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Ichigo Kurosaki vs. Yhwach is a battle taking place during the Quincy Blood War between Substitute Shinigami Ichigo Kurosaki and Quincy Emperor Yhwach, acting as the climax of the Wandenreich's first invasion of the Seireitei.

Prelude[]

Ep370TheJail

Ichigo Kurosaki is trapped in the Garganta with The Jail.

While traveling to Soul Society from Hueco Mundo to aid the Gotei 13 after his battle against Quilge Opie, Ichigo Kurosaki suddenly finds himself trapped in the Garganta when Quilge reveals that he has survived his injuries and uses The Jail to trap Ichigo in an impenetrable Reishi cage and force him to wait until Soul Society has been conquered.[3]

500Ichigo hears

Ichigo hears the agonized and panicked screams of the Shinigami.

Within the Reishi cage, Ichigo repeatedly strikes the converging point of the bars with the sword of his Bankai, Tensa Zangetsu, and angrily wonders what it is prior to apologetically explaining to 12th Division 3rd Seat Akon that he has been trapped when the latter asks him if everything is alright through the Denreishinki he is holding. Despite this, Akon continues telling Ichigo to respond, which leads Ichigo to realize that Akon cannot hear him anymore no matter how loud he yells. Suddenly, the Shinigami Research and Development Institute is attacked by a blank-eyed Jidanbō Ikkanzaka, and as Ichigo curses at the sound of this, the Tsūdentō that had been placed around the Seireitei by the Riteitai to relay news of Ichigo's arrival to the Shinigami instead begin transmitting their screams of agony and panic to him, leaving Ichigo mortified. With 13th Division Lieutenant Rukia Kuchiki frantically telling those around her that they just need to hold out until he gets here, an enraged Ichigo attacks the cage with a Getsuga Tenshō.[4]

Ep371IchigoPromisesRescue

Ichigo refuses to let any of the Shinigami die as energy gathers around him.

Following this, a panting and sweating Ichigo expresses frustration at being unable to break through the Reishi cage enveloping him even with his Getsuga Tenshō before noticing that his Denreishinki has been disconnected from Kisuke Urahara, to his further confusion and frustration.[5] Moments later, Ichigo curses after hearing 6th Division Captain Byakuya Kuchiki, his lieutenant Renji Abarai, and Rukia's defeats and repeatedly attacks the cage with more Getsuga Tenshōs as he refuses to let any of the Shinigami die.[6] Some time later, Ichigo senses the disappearing Reiatsu of the dying Shinigami in Soul Society.[7]

512Ichigo enters

Ichigo finally breaks out and enters Soul Society.

Begging the Shinigami to stay, Ichigo finally breaks through the Reishi cage with a furious strike, revealing a bloodied Akon in the side aperture above the Seireitei. After apologizing for not being able to let Ichigo through sooner and musing that they do not seem to ever get what they want, Akon collapses with four Reishi Knives embedded in his back and the other researchers in the aperture lying wounded on the ground as well. From outside a hole in the aperture, Shaz Domino wonders who Ichigo is and begins to introduce himself, but is cut off when Ichigo rushes toward him and attacks him in an explosion of Reiatsu, alerting Yhwach as well as the remaining captains and lieutenants of the Gotei 13. Leaping out of the aperture with Akon, Ichigo deposits him near some surviving Shinigami and departs.[8] From high in the air, Ichigo confirms that Renji and Rukia are still alive and disappears with Shunpo.[9]

Ep373IchigoPreparesBattle

With Byakuya Kuchiki begging him to save Soul Society, a furious Ichigo's intense Reiatsu begins evaporating the rain falling around him, enveloping him in a cloud of steam.

With the Sternritter across the Seireitei alarmed by this and questioning how his Reiatsu suddenly disappeared, Ichigo finds a dying Byakuya embedded in a crater and assures him that Rukia and Renji are alive, to Byakuya's relief. Observing that he does not have much time left, Byakuya admits that he was unable to stop the despicable people who trampled on the Seireitei and that he led many to their deaths, bringing sorrow to their subordinates and families. As he sheds a tear, Byakuya asserts that he is deeply ashamed of this and points out how Ichigo being a Human means he should not even be here to begin with, let alone be involved in the battle, prior to requesting forgiveness for his final audacious request and begging Ichigo to protect Soul Society as the rain falling around Ichigo begins evaporating from his intense Reiatsu, shrouding him in steam[8] while he glares into the distance.[10]

512Ichigo arrives

Ichigo confronts Yhwach after rushing across the entire Seireitei.

Upon sensing this from the other side of the Seireitei, Yhwach confirms that it is Ichigo, and when Jugram Haschwalth wonders if he should purge the latter, Yhwach denies this and states that they will leave. However, Yhwach is interrupted when the sword of Tensa Zangetsu is thrown down from the sky and embeds itself in the ground in front of him just before Ichigo follows and picks it up, leaving Yhwach surprised.[11] Haschwalth offers to deal with Ichigo, but Yhwach stops him with a hand on Haschwalth's chest and admits he is impressed at Ichigo breaking out of The Jail. After Yhwach inquires about whether he intends to fight in such a ragged state, Ichigo asks Yhwach if he is the enemy leader, and when a bemused Yhwach observes that he both is and is not, an angered Ichigo demands to know if he is the one who wrecked Soul Society, which a grinning Yhwach confirms, causing Ichigo's Reiatsu to violently flare up around him while a grinning Yhwach tells Haschwalth this is proof that there is no turning back and that he must crush Ichigo here and now.[12]

Battle[]

513Yhwach stabs

Yhwach stabs his Reishi Sword into Ichigo's neck.

Yhwach responds to Ichigo lunging at him by forming his Reishi Sword and clashing fiercely with him, generating an explosion that radiates across the battlefield while Ichigo and Yhwach begin rapidly moving across the rubble and crossing swords. Upon moving into the air, Ichigo and Yhwach clash several more times, with Yhwach repelling Ichigo in a strong burst of force and ultimately sending him crashing back down into the rubble below when they both surge with Reiatsu and slam into each other in the air. Suddenly, once Yhwach lands near Haschwalth and stands in front of the resulting dust cloud with a cocky smile and his hand on his hip,[8] Ichigo fires a Getsuga Tenshō at him, forcing Yhwach to evade, move to Ichigo's location, and restrain the latter's sword arm with his hand while driving his head into the ground with the other before stabbing his Reishi Sword into Ichigo's neck.[13]

Ep373IchigoBlutVene

Ichigo unconsciously stops Yhwach's blade from piercing his neck with Blut Vene.

As Haschwalth stares in shock at this, Yhwach notes that Ichigo should still be alive and orders Haschwalth to transport him to Silbern so they can revive him as a member of the Wandenreich, which Haschwalth affirms. Suddenly, Ichigo's limp hand grips his sword once again, and as a stunned Yhwach turns to see Blut Vene flickering on his neck where the tip of the Reishi Sword is piercing it, Ichigo fires another Getsuga Tenshō at Yhwach point-blank.[14] With Haschwalth expressing alarm at the sight of this, Yhwach emerges from the smoke with only his left arm burnt and his left sleeve destroyed as he mutters that he was careless.[15]

Ep373YhwachAdmitsMistake

Yhwach admits that he made a mistake in having an Echt Quincy battle Ichigo.

Though Ichigo assumes he is referring to thinking that he won because he withstood a few attacks, Yhwach denies this and rushes forward to slash with his Reishi Sword, initially clashing with Ichigo's sword prior to dragging it down and ripping off Ichigo's left sleeve to expose his forearm, which remains unharmed and glows with Blut Vene as well. After confirming that he was not imagining this, to Ichigo's confusion, Yhwach admits that he made a mistake in using Quilge, an Echt Quincy, instead of an Arrancar to keep Ichigo at bay because it caused the memories within Ichigo's Reiatsu to awaken too soon.[16]

Ep373YhwachRevealsWeakness

Yhwach reveals that The Jail is meant to contain enemies and thus cannot hold Quincy.

Yhwach explains that while Ichigo was exerting his Reiatsu during his barrage of attacks on the Reishi cage that Quilge imprisoned him in, pieces of this Reiatsu merged with Quilge's and returned to Ichigo's body because it was released explosively, with this Quincy Reiatsu seeping into the depths of Ichigo's Soul and drawing out memories from its core, before concluding that The Jail is meant to contain enemies and thus cannot hold Quincy. With Ichigo stunned and bewildered by this, Yhwach deduces that he does not know the truth about himself or about his own mother, which causes Ichigo to remember Masaki lying dead on top of him after protecting him from Grand Fisher.[17]

Ep373Qualkreis

Yhwach initiates Qualkreis around Ichigo after deciding to take him back by force.

While Yhwach decides to take Ichigo back by force since he no longer has the luxury of slowly reeducating him, Ichigo furiously demands to know what Yhwach is talking about, only for Yhwach to promise to tell him at the Wandenreich[18] and initiate Qualkreis, which causes Reishi to crackle around them like lightning, before inviting Ichigo to demonstrate what he is capable of. The Reishi condenses into large Heilig Bogen that begin firing Heilig Pfeil at Ichigo, who slashes through them and fires a Getsuga Tenshō to intercept several more with an explosion, only for the Heilig Pfeil to begin slamming chunks of rubble into him.[8]

Ep373YhwachShadows

Shadows begin dripping from Yhwach's arm as he reaches his time limit.

After Ichigo is encased in a mound of rubble, with his Blut Vene shielding his body but leaving him nearly unconscious, Yhwach approaches him, lifts a prone Ichigo's head to expose his neck,[8] and promises to pierce him this time without his Blut Vene being able to save him. Suddenly, shadows begin dripping from Yhwach and pooling around his body, to his shock, as Haschwalth approaches and reveals that it is time for them to return since they have reached their time limit for operating outside of the Schatten Bereich. Though he insists that they should have enough time, Yhwach realizes that Aizen altered his senses during their earlier conversation.[19]

514Tensa Zangetsu is cut

Ichigo has the blade of his sword suddenly cut in two by Jugram Haschwalth.

With Haschwalth confirming that he did not stop Yhwach despite knowing this because he believed it would be pointless, Yhwach smiles and asserts that they will leave. However, Ichigo demands that they wait since he refuses to let them leave so easily after what they have done to Soul Society, but Yhwach continues walking. However, when Ichigo angrily rushes toward Yhwach and attempts to stab him, Haschwalth draws his sword and effortlessly cuts through the blade of Ichigo's sword, which flies into the air and embeds itself in the ground nearby as a stunned Ichigo is left holding the broken sword. Bidding Ichigo farewell, Yhwach vows to return for him prior to telling Ichigo to heal his wounds and wait as his son, born in the dark.[20]

Aftermath[]

Ep374IchigoInformedSafety

Ichigo is informed of Urahara, Orihime, and Sado's safety by a message from Urahara.

Later that night, Ichigo is handed a communication from Urahara assuring Ichigo that he, Orihime Inoue, and Yasutora Sado are all safe, to Ichigo's relief. Suddenly, 4th Division 7th Seat Hanatarō Yamada tells Ichigo to come over for medical treatment, and when Ichigo states that he has already received first aid, Hanatarō denies this being sufficient since Ichigo is still obviously wounded before 5th Division Captain Shinji Hirako approaches Ichigo to inform him that Rukia and Renji are out of surgery, prompting him to travel with Shinji to the critical surgery room that the heavily bandaged Rukia and Renji are resting in.[21]

Ep374IchigoDiscussesProtect

Ichigo claims he failed to protect Soul Society when Rukia thanks him for it.

In the room, a nurse tells Ichigo that they are no longer in critical condition, though they needed Reishi suturing in severely injured areas in addition to Reiatsu treatment, and asks him to call her if anything comes up prior to leaving the room. Addressing Ichigo, Rukia responds to him questioning if it is okay for her to talk by reminding him that the nurse just said she was out of critical condition, which he notes with a smile means her mouth is working just fine. After Rukia thanks him for coming to protect Soul Society, Ichigo admits that he was unable to do anything this time, but Shinji counters that he drove the enemy leader away.[22]

515Ichigo feels

Ichigo runs off to see Mayuri Kurotsuchi about his Zanpakutō while quietly and solemnly ruminating on the situation.

With Shinji claiming that Ichigo should be holding his head high for preventing the situation from getting even worse, a member of the Twelfth Division arrives and informs Ichigo that Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi wishes to see him about his Zanpakutō, which leads Ichigo to run off. As he watches this, Shinji muses that Ichigo is always busy and worrying about everyone's wounds while ignoring his own. Upon being asked by Rukia about why Ichigo had such a pained expression, Shinji informs her that he had a rough time by getting his Zanpakutō broken without being able to save anyone and asserts that there is no need to worry since he is likely just exhausted, but Rukia wonders if this is really the case and theorizes that Ichigo is hiding something much more serious that he is grappling with while Ichigo continues running through the rain.[23]

Ep374MayuriInformsIchigo

Mayuri informs Ichigo that the sword of his Bankai, Tensa Zangetsu can never be repaired.

Moments later, in the Twelfth Division barracks, Ichigo is told that Tensa Zangetsu, cannot be repaired and expresses disbelief at this since Mayuri repairs his whenever it is broken, only for Mayuri to arrogantly clarify that he just modifies his and explain that a Zanpakutō can only be repaired by its owner's mind, Reiatsu, and time to infuse both. However, when Ichigo assumes that he is being told to take his sword back and fix it himself, Mayuri states that he is not done explaining and notes that this method only works for Shikai because the destruction of Shikai and Bankai have very different meanings before asserting that a destroyed Bankai can never be repaired.[24]

516Mayuri explains

Mayuri explains how almost all damaged Bankai remain broken to this day.

Though he admits that there is an exception in 7th Division Captain Sajin Komamura's Bankai, Kokujō Tengen Myō'ō, which reflects both the injuries and healing of Komamura himself and can thus be fully restored from all damage, Mayuri elaborates that 11th Division 3rd Seat Ikkaku Madarame's Bankai only possesses a fraction of its former power after being destroyed by Edrad Liones, leaving Ichigo startled by Ikkaku possessing Bankai to begin with, and reveals Renji's Bankai still has broken segments from his battle against Byakuya.[25]

516Kon collides

Kon collides with Ichigo in the Shinigami Research and Development Institute while in a new, muscular form.

With Ichigo aghast at this and questioning what he is supposed to do, several researchers shout at each other to catch a large and muscular Kon, who slams into Ichigo while running. With Ichigo bleeding from the nose and not recognizing him, a shocked Kon encourages Ichigo to remember him as the King of New York, only for Ichigo to claim that he simply did not realize it was Kon because the latter has grown so much since they last met. Accusing Ichigo of trying to praise the horrid development of his body, Kon attempts to recount his recent suffering, but Mayuri deflates his body and returns it to its normal state with the press of a button, allowing the researchers to continue chasing Kon while Mayuri moves on despite Ichigo's protests. Suddenly, Mayuri is contacted on his headpiece, confirms that he is on his way, and tells Ichigo to come with him before revealing that though he does not want to meet them at all, Ichigo should meet the Royal Guard that is coming to the Seireitei.[26]

References[]

  1. Bleach manga; Chapter 536, page 16
  2. "Bleach" manga; Chapter 515
  3. Bleach manga; Chapter 499, pages 12-17
  4. Bleach manga; Chapter 500, pages 7-15
  5. Bleach manga; Chapter 501, pages 1-3
  6. Bleach manga; Chapter 503, pages 7-10
  7. Bleach manga; Chapter 512, page 1
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Bleach anime; Episode 373
  9. Bleach manga; Chapter 512, pages 1-7
  10. Bleach manga; Chapter 512, pages 8-13
  11. Bleach manga; Chapter 512, pages 13-17
  12. Bleach manga; Chapter 513, pages 6-10
  13. Bleach manga; Chapter 513, pages 10-14
  14. Bleach manga; Chapter 513, pages 14-17
  15. Bleach manga; Chapter 514, pages 1-2
  16. Bleach manga; Chapter 514, pages 3-6
  17. Bleach manga; Chapter 514, pages 6-8
  18. Bleach manga; Chapter 514, pages 8-9
  19. Bleach manga; Chapter 514, pages 10-12
  20. Bleach manga; Chapter 514, pages 12-17
  21. Bleach manga; Chapter 515, pages 5-7
  22. Bleach manga; Chapter 515, pages 7-9
  23. Bleach manga; Chapter 515, pages 9-11
  24. Bleach manga; Chapter 516, pages 2-4
  25. Bleach manga; Chapter 516, pages 4-5
  26. Bleach manga; Chapter 516, pages 6-9

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