10 characters whose popularity waned at the end of the series
Bleach ran for fifteen years, spanning nearly 700 chapters and half the number of anime episodes. The story has traveled through multiple arcs and sub-arcs, each serving to elaborate on Tite Kubo’s fascinating revision of the Shinigami trope in Japanese pop culture.
There are dozens of essentials Bleach characters, many of whom played prominent roles at different points in the narrative, and a significant proportion remained as popular in the final arc as they were at the start. However, there are a few characters who lost their fan favorite status over the course of the chapters / episodes, in part because they were abruptly and inexplicably sidelined.
ten Isshin Kurosaki’s popularity waned after the fake arch of Karakura town
Isshin Kurosaki is Ichigo’s goofy father, playing his comic relief role to slapstick perfection. He is constantly curious about his teenage son, even going so far as to spy on his activities in his private bedroom and get beaten up for his efforts.
Isshin’s revelation as a Shinigami occurs quite early in the story, but he never reveals his powers (against Aizen or during the flashback fight with Masaki and White). Isshin’s popularity waned after the fake city of Karakura arc and never quite recovered.
9 Tatsuki Arisawa is on the bench in favor of Ichigo and Orihime’s romance
Agent of the Shinigami Bow lays the foundation for Bleach, explaining why it follows the principle of slice of life. Ichigo’s school life and circle of friends are covered in depth, with his childhood best friend Tatsuki sharing the audience’s adulation with Orihime Inoue.
However, as Orihime becomes a permanent fixture, Tatsuki’s refreshing and brash personality is put in place in order to set up Ichigo’s future romance. She makes a minor entry in the last chapter, if that counts for anything.
8 Yoruichi Shihoin’s fan-favorite status crumbles long before the end
Yoruichi is presented as a black cat, stunning both the Ichigo team and the audience when she transforms into a female (as her feline form has a distinctly masculine vocal timbre).
She earns her place in the narrative by helping Ichigo in various situations, making her one of the most beloved Bleach characters in the first hundred chapters. Sadly, Yoruichi’s influence on viewers wears off around the Lost Substitute Shinigami arc.
7 Uryu Ishida fails to become a credible final arc antagonist
Uryu is constantly present for all the major Bleach arcs, starting with his Quincy-based rivalry with Ichigo, a new Shinigami. He’s an incredibly complex character with an equally detailed past, but the manga chooses to ignore Uryu for large parts of the story.
Although popular at one point, Uryu fails to ensure sufficient representation in the arcs of the Hueco Mundo and the Thousand Year Blood War. This is especially noteworthy because he’s supposed to be a major antagonist for Ichigo in the Final arc.
6 Izuru Kira’s best moments take place in the early arcs
Izuru Kira’s melancholy demeanor emits a quasi-emo vibe that is permanently attached to her character from the moment of the introduction. Although trapped between his hatred of combat and his dedication to Gotei 13, his internal conflicts make him such a dramatically fleshed out character.
On the contrary, almost all of Kira’s emphatic moments take place in the Soul Society and Fake Karakura arcs, leaving little for fans to remember him.
5 Jinta and Ururu are surrounded by a mystery that is never solved
Jinta and Ururu are two semi-important characters who work with Urahara, but almost nothing is known about them, either their origins and their sources of power.
They are shrouded in a captivating mystery that is never truly dispelled, eventually losing their charm over time. Jinta and Ururu’s pairing and interactions are downright adorable, and it works in their favor (until suddenly it just isn’t).
4 Kon’s entry into the final arc comes a bit too late to save his character
Kon’s hentai behavior is both smelly and hilarious, a combination that earns him an impressive ranking in the first popularity poll: # 4. Fans loved Kon and his eccentric shenanigans, in large part because of the absurd juxtaposition between his kinky tendencies and his cutesy teddy bear face.
Kubo attempts to reinject Kon into the Thousand Year Blood War arc narrative, sending him to the royal realm along with Ichigo and Renji, but it’s a bit too late for the character to regain his popularity.
3 Yamada Hanataro’s appearances decline until he fades from history
Yamada Hanataro is naive, compassionate, and always anxious, preparing him for countless pranks from his Shinigami friends. His whole personality revolves around being the butt of jokes – he was even born on April Fool’s Day – cementing his popularity in the Soul Society arc.
Hanataro would have made a great choice for Team Ichigo, given how much they bonded during the Ryoka invasion, but his appearances gradually diminish until there is nothing left for him to do.
2 Yasutora Sado ends her once-popular character arc on a low note
Sado, like Uryu, is a key member of the Ichigo team, but his reputation among Bleach fans suffer a serious setback after the Arrancar arc. Strange as it sounds, the entire Fullbring plot is meant to be a vehicle for Sado’s developing powers, but he’s still sort of still sidelined by Ichigo.
He engages in a few shallow battles against a forgettable group of statues opponents in the royal realm, ending his once popular character arc on an sadly low note.
1 Kisuke Urahara’s screen time is drastically reduced
Urahara Kisuke appeared in the top ten in the first three Bleach popularity polls, dropping to a miserable 20th place in the fourth list. This drop can be attributed to his character’s disappearance from the main plot after the Arrancar arc, despite being directly responsible for helping resolve Aizen’s crisis much later.
Urahara’s wacky antics and unpredictable nature are more visible than ever, which is why it is sad that his panel / screen time is drastically reduced.
NEXT: Bleach: 10 Characters Who Could Have Made A Big Impact (But Didn’t Have The Chance)
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