Anime DVD Review: Bleach DVD Set 19

Bleach DVD Set 19 includes Episodes 268-279 of the series on two DVDs. Audio options include the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and the English dub.

Bleach DVD Set 19
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Format: DVD
Release Date: December 10, 2013

The episodes in Bleach DVD Set 19 focus completely on the canon storyline from the manga source material. The first five episodes in the set have a strong focus on the battle that’s raging between Ichigo and Ulquiorra, which leads to Ulquiorra transforming into his second release. An epic battle takes place between the two, and Uryu and Orihime also find themselves in the middle of everything. Of all the battles that appear in this set, I would have to say that this one is the best and most interesting one. I was actually a little sad to see it come to an end.

While Ichigo and Ulquiorra’s battle is taking place, there would be the occasional cutting away to Rukia, Renji, and Chad battling with Rudbornn Chelute and the Exequias. While there was some progress made in this particular battle, it ended up not being as memorable as the Ichigo vs. Ulquiorra battle or the battles taking place in the fake Karakura Town.

There are three battles that are focused on in the fake Karakura Town: Hitsugaya vs. Halibel, Soi Fon and Omaeda vs. Baraggan, and Kyoraku vs. Stark. A lot of action took place during these battles, and it seemed like Hitsugaya and Soi Fon had actually beaten their opponents. Unfortunately, thanks to interference from Wonderweiss, the Espada are able to escape from what the Soul Reapers did to them and continue fighting. Let’s just say that after how long it took for those characters to be subdued, it was more than a little frustrating to see that we weren’t done with them after all.

Right near the end of the set, the Visoreds make an appearance in the fake Karakura Town, with the potential to possibly turn things around. They may be unhappy with the Soul Society, but they like Aizen even less. At the end of this set, it appears the stage is set for the Visoreds to play an important role in this particular story arc.

While it was great to finally see more of the canon storyline, the ending of this set was frustrating due to the fact that it basically wiped out most of the progress that had been made in the fake Karakura Town. At least Ichigo’s battle and its outcome truly advanced the story. Here’s hoping that this story arc will make more of a progression in the episodes that appear in the next box set.

When it comes to the DVD set itself, the omake continue to be cut off from the end of the episodes and are gathered together in the “Omake” feature that’s included on each disc. I genuinely laughed out loud at a couple of the omake in this set, but for the most part, I was left feeling like, “Meh. Whatever.”

Each disc also has Production Art as a bonus feature, which include either 21 or 22 pages. For this set, all of the images included were line art of the characters that appear in these episodes.

It was surprising to discover that this set also included a “Clean Opening,” because a textless version of the opening hasn’t been included on the Bleach DVD sets prior to this one. It’s the same clean opening on each disc since only one opening theme was used for all 12 episodes that were included in this set.

Each disc also has a “Clean Ending.” The first disc has one clean ending, while the second disc has two. The ending theme changed for the final episode that appeared in this set, so that’s why two are included on the second disc.

“More From VIZ Media” is the exact same five trailers that appear at the beginning of each disc when it first starts up. It didn’t seem worth it to also include them in the bonus features.

If you’re a Bleach fan and want to have all the episodes of the series in your anime home video collection, then you need to get a hold of Bleach DVD Set 19. While the story progression may be on the slow side, at least every episode included here has canon material from the original manga source material.

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