Thursday, September 29, 2011
BLEACH: JIGOKU HEN
BLEACH: JIGOKU HEN (BLEACH MOVIE 4: THE HELL VERSE) (2010)
Directed by Noriyuki Abe
Masakazu Morita - Ichigo Kurosaki
Fumiko Orikasa - Rukia Kuchiki
Kazuya Nakai - Kokuto
Ichigo Kurosaki heads into the Gates of Hell, which is where Hollows who had committed evil during their lives as humans are sent, to save his youngest sister.
I'll admit that I love anime, and the series Bleach is probably my favorite. Part of the reason for this is that what can't be done in live action films can easily be done in animation. Another reason is that where most movies try to have both story and the look, few pull it off to a level of total immersion. One such movie that pulls it off completely is Blade Runner. Now that's not to say all anime is amazing and gets every aspect correct. In fact, I would have to say that only about 15 percent of them do. But what keeps people watching it, is that most anime has an ever evolving storyline. With the movies though, most are based off of series that have been running for a while, so sometimes it's hard to jump right in and enjoy the story and action. So how does the fourth Bleach movie hold up with all this going against it.
I guess I should first give some background on the series so where most people that are reading this won't be completely lost. Ichigo Kurosaki has always been able to see ghosts, then he meets Rukia Kuchiki, a Soul Reaper and member of the mysterious Soul Society. While fighting a Hollow, an evil spirit that preys on humans who display psychic energy, Rukia attempts to lend Ichigo some of her powers so that he can save his family; but much to her surprise, Ichigo absorbs every last drop of her energy. Now a full-fledged Soul Reaper himself, Ichigo quickly learns that the world he inhabits is one full of dangerous spirits and hidden agendas. Throughout his time as a Soul Reaper he has to take on the Soul Society to free Rukia who has been falsely accused of crimes while keeping on eye on his closest friends around him who also begin showing powers after being to close to him. All that has happened is due to a rogue Soul Reapers who want to take down the Soul Society with evolved Hollows, no matter the cost of life to anyone.
I'm going to go ahead and start with the one thing that I truly didn't like about the movie and that is Ichigo's final form in hell. On a series that prides itself on having style as well as substance, his final armor is just junky looking. Another thing about it, is that after having so much action throughout almost the entire run of the film, the ending was almost anti-climatic. Okay, so maybe there was two things that bugged me. Yet one thing that did catch me by surprise more than anything else was the sound design all throughout the film. From the distance echos of souls in pain, to the cries of despair and anguish from Ichigo when in his full Hollow form. What helps the feel of the movie out as well, is the background music which adds a tension to most scenes with what is a mixture of dark choir music put to an industrial rhythm. Now if only I can find a copy of the soundtrack.
Now I must say that this movie is a rollercoaster ride all the way through as it barely slows down for a second, and when it does, thankfully it doesn't destroy the feel of the film. Well, except for the end which I went into about before. From the opening sequence of a soul being reborn as a skeleton and seeing the muscle and veins and skin grow back after scenes of a battle with Ichigo in full Hollow form, you know that the fourth film will be more violent and darker than the what is expected. On the animation front of it, I just have to say that it is beautiful to look at, and watch just how fluid everything moves for being hand drawn and not computer animated due to a human touch on almost every frame of the film. While it's not a perfect movie, it is fun and moves at an amazing pace that rarely lets up. And even better, it doesn't make you feel like you wasted your time.
Garogai's perfect example of how to be a giant pincushion.
What a nuisance. Why won't you remain dead for a couple of minutes!
Bleach is celebrating it's 10 anniversary of the manga this year.
Tite Kubo, Bleach's creator, has said that he likes creating characters that have outward appearances that do not match their true nature—an element that can be found in many of his characters.
Kubo has stated that he wishes to make Bleach an experience that can only be found by reading manga, and dismissed ideas of creating any live-action film adaptations of the series.
The anime series, based off the manga, has been running on Japan's TV Tokyo since October of 2004, and has been airing on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim since September 2006.
The movie takes place in the middle of the Arrancar: Downfall arc of the manga and anime series.