Lesley Aeschliman

Anime Review: Bleach Set 25

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Bleach Set 25 includes episodes 343-354 of the series on two DVDs. Audio options include the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and the English dub.

Bleach Set 25

Bleach Set 25

English Publisher: VIZ Media
Format: DVD
Release Date: June 23, 2015

Set 25 picks the canon storyline back up after a 17-month time skip. In the intervening time, Ichigo has lost his Soul Reaper powers and is living in peace as a third year high school student. But that peace is soon shattered when Chad seems to disappear and Uryu is attacked by an unknown assailant.

Ichigo finds himself being approached by Kugo Ginjo, a member of a group known as Xcution. Its member are made up of people who were born with or have manifested a Fullbring ability, and it turns out this is where Chad has been. Xcution wants to help Ichigo restore his Soul Reaper powers in order to rid themselves of their Fullbring abilities, but Ichigo wants no part of it at first. But after his younger sister Yuzu is attacked by a Hollow, Ichigo decides to take Xcution up on their offer.

With a new story arc, of course, comes new characters. Obviously, there’s Kugo and the other members of Fullbring. Of the Xcution characters, a lot of focus is also placed on Riruka Dokugamine, the member who takes charge of Ichigo’s training. Her Fullbring is known as “Dollhouse” and allows her to place people into objects that she finds to be cute. With her ability, Riruka places Ichigo into objects like a dollhouse or a birdcage and has him fighting plush animals she brings to life by kidnapping humans and putting them into the plushes. Admittedly, these training battles are on the surreal side for the viewer, but they end up accomplishing what they need to do as Ichigo begins taking steps to learn how to activate a Fullbring. We get to see three other members of Xcution as well, but they tended to not be focused on as much as Kugo or Riruka were.

A new enemy is also introduced in this set, a man named Shukuro Tsukishima who has ties with Xcution. He has a lackey named Moe Shishigawara, but it’s safe to say that this guy’s not very bright. It’s no wonder that he’s Shukuro’s lackey.

Ichigo has a part-time job, and this set also introduces the viewer to his boss, Ikumi Unagiya. She owns the Unagiya Shop, a business that performs odd jobs for its customers. In a lot of respects, her personality kind of reminds me of Kukaku Shiba.

Since there’s a 17-month time skip, some of the characters have received some major changes to their character design. Ichigo, Uryu, and the adults don’t seem to have changed much, but many of the other characters have significant changes to them. Characters like Karin, Yuzu, Jinta, and Keigo look drastically different, while others have noticeable changes that aren’t quite as significant.

There’s also something about the atmosphere of the series that has changed, in addition to the character designs. The overall aesthetics of the animation seem to have noticeably changed, and there also seems to be a change to the feel in the storytelling. Considering that there’s a significant time skip and the main characters have grown up in that intervening time, having this change in the series’ atmosphere makes a lot of sense. But as a viewer, it took me a few episodes to truly adjust to these changes.

When it comes to the DVD set itself, the omake are cut off from the end of the episodes and collected together in the “Omake” feature included on both discs. The quality of the omake on this set was poor overall, although a couple of them induced some chuckles.

The bonus features on both discs have the same clean opening and clean ending, since there was only one opening animation and one closing animation that appeared on the episodes in this set. The opening and closing both have options for English subtitles and Romaji subtitles.

“More From VIZ Media” includes the exact same trailers that appear at the beginning of each disc before the menu loads. Not only that, but the trailers used for Bleach Set 25 are the exact same trailers that were used for Sets 22-24. If the trailers didn’t entice me to buy what they were selling three sets ago, they’re not going to convince me to buy them now.

If you’re a Bleach fan, this set is a “must own” if you want to have all of the episodes that include canon material in your anime home video collection.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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