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DVD Review

DVD cover

Series 14 - Part 1


Starring (voice): Fumiko Orikasa, Masakazu Morita, Hiroki Yasumoto and Kentarou Itou
Distributor: Manga Entertainment
RRP: £24.99
Certificate: 12
Release Date: 22 September 2014

Not long people, now that Bleach has finally reached Series 14 - Part 1, the show has reached the heady heights of episodes 292 to 303, sixty-three more until the show finally closes the curtain for the final time. Well, that’s mostly true as there is a new season planned for 2015.

Looking back, with these new set of episodes, the show has always been a little above most of its ilk, the animation remained dynamic throughout, although the long self referentially protracted fights allowed little for grey areas, it was either the reason you watched the show or the repetition made you want to tear your eyeballs out.

When we last met our intrepid heroes, oddly enough they were involved in another, seemingly endless fight, the reason of which now escapes me, but is probably not important, except for the fact that the releases often do not follow the actual series, so that this actual release is well into series fourteen.

We rejoin the story during the Fall of Arrancar 2, at the tail end of Ichigo's fight with Aizen, but rather than ending the whole thing continues until episode 297. In between there are some interesting tit bits of information dropped. Aizen appears to have known about Ichigo since birth and in the great tradition of cliff hangers is just about to reveal that he is half human and half... Ichigo’s father then appears and says he will tell Ichigo the truth, but for dramatic pause decides not to do it there and then.

Episode 298 and part of episode 299 form part of a special to promote the Bleach film, Bleach: Hell Verse, before we return to the main action and still no answers.

The two disc set only has the textless opening and closing sequences for extras as well as the original Japanese audio track and the more than respectable English dub.

If the show has a failing, it’s that, early on it found a successful formula, presented it in a pleasing manner and never thought to change. Bleach, towards it end, is little changed from the first episode, a god send if you’re a fan of the show, a lost opportunity if not.


Charles Packer

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