Most of Bleach wasn’t Good

I designed my ratings flowchart to give a + to long-running shounen anime that had fallen from grace. I gladly gave it to Naruto, but it’s with a heavy apathetic heart that I can’t do the same for Bleach. Despite horribly jumping the shark, the majority of Naruto was good. Bleach didn’t even come close.

Bleach had one good arc. You could say it’s like Rurouni Kenshin in that regard, but Kenshin was fillerized to hell. Ok, Bleach was too. The point is that the Bleach manga was much worse for much longer.

The introductory arc was mediocre. The Soul Society arc was excellent. The Hueco Mundo arc was uninspired. The Fullbring arc lacked a sense of importance. The Quincy arc was mailed-in.

What did Bleach do wrong?

  • Repeating the Soul Society formula for both Hueco Mundo and the Quincies
  • Too much time spent on minor fights
  • Power level inconsistency
  • Too many annoying characters/character interactions

What did Bleach do right?

  • A fair number of quotable lines
  • A main character who wasn’t annoying or effeminate
  • A large cast of characters
  • Cool character design
  • Good music

Here I was going to link to a pretty good video that got into the artistic issues behind the decline of Bleach, but TV Tokyo was a bitch and threw an unjustified copyright claim at it before I finished writing this post. Basically, Tite Kubo was annoyed with his editors, hated the busy manga artist lifestyle, and stopped trying. I have no reason to believe any of it wasn’t true.

Final Grade: ~

With the end of Bleach, the only manga I’m still reading in English are Akame ga Kill, Attack on Titan, and Hajime no Ippo. They’ll probably end in that order. Aside from these three, I’ll probably never read manga in English again.

Edit: I forgot about Hunter x Hunter. So did its author.

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I've been writing about Bleach for 7 years

  1. Lodevijk says:

    What manga are you reading anyway? I imagine at least Berserk.

    • Baka-Raptor says:

      Haven’t read Berserk in approximately 12 years. I heard it hasn’t progressed much since then.

      I’ve been reading the Higurashi manga (slowly) ever since coming to Japan. That’s really it. Last year I put Higurashi on hold so I could focus on the Muv-Luv visual novels, which I haven’t been reading of much lately. Instead I’ve playing Granblue Fantasy in Japanese, which has also been wearing on me.

  2. Shikamaru says:

    I’m really happy that Bleach ended since I haven’t liked it in about 6 years. It wasn’t horrible either. I think people shat on it too much. It was definitely bad, but people acted like it was the worst thing ever. The only reason why I continued reading it was so that people can’t use the “you haven’t read that part” card. I have read every single chapter and I can honestly say that it was pretty bad. Also I wanted to see how one of my first manga reading experiences ended and how it got there. My rating for it is 4/10.

    One Piece and Fairy Tail are pretty bad too in my opinion. Fairy tail anime has pretty kick ass music though.

    So yeah, Naruto is easily the best one and even Naruto had some really fucking stupid moments. I just wish that Naruto had ended before it turns to shit too, but now there’s Boruto. Why can’t you let it die in peace. Sigh.

    • Baka-Raptor says:

      I hadn’t admitted to reading Bleach in several years. Not that I had anyone demanding such an admission from me. But I felt no desire whatsoever to throw it out there.

      I haven’t read or watched One Piece since the time skip. I’m interested, but it’s not a project I’m willing to take on at the moment.

      I’m always looking for that next great shounen manga, but I’m hesitant to get in on any right now. I was thinking about Fairy Tail or Seven Deadly Sins, but I’ve heard mixed reviews on both. Is this the best that modern shounen manga can do? I think shounen manga in the 2000’s will be thought of in the same way we now think of NBA centers in the 1990’s.

      Fuck Boruto.

  3. Baito Senshi says:

    I just don’t find Shonen appealing anymore in general, guess I grew out of it. Unless it’s by Mizukami Satoshi – that guy’s manga is freaking awesome!

    • Baka-Raptor says:

      Never heard of him. Any particular work of his you’d recommend?

      • The Waker says:

        About a month late, but I know you won’t judge me. I don’t know if you are familiar with Hoshi no Samidare, aka Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer, but I think that one might be his most famous work. I thoroughly enjoyed it years back when I first read it and though I’m not Baito Senshi, I’d definitely recommend it. Didn’t think about finding anything else written by the guy back then. Now that I’m current with 3 gatsu no Lion I’m gonna work through more of Mob, Attack on Titan, and probably another work by Mizukami. One Piece is definitely an investment, but I believe it pays off because it feels well planned out. The anime is a disappointment, especially since the new HxH was handled so beautifully. This leads me to believe that Bones should do a remake. In the meantime there is a thing going around called “One Pace” where fans edit down episodes so they are no where near as obnoxiously long. One arc was reduced by at least 50%. My thoughts on Bleach is that I liked it up through Soul Society. I really liked Soul Society. That was the pinnacle. If they had taken one arc to wrap it up and maybe one more arc/ half arc to cool down and maybe do whatever future pairings, I think it could have went out a champion.

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