Ichigo Kurosaki has always been able to see ghosts, but this ability doesn't change his life nearly as much as his close encounter with Rukia Kuchiki, a Soul Reaper and member of the mysterious Soul Society. While fighting a Hollow, an evil spirit that preys on humans who display psychic energy, Rukia attempts to lend Ichigo some of her powers so that he can save his family; but much to her surprise, Ichigo absorbs every last drop of her energy. Now a full-fledged Soul Reaper himself, Ichigo quickly learns that the world he inhabits is one full of dangerous spirits and, along with Rukia—who is slowly regaining her powers—it's Ichigo's job to protect the innocent from Hollows and help the spirits themselves find peace.
In 2005, Bleach won the 50th Shogakukan Manga Award in the shounen category.
The series has been published in English by VIZ Media under the Shonen Jump imprint since July 6, 2004 and in 3-in-1 omnibus edition since June 7, 2011; a hardcover collector's edition for volume one was released by VIZ Media on August 5, 2008. It has also been published in Portuguese (Brazil) by Panini Comics and Planet Manga since July 2007.
Back when I was just beginning to watch anime and read manga, Bleach was one of the first subbed anime that I picked up. I eventually started reading the manga and I really enjoyed it. However, after the end of the arc where Ichigo manages to save Rukia, everything went downhill from there.
The story was very good up to the end of the Soul Society arc as it was always very suspenseful and the fights were well-contrived. However, after that arc was done, you have a plethora of new characters and new plot devices stuffed down your throat and you are never quite given the opportunity to find out about anyone's backstory except for a few of the main characters. You eventually end up reading a manga where the sole focus is on Ichigo and how he gains power-ups in order to save the damsel-in-distress. In the Hueco Mundo arc of the series, everyone is turned into a fraction of what they were in the Soul Society arc, especially Renji. You can't help but feel mad that characters such as Renji and Chad are virtually useless. The story follows a very sequential and contrived plot where if there are a number of fights, the fights are shown one by one and after the 5th or 6th fight in a row you just want to stop reading.
While the manga art is good at times, in most fight scenes you end up with frames that you don't even know what's going on in the frame; it just looks like one big blotch of ink. It isn't just one or two frames per fight that uses this technique, there are half a dozen or more frames within a fight where the frames don't give any detail at all; they just give you the illusion that the characters involved are moving very fast. Not only that, but Tite Kubo can also use up a whole page to draw one frame, or a whole page to draw three or less meaningless frames that don't move the plot forward at all. He also uses wide margins so that his frames use up less ink. This isn't good art, and this isn't a good manga and you can very much tell that Tite Kubo is bored with his creation.
The series is dying and it doesn't look like it'll be revived anytime soon. It's a one-way trip to Heuco Mundo for this once-decent manga.read more
Before countless people flame me and press the "Not Helpful' button because I gave Bleach a comparatively low score to the rest of MAL, please do note that I didn't think Bleach was bad. Bleach was good, REALLY good at the beginning. The series introduced a wide variety of fantastic concepts, a charismatic and love-able cast of characters and has some of the most adrenaline pumping battles I've ever read in any manga. I'm fully aware that the fan-base of the shonen demographic has become increasingly desperate for series that have originality, adrenaline pumping battles and brilliant storytelling.
While not following all the criteria, Bleach was one heck of a quality shonen at the beginning.
Along the way though, something went...wrong.
Actually scrap that, plenty of things went wrong with this series, starting with:
One of the biggest setbacks to Bleach is that it's story isn't exactly what you would call anything ground breaking. It's your typical Yu Yu Hakusho influenced series done better than most. Initially, Bleach had plenty of aspects going for it; putting the unoriginal story aside, the series had one of the best shonen arcs I've ever seen, the sheer adrenaline in that arc and the amazing, addictive storytelling in that arc was so good. The series was setting itself apart from your generic shonen in that in the first 150 or so chapters, it was generic shonen done right.
And then something happened. To be more specific, nothing happened. I feel the author had plenty of fantastic ideas for the manga, but due to the anime airing at around the same time, blasted through all those ideas as fast as possible and rushed the story as much as possible, which I find to be a great shame because Bleach's style of storytelling in that first arc was just so good. Instead, the author decided to repeat the same style of storytelling in later arcs, which really killed the plot and changed it from above average to plain mediocre. The series could have been much better if it experimented with various styles of storytelling and eventually come up with it's own unique style, instead of the author taking the ink out of the pen and not adding anything to the rest of the series.
Bleach's art looks bloody fantastic, almost no problems there. What I found really disheartening however, is that in some volumes the series lowered it art quality for the sake of low quality fan-service, which I found really depressing because the series tried to put these scenes as much as possible in a certain arc when the series could have instead fleshed out it's characters.
Nevertheless,these are just minor nitpicks and the art looks bloody fantastic. Major props to Tite Kubo for providing us with relatively consistent and good looking art over the course of the series.
Bleach plays host to a huge, and by huge I mean HUGE cast of characters. Our protagonists, while a little bland at a good portion of the series, were like-able, well-written and most importantly well-developed. The series however, struggled at developing it's cast of antagonists properly, and when the series did try to focus on developing them (or the protagonists at times for that matter) the series fell into this colossal problem of not knowing how to pace it's story events and character development properly, which led to huge problems in finding the characters as like-able as they should have been.
Nevertheless, Bleach has an above average cast of characters, but the story is just nowhere near worthy enough to have said cast.
Despite all it's major problems, Bleach is still a slightly above average series with one of the most fantastic and well-written shonen arcs I've ever seen in manga. Despite all it's problems, the series is still really fun and enjoyable if not for anything else, and there's definitely this "want to see more feeling" that I get when reading the manga.
Bleach is a like a roller coaster ride. It has its dull moments but also has its exciting moments. If you are an avid reader, you will know what i am talking about, If this is your first time reading Bleach then i hope you give it a chance and see what this wonderful manga is about.
Sure it has the typical Shounen components, but it is more original than you would think. Bleach has many mysteries that have yet to be revealed, keeping you always wondering and wanting more. Give it a try if you have not already and see for yourself since everyone has different perspectives and tastes. read more
Dubbed as one of Jump's "Unholy Trinity", Bleach epitomizes the typical action shonen manga--fighting, fighting, fighting, fighting, and did I say fighting? Brainless power level tripe. To be fair, fighting manga can also be great, if it could be balanced with a well-crafted plot and sublime character development. Too bad Bleach also epitomizes the term "mediocrity" and what's more, wallows in it in an almost deliberate fashion(Despite being my gateway back to being an active fan of manga and anime in general).
Bleach's story is generic shonen tripe. Boy lives a normal high school life, girl pops up out of nowhere, turns out the boy has a special ability(how original), some funny meeting occurs, girl gives boy supernatural powers to defeat some monster that conveniently appears, then aptly gives the boy some new mission in life. There, not so complicated now , is it? People keep comparing Bleach to Yu Yu Hakusho, which is rightfully so, what with the almost carbon copy formula of shinigami and evil monsters(at least YYH was many leagues better than Bleach--even for a power level fighting manga). The story moves too slowly and sometimes loses focus. One time it tries to be a slice-of-life action comedy, and another it gives the illusion of actual depth through snappy one-liners and meaningless monologues. At times it almost feels like it's just going with the motions, delivering the occasional plot twist here and the eye candy fight there.
And now it's like watching a marathon of a pro wrestling show with its never ending choreographed fights. What's worse is, Bleach just doesn't want to end--despite reaching its peak a long long time ago(SS arc, anyone?).
Its art though is what's keeping it afloat. Kubo designs some good monsters--not too grotesque and not too cartoon y. While swords can look bland after a while, Kubo's design of their special abilities help prevent that. Clothing design is also good although it can only be found in color pages, calendars and posters. Character design is unique, his style is distinctly different from many shonen mangaka--although many characters look alike. One major flaw, however, is the background art. There is such a thing as too much white and too much black. Many panels follow the same structure. Character posing in the middle or in the corner with either a black background or none at all. Even if it's a black and white manga, those spots of laziness is just plain inexcusable.
What Kubo lacks in backgrounds he makes up in characters. And not in a good way. There's just too many characters that anyone could write a spin-off series with any one of them--and it would still be better than the main story. It would have been fine if most of them have a purpose in the main plot, but sadly they don't. They're just there to make the other, more popular characters shine while they themselves rot into obscurity. Almost all of them are one-dimensional, too. It's like Kubo just took different shonen archetypes then copy-pasted them to different characters. Character development in Bleach consists of looking cool one moment, getting beaten the next, then winning through some ridiculous plot device. Rinse and repeat. Also, Kubo's characters seem to have some magic armor protecting them from certain death, like getting cut in half. "No one dies in Bleach", indeed.
Bleach, as terrible as it is, works great as a gateway for people who want to get into the manga and anime fandom. Simple characters, easy-to-digest plot lines and good-looking action sequences should be fine for a newbie. Just because it takes itself too seriously doesn't mean you should, too. Soak in all the eye-candy, turn off your brain and revel in its mediocrity for a quick dose of mindless entertainment--that is, if you CAN be entertained. With mediocrity as its middle name, Bleach is only good for 2 minutes of pretty pictures, snappy one-liners, Kubo-styled plot twists, and ridiculous amounts of plot devices. And coming from a once avid Bleach fan, that's already saying something.
The Gotei 13 are the protectors of Soul Society, organizing the Shinigami into a military. Each of the 13 divisions is led by a captain, all of whom are a force to be reckoned with on any battlefield. Let's meet these Gotei captains!
Bleach is one of the longest-running anime to date, and as such, it is filled with fun trivia surrounding its creation, story, and production. So please take some time to learn 20 interesting facts about this amazing series!