Bleach (Volume 1) – Strawberry and the Soul Reapers

Bleach Volume 1 Cover

Ichigo Kurosaki can see ghosts as well as he can see the living. However, he’s never seen a Hollow until now, and it would have eaten him if not for the Soul Reaper, Rukia Kuchiki.

Bleach (Volume 1) – Strawberry and the Soul Reapers

What happened?

Ichigo’s family run a clinic that looks after the living. Everyone in his family but his father has some sort of ability. His sisters can see them to varying degrees of clarity, although one is in denial. Ichigo’s mother also had the gift, but she has sadly passed on. One evening, Ichigo sees a black swallowtail butterfly flying into his room. Then, it changes into a samurai girl. He’s pretty sure, she’s an intruder so he attacks. She’s shocked that he can see her let alone hit her.

She paralysed him with a spell using Kido, a power that only Soul Reapers can use. Soul Reapers come to Earth to send the lost souls on their way to Soul Society. However, there are two types of souls. There are the Wholes who look like ordinary people and then there are the Hollows that look like monsters. She uses a Zanpakuto to vanquish them. The end of the handle for Wholes and the point of the blade for Hollows. She’s searching for a Hollow but something is messing with her senses.

There’s a loud hideous sound and it’s close. The Hollow is in Ichigo’s house and has attacked his family. Rukia, the Soul Reaper tries to stop it, but ends up getting hurt saving Ichigo. The Hollow is after him because of his spiritual energy. Their only chance to succeed is for Ichigo to become a Soul Reaper. Rukia attempts to give him half her power, but he takes it all. She’s never seen a Zanpakuto so large. Who is this kid?

Bleach Volume 1 Ichigo becomes a Soul Reaper

What did you think?

I’ve only seen the first season of Bleach and plan on one day working through the rest of it, so why not start the manga too? Honestly, I’m not sure which is more daunting, 366 episodes of anime or 74 volumes of manga. Either way, it’s a story I think I’ll enjoy as it’s got lots of swords. This volume was a nice introduction to the main characters and spent a bit of time explaining the world. I loved Rukia in the anime and she’s just as entertaining in the manga which is nice.

Rather unsurprisingly, Ichigo is not nearly as loud and brash in the manga. I feel like that’s one of the things that anime studios too often get wrong with shounen adaptations. A character yelling in one panel can become several minutes in the anime and that quickly becomes too much. I did enjoy this volume and will definitely be reading more. Maybe, I should get back to watching the anime too. I had big plans on how to watch it and review the entire thing.

Bleach Volume 1 Rukia removes Ichigos soul

Volume highlights

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