Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto vs. Shunsui Kyōraku & Jūshirō Ukitake
Yoruichi Shihōin vs. Suì-Fēng
Ichigo Kurosaki vs. Byakuya Kuchiki: Rematch
Rangiku Matsumoto vs. Izuru Kira


The Cold War (manga)
Mod Soul Training (anime)

Conspiracy Revealed: End Game

Ryoka Invasion


August 7th (Execution Day)[1]


Central 46 Compound/Sōkyoku Hill, Soul Society





Conspiracy Revealed: End Game is the climax of the Ryoka Invasion, focusing on 5th Division Captain Sōsuke Aizen revealing that he not only is still alive, but has been manipulating the Gotei 13 and the Ryoka alongside 3rd Division Captain Gin Ichimaru and 9th Division Captain Gin Ichimaru from the moment Rukia Kuchiki was discovered in the Human World for the sake of a singular goal: acquiring the Hōgyoku.


167Hitsugaya and Rangiku discover

Tōshirō Hitsugaya and Rangiku Matsumoto discover the slaughtered Central 46.

in the Central 46 Compound, having descended the steps and passed through the thirteen protective walls leading to the Central Underground Assembly Hall, 10th Division Captain Tōshirō Hitsugaya and his lieutenant, Rangiku Matsumoto, are mortified to discover the corpses of the entire Central 46 lying in their chairs with various injuries inflicted.[2] Running two fingers across the blood pooled on one of the tables, Hitsugaya observes that it is dry, brown, and flaking, meaning that the Central 46 was not killed today or yesterday.[3]


Hitsugaya realizes that they have been receiving false orders.

Internally, Hitsugaya wonders when this could have happened because the underground chamber should have been completely sealed after 6th Division Lieutenant Renji Abarai was defeated and the special wartime order was proclaimed, meaning that no one would have been allowed anywhere near here, and all thirteen protective walls were closed with no sign of entry when he and Rangiku forced their way in today, which leads him to realize that the Central 46 has been dead for some time and that all the orders they have received regarding Rukia Kuchiki's execution were false.[4]

168Izuru appears

Izuru Kira appears in the Central Underground Assembly Hall.

Initially assuming that 3rd Division Captain Gin Ichimaru did this, Hitsugaya is uncertain that one man could massacre the highest court and keep it secret alone, but as he questions if others were involved, Hitsugaya is alerted when 3rd Division Lieutenant Izuru Kira states that he knew Hitsugaya would come as he stands at the top of the stairs leading into the chamber. With Hitsugaya demanding to know if he did this, Izuru leaps out of sight, prompting Hitsugaya and Rangiku to run after him while 5th Division Lieutenant Momo Hinamori lurks behind the other entrance.[5]

168Hitsugaya pursues

Hitsugaya pursues Izuru outside.

After pursuing Izuru outside, Hitsugaya demands to know if he killed them, but Izuru denies this and reveals that he was let in only moments before Hitsugaya and Rangiku arrived by those within opening the lock and letting him inside. When Hitsugaya inquires who let him in, Izuru asserts that the Central 46 did, to Hitsugaya's confusion and chagrin, and notes that Hitsugaya should be protecting 5th Division Lieutenant Momo Hinamori rather than chasing him. Though an unnerved Hitsugaya is unsure of what he is talking about, Izuru informs him that Hinamori is no longer in the Tenth Division's barracks and recounts how Hitsugaya used Kyōmon to surround the room Hinamori was sleeping in with a high-level barrier that deflects attacks from the outside, thinking this would keep her safe. However, Izuru points out that Kyōmon is meant to keep people out and not in as he reminds Hitsugaya that Hinamori is a master of Kidō who could easily break such a barrier.[6]


Hitsugaya leaves Rangiku and heads back to the compound.

With Izuru concluding that Hinamori put one around herself to conceal her Reiatsu while she moved about and has been following Hitsugaya and Rangiku this whole time, a stunned Hitsugaya asks Rangiku to deal with Izuru in his stead, which she affirms, and leaps back to return to the Central 46 Compound. As he rushes toward the compound, Hitsugaya berates himself for not realizing Hinamori would follow him because she believes that he killed her captain, Sōsuke Aizen, and that she would come after him if it meant dragging herself on the ground for Aizen's sake even though he believed that she would not be able to move so soon.[7]



Gin Ichimaru greets Momo Hinamori inside the compound.

Back in the Central Underground Assembly Hall, a stunned Hinamori stands at one of the entrances and wonders is going on as she stares at the dead council members. While Hinamori recounts what she witnessed and questions why Hitsugaya was so shocked at this if he killed Aizen and by extension the council members, leading her to question if Izuru did it, Gin approaches her from behind and leans over her shoulder as he greets her.[8] Hinamori follows Gin to the Seijōtōkyorin, the quarters of the Central 46, and inquires why Gin has brought her here. Upon being asked by Gin if she has ever been here before, Hinamori denies having even seen it prior because it is off-limits.[9]


Sōsuke Aizen reveals that he is alive.

However, while entering a dark room, Gin reveals that there is someone he wants Hinamori to see and instructs her to look at the doorway behind her, where Hinamori is stunned to see Aizen, standing calmly. With Aizen asking her how she has been, Hinamori expresses disbelief at seeing him again after thinking he was dead, but Aizen simply notes that he is clearly alive. Walking up to Aizen, Hinamori grasps his haori and begins to tear up, leading Aizen to apologize for how heartbroken she must have felt as he caresses her head. Internally, Hinamori details how his hand heals her heart as it did the night before his supposed death and realizes by smell that it really is Aizen.[10]

169Aizen impales

Aizen impales Hinamori with his Zanpakutō.

Startled by Hinamori's sobbing, Aizen hugs her and observes that she has lost weight before claiming to have no idea how badly he had hurt her. As Aizen explains that it had to be her and that he had to stay hidden to do something, which is why he faked his death and had her receive his letter, Hinamori assures him that it is alright and that knowing he is alive is enough for her. Aizen tells Hinamori that their time together was a joy to him and thanks her, only to bid her farewell as he shoves his Zanpakutō through her chest. Left speechless by this, Hinamori looks up at Aizen, who merely stares coldly at her and pulls his Zanpakutō out, leaving Hinamori to collapse, before departing alongside Gin.[11] Walking out of the room alongside Gin, Aizen smiles maliciously as he leaves Hinamori lying unconscious and gravely wounded on the floor in a pool of blood. Suddenly, Hitsugaya arrives and is shocked to see Aizen standing alongside Gin.[12]


Hitsugaya discovers a grievously wounded Hinamori.

While Aizen greets him, Hitsugaya questions if it is really him, prompting Aizen to assure him that he is here in the flesh before noting to Gin that Hitsugaya is back sooner than expected. With Gin apologizing and assuming that Izuru must have failed, a confused Hitsugaya wonders what they are talking about, which leads Aizen to reveal that he is referring to the tactic of dividing and conquering, the most basic way of weakening an enemy. Perplexed by being referred to as the enemy, Hitsugaya demands to know where Hinamori is, and as Aizen points out that he should already know, Hitsugaya angrily rushes past him and Gin to the dark room, where he discovers Hinamori lying on the ground.[13]

170Aizen reveals

Aizen reveals that he has never considered anyone other than Gin to be his lieutenant.

Aizen expresses embarrassment at Hitsugaya having found her and apologizes for him finding out like this before suggesting that he should have chopped up Hinamori and hidden the pieces. Stunned by this, Hitsugaya asks Aizen and Gin how long they have been conspiring together. When Aizen answers that they have done so from the beginning, Hitsugaya assumes that he is referring to the period before he faked his death, but Aizen clarifies that he has never considered anyone but Gin to be his lieutenant ever since he became a captain. With Hitsugaya accusing him of having deceived Hinamori and the other Shinigami this whole time, Aizen claims that he never thought of it like this and that he perceived it as none of the other Shinigami recognizing his true identity.[14]

170Hitsugaya's Bankai, Daiguren Hyorinmaru

Hitsugaya activates his Bankai, Daiguren Hyōrinmaru, granting him several ice adornments.

Demanding to know how Aizen could blame them and be so cruel, Hitsugaya reminds him that Hinamori joined the Gotei 13 and worked hard just to be at his side, only for Aizen to acknowledge this as making her very easy to manipulate and pointing to this as the reason he requested her to join his division. As Hitsugaya stares at him in astonishment, Aizen instructs him to remember that admiration is the state furthest from understanding. In response, Hitsugaya grasps his Zanpakutō and unleashes a surge of power that destroys the Seijōtōkyorin, leading Aizen and Gin to leap out to the ground outside, before activating his Bankai, Daiguren Hyōrinmaru, which grants him a large pair of ice wings, an ice dragon encasing his right arm and ice claws on his left hand, and twelve large ice petals comprising three lotuses floating behind him.[15]

170Aizen defeats

Aizen defeats Hitsugaya with a single slash.

However, as Hitsugaya declares that he is going to kill Aizen, the latter simply admonishes Hitsugaya for making rash threats because it makes him seem weak and slashes Hitsugaya across the chest, leaving him to collapse in shock while bleeding heavily as Daiguren Hyōrinmaru breaks apart.[16]

Conspiracy Revealed

171Unohana and Isane arrive

Retsu Unohana and Isane Kotetsu confront Aizen.

Looking over the ice-encrusted chamber, Aizen comments on how nice it is to see ice at this time of year despite it being the wrong season and suggests to Gin that they depart, only to be confronted by 4th Division Captain Retsu Unohana and her lieutenant, Isane Kotetsu. Unohana asserts that she thought she would find Aizen here and corrects her addressing of him as Captain Aizen, since he is simply a traitor now. After greeting Unohana, Aizen inquires if it really took her this long to figure out where he was, and when Unohana details how the Seijōtōkyorin being the only absolutely off-limits area in the Seireitei makes it the perfect place to hide for someone who had elaborately faked his own death and made a corpse doll, Aizen admits that she is almost correct before clarifying that he did not come here to hide and that his fake body was not a doll as he suddenly holds it in his hand.[17]

171Aizen's Shikai, Kyoka Suigetsu

Aizen reveals his Shikai, Kyōka Suigetsu.

With a shocked Unohana and Isane wondering when he got his fake body, Aizen states that he had it in his hand the entire time, but simply did not allow them to see it until now. After promising that they will understand soon enough, Aizen releases his Shikai, Kyōka Suigetsu, causing the fake body in his hands to burst apart, revealing his Zanpakutō held upside-down in his hand. While Unohana and Isane stare in astonishment, Aizen lets go of his Zanpakutō, which embeds itself in the platform underneath his feet, and explains that its ability is complete hypnosis. Though Isane asserts that he brought the lieutenants together and showed them how Kyōka Suigetsu is a water-type Zanpakutō that uses reflections of fog and water to confuse enemies so they kill each other, Aizen merely smiles, leading Unohana to realize that this is when he hypnotized everyone.[18]

171Tosen confronts

Kaname Tōsen confronts Renji Abarai and Rukia Kuchiki under Aizen's orders.

After confirming this, Aizen details how Kanzen Saimin disrupts all five senses of its victims and allows them to see whatever he wants, such as a fly as a dragon or a swamp as a flower garden. After noting the spell is activated when a victim sees the release of Kyōka Suigetsu, Aizen elaborates that even seeing it once places victims underneath its hypnotic power and that the hypnotic control returns each time he releases Kyōka Suigetsu. Suddenly, Unohana picks up on Aizen's mention of seeing the release and is mortified by the implication, prompting Aizen to deduce what has just occurred to her and affirm the spell will not work against a blind person since it must be seen in order to function before concluding that 9th Division Captain Kaname Tōsen has been working for him from the very beginning. In a different part of the Seireitei, as 6th Division Lieutenant Renji Abarai runs through the streets with Rukia in his arms, he is confronted by Tōsen.[19]

171Renji is confronted

Renji is brought to Sōkyoku Hill and confronted by Aizen.

As a surprised Renji questions what he is doing here, Tōsen begins spinning a long cloth around the three of them, to Renji's confusion. Back in the Central 46 Compound, Gin performs the same maneuver around himself and Aizen, who takes a moment to praise Unohana for examining his fake body far more thoroughly than anyone else did because feeling even a bit of suspicion while under the effects of Kanzen Saimin is most remarkable. With Aizen bidding them farewell and stating that he will likely never see them again while Isane attempts to attack, he and Gin vanish in a burst of light. Renji finds himself kneeling with Rukia on Sōkyoku Hill after Tōsen stops spinning the cloth, and as he wonders what this is all about, Aizen appears behind Renji with Gin and welcomes him before instructing Renji to put Rukia down and leave.[20] Beginning to express his shock at seeing Aizen alive, Renji decides against it and focus on the latter's request.[21]


Isane locates Aizen with Bakudō #58. Kakushitsuijaku.

With Renji not understand his request, Aizen asserts that Renji must have heard him and questions if he must repeat himself before reiterating his instructions for Renji to leave Rukia here and run away. Back in the Central 46 Compound, Isane kneels before Unohana and draws a seal on the ground before performing Bakudō #58. Kakushitsuijaku, allowing her to locate Aizen and the others on Sōkyoku Hill. Upon learning this, Unohana tells Isane to inform all captains and lieutenants of what they have learned about Aizen as well as his location, and after adding that she should inform the Ryoka as well, which Isane affirms, Unohana ascends the platform.[22]

172Combatants are contacted

Isane contacts the Ryoka and the remaining captains- and lieutenant-level combatants around the Seireitei with Bakudō #77. Tenteikūra.

Unohana states that she is counting on Isane to do this while she does her best to save Hitsugaya and Hinamori as she prepares to draw her Zanpakutō. Behind Unohana, Isane draws angled patterns on her arms and hands before making several seals as she performs Bakudō #77. Tenteikūra, which connects her to the minds of Captain-Commander Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto, 1st Division Lieutenant Chōjirō Sasakibe, 2nd Division Captain Suì-Fēng, Lieutenant Marechiyo Ōmaeda, 7th Division Captain Sajin Komamura, Lieutenant Tetsuzaemon Iba, 8th Division Captain Shunsui Kyōraku, Lieutenant Nanao Ise, 9th Division Lieutenant Shūhei Hisagi, 11th Division Captain Kenpachi Zaraki, Lieutenant Yachiru Kusajishi, 12th Division Lieutenant Nemu Kurotsuchi, 13th Division Captain Jūshirō Ukitake, 3rd Seats Sentarō Kotsubaki and Kiyone Kotetsu, and the Ryoka.[23]

172Mayuri's body

Mayuri Kurotsuchi declines to respond to Aizen's betrayal as he recovers from his battle with Uryū Ishida.

Addressing the combatants, Isane identifies herself and requests that they heed this urgent message from herself and Unohana before informing them of the situation. After Isane finishes, a bloodied Ukitake expresses disbelief at the news of Aizen's action as a lightly wounded Shunsui suggests that they and an unscathed Yamamoto not continue their fight any further. Elsewhere, Rangiku leaps across the rooftops and refuses to believe that Hitsugaya lost, leaving Izuru to lean against a cratered wall and express shock at Gin going back on his word of not hurting Hinamori. While Iba and 11th Division 3rd Seat Ikkaku Madarame are stunned by the news of the Central 46 being murdered, Hisagi and Komamura are mortified by Tōsen betraying them. In the Shinigami Research and Development Institute, Nemu asks her captain, Mayuri Kurotsuchi, if he heard, leading Mayuri to confirm that he did, but when Nemu inquires what they will do, Mayuri bluntly states that he has no interest.[24]

172Ichigo and friends learn

Ichigo Kurosaki and his friends learn of Aizen's betrayal.

Meanwhile, as he stands with his friends and Makizō Aramaki with the aid of Ganju Shiba, Ichigo wonders what this message about the Central 46 and hypnosis was about while Orihime Inoue notes that she did not hear anything. With Sado observing that Orihime not coming into direct contact with anyone from the Fourth Division means she probably could not attune to Isane's Reiatsu, Ichigo claims that captains killing captains is the Gotei 13's problem and remains uncertain of why he and his friends were informed, prompting Uryū to note that they must have thought it was important. Uryū details how the Central 46 is the supreme judicial body of the Seireitei and that Aizen wanted the other Shinigami to think they were obeying its orders when they were really obeying him. When Uryū asks them what Aizen wants, an unnerved Ganju assumes that it must be an execution.[25]

173Renji stands

Renji is injured while protecting Rukia from Aizen.

Uryū confirms this as he reminds the group that the date of Rukia's execution was moved forward when they got here and that they should have suspected something then before concluding that Aizen wants Rukia dead, prompting a shocked Ichigo to look up at Sōkyoku Hill nearby and realize Rukia is there. Back on Sōkyoku Hill, Renji refuses to give Rukia over to Aizen, who acknowledges this. When Gin attempts to draw his Zanpakutō, Aizen tells him to wait and calls Renji stubborn for not giving him Rukia, only to promise that he will let Renji have his way by keeping Rukia in his arms while destroying the rest of him as he draws his Zanpakutō, intimidating Renji, and attacks.[26] As blood spatters on the ground, Rukia expresses concern for Renji, who stands with his right sleeve ripped open and his sword arm wounded as he holds Rukia in his left and points his Zanpakutō at Aizen while the latter praises the improvement in Renji's defensive skills.[27]


Aizen explains why Hinamori's death was unavoidable.

Despite being pleased with Renji's growth, Aizen states that Renji has chosen a bad time to be persistent because it is difficult for him to step on ants without crushing them and he would hate to see a former subordinate die. With Rukia still expressing concern for him, Renji tells her to shut up and demands to know why Aizen killed Hinamori if he feels this way, prompting Aizen to deduce that the disruption of Reiatsu earlier must have been Isane performing Bakudō #77. Tenteikūra before explaining that Hinamori's death was unavoidable due to her inability to live without him and her having fulfilled her purpose, which means that he was being compassionate.[28]

173Aizen deflects

Aizen casually deflects Renji's Shikai, Zabimaru, with one hand on his Zanpakutō.

Aizen elaborates that he never intended to kill Hinamori himself and tried to get Izuru and Hitsugaya to do the job for him, only for those attempts to not work out, leaving him to grudgingly do it himself. Hearing this, Renji notes that Aizen had both Izuru and Hinamori in the palm of his hand, and with Aizen asserting that Renji was in the palm of his hand as well, Renji declares that Aizen is not the captain he knew and is definitely not getting Rukia even if Renji does not know what his plan is. However, Aizen counters that he was never the captain Renji knew because that was an illusion, such that the Aizen which Renji knew never existed. Angered by this, Renji leaps high into the air and releases his Shikai, Zabimaru. As the segments of Zabimaru hurtle toward him, Aizen holds his Zanpakutō above his head, causing Zabimaru to deflect off of it into the ground nearby.[29]

173Renji is slashed

Renji is slashed across the back by Aizen after the latter slashes Zabimaru to pieces.

With Aizen stating that he must know Shikai will not buy him any time at all, Renji retracts Zabimaru and proclaims that he does not know this before swinging Zabimaru at Aizen once more, only for Aizen to casually grab the end segment, stopping Zabimaru in its tracks and causing the remaining segments to bunch up in midair. As Renji expresses shock at Aizen accomplishing this with his bare hand, Aizen observes that Renji was the most trouble of the three and cuts apart Zabimaru with a single slash of his Zanpakutō. After slashing Renji across the back, which causes him to fall to his knees, Aizen recalls how he felt sure that he could use Renji, Hinamori, and Izuru the first time they met, which is why he had the three of them assigned to the Fifth Division when they joined the Gotei 13 and made the two useful ones subordinates of himself and Gin before sending Renji to another division since he was the problem child.[30]

173Ichigo intercepts

Ichigo intercepts Aizen's finishing blow against Renji.

Concluding that his instinct was correct, Aizen instructs Renji one last time to let go of Rukia and run. However, while Rukia attempts to plead with Aizen, Renji tells her to shut up once again and refuses to let go of her. Recalling his separation from Rukia at the Shin'ō Academy, Renji declares that he is not leaving Rukia, prompting Aizen to state that this is unfortunate and attack him. Suddenly, Aizen finds his Zanpakutō intercepted by Ichigo Kurosaki, who kneels between him and Renji with his Bankai, Tensa Zangetsu, active and his sword blocking Aizen's as he questions if Rukia is really heavy enough to make Renji kneels and claims that he came to give the latter a hand.[31] After forcing back Aizen's Zanpakutō, Ichigo stands in front of Renji and Rukia. When Renji apologizes for forcing him to come to their aid, Ichigo claims that Renji looked exhausted from just carrying Rukia around and mockingly inquires if running away was too much for him. Irritated by this, Renji counters that Ichigo looks tired as well and suggests that he curl up in a blanket somewhere, and the two of them continue to bicker in annoyance.[32]

174Renji explains

Renji explains his plan to Ichigo after refusing to run away due to such an action being pointless.

Suddenly, Rukia pushes herself away from Renji's chest and gasps for air. With a startled Ichigo and Renji asking her if she is alright, Rukia angrily punches Renji in the face for smothering her against his chest and crushing the wind out of her. Watching Rukia continue to berate Renji, Gin apologizes to Aizen for letting Ichigo get by because he did not want to intrude, prompting Aizen to assure him that it is alright since Ichigo is just another ant to step on and makes no difference. Alerted by this, Ichigo asks Renji if that is Aizen, which Renji confirms, and inquires if he can run. When Renji affirms that he can but will not do so, Ichigo begins to protest, but Renji explains that Zabimaru still has some surprises left despite being broken and points out that they both know there is no point in running.[33]


Renji attacks Aizen with Higa Zekkō.

Though he does not believe they can defeat Aizen, Gin, and Tōsen, Renji suggests that they might be able to stun the captains and walk out of here with some pride, leading Ichigo to declare that they are a team now. Placing his left hand on the hilt of Zabimaru, Renji notes that he can only use this move once and that there will be an opening if it works before warning Ichigo that he will only have an instant to make his attack because of how powerful Aizen is. After asking Zabimaru to endure the pain this will bring, Renji slams his broken Shikai into the ground and initiates Higa Zekkō, causing the broken segments of Zabimaru around Aizen to rise into the air and hurtle toward him.[34]

174Aizen slashes

Aizen slashes through Ichigo's midsection after blocking his attack with one finger.

With Aizen engulfed in a cloud of dust by the impact of the segments, Ichigo seizes the opportunity and rushes forward as he swings his sword, only for a smiling Aizen to block it with his left index finger before slashing his Zanpakutō deeply through a shocked Ichigo's midsection. The lower half of Ichigo's body swings back as the deep cut begins gushing blood, and after observing that he must have miscalculated if Ichigo is not in two pieces, Aizen leaves Ichigo to fall to his knees and slashes Renji through the left side of his upper torso, causing him to collapse in disbelief as well, before approaching Rukia and grabbing her by the collar around her neck as he tells her to get up.[35] Upon seeing Rukia unable to stand up, Aizen realizes that she is weak from the impact of his Reiatsu and assures her that this is no problem because it is simply easier for him if she can walk on her own two feet. Suddenly, Aizen notices Ichigo struggling to get up and expresses sympathy for him still being conscious. As a sweating Ichigo glares at him, Aizen notes that his will to live exceeds his skills and cautions Ichigo against pushing himself too hard because his spine is the only thing holding the two halves of him together.[36]


Aizen reveals that he manipulated the Ryoka's entry.

After clarifying that it is structurally impossible for Ichigo to make it to his feet no matter how much willpower he has, Aizen instructs him to look on the bright side of him getting further than expected and tells Ichigo to rest for a while due to his part in all this being over. When Ichigo picks up on his phrasing, Aizen explains that he knew the Ryoka would be coming and would arrive in West Rukongai, which is why he posted surveillance there, lowered the Sekkiseki wall around the Seireitei after their arrival, and had Gin drive Ichigo away personally, leaving Kūkaku Shiba's Kakaku Taihō as the only way to get in with all the captains roaming around behind the wall.[37]

175Aizen reveals

Aizen reveals the existence of Hollowfication as the only way to surpass one's limits to a shocked Ichigo.

Calling the Ryoka's arrival spectacular, Aizen details how his group outwitted and outfought even the captains, such that every Shinigami in the Seireitei was looking for them, and concludes that the excitement and engaging nature of it all meant even the murder of a captain received very little attention and made it easy for Aizen to carry out his plan. A stunned Ichigo questions how he knew they would arrive in West Rukongai, and when Aizen asserts that it was obvious because that is Kisuke Urahara's base of operations and the only place the Ryoka could enter using a Senkaimon created by Urahara, Ichigo expresses shock, leading Aizen to point out that this should not surprise him since he works for Urahara before reminding Ichigo that he came to rescue Rukia on Urahara's orders. With Ichigo speechless at this, Aizen deduces that he does not know and decides to tell Ichigo now that it is all over as he approaches Ichigo with Rukia in tow. Aizen details how Shinigami have four basic combat methods known as Zankensoki, each of which require a certain level of power, but attempting to master those methods will invariably result in one eventually hitting a wall determined by their potential, where improvement stops. Asserting that all Shinigami have these limits, Aizen raises the question of the possibility of breaking through these limits and concludes that this can be done through Hollowfication.[38]


Aizen recounts how Kisuke Urahara worked outside of Soul Society's scientific community to create a substance capable of inducing Hollowfication.

With Ichigo recalling briefly being taken over by his inner Hollow, Aizen continues that either Hollowfying a Shinigami or giving Shinigami powers to a Hollow allows them to reach new heights by removing the barrier between these opposing lifeforms, a theory which has been around for a while, and recounts how he focused his efforts on Hollows and could eventually send out Hollows with abilities akin to those of Shinigami, like Hollows that could hide their Reiatsu and Hollows that could destroy Zanpakutō and fuse with Shinigami, which leads Rukia to remember the fate of Kaien Shiba. Despite this, Aizen admits that none of them could truly be considered a new kind of being and others who delved into this field were hindered by ignorance and ethics, resulting in no one being successful until Urahara, who worked outside of Soul Society's scientific community to create a substance that could remove the barriers between Shinigami and Hollows in an instant.[39]

175Rukia learns

Rukia learns that Urahara chose her as the hiding place for the Hōgyoku.

Referring to this substance as the Hōgyoku, Aizen recalls how Urahara considered it dangerous and tried to destroy it, but found that he could not and was eventually forced to reluctantly place a protective shell around the Hōgyoku that would allow it to be implanted deep within a Soul. Informing Rukia that she was the hiding place which Urahara chose, Aizen explains that she had already gone missing in the Human World by the time he learned this secret, though he instinctively knew Urahara was behind it, and proceeds to detail how all Gigai are constructed of highly concentrated Reishi in order to compensate for the powers a Shinigami loses when in that form, which also allows all the actions of a Gigai to be tracked from Soul Society and making it inconceivable for one to go missing.[40]

175Komamura lands

Sajin Komamura lands behind Aizen.

However, Aizen reveals that Urahara created a Gigai that contained no Reishi, leading to his banishment from Soul Society, and clarifies that the other reason for his banishment was the consequence of a Shinigami inhabiting that Gigai: their spiritual powers would continue to diminish while they were within the Gigai to the point of no longer being recoverable, and communications with the Gigai gradually slow down, eventually leading to the Soul losing all of its spiritual powers and becoming a normal Human. With Aizen concluding that Urahara was turning her into a Human in order to conceal the Hōgyoku rather than help her, Rukia recalls Urahara approaching her after she transferred all her Shinigami powers to Ichigo and offering to let her borrow a Gigai. However, as Aizen begins recounting the actions he took after Rukia was discovered a few months later, Komamura lands behind him and furiously attacks Aizen with his Shikai, Tenken.[41]

176Aizen defeats

Aizen defeats Komamura with Hadō #90. Kurohitsugi after tricking him with Kanzen Saimin.

After withstanding the blow, Aizen casually holds back Komamura's Zanpakutō with his left hand and notes that it has been a long time since he saw Komamura's face before inquiring what brought about the change. Angered by Aizen grinning at him like this, Komamura punches at him with Tenken, causing a giant fist to smash into the ground where they are standing, and as Aizen leaps unharmed out of the dust cloud, Komamura declares that he will pay for betraying and deceiving them all as he demands Aizen and Tōsen explain themselves if they can. With Tōsen remaining silent, Komamura assumes that he cannot do so and apologizes as he prepares to activate his Bankai, only for Aizen to suddenly appear in front of Komamura, who sees the Aizen next to Tōsen disappearing as the real Aizen casts Hadō #90. Kurohitsugi, creating a large black box around Komamura that is pierced by several spears. As he watches this, Ichigo wonders how two captains could be so far apart in power while a grievously wounded Komamura collapses.[42]

176Aizen returns

Aizen returns to Rukia and resumes recounting his machinations.

While Aizen asserts that his Kanzen Saimin is flawless and cannot be evaded even if one knows it is coming, Gin expresses amazement at him using a Hadō in the 90s range without an incantation and questions when Aizen achieved this, only for Aizen to downplay this feat since he was unable to summon even a third of the destructive potential of Kurohitsugi, a consequence of such high-level spells being unwieldy. Having been holding Rukia by the collar around her neck for the duration of this, Gin hands her back to Aizen, who resumes recounting his machinations by picking up with his elimination of the Central 46 after Rukia was discovered in the Human World. Seeing Rukia's shock at this, Aizen pulls her along and theorizes that Isane told her he killed the Central 46 after faking his own death, only to clarify that he killed them shortly after she was discovered.[43]

176Soul object extraction

Aizen details the only two ways to remove a foreign object from a Soul - evaporating the Soul by a powerful thermal disruption like the Sōkyoku or tampering with the Soul's composition.

Aizen explains that he used Kanzen Saimin on the council chamber to make it appear as though the Central 46 were alive and in session so anyone who entered the chamber would not notice anything unusual, though no captain would go in there without the Central 46's permission anyway, and proceeds to recall how he, Gin, and Tōsen hid themselves in the Central Underground Assembly Hall, where they issued orders as though they were Central 46: sending Renji and his captain, Byakuya Kuchiki, to ensure Rukia's capture, ordering Rukia's Gigai be immediately returned for disposal to separate her from the Humans, and deciding to execute her with the Sōkyoku in order to evaporate her Soul and extract the Hōgyoku within. After noting they only left the Central Underground Assembly Hall open for a few hours before and after the two captains' meetings, Aizen concludes that he faked his death and stayed inside after this while knowing that the Ryoka might come to save Rukia. Detailing the only two ways to remove a foreign object from a Soul - evaporating the Soul by a powerful thermal disruption like the Sōkyoku or tampering with the Soul's composition - Aizen notes he needed a backup plan in case the execution failed and studied all of Urahara's research, where he suspected the secret for the second method would lie.[44]

End Game

176Aizen retrieves

Aizen retrieves the Hōgyoku from within Rukia through the extraction technique.

When Aizen clicks a small capsule in his hand, six spear-like pillars rise out of the ground around him and Rukia while his right hand and arm are discolored and covered in lines, with his fingers becoming blade-like. Despite Ichigo's desperate protests, Aizen shoves his hand into Rukia's chest and retrieves the Hōgyoku from within. Letting Rukia fall, Aizen examines the Hōgyoku and comments on its small size as his hand and arm return to normal in a shedding process. As Ichigo sees that the hole in Rukia's chest is shrinking, Aizen observes that the Soul itself remains undamaged by this process and praises the technology involved, only to conclude that Rukia is no longer needed and hold her aloft by her collar as he orders Gin to kill her.[45]

176Byakuya protects

Byakuya removes Rukia from Aizen's grasp and protects her from Gin's Shikai, Shinsō.

Gin complies and releases his Shikai, Shinsō, causing the blade to extend toward Rukia's neck from behind, but those present are variously shocked and surprised when a still-bloodied Byakuya frees Rukia from Aizen's grasp and intercepts Shinsō with his body to protect her.[46] After letting go of the blade, which retracts in a snake-like fashion, Byakuya collapses as a stunned Rukia expresses concern for him. With Rukia asking Byakuya why he did this and repeatedly calling his name, a smiling Aizen approaches her and prepares to draw his Zanpakutō while Rukia protectively clutches an unresponsive Byakuya's head to her chest. Suddenly, Yoruichi Shihōin and Suì-Fēng appear next to Aizen, with Yoruichi clutching his Zanpakutō and Suì-Fēng holding her Zanpakutō to his neck, and as Aizen comments on having not seen her face in a long time, Yoruichi promises alongside Suì-Fēng that he will lose his head if he even twitches a finger, to Aizen's bemusement.[47]

177Jidanbo and Kukaku confront

Jidanbō Ikkanzaka and Kūkaku Shiba arrive to confront the Gatekeepers.

However, they are interrupted when Kaiwan, Danzōmaru, and Higonyūdō crash down onto the buildings below Sōkyoku Hill, causing Yoruichi to express shock at Aizen managing to recruit them while Aizen questions what she will do since not even Yoruichi can restrain him while fighting them, only for Yoruichi to be alerted by a loud yelling as Jidanbō Ikkanzaka crashes into the ground in front of the three Gatekeepers with Kūkaku Shiba on his shoulder. With Yoruichi delighted by her arrival, Kūkaku claims that she came to watch the fun because she was bored and instructs Jidanbō to begin before firing Hadō #63. Raikōhō at Higonyūdō, who is knocked out. As he mentally observes that Kaiwan and Danzōmaru not reacting to this means something is not right, Jidanbō concludes that Aizen must have done something to them.[48]

177Shinigami appear

Aizen, Gin, and Tōsen are surrounded by captains and lieutenants.

After noting that they are friends, Jidanbō apologizes as he punches Danzōmaru in the face, knocking him out. Watching this from above, Gin expresses sympathy for the pain this must have inflicted and wonders what he should do, only for Rangiku to appear behind him and grab his left hand by the wrist while holding her Zanpakutō to his neck and ordering him to not move. As Gin apologizes to Aizen for getting caught, Yoruichi tells him that it is over, and when Aizen expresses confusion, Yoruichi points out that he is surrounded while Yamamoto, Chōjirō, Marechiyo, Iba, Shunsui, Nanao, Hisagi, and Ukitake appear as well, with Hisagi holding his Zanpakutō to Tōsen's neck. Despite Jidanbō having defeated Kaiwan as well and Yoruichi asserting that it is over, Aizen merely smiles.[49]

178Hooleer gazes

Hooleer and the Menos Grande arrive to rescue Aizen.

Upon seeing this, Yoruichi demands to know what he finds so funny, only to be shocked when Aizen merely notes that it is time, causing her to instruct Suì-Fēng to leap back before accompanying her as a Negación beam envelops Aizen. As they look up, the other Shinigami are shocked to see several Menos Grande teeming behind a massive Kūmon in the sky above them. The Menos Grande begin pushing out of the Kūmon and separating, allowing a shocked Hisagi to see Hooleer lurking behind them while Marechiyo wonders how many there are. Suddenly, two more Negación beams pierce the sky next to the Kūmon and envelop Tōsen, whom Hisagi leaps back from, and Gin, who frees himself from Rangiku's grasp and admits that he would not have minded being her prisoner for a while longer before apologizing. The patch of ground Aizen is standing on begins rising into the air, to the astonishment of those watching, and as Iba prepares to attack him, Yamamoto stops him.[50]

178Komamura demands

A bloodied Komamura demands to know if Tōsen has lost his sense of justice.

Explaining that Negación is a light which Menos Grande used to rescue each other and which cannot be breached because its contents are in another world, Yamamoto concludes that Aizen was beyond their reach the moment it came down. Despite his injuries, a bloodied Komamura forces himself up and demands to know where Tōsen's sense of justice has gone if he became a Shinigami for his dead friend and to uphold justice, only for Tōsen to remind Komamura that he walks the path of least bloodshed where justice is always present and conclude that the path he now walks is justice. Meanwhile, Ukitake stands before Aizen and inquires why he allied himself with the Menos Grande. When Aizen asserts that he did so to seek greater heights, Ukitake questions if he has fallen, but Aizen counters this by claiming that no has ever stood atop the heavens before, not him, Ukitake, or the gods.[51]

178Aizen promises

Aizen promises that he will occupy heaven's throne from now on.

After slicking back his hair and removing his glasses, which he crushes, Aizen concludes that the unbearable vacancy of heaven's throne ends now because he will stand at the top from now on. As he bids farewell to the Shinigami and Ichigo Kurosaki, Aizen admits that he was interesting for a Human boy before being drawn fully into the Kūmon, which closes behind him.[52]



Yasochika Iemura directs several relief squads to tend to the wounded Shinigami.

As the sun begins to set, 4th Division 3rd Seat Yasochika Iemura directs his subordinates to tend to the wounded Shinigami present, with Byakuya being seen to by the second and third squads, Komamura being treated by the seventh, tenth, eleventh, and thirteenth squads, and Renji being prepared for transport by the eighth and ninth squads after receiving sixth-stage treatment. With Iemura concluding that the severe injuries of all three combatants necessitates the creation of a chi-cleansing force field and transport to the Sōgō Kyūgo Tsumesho for eighth-stage treatment, Rukia is held back by one of the Shinigami and expresses concern for Byakuya, who lies on the ground in a healing field as several of the Fourth Division members tend to his injuries.[53]


Orihime Inoue heals Ichigo with Sōten Kisshun.

While Komamura refuses treatment for his injuries and tells those attempting to tend to him to see to the other wounded despite their protests, an unconscious Renji is lifted on a stretcher, and when the Shinigami who had tried to tend to Komamura ask him what they should do, Iemura instructs them to help the Ryoka. Despite the shock of the two Shinigami, Iemura bluntly asserts that the Ryoka saved Soul Society and orders them to move, prompting them to run off in compliance. Iemura turns to watch Orihime as she heals Ichigo with Sōten Kisshun, where he marvels at the sophistication of her healing technique before admitting she might even be healing faster than he or Isane could.[54]

179Harunobu blocks

Iemura attacks Harunobu Ogidō for mocking him.

However, as Iemura observes that the sight of bloody flesh does not seem to faze Orihime and begins to ponder what might happen if they had someone of her caliber in the Fourth Division, 8th Seat Harunobu Ogidō claims that Iemura would use his position as 3rd Seat to take advantage of her, leading an annoyed Iemura to slash at Harunobu with his Zanpakutō while demanding that he do his job. After blocking Iemura's attack by clasping his hands around the blade, Harunobu states he did by contacting Unohana before drawing Iemura's attention to the air, where Unohana arrives on her Shikai, Minazuki.[55]

179Unohana kneels

Unohana kneels by Byakuya's side.

Iemura asks Unohana how Hitsugaya and Hinamori are doing, and after explaining that they are stable and being treated by Isane, Unohana inquires who is left to tend to here, which prompts Iemura to note that only Ichigo and Byakuya are left. Briefly shocked upon seeing Orihime tending to Ichigo, Unohana decides that the Ryoka do not need their help, to Iemura's surprise, and kneels beside Byakuya while gently admonishing him for being reckless. Suddenly, Byakuya says something to Unohana, who expresses astonishment before informing Rukia that Byakuya is asking for her.[56]

179Rukia profile

Rukia learns that she is Hisana Kuchiki's sister.

After Rukia walks over to him, Byakuya asks her if she is there, which she confirms, and reveals that there is something which he wants to tell her. Upon being told by Byakuya that he lost his wife fifty years ago on a spring morning before the first plum tree blossomed, Rukia expresses sorrow and identifies Byakuya's wife as Hisana Kuchiki as she recalls the Cleric of the Kuchiki House telling her that she was adopted into the Kuchiki Clan because she looked like Hisana. However, Byakuya informs Rukia that he instructed everyone in the clan to lie to her and clarifies that Hisana was actually Rukia's older sister, shocking Rukia, before recounting how Hisana was sent to Inuzuri in the Rukongai alongside Rukia after she passed away in the Human World, where she found it hard to survive while caring for Rukia and eventually abandoned her. Recalling how Hisana never forgave herself for this, Byakuya recounts how Hisana searched for Rukia almost every day for the next five years after becoming his wife.[57]


Byakuya apologizes to Rukia for choosing to honor the law rather than protect her when her execution was decided.

As he remembers Hisana's passing and her request that he find and protect Rukia, Byakuya concludes that he found Rukia a year later and brought her into the Kuchiki Clan, but details how allowing someone from the Rukongai into the clan was against their laws and led to many in the clan resisting. After noting that he had already broken the law when he took Hisana for his wife, Byakuya recalls how he swore at the graves of his parents to uphold the law and never break it again upon taking Rukia in. While the Ryoka listen to this somberly, Byakuya admits that he did not know what to do when Rukia was condemned because it left him caught between the oath he made to his parents and the promise he made to Hisana, and as he looks over at Ichigo, Byakuya thanks him and apologizes to Rukia as she holds his hand, leaving Rukia stunned.[58]


Unohana and Isane kneel outside together with a tray of sake after Isane wakes from a strange dream.

That night, Isane bolts awake in her room after a strange dream, and though she is relieved that it was just a dream, Isane begins pacing around the room due to being afraid to go back to sleep. After considering going over to Kiyone's room and worrying that the latter will tell her to get lost, Isane decides to head outside to cool off, where she finds Unohana with her hair back gazing at the night sky as she kneels with a small array of sake. Upon being asked by Unohana if she had another bad dream, Isane frantically attempts to deny this, only to blush with embarrassment as she simply welcomes Unohana back. Smiling, Unohana observes that it was quite a day as Isane kneels next to her before instructing Isane to get some rest once she has calmed down.[59]


Unohana startles Goteitaishi and his comrade.

A week after Aizen's departure from Soul Society, at the Sōgō Kyūgo Tsumesho, Goteitaishi and another member of the Eleventh Division are angered upon being told that they cannot leave yet. With the other Shinigami threatening to break the legs of the nurse talking to them if he does not stop, several other members of the Fourth Division watch the confrontation with apprehension from a nearby doorway before noticing someone approaching. As Goteitaishi begins to threaten the Shinigami further, Unohana places her hand on his shoulder and inquires if they are feeling better, causing them to sweat nervously at her presence.[60]

180Unohana threatens

Unohana subtly threatens Goteitaishi and his comrade.

When Unohana menacingly requests that they keep their voices down and remember that their lives are in the hands of the Fourth Division while under this roof, a visibly frightened Goteitaishi and his comrade apologize. While her subordinates marvel at this, Unohana expresses delight at how nice it is outside and suggests that they open the windows. Meanwhile, in a different part of the Seireitei, Uryū declares that it is finished and hands Sado a shirt decorated with the Quincy cross as he reveals the Shinigami let him use their sewing room to make clothes resembling the ones the Ryoka were originally wearing.[61]


Uryū Ishida makes clothing for his friends.

Upon being asked what he thinks, a confused Sado observes that the pattern is different, leading Uryū to claim that he simply added his own touch before handing Orihime a variation of the shirt she was wearing prior, which has lace along one side and small rosettes at the bottom since Uryū did not have any dyes to work with. With Orihime admitting that it is cute, an encouraged Uryū reveals that he also made a sundress for Rukia to wear back to the Human World. While Sado notes that Uryū seems to be better at making women's clothing, Orihime decides to show the sundress to Rukia as Uryū praises Sado for looking manly like a Quincy after he puts on the shirt.[62]

180Ichigo arrives

Ichigo arrives to spar with Ikkaku.

Elsewhere, Ikkaku sends the Shinigami he had been training with crashing through a nearby window as he demands to know who is next while wielding a wooden sword. With Ikkaku mocking the timid Shinigami watching this for not wanting to face him, Ichigo steps forward with his own wooden sword and proclaims that he will spar with Ikkaku, who expresses respect for Ichigo's courage before inquiring if he is sure about this since he has no intention of holding back despite Ichigo only just having finished convalescing. When Ichigo points out that Ikkaku did as well and that he was not convalescing because he was injured rather than sick, an annoyed Ikkaku claims that the word applies to either situation, but Ichigo denies this, which prompts Ikkaku to demand to know what the word for recovering from battle wounds is.[63]

180Kenpachi discovers

Kenpachi discovers Ichigo sparring.

After Ichigo admits that he does not know, Ikkaku berates him for not knowing Japanese, and as Ichigo counters by insulting his baldness, Ikkaku angrily declares that they will settle this with steel as Ichigo declares that Japanese is his best subject. Suddenly, while Ichigo and Ikkaku clash, Kenpachi kicks open the door, causing the Shinigami present to quickly turn and greet him. With Yachiru on his shoulder, Kenpachi observes that Ichigo is looking well and inquires if his wounds have healed.[64]

180Ichigo flees

Ichigo flees from Kenpachi.

However, as Ichigo confirms this, he finds his wooden sword cut in two near the hilt as a grinning Kenpachi proclaims that this means he can fight Ichigo without holding back. Hearing this, Ichigo leaps out of the broken window with his footwear in hand and runs off while refusing to fight a surprised Kenpachi ever again as the latter demands that he come back and begins chasing him. While watching this, 11th Division 5th Seat Yumichika Ayasegawa notes that things are as rowdy as ever, which Iba concurs with as being especially true since Ichigo showed up, though he believes that this is fine.[65]

180Hisagi joins

Komamura and Shūhei Hisagi visit Kakyō's grave.

Upon being asked by Yumichika why he is here with them rather than with Komamura, Iba admits that Komamura wanted to be alone for a while. On a grassy hill, Komamura stands before Kakyō's grave and wonders what she would have said to stop Tōsen. Hisagi is startled to find Komamura present when he arrives, and after exchanging nods, Hisagi joins Komamura at the grave and asks him if he believes Tōsen will ever come back, prompting Komamura to assert that he will undoubtedly do so and that they will open Tōsen's eyes together at that point in time. Meanwhile, in the Tenth Division barracks, Rangiku recalls Gin stating that he would not have minded being her prisoner for a while longer and apologizing prior to leaving alongside Aizen.[66]


Hitsugaya brings an apologetic Izuru to see Rangiku.

As she claims to hate Gin and calls him stupid, Rangiku yelps in shock when Hitsugaya appears behind her and requests context. With Rangiku noting that she almost popped out of her shihakushō in fright at this, Hitsugaya questions if this is her normal reaction to surprise and informs her that someone is here to see her. Upon seeing a nervous and apologetic Izuru standing in the doorway, Rangiku smiles and inquires if he would like to eat some of the soba buns on the table next to her. Shortly afterward, an intoxicated Rangiku throws a jug of sake against the wall, where it shatters, and lambastes Gin as a pig with squinty eyes while an equally intoxicated Izuru agrees.[67]

180Hinamori lies

A hospitalized Hinamori lies in her bed.

Seeing this, an unnerved Hitsugaya leaves and tells Rangiku that he will be using the bathroom, leaving her to bid him farewell as Izuru claims that he will drink until he throws up. Hitsugaya makes his way to the room that Hinamori is hospitalized in, where he looks at her lying on a bed with a ventilator attached to her face and expresses sorrow over her present state. Meanwhile, as she approaches Rukia's room, Orihime looks at the dress Uryū sewed for her and states that Rukia will love how cute it is, as it will lift her spirits after the moody period she has been going through recently. Wondering why Uryū would go to so much trouble, a stunned Orihime assumes that Uryū has romantic interest in Rukia and proclaims that she has had her first instance of woman's intuition.[68]

180Orihime informs

Orihime informs Ichigo that Rukia has gone missing.

However, upon reaching Rukia's room and making her presence known, Orihime is confused by what she finds. In another area of the Seireitei, Ichigo complains about his aching legs and expresses disbelief at having actually beaten Kenpachi despite how intense the latter's Reiatsu is as he walks among some Shinigami through a street. With Ichigo realizing that he left his Shikai, Zangetsu, back there, Orihime frantically runs up to him, and as Ichigo wonders where she got her new shirt from, Orihime reveals that she cannot find Rukia anywhere in the Seireitei, alerting Ichigo.[69] Shortly afterward, in the Sixth Division barracks, as he lies on a bed near an open window, Byakuya assumes that Renji is wondering why he is still alive, only for Renji to claim that he would have no one to compete with if Byakuya were dead while sitting nearby. As Byakuya stares ahead silently, Renji begins to say something.[70]

181Ichigo interrupts

Ichigo interrupts Byakuya's conversation with Renji to inquire about Rukia's location.

Suddenly, Renji is interrupted when Ichigo sticks his head through the window and yells his name, startling Byakuya. Angrily telling Ichigo to shut up as he butts heads, Renji demands to know what Ichigo wants and reveals that he was about to say something heartfelt, leading Ichigo to apologize before inquiring if Renji knows where Rukia is. Confused by this, Renji inquires if something happened to Rukia, and as Ichigo nervously claims that he does not need to worry if he does not know anything, Orihime clambers up next to him and admonishes Ichigo for entering a building through the third-story window. After expressing shock at Orihime getting up here, Ichigo apologizes to Renji and Byakuya alongside her before returning to the ground.[71]

181Rangiku and Hisagi discuss

Rangiku and Hisagi discuss Komamura no longer wearing his helmet.

With Ichigo running off with Orihime, Renji is left to wonder what that was about as Byakuya ponders Ichigo calling him by his first name. Meanwhile, an intoxicated Rangiku leans out of a window and invites Hisagi to have a drink with her and Izuru, and as Hisagi decides that this sounds good after Rangiku points out that he does not have anything better to do, Komamura politely declines when Rangiku invites him as well, prompting Rangiku to call him stiff and note that he is at least not wearing his helmet anymore while drinking sake. With Hisagi admitting that he is already getting used to seeing Komamura like this, Rangiku affirms this and states that she did not like the helmet very much because it felt like Komamura was hiding something from them.[72]

181Shunsui asks

Rangiku refuses to let Shunsui Kyōraku drink with her.

As Hisagi passes Rangiku and is shocked to see an intoxicated Izuru lying on the ground behind her, Rangiku sees Ichigo and Orihime passing by, leading her to invite them to drink with her as well, only for Ichigo to decline while Orihime asserts that they are underage. A disappointed Rangiku notes that she has tea as well, causing Hisagi to request that she give him some because Izuru is foaming at the mouth and only wearing a loincloth, and Shunsui requests to join as he approaches, only for Rangiku to decline because Nanao will get mad at her if she lets Shunsui drink. Outside the Seireitei, Orihime inquires if they should have asked Rangiku about Rukia, but Ichigo denies this since Renji not knowing where Rukia is means the others likely do not either before concluding that Rukia can only be in one place.[73]

181Kukaku confronts

Kūkaku confronts Rukia after she approaches her and Ganju Shiba.

Outside the Shiba Clan household, Kūkaku forces Ganju to perform dozens of push-ups, and as Ganju claims that he cannot do any more, Kūkaku denies this and instructs him to give her a thousand more, though Ganju declares this impossible because he can only count to fifty and he cannot move no matter how much Kūkaku stomps on him. Telling Ganju to stop whining, Kūkaku reveals that she knows he barely helped out during the rescue of Rukia and promises that he will be a one-man army by the time she is done with him, prompting Ganju to warn her that there will not be a next time at this rate. Suddenly, Rukia approaches the two of them, shocking Kūkaku and Ganju with her presence, and looks down nervously as Kūkaku removes her foot from Ganju's back and demands to know what Rukia wants.[74]

181Rukia apologizes

Rukia apologizes to Kūkaku and Ganju.

Though Ganju attempts to inform her that Rukia is the Shinigami whom Ichigo and the others fought to save, Kūkaku reveals that she knows this and that Rukia is the Shinigami who killed Kaien before reiterating her demand to know what Rukia wants. Bowing toward Kūkaku and Ganju, Rukia apologizes and explains that she has wanted to tell them something ever since that day, but calls herself a coward who could not face them and needed all that time to muster up the courage. However, Kūkaku interrupts her apology to claim that she can stop because it is alright, and as Rukia begins to protest, an irritated Kūkaku punches her in the back of the head and details how Ukitake told her how Rukia has been torturing herself this whole time despite Kaien's death not being her fault, which led her to decide a long time ago to forgive Rukia if the latter ever apologized.[75]

181Rukia reveals

Rukia informs Ichigo that she will be staying in Soul Society.

With Kūkaku concluding that it is alright, Rukia mentally asserts that she is not the one who has been suffering and thanks Kūkaku as she begins to apologize again, leading an annoyed Kūkaku to punch Rukia in the face and remind Rukia to stop apologizing. Ichigo calls out to Rukia as she cleans her bloody nose and approaches with Orihime before suggesting that they go back if Rukia is done here, since Rukia will need to rest up for tomorrow when they open the Senkaimon back to the Human World. Acknowledging this, Rukia notes that there is something she needs to tell Ichigo and reveals that she has decided to stay in Soul Society. After staring in silence for a moment, Ichigo smiles and states that this is good if it is what Rukia wants. With Ichigo encouraging her to stay here if she really wants to do so, Rukia smiles and remembers why she wanted to save Ichigo so badly when she was brought back to Soul Society. The next day, Ichigo and his friends stand before the central Senkaimon installation, where they are told that a Reishi Henkan-Ki has been installed just for them. As he draws Ichigo's attention, Ukitake hands him something, to Ichigo's surprise.[76]


Ichigo and his friends leave Soul Society.

Meanwhile, Rukia stands with the others and bids them farewell as Uryū tells her to take care. Upon realizing what she almost forgot, Orihime gives Rukia the sundress that Uryū sewed for her and quietly insists that she wear it, to a startled Rukia's confusion. Looking at Rukia, Ichigo promises to see her again, prompting Rukia to affirm this and thank Ichigo. While entering the Senkaimon alongside his friends as several members of the Gotei 13 watch from behind, Ichigo internally asserts that this is his line and thanks Rukia in turn because the rain has finally stopped due to her.[77] Shortly afterwards, Ichigo runs through the Dangai alongside his friends.[78]

182Ichigo and friends emerge

Ichigo and his friends emerge from the Dangai in midair.

Ichigo frantically questions why they had to come this way again when they used the central Senkaimon to enter and should thus have a safe route, prompting Yoruichi, who has returned to her cat form, to explain that they would each need a Jigokuchō in order to take the safe route and only Shinigami are able to handle them. While Yoruichi tells him to stop complaining and look at the exit ahead, Ichigo emerges from the Dangai alongside the others, only to find himself in midair and scream in fright as they begin falling toward the ground. Suddenly, Ururu Tsumugiya fires a large cloth out of her Senren Bakusatsu Taihō that wraps itself around the group and forms a ball which hurtles through the air while they scream in confusion.[79]

182Urahara apologizes

Urahara apologizes to Ichigo.

As he leaps into the air with his Muteki Tekkon held high, Jinta Hanakari prepares to smack the group away with Jinta Home Run, startling them, but is interrupted when Tessai Tsukabishi appears behind him in midair and catches both Jinta and the group with Tessai Death Catch. With Ichigo claiming that he is going to throw up from all the spinning, Tessai brings the group to a flat, flying cloth being piloted by Urahara, where Ururu lands and removes the cloth covering the group as Urahara greets them. After Ichigo addresses him, Urahara assumes that Ichigo now knows who he is, which Ichigo confirms, and removes his hat before kneeling in front of Ichigo and apologizing, to the surprise of the latter and his friends as Yoruichi stares pensively.[80]

182Ichigo identifies

Ichigo shows Uryū the Substitute Shinigami Badge he was given.

However, Ichigo assures Urahara that he is not mad because Urahara did not do anything wrong and provided crucial help despite his intentions, and as Urahara agrees to not apologize, Ichigo inquires if Urahara kept the truth from him because he believed Ichigo would quit if he knew. When Urahara cheerfully confirms this after putting his hat back on, an annoyed Ichigo elbows him in the face and sits back down while asserting that this is what makes him mad. With Urahara admitting that he did not see this coming as Ururu comforts him, Ichigo instructs him to apologize to Rukia as well even though she will likely tell him the same thing, prompting a smiling Urahara to agree to do so. Uryū brings up Ukitake giving Ichigo something when they left, leading Ichigo to pull out the Substitute Shinigami Badge he was given. As Uryū questions what it is while crowding around Ichigo alongside Orihime and Sado, Ichigo reveals it identifies him as a Substitute Shinigami.[81]

182Uryu prepares

Uryū prepares to exit the cloth after reaching his house.

After relaying Ukitake's explanation that Soul Society acknowledges Substitute Shinigami with rules and gives them a pass when they have been of service, which will be useful in all kinds of situations, Ichigo sees Uryū staring intently at the badge and inquires if he is listening, prompting a startled Uryū to affirm this as he wonders if he is overthinking the meaning of those words. Upon examining the badge closely, Sado observes that it seems like a symbol banning Ichigo from being a deputy instead, to Ichigo's annoyance. Suddenly, Orihime points out Uryū's house below, and after telling Urahara that he can be dropped off here, Uryū prepares to hop off. When Ichigo invites him to go on another adventure sometime, Uryū coldly claims that they will be enemies the next time they meet due to their opposite natures.[82]

182Ichigo lies

Ichigo returns to his home and reenters his body after removing Kon's pill.

Despite Ichigo's irritation as Uryū dramatically exits the cloth, Orihime assures Ichigo that Uryū was bluffing and admits that she likes this about him, which Sado concurs with, shocking Ichigo with their forgiving personalities. After Orihime and Sado are dropped off at their homes, Ichigo returns to the Kurosaki Clinic, where Kon wakes up in Ichigo's body upon hearing a loud banging noise and is surprised when he sees an annoyed Ichigo crouched outside his window. Pulling open the window, Kon enthusiastically welcomes Ichigo home because it means he can get out of this body, and as Kon realizes that Rukia is not here, Ichigo reveals that she stayed behind, prompting a startled Kon to demand to know what the point of him going to Soul Society was if this is the case. However, Ichigo responds by pressing his badge against Kon's forehead and is astonished when it knocks Kon's Gikongan out of his body. After reentering his body, Ichigo observes he is home.[83]

182Isshin greets

Isshin Kurosaki greets Ichigo.

Suddenly, as Ichigo hears footsteps approach, Isshin Kurosaki flies into the room with a dropkick that knocks the door off its hinges and slams into Ichigo as he bids him good morning, only for an exasperated Ichigo to intercept his kick by trapping Isshin's feet between his arms and note that nothing has changed around here before attacking Isshin in turn while the latter praises his block, causing Yuzu Kurosaki to plead with them to stop because they are attracting attention from the neighbors outside and beg her sister, Karin Kurosaki, to do something instead of just watch.[84]


  1. Bleach manga; Chapter 132, page 16
  2. Bleach manga; Chapter 167, pages 17-19
  3. Bleach manga; Chapter 168, page 4
  4. Bleach manga; Chapter 168, pages 4-5
  5. Bleach manga; Chapter 168, pages 5-7
  6. Bleach manga; Chapter 168, pages 8-11
  7. Bleach manga; Chapter 168, pages 11-12 & 15
  8. Bleach manga; Chapter 168, pages 16-19
  9. Bleach manga; Chapter 169, pages 8-9
  10. Bleach manga; Chapter 169, pages 9-13
  11. Bleach manga; Chapter 169, pages 14-19
  12. Bleach manga; Chapter 170, pages 1 & 4-6
  13. Bleach manga; Chapter 170, pages 7-9
  14. Bleach manga; Chapter 170, pages 10-14
  15. Bleach manga; Chapter 170, pages 15-19
  16. Bleach manga; Chapter 170, pages 20-23
  17. Bleach manga; Chapter 171, pages 2-7
  18. Bleach manga; Chapter 171, pages 7-11
  19. Bleach manga; Chapter 171, pages 11-14
  20. Bleach manga; Chapter 171, pages 14-19
  21. Bleach manga; Chapter 172, page 1
  22. Bleach manga; Chapter 172, pages 2 & 4-6
  23. Bleach manga; Chapter 172, pages 6-9
  24. Bleach manga; Chapter 172, pages 10-14
  25. Bleach manga; Chapter 172, pages 14-15
  26. Bleach manga; Chapter 172, pages 15-19
  27. Bleach manga; Chapter 173, pages 1-2
  28. Bleach manga; Chapter 173, pages 3-5
  29. Bleach manga; Chapter 173, pages 5-7 & 9-10
  30. Bleach manga; Chapter 173, pages 10-14
  31. Bleach manga; Chapter 173, pages 14-19
  32. Bleach manga; Chapter 174, pages 1-2
  33. Bleach manga; Chapter 174, pages 2-5
  34. Bleach manga; Chapter 174, pages 5-6 & 8-11
  35. Bleach manga; Chapter 174, pages 12-19
  36. Bleach manga; Chapter 175, pages 3-5
  37. Bleach manga; Chapter 175, pages 5-7
  38. Bleach manga; Chapter 175, pages 7-10
  39. Bleach manga; Chapter 175, pages 11-12
  40. Bleach manga; Chapter 175, pages 13-15
  41. Bleach manga; Chapter 175, pages 15-19
  42. Bleach manga; Chapter 176, pages 6-12
  43. Bleach manga; Chapter 176, pages 13-14
  44. Bleach manga; Chapter 176, pages 14-17
  45. Bleach manga; Chapter 176, pages 17-22
  46. Bleach manga; Chapter 176, pages 22-25
  47. Bleach manga; Chapter 177, pages 1-7
  48. Bleach manga; Chapter 177, pages 8-13
  49. Bleach manga; Chapter 177, pages 13-19
  50. Bleach manga; Chapter 178, pages 1-10
  51. Bleach manga; Chapter 178, pages 11-15
  52. Bleach manga; Chapter 178, pages 15-19
  53. Bleach manga; Chapter 179, page 2
  54. Bleach manga; Chapter 179, pages 3-4
  55. Bleach manga; Chapter 179, pages 4-5
  56. Bleach manga; Chapter 179, pages 5-7
  57. Bleach manga; Chapter 179, pages 7-12
  58. Bleach manga; Chapter 179, pages 12-17
  59. Bleach manga; Chapter 179, pages 18-20
  60. Bleach manga; Chapter 180, pages 1-2
  61. Bleach manga; Chapter 180, pages 2-3 & 5
  62. Bleach manga; Chapter 180, pages 5-6
  63. Bleach manga; Chapter 180, pages 7-9
  64. Bleach manga; Chapter 180, pages 9-10
  65. Bleach manga; Chapter 180, pages 10-11
  66. Bleach manga; Chapter 180, pages 12-14
  67. Bleach manga; Chapter 180, pages 14-17
  68. Bleach manga; Chapter 180, pages 17-19
  69. Bleach manga; Chapter 180, pages 19-21
  70. Bleach manga; Chapter 181, page 1
  71. Bleach manga; Chapter 181, pages 2-3
  72. Bleach manga; Chapter 181, pages 3 & 5
  73. Bleach manga; Chapter 181, pages 5-7
  74. Bleach manga; Chapter 181, pages 7-9
  75. Bleach manga; Chapter 181, pages 9-11
  76. Bleach manga; Chapter 181, pages 12-17
  77. Bleach manga; Chapter 181, pages 18-19
  78. Bleach manga; Chapter 182, page 1
  79. Bleach manga; Chapter 182, pages 4-6
  80. Bleach manga; Chapter 182, pages 6-10
  81. Bleach manga; Chapter 182, pages 11-14
  82. Bleach manga; Chapter 182, pages 14-16
  83. Bleach manga; Chapter 182, pages 16-20
  84. Bleach manga; Chapter 182, pages 20-21


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