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|Bleach Volume 8 The Entry |
Genres: Anime & Manga, Animation
Ichigo and his comrades are chased from one end of the Seireitei to another while fending off the furious attacks of the Soul Reapers that guard the city from intruders. When he and Ganju capture a meek member of Squad 4, ... more »
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E. A Solinas | MD USA | 01/15/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When we first saw tattooed, flame-haired Renji Abarai, he seemed like a cocky villainous character, who was inexplicably irritated with Rukia's defection.
Well, we get to see some new sides of Renji in the eighth volume of "Bleach." When Our Heroes aren't causing random mayhem through the Seireitei, Renji takes center stage in a pitched battle with Ichigo -- and we get to see the lives that shaped him and Rukia into what they are.
As Uryu finishes off a very dishonorable soul reaper, Ichigo and Ganju decide to save themselves by taking a hostage -- Hanataro Yamada. Unfortunately, the Soul Reapers following them don't care much about Hanataro because he's from another squad. But when he learns that Ichigo intends to rescue Rukia, the timid Hanataro agrees to help them.
But as they approach Rukia's cell, Ichigo is confronted by Renji Abarai. Horrified by Rukia's death sentence, Renji is determined to kill Ichigo, believing that this will somehow fix things. But Ichigo has gotten even stronger than before, and as he fights Renji, he recalls the horrific training he underwent with Urahara.
Severely wounded, Renji begins to remember his own past. He grew up a young street rat on the Soul Society, with Rukia and a little gang. After the death of their friends, he and Rukia enrolled in the Soul Reaper academy -- and for Rukia's good, Renji distanced himself from her, and did not protest when she was adopted by Byakuya Kuchiki...
"Bleach Volume 8" doesn't really move us much closer to the little living gang's goal. But it DOES give us some new and likable characters, and expands a little on our information about the Soul Society, and the people who live there. Let's just say, the afterlife isn't all it's cracked up to be. It has slums, poverty, starvation -- and apparently death.
But the action scenes are pretty brilliant, whether they're the goofier chases of Ichigo and Ganju, or the tight, bloody battle with Renji. Lots of jagged shots and sweeping swords, and a chance for Ichigo to show off his new fighting skills -- and finally learn how to focus and not just whap his zanpakuto around like a big butter knife.
Though we get to see Ichigo's new skills, the spotlight is really on two Soul Reapers here. We get to see Renji's early years as a street urchin, stealing food to survive, and the bitter losses that led this "stray dog" to excel. By the end of this last episode, you really feel for him. And then there's Hanataro, a timid little Soul Reaper whose innocent eagerness puts him on Rukia's side.
The eighth volume of "Bleach" has our heroes continuing toward their goal -- and reveals some new sides of Renji Abarai. A solid contination -- but things are about to get ugly."