tek's rating: ½

Bleach the Movie: Memories of Nobody
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Caution: potential spoilers.

This is the first movie based on the TV series Bleach (and I must say, I think it's undoubtably better appreciated by fans of the series, who will already know the various characters and concepts). I can't say when exactly it's set within the continuity of the series, but it's clearly sometime after Ichigo's first trip to the Soul Society. Anyway... it begins with an agency of the Soul Society monitoring an investigative mission into something odd going on in the Dangai Precipice (the dimension between the Soul Society and the world of the living). Something goes wrong, but it's unclear what's actually happening.

Then we flash to the world of the living, where Rukia and Ichigo soon discover a bunch of strange, wraithlike creatures, which we will later learn are called Blanks. But in the midst of this mystery, another mystery appears, in the form of a soul reaper named Senna. She dispatches the Blanks, acting on instinct. When Ichigo questions her, he learns that all she knows is that she's a soul reaper. Aside from that (and her name), she can't remember anything. Meanwhile, Rukia can't contact the Soul Society, so she returns there, leaving Ichigo to keep an eye on Senna. Which is difficult, as she's prone to running off... she seems quite playful, much to Ichigo's annoyance. Eventually, Rukia discovers that there is no record of any soul reaper named Senna.

Meanwhile, an image of a city from the world of the living appears in the sky of the Soul Society. Investigations eventually reveal that... there's something called the Valley of Screams, which I guess is a natural phenomeon that sometimes develops in the Dangai Precipice, because of the Blanks, which are souls that have lost their memories and left the cycle of transmigration (death and rebirth), or whatever. But this time, it's not natural, because it's creating a connection between the two worlds, which could ultimately result in one or both worlds being destroyed. Something called the Shinenju has been created from the memories of the Blanks, and it has entered the world of the living, and the Blanks are attracted to it. And there's a group called the Clan of Darkness that wants to retrieve the Shinenju, for some nefarious purpose.

I'll admit, I was never 100% clear on what was going on. But we do learn that the Clan of Darkness were banished from the Soul Society like 1000 years ago, after attempting to take it over, and have spent all this time wandering in the Dangai Precipice, until they learned to use the Blanks. As for what it is they're looking for, I mean the exact nature of the Shinenju... it was pretty predictable, but I won't tell you, anyway. But eventually, Head Captain Yamamoto wants to destroy the Valley of Screams with something called the Kido Cannon, but Ichigo and a number of other Soul Reapers go there first, having found an entrance via the path created when the Shinenju came to the world of the living. Senna had been captured by the Clan of Darkness and brought there to advance their plans of destruction, and Ichigo and the others want to rescue her before the place is destroyed.

Meanwhile, um... well, honestly, I don't know what else to say without giving away any spoilers. But, you know... we get to see lots of familiar characters (though mostly in very limited capacity) from the series, as well as a few new ones (again, mostly in limited capacity). There's some exposition, and stuff about Senna remembering her life before she died (which Soul Reapers aren't supposed to do). Lots of drama and action, and some humor. I dunno, ultimately none of this is important to the series at all, but even if it didn't entirely make sense, it was still a good story, and Senna was a fun character to get to know....

The movie is followed by The DiamondDust Rebellion


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