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1) Most characters who mean anything plot-wise are shinigami, including Ichigo, who's the protagonist, and Isshin. There're important exceptions - Orihime and Ishida, and to a lesser extent Chad, but the plot still revolves around the Soul Society and they all hang out there. With the shinigami. Plus, Isshin was hardly featured at all until it became clear he was a shinigami too. And shinigami didn't come later - Rukia was there right from the start, and Byakuya and Renji were introduced shortly afterwards. The SS arc is the first arc of the series and it's all about shinigami.
Tatsuki and Keigo are absent for the most part, and even when they happen to actually participate in the events, it's usually only to bear witness to whatever's being done by Ichigo and the shinigami at the moment. If one day Kubo decides to change that, it's fine by me, but it's been how many years of Bleach already? And it's still the same.
2) yeah, caring about flashy stuff does seem rather shallow, but if you strip away all the techniques and bankai-related mistery and yes, big pompous speeches, what will remain of Bleach? Basically, any fight is part of flashy stuff, and Bleach is a shounen manga, so it's almost all fighting.
The new characters and arc themes are boring and the old characters do not develop. Coupled with power comparison inconsistencies makes up for a pretty stale story at this stage. In my opinion what might save this manga is if there is a conflict between 3 forces not 2 and an all out war scenario in which humans are also involved [albeit insignificantly]. Good guys : Shinigami, neutral guys :the royal guards and the king of soul society, bad guys : return of Aizen as king of hell plus hollows. Just 5 cents.
If there're people out there in the world who need to have every ornamental detail removed from the picture in order to comprehend the structure of the plot, it's up to them to deal with it, and their problem shouldn't be blamed on the author.
^ Being flashy must always be part of a classic Shounen manga. But I like how Kubo redeems the characterization of his characters before/after they disappear/die/get defeated.
"Furthermore, Kubo's art in Bleach lately has just been inexcusable; a lot of wasted space and panels (you know what I'm talking about, one whole page dedicated to a close-up of a character saying a lame-ass one-liner). One WHOLE BLACK GODDAM PAGE for the title of a chapter is a waste of money. I honestly buy every single Naruto and Hajime no Ippo (and Jojo's B Adventure too) tankoubons whenever they're available even after I read the scanlations; if I didn't know any better and buy Bleach tankoubons before I read the scanlations, I would be PISSED OFF. The sad thing is Kubo's artwork is actually getting better in terms of stylistic direction. The characters look more bad-ass (Kuchiki Byakuya is probably one of THE most bad-ass chara of all time), the expressions are more defined, and the special moves are great. But I've had enough of patiently waiting for a Bleach chapter to be released, only to find out that the story is actually regressing with some stupid and unnecessary flashbacks with one panel taking up half of the page. I'd rather read American graphic novels. At least I get colours with it. "
God i agree to this comment. So many wasted panels and massive panels at that. And the plot just moves so so so slowly, almost nothing happens in a chapter.
i mean think about it.... i loved the SS arc, some very epic stuff, the aizen/hueco mundo stuff was great but nowhere close to as cool as the SS arc, then this fullbring arc was honestly a bit dissapointing.... is this why tite decided to end bleach after this next arc? i was hoping to see this story last just a bit longer even tho it is very long already
---------- Post added February 21, 2012 at 10:22 AM ---------- Previous post was February 20, 2012 at 11:55 PM ----------
look at the end of the last chapter, ichigo is like " i dont know who you are, but get off of that bed" or something like that
yo kubo, this isnt a western with john wayne
Strangely enough, I love those black pages with the title of the chapters as well as a whole page dedicated to the close-up of a character.
Kubo's way of drawing and storytelling is unique, unlike other mangakas, he focuses quite a lot about drawing characters. Sometimes, a page with just the face of a character on it can speak louder than a page full of dialogues, and Kubo does it quite a lot.
And also, I have yet to see any Mangakas making the characters have cool poses and shit like Kubo does. Obviously Kubo is trying to create something new, a unique experience. While One Piece and Naruto are more like your traditionnal Shonen type, Bleach is different.
About the backgrounds :
And I think also that Kubo's wish to do some fashion design have an influence over his manga too.
It's not even about what's is the page, but what the page means and how it is presented.
Look at this:
I have seen so many people make fun of this page and calling out Kubo for laziness, but they all fail to notice the substance behind the emptyness and the meaning of the words uttered. We know Ulquiorra is a nihilist, and he asks Orihime before fighting Ichigo that her belief in "the heart" is nonsense, and that he wouldn't see it if he cut her open, be able to grab it in his hand, therefore it doesn't exists, yet, in his final moment, he sees Inoue one last time, the person he took interests in, and as he reaches to her hand, his vanishes, and as he looks at her, his vision fails him. It's as he dies that he posseses no senses to feel "the heart" but he finally understands that there is more than just the physical, and he realizes that he was changing slowly as he took interesting in Ichigo and Inoue "I don't know why I can read you now, but I'm either becoming more of a hollow or you are becoming more of a human". This is just what the page represents visually, but there is much more behind it, like the increased clues about Ulquiorra's development, Bleach's overall meaning about bonds, Ichigo's training and development, the shift from focus in the Arrancar arc and of course, the action.
Everything I meantioned above is there in the page, and it's not written or shown everywhere, but it leads or can be traced to that page. It is the absolute example of less is more. But of course, if it is not spoonfed to the readers or full of flashy attacks the ratings drop.
I also like Kubo's artwork.
I don't want Bleach to be just like every other manga, at least stylistically. Bleach also has the volume poems that give pretty deep insight to the characters. It's just like Bleach to pay more attention to the characters than backgrounds. And IMO things like "wasted pages" etc. are more your personal opinion and less a objective fact. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I just don't agree with this particular point.
I'm just not a person that calls out on Kubo because I like Bleach, as it is. The Arrancar Arc was terribly drawn out, I agree. But I recently reread Bleach and it's really nothing to worry that much about. I remember it being pretty agonizing if you're reading on a weekly basis though...
@Newbie: THIS is exactly what I'm talking about, Thank you.
The plot just sucks...Every Real Beach fan must admit this by now, Kubo gets a chance every so often to send Bleach running in the right direction and then he decides to feed us BUllCrap.....FullBring Arc had potential it was fresh and new bleach felt like a different Manga almost....Kubo fudges the whole thing by bringing in SS and what happens to Ginjou?? Who knows but 3-4 chapters later another arc is started an we still don't know....bleach's story line is garbage....The characters, certain fights and illustration is the only thing that keeps this manga shining......Idk i've washed my hands with bleach once i saw the turning point of the Fullbrin arc and how he whole War ended with Ichigo vs Aizen....I can't say i'm a fan cause Bleach will never progress in the manner of solidifying it self as a story it's stupid kiddie fan service.
Last edited by Asclepius; March 07, 2012 at 12:26 AM. Reason: character bashing isn't permitted
This new arc is really good, it's no surprise that Bleach regained its position in the Top 3. Even though the LSS arc was widely criticized and made Bleach fall in the rankings, its anime version seems very enjoyable. Bleach has a very intriguing storyline albeit slow at times, if Kubo keeps this pace, I have no doubt that it will retain its place in the rankings.