Mania Grade: B+
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- Audio Rating: A
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: B+
- 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. #25
Bleach Vol. #25 DVD Review
By Bryce Coulter
March 17, 2010
Release Date: February 23, 2010
Bleach Vol. #25
© Viz Media
Jin Kariya’s plan is in full swing along with plenty of fighting matchups.
What They Say
Jin Kariya, the leader of the Bounts, arrives at the Department of Research and Development and quickly dispatches the guards there. He has come to find the Bount Crest known as Jokaisho, which has the power to blow all of the Seireitei away, and only Ichigo and Chad stand in his way.
Meanwhile, Uryu confronts the Bount Yoshi with his new Quincy powers, but he finds them difficult to control as he desperately tries to defend himself from the attacks of his ruthless opponent!
Contains episodes 100-104.
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.
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.
Volume 25 follows the same boxart color variation for “The Assault” arc as introduced with volume 24. The front of the case uses another unique perspective of a character. This time we have Toushirou Hitsugaya covered in ice as if he has just released his zanpakuto. This image is presented in a vertical perspective rather than the horizontal perspective that has been typical of ll; previous volumes. The backside of the case contains the usual series name displayed on a white background 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. There is no insert for this volume. Upon opening the case you will immediately notice that the case design is base on the new eco-friendly DVD cases as the center of the case features a recycling logo that has been hollowed out, thus using less plastic. The disc features a black label with the Bleach logo along with the text “Revenge hardens one’s soul. But sometimes, the fervor for vengeance in turn makes one’s blade dull.”
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 100-104. 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.
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.
We have officially broken the 100 episode mark and the end of the Bount is beginning to come into view. This volume begins with Mabashi leading the attack across the Seireitei. Rizu has shinigami fighting not only team Ichigo but captain Soifon and Komamura as well. Soifon takes Mabashi on face-to-face and it becomes a battle of poisons. Unfortunately for Mabashi, Soifon’s knowledge is far greater in the art than his. Mabashi finds his just end.
After Mabashi meets his maker, the story arc shifts Sawatari and Mayuri. Both can easily be envisioned handing candy to unsuspecting kids, and fall into the class of creepy old men. Mayuri is actually looking for Ichinose, and is put out that his revenge has been usurped by another. Mayuri, in his own twisted pragmatic way, decides that Sawatari will then have to compensate for his embarrassment. As usual, Mayuri’s main objective in capturing Sawatari is to use him as a research subject. In this way he can learn more about the old ‘sealed’ Soul Society technology. We get to see Mayuri’s freaky zanpaktou and regeneration technology go head to head against Baura’s power. I’m glad to see that for once Nemu is spared from getting beaten up or killed.
The fight continues but Mayuri finally gets an advantage when he is able to poison Sawatari’s arm. He becomes paralyzed, but still able to play in the game. Sawarari doesn’t have a chance, though. Even though Mayuri is an absolute freak, he is an empirical scientist at heart. He’s figured out Baura’s movements and goes in for the kill. Unfortunately, in desperation, Baura lets out a blast that takes out half of Mayuri’s body. To say Mayuri is mad is an understatement. Out comes his bankai, and we get to see the weird mutated part baby-part caterpillar, Konjiki Ashisogi Jizou. In the end, he gets his revenge and doesn’t get his research subject. Mayuri just shrugs off the loss and heads back to his lab.
With Sawatari and Mabashi gone, two Bount remain including Yoshi, Koga and of course Kariya. Speak of the devil; Kariya is quickly moving forward in his plan. He heads straight for the Technology Department Bureau with his tag-along, Koga. Once there, Kariya is going to get the original Bount crest that is supposed to be there and which holds enormous power. Ichigo and Sado attempt to hold Kariya back, but they don’t even slow him down. Kariya get’s his ultimate power and can now destroy the Seireitei. Just to make sure they know how screwed they are, he’s going to give them a day to contemplate their upcoming death.
An interesting incident occurs after Kariya leaves the Technology Department with Koga. He gives Koga the low-down about the Joukaishou, and his ultimate plans. Up to this point, it has always seemed like Koga was a pretty bottom-line, brutal character. Koga has a sudden case of ‘a conscience’ and decides that killing everyone may not be a good thing. Of course Kariya is not going to be swayed from his course. The result is the end of the relationship between Koga and Kariya. Kariya gives Koga a dismissive ‘thanks for everything’ and literal low-blow. The whole set up for their falling-out seems sudden and stilted. Somehow it almost feels as though the writers didn’t know what to do with Koga anymore, and simply wrote him out of the script. For all of the effort that was put into building his distinctive character, I wish the writers would have provided a bit more depth to this turn of events.
To close this review, we can’t forget Yoshi. As the scenery shifts to the battle between Yoshi and Ishida, we find Ishida is attempting to control his new weapon. To say he’s struggling is an understatement. Ishida seems to be struggling not only with his weapon but his confidence and pride as a Quincy. His attacks have a flavor of desperation, and Yoshi feels that she can be pretty dismissive with him. Ishida knows that he must not use too much strength or he’ll blow up the area within a 3.1 mile radius around him. At the same time, he must use at least enough power to defeat Yoshi and her strange doll. Will Ishida find the strength, balance and heart to overcome his foe, or will he destroy half of the Seireitei for Kariya?
Many important threads in the Bount arc are still hanging loose. Will Ishida be able to defeat Yoshi without destroying himself and other as well? What will become of Koga now that he is no longer at Kariya’s side? Finally, with the future of the Soul Society in the clutches of a narcissistic mad-man bent on one mission, who will step up to save the day? Stay tuned!
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Clean Closing, Production Gallery
Samsung UN46B6000VF 120Hz LED HDTV, Samsung HT-WS1R/XAA 2.1 Channel Soundbar Speaker System with Wireless Subwoofer, and Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p