anime, review, shonen

Bleach (Season 1/Episode 1-20) Review

Introduction

So I was going to review the shonen animes from episode 1-100 but than I realized it was separated by arcs and each one of these arcs are separated by seasons so I decided to review them all by seasons. For Bleach this would be easy considering Season 1 is only 20 episodes and I’ve already seen it two years ago and I only needed to look back at them to refresh my memory. Bleach was a favorite of mine, I guess I got sick of it at some point but it was so much fun to watch, but I wonder if I still think like that.

 Story

So the story of Bleach follows a 15-yr-old boy named, Ichigo Kurosaki who can see ghosts/spirits. Because of this ability it later allows him to meet this shinigami (soul reaper/death god) named Rukia Kuchiki who is fighting an unwanted eating spirit called a hollow. To protect his family and friends, Ichigo has Rukia transferring her powers to Ichigo. Rukia takes on a human shell and works together with Ichigo to fight hollows.

Now I don’t want to go on about what goes on after season 1 but I will say, season 1 is the best of Bleach. I love watching Ichigo fight hollows and I loved the action that went on. Every episode followed Ichigo fighting a hollow, his classmates discovering unusual powers of their own and later on, Ichigo’s big training with Urahara. I liked these early episodes because it had a very strong balance between action, drama and the comedy. The plot by episode 15 did start to go somewhere which allowed an idea on what season 2 is about. However being a shonen series afterall, Bleach did take too much time to go anywhere and I do believe the first 15 episodes were mostly filler but this kind of filler was more enjoyable than the filler in other shonen animes. Bleach’s storyline even lacks appeal to be honest because their is no goal, at least for One Piece it was for Luffy to find the one piece and become king of the pirates and at least Naruto had a goal in the series, to become hokage, for Bleach it is a rather average storyline that is destined to have hundreds of episodes and no actual conclusion. By the way, I know it is all in one and I may say this a lot but at least have a proper conclusion for the first season.

Score: B

Characters

Ichigo is a fascinating character who is rather short-tempered but strong. As much as I like Ichigo though, I can’t deny he is too much like a stereotypical shonen lead. I really liked Rukia, she is like no other female in an anime like this, she’s strong, clever and extremely entertaining. I love the relationship between Ichigo and Rukia, I know they are just friends but I’ll be so happy to see them as a couple. The other characters are, Chad, Uryu and Orihime. Chad is an extremely quiet guy with a gentle soul but is extremely strong and will kick your ass if he needed to, probably one of the most likable character in the show. Uryu is one of the last remaining quincies, the shinigami’s enemies and Uryu is Ichigo’s rival though they eventually have a friendly one. Uryu is extremely smart, cool and quiet, I didn’t like him at first but I eventually came to terms to liking him. Lastly, Orihime who is a timid, kind and cheerful classmate of Ichigo, to be honest though I didn’t dislike her I found her very useless and it hurts to say because she showed the potential of being useful to the show but it came off as obvious she was there for well… boobs. The other characters are all interesting and fun in their own way, particular favorite of mine in Kon, our comic relief character who is in a lion-looking stuffed animal and of course is extremely perverted but is extremely hilarious and made the show much more fun.

Score: B

Animation

Bleach is licensed by Studio Pierrot and season 1 started from September 8 2006-January 26 2007. The animation is really good, a lot better then the way it looks now to be honest. The action scenes were nice and entertaining to watch. The character designs are really good even making the hollows look really creepy.

Score: B

Sound

Honestly the OST in Bleach didn’t stand out very much. The opening however was fantastic and by far my favorite opening in the whole anime which did get replaced next season. The ending though wasn’t something I always listen to still was pretty good. The voice acting in both English and Japanese were fantastic. Johnny Yong Bosch is the perfect Ichigo and Michelle Ruff is the perfect Rukia. Everyone had a good role and honestly both dubs were extremely hard to criticize.

Score (Music): B-

Score (Voice Acting): B+

Conclusion

 Overall Bleach’s first season was very enjoyable to watch and brought back many great memories from when I saw it in 2013. Yes it may seem a little cliche and though the main character, Ichigo is a stereotypical main character in a series like this, he was still likable and enjoyable to watch. I love the relationship between Ichigo and Rukia and I love the other characters. The show is obviously a little slow paced but it’s really good. It is graded with a B, a very fun anime I highly recommend it if you’re a newcomer however if you’ve seen a lot of anime than maybe just check out the first season, it’s only 20 episodes.

I won’t be doing recommendations for the four shonen series considering they’re going to get more reviews/discussions on the series. So till next time 🙂

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