Bleach is a good choice for you if you’re looking to observe the process of the mainstream anime of the 2000’s and what they tried to pull off to sell and stay relevant. If you want my short review, give Bleach a try no matter what people have said, as despite many shortcomings, it presents a very interesting and enthralling universe.
Here’s a little spoiler alert for the people who are planning on watching the series. I will try to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible!
The setting is quite unique! Shinigami, or Soul Reapers, that have their own special society watch over the souls in the living world. Each Shinigami carries a unique sword (soul slayer) or Zanpaktou that has its own unique name and abilities based on the wielder’s style and personality. Alongside them are the Hollows, and two subgroups later to be known as the Vaizard and Arrancar. It is this unique setting that gives Bleach the power to create so many characters under such a captivating environment, and this I believe, is one of the story’s strong points. In terms of plot, it isn’t very strong. The whole ‘rescue a friend’ is seen in pretty much every anime, and the whole ‘I need to get stronger to protect my friends’ is equally overdone. But I personally enjoy watching series with this type of theme.
Bleach Story Review
The story of Bleach is fantastic at times and dull at others. Episodes can leave you at the edge of your seat, unable to stand the thought of having to wait till next week to see what happens next, or begging for the current plot to end and to get to the next part where something interesting happens. When the story isn’t filler, it is usually exciting, fast-paced, and filled with plenty of action and epic fight scenes. Unfortunately, the fillers are why the story loses points as none of them so far have been enjoyable to watch or added anything in terms of character development or exciting plot lines. While the plot isn’t very unique and follows the old tried and repeated “I must get stronger to save my friends” routine, it does have some interesting plot twists that make it not as predictable as you would think, and the conflict between the world of the Shinigami and the world of the Hollows and its impact on Earth, that is caught up in the middle, is very fun to watch.
Arcs (Bleach Review)
Bleach has some of the best arcs in shounen. I will be going over some of my favorite arcs below.
Soul Society Arc
It is divided into 2 main parts: the first, in the world of humans, where Ichigo acquires shinigami powers for the first time, and the second in the Soul Society, where Ichigo and his friends go to save Rukia.
I found the first part quite nice and relaxing, in fact, after acquiring the powers, Ichigo and Rukia seem to have fun in the world of humans, killing some occasional hollows and having a good time with their friends, but the whole thing is not destined to last, because Rukia must return to the Soul Society.
Hueco Mundo Arc
This arc is also full of fights; some not really necessary, I gotta say. And they only serve to unnecessarily lengthen the arc.
In this arc, the Espada make their appearance, causing several fights in the human world, and as the SS prepares for the winter fight against them and Aizen, Orihime is kidnapped.
After the final battle against Ulquiorra, which marked the end of the arc, the protagonists suddenly realize that they have no clue how to go back from the Hueco Mundo. All the while, Aizen and the remaining Espada headed to Karakura Town to activate the power of Hogyoku.
Bleach has a huge number of characters, some of them developed fairly well, otherwise poorly. But it is the huge cast of such unique and usually admirable individuals that makes this anime so captivating. You just hold your breath every time someone pops in to release their soul slayer or Bankai. It’s because of all these characters and their own unique swords and abilities that the fights in this anime are worth watching.
This I find, is one of Bleach’s strongest qualities. The soundtracks really intensify the battles and make even the smallest things seem cool. That’s what Bleach is good at; making things seem cool! Honestly, Bleach has some of the best OSTs out of all anime. Everyone loved the way Shiro Sagisu played with the instruments for the Anime. Some of my favorite OSTs from the anime were Clavar La Espada, Invasion and Nothing Can Be Explained. In particular, the Hueco Mundo OST really impressed me.
The animation and visuals are quite the hassle to discuss, because the quality keeps on changing. At its worst, it has low frame rates, offset character designs and framed action, while at its best, it is vivid, meticulous, and full of soft motions and beautifully animated special effects. Most of the time, however, it is decent. Not average, but not bragworthy in any way.
The voice acting was a hit or miss for me. Sometimes it feels like the voice actors lost all of their passion because they got bored of the project. Most of the times, you see a real talent behind the voice acting which gets us further invested. The anime can also be enjoyed in English dub.
Bleach Review Final Verdict: 7/10
The first time I saw this anime, I found it good, but it didn’t particularly impress me. Instead, I must say that after rewatching it, I appreciated it much more, noticing things I hadn’t seen before. A lot of things, from the story to the good characters have a positive mention from me. I definitely recommend watching this anime!
Want to watch Bleach right now? Check out our other article about the top 5 places where you can watch Bleach.
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