April 19, 2012
Tite Kubo – Viz – 2011 – 54+ volumes
This is the last volume I preordered, and things did not improve. I am done with Bleach. I’m sorry. I am simply not interested in the plethora of minor characters that seem to be the focus of the story now.
The volume does start out promising. We get the second half of the flashback story that started last volume, and as I said, it was very good. Last time the plot was interrupted frequently by peeks into the past lives of all your favorite characters that were completely unrelated to the storyline. With that out of the way, there was a more interesting story to tell here. We learn about Aizen’s earlier deception, and how he brought down Urahara and Tessai in his place. It was a pretty fantastic story.
And when that was over with, we got to hear a little of Orihime’s thoughts on the present situation. Admittedly, I thought these parts were triumphant. But I had to stop a minute to wonder if maybe they had more impact because Orihime has been seen so little, despite being one of the causes of all the fighting.
And then… we begin the start of four fights with four new characters from Aizen’s army and four characters that I don’t remember and don’t care about. To be fair, they are defending Karakura Town, which is pretty awesome. On the other hand, it would be more awesome if their fight had anything to do with the town. Like, maybe the villains menace the residents, or maybe they get away and the takeover becomes more apparent. There are some scenes of things falling apart, but most likely, these battles will go on for at least one more volume, and be simply about the characters and their powers. None of them are Ichigo, Chad, Rukia, Ishida, or hell, even Renji, Byakuya or any main character or someone connected directly to them. When I have to pull up the wikipedia article every time I review this series to find the name of the characters featured, because they change every time and have nothing to do with the plot, then there’s a problem, and I have to stop.
And I’m done. I am intrigued by the fact the series will be ending soon, and perhaps I’ll check back in periodically to see if the plot winds up anywhere, or what the outcome of all this is. But… really. I’m done.