The episodes of the twelfth season of the Bleach anime series, released on DVD as the Arrancar: Decisive Battle of Karakura arc (破面・空座決戦篇 Arrancar・Karakura Kessen Hen?), aired in Japan from March 31, 2009 to July 21, 2009. They are directed by Noriyuki Abe and produced by TV Tokyo, Dentsu, and Studio Pierrot. The 17-episode season is based on Tite Kubo's Bleach manga series. The plot continues shows the fight between Soul Society's group of Soul Reapers against Sōsuke Aizen's army of Arrancar, with the former defending Karakura Town, and the latter planning to use Karakura to invade and destroy Soul Society. The season moves on to auto-conclusive stories beginning with episode 227.
The season first aired from March 31, 2009 until July 21, 2009 on TV Tokyo in Japan. The English adaptation of the Bleach anime is licensed by Viz Media, which has yet to announce when the season will air. The first DVD compilation of the season containing the first four episodes was released on January 27, 2010. Three volumes have been released as of March 24, 2010.
The episodes use two pieces of theme music: one opening theme and one closing theme. The opening theme is "Shōjo S" (少女S Shōjo Esu?, "Girl S") by Scandal. The ending theme is "Kimi wo Mamotte, Kimi wo Aishite" (君を守って 君を愛して?, "I Will Protect You, I Love You") by Sambomaster.
|EP#||Title||Original airdate||English airdate|
|213||The Soul Burial Detective, Karakura Riser is Born
"Konsō Keiji Karakuraizā Tanjō" (魂葬刑事カラクライザー誕生)
|March 31, 2009||—|
|Going back to the time when Ichigo, Uryū, and Chad left the real world for Hueco Mundo with Kisuke's help, the focus is now directed to the events that took place in Karakura Town during a previous arc. Kisuke feels that Karakura Town needs protection against hollows now that Ichigo left. In one night, he thinks of a fun way to protect the town: force Kon into a team of hollow fighting super heroes called "Soul Burial Detective, Karakura Riser". Once Kon adjusts to his new hero suit, he meets the rest of the team, which includes Don Kanonji, Tatsuki Arisawa, Chizuru, Keigo Asano, and Ururu. After a successful fight with Hollows, the team encounters a woman who appears to be an arrancar.|
|214||Karakura Riser's Last Day
"Karakuraizā Saigo no Hi" (カラクライザー最後の日)
|April 7, 2009||—|
|The team assembled in the previous episode is to infiltrate a gate that the Arrancar are using to travel between Hueco Mundo and the world of the living. At the "Hollow Fortress", numerous Hollows attack the team. Don Kanonji and Ururu stay behind to fight the hollows on the outside, and the others enter the "Hollow Fortress". Once inside, they meet one of the many arrancar from Hueco Mundo. Chizuru uses her "Hyper Erotic Powers" to distract the arrancar, and Tatsuki, Keigo, and Kurumadani take care of the Hollows inside. Kon travels to the center of the fortress, where he meets a hollow and kills it with his "Riser Beam", exploding and destroying the heart of the fortress, and the fortress itself. In the end, Urahara erects a barrier around Karakura Town, and lulls its citizens, including the Karakura Riser Team, to sleep.|
|215||Defend Karakura Town! Entire Appearance of the Shinigami
"Karakura-chō o Mamore! Shinigami Sōtōjō" (空座町を護れ!死神総登場)
|April 14, 2009||—|
|Sōsuke Aizen, Kaname Tōsen, and Gin Ichimaru arrive in Karakura town and are met by the remaining captains of the Gotei 13 and their lieutenants. Aizen states how he is aware that he is not in the real Karakura Town and says that after slaughtering them, he will make the King's Key in Soul Society. He says that Las Noches is in Espada Ulquiorra Cifer's hands, at which Ulquiorra appears in the throne room behind Orihime Inoue. Ichigo Kurosaki senses his appearance and he rushes to the 5th tower where Ulquiorra and Orihime are located. It then goes back to the battle where the captains talk amongst themselves, when suddenly the captain-commander Shigekuni Yamamoto-Genryūsai unleashes his shikai to trap Aizen, Tōsen, and Gin. Back in Las Noches, Ulquiorra talks to Orihime, asking if she is scared, to which she replies she is not. The exequias and their leader, Rudobone, temporarily delay Ichigo. Rudobone and his men attack, but are stopped by Renji Abarai, Yasutora Sado, and Rukia Kuchiki. Ichigo continues on his way eventually breaking though the floor into the throne room, ready to battle.|
|216||Elite! The Four Shinigami
"Seiei! Yonnin no Shinigami" (精鋭!四人の死神)
|April 21, 2009||—|
|Ichigo arrives in the 5th Tower to save Orihime and confronts Ulquiorra. Ulquiorra unsheathes his sword and they begin their battle. Meanwhile, back at the fake Karakura, Espada Barragan Luisenbarn takes command since Aizen is trapped inside Yamamoto's fire prison. His first plan of action is to destroy the four pillars protecting Karakura, and he sends out four giant hollows to do the job. Soul Reapers Ikkaku Madarame, Yumichika Ayasegawa, Izuru Kira, and Shūhei Hisagi each take one pillar, and after defeating the hollows with ease, are matched up against Choe Neng Poww, Charlotte Cuuhlhourne, Avirama Redder, and Findor Carias, four of Barragan's six Fraccion. Each is introduced to the other and the battle for Karakura begins.|
|217||Beautiful Little Devil Charlotte
"Utsukushiki Koakuma Sharurotte" (美しき小悪魔シャルロッテ)
|April 28, 2009||—|
|In his fight, Kira manages to draw blood against his opponent, Avirama Redder, who proceeds to release his zanpakutō, Águila. Meanwhile, Yumichika and his opponent, Charlotte Cuuhlhourne, continue their fight, but the two spar while declaring the other ugly; however, both decide that the victor shall be the most beautiful. Charlotte uses several attacks, which are able to injure Yumichika. When Yumichika manages to cut off some of Charlotte's hair, the Arrancar is enraged and releases his sword Reina de Rosas. Now stronger than Yumichika, the fight escalates until Charlotte traps Yumichika in a prison of black thorns, which completely encases the combatants and their reiatsu, hiding Yumichika's death from everyone. Upon hearing that his reiatsu is hidden, Yumichika reveals the true form of his zanpakutō, a kidō-type sword. With its power, he drains Charlotte's reiatsu, claiming victory.|
|218||Kira, The Battle Within Despair
"Kira, Zetsubō no Naka de no Tatakai" (吉良、絶望の中での戦い)
|May 5, 2009||—|
|Yumichika reveals that he uses a "nickname" for his zanpakutō to avoid revealing its kidō-based abilities so that he can fit in with the 11th Division. The other fights continue elsewhere, and Findor reveals to Hisagi that he can chip off pieces of his mask to increase his power level. Izuru fights Avirama, whose Resurrection turns him into a bird and enables him to attack Izuru with heavy steel feathers. Izuru uses his zanpakutō, Wabisuke, to make Avirama's wings too heavy to fly, and reveals that it represents the 3rd Division's belief that war is full of despair. He then decapitates Avirama, noting afterward that he does not want to be forgiven.|
|219||Hisagi's Shikai! The Name is...
"Hisagi Shikai! Sono na wa..." (檜佐木始解!その名は...)
|May 12, 2009||—|
|Hisagi has difficulty fighting his opponent, Findor Carias, despite technically being on the same level of power. When Findor releases his zanpakutō Pinza Aguda and corners Hisagi with blasts of water, Hisagi reluctantly releases his zanpakutō, Kazeshini. With his zanpakutō released Hisagi overpowers Findor, seeing this Findor breaks off 90% of his mask, now making him much stronger, but Hisagi easily damages him leaving Findor paralyzed with fear. After overpowering Findor, Hisagi explains that Findor is inferior to him because Findor does not fear his own power. Findor makes a desperate attempt to defeat Hisagi with a cero, but is killed by Hisagi's zanpakutō. Meanwhile, Barragan's fourth Fraccion, Choe Neng Poww, is able to defeat Ikkaku and destroy the pillar he had been guarding.|
|220||Ikkaku Falls! The Shinigami's Crisis
"Ikkaku Taoreru! Shinigami no Kiki" (一角倒れる!死神の危機)
|May 19, 2009||—|
|As a result of the pillar being destroyed, the real Karakura town starts to return, but Seventh Division lieutenant Tetsuzaemon Iba manages to stop it while his captain Sajin Komamura faces Poww. Poww knocks Komamura aside with a single punch in his unreleased state, and releasing his zanpakutō, Calderón, vastly increases his size and tries to finish off Ikkaku and Iba. Komamura, however, manages to overpower and defeat him easily with his bankai. Iba reprimands Ikkaku for failing to protect the pillar because of his desire to avoid revealing his own strength, and tells him that if he wishes to fight, he must carry out his orders even at the cost of his own life. Barragan grows visibly angry because of his Fraccions' defeat.|
|221||The Full Showdown! Soul Reapers vs. Espada
"Zenmen Taiketsu! Shinigami VS Esupāda" (全面対決!死神VS十刃)
|May 26, 2009||—|
|Barragan's two remaining Fraccion, Ggio Vega and Nirgge Parduoc, offer to deal with the other Soul Reapers themselves, and end up facing against second division captain Soi Fon and second division lieutenant Marechiyo Ōmaeda. Eighth and thirteenth division captains Shunsui Kyōraku and Jūshirō Ukitake face Starrk, but are unwilling to fight against his Fraccion, Lilynette. While tenth division captain Tōshirō Hitsugaya begins fighting Harribel, lieutenant Rangiku Matsumoto begins fighting her Fraccion, who are able to defend themselves against her zanpakutō's ability by using cero. While Ōmaeda struggles against Nirgge, Soi Fon is able to pin Ggio to the wall and releases her zanpakutō.|
|222||The Most Evil Tag!? Soi Fon & Ōmaeda
"Saikyō taggu!? Soi Fon & Ōmaeda" (最凶タッグ!?砕蜂&大前田)
|June 2, 2009||—|
|Ggio manages to free himself and fights back against Soi Fon, chiding her for not finishing him off when she had the chance. He releases his zanpakutō Tigre Estoque and continues fighting her, seeming to be of equal or greater skill. Ōmaeda continues fighting Nirgge, and while it appears that Nirgge can keep up with his speed even in his slower release state. Ōmaeda reveals that he had only pretended to be slow, and manages to outmaneuver Nirgge and bash him in the head with his zanpakutō Gegetsuburi. Despite this, Nirgge gets up again, only to be knocked down again when Ggio accidentally knocks Soi Fon at his head.|
|223||A Miraculous Body! Ggio Releases
"Kyōi no Nikutai! Jio Kaihō" (驚異の肉体!ジオ解放)
|June 9, 2009||—|
|Soi Fon continues fighting Ggio, and is pinned down. Nirgge gets up and tries attacking Ōmaeda again, but he defeats him and tries to help Soi Fon. Ggio is about to shoot Ōmaeda with a Cero but Soi Fon breaks free and knocks Ōmaeda away before Ggio can kill him, revealing that she had hoped to study an arrancar's Resurrection form before facing the Espada. Ggio then responds by turning into his "Tigre Estoque El Sable" form to grow stronger, but Soi Fon kills him easily with her zanpakutō's ability. She and Ōmaeda then go to face Barragan.|
|224||3 vs. 1 Battle! Rangiku's Crisis
"3 vs 1 no Sentō! Pinchi no Rangiku" (3vs1の戦闘!ピンチの乱菊)
|June 16, 2009||—|
|Rangiku fights Harribel's three Fraccion; Apache, Mila Rose and Sunsun; and struggles against them until fifth division lieutenant Momo Hinamori arrives, having resolved to fight against her former captain. Momo uses a kidō combination that seriously injures the three Fraccion, but they heal their wounds by releasing their zanpakutō, and use their left arms to create a strange creature that shares their traits. Elsewhere, Kyōraku continues his battle with Starrk, but neither is willing to release their zanpakutō.|
|225||Vice-Captains Annihilated! The Terrifying Demonic Beast
"Fukutaichō Zenmetsu! Kyōfu no Yōjū" (副隊長全滅!恐怖の妖獣)
|June 23, 2009||—|
|Lilynette attempts to fight Ukitake, but he is able to effortlessly block her attacks and tells her to give up, angering her. The fused creature named Allon is able to severely wound Rangiku and Momo with little effort, but Hisagi and Izuru arrive to save them. Hisagi attempts to fight Allon while Izuru tends to Momo and Rangiku's wounds, but Allon overpowers him. Iba tries to intervene, but Allon blasts him aside with a cero from a hidden eye. It tosses Hisagi aside and advances on Izuru, but Yamamoto, disappointed that his men are unable to defeat it, steps in to fight it, wounding it with his staff.|
|226||Fierce Fighting Concludes? Towards a New Battle!
"Gekitō Shūketsu? Aratanaru Tatakai e!" (激闘終結?新たなる戦いへ!)
|June 30, 2009||—|
|Allon goes into a rage after being wounded by Yamamoto and increases in size, but Yamamoto easily defeats it and Harribel's three Fraccion. Hitsugaya struggles against Harribel, who reveals that she is third among the Espada and then hits him with a torrent of energy. Kyōraku fights Starrk, who reveals that he is the top Espada. Elsewhere in Las Noches, Ichigo continues his fight with Ulquiorra, and despite Ulquiorra's claim that Ichigo's friends and the Soul Reapers will be defeated, Ichigo has faith in their victory and continues to fight against him.|
"Wandafuru Erā" (ワンダフル·エラー)
|July 7, 2009||—|
|In the real world, much of the main class is attending their first day at Karakura High School. Ichigo and Chad met and befriend Keigo Asano and Mizuiro Kojima while saving Keigo from some thugs. Orihime meets Chizuru, who tries to woo her only to be kicked in retaliation by Tatsuki Arisawa. In Soul Society, the lieutenants meet and decide to promote Renji to Lieutenant of the 6th Division and send Rukia to Karakura Town. Renji discusses his promotion with his friends, but decides to make it a surprise for when Rukia gets back. Rukia, after speaking with her captain and third seats, heads to Karakura town, at the same time as the first episode begins.|
|228||Summer! Sea! Swimsuit Festival!!
"Natsu da! Umi da! Mizugisai!!" (夏だ!海だ!水着祭!!)
|July 14, 2009||—|
|The Soul Reapers decide to take a vacation to the ocean in the real world because captain Byakuya Kuchiki destroyed the pool the Shinigami Women's Association covertly built in his mansion. The Women's association shop for swimsuits and then head for the beach where everyone meets up. After attending Ukitake's weak body from the heat, they form groups to produce works of art on the beach for a competition. Watermelon-like monsters attack and most of the Shinigami are helpless against them without their zanpakutō until Yoruichi Shihōin and Soi Fon defeat them. It is then revealed that Retsu Unohana arranged the event with Byakuya and Ukitake as a game of splitting watermelons, and several more arrived as the episode ends.|
|229||Cry of the Soul? The Rug Shinigami is Born!
"Tamashī no Sakebi? Zura Shinigami Tanjō!" (魂の叫び？ヅラ死神誕生！)
|July 21, 2009||—|
|Ikkaku Madarame and Yumichika Ayasegawa travel to Karakura Town on an assignment to catch a hollow that had attacked a convoy in Soul Society. The two travel to Ichigo's house planning to stay there until their assignment is complete. Ichigo, however, turns them down and takes them to Keigo's. Keigo's sister, Mizuho is all over Ikkaku until Yumichika glues a wig to his head. Mizuho gets upset and makes life difficult for the pair. After a falling out with Mizuho, Ikkaku and Yumichika camp outside instead. While Mizuho with Keigo to buy some juice, she is attacked by the hollow. After some difficulty removing the wig from himself, Ikkaku gets to the scene and saves Mizuho. The next day, Ikkaku and Yumichika prepare to return home. Mizuho knows Ikkaku rescued her and both of them return to good terms.|
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it:Episodi di Bleach (stagione 12)