Bleach Movie 3: Fade to Black - Kimi no Na o Yobu

sort

Reviews

cassiesheepgirl's avatar By on Oct 12, 2009

Story

Ahh, Bleach. I don’t know how it does it, but despite filling my heart with absolute rage at its terrible fillers, I inevitably find myself anticipating each new movie in the same way that Kon desperately awaits his next glimpse of Orihime’s ridiculously massive rack.

So, what calamity has befallen Soul Society this time?

In Bleach: Fade to Black – Kimi no Na o Yobu two mysterious intruders break in to the twelfth squad’s laboratory and escape with Kurotsuchi’s latest invention, but not before partially wiping some of his memories and obliterating a third of Seireitei. Meanwhile, the two nameless antagonists kidnap Rukia and erase her memories – thus obliterating everyone’s knowledge of her. While Ichigo initially suffers from this enforced amnesia, he soon remembers her and embarks on a quest to travel to Soul Society, find out what is happening, rescue Rukia, and restore the status quo.

Sadly, Fade to Black suffers from one of the same pitfalls as the series. It starts out with an interesting premise that then fizzles away. In this case, I found the whole concept of erasing all recollections of one particular person, thus wiping out her existence, intriguing, not because of the actual memory loss but because of its repercussions. The idea that, if Rukia hadn’t existed, none of the shinigami would have met Ichigo is captivating, though I must admit that the saccharine explanation about memories being linked through strong bonds had me reaching for the sick bag on occasion.

While all starts out well, Fade to Black soon takes this appealing foundation and mixes it with the antagonists’ lacklustre motive, before eventually descending into a series of uninspired shounen battles. By the time I got to the appearance of a bizarre tentacled blob creature (which reminds me of a cross between Dr Zoidberg from Futurama and a Pac-Man ghost), I was rapidly losing interest.

Also, in true Bleach fashion, Fade to Black likes to dig its own little plot holes. For instance, if Ichigo never meets Rukia, he’d never encounter Kon. So could someone please explain to me how, when he suffers from ‘Rukia-amnesia’ Ichigo isn’t completely freaked out by the funny little lion? I’m pretty certain that if one of my stuffed animals started talking to me I’d be running to check myself into the nearest psychiatric ward!


Animation

After witnessing some rather dismal animation in the series, Fade to Black’s impressive visuals come as a refreshing change. The majority of the film’s colour palette remains fairly muted. Grey cloud-covered skies help establish the ominous tone of the film, while the striking nighttime settings illuminated by moonlight heighten the dramatic nature of many scenes.

The film boasts smooth movement throughout, and the fight sequences display superior animation as each character leaps, dodges and dives across the screen. Equally impressive is Renji’s zanpakutou, which moves in a remarkable whip-like manner while still managing to retain its obvious weight. The end result injects such realism, that it feels like it could be an actual weapon rather than a fantastical fabrication. Overall, Fade to Black provides a pleasing ocular experience.


Sound

I find it difficult to judge the sound in Fade To Black, since I’ve heard it all before in every other incarnation of the Bleach franchise. The film works on the philosophy of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. Thus, I perceived the exact same score that appears during the series each and every week, and while Shiro Sagisu’s soundtrack works well with the tone of Bleach’s storytelling, it would be nice to occasionally hear something a bit different.


Characters

By now, fans of Bleach are already familiar with the regular cast and their backgrounds; therefore one would hope that any new characters would be the most interesting, right? Wrong. Fade to Black’s two new ‘movie-only’ antagonists failed to hold my attention, and instead feel flat and rather annoying. Call me a hard-hearted wench, but while obvious that I was supposed to sympathise with them and their upsetting past, these two nameless enemies – hereafter referred to as ‘cry baby 1’ and ‘cry baby 2’ – simply felt like whiny, spoiled brats. Instead of actually caring about their plight, and reasons behind their actions, I tried to use my (non-existent) psychic powers to get them off of my screen and return to someone more compelling.

The best part of Fade to Black’s characterisation emerged from the chaos of Soul Society’s situation. The effects of removing certain memories from the cast range from a decline in confidence, to self-doubt, and even loss of hope. As such, with some characters behaving in an unexpected manner, I was taken out of my comfort zone. For me, watching Kurotsuchi’s complete breakdown towards the beginning was the highlight of the film. Seeing one of the most composed, sinister, and predatory of Bleach’s protagonists mutating into a terrified victim, wildly swinging his zanpakutou around, was truly enthralling.


Overall

Fade to Black’s strength lies in demonstrating the side effects of the imposed memory loss inflicted by crybabies 1 and 2. Regrettably, this doesn’t last long, and instead of developing it a little more, the movie retreats to a safer and more comfortable arena. While not a particularly bad film, Fade to Black doesn’t specially impress either. As shounen goes, it’s relatively good, and certainly better than some of the fillers that make it into the main series.

5/10 story
8/10 animation
6.5/10 sound
6.5/10 characters
6.2/10 overall
Galadriel's avatar By on Oct 23, 2009

Bleach Fade to Black - Kimi no Na o Yobu (I'm Calling You)


Plot: "One night, two mysterious figures infiltrate the Twelfth Squad’s laboratory for nefarious purposes, wiping out a third of Seireitei in the process. Amidst the commotion, the intruders approach Rukia and indirectly cause everyone she knows to forget about her – that is, except for Ichigo, who manages to escape this mind alteration. Sensing that something is wrong, Ichigo travels to Soul Society for answers; but with obliterated memories, everyone treats him as an enemy. Now, with all thirteen protection squads chasing him, can Ichigo find a way to retrieve the lost memories of his friends and rescue Rukia - not to mention find out why was she targeted in the first place?" (not my work, this is the site synopsis)

Bleach is and it will be probably for a long time one of my top favorite animes.Since i started watching and until now i was always pleased with how things evolved in it which made me a fan of this anime.

I was waiting for a long time for this movie (6 months more exactly) and when it got released on DVD i couldnt resist to do not watch it even though it was RAW.

Story: As expected this Bleach movie is probably the best among all the Bleach movies that were made until now.In terms of story this didnt left me with an "empty" feeling at all infact i predicted that it will be the same like the other movies more exactly one of the main protagonist(s) will eventualy die (doesnt mather if it as a positive or negative character) but like the other Bleach Movies the bound between characters is astonishing.As the story develops we find out more of Rukia's past and two new characters are revealed (Homura and Shizuka i think were their name) which happened to be the negative characters of this movie. Everything starts when two mysterious figures make an appearence in Soul Society provoking a big turmoil. Using that oportunity those two turned against Rukia Kuchiki and the kidnap her and not only that, they completely erase her memories about ever being a Shinigami and automaticaly her memories about Ichigo are lost. However the red string that connected her memories to Ichigo has been ripped off and as a consequence the other Shinigami completely forgot about Ichigo. Ichigo on the other hand experienced the symptoms when he is asked by several classmates about Rukia and for a moment he seemed to do not remember her. When he turned to Urahara for answers he receives the same answer, that he never knew that a Shinigami named Rukia Kuchiki ever existed nor he ever came in contact with her. One thing became clear to him, something happened in Soul Society and he went on a journey to find out what happened and why people seem to forget about Rukia. He encounters in Soul Society but he also encounters the two mysterious figures. Those people attacked him and washed Rukia's mind telling her that he is a bad person. Later on, the other Shinigami due to their lost memories of Ichigo start to attack Ichigo. What will happen further on and how will this story end?

Animation and Sound: Nothing to complain the animation was excelent probably the best animation and character design i ever seen.Among the animation from Bleach episodes and the other movies the animation from Fade to Black is probably the best. The sound for me became realy familiar.Always glad to hear "Getsuga Tenshou!" or "Bankai!" and other techniques.

Characters: The characters (especially the new ones) were developed pretty well.Infact here i got also nothing to complain but other than the new characters and abit of Rukia's past revealing there isnt something new.

Overall: As an overall this movie is highly recommended but only for those who been through the Bleach episodes mainly because if you havent you won't be able to understand some things from it.And im damn sure that if you are a fan of Bleach it is impossible to hate this movie.

~Enjoy and Cya around~

9/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
9/10 characters
9.5/10 overall
roriconfan's avatar By on Apr 15, 2012

Don’t make me repeat myself. It will help to read my reviews of the previous movies prior to reading this one.

And after a long waiting, here comes the third Bleach movie. I must say, the guys who make these slowly improve the overall. It felt like they combined the best elements of the previous movies. The good part of the first movie was the twist about memories and the good in the second was the focus on a character from the series instead of a filler one. So, expect another theme about the importance of memories and lots of centering on the characters. The second movie was about a tragic event in Hitsugaya’s past, this one is about Rukia’s. And yes, it does feel good as a premise as far as filler missions go. The plot was otherwise simple and predictable as it usually is but at least the main idea of lost memories was enough to care about whatever dramatic attempts this movie had.

Production values being so damn high means that even the cheesiest battles look fine and even offered some good choreography at the final dual for a change. Adding cinematics like turning the image slowly to grey or having a sad eerie sound during the flashbacks gave a boost to all those moments the action just seemed pointless. Also, it felt like the animation was a type of “Find Waldo” as many flashback scenes are actually taken from the series, including filler arcs. So, it was a sort of summary of what happened so far and tribute to the evolution of the relationship between Rukia and Ichigo… before it was scrapped for that lame Inoue rescue mission. In any case, you better not watch this movie before the series as it reveals a lot of important events. It still feels weird at times as Rukia and that filler girl had huuuge eyes and the way lips are drawn is a hit or miss to not appear as lame. Still, very good overall. And let’s add to this the atmospheric music themes and the very catchy ending song too. Those finer touches actually helped me stay awake through the otherwise cheesy plot.

There are still the usual clichés you find in any fighting shounen movie. It is still to the most part a parade of special attacks and the “Let’s save Soul Society for the millionth time” theme is present for once more. And as I said, beyond the initial interesting premise of the story, the plot is cheesy as hell. Soul Society is in danger; Ichigo to the rescue, everyone fights the minions and lets the lead take on the boss. Plus, it gets lamer with one more addition. Remember how in American superhero crossovers, the heroes always fight each other when they meet? Just for the heck of it? Well, it is the same with this movie. Ichigo gets to fight EVERYONE he meets as they are supposed to have forgotten him. And yes it makes sense to do that but it gets staggering if 50% of the movie is spars between good guys that never result to anything other than advertising their transforming swords. The rest of the story is about… err… a super hollow created by Mayuti, that erases the memories of someone in EVERYONE’S minds… which escapes in the bodies of two children who can teleport… who were trapped in Hueco Mundo for a century… who return to find their good old friend Rukia and punish the tyrannical Shinigamis… and pretty much invade like the defenses in Soul Society are made of rice paper and turn everything to nice wax statues. Damn, movie villains seem to have 10 times the destructive power of the series villains.

Ok, if you try to make sense out of it, you won’t find any. This is Bleach we are talking about; remember? Plot holes bigger than Menos Grande are present as we never really told what the hell was the main enemy. A hollow that could transform from a tiny snake, to a scythe that erases memories, to a gargaduan tentacle freak that turns people to statues? For real now, that thing was supposed to be a simple Hollow? It owned most Espada. And what the hell was that glowing bottle thingy? And how could Urahara go to Soul Society if a barrier was supposed to prevent him from doing so?

All I can say is that unlike the previous movies where Ichigo just storms in and beats the villain in a flash, here he is not able to do that right away as the villain here can teleport and has Rukia and two children as hostages. This made things more interesting to watch. Still, the conclusion was predictable and cheesy so don’t keep your hopes up. He finds a way to win even without using his bankai.

In all, the story in the first movie is similar yet far better. The drama of the two children fades away pretty fast without any sense on part of the plot. Half of it is pointless duals and the other half is Swiss cheese. Also, the movie assumes Ichigo’s schoolmates or the Arrancar threat don’t exist so that makes it to stand alone and being unable to fit in some filler moment. Ok, theoretically it can be placed after the filler arc concerning the past of several captains as we get to see Mayuri without his mask. Then again, fillers in this series defy time and space so you can place it anywhere you like.

Still, the cast is more entertaining than the other two movies. The focus is Rukia but for a change, we get to see Mayuri going insane in his lab, Kenpachi going amok in battle, Renji showing care about the person who he doesn’t remember and many more. Thus, at least as far as characters go, they feel less dry than in the previous movies. Heck, they even brought Urahara in the action and had Soi Fong in a half-naked, half-yuri scene. Oh, and Kon was also there to be the comical relief that goes all emo on the loss of Rukia. Very pleasing moments. Not great but still better than before.

As for the new characters, those two kids? They had no idea what they were doing. Trying to find their names by making Rukia forget them? WTF? All whining and no meaning. Senna kicks their butts in personality and she was a much weaker fighter without even remembering anything. There is no way you can sympathize them. You can hate them for causing all this trouble out of whining and for torturing poor Rukia like that. Oh, and Rukia? She reverts to the passive damsel in distress who is need of Ichigo to come and save her again. Come on, this got old. Ichigo is always about saving girls than protecting the world from cosmic horrors. The entire Soul Society had turned to a hideous wax statue and all he cared about was saving a chick. Ok…

Value and enjoyment ain’t much for the various reasons I mention. This third attempt made some steps forward (more focus on multiple characters) and some backwards (lame whining new characters, plotholes big enough for the Enterprise to fly through). It is still an average time killer if that is all you want.

And now for some excused scorings.

ART SECTION: 10/10
General Artwork 2/2 (looks interesting for a shounen)
Character Figures 2/2 (cool or sexy looking)
Backgrounds 2/2 (fitting with the feeling of the series)
Animation 2/2 (good)
Visual Effects 2/2 (lots of explosions)

SOUND SECTION: 7/10
Voice Acting 2/3 (corny but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Music Themes 3/4 (not great but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Sound Effects 2/3 (ok I guess)

STORY SECTION: 4/10
Premise 1/2 (typical)
Pacing 1/2 (rushed)
Complexity 1/2 (not much)
Plausibility 0/2 (none)
Conclusion 1/2 (cheesy)

CHARACTER SECTION: 6/10
Presence 2/2 (cool or sexy)
Personality 2/2 (cheesy but well founded)
Backdrop 1/2 (generic and simplistic but it’s there)
Development 0/2 (none for most or makes no sense for the rest)
Catharsis 1/2 (some poor one for the filler characters)

VALUE SECTION: 1/10
Historical Value 0/3 (none; it’s just a filler mission)
Rewatchability 1/3 (low because of too little plot)
Memorability 0/4 (nothing interesting in it to remember it)

ENJOYMENT SECTION: 1/10
The movie offers nothing new to the series and even has poor drama that heads nowhere.

VERDICT: 5/10

4/10 story
10/10 animation
7/10 sound
6/10 characters
5/10 overall
TheScarecrow's avatar By on Nov 26, 2011

The storyline was really great it tells you the story about Byakuya and his wife and his sister Rukia.But thats not the reason a love it. Its because it shows how much ichigo cares about rukia is the reason i love it. Because it shows how much you can care about someone and icigo shows that every time beweet his best friend Orihime and rukia the person who saved him and his family, by giving his her soul reaper powers and you see that in this movie.

10/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
ipodshuffle266's avatar By on Mar 26, 2011

This movie was the same as the rest of Bleach and its movies -- had a good plot, but didn't really have reasons to back up why all this crazy stuff was happening. *spoilers* Like, these two siblings really admired Rukia from the past when she tried to save their lives, so they went to Soul Society and erased her existence from that place so they could steal her away from the evil Soul Reapers and then they could all join together so they could form one being? *spoilers end*

It just seems to me like they're creating this plotline out of nothing, which they probably are.

However, as can be expected of Bleach, the fight scenes are wonderful. Many characters get their chance to shine in this movie in fight scenes. If there's one thing to watch Bleach for, it's the fights.

Overall: this movie is very similar to the anime - random, out-of-the-blue plotline, which is not always a bad thing, but fantastic fight scenes.

?/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
?/10 characters
6.5/10 overall