Review: Bleach Complete Series 14

Release Date
21/9/2015
Format
DVD
Publisher
Manga Entertainment
Certificate
15
Language / Subtitles
English, Japanese / English
Discs
5
Run Time
582 Minutes

The fated showdown between Ichigo and Aizen is here in Bleach Complete Series 14: Fall of the Arrancar 2 from Manga Entertainment. Spanning across five DVDs. we bear witness to the entire second part of the epic clash between Soul Society and Hueco Mundo. Ichigo, Visored’s Thirteen Court Guard Squads and Aizen’s army of Espada and Hollows go all out in this complete series collection.

“Ichigo returns from Hueco Mundo at last to battle Aizen. But in the face of Aizen’s overwhelming power, Ichigo begins to lose his will to fight. The Thirteen Court Guard Squads are there to support him, and along with the Visoreds, they launch a full-scale attack. Even Head Captain Genryusai Yamamoto joins the fight, attempting to incinerate Aizen in a blazing inferno. But is anything enough to stop the Soul Society’s ultimate foe? Ichigo vs Aizen: let the showdown for the sake of the two worlds begin!

Humans and Soul Reapers realize their powerlessness against the astonishing might Aizen obtained through the Hogyoku. They once again owe their salvation to Ichigo, back from his training between worlds. More mature and more powerful, has the young man really reached a new stage of his evolution? Will he finally be a match for the relentless Captain Aizen?” – Manga Entertainment

One of the highlights of this complete series is a flashback episode that chronicles Ichigo’s journey throughout the series leading up to the showdown with Aizen; generally, flashback episodes or summary episodes are used far too easily these days, this one, however, serves a purpose and is a welcome addition, with well over three hundred episodes of backstory leading to this point I feel it probably could have done with a few episodes like this to really explore the key points of the series. Unfortunately, we were treated to a rather high number of random filler episodes that served no purpose and are not connected to the main story in any way. It’s a shame really as these episodes could have been used to expand the flashback episode or even go some way to exploring the battles of other characters, at least keeping it relevant.

Visually there’s not much to note, if you have been watching the series up till now you’ll know what to expect. If there’s one aspect of Bleach that I will always remember, it’s the awesome soundscape; right from the start, the use of eerie music really gets the tension mounting to great effect. You can’t go wrong with the Japanese cast for this series; long time voice actors with some great talent. The dub, however, is decent; it can grate on you at times with the over-pronunciation of Japanese words but, nonetheless, it’s enjoyable. Sadly this time around the opening song, “Ranbu no Melody” by SID, and ending songs, “Last Moment” by SPYAIR and “Song for…” by ROOKiEZ is PUNK’D, felt rather plain and largely forgettable, which is a shame since Bleach has had some great ones in the past.

Extras on each disc take the form of trailers that appear before the main menu, extras on the menu screen only consist of clean opening and ending animations. Trailers included across the five-disc set are Nura – Rise Of The Yokai Clan, Bleach The Movie 4: Hell Verse, Bakuman, Berserk – Film 1: Egg Of The King, Black Lagoon Season 1 & 2 and Persona 4 The Animation. Some of the trailers tend to appear more than once, but not a bad selection overall.

Verdict
Bleach Complete Series 14: Fall of the Arrancar 2 contains the ultimate showdown Ichigo vs. Aizen, it’s all been building up to this moment and it’s finally here. With such a huge backstory going into this release how can tensions not be high, the excitement level for this epic battle is beyond measure. While there are a few random filler episodes here and there, that do feel out of place, the overall series is focused on the main attraction Ichigo and Aizen.
7
GOOD