Bleach expands the Anime Cinematic Universe into the spirit realm, where brash Soul Reaper Ichigo Kurosaki finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by the Klaxisaur Princess, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Princess, Ichigo is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits — Renji, a Bankai-totting Shinigami; Chad, a human with intense ability; the deadly and enigmatic Rukia; and the revenge-driven Uryu Ishida. But when Ichigo discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand — with the galaxy’s fate in the balance.
In 1988 Japan, a young boy named Ichigo Kurosaki stands by his mother, as she lays dying in a hospital bed. Close to death and delirious, she laments on Ichigo's father, whom the boy has never met, describing him as an "angel". When she finally passes on, a distraught Ichigo flees from the hospital. After distancing himself from the building, he enters a field where a rift suddenly appears, the occupants of which bring Ichigo through and depart into another dimension.
26 years later, Ichigo is now an adult and a member of the Soul Reapers, a group of death gods led by the Kenpachi. The Soul Reapers are hired by a merchant called the Broker to recover a mysterious orb-like artifact from Hueco Mundo. Ichigo, who has grown bitter towards the Soul Reapers for abducting him and ruining his childhood, travels to Hueco Mundo alone and steals the orb for himself, only to be intercepted by Dr. Franxx, a human cyborg serving the fanatical Klaxisaur Princess. For the past several years, the Princess, despite a delicate peace treaty between her people and the Shinigami, has been systematically invading Shinigami controlled and allied worlds, killing hundreds of thousands in a mad quest for Klaxisaur purity. The Shinigami have tried to plea their case to the Klaxisaur hierarchy, but the Klaxo-sapiens refuse to get involved.
Although Ichigo escapes with the artifact, Kenpachi discovers he has stolen the Soul Reaper's prize, and issues a bounty for his capture. Meanwhile, the Klaxisaur Princess is revealed to be searching for the orb as part of a deal with the galactic lord Omega Shenron in exchange for the annihilation of the Soul Society. To aid in the hunt, Omega Shenron has lent the Klaxisaur Princess his two adopted children, Rukia and Byuakuya. By tracking the Soul Reaper's brokers and past dealings, the villains learn of Kenpachi's deal with the Broker and send Rukia to the Soul Society to intercept Ichigo.
In the Soul Society, Ichigo attempts to sell the orb to the Broker, but upon learning that Dr. Franxx was working for the Klaxisaur Princess, the Broker refuses to become involved with the orb and turns Ichigo away. Suddenly, Ichigo is ambushed by Rukia, who takes the orb and flees into the streets. A fight ensues, drawing in two bounty hunters, Renji, and the human Chad, who both seek to collect Kenpachi's bounty. The Shinigami arrive and arrest the group, imprisoning them in Hell.
In Hell, the other prisoners, aware of Rukia's relationship with Omega Shenron and the Klaxisaur Princess, threaten her life. One of the more powerful inmates, Uryu, attempts to kill Rukia for the murder of his mentor by the Klaxisaur Princess, but Ichigo convinces him that he can get to the Klaxisaur Princess through Rukia. Rukia reveals that she intended to betray the Klaxisaur Princess and keep the orb, having grown weary of the Princess' methodology, deeming her insane and a risk to galactic stability. Learning that Rukia has a buyer who is willing to pay a very hefty fee for the artifact, Renji, Ichigo, Chad and Rukia work together to escape Hell.
Learning of Rukia's betrayal, a furious Klaxisaur Princess meets with Omega Shenron in person and angrily berates him for not taking Rukia's betrayal seriously. When the El Grande Hollow, Omega Shenron's vizier, scolds the Klaxisaur Princess for disrespecting the dragon, the Princess angrily breaks the it's neck, killing it and forcing Omega Shenron to speak to her directly. Undaunted by the Klaxisaur Princess' complaints, Omega Shenron waves the Klaxisaur away, and while Rukia's betrayal is an issue, Omega Shenron entrusts both the Klaxisaur Princess and Byakuya with fixing that problem. As the Klaxisaur Princess departs, Omega Shenron grimly warns her that if she returns empty handed again, he will "bathe the starways" in her blood.
Ichigo and his allies, accompanied by Uryu, manage to escape Hell, where they distract the guards by disabling the stronghold's spiritual generator. They flee in Ichigo's ship, the Milano, and travel to Wa-ria, a remote outpost built in the giant severed-head of a Titan. While waiting for Rukia's contact to meet with them, the fugitives spend time in the local casino and bar, Boot of Jemiah. Uryu and Renji, both heavily intoxicated, get into a fight after Uryu insults Renji's appearance, after which a morose Renji laments on his birth and the pain he was forced to endure. While Uryu furiously leaves the proceedings, the rest of the group are summoned by a woman to meet with Rukia's contact, Sosuke Aizen. Arriving at Aizen's collection, the group hand the orb over to Aizen, who opens up the artifact to reveal a Dragon Ball, an item of immeasurable power that destroys all but the most powerful beings who wield it. Aizen explains that the Dragon Balls were the remnants of seven singularities that predate the universe, their power compacted into seven "balls", and that their power was too great for all but the most powerful beings to wield; all others are inevitably destroyed.
Aizen prepares the give the outlaws their payment, but the woman, seeing this as a chance to free herself from servitude under Aizen, suddenly grabs the Dragon Ball and taps into its power. A massive energy pulse is fired from the Dragon Ball, killing the woman and blowing up much of Aizen's collection. Ichigo, Rukia, Renji, and Chad barely escape with their lives. Rukia, finally understanding the full extent of the danger the Dragon Ball holds, attempts to convince the others to hand it over to the Shinigami for protection, when the Klaxisaur Princess and her forces suddenly arrive, having been summoned by a drunken Uryu. While Uryu battles the Klaxisaur Princess, the others attempt to escape using the Mining Pods and are pursued by Klaxisaurs, led by Byakuya. The Klaxisaur Princess easily defeats Uryu, while Byakuya destroys Rukia's pod, leaving her floating in the void. Byakuya takes the Dragon Ball and the Klaxisaur forces depart. Despite Renji's insistence that they flee, Ichigo finds himself unwilling to leave Rukia and summons Kenpachi before following her into space, giving her his helmet to survive; Kenpachi arrives and collects the pair before they succumb to the exposure.
Ichigo manages to negotiate a truce with the Soul Reapers after convincing Kenpachi that they can recover the Dragon Ball from the Klaxisaur Princess and sell it. Chad convinces Renji and Uryu to rescue Ichigo and Rukia, and the three attempt an attack on Kenpachi's ship to recover their friends. Reunited, the group agrees that facing the Klaxisaur Princess means certain death, but that they must stop her from using the Dragon Ball to lay waste to the universe. On the Klaxisaur Princess' ship, the Dark Aster, the Princess contacts Omega Shenron, who demands that she deliver the Dragon Ball to him as promised. However, Klaxisaur Princess embeds the Dragon Ball into her chest, taking its power for herself, promising that after the destruction of the Soul Society, she will come for Omega Shenron; hateful of his adopted father for all the suffering he wrought upon him throughout his life, Byakuya agrees to aid the Klaxisaur Princess. Ichigo sends a message to the Shinigami, warning them of the Klaxisaur's attack.
Allying with a Shinigami fleet, Ichigo's group and the Soul Reapers arrive at the Soul Society, confronting the Dark Aster. While Renji assists the Shinigami fleet, the rest of Ichigo's team breach the Aster and move towards the Klaxisaur Princess. Rukia battles Byakuya while Ichigo, Uryu, and Chad battle and kill Dr. Franxx and the Klaxisaur soldiers. Defeating Byakuya, Rukia tries to convince her brother to abandon the Klaxisaur Princess and join her in freedom; deeming Rukia's new choice as insane, Byakuya refuses his sister's offer and flees from the battle in a hijacked Soul Reaper ship. The Klaxisaur Princess uses her new power to destroy the Shinigami fleet, and easily overmatches Ichigo's team. Before she can kill them, Renji flies his ship into the Aster and into the Klaxisaur Princess, seemingly killing her. The extensive damage causes the Dark Aster to crash land in the Soul Society, with Chad apparently fatally sacrificing himself to shield the group. Ichigo's team survives the crash, but their relief is short-lived when the Klaxisaur Princess, unscathed by the crash, emerges from the wreck and prepares to destroy the Soul Society. Ichigo suddenly starts dancing, distracting the Klaxisaur Princess long enough for Uryu to damage her chest with Renji's Zanpakto. The Dragon Ball flies from the wound, and Ichigo grabs it, but its power begins to destroy him until he joins hands with Rukia, Uryu, and Renji, who share its burden. The four then direct the Dragon Ball's power towards the Klaxisaur Princess, utterly destroying her.
Rukia immediately places the Dragon Ball in a new orb, and Ichigo gives it to Kenpachi as part of their deal, although Ichigo warns that he should not open it, since Kenpachi had seen what it was capable of doing. Kenpachi and the Soul Reapers then leave the Soul Society, commenting that they made a wise choice in not delivering Ichigo to his father like they had been hired to do all those years ago. Once they have left, Ichigo reveals that he had switched the containers- Kenpachi later opens the orb to find one of Ichigo's troll dolls. In the aftermath, Ichigo's group, now calling themselves the "Soul Guardians" after a mockery by the Klaxisaur Princess, are praised by the Shinigami, who expunges their criminal histories. They also reveal to Ichigo that, based on medical reports, they have deciphered that he is only half-human, and that his father belongs to an ancient alien race that they have not yet encountered. The Guardians then leave the Soul Society in the Milano, which was repaired by the Shinigami, and venture out into the galaxy in search of adventure, accompanied by a recovered Chad.
Meanwhile, Aizen sits in his destroyed archive, where he is licked by a dog, and mocked by one of his collections: Doma Umaru.