110. Dark Side of Universe
111. Black & White
112. The Undead 2 [Rise&Craze]
113. The Undead 3 [Closing Frantica]
108. A Time to Scare
109. Like a Tiger Trying Not to Crush the Flowers
110. The Dark Side of the Universe
111. Black & White
112. The Undead 2 (Rise & Rage)
113. The Undead 3 (Closing Frantica)
114. Everything Relating to the Crumbling World
THE UNDEAD is the thirteenth volume of the Bleach manga series.
Chad and Kyōraku's fight is over. Aizen's confirmed to be dead. Ichigo and Kenpachi's fight continues on, and Kenpachi gets the upper hand.
Chad and Kyōraku's fight is over. A messenger comes and delivers a message from headquarters to Nanao. She asks that if it's just a command, then wouldn't a Hell Butterfly be enough. The messenger says yes, however, this order carries the combined authority of Captain-Commander Yamamoto and Captain Hitsugaya. Nanao's surprised because it is a first class order. Kyōraku is impressed that Chad was able to come to Soul Society and to fight to this extent, and he also comments that the last hit looked pretty terrifying, saying that it would've been nasty if he got hit. Suddenly, Nanao rushes to him and tells him what the messenger told her: Captain Aizen has been assassinated. The cause of death is severe heart injury and removal of Hakusui with a Zanpakutō, and that there's no suspect yet. Since it's a combined authority of Captain-Commander Yamamoto and Captain Hitsugaya, there's no doubt to the report. Kyōraku is shocked and says they should go give him a visit. But Nanao realizes that Chad is still alive, and offers to finish him off. Kyōraku stops her and says it's not lady-like to do so. Nanao says it might be Chad's friends that murdered Aizen, while Kyōraku responds that that may or may not be not true, so they need to keep him alive. He orders Nanao to call the paramedics and put him in the detention area. Nanao apologizes for her action and says she will do it right away. Kyōraku comments that things seem to start getting out of hand.
Meanwhile, Ichigo continues to avoid Kenpachi. Ichigo tells himself to calm down, but he can't stop shaking. He wonders why he can't hurt Kenpachi, asking if the difference in their strength is that great. Suddenly, Kenpachi breaks the wall and attacks Ichigo, telling him to stop running around because he doesn't like playing hide-and-seek with weaklings. Ichigo tries to calm himself, thinking of Zangetsu's words about throwing away his fear and look ahead. Then he can beat Kenpachi. He rushes at Kenpachi, but suddenly realizes that Chad's Reiatsu is gone. Ichigo thinks it's impossible for Chad to lose, but then he feels a little of Chad's Reiatsu so he knows that Chad's still alive. He realizes that he can't be scared because if he loses then everybody is going to die. Ichigo confronts Kenpachi. Kenpachi asks if he's surrendering or if he's ready to die, which Ichigo says both are wrong. Ichigo rushes at Kenpachi, telling Chad to wait for him, he'll defeat Kenpachi and come help him. Ichigo is finally able to cut Kenpachi. He tells Kenpachi that he can't die here, because if that happens then everything he holds dear will be destroyed.
Aizen is confirmed as being dead as Ichigo begins to be able to cut Kenpachi.
Ichigo manages to cut Kenpachi, which brings him comfort as he repeats to himself that he can cut him, he knows he can take him and that he knows he can win. Kenpachi himself is ecstatic at being cut and happily says that he knew Ichigo could do it, but warns Ichigo not to relax and stay alert. Watching on, Yachiru comments on how happy Kenpachi looks as the captain resumes his attack on Ichigo.
Elsewhere, Captains Kaname Tōsen of the 9th Division and Sajin Komamura of the 7th Division visit 4th Division Captain Retsu Unohana. Tōsen asks if Aizen is really dead and Unohana replies that he is. She says that he wasn't breathing by the time they took him down from the wall. She goes on to say that they had investigated the possibility of a puppet corpse, but the results were negative. She then comments that this means that when the current trouble is behind them, the leadership of the 5th Division will be decided at a captains meeting within Room 46. Unohana then asks them to return to their Divisions, saying that she will soon be joining them in the field.
Outside the Sōgō Kyūgo Tsumesho, Tōsen and Komamura are met by their respective Lieutenants Hisagi and Iba. Hisagi asks Tōsen if Aizen is indeed dead. Tōsen confirms that Aizen is dead and goes on to say that resolving the current problem is the quickest path to the truth. Hisagi wonders if that means Tōsen is going to join the battle. Tōsen says that while it is best to avoid such things, there appears to be no alternative this time. Going on to say that if Humans were not deceived by ugly emotions, then there would be no battles and many tragedies could be avoided. He voices his disdain for conflict and leaves.
Elsewhere, Ichigo and Kenpachi continue their battle with Ichigo firmly on the back-foot. However, Zaraki compliments Ichigo on his excellent reflexes and praises him for being able to hear his bells. Kenpachi states that he had put on the bells and the eye-patch to give his opponents an advantage and that they are wasted if Ichigo does not exploit them. Ichigo asks if Zaraki is mocking him and if that is why Zaraki has not called to his Zanpakutō. Ichigo tries to taunt Zaraki by pointing out that Ichigo's own Zanpakutō can cut Kenpachi now. However, Kenpachi replies that his Zanpakutō has no name and never had a seal on it. He explains that the blade Ichigo sees before him is Kenpachi's Zanpakutō. Ichigo replies that he is happy because that means Kenpachi's Zanpakutō won't get any stronger. The next moment, Kenpachi points his blade at Ichigo, who blocks it with Zangetsu, but Kenpachi pushes it through Zangetsu and into Ichigo. He explains that that doesn't mean anything, as Zaraki hasn't sealed his Zanpakutō because his spiritual pressure is so great that he can't seal it. He then berates Ichigo for relaxing and thus making it easy for Zaraki to stab him, calling him a fool for relaxing because he thought he could win. As Ichigo falls to his knees, Zaraki voices his disappointment.
Kenpachi starts to walk away, believing Ichigo to be dead.
As Kenpachi draws his Zanpakutō out of Ichigo and Zangetsu, Zangetsu splits into pieces and Ichigo falls to the ground. Zaraki comments that it has been a while since someone cut him and heard his bells, but is disappointed that that was all and turns away.
On the ground Ichigo thinks that he doesn't want to die; that he can't die yet. He tells himself to get up and stop the bleeding as he watches Zaraki walk away. He begs to be given the chance to fight again, and that he has to save Rukia. As Zaraki swings his Zanpakutō onto his shoulder and walks away, Zangetsu appears and approaches Ichigo. Zangetsu asks Ichigo if he wants to continue fighting, if he wants to win or whether he wants to live. Zangetsu demands to know which of those things Ichigo wants. Ichigo says he wants to win. Zangetsu says that he can't hear Ichigo. Ichigo then reiterates that he wants to win because fighting for its own sake is meaningless, survival in itself is meaningless and that he wants to win. Zangetsu replies that in that case he will take Ichigo there.
Ichigo and Zangetsu suddenly vanish and Ichigo finds himself in his inner world. Thinking he was going to fall as he is standing on the side of a building, Ichigo lies down and grips the building. Zangetsu demands to know what Ichigo is doing. Ichigo replies that he doesn't want to fall again. Zangetsu explains that there is no chance of that happening and that it had happened last time because his inner world was beginning to be lost as Ichigo started to become a Hollow. However, even after that fierce fight, Ichigo's inner world is stable. The mortified Ichigo wonders if that means that the up-down, left-right thing is normal, but Zangetsu ignores him and presses on, telling him that it would appear he had gotten a little stronger and tells him to stand-up.
When Ichigo does, Zangetsu tosses him an Asauchi, explaining that it is a nameless Zanpakutō that is carried by low ranking Shinigami. Ichigo points out that his Zanpakutō has a name: Zangetsu. Zangetsu then brings out his sword form and tells Ichigo if that is the Zanpakutō Ichigo is referring to, the one his enemy broke. Zangetsu says that he can't give it to Ichigo and throws it off the building. Ichigo goes after it when suddenly someone shoots past him and grabs the Zanpakutō. The new being is a doppelgänger of Ichigo except he is all white, with a white shihakushō. Zangetsu explains that he wants to see if Ichigo is worthy of possessing him and that if Ichigo wants to get him back, Ichigo has to take him back and this time, Ichigo's enemy is himself.
Zangetsu tells Ichigo that he has to prove that he is worthy of possessing him by taking Zangetsu back with his own hands from his own hands. The doppelgänger Ichigo taunts Ichigo by daring him to try and take it. Doppelgänger Ichigo attacks and Ichigo can barely block him. As he is pushed back, he reflects that he never realized that Zangetsu was such an awesome sword. He comments that a regular Zanpakutō looks like a stick next to it and wonders how he is going to win. Doppelgänger Ichigo wonders what's wrong and tells Ichigo to watch it. He then throws Zangetsu at Ichigo and uses the hilt wrap to retrieve it. Ichigo is surprised and comments that he would never have thought of such a move.
White Ichigo continues to fight and taunt Ichigo, asking him if he can become friends with someone just by asking his name. Going on to explain that that is essentially what Ichigo has done. He learned Zangetsu's name, but that's about it. He did not open up his heart to Zangetsu and as a result he has not gotten stronger. Ichigo realizes that the other Ichigo is correct and that he has been using Zangetsu as a tool when Zanpakutō are alive, with names and feelings. He comments that he is no different from Kenpachi Zaraki and begs Zangetsu to give him another chance. White Ichigo attacks again, but this time when Ichigo blocks, he notices that it is he, who is holding Zangetsu and that the other Ichigo is holding the Asauchi. Ichigo wonders if that means Zangetsu is giving him another chance. Ichigo thanks Zangetsu.
Back outside, Ichigo's body explodes with power, causing Zaraki to stop and turn back in shock to find a bloody, but very much alive Ichigo standing back on his feet.
The Ichigo doppelgänger asks Zangetsu if that's all. Zangetsu says yes and apologizes for bothering him. The doppelgänger says it is fine; since Ichigo is the owner of this world, it will be problematic if he doesn't win. So, however unwillingly, he had to help. Then he tells Zangetsu to send him back since his job is done which Zangetsu does. White Ichigo then comments that Ichigo is strong, and that Zangetsu should train him well, since that power is going to become his one day. Zangetsu looks up to the sky, thinking that he hates rain, and it rains here too. When Ichigo is moody, it becomes cloudy. When Ichigo is sad, the rain starts to fall. Zangetsu can't stand it. He asks if Ichigo understands how horrible it is to get rained on when you're all alone in an empty world. To prevent that from happening, he will lend Ichigo any power he needs. If Ichigo can trust him, he won't let one drop of rain fall from that sky. Zangetsu tells Ichigo to trust him and he is not alone in battle. Kenpachi turns back, wondering why Ichigo's fading Reiatsu suddenly erupted. Both Kenpachi and Yachiru look at Ichigo, surprised. Kenpachi realizes that the bleeding on Ichigo's wound is slowly stopping. Then suddenly, Ichigo rushes at Kenpachi, landing a hit to his shoulder. Kenpachi uses his sword to stop Ichigo, but he can't push him back. Then Ichigo pushes Kenpachi away, forcing Kenpachi to put his sword on the wall to stop. Ichigo says he has no time to waste and he will finish this in one strike. Kenpachi says that's not good, since it's just starting to get interesting. They should drag this out as long as they can. Then Kenpachi rushes at Ichigo. Ichigo manages to cut Kenpachi in the face, but Kenpachi also cuts Ichigo too. Ichigo jumps back, Kenpachi laughs and rushes at him again. Then he says he doesn't get how Ichigo revived himself, how did Ichigo become so strong, and that he doesn't get it at all. But he says that doesn't matter, right now they should just enjoy the moment. Ichigo is thinking that in both number of successful attacks and Reiatsu, he's above Kenpachi, yet no matter how many times he cuts him, he won't fall. Ichigo tells Kenpachi that he's ridiculously crazy, and asks why does he like fighting so much and isn't he afraid of dying. Kenpachi laughs, telling Ichigo that he's the crazy one, saying that since he's so strong, why doesn't he like fighting. Kenpachi tells Ichigo to enjoy it. The carnage and pain are just a small price to pay for the enjoyment of battle.
Meanwhile, Ikkaku is lost in thought when Yumichika comes and asks him what's he thinking about. Yumichika's hair is all blown up because he got hit by a firecracker during his fight with Ganju. Ikkaku laughs and teases him, so Yumichika decides to wear a wig. Ikkaku then says that he was thinking that the captain seems to be enjoying himself. Yumichika states that the opponent is surprisingly strong, and asks who he is. Ikkaku answers it's Ichigo, and it's as if he's a totally different person from when Ikkaku fought him. Yumichika says that the captain seems to be on the losing side and Ikkaku agrees. Yumichika suggests it's bad, because even if it's the captain, he may die, but Ikkaku calls him a fool, saying that he's the strongest captain of the Gotei 13, Kenpachi Zaraki, that's why they follow him, he'll never lose. He adds that their captain still hasn't used his trump card yet.
Kenpachi is excited over the fight with Ichigo, since he thinks it's an equal match up, or only by a little, but Ichigo is definitely stronger. Ichigo is wondering how can Kenpachi be so confident. Kenpachi says that it's been long since he last had this feeling. He takes off his eye patch and tells Ichigo that he's a worthy opponent, so he'll go all out on him.
A messenger comes to Yachiru and tells her he has an emergency order. She tells him to tell her later, which he apologizes and says it's a first class order. But Yachiru still tells him to tell her later. The messenger then says that he has a direct order to fulfill and it's to deliver the message to all captains and lieutenants in the shortest time possible. Yachiru tells him that he's noisy and she forms a large angry cat with her Reiatsu, which scares him away, saying that Kenpachi is fighting, so don't bug her.
Kenpachi removes his eye patch and suddenly his Reiatsu is vastly increasing. Ichigo is shocked at the fact. Then he asks Kenpachi what's the secret of his right eye. Kenpachi says that he wouldn't do such a stupid thing. He explains to Ichigo that the eye patch is a creation of the Shinigami Research and Development Institute, a Reiatsu-sucking monster. Kenpachi says that with the Reiatsu that would otherwise be absorbed by the eye patch, he would use it all to kill Ichigo. Zangetsu calls out to Ichigo, and asks him if he hears Kenpachi's blade mourning. Ichigo answer that he can. Zangetsu says that Kenpachi has never listened to that voice. If they do not trust each other when fighting side by side, they will diminish each other's strength. For someone who only believes in his own strength, it's impossible to understand that. Zangetsu then asks Ichigo if he trusts him. Ichigo says yes, and he'll give Zangetsu all of his power. He can use it however he likes, and then lends Ichigo his power too. Zangetsu says yes and holds on to the blade. Then Ichigo's Reiatsu suddenly increases.
Kenpachi finds it interesting that Ichigo can still increase his Reiatsu. Ichigo responds that it's because he's borrowing Zangetsu's power and fighting alongside Zangetsu. He says that he'll never lose to someone who only fights by himself. Kenpachi says it's all rubbish. He says that Zanpakutō are only tools of war. "Fighting side by side with a Zanpakutō" is just the whining words of those who are too spineless to fight by themselves. It's not something someone like him and Ichigo should say. Then Kenpachi forms a skull-shaped Reiatsu and prepares to attack. Zangetsu says his ability to stop Ichigo's bleeding is at its limit, he has to take Kenpachi down in one blow. Ichigo also prepares to attack. They rush at each other and the clash makes all the surrounding buildings collapse. Ichigo gets stabbed in the stomach and Kenpachi gets cut in the shoulder. Ichigo collapses, apologizing to his friends. Kenpachi asks what Ichigo is apologizing for. Kenpachi's sword breaks, and he says that Ichigo wins, before falling.
Kenpachi and Yachiru recall their past. Ganju and Hanatarō arrive near the Senzaikyū.
Yachiru approaches the beaten up Kenpachi and Ichigo. She thanks Ichigo for making Kenpachi happy. Yachiru takes Kenpachi away and tells Ichigo not to die so he can play with Kenpachi again, before leaving.
Kenpachi has a dream about the day he first met Yachiru. She came near him without any fear, even though he just killed a bunch of people. She touched his sword even though it's covered with blood. Kenpachi told her it can kill her, but Yachiru smiled at him when her hand was covered with blood. Kenpachi asked her what her name was, she looked at him surprisingly, so he knew that Yachiru doesn't have a name, to which he responds that he doesn't have one either.
Kenpachi wakes up, seeing Yachiru and she starts jumping with joy since he's awake. She says that she called Unohana, and she'll be here right away. Kenpachi then asks how's Ichigo. Yachiru tells him that she doesn't know, probably still alive. Kenpachi says it's good because he can return to Ichigo what he owes him. Yachiru says Kenpachi doesn't owe Ichigo anything, which Kenpachi says he does, since he lost. Yachiru yells at him that he didn't lose, but Kenpachi tells her she is an idiot and not to make that face. Yachiru says that Ichigo was fighting with Zangetsu so it was two on one and Kenpachi won. Kenpachi laughs, which makes Yachiru hit him. Then he thinks of fighting alongside a Zanpakutō. He asks Yachiru if she remembers the day he named her. Yachiru says she even remembers how many clouds were in the sky. Kenpachi says that he does too, then he raises his sword, telling it that he has forgotten the pain of not having a name. Everyone has a name that others use to call them, but he didn't, that pain is why that day he named her Yachiru, the name of the only person he ever admired, while he took the name Kenpachi, the name of the strongest Shinigami.
Then he apologizes to his sword for making it wait so long, and asks what its name is, but there's no response. Kenpachi says that it didn't work after all, and he wants to be stronger. He finally found a worthy opponent, he can get stronger, he wants to fight to get stronger. It has been a while since he felt this desire. Yachiru looks at him, remembering the day she met him. She grew up in district 79 of the North Alley of Loitering Spirits, Kusajishi. She had no name, no parents. She had never seen any color other than blood red. Everyone there was more beast-like than human, it wouldn't have been strange if a baby got stepped on and died. But then Kenpachi appeared. From district 80 of the North Alley of Loitering Spirits, Zaraki, even deeper in the darkness, he demolished the chaotic world that was dyed with blood and gave her a name. If it wasn't for him, Yachiru wouldn't have been here today. Yachiru tells Kenpachi that they will get stronger together and she knows that Kenpachi is the best. And since that day, he has been everything to her in this world. But there's no reply from Kenpachi. Yachiru calls for him but he's not awake anymore.
Meanwhile, Ganju and Hanatarō arrive near the Senzaikyū. Hanatarō notices that the noise has stopped and wonders if Ichigo is okay. Ganju says that they are all the way here, all they can do is hope that he is. They have no time to worry for him, they have to focus on here. Then he tells Hanatarō to get ready to jump.
Ganju and Hanatarō reach Rukia. Only then does Ganju realize that Rukia is the Shinigami who killed his brother.
In her cell, Rukia notes that the sounds of battle have stopped, but she cannot tell who lived and who died. She wonders if she is worth shedding blood over. She asks someone called Kaien what he would have said. Meanwhile, Ichigo is found by Yoruichi, who compliments on him being able to fight someone like Zaraki to a draw and assures him that she won't let him die. With these words, she begins to unleash some sort of power.
Meanwhile, the guards outside Rukia's cell comment on how the whole eastern half of the Senzaikyū has been destroyed. Suddenly, one of them falls unconscious. As the other looks the other Shinigami is distracted by the movement on the roof, Ganju sneaks-up behind him and knocks him unconscious. Hanatarō tells Ganju he was too rough, but Ganju dismisses it and wonders what Hanatarō used. Hanatarō explains that he used Shinten, a kind of tranquilizer.
They then make it to the cell and Hanatarō presents a key. Explaining that he stole it last night after resolving to do whatever he could, following Ichigo's example, even if he is punished later. He, however, states that he thinks he is useless because all he managed to do was steal a key. Ganju comments that he has done enough. The cell doors start to open and Ganju eagerly goes inside to have a look at the Shinigami over whom everybody is fighting, but suddenly stops dead in his tracks. Rukia asks him if he is with Ichigo as Hanatarō appears from behind Ganju and starts to drag Rukia away. Hanatarō then notices Ganju's standing stock still and wonders what's wrong. Rukia then notices the pattern on Ganju's pants and asks him he is from the Shiba family. Hanatarō asks Ganju if he knows her. Ganju says that he does and that she's the Shinigami who killed his brother. As Hanatarō tries to say that there has been a mistake, Ganju insists that it is the truth. Rukia confirms Ganju's statement and says that if Ganju is of the Shiba family then his older brother, Kaien Shiba was killed by her. Ganju collars her, prompting Rukia to calmly wonder what he is planning to do. Saying that she won't try to stop him if he kills her. Hanatarō tells Ganju to stop, reminding him that Ichigo entrusted them with rescuing Rukia. Suddenly they feel an enormous Reiatsu behind them. Byakuya Kuchiki has arrived on the scene.