Sometimes anime live-action adaptations tend to fall flat, Bleach isn’t one of those. The Bleach live-action film was released in 2018 by Warner Bros Production. It adapted the story of the same name that was penned by mangaka and illustrator, Tite Kubo. It was well filmed and the special effects managed to blend in just enough to make the movie one fluid story. After recent movies that performed rather poorly like Netflix’s Adaptation of Death Note and Paramount’s Ghost in the Shell, it was nice to see Bleach give such an iconic manga and anime, justice. One could argue that those were both from western companies but maybe that just means that they still have a few things to learn before they can truly embrace the Japanese animation market. But Bleach’s live-action adaptation is a work that will leave viewers wanting to explore more of its world-building and characters. We feel that this should be one of the main goals that most live-action strive for because usually, the source material is so so substantial that it would take decades for movies to fully adapt every part of the story. like Whatever the case may be, here is why we feel the 2018 Bleach live-action adaptation worked.
The Story of Ichigo
Bleach itself is an incredibly vast story that took Tite Kubo over fifteen years to write. Fifteen years. That’s 686 chapters of pure content. To make a film that people find enjoyable you would need to find the perfect balance of story without giving too little or too much. Manga readers know that the first few chapters of any story can be tiresome. Sometimes incredible series get dropped because they fail to get to the good parts fast enough. The same can be said about films. Spend too much trying to set up a world and you may see your story canceled before you can even get to the doorstep. Bleach handled that situation well. It introduces enough of the Bleach world in the first fifteen minutes to grab the viewer’s attention. Ichigo Kurosaki is a high school student who unfortunately lost his mother at a young age due to a strange occurrence by the river. They were walking and Ichigo saw a young girl staring off. She turns around and makes eye contact with Ichigo which causes him to blackout. When he comes back to his senses, he’s on the ground while his mom’s bloodied body lays next to him. She has two huge claw marks on her back. Flash forward to the future and Ichigo believes that her death is his fault. Since that day Ichigo is now able to see ghosts and souls. An ability that no normal human should have. That’s how Bleach’s live-action sets up the story. What follows next is a journey into the soul world and a glimpse at what Ichigo’s future will become.
Demon Battles Galore
One of the main standouts from the Bleach live-action is how well the fight scenes are filmed. This is usually a hit or miss factor for live-action adaptations because this is where a lot of them incorporate large amounts of CGI. If it looks too real then it could come off as grotesque and unappealing. Leave it to look too fake and the whole movie looks like a sad attempt at a cash grab. Bleach does it well. The CGI flows well and it looks like something that belongs to the world of the film. It helps drive the story and keep the flow of intense battle scenes going. When Ichigo fights his first hollow, the choreography and movements are acrobatic but believable. It flows naturally which helps viewers keep their eyes on the story instead of on shoddy effects.
Warner Bros Japan did an excellent job with the casting. Ichigo Kurosaki is played by Sota Fukushi, Rukia Kuchiki is played by Hana Sugisaki, Uryu Ishida is played by Ryo Yoshizawa, and Renji Abarai is played by Taichi Saotome. The actors that play Ichigo and Rukia have great chemistry and drive the movie forward really well. Sota Fukushi himself delivers a stellar performance. Bleach is a story about loss and growth. Sota is able to channel his feelings and really make the viewers believe that he is going through a very decisive moment in his life. Overall the Bleach live-action film is one that you should definitely one if you’re a fan of bleach or looking to get into the series. Fans that have read the manga and seen the series all the way through will be happy to see the beginning of Bleach with the added special effects and grandeur that comes from a full feature film. New fans will be happy to know that the Bleach live-action covers the very beginning of Ichigo’s journey. So they won’t have to worry about spoilers or about missing any important information. Bleach is available for streaming right now through Netflix if you want to give it a try. Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Synopsis: “Ichigo Kurosaki is an ordinary high schooler—until his family is attacked by a Hollow, a corrupt spirit that seeks to devour human souls. It is then that he meets a Soul Reaper named Rukia Kuchiki, who gets injured while protecting Ichigo’s family from the assailant. To save his family, Ichigo accepts Rukia’s offer of taking her powers and becomes a Soul Reaper as a result. However, as Rukia is unable to regain her powers, Ichigo is given the daunting task of hunting down the Hollows that plague their town. However, he is not alone in his fight, as he is later joined by his friends—classmates Orihime Inoue, Yasutora Sado, and Uryuu Ishida—who each have their own unique abilities. As Ichigo and his comrades get used to their new duties and support each other on and off the battlefield, the young Soul Reaper soon learns that the Hollows are not the only real threat to the human world.”