Why I re-watch Bleach

Bleach

Before we delve any deeper into this conversation, let me be clear though, I only re-watch the first few arcs. These episodes are the ones that hooked me to the series many years back when everyone refers Bleach as one of the Big Three shounen series.

I had followed Bleach beyond that until I stopped at some point. Since 2015 is coming to an end and in the spirit of reflecting, I decided I wanted to remember why I liked Bleach in the first place. Excuses, I know.

Bankai

Skills

I won’t lie. Much of what I feel about liking Bleach is the eagerness to see different Shinigami unleashed the hidden powers of their Zanpakutou. The moment it is revealed that the swords these Shinigami are holding have more than what meet the eyes, I began waiting to see the different Shikai forms. Most excitingly, I love it when they roared “Bankai!”.

I dare say this is the single one most important factor what drove me to marathon Bleach on those late nights many years ago. And I guess I wanted to feel that excitement again.

Wicked Aizen

Story

Believe it or not, Bleach started with strong storytelling. In my humble opinion, the events unfolded in a way that is surprising and thrilling. I’ve forgotten many events that had happened in Soul Society Arc and watching it again, I thought the story is well constructed and thought-out. It’s not just all about actions.

The first time I watched the series, I was caught by surprise when Aizen was revealed as the ultimate villain. He was painted as a kind and thoughtful character at the beginning and even thought to be dead. It was his manipulative skills that constructed the chaos that fell on Seireitei. In what was thought to be a “rescuing Rukia” plot, it turned out to be something much deeper than that.

Being the viewer that I was about a decade ago, I never suspected Aizen to be the antagonist. Of course now that I’m re-watching Soul Society arc, that element of surprised is much reduced. There are things that I’ve forgotten and re-watching Bleach still retains some of its element of surprise.

Bleach

Cool Factor

Unlike One Piece and Naruto, the other two big names Bleach often mentioned alongside years ago, Bleach is staged in a much relatable world known as Karakura Town.

Kurosaki Ichigo is a high school student. Much of his daily activities are similar to ours. He has to answer to his parent, classes to attend, etc. And yet he is caught up in this fighting-hollow-saving-Rukia mess. While in series like Naruto and One Piece, the characters are set in a far-fetched, dreamlike adventures that make it much less relatable.

And the OP and ED songs tend to paint the “cool kids” picture of the cast, with each of them wearing fashionable clothes, putting on headphones, etc. That’s my definition of “cool kids”. Yours may be different.

I guess what I’m trying to say in this point is merely because I thought Bleach is a pretty cool series back then and wanted to find if I still find it cool.

I think that pretty sums up why I wanted to re-watch Bleach. I wanted to remember what drew me to the series in the first place, rather that remembering why I hate the series years after.

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9 thoughts on “Why I re-watch Bleach

  1. I also like the earlier seasons for similar factors: it was more relate-able and the characters were cooler (especially in the first opening). The show and manga suffered due to too much characters and convoluting the story too much. It is like how I like Yu Yu Hakusho back in the 90’s when it was a ghost hunting story, but after the big Makai tournament arc it didn’t feel the same. For Bleach I liked it all the way until Aizen has wholly defeated, and after that it just was meh to me.

    • Not only me, but a lot of people would have agreed with you too. Many have said that Bleach should end when Aizen died. I myself believe that it’ll make the series much more popular or at least remain well received by manga readers and anime fans. But instead the series continued and everything fell apart for Bleach. It’s a shame, really.

  2. I don’t want to continue beating on a dead horse, but yeah, Bleach suffered from the same issues with it’s peers later on that it just got too draggy and there are too many characters to keep track of. I also don’t like how new factions (not just characters, factions!) and battle systems are introduced one after another. The fillers undoubtedly also did quite a massive damage to the series too, but even without fillers, I’m not sure if I would have like the Aizen’s battle arcs better, lol.

    I do agree that Soul Society Arc is great, in fact the earlier Bleach episodes are actually good, in that it had a much intriguing setting than Naruto. Again, I will just repeat myself and say that both of them have nothing on One Piece :p

  3. Pingback: On Re-watching Anime | World of Yamaguchi Hoshiko

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