Just finished Bleach episode 2. I'm not watching it as quickly as I'd like, but I'm hoping I'll get to speed it up over the holidays. Maybe I'll catch number 3 later today.
One of the reasons I wanted to start watching Bleach from the beginning was because I didn't know much about all of the characters I'd seen. It's great to see more of them as the story begins, so I can appreciate their motivations and growth.
In this episode, Ichigo is faced with the responsibilities of his power, and of being a Soul Reaper. He rejects Rukia's notion that it's just a duty. He's showing the makings of a good but unconventional Soul Reaper.
The rest of the episode centers around Orihime and her brother, who gets turned into a Hollow. Orihime irritates me a little bit, despite being the cute moe she's supposed to be. She just a bit too air-headed for my taste at this part of the series. The revelation that Hollows used to be human and may even retain some of their past identity adds a grim undertone to the series. That's just one more layer added to an already-deep mix. How Ichigo deals with this as he becomes a more active Soul Reaper will be interesting.
Also, Chad make a quick appearance early in the episode. I'm looking forward to seeing more about his origin.