And I say almost, because there is still hope, slight as it is.
- Fillers. They could have stopped and taken breaks after an arc ends, but I guess milking this cash cow to death was worth the years of fillers we’ve had. Unfortunately fillers are a problem that have plagued shonen animes for a long time. I keep wondering whether the TV ratings for these go down at all during fillers, or do Japanese people continue to stupidly watch the show even though it’s comatose inducing? Perhaps they are too influenced by Americans who keep on watching pigeonshit like Lost, Smallville, American Idol, etc.
- Lack of Vizards. These guys were introduced in episode 110 back in Jan ’07. That was two years back! While we left most of the incredible characters of Soul Society when that arc ended, the Vizards brought something new to the table. A gang of bad boys and girls who don’t care about rules, and just want to have fun kick some ass. Then the lame Hueco Mundo arc began and we lost these guys altogether. What happened to them?
- Lack of fathers and Urahara. From the shocking revelation of Ichigo and Ishida’s fathers being so powerful to Urahara back in the early days; these people seem ripe for some screentime. Both Ichigo and Ishida’s fathers and Urahara not only seem to be of the same age but also seem to have some history with each other. Not to mention that they seem to be stronger than the Gotei 13 captains and thus kick supreme ass. In retrospect, these 3 should have ‘come to the rescue’ in Hueco Mundo instead of the Captains. Their apperance becomes especially redundant since all the Captains will eventually fight Aizen and co. again in the fake Karakura town anyways.
- The manga. Kubo Tite decides to give us a big ass flashback in the middle of the Hueco Mundo arc. Now I haven’t read it myself but from what MJ tells me, the flashback fleshes out the back story of Urahara, Yoruichi and the Vizards; but why wait until now? I’m sure KT had their back stories figured out long time back, so why give it to us now, smack in the middle of an existing arc? Or better yet, why not give us this (seemingly rich) backstory instead of the whole weaksauce Hueco Mundo arc?
- Zaraki Rickrolled us with ‘Kendo’ instead of unleashing his Shikai against Nnoitra. It’s like waiting on Christmas eve of ’01 expecting a PS2 and then you tear up the packaging to see a Dreamcast. I wasn’t expecting his Bankai as that, if it ever happens, will be reserved for the most kick ass reveal in Bleach. Maybe Zaraki vs Aizen? We can only dream…
From what I’ve heard of the current ongoings in the manga, the story is back on track with the Gotei 13 (read 6) captains vs Aizen and co. The manga is currently headed for a trainwreck, the bad kind. I can only hope that due to something even more convoluted than Karakura town being teleported to Rukongai, the remaining Captains are defeated and that the Vizards, the two fathers and Urahara come to save the fucking day. And for some reason or the other, Zaraki shows his Bankai. And the rest of the Captains die, namely Yamamoto (1st), Unohana (4th) and Ukitake (13th). Aditionally killing off Aizen, Hinamori and Tousen wouldn’t be such a bad idea either. Also, throw in either Rukia or Orihime in for good measure (yea I went there). The rest can live happily ever after and the manga come to an end.
One can certainly hope that Bleach will someday return to it’s former glory of kicking ass in so much style, that all other shonen mangas burn with hate.
Too bad it’s never gonna happen.