"We stand in awe at that which cannot be seen."Ichigo Kurosaki would have liked to have been an Ordinary High-School Student. Unfortunately, his ability to see and hear ghosts (and his orange-colored hair) kept getting in the way of a normal life. This is all he knows of the spirit world until the day he encounters Rukia Kuchiki, a Soul Reaper whose profession requires her to destroy evil spirits ("Hollows") and send good spirits ("Pluses" or "Wholes") to the afterlife. When Rukia is injured while trying to slay a powerful Hollow about to kill Ichigo and his family, she offers the boy a portion of her powers to defeat it in her place. Unfortunately, his abnormally-high amount of spiritual energy absorbs all of her power instead, forcing him to take up her duties until she can recover and return home.Bleach starts off as a quirky Urban Fantasy action-comedy, but soon becomes a much more standard Shōnen Fightin' Anime with the start of the Soul Society arc. In it, Rukia is arrested by her fellow Soul Reapers for the crime of transferring her powers to a human, and taken back to the afterlife ("Soul Society") to be executed. Naturally, Ichigo wants to mount a rescue. Training montages, Next Tier Power Ups and ridiculously complicated plans ensue. This arc is infamous for introducing Loads and Loads of Characters (tripling the previous cast; manga author Tite Kubo has admitted that his solution to writer's block is to create new characters), drastically changing the formula and tone of the series, and for its sheer length, which coined the meme, "Are they still in Soul Society?"That said, this change of direction has led to not only one of the most ludicrous Wham Episodes in manga history, but many an awesome moment as well, and its continued popularity speaks for itself. Hell, it even has musicals! For most of its run, it was one of the "Big Three" long-running shonen manga/anime in serialization, and it inevitably gets compared to its colleagues, as well as Dragon Ball (which Kubo is inspired by) and YuYu Hakusho (which shared the same director). It's also notable for having one of the largest Periphery Demographics in the history of shonen manga — it has not so much an Estrogen Brigade as an Estrogen Legion.After 10 long years, the manga officially entered its final arc, which began on February 8, 2012. The anime ran 7 1/2 years, from October 5, 2004 until March 27, 2012, after the completion of the manga's penultimate (Lost Agent) arc, giving way to the Naruto spinoff Rock Lee's Springtime of Youth.There are seventeen story arcs so far, including the anime-original Filler:
— Rukia Kuchiki
Bleach is the Trope Namer for:
It also provides examples of:
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