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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Movie 2
The Diamond Dust Rebellion


Starring (voice): Akira Ishida, Masakazu Morita and Romi Park
Manga Entertainment
RRP: £17.99
Certificate: 15
Available 06 September 2010

Tōshirō Hitsugaya and the 10th division are sent to guard a caravan carrying the ‘Ouin’, when the procession is attacked by a masked assailant. When Hitsugaya engages the attacker, he seems to know the masked soul reaper, disappearing he abandons his comrades to their fate, an action which makes him suspect in the eyes of the Soul Society. With Hitsugaya seemingly on the run, can Ichigo Kurosaki unravel the mystery in time to save his friend...?

Bleach: The Movie 2 - The Diamond Dust Rebellion (2007 - 1 hr, 28 min, 53 sec) is the second spin off movie, directed by Noriyuki Abe and written by Masahiro Ōkubo, Michiko Yokote and Tite Kubo (original manga).

With Bleach’s continued reliance on stringing out stories for three episodes, which could comfortably be told in one, it was a good chance to see what the writers could do with only a limited amount of screen time to play with. The original movie Bleach: Memories of Nobody (2006) was a good movie but did suffer from a few problems, problems which seem to have been rectified for the second film.

At its heart, this is Hitsugaya’s story. When he engages the would be thief he recognises a friend, Sōjirō Kusaka, from the past. Certainly the rest of the cast appear, but their main reason for being is to help the audience discover what great secret stands between Hitsugaya and Kusaka, the big clue is that they both wield the same weapon, something which does not happen in the Soul Society.

Compared to the TV program the animation appears to have gone up a notch giving the whole thing a more filmic quality. Obviously as this does not come directly from the manga the story is original, but then as I noted with the Bount Arc this is not necessarily a bad thing, until it inevitably falls foul of Bleach's protracted form of storytelling, though this is not an issue in this restricted space. The overall ambience of the piece is helped by Shiro Sagisu's pounding soundtrack.

There is some good use of lesser characters and a satisfyingly epic battle at the end which involves all of the major characters. Character motivation is realistic; Ichigo is in his usual do-gooder personality, whereas there is some greater depth given to Hitsugaya and his attempt to rectify a mistake from his past, whilst at the same time trying to save his friend. As a villain Kusaka works on most levels, though I did have trouble believing that in his original duel with Hitsugaya, if he had always been selfish how the friendship between the two ever grew in the first place.

The first film came with little in the way of extras so it was nice to see the publishers pull their fingers out this time around. Making Bleach the Movie 2 (37 min, 14 sec) can be viewed in five parts but overall it does the usual, looking at the creation of the anime film, with contributions from the creative people behind the camera. It is informative and well worth a look for any Bleach fan. Overall it takes in contributions from the director, the character designer, a look at principle photography and effects, a nice piece with the composer and a slightly overlong piece with the band who provided the title song.

The disc is wrapped up with a number of production art stills, trailers for other shows, mostly more Bleach, and the Original Japanese Promos (5 min, 08m sec), there are a number of throwaway adverts for the film, but there is also an original small piece featuring Kon, who doesn’t actually make it into the film.

The picture is better than most of the Bleach conversions and comes with audio options for either a reasonable 5.1 English dub track or a superior Japanese 5.1 track with English subtitles.

Overall this is a worthy addition to the ever growing body of Bleach. It addresses some of the problems of the first film and shows the TV version to be the unnecessarily protracted experience it soon becomes.


Charles Packer

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