Bleach Vol. #05 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 7.95
  • Pages: 190
  • ISBN: 1-59116-445-1
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Bleach Vol. #05

By Jarred Pine     March 19, 2005
Release Date: January 29, 2005


Bleach Vol.#05
© Viz Media


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Tite Kubo
Translated by:Joe Yamazaki
Adapted by:

What They Say
Ichigo Kurosaki thought that Soul Reapers were the only ones hunting Hollows, but he was wrong. Enter Uryu Ishida, a Quincy, and possibly the last member of a powerful clan that died out over 200 years ago. Unlike Soul Reapers who strive to cleanse Hollows of their sins and send them to the Soul Society, Quincy's adopt a more direct approach-they kill Hollows without hesitation. To demonstrate the supremacy of the Quincy's ways, Uryu challenges Ichigo to a contest-bait is spread around the city, attracting a large number of unstable Hollows. Whoever defeats the most wins, regardless of the danger.
Also, Orihime and Chad, confronted with a host of Hollows terrorizing their friends, awaken to their own psychic abilities. Who is the strongest? Find this and more in the action-packed fifth volume of Tite Kubo's BLEACH!


The Review
Packaging:
For the front cover we get the JP cover artwork that features Chad. The English logo is the same as the JP logo in the same position at the top. The Shonen Jump label is present in small text at the bottom right along with the creator name. The back cover has a nice piece of color character artwork that we have not seen yet, featuring Ichigo, Rukia, Chad, Uryu, Orhime, and Kon. Inside there is the artwork from the JP sleeve along with a few words from Kubo about his new suit. The extras are two character profiles of Uryu Ishida and Don Kanonji which include character sketches. We also get the original chapter headers which feature some great character art.

The print job has some hiccups again as there is a bit of fading and one page with an errant ink streak. The paper also feels different to me like it did with volume 4. It’s grainier and just feels like lower quality paper than it does in the first 3 volumes. A bit of a disappointment since Kubo’s artwork really relies on a lot of dark tones. Since this has happened two volumes in a row now, I’m thinking Viz made some changes that I wish they would undo. It’s not a major issue, but is a little distracting at times.


Art:
Kubo’s art continues to be very consistent and clean. Some new designs show up when Chad and Orihime awaken their own spirit powers. Chad’s power arm reminds me of an EVA unit and reeks of bad-ass-ness while Orihime’s Shunshun-Rikka are extremely cute and of course ninja/samurai inspired. I still don’t care for the Hollow designs. In fact, I thought the Hollow artwork got downright sloppy during the battle with Chad.

Text/SFX:
The SFX are translated and retouched. The amount of SFX has increased from the previous volume, so once again I felt like the retouch covered up a bit more of the artwork than the original SFX.

There is one strange adaptation choice here in which one of Chad’s friends makes reference to “Safeway”, a grocery store that I’m sure does not exist in Karakura. Other than that, I’m really happy with the translation and adaptation. Orihime’s kotodama (spirit chant) are presented in romanji and translated in parentheses underneath the Japanese text. I also like how the dialogue for Uryu has been handled, very proper, direct, and a tad over-dramatic. It really fits his character nicely.

Contents (Watch out spoilers ahead):
Uryu Ishida is a Quincy who hates Soul Reapers and therefore hates Ichigo. The Quincy Clan is a 200 year old, thought to be extinct, clan that fought Hollows, only they destroyed them instead of cleansing the troubled souls for the Soul Society. It is not clear why Uryu hates Soul Reapers, but in classic competitive shounen spirit he challenges Ichigo to a competition. He releases Hollow Bait that causes Hollows to converge onto Karakura town for 24 hours. Whoever kills the most Hollows wins the battle. Ichigo, with his strong sense of protecting others, rushes off to find his sister Karin and any others that might attract Hollows with their strong spirit.

Once again we have another shounen cliché here that is executed in a way that really makes for an enjoyable read. Right before Uryu unleashes the bait, we are given a scene with Kisuke Urahara explaining to Rukia who the Quincy Clan was. This helps build up a possible motivation for Uryu as to why he is challenging Ichigo, instead of just coming across as another shounen obstacle and battle. The way the story progresses through this battle is also interesting in that it is present more like a horror manga that casts quite a dark and haunting mood. This works really well in setting up our two new characters with spirit powers, Chad and Orihime, who are pushed to their limits in order to awaken their newly found powers. My favorite reveal was Chad. I loved how he teamed up with Karin, putting her up on his back to act as scout since only she could see the Hollow clearly. It was also pretty touching and funny to see Karin’s reaction afterwards. The pace for this volume was just right, with Chad and Orihime each getting 3 chapters to flush out their awakening. It doesn’t drag out unnecessarily and offers just enough to chew on and become engaged with the story.

Comments
Once again Kubo takes a pretty standard and clichéd shounen storyline and makes it his own with fresh characters and an interesting story telling style that weaves together different perspectives of one central event. The main battle is Uryu against Ichigo, but it’s during this battle that elevates Chad and Orihime into more of a major role with their awakening of spirit powers. The revelations of their new powers are pulled off with a lot of style and left me breathless and wondering what is going to become with these two. It definitely looks like a team is being built here, but for what purpose is unknown. I like seeing Chad and Orihime come more into the spotlight as it’s these characters that make Bleach so enjoyable.

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