ANIME & MANGA - Review
14:30 - 20th March 2013, by Matt Kamen

Bleach Complete Series 5

Ichigo and co. are caught up in some seriously bountiful soul reaping in this complete boxed set of the popular series' fifth season. Well, popular to some - like its preceding season, the episodes on this set are what's colloquially known as filler; original stories not adapted from Tite Kubo's manga. Filler is a tricky beast - Japanese networks want their highest rating shows on air year round, so animators soon run out of manga to work from. Really long-running shows - Naruto, Dragonball, One Piece - end up with drawn out stories and rushed animation, and while Bleach's filler certainly has some of those problems, it's nowhere near as bad as those other shows.

In fact, the current Assault Arc, which sees the vampire-like Bounts mounting an attack on Soul Society - the 'heaven' of the Bleachiverse - is rather enjoyable. The Bounts themselves are an interesting bunch of villains, some outright evil, some endearingly sympathetic. Best of all, the fights move at a brisk pace - you'll find no power-up sequences lasting dozens of episodes here! OK, so it deviates from canon but, if the end result is still mostly fun, where's the harm? Go in with a decent mind and enjoy the Bount-y!

Maybe we're jaded by how bad Naruto's filler is, but Bleach's is really quite entertaining, despite lower animation quality.
SCORE: 4/5
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