Bleach Volume 34: King of the Kill

Bleach Volume 34: King of the Kill
Story and Art: Tite Kubo
Release Date: 4th July 2008
Covers Chapters 296-305
Shonen Jump /Viz Media

Nel, look at her on that front cover. What size must they be? She was some annoying kid till last volume and now she has become… this! Super strength and not much clothing, can she save Ichigo from the big evil Espada with the hard to spell name, Nnoitora? No.

After the shock transformation in volume 33 and the promise of great power, she loses within the first chapter of this one! What’s up with that? Will we ever see her like that again? I hope so, despite her lack of usefulness she was pretty nice for the panels and despite some timeline confusion, her back story was neat. Ah well.

Useful on the other hand is the brigade of Captains which barge in to save the day. Brute force Kenpachi versus brute force Nnoitora, scientist Mayuri versus scientist Szayelaporro (urgh, these names!) and Byakuya versus that Espada we haven’t seen much of at all, what was his name again? Flipping through the volume tells me it’s Zommari. Catchy. The Captain come to save the day which is a rather pleasant surprise despite it being inevitable in the back of all our minds, despite what their leader said about not going. Do they fare any better than Ichigo and pals?

Well in volume 34 they pretty much dominate the opposition. Three fights take place and two end, this speedy pace is quite unusual for Bleach and it is refreshing to see things move on at such a brisk pace. Kenpachi and Nnoitora’s battle is only briefed upon, that one is saved for next volume, but we get the full fight between Byakuya and Zommari which offers some interesting possession based tactics though is ultimately an unfortunate end for Zommari who had some pretty interesting things to say and a really stupid looking transformation release. Mayuri and Szayelaporro is twisted as expected with one amazing scene of a woman giving birth out of her mouth while hanging from a tentacle, beautiful. Mayuri’s attacks and defenses seem a little far-fetched in terms of preparation and awareness, but the battle is fun and the end is cool, so I’ll let it off.

Things are speeding up and it looks like a conclusion may be at hand. Exciting fights and lots of them, Bleach’s specialty.

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