What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the 15-year-old protagonist of this mature anime series doesn't get along with his father; in fact, they often get into fistfights. While this is a cartoon, it's also part of Cartoon Network's Adult Swim line-up for a reason -- the ghostly subject matter and sometimes-bloody action scenes might be upsetting for younger (or particularly sensitive) viewers.
What's the story?
Everything changes for 15-year-old Ichigo Kurosaki (voiced by Johnny Yong Bosch) when he receives a visit from a Hollow, a spiteful soul that descends upon Ichigo's home and attacks him and his family. When it becomes clear that the valiant Ichigo can't fend off the attacker, the Shinigami (Death God) Rukia Kuchiki (Michelle Ruiff) comes to his aid. But when Rukia is attacked by the Hollow as well, she's forced to give her powers to Ichigo. Armed with these new abilities, Ichigo takes on the role of Soul Reaper and finds himself working to protect the innocent and help lost souls find peace, regularly interacting with ghosts and other supernatural beings.
Is it any good?
Parents with cartoon-addicted kids should probably watch a few episodes before giving the green light to non-teens. While it's more like a traditional cartoon than some of the other, darker Adult Swim offerings, BLEACH is clearly geared toward mature audiences, and some scenes and themes will likely give families pause.
For example, Ichigo, whose mother has died, has a tense relationship with his father and picks fights with him -- which result in physical assaults. While no blood is shed, it's difficult to watch a teen and his father throwing punches at each other. And Ichigo's two younger sisters, who are both intensely sarcastic and jaded, seem to be left to their own devices when their father is absent.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about ghosts and whether they really exist. Do you think anyone can actually communicate with the dead? If you could talk to someone who's passed on, who would it be? What would you ask them?