Bleach (2018, Netflix) Review

For those of us who did not regularly watch Toonami ten to fifteen years ago, Bleach is an anime based of a manga of the same title, by Tite Kubo. The anime initially played like a sort of Japanese Ghostbusters before it morphed into something far more interesting, a supernatural class struggle heavy on samurai sword play. Although the story faltered toward the end of the series, it was and still is considered one of the best shonen series ever.

About a year ago, I was excited to hear that Bleach would be adapted into a live action movie for Japanese theaters. Here’s the trailer:

I was immediately relieved that it did not look like absolute garbage. For some reason, anime adaptations have been more miss than hit (See Netflix’s Death Note, for example). But this Bleach movie seemed to grasp how this adaptation could work: keep it simple. The elaborate class struggles that provide the foundation of the later series are barely, barely, hinted at in this movie. Instead, the focus is the relationship between Ichigo Kurosaki, a human teenager with orange hair, and Rukia Kuchiki, a low level soul reaper on the trail of some monster ghosts. Through a series of unfortunate events, Ichigo and Rukia trade places, and Ichigo learns that Run is was tracking the ghost that killed his mother. Run is also learns that by switching places with Ichigo, she has broken the law of resorts and will be executed if she does not kill Ichigo, which she doesn’t want to do.

The fun of the movie is watching Ichigo grow from angry teen dealing with the guilt of being unable to protect his mother into a fierce budding swordsman whose true potential is far deeper than anyone really knows. There are some fun sequences of ghostbusting that showcase some decent CGI monsters combined with practical effects.

Bleach-monster-CGI

The showrunners wisely kept the scope of the movie small. As a result, the movie is a good first taste of Bleach. I’m eager to see the next arc, the Soul Society arc.

Downsides? Well, it’s got a small scope, and with that scope is a similar budget. The budget was spent largely on the 2 main ghost sequences and corresponding special effects. Also, the movie ends in a way that indicates they have not committed to a sequel. I liked this movie so much that I was disappointed it ended.

I’m definitely hoping for a better funded sequel that takes us into Soul Society so we can see the fun that comes from the dozens of sword battles, bankai, and all the rest. Please, if you liked Bleach, if you like anime, if you like swords, please watch. I would live to see more good adaptations like this.

4 out of 5 Couch Cushions!!!

4-out-of-5-small

4 comments

  1. Please take the time to look back over and edit your review. Auto-correct / spell-check has you in multiple occasions refer to ‘Rukia’ as ‘Run is.’ Also, there are a few other auto-corrected words throughout, such as instead of ‘reaper’ you have the word ‘resorts.’ This could be greatly confusing for those who aren’t reading carefully or those who aren’t familiar with the story line of the original Manga/anime.

    Like

    • Thanks Taylor. I apologize for the typos. I put them there by accident. I left them there for folks like you to find. If you stick around and read more stuff, I promise you will find more. It’s like a treasure hunt for real fans.

      Like

  2. I enjoyed the live actions movie however some flaws needed to be highlight here , for example they should maintain the charater’s as real as in anime.
    Rukia character style with her signature hair, Byakuya character too ahould be kept similar as gorgeous as he is in anime too. …
    Looking forward for next sequeals with better improvement on live actions characters signature as in anime.

    Like

  3. I enjoyed the live actions movie however some flaws needed to be highlight here , for example they should maintain the character’s as realistic as in the anime.
    Rukia character style with her signature short savvy hairstyles, Byakuya character too should be kept similar as gorgeous as he is in anime too. …
    Looking forward for next sequeals with better improvement on live actions characters signature as in the anime.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s