Bleach: Can’t Fear Your Own World is the latest light novel installment based on the ever-popular series by Tite Kubo. While I’m not a major fanatic of the hit and miss Shonen jump series, it’s no question that is one of the most iconic series to grace the publication.
Introduction & Premise
Can’t Fear Your Own world takes place after the events of the Thousand-Year Blood War arc and mainly focusses on a new character in the series by the name of Tokinada Tsunayashiro, a member of one of the four great houses of the soul society who has usurped his opposition as the head of his clans after brutally assassinating every potential claimant to the title. Tokinada’s main goal is to create a new Soul King, which eventually leaves place for a war to ensue in the soul society, and Shuhei Hisagia, a reporter of the Seireitei Bulletin, is caught in the middle of his nefarious scheme.
Just by reading the first pages of the light novel alone, I was quick to notice the excellent format of storytelling by Ryohgo Narita, the famed author behind some of my favorite series such as Baccano and Durarara. His narrative method is unparalleled to many authors as it succeeds in intriguing the reader from not just the first few pages but also the first few words.
He tells the story of the novel through the eyes of many characters, and breathes life into them. Every character has a driving motivation and is well voiced, making it easier to comprehend what’s happening, especially when high impact scenes such as one in the earlier pages where a captured Aizen makes a dramatic and captivating monologue. Scenes like this lock the reader in with an intense desire to know what will happen next, which action will pay it and which won’t. For a series like Bleach, which houses characters literally in the hundreds, it is not an easy feat to keep all of them as interesting as Narita does.
The narration also gives the reader a good sense of what’s happening with the characters while not being annoyingly descriptive, which is a mistake I’ve unfortunately seen maybe authors fall for.
Lots of Depth, Not Enough Story
The story introduces some new characters while also having nods and several callbacks to the original characters and events. However, while this can be a good narrative tool, it often gets in the way of the present storyline with so many unnecessary callbacks coupled with the many often confusing different perspectives.
Another example of Narita’s incredible character depth is seen in the main antagonist. Tokinada is a sadistic man who only cares about his goals and cares little for the lives of people he’s killed many to achieve his desires, such as all the prospective leaders of the Tsunyashiro family and his own wife, and he’ll likely kill many more. The sad thing is he gets away with most of his misgivings due to his higher status, so his cruel deeds are frequently overlooked as he can’t be touched.
Unfortunately, most of the first volume is mainly callbacks, introductions, and exposition, and not much happens to progress the overarching plot as many characters are still yet to be explored fully and their roles are yet to be defined.
In-between several pages are minimalistic drawn art that isn’t really there to enhance the experience but is there to act as a bonus that helps stir the reader’s imagination.
Overall, I believe Bleach: Can’t Fear Your Own World is a great continuation to the beloved juggernaut series that doesn’t feel like a meaningless filler arc or a shameless cash grab. Combined with the stellar narration and dialogue and characters, it crafts an excellent tale exposing the corrupt and ugly nature of the Soul Society hidden behind the curtains and leaves us wanting more.
The first volume of Bleach: Can’t Fear Your Own World is available to purchase right now from VIZ Media.
A copy of this light novel was provided for review by VIZ Media.
Are you a fan of Bleach? What do you think of this light novel? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.