We wrap up the fourth season, along with another story arc,
in Bleach Season 4 Part 2
While I wasn't enamored with the first half of season four, I
the series did pick up for the most part in the second half and
up a notch in story quality. The Bount
story arc still isn't as exciting or creative as the preceding ones but
developed in unexpected ways that makes it worth watching.
I usually include a section on the background of an anime
series, but since this is covering the end of the fourth season, I
everyone who is reading this pretty much knows who Ichigo is, what a
Reaper does, and just who and what the Soul Society is.
If not, check out my reviews of the earlier
This collection: In the first part of season
four we were introduced to the Bounts, near immortal humans with
that live off of consuming human souls.
The leader of the Bounts has hatched a mysterious plan that
around finding a Quincy. Of course Ishida is the last of that race,
but he lost his powers while fighting in the Soul Society so he can't
himself, and the first part of the season dealt with the Bounts
capture the last Quincy.
As this collection opens, that Bounts have created a
horrific weapon: the bitto.
These are small flying insects with sharp
stingers that they use to drain the souls from humans, leaving a dried
behind that soon turns to dust.
Afterwards the bittos return to the Bounts where they give them
souls they've harvested. These 'living
souls' give the Bounts a huge amount of power, along with a euphoric
rush. After they've all ingested souls,
head out to test their new powers. In
separate encounters they run into Ichigo or his companions, but the
no match for the energized immortals.
When Lieutenants from the Soul Society show up however, the tide
battle shifts quite dramatically.
I enjoyed this set a lot more than the previous one.
They take the time to flesh out the Bounts in
this collection, making them more real and not just evil baddies who
their handlebar mustachios while waiting for a train to run over the
that they've tied to the tracks. There's
an episode where one Bount, Koga, recalls training a young Bount named
relates the lonely lives that Bounts generally live.
While there's still a part of the puzzle
missing (I can't quite draw a line from the Koga in the story to the
the current tale) it did show the villains from a different point of
that really made the story more interesting.
Of course this is an action series and there's quite a bit
of that in this set. Unlike the previous
collection however the battles weren't just long slugfests. I have to admit that my eyes did start to
glaze over in some of the fights, but when the members of the Soul
arrived my interest was piqued. Of
course this was timed for the most dramatic effect, but it worked well
cheered inside when the various Lieutenants started kicking butt. And that's what this show is all about, isn't
These next three volumes of the series, containing the final 12
season four, come in a trio of slimline cases, which is different than
previous releases. These three cases
come in a standard slipcase.
The set comes with the original Japanese audio track as well as an
both in stereo. I alternated between the two every episode for
couple of discs, and finally settled on the Japanese track which was
just a tad
more natural sounding. The English actors did a good job, and
breathe live into the animated characters. While the show would
enhanced by a multi-track audio option (especially during the fight
Menos Grande), the stereo audio was fine. There was a little use
the soundstage, though not as much as I was expecting.
There are optional English subtitles, though they don't translate signs
written text, which was a bit irritating at times.
This show is presented with a full frame image, which looks pretty
The colors are nice and strong and the blacks are solid. There
little banding in some scenes, and there was a bit more aliasing than I
remember in previous collections.
Otherwise the picture looks fine.
Not much of the way of extras this time around.
There's a clean opening and closing animation as well as some
art galleries. The biggest bonus is a
behind the scenes featurette that runs nearly 10 minutes.
They spend the time talking with the English
This set takes a step up in quality from the last collection that was
so-so. If you were disappointed in that
group of shows, I can't blame you but don't give up quite yet. These 12 episodes are pretty good and really
get the story moving. What's more, the
ending hints at an exciting season 5. Go
ahead and check this one out, it gets a strong recommendation.