This could be the most otherworldly thing to cross over from the Soul Society since Bleach went live-action.
So what if the most that Ichigo and the other Soul Reapers unleash here is Shikai. If you ever wondered how Ichigo could leap to the top of a bus or Renji unleashes the power of Zabimaru, watching how the action happened in Warner Bros. Japan’s newly released fight scene videos might blow your mind.
You might recognize the first clip as part of the scene where Renji confronts Ichigo with the intent to kill him for supposedly stealing Rukia’s powers. Those are not stunt doubles flying on ropes and exchanging sword blows. The actors, including Sōuta Fukushi (Ichigo Kurosaki) and Taichi Saotome (Renji Abarai) actually performed almost all of the film’s stunts themselves.
Just watch Fukushi pull off an aerial using only the tip of his zanpakutō for balance. Sometimes that’s what it takes to dodge a Soul Reaper who clearly wants to off you. At least Ichigo has a gym mat to land on when Renji’s blade takes him down. Same for Renji when Ichigo gets revenge.
By the way, that is an actual flaming car in the background.
Renji seems to be slashing at the air with something invisible because the scarier form of Zabimaru has been added digitally. Even on a set with cars on fire, you don’t exactly want someone waving around an actual blade with teeth.
Uryu’s bow and arrow in the next clip, where the Soul-Reaper-hating Quincy finds himself teaming up with Ichigo to destroy the monstrous Hollow (otherwise known as Grand Fisher) are also digitally enhanced. The bow that Ryō Yoshizawa wields is green so it can be drawn over digitally to look like glowing steel, and the blue flash of an arrow you see in the movie is also a paranormal CGI effect.
Grand Fisher had to be conjured by CGI, as shown in the third clip where Ichigo fights the creature, because you don’t exactly find masked ghost beasts with tentacles running around on the street. What might surprise you is that something else which is mostly CGI is the city this thing rampages through as it chases Ichigo to eat his soul. Hollows have a craving for delicious human souls.
Bleach is now streaming on Netflix, and the DVD and Blu-Ray will be released on Dec. 8. The premium edition will include these scenes and more in a bonus 200 minutes of “Making of CG” footage.