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.
As she stands atop a damaged wall in the Eighth Division barracks and looks into the compound below, Lieutenant Nanao Ise notices a Riteitai appear behind her and questions why the message he was sent to convey was not simply carried to her by a Jigokuchō. When the Riteitai reveals that his message has been signed by both Captain-Commander Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto and 10th Division Captain Tōshirō Hitsugaya, a surprised Nanao wonders if it is top-secret due to warranting a joint signature.
Down on the ground, 8th Division Captain Shunsui Kyōraku stands over a defeated Yasutora Sado as the latter lies in the middle of a long streak of his own blood. Praising Sado for fighting so well on top of being impressive enough to set foot in the Seireitei, Shunsui looks over the damage left by Sado's last attack and admits that he is glad it missed him. Upon being approached and called out to by a frantic Nanao, Shunsui questions why she is so out of breath and recalls that a Riteitai was just here, only to be shocked when Nanao informs him that 5th Division Captain Sōsuke Aizen is dead. Nanao elaborates that Aizen's Saketsu and Hakusui were removed and his heart was destroyed by a Zanpakutō, making it murder by an unknown killer, before affirming that she believes the information is accurate due to being a top-secret message signed by Yamamoto and Hitsugaya.
With Shunsui deciding that they should go pay their respects to Aizen, Nanao notices that Sado is still alive and offers to finish him off as her right hand begins glowing with Kidō, but Shunsui gently grabs her wrist and declines because this is not a job suitable for a young lady. Though Nanao protests that Sado's allies must have killed Aizen, Shunsui questions the likelihood of this, and as Nanao expresses confusion, Shunsui clarifies that they do not know for certain yet before ordering Nanao to have the Fourth Division secure Sado due to there not being a need to summarily execute him. After observing that Sado being responsible is only more reason to not kill him, which prompts Nanao to apologize for her impertinence as she prepares to carry out his order, Shunsui sighs and looks up at the sky while noting that things are getting complicated.
Meanwhile, in the Senzaikyū compound, Ichigo Kurosaki rounds a corner between two columns and is confronted by 11th Division Captain Kenpachi Zaraki, whose subsequent downward strike he barely manages to block. As Kenpachi's blade pushes down his Shikai, Zangetsu, and inches closer toward him, a frightened Ichigo pushes it aside and leaps back, leaving Kenpachi to slam his Zanpakutō into the ground, rupturing it, before inquiring if running away is all Ichigo can do as he resumes his pursuit. While running away, Ichigo attempts to calm down and remind himself that there is no reason he cannot cut Kenpachi, only to recall his prior failure to even scratch Kenpachi when offered a chance to perform the first strike, causing his bleeding right hand gripping Zangetsu to shake as he grips it and chastises himself for being a coward. Suddenly, Kenpachi bursts through the wall in front of Ichigo and chastises him for running away because he does not like chasing rabbits.
Looking on from above, 11th Division Lieutenant Yachiru Kusajishi watches the resumed fight silently. Shortly afterward, having managed to lose Kenpachi again, a fatigued Ichigo embeds Zangetsu into the ground and leans on it as he wonders if his inability to cut Kenpachi means the latter really is that much more powerful than he is. However, Ichigo mentally asserts that there is no reason he should not be able to cut Kenpachi and theorizes that the problem lies in him being afraid of Kenpachi's Reiatsu, meaning that he should be able to cut Kenpachi if he calms down and intensifies his own Reiatsu. After repeatedly telling himself to calm down and reiterating Zangetsu's speech about dying if he hesitates or shows fear, Ichigo rushes out into the corridor and proclaims that he is ready, only to stop in astonishment upon sensing Sado's Reiatsu vanish.
A stunned Ichigo wonders if Sado lost or was killed, but as he refuses to believe this, Ichigo senses a small amount of Reiatsu from Sado and realizes that he is still alive, prompting him to admonish himself for being afraid because all his allies will die if he loses, which means he cannot afford to be scared. Upon being confronted by Ichigo a moment later, Kenpachi, who had been sitting against a wall, stands up as he inquires if Ichigo is prepared to die or has given up, prompting Ichigo to deny either being true before dashing forward. As he mentally promises Sado that he will come for him after taking care of Kenpachi, Ichigo slashes past Kenpachi's Zanpakutō, resulting in a surprised Kenpachi being cut across the center of his chest. Apologizing, Ichigo declares that he is not ready to die just yet because doing so will cause him to lose everything which he has been fighting for.
Having succeeded in cutting 11th Division Captain Kenpachi Zaraki across the center of his chest with his Shikai, Zangetsu, Ichigo Kurosaki takes this as proof that he can defeat Kenpachi, who merely grins and asserts that he knew Ichigo could do it as he exerts his Reiatsu. With Ichigo intimidated by this, Kenpachi instructs him to stay alert and not relax before preparing to resume the fight. As she watches this from above, a smiling 11th Division Lieutenant Yachiru Kusajishi notes that Kenpachi looks happy while he and Ichigo clash fiercely below.
Meanwhile, in the Sōgō Kyūgo Tsumesho within the Fourth Division barracks, 9th Division Captain Kaname Tōsen and 7th Division Captain Sajin Komamura stand behind 4th Division Captain Retsu Unohana, who kneels in front of a bed containing the corpse of 5th Division Captain Sōsuke Aizen. With 4th Division Lieutenant Isane Kotetsu standing nearby, Tōsen observes that Aizen really is dead, prompting Unohana to elaborate that he was no longer breathing by the time that he was taken down from the East Holy Wall before concluding that all they know at the moment is that he is dead even though they are looking into other possibilities like a Gigai being used as a disguise. Stating that the leadership of the Fifth Division will be decided in a captains meeting in the chamber of the Central 46 after the current conflict is over, Unohana requests that Tōsen and Komamura return to their divisions and promises to join them in the field soon as she stands up with her Zanpakutō in hand.
After exiting the Fourth Division barracks, Tōsen and Komamura are met by their lieutenants, Shūhei Hisagi and Tetsuzaemon Iba. As he confirms to Hisagi that Aizen is dead, Tōsen asserts that resolving this problem is the quickest path to the truth, and when a surprised Hisagi realizes what he is saying, Tōsen affirms that he is joining the battle despite his aversion to conflict because there does not seem to be an alternative before expressing his dislike of battles, due to his belief that there would be no battles and many tragedies could be avoided if people did not allow themselves to be deceived by ugly emotions.
Back in the Senzaikyū complex, Ichigo and Kenpachi drag their Zanpakutō through a nearby building and the ground, respectively, before clashing in an explosion of force. With Ichigo unable to push past his block despite attacking from a better angle, a grinning Kenpachi grabs Zangetsu by the blade and twists it around, pulling Ichigo off his feet and into the air, as he thrusts his Zanpakutō forward. After removing his right hand from the handle of Zangetsu to twist his body in midair, Ichigo narrowly evades Kenpachi's Zanpakutō, resulting in it piercing the collar of his shihakushō, and kicks Kenpachi's hand off Zangetsu, freeing himself. Suddenly, as Ichigo lands on the ground, he sees Kenpachi has vanished from the area in front of him and barely manages to block Kenpachi's subsequent slash from behind by holding Zangetsu above his head upon hearing the bells in Kenpachi's hair chime.
Praising Ichigo's reactions while the latter leaps back, Kenpachi notes that he is hearing the bells by concentrating more and explains how he puts on the bells and the eyepatch to make his fights more interesting before concluding that they are wasted if Ichigo does not exploit them. However, when Ichigo assumes that Kenpachi is mocking him because he has not released his Zanpakutō and warns him to watch out because Zangetsu can cut him now, Kenpachi claims that his Zanpakutō is actually already released and was never sealed because it has no name. Surprised by this, Ichigo presumes that this simply means Kenpachi's Zanpakutō will not get any stronger and prepares to resume the fight, but Kenpachi swiftly moves forward and presses the tip of his Zanpakutō up against the broad side of Zangetsu as Ichigo instinctively blocks with it while picking up on Ichigo's confident attitude.
Kenpachi berates Ichigo for thinking he could win and clarifies that his Zanpakutō cannot be sealed because his Reiryoku cannot be contained due to its vast size, meaning that he has to restrain himself when he fights. As he declares that their fight would be over if he did not do this, Kenpachi stabs his Zanpakutō right through Zangetsu and into Ichigo's chest, cracking the blade in the process. Reminding Ichigo that he was told to keep his Reiatsu sharp and proclaiming that only a fool would relax like this, Kenpachi pulls his Zanpakutō out of Ichigo and expresses disappointment at such a conclusion to their fight as Ichigo falls to his knees while blood falls around them.
11th Division Captain Kenpachi Zaraki withdraws his bloody Zanpakutō from Ichigo Kurosaki's chest as the latter's Shikai, Zangetsu, breaks in two due to having been pierced by his blade. Looking down at Ichigo as the latter collapses, Kenpachi notes that it has been a while since he fought someone who could cut him and hear the bells, but merely concludes that this is it and expresses his disappointment as he begins to walk away. As he lies on the ground and pants heavily, Ichigo coughs up blood and mentally refuses to die here while ordering his body to stop bleeding and let him fight again because he has to save Rukia Kuchiki. However, with Kenpachi dragging his Zanpakutō through the ground and swinging it onto his shoulder, time suddenly comes to a halt as Zangetsu appears next to Kenpachi.
Approaching a stunned Ichigo, Zangetsu inquires if he wishes to fight, win, or live. After staring in silence for a few seconds, Ichigo grips the remainder of Zangetsu by the handle and states that he wants to win. When Zangetsu claims that he cannot hear him, Ichigo proclaims that he wants to win because fighting and survival for their own sake are meaningless, prompting Zangetsu to assert that he will take Ichigo there as his cloak flares out around him and engulfs Ichigo. With the darkness enveloping him, Ichigo finds himself standing on the side of a skyscraper in his inner world and recalls falling down the last time he was here, prompting him to frantically lie against one of the windows and clutch the sides. Upon being asked by Zangetsu what he is doing, Ichigo asserts that he does not want to fall again, only for Zangetsu to assure him that there is no chance of this happening because this occurred when his inner world lost its balance due to him becoming a Hollow before pointing out how the world remains stable even after Ichigo's fierce fight with Kenpachi. Though a confused Ichigo questions if this means that the sideways nature of his inner world is normal, Zangetsu merely comments on him becoming stronger, leading Ichigo to express exasperation at being ignored.
Zangetsu tosses Ichigo a sword, and as a shocked Ichigo grabs it and berates him for throwing an unsheathed sword, Zangetsu instructs him to hold onto it because it is his sword. With a perplexed Ichigo noting that this is not his Shikai, Zangetsu details how it is an Asauchi, a nameless Zanpakutō used by Shinigami who are not worthy of the Gotei 13. When Ichigo reminds him that his Zanpakutō's name is Zangetsu, Zangetsu brings out Zangetsu and inquires if Ichigo is referring to the blade which Kenpachi broke earlier before claiming that he cannot give it to Ichigo as he throws it off the side of the skyscraper. However, as Ichigo attempts to leap after it, Hollow Ichigo tells him to move aside and hurtles past Ichigo as he dashes over to Zangetsu. With Ichigo noting that he is wearing a white shihakushō, Hollow Ichigo grabs Zangetsu in midair and somersaults as he crashes into the ground, and when a stunned Ichigo wonders what he is, Hollow Ichigo turns to face him and questions what he is talking about while referring to Ichigo as his "partner". Appearing next to Hollow Ichigo, Zangetsu explains that he wants to see if Ichigo is worthy of wielding him by having him fight and take Zangetsu back from himself.
Standing in Ichigo Kurosaki's inner world alongside Hollow Ichigo before Ichigo himself, Zangetsu orders Ichigo to prove he is worthy of wielding his Shikai, Zangetsu, by taking it with his own hands from his own hands. As he mockingly encourages Ichigo to take it if he can, Hollow Ichigo leaps toward Ichigo and attacks with Zangetsu, prompting Ichigo to block with the Asauchi in his hands. With Ichigo struggling against the blow and realizing that he cannot block it completely, Hollow Ichigo slashes Zangetsu forward, sending Ichigo skidding back, before exerting his Reiatsu, leaving Ichigo stunned and intimidated. Awed by the Reiatsu of Zangetsu burning up the air like this, Ichigo envisions his Asauchi as a stick compared to it and wonders how he is supposed to win with it. As he inquires what is wrong, Hollow Ichigo begins spinning Zangetsu around by the cloth wrapped around its hilt and promises to kill Ichigo if he is not careful.
With Ichigo surprised by this maneuver, Hollow Ichigo initiates Deadly Darts and throws Zangetsu at Ichigo, who narrowly dodges as it crashes into the wall behind him. While Hollow Ichigo expresses annoyance at having missed and resumes spinning Zangetsu above his head after pulling it back, Ichigo is shocked by the concept of throwing Zangetsu and retrieving it with the hilt cloth, which he admits is a move that he would have never come up with. Hollow Ichigo declares that Ichigo is pathetic and questions how he got so bloody despite holding such a mighty sword before inquiring if one can become friends with someone just by asking for their name. As Ichigo expresses confusion at this, Hollow Ichigo asserts that this is what he has done because he believes that simply calling out Zangetsu's name is all there is to it and focuses on himself instead of bringing out Zangetsu's power or understanding him. Proclaiming that Zangetsu is capable of so much more and would have become much stronger had Ichigo opened his heart, Hollow Ichigo claims that Ichigo could not do it due to not caring about his Zanpakutō at all and thinking he only has to train himself.
While Zangetsu watches from afar atop a pole, Hollow Ichigo resumes Deadly Darts and throws Zangetsu at Ichigo, who evades it once more. Hollow Ichigo pulls back Zangetsu and throws it again, ripping through the ground in the process, and as he leaps to the side to avoid it, Ichigo mentally admits that Hollow Ichigo is right about him not trying to get to know Zangetsu and observes that Zanpakutō have names and are alive rather than being soulless tools before recalling his elated response to 11th Division Captain Kenpachi Zaraki revealing that his Zanpakutō has no name. Criticizing himself for being glad about this because he is no better than Kenpachi for only knowing his Zanpakutō's name and nothing more, Ichigo asserts that he does want to know more. As he brings Zangetsu back to his hand, Hollow Ichigo decides to finish this and promises to show Ichigo what it means to make the most of Zangetsu before proclaiming that he will never hold Zangetsu again. With Hollow Ichigo rushing toward him, Ichigo mentally implores Zangetsu to tell Ichigo about himself little by little so Ichigo can fight with him once again, and as Hollow Ichigo attacks, he is stunned to discover that he and Ichigo have swapped weapons as Ichigo blocks the strike of his Asauchi with Zangetsu. Realizing that Zangetsu is giving him another chance, a surprised Ichigo thanks him and steels his resolve.
Back in the real world, Kenpachi is alerted by a surge of Reiatsu behind him and turns around to see Ichigo standing with a reformed Zangetsu held over his shoulder.
In Ichigo Kurosaki's inner world, Hollow Ichigo notes that Ichigo is gone as the severed blade of the Asauchi he is holding falls on the ground, and when Hollow Ichigo inquires if this is what he wanted, Zangetsu confirms this as he apologizes for troubling Hollow Ichigo, who brushes this off as necessary because they need Ichigo to win due to him being the king of their world. Promising to help out any way he can, Hollow Ichigo decides to go home and begins dissipating into Zangetsu as he instructs the latter to raise Ichigo well due to his power eventually belonging to Hollow Ichigo. With Hollow Ichigo gone, Zangetsu mentally tells Ichigo that he hates rain and details how it grows cloudy and rains when Ichigo is upset and sad, which he cannot stand, before wondering if Ichigo can grasp the terror of being rained on in this lonely world. After promising to give Ichigo everything he has in order to hold back the rain, Zangetsu vows to not let any rain fall on this world if Ichigo places his trust in him and assures Ichigo that he is not fighting alone.
Meanwhile, in the real world, Ichigo stands before 11th Division Captain Kenpachi Zaraki while engulfed in Reiatsu, and as a stunned Kenpachi observes that Ichigo's Hakudō is blazing after being practically gone prior, his lieutenant, Yachiru Kusajishi, watches silently from above. As Kenpachi realizes that Ichigo's chest wound has stopped bleeding, Ichigo leaps toward him and slashes Zangetsu through Kenpachi's left shoulder before the latter can react, and when Kenpachi attempts to bring his Zanpakutō up in order to attack, Ichigo intercepts it by swinging Zangetsu upward into the blade, leading a shocked Kenpachi to wonder if he is being overpowered as he prepares to grip his Zanpakutō's handle with his other hand. Pushing Zangetsu upward, Ichigo slashes across the wound on Kenpachi's chest and through Kenpachi's other shoulder, sending him skidding back along the ground and forcing him to embed his Zanpakutō into the wall to stop himself.
However, when Ichigo apologizes and states that he needs to make this quick because he does not have much time, a grinning Kenpachi declares that this will not do because the fight is just getting good before leaping toward Ichigo and proclaiming that they should make it last as long as they can. With a surprised Ichigo pointing Zangetsu at him, Kenpachi allows the tip of the blade to slash through the bridge of his nose and across his left cheek underneath his eye so he can get close and jab his Zanpakutō at Ichigo, who is shocked by his move. Having had his right cheek cut by Kenpachi's Zanpakutō, Ichigo leaps back, prompting a laughing Kenpachi to rush toward him and express his interest in how Ichigo revived himself and suddenly got stronger. Though he admits that there is a lot which he wants to know, Kenpachi claims that none of it matters now because they should just enjoy the fight. As the two of them continues to clash, Ichigo notes that Kenpachi is not going down despite how much damage he is taking and demands to know what is wrong with Kenpachi while questioning if the latter is not afraid of being cut or killed, only for Kenpachi to assert that something is wrong with Ichigo if he does not love battle despite being so strong before instructing Ichigo to revel in the death and pain as the rewards of battle.
Meanwhile, 11th Division 3rd Seat Ikkaku Madarame sits solemnly outside the Fourth Division barracks on the veranda, and when 5th Seat Yumichika Ayasegawa inquires if he can feel something while poking his head out of a nearby door, Ikkaku turns around to see that his hair has been permed into an afro by the firework explosion he was caught in, leaving him laughing hysterically while an irritated Yumichika puts on a wig modeled after his usual hair. After calming down, Ikkaku clarifies that he was just observing how Kenpachi is really enjoying himself. Upon being asked by Yumichika if Kenpachi's opponent is incredibly strong and if Kenpachi himself is under pressure, Ikkaku confirms this and notes that Ichigo is like a different person from when they fought. However, when Yumichika begins to worry about the possibility of Kenpachi losing, Ikkaku denies this being possible because they joined the Eleventh Division due to believing in him before reminding Yumichika that Kenpachi still has "that".
Back at the Senzaikyū compound, a panting Kenpachi stares up at the sky and proclaims that this is superb as he praises Ichigo as being definitely stronger than he is despite how close they are in strength. With Ichigo questioning why he is so confident, Kenpachi wonders how long it has been since he felt such joy and removes his eyepatch, revealing an intact right eye, before proclaiming that he can finally fight all-out against Ichigo.
As she watches her captain, Kenpachi Zaraki, fight Ichigo Kurosaki in the Senzaikyū compound while crouching atop one of the nearby buildings, 11th Division Lieutenant Yachiru Kusajishi is approached by a Riteitai, who announces that he has an urgent message for her. However, Yachiru merely tells him to come back later, and when the Riteitai insists on delivering the message right now because he was ordered to deliver it immediately and it was signed by Captain-Commander Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto and 10th Division Captain Tōshirō Hitsugaya, an angered Yachiru demands that he not interrupt her while Kenpachi is fighting as she turns around and exerts a cat-shaped aura of Reiatsu, intimidating the Riteitai.
On the ground below, Kenpachi stands with his eyepatch removed as his Reiatsu blasts upward from him in a column wreathed in a helix. Bracing himself with his Shikai, Zangetsu, held in front of him, a stunned Ichigo observes that Kenpachi's Reiatsu actually increased when he removed his eyepatch and nervously accuses him of cheating by hiding something in his eye, only for Kenpachi to reveal that he does not have anything special in his eye and simply had the Shinigami Research and Development Institute make an eyepatch for him that devours Reiryoku before turning the eyepatch around to reveal it has five small mouths and eyes on the inside, unnerving Ichigo. While concluding that he can now use the Reiryoku which the eyepatch was suppressing to kill Ichigo, Kenpachi casually flicks his Zanpakutō diagonally across the base of the building next to him, resulting in it being completely cut through and collapsing in on itself.
Ichigo closes his eyes as Zangetsu manifests behind him and inquires if Ichigo can hear the sound of Kenpachi's Zanpakutō screaming, and as Ichigo affirms this, Zangetsu explains that Kenpachi cannot hear it and how those who fight together while not trusting each other have their strength diminished. As he asserts that those who only trust in their own strength cannot comprehend this, Zangetsu asks Ichigo if the latter can trust him, prompting Ichigo to confirm this before promising that Zangetsu can use all of his strength however he wants while lending Ichigo his own strength in return. With Zangetsu agreeing to this and gripping the handle of Zangetsu as well, Ichigo's Reiatsu surges in volume and intensity, which leads Kenpachi to praise his power increase. However, when Ichigo details how this resulted from him borrowing Zangetsu's power because they are fighting as a team and declares that he is not losing to someone who fights by themselves, Kenpachi decries the idea of fighting alongside one's Zanpakutō as a team due to his belief that a Zanpakutō is a weapon, meaning that one who teams up with their Zanpakutō is a loser who can no longer fight on their own.
Declaring that this is unworthy for warriors like them, Kenpachi exerts his Reiatsu in a skull-shaped aura while Zangetsu tells Ichigo that they only have one shot because he cannot stop Ichigo's bleeding for much longer, prompting Ichigo to exert his own Reiatsu in a Hollow mask-like aura. Ichigo and Kenpachi rush toward each other and clash in an explosion of force that slices apart the surrounding buildings. With the dust clearing to reveal Ichigo with Zangetsu embedded in Kenpachi's right shoulder and Kenpachi with his Zanpakutō impaling Ichigo through his abdomen while surrounded by a ring of blood, Ichigo apologizes to his friends and collapses to the side, causing Kenpachi's Zanpakutō to rip out of the side of his torso as blood spurts onto the ground. Despite this, as blood spurts from his own wound due to Zangetsu being removed from it by Ichigo's collapse, a grinning Kenpachi questions what Ichigo has to be sorry for because he won before collapsing alongside Ichigo as the blade of his own Zanpakutō snaps in two.
With a barely conscious Ichigo Kurosaki and her unconscious captain, Kenpachi Zaraki, lying next to each other while bleeding heavily from their wounds, 11th Division Lieutenant Yachiru Kusajishi approaches them before bowing as she thanks Ichigo for being the first opponent in a long time to make Kenpachi happy while fighting him. As she hoists Kenpachi over her shoulders, Yachiru requests that Ichigo survive and come back to fight Kenpachi again as she repeatedly springs off the sides of two parallel buildings and heads toward the top of one of them, leaving Ichigo to lose consciousness as well.
In the past, a young Kenpachi sits on a rock in the middle of a clearing filled with dead Souls and is approached by a toddler Yachiru, who smiles as she touches the bloody blade of his Zanpakutō. Though Kenpachi admonishes her for touching a weapon that kills people and could kill her too, Yachiru merely smiles wider as she holds up her bloodied hand, and when Kenpachi asks her for her name, Yachiru does not respond, prompting Kenpachi to realize she does not have one as he admits that he does not either.
In the present, Kenpachi opens his eyes to find Yachiru standing over him as the latter celebrates him being awake and reveals that she called 4th Division Captain Retsu Unohana to come tend to his injuries. When Kenpachi inquires about Ichigo's condition, Yachiru assures him that Ichigo is probably alive, only to be surprised when Kenpachi claims that he needs to pay Ichigo back for beating him. Asserting that Kenpachi did not lose despite his injuries because Ichigo was being aided by Zangetsu and the battle was thus two against one, an irritated Yachiru slaps Kenpachi for chuckling at this. As he muses on the idea of fighting with the help of one's Zanpakutō, Kenpachi asks Yachiru if she remembers the day that he decided her name, which Yachiru affirms while claiming to even remember the number of clouds in the sky that day, and confirms that he remembers the day as well before picking up his broken Zanpakutō with his right hand, causing his shoulder wound to spurt blood.
With Yachiru expressing confusion, Kenpachi states that he has not thought about the pain of not having a name in a long time and expresses sorrow over how he used to not be referred to with a name unlike those around him. Recalling how he named Yachiru after the only person he ever admired and named himself Kenpachi after the title of the strongest Shinigami, Kenpachi holds up his Zanpakutō and notes that he kept it waiting a long time before asking it to tell him its name, only grin sardonically when he does not receive a response. As he holds his broken Zanpakutō over his face, Kenpachi declares that he wants to be stronger because he has found someone to fight, and as he observes that he has not felt this way in a long time, Kenpachi loudly shouts his desire to become stronger.
While watching this, Yachiru recounts how she had neither a name nor parents as a baby in Kusajishi, the 79th district of the Rukongai, and only knew the color of blood red because the people around her were more beast than human and could have easily stomped her to death before Kenpachi came from Zaraki, the 80th district of the Rukongai, and hacked apart her blood-soaked world to give her a name. After concluding that she would not be here now if it were not for Kenpachi, Yachiru assures him that he can do it and promises to get stronger alongside him because she knows he is the strongest one of all and he has been everything to her since that day. However, when she does not receive a response from Kenpachi, Yachiru repeatedly calls out to him in concern.
Elsewhere, Ganju Shiba and 4th Division 7th Seat Hanatarō Yamada stand atop a roof near Senzaikyū, and when Hanatarō wonders if Ichigo is okay due to the noise stopping, Ganju asserts that they need to believe that he is because they have come this far and cannot be distracted now before pulling out a grappling hook and spinning it over his head while proclaiming that they are going to jump across, which Hanatarō affirms he is ready for. Back at the site of the battle, Yoruichi Shihōin approaches an unconscious Ichigo.
In the Shishinrō within Senzaikyū, Rukia Kuchiki realizes that the sounds outside have vanished alongside the two Reiatsu she felt earlier and notes that she cannot tell which combatant died due to the Sekkiseki walls around her blocking and scattering Reiatsu. Questioning why blood has been shed for her and if she is really worth it, Rukia asks Kaien Shiba what he would say.
Outside, Yoruichi Shihōin stands over an unconscious Ichigo Kurosaki and apologizes for being late. After observing that Ichigo's injuries were to be expected due to him fighting 11th Division Captain Kenpachi Zaraki and that he did well to fight the latter to a draw, Yoruichi promises to not let him die and prepares to transport him elsewhere.
Meanwhile, on the walkway connected to the bridge outside Senzaikyū, one of the guards expresses relief at the intense Reiatsu finally dying down and notes that the fight demolished the eastern half of the compound as he wonders if the cells inside were damaged in the process. When the other guard teases him as being pathetic for being shaken by the Reiatsu all the way over here, the first guard points out that he is also shaking and is pathetic as well. Suddenly, as he demands to know why he is considered pathetic, the second guard has a few drops of Shinten poured on his forehead by 4th Division 7th Seat Hanatarō Yamada, causing him to collapse, and as the first guard sees Hanatarō retreating on the roof above and prepares to pursue him, Ganju Shiba drops down behind him and elbows the guard in the face, sending him rolling back along the walkway.
Climbing down from the roof with the rope attached to Ganju's grappling hook, Hanatarō chastises him for being so rough, and when an embarrassed Ganju inquires what kind of drug he used, Hanatarō explains that it is a tranquilizer called Shinten which knocks out those with low Reiryoku with only a drop on the skin. With Ganju unnerved by him carrying around such a thing, Hanatarō questions why he should not do so and assures him that it will not work on strong people. Shortly afterward, Ganju and Hanatarō reach the last door of Senzaikyū, which Ganju observes is a shutter-type. However, as Ganju questions how they will open it, Hanatarō pulls out a large wooden block key from within his shihakushō and reveals that he borrowed it from the cell lock storage room in the canal network last night. Though he admits that he probably should not have done this, Hanatarō recounts how he was thinking about how he always runs while Ichigo fights so hard, which he does not think is cool, and expresses his desire to save Rukia as well before concluding that he decided to do whatever he could even if he got punished for it later.
With Hanatarō brushing this off as useless because all he could do was steal a key, a surprised Ganju asserts that he did more than his share. As they slide the door upward upon unlocking it, Ganju theorizes that Rukia must be very attractive if everyone wants to save her so desperately, though Hanatarō denies this, and cheerfully looks inside the Shishinrō in search of her, only to be mortified upon seeing her standing alone in the cell. While Ganju recalls the Shinigami who brought a dying Kaien to the Shiba Clan household when he was young, Rukia asks him who he is and if he is with Ichigo, prompting Hanatarō to pop out from behind Ganju and express relief at her being alright. When a surprised Rukia wonders what he is doing here, Hanatarō promises to tell her later and begins pulling Rukia by the wrist toward the door as he tells Ganju to hurry because there is no time to waste.
However, Ganju remains still in stunned silence, and as a concerned Hanatarō inquires what is wrong, Rukia notices the pattern on Ganju's pants and realizes that he is a member of the Shiba Clan. Upon being asked by a confused Hanatarō if he knows Rukia, Ganju continues to recall the night of his brother's death and tensely states that he could never forget Rukia's face before claiming that she is the Shinigami who killed Kaien. Unnerved by this, Hanatarō attempts to assure Ganju that Rukia could never do something like this, but Ganju recounts how Kaien's slit throat and punctured chest were wounds from a sword and not something he would have died from had he fought a Hollow. With Ganju angrily proclaiming that she said she killed Kaien that night, Rukia tells Hanatarō that he is right and reaffirms to Ganju that Kaien indeed died by her hand.
Enraged by this, Ganju leaps toward Rukia and grabs her by the collar as she states that she will not stop him from killing her if he wants to. As he pulls on Ganju's free arm, Hanatarō begs him to stop and reminds him that they came here to save Rukia because Ichigo entrusted them with her life. Suddenly, the three of them experience the sensation of a powerful Reiatsu crushing down on them, and as Ganju and Hanatarō turn around to face the doorway in fright, 6th Division Captain Byakuya Kuchiki approaches them on the bridge.