Anime DVD Review: Bleach DVD Set 14

Bleach DVD Set 14 is a three disc set that contains 12 episodes. Each disc in this set includes four episodes and bonus features. The episodes on these discs can be watched either with English dub or with the Japanese audio and English subtitles.

Bleach DVD Set 14
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Format: DVD
Release Date: September 11, 2012

The first seven episodes in the set take place in Soul Society in the past. This arc, which is known as “The Past Arc,” was actually rather fun to watch. It’s quite interesting to see some of the characters that we know looking so much younger and noticeably different than how they normally look in the series. But this arc is rather important, because it provides some backstory for Urahara, Yoruichi, Aizen, Gin, Mayuri, and Tessai. Not only that, but this arc also tells the story of how the Visoreds came to be.

Then, this is followed be a two episode “filler” story. Urahara decides that with Ichigo heading back to Hueco Mundo, Karakura Town needs protection from Hollows. Urahara forces Kon into a team of superheroes called “Konso Cop Karakuraiser,” which also includes Don Kanonji, Tatsuki Arisawa, Chizuru Honsho, Keigo Asano, and Ururu Tsumugiya. It felt like the writer and/or the director is a fan of shows like Gatchaman and decided to throw in a filler story that pays homage to superhero-style anime. Unfortunately, it really doesn’t work or fit in with a show like Bleach. While it seems like the intent was for this to be a humorous filler story, it didn’t come across as funny at all. In fact, it was rather stupid. It was unnecessary and felt like a waste of time.

The final three episodes in this set finally return the series to canon material from the manga, and there’s two storylines taking place. First, there’s the gathering of captains and lieutenants in the fake Karakura Town to face off against Aizen and his army of Fracciones. The last episode in the set focuses on Ikkaku, Yumichika, Kira, and Hisagi each facing off against a Fraccione, with the most emphasis being placed on Yumichika and his opponent, Charlotte. These two are very similar in personality, so their battle is interesting to watch. In fact, I’d even go so far as to say that there are times when their battle is comical due to their similar personalities.

The other storyline takes place in Las Noches, where Ulquiorra has been left in charge. Ulquiorra is giving Orihime a hard time as Ichigo fights his way toward the tower where they’re at. The last we see of this storyline in this set is Ichigo and Ulquiorra as they’re just starting into their battle.

With the exception of the “Konso Cop Karakuraiser” episodes, I enjoyed watching Bleach DVD Set 14. The “Past Arc” storyline was informative, yet interesting and enjoyable to watch, while the remaining three episodes in the set finally returned the series to the main storyline after it came to an abrupt stop near the end of Set 13. With the emphasis that was placed on the Visoreds in the “Past Arc,” I really hope that they’ll be appearing again in the series sooner rather than later.

When it comes to the DVD 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. Not only that, but the main menu on each disc continues to be silent. Personally, I have a dislike for silent DVD menus.

Each disc has Production Art, which is line art of the characters and locations that appear in these episodes. The first disc includes 12 pages, the second disc has 11 pages, and the third disc includes 10 pages.

Each disc also has a “Clean Ending” option in the bonus features. The first two discs have the first ending that appears on this set, while the third disc has the second ending. Each disc also includes the omake that should have been included with the episodes that appear on the disc.

I was surprised, but glad, to see that there were no trailers included as part of the bonus features. It had gotten to a point on some of the previous box sets that they would just include the same three trailers on each disc, and I just couldn’t understand the point of including them on every single disc. Also, there are no trailers that play on a disc before it goes to the main menu.

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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