Dec 20, 2008
Bleach (Manga) add (All reviews)
Astraviel (All reviews)

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.