Bleach Vol. #28 -

DVD Review

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. #28

Bleach Vol. #28 DVD Review

By Bryce Coulter     July 30, 2010
Release Date: May 25, 2010

Bleach Vol. #28
© Viz Media

Lieutenant Rangiku Matsumoto and Orihime fanservice all but overshadows the plot, or does it?

What They Say
Captain Hitsugaya, along with Lieutenant Matsumoto and other Soul Reapers, arrives in Karakura Town to protect the living from the murderous Arrancars. Led by the Arrancar Grimmjow, the Arrancars have entered the World of the Living with the goal of killing anyone who possesses the slightest amount of Spiritual Pressure.

As they fan out looking for victims, they find a fight with well-trained Soul Reapers instead. Ichigo, Chad, and the Advance Troops fight hard to protect Karakura town from the dangerous intruders.

Contains episodes 114-117.

The Review!

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 28 follows the previous Arrancar boxart theme. The Arrancar is prominently displayed along the spine as was done with other single disc collections. The front of the case features Ryukia. An over the shoulder look with her zanpaktou withdrawn depicts the ever illusive, yet mysterious Soul Reaper. The front cover image is based on a three quarter perspective that is similar to the earlier releases. 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 case. The disc itself features a matching white label with the Bleach logo. The text printed on the disc uses a smaller font and is much easier to read. 
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 110-113.  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. 
One thing that volume 28 does is explore some of the inner voices of our main characters, as well as one particular character’s physique. To begin the emotional roller coaster, Ichigo’s inner struggles are laid bare. There is nothing really new in the lineup. He worries about his ability to protect those he cares about as well as his ability to reign-in his inner hollow. 
The catalyst to Ichigo’s angst is the two Arrancar still on the loose. One of them, Yammy, has Orihime in the cross-hairs of his fist. Ichigo of course, comes to the rescue in time. At first he does well. With a quick plot reversal, he then turns into a punching bag. As Ichigo find himself quickly becoming ground meat, Ulquiorra deems that he is not a real threat or worthy of Aizen’s interest. Ichigo is mentally beating himself up for losing and cracks when Yammy backhand slaps Orihime as she tries to protect him from his pounding. In a dramatic climax, Ichigo is about to get the Yammy death blow, but… a red barrier saves his bacon. Urahara and Yoruichi, save the day. Since the two former kick-butt captains are on the scene, the lead Arrancar, Ulquiorra, takes note and decides to leave. He takes control of Yammy’s desire to kill whatever is in front of him by sucker punching him in the gut. He then leads Yammy figuratively by the ear back to Hueco Mundo. As he is leaving, Ulquiorra, gives Ichigo’s shredded pride the final blow by sharing the conclusion of his observations for Aizen. ‘The fake Shinigami isn’t worth killing - he’s just trash.’
Meanwhile, Ichigo is depressed. He’s consumed by his lack of control over his inner demon. He’s completely absorbed by his failure, and too self-defeating to change his mentality. In the middle of Ichigo’s deep dark cloud comes a bright ray of comedy in the form of several new students in his class. They would include Renji, Ikkaku, Yumichika, Rangiku, and Captain Hitsugaya. Just seeing them in school uniforms makes you smile. Some fanboys out there probably have figurines of Rangiku ‘filling out’ her uniform. My favorite is Ikkaku trying to fit in with his bald head and wooden sword (but don’t call him bald).
The group isn’t there to comfort Ichigo. The Arrancar threat is not being taken seriously, and they sent the make-shift team as a precaution. They are to help out team Ichigo. Despite seeing old friends, Ichigo’s mood doesn’t get a swift kick to the head until he really gets one from …Rukia. She slaps him out of it by the best way possible, getting him to fight not only a Hollow but his fear. With a speech worthy of William Wallace, she gives Ichigo the resolve to overcome himself. At the same time, Rukia unknowingly creates another problem, jealousy. It’s interesting to see how the writers deal with this situation. Inoue wanted to be able to comfort and help Ichigo, but he didn’t change until Rukia grabbed him by his collar and knocked some sense into him. 
Back at Ichigo’s house, Rukia ‘plays’ his family to get to stay with them. She’s somewhat surprised that she can’t stay in his closet. Renji, Ikkaku, Yumichika, and Rangiku join the party when they pop out of the ceiling tiles unexpectedly. Ichigo takes this sopportunity to ask about Arrancars. He (and the rest of us) get another fact-filled Rukia lesson complete with illustrations. You have to love the bunnies!   We get the low-down on how amazingly strong Arrancar, and then learn that everyone is basically doomed!  Hitsugaya acknowledges that if there are more than 10 of the Vasto lorde class, Soul Society is burnt toast.  
We flash to see a scene with Aizen and not 10 but 20 Vasto lords Arrancar hanging out. Ulquiorra and Yammy report in to their evil leader. One of the Arrancar objects to the way Ulquiorra handled the situation. He should have killed Ichigo. 
Meanwhile, at Ichigo’s house, it’s night-time and the crew needs a place to crash. They decide to separate and find places to light for the evening. Rangiku leaves for Inoue’s home. Here we learn the extent of Inoue’s heart for Ichigo. We also get to see a lot of Rangiku…a lot. What do girls like to do to relax? Take a bath of course! And in typical girl fashion, they talk about all of their emotions. Rangiku gets the truth out of Orihime. Orihime feels guilty for her jealousy and she is lonely when she thinks about the relationship between Rukia and Ichigo. What does Rangiku do in response? What all women do, hop out of the tub naked to hug and comfort her, naturally! While she’s there hugging Inoue, she has to tickle her. Why not? Rangiku is a special individual.   She actually gives Orihime kind, healing words by telling her that Ichigo really needs both of her and Rukia. It’s amazing that we finally see some sort of confirmation of the emotional ties that Inoue, Rukia and Ichigo have. So often in this series there are implied emotional bonds. Here is the first evidence of ‘something else,’ whatever you may think that may be. 
This tender moment between girls is quickly interrupted by the arrival of yet more Arrancar. Grimmjow was not satisfied by the report that Ulquiorra gave. He along with five other Arrancar, D-Roy, Shawlong, Edorad, Ilfort, and Nakim , come to correct the situation.  They fan out across the town to seek and destroy ‘ strong souls.’ After understanding the level of threat, the team is quickly on alert. What will become of the newly arrived soul-reapers, Ichigo and his gang? Will Grimmjow and his posy eliminate those that have significant spiritual pressure? Will the joined team be strong enough to survive these advanced Hollow’s on steroids? Stay tuned for the next volume to catch the details!
Fighting, sulking, kicking, and naked hugging, how will we all survive? Curious? Watch and see!

Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English subtitles

Review Equipment
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



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