Monday, April 6, 2009

Bleach - 1 and plot devices

Let me just say up front, that if you don't watch or keep up with the series I'm talking about, there will be a LOT of spoilers in here. I'm assuming anyone who might read this is current on the series.

Today I'm going to start out talking about Bleach. Bleach is one of my current favorite series. It's got the greatest plot line, but the filler arcs are just incredibly irritating. I'm saying this because I just finished the arc which occurred in the past and explained the existence of the Visored, and now I get a Kon-Don Kannonji arc?!? NOT happy.

I do understand the whys and wherefores of filler arcs. The anime series catches up to the manga and has to do one of two things: kill time to allow the manga to get ahead again or diverge the plot significantly from the manga. Thus filler arcs. The idea being that in a filler arc, nothing happens that affects the main characters permanently (like death or marriage or losing a limb) and any characters introduced in a filler either die there or are lost to follow up, so that their existence doesn't affect the main plot line. Or occasionally their contribution is so insignificant that they can be added into the main plot line after the filler without affecting the plot. An example of this type of character is Ririn-tachi, the mod souls created by Urahara during the Bounto arc.

The Bounto arc was Bleach's first main filler arc. It was long (50+ eps) and though it wasn't a bad arc, it was painful to watch Ichigo-tachi fumble around like morons immediately after they had achieved so much in winning through and rescuing Rukia. And they fumbled around for most of the arc. The Bounto arc went on so long, that when it was finally over, we celebrated. I was driving to Colorado for Christmas break and my friend sent me a text message: "Kariya is dead!!! Rejoice!" It's still on my cell phone.

Less irritating arcs include the Captain Amagai arc and the short arc with Rukia and the shinigami who lives in Hueca Mundo killing Gillians. Main plot line delays are difficult to endure anyway, but understandable. But please! A Don Kannonji-Kon arc when we're waiting to find out if Aizen succeeds in his megalomaniac plot to rule all of existence? That's harsh. It seriously makes me want to throw heavy objects at my monitor. I'm just hoping it's a short, really short arc.

On a different topic, I've started getting the first eps of the series coming out for the new season. Yay!! I've finished watching the endings of about 15 series in the last couple of weeks, so I'm ready for some new ones. I'm something of a anime addict, which is probably obvious since I'm blogging about anime. My favorite series of the last group? RideBack, Casshern Sins, Toradora, Skip Beat except for it's horrible ending. What was that?!

I rarely decide whether I really like a series until it's completely over because the ending often makes or breaks it for me. Example: Gilgamesh. They killed the entire cast in the last episode! What kind of ending is that? Another example is Wolf's Rain. I liked that series right up until the end, and should never have watched the last four eps. The other type of ending that I dislike, but it can be done more or less acceptably, is the non-ending ending. They may or may not tie up some plot lines or current issues in the larger picture, but everything continues. A pretty good ending of this type was Fruits Basket. They tied up a major plot issue and life goes on. A really bad ending of this type was Skip Beat. They resolved exactly NONE of the plot lines.

Of course, being American, I grew up with Happy Endings, so those are still my favorite, but I also am not overly upset about unhappy endings that make sense and end the way they do for good and logical reasons. Plot devices I don't particularly care for include:
1. senseless death (Blood+ - Solomon accidentally scratched by Saya's sword),
2. token death of a character (Fullmetal alchemist - Maes Hughes),
3. introducing a new character or suddenly giving back story on a minor character and then killing him off a couple of episodes later (Trinity Blood - Noel)
4. bad guys comes over to the good side, and dies shortly afterward (Escaflowne - Folken)
5. death of major characters in the final episode (about half the series out there)
I'm sure there are more, but those are my top dislikes.

Anyway, that's it for now. Ja ne

*laughing* I don't know why I bother. I just spell-checked this.


  1. *blinks* Is it a sad commentary that I don't even remember who Noel in Trinity Blood _was_?

  2. Nun with long dark hair. She and Abel go on that trip together and they kill her off, throwing Abel into a 2-episode funk.