-98. Turn Back The Pendulum 11
-97. Let Stop The Pendulum
316. Swang the Edge Down
317. Six Hearts Will Beat As One
318. Five Towers/Four Pillars
319. Ants And Dragons
320. Beauty is So Solitary
321. Black Briers and Brambles
322. Oath Under The Rose
-99. Turn Back The Pendulum 10
-98. Turn Back The Pendulum 11
-97. Let Stop The Pendulum
316. Swang the Edge Down
317. Six Hearts Will Beat As One
318. Five Towers/Four Pillars
319. Ants And Dragons
320. Beauty is So Solitary
321. Black Briars and Brambles
322. Oath Under the Rose
BEAUTY IS SO SOLITARY is the thirty-seventh volume of the Bleach manga series.
Aizen explains how he betrayed Hirako and prepares to put an end to the experiment.
Upon realizing that Aizen is responsible for what has happened, Captain Hirako reveals that he has suspected him since before he became his lieutenant. Hirako tells Aizen that he chose him as his lieutenant so that he could keep an eye on him, as he viewed Aizen as dangerous and untrustworthy. Aizen thanks Hirako for this, saying that it was thanks to those misgivings that he failed to notice that for the previous month, Aizen had substituted another Shinigami for himself. Aizen tells Hirako the ability of his Zanpakutō, Kyōka Suigetsu, can cause anybody to misconstrue what they see. He continues to explain to the shocked Hirako that if he had engaged with him as any other captain would with their lieutenant, he might have been able to see through it. However, as Hirako did not trust him, he created some distance between the two and did not give him information. Due to this, he did not notice when Aizen switched places with another person, who had memorized his normal behavior and responses to other members of the division and the other captains. Aizen finishes his explanation by reminding Hirako that a Shinigami has the right to refuse promotion, and he did not refuse because Hirako's distrust was ideally suited for his goals.
Aizen tells his captain that he should apologize to his allies, as it is because Aizen chose him that they are all lying on the ground, infuriating Hirako. As he gets up to attack Aizen, fluid erupts from his mouth and eye, forming into a Hollow mask. Aizen thanks Shinji for rising to his taunt, as it confirms his suspicion that the Hollowfication occurs more quickly when the subject is in an excited stated. When Lieutenant Hiyori Sarugaki sees this, she calls for Hirako, but at Aizen's command, she is cut down by Tōsen. Aizen draws his sword to kill Hirako, calling them all wonderful test subjects, but is attacked by Kisuke Urahara, who is wearing his Reiatsu blocking cloak. After Kisuke cuts off Aizen's lieutenant insignia, Aizen comments that Captains Urahara and Tessai Tsukabishi are interesting guests.
After Aizen and Urahara discuss the situation, they treacherous trio leave the Hollowfied Shinigami to Urahara.
Aizen asks Urahara and Tessai what they are doing there. When Gin Ichimaru comments that they have been found, Kaname tells Aizen that he will cut them down. Aizen instructs him not to, but Tōsen persists. Aizen repeats himself, forcing Kaname into line. Hirako asks Kisuke what he is doing there, but Urahara dismisses the question, asking why he is wearing such a tacky mask. Seeing Hiyori, he asks Aizen what he is doing. Sōsuke replies that he happened upon the members of the task force who had been injured in battle and was trying to help them. Urahara asks him why he is lying, telling him that they were not injured in battle. Kisuke says that they are experiencing Hollowfication, prompting Aizen to tell him that he really is the man he thought he was and that he is glad that he came.
Sōsuke tells Gin and Kaname that they are leaving. Urahara protests, but is told to move aside by Tessai, who fires Hadō #88 Hiryū Gekizoku Shinten Raihō at the trio. Aizen blocks it with a chant-less Bakudō #81 Dankū, surprising Tessai. When the Dankū shatters, Tessai apologizes for allowing them to escape. Urahara starts to ask Tessai something, but is interrupted when Hirako collapses. Tessai tells him that they should deal with the fallen Shinigami first. Kisuke protests that treating them there would be difficult when their condition has progressed so far. Tessai asks if Urahara knows a way to save them due to his familiarity with their condition, and tells him he will use forbidden techniques to transport them back to Seireitei where the necessary equipment is located. When all ten of them, including some of the flora of Rukongai, appears in the Twelfth Division headquarters, Kisuke reveals to Tessai that Hollowfication is one of the solutions he arrived at when researching ways to enhance a Shinigami's soul. In the course of his research, he created a substance that can destroy and recreate the boundaries between Hollows and Shinigami instantly, which he calls the Hōgyoku. Kisuke states that he will use it to treat the eight Shinigami.
When Tessai and Kisuke are arrested and blamed for what has happened to Kensei and the others. Yoruichi frees them.
When Kisuke fails to fully reverse the effect of Aizen's experiments by using the Hōgyoku, he is dismayed and apologizes to Tessai. When Urahara goes outside for some fresh air, he is apprehended by guards, who inform him that Central 46 has issued a warrant for the arrest of Tessai and himself. Urahara and Tessai are brought to the Central 46 Compound, and Kisuke asks just what is going on. The concealed members of Central 46 reply that he is under an investigation and that he is not to speak unless answering a question. Central 46 ask him where he was at midnight last night, and as Kisuke responds, they accuse him of conducting the Hollowfication experiments. Kisuke asks who told them that, but Central 46 reminds him that he does not have the right to ask questions. Kisuke persists, asking if it was Lieutenant Aizen. They give him a second warning, saying that he will be charged with another offense if he persists. Urahara tells them that it was all Aizen's doing and that he and Tessai were trying to save the others. Central 46 tells Kisuke his lies are becoming ridiculous, and that 124 guards and a captain can vouch for Aizen.
A guard reports in, informing the Central 46 that various signs of Hollowfication experiments have been found in the Twelfth Division's laboratory. Central 46 decides that the matter is settled, and they will now sentence them. Tessai is sentenced to imprisonment in Underground Prison 3, 'Shugō', for the use of forbidden techniques, while Urahara is told he will be stripped of his powers and banished to the Human World forever for researching and experimenting on a taboo phenomenon, deceiving and grievously injuring his colleagues. They then reveal that Kensei and the others are to be dealt with as Hollows. As Urahara protests the final part of the sentence, a masked Captain Yoruichi Shihōin enters the chamber, smashing their shackles and teleporting them to the hidden area underneath the Sōkyoku Hill. Urahara thanks Yoruichi, who says there is no need to thank her, as she will refrain for the moment from kicking him for not telling her about what was happening. She reveals that she brought all eight of the Shinigami as well as Kisuke's new Gigai prototype. Urahara asks Tessai to use Jikanteishi on Kensei and the others and surround the area in a multilayer barrier, while he creates ten Reiatsu blocking Gigai. When Tessai asks about Yoruichi, she says that she will escape somehow. Urahara declares that they will conceal themselves in the Human World and bit by bit, figure out how to undo the Hollowfication.
In the present day, Hirako explains that the Visored are indebted to both Urahara, who had taken care of them, and Aizen. The Visored, armed with their Zanpakutō, leave their compound.
The Shinigami and the Aizen's Arrancar prepare for the final confrontation.
At Kagamino City 22 km, 12:30 PM, the pulse of a little girl is running from a group of Hollows. All of a sudden, the Hollows explode. The remaining Hollows look towards the sky, as they were being destroyed by the Reiatsu pressure from an unknown source. The other Hollows hide , and the source of the Reiatsu is revealed to be the Gotei 13 captains and the Aizen's troops.
Lieutenant Marechiyo Ōmaeda's teeth chatter in fear as he notes how heavy Aizen's Reiatsu is. Captain Suì-Fēng tells him that he can run away if he likes. Iba asks if they should just go for the head, but Captain Sajin Komamura says that given Aizen's unique ability, it would be best to take out those surrounding him first. Captain Shunsui Kyōraku wonders which of the Espada is the strongest, Captain Jūshirō Ukitake replies that he has no idea and they probably won't know unless they ask Aizen. Captain Tōshirō Hitsugaya comments that the problem is that he can't be sure that Aizen won't interfere while they are fighting the Espada. Suddenly, Captain-Commander Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto tells everybody to step back and he releases Ryūjin Jakka, trapping Aizen, Gin Ichimaru, and Kaname Tōsen in a fiery cage using his Jōkaku Enjō technique. Yamamoto then comments that now they can deal with the Espada in leisure as Aizen won't be able to escape from cage for sometime. Inside the cage Ichimaru comments that Yamamoto has overdone it and asks Aizen what he wants to do, as they can't fight like this. Aizen says he will do nothing as the battle will be over without there being any need for them to lift a finger.
Back in Las Noches, Ulquiorra Cifer asks Orihime Inoue if she is scared given that Aizen's parting comments mean that she is now useless to Aizen. Orihime replies that she is not scared because her friends are here and her heart is already with them. Ichigo Kurosaki rushes towards her location, as she is having this conversation.
As Ichigo rushes towards Orihime's location, Menos Hollows start popping up in his path. As Ichigo fights them, Ulquiorra and Orihime continued their conversation. Ulquiorra belittles Orihime's assertion that she is not afraid because her friends came for her, asking her if she was serious. She says that she was. She goes on to explain that when she first heard they were here, she was a little happy, but mostly sad. She wondered why they hadn't realized that she had come to Las Noches to protect everyone. However, when she felt Rukia fall and saw Ichigo fighting, she realized that her reasons for coming to Las Noches didn't matter any more. She didn't want Ichigo to get hurt and she wanted the others to be safe. That's when she realized that they probably felt the same way and if one of them disappeared like she had, she would have done the exact same thing.
In the meantime, having disposed of the Hollows that blocked his path, Ichigo reaches the tower in which Orihime is being kept. However, Rudbornn and his Exequias attack Ichigo. Ichigo starts to get overwhelmed due to the sheer number of the Exequias. However, Lieutenant Renji Abarai, Yasutora Sado, and Rukia Kuchiki intervene. Ichigo is overjoyed to see that his friends are alright, but Rukia tells him to save the reunion for later. Agreeing, Ichigo keeps heading towards Orihime as the Rudbornn targets Rukia. Meanwhile, Orihime continue her explanation, telling Ulquiorra that while it is impossible to feel exactly the same way as someone else, you can treasure your friends and keep them close to your heart. She goes on to say that she believes that is what is means to make hearts beat as one. Ulquiorra says that humans speak too easily of the heart and do so as if it is something they can hold in their hands, but that his eyes see everything, nothing escapes them. If his eyes do no see something, then it does not exist. He goes on to ask Orihime what a heart is. He wonders if he will find it if he ripped open her chest or cracked open her skull. However, before Orihime can answer, Ichigo burst through the floor.
As Ichigo fights Ulquiorra in Hueco Mundo, the Shinigami prepare for their own battle in Fake Karakura Town
At the fifth tower of Las Noches, Ichigo bursts through the follow and confronts Ulquiorra. Telling him to get away from Orihime. Ulquiorra says that he had planned to do that, saying that his job is to protect Las Noches until Aizen returns. He has not been given any orders regarding Orihime and until he is, she is safe from him. On the other hand, killing Ichigo is synonymous with protecting Las Noches. Ulquiorra then proceeds to unsheathe his sword, causing Ichigo to wonder if that means Ulquiorra considers him a worthy opponent, Ulquiorra replies that it means that he views Ichigo as someone that must be destroyed. Ichigo says that is good enough and they clash.
Back in Fake Karakura Town, Baraggan Louisenbairn assesses the situation, noting the numerous enemies and the fact that Aizen is now stuck in Yamamoto's fiery cage. Taking ofFfense at his tone, Tier Harribel comments that he is being rude to "Aizen-sama". But Baraggan replies that Harribel is being rude to him. Baraggan proceeds to snap his fingers. Abirama Redder, Ggio Vega, and Choe Neng Poww interprets this as a sign, and readies his throne made out of Hollow masks and bones. Sitting down, Baraggan informs all present that while Aizen is trapped, he will be giving the orders and, while glaring at Coyote Starrk, adds that no one better have a problem with that. Starrk replies that he doesn't care, provoking Lilynette into kicking his behind.
Baraggan then recaps the events as he understands the:, the Juureichi beneath them is a fake, and Aizen said that he was going to kill the Gotei 13 here and then proceed to Soul Society to destroy the real Juureichi there. However, Baraggan believes that there is no need to go through that much trouble. Baraggan deduces that the Real Karakura Town was being kept in Soul Society by means of four pillars on the four cardinal points of the town. He wonders what would happen if the pillars were destroyed. He calls to Findorr Calius, Findorr plays a whistle of some sort and summons four Hollows that attack the pillars. Yamamoto calls them all "fools" and wonders if they really believed that he would keep such important locations unprotected. Just as he says those words, the four Hollows are quickly eliminated by Lieutenant Shūhei Hisagi, Lieutenant Izuru Kira, 5th Seat Yumichika Ayasegawa, and 3rd Seat Ikkaku Madarame.
Baraggan Louisenbairn sends his Fracción to kill the four guardians of the four pillars that are keeping Karakura Town in Soul Society.
Ikkaku, Yumichika, Kira, and Hisagi finish off the Hollows sent to destroy the pillars they were assigned to guard. Ōmaeda is shocked by their presence and wonders what they are doing there; he had assumed they had been left behind in Soul Society, claiming that it made him believe that he was better then them. He then demands to know if he is the only one who didn't know that the four of them were going to join them in Fake Karakura town. Captain-Commander Yamamoto does not reply to him, but Kyōraku and Matsumoto inform Ōmaeda that they all knew. Suì-Fēng tells Ōmaeda that she had told him, but that he was probably not listening, but on second thought she doubts whether she had in fact told him.
Baraggan is unimpressed with the four of them and informs the Shinigami that if they have placed four ants to guard the pillars, then he will send four dragons to crush them. He then orders his Fracción Poww, Chuhlhourne, Abirama, and Findorr to crush them. They disperse immediately and head towards the four pillars. Poww is the first to arrive and opts to face Madarame, who comments on Poww's size and tells Poww that he will pray that he is as tough as he looks. Poww wonders who Madarame is going to pray to, and asks if Shinigami even have a god. Madarame admits that he does not pray to anything in particular, and replies that he will pray to Poww's god. Poww replies that is fine because his god and king knows full well that Madarame is no match for Poww.
Elsewhere, Findorr appears in front of Hisagi and immediately asks him what seat he is. Hisagi replies that is the vice-captain of the 9th Division. Findorr tells him that in that case he will fight Hisagi at a level on par with that. Chuhlhourne picks Yumichika as his opponent, but finds Yumichika unwilling to look at him. Yumichika claims this is because Chuhlhourne is ugly, earning him a slap from Chuhlhourne. Yumichika demands what Chuhlhourne is doing, Chuhlhourne in turn demands to know what Yumichika is doing. Chuhlhourne goes on further to say that the only ugly thing is Yumichika's heart, given that he judges people by their appearance. However, Yumichika still refuses to look at Chuhlhourne, causing the latter to lose his temper and attack Yumichika with both of them calling each other ugly.
The last to be shown is Abirama and Kira. Abirama is psyching himself up and demands to know why Kira is not doing the same. Kira replies that he thinks it's childish to psych himself and his opponent up by screaming aggressive phrases, claiming that it is a very negative ritual. Abirama accuses Kira of having a negative attitude and says that he thinks he has ended up with a coward. He then demands to know Kira's name. Kira introduces himself as the vice-captain of the 3rd Division. Upon hearing this, Abirama taunts Kira for being a subordinate of Ichimaru and being abandoned by him. This angers Kira and he retaliates by cutting off a portion of Abirama's mask. He then tells Abirama to not mention Gin's name lightly in his presence, saying that while Abirama's life is already forfeit, that it would undoubtedly be preferable that Abirama died an easy death. Abirama comments that he is beginning to like the expression on Kira's face.
Yumichika Ayasegawa takes on Charlotte Chuhlhourne.
Sensing Ichimaru react to something, Tōsen asks what is the matter. Ichimaru replies that it is feeling as if Kira is getting really angry. Tōsen asks if Ichimaru is worried, given that he abandoned Kira. Ichimaru replies that he is not, but that he is glad that Kira is doing so well. In the meantime, Kira flicks his Zanpakutō clean as Abirama tells him that the face Kira is making now is the one he wanted to see: Kira's battle face and that he is now going to erase it. With that he activates his Resurrección: Águila.
Elsewhere, Yumichika and Charlotte clash their swords repeated against each other while screaming "break", with Charlotte demanding that Yumichika's sword breaks like his heart and Yumichika demanding Charlotte's sword break like his nose. They eventually manage to push each other away. Yumichika accuses Charlotte of not making sense with the "break like your heart" comment and calls Charlotte ugly. Charlotte, in response, counters that Yumichika's "break like your nose" didn't make much sense either. Charlotte goes on to say that such a physical description angers him and calls Yumichika ugly. They resume clashing blades as each demand to know who the other is calling ugly. Charlotte points out that Yumichika keeps calling him ugly and as such Yumichika is the really ugly. However, Yumichika counters that as such Charlotte is the ugly one as he has called Yumichika ugly three times. Charlotte aims an attack at Yumichika that Yumichika barely dodges. Charlotte then observes that it would seem that talking isn't going to get them anywhere and as such whoever dies is the ugly one. Yumichika says that is fine by him and comments on how this will give him the opportunity to prove his beauty. Charlotte accuses him of never shutting-up and says it is time to get serious.
Charlotte begins to pose as Yumichika gets read to defend. Charlotte unleashes his Beautiful Charlotte Chuhlhourne's Miracle Sweet Ultra Funky Fantastic Dramatic Romantic Sadistic Erotic Exotic Athletic Guillotine Attack on Yumichika, who parries, but is still sent plummeting to the ground. As Charlotte wonders if he has already killed Yumichika, the latter attacks him from the back. Charlotte blocks easily and aims a counter that Yumichika dodges. Yumichika reflects that with one blow Charlotte had broken his left arm in three places, calling Charlotte a monster as Charlotte expresses his delight in Yumichika being alright, saying he expected nothing less from his rival. Yumichika asks if that means Charlotte thinks of them as equals, Yumichika goes on to say that he does not care for the opinion of someone with such a weird hairdo. This is when Charlotte notices that Yumichika has slashed his hair. Charlotte becomes enraged and activates his Resurrección: Reina De Rosas.
Outmatched by Charlotte, Yumichika is forced to reveal his true power.
Yumichika waits anxiously for the smoke to clear to see Chuhlhourne's Resurrección. However, upon seeing it he bursts out laughing - angering Chuhlhourne. Ikkaku also hears Yumichika's laughing and is shocked that he would do something like that in the middle of battle. Poww takes advantage of Ikkaku's distraction, but Ikkaku dodges. Ikkaku then tells Poww that he is too slow and he cannot win with strength alone.
In the meantime, Chuhlhourne tries to put a positive spin on Yumichika's reaction, saying that it is clear the Chuhlhourne's beauty is beyond Yumichika's comprehension. Chuhlhourne goes on to say that he pities Yumichika and his vulgar sensitivities. He says that it must be a sort of agony to live like that and claims that as the most beautiful person in creation, it is his duty to end Yumichika's life. Yumichika brushes Chuhlhourne's comments off as Chuhlhourne encourages him to accept Chuhlhourne's killing blow and fires his Beautiful Charlotte Chuhlhourne's Final Holy Wonderful Pretty Super Magnum Sexy Sexy Glamorous Cero! in the shape of a heart. Yumichika angrily notes that it is just an ordinary Cero, but in the next instance is caught in the blast, nothing that the Cero has a wide blast range. Chuhlhourne then appears above Yumichika and punches him in the stomach. Chuhlhourne then declares that it is over, but Yumichika releases Fuji Kujaku and demands to know who it is over for. Chuhlhourne mocks Yumichika's Shikai and dismisses it as Yumichika just getting more blades. He then grabs Yumichika and tells him that as he, Chuhlhourne, is the princess, when he says it is over, it is over. He then engulfs Yumichika in a black bramble bush, inside which a pure white rose blooms. It is Chuhlhourne's Rosa Blanca technique. Chuhlhourne tells Yumichika Rosa Blanca is his most beautiful and cruel attack. Telling Yumichika that within its black thorns he will die surrounded by white petals where no one can see or sense him. Yumichika asks if what Charlotte says is true. Chuhlhourne confirms this, taunting Yumichika with the fact that no one will witness his final moment and stating that for one who values his beauty, this would be the cruelest possible fate.
Convinced that no one can see him, Yumichika thanks Chuhlhourne and releases his true Shikai: Ruri'iro Kujaku. Ruri'iro Kujaku's vines entangle and trap Chuhlhourne. As the Chuhlhourne tries to break free, Yumichika tells him it is pointless and draws his attention to the flower buds forming on Ruri'iro Kujaku's vines. Yumichika explains that the flowers are feeding on Chuhlhourne's Reiatsu, any Reiatsu that Chuhlhourne uses will just go straight to the flowers. and when the flower buds bloom fully, it will be the end of Charlotte Chuhlhourne. Helpless and horrified, Chuhlhourne screams as his black bramble bush disappears, and his white rose wilts, just as Yumichika's flower blooms.
Yumichika finishes his battle but the others are just starting theirs.
Chuhlhourne's rosebush disappears completely, exposing the Chuhlhourne and Yumichika as the former's Resurrección begins to fade away. Yumichika takes one of the flowers that bloomed from Chuhlhourne's Reiatsu and uses it heal himself, thanking Chuhlhourne for giving him that bit of his power. As Yumichika turns away, Chuhlhourne comments on how tricky Yumichika is, and wonders if that was Yumichika's Bankai. Yumichika replies that it was not, going on to explain that Ruri'iro Kujaku is his Zanpakutō's true name. Going on to explain that his Zanpakutō is a little odd in that Ruri'iro Kujaku has a favorite color: azure, and its least favorite is wisteria. Fuji Kujaku is a nickname that Yumichika gave his Zanpakutō. His Zanpakutō hates the name and as a result will only do part of its Shikai. Chuhlhourne wonders why Yumichika would do something like that. Yumichika explains that in the 11th Division, those with Kidō based Zanpakutō are considered cowards. As such, he does not want any one from the 11th Division to see his true power, especially his captain and Ikkaku. That is why he thanked Chuhlhourne when the latter shrouded him. Yumichika goes on to say that had Chuhlhourne not done so, he would not have released his full power, even if he would die. Chuhlhourne is impressed by this and compliments Yumichika as the latter turns away.
In the meantime, Hisagi is has been fighting Findorr and asks of the latter why Findorr said he was going to fight Hisagi at lieutenant level, when Findorr is currently only has the power of a 5th Seat. Findorr replies "Exacta" and tells Hisagi that he had been fighting at 5th seat level and that Hisagi passed. Explaining that if Hisagi couldn't tell the level of Findorr's power, then fighting him at lieutenant level or not would be meaningless. Hisagi wonders if that means Findorr has some ability to control his power-level. Findorr replies with "Exacta" again. He then proceeds to take of part of his mask and declares himself 4th seat level. Then he breaks more of his mask and declares himself 3rd seat level and finally after taking more of his mask of, he declares himself lieutenant level and attacks Hisagi.
Else where, Kira is running from roof top to roof top as Abirama gives chase. Kira stops momentarily and casts Bakudō #39 Enkōsen and uses the shield created by that spell to protect himself against an attack from Abirama. Abirama is unimpressed and belittles Kira, but says that it is understandable given that Kira is facing his Águila. Abirama goes on to explain that the feathers of his Águila form are not just ordinary feathers, but steel feathers that crush everything they touch, as he sends the feathers raining down around Kira.