September 27, 2009
by: Adam Beck
Will the second movie be a fight to remember, or battle not worth fighting?
Hardware Used: Dell 42-inch – W4201C – Plasma display, Sony Playstation 3 w/ HDMI output set to 720p and Optical output, Klipsch 7.1 Surround sound system.
After the treasured Ouin is stolen, Toshiro Hitsugaya disappears and becomes suspected of treason. When the Soul Society calls for his capture and execution, Substitute Soul Reaper Ichigo Kurosaki vows to prove Hitsugaya's innocence. Will the secret of the Ouin and Captain Hitsugaya's motives be revealed before his honor, his life, and the Soul Society are destroyed?
- Approx 90 minutes uncut footage
- 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound (Japanese/English)
- 2.0 Stereo (Japanese/English)
- English Subtitles
- The Making of the Movie
- Production Artwork
- Original Japanese Trailers
Content: (This section may contain spoilers)
Of the Bleach franchise, Toshiro Hitsugaya is probably one of the most popular among fans. His levelheaded mature nature mixes peculiarly well with his rather small frame. Don’t be fooled by Hitsugaya’s appearance; he may still be a child within the soul society, but he is a boy genius who was able to rise to the rank of captain at a very young age. Throughout the Bleach anime and manga (so far), we know very little of Hitsugaya, other than his friends and his abilities. We have a very vague understanding of his life. This is where the second movie comes in as the story focuses mainly on Hitsugaya and his struggles to set things right from his past.
I want to get through the negative sides of things first. I’m a Bleach fan, and I really enjoyed the first movie that was released, but unfortunately, I cannot say the same thing for the second. Almost every moment through the movie I was bored. Even the fight scenes couldn’t hold my attention for too long. Some fight scenes are fairly well done and all of them are quite flashy, but they only last a short while and most of the time you feel teased. This is not to mention a lot of the fights actually happen off screen. I can understand one fight scene pushed from the movie with what happens just being implied, but doing it a couple times is beyond teasing and only becomes an annoyance to the viewers. Don't be sad, Hitsugaya... it's not your fault this movie is a disaster.
The biggest and most irritating part of The DiamondDust Rebellion is that it is shallow. As much as everyone wants to know what happened to Hitsugaya in his past, it is basically just one snippet of a memory that the kid is trying to put together. I will give the movie some props for opening up such a deep wound in Hitsugaya’s past that, to him, he’d pretty much abandon the Soul Society for.
Bad news is, the execution of this story is completely over-exaggerated and overblown. Most of the events throughout the movie, I have no bloody clue why they were even happening. Almost all reason and logic are thrown out the door at the beginning of the movie. I suppose it is difficult to summarize Hitsugaya’s past (even if it’s only one part) in 90 minutes, but it certainly wasn’t done well. What’s worse is that the action feels like it is stretched on rather than diving down into Hitsugaya’s past. At multiple points, I thought the movie was going to end, but it just pushed forward. At the end, I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about Hitsugaya and his sad excuse for a past.
The movie includes both 2.0 and 5.1 surround sound for both the Japanese and English voice tracks. As great as this sound, I have a serious beef with the audio department. Many conversational scenes throughout the movie I received a full-second delay of echoing from the characters in my back speakers. At first, I thought it could be because the characters were in a hollow room, but it happened at multiple locations and became quite a nuisance. If this is part of the surround sound experience, it is one that is used poorly and almost forced me to switch to 2.0 stereo.
That’s not all. I also believe that both the English and Japanese voice acting are completely forgettable. There is nothing within the movie that stands out and most of the time I find myself cringing from the awkward execution; not to mention the overloaded generic one-liners and phrases. But it doesn’t stop there. The sound effects, while on occasion are decent, feel lifeless and sometimes irrelevant to what is happening. At least the music is entertaining and the tracks are well placed.
On a positive note, the video transfer and animation through the second movie is absolutely gorgeous. This is complimented by the ever so deserving 16:9 widescreen aspect. While I wasn’t too pleased by the scenes of the movie, at least they looked nice and were well animated. While the animation is well done, when there isn’t any action on the screen, the animation turns into stills that sometimes won’t even animate the mouth of the character. It’s a very unbalanced animation system. The camera work (or in this case, how the scenes are drawn out) is below par. It is completely confusing at times and goes off to spots where it just makes things look poorly put together. Sometimes it will stick to a character when it should be on another, or focused on something when it should be off somewhere else. I’m also at a loss where the movie takes place. It seems to take place in an alternate universe considering Ishida has his powers back, Orihime is safe, and Ichigo has control of his hollow. If you’ve followed the Bleach series, you’d know that Ichigo only takes control of his hollow during which Orihime is captured and Ishida is trying to recover his powers. Don’t expect it to fit within the Bleach timeline.
Looking past the negatives… to be honest, there really isn’t anything. It is mostly just eye candy for Bleach fans, rather than expanding the Bleach universe. It does show that Hitsugaya wasn’t always a stuck-up kid, but other than that, there really is nothing new or interesting to see. Do something better with your life and go watch a real movie… or even watch the first Bleach movie twice; you’ll have more enjoyment from it.
The Bottom Line: My recommendation is, if you’re a BIG Bleach fan, consider watching this to get a very small understand of Hitsugaya; anyone else, I recommend you stick with the anime series or the manga and try to avoid this at all cost. There is so much to dislike about this movie that it feels like a pain and chore to watch. There are a couple moments that did have me interested, but for the majority of my watch, I felt utterly and increasingly bored. Bleach shouldn’t be like that.How will Ichigo survive being frozen alive?