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RoloLamperouge
November 28, 2010, 01:37 PM
Have you noticed that since the Aizen arc ended and the new arc started, it feels like a completely different manga.
The story of Ichigo, a highschool kid with a part time job, who while walking one day sees a man chasing after a robber and decides to stop the robber and return his stolen goods, the man who he helps then shows up at his work telling him that his father might not be who he thinks he is and asks him how much he truly knows about him. Meenwhile his sister with spiritual powers seeks help with a candystore owner with a connection to Ichigo's father.

I kinda like this, its got a lighter feel to it and this could have well been a good setup for a one shot.

Revolation
November 28, 2010, 02:37 PM
Have you noticed that since the Aizen arc ended and the new arc started, it feels like a completely different manga.
The story of Ichigo, a highschool kid with a part time job, who while walking one day sees a man chasing after a robber and decides to stop the robber and return his stolen goods, the man who he helps then shows up at his work telling him that his father might not be who he thinks he is and asks him how much he truly knows about him. Meenwhile his sister with spiritual powers seeks help with a candystore owner with a connection to Ichigo's father.

I kinda like this, its got a lighter feel to it and this could have well been a good setup for a one shot.

two words.
"Early bleach"
(sans a shinigami which was rukia)

basically it feels like early bleach at first, but now the plot is picking up more. early bleach, as in pre-ss arc, was what i consider before rukia got kidnapped was like 40+ chapters, but by 40 chapters into this arc the action would have picked up alot IMO. though don't forget early bleach had the most character dev imo. SS arc was basically to dev the SS people. the vaizards couldn't even get developed in current timeline so they had to have a tbtp mini-arc to develop them then they just get owned by aizen so hopefully we see from them again.

1035AMC
November 28, 2010, 06:59 PM
I feel the same. In my opinion it could have ended right after capturing Aizen, and to make it better explaining everything about ichigo's family

kulash05
November 28, 2010, 10:10 PM
I like the new chapters, and hope they keep up with the good stories of old bleach (but i wouldn't mind them picking up the pace a bit). One thing i do notice different then old bleach is it's not as comical. I just finished reading the first arc out of boredom and there were always jokes going on with Ichigo and Rukia. It makes sense right now because they are building an aura of mystery and suspense, while the old bleach was just doing character development.

Arrogance
November 29, 2010, 01:04 AM
I feel the same. In my opinion it could have ended right after capturing Aizen, and to make it better explaining everything about ichigo's family
Well the explaining of his family seems to be a major focus of this arc. The new mystery man Ginjou. He has made it apparent that this arc is going to focus on Ichigo's family. As well there is no mystery surrounding Karin's actions with Urahara. Even though this arc has a more "normal life" feel it it, it is going to be anything but normal and we are quickly getting back into the mystery of the Kurosaki family. Its just a matter of the setting being different from what we have seen and the circumstances of the characters being something we haven't experienced since the beginning of the manga. For me its not a different manga but just a short change of pace. :amuse

kkck
November 29, 2010, 01:55 AM
I like the new chapters, and hope they keep up with the good stories of old bleach (but i wouldn't mind them picking up the pace a bit). One thing i do notice different then old bleach is it's not as comical. I just finished reading the first arc out of boredom and there were always jokes going on with Ichigo and Rukia. It makes sense right now because they are building an aura of mystery and suspense, while the old bleach was just doing character development.

I am guessing that bit of humor is gone because rukia has yet to appear lol. Anyways, I don't think humor will play that big of a part for a while. Ichigo should get his powers back fairly soon if he is to take a part in what is to come and by the time that happens there won't be much time for rukia's awkwardness and humor. I guess it does kinda depend on where exactly kubo goes with the story.

Jorge D. Dragon
November 29, 2010, 02:39 AM
kkck
Yes, I agree. Ichigo should get his powers rather soon, cause it was the most important thing about his development during the manga. He always does everything extremly fast. So we'll see him regaining his powers rather soon, cause Karin seems to not have shinigami powers as for now and her reiatsu surely isn't on Ichigo's level even when he was in the begining of the manga, so he will surely need to regain his powers.

Also about Bleach for now... I don't think it's a different manga. Sure Kubo changed the pace and went from constant fighting to the slice of life, but now he is building the tension and mystery at least for one arc and maybe even for the bigger perioud of time. Surely will get the information on Isshin and Ichigo's family. Also we may get a bit more information on Urahara.
Though it won't be bad to speed up the pace.:)

DaoneLuffy
November 29, 2010, 11:41 AM
Kubo disappoints me to no end, Bleach is almost too heartbreaking to read but I have to see where he is going with this.

ZERO PHOENIX
November 29, 2010, 02:43 PM
I agree with Straw Hat. Kishimoto's work is highly disappointing. But I must admit that when compared to the last 200 chapters which were gutter trash, I'm actually digging this new arc. Bleach has left a bad taste in my mouth for the passed year, you might say it lived up to its namesake. I'd like to think of this new arc as a fresh start for Kubo. Not so much as a re-invention or restart of Bleach, but a new beginning. Of course, this could just be another screw-up atop Kubo's list of many.

Kaiten
December 01, 2010, 06:06 PM
I'm enjoying the new arc. It's moving a bit slow for my taste but at least it's not fight to fight to fight to fight tournament shonen. There are upcoming developments I care about: Karin's role, Ichigo's powers, Kurosaki family history, Ginjou's remarks about Urahara, who he and his friends are, and who they work for. Lot's of good stuff coming up, known of which hinge around who's bankai is the biggest.

@Revolation: Dead on. The new arc reminds me of the Substitute arc which gives me a lot of hope for the future.

thornofcarrion
December 02, 2010, 01:38 AM
I like the new arc, reminds of when Bleach started. What is more exciting is, we will get answers of to many questions - Isshin's story, info about Kurosaki family, SS King, etc. Overall, I have a positive feel to it.

conn-man
December 02, 2010, 03:25 PM
well kubo is definitly giving this new arc a a sightly different style to help encompas the mood. hes drawing every one a bit more 'model-y' and i think hes enjoying drawing all these real world outfits now that he doesnt have to worry about shinigami and arrancar clothes for a while.

Anyarel
December 05, 2010, 06:49 AM
It's so much like Beelzebub now! =o
But, at the moment, it's way more interesting than the Aizen arc! XD

chorns
December 05, 2010, 11:17 PM
Yeah, I think this will be an interesting/exciting arc from beginning to end. I already like how down to earth it is compared to the the aizen arc! I liked the constant fighting in the last arc for a while, then it got boring, until the very end when Ichigo was showing his new powers after the training.

Kaiten
December 08, 2010, 01:50 PM
Definitely interesting and exciting so far. For the first time in a long time I feel a lot of suspense each week. I want to know what happens next, I want answers to all of the questions Kubo is raising.

p1xel
December 08, 2010, 01:53 PM
I like the new arc, it could start like this. I`m not disappointment, i like thinking and crime mangas. New arc is good without 1000fights.
But yes, it feels different. But it`s good IMO.

Kaiten
December 08, 2010, 04:53 PM
That's still the worry, in the back of my mind, that this arc will descend into a 1000 fights. Some good battles at the climax would be great, of course. But I worry it will turn into Arrancar Arc part II. I keep remembering that the Arrancar Arc started like this, up until Orihime was kidnapped it was a plot oriented arc too. Hopefully Kubo doesn't let this one get away from him too.

RoloLamperouge
December 09, 2010, 01:32 PM
Well, hopefully this arc will have more Orihime, Sado and Ishida in it and explain some mysteries. And I really hope that Chad isn't kidnapped :amuse

Mauricio Raphael
December 15, 2010, 11:28 PM
The environment and plot of this arc is different from the previous arc especially the recent one but that doesn't make it feel like a different manga, just different. I feel that most people got into the manga at the Soul Society arc or the Arrancar arc (like myself) in which there were lots of fights happening. Personally, I haven't read all of early Bleach chapters yet but I do remember the anime episodes and this arc is definitely similar but different from early Bleach.

shaheer
December 16, 2010, 05:23 AM
true Bleach feels like different manga, it seriously feels like Psyren. calling and using a card a sinister group etc

Hystzen
December 16, 2010, 06:42 AM
it feels like a manga...not random fights one after another


kubo writing plot that has pacing..yea not for everyones taste but dont think kubo or even i care..dont like it dont read it .simple as.

il take plot,pacing over fight after fight anyday

Katsura
January 04, 2011, 11:10 AM
the feeling is different because rukia's missing just wait when she'll come back everything will turn badass again

AlB
January 04, 2011, 02:02 PM
the feeling is different because rukia's missing just wait when she'll come back everything will turn badass again

and Kon :s where's Kon?!?! how can Kubo ignore a spectacular character like Kon?! :cussing

anyway, as Lord Aizen's proud fan I sincerely hope that he will get out of prison soon, and together with Kon-sama's glamour will once again lead this manga to its glory!!!

ZERO PHOENIX
January 06, 2011, 03:29 PM
Yeah after reading it for awhile, it doesn't feel as drab as the crap that Kubo usually puts out. He seems to be focusing on mystery and suspense. I'll take a good story over generic fight scenes that go on for an entire volume any day of the week. The question is will he maintain this pace or will Bleach once again degrade to a poor man's fight club?

Crude
January 07, 2011, 11:15 AM
Yeah after reading it for awhile, it doesn't feel as drab as the crap that Kubo usually puts out. He seems to be focusing on mystery and suspense. I'll take a good story over generic fight scenes that go on for an entire volume any day of the week. The question is will he maintain this pace or will Bleach once again degrade to a poor man's fight club?

I like this comment mainly because you mentioned Fight Club :D!

Anyway, I'm liking this arc so much more than the past one full of fighting. There was no real feeling of catharsis (am I using that word right?) for a long time, mostly because the fighting never ended. Another reason I'm liking this arc is that it's focusing a lot more on mystery and suspense, a bit like the Arrancar Arc before they went to Hueco Mundo. I just hope Kubo will include fighting the way he did in the Soul Society Arc instead of the last one.

kidopitz27
January 14, 2011, 06:36 AM
yeah bleach is somewhat change and i wish that ichigo will lose even though he acquired a new power i don't like ichigo will be like a mask rider that obtains new power and pawn the enemy and then pawn again by a powerful one and the trains again it's somewhat repeatable so this arc is good with the suspense bits :)

mak123
January 14, 2011, 07:26 AM
You are right. I too think that bleach is different now (and think that kubo wants to go on with bleach for 10 years), but i like these chapters. Except ichigo and ishida, he didn't develop other characters, but now he started developing inoue and chad.

Cyber34
February 26, 2011, 11:58 PM
Bleach feels different alright, feels like a rip off of Yu Yu Hakusho right now with just a little bit of difference.

Nonlife
March 01, 2011, 01:28 PM
Bleach feels different alright, feels like a rip off of Yu Yu Hakusho right now with just a little bit of difference.

Definately reminds me of the earlier start of the Sensui saga, when regular humans started becoming "psychics." Right now, it feels repetitive - which is regular for some manga (new arc, new "bad guy") - with the Xcution squad, who just seem like a bad ripoff of the Vaizard, in the "helpful mysterious group" category. They just seem like posers to me, after watching the certain climax of the story when Aizen fell from glory.

ibi
March 03, 2011, 04:57 PM
Definately reminds me of the earlier start of the Sensui saga, when regular humans started becoming "psychics." Right now, it feels repetitive - which is regular for some manga (new arc, new "bad guy") - with the Xcution squad, who just seem like a bad ripoff of the Vaizard, in the "helpful mysterious group" category. They just seem like posers to me, after watching the certain climax of the story when Aizen fell from glory.

i just think they feel rely weak, compared to how strong ichigo was recently, its lyk i feel bad everytime sum1 owns him, cuz if he didnt sacrifice his powers for these losers he wud own them wid a fart, haha,

but tbh, i do like how kubo has carried on the story in this way, cuz normally they just get tooooooo powerful and blown way out of proportion from earlier arcs. cuz i feel that if he carried on, it wud destroy all of the earlier characters, alot like dragonballz,

so for me its the right way forward, its just slow paced like evry other manga EVER.

Orxon
March 05, 2011, 02:38 PM
Bleach changes somewhat with every arc, I find. The arrancar arc had a completely different set up and progression compared to Soul Society arc (and obviously it wasn't as well written.)

Nonlife
March 05, 2011, 05:48 PM
I saw the same setup - for Ichigo - in the Hueco Mundo arc just like the Soul Society arc (with minor changes).

1. First, he fought Dordoni, a "nobody."
2. Next, he faced Grimmjaw - after Inoue healed him from his "fight" w/ Ulquiorra.
3. Then he faced Nnoitra.
4. Finally, he battled Ulquiorra.

If you look think about it, the battles Ichigo waged in both worlds are almost the same scenario:
1. Dordoni's seemed like a lowly soldier like Ikkaku; but don't underestimate either of them!
2. Grimmjaw was as loud&obnoxious as Renji - disregarding they're motives.
3. Nnoitra's was like a distant cousin to Kenpachi - but he has less honor. (He'll resort to anything.)
4. Ulquiorra was the "top" quiet Bishounen-type, just like Byakuya. Plus, both fights may not be considered a total "win" for Ichigo. (His hollow side ended up saving him.)

Buzz Killington
March 06, 2011, 03:52 AM
Yeah I agree, and I'm not really feeling the current happenings too well. Maybe with a few more chapters or time, I'll grow to like it. It's just so far it seems more like an Anime Filler Arc put into pages

Takahashi
March 06, 2011, 11:18 PM
I have no problem with it for now, as this is a "set up" arc after all. Although I do admit I miss the action, but it's well within acceptable limits for long enough to transition into the next arc.

Hystzen
March 07, 2011, 01:32 PM
I have no problem with it for now, as this is a "set up" arc after all. Although I do admit I miss the action, but it's well within acceptable limits for long enough to transition into the next arc.

i rather have plot then mind numbing action.

the main trouble is people got used to the Gotei13 and captains. kubo accidentally boosted them into main characters even though they are just sub characters. if the HM arc was just about ichigo n co kicked espada ass it would been better imo instead kubo made them weak and brought in captains which made everyone weak and pointless now people prefer gotei13 rather then the main cast of Bleach thanks to kubo.

hopefully he corrects this with current arc which he seems be doing i actually would like the gotei been enemies again (reluctant enemies following RG orders).

luffyg2
March 10, 2011, 07:13 AM
Totaly does.. especialy with this new arc.. no more soul society or even shinigami... ichigo with no sword.. a bunch of fullbring thing we never heard about before... some of those things are intersting but it does not really feel like bleach anymore .. even the art and the way to place dialogue have change... now we have giant panel with as few words as possible

kamakazi_1996
March 22, 2011, 12:42 PM
i feel sort of nostalgic, it reminds of the beginning of bleach but i dont think it will remain this way if ichigo gets all his powers back when that happens there will be huge destructive battles with buildings being destroyed with villains possibly more powerful than aizen

POW
March 23, 2011, 06:37 AM
The pacing is too slow and yes it does remind me of the beginning of Bleach except its even more boring. We have too may characters in this show and no one ever dies except the bad guys so soo much for the cost of war.

It was nice for about 5 or so chapters but now its getting old we will probably spend all of 2011 in this boring arc and learning very little about the main plot.


Oh and BTW in case anyone missed it this was all part of Aizens plan that Ichigo develop fullbring hes playing into his hands again. lol

AlB
March 23, 2011, 06:45 AM
I saw the same setup - for Ichigo - in the Hueco Mundo arc just like the Soul Society arc (with minor changes).

1. First, he fought Dordoni, a "nobody."
2. Next, he faced Grimmjaw - after Inoue healed him from his "fight" w/ Ulquiorra.
3. Then he faced Nnoitra.
4. Finally, he battled Ulquiorra.

If you look think about it, the battles Ichigo waged in both worlds are almost the same scenario:
1. Dordoni's seemed like a lowly soldier like Ikkaku; but don't underestimate either of them!
2. Grimmjaw was as loud&obnoxious as Renji - disregarding they're motives.
3. Nnoitra's was like a distant cousin to Kenpachi - but he has less honor. (He'll resort to anything.)
4. Ulquiorra was the "top" quiet Bishounen-type, just like Byakuya. Plus, both fights may not be considered a total "win" for Ichigo. (His hollow side ended up saving him.)

Not only fights dude! Plot as well:
Ichigo and Co invade another dimension (SS/HM) to save a damsel in distress that is considered a traitor (Rukia/Orihime). During their journey in the enemy dimension they are guided by insiders (Hanataro/Nel) :notrust

Darkp
March 23, 2011, 06:55 AM
I saw the same setup - for Ichigo - in the Hueco Mundo arc just like the Soul Society arc (with minor changes).

1. First, he fought Dordoni, a "nobody."
2. Next, he faced Grimmjaw - after Inoue healed him from his "fight" w/ Ulquiorra.
3. Then he faced Nnoitra.
4. Finally, he battled Ulquiorra.

If you look think about it, the battles Ichigo waged in both worlds are almost the same scenario:
1. Dordoni's seemed like a lowly soldier like Ikkaku; but don't underestimate either of them!
2. Grimmjaw was as loud&obnoxious as Renji - disregarding they're motives.
3. Nnoitra's was like a distant cousin to Kenpachi - but he has less honor. (He'll resort to anything.)
4. Ulquiorra was the "top" quiet Bishounen-type, just like Byakuya. Plus, both fights may not be considered a total "win" for Ichigo. (His hollow side ended up saving him.)


Not only fights dude! Plot as well:
Ichigo and Co invade another dimension (SS/HM) to save a damsel in distress that is considered a traitor (Rukia/Orihime). During their journey in the enemy dimension they are guided by insiders (Hanataro/Nel) :notrust

Those are the reasons , until now Kubo copy/paste his previous good arc template with minor changes and with new faces . But this arc look so different cause it looks like he discarded that plan , and started compelety a new set up .

SaintSheik
March 23, 2011, 01:18 PM
The Bleach Tournament is making up for the lack of action in the current plot. Once that finishes, and the tournament-inspired matches end as well, I could see a whole lot of bitching and moaning in the horizon. Still, I appreciate some plot/development after the mind trip that was Deicide.

WaveBossa
April 06, 2011, 10:51 AM
Its long, but I have wanted to post this for quite some time
--------------------------------------------

I have been reading Bleach for years now, and I have to say, not much outside of this new arc is keeping my interest in Bleach. We all like to make fun of Bleach's weaknesses, and laugh at Kubo's retconns, but every manga has retconns, every manga has unbelievable plot twist, what makes Bleach any different?

I personally believe that Bleach has lost its identity. No, I’m not talking about cool sword abilities, amazing art, and Kubo constantly reminding us that he wants to be a fashion designer. No, bleach still has all of that. But quite honestly, all of that is fluff, what Bleach has lost is its identity, and I'm afraid it might not be coming back.

You may be wondering what I mean by this, so let’s go back in time to the beginning of Bleach. High School kid who can see spirits, introduce a female lead who is a spirit, hilarity ensues. Pretty common cookie cutter beginning, but I can't fault Kubo on that because there is no reason to reinvent the wheel. What set Bleach apart was character interactions and a strong feeling of loneliness (I would go so far as to say loneliness is a central theme in Bleach).

The loneliness Ichigo felt was by no means artificial. He lost his mother. He was sad because he had an ability that he didn't know how to deactivate and it made him different from anyone else he knew. It also made him an outcast in his own mind, not knowing if he could even trust his family with this information.

Ichigo wasn't a complete loner in society’s terms, he had friends, made good grades, and was "cool" in the eyes of his peers, but how often did we see Ichigo relate to others?

Rukia changed Ichigo. She saved him, saved his family, gave him new powers, gave him something constructive to do with the powers and abilities that had been haunting him for all of his life. This is what made Rukia and Ichigo's back and forth so entertaining and captivating. There was something of substance there.

All of this leads up to the most important event that happened in all of Bleach, when Ichigo faced the Grand Fisher. A prominent source of his loneliness, the monster that killed his mother and caused him so much grief. Just having Ichigo get through this with the help of Rukia was and still is the most memorable part of Bleach.

This is what made the scene where Rukia leaves a touching and moving scene. And same with the scene where Ichigo saves her from execution. Truth be told, we actually cared when Rukia left because we saw how much she changed Ichigo, how much she saved him from his self-doubt and solitude.

Now, if you are still reading this, you are probably thinking, "This guy is just praising Bleach, why does he say it’s lost its identity?"

Well, because since then, Bleach has never been the same. I'm not going to go into the details and recap everything that has happened since like I did above, and I will not, for one second, say that nothing good has happened in Bleach since them (because there have been some great upsides), but I will say that it is not the same.

) The changes and progression of Ichigo’s character seemed to have been rolled back at the beginning of every arc.

) Rukia has not been the same since regaining her powers. The once key factor of Ichigo's growth has been reduced to a girl who just says "ICHIGO..." from time to time... and not much else.

) Relationships like Orihime+Ichigo, Ishida+Ichigo, Chad+Ichigo are virtually unchanged despite being 440+ chapters into this story, and despite the fact that these characters have been to hell and back with each other more than once. They sometimes don’t even feel like friends. And don’t even get me started on Ichigo+Tatsuki....

) Isshin killing the Grand Fisher, without even a mention of his wife, seemed to be more of a needless display of strength, rather than a moving battle like Ichigo vs. Grand Fisher.

) Ichigo seems detached from the fights he has fought since the soul society arc. During that arc we really felt a sense of urgency in saving Rukia (and her execution date moving up). But in the Arrancar act, I often forgot Orihime was even captured. It felt more like Ichigo was just... there... and the others were settling the score with Aizen. If they happened to save Orihime along the way, it was an added bonus. Even Grimmjow pointed out that Ichigo cared more about fighting him than saving Orihime.

I can look at a character like Naruto, and even though that manga has its own shortcomings, I can look and say, "Wow, Naruto has really come along from being a snotty little kid to maturing and coming closer to achieving his goal"

I can look at Ichigo, and say that honestly he hasn't come very far since the event with the Grand Fisher. Yeah Naruto had a time skip and grew up, but you don't need to grow up physically to grow up mentally. I feel give kubo some credit, Ichigo feels more matured in this current (fullbringer) arc. But his strong desire to protect his friends is juxtaposed with the way that he interacts with his "friends." IT just doesn't add up. If they mean that much to you, it should come across that way, not only when their lives are in danger.

Now, I have avoided talking about Plot for the main part (look, not even 1 mention of Aizen), because I didn't make this post about the plot of Bleach. You can argue that with many members on this website if you are so inclined.

You can argue about Bankai, databook stats, who beats who, and who is the most attractive, and who is really dead all you want, but that’s just extraneous information.

Plot is great, characters are even better, and cool abilities sell games, but if the soul and identity is missing, it all just feels.. empty.

But let us not be like those who read without hope. I have approached the fullbringer arc with the utmost positivity, ignoring the utter failures (in some regards) of the Arrancar arc.

And I gotta say... this feels much better already. Here's to a better Bleach in 2011

Takahashi
April 06, 2011, 01:09 PM
I do agree, but most things generally decline rather than improve once they've started off strong. I do think that his arc is an opportunity to bring the weaker guys like Ichigo's friends into focus, and Bleach will be better off both from a story perspective and for the "useless factor" to be diminished.

It may not be what it was in the beginning, but because of Aizen being done with, it opens up the possibility for Kubo to do something new, without being bound to the path he opened up a long time ago. The Arrancar arc was generally not as well received as the SS arc because the urgency, surprise, and introduction of many new ideas wasn't as big of a part. At least with the "revert back to the beginning" idea, Kubo still has a chance to set the stage for another SS quality arc, and I don't think the Fullbringers are a bad place to start really.

I'd disagree with Naruto being any better though. It went from the Pain Invasion and making Naruto outclass everyone in the village, effectively making them useless in comparison(Not too different from Dangai Ichigo), to becoming just a clusterfuck of fanservice to end the manga. I don't think it's better off, in fact, I'd say worse.

kamakazi_1996
April 06, 2011, 01:15 PM
i have to agree with you there, it doesn't feel the same as it used to, ever since the part where ichigo achieved bankai and defeated byakuya it hasn't been as good as should have been, i cant put it into words but it feels like the battles have no emotion and feeling in them and when they have, it is shadowed by massive power-ups and abilities that cover them all up.

there were some good moments e.g. ichigo vs shirosaki/grimjow/ulquiorra

but those were only moments, i want an arc that is perfect and as good as the first ss arc

ocajavati
April 06, 2011, 01:21 PM
Bleach lost its identity after its first few arcs.

You heard it first here.

:oh

WaveBossa
April 06, 2011, 01:27 PM
I do agree, but most things generally decline rather than improve once they've started off strong. I do think that his arc is an opportunity to bring the weaker guys like Ichigo's friends into focus, and Bleach will be better off both from a story perspective and for the "useless factor" to be diminished.

It may not be what it was in the beginning, but because of Aizen being done with, it opens up the possibility for Kubo to do something new, without being bound to the path he opened up a long time ago. The Arrancar arc was generally not as well received as the SS arc because the urgency, surprise, and introduction of many new ideas wasn't as big of a part. At least with the "revert back to the beginning" idea, Kubo still has a chance to set the stage for another SS quality arc, and I don't think the Fullbringers are a bad place to start really.

I'd disagree with Naruto being any better though. It went from the Pain Invasion and making Naruto outclass everyone in the village, effectively making them useless in comparison(Not too different from Dangai Ichigo), to becoming just a clusterfuck of fanservice to end the manga. I don't think it's better off, in fact, I'd say worse.

Yeah, infact throughout the post I stated how I felt that fullbringers arc may be able to rectify some of the past problems (not talking plot here). And I fully agree with what you said about the arrancar arc.

And about naruto, i'm not talking about power levels. I"m not talking about fighting. I"m talking about his character and his personality. He feels more matured and you can see the growth there. It woudlnt' matter if he was the weakest character in the manga, i'm not really focusing on fighting, because power levels and fighting are just extra.

I'm not saying naruto is a better manga than bleach by any means, i'm just saying the growth in naruto's character is something I woudl have liked to see in bleach in the arrancar arc.
[hr]

Bleach lost its identity after its first few arcs.

You heard it first here.

:oh

I cant tell if you are agreeing with me, summarizing my post, or saying "wow breaking news, we already knew that"

hard to tell context with in text sometimes

ocajavati
April 06, 2011, 01:33 PM
I cant tell if you are agreeing with me, summarizing my post, or saying "wow breaking news, we already knew that"

hard to tell context with in text sometimes

A bit of everything, tied in with a general disappointment with Bleach in its current state.

:oh

Takahashi
April 06, 2011, 01:50 PM
And about naruto, i'm not talking about power levels. I"m not talking about fighting. I"m talking about his character and his personality. He feels more matured and you can see the growth there. It woudlnt' matter if he was the weakest character in the manga, i'm not really focusing on fighting, because power levels and fighting are just extra.

True, but part of your problem was some of the relationships between Ichigo and the others becoming diminished. The same type of thing easily happens when the main character skyrockets in the power levels, the lower guys, even if they're important to the story, never have the same kinds of interactions, and if they can't keep up in the fighting department, they're generally forgotten. Look at DBZ, Krillin and Piccolo went from helpful, to semi-helpful, to useless, to being turned to stone and then back, and then useless some more. They're important characters, but if they can't hold their own, they won't get the same kind of screentime, and thus, less interactions with the main character, and others in general.


I'm not saying naruto is a better manga than bleach by any means, i'm just saying the growth in naruto's character is something I woudl have liked to see in bleach in the arrancar arc.
<hr noshade size="1">

I know that. My point was more in terms of development. Naruto isn't the same kid he used to be, but it's due more to the beginning of things, not progression. The whole "dunce wants to be Hokage" thing makes Naruto maturity and progression fairly simple, until the end of the manga, he can have steady growth.

With Ichigo, it's not half as easy. Gran Fisher could never be the end of the manga, Kubo made Ichigo have a shorter term goal. Because of that, any further growth he has can only be due to completely new enemies, which isn't easy. Because of the length of the Arrancar arc, the only possible chances for growth of the main character could only be due to fighting, as there's no real story connection and deeper emotional factor present. Orihime was taken, but with Rukia, there was a time frame, a short one at that for the execution. It's always easier to create tension with a countdown, and then a "we're doing this in a few days because we feel like it".

Simply put, I don't think Kubo's ideas after the SS arc were bad. But because of the beginning of the manga having much less flexibility, as well as a much shorter time frame for the resolution of his goal, Bleach was never really the same as Naruto to begin with.

WaveBossa
April 06, 2011, 02:14 PM
True, but part of your problem was some of the relationships between Ichigo and the others becoming diminished. The same type of thing easily happens when the main character skyrockets in the power levels, the lower guys, even if they're important to the story, never have the same kinds of interactions, and if they can't keep up in the fighting department, they're generally forgotten. Look at DBZ, Krillin and Piccolo went from helpful, to semi-helpful, to useless, to being turned to stone and then back, and then useless some more. They're important characters, but if they can't hold their own, they won't get the same kind of screentime, and thus, less interactions with the main character, and others in general.


This is actually very good point. I guess the reason why this did not bother more so much was becasue the relationships naruto had with anyone outside of iruka and team 7 were weak and never really drove the story. They were only important as long as they were strong. That is one of my problems with naruto, and I have to agree with you there.




I know that. My point was more in terms of development. Naruto isn't the same kid he used to be, but it's due more to the beginning of things, not progression. The whole "dunce wants to be Hokage" thing makes Naruto maturity and progression fairly simple, until the end of the manga, he can have steady growth.

With Ichigo, it's not half as easy. Gran Fisher could never be the end of the manga, Kubo made Ichigo have a shorter term goal. Because of that, any further growth he has can only be due to completely new enemies, which isn't easy. Because of the length of the Arrancar arc, the only possible chances for growth of the main character could only be due to fighting, as there's no real story connection and deeper emotional factor present. Orihime was taken, but with Rukia, there was a time frame, a short one at that for the execution. It's always easier to create tension with a countdown, and then a "we're doing this in a few days because we feel like it".

Simply put, I don't think Kubo's ideas after the SS arc were bad. But because of the beginning of the manga having much less flexibility, as well as a much shorter time frame for the resolution of his goal, Bleach was never really the same as Naruto to begin with.


The part I made bold is where I agree with you 100% more than anything. I understnad that the premise of Bleach has never been that simple but every story should have themes, even if if its a slice of life. Yes, you can still find entertainment from something that has no theme, and the fighting in the arrancar arc was very entertaining.

But my post wasn't that "Bleach sucks now" it was just that Bleach lost its identity. (i'm not accusing you of saying i said that). Gran Fisher was never going to be the end, I agree, but it should have been the start of something good. And it was, up until the end of the soul society arc.

Once again, we are pretty much in agreement, i'm just clearifying what I meant. How you can have an entire arc where Rukia and Ichigo's relationship, THE driving firce of the entire manga up until that point, became an afterthought is beyond me...

Takahashi
April 06, 2011, 02:23 PM
I'd say it's an afterthought because of power yet again. In the beginning, she was essentially Ichigo's teacher, giving him the basics and helping him win in situations where he otherwise wouldn't have. When she was captured, Ichigo still had to learn and progress, from different people, but the focus was still on their relationship. He saves her, and has reached a level FAR above her. Then it's not long before she has a hole punched in her chest :blink

That's why I have faith in this new arc. Ichigo's friends will undoubtedly get better, we've seen mention of the VC's and generally weaker people going off to train. I think this could be the turning point where everyone gets to a level where they can fight, maybe not on par with each other, but at the very least rely on each other. That alone opens up the interactions between them. I guess we'll have to see, but I hope it turns out that way.

And Tatsuki seriously needs powers now, she should have a long time ago :darn

Magnus
April 06, 2011, 02:26 PM
i cant put it into words but it feels like the battles have no emotion and feeling in them and when they have, it is shadowed by massive power-ups and abilities that cover them all up.
Getting a bit off-topic here but saying that the battles have no emotion is, IMHO, sort of exaggerated. And I don't see how massive power-ups and abilities can "cover" them. A battle like Komamura+Hisagi vs Tousen was anything but emotionless, and offered a massive power-up (Tousen in Visored and Ressureccion modes).

Back on topic, I'd say that I just don't feel any loss or decrease in Bleach's identity or essence. My guess is that Kubo is so busy with managing so many characters, it makes him forget some old things like Ichigo's "loneliness".
And now that I think about it, doesn't Ichigo feel kind of lonely, now that he's the only one among his family & friends to be totally unable to feel reiatsu and stuff like that ? Maybe he feels lonely because of his current powerlessness ? Isn't he trying to get rid of this loneliness by becoming a Fullbringer ?

Anyway, the respective beginnings of both part I and II of Bleach kinda share the same mood, at least for me, and for that I don't feel like the identity had been utterly lost. Even if Bleach lost it, it's surely not as blatant as when you compare Dragon Ball (kid Goku) with Dragon Ball Z (adult Goku).

WaveBossa
April 06, 2011, 03:08 PM
Getting a bit off-topic here but saying that the battles have no emotion is, IMHO, sort of exaggerated. And I don't see how massive power-ups and abilities can "cover" them. A battle like Komamura+Hisagi vs Tousen was anything but emotionless, and offered a massive power-up (Tousen in Visored and Ressureccion modes).

Back on topic, I'd say that I just don't feel any loss or decrease in Bleach's identity or essence. My guess is that Kubo is so busy with managing so many characters, it makes him forget some old things like Ichigo's "loneliness".
And now that I think about it, doesn't Ichigo feel kind of lonely, now that he's the only one among his family & friends to be totally unable to feel reiatsu and stuff like that ? Maybe he feels lonely because of his current powerlessness ? Isn't he trying to get rid of this loneliness by becoming a Fullbringer ?

Anyway, the respective beginnings of both part I and II of Bleach kinda share the same mood, at least for me, and for that I don't feel like the identity had been utterly lost. Even if Bleach lost it, it's surely not as blatant as when you compare Dragon Ball (kid Goku) with Dragon Ball Z (adult Goku).

You bring up a great point with komamura vs tousen, that fight was one of my favorites in the entire arc for the exact reasons you mention (srsly this fight > Aizen vs Ichigo in terms of meaning). And there were other highlights in teh arrancar arc. As I said before, the arc wasn't without its gems.

And I will also agree with you about ichigo trying to finally overcome this loneliness and solitude by getting his powers back. And I will also agree that it is nothing on the level of dragonball compared to later dragonball (only the anime added the "Z").

But I just felt that if someone were to ask me "What is the overall theme of Bleach (every story needs an easily identifyable theme)" after reading the first arc up to the soul society arc, I could asnwer them instantly. and list many ways where everything tied into it. I would say that its a story of a boy trying to overcome his deep sense of loneliness, learning to rely on others, and finding a purpose with his powers (protecting his friends). I would then go on to list the many things that tie in with that premise.

Ichigo's hollow world (how it rains when he is lonely and downcast)
The poetic monologue by inoue (If I were the rain... etc)
His relationship with tatsuki
Rukia as an outcast (both for her crime and the fact that she wasn't royalty)
and many other reasons, some of which I have already included.

However, If I were to look at the Arrancar arc, and try to answer the same question, I couldn't answer it with sense of certaintity. The scene where his new boss, the shop owner says to me "You can trust adults" just came across as forced and corny, but if I were to read that back in the earlier chapters of Bleach, it woudl feel natural and in place.

Bleach really does feel like a manga focused on belonging and loneliness, whether or not this was on purpose is anyone's guess.

And yes, I do agree that this current arc is coming back to this, but I am very cautious...

I wish the best for Bleach, I woudln't still be reading if I didn't like it. I'm just saying I want kubo to get to that central theme, and I think we will all benefit.
[hr]

I'd say it's an afterthought because of power yet again. In the beginning, she was essentially Ichigo's teacher, giving him the basics and helping him win in situations where he otherwise wouldn't have. When she was captured, Ichigo still had to learn and progress, from different people, but the focus was still on their relationship. He saves her, and has reached a level FAR above her. Then it's not long before she has a hole punched in her chest :blink

That's why I have faith in this new arc. Ichigo's friends will undoubtedly get better, we've seen mention of the VC's and generally weaker people going off to train. I think this could be the turning point where everyone gets to a level where they can fight, maybe not on par with each other, but at the very least rely on each other. That alone opens up the interactions between them. I guess we'll have to see, but I hope it turns out that way.

And Tatsuki seriously needs powers now, she should have a long time ago :darn

You knwo what, I think you're right. I've been avoiding this whole issue of power because I dont think it should matter... but this is a shounen, ofc it matters. Power drives the story, and a super strong main character allienates his friends the same way a super powered main villian will most likely rid himself of underlings (Aizen lul).

Yeah I really think your right, maybe they will all have to be on ichigo's level for them to have some meaningful interaction. Afterall, the reason why he didn't tell tatsuki about Orihime being kidnapped was pretty much based on the fact taht she had no power, and wasn't really like the rest of them.

If giving tatsuki powers is what it will take for her to be a relevant and meaningful character again, by all means bankai it up!

Takahashi
April 06, 2011, 03:10 PM
You knwo what, I think you're right. I've been avoiding this whole issue of power because I dont think it should matter... but this is a shounen, ofc it matters. Power drives the story, and a super strong main character allienates his friends the same way a super powered main villian will most likely rid himself of underlings (Aizen lul).

Yeah I really think your right, maybe they will all have to be on ichigo's level for them to have some meaningful interaction. Afterall, the reason why he didn't tell tatsuki about Orihime being kidnapped was pretty much based on the fact taht she had no power, and wasn't really like the rest of them.

If giving tatsuki powers is what it will take for her to be a relevant and meaningful character again, by all means bankai it up!

Well, Kubo's already drawn Tatsuki with a "fox" like Zan, I'm just waiting for it to happen.......

WaveBossa
April 06, 2011, 03:19 PM
Well, Kubo's already drawn Tatsuki with a "fox" like Zan, I'm just waiting for it to happen.......

link pls!

Takahashi
April 06, 2011, 03:21 PM
http://img47.imageshack.us/i/tatsuki023hk.jpg/

That's the official art^

WaveBossa
April 06, 2011, 03:23 PM
http://img47.imageshack.us/i/tatsuki023hk.jpg/

That's the official art^

Wow never seen this one... Seriously this needs to happen. Back then she was a more important character than orihime, her lack of powers have really hurt her :(

When you mention tatsuki some ppl dont even remember who that is, lul.

Takahashi
April 06, 2011, 03:24 PM
Wow never seen this one... Seriously this needs to happen. Back then she was a more important character than orihime, her lack of powers have really hurt her :(

When you mention tatsuki some ppl dont even remember who that is, lul.

Yeah, she was beating up Zombies and protecting Orihime, even way back then I was waiting for it to happen.

Plus, she's pretty hot now. Powers necessary.

kkck
April 06, 2011, 03:59 PM
That was a hell of a long post considering most of it could have been summed up in saying bleach lacks character development. I agree though, but I guess kubo did put himself against a corner in that one. For the last 2 years ichigo fought a war however the war itself had personally little to do with ichigo, ichigo simply fought for his friends and had overall little interactions with most of the antagonists outside of the fights he had. He could have even left it to the authorities so to speak and got get himself at all. I guess you could say ichigo has been fighting people who lack plot involvement with him. Even when he finally confronted aizen it was a bit anticlimatic...

Ratatosk
April 06, 2011, 04:08 PM
As someone who has a large block of Bleach manga in her room, spent literally days of drunken marathons getting friends hooked on the anime before we gave up, the main problem with Bleach is it has never had a clue who it's best characters were. It's like one of those idiot bands who play loads of amazing songs live before their first album comes out, but most of them end up as B-sides or never released at all. He introduced waves of new characters each story arc but either the people who rig opinion polls are idiots, or Kubo has no instinct as a storyteller at all.

Example: (apart from Rukia, who was what made Bleach look interesting or unique to start with), Renji when he was slicing Ichigo up in alleyways with a weapon that looked painful instead of silly, Tatsuki, Explosives-girl-with-one-arm in Soul Society, Mayuri, Kenpachi, Grimmjow or that dude with the green eyeliner being far more threatening and better designed then Aizen no matter how many wings he grows, Nel and her freak followers (wtf happened there?).. I can't even remember. After Ichigo's dad played his hand without anyone batting an eyelid, The only remotely interesting character left from the start is Urahara. Things like One Piece, which hasn't exactly got a rocket-science plot, prove it is possible to have loads and loads of characters but still keep the interesting ones key to the plot, and bring the right former enemies back at the right time without completely missing the point, but Bleach fails.

The main thing is, Bleach is still trying to do the loneliness thing that the thread-starter explained so well, but it seems that like Ichigo's 'friends', nobody is brave enough to spell out what is going on, so now for some reason I am yawning again, and giving up on it ever ending well. Absolutely infuriating considering the emotional blackmail of everyone still having the same face that you used to really care what happened to, just as well drawn, and the stakes are higher than ever.. losing your powers in a world of overpowered idiots chosen by opinion poll is a brave and interesting step for any story to take, even if it was coincidentally taken a few weeks earlier by certain other manga..
heh, even longer post, sorry :D

WaveBossa
April 06, 2011, 04:37 PM
As someone who has a large block of Bleach manga in her room, spent literally days of drunken marathons really caring what happens, getting friends hooked on the anime before we gave up, the main problem with Bleach is it has never had a clue who it's best characters were. It's like one of those idiot bands who play loads of amazing songs live before their next album comes out, but most of them end up as B-sides or never released at all. He introduced waves of new characters each story arc but either the people who rig opinion polls are idiots, or Kubo has no instinct as a storyteller at all.

Example: (apart from Rukia, who was what made Bleach look interesting or unique to start with), Renji when he was slicing Ichigo up in alleyways with a weapon that looked painful instead of silly, Tatsuki, Explosives-girl-with-one-arm in Soul Society, Mayuri, Kenpachi, Grimmjow or that dude with the green eyeliner being far more threatening and better designed then Aizen no matter how many wings he grows, Nel and her freak followers (wtf happened there?).. I can't even remember. After Ichigo's dad played his hand without anyone batting an eyelid, The only remotely interesting character left from the start is Urahara.

The main thing is, Bleach is still trying to do the loneliness thing that the thread-starter explained so well, and everyone still has the same face, just as well drawn, and the stakes are higher than ever, losing your powers in a world of overpowered idiots chosen by opinion poll is a brave and interesting step for any story to take, even if it was coincidentally taken a few weeks earlier by certain other manga.. But it seems that like Ichigo's 'friends', nobody is brave enough to spell out what is going on, so now for some reason I am yawning again, and giving up on it ever ending well.

Yes I fully agree with this. The focus on certain characters has been very odd. We have already discussesd rukia ad nausem, but you brought up renji, who just like rukia, is getting the "scrub" treatment. He, in many ways was, was similar to ichigo. However, now he is just "that guy" and not much more can be said about him.

And yeah, the whole fact that no one wants to fill in ichigo is mind boggling. YOU WENT TO ANOTHER DIMENSION, AND FOUGHT ALONGSIDE EACH OTHER... TWICE! I'm sorry for the caps but like... they should be a hell of alot closer than they are now. If Orihime cant trust ichigo now, she's never gonna trust him.
[hr]

That was a hell of a long post considering most of it could have been summed up in saying bleach lacks character development. I agree though, but I guess kubo did put himself against a corner in that one. For the last 2 years ichigo fought a war however the war itself had personally little to do with ichigo, ichigo simply fought for his friends and had overall little interactions with most of the antagonists outside of the fights he had. He could have even left it to the authorities so to speak and got get himself at all. I guess you could say ichigo has been fighting people who lack plot involvement with him. Even when he finally confronted aizen it was a bit anticlimatic...

Sorry but it had to be long, to asnwer some of the questions that i'm sure woudl have followed if i just made it a 2 sentence post.

I recently watched a review of Star Wars episode 1, the phantom menace, and alot of the critiques I felt were applicable to bleach, arrancar saga.

When the main conflict has little to do with the main character, the gravity of the situaiton is never fully realized. It just doesn't matter as much as it should. And when the conflict between the protagonist and the antagonist is virtually nonexistent... well what do you expect?

I mean just look at the last fight between Ichigo and Aizen. How much dialogue was there? (i said dialogue not monologue). Virtually none, because honestly, what was their to say?

"You were planning on destroying my city!" Yes he was, this was legit, but very impersonal. Aizen had nothing against the city, just needed it as a tool to form a key.
"You killed my friends!" Eh, except not really, soul society aren't really ichigo's friends
"You killed my mom!" Gran Fisher, not Aizen
"You took out that thing from Rukia" Yeah.. pretty much it...

Seriously, Aizen vs Urahara made so much more sense. I know its a theme for the main character to fight the main badguy, but this coudl have been handled better.

If you want to make some pre-fight conflict, make it up at least! Like Gin vs Aizen, or Sasuke vs Danzou. Retconns may be bad, but better than nothing.

deprince69
April 06, 2011, 06:53 PM
here is whats i think about bleach when i read the latest chapters. its like going to a theater and watching two different movies back to back that have all characters, location, themes in common but with a different plot. which means that bleach has been finished but the author continues with it anyway to make an extra buck, but since i read it for free might as well just keep reading and can't complain much

WaveBossa
April 06, 2011, 07:05 PM
here is whats i think about bleach when i read the latest chapters. its like going to a theater and watching two different movies back to back that have all characters, location, themes in common but with a different plot. which means that bleach has been finished but the author continues with it anyway to make an extra buck, but since i read it for free might as well just keep reading and can't complain much

Yeah I would agree with your analogy for the most part, but I would change it around a teeny bit.

Imo it would be like going to see a movie with the same characters, location, etc, have it finish without some plot points being resloved, then going to see another movie with the same characters, location, but no theme, basic plot, and nothing but fighting. And now we are sitting down for a third movie, and hoping it picks up where the first movie left off.

I say that because the fullbringer arc has potential, and if we are able to ignore the vast majority of the arrancar arc (i know its hard...), it may even be good!

Zeltrax
April 07, 2011, 09:17 AM
All along bleach was suppose to be about Shinigamis and Hollows. The espadas were cool and unique and related to the plot and the setting, which doesn't drift the story too far, so is the vizards.
They have various traits from shinigami and hollows that you can recognize.
That is why even when the arrancar arc got a bit ridiculous and over the top, I still know I'm reading the same thing that I've been for years.
Characters that we have been following like aizen for years is one example.

The fullbring, however, does not relate to the setting of bleach with shinigamis vs hollows. They felt like filler and their powers is nothing impressive or unique, it is completely different than the rules bleach has laid in the starting years.
That is why it is different and feels different.
Ichigo seems the same, but now we are being pushed into a fullcast of unknowns that we have to start to know after we've known the other characters for so many years.
It's not like I'm saying that our shinigamis won't come back..I'm just saying that they should come back before the fullbring is here, it'll make me feel like I'm actually reading Bleach.

Now I feel like Bleach is about fullbrings rather than death gods..at least for now.

By the way..
how long has it been since we've seen an actual hollow fight?

WaveBossa
April 11, 2011, 11:45 AM
I dont like the fact that my topic was merged with this one.

They have similar names yes "Bleach feels like a different manga" and "Bleach is losing its identity" but they really aren't that similar.

This OP is talking about how he feels the "restart" of the fullbringer arc feels completely new, while I'm arguing that bleach lost its way during the arrancar arc and if anything, the fullbringer arc feels more like bleach than the previous arc.

The problem is that no one is going to read through 5 pages of post, they will just read the OP, skip to the end, and offer their opinion regardless if it goes with the flow of the current discussion or if it has been said before.

Meaning the my thread is just going get eaten up and lost in inside this one, which is a shame because I really enjoyed the discussion we were having.

Message to the moderators, "Please read a thread before you decide to merge it."
Because the points we are making are really not that similar.

cracker
April 11, 2011, 12:05 PM
Its long, but I have wanted to post this for quite some time
--------------------------------------------

I have been reading Bleach for years now, and I have to say, not much outside of this new arc is keeping my interest in Bleach. We all like to make fun of Bleach's weaknesses, and laugh at Kubo's retconns, but every manga has retconns, every manga has unbelievable plot twist, what makes Bleach any different?

I personally believe that Bleach has lost its identity. No, I’m not talking about cool sword abilities, amazing art, and Kubo constantly reminding us that he wants to be a fashion designer. No, bleach still has all of that. But quite honestly, all of that is fluff, what Bleach has lost is its identity, and I'm afraid it might not be coming back.

You may be wondering what I mean by this, so let’s go back in time to the beginning of Bleach. High School kid who can see spirits, introduce a female lead who is a spirit, hilarity ensues. Pretty common cookie cutter beginning, but I can't fault Kubo on that because there is no reason to reinvent the wheel. What set Bleach apart was character interactions and a strong feeling of loneliness (I would go so far as to say loneliness is a central theme in Bleach).

The loneliness Ichigo felt was by no means artificial. He lost his mother. He was sad because he had an ability that he didn't know how to deactivate and it made him different from anyone else he knew. It also made him an outcast in his own mind, not knowing if he could even trust his family with this information.

Ichigo wasn't a complete loner in society’s terms, he had friends, made good grades, and was "cool" in the eyes of his peers, but how often did we see Ichigo relate to others?

Rukia changed Ichigo. She saved him, saved his family, gave him new powers, gave him something constructive to do with the powers and abilities that had been haunting him for all of his life. This is what made Rukia and Ichigo's back and forth so entertaining and captivating. There was something of substance there.

All of this leads up to the most important event that happened in all of Bleach, when Ichigo faced the Grand Fisher. A prominent source of his loneliness, the monster that killed his mother and caused him so much grief. Just having Ichigo get through this with the help of Rukia was and still is the most memorable part of Bleach.

This is what made the scene where Rukia leaves a touching and moving scene. And same with the scene where Ichigo saves her from execution. Truth be told, we actually cared when Rukia left because we saw how much she changed Ichigo, how much she saved him from his self-doubt and solitude.

Now, if you are still reading this, you are probably thinking, "This guy is just praising Bleach, why does he say it’s lost its identity?"

Well, because since then, Bleach has never been the same. I'm not going to go into the details and recap everything that has happened since like I did above, and I will not, for one second, say that nothing good has happened in Bleach since them (because there have been some great upsides), but I will say that it is not the same.

) The changes and progression of Ichigo’s character seemed to have been rolled back at the beginning of every arc.

) Rukia has not been the same since regaining her powers. The once key factor of Ichigo's growth has been reduced to a girl who just says "ICHIGO..." from time to time... and not much else.

) Relationships like Orihime+Ichigo, Ishida+Ichigo, Chad+Ichigo are virtually unchanged despite being 440+ chapters into this story, and despite the fact that these characters have been to hell and back with each other more than once. They sometimes don’t even feel like friends. And don’t even get me started on Ichigo+Tatsuki....

) Isshin killing the Grand Fisher, without even a mention of his wife, seemed to be more of a needless display of strength, rather than a moving battle like Ichigo vs. Grand Fisher.

) Ichigo seems detached from the fights he has fought since the soul society arc. During that arc we really felt a sense of urgency in saving Rukia (and her execution date moving up). But in the Arrancar act, I often forgot Orihime was even captured. It felt more like Ichigo was just... there... and the others were settling the score with Aizen. If they happened to save Orihime along the way, it was an added bonus. Even Grimmjow pointed out that Ichigo cared more about fighting him than saving Orihime.

I can look at a character like Naruto, and even though that manga has its own shortcomings, I can look and say, "Wow, Naruto has really come along from being a snotty little kid to maturing and coming closer to achieving his goal"

I can look at Ichigo, and say that honestly he hasn't come very far since the event with the Grand Fisher. Yeah Naruto had a time skip and grew up, but you don't need to grow up physically to grow up mentally. I feel give kubo some credit, Ichigo feels more matured in this current (fullbringer) arc. But his strong desire to protect his friends is juxtaposed with the way that he interacts with his "friends." IT just doesn't add up. If they mean that much to you, it should come across that way, not only when their lives are in danger.

Now, I have avoided talking about Plot for the main part (look, not even 1 mention of Aizen), because I didn't make this post about the plot of Bleach. You can argue that with many members on this website if you are so inclined.

You can argue about Bankai, databook stats, who beats who, and who is the most attractive, and who is really dead all you want, but that’s just extraneous information.

Plot is great, characters are even better, and cool abilities sell games, but if the soul and identity is missing, it all just feels.. empty.

But let us not be like those who read without hope. I have approached the fullbringer arc with the utmost positivity, ignoring the utter failures (in some regards) of the Arrancar arc.

And I gotta say... this feels much better already. Here's to a better Bleach in 2011

Shonen gets us everytime man, everytime lol

Everytime we start a new one...we tell ourselves its going to be different this time around. Truth be told, we are just in denial...we know its not going to be different. Most long running shonen like Bleach...action, adventure etc suffer the same problems. Poor character development, crappy plot twists, plot holes etc Not to mention they all seem hell bent on the DB homage crap...man its getting sickening

Thats why I try to stick to seinen mostly, that or short running stuff...they tend to be more unique, original, more planned out since you're not thinking what you want to do 5, 6, 7 years down the road -____-

badluckartist
April 12, 2011, 12:02 PM
It's like the first arcs of the manga, except instead of intrigue or excitement, there's giant neon signs pointing the reader from character to character, and from plot point to plot point. Instead of pacing, tension, drama, or any of the things that made Bleach likeable to begin with.

"This is mysterious character X, here to bring back the main character's power."
"Here are some other painstakingly-dressed characters. We are Fullbringers."
"This is what Fullbring does. This is what that other guy's Fullbring does. Cool huh?"
"Bad guy with non-dramatic, undefined bad guy ability appears."
*Blank panels of indecisive and presumably deep-in-thought main characters*

Bleach has been bleached, but it hasn't crossed the event horizon yet. Something besides fashion and superpowers needs to separate the Fullbringers from the other super-powered groups of renegade mostly-humans like the Qunicy, mod-souls, and Vaizards. It damn sure isn't going to be personality.

White Silver King
April 12, 2011, 06:16 PM
I think this Full Bring business should have gotten it's own series. It has too much potential to be a tool that won't be around for more than a few arcs at best. Bleach has taken a serious downward turn IMO.

WaveBossa
April 13, 2011, 10:13 AM
Shonen gets us everytime man, everytime lol

Everytime we start a new one...we tell ourselves its going to be different this time around. Truth be told, we are just in denial...we know its not going to be different. Most long running shonen like Bleach...action, adventure etc suffer the same problems. Poor character development, crappy plot twists, plot holes etc Not to mention they all seem hell bent on the DB homage crap...man its getting sickening

Thats why I try to stick to seinen mostly, that or short running stuff...they tend to be more unique, original, more planned out since you're not thinking what you want to do 5, 6, 7 years down the road -____-

Exactly this, exactly. If bleach was slated to be a 26 or 52 episode show from day 1, i'm sure it would have been way way way better.

In fact when I stated watching bleach (started watching before reading), I was sure this was the case. It just didn't seem like there was enough there for keep it running for 200+ episodes+ and still keep hold interest the way it did in say episode 12.

You are completely right, every shounen will eventually get to the same common demoninator eventually. I just felt like Bleach was different at it's outset becuase, quite honestly, it was.

Imagine if a show like FLCL was 200+ episodes or cowboy bebob or samurai champloo? The fans may clamour for it at first, but they would lose so much of what set them apart and all turn into something worse.

Your assesment was very astute! Oh and, thanks for reading my post lol. I don't think the excuse TL;DR could have been any more apt for a reason to pass by it, lol.

Jammin
April 17, 2011, 05:25 PM
I've been trying to reserve judgment on this new arc. Give this "new beginning" the series has going a chance but the truth is..... so far i'm hating it.

The influx of new characters and new abilities(ie. Fullbring) is, in my honest opinion, that last thing this series needed. It's a long worn down road that leads to places this series has been too many times before.:-_-

This series has always had plenty of interesting characters(quite possibly too many). The thing that has weighed down Bleach in my opinion is that it allowed the quantity of the battles to take over the series almost completely and the emotional undertones to become neglected and forgotten.

This arc has yet to really infuse new emotional content either, it's all been Ichigo's retraining and new character introductions(not the most interesting set of new characters either).

I wish this series would get back to it's real roots. The people in Ichigo's class and family. Give him a concrete reason to fight, BEFORE sending him off on his 4th or 5th training arc(i've lost count). Right now he basically has no idea what's going on and his response is to run off to a mysterious bunch of strangers to do this fullbring training. I don't feel any emotion in that, except maybe a little disappointment.:(

The Vastro Lordes are still out there(stronger than ANY captain supposedly). We have all kinds of mysteries involving Soul Society and his family. And it seems like we are wasting time with focusing on a bunch of, what seem to be, Vizard wannabe's.

SaitoSpike
July 26, 2011, 12:05 PM
Its long, but I have wanted to post this for quite some time
--------------------------------------------

I have been reading Bleach for years now, and I have to say, not much outside of this new arc is keeping my interest in Bleach. We all like to make fun of Bleach's weaknesses, and laugh at Kubo's retconns, but every manga has retconns, every manga has unbelievable plot twist, what makes Bleach any different?

I personally believe that Bleach has lost its identity. No, I’m not talking about cool sword abilities, amazing art, and Kubo constantly reminding us that he wants to be a fashion designer. No, bleach still has all of that. But quite honestly, all of that is fluff, what Bleach has lost is its identity, and I'm afraid it might not be coming back.

You may be wondering what I mean by this, so let’s go back in time to the beginning of Bleach. High School kid who can see spirits, introduce a female lead who is a spirit, hilarity ensues. Pretty common cookie cutter beginning, but I can't fault Kubo on that because there is no reason to reinvent the wheel. What set Bleach apart was character interactions and a strong feeling of loneliness (I would go so far as to say loneliness is a central theme in Bleach).

The loneliness Ichigo felt was by no means artificial. He lost his mother. He was sad because he had an ability that he didn't know how to deactivate and it made him different from anyone else he knew. It also made him an outcast in his own mind, not knowing if he could even trust his family with this information.

Ichigo wasn't a complete loner in society’s terms, he had friends, made good grades, and was "cool" in the eyes of his peers, but how often did we see Ichigo relate to others?

Rukia changed Ichigo. She saved him, saved his family, gave him new powers, gave him something constructive to do with the powers and abilities that had been haunting him for all of his life. This is what made Rukia and Ichigo's back and forth so entertaining and captivating. There was something of substance there.

All of this leads up to the most important event that happened in all of Bleach, when Ichigo faced the Grand Fisher. A prominent source of his loneliness, the monster that killed his mother and caused him so much grief. Just having Ichigo get through this with the help of Rukia was and still is the most memorable part of Bleach.

This is what made the scene where Rukia leaves a touching and moving scene. And same with the scene where Ichigo saves her from execution. Truth be told, we actually cared when Rukia left because we saw how much she changed Ichigo, how much she saved him from his self-doubt and solitude.

Now, if you are still reading this, you are probably thinking, "This guy is just praising Bleach, why does he say it’s lost its identity?"

Well, because since then, Bleach has never been the same. I'm not going to go into the details and recap everything that has happened since like I did above, and I will not, for one second, say that nothing good has happened in Bleach since them (because there have been some great upsides), but I will say that it is not the same.

) The changes and progression of Ichigo’s character seemed to have been rolled back at the beginning of every arc.

) Rukia has not been the same since regaining her powers. The once key factor of Ichigo's growth has been reduced to a girl who just says "ICHIGO..." from time to time... and not much else.

) Relationships like Orihime+Ichigo, Ishida+Ichigo, Chad+Ichigo are virtually unchanged despite being 440+ chapters into this story, and despite the fact that these characters have been to hell and back with each other more than once. They sometimes don’t even feel like friends. And don’t even get me started on Ichigo+Tatsuki....

) Isshin killing the Grand Fisher, without even a mention of his wife, seemed to be more of a needless display of strength, rather than a moving battle like Ichigo vs. Grand Fisher.

) Ichigo seems detached from the fights he has fought since the soul society arc. During that arc we really felt a sense of urgency in saving Rukia (and her execution date moving up). But in the Arrancar act, I often forgot Orihime was even captured. It felt more like Ichigo was just... there... and the others were settling the score with Aizen. If they happened to save Orihime along the way, it was an added bonus. Even Grimmjow pointed out that Ichigo cared more about fighting him than saving Orihime.

I can look at a character like Naruto, and even though that manga has its own shortcomings, I can look and say, "Wow, Naruto has really come along from being a snotty little kid to maturing and coming closer to achieving his goal"

I can look at Ichigo, and say that honestly he hasn't come very far since the event with the Grand Fisher. Yeah Naruto had a time skip and grew up, but you don't need to grow up physically to grow up mentally. I feel give kubo some credit, Ichigo feels more matured in this current (fullbringer) arc. But his strong desire to protect his friends is juxtaposed with the way that he interacts with his "friends." IT just doesn't add up. If they mean that much to you, it should come across that way, not only when their lives are in danger.

Now, I have avoided talking about Plot for the main part (look, not even 1 mention of Aizen), because I didn't make this post about the plot of Bleach. You can argue that with many members on this website if you are so inclined.

You can argue about Bankai, databook stats, who beats who, and who is the most attractive, and who is really dead all you want, but that’s just extraneous information.

Plot is great, characters are even better, and cool abilities sell games, but if the soul and identity is missing, it all just feels.. empty.

But let us not be like those who read without hope. I have approached the fullbringer arc with the utmost positivity, ignoring the utter failures (in some regards) of the Arrancar arc.

And I gotta say... this feels much better already. Here's to a better Bleach in 2011

you make some great points about Bleach in general, i agree with you that the characters growth (lack there of) has really hurt this manga, and Naruto is a perfect example, hell even OP there has seemingly been more growth

i can see why some ppl disagree with the naruto comparison but i understand your point of view perfectly, fact is as your fans grow, especially when you're writing a manga over the span of a decade, there is some sort of expectation to see growth in relationships between individuals, and an understand that your fanbase IS growing up along with your manga....

this is something that i find Kishi does, or has done quite well

and despite the current fanservice that is claimed by critics of Naruto, the fact is that Kishi CAN do this

and the reason he CAN do this is because he has NO LOSE ENDS left to tie, (did i say that right? lol) basically the fact that he closes his storylines gives him to let lose and give the fans what they want, there's nothing wrong with that when you dont have stuff from chapter 30 still left to explain....and with Bleach it seems like thats all there is

UNFINNISHED STORIES

Bleach feels different to ppl now its true and yet its so hard for most fans to get into this seemingly whole new situation because they've got the other stuff that hasnt been closed in the back of their heads, i for one would be completely open to this change, if it wasnt for the fact that i feel like the many things that first got me into Bleach have yet to have a proper ending

the problem with Bleach IMO is that the story is goin left, right, down, up, and in seemingly no real order, chaos is king in the story of Kurosaki Ichigo....

despite all that the art has continued to be amazing on a consistent basis, however even if Kubo i guess doesnt like to focus on plot, after a decade you simply need more of a strong story to keep it going strong

character developement is so important imo and in Bleach it really hurts the whole manga i find, its exactly as you said thats a big time flaw there, often so many characters come in and are discarded without ever reaching what the fans perceive their potential to be or the hype that Kubo set up for them....things like that build up to frustrate fans

i mean for example just the way Kishi built up a character like Shikamaru in Naruto despite not being an immediate member of Naruto's crew is amazing, and yet with Bleach we're this far in and even Ichi's closest friends are still, well the same as they were for the most part at the start (with a few new powers) and yet more and more characters keep getting introduced...its confusing

it also really doesnt help that Kubo isnt much for communicating with his fans so we're all kinda always left in limbo for the most part about where the story is going

despite all that i'm sure i'll keep reading bleach on a weekly basis, and keep hoping, because from what i've seen in the past from Kubo i dont think its a lost cause, but he has to take the time to organize his story a lil better

and i'm hoping that this arc is going to answer many things and re-attach parts of the main plot that seem to have been lost along the way

Sky Render
July 26, 2011, 12:57 PM
I love seeing the same people who whined about Chad's powers and Ichigo's origins not being explained bitching now that Kubo finally decided to get on with it.

I've been waiting for this since Isshin and Ryuuken showed up together, and Urahara made that cryptic comment about Chad's powers.

Kubo obviously wanted to write this for a long time; you can see it from the amount of detail he's putting in the scenes. You guys can, of course, laugh and say that he only wants to drag it out and make cash. I know it's easier to say that. I know it feels good to bitch and criticise. Please go ahead; you make for good entertaining.

P.S: Seinen manga is usually a bunch of fanservice (as in gore and boobs), even more blatant that shounen's. I know because I read a lot of that. Notable exceptions ar Monster and... other works from Urasawa. oh, and thingies that are at least honest about it, like Gantz.

Give me One Piece, Bleach and Bakuman anytime. They kick modern seinen's ass to the curb. No contest.

My opinion? Tite Kubo is the best mangaka when it comes to panel composition. At least, he actually bothers to experiment with the medium he's working in and tries to bring something new, style-wise. But I guess things like that just don't appeal to the majority of people, who (rightfully) only seek entertainment.

SaitoSpike
July 26, 2011, 04:05 PM
I love seeing the same people who whined about Chad's powers and Ichigo's origins not being explained bitching now that Kubo finally decided to get on with it.

I've been waiting for this since Isshin and Ryuuken showed up together, and Urahara made that cryptic comment about Chad's powers.

Kubo obviously wanted to write this for a long time; you can see it from the amount of detail he's putting in the scenes. You guys can, of course, laugh and say that he only wants to drag it out and make cash. I know it's easier to say that. I know it feels good to bitch and criticise. Please go ahead; you make for good entertaining.

tho i dont think you're talking to me when you say bitchin about Chad's powers and Ichigo's origin i STILL gotta disagree with this

i mean look in my case my beef with Chad's powers is how everytime he got an improvement, Ichigo would get 20x stronger and so would the enemies he just gets shafted alot so i dunno bout that and furthermore there is still no real indication that his abilities have improved so i'm not sure where you'd be getting this "finally moving on"

this is even more true with Ichigo's origins...so far we've got a Fullbringer situation....there's been no real indication that we are about to find out anything about Icghigo's origins and furthermore based on the original timeline Kubo had given for whats coming after the Aizen saga he's already fallen quite a bit behind

by all means i hope i'm completely wrong and this really will lead to revelations about Isshin, Urahara and Ryuken....because i Like you have been way too pumped about them from the start

however currently there's no real indication that anything other than a plan to get Ichigo his powers back is happening...but i do hope this IS the lead into it (origins and background stuff)....because its been a hell of a long time coming

one last thing, i used to think its all good maybe Kubo has a crazy long term plan....but truth is the way Orihime and Chad's powers were explained (this is the third time, each time differently) as someone else on here pointed out.....then clearly this indicates that NO he has not had this huge plan for everyone from the start....i do believe that now tho after the Aizen thing he may actually have a master plan to put everything together and this is the lead into it.....but from way back then....nah too many contradictions and fluctuations

i can give you a simple example of why it couldnt have all been set up from the start, if it were Urahara could have saved everyone a whole lot more grief by explaining to Orihime and Chad about their powers! from the very start...and maybe even perhaps how to train them properly.....this is of course assuming he knows about Fullbring....does that seem like a stretch tho...like if anyone wouldknow it WOULD be him

so i dunno

Sky Render
July 26, 2011, 06:08 PM
tho i dont think you're talking to me when you say bitchin about Chad's powers and Ichigo's origin i STILL gotta disagree with this

i mean look in my case my beef with Chad's powers is how everytime he got an improvement, Ichigo would get 20x stronger and so would the enemies he just gets shafted alot so i dunno bout that and furthermore there is still no real indication that his abilities have improved so i'm not sure where you'd be getting this "finally moving on"

this is even more true with Ichigo's origins...so far we've got a Fullbringer situation....there's been no real indication that we are about to find out anything about Icghigo's origins and furthermore based on the original timeline Kubo had given for whats coming after the Aizen saga he's already fallen quite a bit behind

by all means i hope i'm completely wrong and this really will lead to revelations about Isshin, Urahara and Ryuken....because i Like you have been way too pumped about them from the start

however currently there's no real indication that anything other than a plan to get Ichigo his powers back is happening...but i do hope this IS the lead into it (origins and background stuff)....because its been a hell of a long time coming

one last thing, i used to think its all good maybe Kubo has a crazy long term plan....but truth is the way Orihime and Chad's powers were explained (this is the third time, each time differently) as someone else on here pointed out.....then clearly this indicates that NO he has not had this huge plan for everyone from the start....i do believe that now tho after the Aizen thing he may actually have a master plan to put everything together and this is the lead into it.....but from way back then....nah too many contradictions and fluctuations

i can give you a simple example of why it couldnt have all been set up from the start, if it were Urahara could have saved everyone a whole lot more grief by explaining to Orihime and Chad about their powers! from the very start...and maybe even perhaps how to train them properly.....this is of course assuming he knows about Fullbring....does that seem like a stretch tho...like if anyone wouldknow it WOULD be him

so i dunno

I'll try not to be blunt here.

1: If you think I was talkin about you, your loss and lotsa luck amigo.

2: We got the explanation. Chad is a Fullbringer. Not sure about orihime though. BTW Aizen just said that the Hogyoku gave them access to their own powers (he SPECIFICALLY said that their powers were theirs from the beginning and that the Hogyoku just opens you the path, nothing more). Yoruichi said much earlier that the catalyst was Ichigo's power. She was WRONG. That's all. So there you go, no plot holes, Chad's a Fullbringer whose powers were latent until Hogyoku just happened to come around. Orihime is still a mystery, and the unique nature of her powers has been a plot point since a long time ago.

3: Of course Ichigo is going to get stronger than Chad. I'd be surprised if it was any other way. He's the main character and he's been stabilished to be crazy strong. I also wish for Chad to stop being subject of the Worf Effect, but since he seems to be stronger now maybe that's gonna change. It is because of this new arc that things may change. Chad needed a chance to improve, and Kubo gave it to him. Let's see where this goes.

4: there have been SHIT TON of indictaions pointing at ichigo's origins. Ginjo himself said that he "still doesn't know anything about his family" at the beginning, for crying out loud. isshin is up to something, so is Urahara and we still don't know about karin, who is apparently being reserved for something. Ryuuken reappearing is not coincidential either, since he's shown interest in Orihime's well-being. New character Unagiya also seems to know something about Isshin judging from how she reacted to Ginjo's taunt to Ichigo. Look at the initial chapters fo this arc and you'll see for yourself. The narrative backbone of this arc is Ichigo's backstory, or at least something regarding Isshin Kurosaki. That's for sure.

5: I never said that Kubo has a master plan for Bleach. in fact, let me tell you something: NO MANGAKA HAS. Manga artists work against the clock, they are subject to a lot of pressure form editors and fans that'll make them change the story if it doesn't go well. These people are not novelists, who have the luxury to finish the whole story before publishing. This is an STRESSFUL, UNCERTAIN way to drive a story, and I gotta praise Kubo and his Balls for not changing the story despite the bad ratings he's having recently (because kids want fuckin Hitsugaya back, I guess). I olny said that Kubo probably wanted to write this Fullbringer shit from a long time ago, he probably had some rough draft and some designs since he started with all that Hueco Mundo bullshit. That's all I'm saying.

6: URAHARA DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT THE TRUE NATURE OF CHAD'S POWERS. he only guessed that they were akin to Hollows. So far we only know that NOBODY, EVEN RYUUKEN HIMSELF, KNOWS ABOUT FULLBRINGERS. Urahara doesn't know about them, or at least didn't know beforehand. Maybe later he'll show up and say "hey, I knew about this but didn't tell ya cuz blah blah blah". But we STILL DON'T KNOW.

All that I said above has been STABILISHED IN THE MANGA BEFOREHAND. It's not about truth or lies. IT HAS BEEN WRITTEN BY KUBO HIMSELF.

If there is a plot hole, please point it out. But it better be based on actual, written facts, and not speculation.

In short: READ THE MANGA THOROUGHLY. If it matters you enough, that is. Since you bother to post here, I guess it does.

Hope to have been useful :)

---------- Post added at 11:08 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:49 PM ----------

Tite Kubo's biggest flaw as an author is not pacing, or plot, or whatever people usually say. This guy up there is right.

Tite Kubo sucks at one single thing. And that is CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.

It is true. Ichigo and his friends are basically the same people they were at the beginning of the series. that hasnpt changed; it has been the main flaw of this manga since its inception.

Tite Kubo is a terrific DESIGNER. He's good at writing original, compelling character traits and motivations. Once characters are written, however, they tend to stay that way, as if sculpted in rock. Unlike, say, Naruto; this is the only department where Kishimoto is truly better than his competitors.

(A flaw that the Mighty One Piece shares, might I add).

And I say, this could change.

This is a new Ichigo. A new, frightened and absolutely alone Ichigo. Loneliness is the main point of Bleach, that's right. Well Ichigo has never been more alone. he' scared and his power, the power he so desires, is not enough to get back what he wants anymore. Sheer force won't give him victory anymore.

I'lll say it again: for the very first time in Bleach, BRUTE FORCE IS NOT REGARDED AS THE KEY TO VICTORY. That's a giant step on Kubo's part.

Remember what Unagiya told Ichigo about "trusting adults"? He still doesn't get it. But he's bound to do.

Goddamned Ichigo is about to finally LEARN A LESSON.

Well shit. This calls for a toast.

things could go downhill from here, though. It could be. As I said, Kubo is no good at this. Or is he? Let's find out.

SaitoSpike
July 26, 2011, 08:17 PM
lol k first off chill out on the caps u seem upset or sumthin and its messy lol (jus sayin) and i seem to remember saying this too

"tho i dont think you're talking to me when you say bitchin about Chad's powers and Ichigo's origin i STILL gotta disagree with this "

^-- jus an intro to let you know i'm not taking it personally as one of those ppl u named but rather i jus want to tell you why i disagree.............despite the first thing you wrote

anyways i agree that they(mangakas) dont have a master all made out plan from the start but what i meant was that for the longest time i thought oh well he'll probably set something nice up for Chad or Orihime everytime they got beatdown....i kept thinking ok well Ichigo's getting crazy training im sure it'll come to them soon, and it kept on hapening everytime so what i mean is now i'm jus wondering if its ever really gonna happen or jus a continuous 'potential' tease

i do understand that mangaka have alot of pressure especially when your manga is as big as Bleach, the thing i always find strange is that the other two big shonen writers seem to keep up pace no problem, it could be just that he focusses on drawing it as well as he does but thats all there is to that one

as for spot on indications about Ichigo's family...what ginjo said there isnt what i would consider spot on but that just might be a difference of opinion with us my take is, we've been teased before only for it to be just that so i'm a lil skeptical at this point...who knows

the last time we saw em they were talkin about what they knew of the Vaizards and about Aizen etc and all that was, well was an intro to excite you about the whole Espada Aizen stuff.....hundreds of chapters later here we are (and yes we saw Isshin after that but that raised even more questions)

imo we're at that same point where its too early to tell if this is the time for ppl's secrets to finally come out....it could be a while....i dont think its too far fetched here....but once again might jus be me