The final part of the Bount saga, finally it’s all over. Four previous sets took us through the OAP paced story of vampire type characters causing havoc with their doll powers. Many battles from Ichigo and co took place, most ending in stalemates. It was slow, uninteresting and full of inconsistent art and animation. The finale doesn’t really fix any of this and goes out with a jerky sigh of relief. Vampires ruin everything.
The DVD set contains ten episodes, the first five dealing with the battles between Soul Society and the Bounts, with the last five giving us an insight in the leader Kariya’s past before he battles it out with Ichigo. There is a lot of fighting and even some character development, but like the rest of the arc, it is hard to give a damn. The whole saga has been stretched to the point of intolerance, the best bits end up being poorly animated repeats of moves and scenes used in the Soul Society arc. Seeing Quincy bow man Ishida face a tough battle with the potential problem of losing his powers has been done. As has mad scientist Mayuri losing arms and turning to goo. Not forgetting a final battle on the execution hill with the ‘tense’ surprise finish as both fighters strike past each other, with the question being who will fall first. These moments are poor imitations of the core canon material, probably thrown in from a drained team of filler writers pushing to the end.
The Bount arc was almost the same length as the Soul Society arc, but with very few moments worth remembering. It had potential and might have actually been half decent if they made it half the length with double the budget. Watching Ichigo jerk around like he’s been animated in a zoetrope in the final arc climax doesn’t exactly get you in the mood. Kariya was actually an interesting villain, especially as his true plans unfolded in the final episode, but his annoying Bount buddies needed work. In the end, the Bount saga in Bleach was a lazy stretched out attempt to further the manga material away from the anime production and make quick money in the process. I’d have given up if it wasn’t for the new arc hook at the end.
They really know how to keep you spinning.