Bleach: The Movie-Memories of Nobody (2006)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
|Year Of Production||2006|
|Running Time||93:05 (Case: 87)|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (70:10)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Noriyuki Abe|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes|
Bleach: Memories of Nobody is a stand-alone movie set in the Bleach universe. Bleach being an anime series revolving around a teen named Ichigo who becomes a soul reaper. Soul reapers being a group of psychopomps (that's a far cooler sounding name for Grim Reapers) who live a samurai-style existence and battle evil spirits (AKA "Hollows") as well as guide souls to the afterlife. For a bit more background on that universe, check out our review of the first season of the show.
The plot revolves around an unusual new soul reaper named Senna, who appears out of nowhere to banish a large number of unusual spirits that have mobbed Ichigo and his usual partner in crime Rukia. The gang discover that the unusual souls are "blanks", souls that have lost their personality, and they seem particularly drawn towards Senna. It is not long before a long-lost clan of evil soul reapers turn up and try to use these blank souls, and their attraction to Senna, in a nefarious plot to destroy both the human and spirit worlds - a perfect excuse to have just about every different soul reaper pop by for a series of battles.
The film is entirely non-canon. It sort of fits in ambiguously some time after the first couple of seasons of the show and has no ongoing ramifications for the series (thanks in part to some well-directed and quickly explained forgetfulness invoked towards its end). The movie pretty much offers an excuse to briefly feature just about every established good-guy character from the show, have them strut their stuff and/or exploit their special abilities before moving on to the next character. The plot itself is decent enough and the animation a modest step up from the regular series animation. Ultimately, there's a lot more here for fans than anyone uninitiated to the Bleach cult, but it all holds up well enough for anyone to make sense of and enjoy.
The film is presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio and is 16x9 enhanced.
The video appears to be a PAL conversion of an NTSC source and features the hallmark interlacing artefacts of this process. Picky viewers may notice a corresponding loss of smoothness to the animation, particularly during the action scenes, but most will only notice the effect when they pause the movie. Leaving aside from that grumble, the video looks very good. The image is clear and sharp. There is a good level of contrast and shadow detail in the image.
The colours in the image are bold and consistent throughout the film.
Aside from very mild colour banding, there is no sign of compression related artefacts or film artefacts in the image.
The film features bold yellow English subtitles that provide a direct translation of the original Japanese audio, rather than directly matching up to the English dialogue (not that the two are particularly different).
This is a RSDL disc, with a layer break occurring seamlessly at 70:10.
The film features an English 5.1 Dolby Digital track (448Kbps) and the original Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kbps) track. Both sound excellent, although it is a little unfortunate that the original language is only presented in a 2.0 track.
Dialogue is clear and easy to understand. The sound appears to be as well synchronised as you could reasonably expect from a dubbed, moderately low-budget animated film.
The film features a Japanese-instrument heavy orchestral score, which is fairly typical for anime fare. The music is entirely forgettable but well represented in the mix.
The movie makes good use of the surrounds, particularly for environmental effects and assorted clangs and bangs during combat scenes, and reasonable use of the subwoofer.
|Surround Channel Use|
A "making of" featurette that was made for the film's US DVD release. The featurette opens by giving a bit of background story to the Bleach universe, which would be useful for viewers who aren't familiar with the series or manga but will seem overlong for regular viewers. The featurette proceeds to tell the story of the US distributor's involvement with the series, particularly the dubbing. Numerous interviews with members of the voice cast and translation crew are featured, none of which amount to terribly interesting viewing.
A series of dry, though interesting, coffee shop interviews with director, the character designer and the producer.
Around 20 production concept sketches.
Stacks of storyboards are presented, but it is a little hard to make out too much from them - the resolution is too low to make much out even if you can read Japanese. The images are fairly spartan and few are really obvious as to which bit of the plot they are presenting.
The US (running 1:16) and several Japanese trailers (altogether running 7:24) for the film's theatrical release are presented. Unsurprisingly, given that the series is an institution in one nation and relatively obscure in the other, each takes a rather different tact to sell the film.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The R4 and R1 versions are identical save for PAL/NTSC formatting.
An inessential, though entertaining, one-off story in the Bleach universe.
The video is interlaced, but otherwise looks good. A solid surround mix is present for the dub, but only basic stereo for the original Japanese audio. A decent range of extras are included.
|DVD||Sony Playstation 3, using HDMI output|
|Display||Samsung 116cm LA46M81BD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).|
|Audio Decoder||Pioneer VSX2016AVS. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||150W DTX front speakers, 100W centre and 4 surround/rear speakers, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub|