Bleach 6 by Tite Kubo: A-

From the back cover:
Ichigo Kurosaki may not know this, but the world he lives in is one predicated on balance—between the living and the dead, between everyday life and the Soul Society. Soul Reapers aren’t merely fighting Hollows, they are charged with the grand task of equalizing the balance between this life and the next. Naturally, if too much energy is channeled to one side, really bad things will happen—just as they’re happening now!

Ichigo and Ishida’s competition inadvertently results in generating a leviathan of a Hollow whose sheer size is capable of tearing the Soul Reaper’s delicately constructed balance to ribbons. Is Ichigo Soul Reaper enough to fell this giant and protect the equilibrium of the universe?

I liked Ishida before, but I like him more after the events of this volume. Oh, sure, his backstory isn’t really anything amazing, but I like how he and Ichigo interact, and how their powers combine in combat. All of the scenes with them together were enjoyable.

The team seems to be just about complete, with a few more having yet to decide whether to acknowledge their abilities or not. I very much like the direction the story is headed in the final chapter, and it is weakening my resolution to hold off a bit on acquiring volume 7.

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