Bleach is an anime series that has been around for a long time now, spanning many seasons and three separate movies with a fourth being announced. That said in traditional PAL style we’re a little behind with the second movie “The DiamondDust Rebellion” being released only recently in Australian shores.
Unlike the majority of the series following the main character (Ichigo), The DiamondDust Rebellion takes a spin on things and instead focuses on one of the other characters in the series Tōshirō Hitsugaya. Hitsugaya and his team (Squad 10). Who are ordered to protect an important heirloom to the Royal Family in their world named the “King’s Seal”. During the transportation of the King’s Seal it is stolen with Hitsugaya giving chase. In turn this labels him a traitor as Ichigo and the rest of the main cast go to find him, laying the story for the duration of the film.
The story itself throughout was relatively engaging, giving much more detail in Hitsugaya as a character as throughout the series he’s somewhat brushed over. It allowed itself to explore more into the past of Hitsugaya and really flesh out a minor character, something which Bleach has been lacking over the years. This however also alienates those who watch only for the main characters as instead of being slightly brushed over, they’re really left completely to the side and not focused on in the slightest bar crucial moments. It works well in terms of attracting people who like Hitsugaya as a character, yet those who love Bleach for what it is may be a little shocked.
The animation behind DiamondDust Rebellion is absolutely stunning. Sequences have a fair amount more framework compared to the TV series and finer details have been drawn in to complement this. New character design is solid although slightly unoriginal and familiar faces look the same as they always have. Scenery is really the same as always yet as it’s the Bleach that’s to be expected.
The voice acting behind this really shows that it should be watched in Japanese. The English track is in some cases painfully horrible and really should be avoided if you can read subtitles fast enough, yet the Japanese one is absolutely amazing in its execution. Voices really fit the character impressions and it also showed that a fair amount more work has been put into the Japanese language track. Given it was shown in cinemas over in Japan this is in no way surprising yet it’s a nice reminder to see that they take voice acting in Japan seriously.
The DVD itself comes with a booklet explaining all the terms you’ll hear in DiamondDust Rebellion (as there are heaps of them) as well as many special features detailing how the movie was made. They’re a little ranty as most Japanese special features are yet there’s still some decent information in there that can be learnt.
In the grand scheme of things Bleach is Bleach and it’ll always be Bleach. Fans won’t be too surprised by the content of the film, yet newcomers to the series will find that the movie is quite engaging and definitely worth a look into if you’re contemplating watching one of the major anime series or just want to watch something a little different.
Bleach the Movie 2: The DiamondDust Rebellion © Tite Kubo/Shueisha, TV TOKYO, dentsu, Pierrot