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

July 23, 2012 by  



With Ichigo and friends badly injured, Soul Reapers Kenpachi, Byakuya and Mayuri take on the Espada in a battle to the death!  Who will win?  Find out in the  latest action-packed DVD release, “Bleach DVD Set Thirteen – Original and Uncut”!

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

DVD TITLE: Bleach: DVD Set Thirteen – Original and Uncut

DURATION: Episodes 194-205 (300 Minutes)

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

COMPANY: VIZ Media

RATED: 13+

Release Date: June 12, 2012

Originally created by Kubotite

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

In Hueco Mundo, Ichigo and his friends are on the brink of collapse as they challenge the seemingly endless power of the Espadas. But then, four captains of the Thirteen Court Guard Squads arrive to back them up. While their battles rage, Sosuke Aizen once again takes Orihime captive and reveals his true aim: the destruction of Karakura Town!

Contains episodes 194-205.

It’s another action packed volume of “Bleach” as we learn of Neliel’s past and the Soul Reapers have arrived to take on the Espada!

Sixth Division Captain Byakuya Kuchiki takes on Zommari Rureaux, Eleventh Division Captain Kenpachi vs. Tesla and Nnoitra and Twelfth Division Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi and Nemu take on Szayael Aporro Granz in a battle to the death!

And Sosuke Aizen begins his plan to destroy Karakura Town!

All this and more in “Bleach DVD Set Thirteen – Original and Uncut”!

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.

Throughout the series, Ichigo continues to get stronger, as does his friends Chad, Orihime, Uraharu and each develop significant skills to fight against the hollows and the powerful Arrancar.

While the last volumes have focused on the battle with the Arrancars, with the anime writers needing to time things with the manga release from Tite Kubo, before continuing the Arrancar storyline, for the anime series, we are given a satisfying 9th filler season that introduces new characters and a storyline about Third Division Captain Shusuke Amagai before continuing with the Arrancar storyline (season 10).

Volume 12 is a continuation of the events which took place in the last volume, “Bleach DVD Set Eleven” (also known as Season 9 in Japan), the season introduced us to the Third Division meeting their new captain, Shusuke Amagai and Amagai trying to win the trust of his new squad.

Meanwhile, on Earth, Ichigo and friends meet a young princess of the Soul Society nobility named Rurichiyo Kasumioji and her Soul Reaper assistants Ryusei “Kenryu” Kenzaki and Ruzaburo “Enryu” Enkogawa who move next door to Ichigo’s home. They hope that Ichigo, Rukia and friends will be able to protect Rurichiyo from assassins, while she tries to maintain a normal life not knowing the threats that are being made against her.

For Ichigo, having to watch over a spoiled princess and having to deal with her bossy protectors is more than he needs in his life right now. Especially when they bring out so many hollows and leave them to Ichigo and friends to fight them all.

In “Bleach DVD Set Twelve”, Ichigo and Rukia have discovered a plot by Kumoi and the Kasumiohji Clan to kidnap Rurichiyo and that the marriage is a sham. Because the Kasumiohji Clan is a clan that is literally “off-limits” to the Soul Society but their job is to make sure the wedding takes place, when Ichigo and Rukia try to stop the sham wedding they get themselves into major trouble as Ichigo has made a major violation and now Genryusai Shigekuni Yamamoto, leader of the Soul Society has no choice but to send various divisions in capturing Ichigo and Rukia.

But those who know Ichigo know that if he was trying to stop a wedding, he doesn’t do it for the fun of it. There must be a reason why he would do something lie this. This leads to a split between those who know Ichigo and those who don’t to fight each other as Renji Abarai of the Sixth Division and Tetsuzaemon Iba of Seventh Division and Shuhei Hisagi of Ninth Division and Ikkaku Madarame of Eleventh Division fight against each other.

Meanwhile, Izuru Kira of Third Division has suspicions towards Third Division member, Makoto Kibune. Having told his new captain Shusuke Amagai, Amagai decides to pursue after Ichigo and Rukia.

While “Bleach DVD Set Twelve” concludes the ninth season, we are also presented with the first four episodes of season 10 of “Bleach” as the Arrancar storyline from season 8 is continued as Uruhara and Renji take on Espada Szayel Aporro Granz, while a captured Orihime watches as Ichigo takes on Nnoltra Gilga, in which Ichigo can not even scratch him.

Meanwhile, Nnoltra who looks as Ichigo as a weak fighter turns his attention to Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck and as he tries to kill her, Ichigo does all he can to protect her. But unbeknown to Ichigo, there is more to little Nel than meets the eye!

In “Bleach DVD Set Thirteen”, the volume features the final episodes of season 10.

Neliel has reverted back to her adult form and to protect Ichigo, she takes on Nnoitra.  We are also shown the history of Neliel and how she became the young girl with amnesia and why  Fraccion, Pesche and Dondochakka, are defending her!

But as Neliel is quite powerful, she has not found a way to stay as her true self.  And while an injured Ichigo is in no condition to fight, he takes on Nnoitra, but gets some help with Soul Reaper Kenpachi arrives and leads to a battle between Kenpachi and Nnoitra.

Meanwhile, Rukia Kuchiki is in no condition to fight against the powerful Espada Zommari Leroux, so coming to her rescue is her brother Byakuya who is ready to fight Zommari.

And as Uryu and Renji are in no condition to fight against the Espada Szayel Aporro, but what best than for one mad scientist to take on another, and in this case, Soul Reaper Mayuri Kurotsuchi and Nemu taking on Szayel!

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.
  • Shusuke Amagai – The Captain of the 3rd Division, he has a secret plan that will be revealed in season nine of “Bleach”.
  • Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck – A young girl Arrancar that accompanies Ichigo and is constantly protected by him. But there is more to Nel than meets the eye.

VIDEO:

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.

But for these Hueco Mundo episodes, they tend to take place on a desert.  So, most of the time, we are seeing desert, rocks and blue sky and a lot of closeups.  So, in many ways, I can’t wait for the episodes to move out of Hueca Mundo and back to the more city locations or Karakura Town.

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.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Bleach” 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.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

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

DISC 1

  • Production Art – Using your remote, you can view “Bleach” production art.
  • Clean Ending – The clean ending theme.
  • Omake – (2:43) The ending omake for episodes 194-197.
  • Sneak Peek – Sneek peak of VIZ related anime series on DVD.

DISC 2

  • Production Art – Using your remote, you can view “Bleach” production art.
  • Clean Ending – The clean ending theme.
  • Omake – (2:44) The ending omake for episodes 198-201.
  • Sneak Peek – Sneek peak of VIZ related anime series on DVD.

DISC 3

  • Production Art – Using your remote, you can view “Bleach” production art.
  • Clean Ending – The clean ending theme.
  • Omake – (2:43) The ending omake from episodes 202-205.
  • Sneak Peek – Sneek peak of VIZ related anime series on DVD.

For “Bleach” fans, the thirteenth volume of features the remaining episodes of season 10 which feature Nel, Kenpachi, Byakuya and Mayuri taking on the Espada.

There was no doubt that in Japan and for everyone who did see the episode, to see the transformation of little Nel to a beautiful and powerful Espada was surprising.  And sure enough, she has become one of the more popular characters that people try to cosplay at anime conventions.

Granted, the manga series featured more of the character’s body, which I am not surprised censors made sure her body was more covered up in the animated version.  But with this continuing episodes featuring Nel, we also learn about her past.  Her past with Espada Nnoitra Gilga (and why he despises Nel) and also the importance of her “brothers” Pesche Guatiche and Dondochakka Birstanne and the secret they have continue to keep from her, in order to protect her.

Fans also get to see Kenpachi, Byakuya and Mayuri in battle but possibly of the three, the more fascinating battle for me was to see Kenpachi’s fight against the powerful Nnoitra.  We have known that Kenpachi has grown bored and the last man who made him feel excited about fighting was Ichigo.  But now, he is involved in a battle to the death and we can see him in action.

As for Byakuya, we already know he is a fighter with many secrets but Mayuri is a mysterious mad scientist.  You never know what he has planned and he is quite a crazy but yet intelligent individual, his unpredictable nature is what is fascinating about his character.

We also get to see the Fourth Division medical team involved but the series is primarily focused on the battles with the Soul Reapers vs. the Espada, while Ichigo and friends are being healed by the Fourth Division or Orihime.

But this is an action-packed season and volume of “Bleach”.  The battle between the Soul Reapers and Espada are exciting but to see some characters like Kenpachi, really going at it, since his battle with Ichigo.

Also, this volume begins the bridge to bringing back the storyline to the evil Sosuke Aizen and setting up the next season involving him.

Overall, “Bleach DVD Set Thirteen – Original and Uncut” is another action-packed and enjoyable volume for “Bleach” fans.   But a chance to see the Soul Reapers take on the Espada one-on-one.

If you are a fan who enjoys action anime or just one who wants to see what is going on with the epic battle between the Soul Reapers and the Espada, will definitely want to watching this 13th uncut volume of “Bleach”.

Check it out!






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