Just like Naruto, I doubt you will find anyone that knows anything about anime who hasnt heard of Bleach. An almost as popular phenomenon as Naruto, Bleach tells the story of Ichigo Kurosaki, a young man with an overwhelming spiritual power and who has the gift of second-sight, being able to view and communicate with spirits. A fateful encounter with the Shinigami Rukia Kuchiki leads to him learning of the existence of the monstrous Hollows and Soul Society, eventually leading up to the events that would turn him into one of the most powerful (substitute) Shinigami members ever.
Bleach: Memories of Nobody is Bleachs first feature film release and is directed by Noriyuke Abe, the same man behind the popular television series that is still airing. It tells the story of Senna, an unidentified Shinigami that Ichigo and Rukia have a run in with after she is attacked by a group of strange, featureless white and red ghosts. In order to learn more, Ichigo tries to take the amnesiatic Senna under his wing, but he is hardly the sort of guy who can get through to such an independent and free spirit. Things change however with the appearance of a shadowy group that appears to be Shinigami in nature but at the same time not part of Soul Societys forces. Their target: Senna
With the help of some of the most powerful captains and soldiers from Soul Society, Ichigo must now protect Senna at all costs – as well as stave off the destruction of both our world and the Soul Society as the ominous Valley of Screams grows ever larger. Time is running out and once again, it is up to Ichigo to save this world as we know it
The movie comes across like most of these anime series to movie jumps – extended episode syndrome as I’ve come to term it. The animation employed is almost precisely what is used in the television series, with only the backgrounds showing a slight bit more detail than usual. Every now and then youll also see a character model with some high detail, but this doesnt appear to be maintained throughout the length of the movie. That doesnt mean that the animation is bad of course, in fact it is pretty damn good, but it would have been nice to see something a little different than what we see every week.
The story however works well here. Initially it starts out and paces itself very much like any television episode would, but in the end builds up to the epic proportions required for a feature film and ends up being quite an enjoyable tale. Note that anyone who is a fan of Bleach Universe will have a blast seeing just about all of their favourite characters on screen – I don’t think Abe left anyone out! It is a pretty standard Bleach story, but it is epic and fleshed out enough to make it stand out as worthy movie material. It wont win any awards, but it certainly will be a hit with the fans.
The soundtrack for the movie borrows a lot of theme music from the anime series, thus linking the two nicely but at the same time, Shiro Sagisu has come up with a power orchestral track that helps push Bleach to the level required for a movie. – The movie’s theme music is Overcome the Thousands of Nights by Aqua Timez.
Overall, I enjoyed Bleach: Memories of Nobody. I’ve taken an extended break from the Bleach universe after having my fill of it (it is well over a 100 episodes already) so it was fun to be reacquainted with all the familiar faces and places. It might not be a legendary movie, but it is without a doubt a movie that any and every Bleach fan will enjoy.
Note: Although obviously anyone can watch the movie, it isnt geared for newcomers to the Bleach franchise as very little back-story information is provided for a newbie.
Related link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bleach:_Memories_of_Nobody