Bleach Vol. #20 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: A
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 and Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 24.92
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Bleach

Bleach Vol. #20

The dark chapters continue

By Bryce Coulter     October 08, 2009
Release Date: September 15, 2009


Bleach Vol. #20
© Viz Media

Add some comedy, a few mosquitos, and some powered up Bounts!

What They Say
After their huge but unfinished battle with the Bounts, Uryu and the group rest and prepare their strategy for the next round. At Ichigo's house, the mod souls try to be useful by setting traps for the Bounts. But their good intentions backfire with unexpected and hilarious results. With allies like these, who needs enemies?!

Contains episodes 80-83.

The Review!
Audio:
We listened to this collection using the English dub as we have become fans of the English cast.  They continue to do an excellent job of portraying the characters as set forth by the original Japanese voice cast.  Being more of a English dub fan, in general, we find it harder to go back to listening to the Japanese voice cast.  As usual, the audio is clean and clear.  The overall soundtrack does a great job of using the multiple channels.  In all, still a great audio dub.

Video:
Again, the transfer for Bleach does not disappoint in its original full frame aspect ratio. Bleach’s transfer is consistently clean and pleasing to watch.  All of the colors appear very solid and exhibit great vibrancy. Cross coloration is absent and aliasing is almost nonexistent. 

Packaging:
For this collection we are treated to the boxart color variation for “The Bount”.  Volume 20 continues to feature the silver foil front cover design.  In addition, the spine of the case and the volume number is now colored in skyblue.  The same logo and text layout appears as it did in the previous volumes.  ShÅ«hei Hisagi is featured on the front.  The ever cool and collected Soul Reaper has that serious look while unsheathing his zanpaku..  The backside of the case contains the usual series name displayed in a silvery skyblue color 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.  The standard technical information about the DVD is provided at the bottom. 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. The inside jacket continues to use the white background with the black soul reaper icon.  The insert for this collection lists the episode numbers as well as the “The Bount” written in kanji. The DVD label uses the skyblue color and features the text “Once one enters soul society and is enlightened by the order, eyes cannot be closed, ears cannot be blocked…”  This is also clearly found on the back of the insert, which is a lot easier to read.

Menu:
As with previous volumes, the same cool menu design is used in this release.  The blocking movements are used again from to showcase various scenes from episodes 76-79.  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.  The title menu for Bleach continues to be one the best menus I have reviewed.

Extras:
Again, as in previous volumes, the same types of extras are featured. A selection of production art for some of the characters is also available.  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. 

Content:
The dark drama continues with the Bount arc.  The team is trying to figure out how best to discover and deal with the Bount.  The Mod souls are currently unable to sense their foe or the bitto, and this causes a great deal of concern.  In the middle of all the stress, the writers decide to graft in a bit of humor.  The mod souls come up with a plan to keep Ichigo’s family safe.  Kon, Ririn, Nova, and Claude devise a number of traps in and around the clinic to keep the Bount away or capture them.  Ichigo thinks they’re ridiculous, and rightly so.  To prove that they are worthwhile, the mod souls come up with another brilliant plan that make even less sense.  All in all, the entire spoof proves to be a nice distraction to lighten the mood from all the soul sucking, end of life darkness. 

The reality check comes all too soon.  The bitto, or as I like to term them, soul mosquitoes, are running rampant throughout Karakura town.  People are disappearing as these parasitic soul suckers attack.  This is all part of Kariya’s twisted plan.  The purpose of these nasty life suckers is shown when Kariya pops one open for a taste of their product.  These mutated monsters produce a concentrated form of soul juice they’ve gathered, and the result ‘powers up’ the Bount in an all new way.   Kariya unleashes his amped up army on the town and unsuspecting soul reapers.  The Soul Society is taking the threat seriously, but even Soifon's second division cannot damage them. Tenth division captain T-shirt Hitsugaya also orders more Soul Reapers to enter the human world.  Ichigo is going to need backup!  

The Bount are out in force and take on the team in all new ways.  The ancient Germanic Bount, Koga, and his doll, Dalk, take on Ichigo as he as trying to save Keigo from the soul mosquitoes.  We get some interesting back story on this guy as he overpowers Ichigo with a great deal of remorse.  He doesn’t like what he’s doing, but he is fully committed to the cause.  Ichigo is bearing the brunt of Koga’s dedication, and Dalk’s blood lust. 

At the same time, Rukia, Orihime, and Claude are fighting the classic typecast Chinese assassin, Yoshi , who comes complete with a doll in the form of a sword and fan.  Ururu is sent off to find Chad and Nova.  They in turn get to meet Vincint Price, uh, no, I mean Sawatari.  Jinta is trying to find Renji, and Ishida has disappeared without a trace.  The team is not faring well, and you begin to wonder if the Kariya’s plan will bring everyone to a quick demise.  Will the team sent out by T-shirt Hitsugaya make in time?  Tune in next time!

Summary
The bitto (soul mosquitoes) attack and the team find themselves divided and about to be conquered by the ‘powered up’ Bount.  Will the reinforcements from the Soul Society provide enough backup in time to save the team?  The dark chapters continue as the Bount gain power, and become an even greater threat to all!

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment

Samsung UN40B6000V 40” LED HDTV, Sony PlayStation 3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Samsung HT-WS1R/XAA 2.1home theater Sound Bar Speaker System with Wireless Subwoofer

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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1 
aegrant 10/8/2009 6:36:58 AM

Why do they release these so late? I mean, Bleach episodes 151 &152 will be on this weekend on CN and online you can find episodes in the 200 range. So why does Viz wait so long?

 

And Boom goes the cannon - I am first!

1 

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