Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Manga Review: End of Bond by Tite Kubo

Title: End of Bond
Series: BLEACH #52 
Manga-ka: Tite Kubo
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Graphic Novels, Teen Ages 13+
Publisher: Viz Media, Shonen Jump Manga, Shueisha Inc.
Format: Paperback, 192 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781421543048
Release Date: December 4, 2012
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 4.5/5

Purchase Here: Paperback

Will you count with me
                    My teeth marks
                    On you
Summary: Ichigo continues his training to master Fullbring and hopefully regain his lost Soul Reaper powers. But as Ichigo gets closer, Ginjo makes a startling move. Can Ginjo truly be trusted? And what lies ahead for Ichigo when he finally regains his powers...?


Ginjo has seemingly turned against Ichigo! With his friends threatened, Ichigo's Fullbring completes. But then Ichigo goes home and finds a disturbing sight. Tsukishima has invaded his family and friends. But they aren't the only ones he's gotten to--Ginjo finds Ichigo and tells him that Tsukishima got to the other Xcution members too. With his family and friends against him, Ichigo falls prey to desperation and despair. But hope arrives in the form of an old friend.

First off, Ginjo has blinded Ichigo and threatens to kill Orihime and Chad. That really gets Ichigo going and finds the strength to attack. So is Ginjo really an enemy? Turns out that it was all done to help Ichigo master Fullbring. Now that his Fullbring is complete, Ginjo has Ichigo train to build his strength and stamina to be able to handle using Fullbring. Ichigo's Fullbring is pretty cool--I like to think of it as looking like a futuristic version of a Soul Reaper. And the power he has is maybe even greater than just his Soul Reaper powers were.

It is after this that it became kind of heartbreaking for me. Ichigo's riding pretty high on his success with his Fullbring and returns home. But this is when his worst fears start coming true. Tsukishima has turned his friends and family against him. The very people he lives and fights to protect. Then Orihime and Chad, the ones who fought by his side, claim that every victory they've gained has been because of Tsukishima. "What did I regain my powers for?!!" This is when Ichigo begins falling into despair--and we all know that that is Ichigo's greatest weakness. The final piece that sends Ichigo plummeting into despair is when Uryu shows up and Ichigo can't know who he is sided with. But it wasn't Uryu Ichigo had to worry about. Ginjo shows his true colors when he takes Ichigo's newly achieved Fullbring from him. Ichigo's tears, his pain, really tore at my heart.

I noticed something that I think is significant. When Ichigo first met Zangetsu, the world was in a constant rain shower. But as Ichigo's powers increased, that rain stopped. When Ginjo took Ichigo's new power from him and he began to cry, Ichigo's world once again became a rainy day.

Although most of Ichigo's friends have been turned against him by Tsukishima, those from the Soul Society have not. Rukia once again gives Ichigo hope.

This volume is one of the most emotional volumes in the series. Ichigo's pain and despair felt so real, as if I could feel it myself. Now that Rukia hase given hope back to Ichigo, Ginjo's going to have to watch out. No one hurts those Ichigo cares about and gets away with it.

About this Manga-ka:

The son of a town council member in Fuchu, Aki District, Hiroshima. He never took drawing seriously until he was 17; after reading Dragon Ball he knew he wanted to be a manga artist. At the age of 18 he submitted his first concept for the series Zombiepowder but it got rejected. Zombiepowder was rejected multiple times until Kubo was 22, when it finally was accepted by Shonen Jump. It did not last long; it was cancelled after four volumes in late 2000.

His next series, Bleach, about a high school student who becomes a shinigami and fights hollows, was not such a failure. Bleach began regular publication in 2001. It has been running in Weekly Shonen Jump ever since.

PART OF.... 

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