By Leroy Douresseaux
August 20, 2008 - 15:25
VOL. 24: Immanent God Blues
Rated “T” for “Teen”
Ichigo “Strawberry” Kurosaki was born with the ability to see ghosts. When his family is attacked by a malevolent spirit called a “Hollow,” Ichigo is introduced to the world of the Soul Reapers by a young woman named Rukia Kuchiki. Now, Ichigo is a Reaper, protecting the innocent and helping tormented spirits find peace.
Bleach, Vol. 24 drops us right in the middle of the battle between the Soul Reapers and the Arrancars, Hollows that have attained Soul Reaper-like powers. Led by Grimmjow Jeagerjaques, a small band of Arrancars launched an attack on Ichigo’s hometown, Karakaru Town. In order to fight Grimmjow, however, Ichigo may have to unleash the darkness within.
THE LOWDOWN: To call Bleach one of the best manga in the world is something of a lie by the sin of omission. Let’s not relegate it to Japan, as Bleach is probably one of the best comic books or comics published worldwide. My recent experiences with the output of Marvel Comics and DC Comics lead me to believe that they aren’t publishing anything that can compete with this fantastic shounen manga (boys’ comics), and I wonder about the rest of the world. The best shounen manga, like Bleach, offers action, epic battles, and the widescreen feel that matches what the best Hollywood special effects extravaganzas offer, plus, shounen can focus on character development the way action movies can’t or won’t.
Whenever I finish a volume of Bleach, I could almost make a bargain with the devil just to get the next volume right away.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Readers who want the cream of shounen manga will find that in a handful of titles, with Bleach being one of them.