The first few story arches of BLEACH are considered among the best in senen anime and manga. At the peak of its development, the series became known as the finale of the three golden titles that helped Jump maintain its position despite the predicted decline, foreseen by the mass exodus of various hits that were responsible for the aptly named magazine “Golden Age”. .
Shounen Jump is still the most popular and best-selling magazine in Japan, and what we call the “Big Three” is the main influential publication thanks to which BLEACH became the main saviors of Jump. For BLEACH, the period between its serialization in 2001 and 2007 brought some of the best arches, with the Soul Community Arch considered one of the best arches of the Big Three. But why was the Soul Society arch so special?
Death and strawberries
The Soul Community Arch, also called the River Invasion Arch, is the first main storyline in BLEACH, and part of what makes the arch so significant is the preparation for the events that take place in the arch. The series begins with the creation of a premise.
Rukia Kuchiki is the first Soul Reaper that Ichigo meets in history, and it is thanks to the relationship that develops between these two that the foundation for the Soul Society arch is laid. The first chapter and the first episode of BLEACH are called “Death and Strawberries”, a bizarre phrase that describes what the beginning of BLEACH is really about: Ichigo Kurosaki and his intimate relationship with the supernatural.
Replacement of shinigami
When the stubborn Ichigo gets in Rukia’s way during their first fight with a huge empty, Rukia pays dearly for it with very serious injuries. Rukia imposes a taboo by offering her powers to Ichigo so that he can deal with the Void himself, and ends up putting her life in grave danger as Ichigo absorbs all of her remaining power, effectively forcing her into the human realm.
The relationship between Ichigo and Rukia begins with a level of familiarity that leads some of their classmates in the senior Karakura to assume that they are dating; however, the characters’ cheeky sides regularly come into contact. Despite the very obvious differences, they both have the same understanding of duty towards other people, and they are both quite passionate people.
Despite Rukia’s best efforts to prevent Ichigo from further involvement in shinigami affairs, Ichigo engages in a fight with the then 6th Squad vice-captain Renji Abarai and Rukia’s older brother, squad captain Byakuya Kuchiki, when they arrive to arrest her. Ichigo gives a good fight for the fledgling shinigami, who opposes the sitting officers of Gotei 13; however, Byakuya turns out to be too strong.
The destruction of Ichigo’s Soul Chain and Soul Sleep would have been fatal if his staff had not worked diligently with the dedicated medical know-how of Kisuke Urahara, the former captain of the 12th Squad and founder of the Shinigami Research and Development Institute. Despite everything he went through, Ichigo was adamant in saving Rukia because in the short time they were together, Rukia changed his world.
Putting the group together
In BLEACH, where the first main enemy is the shinigami institution itself, the party gathering conducted in this first main arch is extremely detailed and occupies eight volumes, which include acquaintance with various characters, their relationship to Ichigo. historically, their own beliefs and reasons for existence. Everyone had their own reasons for wanting to save Rukia, and thus Ichigo, who was convinced that everything was happening through his own fault and therefore should be solved by his own power, was saved again and again by various sacrifices that his friends brought.
Arriving at the Society of Souls, they must find a way to infiltrate Seireitei, enlisting the help of a resident of Rukongai; and Ichigo’s unsuspecting relative, Kukaku Shiba. The Shiba clan was one of the five noble families of the Soul Society along with the Kuchiki clan, the Shihouin clan and two unnamed others; however, it turns out that the fall of the Shiba clan was due to direct actions taken by Rukia Kuchiki on one fateful day.
The arch of Rukia’s character in captivity is one of the best BLEACH has to offer, and it gives a very striking account of many of her actions and behavior. While imprisoned in the tower, Rukia is tormented by a vivid dream about the death of the vice-captain of the 13th squad, Kaien Shiba, an event that, as it turned out, was organized by Sosuke Aizen during one of his early experiments on pustification. During the incident, reports of shinigami’s disappearance were investigated by the then 3rd commander of Squad 13, Miyako Shiba, Kayena’s wife.