ANIME & MANGA - Review
16:00 - 7th June 2014, by NEO Staff

Bleach Series 13 Part 1

After a series-long break, the Arrancar arc is back - and it's more explosive than ever! The long-awaited climactic duel between Ichigo and Ulquiorra begins - and concludes - in spectacular fashion within this set of episodes, and if that wasn't enough, there's more action from the assembled captains and lieutenants in Karakura Town (or at least the very detailed replica of it), as they face off against the top three Espada and their subordinates.

While the first episode of the set is a slightly disappointing recap of what's come before (somewhat pointless if you have the previous boxsets already), the rest of the set more than make up for it - this is Bleach in its purest form; over-the-top swordfights and supercharged shinigami causing catastrophic amounts of property damage.

The episodes cut frequently between battlegrounds and individual skirmishes, maintaining a fast pace that makes it difficult to watch just one episode at a time. One drawback of the current series however, is the length of the recap sections at the beginning. Seeing the last few minutes of the previous episode is a useful reminder when you're watching weekly, but you can start to get some pretty intense déjà vu watching several of these episodes in quick succession.

Overall though, this set isn't to be missed - it's got some of the best fights in the show's history, and a climactic ending that'll leave you dying to see what happens in the second half of the series. The Arrancar Arc may be on the home stretch, but it definitely seems like there's a lot of fun to be had before it's over.

A welcome return to the main story arc, these episodes raise the bar for the rest of the series.
SCORE: 4/5
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