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Bleach 3-in-1: Volumes 16-18 – Omnibus Edition by Tite Kubo (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

September 1, 2013 by  



The sixth volume of the “Bleach” omnibus showcases the most intense battles on “Bleach” yet!  As the race to save Rukia from execution continues, Ichigo must learn bankai while Soul Reaper who want to save Rukia take on other Soul Reapers in several major battles! Exciting, action-packed from beginning to end, “Bleach 3-in-1: Volumes 16-18” is highly recommended!

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Image courtesy of © Tite Kubo. All Rights Reserved.

MANGA TITLE: Bleach 3-in-1: Volumes 16-18 – Omnibus Edition

STORY AND ART BY: Tite Kubo (久保 宣章)

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: SHUEISHA, Inc.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC/Shonen Jump Manga

RATED: T for Older Teen

RELEASE DATE: September 3, 2013

With Rukia’s execution looming, Ichigo and the rest of the rescue squad must find a way to break her out of the Senzaikyû prison. Not only has her sentence been moved up, but the imprisonment is close to breaking her usually indomitable spirit. And to make matters worse, political intrigue is brewing in the Seireitei, and Ichigo and his friends are caught in the middle of it!

Rukia is to be executed, Aizen is dead and now a letter from Aizen was created and left for Hinamori that the person who plotted Rukia’s execution was 10th Division Captain Toshiro Hitsugaya.  Meanwhile, Ichigo goes through intensive training to learn bankai with the help of Yoruichi and a look into Rukia’s past.

Meanwhile, other Soul Reapers are starting to see that something unusual is going on and that Ichigo and others who are trying to save Rukia may have a good reason to.  And this pits Soul Reaper vs. Soul Reaper as Renji takes on Byakuya Kuchiki, Yoruichi takes on her student Sui Feng and more!

All this is another action-packed volume of Tite Kubo’s “Bleach 3-in-1” omnibus!

What is “Bleach”?

“Bleach” has a strong fan following and since its run began back in 2001, series creator, writer and illustrator Noriaki “Tite” Kubo has been hard at work, continuing to crank chapter after chapter for Weekly Shonen Jump in Japan and with the success of the series extending out to films, OVA’s, feature films and video games and other merchandise.

Because of its airing on the Cartoon Network and it being featured on Shonen Jump magazine, “Bleach” has gone on to become a fan favorite in America but also fans all over the world.

BUT… what if you are a person who came into “Bleach” just recently. You feel that there are too many manga, anime and video games to read and watch that there is surely no way for you to start from the very beginning.

Not to worry as “Bleach” has received the 3-in-1 omnibus treatment from Viz Media and available now is the first “Bleach 3-in-1” which includes volumes 1-3 of the popular manga series.

A brief spoiler-less summary what “Bleach” is about

“Bleach” is a story about a guy named Ichigo Kurasaki who has a gift in which he can see spirits. One day, he saw a Soul Reaper (one who can govern the flow of souls between the human world and the afterlife) named Rukia Kukichiki who has come to find a Hollow (a lost soul). She ends up being wounded in battle when she tried to defend Ichigo and so she illegally transfers her reiatsu (spiritual pressure) to him, so that he can defeat the Hollow. But during the process, he nearly takes all of her energy and becomes a Soul Reaper himself and defeats the Hollow quite easily.

So, the first storyline arc features Rukia now powerless stranded in the human world until she has the time to recover her true powers, while Ichigo fills in and battles Hollows in her place. And with each fight, Rukia starts to notice something special about Ichigo’s abilities.

Meanwhile, we get to see how friends of Ichigo also have some ties with the supernatural. From his classmate Orihime Inoue , to his tall friend with immense strength, Chad Sado and the mod known as Kon, we also get to meet friends that help Ichigo and Rukia take on the various hollows that are attacking humans and souls.

We are then introduced to classmate of Ichigo’s named Uryu Ishida who reveals himself to be a Quincy, a long lost group that hunted down hollows but unlike soul reapers that send the hollows to the Soul Society, Quincy’s believe in the destruction of hollows. And because the Quincy were eliminated by the Soul Reapers hundreds of years ago and he is the last one left, he has a hatred towards Soul Reapers. We also learn that Chad and Orihime have latent powers and other friends and family of Ichigo are able to see spiritual pressure.

Which leads us to “Bleach 3-in-1: Volumes 7-9” which begins with Uryu and then Ichigo taking on Soul Reapers Renji Abarai and Captain Byakuya Kuchiki, Rukia’s brother. But they quickly learn that they are in no position to even fight them as they are quickly defeated.

Both Ichigo and Uryu are fortunate that they are alive but Rukia has been taken back to the Soul Society to face severe punishment (execution) for giving her power to a human (Ichigo).

But before Ichigo goes out to find Rukia in the Soul Society, he must undergo training from Kisuke and friends. Meanwhile, Orihime and Chad must undergo training from a black cat known as Yoruichi. While Uryu continues to strengthen himself through the glove from his master.

In volume 8 of “Bleach”, Ichigo, Chad and Orihime continue their training but for Ichigo, he must confront his zanpakuto and learn that despite Rukia giving him her Soul Reaper powers, he already had latent powers that were awaken by Rukia.

But something happens to Ichigo and when he returns, he is wearing a Hollow’s mask?

In volume 9 of “Bleach”, Ichigo, Chad, Orihime and Uryu along with Yoruichi are sent to the Soul Society. With the Soul Society in full alert and the four being wanted, the four end up hiding in Rukongai and encounter a man known as Ganju. How can this guy help them break into the Seireitei in order to rescue Rukia?

In volume 10-12, Ichigo and friends must save Ruki before her execution. But with the Soul Society under alert that Ichigo and friends have infiltrated the Soul Society, the Soul Reapers of the Eleventh Division are sent to stop them.

In their first major battle against the Soul Reapers, does Ichigo and friends have any chance of winning?

In volumes 13-15, with Captain Aizen murdered, Ichigo and friends have become suspects. And now the Captains of the Soul Society are sent to take them on! But will Ichigo and friends be powerful enough to take on the Soul Society Captains? Meanwhile, 10th Division Captain Toshiro Hitsugaya has his own opinions of who has murdered Captain Aizen and his suspicion is that it is a fellow Shinigami.

It’s an action-packed one-one-one battle as Sado vs. 8th Division Captain Shunsui Kyoraku, Ichigo vs. 11th Division Captain Kenpachi Zaraki, Ganju vs. 6th Division Captain Byakuya Kuchiki and Uryu vs. 12th Division Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi. Who will become victorious?

And now with the latest “Bleach 3-in-1” omnibus, graphic novel 16 features Toshiro Hitsugaya suspects that Aizen and Ichimaru were involved in something bad, but with the death of Aizen, Aizen’s letter points to the culprit being Hitsugaya.  Meanwhile, the race to save Rukia continues but first, Ichigo must go through bankai training and must learn quickly in order to take on the major Soul Reapers, as Renji tries to stall time by taking on Byakuya Kuchiki.

In volume 17, the conclusion of the Renji vs. Byakuya matchup and Ichigo’s bankai training.  Meanwhile, why does Ichimaru want to see Rukia?  Also, the tides are turning as members of the Soul Reapers are starting to doubt that Ichigo and his friends are enemies.  Thus leading to a battle between Kenpachi Zaraki and Kaname Tosen, Yumichika Ayasegawa vs.  Shuhei Hisagi and Rukia’s execution begins!

In volume 18, Rukia is to be executed but can Ichigo prevent her from being killed by the Sokyoku?  Yoruichi takes on her student Sui Feng, Jushiro Ukitake and Shunsui Kyoraku vs. Genryusai Shigekuni Yamamoto and more!

One of the most exciting “Bleach” arcs is the the arc to rescue Rukia.  The importance of this arc was the establishment of the Soul Reaper captains and their divisions but to also introduce characters that play a major role for future arcs in the “Bleach” universe.

But the significance of graphic novel volumes 16-18 in “Bleach” is the fact that Ichigo learns Bankai and we see the turn of the tide as Soul Reapers take on Soul Reapers and it’s an action-packed fightfest of power vs. power and behind-the-scenes is this undergoing corrupt system that is being investigated after Aizen’s death and what does Ichimaru have to do with it?

While the pages of these volumes are primarily all about battles, there are some flashbacks included, especially involving Rukia.

But for those wanting a deep storyline, you won’t get so much of that but you will get to know the abilities and the fight strategies of various Soul Reapers.  It may not seem so important for people new to the series but learning about one’s abilities especially with their zanpakuto will become important in future chapters.

As for the release of the omnibus, what you are getting are three volumes for the price of one manga. Yes, you don’t get the individual cover art but for the savings of one of the omnibus versus purchasing three books individually, it really depends on the reader, as you do get all pages, including Tite Kubo’s page comments.

Overall, this sixth volume of “Bleach 3-in-1: Volumes 16-18” is all about intense action. Not only does these volumes establish Ichigo as a fighter, sets up a major storyline that will continue for many volumes in later issues but also featuring one of the crazies, most intense battles featured in “Bleach” and you can expect the same with the next omnibus volume as it sets up a major revelation that will become an ongoing issue in the future of “Bleach”.

Exciting, action-packed from beginning to end, “Bleach 3-in-1: Volumes 16-18” is highly recommended!

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