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Bleach 14: 06/06/08
Bleach 14: White Tower Rocks has convinced me that now is a good time to take a break from reading the series. I'm getting tired of the never ending escalation of opponents and spirit energy. The newest one, Mayuri Kurotsuchi, I've actually seen in an anime clip that was posted on Nanashi-Inc awhile back. All I can say is he's more impressive in the anime than in the manga. In the manga he reminds me of a demented kachina but he doesn't instill in me the visceral reaction he did in the clip.
Bleach 14 gives a false sense of forward progress. Rukia nearly escapes. Ichigo nearly manages to single handedly rescue her only to almost be mortally wounded again. I know Ichigo is supposed to be stronger and more determined than what anyone has ever seen and if he can learn to hone his powers but after awhile it pushes the suspension of disbelief well past the breaking point.
In the early volumes, a lot happened in each issue. There were always a couple hollows to dispatch, friends discovering secret powers and the odd relationship between Ichigo and his father. Now it seems that the rescue party is slogging through quick drying cement. Each new volume seems to have less in the way of plot progression than the previous one.
That's not to say I totally hated volume 14. Yourichi obviously has an interesting back story and powers previously unrevealed which calls into questions her motivation for joining the team. Likewise, there are some weird after affects of Ichigo's near transformation into a Hollow.
I have up through volume 17 which I will be reading and reviewing eventually. For now though I will be concentrating on different manga series.