The return of Bleach anime was recently confirmed with the announcement of the Thousand Years Blood War arc, picking up where it left off. In its glory days Bleach, created by Tite Kubo , was considered one of the Top 3 Shonen animes with Naruto and One Piece. While the other two kept on going strong, Bleach’s popularity began to waver and the anime was ultimately cancelled with the Fullbring Arc.
The downward spiral in popularity of bleach wasn’t due to the storyline but the excessive fillers that the anime started rollling out for the manga to catch up. This forced Tite Kubo to rush the manga at an unprecedented speed by the publishers. This affected the later storylines of the manga including the Thousand Year Blood Wars arc, which had lot of plot holes and unanswered questions.
With the return of Bleach anime announced, Kubo and anime studios might have a chance to redeem the once legendary anime and make it reclaim its glory, all the while adressing the shortcomings and expanding on the storyline in the manga. Here are few points which suggest why the return of Bleach is Good and Bad.
The following analysis contains major spoilers for the Bleach Thousand Year Blood Wars arc and the anime in general. If you are not familiar with the manga and don’t want your experience to be spoilt, we requent you dont read any further!
Good: Fight Sequences and Amazing Moments.
There are many of us who grew up with Bleach and have watched Ichigo and Rukia go through various dangerous scenarios for their friends and family. The anime had awesome as hell fight sequences. Who can forget Ichigo’s Hollow first surfacing in his fight against Byakuya or the Immensely Popular Ichigo vs Ulquoirra fight. The Vasto Lorde form destroying Ulquoirra without any mercy. The fights of other captains with Espadas and Arrancars. The huge shock of watching Isshin in a Shinigami Kimono. The pervertness of Kyouraku Shinsui, Ichigo and Kon. Funny moments of Orihime being a weirdly normal girl and Rukia living in Ichigo’s closet. Rangiku and Yoruichi giving us nosebleeds. The sacrifice and love of Gin Ichimaru for Rangiku. The Loneliness of Coyote Starrk. The badass-ness of Captain Commander Genryusai Shigekuni Yamamoto. Ahh, the chills and feels of those moments still linger in all of our minds.
The Thousand Year Blood Wars arc too is guaranteed to have some mind-blowing fight sequences. With proper supervision, these fight sequences could very well leave us craving for more when animated.
Bleach has always been notorious for its filler episodes. So much that almost 60% of the entire series was Fillers. Though some turned out to be good. But as we manga fans go it hurts us watching more fillers than the actual story and these excessive fillers ultimately lead to the demise of Bleach. While there is no reason for the anime to come up with filler episodes anymore (since the manga already has been completed) we are still wary of what the studios might do to squeeze the most out of the anime.
Good: Aizen’s Return
Aizen, Aizen, Aizen. Show us one anime villain who is as cool and chill as Aizen. His planning, His stance, His attitude, His enormous strength, His Ambition, His Idea of God. Everything, Everything screams AWESOMENESS. He is the reason why Ichigo was born in the first place. He is the reason why we know about the Soul King. He is the reason why Ichigo has such a versatile range of abilities. He is the reason why Yamamoto the Strongest Shinigami in existence has to live only with one hand. He is the reason why Urahara Kisuke has his genius questioned. He is the reason why Ichigo is ultimately able to protect the world at the end of the Thousand Year Blood War Arc. He has become so powerful that He can’t be killed at any given point. He is immortal and Bloody Damn Powerful.
Bad: Genryusai’s Death
Quincies were supposedly destroyed in their last war with Shinigamis in which Yamamoto had the highest kill count and due to which post war his killer intent just diminished. Due to which he never really trained much. Also the fact that there was never any Shinigami who was as strong as He was, even at the end with Aizen and Ichigo being called as the strongest Shinigamis, they still pale in comparison to Genryusai. Yet, his powers were displayed against a Quincy enemy who was nothing but an imposter of Yhwach who got easily killed only for the real Yhwach to jump in and steal his Bankai and then kill Yamamoto like it was nothing.
The worst kind of death to the most powerful character in the series could ever receive. The explanation given was also so nonsensical that only Yhwach could steal his Bankai as no one else could handle the power. This explanation was like applying Salt to an Ice Burn. Yes, it doesn’t make any sense. Mind you, Yhwach at this point hasn’t even reached his peak powers yet. So they just reduced Yamamoto Genryusai to Vice Captains level in comparison to Yhwach. That really hurt.
Good: The 5 Special War Powers:
In the Thousand Year Blood War arc, the Quincies have placed particular emphasis on five so-called Special War Powers who are believed will play an important role in deciding the final outcome of the war itself. These powers are so important enough that the temporary absence of just one prompted the Quincies to begin the invasion of Soul Society. Captain-Commander Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto was not considered to be a special war power because Yhwach thought him weak compared to what he was 1,000 years ago.
These 5 Special War Powers are outstanding shinigamis chosen for a very specific quality they possess that is unusual enough to be classified as an “unknown variable”. They are amongst the most dangerous and powerful members of the Soul Society. Absence, death or turning of one could completely change the events of the war. For example, the Soul Society and the Quincies were certain that if Zaraki Kenpachi was defeated, the war would be over and won by the Quincies. Same goes for Ichigo in that when he arrived on the battlefield, all the enemies were literally frightened to the point of changing the whole situation of the war. The Special War Powers are the guys who handled Yhwach and killed most of the most powerful Sternritter.
Special War Powers :
Ichigo Kurosaki : Latent Ability: Potential to be far more powerful and dangerous than the average combatant due to his mixed heritage and powers.
Kenpachi Zaraki : Fighting Strength: His monstrous physical strength, reiatsu and capabilities, as well as his fighting skill.
Ichibē Hyōsube : Wisdom: His ability to think and act strategically using his vast knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense and insight.
Sōsuke Aizen : Reiatsu: His monstrously powerful Reiatsu, capable of disintegrating other beings and repelling the overflowing power of the Soul King himself.
Kisuke Urahara : Means: His abilities to outmaneuver his opponents by perpetually adapting his battle strategy at any given point in battle and the wits and intelligence so great that throughout the series he was feared for his intelligence by Aizen, Mayuri and Yhwach himself. After all, He was the one who created the Hogyoku which gave Aizen his immortal God like powers.
Bad: Logical Flaws in Yhwach’s The Almighty
Each Quincy in bleach is given an Alphabet corresponding to their abilities and their rankings. The Alphabet that Yhwach had was of course “A” standing for The Almighty. This ability granted Yhwach the powers to alter future just as he seems fit. Although this ability seems to be having no weakness as Yhwach could change the possibility of all futures where he is stopped by any means. This is where the problem lies. How did Yhwach not see Aizen using his Kyoka Suigetsu on him? How did Yhwach not see Tsukishima and Ginjo helping Ichigo to regain his bankai? If he can see the future and change it why didn’t he change the future where Ichigo ultimately blasts him? As he already saw Ichigo as such a huge threat that he destroyed Ichigo’s bankai at the very instant he activated it and changed it to the point where only Ichigo’s Zangetsu were just his Quincy Powers and not Hollow Powers. At least he could have seen Ichigo’s future. These are a few questions the anime can resolve about Yhwach’s ability.
Good: Ichigo’s Lineage
The long awaited suspense as to why Isshin has Shinigami powers? Who was Ichigo’s mother and how did Ichigo get his Visored powers without getting bit by any hollow before? And Aizen’s jab at Ichigo that he planned his birth.
All these Questions were finally answered in the Manga. Showing that Ichigo’s mother was none other than one of the few Remaining Royal Blood Quincy who was a pure soul and a gentle human being. When Aizen was attempting to experiment on Shinigamis and Hollows and combining their powers. Isshin Shiba who was the captain of the 10th division before Hitsugaya Toshiro had come to earth unknown to Captain Commander with the help of Urahara. As Isshin might destroy his plans Aizen sent Black after him to kill Isshin. When Isshin was attacked by Black, Masaki Kurosaki an extremely powerful Quincy herself, got in the way to help him.
But before she kills Black alone, Black had already bitten her arm and the presence of this hollow inside Masaki would have killed her eventually. To Protect Masaki from dying, Isshin sacrifices his powers to keep her alive and becomes a human. They eventually get married and most of the Blacks’ powers and parts are inherited by their first born child aka Ichigo. This is why Ichigo has powers of Shinigami, Quincy and Hollow.
Although some parts of Black were still there inside Masaki and she used most of her powers to subdue it inside her with the help Isshin’s power but with the birth of Ichigo who inherited most of their combined powers and Karin being the other one. Masaki was rendered quite weak due to the effects of power draining and subduing her powers. That’s why when Arrancar Fishcher attacked Ichigo when he was a child eventually led to Masaki sacrificing herself in order to save Ichigo and not kill Fischer herself. Also, Ichigo always thought that Fishcher attacked because of his own reiatsu being high but instead Fishcher had attacked due to Masaki being present there with Ichigo and it was her high reiatsu that led the Arrancar there.
Bad: Unexplored Powers of Ichigo
As every Shonen Hero, Ichigo also received multiple power boosts throughout the series but the most interesting one came at the end of the manga. In this, Ichigo finally learned and embraced his lineage as Shinigami, Quincy and Hollow. He finally learns the true name of his Zanpaktou which ends up making him one of the three Shinigamis with dual swords. Eventually during his bout with Yhwach Ichigo unleashes his Shikai which gives him an awesome looking horn on his head and the colour of his Zanpaktou starts changing to White. Knowing only Shikai isn’t enough to beat Yhwach, Ichigo quickly launches Bankai only for Yhwach to destroy it completely instantly.
That’s where the problems began, us fans who were so hyped about Ichigo and his Special War Power of Latent Ability were stripped off of the chance to see what Ichigo could really do with his bankai. Not once did Ichigo use his bankai except to slice Yhwach in two at the end. It was so disappointing that it felt like betrayal and curses were thrown towards Kubo and his publisher for rushing Kubo into finishing the manga. Nor did we get to experience Ichigo at his full strength nor do we get to know where he stands in the power ranking amongst the captains and Aizen himself.
Good: Captains Bankai’s
As the Thousand Year Blood War continued we see a great deal of captains reaching their true potential and unleashing their insane amount of powers through their bankais. Some of them include Captain Commander Genryusai, Shunsui Kyoraku, Rukia, Byakuya and his mastered Bankai, Hitsugaya and his full powered bankai, Zaraki with his Nozorashi and Bankai, Urahara, some Visoreds, many Vice captains etc. The Bankai’s of each captain were so amazing and awesome that discussing them would require us to put up another blog just for that and we will do so soon. So stay tuned.
Bad: Plotholes in Storyline
The Thousand Year Blood war arc was supposed to be the Epic Finale for Bleach but instead the rushing and pressure on Kubo made by the publishers are clearly seen in his work. So much so that Kubo has left so many unsolved questions. For example, not all Captains Bankais are known. How did Grimmjow survive his fight with Ichigo? How did the Zero Squad the most powerful Squad of Bleach Shinigamis lost so easily to Quincies? How come no one ever noticed the Quincies living right under their nose? How come Yhwach and his powers were so immense after Yhwach had just awoken from his sleep and yet he lost the war 1000 years back? Who were the other Shinigami with Genryusai 1000 years back then who fought alongside him? Why did Unohana Retsu hide that she’s the first Kenpachi? What happened to Yachiru Kusajishi and was she really part of Kenpachi’s powers? Why didn’t Kyoraku used his Katen during his fight with Lille which basically made him handicapped in the battle even though he clearly managed to destroy him two times? So many questions and no answers. This is why it is bad.
These are some of the point which are good and bad about bleach returning. Maybe this time the animators would keep the good points and work on the bad points to increase the sensibility in the story and take Bleach back to the glory and love it deserves.