Bleach Vol. 3 Memories in the Rain will hit you right in the feels. Tite Kubo opens with a recommendation that the book be read during a rain storm, so I dutifully pretended the skies were raining tears. It’s truly the perfect backdrop to this volume, which adds the final piece to Ichigo’s character.
So much of who Ichigo is comes to light in this book that I almost feel like a person could skip the first couple books and start here. Maybe that’s because the story’s plot has finally moved on from introductions (maybe there are a few minor character I happen to dislike that we spent too much time with in the first two volumes. ^_^ Maybe I’m biased)
Kubo has said that Ichigo and Rukia are more than friends and less than lovers. This volume is where we start to see that relationship blossom. They share a connection that has nothing to do with who they are or what they want. Right now, it’s something indescribable. I suspect it has to do with the mutual respect they develop.
Questions are asked and most are left unanswered. The big question of the book shows its ugly face on pages 35 – 40 and will be answered before the end of the book. The answer is a source of respect and resilience between Ichigo and Rukia, giving birth to host of new questions left to be answered in another volume.
This is hard to admit, but I think I may have learned in this book why I love Ichigo so much. He reminds me of D. I just realized it reading this volume. It’s in the way Ichigo always feels a need to protect people, often recklessly jumping in for the sake of his loved ones. His developing desire for power to better protect and the way he tries to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders – it’s all so much like D.
You read that right. D reminds me of a comic book character. To me, it’s awesome. Others may find my flaming nerdiness unbecoming. #sorrynotsorry
Obviously, D is not carrying on in the spirit world fighting off soul-eating monsters (at least, I don’t think he is), but he shares the same admiration for superheroes as I do. I’ve heard him talk about what he would do if someone did something to me or to his family. If Ichigo’s destiny was laid upon his shoulders, he wouldn’t think twice about fighting for the sake of others.
I first started watching the Bleach anime when I was in high school and always loved Ichigo’s character. I’m not sure if I should have expected it or not, but I think I am dating a real life 20-something version of Ichigo.
I’ll save the reasons I love Rukia for later. She is wonderful, but Memories in the Rain was Ichigo’s shining moment. This is the book that made me fall in love with him (as a character, not like a school girl). Every reason why I like him either shined through or developed here. It makes me excited to see what he will go on to accomplish in future volumes.
“Every time we fight we’re faced with this question. Am I fighting to preserve life or to preserve my honor?”
This quote really embodies this volume and I think it merits greater thought. One does not have to take up a weapon to fight. We fight for many things, be they loved ones, jobs, ideologies or simply the right to exist as we are. All reasons for fighting can be summed up by the above quote. It points out two kinds of struggles: those for the sake of others and those for the sake of ourselves. There is nothing wrong with one or the other, but, during those times when we are spectators, we may be forced to ask what is right – stepping in or to letting the person fight their battle alone?
Rating: 5 Stars
Kubo, Tite. Bleach, Vol. 03: Memories in the Rain. San Francisco, CA: VIZ Media LLC, 2004. Print.