This is a topic that has been debated worldwide since the two gained popularity in the early 2000s. Naruto which debuted back in 1999 is about the most annoying ninja you would ever meet. Loud, obnoxious and not academically gifted, the character Naruto did not have a good first impression.
If one had watched the English Dub version of the series at first, they would have most likely been even more turned off. Naruto’s voice was even more annoying than that of Son Goku.
In fact, many admitted to not being interested in the series at all, that is until Mizuki came into the story. It is only when Naruto defeated Mizuki did the fans come in rolling and it is from there did the legacy of one of the greatest ninjas to ever exist begin.
Whereas, Bleach which debuted in 2001 follows the adventure of a 15 year old teen by the name of Ichigo Kurosaki who had the ability to see and interact with ghosts.
Unlike Naruto however, Ichigo was calm, collect and all round cool. From the first chapter, Bleach generated a lot of fans and it kept growing periodically.
With that said, the question still stands; which one is better? While there is many ways to go about answering this question, I shall express my views in three points.
Animation goes a long way in any series. It must be smooth and vivid to not only catch the audience attention, but to fit the present scene.
Only in a few anime like Kill la Kill and Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo is bad animation welcomed simply because it fits with theme of the show. However in a series like Bleach and Naruto, smooth animation goes a long way, especially in fight scenes.
A choppy fight scene would make the fight look boring and uninteresting like we saw in Dragon Ball Evolution. On the contrary, a great animation would make even the lamest of fights interesting as we saw in season one of Pokémon when we saw the legendary battle of Metapod vs. Metapod.
No series can survive without a good plot. No matter how good the animation may be, no matter how good the characters are, no matter how amazing the theme songs are, if the plot flops the whole show flops. This is why many writers go on Hiatus so often. Although this infuriates man fans (myself included) it is a lot better to wait years (Hunter x Hunter and D. Gray Man fans would understand this) for an update that we would love and appreciate than to be given regular releases that keeps disappointing. A prime example of this is Dragon Ball Evolution and The Last Air bender. These two movies, especially the latter of the two, have shown that no matter what you do, if the plot of a show is bad then there is no saving it.
The plot in Naruto was more linear than in Bleach. This means that the plot was headed in one direction, which is, Naruto striving to become Hokage. The entire series can be summed up as the biography of Naruto’s journey onto becoming Hokage.
Bleach on the other hand, can be categorized as nonlinear. The plot takes place in the present but also the past and future. Although Naruto does this also, it’s not on a grand scale like in Bleach. Even though the show is centered on Ichigo, he doesn’t take an active role like Naruto did. He is always one step behind and has to clean up behind others.
How well a character develops speaks wonders about an author’s skills. Within the Naruto series, Masashi Kishimoto has demonstrated his skills with his characters. Although the series is centred on Naruto, it is arguable to say that Naruto did not have the best character development.
Not to say that Naruto himself was not developed nicely, just that compared to other characters like Sasuke Uchia and Gaara, Naruto fails in comparison. In fact, the same can be said for the author of Bleach Tite Kubo.
Just like Kishimoto, Kubo has developed the main character Ichigo nicely, however it is not the character he has developed the best. The only difference between the two authors in this regard is the time frame in which they develop their characters. Kishimoto develops his characters over a length of time, whereas Kubo develops his own in a shorter space with the aid of time skips or time manipulation.
With the three points above, we can see that this long lasting feud can go either way. Both have key elements to them that made them a part of the big four (4). Both series have given us great memories, great life lessons and a great experience. Naruto and Bleach are both fantastic series within my eyes. You vote and decide who should be crowned the victor of these two amazing series.