Bleach review: an overrated shounen anime?

Well, the Bleach TV series has finally reached 100 episodes, so I figured it was time for me to write a review of the series ^_^ I remember it was a little over a year ago today that I got my new computer and was finally able to download anime fansubs, and Bleach was one of the first I checked out. At first, I didn’t really like it all that much until the episodes hit the late teens or so. 100 episodes later, it still isn’t one of my all-time favorites, but I do like it a lot and will continue to keep watching it.

It’s strange, but I really have mixed feeling about Bleach. I love shounen anime, but after watching 100 episodes of Bleach, though I enjoy the series, I just can’t get as attached to it as I have with other shounen anime I watch, like Naruto, Inuyasha, One Piece, and Konjiki no Gash Bell. I don’t read the Bleach manga, but I doubt reading it would change my opinion about the series significantly. But in order for me to clarify my opinions about the series, I’ll talk about what I think are the good points of the series as well as the bad ones.

I’ll start with the good points of the series, just to reassure any sceptical Bleach fans reading this that I really do like Bleach even if I don’t consider it a personal favorite. First of all, the premise of Bleach is very interesting. The Soul Society, Hollows, shinigamis each with their own unique zanpakuto swords, etc., all of this is great shounen, sci-fi, and fantasy elements with a ton of potential. The character designs are very cool as well; each character looks distinct, considering there are a lot of characters to keep track of. As for the characters themselves, most of the main cast, like Rukia, Chad, and Ishida, are well developed and unique.

One thing I really love about Bleach is the songs. The series has some of the coolest openings and endings I’ve seen; a wide variety of great j-pop songs, plus animation that matches the the flow and mood of the songs perfectly. I can’t ask for anything better in this department =)

Now the bad points. But there’s really only one main problem I have with Bleach that prevents it from being one of my favorites; lack of good character development. Before any of you Bleach fans think I’m crazy for saying that, let me try and explain why I feel this way. First off, as I said before, a lot of characters on Bleach are great. But I feel that too many are lacking in character development, especially the star of the series, Ichigo. It actually took me a while to figure out what it was about Bleach that prevented me from liking it as much as other shounen anime. Then I came across this post from another anime blog, and it helped me figure it out. If you take a moment to read the post(it’s short and to the point), though I don’t agree with everything the author says, I think he makes a good point. And in order to make my point about Bleach clear, I feel like I need to add a bit of a shounen anime rant here too.

First, let me compare Ichigo to other shounen heroes like Luffy and Naruto. Though they all fight strongly for what they believe in, never back down from fights, gain super powers along the way, and all that other great shounen stuff, an important difference I’ve noticed is that, in addition to seeing them kick ass in battle, we also get to see Luffy and Naruto’s fun-loving and appealing sides. When they’re not fighting, they come off as comical, fun, and enjoyable characters. When he’s not facing off with an enemy, Naruto’s happily eating ramen, futilely trying to win Sakura’s heart, making fun of Jiraya’s perverted-ness, duking it out with his friend/rival Sasuke, etc,. All these things make him all the more well developed and interesting. Personality-wise, though he does get full of himself sometimes, he’s basically just a fun-loving and determined kid who only wants to be respected by the people around him, which again makes him more appealing. And like Naruto, when Luffy’s not fighting enemies, he’s happily stuffing his face with food and just downright enjoying the freedom of being a pirate. Outside of battle, he’s a total airhead and doesn’t have a clue most of the time, but he’s always smiling and having a good time. Again, this makes him so much more enjoyable to watch. These different sides to Luffy and Naruto’s personlities is what makes them great characters. Seeing their humorous antics after harsh battles reminds us that there should be more to shounen anime than just a ton of fighting and fantasy.

Other of my favorite shounen heroes, like Gash(from Konjiki no Gash Bell) and Yoh(from Shaman King) are the same way. Gash is a dedicated fighter in battle, but he also loves to have fun and play with friends. When Yoh isn’t fighting, he likes to just take it easy, watch the clouds, and enjoy the tranquility. The fact that Luffy, Naruto, Gash, and Yoh are powerful, determined, and self-sacrificing in battle makes them appealing, but I feel that their development and unique personalities when they’re not fighting is more important. So how does Ichigo compare? I really can’t point out any significantly enjoyable or unique aspect of his personality. We see too much of him in battle and not enough of him doing anything else. I wouldn’t say he’s downright arrogant, but he has that same tough-talking and bad-ass personality all the time. Luffy and Naruto can be tough and hot-tempered in battle, but we get to see a lot more of their endearing and sympathetic sides too.

Ok, so I’ve pointed out how Ichigo compares to the determined yet fun-loving shounen heroes, but what about the other “bad ass” ones. Let me now compare him to the main character of my favorite series, Inuyasha. Like Ichigo, Inuyasha comes off as your basic hot-tempered, tough-as-nails, bad-ass shounen hero. But what does Inuyasha have that Ichigo doesn’t, which makes him a better character? First let me say that there are a lot of tough, arrogant, bad-ass male characters in anime, as any fan probably knows. But what makes these characters appealing isn’t so much their toughness as their less-shown, soft side, as well as character development over the course of the series. Looking at Ichigo, my opinion of him hasn’t changed at all since episode 1. He’s pretty much the same tough bad-ass, just with a ton more super powers bestowed on him. So I can’t really give him many points for character development. Inuyasha on the other hand has developed a whole lot since the beginning of the series. Sure, he’s gotten a lot more powerful too, but he’s obviously become much more caring and sympathetic than he was at the beginning, when he didn’t want anything to do with anyone. His heart steadily becoming more open to friendship, his struggle between his demon and human sides, his conflicted romance relationship with Kagome and Kikyo, his rivalries with Sesshomaru and Koga, etc., all these parts of his character are developed over the course of the series and make Inuyasha an extremely unique and interesting character. Because of these things, he’s not perfect and has vulnerabilities, which again makes him seem more real. As for Ichigo, sure he cares about his friends and family, but there’s nothing really special about that. I really can’t find any significant conflict, relationship, or character attribute he has that makes him stand-out among other shounen heroes.

Alright, so I’ve made it clear how I feel about Ichigo, but what about the other Bleach characters? As I said before, Bleach does have enough good characters to make it worth watching; Rukia, Chad, Orihime, Ishida, and Yoruichi for example are great. But there just seems to be so many characters and not enough time to develop them all. This is the main problem I had with the Soul Society arc and why I liked the Bounto arc better. Each of the 26+ Soul Society captains, lieutenants, etc., that we’re introduced in the Soul Society arc were all begging to be important characters, but there just wasn’t enough room to develop them all and move on with the plot at the same time. The most screen time any of them got was a few battle episodes with Ichigo and co. It was just too many characters to introduce all in one arc. Since there were just a few Bounto, there was more time to develop their personalities, so I felt like the Bountos were more interesting villians, even if the arc is filler.

Also, there just seems to be too many tough bad-ass male characters in Bleach. In addition to Ichigo, there’s also Renji, Ganju, Kenpachi, and other supporting characters. And they all suffer the same flaw as Ichigo that I mentioned before; we pretty much see only their tough-talking kick-ass side in battle and nothing else really interesting or unique in their character development. Renji does have his relationship with Rukia, but other than that he’s that same typical tough-guy shounen character, I can’t really point out anything special about Ganju, and Kenpachi just seems to be a ruthless fighter, with nothing sympathetic about him. And I know fangirls are going to hate me for saying this, but Byakuya just seems like a Sesshomaru clone, without any of Sesshomaru’s interesting qualities. Other minor characters like Ichigo and Orihime’s classmates for example, are about as stereotypical as you can get and don’t seem to serve any other purpose besides adding some hyperbolic humor(Tatsuki’s the only one with any hint of character.) And Ichigo’s dad always kicking him is kind of annoying too. That kind of unnessecary slapstick humor seems out of place in the relative seriousness of the show.

Well, that’s my review of Bleach as of seeing 100 episodes of it. Bleach fans, feel free to disagree with anything I said. My point in writing this was just to make it clear why I personally feel Bleach is overrated. I think the main appeal of Bleach comes from its overwhelming amount of content. The series throws a ton of characters, subplots, fantasy elements, intense violence, and flashy actions scenes left and right, so with all this content to keep track of, people don’t have time to think about how developed and appealing the characters really are. But who knows, maybe the next 100 episodes or even the next arc will show a significant increase in character developement and cause me to rethink my opinions about the series. Again, don’t get me wrong, I still like Bleach enough to keep watching it. But I just feel that there are a lot of better shounen anime out there.

37 Comments… read them or add your own.

  1. Amy says:

    yay~! the 100th ep of Bleach. Byakuya-sama totally rules!!!

  2. Jennifer says:

    I myself am a major Bleach fan, but I appreciate all the things you said in your review of it. To tell the truth, I have to admit that almost everything you said makes sense and is true – but I can’t help loving this anime just the same. I like its fast pace with moving through the story, and all the different characters, rather than an isolated group (but an isolated group allows chances for them to grow, I see that). Basically, to me, it’s AWESOME.
    Yep, that’s pretty much it, but don’t make the mistake of thinking I DON’T like characters that struggle and have personalities, like Rock Lee – he’s actually one of my favorite Naruto characters! “Hai, Gai Sensei!”

  3. Fred says:

    To be honest, everything you say here, i agree. The only thing I dont agree is that it is not “completely” undeveloped, because to be honest, Ichigo “changed” a bit, as you see, in the beginning, Ichigo really didn’t want to give a **** about being a Shinigami, but later, he went to save Rukia. I dont think that would count as a “family and friend” kind of thing.

    Good review. Its 104 episodes now!

  4. Tree says:

    Great in-depth review!

    I admit that when I first watched Bleach, it didn’t hook me, either. I was too absorbed with Naruto, at the time. But as Naruto has progressively gotten worse, I’ve found myself more and more attached to Bleach. Like you, I am constantly analyzing why I like my favorite anime’s, and it is incredibly hard to pin down. And one great thing about Bleach compared to Naruto or Inuyasha, is that there is not one great villain. When Naruto & Inuyasha tried to divert from the super villain, I lost interest almost immediately. Not only that, but both of those anime’s turned to the cartoon style of telling 1-5 episode stories, which makes for a very shallow plot.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love both Inuyasha & Naruto, but Bleach has the most potential of getting BETTER. It’s still building up and improving.

  5. Boertush says:

    yes I’m a bleachfan, yes I’m about to argue :p

    well bleach had so many secrets from the start, unlike naruto and one piece were you know what there final goal is (and you know from episode 1 they will achive this goal), bleach has no obvious goal. But after 50 episodes you know about Aizen but you still don’t know what he wants (yeah power, but for what?).

    furthermore unlike other shounenanimes ichigo isn’t the standard funloving/foodloving/morron/untalentedbutintheendagenius like goku and naruto.ichigo is mistunderstood, he is a genius from the start, but after a while this power will start to work against him (is inner hollow), and as ichigo is searching for more power he gets more consumed by his hollow.

    and the other character, have you actually watched the first 15 episodes? not much development but a great introduction of rukia,chad,ishida and orihime. and I think there will be revealed of them more in the future just like the plot instead of making 10 a 20 episodes evolving around 1 main character (like in naruto and one piece).
    their might not be a lot of development but the anime shows of every character how they became the way they are now, also sliced in pieces and spread through the anime.
    the other bad-ass characters aren’t as standard and useless as you say they are, of all the characters you named you ll know their goals and why they act the way they behave.

    what I’m saying (obviously lol) is that I think bleach is better than most shounen. the story is a lot better and isn’t as obvious, the character development is more subtile and has a lot more possiblities because there is still a lot unknown.

  6. Flufferz says:

    You have made great points about this, and some I fully agree with, but I’m about to make some counter-points to this. I guess this is mainly due to there being so much development in the manga on Ichigo’s character.

    At first, I saw Ichigo as the typical badass shonen main hero, but as time has gone on I’ve seen other sides come out of him. The first is very evident with his devotion to protecting and rescuing his friends. Let me mention first, I think he is a sweet person when it comes to some things, look at the ghost in the anime that he helped. [flashback in ep. 109 I think] He was trying to comfort her and felt very down when he saw that she had been eaten by a hollow. After that he was basically shut down for a few episodes, brooding about his inner hollow and inability to protect everyone close to him. You said that you could not find conflict, but now the conflict has been shown as the manga and episodes have progressed. He is fighting with himself and the inner hollow, which threatens to overcome him at any time. That is partially why he goes to train with the Viazards, his “brethren”. As far as relationships go, there are so many conflicts on whether there will be a IchigoxRukiaxOrihime triangle. In ch. 213, Ichigo does give a rather tender look to Rukia when she is injured. And Orihime definately likes/loves Ichigo. The attempted kiss in 237 seals the deal. As Bleach has gone on, it has grown very interesting and developed into one of the most well-done animes/mangas I’ve seen/read in a while. IT’s taken a while, but Bleach is getting along on the complicatedness rather well. Though I’ll admit that it was strange that it didn’t start picking up the pace until much later.

  7. Brienna says:

    Okay, I’ve been thinking about that Sesshoumaru-Byakuya thing, too. However, you’re missing the fact that Byakuya IS a very caring person. They are a lot alike except that Sesshoumaru cares about very few things, like Rin and possibily Jaken. Byakuya cares about the people he’s close to…he just gets torn between his responsibilities. That’s why when he protects Rukia even though he acts as though he has no care is really…well, touching. Same with Sesshoumaru for Rin, but it just comes across as different because that’s almost expected. The Byakuya thing isn’t. *Shrugs*

  8. Maarten says:

    Something I find very weird about the series is that in the first few episodes there seems to develop some kind of (love?) relation between Ichigo and Rukia. The episode where rukia was arrested and brought back to Soul Society was actually quite touching, in my opinion (comparable with when Kaoru “dies” in the Rurouni Kenshin manga) but then when he has saved her, she just decides to stay in soul society and Ichigo goes back to the real world. Not even a touching goodbye or anything. It gets even worse when the bounto-arc is finished: Ichigo just goes back to the real world without even saying goodbye to Rukia.
    How further in the series the less they spend attention to character development and the more to fighting, Ichigo’s superhollowskills etc etc. Really annoying.
    Another annoying part: the series is going the dragonball Z-way: now they have to fight the über-strong Espada and in the end Aizen. The way how it’s going to end it pretty predictable: after a hard struggle where all the heroes almost die, they finally are able to kill all espada (with or without the help of the Visard but I’d go for without because the vizard are pretty much on par or stronger than the Espada) and eventually Ichigo will kill Aizen. They might give it a good twist if they allow aizen to make his precious key and obliterate that whole town but that’d probably be to “cruel”.
    To be honest I found the introduction episodes and the Soul Society arc the best. The bounto arc was more “kill all bad guys to win” (cf. DBZ) and the Arrancar arc/hueco mundo arc will probably just be more of the same.
    Something that also irritates me enourmously is if you take ichigo’s strength now and in the future how easy it would be for him to rescue Rukia again if she’d be in the same situation again as in de Soul Society arc.. He’d just fight those captains all 10 at a time and still win, probably (considering he’s only 15 years old and hardly had any battle experience compared to the hundreds of years old captains that’s quite a feat).
    My conclusion is that it’s a good series, as long as you don’t think too much.

  9. W i l l o w* says:

    Your review and the Post you mentioned, have basically made a seriouslly undeinable points about said shows, their lack character-development and the focal point, “Bleach” and the macho-man syndrome it suffers. I, too, like Bleach, but I’ve avoided watching the TV series because my attention span was gobbled up by DBZ and is not what it once was. I honestly can’t stand Ichigo’s bad-ass-devil-may care additude most of the time (Johnny Bosh is not a redeeming point. I liked him better as Kiba in “Wolf’s Rain” anyway). His “Goku-Like” ever-growing strength annoys me as well. It also makes me yern to see this ‘softer’ side of Ichigo that proclaims to care and protect his friends and family, but he never shows. [But then, there are Shonen-Boy characters who start off as weak, continue to periecve their-agnst ridden asses as such, but get so freakin’ powerful its irritating. Have ya seen it?] .

    When I watch the ‘Cartoon’, mainly the ‘Soul-Reaper’-Arc, I can see so many ways of ending the arc without the stalling, cliffhangers, legion of Captains/Subordinates, and ‘more-power’ subplots, that I end up changing the channel. It becomes so freakin’ tedious. I want the character depth I somehow manage to scrounge (or simply input myself) out of the MANGA. The cartoon lacks it. What am I trying to say? I could handle such cliffhangers, dragouts, and the like, from DBZ because I had never watched anything else like it. Most of the characters had some depth to them (even Goku, if you wanna see it). There was a semi-balance between Most-Powerful-In-World and Character Development, I loved it neverthelsss. However, after the CELL-Saga this atmopshere died. DBZ came an entirely slapstick comedy/Shonen-Action cartoon. I lost interest and began to what I’ve written below. The BLEACH “CARTOON” reminds me too much of that. It captures the DBZ-wannabe-ness battle-royales but beyond that, it fails on everything else.

    If you understand my reasoning of course.

    Probably not.

    After I finished watching DRAGON BALL/Z (suffering needlessly through the BUU-Saga) I stopped watching shows like that and rolled my eyes whenever I saw such series like “Inu-Yasha” – and “YU-YU-HAKUSHO” with their wanna-be tough-guys (who are really kind and sweet once you get to know them) because it reminded me too damn of the said show. “ONE PIECE” and “NARUTO” remind one completely of “POK’E’MON” and nothing else, given the main characters determination to be “the best [insert profession here]” of all! Sure, there’s probably a lot of points I’m missing about the shows mentioned, but I can’t get past the abstract concept that they show you to begin with. Its tideous and borning. I want something with more depth that doesn’t show up 100 episodes later. The BLEACH MANGA gives me that.

    My Suggestion: Read the MANGA avoid the cartoon.

    W i l l o w*

  10. Ascverlaren says:

    Having read your review and the subsequent responses, I can accept that there are valid arguments for both sides of the ‘Bleach overrated?’ debate. Yes, the series takes time to progress. But I agree with Boertush. As I see it, the character development is present, but so subtle (here you might read slow) that it can escape notice.

    To illustrate my point I would like to use the relationship between Rukia and Ichigo. Here are two reticent individuals, unwilling to show emotion lest it be taken as a show of weakness. To understand their feeling for each other you need to watch their body language. For example after Rukia is taken back to the Soul Society to face judgement, Ichigo risks everything to become strong enough to save her. When he does save her, Rukia turns round and tells him she will not return with him. She wants to stay. While showing a bland smile to the world and telling her what a great decision she has made, Ichigo clenches his hands. While easily missed, this is a clear sign that he does not mean what he says; he wants her to come back with him and live in his cupboard —all is right with the world when she is there. However, he is a warrior and understands her need to stay and gain strength. Since he cares for her deeply, he allows Rukia to walk out of his life (as he sees it at that time). There are other such signs, between all the main characters; too many to note here.

    Since I also have the benefit of time, I can also draw upon the most recent arc. From episode 110 onwards, Ichigo must face his own weaknesses in the face of overwhelming opposition. He is not all powerful and success is not guaranteed. Along with his internal struggle, Ichigo also begins to realise that in his search to become stronger he has alienated his family and long time friends. The very people he set out to protect. Episodes 141 and 142 in particular are highly emotional (though I refuse to post spoilers, so you will just have to watch them and judge for yourself).

    The Manga is most definitely worth a read. As with most things, the book is always better. However, the use of understated body language and charged silences in Bleach is one of the main reasons I became hooked on this series. It is why I would also recommend you watch the show.

  11. BLEACH says:

    I myself really never got into that whole DBZ thing because I felt the animation was too toony it seemed no matter what the DBZ chacters got crazy amounts of streght. I like animes that the chacters don’t look like a cartoon I wacth when I was 8yrs. One Piece was ok for a while but I felt it was also getting a little too toon like also nartuo was getting that way and well i think kind of was lame i mean have you guys seen the the rock lee guy I mean really. Maybe it’s just me but the type of animes I like are well the ones that are packed crazy with action and don’t turn into some type of 8yr toon fest and are more serious some of my favorite animes are Bleach, Outlaw Star, Innyusha, Full Metal, Ghost in the Shell, ghost in the shell 2 gig, Agent,Tokko,Noien,Virus Buster Surge, Dot Hack and Deathnote. I like animes because they are serious most of the time.
    I think all these animes have one thing in comman they don’t turn into some toon fest and have great story lines. What i am saying in a nut shell is I don’t like the silly light hearted animes.

  12. Vincent says:

    Well there is nothing much for me to add to all of this.I’m just wondering now that we are at episode 165 how Yumeka feels about the series ?

    We’ve gotten to see more of ichigo, that he hasn’t turned out to be the almighty hero and that he has been saved manny times by others(Nel, kenpachi,…).
    K he has become stronger but not to say that he could defeat Aizen-sama or Commander-General or even Kyouraku Shunsui.

  13. ^.^ says:

    thing about bleach is ichigo at first seems like an overconfident kid whos brash and dumb but as the series gos on we see the loss of his mom and the eventual rukia execution soul society arc we expect ichigo to be a knight in shining armor to rescue her but no he in actuallty is still scared the hollow inside him is tearing him apart he fights even though hes scared and even though he doesnt want to he fights for those that he cares for -Cliche on my part- BEST anime ever it shows the dark side of all heroes

  14. no_name says:

    your point in two words: want love? watch NARUTO….want fighting? watch BLEACH!!!
    nice rewiew though. i never really stopped to think why i like bleach over the others shounen animes; i never watched Naruto or Shaman King and i only watched Pokemon and Dragon Ball Z at the age when i was also watching Scooby-Doo :| . but i have watched Inuyasha and it just didn’t seem as good as Bleach; yeah, they had a lot less characters, more time to develop them, more ‘lovey-dovey’ stuff and many inner conflicts, but at some point it just got tendious… nothing new, just the same old pointless wondering around (:| .
    come to think of it, that just my reason for loving Bleach. i like a story to be shocking and innovative and that’s exactly what you can always expect from this series.

  15. New Bleach Lover says:

    I really appreciate your honest and constructive criticism, but I just really feel by leaving some ambiguity in the characters allow the writers to keep them open and allow the series to have open areas to grow as the series goes on (on 186 now)
    also, I think they do show Ichigo’s soft side a lot better from the end of the bounto arc forward, which is why i think his is just so friggin awesome, yes i said friggin

  16. Ulquiorra says:

    I really dont think that Bleach is overrated.
    Of course, Bleach is not perfect, but which Anime is?
    Tite Kubo is human after all, so why should he be able to create a perfect Anime?
    About the character developement…
    Well, there IS a lot of character developement in Bleach.
    The only difference to Naruto, One Piece etc. is that it is shown in body language and not in talking.
    You have to look at the characters facial expressions to know wthat they are feeling and in my opinion it is better than the characters talking about what they feel.
    The best example is Ulquiorra.
    I dont want to spoil too much, but I guess everyone knows what I mean when i mention Ulquiorra.
    And when you look at him, you want to tell me that there is no character developement in Bleach?
    But there is something that really disturbs me about Bleach: Characters, that have been kick-ass at the beginning, are becoming more and more useless, weak and annoying.
    For example Ishida, Renji,…
    I think Kubo really could have worked that out better.
    But as I said, he isnt perfect and you all know that Naruto and One Piece have also got enough to criticise.

    • Zakura says:

      I agree with Uliquiorra there is no perfect anime and what would be perfect. I am a bleach fan seeing that I have a bleach shirt on right now for some coincidental reason. I like bleach because it is funny and some episodes will make you be like ” Oh my gosh what’s gonna happen” or “what the heck just happened” and that’s the reason why I like it. There is no right or wrong answer. It’s everyones opinion about whether they like it or not. Its not something worth to fight about.

  17. ZzZ says:

    Bleach was/used to be good on the begining of the anime series. I used to enjoy it before, what really make me stop watching bleach is the battle of ichigo. Even he goes to the next powerful level it’s always the same attack move, Getsuga Tesho. Every single time, Wish he could go wild like Luffy / Naruto. Won’t tite kubo adding any more moves to ichigo.

    • Shirayuki says:

      Not to be rude or anything it’d be weird if Ichigo had a lot of moves they would be hard to memorize. My opinion.

  18. Ikki says:

    “It’s strange, but I really have mixed feeling about Bleach. I love shounen anime, but after watching 100 episodes of Bleach, though I enjoy the series, I just can’t get as attached to it as I have with other shounen anime I watch, like Naruto, Inuyasha, One Piece, and Konjiki no Gash Bell.”

    All these shows are overrated. 70s/80s/90s animes are much much better.

  19. lisa says:

    SCREW YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!. i love BLEACH i think it is perfect the way it is. STOP WATCHING IT THEN IF YOU DON’T LIKE SOME STUFF !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

  20. Ivon Cordon says:

    I read most of your review and first I think you are cool because you like Inuyasha and second, I like watching anime of romance and i like bleach, is the my #1 favorite but is not romance , but i don’t care. This show is so cool and so funny and there something about it that makes it my favorite but i don’t know what it is. I know that they show alot of different characters, but i think is beacause later in the show they might be important. well bye. I LOVE BLEACH #1

  21. kas says:

    I am a 1st time anime watcher, and just so happen to select bleach as the show i wud watch.
    i was around 50 eps behind the show, so i could watch them pretty much one after another for a while.

    And to be honest, i love it. the story line is awesome, with the aizen twist, which i didnt see coming, with the saving of rukia. the show built up tension then you wud have 2 wait a week for the next ep. In my eyes it is this ‘make you want to watch next week’ ability that Bleach has that makes a great show.

    ive seen the stories behind alot of the characters now, and see this as ample character development.

    My housemate, who hadnt having to watch anything with sub-titles has even got into the show, we even watched 170 eps in around a month to catch up with the show, and now every week it is the main talking point between us.

    The show captured my attention and kept it for nearly 3 years now! No other show has done so, so this makes it the best thing out there, and i will be sad when it ends

  22. felipe says:


    after reading all this comments i have to say, none of you really fell like the comparision of power is totally messed up thru the development of the anime??

    I never really accepted that ichigo was able to beat capitains at the begning of the series..
    ichigo defeat kenpachi?? really?? c’mon… byakuya?? c’monnnnnn… I know, ichigo is gifted and somehow i fell like at that time the capitains didnt have any ‘motivation’ to fight against ichigo trying to save rukia.. Sincerelly, the autor must be having some really trouble to give the character some power ballance.. The last new saga show how poor the anime is in that…. Now, on the latest episodes show some clues about ‘why’ this happened at the begining.. but 300 episodes for that…

    and yet there is that ‘fact’ that the sword lenght is comparable to strengh.. i think, makes no sense now and we never heard of it anymore..

    while bleachs develops and the autor strugles trying to explain himself, and more and more dumb fillers appear in the anime coming from nowhere and going for nowhere.. the poor character development..

    my opinion? what i fell while whatching all this episodes is that the autor just come with excuses for making ‘ever growing’ battles… dont matter what happens or if there is any logic.. people will be happy if he just grows in power and make louder battles…

    whatching bleach became really boring.. if you take 10 episodes (5 hours) it will be like 3~5 fillers, 5~8 blasting and people moving really quick and maybe 2 developing the history.. i know.. its important to take some time to take a fell of the history and of the battle field to understand the development and actions of characters.. but really, i had enought…

    ill continue to watch.. but mainly because its an habit..

    after reading.. i think that ill take on the manga.. is there a salvation ?

  23. Cheese says:

    Alright I’m gonna make this short.
    I personally think bleach is a mediocre anime at best. Definitely no where near the best. Extremely drawn out, lots of fillers. Though the actually fight scenes can be pretty good (Ichigo vs Grimjoww or however you spell his name). Comedy is bland a lot of the times though.

    I honestly cannot stand the fillers at all. Didn’t like any of them, except for maybe the one with all the zanpaktou leaving their owners and doing their own thing :P.

    Another thing I don’t like, but this seems common in the more popular, though not necessarily good, animes, such as Naruto, Inuyasha etc, is how ridiculously overpowered people get. And how some things just don’t seem to make sense power-wise.

    Early on, the lieutenants and captains are like super insanely powerful. And somehow, Ichigo just manages to get right through them, Kenpachi, Byakuya. He starts of the fight, gets beaten up, gains power, beats the captain. This is how it is for most of the later fights too. Also none of the captains during the first arc really seemed determined to stop Ichigo. And now…well everyone is just insanely overpowered, and its kinda retarded. Will Ichigo beat Aizen? Looks pretty hopeless. But it looked hopeless when he was fighting the captains in the first arc, and some of the Espada later on. In the end, Aizen’s probably gonna die because of some magical power given to Ichigo by the authors.

    Another thing that Irks me, is how much stuff was explained early on in the series. All this stuff that the authors tried to explain. Now a lot of that stuff plays absolutely no role in the series. Sending spirits to soul society, the gates of hell, larger swords meaning their better at….well you know. Fighting, not sex. Though that’s probably where the authors got the idea. Larger penis means better at sex, larger sword means I’m stronger. I dunno lol.

    The only reason I’m still watching bleach is well, I’ve watched pretty much all the episodes, except for the recent fillers starting around new years since those were just BORING. It’s kind of a habit now to check in every tuesday to see the next episode. I really wana just finish this Arrancar Arc.

    Anyways, if you have not yet watched Bleach, just skip all the pointless fillers…unless your super bored, there are a few decent moments in maybe one or two of the filler arcs. And just skip the Bounto Arc, which is right after the Soul Society saving Rukia Arc thing. Cuz the Bounto Arc is boring.

  24. Former Bleach lover says:

    Bleach starts as a “Monster of the week” Anime and stays like that for a while. After overcoming the inertia, the audience get to feel a true, well orchestrated, full blown Shounen plot with unpredictable twists and turns and mind blowing fights. All the major characters are introduced in this arc which lasts till Ep-63. This is THE arc which made bleach one of the most recognizable Shounen Anime earning it’s place in the Honorable and Prestigious HST. However the awesomeness ends abruptly in Episode 63. After the arc, the fillers take hold and suck the soul out of Bleach. The fillers in bleach are so vast it almost rivals the original plot in terms of Episodes. Here is a filler comparison of the Holy Shounen Trinity(HST):

    Onepiece (Individual Filler episodes included) (Ongoing Anime)
    Total Episodes – 495
    Total fillers – 81 (including specials and recap episodes)
    Total non-filler episodes – 414
    Filler/non-filler ratio – 1 : 5.11

    Naruto (Individual Filler episodes before Episode 130 not included) (Completed Anime)
    Total Episodes – 220
    Total fillers – 85
    Total non-filler episodes – 135
    Filler/non-filler ratio – 1 : 1.59

    Bleach (Individual Filler episodes included) (Ongoing Anime)
    Total Episodes – 320
    Total fillers – 145
    Total non-filler episodes – 175
    Filler/non-filler ratio – 1 : 1.21

    But the tragedy of Bleach isn’t just the fillers. After Episode 63, there is no way to go but down even for the original plot. There is no consistency… for example Ichigo and Ishida come out on top in battles with the Captains, but those same Captains fight Espadas more powerful than Ichigo & Ishida. There is no Mystery in the plot. The plot holes are hastily filled like in case of the Vizards, there is no sense of awe or anything dramatic like you’d expect from the standards set till Episode 63. And main reason for Bleach’s dismal performance after Episode 63.. the main antagonist appears so seldom you almost forget about him, and even if he does shows his face once in a while, he does nothing worth writing about him until episode 300 or so. In short Bleach becomes the very definition of Mediocrity and tasteless-ness. There is only one hope for Bleach, and that is for the Aizen to get off his lazy ass and start slashing. And finally he does start his slashing and for a brief moment it feels like Bleach is on a path to recovery. However it is short lived when Ichigo pulls yet again another Ass-pull and shats on Aizen.. thus sealing the fate of Bleach.

    Some major Trolling Tite Kubo has performed:

    “The battle abilities of Vasto lorde is greater than that of the captains” – Hitsugaya
    THE biggest lie in the history of Anime. Vasto lorde even after turning into an arrancar/espada get their asses kicked by the very same bastard(Hitsugaya) who said those words.

    “Espada goes from 10 to 1” – Grimmjow
    Which was shamelessly changed to:
    “Espada goes from 9 to 0” – Yammy

    In-consistent power levels. For example: Ichigo defeated Kenpachi in his shikai. Lets take his power level to be 10 in this case. Lets assume Kenpachi is also at 10 eventhough he lost to Ichigo. Now the bullshit begins. It’s well know that in Bankai the individual gets 5 times stronger(as stated in the manga). So now Ichigo’s power level is 50. Now lets assume after hollowfication, Ichigo’s power level increases by 2 times. So now 50 X 2 = 100. This is the level at which he fought Grimmjow, the 6th espada. So the 5th Espada must be atleast at the 100 power level. Now Mr.loser carrying the whinny little witch comes in and takes out the 5th espada just like that. Since when did 10 = 100, Kubo?

    I’d like to go on and on about the crap fest Bleach has become since Episode 63 but I ain’t got no time. So I end my Review + Rant with a rating.

    Rating for Rukia Execution Arc: 4.5/5

    Rating for the Anime excluding the RE Arc: 2/5*

    * I’d have given it 1 Star if not for the random Comedy in it.

  25. Jake V says:

    ^ Hey man you are obviously missing some crutial details on Bleach
    1 you first point on bleach about fillers very true everyone hates them but they are better then nothing and give the writers of the manga time to wright more of the show rather the stoping he show completely and some of them are very good like the sword rebellion and the newest mod soul arcs
    2 point
    The arrancars thy fight first are at the Gillion level no where close to vasto lorde and when he fights the third espada he’s had months of training now and is far stronger than before and he uses his strongest moves and they still aren’t enough to kill the 3rd espada
    3 change from 10-1 to 9-0 I don’t see why you have a problem with this it shows that unreleased yammy is the weakest espada but released he is the strongest
    4 you fail to see why ichigo won against the captains zaraki battle was a battle of spiritual powers and ended in a draw because they both have extreme amounts of spiritual pressure and against byakuya his hollow powers caught him off guard and also ended in draw also keep in mind that it is a invasion and they are not really at their strongest
    I don’t want force you to think bleach is the best anime ever but please consider what I wrote and I will also leave a rating bit much more in depth.
    Karakura town arc 4/5
    Rescue rukia arc 4.5/5
    Bount arc* 2/5
    Espada invasion arc 3.5/5
    hueco mundo arc 4/5
    Bakoto arc* 3/5
    Hueco mundo part 2 4/5
    Fight in karakura arc 3/5
    Zanpakto rebellion* 3.5/5
    hueco mundo part 3 4.5/5
    Kill aizen arc 5/5
    Mod soul arc 4/5
    * all fillers
    Also excuse me on any grammatical errors I have they’re japanese names and hard to spell

  26. Ellie says:

    Bleach has reached over 330 episodes. I’ve watched all of them. I LOVE all of them. In the beginning though, I admit that the animation was a bit sucky. Especially Toshiro Hitsugaya’s (my fave character) drawings. BUT, now it’s getting better and if you compare the horrifically bad Bounto arc to the latest episodes, only a blind person could say that it hasn’t changed. It’s so much more developed and detailed.

    Everyone likes different things. For example, Naruto never hooked me because it was so cliched and he was such a lame guy! In Naruto, people are constantly crying and I can’t see why Naruto thinks of Sasuke as a brother and wants to save him so bad. I like the bad-ass characters because you can’t help yelling at the TV screen and laughing when they cus each other. But some people like the drama and would prefer to watch something melodramatic rather than a load of people with bad-ass swords trying to kill each other.

    But don’t get me wrong! I love the drama side of it. In Bleach, I think the main thing I will always remember is when (SPOILER!) Gin died, and we only just realized just how much he loved Rangiku and how he’s actually a good guy! I mean, he would do anything to avenge what Rangiku lost! And when Ichigo (SPOILER) fully hollowfies and attacks his friends it nearly killed me!

    Then once the drama of those episodes was over, it was back to the bad-ass fights that I just can’t get enough of! Compared to Naruto, Bleach fights are easy to follow and you know exactly who’s winning and who’s loosing, with a few surprise attacks in there. In Naruto, I easily get confused when suddenly it’s revealed that they rigged a shuriken or something else. There’s too many dirty, pansy-ass (Kenpachi quote there ;) ) tricks in Naruto. In Bleach, everyone’s limitations and powers are crystal clear. When the tables turn, it’s purely down to brains or brawn or some other element that gain my upmost respect of the character.

    Ichigo’s character is perfect for me. He loves his family and friends. That’s his only real soft side we see in him and the rest of the time he’s calm and mature. Which is what makes Bleach utterly hilarious! When there are moments such as Yoruichi’s tranformation and when he laughs for the first time at Ikkaku’s wig, it’s so contradicting that it’s hilarious! We see a side we’ve never seen in Ichigo before.

    If you want to see a major personality development, check out Memories of Nobody, Bleach movie one. His relationship with the dipsy Senna is heart-wrenching, especially the ending where (SPOILER) she gives the memories back to the blanks and disappears. It’s so obvious her name isn’t on the grave stone but when she asks, Ichigo lies so she can rest in peace. And then he collapses in almost tears. Almost.

    Then, if you like sad, tragic tales of the character’s past, watch my fave Bleach movie, Diamond Dust Rebellion. Centered around Toshiro Hitsugaya, Captain of squad 10, it tells the tragic story of when he went to the Soul Reaper achedemy and met Kusaka. He was a guy who wanted to dedicate his life to the soul society, but ended up being forced to fight Hitsugaya, then being killed. In the present, Hitsugaya is framed with the theft of a royal artifact and then disappears. He receives an order for execution.

    The third one is definitely an Ichi/Ruki one I’m not going into depth about. Basically, everyone forgets about Rukia and Ichigo and several attacks occur in the soul society.

    The forth movie is soon to come out in English subs. From what I’ve looked up, it’s epic and will no doubt become my fave. Although I’ve only watched the trailer.

    Because I kind of went off track, I’m going to wrap it up. Bleach is for people who like fighting animes, and are not too fussed on people crying constantly throughout (thought it does happen). Mostly, people like either Naruto or Bleach. If you like Naruto, you could still love Bleach, but they’re so opposite in story plots that not many adore both. Bleach has no main plot or bad guy- Ichigo just wants to get strong enough to protect his friends. This means that it could never end, unlike in Naruto- whatever happens between Sasuke and Naruto in the end will be the final chapter. If they continue it, it’ll just be lame.

    • Kirre says:

      (SPOILER) Gin doesn’t die, he ran off to “Protect” Rangiku. He comes back later in the series. The only main or supporting character that dies is Tosen.

  27. Ellie says:

    BTW, I just wanna add, I love the filler arcs. The only one I hated was the bounts arch. I love the filler episode. Especially when Hitsugaya plays football! So really, it’s a difference in opinion all round

  28. Kirre says:

    How do u expect Kenpachi to change when he is completely into fighting. I disagree highly with 80% of what you said.

    • Jake V says:

      ^ he said in a couple of episodes that he has become out of shape I think the espada 5 fight noitora or something like that but I see what you mean about the love fighting thing but it also has to do with when he killed ichigo he let his guard down and when zangetsu gave him another chance he sliced him up and severely weaken him then with the all out last attack that was just who had more spirit pressure and they tied but this is just some theories I thought up so feel free to think as you please.

  29. jason brees says:

    Bleach is an excellent show in its earlier. It is still going good but this show now has loose its charm. It was my favorite show. I still Watch Bleach Episodes but not with the same interest.

  30. Sayomi says:

    Thanks to your review I now understands what bothers me about Bleach. I just have to say that i totally agreed with everything you said here. I started looking at bleach about 3 years ago then I stopped after a few months. Just a few months ago I started watching from the beginning again so now I’m kinda caught up to the anime excluding the fillers. I feel just the same as you. Bleach is not my favorite anime but I still continued to wacth it because I do find it enjoyable. I like how you said “Byakuya just seems like a Sesshomaru clone,” but I can’t say why I like this part. I thought it was funny! (I love Naruto and One Piece. I liked how you described them. Its very true in my opinion.)

  31. corey says:

    While I’m a dedicated Bleach fan and love it with all my ever loving bleach bum heart I understand what your saying. But the thing with the characters that your comparing Ichigo to are all GOOFBALLS. Of COURSE Ichigo’s gonna look like a vin diesel clone. You can’t deny that most of the characters you mentioned are either slackers or just ditzy/clumsy. Now its years later and the anime has 361 episodes. Check out 361 you might be surprised what Ichigo does. Even Zaraki shows a compassionate/honorable side despite being a Terminator remake.

  32. Takada says:

    I actually liked Byakuya for his mysterious side, plus his “kick-ass” side in battle. I think it really makes him unique that he has a pretty sad past (with Hisana and losing his father) and his relationship with Rukia (can you call it a relationship sometimes though) definately makes him one of the more interesting characters, in my opinion. At first, I liked Ichigo’s character, but as the story progressed, I realized Ichigo “Strawberry” Kurosaki isn’t as great as he was.
    For one, his goal of protecting his friends doesn’t make a whole lot of sense sometimes. Some people compare Ichigo’s “goal” to Luffy’s goal of becoming the Pirate King, or to Naruto’s….goal of saving his friend, who’s a wee bit physcho. The thing is, does Ichigo really need a goal? It’s almost part of his character not to have a goal, because, to be honest, I would think that Ichigo was kidnapped and replaced by someone. So, maybe his “goal” isn’t always a bad point of Bleach.
    I do agree that Kenpachi is much too overpowered. I know a lot of fans like him for his “kill everything and never lose”, but honestly – the dude is too powerful, and his “past” with Yachiru…well, it’s pretty much just more hack ‘n slash.
    [Sorry for the long comment…I’ve got a lot to say!]
    There are many characters who I think never have the chance to develop, which especially includes Uryu Ishida, Renji Abarai, and 11th Company Assistant Captain, Yachiru.
    First, with Uryu, is that we don’t know a TON about his past. However, we did see him training and talking with his grandfather/Quincy teacher, but other than that, and a few minor scenes shown with his father, Uryu’s past isn’t brought up much. It would have been nice to learn what Uryu’s Quincy powers were like when he was younger, among other things.
    Renji Abarai! Anyone please tell me, or challenge this by presenting evidence, but what in the world is Renji’s past?! We see him at the Soul Reaper Academy with Rukia, and a few times when he is still “the monkey howling at the moon”, but I would like to know what Renji was doing before Rukia ever came into his life in the Rukongai. Am I the only one who wonders?!
    And lastly, probably one of the most mysterious Soul Reapers out there: Yachiru! Yachiru is fast, Yachiru is cute, Yachiru is funny, and Yachiru is a pain in the butt according to “Kenny” (he really does like her, though….’We see through you, Kenpachi!’). But how did she become a Lieutenant of 11th Company? Kenoachi himself never took the exam, but simply killed the previous captain of 11th Company and took on the title himself. So how did Yachiru get in? We see a small demonstration of her power in the Soul Society arc, during Ichigo’s fight against Kenpachi Zaraki, and also her speed and obvious strength, seeing as she’s able to carry Kenpachi, who must be 200 pounds, back to 4th Squad!
    Wow, I’ve said a lot…I guess I should stop now before I write too much. I apologize for hogging up the comment space with this ridiculously long comment, truly!

  33. Mina says:

    Byakuya is a Sesshomaru clone? How did you come to this brilliant conclusion? He is a much more caring person than Sesshomaru will ever be. He has very interesting abilities too. Except the SS arc he always saves Rukia while Sesshomaru wants to kill his own brother and steals his stuff (tetsaiga).
    Not to mention he is very attractive without looking girly; unlike your dear Sesshomaru.

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