Bleach review

Apr 04, 2021
You know that feeling of wonder one might have when starting a book or a movie or anything else they heard plenty about, to find out for themselves what it's all about? Well then I'm sure you also know the feeling when all that excitement deflates into apathy as you find it to be just what you expected. That's Bleach, it's bad, not spectacularly bad but just bad in the least entertaining way possible, but let's go over it step by step.

If there's one aspect of Bleach that doesn't require shutting down perception organs to tolerate, it's art. Not to say it's great but for a weekly series it's not bad either. Bleach starts out a bit rough, angular and cartoony, very fitting for the time period when it got first published. Few volumes later it smoothes out and starts to look a bit more attractive as lines get cleaner, sharper and proportions become more realistic.
Character design quality varies wildly, at best they look stylish, fit character's personality to a tee and simply are nice to look at. While worst of them look like edgy teenagers OC they painstakingly polished for weeks to post on deviantart alongside their fanfic.
Architecture is worse off with absolutely nothing to show off. Over the course of the manga you'll see: modern Japanese suburbs; dense european city looking environments; desert full of nothing; large squares and cylinders with equally exciting interior and finally heian era looking areas.

Characters: Hoo boy are they nothing, simply nothing. Their personality, goals and purpose can be exhaustively described in one short sentence or less cause many miss one or two of the aforementioned points. Thanks to genius way the plot is structured, many characters lose relevancy when their ark is done with and will mostly appear only when there's a need for an asspull of which there are many (sasuga Kubo sensei!). One of them is so amazingly useless I can't help but mention it for your amusement. Near the end the main baddy, Jewish nazi god Yhwach breaks Ichigo's sword to a point where even time and space denying healing power can't fix it. Out of nowhere comes a guy, stabs Ichigo in the back to implant him with the past where his sword isn't broken by Yhwach and that somehow allows them to fix the sword. Whole thing lasts only a few pages and has no point at all.
Last off I want to give Ichigo a special mention for being the most pathetic shonen hero. His entire adventure is nothing but getting beat up half dead by everyone until he gets a powerup and steamrolls their opponent.

Plot: there is one, I think? Each ark is kind of self contained and follows some basic plot that revolves around saving friends and beating a bad guy. Soul society is the only one with any buds of ambition as initial save a friend premise then out to be a plan of baddie's clever keikaku to fuck everything up but it still ends up to be dumb and simple. None of it matters, events, characters and new powers are quickly forgotten and don't have any effect on overall story.
Fights were outsourced to nearest kindergarten or at least they must be to explain why each one of them is the same. A fights B, A or B is getting clobbered until receiving a powerup, then positions are reverse until A or B wins. No clever planning, choreography or tricks like in JoJo or HxH, just mindless back and forth.

Fun factor: none, I can't even recommend it to people who love shonen, even Naruto at any point had more going for it, even Hero Academia which I dislike a lot is a better time than Bleach, there is no point to reading it unless you want to personally familiarize yourself with what somehow became one of the most popular shonen manga to date. If you have that desire you're probably deep into this hobby and need any reviews, otherwise avoid it.


Autor Kubo, Tite