Bleach Vol. #30 - Mania.com



DVD Review

Mania Grade: B

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Info:

  • 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: 125
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Bleach

Bleach Vol. #30

Bleach Vol. #30 DVD Review

By Bryce Coulter     September 15, 2010
Release Date: July 20, 2010


Bleach Vol. #30
© Viz Media

It’s time for Ichigo to get past his moping around and embrace his inner Hollow!

What They Say
Substitute Soul Reaper Ichigo Kurosaki is determined to learn how to control his inner Hollow and visits Shinji Hirako at the Visoreds' hideout to find a way. But as much as Ichigo wishes to suppress his inner Hollow, Shinji wants to force him to release it. Ichigo must enter his inner world, where he's greeted by a more powerful version of himself wielding a white Zangetsu, which may be his most formidable opponent yet!

Contains episodes 122-126

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:
Volume 30 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 the Vizard, Shinji Hirako.  The profile image of him, with smirking grin, is not the most flattering of poses, but depicts his character traits rather well.  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. 

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 122-126.  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. 

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 brawling high that we experienced in the last collection tapers out in Volume 30.  Ichigo is anything but beat and dejected after the whooping he received from Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez.  The whipping he received has sent Ichigo into a mental state of depression and inward focus.  In fact, he has wandered off and nobody knows where he is.  When you down and out like this, anything goes when it comes to getting back to where you once were before.  The ticket for the bus ride back to the top leads Ichigo to seek out the warehouse district and the Vizards that inhabit it.  It’s time he must embrace his inner Hollow.

Meanwhile, and interesting turn of events takes place in Hueco Mundo.   Tosen escorts Grimmjow to Aizen’s throne where it is expected that Aizen will punish him for his actions back in Karakura Town.  In an unexpected turn of events, Aizen says that he is not angry because of Grimmjow’s actions. Tosen disagrees and wants to punish Grimmjow for breaking the rules because justice without moral law is just slaughter, but slaughter in the name of moral law is justice.  Tosen assumes the role of executioner and cuts off Grimmjow’s left arm.  Grimmjow attempts to retaliate, but Aizen stops him.   Talk about law and order or judge, jury, and executioner.  Tosen doesn’t mess around when it comes to breaking the law!

We also learn more about inner workings of Aizen’s grand scheme as he discusses the roles of the Arrancar subordinates with Ichimaru Gin.  The five that were killed are known as Gillians and their loss is of no real concern to Aizen. With his Vasto Lorde Espada, Aizen feels that there will be no enemies able to stand in their path.

From here on out, the rest of this collection focuses on Ichigo and his struggle to embrace his inner Hollow.  How this plays out is very reminiscent of the training he underwent with Urahara and Yoruichi.  Ichigo has to battle his defeatist attitude while fighting to survive the ritual that the Vizards are having him undergo.  The whole thing feels reused and unoriginal as it seems like every other fighting upgrade that Ichigo gains.  Nevertheless, Ichigo makes it out alive and successfully tames the inner Hollow, but for how long?  It will be interesting to see how this deal with the devil will play out in the future.

The last episode in this collection fleshes out what the Soul Society knows about Aizen and the plans he has made.  Hitsugaya contacts Head Captain Yamamoto and learns of the discovery that Captain Ukitake, Naao and Captain Kyoraku find a clue to Aizen's plan.  This clue leads to a document known as the Oken, which is the key of the royal house that can open a gateway to the dimension where the Spirit King dwells.  Evidentially, Aizen plans to recreate this key by sacrificing 100,000 souls.  The prime location for this take place is none other than Karakura Town.  Time is of the essence as Aizen cannot do this until the Hogyoku reawakens in four months.  It’s time for more training to prepare for the upcoming battle as Yamamoto urges everyone to train and be prepared.

Summary
Volume 30 reveals quite a bit about Aizen’s plans to access the royal family in the Soul Society.  We learn a bit more about the inner workings of Huego Mundo and what roles Gin and Tosen play in Aizen’s inner circle.  An often reused formula of upgrading Ichigo’s powers takes place for a large chunk of this collection as he embraces, battles, and claims control of the inner Hollow powers he posses.  The order from Head Captain Yamamoto to train means that more training is yet to come especially for the rest of the Team Ichigo gang.  I can only speculate that we will have more training episodes in the next collection.

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

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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