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Bleach the 3rd Phantom is the third game in the Bleach DS series based on the popular anime and manga, it is a departure from the usual fighting game formula established by Blade of Fate and it's sequel Dark Souls, instead being a strategy RPG. The game progression is done through a mode called free time, where the chosen main character interacts with various heroes from the series.

The plot, which takes place in an Alternate Continuity, comes from Tite Kubo himself, and introduces four new characters, the Twins Fujimaru and Matsuri and their adoptive family Konoka and Seigen Suzunami, thrown through time after Arturo Plataedo (who some players might remember from Bleach: Shattered Blade) attacks the soul society and is stopped by an object known as the Shisui Mirror.


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This game provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: Two plot arcs are dropped even though nothing happening in the game would specifically necessitate those events not happening, as the player character, their twin, and Seigen haven't really made much of a dent in the post-time skip events yet at that time, but were likely cut to save time for other, more important arcs.
    • First the Visored show up attempting to recruit Ichigo like in the anime, but Ichigo never ends up struggling with his Hollow powers in the game and instead just trains some more in the Soul Society.
    • Second, Grimmjow is never punished for his unauthorized invasion of the Karakura Town, never loses his arm, and is never demoted, meaning Luppi never shows up and Grimmjow never has to regain his rank.
  • Action Bomb: Nemu Kurotsuchi, Don Kanonji, Kon, Renji, Nakeem, and Familiar type Hollows can gain the ability to perform a self-destruct attack (though Renji's version has a special name - Point Blank Shakkaho, based on his fight with Szayelaporro Granz (though said fight isn't in the game)) when their Spiritual Pressure is full, which takes their HP to 1 and does damage equal to their lost Hit Points to all surrounding enemies.
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  • Anti-Frustration Features: Whichever twin you pick as your main character will start with Byakurai. This means that no matter how you build your character, you can never be in a situation where you have absolutely no offensive Kido to fight with if you attempt Kido Training I, which disables the regular attack command.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit:
    • No map permits you to deploy more than eight characters.
    • At the start of the last plot arc of the game, Kisuke Urahara opens a portal to Hueco Mundo that can only fit 9 people (The Kudo twins, Shiyo, and six of the player's choice) for...some reason.
  • Arc Words: "Find that which you require and discard that which you do not". Kotomaru and Ryujomaru give the Kudos this advice when they first hear their Zanpakuto speak to them, telling them to find the determination necessary to unleash their Zanpakuto and to discard the reliance on others that's holding them back. Later, after attacking the Soul Society and being defeated by the player character, Seigen says that he knows what he requires and what he must discard and asks Aizen's help in doing so.
  • Ascended Extra: Some are justified with the game starting years before the main story, but a good number of side characters get a good bit of screentime. The Shibas, Kaien included, Komamura, Kyoraku, and pre-Time Skip Unohana are among those whose role is most increased.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Achieving Bankai, it uses up a large portion of the Free Time between several missions that could be used to raise affinities or recruit units, and requires completing some of the hardest maps in the game, such as Zanjutsu Training I: Single Blow, where all undefeated enemies fully heal at the beginning of each turn and the Female Soul Reaper Society Training, where teams are chosen at random from the playable female Soul Reapers. Furthermore, even if the training is not completed, you still get Bankai and all the other potential techniques in the post-game. However, the various trainings also net the player character a great deal of experience and there is still time to do a few other things.
    • Using Bankai - For all characters who can use Bankai, it requires building up max spiritual pressure and eats up your SP when in use, leaving both at zero after Bankai ends and disabling giving and receiving team ups and attack/defense supports for the duration of Bankai. In exchange, Bankai significantly boosts all of the user's stats and generally gives some combination of boosting one stat even more, often by a percentage instead of a flat amount (such as Ichigo getting massive additional movement and as much as doubling his evasion when in Bankai), summoning an extra unit (such as Komamura's Tenken Myu-oh), and unlocking Bankai-only skills (such as Byakuya's Senkei Senbonzakura Kageyoshi). Most characters with Bankai can mitigate the impractical side of this with a Bankai skill tree that allows them to sustain their Bankai longer, unlock additional Bankai-only techniques, and increase the stat boosts from Bankai. However, one character's Bankai, the Player Character's, has no skill tree to boost its endurance, limiting it to a paltry three turns, but instead of a sizable flat stat boost and a percent boost to one stat, they receive a 50% increase to all stats, making it extremely powerful.
    • Oversized characters such as Jidanbo and certain characters' Bankais - they're theoretically capable of blocking large numbers of enemies and their line and cone area of effect spells are wider (Jidanbo's Byakurai is 2x3 instead of 1x3 and his Raikoho 4 squares across right in front of him and 6 across a square further away instead of 3 and 5 squares, respectively), but they suffer a movement penalty compared to single tile characters and lack support abilities.
    • Soren Sokatsui - on paper, it's significantly more powerful than the basic Sokatsui (appropriate, since in canon, the spell is a doublecast version of Sokatsui), but it costs twice as much SP for a 25% increase in power, has worse accuracy, and a smaller cone, when much of the utility of Sokatsui comes from its ability to hit every tile of a 2x2 enemy and all but two tiles of a 3x3 enemy - at the very best, Soren Sokatsui breaks even on 2x2 enemies and does 5/7 the damage of a regular Sokatsui on 3x3 enemies.
  • Badass Boast: If you've completed the training, after Seigen almost kills the chosen character's twin, they face him and activates their Bankai for the first time, boasting "Seigen Suzunami, I will break your will".
  • Bag of Sharing: The selected usable items are shared across all party changes, even when the Time Skip puts you in control of Ichigo, Chad, Uryu, and Orihime, who will have access to whatever items are left unused after the the fight with Arturo.
  • The Battle Didn't Count:
    • No matter how badly you beat Mad Eater or who does most or even all the damage, he always gets away and dismisses the Kudo twins as too weak to harm him until the Kudo twins gain their Shikais, immediately after which, Mad Eater is rather unceremoniously killed by the twins.
    • Similarly, no matter if or how hard you beat Arturo in Chapter 15, the battle still ends with him whaling on you and Mayuri bailing you out.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: After subconsciously holding back and failing to cut down the non-player Kudo twin when they stop following him and take a blow intended for the player Kudo twin, Seigen decides that his compassion is holding him back from his determination to keep the Soul Society from using the Shisui Mirror ever again. He asks Aizen to help with this, which he does by using the Hogyoku to fuse Seigen with a Menos Grande, destroying most of his mental faculties and turning him into a nearly mindless brute with the regeneration capacities of a Menos Grande and the raw power of a Captain, allowing him to rapidly, continuously, and constantly fire off Ceros, as well as altering their spiritual makeup such that the abomination can use the Shisui Mirror and that combination of rapid regeneration, Captain-level power, and a compatible spiritual makeup allow the Hollowfied Seigen to use the Shisui Mirror without any of the endurance limits that Konoka and Shiyo faced, which in some capacity or another advances Aizen's plans.
  • BFS: In addition to the many very large swords from the base material, several of the new characters have impractically large swords.
    • Matsuri has two options for impractically large swords.
      • First is her default Power-type Shikai, which is an enormous sword-lance hybrid with an axe blade on one side and a partially cloth-wrapped handle and an overall length probably a little longer than Ichigo's Zangetsu, though a good bit of that is due to its very long handle.
      • Second is her Technical-type Shikai, which is a colossal forward-curved cleaver that is fairly normal or only slightly above average in length but is at least six inches from edge to spine at its thinnest point, gets wider towards the tip, has an axe blade on the back, and a large pick at the end, similar to the Uruk-hai swords seen in the The Lord of the Rings movies, except the pick is on the cutting side instead of the spine of the sword.
    • Fujimaru's Power-Type Shikai is more or less a very large scimitar with two rings in the back of the blade, a broad knuckle guard, and a tassel attached to the pommel.
    • Seigen Suzunami's Zanpakuto, Shiden, is a very long Serrated Blade of Pain that grows wider towards the tip, has uneven serrations on each side, and has two prongs instead of a normal tip, all serving to make it resemble a lightning bolt.
  • Big Eater: Even before becoming Soul Reapers, Fujimaru and Matsuri have a significant appetite, clearing a large plate of apples and asking for seconds within minutes of recovering from Mad Eater's attack. This is also considered significant as most Pluses don't need to eat and a large appetite is generally a sign of great spiritual power or potential.
  • Black and White Morality: Seigen Suzunami's views tend to fall this way, firmly believing that he's in the right in attacking the Soul Society after Konoka dies after using the Shisui Mirror.
  • Boobs of Steel:
    • Matsuri is impressively endowed and has an attack stat that is not just higher than any other female character's in the game, but also exceeds most male characters' attack stats (only Kenpachi, Ikkaku, Komamura, and maybe Kyoraku and Yamamoto are likely to surpass her attack and with her Bankai, she can surpass absolutely everyone except Ikkaku's own Bankai, which trades away half of his already-poor defense for unmatched attack, while Matsuri also bolsters her defenses in her Bankai.
    • Kukaku Shiba, one of the bustiest women in the manga/anime, is one of two women in the game who are Power type units (or the only one if Matsuri is made a Tech or Speed type) and in combat, she can demonstrate just why everyone in the Shiba household fears her with what is easily the second best attack stat of all female characters in the game, only outdone by Matsuri.
    • Much like in the manga/anime, Yoruichi has one of the larger busts in the game and is a powerful physical combatant.
    • Nemu Kurotsuchi is also given a chance to demonstrate that she is an extremely dangerous hand-to-hand combatant.
    • Averted for Rangiku Matsumoto and Orihime, two of the Bleach characters with the most (in)famous bustlines, who have very poor attack and defense stats, as well as by Captain Unohana, who is a Non-Combat type unit, and thus cannot attack or counterattack at all.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Kenpachi Zaraki - he has no Kido or other skills, he can't provide offensive or defensive support, and his low SP leaves him extremely weak to enemy Kido. Furthermore, his Zenkai is just a flat stat boost that's somewhat larger than the normal Bankai flat stat boost with none of the percentage boosts many Bankai users get. However, he has massive base stats, a variety of useful passive abilities, and he boosts Spiritual Pressure gain for all units adjacent to him, which makes him very helpful for building up Spiritual Pressure when you're in Hueco Mundo, where Reishi is much more sparse than in the Human World and the Soul Society.
    • Sokatsui and Raikoho - neither spell inflicts status conditions or has a particularly high power rating, but they're large cone area of effect attacks that can't hit allies and can hit large enemies for massive damage.
    • Picking Ichigo and Yoruichi for your Hueco Mundo team - neither Ichigo nor Yoruichi are exceptional units, but each of them gives you a special item that permanently increases EXP gain for all characters for the rest of the game and the post-game.
    • Making the Technical style choice when you acquire your Shikai, especially for Matsuri (Fujimaru's falls more on the side of awesome due to its flashy animations). It has pretty plain animations and its upgraded follow-up attack is basically another swing of its first attack and it puts her at a Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors disadvantage against both Fuijimaru and Seigan. However, good Technical-type units are much rarer than good Power-type and Speed-type units and your main character is pretty much guaranteed to be a powerhouse, neatly plugging an otherwise difficult to fill hole in your roster.
    • Flash Step type techniques - they're not terribly powerful in raw damage output, but they can functionally increase the movement range of the unit using them if there is an enemy they can Flash Step through and enemies cannot counterattack like they could a normal attack. Additionally, knowing any Flash Step type technique renders the character with the technique impervious to enemy Flash Step type attacks.
    • Pursuing stat boost tiles and cards in Free Time. It's not particularly flashy or anything, but grabbing them can dramatically boost the strength of your main character over the course of the game.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Obtaining Grimmjow as a party member post game, he is the second to last party member you will receive, and can only be recruited on the last floor anyway. Though he does receive his Resurrección.
  • Breather Episode: There are several, though the game boasts this as a feature during Free Time, that is if you're happy to miss out on Bankai
  • Calling Your Attacks:
    • Many characters call out the names of their special techniques when they unleash them in normal battle, such as Ichigo's Getsuga Tensho.
    • Also, most (but not all) characters will call out the names of spells and non-spell skills used on the map.
  • Cap: Level cannot exceed 99, HP cannot exceed 9999, SP cannot exceed 999, and base stats cannot exceed 99, though stat-boosting skills and equipment like squad emblems, Early Riser, Late Bloomer, and Bankai can push a character over the cap.
  • Canon Name: The two potential player characters are named Matsuri and Fujimaru Kudo by default.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Skills colored orange instead of blue are cast from HP instead of SP and derive their power from the unit's HP pool instead of SP pool. All of Orihime and Chad's skills are Cast from Hit Points, as is Renji's Higazekko.
  • Combat Tentacles: The Final Boss is so massive that its lighting-spitting tentacles constitute units in their own right and occupy as much map space as a medium-sized Hollow (2x2).
  • Continuity Nod: Kisuke at the beginning of the game admits he's not good at training others, the same excuse he used in the anime/manga to not train Chad and instead have Chad train against Renji's Bankai.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: Named boss characters generally have the Homonka Block skill, making them immune to Soi Fon's Nigeki Kessatsu, which places a Homonka on enemies that don't already have one and kills enemies that already have a Homonka on them. Some also have Self-Destruct Block, which gives them immunity to Self-Destruct attacks, which might otherwise trivialize them by bypassing all their defenses to hit for damage equal to all of a character's hitpoints.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: Matsuri isn't presented as necessarily incompetent at the technical task of cooking, but her idea of what ingredients would work well together is strange and poorly received by pretty much everyone except Rangiku, who seems to genuinely enjoy her food.
  • Critical Status Buff: Many characters can gain one or two, but Jushiro Ukitake specializes in these, gaining almost every Critical Status Buff in the game, resulting in a massive buff to all stats when below 30% health.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Zig-Zagged: In one mission before the Time Skip, Seigen arrives on the scene of a Hollow attack and instantly eliminates about four Hollows before the battle even really begins. Played straight in that neither he nor anyone else is capable of this in regular gameplay, but averted in that trivially wiping out hordes of Mooks is entirely consistent with the canon depiction of what Captains are capable of.
  • Degraded Boss: After the Time Skip, Evil Eaters, generic versions of Mad Eater without his All Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors attribute, start appearing.
  • Dramatic Irony: In the beginning of Matsuri's playthrough, Fujimaru will ask for Seigen's sword so he can chase Mad Eater. Seigen tells him that Matsuri has risked her life to save his for him to get himself killed. Seigen's response to Konoka's death is similar to this.
  • Epic Fail: Every instance of Shiyo attempting housekeeping results in massive and often spectacular failure, usually in ways that seem implausible, such as managing to nearly choke Ganju's boar, Bonny, when feeding her table scraps. As a result, a substantial amount of effort at the Shiba household is dedicated to preventing her from trying to help.
  • Epic Flail: Fujimaru's Tech-type Shikai takes the form of a sort of flail with a small axe on the end instead of a ball, spiked ball, or flanged mace head. Its follow-up attack after special training involves detaching the head, tossing it skywards, and creating a meteor shower on the enemy.
  • Experience Booster:
    • Certain special items, such as Aizen's Book, boost all future exp gained by 20% or so per such item acquired. This even applies to Konso, making it possible to gain two levels at once when performing Konso on Wholes.
    • Some units can gain the passive abilities Gemstone and Fast Learner, which provide a small and large boost to their experience gained, respectively (the former also slightly boosts starting Spiritual Pressure).
  • Fake Ultimate Mook: Multi-tile enemies in general, and the first Menos Grande in particular, look intimidating and all 3x3 enemies have the All type, guaranteeing them a follow-up attack on anyone, but their stats are actually significantly lower than those of normal-sized enemies, save for hit points, which they have in abundance. On top of this, multi-tile Kido like Sokatsui can hit them once for each tile of overlap between the enemy and the area of effect, which often results in massive damage or even a one hit kill.
  • Filler: The brief Fake Captain arc, where Aizen unleashes fake versions of all the captains on the Soul Society, all of whom act more or less opposite of their real counterparts, that runs parallel to the player character's Bankai training is basically a filler arc to give you something to do between training missions, and the events thereof are never mentioned again once the arc is done and doesn't really interact with any other plot points, nor are details of the fake captains ever given beyond "the Hogyoku did it".
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: The main character is very confused about the modern world when they arrive, especially since they had never deployed to the land of the living in their time in Squad 5 and because to them, no time had passed since their fight with Arturo. As a result, the main character concludes that Don Kanonji is a ninja using his over the top persona to hide his real agenda. Even after being brought up to speed, they get so used to the modern world being weird and surprising that they just start rolling with everything and barely bat an eye at Yoruichi (in cat form) talking, and when she transforms back to her normal form, the main character basically just says "modern cats sure are amazing, huh".
  • Flanderization: While most of the fake captains simply act more or less opposite to the real captains, the fake Soi Fon basically just exaggerates the real Soi Fon's affections for Yoruichi to such a degree that it is pretty much her sole character trait.
  • Foreshadowing: In a Free Time event with Ukitake, the twins hear a story about a two-headed bird whose heads fought until one killed the other, only to die soon after, and then talk about how awful it would be if they ever fought like that. After the Time Skip, they do in fact fight and one is nearly killed, with the main character fighting for the Soul Society and the other siding with Aizen and Seigen.
  • Fragile Speedster:
    • Most Speed-type characters are, as might be expected, fragile speedsters, relying on evasion to stay alive and starting with 5 movement, which is as high as most characters go.
    • Even among fragile speedsters, Yachiru Kusajishi stands out with absolutely massive speed and the ability to have as much as 8 MOV - beating out even Ichigo's Bankai, which gives him 7 MOV, after which the next highest is Grimmjow's Resurrección and Uryu, at 6 MOV, and everyone else capping out at 5 MOV.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Zig-Zagged - depending on the spell, it may or may not be able to hit both friend and foe. Raikoho, Sokatsui, and Soren Sokatsui will only hit enemies, while Byakurai and Rukia's Tsukishiro and Hakuren will hit everything in their area of effect regardless of whether they're friend or foe.
  • Full-Name Basis: Arturo almost exclusively calls Captain Yamamoto by his full name of Shigekuni Genryusai Yamamoto.
  • Furo Scene: The game boasts about these during Free Play. Logically, girls get more scenes then guys, but Ichigo and the other male Soul Reapers also get quite a few.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: If an enemy has the Hit and Run skill, the AI won't ever actually end their turn after attacking, functionally freezing the game. This is normally not an issue, but can happen in Female Soul Reaper Society Training if Yoruichi has learned the skill.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • In general, the difference in characters' power is greatly reduced in gameplay compared to what the story and the anime indicates, especially when considering Captains and other Bankai users, allowing characters like Chad, Yumichika, and Hanataro to keep pace with (or even surpass) the likes of captains like Shunsui Kyoraku, Kenpachi Zaraki, and Unohana, even though the latter are canonically far more powerful than the former.
    • Squad 11 members other than Kenpachi can cast Kido (eg. Ikkaku can learn Shakkaho, Yachiru can learn Byakurai, and Yumichika openly uses his Zanpakuto's real power in plain sight of his squadmates), even though Squad 11 finds all non-physical combat dishonorable and expressly forbids engaging in it. Similarly, Renji can learn to perform a perfectly normal Shakkaho, despite his explicit canonical lack of proficiency in controlling Kido, which is weaponized in his Point Blank Shakkaho.
    • Ikkaku, despite canonically trying to hide his Bankai so he doesn't get promoted out of his position with Squad 11 and even saying "Don't tell anyone" during his Bankai unleashing cutscene, has absolutely no restrictions on when or where he can use it.
    • When you first pass through Kisuke Urahara's special Senkaimon, your main character will be winded when they arrive in the Soul Society because they had to carry Shiyo most of the way. Yoruichi will say that the trip would have been easier if Fujimaru or Matsuri knew Flash Step, even if your main character already knows a Flash Step technique, which is entirely possible if you rushed down the middle tree after gaining your Shikai, yielding Flash Step Tangeki (three tiles, the last of which must be empty) for Matsuri or Flash Step Chogeki (four tiles, the last of which must be empty) for Fujimaru.
  • Glass Cannon:
    • Matsuri starts as a Glass Cannon and whether she remains one depends on who you chose as main character - if she's the main character, Free Time stat boosts will make her a Lightning Bruiser, while she will remain a Glass Cannon if Fujimaru is the main character.
    • Ikkaku Madarame is the glassest of cannons in the game, at least as far as physical attackers go, with attack that rivals Kenpachi's, but one of the lowest defense stats in the game. Taken Up to Eleven by his Bankai, which gives him peerless attack (as much as +70% with points in his Bankai tree), but drops his already poor defense to half its normal value, and by making him a 2x2 character, he is more vulnerable to Area of Effect attacks, he has more area to receive attacks from, and he can no longer receive supports from other characters.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: At the beginning of the game, you are prompted to name your main character, but their twin will always have their Canon Name, though the inputted last name does apply to both twins.
  • Hold the Line:
    • In the first mission where Arturo returns in the modern era, you are not expected to defeat him (though doing so is possible given sufficient Level Grinding and/or inflicting burn on him) and the fact that the main character isn't a match for even a much-diminished Artur, along with a refusal to accept Mayuri's order to just give up, is part of their impetus for engaging in special training.
    • Similarly, in the past-era mission where Menos Grande and Sky Rifts first appear, you are simply expected to hold out for six turns, though victory can also be achieved by defeating all Hollows.
  • In the Past, Everyone Will Be Famous:
    • Inverted - almost immediately after arriving in the present via accidental time travel from over a hundred years in the past, the player character bumps into Don Kan'onji, a major television star, and shortly after, into Ichigo, who is the main character of the anime/manga and quite well-known in the Soul Society due to recent events. Once they arrive in the Soil Society, they very quickly meet Capitan Komamura and Lieutenants Kira and Hisagi.
    • In a more conventional sense, during the past-era arc, the Kudo twins seem to have a nearly magnetic attraction to famous people and people who will become famous, becoming friends with all the senior captains plus Aizen, Kaien Shiba, Yoruichi, and Urahara.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats:
    • Most Tech-type characters have balanced stats (including movement, as most Tech characters start with 4 MOV), though many fall into Master of None.
    • Fujimaru has balanced, if slightly defensive, stats as the non-player sibling, though as the player character, he instead becomes more of a Master of All.
  • Joke Character: Kon and Don Kanonji are available as party members and are only slightly stronger than you'd expect, which is to say, far weaker than other characters would be at the same level.
  • Laser Blade: The form taken by both Kudo twins' Bankais, with Fujimaru's being blue and Matsuri's being pink, coinciding with both common gender associations of those colors and the Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors affinities of each twin.
  • Leaked Experience: A unit who is involved in a team attack or provides offensive or defensive support gets a percentage of the unit being supported's experience gain from the battle, regardless of the supporting unit's level.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Hanataro Yamada has unimpressive stats, cannot attack, and his only starting ability is his Healing Shiv Zanpakuto and he doesn't learn offensive Kido. However, he gains multiple power boosts that make his full Spiritual Pressure ability terrifyingly powerful - his released Zanpakuto's Sword Beam is tied with Byakuya's Shukei Hakuteiken for the most powerful map skill in the game, but it hits four tiles forwards instead of one.
  • Lightning Bruiser:
    • The main character inevitably gets very high stats across the board due to Free Time boosts, with Matsuri leaning more towards offense and Fujimaru leaning more defensive.
    • In more of a sense of being powerful and able to cross the map than the main character's massive stats, Ichigo's Bankai form and Grimmjow's Resurrección form break the normal MOV limit of 5 while still having above-average stats.
    • Shuhei Hisagi has very high attack and defense for a Speed-type character at the cost of mediocre skills.
  • Limit Break: Many characters have powerful and often unique skills that can only be used with full Spiritual Pressure (marked with a fireball icon in the skill select menu) or only during Bankai (marked with a Manji icon on the skill select menu).
    • Yoruichi (present-era version only) and Soi Fon and both Kudo twins can perform Shunko, which is essentially a 4-tile version of Flash Step that costs all current SP. Yoruichi and Soi Fon also have a powerful linear skill with the same requirements (Shunkofujin for Soi Fon and Shunshinraijin for Yoruichi, though they're basically the same).
    • Hanataro can unleash his Akeiro Hisagomaro, which does absolutely massive damage (only matched by Byakuya's Shukei Hakuteiken, which can't hit as many targets or one target as many times, nor can it be spammed like Akeiro Hisagomaru)
    • Rukia can perform her first and second dances, Tsukishiro and Hakuren, which hit everything around her and a three-tile long cone and has a chance to freeze everything it hits.
    • Renji can use his Higazekko to do damage and hold both at full Spiritual Pressure and in Bankai (with different animations for Bankai and non-Bankai use). Also, the skill is Cast from Hit Points. Also, only in Bankai, he can use Hikotsutaiho to hit everything directly in front of him.
    • During his Bankai, Byakuya can use his Senbonzakura Kageyoshi and its Senkei form as area of effect attacks that also do continuous damage to everything in a two-tile range until his Bankai ends, with the latter doing the same and adding a Hold effect. Also during Bankai, and only following Senbonzakura Kageyoshi and Senkei Senbonzakura Kageyoshi, Byakuya can use his Shukei Hakuteiken a short-range, very high-power map skill.
    • Ichigo can use his Getsuga Tensho as a map skill during Bankai.
    • Grimmjow can use Desgarrón during his Resurrección, which hits a 2x3 box ahead of him and to each side, but not hitting targets directly in front of him. Additionally, at full Spiritual Pressure, he can use his Gran Rey Cero, which is much larger and more powerful than a normal Cero.
  • Luck-Based Mission: It is entirely possible, if unlikely, to fail Chapter 5 due to the enemies getting lucky with hits and/or follow-up attacks before you can reach Yoruichi.
  • MacGuffin: The Shisui Mirror is the game's resident plot trinket. The Soul Society wants to hold on to it as a last-ditch weapon against powerful foes like Arturo Plateado, Arturo and Seigen want to destroy it, and Aizen wants to take it and use it to manipulate the cycle of reincarnation to his own ends.
  • Mighty Glacier: Most Power-type characters have high attack and defense at the cost of low evasion and poor base movement.
  • Mook Maker: Sky Rifts will spawn Hollows on their first action after the Hollow they last released is defeated and each time, it will change types.
  • New Work, Recycled Graphics: For almost every character who was in Bleach: Dark Souls or Bleach: The Blade of Fate, their combat animations are recycled from their fighting game moves. Only Uryu and Chad among returning characters have new animations. Also, the existence of already-made assets did not prevent Tatsuki, Ganju, and others from being Demoted to Extra.
  • No Experience Points for Medic:
    • Status-curing spells yield no EXP.
    • Using items to heal characters also yields no EXP.
    • Averted for actual health restoration spells. Healing a character, regardless of if they need it or not, yields 30 EXP per character healed modified solely by any Experience Boosters you may have, unlike combat EXP, which is also modified by the type of enemy being fought, whether the enemy is defeated, and the level difference between the combatants. This means that, before modifiers, a full Sotenkishun yields 90 EXP per use and a full Meiyu yields 150 EXP per use, making multi-tile healing an extremely effective way to level characters who are capable of doing so.
  • Non-Combat EXP: At the end of each battle, excluding battles that are part of Free Time events, every unit that participated in the battle is awarded EXP based on how many turns were taken (fewer is better), how many allied units survived (more is better), and how many active support skills and team attacks were used (more is better).
  • No-Sell:
    • Any character with either Flash Step technique, Shunko (even if they don't have full SP), Sonido, or Hirenkyaku is immune to enemies using any Flash Step type technique and attempting to so will result in the user being stopped and returned to where they started without doing damage, though they may still do damage to any enemies they pass through before then.
    • Some characters can gain complete immunity to certain Standard Status Effects - D-Roy and Nemu can get Block Poison, Kaien Shiba can get Block Freeze, Kukaku Shiba can get Block Burn, Nakeem can get Block Shock, and Rangiku can get Block Hold.
  • Overrated and Underleveled:
    • The four senior captains (Yamamoto, Ukitake, Kyoraku, and Unohana) have the lowest starting levels out of all the captains, and while they are certainly not the weakest characters in the game, there are plenty of more useful characters, too.
    • Characters with a Bankai are generally less powerful outside of their Bankai at a given level than those without and possess fewer other skills, even though in canon, Bankai users are almost universally more powerful and have no deficiency in non-Bankai skills.
    • Ichigo's main friends play with this. Ichigo's okay, until he activates his Bankai, just like the show. Uryu and Rukia are much more straight, barely doing damage most of the time. Orihime is justified, since she was always the weakest character in the source material. Chad on the other hand, not only averts this, but might be even better than Ichigo once you boost his accuracy to make up for his Powerful, but Inaccurate nature.
    • The entire technique of Shunko is very much less impressive in gameplay than in story - it is presented as nearly as powerful as Bankai, but in-game, it is basically just a 5-tile version of Flash Step (which comes in 3 and 4 tile versions - Flash Step Tangeki and Chogeki (though each technique can only hit one less than their full range, as the last tile must be empty) that can be spammed infinitely (instead of having a fixed SP cost, Shunko costs all SP the unit using it currently has, whether that is 999 SP or 5 SP)
  • Playing with Fire: Matsuri specializes in fire elemental attacks, getting the hybrid damage/burn-inflicting spell Haien and can gain a passive ability to inflict burn with her standard attacks. It is, however, downplayed compared to the likes of Head Captain Yamamoto, whose Zanpakuto is actually on fire and uses fire in all of his animations.
  • Post Endgame Content: After completing the story, the Bleach Tower is available, where you may continue to play the game, unlock any characters you may have missed, unlock nearly every named character who ever shows up on the battlefield as a playable unit, including getting back Kaien Shiba and past versions of Yoruichi and Urahara, experience a small additional story and a few extra hot springs scenes, and farm AP to spend on stat ups even past level 99. Also, in the Bleach Tower, the main Kudo twin gains all possible results of their special training and the secondary twin gains all but one of the possible rewards.
  • Powerful, but Inaccurate:
    • Chad is extremely powerful and durable, but he can barely hit the broad side of a barn from the inside and doesn't get much better with just normal level-up stat gains, making him one of the few characters for whom spending points on accuracy is particularly productive.
    • To a much lesser extent, Komamura is also very powerful and has some difficulty hitting enemies.
    • In general, offensive Kido has an accuracy penalty that roughly correlates to its power.
    • Inverted by Rangiku, and to an even greater extent, Uryu. While neither possess an Always Accurate Attack, their accuracy stat is so high as to make their normal attacks almost undodgeable and give them great accuracy with spells, which usually have an accuracy penalty. However, they pay for this with very poor attack, which in turn makes it difficult for them to gain exp so they can gain levels and gain attack. Furthermore, Rangiku doesn't learn offensive Kido where her high accuracy would be extremely welcome and Uryu doesn't have the SP to give a lot of power to his Quincy spells or use them continuously, including using his bow as a ranged attack.
    • Also Inverted by purely debuffing Kido - since there are not degrees of status effects, more powerful versions of debuffing Kido simply have a smaller accuracy penalty.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation:
    • Uyru helps out in Chapters Seven and Nine, skipping over his need to regain his Quincy powers and pretty much all of his training (he already has his post-training outfit and bow).
    • Chad has already mastered both of his arms with no explanation given.
      • Free Time tries to avert it, showing Uryu and Chad training in Soul Society, but even that has this trope played straight.
  • Rare Candy:
    • Performing Konso on a Whole gives the Soul Reaper who performs it an entire level, or more precisely, it gives 100 EXP, which can be boosted by modifiers and also means that the Soul Reaper who performs it gets the same use out of it whether they currently have zero or 99 EXP towards their next level.
    • Various Free Time events, as well as landing on certain spots in Free Time by spending the right amount of AP, can grant permanent increases to various stats.
  • Rings of Death: Matsuri's Speed-type Shikai takes the form of a chakram-like weapon that could almost be likened to her Power-type Shikai curved around into a nearly-complete circle, with a cloth-wrapped handle, an inwards-facing spike on the hilt, an axe blade on the "tip", and a small gap between the spike and axe blade.
  • Running Gag:
    • Shiyo being impossibly incompetent at housework.
    • Ganju Shiba and Tetsuzaemon Iba being eager to join the battle, only to be told to do some other task by Kukaku and Komamura, respectively.
    • Kenpachi trying to get both Ichigo and the main character to fight him, as well as Ichigo and the main character trying to avoid doing so.
    • Toshiro being annoyed that Momo and the main character call him "lil' Shiro".
    • Soi Fon correcting the main character when they omit her title as a Captain, even Flash Stepping in to do so.
    • Confusion over Yoruichi's gender and default form. Continuing the original material's gag where Yoruichi had Ichigo's gang thinking she was male because her cat form has a masculine voice, the Kudo twins also make this mistake, and both wind up thinking that the cat is her true form at first and that the cat is simply able to take the form of a person they knew until they are corrected.
  • Secret Character: Nearly every named character who appears on a battlefield (and don't leave before the battle actually starts) at any point in the game can be gained as a Secret Character by fulfilling the right conditions in the Bleach Tower. This includes any normal characters you didn't unlock during the story, Arrancar, Aizen and the captains who sided with him, Kaien Shiba, Seigen Suzunami, past versions of Aizen, Urahara, and Yoruichi, Sojiro Kusaka, and Konoka and Shiyo. The only characters who are named and have battle sprites who aren't available in this way are Tatsuki, Mad Eater, and Hollowfied Seigen.
  • Shock and Awe:
    • Fujimaru has a slight affinity for electrical attacks and can gain the ability to inflict shock with his normal attacks, as well as resistance to shock.
    • Seigen, however, specializes in electrical attacks - his Zanpakuto, Shiden (literally "Violet Lightning") looks like a lightning bolt and can shoot lighting as both part of its regular combat animations and a map skill, he has an innate chance to inflict shock, and he learns lightning Kido spells. Additionally, after Aizen Hollowfies him, he demonstrates the ability to generate lighting from his body.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Grimmjow's Fraccion do not die in their attack on Karakura Town. Downplayed in that all of them end up dying later on, anyway; some in an attack on the Soul Society and the rest during the invasion of Hueco Mundo. Also Grimmjow doesn't lose his arm or rank, which by proxy spares the absent Luppi his demise.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": The game often uses older translations of certain names, most notably, Sui-Feng is rendered as Soi Fon, as it often was earlier in Bleach's run. Also, Shinji and Hiyori refer to themselves as Visored, rather than the older translation as "Vizard", but a Free Time event calls them Vizard.
  • Squishy Wizard:
    • Rukia and Momo have poor physical stats, but massive SP and accordingly, very powerful Kido and learn almost every spell in the game, with Rukia leaning a little towards healing and Momo a little towards attacking.
    • Hanataro cannot attack and has poor stats, but when he maxes out his Spiritual Pressure, he can unleash an extremely powerful linear attack.
    • Captain Unohana cannot attack, but has massive SP growth and can learn offensive Kido, such as the ever-useful Sokatsui.
    • Non-combat type characters in general are usually this, though the fact that they can only defend actually makes them somewhat more durable than it would appear at first glance.
  • Static Role, Exchangeable Character: After the Time Skip, whichever twin you pick will be separated from Seigen and the other twin, who will stick together and oppose you. No matter which twin you pick, they will have more or less the same interactions and eventually decide to undergo intensive training, while the other twin opposes you and is nearly killed by Seigen when they start to show their doubts about his cause, and shortly after, they rejoin the main character. However, there are significant gameplay differences depending on which character you choose that could be considered something to the effect of Schrödinger's Skill.
    • Whichever twin you play as will start with Byakurai and the other will start with Sai.
    • The chosen twin will be able to form team supports with the entire cast of the game, while the unchosen twin will only be able to support characters that show up in the past-era and Shiyo.
    • The chosen twin will get all their possible special training results in the post-game, regardless of whether they cleared all the training maps during the main story. The unchosen twin will get all the results of the special training except Bankai.
    • After the Time Skip, the player twin will benefit from Free Time bonuses and the other twin will not, and while this makes obvious story sense for most of the post-Time Skip Free Time segments, it applies even in Free Time segments done after the twins are reunited.
    • If you pick Matsuri, she will unlock Sokatsui in her middle tree, and if not, she'll unlock Byakurai and never get Sokatsui.
    • If you pick Fujimaru, he will be able to get Sokatasui and Byakurai, but if he isn't chosen, he will never gain Byakurai.
  • Stone Wall: Renji, especially while his Bankai is active, has only about average attack, but incredibly high defense. Furthermore, Renji is one of the very few characters who cannot achieve at least 5 MOV.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Shiyo shares Kukaku's rather strange architectural sense and the two bond over analyzing and appreciating the defects in a bootleg model of the giant arm statues in front of the Shiba household.
  • Super Mode: Bankai (and its counterparts, Resurrección for Grimmjow and Zenkai for Kenpachi) is a super mode that can be activated when a character capable of using it has maxed spiritual pressure. For three to seven turns, depending on character and skills (most characters max out at five turns), the user gets large stat boosts and unless it's a "summon something" Bankai, a portrait, map sprite, and battle animation change. Additionally, depending on the character, they may also change size, change Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors affinity, gain an additional, usually percentage-based, boost to a single stat, summon an extra unit, gain (or lose) movement speed, and/or gain access to special techniques for the duration of their Bankai. Summoning Bankais still have the standard small general stat boost, but also summon an additional large unit, which often has a unique adjacency effect, but whose defeat will prematurely end the Bankai. Additionally, characters in Bankai may neither give nor receive support attacks or defenses or benefit (or suffer) from adjacency effects.
  • Synchronization: Due to being twins, the Kudos' Zanpakutos share the same spirit, which results in them achieving Shikai at exactly the same time and means that when they're working together, they can achieve things far beyond what they normally should, such as a pair of relatively new Soul Reapers managing to parry Arturo, who is a serious threat to the Captains, when they first release their Zanpakutos. However, the special training reveals that just because their Zanpakutos share a spirit doesn't mean that they always unlock new abilities at the same time and that sharing a Zanpakuto spirit doesn't give the the non-player twin Bankai simply because their twin achieved it, as Bankai requires a great deal of hard work, determination, and specialized training.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: Characters have one of five styles: Speed, Power, Technical, Non-Combat, and the enemy-only All. Speed beats Technical beats Power beats Speed, everything beats Non-Combat (which, naturally, cannot fight back), and All beats everything. If one party has the advantage, they are guaranteed to make a follow-up attack, though a character with a losing type may still make a follow-up attack of their own depending on chance and spiritual pressure.
  • This Cannot Be!: If you achieve Bankai, Seigen Suzunami is dumbfounded and incredulous that such a young and inexperienced Soul Reaper has mastered such an extremely advanced technique. In much the same way that Byakuya was incredulous that Ichigo would so much as dare utter the word "Bankai", much less actually be able to perform it.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: No pun intended, but Komamura is treated with more respect here than he is in the source material, being a major mentor figure to the player character when they arrive in the present, consistently treated as a serious person and fighter, and playing a role in Bankai training.
  • Tiger Versus Dragon: Matsuri's Zanpakuto's default name is Kotomaru or "Tiger Culler", while Fujimaru's is Ryujomaru or "Dragon Brander" and this theme carries over into the names of the attacks they call out in their SP attack, especially if you stick with your starting Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors affinity (if you change from your starting affinity, the SP attack does not clearly fit the theme). This is also reflected in Matsuri's relatively straightforward personality and bulldozer-like fighting style and Fujimaru's more laid back personality and his fighting style focusing more on many small hits instead of one big hit. Made even more explicit by their Bankais, Ryukyu Kotomaru or "Dragon-Seeking Tiger Culler" for Matsuri, which comes with outfit that includes a dragon head on her left shoulder and Kokyu Ryujomaru or "Tiger-Seeking Dragon Brander" for Fujimaru, which comes with an outfit that includes a tiger head on his right shoulder.
  • Time Skip: After the conclusion of the first battle with Arturo, the player character, their sibling, and Seigen are thrown into the future. The player character lands in Karakura Town shortly after the conclusion of the Soul Society Arc of the anime, where he/she meets present-era characters such as Ichigo and Don Kononji, and later, reconnects with the Soul Society characters. Seigen and the non-player sibling land in Hueco Mundo and are manipulated into opposing the Soul Society by Aizen.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: It is eventually revealed that the Shisui Mirror sent Seigen, Arturo, and the Kudos and Konoka to a "Wandering Spirit World" where time doesn't actually exist, until such time as it bumped into the Human world and dropped them off, thereby sending them from the past (~110 years before the present era) to the present era (roughly at the beginning of the Arrancar Arc) in what was, for them, an instant.
  • Unsettling Gender Reveal: When he is sent to the Soul Society, Kon is led to believe that Mayuri Kurotsuchi is a woman. That said, this reveal is rather less unsettling than the fact that Mayuri makes it very clear that the only reason that he doesn't dissect Kon on the spot is because he has already concluded his research on Mod Souls.
  • Useless Useful Skill: Early Riser causes a character to start with +7 to Attack, Accuracy, Evasion, and Defense and tick down to base over their first seven turns. The problem is, they will often burn at least one or two of those stat points just closing with their enemy, and it's extremely difficult to pair it with other stat boosts like Bankai, which often use up two or three turns on charging. Furthermore, in difficult battles where a stat boost would be helpful, it's usually worn off before the stat boost would be most helpful.
  • You Are Already Dead: Soi Fon can use her Nigeki Kessatsu to kill any enemy that doesn't have the Homonka Block skill with two hits of the skill - the first to apply a Homonka and the second to instantly kill them.
  • Young Future Famous People: During the pre-Time Skip part of the game, Matsuri and Fujimaru Kudo meet and make friends with a staggering number of people who go on to be major figures in the Soul Society including two present-era Captains (Suì-Fēng and Toshiro Hitsugaya, plus they bump into Kenpachi Zaraki, though they're never formally introduced until the present era), three Lieutenants (Momo Hinamori, Rangiku Matsumoto, and Renji Abarai, plus their immediate commanding officer, Kaien Shiba goes on to become a Lieutenant and die during the Time Skip, though he's already famous as a rising star in the Court Guard Squads and for his rapid graduation from the Soul Reaper Academy), and one noble-by-adoption (Rukia Kuchiki, who hasn't yet been promoted to Lieutenant or Capitan at the time of the game's events), and two Captains-turned-traitors (Gin Ichimaru and Sosuke Aizen, though Aizen is already well-known as a Lieutenant at the time).

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