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DVD Review

DVD cover

Series 5 - Part 2


Starring (voice): Fumiko Orikasa, Masakazu Morita, Hiroki Yasumoto and Kentarou Itou
Manga Entertainment
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 15
Available 01 November 2010

Ichigo Kurosaki, having gained the powers of a Soul Reaper, returned to Earth a changed boy. Not only can he see spirits, but now he has the skill to combat them. A chance encounter leads him to discover another menace, the Bounts - a half human hybrid intent on domination. Having run into them on Earth Ichigo follows them to the Soul's Society to stop their invasion of that realm. Things do not go well for the Soul Society as they try to push back the Bounts, but slowly they gain the upper hand...

Bleach: Series 5 - Part 2 (2006) sees the Bount storyline finally drawing to an excruciatingly slow close, with the Soul Society besting the Bounts, but at great cost. The two disc DVD set covers the second half of season five with episodes one hundred to one hundred and four appearing on the first disc and episodes one hundred and five to one hundred and nine on the second. Extras on disc one consist of some production artwork and a textless closing sequence, disc two has the same extras plus some trailers.

The animation on the show continues to hold its quality, what does detract from the overall experience is how long stories are needlessly strung out. The whole Bount arc really should have been a single season, but instead we get two, the closing part of the story on these discs could have been compacted down to three or four episodes, rather than the ten presented here.

The main problem is that every so often a great reveal occurs or something of significance happens to a character, but you have had to sit through endless fight sequences where someone or other tries to use his wishy-washy technique to counter the villains ‘ bend-me-over’ banana surprise move, that by the time something of interest happens your mind has shut down for repairs.

The other problem with stringing out the story is that your mind wanders until it hits upon just how illogical the story is anyway, given that a handful of Bounts invade a city consisting of tens of thousands, armed to the teeth, and all that the Soul Society can field against this is a handful of their captains. What happened to everybody else? Did the Bounts strategically invade on the Saturday night of the X-Factor final and nobody else could be arsed to get off their sofas?

Of course, if you like watching endless fights, where you can obsessively observe made up fighting moves, then you’re in your element here. There are real flashes of good story writing, but in the end these are buried under laborious repetition. The ending, too, comes as an anticlimax, and not particularly logical, something the creators understood as the last episode has the whole crew pondering, with dime store philosophy, the meaning of it all.

The audio options on both discs are English 2.0, Japanese 2.0 and the same Japanese track but with subtitles, you can also display the English subtitles during the English dub if you want to see how two different translations of the same text can turn out, as the two often do not match.


Charles Packer

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