Thursday, May 3, 2012

My Thoughts on Bleach

Experience: chapter 1 to middle of Arrancar Arc.

From the beginning of Bleach to the end of the Soul Society arc is some of the best manga I've ever read, and is a superb example of stylish, shonen action brilliance. After that, things were cool for a bit, but then the pacing of the story just got way to slow, and Kubo wanted you to care too much about the characters. The great thing about the Soul Society arc was that it was based in a strong foundation and grew in intensity over time until its strong conclusion. The Arrancar arc didn't build nearly enough foundation in its beginning and instead went pretty crazy right from the start. This combined with poor pacing results in my main problem with Bleach after the Soul Society arc: Bleach takes forever to say nothing.

It's easy to go through around 5 chapters without anything truly significant occurring in Bleach, and that;s what hurt it. The great pacing of the Soul Society arc where we were slowly introduced to new characters and showed who these characters were was gone, and instead, Bleach just became an action manga of mediocre caliber.

However, what I can say about Bleach that I have always held in high regard is its art. Tite Kubo is a very talented artist who creates some truly amazing character designs, and to make it even better, the characters Kubo creates are often very interesting. Kubo is also very good in displaying his art and story in a really stylish and poetic way; an execution only rivaled by Ohkubo's Soul Eater series. Kubo really shows manga as an art form in a stylish way; maybe not to the same effect as Vagabond's art, but in its own way.

Before I dropped Bleach, I found myself wishing that he would take a long break and really think his story through so that it wasn't so incoherent all the time, or perhaps have a partner do the story so that he could focus on the art.

Bleach has begun its fall from grace at this point, so I can only imagine that the series got worse after the Arrancar arc. It's a real shame, because its easy to see that Bleach had a lot of potential.

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