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.