090. See You Under a Firework
091. KING OF FREISCHÜTZ
092. Masterly! And Farewell! [Reprise]
093. Steer For the Star
094. Gaol Named Remorse
096. BLOODRED CONFLICT
097. Talk About Your Fear
090. See You Under the Fireworks
091. DER FREISCHÜTZ King
092. Masterly! And Farewell! (Reprise)
093. Steer For The Star
094. A Jail Called Remorse
096. BLOODRED CONFLICT
097. Talk About Your Fear
A STAR AND A STRAY DOG is the eleventh volume of the Bleach manga series.
Ichigo successfully defeats Ikkaku of the Eleventh Division and is rewarded with a valuable piece of information--the location of where Rukia is being detained as she awaits execution. However, Ichigo's companion, the pyrotechnics-wielding Ganju, is having a much harder time with his Shinigami opponent. Meanwhile, Orihime and Uryū confront the younger brother of the gargantuan gatekeeper whom Ichigo defeated a little while ago. It's time for Uryū to put all his training to the test and prove to everyone (and himself) how much more powerful he has become.
Yumichika gets the upper hand in his fight with Ganju. Ikkaku warns Ichigo to beware of his captain. Ishida and Orihime get into a fight with a Shinigami.
Yumichika suggests that it is time that he and Ganju finished their battle. When Yumichika asks if he will try his best to stop him, Ganju lights one of his fireworks and throws it at him. The smoke from the firework obscures the area and stings Yumichika's eyes. Ganju explains that it is a special Kūkaku smoke bomb with pepper added to the ingredients, calling it a "tear and blood bomb". Ganju starts to be affected by the smoke, causing Yumichika to mock him for being hurt by his own trick. Ganju again runs from the Shinigami.
Elsewhere, Ikkaku regains consciousness, surprised that he is still alive. When he sees Ichigo sitting on the remains of a wall, he asks the Ryoka why he is still there. Ichigo dismisses the question, and remarks that Zanpakutō return to their sealed state when the owner is unconscious. When Ikkaku realizes that Ichigo is holding Hōzukimaru, he demands it back. Ichigo explains that he borrowed the medicine concealed within it. Ichigo says that even though he used all of it treating both of them, it does not seem to be doing much. When Ikkaku complains to him, Ichigo thinks he is being miserly, but Ikkaku reveals that he is ashamed to have been saved by the enemy, saying that if he could move, he would kill Ichigo. Ichigo replies that he does not really care if he thanks him or not, and asks him where Rukia is being kept. Ikkaku is surprised by the question, and asks why he wants to know such a thing. Ichigo says that he intends to rescue her.
A stunned Ikkaku asks how many of Ryoka there are, guessing that there are seven or eight. When Ichigo tells him there are five people and a cat, Ikkaku laughs so hard that his wound opens up again, dismissing the idea that so few could rescue her. When he settles down again, he gives Ichigo exact directions, much to Ichigo's surprise, saying that he does not care what his intentions are. Ikkaku warns him to hurry, as somebody might find him if he stays with him for much longer. As Ichigo leaves, Ikkaku asks if he the strongest in his group, saying that he should be wary of his captain, who has no interest in the weak. He will seek Ichigo out. Ichigo asks if he is strong, prompting Ikkaku to reply that he will know how strong he is if he survives the meeting.
Meanwhile, Zaraki runs into another dead-end. Yachiru claims it is his fault, saying that he has no sense of direction. Kenpachi, however, complains that they are only lost because he followed her intuition, and decides to try another route. After they leave, Uryū and Orihime peek out from a nearby rooftop, commenting that Zaraki and Yachiru felt very strong and that it is a good thing they did not notice the pair. Uryū remarks that Zaraki is likely similar to Ichigo - stupid, but strong - and asks which way they should go. Orihime points to a tower in the distance. As Uryū glances over to see what she is referring to, he sees a large Shinigami behind Orihime, preparing to strike her with his Zanpakutō. The Shinigami smashes his Zanpakutō into the roof, but Uryū saves Orihime. The Shinigami tells them that despite this, they will not live much longer.
As Ichigo wonders where Ganju is, the battle Yumichika and Ganju draws to a close.
While running through the streets of Seireitei, Ichigo wonders where Ganju is. Remembering Ikkaku's words that Yumichika is the fifth strongest on the Eleventh Division, he decides that he has to go help him, but he cannot find him. Frustrated, Ichigo shouts for Ganju to light a firework to show him where he is, but he alerts several Shinigami who had been playing cards in a side street. They chase after Ichigo, who runs away, still shouting for Ganju.
Nearby, a tired Ganju sits against a wall. Yumichika compliments him for escaping him for so long, and asks if the voice he can hear screaming is Ganju's friend. As Yumichika comments that shouting will only draw Shinigami towards him, Ganju tells him that if Ichigo is able to shout like that, then he must have defeated Ikkaku. Yumichika refutes this, saying that the Eleventh Division is the strongest in the Gotei 13 and that Ikkaku is the third strongest member of the Division. Ganju throws a firework at the Shinigami's face and runs away. As he runs, he turns and throws ten more fireworks at Yumichika, who slices through several of them. When Ganju tries to make a circular motion with his hand on the ground near an open pit, Yumichika kicks him in the chest. Yumichika asks Ganju if he intends to sacrifice himself to defeat him. Ganju asks why he would do such a thing and forms a second circle on the ground behind his back.
Yumichika attacks him again, but Ganju dodges, prompting the Shinigami to commend his stamina. Ganju thinks to himself that he is almost ready, and that Yumichika is underestimating him, but for his trick to work, he needs to catch him off guard. Yumichika, however, then moves in for the kill. Unable to dodge, Ganju is cut on his back and rolls over the edge of the nearby pit, grabbing the edge with one hand. Responding to Yumichika's taunts about beauty, Ganju tells him that they simply have different views on beauty and that only the survivor looks cool. He uses his free hand to turn part of the wall of the pit to sand, causing the ground underneath the Shinigami to give way. As Yumichika clings to the edge of the pit, Ganju uses him to help himself get out of the pit and quickly forms another circle on the ground to complete his earlier technique. As Ayasegawa leaps out of the pit, Ganju collapses a large section of the ground, sending it into the pit. Yumichika jumps into the air, but Ganju throws an extra large firework at him.
Having defeated the Shinigami who had been chasing him, Ichigo witnesses the firework, simply saying that it took him long enough.
Orihime and Ishida encounter Jirōbō Ikkanzaka, the Kamaitachi.
Yoruichi stands on a rooftop, commenting on how she can sense clashes of Reiatsu everywhere. She tells everybody to stay alive. Elsewhere, Orihime and Ishida face off against Jirōbō, who continues to countdown. Orihime thanks Ishida for saving her, who gives her a short reply, wearing a stern expression and keeping his eyes on Jirōbō. Orihime comments on how Ishida's whole attitude has altered since just a moment ago and also comments on his movement. Saying that for a moment Ishida disappeared from her sense and before she knew it, he had got her to safety. She then reflects on something Yoruichi told her, Ishida remains a Quincy and as such the Shinigami are still his enemy. Just as she completes this thought, Jirōbō's count reaches ten. Jirōbō then tells them that their time for regret is over. Ishida tells Orihime that Jirōbō is about to attack and a moment later he does, saying that they will now have an eternity to regret.
Jirōbō's attack sends Ishida stumbling off the roof as Orihime tries to strike back with Tsubaki. Jirōbō laughs of the attack as he deals a grievous wound to Tsubaki. Tsubaki scolds Orihime for attacking him weakly before returning to her hairpin. Jirōbō berates her for not having any killing intention while being on the field of battle and going on to state that while her move would work against Hollows, it will not work against a Shinigami. He then goes to finish her off, but Ishida intervenes, telling him that if Jirōbō wants killing intent, then he will find plenty in Ishida's bow.
Based on Ishida's attack, Jirōbō deduces that Ishida is a Quincy, as Orihime notes that Ishida's bow has changed completely. She then figures out that the change is due to Ishida's gloves and works out that that's why Ishida trained by himself. Jirōbō starts to laugh, saying that this should be fun, as both Orihime's mysterious power and Ishida's Quincy powers are both projectile-type weapons. He then releases his Zanpakutō: Tsunzakigarasu, the true form of which is countless flying curved blades. Jirōbō boosts about being also known as Kamaitachi because of his speed and mastery of projectile weapons, he goes on to say that no one but him has ever seen the blades of Tsunzakigarasu flitting through the air and lived. He goes on to talk about the speed of the blades, but as he is doing that, Ishida fires his bow and destroys all his blades. Ishida comments negatively on Jirōbō's boastfulness. Jirōbō tells him that he got lucky and starts to call forth more blades from his sheath. However, Ishida destroys them with ease and comments that between them, he is the true master of projectile weapons, but that he simply does not like the sound of Kamaitachi Ishida.
Ishida defeats Jirōbō Ikkanzaka as Ichigo catches up with Ganju.
Jirōbō screams as he surveys the hole Ishida has made in his hand. Orihime comments that Ishida's is completely different person to the Ishida who fought Ichigo. Ishida taunts Jirōbō, asking if he is regretting meeting Ishida. This angers Jirōbō and he makes another grab for Orihime. However, Ishida appears between them. Ishida deduces that as Jirōbō failed to kill him, he went after Orihime. In fact, Ishida deduces, that Jirōbō was after Orihime from the start and calls him a coward for targeting a girl when he had other opponents available. Ishida then fires two arrows that incapacitates Jirōbō and renders him unconscious.
Orihime thanks Ishida, but he brushes it off. Orihime smiles and proceeds to ask if Jirōbō is dead. Ishida says that he is not, but that he has destroyed his Shinigami powers. Having claimed victory, Ishida suggests they move on. As they move on, Orihime recalls what Yoruichi said about how Quincy fight and correctly deduces that Ishida's gloves help him gather spirit particles more efficiently and that during the ten days Ishida trained alone, he did so to master his powers in a fashion that would not endanger anyone. Orihime comments on how much stronger Ishida had become and laments that she herself does not feel any stronger then she was before.
Meanwhile, Ganju is running down the streets of Seireitei with the mob of Shinigami chasing after him. He meets up with Ichigo, but he too has a mob of Shinigami after him. Having ran towards each other, Ichigo and Ganju are now effectively surrounded. They start to fight with Ichigo knocking out a host of Shinigami with the still wrapped Zangetsu. In the meantime, the 4th Division has mobilized and are approaching the scene of the battles. Hearing the noises of the battles Hanatarō wonders what is going on, resulting him getting yelled at, apparently once again, by Iemura. Back at the fight, Ganju comments that Ichigo swung too recklessly. Although there is now a large circle of unconscious Shinigami around Ichigo and Ganju, Ganju says that these particular group of Shinigami are unlikely to retreat. Just as this is happening, Hanatarō arrives on the scene. Having stopped to tie his shoes, he was separated from the rest of the 4th Division. He approaches the Shinigami surrounding Ichigo and Ganju to ask for directions to the 4th Division, but trips and somehow stumbles into the middle of the circle. Ganju looks down on Hanatarō and says that he has thought of a way out of the mess. Ichigo says that he has had the same thought.
Ichigo and Ganju found a new companion, Hanatarō, a member of the 4th Division.
Ganju and Ichigo try to took Hanatarō as a hostage to make way from those from the 11th division, but since Hanatarō is from the 4th Division and the 11th Division dislike them the most, they don't care. Ichigo and Ganju then have to fight their way out, but suddenly Chad appears and knocks out half of the Shinigami. Ichigo and Ganju runs away before they can see who it is.
Meanwhile, in the 1st treatment room of the main hospital of the 4th Division, Mayuri is forcing Ikkaku to tell him about his fight with Ichigo, but Ikkaku refuses. When the nurse and Nemu try to stop him from attacking Ikkaku, Mayuri tells them to be quiet. Ikkaku said that is not that he doesn't want to talk, it's just that he doesn't remember anything, not even how Ichigo looks like. Mayuri becomes furious and is about to punish Ikkaku when Kenpachi arrives and stops him. He asks Mayuri since when does he has the authority over another division member, prompting Mayuri to leave. Yachiru pops out of Kenpachi's back and tells Ikkaku that she was so worried (and also calling him Baldy). Kenpachi asks him about Ichigo and Ikkaku said that he's very strong and Kenpachi shows excitement toward that.
At the same time, Hanatarō is introducing himself to Ganju and Ichigo, but they said that his name was too hard to remember. And then the two start discussing how to get to Rukia. Hanatarō heard her name and ask if it was Rukia Kuchiki. Ichigo looks at him surprisingly, so Hanatarō says it's right and they are looking for the Senzaikyū. Then he says that he knows a shortcut to the tower.
Hanatarō shows Ichigo and Ganju the shortcut through the city sewer. Ganju asks if the Shinigami know about the sewer entrance too, which Hanatarō confirms they do, but they won't be able to follow them because only the paramedic specialists of the 4th Division know how to navigate through the complex sewer system. So Ganju thinks the sewer is like a supply/medic route, so only the 4th Division needs to know it well. But Hanatarō says that it's because the 4th Division always has to do the chores (cleaning the sewer is one) because they are so weak, and Ganju says he actually pities them. Suddenly, Ichigo asks Hanatarō why is he helping them because they are the enemies. Hanatarō replies that it's because he wants them to save Rukia.
Before Rukia was transferred to the Senzaikyū, she was in the holding cell of the 6th Division office. During that time, Hanatarō was assigned to janitorial duty there. At first he was a little scared since she was a noble, but when he called he "Rukia-sama" for the first time, she scolded him for it, and told him not to address her as "sama". Her soft voice made him feel at ease. Then he started going there everyday and started to enjoy his time there. Rukia started to conversing with him. She talked mostly about Ichigo. She said that she only knew Ichigo for 2 months, but she has faith in him and because of her, his life was changed forever and he suffered a lot of pain, so she can never make it up to him no matter what she does. During the time Hanatarō seen her, her face was always gloomy and sad. Then Ganju states that she seems like a weird Shinigami just like Ichigo. Ichigo says it's true, and that's why he has to save her. Then he runs off, thinking that those are his lines. And he won't let Rukia die no matter what.
Meanwhile, Yasochika Iemura is reporting injuries to the Division lieutenants. Every Division is reporting minor injuries, but the 11th Division has been completely wiped out, which shocks the lieutenants. Tetsuzaemon Iba says that their 4th seat has fallen too and asks to send someone to check on him. The other lieutenants are surprised that Jirōbō has fallen and wonder just what kinds of monster are those intruders. Hinamori is scared and tells Renji that the situation is getting worse, just to realize that he's gone.
Ichigo, Ganju, and Hanatarō arrive near the Senzaikyū. Because there's no way to go directly under the tower, Hanatarō can only take them as far as that and they will have to walk on the ground from here. Ganju says it's close already, but they probably will have to fight their way there from now on. But then Ichigo sees that somebody's there. Renji walks down the steps and asks if Ichigo still remembers him. Ichigo confirms it by saying Renji's full name out.
Renji Abarai and Ichigo meet on the field of battle once again.
Renji is surprised the Ichigo remembers his name, but is very pleased that he does. Ganju wonders who Renji is and comments that the power coming from him is different from that of other Shinigami. Hanatarō states that Renji Abarai is the lieutenant of the 6th Division, a statement that causes Ganju to panic, but Ichigo moves to engage Renji. The lieutenant comments that he was certain Ichigo had been killed by Captain Kuchiki and as such, compliments Ichigo on surviving, but that it ends here. They clash, Ichigo vowing to make Renji let him pass and Renji determined to stop Ichigo.
As they fight Ganju wonders if Ichigo has lost his mind, but Hanatarō points out that Ichigo is not only doing well, but is slowly overpowering Renji. As Renji is literally cornered, he asks what Ichigo's ultimate plan is, given that even if he manages to defeat Renji - there are still eleven other lieutenants and thirteen captains to deal with. Ichigo says that it doesn't matter, if they stand in his way he will crush them all. Renji wonders where this bravado comes from. Commenting that while he has escaped death a few times and his Zanpakutō has changed, that is not enough. Renji then easily pushes Ichigo back and releases his Shikai. He sends Ichigo crashing through a building, as Hanatarō and Ganju panic. Renji then tells Ichigo that when Shinigami of lieutenant rank and above go into the Human World, their power is restricted to 20% so as to avoid influencing the souls of the living world too much. As such, if Ichigo believed that he had Renji's measure from their previous battle, then he was dead wrong. Renji is five times more powerful now. Ichigo then emerges from the rubble, surprising Renji, and thanks him for the information. Saying that if this is Renji's real strength then it is not enough.
Ganju and Hanatarō are shocked to find that Ichigo can still stand after taking a direct hit from Renji. Ichigo, however, notes that he is getting dizzy and can barely stand, noting that he had lost too much blood against Ikkaku. Renji notes out load that while Ichigo talks big, he can barely stand and continues his attack, saying that he is going to finish this. They continue to fight, but Ichigo keeps dodging, causing Hanatarō to exclaim at the fact that Renji is missing.
Elsewhere, Hinamori goes to see Kira and tells him that upon noticing that Renji had slipped out of the lieutenants' meeting, she had gone to look for him in the 6th Division's barracks and found Renji's lieutenants badge. Kira is shocked by this and asks Hinamori if she had told the captain about it. Hinamori says that she thought about telling Aizen, but opted not to so Renji wouldn't get in trouble. Realizing how it could be interpreted, Hinamori quickly adds that she isn't saying that Aizen would be unfair on Renji or anything like that. Kira says that he knows she didn't mean that. He goes on to say that because they don't know why Renji is missing, she did do the right thing and that he himself will go to look for Renji, but make sure that his captain doesn't find out. Kira then leaves as Hinamori wonders where Renji could be.
In the meantime, as Ichigo and Renji fight on, Ichigo recalls his lessons with Kisuke Urahara, specifically about how the number of consecutive attacks are limited and that if he can determine the maximum number of attacks then he will know when his opponent is at his most vulnerable. Ichigo determines that Zabimaru's maximum number of attacks is three and as a result, he charges Renji during the opening between created when Zabimaru must return to its original position. However Renji dodges and counter-attacks, gravely wounding Ichigo as he restates that Ichigo has no chance of defeating him.
As Ichigo staggers back due to the wound he received from Renji, he marvels at how Renji dodged. Renji deduces his thoughts and explains that the reason he was able to evade was because Ichigo was too slow and that he is far above Ichigo's league. He then explains that Ichigo can't save Rukia because he is already dead and swings down. Ganju and Hanatarō begin to panic as the blade approaching Ichigo. Ichigo himself flashes back to his training with Kisuke Urahara.
During this training, Urahara repeatedly tried to corner Ichigo by not falling back. Ichigo found this really annoying and charged that Urahara was really trying to hurt him. Urahara simply states that what he is trying to do is get Ichigo to deliver the killing blow at will, as he points the huge explosion of power Ichigo released to clear lesson three. Ichigo protests that that was just luck and he can't do that at will. Urahara tells him that he must do that. Saying that he is just beginning to learn to fight using the real power of his Zanpakutō and while he has the talent, Urahara notes that his strength is only of a third or forth seat at best. The strength of Shinigami captains and lieutenants are enormous and to be their equal, Ichigo must learn to control the power of his Zanpakutō. Ichigo admits that at that moment, he was so desperate that he does not remember how he did that attack. Urahara says that he knows this and that is why he is driving Ichigo to the edge to force him to remember. He then attacks Ichigo and sends him crashing into a nearby rock phase. Tessai and Ururu run forward to administer medical care, but Urahara stops them and continues his attack on Ichigo, as Tessai and Jinta watch on. Urahara then berates Ichigo for being a disgrace, adding that all he has to do is push Ichigo a little and he falls apart. He goes on to say that Ichigo's blade is full of worthless fear, while his own is filled with the resolve to kill Ichigo. Understanding this, Ichigo stands-up resolved. Urahara tells Ichigo not to forget that feeling as Benihime and Zangetsu clash.
Back in the present, Ichigo stops Zabimaru bare-handed. He then apologizes for keeping him waiting and tells him that he has now resolved to kill him. Renji jumps back and wonders what is going on, as Ichigo's Reiatsu climbs. With one slash, Ichigo wounds Renji, breaking his Zanpakutō, sunglasses and sends him crashing into a wall.
Renji recalls his past when he and Rukia were in Rukongai, when they entered the Shinigami academy, and when Rukia got adopted to the Kuchiki family.
Renji wonders how did he lose to Ichigo. Then he screams out Rukia's name.
He remembers the first time he met with Rukia. It was at South Rukongai district 78 "Inuzuri". Rukongai is split into 4 portions: East, West, South, and North. Each of those is further split into 80 areas. Area 1 is the safest place. And area 78 is the worst of the worst.
Renji and his friends was stealing water and got chased by the shop owner. When they were running and that guy about to catch up, Rukia suddenly appeared and tripped him and stepped on his face until he was knocked out. Then she told Renji and his friends to hurry and follow her, unless they want to lose the water. From that day forward, Rukia became their leader. Rukia is a weirdo, always talks and acts like a guy. But no matter what she does, she always has a gentle aura around her. She and Renji were the only two people in the group with Reiatsu, though Rukia's was greater.
They had always been together since then, like family. Disreputable punks roam the street doing disgusting things. The grown-ups were either robbers or murderer. The kids were all like animals. Everyone was like that. Yet there was one way to break away from it all. It's to become Shinigami. 10 years after Rukia joined Renji's group, all their friends have died. So Renji and Rukia entered the Shinigami Academy. Since they are gifted with spiritual powers, they got in quite easily. They struggled to prove their worth in the company of the children from noble houses. Then one day, when Renji came to tell Rukia that he passed the 2nd exam, he found out that Rukia was talking with a noble.The meeting was to adopt her into the Kuchiki family. Renji says it was a good thing and he envied her. She thanks him with a sad face and left. Because she found herself a family, Renji keep telling himself to stay out of her way.
Now, standing in front of Ichigo, Renji realizes that he's just scared. He's just a tramp down to his bones, barks at the star, but never has the courage to jump and grabs it. Then he grabs Ichigo, telling him he never win once against Byakuya, no matter how much he trained. Then he begs Ichigo to save Rukia, which Ichigo promises to.
Maybe it's because I've been so busy lately, but I constantly find myself thinking, "I wish I could draw without worrying about time." But in reality, when I do get some free time, I'll probably piddle about and do nothing. I guess you always want what you don't have. Tite Kubo