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Hey guys it’s a post-Christmas miracle, I'm actually on time this week! I hope everyone had a very happy (insert holiday here), and before I begin I just have a quick announcement. As I stated last week, I am heading the Bleach Wiki: Media Project, with the goal to improve articles and content on the site as it relates to the content presented in various media (books, music, video games and movies). So basically any areas outside the anime series and manga that needs more content, pictures, etc. Right now I have decided to basically do the project in chunks and right now I want people to concentrate on video games. I am happy to announce that I will be covering Bleach: Soul Resurrección and CathalOHara will be helping with Bleach: Soul Carnival 2. However, I still need a lot of help. For more details on how you can help or to leave suggestions for pages that you believe need more improvement, please follow the internal link above and leave a message on the project talk page. Now, on with the review!
It's coming down to the end of 2011, and it has been a pretty big year for Bleach fans. From Soul Resurrección to the release of Hell Chapter and the end of the anime adaption of the Arrancar arc (and that OTHER ARC as far as I'm concerned does not exist), it has been a pretty good tenth anniversary for Bleach fans. So now here we are last episode of 2011, so here we go.
Overall I thought it was a great episode, and we even got some added humor. The humor in this episode and omake was something I don't think we have seen in a long time. For really the last year and a half (with the exception of a few filler episodes) the anime has been on "maximum seriousness mode," and any non-Kubo humor has really fallen flat or just simply has not existed. In the first time in a while, and for the last few weeks, Bleach has actually been funny, and not unintentionally.
That has been something that I have missed from Bleach for a very long time. Sure, I love the drama and action, but what really made me fall in love with Bleach when I first saw it in August 2007, was the show was funny as hell, and then I read the manga and I was really laughing my (sorry have to keep it clean for the kiddies) off, and this came in when my life was less than spectacular. If I can go a little off topic here, I am always going to be honest with guys about things, so I know I have told bits of the story but I figured its time you guys knew a little more. I left my school in early 2006 and I began to be home schooled because I was being bullied at my school because of my differing abilities. I have ADHD and Asperger’s syndrome, which means that I have a normal functioning brain, but sometimes I have difficulties communicating with others. Thankfully I do not have severe Asperger’s, so I can communicate with certain groups of people others…not so much. I kind of got the short end of the stick both ways because I was smart and I was different. While other kids talked about Disney Channel and MySpace, I wanted to talk about DNA and politics, I felt like I was an adult stuck in a kid’s body and I did not have many friends. While I was never in suicide territory I was very unhappy for the most part. When I found Bleach in August 2007, for the first time in awhile, I had something to look forward to, and I know this will sound kind of weird, but I was kid, I day-dreamed about being friends with Ichigo and Rukia, and the rest of the characters and eventually I found my Ichigo, my Rukia, and so on and I met many wonderful people because of the series. In a strange way Bleach kind of saved my life. I started loosing a lot of weight; I took up sports, got a job, and had more confidence in myself. I had a series that spoke to me, and really changed my world. It also helped me deal with the death of a family member and overall I believe I have become a much more stable person because of it. To me Bleach is about friendship, that's what the series has always been about, and with this episode we saw the development of the Orihime/Riruka relationship. I find a lot of myself in many of the Bleach characters especially with Riruka, because she was an outcast and found family with Xcution and has had some development with both Rukia and Orihime, and maybe more to come. I am sorry I have gone WAY OFF TOPIC…MOVING ON!
Again we saw a lot of character development from Orihime, and I have to give props to Yuki for her acting. People who follow this blog know that I have been very critical of her acting in the past, but this season she has improved a lot. I can actually feel when Orihime is angry, serious, scared, etc.; where in the past I have felt her acting was too “whiney.” Megumi is also improving as Riruka, so props to her too. Now for the moment everyone on the “funny farm” (AKA Bleach Asylum) was complaining about…the Rukia reveal. First off, I am glad Studio Pierrot did the reveal the way they did. When you have the anime you have audio, which is good, you get to hear your favorite characters come to life…but when you have a mysterious figure off panel talking, AND it is a VERY popular character, well you don’t have much of a mystery. Plus Fumiko Orikasa has a very recognizable voice, so you have many problems trying to pull of a mystery person. It would have been dumb to have Fumiko voicing Rukia and have everything up to her chest revealed, that would be the worst game of Guess Who? ever. It’s better for me, because it gets us all pumped up the see Rukia again. The animation and music selection was great and the omake was hysterical.
Overall great episode and here’s to Bleach in 2012!
- Story 8/10
- Art/Animation 9.5/10
- Sound Effects 10/10
- Music 10/10
- Acting 10/10
- Omake 9/10
I give Bleach episode 354 a 9.4 out of 10. Remember to join me on Tuesday January 10, 2012 when I review Bleach episode 355, the second annual Bleach New Year’s Special and also join me on Saturday/Sunday January 8, 2012 when new English dubbed episode of Bleach return.
Have a safe and happy new year!
Until Next Time!