How does one redeem itself? If you don’t know, Seasons 9-13 of Bleach are utter trash, with the exception of the 7-episode Season 11. So here it is, Bleach’s attempt at redemption: The 51-episode Season 14. For the love of God, don’t fuck this up.
Season 14: Fall of the Arrancar
At first, it’s still a pile of utter dogshit. The problem isn’t the fights, it’s that you don’t care for most of the characters fighting. Especially with this, since most of the characters you do care for are stuck in Hueco Mundo, jacking off with Espada 0 or something. And then, after so many episodes, THEY FINALLY USE THE POTENTIAL THEY HAVE!!! Or at least try. The Vizards finally show up and kick some ass, we finally get an epic battle between Ulquiorra and Ichigo, we finally get to see more of Issin and Urahara fighting, and we finally get to see Aizen fucking do something. Let’s start with where I think the series finally starts to get good again: Episode 271-272 we get the Ulquiorra and Ichigo fight. For what it is it’s good. But everything ramps up once we get to 279. The Vizards start fighting and it’s fucking awesome. I don’t even feel the need to explain how cool it is, it just is. But where I really think the show “Grows the Beard” (the opposite of jumping the shark, look it up) is Episode 291. Actually 292 but I liked 291. The second the new OP starts everything becomes amazing again. You know what? Fuck it, let’s do it right now. 0215MADman’s Top 15 Bleach Openings!
- Anima Rossa OP #11 Appears in the Zanpakutō arc
I wouldn’t call it bad, but it’s definitely the worst Bleach OP for me. I don’t think this type of music really works for Bleach. Then again, same band did the My Hero Academia OP, which I think is fine. It’s probably just a shitty song for me. The arc sucks too, so that probably has something to do with it.
- Shoujo S OP #10 Appears in the 5th Arrancar arc
This and Anima Rossa are considered the weakest OPs of Bleach and I agree. Thought Anima Rossa didn’t fit? Take a listen to this. Maybe for filler it could work (it fit with the beach episode) but for canon it’s shit. It’s higher than Anima Rossa because in a high school girl anime this would work. I don’t know where Anima Rossa could work.
If you have the opportunity watch this OP in both 16:9 and the 4:3 version Viz did. It’s a very unique experience comparing the two.
- Harukaze OP #15 Appears in the Lost Agent arc
Well, we’re done with OPs I just don’t like. Now we get to OPs I think are just bland. And this is the blandest of all. Take out the nostalgia of the Title Card scene (which IS cool) and you’re left with nothing. There’s a lot of white space in this OP. That’s a sign of how Pierrot’s got nothing anymore.
- Ichirin no Hana OP #3 Appears in the Rescue arc
This is gonna piss a LOT of people off. There’s always that one Bleach OP that’s low on people’s list that’s usually higher on the popular opinion. Everyone’s list is different. And this is that song for me. I see how some might like it, especially metal nuts, but I just don’t see much in this OP. Sorry guys, but to me, this is just “meh”.
- Chu-Bura OP #8 Appears in the New Captain arc
I got nothing. It’s a standard as you can get for an anime OP.
- Blue OP #14 Appears in the Invading Army arc
Summary of Blue in one sentence: cool and very fast refrain, but it’s only 14 seconds in a 90 second OP where it’s played three times.
- After Dark OP #7 Appears in both the 2nd and 3rd Arrancar arcs. Even though I think Alones should air during the 2nd but fuck it whatever.
We’re already here? But this OP is good! Yep, that’s anime for ya. An OP like this is at number 9. It’s literally just good shit from here on. I think number 9 is the best place for this OP. Not very high, but not very low at the same time. Right in the middle, which is where this OP is in the anime.
- Tonight Tonight Tonight OP #4 Appears in the Bount arc
A lot of people shit on this OP. Why? Because the arc sucks? Well yeah, it does. But this OP is fun to watch. It reminds me of what Bleach should be: A fun high school anime Ghostbusters show. Also the Gotei 13 in Earth world clothing.
- D-Techno Life OP #2 Appears in the Entry arc
What a dank OP. I can’t think of another word to describe this. It does everything an OP is supposed to do.
- Alones OP #6 Appears in the 1st Arrancar arc
Airs too early in the anime and spoils the abduction of Orihime, but let’s just imagine it started 15 episodes later. This is a great retelling of that whole business through music and animation.
- * OP #1 Appears in the Substitute arc
Now we’re at the Top 5. The head honchos. The top dogs of Bleach OPs. And we start with the 1st OP. *’s fatal flaw is barely having ANYTHING to do with the 1st season of Bleach. Or any season of Bleach for that matter. And for that alone I can see why people may place it lower. It’s at #5 because I like the song and the promises it made. Despite Bleach being infamous for false promises MOVING ON
- Melody of the Wild Dance OP #13 Appears in the 2nd Half of the 6th Arrancar arc
Almost every single Bleach list I’ve seen places this at the top. The episodes this OP plays over are great (even the filler) so I can see why. This OP, OP 12, and OP 9 tell a story. The story of the battle of Aizen. Melody of the Wild Dance tells the end of the story. It’s almost over. IT’S ALMOST FUCKING OVER!!!
- Rolling Star OP #5 Appears in the Assault arc
My number 1 Bleach OP that isn’t part of that Aizen story I was talking about. I don’t know why it’s not placed this high on most people’s lists because JESUS LOOK AT THIS! It’s epic as hell. It perfectly defines the transition from the god-awful Assault arc and into the Arrancar arc. The shit is done, time to go back to what (could’ve) made Bleach so good.
- Velonica OP #10 Appears in both the 4th Arrancar arc and the Past arc
In that Aizen battle story I was talking about, this would come first. I friggin love this OP. The entire cast that you give a shit about gets screentime, the song (from the same band that made Alones) is smooth as hell, and why did this have to play at the time Bleach started to fall apart?
- chAngE OP #12 Appears in the 1st half of the 6th Arrancar arc
In most cases, the first OP I listen to in a long-running anime will usually be my favorite. Except Fairy Tail. It was after Deadman Wonderland. The first 2 minutes of Episode 291 played until the DVR recording stopped. This OP is one of the reasons I wanted to watch Bleach: to find out what is going on. This is the middle of the Aizen battle and it’s one of my favorite OPs of all time. Not only is it sentimental to me, but it’s awesome in its own right. It shows off the best parts of the arc it plays over. What else is there to say, just let the music speak for itself.
Also if you’re wondering my fav EDs are 7 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPaSumN2A8U), 30 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Imngeom878), 17 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U835KbXjZkg), and 23, the last two on visuals alone (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Ej9WMbmE5k) I don’t give a shit about any of the others.
So do I think the season paid off? Yes. But I understand if it didn’t for you. And I’m going to be honest, at Episode 310, the series should’ve just ended. The last 56 episodes of Bleach flat-out should not exist. You know those anime that end after 13 episodes and the anime was unsuccessful so the manga is freaking long as hell in comparison? That is what it feels like watching the last 56 episodes of Bleach. You’re pretty much watching an advertisement for the manga, a common trend these days in anime. No amount of filler will hide that. Hey, speaking of filler, let’s talk about that as well because at this point they just said “Fuck it. Let’s literally do whatever the fuck we want.” There are 2 episodes where Ichigo has a dream. One where he’s Aladdin and another that’s a monster mash probably made because they needed a Halloween special. In January. There is a motherfucking Film Festival. That was a plotline in Clone High. And it was actually in preparation for Hell Verse! They dedicated two episodes to this movie, so you know it must be good!
Movie 4: Hell Verse
It is not!
I remember next to nothing about this movie. I remember that Ichigo goes to Hell for reason I can’t remember, the fights were bland, he lost control, I think I fell asleep for 15 minutes it was so boring, a bunch of people got kidnapped, Ichigo went on the highway to Hell, Ichigo ex machina happens, the end! This might be the most forgettable of the movies. It’s not the worst movie, that goes to DiamondDust Rebellion. Granted all the movies are pretty forgettable. But at least with Fade to Black I remember loving every second that was on screen. Hell Verse I remember practically falling asleep.
I won’t talk about the Fall of the Arrancar arc anymore. If you’re still watching Bleach at this point then absolutely you should see it. I will wrap this retrospective up in Q1 2017. I say Q1 because I don’t know when. March seems good, but I have another review I want to put up, I dunno.