Genres: Shonen, Action, Comedy
Author: Kubo Tite
Artist: Kubo Tite and assistants(?)
Publication: Weekly Shonen Jump
Start Date: August 2001
End Date: Ongoing
Number of chapters at review: 305
Number of chapters read by reviewer: 305
General Overview: Bleach is the story of Ichigo Kurosaki, your average 15 year old kid, only he's not so average. One night, a female shinigami named Kuchiki Rukia invades Ichigo's life, when he takes her shinigami powers from her to save her life. The story revolves around Ichigo's struggle against the Hollow world and putting his newly found shinigami powers to the test.
Category Ratings: (1-10 scale)
Kubo's art is awesome. While bland, barren white backgrounds plague his manga, his character designs are part of the Bleach craze. Every character has a unique ability, allowing Kubo to further his awesome character design. And everyone loves his stylish color spreads. Right out of a fashion magazine!
Kubo's plot is sort of a downside to his manga. Both of his major arcs have been rescue arcs, and they're pretty similar to each other. Fight a group of baddies, and save the girl. The plot also progresses at an odd pace, stretching fights like the Syazel Apollo fight over many chapters, instead of showing it in about 7 consecutive chapters.
Kubo's strong point. Why do I read Bleach? To see my favorite characters do stuff. The manga is filled with awesome, manly badasses. While most characters are generic looking, there's a certain charm to them. And when your favorite character pops up, you're hooked to the manga for the next 3-5 chapters.
Of course, I'd give it a 10, but the main characters all suck. Except for Chad.
Lot's of friendship themes in here. Ichigo constantly tries to prove that he's strong enough to protect his friends, and kind of shows in a corny way, like gaining random power ups cause your friend tells you to get up.
Bleach isn't really original. Sure the zanpakuto concept is pretty good, but we've all seen guys with big swords, spiky hair and bulging muscles. Oh, and guys who control ice. There's something new.
One thing that is pretty original is his use of Spanish, which really contributes to Bleach's charm.
Bleach isn't the best shonen out there (One Piece and HxH hold my heart.) but it's a good series. I rather enjoy watching the anime more than reading the manga, but I still enjoy Kubo's work. And there's still so many things left to look forward to, that Bleach still has a lot of steam left in it. Keep it going Kubo.
Spoiler: Manga's images taken from earlier chapters to avoid spoiler, generally the art improves show