Yasutora Sado vs. Shunsui Kyōraku is a fight taking place during the Ryoka Invasion between Yasutora Sado and 8th Division Captain Shunsui Kyōraku, acting as Sado's first real challenge since his arrival in the Seireitei, the outcome of which proves to be the first major blow to the Ryoka forces.
To break into the Seireitei and rescue Rukia Kuchiki, the Ryoka infuse the Reishūkaku with their combined Reiryoku in order to create a cannonball that can penetrate the Shakonmaku; however, Ichigo Kurosaki is unable to lower his Reiryoku output to match that of his friends and distracts Ganju Shiba while the latter is reciting the second incantation for Kagizaki, the spell guiding their cannonball, at a crucial moment, resulting in the unstable cannonball exploding, which sends the Ryoka flying in four different directions across the Seireitei.
Having thrown Uryū Ishida to Orihime Inoue so they could land safely together, Sado falls to the ground alone while cloaked in energy. Upon seeing that he is hurtling toward a building, Sado manifests his Fullbring, Brazo Derecha de Gigante, and draws back his arm as he prepares to unleash an energy blast. Shortly afterward, several unseated Shinigami discover a large impact crater in the ground, and after realizing that it must have been one of the Ryoka who did not die on impact, they spread out to begin searching. Sitting on a branch of a nearby tree, Yasutora blows steam off his fist as a bird sits on his shoulder protrusion and wonders what he should do next.
Some time later, when Ichigo and Ganju are being confronted by dozens of Shinigami from the Eleventh Division, Sado senses Ichigo's Reiryoku and blows a hole in the wall nearby to get to him, inadvertently taking out about half the Shinigami present in the process. With Ichigo, Ganju, and 4th Division 7th Seat Hanatarō Yamada departing in the ensuing chaos, Sado steps through the hole in the wall and looks over the incapacitated Shinigami as he wonders if he missed Ichigo. When he is confronted by more Shinigami from the Eleventh Division who demand to know if he is one of the intruders, Sado confirms this and responds to their subsequent promise to kill him within five minutes by apologizing and asserting that this will be over in two minutes as energy flares from Brazo Derecha de Gigante.
The next day, after dreaming about his first encounter with Ichigo when they were both in middle school, Sado opens his eyes and sits up on top of a stack of crates in a warehouse as he notes that it was just a dream about the past like that of an old man. Upon hearing voices of Shinigami outside preparing to search the warehouse he is in and seeing the barricaded door being banged against, Sado manifests Brazo Derecha de Gigante and observes that it is a good thing he woke up early because he would have had a bad day if the banging had woken him up.
Shortly afterward, a Shinigami is launched high into the air and falls to the ground below alongside his defeated comrades, where he calls Sado a monster for beating them all. Grabbing the frightened Shinigami by his collar, Sado asks him where Senzaikyū is and explains that the last Shinigami he asked about Rukia's location said that word before he passed out. As he trembles in fear, the Shinigami points Sado to the white tower in the distance, prompting Sado to let go of him and politely thank the Shinigami. However, as Sado begins walking away, the sneering Shinigami mocks him for turning his back on the enemy and leaps forward as he attempts to slash at Sado, only for the latter to bend his Zanpakutō's blade mid-swing with his Brazo Derecha de Gigante hand. With the Shinigami shocked by this and begging Sado to not kill him, Sado merely instructs him to not do this again and runs off, leaving the Shinigami astonished that Sado is not going to kill him.
In 8th Division Captain Shunsui Kyōraku's office, his lieutenant, Nanao Ise, looks out the window and informs a resting Shunsui that Sado is approaching. Bemoaning Sado arriving already, Shunsui sits up and notes that they should get going, and when Nanao inquires if he is sure that he wants to go because she can handle one Ryoka, Shunsui asserts that he has to on Captain-Commander Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto's orders and explains that he does not want anyone's reputation to be ruined due to Yamamoto thinking the captains cannot handle it before attempting to caress Nanao's face as he claims that he does not know what he would do if she were hurt in battle.
When Nanao slaps his hand away with a closed fan and coldly rebuffs his flirting, Shunsui observes that she is in an especially lovely mood today and that this is what he loves about her, leading a flustered Nanao to demand that he go. As he complies, Shunsui assures Nanao that she does not have to worry because it is just fun and games which will be over soon. Some time later, near the Eighth Division barracks, Sado blasts a hole in a wall with an energy blast from Brazo Derecha de Gigante, instantly incapacitating multiple Shinigami on the other side in the process. Looking at his steaming hand, Sado notes that he can now fire five or more shots without exhausting himself.
Sado recalls having two shots per day as his limit when he first gained this power and acknowledges that he will have to thank Yoruichi Shihōin for training him. After stepping through the hole in the wall and running into the compound, Sado wonders if his friends are safe and hopes that none of them have been hurt, only to find himself confronted by 8th Division 3rd Seat Tatsufusa Enjōji, who orders him to halt and introduces himself before declaring that this road is a dead end for Sado with him here. After drawing his Zanpakutō, Tatsufusa initiates Hōzan Kenbu by rapidly and repeatedly slashing in all directions around his body. As they watch this in amazement, two nearby Shinigami identify the technique and assume that Sado is standing still out of terror. However, with Tatsufusa goading Sado to make a move and not be timid just because his swordplay has never been beaten, Sado simply punches him in the face with his Brazo Derecha de Gigante fist.
Sending Tatsufusa flying back and crashing into a barricade that he flips over, Sado apologizes and observes that Tatsufusa's defense was full of holes while the two Shinigami are left astonished by Tatsufusa being knocked out. Suddenly, Shunsui praises Sado's performance, and as the latter looks up in astonishment to see flower petals falling from above, Shunsui lands in front of him before introducing himself and greeting Sado. Walking toward Shunsui, Sado repeats his identification, and as Shunsui affirms this while politely greeting him once more, the flower petals falling around him grow denser in number, prompting Shunsui to ask Nanao to stop throwing petals.
With Nanao standing on the balcony above him with a large basket of petals in her hands, Shunsui continuing to request this in a flirtatious manner, prompting Nanao to simply dump the rest of the petals on top of Shunsui, who is buried underneath them, to Sado's confusion. Sado apologizes for not having time for Shunsui's comedy routine and states that he is just passing through, and when a disappointed Shunsui inquires if he cannot play a while longer because no one is any fun nowadays, Sado asserts that he is in a hurry and pleads with Shunsui to step aside because he seems like a nice guy and Sado does not want this to end in a fight.
As he admits that he does not want to fight either, Shunsui notes that he cannot let Sado pass and suggests that he retreat, but Sado firmly denies being able to do this, prompting Shunsui to observe that it cannot be helped before sitting down, pulling out a jug of sake and two cups, and offering to drink with Sado like two old friends instead. While Sado is left stunned by this, Shunsui explains that he can just stay here if he does not want to retreat because it will all be over soon anyway. When Shunsui reveals that the others are on the move now and this unpleasantness will be finished soon as a result, Sado picks up on his mention of others and deduces that his friends are being attacked by the other captains, which leads Shunsui to realize that he may have said too much.
Asserting that this changes things, Sado asks Shunsui to move immediately, and when the latter inquires what will happen if he declines as he drinks some of the sake, Sado proclaims that he will move Shunsui before firing an energy blast at him. However, with the blast hurtling toward him, Shunsui merely swipes his free hand through it, deflecting the energy blast before it can reach him, to Sado's astonishment, and notes that things are getting complicated. Sado proceeds to fire three more energy blasts, all of which Shunsui dodges while declaring them missed as they shake the ground on impact, and begins panting and sweating as he fires another, which Shunsui nonchalantly dodges by leaning to the side before declaring it missed as well.
With the energy blast blowing up a wall behind Shunsui, Sado wonders how Shunsui is evading them and mentally details how Shunsui deflected his first shot with one hand and has evaded every subsequent shot while observing that they are not even grazing Shunsui despite being powerful. As he recalls Tatsufusa being only two ranks below captain, Sado questions if two ranks can really make that much of a difference and if captains are really this powerful. While leaning against a nearby wall, Shunsui suggests that Sado give up because he should understand by now that, despite how hard and fast his considerably destructive attacks are for a Human, they cannot hit Shunsui and never will, which means that Sado should stop fighting and go home.
A smiling Sado simply thanks him for the advice and declares that he cannot do this before firing another blast despite Shunsui cautioning him against it. Evading this as well, Shunsui moves behind Sado and details how there are two kinds of moves - those that cannot be performed at all once one's limit is reached, and those that can be performed beyond one's limit at the cost of one's life force, the latter category of which he concludes Sado's move is in as he presses two fingers against Sado's back and uses Tsukiyubi, sending him hurtling forward and crashing to the ground. After pointing out that Sado is clearly way beyond his limit, Shunsui advises him to leave because he will die if he keeps this up.
Upon seeing Sado begin to get to his feet once more, a sighing Shunsui inquires why Sado insists on fighting and what purpose he came here to fulfill, prompting Sado to state that his purpose is to save Rukia. Confused by this, Shunsui observes that Sado could only have a thin friendship with Rukia at best after having known her for a few months with her going missing in the Human World in the spring, and Sado affirms Shunsui's conclusion that this is not something he would risk his life for before explaining that Ichigo wants to save her and is putting his own life on the line to do so, which is all the reason Sado needs to do the same. Shunsui acknowledges Sado's strong resolve and decides that it would be disrespectful to attempt to talk him out of this as he draws his twin Zanpakutō and concludes that he will have to kill Sado, who runs toward him and charges up one last energy blast while recalling his history with Ichigo. After recalling his promise to fight for what Ichigo cares about if the latter does the same for him, Sado mentally proclaims that this is why he cannot lose as he prepares to unleash his energy blast onto Shunsui, only for Shunsui to cut him down in a single horizontal slash to the chest and apologize while a large quantity of blood spurts from Sado's wound.
As she stands atop a damaged wall in the Eighth Division barracks and looks into the compound below, Nanao 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, Shunsui stands over a defeated 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 looks up at the sky while noting that things are getting complicated.