Note: I did not rush this out because this is the final day. I wrote all but the final paragraph around the time #366DaysOfBleach ended. I will not have screencaps though, because I really don’t wanna waste much time. This will be saved on Wayback Machine immediately after being published in case you want to read it later. For that link check the Twitter @SquadSwim
Alright, time to finish up my retrospective on Bleach. First, let’s talk about the seasons I didn’t talk about already.
Season 9: The New Captain Shūsuke Amagai
Since Gin is off being evil, a new captain is taking over Squad 3, lightweight Shūsuke Amagai. Also Ichigo and friends have to put up with take care of some princess. I don’t think it was that bad. Oh no, it’s still a piece of shit filler that I don’t recommend. But it’s not the WORST piece of shit filler that I don’t recommend. Nothing happens, waste of time, NEXT.
Season 13: Zanpakutō: The Alternate Tale
Lucky number 13. Some asshole decides to hypnotize all of the Zanpakutō and manifest them in human form. When I first heard of this arc BEFORE the group watch I knew it looked like shit. Just the premise alone, oh my god. Well, it lived up to my expectations and surpassed them, because this is the worst arc in Bleach. In terms of quality that would probably go to The Assault. But this season is the 2nd longest in ALL of Bleach. It drags through the entire thing. The first 12 episodes are boring. The second 12 episodes are almost exactly like The Assault in terms of quality. The third 12 episodes…are actually pretty good. But by then the damage was already done. Give The Assault credit: It’s only half as long.
Season 15: Gotei 13 Invading Army
When I finally got around to watching this I did not give a shit about the Bleach anime anymore. Just wanted to get this over with. And The Invading Army arc of Bleach, surprisingly enough, is my favorite filler arc of Bleach. Not my favorite Bleach filler of any kind, that’s Fade to Black.
There are two subplots: one is just the Arrancar arc all over again just with a different Aizen and clones instead of super powerful hollows, and that sucks. So why is it my favorite? I shit you not, Kon. Yeah, Bleach’s watermelon-craving comedy excuse was the sole reason why I thought this arc was great. Someone on the writing team REALLY loved Kon and wanted the final filler season to delve into the inner-workings of this throwaway character. So Kon goes through an existential crisis. After all, he’s a green ball in a teddy bear that sometimes is in a teenager’s body. No one likes him. If he didn’t grow a conscious, he would’ve probably been thrown away. And then he meets a naked girl in a parking lot who becomes this season’s plot device. She is the first mod soul. And she…I just realized, where the fuck are the other filler mod souls? I guess after Season 6 the writers forgot all about them. Can’t really blame them. Anyway, Kon falls in love with this girl. I sympathized with KON. And for that alone this season should be given more attention.
Season 16: The Lost Agent AKA Trying to keep the already dead alive. It ain’t worth the time or money.
It’s 2 years later and Ichigo has completely lost his powers. BUT THEN THE FULLBRINGS SHOW UP AND you know what, who cares? No seriously, who the fuck cares? Bleach should not have continued after The Arrancar arcs. You know it, I know it, I’m just done.
So now for my rankings. From bottom to top. LET’S DO THIS!
20. The Zanpakutō Arc
The last 1/3 is good but it doesn’t make up for the painfully slow first 2/3. Either skip this season or watch Episode 260, because that was a fun episode. That’s it.
19. The Assault
After Seasons 2 & 3 I was done with the Soul Society. I was all like “never take me back here again”. In canon they do this. In filler UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. 18 of the most painful episodes of Bleach I had to sit through. I recommend watching episodes 64-80 of Bleach. But once you are done with those episodes go right to 110 and never look back unless you really want to know what happens to the vampires. And I mean really fucking badly.
18. The DiamondDust Rebellion
I hate this movie. It’s pretty much just fan-service for those that think Toshiro is sweet as fuck. I won’t be surprised if a bunch of otaku fangirls that think Toshiro is their husbando think this movie is the shit. I don’t care about Toshiro, so all I see is a shitty movie that exploits everything that is wrong with the Soul Society’s “traditions”.
17. The New Captain
The definition of filler. The characters fuck around for 22 episodes and do nothing interesting. Why do none of these fillers just have Ichigo and friends at school and then hollows attack? Wasn’t that what made people come to Bleach in the first place?
16. The Arrancar Part 5
Worst canon. After the Arrancar Part 4 I just wanted to leave Hueco Mundo and see what was going on outside. 2-3 episodes is all you need to make you eager to go back as soon as possible.
15. The Vampires
The first few episodes that have a couple stupid but charming moments keep this from being lower. I thought it was alright.
14. The Arrancar Part 4
Starting with this season Bleach started to show that it’s gotten stale. It also shows how it’s wasted potential. Yay.
13. Hell Verse
If this was spread out to be a season it would probably be the worst Bleach season. For a movie about going to Hell, Hell is pretty damn boring.
12. Memories of Nobody
This is what The Bount arc should’ve been. And after the villain we got in THAT arc I needed a bland villain with no personality.
11. The Entry
What do you know, Season 2 is not in my Top 10. For most of this season I just wanted it to move on. If they make a Bleach Kai for some reason, I might like this more.
10. The Arrancar Part 3
Nel is why this is up here.
9. The Arrancar Part 2
I just realized, what happened this season besides good filler and Orihime being kidnapped?
8. The Lost Agent
The anime is on life-support, so I can’t really put this any higher.
7. The Invading Army
See, this is what filler is here for: telling stories Kubo doesn’t give a shit to tell. Best filler arc.
6. The Arrancar Part 1
The magic of the first season returned, albeit temporarily.
5. Fade to Black
Best Bleach filler. I really liked this movie. It’s just fun to watch and has an interesting premise.
4. The Rescue
The first half is meh. But the second half. OH MAN THAT SECOND HALF.
3. The Past
A neat little side-story that explains the origins of the Vizards.
2. The Arrancar Part 6
If I split this in two Part 6A would probably be 11.5 but Part 6B is why this is so high up.
1. The Substitute
Not a single thing in Bleach was better than the first 20 episodes. That’s kinda sad really.
So the big question on everyone’s minds: should the Bleach anime return? Right now? No. No no no. This would be the worst time for a new Bleach. But let’s say they did something like Hunter x Hunter 2011 mixed with DBZ Kai, where ten years from now they make sort of a Bleach Kai, give the series a faster pace, nix ALL of the filler, and also adapting the rest of the manga. If they do that, then Bleach should return. If not never come back.
At least, that was how this retrospective was supposed to end.
If you didn’t know, I wrote all of these ahead of time. The last time I wrote on this file was back on December 27th. Since then, I started to read the manga starting where the anime ended. I dropped it a couple volumes later. Boy oh boy this series should’ve ended when Aizen was locked away. At least with the fullbring shit it was something different. But with this new arc the anime never touched? Just the most boring thing ever. You know why Bleach was more interesting when it was in the world of the living? Because we know what the rules of the world of the living are, at least we should. If you take us to purgatory or whatever Hueco Mundo was, we aren’t going to connect as well because what is at stake? Some desert place in the 7th dimension?
I like Bleach. Some of the seasons I can rank among my favorite anime of all time. But at least I can admit that when Bleach failed, it FAILED.