Season 14 of Bleach (of the same manga written and illustrated by Tite Kubo) began airing on April 13, 2010 to March 29, 2011 . It continues with the Shinigamis facing off the Espada in Karakura Town. Meanwhile Ichigo and his friends fend off Arrancars to rescue Inoue yet again. Ichigo transmogrify once more just as Ulquiorra is taken down. Later, the vizards get thrown into the mix against Aizen’s lot, as Ichigo makes his way back into the human world. Aizen shows he is not only a true villain, but an exceptionally powerfully one too.
The season’s opening and ending themes are:
1. miwa’s “chAngE” (ep. 266-291) DOWNLOAD
2. SID’s “Melody of the Wild Dance” (乱舞のメロディ, Rambu no Merodi) (ep. 292-316)
3. DIGGY-MO’s “Stay Beautiful” (ep. 266-278) DOWNLOAD
4. Universe’s “Echoes” (ep. 279-291)
5. SPYAIR’s “Last Moment” (ep. 292 -316) DOWNLOAD
• Season 4 (Jan. – Aug. 2006)
• Season 5 (Aug. 2006 – Jan. 2007)
• Season 9 (Apr. – Oct. 2008)
EPISODE SYNOPSIS TO DATE
Ichigo and Ulquiorra’s battle begins!
April 20, 2010 ep. 267: Connected Hearts! The Left Fist Prepared for Death!
Ichigo is surprisingly up to par with Ulquiorra (4), as he reads the Ulquiorra’s movements and manages to slash him across the chest. Either Ichigo has become more like a Hollow, or Ulquiorra has become more human. As they fight, Inoue stands by and watches helplessly (as usual), unwilling to help. Ulquiorra reminds Ichigo that Inoue is not who is was before. She has been “altered.” However, when Ulquiorra almost throws a fatal attack against Ichigo, she finally protects him (she has some redeeming qualities. Other than being amply endowed, there really isn’t much going for her).
Elsewhere, Chad and Renji fight their way through the desert of Las Noches and is met with a giant Hollow. After finally reading each others movements they eventually claim victory over the Hollow. Rukia is still at it with the Exequias.
01 STAY BEAUTIFUL DOWNLOAD
02 Wardrobe #6
03 STAY BEAUTIFUL (Instrumental)
April 27, 2010 ep. 268: Hatred and Jealousy, Orihime’s Dilemma
The fight of I vs. U continues (this is definitely going to take a while. People – sit back, relax, make sure you have plenty of food and fluid next to you).
Loly and Menoly, the two teenage girls who once tortured and beat up Inoue when she was imprisoned only to be stopped and killed by Grimmjow and then saved and resurrected by Inoue, are back! Loly, still detesting Inoue because of her special treatment not only by Aizen, but her multiple friends who have come to rescue her, is back for more abuse. Even while Menoly tries to stop her, Loly ignores her.
As Ichigo fights Ulquiorra, Loly knows that this is her only chance to drag Inoue down to hell with her, since Aizen has proclaimed her as useless now. Loly begins to torture Inoue by ripping her clothes and pulling her hair, but when Ichigo tries to come to her aid, Ulquiorra stops him; not to save Loly and Menoly but for Ichigo to focus on their fight.
Yammy Riyalgo (0) suddenly appears and hurls Menoly into a wall, immediately killing (?) her, when he is barred from joining in the fight with Ichigo. He then attacks and injures Loly, but that silly chit Inoue decides to heal her instead. The restored Loly releases her zanpakutou, of multiple venomous skeletal tentacles and attacks Yammy, swearing that she will kill him and Ulquiorra. Yammy rams her through a wall and drops her supposedly to her death (Ishida unknowingly saves this terrible girl). With no one else to fight, Yammy guns for Inoue, who tries to protect herself with Santen Kesshun.
At the most àpropos of time, Ishida bursts through the same hole in the wall to aid Ichigo and save Inoue.
Ishida leads Yammy away from the group and begins to set a trap of mines given by Kurotsuchi Mayuri (8). Ishida uses his Sprenger, which he usually doesn’t employ when it’s a one-on-one battle as it takes too long to set up the pentagram and then lead the victim into the middle. However, seeing as how Yammy is really as dim-witted as Ichigo, Ishida is able to lead him right into the trap by the nose. When it’s all said and done, Yammy gets blown up from the top floor right to the lowest level of the tower.
Meanwhile, Rukia is trying to rid off Rudobone’s infinite soldiers. Every time she beats the enemy in front of her, another batch is made anew. Chad and Renji, the new Golden Combi, show up to give her a hand.
After Ishida has taken care of Yammy, he return to I v. U’s battle. He knows the only reason Ichigo hasn’t released his hollow is to protect Inoue from his massive reiatsu. Ichigo finally calls upon his Hollow mask to overwhelm Ulquiorra when Ishida promises to protect Inoue. Not wanting all the glory to go to Ichigo, Ulquiorra breaks out of the dome of Las Noches and releases his Zanpakutou, Murciélgo, that gives him the appearance of a bat with a huge wing span. Espadas numbered 4 and above have cero and releases that will immediately destroy Las Noches. To be able to use either, Ulquiorra had to break out of the dome. With this increased power, he immediately draws blood by almost decapitating Ichigo in one strike.
May 11, 2010 ep. 270: Beginning of Despair…Ichigo, the Unreachable Blade
Ichigo is clearly outmatched even in his Hollow form. Even then, he refuses to give up and calls upon Getsuga Tenshou. But Ulquiorra just rebuffs it to show Ichigo that he is stronger than him. Moreover, he also notes that Ichigo’s Getsuga is much like his Cero. With that, Ulquiorra calls upon his Black Cero Flash and totally breaks Ichigo’s Hollow mask. Even after Ichigo is badly beaten, he still wouldn’t give in to the fight knowing that Ulquiorra is stronger than him. Ulquiorra jeers at him, that his heart will be the death of him. That doesn’t change the fact that Ichigo knows that he has to defeat Ulquiorra to retrieve Inoue. “I fight because I have to win.”
As Ulquiorra grows tired playing with this broken toy, he simply states to Ichigo, “I will show you true despair.” With that, he releases Resurrección Segunda Etapa – the second level (that Aizen and the rest supposedly know nothing of). Ulquiorra transforms into an entirely black creature, complete with his bat wings, black talons and a whip for a tail. By the time Inoue and Ishida get to Ichigo, he has already been greatly weakened and captured by Ulquiorra with his tail. “You came, woman.” Ulquiorra tells Inoue to watch him extinguish all hopes of her ever leaving by killing Ichigo. As he says that, he blasts a hole through Ichigo’s chest with his cero.
May 18, 2010 ep. 271: Ichigo Dies! Orihime, the Cry of Sorrow!
Ulquiorra creates a gaping hole in Ichigo, similar to his own. As Ichigo falls to his death, Inoue tries to revive and heal him. Ulquiorra stops her from her quest and belittles her useless powers. Ishida comes swooping in to buy time for Inoue to heal Ichigo. Even while raining arrows from all directions, Ulquiorra effortlessly blocks the attacks with his bat wings. He even uses Ishida’s arrows against him. Ulquiorra commends Ishida for his amazing speed, but even then, he is at his limit. He stops Ishida and beats him at the game.
Inoue, seeing the fist-sized hole on Ichigo, cries (as this is the ONLY thing she seems to do well at). “What should I do? I don’t know anymore.” Seeing Ishida’s loosing battle, Inoue finally screams, “Save us, Kurosaki-kun!”
Ichigo stirs from the underworld. He awakens something. Something that can only be called a true hollow, with horns over a full skull over his head and long blond hair. His neck and wrists have red fur wrapped around it. A thoroughly surprised Ulquiorra questions him, “Who are you?” But there is no response.
Ulquiorra immediately creates his cero, ready to fire at the monster. But the hollowed-Ichigo creates a red cero between his horns, which out-blasts Ulquiorra’s. Ulquiorra tries this again, but hollowed-Ichigo deflects the attacks easily while taking out Ulquiorra’s left hand. This doesn’t stop Ulquiorra as his arm regrows. Ulquiorra’s ability is not in his offensive power, but his mastery in regeneration. He proudly tells hollowed-Ichigo that he will never be defeated no matter how strong he is. Calling upon his Lance of Thunder and Lightning Javelin, he hurls it at hollowed-Ichigo, who evades it without even blinking. Instead, using Sonido (even faster than Shunpo), hollowed-Ichigo goes for a close-combat hit and manages a strike. He then hurls a colossal stone as a decoy, but attacks from underneath. Ulquiorra releases a quick blast of cero to save his skin, but hollowed-Ichigo stops it with his bare hands. He immediately follows the attack by slashing Ulquiorra on the upper torso thus rendering him useless. With hollowed-Ichigo, no mercy is shown, as he exacts his final strike.
Ulquiorra only encourages him, “Do it. There is no reason to live after this defeat.”
Meanwhile, Inoue sits at the corner and denies this monster is Ichigo. Come on woman! You did this to him. Somebody kill her already. Spare us her damsel-in-distress call.
May 25, 2010 ep. 272: Ichigo vs. Ulquiorra, Conclusion!
Rukia and the Golden Combi aka Renji and Chad are no match against Rudobone who continuously produces infinite number of soldiers. Finally, Rukia hatches a plan. With Hakuren, Rukia freezes the minions, and Chad uses his powers to break through Rudobone’s shield of soldiers. Renji enters the battle with Zabimaru for the final attack. Rudobone stops Zabimaru’s attack only to have Rukia end the battle for him by freezing his branches with her “White Tree” technique. He was duped into thinking that Renji’s attack was the final attack. Rukia’s technique freezes the fruit of Rudobone’s creation, thus stopping the creation of his army. Unfortunately for both sides, Yammy appears. He takes down a frozen Rudobone first. I’m sure the humans are next. As Rukia and the boys watch in horror, Chad states that when he first saw Yammy, the Arrancar was huge, but somehow, he has gotten bigger! This definitely spells trouble for them.
Hollowed Ichigo is about to finish off an immobilized Ulquiorra. But Ishida stops his hand. “Enough! Can you hear me Ichigo?!”
Hollowed Ichigo mutters, “Save…you.” Inoue realizes that it is because she called Ichigo back from the dead that he has turned out this way.
Unable to control this new form, Hollowed Ichigo attacks Ishida and is about to finish him off with his cero when Ulquiorra revives and stops his attack, not before Ishida is stabbed. The cero gets lambasted at himself and Hollowed Ichigo looses his left horn. Finally the mask breaks.
As Ulquiorra watches this unfold, his own lost limbs slowly regenerating, he states that Ichigo is as good as dead with his innards of his chest gone. As he speaks, Ichigo’s body regenerates and the hole is closed in his chest (ok…now it’s just getting silly. Leave the boy as the living dead. It’s more believable that way).
Ichigo awakens from his trance and sees his destruction: an injured Ishida, and limbless/wingless Ulquiorra. They both seek a rematch, as Ichigo offers Ulquiorra his own limbs to have equal “footing” – no pun intended – in the fight. Just as Ulquiorra agrees to the terms, he realizes his body is slowly dying from his overuse. He asks Ichigo to kill him, which only a second ago, he was too willing to do. But Ichigo now rejects the plea. Ulquiorra slowly turns to dust, but not before realizing he has indeed become more human. He once asked Inoue where her heart was, and in his dying minutes, he figures out that her heart was in his hands.
Yammy realizes Ulquiorra is dead when his reiatsu vanishes. All this time, he has eaten and slept only to build his reiatsu. In his rage, he releases his zanpakutou, Ira. Renji seeing Yammy’s number 10 on his arm surmises that they have all, if not beaten, survived their meetings with previous Espadas with higher ranking than Yammy. They should be ok. However, as Yammy begins to increase in size, the 1 on his arm begins to vanish, leaving only 0 behind. Yammy then tells the misinformed Renji that the Espada ranking system is from 0-9, thus making him the strongest of the Espadas. With his increased size, Yammy also grows 5 pairs of extra, brontosaurus-like legs. Renji release his bankai and calls upon Zabimaru to imprison Yammy, while Rukia uses Sode no Shirayuki to try to freeze him while Chad uses La Muerte to destroy him. All the attacks are deflected by Yammy, leaving him without so much as a scratch. Rukia, Chad and Renji are no match against Yammy as he retaliates with a blast of Cero.
In the fake Karakura town, Tia Halibel is pitched up against Hitsugaya Toushirou. She unzips her top, revealing her #3 standing. She releases her sword, Tiburon, and cuts Hitsugaya in two. Killing him. (!!) She targets Captain-Commander Yamamoto to avenge her three girls, but Hitsugaya reappears. The Hitsugaya she cut back there was merely an ice illusion. The real battle begins!
Meanwhile, Kira (vice-3) is healing his fallen comrades while Komamura Sajin (7) stands guard. Kyouraku Shunsui (8) is matched up against Coyote Starrk (1), while Soifon (2) takes on Barragan Luisenbarn (2) the god of death. Soifon can’t even make the king move from where he is standing, as he breaks out his giant battle-axe, Arrogante. Oomaeda (vice-2) immediately asks his captain to release their limiter. She tells him bluntly, that the limiter seals were never put on them when they passed the Senkai Gate as this was an emergency. They are all fighting in full strength.
June 8, 2010 ep. 274: Hitsugaya, the Suicidal Frozen Heaven Hundred Flowers Funeral!
It’s H vs. H.
Hitsugaya (10) and Halibel (3) nullify each other with their ice and water-style attacks. He will learn the pain of her sacrifice. Barragan explains that each of the Espadas present 10 aspects of death. Loneliness (Starrk), emptiness (Ulquiorra), despair (Nnoitara), destruction (Grimmjow), intoxication (Zommari), madness (Syazelapporo), greed (Aaroniero), rage (Yammy) and sacrifice (Halibel). Hitsugaya will succumb to her sacrifice and die.
As Hitsugaya tries to freeze Halibel, she uses her Hirviendo (boiling) to melt the ice. Using Cascada (waterfall), she then proceeds to flood the fake Karakura Town. Komamura stands guard while Kira continues to heal his fellow vice-captains. He better make it quick before the water reaches them. They are sitting ducks.
Halibel keeps melting Hitsugaya’s ice, while he reverses the reaction. “You are most vulnerable when you use your greatest tactic.”
Kyouraku (8) and Starrk (1) still refuse to show their true strengths. They know that if they both moved forward, the war changes. Kyouraku breaks the stalemate by asking Starrk to show him his Cero. That’s all the encouragement he needs, as he creates a blue Cero from his chin.
Halibel begins to attack Hitsugaya with random water bombs. But are they really arbitrary attacks? Halibel begins to fill the air with moisture. As she does so, Halibel finally injures Hitsugaya with her Cero blast by taking out his wings. He is yet able to regenerate. As he prepares to attack her, he suddenly catches sight of the injured lieutenants: Matsumoto (vice-10), Hinamori (vice-5), Hisagi #69 (vice-9) and Iba (vice-7). They are too close in range for him to use his bankai. Halibel sees his hesitance and realizes he is reluctant to fight. She tells him to “sacrifice his friends, or be sacrificed.”
Hitsugaya immediately calls upon his ice cell Sennen Hyoro to imprison and stop her, but she easily cracks it open. If that is all he has, she will come at him with full force. After being called weak, Hitsugaya shows off the strongest of all snow and ice zanpakutou, and controller of the heavens. He unleashes Hyoten Hyakkaso.
June 15, 2010 ep. 275: The Approaching Breath of Death, the King of Death
Kyouraku (8) vs. Starrk (1): Kyouraku avoids Starrk’s cero and falls back instead of retaliating. The sky suddenly turns black around them.
Hitsugaya is calling on his most powerful attack. He didn’t want to unleash it earlier, with his comrades and friends so close to him, as he still had no control over its hit. As the sky rumbles and opens with Hyoten Hyakkaso, ice crumbles down onto Halibel. She tries to melt the ice, but it just returns as ice. Her sword and her begin to sprout ice flowers, and as 100 ice flowers bloom on her, her life comes to an end. Halibel is then trapped in Hitsugaya’s Hyoten Hyakkaso tower of ice.
Barragan (2) vs. Soifon (2): Barragan easily evades Soifon’s attacks and her shunpo. As she nears him, her attacks weakens. What is his ability? Barragan (2) explains to her his aspect of death – aging through time. He has the power of death. He grabs her shoulder and ages it (killing it off) to show her how it works. Omaeda (vice-2) and Soifon immediately try to attack Barragan with a decoy plan but fail miserably. Barragan wields his axe, Arrogante, against Soifon. He uses Respira, which rots / kills off everything. As Respira, the Grim Reaper’s miasma, catches up to her and touches her left hand, Soifon realizes that her entire body too will decay if she does not act quickly. She orders Omaeda to dismember her. Looks like the Shinigami is afraid of death.
June 22, 2010 ep. 276: One Hit Kill, Soifon, Bankai!
Soifon (2) leaves Omaeda to his own vices with Barragan who chases his down and rots everything in his path. Omaeda throws everything in his path towards Barragan, to no avail. He uses kidou, but blinds himself instead. As Barragan pulls out his gillotine, Soifon suddenly appears with her bankai, Jakuhou Raikouben, an enlarged version of her sword. She has ginjoutan, an armor wrapped around her. This bankai is unsuitable for stealth missions as it weighs her and slows her down. She then fires her missile toward Barragan.
Kyouraku (8) vs. Starrk (1), neither wants to show their cards, until Lilinette Gingerback, Starrk’s sole Fraccione attacks Ukitake (13). But things change when Starrk thought for a minute that his Fraccione was in danger and showed Kyouraku a bit of his actual powers. In that brief moment, Kyouraku is able to deduce that the two do not have a common master/servant relationship.
June 29, 2010 ep. 277: Climax! Kyouraku vs. Starrk!
Soifon’s bankai causes an extreme whiplash of wind, which throws her off her anchor. However, Omaeda is there to cushion her crushing blow against a building.
Meanwhile, a playing Kyouraku and Starrk see the explosion caused by Soifon’s bankai.
“Are all captain’s bankais that powerful?” Starrk asks.
Kyouraku answers that even though Soifon’s and the prodigal Hitsugaya’s bankais leave one in awe, they still have another 100 years to catch up to him. Challenged, Starrk calls upon Lilinette. Kyouraku, ready for the challenge, throws his precious kimono to Ukitake for safekeeping.
The Espada/Arrancar have divided their power into swords, but Starrk’s power was diverted into two bodies. Touching Lilinette’s head, he draws her in and kicks out Los Lobos. As he reverts to his original wolf-like form, he pulls out a pair of guns and calls upon Lilinette. But she ignores him, until he awakens her by scratching her ass.
Kyouraku breaks up their little party with a little warning attack of Bushogama, an attack of two blades. Starrk fires his pistol, shooting out ceros. Kyouraku questions him if he shoots anything else other than ceros. Starrk nonchalantly lies, but also chastises Kyouraku for not showing his true powers with his bankai. Kyouraku is able to evade all the shots, although Starrk quickly reads his movements and fires point blank at Kyouraku. The captain of the eight squad stops the attack easily. He notices that the right gun, even though powerful, has to be recharged after every shot. He smugly tells Starrk that with his current bombardment of ceros, he will not be killed, unless he’s got something more powerful.
As he says that, Starrk releases his barrage of ceros that Kyouraku tries to evade. Ukitake, seeing that, comes to his friend’s rescue with his twin blades firing a cero-like power.
Kyoraku allows Ukitake to join him in fighting Starrk, after Ukitake reasons that Starrk has another helper and so should Kyoraku. Besides that, this is not the place for Kyoraku to use his bankai, therefore Ukitake needs to be his back-up. Starrk wonders how Ukitake is able to fire ceros.
After three tries, he figures it out. Ukitake’s shikai technique allows him to absorb his opponent’s attack and fire it back at him. But there must be a limit to the amount of times he can absorb. He immediately fires a fresh cero at Ukitake, but Kyoraku cuts it off. They stay close to Starrk so that he is not able to fire his cero in rapid successions.
Suddenly, a huge garganta opens up in the skies. Reinforcements in the form of Wonderweiss Margera and another gigantic hollow next to him. Starrk realizes that this can only mean that Aizen is getting impatient. Wonderweiss takes down Ukitake by stabbing him in the chest while Starrk shoots Kyoraku with a cero making both Kyoraku and Ukitake drop like flies to the ground. They appear to be mortally wounded. Wonderweiss then screams and shatters the ice that Harribel is trapped in and she escapes while Hitsugaya watches in horror. Wonderweiss finally blows off the smoke that was enveloping Barragan after Soifon blasted him with her bankai. Even Aizen, Gin and Tousen are released from their fiery encasement.
The Shinigamis begin to panic.
“Wait,” comes an almost familiar voice, long forgotten. The Vizards have arrived. Shinji, Hiyori, Lisa, Kensei, Love, Mashiro, Rose & Hachi are all present.
July 13, 2010 ep. 279: Hirako and Aizen…the Reunion of Fate!
Flashback 101 years ago. Shinji, Love, Hachi, Lisa and Rose are assigned to the Soul Disappearance Investigation Squad. When Aizen turns most of the captains and their vice-captains into hollows, Urahara (ex-12) and Tessai, captain of the Kidou Corps., came to their rescue. In aiding and abetting the “criminals,” Urahara and Tessai are banished from Seireitei to the human world, while the rest were treated as hollows. Later, as Yoruichi (ex-2) saves them, she too goes into hiding with Urahara.
In the fake Karakura town, “Ohisashiburi,” Shinji greets Aizen, his once vice-captain who betrayed him. Hitsugaya, too young to recognize them, asks who they are. Shinji gives the vizards a chance to meet with shinigamis present. Lisa (ex-8) checks on Kyouraku (8), her ex-captain and promptly kicks him, telling him to stop pretending to be dead. Kyouraku is only too happy to see Lisa-chan alive and looking good. Shinji (ex-5) goes to Yamamoto (1) that old and stubborn fool. He informs the Commander-General that he is not there as their ally, but as Aizen’s (ex-5) enemy and an ally of Ichigo.
Wonderweiss begins screaming again, causing Fuurau to release an army of Gillians. The vizards take the Menos Grande down quickly. Shinji attacks Aizen but Tousen stops him, and turns his attacks against Shinji. Komamura (7) steps in for that fight meant for Shinji. Komamura finally gets a chance to confront his “trusted” old friend Tousen (ex-9). It is fated that both the friend’s swords were bound to cross one day. Their talk is interrupted by the appearance of Shuuhei 69 (vice-9).
Harribel, freed from her icy encasement, attacks Hitsugaya (10), only to have Lisa and Hiyori (ex-vice-5) come to his aid. Hiyori and Hitsugaya begin to argue who’s smaller, but eventually, Hitsugaya says, “The enemy of my enemy is my ally.” Kensei (ex-9) and Mashiro (ex-vice 9) take on Fuurau, but Mashiro pleads with her captain to let her go at it alone. She destroys Fuurau with one kick. In the mean time, Love (ex-7) and Rose (ex-3) meet Starrk head on.
July 20, 2010 ep. 280: Hisagi and Tōsen, the Moment of Parting
Shuuhei tag team with Komamura, harboring a hope that his ex-captain’s betrayal is for naught. He vows to bring Tousen back to his senses. Maybe it is he who should come to his senses. The man is blind, and yet he can see better! Shuuhei eventually spills his guts and tells his captain how grateful he is for everything he has taught him (I guess intelligence can’t be taught). Tousen simply tells him, “Those who do not fear dying should not fight.”
The Shinigamis and the Vizards form a temporary peace truce to fight against the Espada.
Hachi (ex-vice-kidou), Omaeda (vice-2) and Soifon (2) vs. Barragan. Hachi acknowledges Soifon, but she feigns ignorance. People! Really? Is this the time and place for petty squabbles? So you lost the love of your life, Yoruichi. You’re about to loose EVERYTHING. Snap out of it bitch! Hachi ignores her childish demeanor and springs into action, putting Barragan into a sealed barrier. But Barragan simply touches the barrier and it disintegrates. So much for holding him in. Getting tired of their little dodging game, Barragan decides to end it once and for all. “Perish!” he chants. Hachi immediately sets up a the Final Gate of 4 Beasts (Shiju no Saimon) made up of: the Gate of Dragon Tail (Ryuu no Jomon), the Gate of Tiger Fangs (Koko no Jomon), the Gate of Turtle Shell (Kigai no Jomon), and the Gate of Phoenix Wings (Hoyoku no Jomon) . While the fotress builds, Hachi asks for Soifon’s help. The little chit refuses to lift her finger until her promises her that he will seal Urahara (ex-12) in a barrier for a month. Fine. Barragan laughs at their attempt of keeping him in, but Hachi calmly dispels his theory. The barrier is not to seal him, but to redirect Soifon’s bankai at him. Soifon, having only used Jakuhou Raikouben once in every three days, fires her bankai causing even the barrier to slowly give way. The plume of smoke slowly clears, as Barragan remembers when Aizen first entered Hueco Mundo.
Lisa (ex-8), Hiyori (ex-3) and Hitsugaya (10) vs. Harribel. Then there is this dude with the ladies, who really doesn’t know his own strength. He wants to leave the ladies with the lady and run along to beat up Aizen. Has he seen his ability lately? Yes, he is quite powerful, but, he had a hard time trying to beat up even Harribel, who is Aizen’s minion. Hiyori has to bring his head down a few notches, and gives him a FEW pieces of her mind.
Love and Rose vs. Starrk. Starrk fires a cero against the effeminate Rose and the street punk Love, which they dodge easily.
Shinji is the only to take on Gin and Aizen. (Let that old fool of a commander just stand there and watch, while everyone is taken out. arrrggh!)
Are the Espadas that powerful to warrant that many hands in the pot? Or are the Shinigamis that weak?
July 27, 2010 ep. 281: Crown of Lies, Barragan’s Grudge
As the plume of smoke clears from Jakuhou Raikouben, Soifon falls from sheer exhaustion. Her bankai can only be used once in every 3 days and she has used it twice in a matter of hours. Omaeda is there once again using his body as a landing pad for her. Even the Shiju no Saimon, Gate of 4 Beasts, begins to crack. Barragan, however, survives the blast, and he begins to rot the barrier. In anger, he fires Respira, which almost gets Soifon’s feet. Barragan finally emerges with half his face destroyed.
“Unforgivable,” he roars. He vows to kill them with his own hands, as the immortal king and God of Hueco Mundo. Is he really that loyal to Aizen?
Hachi immediately transforms to his hollow form when Barragan begins spewing attacks. Slowly, but surely, Hachi’s hollow skull is broken. Barragan hurls Respira at Hachi and it hits his last two fingers on his right hand. Thinking he got him, Barragan smugly states that no one can mess with the God whose powers are absolute. Suddenly, a ball of light appears in the middle of Barragan’s torso. If his powers are absolute, then Barragan’s body must be protected by something that stops Respira from working on him. If it is absolute, then everything it touches will turn to dust. Hachi compartmentalized and removed his rotting hand via kidou and transported it onto Barragan’s body. Barragan’s body slowly dissipates, but he insists on revenge. Until then, he will live as King and God of Hueco Mundo. He hurls his axe towards Hachi.
Once the ruler of Hueco Mundo, Barragan was served by many but ennui set in without enemies to overthrow and conquer. He was about to divide him army in two to let them fight each other in Los Noches to quell his boredom, but then Aizen, Tousen and Gin showed up. Gagamel, the guard, is killed. Barragan jumps into action, but Aizen pulls out Kyokasuigetsu, the ultimate hypnotic sword. Aizen questions him if he is satisfied with himself? Or did he wish for greater power? If so, he can help, if only Barragan will obey him. Barragan laughs at his audacity. More power in a new world? As the king and God of Hueco Mundo, he is the strongest and the most powerful. He attacks them and cuts them into smithereens. Out of nowhere, he is attacked and his crown lies broken on the ground. Aizen had cast a hypnotizing spell on everyone. All Barragan’s minions are dead. Tousen and Gin have their swords against Barragan. On that day, Barragan vowed that he would exact his revenge on Aizen and take back his throne.
The axe flies pass Hachi towards Aizen. As it approaches Aizen, the axe slowly rots away as Aizen barely gives him a second glance. Barragan too vanishes.
The fight is on between Gin and Shinji, Rose/Love and Starrk/Lilinette. However, Starrk is a little miffed that no one cared that Barragan has been taken down. He will avenge his death.
Aug. 3, 2010 ep. 282: Power of the Soul! The Wolves, Attack!
Love really didn’t want to wait until a comrade of the Espada went down. If that happened, the remaining Espada will become stronger as he looked to avenge his teammate. Love immediately attacks with Tengumaru, his spiked sword, but Starrk easily escapes, even though he is zoning out from Barragan’s death. Lilinette tries to pull him out from his rout, as she cheers him on saying that he needs to uphold the #1 position bestowed upon him by Aizen. But Starrk still refuses to return fire, as he realizes that Aizen has no intention of coming to their aid. Lilinette then blindly fires cero at Love and Rose, which prove ineffective against two more seasoned fighters.
The duel between Harribel, Lisa, Hiyori and Hitsugaya continues. Hitsugaya learns the Vizards’ fighting time is limited.
Finally, Love hits Starrk with his Tengumaru, and Starrk is thrown into a sea of flames. Rose even begins to back him up, releasing Kishana. Soon Starrk becomes motivated to retaliate and summons a pack of flaming wolves, made from fusing his and Lilinette’s souls to attack the two Vizards. That is Starrk’s true power: splitting up his soul and using it as weapons. The Vizards are cornered and the wolves explode on impact. When his victory seems assured, Starrk is unexpectedly stabbed in the back….
Aug. 10, 2010 ep. 283: Starrk, the Lone Battle
Looks like it may be Kyouraku who snuck in the attack against Starrk.
Out from Starrk’s shadow, Kyouraku rises and deals Starrk a blow. It is definitely time to get serious, in a slothful way. Kyouraku uses Kageoni again, the attack from the shadows below. And follows with Takaoni, an attack from the top. The only reason why he never used the techniques before was because Katenkyokutsu wasn’t in the mood to fight. Kyouraku also figures out Starrk’s secret. If he is able to take out the wolves, he could hurt Starrk too, or better yet, the little girl will disappear.
But Lilinette too has a trick up her sleeves. She tells Starrk to take Kyouraku’s bait and follow her lead. As they fight, Kyouraku thinks that he has gotten Starrk with Kageoni, but instead, Starrk sends his wolves into Kyouraku’s shadow to attack him. Unfortunately for him, Kyouraku comes out unscathed with Bushogama. It’s his turn to attack, and Starrk is left opened. Lilinette has no choice but to protect him with her own life and perishes from it. With Lilinette gone, Starrk is truly alone. He has always envied the weak. Being weak meant he didn’t have to fight. Being weak meant being in a larger group. He could never be with others. In fact, no one could approach him without dying. Not until Lilinette, who is part of him and Aizen, who brought the rest of the Espadas, that he knew what it was like to be with other living things.
Starrk realizes Kyouraku is getting weaker and tired as the fight progresses. They begin to play the color game, as Kyouraku attacks the grays of Starrk and Starrk retaliates by attacking the white of Kyouraku. Suddenly, Kyouraku calls out, “Black!” and aims for Starrk’s hole in his chest. His hole disintegrates and as he falls from the sky, he begins to break. There was no helping this death. Once a war breaks out, both sides are at fault.
Elsewhere, Lisa and Hiyori are still attacking Harribel unsuccessfully. Even with Hitsugaya helping them, they are no match for her. However, Aizen sees differently. He has had enough of this cat and mouse game. As he approaches them, he tells them, dispassionately, that is enough. He unsheathes his sword and strikes Harribel down. “I’m done with you. You aren’t strong enough to fight with me.” And he promptly orders Gin and Kaname to leave with him.
Aug. 17, 2010 ep. 284: Chain of Sacrifice, Harribel’s Past
A wounded Harribel reminisces her past as a Vasto Lorde-ranked Hollow. She saves Apache, the antlered deer, from a male Hollow, and adds her to her team of other women: Mila Rose the lion and Sun Sun the snake, who later become her Fracción under Aizen’s rule. As a group, they become stronger and kill off ravenous male Hollows. Harribel insists on not eating up her enemies to gain their strength because she doesn’t want to become stronger. They finally encounter the king of Hueco Mundo, Barragan. He is annoyed to see her and gives her two options: Become part of his army or vanish to a place he can’t see. Unfortunately for Harribel, the later is not an option, as there isn’t a place in Las Noches Barragan can’t see. He is forcing her hand to be his minion, but she turns her back against him and leaves just as Aizen, Gin and Kaname arrives. Upon his arrival, Harribel catches his eye as she makes her exit.
Soon, the girls hear a strange rumor spreading in Hueco Mundo. Before they can learn any more information, a shark-like Arrancar that has recently gained powers given by Aizen attacks them. Harribel enters their lair just in time to save her girls from an enemy she once defeated long ago. But it looks like he has become stronger. She orders the girls to leave without her and she takes on the transformed Hollow. As he crushes her skull, he promises she would regret turning her back against Barragan. He is about to kill her, when the girls return to save her. They attack him, even knowing they are no match against him. They go down, but soon are saved by Aizen who rues giving the power to an idiot. He promises her more power if she so wish, and there will not be any more casualties. He tells her he won’t make her sacrifice herself needless in the name of power and strength. She will have a position in his newly formed army.
With that slap in the face, Harribel angrily attacks Aizen’s illusion, but is mercilessly cut down. The world is not without sacrifices. He has no time for weaklings. The others watch as Aizen takes down his own comrade. The time has come for him to challenge the Gotei 13 and the Vizards.
Aug. 24, 2010 ep. 285: The Hundred-Year Grudge! Hiyori’s Revenge
Kensei warns Mashiro not to wear herself out with Wonderweiss as her powers have a time limit. She scoffs at him, telling him that she is able to stay in that form for 15 hours, and promptly gives a twitching Wonderweiss a kick. Wonderweiss retaliates by grabbing onto her scarf and hurling her to the ground. Both of them try to take the other out with a Cero attack, but the Ceros are nullified. She tries to give him one of her Mashiro kicks again, but her masks breaks suddenly. Wonderweiss sees his opening and attacks for the kill, but Kensei, Mashiro ex-captain, steps in. Releasing his bankai Tekken Tachikaze, he fights the insanely powerful baby.
The rest of the Vizards, Soi Fon (2) and Hitsugaya (10) surround Aizen. Hiyori tells Aizen that they have a score to settle, dating 101 years back. She wants revenge for Aizen shortening their time spent at Soul Society, taking them away from their family and friends. Aizen taunts them, telling them their demise is inescapable, as they have all perished a century ago. Shinji warns the hot-headed Hiyori not to fall for it Aizen’s provocation, but she still attacks him. Unfortunately for her, Gin back stabs her, as she falls from the sky. Shinji catches Hiyori, and watches as her blood oozes out uncontrollably. She apologizes to Shinji was her rashness, but admits she just can’t take Aizen’s crap anymore. Shinji asks Hachi to save her, but realizes Hachi has lost his arm. He remembers Orihime having the same powers as Hachi. “Ichigo!” (He better be returning soon with Inoue).
Elsewhere in Hueco Mundo, Ichigo tries to find his way back to Karakura Town after leaving an injured Ishida in Inoue’s care.
Chad, Rukia and Renji are still unable to take down Yammy after throwing everything at him. Each of their powers don’t work on him. Even using their speed to try to outmaneuver him doesn’t work. In the end, Chad and Renji are badly injured while Rukia is caught. She uses kidou: sokatsu to try to free herself from his grasp, only to be hurled into the air like a rag doll. Unable to resist the current, Rukia prepares for her demise, just as Ichigo sees her falling and goes after her.
Aug. 31, 2010 ep. 286: Ichigo’s Return! Protect Karakura Town
Ichigo gets to Rukia in time to be her knight in shining black kimono again. Yammy, upon seeing him, uses his cero, but Ichigo merely cuts and nullifies the attack. Rukia sees a totally different Ichigo before her. He doesn’t look like someone who just won a battle against a stronger opponent, and neither does he look like he’s going up against a giant of an enemy. Something happened above when he was saving Inoue.
Donning his Hollow mask and using Getsuga Tensho, Ichigo barely knicks Yammy with his one shot. In that moment, Rukia notices something different about Ichigo’s mask. On the other hand, Ichigo has an odd feeling of his hollow mask. Something has changed, making his mask heavier. Did “that” change his hollowfication?
Unbeknown to him, that was his first and last shot of pulling his hollow mask on.
Yammy, proud of his status as “0” of the Espada, warns Ichigo that he is not an easy opponent like Grimmjow, Nnoitra or Ulquiorra. He shows him a technique more powerful than the cero, known as Bala. But Ichigo just scoffs at him. Regardless of what level he is at, Ichigo will defeat him like the rest. Fighting him, an strange feeling washes over Ichigo. Yammy does not feel remorse or sadden by the death of his comrades. Even Inoue mourned for the death of Ulquiorra. He then tries to put on his mask, but is unable to. Knowing that, Yammy grabs Ichigo, intending to crush him with his bare hands.
Elsewhere, Kurotsuchi Mayuri (12) and Nemu pushes a huge wagon through the dessert of Hueco Mundo, collecting specimens for him. Looks like he may have found a way to open the Garganta.
With Ichigo about to be squeezed to death, Byakuya (6) appears, disarming Yammy with kidou, Hado 33: Sokatsu and lops off one of Yammy’s legs. When the dust clears, Ichigo sees Byakuya and Kenpachi (11) standing before him. Byakuya tells him to move aside, while Kenpachi calls him a piece of crap. Dumbfounded, Ichigo just stares at them. The saver becomes the saved. The once rivals become allies. Kenpachi meets Yammy head on; the fly (Kenpachi) speaks to the maggot (Yammy), each telling the other one is stronger than the other.
Byakuya tells Ichigo that there is nothing for him to do there. He needs to return to the living world. But Ichigo uses the excuses that only Urahara was able to open the door from the other side. He can’t leave.
Just then, Kurotsuchi (12) arrives with his wagon pushed/pulled by Nemu. “Mayuri Kurotsuchi?” Ichigo utters in surprise. Well, at least he has enough respect for him to address him by his full name, unlike Kenpachi and Byakuya, who he is on a first name basis with. It seems he has analyzed the Garganta by using an Arrancar Scientist (probably pried the information from him through his sickening torture). He has found a way to send Ichigo back to Karakura Town, although he will be his first experimenter on the new machine. Ichigo insists on staying to finish his fight with Yammy, but Byakuya reminds Ichigo that it is his duty to protect his own town – Karakura. Hueco Mundo’s fight is the shinigami’s. With that, Ichigo leaves Hueco Mundo, as Retsu Unohana (4), the medic shinigami, follows him back to Karakura. Isane will be left with the battling captains.
Before he leaves, Rukia calls out to him.
Sept. 14, 2010 ep. 288: The Final Trump Card! Ichigo, Towards the Decisive Battle
Captain Unohana (4) and Ichigo are warned by Kurotsuchi (12) that if they misstep, they may end up somewhere between Hueco Mundo and the Living World. Nemu and Kurotsuchi opens the Garganta gate and Ichigo notes that his method is similar to Urahara’s. “That’s right. You are the second captain of the Research and Development Squad. You must be his apprentice.” Ichigo may have just made a new enemy. For a moment, Kurotsuchi considers trapping Ichigo in the Garganta, but he will let him live for a bit longer and use his as a specimen for torturing later.
Isane remains behind to heal the fatally wounded Renji and Chad. She may have left Hanataro behind. The poor lost boy.
Yammy keeps throwing punches at Kenpachi (11), who doesn’t seem to feel the hit. He even manages to slice of Yammy’s finger and cut his forehead. Byakuya watches on stand-by but wonders what could be keeping Kurotsuchi there. “What are you plotting?” Byakuya questions Kurotsuchi.
“Don’t worry. I’m not here to scare you. The corpses here are more interesting. When someone opens the Gargata gate from the other side, I will go over.”
Byakuya stares at him momentarily, taking in what he just said.
“What is it?!” an irritated Kurotsuchi asks.
“You’re implying that sending Kurosaki Ichigo over will end the battle. You believe he will be victorious.”
“Nonsense, Kuchiki Byakuya.”
He only smiles to that.
Meanwhile the fight between the maggot and the fly is getting drawn out. Kurotsuchi just wants Yammy’s body to dissect. At this rate, he will be dissecting Kenpachi’s instead. Kenpachi finally gets into action and begins to slice Yammy up piece by piece. The giant falls. The almost dozing Kurotsuchi awakens for his specimen collection. Instead of finishing him off, Kenpachi hands off Yammy to Byakuya. Offended, Byakuya rejects the prey. Clean ups are for brutes. Just as they begin to quarrel, Yammy gets up. He forms a Cero and detonates it.
Ichigo runs ahead of Captain Unohana, paving the way for her to his Spiritual Pressure. Unohana begins to prepare Ichigo for his impending battle with Aizen. She gathers that Ichigo has encountered Aizen at Soukyoku Hill before. What was his strength like? Ichigo doesn’t deny that Aizen has super human strength, using only one finger to stop his blade and another to cut him. He was totally helpless. It was a one-sided battle, without Aizen having to use his Shikai on Ichigo.
“That is your greatest strength against him then,” Unohana replies positively. “You will be the only person in the living world, Hueco Mundo and Soul Society/Seireitei who can fight Aizen.”
Aizen’s power using Kyouka Suigetsu, a complete hypnosis, can make a fly even appear to be a dragon. A person who has seen his shikai even once cannot escape this hypnosis. Therefore, Ichigo’s job is not to fall under his spell. Under any circumstance, he cannot look at Aizen’s shikai. If he looses that advantage, the battle will be lost.
As they inch forward towards the Living World, Unohana notices the road behind Ichigo is breaking, a sign for his lack of Spirit Pressure/reiatsu. She tells him to step back, as she will pave the road for them. As she leads the way, the road for Ichigo is definitely much smoother than his. This is one good road to be traveling on. He explains to Unohana that he was badly injured during his fight with the Espada Ulquiorra. It is evident from the state of his sword and his tattered shihakusho (uniform), how much reiatsu he actually had before. Inoue, the exceptional healer, did all she could for him, but restoring his reiryoku (spiritual energy needed to generate spiritual pressure/reiatsu) needed more time, one that he couldn’t afford knowing that Rukia, Renji and Chad were still in trouble. He left with only half of his reiatsu restored.
“Half?” Unohana thinks to herself. “With only half restored he could still make a road through Garganta. He is definitely up to par with a Captain, or even more.” She has to heal him to his full potential before they reach the Living World and he meets up with Aizen.
Telling him to run ahead of her, she will heal him using her kidou from the back. Restoring the reiatsu is really quite easy when the body is healed.
Sept. 21, 2010 ep. 289: Byakuya vs. Kenpachi?! The Melee Commences
Byakuya and Kenpachi continue their argument about Yammy, ignoring the enemy before them. Byakuya uses his bankai against Kenpachi’s non-existent shikai. It’s Byakuya vs. Kenpachi. Yammy just happens to be in the way. Seeing this, Yammy gets really miffed for being ignored, as he tries to attack and interrupt the feud between the shinigamis. He tries to butt in, but the two tell him he is in their way, and to buzz off. They proceed to cut Yammy simultaneously as he falls. Disregarding his presence, they continue to fight each other. As he is left in the back burner, his anger grows. He transforms into something even worse, stronger and bigger than before. He summons Ira, the Beast of Rage.
Back in the Living World, as Hiyori falls into the arms of Shinji, Aizen watches and smiles. He’s glad that he can evoke such hatred from a non-emotional person such as Shinji. Aizen decides to fight Shinji to give him the satisfaction. Before facing off, Shinji leaves Hiyori in the care of Hachi, to keep her alive until Ichigo returns. That surprises Aizen, that Shinji would put such faith on a mere mortal. Believing is trusting. Trusting is relying, and that is a weakness to him. He had always told his subordinates never to trust him. Just to follow.
Human beings always look to someone stronger to trust and obey. That is how a king is born. Better yet, a God is created.
And he is God.
#69 Hisagi and Captain Komamura attack Tousen simultaneously. They prove useless next to Tousen. So this is his path of justice? The path that Tousen chooses with the least amount of bloodshed? Could have fooled someone. Hisagi and Komamura still harbor hopes that Tousen will return to Soul Society as he comes to his senses and realizes his folly.
Seeing Aizen make his move on the battlefield, Tousen decides not to hold back anymore by releasing his real powers. He transforms to his Hollowed self instead of using his bankai, shocking both his former subordinate and friend. They realize, with this, that Tousen can no longer return to before. He has the mark of the fallen. Disheartened, both the shinigamis attack Tousen. Hisagi is sliced in the abdomen, and falls. Komamura calls on Tenken, which Tousen easily stops. He reciprocates with a brutal kick and a punch on the head that throws Komamura down like useless garbage.
How can they scorn him when Ichigo is exactly like him – a hollow? Ichigo didn’t have a choice. He was forced into it. Just like the rest of the vizards. On the other hand, Tousen is corrupted and blinded by the need for power. He betrayed his friends and his people.
Hisagi suddenly corners Tousen. It seems his captain has taught him well. He evaded the earlier attack by a hair, by sidestepping a bit. He once asked Tousen to remove him from the seat of position when he became careless and feared death. But Tousen tells him that fear allows him to fight battles. It allows him to gain valuable insight as a warrior.
Tousen rises and stabs Hisagi this time. His fear has always been different from Hisagi’s. His fear is assimilating with the soul reapers, thereby losing sight of his true motive – power.
Sept. 28, 2010 ep. 290: For the sake of Justice?! The Man Who Deserted the Shinimgami
Tousen and Komamura deck it out in an all-out-battle, as they both reminisce on the past that brought them to the present. Tousen has surpassed the Espada. He never wanted to be a shinigami in the first place. He had one good friend, who would do almost anything for him. Until she married a shinigami and became one herself to fight hollows. Not soon after that, she was murdered by her own husband who blamed her for his tiff with a friend. To be her voice, her justice, he became a shinigami to avenge her death. He never did abandon his friends, subordinates or principles. They were never his to begin with.
Komamura realizes it was his mistake in believing in Tousen. It was his error in watching an excited Tousen introduce him to his then Vice-Captain Aizen Sousoke and trusting him. It was his gaffe in convincing Tousen to turn back when their ideals are different. But still, he forgives him, as a friend would.
Tousen laughs at his ego. He doesn’t need his “pardon.” Komamura’s powers are no match to his. He knows Komamura’s bankai like the back of his hand. The slightest scratch inflicted on the giant’s bankai, is felt by the wielder too. Tousen also has the power of speedy regeneration on his side. On top of that, he has a resurreción that is yet to be unleashed. With that, he releases Suzumushi Hyakushiki, Grillado Grillo (Chirping Cricket) and turns into a giant, hairy insect. This seems to be the first time he uses this transformation as he revels at the gift of sight. “I can see the sky! I can see the world! I can see you,” he laughs sneeringly. “You are uglier than I thought.”
Elsewhere, Shinji warns Aizen that he’s not the only one who’s sword can stifle one’s senses.
Tousen’s new form isn’t doing him any favors. The gift of sight maybe his crutch now, however, he drops Komamura with a cero blast of Nine Aspects. With vision, Tousen has lost sight of who he is. Blind as he was before, he saw more than he is able to now with the hollow’s power. Tousen’s justice, on behalf of the friend he once lost, was to carry on her dream of loving the world. But the truth is, he hated the world.
In the mean time, Shinji twirls his katana and releases his shikai Sakanade, which traps Aizen in his illusion of an inverted world. Up is down, front is back, left is right. Before the eyes can even register, the attack has occured. Even though Shinji manages a few shots at Aizen, Aizen still manages to avoid most of the attacks. In turn, Aizen lands a blow, cutting Shinji in the back. Shinji’s zanpakutou merely controlled Aizen’s sight. But Aizen’s zanpaktou is able to mess with any one of the 5 senses. The tables are turned as Shinji is forced into Aizen’s game.
As Tousen is about to deal the finishing blow on Komamura, who has given up on life, Hisagi deals a surprising blow at Tousen. Stabbing Tousen through the head, Hisagi realizes that this is no longer his idolized Captain. (Oh! Captain, my Captain! Where art thou!) If he was, he would have easily dodged the attack. Kazeshini! Tousen’s insect form dissipates, and he resumes his human form. Defeated, Tousen realizes his foolishness. He had thrown his life away for revenge. But with the little life he has remaining, he asks to see Hisagi’s face. Before it even happens, he implodes into a spattering of blood. Hisagi and Komamura watches in horror, as Ichigo finally returns home to take on Aizen.
Oct. 12, 2010 ep. 292: All Out War! Aizen vs. Shinigami!
Ichigo launches a surprise attack from the back, but Aizen easily evades it. As the smoke clears, Aizen is protected by a shield-like object that resembles Inoue’s powers. His blind spot is protected. Then again, ichigo was so caught up with not seeing Aizen’s shikai that he made a cardinal mistake. He was fearful of Aizen, which made his attacks meaningless. What’s more, Aizen professes that he hasn’t even released his shikai yet against Ichigo. It’s just raw strenght against Ichigo. He is no match for him. Ichigo takes a step back to put more distance between them.
So why is he fighting? Aizen questions Ichigo. It’s not like he has a grudge against Aizen. If he’s back in Karakura Town, it means he has saved Inoue. Whats more, by the looks of things, his friends that went with him is still alive too. There is no hatred. Is this merely a responsibility?
In his confusion, Komamura (7) comes to Ichigo and calms him. He shouldn’t let his guard down by listening to Aizen’s psychological war tactics. Even without hatred, Ichigo has managed to protect and saved others. The rest of the captains and Vizards gather around Ichigo to protect him so that he will not see Aizen’s shikai. Even if they are all badly injured, this is their fight too. The group is willing to risk their lives just to create an opening for Ichigo to attack Aizen. It is then, that Ichigo remembers Byakuya (6) reminding him that his duty is to protect Karakura Town, his own home.
Hitsugaya (10) immediately charges Aizen, with Kyouraku (8) following up from the side. But Aizen puts up his shields again. The two captains almost kill each other, but stop at the last moment. A captain’s sword is raised only for duty. Never for violence. Aizen is not worthy of being a captain. Aizen taunts and eggs Hitsugaya on, using Momo (Hinamori). His provocation causes Hitsugaya to release his bankai: Daiguren Hyourinmaru. He will not fight Aizen, but kill him off violently. The rest of the shinigamis and vizards join him.
Oct. 19, 2010 ep. 293: Blade of Hatred! Hitsugaya Unleashed!
The air is brimming with reiatsu as the Captains and vizards begin their fight off against Aizen. Gin watches the fight, and smiles at the shinigami’s and vizard’s foolishness. They can never overcome Aizen. His strength and power is such that he was able to control and form unity among the Espadas.
Hitsugaya doesn’t hold back, attacking only to kill. Even Komamura, Rose, Love and Risa join in the fight, but Aizen easily deflects the group, sneak and decoy attacks. In fact, they fall like flies, with Komamura losing his arm, while Rose, Love and Risa fall. Soifon (2), teaming up with Kyouraku and Shinji, finally manage to corner Aizen and stake him. Seeing this opening, Hitsugaya deal Aizen a finishing blow. But did the guys really take him down?
A shocked Ichigo watches dumbfounded and yells to them that they have made a serious error. Under the hypnotic powers of Aizen’s Kyokasuigetsu, they were in fact battling an injured Hinamori. A confused Momo can only ask, “Shiro-chan? Doshite?” before passing out.
When was he using his shikai, Shinji questions. When WASN’T he using it?! A devastated Hitsugaya attacks Aizen blindly. In his rage, Hitsugaya loses his arm. The rest rush to Hitsugaya’s side to protect him, but they too are cut down. Soifon, Kyouraku and Shinji all fall as Ichigo watches stupefied.
Oct. 26, 2010 ep. 294: The Sealed Genryuusai
With everyone down, Ichigo watches as Yamamoto Genryusai (1) erects a fiery wall against Aizen. But Aizen laughs at his weakened attempt to fight after all his 13 captains are down and most likely dead. Yamamoto was preparing the inferno, Ennetsu Jigoku, while his captains were distracting Aizen. But is it too little too late? Ichigo is warned to stand back as the pits of hell open up for Aizen. However, a resurrected Wonderweiss attacks Yamamoto from behind. Ryujinjaka’s fire dissipates, extinguished by Wonderweiss’ powers.
Wonderweiss’ sole existence was to seal Yamamoto’s Ryujinjaka. He is a modified arrancar whose speech, intelligence and memory was taken away from him.
With that, Aizen leaves Wonderweiss to finish off Yamamoto. The Captain breaks the midsection of Wonderweiss with one blow, showing why he is a leader of Soul Society for 1000 years. But Wonderweiss only regenerates. It becomes a speedy fight between the baby and the relic, as they trade punches. Wonderweiss begins to show fear when Yamamoto breaks off his arms, and using Sokotsu (dual bone) he breaks off and crushes Wonderweiss’ entire body. Wonderweiss’ soul is crushed, but then his powers from before has a lingering aftereffect.
Wonderweiss’ Extingur was to seal Ryunjinjaka. The flames were sucked and sealed away, and it was sealed into the brains of his 13 captains. It will be released soon. Yamamoto quickly contains its, stopping the killing of his captains and deactivating the possible crushing of the barrier on the town. But he takes a beating, to say the least. As Aizen approaches Yamamoto to finish him off, Yamamoto still has more left and catches Aizen’s leg while calling out Hado #96 Hokaso. Flames engulf Aizen, as he barely makes it out alive, just as a masked Ichigo finally attacks him with Getsuga Tenshou.
Ichigo attacks Aizen, and finally wounds him. However, all is but naught. That was his first and last shot at trying to kill Aizen.
Aizen’s wound heals. But it is not crude instant regeneration like a hollow’s. It’s more than meets the eye.
Hogyuku has fused with Aizen, which allows him to heal his wounds, instinctively protecting its master. Hogyuku (崩玉), also known as the Orb of Distortion, can dissolve the boundaries between a Shinigami and Hollow, thus granting powers of one to the other. It turns a shinigami into a visored, a hollow into an arrancar. It was invented a century ago by Urahara (ex-12) to save the lives of Hirako Shinji and the rest of the altered Visoreds. But once it was created, Urahara sealed it, knowing how dangerous it was. He, however, brought the Hogyoku with him to the human world and tried to destroy it in vain. Desperate to deactivate it, Urahara placed the orb into the depths of Rukia’s soul. But Aizen got his hands on the Hogyuku during his elaborate betrayal of Soul Society and retreated to Hueco Mundo with it.
Unable to activate the dormant Hogyuku, Aizen accidentally awakens it momentarily by fusing it with himself, a shinigami with double the reiatsu of a Captain. When the Hogyuku’s powers deteriorated, he kidnapped Inoue for her Shun Shun Rikka ability to repair it. In truth, she was a trap to lure the Gotei 13 Captains while he invades Karakura. With the embedded Hogyuku, Aizen’s body undergoes a new transformation. The Hogyuku wouldn’t fully awaken until Aizen meets Kurosaki Isshin in battle.
The Hogyuku’s true power is its ability to capture and materialize the hears of everything that exists around it. It is a power that “guides in the direction of desire.” Ichigo, Chad, Inoue, Rukia and Renji’s trials and battles are proof of this and part of Aizen’s elaborate plan. All of their battles were pre-ordained by Aizen. Ichigo turning into a Soul Reaper by Rukia. Challenging Ishida to kill the hollows and then the Menos Grande. When Renji and Byakuya retrieve Rukia, Ichigo is forced to train with Urahara to rescue Rukia from Soul Society. By doing that, he achieved his bankai, and even fought Renji, Kenpachi and the indestructible Byakuya, which forced his hollow to emerge. Even the battles with Grimmjow and Ulquiorra were orchestrated.
Nov. 9, 2010 ep. 296: The Shocking Truth…The Mysterious Power Within Ichigo!
Still reminiscing, Aizen recounts Ichigo’s first meeting with Ulquiorra (4) and Yammy (0). He is almost beaten, safe for Urahara (ex-12) and Yoruichi’s (ex-2) timely appearance. After that, it was not by chance that Ichigo met with the Vizards who soon turn him into a full-fledged hollow. Fighting Grimmjow and ‘killing him’ to save Inoue was no accident. It was his intention to leave everything in Hueco Mundo in Grimmjow and Ulquiorra’s hand, while the rest made a bee line for Karakura Town.
But then, this leaves one part that shouldn’t be of Aizen’s knowledge. He shouldn’t or couldn’t have known Ichigo has a new hollow.
Ichigo was merely Aizen’s research subject. Everything was by chance. It is impossible for Ichigo to be at par with Renji, Byakuya and Kenpachi. But Ichigo denies that not everything was created or planned by Aizen. Aizen’s plan cannot be that perfect. His logic contradicts itself.
But even so, Aizen tells him, he has been watching Ichigo since he was born. He caught his eye as a human and … . Before he finishes his thought, Ichigo Isshin appears and stops him. Buying them time, Isshin distances the father and son from Aizen, temporarily. Isshin reveals that he is a shinigami (and a powerful one at that). But the truth and the story of Ichigo and him will have to wait. Even Ichigo knows that.
As Aizen readies himself for the battle with the father-son team, he chastises Gin for merely watching on the sideline. Gin excuses himself, saying that he is waiting for an opportune time to enter the match. At that point, Ichigo attacks Gin, while his father takes on Aizen, who throws Aizen off with a mere flick.
Nov. 16, 2010 ep. 297: The Extending Blade – Ichigo vs. Gin!
The first time Gin met Ichigo in combat was at the Seireitei gate, which was guarded by the giant Jidanbou. Gin’s zanpakutou, Shinsou, extends up to the length of 100 blades in its shikai form. In it’s bankai, Kamishini no Yari, it elongates up to 13 km. His zanpakutou is not called the “God Spear” for no reason. Aside from its astounding length, it is also the fastest zanpakutou, which retracts and extends to its maximum in less than 1/10th of a second. This rapid succession of extension and contraction leaves little time for evasion, making it seem as if a wave of blades are attacking simultaneously. However, upon each extension, the blade must shrink to the size of a wakizashi (dagger-like). It is in this way that Gin attacks Ichigo, but a matured Ichigo also sees through the sword’s weakness and manages to evade the attacks.
Isshin takes on Aizen and soon he is worn down. Aizen may have reached his limit as a Shinigami, but his soul has been reconstructed by Hogyuku. Hogyuku is sentient, which allows it to understands the master’s wishes. It’s power has never been to simply transform a shinigami to a hollow. Hogyuku can fulfill only what is truly wished for. An interjection of Gin’s sword interrupts their conversation as Ichigo is pushed back to back with his father, Isshin. Hogyuku begins to disperse within Aizen, diffusing with him, but a red beam shoots through Aizen’s right shoulder.
Urahara has arrived with his zanpakutou benihime.
Nov. 23, 2010 ep. 298: Film! Festival! The Shinigami Film Festival
Ichigo is dragged in different directions to help with Seireitei’s filming of their next movie.
Nov. 30, 2010 ep. 299: Hell Chapter・Prologue
A preamble to the Dec. 4, 2010 movie.
An escaped hollow, condemned to hell, is wrecking havoc in Karakura Town. The Shrieker is after Rukia, but the true motive is Ichigo’s alter ego, the twice dead hollow in him. The usurper of power, Shuren, and his minions, Taikon, Gunjou, Garugai are ready to release hell upon earth.
Soul Society knows the condemned of hell is appearing on earth. The order of hell is disturbed and their guardian must be missing. Yamamoto (1) orders that Ichigo not be involved in the matter, not knowing that he is the source of the problem.
Urahara arrives. A hundred years has passed since Aizen and Urahara last met. The hole in Aizen’s shoulder, caused by Urahara’s cero-like blast heals with his subjugated Hogyuku. He sly moves to stab Urahara, but turns out, it’s only a gigai (which Yammy did warn him about). Falling for that, Aizen is then imprisoned by Urahara’s Rikujokoro, six rods of prison. Further holding him down with kidou #63, #79 and finally, the powerful #91 Senju Koten Taiho, a thousand-hand culling sear, and blows Aizen up.
When the smoke clears, Aizen appears behind Urahara and slices him. He smugly tells Urahara that he has no need to be on guard, because he can feel his enemy’s thoughts. What’s more, he has no need to dodge kidou of 90 and up. But this is all Urahara’s plan. He had cleverly sealed Aizen’s pressure points in the chaos. He will be incinerated. Of course, Urahara is not so stupid to think that this will be the end of Aizen. He is just waiting for the newly formed Aizen to emerge.
From the blazing inferno, out walks the new Aizen, cloaked in white and a white mask. The seals has no effects on him, not when he has the Hogyuku. Even Gin watches in amazement as the events unfold before them.
Time for a real fight. Urahara finally unsheathes his sword. While Kurosaki Isshin attacks from behind. Using a magical chain, they limit Aizen’s movements. Just then, an armored Yoruichi appears and launches a simultaneous attack. Protected and armed with iron from Hierro, her limbs punch out Aizen in rapid succession, collapsing the building and flattening Aizen in the process. It is but a ruse. Aizen climbs up, and easily breaks off Yoruichi’s armor on her left leg. Their efforts are futile. If not for the armor, she would have lost a limb.
The three launches a simultaneous attack, but are all taken down. Gin doesn’t even try to lift a finger but watches from the sidelines instead. It seems he didn’t even know about the fused Hogyuku.
“You don’t know what Aizen can do at this stage,” Gin tells a fearful Ichigo. Then he attacks Ichigo. In the mean time, a barely healed Matsumoto rushes towards Gin to stop him.
Dec. 14, 2010 ep. 301: Ichigo Loses His Fighting Spirit!? Gin’s Expectation!
Ichigo stops Gin’s attack and tries to counter with his full strength. However, that is merely a mosquito bite compared to Gin’s prowess who manages to break Ichigo’s hollow mask. A fallen Ichigo is taunted by Gin. He’s neither human, nor shinigami, nor hollow. He’s just too weak to go up against Aizen. Uninterested in their fight, Gin tells Ichigo to leave if he still cherishes his life. But he doesn’t move and Gin prepares to kill him.
Yoruichi’s right hand armor is also broken. They can’t possibly do any harm to him. The attacks become more furious, but it is to naught. Even Isshin’s Getsuga Tenshou merely scratches Aizen. He walks off and heals promptly, while the three lick their wounds.
Just as Gin is about to finish off Ichigo, Aizen appears before them. Gin is ordered not to toy with Ichigo, and instead, open the Senkaimon into Soul Society. Before they leave the fake Karakura Town, Aizen’s mask cracks, signaling the end of his Chrysalis stage. They enter the Precipice of the World but Aizen stops to finish off the Cleaner, which he once could not touch. With this, Gin realizes just how scary Aizen truly is.
In the mean time, Isshin dusts himself off, and riles up Ichigo to go after Aizen and Gin. They are they only ones left to protect all that they love. Even knowing he’s no match against Aizen, he bucks up and moves out with his father. Inside the Precipice World, Isshin realizes that the Cleaner must have been destroyed by Aizen. This middle point isolated the living from the dead. With the Cleaner gone, Isshin can teach Ichigo the final Getsuga Tenshou!
Dec. 21, 2010 ep. 302: The Final Getsuga Tenshou! Ichigo’s Training
The Precipe World is ideal for training because time slow down in there. 2000 hours of training (3 months) is only one hour in the outside world. Isshin promptly devises a method for Ichigo to learn the final stage of Getsuga Tenshou. Ichigo has to call upon his zanpakuto, which he has never tried before. Once in his inner world, he meets Tensa Zangetsu, the spirit of his sword. But Zangetsu refuses to cooperate because of the Ichigo’s inner hollow.
In the real Karakura Town, the residents finally awaken from their slumber. Keigo and Arisawa, Ichigo’s friends from school, awaken and wander the town. However, they are confronted by Aizen and Gin who paralyze them with their reiatsu. Aizen intends to finish off Arizawa, but Don Kanonji blocks the attack.
Jan. 4, 2011 ep. 303: Real World and Shinigami! The New Year Special!
Hitsugaya goes looking for his lieutenant Matsumoto. However, he gets pulled into a New Year’s Day card game created by Yachiru in the Women’s Club. It’s the women against the men of Soul Society: Ikkaku (#3 of 11), Yumichika (#4 of 11), Kira (lt-3), Hitsugaya (10), Shuuhei (lt-9), vs. Matsumoto (lt-10), Isane (lt-4), Nanao (lt-8), Nemu (lt-12), Soifon (2) with Yachiru as the referee. The card game goes out of control when Soifon pulls out her bankai Jakuhou Raikouben to fend off everyone for Yoruichi’s black cat card. Getting sandblasted, Hitsugaya realizes all he wanted to do was wish his lieutenant a Happy New Year.
In the human world, the solo Inoue feels a little lonely on New Years. She stumbles into a patrolling Renji and Rukia who drag her off to Urahara’s shop for a little celebration. Rukia even convinces Inoue to head to the shrine, where Renji meets them with the rest of the gang, Ichigo, Ishida, Chad who wish her a Happy New Year!
Jan. 11, 2011 ep. 304: Another Side Story! This Time’s Enemy is a Monster!?
A dream-like sequence with Ichigo and the rest appearing as monsters protecting the Snow Crsytal from hunters, Isshin and Ryūken (Ichigo’s and Uryu’s fathers).
Jan. 18, 2011 ep. 305: Delusion Roars! Hisagi, Towards the Hot Springs Inn!
After the previous encounter with Rangiku, Hisagi thinks that buxom Rangiku has the hots for him (which he gladly reciprocates). Some quirky and funny spots in a hot springs in, ending with Hisagi realizing his mistake when Rangiku reveals she was only “using” him to get to a Hollow.
Jan. 25, 2011 ep. 306: For the Sake of Protecting! Ichigo vs. Tensa Zangetsu!
In the real Karakura Town, Don Kanonji tries to save Arizawa but that proves to be a bad move against Aizen. Rangiku arrives in time to save them. She came back for Gin, much to his surprise as he, for once, opens his eyes. But that doesn’t stop Gin from finishing off the fight quickly and rejoining Aizen. Arizawa and Keigo, who manages to steal the resident Shinigami’s sword, try to waylay Aizen.
Back in the inner sanctum of Ichigo, Zangetsu reveals to Ichigo his new hollow: the new form that defeated Ulquiorra. Caught by surprise, Ichigo unconsciously feared this form, thus erased it from him memory. Zangetsu joins the Hollow, only to reveal that the two are initially one. Both Zangetsu and the newly formed hollow are both part of Ichigo and his powers. The one-sided battle ensues, but Ichigo is not one to easily wave the white flag. His friends are in grave danger and need his aid. His father, Isshin, is almost at his limit holding up the Precipe World by himself.
Feb. 1, 2011 ep. 307: Emergency Situation! Aizen, New Evolution!
Arizawa and Keigo try to attack and stop Aizen but fail miserably. The sword’s owner, Afro-san, finally appears and uses his shikai to allow the humans to escape. The returning Gin reports to Aizen that Rangiku has been eliminated, proved by her non-existent reiatsu. Aizen is taken aback, but Gin reminds him that he is a cold unfeeling snake.
In turn, Aizen begins the process of creating the Ouken, King’s Key, by first eliminating Ichigo’s human friends and stringing their corpses up on the outskirts of the town for all to see. Suddenly, Gin impales Aizen through his chest and stopping Aizen’s sword from affecting him by merely touching it. Gin reveals his bankai’s true ability: leaving a small fragment of the sword in the victim, it soon disintegrates into dust and destroys everything in its wake. That fragment becomes poison that is capable of dissolving tissue at a cellular rate. As Aizen crumbles from the inside, he curses the traitor while Gin takes off with the Hogyoku. Unfortunately for Gin, the orb still calls Aizen master, regardless of whether it is still in him or not. It belongs to him and wants to fulfill its master’s wishes. The Hogyoku keeps Aizen alive by slowly evolving him into an even greater form.
The new Aizen teleports to Gin and fatally cuts him across the torso. As Gin falls, he remembers his promise to an unconscious Rangiku; he would “kill the boss.”
Feb. 8, 2011 ep. 308: Sayonara…Rangiku
A newly formed Aizen, with wings, appears. Hogyuku no longer needs to be in him for it to work. As Gin crumbles, his childhood flashes before him remembering that he became a shinigami to avenge Rangiku. Rangiku awakens and breaks out of the seal Gin left her in. She arrives at the scene of the crime, in time to watch Gin fall. Aizen is about to finish her off, but a new hero emerges. Gin sees this new emergence and acknowledges his strength before passing.
A strangely aged Ichigo adorned with longer hair, with no reiatsu to speak of, arrives with his father on his shoulder. His right arm is wrapped with chains leading to a newly formed Tensa Zangetsu. He respectfully asks that the fight be moved to a secluded area, but Aizen merely laughs at him. Insisting, Ichigo pushes against Aizen’s face, and drives him back with sheer force away from his friends.
Unimpressed, Aizen scoffs, “You have scarified your reiatsu for that meager improvement.” With that, his wings span and scatter. He reemerges behind Ichigo and attacks. But Ichigo merely deflects and evades all attacks. Aizen is no longer “fast” for Ichigo. Much to the surprise of Aizen, Ichigo even catches Aizen’s sword. Backing away, Aizen spouts out kid #90: Kurohitsugi, Black Coffin, that immediately envelopes Ichigo. Ichigo, unperturbed, merely remains in position and after the coffin finishes erecting, he breaks out of it. Ichigo has grown much stronger than Aizen. The leveling of the mountain before was not Aizen’s doing, but Ichigo’s.
Feb. 15, 2011 ep. 309: Release the Final Getsuga Tenshou
Aizen immediately scatters and retreats from the new threat. Not only did this young un catch his sword, he broke his kidou and managed to injure him. His third eye on his forehead begins to bleed and breaks from the skull. Aizen disintegrates and reforms again into a grotesque hollow-like figure with wrappings of a mummy. Hogyuku will not allow its master to be defeated by a mere human. A huge explosion ensues, and Aizen assumes Ichigo to lose the use of his left arm thereafter and proceeds to capture him.
But Ichigo is merely buying time and not resort to using his final release. But seeing Aizen’s adamance of destroying him, Ichigo retaliates by cutting Aizen once again. Aizen pulls back again.
Zangetsu never meant to kill Ichigo. It is in his sadness that Ichigo realized, that Zangetsu’s goal was always to protect Ichigo, while Ichigo protected his friends and family. To achieve the final step, is to allow Zangetsu to kill him with his own sword. But Ichigo is warned not to use the final Getsuga Tenshou.
Ichigo changes to his new form Nugetsu: taking the form of a long, black-haired Zangetsu, and losing all his powers as a shinigami in the process. Ichigo strikes, and breaks Aizen’s wrappings. He tears but slowly regenerates to a barely white monster with some human semblance. Aizen’s sword breaks from the clash, but then again, Hogyuku no longer needs the power of his sword. Unfortunately for Ichigo, with that last strike, he reverts back to his powerless human form.
“You are done, Kurosaki Ichigo,” came the smug call.
Out of no where, nails strike and pierce Aizen. Urahara appears with a newly created kidou made to seal Aizen. Urahara implanted in a kidou shot into Aizen before his first full transformation took place. With the beating from Ichigo, Aizen is greatly weakened, thus allowing Urahara’s new kidou to work its magic. The whites of Aizen’s mask breaks and his human flesh reveals itself. Hogyuku has finally realized that Aizen is weak, therefore it is rejecting its master. Before Aizen is vanquished, a frustrated Aizen asks Urahara, “How can you submit to the spirit king when you are so intelligent?”
“He is the linchpin that keeps everything and everyone together,” came the reply.
Urahara’s newly implemented kidou seals Aizen, as Karakura Town is saved. As the friends reach the battle zone, Ichigo falls.
Feb. 22, 2011 ep. 310: Ichigo’s Resolution
Everything returns to normal, structures rebuilding, shinigamis recuperating and some training to further improve themselves (as in the case of Hitsugaya wallowing in his guilt of stabbing his dear Momo). Momo is healed by Unohana (4), but lies unconscious – ultimately depending on her own will to survive.
In Central 46, Aizen is taken to his “betters” and sentenced to 20,000 years in Muken. He laughs at the jokers trying to pass judgement on him while heading their faces from him.
Ichigo finally awakens, much to the relief of his friends. But he is losing his powers, proof in the shortening of his hair back to its original length, and the return of his original height.
Unfortunately, even though Ichigo has reclaimed his shinigami form, the next time he falls, it will be his last – be it the next day, a month or year(s) from then. Whatever the consequences (even losing his powers), he is glad that his friends and family are alive and well.
– the end of the Arrancar saga –
March 1, 2011 ep. 311: The Soul Detective • Karakurizer Takes Off Again!
A mysterious person with the power to hypnotize people appears in Karakura town: the Arrancar enemy returns with vengeance in her mind.
March 8, 2011 ep. 312: Inauguration! The Brand New 2nd Division Captain!
March 15, 2011 ep. 313: The Man Who Takes Command of the 11th Division!
A once-upon-a-time hero of the 11th Division, Seizou, is left cleaning and waiting on the lesser of his teammates. Ichigo is out to change that.
March 22, 2011 ep. 314: Secret of a Beautiful Office Lady
March 29, 2011 ep. 315: Yachiru’s friend! The Shinigami of Justice Appears!
Yachiru (vice-11) goes to the aid of an old friend, Mappy Masayoshi, who unknowingly killed his own wife by his own hands and blame it on a hollow.
The movie Bleach: Hell Verse is to be released for December 4, 2010