After a limited sell-out showing in New York City at Japan Cuts 2018 in July, the live action ‘Bleach’ movie will be available for all American fans to view thanks to Netflix. The streaming service will offer ‘Bleach’ starting on September 14. The movie was released in Japan on July 20, with the Japan Cuts premier held on July 23. It was directed by Shinsuke Sato, who previously helmed the TV miniseries adaptation ‘Death Note: New Generation’ and the follow-up movie ‘Death Note: Light Up the New World’.
Sota Fukushi stars as the story’s lead, Ichigo Kurosaki, a high school student that can see and communicate with the dead. He later discovers that he is a Soul Reaper or Death God and must use his abilities to protect both the land of the living and the dead (called the Soul Society) from Hollows, monstrous lost souls that can harm both the living and deceased.
According to Megan Peters of ComicBook.com:
“Bleach may not be the one-to-one adaptation some might have hoped for, but its original take on Kubo’s series still feels authentic. The series’ spirit easily shines through, but Bleach’s big story is a bit much for its runtime. In order to flesh out its leads, the movie is forced to skimp on a few fights, and Bleach’s modest budget also required such conservatism.”
This assessment is on par with the norm. While the ‘Bleach’ movie hasn’t been trashed the way the American version of ‘Death Note’ was, reviews have been very mixed as the movie’s length doesn’t allow it to approach the complexity of the manga and anime.
Both the original manga by Tite Kubo and the anime based on it have proven to be extremely popular in the U.S. and other Western territories thanks to its easily accessible, action-packed storyline. In addition to the usual anime TV and film adaptations, in Japan, ‘Bleach’ was even adapted into five live stage musicals!
Though it isn’t stated specifically, it is most likely that ‘Bleach’ will be in its original Japanese with English subtitles. Considering that it was just released theatrically two months ago, it’s unlikely that there has been enough time to dub it. In 2012, Warner Brothers announced plans to produce an American adaptation of ‘Bleach’ but nothing appears to have come from that.
Are you a fan? Are you excited to be able to see the ‘Bleach’ live action movie?