Bleach: Memories of Nobody

September 11, 2007

Bleach’s first movie has hit DVD in Japan, and thus the first fansubs have hit the net.

Ichigo and Rukia are out patrolling Karakura-cho for Hollows when they pick up a strange reiatsu. Arriving on the scene, they see a crowd of strange souls in white cloaks with faceless red heads. Before they can figure out what to do with these odd creatures, a mysterious female Shinigami shows up and dispatches them. Ichigo questions her, only discovering her name is Senna, as she doesn’t know what squad she’s from or anything else about her past. As Rukia heads back to Soul Society to investigate, Ichigo sticks to Senna looking for answers. Soon, a mysterious group called the Dark Ones appear attempting to kidnap Senna as part of their plan to destroy both Soul Society and the living world.

If you’ve ever seen a movie based on a Shonen Jump property, you know the drill here. Mysterious new threat appears, main characters investigate and get into some skirmishes, then at the end everybody parades out and the super powers explode for the big climax. These movies are almost a genre unto themselves.

Bleach, fortunately, is a better attempt than some others. One thing that really helps is that I really liked Senna’s character. In a standalone movie like this where development of the main cast is nil by necessity, it’s the original characters that make or break it. On the down side, I wasn’t very interested in the villains. I didn’t care who they were, why they were doing what they were doing, they were just uninteresting. In fact, if this wasn’t Bleach and needing a certain action element, I’d say the film could have been done without them. Just focus on the story of Senna and what she is, what the mysterious souls were, etc. But, hey, we need a reason for everyone to bust out the bankais at the end right?

Bleach: Memories of Nobody is a decent standalone effort. Fans will of course love seeing their favorite characters with a bigger animation budget (and on that note, this was the first animated appearance of Rukia’s zanpakuto “Sode no Shirayuki”). The film could also serve as a decent way for someone unfamiliar with Bleach to quickly get the gist of how the show works, though as with all movies of this type the character relationships are mostly left unexplained. Overall, it’s no classic, but a decent way to kill 90 minutes.

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