Bleach: The Hell Verse (ブリーチ: 地獄篇, Burichi: Jigoku-hen) is the fourth feature film based on the Bleach manga. It was released in Japanese theaters on December 4, 2010. It is directed by Noriyuki Abe, while the screenplay was written by Natsuko Takahashi. Tite Kubo is the production director, and Masashi Kudo is the character designer. Kubo has stated he has been involved from the planning and scenario stage. Bleach: Hell Chapter's ending theme is "Save The One, Save The All" by T.M. Revolution.
To promote the movie, Tite Kubo published a special manga chapter called imaginary number 01. the unforgivens and the anime's 299th episode, Theatre Opening Commemoration! Hell Chapter・Prologue, was a special episode to promote the movie. Additionally, an official invitation book called "Bleach: The Hell Verse" was released. The English dubbed name for this movie is Bleach: Hell Verse.
Discarded MemoryAs Ulquiorra Cifer and a possessed Ichigo Kurosaki battle on top of Las Noches, the Cuatro Espada soars through the skies. Roaring, Ichigo charges, clashing with Ulquiorra. Looping around once more, both combatants continue to battle, parrying each other's strikes until Ichigo catches Ulquiorra's wrist. Lashing out, Ulquiorra, kicking the Hollowfied Substitute Shinigami into one of Las Noches' pillars, flies after him. Regaining his footing, Ichigo swings his sword, sending a shockwave at Ulquiorra. As Ulquiorra flies away, Ichigo, appearing behind him, tears off his left arm and wing with a single stroke. Falling out of the sky, Ulquiorra, struggling to rise as Ichigo lands, regenerates both his lost limbs before forming Lanza del Relampago and throwing the attack headlong into Ichigo's powerful crimson Cero. As massive explosion rips through the sky, Ulquiorra, flying out of it, comes under assault from his enemy and gets hurled into a pillar, leaving him helpless before Ichigo's Cero. As the battle comes to its conclusion, a mysterious hooded figure in Hell, awakened by the battle, screams as he regains his mortal body, which causes an explosion to erupt from the ground.
Meanwhile, in Karakura Town, Ichigo picks a fight with three guys who had, on purpose, knocked over a vase with flowers which was left for the spirit of a young boy. After Ichigo finishes up, he goes home, where he is "greeted" by Isshin Kurosaki, who attacks him. After Ichigo hits him in the face with his bag, which knocks Isshin into a wall, Isshin, revealing he is joining the Resident Clinic Committee, leaves Ichigo to take care of Yuzu Kurosaki and Karin Kurosaki while he is gone. Later, when Ichigo goes out to bring flowers to the young boy, he is confronted by Rukia Kuchiki and Renji Abarai, who are coming back from an important mission. When they state they did not come to see him, but are instead on a mission, Ichigo offers to help, but Rukia says Byakuya Kuchiki did not want him to get in their way. Leaving, Rukia and Renji promise to send the young boy's spirit to Soul Society if they find him.
Going to school, Ichigo is greeted by Orihime Inoue and Yasutora Sado. While they are chatting, a rattling is heard, and the entire metal scaffolding outside the school, giving way, crumbles. As a girl is about to get crushed by one of the falling metal sections, Sado saves her by blocking it with his body. While the students discuss the incident, Uryū Ishida comes to see Ichigo. Though they do not say a word, Uryū makes a sort of sign, which Ichigo understands. Later, as the group examines the structure to see what Reiatsu caused it to collapse, Ichigo is unable to detect any Reiatsu whatsoever, but Uryū, discovering small traces of it, notes how it came from an enemy they have never faced before. As another rumbling occurs, Reiatsu explodes inside the school. As Rukia and Renji sense it, Rukia detects another one. They split up, with Renji heading to assist Ichigo and Rukia investigating the second source.
Ichigo (now in his Shinigami form), Orihime, Sado, and Uryū, arriving in the classroom, see Tatsuki Arisawa and other students wounded from the explosion. Ichigo is attacked by a fat masked figure clad in a black cloak, who recognizes Ichigo. Somewhat confused as to how he knows who he is, Ichigo is embroiled in combat. As they fight, the masked foe proves more of a match than an ordinary Hollow to Ichigo, so he fires a Getsuga Tenshō which, to their astonishment, hardly even scratches their foe. As Ichigo, unleashing Bankai, attacks, a three-pointed glaive, flying from an unseen location, forces Ichigo back. Catching the glaive, Another masked figure launches a furious attack on Ichigo. Joining the fight, a third, hulking figure soundly beats Sado. Uryū has similar troubles with their first foe, who is absorbing every arrow he uses and throwing each one back as a storm of purple energy bolts. Uryū is beaten, and just as all seems lost, Renji calls out as Hihiō Zabimaru crashes down upon the one who defeated Uryū.
As Renji asks Ichigo if he is alright, the enemy whom he attacked states the Shinigami will be a problem. When Renji mutters "Those guys..." to himself, Ichigo asks if he knows who they are. Confirming it, Renji says things are getting out of hand. Stating another with Reiatsu like theirs has appeared and it is now at the Kurosaki Clinic, shocking the Ichigo, Renji says Rukia went there earlier, but he has doubts about her being alright. As Ichigo states this means Yuzu and Karin are in danger, Renji gets ready to battle his enemies while Ichigo races towards the clinic. Trying to stop him, the masked enemies barely move an inch before Uryū cuts them off with a barrage of arrows. When the enemy with the glaive attacks, Renji uses his Bankai to battle him. As his target quickly retreats, another enemy intercepts, catching Hihiō Zabimaru and using his bare hands to pry the jaws open, but gets smashed into a wall. As Ichigo jumps away in the midst of all this, the fat figure angrily exclaims he got away.
Having fared well against the attack, much to Renji's surprise, the masked hulk yanks on the skeletal serpent, pulling Renji towards him, and strikes the lieutenant with a powerful punch. Declaring him finished, the one wielding a glaive attacks Renji. As Uryū blasts arrows at him, one successfully hits, shattering his mask. As the fat one shouts for him to put his mask back on, before the now unmasked figure can do so, chains materialize around his body. As a gale begins to whip up, the surrounding area is bathed in unearthly green light. Uryū, Sado, and Renji watch in surprise as the Gate of Hell, manifesting, opens, pulling the unmasked figure inside it. As the blade extends, the chained one screams in terror just before being impaled by the blade and seemingly obliterated. His remains drift inside the Gate, which promptly closes. Deciding to retreat, the remaining two figures disappear just as Uryū fires arrows at them.
Elsewhere, Rukia is having similar problems. Clad similarly to the ones whom Uryū, Chad, and Renji fought a couple moments ago, two figures stand before her, the taller one whipping her with tentacles from his chest while holding Ichigo's sisters. When Rukia demands he release them, he states she cannot order him to do so. When his companion tells him it is time to finish Rukia off, the masked figure, whom his companion refers to as Gunjō, gives an affirmative reply to his companion, whom he calls Shuren, declaring they have no time to "play with her", and attacks. As Rukia attempts to stop it with Hadō 33. Sōkatsui, the tentacles pierce straight through the blast of fire.
Arriving, Ichigo, cutting the tentacles, demands for Gunjō to release Yuzu and Karin and for them to tell him what they want with them. As Gunjō states it appears Taikon and his comrades had failed, Shuren walks towards Ichigo, saying it will all end the same way, and demands Ichigo come with them, saying they need him to accomplish something for them. Refusing, Ichigo repeats his request for Gunjō to release his sisters. As Gunjō states he cannot do so, Shuren, materializing sword-shaped flames in his hands, tells Gunjō to "go back first". Attacking Ichigo, he proves himself to be a powerful fighter, smashing Ichigo out of the sky and onto a building. Praising Ichigo for his power, Shuren says they are looking for such power. Seeing Gunjō walking backwards into a rift with flaming edges, Ichigo chases after him, but his foe stops him with another clash. Meanwhile, the rift continues to close.As blue light explodes from the rift, which opens wide, everyone expresses surprise. Gunjō shouts as one of his arms is cut off, releasing Karin. As a figure with black bandages wrapped around his head grabs Karin, Ichigo and Rukia wonder who he is while Gunjō and Shuren express their displeasure at his appearance. As the mysterious figure says he is tired of watching them do whatever they please, both men attack him. As the newcomer easily handles all of their attacks, Shuren shouts for Gunjō to fall back. When the rift appears once again, closing significantly faster than before, Ichigo rushes towards the rift as the newcomer gives Karin to Rukia. Briefly clashing with Shuren before going after the rift, Ichigo is unable to rescue Yuzu before it closes.
Attacking him from behind, the remaining one is blocked by a chain dangling from the bandaged newcomer's wrist. Pausing briefly when he sees the chain, Shuren is slashed by the newcomer. Realizing what the chains mean, Rukia gasps. Pulling the bandages off his nose and mouth, the newcomer asks if Shuren wants to continue the battle. Cursing him, Shuren places a hand over his cracked mask. Telling him to return Yuzu, Ichigo dodges a flame bolt, which flies at Rukia and Karin. Saving them, Sado is horribly burned in the process. Appearing afterwards, Renji and Uryū voice concern about Sado.
Calling Ichigo's name, Shuren, referring to himself and his comrades as Togabito from Hell, says if Ichigo wants to rescue Yuzu, he must help them break free from Hell, a feat which requires Ichigo's power to be achieved. As Ichigo, spotting him, attacks, Shuren, blocking Ichigo's sword swing, declares Ichigo must destroy the Gates of Hell if he wants Yuzu back. As Shuren fades away in flame, Ichigo, pressing the man in bandages for answers, demands to know who Shuren was, where they took Yuzu, and what was going on with the Gates of Hell. As the bandaged man tells him to calm down and slow down with the questions, Ichigo tells him to answer now. Rukia tells him to calm down, for they must tend to their injuries at this point.
That night, as Orihime begins to heal Chad, and Rukia asks the bandaged man who he is. When asked if the chain he has is Hell's Chain, he, confirming this, introduces himself as Kokutō, stating he is a Togabito. When Rukia asks why he helped them against the masked Togabito from earlier if he is from where they are from, Kokutō states he is not helping them, and he merely dislikes those Togabito. When Ichigo, demanding Kokutō take him to Hell, says "Yuzu might...", Kokutō, finishing with "...die, right?", reveals Hell's air cannot be breathed safely by Humans, so Yuzu will die if she stays in Hell. After a brief description of Hell, Kokutō asks if Ichigo still wants to go. When Ichigo maintains he has to go to save Yuzu, Kokutō agrees to go with them to teach the Togabito from earlier a lesson. When Renji asks why he fought the Togabito, Kokutō reiterates he dislikes them, and in Hell, disliking one creates enemies. When Rukia asks why he is there, he says he deserves to be in Hell for things he has done in his life, stating some people fall to darkness for people they love.
Changing the topic, Kokutō says they should get going to Hell. When Renji asks Ichigo if he really trusts Kokutō, Ichigo says he will trust him if it means getting Yuzu back. When Renji says entering Hell would allow the Togabito to toy with him, Ichigo maintains he must go. As Rukia states they will go as well, Kokutō tells them to hurry up because he is opening the Gates of Hell. Quietly talking to Renji, Rukia tells him to use "that" to get everyone out of Hell if it goes wrong.
Yuzu is locked in a cage inside a strange, dark room. Talking to Shuren, a Togabito says it appears Ichigo and his friends entered Hell. When Shuren asks if Murakumo is back, he is told he has taken by Kushanāda and has sunk into the depths of Hell. In order to revive him, they will need a tremendous amount of time, so the Togabito is instructed to intercept the intruders along with Taikon and Garogai.
Hell: First Level
Ichigo, Renji, Rukia, Uryū, and Kokutō enter a section of Hell, which resembles a city, except the buildings are little more than blocks and blue roads hover over a void. When Renji states he never thought Hell would look this way, Uryū asks if it is Renji's first time here because he thinks Hell is under jurisdiction of the Shinigami. As Rukia states it is only under their surveillance, Renji says it feels nauseating in Hell, and anyone with low Reiatsu would have fainted by now. As Kokutō reveals the Togabito's base is at the lowest level of Hell, they descend to the road. As they run, Ichigo notices that people are staring at them. Saying they are Togabito who gave up fighting, Kokutō talks about how Togabito keep their abilities in Hell so they can fight Hell's guards, but this is merely to make them despair, for the guards are practically unbeatable, and all this causes them to be "brain-dead", making them want to die, but some people resist anyway, fueled by their resentments and memories, which keep them the way they are.
As Kokutō says "they" discovered the group, a massive creature with an elongated skull mask and samurai armor on his right shoulder rises out of the void, eyes focused on them. As it raises a hand towards them, Kokutō introduces them as the Kushanāda, Hell's Guardians. Eating several Togabito, the Kushanāda plows through everything to attack the intruders. Attempting to flee from it, the group run into another Kushanāda. As they jump over it, more and more Kushanāda pour in from the walls to pursue them. As Rukia, Renji, and Uryū attack one Kushanāda and fails, Ichigo, activating Bankai, tries to use Getsuga Tenshō to defeat the Kushanāda, but his Hollow mask materializes on his face. Faltering for a moment, Ichigo destroys all the Kushanāda with his attack.
As Rukia berates Ichigo for using his Hollow mask without warning them, Uryū, agreeing, states they almost got caught up in the attack as well. Apologizing, a bewildered Ichigo stares at his hand. Noticing this, Rukia asks what the matter is. Ichigo explains he did not call for the mask, and it formed upon his face without him calling for it. As Rukia is shocked by this, Kokutō asks if that was Hollow power. When Ichigo confirms this, Kokutō reveals Hell's miasma must be affecting Ichigo strangely, possibly bringing out Ichigo's dormant Hollow power, and could cause that power to run out of control. After a moment of silence, Kokutō moves on, and Ichigo follows. As Uryū, Rukia, and Renji stay behind for a moment, the latter two question Uryū on what was wrong. Revealing he had seen Ichigo's Hollow power run out of control before, Uryū states if Hell is exactly how Kokutō claimed it is, Ichigo is in much graver danger than they originally imagined.
The group runs around several corners before coming to a road leading into empty space. When Ichigo comments on this, Kokutō tells them to ignore that and just jump. Jumping into the vast, smoky chasm below, they plunge through the clouds into Hell's next level, an endless expanse of sea with many small stone islands circling the equator. As the group lands on one shaped like a flower, Uryū wonders what this place is. Staring up at a large skeletal statue in the likeness of a Kushanāda, Renji wonders if this is a grave. As Ichigo asks Kokutō if this is where Yuzu is, before he can respond, somebody informs them there is nobody there. They whirl around to see the tentacle-wielding Togabito from earlier and the hulking one with large fists. When Ichigo demands they give Yuzu back, a voice from above says he can have her, and the overweight Togabito from earlier, crashing down upon the skull of the statue, reveals the catch to the deal: he will have to help them out first.
As Renji scoffs at the idea, the figure, jubilantly exclaiming he can finally take off his uncomfortable cloak, whips it off, introducing himself as Taikon. Slipping out of his cloak, the tentacled Togabito introduces himself as Gunjō, and their third member, taking off his cloak, reveals his name to be Garogai. Stating this is a precarious environment, Gunjō asks the uninvited to leave. Once again demanding for them to give back Yuzu, Ichigo fires a Getsuga Tenshō at Taikon. Dropping down from above, Garogai attempts to crush Ichigo, who jumps back. Rushing him, Gunjō is intercepted by Renji and Zabimaru. Evading a counter-strike from the lieutenant, Gunjō and Garogai dodge Rukia's Hadō 4. Byakurai. Landing behind Ichigo, Taikon, attempting a strike of his own, is shot down by a Heilig Pfeil from Uryū. Appearing on Taikon's skin, lips swallow up the lingering energy from the arrows. As he thanks the Quincy for the "treat", Rukia fires a Sōkatsui, which Taikon swallows as well. With a motion similar to blowing a kiss, Taikon sends the energy flying back at them, forcing them to dodge, which creates a heart-shaped crater in the ground behind Uryū. Garogai lands in the crater, forcing him to jump out of the flower and land on the edge. Landing beside him, Kokutō tells him here, unhindered by their cloaks, they are much stronger than they were in the Human World. As Uryū asks why, before he can answer, Garogai attacks again, forcing them to jump away.
Leaping out of the flower, Ichigo runs along the rim with Gunjō in hot pursuit. Before they can go too far, bright blue Kidō blasts, raining down between them, force Gunjō to stop for a moment. As Rukia and Renji close in, Taikon, revealing he absorbed all the Reishi from Rukia's attack, returns fire, destroying a large amount of the flower structure. Ichigo, Rukia, and Renji, landing on the crumbling rock face, decide to retreat as the rocks around them crash into the water. Rising out of the water, Garogai, hefting a giant circular stone slab, throws his improvised weapon into the water to create a huge tidal wave which crashes down towards the group. Turning to face the wave, Rukia, plunging her sword into the ground four times, activates Tsugi no mai, Hakuren, freezing the wave and the surface of the water solid.
Undaunted, Taikon and Gunjō blast through the ice, the latter smashing into Ichigo, sending both combatants into another stone flower, where they clash. Landing, Uryū prepares to help, but before he can do anything, he is forced to jump away as Taikon blasts him again. Looking up, Rukia, calling Ichigo's name in concern, is distracted when Garogai, approaching, shoots his fist at her. As Rukia dodges, Garogai retracts his fist as he closes in. Before he can attack her, Rukia shoots a Kidō bolt off her shoulder and into him, sending him crashing through a number of rocks until he breaks through the stone flower Ichigo and Gunjō are fighting in. As Ichigo, growling, prepares a Getsuga Tenshō, his Hollow Mask once again manifests without him calling for it, and after hesitating once more, he blasts his foe with the extra power granted by his mask.
As Ichigo, flying out of the resulting explosion, lands on the rim of the flower, Kokutō, landing beside him, reveals his sister is further away. Hearing this, Renji tells Ichigo to go on and leave the Togabito to them. Agreeing, Rukia tells Ichigo the two of them and Kokutō should run ahead. As Ichigo reluctantly agrees, the group rushes ahead. As the three jump off the edge and Kokutō plunges into the water, Gunjō, running up, states he will not let them escape, forcing Rukia to stay behind to fend him off as Ichigo plunges in after Kokutō. Elsewhere, Uryū stands across from Taikon, who asks if the Quincy honestly intends on fighting him, and if so, he must be tired of living. Disagreeing, Uryū bets his honor as a Quincy he will not lose to the same person. As they begin fighting, Renji, standing across from Garogai, releases his Bankai, suggesting they finish the fight they started in the World of the Living.
Plunging through the bottom of the sea, Ichigo and Kokutō descend upon a large wasteland with pools of yellow liquid dotting the ground. Stating they will be at their base once they pass through this area, Kokutō says because Shuren's cronies are currently battling Ichigo's friends, their base's defenses will be at their weakest, making it perfect for them to attack. As they descend, a giant fist bursts out of a yellow pool, and a Kushanāda reaches for them. Pushing Ichigo out of the way, Kokutō, trying to attack the Kushanāda, is hurled to the ground. Glancing at his arm, which is burning from where some of the liquid got on it, Kokutō grimaces. Punching its fist into the ground, the Kushanāda grasps chains out of thin air. Shedding their invisibility, the chains reveal their linkage to Kokutō, who cries out in fear. Before the Kushanāda can do anything more, Ichigo, having donned his Hollow mask, cuts through its arm and cuts the entire guardian in half with a Getsuga Tenshō. Using Shunpo to move Kokutō's location, Ichigo, deactivating his mask, uses Shunpo to move away with Kokutō in tow just before the yellow liquid cascades over the spot they just occupied.
When Ichigo asks Kokutō if he is alright, he, stating he is, asks if Ichigo is okay using his mask. As Ichigo says he is fine, Kokutō, grunting in pain from his wound, tells Ichigo to leave him there, for such pain is not unusual in Hell, and just think about saving Yuzu. Bending down, Ichigo asks why he was helping him, as Kokutō's heart fell to darkness for the person he loved. Revealing he had a sister once, but "her stupid brother let her die", so he would throw himself through any kind of danger for her, Kokutō tells Ichigo to not let Yuzu suffer like his own sister did and save her. As Ichigo looks at him in surprise, he, getting up, says it must not be very convincing coming from a heartless Togabito banished to Hell like him. As Ichigo stares at him again, Kokutō tells Ichigo they should hurry or else he will be letting his friends down. The two prepare to dive down to the next level.
High above, the water-like sky bursts as Hihiō Zabimaru, thundering down from the level above, reels through the air before tossing Garogai away. When Renji attacks again with the skeletal serpent, Garogai, grabbing the jaws, pulls them apart, bringing Renji's attack to a forceful stop, and tells him it will not work before, swinging Hihiō Zabimaru around, tossing it down towards the yellow liquid below. Regaining his balance, Renji fires Hikotsu Taihō at the him, knocking him into the water. As a badly injured Garogai emerges, Renji, wondering if it was the yellow liquid which was affecting him, attempts to fire Hikotsu Taihō again, but Garogai punches the accumulating energy before Renji can fire, creating a massive explosion, which sends all the segments of Hihiō Zabimaru flying. As Renji stares in shock, Garogai, sending him flying upwards with a punch, stomps on Renji after he lands. As Garogai, preparing to punch him again, says it is the end for the lieutenant, Renji states it is instead the end for him. As all the segments of Hihiō Zabimaru, glowing red, float upwards, Renji, using Higa Zekkō, brings down all the segments of Hihiō Zabimaru down on Garogai, crushing him. Getting up, Renji says to not underestimate Zabimaru.
Elsewhere, as innumerable arrows shower upon Taikon, he, saying it is useless, eats all of them. As Uryū growls, Taikon, commenting on how good it tasted, blasts rapid fire attacks at Uryū, who, using Hirenkyaku to appear behind Taikon, slashes him with a Seele Schneider, which Taikon absorbs as well. Finding the taste rather funny, Taikon says it does not really matter. As the two combatants land, Taikon, telling Uryū he should just stop struggling and let him kill him, fires another blast at him. Sidestepping, Uryū, telling him to follow his own advice, charges at Taikon, slashing him with another Seele Schneider, which Taikon, absorbing it, calls useless. Saying he is not finished, Uryū slashes him again, prompting Taikon to say he had better stop before it is too late.
Landing, Uryū, whirling, fires the same Seele Schneider at Taikon, who, deflecting it to the side, asks if it was supposed to be Uryū's killer shot, saying he never imagined Uryū to be so stupid. Telling him to say so after his final shot, Uryū, drawing one last Seele Schneider, fires it at his fat enemy. As Taikon, once again stating it is useless, prepares to absorb it, the blade flickers out of existence, the hilt floating in midair in front of Taikon's open mouth. As Taikon wonders what it is, two squares, meeting at right angles, materialize around him, their vertex marked by the Seele Schneider, followed by a blue box. Uryū calls this Gert Schneider - surrounding an opponent with high density Reishi - and says it is similar to Sprenger. When Taikon says he should have absorbed all of Uryū's Reishi, Uryū reveals the box is created by the Reishi of Taikon, not his own. As Taikon's body begins to receive cuts, which Reishi escapes out of, Uryū, explaining how Gert Schneider took the Reishi it needed from Taikon where the Seele Schneider cut him, tells Taikon he is not the only one who uses an opponent's Reishi as a weapon. Pulling out a Gintō, Uryū, tossing it, says Quincy are much better at it. As the Gintō, striking the Seele Schneider, breaks open, Uryū turns away as the box, contracting and exploding, destroys Taikon.
Far away, the explosion is seen by Gunjō, who realizes Taikon's fate. As Rukia attacks while he is not looking, Gunjō, dangling her upside down with his tentacles, notes his comrades had failed, but this does not affect their plan too much. Attempting to slice the tentacles, Rukia ends up breaking Sode no Shirayuki. As Rukia stares at the blade in shock, Gunjō decides it is time for her to die. As the tentacles begin to constrict, causing Rukia to scream, Gunjō, saying it is such a lovely sound, lowers a motionless Rukia, thinking she is dead. Preparing to move on to another one of Ichigo's companions, He notices it is snowing. Raising her blade, Rukia uses San no mai, Shirafune, forming a blade of ice which, freezing Gunjō, breaks him into pieces, freeing the Shinigami.
As Rukia pants on the ground, Uryū, running over, calls to her. As Rukia tells him she is alright, they hear Gunjō, laughing, say they are better than he initially thought. As he continues to freeze, Gunjō says he initially wanted to drag them down with him if he was defeated, chuckling, and tells them to forget it because it is inevitable for them to die there. When Uryū asks what he means, Gunjō, saying he cannot tell them, shatters in a peal of maniacal laughter, leaving Rukia to wonder with dread what Gunjō is.
As a stairway shrouded in mist takes Ichigo and Kokutō through a number of tiny houses with one wall missing and a flame flickering inside, Ichigo, gazing at them in wonder, trips, crashing to the ground. Walking up to him, Kokutō, asking if he is alright, offers him his hand. Ichigo grabs Kokutō's hand and pulls himself up, apologizing for the hold up. Kokutō tells Ichigo to be careful before turning to continue their descent.
As the stairs take them out of a rock, splitting a waterfall of the yellow liquid in two, into the deepest level of Hell, Ichigo, looking at the black sand dotted with rocks, notices he can sense Reiatsu in them. Revealing they are filled with Reiatsu from the bones of Togabito, which surprises Ichigo, Kokutō explains how after being constantly bombarded by the Kushanāda, the Togabito lose heart, and as their bodies rot on the ground, Hell's fire consumes the bones. He says it is the resting place of those Togabito, as no matter where you are, freedom is nonexistent. When Ichigo questions this, since they came to Karakura Town, Kokutō, stating the Kushanāda's watchful eyes extend there too, reminds him of what happened to Murakumo. Turning to Ichigo, he asks for a favor after he has saved Yuzu: release him from Hell. When Ichigo is surprised by this, Kokutō states he wants to be reborn, to see his sister again, and to apologize to her. When Ichigo agrees to do it if he can, Kokutō apologizes for asking to do this. Turning, he tells Ichigo they must hurry, as it is just beyond a hill. Ichigo starts running, with Kokutō following.
Reaching the top of the hill, Ichigo, looking into the distance, is shocked by what he sees: Yuzu is unconscious in a small cage, dangling from a large skeleton with rods impaled in it above a pool of lava. Charging down the hill, Ichigo, screaming Yuzu's name, slips on the sand before leaping onto a rock and flying towards the skeleton. As an orange gleam shines from the top of the skull, a bolt of fire flies at him. Slashing the blast with Tensa Zangetsu, Ichigo, seeing another one coming, jumps over it and onto one of the fingers. On top of the skull, the flame wielder, who has a Togabito mask suspended by chains on his chest, thanks him for coming. Raising his blade, Ichigo shouts for him to give Yuzu back. Identifying himself as Shuren, the flame wielder says if Ichigo wants to save Yuzu, he must listen, prompting him to lower his blade slightly. Catching up, Kokutō asks Shuren if he plans on taking on both of them by himself. Shuren says he will not, and while Ichigo and Kokutō wonder what he means, he says Togabito do not die in Hell, something Kokutō should know best. As Kokutō, realizing what Shuren means, says "You did not...", Shuren, posing with his arms, calls out the names of his fellow Togabito.
Three streams of lava, bursting from the pool below Yuzu's cage, take on the form of the three Togabito whom they encountered earlier. As Ichigo and Kokutō stare, the Togabito groan and growl as they reincarnate. Shuren reveals they fought earlier to separate Renji, Uryū, and Rukia from them, and died so they could revive here. As Kokutō claims this is impossible because Togabito cannot be revived so fast, Gunjō, who has fully reincarnated, declares what Kokutō thinks he may know may not always be that way. As Gunjō attacks, Kokutō, jumping away, shouts for Ichigo to go save Yuzu and not worry about him. Trying and failing to tackle Kokutō, Taikon comments on how strange it is for a Togabito and a Human to be friends. As Garogai drops down, Kokutō is forced to evade once more. Before Ichigo can do anything, he, noticing an attack, uses Shunpo to move away as Shuren, slashing at where he was, says he will fight Ichigo. As he slices again, Ichigo, blocking, charges. Redirecting this, knocking Ichigo into the stones, Shuren blasts fire bolts at Ichigo, forcing him to run. As Shuren, flying alongside the stones, angrily shouts it is about time Ichigo started listening, Ichigo, telling him to shut up, slashes at him.
Meanwhile, Kokutō is sent flying by a punch from Garogai towards one of the fingers, which Gunjō is standing on. As Gunjō sends a tentacle flying at Kokutō as he nears, Kokutō, cutting it, smashes into the finger, falling towards the ground. Taking advantage of this, Gunjō launches tentacles down at Kokutō, who, using his sword as a vaulting pole, propels himself out of the way. Just as he lands, Taikon fires an energy blast at him, which Kokutō cuts in half. Meanwhile, Ichigo, running from Shuren's flame bolts, jumps onto yet another one of the fingers as Shuren pursues. Firing another flame bolt, which Ichigo blocks, Shuren, attacking with his flame sword, knocks Ichigo through another finger after a brief scuffle. As Shuren fires a barrage of flame at Ichigo, who attacks once more, Shuren, smirking, blasts bolts at Ichigo while charging a much larger one in his left hand, which he fires towards his side. Realizing Shuren is firing it towards Yuzu, Ichigo, having let his guard down, goes flying, unable to do anything about the flame bolt. Cutting Garogai in half, Kokutō, jumping in front of the flame bolt, slashes it in half.
As Ichigo goes flying into the dirt, Kokutō is bound by several of Gunjō's tentacles above the lava. As more come to skewer him, though he attempts to slash them, several, getting through, impale him. Landing next to Gunjō, Taikon declares Kokutō cannot win now. Telling him to shut up, Kokutō, saying it is the same for them, throws his sword at Taikon. As Taikon, swallowing it, laughs, Kokutō uses his Hell Chains to pull on the sword, sending Taikon into the lava. As Gunjō expresses shock at what happened, Kokutō, stating it is over, jumps into the lava, pulling Gunjō with him. Shouting Kokutō's name, Ichigo, hearing Shuren attacking once more, runs away from a flurry of flame bolts. As Shuren asks what he is looking at, for his opponent is over here, blue light begins to surround Ichigo, who declares he does not have time to play with Shuren. Briefly materializing, his Hollow mask fades as he fires a Getsuga Tenshō at Shuren. As the flame wielder dodges, the Getsuga Tenshō penetrates through the many levels of Hell, quaking the blocks at the top level.
Staring at what just happened, Ichigo's attention is attracted by Shuren laughing. Calling his power wonderful, he declares this is the power he needs to destroy the Gates of Hell. Telling him to shut up, Ichigo, about to attack, pauses, realizing his attack would hit Yuzu. Laughing at how he was rational enough to realize what would happen if he attacked, Shuren blasts a flame bolt which, splitting as it hits Ichigo's chest, explodes behind him. As Shuren, saying he will not kill Ichigo, continues to fire flame bolts at him, Ichigo marches towards him, blocking a flame bolt with Tensa Zangetsu, but the bolts' explosions obscure him from view. When he is visible once more, Ichigo has his Hollow mask on. Laughing again, Shuren, calling it splendid, tells Ichigo to destroy the gate before blasting another flame bolt. Sidestepping, Ichigo begins to run toward Shuren. Alarmed, Shuren, realizing what will happen, begins attacking more ferociously. Using Shunpo to dodge them all, Ichigo, jumping at Shuren, prepares to slash him. Fully aware Ichigo may be able to beat him now, Shuren uses a flame barrier to keep Ichigo at bay. Rushing behind Shuren, Ichigo jumps off a rock at him. As Shuren tries to blast Ichigo as he flies next to the stone-hedge, Ichigo, firing a Getsuga Tenshō at Shuren, slashes him, cutting him successfully. Attacking one more time, Ichigo deals Shuren a killing blow enhanced with a Getsuga Tenshō contained within the blade, which rockets off into the distance as soon as he hits shuren. Exhausted after defeating Shuren, Ichigo, deactivating his mask, tells Yuzu he is coming. As he begins to run towards her cage, Kokutō's blade stabs him through the chest. As the Getsuga Tenshō he used to kill Shuren finally explodes, Ichigo collapses as the wind from the blast catches up. Walking up, Kokutō nonchalantly asks Ichigo how he is.
Bending down, Kokutō, pulling the blade from Ichigo's chest, tells him to shut up as he screams in pain, calling it a small cut. Standing up, he, raising his blade over his head, slashes Ichigo. When Ichigo, staring up at him, asks why, Kokutō, saying he did it for the same reason they did, reminds Ichigo about what Shuren said before: after you die, you will be revived. When Shuren lands nearby in lava form, moaning as he tries to revive, Kokutō, calling him a nuisance, wonders why he will not stay dead for a couple moments. As he begins beating Shuren down, Ichigo asked why he betrayed him. Stating everything is going according to plan, Kokutō, saying they are all helping him, tells Ichigo to Hollowfy and help him, which he had promised to do. Struggling to get up, Ichigo, failing to do so, asks about Kokutō's sister. Kokutō states she was real, and she was killed, so he killed her murderer. As Shuren, moaning again, begins to get up, Kokutō, angrily attacking him, tells him to shut up, as he had felt great for a moment. Stating his sister will never come back to life, so he wants everyone to have a taste of his pain, Kokutō, ripping his bandages off, reveals his face is horribly burned on the other side. Asking why he was banished to Hell, he recalls how he tried to escape several times, but each time, he was pulverized by the Kushanāda and sent back to Hell. When he saw a discarded memory of Ichigo, fully Hollowfied, battling Ulquiorra, he passed the information to Shuren and his minions.
As Kokutō states he must get out of Hell, no matter what, and he does not even care if the Human World and Hell became one, Ichigo, glaring at him, hears Rukia coming and realizes what Kokutō will do now. As Rukia asks if Ichigo is alright, Kokutō, speeding past her, incapacitates her. Appearing behind Kokutō, Uryū, stating he is evil after all, prepares to fire a Seele Schneider, but Kokutō uses the same move on him, and when Uryū tries to slash him, one of Kokutō's Hell Chains blocks his attack. As Uryū falls to the ground, defeated, Kokutō tells him he cannot break the chain with that. As Ichigo calls out to Uryū and Rukia, Rukia, struggling to rise, fails. As Renji, appearing, calls out to Rukia, he, sidestepping Kokutō's attack, attempts to launch one of his own, but the chain blocks the attack, leaving Renji wide open to two slashes from Kokutō while he wonders what happened.
Reiatsu flaring out, Ichigo attacks Kokutō in a rage, but Kokutō dodges, and the impact of Ichigo's slash obscures his vision. As Ichigo attacks again, Kokutō tells him he must release all his hatred and anger upon him so he will cut the chain. As more attacks from Ichigo are blocked by the chain, Kokutō states that is not enough, and to break the chain he must unleash the monster in him. As he speeds away, Ichigo, looking up at the giant skeleton, sees Yuzu's cage falling, but Yuzu is no longer in it. Standing on top of the skeleton, Kokutō commands him to look. Holding up Yuzu, Kokutō, stating she can no longer withstand Hell's miasma, holds her up for him to see a Hell Chain growing from her chest. Rendered utterly speechless, Ichigo cannot stand this failure, and his Reiatsu flares up in rage. As Renji stares in shock, Kokutō tells Ichigo to let all his anger out - because this is Hell, he does not have to hold back: he can just let the darkness in him take over. As Renji whispers Ichigo's name, Ichigo, holding nothing back, unleashes all of his anger, his Reiatsu flaring wildly. smiling cruelly, Kokutō, dropping Yuzu, whispers "Welcome to Hell!"As Yuzu falls down towards the lava, Ichigo, blazing forward in fury, catches her before using Shunpo to move back onto safe ground. As a Hollow hole rips open in his chest, he erupts into a blaze of intense Reiatsu. When the Reiatsu clears up, Ichigo, in his Hollow form, charges a Cero, with Kokutō goading him on, telling him to use this power to cut his chains. Past the point of coherent thought, Ichigo, roaring as he builds his Cero to maximum power, unleashes it in a destructive blast which obliterates the skeletal statue and the stones around it. Laughing as he evades, Kokutō allows his chains to take the hit. As the Cero dissipates, the remains of Kokutō's chains become visible as they fall to the ground. As Renji glances at one as it falls down beside him, Kokutō, reappearing atop the last section of the structure surrounding the skeleton, states Shuren and his group believed destroying the Gates of Hell would free them, which was not correct. Revealing the source of their incarceration lay in their chains, Kokutō orders Ichigo to cut more of his chains as Renji tries to come up with a plan to stop this.
As Ichigo fires another Cero, Kokutō, blocking it with an energy shield, laughs maniacally as he is blasted backward, unharmed but with more of his chains destroyed. As the explosion from the Cero creates a massive explosion which reaches up all the way to the top level, the Gates of Hell, unable to stand the impact, are shattered, causing a massive jet of fire to blast into the sky of Karakura Town. Landing on the shattered skull of the skeleton, Kokutō declares this is the last chain. As Ichigo prepares another Cero, Renji, intervening, tells Ichigo to not let Kokutō provoke him and cuts one of the horns on Ichigo's mask, causing the Cero to explode harmlessly.
Realizing what will happen, Kokutō, jumping at Ichigo, is too late as Renji uses a special, one-time use Kidō, enveloping Ichigo in a bright blue light. Unable to reach Ichigo in time, Kokutō, halted, wonders what this is. Grinning, Renji, telling him it serves him right, collapses as Ichigo floats upward in blue light, his mask breaking, with his arm still wrapped around Yuzu. Watching his only hope for escaping Hell fly up and away, Kokutō screams in utter rage.
The destroyed Gates of Hell are hovering in midair. Blue bands surrounds it, and in turn, those bands are surrounded by Shinigami. Inside a tent, Byakuya, Jūshirō Ukitake, Tōshirō Hitsugaya, and Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto are having a meeting. As Ukitake tells Yamamoto their Kidō Team is preventing Hell's miasma from spreading any further, Yamamoto asks how Karakura Town is. When Ukitake states everything is normal at the moment, Yamamoto, ordering them to continue with the repairs of the Gates of Hell, puts them in charge. As Hitsugaya wonders how the Gate was destroyed, for the Togabito do not have that kind of power, Ukitake states Rukia and Renji could not have broken the gate either, Byakuya having a pained expression on his face for Rukia's fate. Their meeting is interrupted by a Shinigami, who reports Ichigo has appeared outside of the Gates of Hell.
Outside the Hell Gate, Ichigo lies unconscious, an arm still over Yuzu. As several Shinigami appear around him, he begins to regain consciousness. As soon as Ichigo is fully awake, he, yelling at the Shinigami to get away, states he must get Yuzu away. As a Shinigami tells him they have called a medical team to check on her, they attempt to restrain him. Shaking them off, Ichigo angrily states he has no time to wait for that. As Ichigo and the Shinigami continue to argue, Ichigo's name is called, and the Shinigami bow down as Ichigo realizes Yamamoto has arrived. As Byakuya, Hitsugaya, and Ukitake arrive, Rangiku Matsumoto comes shortly after with Orihime, who, running over to Ichigo, yells his name. As Ichigo tells Orihime to save Yuzu, Orihime activates Sōten Kisshun to heal Yuzu. When the shield begins to flicker and shine with irregular colors, Orihime wonders what is going on before the shield violently explodes, causing Ichigo and Orihime to recoil.
Reaching over, Orihime flips Yuzu onto her back, revealing a Hell Chain extending from her chest. As Orihime grips the chain briefly before helplessly releasing it, Ichigo, staring, screams at Orihime, shaking her by the shoulders and begging her to do something. Yamamoto interrupts by saying all their attempts are futile because that is a Hell Chain, which means she is a Togabito, and they can do nothing about it. Staring helplessly, Ichigo denies it, unable to accept his sister is dead. When Yamamoto states everything started because of Ichigo, Ichigo, devastated at how his sister is dead now and how he is responsible for it, screams in rage at what happened.
In the Gotei 13's base in Karakura Town, Yuzu is lying in a bed inside a tent, with Ichigo is sitting nearby. As memories flash in Ichigo's mind of Yamamoto telling him he made the wrong choice in charging into Hell, which is why they now must deal with the current situation at hand, he reminisces about how he lost control and demolished Hell, and Yamamoto tells him the demon in him broke the chains which, for centuries, had never been broken once. As he recalls Kokutō's chains breaking and falling, he remembers Yamamoto saying he has caused the Human World to combine with Hell. As Ichigo recalls the massive Cero which destroyed the Gate and blasted a massive jet of flame into the sky, Yamamoto's voice says his irresponsible actions have doomed all the Humans.
As Ichigo feels unable to cope with the remorse his deeds have given him, his hands begin to crumple the rug which covers the ground, but his thoughts are interrupted when Byakuya comes in. Turning to him, Ichigo averts his eyes. When Byakuya asks him why he is avoiding his eyes, Ichigo, telling him he left Renji, Rukia, and Uryū in Hell, states because he left them there and was unable to save Yuzu, he let everyone down. As he begins to break down again, Byakuya interrupts by asking "So what?". Staring at Byakuya in shock, Ichigo, grabbing his haori and shaking it, says Rukia is in Hell and they did everything to get him out. When the captain states Rukia is an honorable Shinigami and she would know what she was doing, Ichigo, releasing Byakuya, stares at him while the captain calmly tells him if they decided he should be the one to escape, he had better start thinking about their intentions. As Ichigo ponders this, Byakuya, turning to leave, apologizes for intruding.
As the blanket covering Yuzu is blown off, her Hell Chain begins to glow red. As Ichigo and Byakuya whirl around, the Chain, shaking, releases a pulse of energy. As Ichigo runs over, the Chain begins to dissolve. As Byakuya stares in shock, the Chain completely disappears and the red light fades. When Yuzu begins to cough, Ichigo grabs her in concern. Exiting the tent, causing the Shinigami to believe something happened, Byakuya tells Orihime, who is standing outside, to enter the tent. As Orihime, complying, runs in, Byakuya ponders what happened.
Later, in the Kurosaki Clinic, Orihime tucks both Yuzu and Karin into bed while Ichigo, sitting in the living room, thinks about what Byakuya said. When Orihime enters, Ichigo asks how Yuzu is. When she states she is better now, Ichigo gratefully thanks her, but Orihime, shaking her head, says everyone helped. Asking how Sado is doing, Ichigo is told he is unconscious, but has almost fully recovered. Thanking her again, Ichigo, saying she must be tired, asks if she wants something to drink. Realizing what Ichigo intends to do, Orihime asks if he plans to return to Hell. Silent for a few moments, Ichigo states Yuzu was taken by Hell, but she recovered, so there is still a glimmer of hope for Rukia, Renji, and Uryū. As Orihime begins to state if he does this, he may lose control again, Ichigo says he knows, and if he does that, the world may come to an end, just like Yamamoto said. But this time, he says, he will not lose control. Recalling Kokutō fighting, he states he is extremely strong, so he is not sure if he could beat him again, even if he Hollowfied, but he must win. When Ichigo nearly breaks down again while saying if he does not, he would never be able to face any of his friends who entrusted their lives to him, Orihime, grabbing him in the back, tells him he must come back. Ichigo states it will not be long.
As the sun sets on Karakura Town, a messenger, coming to Ukitake, Rangiku, and Hitsugaya, tells them Ichigo has broken the barrier and is coming to the Gates this very moment. Cursing Ichigo, Hitsugaya asks Ukitake if they should stop him. As Ukitake, stating their top priority is repairing the Gates, begins to say he will handle him, he realizes Ichigo is behind them, Zangetsu in hand. As the three Shinigami reach for their swords, Hitsugaya asks if he is looking for revenge. When Ichigo gives no reply, Ukitake says they have even more reason to stop him in that case, but before he can finish telling Ichigo what will happen if he loses control again, Ichigo, activating Bankai, declares he is going to save his friends. Before the Shinigami can do anything, the Gates begin to pulse red, and a Kushanāda, lunging out, swipes at them. As they all use Shunpo to get back, Ukitake orders everyone to stop the Kushanāda from entering the Human World. When Ichigo takes this opportunity to charge into the gate, Hitsugaya, releasing his Reiatsu, tells Rangiku not to go after him because they cannot worry about him right now. As Ichigo charges in, the Kushanāda attempts to stop him, but a flurry of blades from Senbonzakura Kageyoshi slash it. Ready to stop the Kushanāda using his Bankai, Byakuya raises his hand.
Back To Hell
Charging through the levels of Hell, Ichigo dives through the first level before any of the Kushanāda can grab him, plummets through the water in the second level without stopping, and plunges straight into the chasm on the third level, ready to save his friends.
The Lowest Level
Sitting upon what looks like a Kushanāda's skull, Kokutō, noticing lightning flashing in the sky, stands up to look at what is the matter. Seeing Ichigo plunge through the dark clouds above him, he is pleased Ichigo came to him. Ichigo dives down towards Kokutō, who is standing on a tower in a lake of lava. Landing on the ground, which is composed entirely of bones, Ichigo is greeted with Kokutō telling him he intended to come to the Human World so Ichigo may cut his chains, but was not expecting Ichigo to come to him. Asking if he is here to avenge Yuzu, Kokutō is surprised when Ichigo states Yuzu is alive and well. When asked why he came if this is the case, Ichigo states he came to rescue his friends. Scoffing at this, Kokutō declares Ichigo does not seem to know Hell very well. Saying Hell has already bound them in chains, he turns toward a tree of bones. Following his gaze, Ichigo sees Renji and Uryū, bound by Hell Chains, rotting. Saying they have not yet been taken by Hell, Kokutō, pulling out his sword, says he is in no hurry because Rukia is ready to be resurrected.
As the lava bubbles up, Rukia bursts out, a Hell Chain wound around her body. As a white Shihakushō covers her, she gasps in pain. Looking up, Rukia, wondering why Ichigo is there, is interrupted when Kokutō, grabbing her Hell Chain, pulls her close. As Rukia groans from the pain of having her Hell Chain pulled on, Kokutō states the rule in Hell is simple: those who are bound with the chains can be revived endlessly, and if you do not break the chains, you will never get out. Preparing for battle, Ichigo declares he will break the chains, prompting Kokutō to, commenting on his dependability, ask if Ichigo will cut his chains as well. Saying he will not, Ichigo, raising Tensa Zangetsu, his Reiatsu flaring along the blade, states he came to defeat Kokutō.
As Ichigo rushes to attack, Kokutō releases Rukia just as Ichigo appears in front of him, ready to slash, and blocks the attack. With a wave of his arm, Kokutō, knocking Ichigo away, attacks him, forcing Ichigo back as they spar on top of the tree. When Ichigo jumps to another place on the tree, Kokutō, running up to him, continues attacking, knocking him away. Springing off a branch, Ichigo, unleashing his Reiatsu, charges. Smirking, Kokutō sidesteps, allowing Ichigo's momentum to carry him off to the side. As Ichigo, losing his balance, falls off the tree, Kokutō grabs him by the neck, berating him for thinking he could defeat him without his mask, and throws Ichigo down at the skull. As Ichigo, rolling off the skull and onto the ground, stands up once more, Kokutō rushes down to attack again. As the two continue to clash, Kokutō, saying Ichigo is naive because he will never defeat him like this, no matter how much resolve he has, knocks Ichigo off the tower. Seeing the lava below, Ichigo uses Getsuga Tenshō to attack and propel himself up. Noting this, Kokutō, slashing through the pitch-black energy, redirects it at a tree.
Crawling on top of the skull to watch the battle, Rukia sees Ichigo return to the tower. As a Hollow mask begins to form on Ichigo's face, he struggles with his inner Hollow for control as Rukia watches helplessly. Ichigo rips the incomplete mask from his face, but doing so tires him greatly. Asking what is wrong, Kokutō, disappearing, reappears next to Ichigo for an instant, asking what he is afraid of. When Ichigo attacks, Kokutō is gone already. Behind Ichigo, Kokutō, stepping out of the shadows, asks if it is his inner Hollow which will destroy the world. Saying if this is the case, Ichigo should never come here again, he grabs Ichigo, throwing him off the skull, and attacks once more. Angrily stating Yuzu was saved because Ichigo became the monster, and without its power, Ichigo cannot do anything, Kokutō, striking Ichigo, sends him flying into the mouth of the skull. As Rukia is shaken by the shockwave, a lava vein flares up violently, worrying Rukia.
Inside the skull, Ichigo is recovering from Kokutō's attack. Appearing above him, Kokutō, mercilessly stomping on his chest, reminds Ichigo how he said in a world of despair, resentments and memories are what keep a person sane. Smashing his heel into Ichigo's face, he continues to press, cracking the ground, as he says revenge is what drives him. Noticing lava is beginning to trickle down towards them, a panicked Ichigo struggles. As an annoyed Kokutō asks what is wrong, the lava lands on Ichigo's hand, catching fire. As Ichigo screams in pain, Kokutō laughs cruelly as the magma explodes outward. As the flames hurtle out of the skull, a badly burned Ichigo is sent flying far away from the skull. When Kokutō lands nearby, his sleeve still on fire, Ichigo angrily glares at him as he tells him to hate him more, for that will make him even more powerful. His sleeve is completely burned away, revealing his hand to be horribly burned as well.When Kokutō begins to attack him, Ichigo, desperately rolling away, is caught by his Hell Chain and smashed through several rocks into the ground. Jumping at Ichigo, Kokutō stabs him in the chest,causing magma to erupt from the earth. Stepping on Ichigo's chest, he asks him if he wants his sisters dragged into Hell again. As the fear and anger of even contemplating this causes Ichigo's Reiatsu to flare out violently, Kokutō jumps away to avoid taking too much injury. Standing up, his sclera already black and irises yellow, Ichigo loses control as a mysterious gray substance, bursting from his mouth and chest, threatens to swallow him. As Ichigo struggles against the gray substance, Kokutō states this is how he wants it: once the body is broken, it is easy for a relapse. He states Ichigo might as well relent because he cannot escape from the monster.
As Ichigo's Hollow continues to take over his body, Rukia, making her way over to watch, screams his name. Grabbing her by her Hell Chain and telling her to be quiet because the show is just starting, Kokutō, grinning when he hears humming noises, asks an almost completely Hollowfied Ichigo if he hears it. Stating the Kushanāda have discovered the change in his Reiatsu and will devour him to prevent Hell's destruction, Kokutō, laughing maniacally, tells Ichigo to hurry up and finish up his transformation, or else he will be devoured, but he will be revived anyway, so he need not worry. As he says Ichigo will continuously relive this if he does not destroy Hell, the Kushanāda army advances, ready to destroy Ichigo, and Kokutō, moving himself and Rukia to on top of the tree to get to a safe distance, asks Ichigo what he will do. To his surprise, Ichigo asks who would want to be a monster.
Repeating the question, Ichigo, reaching up, tears off one of his own horns. As his Hollow form disintegrates, he says because Kokutō cannot get what he wants, he seeks revenge, and only makes people as miserable as he is. As his Hollow form continues to crack, Ichigo, oblivious to the Kushanāda climbing the tower, says revenge is only the path Kokutō took to escape his sufferings. Ichigo declares while he wants to save his friends, he will not sacrifice innocent bystanders to do it. A Kushanāda rises, with its chin on level with the ground, and Rukia, frantically struggling in Kokutō's grip, tells Ichigo to run. Ignoring the looming threat behind him, Ichigo, stating he swore he will fight, breaks the remains of his Hollow form completely. As the Kushanāda looms over him, Rukia screams as it brings its hand down on top of Ichigo.
As golden light begins to shine from underneath the Kushanāda's hand, other Kushanāda, moving away, drop their offensive postures. Thinking it is great, Kokutō shouts for Ichigo to kill them all. Beginning to dissolve, the Kushanāda's hand reveals the golden light clinging to Ichigo's form, creating armor across the side of his head, his torso and left arm. Not knowing what is going on, Kokutō takes a step back. As more Kushanāda lend their powers, a massive pillar of golden Reiatsu extends into the sky. Releasing Rukia, Kokutō braces himself while the former grabs onto the tree to avoid being blown away. As the Kushanāda bow down, Rukia, losing her grip, goes flying. Cutting the Hell Chains suspending Renji and Uryū in the air, something, catching Rukia as she falls off the tower, lands on the tower with Rukia, her severed Hell Chain on the ground. A gasping Rukia, clutching at where it used to be, looks up to see her rescuer is none other than Ichigo, now clad in an armor of bones.
Wondering what is going on, Kokutō, landing nearby, angrily demands to know what Ichigo did. When Ichigo asks if Kokutō's sister wanted him to avenge her, Kokutō, bewildered, asks what Ichigo's getting at. Asking if she would wish to see Kokutō in his endless killing spree, Ichigo says there would be no end to revenge, and he will just make his sister eternally miserable. As he does this, Ichigo, leveling his blade at Kokutō, declares his friends did not want him to avenge them, but rather to stop Kokutō. As he declares Hell agrees with him and the Kushanāda would rather help a Human than let Kokutō escape, golden light emerges from the skulls in his armor. Staring in shock, Kokutō, stating Hell is helping a Human, screams in denial, stating it is not possible and their predicaments were the same. Unable to accept such a thing, he attacks Ichigo, who, raising his sword and glowing with ethereal energy, states they are both Humans and both elder brothers. Coming down, Tensa Zangetsu fires a golden wave of energy at Kokutō, cracking one of his chains, before launching him backward and ripping a giant gash in the tower.
When the smoke clears, a giant rut lies in front of Ichigo. At the far edge of the gash, Kokutō crawls away from it with a grievous chest wound. When the shackle on his wrist falls to the ground, Kokutō, gasping, stares at it and, looking at his chest, which is unchained, joyfully proclaims his freedom. As the ground begins to rumble, hundreds of chains, bursting out of the slash which Tensa Zangetsu made, dive towards Kokutō. Struggling as the chains impale and bind him, Kokutō, wondering why this is, tells them to stop. As they completely immobilize him, wrapping around his entire body multiple times save for his head, Ichigo, declaring this is Kokutō's retribution for deceiving Hell, raises his blade once more, shining with ethereal light, and shouts for Kokutō to atone for his sins in Hell. Bursting from the ground, purple-red flames close around Kokutō like a claw before the chains drag him even deeper into the earth, demolishing the tower in the process. Grabbing Rukia, Ichigo uses Shunpo to get on top of the skull as daylight pours down from a hole in the clouds, shining down on Ichigo while the Kushānada bow down to him.
Noticing her Shihakushō is now black and her Zanpakutō has returned, Rukia looks up at Ichigo, who, saying to himself he did it, throws his arms up into the air and cheers. A smiling Rukia, congratulating Ichigo on what he has done, stands up and says they need to find Uryū and Renji. Remembering them, Ichigo, saying he broke their chains, wonders where they are now. They look around before Renji shouts out as he and Uryū, digging themselves out, complain about how they feel stiff and ache all over. As Rukia shouts at them to deal with it because they were bound with the chains too, Renji wonders what she is talking about as Uryū, getting up, states he believes it is all over. When Renji wonders what happened to Kokutō, Ichigo states he was dragged into the depths of Hell.
Beginning to say what the important thing is, Renji and Uryū, surprised by Ichigo's skull armor, demand to know what it is. Stating he is not sure, Ichigo, saying it is the power the Kushanāda gave to him, states it is rather strange. As Renji states it is more than strange because they are talking about controlling Hell's power, Uryū, sighing, calls Ichigo hopeless, as this is why people often take advantage of Ichigo. When Renji tells Ichigo to go back to his normal form, which he does, Rukia says if he does so, the Kushanāda will start attacking again. As this registers in Ichigo's mind, the Kushanāda loom above them, ready to renew their assault. Panicking, the group runs away as one brings a hand down on the skull, crushing it, and another one attempts to crush them, an attempt which fails and gives them a ramp on which they can rush up back to the surface.
Outside the Hell Gate, Hitsugaya and Rangiku have their swords drawn in case another Kushanāda attacks, but this proves to be unnecessary because the Gates of Hell are finally regenerating. At the last moment, Ichigo and his friends hurl themselves out of the small hole in the Gate. When Orihime runs up to greet them, they begin to fall, so she uses Santen Kesshun to catch them all. A completely healed Sado waves at them. Just as Hitsugaya begins to relax, Rangiku grabs him, which does not please him. Byakuya appears to not be affected much emotionally by any of this.
Meanwhile, Yuzu, awakening, yawns, but Karin, bolting up, interrupts a "Good morning" from her sister to check and see if she is completely alright, touching the area where her Hell Chain had been some time ago. Yuzu is completely clueless when Karin, hugging her, begins crying in joy. Announcing he is home and brought lots of souvenirs, Isshin suddenly wonders if no one'\ is home.
- It is hinted a couple times Shuren and his men are the ones who killed Kokutō's sister, as he hates them strongly, and when mentioning he killed the men who murdered his sister, it focused the camera on Shuren.
|e · d · v||Bleach Plot|
|Major Events:||The Death Trilogy Overture: Death & The Strawberry · Ryoka Invasion · Arrancar Invasion · Invasion of Hueco Mundo · White Invasion · Invasion of Soul Society · Tale of the Lost Agent · Quincy Blood War|
|Major Anime-only events:||Bount Invasion · Kasumiōji Conspiracy · Zanpakutō Rebellion · Tōjū Campaign · Reigai Uprising|
|OVAs:||Memories in the Rain · The Sealed Sword Frenzy|
|Movies:||Memories of Nobody · The DiamondDust Rebellion · Fade to Black · The Hell Verse|