151. Deathberry Returns
152. The Speed Phantom
153. Empty Dialogue
154. The God of Flash
155. Redoundable deeds/Redoubtable babies
156. Welcome to Purgatory
157. Cat And Hornet
158. Sky Leopardess
150. Countdown to the End: 0
151. The Deathberry Returns
152. The Speed Phantom
153. Empty Dialogue
154. "Flash Master"
155. Redoundable Deeds/Redoubtable Babies
156. Welcome to Purgatory
157. Cat and Hornet
158. Sky Leopardess
The Deathberry Returns is the eighteenth volume of the Bleach manga series.
The execution of Ichigo Kurosaki's friend, Rukia Kuchiki has begun, yet Ichigo himself is nowhere in sight. In a matter of seconds, the power of one million Zanpakutō will slice through Rukia as punishment for sharing her Shinigami powers with Ichigo. Is this really how things are going to end?!
As Rukia is about to be executed, Ichigo saves her.
As the Sōkyoku is released, Rukia is able to bring her mind at peace again and she thanks Byakuya. She is then lifted up in the air and is restricted of all movement. Nanao is upset at seeing this, but Shunsui tells her not to be sad or it will make him sad as well. The Sōkyoku is then released, and several of the Shinigami look on in shock as it begins to take the form of an enormous phoenix. Yamamoto explains to everyone that that is the true form of the Sōkyoku and that the execution will end when it pierces Rukia's body.
Rukia tells herself that she isn't scared, and that she has lived a great life meeting Renji, Byakuya, Kaien, and even Ichigo. She thanks everyone and sheds a single tear. The Sōkyoku begins to charge at her to end her life, but its attack is unexpectedly blocked. Rukia looks on in shock and sees Ichigo flying in the air right in front of her.
Ukitake arrives to seal the Sōkyoku and Ichigo destroys the execution stand.
Rukia is shocked to see Ichigo, and immediately yells at him because Byakuya is definitely going to kill him this time. She then tells him to just leave, and to let her get executed.
Suì-Fēng looks on, shocked that someone was actually able to stop the Sōkyoku's insane strength with only a single Zanpakutō, and angrily wonders who he is. Shunsui asks Nanao if he's one of the Ryoka, which she confirms. Shunsui then smiles that an outsider was the one who made it in time.
The Sōkyoku gets ready to attack again, and Ichigo gets prepared to fight. Rukia warns him that he won't be able to block the attack a second time, but he doesn't care and charges straight towards the Sōkyoku. Before he can, Ukitake arrives and begins to seal the Sōkyoku. Shunsui is happy to see that he's finally arrived and begins to help him out. Suì-Fēng notices what they are doing and attempts to stop them, but she is too late, and the Sōkyoku is sealed back into its halberd form.
Ichigo then decides to destroy the execution stand, but Rukia warns him not to waste his strength. Ichigo tells her to shut up and pierces his sword in the middle of the execution stand, destroying it along with the restraints holding Rukia. He then tells Rukia that he doesn't care about her opinions and that he's come here to save her. Rukia tells Ichigo that she won't thank him, which he is fine with.
Renji runs away with Rukia and Ichigo begins his battle with Byakuya.
The Shinigami are shocked to see that Ichigo was able to destroy the execution stand so easily and wonder who he is.
Rukia asks Ichigo what they are going to do now, and he tells her they are going to run. Rukia yells at him that they won't be able to since the captains are surrounding the area, but Ichigo simply says he'll just beat them up. He then tells her that he didn't just come here to rescue her, but to also bring back his friends. Rukia thinks to herself that Ichigo has become stronger. All of a sudden, Renji appears to help and Rukia is happy to see he's safe. Ichigo then throws Rukia towards Renji, shocking the both of them. He then tells Renji that it is his job to get Rukia out of here and to not let go of her, even if he dies.
Renji begins running away, but lieutenants Marechiyo, Isane, and Chōjirō are ordered to stop him; however, Ichigo swiftly appears in front of them. The lieutenants release their Zanpakutō, but Ichigo quickly punches Marechiyo's stomach, destroying his Zanpakutō at the same time. Chōjirō then attacks Ichigo, but he is defeated easily as well. Isane looks on, shocked that Ichigo was able to defeat two lieutenants so easily without even using a Zanpakutō. Ichigo takes this opportunity to knock out Isane as well. All of a sudden, Byakuya attacks Ichigo from behind, but his blow is blocked, and Ichigo boasts that he can see his every move now.
Byakuya asks Ichigo why he wants to save Rukia so much, and Ichigo counters him by asking why he won't save Rukia. Byakuya states that it is a pointless question and that he wouldn't even understand his answer. Byakuya then decides to stop talking and goes after Ichigo. The two begin to battle, but they are evenly matched. Byakuya decides that he will kill him and then carry out Rukia's execution himself, but Ichigo tells him that he won't allow that. The two of them begin to clash again.
Kiyone tries goes over to help her sister Isane, but Sentarō warns her that she'll get dragged into Byakuya's fight if she went. Suddenly, Sentarō is knocked out by Suì-Fēng, who then confronts Kiyone. Ukitake yells at her to stop, but Yamamoto stops him and states that the person who ran off with Rukia was a vice-captain that can easily be slain and replaced. He scolds Ukitake and Shunsui, though, saying that they are a different matter, since they are captains and should have known better. He tells them that they have committed a severe crime, and Shunsui decides to grab Ukitake and escape.
Ukitake tells him to stop, since his division members are still there, but Shunsui warns him that if they fought there, everyone would die. He tells him that they will be fine anyways, since someone else on their side is still around.
Suì-Fēng prepares to kill Kiyone, but is tackled off of Sōkyoku Hill by someone. She looks up to see who it is, and is shocked to see it's Yoruichi. the two then crash into the forest below.
Unohana decides to heal the injured, while Yoruichi begins battling Suì-Fēng. Meanwhile Yamamoto decides to punish Ukitake and Shunsui.
Isane wakes up on Captain Unohana's Zanpakutō, Minazuki. Unohana takes all the wounded people back in Minazuki's stomach and tells her subordinates to take care of them. Then she tells Isane that the Ryoka and other Captains are fighting, but they can't stop them, so she wants Isane to come with her somewhere.
Yoruichi and Suì-Fēng are fighting their own battle. Suì-Fēng comments that Yoruichi hasn't gotten stronger, and Yoruichi says that Suì-Fēng got weaker. Suì-Fēng says that if Yoruichi's action of assisting the Ryoka is found out, then the Shihōin family will fall from the noble family list, and the falling of a noble family is not a pretty sight at all. Yoruichi says that Suì-Fēng talks a lot, and wonders if it is because she's excited about seeing her Senpai again, or if she is just blowing off the steam from her stressful position. Suì-Fēng draws her sword, saying that Yoruichi's era ended a long time ago; now both the Onmitsukidō and the Executive Militia are under her control. As she says this, the Executive Militia surround Yoruichi, but Yoruichi takes them all down effortlessly. Yoruichi then reminds Suì-Fēng that there's one title she didn't give away, "Goddess Of Flash Yoruichi". Suì-Fēng says that she will take that title away from Yoruichi with her own hand.
Ukitake, Kyōraku, and Nanao arrive at a place far away so that they can fight Yamamoto, but Yamamoto is already there. He then tells them to come, and this time it won't end with just punches.
Ukitake and Shunsui battle Yamamoto, who decides to release his Zanpakutō.
Ukitake, Kyōraku, and Nanao prepare to fight Yamamoto. Nanao then tries to take out her Zanpakutō, but she is caught in Yamamoto's stare and is suffocated by his spiritual pressure. Kyōraku breaks the eye contact to save her, and brings her to a safer spot. She then realizes that it is not only difficult to win against Yamamoto, even with two Captains on their side, but it is next to impossible. When Kyōraku is back, Yamamoto comments that his Shunpo is good. He then recalls the time when Kyōraku and Ukitake were in the Shin'ō Academy; they were the first to become Captains through the academy that Yamamoto founded. He was proud of them, as if they were his sons, and he believed that even if the character is different, it is fine if they took the same path. He says that he was wrong, and takes out his Zanpakutō from his wooden staff. Yamamoto tells Ukitake and Kyōraku that it's too late for words, they have to draw their swords. Ukitake and Kyōraku do so, and they charge at each other.
Meanwhile, Rukia tries to persuade Renji to put her down so she can help Ichigo, but Renji yells at her that she has to stop whining because someone may hear them. Somebody does hear them, and Renji blames Rukia, even though they actually heard him yelling. When they continue to run, Renji tells Rukia that Ichigo said that he owes her for making him a Shinigami, and that he will fight and protect everyone. Renji tells Rukia that nobody thinks of her as badly as she does. She should not blame herself, and try to depend on him and Ichigo. Rukia apologizes and thanks Renji, who calls her an idiot and says that she doesn't need to be sorry or thanks him.
Yamamoto asks if Kyōraku and Ukitake intend to fight him without releasing their Zanpakutō. Kyōraku asks him if there's another way other than fighting. Yamamoto tells them that there's no mercy for those who obstruct justice, but Ukitake and Kyōraku reminds him that he also once said that they have to follow through with their own sense of justice and protect it with everything they have. Yamamoto says that there's no individual sense of justice that can overrule the global justice, and Ukitake asks what the global justice is. Yamamoto tells him again that it is too late for words. Then he releases his Zanpakutō Shikai, Ryūjin Jakka.
Yamamoto prepares to punish Kyōraku and Ukitake for their rule breaking.
Yumichika finds Kenpachi sitting idle and wonders if the fight is finished already. Kenpachi says no, but that the "wolf jerk" suddenly yelled "Genryūsai-dono," and ran away. Yumichika is a bit confused regarding who the "wolf jerk" is, but comments that Yamamoto's release must be what he was sensing. As Kenpachi turns to Yumichika to continue their conversation, he suddenly drops the subject of Yamamoto, and wonders how Yumichika won without getting injured. Yumichika says that he had won without getting injured, but that his clothes had gotten dirty, so he had changed before coming to find Kenpachi. Kenpachi also comments on how Yumichika seems more full of energy, causing Yumichika wonders if he is suggesting that he is more beautiful than before. Kenpachi tells him that's not what he said, and yells at him to stop gyrating. Yumichika apologizes and says that he is just happy, as he hadn't fought like that for a long time.
In another location, Hisagi lies prone on the roof top, struggling to breathe as he comments on how sneaky Yumichika's Zanpakutō is and how it gobbled up his energy. It is then that he notices the flames of Ryūjin Jakka in the third old city, and realizes that Yamamoto is also fighting.
Watching as Yamamoto's Ryūjin Jakka is fully released, Ukitake begins to wonder how long it has been since he has seen Yamamoto like this. He also wonders how long it has been since he felt such suffocating fear, as the transcended spiritual pressure of Ryūjin Jakka, the oldest and most powerful fire-type Zanpakutō of them all, affects him. Yamamoto then tells them to release their Zanpakutō, commenting that they would not want to be turned to ash without putting up a fight. Having no choice, Ukitake releases his Shikai, Sōgyo no Kotowari, and Kyōraku releases his own, Katen Kyōkotsu. Yamamoto comments on how Sōgyo no Kotowari and Katen Kyōkotsu are the only two twin bladed Zanpakutō in existence, and what a magnificent sight it is to see them released. Yamamoto asks them if they are ready. Ukitake says that they are. All three of them clash in a huge explosion of power.
Jidanbō awakens and talks to the residents of Rukongai who were looking after him. They brush it off, and tell him to thank Orihime when he sees her. As they all wonder if Orihime is all right, Kūkaku arrives and tells Jidanbō to come with her as she is going to go visit Yoruichi.
Meanwhile, Yoruichi comments on Suì-Fēng's uniform, stating how she has not seen the Shōzoku uniform for awhile. Suì-Fēng asks if it brings back memories, Yoruichi says that it does. Suì-Fēng encourages her to think back and then compare who between them is a better warrior before attacking. Yoruichi and Suì-Fēng begin battle using Hakuda. Eventually they both back-off, and Suì-Fēng declares it to be a draw. Yoruichi asks Suì-Fēng what her trick is and wonders if the uniform has been modified. Suì-Fēng asks Yoruichi if she really thinks she needs a trick, and uses Shunpo to appear behind her with her Zanpakutō, Suzumebachi held to Yoruichi's face and releases it. Yoruichi tries to get away, but Suì-Fēng catches up with her and stabs her. Yoruichi is surprised, as Suì-Fēng explains that she had been holding back, and that she is now stronger than Yoruichi. Suì-Fēng tells Yoruichi that she will now pay with her life; that is the cost of being away from the front lines for 100 years.
Suì-Fēng asks Yoruichi if she remembers the ability of Suì-Fēng's Zanpakutō, as a Hōmonka appears on Yoruichi's chest. Suì-Fēng explains that in the 100 years she has been perfecting the technique, she has made it so that no one can survive being hit by Suzumebachi twice in the same spot now. She then uses Shunpo to maneuver behind Yoruichi and attempts to deliver the second strike. Yoruichi attempts to escape, but Suì-Fēng mocks her for it and tells her that it is useless. Her Hōmonka no longer has a time limit as it used to, then Yoruichi suddenly stops and throws an Anken at Suì-Fēng. However, she manages to block, Yoruichi and Suì-Fēng then resume using Hakuda that concludes with Yoruichi getting cut across the cheek. Suì-Fēng then tells Yoruichi that she must sense that she, Suì-Fēng, is now better then her. Suì-Fēng then tells her that it is the end and shows her a new technique, shocking Yoruichi. Suì-Fēng explains she hasn't yet even given the technique a name, as she only perfected it a few days ago. Suì-Fēng explains that it is a move that combines Kidō and Hakuda. Suì-Fēng tells Yoruichi to feel honored, as she will be its first victim.
Yoruichi tells Suì-Fēng that she is wrong and that the technique already has a name which is: Shunkō. Yoruichi then asks Suì-Fēng if she knows why the Shōzoku is backless and bare at the shoulders. Yoruichi explains it is because those parts would be wasted, as the Kidō draw power to the arms and legs, which then explodes outwards; this would cause the fabric on those parts to be blown away. Yoruichi then activates her Shunkō and demonstrates to Suì-Fēng the complete form of the technique. As Suì-Fēng stands, speechless, Yoruichi explains that she didn't really want to use that move against Suì-Fēng. She then tells her to beware, as she still can't control it very well.
Chapters 150 and 151 in this volume were featured on the cover of Weekly Shonen Jump and printed in color for two straight weeks. According to the editor in chief, it was a first for the magazine. I'm thankful. Firsts are always nice. I love them. -Tite Kubo