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Bleach (3-in-1 Edition) Volume 1: Includes vols. 1, 2 & 3

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Most of the background characters get a pretty decent fleshing out too (although there are some that could be expanded upon.

I decided to start from the beginning instead where I left off years ago because I want to refresh myself on what happened since I probably forgot some things and because I just want to experience this series again. I've seen the Bleach anime twice through and was desperate to re-live the world of Bleach, reading the manga cured that urged i had. From then on the rest of the 3 in 1 volume has mostly stories of Ichigo hallow haunting and taking down big bads for people. Anyways, maybe because i'm older now i liked this first volume, but there is way better manga out there. Kubo does an excellent job of establishing characters (from the protagonist to his family, friends at school, and non-canonical (alas) future wife, to one-off villains, Kon, and the whole Urahara gang) and their motives in a memorable and interesting way.

When his family is attacked by a Hollow-a malevolent lost soul-Ichigo becomes a Soul Reaper, dedicating his life to protecting the innocent and helping the tortured spirits themselves find peace. While fighting a Hollow, an evil spirit that preys on humans who display psychic energy, Rukia attempts to lend Ichigo some of her powers so that he can save his family; but much to her surprise, Ichigo absorbs every last drop of her energy. Ichigo lost his Soul Reaper powers in the last battle, and he now must try to live the quiet life of an ordinary mortal.

Unless something drastic happens to the storyline or the character development goes down the crapper, this is a series I will continue to (binge)read. Having read through the manga twice before (though the last time I touched it was at least seven years ago), it's really nice to see some of the later plot points and important relationships being built from the ground up. Humorous when it needs to be and in all the right places, amazingly dramatic and exciting, poignant and beautiful and sad too. Zombiepowder was rejected multiple times until Kubo was 22, when it finally was accepted by Shonen Jump. To date, Bleach has been translated into numerous languages and has also inspired an animated TV series that began airing in Japan in 2004.Yhwach’s invasion of the Soul Society has led its defenders to make some strange alliances with Ichigo and his friends finding common cause with some of the Arrancars.

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