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A very dangerous work; and not in a good way.
Considering that the sensibilities of the shinigami organisation largely essentially breaks down to a mixture of the, in Japanese society still romantisised and revisionist history-obsessed, wartime fascism of Japan mixed with samurai and Shinsengumi choreography.

My impression of the entire organisation is that it is callous, social-Darwinist, amoral, nihilistic, and bloodthirsty, with the defining shinigami captains making recurrent viewpoint quotes along these themes.

Or at least that's my impression when, for example, Joseph Mengele... err Mayuri is allowed to run free with his atrocities, ditto for Jack the Ripper... err Kenpaichi marketed as an ideal. And when the enemies to be slaughtered include horribly bastardised, vilified, and distorted versions of YHWH... err Yhwach... and his squadron of light and angelic themed Christians... err Quincies. Or when another enemy is the X-men... err X-Cution, which consists of crazy disaffected outsiders/essentially much of the audience ... err aberations to be cleansed. Whereas the hollows might be even more cruelly distorted versions of people who simply feel empty and despairing inside. And then combined with the ongoing slaughter, moral nihilism, and bile fascination... Well, the sum total picture isn't pretty.

It is probably mostly unintentional reminiscing of being on the Nanking perpetrating side during the war, but combined with the offhanded slaughter it ends up lecturing children everywhere in how being an amoral, psychopathic, nihilistic, or darkness and death-mongering Social Darwinist is the ideal state of being.

At the very least there is very heavy ongoing imagery.

Then again, Ichigo and his friends are mostly perfectly nice people, and the craftsmanship of the storytelling is okay, warranting a 4/10 on those merits.
Nice troll, 11 out of 10, would not bang.
comment #17971 Scardoll 3rd Feb 13
I don't like it either, but I think its just a anime, not propaganda.
comment #17978 T448Eight 3rd Feb 13
^^ Wait, wouldn't 11 out of 10 be WOULD DO EVERYTHING TO BANG?

comment #17980 kay4today 3rd Feb 13
Nope, this review is too good to bang.
comment #17981 Scardoll 4th Feb 13
But it's stupid and obviously a Troll! Why hasn't it gotten deleted yet, I wonder.
comment #17984 kay4today 4th Feb 13
I'm not a troll. I just have a different viewpoint, and afaIk everything I said is true. I genuinely do view the entire shinigami mythology within Bleach as Nazism By Any Other Name. If you disagree, explain why.
comment #18012 CodenameBravo 5th Feb 13
If you aren't a trolll, why didn't you explain your reasoning in the actual review then? This is nowhere near word count.
comment #18014 fenrisulfur 5th Feb 13
I fixed the review. I wrote the original a bit pissed off.
comment #18015 CodenameBravo 5th Feb 13
Yeah, what Comment 14 said. I have no idea how to "explain why I disagree" because I have no idea what you could even be talking about half of the time. What quotes from Mussolini? What bile fascination?
comment #18060 Lithp 6th Feb 13
I'm fascinated when series like Bleach get this impressions for daring to have morally grey people. The whole rescue Rukia arc established that everything is F-up. Be it the shinigami, hollows or quincy. The Hueco Mundo arc showed that not all arrancar are chaotic evil, and even the small group of fullbrings showed different moralities.
comment #18064 marcellX 6th Feb 13
Christians as the bad guys. It is Japan were talking here. They went to war with Christians.
comment #18095 thEpirate 7th Feb 13
How exactly is Mayuri not equivalent to Joseph Mengele or morally black? Even the author admits that Ichigo excepted, this book builds on Evil Versus Evil.

Mind you, Aizen is easily worst, but a bunch of serial killers, fascists, and a Mad Doctor as "good guys" in a Crap Sack World doesn't sit right with me.
comment #18111 CodenameBravo 8th Feb 13
so you basically just ignored everything I said
comment #18113 marcellX 8th Feb 13
@marcellX Yeah, the series is morally grey, but none of the other characters ever acknowledge it.

Take Kisuke for example. It's widely agreed among the fandom that he has a lot to answer for. But no one in the cast cares about his various screw ups. You'd think that at the least, putting the hogyoku in Rukia would get a "Dude, what the hell?" from someone, but no, nobody cares.

Neither do the characters ever discuss how much the afterlife sucks. Even the heroes aren't shown dwelling on it. And after the Soul Society arc, the questionable morality of the Soul Reapers aren't ever discussed. Nobody likes Mayuri, but nor does anyone seem to particularly care about what he does. Then there's Tosen's backstory. That seemed like it was meant to emphasize how screwed up the Soul Reapers as an organization are. Sure, the captains aren't the nicest people, but being allowed to kill subordinates on a whim? That's as horrible as anything we'd been shown. Does it ever come up again? Nope.

Face it. The moral greyness is like the rest of the series. It's an interesting concept that the author does jack with.
comment #18451 Austin 10th Mar 13
If I remember correctly he quickly apologized for it, there's also the matter that while it was revealed to everyone that he was telling the truth 100 years ago about Aizen, he's still not back in soul society and is treated at best as a foreign weapons dealer (even some of the vizards have been reinstated). The heroes probably don't talk about how the after life sucks because a lot of portrayals of after lives are indeed crappy, many much worse than this one. In fact it's still better than [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yomi yomi], where like hader .

Soul Society is a military institution, and is shown as such, it's not the let's do the nicest and morally correct thing every time. Not every issue is taken in, but the effect of the pile of them is shown. Which is part of the reason captains were against each other in the rescue Rukia arc, even Kyoraku and Ukitake who had little to no interaction with the retrieval team. They're not a representation of our side was the good side on this war, but our side is the lesser of all evils. After all everyone acknowledges that it's screwed up, and some acknowledge that not everything that comes from hueco mundo has to be evil.
comment #18453 marcellX 10th Mar 13
Given the risk he put Rukia at, a simple apology shouldn't instantly sweep away the issue. Even Ichigo, the one person to acknowledge it, was more peeved that he thought he would run away than the fact that Kisuke put a dangerous artifact in Rukia's body.

I can't recall Kisuke ever showing a particular desire to return to Soul Society, and the fact that he helped out any Soul Reaper that came to town even before Aizen proved him right seems to show that they weren't particularly interested in persecuting him.

It is true that Soul Society's morality has gotten brighter, particularly shown at the end of the Fullbringer arc, but the fact is is that the injustices of the place are largely glossed over. Past sins are rarely acknowledged, except by the people who want to destroy the place. And while there are some questionable actions that have been given story justifications, a lot of them haven't. It's not always a case of "do what needs to be done".
comment #18459 Austin 11th Mar 13
^ the vizards explicitly stated that they now hated soul society (unlike kisuke's ambienty) yet they returned. There was also no soul reaper that wasn't on a questionable situation (Issin, Rukia, Vizards, etc.) that knew about the whereabouts of Kisuke.
comment #18469 marcellX 12th Mar 13
Also elaborate on that last line.
comment #18470 marcellX 12th Mar 13
It was loosely implied that the Vizard weren't as angry at Soul Society as they said they were. Take note how many times they said "no, we aren't REALLY helping the Soul Reapers", even though nobody there had a problem with them (except Soi Fon).

What I mean is that sometimes the Soul Society's actions seem justified, if extreme, and others not. Wiping out the Quincies because they were threatning to destroy all of reality? That's fine. Letting your captains cut down their subordinates for whatever reason they feel like? Not so much. The series' would be more intelligent if some of the characters pointed out that things don't HAVE to be that way, but like I said, it's glossed over.
comment #18497 Austin 15th Mar 13
It was loosely implied that the Vizard weren't as angry at Soul Society as they said they were. Take note how many times they said "no, we aren't REALLY helping the Soul Reapers", even though nobody there had a problem with them (except Soi Fon).

That's really drawing straws, they meant that they didn't intent to help soul reapers, but defeat Aizen, the person they hate the most on a common enemies situation.
comment #18498 marcellX 15th Mar 13
No, I'm saying that they said over and over again "we aren't helping the Soul Reapers". It seemed to me that they were saying it more to themselves than to anyone else. Shinji's discomfort when Unohana called him an ally and the fact that at least three of them returned to their positions backs up them not being as angry at the Soul Reapers as they claimed to be.
comment #18808 Austin 7th Apr 13
Isn't that the whole basis of an apology? when someone does you wrong you could hold resentment toward that person or on a broader sense, that group. Remember that Urahara was the one accused of the experimentation while they were regarded as victims, and even then they ordered their execution. This however doesn't change the fact that SS is full of people who were once their colleagues, and that it seems SS were the ones who asked for their return. Note that this was after the death of central 46 which brought the issue of how they had to follow their orders without question however odd or unfair it may had been, and how easily Aizen took advantage of this.
comment #18812 marcellX 8th Apr 13
Troll review/10

This review doesn't deserve any other comment
comment #20919 AnsemPaul 29th Aug 13
I'm not even remotely a troll, especially not compared to yourself.
comment #21145 CodenameBravo 15th Sep 13
So, then you're just crazy?
comment #21146 kay4today 15th Sep 13
Technically, yes. But in this case I just have a different perspective and opinion than you do. I cannot reconcile Mayuri, Kenpaichi and the fascist values of the shinigami society as supposed good guy ideals to strive towards.
comment #21156 CodenameBravo 17th Sep 13
Seem like you only perceive things in black and white.
comment #21157 marcellx 17th Sep 13
Nah, but I do have some standards. I do not like Villain Protagonists or Protagonist-Centered Morality.
comment #22526 CodenameBravo 16th Dec 13
Or to put it another way: I highly doubt that either the author or yourself would be supportive of this if you, for example, were the ones suffering at Mayuri's operating table.

Yet, somehow we're supposed to think that everything is perfectly fine with war-criminals, fascists, psychopaths, torturers, and worse marketed as laudable and heroic, whereas righteous light- and angel-themed beings are twisted into disloyal villlains willing to kill each other, and the other theme is to slaughter all traumatised depressed or disaffected people, who are even more cruelly distorted.

To call this sort of practice, including the entire setting, and possibly the author, satanic evil, would not be an overstatement.
comment #22530 CodenameBravo 17th Dec 13
heil emperor kubo, the new hirohito
comment #24018 babanigGARdo 23rd Apr 14
While Codename Bravo is a little over the top, the core of the issue is actually there and would warrant some discussion. For example, we all can clearly see that Soul Society is a Crapsack World, where normal people are living in a medieval stasis while the ruling class of the shinigami (and especially their officers) have everything one can ask for, including immortality, and are lording over them using their superior power and technology (which only seem to exists in Mayuri's labs, for example). These are more or less undeniable facts, and I do think discussing soul society and the morality of the shinigami is worth the time, though I am not sure we can draw any sort of conclusions about Kubo's intentions regarding their portrayal (though I admit, the whole "fascist" angle is quite fascinating as a thought-experiment).

For example, the entire thing about the Quincy being Christian expys... Well, this is one of those value-dissonance things. AFAIK Japanese in general just doesn't give a damn about religious evangelism and treat all religions as just myths and folklore (which they are) and thus Japanese media likes to pick and choose religious symbolism just for aesthetic reasons. So while I could imagine that the angelic imagery, distorted as it was, was on purpose, I do not think Kubo did so as some kind of political statement against any religion, and anyone getting offended about it just reads too much into it because of their own insecurities.
comment #25758 Gborr 16th Aug 14
So you admit that Kubo himself called the series Evil vs Evil but somehow also thinks the soul reapers are good? Except the characters rant at length about how fucked up soul society is? Mayuri is portrayed as nothing but a psychopathic dick?

By the by, Soul Reapers wear black because white symbolizes death in Japan. So the Soul Reapers wear the opposite color, and in doing so oppose "death" while wearing the colors that usually denote evil in fiction.

But I'm sure you think I'm a satanically evil nazi for liking the series.
comment #25775 LitleWiggle 17th Aug 14
@Gborr

You said it yourself, worthy topic, over the top review author, hence why a real discussion hasn't happen here.
comment #25783 marcellX 18th Aug 14
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