Bleach (Burīchi) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Tite Kubo.
This shonen action manga series revolves around the main character Ichigo Kurosaki after he obtains the powers of a Soul Reaper named Rukia Kuchiki.
The powers and duties of a Soul Reaper are basically the personifications of death. Ichigo’s brand-new powers force him to take on the duties of defending humans from evil spirits and guiding departed souls to the afterlife.
The anime has been featured various times in the top ten from the Japanese TV Ranking.
In a 2006 Internet poll by TV Asahi, Bleach was ranked as Japan’s seventh-favorite anime program. In February 2009, Bleach ranked as the 9th most viewed animated show from Hulu.
1. Quick Review
The anime follows the story of high school student Ichigo Kurosaki. He is unlike any ordinary kid because of his unique ability to see ghosts ever since he was a kid.
Ichigo’s life is changed forever when he and his two sisters are attacked by an evil, hungry, and tormented spirit known as a Hollow.
Not a moment too soon, Ichigo and his siblings are aided by a Soul Reaper named Rukia Kuchiki.
As a Soul Reaper, her responsibility is to send good spirits to the afterlife known as Soul Society and to purify Hollows such as the one attacking Ichigo and his sisters. The Hollows that are purified are then sent up to Soul Society.
During the fight against the Hollow, Rukia is injured and with no other option left, transfers her powers to Ichigo.
With this newly acquired power, Ichigo defeats the Hollow and saves his sisters.
However, with the Soul Reaper’s powers now a part of him, he must begin his training and duty as a Shinigami to maintain the balance between the world of the living and that of the dead.
The anime adaptation includes original plots not found in the manga with repeated appearances and stories containing the original characters.
Bleach is fantastic, full of action, great characters, good storylines, and very funny comedy.
2. Info Card
BleachAir Date: October 5, 2004 Status: Upcoming Season 17 Studio: Studio Pierrot No. of Seasons: 17 No. of Episodes: 366
3. Is It Worth Watching?
Bleach is totally worth it, especially if you are a fan of shounen or fighting anime.
The series is home to some amazing visual effects, an intriguing plot, and its beautiful blend of action and bizarre comedy.
The series does contain quite a few fillers which let you take a break from the serious plot and gives the supporting characters some screen time.
With an exciting story and some unexpected plot twists along the way, Bleach will keep you thoroughly entertained.
Bleach follows a teenage high school student named Ichigo Kurosaki, who has the ability to see spirits. One day he meets a girl who claims to be a Soul Reaper named Rukia.
She exorcises a spirit and explains to Ichigo that the purpose of a Soul Reaper is to exorcise spirits and destroy evil spirits called Hollows.
Shortly after their conversation, Ichigo’s family is attacked by a Hollow. While performing her duties as a Shinigami, Rukia becomes injured and transfers her Soul Reaper powers to Ichigo so that he may protect his family.
This action, in turn, transforms him into a Soul Reaper. Ichigo uses the powers bestowed upon him and saves his family from the Hollow.
As Rukia has now lost her powers, Ichigo must carry on her duties and become the Soul Reaper for his town and protect it from attacks by the Hollows.
Bleach’s plot is unique because it introduces the concept of Soul Reapers or Shinigami which is relevant to certain aspects of Japanese religion and culture.
The series not only has interesting characters but some noteworthy dialogues and heartfelt philosophies.
(a). Kurosaki Ichigo
Ichigo Kurosaki is the main protagonist of the Bleach series. He is a tall orange-haired high school student, Ichigo becomes a “substitute Soul Reaper” after unintentionally absorbing most of Rukia Kuchiki’s powers.
His character is described to be stubborn, short-tempered, strong-willed, and impulsive.
When it comes to fighting, Ichigo has a complex sense of honor; he regularly seeks to exact revenge for the cruel actions of his opponent.
(b). Rukia Kuchiki
Rukia Kuchiki is a Soul Reaper who was initially born into a lower class. She retains her modesty, even as an adopted member of the nobility.
She is graceful and a member of nobility yet chooses to talk to ordinary people. However, her cool and lone demeanor often forces her to hide her personal troubles, even from her friends.
The other major characters in the series include Inoue Orihime, Sado Yasutora, and Ishida Uryū who play very important roles in Ichigo’s journey as a substitute Soul Reaper and add a richness to the story with their own personalities, goals, and shortcomings.
The series primarily takes place in the town of Karakura where Ichigo Kurasaki resides and the Soul Society.
Bleach is set in a world where Soul Reapers exist in a realm called the Soul Society.
They come to Earth in order to perform their duties of sending good souls back to the Soul Society and protecting the world of the living from bad spirits called Hollows which are purified and finally sent to Soul Society.
IV. Theme Songs
The opening theme songs for the series are:
- “Asterisk” by Orange Range (eps 1-25)
- “D-tecnolife” by UVERworld (eps 26-51)
- “Ichirin no Hana” by High and Mighty Color (eps 52-74)
- “Tonight, Tonight, Tonight” by Beat Crusaders (eps 75-97)
- “Rolling star” by YUI (eps 98-120)
- “ALONES” by Aqua Timez (eps 121-143)
- “After Dark” by Asian Kung-Fu Generation (eps 144-167)
- “CHU-BURA” by Kelun (eps 168-189)
- “Velonica” by Aqua Timez (eps 190-214)
- “Shoujo S” by Scandal (eps 215-242)
- Anima Rossa by Porno Graffitti (eps 243-265)
- chAngE by Miwa (eps 266-291)
- Ranbu no Melody by SID (eps 292-316)
- BLUE by ViViD (eps 317-342)
- Harukaze by SCANDAL (eps 343-366)
Bleach’s opening music is always energetic and pumps you full of adrenaline. The music sets the mood for the series perfectly and the lyrics sound as though they’ve been made to fit the characters’ attitudes and beliefs.
Once you’ve finished watching the entire series, the first opening theme song “Asterisk” by Orange range will especially hit differently.
It will make you travel back in time to the first season and the entire journey you went on with the series and its characters.
The ending themes for the series are:
- “Life is Like a Boat” by Rie Fu (eps 1-13)
- “Thank You!!” by HOME MADE KAZOKU (eps 14-25)
- “Houkiboshi” by Younha (eps 26-38)
- “Happy People” by Skoop on Somebody (eps 39-51)
- “Life” by YUI (eps 52-63)
- “My Pace” by SunSet Swish (eps 64-74)
- “Hanabi” by Ikimonogakari (eps 75-86)
- “MOVIN!!” by Takacha (eps 87-97)
- “Baby It’s You” by JUNE (eps 98-109)
- “Sakura Biyori” by Mai Hoshimura (eps 110-121)
- Tsumasaki by OreSkaBand (eps 122-131)
- Daidai by Chatmonchy (eps 132-143)
- Tane wo Maku Hibi by Kōsuke Atari (eps 144-153)
- Kansha by RSP (eps 154-167)
- Orange by Lil’B (eps 168-179)
- Gallop by Pe’zmoku (eps 180-189)
- Hitohira no Hanabira by Stereopony (eps 190-201)
- Sky Chord-Otona ni Naru Kimi e- by Shion Tsuji (eps 202-214)
- Kimi wo Mamotte, Kimi wo Aishite by Sambomaster (eps 215-229)
- Mad Surfer by Kenichi Asai (eps 230-242)
- Sakurabito by SunSet Swish (eps 243-255)
- Tabidatsu Kimi e byRSP (eps 256-265)
- Stay Beautiful by DIGGY-MO’ (eps266-278)
- echoes by universe (eps 279-291)
- Last Moment by SPYAIR (eps 292-303)
- Song For… by ROOKiEZ is PUNK’D (eps 304-316)
- Blue Bird by fumika (eps 317-329)
- Haruka Kanata by UNLIMITS (eps 330-342)
- Re:pray by Aimer (eps 343-354)
- MASK by Aqua Timez (eps 355-366)
The series is based on the traditional Japanese folklore with its own modern mix of other supernatural powers, the incorporation of friendship and amazing fights making Bleach an action-packed masterpiece.
The ending themes perfectly reflect this and celebrate the story being told.
V. Action Sequence
Bleach does justice to being a shonen action anime series. There are definitely some epic fights that take place in the anime, but its the fighting concept that makes it very original. Bleach incorporates sword-based battles.
Each Shinigami has a sword or “Zanpakuto” that is unique to each Shinigami. While nearly all Zanpakuto look like medium-sized katanas, Ichigo’s is almost like a huge broadsword.
Through Rukia’s character, we learn that a Zanpakuto’s size represents the user’s power so right away we know Ichigo’s character is going to be a force to be reckoned with.
As the story unfolds, we find that the Zanpakuto’s have different stages which give the wielder different abilities, and as viewers, there is a certain excitement in seeing the wide variety of Zanpakutos and the different abilities that they possess.
5. Final Thoughts
Bleach is a series that has everything you could be looking for in an action anime. There’s some amazing fighting, humor, drama, and the plot is truly one of a kind.
The anime also showcases some really cool music and unique art. Besides having some charismatic characters and exquisite dialogues, Bleach really brings it home with a heart-warming philosophy of reaching your maximum potential by being true to yourself.