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13 August 2011 @ 09:38 pm
My Love/Hate Relationship with BLEACH  
I don't know how most fans feel about BLEACH, but there have been times where I wanted to give up on BLEACH. But, I haven't. The characters are so awesome.

I actually posted about my thoughts at: www.mangatherapy.com/post/8733478093/10-years-of-bleach-manga

I think the good moments of BLEACH, the poems, the volume titles in English, and Rukia are what keeps me interested in BLEACH. How about everyone else?

The Main Gauche of Enlightenment: Saya is sulkingvelvetsword on August 14th, 2011 02:19 am (UTC)
I know that feel, bro.
tonyyao82tonyyao82 on August 14th, 2011 03:43 am (UTC)
*sits down next to you*
gruskek: gintokigruskek on August 14th, 2011 02:49 am (UTC)
I feel it too. I'd actually dropped it for 2 years because I couldn't look at it anymore.

And yet I'm back xD

I must say, though, that my favourite part of your post (generally very observant and enjoyable :)) was at the very end xD Whenever I bang my head on the wall about Bleach I always have something to fall back on ;)
tonyyao82tonyyao82 on August 14th, 2011 03:47 am (UTC)
You talking about how I got into Gintama because of Bleach? :P Honestly, I found it funny that my current fav was of a result of watching a previous fav. Go figure.

I had a friend who dropped it during the Arrancar arc and she came back just after Ichigo beat Aizen. Heh, she doesn't want me to spoil the Espada. XD
(no subject) - gruskek on August 14th, 2011 04:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - tonyyao82 on August 14th, 2011 05:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lady_leia_solo on August 15th, 2011 09:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
◦ a girl like me ◦: Bleach - Rirkua: ... by exheroafteriwake on August 14th, 2011 03:41 am (UTC)
Oh, God, I got so tired of Aizen's smugness during the FKT arc, which is where I started reading the manga again (I'd read the first 25 volumes years ago and stopped, and came back in when Hisagi killed Tousen). I made this icon of Aizen after the whole Momo incident that says "Can you die now? KTHANXBYE." But I had hope that Ichigo would turn things around, even if it was dimming as each chapter passed, and once Urahara showed up I was rewarded in a really good way.

And I've been ecstatic about this arc. I love (most of) Xcution, I was flip flopping about Ginjou right up until the reveal (a sign of good writing is when you're not quite sure if the possibly obvious bad guy is actually a bad guy or not), and to be honest Tsukishima scares the crap out of me and fascinates me at the same time, something Aizen was never able to do. Plus, I honestly love Riruka. I hope she sticks around when this arc is over.
tonyyao82tonyyao82 on August 14th, 2011 03:51 am (UTC)
When it was revealed that Aizen "wrote" the story of BLEACH, my mind just went numb. "OH HEY ICHIGO, I BEEN STALKING YOU SINCE YOU WERE IN THE WOMB." Seriously, I wonder what Kubo was thinking when he made that happened.

AND YES, the "Lost Agent" arc is REALLY good, though it's mostly because of Tsukishima. How he affected almost all of Ichigo's friends & family was SCARY. Ginjou is awesome too and I think we're going to see a lot of him since Kubo seems to love him a lot.

That Volume 51 cover of Riruka was cute. Her poem was adorable. XD
(no subject) - makeyourmoment on August 16th, 2011 01:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - tonyyao82 on August 16th, 2011 03:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Sunflowers and Vodka: 「Rarity」Fuck my life.sindragosa on August 14th, 2011 04:53 am (UTC)
I pretty much feel the same way, with little differences. The whole "Azien is conveniently one step ahead of you, OH HO!" arc smacked of the poor man's Naraku (InuYasha) so hard it HURT.

I just barely managed to hang around for the Decide Arc to end and by then I was burnt out. I came back a bit into the Xcution Arc and... really didn't like it. The characters are nice and all, but in an OCEAN of forgotten characters and unresolved small character plots, I can't find myself attaching to any of them out of fear that they'll just get lost in the Great Kubo Sea when their Fifteen Minutes of Fame expires.

However, I DO like Tsukishima's tactics for getting to Ichigo and I'm really liking how the loss of his friends and powers is pushing the poor boy to the brink.

And seeing Rukia jump-started my love of Bleach, I'll gladly admit that. It's remembering Rukia, how Bleach used to be (to me), and me riding the nostalgia high on those points that have me holding out for the next few chapters. *crosses fingers*
tonyyao82tonyyao82 on August 14th, 2011 05:34 am (UTC)
Rukia's timing has never been more perfect. The one character I don't see getting thrown away anytime soon is Ginjou. Kubo seems to be fanboying over him the most out of the other new characters.
(no subject) - adam_epp on August 17th, 2011 03:49 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sindragosa on August 17th, 2011 05:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
The English Major: Genius at workpurplebloom500 on August 14th, 2011 05:41 am (UTC)
I enjoyed reading your article.

I haven't read any Bleach since May and actually thought about giving up on it. However, I realized that I had stuck with the series for so long that it would be pointless to abandon it. So yeah, one of these days I'll catch up.
tonyyao82tonyyao82 on August 14th, 2011 04:35 pm (UTC)
I had a friend who stopped reading after the Soul Society arc and she just started reading it again after the time skip.
selenityshiroiselenityshiroi on August 14th, 2011 08:21 am (UTC)
I have stages where I have the patience to read it and when I don't, but I don't think I've ever hated it.

I stopped reading during the Deicide arc and only caught up with those missing chapters now that Rukia has returned and my interest is peaked to super high levels.

My main problem is that I think Bleach reads better in volumes rather than on a weekly basis. The flow and pacing is so much better when you read several chapters at a time. I first started reading Bleach when chapter 303 was current (chapter 304 was released on the internet literally ten minutes after I caught up). Reading it all in a chunk meant that I was never bored of any fights or exposition, because I wasn't waiting weeks in between.

It was only when I was following on a week to week basis that I started to get impatient and bored.

So, every so often, I stop reading and just keep an eye on spoilers. I either wait for something so amazing that I can't keep away or I just wait until a certain mini-arc or battle is over and then catch up again.

I'm the sort of person who rotates through fandoms, anyway. I'll be really obsessed with something for a few months but then something else will catch my interest and the first fandom will go on the backburner whilst I obsess over the new.

I've had my stages where I've stalked BA everyday for hours and trawled everywhere (including braving FF.NET) for fanfic because I don't have enough Bleach in my life and reread the manga again and again...but then I've been distracted by something else and Bleach just becomes something I read. The same thing happens, for me, with every fandom.

So whilst I go through my 'OMG BLEACH IS THE GREATEST MANGA EVER' and my 'Ugh...I'll read it later' stages, I have never once thought 'I can't be bothered with this manga any more'. It'll always be one of my favourites because of the many characters I love and for the fact that I actually think that, pacing aside, Kubo is an excellent writer.
oh gallant piglet,: yachiruaizome on August 14th, 2011 10:58 am (UTC)
"My main problem is that I think Bleach reads better in volumes rather than on a weekly basis. The flow and pacing is so much better when you read several chapters at a time.


It was only when I was following on a week to week basis that I started to get impatient and bored."

This is exactly what boat I'm in.

As for the initial post: I'm in this until the end (unless I die first, lol). There have been two times I was tempted to stop reading, but I've realized there are too many characters I love to completely give up on it. Kubo has (definitively) killed several of my favorites, but there are enough still alive and enough back stories left to tell that I'm in it for the whole journey. I feel sad for people who are in this only for one or two characters. Reading week-to-week must be torturous for them. :(
(no subject) - tonyyao82 on August 14th, 2011 04:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - needaccount on August 14th, 2011 08:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
_debbiechan_: Kubo is my boyfriend 2_debbiechan_ on August 14th, 2011 11:32 am (UTC)

Good article.

Too many characters to love for me in Bleach. My heart has room for them all but there's a lot of elbowing for room in there. It hurts.

I've almost walked away from Bleach twice----not out of boredom, out of sheer anxiety for the drifting plot and exasperation with fandom. Love for the characters (there are TOOOOO MANY, SENSEI!!!!) brought me back each time.

And truth be told, Kubo has broken my heart on many an occasion (in a good way) but he's yet to disappoint me. I'm right out there with his love of doorknobs and their similarity to moons and alluding to the turning of cycles....

And when he writes chapters that make things "click," I fall in love again. I've been in love with Bleach for most of this decade. Hey, I've been married longer so I know I can deal with whatever Sensei has in store. He loves his characters and I do too. Kill them, tear off their arms, whatever--I'm ready, Sensei. I expect them to grow up and learn. This is a coming-of-age story after all---my favorite kind.

Dear Ichigo, dear boy, you'll be a fine man in ten years.
tonyyao82tonyyao82 on August 14th, 2011 04:43 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the characters really are something. I don't know how many times Kubo's played with my emotions. It's amazing how I still follow him.

In ten years, Ichigo will face his greatest struggle: controlling a harem of Rukia/Orihime/Tatsuki and possibly more. :D
ore-samathesundaywriter on August 14th, 2011 01:49 pm (UTC)
While I enjoyed the Arrancar war arc I would pause and wait till more chapters ahad come out so I'd just read in bulk at once... the general feeling after a while was 'Is it over yet' =D; The only things that have kept me interested till now are the curiosity to see how everything is progressing and the characters that I like. That and I am generally sentimental and loyal to old and longtime fandoms, and I like reading fic and discussions about it.
tonyyao82tonyyao82 on August 14th, 2011 04:50 pm (UTC)
You know, I wish I had done the same. Maybe I would appreciate Bleach more if I read it in volumes than just following chapters weekly. That's what I did in the beginning, until I started browsing manga sites. :P

Yeah, I do try to keep track of my fandoms from time to time. Lately, I been reading about the Bleach Harajuku event and people's reactions to it. XD
needaccount: Ichigoneedaccount on August 14th, 2011 08:49 pm (UTC)
I like your article. :]

I think the only major things I've been disappointed with are the Lust arc with its failures of Orihime and Ichigo (where they couldn't do what they had been planning since the beginning of the Arrancar arc) and the silliness of Aizen's powers in the Fake Karakura Town arc (I had been thinking he was a Magnificent Bastard but he turned more into a hax to the point that I never believed it when it looked like he was going down...troll, indeed).

Actually, part of the reason I dislike those things is that I had been wanting and expecting the Arrancar arc to end before defeating Aizen. I wanted them to hurry up and save Orihime then train so they would be strong enough to defeat Aizen and his crew. I didn't think Ichigo was strong enough when he was so easily beat by Ulquiorra...but in the end Ichigo got them both. :|

Then there's the multitude of characters; I love them all but because there are so many, some fall to the wayside pretty often. And the fights were soo long, even when I was reading in bulk.

Despite those problems, I've never wanted to quit Bleach. Pretty much every chapter is enjoyable and exciting to me. They may not all make me spend the next week waiting in anticipation, but they're still interesting enough that I can spare the effort of reading it every week. Although there was a period of time I stopped reading, I think that had more to do with my obsession with Naruto at the time. XD Anyway, the story, the characters, the emotion, the art, all of it makes me never want to leave Bleach. It might be different for those who've been with it for a much longer time.
tonyyao82tonyyao82 on August 14th, 2011 09:32 pm (UTC)
Ahhh, the device known as "plot-kai" really saved Ichigo in those two fights, didn't they? It was funny & sad how Aizen just beat EVERYONE (Vizards/SS) when the Top 3 Espada & Tousen couldn't do anything significant.

Kubo said that the Arrancar arc went too long because everyone loved the Arrancars. He blamed it on himself though because he didn't expect them to become so popular. I'm like "O RLY?"

Yeah, I do wonder about those who followed like when the manga really started. Not just those who jumped aboard the manga because of the anime.

(no subject) - needaccount on August 15th, 2011 08:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - tonyyao82 on August 16th, 2011 02:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
vraieesprit: juushunvraieesprit on August 14th, 2011 09:31 pm (UTC)

I think I lost my connection to Bleach a little after Aizen's GodModding (although I liked Ichigo's perspective on Aizen's reasons for doing what he did at the end) and I haven't really managed to get into the previous arc about the FullBring and so on. I've realised a fickle Bleachfan thing about myself, which is the only reason I got into the show and the only reason I stayed into it was because of the shinigami.

Ishida (who I adore) aside, I'm just not bothered about any of the other characters and so the further Kubo goes from Seireitei, the less I care. It's an awful thing for a fan to say but I can't help it. Seeing Rukia with her VC badge on rekindled a little bit my hope for future Shinigami storylines, and has made me more interested in keeping up with the manga again. But I probably won't go back and read the Fullbring arc unless the plot really dictates I have to.

I think the reasons I didn't completely give up on Bleach even when I stopped reading it were twofold. One, I was moderating a Bleach forum at the time, and that meant I had to keep it all in mind, and two, I was - and still am - writing Ukitake and Kyouraku backstory fiction, which meant I needed to keep tabs on the manga and so on to see if any clues about their swords came to light.

I guess we'll see where it goes from here. Probably, so long as a stuffie Ukitake lives on my PC speaker, I won't ever fully break from Bleach...it will just never mean as much to me as HaruToki or M do.

tonyyao82tonyyao82 on August 14th, 2011 09:36 pm (UTC)
I'm keeping my fingers crossed for what happens next. The Fullbring arc seems to be one that's only going to last a year and then possibly transition into a grander arc.

Ukitake & Kyouraku are two lovable captains and sometimes underappreciated. I think a majority of the Shinigami aren't going to appear until the next huge storyline....There is literally no reason for them to show up unless they love Ichigo as much as Rukia does.
jpblack: hisagijpblack on August 14th, 2011 10:06 pm (UTC)
Something I've noticed is the blackballing of new characters. I feel it's a two way street with fans and Kubo. If time is spent on these newbies, the most parroted complaint is "he should focus on characters people give a damn about." But if he doesn't flesh them out, how is anyone supposed to care about them(I think back to an interview where Kubo says Japanese fans went nuts over Hisagi before he had done anything but stand there looking fab, lol)? It's as if they were destined to fail.

And to expand on that, spending time with characters "people give a damn about," This arc has been Karakura crew central. Ginjo and Tsukishima have shoehorned their way into the forefront, and Riruka and Shishigawara made some splashes. That's a whopping two new "prominent" characters and two "auxillary" ones. Kutsuzawa, Jackie, and Yukio have done nothing short of being training instruments, so I honestly would find it strange if anyone had any strong opinion for or against the three of them. This entire arc has been about 70% Ichigo, 25% Orihime, and 5% Chad. People don't like Ichigo, Orihime, and Chad?

I hope I didn't go too far off on a tangent. I guess I'll just say this is my love/hate Bleach mini-rant. And in the search for a Shuuhei icon, I find out it's his birthday today.
tonyyao82tonyyao82 on August 15th, 2011 02:31 am (UTC)
It really does feel double-edged. I think Kubo has himself to blame regarding characters. Hasn't he realized that the characters he creates combined with his artwork are going to drag things out longer than usual?

Kubo has this knack of making great characters. Such a blessing and a curse for him.
kaibasgirl on August 14th, 2011 11:55 pm (UTC)
It sounds kind of pathetic, but the whole reason I got into Bleach in the first place is because of Hinamori, and the HitsuHina pairing. And now I'm just waiting for Kubo to FINALLY resolve all the drama around those two and give them the happy ending they deserve T______T

That's the only reason I keep reading Bleach. Oh, and also so that I can write fanfics :D

btw, what IS Gintama? The clips seem pretty awesome XD
tonyyao82tonyyao82 on August 15th, 2011 02:32 am (UTC)
That's why I think Aizen is going to make a comeback and the HitsuHina will make its climax then.

Gintama is a comedy anime/manga from Shonen Jump that makes fun of a lot of things in Japanese culture. You want great characters? Gintama's got'em.
Aquat1c F1sh: Bleach - Ichigo Ponderingaquat1cf1sh on August 15th, 2011 01:29 am (UTC)
That was quite a nice read! And I've definitely been there before, wanting to quit Bleach and all.

I don't know whether to think Kubo is a troll who has no idea what the hell he's doing, or if he's a good-intentioned man that thinks what he's doing is great when it's, well, not. There was a point in the Arrancar arc- the Szayel fight which lasted well over a year in real life- where I was just like "Are you kidding me? This is terrible!" You think the fight is over with, and then it goes on, and on, and on, and on, and on and I'm like what the fuck Kubo. Being dragged through the mud like that is no fun. That was longer than the Aizen fight even... definitely the butt of the arc for me.

The part near the end with Ulquiorra and Orihime, as well as Toshiro accidentally stabbing Momo, were the only interesting parts of the arc for me. And I was really looking forward to seeing Tosen meet Komamura again (the same with Gin and Rangiku) but by the time they finally came around I just didn't care. =/ I didn't think they were that well done either.

What keeps me going? The characters. Bleach has awesome characters and character interactions. If it weren't for them I wouldn't be following Bleach anymore (...probably.). Also I've put too much time into it to give it up. Finally, I've really been liking this most recent arc. I think Tsukishima makes for a way more interesting villain than Aizen, who's about as dull and one-dimensional as you can get. Also the most recent chapter really makes me have high hopes for the future. XD This is the most I've liked Bleach since the Karakura arc.
tonyyao82tonyyao82 on August 15th, 2011 02:36 am (UTC)
Yup, the characters!!!! I can't think of too many manga series that have great characters. Aizen just suffers from plot hax.
A: Rukialovely_chance on August 17th, 2011 03:53 am (UTC)
I feel pretty much the same as you. I've been following Bleach for about four years now. I started with anime but got bored with the Bount arc and went for the manga instead. I read all the way to the end of the SS arc and dropped Bleach after that. I picked it up again when the Lust Arc was about to begin and stayed ever since. There were times I was disappointed in Bleach and wanted to drop it again, but I stil stuck around for the good parts and for the characters (mainly Rukia).

As for Kubo, I respect him as an author; his characterization, his poems, his parallelism, and the way he builds chapters to reach an epic climax (like in SS arc and this arc with Rukia's return) all make me enjoy Bleach. But there are times when I distrust his writing; the pacing, the plotholes, the way he trolls/teases, and recently the way he shows comic relief has started to bug me. So yeah, I've got a love/hate relationship with Bleach as well.

However, I am grateful to Kubo, Bleach, and Bleach fandom. If it wasn't for this manga, I would have never cared about authorial's intent. It's also the first fandom I ever participated in so props to Kubo for making me care about Bleach enough to join Bleachness and BA. :)

So while Bleach isn't my absolute favorite, but it's still a manga I care about.
tonyyao82tonyyao82 on August 17th, 2011 03:57 am (UTC)
I think BLEACH was the first anime/manga series I ever took super-seriously after Dragon Ball Z. So yeah, I still care about it as it got me involved with fandom in general.
Adam Eppadam_epp on August 17th, 2011 03:57 am (UTC)
Your article was nice to read, although it doesn't quite reach the depths of my own personal mixed feelings towards Bleach. But I can sum up my opinion very succinctly: I love Bleach for the beginning and Soul Society arcs, and hate it for not being as good ever since. Still, at least this new arc is better than the last one.
tonyyao82tonyyao82 on August 17th, 2011 03:59 am (UTC)
I feel the same way, though I did like Ulquiorra & Grimmjow. And yes, the "Lost Agent" story has been quite entertaining.