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Title: Bleach #17
UK publisher: Kaze UK (Distributed by Manga UK)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Shonen
Studio: Studio Pierrot
Type: TV Series
Director: Noriyuki Abe
Year: 2004
Running Time: 3 hrs 20 mins
Rate this anime:
Average Rating: 7

Sarah's review

Sarah scored this with 7/10. Disagree?

Episodes 160-167  

"In order to save Orihime," as the long-suffering narrator tells us at the beginning of every episode, “who was kidnapped by Sosuke Aizen, Ichigo and his friends snuck into Hueco Mundo and infiltrated..."

Orihime’s friends continue to fight their way to her rescue – and they’re not faring too well against the forces of Las Noches who have turned out to prevent them. Renji Abarai is losing against smooth-talking megane 8th Esapada, Szayel Aporro Granz, when Uryuu comes to the rescue. Can the Quincy fare any better against the pink-haired Arrancar? Meanwhile, Orihime, left alone by her jailer Ulquiorra, receives an unpleasant visit from two malicious young female Arrancars, Menoly and Loly, who are jealous that she has distracted Aizen’s attention, and have decided to have some fun with her. And where is Ulquiorra? He’s gone to teach Ichigo a particularly violent and lethal lesson. But rescue – of a kind – comes for both Orihime and Ichigo from an unexpected source. Everything that's happened so far has been building up to this moment.

Orihime has never seen Ichigo put on his Hollow mask before and the sight terrifies her. It stirs up memories of her dead brother – in Hollow form – and the fear that Ichigo may have transformed into something utterly unrecognizable and alien overwhelms her. It takes the gutsy, pint-sized Nel’s fierce admonition to cheer for Ichigo to show support to wake her up to the fact that – somewhere within the terrifying mask – is the one she loves, who has risked his life (and more) to rescue her. It’s a telling moment and one that brings a believable, human dimension to this whirling sandstorm of a duel. 

So here it is: the long-awaited duel between Grimmjow and Ichigo. Other things happen in these episodes but they pale into insignificance once the major confrontation gets underway. And, thank the holders of the animation purse strings, they didn’t stint this time; the quality is top-notch – as such an epic battle deserves to be. It’s well worth waiting for.

Much here reminds me of Dragon Ball Z in its glory days, not least Grimmjow’s insistence that Orihime revive the badly injured Ichigo so that he can do battle with him at full strength – and, of course, Grimmjow’s magnificent ultimate Super-Saiyanesque transformation. Yes, reviving your opponent when he’s down and you’re already winning is not strictly logical, but it’s all to do with the ancient code of honour between warriors – and logic doesn’t even figure in that equation. And – if, like me, you’ve wondered about Grimmjow’s past – you get to find out at last.

Voice acting in both Japanese original and English dub fits the bill with convincing performances from Stephanie Sheh and Yuki Matsuoki as Inoue Orihime and David Vincent and Junichi Suwabe as Grimmjow Jeagerjaques.

Extras : Production Art, Textless Closing, and Trailers (as usual.)

In Summary
An epic battle for Bleach fans; these episodes remind us what Bleach does best and are not to be missed!


Screenshots (click to pop out)

Review Information

Score: 7 out of 10
Review By: Sarah
Date Published: Tue, 15 May 2012
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