The popular shonen anime Bleach has accumulated well over 350 episodes. A quick look at IMDb's ratings reveals which of those became fan favorites.
Bleach had an incredible run in Shonen Jump and cemented itself as one of the "big three" of shonen animanga. It shared the position alongside the genre's other juggernauts, Naruto and One Piece. Bleach embraced shonen cliches and was a blueprint for several other series that followed.
Bleach follows Ichigo Kurosaki after he gains the power of a Soul Reaper. He wants to protect his friends from Hollows, or evil supernatural creatures. Although the Bleach anime adaptation was controversial, it's nonetheless a classic. IMDb's ranking system is a great way to gauge which episodes of Bleach fans loved the most.
Updated on October 16th, 2022 by Sarah Martin:Since Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War recently started airing, fans have been revisiting some of their favorite moments in Bleach in anticipation of the new reboot. As this list was published in 2019, we've updated it with IMDb's current rankings for the top ten Bleach episodes.
10/10Aizen Tatsu! Osorubeki Yabo
IMDb Score: 8.8
After Tosen sent Renji and Rukia to Sokyoku Hill, they were surprised Aizen was still alive. Aizen demanded Renji release Rukia, but he refused. Shortly after, Ichigo and the gang recognized the report they received wasn't a trap and immediately headed to Sokyoku Hill.
Abarai and Aizen faced off in an epic battle where the latter tore through the former's Shikai and proved his unwavering strength. Aizen also fought Ichigo, who suffered a brutal defeat almost as soon as he entered the battle. Aizen laid out all of his evil plans and, just as he was about to reveal the worst, Sajin intervened in a terrifying way.
9/10A New Appearance! Meet The Gotei 13!
IMDb Score: 8.9
Ginjo betrayed Ichigo, revealing he was only using him to achieve XCution's goal before stealing his Fullbring powers. Ichigo lost his powers, which devastated him. Ichigo even broke down before Ginjo and begged to be a shinigami again.
Bleach fans loved this episode because it showed an uncharacteristically vulnerable moment for Ichigo after realizing that he probably wouldn't be able to protect his friends without the powers or means to do so. Luckily, Rukia teamed up with Urahara and a few other shinigami to help Ichigo.
8/10Shuketsu Seyo! Saikyo No Shinigami Gundan
IMDb Score: 9.0
Aizen blocked Sajin's attack, and after an epic battle, continued explaining his plans. Aizen went into a monologue, explaining just how intricate his plan for the future was. Afterward, he extracted the Hogyoku from Rukia's body before going in for the kill. Luckily, Byakuya saved her, but Ichimaru injured him in the process.
Byakuya's attempt at rescuing Rukia stalled Aizen long enough for the captains and Yoruichi to show up. They cornered Aizen, who then pulled out another trump card, allowing him and his allies to escape the Soul Society.
7/10Emergency Situation! Aizen, New Evolution!
IMDb Score: 9.0
Aizen was getting closer to killing Ichigo and the gang just in time for Gin Ichimaru to betray him after hundreds of years. Becoming one of the most epic Bleach episodes,it depicted Gin's efforts to defeat Aizen coming to a head after one hundred years of hard work and preparation.
Gin arrived on the scene and stabbed Aizen with his Zanpakuto. Their battle went on for a considerable amount of time, and both parties involved showed off their strongest skills. However, evil never died, and Aizen came out victorious in the end.
6/10An Accomplished Oath! Get Back Rukia!
IMDb Score: 9.1
Rukia received a death sentence for giving up her Soul Reapers powers to Ichigo, an ordinary human. One of the peaks of the Soul Society arc was when the gang teamed up and mounted a last-minute rescue to save Rukia from getting executed on Sokyoku Hill.
Rukia was asked what her final wish was, to which she replied she hoped Ichigo and his friends would escape the Soul Society alive. The Captain Commander granted her wish, but it was just a facade. Just as the audience thought it was the end for Rukia and she was raised in the air, Ichigo arrived just in time to save her.
5/10Desperate Effort Vs. Desperate Effort! The Hollowized Ichigo
IMDb Score: 9.1
Ichigo's battle with Grimmjow continued. Even though he was losing, he wanted to keep the morale high among his friends and constantly reassured everybody that he'd be alright, reminding them to take a breather. Grimmjow attacked Orihime, who was more horrified by Ichigo's Hollow form more than anything else.
Grimmjow unleashed some of his strongest techniques during this battle and gave Ichigo a serious run for his money. It wasn't surprising that this became one of the highest-rated Bleach episodes since it depicted the climax of one of the series' best fights.
4/10Conclusion of the Death Match! White Pride And Black Desire
IMDb Score: 9.1
This episode started out with Uryu, Orihime, and Chad running through the Seretei to get Ichigo before he got hurt. Before they reached him, however, Byakuya confronted Ichigo and provoked him into a fight. Byakuya unleashed his Bankai soon after realizing that he was on the same level as Ichigo.
Byakuya took Ichigo to death's door. However, Ichigo's Hollow took over and evaded Byakuya's attack. In his Hollow form, Ichigo overpowered Byakuya and dealt heavy damage. By the end of the episode, Ichigo reunited with his friends.
IMDb Score: 9.2
This episode revealed why Gin betrayed Aizen in the first place. The first half comprised a flashback explaining Gin's motives and showing that Rangiku and Aizen's behavior left him no other choice. Then, Aizen tuned into his fear of death and used it to evolve into a Soul Reaper and Hollow hybrid.
The second half of the episode picked up with Ichigo appearing on the mountain to take Aizen down. The fans were confused about whose blade was causing the mountain to crumble under its impact until the end, when it's revealed that it was Ichigo's doing. This episode proved how evil Aizen was and how far Ichigo was willing to go to protect his friends.
2/10Fierce Fighting Conclusion! Release, The Final Getsuga Tensho!
IMDb Score: 9.5
Ichigo brought out his ultimate trump card to take Aizen down. Just when it seemed like Aizen was totally invincible, Ichigo finally defeated him and ended his reign of tyranny. Many Bleach fans watched the episode and released a sigh of relief, knowing that the long battle against Aizen had finally concluded.
The Getsuga Tensho took a severe physical toll on Ichigo, and it made him lose all of his shinigami powers. The Getsuga Tensho form granted Ichigo Mugetsu, the powerful technique that he used to injure Aizen's strongest form.
1/10Ichigo Dies! Orihime, The Cry Of Sorrow!
IMDb Score: 9.7
This episode featured of a continuation of Ichigo's battle against Ulquiorra. Ulquiorra couldn't understand why Ichigo wanted to challenge him and didn't admit his inferiority. Ichigo proved himself a true hero in this scene by saying that he needed to defeat Ulquiorra to save his friends, most notably, Orihime. Ulquiorra was enraged by Ichigo's response and incapacitated him in retaliation.
Orihime and Uryu showed up just in time before Ulquiorra could deal the finishing blow, and Ichigo transformed into a Vasto Lorde Hollow. Many Bleach fans regarded Ichigo and Ulquiorra's fight as one of the series' best. It took both characters to death's door and represented what both parties were fighting for.