Tag Archives: Bleach

Review: Bleach (Volume 28) Manga | My Reviews 01 NOV 2012

Baron’s Lecture Full-Course – Ichigo “Strawberry” Kurosaki never asked for the ability to see ghosts – he was born with the gift. When his family is attacked by a Hollow – a malevolent lost soul – Ichigo becomes a Soul Reaper, dedicating his life to protecting the innocent and helping the tortured spirits themselves find peace.

Ichigo, Chad and Uryu are determined to rescue Orihime from Aizen’s vile machinations. But though the Arrancars’ fortress is in sight, the would-be heroes must first pass Tres Cifras – the land of the disgraced Arrancars, who see destroying Ichigo and his friends as a way to redeem their honour!

Volume 28 of Tite Kubo’s hit manga, Bleach, continues the non-stop action by finishing off the fight that kind of reached its conclusion last volume, with new power levels available to both Uryu and Chad. Next it is on to the desolate white spirit desert environment that needs to be traversed in order to reach the gigantic Arrancar fortress, Huego Mundo. Of course this is a pretty hostile land as Ichigo and his travelling companions quickly find out, though at the same time they do encounter some rather reluctant allies in the process (and some not so reluctant ones too!).

Thanks to the last battle, the Arrancars are lying in wait for Ichigo and company, and at the same time their grip over the seized Orihime appears to strengthen. However, even before Ichigo gets to tackle with Aizen’s loyal Espadas, he and his party will first have to overcome the equally powerful disgraced Arrancars, the Privaron Espadas!

It’s the usual mix of over the top drama, action, extreme abilities and surprise reveals, all masterfully blended in with Kube’s signature silly humour to produce a thoroughly entertaining, easy reading and satisfying Shonen tale to lose one’s self in. In other words, all the basics that makes Bleach as big a hit as what it currently is.

In the same vein, Kube’s art is as action packed and stylized as always, portraying an excellent sense of emotion, speed and power to his visuals, with tight pencils and some really good frame layouts. The characters all look spectacular, even if a little angular and as always the action sequences come across really well.

All in all, Bleach volume 28 is as entertaining a read as the rest of the volumes before it, satisfying anyone looking for a nice action-packed, hero-centric story to sit down a lose a hour or two to!

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bleach_%28manga%29

Anime Opinions: Bleach: The DiamondDust Rebellion | Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail | Marvel Anime: Wolverine Anime | My Reviews 27 MAR 2012

Bleach: The DiamondDust Rebellion (2007)

A treasure is stolen, the prime suspect is one of the Captains of Soul Society, and with him disappearing after the theft, all fingers must point to him as being the culprit. But there is more to this event, something hidden in Soul Society’s dirty past, and Ichigo as per usual is going to be dragged into the thick of it to try and clear Hitsugaya’s name before the assassination squad can do their job!

For some reason I tend to enjoy the Bleach movies more than what I enjoy the Naruto movies, despite not having been a part of either franchise for quite a couple of years now (seriously, just too long, both of them!). DiamondDust Rebellion, the second Bleach movie, follows this trend once again for me, delivering a suitably epic standalone film that doesn’t feel like filler, contains loads of action and fantastical, over the top fight sequences, and contains a decent story with just the right amount of mystery and intrigue to keep you hooked.

The animation is fluid, loads of detailed backgrounds, and as to be expected, the Bleach silliness is still present and accounted for. Similarly the voice acting and music score are top notch, making for a great movie that any Bleach, or anime fan for that matter, should enjoy!

Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail (2010)

Having thoroughly enjoyed the dark, thought-provoking and action-packed Black Lagoon series, it was pleasing to stumble across the follow-up OVA, which takes an already excellent and quite dark tale down even more a disturbed and twisted alley.

Events have driven the unstoppable killer maid Roberta over the edge, and now on a quest for revenge, she has thrown away everything (including both her humanity and sanity) and will stop at nothing to achieve her goals. This threatens to destabilize everything and it is up to Rock to come up with a plan to rectify the situation before a combination the Americans, Moscow Hotel, and Colombians mess up everything!

The blood-soaked story feels even darker than previous tales and it is quite disturbing to see how Roberta has devolved into nothing more than a mindless killing machine. On top of this we are given non-stop action, driven by clever machinations that make for a very dark and very intriguing watch, with a suitable satisfying but not completely ending that you expect from a Black Lagoon tale.

The animation is of the same quality as the television series, which quite frankly is a good thing because that animation was fantastically lit, detailed and very fluid and well choreographed.

All of this wrapped in some great voice acting and musical backdrop makes for a polished, bloody and very entertaining extension to the Black Lagoon franchise.

Marvel Anime: Wolverine (2011)

Logan and Mariko were forcefully separated years ago, but she has now finally resurfaced again in Japan. Shingen, her master swordsman, yakuza boss of a father is about to forcefully marry her off to a criminal leader in the state of Madripoor, in exchange for an expanded base of operations. Needless to say, this does not make for a very happy Wolverine, and more importantly, means a trip to Tokyo, claws ready for action!

For some unearthly reason, Madhouse gets the design for Wolverine all wrong for this outing. They get it right in the Marvel Anime: X-Men project, but completely wrong in the Marvel Anime: Wolverine project. I don’t know why, but it does take some time to get over this tall, lean, very Japanese incarnation. However, the character of Logan is spot on, and once you do get over his not so great appearance, you’ll find a fantastic action-packed story that takes you on a very twisty downhill of a adventure with a very big (and pretty over the top) ending. It is in truth a great Wolverine tale, and certainly worth the watch.

Outside of Wolverine’s appearance, the animation for Wolverine is actually pretty great, with great character designs and plenty of fluid action sequences to sit back and enjoy. Backgrounds are detailed and the colours vibrant, suiting the pace of the tale perfectly.

Similarly, a great vocal cast adds the necessary depth to the already great visuals, all wrapped up in a fantastic pulse pounding soundtrack.

It is a fun and enjoyable Wolverine romp, even with the spots that are taken just a little too over the top in terms of the action sequences (annoying, I know), making it a decent watch for any fans of action-packed anime titles.

Review: Bleach (Volume 2) Manga | My Reviews 12 OCT 2011

Goodbye Parakeet, Good Night my Sista – Immediately after checking into the Kurosaki Clinic with a mysterious scar on his back, the muscle-bound Chad goes AWOL. Accompanying Chad is a talking parakeet imbued with the soul of a young boy named Yuichi. It doesn’t take newbie Soul Reaper Ichigo Kurosaki long to surmise that a Hollow must be involved – by far the strongest spirit he’s faced to date. Ichigo is about to discover that not every soul is bound for the Soul Society, especially if it’s tainted with innocent blood!

Mangaka Tite Kubo is back with his huge hit Bleach in volume 2, continuing the almost non-stop action that saw off volume 1, with Chad being chased by an unseen foe, Ichigo and Rukia desperately trying to intervene and an underpowered Rukia going up against what is a very powerful Hollow, stalling him until Ichigo can first deal with his problems on the home front!

However, there are a lot of pages in here, and following the first half we get thrown straight into the next arc, featuring a shady shop owner, modified souls, more back story on the Soul Society and yet another headache for Ichigo, one that is literally jumping out of his reach!

Again Tite Kubo comes up with an enjoyable story, mixing all out intense action and “what happens next” moments with his trademark silly humour, to produce a thoroughly enjoyable story to take in. There is a fair bit of character development, more than a couple of reveals in terms of the Soul Reaper situation and of course some great fight scenes with his usual over the top monster creations.

Similarly, his artwork continues to entertain, often over the top, but always capturing the necessary speed, motion, action, and almost as important, comedy, perfectly, even if every now and then he forgets about things like proportion and maybe an eye or two. It is certainly dynamic art which fits the pace and type of the story perfectly.

In summary, Bleach volume 2 is again an entertaining, action-packed read that is well suited to those who enjoy a decent mix of over the top action, monster encounters and of course silly, cheap laughs. Well worth picking up, even if it isn’t going to make you a better person for reading it! :)

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bleach_%28manga%29

Bleach (Volume 1) Manga | My Reviews 27 JAN 2008

BleachStrawberry and the Soul Reapers: Ichigo Kurosaki has always been able to see ghosts, but this ability doesn’t change his life nearly as much as his close encounter with Rukia Kuchiki, a Soul Reaper and member of the mysterious Soul Society. While fighting a Hollow, an evil spirit that preys on humans who display psychic energy, Rukia attempts to lend Ichigo some of her powers so that he can save his family; but much to her surprise, Ichigo absorbs every last drop of her energy. Now a full-fledged Soul Reaper himself, Ichigo quickly learns that the world he inhabits is one full of dangerous spirits and, along with Rukia – who is slowly regaining her powers – it’s Ichigo’s job to protect the innocent from Hollows and help the spirits themselves find peace.

If Naruto is currently leading the pack in terms of anime popularity, then Bleach must surely be placed squarely in second place. Almost as famous as it ninja rival, Bleach tells the story of on Ichigo Kurosaki, a hard-headed, stubborn brawler with the heart of gold and a desire to do the right thing. Plus, the ability to see spirits comes in pretty handy when he becomes inadvertently sucked into the world of the Soul Reapers or Shinigamis, beings responsible for maintaining the order in the spirit world.

Bleach was first serialized in 2001 and volume 1 introduces us to our orange haired protagonist and his head-on collision with the Soul Society, more specifically with that of Soul Reaper Rukia Kuchiki as she enters our world to combat a Hollow that has made its vile appearance in our plain of existence, specifically targeting a close friend of Ichigo. It wraps up this first tale before teasing us with the beginnings of a second, leaving us panting for more in anticipation of the second volume.

Tite Kubo is both the writer and artist on this title, and as Bleach is primarily a Shonen story, his writing follows this well established sort of story pattern. That said, Bleach’s unique setting, unique monsters and badass attitude makes for an intriguing read and the heavy doses of action sequences are enough to get any boy’s blood pumping. The story tends to lean to the dramatic side of things, but this is tempered with lots of humour, particularly in the form of the interactions that take place between Ichigo and his dad and Ichigo and Rukia.

The writing isn’t going to win any awards for drama, intrigue or depth, but there are enough emotions, humour and action flowing through it to make it an instant hit.

On the artistic side of things, Kubo certainly isn’t an artist with the cleanest of lines, and sometimes his heads and facial expressions don’t seem to come out quite right, but he does have a flair for style and design, evident in the numerous action shots and monsters he crams into the pages.

His drawings are sometimes simple but extremely expressive which makes it easy to pick up on the various emotions and tones of the book and indeed, makes for a thoroughly enjoyable and immersive read. Just note that he does seem to take quite a few shortcuts when it comes to backgrounds, so don’t expect too much on that front.

Overall Bleach is a thoroughly enjoyable, funny and action-packed adventure that will excite any teenage boy (or young at heart adult) and certainly should not be missed. Its popularity speaks for itself – Bleach is simply something you can’t miss out on!

Related link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bleach_%28manga%29

Manga at last! Manga | My Life 21 JUN 2007

At the beginning of this month Merkaba alerted me to the fact that he purchased a bunch of Naruto manga from Take 2 at R56 a graphic novel. Now for a graphic novel that is hardly a price you can refuse. So I quickly followed suit and discovered that it wasn’t just Naruto at that price. As hard as it was to limit myself, I settled on ordering Naruto #1, Death Note #1, Bleach #1 and Eyeshield 21 #1.

Now I’ve been tracking the progress of my order for a while now using Take 2s site. 3 items of my order arrived a week into placing the order, but the last one stubbornly refused to arrive. Until today :) I’ve just seen that it has finally got the Ready to Ship tag, meaning my order should be whisking over to my brothers place for delivery any minute now.

Ooh I’m looking forward to this one. Haven’t read any decent manga in ages and haven’t bought any new manga since Terrance gave me Akira #1 quite a couple of years back!

The other good news is that it looks like my super duper cheap PC is finally back on the cards (see post {0030}. The DFRU Research Centers new machines have arrived and the date has been set for their installation. So now I can finally say it is not going to be too long a wait before I finally upgrade my old 756 mhz machine back at home :)