Bleach: The Substitute Season One box set is a five disc set that contains twenty episodes. Each disc contains four episodes and bonus features.
On the first disc, there are four extras. The first extra is "Production Art," which is twenty seven pages of line art of the characters and items that appear in the episodes on the disc. The second feature is "Manga Preview," which is a preview of the first volume of the Bleach manga. However, you have no control over the speed that the feature goes through the pages. You also cannot rewind the feature, which is rather annoying if you can't read the text on the screen fast enough. While this feature was an interesting idea, the execution could have been better. The next feature is "Clean Ending," which is a textless version of the first closing theme. The final extra on the disc is "Shonen Jump Home Video," which contains previews for Naruto, Hikaru no Go, and One Piece.
The second disc has twenty three pages of production art of the characters and items that appear in the episodes on the disc. The "Manga Preview" is simply ads for Bleach and other Viz Media manga titles. The Clean Ending and the Shonen Jump Home Video features are the same as on disc one.
There are twenty five pages of production art on disc three of the characters and items that appear in the episodes on the disc. The manga preview is the same as what appears on the second disc, and the Clean Ending and the Shonen Jump Home Video features are also the same as on previous discs.
The fourth disc has the same manga preview and the same Shonen Jump Home Video features that appear on previous discs. However, the production art is twenty four pages of characters and items that appear in the episodes on the disc. The Clean Ending is the textless version of the second closing theme for Bleach.
On the fifth disc, the manga previews and the clean ending are the same as what appeared on previous discs in the set. The production art on this disc is twenty three pages of characters and items. Also included on this disc is "Bonus: Behind the Scenes of Bleach." This is a roughly twenty minute long documentary that includes interviews with the English voice actors for Ichigo, Uryu, Orihime, and Tatsuki. For a Viz Media release, this documentary bonus feature is probably one of the better extras I've seen on one of the company's releases.
Personally, I was rather disappointed by the repetition of the extras that appear on the discs. Perhaps Viz Media should have considered only having extras on one or two discs, to help minimize the repetition. Also, I question why a clean version of the opening wasn't included on any of the discs as a bonus feature.
Even though I was a bit disappointed in the bonus features, I would still recommend this box set to anyone who is a fan of the Bleach anime series.
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About the reviewer
Lesley Muir Aeschliman (ljaesch)
I'm a freelance writer whoserves as the Anime editor at BellaOnline; I have also had work published at Associated Content. I also maintain two blogs: AeschTunes and Lesley's Musings... on Manga. … more
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Bilingual (Japanese & English) / English Subtitles