Conspiracy Revealed: End Game


Ichigo Kurosaki vs. Yoshino Sōma

Mod Soul Training

Bount Invasion


Karakura Town, Human World


The Mod Soul Training is the start of what would become the Bount Invasion. Ichigo Kurosaki and his friends are put to the test by three mysterious beings.


Having returned home from his trip to Soul Society, Ichigo finds it difficult to re-adapt himself to a normal Human's life. As the first period in the new semester begins, Ichigo, along with the rest of his class, is surprised to hear the voice of Lieutenant Renji Abarai calling out to him. After confronting Renji about the reason for his presence there, he learns that Renji's been put in charge of Karakura Town. Ichigo insinuates that Renji being sent there meant he was demoted, but Renji explains they had to send him on the count of Ichigo's inability to control his Reiryoku. As if to emphasize his words, Ichigo's Hollow alarm goes off and a Hollow appears in the school yard. Since Renji has trouble getting out of his Gigai it is up to Ichigo to purify the Hollow. He then insists Renji not to show up at the school for no reason again.[1]


Orihime and her "brother".

That night, Renji who was staying at the Urahara Shop, gets a strange order on his Soul phone. He leaves the shop to alert Ichigo. Ichigo is oblivious at first, but when it's spelled out for him he does sense a strange presence right next to his friend, Orihime Inoue. Orihime herself opens the door to a person who looks just like her late brother, Sora Inoue. Even though she suspects something, she nevertheless puts her hand in the creature's hand and agrees to go with him through a strange portal, resembling the gates of Hell. When Ichigo, Renji, Uryū Ishida, and Yasutora Sado arrive there is nothing they can do except stand and watch as Orihime is sucked into the portal. Ichigo attempts to cut through the portal, but it simply vanishes into thin air.[1]

The Running Game


Ichigo receiving the first challenge.

The four spend the entire night searching, but find no trace of Orihime's Reiryoku. The next day at school, they find that someone has replaced the memories of their classmates, making them forget all about Orihime's existence. This proves to them the abduction was planned rather than accidental. They decide to double back to Orihime's house, to see if there are any clues they missed there. While they are there, Renji suddenly gets a call to his soul phone. When he answers, the voice of a young girl can be heard on the other end, claiming to be the one who kidnapped Orihime. Ichigo grabs the phone and demands to know who the girl is and why Orihime was abducted, but the girl refuses to answer. She asks if Ichigo would like to see Orihime and Ichigo says he wants Orihime returned. The girl suggests they play a game and if Ichigo and his friends should win she might return Orihime. The boys must get to the nearby park within three minutes; if they are even one second late Orihime's life might be at risk.[2]

The four arrive at the park, but see no one. After a few seconds, the pay phone at the park rings and Ichigo picks up. The girl informs him that they have passed the first challenge. Ichigo asks for Orihime to be returned, but the girl refuses, saying the game would not be fun if it ended after just one challenge. Their second challenge would be to get to a supermarket in the shopping center within three minutes. When Ichigo claims that is too long a way to cover in three minutes, the girl threatens Orihime again. She hangs up and the four are off racing against time again. They arrive at the supermarket on time, but when the pay phone rings someone else picks it up. After Chad scares the man away, Ichigo grabs the receiver, but the girl informs him that they lost the challenge and that Orihime will now die. Ichigo screams desperately into the phone, but gets no reply. After a few more seconds, however, the phone rings again and the girl's voice informs him that she was 'just kidding' and casually moves on to the third challenge. Ichigo demands to hear Orihime's voice, but the girl says that might happen if they beat the next challenge. Ichigo is astounded when he hears the next destination.[2]


Ichigo demanding Urahara's phone.

Jinta Hanakari and Ururu Tsumugiya are quietly sweeping up the front of the Urahara Shop when they hear a distant rumble closing in on them. When the four boys clear the corner they all lunge at the two children and demand to know where the phone is. Kisuke Urahara and Tessai Tsukabishi, having heard the ruckus too, come out to see what the fuss is about. Urahara tells them the phone is in the back and just then they hear it ring and run inside. The girl informs Ichigo that since they cleared the third challenge she'll do them a favor. She tells Ichigo to go to Orihime's house that night at eight and perhaps Orihime will be there too. Ichigo's attempt to bargain only causes the girl to laugh and she hangs up. Later on, as they discuss the mystery with Urahara, Yoruichi Shihōin claims the very fact that she called the shop suggests she is not a normal Human. Ichigo asks Urahara to investigate and he agrees, but says since he's never done something like this Ichigo shouldn't expect too much.[2]

At eight PM, the four gather in front of Orihime's house. They see nothing out of the ordinary until a bright light suddenly shines through Orihime's bedroom window. Ichigo and the others run towards the front door, but find it locked. Ichigo asks Chad to bust it open, but at that moment the light goes out and they hear someone at the door. The knob turns and the door opens to reveal Orihime, seemingly unharmed. When they interrogate her, they find she remembers nothing of her abduction and has in fact lost an entire day - having had her memories erased. They realize, however, that they cannot let down their guard that easily.[2]


Chad strangled by the creature.

Urahara tried analyzing the girl's voice and found that it lacks the print of a Soul. Tessai calls him outside and shows him a strange looking dark cloud twisting over the shop; the cloud soon moves away. At Orihime's house the reunited gang sits at the table waiting for something to happen. All of a sudden, the lights go out and a freak storm - from the same cloud that was observed near the shop - strikes the house. Distracted by the storm, they suddenly realize Chad is being attacked by Orihime. Her eyes glowing red and with unimaginable physical strength, they quickly realize it can't really be Orihime, but cannot harm her for fear that it's only her body being possessed. She then lets Chad go, kicking him in the back as she does.[2]


Kurōdo's real face revealed.

Her shape then shifts into that of a bespectacled man with a thin mustache and long hair that's blond on the left side of his scalp while black on the right. The man introduces himself as Kurōdo and then summons his companion, Noba, whose face is masked. Kurōdo grabs Chad and the three disappear. Looking out the window they see Chad disappearing into the same portal as Orihime did the day before. Ichigo tries to reach him, but is too late. He lands on the roof when he hears the voice of the girl he spoke to laughing. The trio appears on top of the portal. Ichigo tries asking them why they are doing this, but the girl, Ririn, says it's all a game. Ichigo joins forces with Renji to attack the two men. However, in lieu of fighting, the three disappear along with their portal. Now they have two of Ichigo's friends.[2]

The Maze Game

When Ichigo and his friends arrive at the Urahara Shop, they inform Urahara of Chad's abduction. They ask Urahara to keep Ichigo's body safe until the crisis is over. Urahara tells them what he had found about the girl's voice, but doesn't know how to interpret it except to say that it's neither a Human's nor a Shinigami's. Tessai suggests the trio might be using a type of Kidō, in which case fighting them using Hakuda would be difficult. Ichigo asks if his Getsuga Tenshō would be of any use, but the others remind him that the Getsuga's destructive power is far too great to be used safely. Renji claims he doesn't feel confident about his Bankai and being a lieutenant, has a seal limiting his powers. Ichigo turns to Uryū, telling him his Quincy powers are their last resort. Tessai points out that the enemy's been attacking them in a way that would hinder their fighting prowess; Ichigo bitterly remarks that so far their plans have all worked perfectly. At that moment, the phone rings and when Urahara answers Ririn asks to speak with Ichigo. She tells him it's time to continue their game and asks him to bring everyone to the Karakura Town Museum.[3]

The three, accompanied by Kon, who was converted into a pouch by Uryū, arrive at the museum and immediately upon entering encounter Ririn's voice on the museum's speakers. She tells them they'll be playing a game of hide and seek - with them as the seekers. If they manage to find her and her partners, Orihime and Chad will be released, but they'll have to leave their weapons at the lobby or their friends might get hurt. The boxes left for the Zanpakutō are labeled in demeaning versions of their Zanpakutō names, which ticks the two Shinigami off. Uryū asks Ichigo and Renji to stop falling for such childish provocations, but the two just tell him to shut up. They leave the swords and make their way into the exhibition area. Uryū thinks he senses something as they walk in. Kon says he felt nothing, but admits he has sensed a strange spiritual power since they walked in the door. Renji alerts them to the fact that now every one of the rooms surrounding them is identical to the one they're standing in, as well as the rooms past it for as far as the eyes can see.[3]


Renji, Uryū and Ichigo puzzled.

Uryū says a way to solve a maze is to keep going with your hand touching the same wall. They start by taking a right turn then take two more rights, as Uryū suggested. Renji stops them, saying according to logic they should now be back in the room where they started, which leads to the entrance; instead to the right of them now is just another room. They decide to retrace their steps and walk back. As they return they find that the entrance has vanished. Ichigo yells at Kon, who was supposed to be watching their backs, but he claims he saw nothing out of the ordinary. Ririn's voice comes out on the speaker again, mocking them. Uryū says there must be a riddle they need to solve in order to clear the maze. He ties a red string he pulled out of Kon's belly to one of the posts so they can use the current room as a reference point. Kon is asked to hold on to the spool and make sure it keeps spinning. They decide to go straight, but after crossing two rooms they arrive in a room without lights. When they enter the room they find three exhibition boxes with their names on them. In two other boxes to the left and right, they find Orihime and Chad. They then dissolve into thin air and reappear inside their boxes. In the next room, in front of their eyes, the still laughing Ririn disappears as well.[3]


Uryū's sketch - X marks a trap.

For a few seconds, the three feel as if they are paralyzed dolls on display. Kon is their unlikely savior when he punches Ichigo in the face, forcing him to wake up. They run out of the room and Kon tells them they all suddenly lost consciousness and fell to the floor. They choose another path and this time check every room cautiously before entering. Renji, who was walking first, suddenly stops when the floor in the second room disappears right before him. As they're walking in yet another direction, Uryū ponders the riddle. He says the building isn't big enough for it to contain such an endless loop. While they're walking Renji peeks into the room to their left and recognizes the red string Uryū tied to a post earlier. Ichigo tells Kon to hold on and starts pulling on the string. Sure enough, after some pulling and tugging, Kon returns through the door they just passed through. Seeing this, Uryū concludes they are in a Möbius strip, a place where time and space are distorted. This means they've been circling through the same rooms over and over. Uryū pulls a notebook out of Kon and sketches a diagram of their route and they realize whenever they tried to walk in a straight line through two rooms they encountered a trap, so the solution would be to keep on walking in an 'L' shaped path until they cross the maze.[3]

After trying this for hours, they don't encounter any more traps, but they also don't advance anywhere. Finally, exhausted, the three have a rest at the center of one of the rooms. Ichigo picks a fight with Renji and the two start walking again - in opposite directions. As soon as that happens Uryū sees that the doorway in the room in front of him becomes blurry. Kon points out that is a room with a trap, according to their game plan. Uryū considers all the clues he has gotten so far about the kidnappers and then comes up with the answer and calls Ichigo and Renji back. He tells them his idea and they can hardly believe its simplicity. Before they try, Uryū asks Ichigo to lend him his Substitute Shinigami badge. The three run forward and as soon as they enter the trapped room the floor collapses beneath their feet. Uryū ignores that and keeps on running normally over what appears to be a chasm. The three pass through the doorway and find themselves back at the entrance. Having solved the riddle, the illusion of the endless room is lifted.[3]


The structure of the maze.

Ririn, sitting and laughing on the snout of a T-Rex fossil, asks him how he solved it. Uryū explains that there were only nine rooms in a 3 X 3 structure; each of the outer rooms was linked via teleportation to another. The solution was to cross three rooms in a row, but whenever they were about to achieve that the room was blocked by a trap which was only an illusion. When Ichigo and Renji had a row and went their separate ways the three were suddenly spread out across three rooms, it was something the abductors hadn't expected, which caused the illusion to jitter.[3]


Noba revealed to be a Mod-Soul.

The real trick to clearing the challenge was to get over the fear of a trap and cross the hazardous room. Ririn commends him for his solution, but at that second Noba appears behind Uryū and grabs him. Ririn informs them that they may have solved the riddle, but the game won't end until they stop them. Uryū catches both her and Noba by surprise when he presses the Substitute Shinigami badge against Noba, causing a Mod-Soul pill to fly out of his mouth. Uryū says he could compare their spiritual powers with those of Kon and realized they were similar. Noba used his powers to create teleporting loops between the rooms. He suspects Ririn was the one who blocked the rooms with illusory traps.[3]

Uryū suggests she tells them what her and her comrades' purpose is. Before any answer is given Kurōdo appears from behind; he grabs Noba's body and his pill and fleas the museum, followed closely by Ririn. When Ichigo, Uryū and Renji follow them outside they find Chad and Orihime waiting for them. However, they do not remember how they got there. The Mod-Souls summon their portal. Ririn tells the group since they won the hide and seek game Chad and Orihime have been returned. Noba, now back in his body, returns Ichigo and Renji's Zanpakutō. The gates of the portal open and Noba steps through them and disappears. Ririn soon follows, but not before telling the group that the game is not over yet. She reminds them that school is about to start and states that students ought to be in school. She says unless they hurry, they stand to lose more and more of their friends. With this ominous threat, the portal closes and vanishes.[3]

Death Game: Find the Imposter


The two bodies left in front of the school.

The group rushes to get to school. When they get there they find Ichigo's body and Renji's Gigai placed back to back in the school yard. They wonder if Urahara could have left them there, but Uryū urges them to get back in their bodies before any other students get there. Ririn and Noba appear again, Ririn holding a large clock in her hand. She says she will now explain the rules of the next game. She informs them that one of them is an impostor. Ichigo asks what she means, but Renji turns their attention to the fact that Kurōdo, the shape-shiftier, isn't with them. The others find it hard to believe he could have done this and wonder when they could have pulled the switch, Kon, however, points out that since both Orihime and Chad had been in the custody of the Mod-Souls, they could have switched either of them at any point. Renji claims the Mod-Souls are bluffing. Ririn tells him he is free to think what he wants, but unless they discover the impostor in time their friends will disappear. Ichigo tries to intimidate Ririn, but she effortlessly escapes his grip and moves out of reach.[4]


Ririn's clock of death.

The rules of the game are: they must decide who among them is the impostor by the time her clock strikes noon. If their guess is correct they win. If their guess is incorrect, the entire population of the school will be eliminated. When asked what she means by 'eliminated' she explains they will disappear without a trace and never be seen again. The group only gets one guess to find the impostor. Ichigo asks if they can truly make good on their threats and Uryū points out that Orihime and Chad did disappear before. He asks Orihime and Chad if they remember anything from their captivity, but Orihime remembers nothing and Chad only remembers floating in darkness. Uryū says the portal used by the Mod-Souls probably leads to an alternate dimension. He reminds the others the Mod-Souls never threatened to eliminate Orihime and Chad. Ichigo says he would never allow them to do this. At that moment someone places both his hands on Ichigo's shoulders.[4]

The hands belong to Keigo Asano, who's just arrived at the school and is surprised to see Ichigo and the others out of uniform. He is doubly surprised to see Renji again and immediately starts trying to befriend him. Mizuiro asks if Renji is Ichigo's relative and Ichigo approves this, trying to avoid a deeper inquiry into Renji's identity. Uryū asks what Ichigo intends to do and he replies that they must find the impostor if they wish to save their friends. Chad suggests they all head to class; if they are truant it might hurt their efforts by raising questions, Uryū agrees with him, but says Ichigo should also call Urahara to see if everything is alright there. After all, the Gigai and Ichigo's body were left in his care.[4]


Renji and Ichigo arguing.

In class, Ichigo pays no attention to Miss Misato Ochi's lesson, his mind preoccupied with the need to find the impostor before it is too late. His brooding is interrupted by Renji, who sneaked into the classroom and is now crouching next to Ichigo's desk. He begins pestering Ichigo with unrelated questions and seems oblivious to the grim threat made by the Mod-Souls. Renji's persistence to get in his personal space ends up annoying Ichigo and he pushes Renji away. Renji in return picks a fight with Ichigo, raising his voice. When Ichigo does the same, Miss Ochi throws a piece of chalk at each of them and sends the "Kurosaki brothers" out to the hallway. Standing outside, Renji is wholly amused at the trouble he's gotten Ichigo into. Ichigo on the other hand becomes more and more suspicious of Renji's behavior and orders him to "take it off". When Renji refuses and struggles against him, Ichigo uses a Judo move to drop him to the floor, saying he will remove it for him if Renji doesn't. The entire class is witness to this exchange and quickly jumps to the obvious yet erroneous conclusions.[4]

During break, Ichigo explains to his friends he was only trying to get Renji to leave his Gigai as proof that he is not the impostor, believing it impossible to copy such a transformation. Uryū says it was not wise to assume the shape-shiftier wasn't capable of copying the powers of a Shinigami. Observing them from a nearby tree is Ririn. She decides to speed things along a little. In the girls bathroom, Tatsuki Arisawa has a frightening experience. Although she thought she was alone there, she hears a noise from one of the stalls. When she opens the door, she sees no one. When the lights begin to flicker on and off Tatsuki panics and runs outside, but encounters an unseen assailant. Only her wristband remains in the hallway as evidence that she ever existed.[4]

In the Soul Society, Captain Jūshirō Ukitake of the 13th Division gives the order to halt all movement to and from the Human World; he does this at the behest of Yoruichi Shihōin. Before the Senkaimon is closed, one last traveler crosses through; she is Captain Suì-Fēng of the 2nd Division, who was asked by her former captain and mentor to help her with a matter of great urgency.[4]


Orihime holding Tatsuki's wristband.

The next period in the Karakura High School is P.E., Mister Kagine separates the class to boys and girls with the boys having a baseball game and the girls running track. When he asks for absentees it is discovered that Tatsuki is missing, although Kagine doesn't seem to think much of it. Ririn surprises Orihime by appearing next to her and informing her that they have captured Tatsuki. She says even more people will disappear unless they decide who the impostor is. As Orihime runs of to look for Tatsuki, she is followed closely by her friends. The four find Tatsuki's wristband in the hallway and Orihime refuses to calm down when she finds her best friend had been kidnapped. She begins questioning her three friends, demanding the impostor reveals himself. Ichigo asks her to calm down, telling her this kind of mistrust is exactly what their enemies want. He assures her that Tatsuki will be alright. Outside the window, Ririn and Noba appear again. Ririn reminds them that they cannot do anything unless they find out who the impostor is. If they keep on hesitating more and more of their friends will disappear. When Ichigo says they haven't reached their deadline yet she affirms it, but says they only have one hour to give an answer.[4]


The group tries following their intuition.

Ichigo calls the Urahara Shop and is answered by Jinta. When asked if Yoruichi is there, Jinta says he has not seen her since morning and has no idea where she is. He promises to pass a message to Yoruichi, but does so in such an idle manner that Ichigo frowns upon ending the conversation. Ichigo informs the others that they cannot expect help from the Urahara Shop and Renji, who enters the classroom with a worried look on his face and says he cannot make contact with the Soul Society and therefore cannot get any help from the Gotei 13. Uryū suggests they try using their intuition to find the impostor, but after they've each had their say everyone was pointing at someone else without even one person being pointed at twice. Ririn appears at the teacher's desk and reminds them that they're running out of time. She urges them to look outside and when they do, they see first Keigo disappearing just as he was about to make a catch. He is followed by Chizuru and another girl; then all the girls of their class and finally Miss Ochi herself.[4]

Ririn apologizes for disappearing more than she intended to. Ichigo tries to grab her, but she merely teleports out of his way and tells him they are not playing tag. She tells them it's about time they tried guessing, since they would never figure it out no matter how much they think about it. Ichigo asks her not to drag in people who are of no concern to them, but Ririn insists that she cannot just change the rules of the game. Their chances of getting the right answer by guessing are one out of five, so they'll just have to put their trust in fortune. Either that or they can just surrender, in which case she just might find a way to save all their friends. Chad asks what they'll have to do and she replies that the answer is simple: to save everyone's lives they must give up their lives. The group is shocked, but Ririn maintains since it is their fault the others disappeared the trade is only fair, after it is a challenge of life or death.[4]


Chad's uncharacteristic fear.

Ichigo is about to retort, but sees something outside and runs to the window. When he sees Yoruichi and Suì-Fēng running in their direction, he calls out Yoruichi's name, to come and help them. However, the two captains jump up the side of the building, completely ignoring Ichigo's calls. Suì-Fēng even breaks the window as she passes. The entire group is baffled by Yoruichi's behavior, but when Ichigo looks at Chad and sees him panting and sweating. He asks him if he knows what they are doing and Chad says he does not, but that the woman is very brave to come alone like that. Ririn urges them to choose, but Ichigo says they've already chosen. He turns to Chad and tells him it's only natural he doesn't know about Yoruichi's cat form which she puts on in the Human world, since he's never been to Soul Society himself; him being the impostor.[4]

Hearing this, Kurōdo foregoes his charade and returns to his true shape. He commends Ichigo and asks what gave him away. Ichigo explains the real Chad would never be so frightened of something like that. Kurōdo says it appears he still has a lot to learn. The group, rightfully angered, quickly turns antagonistic and before long, Ichigo throws a punch. However, Kurōdo and Ririn are both teleported outside by Noba. Ririn states the score is now tied with two points for each side. Orihime demands the return of their friends. Ririn says their friends are unharmed and informs them the time has come for their final game. Ichigo is reluctant to play along, but Ririn reminds him that with Kurōdo exposed, they are still one friend short of a complete group. Chad is still in their possession, as he has been from the get go.[4]

The Last Game


The huge portal.

The group sits down for a rest on the bank of a river and tries to consider their options. Renji soon loses his temper with Ichigo voicing his misgivings and before long the two are at each other's throats again. Uryū and Orihime are able to calm them down. Unable to contact Urahara or Yoruichi and not being able to get assistance from Soul Society, the group knows only that they don't know enough to beat the Mod-Souls at their game. Suddenly, a barrage of fireworks is fired from the other bank, and then a note falls from the sky with the instruction to destroy the portal within 30 minutes; signed by Ririn. As they look, a humongous version of the Mod-Soul portal descends on the other side of the river, towering over the town. The portal is so big they assume it must be an illusion. However, when its doors open slightly they can feel how strongly it pulls them in. Ichigo uses his badge to transform, leaving his body where it lies as they all rush to get to the portal.[5]

Yoruichi and Suì-Fēng discover an empty set of clothes in the street, containing nothing but dry dust. Yoruichi finds traces of Reishi on it and takes a sample to be sent back to the Soul Society for analysis. Captain Tōshirō Hitsugaya of the 10th Division, having been clued in by his lieutenant, goes to join his two colleagues, Captain Shunsui Kyōraku of the 8th Division and Captain Ukitake, in the 9th Division's Communications Center, where they are awaiting the information from Suì-Fēng. Rin Tsubokura of the Shinigami Research and Development Institute alerts them that a sample of Reishi has been sent. Analyzing the substance yields no results and the captains realize some more investigations are in order if they wish to get to the bottom of this.[5]


Ririn wearing Urahara's hat.

Ichigo and his friends arrive at the foot of the enormous portal and are astounded by its size. The Mod-Souls are standing on the top of a building dwarfed by the portal; Ririn asks the group if they are impressed by it. Ichigo ignores her chide and asks her to tell what it is she and her allies want. Ririn refuses, saying Ichigo will have to wait until the battle is won to know. The portal begins pulling the group in again and Ichigo warns everyone to brace themselves. Kon, who was strapped to Uryū's back, breaks free of the straps and is sucked in. The Mod-Souls claim Ichigo might as well admit defeat, which Ichigo, of course, refuses to do. Ririn, in response, shows him Urahara's hat and asks him what he intends to do now. Ichigo can't believe his eyes, but at that moment the van Uryū was hanging onto to keep from flying off rises to the air and flies towards the portal. Next to fly off is Orihime, who can no longer hold onto her pole. Ichigo jumps to her aid and catches her in midair. Renji avoids being crushed by a truck and also takes to the air. Ichigo hands Orihime to Renji and prepares to do a Bankai, although Uryū warns him against it, however, the Bankai fails. The four are all hopelessly sucked into the portal.[5]


Chad tied behind the Mod-Souls.

They wake up in a strange rocky terrain. Renji asks Uryū if this is the alternate dimension he mentioned, but Uryū has no answer. As always, Ririn's laughter alerts them to the presence of the Mod-Souls. She congratulates them for surviving. Ichigo expresses his hatred for the Mod-Souls, but Ririn tells him he should not say things like that; Ichigo realizes Chad is tied to a post behind her. Ririn declares the beginning of a challenge stage for all those who are still standing. As she speaks a large hourglass descends over the tied up Chad. Explaining the rules, Ririn states Kurōdo and Noba will also participate. Noba agrees with him, although not enthusiastically enough for Kurōdo. Ririn declares the time limit is unbelievable - five minutes. They must reach Chad and rescue him within the time limit or he would be buried under the sand. Ririn gives the order for her allies to attack.[5]


Noba's power


Kurōdo's power.

Ichigo and Renji draw their swords and charge. As Kurōdo runs down the hill he changes his shape into that of Ichigo before attacking. For a few moments it becomes impossible to tell between the real Ichigo and the impostor. Renji releases his Shikai and attacks, but Noba's powers allow him to send each of his attacks back at him. Kurōdo is able to match Ichigo's prowess in the use of his sword. The Mod-Soul taunts Ichigo, reminding him if he doesn't defeat him in a hurry the sand would cover Chad. Ichigo glances to his strong and silent friend and sees that he is already up to his chest in sand. He swears in frustration and renews his attack.[5]

Yoruichi and Suì-Fēng, tracking a trail of unfamiliar Reiryoku, arrive at the train depot where they find a strange woman luring a train conductor by singing to him. He approaches her as if in a deep trance and when he reaches her she embraces him and starts absorbing his life away. Yoruichi jumps into action, transforming into a Human as she rushes to save the man's life. The woman avoids injury by jumping away. Yoruichi, holding the unconscious conductor, asks the woman what she is; the woman mysteriously says Yoruichi will soon know. Suì-Fēng asks if they should follow her, but Yoruichi says she seems adept in running away. She tells Suì-Fēng to return to the Soul Society and report their findings to Ukitake. Ukitake gives the order to remove the traffic restriction between the Human World and the Soul Society.[5]


The Mod Souls guarding the nearly buried Chad.

Ichigo fires a Getsuga Tenshō at Kurōdo, but Noba saves his comrade's life when he teleports in front of him and sends Ichigo Getsuga back at him from behind. Ichigo manages to dodge the Getsuga. The Mod Souls reconvene in front of the hourglass; they remind the group that their time limit is almost up. Kurōdo informs them that trying to attack them with brute force was very silly. Ririn declares the time has come for the final attack. She raises her arm and the red light connected with the portal appears in the sky and the group feels its massive pull again as Kon is promptly sucked in. Ichigo attempts to release his Bankai again, but to no avail. As he falls to his knees the pull from the portal decreases and the red light disappears. The threat appears to be over when the hourglass breaks, releasing all the sand and even Kon falls down from the portal's pull.[5]


Urahara and the Mod-Souls.

Ichigo rushes to Chad and intends to cut his ropes loose. Chad says it is unnecessary as he shakes the ropes off as the Mod-Souls must have loosened them. When he realizes the Mod-Souls never caused any real harm and upon seeing Urahara's hat lying on the ground, Ichigo understands the entire scenario was set up by Urahara; he calls for his mentor to come out. Thinking back, Ichigo realizes the Mod-Souls had ample opportunities to finish them off, but were instead just trying to overwhelm them. He asks Urahara why he did it and Urahara explains games are meant to develop many good traits; physical strength and stamina, intelligence, teamwork, creativity, decision making, and the desire to help one's allies. Above all it is a good opportunity to look back at oneself, Urahara then surprises Ichigo by stating he can no longer use his Bankai. Urahara explains that since Ichigo was not born a Shinigami - having returned to the Human World - releasing a Bankai will not be as easy as it was in the Soul Society. He adds that Ichigo can't allow himself to rely on his Bankai if things get tough.[5]

Urahara continues to disclose the real reason behind his exercise; Yoruichi is investigating something on behalf of the Soul Society and it seems something is amiss in Karakura Town. Renji asks if the situation has anything to do with Sōsuke Aizen. Urahara says it is not likely since the Hōgyoku will take another year before it can be used effectively. The situation with the Hōgyoku cannot remain as it is. Urahara falls to his knees and asks Ichigo to work hard on regaining his ability to release Bankai. Ichigo agrees and Urahara says they'll have to practice situation analysis and decision making, since it seems opponents whose powers are unknown to Ichigo can easily take advantage of him. He casually notes that Uryū, who has lost his Quincy powers, did a better job in that field. Hearing this the group turns to Uryū and Ichigo tells him by not telling he put everyone in risk - not because he couldn't use his powers, but because he hid this fact from his allies.[5]


The students waking up in the mountains.

Urahara invites all of them to dinner and they realize they are in fact in Urahara's secret training facility, beneath his shop. Ichigo wants to know what they should do about the damages done to the town. Ririn calms him down, saying all the damages were illusions. Ichigo asks her about their missing classmates and Ririn says they should be waking up right about now. In a distant point in the mountains, the students of class 1-3 wake up, confused, but unharmed. Before they can continue to dinner Yoruichi flies down to them. She informs them all that a Bount has appeared.[5]


Urahara updates the group about the Bount, their ability to feed upon Souls and their immortality. Yoruichi notes that the Bount she encountered was trying to devour the soul of a living Human. Urahara therefore assigns Ririn, Kurōdo, and Noba to Ichigo, Orihime, and Chad respectively; the Mod-Souls have Reishi detectors installed in them, which would help alert the three to Bount presence. The Mod-Souls are hidden in toys to keep from being noticed.[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Bleach anime; Episode 64
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Bleach anime; Episode 65
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Bleach anime; Episode 66
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 Bleach anime; Episode 67
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 Bleach anime; Episode 68
  6. Bleach anime; Episode 69


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