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Matt Bellamy

Bleach - In Retrospect

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Another one of the "Big 3" Shonen Jump series has finished, leaving us with just One Piece left ( with no end in sight).

So, how was it?

A strong start, with very outstanding MEH ending. Both because of a creator who is a great artist but poor story teller, and meddling from Shonen Jump executives. Bleach was a series that opened with a fairly original plot, and only got better... Until it started to hit the "Popular Shonen Jump Curse". And while a better writer could have mitigated some of the issues, Kubo Tite is not a very good writer... And thus Bleach started showing signs of weakness before other series and was made to drag-on (Ball. HA!) than it needed to.

So where did it go wrong? A lot of people will point at the end of the Aizen arc, and they would mostly be right. However a lot do not know that the Hueco Mundo Arc and the Aizen arc were apparantly inflated by Shonen Jump executives, due to the mega popularity of the series at the time. (Apparently the "Espada" were a creation of a Jump editor, and not Kubo Tite himself.) That being said, once the arc completed, it would have been a perfect place to end it. But because of the "Popular Shonen Jump Curse", it was continued and went on further... Which Kubo Tite obviously did not seem to have planned for, as the remaining arcs, while not without cool moments, are quite significantly worse than the previous ( I mean, he de-powered his main character, and then had to find a way to power him back up).

But of course, that is just talking about the manga. Then there was the Anime, which was cancelled after the "Execution" arc completed. The reason it was cancelled? Likely due to lower popularity after the Aizen arc, and not enough manga to make a new arc, so they would have had to make another filler arc... Which was the Anime's biggest problem: (poor) Filler episodes/arcs. Here's a shocking bit of info... Bleach the anime was 366 episodes long. Guess has many were filler episodes? 181. Almost 50% of the anime was filler episodes, and not good filler either.

So, when the anime was cancelled, it was announced that the newest story arc would be "The Final".

And the thing went on for like 200+ chapters more, filled with more pointless fights from characters we barely cared about... Only to get a very rushed ending, with very little closure... And left open for a possible sequel... About the kids.

If I had to give them a rating... I'd give both a: C... Despite the filler, which I did not watch all of, the Anime still added some good music to a lot of the fights, or it'd be an easy D.

They really should have ended it with the Aizen arc, and let it go out while it was still popular. It could have been remembered as something favorable. Then they could have done a few movies/one shots to give fans a little more, instead of wasting away like it did.

It's just a shame that Shonen Jump will always try and milk every series it can, instead of letting creativity decide the fates of series.

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of the big 3 Bleach was the one that I just couldn't get behind. I don't know why really as I liked the characters. The only thing I can say is that it was..well..boring. It's filler episodes were so mind numbing dull that I just stopped watching it.

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I enjoyed bleach, shame about the padding out that took place, but that seems to happen do often. It definitely should have ended at then end of Aizen arc for me. I'd give it a 7/10

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Fully agree Matt it had such a promising start but the cracks for me started to show after the soul society arc finished. The series has fantastic art but the pacing and story telling got beyond a joke. At least with a one piece chapter you tend to get a lot of content in each chapter while blech wasted so much page space with splash pages the rate of story proression was beyond slow. The end fight of bleach was a huge let down and boring as hell. The final bad guy was just not that interesting. Its a shame as there was some cool stuff in that last arc like when Ichigo reforged his sword that the series then failedto follow up on in any meaningful way. Jeez there was how much filler, as you know I cannot stand filler only filler episode I have ever liked was the driving episode of DBZ

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