Bleach Vol. #05 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: A
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 24.98
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Bleach

Bleach Vol. #05

By Bryce Coulter     September 07, 2007
Release Date: July 31, 2007


Bleach Vol. #05
© Viz Media


What They Say
Rukia the Soul Reaper knows she is on borrowed time, staying in the world of the living longer than allowed. Having transferred her powers to Ichigo, she is in big trouble when two enforcers from the Soul Society come after her. Now Ichigo will have to master his sword and learn to control his spiritual energy if he is to save her from execution!

Contains episodes 17-20.

The Review!
"You have to desire to save Rukia from the bottom of your heart. The power of love is stronger than steel. ... For 10 days can you handle a life or death situation with me?" Ichigo responds, "You have to ask?"

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. We also sampled the English track, which does a fairly good job of keeping up with standard set by the Japanese cast. In listening to both language tracks, we didn't have any problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally airing in 2004, the transfer for this series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. Bleach's transfer is very clean is good looking release. All of the colors appear very solid. Cross coloration is absent and aliasing is almost nonexistent. On rare occasions there is just a small bit of noticeable background noise, but nothing to be concerned about.

Packaging:
The fifth volume of Bleach has an illustration of Abari Renji wielding his wicked, saw-toothed zanpokutou. As seen in previous releases, the white background draws attention to the silver foil used in the domestic version of the series logo and the zanpokutou. The back side layout features the illusive, yet mysterious Byakuya. Again, the series name is displayed in silver along with the volume and episode numbers. The standard brief Viz summary of the volume is also contained here along with a few shots from the show along with the standard technical information about the DVD. The insert for this volume, like the previous volumes, is a black piece with the title from the back cover on it along with chapter stops. A nice little extra inclusion is a sticker sheet that has the front cover and four smaller stickers for each episode number.

Menu:
As with previous volumes, the same cool menu design is used again in volume 3. The blocking movements are used again from the opening sequence to showcase various scenes from episodes 17-20. Again, all of this is kept to an all black background with visuals that slide in and out along with lines of color all set to a brief bit of instrumental music from the show. The navigation strip is along the bottom that has very quick access to the submenus. As in the previous volumes, Viz continues to not show the English subtitles for the opening music when watching the show in English, which is a pain. To view the subtitles, one has to watch the show in Japanese with the subtitles turned on.

Extras:
Again, as in previous volumes, the same types of extras are featured. A selection of production art covers the basics of characters. We also get a clean version of the closing sequence. The manga preview contained in this volume is mainly an advertisement for Viz's other manga titles. There is no preview of the Bleach manga in this volume.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers).
Episode 17 foreshadows the theme of the entire volume, namely Ichigo becoming acquainted with his zanpokutou. The first episode sets up for one of the best fight scenes yet. Abari Renji sets the ball rolling by telling Ichigo that someone who doesn't even know his zanpokutou's name is 2000 years too young to defeat him. Renji then releases his zanpoktou by calling out its name, Howl Zabimaru. Renji's zanpokutou morphs into a serrated, whip-like form. The modified form allows him to inflict considerable harm to Ichigo. Ichigo slumps over as Rukia steps in to stop Renji from striking Ichigo again.

Rukia yells for Ichigo to run as he struggles to gather himself. As Ichigo's spirit power surges, he charges at Renji while slashing his left shoulder. Ichigo even manages to knock Renji into the air while cutting his face. Ichigo turns cocky as he gains control of the fight. He taunts Renji by asking "Whats wrong? Your movements have gotten a hell of a lot slower all of the sudden!" as he is going to bring his zanpokutou down on Renji's head. Without a hitch, Ichigo's blade instantaneously comes off as Byakuya, Rukia's brother, steps into the fight. In one fell swoop Byakuya stands at a distance with the blade of Ichigo's zanpokutou in his hand. As Byakuya drops the blade, he casually places his hand on his sword and almost instantaneously appears behind Ichigo. Wounds instantly appear on Ichigo, who has absolutely no idea what has just happened. Byakuya again suddenly appears beside him and impales Ichigo's while resheathing his sword.

Rukia feels compelled to intervene, but Renji stops her. He tells her that touching Ichigo would further extend her prison sentence by 20 years. Mortally wounded, Ichigo makes one last fighting attempt as he grabs the bottom of Byakuya's robe. Byakuya tells Ichigo to let go. Ichigo responds with an atypical smart-mouthed response. "I can't hear you. Look at me when you talk." A sudden turn of events occurs as Rukia runs up and kicks Ichigo's hand off Byakuya. She tersely responds, "Filthy human... How dare a filthy human seize my brother's leg! Know your place boy!"

Rukia tells Ichigo to never think of coming after her as she walks away with Byakua and Renji. Her final words to Ichigo are cold and conclusive in that she tells him that she will never forgive him if he attempts to rescue her. Rukia then convinces Byakuya that it would be a waste of his energy if he were to finish off Ichigo. Mercifully, Byakuya leaves Ichigo lying in the street and states that he will most likely die in under an hour, and even if he lives, all of his shinigami powers will be gone. Renji opens the portal to the Soul Society as Ichigo helplessly watches them walk through the portal.

The scene fades to black, and then shows Ichigo's body floating. He begins to wonder if he must be dying, as he was cold, but now he feels no pain and is warm. Suddenly, he awakens to find himself nose-to-nose with Tsukabishi Tessai (the big guy who works for Urahara). Tessai is lying on top of Ichigo (do we really want to know?...). Ichigo trys to get up and quickly realizes from the pain that he is still wounded. Urahara immediately tells a squirmy Ichigo that his wounds are not yet fully healed (duh!), and that if he moves too much he'll die. Ichigo realizes that he is in Urahara's house. Urahara proceeds to let Ichigo know that he found Ishida, who was mortally wounded by Renji, and healed his wounds. He also relays a comment made by Ishida where he states that Ichigo is their only hope in saving Rukia.

Ichigo says a rescue is impossible since Rukia has returned to the Soul Society. Urahara then informs Ichigo that there is a way he can get into Soul Society and save Rukia, but in exchange Ichigo must let Urahara train him for 10 days. Urahara explains Ichigo's current level of strength is not enough for him to survive while in the Soul Society. Knowing that Rukia will be executed, Urahara lays out an ambitious timeline that they will be following for training. Urahara tells Ichigo, "You have to desire to save Rukia from the bottom of your heart. The power of love is stronger than steel." Urahara asks Ichigo "For 10 days can you handle a life or death situation with me?" Ichigo responds, "You have to ask?"

Episode eighteen begins with Ichigo attending the last day of school before summer vacation. The situation seems surreal to him as he reflects on what has happened while everyone else is amped up about what they are going to do for the summer. He also wonders at the fact that no one at school remembers Rukia. As everyone is dismissed for summer vacation, Ichigo notices that Ishida hasn't been seen at school. He begins to wonder if Ishida would remember Rukia. Walking home from school, Ichigo runs into Orihime. She asks Ichigo where Rukia went, and why everyone has forgotten about her.

As Ichigo fills Orihime in on the details about Rukia, he discovers that Orihime is able to see everyone in their 'spirit bodies.' Orihime reveals that she has been able to see things since the incident with her brother. She expresses her gratitude for the help Ichigo gave her brother knowing that he is happy on the other side. Orihime then begins to wonder about Rukia's fate as Ichigo brings up a mental picture of Byakuya. Knowing Rukia's possible fate, he tells Orihime that he needs to bring Rukia back. As they continue to talk, Ichigo comes to a conclusion and a decision. He says that Rukia was once in their world, and that's where she belongs.

Meanwhile back at the Soul Society, we see Renji paying a visit to Rukia's jail cell. In an attempt to make light of her situation, Renji jokes about her death sentence and states that her brother is probably asking for a lighter sentence. Knowing the better, Rukia recalls the past 40 years since her adoption into the Kuchiki family. Since then, Byakuya has never looked at her.

The remainder of this collection focuses on Ichigo's training at Hat and Clogs' shop. To begin his training, Urahara knocks Ichigo's soul out of his body. Ichigo immediately discovers that he is having difficulty breathing. Urahara explains this is because he's only a regular Konpaku soul with no spirit power. He says that they have to get Ichigo's spirit power back, or there is no hope of rescuing Rukia.

The first stage of Ichigo's training begins with a rather amusing fight against none other than the cute, funny haired girl, Ururu. Ururu has the upper hand as she has quite the explosive punch. Urahara instructs Ichigo that the Konpaku tends to gain spirit energy faster if it fears his life is in danger. Mastering this technique, Ichigo proceeds on to the second lesson. The lesson begins as Tessai takes out an ax and cuts Ichigo's Chain of Fate, thus severing his soul from his body.

As Ichigo undergoes his second stage of training, Orihime and Chad come across a talking black cat, Yoruichi. Yoruichi has sought them out in attempt to convince Orhime and Chad to accept his offer to teach them about their spiritual powers. There's something intriguing about this cat as it seems like he knows a lot more about what's going on than he truly reveals. Chad and Orihime decide to accept Yoruichi's offer, but not without asking Ishida. After getting the low-down from the group, Ishida says that it has nothing to do with him. Ishida states that he is training to be stronger than a Soul Reaper. Chad and Orihime leave Ishida somewhat sad, but accepts his decision. After they leave, Ishida opens a mysterious box saying no else can see his training.

After severing Ichigo's Chain of Fate, Tessai is once again seated on top of him. Ichigo blurts out that he's going to die. Urahara agrees, stating since the Chain of Fate is severed, he will. His soul can't return to its body. The chain will begin consume itself, and once it's gone, Ichigo will become a Hollow. In order to stop the chain, Ichigo will have to regain his Soul Reaper powers. Instantaneously, a hole appears beneath Ichigo and Tessai. After a very long fall, Ichigo lands on the ground only to find that his arms are bound behind him. Tessai has placed a binding spell on his arms so they can't be used. Ichigo is then instructed to reach the top of the hole. The lesson will last three days. If he can't reach the top by that time, his chain will be gone. If he turns into a Hollow, they will have no choice but to kill him.

At the beginning of episode nineteen, Ichigo's perilous state is recapped. He has 72 hours left before the Chain of Fate disappears. Held by a binding spell, and the pain during the consumption process completely disables his mobility. On top of that, Jinta and Ururu tease him by seeing who can spit on him. Ichigo's chain slowly disappears and then is no more. The Hollow transformation process begins. Ichigo suddenly finds himself in a strange world where a man in black confronts him about his life. The man tells Ichigo if he wants to save himself, he must find the shinigami box or he will become a Hollow. Ichigo racks his brain. How can he find that box? Suddenly, he remembers a prior conversation where Ishida explains that Soul Reapers have red soul ribbons. Ichigo begins to look for a red box and quickly discovers the hilt of a sword, his zanpakuto. He grabs the hilt and draws it out. Suddenly, Ichigo emerges from the hole as a semi-hollow. He breaks the mask and Urahara immediately takes Ichigo to lesson three. Ichigo now must take him on, and defeat him by knocking off his hat with his broken soul slayer.

As episode 19 draws to a close, we find Orihime and Chad struggling to master the teachings of Yoruichi. Ishida has gone out on his own with every intent of besting Ichigo. The contents of the mysterious box must have some significance, but Ishidia is very protective of its contents. Rukia has just been sentenced to death. Her execution will take place in 25 days. As Ichigo and Urahara begin their match, one has to wonder if this group will be able to get their act together in time to save Rukia.

The finals scene closes as Ichigo watches Urahara pull a sword out of his cane. He thinks there is no way that Urahara's sword is a zanpakutou. Reading his mind, Urahara soon corrects Ichigo's arrogance. Ichigo soon finds himself running for his life. Different swords are scattered throughout the cave and Ichigo must find the one that is his true zanpakutou. He continues to go through different swords. Benihime, Urahara's released zanpakutou easily slices through each one. Finally, Ichigo hears the name of his zanpakutou. He turns and fights. Will Urahara's three step wonder be enough? Will Chad and Orihime gain control over their powers? What mysterious training was Ishida completing? More importantly, will Rukia die? I'm definitely looking forward to the next volume to seeing if this group will get their act together in order to mount a rescue attempt for Rukia .

Summary:
Bleach continues to be a series that has the right balance of tension, humor, and action. In this volume Ichigo realizes his former ignorance and arrogance as a Soul Reaper. Will he be able to metamorphosis into a true Soul Reaper or will he lose his life and hope in the process? Three easy steps stand between him and saving Rukia. Watch Ichigo and his friends transform across these pivotal episodes. They even learn to accept talking cats. Mine does...doesn't yours?

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Clean Closing,Production Gallery

Review Equipment
Hitachi 62VS69 62" UltraVision LCD Projection HDTV, XBOX 360 DVD player, XBOX 360 HDMI Cable with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound.

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