BLEACH SERIES 15 PART 1
The problem with long running anime is filling the time, and Bleach, by its penultimate season, was really showing signs of fatigue. But with the same blend of whimsy, supernatural mystery, engaging battles and effortlessly cool soundtrack, it soldiered on.
The first part of the Gotei 13 Invading Army arc sees soul reaper Ichigo Kurosaki dealing with his fading powers in the fallout of fighting Sōsuke Aizen. He and his friends explore a variety of odd events in the Soul Society. Many of the reapers have disappeared, in admits a conspiracy that threatens the Soul Society, the Land of the Living and the Precipice World. Kon, meanwhile, discovers a disorientated and lost Nozomi. She’s in the tsundere vein, shirking help and friendship, but gradually warming to the group, injecting a highly needed dose of stoicism to even things out.
The combat is typically spectacular, and seeing Kenpachi and Toshiro fight their doppelgangers is invigorating, and proves that Bleach, even three years since it finished, still has action sequences that are second to none. For a series that is primarily a slew of tenuous fight scenes, it really does a great job and keeping things fresh.
Even with filler, it’s well paced, spinning all the character plates and going through the motions. Sadly, Rukia isn’t given nearly enough to do and can go episodes at a time without saying anything. There’s plenty of gags and light relief, though the weight of the humour rests solely on Kol, who ends up having much more to do then a lot of the other characters clashing arms.
The episodes themselves aren’t satisfying enough to take in single viewings, instead it’s better to binge watch, making the surprising revelation at the half way point all the more satisfying. Since you’re only getting half a series, and with a real lack of extras, it’s not the best buy. But with a cliff-hanger that compelling, you’ll probably want to fork over the cash for the next volume anyway.
Special Features: Opening / Ending
INFO: BLEACH SERIES 15 PART 1 / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: NORIYUKI ABE / SCREENPLAY: MASASHI SOGO / STARRING: JOHNNY YONG BOSCH, STEPHANIE SHEH, DEREK STEPHEN PRINCE / RELEASE DATE: MAY 25TH