Bleach Recap #0: My road to Bleach

I probably should have started my rewatch of Bleach a lot sooner. I wanted to include all of the fillers in my rewatch as well to make sure I see all of it again before the new season starts in October. Unfortunately, there are only about three months left, which means I have to consistently watch four episodes a day. On top of weekly anime and other shows I’m following, this is going to be a challenge. Nonetheless, it’s a challenge I am up for. So starting with this post, let’s take our time to talk about the Bleach anime, and why it was once part of the illustrious big three, before seemingly falling to the wayside completely. 

Let me start off by talking about when and how I first encountered Bleach. It’s a story in two parts, really. I remember back in early high school, when I would visit a friend of mine once. She invited me over with some other friends to play Guitar Hero. On display in her living room was a figure and a few drawings of some cool looking cartoon characters. Mind you, this was long before I ever knew what anime was. I thought it was cartoons for goth kids. With Bleach I suppose that is not completely inaccurate, but I learned later that there was much more to it. When one of my best friends recommended me to watch One Piece, I did so very rapidly and when I finished all of that show, at least what was out at the time, I needed something else to watch. This is when I came across a familiar name; Bleach.
I vividly remember that my parents went on holiday that year and my brother went with them. I didn’t like going on holiday back then, because I am very autistic and young me didn’t know how to cope with that. Instead I dragged my entire computer setup to the living room for two weeks and played games and watched anime. This is where I first watched the initial episodes of Bleach. 

Inject this nostalgia straight into my veins. Look at that aspect ratio. It was a simpler time.

Bleach is an anime that aired from 2004 till 2012 and was animated by studio Pierrot. It is based on the manga of the same name by Tite Kubo, which ran in Shonen Jump from 2001 till 2006. It tells the story of Kurosaki Ichigo, a high school student who is turned into a substitute soul reaper. Together with actual Soul Reaper Kuchiki Rukia he goes out and defeats hollows which are like corrupted soul monsters. As the story moves on, he ends up butting heads with the powerful soul society. The early arcs are often described as teenagers rebelling against a system that feels oppressive and unfair. A message that holds true to this day. One of the unfortunate truths about Bleach is that towards the tail end of the manga it drastically lost popularity. As a result of this, the final arc felt extremely rushed and wasn’t very good. I’ve heard a rumor (emphasis on it being a rumor) that there might be some adjustments to the story in the anime, which could possibly improve the rushed story which has me excited for it. 

I will be watching the new season of Bleach every single week once it’s here, and to get everyone else up to speed I will summarize and review the different arcs in the anime. I might include the filler arcs in this as well, depending on how quickly I can make my way through the story. I hope you’ll join me here for future posts as well and perhaps watch along with me. Because for all its flaws and problems, Bleach is an extremely memorable show with some fantastic characters, fights and music that I will always hold dear as an adrenaline inducing action show that brightened my day whenever I watched it. I hope you’re as excited for this as I am. 

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