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Bleach, Vol. 27: goodbye halcyon days. Kindle & comiXology
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|Length: 200 pages|
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And Tite Kubo manages to throw a few unexpected (though not unforeshadowed) twists and surprises into the mix. This entire volume revolves around the sudden departure of a major character from her home to the enemy's side, and how her friends are going to deal with it -- think of it as the reverse of the Soul Society arc.
On the way back from Soul Society, Orihime is waylaid by the arrancar Ulquiorra -- and he tells her that he will kill her friends unless she comes with him. In the meantime, Hitsugaya and Urahara use their own powers and tricks on the arrancar in a pitched battle, while Ichigo battles the frenzied Grimmjow almost to the death -- even with help.
That night, Orihime appears in Ichigo's bedroom to say goodbye -- and is whisked away to Hueco Mundo.
The next morning, Ichigo learns of Orihime's disappearance, and the Soul Society's belief that she has defected to Aizen's side. Renji, Rukia and the others are recalled, but Ichigo refuses to give up on Orihime, especially after Tatsuki lays into him. Now he, Chad and Uryu must set out for Hueco Mundo... which is far more dangerous than they ever expected.
The twenty-seventh volume of "Bleach" revolves around Orihime Inoue and her mysterious "reject" power: she's revealed to have a strength that even Aizen covets, and no one has heard of. She ends up walking straight into his domain, and so begins a new arc that focuses on rescuing her. It's a sort of reversal of the whole rescuing-Rukia arc, where they have to rescue someone who went "willingly" and is being held by Hollows rather than Soul Reapers.
What's more, Orihime's feelings for Ichigo Kurosaki (which have been obvious for the ENTIRE seires) are outlined in a bittersweetly beautiful little chapter. The scene where she quietly says farewell to a sleeping Ichigo is almost painfully lovely. And there are hints that he may be more than fond of her -- not just because he shoots straight off to Hueco Mundo, but because of his rage at her being called a traitor, and his painful, benumbed attitude when he finds that she's gone.
But it's not all misery and angst -- Kubo does include some spectacular fight scenes. There are some brilliant battles between Hitsugaya's ice pillars and the snotty Luppi, and the puckish Urahara shows off his newest toy.
And in the last few chapters Chad and Uryu get to show off the new powers they've built up through their training. These boys know what they're doing. Also add a couple of ugly new arrancar into the mix, and you've got some wonderfully explosive climactic scenes -- with giant stabbing fingers and Uryu's new'n'improved Quincy bow as the highlights.
Oh yes, and there is a rather unexpected twist involving Ichigo's friends Tatsuki, Keigo and Mizuiro. It's not clear how this will pan out, but it's sure to be interesting.
The twenty-seventh volume of "Bleach" is the beginning of something massive, and it's handled with a combination of incisive action and bittersweet beauty. Definitely worth reading... and completely necessary to everything that comes after it.
This is another great volume of Bleach being both funny and action packed, as well as setting up the plot for the next story arc. As well as this there are also some nicely touching scenes in the volume, especially Orihime's goodbye, and there are also some further hints at Uryû's fathers past. There are a couple of annoyances in this volume though, mostly in the translation of a couple of things (call it a cero or a doom blast, calling it a doom cero just sounds silly) but this is a minor quibble in an otherwise good volume.
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