When Bleach came out, it was an instant hit. He quickly became a permanent fixture and one of the “Big Three” of shonen. And right after the first three arcs received their magnificent conclusions, the showrunners decided to capitalize on the popularity of the series by incorporating Bleach filler episodes
These stories had nothing to do with the original narrative. They made vague allusions to the source material, creating a distorted version of Soul Society that was often in direct conflict with established plot elements. However, the filler arcs also gave Bleach fans something to enjoy while Tite Kubo was busy concocting a new set of manga volumes to reboot the anime canon.
Updated on November 25, 2022 by Ajay Aravind: Although the Thousand Year Blood War arc concluded in 2016, it took more than six years for the anime adaptation to be released. The Bleach fan was undeniably delighted when the first episode aired on October 11, 2022, which explains the show’s meteoric rise in the MyAnimeList rankings. With that being said, the Thousand Year Blood War arc will contain 52 episodes and zero filler.
|FILL ARC||RANGE OF EPISODES|
|Bount Assault On Soul Society Arc||92-109|
|New Captain Shusuke Amagai Arc||168-189|
|Zanpakuto Unknown Tales Arc||230-265|
|Gotei 13 Invading Army Arc||317-342|
5/5 The Bount Arc introduces the strange entities known as Bounts
Urahara’s secret mod souls meet Ichigo, Chad, Renji, and Orihime. At that point, they are meant to be enemies and treated as such. Later, however, it becomes clear that Kisuke has made up Noba, Kurodo, and Ririn in order to identify certain entities known as Bounts. These entities are basically ordinary people with the ability to absorb innocent spirits and thus gain immortality. In episode 69, “Bount! The Soul Hunters”, the hero faces off against the first villain, known as Yoshino. However, Ichigo fails miserably and would have died if Rukia Kuchiki hadn’t saved him.
Soon after, Utagawa Ryo kidnaps Ishida Uryu, but Yoshino thwarts the villain’s plan when the latter changes allegiance. The Seiretei hierarchy is quite eager for the Bounts, while Team Ichigo ends up meeting the main antagonist, Jin Kariya, who effortlessly defeats the protagonist. He then kills Yoshino, mounts a full-scale attack on his Shinigami opponents, and then returns to his hideout, where a portal exists to directly access the Seireitei. Fortunately, Ichigo Kurosaki’s Tensa Zangetsu helps maintain the balance of power between him and Kariya. Afterwards, Uryu ends the battle by allowing the Bounts through the portal in the final episode of the Bount arc, “Shinigami and Quincy, the Power That Revives”.
4/5 Bount Assault On Soul Society Arc Ends With Jin Kariya’s Death
Uryu’s plan to defeat the Bounts in Soul Society almost seems like a failure as the villains are able to extract Reishi from various aspects of the environment, making them that much more dangerous. The Bounts cannot bypass the security that separates the Rukongai and Seireitei districts. With that being said, the Bounts finally break in after recruiting a group of powerful fighters and receiving help from a Squad Eleven spy named Ichinose Maki. In episode 98, “Clash! Kenpachi Zaraki vs. Ichinose Maki”, the Captain of Squad Eleven fights and defeats his traitorous subordinate.
Of course, Kariya informs his new “allies” that their services are useless now that their job is done, and adds damage to the insult by taking them down. Captain-commander Yamamoto Genryusai finally springs into action and orders his subordinates to spread out across the Seireitei and defuse the Jokaisho “bombs” hidden deep below the surface. The final fight between Ichigo Kurosaki and Jin Kariya takes place in “The Wailing Bount! The Last Clash” and ends with the villain slowly disappearing into thin air.
3/5 Ichigo defeats the eponymous villain in the new Captain Shusuke Amagai arc
After Aizen’s betrayal in the Soul Society arc, he takes Kaname Tosen and Ichimaru Gin with him when he flees to Hueco Mundo with the help of the Denial. This leaves a vacancy in Divisions 3, 5, and 9, the first of which is filled by Shusuke Amagai, a previously unknown Shinigami. At the same time, Princess Kasumiouji Rurichiyo travels from Soul Society to Karakura Town, where she and her “bodyguards” of hers disguise themselves as students from Ichigo’s school. Random villains appear unexpectedly and attempt to kill Rurichiyo in Episode 171, “The Blooming Crimson Flower Profusion”, forcing Rukia and Ichigo to confront them.
The heroes then ally with Shusuke Amagai as Vice Captain Izuru overpowers Makoto Kibune, but the Gotei 13 realize that something fishy is going on with the Kasumiouji family. However, the Shinigami leadership isn’t left without leads for long, as Amagai simply kills Gyokaku and takes the Princess back to Division 1 headquarters. Here, he reveals that his plan had always been to kill Captain- Commander as payback for something that happened to his father. In episode 187, “Ichigo Rages! The Assassin’s Secret”, Amagai effectively neutralizes Ryujin Jakka’s incandescent fire with his bakkoto device. Logically speaking, this shouldn’t have made any difference since the old man is strong enough to vaporize almost all Bankai-wielding warriors in Bleach. Then again, the climactic fight has to be between the protagonist and the antagonist, so it’s Ichigo Kurosaki who fights Shusuke in the end.
2/5 Zanpakuto’s spirits turn on their Shinigami masters in the Zanpakuto’s Unknown Tales arc
Another series of filler episodes that partly focus on Yamamoto’s Ryujin Jakka, the Zanpakuto Unknown Tales arc revolves around a rogue Zanpakuto spirit named Muramasa. This villain seeks independence from the Shinigami, claiming that they do nothing but oppress his intelligent weapons. As such, Muramasa breaks the ties between almost all of the Shinigami and his Zanpakuto, causing them to turn against his original “masters”. At first, it appears that Muramasa has captured the Captain-Commander within an unbreakable force field. In episode 247, “Shinigami Deceived! The World Collapse Crisis”, the villain combines Ichigo’s Getsuga with some of his own Reiatsu and deflects it towards the old man, destroying the green pyramid barrier.
Yamamoto has actually been keeping the shield to prevent Ryujin Jakka from being stolen, which obviously happens. Muramasa traps all the captains and their Zanpakutos inside the burning hell before initiating the final stage of his plan. He frees his original true owner, Kuchiki Kouga, after decades of imprisonment. Kouga retaliates against Muramasa, spouting random nonsense about being betrayed by his Zanpakuto, driving Muramasa to the point of no return. Ichigo Kurosaki arrives on time, but the Zanpakuto spirit somehow transports them both to the “inner world” of his former Shinigami. After an explosive match in “Final Chapter·Zanpakuto Unknown Tales”, Muramasa dissipates into nothingness.
1/5 Gotei 13’s Invading Army Arc Includes Two Versions of Several Central Bleach Characters
Ichigo arrives in Soul Society in episode 318, “Renji vs. Rukia? Battle with Comrades!”, where Ikkaku Madarame and Renji Abarai inexplicably decide to attack him and Rukia. Yoruichi rescues him before the situation worsens and reveals that the two Shinigami are, in fact, inventions of a researcher named Inaba Kageroza. This villain has somehow developed replicants of various central characters in the Seireitei, each possessing the same memories, knowledge, and powers. Known as Reigai, their motivations are unclear at this point, except that they want to destroy the Gotei 13 for some reason. In Karakura Town, Team Ichigo meets the mild-mannered Kujo Nozomi, who is being chased by Kageroza and his henchmen.
In Soul Society, the fake versions of Shunsui and Jushiro decide to attack their mentor, Captain-Commander Yamamoto Genryusai, as they foolishly believe they are capable of defeating the old man. Urahara Kisuke, the man who knows all the secrets, admits that Kujo and Kageroza were originally part of a single soul, which belonged to Yushima Oko. Inaba finally manages to force Nozomi to recombine into Oko. Ultimately, the real hero of this arc is Kon, who pretends to be Kurotsuchi Nemu’s Regai. In episode 341, “Invading Army Arc, Final Conclusion”, Oko’s attempt to destroy the spirit world backfires when his Reigai destroy themselves and subsequently the “fusion” is broken. . Also, Ichigo loses his Shinigami powers for the umpteenth time.
NEXT: 10 Bleach Characters Who Turned Out To Be Surprisingly Deep