Bleach 64 by Tite Kubo

As Bleach continues its final arc, we’re given insight into many of the main characters. In this volume 64, it’s all about Kenpachi Zaraki (and by association, Yachiru) and the 11th squad. We get to see more about Zaraki’s sword and, nicely enough, how distinct Yachiru’s is as well. There are no bankai – but plenty of interesting battles.

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Story: Yachiru is fighting a Sternritter with the ability to manipulate his opponent’s thoughts. They can’t fight what they don’t even know is there – and Yachiru takes a beating until a very ticked off Kenpachi arrives. But then a new foe arrives – one who can manipulate reality itself. How will Kenpachi’s “I can cut anything” single-mindedness stand up to someone who can literally imagine him undone? It makes for one heck of an interesting battle!

Yachiru’s relation to Kenpachi has always been a mystery and we’re given a few more subtle clues about her. I’m really looking forward to more reveals in the future about Kenpachi, especially now that he defeated Unohana and took her name (which was quite the twist in itself). There’s still so much mystery surrounding him even after 64 volumes.

This volume is pretty much 1 long battles and 2 short ones. But at heart, it’s about Kenpachi and Yachiru’s finely honed instincts against those who can manipulate what they see/hear/feel. Kubo found some clever ways to show off 11th’s squad’s strength and upend that – Zaraki’s battles aren’t about brute force and he revels in being a monster.

The volume ends on a cliffhanger – with three new foes to defeat! Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

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