Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Bleach Uncut Season 1 Box Set |
Genres: Anime & Manga, Animation
Episodes 1 - 20 now available in one box set! — For as long as he can remember, Ichigo Kurosaki has been able to see ghosts. But when he meets Rukia, a Soul Reaper who battles evil spirits known as Hollows, he finds his lif... more »
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Cream of the shonen anime crop
R.B from KC | 06/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For the uninitiated, Bleach is one of the newest shows in a long line of Shonen (for males) anime. The normal Shonen anime plot usually revolves around a boy (most often teenage) that has special abilities, and that uses them to overcome some sort of challenge. In the tradition of Yu Yu Hakusho and Dragonball (also Dragonball Z) this means that the show normally turns into a lengthy coming-of-age action anime in which the protagonist (hero) and antagonists (villains) constantly one up each other in a seemingly never ending cycle of power shifts that are interwoven between something resembling a plot. You can look forward to good action, comedy, and decently thought out characters, but you've also got to expect that the story might only serve as a vehicle for the flashy action sequences. This is where Bleach sets itself apart from other shonen anime such as Naruto and Dragonball Z; The plot is thick with political intrigue (thick for a shonen anime anyway) and with dark twists and turns that easily set it on a mantle as the premiere shonen anime (in the action category) of it's day.
Someone above went over the synopsis of the story, so I'll leave that out. I will say that you can expect good characters, an interesting setting, great action, and passable (great at times) humor from the characters. This boxed set is referred to as season 1, and that seems to have upset one of the other reviewers, since it doesn't really feel like a "season" at all. This is because most shonen anime aren't separated into seasons in the American sense. Shonen anime (by design) run hundreds of episodes, with story arcs that can range anywhere from 60 to 100 episodes. Bleach's first story arc is 60ish episodes, so really you could call this boxed set "Arc 1 part 1 of 3" though I'm sure "Season 1" sounds a whole lot better.
In the box, you get 20 episodes on 5 discs, with extras such as production art (on the DVD's) and textless versions of the endings. Both Japanese and English audio are on the discs, with English subtitles. Inside the box is a book-style DVD case with 1 DVD per side (nice compared to the two discs on top of each other in boxed sets such as the DBZ season sets) and the original case art from the single DVD releases inset. Rounding it out is a poster of Rukia and Ichigo, as well as images of Kon and a hollow mask printed inside the outer box (a very nice touch indeed. I was surprised to see Kon looking up at me from the box). Overall, this is probably the highest quality (value) boxed set I've ever bought. When I say value, I mean a boxed set that is just the DVD's, and not a "Limited Edition" set (which usually come with full length posters, stickers, pencils, OST's etc). The addition of the poster in the box was more than I was expecting for a set as low priced as this, and truthfully, most boxed sets you buy don't even have little extras like that.
In conclusion, if you go into a shonen anime seeking something as deep and dark as an anime such as Monster or Elfen Lied, then you probably need to rethink the genre you are going into. I would argue however that by the time you've seen the end of the 60 episode first arc of Bleach, you would agree that the story in a shonen anime can absolutely transcend the genre, and become something that coexists with the action, instead of being something that exists only as a distraction between excellent fights (of which there are many in Bleach). Bleach destroys it's peers in the shonen genre (such as Naruto, and One Piece), and I'd say it's definitely worth the buy if you liked such shows as Yu Yu Hakusho or Dragonball Z.
I'm a soul reaper
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 03/20/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
Ichigo Kurosaki is just your average teenage boy... except that he can see spirits.
So it's not exactly surprising that he gets involved in wild, dangerous adventures, in the first season of the hilarious, action-packed "Bleach." It starts off a bit slow, but rapidly winds into a thrilling, expansive adventure story, with lots of big swords, roaring monsters, and TV psychics.
One night a strange girl appears in Ichigo's bedroom, and is shocked when he can see her. She explains that she's a Soul Reaper, who helps the dead pass on to the Soul Society, and destroys evil spirits called Hollows.
But when Rukia is injured in a fight with a Hollow, all her powers are transferred to Ichigo -- and with them, the responsibility of killing Hollows. Ichigo soon finds out that it isn't easy juggling his new responsibilities with his normal, everyday life -- especially since the powerless Rukia is now attending his school, and living in his closet.
Even more distressing, his new powers are attracting all sorts of trouble: the Hollow who murdered his mother, the now-monstrous brother of his ditzy friend Orihime, an outspoken "mod-soul," and classmate Uryu-- the last of the Quincys, sworn enemies of Soul Reapers. Moreover, Orihime and the gentle giant Chad start developing spiritual powers of their own.
But then two powerful Soul Reapers show up to arrest Rukia. Ichigo is left mortally wounded and robbed of his powers, while Rukia is taken back to the Soul Society to be executed. To rescue Rukia, Ichigo agrees to undergo a terribly training regimen that could leave him worse than dead... and the journey into the Soul Society may be even worse...
Most long-running series run out their welcome pretty quickly, or start following a formula. But "Bleach" has that magical mix of complex plot, kinetic action, likable characters and kooky comedy. Not only does it click, but the results are sort of a mad hybrid of "Yu Yu Hakusho" and "Inuyasha." Its biggest problem? The first season ends with a cliffhanger the size of the Grand Canyon.
To keep us entertained, there's lots of action, monsters, blood, giant magical swords, spirit arrows and even a skyscraper-sized Hollow. But the writers keep an eye on the characters, and the first arc is used to establish them -- we get to see their pasts, their motivations, and why they want to fight Hollows. Even if it's simply a desire to do what's right and protect others.
And just as important important -- comedy. Every episode of "Bleach" has some comedy, whether it's crazy friends and/or relatives, TV appearances, or the wacky dialogue ("OH NO! I'M FRIENDS WITH A NERD! Maybe you need some thick nerd glasses..."). Even Ichigo produces some hilarious moments, such as his bloodcurdling scream when he wakes in Urahara's house.
Ichigo himself is the pivot of the whole series -- like many a good anime hero, he is rough, brash, sensitive and fights for those he loves. And though he's incredibly powerful, he still has a lot of training, fighting and learning to do, though he tends to jump in without thinking about it.
And he's backed by a colourful squad of characters: the prickly Uryu, quiet Chad, ditzy love interest Orihime, and the mysterious "Mr. Hat and Clogs" who trains Ichigo to be a full-fledged Soul Reaper. Not to mention Kon, a living lion doll who provides plenty of comic relief, whether he's getting bounced around the room or dressed as Marie Antoinette.
"Bleach's" first season introduces viewers to a brilliant series, full of hilarity, tears, blood and big, bad monsters. Definitely a must-see, for anyone who likes any of the above."
SirTheory | 06/24/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I was pretty cynical about the whole Bleach thing. It is Shonen Jump, and Shonen Jump doesn't really have a good reputation among hardcore anime fans. However, I watched through the most recent episode via fansubs and realized I liked it enough to acquire the DVDs.
First of all, the current price ($28) is hard to beat. You get the first 20 episodes, which unfortunately aren't the best (things really pick up in the next few boxsets)... but do serve as an important introduction to the series. As far as the actual boxset goes, this one is really nice. Unlike the crappy Naruto Uncut boxes (I mean, I love Naruto and get those box sets, but you don't look at those and say, wowie, what a well-designed box!), the Bleach box has fantastic little touches that fans appreciate and enjoy. (Plus, it includes a poster... which is much more useful than those pointless books that come packaged with Naruto).
Bleach is highly overrated simply due to its popularity. But that doesn't mean it is a bad series. Sure, I wish shows like Elfin Lied or Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi got the same kind of attention, but I've never been one to throw out the baby with the bathwater.
(I will say I find Viz's use of "soul reaper" instead of the fansubber's use of "shinigami" quite obnoxious. But oh well, it is to be expected.)"
Great Anime: Its Not Too Late To Start
Tristan A. Hayes | Richmond, VA USA | 06/17/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bleach is an action packed anime that began in 2004 in Japan/2006 in the US. At the time of this writing, the English language dubbed versions have been announced to extend to 172 episodes (or 9 seasons), while the Japanese version has 227 episodes (11 seasons) with no intention of stopping anytime soon. For people who like lengthy anime this is definitely one of the ones to choose but because of the lack of reruns ever appearing on TV networks now is a good time to start.
I personally started watching Bleach after buying a copy of the monthly Shonen Jump that is released here and seeing nice action sequences in Bleach. I tended to avoid any of the hype associated with shows because often times hype has lead me to be bored out of my mind. On that note, Season 1 of Bleach (The Substitute) starts off on a confusing high, goes to a slight droll, and then regains its high at the final 5 episodes of the season.
The first episodes open with Ichigo, the main protagonist, being able to see Souls. He meets another girl who is able to see Souls, Rukia, who comes from the Soul Society, which is explained in later episodes to be this gateway world that maintains a balance between the destinations of the souls (yeah its kind of confusing, but the second season takes place in the "Soul Society" so we will hopefully get a clearer explanation then). She transfers her powers to Ichigo, making him a Soul Reaper, empowering him with the powers to fight misguided souls, ie, evil souls known as hollows. The rest of the 20 episodes explore his role as a Soul Reaper as well as a student/friend. Several episodes have interesting plots as well as interesting commentary on death and such. The main background plotline in these episodes should be evident to most people. The final episode is a cliffhanger, however, the "episode previews" at the end of the credits ruins the "cliffhanger".
The series is written as Original and Uncut, this means that the episodes have the original Japanese opening. All of the 20 episodes in this volume use the original Japanese opening for Bleach, with the song, "Asterisk" by Orange Range (they seem to have done an ending theme in Naruto); the opening song will grow on most people after 20 episodes, even if it sounds weird at first. The two ending themes are also Japanese, the first is "Life is Like a Boat" by "Rie Fu" which has some English lyrics, and "Thank You" by "Home Made Kazoku." The endings are more enjoyable. At the end of each ending is an episode preview with hilarious commentary done by a revolving cast of characters.
The voice actors are all amazing and a few of them have voiced roles in other anime. For example the Johnny Yong Bosch who voices Ichigo sounds exactly like the voice of Lelouch Lamperouge/Zero in Code Geass (basically if you saw that anime, then his voice has not changed one bit). The Derek Stephen Prince who voices Uryu in Bleach sounds exactly like Ken from Digimo, and Shino from Naruto. The voice of one of the Hollows in Bleach sounds exactly like Pakkun from Naruto. So the English cast did well for this show. OF course since this is an ORIGINAL and UNCUT boxset full Japanese vocals are included with English subtitles, so purists should be proud.
The show has solid animation that doesn't fall apart in high action sequences. The solid colors works in making this look like a modern anime as well. Blood is also appropriately shown in this ORIGINAL and UNCUT version.
Finally in terms of the product, a poster of Ichigo is included in which he is wielding his zanpakuto "Zangetsu". Each of the 5 disc's has its own graphic on it. The DVD boxset has an outbox that surrounds a case of the 5 discs. It is reasonably sturdy and nice looking.
Bonus features of the discs includes previews of various Shonen Jump anime such as Naruto, as well as other VIZ media properties. There is also an extensive section on the behind the scenes with the English language cast, and lastly "clean" (creditless) versions of the ending themes.
Ultimately this is a pretty solid boxset for the anime and is an appropriate start for the series. It is suggested that anyone who likes previous Shonen Jump anime, or even just Shonen anime in particular pick up this boxset and start collecting them for Bleach."