Fans of Tite Kubo’s Bleach, brace yourselves as the live action film or the hit manga and anime is now available on Netflix! Earlier this year on July 20th, the film was first released in Japan before it made it’s way to Netflix as of recently.
Now, there is much hesitation when it comes to a live-action remake of a manga/anime as some movies may not get the adaptation of the story quite right. There is a risk when it comes to live-action films, as the following and fanbase are so dedicated to the manga and anime. No doubt that there will be some apprehension for this film. But it is safe to say that the live-action remake directed by Shinsuke Sato, is actually a great film to watch and not as bad as you may think.
Warning: This review may contain spoilers of the film.
In terms of getting the aesthetics right for the characters, ‘hollows’ and special abilities in wielding a Zanpukuto, the film does this part quite well. Each character is pretty much correct in terms of their quirks and personality. The ‘hollows’ that serve as one of the main antagonists of the movie can be terrifying as they are brought to life through CG effects. This movie may not be particularly suitable for children, especially due to its dark themes of death, gore, and the ‘hollow’ beings.
The plot follows the very beginnings of how Ichigo Kurosaki (Sôta Fukushi) becomes a substitute Soul Reaper in order to aid Rukia Kuchiki (Hana Sugisaki) as she tries to return to the Soul Society. Several conflicts fo arise, which you’ll have to watch and see for yourself that Ichigo has to face. One of biggest highlights of the film is getting to see characters such as Renji Abarai (Taichi Saotome) and legendary Japanese artist, Miyavi, bringing Byakuya Kuchiki to life. You also can’t help but get excited to see Ichigo finally hold his large Zanpakuto blade when he becomes a Soul Reaper for the very first time.
While the film barely scratches the surface of the lengthy journey that Ichigo faces in the manga, the film is a great introduction to Tite Kubo’s world of Bleach. By the end of the film, it will have you craving more as you want to see what else happens to Ichigo (especially if you have already read and watched the anime) and his friends. But even as a stand-alone movie and not knowing anything else about Bleach, it is satisfying to see a positive ending. Of course, there are some loose ends that need to be tied up but there is hope that a sequel to the film will happen. Also, the punk-rock/metal soundtrack adds more to the hype and energy of the movie as well as the light-hearted comedic moments of this shounen classic.
Bleach is definitely worth the watch and is an exciting film that is highly recommended. Fans of Bleach should be open-minded and note that this live adaptation is actually not that bad. Shinsuke Sato does a great job of bringing Bleach to life and the movie is perfect for this Halloween. While the film isn’t scary at all, the dark elements still make it a great addition to the spooky season!