Series 5 and the Bounts have finally entered Soul Society. After many tedious episodes of stalemate fights and nothing much happening, will the new setting for the fight change things up a little? Just a little.
The eight episodes seem to be one big set up for evil Bount Kariya’s rebellion plan, which seems to be a bit pointless when you see his crazy power. He hides out in the roughest area of Soul Society with the goal of recruiting them to help him in his cause of revenge. Not a bad plot in all till you realise it was all to open a door he could have easily opening himself. All those episodes wasted on nothing!
At least the fights are a little better this time and one of them even has a definite victor! The Bounts sure get a lot of fights to show their crazy powers, but it seems their time is coming to an end as they face opponents stronger than them. We have Rukia fighting the crazy green haired Bount which shows tactics and even a bit of thriller style chasing, while we get Kariya facing Ichigo and Byakuya at the same time! Kenpachi vs Ichinose takes the prize for best fight of the volume though thanks to it finally giving us a feeling of progress. It just doesn’t help that most of the time the episodes look incredibly bland with detail used sparsely. What happened to the Bleach of old with buckets of style, blood and cool pouring out of every scene? Even the soundtrack in this arc has taken a large drop with some boring vampire sounding music. Vampire sounding music? Lots of sinister piano type music; not as cool as the upbeat rock/pop soundtrack which rarely pops up in this arc.
Series 5 part 1 offers better fights and some story and plans to go with the actions, which makes for a much better viewing than what the end of series 4 was cooking up. Even if the fights still aren’t really pushing the story far (apart from one) and the Bounts plans make little sense sometimes, the feeling of movement really brings things up a notch. I just hope the Bounts are ready to become extinct in the next volume. We can hope.