Wanting to prove Shinigami are not needed in the world, Uryū challenges Ichigo to a competition. Refusing, Ichigo tells Uryū he does not know why he has a grudge against Shinigami and he has nothing to do with it. When Uryū asks him if he plans to run away, Ichigo, dismissing this, says he will not be provoked and Uryū is no match for him anyway. Uryū states that since Ichigo's powers were given to him by Rukia Kuchiki, he cannot even lift a finger without her permission. This accusation prompts Ichigo to accept Uryū's challenge; pulling out Kon's Gikongan, which Rukia had given him earlier as a precaution, he swallows it, transforming him into his Shinigami form.
Establishing the rules of the contest, Uryū pulls a coin-shaped object out of his pocket, revealing it is Hollow bait, and states once he crushes it, Hollows will begin to appear in Karakura Town. He declares the person who kills the most Hollows within 24 hours to be the winner. Objecting to Uryū's plan, Ichigo states it endangers everybody in the town. Uryū, telling Ichigo to keep his morality to himself, crushes the Hollow bait, saying it will not be an issue because he will kill every single Hollow. He tells Ichigo that if he is so worried about protecting everybody, he should try his best to kill the Hollows as well.
As a Hollow emerges from a crack in the sky, Uryū, shooting it with a spirit arrow, claims the first kill. Ichigo grabs Uryū by the shirt and slams him against a wall, demanding he drive back the Hollows and return things to normal. Uryū tells him that the die is cast, and instead of grabbing him, he should focus on protecting as many people as possible, reminding Ichigo that Hollows have the tendency to target people with high spiritual power.
Thinking of his sister, Karin Kurosaki, who is also able to see souls, Ichigo runs off to save her. As Uryū attempts to stop him so he can say something, Ichigo ignores his call. Noting Ichigo has not realized that his family members are not the only ones close to him with high spiritual power, Uryū surmises because of his failure to notice this, Ichigo will lose the competition and die of disappointment.
As he runs down the street, Ichigo cuts off a Hollow's arm, killing it and inadvertently saving a pair of Pluses. Ichigo remembers Karin is usually out of school by this time, and she usually plays outside before going home, but he has no idea where exactly she plays. His thoughts are interrupted by the sound of a Hollow, which he proceeds to rush after. Noting his detection range is too small, he wonders how he found Hollows before. Remembering Rukia's cell phone, he tells Kon to find her and retrieve it, but he refuses, mocking Ichigo. Ichigo punches Kon's head despite him being in his body, prompting him to comply with his request. Meanwhile, standing on an overpass, Uryū focuses on killing Hollows, having reached his eleventh one by then.
Later on, Ichigo, killing another Hollow, thinks to himself it was the last one between his house and the last place he saw Karin, guaranteeing she would be safe. Resolving to make Uryū pay for the trouble he caused, he wonders what is taking Kon so long to get the phone from Rukia. Elsewhere, Uryū, killing another Hollow, notes it is getting harder to kill them with just one shot. As he thinks to himself far too many Hollows are showing up, and at this rate he will not be able to keep up with them, he resolves to stop complaining to himself, still determined to not lose to Ichigo and to avenge his master.
He ends up running into Rukia and Kon, who recognize him as the one responsible for causing the Hollows to attack. Confirming this, Uryū asserts he will not let a single person in Karakura Town die, even if Ichigo dies. As a Hollow which had attacked Rukia and Kon before he had arrived gets back up, Ichigo, cutting it in half from behind, states he has finally found Uryū.
Starting to bicker with Kon, Ichigo wonders why he never retrieved Rukia's cellphone. Annoyed Ichigo's attention is diverted, Uryū, firing a spirit arrow at him while his back is turned, reminds him they are in a fight. Turning around, Ichigo deflects it with his sword, impressing Uryū with his speed. Telling him to not bother telling him how many Hollows he has killed, Ichigo says they are going to settle things there and then. Interrupting them, Kon turns their attention to a massive spatial distortion forming in the sky. Uryū points out all of the Hollows he had lured into Karakura Town are gathering towards the point. When Uryū shoots one of the Hollows with a spirit arrow, Ichigo, protesting, says they there are too many and they need a strategy to beat them all. Running into the group of Hollows, Uryū declares as the last Quincy, he is going to win their battle.
Wondering what Uryū meant by "last" Quincy, Ichigo is told by Rukia the Shinigami are responsible for their kind's destruction. Hearing this, Ichigo rushes after Uryū, fighting through several Hollows to get to him. When Ichigo brings up what he learned about the past of the Quincy, Uryū tells him this is old news and it is not the reason he despises Shinigami. Telling Ichigo he hates Shinigami because their kind allowed his grandfather to be killed by Hollows, he reveals the story of his death as he fights the Hollows. Telling him his story is too long, Ichigo reminds him his grandfather's wish was for the Quincy and Shinigami to work together, suggesting they work together to fight off the massive group of Hollows.
Still hesitant to work together with a Shinigami, Uryū questions Ichigo's idea. As they each kill a Hollow, Ichigo tells him his mother was killed by a Hollow, and the only reason he became a Shinigami was to protect other people. As he shoots another Hollow, Uryū tells Ichigo his story is also too long, but he understands completely, reasoning if they get killed by the Hollows, they will lose their chance to see who is stronger between the two of them.
Just as they decide to set their differences aside, the Hollows, ceasing to fight, look to the sky as though they are praying to something. The spatial distortion in the sky cracks open, surprising Ichigo and Uryū, and from it emerges the head of a massive Hollow.As they wonder how they could fight such a massive opponent, the other Hollows begin to close in on them. They are saved when Ururu Tsumugiya, arriving, destroys several of them with a blast of her Senren Bakusatsu Taihō. Kisuke Urahara arrives as well, accompanied by Jinta Hanakari and Tessai Tsukabishi. As Ururu, Jinta, and Tessai fight off the Hollows, Urahara tells Ichigo and Uryū they should focus on fighting the massive Hollow, which Rukia identifies as a Menos Grande.
Emerging from the opening it tore in the sky, the Menos Grande, shooting out its tongue, impales several of the Hollows which Ichigo and Uryū had been fighting, pulling them into its mouth, and eats them. Seeing this, Ichigo, determining brute force is the only way to defeat the giant Hollow, charges towards it with his blade above his head, much to Uryū's chagrin. As the Menos Grande steps out of the opening, Ichigo, swinging his sword, inflicts a shallow wound onto its heel. Seemingly unfazed by the attack, the Hollow kicks Ichigo away, sending him flying several feet.
Chastising Ichigo, Uryū fires a spirit arrow towards the Hollow's head, but does not inflict any damage. Checking on Ichigo, who suffered a minor head wound, he asks what he was thinking when he attacked the Hollow head on. Ichigo states he thought he could just cut off the Menos Grande's legs and work his way up until its head fell to the ground. Telling him they needed a more serious battle plan, Uryū inadvertently grabs Ichigo's Zanpakutō. Much to Uryū's surprise, grabbing the blade causes his bow to manifest, making it so powerful it tears open small cuts on his arm.
Reflecting on how the Quincy battle by using the spirit particles around them, Uryū surmises Ichigo must be subconsciously releasing a large amount of spiritual power, and his bow transformed as a result. Seeing he could take advantage of this, he tells Ichigo he has a plan to defeat the Menos Grande. Uryū, strapping Ichigo's Zanpakutō to his head, has him hold it while he prepares his transformed spirit bow.
Ichigo ridicules the plan, but Uryū tells him if he can harness his spiritual power, he could fire an enormous spirit arrow at the Hollow. When he tells him to max out his spiritual power, Ichigo states he has never been able to control his spiritual power before, and it must be maxed out all the time if it is so powerful. Uryū is amazed someone could be so at ease while their body is constantly emitting so much spiritual energy.
As they bicker, the Menos Grande, looming over them, prepares to fire a Cero. As Uryū prompts Ichigo to touch him with his sword again so he can power up his bow, the latter charges towards the Hollow again. As Ichigo approaches the Hollow, it fires its Cero at him, but Ichigo, raising his sword, repels the energy beam.
As Ichigo blocks the attack, Uryū, noticing the Shinigami's spiritual power is rapidly increasing, realizes it had not been maxed out before at all; rather, it had been in its lowest possible state. Using his increased spiritual power, Ichigo slashes at the Menos Grande, severely wounding it with a massive vertical cut, causing it to scream out in pain. Heavily injured, the Hollow retreats into the Kūmon it had used to enter Karakura Town.
Proclaiming his victory, Ichigo, striking a pose, collapses as his Zanpakutō's shape starts to distort, which Uryū attributes to his inability to control his spiritual power. His body starts to emit a massive amount of spiritual power, causing Uryū's spirit bow to transform again, even though he is not making contact with Ichigo. Realizing the bow is highly unstable, Uryū fires a large spirit arrow into the sky. As he does this repeatedly, he surmises he can help Ichigo by absorbing his excess spiritual power and dissipating it as spirit arrows until it calms down.
Realizing what Uryū is doing, Ichigo tells him to stop, noticing the sheer power of the bow is causing the latter's arm to bleed profusely. Telling him to be quiet, Uryū says he still hates the Shinigami, and if Ichigo were to die, he would not be able to fight him any more.
As Uryū continues to shoot spirit arrows into the sky, he reflects on how everything which had transpired was all his fault, having remembered his grandfather never hated Shinigami, and silently asks for his forgiveness. After firing the last spirit arrow, he falls to his knees, distraught by his own thoughts. Seeing the expression on Uryū's face, Ichigo decides there is no way he could fight him while he is in this state.