12 May 2013

Pick of the day - Bleach anime - Ichimaru Gin (市丸 ギン)

Today's pick of the day - Sunday, what a fun day! 

Yup, it's not a Transformers post. There has been lots of Transformers excitement of late, and I was inspired by a comment by long-time reader of my blog KUMA-NIN, to actually post something on Bleach. 

Bleach (aka ブリーチ in Japanese, or 死神 in Hong Kong / Taiwan) is a long running Manga and Anime that I have been following since 2005 / 2006. It's a beautiful blend of the old and the new and at least for the first 65 episodes of the anime, was extremely refreshing as far as anime goes. Since I'm a collector, I of course have collected some Bleach paraphernalia over time.

 My Bleach display in my current place.
(top row: Hitsugaya Toushiro, Kuchiki Byakuya, Ichimaru Gin, Aizen Sousuke, Urahara Kisuke)
(bottom row: Kurosakai Ichigo, Grimmjow, Hitsugaya Toushiro, Matsumoto Rangiku, Hisagi Shuhei, Kira Izuru)

However, since Transformers are that all encompassing, I'd almost completely forgot that I also have lots of Bleach stuff and collect the series as well! (KUMA-NIN, should we 'blame' this on Maz too?).

Two of my favourite Bleach characters - Kuchiki Byakuya, Captain of the 6th Squad and Ichimaru Gin, (ex)-Captain of the 3rd Squad.

My all time favourite from the series is of course, Ichimaru Gin. What a wonderful figure this is - beautiful sculpt and paint apps.

A close up of the upper body.

A slight back view - I love how the Captains' cloaks sway with the wind.

Back view of this very nice figure. This is actually from a collection of figures called 'Bleach Characters'.

Close up of the "3" emblem.

While taking shots of this figure, I found out that this is my favourite view of the figure. Wow.

Close up of head sculpt - one of my favourite things about Ichimaru is that he is always smiling, even when he is fighting and dispatching enemies.

Alright, that's it for 'Pick of the Day'. Again, thanks to KUMA-NIN for reminding me that there are things outside of the World of Transformers.

~ HD


  1. This series was so promising when it debuted but just like pretty much every Japanese Anime series which ended up being mediocre, it basically opted to go the Dragonball route.

    At this point, Bleach is so ridiculous, Ichigo may simply be .... the Strawberry King of Soul Society. Perhaps Goku and Vegeta should make an appearance as well so that Ichigo can become a Super Sanyan just for the hell of it.

    Enough ranting. This series is pretty much s*** now.

    1. I agree, it showed such promise. Very disappointed that it took the Dragonball route and some would say Naruto route.

      If you ask me, I think the series should just have ended when Aizen ascended to the Hollow Realm. End it there. Leave well enough alone. We can all try and imagine what would happen. But no, it went on with Arrancar, Vizads and other… I dunno what.

      In addition to Goku and Vegeta, perhaps throw in Orochimaru for good measure too (the guy took a full 10-15 episodes in flashback and still didn’t really die).

      For the manga, I’ve stopped after they “defeated” blond hair Aizen. So you think its not worth following on?

    2. Actually... There are a few key points you missed.

      For beginners, if it was not for Akira Toriyama writing a letter of support to Tite Kubo, there would be no BLEACH. Heck, they may have not even been ZOMBIEPOWDER. Simply put, ZOMBIEPOWDER is his incomplete series, and ended due to his emotional status. BLEACH is his ongoing series that was made to target teenage Japanese boys who liked series like YuYu Hakusho and Dragon Ball.

      Second-off, the Dragon Ball route only existed because Akira Toriyama watched Jackie Chan's Drunken Master 2 and dropped the series he started to work on. Kamehameha was influenced by his wife during their trip to Hawai'i. Concepts tied to the Super Saiyan form, Fusion, and other aspects were due to talks he had with his fellow manga-ka friends. And the only reason why it did not end with him defeating Frieza after becoming the Legendary Super Saiyan is because TOEI was making way too much money for him to stop at that point.

      Oh... And during this time, YuYu Hakusho was going down the same path. So a lot of what happened in the Z portion of Dragon Ball was said to have happened first in YuYu Hakusho. That, and Toriyama's favorite character is Piccolo... And he hates Vegeta. Said so, and even said Vegeta was nothing as a tool to forward his plots. :p

      And finally... Ichigo's name was chosen as separating it goes from "strawberry" to "he who protects." Something that was constantly pointed out in the manga, and even in the (better than the Garlic, Jr. Saga) filler. However, the anime had suffered in part due to the filler - Which is only done so the manga can finish up a story arc. However, it even happened to Dragon Ball, One Piece, and YuYu Hakusho. Then again, BLEACH is done by the same studio as both Naruto and Naruto Shippuden... Which both had horrible filler.

      Not bad for a guy who remembered all of this ever since reading the interview in an issue of Animerica, eh? Doesn't even cover the portions I did research on when I wrote those two articles for a minor publication that collaborated with FUNimation... And getting congrats emails (both times) from Kyle Hebert. :D

    3. Well history is certainly interesting, but to me, Bleach is certainly another example of Japanese producers not trusting the intelligence of the viewers (or maybe I am simply totally wrong that people who watch animes are in any way intelligent :).

      One certainly does not need to be as abstract as Neon Genesis Evangelion to be a good anime, but series such as Cowboy Bebop, Rurouni Kenshin, Samurai Champloo etc do show that there's a place for series' that are not only concerned about powering up its main character(s).

    4. Kuma-nin, after saying all that and you don't even post a link to your articles?!? C'mon dude. Links!

      I did know the first part of the history too, but then no idea its linked to other things like YYH, etc. All i know is that Bleach is a lot more interesting than Naruto.

      But Anonymous is right in that some series' *dared* to end and is still regarded as groundbreaking till today. Loved Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo. Can I add Basilisk, Macross Plus and Little Pet Shop of Horrors to that distinguished list?

      Kenshin, while good, also did drone on for a little bit. The 4 parter OVA was awesome though.

    5. Yeah Kenshin probably should have ended after the Shishio arc as well. But that series simply has one of my favorite characters ever in the character of Saito Hajime.

      Haven't watched Basilisk and Little Pet Shop of Horrors but Macross is definitely one of the classics. Hm time to go to eBay and get some new DVDs .... Is this the time where I blame you HD?

    6. Factually, HD, I need to rescan "There's Something About Gohan" - My very first article. No link, as it was written around 13 years ago, and during the great Dragon Ball Z hype. My second article ("There's Something About Majin Buu") reads like something out of Ocean's Twelve (or Thirteen). Oh, and I do agree - Pre-Shippuden was poorly handled. It made me tolerate the Rurouni Kenshin filler like The Rebirth made me tolerate the Michael Bay films.

      Oh, and Cowboy Bebop fell victim to the "Transformers did it first" clause - As in the Spike falling for a blonde bit. That, and Samurai X was awesome. However, much like Detective Conan, I want to get into the live action version of the series. Which says a lot as I prefer anime adapted from light novel series (hence my prior excursion to Kyoto Animation).

      And Anon, you do understand the difference between SHONEN and non-SHONEN titles, right? A shonen title is a series targeting the 13-17 demographic. So everything you are talking about is favored by those who are not old enough to watch Cowboy Bebop or Samurai Champloo. Which is why animation studios that license manga series tend to do boorish filler, as they are trying to keep this age group from watching their competition's series.

      Oh, and BLEACH ended with 366 episodes. One Piece is passing the 600 episode mark. Plus, Gainax is the only studio I know that has insulted the intelligence of the Japanese fanbase. And North American anime fans tend to be the ones whose intelligence I question - Especially those who think post-dated American products make an already good Japanese anime series even better... Much less request seasons be made by dubbing/licensing studios... Troll studios for stories because they were too busy watching the subtitles... And so on.

    7. Kuma-Nin, I don't think it's so simple to divide things into Shonen or non Shonen. Just taking an example of Neon Genesis Evangelion, the manga series debuted in the Shonen Ace magazine, which presumably is targeted towards the young audience. A typical Evangelion story/episode can contain more complexity than the entire Bleach series, giant robots aside.

      What you are saying simply confirms my opinion that Japanese producers of series like Bleach are either lazy or simply looking down on audiences' intelligence because basically what they are saying is that people between 13-17 is only interested in powering up, which honestly speaking should belong in the 8 to 12 years category.

      We've all been in high school before (13-17) and during that time we've gone through insecurities about ourselves, the future, etc. I am not saying that let's introduce ALL that "heavy" stuff into Animes, but surely there's a scope to introduce some of those perhaps in a humorous way. But why bother right? It's just easier to power up!!!

    8. Anon, let me simplify this: Here is a link tied to nearly 1,000 shonen titles: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Category:Sh%C5%8Dnen_manga&from=0

      So here is the thing: You are giving me your perspective, not facts. The facts state that the average male 13-17 year old does not live in the same city and needs to take a train. The average 13-17 year old in Japan puts high emphasis on their academics and other hobbies, while juggling what is required of them. And despite having such "dumbed down" anime adaptions of said manga (that you only heard of), their overall academic scores are the highest in the world - With only Hong Kong and South Korea being their rivals in said scores.

      With that said, the average 13-17 does not want what you want. They want panty shots and other fan service (To-Love-Ru), role-playing game style story and action (BLEACH), giant robot action (Mobile Suit Gundam 00), and anything that fits their niche within the small spectrum of genres that spread out to thousands of titles.

      And the anime studios that license these series? It is like I said, and you chose to dismiss - They do it because they need to keep the viewer interested in what they are producing. As in they are spending money both licensing and producing the series, keeping animators and others employed. Even if the filler is bad (and I always skipped it before changing tie-in formats), they make the minimal amount of money to stay in business. Then comes the merchandising, which is where the bigger monies come into play. All-in-all because they are keeping that 13-17 year old entertained because he has no time to play a video game, much less anything that could distract them from their studies.

      Oh... And 8-12 year olds in Japan have Transformers, Space Sheriff Gavan, Ultraman, Super Sentai, sports related anime, Nintendo related manga, and other stuff that does not show anything like they show in BLEACH. But hey, I would not want my future kids to watch an episode of Detective Conan or BLEACH until they are old enough to handle severed limbs and severe amounts of blood. Because When they grow up, it will begin with Transformers and Anpanman. Then Transformers and some kid series they like. Then Transformers and some pre-teen series they like. Then Transformers and some teenage series they like. And then Transformers and whatever they want to watch or create. :)

      Oh, and by the way, I am an otaku. Not the Densha Otoko style shown in the TV drama you may have never heard of... But more the type that watched "Endless 8" without any subtitles, looked for every Bruce Lee reference in Cowboy Bebop, and and now only prefer anime series adopted from light novel series... Simply because Ookami-san and Her Seven Companions is more entertaining to me than Buso Renkin. ;)

  2. Blame Maz? Ironically, I have to because your interview has an image showing off your BLEACH collection. And that resulted in me learning more about Gin, which resulted in me learning about Ichigo's heritage, and me curious - once again - how the series will end. But you don't need to, as while I also ended up looking for Gin items at JUNGLE (in Los Angeles), I also wondered if they have any Shinigami/Soul Reaper robes in your size... And if I should toss in a "Division 3" arm badge just in case I get lucky striking a deal with that "HOC" Sunstorm. :)

    Oh, and I ended up learning more Gin because of you. And I do agree that in the end, he was the best character in that portion of the series. :)

    1. Gin is like the coolest and Byakuya is pretty close haha...
      Third Divison robe would be nice, but if that is available then the badge is not needed no? Badges are for lieutenants... heh.

      Oh, I didn't mind Nanao too. She was elegant as least. Can't believe that Kubo went and focused so much on Matsumoto.

    2. I actually have to confess that I have become a Momo Hinamori fan now. Cannot stand Matsumoto. But the way Kubo had written Momo makes her easy to like. :)

      Also, at Anime Expo, I will see if anybody is selling Captain robes. The one that JUNGLE in Los Angeles has for sale is the standard robe. And at $109, it is tempting - Seeing how they also have MP-10 Convoy for around $500.

    3. hmmm... Momo is a little too gentle for me. But I am sympathetic to Nanao (8th Division LT).

      $109 for a Captain Robe? USD? Whoa.

    4. I think that is why I like her these days. Because while she is not my top favorite in any series, her demeanor is a breath of fresh air. My top favorite (that I do not have a figure of - Yet) is possibly Sena Aoi (both: Chaos;HEAd).

      Honestly, I think what they go through is more messed up than anything Aizen could do in that series.

      Oh, and I asked if it comes with a Captain's robe. They said "No" as it is standard and officially made. However... I did find this link, and it appears to have everything you may want to be Gin. :3

      LINK: http://www.allanimecosplay.com/bleachitems.htm

    5. now that you mention it, i really don't know who my top favourite pick would be... in terms of anime people. Maybe one of them from "Love Hina", which I thought was a pretty humurous anime.

      Great link! 65.99 for a Gin costume... then there is the issue of having light purple hair...


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