Recent months have seen the release schedule for Bleach become like buses on a rainy day. You wait hours for one only for several to come along at once. All of a sudden fans get two releases a month of the well-known anime. A trend that is looking to continue, with the next release due out in under a month.
But I digress, Series 15 Part 2 is the final part to the storyline that sees our heroes learning about the origins of the Mod-Souls whilst battling against super powered clones of themselves. It also sees our heroes battling impossible odds all whilst Ichigo is losing his soul reaper powers. Sounds familiar right? Well actually, in a way, it is.
The story does have some similarities to the origin story of Ichigo. When you consider that the show was celebrating its ten year anniversary when this arc was released, you have to wonder if this was an accident? It is not, as there are points in various episodes where the characters have flashbacks to earlier points in the series. Add to this the ten year anniversary homage to various characters and their development that makes up the end credits, and it is not hard to see where this story got its creative inspiration from. It is also interesting where the end of the story leaves Ichigo, as it appears that his character has come full circle. But how can this be when there are still another two releases for the series? Thankfully fans only have a short time to wait for an answer to this question.
That said the story itself is engaging as you find yourself somewhat intrigued to discover just what the mystery is behind this new menace to the Soul Society and what Nozomi’s Zanpakuto can do. This release wraps up the Invading Army arc and does so in the traditional Bleach method of building up a story for about 18 or 19 episodes, then resolving it in 2 or 3 episodes. This can be somewhat irritating, but here it is done well enough that fans will not feel cheated. There is also the fact that, for once, there are no pointless filler episodes to break up the flow, so both the story and the viewer are not disrupted with mindless fan service.
The animation is what fans have come to expect from the series and the voice acting is still as good as ever, with the only real standout performance being Quinton Flynn, who plays Kon in the series. This is because, for once, the character is given more to do and say than just yearning for women’s breasts, which still occasionally happens, but there are moments here when Kon shows some great self-awareness, being more than just a pervert and coming across as a more rounded character.
Bleach Series 15 Part 2 is a worthwhile purchase and certainly one that fans of the show will find to be both engaging and enjoyable.
Bleach Series 15 Part 2 will be available on 29 June here, courtesy of Manga Entertainment.