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Bleach Vol. 37 – Story & Art by Tite Kubo (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

January 12, 2012 by  



All-out action in the pages of vol. 37 of “Bleach”!  As Ichigo and friends go to rescue Orihime, the Soul Reapers take on the Arrancars and for those who have wondered why Uruhara and Tsukabishi are no longer Soul Reapers, this volume finally answers that question.  Definitely recommended for “Bleach” fans!

© 2001 Tite Kubo. All Rights Reserved.

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MANGA TITLE: Bleach Vol. 37

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: December 6, 2011

Soul Reaper captain Shinji Hirako has uncovered Aizen’s betrayal, but it may be too late. As some of the Soul Society’s greatest Soul Reapers transform into Hollows, it will be up to Kisuke Urahara to save them. And back in the present time, the grand battle between the Thirteen Court Guard Companies and the remaining Espada finally begins!

“Bleach”… It’s definitely one of the most successful anime and manga titles in Japan and well-known to anime/manga fans all over the world.

“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.

A Brief History of 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.

The second storyline arc of “Bleach” features the Soul Society wanting to sentence Rukia to death for transferring her powers to Ichigo. His friends also begin to develop special abilities. His childhood friend, Orihime Inoue, is given special abilities courtesy of her loving brother who has turned into a Hollow. Yasutora “Chad” Sato is Ichigo’s tall friend (who is half Japanese/half Mexican) who suddenly becomes aware of spirits and develops an ability to have a special armored right arm that has special abilities. And Ichigo’s rival/friend, Uryu Ishida, who is a desendant of a hollow hunting group known as the Quincy and are enemies of the Soul Reapers.

Through various chapters, the Soul Reapers learn that one of their own, Sosuke Aizen, is a traitor. It was learned that Aizen has been creating Visoreds, Soul Reapers who have obtained hollow powers (Hollowfication) and are known for their hollow masks (which look like skulls on a human’s face) and Arrancars, a stronger form of hollow which has acquired human form.

It is learned that Ichigo has a Visored that is manifesting within him that has great power. During a fight, this visored tries to take over Ichigo’s body but Ichigo is trying his best to control it and using this power wisely.

Together, Ichigo and his friends continue to increase and enhance their abilities overtime and to take on tough enemies which leads us to the Visored/Arrancar arc.

The Current Storyline

Ichigo and friends are now on a mission to stop the traitorous soul reaper, Sosuke Aizen who along with his army of Arrancars are preparing their plan to destroy the Soul Society and wiping out Karakura Town. Meanwhile, in order to protect Ichigo and her friends, Orihime willingly stays with Aizen’s group but Ichigo and friends will do all they can to save her.  Meanwhile, the Thirteen Court Guard Companies head to Karakura.

With “Bleach” vol. 37, focuses on three different storylines.  One focuses on the past (110 years ago) during a time when Kisuke Urahara was captain of the Twelfth Company and when Fifth Company rushed to investigating an area where a task force has disappeared.  This is where Shinji confronts his own Assistant Captain Sosuke Aizen.  The storyline gives insight of why Urahara and Tsukabishi left the Soul Society.

The other storyline features Ichigo and friends making their way to rescue Orihime but waiting for an intruder is the Arancar Ulquiorra.

The third storyline focuses on the battle between the Soul Reapers and King Barragan’s four pillars.  The battles consist of  Assistant Captain, Ninth Company Shuhei Hisagi vs. Findorr, Yumichika Ayasegawa vs. Charlotte Chul-Hourne, Madarame Ikkaku vs. Poww and Kira Izuru vs. Abirama.

Suffice to say, this latest volume is another action-packed volume as the majority of the chapters focus on actual fighting.  While the earlier chapters focus on the treachery of Aizen and also giving readers a reason why Kisuke Urahara and Tessai Tsukabishi now live in the land of the living and are no longer Soul Reapers.  So, this is a pretty significant volume for “Bleach” fans!

As always, the artwork by Tite Kubo is fantastic.  This volume alone features so many characters and the action is literally non-stop.  It’s definitely one of the better volumes out and for any manga fan who craves action-driven storylines, especially if you love “Bleach”, you can’t go wrong with vol. 37.

Definitely recommended!

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