Hello Everyone, I hope you have all had a wonderful week and weekend. My kimono that my Grandmother gave to me arrived in the mail a few days ago. It is a gorgeous red kimono my late Grandfather bought for her in Japan in the 1950s. It fits me perfectly, so I am extremely happy about that. Yesterday, I went to my local Asian food mart, and I bought some Japanese sweets. Among some of the sweets I bought were rose pedal candies, and when I was in line, I remembered it was Byakuya's birthday (January 31st), well they weren't cherry blossom candies, but close enough. Just to let you guys know, this review is going to be a little more serious than usual. I am going to talk about an issue that I have been having with some of the sexual degradation of characters (particularly female characters) in some of the forums, more in particular Rangiku. It is a very serious issue that I think needs to be addressed. I am not saying that anyone here is disrespectful, but I still believe it is something THAT MUST be addressed. That and by the title of my review, it is the beginning of the end for Gin and for the Arrancar arc in the anime. However, before I begin with my review of episode 307, please remember to vote for March's Featured Article, Featured Picture and Featured Quote!
I thought this was one of the best episodes of Bleach in my opinion (apparently Chris Beverage of Mania.com agrees with me as well). The animation was very consistent, the action was well paced, and the art and animation near the end of the episode was just gorgeous. There were some changes that were made, but I think they were all for the better.
One of the more noticeable changes was Aizen still has pupils in his third form. I can give several reasons why this change was made. The more obvious reason is censorship, I know it seems stupid, but hey be happy that was really the only thing censored in the episode. There were several things I was extremely surprised that did not get censored, dare I say more graphic than the manga, but I will get to that later. I guess they think no pupils, equals creepy. I guess in the censors minds, its kind of the same thing with Aizen as it was with Tōsen. Maybe it's weird for me, because it the United States we don't really have censorship rules for things like that. Another reason is for art and animation ascetic. What I mean is, Aizen's eyes would have looked like purple,grey blobs. It doesn't really look nice, and so much of Aizen's animation is based of his eyes and his pupils. If you take that away, you take out the soul of Aizen(what soul you ask) in the anime. For the majority of the series, Aizen does not have over exaggerated facial expressions. He has always had very calm, and flowing animation, and almost all of his emotions are convened through his eyes. If you take away that one thing that truly makes Aizen "Aizen," then all you get is an angry butterfly, Seraph of doom. Plus Frankly, I think that Aizen's evil glare, makes the form so much better. It comes off as more creepy, and more in the Hellboy version of a butterfly than Aizen being a "GaGa-afied" butterfly beast.
I was very happy with overall lack of censorship in this episode, the only reason I think TV-TOKYO let Pierrot get away with absolute murder, is because it was essential to the plot. The two things I was extremely worried about being censored or toned down was Gin missing a chunk out of his arm, and the Gin, Rangiku flashback thing. I was satisfied than Gin's arm was in it's right not intact form (I am a sick person, I know). Now, here is the part I was extremely surprised with.Well, several things were cleared up (at least for me) in Gin's flashback of Rangiku. In chapter 415, only two men were seen leaving Rangiku, while in the anime all three of Aizen's minions are clearly seen leaving the scene. We also see then with what I assume is spirit energy, or something to that degree. Which, proves at the very least that was the main reason they went after Rangiku. However, another theory of what occurred before or after said event was made much more apparent. Rangiku was showing A LOT more skin in the anime than in the manga.
While some of the following ride a fine line of being canon, I think if I were a betting man, I would say Kubo told them to add those details in. I think there are too many small, but significant details just to be purely coincidental.
Now this leads me to the more serious subject at hand. A few months ago following the release of chapter 415, they're were many comments about Rangiku possibly being sexually assaulted in the flashback. There were a few, and I do mean a few, comments that were intelligent, well detailed and explained why sexual assault was a perfectly logical explanation of what happened to Rangiku. However, there were many who denied anything like that could possibly and suggested that her soul was stolen. I seriously want the crack-pots who came up with that launched into deep orbit. First off all, if Rangiku had her soul stolen, she would not exist PERIOD! Rangiku is a soul, so how can her soul be stolen if she is in fact in soul form. It simply is not possible, and there is nothing in all fields of logic and structure of the series that could ever prove it to be so. It is pure and utter CRACK. I think it is offensive, that people cannot accept that something terrible like sexual assault, could have happened to Rangiku. People expect when someone, especially females are sexually assaulted, to quiet, emo, and just pure and utter Women in Refrigerators. While I have not personally been or known anyone who has had something like that happen to them, I know that people respond to traumatic life events differently. However you look at it, Rangiku has had a traumatic past, but I think she is one of the best female role models in manga and in comics in general. I know Rangiku sometimes doesn't make the best lifestyle choices, but even though she had something terrible done to her, she didn't feel sorry for herself, she moved on and eventually become a Lt. Rangiku is very supportive, and is a very kind and generous person. Rangiku proves that even though life has difficult challenges, everyone can overcome them. I know it's not something that people like to talk about, but as a reader, I don't think you should close your mind to it, even though it may be very unpleasant. However the thing that thing that has just had me steaming are comments like "Rangiku tiny boobs haha, gin was angry because someone raped Rangiku lolz." THERE IS NOTHING REMOTELY FUNNY WITH THAT AT ALL, IN FACT IT IS DISGUSTING! There is NOTHING funny in the least about making comments on someone's body type, and rape is not lolz, it is very serious! If you think a young female, fictional or otherwise being taking advantage like that is funny, WHAT THE F%^K IS WRONG WITH YOU! There is absolutely no place for garbage like that in our fandom or life in general. IT IS COMPLETE AND UTTERLY WRONG, AND ANYONE WHO HAS EVER MADE COMMENTS LIKE THAT ABOUT CERTAIN CHARACTERS OR PEOPLE, FEMALE OR OTHERWISE, SHOULD BE DOWNRIGHT ASHAMED WITH THEMSELVES!
Whew, sorry about actually being serious, let's lighten things up a little bit.
I thought the music selection was well thought out, and I am foaming at the mouth, because I heard Hell Chapter Tracks are going to be used in the next few episodes. The omake made me sad, NO MORE ARRANCAR ENCYCLOPEDIA! This is probably the last omake we will ever see Gin in. I was upset when they put him in the box to go "bye, bye" for the last time. With the preview for next week I KNEW THEY WERE GOING TO HAVE GIN SAY HIS POEM! I thought about it last night, and I was like "oh no!" The only thing that would have been me going into the deep end, is if they had Rangiku and Gin say lines from their poems one after another. I can always hope they do that when the episode is dubbed either late 2012 early 2013. Plus, they are re-animating the famous goodbye scene at the end of the Soul Society arc from episode 62. So, it looks like they are really going to stab me in the heart, like how Gin stabs Aizen with Kamishini no Yari...sighs.
Ok Final Rundown
- Story 9/10
- Art/Animation 9.5/10
- Acting 9.5/10
- Music 8/10
- omake 10/10
My final rating of Bleach 307 is a 9.2 out of 10
(Sniffles) Join me (begins to sob) for my (sniffle) review of Bleach (cries) 308. Until then...(sniffles) Bye, Bye...(runs aways and begins to sob in a corner). --Lemursrule (talk) 02:59, February 2, 2011 (UTC)