The Arrancar Arc[1] is the third and longest story arc of the Bleach manga. It immediately follows the events of the Soul Society Arc and consists of Volume 21 through Volume 35.[Notes 1] It is followed by the Fake Karakura Town Arc.


The Arrancar Arc covers the early conflict against Sōsuke Aizen's Rebellion. It introduces the ArrancarHollows who have torn off their masks in order to obtain Shinigami powers—who serve Sōsuke Aizen in his journey to gain access to the Soul King Palace. They are opposed by the Gotei 13 and Ichigo Kurosaki, who is brought into direct conflict with them after Ulquiorra Cifer kidnaps his friend, Orihime Inoue.

Together with his friends Uryū Ishida, Yasutora Sado, Rukia Kuchiki, and Renji Abarai, Ichigo faces off against Aizen's Espada in an attempt to rescue Orihime. They are later joined by several Gotei 13 captains who aid in their fights. Ichigo's battles against Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez and Ulquiorra assist him in mastering his Hollowfication and, though he nearly dies, he does eventually manage to rescue Orihime.

However, the kidnap of Orihime was only a ruse to lure Ichigo, his friends, and some of the Gotei 13 away from Karakura Town, allowing Aizen and his co-conspirators, Gin Ichimaru and Kaname Tōsen, to lead an invasion in order to complete the Ōken



  1. Bleach: Official Character Book 2 MASKED has an interview with Tite Kubo in which the period from the appearance of the Arrancar all the way up until the move to the Fake Karakura Town is referred to as "the Arrancar Arc." There is no Hueco Mundo Arc.



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Story Arcs

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