Manga Review: Bleach Volume 13

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 Seven, Rukia was taken back to Soul Society to face punishment for transferring her powers to a human. Rukia now faces execution, and Ichigo and his friends try to find a way to get to Soul Society in order to save her.

Bleach Volume 13
Written by: Tite Kubo
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: June 6, 2006

Volume 13 sees Ichigo fighting against Kenpachi. Ichigo finally manages to get a cut in, which makes Kenpachi happy. At this point, the two of them start fighting all-out. Kenpachi manages to get his zanpaku-to through Ichigo’s, and the sword breaks.

This leads Zangetsu to appear, and he puts Ichigo through a training that requires Ichigo to fight himself. After he succeeds in the training, he returns to continue the fight with Kenpachi. In the aftermath of the battle, the reader is provided with some backstory for Kenpachi and Yachiru.

Near the end of the volume, Hanatora and Ganju reach the location where Rukia is being held. When Ganju sees Rukia, he recognizes her…

The primary focus of Volume 13 is on Ichigo and Kenpachi and their fight. My favorite part is at the end of the fight, when Yachiru comes to get Kenpachi. A line she says to Ichigo was just as amusing as I read the manga as it was when I saw it in the anime.

I also enjoyed getting to see Ichigo interacting with Zangetsu and having to fight himself in order to regain the ability to use his zanpaku-to. Since I’m a lot farther ahead in the anime than I am in the manga, I think I can say that the other Ichigo he ends up fighting is a foreshadowing for something that comes later.

I was kind of tickled when I read about Ganju recognizing Rukia when he sees her because of something she did is the fact that I recently watched Bleach DVD Set Nine, which includes episodes that tie in to this particular plot point. Seeing this in the manga now reminded me that this had been referenced earlier in the series. It’s been so long since I’ve seen the anime episodes that correspond to this portion of the manga that I had forgotten about that detail.

At this point, we’re getting closer to the end of this particular story arc. I suspect it may take another volume or two of the manga before we reach the conclusion of this arc, but I’m looking forward to reading the end of it in the manga since I already know what’s coming from watching the anime. Even though I already know how this story will progress from seeing the anime, I’m still just as riveted and interested in the story as I would be if I was seeing this story for the first time.

If you’ve read the previous twelve volumes of Bleach and enjoyed what you read, then I think you’ll also enjoy reading Volume 13.

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