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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bleach DVD vol. 14 & 15 Impression

The Soul Society saga heads into the home stretch as Ichigo and team move to rescue Rukia while the murder of Aizen still has every court guard looking over their shoulders. Volume 14 and 15 of Bleach on DVD from Viz kicks into that anime sweet spot where action and story strike a perfect balance.

Bleach DVD volume 14Bleach DVD volume 14
Its execution day, time to bid farewell to Rukia. Almost. Ichigo shows up with zero time to spare and shows a power unheard of in one with years of training let alone having just come into his power. As Ichigo steps in to save Rukia more battles rage as Captains take on one another and Youroichi continues her fight with an old ally. As the power of a million zanpakuto stare Rukia in the face it’s an unexpectedly strong Ichigo who’s about to change the game.

Fights, it’s all about the fights. Ichigo shows up with some crazy powers, enough to stop the Sokyoku, which is pretty freaking amazing. The story continues to expand beyond Ichigo as we learn more about Youroichi as well as a few current captains. The thirteen court guards show their divisions and loyalties while the head man takes on his two main pupils. It’s just crazy action with the most powerful fighters to date. Now that Ichigo has stopped the execution can a face-off with Rukia’s brother be far off? (Nope, it starts here also, whoops, did I miss that tidbit?)

Bleach DVD volume 15Bleach DVD volume 15
Ichigo and Kuchiki go all out against one another as the power of each fighter Bankai is unleashed. A new level of power is reached when Ichigo’s inner Hollow takes over for a bit, but he’s quickly put back in his place. As their battle makes everyone in the Soul Society take notice a much deadlier plot is revealed as a certain dead captain shows up alive. Aizen has been alive this entire time and he reveals his ultimate plot, one which goes back to Ichigo and Rukia’s first encounter. Aizen was using Rukia and his plot has ripped apart the Soul Society like never before. As he reveals his plan his co-conspirators show themselves and move beyond the reach of the Soul Society. In the face of larger plots enemies become friends and Ichigo is made a deputy Soul Reaper. Byakuya reveals to Rukia his past with her sister and Rukia apologizes for a post wrong. All is well except for the little Aizen issue.

The finale to the Ichigo vs. Kuchiki fight is everything that it’s supposed to be and it’s only interrupted by an even larger plot thanks to Aizen. The story is awesome and there is even more history to be revealed with Rukia and her brother as well as Aizen’s plot. The rescue is over and it’s time to head back to Earth for Ichigo and his group. The story wraps up with so much more to come, thanks to Aizen, but viewers are really treated to one hell of a fight, tons of great action and a twisting story with tons of players.

Overall these two volumes of Bleach crank up the action to obscene levels while moving along a plot that hides enough mystery to satisfy even the most seasoned anime fanatic. The animation loses zero quality this deep into the series run and it keeps pace with the manga in story points. The sprinkling of background story does not slow the story one bit. The entire rescue storyline wraps up just perfect. Bleach is a solid anime, worthy of any fans collection, it’s just good times, nuff said.

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