I take all forms of entertainment (video games, films, books, TV shows, comics, etc.) and review it for the delight of the readers of this blog.
Bleach ReviewMay 27th, 2012 at Sun, 27th, 2012 at 9:07 pm by andrewnisargand
Oh boy. This is something that I have long been working at people. Bleach is…well it’s interesting. Bleach was one of the first animes that I started watching and I generally have a soft spot for it. The concept was generally interesting and the characters were entertaining and ran then line between funny and action packed. Here’st the thing though, and I really do want you to read the rest of my review, but it really went off the rails really fast. I’m just gonna go into my review now, but I thought I’d mention this in advance.
So okay the premise is that the main character, a high schooler by the name of Ichigo Kurosaki, can somehow see ghosts. He has lived with this power all of his life but one day (the first episode) he spots a woman in a black kimono with a katana who goes by the name Rukia. Her job is the position of Shinigami (someone who ferries the spirits of the dead to Soul Society and rids the world of dark spirits known as Hollows). After a Hollow attacks and horribly injures her, she passes her powers to Ichigo. The show then goes from there, with Ichigo taking his new found position and working it into his own life. Sure there are other arcs later about the entry into Soul Society and invasion of the Hollow home plane but the basic premise is Ichigo working as his hometown’s Shinigami. The premise is quite strong, as it’s rather interesting to see Ichigo balancing the life of a Shinigami and his teenage life. The story does however, go off the rails later in the series. But I’ll get into that later.
The characters are staggered in their introduction so I don’t actually want to talk about them here as I really do not want to unveil some of them to you. But let me just say that Ichigo is nowhere near the only man with powers in this show.
The music is one of the best parts of this show actually. It manages to be perfect for the mood of the show and enhance things without seeming in any way forceful or out of place. This is actually generally pretty shocking, there have been more than a few shows that would be absolutely perfect if not for the soundtrack.
The writing is high quality, with the characters managing to play off each other really well, especially the relationship between Rukia and Ichigo. When the other characters do show up, I won’t say who they are, they manage to mesh perfectly with the other members. Another thing I generally like is how for the first couple arcs, the cast generally stays small. This, much like with DBZ, changes very fast though to a huge number of people you generally don’t care about though. This get’s frustrating far too fast, mainly because the scenes constantly keep switching and can’t hold a coherent narrative structure.
Here’s the main problem I have with this show though, despite all the positives, this show completely lost its mind. The scale went completely out of whack and power levels are all over the damn place. For example, the main villain (who is revealed during arc 2, spoilers) somehow manages to fight off the entire Gotei 13 and all their lieutenants and not break a sweat. Makes me wonder why he evens bothers with his master plan. It doesn’t even understand it’s own system of power in the later arcs, with blows that cut characters in half in the first season, barely slicing someone’s skin later on. Not saying this shouldn’t happen, but when you define how strong someone is and define what kind of damage they can do, then show the earthshattering kaboom style effect, I WANT TO SEE BLOOD. Or at least some kind of damage. I get the “every increasing power level” thing, I love DBZ. And that show also lost it’s mind. When we see they can cut down buildings without even trying early in the series, you can’t really go too much higher from there. Also, the fights, just like in DBZ, have an annoying habit of taking four episodes. I looked up, for this review, a fight between main characters later in the show, it was on youtube at 45 minutes. That also isn’t even the main fight for the arc. Who thought that was necessary? Since the majority of that time, they’re just trading slashes that mean absolutely nothing and exchanging pointless repetitive dialogue. Also, the anime has this annoying habit of going into year long boring filler arcs. I know this is a normal thing for long running anime but with Bleach it really just starts getting terrible. So those are my complaints in a nutshell: villain’s too strong, fights too long, gore disappears, cast too huge, dialogue is repetitive.
Look here’s the thing though, all of the problems I just stated come later on in the show. It’s more of a steady decline. The show starts out amazing and stays that way for the first two arcs. Even the third arc, although filler, is generally pretty badass. However, the Arrancar arc is where it just starts to go downhill. Trust me on this. Just watch the first arcs. Those are absolutely great. So I’m giving this show a 2 out of 5. The later negatives just outweigh the initial positives too much.