|Bleach: The Hell Verse|
|''Welcome to Hell''|
|Theme||"Save The One, Save The All" by T.M. Revolution|
|Theatrical - Japan||December 4, 2010|
|DVD - Japan||August 24, 2011|
|DVD - US||December 4, 2012|
Bleach: The Hell Verse (ブリーチ: 地獄篇, Burīchi: Jigoku-hen) is the fourth feature film based on the Bleach manga. It was released in Japanese theaters on December 4, 2010. It is directed by Noriyuki Abe, while the screenplay was written by Natsuko Takahashi. Tite Kubo is the production director, and Masashi Kudo is the character designer. Kubo has stated he was involved from the planning and scenario stage. Bleach: Hell Chapter's ending theme is "Save The One, Save The All" by T.M. Revolution.
To promote the movie, Tite Kubo published a special manga chapter called imaginary number 01. the unforgivens and the anime's 299th episode, Theatre Opening Commemoration! Hell Chapter・Prologue, was a special episode to promote the movie. Additionally, an official invitation book was released. The English dubbed name for this movie is Bleach: Hell Verse.
Atop the dome of Las Noches in Hueco Mundo, Ulquiorra Cifer flies away from a clash with Zangetsu, who has taken over Ichigo Kurosaki's body. As Zangetsu growls, he and Ulquiorra speed toward each other and clash evenly in midair. Landing, Zangetsu and Ulquiorra turn around and take their fight to the air, with Ulquiorra blocking multiple strikes from Zangetsu, before Zangetsu grabs Ulquiorra's wrist and attempts to pull him in. Ulquiorra responds by kicking Zangetsu into a tower and flying after him, only for Zangetsu to dig into the side of the tower and slash away the debris before launching himself forward.
As Ulquiorra evades him and flies above the resulting dust cloud, Zangetsu appears behind him with Sonído and grabs his left wing before cutting it and his left arm off with one slash. Falling to the dome below, Ulquiorra slams into the surface and tumbles limply as Zangetsu lands before him. Ulquiorra quickly regenerates his arm and wing before generating a Lanza del Relámpago and throwing it at Zangetsu, who responds with a Cero that collides with the energy lance, creating a large explosion that Ulquiorra tries to fly away from. However, Zangetsu grabs Ulquiorra by the throat and throws him into another tower, which he decimates with a second Cero.
With Orihime Inoue and Uryū Ishida looking on in terror, a roaring Zangetsu pins Ulquiorra down with his foot and charges an even larger Cero before unleashing it, creating a powerful explosion of energy. Meanwhile, deep in Hell, a skeletal figure in a pit of skulls who had been watching the battle through flames raises the chains restraining him. As his tissue and organs regrow at high speed, the figure looks up and screams in pain and rage, causing the river of lava in the level of Hell above him to flare up and engulf the skull-shaped platform he is buried beneath.
Later, in Karakura Town, Ichigo looks up at the sky before being confronted by three teenagers, who demand to know what he is doing in their territory. When Ichigo does not answer them, one of the teenagers moves to attack him, but Ichigo nonchalantly kicks him in the face and forces him to the ground, shocking the other two teenagers, who call him crazy. Ichigo demands to know what happened to a nearby basket of flowers that had been knocked over and asks the teenagers if they know why the flowers were put there. When one of them guesses that they are for a boy who died last week, Ichigo confirms this while kicking him in the face.
Ichigo asks them to tell him why the flowers are knocked over, prompting the last teenager to admit he and his friends thought it would be fun to knock it over. Agreeing with this, Ichigo declares that they owe the boy an apology and indicates an area next to him, only for the teenagers to react with confusion at him pointing at empty space. When Ichigo angrily demands that they apologize, the terrified teenagers swear to never do it again and beg Ichigo to not hurt them before running away in terror when Ichigo stomps his foot. Rising up beside Ichigo, the Plus of the dead boy thanks Ichigo, who puts the flowers back up while noting the boy must have been scared.
When Ichigo states that it was not nice of the teenagers to knock over the flowers that the boy's mom and dad set out for him, the boy is surprised to learn that Ichigo saw his parents, prompting Ichigo to say that it is clear how much they love and miss him before noting that this must be why the boy has not yet moved on, which the boy confirms. Ichigo tells the boy that he cannot stay in the Human World forever despite missing his parents, and when the boy asks if he will go to Hell if he does not move on, Ichigo clarifies that his parents will not be able to find closure if he stays. As Ichigo states this is why he needs to move on to Soul Society, the boy agrees to do so after seeing his parents one last time, and the two fist-bump before Ichigo leaves.
The following morning, when Ichigo enters the living room of the Kurosaki Clinic, his father Isshin Kurosaki attempts to greet him with a spinning kick, but an annoyed Ichigo merely slams him into the wall with his bag. Isshin compliments his son's strength, but criticizes his choice to repel him instead of pinning him to the floor and immobilizing him before attacking him once more, only for Ichigo to stop him with a foot to the face while demanding that Isshin stop bugging him. As Ichigo sits down to eat with his sisters, Yuzu Kurosaki tells her father to eat breakfast soon before it makes him late.
When a confused Ichigo asks if Isshin is going somewhere, Karin Kurosaki reveals he is attending a medical conference and will not be back until tomorrow. Promising to bring back souvenirs for his daughters, Isshin tells Ichigo to look after them before tearfully proclaiming he will be home very soon to the memorial poster of Masaki Kurosaki, prompting an exasperated Ichigo to ask him to stop talking to it. As Isshin leaves, Yuzu asks Ichigo what he would like for dinner since Isshin will not be there to decide, only for Ichigo to say anything is fine. However, Karin emphasizes that he has the chance to pick anything, so Ichigo requests curry.
Yuzu is disappointed by this since they eat curry every other night, but Karin decides that she also wants it, leading a flustered Yuzu to claim that she could make something fancier. As Karin says that Yuzu's curry is really good and is now on her mind so she has to have it, Ichigo looks at both of them before smiling. Later, Ichigo approaches the memorial site of the dead boy and wonders if he moved on before replacing the flowers in the basket. Suddenly, Rukia Kuchiki calls out to him as she and Renji walk up, prompting a surprised Ichigo to ask them when they got to Karakura Town.
Upon learning that they only just arrived, Ichigo asks why they did not tell him in advance, prompting Rukia to apologize and note it was an urgent matter before asking what brings Ichigo here in the middle of the day. As Ichigo details how he brought flowers for a dead boy who may have moved on, Renji berates him for losing track of a Plus despite his job being to help them move on in Karakura Town and demands to know if he is losing focus, much to Rukia's exasperation. When Renji claims that it will be Ichigo's fault if the boy becomes a Hollow, an irritated Ichigo reminds him that this is the job of the Shinigami and he is just a Substitute Shinigami.
As Ichigo and Renji butt heads, an equally irritated Rukia shoves them apart and calls them both morons before asking if every meeting between them has to be so aggressive. Upon being reminded that they did not come to Karakura Town to play games, Renji acknowledges this and says the mission comes first, prompting Ichigo to ask what this mission is. Rukia tells him to not worry because it is nothing they need his help with, but Ichigo wonders why he is not involved if it has to do with the Human World, prompting Rukia to admit her brother Byakuya Kuchiki told her to keep Ichigo out of it so he does not get ahead of himself, which annoys Ichigo.
Reminding Ichigo that Byakuya knows what he is doing, Renji promises to help the dead boy cross over if they find him. As Rukia tells Ichigo to concentrate on his studies, she and Renji walk away, prompting an irritated Ichigo to claim that is all he is good for. Shortly afterward, Ichigo arrives at Karakura High School, where he is greeted by Orihime and Yasutora Sado. As they walk together, Ichigo asks Orihime where Tatsuki Arisawa is, only to learn she had early practice. Suddenly, a strong wind blows through the plaza, causing some nearby scaffolding to shatter and collapse. Seeing a girl huddling in fear beneath the falling debris, Sado rushes to her and blocks the falling metal with his arms and back.
Minutes later, inside one of the classrooms, Keigo Asano claims he has never been so scared while Mizuiro Kojima notes it is amazing that no one got hurt. Asking Sado if he is sure he is okay, Keigo commends him as being awesome out there before demanding to know if Ichigo is listening to any of this. When a distracted Ichigo asks Keigo if he said something, Mizuiro teasingly states that he probably did not miss anything important, prompting a shocked Keigo to begin arguing with him about what conversations can be deemed important. During this, Uryū Ishida sits on the desk behind Ichigo and motions his head to the door before walking away.
Later that day, Ichigo and his friends stand in front of the debris, with Sado noting he does not sense any unusual Reiatsu. Affirming this, Ichigo notes that the way the scaffolding collapsed was still odd, and when Orihime wonders if it could have been an accident, Uryū expresses doubt as he can sense something minuscule that he has never felt before. When Sado asks what he means, Uryū details that it is not a Soul, Hollow, Human with special abilities, or Shinigami as Ichigo notes that something strange happened regardless of what was behind it. Suddenly, the group senses an intense Reiatsu as their classroom explodes with violet energy.
Elsewhere, as they stand on a roof, Rukia and Renji sense the Reiatsu coming from Karakura High School. As Renji moves to confront it while noting it cannot be an accident, Rukia stops him and asks if he can sense the other strange presence in the town. When Renji confirms this, Rukia tells him to go on ahead to the school while she investigates the other presence. Renji agrees with this, but tells her to be careful as this could be dangerous, and Rukia returns the sentiment before the two move away with Shunpo. Back at the school, Ichigo, having left his body to use his Shinigami powers, enters his damaged classroom with Uryū.
As Uryū checks on two collapsed students, Ichigo sees Tatsuki lying on the ground and rushes to tend to her while asking what happened. Entering the room from the doorway, a shocked Orihime rushes to Tatsuki's side as Sado checks on an unconscious Keigo and Mizuiro. Suddenly, the group feels the same intense Reiatsu once more, and as part of the ceiling caves in, Ichigo unsheathes Zangetsu and turns around just in time to block an attack from Taikon, who addresses him by name. Surprised by this, Ichigo forces Taikon back and fires a Getsuga Tenshō at him.
While Taikon withstands the Getsuga Tenshō with great effort, Sado leaps into the air and fires an El Directo at him as well, forcing Taikon to dodge by leaping out of the classroom into the plaza. Telling Orihime to take care of Tatsuki and the others, Ichigo follows Sado and Uryū through the smoke into the plaza. While Sado and Uryū wonder who Taikon is and how he withstood Ichigo's Getsuga Tenshō, Ichigo activates his Bankai, Tensa Zangetsu, before rushing toward Taikon, who leaps away. As Ichigo demands that Taikon get back here, a large glaive hurtles toward him, forcing Ichigo to deflect it.
Taking advantage of Ichigo's distraction, Taikon kicks him in the face, which sends him crashing down to the ground below, as Murakumo lands on a nearby roof and chuckles. Seeing this, Ichigo realizes Taikon is not alone, and as Taikon asks what took them so long, Garogai appears behind the group on another rooftop with a thud. As Uryū notes this is the one he sensed, Ichigo tells his friends to do it as they split up to fight. Uryū confronts Garogai and fires dozens of Heilig Pfeil at him, only for Taikon to intercept and absorb them, to Uryū's shock. Claiming it was delicious, Taikon fires the energy back at Uryū in a barrage of blasts, eventually hitting him with one.
As Sado calls out to Uryū, he is attacked by Garogai and dodges his fist as it craters the ground where he was standing. With energy flaring up at his shoulder, Sado unleashes another El Directo, but Garogai counters it with an energy-powered punch, which overpowers Sado and sends him crashing into more scaffolding. In the air above, Ichigo clashes repeatedly with Murakumo before the latter kicks him in the face. Pushed back, Ichigo resumes his offensive, and when Murakumo attempts an overhead strike, Ichigo reappears behind him and attacks.
However, Murakumo disappears from Ichigo's sight and reappears behind him in turn before striking him in the back of the head with the handle of his glaive. Landing on a rooftop below, Ichigo notes that these foes are powerful despite their strange appearances before noticing Uryū and Sado, who have sustained some injuries in the fighting. Taikon proclaims that Ichigo and his friends all suck and asks if they want more, only to suddenly move away as Renji activates his Bankai, Hihiō Zabimaru, and sends it crashing into the area where Taikon was standing.
Greeting Ichigo, Renji asks if he is alright, which Ichigo affirms before complaining about how their foes just keep coming. As Taikon mockingly states he should probably be scared of this Shinigami arrival, Renji notes they have appeared, prompting Ichigo to ask if he knows who they are. Renji confirms this and says they have already made quite a mess before revealing that another similar presence appeared a few minutes ago at the Kurosaki Clinic. While Renji tells him that Rukia already went ahead to investigate, Ichigo realizes they are after Yuzu and Karin.
Renji tells Ichigo to go on ahead while they handle the enemies here, which Ichigo thanks him for as he leaps down. While Murakumo moves to pursue him, Taikon demands to know where Ichigo thinks he is going and moves to follow him, only to be stopped when Uryū fires some more Heilig Pfeil at him. Meanwhile, as Murakumo charges at him, Renji sends out Hihiō Zabimaru, but Garogai pushes Murakumo away and intercepts Hihiō Zabimaru to grapple with it as it slams him into the top floor of the high school. As Ichigo leaps away from the school, Taikon angrily notes he got away.
Having withstood the blow from Hihiō Zabimaru, Garogai grabs its segments and yanks Renji toward him before hitting him with an energy-powered punch, which sends Renji crashing into the ground below. Murakumo appears above Renji and rushes down to attack him, but Uryū fires several Heilig Pfeil at him, and as Murakumo attempts to deflect them all, one strikes and shatters his mask, to his surprise. As he and Garogai notice this, Taikon frantically tells Murakumo to put on his hood, but as he attempts to do so, chains manifest on Murakumo's hand.
Cursing, Murakumo feels an intense wind pick up as the sky above the school begins distorting. As Uryū wonders what is happening, the Gates of Hell emerge from the distortion and open to reveal a red chasm crossed by large chains. Renji recognizes the Gates as Murakumo is pulled into them by a chain attached to his body. Begging for someone to help him, Murakumo is stabbed by an enormous blade that emerges from the Gates, which turns him to dust that flows into the chasm as the blade and hand holding it retreat into the Gates, which close and vanish.
As Uryū wonders what just happened, Taikon tells Garogai that they should get going, and the two vanish as Uryū fires more Heilig Pfeil at them, to his disappointment. Elsewhere, Rukia fends off two tentacle attacks from Gunjō before being knocked away by a third. With Gunjō holding Karin and Yuzu captive, Rukia demands that he let them go, prompting Gunjō to mock her for making such a demand while being clearly outmatched. When Shuren tells him to get rid of her, Gunjō acquiesces and claims that they do not have time to waste playing around with her.
Gunjō sends his tentacles toward Rukia, who fires Hadō #33. Sōkatsui at them in an attempt to counter; however, though they falter at first, the tentacles quickly power through the blast, to Rukia's surprise. Suddenly, Ichigo appears in front of Rukia and slices apart the tentacles before angrily demanding to know what they want with his sisters. When Gunjō notes that Taikon and the others appear to have failed them, Shuren dismisses it as irrelevant since they already have what they want and tells Ichigo he must come with them to perform an important task.
Baffled, Ichigo proclaims that he does not work for Shuren and demands that he release his sisters immediately. When Gunjō states this will not be possible, Ichigo decides to force him and charges, prompting Shuren to tell Gunjō to go on without him before summoning blades of flame and engaging Ichigo. Clashing repeatedly with Shuren, Ichigo dodges several of his attacks before powering through one of his flame blasts to slash him across the shoulder. However, Shuren quickly recovers and blasts Ichigo away with a burst of flame, causing him to crash into a roof below.
As Ichigo gets to his feet, Shuren appears in the air above him and commends his skill before noting that this confirms he is the one they have been seeking. Thinking about how Shuren does not seem to be affected by the blow he struck, Ichigo is shocked to see Gunjō standing in a portal to Hell with his sisters and demands that he let them go as he rushes toward him. However, Shuren intercepts Ichigo and forces him to fight as the portal begins to close. Seeing this, Ichigo desperately calls out to his sisters, only for everyone present to be shocked when the portal begins glowing with blue light.
Gunjō yells in pain as a torrent of energy blasts out of the portal, pushing Shuren away in the process. Torn out of Gunjō's grasp, Karin is grabbed by Kokutō, who lands in midair as Rukia demands to know who he is. While Kokutō asks if this really matters, Shuren demands to know where he came from as Gunjō admits they were not expecting a sneak attack. Sardonically apologizing for not being more accommodating, Kokutō states that he does not like watching Shuren's group having their way, prompting Shuren to curse him before leaping forward with his flames.
Kokutō effortlessly blocks Shuren's strikes before leaping back. When Gunjō appears beside him and proclaims that Karin belongs to them now, Kokutō leaps higher into the air before navigating and cutting through several of Gunjō's tentacles in rapid succession, prompting Rukia to note he is fast. After Gunjō retracts his tentacles, Shuren tells him to forget about Kokutō and just go before leaping away, prompting Gunjō to open the portal to Hell again. An anguished Ichigo tries to stop him, but Shuren engages him in combat once more.
Appearing next to Rukia, Kokutō tosses Karin to her and tells Rukia to look after her before moving away. As he continues to clash with Shuren, Ichigo breaks away and attempts to reach the portal, only for it to close right before he reaches it. Yelling Yuzu's name in anguish, Ichigo is caught by surprise when Shuren appears behind him and attempts to attack, but Kokutō lands between them and blocks the blast with a chain attached to his hand before slashing Shuren away. As she land on a roof below, Rukia notices the chain and wonders if Kokutō is also from Hell.
Kokutō pulls down the fabric covering his mouth and asks if Shuren wants some more, prompting Shuren, who has lost part of his mask, to curse him. Demanding that Shuren give his sister back, Ichigo attacks him, but Shuren pushes him back with a powerful fireball that he sends hurtling toward Rukia and Karin. As he sees this, Ichigo calls out to them and attempts to intercept the attack, but the blast is instead blocked by Sado with Brazo Derecha de Gigante. Though he successfully protects Rukia and Karin, Sado suffers a considerable burn and immediately passes out.
As Uryū and Renji join Rukia and Sado on the roof and react to Sado's condition, Shuren informs Ichigo that he and his allies are Togabito trapped in Hell who will return Yuzu once Ichigo assists them. Ichigo demands that Shuren show himself as Shuren states that their only wish is to be freed from Hell, which they need Ichigo's help to do. Locating Shuren, Ichigo refuses to do so and clashes with him as Shuren tells him to destroy the Gates of Hell. When Ichigo manages to slash at him, Shuren disappears in a swirl of flame and promises to return Yuzu if Ichigo does this.
As Kokutō lets his sword disappear, Ichigo appears in front of him and grabs him by the collar before angrily demanding to know who those enemies were, where they took Yuzu, and what they meant by the Gates of Hell. Kokutō tells Ichigo to slow down and ask one question at a time, but Ichigo demands that Kokutō answer him. Placing a hand on Ichigo's shoulder, Rukia tells him to calm down and reminds Ichigo that healing everyone is more important right now. Slowly, Ichigo releases his grip on Kokutō, who sighs in relief.
That night, at the Kurosaki Clinic, Sado lies in bed while Orihime heals his wounds with Sōten Kisshun. After adjusting her garb, Rukia asks Kokutō who he is and points out that the chain hanging from his neck is a chain from Hell, to the shock of those present. Praising her observation skills, Kokutō states his name and admits that he is indeed a Togabito, prompting Renji to ask if he is just like the men in the black cloaks they faced. When Kokutō confirms this, Rukia asks him why a Togabito is helping them, which Kokutō admits is a fair question.
Kokutō reveals that he was not helping Ichigo and his friends so much as he was interfering with the plans of Shuren and his allies, as he considers them pathetic and could not miss an opportunity to oppose them. However, Ichigo proclaims that he does not care about why Kokutō stepped in and points out that him being a Togabito means he knows how to get into Hell, which means he needs to go back and take Ichigo with him. When Ichigo notes that he needs to go for Yuzu, Kokutō bluntly states she will likely die if not saved, shocking Ichigo and the others.
Revealing that the air of Hell is lethal to ordinary Humans, Kokutō states that Yuzu has no chance at survival if they do not recover her quickly. When Kokutō notes that the Shinigami should have heard what kind of place Hell is, Rukia admits this is true and details how Hell is reserved for Souls not allowed to enter Soul Society due to committing unforgivable sins during their lifetime, where they are bound with chains so they cannot escape for all eternity. Having illustrated this with her trademark incomprehensible artstyle, Rukia leaves the entire room silent.
As Rukia puts away her paper pad, Kokutō breaks the silence to state that it is hard to survive in Hell before noting that Ichigo still wants to go despite this knowledge, which Ichigo confirms by proclaiming that he cannot simply stay in the Human World and do nothing to help Yuzu. Smiling, Kokutō says this is admirable and decides to take Ichigo there, but clarifies that he simply wants to fight Shuren's group and believes Ichigo will be fairly useful for this. When Renji asks him what he has against Shuren's group, Kokutō reminds him that he considers them pathetic.
Kokutō goes on to say that people he does not like are his enemies and that this is generally how it goes in Hell. When Rukia points out that Kokutō being a Togabito in Hell means he must have done something during his lifetime to deserve it, Kokutō freely admits that what he did in life was enough to send him straight to Hell, but claims that there are times one must sell their heart to darkness to protect the things they cherish, and that it is worth it even if it is not always pretty. Turning to Ichigo, Kokutō asks if he is ready to begin his journey to Hell, which Ichigo confirms. However, Renji interjects and reminds Ichigo that they barely know anything about Kokutō.
When Renji asks him if he is really prepared to trust Kokutō with his life, Ichigo claims that he does not care who it is as long as they get him into Hell and further elaborates that getting Yuzu back is all that matters, so he will accept anyone's help. Grabbing Ichigo's collar, Renji points out that regardless of whether Kokutō's story is true, going into Hell is exactly what Shuren's group wants, but Ichigo states that he knows this and is left with no other choice to save her. Rukia steps in and states that she and Renji understand, so they will accompany Ichigo to Hell, surprising Ichigo.
Kokutō tells the group that they had better prepare themselves because he is about to open the Gates of Hell. Stepping forward, Rukia asks Renji if he knows what to do in the worst-case scenario, prompting Renji to affirm this and state that everything will be in place for him to forcibly remove the others from Hell if that happens. When Rukia acknowledges this and tells him to stay alert, Renji says she can count on him.
Deep in Hell, in a hideout for Shuren's group, Gunjō informs Shuren that Ichigo's group has just entered Hell. As Yuzu lies in a cage nearby, Shuren asks if Murakumo has been revived yet, prompting Gunjō to reveal that it will take him a considerable amount of time to revive because he was impaled on a Kushanāda's blade and sent to the lower depths of Hell. Shuren tells Gunjō to take Taikon and Garogai with him, which Gunjō acknowledges as he leaves, and tells Ichigo to enter his web and free the Togabito from this prison.
Hell: First Level
Far above, Ichigo and his friends pass through Kokutō's portal and enter the First Level of Hell as Kokutō sarcastically welcomes them to Hell and states that this is the entrance. As Renji notes it is a lot different than he imagined it would be, a surprised Uryū admits he thought the Shinigami managed Hell, prompting Rukia to clarify that they do not manage it so much as oversee it and that anything to do with Hell is usually restricted to a few Shinigami. Renji notes that the air in Hell is so awful that people with weak Reiryoku are at great risk of losing their minds, prompting Ichigo to promise Yuzu that he will find her.
At Ichigo's prompting, Kokutō explains that Shuren's hideout is much deeper in Hell and that they should run if they wish to surprise the Togabito before leaping down to the road below, with the others following suit. As the group begins running along the road, they notice figures watching them from the floating platforms, prompting Uryū to ask if they are Humans. Kokutō clarifies that they are Togabito who have been in Hell for a long time and have thus lost will to fight. When Renji asks if fighting is really an option for them, Kokutō confirms this and explains how the Togabito are given the ability to fight solely so they can realize how powerless they are.
Kokutō goes on to detail how the Togabito can never hope to match the Kushanāda no matter how hard they train, which crushes their hopes and leaves them mentally crippled to experience endless suffering. However, Kokutō reveals that some of them keep fighting regardless, as the depth of their hatred is the source of their power and the proof that they exist in Hell, holding their personalities together. Suddenly, a horn sounds in a distance, prompting Kokutō to note the powers that be have realized the others are here as a Kushanāda suddenly rises up beside them and begins to pursue the group.
When Ichigo wonders what it is, Kokutō explains that it is a guardian of Hell called a Kushanāda that chases down Togabito and devours them. As the Kushanāda grabs a Togabito from a nearby structure and eats it, Uryū asks if they do not die after being eaten, only for Kokutō to reveal that the Togabito come back to life after being eaten, and do so endlessly until their spirits are completely broken. With the Kushanāda destroying much of the structures and road behind them, Kokutō warns the group that the same applies to them while in Hell, so if they die they will be bound with chains and trapped forever.
The Kushanāda behind them smashes its hand into the road they are running on, prompting Ichigo and his friends to jump to the structures surrounding the road and leap between them before moving back to the road itself. When another Kushanāda rises up through the road in front of them, Ichigo and his friends leap over it as several more Kushanāda move through the structures toward them. As Uryū wonders how many there are, Ichigo declares that they need to break through, prompting Renji and Rukia to release their Shikai while Uryū unleashes Licht Regen, only for all three attacks to barely faze the Kushanāda they hit.
Leaping into the air, Ichigo activates his Bankai, Tensa Zangetsu, and prepares to fire a Getsuga Tenshō, only to stop in surprise when his Hollow mask forms itself on his face without being summoned. After a moment's hesitation, Ichigo fires the empowered Getsuga Tenshō, which rips through several of the Kushanāda and decimates the surrounding structures before culminating in a massive explosion. As he lands on what is left of the road, Ichigo removes his Hollow mask before staring at his hand in shock. Rukia lands near him and berates Ichigo for not warning them before Hollowfying.
Running up to Ichigo alongside Renji and Kokutō, Uryū demands to know what he was thinking and claims that the Getsuga Tenshō he unleashed could have wiped them out as well, prompting Ichigo to apologize. When Renji asks what happened, Ichigo admits that he is not sure because the mask appeared on its own, to Rukia's surprise. After Ichigo confirms that he just used Hollow power, Kokutō notes that the atmosphere of Hell must have brought it out before detailing how the air brings out a person's hidden instincts and warns Ichigo that his powers will consume him if he is not careful.
As the group looks over the destruction caused by Ichigo's attack, Kokutō looks to the side and notes that they have to hurry before running off, prompting a surprised Ichigo to tell him to wait before hurrying after him. When Renji asks him what is wrong, Uryū notes that he knows what Ichigo is like when he is out of control before stating that Kokutō's account means Hell is a very risky place for Ichigo to be. The group rounds several corners before reaching what appears to be a dead end. Upon Ichigo pointing out that there is no way to get across, Kokutō tells everyone to get ready to jump, and the group leaps into the violet fog below.
Ichigo and his friends emerge in the air above an ocean dotted with large, lotus- and lily pad-shaped islands. As the group lands on one of the lotus-shaped islands, Ichigo looks around at the surrounding towers while Uryū wonders where they are. Seeing that Ichigo is standing on top of a Kushanāda skeleton held up by a spike, Renji theorizes that they are in a Kushanāda graveyard. When Ichigo asks where Yuzu is, Gunjō reveals she is not here as he appears next to Uryū and chuckles. While Garogai appears on another part of the surrounding wall, Ichigo demands that they hand his sister over immediately.
This prompts Taikon to declare that he can give him what he wants. As Ichigo moves to the ground below, Taikon crashes through the Kushanāda skeleton and states that they will help Ichigo if he helps them, prompting Renji to declare that he must be crazy. Removing his cloak, Taikon introduces himself as Gunjō and Garogai do the same, with Garogai welcoming them to Hell. Gunjō states that this welcome is conditional and everyone other than Ichigo should leave immediately. Angered, Ichigo demands that they give Yuzu back to him and fires a Getsuga Tenshō at Taikon, who lets himself be hit by it.
Garogai crashes down through the resulting dust cloud, prompting Ichigo to leap back, and Gunjō races toward him and attacks with his tentacles, only for Renji to intercept his strike with Zabimaru before attacking in turn, which forces Gunjō back. While Rukia attacks Gunjō and Garogai with Hadō #4. Byakurai, Taikon lands behind Ichigo and Renji before attempting to attack, only to be swiftly shot with multiple Heilig Pfeil and sent flying back. However, Uryū is surprised to see a mouth form on Taikon's abdomen and eat the arrows as Taikon declares this was yummy.
Telling Renji to move out of the way, Rukia fires Hadō #33. Sōkatsui at Taikon, who merely creates a mouth on his stomach and swallows the blast before releasing the energy back with a kiss, generating a violet blast that rockets past the group before creating a heart-shaped crater in the ground. Garogai smashes into the crater, prompting Uryū to move to the top of the wall as Kokutō lands beside him and reveals that the Togabito are much stronger without their cloaks than they were in the Human World. As Uryū expresses disbelief at this, Garogai smashes into the same section of the wall.
When Uryū and Kokutō move away, Garogai pursues them while Gunjō chases Ichigo along the top of the wall. Suddenly, two Hadō #33. Sōkatsui rocket out of the dust cloud and slam into Gunjō as Rukia and Renji leap into the air. Clearing the area around him, Taikon creates mouths all over his body and opens fire with a barrage of energy blasts that perforate the length of the wall Ichigo is standing on, causing it to crumble and break apart. As Renji tells the others to move, he, Ichigo, and Rukia leap off the crumbling wall into the water below, where they land on an overturning stone column and leap off it.
Garogai leaps out of the ocean carrying a large stone slab, which he throws back down into the water, creating an enormous tidal wave. As Rukia lands, she turns around to face the tidal wave and uses Tsugi no mai, Hakuren, which unleashes a wave of ice and frosty air that freezes the wave and the surrounding water solid. However, Rukia is surprised when the frozen wave shatters and crumbles as Gunjō and Garogai smash through it, with Gunjō slamming Ichigo into the wall of another lotus. As Ichigo fires a Getsuga Tenshō at Gunjō, Taikon leaps on top of the nearby Kushanāda skeleton.
While Taikon fires a blast of energy at Uryū, who dodges it, Rukia calls out to Ichigo, only to be interrupted by Garogai leaping between the falling chunks of ice before sending his detachable chain-arm hurtling toward her. Rukia narrowly dodges the arm, and when Garogai pulls himself to her location and moves to attack, she blasts him away with a Kidō spell, which sends him crashing into the lotus where the others are fighting. Within the lotus, Ichigo and Gunjō continue to clash as Taikon bounces around while dodging dozens of Uryū's Heilig Pfeil.
With a Getsuga Tenshō stored in his blade, Ichigo prepares to fire it, but briefly hesitates when his Hollow mask forms on its own once more before proceeding with the attack anyway. The blast tears through the Kushanāda skeleton and kicks up a huge dust cloud, which Ichigo leaps out of to join Kokutō on the lotus wall. When Kokutō informs him that Yuzu is still much further down, Ichigo asks him how far that is, only for Renji to tell him to just go on ahead and leave the Togabito to him, Rukia, and Uryū as they join him, with Uryū claiming Ichigo will only get in their way if he stays.
As Ichigo demands to know what Uryū means, Rukia tells him that it is better to let him and Renji handle this, which convinces Ichigo. The three of them run off the edge of the lotus wall and plunge toward the water below, but Gunjō runs along the wall and asks where Ichigo thinks he is going before leaping toward them. Turning in midair, Rukia manages to parry Gunjō's attack, but is knocked off-course and lands on a lotus pad as Gunjō follows suit. Rukia notes that she must get past him quickly as Gunjō attacks her with his tentacles, eventually restraining her as Rukia uses Some no mai, Tsukishiro.
While the ice pillar cracks in the distance, Uryū faces Taikon, who asks if taking him on directly is Uryū's plan before assuming he has a death wish. Uryū denies this and states that is pride as a Quincy will not allow him to lose twice to the same adversary before the two of them leap into the air and begin crashing into the lotus petals. On top of the lotus wall, a grinning Renji stares down Garogai and activates his Bankai, Hihiō Zabimaru, with a plume of red Reiatsu. Claiming that he owes one to Garogai for their last battle, Renji promises to teach him a lesson this time before sending Hihiō Zabimaru crashing into Garogai, who is smashed through the wall.
Below the ocean, Ichigo and Kokutō emerge from the water above a cratered landscape filled with pools of yellow acid. When Ichigo asks where they are, Kokutō states that all they need to do is pass through this level to reach the area Shuren is using as a hideout. As Ichigo expresses his hope that Kokutō is right about Yuzu being there, Kokutō notes that this is the best time for them to strike since most of the Togabito are fighting their friends elsewhere, which can only be good for them. Suddenly, a Kushanāda bursts out of one of the pools of acid below and reaches for Ichigo.
Shoving Ichigo out of the way, Kokutō attempts to slash the Kushanāda, but its hand pushes into him and slams him down into the ground. As Kokutō grimaces in pain at the wounds this leaves on his left arm, the Kushanāda rips a chain out of the ground that is connected to Kokutō, who looks on in terror. Suddenly, Ichigo cuts off the Kushanāda's hand before unleashing a Getsuga Tenshō that cuts it completely in half. While the two halves of the Kushanāda fall into the acid, which overflows and spills out of the crater, Ichigo moves to Kokutō and grabs him before moving him out of the way of the acid wave.
Landing on a cliff far away, Ichigo sets Kokutō down and asks if he is alright. As he breathes laboredly, Kokutō turns to Ichigo and claims that this is nothing to him before asking if Ichigo is alright despite having just used his Hollow powers. Ichigo states that he has gotten used to it, but is startled when Kokutō begins grunting and groaning in pain from his injuries. When Ichigo tries to help, Kokutō bluntly tells him that he cannot do anything and that this sort of pain is experienced all the time in Hell before asserting that Ichigo needs to focus all his energy on rescuing his sister.
As he helps Kokutō sit up, Ichigo asks why he is so concerned about Yuzu and notes that Kokutō mentioned selling his heart to darkness to protect something he cherished before theorizing that it was someone related to him. Kokutō affirms this and reveals he had a younger sister whom he loved before claiming that he was responsible for her death because he was worthless and powerless. Stating that nothing mattered after she died because she was everything to him, Kokutō asks Ichigo to promise that he will save Yuzu because she cannot be forced to go through the same terror his sister endured.
Kokutō stands up and begins to limp away as he notes that this must not sound very convincing coming from someone condemned to Hell for their sins. Looking after him, Ichigo picks up Tensa Zangetsu as Kokutō tells him they must hurry so the efforts of Ichigo's friends will not be in vain. Ichigo agrees with this, and the two slide down the slope toward the next level. Meanwhile, Hihiō Zabimaru crashes through the water above with Garogai between its jaws and thrashes him about before tossing him away. Yelling, Renji sends Hihiō Zabimaru at Garogai, who grabs its head and stops it in midair.
Garogai claims that Renji is too weak and whirls Hihiō Zabimaru around to throw him away, but Renji proclaims that he is not done yet before firing Hikotsu Taihō, which hits Garogai head-on and sends him hurtling into a pool of acid. As Renji lands in front of the pool, Garogai climbs out of the acid and promises Renji will pay for that before falling to his knees. Wondering if he was injured by the acid, Renji decides to douse him in it one more time and begins charging another Hikotsu Taihō, but Garogai moves right in front of him and counters the energy blast with an energy-infused punch.
Hihiō Zabimaru is blasted apart into segments by this clash, and Garogai proclaims it is his turn before punching Renji with his other hand, which detaches and rockets away. As Renji screams in pain, Garogai retracts his fist and lets Renji fall to the ground before leaping up and stomping on him. Garogai declares it is over, but Renji proclaims that it is only over for Garogai before slamming the hilt of Hihiō Zabimaru into the ground. Glowing with red Reiatsu, the segments of Hihiō Zabimaru rise into the air before impaling and killing Garogai as Renji uses Higa Zekkō.
Renji sits up and chuckles before stating that Garogai should not have underestimated his Zabimaru. Elsewhere, thousands of Heilig Pfeil fly through the air and fall toward Taikon, who claims Uryū is wasting his time before devouring all the Heilig Pfeil with a mouth formed on his stomach. Stating that was tasty, Taikon begins firing the energy back at Uryū in a barrage of violet blasts, prompting Uryū to run to the right to avoid them before using Hirenkyaku to appear next to Taikon, who leaps into the air as Uryū follows him and slashes his face with a Seele Schneider.
Taikon absorbs the energy blade with a mouth on his cheek and compliments its taste before noting it has a slightly unusual quality that does not bother him. Telling Uryū to stop his useless resistance, Taikon lands in front of him and proclaims that they should get this over with before stating that he will give Uryū the kiss of death. As he dodges another energy blast, Uryū declines and tells Taikon he can have this before slashing him with another Seele Schneider, only for Taikon to absorb the blade once more with another mouth on the side of his torso.
Taikon declares that Uryū is wasting his time, but Uryū proclaims that he does not think so and leaps into the air before stabbing Taikon with another Seele Schneider, which he absorbs with a mouth on his shoulder. After Uryū lands and fires a Seele Schneider charged with Reishi at him, an irritated Taikon simply deflects it with his hand and lets it spin into the dirt behind him before taunting Uryū for having that attack be his best shot, which proves he is not as talented as Taikon thought he would be. However, Uryū pulls out another Seele Schneider and tells Taikon that they will see if he still feels this way.
Notching the Seele Schneider in his Ginrei Kojaku, Uryū notes that he has been saving this for Taikon before firing it at him. As Taikon declares once more that Uryū is wasting his time and opens a large mouth on his chest to absorb the attack, the blade of the Seele Schneider vanishes and it comes to a halt in the air in front of Taikon, who wonders what is happening. Suddenly, four perpendicular lines emerge from the Seele Schneider and wrap around Taikon to form a box-shaped blue barrier, which Uryū explains is named Geldschrank and is made of high-density Reishi.
When a confused Taikon notes that this does not makes sense because his attack was perfect and he should have absorbed all of Uryū's Reishi, Uryū reveals that he helped himself to some of Taikon's Reishi. As Taikon notices Reishi pouring out of several cuts on his body, Uryū details how the attacks with Seele Schneider let Reishi be released and flow out of Taikon before stating that he is not the only one who knows how to absorb Reishi and use it as his own weapon. Taking out a Gintō, Uryū proclaims that the Quincy are much better at it and flicks the capsule onto the Seele Schneider, causing the barrier to contract down to a tiny box before exploding in a cloud of violet energy.
Elsewhere, as Rukia and Gunjō face each other down, the explosion from Geldschrank occurs in the distance, prompting Gunjō to look in its direction as he realizes what has happened to Taikon. Seeing an opening, Rukia moves to Gunjō with Shunpo and attacks, but Gunjō grabs her with all four of his tentacles and lifts her into the air before turning her upside down. Gunjō states that both Taikon and Garogai have been defeated and admits that this is not what they had planned before noting that the results are still acceptable while Rukia swings wildly at his tentacles.
Suddenly, the blade of Sode no Shirayuki shatters on one of Gunjō's tentacles, shocking Rukia, as a grinning Gunjō asks her to die before constricting his tentacles around her waist. As Rukia screams in pain, Gunjō says she has a lovely voice while doing so and lowers her down when she finally stops. Flipping Rukia over, Gunjō decides to dispose of Uryū and Renji as well, only to stop in surprise when he sees snow falling around him. With her broken sword held up to Gunjō's chest, Rukia uses San no mai, Shirafune, causing a blade of ice to form through Gunjō's torso.
Ice spreads over Gunjō's body from the origin of the attack as he screams in agony before shattering into pieces, causing Rukia to fall to the ground. When Uryū runs up to her in concern, Rukia assures him she is alright, only to be interrupted by a chuckling Gunjō praising them as being more powerful and capable opponents than he expected. Noting that he actually intended to take them down with him, Gunjō nonchalantly states that the Togabito dying was part of the plan all along. When Uryū demands to know what he means, Gunjō refuses to tell him and laughs as the rest of his body crumbles, prompting a stunned Rukia to wonder what they have gotten into.
On the floor below, Ichigo and Kokutō run down a stairway in a cave filled with hundreds of small, candle-lit shrines. As he looks at the shrines, Ichigo suddenly loses his footing and falls on the stairs, prompting Kokutō to walk back to him and ask if he is okay while extending his hand. After a short pause, Ichigo affirms this and grabs Kokutō's hand to pull himself up, and Kokutō tells him to be careful before resuming his descent, with Ichigo following. Eventually, Ichigo and Kokutō emerge from underneath a waterfall of the yellow acid onto a black desert filled with thousands of round stones.
When Ichigo comments on how strange the sand beneath his feet feels, Kokutō reveals it is actually the crushed bones of millions of Togabito they are walking on, to Ichigo's shock. Kokutō details how after being repeatedly crushed by the Kushanāda, the bodies of Togabito eventually fall apart while being completely burned by the flames of Hell and eventually join the desert, which is all that is left of them. As Kokutō states there is no freedom in Hell no matter how far one goes, Ichigo asks what he means by this and points out how the Togabito managed to get to Karakura Town.
Kokutō notes that the reach of the Kushanāda extends there as well and says each of the Togabito are trapped to be tormented by an unrelenting agony until they crumble away. Turning to Ichigo, Kokutō requests that Ichigo free him from Hell if they are able to rescue Yuzu, to Ichigo's surprise, and states that he wants to be reborn more than anything else so he can talk to his sister again and apologize. After some thought, Ichigo declares that he will help Kokutō if it is within his power, prompting Kokutō to thank him before revealing Yuzu is just beyond the hill in front of them.
Steeling his resolve, Ichigo runs up the hill, accompanied by Kokutō after he pauses for a moment. Upon reaching the top of the hill, Ichigo gasps in shock as he sees Yuzu being held captive inside a cage above a pit of lava in a skeletal monument hundreds of yards away. As Kokutō joins him, an angered Ichigo begins sliding down the side of the hill before leaping toward the monument in a burst of speed. Suddenly, a bolt of fire comes hurtling toward Ichigo, who slashes through it and keeps going as it explodes behind him, and another one follows shortly afterward.
Ichigo dodges multiple bolts of fire before leaping to the top of a finger-shaped stone pillar as Shuren, who is standing on top of the skeletal structure, welcomes him. While Ichigo demands that he return Yuzu, Shuren introduces himself and claims that Ichigo has not choice but to do what he says if he wishes to save Yuzu's life. Grinning, Shuren watches as Ichigo is joined by Kokutō, who tells Shuren to stop giving orders before asking if he plans to take on both of them by himself. However, Shuren laughs and points out that he never said he was by himself.
Noting that Togabito cannot die once they are in Hell, Shuren tells Kokutō that he should know this, prompting a shocked Kokutō to note they are too late. When Shuren calls out the names of his three subordinates, three streams of lava rise up from the pit in front of him and begin groaning as Taikon, Gunjō, and Garogai are revived. After Shuren explains how the three Togabito were assigned with separating Ichigo and Kokutō from their allies and dying so they could return to this place, Kokutō declares this is impossible before wondering how they revived so fast.
Taunting Kokutō as not being so smart, Gunjō leaps toward him and declares that he will pay for his ignorance before stabbing at Kokutō with several tentacles. While Kokutō dodges each tentacle and leaps into the air, Ichigo calls out to him, only for Kokutō to tell him to rescue Yuzu and not worry about him. When confronted by Taikon, Kokutō slashes at him, only for Taikon to intercept and trap the blade of his sword with a mouth on his chest while wondering why a Togabito like Kokutō would be friendly with a Human. Suddenly, a shadow appears above them as Garogai crashes into Kokutō.
Calling out to Kokutō once more, Ichigo quickly moves to a different finger pillar as Shuren attacks him with a javelin of flame. As he declares that he will keep Ichigo company, Shuren destroys the pillar he is standing on and lands on another, prompting Ichigo to leap to that one and clash with him. After knocking Ichigo into the stone walkway nearby, Shuren forms a fire bolt and begins launching them at Ichigo, who runs along the walkway to avoid them. Flying next to Ichigo, Shuren asks if he is ready to give into his demands, only for Ichigo to deny this as he attacks Shuren.
Meanwhile, Garogai backhands Kokutō, who attempts to block with his blade but is sent flying away regardless. When Gunjō sends another tentacles at him, Kokutō cuts through it before slamming into the finger pillar Gunjō is standing on and falling down with a groan. Upon seeing Gunjō sending several more tentacles hurtling toward him, Kokutō stabs his sword into the ground and uses it to push himself away, narrowly avoiding being impaled by the tentacles as they stab into the ground, before slashing through a blast of violet energy fired at him by Taikon.
A few dozen yards away, Ichigo dodges more flame blasts from Shuren before leaping up to a nearby finger pillar. When Shuren throws a flame javelin at him, Ichigo slashes through it before intercepting an attack from the side by Shuren with a flame lance. After Ichigo's strike dissipates his lance, Shuren forms another and clashes with Ichigo before performing a strong overhanded strike, which Ichigo blocks, only to be sent crashing into the finger pillar behind him by the lance's subsequent explosion. Shuren fires dozens of fire arrows into the resulting dust cloud, only to smile when Ichigo emerges unscathed.
As he keeps flame arrows at Ichigo with his right hand, Shuren forms a fire bolt in his left and fires it at Yuzu's cage, shocking Ichigo and Kokutō. While a distracted Ichigo is knocked back by one of Shuren's flame arrows, Kokutō cuts Garogai in half and leaps into the path of the flame bolt, engulfing him in an explosion. As Ichigo falls to the ground, Kokutō is grabbed by one of Gunjō's tentacles, and though he cuts through a few of them, he is quickly impaled by several more, to Ichigo's shock. Landing near Gunjō, Taikon tells Kokutō to give up because there is no way he can win now.
However, Kokutō simply declares that neither can the other Togabito before throwing his sword at Taikon, who gleefully opens up a mouth on his stomach and swallows it whole. As Taikon laughs, Kokutō pulls on an invisible chain attached to the hilt of his sword, causing a surprised Taikon to be pulled along with it into the lava behind Kokutō as he screams in fear. While Gunjō reacts with confusion to Taikon's death, Kokutō tells him to say goodbye and jumps into the lava, which pulls Gunjō by his tentacles into the pit as well, causing Ichigo to scream his name.
As the trail of smoke rising from the lava dissipates, Ichigo forces himself to get up and run from Shuren, who fires more fire bolts at him while asking where he is going. While Shuren declares he is Ichigo's opponent for the fight he wants, the smoke around Ichigo is pushed away by his exerted Reiatsu as he proclaims that he does not have time to play around with Shuren before firing a Getsuga Tenshō at him. Shuren leaps off the finger pillar he is standing on as the Getsuga Tenshō travels out of the Fourth Level and hits the red miasma at the top of the First Level.
While Ichigo stares in surprise, a laughing Shuren stands in front of the lava pit declares that this is the power they have been searching for and tells Ichigo to use it to destroy the Gates of Hell. Telling Shuren to shut up, Ichigo moves to fire another Getsuga Tenshō, only to stop upon seeing Shuren is standing in front of Yuzu's cage. Laughing, Shuren notes that Ichigo made a wise decision and that him hesitating indicates that he still has enough control to realize what would have happened if he had followed through with that attack before forming a flame bolt in his hand.
Shuren fires the flame bolt at Ichigo, who gasps as it passes through his chest and explodes behind him as Shuren promises to not hit him with a fatal blow just yet. Despite this, Ichigo begins walking forward with determination while Shuren continues to fire flame bolts at him, taking one to the head in the process and remaining unperturbed. After a flame bolt kicks up a cloud of smoke in front of him, Ichigo emerges with his Hollow mask on, prompting a delighted Shuren to tell him to go destroy the Gates. However, Ichigo begins running toward Shuren and dodges more of his flame bolts before leaping forward and preparing to slash him from above.
A shaken Shuren blocks the attack with a sustained burst of flame, but Ichigo moves away and leaps off a rock before launching himself around the perimeter of the monument to build up speed. Seeing this, Shuren fires multiple flame bolts at Ichigo in rapid succession as he passes the pillars, but Ichigo catches him off-guard with a burst of Reiatsu that obscures his vision before moving close to him. With Tensa Zangetsu held out, Ichigo hits Shuren with a powerful point-blank Getsuga Tenshō that sends him rocketing away in a torrent of energy.
As he lands on the ground below, a panting Ichigo removes his Hollow mask and prepares to take Yuzu home, only to suddenly be impaled by Kokutō's blade as his Getsuga Tenshō erupts in the distance, creating an enormous explosion and mushroom cloud. While the energy released by the explosion fades, Ichigo falls to his knees and collapses as the wind from the blast catches up and rushes over him. Shortly afterward, Kokutō nonchalantly walks up to Ichigo and notes that the impalement must have hurt before asking if he is okay.
Ichigo can only look on in surprise and pain as Kokutō casually rips his sword out of his chest. While Ichigo grunts in pain, Kokutō claims that this wound should be nothing to him before stabbing his sword into the ground next to Ichigo's head. When Ichigo tries to ask him why he stabbed him, Kokutō states that he wanted to see how he would react and reminds Ichigo that people revive if they die in Hell with a manic grin on his face. Suddenly, Shuren plops down next to Ichigo and Kokutō in a half-formed lava state, prompting Kokutō to pick up his sword and walk over to him.
Attacking Shuren with his sword, Kokutō angrily tells Shuren to stay out of this and remain dead for a while. When Ichigo calls him a traitor, Kokutō denies this and claims everything went exactly as he planned before telling Ichigo that all he has to do now is cooperate so this game can be ended. As Kokutō states that the last step is for Ichigo to Hollowfy and help him out just like he promised, Ichigo angrily brings up the story that Kokutō told him about his sister, prompting Kokutō to note that story is entirely true and that his sister really was murdered.
Assuring Ichigo that he made his sister's murderers die a very slow and painful death, Kokutō notices Shuren beginning to reform again and angrily stomps on his half-formed body to disperse it while demanding that Shuren quit bugging him. As he continues to attack Shuren, Kokutō admits that his revenge felt good at first, but it was only temporary and did not bring back his sister. Kokutō proclaims that he lived with unimaginable pain every day and eventually decided that the only way to feel peace was to make everyone experience that same agony before ripping off the bandages on his face.
Revealing the right side of his face to be horribly burned and scarred, Kokutō demands to know why this made him deserve to be condemned to Hell for all eternity. Kokutō reveals that each of his prior attempts to escape Hell ended with a Kushanāda crushing him and dragging him back, but one day he saw Ichigo fighting Ulquiorra while fully Hollowfied and realized that power could break through Hell's barriers, so he passed that information onto other Togabito and his plan took shape. Declaring that he will do anything to get out of Hell, Kokutō proclaims that turning the world into a living hell in the process is fine.
Suddenly, Rukia runs up and asks Ichigo what happened, prompting Kokutō to move to her and cut her down. Uryū appears and notes that Kokutō was in league with the other Togabito after all, but Kokutō hits him with a powerful slash, leaving Uryū to attack him with a Seele Schneider that fizzles upon colliding with one of Kokutō's chains before collapsing. As Kokutō notes they were just pawns to be manipulated, Ichigo calls out to Rukia and Uryū as Rukia says his name before passing out. When Renji appears and sees Rukia, Kokutō attacks him, only for Renji to dodge and strike back.
However, Renji's attack is blocked by one of Kokutō's chains, shocking Renji as Kokutō slashes him across the waist before taking him down with a second strike. Yelling in anger, Ichigo attacks Kokutō while surging with Reiatsu, creating a small explosion. Knocked back, Ichigo leaps forward and begins clashing with Kokutō, who encourages him to unleash the power of his hatred and let the force of his inner Hollow come out to break his chains. Ichigo continues to attack Kokutō, who blocks each attack with his chains while noting that this is still not enough.
Declaring that Ichigo cannot beat him without turning into that monster, Kokutō moves to the center of the monument and removes Yuzu from her cage before revealing that she was unable to withstand the atmosphere of Hell. When Kokutō shows him that Yuzu's Chain of Fate has started forming, a shocked Ichigo begins screaming in rage as his Reiatsu begins flaring powerfully around him. Grinning, Kokutō tells Ichigo to get angry and declares that compassion is unnecessary in Hell before commanding Ichigo to bury his heart in darkness while Renji looks on in fear.
As he welcomes Ichigo to Hell, Kokutō drops Yuzu into the pit of lava below, prompting a screaming Ichigo to leap forward and grab her before moving to safety on the ground below. A hole opens up on Ichigo's chest, and Zangetsu completely takes over in his fully Hollowfied form as he begins charging a Cero. Ecstatic, Kokutō tells Zangetsu to use this power to break his chains and grins widely as Zangetsu builds up his Cero to an enormous size before unleashing it. Kokutō leaps off the top of the monument as the Cero completely obliterates it and most of the surrounding pillars.
Moving past the surge of energy, Kokutō lets his chains be caught in the blast while telling Zangetsu to keep it up. As the energy dissipates, Kokutō's broken chains fall to the ground below while he lands on an intact pillar. Kokutō reveals that while Shuren and the others believed the Gates of Hell being destroyed would allow them to escape, he alone knew that the chains are what bind the Togabito to Hell. Declaring with glee that those chains are now being destroyed, Kokutō tells Zangetsu to break all the links that bind him as Zangetsu charges another Cero.
As Zangetsu unleashes the powerful Cero and turns his head to aim it at him, Kokutō shields himself with a purple barrier and laughs maniacally as the blast destroys four more of his chains. The Cero cuts through the clouds in the distance, where several immense explosions occur along the path of its movement and rise through the three levels above before destroying a large chunk of the Gates of Hell, causing the fire and energy within to be released into the human World and race along the sky above Karakura Town in a trail of flame before dissipating.
Kokutō lands on the edge of the lava pit and declares that there is only one chain left. As Zangetsu begins charging a third Cero, Renji gets up and runs toward him while telling Ichigo to not let Kokutō provoke him into giving him what he wants. Leaping forward, Renji cuts off Zangetsu's left horn, causing the accumulated energy to flash and dissipate. A concerned Kokutō jumps down as Renji tells Ichigo to return to the Human World before using the Hell Kidō, which engulfs Ichigo in blue light as he begins to shed his Hollow form. As Renji taunts him over his failure, Kokutō screams in fury as Ichigo is lifted out of Hell.
Later, in Karakura Town, as the Kidō Corps maintains two circular barriers around the damaged Gates of Hell in the skies above, 13th Division Captain Jūshirō Ukitake notes that they are gradually containing the miasma leaking out of the Gates as he meets with three captains in a tent. When Captain-Commander Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto asks how the miasma has affected Karakura Town, Ukitake confirms that it has not at the moment, prompting Yamamoto to order him to keep providing updates and mobilize all of their available resources to complete its containment, which Ukitake affirms.
10th Division Captain Tōshirō Hitsugaya notes that this does not answer what happened in the first place and wonders how the Gates could have been destroyed only one day after a crack appeared, leading Ukitake to recount how Rukia, Renji, and Ichigo were dispatched to investigate the crack and entered Hell, which is all they know. Suddenly, an unseated Shinigami enters the tent to report that Ichigo has just emerged from Hell and they are sending guards to bring him in. Elsewhere, Ichigo lies on a rooftop with Yuzu in his arms before stirring to consciousness when several other Shinigami arrive.
Getting to his feet, Ichigo demands that the Shinigami get out of his way so he can get Yuzu to a hospital and violently resists their attempts to calm him down before declaring that she will die if he does not hurry. Suddenly, Yamamoto appears, prompting all the Shinigami to kneel, and is followed by Hitsugaya, Ukitake, Byakuya, and 10th Division Lieutenant Rangiku Matsumoto, who brings Orihime with her. Orihime rushes to Ichigo's side and attempts to heal Yuzu with Sōten Kisshun; however, the barrier begins to glow with strange colors before abruptly exploding, to the shock of Ichigo and Orihime.
A flustered Orihime notes it should have worked and rolls Yuzu on her back to reveal her Chain of Fate has turned blood red. Holding the chain in her hands, Orihime trembles and lets go of it, prompting Ichigo to demand to know what she is doing before grabbing her shoulders and begging her to help Yuzu. Claiming that it is no use, Yamamoto walks forward while revealing that the chains of Hell have pierced Yuzu's soul and made her a Togabito before stating that it is too late to save her because their powers cannot help her at this point, which prompts Ichigo to declare that Yamamoto is wrong and that he refuses to accept this.
When Yamamoto bluntly tells him that this was his responsibility and he failed, a stunned Ichigo grabs his head and looks at Yuzu's lifeless body before screaming in rage and sorrow at his failure. Calling out to Yuzu, Ichigo falls on his hands and knees in despair. Some time later, in one of the tents set up by the 1st Division, Ichigo sits in front of the bed Yuzu has been placed on and recalls Yamamoto explaining how the monster in Ichigo unleashing his power in Hell destroyed the Gates that were considered unbreakable, which has exposed the Human World to Hell's presence and puts all Humans at great risk.
As Ichigo leans over Yuzu and sobs, Byakuya enters the tent behind him, to Ichigo's surprise. When Ichigo turns away from him, Byakuya questions why he is doing so, prompting Ichigo to tearfully remind him that he has left Rukia, Renji, and Uryū in Hell just to save Yuzu before proclaiming that it was all for nothing because he was too late. Upon Byakuya asking him if this is his fault, Ichigo is initially stunned, but quickly grows angry and grabs him by the collar while pointing out how his sister is currently trapped in Hell because she sacrificed herself so Ichigo could escape.
However, Byakuya calmly states that Rukia is a proud Shinigami who is prepared for the consequences of her actions before telling Ichigo that he should consider why his friends helped him escape. As Byakuya turns away from a speechless Ichigo and prepares to leave, the blanket covering Yuzu falls off as her Chain of Fate suddenly starts glowing pink. With Ichigo calling out to Yuzu, her Chain of Fate begins to disintegrate and vanish until only a red stain is left on her chest, to Byakuya's shock. The glow fades from the room as Yuzu suddenly starts breathing and coughing, prompting Ichigo to rush to her side.
While Ichigo tends to Yuzu, Byakuya exits the tent as an unseated Shinigami asks him what happened. Upon seeing Orihime, Byakuya tells her to go help Yuzu, which she affirms while running into the tent. That evening, Yuzu and Karin sleep together in bed as Orihime covers them with a blanket. Downstairs, Ichigo sits on the couch and contemplates Byakuya's words. When Orihime walks into the room, Ichigo asks her how Yuzu is doing, prompting her to reveal Yuzu has stabilized for now. Ichigo thanks Orihime for all she has done, only for her to state that he should thank everyone else instead.
Asking Orihime where Sado is, Ichigo admits that he meant to ask Orihime how he was doing earlier. Orihime notes that Sado has not yet regained consciousness, but promises that he will be fine since she is watching over him. As he tells Orihime she is the best, Ichigo stands up and offers her something to drink since she must be exhausted, only for Orihime to ask him if he is going back to Hell. When Ichigo states that he should be able to rescue their friends since Yuzu recovered after going to Hell, Orihime begins to protest, only for Ichigo to admit that he is aware of the possibility that he will Hollowfy again and destroy everyone.
Ichigo states that Yamamoto was right about his recklessness leading to this situation and admits Kokutō is so strong that he might not be able to win without Hollowfying, but declares that he has to win because he will not be able to face those who entrusted him with their lives otherwise. Suddenly, Orihime hugs Ichigo from behind and asks only that he makes sure to come back, which Ichigo confirms he will do before noting that he should get going. That night, a Riteitai reports to Ukitake, Hitsugaya, and Rangiku that Ichigo has broken through the barrier and is heading toward the Gates of Hell.
As Ukitake asks if the Riteitai is sure, Hitsugaya states that he could have predicted this and looks to Ukitake, who notes that repairing the Gates has to take top priority. Hitsugaya decides to go after Ichigo himself, only to be surprised along with the others when Ichigo appears before them in the air above. When Hitsugaya asks him if he has come to go back into Hell for some sort of revenge, Ichigo remains silent, prompting Ukitake to state that this is further reason they cannot let him pass because all of existence would be put at risk if Ichigo lost control again.
Activating his Bankai, Tensa Zangetsu, Ichigo declares that he is only going back to rescue his friends. Suddenly, the Gates begin glowing red and shaking, prompting Hitsugaya to wonder what is happening, before a Kushanāda reaches out of the Gates and into the Human World as the unseated Shinigami around it move away. After avoiding a swipe from the Kushanāda, Ukitake orders the Shinigami to assume defensive positions while Ichigo flies past them toward the Gates. When Rangiku calls out to him, Hitsugaya tells her to ignore him because they do not have time for him as he glows with Reiatsu.
As Ichigo speeds toward the Gates of Hell, the Kushanāda reaches for him, only to be swiftly slashed across the face by Senbonzakura Kageyoshi, allowing Ichigo to safely bypass it and fly into the Gates. With the petals of Senbonzakura Kageyoshi swirling around him, Byakuya prepares to engage the Kushanāda further.
Back To Hell
In Hell, Ichigo falls through the First Level, where he avoids being grabbed by several Kushanāda, plunges into the ocean of the Second Level with a yell, emerges on the other side above the Third Level, and finally plunges into the chasm below to emerge on the Lowermost Level.
The Lowermost Level
On the Lowermost Level, Kokutō sits on a rock as he notices lightning crackling above him. As he stands up, Kokutō sees Ichigo plunge through the smoke above and grins while noting that Ichigo has come back to him. Diving toward the tower Kokutō is standing on, Ichigo lands beside the skull-shaped rock as Kokutō admits he was considering going to the Human World to get him before stating this is much better. When Kokutō asks if he has come to avenge Yuzu, Ichigo reveals that she will be fine, which surprises Kokutō before he asks why Ichigo actually came back.
Ichigo declares that he came back to rescue his friends, but Kokutō scoffs at this and mocks Ichigo for still not understanding Hell before claiming that the chains of Hell have trapped Ichigo's friends here forever. When Kokutō indicates the branches of the nearby tree, Ichigo sees Renji and Uryū hanging from them as decrepit corpses and calls out to them as Kokutō explains that they are still in the process of rotting, but should be ready very soon. Kokutō goes on to note that Rukia is just about ripe as a plume of smoke and fire rises from the lava near him, to Ichigo's surprise.
As the lava bubbles, a naked Rukia bursts out of it and falls to her hands and knees as a white shihakushō manifests itself on her body. Seeing Ichigo, Rukia asks why he came back, only to be interrupted when Kokutō yanks her to her feet by her Chain of Fate and reminds Ichigo that those in Hell will revive indefinitely but be unable to leave as long as their chains remain intact. When Ichigo declares that he will simply have to find a way to break those chains, Kokutō mockingly praises him as gallant and asks if he will break Kokutō's chains as well, which Ichigo denies.
As the wind swirls around him, Ichigo declares that he will instead destroy Kokutō and stores a Getsuga Tenshō in his blade before disappearing. Throwing Rukia aside as Ichigo reappears in front of him, Kokutō effortlessly blocks his subsequent attack and forces him back before pursuing him to the tree branches. Ichigo and Kokutō begin clashing repeatedly, with Ichigo dodging Kokutō's slashes as he moves between branches before attacking Kokutō with another Getsuga Tenshō-enhanced strike. However, Kokutō easily blocks it once again and trips Ichigo up before letting him fall off the tree.
Grabbing Ichigo by the throat in midair, Kokutō calls him a fool for thinking he can win without his Hollow mask and throws him into the skull below. After bouncing off the skull onto the ground below, Ichigo blocks several subsequent attacks from Kokutō, who declares that Ichigo cannot defeat him until he Hollowfies no matter how strong his feelings are before sending him flying back with a powerful slash. As he flies over the edge and falls toward the lava below, Ichigo infuses his blade with a large amount of Reiatsu before firing a powerful Getsuga Tenshō that cuts through the side of the tower.
Kokutō withstands the torrent of energy and praises the power behind the attack before pushing the Getsuga Tenshō away from him and diverting it toward the top of the tree, where it makes a sizable explosion on impact. While debris rains down, Rukia gets up and crawls to the edge of the skull. As he lands on the ground before Kokutō, Ichigo suddenly has his Hollow mask begin to form over his right eye, forcing him to dispel it with considerable effort as Rukia expresses concern. Asking Ichigo what the matter is, Kokutō reappears beside him and asks what Ichigo is afraid of.
As Ichigo slashes at him, Kokutō appears behind him and puts his hand on Ichigo's shoulder while wondering if he is afraid of destroying everything should he lose control again. Kokutō proclaims that Ichigo should not have come back here if this is the case and pulls Ichigo around before sending him flying with a kick. Catching up to Ichigo, Kokutō locks blades with him and reminds Ichigo that Yuzu was only saved because he turned into a monster before declaring that Ichigo cannot even save himself without that power as he hits Ichigo with a beam of blue energy, which send him crashing into the skull.
The impact of Ichigo hitting the skull sends a wave of lava washing over the top as Rukia trembles. Below, as Ichigo lies in the rubble created by his impact, Kokutō walks up and stomps on his shoulder while claiming that the only thing that keeps people strong in the face of all obstacles is hatred. Stepping on Ichigo's face, Kokutō states that his desire for revenge is the only thing that gave him purpose before stepping back upon seeing a trickle of lava approaching Ichigo. As Kokutō asks Ichigo what is wrong, the lava washes over his left wrist, causing Ichigo to scream in agony.
While Kokutō laughs maniacally, more lava bursts out of the rocks in front of him in a fiery explosion, sending Ichigo hurtling away. Landing before Ichigo with his right arm on fire, Kokutō tells him to hate him more because it is the only thing that will save his life. With the fire having burned away his sleeve to reveal his arm is also scarred and burned, Kokutō begins attacking Ichigo once more, and when Ichigo tries to roll away, Kokutō wraps one of his chains around his leg and smashes him into a nearby stalagmite before slamming him into the ground further away.
Leaping toward Ichigo with a manic expression, Kokutō stabs him in the abdomen and stomps him back down to the ground before asking why Ichigo still cannot summon his Hollow power. When Kokutō asks if he needs to kidnap Karin and Yuzu again, Ichigo looks at him in fury and exerts his Reiatsu with tremendous force, causing a surprised Kokutō to leap back as Ichigo's Reiatsu flares up around him. Ichigo stands up and glares at Kokutō with Hollowfied eyes, only to be taken aback when a gray substance bursts from his mouth and abdomen. As it begins to wrap around him, Ichigo tries to fight back the substance.
Noting that Ichigo should Hollowfy easier this time since he has already lost control before, Kokutō claims that Ichigo can never suppress his Hollow power and proclaims that it is hopeless no matter how much he struggles. As the substance begins wrapping around Ichigo's face to form sharp teeth and a mask, Rukia screams out his name, prompting Kokutō to move behind her and grab Rukia by her Chain of Fate while ordering her to be silent so Ichigo's transformation is not disturbed. Suddenly, a horn sounds in the distance, leading Kokutō to inform Ichigo that the Kushanāda are emerging.
Kokutō reveals that they are doing so because of the change in Ichigo's Reiatsu as the Kushanāda begin to walk out of the nearby towers of lava by the dozens and head toward Ichigo. Laughing, Kokutō declares that Ichigo will have to Hollowfy in order to survive, but notes that even if he does not, he will come back to life anyway. As Zangetsu fully takes over Ichigo's body, Kokutō asks if he is ready to crush Hell and points out that the cycle will continue endless if he does not. While Kokutō moves to the top of the tree with Rukia, the Kushanāda arrive at the tower to devour Ichigo.
As Kokutō notes the Kushanāda are almost here, Ichigo declares it is not going to happen, shocking Kokutō. Proclaiming that he will not let it happen, Ichigo breaks off his left horn and tells Kokutō that taking revenge on everyone because his feelings were hurt is a waste of energy. With his Hollowfied form breaking off of his body in pieces, Ichigo states that blaming one's pain on others and refusing to take responsibility for one's actions is childish as he steadies himself on his blade before asking Kokutō how long he believes he can run from his pain before it consumes him.
While the Kushanāda continue to advance and climb up the tower, Ichigo reminds Kokutō that he came back to Hell to save his friends before refusing to sacrifice those around him in order to do so. When a Kushanāda rises up behind Ichigo, Rukia frantically tells him to run away now, but Ichigo stands his ground and declares that he will fight for his friends with this solemn vow and his soul as the last fragments of his Hollowfied form disappear. Looming over Ichigo, the Kushanāda slams its hand down on top of him as Rukia screams out his name and Kokutō smiles.
Suddenly, a golden light shines from underneath the Kushanāda's hand, causing the Kushanāda to begin unraveling into golden threads of light that coalesce around Ichigo. Laughing maniacally, Kokutō assumes that Ichigo lost control after all and tells him to destroy the Kushanāda, but is shocked upon seeing Ichigo is being covered with a golden substance by the Kushanāda. As the rest of the light coalesces around Ichigo, a surge of golden Reiatsu erupts from him, freeing Rukia from Kokutō's grasp and sending her flying away as the remaining Kushanāda kneel.
The Reiatsu vanishes and kicks up a huge dust cloud, which Ichigo leaps out of before cutting through the chains holding up Renji and Uryū as he catches Rukia and lands on the ground below. As the dust settles, Rukia sees her Chain of Fate has been cleanly severed and clutches at its former location on her chest before looking up to see Ichigo has been clad in golden, skull-patterned armor. When a confused Kokutō asks what this form is and what Ichigo has done while landing before him, Ichigo responds by asking Kokutō if his sister really wanted him to get revenge for her death.
As Kokutō expresses confusion at this, Ichigo asks if Kokutō's sister wanted him to build up a body count and continue this endless bloodshed before declaring that he cannot end hatred with hatred and has only dragged his sister into a never-ending cycle of suffering. Leveling his blade at Kokutō, Ichigo reveals that he was empowered by Hell not to exact revenge, but to stop Kokutō, and proclaims that Hell is willing to ask him for help just to prevent Kokutō from escaping. While Ichigo glows with golden Reiatsu, a stunned Kokutō asks if he means Hell is really cooperating with a Human.
Kokutō angrily declares that this is impossible and claims he and Ichigo are the same before leaping toward him while screaming. Confirming this, Ichigo states he is just another Human like Kokutō before slashing at him, which unleashes surge of golden energy that breaks Kokutō's last chain and cuts him deeply across the chest before sending him flying back. The golden energy cuts a deep trench into the tower and flies out of it in a crescent shape before dissipating, and as the dust clears, a badly wounded Kokutō gets to his feet and begins to walk as he bleeds.
When the manacle on his left wrist falls off, a stunned Kokutō clutches his arm and feels his chest as he realizes all of his chains are gone. Loudly declaring his freedom, Kokutō laughs, only to stop as the ground begins to rumble. Suddenly, thousands of chains burst out of the trench in the ground and begin snaking toward Kokutō, who is bound and impaled by them while screaming in terror. As Ichigo declares that this is Kokutō's punishment for the sins he committed while trying to escape and that he will spend eternity repenting, the chains glow before pulling a screaming Kokutō even deeper into Hell.
As the rest of the tower is destroyed by the chains, Ichigo takes Rukia to safety at the top of the skull and sets her down as he sees the Kushanāda bowing before him while daylight breaks through the clouds above. Noticing her black shihakushō and Zanpakutō are back, Rukia looks up at Ichigo, who realizes that he won and it is over, causing him to cheer loudly. Rukia stands up and congratulates Ichigo before pointing out that they still need to find Renji and Uryū, prompting Ichigo to note that he broke their chains and released them when he was granted this power before wondering where they are.
Calling out to Ichigo and Rukia, Renji emerges from the rubble below as Uryū does the same and states that his entire body is sore, which Uryū affirms while noting that he feels rigid. When Rukia tells them that they should not expect anything else after having been rotting, a confused Renji asks her what she is talking about, leaving Rukia confused on where to start. As Uryū observes that it seems to be over, Renji asks about what happened to Kokutō, prompting Ichigo to reveal he was dragged down to the depths of Hell and is gone, which Renji admits means that Ichigo did win.
However, Renji and Uryū are shocked upon seeing Ichigo's appearance, and Renji asks what is up with his outfit, only for Ichigo to admit he is not sure himself and state that it came from the Kushanāda helping him before asking if it looks weird, which Renji confirms. As Uryū teases Ichigo for always being on the cutting edge of fashion, Renji asks if it is permanent or if he can change back, prompting Ichigo to dispel the armor as a pondering Rukia tries to tell him that removing the armor might make the Kushanāda attack them again. Suddenly, the Kushanāda begin to loom over them.
As Renji notes this is not good, a Kushanāda slams its hand down on top of them, prompting the group to begin running away as it crushes the ground behind them. Dodging more Kushanāda hands, Ichigo and his friends jump on top of another Kushanāda that tries to crush them and use it as a ramp to go up through Hell and reach the surface.
Back in the Human World, the Gates of Hell begin to repair themselves, to the surprise of the Shinigami present. At the last minute, Ichigo and his friends leap out of the Gates into the air as Orihime runs onto the ground below. When Ichigo and his friends begin falling, a shocked Orihime catches them with Santen Kesshun and begins lowering them slowly to the ground as Ichigo smiles at her. While Sado walks up and waves at his friends, Hitsugaya smiles at their reunion, only to be interrupted and annoyed when Rangiku hugs him. Rukia smiles at Byakuya, who remains expressionless.
Later, Yuzu wakes up in bed and yawns, prompting Karin to bolt awake in surprise. As Yuzu greets her, Karin frantically checks her body for the Chain of Fate she had, much to Yuzu's confusion, before hugging her and proclaiming how glad she is that Yuzu is alright, causing Yuzu to wonder why she would not be. Meanwhile, Isshin walks in the door downstairs and announces his return before tearfully asking why no one is greeting him despite having brought gifts.
- In the English dub, Rukia is mistakenly referred to as a lieutenant.