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Come on, Yori, all your friends are totally on board for you screwing up a chance for peace!

I watched the live action Bleach movie on Netflix. It’s alright, I guess. Certainly not the worst adaptation of a manga, granted those are almost always a mess. Bleach is a series that had an incredibly fun premise and then totally squandered it to go all DBZ style. I’d hoped the movie would capture what I liked about the beginning of the series; slice of life stories centered on various ghosts culminating in big monster battles, but that’s not what made Bleach a hit.

No, Bleach skyrocketed in popularity when ghost samurai started fighting each other with magic swords in big, bland environments endlessly. I mean, to be fair, I was also super excited when Ichigo went to Soul Society and started fighting shinigami, the story felt engaging and full of mysteries, leading to some big revelation. But all the world building quickly started to contradict itself, and the logic of the series’ portrayal of the afterlife completely unraveled. In hindsight, Bleach was a stronger series in its beginning when it stuck to the real world, and kept Soul Society an off screen presence. But the story ballooned out of proportion into a convoluted shonen battle slog, and lost everything that made it unique in the process.

Unfortunately, the movie treats the slice of life ghost busting as a side event to get to ‘the good stuff’, a handful of a fast paced magic sword duels. The fights have a similar flare to the ones in the Kenshin live action movies, although with quite a bit more CG and implausible airtime involved. It also suffers from most manga-to-film adaptations, trying to cram in too many characters, and feeling like a rushed narrative even though it’s a good hour and forty five minutes in length.

On the positive side, the characters feel very accurate to their manga counterparts, and the cast has a lot of good chemistry. The focus is primarily on the relationship between Rukia and Ichigo, and despite all the awkward factors that seem omnipresent in every live action anime adaptation, I still managed to feel some level of human emotion in the final scene between them. I also found myself laughing at a number of gags during the film. I think the movie could’ve honestly been a lot funnier, but it had a pretty good amount of levity. There’s also this punk rock song that plays several times during action scenes that’s mostly unintelligible Engrish, except for the final line in the chorus that goes “AND DRINK YOUR MILK!” which made me laugh each time I heard it. Also the movie managed to not hyper sexualize highschool girls, which is probably worth noting. So, in summary, they could’ve done a lot worse!

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  • charles81

    And so begins a bro journey filled with Training by the greatest badasses around.

    Ken for the actual badassery training, Cho for ultimate defence, the big M for escape and our NNFB Chuck Norris to pass on the blades he’ll do it with

  • Xenocide

    “I agree.”
    “What?”
    “I agree that you aren’t going to let us stop you. Which is why we’re going to have to kill you.”
    *Begin the battle of Yori Vs The Four Badasses*

  • Astralfury

    He was worried for even a second that Ken “I punch or smash with a sword my problems” and Mr “the Tao led me to the doomsday prophecy” were about to talk him down?

    • animalia555

      To be fair after what he just saw with everyone being all “zen peace man,” INCLUDING Ken. It’s hard to blame him. Heck I was surprised.

      • Astralfury

        Come on if Ken believed for a second he could have punched that sword wound away he would have.

  • foducool

    “someone agrees with me? what? how?”

    also fuck live action movies

  • Minando

    Ah, that feeling when you realize you tried to bash in an open door.

  • Minando

    Concerning ‘live movies’…I really don’t know….. a movie that would be plain silly without loads and loads of CGI tech…heck, even *with* all these gimmicks it’s pretty goofy…is there even still room for the good old-fashioned art of acting?


    I guess that’s just me getting old.

  • Turul

    tfw somebody ELSE thinks you’ve a good idea. Yeah, I’d be shocked too.

  • Kid Chaos

    “I agree…that it’s time for you to beat the crap out of Eijiro and claim your birthright. Besides, do you think I’m gonna let Ina marry that little twerp? As if!” 😜

  • IDPounder

    Anyone else get a “Four Horsemen” vibe from panel #4? I mean, if the 4 Horsemen were a bit like the 3 Stooges. Except occasionally more competent. And without horses.

  • Ocean Burning.

    Go, Yori, go! 😍

  • animalia555

    I am ALSO thinking that things won’t be going as well at Chateau Wataro as expected. Matrix had Yori learn to use TWO swords FOR A REASON. I doubt it was just to look cool. And they haven’t come into play yet.
    Either that Chekov’s Gun is GOING to be fired, or, and this is less likely but more funny, we’ll later see Matrix and Neo lampshading how the gun never went off.

    • clogboy

      It wasn’t fired… except during his fight with Tadashii.

    • purplelibraryguy

      You may have a point. On the other hand, I think you underestimate the importance of looking cool. Learning two swords to look cool is totally legit.

  • Hfar

    “I mean, WE don’t think it’s a bad idea. If anything most of us are just annoyed you didn’t think to bring us along.”

    • Brandenfascher

      “Especially Cho. Ken found him wandering to a bar with the priests, calling them ‘fine ladies’. Can you keep an eye on him?”
      Cho: “The cherry blossom flies wistfully where it wishes, except where the large baboon breaks wind.”
      Ken: “Are you saying I’m a big, gassy monkey!?”
      Cho: “The silent duck is silent”.
      Ken: “That’s what I thought, and I AIN’T about to let you celebrate without me until all this is done!”

  • Sunwu

    Ina’s Dad: You didn’t let me finish, I agree but a deals a deal GET “EM BOYS!!!

  • Xinef

    All according to Ina’s plan, nyeh heh heh…

  • Auroki

    Main character leaves to find party members waiting already. I believe insert next disc now?

  • clogboy

    Woot woot
    I got the second volume (Kyoto Chaos) in the mail today, immediately started reading it.
    Unfortunately, Hivemill sent it out in a box large enough for it to tumble around in, and a corner got pretty banged up (my inner collector cries). I’m wondering if a letterbox envelope also wouldn’t have been cheaper for shipping. Otherwise very happy :)

    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      I’m glad you got a copy! I’m pretty frustrated to hear they didn’t pack it well, though!!

      • clogboy

        Yeah well… I assume it’s beyond your control and we’ll have to deal with the powers that be. I’ve read how much of a hassle it can be to find a good print company, and overall the price / quality ratio of this product is quite satisfying.
        I’ll definitely buy the third volume if I have the money.

  • Hemdall

    I felt the manga lost its touch during the Hueco Mundo arc, and while it was spiraling out of control it could have ended nicely at the end of the Aizen fight, but kept going into a bad series that dropped the ball at almost every chance, and bloated powers into stupidity. Even Toriko fighting planet destroying monsters made more sense than the last arc of Bleach.

    • animalia555

      It doesn’t help that the editor insisted on having EVERY Espada be fought because of their popularity.

    • Znayx

      That’s pretty accurate… Well, okay, the Hueco Mundo arc was an absolutely necessary consequence to the Soul Society arc. The Aizen fight would have been a great point to wind down for an end. However, within the Hueco Mundo arc were some problems. Such as “Oh I guess Aizen just doesn’t need Orihime anymore, wtf!?” That was kind of ridiculous. And what the other guy said… Bleach always loved resorting to a bunch of small, tight battles (with the added annoyance where the good guys just luckily developed the specific skill needed to conquer the enemy and basically no other good guy could have had that ability thus not killed the enemy). It’s just so overused. They don’t NEED to pair every notable figure in single/double combat. Anyway, I did like the series until the Aizen arc finished. After that it was just a need to find out how it ends — plus, it wasn’t bad, just mediocre, and magical sword action is generally fun. The final arc, the Quincy one, was a pretty nice way to fill in all the holes, but they didn’t need those 2-3 filler arcs in between. Maybe time skip like Naruto Shippuden, but for just a single storyline?

  • Warcodered

    Yori nobody wants the sad ending.

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