Review: Bleach Series 16 Part 2

Release Date
28/9/2015
Format
DVD
Publisher
Kaze, Manga Entertainment
Certificate
15
Language / Subtitles
English, Japanese / English
Discs
3
Run Time
300 Minutes

Bleach Series 16 Part 2 from Kaze and Manga Entertainment, the finale to the long-running Bleach anime, is finally upon us. Ichigo has joined Xcution in the hopes of regaining his powers; he’s currently undergoing training to master his Fullbring abilities. Tsukishima, however, has other plans, what terrible things does he have in store for Ichigo’s family and friends?

“ULTIMATE EVOLUTION AND ASTONISHING REVELATIONS FOR ICHIGO!

BLEACH REACHES ITS EPIC CONCLUSION!

Ichigo is about to master the full potential of his Fullbring, with the precious help of Xcution.

Meanwhile, Tsukishima doesn’t remain passive and uses his terrible power to attack our hero’s family and friends. Worse, he’s about to rally the Fullbringers themselves to his cause.” – Manga Entertainment

The finale of the long-running series Bleach is here, and while it’s far from the true conclusion the ongoing manga will one day receive, the anime unfortunately ends here. Coming off the end of part 1, which adapts the manga very well, we continue the ‘The Lost Agent’ story arc in part 2, but first up is a filler episode the first half being about kite flying that quickly descends into chaos. While it’s fun to see the characters let their hair down and get stuck into some goofy situations it’s rather out of place and does nothing to progress the story.

After the one single filler episode, we’re back to the main story; Ichigo continues his training in order to master his Fullbring abilities in the hopes of regaining his Soul Reaper power, all the while the threat of Tsukishima is ever-present. As part 2 unfolds, Tsukishima’s plan comes into full effect along with his mysterious Fullbring ability, Ichigo’s close family and family now seem to view him as an ally, insisting that he’s been with them since the beginning. Will Uryuu Ishida’s recovery and pending release from the hospital shed any light unto the events that are unfolding in Karakura Town?

Animation quality is quite high at this point in the series, no doubt because of the impending end so the budget can probably afford to be more flexible. Characters are well defined and detailed, this also may reflect the quality of the manga as Tite Kubo really amps up his game at this point in the series and delivers some great looking visuals.

‘Harukaze’ from All Japanese girl band Scandal continues as the opening theme throughout this half of the series and we’re glad it does. Aqua Timez take over the ending theme this time with ‘Mask’ which is pretty good and it’s nice to see Aqua Timez back on Bleach as their previous two opening songs were rather great.

As usual with Bleach, extras take the form of trailers that appear before the main menu, disc one features Journey to Agartha: Children Who Chase Lost Voices, disc two has Bakuman, plus a clean version of the opening and finally disc three features Garden of Words plus a clean ending.

Verdict
As mentioned previously while this is not the end of Bleach, it is the end of the anime and not a bad way to go; the ‘The Lost Agent’ story arc felt like a massive low-point in the manga after the epic showdown with Aizen, coming off as a manga version of filler, but here in anime form it’s quite the welcome addition. The animation quality has been amped up and contains some awesome battle scenes; we see some old faces and get acquainted with some new ones. Ultimately it doesn’t feel much like an end, rather a temporary stop and hopefully, we will see a continuation in the future.
7
GOOD