- Original Airdate: May 11th, 2010
- English Airdate:
- Opening Song: ChAngE
- Ending Song: Stay Beautiful
- Manga Chapters: Chapter 346, Chapter 347, Chapter 348
- Kanji: 絶望の始まり…一護、届かぬ刃
- Romaji: "Setsubo no hajimari... Ichigo, todokanu yaiba"
- Arc: The Fake Karakura Town Arc
Part of Ichigo Kurosaki's mask is shattered as it falls to the floor. He is shocked that Ulquiorra's speed has vastly increased in his release form and berates himself for not being able to react. Ulquiorra notes that Ichigo's mask duration is able to last much longer than their last encounter, however it still breaks easily. Ulquiorra proceeds to throw his javelin at his opponent. Ichigo tries very hard to try observe carefully as he did previously and is able to dodge the first javelin. However, he is hit on his upper right shoulder by a subsequent attack and is knocked back by its great force.
Meanwhile, Uryū comes to the conclusion that the sky of Las Noches really was fake and takes note that Orihime is all right, but he cannot be sure until Ichigo defeats Ulquiorra. Ulquiorra tries to bait Ichigo into testing his Getsuga against him to show the difference in their strengths. Ichigo angrily responds that he does not need Ulquiorra to tell him how to use his own attack and fires a Getsuga at him. Ulquiorra easily withstands the attack without a scratch and comments that Ichigo is still at a human level. Ulquiorra compares Ichigo's Getsuga with his black Cero, the Cero Oscuras with Ichigo angrily responding not to associate him with that trash. Ulquiorra takes note that Ichigo has not yet seen it and proceeds to show him and explains that it is a Cero that an Espada use in their release form. The blast of the attack engulfs Ichigo in darkness and easily shatters his mask and destroys much of his clothing. The power behind the attack was so powerful that Uryū and Orihime can feel it from within Las Noches. Orihime asks Uryū to take her up to the top of Las Noches. Knowing she would ask, Uryū hesitantly agrees.
Ulquiorra knocks Ichigo into a pillar with a flap of his wing and tells Ichigo that even though he may possess powers similar to an Arrancar, their strengths are worlds apart. Ulquiorra explains that when a Human or Shinigami is strong enough, it is reasonable for them to seek hollow powers, but they can never be equal to hollows. Ichigo persists to continue fighting which pushes Ulquiorra's patience to its limit. Ulquiorra angrily shouts that it is useless, and continues to bash Ichigo into multiple towers.
Ulquiorra picks up Ichigo by the neck and asks him why he won't drop his sword and whether or not he still thinks he can win despite the difference in their power. Ichigo replies by saying it doesn't matter who is stronger and asks Ulquiorra if he thinks he should give up because of that since Ichigo already knew Ulquiorra was strong from the start and that showing off his strength will not change a thing. Ichigo continues to believe he can still win which wears down Ulquiorra's last bit of patience. He throws Ichigo to the ground and says that those are words of someone who does not know the meaning of true despair and is prepared to teach him. With that said, he proceeds to use his second release: Segunda Etapa.
As Uryū and Orihime approach the top of Las Noches, they feel an enormous amount of reiatsu and witness the area around them becoming black, to which Uryū comments saying that it is nothing he had ever felt before, as if there is an ocean in the sky. Back on the top of the dome Ulquiorra boasts that he is the only Espada to develop a second release, one that Aizen has not even witnessed yet. Ichigo continues to stand and prepares to continue their fight, even after seeing Ulquiorra in his second release which annoys Ulquiorra even further. Ulquiorra positions himself and lunges at ichigo, grabbing him by the head and throwing him into a pillar and whipping him with his tail, which causes Ichigo to don his hollow mask once again. Ulquiorra effortlessly destroys his mask again by grabbing his face and throwing him into another tower. Ulquiorra questions Ichigo is it because he has a soul that he continues to fight and comes to the conclusion that souls do nothing but injure humans and is prepared to demonstrate that Ichigo's soul will be the death of him. Ichigo responds that he is not fighting because he wants to win, but rather because he needs to win. Ulquiorra merely responds with 'Nonsense.' and moves in for the kill.
Just as Uryū and Orihime arrive at the top, they see Ichigo hung up by Ulquiorra's tail. Ulquiorra acknowledges Orihime's arrival, and asks her to watch closely, as the man in whom she put her hope in, is about to die. Orihime pleads him to stop as Ulquiorra charges up another Cero Oscuras and blasts a hole in Ichigo's chest.
Gin announces that he will be explaining Ulquiorra Cifer's release form, Murciélago. Gin states that he is the only Espada capable of doing a second release. As the screen is about to show his second release, the power goes out and Ulquiorra appears in his second release form, stating that Gin cannot see it until after Aizen has seen it. As Ulquiorra tries to fly away, Gin tugs on his tail to keep him from leaving and proceeds to turn on the lights. When the lights are turned on, Ulquiorra covers Gin's eyes to which he teases the desperate Espada in response.
Characters in Order of Appearance
Powers and Techniques Used
- Getsuga Tenshō (月牙天衝, Moon Fang Heaven-Piercer)
- Cero Oscuras (黒虚閃, (セロ・オスキュラス), sero osukyurasu; Spanish for "Dark Zero", Japanese for "Black Hollow Flash")
- Tensa Zangetsu (天鎖斬月, Heaven Chain Slaying Moon)
- Murciélago (黒翼大魔 (ムルシエラゴ), Murushierago; Spanish for "Bat", Japanese for "Black-Winged Great Demon")
- Resurrección: Segunda Etapa (刀剣解放第二階層 (レスレクシオン・セグンダ・エターパ), resurekushion segunda etāpa; Spanish for "Resurrection Second Stage", Japanese for "Sword's Release: Second Level")
|Ichigo and Uryū, Bonded Back to Back||Not Yet Released|