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Protect Ichigo! Nozomi's Determination
Kanji 護れ一護!望実の決意
Romanji Mamore Ichigo! Nozomi no ketsui
Episode Number 323
Manga Chapters None
Arc Gotei 13 Invading Army arc
Previous Episode Clash! Rukia vs. Rukia!
Next Episode Recapture Seireitei! The Captains Move!
Japanese May 24, 2011
English November 17, 2013
Theme Music
Opening BLUE
Ending Aoi Tori
Episode 323 Screenshots

Protect Ichigo! Nozomi's Determination is the three hundred twenty-third episode of the Bleach anime.

Ichigo Kurosaki defeats many Reigai while protecting Nozomi Kujō.


Ichigo and the others search for Nozomi

Ichigo and the others search for Nozomi throughout Karakura Town.

Ichigo, Yasutora Sado, and Orihime Inoue run throughout Karakura Town. Orihime confirms that she sensed the Reiatsu of Rukia Kuchiki, as Ichigo heads out to assist them. However, she tells him to search for Nozomi, stating that she will go to the river, where Rukia should be. Ichigo agrees, prompting Sado to volunteer to stay by her side, as they split up.

Meanwhile, Kon is still leading Nozomi to the mountain shrine, as she asks how long the journey will take. He tells her to have patience and points towards the shrine. Kon asks her what is over there, recalling that she resolved herself to fix things so Ichigo and the others wouldn't have to protect her. Kon asks if that's why she came there, as she ignores him, proceeding to walk up the mountainside.

Sado Stops Renji's Strike

Sado blocks Reigai Renji's Shikai.

At the riverside, Orihime and Sado come across the unconscious bodies of the Shinigami, prompting her to come to their aid. However, Sado stops her in her tracks, as Lieutenant Renji Abarai walks towards them. Sado prevents her from moving towards him, as his eyes glow. Orihime realizes that he isn't the real Renji, as the copy states that merely searching for Nozomi would not be much of a workout. He draws his katana, telling them not to hold this against him. Sado tells Orihime to tend to the fallen Shinigami, as the Reigai states that he is surprised he is taking him on. As he charges at Sado, he tells him that he won't hold back, releasing his Shikai, which is countered with Sado's Brazo Derecha de Gigante. Orihime arrives at the riverbed and immediately tends to her fallen comrades with her Santen Kesshun.

Reigais Ukitake And Kyoraku Attack Yamamoto

The Reigai confront Yamamoto.

In Soul Society, the Reigai-Captains Shunsui Kyōraku and Jūshirō Ukitake proceed towards the 1st Division's barracks. Ukitake tells him to remain vigilant, as no one can defeat the Captain-Commander through sheer strength. Kyōraku interjects, stating that that is why they are going together. As they reach the doors, they introduce themselves, asking whether they can come in. Captain-Commander Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto permits their entrance, as they state that they would like his opinion on the issue. He asks what brings them here, as Ukitake looks pensively at Kyōraku. He charges at the Captain-Commander, attempting to strike him down in one fell swoop. However, Yamamoto uses Shunpo to evade his strike, stating that they still have a long way to go, before they can surpass him. Their eyes crackle with purple electricity, as Yamamoto tells them that he saw through their attack, sensing their killing urges.

They both comment upon his deductive capabilities, as Yamamoto releases crimson red Reiatsu, in preparation to fight his proteges' copies. They then draw their swords upon him, as Yamamoto declares that he will not lose to youngsters like them. At the Shinigami Research and Development Institute, Lieutenant Isane Kotetsu searches through the computer, as her captain inquires for the results. Isane reveals that the data shows heavy signs of tampering, speculating whether Captain Kyōraku could be responsible.

Captain Retsu Unohana refutes this, claiming that he would not do something so obvious. She believes this to be the tampered information, prompting Isane to believe that Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi is responsible. Unohana states that she decided to find out and visited the Daireishokairō to consult this matter. She states that she was able to uncover specific information concerning an S.R.D.I. member who is obsessed with the Dangai and who put together a multitude of studies solely based upon the Dangai independently.

Inaba approaches Unohana and her lieutenant

Inaba approaches Unohana and Isane.

However, she claims that the records of this man only go back to a certain period of time. Isane refuses to believe that the Daireishokairō would be lacking in details, as Unohana believes he is no ordinary Shinigami. She calls out across the room, as Kagerōza Inaba applauds her abilities, claiming he did not expect her to visit the Daireishokairō. Unohana addresses her lieutenant, who charges at Inaba, preparing to cut him down. However, he moves behind Unohana.

Inaba claims that their efforts are wasted, as Unohana asks whether his ability to cross over time and space was achieved through his research upon the Dangai. He once again commends her deductive skills, claiming that it is incomplete as it is. Unohana claims him directly responsible for the Soul Society becoming detached from the planes of existence, asking what his motive was in doing so. Inaba claims that she will understand his motives in due time, as he starts to laugh.

Sado Throws The Attack

Sado deflects the attack.

Meanwhile, the copy of Renji charges at Sado, but he counters with El Directo, knocking the imposter back. He stands up once more, commending Sado's abilities, claiming that it is about time that he gets serious too. The Reigai releases Bankai, whipping up a windstorm, not hesitating to attack. He uses Hikotsu Taihō, which Sado deflects with his right arm. The copy increases the force behind the attack, knocking Sado back into the river.

He evades the attack, as Sado charges at him again. Renji fires another Hikotsu Taihō at Sado, which is dispelled by the original's attack. As Sado lands safely on the ground, Renji asks whether he made him wait. He commends Sado's ability to fight against him, as Renji examines the Reigai, commenting that the imposters are no match for the originals. He proceeds to attack his counterpart, as Kon leads Nozomi towards the mountain shrine, once again asking what they will find up there.

Nozomi Opens The Senkaimon

Nozomi opens a Senkaimon.

She reveals that there is a Senkaimon on the apex, as Kon wonders why she wants to go there. Nozomi states that extensive study by the S.R.D.I. revealed the existence of previously unheard of Senkaimon. Kon repeats his question, as Nozomi ignores him, walking up the steps. As they reach the shrine, Kon wonders whether there truly is a Senkaimon there. As if to answer his question, she reaches out, as a white light emanates from it. She unlocks the portal, as the white light envelops her, revealing a wispy tear.

Kon comments that it looks different than normal Senkaimon, as she reveals that this is a rare, naturally occurring Senkaimon, one which connects to an unknown plane. Nozomi states that, if she enters and closes the gateway, no one will be able to find her. Kon asks how long she will stay there for, to which Nozomi comments that she will stay there for the rest of her existence. The Mod-Soul wonders why she has to go to such lengths, as he tries to persuade her that life is worth living.

Nozomi persists, claiming that this is the only way in which Inaba's plan will become void. Kon, realizing how determined she is, states that he will go along with her. She is surprised at this and picks Kon up, looking at him expectantly. He expects her to kiss him, but ends up getting tied to a tree. Nozomi tells him that he doesn't need to imprison himself for her sake. Kon calls out to her, telling her not to do it, but she ignores his cries. As she walks closer to the Senkaimon, she is stopped by the copy of Lieutenant Rangiku Matsumoto.

Ichigo Protects Nozomi

Ichigo protects Nozomi.

Nozomi jumps back, but is surrounded by the other Reigai, victorious in their conflicts. One of them asks her whether she will be able to take them all on, as she wonders how they were able to find her. Rukia informs her that they were also aware of the Senkaimon's presence, as Rangiku states that, what Nozomi knows, Kagerōza also knows by proxy. Rangiku forces Nozomi to follow the other Reigai, as Kon calls out to them. As Nozomi protests, Ichigo's voice calls out, as he fires a Getsuga Tenshō at them, forcing them to disperse.

The Reigai are alerted to Ichigo's presence before Nozomi, as Kon berates him for taking his time. Rukia interjects, demanding he hand over Nozomi. Rangiku states that they have power in numbers, but Ichigo ignores her taunts. They draw their blades, preparing to take on Ichigo all at once.

Meanwhile Renji faces off against his doppelgänger, as the two face off in Bankai. His Hikotsu Taihō attack is dispersed, as Sado charges behind the imposter, preparing to release an El Directo attack. However, the carbon copy of Renji merely swats him away with his Bankai's tail, as Rukia and the other Reigai attack Ichigo.

Sado nullifies the Reigai's attack

Sado nullifies Reigai-Renji Abarai's attack.

While Ichigo is attacked by the Reigai, Kon asks Nozomi whether she has a Zanpakutō, but she responds that she doesn't have one, much to the dismay of Kon. He states that he is worried, as Ichigo is constantly drained of his powers, so dispelling them will require much difficulty. The Reigai comment that his Reiatsu is diminishing and his current level will not be sufficient to defeat them. He resorts to using his Bankai, much to Kon's protests, as black Reiatsu surrounds him.

Meanwhile, in Renji and Sado's fight against the Reigai, they both pant heavily from the imposter's onslaught. The Reigai claims to have more in store for them, firing a Hikotsu Taihō attack at them, which is nullified by Sado's Brazo Izquierda del Diablo. The Reigai-Renji is surprised as Sado charges at his Bankai, segmenting it with a single punch. The real Renji comments upon Sado's quick thinking, using his own Hikotsu Taihō at the imposter. A bright light illuminates the area, as a red pill clatters to the ground. Renji comments that they were victorious, but doesn't feel right defeating himself. Sado picks up the red pill, as Renji examines it closely. He states that it is no ordinary Gikon, as Ichigo charges up a Getsuga Tenshō, sending it hurtling at his Reigai opponents. As the smoke clears, the Reigai-Rukia cedes victory to Ichigo, shortly before collapsing.


Ichigo defeats the Reigai.

It reverts into a red pill, as Ichigo struggles to stand up. He returns back to his Shikai state, as Kon and Nozomi walk over to him. Kon asks him whether his Reiatsu was able to cope with the strain of using Bankai, but discreetly denies feeling sympathy for Ichigo's condition. Nozomi asks him why he would risk his powers for her sake, to which Ichigo reiterates the promise he made to protect her at all costs. He tells her not to enter the Dangai, to which she agrees, much to Kon's surprise.

Shinigami Illustrated Picture Book[]

The Reigai of Captains Jūshirō Ukitake and Shunsui Kyōraku prepare to attack Captain-Commander Yamamoto, but Ukitake quickly calls the battle over as he falls to the floor coughing. Yamamoto asks if he has been taking his medicine, but Kyōraku says that they are Reigai. Yamamoto says that is no excuse. Out on the roof of the building, Ukitake gulps down his medicine and Kyōraku says it is terrible being that much like the originals.

Characters in Order of Appearance[]


Powers and Techniques Used[]

Techniques used:

Zanpakutō released:



Other Powers:


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