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Reviews Comments: Starts off great, but starts to decay (manga only). Bleach whole series review by Japanese Teeth

Like I said in the title, Bleach starts of on the right foot, and keeps it going for a while. Unfortunately, it starts to lose steam as it goes on.

  • Plot: In short, a teenage boy who can see ghosts gains the power of a Shinigami (from girl who is a shinigami) and uses it to fight Hollows, spirits of the dead who essentially became evil. Then the girl is taken to the afterlife by the other shinigami and put on death row. The boy and some friends invade the afterlife to rescue her.

  • Content: Quite of bit of High Pressure Blood, but they're all technically dead already, so it doesn't matter. Also some occasion Ecchi fanservice, and a ton of Squick from Mayuri and Szayel.

  • The good:
    • A unique storyline, especially through first few arcs.
    • Good characters, both in terms of characterization and interesting abilities that make for:
    • Great fights. It's shonen, what did you expect?
    • Humor. The earlier chapters have some great Lampshade Hanging moments, among other funny stuff. Especially the "AMAZING HEADBAND OF JUSTICE".
    • Urahara. One of the best characters.
    • Kenpachi. Another of the best characters.
    • The Reveal of the Big Bad. The series probably hit its high point around here.

  • The bad:
    • Once the Soul Society arc concludes, the originality and quality of the story starts to fall. It's gradual, but not as good as the earlier sections.
    • Cerebus Syndrome. Again, after Soul Society a lot of the humor disappears. Especially in Hueco Mundo. Also, Dondo and Pessche get really annoying after a while.
    • Way too much Heroic Resolve. There are several times where Ichigo will lose a fight, do the Heroic Resolve thing, and become stronger for no apparent reason. Then later on, some sort of Asspull will be done to Ret Con it into the story.
    • Asspulls. The reveal of the Big Bad was excellent, but ever since then, there have been a ton of reveals that serve no purpose other than to go "oh look a plot twist". Some of them are irrelevant to the plot and make no logical sense.

  • Overall: Starts out excellent, but once Soul Society ends, starts to lose itself. It's gradual, but once you get into the current arc the decay is more obvious. It still isn't even close to being bad though, so it's still worth reading. I recommend looking at it.


  • Rogue 7
  • 23rd Apr 09
Fully agreed, with the caveat that I think the quality had substantially dropped off. I had previously enjoyed the latest arc for the ton of awesome fights it provided, but as those began to drag on, and with the realization of how many more we still had left, it made me realize just how poorly this arc was thought out. A further complaint- the amount of content in each chapter is appallingly low. I can read a chapter in as little as 30 seconds due to the fact that there is almost nothing on each page. And some of the Asspulls and powerups completely spoil any tension or drama in the fights themselves.

Saying that, many of the Bleach characters are well-done and very likeable. In particular, I would state that Ichigo, Ishida, Kenpachi, and particularly Rukia are all great characters. I have a bit of a soft spot for Hitsugaya and Tatsuki (no, not like that, you idiot!) as well. But I'm keeping up with this manga almost out of a sense of obligation rather than enjoyment right now. Oh, and the art, what little of it there is, is gorgeous in places. There's a reason the "Bleach" folder in the Pictures section of my hard drive is the largest by far.
  • JapaneseTeeth
  • 24th Apr 09
I would have noted that too, but 1: I ran out of words, and 2: the main problem with the pacing isn't that it's spread over a lot of pages, but because we only get 20 pages or so a week. If you go back a few months worth and read the battles straight through, they're not that badly paced. It's just that you can't stretch a story over that many pages when you're only releasing them 20 at a time. It just doesn't fit the medium well.
  • Galeros
  • 26th Apr 09
I agree with your review for the most part. I felt like the first season was the best in terms of character interaction. But I do like how we get to see more of the Bleach universe in the Soul Society and Hueco Mundo arcs. I think that the series would be better if Kubo gave more focus to the "Original" cast of Ichigo, Rukia, Chad, Uryuu, and Orihime over the Soul Reapers.
  • werdnak84
  • 4th May 09
It would be interesting if someone wrote an review on the anime, up to the most recent air date.
  • JapaneseTeeth
  • 5th May 09
I'll probably get around to it eventually, when I don't have so college stuff to work on.
  • CleverPun
  • 13th May 09
I've only seen the anime, but what got me were the FLASHBACKS. That's something that Naruto liked doing too: make every other episode a flashback.

I also agree with the below troper to an extent. Except the art is pretty bad.
  • Ouroboros
  • 29th Jun 09
I disagree on a few point, it isn't excellent, Bleach has become one of the worst weekly Shonen manga on the market. Ass pull after ass pull, overly long fights with only the barest lip service to something called 'character development'. It's completely free of suspense as no characters, even minor ones, seem to die. Most of the characters are bland and two dimensional once you think about them. The fight scenes have also devolved, falling into something I call DBZ syndrome, where it becomes a game of escalating power levels and bigger, fancier attacks.

The artwork is just so good it fools some people.

The story isn't even all that unique either. Its Yu Yu Hakusho without the depth.

It started out fairly decent though, I'll give you that, and while some of the characters are two dimensional they can still be entertaining (i.e Urahara and Kenpachi).
  • Kimera757
  • 3rd Jul 09
The plotting got really bad really fast. The villains can never win, generally due to raw stupidity and an inability to use teamwork. (Frequently the heroes suffer this, but not as badly. Aizen is possibly the only intelligent villain in the series.)

The fights are amazing-looking, but often they're drawn out too long, as each side tries to one-up the other rather than doing the smart thing and fighting all-out. The worst was the recent battle between Starrk and two captains, right after all the other Espada had been defeated. He was probably going to lose against the two of them, and he certainly would if the other captains had actually stepped in.

Great art, and I love the abilities (especially when they're not asspulls).
  • 6th Jul 09

  • JapaneseTeeth
  • 6th Jul 09
Making a caveat to the original review: the plot quality is has pretty much gone down the toilet since I wrote the review, as like 2 chapters has a new (and usually inexplicable) Ass Pull. Not to mention that the fights are getting less and less original, and more anticlimactic. That said, there are still some redeeming points (Barragan's release is freaking awesome, even if Kubo totally didn't wring all the potential out of it), but they're getting really few and far between. Currently, I'm still reading just to see what the hell Kubo is going to do.

Overall, what bugs me most is that most of the abilities and such are truly interesting ideas, but they never really get used, especially in the current arc. It's literally "character A releases, pwns character B, character B releases, pwns character A harder". All the battles have the same structure. Kubo needs to start doing something interesting with the battles to make the convoluted plot and asspulls worthwhile.
  • MakaiNoFalco
  • 11th Jul 09
Fully agree, especially with the last part. Bleach has gone from being awesome to being okay, but it's not even close to being a bad anime.
  • 17th Jul 09
asspulls, powerups, and fancier attacks... welcome to the world of manga? lol

btw the recent arc where the vaizards face off against aizen and co. is probably the most exciting one to date?
  • iphoria
  • 22nd Jul 09
Kubo's no Alan Moore, cut him some slack.
  • Mr. Lostman
  • 22nd Jul 09
He's no Toriyama either, no matter how hard he tries to be.

(I'm not as far as you guys, but I already see the decay).
  • Rampulus
  • 31st Jul 09
I mostly agree with the review, but the omakes often provide humor after the Soul Society arc, which helps lighten things. As I mentioned in my review, the second part tries to recreate the first part without many of the elements that made it successful, which is why it isn't as good.
  • Beta Ray
  • 15th Feb 10
Am I only person who didn't like the Soul Society Arc? I mean sure, the Aizen thing was good. It's like the delicious bread on a shit sandwich. The shit being the yawn-inducing Inaction Sequences Bleach calls fight scenes. Honest to God I nearly fell asleep in most of them. It was basically a preview into how awful Hueco Mundo was going to be. Sure I'd eat the delicious bread by itself (though not if it had already touched the shit, but that's not the point) but it's the shit in the middle that completely ruins the arc for me.
  • JapaneseTeeth
  • 17th Feb 10
I didn't mind the fights too much, mainly because at that point in the story, the plot itself is still novel enough that it's worth reading to find out what happens. It doesn't stand up to rereading that well, but I remember that the first time I read it I was engrossed enough that the pacing didn't bother me at all. The problem at this point the fights are really all that the series has going for it, as the current plot isn't all that hot. With the fights moving so slow, the story as a whole is barely moving.

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