My lack of patience made me cancel that Nioh order that was taking a whole month to get me. I was thinking of saving money through my Prime account nabbed me at around 10 dollars but if I really wanted it, I could have just walked to my local Gamestop to pick it up. DMC4: SE has been sustaining me for a bit and I realized at how the PS3 version took 4 gigs on its own. DMC4 was my first PS3 game and I remember it being the only game I had for an entire year and the nostalgia hit me like a ton of bricks but with some more gigs to work with, I can finally practice Guilty Gear.
Anyways, the week already started strong with Onihei’s stellar episode so I’m in great mood for the next few episodes. Looking ahead, we have the conclusion of Tooru’s story in Seiren, Masamune is one episode away from the “final” arc’s start, and Demi-chan is something I still haven’t caught up with but I still have good hopes for more Sensei.
Moving onto the opening for this week, we skip Bleach’s 4 opening since that covers one of the infamous filler arcs in the series. Bleach’s filler arcs are something I thankfully never had to watch but I do hear terrible things about them. I admit to liking one of the openings for the later filler arcs but the Bount Arc is something that never really interested me in the slightest. So on we go to the actual continuation of the Soul Society Arc with the introduction of Arrancars, the advanced forms of hollows. A lot of songs from yui sound similar but coupled with the visuals of urban battle, I can at least say the Arrancar arc is the least boring out of the next few arcs to come.
I completely forgot the Special Edition for DMC4 existed and promptly got it. Now with around 5-6 modes and 4 character modes to mess around with, I think I’ll be good for a bit until all the actually “new new” stuff release/ship to me. It’s exactly because of my completionism that I’m going through every mode with every character that made me late on this one so at least I’m entertained.
I’ll tell you one thing though, Onihei’s episode from last week and this week’s were absolutely fantastic and I’m really looking forward to some competition if any of this week’s other episodes can entertain me as greatly. Moving on to the music, I had a tough time deciding which version of the prolific 3rd ending for Bleach that showcased all 13 of its variations with their Captain and Vice Captain. So give a real quick rundown, I never cared for Squads 1, 2, and 4 were unmemorable while Squad 3 had all the flak going on. Squad 5 was of course interesting because of smug glasses Aizen which I rarely ever associate with him again because he spends so much time in the series without the glasses, and the whole deal with his subordinate never mattered again. 6 had prettyboy Byakuya and cool guy Renji so it was a half and half. 7 never mattered to me because its captain was jobber #1 who pulled out his bankai willy nilly while his lieutenant NEVER mattered. 8 was pretty cool since Shunsui was always the coolest. 9 had Hisagi and I’m enough of a Katsuyuki Konishi fan to overlook Tousen and his betrayal. I never liked Hitsugaya and Rangiku only remained interesting with her parts with Gin. Squad 11 was never not entertaining but it was somewhat bullshit as the series went on. Squad 12 was the weirdo divison, Squad 13 was also pretty uninteresting and I always notice how Jushiro’s shikai release animation was recycled so many times throughout the series.
Critical stuff aside, these were quite the entertaining things to watch back when the entire Soul Society arc gave us a window to the lives of its big players. The little start with the main crew making their way to their destination always helped with the scope of how large the Soul Society as a geographical location piqued the explorer bit in me. A lot of personality went into these and it was the large part of why Bleach was successful and also why it tapered of. A big cast is always fun to work with but finding a way to constantly incorporate them into other ideas leads to its misuse.
The long haul
Considering on re-purchasing Demon’s Souls for posterity while maybe getting Phantom Pain to hold me over for a month before the last Dark Souls 3 DLC comes out. But I just preordered Nioh so none of that is going to matter for a few months. I appreciate that I can finally get into some serious youkai slaying that doesn’t involve me being a wolf.
And speaking of youkai slaying with or without swords, we continue with Bleach’s music spotlight with its 3rd opening. It still focuses on the Soul Society and its final moments were our resident Mr. Perfect Pretty boy Byakuya fights against Ichigo who just got out of the hyperbolic time chamber and got access to his bankai. I don’t lie that seeing these things were cool but the whole shtick of bankais being only accessible in some ridiculous odds to any shinigami in their lifetime and then having most of the cast show off theirs in the following arcs killed off its specialty. But consider this one of the last markers of when Bleach was still widely accepted as being “good”.
Maybe it was in bad timing to buy Dark Souls 3 and then be immediately held back from going onto NG+ because the DLC comes out in March. My own reasoning being that I’m not particularly feeling to replay the entire game + DLC just to see which weapon or spell was cool to get it per boss soul I will inevitably get in the DLC. Farming for these covenant items are a complete bitch too.
But aside from that, it’s been a great ride to compliment this highly entertaining season. Moving on to our other spotlight, we continue with Bleach’s opening/ending feature with mostly reminiscence of the old arc. Not much else to go on from here other than reiterate how exciting the Soul Society arc was to encompass both an intrusion into the world, a short scale civil war, and a murder mystery.
Rolling rolling rolling
I’ve been so content with this season that I forgot to mention all the smaller things, which in retrospect is a lot less relevant than actually talking about anime on an anime site, that I’ve been doing in the meantime. I got back into Pokemon a few weeks ago where I finished Pokemon Sun’s main “story” and decided to double-back a generation to clean up loose ends with Gen 6 with Pokemon X. I’ve had it for around two years and finally got a chance to play it and damn, did its controls and graphics take a while to get used to. I guess I expected the same fluidity in movement like Sun/Moon but I can really appreciate how much Sun/Moon advanced the series in a technical aspect. As if that didn’t dominate my free time, I just bought Dark Souls 3 and have been playing it in near 6 hour increments.
Don’t send help, I’m loving this
Anyways, we have the start to Bleach’s unrivaled era, the Soul Society Arc. Our ragtag team of friends break into the relatively new environment filled with new characters and nuances to save Rukia from her judgment. Not only did this clearly showcase an “Us vs. Them” conflict between the protagonists and the Soul Society’s higher ups, it also led to a semi-civil war between its own members that I always found to be more entertaining than what would inevitably follow in a weekly shounen series. So much enough that I feel like I didn’t give this arc that much respect and it’s something I’m seriously considering to rewatch. While the opening isn’t as stylish, which does come later, it definitely sets the stage for one of the most memorable arcs in shounen history.
It’s tough to describe this feeling of anticipation I hadn’t felt in a long while for new weekly anime releases. Sure I felt something similar when Jojo was airing but there’s a difference between watching something I already know what’s going to happen in the adaptation and watching something completely blind. In my case, around half of these series have manga source materials which I can go look up and get caught up with. Masamune-kun and Demi-chan stand in these regards but both are relatively new so there’s not much to completely get ahead of. The former in particular since it seems that we’ll be getting a lot of the manga’s material in the adaptation. That leaves Seiren and Onihei, with the former being a completely anime original work while the latter is a TV Drama I probably won’t try to even find.
Anyways, we continue with Bleach’s 1st ending which I admittedly didn’t have too many chances to listen to because [adultswim] loves their openings but rarely lets the T.V versions of the endings play out, and if anything, it’s always just a credits slideshow instead of the proper ED sequences.
So I had Bloodborne in mind for the next music spotlights since I FINALLY had a chance to play it and Dark Souls 3 will soon follow. Then I remembered that this technically still is an anime site and I was holding this back for a long while because I wanted to time it with the series’ end. Obviously I miss that end and honestly, when they said it was “in its final arcs” way back when, I expected a few more months but that turned out to be a few more years. Anyways, I think it’s the best time for this since Bleach, along with a lot of other long running shounen series, have a great repertoire of opening and endings themes.
And arguably, the first opening is one of the best. I distinctly remember encountering Bleach on [adultswim] when it aired in its english dub and to be honest, the only former Big 3 anime series that I watched before Toonami was actually One Piece while Naruto and Bleach never really got to me until I watched in the states. Bleach’s intro was interesting to say the least and my fondest memories of it was during the time the characters I posted above were relevant before every spread had Soul Society, Arrancar, and Quincies predominantly taking up the pictures. Those were much simpler times when it was just a group of oddities instead of large groups of characters that were pretty much obligated to be showcased for a majority of the time.