Anime DVD Review: Bleach DVD Set 11

Bleach DVD Set 11 is a three disc set that contains 12 episodes. All three discs in the set include four episodes and bonus features. The episodes on these discs can be watched either with the English dub or with the original Japanese language and English subtitles.

Bleach DVD Set 11
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Format: DVD
Release Date: December 13, 2011

This set begins a “filler arc” for the series. Unfortunately, the point where they placed this filler breaks up the Arrancar arc, and this arc doesn’t seem to fit into where it was placed. This arc makes it seem like that Ichigo and the others have left Hueco Mundo, but from what I’ve seen online, it appears that when this arc is over, they’re all back in Hueco Mundo again. Since this filler arc continues into Set 12, I’m curious to find out how they explain that Ichigo and the others have returned and appear to be at the spots where they were at the end of Set 10.

This arc introduces Shusuke Amagai, who is appointed by the Thirteen Court Guard Squads as the new captain for the third division. Amagai appoints Makoto Kibune as his third seat. When I first saw Kibune, I had this feeling that he wasn’t trustworthy. An episode later in the set proved my suspicions to be right.

When Amagai and Kibune first arrive at the third division, they’re not well-received by most of the division’s members. Izuru Kira, the lieutenant for third division, asks Matsumoto for some advice, and she suggests holding a welcoming party. At the party, it’s revealed that Amagai has a low tolerance for alcohol and collapses after one sip. Unfortunately, Amagai’s low tolerance for alcohol becomes a running gag throughout the episodes in this set. It’s a running gag that got old for me really fast.

In the episodes in this set that focus on Amagai and Kibune, Kira comes to learn what Kibune is really like and comes to dislike him. Unfortunately, Kira can’t say anything to Amagai about it, and Kira takes it upon himself to keep an eye on Kibune.

Meanwhile a young princess of Soul Society nobility named Rurichiyo Kasumioji, along with her Soul Reaper assistants Kenryu and Enryu, come to Karakura Town. When Rurichiyo wanders the town alone, there’s an abnormal amount of Hollow sightings; these sightings get the attention of Ichigo and Rukia. Ichigo is able to take down the Hollows with his bankai, which impresses Kenryu and Enryu. The next day, the princess and her assistants move into a house adjacent to Ichigo’s, and they become students at his school.

Ichigo soon learns that Rurichiyo is the target of an assassination plot being spearheaded by Gyokaku Kumoi, one of the caretakers serving her clan; this is his way of trying to take over the clan. Rukia pressures Ichigo to protect Rurichiyo. It gets to the point where Kumoi sends a group of assassins to kill not only Rurichiyo, but to go after Ichigo and his friends as well.

Near the end of the set, there’s an episode where Ichigo is battling with one of the assassins, and Ichigo ends up in a different dimension. Here, Ichigo relives the guilt he felt because he couldn’t protect his mother. Getting to see little Ichigo and some of the things he did as a kid were adorable in this episode. The assassin tries to have an image of Ichigo’s mother kill him, but Ichigo manages to break out of that dimension by making peace with his mother. This was definitely an emotional episode, and for me, this was probably the best episode in this set.

Unfortunately, I have to say that overall, I’m not really enjoying this filler arc. The princess and her Soul Reaper assistants aren’t doing anything for me. Amagami’s running gag is annoying rather than amusing, and I overall haven’t really cared about either story that’s been part of this arc. I should mention that by the end of the set, the audience learns that there’s a common link tying these two stories together: Kibune. I’m not going to say how Kibune ties in with the princess’ story at this point, though. I suspect his connection will be elaborated on in Set 12.

When it comes to the DVD set itself, the omake continue to be cut off from the end of the episodes and only appear as part of the “Omake” special feature that appears on each disc. I still hope this will be rectified in one of the future DVD box sets for Bleach.

I should also mention that the main menu on each disc is absolutely silent. VIZ Media did the same thing with some of the Naruto Shippuden box sets; fortunately, the silent menus didn’t last very long. Hopefully this will also hold true for the Bleach DVD box sets.

Each disc has Production Art, which is line art of the characters and locations that appear in these episodes. The first disc has nine pages of art, the second disc has seven pages, and the third disc has 10 pages. Each disc also has a “Clean Ending” option in the bonus features.

Each disc also has omake, the exact same “sneak peeks” appear on all three discs, and the “More From VIZ” feature on each disc has the same six pages of advertisements for VIZ Media’s manga releases.

If you’re a Bleach fan, then you need to get a hold of this set in order to have all of the episodes of the series in your anime home video collection.

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