Sunday, April 27, 2008

Bleach DVD vol. 6-7 Impression

Ok, so I’m fully up to speed on the Bleach manga (rock solid btw) and now it’s time to get up to speed on the anime. Moving manga to anime can sometimes be tricky. Take Naruto for example. In the manga we are about two years down the road with a more mature Uzumaki while we have over 100 episodes of filler anime to watch to get to the same point. Dragon Ball GT, created for TV, no manga. So popularity can be a very good thing and sometimes confusing. So far with Bleach it’s the former. The anime leaves out little story points, to be expected, but overall it delivers an excellent telling of Ichigo’s adventures where the characters truly come alive, the music sticks with you and the action, oh yes the action is as fast paced and crazy as you imagined when first reading the manga. The anime also stands 100% on its own, but I prefer the two a complements to one another (especially knowing where the story goes, much anticipation).

Usually I talk about the manga or anime first then get into my rant, but it’s backwards time for me right now. See I’m loving Bleach right now, and volume 6 and 7 of the anime on DVD, well it’s just the bee’s knees. The animation is fluid and stands up very well for such a long running series. Emotion, humor, action, each piece is translated excellently. The voice work is tip notch as each character has a true personality, there is no fluff here … ok maybe Uryu could use some work, but that’s nitpicking. The opening and closing themes are staples on my iPod (yes, I found and bought them). All of this, story, art, animation, music, mixed with the excellent story makes for a set of DVD’s no anime fan should be without. Long did I hear about Bleach from my buddies before it hit the states, through fan-subs (bad) and I’m glad I waited for what Viz has delivered. Tip notch DVD’s with stickers and sometimes patches for a good price. Now onto the recap with more to follow, very, very soon.

Bleach DVD vol. 6
Yoruichi, Ichigo, Orihime, Chad and Uryu enter the Soul Society, the outskirts called the Seireitei. The gates to the actual society are sealed upon their arrival as they are detected so it’s time to breach the gate. Each gate has a massive gatekeeper and Ichigo steps up to the challenge taking down one such keeper, who in turn opens the gate for Ichigo only to give views a taste of what a captain is all about Ichimaru Gin appears, cuts the gatekeeper causing him to drop the gate and thinks he’s finished Ichigo and crew (nope, not that short a series friends). Now to find another route into the society, enter Kukaku Shiba who helps our heroes become human cannon balls, with her brother in tow Ganju and voila, DVD over.

A great beginning to the Soul Society saga as we as viewers enter the realm, see the class structure in place, the power of a captain and some of the interesting personalities such as Ganju who will be with us for a while in the series and now Kukaku has a fake arm, interesting choice for the anime as she did not sport this in the manga. Good volume leading into …

Bleach DVD vol. 7
Now we’re cooking with gas. The team is in within the society walls, but they have been separated. Rukia is not in the repentance cell, the Shishinro, and it’s here she gets news about outsiders being in the city. Besides a lot of running around each member of the group encounters various levels of opposition. Ichigo takes on a 3rd seat Ikkaku Madarame who warns him of his captain, Chad is running around, Uryu and Orihime take on a reaper with an aerial weapon and the stage is set for some first seat and captain showdowns.

Now we are up to speed … through volume seven. With volume 10 right around the corner I’m rushing to write a bit about volume 8 and 9. Hey, my volume 7 description was light because the upcoming action just buries it by comparison. Bleach is about to hit all new levels and there is much more to this story than Ichigo and his crew, just you wait.

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