Bleach Vol. 57 – Story & Art by Tite Kubo (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

May 24, 2013 by  

An exciting action-packed volume from Tite Kubo, “Bleach” vol. 57 features the epic battle of Soul Reaper leader, Captain Shigekuni Yamamoto Genryusai vs. Quincy King Yhwach to the battle of the death.  As other Soul Reapers also engage the Stern Ritter elite in a battle to the death.  Highly recommended!

© 2001 Tite Kubo. All Rights Reserved.

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MANGA TITLE: Bleach Vol. 57

STORY AND ART BY: Tite Kubo (久保 宣章)


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

RATED: T for Older Teen

RELEASE DATE: July 2, 2013

With Ichigo trapped in Hueco Mundo, the Soul Society comes under attack by a mysterious group of warriors calling themselves the Vandenreich. The Soul Reaper captains valiantly stand up to the invaders, but this is a battle they might not be able to win!

The Quincies via the Vandenreich have attacked the Seiretei and hundreds of Soul Reapers have been massacred.  Yhwach, the leader of the Quincy’s is wanting revenge for leading to the extinction of their race, the Quincies have found a way to absorb a Soul Reaper’s Bankai, rendering them useless in battle and easy to kill.

But there is hope for the Soul Reapers as the Vandenreich have not been able to nullify Ichigo Kurosaki’s Bankai for some unknown reason.  But as Ichigo tries to go back to the Soul Society, the Vandenreich tries to prevent him from doing so.

And not wanting to see any more of his people get slaughtered, Captain Shigekuni Yamamoto Genryusai prepares for battle to fight the King of the Quincy’s, Yhwach.

Find out what happens in “Bleach” vol. 57!

What is “Bleach?”

For those who are not so familiar with “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.

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 descendant of a hollow hunting group known as the Quincy and are enemies of the Soul Reapers.

As their adventures have continued, we have seen Ichigo and his friends getting stronger, developing new abilities and taking on their most difficult foes yet but also earning the respect of his friends and the Soul Society, having saved their lives time and time again. But this time around, there comes a new enemy that may be so powerful that Ichigo may not be able to take them on…

Enter the Vandenreich!

The Current Storyline

We have only heard of how the Quincies had perished after a long feud with the Soul Reapers. The Soul Reapers which believed in having the soul of a hollow crossover to the Soul Society, while the Quincies believed in the total destruction of the hollow’s soul. And while the two had tried to work out their dispute, in the end, it let do a war in which the Soul Reapers vanquished the Quincies.

With only Uryu Ishida thought to be the last Quincy alive, in volume 55 of “Bleach”, it was revealed that one of the deadly Quincy’s from the past, Yhwach, was not killed and has assembled a group known as the Vandenreich to eliminate all Soul Reapers and destroy the Soul Society.

Many have gone missing in Karakura Town and while the Vandenreich have made their presence known to Captain Yamamoto by killing 1st Division Lt. Sasakibe. Also, Hueco Mundo Arrancars have been attacked by the Hueco Mundo Army led by Quilge Opie who are trying to force the Arrancars to join them or else be killed.

As Nel goes to the human world to beg for Ichigo to save Hueco Mundo, Ichigo, Kisuke Urahara, Chad and Orihime hurry to Hueco Mundo to see what is happening. And with the distraction caused in that area, Yhwach orders the Vandenreich to attack the Soul Reapers in their home area inside the Seiretei and the top Quincy combatants of the Vandenreich, the Stern Ritter continues their destruction by trying to kill all Soul Reaper captains.

In vol. 57, as Ichigo tries to hurry back to the Soul Society, he is encased in some object and is unable to escape from it.  Meanwhile, Byakuya Kuchiki and Renji Abarai take on Stern Ritter’s “As Nodt”, Shuhei Hisagi takes on Stern Ritter’s “O” [The Overkill] Driscoll Berci and it looks like that without using their Bankai, the Soul Reapers have no chance.

Until Division 1 Captain, Shigekuni Yamamoto Genryusai, the most power soul reaper decides it is time to intervene and try to kill all of the Stern Ritter.

Leading up to a battle between Soul Reaper leader Captain Yamamoto vs. the King of Quincy’s, Yhwach.

For the longest time, watching and reading “Bleach”, we have always wondered about how powerful Captain Yamamoto is?  How did the Quincy’s become extinct?

And in volume 56, we learned quickly of how the Soul Society is unable to take on the elite Stern Ritter as the Bankai of a soul reaper is absorbed by the Quincy rendering a Soul Reaper powerless.  We learned more about the Quincy’s and why the Soul Reapers felt it necessary to eliminate them.

So far, we have seen the Soul Reapers being eliminated, certain characters getting killed and the hope of the Soul Society that Ichigo Kurosaki, the one man in which the Stern Ritter have been unable to absorb his Bankai, can come and help them.

In vol. 57, we see how Ichigo has been encased in some mysterious prison that he is unable to get out of.  and unfortunately, all he can hear are people through his cell phone, screaming and getting killed or disconnected.  And as hard as he tries, he is unable to free himself.

With only a few Soul Reaper being able to fight and defeat their opponents, one man is guaranteed to finish what he never did many years ago and that is Division 1 Captain Yamamoto.  The leader of the Soul Reapers and their most powerful leader who is determined to kill all Stern Ritter.

But for Captain Yamamoto, he will be lead to fight the man he was supposed to kill, Yhwach, the King of the Quincy’s.

And while we have seen glimpses of Captain Yamamoto’s power, volume 57 features the battle between Captain Yamamoto and Yhwach and we get to see how powerful Captain Yamamoto really is and also what his Bankai is and what it does.

For longtime fans of “Bleach”, this exciting battle between the Soul Reapers is absolutely shocking as certain Soul Reapers that have played a major part in “Bleach” are either killed or severely maimed. And with the Vandenreich declaring that the Soul Reapers and Soul Society will be destroyed, it appears that for now, they are unstoppable.  But with Captain Yamamoto in the battlefield, it has inspired the Soul Reapers to fight their opponents.

It is important to note that with the release of volume 56 of “Bleach”, the USA releases has now caught up with the Japanese release.  While the US release is still released a few months after the Japanese manga release, “Bleach” readers are no longer far behind from the Japanese release.

As always, the artwork by Tite Kubo is fantastic. His action illustrations are wonderful and he has been doing it long enough to know what works and how to get the reader interested when there is so much action that takes place in a page. Granted, action-paced manga with a lot of fighting does make the reading go quickly but fortunately, there are some major surprises in store with this volume that makes things manga volume worthwhile.

An exciting action-packed volume from Tite Kubo, “Bleach” vol. 57 features the epic battle of Soul Reaper leader, Captain Shigekuni Yamamoto Genryusai vs. Quincy King Yhwach to the battle of the death.  As other Soul Reapers also engage the Stern Ritter elite in a battle to the death.

For longtime “Bleach” fans, “Bleach” Vol. 57 is highly recommended!

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