The Past Arc
Season 11 of Bleach (of the same manga written and illustrated by Tite Kubo) 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:
• Season 4 (Jan. – Aug. 2006)
• Season 5 (Aug. 2006 – Jan. 2007)
• Season 9 (Apr. – Oct. 2008)
One hundred and ten years ago, the 12th division captain seat was open. Shihouin Yoruichi (2) recommends her third seat, Urahara Kisuke, for the position. Urahara passes the examination and is appointed captain of the 12th division.
Urahara’s vice-captain, Sarugaki Hiyori, is the only one who does not welcome him into the squad 12. Urahara then brings Hiyori to the Maggots Nest, a cell holding Soul Society’s most dangerous people. He approaches a young Kurotsuchi Mayuri with a proposal to be his second-in-command of the new division, the Technological Research Bureau within squad 12.
Meanwhile, a young, talented boy by the name of Ichimaru Gin catches the eye of and impresses Sousuke Aizen, lieutenant to Hirako Shinji of the fifth division. Shinji, though, has his eyes on a very suspicious Aizen.
In the mean time, citizens of Rukongai are eaten and killed by strange phantoms. During an attack of three young boys, one of them being Hisagi Shuuhei (#69), Muguruma Kensei (9) comes to his rescue, creating the ultimate idol of Shuuhei in his later years. After sending the rescued boys off, Kensei and his team camps out in the forest to search for clues of the attacker. Instead, the squad is ambushed and one by one of Kensei’s subordinates, including himself, fall to the mysterious attacker. Squad 9’s reiatsu disappears, together with Hiyori’s (12) who was picked to check out the situation, but really for Urahara and Mayuri to have their “alone time” in their new lab.
A meeting of the captains are called, and Urahara immediately volunteers to go (to the aid of his lieutenant), but is promptly stopped by Yamamoto. Instead, Shinji (5), Aikawa Love (7), Otoribashi Rose (3), Yadomaru Lisa (8) – Kyoraku Shunshui’s lieutenant and Ushouda Hachigen, a vice captain to the kidou corps are sent. They arrive in the woods just in time to save Hiyori from being attacked by a transformed Kensei (9). Kensei’s hollowed lieutenant, Kuna Mashiro, jumps out and attacks the others but Hachigen steps in and binds them both with his kidou. These two shinigami-turned-hollows then escape using brute strength. With them out loose again, Shinji is brutally attacked by a now turned Hiyori. Kaname Tousen (later 9) incapacitates the group except for Shinji, who Aizen reveals his betrayal to.
Aizen used his zanpakutou, which is able to cast illussions, making it seem like he was following Shinji dutifully all the time, when it actuality someone else took his place while he was planning this coup. The group starts transforming into hollows, but Shinji holds on to his shinigami form. Aizen is about to kill off Shinji, but for Urahara and Tessai’s timely arrival.
Urahara, regretting his decision to send Hiyori out alone, defies orders to look for her. He throws on his cloak-masking-reiatsu and heads out, only to be stopped by Tsukabishi Tessai, from the kidou corps, who insists on following him. They reach the woods in time to stop Shinji’s murder. Aizen flees. Urahara reveals to Tessai that he too has been testing hollowfication in Soul Society, and that an object, the Hogyoku, may be able to save the rest of the transformed Gotei 13 members. While the transformation of the hollows back to shinigami is taking place, Urahara and Tessai are arrested under false charges of Aizen’s acts. Before the two can be prosecuted, Yoruichi breaks in and saves them, together with the eight shinigamis undergoing hollowfication. The entire group escapes Seireitei to the human world. The altered shinigamis, who obtained hollow masks, collectively call themselves the Visoreds. Uruhara and Tessai set up shop in the human world. Yoruichi, although not an employee, has a home to return to at Uruhara’s shop when she’s not out and about.
Aikawa Love (ex-7) is a tall man with a spiked afro sporting sunglasses and track suit. His zanpakutou is Tengumaru. When released, it has the ability to project fire. His seat as captain became Komamura Sajin’s after it was vacated.
Hirako Shinji (ex-5) is exceptionally skilled with his hollow powers. Shinji was right to distrust Aizen but never put it to any action. This resulted in the whole bunch of them having hollow abilities, and Urahara, Tessai and Yoruichi exiled from Seireitei. Sousuke Aizen took up Shinji’s abandon post as captain to the 5th division with Hinamori Momo as his lieutenant.
Mashiro’s captain, Muguruma Kensei (ex-9), has a much more serious character, compared to the rest of the Visoreds. His zanpakutou, Tachikaze, is able to manipulate wind. Kaname Tousen later became the captain to his 9th division, and ironically, Hisagi Shuuhei as his lieutenant.
Otoribashi Roujuurou “Rose” (ex-3) is an effeminate man wearing his hair long and wavy. His zanpakutou, Kinshara, turns his blade into a plant-like whip with a flower at the tip. The genius child, Ichimaru Gin, took over the post as captain to squad 3 with Izuru Kira as his lieutenant.
Sarugaki Hiyori (ex-lt. 12) was lieutenant to Hikifune Kirio (not shown) and Urahara Kisuke. Hikifune was a mother figure to her, which explains her nonacceptance of Urahara as the new captain of squad 12. Hiyori, small as she is, has a fierce temper and has a tendency towards violence. Her zanpakutou, Kubikiri Orochi (beheading serpent), takes on the form of a large cleaver with a jagged edge when released. With Uruhara and Hiyori exiled, Mayuri and his created daughter, Nemu, took up the post as captain and lieutenant respectively to the 12th division.
Hachigen Ushouda/Hachi is the largest Visored of the group. He is very skilled in kidou/binding spells, being able to use bakudou up to #99 without reciting the incantations, thus is always tasked with making barriers for the group. His powers, are very much similar to that of Inoue’s, which explains why she easily passed through the barrier he set up when Ichigo was training.
Yadoumaru Lisa (ex-lt. 8 ) wears her long black hair braided and dons glasses. She likes to read erotic manga (probably no thanks to her ex-womanizer captain Shunsui). Her zanpakutou is Haguro Tanbo (iron dragonfly) and in shikai form, it becomes a large guan dao. Ise Nanao took over the post as lieutenant to Kyouraku Shunsui.