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Japanator Review: Bleach: Memories of Nobody

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There's something unbelievably refreshing about abandoning your higher tastes for a couple of hours and diving headfirst into a big, man-sweaty pool of shounen. You can forget intricate plots, carefully constructed character development, and Oscar-nominee screenplays: just gimme big swords, glowing energy-balls, close-ups where the target opens his eyes at the last second and totally chops up whoever's charging him, and Ol' Faithfuls o' blood. *happy sigh*

In case you couldn't tell, that's just what I returned from in seeing Bleach: Memories of Nobody with a good-sized and appreciative audience. There was some other stuff, too, but really, it was all Bleach. Yay! Hit de jump for more of your favorite corrosive cleaning fluid.

From conversations around the theater - which was inexplicably dark till about ten minutes before the movie started; sorry, dude into whom I blundered as I tried to feel my way down the aisles - I believe there were many more repeat viewers from the showing of Death Note last month than myself and my brother. I was interested to see how this crowd would differ for such disparate genres as we were going to see. Woo, business!

There were also the same stupid "You're about to watch a movie brought to you by Fathom! We're great! Buy refreshments! You're about to watch a movie brought to you by Fathom! We're great Buy" etc. previews. We were entertained, though, by the crowd, as one gentleman loudly sought the presence of a "Larry," and we all got into it, even though there really was no it. In a normal theater, awkward silence and muttered "Shut up"s would've reigned instead. Woo, otaku!

A brief clip of Tite Kubo drawing Ichigo opened things up, along with his bragging that he gets to go to Comic-Con and we don't. But then the Viz producers, editors and voice actors came on in a much longer clip and talked first about how great the Bleach manga was, and then how a great Bleach anime got made, and then how they made a movie and Viz got to put it into English, as well as some interesting details on the transitions. We also learned that Renji's voice actor looks like a friendly walrus with a 'fro, except more awesome. Woo, Renji with no shirt on! ...Because!

The actual movie has the usual amount of shounen-movie plot, which is to say There Is A New Threat, Which Is Dealt With After A Suitable Amount Of Difficulty, And No One Remembers And/Or Ever Refers To It Ever Again, except with that one Inuyasha filler episode. (More on Inuyasha later, but not in this post. Ohhh, will there ever be more later.) More precisely, there's a girl named Senna, who seems mixed up with some bizarre kind of spirit called Blanks, and a group exiled from Soul Society is trying to destroy everyone using them. One expects - and gets! - lots of action, fighting, Kon-squishing, cameoing, and much more out of a big-budget flick like this, and as far as those go, Memories of Nobody is a hell of a lot of fun. Seeing it with an audience ready to make some appreciative noise at Kenpachi dropping into a fight armed with maniacal laughter and Yachiru? Priceless.

The drawbacks? Ahhh, yes, there are those. For one, Senna's voice actress, a n00b to Bleach, was...well, not bad. Not terrible, which a lot of girly-girls in English tend to be--but not always strong enough to carry a lot of crucial scenes; I particularly disapproved of her speaking in that wobbly a voice when Senna was weakened. I also found myself mouthing "Come on. COME OOON" when Ichigo lapsed into his usual "I iz not gud protectur" mode--and who the hell on the writing staff thought "It's always better to be on top" wouldn't be taken the wrong way as a semi-serious line?

When you get down to it, though, why would you see this movie without expecting a joyously unabashed whack-fest? I dunno. All I know is, I'd see it again, pretty animation, so-so acting, thrown-together plot and all. Unless you're the kind of person who wrote their thesis on the socioeconomic ramifications of Death Note in remote parts of the Alaskan wilderness - or are allergic to fun - you could probably find something to like here, too. Approval get! 

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reviewed by Aoi

 

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Aoi
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'Ello, luvs. I be a sometime editor o' Jtor, dependent on my school and work schedule. Thanks for reading! Remember, the first one's free. more + disclosures


 


 



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