Uryū Ishida vs. Mayuri Kurotsuchi is a fight taking place during the Ryoka Invasion between Uryū Ishida and 12th Division Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi, acting as Uryū's first true challenge since entering the Seireitei and bringing him face-to-face with a personal foe.
After their battle against 7th Division 4th Seat Jirōbō Ikkanzaka, Uryū Ishida and Orihime Inoue acquire clothes from two Shinigami whom they knock out and hide in a warehouse in order to blend in and move through the Seireitei more easily. Later, their disguises manage to fool 9th Division 20th Seat Toshimori Umesada during a search for the Ryoka, though Uryū intervenes when Toshimori begins lecherously hitting on Orihime. Avoiding a confrontation when Toshimori is called away by his men to further direct the investigation, Orihime is delighted by how well her plan is working and Uryū affirms that she is clever.
Orihime writes in a notebook and recounts how they learned the location of Senzaikyū from the two Shinigami earlier before concluding that the others are likely already on their way there. When Orihime concludes that Ichigo is probably already there with a happy expression, Uryū gets up and decides that they should hurry in order to get there before Ichigo screws everything up, which Orihime agrees with. While Orihime and Uryū discuss which division they should belong to because they need to be ready to provide such information immediately if asked, 12th Division Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi makes himself visible on the steps nearby and watches them depart.
Shortly afterward, as he and Orihime run through the Seireitei, Uryū notes that Tsubaki is still not fully healed, prompting Orihime to sadly affirm that this is true even though the other spirits of her Shun Shun Rikka spent hours healing him last night because they seem to have a harder time healing each other. When Orihime apologizes for not being much help, Uryū praises her as being immensely helpful due to her ability to both protect and heal the two of them, which she thanks him for. Internally, Uryū asserts that this is for the best because it allows Orihime to bring up the rear and focus on defense and healing before noting that spending the last few days with her has convinced him Orihime is not cut out for fighting.
Suddenly, Makizō Aramaki emerges from a nearby alley and demands to know what division Orihime and Uryū are part of, as well as why they are here. Upon being told that they are part of the Eleventh Division, Aramaki tosses aside the waterskin of sake and approaches them while revealing that he is also part of the Eleventh Division, which is a combat unit, and wondering who in his division would be stupid enough to walk around without their Zanpakutō. With Uryū mentally stressing over not realizing that the divisions specialized in different areas, Aramaki grabs the collar of Orihime's shihakushō and points out how the insignia on the inside is that of the Twelfth Division rather than the Eleventh before questioning who they really are.
However, as Uryū decides that their attempt at blending in has gone awry, Aramaki is hit on the head with a wooden rod by a member of the Twelfth Division, who stands behind him with three other members of his division. With the Shinigami berating Aramaki for accusing his fellow Shinigami while drunk and inquiring if she and Uryū are alright, Orihime thanks them, leading the Shinigami with the rod to assure her that it is the least they could do because the Twelfth Division looks out for its own as one of his comrades claims that members of the Eleventh Division are always trying to start trouble with them. While the Shinigami laugh this off as a misunderstanding since anyone could misplace their Zanpakutō, a silent Uryū realizes that something is wrong.
Uryū observes that Aramaki had a good point despite being drunk, and as he wonders why these Shinigami would be helping them despite their suspicious claim of belonging to the Eleventh Division while wearing the insignia of the Twelfth, a shocked Uryū rushes toward Orihime and warns her to get away from the Shinigami, only to be interrupted when one of them explodes in a large blast, splashing blood and organs on his fellow Shinigami, who begin running away in shock. With one of the Shinigami frantically questioning why this is happening and asserting that this is not what they were told would happen, Mayuri stands nearby with his lieutenant, Nemu Kurotsuchi.
Blowing up the rest of the Shinigami with a detonator, Mayuri claims that a grenade should not come flying back once thrown. However, as he watches the smoke clear, Mayuri is surprised to see a cracked and blood-spattered Santen Kesshun protecting Uryū, who stands over Aramaki and a trembling and kneeling Orihime as she shakily thanks him for calling out to her, prompting Uryū to praise her in turn for reacting in time while noting that this was only possible due to Orihime's considerable practice with using her abilities without reciting her kotodama. With Uryū recalling how he found Orihime fatigued from training to accomplish this the previous night and her excitement over succeeding in summoning her Shun Shun Rikka without calling their names, Orihime asks about the other Shinigami.
After confirming that they are dead, Uryū assures Orihime that she she should not feel guilty about it before looking over his shoulder and declaring that Mayuri should feel guilt instead as the Santen Kesshun shatters behind him. Intrigued by Orihime's Santen Kesshun, Mayuri inquires if Orihime produced it, and though Uryū states that he is not in the mood for conversation, Mayuri ignores him and commends the unique nature of this power while offering to make Orihime his research subject. As Uryū angrily proclaims that they are not making any deals with him, Mayuri promises to make it worth Orihime's while and claims to be kind to women. Lying on the ground in front of Orihime, a bewildered Aramaki wonders why she is crying and is stunned upon realizing that she is crying for the dead Shinigami and saved him from the explosion at the last second, leading him to question why she she saved him even though he is her enemy.
Mayuri decides to offer Orihime the best possible terms and details how he will restrict the daily drug regime to only eight doses and biomechanical experiments to only five hours per day, feed Orihime orally, give her clothing when she sleeps, and try hard to not perform any modifications which might kill her, which he considers to be exceptional terms for a research subject, only to find himself suddenly confronted by Uryū holding his Heilig Bogen, Kojaku, and aiming a Heilig Pfeil at his face from only a few feet away. After looking at the area where Uryū was standing and noting that he is fast, Mayuri comments on how rare of a species Quincy like him are before claiming to no longer be interested in his kind after completing his research on them and requesting that he step aside. When a confused Uryū inquires who he is, Mayuri admonishes him for charging into enemy territory without at least knowing the top 13 Shinigami and introduces himself as the 12th Division Captain and President of the SRDI while exerting his Reiatsu.
With Mayuri declaring that he can forget this because he will not know anything in a moment, an intimidated Uryū tells Orihime to run, and when she protests this due to wanting to fight as well, Uryū orders Aramaki to take her and run. Upon being asked by an incredulous Aramaki why he should do this, Uryū asserts that he is doomed if he stays here and demands that he force Orihime if necessary before promising to shoot him if he does not comply, leading an unnerved Aramaki to grab Orihime and begin running away.
When Mayuri reminds Aramaki that he was not given permission to leave and uses Jabarakaina to greatly extend his arm in an attempt to grab him, Uryū destroys his hand with a Heilig Pfeil that heavily damages part of the wall behind it and claims to have not given Mayuri permission to stop them, only for Mayuri to reiterate that he is not interested in Uryū. Mayuri explains to Uryū that it is very time-consuming to set up Jabarakaina, and upon seeing Mayuri grabbing his arm stump, an alerted Uryū leaps back and is shocked to see Mayuri blow off the remnants of his arm below the elbow, leaving the severed pieces to fall to the ground. Claiming that it is very painful, Mayuri pulls out a Hojiku-Zai and sticks it into his arm's vein before injecting the contents, causing his forearm to rapidly regenerate in a grotesque and mutilated manner, further astonishing Uryū.
Mayuri observes that Orihime got away, but dismisses this as irrelevant because he only needs a strand of her hair in order to find her and wishes to study her until only mincemeat is left once he does since he believes that every second of experimentation is precious. Though appalled by Mayuri's monstrous demeanor, Uryū mentally notes that he should have a chance against Mayuri due to the latter's strong but unstable Reiatsu likely allowing Uryū to buy enough time for Orihime to escape before he does as well. As he looks over the area, Uryū mentally admits that he cannot shoot both Mayuri and Nemu at the same time, but after realizing Nemu is not moving even though her captain is in danger and assuming that she cannot fight, Uryū decides to go for Mayuri first and fires a Heilig Pfeil at him, which Mayuri evades, only to see Uryū has disappeared from the area in front of him as another Heilig Pfeil slams into him from behind, creating a large explosion.
However, while Uryū stands on a nearby rooftop and watches the dust settle, Mayuri appears on top of the connecting roof nearby and praises his speed. With a stunned Uryū forming another Heilig Pfeil and aiming Kojaku at him once more, Mayuri details how Uryū has been using Hirenkyaku, an advanced Quincy technique that allows one to move at high speeds by creating a current of Reishi beneath their feet, and expresses surprise at someone as young as Uryū mastering it while Uryū wonders how he moved so fast in turn. Mayuri explains that the Shinigami have a similar technique called Shunpo, which he considers tiring, and declares that he will have to study Orihime later due to being a busy man before proclaiming that he will kill Uryū with the least effort possible as he draws his Zanpakutō and releases his Shikai, Ashisogi Jizō, transforming the blade into a golden, deformed trident with the design of a baby's face emanating vapor. Recognizing what Mayuri has done, Uryū recalls Jirōbō releasing his Shikai, Tsunzakigarasu', and mentally admits that he cannot tell what Ashisogi Jizō does from its shape. As Mayuri approaches him, Uryū frantically tries to figure out if Ashisogi Jizō can absorb attacks, and with Mayuri drawing closer, Uryū decides that he does not have time to think and prepares to attack.
Suddenly, Nemu leaps onto the roof between the two of them and grabs Uryū's Heilig Pfeil with her right hand while pulling on his collar with her left, causing them to fall off the roof as Uryū bemoans having forgotten about her. Though he frantically tells Nemu to let go before she gets hurt, Uryū sees Mayuri leaping toward them and realizes he is not hesitating before being slashed across the chest by Mayuri alongside Nemu, whose upper back is cut open, leaving him in disbelief at how Mayuri hacked right through her. As she and Uryū land on the ground, Nemu separates from Uryū and smiles as she looks at Mayuri, only for the latter to angrily punch her in the face while admonishing her for not heeding his instruction to never let go even if her arms were torn off. With Uryū slumping against a nearby wall, Nemu apologizes.
Despite this, Mayuri claims that he was not expecting much from her anyway before declaring that defeating Uryū at this point will be as easy as strangling a baby. Standing over Uryū, Mayuri observes that Uryū must have a high threshold for pain if he is sweating but not screaming, and when Uryū clarifies that this is his second time being cut by a sword, Mayuri sarcastically states that he now has a wealth of experience and prepares to attack, only to be interrupted when Nemu collapses behind him. With an annoyed Mayuri telling her to be quiet, Nemu apologizes and requests some of his Hojiku-Zai because her lungs have been damaged and she cannot maintain her vital function. However, after walking over to Nemu, Mayuri instead viciously stomps on her abdomen, causing her to scream in pain while Uryū watches in shock. As he repeatedly stomps on Nemu, Mayuri demands to know if she believes that her body would really break so easily.
Upon being begged by an astonished Uryū to stop because he is killing her, Mayuri holds Nemu up by her hair and inquires if Uryū believes such wounds could kill someone he created himself, which he takes as mockery of his skill. When Uryū is stunned by the idea of him creating Nemu, Mayuri confirms this and explains that Nemu is the result of his experiments with Gigai and Gikon before revealing that she is his daughter. Uryū is left speechless by this, and as he preemptively dismisses Uryū's righteous indignation over this, Mayuri claims that the manner in which a father treats his daughter is none of his business while slamming Nemu's head against the wall.
Attempting to get up and stop this, Uryū realizes that he cannot move his limbs, prompting Mayuri to mock him for only just noticing this before attributing this to the immobilizing power of Ashisogi Jizō. Though Uryū assumes that it releases a paralyzing toxin, Mayuri decries this as mediocre and details how Ashisogi Jizō synthesizes a far more complex drug that selectively blocks only the neural impulses involved in movement. While clarifying that this means Uryū will only lose his ability to move and still feel pain, Mayuri repeatedly stabs him in the arm with Ashisogi Jizō, causing Uryū to scream in pain. Irritated by this due to considering a woman's scream to be more interesting, Mayuri withdraws Ashisogi Jizō and orders Nemu to finish off Uryū, only to remember that he cut and paralyzed her with Ashisogi Jizō as well before stomping on her head in anger. With Uryū struggling to tell him to stop once more, Mayuri turns to face him and questions if he is really such a fool to feel pity for a woman who is his enemy, and when Mayuri wonders if this is the pride that the Quincy hold in such high regard, Uryū is surprised by his knowledge of it, prompting Mayuri to note that it must mean something important to them.
With Mayuri mentioning how all Quincy speaking of it before they die, Uryū wonders what he means, which leads Mayuri to reiterate his statement of having completed his research on Quincy and recount how he has studied them thoroughly by applying various stimuli to the minds and bodies of Quincy to observe their response, drilling holes in the skulls of Quincy while they were still alive, making Quincy burn their own children, vivisecting and crushing Quincy, and studying them until they were nothing but pulp, with every single Quincy swearing at some point that they would not do something on their pride as Quincy and would stop him, to his great irritation, before concluding that one stab from Ashisogi Jizō will make all words of resistance meaningless.
Mayuri brushes off a sickened Uryū's response and decides to relay his own hardship as he notes how difficult it was to perform this research due to the Quincy being a rare breed by the time he became President of the Shinigami Research and Development Institute, with Shinigami monitoring the few that were left. After explaining how he persuaded the Shinigami assigned to each Quincy to delay their rescue when they were attacked and turned the Quincy Souls that they brought back into research subjects, Mayuri bemoans how hard it was to arrange this and recalls how the last Quincy he experimented on was an old man who kept calling out the name of his student or grandchild, which Mayuri considers disgraceful, as he tosses a photo of the man's remains to Uryū while clarifying that it was taken after he had finished his experiments, where a mortified Uryū sees the bloody head of his grandfather and mentor, Sōken Ishida, in the picture.
As he attempts to recall the student's name, Mayuri gives up due to losing interest in his subjects after his experiments are over. Suddenly, a surge of energy erupts behind Mayuri, and as he turns around in astonishment, Uryū reveals that he was the student and that Sōken was his grandfather as he forces his body to stand up with Ransōtengai. Though Mayuri does not understand why this matters, Uryū admits that he is glad Orihime is not here because he does not want her to see this before swearing to kill Mayuri on his pride as a Quincy, to the latter's intrigue. While Nemu watches in concern as she lies on the ground nearby, Mayuri wonders how Uryū can be standing despite having his arms and legs slashed by Ashisogi Jizō, leading him to realize that Uryū is using Ransōtengai to move his limbs with countless Reishi strings like a puppet. With Uryū ripping off part of his Quincy uniform and tying it around his wounded arm to staunch the bleeding, Mayuri mentally details how Ransōtengai was created so old and frail Quincy could keep fighting Hollows because internal injuries hampering movement mean nothing when using the technique and it allows one to keep fighting until they literally turn to dust, making it the ultimate combat move of the Quincy and one that he thought was a lost art.
As he admits that he thought Ransōtengai was a lost art found only in history books due to none of the 2661 Quincy he studied being able to perform even part of the technique, Mayuri observes that Uryū has mastered it at such a young age and inquires if he is a genius. Recalling his father dismissing the Quincy as worthless and Sōken consoling him as a child, Uryū forms Kojaku once more, leading a grinning Mayuri to praise this development since it means Uryū will not bore him after all as he pulls on the end of the cone covering his left ear to bring out a fleshy tendril while promising to take Uryū back alive so both he and Orihime can be his research subjects. Uryū remembers Sōken's warning that he will one day face an unavoidable battle beyond his abilities if he wishes to walk the path of the Quincy.
After recalling Sōken instructing him to use the Sanrei Glove in such a situation, Uryū begins moving his left hand toward the Sanrei Glove as he apologizes to Sōken for not understanding his father or even knowing what he wants to protect. However, Uryū mentally asserts that he at least knows what he will not allow and remembers Sōken detailing how he can reach the peak of his Quincy powers by training with the Sanrei Glove on for seven days and nights, but must never take it off once he puts it on because he will lose his Quincy powers if he does. Apologizing to Sōken for disobeying him one last time, Uryū grasps one of the protrusions on the wrist of the Sanrei Glove and breaks it off, causing the glove to burst apart in a surge of energy that erupts upward from Uryū's position. With a shocked Mayuri wondering what this is, the swirling energy clears to reveal Uryū standing with the Quincy: Letzt Stil active, granting him newly-formed armor over his chest and right leg, a massive flame of Reishi emanating from a jet on his right shoulder, and a new, more mechanical form of his Kojaku.
Stunned by Uryū's increased Reiatsu, Mayuri watches in astonishment as several structures around them begin to disintegrate into Reishi and flow into the Reishi flame on Uryū's back, leading him to realize Uryū is absorbing the buildings, which are made of Reishi, by forcibly breaking the bonds between them and making the Reishi part of his own power. As he concludes that Uryū is bending Reishi to his will, a sweating Mayuri claims that he is exceeding his Human limits. Suddenly, Uryū holds up his left hand, and upon seeing Reishi redirect from the flame on his back to his palm in several angled lines to create a solid Heilig Pfeil, a shocked Mayuri leaps back, only to find that it is too fast to be dodged when Uryū nocks it in Kojaku and fires it at him.
Though Mayuri manages to evade it by leaning back, causing the Heilig Pfeil to hurtle past his head, he discovers Uryū in the air above him as the latter fires another Heilig Pfeil straight down at him, resulting in a large explosion on impact. Landing on the ground near Mayuri, Uryū instructs him to beg for mercy and never appear in front of him again if Mayuri wants to live before promising to fire a Heilig Pfeil that is three times stronger than the last one he fired if Mayuri refuses. However, with the smoke clearing to reveal he has lost his left arm and cannot see out of his left eye, Mayuri angrily berates Uryū for getting cocky and picks up Ashisogi Jizō, while deciding to return the favor. Mayuri activates his Bankai, Konjiki Ashisogi Jizō, and as Uryū stares in shock, Mayuri's Zanpakutō generates a massive caterpillar-like creature with a baby's head and arms as well as a large halo floating above it that lands on the buildings behind him.
As he declares that Uryū's doom is sealed now, Mayuri details how Konjiki Ashisogi Jizō sprays lethal poison made from his blood for a 100-mile radius, and after clarifying that it will not harm him, Mayuri informs Uryū that he will die and claims he would never make a good research subject as Konjiki Ashisogi Jizō sprouts a flurry of blades from its underside. Hearing this, Uryū merely promises to shoot to shoot Mayuri before he can spray the fatal dose while forming another Heilig Pfeil in his hand, prompting Mayuri to invite him to try before sending Konjiki Ashisogi Jizō charging toward Uryū, who draws the Heilig Pfeil back in Kojaku and fires it, resulting in an enormous explosion of energy blasting through the surrounding area.
While Nemu stares in astonishment, the smoke in front of her clears to reveal Mayuri standing with a large hole in his abdomen dripping blood on the ground and his hat gone as he pants in exertion. In front of him, Konjiki Ashisogi Jizō, having been split in two down the middle, crashes to the ground in front of Uryū, who stands with both arms bleeding profusely as he sweats. Cursing Uryū, Mayuri raises his shattered Zanpakutō and stabs it through his neck, causing his body to begin bursting apart into liquid. Shocked by this, Uryū wonders if his Zanpakutō has the ability to liquefy anything it cuts, and as Mayuri admits he was close, Uryū realizes he saved this move for his escape and angrily moves to attack him, only for Mayuri to explain that this would be futile because he cannot attack or be attacked in this state and will remain this way for a few days.
Concluding that he will eventually return to the Shinigami Research and Development Institute to recover, Mayuri bids Uryū farewell as a tougher opponent than he expected and concludes that the ending of him living and Uryū dying has not changed as the liquid drips out of sight. Upon coughing up blood as his skin begins discoloring, Uryū observes that the poison from Konjiki Ashisogi Jizō is entering his system and he needs to do something fast. Suddenly, Nemu calls out to Uryū and reveals that he can find an antidote for the poison underneath the lieutenant's badge on her left arm.
After retrieving the antidote and helping Nemu sit up, Uryū inquires if she would be more comfortable lying down. When Nemu states that she is fine like this, Uryū asserts that she should lie down, but Nemu promises him that she will be alright because the poison will not harm her due to her blood being the same as Mayuri's. With Uryū hesitating to drink the antidote, Nemu questions if he believes it is a trick and offers to drink some of it first to show him otherwise, only for Uryū to decide that it would be illogical for her to attempt to poison him when he is already poison and drink the antidote. Nemu thanks Uryū for not killing Mayuri by aiming for his gut rather than his head, and though Uryū claims that it was a fluke and that he shot to kill, Nemu still thanks him and notes that giving him the antidote was the least she could do.
As he continues to drink, Uryū inquires why Nemu would want to protect such a father, leading Nemu to admit that she is not sure and explain that she somehow found herself relieved when she discovered that Mayuri had survived. Instructing Uryū to leave after he finishes drinking, Nemu informs him that the other Shinigami will come soon after seeing Konjiki Ashisogi Jizō and promises him that she will be alright because they will tend to her. After setting down the empty antidote flask, Uryū thanks Nemu and bids her farewell before leaving. Soon afterward, Uryū limps along the ground near the entrance to the Senzaikyū compound and steadies himself against the nearby rocky wall.
Mentally observing that his Ransōtengai must be wearing off because he can barely move his limbs, Uryū concludes that his time as a Quincy is at an end and wonders if Orihime is alright, only to decide that she should have the upper hand due to her Reiatsu being much stronger than Aramaki's. Reaching the base of the stairs leading up to the compound, Uryū begins climbing up and mentally asserts that the other Ryoka should be on their way here or will be eventually, meaning that he just has to wait. Uryū decides that he should save Rukia Kuchiki due to getting here first and smiles as he thinks of how mad Ichigo Kurosaki will be if Uryū beats him to it. However, upon reaching the top of the stairs and entering the compound, Uryū find himself confronted by 9th Division Captain Kaname Tōsen, who apologizes and states that they must keep the peace before releasing his Shikai, Suzumushi, releasing a high-pitched tone over the surrounding area that knocks Uryū out, causing him to collapse. Shedding a single tear, Tōsen asks Uryū to forgive him and instruct Uryū to sleep because his struggles will be over soon.