Bleach DVD Set Seventeen – Original and Uncut (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

June 10, 2013 by  

The Zanpakuto has rebelled against their Soul Reaper masters by taking a human form and declaring war. But what about their leader, the mysterious zanpakuto known as Muramasa.  And what exactly is he really up to? Find out in the original and uncut episodes of “Bleach DVD Set Seventeen – Original and Uncut”!

Image courtesy of © Tite Kubo/Shueisha, TV Tokyo, Dentsu, Pierrot. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: Bleach DVD Set Seventeen – Original and Uncut

DURATION: Episodes 243-255 (320 Minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: 4:3, Bilingual Japanese & English, Subtitles: English


RATED: 13+

Release Date: June 11, 2013

Originally created by Tite Kubo

Directed by Noriyuki Abe

Music by Shiro Sagisu

Character Design by Masashi Kudo

Art Director: Natsuko Suzuki, Sawako Takagi

Anime Production by TV Tokyo, Dentsu, Studio Pierrot

Featuring the following voice talent:

Fumiko Orikasa/Michelle Ruff as Rukia Kuchiki

Masakazu Morita/Johnny Yong Bosch as Ichigo Kurosaki

Hiroki Yasumoto/Jamieson Price as Sado “Chad” Yasutora

Kentarou Itou/Wally Wingert as Abarai Renji

Masakazu Morita/Johnny Yong Bosch as Hollow Ichigo

Noriaki Sugiyama/Derek Stephen Prince as Ishida Uryuu

Satsuki Yukino/Wendee Lee as Shihouin Yoruichi (human form)

Shinichiro Miki/Michael Lindsay as Urahara Kisuke

Yuki Matsuoka/Stephanie Sheh as Inoue Orihime

Kaya Matsutani/Megan Hollingshead as Rangiku Matsumoto

Nobuyuki Hiyama/Vic Mignogna as Ikkaku Madarame

Jun Fukuyama/Brian Beacock as Yumichika Ayasegawa

Romi Paku/Steve Staley as Toshiro Hitsugaya

Ichigo and the Soul Reapers find themselves in a brutal battle against their own Zanpakuto, who are being controlled by Muramasa. But the chaos in the Seireitei is just one part of Muramasa’s plan. His true objective lies in the World of the Living, and Ichigo is the key to his achieving it!

The zanpakuto of Soul Reapers have been released by Muramasa, a mysterious zanpakuto spirit and now they are rebelling against their masters?

The Soul Reaper zanpakuto have renounced them and are now declaring war!  Things are not looking good for the Soul Reapers as Soifon takes on Tengen and Gonryomaru, but to get attacked by her own zanpakuto Suzumebachi.  Izutru takes on Kazeshini, Yumichika takes on Ruriiro Kujaku, Ichigo takes on Senbonzakura and for some reason, Byakuya has aligned with Muramasa and attacks Renji and Zabimaru.  This leads a battle between Kenpachi vs. Byakuya.

But why is Muramasa so intent of destroying the Seireitei?

Find out in “Bleach DVD Set Seventeen” featuring episodes 243-255.

So, what is “Bleach”?

“Bleach” is one of those titles, alongside “Naruto” and “Dragon Ball Z” that has managed to capture the attention of anime fans and continues to reinvent itself with new sagas and characters. Created in 2001 by mangaka Tite Kubo, the manga has been published on Weekly Shonen Jump and the animated series has been airing on Japanese television since 2004.

The series has manged to grow its fandom worldwide, especially in the US as the series has aired on television on the Cartoon Network and the various video games for the Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP have also been popular among the fans as well.

The manga series revolves around teenager Ichigo Kurosaki, who has the ability to see Soul Reapers (a military group that escorts the souls of the dead) and in this case, Ichigo has seen a female Soul Reaper named Rukia Kuchiki. One day, a hollow (a monster that was once a human soul) has come to attack and when Rukia was injured, she transferred her spirit pressure to Ichigo in order for him to fight the hollow.

The series focused on Ichigo and Rukia’s friendship as somehow nearly all her spirit pressure had been transferred to Ichigo and stripping away her soul reaper power and thus Ichigo now has the power to take on the hollows while Rukia helps guide him through the battles with her knowledge. As Rukia temporarily lives with Ichigo, the two together battle hollows.

It’s important to note that because of how quickly the animated series has caught up with the manga series, the ongoing arc between the war between Soul Reapers and the Arrancars have temporarily put on hiatus to allow Tite Kubo to finish the chapters of the manga series. So, Studio Pierrot created an alternative story arc titled “Zanpakuto: The Alternate Tale arc” (Zanpakuto Ibun Hen).

With volume 17 of “Bleach”, this DVD continues the battles between the zanpakuto and the Soul Reapers but also Muramasa’s history with the Kuchiki family.

As the soul reapers try to fight their own zanpakuto, they are unaware that Muramasa has intentions beyond freeing them from their masters and learned that they have been duped by Muramasa.  Meanwhile,  Muramasa travels to Karakura Town and intends to use the knowledge from General Yamamoto’s world to break the seal of his former master, Koga Kuchiki, a former soul reaper who went insane.  But having been separated from Koga for centuries, Muramasa wants to remove the seal and free the insane and powerful, Koga Kuchiki.

The main characters of “Bleach” are:

  • Ichigo Kurosaki – The main protagonist. A teenager who becomes a substitute soul reaper after absorbing Rukia’s powers. Accepting his new powers and wanting to protect everyone around him. Ichiro manages to grow in power with every battle he gets involved in.
  • Rukia Kuchiki – A Soul Reaper who transferred her spiritual power to Ichigo.
  • Orihime Inoue – A longtime classmate of Ichigo who is very caring and manages to develop her spiritual awareness and after her brother is killed by a hollow, she has managed to grow in power which is tied to a hairpin that her brother had given her.
  • Yasutora “Chad” Sado – A friend of Ichigo and very quiet. Developed a sense of seeing hollows and eventually gaining a power of strength and a right arm that is literally a weapon to fight against hollows.
  • Uryu Ishida – A classmate of Ichigo and a descendant of a priest group that hunted hollows known as Quincy. Earlier on, Uryu was a rival of Ichigo due to his hatred towards the Soul Reapers and eventually becomes friends with him.
  • Kon – A modsoul who’s life soul is put into a stuffed lion. When Ichigo is a Soul Reaper, Kon takes over Ichigo’s body, so no one including Ichigo’s family knows that Ichiro is actually not there. Mostly a comedy-driven character known for his perverseness and always complaining about something.
  • Kisuke Urahara – Owner of the Urahara shop and a former captain of the 12th Division in the Soul Society. He caught Aizen converting Soul Reapers to Visoreds but before he can save them, Aizen framed him for the crimes and Urahara fled to the real world.
  • Yoruichi Shihoin – An old friend of Kisuke Urahara who can turn into a black cat. She is the former captain of the 2nd Division and former Commander in Chief of the Secret Mobile Corps.
  • Renji Abarai – Lt. of the 6th Division in the Gotei 13 under Captain Byakuya Kuchiki. Known to be cocky about his skills, Renji cares deeply for Rukia and thus the reason why he is seen with Ichigo and friends.
  • Byakuya Kuchiki – 28th head of the Kuchiki Clan and Captain of 6th Division in the Gotei 13. Stepbrother of Rukia.
  • Toshiro Hitsugaya – Captain of the 10th Division in the Gotei 13.
  • Rangiku Matsumoto – Lieutenant of the 10th Division of the Gotei 13.


If there is one thing that I’ve always enjoyed about “Bleach” is that for a TV series that is cranked out in Japan, the TV series features a good amount of detail in the background art. The series tends to really showcase quite a bit of locations and thus, not always reusing scenes.

Also, the character designs, despite not always being detailed, is shown great care by character designer Masashi Kudo who definitely respects the original illustrations of Tite Kubo. Some closeups are really well done and there is a good amount of focus on the actual animation during the battle sequences.

For a TV series, especially knowing how in Japan, many of these studios tend to crank them out because they have other deadlines taking on other series, “Bleach” continues to look very good.

As for picture quality, of course on DVD, you are going to see some softness, banding and edge enhancement but for the most part, picture quality is very good on DVD.


“Bleach DVD Set Seventeen – Original and Uncut” is presented in stereo English and Japanese. Both dialogue tracks are clear and understandable. For those with a modern receiver may want to set their setting to stereo on all channels for a more immersive soundtrack.

Subtitles are in English.


“Bleach DVD Set Seventeen – Original and Uncut” comes with the following special features:

  • Production Art – Using your remote, you can view “Bleach” production art.
  • Clean Ending – The clean ending theme.
  • Omake – The ending omake for episodes 243-255.

As explained from the last volume, as Tite Kubo needs time to complete chapters for his manga and because the anime series has caught up with the manga, the only way to put some distance between the manga and the anime is to either put the show on hiatus or to come up with new stories.

And eventually, they chose the latter by taking a break from the Arrancar War and dedicate a season (in Japan, these episodes are part of the 13th season and aired in Japan on July 2009 through April 2010) to a brand new storyline dubbed the Zanpakuto: The Alternate Tale Arc.

And for this volume, the storyline continues Muramasa’s attempt to free the zanpakuto’s from their masters and lead a rebellion against the Soul Society.  But in truth, Muramasa is after his old master, the insane Koga Kuchiki, who had been sealed for centuries.  And with Muramasa’s power growing weaker, his time to save Koga is growing shorter.

So, while the story focuses on Muramasa trying to seal his mater, we also learn his backstory between Koga/Muramasa and how Koga ended up insane after being framed by jealous soul reapers of killing his own allies and was imprisoned.  This led to Koga becoming evil and trying to murder anyone who stands against him.

And as Muramasa’s goal is to release the insane Koga inside the Seireitei to exact his revenge against soul reapers, Ichigo and others must do all they can to stop both Muramasa and Koga.

Having watched many “Bleach” filler episodes or alternate story arcs, so far the writers have been pretty good in creating original storylines and with the release of “Bleach DVD Set Seventeen – Original and Uncut”.   Sure, it may not be canon with the manga series but if you are a “Bleach” fan, you either have a choice of not having a series or having filler episodes and for those who don’t feel too bad about having the latter, this latest arc is action-packed and includes certain Soul Reaper characters that are not utilized all that much.  In this case, you get to see Kenpachi, Byakuya, Soifon and Yoruichi take part in major battles.

“Bleach DVD Set Seventeen – Original and Uncut” is another action-packed volume of “Bleach”.  While this season focuses on Muramasa and why he intends to free Koga Kuchiki, the next 18th volume should conclude the 13th season “Zanpukto: The Alternate Tale” episodes and by 19th volume, what many fans are waiting for, the return to the episodes featuring the final battle against the Arrancars.

If you are a fan of “Bleach” and stood with this anime series from the very beginning or have followed the anime/manga series for a very long time , “Bleach DVD Set Seventeen – Original and Uncut” may is worth checking out!

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