BLEACH SEASON ONE DVD BOX SET (ADVANCE REVIEW)

Posted On October - 8 - 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:   10/30/2007
  REVIEW DATE:   10/08/2007
  REVIEWED BY:   HOLLY ELLINGWOOD

SYNOPSIS:
For as long as he can remember, Ichigo Kurosaki has been able to see ghosts. But when he meets Rukia, A Soul Reaper who battles evil spirits known as Hollows, he finds hi life is changed forever. Now, with a newfound wealth of spiritual energy, Ichigo discovers his true calling: to protect the living and the dead from evil. And when he vows to defend Rukia from the ruthless justice of the Soul Society, he and his friends must cross over and do battle in the spirit world…

Contains the first 20 episodes of the series on five discs.

REVIEW:
Based on the smash hit manga by Tite Kubo, Bleach the anime is an electrifying experience both in story and visuals. The first season shows Ichigo’s life and how he first meets the Soul Reaper Rukia and ends up being her substitute reaper. It follows his learning how to be a Reaper, which is at times action laden and dramatic and at other times hilarious. And the first season also showcases the various friends he has or makes along the way such as the kind girl Orihime, tall and stoic Chaz, and Ichigo’s first run in with Uryu and other Soul Reapers.

Bleach is exhilarating. It’s a brilliant blend of action, off the wall comedy, and captivating characters. Ichigo is immensely likeable as the rough guy with a good heart who can’t stand innocent people to suffer – alive or dead. He helps the living and the ghosts with a conviction born from a tragedy involving his mother which is explored in this first season. The show can be outrageously funny but it has some of the most suspenseful and tense dramatic moments of any TV series. The first twenty episodes mark his course as he becomes a Soul Reaper, learns more about the Soul Society, and chooses to risk it all to save Rukia’s life after he discovers just what her aiding him all this time has cost her – her life!

The animation is so well done that it surpasses any expectations normally attributed with a TV anime series. And it maintains that excellence of animation throughout. The action scenes are riveting, the backgrounds gorgeous, and the frightening scenes are done with superb dramatic effect. The anime holds a thrilling energy and vitality that few if any other anime series have been able to display.

EXTRAS:
Bonus features include a production at gallery, clean ending animation, trailers of other Viz anime titles, and exclusive to this box set – a Behind the Scenes of Bleach feature which contains one on one video interviews with the English voice actors and ADR Director Wendee Lee (also the voice of Tatsuki), it also shows the dubbing process in action. Exclusive to this box set also is a “Chain of Fate” wallet chain. The white box ad neat book-like interior is a nice change from the usual fold-out disc holder for sets and the heavy Chain of Fate replica is very cool.

IN SUMMARY:
With its mix of comedy, electrifying action, supernatural baddies, and incredible adventure, Bleach is one of the top must see anime of the year. For fans of great series like Rurouni Kenshin, Bleach will be and addictive addition to the anime library.

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