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Review: Bleach Fade To Black (2008)

Updated on September 26, 2017
Joseph Lawrence profile image

Joseph Lawrence (25) grew up in the New York area and is a recent college grad in Film Studies. He is a huge film buff and loves horror!

Bleach: Fade To Black DVD Ad
Bleach: Fade To Black DVD Ad

Sayonara, Rukia

Whenever I would watch Bleach, I would always skip and ignore the movie promos. In my head, if it wasn't canon then it wasn't worth watching. But you know what? I was wrong. Bleach: Fade to Black may not be canon but it uses the bonds the Bleach characters have developed and turns into a dramatic and intriguing storyline.

The script for the movie was written by the series' writer Natsuko Takahashi and released in Japan on December 13th, 2008. It's the third Bleach movie to be released and it's tagline was simple, "Sayonora, Rukia". The focus of the film is Rukia Kuchiki. But, what is most important is her connection with everyone. Ichigo, Renji, and Byakuya aren't the same in this new reality.

Also, with Rukia gone so are the events that have unfolded because of her. What happens when Ichigo walks into Soul Society? Will other characters still have the abilities they've acquired in the time span of the Rukia arcs? only to be met with heavy resistance. Fade to Black shows how important this character really is despite what anyone make think of her. Personally though, she's my favorite.

Rukia Kuchiki as depicted in Bleach: Fade To Black
Rukia Kuchiki as depicted in Bleach: Fade To Black

Captain Mayuri's many experiments has malfunctioned and caused havoc on Soul Society. The appearance of two mysterious individuals shinigami in appearance but powers representing that of an hollow. Chaos ensues, and the two pale individuals hunt down Rukia. Once they find her, they quickly erase her memories and capture her. Now that Rukia is gone, memories of other characters are forgotten and moments that have taken place have been erased. Ichigo never invades Soul Society to save Rukia, Renji never develops his Bankai, and the Gotei 13 never come into contact with the Ichigo and his friends.

The mysterious siblings.
The mysterious siblings.

The film really does a good job showing the bonds that were formed between the characters. Even though the reset button has been pushed, feelings still linger. Characters that were once friends in the original continuity feel it in their souls that the person they perceive as the enemy—isn't. Moreover, Renji Abarai's character is especially better off because we not only see how important his relationship with Rukia is but Ichigo as well.

Bleach: Fade To Black is very emotional and the focus is on relationships. It's deep without becoming "too mushy". It isn't action packed but its story gives you a reason to care about the fights that do take place. The soundtrack is great and even though I'm not a fan of the Bleach dub in general, the voice acting is surprisingly good. If you're a fan of Bleach, check this one out.

Bleach: Fade to Black is currently available on Netflix, Blu-ray, and DVD.

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