045. Point of Purpose
046. Karneades~Back to Back
047. Back to Back~Tearing Sky
050. QUINCY ARCHER HATES YOU Part 2 [Blind But Bleed Mix]
051. DEATH 3
052. (Needless Emotions)
044. Awaking to the Threat
045. Point of Purpose
046. Karneades ~ Back-to-Back
047. Back-to-Back ~ Tearing Sky
048. Menos Grande
050. QUINCY ARCHER HATES YOU Part 2 (Blind but Bleed Mix)
051. DEATH 3
052. Needless Emotions
THE DEATH TRILOGY OVERTURE is the sixth volume of the Bleach manga series.
Ichigo Kurosaki may not know this, but the world he lives in is one predicated on balance--between the living and the dead, between everyday life and the Soul Society. Shinigami aren't merely fighting Hollows, they are charged with the grand task of equalizing the balance between this life and the next. Naturally, if too much energy is channeled to one side, really bad things will happen--just as they're happening now! Ichigo and Uryū's competition inadvertently results in generating a leviathan of a Hollow whose sheer size is capable of tearing the Shinigami's delicately constructed balance to ribbons. Is Ichigo Shinigami enough to fell this giant and protect the equilibrium of the universe? Find out in Tite Kubo's international manga smash-hit Bleach!
In Karakura Town, Karin Kurosaki directs her father, Isshin Kurosaki, to the field where she had left an injured Yasutora Sado, insulting him as he repeatedly goes in the wrong direction. However, upon arriving at the field, they find it is completely empty, leading Isshin to initially believe that Karin lied before having an epiphany. While Karin asserts that she did not lie and that Sado was lying injured right here when she left him, Isshin expresses his belief that Karin made up a story so she could spend some time with her father because he has been so busy lately and opens his shirt as he encourages her to give him a hug, only for an irritated Karin to punch him in the face and put him in a Boston crab hold while wondering where Sado went. As Isshin continues to misinterpret Karin's actions as an attempt at familial love, Karin declares that injured people should not be walking around.
Meanwhile, at the Urahara Shop, a sleeping Orihime Inoue rolls around and mutters that Ichigo Kurosaki that he is misunderstanding the rules of the video game they are playing before bolting awake out of frustration, slamming the back of her head into Yasutora Sado's face in the process as he looks down on her. When Orihime greets him, Sado returns the greeting while pinching his bloody nose and notes that she has a surprisingly hard head as he asks her what she was moaning and dreaming about. A blushing Orihime claims that she cannot tell him because it is a secret, leading Sado to wonder if it was that embarrassing, before realizing that she is no longer at Karakura High School and asking Sado where they are. Stepping forward, Kisuke Urahara observes that they are finally awake, and when Orihime inquires who he is, Sado admits that he is not sure before revealing that he saved their lives and asking Urahara to finish telling them why they suddenly have strange powers and what Ichigo's involvement is, to Orihime's surprise.
Elsewhere in Karakura Town, Ichigo slashes through a Hollow's mask, purifying it, while noting that Karin should be safe for now because he and Uryū Ishida have defeated most of the Hollows between her and the Kurosaki Clinic. Declaring that he is going to make Uryū cry now, Ichigo envisions him tauntingly asking if Ichigo can find him with his feeble powers and asserts that he will find him as he runs off and tells Kon to hurry up and get Rukia Kuchiki's Denreishinki. Meanwhile, Uryū destroys a Hollow's head with three Heilig Pfeil and observes that he is unable to kill them with a single shot anymore as blood drips from the fingers on his arrow hand. As he mentally asserts that something is wrong and there are too many Hollows appearing while his strength is waning, Uryū envisions a Shinigami and grits his teeth before criticizing himself for whining. Proclaiming that he must keep going and cannot lose, Uryū runs off while asking his former master, Sōken Ishida, to confirm that he is not wrong and declaring that he will avenge him.
Elsewhere, Rukia uses Hadō #4. Byakurai against a Hollow, only for it to have minimal effect as the Hollow slams a tentacle into the ground near her. As she crouches and holds her arms up in a defensive posture, a lightly wounded Rukia observes that her Kidō is too weak to harm Hollows because she cannot summon enough power for it and laments how a pig-like Hollow is deflecting her shots before wondering if this is really all the strength she has recovered after spending two months in this Gigai. However, as the Hollow attempts to attack Rukia again, Kon appears and lands a kick to its head, sending it flying back. Though Rukia initially believes it is Ichigo, she quickly concludes that it is Kon as he rubs his head against her chest and declares that he missed her greatly. While Rukia restrains Kon with her foot against his chin and realizes that Ichigo must have entered his Shinigami form if Kon is in his body, Kon praises the feeling of her kick before recalling that Ichigo wanted him to get something from her and claiming that he might be able to remember what it is if Rukia lets go of his wrists, only for Rukia to begin pushing his head back further while pulling on his arms, causing Kon to assert that she is going to break Ichigo's body and note that he looks like the Nike logo.
Suddenly, Kon tells Rukia to look out behind her as Uryū steps forward and observes that this area is safe as well. When Kon accuses Uryū of having started this mess just to kill everyone in town, Rukia realizes that the Hollow influx is his fault as Uryū states that he should say it is nice to meet her since this is the first time they have spoken one-on-one, to Kon's chagrin. Affirming Kon's claim that he started this, Uryū asserts that he does not intend to let anyone get killed and promises that he will protect the citizens of Karakura Town with his life if Ichigo runs out of strength, as this duel will have been for nothing if he cannot do that, leading Rukia to wonder what he is trying to prove. Suddenly, the pig-like Hollow rears up behind Rukia and Kon, prompting Uryū to ready another Heilig Pfeil to fire, but has its head sliced in two, shocking Uryū, as Ichigo declares that he has finally found him.
Back at the Urahara Shop, with Urahara having informed them of the existence of Shinigami and Hollows, Orihime and Sado express disbelief at his tale. When Urahara asks them if his story is really that incredible, Sado affirms this and Orihime asks him if he expects them to believe in such things without proof, only for Urahara to point out that the monsters with holes in their chests which attacked them earlier are proof as he tells them to deny the fear and pain they experienced before they reject his story. Urahara explains that Ichigo has incredible Reiryoku in his Shinigami form but is unable to properly control it, causing it to constantly flow out of him, and notes that it is so concentrated that it can affect other Souls, like Orihime and Sado. Reminding Orihime and Sado that they have come into contact with Ichigo's Shinigami form on multiple occasions in the past, Urahara reveals that this is what caused their latent supernatural powers to awaken.
In the Urahara Shop, with a stunned Orihime Inoue repeating his claim that her and Yasutora Sado's abilities were awoken through contact with Ichigo Kurosaki, Kisuke Urahara confirms this, prompting Orihime to admit that she does not understand. Urahara explains that their transformations are not diseases and that they were simply given the keys to the doors in front of them, which they do not need to know the cause for or feel sorrow over, before asserting that they can use the keys to open the doors or lock them and decide to not pass through if they do open them. Suddenly, Tessai Tsukabishi enters the room and informs Urahara that the Kūmon are converging. After confirming with Tessai that preparations are complete, Urahara begins to leave, and when Orihime protests this, Urahara asks her and Sado if they wish to come along in order see the proof of the world they are about to step into and the enemy they are going to fight for themselves as he exits his shop, flanked by Tessai, Jinta Hanakari, and Ururu Tsumugiya.
Meanwhile, as Ichigo stares down Uryū Ishida with Rukia Kuchiki and Kon, he notes that he finally found Uryū and claims that he would ordinarily make Uryū cry right now before claiming that he has to pulverize someone else first, to Uryū's confusion. Grabbing Kon by the collar, Ichigo demands to know where he has been, prompting a bewildered Kon to wonder why Ichigo is mad at him and asking him to wait until he is finished with Uryū first. When Ichigo recounts how he had to run all over town because Kon did not bring him Rukia's Denreishinki, Kon claims that he should be happy because running is a great way to relieve stress, and when Ichigo asserts that he does not have stress, Kon asks him why he is always scowling if this is the case as Uryū watches in stunned silence. Ichigo points out how Kon should have been able to find Rukia right away if he really dedicated himself to her body and soul, which leads Kon to declare that he was able to find her just by her smell, prompting an embarrassed Rukia to claim that she does not smell.
Continuing to watch this in astonishment, Uryū tries to get their attention by proclaiming that this is not time for bickering because he is their enemy, only to be ignored as Kon explains to Rukia that she smells nice and tries to demonstrate where it originates from, prompting Rukia to punch him in the face, breaking his nose. While Kon wails in pain, Ichigo reminds Rukia to think before she punches because this is his body that she is harming, but when Kon deflects blame onto himself and encourages Ichigo to hit him instead of Rukia, an irritated Ichigo does so, further injuring his own body. After watching all this in awkward silence, an annoyed Uryū summons his Heilig Bogen, Kojaku, and draws back a Heilig Pfeil while declaring that he is Ichigo's opponent. Suddenly, the blood on Uryū's finger causes the ring holding back the Heilig Pfeil to slip off of it and fire the Heilig Pfeil at Ichigo, who turns around and slashes through it with his Zanpakutō, to Uryū's surprise, before affirming that this fight is between the two of them and challenging Uryū to fight him right now rather than continue the Hollow hunt.
However, when Uryū remains silent, Ichigo angrily tells him to say something, only for a frightened Kon to draw Ichigo's attention to the cracks in the sky converging at one point. Noticing something else, Uryū points out how all the Hollows in the city are gathering at that point as well. When Uryū prepares to fire another Heilig Pfeil, Ichigo tells him to look at how many Hollows there are and think before he attacks, but Uryū merely asks him if he is scared before firing the Heilig Pfeil through a Hollow's head, destroying it. While Ichigo denies this, Uryū tells him to watch from here if he is scared and proclaims that he won the duel before running up a nearby set of stairs and declaring to the assembled Hollows that the Last Quincy will destroy them. As Ichigo wonders what he is talking about, Rukia reveals that the Quincy were wiped out 200 years ago by the Shinigami, which is why all surviving Quincy despise them, shocking Ichigo. Affirming this as he stands outside his shop, Urahara notes that it was a difficult choice even for the Shinigami because the Quincy had to be eliminated in order to prevent the collapse of the universe.
A shocked Ichigo Kurosaki repeats Rukia Kuchiki's statement of the Shinigami having wiped out the Quincy, prompting her to affirm this before revealing that they did so in order to prevent the collapse of the universe. Noting that Shinigami are often referred to as Balancers in Soul Society, Rukia explains that an equal amount of Souls must be maintained in Soul Society and this world at all times because the balance of the two worlds will shift and bring destruction to both if it is not before detailing how the Shinigami serve to adjust the number of Souls in the two worlds; the Souls released by Soul Society are accounted for when they are reincarnated in the Human World, and the Souls that die or become Hollows in the Human World are returned to Soul Society by the Shinigami. As she observes that entrusting the transfer of all Souls to Shinigami allows Soul Society to monitor the number of Souls in each world to maintain the balance, Rukia reveals that this changed when the Quincy appeared because they completely eradicate Hollows, preventing those Souls from returning to Soul Society and leading to the number of Souls in the Human World increasing instead of remaining stable, and explains how this would have eventually led to Soul Society spilling into the Human World and mixing life and death together in chaos, causing the collapse of the universe.
With Ichigo listening in stunned silence, Rukia recounts how Soul Society began pleading with the Quincy to leave the management of Hollows to the Shinigami a few years after they were discovered, only to note that the Quincy stubbornly refused and began rapidly increasing in number, leading to the cycle of Souls being disrupted and leaving the universe on the edge of collapse, which led to the decision that the Quincy must be eliminated. As he recalls Rukia asking him if he thinks the Shinigami were wrong to make this decision, Ichigo runs toward the Hollows and admits that he does not know. In the midst of the Hollows, Uryū stands with a Heilig Pfeil formed and expresses frustration at how the Hollows keep increasing in number no matter how many of them he kills. As the Hollows close in, Uryū mentally calls out to his master, only to be surprised when Ichigo calls out to him and turn his head to see Hollows being tossed aside by Ichigo's attacks. Seeing this berserk manner of fighting, a stunned Uryū questions Ichigo telling him to think before he attacks as Ichigo makes his way to the top of a pile of defeated Hollows and declares that he knows Uryū's story now. With Uryū alerted by this, Ichigo asserts that he does not know if the Shinigami or Quincy were right before attempting to tell Uryū what he thinks of his methods, only for Uryū to reveal that he does not care what happened to the Quincy 200 years ago and considers it to just be an old legend that his master told him.
Destroying a Hollow behind him with a Heilig Pfeil through the head, Uryū admits that he actually thought the Shinigami were right when he heard of the fall of the Quincy and states that he is not so sentimental that he would hold this against Ichigo before revealing that this changed when his master was killed right before his eyes. In the past, on the roof of Karakura Hospital, Uryū runs up to Sōken Ishida and brings up the story he told about the annihilation of the Quincy before claiming that Sōken left out the details and asking him if the Shinigami were wrong in the end. Pausing for a moment as he eats, Sōken tells Uryū that he believes the Quincy were wrong for failing to heed the admonitions of the Shinigami, leading a shocked Uryū to point out how it was the Quincy who were eradicated, which Sōken confirms before clarifying that it did not matter who was right and who was wrong after their people died. Explaining that all they had to think about was how to make sure such a thing never happened again, Sōken states that seeing the sad faces of Shinigami or Humans pains him. Surprised by this, Uryū also asks Sōken if the traditional Quincy uniform and his robes will ever be updated because he believes they are lame, to Sōken's shock.
In the present, Uryū notes that Sōken was kind and never taught him to hate or dislike anyone before explaining to Ichigo how he was under constant surveillance as one of the last surviving Quincy. Detailing how Sōken kept arguing the case that the Quincy were necessary and thought of ways that they and the Shinigami could work together, Uryū destroys another Hollow while observing that Shinigami are always slow to respond to Hollows in the Human World due to the peace of Soul Society and recounting Sōken's argument of having a contingent of Quincy act as first responders against Hollows until the Shinigami could arrive. While destroying two more Hollows, Uryū states that the Shinigami always responded to his suggestions with a warning to stay out of their work before revealing that this eventually got Sōken killed. As he details how Sōken was facing five large Hollows that day and was obviously no match for them without the help of Shinigami, Uryū recalls how they showed up two hours after Sōken had started fighting and an hour after Sōken himself had died.
Uryū asserts that Sōken's philosophy never reached the Shinigami because he would not have had to die and they would have arrived in time to save him if they had embraced his ideas and recognized the strength of the Quincy. Asking a stunned Ichigo if he understands, Uryū proclaims that he must demonstrate the strength of the Quincy to him and asserts that he does not want Ichigo's help in this battle because he is a Shinigami, meaning that their ways of thinking are totally different, before telling him to watch from there if he thinks Uryū's way of thinking is wrong so Uryū can demonstrate its effectiveness as he turns to face the Hollows. However, Ichigo merely kicks Uryū head-first into a Hollow while declaring that he talks too much, and when a startled Uryū demands to know why he did this, Ichigo kicks him in the head again before expressing exasperation at how long Uryū's story was. Reminding Uryū that Sōken's main desire was to have Shinigami and Quincy fight as a team rather than prove Quincy are superior to Shinigami, Ichigo points out that they may never get another chance to do this if they do not do it now and pulls Uryū to his feet while proclaiming that fighting overwhelming odds is still better done back-to-back even if Shinigami and Quincy are complete opposites.
Standing at the bottom of the stairs, Kon notes that it has suddenly gotten quiet and that he and Rukia Kuchiki are alone before trying to fondle her, only for Rukia to swiftly knee him in the crotch and run up the stairs while calling out for Ichigo Kurosaki as Kon apologizes to Ichigo for the damage to his privates. At the top of the stairs, Rukia is surprised to see Ichigo and Uryū Ishida standing back-to-back in the middle of dozens of Hollows. When Uryū questions Ichigo's declaration that they should fight back-to-back as a Shinigami and a Quincy and dismisses as ridiculous because of how different they are, Ichigo grabs his shoulder and asks him if he is still hung up on that before pushing himself over Uryū to slash through a Hollow behind him with his Zanpakutō. Surprised by this, Uryū sees another Hollow charging at them and destroys it with a Heilig Pfeil from his Heilig Bogen, Kojaku. As Ichigo commends this as proof of what he is talking about, Uryū asserts that he only destroyed the Hollow to protect himself and was not helping out Ichigo, who merely states that this is fine.
With Uryū surprised by this reply, Ichigo points out how they have to help each other because fighting alone is tough and this is a deadly scenario before asking him if survival is not a good enough reason to overcome their differences. As Uryū listens silently, Ichigo explains that he is originally a Human and does not know that much about the Shinigami or carry out his duties because he loves doing them. When Ichigo states that he does want to defeat Hollows, Uryū inquires why and is stunned when Ichigo reveals that his mother was killed by one of them. Ichigo observes that he seems to understand now and clarifies that this is not the only reason as he asserts that he does not want anyone else to go through that because of how his dad and twosisters have had a rough time since his mother died. Cutting through two more Hollows, Ichigo concludes that he fights them because he does not want to see this. As Uryū recalls Sōken Ishida explaining that seeing the sad faces of Shinigami and Humans pains him, Ichigo admits that he cannot protect everyone in the world like Superman and refuses to only protect the few he can hold in his arms before declaring that he wants to protect as many people as he can. Ichigo turns to face Uryū and reminds him that this duel he challenged Ichigo to is endangering a lot of people regardless of what reason he initiated it for as he asserts that he will not forgive Uryū for being so irresponsible, but acknowledges that now is not the time to address that because of how many Hollows there are. As Ichigo proposes that they join forces despite this so he can beat up Uryū later, Uryū fires a Heilig Pfeil past his face, grazing Ichigo's cheek and destroying a Hollow behind him, as he criticizes Ichigo for talking too much before clarifying his proposition as meaning that they will not be able to fight each other if they do not survive this. Grinning, Ichigo confirms this and promises to make Uryū cry as the two of them assume battle stances back-to-back.
However, as Ichigo and Uryū face the Hollows around them, Uryū notices that they are looking up at the sky as if they are praying, and the two of them look toward the distortion in the sky in fright as a Menos Grande opens a Kūmon in the middle of it. While Ichigo marvels at the size of the Menos Grande and wonders if it is a Hollow too, Uryū questions how he should know this and points out that they cannot fight it and all the remaining Hollows, only for Ichigo to declare that they have no choice. Uryū reminds Ichigo that he was the one who said to think before he attacks, and Ichigo rebuts that this situation is different and they do not have time to think. Suddenly, as Ichigo and Uryū face down the Hollows, several of them are destroyed by a barrage of blasts as Ururu Tsumugiya greets them while holding her Senren Bakusatsu Taihō. Appearing next to her with Tessai Tsukabishi and Jinta Hanakari, Kisuke Urahara declares that they are here to help Ichigo.
While Jinta Hanakari blows away several Hollows with Jinta Home Run, Ururu Tsumugiya destroys several more with her Senren Bakusatsu Taihō and Tessai Tsukabishi destroys the top of another Hollow's head with Tesshō, leading a shocked Uryū Ishida to observe that the number of Hollows is rapidly decreasing while Ichigo Kurosaki wonders what Kisuke Urahara is doing here and why he always appears wherever Ichigo goes. Urahara reminds Ichigo that he just declared that he and his crew were here to help Ichigo before clarifying that they will take care of the Hollows so he can focus on the Menos Grande. As Urahara notes that there is no time to talk, Ichigo and Uryū watch in astonishment as the Menos Grande pulls itself through the Kūmon.
Behind them, Rukia Kuchiki stares in shock at the emerging Menos Grande, and when a frightened Kon asks her what it is, Rukia identifies it as a giant Hollow comprised of hundreds of ordinary Hollows which she has only seen illustrations of in textbooks up until now and that ordinarily requires the Royal Guard to deal with it when one appears, as it is far beyond the abilities of an ordinary Shinigami. Uryū notes with disbelief that it is almost inconceivably huge, and Ichigo agrees while noting that he almost cannot believe it is a Hollow. Suddenly, as the Hollows nearby continue to "pray" to it, the Menos Grande opens its mouth and extends a long, whip-like tongue that skewers several of them and retracts into its mouth, where the Menos Grande gorily bites down on the Hollows and devours them.
Watching in horror, Uryū wonders how they are supposed to fight such a large and powerful Hollow, but Ichigo merely chuckles and asserts that it is pointless to think about how they will defeat the Menos Grande before declaring that the only way to do so is to repeatedly cut it up as he runs off and tells Uryū to follow him, to Uryū's bewilderment. Seeing Ichigo and Uryū running toward the Menos Grande, Rukia shouts to Ichigo that he cannot defeat it and tries to intervene, only for Urahara to suddenly appear in front of her. When Rukia demands to know if he is trying to get Ichigo killed, Urahara denies this, but as Rukia tries to get past him and stop Ichigo, Urahara asserts that he cannot do that because this battle is necessary for both of them and apologizes as he uses Shibireyubi, causing Rukia to fall to her knees as she realizes that Urahara has used a Bakudō spell on her.
As he runs up to the Menos Grande, which is stepping out of the Kūmon, a yelling Ichigo leaps forward and cuts into its ankle with his Zanpakutō, only for the unfazed Menos Grande to kick him away. Upon seeing Ichigo land next to him, Uryū reminds him that he criticized this plan of action and fires a Heilig Pfeil at the Menos Grande's head, which does minimal damage. Noting that he cannot do enough damage with his Kojaku, Uryū asks Ichigo if he is alright, prompting a bloodied Ichigo to casually note that he is not dead while Uryū demands to know what he was thinking and how he thought he could defeat the Menos Grande like that. Ichigo explains how he figured that he could reach the Menos Grande's head by cutting up his body in sections starting with his feet, and a bemused Uryū wonders if he ate a lot of paint chips as a child before asserting that they need a new strategy as he puts his hand on the blade of Ichigo's Zanpakutō. Suddenly, Uryū's Heilig Bogen, Kojaku, increases drastically in size, leading a shocked Uryū to look at Ichigo as he realizes what is happening.
Seeing his Heilig Bogen, Kojaku, increasing drastically in size, Uryū Ishida looks at his hand on the blade of Ichigo Kurosaki's Zanpakutō and wonders in awe if this is Ichigo's Reiryoku as he ruminates on how Shinigami and Quincy also differ in their spiritual powers; Shinigami materialize Reiryoku from their own souls into a Zanpakutō, using power from within, while Quincy gather ambient Reishi and coat them in their own Reiryoku to materialize them as Hollow-killing weapons, using power from without. Uryū notes that touching Ichigo's Zanpakutō caused his Kojaku to grow more powerful because Ichigo's Reiryoku is unconsciously flowing into him. When Uryū gets his attention, Ichigo is shocked by the size of his Kojaku and asks him how it got so big as Uryū reveals that they may have a way to defeat the Menos Grande, to Ichigo's surprise.
On the second floor of a building behind them, as the Menos Grande strides through the Kūmon, Yasutora Sado asks Orihime Inoue if she can see Ichigo and Uryū clearly, which she confirms, and admits that they are blurry to him as they watch the battle unfold through a window. As she states that they will be waiting and watching to decide what path they will take, Orihime mentally admits that she has not forgotten a single detail of the night Ichigo saved her from her brother even though she would prefer to doubt her memory before asking Sado what they are supposed to do, only for him to remain silent.
Back on the ground, Uryū declares that they are ready to fight the Menos Grande as he kneels in front of Ichigo with the latter's Zanpakutō tied to the top of his head, prompting an unimpressed Ichigo to declare that he is an idiot. Explaining how he should be able to fire an enormous Heilig Pfeil if Ichigo releases his power at maximum output while his Zanpakutō is touching him, Uryū tells Ichigo to build up his Reiryoku and release it at its maximum output, only for Ichigo admit that he has never really controlled his Reiryoku before. Incredulous at this, Uryū asks him how he has fought Hollows and is shocked by Ichigo halfheartedly guessing it to be instinct. Ichigo asserts that he does not know how to control the flow of his Reiryoku because there is no faucet for him to use and theorizes that his Reiryoku is likely at maximum output all the time, leading Uryū to mentally admit that this would explain things before questioning if the idea of his Reiryoku constantly pouring out really does not bother Ichigo. Suddenly, Uryū looks up at the Menos Grande and nervously observes that its Reiatsu is rising as a frightened Rukia realizes that it is going to unleash a Cero and urges Ichigo to run before he gets obliterated. As Ichigo looks intensely at the Menos Grande, Uryū declares that there is no other way and tells Ichigo to touch him with his Zanpakutō again, only to be shocked upon seeing Ichigo charging at the Menos Grande.
Realizing that Ichigo is charging in for another close-quarters attack, Uryū mentally chastises him for fighting like a furious child and asserts that he will not be able to survive this. As Ichigo gets closer, the Menos Grande unleashes its large Cero, forcing Ichigo to block it by holding his Zanpakutō above his head as he crouches under the extreme pressure. However, while Uryū expresses amazement at Ichigo being able to deflect it like this, he begins to hear sympathetic resonance coming from Ichigo and begins to feel an incredibly powerful Reiatsu, leading him to realize that Ichigo is accumulating energy as he identifies the sound as being a giant magnet pulling iron particles out of sand. Uryū recalls Ichigo's theory of having his power output always be at maximum and mentally states that it all makes sense now as he notes that unconsciously letting one's power spill out at all times would lead it to drain away regardless of its amount. Remembering Ichigo's admission that he has never actively controlled his Reiryoku before, Uryū realizes that he must have an incredible amount to do what he does and thinks of how most people would instinctively turn off a faucet if it were gushing out water before coming to the conclusion that Ichigo's Reiatsu would skyrocket if his Reiryoku were contained in that manner and suddenly unleashed as Ichigo slashes downward at the Menos Grande, cutting it all the way down the length of its body.
While Uryū Ishida looks on in shock at Ichigo Kurosaki's feat, the wounded Menos Grande roars in pain, creating a shockwave, as a stunned Rukia Kuchiki expresses disbelief at Ichigo having cut it from head to toe. Suddenly, the Menos Grande grabs the edge of the Kūmon it entered through and wraps it around its body, leading those present to realize that it is retreating. Watching this, Ichigo makes the peace symbol with his hand and sticks it high in the air as he declares victory, prompting an incredulous Uryū to marvel at his triumph. Watching from nearby, Tessai Tsukabishi praises Ichigo's performance and notes that this must be why Kisuke Urahara thinks so highly of him as Jinta Hanakari admits that he is not such a loser after all and is actually fairly tough, leading Tessai to observe that he may be in time if he can learn to control his power.
While the Kūmon closes above them, Ichigo and Uryū greet each other, and Ichigo calls Uryū out on not thanking him for cleaning up his mess for him, only to suddenly collapse, to Uryū's surprise. As Uryū tells him to stop fooling around, Ichigo realizes that he cannot move before his arm suddenly holds his Zanpakutō up in the air against his volition, revealing that Ichigo's Zanpakutō is distorting as a confused Ichigo wonders what is happening. Seeing this, Uryū realizes that Ichigo's Zanpakutō is losing its integrity because of the massive amount of Reiryoku he released at once being out of control and resolves to do something, only to be caught off-guard when his Heilig Bogen, Kojaku, suddenly grows in size again as he gets closer to Ichigo. Uryū observes that it is even bigger than before without him even touching Ichigo's Zanpakutō, with the Reiryoku flowing in leaving him nearly unable to maintain its weapon form, and concludes that it is going to explode as he sees the sheer power beginning to cut up his arm. However, Uryū manages to create a massive Heilig Pfeil and fire it into the air, leading him to decide to steal, focus, and release Ichigo's excess Reiryoku over and over until his power stabilizes as Ichigo gasps in pain on the ground.
Though the power continues to cut into his arm, Uryū fires another Heilig Pfeil as Ichigo looks over and asks him what he is doing. Upon seeing Uryū fire a third Heilig Pfeil that creates several cuts in his arm, Ichigo pleads with him to stop doing this because his arm is being torn to shreds, but Uryū tells him to shut up and reminds Ichigo of his statement that they could not fight each other if they do not both survive before criticizing his desire for Uryū to thank him afterward. As he continues to fire Heilig Pfeil into the air, Uryū tells Ichigo to live so they can beat each other up as he mentally notes that it would be his fault for employing such reckless methods if Ichigo's spiritual body was blown to shreds by his Reiryoku overloading. Recalling how he searched for Shinigami for years in order to avenge Sōken Ishida and chose a method that would endanger others just to prove himself superior when he finally found one, Uryū observes that this Shinigami asked him to join forces instead and admits that he always knew Sōken wanted them to join forces with the Shinigami and never hated them before thinking to himself that he was likely trying to forget his weakness in not risking his life to help Sōken as a child. As he states that he blamed the Shinigami in order to forget his own shame, Uryū observes that he is helping a Shinigami and asks Sōken if he can forgive a weak disciple like him who would not die to save his master as he falls to his knees. Seeing this, Ichigo mutters that he could never punch someone who looked so miserable.
Meanwhile, Rukia notes that information as potent as a Menos Grande appearing in the Human World and being defeated will not take long to reach Soul Society as Tessai, Jinta, and Ururu Tsumugiya run past Urahara to begin cleaning up. While Jinta smashes his Muteki Tekkon into a fly buzzing past him, Urahara begins walking away as he asks Tessai to fix the crack in the sky, which Tessai prepares to do. As Urahara glances back before looking ahead, Tessai calls Jinta over to help him, leaving the fly, which is actually mechanical, to report to Central 46 that the criminal Rukia Kuchiki of the 13th Division has been located.
As they enter a Senkaimon in Soul Society, 6th Division Lieutenant Renji Abarai asks his captain, Byakuya Kuchiki, where the Target Axis is set, only to be told that it is not confirmed. With Renji wondering where they are being sent, Byakuya states that they are moving out and orders the release of the Jigokuchō, two of which fly out in front of them. Entering Karakura Town in the Human World at nighttime, Renji removes his head garment and notes that Rukia Kuchiki is set to be captured or killed before observing that this does not sound like a job for a Shinigami, prompting Byakuya to note that it may be.
The day after the intrusion of a Menos Grande into the Human World, at Karakura High School, a shocked Misato Ochi asks Uryū Ishida what happened to him when he walks into class late with both arms heavily bandaged, prompting him to claim that he fell down the stairs. Though the entire class considers this to be a lame excuse, Misato accepts it, to their disbelief, and tells Uryū to sit down so they can continue. While the students murmur among themselves, Michiru Ogawa wonders what really happened to Uryū, though Ryō Kunieda waves it off as unimportant, and Rukia tells Ichigo Kurosaki to not be too concerned because it was not his fault that Uryū brought those wounds on himself. Startled by this, Ichigo claims that he does not care because Uryū is not hurt badly enough to worry about, but Rukia points out that she did not say anything about worrying and merely told him to not be concerned, prompting an irritated Ichigo to demand to know what she just said as she giggles into her book. However, after a few seconds Rukia pauses and looks down introspectively. Behind Ichigo, Keigo Asano tells Mizuiro Kojima that he saw Uryū talking to himself in a dramatic voice at a construction site yesterday, prompting Mizuiro to note that Uryū has always been dramatic while Ichigo realizes that it was a close call if Keigo was there. When Keigo theorizes that he is an aspiring actor because there was a guy in weird clothes and twokids dancing around him with explosions and assumes that he was rehearsing with his theater buddies, Ichigo silently thanks the universe for making Keigo an idiot. As Orihime Inoue and Yasutora Sado sit silently, the other students observe that it is not like Uryū to come in late during 3rd period and wonder if he got into a fight, and while Orihime looks at Ichigo and Uryū, Tatsuki Arisawa solemnly looks at her.
Meanwhile, outside the Urahara Shop, Jinta Hanakari practices his swordplay with a broom and brushes off Ururu Tsumugiya when she tells him to clean up with her. Upon noticing a black cat outside, Ururu informs Kisuke Urahara and Tessai Tsukabishi, prompting Urahara to greet the cat as Mr. Yoruichi, whom he lifts into the air while a confused Jinta asks Tessai what is happening. When Tessai explains that Yoruichi is Urahara's best friend, Jinta asserts that this is somewhat pathetic, with Tessai reluctantly agreeing with him.
Back at Karakura High School, Keigo asks Ichigo to eat lunch with him, only to be shocked when Ichigo agrees and also asks Uryū to eat lunch with them as well. While an incredulous Keigo assumes Uryū will suck all the fun out of it and is only being invited because Ichigo thinks he looks funny with his bandages, Uryū flatly refuses to join them, but is quickly convinced when Ichigo tells him that Keigo is buying, prompting Keigo to call him a freeloader. Shortly afterward, on the roof of the school, Ichigo, Uryū, Keigo, and Mizuiro silently eat lunch together, with a miserable Keigo mentally asserting that his food is like ashes in his mouth. When an unnerved Ichigo tells him to say something funny, Keigo silently declares this is impossible due to the awkward atmosphere stemming from Uryū's presence, only to begin telling a story about a girl working at a record store he went to the other day looking like Ryo Futawa. Ignoring him, Uryū asks Ichigo if he invited him because he feels responsible for Uryū's injuries and declares that he does not want Ichigo's sympathy, leading Ichigo to claim that he just felt like eating with Uryū and flatly state that his company sucks before telling Uryū to thank him and eat. Watching Uryū question why he should thank Ichigo because he prefers to eat alone and Ichigo asserting that he does too, Mizuiro silently notes that they have a lot in common. In a different part of the school, Rukia sits on a tree branch and stares sadly at the roof of the school, only to be surprised when Mahana Natsui calls out to her from the ground and invites Rukia to eat lunch with her, Michiru, Ryō, Orihime, Tatsuki, and Chizuru Honshō.
Outside the Urahara Shop, as Yoruichi looks up at the sky, Urahara brings out some milk and inquires what is wrong as he notes that it looks like it could rain. However, Yoruichi tells him to drop the act and states that Urahara knows "they" are here, prompting Urahara to confirm this and ask Yoruichi if they should discuss this before or after Yoruichi's milk.
That night, at the Kurosaki Clinic, Yuzu Kurosaki berates Ichigo for raiding the leftovers again as he prepares some food for Rukia. Claiming that he is a growing boy and brushing off Yuzu's assertion that he is going to grow fat, Ichigo brings the food back to his room and announces that it is time for dinner to Rukia, only to discover that she is absent and assume that she took off again as he overlooks a note on his table from Rukia thanking him for everything. On the street outside the Kurosaki Clinic, Rukia somberly looks back at the house before running down the street. In the air above her, Renji analyzes her body's statistics and realizes that she really is in a Gigai. As he and Byakuya makes themselves visible, Renji notes that he did not think the visual department's information was reliable before declaring that they have found Rukia.
Noting that Rukia Kuchiki is to be captured or killed as she runs down the street in Karakura Town, 6th Division Lieutenant Renji Abarai stands in front of his Captain, Byakuya Kuchiki, in the air above her and declares that they have found her. As she runs, Rukia reflects on the afternoon at Karakura High School, where Mahana Natsui asks her if she likes Ichigo Kurosaki, causing Rukia to spit out her orange juice. Though Rukia confirms this, Mahana inquires as to what is between the two of them, prompting Rukia to assert that they are friends as she cleans her face. Michiru Ogawa scolds Mahana for being tactless, but Mahana declares that everyone present wants to know and that she was the only one with the guts to ask. When Michiru claims that she did not want to know, Chizuru Honshō notes that she would not as Tatsuki Arisawa observes that she hates Ichigo, to Orihime Inoue's surprise. While Michiru clarifies that she just thinks Ichigo's face is scary, Chizuru proclaims that only she and Orihime are relevant in this situation because she will have Orihime all to herself if Rukia gets Ichigo before loudly encouraging Rukia as Tatsuki comforts Orihime for having to put up with this.
Pointing out how Rukia has been clinging to Ichigo ever since she got here, Mahana asks her if they are an item, leading Rukia to cheerfully state that she and Ichigo are just friends. As Rukia mentally asserts that love, romance, feelings of attachment, affection, and friendship are all boring, the surprised girls inquire repeatedly if she is sure about this, with Rukia reaffirming her statement each time. Orihime claims that this is disappointing because Rukia liking Ichigo would have made it two girls against one guy and they would have one, prompting a bewildered Tatsuki to attempt to explain to her that having more people works for martial arts team matches but is not conducive to romance. When Chizuru misinterprets this as a love triangle and explains it as the side with the fewest winning, Tatsuki demands to know if she hears what she is saying and begins angrily stomping on Chizuru as the latter considers dressing like a boy and teaming up with Ichigo or stabbing Ichigo and taking his place. Watching the girls talk and bicker, Rukia mentally notes that friendship and affection will only make it difficult if she must eventually leave the Human World and laughs as she asserts that friendship and jealousy are really boring before declaring that none of them are necessary emotions for a Shinigami and are burdensome to her.
In the present, Rukia muses that she may have stayed in the Human World for too long, prompting Renji to agree with her. As a startled Rukia whirls around at the sound of his voice, a grinning Renji crouches on top of a telephone pole and draws his Zanpakutō while observing that she got to live a little longer than she would have otherwise because she stayed too long. While Rukia fearfully identifies him as Renji Abarai, Renji leaps down and slams his Zanpakutō into the ground in front of Rukia, piercing and cracking it, as he berates Rukia for being so lost in thought that she did not notice two hunters from Soul Society pursuing her and claiming that she has lost her edge after spending only two months in a Gigai. When Renji demands to know where the Human who stole her powers is, Rukia tries to claim that her being in a Gigai does not mean her powers were stolen and that a Human could not possibly take them from her, but Renji declares that it was a Human and this is why Rukia has a Human expression on her face, to her surprise. Recounting how she grew up in Rukongai like him and was taken in by the Kuchiki Clan, Renji reminds Rukia that she was trained to be a Shinigami her whole life and is not allowed to wear a Human expression before asking Byakuya to affirm this, leading a shocked Rukia to turn around and see Byakuya standing behind her.
As Rukia nervously greets Byakuya as her brother, Renji slashes at her horizontally, forcing Rukia to dodge sideways as she receives a cut on her cheek, and asserts that the transfer of Shinigami powers is a grave offense as he notes that the Central 46 was kind enough to entrust them with the execution instead of the Keigun. Renji repeats his demand to know where the Human who captured Rukia and stole her powers is so they can kill him and tells Rukia to not try to protect him, as she knows that she only dodged his attacks because he let her do so, before promising to cut her this time as he prepares to attack once more. Suddenly, Renji notices something and leans back just as a Heilig Pfeil hurtles through the space where his head was. Standing a few meters away, Uryū Ishida chides Renji and Byakuya for being two men attacking a defenseless girl and states that this sort of thing makes him mad. When Renji angrily demands to know who he is, Uryū merely adjusts his glasses while asserting that he is a classmate of Rukia's who hates Shinigami.
The cat that became the model for Mr. Yoruichi. The thing next to it that looks like a bicycle wheel is the author. I don't know why but I've been getting super busy lately getting, like, two hours of sleep, not leaving the house even once the whole week. Sounds like the life of a manga artist. Tite Kubo