Sato, who has made a career for himself developing anime into live-action movies, very nearly pulls off the tricky tone that made Bleach so special, but does enough for the story at a net-positive success rate regardless. Most people in the Bleach universe can't see anything lurking in the spirit realm -- including the Soul Repears, who travel unnoticed -- and though there aren't many in the movie, some of the goofiest sight-gags emerge from cutting between what Ichigo and the spiritually aware can sense and what the rest of the world cannot. The biggest effects risk -- depicting the huge, fantastical Hollows -- is a CGI triumph that manages to render the battle scenes palpably heart racing, and the filmmakers weren't shy about tossing Ichigo 15 feet across an asphalt road in a bone-crushing way that looks believable.
Bleach isn't without flaws, of course. Not everything translates to live acting (the second assassin, Renji, is kind of lame) or through CG (casting a kindhearted spirit to Soul Society is also lame), and the cut-for-time developments between the characters leaves some of the relationships feeling hollow. Rukia, especially, doesn't get the space to flourish; her internal struggle is kept as pulled back as her ponytail. The lack of exposition between Rukia and Ichigo doesn't develop the same deep rapport found in the source materials, and by the time the high-stakes ending rolls around, when Rukia has to make a decision to save Ichigo, the full range of the emotional impact feels stunted and abrupt. But, with 16 seasons of anime and a long-running manga which wrapped up in 2016, there's a lot more content to mine from, and there's been speculation and early talks of drawing this adaptation out into a trilogy.
Even so, the movie is an attempted success that's garnered tons of favorable reviews from fans, and support from the manga's author Tite Kubo. For Netflix, which has tried this game twice before, it seems like third time's the charm.