Bleach DVD Set Eight is a three disc set that contains 12 episodes. Each disc in this set includes four episodes and bonus features. The episodes on these discs can be watched either with English dialogue or with Japanese dialogue and English subtitles.
It turns out that the first two episodes in this set are “filler” episodes. The first of the filler eps sees Rin Tsubokura being sent to Karakura Town to conduct research, and is accompanied by Hanataro Yamada. When they reach the real world, Yumichika Ayasegawa is assigned to serve as their guide. When Rin tries to find sweets to purchase, they encounter the ghost of a cake maker who wants the Soul Reapers’ help to bake a cake for his mother with his instructions since she never got to taste one of his cakes before he died.
The second filler has Matsumoto and Kon witness a girl named Miyuki fall into a river with her big stuffed animal. To save her from drowning, Matsumoto forces the mod soul out of Kon’s regular body and into Shintaro, the girl’s stuffed animal. “Shintaro” rescues Miyuki, and she takes him home. He learns a little bit about her life and about her dog Shintaro that died. The two end up being attacked by a two-headed Hollow.
The remaining 10 episodes in the set return to canon material from the original manga. An arrancar named Patros and his two subordinates steal the Orb of Distortion and believe they have killed Ulquiorra in the process. Patros no longer wants to take orders from Aizen and wants to use the orb to take control of Los Noches. Patros goes to Urahara’s shop because he believes Urahara knows how to use the orb, and Renji fights Patros’ subordinates. After defeating th subordinates, Renji receives help from Lirin, Corodo and Noba to defeat Patros.
It turns out that Ulquirra’s “death” and the theft of the orb are a ploy by Aizen. After getting the orb back, Aizen creates an arrancar named Wonderweiss Margera.
As Ichigo continues his visored training, a group of arrancar arrive in the real world and attack. When Ichigo senses what’s going on and leaves his training, he encounters Grimmjow and uses his bankai. Unfortunately, he is unable to maintain his hollow mask long enough to defeat Grimmjow, and is ultimately rescued by Rukia.
Orihime, who has been in Soul Society training, is ambushed by Ulquirra as she tries to return to the real world. He demands that she come with him or he will kill all of her friends. After she agrees, he gives her 12 hours to say goodbye to one person and a bracelet that makes her invisible. She visits Ichigo, who is recovering from his injuries; she makes a confession of love and tries to kiss him, but is unable to. When it’s discovered that Orihime has disappeared, Genryusai forbids them to go find her.
Ichigo enlists Urahara’s help in order to go to Hueco Mundo, and Ichigo is accompanied by Chad and Uryu. They end up fighting with a couple of arrancar. At the end of the set, they find themselves in a desert and trying to reach Los Noches.
While I was happy to see that there were only two filler stories on this set, I really thought that the first one came across as rather lame. The second filler was a little better, and it didn’t feel nearly as lame as the first one.
The next canon arc from the manga places quite an emphasis on the arrancar and on Hueco Mundo. The story really starts taking off again after the filler episodes, so a lot happens in those 10 episodes.
It was awesome to see Orihime admit her feelings to Ichigo, even if he was asleep at the time. And so far, I’m feeling really bad for Orihime during this arc. Aizen forces her to restore Grimmjow’s arm to prove her power, and she has also been forsaken by the Soul Society. At least Ichigo hasn’t given up on her!
From what little bit I’ve seen of Hueco Mundo at this point, all I can say is that it’s an… interesting place, for lack of a better term.
When it comes to the DVD set itself, the first disc includes five bonus features. “Production Art” includes 16 pages of line art. “Clean Ending” has a textless version of the ending that appears on all but two episodes in this set.
“Omake” has the four “Radio-Kon Golden” bits that appear at the end of each episode. It should be noted that this bonus feature defaults to English, even if you have the language option set to Japanese; however, you can switch the language back to Japanese with your DVD or Blu-ray player remote.
“Sneak Peek” includes two Bleach trailers and one Naruto Shippuden trailer. “Manga Preview” is four screens promoting Bleach manga and other Shonen Jump manga titles.
The second disc also contains five bonus features. Everything is pretty much the same as on the first disc, except that the “Production Art” has 11 pages, and the omake are the four “Radio-Kon Golden” bits that appear on this disc. The same can be said for disc three, except that “Production Art” only has five pages, while “Omake” includes the four “Radio-Kon Golden” bits that appear on that disc.
If you’re a Bleach fan, then you need to get a hold of this set in order to have the episodes that start the new story arc in you anime home video library.
I wrote this review after watching a copy of Bleach DVD Set Eight that my husband purchased for me as a gift.