The 11th 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 Visored's past.
The season first aired from February 10, 2009 until March 24, 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 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.
|EP#||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||—|
|One hundred and ten years before the start of the series, then–fifth division captain Shinji Hirako is approached by then–fifth division lieutenant, Sōsuke Aizen, about preparations for the new captain of 12th division. While she and Kisuke Urahara spar in their private training area, Yoruichi Shihōin tells him that she has recommended him for the position of 12th Division Captain. Soi Fon, immediately distrusting Urahara because of what she has seen of his person 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 Soi Fon'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 captain's meeting.|
|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||—|
|Urahara is appointed Captain of 12th Division at the ceremony attended by the other captains and introduces himself to his squad. Vice-Captain 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 12th 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, Shinji and Urahara are sitting outside, and Shinji tells Kisuke that Hiyori loved the previous captain of 12th 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||—|
|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, Kisuke 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 hairpiece before escaping, taunting him by putting her breasts against his head in the process. Ukitake tells Kaien of a boy who is to be promoted to a seat position in his squad. The boy, who easily slays the third seat 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||—|
|Three shadowed figures watch as citizens of Rukongai are devoured and killed by a strange white substance. Later, Shinji, Aizen, Mayuri, Hiyori and Urahara meet to discuss the recent disappearances of 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 12th Squad 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 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||—|
|The spiritual energies of Kensei and his squad vanish; this disappearance sparks a serious situation in Soul Society. An emergency captain's meeting is held to determine who will oversee the situation. Kisuke appears late and pleads his case to go, but Yamamoto does not grant his request. Instead, Shinji, Love Aikawa, Rōjūrō "Rose" Otoribashi, Kyoraku's lieutenant Yadomaru Lisa and Hachigen Ushōda, from the Kido Corps, are dispatched. In the woods, Hiyori is attacked by a grotesque and powerful hollow revealed to be Kensei. Shinji arrives to save her, along with the rest of the captains, but soon Mashiro Kuna appears; she is also transformed into a hollow and attacks the group. Hachigen binds both Mashiro and Kensei, but the latter escapes through brute strength alone. Meanwhile, Kisuke 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 Kido 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||—|
|Captain Kyoraku 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. Shinji is then brutally attacked by Hiyori, who is now a hollow. Kaname Tōsen incapacitates the group, with the exception of Shinji. Aizen appears and reveals his own betrayal, explaining to Hirako that his illusion-casting zanpakutō made it seem like Aizen was following Shinji all the time, when it was actually a different person. Shinji and the rest of the group start transforming into hollows, but Shinji manages to hang onto himself. Aizen prepares to finish off Hirako, but Kisuke 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||—|
|Kisuke and Tessai try to attack Aizen, but Aizen is expecting their arrival. While Kisuke reveals he has been testing hollowification in Soul Society, Aizen flees. In the 12th squad research facilities, Kisuke shows Tessai the object that may be useful in saving those undergoing the hollowfication process, the Hogyoku. Kisuke and Tessai are arrested and brought before Central Room 46 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 and Kisuke's hideout, along with the eight Soul Reapers undergoing hollowfication. Kisuke declares that he will find out how to save them. Time flashes forward to present day at the Visoreds headquarters, Shinji says that they thank what they have become thanks to Kisuke and Aizen, and the group leaves.|
- "BLEACH 過去篇 上 DVD" [Bleach The Past arc DVD] (in Japanese). Amazon.com. Retrieved October 5, 2009.
- "ぴえろ Bleach =ブリーチ=" [Pierrot Bleach =Staff=] (in Japanese). Studio Pierrot. Retrieved April 7, 2009.
- "第214-226" [Episodes 214-226] (in Japanese). TV Tokyo. Retrieved April 19, 2009.
- "Viz Officially Announces Bleach Anime". Anime News Network. March 15, 2006. Retrieved April 13, 2009.
- "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.
it:Episodi di Bleach (stagione 11)