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DVD Review

DVD cover

Series 4 - Part 2


Starring (voice): Fumiko Orikasa, Masakazu Morita, Hiroki Yasumoto and Kentarou Itou
Manga Entertainment
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 15
Available 01 March 2010

Ichigo Kurosaki, having gained the powers of a soul reaper from a Shinigami named Rukia Kuchiki and taken on the Soul Society itself for her safe return, has returned to earth and his home town only to find that things are not as he left them. Another danger looms in the form of the Bount, immortal humans who feed off human souls. Having run into them in the first half of season four, the fight against the Bount is about to start in earnest...

Bleach: Series 4 - Part 2 (2006) continues to expand on the Bount story. The current set holds episodes 72 to 79 and concludes season four. Audio is the same for both discs with options for either an English or Japanese 2.0 with subtitles. The 4:3 picture is bright with no obvious flaws, other than the usual softness of a conversion.

When our story opens we find Ichigo at the hospital tending to the injured Uryu Ishida, the last Quincy, a race of beings that sought to utterly destroy the Hollows - the usual ghost villains of the show - only in turn to be eradicated by the Soul Society for the imbalance that this would create. Following a thwarted attempt on their lives by a couple of Bounts, Ichigo discovers that Uryu is missing.

The race is on for Uryu. Kariya, the leader of the Bounts, wants him for the power that the last Quincy can bestow upon him. Ichigo just wants to save his friend, but Uryu finds an unusual ally in the form of Yoshino, a female Bount who is tired of her longevity and distrusting of Kariya plans. She tells him all about the Bounts and the threat that they pose not only to this world but also to the Soul Society, especially as Maki Ichinose, a former Shinigami, has left the Souls Society and joined with the Bounts.

Although not perfect, the villains are derivative; a combination of Highlander and vampires, the previous Soul Society story arc was so extreme in length that eventually it was as much fun as pulling teeth. This season and the next are not based on the original manga so it is interesting to see what the animation studio does with the story, though there will, hopefully, be little in the way of major changes, in case they clash with the manga, this new freedom has allowed the show to move away from Ihigo-centric storylines, after three seasons of the same stuff this feels like a breath of fresh air.

Both discs have good clean prints and audio options for either English or Japanese 2.0 stereo with optional English subtitles. The extras on disc one are limited to some production art and a textless closing sequence. Extras on disc two are the same plus some trailers.


Charles Packer

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