Hell – A place where beings that have committed mortal sins during their lifetime are sent. It is a realm where even Soul Reapers are forbidden to interfere. When a group of vicious Sinners plot to escape from this eternal prison, they discover that Substitute Soul Reaper Ichigo Kurosaki is the key to their freedom. The Sinners launch an attack and in the process kidnap Ichigo's younger sister Yuzu and take her to Hell. With the help of a mysterious man named Kokuto, Ichigo and his friends must now travel into the depths of Hell to stop the Sinners and save Yuzu, unaware that their actions could bring Hell to the World of the Living.
Okay, so as much as I LOVE Bleach…and I really mean love in all caps, the movies are a bit…um well they aren’t canon so I find them enjoyable yet unnecessary. In all honesty I probably like them more than that but I have to look cool writing this review…about anime… No but seriously, I haven’t written any reviews over Bleach yet for various reasons, but I felt I needed to write one for this movie. First of all I noticed that it wasn’t well received on this site which saddens me not because I thought it was super mega fantastic but because I feel like any Bleach fan, big or small, should at least watch the first, what, ten minutes that may actually be the credits. Why you ask? Because in the first few minutes of this film you get to see the Ichigo vs. Ulquiorra fight the way it should have been. No interruptions, no stupid other things happening, no dumb feelings. Just plain, amazing animation with two of my personal favorites just beating the crap out of each other. So here’s the rest of the review but if you just stop here and go watch the opening scene, know this: I’m cool with that. Story- 6/10 So, the plot is kind of unnecessary in my opinion. Ichigo and friends are attacked in their most unfortunate home of Karakura Town at the most unlucky high school ever Karakura High by these guys called Unforgiven who are escapees from Hell. Bad mojo right? The Unforgiven are led by a guy named Shuren who kidnaps Ichigo’s sister Yuzu and takes her to Hell with him. So of course Ichigo and friends go after him in order to save her. Shuren has a Just Between You and Me moment and tells Ichigo his whole reason for bringing Yuzu to Hell was to get him to break the chains that bind him and the other Unforgiven to Hell with his Ichiginator form. When Ichigo is like “No way” some fighting happens and maybe some betrayal and other spoilers and Ichigo and Yuzu are shoved back into the real world while friends are left behind. The Soul Society gets pissed at Ichi for using his hollow form which of course stops him for like a minute before he decides to go back to Hell to save his friends. Not a horrible plot but I think an easier explanation would be this: Ichigo fights, sometimes in hollow form. The story is sort of ran over by the fighting, which by the way, is not the worst thing ever. Just don’t expect a content heavy story. Animation 10/10 Like I said way up at the top, the animation is mega cool. I find this to be true about most Bleach movies but this one in particular is just way too good. And like I said in the not so up at the top section, the whole movie is Ichigo fighting junk so of course they are going to break out the big guns for this sort of thing. And let me tell you, the guns are big, very big. Sound 8/10 I rather enjoy the various sounds of Bleach whether it is the opening/ending themes or background music and the movies are no different. I don’t remember any specifics being super amazing for this one but then again I don’t remember them sucking either. Good to know huh? Characters 10/10- as always for the regulars 6/10- for the newbies I absolutely love the regular characters from Bleach, every single one of them…except Omaeda…so their rating is still 10/10. The new guys however were a little subpar. The idea of the Unforgiven from Hell is kind of cool but I have a hard time finding non canon stuff very interesting as far as content goes. Shuren was kind of overrated and Kokuto was pretty obvious. And I guess that’s it for that section. Someday I’ll do a review on Bleach as a whole and this category will be ridiculously long. Overall- 7/10 So, after re-reading this review it kind of sounds like I hated the movie, but I didn’t I promise, it’s just really hard to get super into something that has nothing to do with the canon story line. I don’t know when I developed this problem but it seems I have it now. Like I said, amazing animation and neato fights both old and new. Bleach fans should definitely watch it, others should watch it if they want. Another time, another review.
The movie is supposed to take place in a timeline where the Fake Karakura battle never happened and Ichigo didn’t lose his powers. It starts with a flashy opening where Inner Hollow Mark 3 and Super Demon Clown Release Mark 2 are fighting over a pair of breasts called The Kurosaki-kun bimbo. If any of you are Ulqi fans and expect a rematch later on, SUCKEEERS NO MORE ULQI THEREAFTER. In reality this entire introduction scene is completely irrelevant to what follows next. Introductions are meant to foreshadow what comes next, but this is Bleach we are talking about so we might as well say it was very fitting after all. The really intelligent viewer will realize that THIS WILL BE RANDOM SHIT AS USUAL! ARE YOU REALLY EXPECTING SOME PLOT IN THIS MOVIE AND NOT COOL ACTION?Anyways, after the flashy opening, the filler plot kicks in and we see Ichigo having a normal day in his life. Kicking random bullies, being kind hearted to dead kids, fighting with his father… Hey wait a second, why do all that seem so familiar? HEY, IT’S THE EXACT SAME THING THAT HAPPENED IN THE PILOT EPISODE! Damn Kubo, you ran out of ideas to the point you are repeating THE EXACT SAME PLOT from the series? … TWICE? … IN JUST TEN MINUTES?Anyways, after that he goes to school where the only thing that is not happening is studying and learning. Such concepts do not exist in the Bleachverse and schools are places young people gather just for lame humor and piss poor romance that never leads anywhere waiting to happen. And indeed, random stuff start dropping and nobody suspects a thing. Yeah, some students almost got killed by the debris and the whole incident went by like nothing much happened. That makes sense, especially since the whole town has always been oblivious to all the mass destruction and murders that take place every three days.Anyways, the school eventually blows up and these evil dudes attack, so Ichigo and his gang go to stop them… Hey, wait a second, why didn’t his sword fire that laser beam when he went bankai? Damn, more inconsistencies! Well whatever, it’s not like there are rules or restrictions in this show and as expected a flashy but completely random battle follows. For some reason the villains want Ichigo’s sisters but blow up his school instead. And when one of them is defeated he is taken to hell by that gate we haven’t seen since episode 5. Yeah, I guess every single Hollow that was defeated after that episode was not evil enough to deserve the gate… or Kubo just forgot about it until he decided to make this movie, which is nothing but a rehash of scenes from the main series. THIRD SCENE THAT REPEATS!Ah Rukia is in this film too. Is she going to be kidnapped for the nth time so Ichigo can have something to do? … Nah, it can’t be, this time it’s his sister that needs saving, so we already have the same old objective. Rukia’s role is to kindly explain what happens in hell with her amazing drawing skills. Oh, and as usual she is useless in battle and thus she had to be saved by Sado… who appeared on that roof out of nowhere despite the fact he can’t fly with the speed of light like everybody else and was in the other side of the city ten seconds ago. Lovely consistency.After that they are taken to hell by a guy from that place who claims he wants to help them get her back. They get to fight all the goons there and once again we see Kubo repeating scenes from the main series (*cough* Rukia defeats Espada 9) before it is revealed he is the big bad of the film and all that was a trick for Ichigo to go berserk and destroy the gate permanently so there will be no chains to keep them there. Surprisingly Ichigo’s sister is saved but Rukia gets captured in her stead, and now is all naked in chains and tortured by the big bad. Oh I see she finally got her real place in this movie and once again ICHIGO NEEDS TO SAVE HER! He goes to fight the villain and gets yet another power up just when he is about to be killed (yeah Kubo, that is the only thing you do to save your protagonist), and with it he magically beats the big bad and fixes the gate in a minute. The end. Isn’t it lovely when the main villain goes through all the trouble of setting up an elaborate plan against a complete idiot hero, who just storms in and never thinks anything, yet loses because the hero has plot armor? Doesn’t than make all efforts pointless if you are not the main lead who wins no matter what even with no brains or strategy? Am I overthinking this for a show called Bleach?I must say this movie had by far the least amount of context. While the other three had some sparks of drama by focusing on a secondary character, over here we get squat. The main villain tries to offer some sort of drama over his grim existence in hell but who cares; he is a generic Big Bad for the sake of having something to fight. Plus it was as I described a collection of scenes from the series, thus not even the plot was anything new. So ok, they showed how hell looks like and gave Ichigo his SSJ4 form, all of which will be rendered useless when the main story will ACTUALLY be about hell.The best part is of course the action scenes and only in terms of hollow (lol) entertainment. I can’t say I was thrilled with the coloring or the animation as they felt too blobby at times and less detailed and with less cinematics in shading than the previous movies. The soundtrack also felt weak this time as it was too much pop and too less cool in the sense it doesn’t make you feel anxiety and unrest.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. Surprisingly, for the first time ever it was not about “Let’s save Soul Society for the millionth time” theme but “Let’s close the gates of hell” for a change. It even fooled us for awhile to think it was about saving a girl other than Rukia or Inoue before it finally returned to the good old Rukia… Plus now she was naked and chained; so double the service (and lol, she is the only one naked when the other captured males are still dressed; phallocracy ftw). Even the big bad’s identity is deceiving. The final showdown though was rushed and a cop-out; extremely disappointing even for the few remaining Bleachtards. Even this new form he gets looks rather lame; I was misled to think I was watching Saint Seya for a few seconds… Hey wait a second… Hell? Golden armor transformation? A rescue mission to save a chick? DAMN KUBO; LEAVE POOR SAINT SEYA ALONE!Value and enjoyment ain’t much, and this time are even lower than usual because of the complete lack of personal drama. In all, Bleach went to hell with this movie (not that it was that far away from there the way it went under after the SS arc). If only there were Blanks and Sheena in the main series, which Aizen was going after in order to make the key, if only the Fake Karakura war was depicted like in Diamond Dust Rebellion and if only there was an Espada like those two kids in Fade to Black to give Rukia further role in the series, before hell breaks loose......if only...
I'll admit, I had a blast watching this movie! It has a lot of cool fights and an interesting plot. The plot isn't all that unique though, that's the only part that is disappointing. If you've seen the anime Bleach, then you know how their 'arcs' go. Bleach tends to do the whole "someone gets kidnapped, Ichigo has to go fight a ton of people and then save them! The end." That's exactly what happens in this movie too.It starts off with a somewhat of a flashback to when Ichigo fought Ulquiorra back in Hueco Mundo when he turned into a crazed hollow. That caught my attention because I honestly loved that fight, it was very exciting! Then after that we go to Karakura Town where Ichigo is living his regular teenage life, and you can all guess what happens after that. Some bad guys from hell show up and kidnap Yuzu, Ichigo's sister. Now, with the help of Kokuto, a new character that shows up out of the blue, Ichigo and his friends will go down to hell to save Yuzu! Story: 7 Okay, I love Bleach. Even if it's a repeditive show with random (sometimes pointless) fights, it's still fun to watch! And that's really all this movie is about. So if you like watching the fights in Bleach and don't care a whole lot about a really unique story, then this movie is perfect! The reason I give story a 7 is because, like I mentioned, it's the exact same as every other Bleach arc or movie. But what I DID love most about this movie is that Ichigo's Hollow has a main part, we don't actually see "Hichigo" (as some people call him), but we do see Ichigo's hollow mask show up often and see him do some of his hollow transformations. His hollow side shows up quite often in this movie because they are going to hell, and because of that, Ichigo is starting to 'lose control' of his hollow powers in a way. All of his friends are concerned obviously, but Ichigo just wants to save Yuzu, because that's the kind of guy he is.The downside to this movie really is that everything goes way too fast. Within about the first 10 minutes of the movie, Yuzu has been kidnapped and taken to hell and Kokuto is introduced. The explanations are very short and not very informative, to the point that I was wondering if they just cut out half of whatever the characters said to fit it into a movie. I would have expected a story like this to have taken up 30 Bleach episodes at least, but it is of course crammed into an hour and 30 minutes. Art: 9The art in this movie is actually really nicely done! The battles have a lot of movement, and that along with the beautifully detailed backgrounds is like eye-candy for the audience! Because of the fact that they are fighting in "Hell", the background is quite different than any other place they've been. I mean, we've all seen the Bleach cast fight in Soul Society and Karakura multiple times! So to see them in a very unfamiliar place is quite awesome! The bad guys might not look that attractive (actually I take that back, they're just ugly as hell), but it does seem like the artists took the time to do all the shading and colours very nicely, which is something I really enjoyed. But seriously, I do think they tried their best to make the ugliest characters we've ever seen. (The minute those guys took off their robes to reveal what they looked like, I think I screamed a bit)Sound: 9A new soundtrack was made for this movie specifically. I got this soundtrack long before I watched this movie because the songs are seriously epic! I still love listening to it, all of the songs are dark, and intense, almost in a creepy way. Rather than just music playing, there's some chanting and singing along with it that really sounds like an incantation most of the time. But either way, it really adds to the movie's 'creepiness'. Anyone who watches Bleach will know what the characters sound like. Ichigo's voice actor Morita Masakazu is great at what he does! He's the perfect voice for Ichigo, I really don't have anything bad to say about him! He sounds very natural when he talks, and always has the exact emotion that is needed for the scene, which usually involves yelling and shouting. Rukia and Renji are the same as Ichigo's VA, they know how to sound great and really bring the character to life! I mentioned before that there is a new character named Kokuto, who is voiced by Nakai Kazuya, who happens to be one of my favorite voice actors! He has an incredible voice that is perfect for a 'cool' and 'badass' character, which Kokuto definitely fits that description. I'm really glad that they picked him for Kokuto's character because he is perfect for the role!And lastly we have the new character Shuren, I haven't mentioned him yet, but he sits around for most of the movie and lets the other guys do all the fighting, but does eventually join in for a little while. Shuren is voiced by Furuya Toru who has done several main voice roles, but still isn't a very popular voice actor. He really does Shuren's voice well, he has the sort of 'bad guy voice' that we all can recognize. The only thing about him is that nothing really stands out about his voice among other people. Some voice actors have a way of changing their tone, rolling their tongue, or yelling in a way that makes us know exactly who they are (think if Ikkaku or Kenpachi, you can recognize their voice almost immediately). This guy doesn't really have that, but even so he is still a good voice for Shuren!Character: 7Ichigo, Rukia, Renji, Chad, and Ishida are all characters we're familiar with. Nothing about this movie really changes how we see them. You know exactly how they're going to act or fight in a dangerous situation. So I guess that part of the movie was what made everything pretty predictable. But since there are new characters introduced, why don't we talk about them a bit?For one, Kokuto. I'll admit, I like him. He shows up and is willing to help Ichigo's group, and has the attitude of "I make my own rules. I don't choose sides, I'm on my own side". Which reminds me a lot of Ichigo's character, maybe that's why they get along pretty quickly...almost too quickly. I think the writers really forced Kokuto's character in some parts, and made it so that we really don't have time to get to know him. He's just there helping the group, and that's about it for the majority of the movie. What I do like is that he isn't the most predictable guy, sometimes things he does or says will catch you off guard! That makes the plot a bit more interesting than before!Then we have Shuren again. Unlike Kokuto, I really knew exactly what he was going to do throughout the entire movie. That doesn't make him a lame character, but I think the writers could have done better with him.Overall: 8If you haven't watched or read Bleach, I'm not sure if this movie will make a ton of sense. There are several things that happen that link to the original story. But even if you haven't seen Bleach, I think you might still enjoy this movie if you like Shounen animes with lots of battles! I enjoyed watching it a lot and would even be willing to watch it again! All in all, it's a great movie!
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