How do you feel about bleach? I've been reading it for a while and lately the recent chapters... actually a little ways before that were a bit of a let down for me, to be honest.
Firstly Ichigo as a character doesn't really seem to change that much, maturity wise. He doesn't have any astounding differences in behavior as a product of his battles, save for a few instances where people chewed him out for trying to do everything himself and to lean back on his friends and etc etc.
Secondly, the overbearing tidal waves of power ups make the show very difficult to take seriously, the power scaling is nearing DBZ. Ichigo is just too convenient of a character. I mean he's part Shinigami, part Quincy, part human (with the ability to access full bring) AND innately hollow (which was developed more than inherited but still). He's just a relatively OP character who has everything he could ask for, while being (in my humble opinion) being very boring as a main character. A straight shooter.
Thirdly, fights on the show become more and more shallow as it goes along. I feel as if a large majority of fights on Bleach are all about the WOW factor. It's not uncommon to read the manga to see one side completely stomping the other person, then all of a sudden the person being beat on is like "Welp time to try" Then the stomping is reversed because of their hidden strength... Then the person losing is like "Try hard mode activate" And again the one sided stomping is reversed. There have only been a handful of close and believable fights in bleach, the rest of them are usually one side being obscurely powered up and beating the other side easily. Like when ichigo lost is powers when fighting Aizen. He had the fight considerably won, he wasn't exactly manhandling him, but he had NO real reason to activate his Final technique. He just did it honestly to help close out the shower *from a writer's prospective* which didn't even last.
Fourthly, it's become too stretched out. I mean the manga artist seems as if he is flipping over stones to try and create new villains and a purpose for ichigo to fight and power up to stages never seen before. I mean this new war arc feels forced and less than authentic.
I'm very hesitant to have an official "Bleach sucks, bla bla" thread, but maybe those who rant in chapter discussions will use this one instead.
Regarding your fourth point, if this arc were not to happen, we would be left with a massive hole in the story regarding the Quincy as a whole, so, it was almost essential to somehow include them at some point.
Bleach sucks, bla bla!
I'm joking of course, but a general...let's say "venting" thread about the series as a whole might not be so bad. I doubt it'll stop the complaints about the chapters themselves in the main thread, but it could keep the complaints about stuff irrelevant to the current chapters to a minimum.
There is some stuff I agree with you on TC, but despite how angry this series gets me sometimes, I can never say I hate it. There are things I dislike very much in this series, but when Kubo gets it right, he really gets it right.
As Hakuteiken already said, this fourth arc is necessary to the story. Could some things have been done better? Of course, but creating a new purpose, new antagonist, and new power is par for course in a shounen, and really, writing in general.
Your third point, however, is something that has become much more apparent in this arc and I honestly wish it would stop. A WOW factor is fine in itself, but when it gets to the point where the audience knows the beats of your fights, it's a problem.
Well, a wow factor is necessary for any fight, that is not really something to complain about. Without a wow factor the fights would simply involve what we have already seen.
I don't see the manga really creating new villains here. Sure, there were a lot of sternriter but we knew from the start there were a lot of them. Its not like they had the alphabet sternriter and then juhabach whipped out the sternriter from an entirely different alphabet out of nowhere. Safe for minor deviations (royd/loyd, ishida being A, shaz being replaced quite quickly apparently) every fighter we have seen was implied from the start. The issue is perhaps that there was never any implied strength level for the sternriter so kubo has the freedom to make anyone as strong as he needs him too. And even if the sternriter in question is not that strong, juhabach can make him stronger via selection. Its perhaps the means by which the sternriter were this powerful to begin with even though it does not seem all of them are old enough to be this insanely powerful (the captains take hundreds of years to form). The sternriter have the power of god knows how many quincy over 1000 years. Perhaps their collective power is that of every quincy in history so far.
What I am really looking forward to is the moment juhabach regains every bit of his scattered soul. At that point juhabach will be at the strongest possible and he will be complete. He will be the entirety of quincy culture and civilization quite literally. Perhaps even having his whole soul would trigger a change in him. I don't think the power ichigo has attained so far would actually be enough to defeat him, I think this will trigger ichigo's need to be godly. Ishida survived the old selection, I wonder if now that he has a letter he will be able to survive it too.
Art-wise, Bleach offers so much in every single aspect of the craft that I don't give a damn about the shortcomings in the story (which shines occasionally, but is more often than not lacking function). This manga has inspired me for years and I always enjoy re-reading my favourite parts. I love it with all my heart and I am very thankful to Kubo for giving this to the world.
Yes, SS arc was much better than this (story-wise). I would truly love to see many rude folks around here keeping up the quality for over ten years, chruning out one full chapter per week, working against the clock in between 10 to 15 hours a day, not having that much time to read or watch movies in order to get some insight of the craft and get new ideas, barely having any time to sleep and just living for your craft, which is what pretty much every mangaka is forced to do (check out Kishimoto's schedule, which has been released to the public).
I love Bleach. It is, with all its glory and all its shame, my personal favourite shonen manga. Not the best, but the one I care about the most. That's how I feel.
I started Bleach when I was young and loved it and I still like it, but I feel like my tastes have changed over the years. Not necessary to something better, but I find myself less and less into animes/mangas like Bleach and Naruto. It is weird though because I still really care about the characters and what happens. It is just like the style somehow grew off me.
I get where you're coming from on Ichigo. I honestly didn't really like the way he was the one who defeated Aizen when Aizen's fucked a lot of people a lot worse than he ever did Ichigo (which is saying quite a lot since he sliced Ichigo nearly in half and indirectly got his mother Auswahlen'd by creating the Hollow which impurified her). I wasn't a fan of how Ichigo overpowered a powered-up Aizen either, although as a fan of Aizen it was fun to see him losing the smirk and flipping out for a bit. And now finding out that he's got a unique background which pretty much confirms that he's got the highest potential in the manga (which admittedly isn't surprising at all) it's kind of convenient like you said. I feel like there could have been more interesting ways to go than the standard 'protagonist trumps all'. Although I quite like Ichigo at times. His attitude this arc has been quite good I think, he's had some cool moments, handled the Uryu reveal in a less annoying and screamy way than he might have done before, but generally I'm not all that interested in seeing him right now.
As far as the manga goes in general, Bleach is certainly the one I look forward to the most each week. The chapters aren't always amazing, there are things I'm not interested by, but generally the story's got me well interested and I always want to see what happens next. I definitely agree on the one-way stompfests as well. Fights have been a bit formulaic for a while. Whoever appears to be winning at first will get beaten by some powerup or power reveal or something... Not always, but too often. More proper tooth-and-nail battles would be nice, like the latest one appears to be, hopefully. I'm not saying every Stern Ritter needed a long back and forth with a flashback, like the Espada, just the opposite because those went on for way way too long for fights that ultimately meant nothing. But a couple of fights really could have done with more detail.
I didn't want it to turn into a bleach sucks thread! To be honest bleach was always one of my 'guilty pleasure' manga simply because of the wow factor in fights, seems like every other one Ichigo did something more OP than in the last. I love the art of bleach also, i think its VERY well done as an artistic medium.
And i agree whole heartedly about ichigo's lack luster reasons for sticking around and risking not only his life, but his after life to participate in fights that honestly didn't concern him. Like when he went after Rukia after she gifted him the substitute Shinigami powers? He went after a woman who (according to her own military standards) had broken a rule. He knew her for all of like... a month (?) before hand so i have no idea.
The WOW factor is acceptable, i agree. But it becomes too much at some point. Tactics in a fight are interesting in of themselves at times, you have to admit. And not saying no fights in bleach had this. (Almost every fight that included the Mayuri was a blizzard of tactics and chemical effects). I mean honestly there were a number of great moments that made the plot epic, such as Ichigo's horned Hollow transformation (or Vastolord?) it was a great moment, the fight was glorious. But lately the whole, 'actually I'm not even trying -random power up-' bits are a tad distasteful. Fights where a main character can stick to what he has and use it effectively and skillfully and come out on top despite no real change in their over all power can really get a person excited for what is to come. But bleach sometimes has a way of being like: "If you can't beat it, power up until you're 5x stronger and look cool while defeating your enemy with no visual effort". I stick to my point, there have only been a few fights where Ichigo visually struggled for majority of it, if he was struggling he was losing and trying to claw in a win then the power up sets in.
I do get the whole: "Bigger and better" When it comes to good guys and their abilities so you pull in more reads of your manga, but take a show who's power scale is relatively low in comparison and it shows that bigger isn't 'always' better. Now again, blowing up deserts and ripping holes in the sky does tickle my fancy at times but i don't want every fight to turn into a pissing contest of whose explosion is bigger.
And i understand your point for the 4th arc, as it wraps up the conflict (or looks like it will) between the two sides. However, i said it 'feels' forced because at the end of the Aizen arc, it felt like Tite Kube was wrapping everything up, putting the story to sleep in a manner of speaking. Then all of a sudden 'JK more plot and villians' as well as the anime arcs (I know their non canon but still) that created random classes of enemies outta lore just to give ichigo something to hit with his weapon. but again, i get this new arc is somewhat needed, it just weirded me out the order in which it became realized.
And again, to be fair bleach does have it's good moments, i'm not here to stir negative emotions, and I'm not here to piss on it as a series. I am a fan of bleach, just lately it's been lacking and was looking to just see how other people felt about the topic, if something i said offended your views on the topic I apologize. Not here to ruffle any feathers.
Last edited by Itamachi; November 16, 2014 at 04:30 PM.
Yeah, I don't think that was your intention. I just feared that this thread would be full of negative, inflexible criticism of Bleach we tend to see in chapter discussion threads.
Thankfully, this didn't happen to be the case. The cases that were made were all pretty elaborate and nice to read (=
Other than that, I agree with some of the above points. It's not easy to give a perfect score to Bleach, especially when it comes to story building. Not the story itself, since I don't think a shounen can ever be perfect with the stereotypical development patterns it offers in that regard. In story building / developing, however, the coherence of the story we have is a key aspect. Bleach has mildly suffered from it so far, in my opinion, but overall, it managed to be consistent enough.
And I think, upon inspection, this much damage is okay to a story that has been going on for this long. Sure enough, I'd love it if the damage wasn't there to begin with, but I'm content with what we have.
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Tbh when I read mangas, I'm easily impressed and try not to be overly criticising. I'm not a good artist at all but I'm somehow competent in replicating arts while looking at the picture and basically tracing out instead of drawing. Even then it takes forever to do one so seeing a manga already has me impressed. Thinking about how much effort it would take to do a manga and keep it running this long naturally makes me appreciate their works.
Next is story, another difficult thing to do. Keeping a story interesting is extremely difficult as well. So in general, I naturally hardly blast a manga. The only problem I have with bleach currently is the fights being somewhat uninteresting due to the stomps and one shots. Bleach has cemented itself as mostly fight based instead of story telling so when it does the fight, my expectations are a bit high considering the fights could be really amazing when they really work it well.
Either way bleach is one of the mangas I'm attached to. I can't hate it and will still read it weekly regardless.
The best bleach fights are everything with Kenpachi on it, the Ichigo vs Grimmjow battles (all of them) and Ichigo vs Ulquiorra, brutal fights with a lot ass kicking and not so much talking by Bleach standards
I'm loving it. Of course I have some nit picks but overall it's a great Manga.
Well i try to avoid being nitpicky. It's true i enjoyed bleach as a series, overall. It's just nowadays I'm not as easily subdued into plot points as i was when bleach was in it's prime... like 3-4 years ago. I do still really love it for nostalgia points, don't get me wrong. However, as i grew up and started taking appreciation for things like character growth, and certain story elements bleach started getting different for me is all. I obviously can't hold the author to the standards of previous work... everyone has their prime and then afterwards it's kind of a slow declination. But i can point out it's story holes and choices to execute certain elements.
Just to be clear I'm not saying bleach is BAD nor am i saying that it isn't as good as it used to be (which is true for a lot of people) but there's a certain level of quality i was hoping for in these arcs and was wondering if anyone else felt it was lacking in a few areas.
The fight rhyme is something I personally don't see much change for, besides a handful of fights (Go Kenpachi!!). Bleach fights have always been onesided in nature, roflstomps into the horizon and back. I do hope that the fight with the Leader of the invasion and Ichigo doesn't follow this rhyme. Nor do i want ichigo to spend 5 chapters trying to reason with him only to fail, and then start screaming at him because he sacrificed his friends and comrades that trusted him (let's be honest, we see this coming). Before a power up on top of his already obvious power up sets in and he blows the guy to bits without even having to don the Hollow mask.
I actually quite miss the hollow mask. It was one of those power ups that in my personal opinion didn't make sense but i didn't give a flying hat, it was 'dope'. Honestly missing the usage of it.
As far as the manga goes I love the artwork although sometimes the panels are lacking detail and extremely confusing. Saying that, the characters are drawn very well.
As far as the story goes, it's been shit for a while. Then again I never really read Bleach for it's story when I started reading it.
Overall I like Bleach, and that's because I don't expect it to be anything more than it is. However, I do have two major gripes with some of the story decisions.
1) Characters tend to not use their full abilities (as in their Bankais) and we are given not reasonable explanation as to why they don't. The fight against Aizen comes to mind, when multiple Captain class characters were fighting him and hardly any of them used their Bankai.
2) The leaps and bounds in which characters show their power, most notably while fighting Ichigo. While we are given stupid explanations as to why certain characters get more powerful (Kenpachi specifically), the fact that Ichigo defeats someone before he gains great power and then later that character shows he's actually much stronger is just annoying.
3) Too many characters. Now don't get me wrong, a lot of these characters are cool, but many of them get little development or screen time and they make no difference in the end. This is a problem in many manga/anime but much more so in Bleach.