Bleach is recognized as one of the Big Three series, along with One Piece and Naruto, that's become one of Shonen Jump’s most popular series. The Big Three became so mainstream that even non-anime fans have heard about these famous titles. I consider Bleach as the first anime that captivated my interest in the anime world. “Orange Range” by Asterisk is by far one of my favorite anime openings and always transports me back to my childhood whenever I hear it. Having said that, when I turned the last page of the manga during the Quincy’s Thousand Year Blood War arc, a wave of emotions hit me. So finding out that Tite Kubo continued the story after the Quincy arc, I HAD to Shunpo my way to the Senkaimon and review it!
As a quick refresher for fans who haven’t touched the last arc of Bleach in a while, the Quincies finally reappeared from hiding shortly after Ichigo Kurosaki regained his soul reaper powers. This time, they are following the lead of a strong leader who has a strategic plan to take down the Soul Society once and for all by hitting them where it hurts--the Soul King. Several amazing fight scenes and plot reveals later, Ichigo saves the Soul Society once again. Bleach Can’t Fear Your Own World Novel Volume 1 begins the prologue recalling the recovery of the Soul Society from the Quincy war while filling in some blanks. For starters, Central 46 and General Captain Kyoraku made sure that Sosuke Aizen was locked back up after his help in the war. Also present during Aizen’s lock-up is the main character of this novel, Squad 9 Lieutenant Shuhei Hisagi. Shuhei is still holding grudges against Aizen for “tainting” and leading his previous Squad 9 Captain, Kaname Tosen, from his righteous path. Before Aizen is locked away, Aizen leaves some lasting words that stabs Shuhei hard. After this incident, we learn that Shuhei has been working on a newsletter called the Seireitei Bulletin that explains the war to the people of the Rukongai district and is gathering as much information as he can from eyewitnesses who participated in the war.
Throughout the novel, the reader finds out how the world is adjusting from the Thousand Year Blood War. In one plot, we’re introduced to a new head of one of the Noble families, Tokinada Tsunayashiro. This new character is very interesting because he shares a large part in Kaname Tosen’s history that I won’t spoil for you. In another plot, we venture into Hueco Mundo as the hierarchy is unbalanced with most of the Espadas gone.
One of my favorite things about this novel is how much Tito Kubo can expand on the Bleach universe! Countless seasons and chapters later, we still are uncovering new important details that led to future events. An example of this is Tosen’s best friend and how her death happened. (SPOILERS AHEAD) It is completely messed up! Another aspect I really enjoyed about this novel focused on the side characters from the series instead of the main cast. We get to see what happened to Kugo Ginjo and where he ended up along with countless other characters I can’t dive into. Lastly, the epilogue will throw even more questions at you that you hadn’t thought of!
My only critique of the novel is to include more details on who some of the lesser-known characters are because Bleach is known to have a long laundry list of characters. With Bleach finishing its Quincy arc over two years ago, some of the new characters are a little foggy in my memory. Overall, I highly recommend this novel along with the next installment if you want to continue the plot of Bleach.
The Quincies’ Thousand Year Blood War is over, but the embers of turmoil still smolder in the Soul Society. Tokinada Tsunayashiro, elevated to head of his clan after a slew of assassinations take out every other claimant to the title, has a grand plan to create a new Soul King. His dark ambitions soon sow the seeds of a new total war across the realms, but all is not lost.Add to CartLearn More