Bleach by Tite Kubo

bleachTitle: Bleach Series

Author: Tite Kubo

Publication Date: 2001

Genre: Fantasy

Reading Level/Interest Age: 15 and up

Plot: Sixteen year old high school student Ichigo Kurosaki has the ability to see wandering ghosts who have not been released into the afterlife.  Ichigo does not know this yet, but these souls need a Shinigami (death god or Grim Reaper) to pass them through to the Soul Society, which is what we would consider heaven. Of course, not all souls can be accepted into that Soul Society and so eventually become Hollows, dangerous lost souls that consume energy from other innocent souls. When Inchigo’s family is threatened and in danger he is forced to help when the nearby Shinigami Rukia Kuchiki is injured and unable to fight. To save his family, Ichigo absorbs mostly all of Rukia’s power and becomes an incredibly powerful death god. After defeating the hollow and saving his family, Rukia informs him that he must follow out her duties while she recovers her Shinigami powers back. While living this life as a high school student and a death god, Ichigo realizes that his fellow classmates are capable of fighting alongside of him and together they form a powerful team.

Critical Evaluation: Kubo writes a very well written story with such detail incorporating issues about death and maintaining the afterlife. This series introduces a new type of heaven that many are not used to seeing, where the Soul Society is run by a governing group of death gods and not just one particular God. His illustrations are incredibly detailed in various types of scenes and each strip of drawings portrays precise emotions from each character. Kubo is able to create a detailed setting with precise lines and shadowing effects to help the reader understand the tone of the characters.

Reader’s Annotation: Ichigo Kurosaki is a high school student who has recently become a death god to help send lost souls into the afterlife. Not only must he continue to be a high school student, he must also learn the ways of the death gods.

Author: According to Simon & Schuster’s website and Amazon.com’s From the Author web page, Tite Kubo made his debut with ZOMBIEPOWDER, which is a four-volume series that was published for Weekly Shonen Jump. Tite’s Bleach series has been translated into many different languages and after the manga was published, this series was turned into an animated series (anime) produced by Studio Pierrot, which aired in Japan in 2004. In 2005, the Bleach series was awarded the prestigious Shogakukan Manga Award in the shonen (boys) category.

Curriculum Ties:

  • Religion

Booktalking Ideas:

  1. If there were rules that did not sit well with you, would you break them?

Challenging Issues:

  • Graphic content

Defensive Maneuvers:

  • I would be sure to study and memorize the library’s collection policy.
  • The Library Bill of Rights must also be brought to the challenger’s attention stating that the library is an information institution that provides both information and ideas.
  • Have both good and bad reviews (from respected sources) about the book at hand.
  • Remember to mention the awards and honors that the item has received.
  • Be sure to listen to the person who is challenging the book and do not interrupt them while they are speaking. Try to understand where the patron is coming from when he or she states their concerns about the material.
  • When you respond to the challenger, have a calm and respectable tone informing them that the library must do all that it can to provide intellectual freedom to its patrons, young and old.

Why This Book? This particular series is a well loved story by boys and girls, especially for those who enjoy reading thrilling action.

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