BLEACH VOL. 5 (ADVANCE REVIEW)

Posted On July - 13 - 2007
  RELEASED BY:   VIZ MEDIA
  ASPECT RATIO:   4:3 FULL SCREEN
  AUDIO:   ENGLISH AND JAPANESE DD 2.0
  RUNNING TIME:   100 MIN
  RATING:   T
  RELEASE DATE:   07/31/2007
  REVIEW DATE:   07/13/2007
  REVIEWED BY:   HOLLY ELLINGWOOD


Ichigo faces the Soul Reaper Renji in a deadly duel, but it’s Rukia’s brother who brings Ichigo close to death. By saving Ichigo, Rukia places herself in the hands of her brother and is returned to the Soul Society for punishment. She is sentenced to death. Now the badly wounded Ichigo must find a way to crossover into the spirit world and rescue her before it’s too late!

Complex and exciting, Bleach is a thrilling anime. The superb animation accentuates a suspenseful story about humans and the denizens of the spirit world. This latest set of episodes sets up the new arc that transpires in that world as Ichigo must train and is joined by friends and unlikely allies to go to the Soul Society and save Rukia. We get to see the Soul Society and find out that everything isn’t as peaceful there as it seems when the conflicted relationship between brother and sister is shown and resentful rival Soul Reapers are introduced.

A larger part of this volume involves Ichigo developing his own Soul Reaper powers. To save Rukia he must become a Soul Reaper using his own power. The mysterious man Urahara helps him train, but if Ichigo fails he will become a Hollow that must be destroyed! Having to face a terrible fate, Ichigo goes in swinging and hopefully will come out alive. More about the weapons the Soul Reapers use, the Zanpaku-to, is unveiled. And viewers learn more about Ichigo’s friends Orihime and Chad and their unusual powers.

The anime does a wonderful job of building on its continuity to provide increasingly tense and layered episodes involving not only Ichigo and Rukia, but the secondary characters as well. The people are well developed and the newest character additions are most intriguing as it involves the Soul Society which we’ve only heard about from Rukia – until now.

EXTRAS:
Bonus feature include a sticker sheet, a limited edition card for the Bleach card game, production art gallery, manga previews, clean ending animation, and trailers of other anime titles from Viz Media’s Shonen Jump video line. The Best Buy version has an exclusive Bleach patch inside.

IN SUMMARY:
Deadly battles, a rescue attempt and discord in the spirit world. Bleach embarks on a new and exciting story arc in this volume.

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