I watched the first season of BLEACH way back in ’06 and stopped watching it completely once I got to the Soul Society Arc, which is my favorite so far, because well… duh. I finally got back in tune with it and finished it completely. I’m on the Bount Arc now so I wanted to just take some time and give my opinion on what I thought of the first three seasons of BLEACH:
I’ll admit it up front BLEACH intrigued me almost immediately. I mean the whole Shinigami thing is nothing new, but they spun a new twist on it and made it a bit more interesting. I mean Hollows, Death Gods in charge of defeating said Hollows; it seems cliche, but its pretty neat. At the start I liked Ichigo he seemed like a different lead character all together. I mean normally in shows such as this the Hero/Heroine is incompetent, lazy and always hungry and furthermore never really wants the destiny that has been handed to them. Ichigo was pretty different; he’s badass yet caring at the same time and took the whole becoming a substitute Shinigami thing in stride, so I found that quite refreshing.
I liked all the characters of the first season, yes even Rukia and Orihime and normally I don’t go for the possible love interests, but how could I not? Rukia is adorable and Orihime is just the love; Gon-chan is one of the most hilarious and off the wall mascot characters EVER. I’m in love with Ichigo’s family. Chad is just the awesomeness and my favorite Ishida was just too much. I mean at the start of BLEACH Ishida was most definitely my favorite character, he was just so strange… still is.
I liked the whole fighting the Hollows thing of the first Arc and the bond Ichigo and Rukia formed, it was genuine and when it came time for Ichigo to risk his life to save her it made sense. Though I liked the first Arc immensely, the episodic nature of it did begin to get a bit tiring and just when I was about to throw my hands up in exasperation in comes Byakuya and Renji and I was forever sold.
The Soul Society Arc was of the epic-ness, I’m sorry it was such a great Arc. I loved the whole Captains and Co-captains and the different teams and powers and how all of them seemed to be intertwined with that of someone else. The fights were also great, because the build-up was always so intense. I’d have to say out of all the fights my favorite was definitely when Ichigo faced off with Byakuya, it was just so sweet to see Byakuya knocked down a peg and Ichigo earned so many cool points for kicking his ass: (“that was for Renji!”) *cough*iloverenji,sorry*cough*
Hollow Ichigo was pretty damn cool. I enjoyed some other fights as well: Ichigo VS Kenpachi, Ichigo VS Renji, Ishida Vs Mayuri, Yoruichi and Soi Fon and Renji VS Byakuya which is my second favorite of the bunch.
I was a bit surprised by the twist that occurred in the final episodes of the third season involving one Aizen. I mean come on, who saw that coming? I mean yeah… its always the humble and non-threatening looking characters like him that you have to watch out for, but it completely shocked me to find that he is going to be this series’ main antagonist. I mean, seriously. I was a bit like ‘what?’ when the whole he was killed thing went through Soul Society, it seemed to come out of nowhere and that should have been my first indication that something was awry. It was just to easy.
It was also ingeniuness, wtf? It was just way to clever the way he staged everything in order to get that Orb of Distortion out of Rukia’s body which was placed there by Urahara years ago. It was just sheer brilliance. I was immensely impressed and also immensely pissed off. How dare he do that to Hinamori? What an asshole! Although I couldn’t believe she would try to kill her best-friend over him, I mean I understand you looked up to him and loved him an everything, but still… Its Hitsugaya, why would he even bother to kill Aizen? I mean despite the way that Aizen callously and nearly threw her life away, it was her emotions in the end that defeated her. I mean in the short amount of time I got to know Hinamori, by the end, I really felt sorry for her.
It was also a bit disheartening that by the time Aizen got the orb and showed his true colors everyone was already worn down from the previous fight to do anything about it, so Aizen, Gin (who I like actually) and Tousen (why???!) got away and are now somewhere where the Hollows dwell biding there time. It was a pretty somber end to the Arc, but I’m glad they all made it out somewhat all right, if not forever changed.
I enjoyed BLEACH despite its formulaic air and I know I’m way behind in the series, but that’s only because I went through an anime slump for a few years and had no interest in watching or keeping up with anything anime related. I’m pretty much paying for it now, but I like to go at my own pace so its fine. The first three seasons of BLEACH were pretty good and kept my attention for the most part and the Bount Arc is turning out to be pretty interesting as well, so expect my thoughts on this season whenever I finish watching it.