Hi all, Ru back here with another review. This time the second part of my review of Naruto and Bleach.
This is a two-parter as both hold a special place in my heart, besides Dragonball (Z), they were the first animes I had every properly watched. I started watching them during college, my two years there were filled with waiting for a new volume to come out, reading it and feeling excited. But then having to wait until the next volume would come out, which usually involved a long journey to the centre of London to find one of the few stores that stocked manga at the time.
This was in 2004-2006, so not all stores stocked anime or manga. Now every Waterstones or HMV has a fully stocked shelf of anime and manga, encompassing almost every genres there is. I can now walk into my local Waterstones and find 4 shelves filled with manga, and also find many people from kids to adults browsing. Its a nice site, as again back when I was in college this section would be relegated to one corner or it wouldn’t be there at all in most stores.
The plot of Bleach revolved around Ichigo Kurosaki, an orange-haired trouble maker who is very loyal to his friends. One night his family and house get attacked by a Hollow, a type of evil spirit. He is saved first of all by a Death God called Rukia Kuchiki when she is injured she grants him her powers. Ichigo then becomes a Death God and easily defeats the Hollow. So begins Ichigo adventure in trying to defeat Hollows, while also trying to navigate the myriad of problems being a Death God causes.
The first two arcs of Bleach are excellent, the first with Ichigo trying to get a handle on being a Death God, while the second is about trying to save Rukia from the main Death God organisation who threaten to kill her. Now the main point being this manga has ended last year, it had a slow death as things were dragged out too much or the fighting and plot became nonsensical However the fandom mostly agrees and myself that the second arc was the best. By a wide margin as well, it had everything you wanted in a manga. Good fighting, suspense and drama all wrapped into one nice arc.
I would recommend to anyone to read Bleach just for this arc, however, it is after this arc ends and the next begins that the manga starts its long downhill trend. The first two arcs were nicely compact and had all the ingredients to make it great. The next few arcs were dragged out, but while the fights were great in most cases the feel of the previous two arcs were not there.
I can’t actually recommend this manga enough just for those first two arcs, and maybe the start of the third. I have read and continue to read a lot of the fandom stopped following the manga as the third and fourth arc started, just because it was “Crap” or “Nothing was happening.”. Which are all valid points, I still continued to read the manga up until the end, again just because it was one of the first I had ever read and because of nostalgia.
One thing that has continued all the way through is the level of artwork in the manga, they were consistently good with certain panels or chapters being outstanding on the level detail and exposition. Later on, this detail focused on the characters and fights, the backgrounds suffer from lack of detail which seems to become a point of contention for some people that were still following it. In contrast, Naruto’s background as the series went on had an awe-inspiring level of detail.
I know that I am rambling right now, but as a final note even with the slow spiral of death the manga went through it still had its nice shining moments. I feel like I should do an in-depth study on a character, a few within this manga have interesting motivations and outlooks on life. In any case, I do recommend the manga and even the anime. The fights have always been details beautifully, with the second arc being the highlight of the series.
Enough from me, I hope you guys enjoyed my review of Bleach.