While the audience knows better, Riruka is weirded out about how casually Orihime mentions that her parents were horrible people to the extent that her brother ran away with her to save her life before dying himself a few years before the story began. This leaves her all alone apart from a distant aunt who pays for her education. What's she doing at the time? Drooling over donuts.
The villain's big reveal of the Lost Agent Arc is supposed to break Ichigo with the shocking truth. Instead, Ichigo passively dismisses the villain's speech as nothing more than a scare tactic because he's already figured out and accepted the truth for himself. Unlike Ginjou, he realized Soul Society surveying a substitute soul reaper was common sense and that Ukitake had worded his description of the Substitute Badge's purpose to deliberately ensure Ichigo could figure out the truth for himself.
Anticlimax Boss: Despite his godlike power, Yhwach dies thanks to a last-minute intervention that had limited foreshadowing involving his Auswählen being turned back on him and a simple attack from Ichigo's shikai while depowered. It was unfortunately expected when the series was forcibly cut short, but for most readers, it was still a lukewarm ending for the tyrant.
Americans Hate Tingle: Despite being the most popular character in Japan, in America Hitsugaya is hated just as much as he's adored, due to becoming a Spotlight Stealing Character, is at times compared to Ichigo, and is viewed as having the ability of Ass Pulls, with both sides being very vocal depending where you look. Toshiro having his own movie, which cashes in on his Japanese popularity, made him even more disliked in America. In Europe and Latin America, it's fairly different, he's nowhere as divisive or loved than in Japan and the USA, he's simply the target of affectionate jokes.
Most arcs end up dragging on to some degree because of the large number of new characters. Almost every new character gets their turn to fight, along with some returning Out of Focus characters. This results in a ton of fights that don't actually move the plot forward beyond characterization and revealing someone's signature ability.
Everything from the introduction of the Arrancars to the end of the Deicide arc can be considered a single arc, with the anime naming it "The Arrancar Saga". Being over 1/3 of the canon storyline, it stretches out to the point of Memetic Mutation.
"The Thousand Year Blood War Arc" fell into this as well despite starting off strong and getting right into the heart of the action, with some very meaty exposition of the series Myth Arc later on. But once the second invasion on Soul Society begins, the plot slows down to allow for more fights. Many fights were dragged out in order to give many characters a chance to reveal their Bankai in response to the Story Breaker Powers of the Sternritter.
During Toshiro Hitsugaya's fight with Harribel, Toshiro spontaneously displays the ability to create an ice clone, which seems to be just as strong as him and capable of fighting and speaking just the same as the original. It even appears to be able to bleed. After it gets cut down, he claims it only can be used once, and it never gets referenced again outside of filler, making it seem like the only purpose of it was to shock viewers into thinking Harribel had killed him.
A huge one for the anime-only Reigai arc, after Ichigo uses the last of his reiatsu to launch Getsuga Tensho at Kageroza, it's moments later revealed Kageroza had a cloning ability, so Ichigo basically wasted it on a clone.
The revelation that Chojiro Sasakibe, deceased at the hands of the Vandenreich, knew Bankai. Given that his only contribution to the story beyond dying was getting effortlessly beaten by a bare-handed Ichigo during the Soul Society arc, it's safe to say that there was no build-up to this (outside of his white coat and how Bankai isn't a captain-exclusive ability).
The reveal that Zabimaru had given Renji a false Bankai, Hihio Zabimaru, due to feeling Renji was not worthy of using its true power, Sōō Zabimaru, comes out of nowhere in the final arc and only seems to exist to give Renji a new power-up after years of his Bankai being subjected to The Worf Effect. Not once in the series was it ever implied or foreshadowed that Renji had been using a false Bankai, nor that he had been using it improperly, with various characters outright calling it a true Bankai since its first appearance. Worse, said Bankai is used only once, making it feel like it came out of no where just so Renji could win a fight.
Orihime is one of the most polarizing characters in the series. Supporters view Orihime as an endearing and adorable Love Interest, and like her supportive role (both emotionally and physically). Common criticism against her includes her minimal fighting ability and general aversion to fighting feeling out of place in a battle shounen, and her Reality Warper powers not being utilized to their fullest extent (such as her initial vow to do something about the Hougyoku that goes nowhere). Her characterization during the Hueco Mundo arc is especially controversial; some argue that her gradual mental breakdown is a perfectly realistic response to being held in captivity while her friends risk their lives to save her, while others were frustrated by her Neutral Female role in a Recycled Script of Rukia's kidnapping arc.
Chad in the Lost Agent Arc introduced X-Cution, a group of Fullbringers. Tite Kubo stated the arc was "Sado's Arc" but the fandom was split by Chad's coverage. While some fans were satisfied to see the nature of his power explored and explained, some fans were unsatisfied by his lack focus despite it being his arc. He was perceived as still generic and with a role that was much smaller than other character had in their arcs. Although the Fullbring reveal explained that Fullbringers arise from mothers who are attacked by Hollows, Chad's back story was not explored, leaving him less developed as a character than the rest of Ichigo's group.
Unohana's Yachiru characterization. While some fans don't like how she was turned into a counterpart of Zaraki and served as little more than a way to further hype his character, others liked the blood-hungry, serenely psychotic angle, seeing as it would make perfect sense for everyone to fear her with the revelation.
Gremmy Thoumeaux, big time, mostly because of his absurdly broken Imagination-Based Superpower and whether he's worthy of it or not, considering his strangely uncreative uses of it.
Mask de Masculine is one of the most polarizing members of the Vandenreich, specifically because of how weird he is compared to the rest of his comrades. For some, his Masked Luchador gimmick feels very out of place for what is supposed to be A Nazi by Any Other Name organization, and he is far more comedic than the majority of the other Sternritters', making him feel like he doesn't fit the arc at all and would have been better off being an Arrancar. Others think that him being so odd fits well into the villains, as he still is a dangerous foe and find that his comedy is offset by how dangerous he is when he fights, going on to become one of the most effective members of the Sternritters (he managed to take out two Captains and several Lieutenants without much trouble).
Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The noodle scene. Yoruichi is shown eating noodles for close to two full minutes for no apparent reason and the most that is said about it is Urahara commenting that her arm is working. Probably Filler to pad out the episode. The same scene in the manga took all of two panels or so.
In the English dub, a huge amount of drama results whenever a character's voice actor is replaced for any reason, and many completely give up on the show entirely because of it. Chad's and Ikkaku's voices were replaced only temporarily, but Kaien, Hiyori, Kenpachi, Urahara, and Komamura each have a permanent change. This is not helped by the fact that nearly no one in the course of the show in Japan had any voice replaced except for temporary occasions (with only a few exceptions such as the voice actor passing away). Other fans are more forgiving, pointing out that several of these changes were due Real Life factors beyond the production's control such as Michael Lindsay's retirement midway through the series, while others were likely due to the stress of needing to record so much given the anime's near non-stop airing.
A frequent debate concerning the Espada is whether or not they were properly ranked. All sorts of factors complicate the topic, from variety and potency of abilities, to actual battle performance, to even Aizens whims. It doesnt help that Ulquiorra claims that Aizen didnt know about his Segunda Etapa. One thing most people will agree on is that Yammy didnt deserve to be #0 (see his Memetic Loser entry below).
Was the Lost Agent arc a badly-placed Filler-esque Story Arc that detracted from the important stuff, or a well-paced and refreshing expansion of the series' lore? The only consensus is that it robbed the fans of a satisfying backstory for Ginjo and Character Development via Book of the End. The question of how Fillerish the Fullbring arc was is an ongoing debate now due to the Fullbringers who died reappearing in Soul Society during the Thousand Year Blood War arc.
Half of Nelliel fans prefer her child form, while the other half prefers her adult form. Her child form is either funny or annoying, while her adult form is either condescending and boring, or badass and hilarious (see her glomping Ichigo).
The Thousand Year Blood War arc has several areas of contention between the fans. The reception to several plot twists is split between those who felt they were pure ass pulls and those who felt that there was enough foreshadowing/plausible explanations to them. The Soul Reapers continue to ratchet up really poor decisions, so the question here is whether it's downright inexcusable by now, or that they're just being exposed by the superior tactics of the Vandenreich. How Byakuya survived despite appearing dead in the water; how ridiculously powerful Renji and Rukia became following their training in the Royal Realm* Also on this subject, the fact that all they did with these powerups was kill two prominent Sternritter, then practically disappear until the very end of the arc.; how most of the villains continue to be thrown away in favor of the heroes (although the Sternritters' power level still dwarfs every other villain group to this point); how Komamura's first and only true victory where there wasn't a huge gap in power between him or his opponent was turned into an excessively cruel pyrrhic victory that has condemned him to a horrific fate; and how Unohana was used as a way to hype up Zaraki. On the other hand, people largely appear to enjoy the way many hanging plot threads have been answered and tied together neatly into the Myth Arc, with Everything But The Rain being a standout case.
Byakuya's "death" scene in the final arc split the fandom in half. His fans were horrified at his death and overjoyed to later learn that he had survived. However, the rest of the fandom disliked the outcome having felt the death scene was extremely well-written, but then rendered pointless by the revelation that he had survived; it was felt that the tension created by the killing of Yamamoto and his lieutenant had been removed in favor of restoring Status Quo Is God. Not helping either side of the debate is that while he does play a role in the story after this, his overall impact is very minor, which raises the question of why he was returned, while naturally some don't really care and are just happy he is there.
Äs's brief backstory. Many feel that it elevated him into an Alas, Poor Villain route, while just as many think that it was too short for anyone to truly care. His Villainous Breakdown falls under a similar scenario. Either his grotesque transformations make him as terrifying as ever, or his constant rants about fear and disgusting transformations take away from the horror.
Chapter 587 had a fairly infamous color page depicting Orihime's rather large boobs in front of the camera, which caused an eruption between fans who find it to be uncharacteristic on the part of Orihime and needless eye candy on the part of Kubo, and fans who think it is an adequate symbolization of Character Development for Orihime (in that she's more confident than before and she's expressing it through her more revealing outfit). For the record, Chad - who trained with Orihime - now has a Walking Shirtless Scene, yet nobody is complaining about that quite as much. Chapter 589 tells us it was Urahara who suggested she wear it because "it would make Ichigo very happy"—which, given how squeamish Ichigo tends to be about sex, is pretty blatantly a lie.
Rukia obtaining Bankai. Depending on who you ask, this is either a long overdue development that treats Rukia with the importance that she deserves, or it's the final nail in the coffin of the idea that bankai is anything more than a generic power-up, when it had previously been treated as something that only the most exceptional Shinigami obtain.
Kubo's stance on No Hugging, No Kissing is a bit of an issue in the fandom, basically requiring Anti-Shipping Goggles to make sense. There are several aspects of the story that ruin Kubo's credibility on how there is "not supposed to be any romance in this series", the biggest examples being Orihime's unrequited feelings for Ichigo and the relationship between Ichigo and Rukia.
Due to Yumichika claiming Giselle's male because he smells something from her, people are divided over whether he was wrong or right. Fandom speculates whether she is a Creepy Crossdresser, or intersex, or a male-to-female Transgender woman...
A minor example, all things considered. Aizen was always a Base-Breaking Character, and his Gambit Roulette certainly played a part in it. Some even rejoiced when he was defeated. However, many fans felt with how aimless the later story arcs that there really was nowhere else for the series to go once he was out of the picture, so some re-evaluated their stance on the guy for, if nothing else, giving the series a direction during his time.
Catharsis Factor: Aizen has spent pretty much half of the story acting like an invincible, smug monster who always steamrolls his opposition, mocks and insults his enemies for the giggles, and even stoops as low as to trick Hitsugaya into stabbing his Childhood Friend Momo to near-death with his Zanpakuto, Kyoka Suigetsu. Watching Ichigo, having returned after training with Tensa Zangetsu and Isshin, utterly thrash Aizen, render him completely helpless despite his numerous transformations, and reduce the normally unflappable Big Bad into an angry, screamingmanchild is the absolute crowning jewel of satisfying moments in the entire series. The anime makes this even better by having Ichigo cut off Aizen's theme music before proceeding to kick his ass, just as Aizen had done to him in the Soul Society arc.
Loly and Menoly getting gruesomely mauled by Grimmjow was a welcome sight, given that the two of them spent the last several chapters torturing Orihime for no good reason. The same goes for when they're pulverized by Yammy later on.
Fans had to wait four-and-a-half years, but Yhwach's death at Ichigo's hands was well worth the wait, given how disgusting and horrific his and his armies' atrocities were. The pitiful, tearfulMotive Rant he gives to Ichigo as he lays dying is the icing on the cake.
Memories Of Nobody. Girl is being chased by generic bad guys, causing problems so they can take over. Hero swears to protect girl he just met and fights generic bad guys. Girl sacrifices herself to return everything to Status Quo. Where have we seen this before?
In the fourth movie, a girl gets kidnapped into enemy territory, Ichigo's gang charges after her, but they get defeated rather badly midway through. After some emotional drama, Ichigo gets a power-up and fights the Final Boss in a re-match, defeating him for good. We've already seen that happen in the Soul Society and Arrancar Arc arcs.
No, the publication didn't cancel it — Kubo had failing health.
The anime wasn't cancelled due to low ratings or sales. In fact, there's been no stated reason as to why from the studio or oter people involved. Most likely, it was due to the studio wanting to wait until the last arc was finished so they could adapt it without having the problem of needing filler to allow Kubo to get a good amount of chapters ahead, as plagued the previous arcs. In fact, the last arc is being adapted with Kubo's involvement in the writing to expand upon elements he'd previously rushed through to get to the ending of the manga faster due to his health issues at the time.
His treatment of Yuzu notwithstanding, Kokuto from Bleach: The Hell Verse not only defeats three of the main characterswithin seconds, but also RIDES Hollow Ichigo's Cero while laughing maniacally, setting him up as one of most badass characters to be featured on-screen.
Kukaku is an old friend of Yoruichi, a one-time ally and trainer of Ichigo, both of whom she shoots out of a giant fireworks cannon into the very heart of the Seireitei.
Damsel Scrappy: Rurichiyo Kasumiōji from The Captain Amagai Arc is a spoiled brat of a rich kid who's prone to being kidnapped just to keep her unpopular Filler arc going. Fans also find her Third-Person Person quirk annoying to listen to, and just plain don't like how useless she was in said arc.
Being a handsome, charismatic antagonist to the morally ambiguous Shinigami sometimes causes fans to portray Aizen as more noble than he's ever shown as in the actual story.
Gin was supposed to be creepy and off-putting, but gained a rather significant fangirl following regardless. It's gotten worse since his betrayal of Aizen. Several fans have gone so far as to call him a "good guy," despite his psychological torture of Rukia, his gleeful bifurcation of Hiyori, and the fact that he attacked Aizen for Rangiku's sake and no one else's. You could argue that he's an anti-hero, but flat-out calling him a "good guy" is going too far. And it's also even more blatant when fans claim that Rangiku is a slut or an ungrateful bitch for moving on with her life and not mourning him for the rest of her life.
Alternative Character Interpretation is one thing, and Ulquiorra's and Orihime's interactions can be seen in rather different ways... but some of his fangirls can get really creepy in their admiration for him, going so far as to utterly dismiss how he repeatedly went the way of Break Them by Talking with Orihime (despite them having gotten along decently well at the beginning, as shown in Unmasked), brutally mauled Ishida and killed Ichigo.
Grimmjow does plenty of awful things throughout the seriesnote He stabs through Rukia's gut; beats Ichigo to a pulp; cared very little about his Fraccion dying; chokes Orihime for speaking out against him; grabs Rukia's face and nearly shoots her with a point-blank Cero; took explosive potshots at Nel and Orihime just to make Ichigo to protect them so he could get wounded; and only wanted to revive Ichigo just to kill him again., and his overall personality is petty and sadistic. While Grimmjow did have a few Pet the Dog moments and showed some hints of a warrior's honor, he's ultimately only slightly better than the likes of Nnoitra but certainly not as sympathetic as Harribel.
Not nearly as much as others, but Nnoitra does have his share of fangirls who don't seem to care that he's a male chauvinist and an outright creep. Some fan arts even portray him as being far more good looking than he actually is.
Despite Tesra's actions (blasting a Cero at Nel, willingly and fully knowing that she was in her child form, as well as breaking Ichigo's arm and nearly finishing him off), fanon would have you believe that Tesla is just Nnoitra's unusually willing and soft-spoken punching bag... among other things. Strangely, the dub managed to make it even more explicit, with the way he call's Nnoitra "Master."
On a few forums, YouTube and DeviantArt, there are fans of Loly, but they acknowledge her unstable personality. Both Loly and Menoly are (big surprise) popular among Orihime haters.
Tsukishima's good looks and loyalty to Ginjo cause some people to overlook his sadistic manipulation of other characters.
Tite Kubo was very surprised to hear how popular Hisagi was. He admitted he would have preferred fans to have waited until they could get to know the personality rather than latching onto a character that (at the time) had barely been revealed. The resulting popularity from his brief appearances quickly resulted in him becoming one of the more important Lieutenants in the story.
Despite being a relatively minor character with very little screen time and plot significance Ururu made enough of an impression to come in at numbers 10 and 15 in the first and second popularity polls. Outranking other more plot significant characters.
The original Thirteen Court Guard Captains all became very popular despite the minor appearance they received, but Saitou Furoufushi and Katori Batsu'unsai in particular became quick favorites.
Kaien Shiba from the 13th Divison looks like a more cheerful, black-haired Ichigo. Lots of fans believed that Ichigo was his Reincarnation, with even Byakuya noting the resemblence. But he wasn't. He's actually Ichigo's late cousin.
One of the mysterious "spoils of war" Mayuri collected from Szayelaporro is believed by many to be Cirucci's remains. This was confirmed in the second Vandenreich invasion.
Esoteric Happy Ending: The manga ends Happily Ever After with ten years of peace after the war with Yhwach. However, the first of two novels released after the ending gives some disturbing implications. Namely, Yhwach's corpse is taken by Squad Zero and made into the Soul King, with the history books being written to say that the original Soul King was successfully defended on orders of Squad Zero, and the war was named "The Great Soul King Protection War." And that Yhwach may not be as dead as some initially believed him to be. While these points are not given much focus in the first novel, it does raise questions about the validity of the ending overall.
Several of the Arrancar exhibit this, but the ones that stand out are Grimmjow and Ulquiorra. They constantly score in the top five of the show's character popularity polls. Being badass, good-looking and having cool personalities might have something to do with that.
Grimmjow's usual outfit is a jacket open to display his abs at all times and it gets completely shredded off in his second bout with Ichigo. His face, voice and hairstyle also really help.
Loly is evil, definitely. Drawn to be attractive, also definitely.
Candice Catnipp's right up there with Harribel when it comes to unapologetic, stripperifficfanservice, and her occasional wicked smile reaches borderline Bambietta levels. While "evil" stretches a bit, if anything, her Hot-Blooded attitude when fighting, coupled with the shameless closeups of her skimpy uniform, makes it all the more eye-candy.
Meninas McAllon has the same body type as Orihime, including large boobs, shapely thighs, and a penchant for skin-tight clothing. Again, the "evil" part isn't really all that clear.
Special mentioning goes to Bambietta's popularity among fanboys (and some fangirls) because she's unapologetically sexy, very aware of it, as well as a big example of a Fetishized Abuser. Bambietta's a crazy lady, but she's quite the looker herself, something the camera enjoys pointing out to the audience. She's even aware of this as she orders a random soldier to her room and kills him out of frustration. She's one of the most popular members of her group as a result. Depending on your preferences, her zombie self can be quite attractive, specially when she starts drooling when she says she wants "something" from Giselle.
Cirucci's attractive figure and her use of a whip gained her certain fans.
Ying and Yang from Bleach: The DiamondDust Rebellion. They're actually rather good-looking, with looks comparable to that of Senna and Apacci.
Fandom Rivalry: With One Piece, Fairy Tail and especially Naruto. There's also a milder, but still very vocal one, with fans of YuYu Hakusho. While YYH concluded years ago, fans of the series accuse Bleach of being a ripoff. Made hilarious by how the Pilot episode of Bleach was rejected by WSJ because it was too similar to YYH, which had Kubo tweaking the plot/visuals quite a bit before re-sending it.
Yammy Llargo being the long speculated 0 Espada was infamously one of the most hated reveals in the story. After long being a generic idiotic brute, whose only "victory" was against Chad and Ichigo (who was basically unable to fight back), him being revealed to be the 0 Espada, a position many had speculated to exist for years, and assumed other characters (such as Ulquiorra or Wonderweiss) were going to be, was seen by pretty much the entire fandom as a dumb explanation. It didn't help that he was easily beaten after the reveal by a slightly hurt Byakuya and Kenpachi, both of whom implied it was a joke of a fight.
The reveal that the Yhwach fought by Yamamoto during the first invasion was actually Sternritter Y Royd Lloyd disguising himself as Yhwach is a disliked part of the first invasion. Though not an Ass Pull, the twist feels like it comes out of leftfield, diminishes the impact of Yamamoto's Bankai since he used it on an Elite Mook instead of the Big Bad, and made Yhwach look less intimidating for some since he would rather let an underling be a sacrificial pawn to weaken Yamamoto before killing him with ease after the twist is revealed, on top of robbing the viewer of a fight that showcases Yhwach's powers, which would take a lot of chapters to get an idea of. The detail that Royd can only copy the memories and personality of someone also didn't help either, since it means he's just an incredibly powerful Quincy without any real reason, when most of the other Quincy's are given reasons why they are so powerful.
A sizable chunk of the fandom likes to ignore pretty much anything post Aizen's defeat, finding it to be either a waste of time (the Fullbringer arc), or a particularly bad case of Arc Fatigue (the Thousand Year Blood War arc). The epilogue is an especially contentious point, in part due to establishing Official Couples.
The canonicity of ongoing light novel series overseen and co-written by Kubo as a continuation of the manga is a sticking point for many fans, who refuse to acknowledge anything not part of the manga and anime or solely written by Kubo himself to be canon.
Aizen's penultimate transformation after merging with the Hougyoku... a butterfly with a mullet in a dress.
Lille Baro is one of the those who stands out the most. He had an interesting get-up since his debut, which involved a white bicorne hat the same color as his hair, a top sleeveless on one side and adorned with white fur on the other, topped off by a gigantic rifle covered also swathed in white fur. Taken to new heights in Vollständig, in which he fashions himself a skirt and reverse heels when preparing to finish off Kyoraku.
The infamous spoon-shaped thing behind Nnoitra's head, and dear Lord, those shoes. Not quite so much when Nel was still around. Apparently he just lost what little fashion sense he had over the years.
Charlotte's ultimate form◊, which is supposed to be an over-the-top parody of Magical Girl anime. It makes his opponent Yumichika laugh so hard that Ikkaku, who was on the other side of the town and about to engage in his own battle, can hear him.
Foe Yay Shipping: There's a lot of shipping between Nnoitra and Nel. Some subscribe to the theory that he couldn't handle his feelings for Nel, others believe he really did hate Nel but also lusted after her.
Franchise Original Sin: The Thousand-Year Blood War arc features a lot of this, as lots of plot beats are re-used without the effort or care of previous iterations. Ichigo once again goes up against a powerful and numerous enemy force in order to save the life of his friend, but where the Soul Society and Arrancars were fleshed out, had awesome designs, and were developed just enough to seem like more than FlatCharacters, Yhwach and his cronies are decidedly not.
The Gotei 13 and Arrancar are awesome, with fan favorites like Kenpachi, Byakuya, Grimmjow and Ulquiorra being iconic unto themselves. While the Sternritter are certainly cool too, there are a whopping twenty-six of them compared to the much more constrained Gotei 13's... well, thirteen captains or the ten Espada. The Gotei 13 and Arrancars were able to be worked into the story easily, while the Sternritter fight for screen time and are fairly underdeveloped.
With Black Clover. Tabata has stated that Bleach was an inspiration of the series, and has a similar premise of Magic Knights and Soul Reapers being in squads that serve their respective countries. After Bleach had ended, many of its fans went on to watch/read Black Clover as a new action shōnen.
You can find many fans of Bleach being fans of Jujutsu Kaisen - it helps that Gege Akutami (The creator of Jujutsu Kaisen) has openly admitted that Bleach is one of his inspirations for the series, specifying that Satoru Gojo was inspired by Kisuke Urahara and Aoi Todo by Kenpachi Zaraki
You'll find that many fans of Hell's Paradise: Jigokuraku are also fans of Bleach due to the stories' similarities in kenjutsu-based battles and themes on life and death.
Thanks to Can't Fear Your Own World, you can find fans of others works written by Ryohgo Narita such as Durarara!! and Baccano!. It doesn't help that majority of the Durarara!! English cast have voiced characters in Bleach.
Second Espada Baraggan Louisenbairn is much more popular in the west than he is in Japan, his popularity exceeding Aizen's in some online places.
Shunsui also has a considerably larger fanbase with the American Audience.
Askin is only moderately popular in the east, but extremely popular in west.
Yasutora "Chad" Sado is very popular among Mexican fans, unsurprisingly, due to their positive representation through the character's background and the pride he has in his ethnicity.
Growing the Beard: Many will look to Rukia's self-imposed arrest and the Soul Society arc as the moments that really made the series intriguing. While the pre-Soul Society stories were mostly episodic, the Soul Society arc greatly expanded on the setting of the series and set up many of the series' long-term storylines.
A flashback gives a brief overview of Renji's promotion to sixth lieutenant. He was pursuing promotion to gain the social position necessary to rekindle his old friendship with Rukia, and planned to tell her of the promotion after her she returned from her assignment to the World of the Living. Unfortunately for Renji, it's Rukia's assignment to the World of the Living that kicks off Bleach, and his next meeting with Rukia is when he and Byakuya arrest her.
Early in the manga, a young Ishida tells his grandfather the old-fashioned Quincy uniform is totally uncool and needs a fashion-makeover. Later, when Ishida visits Hueco Mundo, a Large Ham scene has him declaring to the Arrancar he's defeated that "Aizen's True Enemy isn't a Soul Reaper, but a Quincy!" The Vandenreich later brings Hueco Mundo to its knees and sacks Soul Society. To go with their militaristic, ethnic-cleansing attitudes, these Quincies have had a Nazi-esque fashion-makeover.Curse you, Ishida!
The Beach Episode shows Captain Ukitake buried in a sand casket that gives the 13th Division first place in a sand-sculpting competition. Hilarious!...until we see Ukitake's actual grave in the penultimate chapter of the manga.
All of Captain Kyoraku's flirtacious interactions with his lieutenant, Nanao, become harder to watch after it's revealed that Kyoraku is her biological uncle.
Early in the series, as soon as the first chapters/episodes, Ichigo makes an off-hand comment about how people think he's some sort of delinquent for having natural orange hair, and that if he cared what they think he'd have just dyed it black years ago. Hundreds of chapters later, and Ichigo's Final Getsuga Tensho does exactly that while it's active.
The anime gave Ichigo a Quincy Cross on his bed◊ from the very beginning, although he's never had one in the Manga. That's always been very funny to the fandom but Chapter 515 makes this even more amusing. Chapter 515 confirms Ichigo is half-Quincy thanks to his Quincy mother.
Matsumoto's nervousness when faced with the creation of Harribel's fraccion gets harder to take serious when it opens its eyes later, revealing that she was staring at its nostrils.
The whole Cero Espada deal with Yammy. Fans have been mocking the idea that Yammy could be the strongest of the Espada despite his terrible track record in fights... then it turns out he is.
Chad is this in 2020 if you're at all familiar with some of the more terrible corners of the internet. He's a handsome, muscular dude with flowing hair who's literally named Chad, though given his consistently horrendous performance in battles and that he never does end up with anybody, he falls short of what an actual Chad is supposed to be like.
Despite her rough childhood and her having to deal with Gin betraying the Shinigami, Rangiku still manages to remain plucky, kind and strong.
Nemu takes a lot of abuse from Mayuri, but she doesn't let it affect her (nor does she show it often). In fact, the abuse seems to have decreased with every arc, so perhaps Mayuri may have softened up a little.
Kanae Katagiri. A genuinely kind young woman, deeply in love with Ryuuken, who is forced to witness his emotional breakdowns in "Everything but the Rain". She keeps her grief for him to herself until the very end of the arc, and holds it together well enough even then to coax him home after his Heroic BSoD. A few years after she manages to help him pick up the pieces of his heart, they marry and have a child together, what happens? She falls into a coma and dies.
It Was His Sled: Aizen being the Big Bad was a major spoiler for its time, but the series has gone on for so long with Aizen as the main villain, that his status as the villain is no longer spoiler-tabbed here.
Muramasa. Sure, he personally instigated the Zanpakuto Rebellion and incinerated Katen Kyokotsu and Sogyo no Kotowari to death, but as Kouga descended deeper into madness, he quickly became a self-centered, arrogant, abusiveJerkass that frequently treated Muramasa as a mere tool, instead of an actual person. However, since Muramasa was the one that led Kouga to his crazy, power-drunken self, one could say that he brought it on himself. This disharmony caused Muramasa to literally lose the ability to hear his master when needed...which led to Kouga stabbing Muramasa as soon as he was unsealed, completely uncaring about Muramasa's explanation.
Homura from the third movie. There's no denying that Homura was a stubborn, jealous, possessive, and irrational teenage girl, who had the potential to be as unstable as Loly can get at times, with an almost-unhealthy obsession towards Rukia to top it all off; but for all her faults, she was a sincerely sweet and cheerful girl, whose only wish was to reunite with the only other friend and loved one she had. In fact, she wasn't even evil to begin with, just selfish, naive, and misguided, with a justifiable excuse for her implied hatred (and fear) of the Shinigami. Considering her past, her interactions with Rukia are all the more heartwarming; as an orphan, she was forced to survive on her own in a lawless slum district, ended up getting murdered by an (albeit mind-controlled) Shinigami, absorbed said mind-controlling hollow into herself as a fail-safe to keep it from killing Rukia (thereby making it into the subconscious source of her power), and unintentionally causing the now-innate hollow spirit energy to revive and transport them to Hueco Mundo, where she presumably spent most of her life relentlessly fighting for survival against hundreds of cannibalistic monsters in a dimension she knew nothing about after forcing the still-barely alive hollow into submission. And keep in mind that, at the time, she was barely over the age of ten. The final kicker is that Homura was a genuinely likable and sympathetic character, even taking into account her Yandere/Psycho Lesbian tendencies, which makes her death scene even more of a Tear Jerker than it already is.
The arrancar Ulquiorra Cifer. He's stated to be the personification of Nihilism, is loyal to Aizen, considers Ichigo and all others below his power level little more than "trash", helps Yammy to kill Tatsuki's judo classmates, cannot comprehend things like love and friendship, kidnaps Orihime and verbally/psychologically abusive to several degrees towards her, physically mutilates her friend Ishida, and kills Ichigo in front of Orihime merely to prove a point to her, then taunts her until she massively breaks down. However, he seems to gradually soften up towards humanity thanks to his interactions with the captive Orihime, and Ichigo, too, to a lesser extent. He also regards the senseless killing done by other arrancars as childish, and is disgusted when Nnoitra says that he should rape Orihime. His death is also incredibly heartbreaking. It even seems like he is finally starting to understand human bonds, seeing how, in his last moments, Ulquiorra reaches out to Orihime and asks her if she finds him frightening, mirroring their conversation before Ichigo arrives in the tower. She replies with tears in her eyes that she doesn't and reaches back for him, but his body dissolves before they can touch. Of course, however, fans go from considering him a Jerkass Woobie to something else entirely. His backstory in "Unmasked" also reveals that he never experienced happiness and that his hollow brothers/clan tried to eat him because he was different from them. Again, don't forget that he is STILL a pretty creepy bastard when at his worst.
There's also Kaname Tousen, who betrays Soul Society for a hypocritical reason (going down the path with the least bloodshed by joining the Big Bad). His close friend was killed by her shinigami husband, after she scolded him for killing his comrade in battle. So, he joins up with Aizen, pretty much wants all the shinigami dead, and is willing to destroy a town full of people, all to get revenge on every single shinigami. After being beaten by his vice captain and being reminded of his errors by his best friend, Tousen seems to repent, cries, and wants to have one tender moment with his vice captain...and then blew up in front of his vice captain and best friend.
Hiyori Sarugaki, an aggressive and short-tempered girl with rather violent tendencies who seems to hate everyone around her. However, many fans felt sorry for her when Hollowfied Ichigo tried to strangle her to death and Gin cut her in half, as well as the part where she gets turned into a Visored in the first place. She also shows a more vulnerable side at times, such as when she confesses to Shinji that she hates humans and Soul Reapers.
Cirucci Sanderwicci is a rude and cocky bitch. Still, she's not all bitchy; in one specific scene, she does garner sympathy after losing her powers by showing a rather dignified sort of anger at her defeat, and generally showing Villainous Valor and a thoughtful attitude during her fight against Ishida.
Jackie Tristan of the mysterious organization Xcution. She tries to kill Renji and ends up dead instead, and Chapter 471 features her returning home with her dead brother in her arms to find her entire family slaughtered, which is the reason why she want with the Fullbringers in the first place.
Yukio Hans Vorarlberna. His sadism might've been biological, but he would've been far less homicidal if his parents gave enough of a damn to raise him properly. Fully explained in chapter 471: he was a former Cute Mute who was kept locked away by his parents due to his speech impediment, and was so lonely that he first used his powers to recreate images of his parents as sort-of Imaginary Friends.
For some, that would be Loly Aivirrne. Yes, she's a massive bitch and treats Orihime like crap, but it doesn't necessarily mean she exactly deserves to be mutilated by Grimmjow and later mauled by Yammy to almost death. A few also feel for Menoly, too, since her primary problem is that she follows Loly loyally in spite of her own doubts.
Bambietta was a psychotic, trigger happy bitch, yes... and that still doesn't mean Giselle's treatment (and conversion) of her as a zombie was right.
Bambietta Basterbine, of all people, can elicit such a response. Yeah, she's ruthless and temperamental, but to see her plead for mercy as her friends seemingly backstab her after she already was reduced to a half-dead state was a bit much. Falls into this trope entirely when it's revealed that her "friends" did kill her off, all for the sake of reviving her as a zombie slave. The person who killed her and has her under her control (Giselle) has already demonstrated that she can heal others so that was really more to satisfy their sadism.
In the pilot, Orihime's father more or less comes across as being like her brother in canon, except that he actually succeeded in killing her. However, since it's implied that being a Hollow in the pilot means that he no longer can go to Soul Society once he's destroyed, his despair is all the more poignant.
Ichigo's sympathetic traits and lack of explicit romantic interest in anyone for most of the series means that he can—and has—been paired with almost anyone in the cast. To such an extent that he's often promiscuous in fanfics.
For whatever reason, fans like to ship Rukia with a wide variety of characters, with her most commonly being one side of a Crack Pairing.
Les Yay: Several cases in which Orihime is easily the biggest case of Even the Girls Want Her in the series as she has had Les Yay moments with Tatsuki, Chizuru, Matsumoto, Riruka, Rukia, Loly, etc. In which certain fans have noted that some of these ladies have went further with her then Ichigo ever did.
Like You Would Really Do It: A long established meme in the fandom that protagonists or antagonists that become personally connected to Ichigo never die wavered in the final arc due to two significant protagonist deaths, leading into a battle between Byakuya and As Nodt. As Nodt uses Byakuya's stolen Bankai to defeat Byakuya in an unusually graphic manner. Ichigo finds Byakuya pinned to a wall by his own blood, his arms bloody stumps and his torso ripped open to the spine. With his final breath, Byakuya begs Ichigo to save Soul Society and apologises for not being able to protect everyone, especially Rukia and Renji. As Ichigo races to find Yhwach, Byakuya's head bows and his sword slips out of his hand, crumbling away into nothing. The fandom went wild with speculation for weeks until the confirmation of Byakuya's survival killed for good any remaining expectations within the fandom for any further protagonist deaths.
Never Live It Down: While a lot of Yamamoto's decisions afterwards were more reasonable (sending Ichigo backup in Hueco Mundo, trying to get him out of the way of his suicide attack, restoring his powers and not killing Ishida just for being a Quincy), a lot of fans probably aren't going to forget about him sentencing Rukia as a traitor.
Accutrone's cool mustache and him casually blowing out Shunsui's eye earned him a lot of praise.
With the anime's expansion and addition of certain scenes, Chōjirō of all people can now be categorized as this due to his surprisingly crucial role in ending the first blood war by stabbing Yhwach in the back - you can now find people claiming he's the sixthSpecial War Power, comprised over half of the Gotei 13's military might before his death, and so on.
Not necessarily Ichigo himself, but the reforged Tensa Zangetsu. Yhwach regards it as dangerously powerful, and actually suffers a One-Hit Kill when Aizen gives Ichigo an opening, yet it's often ridiculed for ease and frequency at which Yhwach breaks it (though one instance was just part of Aizen's illusions), most egregiously right after Ichigo first released it.
Orihime gets this reception for having a notorious arc dedicated to getting stronger that goes nowhere, with her in fact achieving the exact opposite results in the Hueco Mundo arc.
Chad's battle record is a common target of mockery, only displaying a decent performance against relative nobodies before getting trounced the moment he comes across a more credible threat (Soul Society and Hueco Mundo both had him smacked down shortly after managing a victory). Coupled with his minuscule plot relevance despite being one of the main characters, he's often ridiculed as irrelevant.
Renji is considered one of the weakest characters amidst the protagonists, even used as a benchmark to determine if an enemy is actually worth any trouble.note Basically, if Renji can beat them, then anyone can. This of course ignoring some of his more legitimate victories against the likes of Jackie and Mask. Doesn't help that Renji is the one of Bleach's poster boys for The Worf Effect.
Yammy is supposed to be the Cero Espada in his released state, yet much of the audience views him as a joke. Over the course of the Arrancar Saga, Yammy's simple-minded brutish fighting style gets him constantly humiliated. Ichigo quickly cuts off an arm and might have done more if his inner Hollow hadn't paralyzed him, Urahara fools him with a blowup doll and analyzes his Bala enough to neutralize further use of the technique, and Uryu uses anti-Arrancar mines from Mayuri to send him plummeting all the way down Las Noches. Even when he does release, Kenpachi and Byakuya have such an easy time handling him that he becomes an Ignored Enemy. It's probably quite telling that Aizen didn't bring him along to invade Karakura Town.
Loly and Menoly. They apparently have nothing better to do than to psychologically and physically abuse the captive Orihime for no reason, and the fights they do get in always end with them getting horribly mutilated and mangled in seconds. In Menoly's case, it's especially egregious, as she's more reluctant to take part in Loly's pointless and downright suicidal antics, only for Loly to bully her into submission and drag her down with her anyway. Not to mention that she never even gets to release her Zanpakuto.
Shaz Domino, for his stunningly poor battle performance - namely, against Ichigo, who instantly curb-stomps him while he's in the middle of explaining his powers, and Kira (a lieutenant, who themselves have imfamously poor track records when it comes to fighting Sternritters), who beats him into submission and subjects him to a Fate Worse than Death.
Mayuri's penchant for experimentation and the suggestive way he revives Nemu in the Arrancar arc causes fans to portray him as someone without much sense of personal space.
Shunsui's behavior towards his subordinates occasionally seems rather suspect, especially towards the future Lieutenant Nanao Ise during the flashback arc. Becomes a case of No Yay when it's revealed that they're uncle and niece through Shunsui's older brother.
Ukitake is shown to be awfully friendly towards the young Captain Hitsugaya, regularly gifting him snacks. This naturally leads to lewd comments about him from fans. He's also regularly shown to be friendly towards children, refusing to fight Lillynette and in the anime his zanpakuto are shown to be a pair of kids.
Things like stabbing Momo and placing his hand on Ichigo's chest to show how easy he could get to him causes some to jokingly interpret Aizen with sexual undertones.
Nnoitra's "rapeface" puts Grimmjow's Slasher Smile to shame. It's really not helped by him basically enacting Japanese porn kinks when restraining Orihime.
From his Zanpakuto's name being Fornicaras ("you will fornicate") to his ultimate technique impregnating himself in Nemu's body, Szayelaporro's full of sexual undertones.
Memetic Troll: Sosuke Aizen, a Soft-Spoken Sadist who practically rubs in the protagonists' (and the audience's) faces at every opportunity. While his plans were carefully laid out with judicious use of his zanpakuto's totally hax powers during the Soul Society arc, the infamous Hinamori incident in which he brutally showcased his Kyoka Suigetsu's abilities automatically propelled him from Chess Master to God of the Bleach-verse in the eyes of the fandom, with countless parodies to boot. Even after his eventual defeat, fans could still be heard musing that he's just using his Bankai to progress the plot.
While many fans criticize Kubo Tite for glacial pacing leading to Arc Fatigue, the most consistently reviled arcs are Invading Army, Bount, and Arrancar. Of those three, the first two are anime-only Filler which Kubo had little to no involvement with.
The abrupt ending to the Thousand Year Blood War arc that left several plot threads and character statuses hanging was often blamed on Shonen Jump for cutting the series shorter than intended, a misconception fueled by Bleach's decline in sales and general popularity. In reality, Kubo simply wasn't in proper health to continue the grind of producing a weekly manga chapter and needed an extended break.
While stabbing Momo and Aizen revealing he was manipulating her to be loyal to begin with is bad, most fans were ready to give up on him once he has Hitsugaya and several others stab her while using his powers of illusions to trick him to think she was him.
Ambushing Bambietta when she was at her weakest and turning her into a mindless, zombified slave has not exactly endeared her to the viewership (although she actually hasn't lost that many fans). She ironically made Bambietta sympathetic due to Giselle's pointless mistreatment of her allies.
Yhwach was always a prick, but it really hit home once we find out that he instigated a purge on "impure" Quincies, which led to the deaths of Masaki and Uryuu's own mother. What's more, Uryu was one of the targets... meaning Yhwach tried to kill an eight year old boy just for existing. The fans have turned against him full-force after that.
Narm Charm: The first opening, Asterisk, is hilariouslyindicative of mid-2000s anime trends with its constant "sliding" style of animation, showing characters in a variety of different outfits they never wear in the anime itself, occasionally garish color choices, and so on. Yet, all that combined with the genuinely great song and contrasted against some of the later, more generic "standing, running, fighting" openings ends up making Asterisk just as endearing and original as it is silly, to the point that it's held up as one of the best openings in the genre.
The infamous "since when were you under the illusion that Kyoka Suigetsu wasn't active all this time?" moment, featuring Hinamori getting stabbed by Hitsugaya thanks to Aizen's hypnosis. It was already bad when Aizen did it directly to her in the Soul Society Arc, but this one subsequent moment pretty much cemented Hinamori as the series' preferred stab victim.
Poor Orihime. You get kidnapped once, this happens only via a terrible Sadistic Choice that you truly can't refuse and suddenly, you're the Princess Peach of anime. It probably didn't help how similar the arc's setup was to the Soul Society arc, nor did the constant cries of "Kurosaki-kun!"
Any scene involving Nnoitra and Orihime. It's quite clear what he wants to do. Ulquiorra even calls him on it. In the transition from manga to anime, some of the subtext was toned down; for instance, where the manga has Nnoitra shoves his fingers down Orihime's mouth and throat (actually enacting a popular kink in Japanese porn) during Ichigo's fight with Tesla, in the anime he covers her mouth with his hand.
The reveal that Shunsui and Nanao are uncle and niece, with Nanao being the daughter of his older brother. Cue many fans abandoning ship.
Only the Author Can Save Them Now: in Gotei 13 Invading Army Arc, Kageroza Inaba has command over (stronger and more aggressive) copies of Kenpachi, Kyoraku, Ukitake and Unohana. His army is leagues above Espada, he has a cloning ability that wasted Ichigo's abilities, and he's got the ability to steal Nozomi's power, Ichigo's power and Yamamoto's power all at the same time. By the time he had fused with Nozomi to become Ouka again, the only way he could be defeated was through a massive cop-out: the reigai randomly turn against him to sacrifice themselves in an attempt to save Soul Society from destruction while Nozomi fights from within to regain self-control long enough to destroy Ouka's soul chain (which Soul Reapers actually don't possess in the first place), which both costs Ouka his power and Nozomi her life.
Periphery Demographic: One of the largest, strongest and craziest in the history of Shonen manga serialization. The generous amount of Action Girls and Clothing Damage the male characters suffer are major reasons why Bleach has quite a large female fanbase. In addition, there are several traits on this series that appease to the Shoujo fans: on one hand, Rukia and Ichigo get quite a bit of Ship Tease in the anime while on the other Orihime is a straight-up shoujo heroine placed in a shonen environment (cheerful personality hiding quite the issues, Magical Girl-like abilities, shoujo-like affections for Ichigo and borderline Pseudo-Romantic Friendship with both Rukia and Tatsuki included).
Platonic Writing, Romantic Reading: Ichigo and Rukia's relationship was meant to be seen as very close friends who changed each others lives, and so they have a deep bond because of that, but the way they talk about each other at times, scenes about the two draw attention to their deep connection, and instances where they are help the other at their lowest point, all contribute to it seeming like they were meant to be a romantic pairing for a long time. Both characters end up getting with other characters that they have considerably less on screen development towards by comparison. The anime included additional Ship Tease for them not present in the manga, which left fans confused when Ichigo and Rukia respectively ended up with Orihime and Renji.
Popular with Furries: It goes without saying, but Sajin Komamura is very popular among the furry fans of the series.
Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: During the Training from Hell segment of the Bount arc, Ririn's smug demeanor and grating laugh (in addition to the grating length of that segment itself) made her almost insufferable. After she officially joined the team, she becomes much more tolerable.
The Modsoul trio of Ririn, Noba, and Kurōdo were reviled during their debut in the Bount Arc for their individual traits. Ririn's sometimes loud and arrogant, Noba's too shy, and Kurôdo talks too much for the audience's taste. By the end of the Bount Arc they were not only reduced to comic relief, but allowed to leak into the canon material of the Arrancar Arc, quickly increasing their earlier hate.
Pepe Waccabrada, Sternritter L, is one of the few outright hated characters introduced in the final arc. While he isn't meant to really be likable given his actions, he's widely disliked for a combination of his tonally out of place design and abilities that, unlike Mask De Masculine, don't get offset by the characters capability during his fights, being a rehash of Zommari from the Espada (almost the exact same powers and both even fight Byakuya), and for slowing down the arc by drawing out several existing fights into his own (mainly the zombie fights). Worse, nothing truly happens during his appearances that justifies the arcs focus on him except very minor fights, so he just drags down the story, and his biggest accomplishment is being responsible for one Sternritter being knocked out.
Seasonal Rot: The Fullbringer arc is considered this by many, especially anime only fans. While the arc has interesting ideas and gives Ichigo some amount of development, the new Fullbring powers feel underused, the new characters are considered less interesting than ones who came before, and much of the history of Ginjo is never explored in the series, which leaves the arc feeling more like a filler arc compared to the previous. The only things people agree on are that characters like Tsukishima are great, as well as liking the chance to give the human characters more spotlight, but for many the arc feels wasted.
Ship Mates: On the more benign side, fans of one pairing generally support another pairing that makes a b-line for theirs. Those that ship Ichigo with Orihime tend to like Rukia, so they usually pair her up with Renji (which makes sense considering their backstory). Those that prefer Ichigo with Rukia are often more than happy to give Orihime off to Ulquiorra or Ishida (or sometimes Tatsuki or Riruka, while allowing Renji to go with Tatsuki. Even when they've never met.)
Shipping Goggles: Shippers of whatever pairing are particularly fond of using this as the basis for their "my pairing is better/more likely to happen than yours" arguments, but this also extends to anti-shippers and non-shippers. The latter two are often sick of these endless ship wars breaking out all over the fandom, and more often than not, use Anti Goggles in an attempt to stop the debate by 'proving' that there will not be any canon pairings whatsoever.
Ship-to-Ship Combat: While the entry elaborates more on just how bleh it gets at its absolute worst, we'll give you a bit of a preview. The three most prevalent characters in the ship wars are Ichigo, Rukia and Orihime. Rabid fans of both Ichiruki and Ichihime are notorious for clawing out each others' throats on a daily basis, while those that support Ulquihime end up primarily going against Ichihime.
Ships That Pass in the Night: Toshiro/Karin is one, especially since they only meet in anime filler-arcs. Tatsuki/Renji have a few fanfics despite never meeting in the series.
Mayuri Kurotsuchi's tendency towards invoking Body Horror sometimes reaches this level, but him molesting his lieutenant-slash-daughter definitely enters this territory. Szayel is full-on Body Horror and uses his zanpakuto release's abilities in ways that are highly reminiscent of molestation, and has a habit of moaning and licking his lips. It's not No Yay because he's not lusting after the heroes or deliberately being perverse, he's just gross like that.
Szayelaporro is squick incarnate, even more so than Mayuri. Even his "pretty" resurrection gets pretty gross when you realize it's a parasitic worm. His sword's name translates to "you will fornicate", for crying out loud! Since he specifically wants people to hate him, appearing as grotesque as possible is likely intentional on his part, or he could just be a narcissist.
Pepe Waccabrada's Vollständig involves this Fat Bastardstripping, leaving only an enormous diaper, as he shoots out his tongue in a very creepy manner. Yeeeesh.
Spoiled by the Format: The opening part of the Fake Karakura Town arc shows the lieutenants cutting down a few hollows and preparing to fight Baraggan's fracciones. Ikkaku, Yumichika, and Izuru are pointedly shown releasing their shikai as they carve up the Hollows. Shuhei, whose shikai is unknown to the viewer at this point, just gets a panel of his face before killing his target with his unreleased sword. The viewer can thus most likely guess that this is the arc where that shikai gets revealed for the first time. In the same sequence, when Baraggan is sending his fracciones to duel the lieutenants, all of them have panels of/pans over their faces except Cuuhlhorne, who is also the only one addressed by last name, so it's easy to understand his face and name are significant in some waynote Subversion—Charlotte's name and face are only the subject of a gag about him being excessively feminine.
Hisagi's just as hurt by Tousen's betrayal as Kira and Hinamori are about Gin and Aizen, respectively, but he doesn't allow it to interfere with his duties.
During the final arc, Komamura gives up his heart to obtain a human form and an invulnerable Bankai, but this ultimately reduces him to an ordinary wolf who can no longer serve the Gotei 13.
Ryuuken initially appears to be cold, aloof, bitter, sarcastic and hypercritical. Then it's hinted that Beneath the Mask he might be gentle and protective. Then a Whole Episode Flashback arc reveals he used to be a warm and kind personality with high hopes for the future of the quincies until Aizen's Hollowfication experiments incidentally destroyed his Arranged Marriage and he was forced to sacrifice that hope. Then it's revealed he could not fix the problem and had to stand aside while a Soul Reaper fixed it instead. Then his wife was killed and an attempt was made on his young son's life when a folkloric quincy prophecy came true. In the current storyline, he and his son Uryuu are badly estranged because Uryuu is furious that Ryuuken refuses both to use his quincy powers AND to explain his refusal. Ryuuken has downright encouraged his son to come to the worst possible conclusions about his motivations and we still don't know exactly why. Yet not once during all this has Ryuuken complained about how his life has turned out.
Shizuku from Bleach: Fade to Black, through all the stuff his sister did, still manages to keep his head rational and calm, maybe even a bit aloof.
Strangled by the Red String: A common complaint about Bleach's ending is the way that it paired its characters. While Orihime's crush on Ichigo was referenced as early as her first appearance, Ichigo never seemed to regard her as more than a friend—at best, a close, trusted friend—and seeing them together bothered a lot of fans. Ditto for Rukia and Renji, whose relationship was always described as familial and arguably more like siblings. Though both ships have their fans, most everybody agrees that the series didn't properly set them up before the epilogue.
Strawman Has a Point: Tosen believed that Soul Reapers were inherently corrupt, and did not fight for justice, but their own ends. Tosen eventually ended up betraying his own goals, but everything he said about them was not only right, but nothing in the story suggests that Soul Society has changed. For instance, Tosen resented the fact that his friend was murdered by her own husband and was not punished by the justice system for the crime because both were Soul Reapers. And while some prior injustices such as Rukia's sentencing and the banishment of the Visoreds were overcome, these were the actions of General Yamamoto, who Took a Level in Kindness by the end and used his emergency executive power to accomplish them. It's only after the deaths of Yamamoto and Yhwach that Soul Society begins the slow process of radical change, including disbanding the Central 46 and Hisagi beginning an investigation to obtain proper justice for Tosen's dead friend. Nothing is said about someone like Mayuri, however, who committed horrible deeds even well beyond what were considered Necessarily Evil. We're told that he was placed on trial for his actions before, but got off either because there were bigger problems at the time or because the Central 46 officially sanctioned them. After the crises are over and the Central 46 is disbanded, however, there is no indication of comeuppance for him.
Rukia's importance to the story plummets after the end of the Soul Society arc. Before that point, she is basically the number 2 character after Ichigo, but after that arc, she disappears from the story for a while and then only shows up sometimes as an ally. And to top it off, right before Ichigo goes off to the final battle of the story, he tells Rukia to stay behind with Orihime and instead goes with Renji, despite the fact that it would have been a perfect opportunity for a Book Ends to the story. Earlier moments in the final arc heavily imply that Rukia was to have more of a role in the finale, but due to the real world issues affecting the final arc, whatever plans were meant for her were not able to be followed up on. They start the story as partners and end the story as partners against Ywach. But no, she gets to stay behind and do absolutely nothing.
Out of all of Ichigo's friends Sado probably suffered from this the most. Initially he was setup as a strong ally to Ichigo, with his backstory and devotion to Ichigo endearing many in the fanbase to him. However, as the series progressed Sado was often used to establish the threat level of antagonists with many of his victories being immediately undercut by crushing defeats. Despite attempts to avert this with Sado being made Kubo never really seemed to follow through. All the training he underwent ending up as a bad case of Hard Work Hardly Works and his character arc unintentionally being cut short every time. The Lost Agent arc explores Fullbring (Sado's power type) and has him join the Xcution group to help Ichigo regain his Shinigami powers, yet Sado is barely part of the training process, establishes no relationships with the other Xcution members, does not learn anything from his time with the Fullbringers. Ultimately he was used as a pawn against Ichigo by the villains and not even allowed to join the final battle against the Fullbringers. The final arc is no better either, as he has very little if any relevance either.
Yoruichi makes quite an impression, being badass, intelligent and funny. Despite all that, her appearances after the Soul Society arc are very sporadic. She's given very little independence as a character, with her main role in the story relegated to being Urahara's lackey. Many questions and potential plotlines involving her (such as how her defection affected the standing of the Shihoin House, if she misses anyone in her family, why she doesn't carry a zanpakuto and how she can turn into a cat) are ignored for hundreds and hundreds of chapters. Some have been answered; the Shihoin house is still going strong, her younger brother Yushiro (who looks quite similar to her) is now head of the family.
Orihime and Chad in the Fullbringer arc. Both were focused on training themselves to cover for Ichigo, who lost his powers after his final fight with Aizen. While they show a bit of improvement from before the Time Skip, they mostly end up reduced to pawns for Tsukishima's Book of the End to psychologically torment Ichigo, and get knocked out for the rest of the arc once the Shinigami (and with them, Ichigo's powers) are reintroduced to handle Xcution.
Unohana. The first Kenpachi, the original Yachiru, and the worst criminal of the Soul Society, is perfectly willing to die so she could power up Zaraki. Additionally, her backstory remains undeveloped. We're not told how she got from being the worst criminal in Soul Society to the motherly healer seen throughout the series and it's not explored which, if either, should be considered the "real" personality. Further, many fans feel that Zaraki's improved abilities are more of a Power Up Letdown, since he's supposed to be so strong that nothing can stop him, and yet he keeps being taken out either by enemies even his zanpakutou spirit says he should be capable of beating alone or by his own powers backfiring, and the only thing he really ends up accomplishing post-empowering is being so powerful so as to essentially scare a reality-warping Sternritter into killing himself with his own powers.
Nelliel is mostly just tags with Ichigo for most of the Hueco Mundo arc acting purely as a comic relief. Then finally get the reveal about her true nature, kicks a good amount of ass...and then her power runs out. Basically a glorified Hope Spot. To which she's regulated to Ichigo's cheering squad for the rest of the arc. Worse, there's no follow up to her once the arc's over. She's just gone without a trace for the Deicide through Fullbringer arcs before returning for the Vandenreich arc wherein, despite regaining her adult form once again thanks to a bracelet Urahara outfitted her with, she doesn't even get to have a single fight due to the series sudden ending.
Uryu Ishida unfortunately fell into this camp during the Thousand Year Blood War arc. Considering the fact that the arc was focused on the Quincies, and he was the only truly established Quincy before it began, it would make a lot of sense for Uryu's character to be heavily spotlighted and his backstory examined, especially when it's revealed that he has joined the Vandenreich. Instead Uryu appeared very sporadically throughout the arc with only a little focus on his character when necessary. Worse the reveal that he was a mole within the Vandenreich (already in itself a patently obvious reveal) comes off as poorly thought-out on his part, since he doesn't really accomplish anything in this role. Uryu doesn't even have a proper fight during the arc getting mostly Curb Stomped off-screen by Jugram before the latter gets absorbed by Yhwach and then only getting to fire a single arrow at said villain to end the final fight.
The Visoreds during the final arc. The three returning captains, Shinji, Rose and Kensei are beaten around in each fight they show up in (the later two outright die, then are briefly zombified, and despite being cured by Mayuri, they don't appear until the epilogue), and they glaringly never even attempt to use their Hollow masks, which would not only augument their powers but could give them an advantage against the Quincies, who are revealed to be susceptible to the essence of Hollows. The other Visoreds sparsely appear, with their most notable appearance being an utterly inconsequential team attack on the enlarged Gerard (though at least they tried using their masks).
Guenael Lee had an interesting ability, a novel appearance and a chance to give Yachiru some time in the spotlight. He accomplished the latter, but once that was done, he was casually thrown away in favor of Gremmy, who himself just existed to further extol how amazing Kenpachi is.
Rangiku Matsumoto has an established connection to no less than three characters of importance throughout the series. Not only was she childhood friends with Gin Ichimaru but she was also the lieutenant of Isshin Kurosaki when he was the captain of Squad 10 and was also an incarnation of the Soul King before Aizen ripped that part of her soul out and fed it to his Hōgyoku when she was young. None of these connections or events are ever really used to give Rangiku meaningful Character Development (Rangiku and Isshin don't even interact during the final arc) and her primary role in the series is either as Toshiro's sidekick or Ms. Fanservice.
Tessai Tsukabishi. He's a former Soul Reaper of the Kido Corps, making him essentially The Archmage in terms of Kido, and potentially the best (or one of the best) users of it in the series. Plus he has a history for Urahara, the Visoreds, and knew of Aizen's evil like those who were wronged by him. Unlike just about all the other exiled Soul Reapers, he never gets any chance to appear in any meaningful way beyond being a shopkeeper, while being mostly comic relief. He's the only one of that group to not show up to fight Aizen or the Vandenreich, which is strange when everyone else appears in either arc to fight.
Jushiro Ukitake. One of the oldest Captains in the series, essentially the equal to Kyouraku, and someone tied to the deep history of Soul Society alongside Yamamoto, Unohana, and Kyouraku. Of all of them, he's used the least in the wider story, sitting on the sidelines for most of the story and only having two fights, one against Yamamoto that is offscreen, while the other, a brief fight against Starrk, gets ended when Wonderweiss injuries him and takes him out for the rest of the arc. This is made worse in the final arc, where it turns out he's Living on Borrowed Time thanks to having a piece of the Soul King in him as a child, only to then perform a Heroic Sacrifice that only buys the heroes a few minutes at best. Compared to the other three Captains, he gets barely any usage in the story, his powers are barely explained and utilized, and his personality remains almost entirely just a Nice Guy even with the vague hints of Beware the Nice Ones. While some of this is understandable since he has an illness that cripples him, he gets virtually no exploration save his past, which is used to justify his Heroic Sacrifice moreso than giving him more depth.
Ginjo was the first Substitute Soul Reaper who turned against the Soul Society because he felt betrayed. His actions were the reason it was against the law to give humans Soul Reaper powers. He had potential to explore more of Soul Society's dark past and being setup as Ichigo's Evil Counterpart. Despite having all these interesting elements Ginjo's history wasn't explored in detail unlike the other members of the Xcution and he's defeated in a single chapter after both he and Ichigo release their bankai. Fans felt cheated at not getting Ginjo's history, especially since it was hinted that he knew of Urahara and Isshin. He had the chance to appear in the final arc, but he only appears roughly twice before vanishing, both times being mostly just cameo roles with no significance.
Tatsuki is possibly Bleach's crowning example of a wasted character. Early on in the story, things seemed to be setting up for her to join the main cast. To wit, she is a childhood friend of Ichigo, is one of the best martial artists in the country, and develops spiritual awareness early on. However, once characters started getting powers, Tatsuki didn't. After this, she spends several arcs Locked Out of the Loop and hell-bent on figuring what the hell is going on with her friends. She's shown several times to have high spiritual power for a human, and when the Deicide arc comes around, she's the first person in Karakura to wake up. After Aizen's defeat, she finally gets the explanation that she's been looking for off-screen, and then she has no further relevance. She easily could have awakened powers during the Fullbringer arc or the final arc, and been an ally for Ichigo and the others to defeat Ywach, but she ultimately gets one minor appearance before vanishing until the final few pages of the manga.
Par for the course for many Sternritters, but the fandom hyped up Robert Accutrone to be Shunsui's No-Nonsense Nemesis after shooting out the latter's eye. The reality is that he gets absurdly little screentime, only has his name and rank revealed after over 100 chapters (nearly 2 years), before biting the dust as necromancy fodder.
Despite his deep backstory, Ryuuken is underused in the story heavily. He gets one "fight" against Uryu when wanting to unlock Uryu's powers again, before sitting around the series and doing nothing to advance the story. The final arc especially has him sitting out despite the Big Bad being responsible for the death of his wife, and his cousin who he was close to (Masaki). He appears once to hand over the item needed to beat the Big Bad and then vanishes. Its especially bad when you consider that Isshin gets to actually show up and fight Aizen, and gets a larger role in the story despite both being framed as characters in the same position narratively speaking.
Some fans feel this way about the conflict between Mayuri and Ishida, especially given Mayuri's escape without comeuppance and that his actions were largely brushed under the rug afterward. Kubo wasn't planning it to go that way, however, as he wanted to pit Uryu and Mayuri into several fights before Uryu finally avenged his grandfather.
Gin reveals that when they were kids, Aizen removed a piece of Rangiku's soul as part of an attempt to create a proto-Hogyoku. How this affected her and why she doesn't seem to remember isn't explored, and since then the plot point hasn't been acknowledged in any way, shape or form. The later released novels make this worse by revealing she had a part of the Soul King in her. Such a major reveal would make it seem like she is important, but after the Arrancar arcs end, she hardly appears.
During the Fake Karakura Town arc Ulqiorra implies that Aizen has done something to significantly alter Orihime. This is never mentioned again. As well, when she's captured by Aizen, she vows to use her powers to return the Hogyoku to a state of non-existence. This never comes up again, leaving it unclear what purpose she was meant to serve besides motivation for the heroes.
Despite being confirmed to exist in the setting, Hell is only mentioned once throughout the manga and only makes a reappearance in the tie-in chapter for the Hell Verse film, which is very disappointing to some. Thankfully, Hell would be revisited in the "No Breaths From Hell" anniversary chapter, which introduced some very unsettling implications about the connection between the Soul Society and Hell.
In the Lost Agent arc, its implied through Karin's interactions with Urahara and a comment about her reiatsu increasing by Ichigo that Karin is preparing to become a Soul Reaper in order to protect Ichigo and the rest of their family. Given that, just like her brother, the next arc reveals she has a Quincy mother and a Soul Reaper father, this could have been an interesting way of allowing her to become an ally in the final arc, either as a Soul Reaper or even awakening Quincy powers. Instead this plotline ends right after it gets introduced and Karin never again has anything to do with becoming a Soul Reaper.
Some fans had been hoping to see Bambietta use Komamura's Bankai, which she stole during their first battle, in their second fight. Instead, the Bankai were stolen back by their Soul Reaper owners giving the Stern Ritter access to their Vollständig again. Sure, we got to see Komamura fight with an upgraded Bankai, but it still could have been an interesting battle.
In the finale, Hisagi is forced to undergo training by Kensei to awaken his Bankai so that he can fight in the final battle. Nothing comes of this at all, and he doesn't play any role in the final battles of the series, nor do we see anything about his Bankai at all. The plan was to use it during the final war but had to be cut off due to Kubo's declining health forcing him to end the final arc abruptly. The spin-off novels do have him use his Bankai there, but due to the questionable canonicity of them, Hisagi never actually showcases his Bankai in a 100% canon fashion.
Too Cool to Live: Being one of the most powerful Shinigami, Yamamoto's death early in the final arc greatly increased the stakes and made the Vandenreich a much scarier opponent for the remaining characters.
Ugly Cute: Ashisogi no Jizo in Bankai looks like a hybrid of moth and hydrocephalus baby. But looks more adorable than creepy. Manifestation Spirit of Zanpakutō that appeared Zanpakutō Rebellion arc looks even more adorable: a normal child with moth-like features.
Unintentionally Sympathetic: Bambietta is an arrogant Jerkass and psycho bitch. Her Karmic Death and Giselle's treatment as her Zombie slave should be viewed as some well-deserved karma. However, it turns out that Giselle never brainwashed her and she still retains her consciousness before being killed by her comrade, which means that her submissive side is her actual personality. As in Bleach: Can't Fear Your Own World, this tropes seems to have been played deliberately by show her having some severe case of PTSD and Stockholm Syndrome.
Both of the captains who ditch Soul Society with Aizen. Tousen abandons his closest friend Komamura to travel the path of least bloodshed to justice, which apparently includes supporting Aizens slaughter of an entire town, and he repeatedly mocks Komamuras appearance when he gains sight. Gin Ichimaru spends over a century helping the Big Bad with little reservation, and seemed to have a personal cruel streak regardless of Aizens influence. When he reveals that he was always looking for an opportunity to kill him as revenge for taking a piece of Rangikus soul, the mournful tone over his death can feel a bit undeserved.
Hiyori Sarugaki, one of the exiled Vizards, comes off as incredibly bratty, hot-headed and just an overall Jerkass ever since her debut. Sure, what happened to her was a horrible situation out of her control, but the Turn Back the Pendulum arc shows she was always a jerk, regularly attacked Shinji for no reason and gave Urahara a lot of shit just for being promoted to Captain and replacing the woman Hiyori looked up to, not to mention the other Vizards went through the same thing and manage to not lash out at every person who even slightly pisses them off. She even casually mentions wanting to kill Chad and Orihime for getting too nosy about the Vizards, even though Shinji is the one who suspiciously joined Ichigo's school despite clearly not being a teenager in order to put pressure on Ichigo. When she gets bisected by Gin when she rushes to attack Aizen (despite Shinji specifically warning her not to do that) during the Fake Karakura Town arc, a lot of the fans felt like her brash, reckless behavior finally and deservedly bit her in the ass.
Nnoitra is a disgusting misogynist and sadist, but Nelliel was foolish to continually spare him while she was an Espada, rubbing each defeat in his face and not expecting him to eventually retaliate. She viewed her actions as compassionate and respectful to a colleague, but it was blatantly obvious that Nnoitra was beyond help.
American culture has a relatively strong taboo (and in some areas, relatively strong LAWS) against first cousin marriage, while in Japan cousin marriage is fully legal and perceived more as quaint and odd than Squicky. Some American fans' reaction to the arranged engagement between first cousins Masaki and Ryuuken (which is presented as a casual aside) brought the dissonance to the front.
Japanese culture tends to view child abuse as a private problem that should be dealt with inside the family first and foremost, while Western attitudes are much more interventionist. From a Western perspective, Chad and Orihime both living without guardians by age 15—Orihime has been living alone since middle school, specifically because of parental abuse, and having limited economic support from her only living relative instead of living with her—can be difficult to suspend disbelief for. Reality Is Unrealistic, in many Western countries, even America, there are many officially and de facto independent minors in situations ranging from parental abandonment to walking out themselves to separation agreements that provide support but not control.
Kubo really really likes the Japanese Spirit trope, and as a result, many characters (especially Ichigo) have the tendency to power themselves up through sheer force of will. While it makes sense from a Japanese perspective, in Western eyes it often looks like the characters are pulling new abilities out of their behinds.
Japanese fans sympathize with Hinamori's loyalty towards Aizen and her reluctance to accept his true nature, making her popular over there. Western fans tend to see her as someone in deep denial, and find her characterization foolish rather than sympathetic, making her rather base-breaking.
The complicated relationship between Captain Mayuri and his daughter/clone Nemu seems absolutely strange to Western audiences. Later chapters reveal that Mayuri views Nemu as his scientific Magnum Opus, and thus he holds a lot of pride in her growth and is unwilling to see her killed even to save his own life. This is treated in-universe as a sweet sentiment on Mayuri's part, and the closest he can ever come to Petting the Dog. In Japanese culture "amaeru" is referred to as a type of love that one feels towards a societal inferior (such as a child or subordinate) by which you are compelled to treat them well for selfish reasons. The chapter in question was thus demonstrating that since Mayuri has invested so much of his effort and pride in developing Nemu, he feels "love" (amaeru) towards her. Nemu's thoughts on the matter sum this up for the audience.
Some people didn't realize Luppi Antenor was a boy until one of the Espadas explicity referred to him as such.
Many people, especially manga readers, have mistaken Wonderweiss Margela for a girl.
Parts of the fandom are convinced Berenice Gabrielli is female, and most (but not all) English translations claim the character is male. The Japanese refers to Berenice in a manner that does not confirm gender. The character's face could be either female or bishounen and even the name doesn't prove anything as Tite Kubo has given several males feminine names, including the main character. This leaves fans arguing over the gender of this character with no resolution in sight given the very minor role in the story this character has played.
Most refer to Äs Nödt as male these days, but there's still some confusion about his gender, even though he refers to himself as the masculine "boku" in chapter 501. While at a book festival in Germany, Tite Kubo confirmed the gender as male, but some parts of the fandom still think the character is female.
Vindicated by History: The Fullbring Arc was hugely disliked when it came out, with people feeling that the series should've ended at Aizen's defeat, and feeling like as if Kubo was just milking the series. But nowdays the Arc is looked at more positively thanks to the Character Development of Ichigo, as well as the introduction to fan favorites such as Ginjo, Tsukishima, and Riruka.
What Measure Is a Non-Badass?: Most characters in the story that have suffered from break-downs and moments of giving up entirely tend to receive sympathy, justifications and forgiveness by the majority of the fandom, who regard it as good character development in a story about constantly warring spiritual factions. Orihime is a pacifistic healer with shielding powers, who is singled out both in-universe and out as being unsuited for battle, leading to a kidnapping that split the fandom due to abuse of different kinds being heaped upon her without respite until it reaches breaking point. Part of the fandom believed this to be the natural outcome of her type of powers and personality, given that even talented fighters were struggling to succeed. Part of the fandom believed this made her irredeemable for not transforming into a warrior character to fight back in a successful way. The debate became high profile enough to reach the creator's ears, whereupon he stepped in to explain that Orihime's experience is a natural human reaction to the level of abuse and stress she had suffered. The fandom uses the author's statement on both sides of the debate.
The replacement of "Shinigami" with "Soul Reaper" in the English releases, something that the Japanese studio actually agreed with. Kubo himself even said that the name "Soul Reaper" is a better fit for what the Soul Society are over Shinigami.
In Japan Gin has a Kansai Regional Accent. The Kyoto accent is softer, more polite and more indirect than standard Japanese. They couldn't quite pull that off for the English version seeing as it would sound downright silly and uncharacteristic, so instead he gets a faux-British accent with a facetious tone.
The Spanish occasionally gets partially cleaned up as well. Yammy screaming "¡Suerte!" (Luck!) was changed to "¡Qué suerte!" (What luck!).
Another change in the Spanish: As he uses Sprenger on Szayel, Ishida goes from saying "Hasta Aqui" (see you later) in the original, to "¡Está terminado!" (It's over!) in the dub.
Hilarious in Hindsight: When the full cast list was announced, Toku fans called the movie a Kamen Rider Fourze reunion, since Ichigo, Ishida, and Orihime's actors played Gentaro/Fourze, Ryusei/Meteor, and Nadeshiko respectivelynote For extra humor, the roles are somewhat analogous: Souta Fukushi plays The Hero (reviewers have even noted that Ichigo acts more than a little like Gentaro in the movie), Ryo Yoshizawa plays the Aloof Ally who mellows over time, and Erina Mano plays Fukushi's Love Interestwhose thought processes are a bit unusual.. This even got acknowledged by the movie's official Twitter account, which shared a picture of the three actors in costume performing Fourze's memetic "Uchuu KITAAA!" pose.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Not really changes made for the movie's story, but the voice cast for the English dub of the film. While some actors being replaced was understandable, Michelle Ruff being changed to Cassandra Lee Morris was not well-received, though not because of Cassandra Lee Morris being cast as she's a loved voice actress and a decent choice to replace her, but because it turned out Michelle hadn't been notified of the change. Given how Rukia was a Star-Making Role for her and a role she has stated multiple times remains one of her favorite roles period, many were upset at her iconic role being taken away from her in that manner, especially since several characters have their original voice actors, like Ichigo, Orihime, Uryu, and Urahara (at least, his later voice actor).