Review of 'Bleach (Burîchu)'

bleach.jpg Ichigo Kurosak (Sôta Fukushi) is a high school student who is able to see ghosts and “hallows” (monsters looking for souls to consume). When a hollow attacks him he meets Rukia Kuchiki (Hana Sugisaki), a “Soul Reaper”, who, facing defeat at the hand of the monster, transfers her Soul Reaper powers to Ichigo so he can save the day (complete with incredibly MASSIVE sword). Now burdened with powers he never really wanted he is reluctantly trained by the slightly sadistic Rukia in order to gain enough strength so that her powers can be transferred back to her. Meanwhile Soul Reaper captain and generally nasty guy Byakuya Kuchiki (Miyavi), Rukia's older brother, sends his lieutenant Renji Abarai (Taichi Saotome) to retrieve her from the real world where she now inhabits a human body (and insists on living in Ichigo's bedroom closet). A power struggle may bring an end to Ichigo, can he survive and save the world?

An amusing live-action remake of a well-known Japanese manga and anime that manages to capture something of the spirit of the source material with a good amount of humour and completely over the top action and monsters. The characters are brought to life and are more than simple one-dimensional personalities. Care has been taken by the filmmakers to make this not only a faithful adaption but also a watchable film which is quite often lacking in such transfers. There are some completely ridiculous bits involving swords (not only Ichigo's but one at the end that seems to be able to telescope for hundreds of meters in any direction) that despite being faithful to the original jars when transferred into the real world.

The plot sounds a bit tricky as it is based largely on perhaps unfamiliar Japanese superstition but it is explained quite simply without too much exposition. “Bleach” does tend to lag a bit in the middle as we follow Ichigo's training and the machinations of the Soul Reapers but this is more than made up for in the final sequences that pretty much ends up destroying the city.

Good action and great fun with a healthy dose of tongue-in-cheek humour that manages to get serious in all the right bits and ends up a story of a young man finding his way in the world and learning deep truths of his own life.

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2021-01-29

Directed by: Shinsuke Sato

Studio: Warner Bros.

Year: 2018

Length: 108 minutes

Genre: Action/Adventure