Bleach Volume Five is a manga by Tite Kubo, and it was released in North America by Viz Media on its Shonen Jump imprint in 2005. The series is rated “T” for teens; from what I’ve read so far, I would agree with this rating.
15-year-old Ichigo Kurosaki has the ability to see ghosts. After meeting a Soul Reaper named Rukia Kuchiki, Ichigo’s home is attacked by a Hollow. Rukia decides to transfer some of her powers to Ichigo so he can protect his family; however, Ichigo unintentionally absorbs all of her powers. With his new powers, Ichigo destroys this Hollow and begins serving as a substitute Soul Reaper. Since Rukia has lost her powers, she has to pose as an exchange student at Ichigo’s school while she’s in an artificial body.
Ichigo meets a young man in his class named Uryu Ishida, who says he’s a Quincy and hates Soul Reapers. Uryu challenges Ichigo to a competition to determine who can take care of the most Hollows, and Uryu scatters bait to lure Hollows to the area. Ichigo learns that the Hollows will attack anyone with high spiritual energy. At this time, he is only aware that his younger sister Karin also has an ability to detect when ghosts are around. He doesn’t know yet that other people who are close to him also have this spiritual energy.
During the course of this volume, two of Ichigo’s classmates discover they have spiritual powers that they never realized that they had, and Rukia also learns some information about the Quincies. This volume also includes some character development for Chad, and the reader comes to better understand his character. There’s also a brief bit of character development for Orihime near the end of this volume as well.
Even though I was already familiar with this portion of the story through seeing the corresponding episodes of the Bleach anime series, I was still riveted by what I was reading and I didn’t want to put the book down. My favorite portion of Volume Five is definitely the section that focuses on Chad.
With Volume Five, Kubo has created a work that is not only emotionally engaging but is also visually stunning. The story and art complement each other perfectly, and as a reader, I found myself wanting to read more when I reached the end of this volume.
If you’ve read the previous volumes of the Bleach manga series, then I think you’ll enjoy reading Volume Five just as much, if not more than, the previous four volumes of the series.