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8 years ago when I was 16 years old I was a Bleach fanatic. My entire teenage fandom was Bleach and it changed my life in a lot of positive ways. For instance, I met a very dear friend of mine through Bleach. My art and writing all grew because of Bleach. I am a member of this blog because Eva and I met through Bleach. In a lot of ways Bleach is my origin story: my first genuine fandom and my first love. For years I followed it religiously, though when I picked it up it was about midway through the Arrancar Arc. I loved Bleach in the arc post-golden age. I was willing to forgive the inadequate pacing and unhappy direction that it began because I loved everything it had done. The first thing I ever bought with my own money was two plush dolls of Nnoitra and Nel, and so now you know exactly what Bleach means to me.

So I wish I could say this was good. Really, I wish I could say that Bleach had been genuinely good in a long time. There was an entire year I stopped reading Bleach because it stopped being what I remembered. Soul Society was an arc where we were learning about new things and being introduced into a blind zone, an inequitable area where Ichigo could not compete and was unable to go after anyone without it nearly ending his life. Once Soul Society arc ended a new enemy with mysterious unheard of powers was introduced, and then after that another group and then another. Eventually the series ended with the ultimate ‘other group’, the third one we ever learn about comes back as the Quincy reach for their revenge. What was established as a three party story ended up in. . .5…6? The Shinigami, the Quincy, the Hollows, the Vizard, the Fullbrings, the Arrancar and eventually the Quincy resurfacing. Humans were also a group as Orihime and Chad were never quite as powerful but never quite as weak. What was once deep interest and an amazing world of mystery was, well, Ichigo is 5 things now so what is he going to be next? Well, Chad and Orihime and Uryu are unimportant so when is Ichigo getting a new powerup? Complaints we had from the Soul Society arc ended up being complaints to the end, and every new piece of information was like WELL OKAY!!!

Bleach stopped being good when we could expect the same concept from the show. Many people thought it should end at the Fullbring arc and indeed what would have been different about that ending than this one? If we were to cut out the knowledge that Ywach killed Uryu and Ichigo’s mothers or even the Quincy in general then what would be different? If Ichigo was fine just running his dad’s clinic and chilling with everyone else then why was it really so imperitive that we go through so many arcs? Bleach 686 features Ichigo doing exactly what his dad does (even though he has never seemed to show any desire to be a doctor or to do anything in the human world) with a wife (Orihime) and a son. Now, here is the thing. At one time I really cared about Ichigo ending up with the ‘right’ girl or something, but every ounce of my shipping fight died when he stopped really doing much with anyone. The last time I felt a genuine connection between Ichigo and someone else was with Ishida, and the last time I felt a connection between he and a girl was even longer. I preferred him with Rukia but by the very end I was going ‘Well now he is CLEARLY setting up RenRuki endgame’ an endgame I don’t feel is developed much. Now for Orihime, that girl has been in the game for years. Despite shipping Ichiruki I always kind of felt she was showing her love and support even though I only ever once felt Ichigo return that (in his fight with Grimmjow) whereas with Rukia he had that heartbreaking scene where he could no longer see her and it seemed to cement it for me. So the ship I was vying for didn’t win, but that’s not really why I’m let down. If anything I’m mad because it feels like every loose end was given the same treatment. Sure, Ichigo and Orihime can get married! Why didn’t they get an ending scene where he looks at her fondly and declared his love?! Seriously, Renji gave more of a serenade and I actually think his child with Rukia is adorable enough I’m willing to give it a shot.

But what the hell is, HEY ORIHIME WHERE IS OUR KID? Why didn’t the IchiHime fans get the solid, groundbreaking, absolutely happy ending they deserve? If the 5 lifetimes 5 love speech was genuine and absolutely true then why didn’t Ichigo get his chance to reciprocate those feelings? Why are we left seeing the aftermath and not the true ending? Orihime never confessed to Ichigo while he was conscious and so everything we have from them is conjecture and one sided. Hell, where is Rukia and Renji’s heartwarming ‘I wanted to belong to YOUR family back then’?! I’m angry because Kubo Tite started Bleach as a man with a plan. He ended the rain, he made poems, he showed the importance of bonds and trust- but the only person who got some closure seemed to be Uryu and Ishida’s relationship. Not even with their mom’s, they didn’t get a flashback there, but they both got to work together to kill Ywach. No one in this manga got the ending they deserved, not even the protagonist. I’m not the only one who feels this way, one of the main thoughts is that Kubo had to end Bleach before the ten years he wanted because he had such horrible ratings in the end. Fans wanted something different than they got, and Bleach suffered even more for it. Yet after the Arrancar Arc the true villains seemed to be more and more boring. Tsukushima rewrote the past repeatedly and Ywach could alter the present to reflect the future: we didn’t even see all the bankais. We don’t know who ended up where, what life is really like in soul society. What even happened to Nel? I ship NnoiNel but she couldn’t end up interacting with anyone, Grimmjow, Halibel, or anyone else even one more time?

People are fighting over ships, disregarding each other, or even thanking Kubo for what Bleach did. But can I give it any of those things? Yes, Kubo Tite wrote an amazing manga that changed my life. But he screwed it up. He wrote half of a great manga and he wrecked the other half. He didn’t even do the winning sides justice: he didn’t even give my sweet baby Ichigo the proper closure. Where are Isshin and Ryuken’s smoking and crying over their wives? Where is Ichigo crying for his mother and Orihime comforting him, telling him she loved him and will be by his side for good? Where is Uryu’s happiness and his finality “This was for you, Mother.” and RYUUKEN BEING PROUD OVER IT! So yes, I am grateful to Kubo for creating Bleach. But I am not happy he made the ending of his amazing manga into what it is. I’m happy some people get to be excited over it: I’m sure if IchiRuki was canon even in the watered out way it is I might be somewhat happier. But . . . really? Would I be? Never hearing Ichigo say he loves his wife, kiss her, or hold her? Never knowing just how perfectly happy things are without exposition, not expression, to show it? I don’t know. I mean, the only thing that I can say would’ve changed my opinion of the ending is if Noitra came back to life and made out with Nel. Look, some people never change and I’m that person. I’m not shouting my crazy conspiracy theories anymore I’m just saying the ending of this manga needed more kissing. Or at least a real movie! What the hell, Naruto got a movie to fall back in love with Hinata and she already confessed to him in person! Everyone got an awful ending.

I have to say this and it pains me: Naruto ended better than Bleach. I had a lot of issues with Naruto and it was definitely my least favorite of the big three. Why don’t women do more, I don’t like the art style, I like Bleach’s powers more. But.. . well, Kishimoto ended up making a better manga. Bleach ended in a very unsatisfying way. Kubo Tite let me down. If he had written the manga the way he did until the end of the Karakura Town arc that would have been fine. . .but what is Keigo even doing?! And don’t get me started on fucking.. . Rukia. . . WHERE WAS HER AMAZING FINAL BANKAI BATTLE? WHY WAS SHE MARGINALIZED? SHE WAS THE DEATHBERRY AND NOW HER VAGINA SOMEHOW PRODUCES THE MAGIC OF DEATHBERRY? Where was the ultimate show of their friendship? Dead, apparently. Even if you don’t ship Ichiruki those two are connected at the hip and to see them kind of. ..talk to each other more than anyone but get a virtually meaningless ending sucks too. Everything sucks. Everything!

That being said, I will now talk about what I liked. What a fucking precious button cupcake this little shit Ichigo has is. I seriously want to smother him with love and kisses. And what happened to Karin, oh my GOD! And Renji and Rukia’s kid, wow. If they get together when they’re older. . .does…does that mean EVERY ship won? Well no, but Chad. Chad is the real star.

hi i am chad and i got as far away from this ending as possible while still winning

HOLY FUCKING SHIT. CHAD. CAN I BE YOUR WIFE NOW? plz. Chad. HE IS OLD ENOUGH TO MARRY ME AND I AM INTERESTED CHAD PLEASE RSVP IMMEDIATELY. Uryu is a doctor but I demand he have a sexy wife. I’m serious. I want an update to this chapter where he has literally the hottest wife in the series. GO. THERE IS NO TIME TO WASTE KUBO, IT WILL ALL BE FIXED WITH A HOT WIFE AND CHAD MARRYING ME. And sadly, that’s about it. There is so much more to discuss with the series and my feelings but honestly, I can only do it by answering questions. Feel free to comment and further discuss this topic. Even though I am happy to expand the truth is pretty much this: I don’t think Bleach 686 is the ending any fan deserved.

But guys there is one last thing. The true loser of this comic, the true loser of the entire story. I am sorry, but the ultimate loser is. . .

ichigos hairline

Ichigo’s fucking hairline.

ichigos hairline2

Bleach Ending: Disappointment 


This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. Anony

    Nice post.

    I guess after reading it, I felt like posting a comment. When I first started reading Bleach, I wasn’t aware of the hype or the fanbase surrounding it. What really sparked my interest was the song Asterisk by Orange Range. Being the opening to Bleach, it intrigued me, and I did some research and got hooked on it. My interest grew after learning about how the anime was on Adult Swim, which intrigued me at how a show like Bleach could be on a timeslot like that. Nevertheless, after reading a few chapters, I could see why.

    I continued to read Bleach, though I guess I can’t be considered a fanboy. I liked reading the chapters, though I never really felt any emotional connection with them. I never really thought that some chapters and arcs were just boring. I just liked reading Bleach for what it is. Even the Fullbringer arc wasn’t too bad for me. There was a lot of talking, but I was okay with that. I mean, for Bleach, it didn’t have to be anything deep or emotional. It was just a series that could be enjoyed for what it is.

    Now that Bleach has reached its final chapter, It’s a little sad to see it end, though nothing lasts forever. The ending was definitely rushed, but given the situation that Kubo was placed into, I can understand why. The last fight and the subsequent conclusion left a lot of unanswered questions, and I suppose that if Kubo took his time, we wouldn’t get the answers to all of them. I guess that feeling made me disappointed with how the series ended, not the final chapter but the fact that it had to be rushed. I mean, the ending to Ichigo’s fight was hinted at beforehand, and this final chapter seeing their kids was just adorable. I personally think that this was the ending Kubo had in mind though the journey was definitely not what he wanted. I guess I just wanted to say that I thought the ending, though rushed, was great.

    Anyways, that’s all I have to say. Sad that Bleach had to end in such a way, but the journey wasn’t too bad.

    1. Oki

      I liked the talking at one point. For me the exposition is usually a reflection of cleverness. Eventually everyone went from Byakuya, who explained why he was winning in a way that could only be countered by genuinely being more powerful, to being stupid and explaining why they were winning while there was a significant chance of being countered. As soon as we hit a high with that I hated it a lot, and I always loved Bleach. I loved the show but it could be very frustrating the farther it went. The end of the Arrancar arc onward just carried a different vibe. If I don’t stay engaged I stop reading, and this was a perfect example. I don’t hate bleach but I hate what it became, if that makes sense.

  2. net-diver

    not to shit on what little positive there is for the final chapter but… if I recall souls can’t have children. I could swear they had a chapter about how soul society is made of non-blood related families. That except for instances of of already existing families (ie Rukia & her sister) when people die they form new families since their old families are still living so they leave the old families behind. I could swear this was a thing. Am I not remember is that right? if so Kubo obvious forgot either that or its just another part of the constantly changing history that is Soul Society. I get he wanted the babies ever after ending but they are “dead” it doesn’t work that way! or did they just “adopt” a kid that specifically looks like them??

    1. Oki

      I believe the implication was the same as everything else, those with high spiritual pressure are capable of what other souls are not. So, probably only those who are shinigami can have children.

  3. zztop

    Rumours are that Kubo’s publishers and editors at the Weekly Shonen Jump magazine may have forced Kubo to end Bleach immediately given its stagnant popularity rankings (WSJ’s pretty cutthroat at cancelling manga titles that fail to meet a certain popularity quota with Japanese readers, no matter how promising the plot and characters may be). It’s like how Horikoshi Kouhei’s manga Barrage of the Battle Star was axed by WSJ before he came back with Hero Academia.

    1. Oki

      I believe this to be the case as well, but as an art student one thing I am forced to do is to constantly reprise my works for time frames. Kubo should have cut out a lot of things and added in different things if he knew his time limits, I’m not saying it was right but I think his biggest issue is wanting to do things his way. The story he wrote is not conducive to what he went with or how he accomplished it, so while I appreciate it was probably his time limits I think his own poor writing is what eventually created his downfall.

  4. Joss2103

    I totally agree with this post. When I read the ending I was really shocked and disappointed at the same time. For me, this ending doesn’t make any sense at all. Why did tite kubo made emphasis on the relationship between Ichigo and Rukia? What about the poems, the drawings, the heart-breaking scenes, etc…? Also, it was pretty obvious that Ichigo wasn’t made for a normal life in the human world, like he never actually said something about what he wanted in the future but surely being a doctor and marrying orihime wasn’t part of his plans, for me it doesn’t even fit ichigo’ so personality. Additionally, the ending was really incomplete; what about Urahara? Nell? And other important characters…? All can I say is that it just seem that this ending was just improvised.

    1. Oki

      For me I could buy Ichihime if there was more time to it, I have friends who ship it and their love came for it for a reason so I respect that. However becoming a doctor? I don’t know. Ichigo’s only happiness ever came from being a shinigami, and now he’s just like ‘whatever’? He seems to have a contrived happiness and I want him to have more than that. I liked IchiRuki more but if he wanted Orihime, I’m fine with that as long as I *see* it. The ending was just too rushed. So rushed.

  5. Jarlin james

    I would say that even naruto had a better ending than bleach

    1. Oki

      I am in no way a Naruto enthusiast but I very much agree.

  6. RDV

    I cannot express how much I agree with you. For me, Kubo began showing symptoms of his inability to tie up loose ends when he flat-out neglected giving us what could’ve been a hardcore show of an emotionally wrecking scene when Ichimaru Gin died. Sure, it was shown that Matsumoto grieved, but for the sacrifice he had pulled and all the shit he had endured pretending to be Aizen’s minion for the sake of the only person he had cared for– that shit right there deserved a freaking movie. It was nearly comparable to Harry Potter’s Severus Snape and Lily Evans. And then there’s this long-standing lack of closure about the surviving Espada. Kubo did produce a number of remarkable characters, i.e. Ulquiorra, Grimmjow, Halibel, Stark… the list goes on, and the number of fan arts and fanfiction involving these characters can attest to that. What I’m saying is, is it so fucking hard to demonstrate a little bit of fan service by giving us some sort of an epilogue?? Like, did Grimmjow even survive through that shit with Urahara?? As for the who ended with whom, well, okay– i am respecting his decision about IchiHime and RenRuki but what the actual fuck. Like, where are the foreshadowing panels for these? What’s this, we’re gonna have to rely on the thousands of fanfics and freaking forum discussions bound to result from this so-called ending? Man. It’s literally like a huge part of me died.

    1. Oki

      You know, I agree with that! Gin deserved much better than he got, and it felt like Kubo was never very good at killing people. Once someone is dead he almost forgets them entirely while the rest of the story goes on. Surely Orihime deserved better than having Sora be completely forgotten? Honestly Kubo let me down by not just writing this end of the story better. He was so focused on 10000 fights that have no real tension. Every fight in the final arc: I HAVE AN IMPOSSIBLE POWER, LET ME DEFEAT YOU SHINIGAMI! shinigami: well, sigh, guess I gotta show my 7TH HIDDEN POWER THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE. quincy: GASP, BUT NOW HERE IS A NEW HIDDEN POWER TO DESTROY YOU WITH! shinigami: GASP, BUT HERE IS THE 9TH LEVEL also I’m a bishounen/have a giant lady bankai/complicated novel on my power. everyone: GASP!!!! yOU KNOW, instead of an Orihime or Chad fight or something genuinely interesting. Yawn.

  7. NP162013

    The fights after the fullbring arc is just the same thig over n over n over. Unlike Naruto, which I always exclaimed “Holy shit! This is awesome” when someone got a powerup. But this? The only reaction I have for it is “For the love of god, not again?” It like detective Conan, where the same stuff keep happening over n over.

    Then the real kicker start in after u stick with the awful plot n no tension fights: A time skip. Not a good time skip but a really bad one. After the whole shit show, my only reaction was staring at the … thing, n wondered “Why the hell did I even waste my time on this?”

    There is so much wrong wit the later portion of this that it is clear of bad n rushed writing. Things happened randomly, ppl pop in n out with no screen time, or barely any at all. I could see someone is spending hours or even days posting a dissection of the god awful things that happened now this ending came out. Im gonna call it a no happy ending, not because of someone is dead or ppl not get together, but because it gives the readers a very strong feeling of being betrayed n punched in the guts for all the time spend on this.

  8. leah

    OMG!!!! THANK YOU!!! I have so many people telling me that I hate the ending because my ship didnt happen(and they’re right-but only partially) but the truth is…IT WAS A SHITTY ENDING. So many loose ends and too many wth moments for my liking. And hell I could have excepted the Ichime ending if it WAS DONE RIGHT!!! But no…none of us got what we wanted, not in the least.

  9. averyscarletAveryScarlet

    I didn’t like the ending at all. I get that the manga was cancelled and all…. but what the heck was that ending? And since when in hell did Rukia have romantic feelings for Renji? No offense, but the way they ended it with just a glimpse of the future with Ichigo and Orihime (wha- ok I know Orihime has feelings for Ichigo but still…) & Rukia and Renji (Seriously!? How and when did Kubo imply them being a thing!? As far as fanshipping goes, I don’t see anything else beyond that.). If I remember correctly in the manga… ‘Orihime seems aware that Ichigo may never see her as more than a friend, but she stays on good terms with him and often fantasies about Ichigo.’ Is what I remember. And I did see that. Then magically they ended up getting married 10 years later. o_o Look… Bleach was great at the start and it did go down hill thanks to that damn fullbringer arc. I get it. Aside from the confusing and unsatisfying ending, the powerups were just… ugh! I mean they were cool at first. Until people like Ichigo kept getting more and more till the point you start asking yourself and soul society itself, ‘How the fuck is this guy still a substitute shinigami!?’ I mean I don’t want Ichigo to die or anything, but how many fucking abilities did he suddenly gain before losing them!? Look I know Kubo was forced into making this rushed ending, but did he have to end it like that? It makes no sense at all with the final product. I loved bleach as a kid but as it kept going it just became too confusing for me. And now we got a confusing ending. Now the shipping wars will never end…. even if they’re already confirmed…

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