Saturday, 11 February 2012

Bleach Movie 3: Fade to Black 君の名を呼ぶ / Fade to Black Kimi no Na-o Yobu / Fade to Black, I Call Your Name

This, the third Bleach movie, satisfied me in a typical Jump movie sort of way, though not nearly as much as its sequel Hell Verse did. After watching on 14.10.09, after the DVD release was subtitled by fans, I wrote ‘After disappointing One Piece and Naruto movies, I was very pleased to see a big Jump franchise movie doing it right. Nice eye candy, an emotional, sincere side-story that worked in the world of the show and the sheer awesomeness of Zaraki Kenpachi at work. Nice!Apparently it just got an official release in the US in November, so it seems timely to revisit.

And yes indeed, while of the Big Three, Bleach has most outstayed its welcome now, and probably been abandoned by even more of its fans than Naruto, two things I can really say for it are that it manages to produce the best movies and the best filler arcs. Not really the greatest accomplishments, but it’s at least something – and not really competing with One Piece isn’t exactly something to be ashamed of. Bleach’s first movie was rather dull, but this one at least entertained.

This feature-length version revolves around the pretty obvious side-story concept of everyone but the main character losing their memories and no longer being familiar with him. Naturally in a world where combat is part of daily life, this unfolds rather differently from, say, The Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi. It’s up to Ichigo to get to the bottom of what happened and get his allies back on his side, as well as dealing with a mysterious ‘dark’ version of a familiar face.

After The Hell Verse it all seems a bit unambitious and uninteresting, but for the eye-candy and a simple, workable story with characters that after all this I still do quite like, it’s worthwhile as a companion piece.

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