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BLEACH #5 -- Retro Review

The final secret of shonen's success?

Something that’s always struck me about Eastern horror stories - - specifically ghost stories, more often - - is the specificity of the rules concerning the paranormal. Again, from GANTZ to DEATH NOTE, it seems like spirits aren’t so much terrifying expressions of the unknown, but simply undesirable clauses in the law of the universe. Certainly, there’s still going to be a lot of grief and duress; but a person can navigate around them in about the same fashion he’d finesse his way out of parking ticket.

I mean, just look at the title of this one. This episode’s centered on Chad, not breaking the procedures of shinigami and Hollows so much as just literally dancing around them. All the business of him punching the air, and hitting the Hollow only when Rukia’s correctly guiding him… it makes me think of how my cousins would tell me to hold my breath after passing a graveyard. You know, lest I attract unwanted attention from the people buried there.

As I recall, they said I had to hold it for three house for a small one, and five houses for a big one. Made perfect sense when I was a kid. Recalling it now, though, it’s amusing to think about quantifying horror to such measured degrees. And that’s what I’m seeing while watching this.

Guess it should be even less of a surprise in a genre so renowned for power levels right? Maybe taking your universe as literally as this is another secret to shonen's success. I can imagine the staffs of so many other series saying, “Why even bother worrying about those details? It's all fantasy at the end of the day.” Well, perhaps that's it. BLEACH does go on and play out a scenario - - precisely showing what happens when a character can touch ghosts, but can't see them.

There you go. A lesson to end this last HST sampler with. Do you figure I'm on to something here?

Watch "Beat the Invisible Enemy" and decide for yourself, then read my comments about the previous episode.

About the Author

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk
Kino88on April 10, 2014 at 9:06 a.m.
Yeah it is funny how kids harp on statistics, Brings back memories of Pokemon playing cards, How stats were everything, now I could care less about all Those numbers, these days I'm bigger on themematics rather than statistics, it's a pretty good theory,
Marshal Victoryon April 10, 2014 at 8:46 p.m.

That reminds me of the phrase "whistling past the graveyard". An all the graveyard lore an myths. Coffins with a string an bell system so if you were not dead you could pull the string an ring the bell to get dug up. Dead ringer comes from that as people would see some one an wonder if they was a dead ringer for someone else or a dead ringer come back from the grave.

Different parts of the world its took different meaning. Mush like "whistling past the graveyard" people think it was to remind cheerful while going past a graveyard.My neck of the woods it has two very different meanings. One is a waste of time or effort. The other is to ward off the bad spirits. Much like holding your breath as not to offend them.

Bleach has rules for the hollows.How they work. Loss an regret make them hollow .Like they are hallow on the inside.Thus the chain an the hole. Whistling would not affect them tho.

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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