Well, this was less accessible than MEMORIES OF NOBODY, but I’m not really going to fault it for that. This is the second movie for a series that’s been running for, what? 13 seasons? I’d feel gypped if I were a long-time viewer and this movie was simplistic enough for anybody to just dive into it. That being said, as was the case with MEMORIES OF NOBODY, there was enough of an emotional thread I could latch onto, even when I felt like I was missing out on a lot of good complexity. The whole theme about excessive individualism being a weakness in itself is actually a surprisingly-applicable one. Something I’ve seen play out in real life a few times, actually.
I was a bit surprised to see Ichigo take on a lesser role here. His presence in it is certainly smaller here than it was in the first movie. And who gets the spotlight, instead? The white-haired badass I called out last time - - Captain Hitsugaya! I wasn’t always able to wade through the greater political intrigue of the Soul Society and all their different divisions, but I could definitely get behind this guy’s conflicted feelings about the big bad. Why exactly were they forced to fight in the first place? I’m still confused about that. What’s that thing that only one Soul Reaper at a time has a right to? Educate me, BLEACH devotes!
The more I watch these shows, the savvier I get, I feel, about the expectations and criticisms of this genre. The climax of this, where they’re ascending that spontaneously-manifested crystal mountain certainly felt like they advancing through levels in a video game. They even had a fight with the end boss! I was half-expecting there to be +XP counters popping up every time they took a bad guy out.
One criticism is the sometimes-confounding leaps in style and practically. Sure, a lot of the weapons might’ve look too cumbersome for anybody to actually wield but, seriously, what was up with the guy with the pink boa? His skeletal dragon even had a matching one!