he is surprised to learn he is not in the Land of the Living, but in Hueco Mundo. He gets through to Ichigo and explains the situation, and tells him he needs to come immediately. Ichigo agrees, but things don’t go exactly smoothly. What’s he going to do now? As things stand, he can’t possibly get to the Soul Reapers to help them, and without him, they are doomed.

Things just got real. One Captain and one Lieutenant dead? Just devastating. No access to Bankai? And Ichigo contained in a cage, prevented from reaching the Soul Society. As usual, he is their only hope, but unless he can free himself, they are doomed. A heartbreaking volume. I fear for my Shunsui, who was injured during the battle. He’s alive, yes, but who knows what will happen next? Nervously looking forward to the next volume.

Book Review: Bleach, Vol 55 by Tite Kubo

Bleach, Vol 55     

Author: Tite Kubo

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: February 5, 2013

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Supernatural/192 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

Hollows are beginning to disappear at an alarming rate. This is especially bad news to those in the Soul Society who monitor such things because of the delicate balance that exists between the Soul Society and the World of the Living. Should this balance be disrupted, well, the result would not be pretty. And Kurotsuchi has an idea who is responsible for this imbalance.

It’s Yuki’s first day on the job but he’s very tired, having been too worried to get much sleep the night before. He is yelled at by Shino, who tells him he has nothing to fear while she’s around and to pull his act together! They travel to Karakura Town to begin making their rounds. Yuki is dismayed that they are patrolling separately, especially when he runs into his first Hollows! And oh dear, they’ve got Shino on the ground, unconscious. What’s a new guy to do? Luckily for him, the Deputy Soul Reaper arrives to save the day!

Yuki awakens a day later to learn he missed the battle. While Ichigo is trying to get the new Soul Reaper out of his bed, other people assemble – Orihime, Chad, Uryu and some guy named Ebern. Ebern? Who the heck is that? Ichigo realizes this new guy, who he believes to be an Arrancar, has come on account of him so he decides to handle him quickly. Except Ebern is not an Arrancar, not at all. And what he is is surprising.

Meanwhile a situation is developing in the Rukongai. Entire villages of people are disappearing.  Even as the Soul Reapers investigate, Captain General Yamamoto is visited by a contingent who have come to declare war! Even as he faces them down, Ebern taunts Ichigo to use his bankai and defeat him. However when Ichigo does as he wishes, Ebern seems frustrated that Ichigo’s bankai doesn’t disappear. What does that even mean? He departs in a huff, leaving a confused Ichigo.

Tragedy strikes the Soul Society with the death of one of their own, although the Captain General is safe. Yuki receives the news and relays it to Ichigo and the others. Suddenly, Ichigo spots something hurtling toward the earth and hastens to catch it, only to discover it is none other than Nel! Hueco Mundo has been attacked!  Naturally, Ichigo feels the need to help, as do Chad and Orihime, and even Kiskue. But Uryu has to sit this one out because he cannot conscience saving Hollows.

There is a new villain on the scene, and he has subordinates who seem to be as evil and crazy as he is!  They call themselves the Vandenreich, the Invisible  Empire… and the most surprising thing about them is that they are an army of Quincies! Now Soul Society and Hueco Mundo and the World of the Living are all in danger. These guys have a trick up their sleeves – they don’t just seal the Soul Reapers’ bankais – they can steal them! How does that even work? And why does Ichigo seem immune to that? Will Ichigo once again be the key to everyone’s survival?

I’m reminded of that old saying – be careful what you wish for. I wished for the end of the Fullbring arc and the arrival of the new arc. Well, it’s here, and I have a feeling we’re in for a bumpy ride!