Before I start talking about this series I do want to take a moment to thank it. If it wasn’t for Bleach, I probably wouldn’t be here today. Well… I’d be alive but I probably wouldn’t be doing all the things that I do now. I completely stopped watching anime when I was in middle school for many reasons but mostly because I didn’t want to be a target. You know, bullying and such. Being a black nerd back then wasn’t as cool as you would think. Thankfully, after high school, I had some friends tell me about this series and I just gave it a shot. It’s history from there. So, thank you, Tite Kubo, for bringing this series to fruition. Now… Let’s talk about Bleach!
If you’ve never heard about Bleach… I don’t know where the fuck you’ve been but I will forgive you and give you a quick synopsis. Bleach revolves around an ordinary high schooler by the name of Ichigo Kurosaki. His life turns upside down when his family is attacked by a Hollow, a corrupt spirit that lives on to devour human souls. During this ordeal, he meets a Soul Reaper named Rukia who was injured by the hollow attacking his family. To save Ichigo’s family, Rukia passes on her powers to him to strike down the hollow. With Rukia’s power, Ichigo must protect not only his family but the town he lives in and maybe more.
Okay, I really hate that synopsis but that is pretty much the same synopsis you will find everywhere. For me, I’m only okay with it because it is leaving a bunch out for the viewer/reader to learn when they walk into the real plot. I’m not at all saying that Bleach’s plot is something thought-provoking or clever but I’ll say it did catch me a bit by surprise early on. So personally, I think if you’re a true fan of anime, you really should give it a shot.
During the initial release of Bleach, I’m pretty sure what really grabbed everyone’s attention was the character designs. Even though all of these characters are in high school, they all looked like they were college students. At the time, it was really interesting to see especially if you take a look at all the Shounen Jump series that were out around the same time like Naruto for example. Kubo probably takes pride in these designs and the cool actions poses he illustrated. If you do some research, you will come to learn that may have also been his downfall(I can go in further detail about this in another post if you’re interested.) but that is still something not many mangakas can do as well to this day.
As much as this series has great visual appeal, there are some drawbacks. I think most of you know what I’m about to talk about if you’ve watched the anime but I have to rant a bit about this. FUCKING FILLERS. I know fillers are somewhat inevitable. Somewhat. Bleach is full of fillers and I know that some people like a few of the arcs that come out of it but I just can’t stand it. I just can’t find it acceptable when filler characters become part of the canon storyline. I understand the ratings matter for anime but it just completely turned me off from watching.
I think everyone can agree that Bleach’s first Opening, Asterisk, is one of the best openings of all time. Seriously. It executes everything I love in an opening. It spoils no huge plot points of the series, it’s visually appealing and puts a neat spin on traditional openings. Asterisk really displays some of the gorgeous character designs of the series. If you haven’t listened to/watched it, click the button!
Bleach will always have a place in my heart. It brought me back to the world of anime and helped me realize that I should truly embrace the things I love no matter what anyone thinks. As much as it’s riddled with flaws, most of them can be attributed to Kubo and his journey with Shounen Jump. If you guys would be interested in my writing a post up for that, let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading! Happy Holidays!