Bleach Series 12 Parts 1 & 2 DVD review

Bleach Season 12 Part 2  DVD Cover

Bleach Season 12 Part 2 DVD Cover

The following review is for the complete Bleach Series 12 Parts 1 & 2, which is out now in two parts courtesy of Manga Entertainment.

Bleach has become well known over the course of its sixteen seasons for many things, be it the long drawn out battles that can last multiple episodes or its crazy nonsensical purely fan service episodes, there is no doubt that like most long serving anime it has its tropes. One of those such tropes is in fact the basis for this entire season and it is that of the completely self contained and random season long story arc.

When we had last left are our heroes they were battling to rescue Orihime Inoue from the clutches of Sousuke Aizen, a mission that ended up being part of a larger plot to attack Karakura town. So it was quite surprising to start this season only to find ourselves back in the soul society for a whole new and seemingly unconnected storyline. This is not a bad thing however as the storyline we are presented with is one that has become this writer’s favourite Bleach story arc to date. Without giving too much away, the premise for this arc is simple, the Soul Reapers relationships with their Zanpakuto (Character specific weapons) are tested when a new enemy with the power to give said weapons a physical form arrives in the Soul Society. This enemy then sets about causing havoc as master is pitted against weapon in battles that end up destroying whole parts of the Soul Society in the process.

What makes this story compelling is not only the journey to find out who has done this to the Soul Society and why, but also what form each of the Soul Reapers Zanpakuto will take.

Returning to the point about the story being unconnected to the previous seasons, whilst this is true, in that you are not able to place exactly where this fits in to the Bleach universe and at what time, the arc is connected in that you learn about the connection between most of the key members of the 13 Court Guard Squads and their Zanpakuto and as such you are provided with some great insight into the core characters.

What the arc also does very well is it manages to give you an insight into all of the characters and not just the fan favourites, which is a refreshing and a welcome change that serves to strengthen the audiences bond with all of the characters as opposed to just a few. A move that is likely being done so that the viewer is connected to these characters and therefore are able to be manipulated in the episodes/seasons to come.

The tough thing about this season is that there is so much character development it is hard not to talk about the plot and specific characters parts in it without providing some sort of spoiler. What little that can be said is that viewers will see a new version of their favourite orange haired heroes powers and that this leads to a great battle.

Bleach Series 12 Part 2 Still
Story aside the animation is the same art style and quality as other recent Bleach releases and so there are no real differences to comment on. The voice acting too is similar to seasons gone by with the exception of the odd few performances from people such as Vic Mignogna, who turns up as more than one character and these tend to be seen in episodes that focus on individual characters and their stories.

Overall this season is one of the franchise’s more well developed arcs and even what you would normally consider to be filler episodes end up having a relevance to the season arc. All of which adds up to what is a near perfect season and is an example of how a long running franchise can still deliver the goods and therefore is suitable for both new and old fans alike.

Bleach Series 12 Parts 1 & 2 is now available from Manga Entertainment and is worth purchasing, as like eating Pringles, one episode of this arc will not be enough and you will be left wanting more and will soon find yourself watching one after the other until there are none left.

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