Ichigo Kurosaki & Uryū Ishida vs. The Menos Grande is a battle taking place during The Death Trilogy Overture, consisting of Ichigo Kurosaki and Uryū Ishida's fight against a massive Hollow known as a Menos Grande, the outcome of which sets in motion a chain of events that changes the lives of everyone involved.
After killing multiple Hollows before Ichigo Kurosaki and Rukia Kuchiki can find and purify them, Uryū Ishida introduces himself as a Quincy who hates Shinigami. Irritated by this, Ichigo follows him on his way home from school the next day, where Uryū stops at a stairway and reveals that he knew Ichigo was following him ever since he first spied on him at school earlier that day. Though Ichigo sarcastically congratulates him for this, Uryū observes that Ichigo allows his Reiatsu to radiate with reckless abandon and claims that a psychic monkey would notice him, to Ichigo's consternation, before pointing out that Ichigo cannot even sense the Reiatsu of others right next to him and did not notice Uryū himself until today. Though Ichigo tries to explain that he is terrible at remembering names and faces, Uryū clarifies that this is not what he is referring to and explains that he sensed Ichigo's unusual Reiatsu the moment he arrived at Karakura High school, as well as how he became a Shinigami in the middle of May, before revealing that he even knows Rukia's secret identity.
As dozens of Reiraku suddenly manifest around Uryū, Ichigo recognizes them from his prior usage of the technique while Uryū explains that they are manifestations of Reiatsu which a good Shinigami can notice right away and a skilled Shinigami can even touch. Deriding Ichigo's skill for not even noticing Uryū's before, Uryū reaches out and grabs Ichigo's Reiraku, which is red, as he notes that a Shinigami's Reiraku is colored different from that of normal Souls. After letting go of Ichigo's Reiraku, Uryū states that he is a Quincy with the power to kill Hollows and asks Ichigo if he would like to play a game to see which of them is superior.
Though Uryū asserts that he will prove the world does not need Shinigami, Ichigo refuses Uryū's invitation to play a game, to the latter's slight surprise, and points out that he has no reason to fight Uryū while claiming that whatever issues Uryū has with Shinigami are between him and his psychiatrist. When Uryū asks him if he is afraid, Ichigo refuses to fall into that trap and asserts that there is simply no contest between the two of them. Hearing this, Uryū agrees and reminds Ichigo that he received his powers from Rukia, which makes him only a Substitute Shinigami, before mocking Ichigo as being unable to even wipe his nose without Rukia's guidance, visibly angering Ichigo.
Ichigo decides to play Uryū's game and takes Kon's Gikongan out of his shirt pocket. In the past, Kon protests the idea of going with Ichigo if Rukia is not going to be present, but Rukia knocks the 'Gikongan out of his plushie body anyway and explains that Ichigo should take it just in case he needs to become a Shinigami at a moment's notice because she has a feeling that they have not seen the last of Uryū. In the present, Ichigo notes that Rukia's prediction came true and swallows the Gikongan, causing his Soul to exit his body. As Kon takes control of his body, a grinning Ichigo tells him to wait there and watch as he defeats Uryū.
However, when Ichigo asks him to lay out the rules of this game, Uryū simply takes out a small tablet and notes that they will begin with this, to Ichigo's confusion. Upon Uryū revealing that it is Hollow Bait that will cause Hollows to converge on Karakura Town when scattered and explaining that the winner will be whoever defeats the most Hollows in 24 hours, a shocked Ichigo points out how this will be putting everyone in the town in danger and refuses to take part, only for Uryū to claim that Ichigo is starting to bore him before crushing the tablet between his fingers. Declaring that there is no need to worry about innocent bystanders because he is going to kill every Hollow that appears, Uryū tells Ichigo that he will accept his challenge if he really has the courage to protect people.
In the sky above Karakura Town, a Hollow tears its way into the Human World and lets out a roar, only to immediately be destroyed by a Heilig Pfeil from Uryū, who casually notes that this marks one for him. Suddenly, Ichigo grabs him by the collar and slams him into a wall, prompting Uryū to calmly ask him what is wrong. Ichigo demands that he call off the game and get rid of the bait, but Uryū points out how he cannot recall the bait now that it is spreading on the wind, meaning that there is no turning back, and that Hollows will soon flock to Karakura Town because of it before advising Ichigo to start running because it will not be easy to defend an entire town from the hordes.
With Ichigo angered by his lack of concern, Uryū warns him that Hollows will go after anyone with high Reiryoku, prompting Ichigo to think of Karin Kurosaki and immediately take off, with Kon following close behind. However, Uryū observes that Ichigo really does not know that there are others close to him besides his family who have spiritual powers, which will cause him to lose the game through being crippled by his own despair and realize how unfit he is on the far bank of their rubicon. Soon afterward, as a Hollow attempts to attack a pair of Souls, Ichigo cuts off its right arm, causing it to topple over, before shoving his Zanpakutō through its mask, purifying it. Noting that this is the third Hollow he has purified, a panting Ichigo pulls his Zanpakutō out while mentally detailing how Karin must be out of school by now and probably went to play somewhere, which he will need to find in order to protect her.
However, upon hearing another Hollow nearby, Ichigo begins running toward it as he realizes that there is too much area to cover and that he is too slow. Remembering that he has been using Rukia's Denreishinki to find Hollows before now, Ichigo tells Kon to go get it from Rukia, and when Kon mockingly wonders why he should do what Ichigo says, Ichigo punches him in the face and demands that he go, prompting Kon to run off while tearfully hoping that Ichigo gets a headache when he re-enters his body. On a bridge elsewhere in the city, Uryū continues destroying Hollows with his Heilig Pfeil, reaching a total of eleven as the sky begins to distort behind him. Later, Ichigo slashes through a Hollow's mask, purifying it, while noting that Karin should be safe for now before running off to find Uryū. Meanwhile, Uryū destroys a Hollow's head with three Heilig Pfeil and observes that he is unable to kill them with a single shot anymore as blood drips from the fingers on his arrow hand. As he mentally asserts that something is wrong and there are too many Hollows appearing while his strength is waning, Uryū envisions a Shinigami and grits his teeth before criticizing himself for whining. Proclaiming that he must keep going and cannot lose, Uryū runs off while thinking of his former master, Sōken Ishida.
Soon afterward, Uryū finds Rukia and Kon in another part of the city as he observes that this area is safe as well. When Kon accuses Uryū of having started this mess just to kill everyone in town, Uryū affirms this claim, but asserts that he does not intend to let anyone get killed and promises that he will protect the citizens of Karakura Town with his life if Ichigo runs out of strength, as this duel will have been for nothing if he cannot do that. Suddenly, the pig-like Hollow that Rukia was fighting prior rears up behind Rukia and Kon, prompting Uryū to ready another Heilig Pfeil to fire, but has its head sliced in two, shocking Uryū, as Ichigo declares that he has finally found him.
As Ichigo stares down Uryū with Rukia and Kon, he notes that he finally found Uryū and claims that he would ordinarily make Uryū cry right now before claiming that he has to pulverize someone else first, to Uryū's confusion. Grabbing Kon by the collar, Ichigo demands to know where he has been, prompting a bewildered Kon to wonder why Ichigo is mad at him and asking him to wait until he is finished with Uryū first. When Ichigo recounts how he had to run all over town because Kon did not bring him Rukia's Denreishinki, Kon claims that he should be happy because running is a great way to relieve stress, and when Ichigo asserts that he does not have stress, Kon asks him why he is always scowling.
As Uryū watches in stunned silence, Ichigo points out how Kon should have been able to find Rukia right away if he really dedicated himself to her body and soul, which leads Kon to declare that he was able to find her just by her smell, prompting an embarrassed Rukia to claim that she does not smell. Continuing to watch this in astonishment, Uryū tries to get their attention by proclaiming that this is not time for bickering because he is their enemy, only to be ignored as Kon explains to Rukia that she smells nice and tries to demonstrate where it originates from, prompting Rukia to punch him in the face, breaking his nose. While Kon wails in pain, Ichigo reminds Rukia to think before she punches because this is his body that she is harming, but when Kon deflects blame onto himself and encourages Ichigo to hit him instead of Rukia, an irritated Ichigo does so, further injuring his own body. After watching all this in awkward silence, an annoyed Uryū summons his Heilig Bogen, Kojaku, and draws back a Heilig Pfeil while declaring that he is Ichigo's opponent. Suddenly, the blood on Uryū's finger causes the ring holding back the Heilig Pfeil to slip off of it and fire the Heilig Pfeil at Ichigo, who turns around and slashes through it.
With Uryū surprised by his speed, Ichigo affirms that this fight is between the two of them and challenges Uryū to fight him right now rather than continue the Hollow hunt. However, when Uryū remains silent, Ichigo angrily tells him to say something, only for a frightened Kon to draw Ichigo's attention to the cracks in the sky converging at one point. Noticing something else, Uryū points out how all the Hollows in the city are gathering at that point as well. When Uryū prepares to fire another Heilig Pfeil, Ichigo tells him to look at how many Hollows there are and think before he attacks, but Uryū merely asks him if he is scared before firing the Heilig Pfeil through a Hollow's head, destroying it, as Ichigo denies this.
Uryū tells Ichigo to watch from here if he is scared and proclaims that he won the duel before running up a nearby set of stairs and declaring to the assembled Hollows that the Last Quincy will destroy them. As Ichigo wonders what he is talking about, Rukia reveals that the Quincy were wiped out 200 years ago by the Shinigami, which is why all surviving Quincy despise them, shocking Ichigo. Rukia proceeds to recount the events and reasoning which led up to this extermination, involving the balance of Souls between the two worlds and the Quincy's ability to remove Souls from existence completely. Shortly afterward, as he runs toward the Hollows, Ichigo admits that he does not know if the Shinigami were wrong to exterminate the Quincy.
In the midst of the Hollows, Uryū stands with a Heilig Pfeil formed and expresses frustration at how the Hollows keep increasing in number no matter how many of them he kills. As the Hollows close in, Uryū mentally calls out to his master, only to be surprised when Ichigo calls out to him and turn his head to see Hollows being tossed aside by Ichigo's attacks. Seeing this berserk manner of fighting, a stunned Uryū questions Ichigo telling him to think before he attacks as Ichigo makes his way to the top of a pile of defeated Hollows and declares that he knows Uryū's story now. With Uryū alerted by this, Ichigo asserts that he does not know if the Shinigami or Quincy were right.
However, as Ichigo attempts to tell Uryū what he thinks of his methods, Uryū reveals that he does not care what happened to the Quincy 200 years ago and considers it to just be an old legend that his master told him. Destroying a Hollow behind him with a Heilig Pfeil through the head, Uryū admits that he actually thought the Shinigami were right when he heard of the fall of the Quincy and states that he is not so sentimental that he would hold this against Ichigo before revealing that this changed when his master was killed right before his eyes. After recalling a conversation he had as a young boy with Sōken about the Quincy massacre, Uryū notes that Sōken was kind and never taught him to hate or dislike anyone before explaining to Ichigo how he was under constant surveillance as one of the last surviving Quincy.
Detailing Sōken's philosophy of Quincy working together with Shinigami, Uryū reveals that the Shinigami never listened to him, eventually leading to Sōken's death when he was attacked by five large Hollows and the Shinigami showed up an hour after he had died. As he continues to destroy Hollows, Uryū asks a stunned Ichigo if he understands, Uryū proclaims that he must demonstrate the strength of the Quincy to him and asserts that he does not want Ichigo's help in this battle because he is a Shinigami, meaning that their ways of thinking are totally different, before turning to face the Hollows. However, Ichigo merely kicks Uryū head-first into a Hollow while declaring that he talks too much, and when a startled Uryū demands to know why he did this, Ichigo kicks him in the head again.
Expressing exasperation at how long Uryū's story was, Ichigo reminds Uryū that Sōken's main desire was to have Shinigami and Quincy fight as a team rather than prove Quincy are superior to Shinigami. Ichigo points out that they may never get another chance to do this if they do not do it now and pulls Uryū to his feet while proclaiming that fighting overwhelming odds is still better done back-to-back even if Shinigami and Quincy are complete opposites. When Uryū questions Ichigo's declaration that they should fight back-to-back as a Shinigami and a Quincy and dismisses as ridiculous because of how different they are, Ichigo grabs his shoulder and asks him if he is still hung up on that before pushing himself over Uryū to slash through a Hollow behind him with his Zanpakutō. Surprised by this, Uryū sees another Hollow and destroys it with a Heilig Pfeil.
As Ichigo commends this as proof of what he is talking about, Uryū asserts that he only destroyed the Hollow to protect himself and was not helping out Ichigo, who merely states that this is fine. With Uryū surprised by this reply, Ichigo points out how they have to help each other because fighting alone is tough and this is a deadly scenario before asking him if survival is not a good enough reason to overcome their differences. As Uryū listens silently, Ichigo recounts how he lost his mother to a Hollow, which has left him with the desire to protect as many people from them as possible, and proposes that they join forces despite this so he can beat up Uryū later. Uryū fires a Heilig Pfeil past his face, grazing Ichigo's cheek and destroying a Hollow behind him, before agreeing with his proposition. Grinning, Ichigo confirms this as the two of them assume battle stances back-to-back.
However, as Ichigo and Uryū face the Hollows around them, Uryū notices that they are looking up at the sky as if they are praying, and the two of them look toward the distortion in the sky in fright as a Menos Grande opens a Kūmon in the middle of it. While Ichigo marvels at the size of the Menos Grande and wonders if it is a Hollow too, Uryū questions how he should know this and points out that they cannot fight it and all the remaining Hollows, only for Ichigo to declare that they have no choice. Uryū reminds Ichigo that he was the one who said to think before he attacks, and Ichigo rebuts that this situation is different and they do not have time to think. Suddenly, as Ichigo and Uryū face down the Hollows, several of them are destroyed by a barrage of blasts as Ururu Tsumugiya greets them while holding her Senren Bakusatsu Taihō. Appearing next to her with Tessai Tsukabishi and Jinta Hanakari, Kisuke Urahara declares that they are here to help Ichigo as his crew begins massacring the Hollows.
While a shocked Uryū observes that the number of Hollows is rapidly decreasing, Ichigo wonders what Urahara is doing here and why he always appears wherever Ichigo goes. Urahara reminds Ichigo that he just declared that he and his crew were here to help Ichigo before clarifying that they will take care of the Hollows so he can focus on the Menos Grande. As Urahara notes that there is no time to talk, Ichigo and Uryū watch in astonishment as the Menos Grande pulls itself through the Kūmon.
Suddenly, as the Hollows nearby continue to "pray" to it, the Menos Grande opens its mouth and extends a long, whip-like tongue that skewers several of them and retracts into its mouth, where the Menos Grande gorily bites down on the Hollows and devours them. Watching in horror, Uryū wonders how they are supposed to fight such a large and powerful Hollow, but Ichigo merely chuckles and asserts that it is pointless to think about how they will defeat the Menos Grande before declaring that the only way to do so is to repeatedly cut it up as he runs off and tells Uryū to follow him, to Uryū's bewilderment. As he runs up to the Menos Grande, which is stepping out of the Kūmon, Ichigo leaps forward and cuts into its ankle with his Zanpakutō, only for the unfazed Menos Grande to kick him away.
Upon seeing Ichigo land next to him, Uryū reminds him that he criticized this plan of action and fires a Heilig Pfeil at the Menos Grande's head, which does minimal damage. Noting that he cannot do enough damage with his Kojaku, Uryū asks Ichigo if he is alright, prompting a bloodied Ichigo to casually note that he is not dead while Uryū demands to know what he was thinking and how he thought he could defeat the Menos Grande like that. Ichigo explains how he figured that he could reach the Menos Grande's head by cutting up his body in sections starting with his feet, and a bemused Uryū wonders if he ate a lot of paint chips as a child before asserting that they need a new strategy as he puts his hand on the blade of Ichigo's Zanpakutō. Suddenly, Uryū's Kojaku increases drastically in size, leading a shocked Uryū to look at Ichigo as he realizes what is happening. Uryū looks at his hand on the blade of Ichigo's Zanpakutō and wonders in awe if this is Ichigo's Reiryoku as he ruminates on how Shinigami and Quincy also differ in their spiritual powers; Shinigami materialize Reiryoku from their own souls into a Zanpakutō, using power from within, while Quincy gather ambient Reishi and coat them in their own Reiryoku to materialize them as Hollow-killing weapons, using power from without. Uryū notes that touching Ichigo's Zanpakutō caused his Kojaku to grow more powerful because Ichigo's Reiryoku is unconsciously flowing into him and gets Ichigo's attention.
Shocked by the size of Uryū's Kojaku, Ichigo asks him how it got so big as Uryū reveals that they may have a way to defeat the Menos Grande, to Ichigo's surprise. A few minutes later, Uryū declares that they are ready to fight the Menos Grande as he kneels in front of Ichigo with the latter's Zanpakutō tied to the top of his head, prompting an unimpressed Ichigo to declare that he is an idiot. Explaining how he should be able to fire an enormous Heilig Pfeil if Ichigo releases his power at maximum output while his Zanpakutō is touching him, Uryū tells Ichigo to build up his Reiryoku and release it at its maximum output, only for Ichigo admit that he has never really controlled his Reiryoku before. Incredulous at this, Uryū asks him how he has been fighting Hollows.
Shocking Uryū when he halfheartedly guesses it to be instinct, Ichigo asserts that he does not know how to control the flow of his Reiryoku because there is no faucet for him to use and theorizes that his Reiryoku is likely at maximum output all the time, leading Uryū to mentally admit that this would explain things before questioning if the idea of his Reiryoku constantly pouring out really does not bother Ichigo. Suddenly, Uryū looks up at the Menos Grande and nervously observes that its Reiatsu is rising as a frightened Rukia realizes that it is going to unleash a Cero and urges Ichigo to run before he gets obliterated while Ichigo looks intensely at the Menos Grande.
Uryū declares that there is no other way and tells Ichigo to touch him with his Zanpakutō again, only to be shocked upon seeing Ichigo charging at the Menos Grande. Realizing that Ichigo is charging in for another close-quarters attack, Uryū mentally chastises him for fighting like a furious child and asserts that he will not be able to survive this. As Ichigo gets closer, the Menos Grande unleashes its large Cero, forcing Ichigo to block it by holding his Zanpakutō above his head as he crouches under the extreme pressure. However, while Uryū expresses amazement at Ichigo being able to deflect it like this, he begins to hear sympathetic resonance coming from Ichigo and begins to feel an incredibly powerful Reiatsu, leading him to realize that Ichigo is accumulating energy as he identifies the sound as being a giant magnet pulling iron particles out of sand. Uryū recalls Ichigo's theory of having his power output always be at maximum and mentally states that it all makes sense now as he notes that unconsciously letting one's power spill out at all times would lead it to drain away regardless of its amount. Remembering Ichigo's admission that he has never actively controlled his Reiryoku before, Uryū realizes that he must have an incredible amount to do what he does and thinks of how most people would instinctively turn off a faucet if it were gushing out water before coming to the conclusion that Ichigo's Reiatsu would skyrocket if his Reiryoku were contained in that manner and suddenly unleashed as Ichigo slashes downward at the Menos Grande, cutting it down the length of its body.
While Uryū looks on in shock at Ichigo's feat, the wounded Menos Grande roars in pain, creating a shockwave, as a stunned Rukia expresses disbelief at Ichigo having cut it from head to toe. Suddenly, the Menos Grande grabs the edge of the Kūmon it entered through and wraps it around its body, leading those present to realize that it is retreating. Watching this, Ichigo makes the peace symbol with his hand and sticks it high in the air as he declares victory, prompting an incredulous Uryū to marvel at his triumph. While the Kūmon closes above them, Ichigo calls Uryū out on not thanking him for cleaning up his mess for him, only to suddenly collapse as a surprised Uryū tells him to stop fooling around.
Ichigo realizes that he cannot move before his arm suddenly holds his Zanpakutō up in the air against his volition, revealing that Ichigo's Zanpakutō is distorting as a confused Ichigo wonders what is happening. Seeing this, Uryū realizes that Ichigo's Zanpakutō is losing its integrity because of the massive amount of Reiryoku he released at once being out of control and resolves to do something, only to be caught off-guard when his Kojaku suddenly grows in size again as he gets closer to Ichigo. Uryū observes that it is even bigger than before without him even touching Ichigo's Zanpakutō, with the Reiryoku flowing in leaving him nearly unable to maintain its weapon form, and concludes that it is going to explode as he sees the sheer power beginning to cut up his arm. However, Uryū manages to fire a massive Heilig Pfeil into the air.
Seeing this, Uryū decides to steal, focus, and release Ichigo's excess Reiryoku over and over until his power stabilizes as Ichigo gasps in pain on the ground. Though the power continues to cut into his arm, Uryū fires another Heilig Pfeil as Ichigo looks over and asks him what he is doing. Upon seeing Uryū fire a third Heilig Pfeil that creates several cuts in his arm, Ichigo pleads with him to stop doing this because his arm is being torn to shreds, but Uryū tells him to shut up and reminds Ichigo of his statement that they could not fight each other if they do not both survive before criticizing his desire for Uryū to thank him afterward. As he continues to fire Heilig Pfeil into the air, Uryū tells Ichigo to live so they can beat each other up as he mentally notes that it would be his fault for employing such reckless methods if Ichigo's spiritual body was blown to shreds by his Reiryoku overloading as he recalls how he has sought vengeance for Sōken for years.
Berating himself for choosing a method that would endanger others just to prove himself superior when he finally found a Shinigami, Uryū observes that this Shinigami asked him to join forces instead and admits that he always knew Sōken wanted them to join forces with the Shinigami and never hated them before thinking to himself that he was likely trying to forget his weakness in not risking his life to help Sōken as a child. As he states that he blamed the Shinigami in order to forget his own shame, Uryū observes that he is helping a Shinigami and asks Sōken if he can forgive a weak disciple like him who would not die to save his master as he falls to his knees. Seeing this, Ichigo mutters that he could never punch someone who looked so miserable.
Meanwhile, Rukia notes that information as potent as a Menos Grande appearing in the Human World and being defeated will not take long to reach Soul Society as Tessai, Jinta, and Ururu run past Urahara to begin cleaning up. While Jinta smashes his Muteki Tekkon into a fly buzzing past him, Urahara begins walking away as he asks Tessai to fix the crack in the sky, which Tessai prepares to do. As Urahara glances back before looking ahead, Tessai calls Jinta over to help him, leaving the fly, which is actually mechanical, to report to Central 46 that the criminal Rukia Kuchiki of the 13th Division has been located. The next day, after coming to the Human World with his Lieutenant Renji Abarai in search of Rukia, 6th Division Captain Byakuya Kuchiki reveals Ichigo had permanently scarred the Menos Grande, which retreated to Hueco Mundo.