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Bleach, the Rise and Fall.
As everyone knows, Bleach started off, up until the start of the Hueco Mundo arc, as a great series. It had sharp writing, likable characters, a wicked sense of humor, and one of the greatest plot twists in recent memory, in the form of the series Big Bad, Aizen.

But none of that matters anymore, because Bleach has so thoroughly Jumpedthe Shark, that there's no possible way to rescue it. What is the problem? As the Memetic Mutation indicates, NOBODY DIES IN BLEACH.

Now, as we all know, most stories are motivated by who has sex with who, or who kills who. Seeing as Bleach is a shounen manga, the ladder is the primary focus of plot development for a good series. If you want to make people care about the future of your story, particularly when it goes on for as long as Bleach, you have to kill people in order to increase the suspense. It doesn't matter if they're popular, they have to die in order for people to care about the future.

A lot of people don't want to see their favorite characters die, but I'd be happy to see any of my favorite characters die in Bleach, because I need fear in me that someone could die in any moment, and that the big bad is a credible threat. There have been Over 9,000 fatal injuries in Bleach, and not one of the people who's received them has died, unless they were an unsympathetic villain.

This also leads to Bleaches other big problem, mangaka Tite Kubo has a tendency to create new characters when he starts to get writers block, regardless if said characters will advance the plot. Which leads to an enormous cast of characters who contribute nothing to the story, and will never, ever die. At least 70% of Bleach's cast has done absolutely nothing useful in the story, and unless a character contributes, they should either be Put on a Bus, or Killed off for Real.

Bleach is a story of a shounen manga that could have been great, but succumbed to the worst aspects of the genre, winding up in a permanent limbo of bad writing, a revolving door of death, and too many useless characters taking up ink to focus on the ones people actually care about. Now, I can only recommend Bleach to people as a cautionary tale as to how far a story can fall from grace.
"you have to kill people in order to increase the suspense"

I disagree, it's a very easy way to increase the suspense, but I find that it can be over used. People should die in stories, if their death makes sense, that's very important, don't kill off characters with no rhyme and reason, if the character earns their death, let them die. I've seen a show that is fantastic and it has none very little character death, it's still gripping, it's still engaging.

Loads And Loads Of Characters though, is also tricky, it can build a deep and varied world, but if they don't let a character go, even for a little while, the plot will crawl to a slow.

I have to say, these reviews make me want to see Bleach, just to watch the train wreck.
comment #2744 Phrederic 3rd Jun 10
That's not entirely true, One Piece does some things Bleach desperately needs to do. For one, while very few people die, there have been plenty of deaths in flashbacks, whereas Bleach had one flashback death. While people rarely die in One Piece, that goes for both heroes and villains; in Bleach, the entire cast has gone through Aizen's mooks, and not one of them has died. This is not acceptable. Why would Aizen even hire mooks if they can't kill a single shinigami?

Also, in One Piece, the cast shifts, rather than having all of the characters stick around at once, the cast rotates when they visit a new island. The cast in Bleach just kind of stick around, eating up the spotlight from each other.

Eiichiro Oda also planned everything from the start, so all those characters serve a purpose. Kubo has made it pretty clear he has no idea how the story will rap up, and didn't even plan Aizen's betrayal.
comment #3618 205.168.59.254 30th Jul 10
Yeah, that's kinda what I meant, One Piece may have gigantic cast, but you only see a tiny fraction of them at any given time, and a lot of the time, once a character is done with, they leave, allowing you to streamline the story.
comment #3623 Phrederic 31st Jul 10
True say. Kubo's habit of introducing a large number of new characters all at once really interferes with his ability to tell a story. I feel like Kubo may be able to tell a better story if he does manga a volume at a time, instead of the weekly serialization format.
comment #4945 coian 27th Oct 10
If you want people to die, I suggest you watch a different kind of show. Generic shonens aren't known for having good stories.
comment #4946 150.212.51.29 28th Oct 10
From what is being shown of the last arc (which is manga only so far), I believe three or four captains have died. When that happened, I honestly felt more attached to the characters, as odd as that seems. As he begins to die, Byakuya tells Ichigo to use all of his strength to protect Rukia. I don't know why, but that left a huge impression on me, and I am sad to see him go above the other captains.
comment #19232 csoniccolors 3rd May 13
Bleach is actually getting better now, which pains me because now I can't joke about Bleach being awful.
comment #19380 Scardoll 16th May 13
csoniccolors, I'm getting the impression you weren't up to date when you posted that. Byakuya's still alive. The death toll for captains is at two.
comment #19653 Austin 4th Jun 13
Kill them all manga are not better just by the fact that they do that. In fact most of them suck. Bleach has problems. By now i just think it is there to be as generic as possible. Now that nobody cares, even the editors (I blame them), it has gotten better.
comment #20001 thEpirate 30th Jun 13
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