Bleach The Movie 3 – Fade To Black
Studio: Studio Pierrot
Release Date: March 21, 2012
Format: Blu-Ray Disc (Reviewed), DvD
Price: $29.95 (Buy Here)
What would your life be like if someone in your life was removed from your memory? What if that person was removed from the worlds memory? How many events would have not occurred between you and other people that you met through that person? This is the main premise behind Bleach The Movie 3 – Fade To Black.
Bleach is one of the longest serving Anime series in Japan. The series is also being aired in the US and AU regions and is an incredibly popular series with an incredibly large fanbase in these regions. The series follows the adventures of Ichigo Kurosaki who is a reaper in the Soul Society. The movie however, has the Soul Society acting against Ichigo thanks to the circumstances within the movie.
The Soul Society is attacked by an unknown enemy with the power to remove the memory of a person from the collective memory of everyone they have come into contact with. This is a story of friendship, compassion and bonds that go beyond just friendship.
While the major elements seem to be friendship based, it is often apparent that this movie was an excuse to see the members of the Soul Society battle each other. This is often evidenced by the people fighting having very little amounts of logic when it comes to dealing with certain plot elements but instead opt to beat each other to death with swords and other mystical powers. And just when another character turns up, you kind of hope that they’ll bring in some sense, but instead they join in on the brawl and just exacerbate the problem. It isn’t until right near the end where, if you weren’t familiar with the series, some unknown characters turn up and get everyone to be friends again and work together.
What I particularly enjoyed about the story though, was it’s concept. The whole idea that the memory of a person can be removed from the collective consciousness of everyone that they’ve met is quite fascinating. The story also tries to deal with the elements that come into play when this kind of thing occurs, and it succeeds in getting you to think about these things. While some liberties had been taken on the whole concept in order to get the story to actually work, I felt that it tackled the theme quite well, even if it was an excuse to get all the main characters to do battle with one and another.
Visually Fade To Black is quite amazing. I mean, it definitely looks like the visuals either had a really strong studio behind it, a lot of money behind it, or a bit of both. While watching the movie, it was very difficult to find any flaws in the animation, heck I couldn’t find any tells of visual shortcuts being taken either.
Some of the most impressive aspects of Fade To Blacks animation comes from the visual quality of the characters and their designs. What I found most impressive about the characters was the fact that they have aged throughout the series and that the movie reflects this, instead of focusing on an era where the characters were younger in order to draw in a larger audience. I also like that the character designs reflected the characters ages appropriately and when that one part of the movie plays with a flashback from past scenes, it really emphasises the amount of growth that the characters have undertaken. This not only applies physically, but mentally as well.
The fight scenes in this movie are amazing, as someone who has only really seen the first season, I can see why this series still has such a strong fanbase today. Like really, even the background mooks that are there only to serve as fodder are pretty cool in their own right. I mean, combat-wise, you’ve got attacks flying everywhere, massive swords, awesome special-attacks and some fairly well design characters doing the fighting. It really felt like the weight of the battle was being shown in the flow of the animation.
Audibly, Bleach The Movie 3 – Fade To Black wasn’t an example of a movie with a poor audio quality. Conversely, it wasn’t a work of art, sent down by God themself either. This is a point that’s hard to talk about because the audio worked in all aspects of the movie and it worked well, but it also felt very standard.
It’s not like the movie was poorly voiced or anything, considering both the English and Japanese dialogue were incredibly believeable (however I am not a native Japanese speaker, so I can be the authority on Japanese voice acting), but I do have to say that I enjoyed the English Dub much more than the Japanese.
One thing I really wanted to bring up from the Audio was the song that plays in the menus and at the end of the movie. I’m not entirely sure if I love the hell out of it, or if I want to be removed from the collective consciousness of humanity. What did everyone else think of it? I’m really on both sides of an ever-extending pole on this one.
Unfortunately for us people that love bonus features, Fade To Black seems to be pretty light on them. Included with the package are only three features and two of them are trailer related.
Here are the Special Features listed on the disc –
- Japanese Movie Trailers
- English Movie Trailers
- Production Art Gallery
While the Special Features are scant, the production art gallery is a pretty cool extra that I’d suggest everyone take a look at.
Bleach The Movie 3 – Fade To Black is a definite must-have movie for all die-hard Bleach fans. It has a lot of interesting plot points and some really decent action that make it ideal for the Bleach fanatic to own and watch. Even if you’re not a massive fan of the series but want something that you can watch, be entertained and possibly even get you to think about, then this movie is also for you.