Bleach

Bleach is an ongoing shonen manga series written and illustrated by Tite Kubo (Noriaki Kubo). The manga began since 2001 and was soon adapted to anime on Oct. 5, 2004. This series has even branched out to movies, CDs/OSTs, trading card game, video games for different consoles, books and even a musical. Tite Kubo uses other languages to describe some of the characters in the series. German was used for the powers of Quincy and Bount. The Hollows and arrancar were named in Spanish after famous Spanish architects and designers because Kubo thought the language sounds bewitching and mellow.

The series is about a teenage boy, Kurosaki Ichigo, living in Karakura town, who lost his mother when he was young. In the process he was able to see dead people, and the soul reapers/shinigamis who come for them. The shinigami (死神) is a military order who escorts the souls of the dead to the netherworld. He assumes the duty of shinigami when the official soul reaper sent to guard his town, Kuchiki Rukia, is unable to perform her duties when she is severly injured in a battle with a hollow trying to protect Ichigo. A hollow is an evil spirit who eat human souls to grow. Rukia then transfers some of her reiatsu (霊圧 – spirit energy) to Ichigo to enable him to defeat the holllow, but he unwittingly absorbs all her energy. Because of her lost powers, Rukia is stranded in the human world, unable to return to Soul Society. In the meantime, Ichigo replaces Rukia as the town’s shinigami and shelters her in his home. The adventures, thus, begin.

Rukia was the first character that Kubo created, but because she seems the unlikely lead, he subsequently created Ichigo who became the main protagonist of the series. Although Rukia looks like a teenager, in reality she is ten times older than Ichigo. Rukia resides inside Ichigo’s closet and his younger sisters assume Rukia to be his girlfriend.

After a few months, the Soul Society’s higher-ups receive word of Rukia illegally giving away her powers and sends a detachment to arrest her. She is returned to Soul Society to await her false trial and immediate execution thereafter. Together with his classmates who possess spiritual abilities, Chad, Orihime Inoue, Ishida Uryuu (a Quincy) and ex-shinigami captain Shihouin Yoruichi, they travel to Soul Society to rescue Rukia. Once there, Ichigo and his classmates battle Soul Society’s elite, from vice-captains to captains and successfully rescues Rukia.

Rukia’s execution was conjured up by Captain Sousuke Aizen (3), who faked his death, to usurp powers in Soul Society. He betrays his fellow shinigamis to ally himself with the strongest of hollows, the arrancar. Ichigo then joins forces with Soul Society’s ranking shinigamis when they realize that Aizen’s next target of destruction is his hometown. Orihime Inoue is kidnapped by Aizen’s subordinate and Ichigo and a few friends are forced to enter Hueco Mundo, the hollow’s world, to rescue  Inoue. Now that the forces are split, there are less shinigamis defending Soul Society, Karakura town and rescuing Inoue.

Season 1: Agent of the Soul Reaper

The first season aired from Oct. 5, 2004 to Feb. 22, 2005 with a total of 20 episodes – 1-20.

Ichigo Kurosaki is a troubled teenager. Because of his abilities to see spirits, he is recruited by soul reaper/shinigami Kuchiki Rukia. This in turn, puts Rukia in trouble as she is dragged back into Soul Society to be executed.

One opening theme and two ending themes:

1. Orange Range’s “Asterisk” (ep. 1-20)
2. Rie Fu’s “Life is Like a Boat” (ep. 1-13)
3. Homemade Kazoku’s “Thank You!!” (ep. 14-20)

Kurosaki Ichigo & Kuchiki Rukia

Kurosaki Ichigo & Kuchiki Rukia

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Season 2: The Sneak Entry

This season ran from March 1 to July 2005 with a total of 21 episodes – 21-41.

Ichigo, Inoue, Chad and Uryuu journey into Soul Society with the help of ex-captain Kisuke Urahara (ex-12) and Shihouin Yoruichi (ex-2) and other allies who they encounter on their way in.

Two opening themes and three ending themes:

1. Orange Range’s “Asterisk” (ep. 21-25)
2. Uverworld’s “D-tecnoLife” (ep. 26-41)
3. Homemade Kazoku’s “Thank You!!” (ep. 21-25)
4. Younha’s “Houkiboshi” (ほうき星 – Shooting Star) (ep. 26-38)
5. Skoop on Somebody’s “happypeople” (ep. 39-41)

ichigo and friends

Ichigo & Friends

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Season 3: The Rescue

The third season began on July 26, 2005 to Jan. 10, 2006 with a total of 22 episodes – 42-63

It’s a race against time for Ichigo and his friends to save Rukia from the executioner’s sword as they step into Soul Society and face the Gotei 13. Ichigo (and Renji) achieves bankai and once again, gains allies in the process.

GOTEI 13

Two opening and ending themes:

1. Uverworld’s “D-tecnoLife” (ep. 42-52)
2. High and Mighty Color’s “Ichirin no Hana” (一輪の花 – One Lone Flower) (ep. 53-63)
3. Skoop on Somebody’s “happypeople” (ep. 42-52)
4. Yui’s “Life” (ep. 53-63)

Soul Society

Soul Society's Gotei 13

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Season 4: The Bount Arc

The fourth season ran from Jan. 17, 2006 to Aug. 1, 2006 with a total of 28 episodes – 64-91. This is a filler arc.

A race of humans, called the Bount, are consuming human souls to extend their lives.

Two opening themes and three ending themes:

1. High and Mighty Color’s “Ichirin no Hana” (一輪の花 – One Lone Flower) (ep. 64-75)
2. Beat Crusader’s “Tonight, Tonight, Tonight” (ep. 76-91)
3. SunSet Swish’s “My Pace” (ep. 64-75)
4. Ikimonogakari’s “Hanabi” (ep. 75-87)
5. Takacha’s “Movin!!” (ep. 88-91)

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Season 5: Bount Assault on Soul Society Arc

The fifth season ran from Aug. 8, 2006 to Jan. 4, 2007 with a total of 18 episodes – 92-109. This is a filler arc.

It’s the invasion of Soul Society by the Bount, humans that consume human souls to prolong their lives and enrich their powers.

Two opening and ending themes:

1. Beat Crusader’s “Tonight, Tonight, Tonight” (ep. 92-98)
2. Yui’s “Rolling Star” (ep. 99-109)
3. Takacha’s “Movin!!” (ep. 92-98)
4. JUNE’s “Baby It’s You” (ep. 99-109)

Bleach: Memories of Nobody was released  in Japan on Dec. 16, 2006. The “Dark Ones” who were banished from Soul Society for trying to destroy both Soul Society and the human world are back wrecking havoc.

Memories of Nobody

Memories of Nobody

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Season 6: Arrancar: The Arrival Arc

The season aired on Jan. 10, 2007 and ended on June 27, 2007 with a total of 22 episodes – 110-131. Episodes 128-131 are fillers.

The growing unrest and war between the Shinigamis and the arrancar led by Aizen begin to mount. Ichigo joins forces with Soul Society’s ranking shinigamis when they realize that Aizen’s next target of destruction is his hometown.

Two opening and ending themes:

1. Yui’s Rolling “Star” (ep. 110-121)
2. Aqua Timez’s “Alones” ( ep. 122-131)
3. Mai Hoshimura’s “Sakura Biyori” (桜日和 – Cherry Blossom Weather) (ep. 110-121)
4. Ore Ska Band’s “Tsumaski” (爪先 – Tiptoe) (ep. 122-131)

Espada

Espada

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Season 7: Arrancar: The Hueco Mundo Sneak Entry Arc

This season began on July 4, 2007 and ended on Dec. 5, 2007 with a total of 20 episodes – 132-151. Episodes 132-137 & 147-149 are fillers.

The arrancar brings the battle to Karakura Town and Ulquiorra is ordered to capture Inoue. A domino effect of Inoue’s kidnapping takes place. Ichigo treks into Hueco Mundo with his friends to rescue her. It is all part of Aizen’s plan of distraction.

Two opening and ending themes:

1. Aqua Timez’s “Alones” (ep. 132-144)
2. Asian Kung-Fu Generation’s “After Dark” (ep. 145-151)
3. Chatmonchy’s “Daidai” (橙 – Bitter Orange) (ep. 132-143)
4. Kousuke Atari’s “Tane wo maku hibi” (種をまく日々- Seed-scattering days) (ep. 144-151)

The friends

The friends

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Season 8: Arrancar: The Fierce Fight Arc

Season 8 aired from Dec. 12, 2007 to April 16, 2008 with a total of 16 episodes – 152-167.

Ichigo and the Shinigamis meet their first obstacles the Privaron Espada trying to rescue Orihime Inoue from Hueco Mundo. After they are defeated, Aizen’s strongest army the Espadas appear. They each push themselves to their limit and expand their powers to defeat their opponents to retrieve Inoue.

One opening theme and two ending themes:

1. Asian Kung-Fu Generation’s “After Dark”
2. Kousuke Atari’s “Tane wo maku hibi” (種をまく日々- Seed-scattering days) (ep. 152-153)
3. RSP’s “Kansha” (感謝 – Gratitude)

Espada

The Espada led by Aizen

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Bleach: The Diamond Dust Rebellion was released on Dec. 22, 2007. Soul Society’s artifact belonging to its King is stolen and Toushirou Hitsugaya (10) is blamed for its disappearance.

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Season 9: The New Captain Syuusuke Amagai

The season aired on April 23, 2008 to Oct. 7, 2008 with a total of 22 episodes – 168-189. This is a filler arc.

A new captain is introduced to fill Aizen’s shoes.

One opening theme and two ending themes:

1. Kelun’s “Chu-Bura”
2. Lil’B’s “Orange” (ep. 168-179)
3. pe’zmoku’s “Gallop”

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Season 10: Arrancar vs. Shinigami Arc

Season 10 aired from Oct. 14, 2008 to Feb. 3, 2009 with a total of 16 episodes – ep. 190-205. The last 2 episodes are fillers.

Ichigo and the Shinigamis continue their battle against the Espada to save Orihime Inoue. This time, the shinigami captains enter Hueco Mundo to lend a helping hand coming face-to-face with the Espada, Aizen’s elite army.

One opening theme and two ending themes:

1. Aqua Timez’ “Velonica”
2. Stereopony’s “Hitohira no Hanabira” (ヒトヒラのハナビラ – A Single Flower Petal) (ep. 190-201)
3. Shion Tsuji’s “Sky Chord”

Ichigo and Nel

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Bleach: Fade to Black, I Call Your Name was released on Dec. 13, 2008. A spell is cast on Soul Society, where no one remembers who Ichigo and Rukia are. Ichigo enters Soul Society only to realize that not only has Rukia forgotten him, but she doesn’t remember who she is either.

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Season 11: The Past Arc

Season 11 aired from Feb. 10, 2009 to March 24, 2009 with a total of 7 episodes – ep. 206-212.

This is a flashback sequence, retelling the visoreds’ past and how the hollows came about, starting with the Gotei 13.

One opening and ending theme:

1. Aqua Timez’ “Velonica”
2. Shion Tsuji’s “Sky Chord”

Vizards

Vizards

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Season 12: Arrancar: Battle in Karakura Arc

The season aired from March 31 2009 to July 21, 2009 with a total of  17 episodes – ep. 213-229.

The fight between Aizen’s Arrancar and the Shinigamis has moved to Karakura Town. Captain Yamamoto moves the actual Karakura Town into Soul Society, but Aizen already knows this. He plans to use this opportunity to finally invade and destroy Soul Society. Kenpachi’s boys finally get to see a little action. It’s boys vs. boys and female shinigamis against Harribel’s girls. The season starts (2) and ends (3) with fillers.

One opening and ending theme:

1. Scandal’s “Shoujo S” (ep. 230-242)
2. Sambomaster’s “Kimi wo Mamotte, Kimi wo Aishite”
(君を守って 君を愛して “I will protect you, I love you”) (ep. 243-250)

Soul Society

Soul Society - Gotei 13

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Season 13: Zanpakutou: The Alternate Tales

The season aired from July 28, 2009 to April 6, 2010 with a total of 35 episodes – ep. 230-265.

This is a filler arc that goes on and on (like the energizer bunny), where the Shinigami’s Zanpakutous take on human forms and declare war against their wielders. Led by a mysterious blackguard named Muramasa who is a former zanpakutou, the swords turn Soul Society topsy turvy.

Two opening and ending themes:

1. Scandal’s “Shoujo S” (ep. 230-242)
2. Prono Graffiti’s “Anima Rossa” (ep. 243-265)
3. Kenichi Asai’s “Mad Surfer” (ep. 230-242)
4. Sunset Swish’s “Sakurabito” (ep. 243-250)
5. RSP’s “Tabidatsu Kimi e (旅立つキミへ; On a Journey to You)” (ep. 255-265)

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Season 14: Fake Karakura Town Arc Continues

The season begins on April 13, 2010 to March 2011. The fight between the Shinigamis and the Espada continue as Karakura Town remains the key. Meanwhile Ichigo and his friends fend off Arrancars to rescue Inoue yet again. Ichigo transmogrify once more just as Ulquiorra is taken down.

The season’s opening and ending themes are:

1. miwa’s “chAngE” (ep. 266-291)
2. SID’s “Melody of the Wild Dance” (乱舞のメロディ, Rambu no Merodi) (ep. 292-316)
3. DIGGY-MO’s “Stay Beautiful” (ep. 266-278)
4. Universe’s “Echoes” (ep. 279-291)
5. SPYAIR’s “Last Moment” (ep. 292 -316)

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Season 15: Gotei 13 Invading Army Arc ((護廷十三隊侵軍篇 Gotei Jūsan Tai Shingun Hen)

Season 15 of Bleach begin airing on April 12, 2011 to present. The shinigamis, together with Kurosaki Ichigo, step into a mind-boggling conspiracy that replicates all the captains and vice-captains of Soul Society (minus a few).

The season’s opening and ending themes are:
1. ViViD’s “Blue” (ep. 317-present)
2. fumika’s “Aoi Tori” (アオイトリ Blue Bird) (ep. 317-present)

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