ANIME & MANGA - Review
16:28 - 12th November 2013, by Matt Kamen

Bleach - Season 11

There's something wonderfully accessible about Bleach's season structure - for the most part, telling complete arcs in each boxed set. Such is the case here, with the 'Karakura Town Arc', seeing Ichigo's home town invaded by mega-villain Sosuke Aizen.

Although this initiates all the excitement fans have come to expect from the series, the incursion also provides opportunity for plenty of character study. Ichigo himself battles feelings of helplessness, still caught in the hellish Hueco Mundo dimension and torn between his quest to rescue Orihime and his concerns for his family back on Earth. Meanwhile, the Thirteen Court Guards stand in defence of Karakura Town, which gives many of the elite soul reapers chance to vent their feelings of betrayal towards former allies Aizen and his lieutenants, Gin and Kosuke.

With all the supernatural drama going on, it's also nice to see Bleach hasn't lost its sense of humour too. A mini-arc focusing on plush lion Kon and some very unlikely comrades being forced into a 'Super Sentai' team proves frequently hilarious - some much-needed levity before the real battles begin.

The downside is that there's so much going on, everything feels a bit choppy. Tighter editing would have meant perfect shonen action.

Wide-ranging content with just enough of all Bleach's component elements to keep fans happy, with only some pacing issues letting it down.
SCORE: 4/5
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