So I checked the BLEACH movie, MEMORIES OF NOBODY, over the weekend - - just like I promised. As I’ve never watched an episode of BLEACH before, this is yet another case of me encountering cosplayers before encountering the characters themselves. Now I know what all those kids in black kominoes were fans of. Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised to find that MEMORIES OF NOBODY is accessible even to the novice. I want to stress that because this a model to follow, as opposed to ADVENT CHILDREN, which was utterly inaccessible (and truly boring) for me because I hadn’t played FINAL FANTASY VII.
Maybe I’m just getting more savy when it comes to anime tropes, but I didn’t have any problem grasping what was going in this world of soul reapers. Sure, I was confused at first about a duplicate of Ichigo’s body dropping away from me or the teddy bear going inert when a bean was removed from its mouth… but all of that was explained within a few minutes. I was intrigued, not befuddled. Actually, I’ll complement the writers on this for weaving exposition into the story in a way that wasn’t “top heavy” for the most part. Even when it was, they find ways to make it fun, like the whole whiteboard explanation of the Valley of Screams’ emergence. More importantly, MEMORIES OF NOBODY has a self-contained arc with a strong emotional thrust. I don't know if Ichigo's had other love interests before this (I'm sure he has,) but I was definitely feeling him getting into knots about this Senna girl. You really fall for her just like he is and subsequently feel some bittersweet pangs come the coda scene on the bridge.
Like I said, I didn’t know much about BLEACH before this aside from the fact that some American comics have ripped it off, but there were actually a lot commonalities I could grab onto. Specifically, the Soul Reapers reminded me of the Green Lantern Corps. You've got competing outfits operating in the same realms, each one's got a distinct color scheme and all the individual members have unique variations on the same power/gimmick. Simple. All I needed to know was these were the main characters' comrades.
I actually don’t have any questions about this, but you hardcore BLEACH fans can feel free to ask me what I thought of specific parts. I know that's always novel for seasoned viewers to hear. Anyway, next up is movie #2 - - the DIAMOND DUST REBELLION.