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Bleach, vol. 27 (Tite Kubo)

Yes, I'm still reading Bleach, even though I haven't bothered to write it up for some time. Most of it has become pretty formulaic, with the good guys having to beat up on piles of more- and more-badass bad guys. There have only been a few scenes that would have been worth writing up: the Orihime-Rangiku girl-talk confessional, and Yumichika's reaction to Ikkakku's fight with Edrad Leones (lower left panel; be still, my shippy little heart!), and some of the Vizard stuff.

Then along comes this volume, with much, much awesomeness. The trouble is, I have seen people's complaints about things that happen further along. Oh Kubo-sensei, you nasty tease ... you're just toying with me, aren't you?

The rest is going under a cut - there's not much to say about the plot that won't spoil it for anyone who hasn't been keeping up.


Bleach, vol. 27 (review)

Anyway, this volume wraps up the extremely nasty fight that Hitsugaya's folks were having with the Arrancar team led by eeeee-vil little Luppi, as well as Grimmjow's fight with Ichigo. And then Mr. Emo Arrancar (OK, fine, Ulquiorra) shows up and kidnaps Orihime, who was on her way back to the living world with a Very Important Message. The Captain General refuses to let anyone go after her, because she might be a traitor. So of course Ichigo, Chad, and Ishida are soon on their way to Hueco Mundo, the world of the Arrancars, to rescue her. And Urahara, of course, helps them get there.

Things I really, really liked:

  • Hitsugaya finally pwns Luppi, who had been asking for it for some time (sadly, the little octo-weasel doesn't die ... at that moment)
  • Shinji (Shinji!) rescues Ichigo and Rukia
  • Yumichika attempts to rise from his bed of pain to rescue Ikkaku from Ururu (hee!)
  • Yuzu and Karin insist on eating their dinner next to their unconscious nii-chan, and then fall asleep on the floor; and Yuzu has a strawberry (= ichigo) hair clip in that scene
  • That upon entering Ichigo's room, Orihime notes that "it smells like him" - and then her declaration of love for Ichigo (waaaaah! So sad!)
  • Renji attempting to snow the Captain General about rescuing Orihime - and it's plain he's doing it for Ichigo's sake. I love that look he gives Ichigo!
  • Kenpachi and Byakuya arrive together to shepherd the errant shinigami home
  • Ichigo thanks Shinji by leaving him a bundle of clean bandages all traditionally done up in a furoshiki - and Shinji's reaction to it
  • Tatsuki confronts Ichigo about why Orihime is missing and what the heck has Ichigo really been doing - and gets so mad at him that she smashes his head through a window pane with a single punch
  • Urahara's spell to open the Garganta passageway to Hueco Mundo
  • That Urahara realizes the whole time that Tatsuki and the other two have been watching as Urahara sends Ichigo, Chad, and Ishida off - and what he says to them about their friendship
  • Grimmjow's face right after Orihime heals up the piece of skin with his No. 6 tattoo on it - and what he does to Luppi right afterward (rah! Shades of Hakkai and Chin Yisou ... )
  • Ishida's rules-lawyering his way out of his agreement with his father to help Ichigo
  • Isshin! With Ryuken! And then both of them sit there uncomfortably, thinking about what rotten fathers they are ... together

Things I really didn't like:

  • That Rukia couldn't even begin to be effective when she tried to rescue Ichigo from Grimmjow.

All in all, a really great volume.



( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 2nd, 2009 12:52 pm (UTC)
I like Bleach, but it's sort of a reluctant love, mostly because of the repetitiveness. Sure, Ichigo gets his ass kicked occasionally, but not really in any meanigful way that has permanent ramifications (except for him to get stronger and even more badass).

Yumichika attempts to rise from his bed of pain to rescue Ikkaku from Ururu (hee!)

My Bleach OTP :D How I heart the two of them. Closely followed by Ichigo and Ishida. >_>
Jun. 3rd, 2009 10:00 pm (UTC)

It's like there's a really good, complex story about interactions among people involved in a super-important enterprise (and struggling with bureaucracy at the same time) hidden under this arena combat thing.

Come to think of it, that's a good bit of why I like C.J. Cherryh's SF novel Hellburner: it's that kind of story minus most of the random, useless combat. (It's also minus a lot of extraneous cast - as though Bleach were focusing on Ichigo, Renji, Rukia, and Orihime, plus maybe Hitsugaya, and the rest had been relegated to walk-ons.)

Speaking of complex stories with too much combat, how are you getting along with SDK?

Jun. 8th, 2009 01:11 am (UTC)
Well, I am up in the air with SDK, actually :D The publisher has/had neglected to procure a copy of Volumes 4, 9 and 16 (so far), which makes progressing in the storyline problematic. I did get Volume 4 last Wednesday, but haven't read past Volume 3 yet.

Initial impressions: Mm. I could live without the goofy fanservice of Yuya, and the even goofier infantilizing of Mibu Kyoshiro, who ultimately figures as somewhat tragic (at least as far as the anime went... I don't have enough info to tell if that's what happens with his character in the manga yet). Basically, I think the silliness is a little over the top. But I have 20 volumes so far, so I am sticking with it.

I do like the artwork,a lot. I just don't care for the slapstick stuff too much. But you have assured me that it gets better, so I am keeping on.

One thing I think is really interesting is how everyone looks the same age so far: Yuya, Kyoshiro and Kyo all look like teenagers, which makes sense for Yuya, but not so much for Kyo and Kyoshiro.
Jun. 8th, 2009 02:09 am (UTC)

(I tried getting you on chat when I saw this, but no luck.)

smillaraaq who has read far more manga than I have, commented that the first couple of volumes are just average-ish shounen manga. I don't bother with them when I re-read, rachelmanija thought they were terrible, and sanada (who was my first manga-reading buddy and eventually introduced me to Saiyuki) has never bothered to read them at all - she went straight to the end of vol. 3 because she'd heard that that's when Sanada Yukimura showed up. So you have basically been stalled in the very butt-end of the series.

In the next two volumes (4 and 5), if Yukimura's public antics vs. his actual RL situation don't do anything for you, you'd be justified in giving up on it, IMO. It's not that the rest of the story is so much about him - it's that the mangaka first shows the emotional level and plot-weaving that she's capable of in those bits. (Volume 5 hooked rachelmanija on the rest of the series.)

Kyoushirou is even more tragic than the anime is capable of showing (although a number of fangirls think he's pretty stupid for having let himself get rooked into his particular weird situation, so YMMV). The idiocy in the first few volumes is overdone (I think SDK was her first series), but it's in the service of making a contrast for later on.

By the end of vol. 20, you'll be deeper into the massive Mibu Arc. I can lend you the rest if you're ambivalent about buying them at that point. I really, really wish they'd show signs of getting the rest of them out already. We're stuck in the final climactic parts - it's plottus interruptus! But if worst comes to worst, there's always sanada's translations and the scanslations she and some of the love_deeper crew made from them, at her hana-mi.net site.

Jun. 3rd, 2009 03:41 am (UTC)
The scene where Orihime confesses her feelings toIchigo is really the main reason I'm ok with them as an eventual pairing, whing seems to be Tite Kubo's intent. As much as he intends anything, wehich isn't much. Though that'sonly after a good bit of growing upon both their parts.
Jun. 3rd, 2009 10:04 pm (UTC)

I love how he writes Orihime, actually. Stupid things happen to her, and he's put stupid limitations on her, but what she says and does is very honest and consistent. I also just love the sensual detail that she recognizes his scent - she's really into him. And the way she goes off on a tangent about how being five different people would work out - and snaps back to the fact that she'd still love him. That's the kind of thing that makes me feel passionate about character romance, not all this fluffy-headed stuff that passes for love in so many manga.

Jun. 4th, 2009 02:59 am (UTC)
Comments like that are what make me think you'd like the romance in Basara, if you could get into the series.

I find that I enjoy many romances, but have inevstment (that is, am inspired to think of them on anything beyond a surface level) in very few.
Jun. 4th, 2009 12:40 am (UTC)
I am not reading your spoilers but OMG Yumichika and Ikkaku are so, so very much doing it.

Also, is there every any backstory on Yumichika?
Jun. 4th, 2009 11:51 am (UTC)

I don't think there's any in canon. It seems to me that if there were, the big fight with Edrad would have been the place to insert it (Kubo does things that way a lot).

There is, however, this Springkink fic, which I was glad to re-discover so I could add it to memories.

Jun. 6th, 2009 02:41 am (UTC)
That's pretty awesome.
Jun. 6th, 2009 02:46 am (UTC)

It was fun, wasn't it? It was even better than I remembered, actually!

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


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