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Beginner's Guide to Bleach 2

This guide is written by sotyfan16

You may remember that staff writer Godlen wrote a Beginner's Guide to Bleach in May of 2010. Anime Vice member Sotyfan16 asked if he could write a new guide and we said bring it! -av staff
 
The franchise juggernaut known as Bleach has become an anime staple nowadays. For the current generation of fans, this series, along with Naruto, has been their gateway into the medium. Like many long-running shōnen it gets compared to others of its kind-especially Dragon Ball Z. Despite the longevity of the manga and anime, the creator, Tite Kubo, has got everything planned for the better part of the next decade. Interestingly enough, Mr. Kubo started creating manga after seeing Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball. His first series, Zombiepowder, finally made it to serialization after many failed attempts-only to get cancelled. Also, Bleach was originally rejected for publishing. A letter from Toriyama gave Kubo the inspiration to try again. The manga was even named “Black” and “White” at different points in creation.  
         
 

The Bleach manga started being published in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump way back in August 2001. The manga is still ongoing with Chapter 435 being the latest. In 2004 Viz Media picked up the Bleach manga to publish for North America and Volume 33 was released December 2010. Viz also includes individual chapters in its Shonen Jump magazine (since 2004). The manga won the Shogakukan Manga Award in 2005 for a Shōnen series. The Bleach anime, produced by TV TokyoDentsu, and Studio Pierrot, started airing in Japan in October 2004. The anime is ongoing as well with the most recent aired episode being 308. The English dub is far behind with Season 7 being the latest DVD release and episode 188 being the latest to air on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. Bleach also has 4 feature length movies that have original storylines done by Tite Kubo and the same director as the TV series. Only two have been dubbed so far: Memories of Nobody (2006) and Diamond Dust Rebellion (2007). The other two, Fade to Black, I Call Your Name (2008) and The Hell Chapter (2010) have yet to be done but have been out in Japan. On top of the massive anime and manga phenomenon Bleach has become, there have also been a number of musicals, trading card games, light novels, and video games to please the franchise’s ever-growing fan base.
 

The Story

Ichigo Kurosaki is a 15 year old with the ability to see and talk to spirits. One day a Soul Reaper (also coined Death GodDeath Dealer, and Shinigami), Rukia Kuchiki, shows up. Her search for a Hollow brought her to Karakura Town. Rukia’s fight with the Hollow in question turns ugly and Ichigo jumps in to help her. Rukia gives Ichigo the power of a Substitute Soul Reaper to defeat the creature. From then on Rukia trains Ichigo in her stead. However, some if Ichigo’s friends have latent powers as well. Together they will protect wayward spirits and those they care for.

The Characters

 
Ichigo Kurosaki has a disposition to not care too much. He goes day to day acting like seeing annoying spirits is normal. His chance encounter with Rukia turns his world upside down and inside out when he gains the mysterious powers of a Soul Reaper and finds out there are other worlds besides his own. Now he must handle both school and protecting spirits. His weapon is a giant sword (Zanpakutou) similar to Cloud’s from Final Fantasy VII.
 
Rukia Kuchiki is a Soul Reaper from the Soul Society. Despite her appearance she is actually well over 100 years old. She lost her Soul Reaper powers when Ichigo helped her so now she must wait in the Human world to regain them. In the meantime, she trains Ichigo to fight Hollows. She also starts attending his school and sleeps in his closet. Her weapon is a sword zanpakuto as well.
 
Orihime Inoue is a long-time friend of Ichigo’s. She is an orphan. After her brother’s death she became more spiritually aware and soon undergoes training of her own to develop her powers. She’s quite the ditz but she is always prepared to help a friend in need and hates seeing people get hurt. Her weapon is a pair of hair clips.
 
Yasutora “Chad” Sado is another of Ichigo’s friends from school. He is originally from Mexico and very tall and muscular. He was unaware of his powers until he unknowingly protected Ichigo’s sister, Karin, from a Hollow. He is also very respectful and dutiful. His weapon is a transformed armored right arm.
 
Uryū Ishida is a Quincy. He is one of the last of the race and Quincy’s are hated enemies of Soul Reapers. While starting off as a rival to Ichigo he gradually becomes a valuable ally. He is very prideful. His weapon is a bow and arrow.

Why Watch?

This series is very long and contains a lot of filler from time to time. Over the course of the series Ichigo and his friends go through many trials that test their resolve and abilities. There is a lot of action and a good bit of comedy with only a tiny bit of fan service. A whole new world of powers varying to each character brings along an interesting and exciting ride to the typical Shōnen “save the day” method. There are eventually a lot of characters and many are very cool and different. Bleach includes blood and violence, language, and some suggestive themes for a TV-14 rating. However, the DVD boxsets are released uncut but there is little, if any, difference than when shown on TV. The animation is very suiting the style of the series. The dub versus sub debate rages on as both include talented voice actors. However, the highlight of the dub is Johnny Yong Bosch (Lelouch Lamperouge, Vash) as Ichigo.

Verdict

The series starts slow but picks up after Season 1. The cast is variable and the powers they portray are out of this world. Literally! The story is not complicated, either. The downside is the time dedication but the series as a whole is entertaining. Shōnen lovers rejoice! 

-Will McQuigg (sotyfan16is your everyday anime/manga enthusiast. You can also find him on Twitter (bildo_88).

sora_thekey moderator on Feb. 9, 2011 at 11:28 a.m.
Awesome! Great job sotyfan16!
Halberdierv2on Feb. 9, 2011 at 12:41 p.m.
thats a great beginner's guide. only thing. both of Chad's arms can transform.
Daniel_Newton moderator on Feb. 9, 2011 at 12:48 p.m.
Nice guide sotyfan, I cleaned it up a little though, there were some spaces under headings and the images were staircasing like crazy on my widescreen monitor, so I put the character section into a table. Hope you don't mind!
You know, it would be pretty cool if we had a beginners guide section on pages in the same way as we have the reviews section, so anyone could write one and users could recommend them in the same way too. I wouldn't mind writing my own Bleach guide.
Daniel_Newton moderator on Feb. 9, 2011 at 12:52 p.m.
@Halberdierv2: Since it's a beginner's guide, that would kind of count as a spoiler, he doesn't gain powers in his left arm for a pretty long time. You'll notice Ichigo's shikai, bankai and every other transformation/power-up he gains isn't mentioned either.
sickVisionz moderator on Feb. 9, 2011 at 12:57 p.m.
@Newten said:
" there were some spaces under headings and the images were staircasing like crazy on my widescreen monitor, so I put the character section into a table. "
The thought never came to me but putting images in a table would solve a lot of the what you see is not what you get problems with the editor. 
 
Nice guide.  Being a part 2 I thought it might go a little further into the story but good stuff nonetheless.
Daniel_Newton moderator on Feb. 9, 2011 at 1:05 p.m.
@sickVisionz: Yeah, I've used tables in the wiki a few times to solve this sort of problem. I just turned the table borders off, looks nicer now. 
 
Also, I don't think it's really a part 2 to the previous guide, I'm pretty sure it's just sotyfan's own guide.
Makoto_Mizuhara_Sakamotoon Feb. 9, 2011 at 1:06 p.m.
Because of this, and knowing full-well that there's going to be fillers... I may want to check this out now.
sotyfan16on Feb. 9, 2011 at 1:15 p.m.
@Halberdierv2: @Newten: @sickVisionz:
Yes, this is the basic Guide for Bleach. With how long Bleach has been running I thought it would be a good idea to start from scratch and serialize the Guides to specific Arcs. That way long running shows can be better understood and organized. And on that note I'll let you know that the next section is coming soon and it's going to be a mammoth.
FoolyCoolyon Feb. 9, 2011 at 1:24 p.m.

the beginners guide to bleach should start off as: this manga is terrible but if you want to waste one week of your life then here you go...
gla55jAwon Feb. 9, 2011 at 2:47 p.m.
I really need to go back and catch up on Bleach. I stopped watching somewhere near the last episodes Dattebayo subbed. I'm sure I kind find the more recent episodes though.
endaroundon Feb. 9, 2011 at 5:06 p.m.
@gla55jAw: Its on hulu delayed a week though its missing any of the episodes that are airing as dubs on AS.
ShadowKnight508 moderator on Feb. 9, 2011 at 5:19 p.m.
Great work, Sotyfan16. I hate to admit it, but at the moment, I am slogging through the Bount Arc (currently at  Episode 101) and I have Bleach on hold while I try to catch up on One Piece (at Episode 36) in-between Yumekui Merry and Beelzebub.
Chris2KLeeon Feb. 9, 2011 at 5:25 p.m.
Finally caught up on the Bleach manga, nice to see Kubo imitating his hero Toriyama and stretching this baby out as long as he can, lol. That said, I guess the next phase for Bleach will be to see what the mystery of Ichigo's mother is.
Daniel_Newton moderator on Feb. 9, 2011 at 5:36 p.m.
@ShadowKnight508: Oh... god. 
Dude, I have watched almost every episode of Bleach there is (I only switched to the manga a few months ago) and let me tell you, the Bount Arc is the worst. I watched all the way through it, and I really wish I'd just skipped it. 
 
The entire thing is filler and is entirely skippable. The rest of Bleach is so much better.
vergiliuson Feb. 9, 2011 at 7:54 p.m.
Just skip all the filler, honestly.  The manga has pacing problems as it is, and then they ram in all these unrealated story arcs in the middle.
hamstar138on Feb. 9, 2011 at 8:43 p.m.
It almost seems impossible  to me that someone might not know bleach. But this was very well done. Good job! 
gla55jAwon Feb. 9, 2011 at 8:57 p.m.
@endaround said:
" @gla55jAw: Its on hulu delayed a week though its missing any of the episodes that are airing as dubs on AS. "
Wow that's great news. I'm way past all the dubbed stuff. Thanks for the info!
ZombiePieon Feb. 9, 2011 at 10:56 p.m.
@Newten:@sickVisionz:  Using tables for wiki entries is like peaches and creme. If done correctly it is so delicious.
Ariolanderon Feb. 9, 2011 at 11:42 p.m.

My Guide to Bleach

 
Bleach
  verb \ ˈblēch\    transitive verb
1 : to remove color or stains from  
2 a: to make whiter or lighter especially by physical or chemical removal of color <bleach clothing> <the sun had bleached her hair>      
2 b: to remove, make dull, or sanitize as if by removing color <bleaches colonialism of its genocidal legacy — H. A. Giroux>     
intransitive verb
1 : to grow white or lose color
2 of coral: to expel symbiotic zooxanthellae exposing a white skeleton
bleach·able \ ˈblē-chə-bəl\ adjective    
MrGuttson Feb. 10, 2011 at 7:46 a.m.
@Halberdierv2 said:
" thats a great beginner's guide. only thing. both of Chad's arms can transform. "
Yeah good guide..
 
His other arm can transform into a shield right?

Dig Deeper into Bleach

The story follows a fifteen year old high-schooler who is forced into an adventure as a Shinigami. He starts off as a weak warrior of honor but progresses to be more than a match for most captains. Now he will face the Soul Society's greatest threat, Sousuke Aizen,Xcution, and Vandereich.

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