Like the title of the review implies, I've got mixed feelings.
I largely agree with what the previous posters have said - up until the end of the Soul Society arc(and the supremely well executed reveal
of the Big Bad
) it's an excellent manga/anime. The problems start appearing once the Hueco Mundo arc begins, but even then, it's still a fairly good read.
The real issue appears once the Fake Karakura Town arc starts. What's the problem, you may ask? The HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE pace of the story. This one battle has already lasted 59 weeks(over a freaking year).
The reason is simple - the sheer number of characters and battles occurring simultaneously slows down the pace to a crawl. The Fake Karakura town has already had at least a dozen battles between various opponents and nobody even landed a scratch on the Big Bad
yet! Most of the fights will have five or six(or more) issues devoted to them so we're still stuck in the same point that we were a year ago.
This is not helped by the fact that nobody ever dies(on the good guys' side that is). This really ruins any sort of suspense and battles turn from exciting to “so, could we just end this please and you know, do this whole plot thing?”.
Not helped either by the author's tendency to solve his writer's blocks by introducing new characters en masse. This and the above complaint mean that unless we see some mass killings soon(which will not happen), the pace of future chapters will slow down even more.
Further compounding the issue is that nobody goes into battles with their full power from the start but rather they follow the Shonen tradition of revealing(agonisingly slowly) how they're not left handed
or how their kung fu is stronger
. This can be forgiven since it's a staple of this type of manga.
There's also a list of minor sins that the writer has committed(mainly asspulls
and plot holes
) but I'd rather not lengthen the review(already almost at the word limit). Suffice to say that I complained about them in the Just Bugs Me
So, overall, if you can stomach the slooow pace of the series, I can recommend it. At the very least, you should enjoy it up until the end of SS arc.