Bleach meme by itsbleach

Top 1 thing I love about Bleach

I could have just put the subjectivity or depth of the plot, but I figure that the chapters’ titles reflect what I’m trying to say, so here it goes.

Bleach is not that simple of a shonen. Of course it has all the elements of a shonen - epic battles, training arcs, incredible power-ups - but if you read it too fast, just for the sake of reading and expect only that - you’ll miss the point. I believe that’s why a lot of people I know didn’t like the Lost Substitute Shinigami arc. It was dark, heavy, dense. It didn’t have long fights, super cool blasts of reiatsu, my-power-can-wreck-half-a-town stuff. It focused on the characters and their psychological development. They doubted each other, had their bonds put to test. It was difficult to see them suffering, running, crying. But to me it was one of the best arcs exactly because of that, and I seriously considered putting it in the top 3 arcs. Because they’ve all grown so much! Kubo worked this arc in a very deep and meaningful way. And that’s what I’m trying to say: the beauty of Bleach lies in its details. 

The chapters’ titles are shining exemples of that. Forget about Kubo’s engrish and españor. The guy comes up with some very good ideas for chapter names. Spit on your own God, The Beginning of the Death of Tomorrow, Words Just Don’t Like You, No Perfect is GOoD… And if you pay attention, he’s pretty skilled in linking a certain chapter to another. Something that happened over a hundred chapters ago can be explained now. (Shinji’s “reversed things are my speciality” to his zanpakutou’s abilities 200+ chapters later, or Yumichika’s, for that matter). He makes you wonder where the story is going, makes you remember things. He makes you think. And that’s a very good thing nowadays.

And not just the names themselves, but how they are placed. Some mangas have a cool cover page with the characters, the number of the chapter and its title. That’s good and all, I like it. But in Bleach’s case, is different. The titles don’t always appear on the cover, but on a page that fits them better with the dialogue, be in the middle or the end of the chapter. That gives a feeling of… greatness. 

There are a lot of exemples of that. Back in Soul Society, when Inoue was explaining the reason why she and the others were trying to rescue Rukia was because she was the one who changed Ichigo’s world. Then, black background and That who change the world asthe title. Or when Ishida, Sado and Ichigo had entered Hueco Mundo and were trying to get to Las Noches. The defeated arrancar said that they were creatures born from fear and gathered around Aizen ‘cause he feared nothing. Chapter’s name? Born from the fear. It’s pretty, it fits with the story and even has some poetry in it.

But it gets better. Deicide, Karneades~Black to Back, The Soul Pantheism, The Rising Phoenix… they all require some knowlegde to fully understand them. And once you get it… it’s hard to believe that some people still think that Kubo just writes as he goes, without second thought. These titles not just give name to a piece of his story. They complete them, help build the mithology~ he created, deepen it. And reinforces what he’s trying to tell.

And that’s it. Of course that are a lot of things I would have put in here, but this is the one that better represents what I really really like about Bleach. I finished the meme a little too late, but oh well. Thanks to itsbleach for arranging this and many many thanks to everyone that read, liked and/or reblogged something from here. And good luck to all of us Bleach fans with the new arc! :)

Bleach meme by itsbleach

Top 2 Pairings - [2/2]

Oh, the angst. So much angst.

I get all weepy and sad when thinking about this pairing. Their relationship is so complicated, so difficult and full of unsaid things… yet so beautiful.

They were alone, wandering aimlessly, not knowing what to do with their lives… and then they met each other. Gin found someone to share his dried persimmons with and Rangiku gained a birthday.

I feel like Kubo really put his way with words to these two characters and their relationship. Even though their actual conversations happened in either flashbacks or under not-so-friendly circumstances, whenever they think of the other, the panels are arranged in such a way that you can clearly feel the sadness, the longing, the sorrow emanating from them. Especially in Rangiku’s case, when she remembers all the times Gin left her without saying anything.

And there’s also the phrases themselves, how they are put together and how they are combined with the panels and with the expressions on their faces. It all fits together with such beauty and gives a sense of that couple that could have been, that would have been. Rangiku’s and Gin’s poems on volumes 46 and 47 are there to prove it. And to make me feel all cold and empty inside. Not to mention quite sad and broken-hearted too.

People bash Gin saying that the good~ side of him will never redeem the bad shit he’s done. It’s true. But I’m not thinking about his character alone, I’m thinking about the ship as a whole. Gin lived his entire life with the purpose of making things right with Rangiku, he changed his path, he devoted his time. So he sliced some people in half, mindfucked others, betrayed and deceived everyone along the way, but hey, that’s Gin. In his mind, the ends justify the means. Everything he did was for her, to give her something that he believed she had lost.

So he didn’t tell her any of his plans. He abandoned her. Again, that’s Gin. It’s his way of doing things. I bet that if he had accomplished what he had set out his life to do, he would’ve told her and they would’ve worked things out. Rangiku is a pretty mature woman, aside from the drinking, laziness and occasional stupidity, so I’m sure she would have at least tried to see things his way. And she would’ve understood. He did it for love. And c’mon, say what you want, this is as canon as it gets.

Bleach meme by itsbleach

Top 2 Pairings - [1/2]

Oh, this ship. THIS SHIP.

It all started when that seemingly male cat turned into a damn hot chick. I instantly remembered the geta boushi greeting her, so happy, then throwing her into the air, while that mustache guy said they were best friends. I was sold right there. And 400+ chapters later and knowing the character’s names, UraYoru still is my favorite ship from Bleach.

First of all, they’ve grown up together. That ought to count for something. And to me, it does. Spending so much time with someone else to the point of considering having grown up with them… that kind of thing leaves traces on you, even if you don’t like it or won’t admit it. Being close, getting to know someone, their likes and dislikes, it all sticks to you. You, even if unwillingly, think of that person when seeing something they would’ve liked or hated, you remember something they’ve said, some shared opinion on a particular subject. And I believe that that’s what happened between Urahara and Yoruichi. They’ve helped each other built their personalities, shape their abilities, their fighting skills and their overall characteristics.     

And that’s what makes them a good couple. They know each other. They don’t have to guess and be cautious. Having being friends for God knows how long now, they know how the other would react, how the other thinks. And most important, they trust each other blindly. Enough to leave titles, positions and noble status behind or even letting strategy aside to worry about the other, mind you.

One thing that makes me happy is that when they make an appearance, they are almost always together. And not in a hero and a sidekick kind of way. When I first read the series, I thought it was the case, but after a few more chapters I rejected that impression. They complement one another. She saves him, he saves her. They sense the problem and formulate the best plan of action to solve it, with Urahara using his intelligence/skills to make whatever helps them and Yoruichi putting them to good use. That requires some deep bond. And deep bond in this fandom, well… you know what it means.

Individually they’re already awesome, powerful, funny, stylish (I could go on all day), but together, is different. They tease each other knowing what would irritate the other, but they also know how to be serious when the situation needs it. They work. And provide me with quite some crazy shipper moments. I’ve gone asdfghjaskld at the GET OUT OF THERE panel, seriously.

Bleach meme by itsbleach

Top 3 Arcs - [3/3]

I must say I’ve got quite angry and impatient when this arc started. All I wanted to see was Ichigo vs Ulquiorra and Kubo just puts some random stuff right when the fight was about to start? Oh well. But it paid off. Big time.

I really really value character development and explanatory flashbacks, so a mini arc showing what happened to Shinji and the others and how Urahara got banned was nothing less than great to me. I’ve wanted to know for so long who were those people that helped Ichigo suppress his hollow, how they knew Urahara, Aizen and all the things that were happening and there it was. And it was awesome.

We’ve learned that the Visored were all captains and vice-captains of the Gotei 13. Hah, so that’s why. Good to know. And there was a newly appointed captain Urahara! Oh, the joy I felt. He was different, more laid back and insecure, yet crafty and cunning all the same – his expression when offering the deal to Mayuri. His expression.

We’ve seen younger versions of some characters and their relationships, we’ve seen why and how the Visored became what they are now – and who was responsible for it. Aizen, oh you. And to top it off, we’ve got a nice view of the workings of Soul Society as a whole, with the creation of the Research and Development Institute, the Maggots’s Nest, the screwed-up Central 46 and OH SNAP the Royal Guard aka Zero Division. Oh, and seeing Aizen as Shinji’s vice-captain was priceless.

Bleach meme by itsbleach

Top 3 Arcs - [2/3]

The rescue arc that turned out to be… well, NOT a rescue arc at all.

Ichigo, Ishida and Chad run off to Hueco Mundo to save Inoue, meeting Nel and her weird mates along the way. They reunite with Rukia and Renji, then get separated once again. And things start to get good from there.

Walking around in enemy territory is no easy task, so every character has their own battle and has to overcome their respective weakness in order to win. Special mention to Rukia here, that managed to fight and defeat an Espada who looked, talked and acted like her mentor. I mean… that requires some strength.

And there’s room for some cool revelations and surprises too. Nel being a former Espada, the Grimmjow vs Ulquiorra bit, Soul Society sending help, full-hollow Ichigo and a few of interesting power-ups for the fights.

It had a decent ending too, with the remaining Gotei 13 forces placed in Fake Karakura to try to stop Aizen’s plans after he kind of trolled them again, with all the Soul-Society-is-pretty-awesome-but-half-of-your-forces-are-trapped-here-and-we’re-making-the-ouken-now speach. So overall, pretty nice arc.

Bleach meme by itsbleach

Top 3 Arcs - [1/3]

Where things got serious, intense, battle-full and suspicious. And better drawn, of course.

Rukia returned to her world with a death sentence, so Ichigo and his friends decided to invade this Soul Society place to save her. We start from there. And we don’t stop.

Every aspect of this arc – how started with Ichigo losing miserably to Byakuya and realizing the gap between their strengths, the training before, the shooting star project, all the fights and conspiracy up to the big revelation at the end – was put incredibly well together. The plot’s escalating complication keeps deepening and the chapters themselves support one another. And still do, with recent things still being linked to panels from this arc.

It was a very shonen-like time (but still maintaining the subtle and subjective stuff), and perhaps – and most likely – that’s why a lot of Bleach fans still think of it as THE best arc. Here we were introduced to a new world, new characters, we got to know that the shinigami were not all soulless bastards (pun intended), we followed Ichigo’s evolution physically and mentally as well as the consolidation of the bonds between the nakamas and we end it up with a good amount of information, character development and prepared to see what’s next.

Bleach meme by itsbleach

Top 4 Fights - [4/4]

- Ichigo vs Aizen

Bleach meme by itsbleach

Top 4 Fights - [3/4]

- Ichigo vs Byakuya

Bleach meme by itsbleach

Top 4 Fights - [2/4]

- Mayuri vs Szayel

Bleach meme by itsbleach

Top 4 Fights - [1/4]

- Ichigo vs Grimmjow