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DVD Review: Bleach Series 8 Part 1

The series gives a mixed impression of reality and fantasy!

Bleach Series 8 Part 1, an anime serialization of the manga series written and illustrated by Tite Kubo, follows the journey of five protagonists, Ichigo, Ishida, Sado, Rukia, Renji, who are on a mission to save Orihime. Once they reach Las Noches they go their separate ways to rescue Orihime. Each of them encounters enemies called Arrancars which need to be defeated in order for them to go any further.

All the characters in Bleach have different appearances, personalities and powers. Each episode shows the journeys of two or more of the protagonist which is engaging for the audience to watch.

A variety of techniques are used to make the series easy to understand. When a character thinks or reminisces about a past event, rather than just having a description of what happened, it is shown. It is distinguished from the present by the toning down of colour and made slightly fuzzy like an old TV. This makes it obvious to the audience that it is a reference to the past, which is particularly helpful for the younger viewers. Also by applying this technique, the director, Noriyuki Abe, is able to project exactly what he wants to into the audiences’ mind.

The series gives a mixed impression of reality and fantasy. On a few occasions, when focusing on something close up, the background turns blurry giving it a realistic feel. This is achieved in tandem with maintaining a fantasy element which is demonstrated by superpowers, characters with inhuman appearances and unusual colours for eyes. The background music includes guitar and violin; the use of words that sound Spanish gives an exotic feeling to the series.

The first Arrancar that Ichigo deals with is called Dordoni. Although when watching the series in Japanese, Dordoni’s Japanese accent is similar to the other characters. But when watching the English dubbed version, this character has an extremely strong Spanish accent which shows that he wanted to portray this character as foreign.

Bleach also contains a lot of humour particularly between Ishida and his ally, Pesche and Renji and his ally, Chad. The banter between both pairs of characters is consistent throughout.  They spend most of their time arguing with each other even though they are on the same side.

The animation is colourful and accurate and enjoyable to watch. The theme music is upbeat and exiting. Recurrently there is focus on the eyes which depicts the emotions of the character. The unusually large size of the weapons also shows power and force.

Bleach comprises of scenes of each of the protagonist being faced by their enemy, the Arrancars. There are a lot of twists, particularly when trying to decide whether the Arrancars is a friend or a foe, as they are very deceptive. Although some of the events that take place are unexpected, ultimately all the protagonists defeat their enemies. Frequently the protagonists are almost defeated by the enemies, but then they use their special power called ‘Bunkai’ which they employ when in extreme danger. This is an imaginative idea but makes the storyline somewhat predictable.

Overall, Bleach is an interesting, fun series with many unexpected twists and a variety of likable characters.

Label: Manga Entertainment

Release date: 19th March 2012

Certificate: 12

Running time:

Genre: Anime/Action

Director: Noriyuki Abe

Stars:

Author Profile:

Naomi Potter’s interest in Japanese culture and language stems from family and visiting Japan many times.  She recently graduated in Japanese Studies which she found to be very informative and enjoyable.  She’s particularly fascinated by Japanese maiko culture, sumo wrestling, interior design, films, anime and music.  You can keep up-to-date with all Naomi’s activities through her facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Japanese-Experience-GeishaMaikoInterior-Design/202899729765218.

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