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Bleach
by tsubasa22 on January 18th, 2011, 3:12am

Rating - 8.6 / 10.0

User rating of this review - 2 out of 5
Story/Plot - 4.5 out of 5
Characters - 4 out of 5
Drawing Style - 4.5 out of 5
Enjoyment - 4 out of 5
Overall - 4.25 out of 5

Click here for series information

Plot/Story
Kurosaki Ichigo, a high school student with unusually orange hair, has the ability to see ghosts. He is not only able to see ghosts, he can also speak with them, etc, as if they were still alive. One day, he meets a soul reaper (Shinigami) named Kuchiki Rukia. He has never seen a soul reaper and is shocked, and Rukia is shocked as well, due to he fact that "normal" humans should not be able. Rukia explains to Ichigo that her job as a soul reaper is to guide the good souls ("pluses") to Soul Society, while exterminating the bad souls (the "hollows"). The hollows eat up the pluses, and it is her job to stop that.

Just then, a hollow, attracted by Ichigo's strong spiritual ability, attacks Ichigo's house. Rukia attempts to fight off the hollow but is mortally wounded. She offers a deal to Ichigo- she will lend Ichigo some of her powers so he can fight to save his family- Ichigo, however, takes all of Rukia's power, becoming a soul reaper himself.

I will try to refrain from giving spoilers-

Bleach's story is unique. It is not perfect- there are several overused storylines in the story- but it is a fairly strong story. The one thing that makes this series shine is that the author seems to know what direction he wants to take the story. Everytime an arc ends- there are unanswered questions, hinting to the reader that the author has purposely left things on the cliff, in order to resolve them in the next arc, which I find as proof that the author knows where the story's going to head- it's important to know where the story will go as an author. .

Yes, Bleach is unique and well-planned, but it still cannot escape the action shounen genre's formula of "fight-win/lose-training-fight again". To compensate for this repeptitive flow of the shounen action genre, the author adds in many plot twits and turns, and occasionally, some good humor, making Bleach an overall "above average" series.

Characters

There are MANY characters in Bleach. Many. Each character seems to have their own personality, which is very important in shounen series with many characters. The fact that the soul reaper characters have their own, personalized weapon adds more flare to each character.

Although not all the characters are lovable- most of them are at the least, charming, and you'll come to love quite a few characters.

The hero, Kurosaki Ichigo, is a somewhat typical shounen lead at first- relies on brute force, brave, filled with a sense of justice- but he develops into a, shall I say, "smarter" character, and his inner conflict with himself gives the reader a sense that he's well, developing.

Many characters are shrouded in clouds of mystery in the beginning, but the author leads to open up the backstories of the characters slowly, which are very well-planned out.

Drawing Style

Bleach's drawing style is not perfect, but quite good. You are able to identify each character clearly-and while at times battle scenes do get hectic, it's overall a clean, admirable work.

The one thing the author does very well, is that the author does a great job of setting the "mood" with art. Forewarning, spoilers here- (an example of the great mood setting the author does through art is in the scene of Aizen's "revival"- Aizen is facing the reader and everything behind him is blank- there is no specific background, giving a sense of presence of just Aizen)- spoiler ends here.

Enjoyment

The only problem I have with Bleach, is that at times, battle scenes tend to drag on. It is at times, a bore to read 3 weekly chapters of merely fighting- If you a reader reading Bleach in a bulk, it is not to worry, but if you are weekly reading, at times, fighting does get repetitive- but usually a big plot development at the end of the fighting makes up for it. So if you are a patient reader or likes action scenes very much, Bleach will be a very enjoyable series. If you put more emphasis on story/character development and less action scense- I would recommend reading Bleach in bulk.

Another little extra enjoyment point of Bleach is that every volume, the author will put a little poem to give a general idea for the volume or a central character. It's actually interesting to see how the poems relate to the story/character- and many of them are actually quite insightful to the story/characters.


Overall

Bleach is a well-planned out unique story- it is not perfect and does has some problems with overused story elements, but the overall series is very well planned out, and the author knows where he's taking the story to. The characters all generally have a unique persona- most of them are charming, and you'll come to love a great deal of some characters. Art is good quality, and the one thing the author does great in is setting up a certain "mood" through art. If you are a patient reader or lover of action- reading Bleach weekly is not a problem. If you are a reader who puts emphasis on story/characters and do not enjoy action scenes as much, I'd recommend you'd read Bleach in bulk.

Overall, Bleach is not perfect, but it is a great, enjoyable series. The only thing I'd be concerned about is its slightly repetitive formula of fighting scene and its length- it is, obviously, quite long, and if you have the endurance to go through the whole series (especially if you are a first time reader), you'll come to love the series very much.
 
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Well planned out? by strixflash on October 10th, 2012, 11:56pm Rating: 2

I cant agree with most of your review. Apart from some obvious things,nothing was planned out. Author adds something when he feels like it.... No forthshadowing for Fullbring and Quincy arc, and then you bekieve it to be well planned out? I know Kubo stated in a interview that he never expected to cross 5 years and I would have been happy if he have planned out about fullbring/quincy arc even after first 300 chapters. Twists? I dont see them. Yea,revival of Aizen was a twist and thats it. He did a terrible job in ass-pulling the story about Aizen being aware of Ichigo.
Characters? Other than some main characters,others have the same personalities. It really applies to enemies atleast.
Plot-->next to nothung other than 100 chapters of training and fight and occasional plot developments.
I really feel offended when you say "Well planned out".
 
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