Nine years ago my boyfriend advised me to watch a fight in an anime. He said I was going to love the captain of certain squad (yeah, you, niisama). He was sure of it. Of course he knew I loved arrogant characters, so I complied. By that time the only anime I’d watched was Dragon Ball, and Z as well, so I didn’t know what to expect.
I played the episode he wanted me to watch. It was a fight between the captain and an Espada. I didn’t understand why they were fighting or anything else about the episode, but I did enjoy it. He was right, as I found myself liking said arrogant man (but I like you more, Kenpachi). The next day I told him about it and asked him (demanded, really) to tell me more about that anime.
Its name is Bleach. You are going to like it. Watch it, what’s the harm?
Now I hate him and punch him at every opportunity I have. It’s your fault, moron! You made me like this shit! It’s your fault I am this hurt and disappointed!
Let’s take a break here. Obviously I am not rational when it comes to Bleach.
So, I started watching the anime.
Kurosaki Ichigo is fifteen years old, he can watch ghosts. He is a red haired boy with attitude issues and a really unhealthy relationship with his father. He is quite powerful as well, at least he has enough power to make Hollows want to eat him. Ichigo runs into Rukia, a Shinigami who is in charge of killing said Hollows. They meet, and the rest is history…
It was really good. I loved it instantly, but I loved it even more when we were introduced to the rest of the Shinigami team. That’s when I fell in love with this anime. I watched it, and almost at the same time I read the manga. Who doesn’t like strong captains (ahem, Kenpachi, Niisama), and sword fights? I did, I still do, anyway. There was drama, comedy, action, badassery, shikais, bankais, betrayal, la,la,la… What’s not to like?
I even liked the fillers, and, trust me, I usually hate them.
Then something happened. Villains were beaten, Gin crushed my heart and died next to its pieces. Aizen became a butterfly who got his ass kicked, and Ichigo lost his powers.
There was a scene in the manga that was the perfect ending. I clapped. I felt satisfied. I thought that was The End. I wished that was it. Oh, Kubo, why, oh why!
Not only that was not the end, but also Kubo started another arc to give Ichigo his powers back. No, no. That was a deal breaker for me, so I decided to cut Bleach out of my life indefinitely. I was not happy, he was ruining the perfect conclusion. Ichigo with no powers at the beginning, and no more powers at the end. That was perfect! You could see his pain the moment he realized Rukia was fading away. Oh, but you had to ruin it!
So, as I was saying. After I became aware Bleach continued and Ichigo was taught to use another kind of power, I stopped. I didn’t turn my back on Tite, I only pretended Bleach had ended in a better way.
Years went by (one, two or maybe three), and I never wondered what had happened with the story. Until a friend, also a fan, asked me.
“What do you think about Bleach right now?”
I blinked. “Uh, I don’t know. Are things interesting back there?
He looked at me, confused.
“Oh, you don’t know.”
“What?” Silence. “What? WHAT?
After some minutes I made him tell me everything he knew about Bleach.
As expected, I read the 300 chapters I had missed, became reacquainted with the characters, laughed at some deaths and cried at some defeats. Bleach had lost a lot of readers with the Fullbringer Arc, it had even lost me. Even the second season in anime was cancelled. I left Beach and when I returned to it I found it agonizing. It hurt, but I still thought the story was interesting, so I gave it a chance.
As I continued reading, I found myself having more questions than answers, more complaints than satisfactions. Gone were the days I enjoyed the fights and the back stories. Now I suffered because freaking Kubo was butchering his precious characters, (and our souls) he was also fan servicing. He seemed to have lost his way and dragged Bleach and us with him. Some people jumped out before everything crashed and burned, but some others, like me, stayed. We were loyal, brave, stupid and naive. We thought it’d be worthy because we were about to receive all the answers to our questions. Tite would turn this back around and make it legendary. I bet Tite laughed at our hopes and dreams, because he made them dust and fed at the remains.
We got to see a lot of new Bankai(s), but they were worthless. We got to know the Zero squad, who were more than useless and disappointing. We got to see my beloved Zaraki losing his child, knowing the name of his sword and going bankai, yet everything was bitter. Why, Tite? We learned some things, yet learned nothing at all, and after some years we found out Bleach had only 5 more chapters to go. They had cut Kubo off.
How was he going to fix a problem in five chapters when he was not able to do it in a couple of years? Of course we thought that was joke. I hoped Tite would snap out of it and give us five awesome episodes. It was the end, after all.
But there were so many overpowered characters Tite had to kill them himself. There were too many issues to solve and not enough time. So we got a lot of ass pulls and no answers.
By the end, he killed the main villain (the most powerful creature he ever created, someone who could see the future, who had the most powerful bankai in his possession, who was all mighty and all) in the most stupid way possible, something he could have done one or two years earlier. He humiliated some characters, he disappeared some more, he drawn some other even if they did not bring anything to the story. It was a mess. Yet I was hoping to have a good ending.
What did we get?
A time skip, new captains with no explanation. Disappearances, a lot of them. And, ta da!
A happy ending. The protagonist married with someone he didn’t even feel interest for, he stayed human despite it was hinted Ichigo could never return to the real word because he’d be so powerful he could actually destroy it. He even had a kid. He was… normal, after all he did. And we get an ending with characters who were completely useless and who had no place in there, missing the ones who were left behind.
Kubo said he wrote the ending he was planning to write since the very beginning. I think the first thing he did was to write that ending, then, several years ago, when they cut him out and had to end Bleach in a hurry, undusted that crappy thing and used it even if it didn’t make sense. Because, Kubo, although you thought about it when you wrote episode one, your story developed, it changed. It moved to places you did not want to follow, so you can’t just end things the way you wanted at the beginning without accepting everything is different, so as the ending should be. And, for crying out loud, Inue?Really? He didn’t so much as look at her that way the entire series, are we to assume they belonged together? Crap,crap. But, hey, I don’t care. Most of the people who complain about the ending do it because of the couples. They seem to be only there for the romance. But us, fans of the Bleach story, complain because it was a stab in the back. We got romantic crap when we wanted answers, real ones. We wanted a good argument, and when we didn’t get it, we settled for a good conclusion, and that didn’t happen. We got burned in so many ways it still hurts.
I invested nine years. I got fond of its world, got to know the characters and to kind of love them. I was crushed the day I read the last manga chapter. I felt betrayed and unsatisfied. I could now believe that was happening. I stood by it. Yeah, I did drop it for two years, but I came back, I stayed until the ship sank, and drowned with it.
It’s been four months now, and I still don’t get why. Why did you do this? People say it is not Kubo’s fault, the magazine made him rush things off, but that is not the true. Kubo did this, he owned the story. He, then, knew he had five more chapters to go, yet he settled, he gave up on Bleach when some of us had not just yet. It is bitter. He could have gone with a bang, but he didn’t. Instead, he went with a Ha!
Bad move, you traitor.
So, please, let it be a lesson. Don’t fall in love with a story, because it may break your heart and eat it for lunch.
Here, suffer with me: