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.
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.
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.
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.
OMGZ ANOTHER BLEACH REVIEW. At least I'm not giving out mostly 10s for some strange reason! *Chapter 355 is the latest chapter, excluding all sidestories such as the Hitsugaya sidestory and the Pendulum Arc*
Bleach is an on-going manga by Kubo Tite. It is part of the holy trinity of never-ending shounen manga (along with Naruto and One Piece). I haven't read One Piece but I believe Bleach is superior to Naruto in many ways. It does not feature orange jumpsuits or straw hats but a black robed GOD OF DEATH AKA a Shinigami.
The anime is mediocre at best but like every other show based on
never-ending manga, this show has its fair share of fillers.
Story: The story flows through two main arcs, with several smaller arcs in between. The first arc, called the Soul Society arc, introduces the readers to the world of Bleach and its many supporting characters and lore. It pits our protagonist characters against the denizens of Soul Society in what seems to be a rescue mission with an ulterior motive by some of the other central key figures.
The second main arc (which is still going on) however, seems like a rehash of the first arc but there is yet to be seen if some huge plot twist will occur or not.
The pacing of the story at times can get dragged on but that is to be expected in a shounen manga that has yet to end. There is plenty of dialogue and sometimes there's too much of it. Same can be said of the action. Countless battles one after another gets a bit tiring but it's acceptable once Kubo Tite inserts a twist here and there.
The story basically stars Kurosaki Ichigo, who at an early age, can see spirits. He gets attacked by a corrupted spirit called a Hollow and is saved by a Shinigami named Kuchiki Rukia. With a little help from Rukia, Ichigo manages to become a Shinigami himself. His Shinigami influence gives birth to unique latent powers to two of his friends, Yasutora Sado (Chad), and Inoue Orihime. Along with the Quincy (a group of humans who possess supernatural powers now nearly extinct) Ishida Uryuu, the four of them enter Soul Society to rescue Rukia after she was questionably imprisoned by the Soul Society government.
Art: The art in this manga is probably some of the best I've seen. They have a unique appearance that is quite recognizable and the characters are very detailed on their own. From huge bulking muscles on the body of the old Shinigami commander to the large chested females running around, each character has their own distinct appeal. Not to mention Kubo Tite really likes to draw large chested women... not that it's THAT bad of a thing.
Character: Like every other never-ending shounen, Bleach has a very large cast of characters. The manga focuses mainly on about 5 or 6 of these characters but the other supporting cast gets a fair amount of screentime when the moment comes. In the more recent chapters, several of the supporting characters are finally getting their 15 minutes of fame in battle.
There is quite an amount of development for many of the characters in Bleach. There's pretty much every character archetype possibly found in Bleach. Whether you like the short tempered guy who always starts the fights, or the arrogant looking guy that doesn't say much, to the flirtatious endowed women, there is enough personality to go around.
Enjoyment/Overall: Bleach is one of those shounen manga that gets the heat for being generic and never ends with crappy plot or ridiculous characters. Even if that may be true to some eyes, Bleach is also a manga that caters to the fans. It's filled with action (although somewhat dragged on sometimes) and it has its fill of dramatic and emotional moments. I enjoy Bleach much more than I do Naruto because it simply catches on for me with its artistic style.
Like a flutter of a butterfly’s wing, Kubo has created the dynamic of a life after death scenario, twisting people’s minds and imaginations throughout its journey with surprises, questions, and a bold statement of what happens after we leave this world. Invisible forces play into the scenes, grasping a hold of reality and raining out a massive event that not even humans can comprehend. Sparks fly as metal swords clash. Tears fall down pale cheeks. Romances bloom like a soft flower petal in the spring. People think there is nothing after life, but they are wrong. Death is only the beginning.
Taking place in modern Japan and broken into five major arcs, Bleach is unique between the “Big 3” and Shounen itself. It shaped itself in the first few chapters as a typical run of the mill high school themed manga with the characters having special powers. Over that period, the scenes and chapters just repeat itself. Nothing special happens. However, things change, and it was this that made Bleach become over the top famous.
The next arc is what made Bleach what it is. Surprises and twists make the plot shake. The only way to read this is to think about it being opposite day. The many characters introduced help shape this manga and create the new world it was made to be in. There are no cheats into reading this. Every word, every panel of this arc is crucial. Like the stairway to heaven to introduce what will happen in the coming chapters. Expect the unexpected or nobody will figure out what will happen. Pay attention to detail closely in the words spoken, the plot can be easily lost. Easter eggs are a bonus and can lead to mysteries in future chapters.
Now onto the serious bit. Bleach’s plot isn’t the best plot out there. It’s filled with plot holes and unanswered questions that probably will never get answered. The way it was shaped was anti-climactic and it was very, very unorganized. Seriously, pay attention. I found myself getting lost during the mess of the arcs following after the Soul Society. Although it was suspenseful and I found myself excited about what would happen next, I would often find myself disappointed in the result. The symbolism used, like the Hell Butterfly, weren’t explained as fully as I wanted it to be. Chapters also became a repetitive thing. Unnecessary events slowed the pace exponentially. And when something awesome happened, the pace moved quickly, almost as if someone was embarrassed about a performance and needed to get off the stage.
It wasn’t good.
One thing Bleach was very famous for was the artwork. Between the first chapter and the last, the improvements of the drawings were incredible. It was surprising how far Kubo has gone since starting out in this manga. The art is what I would like to call adorable, but not too over the top with the crazy, stereotypical eyes or Japanese character design. The character’s designs seem to make their own form of uniqueness never seen before. Kubo had made it his own and has even inspired many new artists around the world. The detail placed into the characters and the way he brought the fight scenes to life is what saved this manga into going into the trash bin at the beginning. With each panel drawn, there is always a story in them. Some panels are left blank or black to create the atmosphere and effect of the scene drawn ahead. Some are simple and build to what is happening in the chapter. Then there are those with great intense detail and quite strange designs that make the reader question what is happening in the Kubo’s mind during the process of drawing it. Plus, the colour pages that sometimes appear, come out simple with pastel-like colours placed into the page, making the tone of the chapter pop more. Take a moment and just admire the work placed into these pages. It’s something totally rare to find.
Three words: Too many characters!
First, long-running manga, I get it. But there is a limit to how many should be placed into a story. One rule is that characters that have a role in the story should have a backstory on how they got there. They need a purpose and need to be figured out once it ends. One problem with Bleach is that Kubo created these characters without realizing what he would have to do near the end. Many of these characters don’t seem to have a proper fight scene and when they do, it’s either very rushed or off-screened. Plus, many don’t get a backstory and are left under the rubble. Literally. Don’t be surprised if you wonder where someone is for over one hundred chapters. Chances are they are either lying unconscious somewhere or dead. Remember though, Kubo doesn’t forget characters even though it seems that he does.
Second, not enough character deaths. Oh my word, yes, I said it. I wish there were more deaths than there were. Even though I am deeply upset about the loss of my favourite fictional character, Ukitake-taicho, it made sense for his passing. It made the plot move on. There are characters that were supposed to die, ie. Byakuya, that didn’t end up happen due to popularity issues. No! There needs to be a balance. If a character doesn’t die when they’re supposed to, their role in the rest of the plot becomes useless and also can change the original plot drastically.
Lastly, the main cast wasn’t very good. Yup, I said it too, I disliked the main characters. Why? They were useless, over-powered, and plain annoying. Rukia seemed to be the only one I was content with, but the other’s…honestly, I could really do without Orihime and Chad. They were a waste of time. Orihime’s powers weren’t explained and she landed in the typical damsel in destress, and Chad’s were just not over-powered enough to keep up with the other characters. And Ichigo and Ishida…I got strange Naruto vibes from those two. There needed to be a development in these characters and there wasn’t enough of it.
There are things out there that take me awhile to give my opinion. A dark moment in a life where light just doesn’t shine even after a bottle of wine been finished. After Bleach ended, I really didn’t know what to do. I was like a child after all their Halloween candy was gone. I couldn’t grasp the reality that after fifteen years, this huge manga was over. I was waiting, as if some being would come down and say “HAPPY APRIL FOOLS IN AUGUST!” or something. But no.
It was never meant to be.
Even after all of this, I did enjoy Bleach exponentially and it is considered one of my most favourite enjoyed manga, but I needed more. It was a buzz I got every Thursday morning when I woke up. I would freak out in my room whenever something major occurred. But now…that morning will be empty and will be filled with memories of what it used to. Just kidding…I’ve got other things to read now. But all seriousness, this manga was one of the firsts I picked up and will always be special in my heart.
Bleach is an epic journey. Filled with action, suspense and several possible romances, it a roller coaster ride of emotions and amazing fights. Nothing compares to this manga.
I give this manga 50% on the soul cleansing scale.
OH. MY. GOODNESS. This is about the most perfect manga you will ever read.
For those fans of the Bleach anime, I know you're like me, waiting around for more stupid fillers about a dumb princess that no one cares about. I invite you to delve into the world that is the Bleach manga. No fillers, SO much more movement and SO much more story. This is where its at.
I rarely rate an anime or manga with a story above 8. I hate to say it, but most animes/mangas these days follow too closely after their predecessors, and end up being almost identical clones of
the original. Bleach may not be completely original, but it is so throroughly engaging that you won't even give it a second glance. After being a fan of the anime, I found myself gawking at certain frames in the manga, thinking "Why in the world was this NOT in the anime????" and furiously reading on. There is never, and I mean never, a boring section in this manga. Bleach is what all mangakas should look to as an example. It does what a manga should: It truly entertains people. The story is not completely original, but it doesn't seem to matter. I'm always waiting eagerly for the next chapter to come out.
Fantastic work from Kubo Tite in this section. It's almost always clear what is happening in battles, clarity that most mangas lack. The characters are defined and unique looking, and each panel is well thought out. The landscapes and buildings also have lots of creativity packed into them
Again, amazing work here. Theres a character for everyone to enjoy, and each person has their own unique traits. There are enough characters to keep the story interesting, and they are almost all developing as the story goes on. It just all makes a whole lot of sense, see?
I cannot express how enjoyable this anime has been to read. I started reading where the anime awkwardly broke away, and before I knew it I had read 40 chapters and it was 12:00 AM. Perfect balance between action, comedy, and that sense that you don't know something very important. Tite never leaves you hanging for too long, however, and whenever a secret is unearthed, you will find yourself making astounded noises at your book/computer screen. If you like the action, if you like surprises, definitely, definitely read this manga.
Bleach manages to keep a perfect balance between action and story, and it is truly a one-of-a-kind manga. You will always be on the edge of your seat, not knowing what to do while waiting for the next episode to come out. Timing, which is one of the crucial things in an anime/manga, is mastered wonderfully in each chapter. It really doesn't get much better than this, and it deserves the one and only full 10 score I will probably ever give to any manga/anime. Definitely give this a try, no matter what you like.
Well... A prime example of how looks can be deceiving. Bleach looked good, oh so very good. In the long run it is one of the few manga I have regrets about reading.
Bleach is another overrated Shounen manga. Sucked in by another promising plot Bleach follows a young man named Kurosaki Ichigo, a high school boy who can see spirits. One day a girl who claims shes a shinigami comes into his life and everything changes. This grabbed my attention for the first little while until the story started getting repetitive.
The author of this manga goes through the same process twice over and that has
made up what the series is so far. I believe that the latest arc has been going on for roughly 3 years now.
Ichigo only knows one move and he takes no effort to learn new moves. but instead of fixing his weakness of having one move he powers up that one move so he will be unstoppable.
His training methods consist of losing a fight then training in the midst of battle (which isn't exactly the best way to do things)
On a lighter note Bleach does have some pretty interesting characters such as Chad: The burly friend of Ichigo who is kind and extremely powerful even without powers. Uryuu: Spirit bow wielding bad ass. As well as other interesting characters that I'm not at liberty to speak about at risk of spoilers.
Bleach would be a better manga if it changed things up a bit. The story has gotten dry and I find my self losing the thrill I once had reading it.
Failure and success seem to have been allotted to men by their stars. But they retain the power of wriggling, of fighting with their star or against it, and in the whole universe the only really interesting movement is this wriggle. (E.M. Forester)
Among the most popular mainstream Shounen, Bleach has arguably the most controversial plot. The main reason of being that way is the Seinen vibe that this manga has got and the mangaka’s lack of control over his plot and characters.
Kubo has tried his best to mix the Shounen and Seinen elements. That is plus and negative point of this series at the
same time. We see a hero who is a lab rat of villains and wants to protect the things precious to him. We see godly villains and a good terminology (not that complex like Naruto and not simpleminded like One Piece). These things make Bleach a unique series from other mainstream series and thus making it successful.
But these things have backfired many times during the course of the series. With the background of his lead character, Kubo can’t make him a real tragedic person like Guts from Berserk neither he can make him like a typical mainstream hero, hence messing up his personality (that goes for many other characters as well). With Kubo’s art level he has drawn epic fights but he couldn’t show any gore because of Bleach being a mainstream series. He can’t also kill good characters. Thus killing hypes and staining the name.
So far the plot in Bleach has used the ‘arc method’ i.e. despite having a main plot, each arc has its own mini story and climax. This is another thing which has lifted Bleach to great heights and at the same time stained its name. The problem with Kubo using this method has been that the things have always gone in one direction for him. Apart from his art, which has been great throughout the series, other elements keep wavering. E.g. if in one arc the story is bad, the character development, climax, plot devices etc will be messed up as well. If the things are going smoothly, everything will be going fine.
Another problem with Kubo is that he isn’t great in hype department. Throughout the series we see instance where a character got too much hype or a great hype was ruined idiotically.
Bleach has a great cast that has been planned out pretty well. Kubo has managed to create great characters (powers, sketches, personalities etc). However he has messed up in certain areas as well.
There are certain occasions where Kubo has handled his characters pretty badly. That includes the hype, development and screen time. The poor usage of these elements have stained some of the great characters of this series and puzzling the mind of the readers that ‘how can someone having such a messed up character handling technique, create such awesome characters’! Well that’s another beauty of Bleach :P
ART: - If there was any series other than Berserk which makes millions only because of its art, it has to be Bleach. The character designs in Bleach are magnificent. The mangaka is well versed in drawing human anatomy and complicated perspective. The battles are beautifully illustrated, just like perfect action movie wallpaper, they have been neatly framed. I feel Bleach is more suited to Seinen genre beacuse, its plot sure has a deeper meaning which can be made into a seinen, plus the author focuses much on the characters which is probably an unnoticed feature of Seinen manga. The way in which the mangaka draws unique but simple shapes of faces and dressing, shows that he does a top notch work (in terms of art at least).
Bleach uses a good range of terminology which is complex and easy to understand at same time. Kubo also uses poetic stuff from time to time, and along with some great quotes adds flair to the series. Though there are certain rants and yaps from some characters that annoy the readers as well.
TARGET AUDIENCE: -
All the mainstream fans and those readers who can bear with a wavering story and look up for great art, bleach is a perfect series for you.
* Don’t put too much faith in the story, as it keeps on wavering. Getting your hopes up will end up in you getting Kuboed.
* Tolerate the white backgrounds.
Bleach started out as a very promising character-driven manga with several great arcs. It’s a massive shame it didn’t keep up. The story starts with a bang, builds and builds, wraps up the first few arcs in a satisfying manner and then trips over itself, rolls down a hill, into the ocean and sinks into the abyss. I can say I was thoroughly disappointed with the way it ended after the potential it showed at first.
I've been reading this manga since I was 13. The story was never really anything special, but it was fun. Initially, the characters were interesting and dynamic, they felt important
and the threats felt like something they needed to overcome, to grow and to protect each other and their family. I loved seeing the way everything was depicted - supernatural or not - and the absolute creativity of some of the designs hypnotized me.
The plot, simple at first, evolves and escalates, jumping through several arcs and then begins to degrade after a specific point rather rapidly. More characters ended up introduced than it felt was needed, and often there was so much focus on the new characters that there was no room for anyone else. Ichigo (our main character) in particular was a black hole for focus, and the side characters may as well have not existed. Their motivations were paper thin, felt reused or just plain didn’t go anywhere. After a while it felt like I'd seen the same characters come along several times and not really add anything, and just questioned why they were even included in the story.
Boring, throwaway villains, silly misunderstandings, pointless trips, unclear motivations. The last arc has been particularly shameless with making the final big bad just… the worst the manga has ever seen even amongst the minor henchmen. He had little to no personality, nothing relatable, charming or fascinating about him and more or less just felt like a silly plot device to try to prove how strong Ichigo was and /try/ to reinforce that he has an amazing relationship with the people he's met on his journey.
Sadly, the message of friendship and being together as humans is undermined constantly and almost the entirety of the manga makes it a pointless aesop. Ichigo is impossibly strong and unfailingly virtuous, with just enough flaws to add a bit of depth to his character, but he is the main character who rises so far above his friends that he doesn't ever truly seem to connect with them. His friends who began as interesting become quickly underpowered compared to him and to the enemies he faces.
Having a character who is miles above the rest in terms of power can be pulled off successfully, provided that he shares a deep enough emotional connection with at least some of the cast and that doesn’t lower the stakes of the story. Unfortunately, Bleach does not succeed in this and most of the initial friends Ichigo made get the same treatment as much of the side characters from Dragon Ball Z, becoming completely unable to compete on any level, or even keep up, with our main character.
It was a true shame to once again have a shounen series fall victim to this. It left a terrible aftertaste.
For anyone willing to read things before the downfall, up to chapter 182 was a great exciting adventure with plenty of characters to enjoy (but not too many), and a fairly well balanced character driven story. Or up to chapter 423 where it was still...complicated and interesting but beginning to feel a little bit samey.
For those willing to continue reading past that point, I would advise that you prepare yourselves for disappointment. I don't know what Kubo was thinking with the majority of the later plot, but much of it felt flat or just plain not impactful. A common and well-deserved complaint was how cheap many of the plot devices were and how little things seemed to actually matter in the long run. Another complaint was the over build up for many a lacklustre reveal.
As for the art - it was clean and fairly well executed. Later on a lot of the scenes become hard to follow, with too many effects and cluttered panels, but the character designs and environments were overall of an acceptable level. You could however argue that, barring a few, Kubo falls into same face syndrome much like many manga authors, reusing the same general faces for specific types of characters with marginal alterations. It wasn’t the most amazing art ever but it was definitely above average.
In summary, Bleach started its run as a pleasant experience with more ambition than it knew what to do with, and it eventually caved in under the weight of its enormous but underdeveloped cast, disproportionate focus on a single character whose importance was poorly justified with increasingly contrived plot twists, and an overabundance of questionable creative decisions.
Sorry if this is kind of all over the place, it's my first review and I wanted people to know this manga started well, but still ended terribly. I mostly want to save anyone else from reading the next 200-300 chapters because it isn't worth it.
[MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS]
Bleach- also known as "Blah"
Basic story starter. "____ is your typical high school student but one day his life is changed forever when he meets a "mysterious" girl who gives him the power to defend and save humanity. In the process he is practically dragged into her world and has no choice but to interfere." Does this sound cliche to you? No duh.
Story: Above Average --> Disappointing --> Nonexistent
Plot like most long running shounen follow the arc-based-plot. Okay.. I have to admit it the first quarter of the plot was good. Ichigo's introduction to the world of Shinigami's was quite amusing and entertaining.
The Soul Society arc was imaginative and great in terms of fighting, suspense, dialogue and plot. But somehow in the end it turned out just about average. Along the way Kubo decided to throw in more cliches and glitches: the mystifying sensei, the damesel in distress, random super main character power ups, multiple transformations and the ever popular "Half-Demon-Half-Human" trope. Please don't tell me "well yeah... its a shounen." Let me say this, Shounens can be unique and special, take FMA and Death Note for example. Not all of them have to follow the "norm". Nevertheless the arc was again above average. Unfortunately it was the peek of the series. And this is where Kubo should have ended the series.
Everything after the the SS arc was honestly a waste of paper and ink. Kubo must havebeen thinking, "since, the SS arc did so great, why don`t I do it again but with a different premise..." Thanks Kubo. If you read past the SS arc, you know that Rukia gets captured right... well this time its Orhime's turn. The damsel in distress situation, how times have you seen that? This formula for this arc follows: Insane Powerful Villain Apears--->Ichigo gets owned---> Train--->Insane Power Up/Transformation--->Ichigo Owns--->Cycle Repeats
Boss battle after boss battle. Team A/Hero A vs. Villain A/Team Villain A. Another thing that is just pure idiocy is the fact that at the end of some chapters, we see someone seemingly "defeat" Aizen. But no, at the beginning of the next chapter he comes back unscathed and defeats that individual. Kubo does this for 3-4 chapters.. seriously talk about wasting your time. The ending of the Aizen arc is predictable and unsatisfying. "The Main Character Loses his powers in the end." I had someone ask me "Do you think he'll get his powers back?" "......." was all I said.
There is no major character development at all. If you count the "I want to protect friends and family" or "I want to be stronger to blah blah blah.." as development then your talking about the typical character development you would expect from this type of shounen. To be blunt most of the characters are one-dimensional and quite forgettable. Ichigo, the hotblooded, brave, strong, stubborn, hero. Yawn. Orhime, the useless heroine, Mary Sue and damsel. Chad, the strong yet gentle type. Ishida, the smart, tactical "rival". Azien, the god modding final boss. Yawn. And off course characters for fan service (Matsumoto, Hitsugaya, Hisagi.. etc). The only memorable, uniques ones are Kon, Grimmjaw, Ururu, Kisuke, Karin, and Chizuru. Too many characters does not equal good Kubo, especially when you completely forget about them (cough Nell, Kon, Grimmjaw..etc). Like what happened to everyone after the fight with Aizen? Characters are definitely not the strong point.
Looks decent. Although the environments are pretty bland and lifeless. Artwork changes overtime to a more mature look for the characters. Plus one for Kubo.
Mediocre. I keep telling myself it will get better, but I'm not sure anymore.
My score would have been higher if the series ended at the SS arc with all the lose ends tied up. Right now, Kubo is miliking this cow for its worth.
So this is a shonen manga, and in my opinion it's a bad one. If you've seen Inuyasha, Dragonball Z, or Yu Yu Hakusho then theres no point in reading this. Bleach pulls absolutely everything it has from those other series. flying and energy blasts from dragonball Z, spirit energy (yes, they actually call it the exact same thing) from Yu Yu Hakusho. And the miain character has a Man-sized sword that can shoot waves of energy just like Inuyasha. If i could rate the originality i would give it a 0.
The story goes on forever. First one girl gets captured and
they go and save her. Then to move the story along guess what the mangaka did? A different girl got captured and they had to go and save her. HE HAS SO FEW IDEAS HE'S COPYING HIS OWN FREAKING WORK!
Now to the art. When they're standing still its not so terible...but this is an action manga. I can't tell whats going on in half the panels during the fight scenes. It doesn't help that the mangaka uses only a pure white and pure black. Theres very little shading so it's hard to make out whats what a lot of the time.
Character development: theres none. Theres a gooft girl, a serious guy, a smart guy, a quite guy, and a serious girl. When one adjective can describe each character thats a bad sign. Theres also about 60-70 characters. I prefer quality over quantity.
There is some enjoyment in the manga. I actually laughed out loud at some of the comedy twords the begining of the series. But once you get about 25% into the manga the comedy becomes a lot less frequent, and a lot less funny. I couldn't really understand what was going on in most of the action scenes so i can't really judge those. It gets a 5 just because of the comedy at the begining.
Overall i would give this manga a 4 because theres absolutely NOTHING original. Heres a prime example for people who've read it: Remember when the big guy and ulili-something came to ichigo's town? That scene is identical from when vegita and nappa came to earth in dragonballZ. no difference. How people rate this manga above a 5 is beyond me.
One of the top 3 Shounen mangas in popularity. It suffers the same problem the Naruto does: it starts with good smaller arcs,with puns and some character development, or at least a well driven long one ( which I totally recommend reading), and then goes into the infamous, unending and slow advancing Deicide\Arrancar Arc which could have been summarized in an 8th part of it's length.
I must admit that I stopped reading after finishing that second arc, as the next one didn't quite hook me a lot. This means I'm not doing this manga justice by reviewing only the first part of
it (still that's over 400 episodes for 2 story arcs, and only the first 180 seem enjoyable ).
So to sum up the good and bad points of this manga:
-The first story arc and the jokes we find in it all together
-Kenpachi, but not even him can save the plot from becoming dull and slow
-Story after 1st Arc
-Main character power levels at a ridiculous pace
-This may be the first manga I read that the bad guys personality matches it's story arc: slow unending buildup that looks more like filling content of an anime that goes faster than the manga, which has absolutely no relevance in the end
-Side characters, with a couple of exceptions seem to play absolutely no role at all in the story (call me biased, but interesting side characters is something that made me love Rave Master, Fairy Tail, One Piece, Full Metal Alchemist, etc)
Ok so I’m pretty new to the wide world of manga and admit that I primarily read shonen manga and anime. However I do not like what I read in the reviews and would like to throw in my 2 cents.
The story most people seem to think has 2 arcs. I personally break it into smaller pieces. The first being Ichigo Kurosaki as the substitute shinigami. He fights hollows with the powers he stole from shinigami Rukia Kuchiki. His friends Chad, Orihime, and Ishida have obtained their own powers and can also fight hollows. They are all helped by the mysterious Urahara and his crew.
This is the first arc. I think so anyway this is before the multiple sword forms and giant cast of characters. The story takes a turn for the awesome with the introduction of other shinigami and the kidnapping of Rukia. The Soul Society was a wonderful place that brought a lot of new characters, concepts, plot that fueled my delight right and wrong were blurred and the intrigue of the going ons of the soul society were fascinating. The ending twist was fantastic and perfect and I was ready for the next arc. This is where most critics of the manga and even the fans say the series died and ruined it for them. I disagree I missed fighting hollows and now the shinigami had a real reason to use their zanpakto's abilities that was not directed at other shinigami. The arrancar were real threats to the soul society and was a perfect opposite. They would finally force those who were too powerful to fight at their fullest back in the soul society. Aizen was terrifying and magnificent and lead a front that made the series amazing and I wait with baited breath to see what comes up next. The story is not without problems things drag sometimes and there are a lot of characters who don’t get enough screen time and those who get too much and yes the characters tend to be generic. But I’m looking for that in a shonen manga and it helps that I think the concept is amazing. Tite Kubo is not only writing a story he is creating a world.
I dont know much about drawing but i would say Mr. Kubo does a great job of displaying things clearly and smoothly his style is appealing and his concepts are really original.
Good. There are alot of them and they never die. This leads to characters getting left on the side of the road with little to no use. Best example Chad. He had alot of potentail but is just nowhere near what the lead characters are. He is basically Krillin. This is happening more and more in the manga which is unfourtunate. He is working on the back story on some characters but only those who were mentioned to be uber powerful beforehand. Overall problematic but i like it.
Well I like it and the other people i have introduced it to like it as well. Obviously people like it or Bleach would not be as main stream as it is.
I understand why people are complaining about some things. However not a big deal in the overall to the story but they make it seem like a damning offence. Then there are people who i dont know why they read this long manga all the way through to bitch about it. Unless there is a golden vault of shonen manga im missing out on. If so please refer me to it otherwise stop trolling Bleach cause quite frankly it feels out of place to read
The ending has offically came. After 15 years of publication which experienced a some big highs and many lows, the long winding series of Bleach has reached its conclusion.
Now before I get into the highs and lows of this series I will say its quite a mixed reaction in terms of its ending (without spoilers) because on one hand I was glad that a manga that has suffered more than it needs to at least got some form of conclusion albeit rushed and on the other it is really sad to see a series thats definitely helped bring people into the world of manga end
in such a quick way without warning despite its success before things took a bit of a turn for the worst.
First off , the rating I have given the series overall isn't a true reflection of my opinion on Bleach. I personally think its very hard to rate the series because of the up and downs its experienced so I have given it that overall based on my enjoyment due to the fact it got me into reading manga as a whole.
To provide a basis for the story without spoiling much for newcomers, Bleach follows Ichigo Kurosaki through his journey as a Subsitute Soul Reaper after obtaining his powers almost through accident. As with many shounens such as Naruto (another former big 3) it has story elements that are similar such as always have a new powerful enemy round the corner, hardships or things they have to learn to get stronger and when they get there powers they become borderline overpowered and provides many side characters back story. Now you may have noticed I am not giving the story any sort of rating itself, and thats because its very very hard to judge. Up untill the Sosuke Aizen final battle the series does very very well in my opinion, creating an overall good story thats interesting and develops characters pretty well. Judging after Aizens defeat is........very very difficult. On the one hand, its interesting to have a time skip, have the characters older, see the different people who are now Captains in the Soul Society but this comes with a consequence of having an arc span 4 and a half years (i believe it started just before the Anime stopped airing fully) which is too long if im completely honest and it felt dragged out for sure. Course I am gonna have to talk about the fact the ending was rushed and Kubo was given hardly any chapters to finish which some can contribute to being his own fault and others can say Shounen Jump were too harsh on a series that was once part of the big 3. Regardless the ending was rushed and kinda ends on a mellow note, but however now this is going to be the only spoiler of this review so skip onto the next section if you don't want to read some but Im very glad that when it came to the who gets together Orihime and Ichigo ended up together and a son too.........
I think despite how much the series has fallen off, something Kubo always did successfully well regardless of what you think of his choices in story plot points and the fact things got dragged out, was create and draw the manga well. Bleach's art certainly deserves to be commended.
Bleach is a very long running manga so many characters are introduced and many touched upon so I am only going to cover a few of the mains and my favourite characters.
First off is Ichigo the main character who for the most part is a really good main character, he has similarities to Goku and Naruto but isn't as a complete blockhead as them as he is shown to be pretty good on tests for example. He carries the show pretty well for the most part.
Rukia Kuchiki is the character that gives Ichigo his powers by mistake and is portrayed as a generally calm character who acts almost like ichigo's guide in how to be a soul reaper and also happens to be the soul reaper he has the most contact with.
Other main characters include people not related to having Soul Society powers such as Chad who eventually gets almost but on the back burner, Orhime who is the healer of Ichigos friends an over the course of the series falls in love with him and Uryū the calm smart one of the group who always attempts to act cool.
There are many other characters i could talk about but my favourites have to be Kenpachi, a brute force Soul Reaper who has a very terrifying demeanour for some and Shinji Hirako a somewhat comical Soul Reaper introduced a bit later than most others.
I enjoyed so much of this series. I know for sure the story fell off and theres no denying that, but I enjoyed an awful lot of this series due to the fact it brought me in as a manga reader. I never read any manga before this and for that I am for sure forever grateful to it
So the ending has come and the 2nd of what was known as the big 3 leaving only One Piece standing tall (that won't be coming to an end any time soon) . I think regardless of its unfortunate downfall due to maybe going on too long or the story not being interesting anymore etc etc , Bleach deserves its place in history as a Manga that definitely helped introduce a lot of people into Manga as a whole (its the 2nd most popular on this site in terms of people that have read it, as of me writing this) . I guess we will have to see what the Live Action film holds for us (hopefully the anime comes back to finish off the rest of the story)
So Bleach.Or like we fans like to call it; Blah, Plotkai, The Troller's Guide to the Fandom, Rinse.
Well it's really great.Too bad same things happens 17 times with different characters.Or alternatively with same characters who has new haircut or new costume.The Bold and The Beautiful, if it were anime/manga it name would be Bleach.
Yes, there is a lot of those.Really great one, like Inoue Orihime.Lets just say if Yagami Light knew her, her name would be written really quickly.
At the beginning, there was one.It was messy and reader didn't always get what was happening.So it got fix'd and turned into "lines."No ink is wasted anymore.You
can really see how white those manga sides are before they are filled with things..And after that too.
Oh yes. If you see a guy who isn't moving anywhere but spinning at his place and says he is going home - that's quality entertainment. How about Bleach. Well, it's like that guy but all he does is say he is going home. After many years it gets little annoying.
My score was 10 for long time after the start.After that it has keep coming down little by little just like the story has improved.It's now 3.I'm looking forward to the future. :)
It's addictive (I won't comment on what others had said). There are two arc.(s) till now as the manga is still on-going. While some may not fancy this Espada saga compared to the Soul Society arc. I, on the other hand, think that this arc is just as great as the previous ones. The fights, the sacrifice, the hardship.
Basically, what I think is that the author is trying to create the different points of view in each of the characters. Like "they feel the pinch when another is suffering" and stuffs like that. Also in this (Espada) arc in the manga, it creates a
space of each battles and their distance from each other, seeing that their perseverance and determination to get to their comrades side once more is remarkable even though they know that they won't stand against the captain-level Espadas.We also get to know about how they really feel for each other. Such as when Rukia fights, she thinks and puts herself in Inoue's place and takes the effort to say that 'she won't be alone for long'. It's stretchy and a very long-winded way of bringing that effect. Also, we get the captains to show their points of view. As boring as it seems, the manga has truly brought the word 'comrade' in place and at good use.
One of the best manga (s) I have read.
Bleach. Use it only on your clothes, and not on your eyes or mind. Bleach WAS a good manga/anime until the end of the SS arc. After that, a plethora of sudden and raw characters are introduced - no exposition asked - and they bring with them their "interesting" plot devices. Except they aren't interesting: they're repetitive and confusing. To top it all off, the protagonist becomes emasculated after the end of said arc; all his training and exercise go to waste as these sudden entrants all seem to be Goliath to his David, except that this time, David has no more rocks. Almost
in sync with the loss of Ichigo's masculinity is the disappearance of any visible plot and originality. Definitely a must read until the conclusion of the Soul Society Arc.
Bleach has been in the top rated manga/anime charts for years, its success is even known by people who arent huge nerds like us ;). Being someone who has been reading and watching for most of my life, I was always a little curious as to what all the hype was about. Finally my curiosity got the best of me and I picked up the manga for the first time.
I didn't put it down. For all the popularity and discussion this was a read that definitely did not disappoint.
Story-10: The general idea of the story is about Ichigo, a high school boy who has a
particular ability, and also, well, a loud personality :). He, of course, encounters a life changing incident that takes him to unimaginable places, and leads him to make complicated decisions. The manga itself is over 500 chapters and supposedly not even halfway over yet. The development is a tad bit slow, but the plot is always interesting and the fighting is pretty intense. Its definitely a great shounen manga storyline, interesting enough to capture readers of all ages and gender.
Art-8: I suppose 8 is a bit harsh considering that the characters are pretty well drawn and there are some pretty epic designs for many of the characteristics in the manga. The characters were all very distinguishable and unique, and their clothing, weapons, and 'masks' were all awesome and drawn nicely. However, the backgrounds in the manga are usually pretty lacking, sometimes nonexistent, and since the manga started over a decade ago, the art is of course something that took time to improve. Overall the art is great, and I hope this doesn't deter you from reading this manga.
Character-9: There are so many interesting personalities in this manga! Very loyal friends, family that does anything for eachother, funny and serious characters, you name it! But that, I suppose, is the small flaw I find in the characters of this manga, there are SO many. The development of each one is absolutely perfect! They spend just enough time to let you get to know each character and a bit of their story. But with there being so many, you might come to like a character and then not see them for another 100 chapters. Once again, this really isn't something to worry about if your wondering if this manga is worth the read; all of the characters become part of the Bleach world that you will immerse yourself into as soon as you pick up the manga...
Enjoyment-9: I expected a bit more comedy, because everyone I asked to recommend me a funny manga told me Bleach. For me it was a little to shounen-ish and not enough comedy to suit my taste, but for anyone who loves action and being on the edge of your seat, you wont be disappointed!
Overall-9: This is exactly what your looking for in an action, shounen manga! The hype isn't for nothing, and even if it is overrated, its still a pretty amazing read! Make sure you have a long weekend and your fridge is stocked because once you pick it up, you wont put it down!
Bleach is a series that is in a very awkward position in the manga community. It used to hold a large amount of prestige and popularity as one of the pillars of shounen manga, along with Naruto and One Piece. Naruto has since ended and One Piece is still going strong, with Bleach now finished as well. While sales of it in its later years were still quite good for a manga in general, it was a far cry from its original sales and it routinely tanked in the ratings in Shounen Jump until its conclusion.
The premise of Bleach is quite similar to Yu
Yu Hakusho, to the point where I've heard the pitch for it was rejected by WSJ initially for that exact reason, and kubo had retool to it to make it more original. A kid who is unusually spiritually aware gets thrust into a whirlwind series of events thanks to a mess-up by a shinigami, a spirit who helps govern affairs in the afterlife. The series starts off as an episodic monster-of-the-week-esque affair, where Ichigo and Rukia solve various problems. particularly the extermination of Hollows, creatures created from the souls of humans who are consumed by anguish. Eventually the series begins having a more traditional battle shounen structure with defined arcs, beginning with Soul Society.
Soul Society is widely considered the high point of the series; it upped the stakes, introduced us to the larger Bleach mythology, and presented a decent narrative for the main character.
Up until this point, I would say that Bleach was a decent but not great series. It wasn't really anything more than a standard battle shounen, but this wasn't really a problem because the overall writing was competent; the manga knew that in order for the action to have weight you had to have a solid emotional backbone, so it gave us enough information and focus on the characters to make us invested in the manga. It wasn't breaking any new ground with shounen storytelling but was good at doing what it was trying to do, and had at least a couple of interesting things going on like a main character who wasn't a copy of Goku from Dragon Ball, and a mexican-american supporting character.
This was also helped by the fact that Kubo, whatever other problems he may have, is legitimately a talented illustrator, who can come up with numerous unique designs for characters on a weekly basis and keep them consistent, which is an impressive feat in and of itself. His art also demonstrably changed and improved throughout the series, going from a rough style where most people were square-jawed to a graceful and more delicate style with some cool brushwork in the later chapters. Reportedly Kubo actually doesn't use reference much, if at all, so the fact that he can rotate all these different characters in his head and just draw them is a sign of strong draftsmanship on his part.
However, upon peaking with soul society, Bleach has only really gone downhill. The next arc started off at relatively the same level of quality, but gradually devolved into a horrific slog that took YEARS to resolve and failed to give a satisfying payoff, to the point a lot of people stopped caring. It was at that point that Bleach took its nosedive in popularity and quit being a super popular manga.
The main issue with Bleach overall, and something that actually began in Soul Society, is that the cast of the series is horrendously bloated. It is common for shounen series to have excessively large casts, but I think Bleach is probably the worst manga I've read in the number of superfluous characters who are completely forgettable and have no good reason to exist. Tite Kubo has admitted that when he runs into writer's block he usually solves it by creating like a dozen new characters, and it shows. Instead of working with the cast he already has and giving a few select ones get the lion's share of development and screentime over several years, Kubo just creates more and more of them and just shuffles them around giving focus to everyone equally.
This creates two problems. Firstly, a lot of the characters end up being very shallow because Kubo can't afford to give that much depth and focus to all of them. Some characters start off important and interesting, like Chad and Kon, but ultimately are sidelined because Kubo seemingly doesn't know what to do with them. Some of the characters you even forget exist really, like Ichigo's school friends who barely appear in the series anymore.
Secondly, it creates extremely bad pacing often because the manga devotes a number of chapters to fights between minor characters which we know don't matter in the grand scheme of things and which we know very little about to begin with, and which thusly we have no investment in.
As if this wasn't enough there is just some plain bad writing in terms of how some of the character arcs are resolved and how certain characters end up defeating opponents. Orihime's character arc seems to be building up to something important in the Arrancar arc but eventually has no meaningful payoff, and the last time she gets any real focus in it it just ends up being a horrible note to leave her on that makes the reader feel as if she's regressed in her development. Ichigo's fight against Ulquiorra feels like a complete copout that only receives a somewhat adequate explanation in a completely different arc, which still does nothing to dampen how much of an anti-climactic asspull it really felt like. Elite enemies that have been built up for hundreds of chapters are defeated by bit players and other characters besides the people who were supposed to be the main characters (and unlike HunterxHunter where this happened and felt subversive and interesting, here it was boring and unsatisfying).
The Fullbringer and Thousand Year Blood War Arcs are in my opinion actually an improvement compared to the Arrancar arc in multiple ways, the former because it brought back the focus to the people who were supposed to be main characters, and the latter for tying the series together somewhat cohesively and answering a lot of hanging questions that have been around for years.
However, for the small amount of good it did, it has culminated in what is by all accounts a pretty lackluster finale that feels like it was meant to close off the series in a hurry because god knows why it lasted this long. To say that it was anticlimactic and unsatisfying would be a big understatement. I hear this is because Kubo was pressured to end the series by Jump management. I don't know if this is true or not, but if it is, it certainly explains a lot. It's a reflection of one of Bleach's worst problems, editorial decisions that led to extremely lackluster storytelling and a bunch of unsatisfied fans.
Bleach was actually the first manga I ever read online. I was very young and impressionable, and at the time considered it amazing and gripping. However I eventually stopped reading it due to laziness, and by the time I would have liked to pick it back up, my tastes and preferences had changed a lot as I had grown up and been exposed to more media, and most people seemed to agree that it had jumped the shark, so I was content to just leave it unfinished.
Upon getting caught up with it on a whim, and now finishing it, I would say that the manga is honestly probably not worth picking up for new readers, the main reason I continue to read it myself is mostly out of curiosity. It started off on a relatively high note, and then just drifted into mediocrity with a really terrible ending. There are much better manga even within its own genre, and when compared to some of the really impressive output in the manga industry, even Bleach at its peak was just ok.