Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Bleach Series 9 Part 2
Released By: Manga Entertainment
Rating: 12
Running Time: 900 Mins
Audio: English & Japanese DD 2.0
Release Date: Out now!
Reviewed By: Sandra Scholes

After Rurichiyo left the Soul Society with her two aides, she has now returned, but her aides are still in the real world of the living and unaware. As Kumoi has realized she has come back, he sees the perfect opportunity to have his henchmen seize her and plan to take over the clan as leader. With Ichigo and Rukia protecting her, Kumoi’s ninja Hanzanuka isn't getting much of a chance to kill her. It isn't until he gets his opportunity to take Ichigo head on that he thinks he can beat him, but whether he is strong enough or not is an issue.

Rurichiyo’s life is told in these first episodes, how she has grown up protected, and a virtual prisoner in the royal palace. As she is an unfortunate girl in some ways,  others have looked out for her, and if they had not been able to do their duty, they were punished and she never knew about that until she got older.

As the anime moves between the two stories, disc one concentrates on Isuru’s relationship with third seat Kibune, Captain Amagai’s right hand man. He thinks he is a suspicious type who pretends to be nice to the other squad members, yet he has already seen a sinister side to him while on a mission. Izuru takes to following him and is astonished at what he finds out. This is when viewers will find out that the two series combine for a reason that Ichigo will not be happy with.

Ichigo comes up against some of the most powerful foes since the Arrancar and Espada came onto the scene a while back. Ichigo and Rukia are put into a difficult position when they have to confront a traitor in the Kasumiohji clan and no one believes them when they tell them that the Rurichiyo who has just got married to Prince Kanoji is an impostor. As she is the member of a noble clan, the Soul Society captains believe that Ichigo’s actions are in breach of their trust. Even after all Ichigo has done for the Soul Society, you would have thought that he would be believed, and beyond doubt. Though each squad have been given orders to capture him on sight, they all find they trust Ichigo no matter what, so they find it hard to think he would do anything to betray them.

Third seat Kibune has got almost all the lieutenants fooled, but not Isuru. He knows better than to trust anyone after his former captain, Gin Ichimaru had betrayed him and his squad. He still has problems with gathering the courage to lead his squad and has felt this way before the new captain arrived. Izuru and Kibune don't get on and it shows, but they do have to put up with each other, even though Kibune at times wants to lead the squad when the captain is away, which annoys him greatly. Kibune's back story is shown and viewers will finally get a chance to see what goes on in  his head, and why he felt he lacked so much during his training in the Soul Society. Amagai has trouble with understanding Kibune at times, and when Ichigo is on the run, he wonders whether he should find out what Kibune is really up to.

The new captain of Squad Three and  his lieutenant are proving to be interesting and none of them are who they appear to be, so that lends a great sense of mystery to the characters. The story is engaging and has its own twists and turns. Overall this new season is one to watch that will keep the viewers attention span.

Bonus Material: Clean Opening and Closing Animations.

Verdict: Amazing plot, gripping story and amazing action sequences - Bleach is still one of the top anime around and we know why.

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