Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bleach Movie 1: Memories of Nobody

Genre: Action / Adventure / Comedy / Drama / Supernatural
Parental Guidance Recommended
Credits: 2006 Kubotite, Noriyuki Abe

Manga and Illustration Books
Video Game Shop
Toys & Accessories
Original Soundtrack
Everything Bleach
Amazon.com Product Description:
After unidentified beings known as "Blanks" start popping up, they are soon followed by a Soul Reaper named Senna who makes them disappear. Puzzled by these unknown beings and the even more mysterious girl, Ichigo and Rukia set out to learn more, but uncover an evil plot when a menacing clan tries to kidnap Senna. Banished from the Soul Society long ago, the clan's leader is sending the World of the Living and the Soul Society on a collision course, and Senna seems to be the key to his diabolical plot for revenge. Can Ichigo and his fellow Soul Reapers save the two worlds from annihilation?

Disc 2 Special Features Include:
* Inside Bleach The Movie
* Japanese Production Interviews
* US Theatrical Trailer
* Original Japanese Trailers
Also included: Original Japanese Movie Booklet (translated version)

Would sometimes feel like a filler episode. >>> by skysenshi
Fair warning for those who want an introduction to Bleach: this is not a movie you pick up without watching the series first. So I'll go ahead and assume that if you're reading this, you've already been immersed in the series and I don't have to copy-paste from my review of it.

I think there is something seriously wrong with me when a character that everybody seems to love (as evident in at least 16 out of 19 reviews I've read) isn't really doing much for me entertainment-wise. I'm talking about Senna, this movie's female protagonist. Senna is everything nice and sweet in a shoujo heroine: charming, talented, beautiful, bewildered and embodies the love-hope-courage triangle. Except this isn't shoujo. Bleach is a shounen title. It's made for -- you nailed it -- people that want lots and lots and lots of action and adventure. Or maybe that's just me, since a lot of guys/boys/men seemed to love Memories of Nobody despite the sap.

I want to see Ichigo and Rukia in battle, not weep with a girl I have not established a connection with. I have tons of shoujo and yaoi manga for those kinds of things so I don't think I need more in my shounen anime as well. Sure, Senna is this highly skilled mysterious Soul Reaper who can chase away aimlessly walking blank souls while walking nearly aimlessly herself. So what? Honestly, if the creators of Bleach wanted to make a really great movie, they could focus on some of the existing characters. You know, the ones that actually appear regularly on the show but we know very little of? This way, they could add value to the existing arcs without messing up the storyline (which, fortunately, Memories of Nobody did not taint).

I also wanted to watch the rest of the Soul Society captains in action. Unfortunately, like many popular series' OAV's and movies, this one suffers from too many character exposure with very little plot to go around. Well, there's a lot of plot, but it only made room for Ichigo and Senna. The rest became virtual handmaidens; again with the shoujo-esque arrangements...

Memories of Nobody isn't such a total waste, however. It's perfect for those who are after new fight sequences, Bankai showcases, and some lovely art and animation -- they get really much more detailed and fluid here. In addition, the music is wonderfully compelling, doing such a good job of highlighting goosebumps-inducing scenes. I suppose the team still did a good job (hey, animation is NOT EASY), even though this has the feel of a long filler episode.

Individual Rating: Art/Animation 9; Story 6; Characters 7; Sounds 9

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