The tenth season of the Bleach anime series, released on DVD as the Arrancar vs. Shinigami arc (破面・VS.死神篇 Arrancar vs. Shinigami Hen?), is directed by Noriyuki Abe and produced by TV Tokyo, Dentsu, and Studio Pierrot. The 16-episode season is based on Tite Kubo's Bleach manga series. The episodes' plot continues to follow Ichigo Kurosaki's and his friends' battle against the Espada, the strongest of former Soul Reaper Captain Sōsuke Aizen's army, to rescue Orihime Inoue. Episodes 204 and 205 are centered on a soccer match developed by the Kasumiōji Soul Reapers who appeared in season 9.
The season first aired from October 14, 2008 until February 3, 2009 on TV Tokyo in Japan. The English adaptation of the anime is licensed by Viz Media, which has yet to announce when the season will air. Aniplex released the season in a series of DVD compilations, with each of the four volumes containing four episodes. The first DVD volume was released on May 27, 2009, and the fourth one on August 26, 2009.
The episodes use three pieces of theme music: one opening theme and two closing themes. The opening theme is "Velonica" by Aqua Timez. The first ending theme, "Hitohira no Hanabira" by Stereopony, is used for episode 190 to 201, and the second ending theme, "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, is used for the remainder. To promote the third featured film, Bleach: Fade to Black, I Call Your Name, which was released on December 13, 2008, the credits from episodes 197 through 201 use teaser footage.
|EP#||Title||Original airdate||English airdate|
|190||Hueco Mundo Chapter, Restart!
"Weko Mundo Hen, Saikai!" (ウェコムンド編、再会!)
|October 14, 2008||-|
|After the fight between Ichigo Kurosaki and Grimmjow Jaegerjaques concludes when Ichigo breaks through Grimmjow's strongest attack, Grimmjow attempts to continue the fight, but is attacked by Nnoitra Jiruga, an Espada; however, Ichigo protects Grimmjow. As Ichigo and Nnoitra begin to fight, Tesla, Nnoitra's subordinate, captures Orihime. Nnoitra reveals that he is the fifth Espada, and is stronger than Grimmjow. Meanwhile, Renji Abarai, Uryū Ishida, Dondochakka Bilstin, and Pesche Guatiche attempt to flee the Espada Szayel Aporro Granz, but because Szayel controls of the building they are in, he redirects the hallways to point back towards their battlefield.|
|191||The Frightening Banquet, Szayel Aporro Theater
"Kyōen, Zaeruaporo Gekijō" (恐宴、ザエルアポロ劇場)
|October 21, 2008||—|
|Nnoitra overpowers the tired Ichigo, and when Orihime attempts to help, Tesla threatens to destroy her hairclips, the source of her power which would allow her to stop Tesla. Szayel releases his zanpakutō, Fornicaras, and creates clones of Renji, Uryū, Dondochakka, and Pesche. Furthermore, he releases the power limiter in the room to allow Renji and Uryū to fight at full power. Meanwhile, Nnoitra encounters Nel Tu, and recognizes her. When Ichigo asks how he knows Nel, Nnoitra reveals that her true name is Neliel Tu Oderschvank, and that she is a former Espada.|
|192||Nel's Secret, A Busty Beauty Joins the Battle!?
"Neru no Himitsu, Kyonyū Bijo Sansen!?" (ネルの秘密、 巨乳美女参戦!?)
|October 28, 2008||—|
|Nnoitra uses Nel as a shield against Ichigo, whom he pins to the ground. As he prepares to break Ichigo's arm, the intensity of Nel's emotions causes her to return to her original adult form, Neliel. Dondochakka and Pesche realize that Nel has transformed into her original form, and feel nostalgic. Neliel takes Ichigo away from the battlefield, and as she prepares to fight Nnoitra, she reveals that she was the former third Espada. She overpowers Nnoitra, and in desperation, Nnoitra uses a cero blast. Neliel uses her cero doble technique to absorb Nnoitra's cero and redirect it at him with doubled force. However, Nnoitra is relatively unharmed, and reveals that the Espada have grown stronger in her absence.|
|193||Irresistible, Puppet Show of Terror
"Teikō Funō, Kyōfu no Ningyōgeki" (抵抗不能、恐怖の人形劇)
|November 4, 2008||—|
|Uryū and Renji struggle to fight their clones as they copy their attacks. Renji uses his bankai, and the clones copy him, destroying the building. In response, Szayel destroys the clones, and uses another ability of his released form to create voodoo dolls of his opponents. Using the dolls, he causes pain to his targets, and damages their internal organs. Meanwhile, Nnoitra and Neliel fight each other to a stalemate, and Nnoitra states that he despised Neliel even during her time as an Espada.|
"Nerieru no Kako" (ネリエルの過去)
|November 11, 2008||—|
|Nnoitra recalls his past encounters with Neliel, in which Neliel sparred with Nnoitra and easily defeat him. In one session, Nnoitra demanded that she continue the fight until one of them died, and Nel refused. As a result, Nnoitra attacked Neliel's subordinates, Dondochakka and Pesche, and with Szayel's aid, paralyzed Neliel long enough for him to land an attack on her. He left her outside Aizen's palace, where she transformed into an amnesiac child, and Dondochakka and Pesche vowed to protect her. In the present, Nnoitra taunts Neliel about their past and Neliel prepares to release her zanpakutō.|
|195||The Ultimate Union! Pesche's Seriousness
"Kyūkyoku Gattai! Pesshe no Honki" (究極合体! ペッシェの本気)
|November 18, 2008||—|
|Neliel finishes her release, transforming into a white centaur, and overwhelms Nnoitra. Meanwhile, Pesche and Dondochakka begin to fight Szayel, and use cero sincrético, a combination attack fusing their cero blasts, to attack Szayel. However, Szayel nullifies the attack, and reveals that he had already analyzed their spiritual energy. When Neliel attempts to finish off Nnoitra, she transforms back into her child form. Ichigo tries to help Nel, and Nnoitra allows Tesla to fight him. After releasing his zanpakutō, Tesla starts to torture the exhausted Ichigo. Before Tesla can deal the final blow, Soul Reaper captain Kenpachi Zaraki stops him.|
|196||Joining the Battle! The Strongest Soul Reaper Army Appears
"Sanzen! Saikyō Shinigami Gundan Tōjō" (参戦! 最強死神軍団登場)
|November 25, 2008||—|
|Kenpachi defeats Tesla in one blow and tells Ichigo to stay out of his fight with Nnoitra. He informs Ichigo that Kisuke Urahara was tasked with making the garganta gateways into Hueco Mundo stable enough for Soul Reaper captains to enter, and that three other captains went with him. Captain Retsu Unohana arrives with her lieutenant, Isane Kotetsu, and they stop the Exequias from killing Gantenbainne Mosqueda and Yasutora "Chad" Sado. Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi and his lieutenant Nemu Kurotsuchi arrive; Mayuri is confident that he can win against Szayel, even after Szayel creates a voodoo doll of him. Captain Byakuya Kuchiki arrives to save Rukia Kuchiki from Espada Zommari Leroux, and overcomes Zommari's enhanced speed with the techniques Yoruichi Shihōin taught him.|
|197||Byakuya's Bankai, The Quiet Anger
"Byakuya Bankai, Shizukanaru Ikari" (白夜の哉卍解、静かなる怒り)
|December 2, 2008||—|
|After realizing that Byakuya refuses to treat him as an equal opponent, Zommari releases his zanpakutō, and grows on his body eyes that can control the objects they are looking at. Zommari takes control of Byakuya's arm and leg, and Byakuya cuts his own tendons to stop them from moving. Meanwhile, Byakuya orders Hanatarō Yamada to take Rukia to safety. Zommari uses one of his eyes to control Rukia, and has her slice Hanatarō with her sword. Before Byakuya can interfere, he threatens to force her to commit suicide. Byakuya immobilizes Rukia with kidō, and uses his bankai. Surrounded by thousands of tiny blades, Zommari is overwhelmed by the attack.|
|198||The Two Scientists, Mayuri's Trap
"Futari no Kagakusha, Mayuri no Wana" (2人の科学者、マユリの罠)
|December 9, 2008||—|
|Zommari survives Byakuya's attack, but Byakuya uses kidō to block Zommari's control ability, and quickly dispatches him. Mayuri initially seems unable to fight back against Szayel, who uses his voodoo doll ability to destroy all of Mayuri's organs. However, he reveals that he has made himself immune to Szayel's attack by replacing the organs in his body with dummies, after learning about the ability from bacteria he implanted in Uryū to use the voodoo doll. He then activates his bankai, which poisons Szayel, and subsequently swallows him.|
|199||Holy Birth, The Resurrected Szayel Aporro
"Seitan, Yomigaeru Zaeruaporo" (聖誕、蘇るザエルアポロ)
|December 16, 2008||—|
|Rukia regains consciousness, and Byakuya tells her to rest and regain her strength for the impending battles. Kenpachi battles Nnoitra, and Orihime heals Nel at Ichigo's request. While swallowing Szayel with his bankai, Mayuri inadvertently poisons Uryū and Renji, and Szayel seizes the opportunity to resurrect himself by absorbing Nemu's spiritual particles through his Gabriel technique. However, in the process, he ingests a "superhuman" drug from inside Nemu that increases all of his senses to the point where his body cannot respond to the flood of sensory information, immobilizing him. Mayuri then stabs him through the hand before stabbing him in the heart.|
|200||The Hardest Body!? Cut Down Nnoitra
"Saikō no Karada!? Noitora o Kire" (最硬の体!? ノイトラを斬れ)
|December 23, 2008||—|
|Szayel, whose senses are heightened by the drug, feels Mayuri's zanpakutō piercing through his hand and heart for what he feels as centuries before he dies. After restoring Nemu to full health, Mayuri orders her to clear away the rubble that concealed Szayel's laboratory. Afterwards, Mayuri heals Uryū's injuries. Meanwhile, Kenpachi has difficulty cutting through Nnoitra's skin, which Nnoitra claims is the toughest of any of the Espada, but believes that Nnoitra can be injured. Kenpachi stabs Nnoitra through his eye patch, but Nnoitra counterattacks, injuring Kenpachi. He then reveals that Kenpachi had stabbed him through his hollow hole, which had moved to where his left eye should have been.|
|201||Nnoitra Released! Multiplying Arms
"Noitora Kaihō! Zōshokushita Ude" (ノイトラ開放! 増殖した腕)
|January 6, 2009||—|
|Kenpachi slashes at Nnoitra, wounding him, and uses the correct amount of force he needed to cut Nnoitra's skin. He continues to attack Nnoitra, and after Nnoitra accidentally tears off Kenpachi's eye patch while trying to attack him, the limits on his power are removed. Kenpachi delivers a slash through Nnoitra's torso. Nnoitra releases his zanpakutō, and gains an additional pair of arms. Nnoitra attacks Kenpachi and severely wounds him, while Kenpachi manages to cut off one of his arms. Nnoitra regenerates the arm and continues on the assault, growing another pair of arms and stabbing Kenpachi with one of his hands.|
|202||Fierce Fighting Conclusion! Who's the Strongest?
"Gekitō Kecchaku! Saikyō wa Dare da" (激動決着! 最強は誰だ)
|January 13, 2009||—|
|Kenpachi continues fighting Nnoitra, and although he is able to keep up with his attacks, he realizes that he is in danger of dying. He then resorts to using kendo, and severely injures Nnoitra with a two-handed strike. Kenpachi attempts to leave, but Nnoitra insists that he finish their battle. Nnoitra recalls his time with Neliel, in which Neliel frequently saved him from his attempts to die in battle, and claims that he is angered by any display of pity from his opponent. He charges Kenpachi, who inflicts the finishing blow.|
|203||Karakura Town Gathers! Aizen Versus the Soul Reapers
"Karakura-chō ni Shūketsu! Aizen Tai Shinigami" (空座町に集結! 藍染対死神)
|January 20, 2009||—|
|After Kenpachi defeats Nnoitra, the Espada Starrk arrives and carries Orihime away to a tower, where Sōsuke Aizen greets her. He informs her that he, Gin Ichimaru, and Kaname Tōsen are preparing to destroy Karakura Town. Aizen orders Tōsen to contact the Soul Reaper captains, Ichigo, and his friends with kidō, and reveals that he brought Orihime to Hueco Mundo to lure and trap them. While he travels through a garganta portal to Karakura Town, however, Commander-General Shigekuni Yamamoto-Genryūsai, the leader of the Gotei 13 confronts Aizen, with five other captains. Aizen summons the Espada Starrk, Barragan, and Harribel and orders Espada Ulquiorra Cifer to protect Las Noches. Ichigo, sensing the threat to Orihime, flies off to save her.|
|204||Ichigo's Seppuku Persuasion Strategy ☆
"Ichigo no Seppuku Settoku Sakusen" (一護の切腹説得大作戦☆)
|January 27, 2009||—|
|In the real world, Ichigo is in school when he see Lurichiyo from the Kasumioji clan again; she has come back to the real world because she is angered that Kenryu, her retainer, would not allow her to play soccer when she has other important duties. This leads to an outburst between Lurichiyo and Kenryu, and Kenryu intends to kill himself to make Lurichiyo "happy". After Ichigo and his friends persuade Kenryu, they put on an act to fool Lurichiyo into forgiving him, but she sees through the trick. This leads to another argument about soccer and culminates in Lurichiyo challenging Kenryu to a soccer game to see who is right.|
|205||Thump! A Kemari Tournament Filled with Hollows
"Doki! Horō Darake no Kemari Taikai" (ドキ! 虚だらけの蹴鞠大会)
|February 3, 2009||—|
|The soccer game officially starts; the referees are the proprietors from the Urahara Shop, Jinta Hanakari and Ururu Tsumugiya. Kisuke Urahara himself oversees the proceedings, and set up a gigantic barrier around the play field to indicate the assigned area. The two teams, each with varying characters ranging from gigais to Kon, the modsoul, attempt to keep the ball away from each other in different, comical ways. Ikkaku Madarame joins in the game, while sparring with Ichigo under the impression that he was undergoing intensive training. Then a hollow appears on the field, drawn by everyone's spiritual pressure. With the help of Ichigo, Chad and Uryū, the hollow is quickly dispatched; the game ends because Lurichiyo's team dropped the ball. Before she can lament about going back to her world, Shuu from the Kasumioji clan enters the human world and shows Lurichiyo that her idea about a soccer tournament in Soul Society was not such a bad idea in the eyes of the commoners after all. Satisfied at this, Lurichiyo, Kenryu and Enryu return to Soul Society.|
- "Bleach 破面·VS.死神篇 1" [Bleach Arrancar vs. Shinigami hen 1 DVD] (in Japanese). Amazon.com. Retrieved April 7, 2009.
- "ぴえろ Bleach =ブリーチ=" [Pierrot Bleach =Staff=] (in Japanese). Studio Pierrot. Retrieved April 7, 2009.
- "第189-200" [Episodes 189-200] (in Japanese). TV Tokyo. Retrieved January 19, 2009.
- "第201-213" [Episodes 201-213] (in Japanese). TV Tokyo. Retrieved November 3, 2009.
- "Viz Officially Announces Bleach Anime". Anime News Network. March 15, 2006. Retrieved April 13, 2009.
- "Bleach 破面·VS.死神篇 4 DVD" [Bleach Arrancar vs. Shinigami hen 4 DVD] (in Japanese). Amazon.com. Retrieved September 3, 2006.
- "ウェコムンド編、再会!". TV Tokyo, Dentsu, Studio Pierrot. Bleach. TV Tokyo. October 14, 2008.
- "激動決着!最強は誰だ". TV Tokyo, Dentsu, Studio Pierrot. Bleach. TV Tokyo. January 13, 2009.
- "白夜の哉卍解、静かなる怒り". TV Tokyo, Dentsu, Studio Pierrot. Bleach. TV Tokyo. December 2, 2008.
it:Episodi di Bleach (stagione 10)