Bleach: Hell Verse
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|Bleach: The Hell Verse|
Japanese theatrical poster
|Directed by||Noriyuki Abe|
|Written by||Natsuko Takahashi
Tite Kubo (original manga)
|Music by||Shiro Sagisu|
|Editing by||Junichi Uematsu|
Bandai Co., Ltd.
|Distributed by||Toho (Japan)
Viz Media (North America)
|Running time||95 minutes|
Bleach: Hell Verse (劇場版BLEACH 地獄篇 Burīchi Jigoku-Hen?) is the fourth animated film adaptation of the anime and manga series Bleach. It was directed by Noriyuki Abe. The film's theme song is "Save the One, Save the All", performed by T.M.Revolution and its screenplay was written by Natsuko Takahashi and Ookubo Masahiro, with Tite Kubo, author of the manga, overseeing the production. The film was released in Japanese theatres on December 4, 2010 and in the United States dubbed in November. A prologue for the film, titled Theatre Opening Commemoration! Hell Chapter: Prologue, was included in season 14 of the animation series and included in the regular TV Tokyo schedule, which aired on November 30, 2010. A promotional manga chapter, titled Imaginary Number 01: The Unforgivens, was published showing Shuren confronting Szayel Aporro Granz and Aaroniero Arruruerie in Hell. Additionally, a promotional information book called Bleach: Official Invitation Book The Hell Verse was also released to commemorate the release of Bleach: Hell Verse. The DVD was released on August 25, 2011 in Japan. The English dub was released on DVD and Blu-ray on December 4, 2012 in the United States and on February 24, 2013 in the United Kingdom.
The movie opens with a recap of Ichigo Kurosaki's final battle with Ulquiorra in Hueco Mundo, which Ichigo wins after being forced to transform into an incredibly powerful and completely uncontrollable Hollow. Some time later (i.e. after the completion of the Arrancar Downfall Arc (which also includes the war in Hueco Mundo, The Fake Karakura Town Arc, and The Decision Arc)); Ichigo is living peacefully in the real world when Rukia Kuchiki and Renji Abarai arrive, but refuse to inform Ichigo of the reason for their visit. Shortly after this, Ichigo's school is attacked by a set of powerful, mask-wearing spirits called the Unforgiven (Togabito) (Sinners in the English dub). When one of the Unforgiven has his mask broken it is revealed that they have escaped from Hell: breaking the mask triggers the appearance of one of the guardians of Hell, a Kushanāda, who then impales the unmasked Unforgiven and drags him back to Hell.
However, the battle at the school turns out to be a ruse; while Ichigo and his friends are engaged in battle, Ichigo's two sisters are attacked by Shuren, the leader of the Unforgiven. Ichigo manages to return in time to attack Shuren, but is unable to defeat him. An Unforgiven named Kokutō rescues Karin Kurosaki, but Shuren manages to depart with Ichigo's younger sister, Yuzu Kurosaki. Kokutō offers to assist Ichigo by showing him the route into Hell, and Rukia, Renji, and Uryū Ishida decide to join the quest. During the journey through the upper levels of Hell, the group is attacked by Kushanāda, and during the battle Ichigo's Hollow mask begins to spontaneously manifest. Kokutō warns him to avoid using his mask lest he lose control and hollowfy entirely. It is also revealed that spirits killed in Hell become Unforgiven themselves, and that the Kushanāda torture Unforgiven for their sins by catching and consuming them; consumed spirits are eventually reborn at a lower level of Hell, after which they are again caught and consumed by the Kushanāda in a cycle which continues until the spirit is completely crushed and their remains turn to dust.
The group then catches up to Shuren's allies and engage in battle while Ichigo and Kokutō move on and locate Shuren's lair, where Yuzu is locked in a cage. Shuren reveals that he wants Ichigo to use his Hollow powers to destroy the Gates of Hell in the belief that this will free the Unforgiven from Hell. Once Shuren and the other Unforgiven are defeated, Kokutō betrays and attacks Ichigo, revealing he was the one behind Yuzu's kidnapping, as he also wishes to use Ichigo's power, believing that it can be used to break the invisible chains which tie him to Hell. Kokutō then taunts Ichigo by revealing that Yuzu has become an Unforgiven, after which he cuts down Rukia, Ishida, and Renji. An enraged Ichigo transforms into his Hollow form and blasts Kokutō with his Cero, destroying most of the chains binding him to Hell and burning through the gates of Hell. Renji breaks Ichigo's Hollow mask and activates a kido that teleports Ichigo and Yuzu out of Hell, leaving himself, Rukia, and Ishida trapped in Hell.
After Orihime fails to heal Yuzu, Ichigo is put under surveillance by Soul Society to prevent him from returning to Hell, as the damage caused by the battle has spilled into the real world. However, when Yuzu spontaneously recovers, Ichigo decides to return to Hell and rescue his friends. Returning to Shuren's lair, he finds Kokutō, who reveals that Rukia has turned into an Unforgiven while Renji and Ishida are rotting away. Ichigo fights Kokutō and attempts to resist transforming into his Hollow form, which attracts the attention of the Kushanāda. The Kushanāda grant him the power to defeat and seal Kokutō away in the depths of hell, as well as the ability to free his friends from the Unforgiven chains. The group then flees Hell and emerge back in the real world as the gates repair themselves and vanish.
- Shuren (朱蓮(シュレン)?)
- Voiced by: Tōru Furuya (Japanese), Ben Diskin (English)
- The leader of the Unforgiven (minus Kokuto), he set up Yuzu's kidnapping in order to get Ichigo into Hell so he can use his Hollow powers to tear the Gates of Hell open so he can take over the World of the Living. He is defeated by Ichigo. Shuren appears in the PSP video game Bleach: Heat the Soul 7 as a downloadable content playable character.
- Kokutō (黒刀(コクトー)?)
- Voiced by: Kazuya Nakai (Japanese), Travis Willingham (English)
- An Unforgiven who claims to have been damned for avenging the death of his sister and the main antagonist of the film, and was revived by Hollow Ichigo's fight with Ulquiorra Schiffer. He initially poses as an ally, saving Karin Kurosaki, but betrays Ichigo by killing Yuzu. He intends to use Ichigo's powerful Cero to cut the chains binding him to Hell to escape, but is sealed by Ichigo's Skullclad form. Kokuto appears in the PS3 video game Bleach: Soul Resurrección as a normal playable character.
- Gunjō (群青(グンジョウ)?)
- Voiced by: Masaki Aizawa (Japanese), Taylor Henry (English)
- An Unforgiven with regenerating tentacles for arms; a few lay hidden beneath the bandages covering the upper part of his face. He is killed by Rukia and then by Kokuto.
- Garogai (我緑涯(ガロガイ)?)
- Voiced by: Keikō Sakai (Japanese), Jamie Simone (English)
- A muscular, dim-witted Unforgiven who serves Shuren. He is able to detach his arm in a similar fashion to a grappling hook, using it as his primary weapon. He is killed by Renji and then by Kokuto.
- Taikon (太金(タイコン)?)
- Voiced by: Kōzō Shioya (Japanese), Joe Ochman (English)
- An obese Unforgiven that can create mouths on his body and absorb enemies' attacks. Taikon talks in a rather effiminate way, even sending attacks out in the forms of kisses. He is killed by Uryu and then by Kokuto.
- Murakumo (紫雲(ムラクモ)?)
- Voiced by: Binbin Takaoka (Japanese), Steve Kramer (English)
- An Unforgiven that uses a triple-pronged glaive whilst attacking. His mask was shattered by Uryu and was killed by Kushanāda's blade
- "December's Bleach: Jigoku-Hen Film Overseen by Kubo". Anime News Network. 2010-07-12. Retrieved 2011-09-03.
- Bleach: Hell Verse (film) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Bleach: Hell Verse at the Internet Movie Database