Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Bleach the Movie 3: Fade to Black

Remember that whole year I spent recapping Bleach episodes?  Yeah, that was fun for awhile.  Then I drastically burned out and couldn't do it anymore and outsourced it to HeadBodyMaster?  Yeah, that wasn't exactly the ending I had in mind with the Bleach recaps.  I envisioned a message of love:  yeah, Bleach is stupid and silly to levels almost unimaginable, even downright lazy, but yet it was all still fun.  Anybody over the age of ten who has seen a Godzilla movie completely unironically knows what I'm talking about here.  Its awful, its cheesy, but there are a lot of cheesy things I like:  cheeseburgers, Philly cheesestakes, tuna melts.  What I'm saying is that fast food shouldn't make me throw up, and Bleach got really bad towards the end.

Let's try to amend the bad feelings me and Bleach have right now, I don't want it to end like this.  We have kids together, where will they be with Mommy and Daddy fighting?  And you know, Bleach was definitely making overtures of peace towards me, the newest season doesn't absolutely suck in every way.  I mean, Fake Karakura Town, that was perhaps the worst television ever aired.  But this new Zanpukuto season, that's tolerable at least.

What's not barely tolerable is the newest Bleach movie, "Fade to Black".  In a year where there have already been two great anime TV show movies, "Evangelion 2.0" and "Trigun: Badlands Rumble", I figured Bleach would finally be able to stand up, take charge, and make something of quality again.  Well, instead of quality, the folks at Studio Perriot decided instead to ruthlessly copy the worst parts of Kingdom Hearts and make an extremely awkward storyline that consists mostly of characters convincing each other that they exist.  There's a big air of mystery surrounding the two villains, which ultimately results in the viewer having no idea what the heck is going on.  There is action, there are fight scenes, they're pretty well choreographed, but they're not "wow, this is really cool" moments.  The fight scene between Mr. 69 and Findor was a really cool moment.  Why does a regular episode of the show have higher quality than a MOVIE?

I first saw this movie three weeks ago.  I've been putting off reviewing it that long.  That's not a good thing.  I was thinking of putting together a giant production with screenshots and whatever, but screw that.  Studio Perriot didn't put any work in, and neither will I.

Quality is exactly the first thing I'd like to talk about here.  The animation is pretty standard, sadly.  The fight scenes, at the very least, are not punctured by six hours of characters babbling to each other about the philosophy of combat or any other bullshit.  There's no big flaming homosexual characters teabagging the camera, there's no long barely funny bickering between the villains, and there's no Granz.  So its not as bad as a regular episodes, but... it looks like a regular episode.  Yeah, the color pallet is bit muted and the animation is cranked up slightly higher in quality, but that's the bare minimum of work they could have put into this movie.  Like they had no interest in trying anything special or unique or interesting.  "Fade to Black" could have been three filler episodes of the regular series, its that lazy.

Of course, where "Fade to Black" really falls apart is in its storyline.  The movie opens with Captain Mayuri, Dr. Insano, working in his lab being all proud of his newest insane invention.  Then he gets attacked by the villains and goes even more insane.  You might not being that Insano can get crazier, but these villains sure found a way.  Suddenly Insano's invention explodes and shoots white jizz all over the Soul Society.  Its supposed to be "liquefied Spiritual energy" but its clearly baby batter.  Kenpachi Zaraki is first to arrive on the scene, very happy to see that Insano has finally cracked, so he can finally fight him.  "I knew you'd lose it one day!".

Wait.  Did you see that?  The movie just peaked.  Its two minutes in, and the rest of it sucks.

Zenpachi gets encased in the Shinigami jizz*.  And he's effectively out of the movie forever now.  The jizz turns into a dragon and destroys just about half of the Soul Society compound, meaning that a single failed experiment actually was far more effective in defeating the Soul Reapers then Aizen's entire army.  Hilarious, huh?  Well, then Rukia gets kidnapped by the villains, as she's central to their plan somehow.

Somehow or another, the villain's attack has erased everybody's memories of Rukia.  Don't ask me how it works, it just does.  Now you would have a lot of questions about this effect:  how does it work?  Why Rukia?  Well, the movie does also explain that it also erases every single thing related to Rukia, so, for example, Renji can't remember his Bankai because he learned it during emotional turmoil during Rukia's first kidnapping.  And everybody has forgotten Ichigo too.  First of all, this makes no sense.  If you forget every thing related to Rukia, how can you function at all when you've say, known Rukia your whole life, like Renji?  Do you just forget all the years you've known her?  Where do you think all that time went?  Why didn't Rukia automatically forget things too?  How do people explain the fact that Rukia's name has to be all over Soul Society documents?  Why the Hell did they pick this out of all the Kingdom Hearts plotlines to steal?  At least "Chain of Memories" only affected Sora, Goofy, and Donald**.

So everybody in the world has forgotten about Rukia except Ichigo, because he shared her spiritual pressure or loves her or something.  Wait no, that's only what the movie tries to tell me.  Its bullshit, he forgot about her too at the start.  You know the one person who didn't forget about Rukia at all?  Kon.  Kon has to remind Ichigo about her existence - though paradoxically not that he's a Soul Reaper and everything else about Soul Reaping because Ichigo only learned of those things through Rukia.  (There are more plotholes in this movie than there are characters in Bleach.  Its that bad.)  So Ichigo decides to run to the Soul Society to save Rukia, because he assumes something is wrong.  Who does Ichigo take with him on this journey?  Just Kon.  Not Orihime, not Chad, not Uryu, not any of the other Soul Reapers living in his town, only Kon.  Why?  I don't know!

When Ichigo gets there, nobody can remember him, so they all fight a lot.  This is very stupid and very tiresome, because it basically takes up 70% of the movie.  Ichigo meets a character, they don't remember him, Ichigo argues a bit, they fight a bit, Ichigo moves on.  All it does is pointlessly delay the inevitable.  By the way, Kisike remembers who Ichigo is, but nobody else does?  There are brief teases of cool fights like Ichigo vs. Captain Furry, but its so brief and nonclimatic that its all meaningless.  This movie is boring, when you get right down to it.  There are cameos from characters all over the place.  Bleach treats me like an idiot, do they really think that just showing a random secondary or tertiary or quaternary characters will make me like this movie more?

Wait, ITS HANATARO!!  YAY!  ^_^

So onto the villains, they're this brother and sister pair of goth folk desperately clinging to Rukia.  Once upon a time, Rukia was supposed to name these kids because they were poor orphans.  Then she didn't.  So now they need her to give them their names, and to do this they constantly break into her memories and stupidly erased nearly all her memories of them.  They're weird possessive teenagers, just about 70% pure freak.  One of them is voiced by Serah from "Final Fantasy XIII", that's pretty annoying.  Ultimately their plan really doesn't work all that well because HOW THE FUCK IS RUKIA GOING TO REMEMBER JACK SHIT IF YOU KEEP SCREWING UP HER MEMORY?  YOU ARE DUMBASSES.  These scenes with the villains also are extremely frustrating because you have no idea who these two are or where their powers come from.  The movie doesn't explain this until the bitter end - a wizard Hollow did it.  Whatever.

Anyway, it all leads up to the prerequisite final battle.  The jizz all turns into a giant monster that all the Captains fight while Ichigo fights the kids.  They then fuse with Rukia and create Dark Rukia.  Dark Rukia is like regular Rukia but with a cool color scheme and a giant scythe.  The villain has to have a scythe, because this movie wouldn't be a total rip-off of "Chain of Memories" without it.  Ichigo wins, the kids die because they're new characters, and everything goes back to normal.

I've been on the verge of a conclusion lately, but been too afraid to say it.  There have been too many good times before, the first seasons were so amazing, and things have just kept on going downhill.  I'm not sure if this movie is really that horrible or am I so jaded that I cannot appreciate anything anymore?  I am unable to view Bleach objectively anymore, because I'm so damn tired of it all.  You see, Bleach sucks.  Its not fun anymore.  Its the laziest goddamn show on TV right now, written by a gang of carpetbaggers who do not give a shit on any level.  They don't care about telling a story, keeping up with characters, or even making sense.  Its all flash, colors, and talking, no substance.  Screw messages of love, screw the kids, screw ending it on a high note.  I give and give and give, and Bleach gives nothing back.  Its over.  What I'm saying is this:  Bleach sucks.  I'm done with it.

And most importantly, what in name of Satan's third nipple ever happened to Grimmjow?  HUH?

* By the way, "Shinigami Jizz" is the first album of my new neo-grunge band, "Bukakke Blues".  Coming out next April, just as soon as we wash our faces.

** And Kairi for no reason at all.  The memory plotline got really stupid in "Kingdom Hearts II".


  1. Heheh...Bukkake Blues...heheh heh...


    Did you know that they've made a Rurouni Kenshin movie? It was released in Japanese cinemas just today, in fact.

  2. Dunno if it's your kind of film Blue but I highly recommend 'Shame'. It's about a guy with sex addiction and directed by Steve McQueen, not the actual McQueen, he's a british Turner prize winner, so it's artsy, but it's powerful.

  3. I fucking love how Kubo forgets about all this different shit like Grimmjow and i swear he's forgotten everything that about the Squad that protects the Soul King that's apparently made up of Captains. Even though i think the manga's getting slightly better, i could honestly not think of anything bad to say about the latest chapter, and i still kind of want to watch the Hell Chapter movie and Dark Rukia/ Emo Marluxia is the one slightly cool thing about this movie.

  4. Well I prefer the manga over anime 'cause those fillers annoy the crap outta me (even though some were meant for the manga like the Shinigami Ashido & the forest of menos for example). And we rarely get some explanations and must think the rest for ourselves. So here's one good plot analysis (if you weren't such a fan of the HM arc) for you that I found on google: type IchiHime Fail an essay go to the first link and read it you won't be dissappointed trust me!