Bleach: The Movie-Memories of Nobody (2006)

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Released 1-Jul-2009

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Main Menu Audio & Animation
Interviews-Crew
Featurette-Making Of
Trailer
Gallery-Production Art
Storyboards
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2006
Running Time 93:05 (Case: 87)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (70:10) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Noriyuki Abe
Studio
Distributor
Viz Media
Madman Entertainment
Starring Masakazu Morita
Fumiko Orikasa
Hiroki Yasumoto
Noriaki Sugiyama
Chiwa Saito
Kentarô Itô
Fumihiko Tachiki
Masaaki Tsukada
Kiyoyuki Yanada
Akio Ôtsuka
Noriko Shitaya
Jun Fukuyama
Nobuyuki Hiyama
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music Shirô Sagisu
Junichi Uematsu
Sawako Takagi


Video Audio
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
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    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.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    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.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    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.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Making Of Featurette (22:45)

    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.

Japanese Production Interviews (10:14)

    A series of dry, though interesting, coffee shop interviews with director, the character designer and the producer.

Production Art Gallery

    Around 20 production concept sketches.

Storyboards Gallery

    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.

Trailers

    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.

R4 vs R1

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.

Summary

    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.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Review Equipment
DVDSony 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 DecoderPioneer VSX2016AVS. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX2016AVS
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, 100W centre and 4 surround/rear speakers, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

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