Manga Shelf: Bleach – Volume One
Bleach has become a staple in the anime world, so we wanted to have a look at its origins. The manga follows the story of Ichigo Kurosake, a 15 year old high school student who can see and talk to ghosts. As fate would have it, one day he encounters a Soul Reaper. The Soul Reaper was on a journey to get rid of a Hollow, which is known for being a spirit full of evil malevolence. Ichigo’s family is attacked by the Hollow and the Soul Reaper is injured during the fight. In a last ditch effort, she relinquished her remaining powers onto Ichigo and he becomes a temporary Soul Reaper.
Like most shounen centric manga, the story is filled with action sequences, which will make for an even quicker read. The artwork tends to pop out the most during the action scenes obviously. Readers who may potentially cringe at the idea of reading an action oriented manga should loosen up a little because even with the action, the characters come off well developed, including Ichigo. This character manages to channel both the supernatural creature and the typical teenager in a welcoming way. This works for his purpose in the narrative, which is to act as a catalyst for readers to be welcomed into the unseen world, but also to have a foot in the realm of reality, so to speak. The complexity of the character’s depths are also cleverly shown within their respective illustrations.
What also makes Bleach as popular as it has been and something that you should either revisit or visit for the first time is the way in which it explores a few concepts in a fresh manner. One of the more interesting ones is how it builds its underworld and the creatures dwelling within it. The encounters have a way of asking some deeply philosophical questions without getting too intellectual.
We definitely recommend you give Bleach Volume One a read and as always let us know what you think. Is this manga series overhyped? What are some of your favorite manga series?