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If I Was Adapting 'Bleach'

by BoblobV2 2 years ago in fan fiction

A rough treatment if I were making a bleach film.

In this video we are going to be discussing the possible outline to a Bleach film, where I will be looking at the first 51 chapters. The target runtime would be between two hours and fifteen minutes to two hours and thirty minutes.

The characters I will be using are :

  • Ichigo - A highschooler who is able to see spirits
  • Rukia - A shinigami that is tasked with hunting hollows
  • Chad - A friend of Ichigo’s that has incredible strength.
  • Orihime - A friend of Ichigo’s that has feelings towards him.
  • Tatsuki - One of Ichigo’s only childhood friends.
  • Urahara - A shopkeeper that helps Rukia while she is stuck in this realm.
  • Ishida - A Quincy with a grudge against the shinigami.
  • Karin - Ichigo’s younger sister, who can also see spirits.
  • Yuzu - Karin’s twin sister.
  • Iishin - Ichigo’s father.
  • Yuroichi - The cat that lives with Urahara.
  • Grand Fisher - The hollow that killed Ichigo’s mother.
  • And the Dead girl at the start

The script will have five acts so that the transition points are a lot easier to signpost.

Act 1 is the prologue, where the characters, the world and the conflict are set up.

Act 2 is the Rising Action, where the obstacles for the characters are set up.

Act 3 the Climax, this is where the tension is at its highest, the turning point of the story.

Act 4 is the Falling Action, where all loose ends and plot threads are wrapped up.

Act 5 finally is the Resolution which is pretty Self explanatory.

To start with, we keep close to the first issue. With minor changes to the interactions.

Act 1

-We start with Rukia searching for a hollow, following which we meet Ichigo, who beats up four guys for disrespecting the shrine of a girl that has recently passed. He tells the spirit of the girl to go to heaven quickly and leaves. Arriving home he is tackled by his father for comic relief. Karin then points out that there is a spirit following Ichigo.

-We establish who in the family can and cannot see spirits. Ichigo and Karin can, while Iishin and Yuzu cannot.

-Despite being able to see spirits Karin rejects their existence. Annoyed, Ichigo goes to his room, with the spirit following him all the way. Iishin talks to Karin and Yuzu, and they admit Ichigo has been seeing more spirits lately. Iishin is surprised that he opens up to his sisters. We also get to see the family shrine dedicated to Ichigo’s mother.

-Ichigo listens in bed, and is surprised when Rukia enters through a portal. He tries to get her attention though after she ignores him, he forces her to notice him. Afterwards, she explains what she is and what is going on. She performs an exorcism on the spirit that was following Ichigo. Ichigo does not believe her and insults her, Rukia in turn binds him.

-After a commotion Yuzu struggles to his room, seeing his sister in such a state he breaks the binding and runs. Rukia is surprised that a human could do such a thing, chasing after him she is shocked by how close the hollow was. When Ichigo reaches the living room he sees Karin held by the hollow, Rukia runs past and saves her, pushing the hollow back.

-She explains it is after his family because it can sense his high spirit energy. Ichigo feels responsible, and offers himself. Seeing how foolish he is Rukia rushes in and saves him.

-As a result, Rukia manages to hurt the hollow, however she is also too hurt to fight. She reprimands him, and says their only chance to live is giving him her shinigami powers. They agree to transfer the powers, and Ichigo defeats the hollow with ease. Despite intending on giving him half her powers, she learns he had taken most of it.

Act 2 - more introductions

-The next morning Ichigo wakes up, and is surprised no one remembers what happened, instead everyone thinks the damage to their home was caused by a truck.

-Skipping to midday, at school we meet Tatsuki, and Orihime. While getting to see Ishida on the side. While talking to Tatsuki and Orihime, Rukia enters to Ichigo’s shock, and just as it was in the manga, she threatens to harm Ichigo if he makes a scene.

-Ichigo takes the hint and they continue talking. During the conversation Orihime reveals a bruise on her arm under the sleeve of her top. Rukia notices this and asks her about it, however Chad arrives with a parakeet, and the conversation turns to Chad and the bird.

-Ichigo and Rukia meet after school, and she wants Ichigo to be a substitute shinigami, to hunt hollows in her stead. He refuses. She admits that her power levels are too low to fight a hollow at the moment.

-She explains others would be attacked, and his family would be targeted as a result of him being close to them. He refuses, tells her he would fight to protect his family, and that he is not so kind hearted to help others. Before Rukia would have time to rebuttal, Ichigo leaves.

-Ichigo goes home to a traffic accident related emergency in his father's clinic. Karin and Yuzu are helping patients while Ishin is fighting with hospital staff. Ichigo offers to help, however is told to stay out of the way.

-He stays at a distance, until he is called over. Chad is brought in, and Ichigo helps carry him in. There is a large wound on his back, and the parakeet is still there.

- Karin notices the parakeet, and immediately senses something is off about it. Meanwhile, Chad attempts to leave, however, having already seen the wound on his back Ichigo forces him to stay the night so that he would be able to recover. Once Chad is sleeping on one of the clinics beds, Ichigo heads to his room, and is shocked to find Rukia there. She tells him Chad’s injuries are the result of a hollow, and that a human soul is within the parakeet.

-During the night, Karin has nightmares about the memories held within the parakeet. The next day, Ichigo goes to check on Chad, and finds that he had disappeared in the middle of the night, beyond that Karin is ill, which strikes Ichigo as odd.

-Both Rukia, and Ichigo go in search of Chad, however after having searched nearby they have no luck. At the end of the ropes Ichigo uses the Spirit thread to find them, an ability Rukia is surprised that he even knows about, let alone use. Karin, meanwhile follows after them as best she could despite Yuzu’s efforts, though she is unable to keep up in her state.

-Following the spirit thread they catch up to Chad, noticing them, Chad runs away. During this pause, Karin was able to catch up, and tells Ichigo a young boy’s soul is trapped inside of the Parakeet, she starts to break down and cry as she begs him to save the boy.

-Rukia tells Ichigo to take Karin back, she wants him to be in peak focus so that he is not distracted when fighting. He runs home with Karin in his arms while Rukia runs after Chad.

-While running after them Rukia is attacked by the hollow that is hunting Chad. Once far away the parakeet tells Chad that the hollow is now fighting Rukia. Wanting to help, he places the parakeet high above and comes back to help her.

-Rukia and Chad fight hard together trying to come up with any way they could take down the hollow, however they are beaten back. Meanwhile, his minions found the parakeet.

-The hollow makes it clear that if Chad interferes he would kill the parakeet, that he wants to hunt Rukia. She relays the message to Chad. He is reluctant, however decides to trust her when she mentions that she has a plan.

-She runs, trying to buy what time she could, however the longer the chase lasts, the more the hollow toys with her and injures her. Eventually she stops and faces the hollow. Ichigo arrives, and Rukia forces his soul from his body, following which Ichigo and the hollow fight.

-As the battle draws to a close Chad arrives with the parakeet, explaining that the parakeet told him the minions disappeared. He then wonders why Ichigo is passed out on the side. Rukia explains that he is fighting the hollow right now.

-Ichigo defeats the hollow, and it admits he was a serial killer that died when he was pushed off the balcony during a murder by the boy in the parakeet. The gates of hell appear and pulls the hollow in.

-Ichigo and Rukia talk to Chad and the Parakeet, they say their goodbyes, and Ichigo performs an exorcism. Chad promises to meet the boy again in soul society.

-Rukia gets a message about another hollow. They offer to get Chad to the clinic, however, he tells them he would be fine, and that he would take Ichigo’s body back with him. They thank him and runs toward their next target. They have arrived at Orihime’s, and there is a large hole on the side of her apartment. Jumping in he sees the hollow, and saves Orihime.

-Ichigo is surprised Orihime can see him, then sees a chain coming from her chest attached to her body; Orihime is a spirit, with Tatsuki on the floor unconscious. Rukia explains that as long as the chain is attached to the body, she would be fine.

-While fighting the hollow Ichigo cracks the mask, to find a face underneath it. It lets out a scream and disappears. Ichigo is shaken up as he explains that it was the face of Orihime’s brother, Sora. Rukia explains that hollows were once spirits. Sora returns with a fixed mask, and having seen the gates of hell, coupled with Sora being a hollow, makes Ichigo hesitate.

-Ichigo is getting beaten badly, as a result of his unwillingness to fighting with the intent of killing. Orihime, unable to take much more of the fighting, steps in. Sora seeing Orihime’s willingness to save Ichigo fights through the mask and returns to normal for a moment.

-Rukia, in this moment of peace manages to explain that the zanpaktou is meant to cleanse the sins of the hollow and send the pure spirit to heaven. In the case of the serial killer, he had sinned in life and was sent to hell.

-In this moment of control Sora takes Ichigo’s blade and cleanses himself. Once Orihime’s spirit is returned to her body and their memories had been replaced by Rukia, she takes him to Urahara and Yuroichi.

We keep things similar in broad strokes to the overall narrative, however this is where we start to diverge on the sequence of events, rearranging the flow so that it better accommodates a feature film. The goal is to keep this act to about 45 minutes to 50 minutes.

Act 3 - The past

-Ichigo meets Urahara, and Yoruichi while healing. Urahara mentions how she usually ends up taking care of him and Ichigo thinks he is just eccentric. While heading home, Ichigo asks Rukia for a day off the next day as it is the anniversary of his mother's death.

-At school Ichigo is not his usual curt self, and Orihime is worried. Tatsuki notices this, and realizes what day it is, both Orihime and Rukia are here together.

-Here, Tatsuki starts telling the story of Ichigo’s mother’s death to Orihime and Rukia while alone. We also hearing Ichigo’s side of the story. We can see how the details of the two versions differ as a result of Ichigo’s guilt. The only voices that we hear would be Tatsuki’s and Ichigo’s as they tell the story. As far as the visuals go, they would be as follows.

-After school, Ichigo heads home, and together with his family heads out to the cemetery. Here Rukia comes into contact with the family, and the two spend some time at the cemetery. Meanwhile, we see Karin and Yuzu pray. Followed by Ishin praying and smoking.

-Once Ichigo is done telling the story, Rukia does not say otherwise, instead she tries to comfort him. They go to his mother’s grave together, and they pray for his mother.

-On the way back he lets his family know that he will be taking a detour with Rukia, offering to walk her home. We’ll have a quick comedic back and forth between Ishinn and Ichigo to break the tension, alluding to a possible romance between Ichigo and Rukia.

-Rukia asks what the real reason is when they are far enough away. He explains that there is something that he had been meaning to do, and so goes to the girl from the start. They greet each other, and with Rukia’s help performs an exorcism, sending the girl to soul society.

I want to add the girl here to show how compassionate Ichigo is. By helping her pass on so that she would not turn into a hollow, or get devoured by one shows he does care about others, despite what he says to Rukia. In addition by leaving out the Grand Fisher, it allows the audience to take a break from the constant fighting and really focus on building character, Ichigo in particular. This section would be aimed towards 15 to 20 minutes.

Act 4 - The big one

-Ichigo and Rukia are hunting a hollow, and finds it had already been killed. Here, Ishida approaches them, and challenges Ichigo to see who could kill the most hollows. Ishida wants revenge for his grandfather's murder at the hands of Shinigami.

-He does not give Ichigo anytime to refuse or even say anything. Even Rukia is taken aback by how fast things are proceeding. Ishida crushes the hollow bait, with the sole purpose of wanting to humiliate the shinigami as a Quincy.

-Hollows start to flood the city, one attacks Orihime and Tatsuki at school, while Chad protects Karin at the park from another. Ichigo and Rukia are working together fighting as many hollows as they can before any of them can do any lasting damage, and it is here that they come across the Grand Fisher.

-As they fight, the Grand Fisher changes faces to distract Ichigo until he uses a face from when his mother was killed. Ichigo confronts him about it, and the fisher plays coy claiming not to remember.

-Ichigo goes to attack, and the fisher uses his mother's face, paralyzing him from shock, and hurting him. Rukia rushes to help, however Ichigo asks her to not interfere, to instead help everyone else while he takes care of the fisher. She is hesitant, but leaves this to Ichigo.

-Orihime protects Tatsuki and defeats the hollow with her new powers. Chad awakens his own powers and defeats his hollow. Rukia finds him and leads Karin home. Meanwhile, Ishida is wondering how this many hollows are here from such a small bait.

-The Grand Fisher is hurting Ichigo bad, playing with him, savouring the moment, generally being overconfident in his own victory. During this clash, Urahara finds Orihime and Chad one by one and asks them to follow him so that he could show them something. They are hesitant at first, however once he mentions that it is for Ichigo they decide to follow.

-Ichigo is stabbed by the Grand Fisher as Ishida, and Rukia arrive. Ichigo notices them, and tells them to stay back, however Ishida ignores him and tries to shoot the Fisher only for the Fisher to hold Ichigo in the way. Meanwhile, Urahara, Chad and Orihime are watching.

-Ichigo holds onto the Fisher and pours all of his energy into one blast, cutting Grand Fisher and inflicting a mortal wound on him. It retreats vowing to get revenge, however the large output of energy causes Ichigo’s soul to be unbalanced, and starts ripping itself apart.

-Ishida finds that his Quincy powers are the only way to help Ichigo so he goes over to Ichigo and shoots the excess spiritual energy radiating from Ichigo out. Orihime and Chad are surprised by what they see, as Ishida’s efforts prove crucial in saving Ichigo.

The core group would be set after this act, it would make sense that they would be helping Ichigo in the future. This particular act would be aimed towards 40 to 45 minutes in length.

Act 5 - Closing

-Ichigo and Rukia are healing at Urahara’s. As they leave, Urahara warns Rukia about staying any longer in the living world. They go home together, and in this moment Ichigo tells her that he will be a shinigami.

The events of the film starts with the meeting of Ichigo and Rukia, and the film ends with the two of them as well. This would last about 10 to 15 minutes.

If you are to look at the actual events of the film as laid out, they would be :

  • Ichigo meets Rukia.
  • They fight Hollows that are attacking Ichigo’s friends.
  • Ichigo and Rukia are at the cemetery talking about his past.
  • They are challenged by Ishida and everyone fights a hollow, while Ichigo finds out the truth about his mother’s death.
  • Ichigo tells Rukia that he will be a shinigami.

Looking at the script from this perspective, there is no logical through-line in narrative events, however if we look at the script from the perspective of Ichigo developing as a character.:

  • Ichigo and his family is attacked by a hollow, forcing him to become a shinigami.
  • He refuses Rukia’s request to be a shinigami till she recovers, however is forced to help two of his friends as a shinigami, putting his refusal and his reasoning into question.
  • For the first time he opens up about how he feels, and the reason why he is the way he is.
  • He is brought face to face with the being that took away the person he loved most, opening him up as a character all the more, by the sheer hatred he feels towards the Grand Fisher.
  • After the fact that he was forced to fight for his friends, and fought the hollow that killed his mother, he is beyond the point of no return and accepts his title as a shinigami.

While there is a five act structure to this script, it acts as a first act to a larger story. What I would focus on when it comes to the narrative is not the larger mythology of the world, but Ichigo as a character, while using the mythology to help propel him forward as a character.

What I wanted was to make sure that Ichigo is the core of the film. His character journey represents the five act structure, where often the third act is an exciting action packed part of a film, here it is people talking for a good 15 to 20 minutes. In fact, if you look at it from Ichigo’s perspective, this is a massive moment from an emotional point of view. There are a number of characters missing. This is because time is precious and I want to devote it to characters that are vital to the progression of the story. Which is why I decided to introduce Yuroichi here. In this film I only wanted to hint at the future, which is why Renji and Byakuya do not appear at all, leaving only a backdoor open with the Grand Fisher.

Within the original drafts of this outline, there was to be a post credit scene of the Grand Fisher being transformed into an Arrancar, however in order to maintain the standalone nature of the film I decided to cut this.

There is an argument to be made that the events of Ichigo’s mother's death are vital to be shown. My choice in telling rather than showing is because, rather than showing the past I am showing the present, the effect it has had on the family, their anniversary ritual, showing characters react to the story, Ichigo’s feelings juxtaposed with the side of the story Tatsuki is saying, and so his perspective and the emotions are clear. So, when the Grand Fisher uses the likeness of his mother, an impact would still be made. This could end up working or not, however, this is how I would choose to handle this aspect of the story.

Ichigo is a very reactionary character until act 3 where we see the seeds of transition, telling Rukia how he feels about his mother's death. Coupling that with the discovery of the Grand Fisher in the fourth act we get to see his desire for revenge. This gives him agency.

The pace is going to be quite fast for a majority of the film, which is why I want to include act 3 in the manner that I have. It allows the viewer to catch their breath, and prevent the film getting stale from the constant fighting. Changing gears is important when dealing with a film of this length. One of the films that inspired this structure is Avengers: Age of Ultron where we had the farm segment to catch our breath and spend time with the characters.

Ultimately, the time range for these events to take place after the points had been refined is at a range of 120 minutes (2 hours) or 145 minutes (2 hours and 25 minutes), which is within the 2 hour and 30 minutes limit that I had set for myself at the start of this piece.

fan fiction


Writing about anime, and anything else I find interesting.

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