Desperate Struggle with Aizen! Hirako, Shikai!
Kanji 藍染との死闘!平子、始解!
Romanji Aizen to no shitō! Hirako, shikai!
Episode Number 291
Manga Chapters Chapter 386 (from page 8), Chapter 387
Arc The Fake Karakura Town arc Part 2
Previous Episode For the Sake of Justice?! The Man Who Deserted the Shinigami
Next Episode All Out War! Aizen vs. Shinigami
Japanese October 5, 2010
English March 31, 2013
Theme Music
Opening ChAngE
Ending Echoes
Episode 291 Screenshots

Desperate Struggle with Aizen! Hirako, Shikai! is the two hundred ninety first episode of the Bleach anime.

As Captain Sajin Komamura continues his battle with Kaname Tōsen, Shinji Hirako releases his Zanpakutō against Sōsuke Aizen.



Aizen in the inverted world.

The release of Shinji's Shikai, Sakanade, prompts Aizen to comment that it is an interesting shape for a katana. Shinji responds that it is great and he will not lend it to him. Aizen then states that he finds it strange that it does not give off any particular kind of aura. So he questions if he has heard wrong about it being able to control the five senses. Shinji tells him to take another look as it is already changing and he casually asks if it has a nice scent. He then tells Aizen it is too late and welcomes him to the inverted world. Much to Aizen's surprise, he now appears as though he is standing upside down in mid air.

Komamura's battle with Tōsen continues. Tōsen rises up to attack his former friend, as he does he details that he fought for justice because of his friend and when he became a Shinigami that day he pledged to follow her path. Komamura evades his attack and recalls that on that day he detected a small lie in Tōsen's words. Noting that Tōsen spoke often of the world that she loved, but didn't once say a word about loving the world himself. Komamura admits that he understood this, as anyone had the right to feel that way when a loved one was taken from him. He even respected that Tōsen never acted like a saint that claimed he did love the world. Komamura had resolved that he would become a true friend to Tōsen taking his sadness and giving him joy by being there for him as a true friend would. He resolved to give Tōsen back what he lost somehow. Komamura uses his Bankai, but Tōsen is able to effortlessly stop the behemoth blade in his clawed hand, damaging Komamura's Zanpakutō. As Komamura seems distracted by the chink in his blade Tōsen draws circles in the air with his claws and uses his Los Nueve Aspectos technique, impacting Komamura's Bankai directly in the chest with tremendous crushing power; sending it crashing to the ground. Komamura falls, sustaining a similar injury to himself.


Hisagi stabs Tōsen through the head.

Tōsen comes over to Komamura and asks him if they should end this. He then says that justice is not something that can be expressed in mere words as he charges his Cero. Komamura then apologizes to Lieutenant Tetsuzaemon Iba, Lieutenant Shūhei Hisagi, and Tōsen as he could not strike his former friend down. As Tōsen prepares to finish him off, they are both surprised as a blade goes through the top of Tōsen's head. The blade is revealed to be Hisagi's Zanpakutō. Hisagi states that, just as he thought, Tōsen is no longer his captain as his old, sightless captain would have easily evaded such an attack. Hisagi then releases his Zanpakutō while it is still impaled in Tōsen's head, causing him further injury. Tōsen coughs up blood and as he feels his life fading away, he sees the face of his old friend, but cannot recognize her. Tōsen then remarks that he cannot see anything at all.

291Aizen is cut

Shinji successfully cuts Aizen.

Shinji explains that Aizen's senses have been inverted and moves to attack him while Aizen comments that the ability is interesting, as it causes everything to be opposite. Shinji is surprised when Aizen figures out that forward and backward are opposites as well as he turns around to block Shinji's attack, asking his former captain if he really thought that it would fool him. But Aizen is again surprised as his left arm is cut. Shinji explains that even his eyesight and where he gets cut is reversed as well. He then states that no matter how powerful he is or what Aizen tries, his body will always fight by reflex and fall to Sakanade's ability. Shinji goes to attack Aizen again but misses, while Aizen states that he was trying to figure out what it was and now he sees it is nothing more than an optical illusion. Shinji then realizes he has been cut across his back as he passed by Aizen; which surprises him. Aizen then states that by controlling all five senses Shinji can't even begin to compare to his powers. He then notes once one gets used to it there is no problem as he taunts Shinji, telling him that it was mere child's play.

291Ichigo arrives

Ichigo arrives in the Fake Karakura Town.

Tōsen recalls in a memory when he begged the Central 46 Chambers to let him know the reason why the man who killed his friend was not being punished. He is held back as he asked them to reconsider, but the memory begins to fade as he opens his eyes and gazes up at Hisagi and Komamura staring down at him. He has reverted to his normal form and he tries to speak. Komamura tells him not to speak as, thanks to his Hollow powers, he can still breath, but his throat is still torn and right now he does not need to speak. Komamura asks him if he had said prior to the fight that he knew they would eventually cross blades. He then admits that he knew that they would eventually cross blades as well, mentioning that Hisagi certainly thought the same thing too. He states that it was as if the relationships between them were brief, fading in and out of existence or possibly small and unimportant and yet, they would still cross swords. Therefore, Komamura figures this must be destiny after gaining understanding from within the heart. Tōsen seems surprised that he came to this conclusion. Komamura continues to explain that he does not expect Tōsen to stop being angry, nor will he tell him to stop hating. He asks that he just does not focus on revenge until he loses himself. Like when he lost his friend, Komamura states that if he were to lose him he would lose his heart as well. Tōsen sheds a tear upon hearing this and tells Komamura thank you. He then turns to Hisagi and asks him to please show him more of his face, as he is still in his Hollowfication form he is still able see with his eyes. While he still can, he wants to try and remember his face. But before he can finish his sentence, Tōsen's body explodes, splattering blood all over Komamura and Hisagi. Komamura then yells at Aizen. In this moment, Ichigo Kurosaki breaks into the Human World through the Garganta, and moves to attack Aizen.

Shinigami Illustrated Picture Book

Shinji notices that Ichigo's arrival was perfectly timed, and suspects he watched his battle with Aizen in order to achieve that. He tells Ichigo he'll never forgive him for it, but Ichigo has no clue what he's talking about.

Characters in Order of Appearance

  1. Kaname Tōsen
  2. Sajin Komamura
  3. Shinji Hirako
  4. Sōsuke Aizen
  5. Tetsuzaemon Iba (flashback)
  6. Shūhei Hisagi
  7. Tōsen's friend (flashback)
  8. Tier Harribel (flashback)
  9. Lisa Yadōmaru (flashback)
  10. Hiyori Sarugaki (flashback)
  11. Coyote Starrk (flashback)
  12. Shunsui Kyōraku (flashback)
  13. Suì-Fēng (flashback)
  14. Baraggan Louisenbairn (flashback)
  15. Ichigo Kurosaki


Powers and Techniques Used

Hollow techniques:

  • Sonído (響転, Sound (響転 (ソニード) is Spanish for "Sound", Japanese for "Sound Ceremony"))
  • Cero (虚閃, Zero (虚閃 (セロ) is Spanish for "Zero", Japanese for "Hollow Flash"; VizDoom Blast))
  • High-Speed Regeneration (超速再生, Ultra-Fast Regeneration)

Shinigami techniques:

Techniques used:

  • Sakasama no Sekai (逆様の世界, Inverted World)
  • Los Nueve Aspectos (九相輪殺, The Nine Aspects (九相輪殺 (ロス・ヌウェベ・アスペクトス) is Spanish for "The Nine Aspects", Japanese for "Nine Aspects Ringed-Kill"))
  • Colmillo (コルミージョ, Fang) (flashback)
  • Gran Caída (滅亡の斧, Great Fall (滅亡の斧 (グラン・カイダ) is Spanish for "Great Fall", Japanese for "Axe of Ruin")) (flashback)
  • Kanzen Saimin (完全催眠, Complete Hypnosis)

Zanpakutō released:



Resurrección used:

  • Suzumushi Hyakushiki: Grillar Grillo (清虫百式狂枷蟋蟀, Chirping Cricket (清虫百式狂枷蟋蟀 (グリジャル・グリージョ) is Spanish for "Chirping Cricket,"Japanese for "Cricket Hundredth Ceremony: Lunatic Shackles Cricket"; Viz "Bell Bug Hundredth Ceremony: Crazed Cricket"))
  • Tiburón (皇鮫后, Shark (皇鮫后 (ティブロン) is Spanish for "Shark", Japanese for "Imperial Shark Empress")) (flashback)
  • Los Lobos (群狼 , The Wolves (群狼 (ロス・ロボス) is Spanish for "The Wolves," Japanese for "Wolf Pack"; Viz "Wolves")) (flashback)
  • Arrogante (髑髏大帝, Arrogant (髑髏大帝 (アロガンテ) is Spanish for "Arrogant," Japanese for "Great Skull Emperor")) (flashback)

Other powers:

  • Horōka (虚化, Hollowfication) (flashback)


For the Sake of Justice?! The Man Who Deserted the ShinigamiAll Out War! Aizen vs. Shinigami
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