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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).

AdamantCrashon Feb. 10, 2011 at 11:59 a.m.
Didn't Chad and Orihime get their powers from Ichigo when he couldn't control his spirit powers at first? Specifically around the time when Ichigo and Ishida were fighting hollows in a field, and then a Gillian appears and Ichigo goes crazy powerful and strikes it? I faintly remember that having to do a little bit with why both Orihime and Chad have powers.
 
Oh, and Ishida also used what seems like knives or swords as well. And if you really want to get technical about it, he can use a liquid form of his quincy powers to start a chain reaction of sorts.
Adanadhelon Feb. 10, 2011 at 7:22 p.m.
Great work! Although I have to disagree with you. The only really good thing on Bleach was the first season. After the first encounter with Aizen the series just goes dooown the hill.
Kingfalconon Feb. 11, 2011 at 4:07 p.m.
@Adanadhel:  Thanks for the heads up. I think I gave up around the 170 mark and always wondered if it was worth getting back into. It definitely sounds like I made the right choice.
jarf2on Feb. 12, 2011 at 5:19 p.m.
@AdamantCrash said:
" Didn't Chad and Orihime get their powers from Ichigo when he couldn't control his spirit powers at first? Specifically around the time when Ichigo and Ishida were fighting hollows in a field, and then a Gillian appears and Ichigo goes crazy powerful and strikes it? I faintly remember that having to do a little bit with why both Orihime and Chad have powers.  Oh, and Ishida also used what seems like knives or swords as well. And if you really want to get technical about it, he can use a liquid form of his quincy powers to start a chain reaction of sorts. "
no they didnt get the power from ichigo, if you read the latests chapter you will know that their power is fullbring 
GaspoweRon Feb. 12, 2011 at 7:49 p.m.
Tite Kubo doesn't know how to weave a cohesive plot. The last major arc was composed of a bunch of mini arcs which introduced A LOT of new characters. There was little character development and there was just so much shit added that it didn't make any sense. . .
  
Like the constant use of the Bankai during that last arc. When it was first introduced, it used to be this awesome last resort-esque technique that Captain level Shinigami only bust out under certain circumstances. In the last arc, they just kept on busting out bankai after bankai that there was little creativity in the battles. There was very little strategy and a lot of brawling that it got tiring after awhile. Sure there was the occasional "trump card moment" that happens very often in manga or anime but when it actually happens, it usually just falls with a thud and there is very little impact.
 
It just seems strange though that I still follow it even I'm finding more reasons NOT to like it. 
LewisLongshankson July 2, 2011 at 7:50 p.m.
@Halberdierv2: This isn't acknowledged until alot further into the plot however, we're talking like midway into the Hueco Mundo arc here.
DCypheron Jan. 29, 2012 at 7:22 a.m.

Thats right; it's weird .. it transpires that originally it's actually Chad's defensive power that has manifested which is how he matches up to the Old Espada when he finally learns his true power. Which comes from his lineage; IMHO.

Nice overview of the whole anime and a great intro I reckon.

kanarauchihaon Jan. 9, 2013 at 5:14 a.m.
hi all i love this web but how do i put on pics
Daniel_Newton moderator is online on Jan. 9, 2013 at 5:56 a.m.

@kanarauchiha: That's off-topic in this thread but since you're new I'll let it slide.

If you're asking how to change your user icon, go to your profile page (here) and click on your icon (the blue-haired guy).

kanarauchihaon Jan. 16, 2013 at 4:47 a.m.
fucking sweet

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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