The Bleach ending has been a long time coming. When it was announced the Bleach manga was entering it’s final arc over four years ago nobody thought it would run over two hundred chapters but it did. For those strong enough to make its way through the fluff and insanity, one was treated to some good moments and many not so good moments. Sadly the “ending” fell into the latter category instead of the former.
Note there is obviously going to be final chapters spoilers
With Chapter 686 “Death and Strawberry” Bleach finally - mercifully - came to a close, however I don’t think its what many fans were thinking. No Bleach pulled a Naruto, setting up a new generation. However unlike Naruto, Bleach’s ending didn’t leave much in the way of closure.
This is largely to do with how they handled the epilogue. Beginning in the previous chapter entitled “The Perfect Ending” (Kubo wishes...) Rukia has been raised to the level of Captain, filling the missing spot left by the death of the Commander near the starting of the arc. Aizen had been confirmed to have been returned to his ultra security prison cell, while most of the damage done in the Quincy Blood War has been pretty much repaired. Including some apparent “deaths”... in short everything is pretty much back to normal in the Soul Society.
Returning to the real world, everything is pretty idyllic too with most pieces returning to the pre-Blood War status quo. During the time skip of ten years the most common ships have finally set sail with Orihime and Ichigo becoming husband and wife, alongside Renji and Rukia whom also married to each other. While this would be enough closure enough to end a series which most agree went on entirely too long, Kubo wasn’t done. Not by a long shot.
No being a Shonen Jump epilogue everyone has kids as well. With both Ichigo/Orihime and Rukia/Renji having children, Kazui and Ichika (likely a combination of Ichigo/Rukia) respectively. Once again this would be fine, except for the final few pages.
As Kazui reveals his Shinigami powers, they seem off... as his robe is more flowing and less corporeal as if its made out of reiatsu, unlike Ichika who’s uniform and sword is like any low level Shinigami. This is significant as Kazui had been shown to be very much able to interact with reiatsu including that of Yhwach - the King of the Quincies and the final big bad of the series when he attacked the future (don’t ask). Beyond that of course is the shape of his Zanpakutō which is reminiscent of his fathers in it’s Bankai state.
Then with all this set up it ends. An ending more like a beginning. For a manga that went on far to long, this is disappointing as the Bleach story doesn’t seem to be over, however due to its waning popularity we may never see this next part. Kubo teased potentially without any chance of a payoff.
For myself Bleach “ended” with the defeat of Aizen, everything else was just there. For some Bleach ended earlier at the end of its high point with the Escape from Soul Society Arc. However I can’t imagine anyone too satisfied with this ending; there is too many loose ends and too little closure. One can be sure Tite Kubo want’s to do more, the question is does the fans want it?
Anyways anyone actually stick around to the end or did you give up along the way. Leave your thoughts, as always thanks for reading.