Bleach Volume Seven is a manga by Tite Kubo, and it was published in North America by Viz Media’s Shonen Jump imprint in 2005. The series is rated “T’ for teens; from what I’ve read of the manga and from what I’ve seen of the anime series, I would agree with this rating.
15-year-old Ichigo Kurosaki is the main character of the series, and he has the ability to see ghosts. After meeting a Soul Reaper named Rukia, his home is attacked by a Hollow. Rukia tries to transfer some of her powers to Ichigo so he can protect his family; however, he unintentionally absorbs all of her power. Ichigo defeats the Hollow and begins serving as a substitute Soul Reaper.
This volume begins with Renji Abarai and Byakuya Kuchiki coming from Soul Society in order to apprehend Rukia and take her back with them to face punishment for transferring her powers to a human. Rukia tries to keep Ichigo out of the situation, so she leaves a note to tell him not to follow her. But with the help of Urahara, Ichigo is able to become a Soul Reaper and confronts Renji and Byakuya.
Unfortunately, things don’t go well, and Rukia is taken back to Soul Society. Urahara takes Ichigo back to his home to help him heal and to help him train so Ichigo can go to Soul Society to try to rescue Rukia. Unfortunately, Ichigo’s training is rather dangerous. At the same time, Orihime and Chad agree to undergo training from a talking cat named Yoruichi so that they, too, can go to Soul Society and help rescue Rukia.
One of my favorite parts of this volume takes place during Ichigo’s training under Urahara. It’s when Ichigo is told that he has to hit Urahara’s assistant, Ururu. Ichigo doesn’t want to, because she’s a little girl, and so his hesitation is the cause of some humor. One of the best parts is when Ichigo finally agrees to put on the protective gear and he does all the yelling that Urahara tells him to do.
Since I’m already familiar with this part of the story from watching the anime series, I already know what to expect at this point. However, now that we’re beginning to head toward the story arc about rescuing Rukia from Soul Society, I’m very curious to see how the manga tells the story compared to the anime; I suspect the anime telling was stretched out, so it will be interesting for me to see if I’m right.
I know I’ve commented on this before, but I really like how Kubo’s art style almost makes the characters literally leap off the page when they’re in major action sequences. There are also some really good facial close-ups in this volume. One that really stands out to me is one of Urahara on page 100; could you imagine yourself looking into that face shortly after you’ve woken up?
Just like the previous volumes of the series, I had a hard time putting Volume Seven down as I was reading it. If you’ve read previous volumes of Bleach and have enjoyed what you read, I think you’ll also enjoy Volume Seven.
I wrote this review after reading a copy of Bleach Volume Seven that I checked out through the King County Library System.