Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Bleach Vol 17|
Genres: Anime & Manga, Animation
A powerful new enemy has appeared in Karakura Town. Known as Bounts, these creatures suck the souls from humans. Rukia, Yoruichi and Soi Fon are sent from the Soul Society to investigate, and Urahara enlists the help of th... more »
Secret of the Bount
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 03/23/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"At last, the writers FINALLY get to the point of the anime's Bount Arc -- for one thing, they reveal what the Bount are, and the reason for the bizarre challenges that Ichigo and the others have been going through. "Bleach Volume 17" deftly answers most of the questions and starts some wonderfully creepy Bount-related action, but the last episode is a bit of a borefest.
While Ichigo and Co. agonize over what to do about Chad, they receive a note: destroy the gate in 30 minutes or else! Unfortunately the Hell Gate has acquired a funny new characteristic, namely that it sucks in everything that isn't nailed down (and a few things that are).
And after one final challenge set by the modsouls, Ichigo and his friends learn the true mastermind behind the whole scheme -- their old pal Urahara. He tells them all about the immortal, soul-sucking Bounts and their increased presence in Karakura. Unfortunately when the gang locates some Bounts (with the help of the modsouls in new plush toys), Ichigo soon realizes that the Bounts' strange "dolls" may be too much for them to handle. Think fire and snakes.
In the meantime, Yoruichi, Soi Fom and Ukitake have begun an investigation into the strange happenings in Karakura -- even to the point of the two women stumbling across a feeding Bount. And Mayuri Kurotsuchi discovers that he's locked out of the relevant data. In response, the Soul Society sends another (very familiar) Soul Reaper to take on the Bount problem...
"Bleach Volume 17" is basically devoted to telling viewers what the Bounts are (soul vampires!), clarifying their threat to our heroes (they have power-manifesting "dolls"!), and setting up the rest of the anime arc. These four episodes are a bit fragmented, but it does a good job answering viewers' questions, while still leaving some mysteries (how does Yoruichi recognize Yoshino?) up in the air.
And it has the usual blend of comedy and action that "Bleach" usually does -- on one hand, the Bount dolls provide some wall-smashing violence and creepy unpredictability (Uryu even gets throttled by one). But the modsouls also provide some comedy, especially when Ichigo, Orihime and Chad all go on the hunt for appropriate plush toys for them to inhabit ("You can't be so picky! The only stuffed animals left are some nasty ol' drool-covered ones from when Karin and Yuzu were just babies!").
But these episodes do have a few flaws -- Ichigo and Renji seem to spend half their time squirting testosterone at each other. Seriously, the alpha male content is verging on parody. And Rukia's inclusion while she's not yet powered up feels rather contrived.
Fortunately that's the only real characterization problem. But the Bounts offer some promise for conflict (especially the charming, sinister Kariya), and the Soul Reapers are woven expertly into the storyline, including some underused favorites like Ukitake, Kyoraku, Soi Fon, and the acid-tongued boy-genius Hitsugaya ("Interesting, Rangiku. Then I suppose that mountain of files hidden over there behind the sofa is just my imagination").
"Bleach 17" suffers from a slightly fragmented series of episodes, but it's a promising start to this anime-only arc. And it promises to get more interesting in the next round..."