I guess I’m not alone when I say that Bleach has been pretty disappointing when it started with its filler arc. Although about a year ago I totally loved Bleach, it’s the anime I don’t want to watch right now, honestly. It’s because with the filler arcs came the degradation of animation quality and plot. I stopped watching Bleach after six episodes of filler. Although it can’t be helped because the anime has already coped with the manga, still, having episodes where Rukia looked like a cross-eyed alien is unforgivable.

Right now, however, may be Bleach’s renaissance once more. I’ve always been looking for the anime or Kubo to develop his more minor characters, and this may just happen with Nemu’s arrival in the real world to deal with Ishida. (In case you’re wondering why I’m writing about Bleach all of a sudden, I was at the forefront of those Nemu x Ishida shippers from ep43 to ep44, where Ishida battled Mayuri and Nemu’s internal struggle between obeying her ‘father’ and doing the right thing was simply a joy to watch. In fact, judging from the fact that I still remember the episode numbers when that fight happened, those episodes were among my most favorite in Bleach’s run. Silent waters run deep, an aphorism says. Well, Nemu is as silent as an oyster. What she did, however (help Ishida), despite her seemingly automaton self, was among the biggest moves forward in all the characters of Bleach. That’s only how I see it, however. What I saw in that moment in time was the awakening of the emotion of love, or at the least, caring.)

With the arrival of the next episode, we may see how Bleach has improved itself in its fillers: although the story may not progress a whole lot; although the story is somewhat of a bridge and is totally original in itself therefore quite weak compared to the canon (manga); when there will be character development, even after 46 episodes, with Nemu, I’d be terribly happy and resume watching Bleach once more. Why?

Granted, the requirement of a filler is that the story does not move forward. However, it can still be filler when the characters develop themselves and their actions in the past given light while still not moving the story forward. This is what I’m looking for. If they fleshed out the characters more, gave light to romantic relationships or relationships in general once more, it would still be a great filler. That is what I’m looking for. With the arrival of Nemu, we would see if she still remembered Ishida’s historic act and developed some feelings for him. Frankly, I’m really tired of seeing a pensive Orihime thinking about ‘trying to help’ an Ichigo who lacks the sexual urge to appreciate endowed women like her. I’m also tired of a forceful Rukia, constantly being ‘the best friend’ and prodding Ichigo forward. I’d like to see more about the relationship between Matsumoto and Gin; I’d like to see more about Ishida and Nemu, Uruhara and Yoruichi – I’d like to see Bleach try to do a quasi-Honey and Clover style of character development while not moving the plot forward. If they can pull it off, even if only in the next episode, that’s good enough for me to know because

  • The plot has still moved forward because the characters themselves are exhibiting change.

  • It’s just so much better to have everyone fleshed out before proceeding to the next manga arc than doing so without even developing the multitude of characters inside Bleach.

Anyway, I’m looking forward for the episode when Nemu appears, and the episode directly after that. I’ll see if the filler is still worth watching.