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Film Friday- Bleach

Film Friday- Bleach

Bleach is a Japanese anime television series based on Tite Kubo’s manga of the same name. The series ran for a total of 366 episodes. Bleach was produced by Studio Pierrot and directed by Noriyuki Abe. Bleach’s Japanese and English voice actors include some of the most credited and well known voice actors, including Masakazu Morita and Johnny Yong Bosch. The music was composed by Shirō Sagisu, who also composed the music for Neon Genesis Evangelion. A total of fifteen opening themes and thirty ending themes were used throughout the series, featuring a diverse group of Japanese artists.

Bleach follows the adventures of Ichigo Kurosaki after he obtains the powers of a Soul Reaper (死神 Shinigami, literally, “Death God”) — a death personification similar to the Grim Reaper — from another Soul Reaper, Rukia Kuchiki. His newfound powers force him to take on the duties of defending humans from evil spirits and guiding departed souls to the afterlife. The anime adaptation includes original storylines not found in the manga; including repeated appearances and stories containing these original characters. Studio Pierrot produced the series from 2004 to 2012, consisting of 366 episodes. Viz Media obtained foreign television and home video distribution rights to the Bleach anime on March 15, 2004. Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block began airing Bleach in the United States on September 9, 2006. The series’ international release extends through dozens of countries in several languages, such as Spanish, French, German, Brazilian Portuguese and Tagalog.

Plot

The anime adaptation of Bleach adapts Kubo’s manga, but also introduces several original, self-contained story arcs. In Karakura Town, a 15-year-old high school student Ichigo Kurosaki becomes a substitute Soul Reaper when Rukia Kuchiki, a Soul Reaper, cannot fulfill her duties after engaging in battle with a particularly powerful Hollow. Although initially reluctant to accept the heavy responsibility, he begins eliminating Hollows in Rukia’s place and during this time discovers that several of his friends and classmates are spiritually aware and have powers of their own: Uryū Ishida is a Quincy who can utilise spirit particles, Orihime Inoue possesses a group of protective spirits known as the Shun Shun Rikka and Yasutora Sado (“Chad”) has strength equal to the Hollows encased in his tough right arm.

When Rukia is sentenced to death for her transgressions in the human world and taken back to the spirit world of Soul Society, Ichigo heads there to seek out the assistance of Kisuke Urahara and Yoruichi Shihōin, unbeknownst to him as being two exiled Soul Reapers, to allow himself and his friends to save Rukia. After Ichigo and his friends battle many Soul Reapers, it is revealed that high-ranking Soul Reaper Sōsuke Aizen framed Rukia for the crime and has been illegally experimenting on Soul Reapers and Hollows. Aizen plans on taking over Soul Society via use of the Hōgyoku, a legendary substance that can turn Hollows into half Soul Reapers and vice versa, increasing their powers greatly. He escapes into Hueco Mundo, the realm of the Hollows, and later abducts Orihime as she is instrumental in creating the Oken, a power that will allow him to kill the Soul King, the ruler of Soul Society.

After being trained by the Vizards, other exiled Soul Reapers who were unwittingly subjects of Aizen’s experiments and developed Hollow powers, Ichigo and his friends travel into Hueco Mundo to save Orihime, facing Aizen’s army of Arrancars, Hollows given Soul Reaper abilities, who are led by an elite group of ten known as the Èspadas that are composed of ten Arrancars with exemplary strength. Along with Aizen, Gin Ichimaru and Kaname Tōsen, the Èspada as a group possess comparable strength to Soul Society’s Gotei 13 Soul Reaper captains. After finally reaching Orihime, Aizen reveals her kidnapping was a distraction to allow him to take Karakura Town, as its spiritual energy is what is needed for the Oken. After training from his father Isshin, another exiled Soul Reaper, Ichigo and the Soul Reapers face off against Aizen, Soul Reapers who aligned with his cause, and his most powerful Èspadas, resulting in Aizen’s surrender and the loss of Ichigo’s Soul Reaper powers as he uses a sacred technique to seal Aizen away for good.

Nearly two years later, Chad reveals to Ichigo that he has found people like him, known as Fullbringers, in a group known as Xcution. The Fullbringers can give up their powers to restore a Soul Reaper’s powers and they plan on doing so for Ichigo, who begins to use Fullbring as well. However, it is all a ruse by their leader Kugo Ginjo, a Fullbringer and former Substitute Soul Reaper, to steal Ichigo’s powers to empower the rest of them. Ichigo ultimately has his Soul Reaper powers restored when he finally earns proper trust from the Soul Society. The captains and lieutenants then share their powers with Ichigo who defeats Ginjo and the other members of Xcution, and returns to his duty of protecting Karakura Town proudly as a Substitute Soul Reaper.

Several original story arcs are presented. The Bount arc in season 4 focuses on spiritually aware humans who are immortal so long as they absorb souls. Their leader Jin Kariya seeks to destroy Soul Society for the constant hunting of the Bount, and he and Ichigo battle for the fate of Soul Society. Another storyline is the introduction of captain Shūsuke Amagai, the replacement for Gin Ichimaru after he joined Aizen in his betrayal. Amagai seeks revenge against Commander Yamamoto for the death of his father, and uses the Kasumiōji family’s Bakkōtō weapons in his plans. Ichigo battles Amagai, who acknowledges the shame of his actions and commits suicide. The third original arc features the evil Zanpakutō Muramasa, which has the ability to turn itself and other Zanpakutō into spiritual beings to take revenge on Soul Society for imprisoning its master Kōga Kuchiki. After he is successful, he is double-crossed and transforms into a monstrous creature that Ichigo defeats, but not before Muramasa reveals the intention was to have Soul Reapers and Zanpakutō communicate on equal terms. The fourth and final original arc features an event in which Kagerōza Inaba creates modified soul copies of many members of the Gotei 13, placing them in Reigai bodies. Inaba sought to capture Nozomi Kujō in order to fuse with her and once again become their original being Ōko Yushima. Upon fusion, Yushima sought to destroy the Soul Society.

Character Special: Bleach- The Bad Guys… well some of them

Character Special: Bleach- The Bad Guys… well some of them

Hollows

Sōsuke Aizen

Bounts

The Bounts (バウント bounto) are a group of humans with special abilities. They are the main antagonists during the anime-exclusive Bount and Bount Assault on Soul Society arcs. The Bounts live eternally due to an accident during a scientific experiment earlier in the Soul Society, where they were created, and began to eat the souls of human beings to gain more power. They each have a unique weapon known as a Doll, a familiar which is its creator’s power given physical form. Dolls are mostly self-sufficient creatures when released, although they tend to be used as weapons in various ways such as a large battle axe or a snake, as a sword and whip. Their leader Kariya, motivated by the destruction of himself and all connected to him, plans to invade the Soul Society along with the remaining Bounts to destroy it and themselves. However, with the exception of his friend Gō Koga, Kariya managed to have his forces wiped out by the Soul Reapers prior to himself being killed by Ichigo Kurosaki. IGN criticized the Bounts as being “lame bad guys,” noting that the bittō (the Bounts’ mosquito-like creatures that collect souls) in particular were like “something straight out of a bad sci-fi movie,” but admitted the Bounts were “decent plot devices” to develop the other characters.

Xcution

Xcution (エクスキューション Ekusukyūshon) is a secret organization in Naruki City that makes itself known to Ichigo seventeen months after he loses his Soul Reaper powers and serve as the main antagonists in the first arc after the timeskip. The group is made up of humans whose preborn encounter with hollows resulted in them becoming outcasts who possess a power known as Fullbring (完現術(フルブリング) Furuburingu, lit. “Final Manifestation Art”), an ability to manipulate the “soul” of an object to bring out its full potential. But a Fullbringer’s true power comes from enhancing the soul of an object they are compatible with, such as a prized possession. However, the effects of a Fullbringer’s power will cease once the user is dead. Using Tsukishima’s Fullbring, Xcution’s other members had placed themselves in a fabricated notion that they need a Soul Reaper to become normal humans and train Ichigo to use Fullbring. But once Tsukishima restored their memories, the group reveals their real intention to take Ichigo’s Fullbring powers. Though Xcution got Ichigo’s Fullbring, they were scattered after Ginjō’s death.

Wandenreich

The Wandenreich (見えざる帝国(ヴァンデンライヒ) Vandenraihi, “Invisible Empire”) are a group of Quincies under Yhwach who serve as the antagonists of the final storyline of the series. Their attire usually consists of long white trench coats fitted with numerous buttons, a cape, a belt (usually a piece individual to each member), and a five-pointed cross, the Quincy Zeichen, somewhere upon the uniform. The Wandenreich named their group from the act of hiding themselves and their fortress Silbern (銀架城 (ジルバーン) Jirubān, German for “Silver”, Japanese for “Silver-Wrought Castle”) within a pocket dimension in the Seireitei’s shadows called Schatten Bereich (影の領域 (シャッテン・ベライヒ) Shatten Beraihi, “Shadow Realm”). Apparently founded by the survivors of the Quincy massacre a millennium ago, the Wandenreich have been preparing to exact revenge on the Soul Reapers once amassing enough power to do so once their leader is revived. In the aftermath of Aizen’s defeat, the Wandenreich conquered Hueco Mundo and captured numerous Arrancars (including the former Espada Tier Harribel) to serve as their personal Vanguards and foot soldiers. The Wandereich orchestrated two invasions on the Soul Society, the first leading to the notable deaths of Squad One’s Lieutenant Chōjirō Sasakibe and Head-Captain Yamamoto. After having absorbed the Soul King and altered the Royal Palace by submerging it with the Silbern, renamed the Wahrwelt (真世界城 (ヴァールヴェルト) Vāruveruto, German for “True World”, Japanese for “True World Castle”) the Wandenreich plans to create a new world order as envisioned by Yhwach, which would require a total genocide by destroying the Soul Society, the Real World and Hueco Mundo, and create this new world for Quincys from the ashes of destruction he intends to cause in all the spiritual and physical world as Askin Nakk Le Vaar thought, but the truth is that, after absorbing Ichigo’s powers after defeating him and the last two Sternritters survivors, Yhmach reveals his true goal is to eliminate all life in existence for bringing ruin and death to all living begins (including his children, the Quincys) in existence, for all eternity.

Character Special: Bleach- The Good Guys

Character Special: Bleach- The Good Guys

Ichigo Kurosaki

Ichigo Kurosaki (黒崎 一護 Kurosaki Ichigo) is the main protagonist of the Bleach series. An orange-haired high school student, Ichigo becomes a “substitute Soul Reaper” after unintentionally absorbing most of Rukia Kuchiki’s powers. His cynical nature at first makes him ill-disposed towards the duty, but, with the passage of time, he accepts and welcomes the strength his Soul Reaper powers give him. When creating the manga series, Kubo commented that Rukia Kuchiki, the first character he created, did not seem like a lead character, so he created Ichigo to be the series protagonist. Ichigo is voiced by Masakazu Morita in Japanese and Johnny Yong Bosch in English.

Rukia Kuchiki

Rukia Kuchiki (朽木 ルキア Kuchiki Rukia) is a Soul Reaper who is assigned hollow extermination duties in Karakura Town. Rukia meets Ichigo for the first time when she breaks into his house, not knowing that Ichigo can see her. Their relationship further complicates when Rukia tries to save Ichigo and unintentionally transfers too much of her Shinigami powers into him. Rukia is left with little powers left and cannot return to Soul Society. She assumes a temporary lifestyle as a regular human and enrolls into Ichigo’s high school and takes up residence in his closet, while teaching him how to be a substitute Soul Reaper in her place. Rukia was the first character of the series created by Kubo, her design being the one he decided to use for all the other Soul Reapers. Rukia is voiced by Fumiko Orikasa in Japanese and Michelle Ruff in English.

Orihime Inoue

Yasutora “Chad” Sado

Uryū Ishida

Uryū Ishida (石田 雨竜 Ishida Uryū) is a Quincy, a descendant of a line of near-extinct, priest-like, hollow-hunting archers, who were historical enemies of the Soul Reapers. He bears a deep grudge against all Soul Reapers, including Ichigo, and is an early antagonist in the series. He comes to view Ichigo differently over time, and eventually becomes a valuable ally and a friendly rival. As a Quincy, Uryū possesses the supernatural power to gather invisible “spirit particles” called reishi from the atmosphere. Once gathered, these particles can be shaped into spirit-energy constructs, foremost among them a bow and arrow, and to fuel various magical spells and superhuman abilities. Uryū is voiced by Noriaki Sugiyama in Japanese and Derek Stephen Prince in English.

Renji Abarai

Manga Monday- Bleach

Manga Monday- Bleach

Bleach is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Tite Kubo. Bleach follows the adventures of the hotheaded teenager Ichigo Kurosaki who inherits his parents destiny, after he obtains the powers of a Soul Reaper (死神 Shinigami, literally “Death God”)—a death personification similar to the Grim Reaper—from another Soul Reaper, Rukia Kuchiki. His new-found powers force him to take on the duties of defending humans from evil spirits and guiding departed souls to the afterlife, and set him on journeys to various ghostly realms of existence.

Bleach was serialized in the Japanese manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump from August 2001 to August 2016, with its chapters collected into 74 tankōbon volumes. The series has spawned a media franchise that includes an anime television series that was produced by Studio Pierrot from 2004 to 2012, two original video animations, four animated feature films, ten rock musicals, and numerous video games, as well as many types of Bleach-related merchandise. A live-action film adaptation is scheduled for release in 2018. English-language releases of Bleach are coordinated by Viz Media, which has released several volumes of the manga each year since 2004, and published chapters of Bleach in its Shonen Jump magazine since November 2007. Viz Media secured foreign television and home video distribution rights to the Bleach anime in 2006. Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim began airing dubbed episodes of Bleach in the United States that Fall, and Hulu later began to stream subtitled versions of the anime a week after each episode aired in Japan. Viz Media has also released each of the Bleach feature films in English.

Bleach received the Shogakukan Manga Award for the shōnen demographic in 2005, and is among the best-selling manga in both Japan and the United States. Bleach has sold more than 90 million copies in Japan since its publication, and continued to perform commercially despite significant downturns in both the Japanese and English manga markets. Among critics, Bleach is most commonly praised for its action scenes and art but criticized for its plot elements.

Production

Bleach was first conceived from Tite Kubo’s desire to draw a Shinigami (Soul Reaper) in a kimono, which formed the basis for the design of the Soul Reapers in the series and the conception of Rukia Kuchiki. The original story concept was submitted to Weekly Shōnen Jump shortly after the cancellation of Kubo’s previous manga, Zombiepowder, but was at first rejected. Manga artist Akira Toriyama saw the story and wrote a letter of encouragement to Kubo. Bleach was accepted for publication a short time later in 2001, and was initially intended to be a shorter series, with a maximum serialization length of five years. Early plans for the story did not include the hierarchical structure of the Soul Society, but did include some characters and elements that were not introduced into the plot until the Arrancar arc, such as Ichigo’s Soul Reaper parentage. The series was originally meant to be named “Black” due to the color of the Soul Reapers’ clothes, but Kubo thought the title was too generic. He later tried the name of “White,” but came to like “Bleach” more for its association with the color white and that he did not find it too obvious. In the series’ eighteenth volume, Kubo commented that both chapters 150 and 151 were the first consecutive pair of colored chapters to have been published in the Weekly Shonen Jump. This brought happiness to the author.