Fifteen-year-old Ichigo Kurosaki is a typical teen with fighting skills, two caring sisters and a special trait: he can see ghosts. However, when Ichigo and his family find themselves under attack by a huge beast, Ichigo discovers that there’s more to the supernatural world than the everyday specter. Vengeful spirits known as Hollows roam the world in search of devouring souls, and Shinigami – soul reapers – work tirelessly to defeat them and guide normal ghosts into a place called Soul Society. Ichigo valiantly fights the Hollow that threatens his sisters, but on the verge of defeat a Shinigami named Rukia gives him her powers, turning him into a Shinigami himself. Ichigo must now adjust to his new life of both vanquishing and saving souls for the sake of Soul Society.
In a futuristic and wild west-inspired Japan, there are only two rules: the Number 1 rules the world and only the Number 2 can challenge him; these ranks are worn with pride in the manner of headbands. In these harsh times, Afro is a samurai who is on a mission for revenge – an evil gunman killed his father to become the Number 1, and it’s up to Afro to take him down in a shower of blood and entrails. He has mastered the art of the sword and become Number 2, but many others want to hold his title and the title of Number 1 for themselves. With competition and sword fights at every turn, can Afro finally exact his revenge?
While watching Bleach, did you ever think; "Man! I love me some fights! But what's with this filler crap? Why does it take so long? I want my fights!" or simply how everything, including talking, takes so long?
Look no further than Afro Samurai! It tosses aside that plot crap, lengthy tedious dialogue and filler and replaces it with action, violence, blood and more style than Bleach at it's peak. The only reason to go from Bleach to Afro Samurai is because you want more action immediately. No other reason why.
Death and reincarnation are inescapable, but what happens in between? Without warning and without his memories, a boy who only recalls his last name - Otonashi - wakes up next to a girl named Yuri who offers him a gun and tells him to shoot an angel. Assuming it must be a misunderstanding, Otonashi is then almost killed by the angel and is drawn into Yuri's army to battle to delay the beginning of his next life. Immortality is within reach, but if Otonashi remembers how he died, will he keep fighting or allow himself to vanish?
Koyomi Araragi is an aloof boy who holds a strange, supernatural secret which inadvertently leads him to others with similar stories. Gods, spirits and afflictions can be pesky things, taking important memories or causing unusual tendencies – a fact that Koyomi and others are unfortunately aware of. Using the help of an eccentric homeless man, Koyomi is able to help new friends he meets along the way with their own paranormal conundrums…
This may seem like a bit of a random recommendation, but there is a foundation for it; whilst watching Bakemonogatari I was reminded of the first fifteen or so episodes of Bleach quite a lot. Both follow a similar episodic-style formula, introducing a new pivotal character each story in a supernatural, modern day setting. Despite their undeniable stylistic differences and Bleach's focus on action over Bakemonogatari's dialogue, fans of one should at least check out the other; though be warned, all of Bleach's similarities to Bakemonogatari are thrown out the window once it enters it's first proper story arc.
Born beneath the gallows tree from which his dead mother hung, Guts has always existed on the boundary between life and death. After enduring a terrible childhood, he spends his adulthood in brutal combat, pitting his strength against others in order to build his own. Life is simple enough for Guts until he meets Griffith, the inspirational, ambitious, and beautiful leader of the mercenaries, the Band of the Hawks. When Guts loses to Griffith in a duel, he is forced to join the group, and, despite himself, finds a sense of camaraderie and belonging amongst them. However, as Griffith leads his soldiers from victory to victory, the bloody wars and underhanded politics reveal a side to him that nobody quite expected. Can Guts, a simple warrior, defend those who have come to mean the most to him, all the while struggling not to lose to the darkness he has carried with him his entire life?
Huge, bad ass sword - this is what these two are about. Fighting is main issue, along with hardships of friendship and politics. Moreover, both main characters share similar emotional problems.
In a world where supernatural beings known as youmu are hunted by Spirit World Warriors, Akihito lives an eventful life. He’s a half-breed from a human mother and a youmu father, and is immortal - a fact that saves his life on a regular basis, for his bespectacled classmate Mirai can’t seem to stop stabbing him in the chest. She’s a Spirit World Warrior with the power to control her blood, which she manifests into a sword; and with low self esteem about her abilities to hunt youmu, Mirai constantly uses Akihito as target practice. In hopes of being left alone, Akihito must now help Mirai gain confidence to take down sinister youmu.
These are both anime about high schools students with special powers fighting supernatural creatures to protect their town. Both these shows mix school life, some comedy with a lot of action.
Bleach is a lot longer than Beyond the Boundary and involves going to the spirit world for long stretches. However, these are both anime where those with powers fighting to protect what is important to them. Beyond the Boundary has much higher quality art and animation. I also doubt it will take a nose dive in quality like Bleach.
I hesitate to recommend this one both ways but I will do so with a warning. Bleach really goes downhill after the first 63 episodes to the point where it's only worth watching for the most dedicated fans.