2010 TV Series (episodes 110-113). Director: Noriyuki Abe. DVD, bilingual, $24.92. Distributor: Viz Media.
The Bount – thank you! – are done! And now Ichigo Kurosaki returns to the mundane experience of High School life. He is, after all, an official Substitute Soul Reaper. How exciting can exams and lectures be? Well, this is Karakura Town. Things are never that boring, at lest on a supernatural level. And when Shinji Hirako appears in his class, Ichigo encounters a whole new challenge. To make matters worse, immense spiritual pressure has entered the world of the living. Enter the Arrancar.
High school antics, subtle fan service, and classic Bleach heroism: this is Bleach V. 27. In that difficult and often crucial transition period between story arcs, these four episodes get it right. Simply put, there’s nothing but fun and intrigue. That’s right, no filler!!!!
As I’m sure you recall, Ichigo’s time in the Soul Society alluded to the Hollow lurking within him. And Shinji, as the leader of a group of Soul Reaper/Hollow hybrids, plans on converting our beloved protagonist. A latent, yet troublesome power is waiting to be tapped. And, for better or worse, the timing is foreboding. A new enemy has been formed under the criminal Aizen: the Arrancar. And they have come to the world of the living to hunt for those whose spiritual pressure commands their attention.
Ichigo and friends are obviously the target. Once again they must not only band together to unravel this new threat, but Ichigo must come to grips with Shinji and his inner Hollow power; he's going to need it to battle the Arrancar!
But fear not! Ichigo is home and back in high school. Old high school friends, that boring classroom, and Orihime’s boobs provide plenty of fun, pranks, and fan service. And let’s not forget Kon. That little horny bear can’t wait to meet and flirt with the girls of Karakura Town!
Consequently, in my opinion, Bleach doesn’t get any better than this. The light-heartedness of daily life is wonderfully combined with the anxiety of a mysterious, imminent threat. And with Aizen pulling the strings, the thrill of season 1 and 2, which got your blood pumping, returns to lure you into whole new adventure. That initial story arc is not yet over. Old friends and enemies must be revisited. Better yet, no magic, no soul sucking, no weak story lines associated with the Bount: the Arrancar only bring hollow power and new zanpakuto.
That epic, heroic combat that makes Bleach so good is about to begin again. Bleach V. 27, like any good appetizer, whets your appetite for the main course to come: The Arrancar. Who are they? And why are they are pretty damn cool?