Thursday, 18 August 2016

Bleach Analysis - Reviewing the Final Chapter

Okay, no more messing around. No more breaks, no more fake spoilers, no more nothing. After 15 years of publication....Tite Kubo's wild ride has come to an end.

Let's read.



Oh, who's this little boy? This is the last color page of the series, and it's something that 50% of it is this kid's head. (I'm sure you can guess that it's Ichigo's kid)

Hi Hiyori! R-Remember when you had that panel of combat against Gerard?


The last colorspread, ladies and gentlemen. It's simple, but I actually do like this one. You can't go wrong with a spread of the main cast....plus Tatsuki, Keigo, and Mizuiro.

Uryu isn't even facing the camera lol


The announcement is a live action movie for Bleach! ....cool, I guess. I would've liked the anime to return, but beggers can't be choosers. Like the Death Note one, I assume it'll use a lot of CGI for Hollows.


Byakuya and Soi, among others, make their way to the source of the reading Akon found last chapter. Also, "it's been quite some time since Rukia's had down time"? Wait, isn't this the same day, where she became a captain? When did she get to play hooky on Earth?


They arrive on the scene, but something is happening to the shadowy material. 
And give me a break Mayuri, you would keep this under wraps? Not that I'm surprised, but hey, even you can be taken off guard. I've seen movie 3.


Renji and Rukia head to the clinic, and here's Ichigo! Who took notes from Naruto on the decision to make his adulthood haircut look pretty lame.


I like this page - Ichigo and Rukia banter, Tatsuki punches someone....it's all entertaining. But oh my god, look at how smug Renji looks.

"That's right Ichigo, I get to hit this every night, u mad bro? I mean, I always end up crying after, but it's sooo awesome."

Keigo, you're an adult, stop with the goofy cartoon faces

I see Karin inherited her cousin Kukaku's two great gifts. The blessing of the female Shibas.

So yeah, Chad's a famous boxer, which many people pointed out kinda contradicts his motto to never use his fists for his own gain? Maybe he does it just to make a living, and gives a lot to charity. I mean, it's probably the easiest job ever, because he would never have to try to win.

I guess this means we don't get the hilarious-but-still-possible-because-this-is-Kubo ending of him spending 10 years fighting off the sand statues (remember that?!)


Aaaand Uryu doesn't get to hang out with his friends. Lovely.

Didn't he not want to be a doctor after seeing his father carve up his mother's corpse? I guess he was turned around when Ryuken revealed. the silver arrow plotpoint. Ah well.

Yuzu and her silly brocon

Speaking of careers (or lack thereof)..

Orihime got her happy ending and married Ichigo! Yeah, they're the parents of that boy in the beginning.....okay, quick word on the Bleach Pairing Apocalypse 2016:

-Ichiruki and Ichihime were both pairings I followed, I'll admit that. 

-With Rukia, there was always more chemistry and genuine moments between the two due to her giving him the chance to protect his family and the whole driving force of the SS arc. However, one could also interpret their relationship just fine as true friends or brother/sister.

-With Orihime....her whole character arc centered on developing more intense feelings for Ichigo, where it went beyond a simple crush to actual love. But the problem is....it never went anywhere. I'd be more happy for her if Kubo bothered to follow up on the climax, where Ichigo goes Super Hollow 3 against Ulquiorra when Orihime cries for him.

He could've went either way: either have Ichigo acknowledge the feelings and return them in story, or have Ichigo turn her down, so at least she could move on. But instead she just kinda floated around, in a state of always wanting to support Ichigo, despite other events in his life taking priority. Orihime was a good friend of his but I never got the impression he ever wanted to or felt like something more. Did the two even talk about the Ulquiorra battle or Tatsuki being left out or anything like that? No.

As such, I guess Ichigo/Orihime is the pairing that makes more sense from a romantic context but not necessarily a logical one. It's not as bad as Naruto/Hinata, where despite her confession, the former ignores the latter up until the final battle where Neji suddenly dies.....but I really can't throw all my weight into it. Still, congrats to the shippers, and at least Orihime's life doesn't suck anymore.

-Speaking of, dear god is Tumblr having a meltdown. 



Rukia was going to bring her fanfiction baby too, but she's apparently gone. More banter from Ichigo and Rukia.

But wait a minute, you're telling me that this is the first time Ichigo and Rukia have seen each other's kids? It's been 10 years! This annoyed me during the Fullbring arc too, what was stopping the two from having casual meet-ups every now and then? Rukia could easily pop in a gigai, or Ichigo could take the Senkaimon over. And don't give me the excuse of Gotei protocol, they've mellowed out, especially since Kyoraku's in charge.

Kubo, they're supposed to be friends. You realize all of this despair with Ginjou crap would've happened if Rukia at least called him!

Also, smug Renji continues.
"That's right guys, my seed's in Rukia. I even job at using a condom."


Bach's remains appears....in the Living World too? Uhhh...okay.




I guess I'm not surprised that Ichigo's spawn is this powerful (given his heritage), but was there even a need to include this as a cliffhanger to begin with? Everything seemed too happy for Kubo to end on a downer ending.

(also, does SS know Ichigo has reproduced? Look into that guys)



Aizen-sama! Gee the guy must be bored out of his mind, now. He's still locked up. Wait how did everyone recapture him after the battle? Ichigo and Renji were in no shape to keep fighting....I guess either Aizen gave up or Mayuri and Urahara did some kind of uber seal.



We cut back to the battle as Bach is dying, and this just makes me pissed off.

The beginning of this arc seemed like he was one a revenge crusade, operating in his own world for the Quincies to get even for their treatment.

Then it shifted to a hatred of the Soul King....like Aizen, I guess, if you read hard into it, it was a hatred of the system....as vague as they talk about it.

But then he gets so powerful and malicious he aims to just end everything, just for shits and giggles. After all, he had the Almighty! He killed the remaining Stern Ritters! It was just him, and screw everyone else!

And NOW Kubo thinks he can give him a new goal?! A world with no fear? Fuck you Bach, you don't get the right to say that.
-he dismembed his Arrancar minions
-mindfucked Ichigo
-killed Yamamoto
-purged the "impure" Quincies
-very cavalierly sacrificed some Stern Ritter just to power up himself/his elite guard
-then declared he would ruin everyone's happy ending and make everyone suffer

What kind of halfbaked "redemption" is this? A person who does this does NOT want to "make a world with no fear", he is the fear!

 I can't believe I have to see his face one more time, screw you Kubo.


I feel like this was trying to refer to the current cycle in Bleach, after a time when everybody pretty much stopped caring about it in-universe. And I get it, but again, you were the one trying to install fear in everyone. Is that supposed to be better? A world where people fear this sadistic, sociopathic, amoral God king instead of a natural way to pass on?

And what about the Soul King? Bach absorbed/killed him, so how does the universe not collapse when he dies? Who fixes it, and how? Kubo? Answers, please.



As much as Bleach has a tendency to get uber pretentious when it starts to wax philosophical, I think I'd have to agree with Aizen here. Fighting on despite our fears is what makes us stronger, and it's what makes the victory all the more rewarding. If we couldn't be afraid, we wouldn't have flaws. How could we better ourselves?

Btw I don't think I'm ever supposed to agree with Sosuke Aizen, so....yay?


Okay that was a little cheesy, even for Bleach. Someone appears behind Kazui.


Say hello to the fruit of Renji's loins, Ichika. And while the thought of Rukia thinking about Ichigo and Kaien while Renji thrusts his zanpakutou into her is depressingly hiliarous, the name doesn't come from them - it means "one flower" IIRC.

But why on earth is she a Shinigami so soon? She's only 10 at the very most, and while souls age slower than regular humans.....it still takes time to be a Shinigami! The academy takes what, a few years? Throw in the time for a child to learn how to walk, talk, think, etc.....and this doesn't seem very plausible, even for Bleach.

But we gotta have the shonen cliche of "main characters kids are the same age" a la Harry Potter, so whatevs.

Kind of? Kid, you have no idea

Now this makes even less sense? How is the 10 year old kid able to be a Shinigami so soon, and so efficiently at that? Sure you can point to Ichigo's mutt genes, but learning how to be a Shinigami is not a genetic trait! I guess Ichigo would support the idea of his family learning how to protect themselves, but that's why he had powers to begin with! So his family wouldn't have to get involved!

Did the kid just jump out of his material body? Is it like a light switch for him? Can we thank the stars we don't have a Boruto-style spin-off here? Then again the kid is pretty cute.

But the title references a new generation of "Death" (Ichika) and "Strawberry" (Kazui), so the adventures between a ginger kid and a midget can continue across time.

.......wait, that's it?!

Let's count the characters we don't have an idea of what happened to them:
-Urahara
-Yoruichi
-Isshin
-Ryuken
-Nel
-Grimmjow
-Harribel
-Jinta
-Ururu
-Tessai
-the other Vizards
-the rest of Ichigo's classmates
-etc, etc. etc, etc, etc

I'm not asking for Kubo to dedicate pages to every member of his cast, but putting the important stuff and using mere panels works just fine. The top five on this little list alone would've been fine for me, but noooope. The curse of Kubo always making characters when he gets stuck.

Overall it's not a bad chapter on its own, but the fact that THIS is what concludes the Bleach series....is mind boggling. There's so many things we will never get a proper resolution or answer to. 

But.....it's really over.

.....wow.

.........what a run. I've been hard on this series, but only because it used to be one of my favorites. And because I've spent so much time on it, for good and for bad....I'll actually miss it.

It could've had a happier ending then this.

9 comments:

  1. I also found this ending really sudden, because bugger all happened.

    And isn't it hilarious that Chad and Uryu never even got a _line_, but they weren't even in the same place as everyone else, hell we only saw other people watching Chad on TV in all of two panels. Even in the final chapter Kubo finds a way to dump on Chad.

    And honestly, I'd take a sequel series, just to see more of this nonsense.

    Oh and about the whole BS Yhwach was spouting, death _literally_ means nothing as when someone dies they pop up alive and with all their memories in Soul Society. So Death has stopped mattering _ages_ ago.

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    1. Even when Chad is winning he's still losing, lol.

      We've actually never seen a soul transfer/wake up in Soul Society on screen, but Ginjou and Tsukishima are the prime examples - death seemed like it was only a temporary set back. And then you have gigais (along with the soul tickets) which only serve to trivalize death more. If someone died, kept their memories through luck/high spiritual power, then hopped into a gigai in the span of a few days, would it be like they died in the first place?

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    2. "Where were you ?"

      "I died for about a week. I got better."

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  2. Oh and also good call on the Fairies, so he knew about them this whole time but kept acting like they never existed, why ?

    And I just found this. Just posting it because.

    And yes these comments are aimed at you Meta : P

    http://img07.deviantart.net/1389/i/2014/307/b/f/evolution_of_yhwach_s_mustache_by_mdre13-d856ojn.jpg

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    Replies
    1. I don't know, but man do I feel cheated.

      Yeah I noticed that. Maybe Kubo wanted some kind of visual marker to show Bach getting stronger/more involved in the story as time went one, but because he ends with turbo busty I'm guessing he just got lazy and needed a way for him to not be 100% like Zangetsu.

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    2. Honestly I just think this is a case of him forgetting how he drew him so he goes on to draw his stache bigger and bigger without even thinking about it.

      Cause that's what he does anyway : P

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  3. Sooooooo First I decide to start up that bleach blog Idea it ends. And second what are you guys gonna do now? Still do more bleach stuff? move on to something else?

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    1. Others will still contribute, considering now that the series is over, one could view all of its flaws all at once.

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    2. As the mostly-absent but still theoretical big cheese I've been considering my options.

      We could find a series to tackle instead, but the problem is that it'd have to be decided to be a very few series to not become too generic. The most likely candidate to fill in Kubo's place in the Not-Giving-a-Shit Marathon is Hiro Mashima, whose Fairy Tail shares many of the faults of Bleach.

      1) Gigantic overblown cast who are technically all part of the same group as the main characters but who never do anything ? Check.

      2) Objectification of women to the point of ridiculousnes ? Check. (And how ! I mean I ain't a prude here but I draw the line at doing ass shots of a characet who is being beat to shit and is talking about dying, especially if it's the main female character!)

      3) Terrible retcons that literally make no sense and are actually impossible ? Check. (Wendy's original guild never existed yet still took part of a Guild conference somehow !)

      4) Bland and repetitive character design ? Cechk. (Just look at the likely final team of antagonists in the series, they're more generic then the joke villains we got after the Timeskip !)

      5) Unnecessary Timeskip ? Double check cause we got two, one where the entire extended cast outside of some tertiary characters, were literally frozen in time and thus did not change at all. And since the world never changed even slightly during this time, it's extra pointless because

      6) Half-assed Worldbuilding. Where Kubo never explains how the afterlife works for people outside of Japan, or the origins of the Gotei 13 beyond being extremely vague, and where he literally never explained thing one about the Soul King, what he does, why he's needed, where he came from, why were both his arms and legs missing (also another retcon btw), Hiro has literally avoided telling us anything about his world beyond the most bare bones, generic stuff possible. Hence

      7) The world feels incredibly small, narrow and seems to revolve entirely around the main character/s. Where Ichigo's life/origins are always retconned to somehow him always having been part of the magical race that is in the spotlight, because basic empathy is not possible for Ichigo unless he's got personal stakes in something apparently, in Fairy Tail literally every single thing always revolves around Fairy Tail. No other Guild/Group/Organisation ever have any relevance to anything going on beyond maybe playing second fiddle to Fairy Tail as either less then stellar B list support or as the forgettable villains of the arc who will always, despite how much they may be hyped up and how much more experienced they are then the extremely underachieving core Fairy Tail group of Natsu-Lucy-Gray-Erza, they always lose to them every single time. And this isn't just Shonen being Shonen, the only known existing threat at any given time is completely and utterly neutralised by Fairy Tail in the same arc they are introduced in. Nothing ever gets foreshadowed, no one else in the entire world does anything of consequence, except when it directly involves Fairy Tail.

      8) They both have a useless kid character being given focus and center stage for all of two or so chapters before fading into the background and never mattering again (Bleach has Shinigami Academy Newbie guy who got on the cover that one time that Glib always forgets even existed and Fairy Tail had Romeo's role as main character foreshadowed in an out of nowhere, totally jarring flashforward, only to matter for not even TWO chapters before Natsu comes back.

      The only problem is that Fairy Tail is in it's seemingly final arc right now. Doesn't mean it can't be covered though.

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