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BLEACH: The Anime Has Gone Time Skipping

The Lost Shinigami of Tite Kubo's BLEACH has begun his normal life, but will he really be happy to sit on the side lines and watch others fight the Hollows for him?

The Time Skip in anime and manga serves as a great writer's tool. It allows you to inflict sudden and drastic changes into your cast. They can grow in age or power and have brand new looks in a relatively short time. This can also serve as a convenient jumping on point to new readers/viewers. It's pretty much a Shonen Jump standard. The Naruto anime series had it's time skip years ago in early 2007, One Piece was just this October, and a week after BLEACH has followed suit in BLEACH Ep. 343. All the Big Shonen Trilogy have made the leap, but how does BLEACH stand out?

Get up Ichigo. Time to start that average life you claimed you wanted.
Get up Ichigo. Time to start that average life you claimed you wanted.

I purposely held off on my review of BLEACH Ep. 343 until now, because I already follow this series in the manga. I thought it best to wait till the anime series caught up to a point where some action was going. Most of the Shonen series have the protagonist return from a time skip with improved powers and abilities that the reader just can't wait to see. Tite Kubo took a different route by having a hero with absolutely no power upon his return. Even this first episode points out to you that this is Ichigo Kurosaki, he's a student, and there's nothing special about him. It's a bold choice, and you can't really hold it against Kubo for trying something different.

Normally, the standard time skip in anime is a two year jump, but there have been far greater ones (i.e. Dragon Ball) and shorter ones.BLEACH went in another new direction with the rather oddly specific 17 months. There's a short flashback that shows you what lead to Ichigo's now ordinary life, but it more just serves to tease you with some really cool stuff you missed. You would then be mistaken to try going back one to Episode 342 to watch those scenes because of the filler arc. The audience would actually have to go all the way back to Episode 309.

Don't worry, Ichigo. You'll get a cool look later.
Don't worry, Ichigo. You'll get a cool look later.

The main cast has no major alteration to their design. Ichigo, Uryuu, and Chad look the same. The only change to Orihime is her hairstyle, and she no longer wears her Shun Shun Rikka in her hair. How could you really make this cast look older and in school when they've always appeared as the largest fifteen year-olds in history? It would've been like an episode of 21 Jump Street. The only design changes you really find are in the hairstyles of the supporting cast. My favorite being the longer hair on Tatsuki.

The arc has had one filler episode, so far; but it's also introducing some new characters that are entertaining to watch. We have the Xcution members, the villain Shukuro Tsukishima, and Ichigo's new boss, Ikumi Unagiya. Ikumi is a fun new character, but you're not going to get to meet her until Episode 344. I'm just concerned she's going to eventually disappear as many other characters often do in BLEACH.

The plot of Ichigo is a story about a young man who is obsessed with protecting the people he cares about. He's fooling himself by thinking he's happy to be a normal person, but now he's forced to watch as others do all the fighting. For a while, this entire Lost Shinigami Substitute Arc was feeling uncomfortably similar to the filler Bount Arc, but if you're patient and stay with the story. It takes Ichigo into some great places emotionally with a kick ass new design down the road. It also clears up some interesting little questions from the earlier stories, and Karin Kurosaki, Ichigo's little sister, seems to be up to something.

I hope you join in on this series, and it should be interesting to see where Kubo takes Ichigo once this arc closes. I honestly look forward to seeing that outcome. What are your thoughts? Are you enjoying the Lost Shinigami Substitute Arc?

Watch BLEACH Ep. 343 - 3rd Year High School Student! Dressed Up, and a New Chapter Begins!

You can also watch the ongoing series of BLEACH for free via these online streaming providers Crunchyroll - HERE / HULU -HERE

-Kristoffer Remmell ( FoxxFireArt) is a freelance graphic artist, writer, and over all mystery geek.- Follow for news updates: @ animevice / @ FoxxFireArt

sickVisionz moderator on Dec. 13, 2011 at 5:19 p.m.

I hated this in the manga but in the anime it's been decent to good so far. The manga arc started with weeks of nothing high school comedy, but it wasn't funny to me so it was loathsome. The anime got all of that out the way in one episode.

The powers are still ridiculously goofy and stupid (magic PSPs, enchanted Barbie mansions, mystic LV boots ripped straight from D.Gray-Man) but I'm hoping that once the action kicks up we get some good fights like we saw in the Kageroza filler arc.

endaroundon Dec. 13, 2011 at 5:29 p.m.

To me they only ones who haven't really aged are Ichigo and Uryuu. And Ichigo's sisters seem to have aged about 5 years.

Lurkeroon Dec. 13, 2011 at 6:49 p.m.

So far seems the same to me

Halberdierv2on Dec. 14, 2011 at 3:42 a.m.

well, you're incorrect about 342 being filler completely. it takes the padded route adding in some bonding moments between Ichigo and Rukia, but it is canon. but this is quite different from the bount arc.... this most recent chapter had me surprised with one of my fav characters this arc getting unexpectedly cut down.

FoxxFireArt moderator on Dec. 14, 2011 at 6:17 a.m.

@Halberdierv2:

I was talking about seeing the fight between Ichigo and Aizen.

@sickVisionz:

That's why I compared it to the Bount Arc. I do like Jackie Tristan's power.

kashif1on Dec. 14, 2011 at 12:22 p.m.

@sickVisionz: The kageroza filler arc was great right up until kageroza actually started being a main villain. The mirror matches were fun especially the kenpachi vs kenpachi match which made a surprisingly good observation about his character.

sickVisionz moderator on Dec. 14, 2011 at 5:31 p.m.

@kashif1: I'd have to disagree. Pretty much every fight Kageroza was in was pretty amazing in my book and ignoring personal tastes, the animation was well executed in all of them. Especially 319 and Kage/Oku's final battle against Ichigo and friends.

takashichea moderator is online on Dec. 15, 2011 at 10:53 a.m.

I need to resume watching Bleach. I see you dig Tatsuki's wild hair look.

People talk how Bleach and Fairy Tail's time skips are the worse while One Piece is the best. I haven't read or watch One Piece and Fairy Tail's anime hasn't come far yet. I can't comment on that for sure.

Can't wait to see everyone's different looks! I had fun looking at Naruto's characters.

korteraon Dec. 25, 2011 at 6:43 p.m.

This seems like it will be cool, i cant wait to catch up to this point

Dig Deeper into Time Skip

When a series jumps several months or even several years. Usually used in series staring younger kids and it resumes when they're teenagers or even adults.

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