The door to other animes had opened through watching Bleach

Quick question what was the first anime that you watched that turned you into a fan?

Think about it as I talk about some that were mine.

I am proud to be one of many individuals whose life has been positively affected by anime. The great stories and epic spectacles are why anime still impacts people every day. I have been lucky that Anime continues to remain relevant in my life regardless of what stage I am at. Each show provides new perspectives and ideas on something that I am going through at the time.

As a child, I wanted stories of good defeating evil.

Now as an adult I am more interested in learning about the world and what it means to be alive.

From childhood to now I have watched over 170 animes with over 300 anime on my watchlist. Suffice to say I am going to be busy for a while.

This is all thanks to an anime about a boy with orange hair whose name means strawberry

I am of course referring to Bleach.

Bleach was the first mainstream anime that I watched from beginning to end. Well the current end, because the last arc in the manga has not been animated.

Update the last arc of Bleach is Finally going to be animated, I am excited about this. Now to be clear Bleach was not the first anime that I watched or the first of its genre.

My Anime Background

Von riding Escaflowne

Von riding Escaflowne.

© SUNRISE Licensed by SUNRISE to Funimation® Productions, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
I did not grow up with cable which forced me to watch shows on network television TV.

When it came to network television only Fox Kids and KidsWB showed anime.

So, I only watched

  • Yu-Gi-Oh!,
  • Monster Rancher,
  • Megaman NT Warrior,
  • Sailor Moon,
  • Digimon,
  • Pokemon,
  • Escaflowne.

While all the cool children with cable got to watch

  • Cowboy Bebop,
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion,
  • Trigun, Rurouni Kenshin,
  • Dragon Ball Z ,
  • Blue Submarine No.6,

and other great stuff.

I am not suggesting that the anime on regular television are bad. Quite the opposite many of them were important in my life.

Yu-Gi-Oh! alone did so much for me and Digimon is on my top ten favorite anime list.

But with network television anime, there was awful dubbing and censoring. So I only got to experience part of these animes.

Cable viewers had the advantage because adult swim on cartoon network aired the animes. This means no censoring but the dubbing was not guaranteed to be perfect. I had no idea at the time that the anime on regular television was even censored or horribly dubbed.

Yugioh all Egyption God Cardd

The pharaoh with all three Egyptian God Cards in the background

YU-GI-OH! © 1996 by Kazuki Takahashi/SHUEISHA Inc.

I learned about this through Little Kuriboh’s Yu-Gi-Oh abridged series. Yu-Gi-Oh! is the most famous anime 4Kids Entertainment censored and dubbed.

So that was my situation from elementary school through high school. I only watched anime that aired on network television.

But when my family went on trips we would stay in motels with cable. This was the only time that I ever got a chance to watch Toonami. The only other time I can think of was my at grandparent’s house since they also had cable television.

My dad upgraded our internet to DSL when I was a sophomore in high school.

Even though I could have watched anime online I had no idea where to start and what to watch.

This would change after I got into Bleach.

MagnaAngemon saving TK and Kari

One of my favorite scenes where Angemon digivolves to Magnangemon

© 1999-2000 TOEI ANIMATION CO., LTD.

My Anime Background

I did not grow up with cable which forced me to watch shows on network television TV.

When it came to network television only Fox Kids and KidsWB showed anime.

So, I only watched

  • Yu-Gi-Oh!,
  • Monster Rancher,
  • Megaman NT Warrior,
  • Sailor Moon,
  • Digimon,
  • Pokemon,
  • Escaflowne.

While all the cool children with cable got to watch

  • Cowboy Bebop,
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion,
  • Trigun, Rurouni Kenshin,
  • Dragon Ball Z ,
  • Blue Submarine No.6,

and other great stuff.

Von riding Escaflowne
I was first introduced to Escaflowne when it was dubbed in English on FOX Kids

I am not suggesting that the anime on regular television are bad.

Quite the opposite many of them were important in my life.

Yu-Gi-Oh! alone did so much for me and Digimon is on my top ten favorite anime list.

But with network television anime, there was awful dubbing and censoring.

So I only got to experience part of these animes.

Cable viewers had the advantage because adult swim on cartoon network aired the animes.

This means no censoring but the dubbing was not guaranteed to be perfect.

I had no idea at the time that the anime on regular television was even censored or horribly dubbed.

Yugioh all Egyption God Cardd
YuGiOh was a huge part of my childhood

I learned about this through Little Kuriboh’s Yu-Gi-Oh abridged series.

Yu-Gi-Oh! is the most famous anime 4Kids Entertainment censored and dubbed.

So that was my situation from elementary school through high school.

I only watched anime that aired on network television.

But when my family went on trips we would stay in motels with cable.

This was the only time that I ever got a chance to watch Toonami.

The only other time I can think of was my at grandparent’s house since they also had cable television.

My dad upgraded our internet to DSL when I was a sophomore in high school.

Even though I could have watched anime online I had no idea where to start and what to watch.

This would change after I got into Bleach.

MagnaAngemon saving TK and Kari
Digimon was a big deal when I was a child and still remains one of my favorite anime

How I got into Bleach

In 2009 I was studying abroad.

The institution did not have wifi, the internet was only available through ethernet cables.

How the times have changed.

So everyone would pack in the computer lab which had all the ethernet cables.

I would stop by and walk around taking a peek at people’s screens.

One day I noticed my friend was watching something interesting on his laptop so I joined him.

Bleach episode 241

The first scene that I watched which was Byakuya cutting down Sode no Shirayuki

BLEACH © 2001 by Tite Kubo/SHUEISHA Inc. TV Tokyo dentsu, Pierrot

The episode was at the part where a man with black hair and a samurai sword was fighting a woman who was white as snow.

I was in awe of what I was watching it was a really awesome scene.

I learned later on that the male character’s name was Byakuya Kuchiki and his opponent was his sister’s Zanpakutō spirit Sode no Shirayuki.

This was episode 241 and my first experience watching Bleach.

Even though this was episode 241 I was not intimidated to start watching from the beginning.

I discovered that after meeting one anime fan that there were others studying there as well.

Bleach Became My obsession

They all gave me the same advice that all new Bleach fans receive; skip the fillers.

My friends showed me different websites that I could watch Bleach from.

I watched Bleach on a site that had episodes of

  • Naruto Shippuden,
  • Dragon Ball Z,
  • Bleach

and other Shounen anime.

As far as I know, this site no longer exists.

From that point on I started watching Bleach during my free time.

I was stuck in the lab until the school upgraded to WIFI then I moved to my living quarters.

The living quarters had two bedrooms, one bath, and a kitchen.

Three people including myself lived in one bedroom and two in the other.

A fellow roommate from the bedroom for two used to lend me his laptop in the evenings.

I took full advantage and binged watched Bleach.

I would start watching from my desk and transition to my bed after everyone went to sleep.

The binging would continue until one pm.

This is because the WIFI would shut off at one pm which was part of the school’s policy.

I loved those times no bills to worry about or tests to study for just relaxing and watching some good anime.
Aizen Watching Ichigo

Aizen’s focus when watching Ichigo was the same as mine while watching Bleach.

BLEACH © 2001 by Tite Kubo/SHUEISHA Inc. TV Tokyo dentsu, Pierrot

I took full advantage and binged watched Bleach. I would start watching from my desk and transition to my bed after everyone went to sleep.I would stay up until one pm watching Bleach in my bed.

Bleach was becoming an obsession for me I would visit the website called Bleachwikia every day.

For months all I would talk about were theories and spoilers with my friends about Bleach.

One of my most memorable discussions was about Sōsuke Aizen. This was after the Shinigami found Aizen “dead” in the Soul Society.

I noted that Aizen seemed so powerful because in a flashback he killed Hollows with his bare hands.

Most Bleach characters have to use their Zanpakuto (the weapon of the Shinigami) so this impressed me at the time.

I could not understand how someone so powerful could have been killed so easily.

I will never forget the expression that was on my friend’s face after sharing this with him.

After getting further in the show I understood why he made that expression.

One more fun interaction that I would like to bring up involved a prank.

A friend of mine told me that Rukia Kuchiki dies in Bleach.

I followed up with when does she die and he told me it happens later on.

After searching on Bleachwikia and YouTube, I could not find anything on this.

Eventually, I confronted my friend about it, he revealed that it was a joke.

Aizen Destroying a Hollow with his hand in episode 46

Aizen Destroying a Hollow with his hand. Bleach episode 46

BLEACH © 2001 by Tite Kubo/SHUEISHA Inc. TV Tokyo dentsu, Pierrot

Everyone liked to play Ping Pong at the school that I was studying at.

There were some students who were better than others and a tier system started to develop.

I wanted to formally create this tier system.

I used the same system as the Espada so the higher the number the better the player.

When guests would come to visit, I would play them in Ping Pong.

I would love to use the lines from the Espada after I won.

Examples include: “I am the tenth best player here so if you struggled with me good luck with everyone else”.

Just writing this makes me feel so cringy. It was awesome back then though.

My devotion went further than that, I cosplayed as a Shinigami for our costume party. I based my Zanpakutō design on Shoei hisagi’s.

Soul Reaper Cosplay

My first attempt at Cosplay as made up Soul Reaper

Bleach and Beyond

Eventually, I caught up to the latest episode and had to wait for the anime to release more episodes.

At the time the anime was at the Zanpakutō Rebellion Arc.

This arc started right in the middle of Ulquiorra vs Ichigo an important fight in the series.

I was very impatient and wanted to know what happens next.

Since the Bleach anime comes from the manga that was ahead of the show I wanted to read it and find out what happens.

Impatient creators on YouTube made their own animations of the fights in Bleach that had not aired yet based on the manga.

Fans are still making videos to this day but now it’s on the final arc in the manga.

When the current filler arc ended, I had to go through a mini filler arc called the Beast Swords.

I really hate that arc simply because it was another obstacle in my way of seeing the conclusion of Bleach.

Ichigo Fighting Ulqiorra Episode 226

Ichigo’s fight against Ulquiorra was interrupted by the Zanpakuto Rebellion Arc Bleach Episode 226.

BLEACH © 2001 by Tite Kubo/SHUEISHA Inc. TV Tokyo dentsu, Pierrot

So, after those episodes finally concluded the new season was finally airing.

My friend and I watched the first episode of the new season on his laptop.

I must have fangirled at all the imagery in the opening credits.

I drove my friend crazy, but it was worth it.

Things only got better from that point on and the epic conclusion of the show’s fights was well worth the wait.

Later on there were times where I wanted to watch older episodes of Bleach but only the fights.

I was then introduced to the concept of AMV which stands for Anime Music Video.

AMVs are a collection of clips from one or more animes compiled into a video with a background song.

AMVs went from a way for me to watch condensed fights to a means to explore and discover animes.

Arrancar Down Fall Opening

Watching this intro for the first time was so incredible

BLEACH © 2001 by Tite Kubo/SHUEISHA Inc. TV Tokyo dentsu, Pierrot

I only watch Puella Magi Madoka Magica because I saw an AMV for it.

The door to other animes had opened through watching Bleach.

I knew which animes to watch and where to watch them based on my experience watching Bleach.

When I returned home, I started watching modern shows(at the time) like

Classic like

  • Trigun,
  • GTO ,
  • Rurounin Kenshin

I watched Naoki Urasawa’s Monster on something called Manga Entertainment on the Xbox 360. I have continued that momentum and watched tons of anime to this day.

Kyoko Sakura

I first discovered Madoka Magica from an AMV

©Magica Quartet/Aniplex, Madoka Partners, MBS Licensed by Funimation® Productions, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Bleach opened an entire world for me and introduced me to a community of anime fans.

A community that has helped me throughout college and beyond.

It always gives me an easy conversation starter if I meet fellow fans of anime.

After I got back home I got my sister hooked on Bleach.

This experience transformed our relationship from siblings to good friends.

Everyone has their own anime story to tell and now you know mine.

Lealouch first order

Code Geass was one of the first anime that I watched after I got caught up in Bleach

© SUNRISE/PROJECT GEASS Licensed by SUNRISE to Funimation® Productions, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Character Design ©2006 CLAMP · ST

The anime adaptation of Bleach ended in 2012 and the manga in 2016.

Despite this, the story and characters are always going to be relevant in my life.

I have re-watched Bleach three times and make it a tradition to revisit the show every now and then.

Sometimes I only watch AMVs and other times I go through certain arcs or moments.

I am very excited about the return of Bleach despite my mixed feelings on the last arc in the manga.

Every time I watch Bleach it is a different experience from before.

I gain a new appreciation of things or finally understand the confusing elements of the story.

So, I want to say thank you to Tite Kubo and Studio Pierrot who created the manga and the anime.To say that Bleach changed my life and made me who I am today would be an understatement.

Final thoughts

Now I would like to know from you what anime was the gateway that hooked you into the medium?

What is your anime story? Leave your story in the comments below.

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Thanks so much for reading and have a great day

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Welcome to MyMediaChops a blog created by a lifelong passionate anime fan. I love to write about my favorite anime including Gungrave, Code Geass, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, Bleach, and so many others.