Bleach: The Movie 4 - Hell Verse [DVD]
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Hell - a place where beings that have committed mortal sins during their lifetime are sent. It is a realm where even Soul Reapers are forbidden to interfere. When a group of vicious Sinners plots to escape from this eternal prison, they discover that Substitute Soul Reaper Ichigo Kurosaki is the key to their freedom. The Sinners launch an attack and in the process kidnap Ichigo's younger sister Yuzu and take her to Hell. With the help of a mysterious man named Kokuto, Ichigo and his friends must now travel into the depths of Hell to stop the Sinners and save Yuzu, unaware that their actions could bring Hell to the World of the Living. Spoken Languages: English, Japanese, English subtitles.
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Ichigo's sister is kidnapped and taken into hell, an unknown sinner offers them his help with no other choice Ichigo, Rukia, Renji, Uryru, are in race against time to get his sister back.
A very interesting take on the concept of hell. A must have for any bleach fan.
Starting off like a typical Bleach movie/story, Ichigo and the gang are attacked by mysterious entities and are forced to journey to hell on a rescue mission to save someone dear to them.
Although the explanations are brief, they are effective and none the less a new character explains Hell to Ichigo and the group and what their situation is as 'Sinners' and who the massive beast like things that devour their souls endlessly are.
Hell is a very cold, and lonely/cruel place as you can imagine, there are several layers, and none the less the battles in this movie and worthwhile and as a result of said battles, Soul Society end up being involved to protect the world of the living.
Although I found the movie worthwhile, it's a shame this is all we get of Hell in Bleach, it would of made a fantastic arc, the place is so atmospheric and well creepy.
We even get to see Ichigonator in all his glory.
While this fourth 'Bleach' movie is very entertaining and enjoyable to watch, it probably isn't quite as good as some of the previous films. On the plus side the animation for this movie is brilliant (the vistas of Hell are beautifully rendered) and some of the fight scenes are top notch with some very good fight choreography. It is also good to see some development of the Bleach afterlife with more details on Hell than we have had in the past ten years or so of the series. While some of the characters introduced in this movie are a little boring (despite having some interesting abilities), others are interesting additions, especially Kokuto. The English dub of the film is reasonably good, probably on a par with the series proper.
On the downside, the plot of the film is somewhat predictable and the ending is, unfortunately, something of a Deus Ex Machina. The film also has the same problem that some other films of anime series have, namely that some of the characters are somewhat underused and seem to only be included at all because they are reasonably popular.
While I do feel that 'Fade to Black' had a better plot and 'Memories of Nobody' had better characters, 'Hell Verse' is still an entertaining film and one that any Bleach fan should enjoy. Overall I feel the film is worth a high four stars to four and a half stars.
While I have to admit I preferred the third film in terms of sheer emotional resonance and what it managed to do with Rukia's backstory, plus bonus screen-time for the Soul Reaper captains, Hell Verse benefits from a plot that actually feels like it builds on the world established in the series.
There are twists aplenty on offer here, some stunning action set-pieces, and while I think it'd be a stretch to call this a truly 'great' film - it's definitely one of the better Shonen big-screen adaptations I've seen.
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