Ichigo Kurosaki vs. Ryō Utagawa is a fight taking place during the Bount Invasion between Ichigo Kurosaki and Ryō Utagawa, marking the first battle to take place within the Bount Mansion and culminating in Utagawa's attempt to seize control of the Bount group from Jin Kariya.
Having been welcomed to the Bount Mansion by Jin Kariya as he stands on the steps before them in the main hall, Ichigo Kurosaki stands with Rukia Kuchiki, Ririn, Kurōdo, and Noba as he inquires if Kariya is the leader of the Bount and declares that they accepted the latter's invitation to come here, leading Kariya to grin as he exerts his red Reiatsu, which unnerves Rukia and confirms Ichigo's suspicions. When Kariya identifies himself and greets him by name, Ichigo questions how Kariya knows it.
Kariya affirms that he knows and identifies Rukia as well, which causes her to tense up as Ryō Utagawa wonders if she is surprised because this would mean she is also afraid. With Rukia demanding to know what he just said, Ichigo tells her to not let them get to her, and as Kurōdo claims that nothing the Bount say can get to them, Noba teleports behind him and clamps his hand over Kurōdo's mouth while pointing out how the Bount are not falling for this, resulting in Kurōdo frantically asserting that this is bad.
As she looks at Kariya staring down at her, Rukia is intimidated by his eyes and warns Ichigo to be careful, which he acknowledges before turning back to Kariya and proclaiming that they came here to get Uryū Ishida back, only for Kariya to refuse to return Uryū since the Bount need him. When Kariya responds to Ichigo pointing out that this is not what Uryū wants regardless of how important it is to the Bount by tauntingly asking Ichigo what he is going to do about it, Ichigo concludes that they will take Uryū back by force, and when a bemused Kariya inquires if he can do so, Ichigo confirms this and grips the handle of his Shikai, Zangetsu, while calling out to Rukia.
Upon hearing this, Rukia runs toward the open doors behind them with Ririn, Kurōdo, and Noba as Utagawa summons his Doll, Fried, and lashes out at them with her tail, only for Ichigo to move between them with Shunpo and deflect the tail with the broad side of Zangetsu before declaring that he is not letting Utagawa through here, to the latter's irritation. Though Rukia is concerned for him, Ichigo assures her that it will be alright and that she can focus on taking care of Uryū, which she acknowledges as she and the Mod-Souls exit the main hall while Utagawa leaps down to the floor, leading Ichigo to look around the room at the other Bount.
Ichigo assumes that he will be fighting Utagawa, Kariya, Gō Koga, Yoshi, Mabashi, Ugaki, and Sawatari all at once, but Utagawa explains that Bount are independent and would never fight in a group while claiming that he is more than enough for a Substitute Shinigami, to Ichigo's surprise. Picking up on Ichigo's disbelief, Utagawa requests that Kariya remove his crest, and when Ichigo expresses confusion at this, Utagawa details how the crest is the source of their power and allows the Bount to summon their Dolls, meaning that they have no power if they do not have their Dolls, as an impassive Kariya takes out his crest and places it on the stairway.
With Kariya walking away from the crest and stating that he will take time to watch this fight, Utagawa informs Ichigo that he will be able to freely attack Kariya should the other Bount attack him since the latter now has no way to block Ichigo's attacks. After admitting that he does not fully understand what is going on, Ichigo resolves to cut Utagawa down anyway and slashes at Fried when she flies toward him, though he does not inflict any damage. As Fried returns to his arm, Utagawa mocks Ichigo for having so many openings and whips the tail of Fried around to create gouges in the ground that more snakes slither out of to attack Ichigo, who blocks them with Zangetsu.
Suddenly, one of the snakes wraps itself up and around the entirety of Ichigo's left leg to restrain him, allowing Utagawa to rush in with a blade formed from the tail of Fried and stab it toward Ichigo, who manages to block Utagawa's jab with the broad side of Zangetsu and slashes at him, forcing Utagawa to leap backward into the air prior to thrusting forward with the blade, which extends like a whip toward Ichigo. After Ichigo deflects this as well, Utagawa lands on the ground several meters away near the stairs and begins whipping the tail of Fried all around himself, creating dozens of lacerations on the floor and furnishings around the hall.
Presuming that Utagawa will be generating more snakes with these, Ichigo lunges toward Utagawa, who curls the tail of Fried into a medium-sized circular shield on his right hand that he uses to block Ichigo's subsequent slash. With Utagawa tauntingly observing that not even Zangetsu can cut Fried, Ichigo concurs and deduces that he must attack Utagawa directly, and when Utagawa wonders how he will do so, Ichigo moves behind him with Shunpo, which Kariya recognizes, and slashes a shocked Utagawa across his right shoulder while the latter leaps back. With Ichigo promising to not miss next time, Utagawa clutches his shoulder and admits that this was pretty good.
Upon being told by an unimpressed Fried that she does not plan on helping a weakling, Utagawa acknowledges this and inquires if everything is in place, which Fried affirms. When Ichigo demands to know what they are whispering about, Utagawa declares that he has already won as a large, eight-pointed pentagram begins glowing on the floor beneath his feet. Ichigo steps forward, causing several snakes to burst out of an eight-pointed pentagram on the floor under his foot and forcing him to move to a different part of the hall with Shunpo in surprise, only for another eight-pointed pentagram to form on the floor beneath his feet that generates even more snakes.
With more eight-pointed pentagrams forming on the walls and ceiling where Ichigo moves with Shunpo, Fried names this technique as the Snake Net while Utagawa describes it as her absolute field which Ichigo cannot escape from. Forming more eight-pointed pentagrams that generate thick columns of snakes sprouting outward wherever he touches a surface, Ichigo slashes through one pushing him back and stares in shock at the snakes gathered around him. As he brings up the concept of the spinal reflex, Utagawa describes it as one physically reacting to contact without the nerve signal reaching their brain and asserts that this is what the Snake Net operates on.
Utagawa concludes that Ichigo cannot match the reaction speed of Fried even if he uses Shunpo, and as Fried informs him that he cannot escape anywhere, Ichigo questions how they know about Shunpo, which leads Kariya to explain that it was inevitable for Soul Society to attempt to stop them and it was thus natural for them to learn about Shinigami, to Ichigo's surprise. After stating that this is enough talk, Utagawa has Fried converge her snakes onto Ichigo, who leaps toward another column of snakes to evade them, but is forced to slash through them when they separate from one another and fan out to bite at him before having more snakes wrap around his legs when he lands on the floor.
With this, two separate streams of snakes converge on Ichigo in a torrent that slams him through the wall above the arch leading to the exit, prompting Fried to declare that it is over while Utagawa expresses disappointment and releases the Snake Net, causing the eight-pointed pentagram beneath his feet to dissipate upward. Looking at Ichigo kneeling in the pile of rubble at the other end of the hall, Utagawa apologizes to Kariya for damaging his mansion, though Kariya dismisses it as unimportant. As Utagawa stares at Kariya's crest on the stairs, Yoshi inquires if he is done already and Ugaki calls the fight sloppy while Utagawa begins approaching Kariya.
Utagawa asks Kariya if he should pursue the other intruders, and while Kariya details how Maki Ichinose is on the move and can handle them as well as Ichigo's other friends, Utagawa continues walking toward him and acknowledges this before stopping in astonishment as a grinning Ichigo glows with Reiatsu behind him. After admonishing Utagawa for assuming that he is dead already, Ichigo determines from Utagawa's words that he needs to finish up here quickly and leave to help his friends since they are in danger. Though Utagawa mockingly questions what he can do in his condition, Ichigo counters that Utagawa's attack did not affect him as much as the latter believes it did.
Amused by this, Kariya deduces that Ichigo's incredible Reiatsu protected his body, which Ichigo affirms as he explains how he can envelop his body in strong Reiatsu to nullify his opponents attacks and proclaims that he did not fight in Soul Society for nothing. Chuckling, Utagawa asserts that there is no way to escape from the field of Fried regardless of how impressive Ichigo's technique is and promises to crush Ichigo's body with an attack that surpasses this Reiatsu, only for Ichigo to declare that he has no intention of running away or being beaten by Fried. At Utagawa's command, Fried activates Snake Net once more and flies off of Utagawa's arm.
With a torrent of snakes following her path through the air, Fried vows to tear Ichigo to pieces and merges with the torrent as it bears down on Ichigo, who responds by firing a Getsuga Tenshō that tears through the snakes and hurtles toward a stunned Utagawa while Kariya watches from behind him in shock, resulting in the Getsuga Tenshō blowing a large hole in the mansion and shaking the entire property, which alerts Ichinose as he confronts Rukia elsewhere.
In his room, Uryū realizes the Reiatsu he felt was that of a Getsuga Tenshō while outside, Yasutora Sado and Orihime Inoue run away from three eyeballs of Gesell and toward Ichigo's location. Back in the main hall, Ichigo brings up the mansion belonging to Kariya as being the reason that he did not have to restrain the power of his Getsuga Tenshō, since he was not putting anyone at risk, but is shocked when he sees Kariya standing unharmed next to the large gash running across the floor and up the wall as he muses on Ichigo repelling Utagawa's technique with only brute force, which he considers amusing. Watching this from behind the rubble, Utagawa mentally calls Ichigo reckless.
Despite this, Utagawa grins as he looks at the other Bount and calls out to Fried while Kariya comments on his favorite mansion being ruined. When Ichigo sarcastically apologizes and offers to tear it apart, Kariya merely says that he would not like this, irritating Ichigo with his confidence. Suddenly, Fried slithers up behind Ichigo and lunges past him to grab Kariya's crest with her mouth before leaping off to the side to rejoin Utagawa, who smirks as he takes the crest from her. Upon being asked by Kariya what he is doing, Utagawa asserts that he is taking Kariya's crest and asks Koga if he is truly satisfied with the way things are going under Kariya's leadership.
While Utagawa claims that Kariya's method is too roundabout, Yoshi inquires if he believes that he would do a better job, which Utagawa confirms, but Mabashi nonchalantly states that he does not trust Utagawa. Unnerved by his fellow Bount remaining silent and smiling, Utagawa insists that Kariya was only in charge until now because he had power and points out how he now has Kariya's crest, which he admits was far easier to steal than he thought it would be. With a confused Ichigo wondering if this is a fight between allies, Utagawa denies this and reminds Ichigo that Bount are independent beings before clarifying they need an excellent leader in order to advance to a new stage.
However, as Utagawa concludes that this leader is him and not Kariya, the latter calmly informs Utagawa that this is impossible for him. Utagawa angrily demands that Kariya stop acting tough since he is holding the latter's crest, and when Kariya questions why this matters, an unsettled Utagawa inquires if Kariya is delirious and reiterates that the source of Kariya's power being in his hands means that Kariya is now powerless and can be defeated by him or even Ichigo. Though Kariya asks him why he is so panicked, Utagawa claims that he is always calm and that Kariya is the one who is actually panicked before ordering the other Bount to bow to him as their new leader.
Suddenly, Utagawa freezes in fear as Kariya glares at him and questions why this matters once again. Infuriated, Utagawa yells Kariya's name and has Fried attack him, only for Kariya to casually hold out his hand and deflect Fried with an energy barrier, stunning Utagawa, who observes with disbelief that the only thing which can block the attack of a Doll is another Doll and realizes Kariya's deception as the latter points out how he never said that he removed his crest. A cursing Utagawa is confronted by Ichinose, whose appearance surprises Ichigo as he prepares to release his Shikai, Nijigasumi, by swinging his Zanpakutō around in a half-circle.
With the arc of Ichinose's swing glowing several different colors, Utagawa leaps back and transforms three chunks of wood at his feet into snakes that lunge toward Ichinose, who disappears in a shimmer as they pass through him before Utagawa is enveloped in a bright light and slashed dozens of times, causing him to scream in pain. Stepping back as he bleeds, Utagawa is suddenly stabbed through the chest by Ichinose, and as the latter asserts that it is over, a shocked Utagawa states that this is impossible and falls into the chasm left by the Getsuga Tenshō while the rainbow blade of Nijigasumi becomes visible, surprising Ichigo with its appearance.
After identifying this as his Zanpakutō to Ichigo, Ichinose turns to Kariya and expresses relief that the latter is unharmed, though Kariya assures him that there was never any danger. When Ichigo demands to know why a Shinigami is here, Ichinose looks at him and observes that he defeated Kenpachi, to Ichigo's surprise, before assuming a battle stance and identifying himself. As Ichigo questions why he is working with the Bount, Ichinose exerts his rainbow Reiatsu and proclaims that Ichigo does not need to know since he is going to die, leading a grinning Ichigo to exert his Reiatsu in turn and note that he has to beat it out of Ichinose while rushing forward.
- Bleach anime; Episode 76