Bleach 2 (英語) ペーパーバック – 2004/8/3
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Hot-tempered 15-year-old Ichigo Kurosaki, the hero of the popular fantasy-adventure Bleach, has the unsettling ability to see spirits who are unable to rest in peace. His sixth sense leads him to Rukia, a Soul Reaper who destroys Hollows (soul-devouring monsters) and ensures the deceased find repose with the Soul Society. When she's injured in battle, Rukia transfers her sword and much of her power to Ichigo, whose spiritual energy makes him a formidable substitute Soul Reaper. But the orange-haired teenager isn't sure he wants the job: too many risks and moral dilemmas.
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 Japan in 2004. 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.
The drawings are rather bad. Some girls look like a boy.
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This is, simply, an exciting manga to read. The characters, the story, almost everything about this series isn't original, but it's a damn lot of fun. In fact, it's so fun that I think Bleach is doing a kind of reinvention of sorts by enlivening the manga ghost/action story (YuYu Hakusho, Shaman King). And, while this volume doesn't take many more steps than the first did, it definitely made it clear that those steps would eventually pop up somewhere. For now, you just have to enjoy the action and the comedy while meeting some possibly interesting people along the way.
After finishing this volume, which basically explored Ichigo's continued training as a substitute Soul Reaper, I'm actually sorry I gave the first volume a four. It deserved a five and I can't go back now and change that. This is an excellent manga series that promises to only get better. It can appeal to all ages, having more than enough to keep adult manga readers entertained while also not being graphic enough to make it too mature for kids. I highly recommend this manga to fans of Shonen Jump, as the similarities are too many to count.