Bleach, an oddly named Japanese anime series written and illustrated by Tite Kubo, follows the life of a boy as he learns to deal with what he is, and the problems he faces that come with it. The protagonist of Bleach, Ichigo Kurosaki, has the ability to see spirits. This ability did not change his life too drastically from the normal until he accidentally met a Soul Reaper (With the same job as the Grim Reaper) by the name of Rukia Kuchiki. Rukia, having been injured by the Hollow, or “lost soul” she was trying to defeat, transfers her powers to Ichigo, whom defeats the Hollow with ease. With this turn of events Ichigo’s life is changed forever. He becomes intertwined with the spirit world and the real world, torn between his new duties as a Soul Reaper and his beloved high school life and friends.
Bleach is similar to many anime before it, in that there is a central protagonist who has to defeat the side of “evil”. This is a pretty normal plot, but works well in Bleach. Another popular aspect used in Bleach is the fact that Ichigo is incredibly strong and powerful. Many anime focus around protagonists that are far stronger than the norm. Even without any training, he is stronger than many Soul Reapers, and within a week he raises his strength to the Soul Reaper level of Captain. It’s a well used anime and manga aspect, but nonetheless effective with getting fans. Overpowered and morally “good” protagonists are a popular character type, and Kubo wasted no time in implementing this in Bleach.
The characters of Bleach are decent as far as uniqueness amongst the anime’s characters alone. Most characters have reasons for being the way they are. Ichigo has a serious and angry demeanor because he watched his mother die as a child. Chad, a friend of Ichigo’s, is friendly because his grandfather told him he had to be due to his immense strength and ability to hurt others. Rukia’s brother Byakuya has a very serious demeanor due to being the head of his family and his strict obedience to the rules. These factors add to the depth of the story, making it more interesting.
The length of Bleach makes it difficult to stick with, and the plot is somewhat repetitive. Each time Ichigo has a powerful enemy he needs to defeat; he has another hardcore training session to prepare himself. He loses his powers several times as well. Bleach also contains some filler and repetitive fight scenes that keep the story from truly progressing, and the American voice actors aren’t as good as the Japanese actors. Otherwise, Bleach is a fine anime. It’s easy to enjoy and the action is dramatic and fun. Overpowered characters are always something to admire and enjoy. And anyone that enjoys swords will definitely find something to appreciate in Bleach. Bleach is a fight filled, comedy touched, romance hinted powerhouse of fun that, while a little too lengthy, will definitely be enjoyed.