I was quite pleased to finally be able to read the manga for one of my favorite anime shows. I now love Bleach even more!
The first volume of Bleach is pretty much used as an introduction to the story and characters, even so, it is an extremely fast paced read. In this volume you have Ichigo (who can see spirits) being introduced to the world of Soul Reapers when he meets Rukia and how he ends up becoming one.
What I really found to be the most interesting aspect of Bleach would have to be how Ichigo came to terms with his new role as a substitute reaper. It was interesting to see why he does it and how he (tries) to balance his new duties and regular life.
I love how actioned packed the first volume of Bleach was, and that there was a lot of character interaction too. So action, yes, but not so much so that the story never had a chance to move forward. I thought it was funny how I would be laughing at certain characters one moment, and then in the next be completely annoyed with them. In short the characters will at times lead you on an emotional roller coaster.
The downside to Bleach is that there is some swearing in it.
Ichigo is definitely one of my favorite manga characters, I love how he's extremely loyal to those he calls friend and that he would do anything for those he cares about.
Rukia has a tendency to both annoying and funny at times. I've noticed that the only time I really enjoy reading about Rukia is when she's giving Ichigo a hard time...and when she's knocking him upside the head. *shrugs*
The Kurisaki family, I love them. They are just one of the craziest/funniest families that I have read about. I always giggle whenever Ichigo's dad would attack him out of the blue (like when he got home and in the morning to wake him up).
I also really liked the the familiar dynamic between them, it definitely brought a lighter side the story.
I actually liked the artwork more in the manga then I did in the anime, which is a first because usually it's the other way around.
I liked it more because the angles on the characters were a bit sharper and weren't so soft and rounded as the anime.
Final Verdict: Bleach is packed full of action and humor, that will spark just about anyone's interest. In my book, it's a double winner when you count both the show and manga.
Bleach 1: Strawberry and the Soul Reapers earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.