I was told Internet people love lists and visual content, so here’s one such post.
1. The Main Character is someone you can relate to and care about. Kurosaki Ichigo is at the same time funny and brooding – never actually failing to be cool and kick-ass in the process. Kurosaki Ichigo is by no means special or different – he follows the shonen tradition. He’s a high school boy with a tragic event in his past. An ordinary boy with an extraordinary ability which becomes more and more prominent as the anime (or manga, if you will) continues. Of course, there’s darkness within, which is one of his biggest enemies.
This is pretty much basic main character description for any shonen anime (or manga, if you will). Take Naruto – pretty much the same. Sometimes it’s a God given talent, sometimes it’s a talent which was forced upon the character, and sometimes it’s just sheer stubbornness and amazing strength. To draw a parallel with an ongoing anime, there’s Shingeki no Kyojin, where the hero, Eren, is again a boy with a tragic past who becomes the best, if not the last, hope for the survival of the human race under Titans’ attack.
2. Character Development – there actually is one. They change and gradually become all they can be. Albeit simplistic, there’s a psychological and historical basis for pretty much every one of the characters. In my opinion the most important thing every author has to be aware of one fact – t – willing suspension of disbelief can only go so far.
3.Regular New (Cool) Characters Introduction – every 15 or so episodes we are introduced to awesome new characters. Just when you get a bit weary, and things start getting a bit repetitive, Bleach shoves characters like Kuchiki Byakuya and Abarai Renji down your throat.
4. Story – honour, strength, friendship, family. An „ordinary“ boy and his mates against the overwhelming supernatural force. Yes, it’s nothing you haven’t seen before. However it is done splendidly, and after a while you realize that you’re breathing and bleeding as the story unravels.
5. Comic Relief – Bleach never fails to hit you with something funny amid all the angst and pain. I love that. It’s rarely in the center – mostly it serves to break the tension.
6. Normal Life Story-line – these guys go to school, they have friends and they try to keep up an image of being normal. This is something I enjoy, because as much as the story is supernatural, it makes the characters and the story more plausible.
7. Limited Number of Irritating Characters – there is only one irritating character in the first 63 episodes, and she has enormous boobs which pretty much nullify the irritation. She is also a center of latent lesbian interest of her two classmates and a certain kinky soft toy is rather interested in her, so she’s bearable.
8. Fanservice – there is no decent anime (especially one of this scope) which does not offer a reasonable amount of fanservice. In Bleach, there’s fanservice aplenty and I respect that because it makes me feel respected (good God, I really do sound like a major geek, don’t I?).
9. Feeds the Monster – you have to feed the greed. You can’t have 15 episodes without the main character doing something absolutely awesome and growing even stronger than he was. True, this can be really difficult to achieve when an anime runs for 300 plus episodes, however it’s your obligation.
10. Awesome Bad Guys – last but not least. Without a decent opponent, our hero cannot shine. And Kurosaki et all do have some formidable and scary opponents.
I cannot imagine an anime fan not at least trying to watch Bleach. However, I’ve only just begun watching Naruto and I have been an anime fan for over 10 years, so everything is possible. Here’s a few randomly positioned video clips because Internet people love video material, apparently.
When it comes to what to watch, I can honestly recommend first three seasons (ep 01 – 63) which comprise of: The Substitute (ep 01-20), The Entry (ep 21-41), The Rescue (42-63). Season 4 (Bount Arc) is a horrific filler season which made me waver and abandon Bleach for a while. After that, everything is a blur which I aim to clarify in the following months and come back with additional info.
- Bleach – ブリーチ (animenation4u.wordpress.com)