A Shinigami named Baishin who was sealed by Soul Society long ago is set free on Earth. On a fateful day Ichigo encounters him and has roughly half of his reiatsu drained. Its now up to Ichigo and the Soul Society to finally put a stop to Baishin and his destruction.
One word: Rushed. Seriously, this moved along waay to fast. I felt like it was over before it had properly started.
If I look away from that, this was... well, interesting. I kinda liked the main evil guy, but they didn't give us enough info on him. They also explained things rather poorly, leaving me to guess (alternately read on the Net) what really happened.
I was also mildly surprised, at least, to see Renji with a real gun. I was like "it's Bleach, not some kind of Western action movie!" And how could he fire his gun on a shinigami anyway? Oh, well.
I really liked the
end, where we got to see almost all of the shinigami captains in real-world outfits. That was pretty cool, and a good plus. Thne theme they used at the end wasn't that, though.
As a whole, Bleach is an excellent anime, with excellent characters, good music, a moving plot, and thus you have a constant desire to find out what happens in the next episode. Everything, from the plot to the characters to the battles gets developed within an arc, which is about 25-30 episodes, give or take.
That's where the biggest inherent problem lies with The Sealed Sword Frenzy. What has to be done in this 25-minute OVA is start and develop a plot, introduce and develop a new villain, and have Ichigo fight and defeat said villain, something that usually takes an entire arc in
As a result, the plot has to move quickly in order to get everything accomplished in 25 minutes, and as a result, plot and character development are extremely weak. It also doesn't help that the main villain gets next to no dialogue, but at least his motives are explained.
One can feel that the OVA was made on a strict budget, since the animation quality is at least 2 steps behind the anime series, and the battles extremely watered down, especially the result of Ichigo's first encounter with the villain. The only place where I felt the animators spent time with the art was in executing the villain's special attack in the final battle. And then the plot problem comes back. The problem of having to devote time to explain who the villain is and what his motive is, which makes the battles extremely short and disengaging. And since there is no plot development, the struggle between the two fighting sides isn't gritty and can barely be felt at all.
What exactly is the purpose of this OVA? It wasn't made to be a masterpiece and just uses the Bleach name to promote itself as a reason to watch it. I wouldn't say it's a complete waste of time, but if you choose to skip it, you're not missing much.
For more than half an hour of time at it's disposal, it proved pretty interesting and compact. That feeling was however a little disrupted by the exces Shinigami fit into this time-line, some of them not having any reason to be there in the first place (a good example being Zaraki who chases wild gooses from time to time in the anime). The "antagonist" is portraid rather good, but in practice he lacks most his qualities, "gains" out of nowhere new ones and proves too useless in the end. The atmosphere was however agreable and rather open, and the graphic very good. All in all,
it deserves watching, even if just for the rather well made humouros scenes throught this "short movie".
This short OVA could've been better developed in a movie format, extending the 33 minutes to an hour, maybe; it might've been funner.
The story is interesting, although it is poorly explained, and too rushed. The newly introduced character, Baishin, is kinda interesting although it's not too original. It reminded me multiple times of Zaraki, since he can barely feel the slashes other people do to him. He has some interesting, unexplained techniques, but his story remains somewhat in the shadows (the basics are explained but with very little details). The rest of the characters are developed just as they are in the series, except maybe
in the comical scenes, where Renji is dressed up as a "cop", shooting bullets carelessly.
Art is just as good as the series, with very nice fight scenes and detailed characters and surroundings. Most of the sounds and songs, as well, are taken directly from the series; they're fine.
I must say that this short OVA made me laugh a couple of times (Zaraki's train-chasing was pretty funny), and entertained me overall. If you're already into Bleach, I'd say you should watch this OVA, specially if you're just now finishing the Soul Society arch in the series.