Manga Review: Bleach Volume Six

15-year-old Ichigo Kurosaki is the main character of the series, and he has the ability to see ghosts. After meeting a Soul Reaper named Rukia, his home is attacked by a Hollow. Rukia tries to transfer some of her powers to Ichigo so he can protect his family. However, he unintentionally absorbs all of her power. Ichigo defeats the Hollow and begins serving as a substitute Soul Reaper.

In Volume Five, Ichigo met his classmate Uryu Ishida, a Quincy who hates Soul Reapers. Uryu lures Hollows to their town and challenges Ichigo to a competition to determine who can take care of the most Hollows. This competition, which started in Volume Five, continues into Volume Six.

Bleach Volume Six
Written by: Tite Kubo
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: April 5, 2005

This volume provides some backstory for Uryu, and the reader is better able to understand his motivations and where he’s coming from. We also get to see quite a bit of Kisuke Urahara, and he plays quite a pivotal role. He is especially important during the climactic battle that takes place with Ichigo and Uryu.

Right near the end of Volume Six, Rukia has been branded a criminal by the Soul Society, and Soul Reapers are looking for her. This is setting the stage not only for the beginning of Volume Seven, but for the beginning of the next story arc as well.

I’m already familiar with this portion of the story in Bleach, since I’ve already seen the corresponding episodes from the anime series. However, it has been a little while since I last saw these episodes, so the manga has helped to refresh my memory.

I really appreciate Kubo’s abilities as a storyteller. He has created compelling characters that are complemented by a compelling storyline. His art style also really helps to bring these characters to life. The characters almost seem to literally leap off the pages, especially during the scenes that focus on action. Between the story and the art, I have a hard time putting down a volume of the Bleach manga when I’m reading it.

If you’ve read previous volumes of Bleach and have enjoyed what you read, I think you’ll also appreciate Volume Seven.

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