Bleach Season 12 Part Three DVD Review

Bleach S12 pt3

Released by Manga Entertainment, this set chronicles the remaining 11 episodes of the 12th (13th in the rest of the world) season of the hit anime Bleach, and in doing so wraps up the Zanpakutō: The Alternate Tale arc. This arc as a whole has lasted for 35 episodes and as such is the anime’s second longest arc behind Season 13 (Season 14 to the rest of the world) which has 51, so it’s not surprising that after such a long build up, you find yourself either really interested in the story or dying for it to be over with so you can move on to the next chapter.

Bleach 12.3 CoverWhat is interesting about this arc is that once you get to episode 256, the third episode in the set, the main crux of the story is over and done with, leaving, in essence, nine episodes of filler. Normally the odd filler episode is par for the course in a long running anime series, but when you consider that this whole season is in fact filler, as it was created solely for the anime, then what you have in the remaining nine episodes is filler within filler. This is where it gets tricky for these episodes to work, since filler episodes generally tend to be the ones that fans dislike. Often the plots of said fillers have no real meaning in the overall canon of the series, and are seen as diluting or dragging out a show for longer than it needs to be. The real danger here for the writers of these final episodes is that after the momentum of the previous episodes, they could end up looking like they have run out of steam if they end with purely filler within filler.

So how do they try to get around this? Well one way they have tried to do this is by giving each of the episodes enough of a small strand of plot so that they not only connect to the main plot of the rest of the arc but also, when combined, form a small mini-arc to wrap everything up. But does it actually work? Sadly not, as the strands that connect to the main plot are too subtle and therefore not really strong enough as a whole to form an arc.

That aside, the episodes are not what may be considered awful or unwatchable: they are all passable, and some are even funny, featuring good performances from the voice actors. Vic Mignogna, for example, delivers a couple of amusing performances as Senbonzakura Zanpakutō. Sadly though, the inclusion of these episodes does leave you feeling that the arc ends with a whimper and for an arc that was otherwise enjoyable to watch, this is a shame.

Apart from the episodes themselves, the discs are presented with the usual textless openings and closings and little else, but once again the quality of the transfer and sound is up to par. The disc menus themselves are also the same as usual, however, and as such are not really awe-inspiring, instead seeming a little dull and plain.

Overall this release is what you have come to expect from a Bleach release, with the only major difference being that this time the episodes slightly let down the arc. But then, there is nothing Manga Entertainment could have done about that. The major positive point, though, is that you do get two discs containing 11 episodes for under £18, which is not bad value for money. To sum this disc up, you could say that it is like a single person receiving a mystery Valentine’s card from someone and the anticipation of who it could be, only to find out that it was a sympathy one from your mum.

Bleach Season 12 Part Three is available from Manga Entertainment from Monday 17th February.

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