Revisiting Bleach: The Entry Episodes 21–41

Kurosaki.Ichigo.HollowAs much as I loved The Substitute, The Entry is where Bleach really takes off and starts to get more interesting. We left off with Ichigo and his friends invading the Soul Society so they could save Rukia from her impending execution. This is the first time we’re really going to get to explore the spirit world, so The Entry deals with a lot of worldbuilding. This is also around the point in the series where our cast starts to grow and we’re introduced to no less than twenty new characters.

Spoilers ahead in case you don’t know how the story goes.

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Revisiting Bleach: The Substitute Episodes 1–20

Kurosaki.Ichigo.HollowOther than Studio Ghibli’s films, it’s been quite a while since I’ve watched anime. Though I enjoy the occasional manga, it’s not something that I go out of my way to consume. This is probably because I’m not the biggest fan of either shounen or shoujo. I personally find both these genres much more structured than I would like. All too often, one shounen will feel too much like another, and that goes for me and shoujo as well.

But despite my feelings against this kind of narrative formula, there still remain some aspects of the shounen genre that I really do love. And if there was one shounen that I knew I wouldn’t mind sitting down and rewatching, it was, without a doubt, Bleach.

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Manga Mondays: The Portrayal of Masculinity and Femininity in Manga and Anime

From an historical viewpoint, just about every culture on the planet has idealized males as dominate figures, while dismissing females as the lesser sex. Japan is certainly no exception to this way of thinking. Though in recent years, while the gap between both genders has slimmed, it is still there, and the Japanese reflect this ideology in their manga and anime. Manga has been around for quite some time, and anime first appeared in the last century to represent manga on the television screen. While manga has an incredibly wide fan base that continues to grow each year, it normally targets either boys or girls. Manga for boys is called shounen, and for girls it’s shoujo.

Both may display similar characteristics regarding gender roles, but they are quite dissimilar in their portrayal, and normally cater to different genres. Shoujo, for instance, tends to center more on romance and finding true love, while shounen, even though it may also have romance, focuses more on action and adventure. This is not to say that shoujo has neither action nor adventure; those are just not the main focus in a typical shoujo.

So what I’m going to talk about today are two different shounen, Kisimoto Masasi’s Naruto and Takahasi Rumiko’s InuYasha. I also hope to explain why they are both shounen and not shoujo. Obviously, Naruto is a shounen, but there are some discrepancies about what category InuYasha falls under. And you’re going to have to brace yourselves, but I’m also going to be discussing gender roles.

Okay, let’s get to it.

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