Ichigo Kurosaki vs. Renji Abarai & Byakuya Kuchiki is a fight which takes place during The Death Trilogy Overture, initially consisting of the conflict between Ichigo Kurosaki and 6th Division Lieutenant Renji Abarai, which is eventually ended by the intervention of Captain Byakuya Kuchiki, after the latter two arrive in the Human World to bring Rukia Kuchiki back to Soul Society for her impending execution.
After Ichigo Kurosaki manages to scar a Menos Grande during his competition with Uryū Ishida and force it to retreat back to Hueco Mundo, Rukia Kuchiki notes that such an event will not take long to be reported back to Soul Society. Simultaneously, though it is badly damaged by Jinta Hanakari as Kisuke Urahara's crew begins cleaning up the site of the battle, a surveillance drone reports to Central 46 that the criminal Rukia Kuchiki of the 13th Division has been located in the Human World.
The next morning, as they enter a Senkaimon in Soul Society, 6th Division Lieutenant Renji Abarai asks his captain, Byakuya Kuchiki, where the Target Axis is set, only to be told that it is not confirmed. With Renji wondering where they are being sent, Byakuya states that they are moving out and orders the release of the Jigokuchō, two of which fly out in front of them. Entering Karakura Town in the Human World at nighttime, Renji removes his head garment and notes that Rukia Kuchiki is set to be captured or killed before observing that this does not sound like a job for a Shinigami, prompting Byakuya to note it may be.
During the school day at Karakura High School, Rukia is quiet and distant from her friends as she thinks about what is going to happen, even trying to convince herself that things like emotional attachment and compassion are unnecessary for a Shinigami like her as a way of coping. That night, at the Kurosaki Clinic, Yuzu Kurosaki berates Ichigo for raiding the leftovers again as he prepares some food for Rukia. Claiming that he is a growing boy and brushing off Yuzu's assertion that he is going to grow fat, Ichigo brings the food back to his room and tell Rukia it is time for dinner, only to discover she is absent and assume she took off again as he overlooks a note on his table from Rukia thanking him for everything.
On the street outside the Kurosaki Clinic, Rukia somberly looks back at the house before running down the street. In the air above her, Renji analyzes her body's statistics and realizes that she really is in a Gigai. As he and Byakuya makes themselves visible, Renji notes that he did not think the visual department's information was reliable before declaring that they have found Rukia. While she runs, Rukia reflects on the afternoon spent with her friends at Karakura High School and muses that she may have stayed in the Human World for too long, prompting Renji to agree with her as a startled Rukia whirls around at the sound of his voice.
A grinning Renji crouches on top of a telephone pole and draws his Zanpakutō while observing that she got to live a little longer than she would have otherwise because she stayed too long. While Rukia fearfully identifies him as Renji Abarai, Renji leaps down and slams his Zanpakutō into the ground in front of Rukia, piercing and cracking it, as he berates Rukia for being so lost in thought that she did not notice two hunters from Soul Society pursuing her and claiming that she has lost her edge after spending only two months in a Gigai. When Renji demands to know where the Human who stole her powers is, Rukia tries to claim that her being in a Gigai does not mean her powers were stolen and that a Human could not possibly take them from her.
Not believing her, Renji declares it was a Human and this is why Rukia has a Human expression on her face, to her surprise. Recounting how she grew up in Rukongai like him and was taken in by the Kuchiki Clan, Renji reminds Rukia she was trained to be a Shinigami her whole life and is not allowed to wear a Human expression before asking Byakuya to affirm this, leading a shocked Rukia to turn around and see Byakuya standing behind her. As Rukia nervously greets Byakuya as her brother, Renji slashes at her horizontally, forcing Rukia to dodge sideways as she receives a cut on her cheek, and asserts the transfer of Shinigami powers is a grave offense.
Noting that the Central 46 was kind enough to entrust them with the execution instead of the Keigun, Renji repeats his demand to know where the Human who captured Rukia and stole her powers is so they can kill him and tells Rukia to not try to protect him, as she knows that she only dodged his attacks because he let her do so, before promising to cut her this time as he prepares to attack once more. Suddenly, Renji notices something and leans back just as a Heilig Pfeil hurtles through the space where his head was. Standing a few meters away, Uryū chides Renji and Byakuya for being two men attacking a defenseless girl and states that this sort of thing makes him mad. When Renji angrily demands to know who he is, Uryū merely adjusts his glasses while asserting that he is a classmate of Rukia's who hates Shinigami.
While Uryū approaches, a surprised Rukia Kuchiki asks him what he is doing here, prompting Uryū to claim that he felt a sudden urge to go to the local branch of a 24-hour dressmaking shop for supplies. Watching Uryū assert that he did not bring the bag he is carrying just so he would have an excuse to leave the house after sensing the Reiryoku of a Shinigami, an incredulous Rukia mentally states that this may be the worst lie ever told and wonders if Uryū can really be that stupid. Suddenly, Renji slashes through the bag's handles, leaving a small cut in Uryū's arm, and reiterates his demand to know who Uryū is, but Uryū remains silent.
Renji declares that it is fine if he does not feeling like answering because Renji can just kill him. Rukia tries to convince Renji to leave Uryū alone because he has nothing to do with this, but Uryū simply repeats his earlier answer of being a classmate of Rukia's who hates Shinigami, leading Renji to angrily assert that this is not what he is asking Uryū. Pausing for a few seconds, Uryū finally tells Renji his name, and when Renji expresses confusion at his change of heart, Uryū claims that he should know the name of the one who kills him even if he is a Shinigami, prompting Renji to proclaim that he is dead meat as Rukia continues to try to defuse the situation.
Meanwhile, at the Kurosaki Clinic, as he finishes relieving himself in the bathroom, Ichigo wonders where Rukia can be because it is already after 2 A.M. before deciding to take the night off from his Shinigami duties and get some rest if she wants to stay out all night. However, Ichigo is startled when he hears a muffled voice from nearby, and upon realizing it is coming from behind the toilet, Ichigo crouches down and discovers Kon has been gagged and taped to the back of the toilet, which leads Ichigo to sarcastically note that he did not know Kon was into this sort of thing and observe that he is lucky to be able to find time to enjoy himself. After being freed by Ichigo and returning to his room, Kon enthusiastically thanks Ichigo, who pinches his nose in disgust at the stench emanating from Kon.
Explaining how he could not see who was there and had to figure it out by sound, Kon recounts with horror and in graphic detail what he had to endure when Isshin Kurosaki visited the bathroom, resulting in Ichigo spraying him with a can of air freshener while observing that this must be why he smells so bad. Offended by this, Kon leaps up to Ichigo's face and demands to know if this is how he treats a friend who has endured a nightmare of captivity, only for Ichigo to angrily tell him to get away and refute that they are friends. When Ichigo inquires why he was back there to begin with, Kon points out that only Rukia could have done that to him before remembering that Rukia is in trouble and informing Ichigo of this as the latter pushes Kon back from his face.
After climbing up on Ichigo's desk, Kon draws Ichigo's attention to the short note that Rukia left for him, and when Ichigo wonders what it is, Kon reveals that it is a note Rukia left before deserting them. Shocked by this, Ichigo demands to know why she did not say anything, but Kon tearfully asserts that he does not know and recounts how Rukia left him without a word of explanation even though he was present when she departed. As he concludes that the note is the only clue they have if this is the case, Ichigo opens it while wondering what is inside, only to be stunned when he finds what appears to be a nonsense series of hiragana. After figuring it out, Ichigo and Kon learning that Rukia is asking them to not look for or worry about her after she leaves, burn this letter after they read it, and stay hidden for a while if possible.
Though Ichigo is confused because the letter does not explain why Rukia left, Kon quickly realizes that her warning to burn the letter and stay hidden means that they must be in danger because there is trouble between Rukia and Soul Society, which also means that she went off by herself to protect them, shocking Ichigo. Though Kon worries that Rukia may be dead, Ichigo tells him to not jump to wild conclusions and asserts that letting their imaginations run amok will not help them in this situation before declaring that he is going to enter his Shinigami form and find Rukia. However, when Kon asks him how he is going to do this, Ichigo pauses for a few seconds.
Ichigo reminds Kon of the Gokon Tekkō that knocks out Souls, but when Kon points out that Rukia is the one carrying that, Ichigo freaks out as he realizes that he cannot enter his Shinigami form without Rukia's help and yells at Kon that he has to be a Shinigami in order to help Rukia if she is in trouble with Soul Society, prompting Kon to demand to know why he is yelling at him and assert that he should not underestimate a stuffed animal. Suddenly, Urahara appears in Ichigo's open window and casually notes that they seem to have a problem before explaining that he is willing to help them once on credit because one of his best customers is in danger as he holds up his Gokon Tekkō-bearing cane toward Ichigo.
Back on the street, Renji stands over a defeated Uryū and confidently states that he warned Uryū about this as Uryū bleeds from the midsection onto the sidewalk. Watching this, a stunned Rukia notes that Renji is even stronger than before and curses her inability to stop him or even move. As he raises his Zanpakutō above his head, Renji tells Uryū to reflect on his stupidity as he dies and introduces himself as the one who killed Uryū before slashing downward as he sarcastically declares it was nice to meet him.
Suddenly, Renji is interrupted when Ichigo's Zanpakutō smashes into the ground next to him, breaking and overturning the concrete. After leaping back onto a nearby wall, Renji demands to know who Ichigo is, prompting Ichigo to introduce himself as the man who will beat Renji and sarcastically declares that it is nice to meet him. A bewildered Renji observes that Ichigo is wearing a shihakushō and demands to know who he is and what division he is from before wondering why his Zanpakutō is so ridiculously oversized. Picking up on Renji calling it big, Ichigo admits that he just thought it was big compared to Rukia's because he has not had anything to compare it to until now. As he stares nervously, Renji mentally notes that the size of a sealed Zanpakutō is proportionate to its wielder's Reiryoku and wonders if Ichigo really has that much power. However, when Rukia asks Ichigo why he came, Renji realizes he is the Human who took her powers.
As Ichigo asks him what he is going to do about it, Renji leaps toward him and proclaims that he will kill Ichigo as Byakuya watches from the sidelines and notes Ichigo's name. Furiously attacking Ichigo, who barely manages to block his barrage of strikes with his Zanpakutō, Renji wonders if Ichigo's huge sword is just for show, prompting Ichigo to claim that Renji will bite his tongue if he keeps talking so much while mentally marveling at Renji's speed. When Ichigo counterattacks with a downward slash, Renji leaps over him, leaving Ichigo to embed his Zanpakutō in the ground, and flips over in midair before slashing through Ichigo's right shoulder.
While Ichigo falls to his knees with blood spurting from his wound, Renji asserts it is over and his powers will go back to Rukia before revealing she will return to Soul Society and die, to Ichigo's shock. While Rukia looks away, Renji mocks Ichigo for chasing after Rukia even though she ran away for the purpose of protecting him and questions his plan to save her as he declares a fake like Ichigo could not put a scratch on a real Shinigami. Suddenly, Renji finds himself slashed at by Ichigo, leaving a small scratch on his chin, as the latter gets to his feet and observes he could not resist doing this while Renji's guard was down in the middle of his pompous speech before asking him to continue talking about Ichigo not being able to put a scratch on a Shinigami. While an irritated Renji wipes the blood from his chin, Byakuya observes Renji did have his guard down. Renji claims it does not matter due to the difference in their skill levels, but Byakuya notes he thought he had seen Ichigo somewhere before.
When Byakuya reveals that the Onmitsukidō sent an image-only report 33 hours ago of a Menos Grande being driven back to Hueco Mundo from the Human World by a massive sword wound, an initially shocked Renji merely laughs and asserts that the Onmitsukidō is not what it used to be as he declares that he cannot believe Ichigo wounded a Menos Grande. Though Byakuya cautions him, Renji points out how Ichigo's Zanpakutō is a huge and impotent embarrassment, which means Ichigo cannot control his Reiryoku, and demands to know what its name is, only for a confused Ichigo to express confusion at the idea of Shinigami naming their Zanpakutō. Asserting that he knew it, Renji declares that Ichigo is 2000 years too early to be fighting him as an equal if he cannot even ask his Zanpakutō for its name before releasing his Shikai, Zabimaru, which transforms his Zanpakutō into a segmented blade.
Renji leaps toward Ichigo as he declares that it is dinner time, and as Ichigo holds up his Zanpakutō to block a sword slash, he finds Zabimaru embedding itself in his left shoulder as the segments stretch apart, revealing they are connected by a thread that allows Zabimaru to stretch out like a whip. After pulling Zabimaru out of Ichigo's shoulder, causing the latter to fall to his knees once more and drop his Zanpakutō, Renji proclaims that Ichigo has lost and will die here as Byakuya watches intently. Retracting the segments of Zabimaru, Renji asserts that Ichigo is simply not in his class and explains how a Zanpakutō changes size and shape according to the Reiryoku of its wielder before declaring that Zabimaru is the shape of his power. Renji bids Ichigo farewell and prepares to finish him off as he claims that they should be on their way because the air here does not suit him. While she watches this, Rukia mentally urges Ichigo to run away if he can.
Throwing herself at Renji's sword arm, Rukia grabs it to hinder his movement as she crouches on his back, prompting a surprised Renji to demand to know what she is doing and assert that she is only making things worse for herself. However, as Rukia continues to urge him to get up and run away, Ichigo merely grabs his Zanpakutō, to her and Renji's surprise. As he admits that he did not think Ichigo could still move, Renji states that this is good because it is not fun to butcher a crippled pig anyway. With Ichigo getting to his feet, Renji encourages him to come at him while swinging his sword, but Rukia stops telling Ichigo to run as she stares at him in shock.
When Ichigo does not move, Renji assumes a battle stance and declares that he will attack if Ichigo does not, only for Ichigo to stare directly at him as the handle of the handle of his Zanpakutō begins vibrating and the tassels on the end suddenly burst off. Astonished by Ichigo's newly heightened Reiatsu, Renji find his left shoulder slashed and spurting blood as Ichigo leaps past him. Grimacing at his wound, Renji sees Ichigo turning around and prepares to block his incoming attack, but Ichigo's subsequent slash cuts his forehead and knocks him off his feet despite being intercepted by Zabimaru. As he braces himself against a railing to stop himself, a bloodied and bewildered Renji looks up with his visor broken and wonders where Ichigo's new power came from with him having been dying a moment ago. Ichigo asks Renji what is wrong and confidently observes that he has gotten slow, leading an irritated Renji to mentally assert that Ichigo actually got faster.
Ichigo proclaims that he can take Renji apart now that his wound does not hurt and his body feels much more powerful. With an intimidated Renji left unable to move due to his heavy Reiatsu, Ichigo moves in for the finish blow and declares that this ends in victory for him, only to suddenly find most of his Zanpakutō's blade severed and missing. Shocked and confused by this, Ichigo notes that Renji did not do anything before seeing Byakuya holding the blade in his hand several meters away, causing an unnerved Ichigo to express disbelief at Byakuya having done this from such a distance. Reaching for his sheathed Zanpakutō, Byakuya appears next to Ichigo, initiates Senka, and moves behind him as blood spurts from a large wound on Ichigo's chest. Wondering what happened and what direction he was cut from, Ichigo watches blood spurt from the wound on his chest and begins to fall over. However, Byakuya merely tells him that he is slow even when he is falling, and when Rukia frantically calls out to him, Byakuya looks at her before stabbing Ichigo through his midsection.
As he watches this in stunned silence, Renji mentally notes that Byakuya is still peerless despite how long it has been since he has seen him in action and admits that he could only catch a glimpse of the second strike of Senka before observing that because he could not see Byakuya draw or sheathe his Zanpakutō, Ichigo probably does not even know what hit him. Renji looks at the motionless Ichigo and wonders what led to his abnormal Reiatsu earlier. When Byakuya asks him what is wrong, Renji brushes it off and asserts he could have won without Byakuya's help, prompting Byakuya to claim even he will get rusty if all he does is watch, which Renji silently denies. Upon hearing Rukia calling out to Ichigo and seeing her approaching, Renji pins her against a nearby streetlamp, prompting an emotional Rukia to protest this and tell him to let her go.
Renji angrily tells her to forget Ichigo because he is dead and pleads with her to not make things worse for herself by crying over a corpse, as even touching Ichigo will lead to Central 46 adding 20 years to her prison sentence. Rukia asserts she does not care because he was killed because of her and demands to know what is wrong with her going to him. Hearing Rukia's desire, Byakuya notes he understands because Ichigo heavily resembles "him", shocking Rukia. Suddenly, Ichigo grabs the leg of Byakuya's shihakushō, to his surprise, and brings up Byakuya's claims of him being dead and looking like someone else before warning him to not keep telling the story while Ichigo is around.
Initially overjoyed by this, Rukia's eyes widen as Byakuya tells Ichigo to let go while a stunned Renji wonders how Ichigo's will can be strong enough for him to keep moving. When Ichigo claims he cannot hear Byakuya and tells him to make eye contact when he talks, an irritated Byakuya decides he must not want his hand anymore. However, Rukia kicks Ichigo's hand away, and as Ichigo asks her what she is doing, Rukia scolds him for touching her brother's shihakushō despite only being a mere Human before coldly telling him to know his place, to Ichigo's shock. Rukia tells Byakuya to take her back to Soul Society so she can pay for her crime.
While Rukia claims that Ichigo's actions have awoken her, Ichigo attempts to get up while demanding to know what she is doing, only for Renji to pin him down with his foot and tell him to die quietly rather than keep struggling. As Rukia tells Byakuya to not sully his blade further on Ichigo because he will soon die anyway and urges him to depart with her, Ichigo begs Rukia to stop joking around and look at him, leading Rukia to declare that she will never forgive him if he moves one inch from that spot or tries to come after her as she looks back at him with tears in her eyes. With a stunned Ichigo staring at her in silence, Rukia tells him to think of happier times for the short remainder of his life.
Sheathing his Zanpakutō, Byakuya agrees to not finish off Ichigo and explains how he sealed Ichigo's Saketsu and Hakusui in two attacks, which will leave him as good as dead, before detailing how Ichigo somehow surviving these injuries will still leave him with no power whatsoever, as both Rukia's spiritual powers and Reiryoku will be gone. At Byakuya's command, Renji opens a Senkaimon, and as rain begins to pour down, he, Rukia, and Byakuya all step through it. While the Senkaimon vanishes, Ichigo notes that he cannot talk or move and wonders why he was spared again before screaming in sorrow and anger.
As Ichigo lies bleeding out in the rain, Urahara appears with Yoruichi Shihōin on his shoulder while holding an umbrella and stands over Ichigo, who notes that the rain has stopped before losing consciousness. Some time later, as he begins to regain consciousness, Ichigo realizes that he is no longer in pain and wonders if this means he is finally dying before observing that he now feels somewhat warm instead of cold. Upon opening his eyes, Ichigo finds himself in the Urahara Shop staring at Tessai Tsukabishi, who is lying on top of him, and begins screaming as Tessai greets him and praises his quick response. While Tessai calls out to Urahara to let him know that Ichigo is awake, Ichigo attempts to push Tessai off and recognizes him as one of Urahara's crew while demanding to know what Tessai is doing on top of him. After Tessai gets off of him, Ichigo sits up and clutches his shoulder in pain, only to realize that this means he is not dead before seeing that he is not in the Kurosaki Clinic.
Seeing this, Urahara walks in and chastises Ichigo for moving around while his wounds have only barely closed before cheerfully asserting that he will die if this continues. After confirming that this is Urahara's house, Ichigo inquires if he saved him, prompting Urahara to note that he sounds upset and ask Ichigo if he did not want to be saved. As he reflects on watching Rukia leave last night, Ichigo remembers that Uryū was lying there as well and asks Urahara what happened to him. Urahara recounts how Uryū simply went home because his wound, despite bleeding a lot, was not severe and would have taken two days to kill him if they had just left him there.
After explaining that this allowed him to heal Uryū on the spot, Urahara observes that Uryū seemed worried about Ichigo when they were leaving, and when Ichigo expresses disbelief, Urahara recalls Uryū graciously declining to come rest at the Urahara Shop and asking him to take care of Ichigo because only he can save Rukia. Ruminating on this, Ichigo scoffs at the idea of him being the one to save Rukia and demands to know how he is supposed to get to her when she has gone back to Soul Society, but Urahara merely inquires if Ichigo really thinks there is no way for him to get to Soul Society. Astonished by the idea of this, Ichigo frantically asks Urahara to tell him how to get there, which Urahara agrees to do on the condition of being allowed to train Ichigo for the next 10 days.
Though Ichigo dismisses the idea of someone like Urahara teaching him how to fight and points out how they have no idea when Soul Society might decide to kill Rukia, Urahara asserts that he does not understand and uses his cane to pin Ichigo to the floor with Shitonegaeshi before clarifying that he is saying the Shinigami will kill Ichigo. Asking Ichigo if he truly believes that he could win if he fought the Shinigami as he is right now, Urahara explains that he allowed Ichigo to fight them this time because he believed it would help Ichigo understand while Ichigo mentally describes how the tip of Urahara's cane feels like the tip of a sword hovering over him.
Urahara asserts that Ichigo would not stand a chance in Soul Society at his current level and criticizes his desire to save Rukia despite his weakness making any charge into enemy territory suicidal before advising Ichigo to not use her as an excuse to kill himself, which convinces Ichigo. Letting Ichigo sit up, Urahara explains how Soul Society generally waits one month before executing a capital offender, which should hold true for Rukia as well, which gives them 10 days for training, 7 days to open the gates to Soul Society, and 13 days for Ichigo to save Rukia. As Urahara states that this is plenty of time, Ichigo wonders if he can get strong enough in 10 days.
leading Urahara to affirm this by promising Ichigo that he will have a power stronger than iron at his disposal if he truly wishes to save Rukia. However, Urahara also asserts that Ichigo can forget saving Rukia if his resolve is half-hearted because Urahara is going to put him through truly intense training for the next 10 days. Acknowledging this, Ichigo observes that no one else can do this if he cannot and agrees to begin the training.
- Bleach Official Character Book Souls, page 262
- Bleach manga; Chapter 49, page 19
- Bleach manga; Chapter 50, pages 1-3
- Bleach manga; Chapter 50, pages 18-19
- Bleach manga; Chapter 51, page 1
- Bleach manga; Chapter 51, page 6
- Bleach manga; Chapter 52, page 6
- Bleach manga; Chapter 51, pages 17-18
- Bleach manga; Chapter 51, pages 18-20
- Bleach manga; Chapter 52, pages 3-9
- Bleach manga; Chapter 52, pages 10-12
- Bleach manga; Chapter 52, pages 12-16
- Bleach manga; Chapter 52, pages 16-19
- Bleach manga; Chapter 53, pages 1-3
- Bleach manga; Chapter 53, pages 3-4
- Bleach manga; Chapter 53, pages 6-8
- Bleach manga; Chapter 53, pages 8-9
- Bleach manga; Chapter 53, pages 9-12
- Bleach manga; Chapter 53, pages 12-14
- Bleach manga; Chapter 53, pages 14-15
- Bleach manga; Chapter 53, pages 16-17
- Bleach manga; Chapter 53, pages 18-19
- Bleach manga; Chapter 54, pages 1-4
- Bleach manga; Chapter 54, pages 4 & 7-10
- Bleach manga; Chapter 54, pages 10-14
- Bleach manga; Chapter 54, pages 14-16
- Bleach manga; Chapter 54, pages 17-19
- Bleach manga; Chapter 55, pages 4-6
- Bleach manga; Chapter 55, pages 7-9
- Bleach manga; Chapter 55, pages 9-14
- Bleach manga; Chapter 55, pages 14-19
- Bleach manga; Chapter 56, pages 1-3
- Bleach manga; Chapter 56, pages 5-9
- Bleach manga; Chapter 56, pages 9-11
- Bleach manga; Chapter 56, pages 11-14
- Bleach manga; Chapter 56, pages 14-16
- Bleach manga; Chapter 56, pages 17-19
- Bleach manga; Chapter 57, pages 1-6
- Bleach manga; Chapter 57, pages 6-9
- Bleach manga; Chapter 57, pages 9-13
- Bleach manga; Chapter 57, pages 13-15
- Bleach manga; Chapter 57, pages 15-17
- Bleach manga; Chapter 57, pages 18-19