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It’s an amazing time for Crunchyroll for one big reason: Bleach is finally here! If you’ve been paying attention to the world of anime since August 2001, you no doubt would’ve noticed the scores of black suited Shinigami around with epic swords. If, however, you’re one of the few that has no idea what I’m talking about then here’s a breakdown of what all the ruckus is all about:
Ichigo Kurosaki is a normal 15 year old guy, except for the fact he can see ghosts. He goes on with his semi-normal life until a Shinigami named Rukia Kuchiki crashes into his life and transfers her power to him. Now that he has the powers of a Shinigami, it’s up to Ichigo to defeat the tortured souls known as hollows and guide them to the Soul Society and eternal peace.
After gaining new allies and making new enemies, you’d think that a premise this simple is all that we need. However, it suddenly gets even MORE complex when a Shinigami long thought dead reemerges and threatens to take over the Soul Society. Throw in Visoreds and Arrancars into the mix and you’ve got an anime that’s packed with action, characters, and everything that a shonen series needs plus more.
Suffice to say that while the plot may seem like a never-ending battle, what really sells the series are the nearly endless number of characters one will meet. While we may never know just how many new characters Tite Kubo can possibly cram into the series, what we can tell you are the top 6 characters that have made a definite impact on both the series and the fandom itself.
So sharpen your zanpakutos and put on your Shinigami robes: this is Crunchyroll’s top 6 characters of Bleach.
You can’t have Bleach without the main character himself now can you? Ichigo Kurosaki is the main character of Bleach and has got all the classic qualities of a delinquent hero at first. He’s brash, dismissive, rough around the edges, and extremely ferocious when it comes down to a fight. That being said he’s also one of the smartest kids in school and extremely loyal to his friends and family. In fact, his desire to protect all of his friends is a result of the loss of his mother, a memory that still haunts him to this day. All tragedy aside Ichigo is known for being one extremely tough customer for not only fully awakening his own Shinigami power, but also tapping into the powers of a HOLLOW. With the ungodly huge Zangetsu in one hand and an insane Hollow spirit growing inside him, it goes without saying that as the series continues to get crazier Ichigo is going to become even more powerful. And you know what? That’s going to make for an awesome ride. With his ever growing power to enhance his protective and loyal nature, Ichigo is going to be a force to be reckoned with as the series trucks on.
This is the girl who started it all by allowing Ichigo to borrow her powers. Despite not seeing nearly as much action as Ichigo has, Rukia Kuchiki is still one of the most popular characters in Bleach and can easily hold her own with the rest of them. While it is undeniable that she is an incredibly powerful Shinigami, what really sells her is her multifaceted personality and the development she goes through as the series continues. One minute she can be a cold, calculating strategist and the next she can turn on a sweet smile that would sway anyone to her side. It can be said that though she and Ichigo’s relationship may or may not be more than platonic, the two create a unique bond that allows them both to develop in ways that never would have happened if they never met each other. Despite her usual role as a support character for Ichigo, whenever she gets to pull out Sode no Shirayuki, everyone is reminded that she is a force to be reckoned with all on her own. Ignoring the fact that she can’t draw to save her life, Rukia still stands as one of the most popular female characters in all of Bleach and will continue to do so for as long as the series runs.
Call him what you want: Shingami Reno, the red pineapple, that guy with the eyebrows, whatever. But what is clear is that Renji is one of the most charismatic Shinigami to grace Bleach during the series’ run. From the moment you see his cocky smirk while he pulls out the snakelike Zabimaru to beat down Ichigo, you know that Renji would become a fan favorite. His personality is strikingly similar to Ichigo in that he’s brash and cocky at times, but also dead serious when it comes to a real challenge. Despite the fact his win/lose record isn’t too impressive, Renji was the only Vice Captain to achieve Bankai when he was introduced and is fiercely loyal to Rukia. It’s this fierce loyalty and determination to win that gives Renji such charisma, and thus puts him as one of Bleach’s most popular characters.
That spikey white hair, that boyish voice, and that dead serious attitude could only be the one and only Toshirou Hitsugaya. Though he is one of the youngest Shinigami to ever reach the rank of captain in the Soul Society, he is also a prodigy in his own right and his control of Hyorinmaru should tell you exactly how powerful he is. His intellect is also without match since he was also among the first to suspect foul play when Rukia was initially arrested and then sentenced for execution. Combine his serious attitude, however, with a bunch of characters who goof off nearly all the time and you have comedy gold. Not only does he get annoyed by slackers and exhibitionists, but also whenever anyone forgets to call him by his formal title, and this creates a fantastic contrast to many other characters in Bleach who never takes anything as seriously as he does. His icy dragon bankai suits this character perfectly, and as the series continues on Hitsugaya remains to stay as one of the fans most likeable characters in the series.
Can't have good guys without bad guys, and Bleach is not lacking in that category! Like the 2 sections before, this features another pair of the most popular bad guys to grace the screen and series. Perhaps, someone would over throw them, but they're pretty bad (and that's not bad meaning bad, but bad meaning good)!
What’s this? Someone in the top 6 who’s not a Shinigami, but an Espada to boot?! It’s not that suprising, however, when you consider that Grimmjow follows the classic “blood knight” kind of character: he’s extremely violent and ruthless when it comes to battle, and yet he carries a strict code of honor that shows whenever he finds himself a worthy opponent.
Sure he’s one of the bad guys when we initially meet him, but the fact that he isn’t blindly taking orders from the big bad and that he only fights for his own sake may hint that he’s one of the Espada that may later become an ally. Couple all of this with a fairly laid-back and somewhat rude attitude, and you’ve got yourself a character that’ll stay with the fans for as long as the season continues.
And now we reach the mastermind himself, Sosuke Aizen. This is a guy who left an impression on Bleach fans right away from his first appearance to his latest incarnation. When watches and readers first meet the guy, he seems like a polite, soft spoken, and intelligent Shinigami who’s well respected amongst his peers. As we all know later on, this is only a mast to hide his incredibly sociopathic attitude.
Aizen is an intellectual of the highest degree as he not only masterminded Rukia’s capture and execution, but has managed to form a coup d'état against the Soul Society itself and raise an army of Arrancar in order to gain complete control. As of this writing, he is the major villain of the current arc and the true extent of his power and deception is at its full realization during this season.
Manipulative to the core and ridiculously powerful, Aizen is the villain that we all love to hate. Let’s hope to see him finally fall from his pedestal once Ichigo and company kick down his front door.
And there you have it! Crunchyroll’s top 6 Bleach characters! If your favorite character isn’t on this list there’s no need to fret. Bleach has got such an incredibly rich cast that picking only 6 to top the entire list was a difficult choice indeed. If you think that your favorite character deserves a mention in this article, send an email my way and perhaps I might decide on a revised list with more slots to incorporate more characters!
In the meantime sit back and enjoy the ride, since you can now stream Bleach on Crunchyroll! Trust me…you’re gonna be in for a LONG ride.
The battle between the Soul Reapers and the Espada becomes more and more tense. Soi Fon and Omaeda find themselves in a bad situation against Barragan’s Respira. They can’t even counterattack Respira because they can’t get anywhere near it. Then, Soi Fon goes off somewhere, leaving Omaeda to fight Barragan alone. Omaeda attacks with Gegetsuburi, but Barragan destroys it easily with Respira. Just when Omaeda is backed into a corner, Soi Fon arrives, having released her Bankai…
While Hitsugaya and Halibel’s battle looks to be coming to a close, Omaeda and Soi Fon fight against Barragan. Just when Soi Fon is about to attack Barragan, Soi Fon suddenly becomes sluggish. Soi Fon is baffled, and Barragan tells her that he has the power to age people. Barragan only has to will old age upon his opponent and touch that person for the opponent to immediately grow old and die. Soi Fon now understands the severity of this power, but she has already been touched by Barragan…
Hitsugaya is doing everything he can to counter Halibel’s sword release, Tiburon. Halibel says she will win against Hitsugaya to avenge her Fracciónes. She melts the ice with Hirviendo and drives Hitsugaya into a corner. Hitsugaya counters by turning Halibel’s water attack into ice with his Zanpakuto, Hyorinmaru, but Halibel has other tricks up her sleeve…
Bleach Terminology 101
Hueco Mundo (written in kanji: 虚圏 and in katakana: ウェコムンド) is the dimension where Hollows and Arrancar usually reside. Just as the Arrancar's names are in Spanish, so is the word for their home world, as Hueco Mundo means "Hollow World." In Japanese, the kanji loosely translates out to "Hollow Sphere."
Bleach by the Numbers
409: Bleach chapters published in Shonen Jump.
276: Episodes of Bleach broadcasted on TV in Japan.
45: Published bound books collecting the chapters of Bleach from Shonen Jump.
29: Bleach DVD Volumes out in stores.
25: Soul Society captains and ex-captains that we know of to date.
1: Place to watch Bleach 1 hour after it airs - CR!
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