For my film critique assignment, I decieded to write about a movie I watched over the weekend, this is a foreign movie from Japan. The film is called Bleach. The film is a live action adaptation of the popular Japanese anime/ manga seriesby Tite Kubo. The manga lasted from August 2001 to August 2016 with 74 volumes and 686 chapters. The manga sold over 120 million copies and makes it number 6 best-selling manga of all time. The anime came out in Japan from 2004 to 2012 with 16 seasons and 366 episodes. Bleach has released 4 animated movies in theaters. And this year the live action movie of Bleach came out on July 20, 2018 in Japanese theaters and release in North America this month on the 14th on Netflix.
The movie starts with Ichigo walking in the rain with his mom when he was nine years old. He spots a little girl by herself and goes to help her. It turns out that she’s a demon in disguise aka a hollow, the hollow attacks him and kills his mother. This sets the stage for where we open on to present day 15 year old Ichigo who is being taunted by three bullies and easily beats them up. In addition, makes them apologize to a ghost child. Right away I admire on how with the fighting skills, the established on the physics in the real world similar to the anime than to the art of reality. This shows how everything about this movie, from the dialogue and performances to way it is feels like an anime. I am not saying that it is impossible, but I personally have not seen a super realistic and dramatic live action adaptation based off an anime series that is lift up to its name and reputation.
I was so blown away by the casting choices. The person who portrayed Ichigo looks exactly like him and did a fabulous job on portraying the lead protagonist. I find it unique on how the show him with black hair as a kid and orange hair as a teenager. The same goes for the rest of the cast as well. The director of the film Shinsuke Sato did an amazing job casting the other characters for this live action adaptation. In the film, I actually liked the way they presented that animated slideshow to introduce people who have and haven’t seen the anime to the characters. For example, Ichigo having the ability to see ghost spirits. To be honest, it was a very clever and brilliant idea.
After Ichigo returns home, a young female Samurai Soul Reaper aka a Shinigami named Rukia immediately appears when his family is attacked by a hollow. In a life or death situation, Rukia gives half of her Shinigami powers to Ichigo transforming him into a Shinigami , so he can save everyone. Also considering that the anime spanned for 8 years, 16 season and 366 episodes in total the movie does the good job on covering a good amount of the story in a decent pace. They chose specific scenes to be highly faithful to the anime, while finding clever ways to stitch other parts together. This movie roughly follows Ichigo through the events of season 1.
For those of you who are not familiar with the anime, after the night of the attack, Ichigo wakes up and discovers everyone had their memories of the attack wiped away, believes that a tornado struck the house. At school, Rukia appears as a new student and drags Ichigo out of class. (On the night of the attack, instead of Rukia giving Ichigo half her powers she gives him all of her Shinigami powers.) Determined to get her powers back she forces him to coop with her, but until he receives more training, he cannot return her powers. They train and bicker together along the way.
In act 2, the movie introduces us to the two main antagonists Renji and Rukia’s older brother Byakuya. Renji appears out of nowhere and strikes Ichigo setting a baseline for Ichigo’s strength before his training with Rukia begins. Byakuya tells Rukia if she does not kill Ichigo and get her Shinigami powers back, then he will have to execute her. At this point Ichigo makes a deal with Byakuya, that if he can defeat the Grand Fisher aka the hollow that killed his mother, then they would have to let Rukia go. I thought that was cool to setup a realistic endpoint for Ichigo by the end of the movie, since it would not be realistic for him to beat Byakuya within the 2 hours of movie time.
From the Ichigo and Rukia resumed to their training and movie builds up to a epic climatic fight scene. Don’t get me wrong I loved the movie but the only few things that made me cringe was the CGI adaptation of the hollow. It didn’t look realistic to my eyes at all. They wasn’t enough blood in the film, the one thing that made the Bleach anime so great was blood scenes because of the nature of their weapons. I assumed that many young people didn’t want to see a lot of blood in the movie. If they have a sequel to the film, I hope production can take a Deadpool approach especially with a movie like Bleach. It didn’t make sense that Ichigo’s costume was in perfect condition. When Renji first appear in the movie I was like, “is this dude a cross dresser or something”, I mean the eyeliner makes it look tacky and Renji was a acting like he was on something in the movie. Byakuya, I mean what’s up with the colored eye contacts? Like seriously that was so cringe worthy.
As we all know that supporting cast would have to be; Orihime, Chad, Urehara, and Uryu didn’t contribute enough to the film. I would have to say that they did a great job with casting Orihime and not making the character to sexualized as in the anime her breast are always bouncing and thank god they didn’t do that in this movie. I mean Uryu didn’t do much until the end of the film, for Chad not so much and same goes for Urehara.Watching the movie was so much fun and entertaining. I would give this film a 8/10 rating. I would recommend you people to watch this film.