Bleach: How Kisuke Urahara Went From Popular Captain to Wanted Criminal

Bleach's most eccentric supporting character, Kisuke Urahara, is far more than he initially seems in his Season 1 debut. Kisuke is presented as a candy shop owner who happened to know about monstrous Hollows and Soul Reaper lore, but in reality he was once a Captain and the Soul Society's top researcher. Ichigo had no idea.

However, Kisuke's brilliant mind was turned against him and he was lucky to escape the Soul Society as a free man. He owes his life to his friend Yoruichi Shihoin, and has a long-standing feud with Captain Sosuke Aizen that was destined to end with dramatic flair. How did Kisuke go from being so respected to a wanted criminal?

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Captain Urahara Of Squad 12, Pushing The Boundaries Of Science

Over 110 years ago, Kisuke was a part of Squad 2, an assassination team, but was later transferred to Squad 12 -- the research and development team. This was unusual, as Kisuke's background and expertise was in stealth and assassination. But it was an unstable time overall: the turnover rate among Captains was unusually high, and worse yet, Lieutenant Sosuke Aizen of Squad 5 was already scheming in the shadows.

Kisuke was a brilliant scientist by the time was formally appointed as Squad 12's Captain, but he failed to earn the trust and respect of his new Lieutenant, Hiyori Sarugaki. She could hardly believe her eyes when Kisuke converted half of the barracks into a fully-equipped laboratory -- and he was just getting started.

The Captain needed more manpower, so he visited the famed Maggot's Nest detention center and recruited a young Mayuri Kurotsuchi, who also had a strong mind for research and development. Kisuke, Mayuri and Hiyori were uneasy lab partners for years on end, and Captain Yoruichi Shihoin of Squad 2 dismissed concerns about Kisuke's reckless antics. Yoruichi trusted Kisuke with what he was doing, but tragically, Kisuke was walking right into a trap. Sosuke Aizen was ready to steal his research, and one night, he finally struck. Kisuke never saw it coming.

When Kisuke's Project Gets Hijacked: Sosuke Aizen Strikes

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For years on end, Sosuke tried in vain to copy Kisuke's progress with the Hogyoku sphere, converting random people in the Soul Society into Hollows in an attempt to make a Soul Reaper/Hollow hybrid. Finally, Aizen and his minions stole Kisuke's own (and superior) Hogyoku and put it to use in spectacular fashion. One night, Aizen cornered Captain Kensei Muguruma of Squad 9 and Hollowfied him, sending Kensei on a rampage. More and more Soul Reapers -- including Captain Shinji Hirako of Squad 5 and Lieutenant Lisa Yadomaru of Squad 8 -- were called on to intervene but they ended up Hollowfied too. Finally, Kisuke himself arrived on the scene via a stealth cloak.

Kisuke and Tessai Tsukabishi failed to capture Aizen and his cohorts, who fled with the Hogyoku. By the next morning, Kisuke was still trying to piece together what had happened, and not even Tessai, the commander of the famed Kido Corps, could help. But before Kisuke could leave his barracks to get some fresh air, the guards of Central 46 arrived and arrested them both, blaming them for what had happened to Shinji and the others.

Kisuke found himself before Central 46 in their chambers, and whatever he said, he couldn't convince them of Aizen's role in last night's events. Aizen had covered his tracks perfectly with his shikai, Kyoka Suigetsu, and fooled everyone into thinking he had been far away from the crime scene. The Hollowfied Soul Reapers were condemned to death and Kisuke would face banishment. At the last moment, however, Captain Yoruichi Shihoin arrived to save her friend and Tessai, allowing the three of them to flee to Karakura Town on their own terms and escape twisted justice. This was not without cost -- Yoruichi had to abandon her adoring student Soi Fon, and Tessai and Kisuke left behind everything and everyone they had ever known.

It was worth it, though, in Kisuke's eyes. He had lost to Aizen this time, but he would set up shop in Karakura Town and prepare for revenge, even if it took a century. Sure enough, Kisuke and the eight Visoreds (Hollowifed Soul Reapers) would face Aizen once again and capture him once and for all. It was a long time coming.

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