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BLEACH the Movie 2 – The Diamond Dust Rebellion (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

September 19, 2009 by  



“Action packed, tragic, dramatic but with almost every character from the popular anime series ‘BLEACH’ appearing in this anime series, the second film “The Diamond Dust Rebellion” is definitely recommended!”

 

Image courtesy of © 2007 Tite Kubo/Shuiesha, TV TOKYO, dentsu, Pierrot.  All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: BLEACH The Movie 2 – The Diamond Dust Rebellion

DURATION: 90 Minutes

DVD INFORMATION: NTSC, Region 1, Japanese and English audio, English subtitles

COMPANY: Shonen Jump Home Video

RATED: T for teen

Release Date: September 8, 2009

Originally created by Tite Kubo

Directed by Noriyuki Abe

Screenplay by Michiko Yokote

Music by Shiro Sagisu

Character Design by Masashi Kudo

Theme song by Sambomaster

Production by Dentsu Inc., Shueisha, Studio Pierrot, TV Tokyo

Featuring the following voice talent:

Akira Ishida/Keith Silverstein as Soujirou Kusaka

Masakazu Morita/Johnny Yong Bosch as Ichigo Kurosaki

Romi Paku/Steve Staley as Toushirou Hitsugaya

Fumihiko Tachiki/David Lodge as Kenpachi Zaraki

Fumiko Orikasa/Michelle Ruff as Rukia Kuchiki

Hideo Ishikawa as Jushiro Ukitake

Hiroki Yasumoto/Jamieson Price as Sado “Chad” Yasutora

Kaya Matsutani/Megan Hollingshead as Rangiku Matsumoto

Kentarou Itou/Wally Wingert as Renji Abarai

Masaaki Tsukada/Bob Johnson as Yamamoto Genryuusai Shigekuni

Nobuyuki Hiyama/Vic Mignogna as Ikkaku Madarame

Noriaki Sugiyama/Derek Stephen Prince as Uryuu Ishida

Ryotaro Okiayu/Dan Woren as Byakuya Kuchiki

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

Yuki Matsuoka/Stephanie Sheh as Orihime Inoue

Akio Ohtsuka/Steve Kramer as Shunsui Kyōraku

Chinami Nishimura/Jeannie Elias as Kiyone Kotetsu

Daisuke Matsuoka as Hyōrinmaru

Hitomi Nabatame as Nanao Ise

Jun Fukuyama as Yumichika Ayasegawa

Katsuyuki Konishi/Steve Staley as Shūhei Hisagi

Kiyoyuki Yanada/Michael Sorich as Tessai Tsukabishi

Mitsuaki Madono/Quinton Flynn as Kon

Noriko Shitaya/Wendee Lee as Ururu Tsumugiya

Rie Kugimiya as Karin Kurosaki

Ryusei Nakao as Mayuri Kurotsuchi

Sayaka Ohara as Masaki Kurosaki

Shinichiro Miki/Michael Lindsay as Kisuke Urahara

Takahiro Sakurai as Kira Izuru

Takako Honda/Jeannie Elias as Jinta Hanakari

Takayuki Sugo/Richard Epcar as Zangetsu

Tarô Yamaguchi/Michael McConnohie as Chōjirō Sasakibe

Tetsu Inada/J.B. Blanc as Sajin Komamura

Tomoe Sakuragawa/Janice Kawaye as Yuzu Kurosaki

Tomoko Kawakami/Karen Strassman as Soi Fong

Toshiyuki Morikawa as Isshin Kurosaki

Yukana as Isane Kotetsu/Yang

After the treasured Ouin is stolen, Toshiro Hitsugaya disappears and becomes suspected of treason.  When the Soul Society calls for his capture and execution.  Substitute Soul reaper Ichigo Kurosaki vows to prove Hitsugaya’s innocence.  With the secret of the Ouin and Captain Hitsugaya’s motives be revealed before his honor, his life and the Soul Society are destroyed?

Action packed, tragic, dramatic but with almost every character from the popular anime series ‘BLEACH’ appearing in this anime series, the second film “The Diamond Dust Rebellion” is definitely recommended!

“BLEACH”, the popular, long and currently running Shonen Jump manga and anime series originally created by Tite Kubo gets its second film released on DVD in the US.

The second film is directed by Noriyuki Abe (“Bleach”, “Ninku”, “Ghost Stories”, “Great Teacher Onizuka” and “Yu Yu Hakusho”), a screenplay by Michiko Yokote (“Big Windup!”, “Cowboy Bebop”, “Genshiken”, “.Hack/SIGN”, “Bleach” and “Gintama”), music by Shiro Sagisu (“Bleach”, “Casshern”, “Neon Genesis Evangelion”, “Nadia – Secret of Blue Water” and “Kimagure Orange Road”) and character designs by Masashi Kudo (“Witch Hunter Robin”, “Wings of Rean” and “Bleach”).

The second film “The Diamond Dust Rebellion” takes place after “Bleach” episode 150 and revolves around Squad 10 Captain Toshirou Hitsugaya.

A mysterious artifact known as the “Ouin” is so secretive that the royal family has to hide the artifact and while the royal family does so, it’s the job of the Soul Society to prevent anyone from stealing the artifact during its transport to a new area. So, the 10th Division which includes Captain Toshirou Hitsugaya, Lt. Rangiku Matsumoto and other soul reapers accompany the royal family’s guards during transport when they are attacked by two female Arrancars and someone that appears to be a Soul Reaper.

As the two Arrancars decimate their opposition, Hitsugaya goes after this mysterious Soul Reaper who has stolen the ouin artifact and learns that it may be someone he knows and thus pursues after him.

Unfortunately, with Hitsugaya gone and the artifact to be considered as high priority, the Soul Society suspects that Hitsugaya may be involved and thus Rangiku and division 10 members are put into custody and locked in their area.

Meanwhile, on Earth, Ichigo finds Soifon and many people lying dead.  Unfortunately, he is unable to learn much from Soifon but when she disappears, he finds an injured Hitsugaya.  Upon waking up, Hitsugaya is unable to give any information to Ichigo.  In fact, the two end up fighting each other in which Hitsugaya gives him the name of Kusaka while being attacked by the two Arrancar women.

Needless to say, the Arrancars unleash a massive army of hollows on Earth, while the Soul Society remain even more suspicious of Hitsugaya after Soul Reaper Squad 8 Captain Shunsui Kyoraku is injured by the Hyorinmaru, which only Hitsugaya is known to possess.  Thus the Soul Reapers receive an order that they must execute Hitsugaya, one of their own.  With some Soul Reapers not thrilled going after their own, other Soul Reapers try to do their own investigation on who this Kusaka is and if its possible another person can possess the Hyorinmaru.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“BLEACH the Movie 2 – The Diamond Dust Rebellion” is definitely an animated film with a higher production value over its television series counterpart.  Sharp, vibrant colors, more detail and beautifully painted scenery.    The fact that so many characters (and even many locations) are featured in this film, needless to say that it’s quite exciting to see so many people from the Soul Society involved in this film.  So, despite the challenges the studios had in creating this film in a short time, needless to say that they really pulled this off.  Backgrounds look great, nice amount of detail for the film version and for the most part, it’s a colorful and vibrant film.

As for the audio, audio is featured in Japanese and English audio.  I’ve watched both in Japanese and with English, so needless to say that both voice acting for the English and Japanese side are well-done.  Certain sound effects and even musical score utilize the surround channel speakers but for the most part, the series is a front and center channel driven film.  Dialogue is easily heard and is clear and understandable. Personally, I found the film much more fun to watch with my receiver setting on stereo on all channels.

Subtitles are in English only.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“BLEACH the Movie 2 – The Diamond Dust Rebellion” is featured on two discs (the first featuring the main film, the second disc on the special features).  The case comes with a slipcase and inside is a 26-page booklet featuring interviews with the Japanese voice talent, still frames from the film and production information.  Also, included is a flier promoting a contest to for people to win a limited edition autographed guitar by Bleach author Tite Kubo.

“BLEACH the Movie 2 – The Diamond Dust Rebellion” features the following special features:

  • Making the Bleach Movie 2 – This featurette includes the following segments:

– At Studio Pierrot with the Director (Noriyuki Abe) and character designer (Masashi Kudo): (12:35) Both talk about what they wanted to accomplish for the film and what they wanted to accomplish for the battle sequences for each character.

– The T2 Studio – Photography and FX: (3:56) – Interviews with Katsufumi Sato and Toshiyuki Fukushima of T2 Studio who discuss the special effects of the film.

– At Studio Wyeth with Background Artists: (2:39) – Interviews with Sawako Takagi and Tomoyuki Shimizu of Studio Wyeth and what they wanted to accomplish for the film’s background artist and the challenge in trying to create the backgrounds in a short schedule.

– Composing the Score with Shirou Sagisu: (10:40) Behind-the-scenes footage on the recording the music for “BLEACH the Movie 2 – The Diamond Dust Rebellion”.  Shirou Sagisu talks about the challenges of the score and more.

– Interview with Sambomaster: (7:21) Interviews with Sambomaster members Takashi Yamaguchi (Vocals/Guitar), Yasufumi Kiuchi (Drums) and Yoichi Kondo (Bass) about “BLEACH” and their song being used as a theme song for an animated film and growing up with “Shonen Jump”.

  • Production Art Gallery – With your remote, viewers can scan through production art.
  • Original Japanese Promos – (5:08) Several of the Japanese promos for the film.  One featuring Ichigo vs. Hitsugaya, another featuring Kon and the theatrical trailers.

I have to admit that I was surprised by “BLEACH the Movie 2 – The Diamond Dust Rebellion”.

When it comes to animated films based on a long-running anime series, the truth is that most of them lean more towards good/average to an animated film that simply sucks.  And most of the time, the films have nothing to do with the television series.  So, it was great to find out that “BLEACH the Movie 2 – The Diamond Dust Rebellion” does have a connection.

Fortunately, the second “BLEACH” film is anything but.  I think that for fans, its one thing to get hyped of seeing trailers of Ichigo vs. Hitsugaya but what surprised me was the sheer amount of action featured in the film and the amount of characters.  Nearly every Soul Reaper is featured and most of them are featured in battle.  This is an all out war and so it’s quite interesting to see all of this taking place.

For Toshirou Hitsugaya fans, he’s one character that hasn’t been utilized a lot, so it was nice to get to know part of his back history through this film.

Plot-wise, the film was OK but its strengths lies in its animation, its battle sequences and special effects and the mere fact that it’s “BLEACH” eye candy to have so many characters in one film.

As for the DVD release, it’s really cool to have the booklet and the Japanese-based interviews included on the second disc. So, there are some incentives of buying the DVD.

Overall, I enjoyed the film and I would expect “BLEACH” fans to enjoy it as well. Action packed, tragic, dramatic but with almost every character from the popular anime series ‘BLEACH’ appearing in this anime series, the second film “The Diamond Dust Rebellion” is definitely recommended!

 

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