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Review: Bleach The Hell Verse (2010)
Welcome to Hell
Bleach: The Hell Verse is the fourth and final chapter in the Bleach movie universe. The movie was directed by Noriyuki Abe, produced by manga creator Tite Kubo, and written by Natsuko Takahashi. The movie was released in Japanese theaters on December 4th, 2010. The film follows the unseen side of the Bleach universe which is Hell. Prior to this film, Hell was only briefly explained and mentioned but never detailed.
The story starts with the climactic Ichigo vs. Ulquiorra fight at the end of the Hueco Mundo arc. This opening scene was the tipping point to the arc, where Hollow Ichigo utterly defeats Ulquiorra in his strongest form. Ichigo is not only out of control but radiating raw power. After Ichigo lets out a blood-curdling roar, he unknowingly wakes someone in Hell.
Present day Karukura Town, Ichigo goes about his daily life until he is attacked by masked figured emerging from the gates of Hell. A battle ensues and but his sister is captured. During the confrontation they encounter a mysterious resident of Hell named Kokutõ who helps them. Even though his motives are his own...Ichigo accepts his help and they go through the multiple levels of Hell in hopes of saving his sister.
Kokutõ explain the in's and out's of Hell. and gives a pretty clear picture as to why no one would ever want to be there. Hell's guardians (the Kushanãda) are terrifying and their purpose is solely to kill. But, in Hell if you die you are simply reborn to meet the same grizzly fate. Plus, Soul Society has no jurisdiction in Hell. The sad and desperate nature of Hell's inhabitants set the tone for the rest of the movie. Clearly, this is a place where you want to get in and most importantly get out.
Another aspect of the film that I enjoyed included the Hollows and their fighting capabilities. The villains used fire and other unconventional and grotesque ways of battling. Seeing as this film takes place later in the Bleach, I was pleased to see the villains be strong and challenging. Other cool moments, include Sado and Ishida as they fight alongside Rukia and Renji unleashing their signature attacks. The fights are split up and fortunately, allow for each character to get their individual shine.
What makes this Bleach film different from others is its focus on humanity. Not only does Ichigo have to fight against hollow self but he also learns a valuable lesson in trust. The stakes are high and the enemies are tough. This film will always be remembered for its story and in detail showing of the Hell-verse. If you're a fan of Bleach, I highly recommend you watch this film not only for its action but for its astonishing story.
Bleach: The Hell Verse is available on Netflix, DVD, and Blu-ray.