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Bleach: To 45

So now that the infiltration of the Soul Society is underway, and the team of valiant rescuers are scattered across the realm, the series seems to take a long meandering through the twists and turns of world. The Gotei 13 are called into action—that’s the 13 Court Guard Squads—to quell the invasion of the outsiders, and for the most of this set of 15 episodes that I am reviewing, perceive the band of heroes as nothing more than a vicious band of brigands.

It seems that a lot of time is spent on setting up the introductions for most of the Captains and Lieutenants of the various squads, and what better way to make one’s introduction than to pick a nasty fight.

Some of the most fearsome and also most loathsome Captains appear, and with them their various skills and abilities.

In amongst the chaos, the Soul Society isn’t without its own share of troubles, as it seems that Captain Aizen, a respected and well-loved member of the Soul Society has been murdered, and the investigation is focused in many different directions, but mostly pointing to the timely arrival of Ichigo and his companions.

As if things were not progressing at a worse scenario for everyone, Rukia is constantly having her execution pushed up further, and further, so that what everyone thought was ample time to save her, is turning into a race against the clock.

There is a lot of happening in this set of 15 episodes, but the biggest thing that seems to recur, is the running, the hiding, and the fighting and the getting banged up, and moving to the next encounter. It’s a long and grueling arc, and it takes a lot of patience to understand the complicated spin that the series creators have placed on the different Captains and their Lieutenants.

I watched most of the entire Soul Society arc with mu fist clenched and my teeth grinding. I hated Byakuya with a passion, and in fact, I was sorely tempted to just switch the series off, and cough it up as a lost cause. I for one am not fond of watching the hero struggle that much in a show, and the harsh and almost evil light the members of the Soul Society were painted in, made me sort of wonder how in the hell the could be deserving of anything but complete annihilation.

In fact, on more than one occasion, I was wishing that Ichigo and his friends would accidentally, on purpose destroy the entire Soul Society, and just kill everyone off. Perhaps even kill Rukia too, since what good were Soul Reapers if they were all a bunch of blood-lust battle thirsty maniacs?

So, like the show, it takes time to develop characters, and like was pointed out, the ideas and notions that I had of the various Soul Reapers was obviously skewed… but that’s something that we’ll have to cover in the next review.