The Nightmare Returns...Revival of the Espada
Kanji 悪夢再び…復活の十刃
Romanji Akumu futatabi...fukkatsu no Esupāda
Episode Number 278
Manga Chapters Chapter 363, Chapter 364
Arc The Fake Karakura Town arc Part 2
Previous Episode Climax! Kyōraku vs. Starrk!
Next Episode Hirako and Aizen...the Reunion of Fate!
Japanese July 6, 2010
English November 4, 2012
Theme Music
Opening ChAngE
Ending Stay Beautiful
Episode 278 Screenshots

The Nightmare Returns...Revival of the Espada is the two hundred seventy-eighth episode of the Bleach anime.

The Espada are shown to still be alive, Sōsuke Aizen, Gin Ichimaru, and Kaname Tōsen are freed, and the Visored arrive on the battlefield.


The captains of the Gotei 13 are exhausted, but for the most part it seems as if they had won. Tier Harribel is frozen within Captain Tōshirō Hitsugaya's Hyōten Hyakkasō and Baraggan Luisenbarn seems to have been destroyed by Captain Suì-Fēng's Bankai. Suì-Fēng can barely keep herself airborne, Lieutenant Marechiyo Ōmaeda tries to support her, but she angrily declines. A bit disgruntled, Ōmaeda says his captain should humbly accept her subordinate's kindness, but dares not repeat it to Suì-Fēng's ears. He says Baraggan was frightening and asks her if she doesn't agree, but she says it's all in the past now, nursing her severed arm.

Starrk avoids a redirected Cero.

The one fight still being fought is between Captain Shunsui Kyōraku and Coyote Starrk. Captain Jūshirō Ukitake intervenes and appears to have fired a Cero at Starrk. Kyōraku intends to protest Ukitake's intervention, but the latter tells him he won't accept any arguments, since Starrk's Resurrección is essentially a fuse between himself and Lilynette Gingerbuck, which makes his assistance a battle of two-on-two. Ukitake says it seemed Kyōraku was unwilling to use his Bankai. Kyōraku says he was just about to use it, but Ukitake asks him not to, as his Bankai is not something that should be used where others can see it. Ukitake adds that his own abilities should be more useful against an opponent such as Starrk. Starrk asks Ukitake how he was able to fire a Cero at him. Ukitake replies that he has no idea, and suggests Starrk shoot again if he wants to find out. Starrk agrees and takes aim at Ukitake, but Lilynette tells him not to shoot as it is an obvious trap. Starrk ignores her and shoots the Cero, and like before, the Cero is returned back to him. Despite Lilynette's protests, Starrk fires a third Cero, which is also returned.

Starrk uses Sonído to get behind Ukitake, but does not attack. Instead, he analyzes Ukitake's ability as the power to absorb his opponent's attack and return it, using the charms hanging from the chord to readjust the speed and pressure of the attack just enough to throw off the opponent's timing. He states that it's a much more dangerous ability than it appears on the surface. Ukitake compliments Starrk for analyzing his ability after just three tries. Starrk thanks him, but says he is glad that the captain's ability isn't merely to mirror the attack back to the opponent, because if he has to absorb the attack before returning it, there has to be a limit to how much he can absorb. If Starrk was to fire a thousand Ceros at him, Ukitake probably couldn't return them. He is about to make good on his threat when he senses an attack from a different direction. He ducks just in time to avoid Kyōraku's swing and responds with a Cero from his left pistol. He tells Kyōraku off again for his uncharacteristic behavior. Kyōraku is unfazed, saying he doesn't approve with Starrk's definition of his character, and that the only characteristic thing about him is that he's uncharacteristic. Starrk is disappointed, saying he believed he and the captain were alike. He takes aim and fires with his right pistol, but Kyōraku uses Shunpo to dodge and appear next to Starrk, forcing him to dodge Kyōraku's attacks and back away while firing from both his pistols. When Kyōraku uses another flash step to dodge, he waits until Starrk commits to an angle before appearing behind him. Starrk aims his pistol at him, but Kyōraku disappears again, without attacking.

Starrk realizes Kyōraku's plan is to keep close so Starrk can't use his Cero Metralleta at Ukitake, he therefore surrounds himself with a circle of Cero energy to keep Kyōraku away. He then aims his pistol at the only possible point Kyōraku could appear in. When the captain appears, he fires a right handed Cero. Kyōraku seems surprised at first, but a second later vanishes, revealing Ukitake behind him to return the Cero back to Starrk, who is forced to use his Sonído to dodge. Kyōraku compliments the Espada for his fighting abilities. Starrk says he did find it odd that Kyōraku allowed himself to be cornered so easily and asks if this was the captains' plan. Ukitake says no one said Kyōraku was fighting alone. Kyōraku asks if Ukitake is feeling well, to which Ukitake responds that he does. Lilynette accuses the captains of ganging up against Starrk two-on-one, but Ukitake says she and Starrk are also a duo, which makes it an even match. Nonetheless, he orders her to stop fighting, which only serves to aggravate her. She pushes Starrk to hurry up and finish his opponents. Starrk agrees with her, saying this time he intends to make sure Kyōraku can't get near them.

Jōkaku Enjō is extinguished.

As the two captains brace themselves for Starrk's next move, an enormous Garganta appears across the sky. All members of the Gotei 13 who are still conscious stare at it with disbelief. Ukitake asks if it could be reinforcements for the enemy, but Kyōraku replies since they are already fighting the top three Espada, that's not an encouraging idea. A strange looking Arrancar steps out the Garganta, identified by Starrk as Wonderweiss Margela. The new arrival communicates by undecipherable moans, but the creature behind him follows his commands just the same - a huge mass of a Hollow with a single eye in its head and Gillian masks as his fingernails. Captain Sajin Komamura remembers seeing that eye before, in the Garganta through which Aizen escaped Soul Society. Ōmaeda wants to run away, but is silenced by Suì-Fēng. Wonderweiss' blank stare locks on Ukitake, and suddenly he is behind the captain, piercing him through the gut with his hand. Kyōraku attempts to come to his friend's aid, but Starrk presses his pistol against the captain's back and fires a point-blank Cero at him. He apologizes, saying the fact that Wonderweiss arrived means Aizen's time is growing impatient. Both captains fall unconscious to the ground, much to Captain-Commander Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto's horror.

The Visored arrive in the fake Karakura Town.

Wonderweiss then lets out a high-pitched screech. The screech shatters Hitsugaya's Hyōten Hyakkasō, freeing Harribel. Wonderweiss' second screech clears the smoke near Suì-Fēng, revealing Baraggan to not only be alive, but also unharmed from the captain's Bankai. Down in his makeshift sickbay, Lieutenant Izuru Kira begs Captain Komamura to go and join the fight, as the survival of the lieutenants means nothing if everyone else is defeated. Following Wonderweiss' command, the huge Hollow still standing within the Garganta blows at Yamamoto's Jōkaku Enjō, putting out the flames and freeing Aizen, Gin, and Tōsen. Gin muses about the smell of the monster's breath, saying this must be what is known as the "stench of death". Aizen says that is perfect, since the stench of death is a fitting odor for what's unfolding before them. Seeing this, Kira is filled with despair, saying the Shinigami are truly doomed now. At that moment a new voice speaks, asking everyone to hold on. Shinji Hirako and the Visored have arrived at the battlefield. Seeing their faces, Aizen recollects the last time he's seen them. Shinji greets Aizen, saying it has been a long time since they last met.

Shinigami Illustrated Picture Book

Ichigo Kurosaki, Rukia Kuchiki, Orihime Inoue, Uryū Ishida, Yasutora Sado, and Lieutenant Renji Abarai are waiting in the street taken from the Stay Beautiful ending theme clip. They were supposed to meet Ukitake there for their trip back home, but no one has shown up. Uryū thinks he spots Ukitake, along with Kyōraku, Kiyone Kotetsu, Sentarō Kotsubaki, and Lieutenant Nanao Ise, dressed as they were in the video, but when they turn around they turn out to be just normal albeit oddly dressed people. Ichigo asks him what he was trying to do and the annoyed Ishida says since no one knew what to do he tried to help. Rukia realizes their plane is about to depart and right then they see the plane leaving above them. They look up at the plane frustrated and Kon jumps into the shot, carrying a sign that says a new ending theme will be coming in the following week.

Characters in Order of Appearance


Powers and Techniques Used

Kidō used:

  • Kaidō (回道, Turn Way)
  • Bakudō #75. Gochūtekkan (五柱鉄貫, Quintet of 1 kan Iron Pillars) (flashback)
  • Bakudō #99. Kin (禁, Seal) (flashback)

Shinigami techniques:

Hollow techniques:

  • Cero (虚閃, Zero (虚閃 (セロ) is Spanish for "Zero", Japanese for "Hollow Flash"; VizDoom Blast))
  • Sonído (響転, Sound (響転 (ソニード) is Spanish for "Sound", Japanese for "Sound Ceremony"))
  • Descorrer (解空, Drawing Back/Opening (解空 (デスコレール) is Spanish for "Drawing Back/Opening", Japanese for "Loosed Void"))

Zanpakutō released: Shikai:


Resurrección used:

  • Los Lobos (群狼 , The Wolves (群狼 (ロス・ロボス) is Spanish for "The Wolves," Japanese for "Wolf Pack"; Viz "Wolves"))
  • Tiburón (皇鮫后, Shark (皇鮫后 (ティブロン) is Spanish for "Shark", Japanese for "Imperial Shark Empress"))
  • Arrogante (髑髏大帝, Arrogant (髑髏大帝 (アロガンテ) is Spanish for "Arrogant," Japanese for "Great Skull Emperor"))

Other Powers:

  • Horōka (虚化, Hollowfication) (flashback)


Previous Next
Climax! Kyōraku vs. Starrk! Hirako and Aizen...the Reunion of Fate!
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.