2009 Movie. Director: Noriyuki Abe. 90 minutes. DVD, bilingual, $29.92. Distributor: Viz Media.
Bleach is apparently the Energizer Bunny, it keeps going and going and going and going. Don’t get me wrong. I love Bleach. I like Ichigo. I like Rukia. I like Kisuke. I like zanpakuto. I love Orihime. But I would be lying, if I didn’t admit that I’m waiting for a glorious, intensely depressing, and utterly ordinary culmination. For better or worse, Bleach The Movie 2 offers no such endgame.
No, the labyrinth of Bleach continues. The ever-expanding cast creates a seemingly infinite number of possible vignettes; windows into the pasts of both loved and hated characters.
Accordingly, The Diamond Dust Rebellion looks into the past of a character whose popularity rivals that of Ichigo himself: Toshiro Hitsugaya. An artifact called the “King’s Seal” is stolen under his watch, and consequently he and Squad 10 are put under suspicion. As it becomes evident that the thief is a soul reaper from his past, Hitsugaya’s silence ultimately demands a warrant for his arrest!
As expected, teamwork is required to solve this dilemma. Ichigo, Rukia, and the usual suspects appear on the scene to unravel this mystery of Hitsugaya’s past.
Okay, “King’s Seal” aside, which is nothing more than an unexplained ploy to drive the plot, Bleach The Movie 2 scores a big win! The anime is artistically elegant and mesmerizing, definitely a notch above the usual series artwork. Further, the main plot, the buried relationship between Hitsugaya and the mysterious thief Sojiro, is clearly drawn out; all linear action, no moments of filler crap. Better yet, Bleach fans are reacquainted with the true nature of zanpakuto and how each soul reaper attains their unique talents. Hyorinmaru emerges as a major player in this theatrical tale.
This movie grabs you by the collar and holds you until it’s done. And don’t worry. All your favorite soul reapers come out to play.
Pure Bleach fun! Nothing more. Nothing less. And as much as I would like to suffer an awkward ending to this anime phenomenon, this movie simply reaffirms your love for all things Rukia and Ichigo Kurosaki. You chose wisely. You weren’t wrong.