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Customer Review

Tite Kubo's "Bleach" pretty much centers around the usual shonen manga scenarios -- there's an evil guy, and we have to defeat him or the world as we know it will be kaput.

But with a cast as big as "Bleach's," there's sure to be a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes that we don't get to see in the regular chapters... which is where "Color Bleach+: The Bleach Official Bootleg" comes in. It's basically a big colorful smoothie of a book, letting us see all the kooky funny delightful details about the characters in their daily lives. Manly cell phones, semi-nude photos and barbecue come into it.

First off, we have "Colorful Bleach" -- it's basically a long string of funny little mini-comics involving Ichigo and the Soul Reapers in their everyday lives. Apparently their lives are not just about big swords and slaying Hollows: there's barbecue fights, Valentine's day, sex changes, romantic fantasies, life-size statues, coming up with a game, candy, purple ninjas, Yachiru's short career as a photographer, advice columns, an attempt to create a macho cell phone.

Of particular interest: the Soul Reaper women's association, which causes a lot of trouble (especially for poor Byakuya and Ukitake), but are too inept to succeed at anything. And it's decided that they have to come up with a food for a festival... and sadly, nothing really works.

Then we get some brief, funny interviews and outlines of the thirteen squads, as well as the vital stats of the captains and lieutenants, some info on them, and their recruitment stuff (apparently Rukia drew her squad's). And finally there's a faux-"magazine" supposedly edited by Sh'hei Hisagi, complete with ads, columns, articles, an aptitude test, and fun little stuff like that. And of course... PLUSHIES.

Aside from having a humorously oxymoronic title, "Color Bleach+: The Bleach Official Bootleg" is basically a big ball of cotton candy. It's intended only for people who have read Kubo's series and are acquainted with all the various Soul Reaper characters, because that's where most of the humor comes from -- Rangiku is a huge flake, Ukitake is an oblivious sweetheart, Mayuri is 150% insane, and so on.

There's a little of Ichigo and his school friends around here, especially at the beginning, but most of the focus here is on the Soul Reapers. It's obvious Kubo was having a lot of fun with the interviewettes, information, and the little magazine at the end... but the real fun is in the brightly-colored, roughly-drawn cartoons throughout the first half. Since "Bleach" is generally more grim and dramatic with some humorous stuff woven in, seeing the characters just being goofy is delightful.

Anyone who enjoyed the other "Bleach" companion books will probably get a kick out of "Color Bleach+: The Bleach Official Bootleg" -- it's frothy, fun, and full of weirdness.
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