Loved and hated in equal measure, Bleach has been the subject of much criticism since the series ended in 2016. To the animanga world at large, Tite Kubo’s samurai series is often used as an example of how not to end a story. Concerning the anime industry, Bleach’s rampant filler arcs are also the subject of much derision.
However, Bleach still gets a lot of love from die-hard fans. And no matter how you feel about the series’ ending, you can’t deny that Bleach’s characters were cool and its battles were epic! So, we’d like to present fifteen Bleach memes that run the gamut; some chide the series for its shortcomings. Others praise it for its successes. Either way, all of them will hit close to home for Bleach fans.
Updated by Caleb Bailey on May 3rd, 2020: With Bleach having celebrated its twentieth anniversary this year, we thought that it would be the absolute perfect time to share a few more Bleach memes that we’ve found around the internet.
15 Power Seep & Power Creep
The two terms mentioned above actually come from the wonderful world of video game design. “Power Seep” occurs when a character gradually becomes weaker over time until it eventually gets replaced by another character. The term “Power Creep” describes the opposite effect – a formerly weak character grows in power, seemingly out of nowhere. Pretty every anime that you can think of features characters that “seep” and “creep” like the waxing and waning phases of the moon. Rukia’s one of Bleach’s major offenders; she got stomped out by a random Hollow at the start of the series, only to slaughter much stronger enemies with little effort.
14 A Practical Approach
Ichigo isn’t a complicated man; he hates bullies, and wants to realistically protect as many people as he can – like, “a whole mountain-load of people.” Ichigo’s fighting style reflects this laconic mindset as well – he typically rushes down his foes and makes up plans on the fly. Or at least he did until he learned Getsuga Tenshou. Most Shonen anime heroes discover one move that they absolutely adore, then proceed to spam the Hell out of it. That’s one of the reasons why this meme is so funny – it imagines Ichigo as a man of simple means, who prefers to solve his problems with a bang.
13 Gin Tama
At first glance, Gin Tama might look like Bleach’s sister series; both franchises feature samurai, supernatural characters and monsters, and a project with impossibly spiky hair. But once you watch a single episode of Gin Tama, you’ll see that the similarities between these shows are night and day. Bleach is a full-blooded, combat-focused Shonen Battle anime. Gin Tama, on the other hand, is an utterly insane series that focuses on side-splitting humor and developing its eccentric cast of characters. 4th Wall breaks are par for the course in this series – hence lead character Gintoki Sakata making a reference to Bleach!
We’re not quite certain who originally created this meme. However, we’d personally pay to see a Bleach film based on Seth McFarlane’s first Ted film. Or, to be more accurate, we’d pay to see a Bleach film where Ichigo and Kon spend the bulk of the movie hanging out like bros – and acting like man-children for a solid hour and a half.
11 Kenpachi’s Fried Chicken
Most Kenpachi memes joke about the Shinigami’s insatiable bloodlust and this meme isn’t any different. Do you see all of that red in the image macro? That’s the blood of Kenpachi’s fallen foes – i.e. the secret sauce to this Shingami’s fried chicken. If you’re trying to make sense of Kenpachi’s Fried Chicken, we highly recommend that you don’t. There are exercises in futility, and then there’s attempting to figure out how and why a meme like this was created.
10 Wishful Thinking
When an anime has a cast of characters that’s as large and intriguing as Bleach’s, fans are bound to start pairing folks together. During the series’ run, Ichigo Kurosaki got paired up with every character (and even a few objects) under the sun. One of the most popular pairings imagined Ichigo linking up with Rukia Rukia Kuchiki.
However, Ichigo ends up marrying Orihime Inoue by Bleach’s end! To the further dismay of all IchiRuki shippers, Rukia marries Renji Abari as well. The image pictured above stings in hindsight and is one the Bleach memes memorializes what could have been. Rest in Peace IchiRuki, we hardly knew ye.
When Bleach first came out in 2001, many readers around the globe collectively wondered the same thing – what’s with the name? Most manga and anime series have names that clue you in on their basic premises; Dragon Ball, One Piece, Black Clover, and even Mob Psycho 100 all fit that bill!
Tite Kubo’s series is about ghosts and samurais, not about laundry chemicals. So why does it have such a random name? Well, Kubo’s a huge Nirvana fan, so the title’s probably a reference to the band’s first album. Even with that explanation in mind, this meme doesn’t become any less hilarious.
Most Shonen Battle Anime center around young male protagonists who get stronger and wiser as the series progresses. Typically when one of these characters reaches a new milestone, they learn a powerful special attack as a result. The Kamehameha, Rasengan, and Rubber Rubber Snake Shot are all prime examples of the trope.
The thing is, characters can become over-reliant on a particular move. They can even start spamming it with reckless abandon against even the weakest opponents! To rest our case, we present Ichigo’s Getsuga Tensho. By the time Bleach ended, you’d swear Berry-san would use this move on a fly if it annoyed him enough.
7 The One True Ship
Orihime Inoue starts Bleach off as a sweet, kindhearted, and unassuming classmate of Ichigo’s. By the series’ end, she’s much more mature and level-headed thanks to her experiences. As we mentioned earlier, she and Ichigo wed by the series finale. However, there was a period when that pairing wasn’t guaranteed.
Back in the day, Rukia seemed like Ichigo’s Best Girl. Many fans wanted those two to tie the knot and most of the story cues seemed to point in that direction. This Bleach meme rewinds time and paints Orihime as a crazy tsundere who’d do anything to be with Berry-san!
Some villains always manage to keep one step ahead of the heroes. Bad guys like Light Yagami and Dio Brando manipulate people like pieces on a chess board – weaving meticulous plans with a tenacity that can span years or even decades! However, Sosuke Aizen makes many of these same villains look like they’re merely playing checkers.
Aizen’s plans are so intricate and complex that they don’t even make sense! At least, that’s how many affectionate parodies of Bleach portray this master malefactor. A common joke among Bleach fans is to claim that a seemingly impossible occurrence is all apart of Aizen’s plans. Hence Bleach memes like this one, which utterly breaks the fourth wall.
5 Leveling Up
In the animanga world, bald guys are all the rage. Krillin’s been kicking tons of butt with a cueball cut since the days of Dragon Ball. Guys like Jet Black from Cowboy Bebop and Agil from Sword Art Online are calm and collected. Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t shout out the Caped Badly himself – Saitama!
Ikkaku Madarame is Bleach’s resident bald guy with a hot head. Madarame can be brash, curt, and generally standoffish. However, he’s a courageous and skilled fighter who’s loyal to the bitter end. There are a few Bleach memes that imagine a group of bald characters as different forms of the same being. But this one wins because it features Cailou.
4 The Candy Man
Another prevalent trope in animanga centers around writers giving Smart Guys and Smart Girls sweet tooths. L of Death Note fame is possibly the quintessential example of this trend. However, Kisuku Urahara is a strong contender for this top spot as well. Ol’ bucket hat was so smart, Aizen considered him to be the only man who could challenge his intellect.
Just like L, Urahara had a bummy vibe to him; he too wore on loose clothes and always looked tired or disheveled. Kisuke owned a candy store and often brought his merchandise along to much on. It’s a miracle wonder neither he nor L developed acute diabetes.
3 Long Face
Being an animator is hard work; imagine having to draw a series of identical images over and over until your fingers bleed, then having to draw some more. Multiply that by long hours at the office, then compound all of that when deadlines are nigh, and you’ve got the life of an animator.
we can’t understate how much we respect the artists that bring animes like Bleach to life. Images like the meme pictured above result when animators get overworked. In this image, an artist accidentally drew Ichigo off model – giving Berry-san a long pointy chin that would make Jay Leno blush.
2 The End
After 15 years in print, Bleach came skidding to a hurried end by Chapter 686. The manga’s conclusion left many fans wanting more, but not in a good way. Bleach’s ending felt like eating a peanut butter and bread sandwich; dry, messy, and devoid of anything filling or meaningful content.
But hey, at least the manga reached its final destination. The anime abruptly stopped after episode 366! Ulquiorra’s dismay in the pictured meme mirrors the melancholy of many faithful Bleach fans. Others rejoiced, as we’d never have to see Yhwach’s hairy mug desecrate our TV screens! Some even feel that the anime’s ending is stronger than the manga’s.
1 Looks Like The Work Of A Master
Tite Kubo is a very creative and talented mangaka when he chooses to be. When he doesn’t put his best foot forward, he creates things like the Fullbring and Toju Arcs. Throughout Bleach’s run, Kubo made a series of increasingly questionable decisions with the series’ narrative and characters. Before long, a large group of fans accused Kubo of intentionally trolling readers!
We don’t know whether or not Kubo intentionally sought to ruffle up his readers’ feathers. However, we have seen tons of the these Tite Kubo Bleach memes and a lot of them never get old! This specific image pictured above imagines Kubo as a nihilist, doing his best spread misery and melancholy with each chapter.
Bleach is one of the more popular anime series out there, but even its biggest fans can't help making hilarious memes about it!