Hello fellow Bleach fans, I will get to my review in just a moment, but first a quick announcement. Voting is over for December's featured articles, but voting for January will begin soon. So remember if you want to vote for the monthly featured articles, just click these links:
- But remember to follow the Voting Policy otherwise your vote will not count. Main points - members must have been actively contributing to the wiki this month, must be members for over 1 month, must give valid reasons and vote for article quality instead of favorite characters.
Ok end of announcements! As Beetlejuice would say, "IT'S SHOWTIME!" (ok I know a lot of people aren't going to get the joke, oh well).
Beetlejuice - Opening Version #1 (HD)|thumb|300px|right|This what I feel like when I visit the "fan" forums
Well, this week "Hell" had multiple meanings in the Bleach fandom. Whether it being the highly anticipate Bleach: Hell Chapter, the anime, Bleach Namja town, the upcoming Bleach cd and manga releases, or the ongoing flame-war going on between Ichihime and Ichiruki shippers (for more about that look in my Bleach food blog, or if you dare go to Bleach asylum (shutters). But, this is an awesome time to be a Bleach fan. Plus as a special treat I am posting a 30 minute TV special about Bleach: Hell Chapter, featuring Ichigo Kurosaki himself, Masakazu Morita, and TM. Revolution and a special behind the scenes look on his new music video. The links will be posted at the end of my review...oh wait I almost completely forgot that I was supposed to do that! Well, I better stop running my mouth and get on with it already!
Quick (ok maybe not that quick) Recap
This is a special prologue episode to the new Bleach movie opening this Saturday (damn why can't I just shunpo there). The episode begins with a soul being attacked and a soul reaper being eaten. Urahara then warns Rukia to be careful about the attacks, and then conveniently leaves for vacation. Then Zennosuke Kurumadani is attacked by an unknown creature and is then saved by Rukia. The unknown enemy then breaks out of the ice, and tries to attack Rukia. Rukia then fires sokatsui, which has no effect on the enemy and the enemy, to Rukia's surprise flies away. The enemy then states that he knew that Rukia would come if he started attacking Karakura Town. The enemy then reveals himself to be Shrieker, a hollow from early on in the series, who, while alive, was an infamous serial killer, whom Ichigo defeated and was then sent to the depths of Hell. Rukia then demands how Shrieker escaped Hell. Shrieker refuses to say anything. Shrieker begins to pursue Rukia and Zennosuke tries to assist Rukia, only to end up getting injured. Rukia the tells Zennosuke to stay put, and she goes after Shrieker. A fight then ensues between Rukia and Shrieker. Shrieker appears to get the upper hand on Rukia, and when it seems that defeat is imminent for Rukia, Zennosuke appears out of nowhere and releases his Shikai. Zennosuke encloses Shrieker in rock and suggests that while they have the change, both Rukia and himself escape. Shrieker then fires bombs through his arm and one of them hits Zennosuke. The injured Zennosuke tells Rukia to get away. Shrieker then grabs Rukia by the neck and smashes her into a wall. Shrieker then explains why he has his chain and explains that he is a Togabito, or Sinner from Hell. Rukia says that there is no way he could have escaped. Shrieker then proclaims that he did and taunts Rukia and continues to strangle her. Rukia then pushes Shrieker away and opens up part of his cloak in the process. Shrieker then panics and quickly buttons his cloak back up. Then, Renji appears to assist Rukia. Shrieker and Renji begin to fight. When it seems that Shrieker is victorious over Renji, Renji releases his Bankai and uses Hikotsu Taiho. Rukia then cuts Shrieker from behind. Shrieker then returns to Hell and says he will keep returning from the depths of Hell. The scene then switches to the Seireitei, where an emergency captains meeting is being held. Yamamoto proclaims that Rukia and Renji will be stationed as advanced troops and will get authorization to enter Hell in case of Emergency. Ukitake then asks if Ichigo will help as well. Yamamoto states that Ichigo needs to stay out of this. The scene switches to an unknown land, where Espadas Aaroniero Arruruerie and Szayelaporro Grantz land. Aaroniero and Szayelaporro begin to fight, only to be interrupted by an unknown man. The mysterious man tells the two Espada that they are in Hell and that they are dead. Szayelaporro thanks the man for jogging his memory, and begins to attack the man and demands how to get out of Hell and back to Hueco Mundo. The man then states that there is not way out. The man then introduces himself as Shuren and declares that the only way to survive in Hell are to follow his orders. He then introduces his comrades Taikon, Gunjo, and Garogai. Shuren then tells his men to make the espada to learn to "appreciate" Hell. Then Aaroinero attacks in his Resurrección. Aaroniero is taken down in an instant. Then Szyalaporro goes into his Resurrección and releases a Gran Rey Cero. Shuren appears to "kill" the pair and states that their level of power was nowhere enough to open it. Gunjo then states that he "killed" Shrieker after he returned from the world of the living. Shuren then states that their dark days are about to come to an end. The lantern in Shuren's hand reveals a burning vision of Ichigo 2nd Hollow form. Shuren then states to "it looks like it has to be you," and states that he will bring Ichigo down.
Ok since I spent so much time on the recap, I'll be really brief here. I really liked this episode it turned out a lot better than I anticipated. I love how it foreshadowed a lot of plot points in the movie (that we know of). Plus I thought it was clever to bring Shrieker back, he was really the first "bad guy" ever in Bleach and it made sense since he is the only character that readers know that was sent to Hell, to being featured in an episode about Hell. Plus the incorporated the special Hell chapter from last week into the anime extremely well. The animation and art was good, but not great. The music selection was also decent, and this was the only time I think they used OST 2 properly (shutters thinking about the "B" word). The only thing I don't understand is why they changed the color of Glotonería from purple to yellow. Personally I am more of a purple person, but they only reason I can think of, is because of Shuren maybe they thought it would have been too much purple? Hey atleast they used a complementary color. I loved the omake, I mean the fact that Urahara and company are going to Hawaii fits perfectly. I mean I could definitely see Kisuke riding the waves. I mean his English voice actor kind of looks like a surfer and his english VA looks a lot like a long haired Urahara.
Plus Poor Yoruichi, the female voice worked better here.
Ok Final rundown
- Animation/Art 8/10
- story 7/10
- acting 9/10
- music 8/10
- omake 10/10
I give Bleach 299 a 7 out of 10
Now as a present for next weeks EPISODE 300! Here is the Bleach movie special! Enjoy and see you next week for my review of episode 300.