Okay, so I have a confession. I watched Bleach like a while back and I did NOT enjoy it. I couldn't understand the hype behind it or why people liked it so much. And I felt like it was very fanservicey because it seemed like EVERY female character had huge boobs. Now I'm sure we've all felt that way before about an anime; you know as far as feeling like something may be overhyped (I've heard a plethora of people say that AoT was overhyped), so surely I'm not alone in this. But anyway, if it's not too late, I'd like to redeem myself by saying that I recently started re-watching Bleach again and I am thoroughly enjoying it.
To be honest, I don't know what was wrong with me the first time. Maybe I was comparing it to other anime at the time, or maybe I had certain blinders on and I wasn't really paying that much attention to it. I mean, considering I watched Bleach a bit earlier on in my anime journey, it's certainly a possibility.
Either way, I think it's fair to say that I can see why people like it; it's no longer lost on me.
The first thing that comes to mind as far as any issues or dislikes would have to be the filler. Now I know that no anime is exempt from this because obviously, people don't want the anime catching up to the manga. But I have to say that some of the filler felt out of place and a bit intrusive. Now, this could be a bit extreme, but it literally felt as if I was skipping seasons - like a huge chunk of episodes at a time.
And that made me feel pretty uncomfortable and really guilty.
The first filler arc I skipped would have to be the Bount Arc, and a part of me really didn't want to do it because I try to enjoy every aspect of anime possible. I kinda felt like I couldn't consider myself a true anime fan if I didn't watch it through and through. And maybe that was a rookie mistake and maybe I was making a big deal out of nothing.
Either way, I still suffered at the hands of my ignorance because I tried to power through it and it ended up making me dread watching Bleach; I was beginning to dislike the whole series overall. Finally, I decided to just skip the filler and move on with my life. Since then, my bleach experience has been a lot better.
So if the filler is one of the reasons you stopped watching Bleach. Then I'd recommend skipping it. I usually don't skip filler, but Bleach's filler is a different type of monster.
Another mild complaint or dislike I have deals with the side characters like Chad, Renji, and Ishida. I like how Chad gained a power-up in the Arrancar arc, but he kinda wasn't able to do much anymore. I also don't like how Renji literally only had one move. Personally, I enjoy Renji as a character and I would love to see him do a lot more than just unleash his Bankai over and over; it's way too predictable.
Anyway, I won't say that all of the side characters are worse off or not used as much because we do see a lot of use out of others like Rukia, the Visored, and so forth. I don't know about everyone else, but personally one of the things that I look for in anime is whether or not the side characters are used. That's just something that I've grown to pay attention to.
Lastly, the whole reveal thing with Yammy bothered me. I didn't like that bit at all, to be honest. This was during the Arrancar Arc and I think Ichigo had just defeated Ulquiorra. The others down below, Chad, Rukia, and Renji were taking on Yammy and Yammy suddenly reveals that his number is 0? It kinda cheapened everything for me. To see that Yammy was stronger than Ulquiorra, Nnoitora, Grimmjow - everyone that Ichigo literally struggled against? Personally, it just felt out of place and unnecessary and it felt a little bit too late to announce how the numbering of the Espada really went.
So to be frank, it felt like BS.
The Turning Point
One thing I really enjoyed in Bleach is seeing Ichigo getting roughed up from time to time. Which probably sounds a lot worse than I'm intending it to.
But let me explain.
I don't like it when an MC comes in and never faces any consequences or any turmoil whatsoever; that kinda takes the fun out of it for me. I think this is the reason I enjoy One Piece so much. Like, it's become my favorite anime of all time.
And I say that because Luffy faced trials, tribulations, and things that forced him to grow and rise above. Luffy did not win against Crocodile the first time and Luffy never did win against Magellan. I love seeing characters facing challenges and I love to see every character playing a role - whether they are a side character or the main character or not. I personally feel like Oda gets every bit of use out of all of his characters, and that makes me really happy.
To be honest, while Naruto doesn't do it as well as One Piece in the side character area, I'd dare say that Naruto deserves some recognition.
For the most part at least - excluding how some of the female characters could've been written a whole of a lot better.
Anyway, the main point I'm making is that Bleach did this as well.
Just like One Piece and Naruto, our main character in Bleach didn't have it so easy. Nor did he win every fight. It took Ichigo a few times to win when he fought Grimmjow; the very first time being a total and humiliating loss.
Another time when Ichigo took a loss was during the Arrancar Arc because Ichigo clearly didn't stand a chance against Nnoitora. Not to mention, Ichigo completely lost against Ulquiorra the first time they fought. This may sound a bit dark, but I genuinely enjoy seeing things like this. I love these darker and hopeless moments that the characters face.
How else will they grow and potentially rise to the occasion? How else will they develop?
Besides, It's no fun when you can predict the outcome all the time. Sometimes I really want to wonder how and if the character is going to make it out alive. That's how I know an anime is really good, at least for me. And every anime that's had that aspect, like Demon Slayer and Jujutsu Kaisen, has proven to be worthy anime.
Another good turning point or thing that I liked about Bleach would have to be Orihime and Ichigo. Now hear me out, I know shonen anime tends to neglect romance at times, so we have to give it SOME leeway. But unlike Naruto and Hinata, Orihime and Ichigo didn't feel forced or rushed. Like I genuinely felt like I could follow Orihime's feelings and I felt as if I was almost falling in love myself.
It started off with conversations, occasionally running into each other at school, to Ichigo saving Orihime a few times. And Orihime discovers things about Ichigo and her own powers. I really liked how she got pulled into the way of things; it was a rather smooth transition if you ask me. Like it wasn't just full force and it wasn't intrusive; you could genuinely see the development there. As for Naruto and Hinata, they deliberately created a whole love triangle and I don't think that was the smartest thing to do.
Even still to this day, I do feel like Naruto and Sakura would have been the better choice. Naruto loved Sakura and that was the girl he wanted for years, so I was rooting for him. And I wanted Sakura to get over Sasuke, because that would've been great development for her. We saw that Ino got over Sasuke and she claimed to be in love with him too, so I don't think anyone would have held that against Sakura.
But I could be wrong.
This is Sakura we're talking about, after all.
Anyway, the main point I was trying to make is that things were pretty straightforward between Orihime and Ichigo. There weren't any other love interests and Ichigo wasn't in love with anyone else either. And no one was claiming that Ichigo didn't know what love was or whatever the bogus excuse was that made Naruto look incompetent. I have no beef with Naruto and Hinata, but I wish they closed the Sakura and Naruto chapter a lot better than what they did.
Anyway, that's all I have at the moment! I think Bleach is done really well overall and it's not like everything about an anime is going to be perfect. That's impossible. Are there any things you disliked about Bleach? Or anything that you really enjoyed? Let me know down below, I'd love to hear your thoughts.
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