So with Bleach apparently ending soon, though there's no real indication of how far off the ending really is, I've been seeing people talk about when and where they think the series went wrong. Maybe you think it never did, but it's clear that the show isn't as popular as it once was.
So where do you guys think it went wrong? What are your problems with Bleach in general? What could Tite Kubo do to make the franchise awesome again?
Personally, I think there are two major problems with Bleach. Firstly, Ichigo became too powerful too quickly. Not that long after Ichigo got his Shinigami powers, he quickly climbed the ranks earning his Shikai and Bankai and before long was fighting on par with captain-level characters. When you also keep in mind that the other Shinigami trained for hundreds of years to get to that level of power, it gets a little ridiculous. He went from tough-guy-human to top-tier-death-god in a matter of months. Even Goku never powered up that fast.
The first problem then feeds directly into the second one; because Ichigo got so powerful, there had to be new foes for him to fight. Bleach then became a series that introduced hordes of characters at a time and once they were defeated, most of them were put to one side and forgotten about. It's got to the point now where Kubo is introducing entirely different types of characters with, frankly, dumb powers that weren't needed at all! I would have been much more interested in going back to the Shinigami and other characters from earlier in the series. The Soul Society is potentially an entire world that could be explored, but instead everything involved with it revolves around Seireitie and occasionally we see parts of Rukongai.
Another problem I have is the manga vs. the anime. I don't know how everyone else feels about this, but I've been talking to sickVisionz about it and we both think the anime is superior. For me, the pacing and atmosphere make it a much better experience. During the Fullbring arc (I don't know if that's over in the manga yet, don't spoil anything for me) I was on the verge of dropping Bleach completely. Since I switched back to the anime I've enjoyed it magnitudes more, everything has an extra level of emotional kick that I didn't feel at all in the manga. On top of that, Bleach filler (most of it anyway) is some of the best anime filler I've ever watched.
What do you guys think? Any thoughts on the franchise in general?