Bleach 7 by Tite Kubo: A-

From the back cover:
Rukia Kuchiki, the ex-Soul Reaper responsible for Ichigo’s transformation, is on the lam. Her brethren at the Soul Society are quite displeased with the fact that she transferred the powers of a Soul Reaper to a human and have dispatched two of their strongest agents to neutralize the situation.

Their mission is twofold: to return Rukia to the Soul Society so that she may pay for her crime and to deal with Ichigo—permanently. But an unlikely third party is standing in their way: Uryuu Ishida, the Quincy!

In this volume, Ichigo tries to prevent Rukia’s return to the Soul Society and fails. His defeat is dealt by the very cool Byakuya, one of those silent types that I always seem to favor.

And so, the plot arc is launched. Rukia is incarcerated and the Soul Society is glimpsed. We learn that Ichigo resembles someone from her past. Some of the other characters decide they want to help, too. There’s a cute talking cat. Urahara, the proprietor of a store that sells Soul Reaper gear, becomes a much more active participant in events and begins to train Ichigo. I wasn’t too interested in him before, but now that more of his personality has emerged I find myself much more curious about his background.

Bleach is really fun. Uruhara was a standout in this volume, and the ending was such a cliffhanger that I am literally going to put in the hold request for volume 8 as soon as I hit publish.

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