Friday, January 28, 2011

Spotlight on Naruto & Bleach

I've been profiling a log of Shojo of girls Manga, So today I wanted to spotlight two of the most popular shonen of Boys manga. Naruto is one of my favorite manga and it's also the first manga I ever read Naruto tells the story of the ninja village Konohagakure.

Twelve years ago this village was attacked by a nine-tailed fox spirit. the spirit nearly destroyed the village until the Hokage , the village champion defeated the fox by sealing its soul into a baby. that baby was Naruto who lost his parents in the attack. Naruto is now beginning his ninja training and with his fellow class mates preparing for the Chunin exams which will determine his future occupations.

What I love the most about this series is Naruto's fierce optimism and his joyful view of life. It hasn't been easy for him. He is often looked down on by many of the village who still hold resentment towards the Fox demon. Many villagers are also scared by him and the spirit inside. this series has lots of action and fight scenes. Masashi Kishimoto os a very gifted writer and artist. This series has wonderful themes of friendship, determination, and love. Despite being primarily aimed at boys there are some really strong female characters in  this series. I especially enjoy Sakura one of the ninjas on Naruto's team and also his crush :)

Kishimoto also instigated an unique change in the series starting with issue 28: he aged the entire cast over two years. The action and danger also gets ramped up as one of Naruto's closet friends Sasuke breaks with there unit and becomes consumed by darkness. This is a wonderful series that I look forward to enjoying for some time.

Bleach is another popular series with a supernatural slant. The star of this series is Ichigo "Strawberry" Kurosaki was born with the ability to see ghosts. It is a burden he has lived with for most of his life. When a rogue spirit called a Hollow attacks his family, he meets a young woman called Rukia. She is a Soul Reaper whose job is capture and return rogue spirits to the Soul Society. Ichigo saves Rukia and return she gives him half her powers in order to save his family.  This is another action packed series as Ichigo learns the way of the Soul Reapers and fights the Hollows in his city.

One of the major story arcs in this series revolves around Rukia being captured by the Soul reapers and put on trial for giving Ichigo her powers.

While Rukia awaits execution, Ichigo and a group of his friends race to save her. It is interesting how all of Ichigo's friends beigin to discover that they also have powers: Chad super strength, Orihime has a collection of small entities that shield and protect her and Quincy who comes from a long line of humans trained to fight Soul Reapers outside of the authority of the Soul Society.

Strong female roles exist in this series as well. Tite Kubo writes and draws the series that is well past 40 volumes to date.

Both of these manga are also Anime series which I enjoy as well.


Unforgettable said...

I love Naruto! I watched played the game first then started watching the anime then moved to the manga. The anime and manga each have their own interesting qualities and Naruto Shippuden issues (when they are grown up) are so action-packed!
I haven't started with Bleach yet but I here it's very good.
Very well-written post! You just made my day :)

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I enjoy Bleach. Although I haven't watched it quite a while. Maybe I need to pick up a manga. ;)

Anonymous said...

I used to love these two series so much! I'm so behind on them now, I really need to catch up. Naruto had so many lovely characters and I was also always awe-struck by his creative plots. And Bleach had such great style and interesting cast of characters. Great post, these two series are so shonen must-read classics. :D