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)