Bleach Special One-Shot
Mangaka: Tite Kubo
For Bleach‘s 20th anniversary, Tite Kubo has released a special one-shot five years after the series ended. Taking place 12 years after the end of the Thousand-Year Blood War arc, the one-shot follows the Soul Society preparing for the Konso Reisai, a ritual that takes place 12 years after a captain has died. For Captain Ukitake’s Konso Reisai, they invite Ichigo to take part because he was close to the captain. However, things soon turn sour as strange Hollow-like beasts attack the vice-captains, and a sinister backstory behind the Konso Reisai is revealed.
After so long, seeing the Bleach cast again was a treat, to say the least. Since the final arc, the Gotei 13 has filled out its ranks with new members while others were promoted. Characters like Rukia Kuchiki and Tetsuzaemon Iba moved up to captain, while others like Ikkaku Madarame and Akon were promoted to vice-captain.
While this chapter was pretty lore-heavy, Kubo didn’t shy away from showing off some sleek combat panels with the vice-captains showing off their skill. We got to see a lot of new faces use their abilities like gyaru Yuyu Yayahara having some beast-mimicry powers related to her nails, and the mute (possibly deaf) Rindu Atau using a Shikai that turned his sword into a flurry of hawks.
This chapter introduced Hell as a canon concept as opposed to the Hell Verse movie and brings back an old villain from long ago. While I do love the concepts introduced in this chapter, I think the character they chose to return is sort of a forgettable one in the scope of the arc he appeared in. I think I would have liked someone more formidable to have appeared for the impact to be greater. Still, the appearance of said character was both surprising and exciting because of what it meant for the future of the series.
While this is just a one-shot, it sets up a conflict that can’t just be wrapped up in a single chapter. A continuation of this series is almost guaranteed now, which I’m happy about. Along with an interesting story, Kubo’s art is always on-point. He’s great at drawing things that are both striking and startling, and his Hell beast designs are really cool.
With Bleach seemingly coming back for another arc, I wonder about the future of Kubo’s other series Burn the Witch. While it technically does take place within the same universe as Bleach, the subject matters and conflicts are too different for me to believe that they would cross over at any point but perhaps Kubo will surprise us with something in the future. All I know for now is I’m happy Bleach is back.
A great return to the world of Bleach, hopefully there's more to come in the near future.