The first volume of the Bleach 3-in-1 releases combines the first three volumes of the Bleach manga into one edition. Unlike, the VIZBig editions of Inuyasha and Dragon Ball, the physical height of the volume is not drastically different from the regular manga. Also, the paper stock in this edition is of a lower quality than omnibus editions of the Inuyasha and Dragon Ball manga.
15-year-old Ichigo Kurosaki is the main character of Bleach, and he is able to see ghosts. After seeing a girl attacking a strange creature in his neighborhood, the girl visits him in his room one night. The girl says she's a Soul Reaper, and is surprised that Ichigo can see her. At that point, another creature, called a Hollow, appears and terrorizes Ichigo's father and sisters. The Soul Reaper, who introduces herself as Rukia Kuchiki, is injured when she tries to protect Ichigo. When things look their bleakest, Rukia says she will transfer some of her powers to Ichigo so he can protect his family. However, Ichigo unintentionally absorbs all of Rukia's power, and he himself becomes a Soul Reaper. With his new powers, he is able to destroy the creature. Since Rukia has lost her powers, she must pose as an exchange student at Ichigo's school while in an artifical body.
We are also introduced to several of Ichigo's classmates, including Orihime, Tatsuki, Mizuiro, Chad, and Keigo. During this volume, Ichigo has to help Orihime, who is being followed by a Hollow who wants to eat her soul. Chad also ends up with a parakeet that has the soul of a young boy sealed away in it, and the bird is being chased by a Hollow. The concept of a mod soul is also introduced in this volume. The final story in this book gives the reader the backstory about Ichigo's mother and her death, and how Ichigo must face his demons from the day of her death.
Tite Kubo employs a more unique looking art style for his characters in the Bleach manga. However, the reader can tell it's a shonen series by the "busy" panels in the battles with the Hollows, as well as the utilization of the sound effect characters. Kubo is able to bring all of his visual elements together in a way that tells a compelling story that the reader wants to continue following. If you already have familiarity with the Bleach anime series, then you will recognize everything that appears in this omnibus edition; at this point in the anime, it followed the manga very closely. The series has a very interesting concept, which is executed well in both the manga and the anime. When I read this manga, I also find myself emotionally invested in the compelling characters that inhabit the Bleach universe.
Bleach is rated "T," which means the series is being aimed at teenagers.
I wrote this review after reading a copy of this manga volume that my husband and I purchased.
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About the reviewer
Lesley Muir Aeschliman (ljaesch)
I'm a freelance writer whoserves as the Anime editor at BellaOnline; I have also had work published at Associated Content. I also maintain two blogs: AeschTunes and Lesley's Musings... on Manga. … more
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Bleach is author Tite Kubo's second title. Kubo made his debut with ZOMBIEPOWDER., a four-volume series for Weekly Shonen Jump. To date, Bleach has been translated into numerous languages and has also inspired an animated TV series that began airing in the U.S. in 2006. Beginning its serialization in 2001, Bleach is still a mainstay in the pages of Weekly Shonen Jump. In 2005, Bleach was awarded the prestigious Shogakukan Manga Award in the shonen (boys) category.