As some of you may already know, I’m something of a fan of the anime Bleach. And here we have the latest movie for the franchise, Hell Verse. Is it a good entry to the saga, or a dud?
Bleach movies often surprise me, given how it’s a film tie-in to a popular action anime series. Movies of that type often exist as a way to simple market the characters in a theatrical feature, usually showing up light on plot but heavy on action and awesome visuals. Bleach films tend to have really interesting plots that feel right at home with the franchise, and while other anime films of this kind bring back for the fight scenes, I often return to Bleach for the plot as well.
In this movie, we finally get a look at the series’ version of Hell (given how it’s about Soul Reapers fighting monsters and helping souls move on, it’s about time), when a group of Sinners (the official title of denizens of Hell in this film) manage to temporarily escape from their infernal prison. They’re convinced that main character Ichigo Kurosaki is the key to their freedom, and to that end they kidnap his youngest sister to lure him to Hell. With the help of another denizen of Hell, the swordsman Kokuto, Ichigo and his friends venture into Hell itself. But nothing is as it seems, and their actions may cause ramifications for the world of the living as well.
The visuals here are strong, as we’re given a look at a very different kind of Hell than you often seen depicted in other stories. It helps that the story is filled with twists and turns, as well as some heartbreak and triumph. Throw in some genuinely awesome fight scenes, and Hell Verse may just be the best Bleach movie yet.
The voice acting is really good on both languages, but I have to give special notice to the English dub and its lead, Johnny Yong Bosch, who always manages to deliver in his portrayal of Ichigo. This time is no exception, as he hits all the right notes during this kind of story.
Special features-wise, we’ve got production and promo art galleries as well as a collection of trailers and TV spots. In fact, other than the fact that you’ll have problems knowing what’s going on if you’re not a Bleach fan, it’s a pretty damn good film in its own right. Hopefully you’ll get a chance to check it out.
[learn_more caption=”Review Results”][one_half]Pros:
- Good story
- Great visuals and voice acting
- Great action[/custom_list][/one_half]
- May be inaccessible to non-fans
To see where this review score falls in our scoring range, please read our review scale guidelines.[/learn_more]