Bleach – Chapter 464
I’m going to tell you a theory I’ve had lately. It’s going to sound a little strange, considering that this series is mainly known for its sword fights, but I think that Bleach works far better as a comedy than it does as an action series.
Take, for example, a scene from a few chapters ago. Ginjo had just been released from Tsukishima’s brainwashing, and turned out to be evil the whole time. I have it on good authority that this made no sense, but honestly, I’ve never been invested enough in this series to care that much. The explanation he gives for this roundabout plan is that simply stealing Ichigo’s powers wouldn’t be fun, but Tsukishima gives the real explanation: Ginjo is a terrible actor! That is not the sort of explanation you would expect from the main villains of an arc, especially in Bleach. It’s funny, comes right out of nowhere…and believe it or not, it’s probably the most characterization either of them has gotten so far.
So far, what do we know about these two? Tsukishima is smug, evil, and wants Ichigo’s friends. Ginjo is an asshole, evil, and wants Ichigo’s powers. Oh, and he likes ramen, which also comes from a comedic scene. The point is that we don’t know that much about who these characters are. Hell, their ultimate goals aren’t even that clear, unless they just happen to like trolling people. But from that scene alone, we get a better idea of their dynamic than any of their evil boasting could have done. After all, that was the sort of line you’d expect Uryu to say to Ichigo, isn’t it?
Most of the series operates like that. When the characters are being serious, they come off as fairly bland, but when they’re being funny, they become much more interesting. Compare the different fights in this chapter.
* Ichigo and Uryu vs Ginjo: Not very special.
* Kenpachi vs Giriko: Did Kubo even care?
* Byakuya vs Tsukishima: Not very special, aside from the chance of the two getting into a snark-off (and yes, Byakuya looks cool no matter who he fights, but there’s no suspense in that).
* Hitsugaya vs Yukio: Looks interesting, provides a unique-looking fight, and Yukio being meta makes him an interesting opponent
* Rukia vs Riruka: Rukia gets attacked by an army of stuffed animals! Why are we not seeing more of this?!
You see? I’d much rather watch Riruka fight than Tsukishima, and I doubt I’m the only one. Kubo’s style of humour is one of his strongest points, and it’s one that he doesn’t take advantage of as often as he should. Maybe if Bleach stopped taking itself so seriously, it wouldn’t be in its current slump. I haven’t been reading as much as most people, so I can’t say for sure what the best thing for Bleach is, but I still preferred Ginjo when he was coming to people’s doors with ramen.