Friday, October 8, 2010

Bleach 423 - The End Of An Era

So, this week in "Bleach" the conflict with Aizen finally, after four or five years, came to a close. I promised myself that when this happened I'd blog about it since it's a pretty big turning point in the nerd world. Even if you're not into "Bleach", if you hang out even marginally in the anime/manga fandom circles you're bound to be at least aware of how long this has been going on.

And anyone who follows me on twitter, or talks to me on LiveJournal or on instant messengers or even knows me offline, knows how frustrated I've been for a while now because all of this constant random fighting just bores me to tears. Especially since they just go on forever, happen simultaneously, and make it damn near impossible to figure out how much time has passed.

But this week has reminded me why I love this series and why I keep reading it. Because there was no fighting this week. this week was the whole cast being dorks.

I love "Bleach" for it's characters. It's story is decent even if it's sometimes poorly handled, but it's characters are what make it shine and why I believe it's so popular. It's cast is larger than it has to be, but no one member of the cast is just like any other. "Bleach" presents a vast range of characters with an equally vast range of personalities and motivations. This, unfortunately, gets lost in the grunting shouting man fights that occupy about 75% of this series.

But that other 25% that is comprised of characters hanging out together being sarcastic and witty and weird and showcasing their crazy personalities. We really only get this between arcs, which means right now we're in for it for a little while and I can enjoy this series like I used to.

I think my favorite part about this chapter was how Aizen was handled. Last week Ichigo tried to sympathize with Aizen. He theorized that Aizen was doing all of this because he was "lonely" because no one could match him, or some shit along those lines. Me and several of my friends got very annoyed by this. There has never been anything "sympathetic" about Aizen. The dude is just batshit. I don't care how "lonely" he is, it isn't an excuse for multi-planal genocide.

But this week Aizen decided to remind us that he's not sympathetic. He takes his sentencing, and laughs in the face of those condeming him.

Does anyone remember my post on Bleach running on the DBZ principal? Because this week it was finally proven by Rukia.

His hair was getting longer because he had more power. Now that he's lost his power, it got short again.

This lead into Rukia and Ichigo parting ways again. I've read this chapter about three times since it went up, and I cry every time. These kind of goodbyes always get me. However, I know this isn't the end. I've heard that we're getting two more arcs (one 6-8 months long, one 2-3 years long). And even if I didn't know that for sure, Ichigo and Rukia have had to part ways twice before and look where that got us? She'll be back.

Given the state Ichigo's in, I'm curious as to how things will pick up again. Kubo Tite has once against it up so that I have to come back in two weeks when Bleach's hiatus is up to see where this story goes.

I'm still predicting that Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi is going to be the next big bad, since he's still running around in Hueco Mundo when he gets bored, and he was making some threats at Ichigo before he left Hueco. I'm also wondering if, in this new arc, Grimmjow and Nel will make their way out of the plot-sink they were sucked into, since we're still involving Hueco and all.

So, in two weeks, Bleach will come back and we'll start whatever new story Kubo's going to string us along into. Once we're into that, I'll do my best to let you all know what I think. Because my opinion on this is clearly incredibly valuable to you all.