I owe a lot to anime. Through joint love of the medium, I have forged friendships and experienced more variety of storytelling that I could ever have imagined. But the day Japanese animation changed my life for good was a bright spring afternoon when I first encountered a tale about a teenage messiah exorcising the evil from our world with his great sword of justice. Many people may dismiss Tite Kubo as little more than a derivative punk, doling out sub-par shounen every week. Such heretics however, should be ignored, for Kubo offers up far more than entertainment, he gives us the gift of salvation in the form of his epic fable, Bleach.
The fictitious Karakura Town runs rife with sin, with delinquents resorting to frequent acts of vandalism and bullying. While it seems that there is little hope for humanity, one orange-haired boy named Ichigo Kurosaki stands up to the immorality of the world, forcibly extracting apologies and repentance from the worst of the sinners. One day, he meets a shinigami (death god) called Rukia who reveals a hidden world of malevolent beings known as Hollows who consume innocent souls to satiate their own rampant hunger. When Ichigo finds his family under attack, Rukia lends him her power and awakens him to his true identity: the saviour of mankind. With new powers, the teen begins to fight against the hollows and purify them in order to rid the world of evil.
In the midst of its awe-inspiring fights depicting Ichigo’s divine retribution upon each wrongdoer, Bleach helps to assure us of how we should live and what awaits us in the future. Soul Society offers up solid proof that there is an afterlife, while the ghosts that linger in the human world teach us not to fear taking the next step on this journey. Likewise that the series still carries on to this day after a definitive conclusion, only gives more evidence to the fact that there is something more beyond the seeming finality of death. By ending the central story yet continuing the narrative, we simple men and women can clutch onto the knowledge that our human lives are but a chapter in a novel, and our souls shall continue to endure for many years to come, defying the laws of both mortality and plausibility at every turn.
There are several moralistic parables aside from the main story. While many heathens often refer to this as pointless filler, these hellions are indisputably wrong. Bleach’s side stories are integral to the series’ teachings, and guides its followers on the correct path. The cleverly scattered fables train us not to lose our tempers, but to have patience and faith that accepting the mundane or the downright terrible will ultimately make us appreciate the greatness all the more. After all, if we can endure episodes of the cast playing football for no logical reason, then we can certainly control ourselves when faced with rude individuals, bankruptcy or bereavement.
Likewise odd recurring jokes give us further guidance on the path to enlightenment. For example, one of the series’ most pitiful characters is that of Kon. That this pathetic being not only lacks a physical body of his own, but also fails to succeed in any of his endeavours proves that his depravity towards the female form – and particularly their ample bosoms – is not admirable, but deplorable. From this we learn that such infatuations will only lead to our downfall and utter ruin.
Bleach’s divine artwork is a thing of beauty. In terms of animation, the series excels. From showers of shimmering sakura petals and billowing clouds of dust amidst a heated clash to Ichigo speeding across the screen, each slash of a zanpakutou effectively pierces our apathetic hides and enlightens us to the show’s teachings.
Meanwhile, the variety of different character designs from the attractive to the downright ridiculous pertains to the diversity of society and that we should accept everyone no matter how they look. While the natural reaction to meeting someone like Kurotsuchi in a dark alley may be to run for the hills, we should look past his bizarre appearance and instead give him a great big hug. After all, he is just as deserving and in need of love as the next person.
With any long series, a large number of opening and ending themes is to be expected. What I had not anticipated was that each and every one of these harmonious melodies would resound within my heart like a heavenly angelic chorus. Whoever doesn’t find their soul uplifted by the enthusiastic yell of “HEART HEART” from the show’s twenty-third ending theme, Stay Beautiful by Diggy-Mo’, must have very little humanity left in their hollow shell of a body.
Ichigo is a true inspiration. His single-minded motivation to uphold good, bring justice to wrongdoers and protect those he cares for shines like a guiding light for all the lost souls scrabbling about in the dark. Likewise, his mass appeal to those around him shows the strength of his leadership as well as the truth of his actions. From taming the reformed delinquent Chad and earning the respect of haughty Ishida to charming the saintly Orihime, Ichigo gathers his disciples from all walks of life and does not discriminate between anyone, instead accepting everyone’s strengths, weaknesses and abilities.
As if Ichigo’s beacon of goodness were not enough, Kubo gives us another gift in the form of Orihime. This pure maiden’s heart is thrice as large as her sizeable bosom and twice as warm. Her unflappable belief that there is good in each and every being and that with a little love no soul is beyond redemption teaches us to have faith in each other no matter the situation. Perhaps, should we rule with our hearts, we might one day lead as fulfilling a life as this flame-haired goddess and stand side by side with the saviour crying “KUROSAKI-KUUUUUN!” in exaltation.
On the other side of the hollow mask Kubo urges us away from the path of darkness and demonstrates what will happen should one stray from the path of the righteous. While the hollows themselves explicitly show how lingering hatred, regret and despair can consume a soul, the true danger of our sins lies with the series’ primary antagonist. With a true fallen angel leading the charge against goodness, Bleach warns us not to be seduced by power and selfish desires lest we rip an irreparable hole in the core of our very beings.
More than simple entertainment, Bleach is nothing less than this generation’s holy text, and should be used as a guideline to living a wholesome, pure and righteous life. We all strive to walk the correct path, and Tite Kubo shows us the way in the most entertaining and engaging approach possible. That I can only rate such a work of true importance and purity on such a small scale is simply offensive; can one’s salvation really only be worth ten points?
INFAMY IS STILL FAME
Bleach is one of those series which took the world by storm, kept building up while oozing with style, before eventually realizing that it had no idea what to do next, began walking in circles as slow as possible so it can drag on for 5 years, before eventually ending incomplete. It is undermining the quality of shounens, it’s full of plot holes and inconsistencies, yet also managed to become one of the most popular anime in existence. Why is that?
PRETTY COLORS & NICE SOUNDS
The most shallow and yet largest of reasons is because it looked nice, had a funky soundtrack, was filled with style, artistic overtones, occult atmosphere, and exciting battles. All that, assuming your brain can block out the snail slow pacing, and how it always plays out like two 12 year olds measuring their dicks while insulting each other. And need I point out how conveniently everybody is accidentally pitted against dark counterparts of himself that have the exact same style of personality and way of fighting?
Coloring and artwork improved in later seasons, but at the same time the aesthetics which made the initial episodes so great, almost disappeared. Along with the animation; after a point on they just stand still and use a few frames that repeat a hundred times, like this is the second coming of Dragon Ball. What could have been blood-boiling battles, end up being nothing more than macho-talking, always ending with cop-out power ups.
It’s ironic how the main battle song has lyrics such as “If you want to get some action, you need be the center of attraction.” The action moves like a snail, relying solely on the fandom’s blinded fanboys to keep going. When expectations are very low, fanboyism is enough to please 90% of the target audience. Yes, it’s that easy. If it wasn’t, there wouldn’t be endless cosplays and fanfics made out of this show, just because the characters look cool and sexy, and it wouldn’t have an average score of over 8/10 in every major database for over 5 years.
Another reason is the sheer amount of characters, weapons, and fighting modes. Every character was a distinctive stereotype, had a custom sword with various stages of power and different abilities. There is no way you won’t find someone you like in this huge crowd.
It had a cool premise that was making it seem deep and mature. Dealing with death, the afterlife, psychological fears, scars of the past, and a mysterious plan set in motion by nefarious masterminds. Who wouldn’t be interested in following such a story and revealing its secrets, while constantly getting introspection to its characters?
It was also the counterforce to the Naruto fandom. Not everyone liked that super popular show about emo kids constantly crying in a corner. Some wanted pro-active characters, full of cocky one-liners and arrogant smirks. Bleach was what they needed, a rivaling shitty shonen to balance the fame of another shitty shonen.
Despite all these positives, it fell apart after 60 episodes because Kubo had no idea of how to continue the story. So, he did the usual trick that works since the days of Dragon Ball. Introducing more characters, rehashing the exact same plot, constantly throwing around power ups that mean nothing after a few episodes, gradually making less sense, having less consistency, shallower characters, fillers which are thrown in without giving a damn about continuity, and yet somehow manage to be better written than the canon story. I can turn a blind eye to a few minor hiccups here and there but not to the point I need to have my brain imploding as if it was hit by Kenshiro. You just can’t turn a blind eye to the thousands of continuity errors and dull scenes without gorging your own eye sockets.
RULE OF COOL NOT
There are those who defend the show as nothing more than a guilty pleasure, thus there is no reason to complain about plot holes or bad writing. And yet not even they can deny how much more thought and planning was put into the early episodes. The ghosts were presented as people who died with a grudge, the characters had to face the shadows of their past, and there was some cute school romance in the air. Such elements degraded to faceless monsters defined by their superpower, males that are just bravado and transforming swords, and females that are trophies for males to rescue, and excuses for fan service. Oh, and not to forget to mention how everyone with a tragic past eventually becomes a comic relief.
- Ichigo the angsty teenager, degraded from a sympathetic youth who was simply trying to protect his friends and family, to an imba warrior that only cares about saving chicks, and keeps getting his ass kicked, yet wins all the time with ass-pulling power-ups.
- Butchy fighter Rukia, degraded from a dynamic woman with a tragic past, to a frail damsel in distress that needs to be saved every ten days.
- Love rival Orihime, degraded from a sad and innocent girl, to a bimbo with huge boobs who repeats KUROSAKI-KUN every ten seconds.
- Everybody is less interesting that a berserker secondary freak with bells glued on his hair, and sole purpose to cut thing just for the heck of it.
- Aizen was hyped as an unbeatable villain with an ingenious masterplan that is kept secret for hundreds of episodes. Kubo was stalling the final showdown by constantly introducing more characters, just so they can waste time in meaningless battles. And then has Aizen getting defeated very fast with a shitty power up that is meant to take away the protagonist’s powers forever, only to have them returning with an asspull, and never explaining what the hell was Aizen’s plan. Well excuse me, this is not guilty pleasure. It’s a test to see how much insult a person’s intelligence can tolerate before dropping your stupid show.
It is not simply the constant plot holes and asspulls that make Bleach so bad, it’s also Kubo not finish it, because he makes money out of this shit. He just introduces more characters, contradicts anything he said before, repeats the exact same plot, and gets paid for it. Anything he keeps a secret from the viewer and makes him speculate what it could possibly mean; always ends up being complete bull shit, since he never thinks what he will do next, until he actually draws it.
- Why is everybody flying out of nowhere?
- How are Bankais rare, if everybody has one?
- How can you outrun a ray of light by seeing it hitting you once?
- Why is the blind black dude betraying everybody?
- Why didn’t the story end after Aizen got defeated and Ichigo lost his powers?
- What was Aizen’s plan?
- Why are the Quincy still alive when they are supposed to be dead?
Bleach is the youngest of the so called Big Three, and also the first to fall apart in just a little bit over a year. For a title that was hailed as the anti-Naruto, it got discontinued and replaced by a zero budget Naruto spin-off. Oh the burn! It’s almost as ironic as when Sega began making Sonic the Hedgehog games for Nintendo. But who ever notices such things, if you get a shallow asshole with a big sword, smirking and saying how big his cock is?
It is a fine series to waste your synaptic functions upon, while trying to spot the troll of the week, but it ends nowhere near as good as it began, and doesn’t stand a ghost of a chance before other shonen like Hunter X Hunter or Full Metal Alchemist.
Story: Awseome story line. Extremly intense right from the beggining. Even most of the filler seasons are amazing, the only one I could've done without is the bount arc. Excluding that, everything is epic! Especilly sence the story isn't completly black and white. It has top quality battle scenes, too.
Animation: As far as animation goes, I think it's pretty good. The only thing I have an issue with is the size of some of the female characters boobs, it's just unrealistic. Otherwise, it's very well done.
Characters: I LOVE how developed all the characters are! Especilly sence there are over 80 of them. The heros and the villans are so well done that, unlike so much anime, you can really see where both sides are coming from and may even end up feeling sorry for and liking the villans. In fact, it's hard not to love some characters from both sides.
Soud: Bleach has a fantastic sound track and amazing voice acters. While at time the music is a little cheesy, it's also really good and always fits the situation. I also think all the characters voices, both in dubbed and subbed versions, fit them really well.
Overall: Bleach is a fantastic anime, and if you haven't seen it, you should really give it a shot. I can garuntee, if you like supernatural action anime, you will love Bleach!
Bleach, a common liquid used to clean clothes and your toilet, but it’s also an anime series that has nothing to do with bleach!
Now what first started me on watching this series is a friend that kept goading me to watch it, surprisingly, I was hooked on the first season which happens about as much as death on this show. The story starts as such: main hero Ichigo Kurosaki can see ghosts because *spoiler tag* and eventually meets ghost—or soul reaper (shinigami before you get anal about the subbed name)—Bleach Girl 1, who as a soul reaper/shinigami is obligated to kill monsters known as hollows; A creature that lives on the consumption of creatures within it’s diet, which is ghosts and humans with a high “spiritual pressure” (which is just the name for the power level on this anime).
However, *spoiler tag* happens and now Ichigo gets all of Bleach Girl 1’s power and must do her job. Her “job” happens for all of season 1 which leads onto season 2 where the series takes an extreme left turn on plotvile and stays that way for pretty much the rest of the series besides the filler seasons that would seem to give you a break from everything, but eventually the plot doesn’t even explain when these filler seasons take place which annoys me like spilling bleach all over my laptop where I watch bleach! Though as for my opinion on the plot it has just about everything a good plot needs: “holy s***!” moments, humor, back story, and pasting (excluding the fillers); as well as everything a bad plot needs: annoying characters, boring parts, and repetitiveness.
It’s easy to say that the animation on Bleach is good being that it does it’s job at keeping your eye on the key point of action which makes up for it’s lack of background animations though they don’t really add much to the whole feel of the show.
Character animation shows just how many different sized breasts can be on one show, though don’t take that comment too seriously.
Bleach doesn’t really have a sound, it’s a f***ing liquid—oh the anime, yeah it sounds great, most animes don’t make me memorize their music but bleach does a good job at that so I think I might be as bold as to give it a 10...
One of the reasons that Bleach has existed for so long is because there are so many different kinds! (okay, I‘ll stop the bleach jokes) But connecting to what I just said, Bleach is a long series because of it’s obscene number of characters and every single one of these people have to be developed before the series ends, otherwise any sort of ending would seem empty and un-finished. What the series should be doing is devolving the charters instead of making new ones.
But because of the number you’re guaranteed to at least like one of them mine should be obvious *looking at my avatar* (used to have urahara) and a huge number of the characters are getting developed so I’ll give this a score of 8.
So let me sum up this anime for you; it is okay. Though it has many flaws (give or take every show in the history of television has flaws) this show has many memorable moments, and if you did what I did and skip the filler seasons, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem to enjoy this series. 7.5/10
I felt so addicted to this anime. I don't know how many episodes I watched in a day but it's A LOT :D It made me fall in love in anime world.
Bleach has been such a inspiring jorney. It has everything I like - swords, adventure, action, character developments, battles, humor, handsome guys :D I didn't like filler episodes very much beacause they appear when the 'real' story gets exciting and they slow down everything. But overall, Bleach deserves 10 here.
Awsome drawings of characters, their powers, special abilities, swords, Soul Society and Karakura town. Good details, faces they make in some scenes made me laugh so hard.
There are no annoying sounds, voices. I think this anime has plenty of awsome openings and sounds that follows action, battles etc. BAN-KAI!
What I like about story is how It follows people getting stronger, especially Ichigo. I love how all underestimated him and he proved them wrong. There are people who will inspire you teach you about love, bravery, frendship, family, laws, honor..