For those of you who haven't watched Bleach and don't want spoilers, don't read this. I am putting in a warning right now. SPOILER ALERT!
I offically stopped after the Soul Society Arc.
There is a reason for this. I stopped because I know what is going to happen. If you turn back the clock a little, you will remember a show that had a similar thing happen to it. I am speaking of course, of Dragon Ball Z.
Now, DBZ was a great show, extremely popular, and it created some of the greatest jokes of the internet. In fact, I think it created Over 9000 of them. But I digress. DBZ was designed for the Freiza Saga. If you look at it, everything that happened in DBZ up before the Freiza Saga ended had something to do with Freiza. Goku is grown up, and his brother Radditz comes. Radditz wanted him to fight alongside him against Freiza Goku and Piccolo fight Radditz. They find that more Saiyans are coming. Vegeta and Napa come. Goku fights them, Napa dies, and Vegeta leaves. They wanted him to fight alongside them against Freiza.
They go to Namek to get dragon balls to do something, and Vegeta is there to get the dragon balls to fight Freiza. They sort of team up, and its all climaxes with the fight between Goku and Freiza.
See the picture here? DBZ was about Freiza. Everything after that seemed like continuing for money because DBZ was popular.
Now, I bet you're wondering, "Jaxder, you zarking frood, what does Dragon Ball Z have to do with Bleach?"
I'll tell you. They are connected because they are doing the same thing. Replace Freiza with Byakuya (Yes, I call the man by his first name, and can spell it correctly), and replace Super Saiyan with Bankai. Bleach is a DBZ clone.
Now, this isn't a bad thing. People liked DBZ, Bleach's concept was unique enough so that there is a definable difference between the two. But there is one thing that Bleach and DBZ have in common. They should have ended a while ago.
Bleach set itself up for Soul Society Beautifully. I loved it. There was Ichigo, thrust into the world of Shinigami, with Rukia as a teacher. She was the smart, in control person that could deal with Ichigo, and actually teach him something. And her drawings were funny. They began to gain a level of trust that was admirable, and Ichigo relied on Rukia as much as she relied on him. Then there was the betrayal.
The taking away of Rukia was done very well. Renji attacking Ichigo, instantly making them Rivals, and showing the all powerful Byakuya just decimate him without breaking a sweat, gave him a really compelling reason to get stronger. And then you learned about the Bankai. The Legendary power that showed itself in once a generation, maybe. you started to really understand how Shinigami powers worked. Ichigo trains, gets stronger, and is ready to swoop in and save the day. As they push further into Soul Society, you learn more about the inner workings of this place. The 13 squads, the Council. The Captains and Sub Captains. All of it was well paced and you assimilated all of this while the plot was moving without missing a beat. Then it all comes down to Ichigo and Byakuya, in what I thought was a fight that went down as one of the coolest sword fights I've seen in an anime.
Then they threw it all away. They really don't deal with the inner workings of Soul Society after that. It's all Espada this and Vizard that. There's something that's better than the Legendary Bankai, which was invincible up untill now, and all of the details of Soul Society are thrown out the window because only the Captains and Subcaptains can fight without dying instantly.
Now, I skipped the bount/bound (whatever) because that was filler, and got a ways into first few Espada fights. I think I stopped around 140ish, because I knew what would happen without watching it. Now, normally this doesn't stop me from watching anyways. I've gotten to the point where I can predict a show's outcome after a few episodes. There's just stuff you know, like who will end up with who, who will fight who, and stuff like that.
This is how the rest of the show will go:
Someone close to Ichigo gets kidnapped/killed/goes missing. Ichigo must find the person who kidnapped/killed/caused the person to go missing to get them back/get revenge/get them back. The person who did it is much stronger than Ichigo, and he is badly beaten, but then he realizes that he has to win, and he's suddenly stronger than them, and wins. He now has the person back/revenge/the person back. Rinse, Repeat.</div> <div>
And while this sounds like cool stuff, it does indeed grow stale. I've watched all of DBZ, and the bad parts of that show were so bad I sometimes feel bad about having seen all of it. The fact that there is always another level, another Super Saiyan, another level of Bankai, and Hollow Tranformation, A new Pinnacle of Strength... It's old hat. Now, they could have taken the show and done something interesting and new with it. But they decided to go down the well beaten road of Dragon Balll Z.
In Conclusion, I liked everything I saw through the Soul Soceity Arc. If they just caught Aizen, and made Ichigo a Shinigami rep under Rukia's supervision, and ended the series with that, I'd have no complaints whatsoever, but draggin a story out when it doesn't have anything new left to offer is not the going to make your show better. However, that doesn't matter, because it's still making money. This is called DBZ Syndrome for Figthing shows, and Rumiko Takahashi Syndrome for romantic/comedy type shows (Rumiko Takahashi is the creator of Inuyasha and Ranma 1/2). I'm sorry if this wasn't the glowing approval that you were hoping for. There will always be another level, and the show will go on until people get sick of it. This may sound unlikely, given how much people like Bleach right now, but you also have to remember that once People really liked Dragon Ball Z, and thought that it would end in a climactic battle between Goku and Freiza, and that would be that.
All in all, A decent show, but I dropped it before I got too disappointed. 7/10, becuase it was good while it was good, and thats what I want to remember it for.</div>