Aizen notices that Yamamoto's burnt arm is cracked, and recognizes the Kidō as Ittō Kasō, a spell that uses the caster's own charred body as a catalyst. Aizen admits that he underestimated the Captain-Commander, as he had not expected Yamamoto to use the damage inflicted by Wonderweiss's explosion against him. He escapes the flames with slight burns, only to be surprised when he realizes that a Hollowfied Ichigo is pouncing on him. Ichigo launches a Getsuga Tenshō at him, sending him crashing through a building and wounding his shoulder. Ichigo continues his attack, but is unable to further harm Aizen, who tells him that he has missed his chance to kill him, as he will not present any more openings. Ichigo points out that he has injured Aizen, but the wound begins to close up. As Aizen's injury is healing, Ichigo assumes that it is high-speed regeneration. Aizen sarcastically asks Ichigo if he really thought that he had truly transformed into a Hollow. Aizen states that it is a tool instinctively protecting its master. He then tears open his uniform to reveal that he has embedded the Hōgyoku in his chest.
Aizen compliments Ichigo's Reiatsu, saying that he has grown, just as he had planned. He lists various important moments in the development of Ichigo's power and what their importance is: his meeting with Rukia Kuchiki and battle with Uryū Ishida awakened his Shinigami powers, his battle with Lieutenant Renji Abarai enlightened him to the importance of his Zanpakutō, the battle with Captain Kenpachi Zaraki was a foundation for his learning of Bankai, the battle with Captain Byakuya Kuchiki was a step towards becoming a Hollow, during the battle with Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez, he attained Hollow side mastery, and his battle with Ulquiorra Cifer revealed a greater power within. Aizen finishes off by calmly stating that all of Ichigo's battles until the present moment have taken place exactly as he desired.
Ichigo yells at Aizen and asks him what he means by every single battle he's fought has played into his hand. Aizen tells him not to yell, and explains that once he realized he was the thing he was searching for, he decided to help him grow. He then points out all the oddities that Ichigo should have noticed as his time as a Shinigami, like him being attacked by a Hollow after meeting Rukia despite never seeing a Hollow before, having a Menos Grande appear after using bait for lesser Hollows, or that after getting used to his Shinigami powers, Rukia would be reported to Soul Society despite her Reiatsu never being detected, or even Byakuya, Renji, and Kenpachi would fight him just as his power was equal to theirs. He then asks Ichigo if he thought everything that happened was just destiny, coincidence, or even his own efforts. Ichigo immediately attacks Aizen, but his blow is easily blocked. He then swings his Zanpakutō at Aizen again, but he easily catches it. He then mocks Ichigo, saying that he should be stronger than this. Aizen then asks him if his words are so unbelievable, and Ichigo tells him that what he said back at Sōkyoku Hill doesn't match up with what he's saying now. Aizen then asks him why he thinks his words back then were the truth, but that these are lies. He then tells him that he pity's him, as everyone just accepts the truth as things that they want to hear. Aizen then asks Ichigo if he knows who sent Rukia to the Human World, who equipped Renji with the ability to detect Reiatsu, and who gave the lieutenants information on his whereabouts. He then asks him if he thought he didn't know the location of the Hōgyoku for 100 years. Ichigo asks him how he could be the thing he's searching for if he only knew him since he met Rukia. Aizen states that he's known him since the day he was born and as he's about to explain what Ichigo is, Isshin arrives and tells Aizen that he's said too much.
Isshin and Ichigo square off against Aizen and Gin.
Ichigo wonders what Aizen meant by him being a Human and something else. He then thinks to himself that there was no reason to wonder why, as his father, Isshin Kurosaki, has now appeared in front of him. As Ichigo looks on in shock, Isshin headbutts him across the town, but Ichigo is able to hold onto a building. However, Isshin appears right where he is and begins kicking him off the building. After he accomplishes this, Aizen tells Isshin it was smart to create some distance. Isshin then goes to where Ichigo fell and begins holding his mouth shut. As he tells Ichigo that he knows he wants to ask him a lot of things, Ichigo kicks him in the face and states that he knows when to keep quiet. Isshin then tells him that no matter how much he looks at him, his eyes aren't deceiving him and tells Ichigo that he must have a million questions. Ichigo tells him that he doesn't though and states that if he didn't tell him anything, then it was for his own reasons and it will be his problem. Isshin tells him he's learned to speak rather competently and Ichigo thanks him for punching him, as it feels to him like he's been brought back.
Aizen is seen on a building and he states that Isshin must have put up a powerful barrier to hide his Reiatsu. Gin shows up behind him and Aizen remarks that he took a rather long period of sightseeing. Gin replies that he wasn't sightseeing, but that he simply didn't see an opening or the necessity to come to his aid. Ichigo then appears behind Gin and attacks him. As Aizen watches this, Isshin appears as well and engages him. The two clash, and to Aizen's surprise Isshin grins and uses his middle finger to flick his own arm, which has the affect of launching Aizen straight through several buildings. Gin remarks to Ichigo that it's been quite a while, and that he won't hold back this time. He then activates his Bankai.
As Aizen and Isshin continue to fight, Ichimaru explains his Zanpakutō's abilities.
Isshin continues to attack Aizen, but he is able to dodge his blows. Aizen then uses Hadō #63. Raikōhō on Isshin.
As this is happening, Gin tells Ichigo it's been a long time since the two of them fought and asks Ichigo if he recalled the time after he cut off Jidanbō Ikkanzaka's arm, recounting how Ichigo flew at him with a threatening attitude and how at the time he thought Ichigo was such an amusing kid. Ichigo plainly states he doesn't remember. When Gin asks if he is trying to provoke him, Ichigo explains that what he doesn't remember is his sword or his heart. Ichigo further explains his philosophy on battle. He notes that normally he can understand someone's motivation by crossing swords with them, in this way he translates his hearts intention and his opponent translates theirs. Gin makes fun of him for being so poetic, but Ichigo brushes him off and continues in his explanation. He states that Gin has shown nothing to him and when they last fought, Gin saw nothing in him either. Ichigo admits he doesn't even know what he saw. Gin states that he thought Ichigo was an amusing kid, but now thinks he is simply a creepy one. He then notes that Aizen is interested in Ichigo and that he thinks he knows how Aizen feels. Gin then begins to talk of his Zanpakutō, asking Ichigo if he knows how far it extends. When Ichigo makes note that he doesn't, Gin states that it extends 100 sword lengths. He recalls that when he was a kid people called him the Hundred Sheather. Ichigo maintains his disinterest in conversation, so Gin asks him if he knows about his Bankai and how far it can extend. Ichigo states he didn't come there for a quiz show. Gin is disappointed when Ichigo refuses to play his guessing game, and figures that he may as well show him so he can understand. Gin then states that it can extend 13 km, but realizes that stating the number wont get the point across, he then tells Ichigo this time he wont go easy on him. Gin then releases his Bankai Kamishini no Yari, in an instant several buildings around them are bisected and begin to topple over. He swings the blade at Ichigo, but Ichigo easily blocks it. Gin is somewhat surprised by this, and Ichigo asks why, considering there is no way any Bankai could be incapable of being stopped by another Bankai. Ichigo bats Gin's blade away and fires a Getsuga Tenshō, surprising Gin again as he is hit directly by the blast. When the smoke clears Gin is lightly injured and remarks again that Ichigo is a creepy kid.
Ichigo figures out what is truly frightening about Kamishini no Yari, as Aizen reaches the limits of his Shinigami body.
Lieutenant Rangiku Matsumoto watches the battle between Gin and Ichigo and simply says Gin's name a single time.
Gin reiterates to Ichigo that he's a creepy kid and states that if he doesn't finish him off soon, things will get bad. Ichigo suddenly notices that Gin's Zanpakutō went to its original length and wonders how he could have missed it retract back, as he's been staring at the Zanpakutō the entire time. Gin states that it seems as if his Bankai was easily stopped and decides to stick to the basics with him. He then lunges straight at Ichigo and continuously attacks him. As Ichigo blocks his blows, Gin tells him it feels as if his Zanpakutō is about to snap. Ichigo begins to form a hypothesis, and believes that if he's correct and Gin angles his Zanpakutō's tip towards him, the battle will be over. Gin then manages to cut Ichigo's left shoulder, but he is able to dodge the next blow. Ichigo then heads straight for Gin, and manages to get right next to him, blocking his Zanpakutō. Gin then jumps on top of a rooftop and Ichigo tells him that the scariest part of his Bankai isn't the length it can go nor it's destructive power, but the immense speed at which it contracts. Ichigo then states that how far it goes doesn't matter and that him destroying the buildings with his Zanpakutō doesn't matter either, and believes that Gin did all that to distract him from his Bankai's true strength. Gin confirms this and begins to think to himself that Ichigo is scary for being able to deduce all of that from only two attacks, and believes that this battle is going to drag on. Gin then tells Ichigo that there's no point in hiding anything anymore and claps his hands. He tells Ichigo that his Zanpakutō is five hundred times that speed, going on to say that Kamishini no Yari isn't the Zanpakutō with the "ultimate length", but the "ultimate speed". He then explains to Ichigo that even if he knows that, he still has no victory. The two of them then continue their battle.
Isshin tells Aizen that his movements are getting slow and asks him if he's at his limit. Aizen confirms this, but states that this is only for his Shinigami form. As Isshin wonders what he's talking about, Aizen states that the will of the Hōgyoku has finally began to understand what he desires.
Aizen states that the Hōgyoku has finally begun to understand his heart and goes on to say that the Hōgyoku possesses a will of its own. Isshin doesn't believe this, but Aizen begins to explain that he only became aware of this after becoming its master. He then reveals that the true power of the Hōgyoku is not the removal of the boundaries between Shinigami and Hollow, but it is to capture and materialize the hearts around it. He claims that it has brought about the "miracles" surrounding Ichigo, Rukia, and Kisuke Urahara. He continues to explain that Kisuke misunderstood the nature of the Hōgyoku because the breakdown of the barrier between Shinigami and Hollow was his own desire, which the Hōgyoku made real. He then attributes reasons why Ichigo took all of Rukia's spiritual power and the awakening of Orihime Inoue and Yasutora Sado's powers to the Hōgyoku. Aizen states that he knew the Hōgyoku's ability was not manipulation of the boundary between Hollows and Shinigami, as if it had been, then Shinji Hirako's group would not have become Visored, and says that their Hollowfication was both an experiment in Hollowfication and a way to confirm the Hōgyoku's power. Then, with a theory on how the Hōgyoku worked, he sent Rukia to Ichigo's side. He then explains the limits of the Hōgyoku before being interrupted by Gin knocking Ichigo into a nearby building.
Gin tells Ichigo that he did good stopping his blow, but states that his attack was a fluke, which angers Ichigo. Isshin tries to talk to Ichigo, but he is yelled at by his son, telling him to stay out of his way and that in a few more attacks, he'll win. As Isshin smiles at this, Gin asks Aizen if he interrupted his speech. Aizen replies that he had just reached the end of his speech and his body is enveloped by the Hōgyoku. Isshin and Ichigo are shocked by this, and Ichigo asks what's going on. Isshin tells him that he has no idea, and the two of them begin arguing. As Aizen states that the Hōgyoku deserves its name, he is interrupted as he is shot from behind by Kisuke Urahara, whom he welcomes onto the battlefield.
Aizen welcomes Urahara onto the battlefield. Urahara mentions that it's been a long time since last they met, and takes note of the extraordinary form Aizen has taken. Aizen states that it's nothing, as midway through "evolution" is always ugly. Urahara clarifies that no one has said he is ugly, it's just that he has finally fused with the Hōgyoku. Aizen explains that it isn't fusion and asked that the word "subdue" be used. He then states that the Hōgyoku Urahara failed to master has found a new master. Urahara glares down at Aizen and remarks that it's true he was unable to master it, if Aizen is referring to the past. Aizen questions his statement, asking him if he's going to admit defeat. He then retracts the question making note that it shouldn't be the question. He then uses Shunpo and moves so fast that before Urahara can react, Aizen impales him in the chest with his Zanpakutō. Aizen then tells him that he'll forever lose the chance to drive the Hōgyoku. Urahara's body then bursts like a balloon as Urahara appears behind Aizen and places his palm against his back as he uses Bakudō #61. Rikujōkōrō. Aizen notes that he has seen the use of the portable Gigai decoy tactic in Yammy Llargo's report. He admits he was careless, as he never thought Urahara would use such a cheap trick. He then asks what Urahara will do now that he has been constricted. Urahara then questions whether Aizen actually thinks that he would use just that level of Bakudō. He then follows up in quick secession Bakudō #63. Sajō Sabaku and Bakudō #79. Kuyō Shibari further immobilizing Aizen. Urahara then begins an incantation with Aizen asking whether he really thinks he'll let him use that Hadō spell, but Urahara tells him its too late as he initiates Hadō #91. Senju Kōten Taihō and Ichigo notes how powerful it is.
After the smoke explosion dissipates Urahara remarks at how careless Aizen has become because of his new found power. Aizen appears behind him unharmed and notes that he's correct. Urahara moves to react, but Aizen slashes his right shoulder with his bare hand, wounding him as he exclaims he is too late. Aizen then states that he's allowed to be careless as he doesn't have a need not to be, as he can feel the strength of the Hōgyoku in his body. He remarks that his strength exceeds that of his old self and he is now invincible, so he doesn't need to dodge a level 90 Kidō anymore. Urahara then states that he wasn't talking about dodging the Kidō, what he meant was that if it was the older version of himself, he wouldn't be letting him try his attacks on him one by one. Aizen is suddenly trapped by spiritual energy cuffs at his wrist. He stares in shock as Urahara explains that it is a seal, which seals the Reiatsu flowing out of his own palms. He then states that Aizen will now be blasted by his own Reiatsu, as Aizen is enveloped in a column of light.
The battle continues as Yoruichi Shihōin joins the fray.
After Aizen is enveloped in a column of light, Ichigo calls for Urahara, who tells him that the battle isn't over yet and Aizen will be coming back any second now. All of a sudden, Aizen emerges from the column of light in a completely new form and Ichigo is shocked. Aizen instantly appears between Urahara, Isshin, and Ichigo and comments to Urahara about how he used a level-90 Kidō spell as a distraction in order to seal him with his own original technique, which would have worked had it been anyone but him. He then corrects himself, stating that, had he not implanted the Hōgyoku in his body and subdued it, the battle would have been over. He then reaches in through the covering of his wrist and pulls out a bracelet, stating that unfortunately for Urahara, the Hōgyoku he created was beyond his comprehension. Therefore, the technique that Urahara most likely created solely for the battle with him was also incapable of reaching him. Urahara unsheathes his Zanpakutō, prompting Aizen to ask him if, since his techniques did not work, he now intends to use power against him. Isshin comes up from behind and Aizen attempts to attack them both at once, but he is quickly blocked as they both simultaneously entangle his sword hand and one of his ankles, stretching him into an awkward position. Aizen demands to know what is going on as Yoruichi Shihōin, wearing armor on her arms and legs, attacks him from above. She smashes into his back with such force that it destroys the surrounding area. Next, she lands a direct punch with even more force, causing damage to an entire block. Urahara then yells for Yoruichi to move away. Aizen quickly recovers and, before Yoruichi can fully dodge his counterattack, he destroys the armor on Yoruichi's left leg. As Aizen emerges from the rubble with his new form severely cracked, he asks them if this all they have and says that they had better hurry up and make the next move, as he plans on crushing them all one by one into tiny fragments down to the very last remnant.
Aizen invites Urahara, Isshin, and Yoruichi to continue their attack as Ichimaru and Ichigo resume their battle.
Aizen states that the number of methods that Yoruichi, Isshin, and Urahara have devised in an attempt to defeat him are equal to the amount of hope that they still have, and therefore it is his duty to crush everyone of them. With that he invites the three to try their next trick as Ichigo watches on in shock.
Urahara says that they are in a bind and Yoruichi's armor that Aizen destroyed were his special design that were meant to counter Hierro, stating that he never thought they would break so easily. Yoruichi demands to know if Urahara is implying that they broke because her focus was broken. Urahara denies the charge, but Yoruichi confronts him and tells him that they broke because they were badly put together. Aizen points out that the fact that Yoruichi's legs are fine would imply that the armor was special indeed. Yoruichi tries to divert Aizen's compliments to her legs, but then starts picking on Urahara because of a look he gave her. As Isshin watches the two of them bicker, Aizen interrupts and tells them not to bicker about what was special since the armor disappeared in one swing, meaning that if Aizen swings his sword three more times - Yoruichi's special items will disappear altogether. Urahara asks Yoruichi if she can do it, and Yoruichi says that it is simply a matter of striking Aizen with something other then her left leg, but even as she says this, Aizen appears on her right side. Something explodes as Ichigo watches on.
As Ichigo is engrossed in the fight against Aizen, Gin appears behind him and asks Ichigo if that's a good idea, given that Ichigo's back is exposed. Ichigo goes into a defensive stance, but Gin walks away, saying that he was just joking. Gin wonders if they can just take a break and just watch Aizen fight, saying that it is useless now. Gin states that he has been with Aizen a long time and that this is the first time he is seeing something like Aizen's current form which, Gin reasons, is a given because Aizen absorbed the Hōgyoku while they were not paying attention. Which means, Gin goes on to say, that Ichigo and everybody else are all going to die. Ichigo says that he won't let that happen. Gin states he expected Ichigo to say something like that. Ichigo goes on to ask how Gin can be sure of what's going to happen to him, given Aizen's current state. Gin states that when Ichigo phrases things like that, it gives the impression that he has accepted that his own death is a given, and wonders if some part of Ichigo has already given-up on the fight. As Ichigo struggles to return an answer, Gin draws his Zanpakutō and states that while he thought that Ichigo could go a little longer, it is evident that he is just a fragile kid. Gin states that there is no way he can leave a coward like Ichigo to be taken care of by Aizen, he then adopts a hitherto unseen stance and unleashes a new attack of his Bankai: Butō. Ichigo dodges, but then notices to his amazement that Gin's Zanpakutō has already fully retracted. Before Ichigo can recover, Gin unleashes Butō: Renjin thus forcing Ichigo to don his mask.
As the battles rage on, Lieutenant Izuru Kira comes to and calls out his captain's name. He also notices Rangiku running through the streets of Fake Karakura Town.
My editor before my last editor was transferred to a different magazine, and an editor even further back just got married, and my very first editor returned to Jump as the deputy editor in chief. These are all separate events, but they're all the beginning of something new. So simply put... Congratulations.