Well, since this entry has become a whining suckfest of my disappointments, I might as well combine it with my review of Bleach's 4th season.
When I last posted about this, I was slowly working my way through the epic struggle of shinigami (soul reapers) vs non-sparkly bounts (vampires). I eventually finished the entire season though it wasn't exactly what I wanted to do. It was like one of those situations where you accidentally flatten one of your testicles with a mallet and after the agony has passed, start trying to convince yourself that you should smash the other one just for completeness and symmetry's sake. I knew going in that this entire arc was filler, which meant there was going to be a decline in quality but what I wasn't prepared for is just how long it is. I finished close to 20 episodes only to discover that the filler arc ISN'T OVER. It continues on into the next season by at least another 10 episodes to my horror. I'm used to shows where the filler arc is a few episodes interspersed between the main story arcs. The idea of having a 30-episode filler is mind numbing.
To put a finer point upon it, it's not because the new characters suck (they do), and it's not because the plotting is ridiculous (it is), and it's not even because most of the battles, in a fighting anime no less, are boring (they are)...it's the fact that you can feel yourself being jerked around as the writers try for everything they're worth to stall for time. Events that could have taken a single episode worth of time are incomprehensibly dragged out for 4. All the characters catch a near-terminal case of the stupid as they run around in circles, making for incredibly limited plot advancement. This entire arc could have been summed up in less than half of the episodes it's taken so far and the stalling is so evident it's galling. The same character has been captured by the enemy three times now, only to be let go or allowed to be rescued each time. You almost wish people would just start dying if that's what it takes to clear some of the plot stupidity.
I also want to mention something else that really started to annoy me a bit. Meet Matsumoto Rangiku, one of the characters from Bleach. She gets a good amount of screen time in this filler arc as she's sent to back up the main characters along with some fellow shinigami.
I want to say first off that I have nothing against boobs. I don't even have anything against ridiculous gag boobs that tend to show up in anime, and these are certainly gag boobs since I think Matsumoto could feed an entire neonatal unit for a week. What irks me is she's got gag boobs and is wearing _THAT_. She should be bouncing out of it in every other scene not to mention constantly running the risk of knocking herself out every time she moves at a speed faster than a walk.
I know it must seem odd to fixate on the un-reality of gag boobs given all the other problems this filler arc had but it started to grate on me over time. It was a small concrete piece of irritation that I could focus on whereas if I decided to critique the plot my head would probably explode. The worst part about this whole thing is that the filler arc continues on into the next season which means I'm going to spend months waiting for season 5 to come out while knowing at least the first half will be filled with suck. That's only if I'm lucky too. I haven't checked for sure and for all I know the battle with the Bounts takes up the entire 5th season too.