Sambostar, who also provide a song for Naruto, perform the theme song in this film, Hikari no Rock.
My first introduction to Bleach (shamefully) came not to long after I discovered I would be writing a review for this film. I quickly began the series only to realize that there were hundreds, literally, of episodes before I could even get a peek at the first Bleach film, which fan boys have already told me has nothing to do with this film, hence the controversy over calling it Bleach The Movie 2. So, I loved Bleach right as soon as I was about five or six episodes deep and my expectations for the film grew larger and larger after each episode ended. Sadly, for the non-experienced, Bleach 2 is not a very good stand alone, and chances are the names of the characters will be enough to leave your head spinning long before the plot of the film loses you.
Bleach The Movie 2: The Diamond Dust Rebellion begins with Squad Ten watching over a procession which is moving a very powerful seal named “The Ouin” when it is attacked by a mysterious assailant who steals the Ouin. Captain Hitsugaya is injured but abandons his post to track down the assailant who may be someone Hitsugaya knew long ago. When the Soul Society hears about him leaving his post they send The Stealth Squad to retrieve him but nothing is what it seems and soon enough the retrieval command quickly becomes the death sentence for Hitsugaya. Loyalties are tested and when its all over everyone will find themselves face to face with an abomination that could destroy them all.
So as I said before its just really hard to keep track of whose who in the series, the names of the characters, they don’t mess around, and there are so many of them. As a stand alone it’s a rough ride which has a lot of action and a decent story if you know anime but as a stand alone you kind of have to take it as is and maybe watch it two or three times to get the full grasp of it, which I did. As usual the dialogue and story are very dramatic, almost too dramatic, but the film makes up for any lag with action. The story, I found, was a little weak. Maybe I wasn’t getting it entirely but it just seemed to have a few holes that your expected to kind of turn your head to, including one that is supposed to tie the whole of the film together. The animation is of course great and the music is fantastic. You just have to give the film a few chances before making your final decision. For me it was a decent film but not as great as it could have been. I think one of the biggest problems, as is explained twice in the featurettes no less, is that the whole team behind The Diamond Dust Rebellion were shooting for a longer run time and only had 90 minutes to do it all. The consensus amongst the staff in the featurettes is that they did their best. Very true.
Bonus features include behind the scenes featurettes that include The Music, The Artists, The Production, and Writer and Director. Some really cool sketches from the film and trailers in their original language and presentation. Could have used a directors commentary or an even more in-depth look at the film, most of the special features didn’t top the 15 minutes mark and seemed to be segmented. You get a limited edition Movie pamphlet as well which has articles with the voice over actors and features scenes for the film set up like a manga preview. Pretty cool. If your a fan it’s a must own anyway but if your looking to get experienced with Bleach I would suggest heading back to episode one and working your way up from there, it might make this experience all the better. Enjoy.