Grinding to level up again? That's certainly how it feels.
Writer/Artist: Tite Kubo
Translation: Joe Yamazaki
Adaptation: Lance Caselman
What They Say
Ichigo 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!
The Mascaron DriveIchigo and all his friends are training like mad, spurred on by the looming threat of Aizen's wicked plans. But while Uryû and Chad increase their powers, Orihime finds out that she has to sit out the coming fight, leaving her friends without her protection. And Ichigo, despite his intensive training with the Visoreds, can't control his Hollowfied self long enough to battle. With the war against the Arrancar ramping up, can the team afford to have two fighters on the sidelines?
In what feels like a sequence we've been through again and again in this series, there are only a few short months until the apocalyptic wakening of the Hogyoku, and the good guys are hopelessly outmatched. What's a shonen hero to do? Train to get stronger, of course! So Ichigo is training to get stronger (and stay Hollowfied for longer than four seconds), Chad is training to get stronger even though his power is (foreshadowing!?) different than both Soul Reapers and Quincies, [name] trains to restore his lost Quincy powers, and even Orihime trains so she isn't left completely behind this time since her offensive capabilites are so limited. But (more foreshadowing!), the Bad Guys seem to have taken an interest in her.
Showing a shocking disregard for the timetable, Aizen sends several of the Espada to the land of the living on a mysterious errand that apparently involves the strange young man with the questionable name of Wonder-Weiss, who has some sort of a connection to Uruhara. Or at least, he had more interest in dragonflies and his own feet then the general fighting until Uruhara showed up.
Grimmjow, who tagged along much like an unwanted younger sibling, goes to get his own form of revenge against Ichigo, who is eager to try out his newfound Hollowfied abilities. All eleven seconds worth of them. And Toshiro and his group seem to be equally outmanned against the Espadas Luppi and Yammy. Clearly, once again, they all face certain DOOM.
While the start of the volume felt like the same old thing once again, the pace picked up towards the end of the volume and there are enough dashes of plot and foreshadowing that I actually want to pick up the next volume again. Bleach has its ups and downs as all long series do, but it rarely fails to entertain.