Adaptations for Japanese properties to live action hasn’t fared well in the past. People like to point out failures such as “Dragon Ball Evolution,” “Ghost in the Shell” or Netflix’s “Death Note” as examples of why live action movies based on popular shows don’t work.
Recently Netflix distributed another one of these movies based on the manga, “Bleach.” As a fan of the series, I can say that the movie “Bleach” is a serviceable adaptation. However, it ultimately fails at capturing the spirit of the source material.
The movie is based off “The Substitute” arc from the manga. Some changes were made to the overall story. Many of the feats and accomplishments of the main character, Ichigo Kurosaki, felt undeserved.
Some of the voice actors from the anime adaptation are the same, such as Johnny Young Botch as Kurosaki. Other characters, like Rukia, had different actors dubbing them. The voice actors do a decent job, but it all feels bland due to what material they are given.
The best praise I can give the movie is the visual effects and action scenes. The “hollows” that appear in the movie look very life like, and their models are super detailed.
The bombastic action, whether it be against the monsters or one-on-one sword fights, feels natural.
Despite some praises, I would not recommend the movie. It felt like a waste of time.
As an adaptation, it’s best to avoid the movie and check out the original manga or the animated series.