Ok, I have been reading the manga and watching the anime for both Bleach and Naruto since the beginning and I want to first start off by saying I really like them both. However, a friend and myself have been having an ongoing argument for months about which series is better, I say Naruto, while she sticks to Bleach, so I am going to put my money where my mouth is, and write all the reasons why I personally believe Naruto is superior, the reasons include; better stories, smoother transitions, more well rounded characters (both heroes and villains) and finally more interesting fights.
First, I shall talke about the stories. It’s not so much that I find Naruto’s stories to be more interesting, rather I find Bleach stories to be much more dull. Let’s start out by listing all of the Bleach story arcs. We have the first story, which introduces the series and its characters as well as giving Ichigo his soul reaper abilities, but the me, the first season wasn’t impressive at all. As a matter of fact, it felt much like a filler season. Each episode was basically Ichigo fighting off random hollows that popped up and plagued his town with a now powerless Rukia tagging alone to give out exposition. Nothing really substantial happens until the end of the season when Byakuya and Renji come along to take Rukia back to the Soul Society. Second, there is little to no character development at all. Although we get some secondary characters like and Uryu, they are pretty much one dimensional. Orihime has lost her brother who turns out to be a hollow, but besides that we don’t get to learn anything else about her, Chad used to be a bully, his uncle changed him, now he fights bullies…that’s about it, Uryu is really the only one who gets some fleshing out, and even that is minimum. Now let’s talk about the second season, which is personally, my favorite. I loved the season and think it had everything a good arc should have, interesting characters, pretty good fights, and funny humor, however I will boil it down to this; Ichigo’s female friend gets kidnapped, Ichigo takes his friends to a foreign land to rescue her, he fight uber powerful opponents and thanks to a power up or five, beats them, he rescues his friend and goes back home, the end. There’s nothing wrong with that, but remember it for later on. Now the third arc was that of the Bounts, which I’m not going to lie, just was horrible, I could explain the plot in detail but instead I’ll sum it up in two words: vengeful vampires. And now on to the next arc, the Espada/Aizen arc. If you remember the end of the soul society arc, then you know that Aizen betrayed the soul society and joined forces with the hollows in Los Noches, here, that continues, now let’s recap that arc. Ahem, one of ichigo’s female friends gets kidnapped, Ichigo takes his friends to a foreign land to rescue her, he fights uber powerful opponents and thanks to a power up or two beats them, he rescues his friend and goes back home, the end. Sound familiar? Yeah. Now currently they are on a new arc with Fullbringers, and it hasn’t ended yet, so I’ll wait to talk about that. Naruto on the other hand has interesting arcs throughout the entire series, the first arc not only established the main characters, but built up character development as well, unlike Bleach’s first arc, it had an actual plot with a main reoccurring villain (Zabuza) the next arc, the Chunin Exams was near perfection, it had everything a good story needs, new interesting characters, a GREAT villain (Gaara) more than one ongoing plot, not just the Chunin Exams, but the sand village’s attack, as well as Orochimaru’s scheme. I could go on with each arc, but you see my point.
This leads me to my next point, Naruto has better transitions. While Bleach seems to be one story after another with hardly any transition, Naruto moves smoothly from story to story, for example, the first arc led right into the Chunin Exams, which led right into the search for Tsunade and so on, it makes the series feels more whole and complete. Next, Naruto has better characters. What do I mean by better? they are more developed. Each character in the series has their own thoughts and dreams, their own interesting back story which is explored very well, even the “villains” in the story aren’t all bad, Zabuza, Haku, Itachi, Pein, Gaara, and so many more each have complex and complete backstories and motives for their heinous actions. Bleach on the other hand has slightly one dimensional characters, ichigo is the stereotypical hero, fighting for his friends, giving out inspiration speeches, and..well that’s it really. His supporting cast isn’t much better, and most of the villains (with the exception of Byakuya during the soul society arc) fight either to 1. become more powerful, or 2. To follow the orders of someone more powerful. For example, compare the Espada and the Akatsuki, every single member of the Espada only fight to serve Aizen, even ones with some potential backstory like Grimmjow or Ulquiorra don’t get fully utilized and explored. However every single member of the Akatsuki has a very well fleshed out back story and motives for doing what they do.
Finally, the fights, now here’s the portion that’s debatable. I personally like Naruto for the reason that no two characters have the same abilities (unless they are related) each has their own jutsu and skills, and it’s really fun watching those skills clash with another set. While in Bleach, besides sword releases, there isn’t that much difference in between fights, it goes, sword fight, sword fight, sword release, sword release, someone finally wins, in that order. Also, to be honest, most of the fights in Bleach aren’t really that great that don’t involve Ichigo, while many fights in Naruto don’t even involve Naruto.
I could elaborate on each of these points more, but I feel like this is already way too long as it is, so in conclusion these are the reason why I think Naruto is far superior to Bleach