Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bleach Character, Anime and Movie Information

Bleach is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Tite Kubo. Bleach follows the adventures of Ichigo Kurosaki after he accidentally obtains the power of a shinigami—a Japanese death personification similar to the Grim Reaper—from Rukia Kuchiki. Gaining these abilities forces him to take on the duties of defending humans from evil spirits and guiding departed souls to the afterlife.
Bleach has been continuously serialized in the Japanese manga anthology Weekly Shōnen Jump since August 2001 and has been collected in 37 tankōbon volumes as of February 2009. Since its publication, Bleach has spawned a substantial media franchise. The manga has been adapted into an animated television series produced by Studio Pierrot which is still ongoing in Japan as it adapts the story from the manga. The series has also spawned two original video animations, three animated feature films, seven rock musicals, and numerous video games, as well as prompted the release of many types of Bleach-related merchandise.
Compilation volumes of the manga have sold over 50 million copies in Japan and reached the top of manga sales charts in the United States. The anime adaptation has been similarly received, rating as the 7th most popular anime television series in Japan in 2006, and in the top ten anime for America from 2006 to 2008. The series received the Shogakukan Manga Award for the shōnen demographic in 2005, and is among the best-selling manga properties in both Japan and America.

The story opens with the sudden appearance of Soul Reaper Rukia Kuchiki in Ichigo Kurosaki's bedroom. She is surprised at his ability to see her, but their conversation is interrupted by the appearance of a "hollow", an evil spirit. After Rukia is severely wounded while trying to protect Ichigo, she attempts to transfer half her powers to Ichigo in order to let him face the hollow on equal footing. Ichigo instead unintentionally absorbs almost all her energy, allowing him to defeat the hollow with ease. The next day Rukia appears in Ichigo's classroom as a seemingly normal human, and informs Ichigo that his absorption of her powers has left her stranded in the human world until she recovers her strength. In the meantime Ichigo shelters Rukia in his home and takes over her job as a Soul Reaper, battling hollows and guiding lost souls to the afterlife realm known as Soul Society.

After a few months of this arrangement, in the sixth volume of the series, Rukia's Soul Reaper superiors find out about her giving her powers away (which is illegal in Soul Society) and send a detachment to arrest her, and sentence her to death. Ichigo is unable to stop Rukia's capture, but with the help of several of his classmates who also possess spiritual abilities and ex-Soul Reaper and captain Kisuke Urahara, he sets off for the Soul Reaper base, located in Soul Society. Once there, Ichigo and company battle against the elites of the Soul Reaper military, and are ultimately successful in halting Rukia's execution.
It is then revealed that Rukia's execution and Ichigo's rescue attempt were both manipulated by Sosuke Aizen, a high ranking Soul Reaper previously believed to be murdered, as part of a far-reaching plot to take control of Soul Society. Aizen betrays his fellow Soul Reapers and allies himself with the hollows, becoming the main antagonist of the series, and Ichigo teams up with his former enemies in Soul Society after learning that the next step in Aizen's plan involves the destruction of his hometown. At this point, Bleach chronicles the war between Aizen and the Soul Society, a plotline which has not yet been resolved. According to Tite Kubo, the ending of the series is not yet planned out or written.

Character :
  • Ichigo Kurosaki - Ichigo Kurosaki is the primary protagonist of Bleach, orange-haired high school freshman Ichigo is forced to become a substitute Soul Reaper after unintentionally absorbing most of Rukia's powers. His cynical nature at first makes him ill-disposed towards the duty, but with the passage of time he comes to accept and welcome the strength his Soul Reaper powers give him, as it allows him to protect those close to him. When creating the manga series, Kubo commented that Rukia Kuchiki, the first character he created, did not seem like a lead character, so he created Ichigo to be the series protagonist.
  • Rukia Kuchiki - Rukia Kuchiki is a sarcastic Soul Reaper who is assigned hollow extermination duties in Ichigo's hometown. Though her physical appearance is that of a teenage girl, in reality she is ten times older than Ichigo. At the opening of the story, Rukia is forced to transfer her powers to Ichigo and assume a temporary lifestyle as a regular human. She registers at the local high school and takes up residence in Ichigo's closet, while teaching him how to be a substitute Soul Reaper in her place. Rukia was one of the first characters of the series created by Kubo, her design being the one he decided to use for all the other Soul Reapers.
  • Orihime Inoue - Orihime Inoue is a long-time classmate of Ichigo, linked to him by mutual friend Tatsuki Arisawa. She is effectively an orphan, as when she was 3, her older brother Sora left their abusive parents' home with Orihime and raised her on his own, later on, when Orihime was in middle school he died in a car accident. Though initially devoid of spiritual powers, she develops spiritual awareness early in the plot and later obtains one of the strongest powers in the Bleach universe, a god-like ability to reject fate.
  • Yasutora Sado - Yasutora Sado better known as Chad , is one of Ichigo's friends at school. He is a biracial Japanese/Mexican student who towers over his classmates. Despite his imposing appearance he is quite meek, and refuses to fight unless it is for the sake of another. Chad does not have awareness of ghosts at first, but this changes when he witnesses a group of children being attacked by a hollow. He discovers a unique ability that strengthens and armors his right arm, enabling him to fight hollows. He later develops the ability to shoot energy from his armored arm and also discovers that his left arm holds powerful offensive abilities.
  • Uryu Ishida - Uryu Ishida is a Quincy, descendant of a line of priest-like hollow-hunting archers who were historical enemies of the Soul Reapers. He bears a deep grudge against all Soul Reapers, including Ichigo, and is an early antagonist in the series. He comes to view Ichigo differently over time, however, eventually becoming a valuable ally and friendly rival
Character Race :
  • Bounts - The Bounts are a group of humans with special abilities. They are the main antagonists during the series' anime-exclusive Bount and Bount Assault on Soul Society arcs. The Bounts live by consuming human souls, which potentially gives them everlasting youth; according to Kisuke Urahara, they have historically been known as vampires. Like Soul Reapers, they each have a unique weapon known as a doll, a familiar equivalent to the Soul Reaper zanpakutō. Like a zanpakutō, a doll is its creator's power given physical form. However, instead of taking the form of actual weapons like zanpakutō do, dolls are mostly self-sufficient creatures when released, although they tend to be used as weapons in various ways such as a large battleaxe or a snake, as a sword and whip. Their leader, Jin Kariya , aims to consume living spirits and gain massive amounts of power. As the series progressed, however, he reveals that his plans are to invade Soul Society along with the remaining Bounts. However, they are defeated by the Soul Reapers with Kariya being killed by Ichigo Kurosaki. A use of the German language is an apparent theme among the Bount given that several of their dolls have names based on German words. IGN criticized the Bounts as being "lame bad guys," noting that the bittō in particular were like "something straight out of a bad sci-fi movie," but admitted they were "decent plot devices" to develop the other characters.
  • Hollows - Hollows are the class of spirit that most enemies in Bleach are a part of. They are formerly human spirits that were not sent to Soul Society in due time after death. This makes them lose their sense of being and giving them a craving for human souls. Their main characteristic is a white mask completely covering their face and a hole near the heart. Each hollow's mask has a design unique to that individual. Arrancar, a stronger form of hollow that have acquired humanoid form and some of the powers of Soul Reapers, become the primary antagonists later in the series. Besides having a human body, their masks are partially broken to reveal part of their face.
  • Humans - The humans featured in Bleach are residents of a modern Japan. Most are unable to interact with spirits in any way. In rare cases a human is born with the ability to speak and interact with spirits, with the degree of interaction growing with time. Many of the humans introduced in the series have only become spiritually aware through their interaction with series' protagonist Ichigo Kurosaki and, by extension, his friends.

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