644. BABY, HOLD YOUR HAND 7 [Never Ending My Dream]
645. Don't Chase a Shadow
646. The Second Eye
647. THE THEATRE SUICIDE
648. THE THEATRE SUICIDE SCENE 2
649. The Theatre Suicide SCENE 3
650. THE THEATRE SUICIDE SCENE 4
651. The Theatre Suicide SCENE 5
652. The Theatre Suicide SCENE 6
BABY,HOLD YOUR HAND is the seventy-first volume of the Bleach manga series.
Pernida's clone kills and consumes Nemu, but Mayuri uses her body to defeat Pernida itself.
As Nemu falls, the pieces of the clone she blasted apart form dozens of eyes before impaling her with several dozen nerves, which they use to tear her to shreds. Looking on, a shocked Mayuri thinks this is impossible as he is greeted by a vision of his old opponent Szayelaporro Granz, who asks him if he is feeling hopeless. Claiming that Nemu died because she was not perfect and that this means Mayuri has a chance to make something even better with what he has learned, Szayelaporro realizes that Mayuri considered Nemu close to perfect and notes that Pernida has crushed both his creation and his arrogant attitude as the clone reforms behind him. However, Mayuri disperses Szayelaporro and admits his surprise at the Arrancar scientist being the one to point out his mistakes.
When the remaining two clones crash into the rooftop where he is standing, Mayuri permits them to eat the rest of Nemu before taking the brain for himself. Resisting the clone's attempt to send its nerves into him by exerting his Reiatsu, Mayuri tells it to keep eating before it dies as one of its fingers enlarges. As the other fingers follow suit, Mayuri explains how he replaced Nemu's regenerative cells with cells that multiply at high speeds and reveals they are controlled by the brain alone before revealing that the clone will die from excess regeneration as the clone's tissue is grossly expanded.
As the pieces of Pernida's clones fall to the ground and explode around him, Mayuri walks away with Nemu's brain in hand, only to collapse as his damaged legs give out from underneath him. Upon seeing Ikkaku and Yumichika have arrived, Mayuri admits he should be grateful that they did not interfere in his fight before revealing that he has managed to de-zombify Hitsugaya and Rangiku, who are located in body containers a few feet away. As he and Rangiku emerge from the containers and begin walking away, Hitsugaya thanks Mayuri, who is helped into one of the pods by Ikkaku and Yumichika. After placing Kenpachi in the other containers, Ikkaku and Yumichika thank Mayuri for saving Kenpachi before leaving as well. Mayuri notes the unusual amount of people who are thanking him today before claiming that he has finally beaten Urahara with Nemu's evolution as he falls asleep.
Elsewhere, Urahara notices Mayuri's Reiatsu change and tells Shunsui that he should be okay, prompting Shunsui to note that the more pressing concern is the dwindling Reiatsu around them. When Urahara asks if all the lieutenants have fallen, Renji reveals that he, Rukia, and Momo are alright while Shunsui points out that Nanao is fine as well. Further away, Lille notes that it must be scary to watch one's comrades be shot down and not know where the enemy is located. As Shunsui declares that they need to make their move, he is seemingly shot in the chest by Lille, who begins to hear a technique name being chanted near him. Shunsui appears behind him, having used Daruma-san ga Koronda before slicing off part of Lille's rifle and promising to take his life next.
As Lille wonders how Shunsui managed to sneak up on him, Shunsui wonders if he does not know what Daruma-san ga Koronda is before revealing that Nanao mananged to keep up with him, then tells her to return to the group because it is dangerous here. When Nanao refuses to do so, Shunsui tells her to go on without him, prompting Nanao to promise to shave his chest hair off if he dies before leaving. Lille informs Shunsui that he already knows of his Zanpakutō's ability to turn children's games into reality and asks if this was one of them, which prompts Shunsui to explain the rules of the game to him. After noting that it is similar to a game he knows called Escondite Ingles, Lille explains how Shunsui followed the trail of Reiatsu left by his attack and could have died if Lille had noticed him first, prompting Shunsui to admit he is smart. When Lille asks him why he is explaining the rules even though it will not work again, Shunsui states that this can only be called a game if both of them know the rules.
However, Shunsui clarifies that Lille actually did see him and not an illusion before explaining that Lille was subconsciously seeing Shunsui's Reiatsu with his heart instead of his eyes. Lille claims that he would never make a mistake like this, but Shunsui states that he is the Captain-Commander of the Gotei 13, surprising Lille. Upon seeing Shunsui moving to his left side, Lille removes the rest of the barrel of his rifle before pointing it at Shunsui's chest as he uses Daruma-san ga Koronda once more. Firing at Shunsui's chest, Lille jumps high up to avoid a shadow blade from the ground beneath him before firing once more at Shunsui, who jumps away while commending Lille for being the first combatant to notice and avoid Kageoni on the first try. Lille reiterates that he already knows about Shunsui's techniques, pointing out the hole in Shunsui's foot and stating that he does not know anything about the Wandenreich. After stating his name, epithet, and power, Lille shoots Shunsui in the chest, only to be surprised when Shunsui appears behind him once more and reveals that he was using Kageokuri to create a shadow of himself that seemed real. Noting that the scary thing about a children's game is that one does not know when it has started, Shunsui tells Lille that he cannot back out anymore before deciding that they will play until one of them drops.
Shinji declares that they should leave Shunsui behind and keep moving, prompting Momo to ask him why. Pointing out that they are running low on time, Shinji asks Nanao what she will do. When Nanao states that she will return to Shunsui, Shinji reminds everyone that both Ukitake and Yamamoto would agree with Shunsui's decision because it is the burden of the Captain-Commander to carry the lives of his men.
Meanwhile, Lille asks Shunsui if he thought being in close-range would give him an advantage, only for Shunsui to reveal that it did, as more than half of Lille's rifle falls off. As Shunsui admits that he wanted to take off Lille's arm, Lille leaps back before reforming his rifle, which he reveals is named Diagramm, and pointing out how it is made from Reishi. Shunsui notes that this is how he can keep fighting even after it is broken before appearing behind him and slashing, prompting Lille to duck as Shunsui states that losing sight of him means Lille could be tricked by an illusion. As Shunsui reminds Lille of how they were afraid of the shadows as children, several copies of himself appear above Lille before descending on and stabbing him. However, Lille merely notes that this is the third time while opening his left eye before explaining to Shunsui that having both his eyes open allows him to use the true essence of The X-Axis, which allows him to pierce anything with his rifle and go through anything with his body. Sliding his sword out of Lille, Shunsui asks Lille if this means the rules of logic will no longer apply.
Confirming this, Lille claims that nothing can hurt him right now and states that it only works for a brief period of time before revealing that he is permitted to keep both his eyes open until the end of a battle if he is forced to open them three times. Lille explains how he is the last Quincy to have his power granted to him by Yhwach and proclaims that opening his eyes three times is unheard of before activating his Quincy: Vollständig, Jilliel, and shooting Shunsui, who finds himself unable to move.
Gerard confronts the remaining Shinigami as Shunsui activates his Bankai.
Shunsui jumps to a nearby building and props himself against it before admitting that he did not think he could run so far with his injuries. Noting that he would normally die if he were not so tough, Shunsui pauses and states that he misses hearing Nanao's remarks when he says things like this. Dodging more shots from Lille, Shunsui leaps through a window and into a building, only for Lille to reappear in front of him while reiterating that nothing can hurt him now. However, Shunsui merely wonders how he will fare against a Kidō blade before using Hadō #78. Zangerin, which destroys the top of the building.
Meanwhile, Shinji runs further into the city alongside the other Shinigami while noting that they are getting closer to Wahrwelt. However, he is interrupted when Gerard Valkyrie crashes into the ground before them and commends them for making it this far. As Gerard proclaims that they will have to defeat him in order to progress, Renji binds his arm with Zabimaru while stating that they have to take him down quickly. When Shinji and the others attempt to move past him, Gerard stretches his cape out to block their way before proclaiming that they should all come at him at once.
In another part of the city, Shunsui expresses surprise at Lille remaining unscathed by his attack and notes that he is where the Shinigami first arrived before stating that he is far enough away from everyone else. After preemptively apologizing to Nanao for the possibility of her getting caught in this, Shunsui activates his Bankai, Katen Kyōkotsu: Karamatsu Shinjū.
Shunsui's Bankai affects other combatants as Shunsui attacks Lille with it.
Ichigo finds Askin and demands to know what happened to Grimmjow, only for Askin to reveal that he already defeated him. Refusing to believe this, Ichigo prepares to attack Askin, who reveals his name, but they are interrupted when the surrounding area suddenly darkens, surprising them. As Ganju, Sado, and Orihime note how cold they feel, Ichigo wonders if this is Shunsui's doing.
Meanwhile, Lille sets down on a building after altering the appearance of his Quincy: Vollständig and notes that the skies have darkened before noticing that Shunsui is approaching. When Shunsui asks him to tell him what the world around him looks like to him, Lille confirms that it has gotten a little darker before leaping above Shunsui while proclaiming that a messenger of God feels no fear. After attacking Shunsui with enough force to break off part of the city, Lille states that killing Shunsui will end the effect of the Bankai, only to be shocked upon noticing that he has sustained wounds identical to Shunsui's. Shunsui appears unharmed from the dust and reveals that this is the first stage of his Bankai before activating the second stage, which causes dozens of black spots to appear on Lille. As Lille begins to bleed, Shunsui activates the third stage, which engulfs both of them in a cube of water.
Shunsui uses the final act of his Bankai on Lille, who manages to survive.
Attempting to swim up through the water, Lille realizes that he is only getting further and further from the surface, prompting Shunsui to point out that they are technically throwing themselves into the water before noting that one's body temperature and resolve both go down upon hitting cold water. Shunsui claims that there is a limit to how shameful one can be as Katen speaks of a man who could not keep his promise and a woman who could not forget her love for him.
Criticizing Shunsui for being too familiar despite only playing with her occasionally, Katen notes how injured Shunsui is before claiming this is what he gets for wearing another woman's clothing. As Katen states that she has sworn to remain by Shunsui's side until the end because she is his sword, Lille asks Shunsui who he is talking to and proclaims that a Shinigami's Bankai could never kill him before rushing toward Shunsui, who notes that the light at the end of the tunnel is the thread of regret as he circles a white thread around Lille's neck. Shunsui states that he will cut this thread for Lille and notes that this is the last act before cutting Lille's throat. As the cut swells up and explodes, Lille's headless body falls into the abyss below.
As he coughs up blood, Shunsui falls back into Katen Kyōkotsu's lap and notes with perversion that he should enter his Bankai more often if it means doing this, only to be forced to dodge a jab at his eye from Katen Kyōkotsu, who states that they both look and act very similar before noting that they have won. However, they are interrupted when a blast from above pierces through Shunsui's abdomen as Lille's headless body rises before them. A face made of energy forms in place of Lille's head as Lille reminds Shunsui that a Shinigami's Bankai cannot kill him.
Lille reveals a second form of Jilliel as Shunsui decides to return Nanao's Zanpakutō to her.
Upon seeing Lille's new form, Shunsui notes with exasperation that even blowing Lille's head off did not kill him, prompting Lille to claim that this is what despair looks like before proclaiming that he is an invincible servant of God meant to destroy all sinners. After forming a right arm, Lille uses it to shoot a ray of light that slices through the city below before causing multiple explosions. As the smoke clears, Lille realizes Shunsui has escaped despite his injuries and admits that he expects nothing less of a Captain-Commander.
Elsewhere, Katen tells Shunsui that he should escape due to his injuries and states that no one would blame him if he did before promising to take him away with her. However, as Shunsui closes his eyes, he is awoken by Nanao, who begs him to give her her Zanpakutō despite the promise he made to her mother. Suddenly, Lille appears behind Nanao and notes that she is still here despite all Shunsui did to let her escape before attacking them, only for Shunsui to move himself and Nanao away. As Lille notes that they escape once more, Shunsui sits in shadow with Nanao and notes that she knows about her mother before deciding to return her Zanpakutō to her as Kyōkotsu appears behind Nanao.
Shunsui reveals his past with Nanao's mother as Nanao wields her Zanpakutō against Lille.
In the past, a young Shunsui greets his elder sister, Nanao's mother, after she wakes him.
In the present, Lille wonders where Shunsui and Nanao went before stretching his head, causing him to realize that his altered shadow is their hiding place. Noting that Kageoni allows Shunsui to hide in the shadows for a fair amount of time, Lille creates a ball of light while wondering what will happen if his shadow disappears entirely. However, he is interrupted when Nanao leaps out of a shadow on his forehead while carrying a wrapped object.
In the past, Nanao expresses disbelief at Kyōkotsu being her Zanpakutō, only for Shunsui to correct himself by saying that Katen created the younger girl in order to store Nanao's Zanpakutō. Shunsui goes on to explain that the Ise family was always comprised exclusively of women and that all the men who married into the family were killed by a curse, which Nanao's mother intended to avert by cutting off ties with her family after marrying, only for her husband to die shortly afterward. Revealing that this man was his brother, Shunsui admits that he had never been on good terms with his brother before stating that living with him became much more comfortable after he married Nanao's mother. He goes on to explain how Nanao's mother had to return to her family, but not before entrusting a certain sword, which she believed was the source of the curse, to him, which he gave to the younger girl of his Zanpakutō spirits to hide, prompting the girl to pull the wrapped sword out of her face.
In the present, Lille asks Nanao how she came out of such a tiny shadow before slashing at her, prompting Nanao to block with the wrapped sword while recalling how she promised that she would accept the curse of the sword and that whomever she loved would also believe it to be ridiculous. As Nanao lands on a building below, Lille asks her if she plans to fight him by herself despite being only a lieutenant, prompting Nanao to reveal her sword, Shinken Hakkyōken, as she recalls Shunsui revealing that the sword cannot kill a person, but can kill any divine being.
Nanao injures Lille, and Shunsui steps in to help her.
Nanao raises up Shinken Hakkyōken and Lille comments on how bright it is shining, complaining that it hurts his eyes. However, Nanao tells him that the Zanpakutō reflects the ability of its opponent, meaning it is diffusing the light of Lille's power. Lille does not understand, but is pleased to be referred to as a god. Nanao then rushes toward him.
In the past, Nanao overheard her mother giving Shinken Hakkyōken to Shunsui, telling him the Zanpakutō would not harm someone outside the Ise Family and he was the only one she could trust. Nanao reflected on the distinct hairpins in Shunsui's hair as she saw him at Shin'ō Academy, and also noticed his kimono which resembled her mother's, though she assumed it to be a common pattern. However, the hairpins he wore were just like her mother's.
The Academy students later found out what divisions they would join, and Nanao was surprised to find her name in the Eight Division. After her mother died, Nanao was taken by an elderly couple related to the Ise Family. They treated her like their own daughter, and congratulated her upon finding out she joined the Gotei 13. Nanao reflected that despite her inability to make an Asauchi her own, she became talented in Kidō and was able to join the Eighth Division. Nanao began realizing after her captain Shunsui changed his haori and removed his hairpins that he was the man whom her mother entrusted something precious to.
In the present, Lille taunts Nanao that no blade can harm him, but she slashes him in the arm, severing it in a great flash. Lille expresses surprise that Nanao was able to lay her blade on him but says that was her last chance as he creates a giant ball of light, ready to annihilate her. Meanwhile, Shunsui recalls when he heard that Nanao's mother had been executed for losing Shinken Hakkyōken and when he stood by his dying brother, who gave him his hair pins. Shunsui expresses regret for having to assume the burden of these heirlooms as he uses Kageoni to appear behind Nanao, grasping her Zanpakutō and preparing to head into battle with her.