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DVD Review

DVD cover

Series 3 - Part 2


Starring (voice): Fumiko Orikasa, Masakazu Morita, Hiroki Yasumoto and Kentarou Itou
Manga Entertainment
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 15
Available 15 June 2009

To anyone in the street, Ichigo Kurosaki appears to be a normal fifteen-year-old. But Ichigo has a secret... he can interact with the dead. Although an unusual ability, it does not affect his normal life until he meets Rukia Kuckiki, an emissary of the Soul Society and a Soul Reaper. During one fateful confrontation Rukia transfers some of her power into Ichigo, the transference turns him into a full Soul Reaper. For this transgression Rukia has been returned to the realm of the Soul Society to face condemnation and death. Ichigo believes in a life for a life so determines, with his friends, to rescue Rukia, but are they up to the job...?

Bleach: Series 3 - Part 2, and to be honest if it had taken fifty-three episodes to rescue me, I would have coped a plea, got married retired and died before Ichigo got anywhere near me. This lack of progression appears to have infected the show, now the menu only shows the episode numbers, not even having the energy to record the episodes titles. Still, you have to give Ichigo and his friends points for blind resilience. Along the way the show has fleshed out the workings of the Soul society as well as bringing in a little of what was happening at home while Ichigo is away fighting endless battles. When we meet him in this disc he is no longer the child he used to be, having been hardened in battle and with an enchanted blade Ichigo is now a formidable opponent.

So we open this two disc set with episode fifty-four and Rukia is finally set to be put to death. Personally I would have pushed her off a cliff around episode twenty, if only to get the plot moving. Given that the show runs for ten seasons who wants to bet that Rukia get it, no? So it’s no surprise that Ichigo turns up in the nick of time and saves her. Let’s hope it doesn’t take another fifty episodes to escape the land of the Soul Society.

Disc one holds episodes fifty-four to fifty-eight, wherein Ichigo rescues the fair damsel, following the exciting dispatching of the sōkyoku, although some of the captains intervene for Rukia, Byakuya feels very different and starts a prolonged battle with Ichigo, which honestly continues past the first disc. There are some asides including Soifon recalling her past with Yoruichi. The disc contains some production art and a textless closing sequence, by way of extras. Both discs have options for a reasonable English dub, the original Japanese audio track and the same with subtitles.

Disc two covers episodes fifty-nine to sixty-three, which finally finishes this part of the story arc, with the return of Ichigo to the human world, whilst Rukia chooses to stay with the souls society. Along the way a plot is uncovered, someone has not been playing fair in the Soul Society, but if you’ve been following the show I’ll not spoil it for you. The second disc has a few extras in the form of some production art, a textless closing and a few trailers for other shows.

Joking aside, what can’t be denied is the quality of the show; the animation is always good, as is the choreography of the fight sequences. Of course the show was never meant to be watched in such large chunks, so as a weekly show, this is a quality product. With the end of the Souls Society arc it will be interesting to see where they propose to take the show.


Charles Packer

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