Ichigo Kurosaki is a 15 year old high school student with the ability to see, hear, talk, and touch spirits. While sitting in his room, a spirit of a samurai girl enters. Ichigo reveals that she's actually visible to him, and the girl named Rukia Kuchiki explains her identity and purpose. Rukia is a Soul Reaper, which are a group of spiritual samurai's from The Soul Society whose mission is to help wandering souls pass on. These wandering and harmless souls are called Wholes. However, another being of souls exist called Hollows. These are evil spirits with an endless hunger to devour souls and can even kill the living. The devoured souls eventually becomes Hollows themselves.
After a battle with a Hollow, Rukia is wounded protecting Ichigo. Unable to continue battle, she lends Ichigo her powers, thus turning him into a substitute Soul Reaper armed with an over-sized sword. After the battle, Ichigo must continue her mission to help all souls pass on plus defend the world from the Hollows.
Bleach: The Substitute Season One
Bleach: The Entry Season Two
Bleach: The Rescue Season Three
After the battle with Byakuya ends, Ichigo is forced to retreat when one of his companions intervene. Ichigo is warned that the elder Kuchiki is on a level of spiritual power that far surpasses him despite now being on the power level of a Captain. For Ichigo to stand a chance against him, he must engage in a training regimen to unlock the second form of his sword. This art is called Bankai.
Bankai is when a Soul Reaper summons the essence of his sword into a physical form, thus increasing his power to levels that reads off the charts. This is an art that only the Captains have mastered with 10 years of training. Ichigo has only 3 days to master the art. Time is working against him due to Rukia's execution date being moved up.-summary
This chapter is a step up when compared to the second arc, but still only slightly above average due to predictability, complete lack of originality, and very annoying pacing issues. Bleach has clearly proven to be just another shonen series that doesn't stray very far at all from many of its genre. Normally, I don't knock a series for the lack of originality, since to a certain degree no idea is original. However, one fight scene grated on my nerves heavily, because it was clearly ripped from Yu Yu Hakusho with absolutely no shame at all. I actually stopped and shook my head on that one. It actually effected my overall rating a lot.
Ignoring that stolen element, Bleach still has things dragging it down, which the average Bleach fan loves to pretend doesn't exist. I'll get to those negatives when necessary. First off, the story element concerning the swords is very interesting, and it helped deliver some very entertaining battles. I have to admit for the most part I was satisfied with them. Although, done before in a different way, I believe it was done better here, and once again, there's more background delivered to develop the characters. Plus in the process, create a new rivalry between side characters.
This chapter features plenty of battles that takes place amongst the Captains. Most of the characters have some interesting abilities that did impress me some, but I do believe some of these battles didn't reach their full potential one bit. This is mainly due to the serious pacing issues concerning speeches, meaningless flashbacks, and other conflicts taking place.
Having breaks in a plot takes a certain skill that only a select few anime series were able to pull off convincingly. However, when a series takes a break from a battle that is heavily built up, to deliver meaningless interactions between side characters that do not push the plot. The plot itself is going to suffer, and Bleach uses this approach only to prolong episodes in order to make the series longer. I do not care for this formula. Dragon Ball Z has this down to a science, and I been burned out by this style for years.
The series is very predictable all the way down to its dual plot and plot twist. I blame this mishap on the formulaic and by the numbers writing. It was very difficult not to see this coming. I also have an issue with the character deaths. I really don't like when a character dies dramatically only to return or isn't killed at all. If a character isn't going to stay dead for good, then leave the drama at the door. Most of the time a series will become a joke due to this repeated plot element. The ghosts of Dragon Ball Z resurface often in this series.
The animation is by far the best this time around. The fight scenes are well animated and they deliver some cool battles at times. However, only when they don't rely on reused cels, in the form of the "super speed that is unseen by the naked eye" approach. Lame.
The visuals at times are something to brag about with some amazing artwork. The soundtrack is still solid with new opening and ending themes once again. I find the new opening theme Ichirimo Hana performed by High and Mighty Color to be good, but not on par with the previous songs. On the other hand, the ending theme called Life performed by Yui, contains some very nice vocals, and I enjoyed it the best when compared to the previous end songs. The same as its predecessors; the voice acting is still pretty good, the violence is still high but not very brutal, and the fan service is still low.
Overall, I'll say the ending is wrapped up well and Bleach: The Rescue isn't a failure. Unfortunately, the series as a whole up to this point is very flawed. Bleach really doesn't attempt to break away from the pack at all. This series is massively over-rated and incredibly over-hyped too. I only recommend this to those who love those long running shonen series such as One Piece, Dragonball Z, Inuyasha, Naruto, or even D. Gray-Man.
I will also continue recommending it to those who made it this far, and are already sold on the action and characters. Others who are searching for something action packed, but want something a lot shorter, could try anything else out there such as Fullmetal Alchemist, Guyver, or Bubblegum Crisis. But if I want something that truly delivers on style. I would rather rewatch Heat Guy J. Bleach: The Rescue is 550 minutes containing episodes 42-63
-Captains vs Captains
-Arc ends pretty strong
-Issues with a majority of the writing
-Is that you Yusuke?
What did you think of this review?