Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Bleach Vol 16|
Actor: Artist Not Provided
Genres: Anime & Manga, Animation
With the assistance of Rukia, a death god, fifteen-year-old Ichigo uses his ability to see ghosts to protect the living from soul-eating spirits.
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 02/09/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"According to Merriam-Webster, filler is "a substance added to a product (as to increase bulk, weight, viscosity, opacity, or strength)."
Well, it's not a precise description, but it does explain the function of anime filler -- episodes not based on the manga it springs from. The sixteenth volume of "Bleach" begins an entire arc not based on Tite Kubo's manga, yet the first few episodes still manage to be fairly entertaining, funny, and suspenseful.
Ichigo has returned to his home, his school, his sisters, his crazy dad, a very angry torn-up Kon, and his goofy friends ("GAH! You two are checking each other out!" Keigo wails at Ichigo and Chad).
Unexpectedly, Renji appears in the school courtyard (dressed like a color-blind folk-hippie), and promptly moves into Urahara's little madhouse. Meanwhile, Orihime is feeling depressed over her lack of strength. After a dream about her dead brother Sora, he suddenly appears at her door -- and Ichigo, Uryu, Chad and Renji appear just in time to see her be dragged into the Hell Gate.
Her kidnappers are the mysterious Ririn, Kuroudo and Noba -- and they quickly lure Ichigo and Co. on a series of bizarre games, with Ichigo's friends as the prize. First it's a chase around town, then a surreal maze in the local museum. Finally, they're brought back to school, where they must uncover who the imposter among them is... or everyone will vanish.
Filler episodes in anime are usually pretty bad -- at the very least, they bend the characters into doing and saying odd things. For the most part, "Bleach Volume 16" avoids that tendency -- it's heavier on the comic relief and lower on tension and bloody action, and in the first couple episodes it's not entirely clear what the heck is going on.
Fortunately these episodes do have some solid puzzles to unlock -- mazelike, nightmarish museums filled with gas, vanishing classmates, the eerie "evil Orihime" -- and some intensely creepy moments with Orihime's "brother" ("There's nothing to worry about... join me..."). But the comic relief is piled on thickly, ranging from weird dialogue ("My stuffing is coming out... my stuffing...!") to funny scenarios (Ichigo is caught by his classmates trying to rip Renji's clothes off... cue jokes). Kon's particularly good for -- he throws tantrums about Rukia, punches Ichigo, is casually abused by a distracted Renji, and gets turned into a "kitschy backpack."
Though Ichigo (and his gorgeous abs) remains the center of attention, some of his friends get a lot more attention in these episodes. Orihime is struggling with her self-doubts and her grief, while Uryu is struggling to deal with the loss of his Quincy powers (although his formidable intellect turns out to be almost as important).
It also serves to introduce some very interesting, mysterious new characters -- Ririn, Kuroudo and Noba. Ririn is pretty annoying with her cutesy-little-sociopath act, but the shapechanging Kuroudo and silent, teleporting Noba are intriguing.
The sixteenth volume of "Bleach" enters a brand-new arc, which is solid enough to be well-worth watching. And the mysteries have yet to be answered."
The slow middle
Darcy Pryciak | Detroit, MI | 05/24/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"to quote Solinas, who reviewed this product, "Her kidnappers are the mysterious Ririn, Kuroudo and Noba -- and they quickly lure Ichigo and Co. on a series of bizarre games, with Ichigo's friends as the prize. First it's a chase around town, then a surreal maze in the local museum. Finally, they're brought back to school, where they must uncover who the imposter among them is... or everyone will vanish"
Otherwise, this is a very boring disk. After all the excitement of the last fifteen DVDs, this one falls flat on its face and I found myself playing games and reading manga online while watching just to do something entertaining...because I was hoping by watching that I wouldn't miss something important for later. No, nothing in these episodes. Very sleeper. Sure, you can't keep the intensity of a series running on High forever. People get burned out. But, at least make it somewhat...more distracting?"