Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Into the Soul Society
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 11/18/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Bounts have finally invaded the Soul Society, and all hell is about to break loose... rather slowly.
In fact, the twenty-third volume of "Bleach" suffers from a bit of whiplash -- one minute you've got a bloody episode-long fight, and the next it's an episode of talking and pig-riding. But it's an effective transition from one filler arc to the next, and brings back some popular characters in the fight against the Bount... who turn out to have a massive advantage over the Soul Reapers.
The Bounts come busting into the Soul Society, and it doesn't take the Soul Reapers long to turn up, only to get wasted by Koga's machine-gunning doll. And when Ichigo's group splits up, Rukia finds herself in single combat with the sadistic Bount Yoshi. But while she initially has the upper hand, Rukia soon realizes that her Bount enemy can absorb reishi to heal her injuries... and since the Soul Society is basically made of reishi, it makes her invulnerable. Meaning, of course, that Rukia can't win.
Meanwhile, the Bounts are making other inroads -- part of the Seireitei is bombed, and Jin Kariya and his few remaining followers have gathered a small army of rough Soul Society dwellers. And because of the attack on Rukia (though he denies it), Byakuya sets out to fight Jin Kariya alone -- except it turns out that the two men seem to be evenly matched. But while they can fight on the same level, Kariya has an edge that Byakuya can't beat.
"Bleach Volume 23" is likely to give you whiplash -- first there's an episode of nothing much happening, then an episode of bloody whirring action, then ANOTHER episode of nothing much, then ANOTHER episode of bloody swordfighting action. I don't know what the next episode will be, but I guarantee you I will be very dizzy by the time it rolls around.
At any rate, this is a decent transition from one filler arc to the next, and that's what it feels like -- a transition. The Soul Reapers haven't yet mustered their forces and really struck back at the Bounts, Ichigo's little gang is gathering info, and the Bounts are building up their strength in the Soul Society. What's more, Kukaku and Yoruichi reveal a bit more about the back history of the Bounts, and the presence of somebody who might be able to help them. Well, maybe.
It's also a pretty grim affair, with one character almost being killed, bombings, blood-splashing swordfights in fast-forward, and a brewing revolution amongst the rough'n'tumble souls. There is some humor -- Ririn's jealousy (jealous of Ichigo standing next to Rukia?), the pig-riding, and Kon being chased by a mob -- but the overall tone is a rather dark one.
Ichigo actually doesn't do a lot in this volume, except come bouncing in to help Byakuya at the end; Orihime, Yoruichi, Uryu and Chad do even less than that, basically running around in circles (although Kuroudo on Orihime's head is the cutest part). The spotlight belongs to Rukia and Byakuya -- Rukia fights a particularly deadly Bount and almost gets sliced to ribbons for it, while Byakuya's stone-faced concern for his little sister drives him to hunt down Kariya. Yeah, he claims it isn't personal, but why would he go alone if that was true?
"Bleach 23" is like a pendulum swinging between action and inaction, but it does build up some promising stuff for future episodes."