Bleach was the first really long anime I watched, and it’s definitely my favourite. It’s also the first long anime I’ve finished.
This review is for the anime only, and it’s not including any filler. This will also be spoiler-free in case you haven’t watched it yet. Also, I’m reviewing episodes 1-366 (minus filler), in case some lovely studio picks up Bleach again and more episodes are created.
I rate the story 9/10. The only thing that let this anime down for me is the pacing and the fullbring arc. Bleach is very slow at first, which makes it very difficult to get into since it’s all character and very important plot development. I have to say that this anime has one of the best storyline compared to other anime I have seen. It’s very unique and gripping. I enjoyed every bit of this anime.
The characters get an 8/10. They’re all very well developed, however some are extremely underdeveloped. There’s also so many characters, which makes it difficult to remember all their names. One thing that let the characters down was the amount of characters introduced during the soul society arc, they were all introduced in one go, which was a little bit unavoidable. I found it very difficult to remember characters and what squad they belonged to.
Even though I didn’t watch the filler, the occasional random filler episode were slightly annoying. However, most filler were placed in between seasons, and didn’t really interrupt any other canon arcs. I have to admit they were placed very well, especially when being compared to Naruto. It was easy to skip filler since it was the one episode or a huge chunk, instead of three episodes filler, two canon, eight filler, one canon which Naruto Shippuden seems to like (only towards the end of Shippuden though).
I give animation a 6/10. The animation is very poor at the start of the series. I found fight scenes would be slightly blurry and the animation would go downhill. The quality was horrendous, and I know of anime with better animation that were created before or around the time Bleach was. However, it did pick up as the series progressed, and the animation was really nice towards the end of the series.
The series is very faithful to the manga, with only minor things changed (outfits, censorship etc.).
Overall, I rate this anime 9/10. I love this anime, and it’s one of my favourites. I highly recommend it, even if you’re not too keen on long anime. It does have a high filler rate, which means if you only watch canon you’re watching anything from 150-200 episodes, so it’s not too bad.