Bleach DVD Set 22 includes episodes 304-316 of the series on two DVDs. Audio options include the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and the English dub.
Bleach DVD Set 22
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: September 30, 2014
Set 22 opens with two filler episodes. The first is another episode produced to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Bleach, with some of the characters turned into monsters and supernatural creatures. The Snow Crystal from the earlier filler episode that retold the beginning of the series in an Arabian Knights setting returns, and Ichigo and Ishida’s fathers are monster hunters. Oh dear Lord, this filler episode was extremely painful. Who thought this was a good idea to celebrate an anniversary of the franchise?
The second filler episode sees Hisagi, Rangiku, and Isane investigating mysterious murders in the Rukongai. Hisagi and Rangiku go on ahead, and quite a bit of the episode focuses on the crush Hisagi has on Rangiku. While this wasn’t as bad as the first filler episode in the set, I still didn’t enjoy this episode very much. It relied heavily on a couple of running gags that really weren’t funny. By the end of the episode, I just wanted to return to the canon storyline from the manga.
The next five episodes in the set all contain canon material, and finally bring about a resolution to the Arrancar arc. This particular story arc started back in Set Six, and with all of the interruptions it had due to filler material and filler arcs, it took this long for it to finally finish. It was a rather satisfying ending to this arc, even if it took 200 episodes to finally get here. My favorite part of these final few episodes of the arc was getting to see the backstory involving Rangiku and Gin. I was amazed at how, within a couple of episodes, Gin became a sympathetic character. When I first encountered Gin early on in the series, I never would have envisioned myself ever thinking he could sympathetic. And the resolution of the arc sets something in motion for Ichigo that should become important at such a point the anime returns to canon material.
Unfortunately, the final six episodes on Set 22 are all filler material, with each one being a stand-alone story. The first of these filler episodes sees the return of Karakuraizer, a concept that’s appeared a couple of times in some of the earlier filler episodes. I didn’t enjoy the earlier Karakuraizer episodes, and I didn’t like this one, either. I can only hope that I will never have to see Karakuraizer again in the remaining episodes of Bleach.
The remaining filler episodes are a mixed bag. Three of the remaining filler episodes were actually rather decent, while the other two were just bad. Of the good filler episodes in the set, I would have to say that the episodes focusing on Yachiru and Toshiro were the best, because they were both rather emotional. While the characters who are introduced in these filler episodes will never be seen again, these episodes had such a compelling story to them that the viewer will have an easier time remembering these particular filler characters.
When it comes to the DVD set itself, the omake are still cut off from the end of the episodes and collected together in the “Omake” feature that’s included on each disc. Overall, I thought the quality of the omake on this set was decent, although there were a couple of stinkers mixed in.
There’s a clean opening and clean ending included on both discs, and it’s the same opening and closing due to the fact that neither song changed over the course of these 12 episodes. They both have options for English subtitles and Romaji subtitles.
“More From VIZ Media” includes the exact same trailers that appear at the beginning of each disc when it first starts up. Even though this has been the case for the past few sets, it still feels like somebody didn’t want to go to a lot of effort for this particular bonus feature.
If you’re a Bleach fan and want to have all the episodes of the series in your anime home video collection, then you need to get a hold of Bleach DVD Set 22. The main draw of this set for fans is the fact that it contains the final five episodes of the Arrancar arc, although there are two or three filler episodes near the end of the set that are decent and worth watching. Outside of those seven or eight episodes, most of the rest of the set can be skipped without losing anything.
The reviewer checked out a copy of this item through the King County Library System