Bleach is a Japanese anime series based on a Japanese action comic or shonen manga of the same name. Manga is the Japanese word for comic; it's the generic term used in English speaking countries for graphic novels and comics that were originally published in Japan. Shonen Manga literally means manga for boys and tends to include action packed super hero or science fiction manga. Shonen Jump is the best selling shonen manga publication in Japan; Bleach is a successful Japanese anime series that was adapted from these comics.
Bleach was written and illustrated by Tite Kubo and has been serialized since 2001. Bleach is about the adventures of Ichigo Kurosaki who has the powers of a Soul Reaper. A Soul Reaper in Japan is like the Grim Reaper here in the United States. Now that he is a Soul Reaper, he has to guard humans and guide their souls to the afterlife.
Soul Reapers also fight and slay Hollows. Hollows are born from human souls that don't cross over into the afterlife. They stay in the human world and devour souls with their super natural powers. Arrancars are Hollows with the powers of Soul Reapers.
Bleach — The Arrancar contains four anime episodes: numbers 110, 111, 112 and 113. The anime series has a total of 122 episodes so far. During these four episodes, Ichigo Kurosaki is a fifteen year old junior who goes back to high school. He is recognized as a substitute Soul Reaper by the Soul Society. Ichigo meets a new transfer student named Shinji Hirako who seems to know too much about him. There's lots of typical teen happenings like boy girl interactions and other things that go on in your average high schooler's day plus the added fun of powerful Japanese mystical characters.
The four episodes included on The Arrancar's single DVD are 110, "Reopening of the Substitute Business! The Terrifying Transfer Student;" 111, "Shock! The Father's True Identity;" 112, The Commencement of War, Visoreds and the Arrancars;" and 113, "Prelude to the Apocalypse, The Arrancar's Offensive." These four episodes are the first four episodes in season six which were shown in January 2007. Total running time is 100 minutes; each episode is approximately twenty five minutes long. They are original, uncut episodes. Extras included are production art, manga preview, clean ending and a sneak peek.
If you're a teen or a fan of Japanese anime or shonen manga, you'll really enjoy Bleach — The Arrancar. The characters are typically teenage, and there's lots of action and science fiction happenings to keep the episodes interesting. My seventeen year old daughter is a huge Bleach fan and, of course, really loved this DVD. As a parent, it reminded me of Pokemon for teenagers.