Following on from its first theatrical outing Bleach returns for a second feature length story in the form of “The Diamond Dust Rebellion” that proves to be a dichotomy from the first, but is still able to provide a great story and power pounding action, this time (following its original DVD release) getting the high definition treatment on Blu-Ray!
This movie sees the captain of the 10th Court Guard of the Soul Society take a primary focus, a welcome decision in my eyes as he is always a character I’ve wanted to know more about. The higher ranking members of the Court Guards of the Soul Society, while all interesting and unique characters, never really get an opportunity to have their past explored in detail.
We begin with a convoy transporting a very precious artifact belonging to the royal family being attacked by unknown assailants. The 10th Squad are assigned to discreetly escort this convoy, so they are conveniently close by when this assault happens. Amidst the chaos Toshiro Hitsugaya is injured but makes a quick exit from the scene to pursue the enemy. Unfortunately for him his disappearance coupled with the missing artifact leads to suspicions about his involvement in the ambush, leading to the edict for his arrest to be issued. Ichigo Kurosaki questions the validity of this accusation of treason by Hitsugaya and is determined to get the facts straight before anything happens. Unfortunately Hitsugaya does not help matters when it comes to clearing his name, leading to more drastic actions being taken.
One could say this second movie has a lot to live up to following Memories Of Nobody, a fabulous film in its own right (read our review HERE), but luckily the creators decided to take the viewer in a new direction that provides just as much entertainment and engagement in a completely different light. By putting an established supporting character at the helm of the story with Ichigo it really helps make this tale feel fresh and new. While the integrity of the accused and the mysterious foe that clearly has part to play in proceedings is key to the plot, it provides a unique back story for Hitsugaya that doesn’t make this feel like an extended version of a generic filler episode of anime. Instead it demonstrates how the straight and narrow path that one would come to expect with certain aspects of the Bleach universe, can in fact have a stumbling block that would affect the mindset of someone within the Soul Society. It enables the notion of bottled up emotions to be examined in a way that isn’t just shoved down your throat for the sake of it, but allows the viewer to connect on a more personal level, perhaps even due to real life experiences for some.
As was the case with the first movie, this film looks superb on Blu-Ray. The film is packed with the both the English and original Japanese audio (with subtitles) but unfortunately no extras at all (at least in the English portion of the disc). A shame given the original DVD for this movie and even the Blu-Ray of the Memories Of Nobody movie had some too.
However it’s definitely worth picking up this release if are you in need of some Bleach in high definition or were considering upgrading to this version from the original DVD. It’s visually captivating with a unique & intriguing story and is certainly worth your time. This can’t be said of all films of long running series, but Bleach has hit the mark on each occasion thus far.
Bleach the Movie 2: The Diamond Dust Rebellion is realsed on Blu-Ray by Manga Entertainment on Monday 28th May.
You can pre-order this release at Amazon UK HERE.
– Jeremy Graves