Warning: This review assumes that the reader knows the Bleach storyline. Maybe you read the manga or saw the anime show for comparison. This review is subjective and does not indicate that the reader will experience the same things.
In the world of anime, there are certain shows that serve as the de facto standard set of shows to put on your watchlist. Some of them are: Naturo, One Piece, Bleach, Soul Eater, Full Metal Alchemist, Death Note, Dragon Ball Z, Pokemon and the list goes on.
Since this post is about Bleach, I won’t go into detail about the others. So, let’s talk about the live action movie that came out for it. Now, if you’ve read the Shounen Jump or seen the 350+ episode show, then the knowledge that a live action film was about to air on Netflix would tickle your fancy.
And for me, that it did. I was excited yet hesitant to give it a try. I did not want the live action to ruin the show for me. If you’re an anime fan, I’m sure you can relate. However, I can definitely say I’m glad I gave it a try.
Since they compressed almost all of the first story arc into just under two hours for the film, a few things are left to be desired. But, they told the story well. They pulled out important plots and storylines that connected the arc and made things flow together. The characters were well thought out and presented as true life versions of their animated counterparts. Also, the graphics and special effects were spot-on. The hollows were very realistic.
Heck, it seemed impossible that a human would have been able to play Byakuya’s stoic character and nail it. However, the actor did a good job of being almost always neutral and expressionless with his poker face. 😀
The only character in the live action film who did not impress me, was Renji. He felt a little too overdone in a way that annoyed me compared to the animated character. Still, the cool special effects tied to his use of his Zanpakuto Zabimaru sufficed.
In the anime, I started off feeling irritated by Ichigo, the main character. However, the storyline and premise was interesting enough for me to keep watching. I also liked every other character more than I liked him, even the villains, until I reached into the hundreds episodes where he and his friends were fighting Aizen and his Arrancars. I then began warming up to him and eventually grew to love his character.
In the live action movie, the actor who plays Ichigo executed the character in such a way that from the beginning, I was rooting for him to succeed. The same can be said for the actress who plays Rukia in the live action film who is the secondary main character of the show.
The other supporting actors were just as engaging and relatable. Overall, I would say the director, writers and producers stayed loyal and true to the storyline and themes of Bleach. If you are hesitant to watch this live action movie, I would say give it a try.