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Bleach, the Substitute Shinigami, also known as Reaper of Souls, is a shonen-style anime, full of action, adventure, and mysteries around the supernatural with a slight touch of comedy. It is the adaptation of the manga of the same name written by Tite Kubo and it was adapted into an anime in 2004.
This anime brings back a lot of good memories for me since it offers an interesting story that is complemented extremely well by excellent animation and careful details, such as good dialogue, a compelling soundtrack, and a lot of moments that take me back to where I was when I first saw the series.
Like all good shonen anime, we need a hero that stands out from the rest with excellent fighting skills, strong convictions, and noble feelings, right? This is how Ichigo Kurosaki is not introduced.
Ichigo Kurosaki is a 15-year-old boy who has had the ability to see ghosts since he was a child. Far from being a withdrawn person or traumatized by the experience of seeing ghosts, Ichigo is not afraid to defend those good souls who have been in pain from both humans and more malicious-minded ghosts. But then one day, everything changes when he feels a strange presence in his house, and his younger sister is captured by a demonic being described in the series as a Hollow.
A mysterious woman named Rukia Kuchiki appears on the scene, wearing a black suit and a katana to fight the monster. However, she is seriously injured, for which the only person capable of saving the young woman is Ichigo himself.
Over time, Ichigo acquires the powers of a substitute Shinigami to defeat the Hollow. But every action has a consequence and that is why Rukia, the Shinigami who gave her part of his power, is taken to the Soul Society, the place where all the Shinigami live, to face a trial that will endanger his life.
Ichigo, retaining the powers of a Shinigami, leaves for the Soul Society to help him, thus kick-starting the series’ first saga away from the human world.
The anime shows interesting aspects, such as life after death and the difference between the spiritual journeys that people have when they die depending on their life, showing us the various facets of the cycle of life in the process.
During the course of the anime, the evolution of Ichigo as a person can be evidenced, developing a greater willingness to even die to protect others. Another aspect that is worth mentioning is how Ichigo develops his fighting style, constantly learning his trade to become a powerful Shinigami capable of facing very powerful characters in the series.
As a long-time anime fan, I appreciate it when the writer gives us small moments of food or nostalgia without being forced and that is one of the reasons why I really liked this anime.
Bleach was listed as one of the best shonen manga of its time and for a good reason: it has an interesting plot that hides mysteries involving various people, each with a story to tell, battles with unique techniques, but with a certain influence of the samurai style and a lot of strong, compelling characters, thus being an anime that is definitely worth your time.