Directed By: Noriyuki Abe
Written By: Masashi Sogo and Tite Kubo
Music By: Shiro Sagisu
Cinematography: Toshiyuki Fukushima 7
Distributed By: Toho (Japan), Viz Media (North America)
Release Date: December 16th 2006
Run Time: 96 minutes
Well it certainly has been awhile since I last looked at something from the Bleach series. Well to be exact its been nearly 2 years since I covered the first 20 episodes of its first season with a Lets look at. Well its time to return to Tite Kubo series with its first movie titled Memories of Nobody.
Taking place after the Soul Society arc, Memories of Nobody kicks off with Ichigo and Rukia saving a pure soul from a hollow. Shortly after this (and some cringeworthy comedy involving Ichigo and some paramedics) the movie remembers that there’s a plot and we’re introduced to Nobodies after they mysteriously appeared in Karakura Town.
These Nobodies (or Blanks as there called in the Japanese versions) are white ghost like beings which are the results of a spirit not reaching the Soul Society. Now they endlessly search for anything related to the former lives and for some reason are prone to attack, seamlessly at random.
At the start the only clue the Shinigamis have on what’s going on it is that a mysterious group are somehow controlling these things and searching for the Memory Rosary. Besides that there’s also the matter of the new character Senna, a carefree, upbeat girl who somehow has the power to turn into a shinigami
Something that surprised me about the Memories of Nobody is how much I enjoyed the movie. The reason for this is because since its tied to a (at the time) ongoing series I though it would be the usual higher production value show with disposable characters and villains that I would find forgettable, think the Disgaea anime.
A scene that sticks out to me in the movie was when Ichigo and Senna found the pure spirit of a little kid. While Ichigo would usually just send them to the Soul Society without a worry, Senna instead decided that she would help the kid find his dad who died at the same time. That scene sticks out to me because it showed off Senna so well. She’s a carefree free spirit sure, but she always tries to help out whoever needs it.
The worst thing about Memories of Nobody by far is the forgettable villains. They’re all members of a former clan in the Soul Society who were exiled because of some reason that’s never explained.
They call themselves “Dark Ones” which is a generic name in and of itself and due to being exiled, they now want to destroy both the Soul Society and the Human World by using a Nobody and Memory Rosary bomb. Why they want to destroy the Human world too is beyond me but they basically have the moral compass of a Saturday morning cartoon villain. There also made because of how boring they are. They all dress the same and they all have no real personality or personal goals. A least their fight scenes with the captains are awesome.
Speaking of the fight scenes, the extra production values really do them wonders. Every fight scene in the movie is a feast for the eyes, especially the ones involving the captains. Fans are going to love watching the Bleach captains going to work against the bad guys, as each captain pulls out their own bankais and weapons. Or in the case of Kenpachi its hard not to smile watching him fight.
I quickly want to bring up the new character Senna and Ichigo again because when the movie started, Ichigo really didn’t like her. Shes loud, always getting distracted and she is more interested in riding the ferris wheel, then helping Ichigo. However as time goes on Ichigo started to grow more attached to Senna as they spend time and we learn why the villains are after her Ichigo is the only one that stands by her.
The reason why the villains are after her is because SPOILER ALERT Senna is the Memory Rosary that both sides are after. What this is means is that Senna is mostly just a collection of other people’s memories but underneath all that, Ichigo recognised that like everyone else she feels happiness, pain and more. Because of this he is willing to defend her even from the Soul Society who only want to lock her up so no-one can get to her.
The Memory Rosary and the Blanks are also themselves interesting because until the movie came out, we always just assumed that the souls always made it to the Soul Society. The idea of a soul losing its way to the Soul Society and eventually losing what they are and becoming a Blank is a level of sadness and depth that I didn’t expect from a tie-in movie of all things.
It’s because of this and how much I liked Senna as a character, that I was annoyed when the movie tries to pulled a Pokemon the First Movie and make it so the characters forget everything. The reason the movie gives is because you can’y remember the memories of a Nobody. Thankfully though it’s revealed during the credits that Ichigo remembered her.
Speaking of the ending, some viewers will be annoyed that nothing from the movie every really cares over to the main series. The movie is basically just filler but as far as filler goes, its pretty awesome. That being said its a shame that the movie is never really brought up again.
Animation wise Bleach: Memories of Nobody looks great with awesome visuals, especially during the already mentioned boss fights. While the movie has some nice songs, there are some boring ones too.
So that’s my review of Bleach: Memories of Nobody and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the movie. Sure the movie had some cringeworthy attempts of comedy and the pace dragged a bit early on but I really liked Senna as a character. On top of that the movies fight scenes were awesome and they’re a treat for fans of the series. That being said I can only really recommend Bleach: Memories of Nobody to fans because the film isn’t very newcomer friendly.
Anyway that’s my review of Bleach: Memories of Nobody and remember to come back next time when I’ll be reviewing the quite frankly insane show known as FLCL.