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We are usually told to give it our all in most aspects in life, yet what if fear takes over? What if you’re not able to move on? Those thoughts come to mind when it comes to BLEACH’s Kenpachi Zaraki and his recently-revealed history with fellow Soul Society Captain, Retsu Unohana. Their backstory takes a look at the power restraint places on individuals even if they’re not aware of it.
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Ever had a moment where something happens and you reacted by saying “I knew that was going to happen!”? Imagine that you behaved that way for every major event that happens in your life. Scary, right? Try telling (arguably) the biggest victim of hindsight bias, BLEACH’s own Sosuke Aizen, that. Being someone like Aizen doesn’t really bode well for one’s life since something more powerful than Bankai will make its presence felt: stagnation.
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We all know smiling does wonders for people, but a recent study revealed that smiling actually helps your heart. Even if it’s not genuine, grinning and bearing it during hectic moments lowers one’s heart rate and reduces stress. It might make you wonder which anime/manga characters smile to get through the day. Here are 10 notable characters that, in my opinion, use smiles to cheer up their psyche.
Misa Amane (Death Note) - While she has a smile on her face and a cheerful disposition, Misa has had a rough past as her parents were killed by a burglar right in front of her. Because of this, she has strong feelings of hatred towards criminals and turns to Light Yagami as her ray of light.
Naruto Uzumaki (Naruto) - When your whole childhood has been marred by the fact that you’re hosting a powerful demon inside you, smiling probably has to be one of the main ways to keep yourself going.
Gin Ichimaru (BLEACH) - If you want to mess around with people’s emotions and hide your true intentions, a wicked smile sure helps to get your message across. Though it might not redeem you in the end.
Seta Soujiro (Rurouni Kenshin) - The story behind Soujiro’s smile is probably one of the most tragic stories I have ever read (and also one of my favorite moments in RK). It’s hard to blame him for smiling constantly though. How would anyone feel if they experienced a situation such as his?
Monkey D. Luffy (One Piece) - He always seems to find a way to smile even in the worst of moments. It must be fun to be a dreamer.
Tohru Honda (Fruits Basket) - Underneath her smile and kindness towards others, Tohru was perhaps a little too obsessed with honoring her deceased mother and it took her a while to move on.
Lenalee Lee (D. Gray-man) - A character that secretly hated the organization that trained her. She had a mental breakdown while being forced to be an Exorcist against her will. Who knows what would have happened if her brother, Komui, didn’t come back into her life and fuel her growth.
Kyoko Mogami (Skip Beat!) - She’s one the best examples of taking it to the chin and kicking butt despite being knocked down. Most of her life has been spent pleasing the people around her and trying to win their approval. Kyoko’s determination is relentless as she takes on the world of show business.
Tamaki Suoh (Ouran High School Host Club) - For someone who appears high-class, charismatic, goofy, and confident, he has relationship problems with his grandmother. This is mostly due to Tamaki’s grandmother never getting along with his mother. Despite his pleas to be accepted into the Suoh family being constantly rejected by her, Tamaki still treats his grandmother with love and is happy to be accepted by his Host Club mates.
Orihime Inoue (BLEACH) - We can talk about her bouncy…personality all we like, but she doesn’t believe in herself when it comes to helping people. Seeing her sometimes makes me wonder if certain people feel that way when it comes to being useful to others.
I know there are many other characters who smile to calm themselves (i.e. characters in Neon Genesis Evangelion), so who would you guys put on your list of “smiling to keep it together” characters? >;)
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May 29 marks the birthday of one of the more notable sociopaths in anime and manga today, BLEACH’s Sosuke Aizen. The plot twist involving his true intentions during the Soul Society Rescue storyline remains one of the more epic plot twists in recent memory.
His character is a great reminder that even good people around you can be extremely deceiving and you might not even know it until it is too late.
Who remembers the time when Aizen was first revealed as the central antagonist of BLEACH and what memories do you have of him?
Here’s probably the one thing I will always remember about him.
Even though this scene still makes me laugh, who said Aizen lacked empathy? Everyone knew he was in love with Ichigo Kurosaki the moment he heard about him. I always thought that Aizen didn’t want Ichigo to go through the “dirty politics” of Soul Society, albeit that his methods were misguided. Did Aizen see himself in Ichigo to a certain degree? We probably won’t know until he appears once more in the series.
Though honestly, if he was a good guy, Aizen would make a great hypnotherapist with Kyoka Suigetsu. That voice of his in the anime is also calming.
Let’s celebrate his wickedness (no matter how convoluted it gets) and let’s also forget the fact that he became a Pokemon in the end, ok?
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Yes, that picture is 3 years old, but it is still relevant today.
March 14 marks White Day, the famous holiday where men in Asia give chocolates to women who have given them the lucky honor of receiving chocolates on Valentine’s Day. As most of you know, Valentine’s Day works very differently in Asia than in North America and Europe.
Here’s a couple of questions that’s sure to get some fun responses: which female characters would you want to give chocolates to?
I’m not going to leave the women out either (thanks to the above photo). To the women: which male characters do you want to give you chocolates?
If you want my opinion, here’s my top 3 female characters I would give chocolates to:
Rukia Kuchiki (BLEACH)
Nico Robin (One Piece)
What? You think I was going to list the girls from K-ON!? Nope, I’m not into moeblobs. I like my female characters to be quite refined.
Now, for more fun, here’s my top 3 choices for male characters I want to give me chocolates if I were a woman.
Shinsuke Takasugi (Gintama)
Onizuka Eikichi (Great Teacher Onizuka)
Ryosuke Takahashi (Initial D)
Intrigued, aren’t you? If you understand what makes these characters popular, then you’ll probably know what makes me tick.
I made my choices known. So, great lovable anime/manga fans, what are yours?
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Pop Quiz: What will happen when two of these iconic characters are eventually gone from the spotlight?
Wow, VIZ Media. They’ve been getting a lot of attention lately, huh? After reading Zach Logan’s editorial “The War On Manga”, I decided to browse the many comments on the entry. One excerpt from a comment stood out to me, especially given with how sales in the U.S. manga industry haven’t been looking so grand for quite some time. This is the excerpt:
Viz is now jointly owned by Shueisha, so the real strings are being pulled straight from the top. Naruto and Bleach will be ending within 2 years tops. What is their business plan when 2 of the Big 3 are no longer propping up house?
Given the fact that Naruto and BLEACH are ranked as the top 2 manga properties in the U.S. at the moment, are both appearing to finish up in the future, and have EXTREMELY huge fan communities, is Shueisha really doing anything to make sure that there will be a new holy trinity alongside One Piece? Yes, scanlations are a big issue, but another key issue is how to get a new generation of fans (and potential buyers) in the West to be interested in reading manga going forward, given that Shonen Jump material is still the starting point for a majority of new fans.
Once Naruto and BLEACH are done, what can VIZ turn to as their main titles (besides One Piece) for promoting Shonen Jump Alpha when it really takes off? The other Shonen Jump Alpha titles they have (Bakuman, Toriko, and Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan) look to be hitting it off with fans, but are they as special as those two titles? Do these titles really relate to teenagers and young adults as well as Naruto and BLEACH have? The closest popular title that can take a spot in the trinity is Hunter x Hunter, but the title is published irregularly and that just won’t do when it comes to generating sales.
As of right now, it feels like Shueisha will just keep on riding One Piece’s popularity going forward since it’s become a cultural symbol in Japan. That doesn’t seem to help VIZ at all, as One Piece isn’t super-popular in North America when compared to Japan. Perhaps a Shonen Jump Advanced online magazine featuring Blue Exorcist, Rosario + Vampire, and D.Gray Man could be in the makings.
I’m sure there has to be some aspiring artists who will rise and be inspired by the likes of Eiichiro Oda, Masashi Kishimoto, and Tite Kubo, like how Akira Toriyama was an inspiration to them. Though as Bakuman has hinted with the low birth rate these days in Japan (which decreases the chances of a super-popular mainstream manga), the hopes of that happening are dim.
Manga in the U.S. isn’t going to die immediately if Naruto and BLEACH end. However, it feels that there has to be some simple Shonen Jump battle manga (no disrespect to One Piece) that appeals to teenagers/young adults to get the ball rolling and spark interest in the wide world of manga itself. While some fans may find them boring, the success of extremely popular titles (i.e. “typical Shonen Jump” titles) helps to give non-popular titles a chance to breathe life. Back when I was a teen, Dragon Ball Z, one of the most popular Jump series of all-time, was the reason why I got into manga. I started buying many manga volumes and developed a taste for other series that have better stories as I got older. The U.S. manga industry NEEDS popular, teen-friendly Shonen Jump titles to sell, no matter how cliche or overrated they may be, in order to stay afloat since Shonen Jump is still the top manga imprint in America. For now, Blue Exorcist appears to be a good successor to Naruto/BLEACH for VIZ, even though it’s a JUMP Square title.
Then again, I wonder if Japanese publishers truly care about the West at all when it comes to promoting manga internationally. Here’s a tweet for thought.
Such is the life of one being involved with manga in the U.S. or west of Asia, is it not?
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With much of the hoopla surrounding the final arc of the BLEACH manga, I want to take a look at a feature of BLEACH that doesn’t get enough attention: the poems. Every volume of the manga has a poem centered around the character featured on its respective cover. A majority of these poems are very enlightening and one has to wonder about Kubo’s intentions in inserting them into the manga.
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Let’s count together for me
The bite marks
That I left on you
- BLEACH Volume 52: End of Bond
It has been quite an interesting time for Tite Kubo’s BLEACH. The current “Lost Agent” (Volumes 49-current) arc has gotten some attention for seemingly rebooting the series and not hitting it off with some fans. The arc introduced even more new characters, including one whose power is extremely frightening when used for the wrong purpose: Shukuro Tsukishima. He is arguably a character that is on the same level as the previous antagonist of BLEACH, Sosuke Aizen, in terms of causing mental trauma towards anyone he targets. Tsukishima looks to be the perfect fighter that knows (and enjoys) the best way to destroy a person: by breaking them emotionally to the point of despair.
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If Rukia Kuchiki Summarized The Events of Her Return in BLEACH.
Found this from the MangaHelpers BLEACH Humor Thread. I just had to post this up because I greatly missed Rukia’s terrible drawings and this is just too good not to share with everyone.
Also, much props to the IchiRuki community for trending the hashtag, #Rukiaisback, in Indonesia earlier this week.
Is it just me or has these past few weeks been a great time to be a BLEACH fan or what?
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