STORY - 5/10
I wish I could give Bleach I higher rating, I really do, but simply due to the amount of shameless filler in this anime I can't. The show starts off with a decent bit of action, and after a few episodes it should grab your attention. Though it doesn't start to really pick up until the characters get into soul society. This whole arc is fantastic, and in my opinion the best part of Bleach. After this arc however we go into some very painful filler. All-in-all we get a good four or five filler seasons, none of them are any good, and the come up in the most horrible of spots. The actual storyline is solid though, it carries on a bit too long for my taste, and towards the end the main villain of the series just becomes irritating. The series goes through quite a few rough patches, but there are always moments that remind you of why you continue to watch Bleach.
As for the animation in Bleach it varies as the series goes on. It's never bad, but at the start of the series it's notably worse than it is at the latter part of the show. This happens with most anime that have a long run time, but it still never looks bad enough to bother you. And at the end the show looks pretty awesome.
Not much to say about the sound, it's solid. Nothing that'll blow you out of the water. Though the show does sport several great songs during the fight scenes. Early on "Number One" is played quite a bit, and definitely works to pump up the action scenes. Later on we have songs like "Treachery" and "Invasion" which also add to the overall epic feel of the fight scenes.
Characters - 9/10
If I have to credit anything specifically in Bleach for keeping me watching it would have to be the characters. It does have its more annoying characters, Soi Fon's vice captain is easily one of the most annoying characters in anime history. But for the most part the characters are memorable and great. From Kenpachi, the merciless badass in the series, to Urahara the laid back mentor. There are far too many great characters to mention. However many characters simply become obsolete. Another huge fault in long animes. Characters like Piccolo and Krillin would find themselves virtually useless by the end of the series and the same holds true here. While they attempt to boost the usefulness of some characters, like Chad, after a few episodes they become underpowered once again. By the end of the first trip to soul society several characters become weak and aren't able to contribute a great deal to the series afterwards.
Overall - 6/10
Overall I wouldn't recommend Bleach the anime to anyone. Though I suppose most of my distaste comes from the filler, and it can be skipped over now. If you do end up watching Bleach that is most certainly the way to do it. The series still has a way to go, but I don't feel that the series is necessarily worth going through 300 episodes for a couple dozen shining moments.
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