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Bleach follows the story of Ichigo Kurosaki, a teenage boy who can see ghosts.

Overview

BLEACH (2004)
BLEACH (2004)

Bleach is an anime adaptation of the Bleach manga series written by Tite Kubo. It is produced by TV Tokyo, Dentsu, and Studio Pierrot, started airing in Japan in October 2004. The English dub is far behind with Season 7 being the latest DVD release and episode 188 being the latest to air on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. Bleach also has 4 feature length movies that have original storylines done by Tite Kubo and the same director as the TV series. Only two have been dubbed so far: Memories of Nobody (2006) and Diamond Dust Rebellion (2007). The other two, Fade to Black, I Call Your Name (2008) and The Hell Chapter (2010) have yet to be done but have been out in Japan. On top of the massive anime and manga phenomenon Bleach has become, there have also been a number of musicals, trading card games, light novels, and video games to please the franchise’s ever-growing fan base.

On June 8th 2010, Crunchyroll began simulcasting the series starting with the latest episode at the time, episode #274. Crunchyroll also began adding previous episodes to their online catalog.

Plot

Ichigo Kurosaki is a 15 year old with the ability to see and talk to spirits. One day a Soul Reaper (also known as a Death God, Death Dealer, or Shinigami), Rukia Kuchiki, shows up. Her search for a Hollow drawing her to Karakura Town. Rukia’s fight with the Hollow in question turns ugly and Ichigo jumps in to help her. Rukia gives Ichigo the power of a Substitute Soul Reaper to defeat the creature. From then on Rukia trains Ichigo in her stead. However, some of Ichigo’s friends have latent powers as well. Together they use their powers to protect wayward spirits and those they care for.

Characters

Main Cast

Ichigo Kurosaki has a disposition to not care too much. He goes day to day acting like seeing annoying spirits is normal. His chance encounter with Rukia turns his world upside down and inside out when he gains the mysterious powers of a Soul Reaper and finds out there are other worlds besides his own. Now he must handle both school and protecting spirits. His weapon is a giant sword (Zanpakutou) similar to Cloud’s from Final Fantasy VII.
Rukia Kuchiki is a Soul Reaper from the Soul Society. Despite her appearance she is actually well over 100 years old. She lost her Soul Reaper powers when Ichigo helped her so now she must wait in the Human world to regain them. In the meantime, she trains Ichigo to fight Hollows. She also starts attending his school and sleeps in his closet. Her weapon is a sword zanpakuto as well.
Orihime Inoue is a long-time friend of Ichigo’s. She is an orphan. After her brother’s death she became more spiritually aware and soon undergoes training of her own to develop her powers. She’s quite the ditz but she is always prepared to help a friend in need and hates seeing people get hurt. Her weapon is a pair of hair clips.
Yasutora “Chad” Sado is another of Ichigo’s friends from school. He is originally from Mexico and very tall and muscular. He was unaware of his powers until he unknowingly protected Ichigo’s sister, Karin, from a Hollow. He is also very respectful and dutiful. His weapon is a transformed armored right arm.
Uryū Ishida is a Quincy. He is one of the last of the race and Quincy’s are hated enemies of Soul Reapers. While starting off as a rival to Ichigo he gradually becomes a valuable ally. He is very prideful. His weapon is a bow and arrow.

Supporting Characters

Kisuke Urahara is the former Captain of Squad 12 and founder/head of Research and Development. He currently runs a shop in the World of the Living that secretly deals in Soul Reaper gear. He is very powerful and bright but has an odd sense of humor and tends to hide details from time to time. His help has been vital to Ichigo and his friends.
Yoruichi Shihouin is the former Captain of Squad 2 and Commander of the Executive Militia (Stealth Force) of the Onmitsukidō. She is a member of the Shihouin Family and holds a number of nicknames and titles. She has the ability to turn into a cat and she spends a lot of time in that form. Hence, she is often called a “he” from her voice. Like Kisuke she helps train Ichigo, Chad, Uryū, and Orihime.
Ganju Shiba is Kuukaku’s brother and member of the Shiba Clan. He’s a lot like Ichigo in hotheadedness and has a few talents but he’s not a Soul Reaper so he is outmatched while aiding Ichigo in saving Rukia. However, he holds a grudge against Rukia.
Kuukaku Shiba is Ganju’s sister and head of the Shiba Clan. Don’t let her laid back attitude and huge boobs fool you as she has some special talents for making stuff go “boom” and giving orders. She also holds a grudge against Rukia.
Neliel Tu Oderschvank, "Nel", is a former member of the Espada at Number 3 in power. After being attacked for her title, her Hollow mask was damaged. This caused her to not only change into a small child, but she lost all her memories. Two of her allies, Dondochakka and Pesche, were able to take her into hiding among the vast deserts of Hueco Mundo. It was in her child form that she first met Ichigo, but transformed back to the adult body to assist him in battle.

The 13 Court Guard Squads

The 13 Court Guard Squads, also known as the Gotei 13. Are the law and military leaders of the Shinigami in the Soul Society. They are made up of thirteen different divisions that are responsible areas of the Soul Society, much in the same way of a military. They range from leadership, law enforcement, research, medicine, and military force. They are each led by a Captain and a Lieutenant. To become a captain one much have extraordinary skill to be selected, or defeat a squad's original captain. The lieutenant is selected by the captain. The squads are filled with Shinigami who excel in the fields that are best suited. This is decided by the outcome of the training at the Shinigami Academy.

Vizard

The Vizard are a group of rogue Shinigami who obtained the powers similar to the Hollow. Each member were at one time of captain or lieutenant rank in the Gotei 13. That was until a mysterious infliction spread among those present that changed them all into Hollows. They are led by Shinji Hirako, and they approached Ichigo to join them so he could learn to control the Hollow within him. With these masks, they can awaken an even greater power that the Shinigami through a transformation called Hollowfication. Through which they can take on their Hollow forms and still have control.

Villains

Sousuke Aizen was at one time the captain of Firth Squad of the Gotei 13 that all admired. He faked his own death and manipulated the Soul Society as part of his master plan to obtain the Hogyoku
(Orb of Distortion) from inside the false body of Rukia Kuichiki. Once he had it, he left the Soul Society with Captains Gin Ichimaru and Kaname Tousen. Once in the realm of the Hollows, he used the Hogyoku in his experiments on Hollows to create his own personal army to rival the Shinigami's power, the Arrancar.
The Espada are the highest ranking Arrancar Hollows under the command of Aizen. Each were powerful Hollows that roamed the realm of Hueco Mundo. As part of his experiment into the Hygoku, Aizen created a process in which the Hollow could remove their mask and take on a human form with a zanpakutou. Though they have all the normal Hollow powers and increased strength, when they unleash their zanpakuto, it causes them to transform back into a form similar to their original Hollow shape, but vastly more powerful.
The Xcution are a group of humans with unique powers that are similar to Chad's. Each member has a unique Fullbring power. They appeared before Ichigo after he lost his powers to his final fight with Aizen with the promise to help him regain his powers, but this was just a plow to cultivate his strength for their own. They are led by Ginjo Kugo who helped train Ichigo in the use of Fullbring and Shukuro Tsukishima used his powers of manipulating memories to turn all of Ichigo's friends and family against him.

Story Arcs

Agent of the Shinigami Arc (1-20)

Also known by its English adaptation title, "The Substitute" arc, the first Bleach story arc is twenty episodes in length and covers manga chapters 1 through 70. Ichigo Kurosaki is a teenager with ability to see spirits. This talent allows him to spot the Shinigami Rukia Kuchiki. When Rukia is injured by a Hollow that attacks Ichigo's home, Ichigo is forced to temporarily take her Shinigami powers to defeat the Hollow. The next day, Rukia shows up at Ichigo's school as a normal human. She tells him that she has lost all of her powers, rather than merely the fraction she intended to give him, and cannot carry out her duties. Ichigo must take her place as Karakura Town's Shinigami while she recovers, guiding souls to the afterlife and defending people from attacking Hollows.

Ichigo's spiritual power as a Shinigami is surprisingly large, attracting hungry Hollows and even affecting nearby humans by awakening any spiritual powers they possess. His powers also attract an enemy of another type: Uryuu Ishida, one of the few remaining Quincy, a race of spiritually-empowered humans who were butchered by the Shinigami long ago. In order to prove the Quincy are better than Shinigami, he challenges Ichigo to a Hollow hunting contest. The bait Uryuu uses to start the contest is far more effective than intended, summoning legions of Hollows. During this contest, Yasutora Sado and Orihime Inoue, two of Ichigo's friends, have their own spiritual abilities awakened when they are assaulted by Hollows. Uryuu and Ichigo eventually ally to drive off the Hollows.

As the remainder of the school year passes, Ichigo, Rukia, Chad, Orihime, and Uryuu become close friends. Rukia begins to grow comfortable with life in the living world but realizes that she needs to leave. Having already spent too much time in the living world without permission, she has become a wanted criminal. Her superiors in Soul Society send two elite Shinigami, Renji Abarai and Byakuya Kuchiki, to arrest her. Ichigo tries to stop the arrest, but his efforts are in vain. Not only is he defeated, but Byakuya strips him of the Shinigami powers Rukia had given him. Rukia is taken to Soul Society, where she is put on death row.

Kisuke Urahara, a mysterious shopkeeper and ex-Soul Society resident, approaches Ichigo with a way to recover his powers and save Rukia: Ichigo must die, and then find the Shinigami powers hidden within his own soul before he becomes a Hollow. Ichigo narrowly succeeds in this endeavor, but emerges from the training stronger than he ever was before. Ichigo, Chad, Orihime, and Uryuu then set off for Soul Society, led by one of Urahara's friends, a talking cat named Yoruichi.

Soul Society Arc (21-63)

When Ichigo and the others enter the Soul Society they try walking right up to the front gate. Instead of entering Ichigo ends up fighting the giant guardian Jidanbo. Upon winning passage through the gate Captain Gin Ichimaru forcefully removes Ichigo. The team finds other (flashier) means to enter the Seireitei thanks to Ganju and Kuukaku Shiba and their Flower Crane Cannon. They crash through the barrier of the Seireitei and get separated. With the 13 Court Guard Squads (Gotei 13) now on alert, Ichigo and the others must sneak around to find Rukia. Many battles are fought, new powers are found, friends are made, and a more sinister plot lurks. Can Ichigo, Orihime, Chad, Uryū, Ganju, and Yoruichi save Rukia in time?

Bount Arc (Filler 64-109)

The Arrancar Arc (110-143)

The Hueco Mundo Arc (144-167, 190-203)

The New Captain Shusuke Amagai Arc (Filler 168-189)

Turn Back The Pendulum Arc (206-212)

Fake Karakura Town Part 1 (215-226)

Zanpakutou Unknown Tales Arc (Filler 230-255)

Beast Sword Arc (Filler 256-265)

Fake Karakura Town Part 2 (266-286, 288-297, 300-303, 306-310)

Gotei 13 Invading Army Arc (317-342)

The Lost Shinigami Substitute Arc (343-366)

Theme Music

Opening Themes

#TitlePerformerEpisodes
OP01"*~Asterisk"Orange Range1-25
OP02"D-tecnolife"UVERworld26-51
OP03"Ichirin no Hana"High and Mighty Color52-74
OP04"Tonight, Tonight, Tonight"Beat Crusaders75-97
OP05"Rolling star"YUI98-120
OP06"ALONES"Aqua Timez121-143
OP07"After Dark"Asian Kung-Fu Generation144-167
OP08"CHU-BURA"Kelun168-189
OP09"Velonica"Aqua Timez190-214
OP10"Shōjo S"Scandal215-242
OP11"Anima Rossa" (アニマロッサ)Porno Graffitti243-265
OP12"chAngE"miwa266-291
OP13"Ranbu no Melody" (乱舞のメロディ Melody of the Wild Dance)SID292-316
OP14"BLUE"ViViD317-342
OP15"HARUKAZE"SCANDAL343-

Ending Themes

#TitlePerformerEpisodes
ED01"Life is Like a Boat"Rie Fu1-13
ED02"Thank You!!"HOME MADE KAZOKU14-25
ED03"Houkiboshi (ほうき星; Comet)"Younha26-38
ED04"happypeople"Skoop on Somebody39-51
ED05"Life"YUI52-63
ED06"My Pace"SunSet Swish64-74
ED07"Hanabi"Ikimono-gakari75-86
ED08"MOVIN!!"Takacha87-97
ED09"Baby It's You"JUNE98-109
ED10"Sakura Biyori"Mai Hoshimura110-120
ED11"Tsumasaki (爪先; Tiptoe)"Ore Ska Band121-131
ED12"Daidai (橙; Bitter Orange)"chatmonchy132-143
ED13"Tane o Maku Hibi (種をまく日々)"Atari Kousuke144-154
ED14"Kansha (感謝; Gratitude)"RSP a.k.a Real Street Project155-167
ED15"Orange (オレンジ)"Lil'B a.k.a MIE&AILA168-179
ED16"Gallop (ギャロップ)"pe'zmoku180-189
ED17"Hitohira no Hanabira (ヒトヒラのハナビラ)"Stereo Pony190-201
ED18"Sky Chord ~Otona ni Naru Kimi he~"Tsuji Shion202-214
ED19"Kimi o Mamotte, Kimi o Aishite"Sambomaster215-229
ED20"Mad Surfer"Kenichi Asai230-242
ED21"Sakurabito (さくらびと)"SunSet Swish243-255
ED22"Tabidatsu Kimi e (旅立つキミへ; On a Journey to You)"RSP256-265
ED23"Stay Beautiful"DIGGY-MO'266-278
ED24"Echoes"universe279-291
ED25"Last Moment"SPYAIR292-303
ED26"Song for..."ROOKiEZ is PUNK’D304-316
ED27"Aoi Tori (アオイトリ; Blue Bird)"fumika317-329
ED28"Haruka Kanata"UNLIMITS330-342
ED29"Re:pray"Aimer343-354
ED30"MASK"Aqua Timez355-366

Merchandise

DVD Releases

JPN Releases

VolumeSeasonEpisodesDiscsRelease Date

US English Releases

VolumeTitleEpisodesDiscsRelease Date

US English Box Sets

SeasonTitleEpisodesDiscsRelease Date

Notes

Terminology

Kidō are spells or incantations Soul Reapers to either bind (Bakudō), destroy (Hadō), or heal. The spells are numbered from 1-99 and the higher the number the more powerful the spell. The strength of a kidō can also vary based on the strength of the Soul Reaper casting them. Some Soul Reapers are skilled at their use while others have no knack.

Shunpo, or flash step, is the Soul Reaper’s ability to move at super speed. It is good for offense and defense. However, this is a high level technique that requires a lot of spirit energy so generally only a Lieutenant or Captain can fully make use of the flash step. Even then, sometimes the number of times it can be used is limited.

Shikai is the first stage of zanpakutou release. Usually a Soul Reaper returns his/her zanpakutou to its original state so it can be sheathed but Ichigo’s Zangetsu stays released. A short chant goes along with the release that includes the zanpakutou’s name. Every shikai form, chant, zanpakutou name, and new ability is different for each Soul Reaper.

Bankai is the second and final release stage of zanpakutou. Just like shikai, everything varies for each Soul Reaper but only the word itself can be said to release it. Also, only Lieutenants and Captains have the ability to use bankai but there are a few exceptions among the 13 Court Guard Squad ranks, and of course Ichigo. Years of training and hard work are required to unlock bankai as it releases and requires a great amount of power.

Episodes
Season/Ep# Name Airdate
8 - 166
Desperate Effort VS Desperate Effort! The Hollowized Ichigo
04/09/2008
8 - 165
The Murderous Intent Boils! The Joyful Grimmjow
03/19/2008
8 - 164
Ishida's Strategy, the 20-second Offense and Defense
03/12/2008
8 - 163
Shinigami and Quincy, the Battle with Madness
03/05/2008
8 - 162
Syazel Aporro Laughs, the Net Trapping Renji is Complete
02/27/2008
8 - 161
The Cruel Arrancar, Ulquiorra's Provocation
02/20/2008
8 - 160
Testament, Your Heart is Right Here...
02/13/2008
8 - 159
Sado Yasutora dies! Orihime's Tears
02/06/2008
8 - 158
Right Arm of the Giant, Left Arm of the Devil
01/30/2008
8 - 157
Ishida's Trump Card, Seele Schneider
01/23/2008
8 - 156
Ishida & Pesshe, the United Attack of Friendship?
01/16/2008
8 - 155
Rukia Retaliates! Release the Desperate Kidou
01/08/2008
8 - 154
Rukia and Kaien, the Sorrowful Reunion
12/26/2007
8 - 153
The Devilish Research! Szayel Aporro's Plan
12/19/2007
8 - 152
Ichigo Strikes Back! This is my Bankai
12/12/2007
7 - 151
The Raging Storm! Encounter with the Dancing Arrancar
12/05/2007
7 - 150
Oath! Back Here Alive Again
11/28/2007
7 - 149
Through the Crumbling Forest, a Million Menos
11/21/2007
7 - 148
Ashido, the Shinigami who came from the Past
11/14/2007
7 - 147
The Forest of Menos! The Search for the Missing Rukia
11/07/2007

View all 343 episodes »

Original US Poster Art

General Information Edit
Name Bleach
Name: ブリーチ
Romaji: Burīchi
Publisher Recycle
Start Year 2004
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Themes
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