Bleach: Where Did It Go Wrong?

Topic started by Daniel_Newton on Feb. 9, 2012. Last post by takashichea 2 years, 10 months ago.
Post by Daniel_Newton (3,308 posts) See mini bio Level 20
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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?

Post by sickVisionz (4,311 posts) See mini bio Level 24
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Hard to pinpoint, but I think the crux or pillar that a lot of the wrong is built off of is the side characters. There are too many of them and too many of them get way too much screen time. I can understand an arc here and there focusing one one but during major battles ALL of them got their own multi-chapter/episode fight. Almost every captain and almost every vice-captain. Hueco Mundo was the biggest offender. Captains, Vice Captains, Espada, Espada vice captains (I forget their names), arrancar who weren't even good enough to be in one of the previous two characters, Ichigo's friends, and Vaizards. You're talking like 30+ characters all getting 2-5 episodes dedicated to them and some characters got multiple 2-5 episode battles dedicated to them. It's too much. Side characters aren't a bad concept, but when they get that much spotlight you're talking well over a year of manga and anime episodes before you even get to the major side characters.

Nobody can keep that up. Kubo is a creative dude but throwing in that many characters is how you end up with reject stuff like magic PSPs, enchanted Barbie houses, flaming ballerina arrancar, eyeball tutu Espada, and Nenodroid doll powerups. Additionally, it's hard to tell a decent story when you have to stop for over a year of releases to let every character you've ever thought of get their time to shine before you can move things forward.

What would make the manga better? I don't know. I think manga works best when you're telling strong stories that are engaging, but that's not Bleach. The story that Bleach tells, one of fighting, is one suited for a medium with animation, music, voice acting, sound effects, etc. What would make the anime better? Shorter story arcs, better animation on a somewhat regular basis (I think the Reigai arc is a good example of this), and keeping the side-character fiesta limited to 1 solo episode at a time and often times having multiple side characters fighting together so that you're fans of them can still see them do something interesting but you're not devoting over a year just to one round of side character fighting.

Post by Neurotic (41 posts) See mini bio Level 6

One of the main things I've heard people complain about is the multiple simultaneous fights, which started at the end of the Soul Society arc with Ichigo v. Byakuya, Soi Fon v. Yoruichi, Kenpachi v. Komamura + Tosen and Ukitake + Kyoraku v. Yamamoto all happening at the same time and the latter two fights are never even resolved.

Personally, I think the main problem is that Kubo made too many characters so he ended up spreading himself too thin with making all of them interesting. For example, I don't think that there needed to be so many Espadas and Vizards. Only Espadas 1-4 did anything worthwhile (Grimmjow was just a device for giving Ichigo some balls again and Nnoitora got curbstomped as soon as a competent fighter took him on) and Shinji is the only Vizard who does something worth a damn. Whilst interesting villains are necessary, Kubo already had three, he did not need to add another 10. When I stopped reading, there were so many loose ends left hanging that in no way looked as if they were going to be tied up and, from what I've seen of recent chapters, they still haven't been with the exception of one (what happened to Kensei, which to be honest I couldn't care less about anyway).

I think the point about Ichigo becoming too powerful is valid to an extent but that's just a problem with the genre.

For my sins, I intend to get caught up on Bleach and will read the final arc (although I'll probably just let it finish and read it all in one go). For all of its shortcomings, I still hold a soft spot for it since it's the series that got me into anime.

Post by takashichea (14,478 posts) See mini bio Level 25
Moderator

I find the villains in Bleach more interesting than the good guys. I feel like Kubo killed them too fast such as Tousen, Stark, Halibel (Harribel), and others. I appreciate their back stories even though Ulquiorra never had one. Fans speculate because of Ulquiorra's aspect of death is nihilism, he has no back story. Still sucks.

I got into Bleach because of the fights and characters. (As a teenager, I never thought critically of the shows I watch. I just watch shows that makes me laugh and have interesting characters.) Kubo inherited Akira Toriyama's lack of story telling. It's fight after fight while Bleach's first two arcs revolves around rescuing Rukia from Soul Society and Orihime from Hueco Mundo. Some fans might see that as sexist as in "that was the whole point of going to battle to save the girls." I never thought it about that way.

On the bright side, I love Bleach because it has a wide variety of characters from different race. The names that Kubo picks for his characters along with the back stories are awesome. Bleach should get back to its themes of reincarnation and its roots. That's what makes Bleach interesting from the start. Now, Bleach is too long which makes it stale. Bleach should have ended after Aizen's defeat. There's not much to expand the story.

Edit: I created the cultural diversity page because of Bleach and Shaman King's diverse concepts and characters.

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