Anime Quick Information
|Average Rating: 6.00|
Sarah scored this with 5/10. Disagree?
Captain Yamamoto forbids the Soul Reapers to go to the rescue of Orihime Inoue for in his view, she must have gone to Aizen’s side of her own free will, making her - ergo - a traitor. Does that deter Ichigo? With help from Kisuke Urahara, he sets off for Hueco Mundo anyway, accompanied by Uryuu and Chad, both now much stronger after their long period of training.
In Hueco Mundo Orihime is compelled by Aizen to demonstrate her powers by restoring Grimmjow’s left arm.
Ichigo and friends arrive at some distance from Aizen’s palace of Las Noches and set off through the white desert. It’s not long before they encounter Nel (Little Nell?) and her two brothers, as well as their enormous pet Bawabawa. Nel takes an immediate shine to Ichigo (he’s good with little girls, what with being an older brother and all.) Nel (she may be small but she has to be – with her split mask – an Arrancar) and her two
daft eccentric hollow brothers tag along with the intruders (whose presence has, of course, been noted by Aizen.) Renji and Rukia arrive – against their Captain’s orders – but they all soon find themselves in the Menos Forest, and menaced by the giant Adjuchas and the fire-breathing Gillian that they control. Rukia, separated from the others, is rescued by a mysterious masked figure who – although he looks like a hollow – is wearing Soul Reaper’s robes.
And even if Ichigo and his friends can make their way past the perils of the Menos Forest alive, there are even more bizarre adversaries awaiting them in the bowels of Las Noches.
If you’re looking at the promotional material released with this box-set, you could well be scratching your head – as I was – when reading that: ‘In the depths of Las Noches, Rukia encounters Espada Number Nine, Aaroniero Arruruerie, who removes his mask to reveal a very familiar face – could he really be former – ’
I’ll stop right there, because the episodes described above are not to be found in Bleach Series 7, but Series 8.
The Menos Forest episodes were – I understand – originally going to be included in the manga until Tite Kubo ran out of time and had to abandon them.
As the Hueco Mundo Arc continues, I find myself constantly asking: If Aizen is using the Hogyuoko to create even more weird and wonderful Arrancars, why do they turn out exactly the way they do? They all seem to spring to life fully formed (although in the case of poor Wonderweiss Margera whom we saw being created in Part 1, fully formed is rather far from an accurate description) but if it’s properly explained in the manga, in the anime it’s skimmed over so briefly that I must have missed it. Gin’s Guide to Arrancars at the end of most episodes is played for laughs – or to impart basic information.
Bleach seems to have got itself into a bit of a rut. The story is slowly advancing – if you allow for the Menos Forest diversion – but the pacing of the fights seems to follow the same rhythm and pattern time after time. Seven series in, this tendency to play safe may be inevitable – given the nature of the beast as a weekly shonen show – but it’s also pretty disappointing. At its best, Bleach has proved amazingly entertaining – and Tite Kubo’s characters still have a great deal of potential. But the shonen fight formula needs constant variation (and some extra cash to create new animation) to keep viewers watching and here things just begin to look old. Juggling a vast cast with several story threads running concurrently requires considerable skill – and the writers have intrigued us with brief snatches of genuinely interesting material (Uryuu’s father confronted by Ichigo’s father; Tatsuki’s ability to ‘see’ Ichigo in his Reaper form; Orihime’s dilemma) only to leave the threads dangling for so long that it’s hard to sustain any interest. I’d far rather learn more about the dads – or Tatsuki – than watch another endless sequence of Gillian breathing fire or Nel’s brothers running around in circles, screeching inanely.
Musically speaking, we have “After Dark" by Asian Kung-Fu Generation (whose songs have been used for other TV series, notably Naruto and Fullmetal Alchemist) as the new Opening and "Tane o Maku Hibi" by J-pop artist Atari Kousuke for the new Ending, which shows Ichigo in pensive mood being welcomed by his family.
Extras : Production Art, Textless Closing, and Trailers.
If you love Bleach, you’ll still want to watch this - out of loyalty, if nothing else – but there’s very little here that hasn’t been done before.
Screenshots (click to pop out)
|Score:||5 out of 10|
|Date Published:||Tue, 29 Nov 2011|
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