By Leroy Douresseaux
April 3, 2013 - 09:04
|Bleach Volume 56 cover image is courtesy of barnesandnoble.com.|
Rated “T” for “Teen”
Ichigo “Strawberry” Kurosaki has the ability to see ghosts, not that he wanted this “gift.” After meeting Rukia Kuchiki, he discovers the world of the Soul Society. Ichigo becomes a Soul Reaper, dedicated to protecting the innocent from tortured spirits and also to helping those spirits find peace. Ichigo eventually defeats the dark ambitions of renegade Soul Reaper, Lord Sôsuke Aizen.
Bleach, Vol. 56 (entitled March of the Starcross – Chapters 490 to 499) opens in Heuco Mundo, the home of the Arrancars. There, Ichigo battles the Quincy, Quilge Opie. This battle is part of a plot by the Vanden Reich (Invisible Empire), a group of Quincies.
These Quincies launch a full scale invasion of the Soul Society, and it seems that no Soul Reaper can stop them. Thirteenth Company 6th Seat Hidetomo Kajomaru tells two young Soul Reapers the history between the Quincies and the Soul Reapers and why they are seemingly eternal enemies. Meanwhile, the Soul Reapers discover how the Quincies are able to defeat them and what it has to do with Ichigo.
THE LOWDOWN: The 56th volume of the Bleach manga offers the kind of multi-front, thrilling battles not really seen in the series since the final battle and skirmishes between the Soul Society and Lord Aizen and his allies. It’s a sword-swinging good time, and the peril is heightened because the Soul Reapers are getting a beat-down extraordinaire.
The drama is full pot-boil. Now, the focus shifts to Ichigo, which is where Bleach creator Tite Kubo offers his best storytelling. Ichigo is what makes me absolutely have to read Bleach. I feel like a kid reading comics, again. This may be more of the same-old, same-old, but it sure is some exciting same-old.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Readers looking for the exceptional battle manga will want the Shonen Jump stalwart, Bleach.
Rating: A+ /10