Bleach Vol. #07 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: A-

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  • Art Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 7.95
  • Pages: 200
  • ISBN: 1-59116-807-4
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Bleach Vol. #07

By Jarred Pine     June 06, 2005
Release Date: June 15, 2005

Bleach Vol.#07
© Viz Media

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

What They Say
Ichigo "Strawberry" Kurosaki never asked for the ability to see ghosts - he was born with the gift. When his family is attacked by a Hollow, a malevolent lost soul, Ichigo becomes a Soul Reaper, dedicating his life to protecting the innocent and helping the tortured spirits themselves find peace. Find out why Tite Kubo's Bleach has become an international manga smash-hit!

Rukia Kuchiki, the ex-Soul Reaper responsible for Ichigo's transformation, is on the lamb. Her brethren at the Soul Society are quite displeased with the fact that she transferred the powers of a Soul Reaper to a human, and have dispatched two of their strongest agents to neutralize the situation. Their mission is twofold: to return Rukia to the Soul Society so that she may stand trial, and to deal with Ichigo - permanently. But an unlikely third party is standing in their way: Uryu Ishida, the Quincy!

The Review
For the front cover we get the JP cover artwork that features Biyakua Kuchiki, which keeps up the motif of having a different character on each cover which is very nice. 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 an illustration of Ichigo and his classmates all decked out their stylish clothing.

Inside there are a few words from Kubo. This time we get 12 pages of extras! There are two installments of “Radio Kon”, a mini-manga featuring Kon as he hosts some radio talk show, which are quite funny. There also is a fun interview done by Kon with Rukia as the guest. The print job looks pretty sharp, with a few instances of grays that have a checkered look to them.

Kubo’s stylish characters are a lot of fun. It’s the little details and nuances he puts into each character that brings out their personality and increases my enjoyment. Kubo also does a great job at expressing emotion without dialogue by using facial expressions. The first part of this volume features quite a dramatic climax, and Rukia’s and Ichigo’s expressions really got across the appropriate emotions and did more than words could do.

There is not a lot of background art, which seems to go away during action sequences. The action sequences are done very nicely, both the serious ones at the beginning and the more comedic sequences towards the end. Lots of flash and style and I’m a big sucker for it.

The SFX are translated and retouched. There are a lot of SFX used, and the English text takes up too much room. This is especially noticeable during these big action sequences where the SFX just make the panels feel cluttered. They also aren’t the best looking SFX, as many feature white boxing, and it can feel distracting.

The translation comes across clear and flows nicely. There are a couple of instances where Japanese Soul Society terms are explained in the margins. Nice translation and adaptation job in this volume.

Contents (Watch out spoilers ahead):
It is go time for Ichigo Kurosaki. His good friend Rukia (more than a friend?) is being taken back to the Soul Society where she will be tried as a Kyokushu, a capital offender. If Ichigo ever wants to see Rukia alive again, he must go to her rescue. Both Uryu and Ichigo reach Rukia before she is taken back, but they are not able to stand up to two of the top Soul Reapers in the Soul Society, Renji Abarai and Byakuya Kuchiki, the latter whom is Rukia’s older brother. Ichigo holds his own against Renji but, just as his spirit power is getting stronger, Byakuya strikes him down and renders him useless. Ichigo tries to keep fighting, but in an emotional moment, Rukia steps in and protects him by telling him to stop and her brother should forget about Ichigo. Unable to move, Ichigo lies there helpless once again in protecting someone he cared about, as Rukia walks away with tears in her eyes. It is truly a touching moment that now sets up a new stage in the storyline that should carry us for quite some time.

The moment where Ichigo and Rukia part is definitely sad, but it really made me appreciate just what Kubo has done with setting up this moment with all the previous volumes. He has done a good job at building up Ichigo’s and Rukia’s relationship. Also, the conflict inside of Ichigo is heartbreaking as once again he is reminded of his mother’s death, where he also unable to protect someone he cared for. After Ichigo gets his health back and returns to school, all the students have forgotten about her, and this creates a deep hurt inside of Ichigo. My favorite moment is the little pep talk Orihime gives Ichigo, as she knows that Rukia is missing. Orihime seems to care much about Ichigo, and she knows that Ichigo cares a lot about Rukia, so her selfless talk is quite moving. It is both comedic and emotional, and seeing Ichigo realize what he must do is a great moment.

Before Ichigo can go into the Soul Society, he first must go through training with Urahara to get back his strong spirit and become a Soul Reaper again. The blow by Byakuya completely shattered Ichigo, and now Ichigo trains underneath Urahara’s store. The training sequences are hilarious, and I think fans of Ururu are really in for a treat. Let me just say that Ururu is a bad ass, big time. Also training with Mr. Yoruichi, the cat, are Orihime and Chad, who have decided that they want to help Ichigo with their newly found powers. Uryu is also doing some training himself, after he also took a beating. He realizes that only Ichigo can save Rukia, and he wants to help. This now becomes a quest to save Rukia, and I genuinely care to see Ichigo and company get her back.

This volume of Bleach features a great dramatic climax that really does a great job of tying in all the character development from previous volumes into one emotional peak. The storyline will now change because of this climax, and since Kubo did such a good job at building up his characters and getting the reader attached, I am definitely interested to see how this new conflict will be resolved.

Kubo’s quirky humor is still present here, especially during Ichigo’s training sessions at the end of the volume. His artwork and flashy style are still quite strong and enjoyable. A great volume of Bleach and I cannot wait to see where this story will go from here. Recommended.


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