Story = B-
Video = B
Audio = C+
A valuable artifact known as "King's Seal" is stolen by a mysterious group of people during transport in Soul Society. Hitsugaya Toushiro, the 10th division captain of Gotei 13, who is assigned to transport the seal fights the leader of the group and shortly after goes missing. After the incident, Seireitei declares Hitsugaya a traitor and orders the capture and execution of Hitsugaya. Kurosaki Ichigo refuses to believe this, and along with Matsumoto Rangiku, Kuchiki Rukia and Abarai Renji swear to uncover the real mastermind of the stolen seal, find Hitsugaya and clear his name. Meanwhile, a rogue Hitsugaya searches for the perpetrators and uncovers a dark secret regarding a long dead shinigami. (Source: ANN)
And now number four in my series of reviews of stuff that I viewed months ago but am only getting to review now. This time it's the second Bleach movie: The DiamondDust Rebellion. This one I actually had to go back and fast-forward through because I couldn't remember much of what it was about. I suppose that in itself doesn't bode well since it means it wasn't impactful enough to be memorable; but even so, as far as Bleach content created exclusively for anime (ie, not adapted from the manga) goes, it's not bad.
Having watched around 150 episodes of the TV series, I've been exposed to countless filler episodes (ie, episodes that deviate from the story of the original manga), and contrary to popular belief, a handful of those fillers are actually pretty good. The ones that are good tend to focus on analyzing and developing a specific character. In that same way, this movie is an improvement over the first movie because it narrowly focuses on developing and expanding the background of a single character: Hitsugaya Toushiro. Focusing on an existing character instead of creating a new complicated plot line involving multiple new characters helps the the story to feel more seamlessly integrated into the series instead of being tacked on. And as a result, I didn't find myself getting distracted by trying to figure out whether or not the new material would have any impact on the original story.
I have to admit that out of all the soul reapers, Hitsugaya is probably one of my least favorite. He seems to not have much of a personality, and his Zanpakto's ice techniques seem generic and cliche. But after watching this movie -- which focuses on Hitsugaya -- I'm starting to understand what his character is all about. Basically, he is supposed to be similar to Ichigo. For one, they both want to avoid getting other people involved in their problems; and two, their harsh personalities mask their deeper issues. And as a result of seeing that relationship, I'm starting to see Hitsugaya in a whole new light. And that is why I think these character-focused stories work so well. They provide the opportunity to flesh out the character by showing deeper and more detailed aspects of their personality, and a result makes them more empathetic and understandable.
The animation for this movie was -- as, by definition, you would expect from a movie -- theatrical quality. I art was detailed and clean, and the animation was fluid. I also liked that the art was a darker and/or monochromatic than the TV show usually is, with more scenes at night or on cloudy days or in the fog or whatever. I really enjoyed it and appreciated how it set a moodier atmosphere.
So overall, I would recommend this movie to Bleach fans, and especially Hitsugaya fans. As original anime goes, this one holds its own as a strong and enjoyable story.Related Reviews: