Anime DVD Review: Bleach Season Four Part One: The Bount

Bleach Season Four Part One: The Bount box set is a four disc set that contains 16 episodes. All four discs contain four episodes and bonus features. The episodes are available with both an English dub and the original Japanese language track with English subtitles.

Bleach Season Four Part One: The Bount
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Format: DVD
Release Date: November 3, 2009

This set opens with Ichigo and his friends, minus Rukia, return to their world. However, Renji Abarai from Soul Society arrives in Karakura. Orihime has a dream about her brother, and is drawn into a large gate while three mysterious people observe. Ichigo, Renji, Uryu, and Chad try to find her, and this leads the group having to play a game that’s being run by the three mysterious figures. As the game progresses, it becomes apparent the three figures are modified souls.

When the game is over, it’s revealed that this was a training exercise planned by Kisuke Urahara. He introduced the three modified souls as Lirin, Noba, and Kurodo. They are also informed that Uryu no longer has his Quincy powers. They also learn about the Bount, a group of humans that consume souls for sustenance. It becomes the job of Ichigo and his friends to locate the Bount, and they are to be accompanied by the modified souls.

The group locates a pair of Bount, Yoshino Soma and Ryo Udagawa. Yoshino summons her “doll,” Goethe, and this Familiar attacks Ichigo. Just as it looks like Ichigo will be defeated, Rukia arrives to help out. After these Bount retreat, Udagawa returns the next day to consume souls; Ichigo and begin to fight. Yoshino, meanwhile, escapes from the Bount headquarters. Udagawa captures Uryu, but Yoshino takes him away. Uryu begins to learn a little bit about what’s going on through talking with Yoshino.

Uryu is later at a hospital, and Ichigo and the others go to save him. When they get there, the hospital room floods with water, which are the dolls of two Bount they haven’t encountered before. Ichigo and Renji fight with these Bount, who are named Ho and Ban. Ganju and Hanataro arrive, and Ganju is able to help defeat Ho and Ban. While this is going on, Uryu wanders off and runs into Yoshino again. They are attacked by a Bount named Go Koga, and they are taken to Kariya’s mansion.

In Soul Society, it’s discovered that their data on the Bount has been erased. It’s also revealed that a former member of Soul Society, Maki Ichinose, was thought to be dead but is actually with the Bounts. Mayuri also explains the history of the Bounts and the Quincy to others in Soul Society.

Ichigo, Rukia, and the mod souls make it to Kariya’s mansion and demand that Uryu be released. Ichinose becomes involved at this point in the story, and gets into a fight with Ichigo. Right at the end of this set, a major event takes place regarding Yoshino, and it has a major impact on Uryu.

I’ve heard it said that the episodes in this box set are “filler” episodes and aren’t part of the main storyline arc from the manga. Even though these episodes are “filler,” I enjoyed what I saw, and I really wanted to be able to watch the next box set in order to find out how the storyline would continue.

When it comes to the DVD set itself, the first disc includes four extras. The first extra is “Production Art,” which is 14 pages of line art of the characters and locations that appear on the disc. The second feature is “Manga Preview,” which includes four pages of advertisements for the Bleach manga, as well as other titles released by Shonen Jump. 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 labeled as “Sneak Peak,” which contains trailers for properties that Viz Media was promoting at the time this DVD set was released.

The second disc has production art, which is 12 pages of line art of the characters and locations that appear on the disc. The “Manga Preview” and “Clean Ending” are the exact same features that appear on the first disc. The “Sneak Peeks” are also duplicated from the first disc.

The production art on disc three is 14 pages of line art of the characters and locations that appear on the disc. The “Manga Preview,” “Clean Ending,” and “Sneak Peek” are exactly the same as these items on the previous two discs in the set.

The first extra on the fourth disc is the “Behind the Scenes of Bleach” documentary. This feature runs for approximately 10 minutes, and includes interviews with the English dub actors for Lirin, Yoshino, and Ichinose. The production art is 12 pages of line art of the characters and locations that appear on this disc. The “Manga Preview” is still four pages on this disc, but one of the pages is different in comparison to the “Manga Preview” on the previous three discs in the set. The “Clean Ending” is the textless version of the second closing theme that appears in this box set. The “Sneak Peek” on this disc is exactly the same as the “Sneak Peek” on the previous three discs in the set.

I have to give Viz Media credit for packaging the discs in this set individual slimline boxes, because this makes it easier for me to file these discs onto the shelves where I keep my anime collection.

I would recommend this box set to anyone who is a fan of Bleach, so they can have these episodes of the series in their anime home video collection.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of Bleach Season Four Part One: The Bount that my husband gave to me as a gift.

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