Anime DVD Review: Bleach Season Two: The Entry

Bleach Season Two: The Entry box set is a five disc set that contains 21 episodes. The first four discs contain four episodes and bonus features, while the fifth disc contains five episodes and bonus features. The episodes are available with both an English dub and the original Japanese language track with English subtitles.

Bleach Season Two: The Entry
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Format: DVD
Release Date: March 31, 2009

At the beginning of this set, Ichigo, Uryu, Orihime, Chad, and Yoruichi cross over into Soul Society. When they arrive in Rukongai, Ichigo finds himself in a battle with Jindabo when he tries to enter the Seireitei. After using what he learned from Urahara, Ichigo is able to defeat Jindabo; but when Jindabo opens the gate, third division captain Gin Ichimaru uses his shikai to push Ichigo back through the gate.

Later, Ichigo and the group meet Ganju Shiba, who claims to be the biggest hater of Soul Reapers in the area. Ichigo and Ganju hate each other immediately and begin to fight; however, their fight is interrupted when Ganju has to suddenly leave. Their paths cross later when Yoriuchi asks for assistance from his sister, Kukaku, to send them into Seireitei using her fireworks cannon. Once they make it inside Seireitei, the remainder of the episodes focuses on Ichigo and the others as they work their way through Soul Society and have fights with various members of the Thirteen Court Guard Squads.

While all this is going on, Rukia’s sentence has been moved to 14 days, and she is transferred into a cell called the Shrine of Penitence.

While Ichigo and the others work their way through Soul Society, a number of characters are introduced in addition the ones I mentioned earlier in this review. Over the course of these episodes, the audience is introduced to Kenpachi Zaraki, Sosuke Aizen, Toshiro Hitsugaya, Ikkaku Madarame, Yumichika Ayasegawa, Yachiru Kusajishi, Jirobo Ikkanzaka, Mayuri Kurotsuchi, Hanataro Yamada, Momo Hinamori, Shunsui Kyoraku, Rangiku Matsumoto, and Jushiro Ukitake. Being introduced to all of these characters over the course of the 21 episodes on this set can feel a bit overwhelming, and I have to admit that in later seasons, I can only truly remember who a few of these Soul Reapers are when I see them. For most, though, I recognize the face but can’t easily place a name to the face.

There’s also an episode in this season that provides backstory for both Rukia and Renji. Not only does this episode provide some much needed backstory to the audience, it also helps to ultimately propel the story forward.

There is one “filler” episode included in this set, which sees Don Kanonji, the supernatural TV show host, form the Karakura Superheroes. Included in the group are Ichigo’s younger sister, Karin, as well as Urahara Shop employees Ururu Tsumugiya and Jinta Hanakari. I admit that the episode is a kind of on the amusing side, but it really does nothing to add to the overarching story of what’s going on with Ichigo and the others in Soul Society.

When it comes to the DVD set itself, the first disc includes four extras. The first extra is “Production Art,” which is 19 pages of line art of the characters that appear on this disc. The second feature is “Manga Preview,” which includes ads for Bleach and other Shonen Jump manga titles, as well as an ad for Shonen Jump magazine. The next feature is “Clean Ending,” which is a textless version of the first closing theme that appears in this box set. The final extra on the disc is “Shonen Jump Home Video,” which contains previews for other properties that Viz Media was promoting at the time this DVD set was released.

The second disc has production art, which is 18 pages of line art of the characters, locations, and weapons that appear on this disc. The “Manga Preview” and the “Shonen Jump Home Video” extras are exactly the same as the features that appear on disc one. The “Clean Ending” on this disc is a textless version of the second ending that appears in this box set.

The production art of disc three is 15 pages of line art of the characters that appear on this disc. The “Manga Preview” and the “Shonen Jump Home Video” extras are exactly the same as the features that appear on disc one. The “Clean Ending” has the same song as the ending that appears on disc two, but the animation is different.

The fourth disc has production art, which is 14 pages of line art of the characters and weapons that appear on this disc. The “Manga Preview” highlights some different titles than the feature that appeared on the previous three discs. The “Shonen Jump Home Video” feature is exactly the same as what appeared on the previous three discs. The “Clean Ending” has the same song as discs two and three, but the animation is unique.

On the fifth disc, the production art consists of 20 pages of line art of the characters that appear on the disc. The “Manga Preview” is different from any of the manga previews that appeared on the previous four discs. There are two different endings in the “Clean Ending” feature. The first is the same song that appeared on discs two through four, but the animation is unique from the previous three discs it appeared on. The second clean ending is a textless version of the third ending song that appeared in this box set. The “Shonen Jump Home Video” feature on this disc includes different previews for a couple of releases that weren’t featured on the previous four discs. The final feature of this disc is “Bonus: Behind the Scenes of Bleach.” This is a roughly 21 minute feature of interviews with some of the English dub cast (the voices for Rukia, Renji, Byakuya, and Hanataro). This final feature is definitely the best bonus feature in the whole set.

I would recommend this DVD box set to anyone who is a fan of Bleach anime series in order to include the series in their anime home video library.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of Bleach Season Two: The Entry that I purchased for my husband as a gift.

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