Book Review: Bleach 07 The Broken Coda by Tite Kubo

The book is always better.

I love Bleach with the exception of one big problem. Tite Kubo created Rukia Kuchiki – the kick ass soul reaper with a take-no-prisoners attitude whose full of snark. She is the farthest thing from a damsel in distress, and then Bleach Volume 07 happens.

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When high school TK first witnessed the events of this manga in anime form, she was not happy. I did not want another ‘save the princess story’ from Bleach. Reading the manga, I got a different feel all together.

Rukia is not a damsel in distress. Since the events of the first book, she has fastidiously kept Ichigo’s situation a secret. No matter how meticulous she is, she knows it is impossible to hide for long. She then leaves of her own accord in order to save Ichigo.

She saved Ichigo (again).

…but he just can’t leave well enough alone.

Ow, right in the ship. Click to expand (source)

It’s thrilling to read through this knowing how the story plays out. You guys have no idea how many players they are in this simple encounter. There are so many emotions, laws and regrets mixing in this moment. Most of what you experience in The Broken Coda is from Ichigo’s perspective, which means you are ignorant to everything going on.

As a matter of fact, we readers have been ignorant all a long. It will be a few more volumes before we get a complete picture of why Rukia left, why she was attacked and why the events of the very first manga are so important. This is one of the things I love about Ichigo, though. He could care less about what he does or doesn’t know. He just acts on whatever he wants to do without giving a thought to consequences. This may be the first volume where he becomes painfully aware of the extent of those consequences.

…Or maybe he’ll just decided to screw it all and do what he wants anyway.

p 85
(Source: Bleach 07 page 85)

Rain takes a center stage in this manga. I haven’t mentioned this before, but there is a lot of symbolism surrounding rain in this story. In a previous volume, rain was what connected the earth and the sky, like lost lovers. Never able to touch, rain is the only thing that connects their worlds. Moreover, rain is often associated with Ichigo’s emotions, starting and stopping depending on his confidence.

Lastly, one of my favorite aspects of Bleach that is almost exclusive to the manga are the little poems and phrases that Kubo includes in the beginning. For whatever reason, this one in particular stood out to me.

We should not shed tears

That is a surrender of the body to the heart

It is only proof

That we are beings that do not know

What to do with our hearts

– Bleach 07 The Broken Coda, page 3

In Conclusion:

  • I love Rukia ^_^
  • Lots of heavy emotion
  • Extremely good foreshadowing
  • Leaves the reader with a lot of mysteries (some of which I bet you don’t even realize)
  • Despite the serious tone of this manga, it still manages to be lighthearted with plenty of snark to make me happy.

Rating: 5 Stars

Bibliography:
Kubo, Tite. The Broken Coda. Vol. 07. San Francisco, CA: Viz, 2005. Print. Bleach.
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