Directed By: Noriyuki Abe
Written By: Masashi Sogo
Originally By: Tite Kubo
Music By: Shiro Sagisu
Studio: Studio Pierrot
Licensed By: Manga Entertainment (UK)
So you may be wondering why this is a Let’s look at instead of the usual reviews that are on this little blog. Well the reason is that I recently bought the Bleach season 1 box set and decided that instead of the usual let’s try something different.
How these will work is that instead of reviewing a whole season of something, I’ll instead watch the first 20 or so episodes and write about how it introduces the series and characters.
Bleach is one of those series that I personally call the big three with the other two being Naruto and One-Piece due to how much influence they’ve had on otaku culture in general although Bleach and Naruto are currently on their last story arc.
Bleach follows the life of Ichigo Kurosaki, an orange haired high school student who ends up working as a “substitute” Soul Reaper after he accidentally steals all of the abilities of Rukia Kuchiki when a hollow attacks his family in an attempt to kill him.
Hollows by the way are the main threat of the first twenty episodes in the series. There monsters that are created when a human soul refuses to let go of their former life and stay for too long or are forced to change by varies means.
They all come in variety of different shapes, sizes and power and besides an appetite that can only be slated by eating other sprites or say soul reapers and a hole where there heart was, they all share one thing in common. They all have their own version of those amazingly stylist masks which surprisingly enough actually serve a purpose.
Along with the shows action it also features a lot of episodes with Ichigo in school and these parts serve mainly for comedy with Ichigo school friends like the really hyper (and annoying) friend Keigo Asano but at least his not an important character.
Oh there Kon as well but when his introduced he has an interesting personality and has overcome the odds so he gets a free pass.Speaking of the rest of the cast Bleach does a great job of introducing the cast of the show. The main cast of the show are all pretty interesting and entertaining characters, yes even Orihime Inoue who in later seasons is mostly useless but don’t worry about that now because she does have one of the best episodes for none action reasons during these 20 episodes but I won’t spoil it.
While as I already mentioned Bleach does have quiet moments, the real reason to watch Bleach is for the action scenes. The shows fight scenes are all done very well (I’m starting to sound like a broken record) because of one very important reason.
The reason is that during most of the fighting scenes Ichigo struggles during the fights instead of steamrolling everything like Dante or Laharl did so the fights actually have a bit of suspense during them (unless you’ve read the manga) and it makes it feel like Ichigo has earned the victories. It also helps that the fight scenes just look really cool.
While the series action scenes and characters are all well done I have to bring up something that really annoyed me throughout the show. You see the problem is that Manga Entertainment hasn’t put any subtitles under any of the Japanese in the series and Bleach does have a good deal of it.
They don’t even bother adding subtitles under the show’s opening and both of the shows ending themes which both sound pretty good. It’s just a shame that I have no idea what the hell there singing about.
Bleach’s animation style is pretty good throughout it is easily beaten by the shows great soundtrack which has some cool battle music as well as the already mentioned opening and closing themes but at least the rest of the soundtrack has no lyrics so no need to worry there.
So that’s my look at the start of Bleach and if you’ve never watched or read Bleach before than I recommend giving this shows a go. The first twenty episodes do a good job of introducing everybody and the action is fast and fun to watch and the soundtrack is great throughout.
It’s not perfect though with Manga Entertainment forgetting to add subtitles to all of the Japanese. Besides that my only real problem with the first twenty episodes is that the school parts of the show tend to be a little slow.