- Episodes: 28
- 64 – 91
- Original run: January 17, 2006 – August 1, 2006
The fourth Bleach Arc introduces a new mystery in the human world. Despite trying to figure out Aizen’s plan Ichigo is forced to handle this new threat.This arc is what they call “anime-only” so in other words it is a filler arc created purely for anime adaption and does not feature in the manga.
Ichigo and his friends have just returned to Karakura town without Rukia to continue with their everyday lives. Renji volunteers to be the shinigami in Karakura town and meets up with Ichigo. The new arc starts with Orihime disappearing and the appearance of three new challengers. They hold Orihime hostage and force the others to ‘play’ their game otherwise they will kill Orihime. Eventually they also manage to capture Chad. While fighting the threesome Ichigo figures out he can no longer use his Bankai.
At the end of the crisis with the troublesome three a new threat appears, the Bount. Urahara soon explains that the Bount devour the souls of humans in order to prolong their lives. Ichigo gets into a battle with one of the Bount and is being overwhelmed when Rukia steps in and saves him. During the confrontations with the Bount it is discovered that for an unknown reason the bount need a Quincy. The Bount then set their sights on Uryū, a quincy who has lost his powers. In exchange for his help they promise to give him his power back.
Ichigo gets involved by trying to protect Uryū. The bount can control weapons called ‘dolls’ which fight for them. Going up against various dolls it is clear that Ichigo is not able to defeat them. Soul socioty steps in and also tries to solve the mystery of the Bount. A small team of shinigami are put together to stop the Bount from devouring human souls.
The arc ends with Ichigo’s group, the shinigami, the bount and a surprise person all in the same cave all coming to head.
Despite the fact that this entire arc is pure filler there were some really good fights and it gave an opportunity for the bonds to deepen between Ichigo and his friends.
This arc uses five pieces of music. Two are opening songs and three are for the ending.
The first eleven episodes uses “Ichirin no Hana” by High and Mighty Color. The rest use the opening, “Tonight, Tonight, Tonight” by Beat Crusaders.
The first ending theme is “My Pace” by SunSet Swish, switching at episode 75 to “Hanabi” by Ikimonogakari and again at episode 87 to “Movin!!” by Takacha.