|Bleach: The DiamondDust Rebellion|
|Execute Tōshirō Hitsugaya!|
|Romaji||Gekijōban Burīchi Za Daiyamondo Dasuto Reberion|
|Theme||Hikari no Rock|
|Romaji||Gekijōban Burīchi Za Daiyamondo Dasuto Reberion|
|Theatrical - Japan||December 22, 2007|
|DVD - Japan||September 6, 2008|
|Theatrical - US||August 18, 2009|
|DVD - US||September 8, 2009|
Bleach: The DiamondDust Rebellion (もう一つの氷輪丸, Gekijōban Burīchi Za Daiyamondo Dasuto Reberion Mō Hitotsu no Hyōrinmaru? (Bleach the Movie: The Diamond Dust Rebellion, Another Hyōrinmaru)) is the second animated film adaptation of the anime and manga series Bleach. The film is directed by Noriyuki Abe and co-written by Michiko Yokote and Masahiro Ōkubo, and the theatrical release was on December 22, 2007. The theme music for the movie is "Rock of Light" (光のロック, Hikari no Rock) by Sambomaster.
The film's tagline is Execute Tōshirō Hitsugaya! (日番谷冬獅郎を処刑せよ, Hitsugaya Tōshirō o shokeiseyo?)
To promote the film, the opening and closing credits of the Bleach anime from episode 151-154 use footage from the film. In addition, Tite Kubo published a special manga chapter, focusing on Hitsugaya's past, to further promote the film.
The film was released on September 8 2009 in North America.
Attack on the Procession
As a large cloud moves across the sky of the the Human World, a royal procession takes place inside, with guards walking next to carts and musicians playing instruments. As a carriage being carried by several men moves past, 10th Division Lieutenant Rangiku Matsumoto appears before three Shinigami and asks for a status report. When one of the Shinigami tells her there has been nothing out of the ordinary, Rangiku tells them it is an important assignment, so they must stay alert.
As the Shinigami agree, one of them asks what the Ōin actually is, and another states all they know is they have been ordered to guard it without being conspicuous. When he asks whose authority this operation is under, Rangiku reveals the orders come directly from the Royal Family, and in regards to the Ōin, they only know it is a treasured artifact, and only those within the Royal Family are permitted to see it.
Saying they do not know the extent of its power or how to use it, Rangiku states the Royal Family decides to change its location without warning once a decade. When she says it has the power of magic, the Shinigami express surprise, prompting her to state they are gullible, and in truth she does not know any more about it than they do. Saying the 10th Division having been assigned to this is the only thing which matters, Rangiku tells them to stay focused and moves away with Shunpo.
As 10th Division Captain Tōshirō Hitsugaya watches the cloud, Rangiku appears next to him and tells him all stations have reported everything being normal. When she states the procession is even more magnificent up close, Hitsugaya tells her there is always fanfare surrounding royalty. As a presence moves across the land, Rangiku tells Hitsugaya he will get in trouble if he says things like this. As the presence continues to move, Hitsugaya and Rangiku sense something.
When a ball of lightning crashes into one of the carriages, Hitsugaya tells Rangiku to alert the 10th Division as they move away with Shunpo. Sinking into the cloud, the carriage bursts into flames as the ball of lightning emerges and splits into two balls. Moving through the procession, the balls attack and electrocute the bannermen and carriage-bearers as the Shinigami emerge from the trees below and approach Rangiku, who tells them to attack the reformed ball.
As they do so, the ball reveals a whip which electrocutes the Shinigami upon contact, creating an explosion, before sending the whip towards Rangiku, who blocks with her Zanpakutō. As the whip wraps around the blade, the dust clears to reveal Yin, who bids Rangiku farewell before sending electricity down the whip towards her, prompting Rangiku to release her Shikai, Haineko, to counter it.
As the counterattack creates an explosion, Yin dodges an attack from Rangiku. Meanwhile, as someone calls for the fire to be put out, a ball of fire emerges from the damaged carriage. As it attacks and incinerates the bannermen and carriage-bearers, Hitsugaya draws his Zanpakutō and attacks it. As the smoke clears, Yang blocks Hitsugaya's sword with her own. As Hitsugaya tells her to identify herself, ice begins to cover her blade.
Leaping back as the ice shatters, Yang runs away as Hitsugaya tells her to stop before running after her. Moving to the top of the damaged carriage, Hitsugaya looks for her. Feeling an immense amount of Reiatsu, he looks down to see he has been stabbed. As he leaps back, a masked man emerges from the smoke. When Hitsugaya demands to know who he is, the masked man draws his sword and attacks him.
Running up, Rangiku asks where the Ōin is and is told they do not know. As Hitsugaya and the masked man continue to fight, Rangiku calls out to him. When they cross blades, the masked man tells Hitsugaya he has not changed at all, prompting Hitsugaya, who tells him to show his face, to attempt to take his mask off. As the man leaps away, Hitsugaya tells him to stop and begins to chase him before Rangiku calls out to him.
Looking at her with a sorrowful expression on his face, Hitsugaya moves away with Shunpo. As Rangiku calls out to him once more, the carriage explodes, forcing those present to shield themselves. As a Shinigami orders the others to put the fire out, another one tells Rangiku the enemy has escaped, and though they did everything they could, they suffered severe casualties. When Rangiku does not respond, the Shinigami asks her if she is alright.
Confinement of the Tenth Division
The next day, Ichigo Kurosaki moves through the clouds in his Shinigami form and appears in the area where the Shinigami were stationed. Looking around, he puts his hand in front of him. When his hand touches a barrier, he puts his other hand on the barrier and wonders what is going on. Saying the last thing he needs is someone starting trouble close to his house, he unsheathes Zangetsu and cuts out a section of the barrier.
Looking through, he is shocked to see the aftermath of the attack on the procession. As he wonders what happened, several Onmitsukidō members appear around him. When they prepare to draw their blades, Ichigo tells them to calm down and states he is the Substitute Shinigami. As they advance, 2nd Division Captain Suì-Fēng tells them to wait. As they clear a path for her, she says she knows who Ichigo, but not why he is here.
As Ichigo recognizes her, she asks how he got here, for she had put a barrier up around this area. Asking what happened, Ichigo asks what all of this is, indicating the dead Shinigami and bannermen. As she states she probably should not tell him, for he is only a Substitute Shinigami, Uryū Ishida appears outside the barrier. Looking around, he sees the glow from the entrance Ichigo created and pushes his glasses up.
As Ichigo, having been told what happened, says he does not believe it, an Onmitsukidō member approaches Suì-Fēng and leans down to tell her something. Listening to him, Suì-Fēng says Ichigo is to notify her as soon as he discovers "his" location and performs a series of hand movements. As Ichigo tells her to wait, the barrier shatters, leaving him alone in the forest before Uryū approaches him.
When Ichigo asks him what he is doing here, Uryū reveals he has known this area was sealed off and placed under a special barrier since yesterday. When he asks what happened and if Ichigo found anything out, Ichigo begins to tell him what he learned before noticing falling snow. As he notes it is snowing, Uryū states "he" must have been concealing his Reiatsu. As Ichigo asks what he means, Hitsugaya walks towards them before collapsing.
Running over to him, Ichigo asks what happened as Hitsugaya whispers the name "Kusaka". In Soul Society, as the doors to the Captain-Commander's office close, the captains and Rangiku gather before Captain-Commander Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto. When Yamamoto asks if this is all Suì-Fēng has to report, she confirms this and says even though they sealed the area off and her division covered every inch, they were unable to find any trace of the Ōin.
Stating they believe whoever is responsible for the attack possesses it now, she says Hitsugaya pursued the attacker and is currently missing, based on the reports they received on the 10th Division. As Suì-Fēng states he concealed his Reiatsu to avoid being found, Rangiku tells her to wait and states she makes it sound like Hitsugaya purposely abandoned his post. Saying it is the only possible explanation for his actions, Suì-Fēng states he broke regulations and disobeyed his orders.
As Rangiku says he would never do this, Yamamoto tells them to stop and states the 10th Division is to be confined to their barracks until further notice. As he says he is prepared to shut down the 10th Division based on the outcome, Rangiku, asking if he is saying he is willing to disband the 10th Division because of this, states the members of the 10th Division have done nothing wrong and asks him to let her accept the consequences instead of them.
Telling her this is enough, Yamamoto says she is misjudging the magnitude of this situation and tells her to remember her place. As she kneels once more, Yamamoto states their top priority is the retrieval of the Ōin, and it is also critical to find Hitsugaya and take him into custody so they may assess his involvement in this incident. As he states this is to be considered an emergency order, Rangiku looks down somberly.
At the 10th Division barracks, 1st Division Lieutenant Chōjirō Sasakibe says the 10th Division is to remain confined to these barracks until further notice on Yamamoto's orders. As the division members begin talking among themselves, Chōjirō reveals until Hitsugaya is apprehended, they are all considered to be co-conspirators, and therefore are required to surrender their Zanpakutō. As the division members voice their dissent, Rukia Kuchiki and 6th Division Lieutenant Renji Abarai approach.
As Chōjirō says Yamamoto's orders stand, the division members ask Rangiku to say something, prompting her to hold out her sheathed Zanpakutō. As a Shinigami takes it from her, Rukia and Renji enter. As the rest of the division members hand over their Zanpakutō, Rangiku tells Rukia and Renji it is what it is. When Rukia states taking such drastic actions without any evidence seems very odd, Rangiku says the Ōin which was stolen must have been very important, or otherwise they would not be doing this.
When Renji states he is sure Hitsugaya will return soon and sort this mess out, Rangiku says she supposes he is right, but she is not sure why everyone left without saying a word. When Renji states Hitsugaya is nothing like Gin Ichimaru, Rangiku looks away, prompting Rukia to reprimand Renji. When a Shinigami tells Chōjirō all of the division members have surrendered their Zanpakutō and they will keep them in the stockade for safekeeping, Chōjirō tells the members to return to their barracks and await their sentence.
Apologizing, a Shinigami tells Rukia and Renji he has orders to lock down the barracks, and everyone must be cleared from these quarters, so he must asks them to leave. As Renji says he understands and they are leaving now, Rukia apologizes to Rangiku. As they begin to leave, Rangiku grabs Renji's arm and tells him to wait. When he looks over his shoulder at her, Rangiku states she wants him to check on something for her.
As Rukia and Renji walk out of the barracks, Rangiku tells them Hitsugaya was chasing a man on the night he disappeared, and she cannot help but think they are connected, or else Hitsugaya would not have left his post. In the past, a young Hitsugaya sits at a table and stares out of the window at the Shin'ō Academy. Approaching him, another student says he must be Tōshirō Hitsugaya, the boy genius whom everyone has been talking about.
As he and the boy clash, Hitsugaya asks who he is and says he plans to become a Shinigami and devote his life to Soul Society. When the scores for the students are posted, the boy states when he saw Hitsugaya's score, it confirmed he was a genius. As the two cut through dummies in combat training, the boy says he is not going to let Hitsugaya beat him next time. As the boy asks if they are friends, he is wounded, and as his Zanpakutō fades, Hitsugaya wakes up.
The Fugitive, Tōshirō Hitsugaya
Getting up, Hitsugaya wonders where he is. As the door opens, Ichigo greets him. Recognizing him, Hitsugaya asks where he is, prompting Ichigo to reveal he is at his house because he found him unconscious by the side of the road and did not want to leave him lying there. As Hitsugaya apologizes for any trouble he caused him, Ichigo sits down and asks if he knows he has the entire Onmitsukidō looking for him. When Hitsugaya says he figured as much, Ichigo asks if this is all he can say.
Asking why the Onmitsukidō is looking for him, Ichigo states he at least owes him this much. When Hitsugaya says he should forget about this because it does not concern him, an irritated Ichigo states he did not care anyway. When Hitsugaya says he will get "it" back, Ichigo expresses confusion, prompting Hitsugaya to reveal the Ōin was stolen. As he states it is far too complicated for a Substitute Shinigami to understand, an irritated Ichigo says he cannot believe how obnoxious Hitsugaya is.
When Hitsugaya begins shivering and sweating, Ichigo gets up and asks if he is alright. Stating it is nothing, Hitsugaya says he will be fine if he can get some rest. Stating he will call Orihime Inoue in the morning, Ichigo tells him to sleep until then and leaves. In the morning, Hitsugaya leaves the Kurosaki Clinic without letting Ichigo know, leaving his captain's haori on his desk, and stands outside the house wearing a tattered cloak.
Bowing towards the house, Hitsugaya walks away, only to be stopped by Ichigo, who stands before him in his Shinigami form. Telling him there is no need to sneak around, Ichigo says he does not see why Hitsugaya is skulking around in the shadows like he is ashamed of something instead of walking out the front door like a man. Thanking him for his help, Hitsugaya states he appreciates it, prompting Ichigo to ask why he is trying to do this alone.
When Ichigo asks what is bothering him, Hitsugaya says he does not know what he is talking about. When Ichigo asks if this has anything to do with Kusaka, Hitsugaya expresses shock as Ichigo asks who he is. When Ichigo theorizes he is the one who attacked Hitsugaya and took the Ōin, Hitsugaya states he is someone who was killed a long time ago. When Ichigo asks who killed him, Hitsugaya continues walking past him, prompting him to attempt to stop him.
Drawing his Zanpakutō, Hitsugaya slashes at Ichigo, who jumps back and asks what is wrong with him. When Hitsugaya tells him to not interfere, Ichigo asks if he is supposed to leave him alone after finding him on the verge of death. Seeing Hitsugaya's shihakushō covered in blood, Ichigo tells him he can either turn himself in to the Onmitsukidō or come back to his house. Staring at him, Hitsugaya sees a fireball hurtling towards them.
As they jump back from the explosion, Ichigo asks who did this. Looking up at the sky, he sees Yin and Yang. As Yin tells him to hand over Hitsugaya if he does not want to get hurt, Yang says he will be eliminated if he gets in their way. When Ichigo asks Hitsugaya what is going on, Hitsugaya attacks him, forcing him to draw Zangetsu and block. As Hitsugaya pushes him back, Ichigo asks what is wrong with him.
When Hitsugaya asks him to let him go, Ichigo expresses surprise. Pushing his blade aside, Hitsugaya slashes at him, forcing Ichigo back. Ichigo then sees Yang throw a fireball at him. As the fireball hits Ichigo and creates an explosion, Yin generates electricity along her whip and zaps Ichigo's location. As the smoke clears, Ichigo stands in the middle of a crater with blood running down the side of his face.
Seeing this, Yin fires a ball of lightning, and Yang combines it with two blasts of fire, creating a fireball crackling with electricity. As the attack hurtles towards him, Ichigo fires a Getsuga Tenshō, countering it, and fires another one through the smoke. As the two Arrancar dodge the blast, Yin notes Ichigo countered their attacks even after they combined them and wonders who he is.
When they move away with Sonído, Hitsugaya begins to move after them, only for Ichigo to tell him to wait. Falling to his knees, Ichigo pushes himself up with Zangetsu and asks what this was about. Asking where Hitsugaya is, Ichigo watches him move away with Shunpo before collapsing. Later, as Rukia tells Ichigo to wake up, Renji states he knows something which will rouse him and punches him in the face.
Investigating the Situation
As Ichigo bolts up and clutches his face, Renji says he knows the fastest way to get his attention. When Ichigo angrily asks why he hit him, Renji states it is his own fault for lying in the middle of the street. As Ichigo says he should beat Renji up, Rukia asks him what happened here. Looking around, Ichigo curses and clutches his head. Saying his head is killing him, he asks how long he was unconscious and where Hitsugaya went.
As Rukia and Renji express surprise at the mention of Hitsugaya, Renji asks if he was here, and Rukia asks if he is serious. When Renji asks where he was and when Ichigo saw him, Ichigo states this must be serious. At the Kurosaki Clinic, Ichigo holds up Hitsugaya's haori. As Rukia notes it is definitely Hitsugaya's, Renji grabs him by the shirt and asks why he let him leave. Telling him to back off, Ichigo says he tried to stop him, but he was chasing after two girls.
As Renji expresses surprise, Ichigo states they looked like they were Visored or Arrancar, but he could not determine which. Asking if Hitsugaya talked about anything while he was here, Rukia asks Ichigo if he can remember anything he said. Stating he said something about getting the Ōin back, Ichigo says he mentioned someone named Kusaka. As Rukia expresses confusion, Ichigo states Hitsugaya had said he was someone who had been killed.
Stating he had a strange look in his eyes, Ichigo recalls Hitsugaya attacking him as Rukia tells Renji to return to Soul Society and find out everything he can about Kusaka, for it is possible he has something to do with the man Rangiku saw attacking Hitsugaya. When Renji asks why she does not go, Rukia states they are far more likely to allow him to visit a lieutenant than her. Taking the haori from Ichigo, she says this needs to be taken back.
Taking the haori, Renji says he is not looking forward to this. In the past, a young Hitsugaya stands before the Central 46, who declare they have no need for two Shinigami. As the boy from before manifests his Zanpakutō, the Central 46 proclaims they must decide, and there can only be one Shinigami and one rightful wonder. When Hitsugaya asks them to let him abandon Hyōrinmaru and end this, the Central 46 states it is not his choice and tells him to not question them.
As they say their decision is indisputable and absolute, Hitsugaya calls out to the boy as the latter's Zanpakutō fades. Waking up, Hitsugaya sees the moon through the window of an abandoned factory. Attempting to get up, Hitsugaya falls over before getting to his feet and stumbling towards the exit. In Soul Society, the masked man looks over the Seireitei as Yin and Yang kneel behind him.
When the masked man asks how Hitsugaya was, Yin says they have been observing him, and he has made no attempt to contact the Gotei 13. When Yang asks if he would like them to capture him before they take him into custody, he declines and states he wishes to see how this all plays out. Stating there is no place for him here as long as they wield the same power, he says he will have no choice but to submit to his will.
At the Urahara Shop, as Yoruichi Shihōin watches in her cat form, Rukia tells Ichigo, Orihime, Uryū, Yasutora Sado, and Kisuke Urahara what she knows about Hitsugaya. When she states she knows he grew up with 5th Division Lieutenant Momo Hinamori and they are very close, Uryū says they should contact her and see if she knows anything. Stating she is in the hospital right now, Rukia says Momo told her Hitsugaya does not like to talk about his past, so she would not be much help.
When Urahara states he especially does not like to talk about painful events, Rukia notes this is true and says this is just the kind of person he is. When Orihime asks if he is strong, Ichigo denies this and states he would not hurt the people who really care about him if he had any strength. Pouring some tea, Urahara, drinking it as Yoruichi walks out, says they will not find him by sitting around and talking. Getting up, he states he will do some research on his own, and in the meantime they should go out and look for him.
In Soul Society, Rangiku looks at a rock garden through a slat in the wall, but is startled when she hears a guard telling someone she is not allowed to have any visitors. As she whirls around upon hearing Renji's voice, Renji says he is only asking for a couple of minutes. Walking up to him, 2nd Division Lieutenant Marechiyo Ōmaeda states he has direct orders from Suì-Fēng and Yamamoto. Turning away, Renji says he used to think Ōmaeda was a reasonable man.
When Renji states he is just a pinhead, Ōmaeda angrily asks what he said and puts his hand on his Zanpakutō. When he asks if Renji insulted him, Renji denies this, prompting Ōmaeda to say he just called him a pinhead. As the two continue to argue, they are interrupted by the arrival of 8th Division Captain Shunsui Kyōraku, who asks what all the shouting is about, and his lieutenant, Nanao Ise. Asking if it would be okay if he went in with Renji, Shunsui wonders if he trusts him.
Inside, Rangiku states she has not heard Hitsugaya mention the name Kusaka before. As Renji thanks her, Rangiku notes even though she is his lieutenant, she does not know very much about Hitsugaya. Nanao notes this leaves them with several mysteries to solve, namely how Hitsugaya is connected to Kusaka, who he is, and if he has anything to do with the theft of the Ōin. When Shunsui wonders if they are all connected, Rangiku says they know very little.
When Nanao states they will have to start looking, Renji asks how they will do this. Saying it being impossible for one person to know everything about someone is the first thing he has to understand, Nanao states it is not always easy, but in order to find the information they want, they have to investigate. When Shunsui chuckles, a confused Nanao asks if she said something wrong, prompting Shunsui to say she is dead-on, and they knew they could count on her to figure this out.
As Nanao stares in bewilderment, Renji bows his head and begs her to help them. When Rangiku states this means a lot to her and thanks Nanao, Shunsui says he will drink to this. When he asks who is buying, Nanao states she is sure he wants to help Rangiku as much as anyone, so he will be helping. When Shunsui asks if she is referring to him, Nanao confirms this. As she stands there with a stern expression on her face, the others begins laughing, and eventually she does as well.
An Increasingly Complicated Incident
Stating there is something else, Renji brings out a package. Inside the house, Rangiku opens the package and lifts up Hitsugaya's haori. When Renji says they thought she should have it because Ichigo said Hitsugaya left there, Rangiku sees blood on the inside and realizes Hitsugaya is hurt. When Renji states Ichigo told him he was hurt very badly, Rangiku, wondering why he disappeared and left this behind, says she is not sure if she should be happy because he is alive or upset because he left his haori behind and disappeared.
Stating this is a mess, Shunsui notes he must know they are all worried about him and wonders what he is up to. In the past, in a snow-covered land, the spirit of Hyōrinmaru lands before the boy and introduces himself. When he asks if the boy believes he is capable of mastering him, the boy says he does and raises his hand. As he commands Hyōrinmaru to obey him, he is surrounded by snow, and the sealed Zanpakutō of Hyōrinmaru appears in his hand.
As the snow-covered land fades, leaving the boy in a cavern, the boy states he did it. When Hitsugaya gets up, the boy realizes they both obtained the same power and says it is incredible. Waking up next to a stream, Hitsugaya uses Hyōrinmaru to push himself up. Walking on a bridge as a train speeds past, he walks up a flight of stairs and past a villa as a plastic windmill spins.
In a library in Soul Society, Nanao states even though she has searched through the last fifty years of the registry, there is no listing for a division member named Kusaka. When Shunsui asks if she went through the records for the Shin'ō Academy, Nanao confirms this and states there is no record of a student with this name. Saying there is something unusual about the student registry for they year Hitsugaya graduated, she reveals it is missing a name, and the missing student appears to be from northern Rukongai.
When Shunsui asks if she checked to see if there is anyone named Kusaka listed in this district, Nanao states there is one named Sōjirō Kusaka. When Shunsui looks at the registry and notes he is dead, Nanao reveals he is not in the Shinigami registry and asks if this could have been a mistake. Denying this, Shunsui says these kinds of mistakes do not happen, especially when someone is dead.
When Nanao states they have at least disproved the theory of Kusaka having anything to do with the events which transpired, Shunsui crosses his arms and says they cannot list a person as dead until it is confirmed their Reiatsu has been extinguished. When he states he must be dead but hesitates, Nanao asks what is wrong. Getting up, Shunsui says he is going for a walk and asks Nanao to try to figure out the cause of death, prompting her to call after him.
As Shunsui walks away from the library, Yin steps out behind him. As he continues walking, she follows him. Noticing her, Shunsui runs into an alleyway. As she runs after him, he sees snow falling and puts his hand on his Zanpakutō. When the masked man steps out, Shunsui demands to know who he is. When the man does not answer, Shunsui states it is rude of the man to not introduce himself.
Saying Shunsui's name, the man states his cavalier attitude disguises his keen intellect and shrewd disposition. When he states he has an exceptionally sharp mind with no equal, so it is no wonder he was the first to figure it out, Shunsui says he will take this as a compliment and states since he seems to know a lot about him, the man should tell him more about himself. Revealing his blade, the man states it would be a waste of time because he is about to be killed by Tōshirō Hitsugaya.
Drawing his blade, the man slashes the ground in front of him, generating an overflowing wave of ice which rushes at Shunsui, who expresses surprise. As the ice pins his kimono to the wall, Shunsui comments on the power the man is using before clashing with him. Knocking his mask off, Shunsui expresses shock upon seeing the man's face. In an abandoned shrine, Hitsugaya wakes up and looks through the slats to see dozens of Shinigami surrounding the building.
As they move into position, 3rd Division Lieutenant Izuru Kira and 9th Division Lieutenant Shūhei Hisagi appear. Addressing Hitsugaya, Hisagi says this is an executive order and states he must return to Soul Society immediately. Pushing the doors open, Hitsugaya emerges, saying he has no intention of doing this, and puts his hand on his Zanpakutō. As the Shinigami prepare to fight, Hitsugaya attacks Hisagi, who blocks with his half-sheathed blade.
Trapping Hitsugaya's blade with his sealed Zanpakutō, Izuru begs him to not do this, for he will be accused of treason. When Hitsugaya tells Izuru and Hisagi to back off, Hisagi apologizes and states he has orders to take him into custody. Saying he will die, which alarms the lieutenants, Hitsugaya kicks him away, disarming Izuru with a single slash, and attacks Hisagi again. As Hisagi blocks, the force of the attack creates a shockwave and sends Hisagi flying away.
Regaining his footing, Hisagi moves to the top of the gate and uses Bakudō #62. Hyapporankan. As Izuru clashes with Hitsugaya, Hisagi throws the rod, which splits into a hundred more. Seeing this, Hitsugaya moves away with Shunpo. As the rods hit the ground leading to the shrine, Hitsugaya is hit by one of them. Falling against a crate, he pulls the rod out of him. As Izuru begs him to not resist any further, Hitsugaya releases his Zanpakutō.
As Ichigo senses this from far away, the ice dragon formed by the Bankai of Hyōrinmaru attacks. Meanwhile, in the Sōgō Kyūgo Tsumesho, as Shunsui breathes slowly, 4th Division Captain Retsu Unohana tells the 4th Division members to set up the purification barrier and prepares to operate. In the hall, as a sobbing Nanao states it is all her fault, 13th Division Captain Jūshirō Ukitake says it is not her fault.
Approaching with his 3rd Seat, Kiyone Kotetsu, he states Nanao knows how strong Shunsui is, so he was either caught completely by surprise or overpowered by someone much stronger. When he asks if he is correct, Nanao begins to blame herself again, prompting Ukitake to say she is not responsible. Revealing the 6th Division is investigating the scene right now, he states they will find who is responsible and capture them.
At the scene of the attack, Renji picks up a piece of Shunsui's kimono, which, to his surprise, crumbles away in his hand. Saying there is no doubt about it, 6th Division Captain Byakuya Kuchiki states it was Hyōrinmaru. Asking if they are sure, Ukitake says he doubts it is the only news the Riteitai has brought. Kneeling before him, the Riteitai reveals Izuru and Hisagi tracked down Hitsugaya in the Human World, but were badly injured while trying to arrest him, shocking those present.
At the shrine, as another Riteitai vanishes after reporting to Rukia, Uryū expresses surprise at Hitsugaya being able to defeat all of them while Orihime states she cannot believe Hitsugaya would attack his own men. Saying this is not all, Rukia reveals Shunsui was also injured. When Sado asks why this is happening, Rukia states everyone who tried to attack Hitsugaya was badly injured by Hyōrinmaru.
When Ichigo asks Uryū if he can track Hitsugaya's Reiatsu, for he is good at this, Uryū says he cannot do so at this point. As Ichigo curses, Orihime falls to her knees, and Sado notes the sun is coming up. When Ichigo suggests they all go home and get some sleep, for they can meet up later this afternoon, and helps Orihime to her feet, Orihime states she is not tired, so they can keep looking. Saying Ichigo is right, Rukia states they will have a better chance of finding him after they rest.
Encounter with the Substitute Shinigami
In Soul Society, at another captains meeting, Yamamoto says they have evidence of Hitsugaya being guilty of treason, and as such, he is upgrading the priority of his capture to an execution order. When Unohana asks if he really thinks the situation calls for such extreme measures, Yamamoto states it has been decided. Saying the search for the Ōin shall proceed uninterrupted, Yamamoto proclaims Hitsugaya's case will now be their top priority, and they must execute him by any means necessary.
In the Human World, as Ichigo's alarm clock beeps, Ichigo grabs it and turns it off. Hearing a beep, he turns as Rukia bursts out of his closet and states Renji has told her they have ordered an execution. When Ichigo asks what she is talking about, Rukia reveals it means they have orders to execute him on sight. Saying she has to be kidding him, Ichigo grabs her by the shoulders and asks why they would do something like this.
As Rukia states there was no time for anyone to argue the decision and the order cannot be revoked, Ichigo sits on his bed and says this is crazy. Attracting Rukia's attention, Renji reveals they have learned who Kusaka is. When Rukia asks if he heard, Ichigo confirms this and asks her to turn up the volume. As she does so, Renji states his name is Sōjirō Kusaka, and he was one of Hitsugaya's classmates, but he died shortly before Hitsugaya graduated from the Shin'ō Academy.
When the wall behind Ichigo is destroyed, sending debris flying into his room, Ichigo and Rukia emerge from the hole in their Shinigami forms and move to the sky, where they confront Yin and Yang. As Ichigo recognizes them, they reiterate their previous statement of killing him if he got in the way before the masked man approaches. When Ichigo asks who he is, Rukia notes his Reiatsu is incredibly powerful. Chuckling, the man draws his sword as its sheath fades, which Rukia recognizes as Hyōrinmaru.
In Soul Society, as Byakuya, Nanao, and Ukitake stand around the wounded Shunsui, Ukitake notes he is usually the one lying on a hospital bed surrounded by visitors. As he apologizes, Byakuya states there is something about this which bothers him. Revealing forensics determined the time of the Hyōrinmaru attacks, he says they also know when the search party encountered Hitsugaya. As Nanao and Ukitake express surprise, Byakuya states the time between the attacks was insufficient to travel between the two worlds.
As he begins to theorize how Hyōrinmaru could have been used in both attacks, the masked man releases Hyōrinmaru as Yang attacks Rukia. As the ice dragon hurtles after them, Yin attacks Ichigo, who knocks her away with his sword. As the chain of Hyōrinmaru wraps around his wrist, the ice dragon turns to attack him. When he moves away with Shunpo, the masked man yanks on the chain, pulling Ichigo towards him.
Hurtling towards the man, Ichigo asks why he is doing this, prompting him to say he is doing it because he is the master of Hyōrinmaru. As they clash, Ichigo sees a young Hitsugaya calling out to someone. As he pushes the man's blade away and wonders what happened, 12th Division Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi asks Byakuya and Ukitake if they just mentioned twin Zanpakutō. Stating a Zanpakutō is born directly from the consciousness of the Shinigami, Mayuri says the Shikai is like a binding contract between the two.
When he states it is impossible for a Zanpakutō to be tied to more than one Shinigami at a time and would not even be a Zanpakutō by definition, Ukitake asks if he can verify for certain something like this does not exist and can absolutely prove there are not two Hyōrinmaru. As Mayuri expresses surprise, Ukitake begins to theorize how it could have two owners. Realizing something, Mayuri says he now understands why they are here.
Stating they have come to the right place, Mayuri turns to his computer and says sneaking into the inner recesses of the Daireishokairō archives is child's play to him. As he presses several keys, causing the Daireishokairō to light up, Ichigo slashes Yin away. As Rukia attacks her, the masked man lunges at Ichigo. When Yang kicks him from behind, he moves away with Shunpo just as the masked man stabs at him.
Landing on a telephone tower, Ichigo demands to know who the masked man is, prompting him to state his name is Sōjirō Kusaka. As Mayuri finds something, Kusaka says he is the one who was forced to fight in the Central 46 assembly hall and was murdered by Hitsugaya. As Ichigo stares in shock, Kusaka states Hitsugaya no longer has a home to return to because of Soul Society branding him a traitor, so the only obstacle left in his path is Ichigo.
Saying he will die, Kusaka rushes at Ichigo, who leaps towards him. Flying towards each other, the two clash in a flurry of sparks. In the past, Kusaka and Hitsugaya stand in a misty canyon next to a river. As the two recognize each other, the canyon fades to reveal the Central 46 assembly hall around them. Stating the Central 46 has reached a decision, a voice proclaims two Shinigami are not allowed to wield the same Zanpakutō, and Hitsugaya and Kusaka shall duel to determine the rightful master.
When Hitsugaya asks if they are saying the only way to settle this is to fight to the death, a man states it is the council's decision, and a woman says it is to see who is deserving. Stating Hyōrinmaru is strong and requires such a test, another man tells them to consider it an honor. When Hitsugaya says he would rather surrender Hyōrinmaru than kill Kusaka, the Central 46 vehemently states he cannot.
When he asks why they cannot wield the same Zanpakutō, he is told it is an ancient law which has been in place since the beginning of time, and he cannot disobey the law. As the Central 46 tells them to fight, an ice-covered Kusaka stands before Hitsugaya. As he shrugs the ice off, several Onmitsukidō members appear around them and begin walking towards Kusaka. When Kusaka asks why they are interfering, one of them reveals the council has decided Hitsugaya shall be the one master of Hyōrinmaru.
As Kusaka states the fight is not over and he is the rightful master of Hyōrinmaru, the Onmitsukidō member says it is the decision of Central 46. As the Onmitsukidō members raise their blades, Kusaka begs them to give him one more chance before being stabbed by several of them. As two Onmitsukidō members restrain Hitsugaya, he calls out to Kusaka, who asks why they have done this and why he must die before another Onmitsukidō member slashes him.
Panting, Kusaka states he dedicated his life to Soul Society as Hyōrinmaru fades from his hand. As Kusaka falls down, Hitsugaya screams his name while running to him. In the present, as Ichigo clashes with Kusaka and sees these events, Kusaka takes off his mask, revealing his eyes have turned red and he has gained a large scar. Knocking Ichigo back, Kusaka generates a large amount of water, which freezes as it pushes Ichigo away.
As Ichigo regains his footing and catches his breath, Kusaka lands before him and states Hitsugaya will walk the same path he did, and no one will interfere. As purple ice gathers around his blade, he releases Hyōrinmaru and creates a purple ice dragon, which flies towards Ichigo before attacking him. As Rukia calls out to Ichigo, the dragon crashes into the ground, creating a large amount of purple ice, which Ichigo is frozen inside of.
As Rukia stares in shock, Kusaka notes his power is growing stronger. Putting his mask on, he says he will leave the rest to Yin and Yang and leaves. As Rukia charges towards them, Yang clashes with her while Yin slashes at her with her whip. Dodging with Shunpo, Rukia uses Hadō #33. Sōkatsui. As they continue to fight, Ichigo awakens in his inner world and sees Zangetsu.
As Ichigo gets up, Zangetsu states it has been quite a while since he last saw him. When Ichigo asks if the events he saw were an illusion, Zangetsu reveals they are a resonance, for Zanpakutō resonate with each other, and this allows the past to be revealed. As Ichigo realizes what this means, Zangetsu states it is the indisputable truth. Angrily stating Soul Society did not want two Hyōrinmaru, so someone had to die, Ichigo asks why they would do this.
Saying this is the way it has always been, Zangetsu jumps down from his post and states the preservation of balance is the most sacred and revered of all laws in Soul Society. When Ichigo asks if the life of someone means anything to them, Zangetsu asks why he would ask this and says one's life becomes insignificant when placed against the fate of the world. Asking if he thinks it is any different in the Human World, Zangetsu notes his Human parts question themselves.
As he states they all become susceptible to fear and fall into the depths of evil in time, Ichigo says he is wrong and they are not this weak. When he states Hitsugaya would never allow this to happen, Zangetsu asks what makes him so sure. Recalling his mother's death, Ichigo says he looked at the world after his mother died in the same way Hitsugaya did. Stating he had many emotions locked up inside of him, Ichigo says he did not want to burden anyone else because they were his feelings.
Stating it was his duty to handle them alone, Ichigo recalls Yuzu Kurosaki, Karin Kurosaki, and Isshin Kurosaki approaching him. Saying he was stupid, Ichigo states he realized he was not only hurting himself, but those around him as well. Recalling how Hitsugaya had the same look as he did back then, Ichigo says he is trying to bear the whole burden by himself. Standing up, Ichigo states he finally understands what Hitsugaya has been trying to do.
Thanking Zangetsu, he jumps away. Telling him to not stray once he knows the truth, Zangetsu returns to his sword form and tells Ichigo to go forth. In the real world, as Ichigo's eyes glow, Rukia continues to fight against yin and Yang. As she blocks an attack from Yang, the ice begins to glow, and red-black Reiatsu emanates as Ichigo yells. As the ice around Ichigo shatters, Ichigo stands on the ice in his Bankai, Tensa Zangetsu.
Leaping towards them, Ichigo slashes at Yin, who dodges. When Rukia asks him if he is alright, Ichigo says he is fine and asks where Kusaka is. When Rukia reveals he got away, Ichigo curses and states they should deal with the Arrancar girls before going after him. As he says he finally figured out what Hitsugaya is doing, Yin states she is surprised he is still alive. When Yang says he does not know how to roll over and die, Yin states he might need some help.
Turning into their ball forms, Yin and Yang rush at Ichigo and Rukia, who dodge. Saying there is no time to waste, Ichigo charges at them as he states he has something which Hitsugaya needs to hear. Meanwhile, in an abandoned factory, Hitsugaya pushes a metal door open and leans against the wall. Tightening the fabric on his arm, he walks down the many flights of stairs. Walking along the floor, he steps in a puddle.
The Assault on Soul Society
As the sound echoes, Kusaka says it took him a while, but Hitsugaya finally found him. Stating he has been waiting for him, Kusaka takes his mask off. As Hitsugaya recognizes him, Kusaka reveals he stabbed Hitsugaya with Hyōrinmaru to send a message. Asking what better way there is to prove he is alive, Kusaka notes life has led them on a strange journey to bring them to this point, prompting Hitsugaya to ask what he means.
Chuckling, Kusaka says Hitsugaya knows what the Gotei 13 are like, and has seen the kinds of things they are capable of, but he stayed with them regardless. When he asks if he did so because of his childhood friend, Hitsugaya states Momo has nothing to do with this and demands to know where the Ōin is. Holding up a glowing seal, Kusaka says he is holding it in his hand, and its power makes it the perfect tool to help them realize their dreams.
As the Ōin begins to glow, Hitsugaya demands to know how he knows about the power of the Ōin and what he plans to do with it. Telling him to not get so excited, Kusaka states he will know soon enough. As Hitsugaya is drawn towards him, Kusaka holds up the Ōin and laughs as they are transported across space. Meanwhile, as Ichigo fights Yang, he feels an intense Reiatsu and asks Rukia what it is. As Yin dodges her attack, she says she does not know, but it is not a normal Reiatsu.
Stating it is more pure and powerful, she says she has never felt anything like it. As Yin and Yang laugh, Yin states it is the power of the Ōin, and Yang says Kusaka and Hitsugaya have begun to take their revenge on the Seireitei. As Ichigo expresses disbelief, Yang states he is a bothersome obstacle which must be eliminated as hundreds of Hollows appear behind them. As Yin says they will not allow him to interfere with Kusaka's plans, they order the Hollows to attack.
In the Seireitei, as lightning crackles above Sōkyoku Hill, the Shinigami below wonder what is going on as they gather. When a Shinigami informs Rangiku of the Reiatsu of the Ōin appearing above Sōkyoku Hill, she exits the room to see what is going on. As the rest of the 10th Division gathers, Ōmaeda tries in vain to get them to return to their barracks. Turning around in shock when they all gasp in unison, he wonders what is going on as Rangiku realizes Hitsugaya is there.
As a Jigokuchō flies through the air, an announcer informs all Shinigami of Hitsugaya and Kusaka appearing on Sōkyoku Hill. As the announcer tells them to prepare for battle, Kiyone and 13th Division 3rd Seat Sentarō Kotsubaki stop fighting, Suì-Fēng and several Onmitsukidō members rush through the corridors, 11th Division Lieutenant Yachiru Kusajishi alerts her captain, Kenpachi Zaraki, and 7th Division Captain Sajin Komamura suits up.
As her lieutenant, Isane Kotetsu, approaches, Unohana wonders how they could have penetrated their defenses so easily. Theorizing the enemy knew the forces of the Gotei 13 were short-handed, Isane states they must assume the worst and apologizes. On Sōkyoku Hill, as the lightning around Kusaka dissipates, Hitsugaya recognizes their location. Revealing they are at Sōkyoku Hill, Kusaka says he is witnessing the incredible power of the Ōin.
Stating whoever masters the Ōin is empowered with the ability to transport any type of matter to other dimensions, regardless of space and time, Kusaka reveals the power of the Ōin not only allows them to be transported to a different physical location, but he can also move attacks to another dimension, and he can reverse any of his wounds to a time before he was injured, prompting Hitsugaya to realize this is how he is still alive.
Confirming this, Kusaka reveals his fading soul was bathed in the light of the Ōin, transporting it to Hueco Mundo and resurrecting him. Saying he has spent every waking day since in search of the Ōin, he states he will finally have his revenge on the Seireitei. Holding the Ōin out, Kusaka tells Hitsugaya to cut it in two, for he knows his Bankai has the power. When Hitsugaya asks why, Kusaka reveals everything will be purified once he cuts the Ōin.
As Kusaka laughs maniacally, Renji, 11th Division 3rd Seat Ikkaku Madarame, and 11th Division 5th Seat Yumichika Ayasegawa appear above Hitsugaya. Landing, Ikkaku says it appears they are the first ones to arrive. As Yumichika agrees, Renji asks Hitsugaya what he is trying to prove, prompting Ikkaku to state it makes no difference, for they have an executive order from Yamamoto to arrest Hitsugaya and Kusaka.
Saying Ikkaku's name, Kusaka notes his immense physical power and expert swordsmanship make him valuable to the Gotei 13. As Ikkaku states flattery will not save him, Kusaka says he is still no match for him. Jumping towards him, Ikkaku slashes at him, only to be blocked by Hitsugaya. As they land, with Hitsugaya stumbling, Ikkaku notes he must really want to save Kusaka if he is willing to protect him while wounded.
When Renji demands to know what Hitsugaya was thinking, Hitsugaya states he is in his way as he begins to breathe heavily. In the Human World, as the Hollows rush towards Ichigo and Rukia, Ichigo notes there are too many of them. As they surround them, Uryū calls out to Ichigo and destroys the Hollows around him with Heilig Pfeil. Saying he thought Ichigo said he would contact them if anything came up, Uryū fires a barrage of arrows, destroying the other Hollows.
Revealing his Ginrei Kojaku fires 1200 arrows per second, Uryū states regular Hollows are useless, no matter how many they summon. As Orihime asks if Ichigo is alright, Ichigo berates Uryū for attacking while he was still there. As he says he would not make the mistake of hitting him, Yang generates a large fireball. As Uryū prepares to fire and Ichigo tells him he has got this, Sado uses El Directo, which destroys the fireball.
As Sado tells Ichigo to get going, Orihime tells him to hurry to Soul Society. As Uryū reveals Urahara has set up a Senkaimon, Sado states he can leave Yin and Yang to them. When Orihime says he has to save Hitsugaya, Ichigo tells Rukia they will go. As they leap away, hundreds of Shinigami and Onmitsukidō members appear on Sōkyoku Hill, and Suì-Fēng, approaching with Komamura and Byakuya, says this is far enough and tells Hitsugaya to throw down his weapon.
As Komamura tells Kusaka to do the same, Kusaka states this is ridiculous and laughs. As Komamura says Kusaka is under arrest, Kusaka asks Hitsugaya if he has endured enough. Telling him to teach the Shinigami a lesson, prompting them to draw their swords, Kusaka states this is their revenge for all of the suffering they have endured and raises the glowing Ōin above his head. As he tells Hitsugaya to cut the Ōin, Suì-Fēng orders the Shinigami to seize them immediately.
As the Shinigami and Onmitsukidō members run toward them, Ichigo fires a Getsuga Tenshō in front of them, stopping them in their tracks. As Byakuya wonders what is happening now, Ichigo lands in front of the Shinigami and tells them to stop. Saying the only way they know how to solve problems is to fight, Ichigo states none of them really wants to kill Hitsugaya. As he says they should think twice before drawing their sword against a friend, even if it is an order, Suì-Fēng tells him to stay out of this.
Stating it does not involve him, Suì-Fēng says they are under Yamamoto's orders and have sworn to carry out their superiors' orders, for it is their duty as Shinigami. When Ichigo states their orders do not make any sense, Suì-Fēng says he is just wasting their time, and if he continues to resist, he will have to die as well. As the Shinigami and Onmitsukidō members draw their blades, Yamamoto commands them to halt.
As the Shinigami bow, Rukia notes it is Yamamoto as Kusaka grins. As he approaches with Rangiku and Nanao, who is supporting Shunsui, Ukitake notes Shunsui is back on his feet, prompting him to state he would not have been able to live with himself if he had let an innocent man be executed. As Yamamoto notes Kusaka really is still alive, Kusaka asks if he thought they had killed him off and apologizes.
When Yamamoto theorizes the Ōin brought him back to life and gave him a second chance in Hueco Mundo, Kusaka confirms this and says he will use the Ōin to take his place as the king of Soul Society. When Yamamoto states he is arrogant for wanting such a thing, Kusaka says he of all people would know about arrogance. Raising the Ōin above his head, he tells them to take this as a lesson as the Ōin glows.
Leaping towards him, Hitsugaya attacks him, forcing Kusaka to block. When he forces Hitsugaya back, the other Shinigami express surprise as Rangiku runs towards him. Telling her to stay back, Hitsugaya states this is his fight. Asking what the meaning of this is, Kusaka says the Shinigami are the ones he should fight. When Hitsugaya states Kusaka is evil and it was never his intention to be on his side, Mayuri wonders why Hitsugaya deserted his post if he did not intend to betray to Gotei 13.
Suì-Fēng wonders why he attacked them when they tried to arrest Kusaka, who asks Hitsugaya if he wants to to fight him. When he asks if killing him once was not enough for him, Hitsugaya says he is just trying to make amends for the mistakes which he has made. When Kusaka asks what mistakes he is talking about and if he thinks killing him will purify his soul, Hitsugaya attacks him once more. As they clash, Rukia states she thinks she understands.
Saying Kusaka was once a noble man who swore his loyalty to Soul Society, she states he would have been a great Shinigami if it were not for the twin Zanpakutō, but because of his duel with Hitsugaya, he lost not only Hyōrinmaru, but his honor and his life. Confirming this, Ichigo says Hitsugaya blames himself for everything which has happened, and Rukia states Hitsugaya could not bear the thought of destroying him again because he had attained everything Kusaka wanted by becoming a Shinigami captain.
As Rukia says it was too painful, Ichigo states seeing Kusaka again must have been devastating, and he was so racked with guilt, he deserted his post and went after him in an attempt to settle things, knowing he would be accused of treason and it could cost him his life. As Hitsugaya and Kusaka cross blades, Kusaka says Hitsugaya knew all along it would come to this, which Hitsugaya confirms. Stating he thought Hitsugaya was more intelligent than this, Kusaka says he was wrong.
Forcing him back, Kusaka states he will just have to do this himself as the Ōin glows. As Kusaka tells the Ōin to answer to him. Hitsugaya tells him to not do this. Saying he was unable to open the power of the Ōin with his Bankai until now, Kusaka states this has changed, and he can do it now. As Yamamoto expresses surprise, Kusaka tosses the Ōin in the air and cuts it in half, creating a column of yellow energy which extends into the sky.
As Hitsugaya calls out to Kusaka, Ichigo appears before him and says there is no need for him to suffer by himself anymore. As Hitsugaya tells him to move out of his way, Ichigo states he is not the only one affected by this, he is not the only one who has suffered, and he is not the only one who feels pain, so he has to let them help. When Hitsugaya says he is no longer a captain, Ichigo punches him in the face, knocking him down, and states he has tried to endure all of this alone.
Saying his friends want to help, but he will not let them, Ichigo asks if he has thought about how this makes them feel. as Hitsugaya looks up, Ichigo states he was like him once, thinking he was being strong and refusing to depend on others. In the past, as a young Ichigo asks Yuzu and Karin why they are so excited, Yuzu begins to cry as Karin asks why he is smiling. When Yuzu says they were worried sick about him, Ichigo asks why.
Crouching down, Isshin pats Yuzu and Karin on the head, prompting them to run and cry into his shirt. Extending his hand, Isshin states he knows Ichigo is trying to be strong, but sometimes he has to share his feelings with them, for they are a family. Putting a hand on Ichigo's shoulder, Isshin tells him to share the things which make him happy or sad with the ones he loves, for without this, they are not a family, just alone.
As Isshin begins to cry, Ichigo does as well and hugs his father. In the present, Ichigo says he learned if someone keeps their emotions inside of them, it just makes them weak. As Hitsugaya gets to his feet and wipes the blood off of his mouth, his division members call out to him as Rangiku looks at him. Looking around, Hitsugaya tells Ichigo to prepare to fight, for he is coming. The tornado around Kusaka dissipates, revealing he has transformed into a humanoid dragon made of purple ice.
Final Clash with a God
As Kusaka revels in his new power, Kenpachi runs towards him, surrounded by yellow Reiatsu. As Ichigo calls after him, a laughing Kenpachi stabs Kusaka's midsection, destroying it. As the Shinigami express surprise, a disappointed Kenpachi wonders if this is it before Kusaka grabs his Zanpakutō and generates a large amount of ice. As the ice breaks, a cackling Kusaka flies off the edge of the hill, bringing Kenpachi with him.
As Kusaka states Kenpachi's attacks have no effect on him and he is invincible, a chuckling Kenpachi says he is starting to like him and states they will have some fun. As he repeatedly attacks him while falling, Kusaka slashes him across the chest, leaving him to fall to the ground below. Saying he is a nuisance, Kusaka fires a barrage of ice projectiles after him, which embed themselves in the ground below. Laughing, Kusaka flies away.
As he lands on a post, the area underneath him is encased in purple ice, which grows larger, and his legs merge with the ice as his wings grow in length and size. As he states his power is incredible and unstoppable, Yin and Yang appear. As they land on the ice platform, Kusaka asks what is wrong with them and says it looks like they have taken a beating. When Yang states they beg his forgiveness, Kusaka says he does not think so and encases them both in ice.
Glowing, Kusaka roars as Ukitake notes he is becoming even more powerful. As the ice forms an enormous tree, the branches of which pierce the ground, Yamamoto tells the Shinigami to stand their ground, for they cannot retreat, and Kusaka must be destroyed. As the Shinigami move forward with Shunpo, Byakuya releases his Zanpakutō, Senbonzakura, and attacks Kusaka. When his attack is blocked by ice, Renji releases his Zanpakutō, Zabimaru, and attacks as well.
Catching the blade, Kusaka pulls Renji to the ground. When several Shinigami appear around Kusaka, he states they are in the way and releases an omnidirectional energy blast, which knocks the Shinigami away and cracks the ice tree. As the ice begins to shatter and fall apart, a dark orb with two intersecting band forms around Kusaka and begins to expand outward. As Isane wonders what is going on and says it looks like it is taking over the Seireitei, 12th Division Lieutenant Nemu Kurotsuchi asks Mayuri if he thinks the Ōin has released all of its power.
When he states the power of the Ōin has in fact gone out of control, Ukitake asks if he is sure, prompting Mayuri to reveal they are witnessing the Reiatsu of the Ōin increase as it spreads out, and if it continues, it will engulf all of the Seireitei and destroy everything. When Shunsui says this is unbelievable, Mayuri reveals the Reiatsu of the Ōin can influence time and space within a limited area upon being released into the atmosphere, and every phenomenon of reality can be manipulated by it.
Stating the wielder of the Ōin possesses the all-encompassing power of a god, Mayuri reveals Kusaka is unable to access the full power of the Ōin or control it because he has not mastered the Bankai of Hyōrinmaru. Walking forward, Yamamoto says this puts them in a grave situation. Inside of the orb, Rangiku pushes a chunk of stone off of Hitsugaya. As she states she is alright, Hitsugaya gets up and pushes the stone over.
When Hitsugaya asks what she was doing, Rangiku states she was told it was a lieutenant's duty to protect their captain no matter what. Freeing Rukia, Ichigo asks her if she is okay, prompting her to say she is fine. Stating it looks like they are not the only ones, Ichigo says it looks like Hitsugaya and Rangiku survived as well. Calling out to Rukia and Ichigo, Renji appears. When Rukia asks him what is wrong, Renji tells her to look around.
Looking up, Ichigo is shocked to see an enormous stone statue towering over the building. Stating it seems Kusaka has built himself a castle, Renji says they are trapped in some sort of spiritual wall. When Ichigo asks what they should do, Renji states he is asking the wrong guy as Yoruichi and Suì-Fēng appear. Saying there is not much time, Yoruichi states they need to work fast as Suì-Fēng reveals Yamamoto is doing everything he can to suppress the expansion, and they have been sent with orders to find and eliminate Kusaka.
When Ichigo asks how they can get to him, Yoruichi suggests they start climbing. As Ichigo expresses confusion, Yoruichi says they will have to cut through the main tower when they reach the top, and they should attack as soon as possible since Kusaka has stopped moving temporarily. As Ichigo agrees, Ikkaku tells them to wait. Jumping down, he states he did not get his invitation, so he hopes they do not mind if he crashes this party, and Yumichika says to not forget about him either.
As they hear a roar, Yoruichi states they have company. As the underside of the statue glows, hundreds of Hollows appear. When Ichigo prepares to fight, Yoruichi tells him to forget about the Hollows and leaps towards them as Suì-Fēng discards her captain's haori and follows suit. Activating Shunkō, they begin destroying the Hollows. As Ichigo says they have to go straight up to reach their goal, Rangiku approaches Hitsugaya and holds out his captain's haori.
Putting it on, he tells Rangiku to watch his back and throws his cloak away. As they run toward the statue, Hitsugaya states they will form two groups. Confirming this, Ichigo takes Rukia and Renji with him. When Rangiku wonders why she always gets stuck with Ikkaku and Yumichika, Ikkaku tells her to shut up. As they leap over a pit, Ichigo, Rukia, and Renji run up a narrow path. Seeing a large Hollow, Ichigo wonders what it is.
When the Hollow blasts a fireball at them, Renji tells them to leave it to him and leaps into the air. When he slices the fireball in half with Zabimaru, the two halves turn around and attack him, creating an explosion. As Ichigo and Rukia call out to him, Renji activates his Bankai, Hihiō Zabimaru, and embeds it into the side of the statue, creating a path. Saying it is time for them to quit messing around and get into this fight, Renji states they can use Hihiō Zabimaru to get to the top.
As they run up the skeletal snake, Hitsugaya's group climbs the tower. Moving behind them, another Hollow fires two balls of electricity at them. Noticing this, Hitsugaya tells them to look out and releases Hyōrinmaru, which melts upon attacking the balls. Elsewhere, Yoruichi and Suì-Fēng run up the side of the fire-generating Hollow, destroying Hollows as they do. As the Hollow rapidly blasts fire projectiles at them, Yoruichi tells Suì-Fēng to do it now.
Telling Yoruichi to leave it to her, Suì-Fēng leaps up the front of the creature and stabs it with Suzumebachi before stabbing it in the same place once more, activating Nigeki Kessatsu, which seemingly destroys the Hollow. As Yoruichi compliments her, the Hollow reforms behind Suì-Fēng and fires a Cero at the two. Moving in front of Suì-Fēng, Yoruichi blocks the blast with Shunkō and notes the Hollow can use High-Speed Regeneration.
Meanwhile, as Ikkaku cuts a ball of electricity in half with Hōzukimaru, it explodes, knocking Yumichika back and forcing Ikkaku to dodge with Shunpo. As the Hollow fires more electric blasts at them, Rangiku's footing is destroyed, causing her to fall down. As Hitsugaya moves to Rangiku, the group feels the statue shake. As yellow Reiatsu surges up the side, which cracks from the power, Rangiku wonders if the statue can move, prompting Ikkaku to tell her this Reiatsu belongs to someone else.
The statue's leg is lifted, revealing a maniacally laughing Kenpachi without his eyepatch on. Saying this is fun, he slashes at the statue, cutting the leg in half. When Ikkaku calls out to him, Kenpachi states he is in his way before slashing once more. As Hitsugaya tells them to get to the top, they move away as the leg splits apart. Meanwhile, as the Hollow continues to fire Cero at Yoruichi and Suì-Fēng, Yoruichi tells Suì-Fēng to do it now.
Elsewhere, running to the top of the statue, Ichigo and Rukia see Kusaka's tower surrounded by Gillians. As Rukia notes they can summon Menos as well, the Gillians approach as one fires a Cero. As the group dodges, another fires a Cero, prompting Hitsugaya to activate his Bankai, Daiguren Hyōrinmaru, to stop it. As Ikkaku and Yumichika cut through Hollows, a Hollow fires spikes at Rangiku, who releases Haineko and destroys it.
As Rangiku notes they are close, Rukia is confronted by two Hollows. As one of them punches the ground, Rukia releases her Zanpakutō, Sode no Shirayuki, and uses Tsugi no mai, Hakuren, encasing the Hollows in front of her in ice, which shatters. As another Hollow appears, it is bifurcated by a Bankai-enhanced Getsuga Tenshō, but reforms afterwards. As they stand back to back, Rukia asks Ichigo if he sees the tower in front of her.
When he confirms this, she asks if he could use the speed of Tensa Zangetsu to get to the top if they opened a path. As Hitsugaya expresses surprise, Rangiku states there is no other way, and if she, Ikkaku, and Yumichika pool their strength, they should be able to create an opening. Appearing behind them with Yumichika, Ikkaku says it sounds like a great idea and Rangiku has got it right, but he should be able to handle the opening by himself.
Stating he would like to see this, Yumichika moves away as Ikkaku assumes a battle stance. Saying they cannot tell anyone, Ikkaku activates his Bankai, Ryūmon Hōzukimaru, as Ichigo bifurcates Gillians with a Getsuga Tenshō. As Renji attacks dozens of Hollows with Hihiō Zabimaru, Rukia uses Some no mai, Tsukishiro, encasing several Hollows in a pillar of ice, which shatters. As she avoids a Gillian's footsteps, several Hollows fire projectiles at Hihiō Zabimaru, which encircles Renji.
As several Gillians fire their Cero, the group is encircled by several rows of glowing swords, shielding them from the blasts. Inside, they see Byakuya, who tells them to prepare themselves, for Yamamoto and the others are all being pressured on the outside. Outside, Yamamoto has discarded his haori and released his Zanpakutō, Ryūjin Jakka, while Komamura and Mayuri have activated their respective Bankai, Kokujō Tengen Myō'ō and Konjiki Ashisogi Jizō, all of which are holding back the expansion of the dome.
As Byakuya tells Ichigo to hurry, Ichigo asks if Renji is ready. As Renji confirms this, Byakuya envelops the surrounding Gillians in his Bankai. Meanwhile, Ikkaku spins his Bankai to build up power before attacking as Renji uses Hikotsu Taihō, sending a beam of energy through the crowd of Gillians. As Hitsugaya flies to the tower, Ichigo dons his Hollow mask and launches himself towards the tower.
As Hitsugaya flies up the side of the wall, Ichigo joins him. Roaring, Kusaka fires ice blasts shaped liked the ice dragon of Hyōrinmaru at them. As Ichigo dodges the dragons, Hitsugaya generates his own ice dragon, which collides with Kusaka's dragons in an explosion of ice. Reaching the top, Ichigo attacks Kusaka, who fires a beam of yellow energy at him, stopping his attack. As Ichigo tries to push through, Hitsugaya's ice dragon breaks through the ice platform.
Constricting Kusaka, the ice dragon bites his neck. As Kusaka's forehead glows, a rotating ring of symbols appears above him. Coming down in him, Ichigo stabs his forehead and fires a Getsuga Tenshō, which goes through Kusaka's head and comes out the back as his wings shatter. Meanwhile, the Hollows on the ground stop moving as everyone looks at the tower. Standing in front of the headless Kusaka, Ichigo removes his Hollow mask and lowers himself to the ground as the ring fades.
As a pillar of blue light extends from Kusaka's neck into the sky, the rest of his body shatters. As the blue light begins to erode the dome, Yoruichi states Ichigo did it as the Hollow she and Suì-Fēng were fighting finally shatters. As the Gillians dissolve, the ice tower begins to break apart. Moving to Ichigo, Hitsugaya deactivates his Bankai. As the dust clears, revealing a panting Kusaka, Ichigo tells Hitsugaya to take it from here.
Assuming a battle stance, Hitsugaya says it is over. Pulling his sword out of the ice, Kusaka assumes a battle stance as well and tells him they will end it. Running at each other, they stab at each other. As their blades grind against one another, Kusaka recalls pulling out his sword in the Central 46 chambers and telling Hitsugaya Hyōrinmaru should belong to him. As Hitsugaya begged him to not do this, Kusaka charged at him, forcing him to pull out his own sword and block as an ice dragon emerged from the clash and froze Kusaka.
In the present, as light begins to shine through the clouds, Kusaka's Zanpakutō falls to the ground and breaks. Stating he guesses it is true, Kusaka says Hitsugaya is the chosen one as blood stains the latter's haori. Stating he was ordered to kill him once, Kusaka says he succeeded again, but he will not die easily, for he will justify his existence. As he begins to disperse into blue energy, due to having been impaled, Hitsugaya tells hims they will always be friends.
Thanking him, Kusaka states he needed to know this and disperses completely. As Hitsugaya bids him farewell, the blue energy rises into the sky. As Byakuya says it is finally over, Yumichika asks Ikkaku who he thinks won. Telling him to not be stupid, Rangiku asks if it is not obvious. As the blue energy ascends into the clouds, several streams of yellow energy converge at one point, and the Ōin reforms. As it descends to the ground, Ichigo picks it up and notes it did all of this despite its size.
Seeing Hitsugaya standing still, Ichigo walks over to him. When Hitsugaya thanks him for his help, Ichigo states he does not think Kusaka has any regrets. Tossing Hitsugaya the Ōin, Ichigo says he got a fair chance to settle things this time. Stating it sometimes seems like life is not giving someone a "fair shake", Ichigo says no one can tell them how to get beyond this, and they must figure it out themselves.
As Hitsugaya looks at the Ōin, Ichigo states Kusaka got a second chance, and he decided to come back here. Saying he could have let someone else do it for him, he states he wanted to settle this fight for himself. As light breaks through the clouds, Ichigo says he stayed true to his feelings and notes he put all of them through a lot of trouble. As Hitsugaya chuckles, Ichigo tells him they should head back. Agreeing, Hitsugaya looks at him and tells him to address him as Captain Hitsugaya.
After the Gotei 13 begins recovering and Urahara informs Ichigo's friends of his victory, Hitsugaya visits a gravestone with his bloodied cloak in front of it. Placing Kusaka's broken Zanpakutō in front of it, he bids farewell. Apologizing to Rangiku for putting her through all of this, he thanks her. As she expresses surprise, he states they should head back. Protesting this, Rangiku asks if they can call it a day and says she knows of a great hot spring nearby. When he tells her she can go alone, she tells him to not be a "stick in the mud", prompting him to tell her to cut it out as they walk away.
- In the English dub, Rukia Kuchiki mistakenly refers to Tensa Zangetsu as Tenshō Zangetsu.