Bleach (season 11)
|The Past Arc|
The cover of the first DVD compilation released by Aniplex of The Past Arc.
|Country of origin||Japan|
|No. of episodes||7|
|Original network||TV Tokyo|
|Original release||February 10– March 24, 2009|
The eleventh season of the Bleach anime series, released on DVD as the The Past Arc (過去篇 Kako Hen?), is directed by Noriyuki Abe, and produced by TV Tokyo, Dentsu and Studio Pierrot. The seven episode season is based on Tite Kubo's Bleach manga series. The episodes' plot follows the flashback arc of the series' storyline which retells the Vizard's past.
The season aired from February to March 2009 on TV Tokyo in Japan. The English adaptation of the anime is licensed by Viz Media, which was announced that this season will start airing on May 28, 2011. Aniplex collected the season in a series of two DVD compilations. The first DVD volume was released on November 26, 2009 and the second on December 16, 2009.
The episodes use two pieces of theme music: one opening theme and one closing theme. The opening theme is "Velonica" by Aqua Timez while the ending theme is "Sky Chord (Otona ni Naru Kimi e)" (Sky chord 〜大人になる君へ〜 Sukai Kōdo ~Otona ni Naru Kimi e~?, lit. "Sky Chord (To the Adult You)") by Shion Tsuji.
|No.||Title||Original airdate||English airdate|
|206||"The Past Chapter Begins! The Truth from 110 Years Ago"
"Kako Hen Kaishi! Hyakujū Nen Mae no Shinjitsu" (過去編開始！110年前の真実)
|February 10, 2009||May 28, 2011|
|One hundred and ten years before the start of the series, in which Shinji Hirako is approached as the fifth division captain by then, the fifth division lieutenant Sōsuke Aizen hears about preparations for the new twelfth division captain. Yoruichi Shihōin tells Kisuke Urahara that she has recommended him for the position as the new twelfth division captain, while they are sparring in their private training area. Suì-Fēng, immediately distrusting Urahara because of what she has seen of his persona and his dwelling, follows him around town to prove to Yoruichi that he is not worthy of the responsibility required for the new position. Yoruichi, however, after seeing Suì-Fēng's proof on paper, disregards it as a love letter. Urahara and a group of Soul Reapers were tailing a group of deserters who had abandoned the Seireitei of their own admonition and sent to stop them. After they are taken care of, Urahara passes the qualification exam and shows up to the meeting of the captains.|
|207||"12th Division's New Captain, Kisuke Urahara"
"Jūnibantai Shin Taichō, Urahara Kisuke" (十二番隊新隊長、浦原喜助)
|February 17, 2009||June 4, 2011|
|Urahara is appointed the twelfth division captain at the ceremony attended by the other captains and introduces himself to his squad. Lieutenant Hiyori Sarugaki is the only one who does not become friendly with him. She made a scene while trying to load his things into his new room, and challenged him to a match to see if he really can hold up to his promise of not letting danger befall the twelfth division. The squad members are led to believe that their captain was too weak and thus fell easily at Hiyori's attack, but he had actually lost on purpose, not wanting to embarrass Hiyori. Later that night, Hirako and Urahara are sitting outside, and Hirako tells Urahara that Hiyori loved the previous captain of the twelfth division like a mother and that she would be difficult to replace in her heart. The next day, Hiyori finally sees Urahara's office and is shocked by how much he has changed it since the previous captain was there.|
|208||"Aizen and the Genius Boy"
"Aizen to Tensai Shōnen" (藍染と天才少年)
|February 24, 2009||June 11, 2011|
|Urahara takes Hiyori to the Maggots Nest, explaining on the way that its purpose is to hold people deemed potentially dangerous by the Soul Society. While they are walking through the penitentiary, a large prisoner attacks Hiyori, but Urahara easily subdues the man with his bare hand. Deep inside, Urahara approaches a younger Mayuri Kurotsuchi and discusses his being his second in command of a new division of their own making, the Technological Research Bureau. Elsewhere, a young Byakuya Kuchiki is shown to have been easily irritated at that age, proven when Yoruichi steals his hair ribbon before escaping, taunting him by putting her breasts against his head in the process. Jūshirō Ukitake tells Kaien Shiba of a boy who is to be promoted to a seat position in his squad. The boy, who easily slays the third seat officer of the fifth division, is revealed to be a young Gin Ichimaru under the watchful and impressed eye of Aizen.|
|209||"Muguruma 9th Division, Moves Out"
"Muguruma Kyūbantai, Shutsudōse Yo" (六車九番隊、出動せよ)
|March 3, 2009||June 18, 2011|
|Nine years later, three shadowed figures watch as citizens of the Rukongai are devoured and killed by a strange white substance. Later, Hirako, Aizen, Mayuri, Hiyori and Urahara meet to discuss the recent disappearances of the Rukongai citizens. Kensei Muguruma and his ninth division are deployed to assess the situation, and find a gigantic hollow, which attacks three boys. Kensei Muguruma saves one of the boys, a younger Shūhei Hisagi, from certain death. Later on Mayuri and Urahara's lab, Hiyori is chosen to go from the twelve division to see what is going on with the recent disappearances of the citizens. Kensei and the rest of his squad camp in the woods, looking for a clue as to what is attacking the people. Toudou, one of his subordinates, seemingly kills Kaname Tōsen and the rest of the group, and is struck down himself. Kensei, the only one left, is imprisoned in a well of darkness and impaled with a blade. When the darkness lifts, he recognizes his attacker.|
|210||"Hiyori Dies? The Beginning of Tragedy"
"Hiyori Shisu? Higeki no Hajimari" (ひよ里死す? 悲劇の始まり)
|March 10, 2009||June 25, 2011|
|The spiritual energies of Kensei and his squad vanish, sparking a serious situation in the Soul Society. An emergency captain's meeting is held to determine who will oversee the situation. Urahara appears late and pleads his case to go, but Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto does not grant his request. Instead, Hirako, Love Aikawa, Rōjūrō "Rose" Otoribashi, Yadomaru Lisa and Hachigen Ushōda, from the Kidō Corps, are dispatched. In the woods, Hiyori is attacked by a grotesque and powerful hollow revealed to be Kensei. Hirako arrives to save her, along with the rest of the captains, but soon Mashiro Kuna appears and also transforms into a hollow and attacks the group. Hachigen binds both Mashiro and Kensei, but the latter escapes through brute strength alone. Meanwhile, Urahara is torn at his decision to send Hiyori out alone and defies orders that he is not to go, using a cloak that completely masks his energy. Before he can set out, Tessai Tsukabishi, also of the Kidō Corps, accompanies him.|
|211||"Betrayal! Aizen's Secret Maneuvers"
"Uragiri! An'yaku no Aizen" (裏切り！暗躍の藍染)
|March 17, 2009||July 2, 2011|
|The eighth division captain Shunsui Kyōraku is out late when he happens upon Nanao Ise, his future lieutenant, who wonders if Lisa will be all right. Kensei's new abilities overpower most of the group, until Hachigen finally binds him with a powerful spell. Hirako is then brutally attacked by Hiyori, who is now a hollow. Tōsen incapacitates the group, with the exception of Hirako. Aizen appears and reveals his own betrayal, explaining to Hirako that his illusion-casting zanpakutō made it seem like Aizen was following Hirako all the time, when it was actually a different person. Hirako and the rest of the group start transforming into hollows, but Hirako manages to hang onto himself. Aizen prepares to finish off Hirako, but Urahara and Tessai arrive to stop him.|
|212||"Rescue Hirako! Aizen vs. Urahara"
"Hirako o Sukue! Aizen VS Urahara" (平子を救え！藍染VS浦原)
|March 24, 2009||July 9, 2011|
|Urahara and Tessai try to attack Aizen, but Aizen is expecting their arrival. While Urahara reveals he has been testing hollowification in the Soul Society, Aizen flees. In the twelfth division research facilities, Urahara shows Tessai the object that may be useful in saving those undergoing the hollowfication process, being known as the Orb of Distortion. Urahara and Tessai are arrested and brought before Central Room Forty-Six the next morning, and are falsely accused as the ones responsible for Aizen's acts. Just before the two are detained, Yoruichi breaks in and takes them back to her hideout, along with the eight Soul Reapers undergoing hollowfication. Urahara declares that he will find out how to save them. Time flashes forward to present day at the Vizards headquarters, as Hirako says that they appreciate what they have become thanks to Urahara and Aizen, and the group leaves.|
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