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Bleach: Memories of Nobody

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Bleach: Memories of Nobody is a 2006 animated film adaptation of the anime and manga series Bleach. Directed by Noriyuki Abe and written by Masashi Sogo, the film was first released in Japanese theaters on December 16, 2006. The DVD was released in Japan on September 5, 2007. To promote the film, the opening and closing credits for episodes 106 through 109 of the Bleach anime use footage from the film. The film's theme music is "Sen no Yoru o Koete" (千の夜をこえて Overcome the Thousands of Nights?) by Aqua Timez. The film had a limited theatrical release in America from June 11 to June 12, 2008, and in Canada on October 20, 2008[2] and was followed by the DVD release on October 14, 2008.[3] The film aired on September 5, 2009 on Adult Swim.[4]

Plot

A plus soul is chased by a hollow in a local park. Ichigo Kurosaki and Rukia Kuchiki appear and dispatch of the hollow and send the soul off to Soul Society. Comically, Ichigo finds his body inspected by medics, having turned into a Soul Reaper without placing an artificial soul within his body. He escapes from the scene with the aid of Rukia. Soon after, unidentified ghost-like spirits begin appearing in Karakura Town. A mysterious Soul Reaper who calls herself Senna appears and begins destroying the spirits. Ichigo and Rukia return to their Soul Reaper forms (Ichigo this time through the use of Kon, a mod soul) then confront her, but she refuses to answer any questions and leaves. In the battle, Kon notices a figure wearing dark armour among the spirits. Ichigo follows Senna while Rukia returns to Soul Society in order to search for answers. Ichigo encounters Tōshirō Hitsugaya and Rangiku Matsumoto while following Senna, who tells him to come with them to the Urahara Shop, having been sent to earth to investigate why the real world is suddenly appearing as a reflection in the sky in Soul Society, having been noticed by Ikkaku Madarame and Tetsuzaemon Iba.

Back at the Urahara shop, Kisuke Urahara explains that a dimension between Soul Society and the real world, the Valley of Screams, has expanded to the point that it is connecting the two worlds. The spirits seen earlier are "Blanks", souls without memories that were lost in the space between the two worlds and that comprise the Valley of Screams. The memories of the Blanks combine to form a single entity, the "Memory Rosary." Deducing through the use of Kon having witnessed the armoured figure from before, he instructs the Soul Reapers assembled to find the Memory Rosary before this mysterious group does. Ichigo once again follows Senna around, where they make a scene at a nearby mall. Shortly afterwards, Senna is attacked by the armoured beings, and Ichigo arrives to fend them off, not knowing their motives.

While trying to help a soul find his father, Senna and Ichigo travel to a monastery, when suddenly officers from the Gotei 13, namely Renji Abarai, Jushiro Ukitake, Soi Fon, Toshiro Hitsugaya and Rukia appear at the monastery along with some armed forces. They declare that Senna is the Memory Rosary, and order Ichigo to hand her over, but Ichigo, valuing her as a being and not an object, refuses. The mysterious group arrive, calling themselves the "Dark Ones", and are identified as a group of exiles from the Soul Society seeking revenge for the past, appearing and capturing Senna while managing to fight off the Soul Reapers and Ichigo. In the ensuing battle, Ichigo is mortally wounded and is taken back to Urahara Shop, where Orihime Inoue proceeds to heal him. The Dark Ones take Senna to the Valley of Screams and attach her to a device powered by the Blanks that will cause the Valley to collapse, resulting in a collision between the real world and the Soul Society that would destroy both worlds.

Ichigo travels to the Valley to rescue Senna while Rukia goes to get reinforcements from Soul Society. However, Captain-Commander Shigekuni Yamamoto-Genryūsai wants to destroy the Valley before it collapses and refuses to order a rescue mission with only an hour left. In the Valley, Ichigo is overpowered by the large number of blanks and by the Dark Ones, but he is saved by the arrival of his Soul Reaper counterparts, Soi Fon, Izuru Kira, Renji, Byakuya Kuchiki, Toshiro Hitsugaya, Rangiku Matsumoto, Kenpachi Zaraki, Yachiru Kusajishi, Ikkaku and Yumichika Ayasegawa. In the meantime, Jushiro Ukitake convinces the Captain-Commander to prolong the destruction of the Valley so that the Soul Reaper force in there may complete the mission and escape the Valley beforehand. The Soul Reapers quickly defeat the Dark Ones and Blanks, and Ichigo battles and eventually defeats their leader, Ganryu. The Soul Reaper force then quickly leave the Valley and reappear in the real world, content in finishing the mission.

However, the process of the collapse has gone too far to be completely stopped. Senna sacrifices herself to push the two worlds back apart to save Ichigo, using the power of the blanks to trigger explosions between the Real World and Soul Society in order to stabilise both. Afterwards, when both worlds have been saved, Senna, weakened by her efforts to restore the worlds asks Ichigo to take her to the graveyard so she can see her name on her gravestone. Although the stone had the name of one of a Blank whose memory Senna had, Ichigo lies and tells her that her name is on it. Believing him, she expresses contentment that she once had a life of her own before fading away. Rukia notes that once the power of the Blanks fades away, so will all memories of Senna. However, the last scene shows Ichigo walking on the bridge where the portal to the Valley was and sees a red ribbon, the one that he had bought Senna, floating down from the sky, and sees a girl who looks just like her running past him, causing him to smile.

New characters

  • Senna (茜雫?)
Voiced by: Chiwa Saitō (Japanese), G.K. Bowes (English)
Senna is created from the memories of souls ejected from the circle of life, and is called the Memory Rosary. Despite her spunky, upbeat, and carefree personality, she is also haunted by the many memories that reside in her. In her gigai form she is dressed in a school uniform. When she transforms into a Soul Reaper, she wears the standard Soul Reaper uniform with a large red ribbon tied around her waist. She sacrifices her life to push the two worlds apart. Senna appears in the PSP video game Bleach: Heat the Soul 5 and Bleach: Heat the Soul 6 as a playable character.
  • Ganryu
Voiced by: Masashi Ebara (Japanese), Troy Baker (English)
Ganryu is the leader of a banished clan from the Soul Society and the film's main antagonist. His clan was sent into the Valley of Screams (the same place where the lost souls known as Blanks reside) where they learned to survive the restricted current that swallows everything it touches. He plans to use Senna to set the world of the living and the Soul Society on a collision course to destroy either one if not both worlds. Ganryu believes that he should be the one to rule the Soul Society and is ready to destroy anyone who gets in his way. He is killed by Ichigo Kurosaki.
  • Jai
Voiced by: Dai Matsumoto (Japanese), J. B. Blanc (English)
Jai is the dark-skinned member of the Dark Ones. In his fight with Ichigo, he managed to absorb a Blank to increase his strength. He lost his right arm in the first fight, but later regenerates it upon absorbing some Blanks. He later fights Rukia Kuchiki in the Valley of Screams. Before he can counter-attack, he is killed by Byakuya Kuchiki.
  • Benin
Voiced by: Yoko Somi (Japanese), Wendee Lee (English)
Benin is the female of the Dark Ones who wields a crossbow. She is killed by Soi Fon.
  • Riyan
Voiced by: Daisuke Egawa (Japanese), Kirk Thornton (English)
Riyan is a member of the Dark Ones who appears to be wearing a pair of rocket launcher packs on his back. He is killed by Tōshirō Hitsugaya.
  • Bau
Voiced by: Hajime Iijima (Japanese), Kyle Hebert (English)
Bau is the largest member of the Dark Ones that wields two large tetsubos. Bau wears a veil over his face to cover his horrible skin and teeth. He is killed by Renji Abarai.
  • Mue
Voiced by: Takashi Kondo (Japanese), Vic Mignogna (English)
Mue is a small, pale member of the Dark Ones who wore the standard armor of all the Dark Ones. Like Ganryu, Mue wields a sword in battle. Mue has displayed a variety of arsenal in his disposal including a broadsword from which a thinner sword can be drawn, a thin sword that can separate as explosive projectiles, and a whip-like weapon with a hook at the end that can catch an opponent's sword and transmit a spark to produce an explosion. He is killed by Kenpachi Zaraki.

Reception

Bradley Meek of T.H.E.M. Anime Reviews had expected to dislike the film, and found himself pleasantly surprised that he enjoyed the film. He felt that the film was made purely to please fans, and that those fans would be pleased. He criticized the opening sequence and some other scenes as excessively confusing and incoherent, but praises the character Senna as "a sweet character who is likeable from pretty much frame one."[5] Anime News Network's Carl Kimlinger agreed that the film was primarily for series fan and would be confusing to newcomers to the franchise. While he felt the film followed the basic formula for "theatrical adaptations of long-running shounen series" and attempts to cram a lot in a short time, he also felt it was "unfailingly entertaining throughout"[6] Fellow ANN reviewer Carlos Santos described it as "an extended filler episode" with the addition of new "disposable characters", however it notes that with a theatrical production budget the film is "a jaw-dropping, fist-pumping 'Best Of' compilation of all the shikai, bankai, and fighting styles that make the series so dynamic". He had mixed feelings about the film's soundtrack, noting that most was lifted from the series while praising the few new musical pieces as being "well-written" and well used.[7]

Beth Accomando of KPBS praised the film's artistry and the complex mix of themes and idealisms presented in the story. In particular, she found the film's concept of "Blanks" conveyed "a deep spiritual sadness that provides unexpected depth to this supernatural action thriller."[8] Chris Beveridge of Mania.com felt the film met his expectations with its "high production values, a solid if predictable script and some really neat designs", yet noted that its weakness was its lack of relevance to the series and offers no permanent character growth.[9]

References

  1. "Japan Yearly Box Office (2006)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-04-18. 
  2. "Coming Soon: Bleach Movie to Hit Theaters in June". About.com. 2008-05-05. Retrieved 2008-11-03. 
  3. Viz Media (2008-03-28). "Viz Media Announces License for Bleach The Movie: Memories of Nobody". Press release. http://www.viz.com/news/newsroom/2008/03_bleachmovie.php. Retrieved 2008-04-07.
  4. http://www.adultswim.com/schedule/onair.html
  5. Meek, Bradley (2006). "Bleach the Movie: Memories of Nobody". T.H.E.M. Anime Reviews. Retrieved 2008-06-17. 
  6. Kimlinger, Carl (2008-10-29). "Bleach the Movie: Memories of Nobody DVD - Review". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2008-11-02. 
  7. Santos, Carlos (2008-06-14). "Bleach the Movie: Memories of Nobody Review". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2008-06-17. 
  8. Accomando, Beth (2008-06-10). "Bleach the Movie: Memories of Nobody". KPBS-FM. Archived from the original on 2008-06-13. Retrieved 2008-06-17. 
  9. Beveridge, Chris (2008-10-13). "Bleach Movie 1: Memories of Nobody". Mania.com. Retrieved 2008-12-13. 

External links

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