Well, it's that time of the week again! This is the last new Bleach episode of 2010, so after this review, I will be taking a two-week hiatus. So, be merry and happy, spend some time with your family. I cannot say how much I love doing these reviews every week. I had a very interesting weekend and was spoiled rotten, but enough of my semi-pointless existence, on with the review.
This was a very good episode in my opinion. It wasn't the best episode ever made, but it still had it's moments. Contrast to popular opinion, I thought the animation was great. The one thing that has been constant in Bleach is the animation quality. I don't think I have ever seen a horribly animated episode (in contrast to certain other Shonen Jump anime produced by Studio Pierrot *coughs* Naruto Shippuden 167. I mean seriously I'm not even a Naruto fan and when I watched it, part of my soul died, and as an artist I cried.), even in the beginning of the series and the arc that shall not be named. So, people need to acknowledge that not every episode is going to be a high-budget Hollywood style production, Studio Pierrot is not Warner Brothers, where you can shelve out millions of dollars on a single production. So, as long as I have a constant level of quality, I am perfectly happy.
I loved the moments with Kiego and Tatsuki, those two really are a pair. Both Junko Noda and Katsuyuki Konishi gave wonderful performances. Konishi's portrayal of Kiego has always been top-notch, it's hard to believe that the same guy who voices the lovable dumba&^ also voices Hisagi, the man has so much talent. He is one of the few Seiyu that can pull-off a breast joke, without making it too perverted (insert Aizen golf-clap here).
Then we have Mr. Tensa Zangetsu himself. I loved his voice! I know some people expected his voice to be high-pitched, because of his appearance, however I prefer this tone and pitch of voice much more. Showtaro Morikubo gave a wonderful performance, and met my expectations. I really want Tensa to be voiced by Johnny Yong Bosch when it is dubbed. I think it would be very interesting for Johnny to voice all aspects of Ichigo's being. Plus if Johnny uses the tone of voice he uses for Lelouch, it would fit wonderfully. Plus everyone's favorite inner hollow is back! I really missed Hollow Ichigo, I'm so glad he's back (abet it will be short).
Now I know people are joined to foam at the mouth at this, so I will just get right into it. I know the part were Aizen kills an innocent bystander has been changed. Instead of being cut to ribbons, he is vaporized off screen. Look people have to start facing facts that as long as Bleach airs 6:00 at night in Japan, some scenes will be toned down. Another reason it may have been changed is for artistic merit. The whole situation with Karakura Town, has a deep parallel with the dropping of the Atomic bomb on Hiroshima (which is also Tite Kubo's hometown). The parallel between the area of Hiroshima destroyed and what would be destroyed if Aizen succeeded in making the Ōken is very apparent. If you really look down into it Bleach has a hell of a lot of references to World War II. I mean come, some people still haven't figured out that Aizen is an allegory for Lucifer, I don't even believe in religion (still believe in a higher-power) and I know that! I mean Aizen's main character plot is almost identical to Santan in Paradise Lost and know one else noticed that REALLY!
However, there is light at the end of the tunnel...for American fans (sorry Lia). I feel stupid that I did not notice this before. In the old fansub version of Bleach 60, in the iconic scene where Aizen is revealed as the villain, you will notice something missing...what could it be?
The blade is nonexistent, while in the adult swim broadcast...DUNDUN DA-DUN!
The blade is back. This proves my theory, that what airs on adult swim, is the uncut Japanese DVD release of Bleach. So, hooray more violence for us!
So I thought "hey, instead of complaining about censorship, let's do something about it!" So, I decided I am going to write a letter to the head of Studio Pierrot, Yuji Nunokawa and tell him we want more of this. If we convince them, that if you cater to us, we will invest in your product, and try to work with adult swim (which contrary to popular belief are really easy people to deal with) we could get uncut Bleach on TV and DVD. Luckily Studio Pierrot does have an english site with their addresses, so I think if we truly want this, we should each write a letter saying how much we love Bleach, and how much more we would love it if they did this for us. If anyone is interested in my petition of sorts, here are some links http://pierrot.jp/english//company.html http://www.adultswim.com/footer/contact/index.html
Ok Now for something completely different (actually back to the review) Overall I believe the episode did what it had to do and overall was good from beginning to end. I LOVED THE OMAKE!!!! THIS IS OFFICIALLY MY FAVORITE OMAKE OF ALL TIMES! I mean it is so offbeat and bizarre on different levels, it really catered to my sometimes bizarre sense of humor. For a sample of that click the following video.
Ok Final Rundown
- Animation/art 8/10
- Story 7/10
- Acting 10/10
- Music 9/10
- Omake ∞/10
Overall I give Bleach 302 a 7.9 out of 10
On another note I am going to list my top-5 Bleach moments for this year.
- 5) The ending of the Arrancar arc-even Kubo admitted it went WAY TOO LONG!
- 4) The dub of Bleach returns on adult swim-for the reasons why it went on hiatus please refer to my new english dub voices blog http://bleach.wikia.com/wiki/User_blog:Lemursrule/New_Bleach_Dub_voices_and_episodes(updated_weekly)
- 3) Tōsen's death in the anime-I never really liked Tōsen (never hated tough) but, I was literally brought to tears with the music and Komamura's speech. In my opinion it was a lot more heart-breaking in the anime than it was in the manga.
- 2) Ichigo and Rukia's goodbye-This was one of the saddest moments in the manga, I am really upset now, because I just heard that Fumiko Orikasa and Masakazu Morita performed it live at JumpFesta, and I can't find video of it anywhere. Their relationship really came full-circle and I really hope they re-unite soon.
and my number 1 Bleach moment of 2010 is... The death of Gin Ichimaru (and yes he is dead, if you really love him then please FOR THE LOVE OF GOD MOVE ON!) Gin's death, I believe is one of if not the saddest death in Bleach. I mean we all knew that he didn't kill Rangiku (we just said she was dead so that we did not have EDIT WAR III) and I knew deep down that his connection with Aizen had to do something with Rangiku. But, I never expected it to be that heart retching. I can honestly say that chapters 415 and 416 changed my perspective on the series forever. I mean Gin's plan was in no way flawed (he really couldn't deal with Aizen with Tōsen in the way), and when his trump card failed, he pretty much gave up on living. Gin did go out with honor and dignity, and didn't use hollowification or any other cheap tricks, he fought as a Soul Reaper and died as a Soul Reaper. I am really loathing the impeding doom in the anime. I think I am going to have to buy A LOT of Kleenex.
So before I go one final note. I am very proud to participate with the members who are really true to their heart Bleach fans and maintain a constant passion even when things look glum. There are some people who have said that they were fanboys or fangirls of the series, but gave up on it. Well, in my opinion being a true fan is like a marriage, for better, for worse, For richer, for poorer, In sickness and in health, To love and to cherish, 'Till death do us part." (or, "As long as we both shall live.") If you do not share those feelings with any series, film, or whatever you like, then you do not truly love the series. I am very happy I can to share my feelings with people who carry the same passion as I do. So I wish all of you to have a very fun and very safe holiday and a happy new year and I will see you all in 2011. --Lemursrule (talk) 03:46, December 22, 2010 (UTC)