Goodbye to Our Xcution is the fifty-fourth volume of the Bleach manga series.
After a long struggle, Ichigo Kurosaki finally regains his Shinigami powers thanks to Lieutenant Rukia Kuchiki. But as the battle against Kūgo Ginjō heats up, Ichigo learns a shocking secret behind his role as a Deputy Shinigami. With the truth finally revealed to him, what action will Ichigo take?
While Rukia struggles against Riruka in her doll form, Ichigo and Uryū discover more about Ginjō's newly enhanced powers.
As they argue over what type of animal the plushie is, Rukia flees from Riruka Dokugamine. After a close call with the Fullbringer, Rukia tries to fire a Kidō spell at her, but it explodes inside the plushie, leaving Riruka somewhat surprised at what had just transpired.
Meanwhile, Uryū Ishida notes to himself that Kūgo has not only absorbed Ichigo's Fullbring, but all of his attacks are fused with Ichigo's own Reiatsu. Ichigo asks him if he has come up with a plan yet, commenting that he assumed he was trying to conceive one since he had told Ichigo to observe Kūgo. Uryū denies having a strategy and tries to warn Ichigo about what he has learned, but Ichigo heads out to fight the Fullbringer.
Ichigo begins to fire a Getsuga Tenshō at Kūgo, who encourages him. Uryū protests, but Ichigo fires it. Kūgo cuts through the attack and fires a Getsuga Tenshō back at him. Uryū fires a quick volley of arrows at Kūgo from a new, smaller bow, diverting attention away from Ichigo. Uryū warns Ichigo that Kūgo can likely use all of his own techniques against him, but Ichigo is dismissive of his warning.
Riruka asks Rukia if she now understands that Fullbringers are more than just normal Humans. Rukia notes that she is caught up in this idea and Riruka tells her that it is important as it allowed them to meet Shūkurō Tsukishima and be saved by Kūgo. Riruka begins to explain her "survival of the fittest".
The past of several Xcution members is revealed and Rukia fights back against Riruka.
Riruka tells Rukia about all of the histories of the members of Xcution and how they followed Kūgo. As she is doing so, Rukia manages to use her Zanpakutō's Some no mai, Tsukishiro ability to freeze Riruka's left leg. Riruka then sneezes, releasing Rukia from the plushie and stabs her in the chest with the horns on her arm, which launches another ability on Rukia.
Riruka disappears, leaving Rukia alone while Byakuya manages to defeat Tsukishima.
Rukia collapses after being stabbed by Riruka, who disappears out of sight.
Meanwhile, the fight between Captain Byakuya Kuchiki and Tsukishima continues. Tsukishima taunts Byakuya by saying that even though Byakuya has quickly reverted to his Shikai's state after he has exploited his "Hurtless Area" and his skill has gone up with his broken sword, Tsukishima says that his seventeen months of training is useless and he has to keep using his Shikai. Tsukishima also states that even though Byakuya's skills has gotten better, he has also improved on the same amount.
Byakuya, after staring the blade of his broken sword, proceeds to initiate his Bankai. Tsukishima then says that he knows Byakuya will initiate Bankai, saying that he's seen it so many times until it's "downright boring". Tsukishima then proceeds to attack Byakuya inside his "Hurtless Zone", but was surprised when Byakuya launches his blades inside the zone, stating that he spoke too soon. Byakuya then states that since Tsukishima has discovered his "zero damage" zone he knew where he'll attack from. He also then says that if he lets his blades inside the zone he can still kill Tsukishima. Tsukishima then says that he doesn't remember 'training' this with Byakuya and claims it's a desperate move by him. Tsukishima then proceeds to continue attacking Byakuya, while saying that despite the fact that he can control his blades twice as fast with his hands, it is utter suicide controlling them in his "Hurtless Area".
Tsukishima then blocks Byakuya's hand, which makes him lose control of his blades and injuring himself. He then states that with a little adjustment of timing the blades become impossible to dodge. Byakuya then raises his bloodied left arm, which makes Tsukishima think that he's going to launch a Kidō move, who then says that he knows how to counter every one of his Kidō moves, and taunts him to try to prove it to him.
But then, Byakuya launches his arm straight into Tsukishima's chest, shocking him. He then realizes that Byakuya has discreetly grabbed some of his blades into his hand to stab him. Byakuya then states that battle is something to be prepared for and wage at peak condition, but then says for the first time, he has experienced the joy of being knee-deep in the fleeting moments of insanity during battle. He then thanks Tsukishima for the enjoyable battle.
As the others are freed from Yukio's Fullbring, Ichigo continues his battle with Kūgo.
After Tsukishima is defeated by Byakuya, he says that Byakuya is pitiless and owes him everything. He also states that whether Byakuya feels any pain doing it to him. Byakuya replies by saying that he cannot begin to repay the debts he owes to Tsukishima, but then says whether it is debt or not, he is an enemy of Ichigo and feels no remorse in cutting him down.
Meanwhile, the 'chat room' that 3rd Seat Ikkaku Madarame was in dissipates and Captain Kenpachi Zaraki shows up, asking whether is finally out or not. Ikkaku then replies that his captain was early, only for Kenpachi to say that he is late. Lieutenant Renji Abarai then suddenly shows up, which surprises Ikkaku and makes him say that he's in a mess. Renji says that he managed to exit the 'chat room' after the explosion caused by Jackie Tristan's sacrifice, but he couldn't move for a while. Ikkaku then asks whether the explosion was his doing and whether he has beaten his enemy or not. Renji replies that she's probably dead by now. Kenpachi then asks Ikkaku how did he manage, to which Ikkaku claims that he lectured his enemy and he went off somewhere. This made Kenpachi displeased, who then says that Ikkaku's a slacker.
Captain Tōshirō Hitsugaya then shows up, with Yukio Hans Vorarlberna held captive behind him and exclaims that the first thing Kenpachi and Ikkaku did after getting out was getting into a fight. Kenpachi then retaliates by saying that Hitsugaya has nothing to do with it. Yukio then shouts to Hitsugaya on whether he'll release him or not as part of the deal, to which Hitsugaya replies that he'll only release him when everyone else has been freed. Hitsugaya then says that he doesn't see the two Kuchikis anywhere, which makes Ikkaku say that he should mention their given names to differentiate them.
Byakuya then appears, holding Rukia with him. Renji immediately rushes to his side, with Byakuya asking him to take care of her. Hitsugaya then asks whether Rukia's alright, with Byakuya replying that she's still alive, suffered only minor injuries and her Reiatsu is stable, but the only thing is that he can't find any presence of whoever Rukia's fighting. Hitsugaya then stares at Yukio while saying that he knows something. Yukio then replies by saying that he doesn't know much about Riruka's abilities and that they did not reveal their strengths to each other, so they only barely know about their skills. Yukio then pleads Hitsugaya to release him, only for Hitsugaya to say not just yet while pointing to the 'chat room' where Ichigo and Uryū were battling Ginjō. Yukio says that he can't undo that one, which makes Hitsugaya point his sword at him. Yukio then claims he isn't lying, while explaining that Fullbringers and Substitute Shinigami can trade their powers. He continues by saying that when they first joined Ginjō, they made a pact to share each other's powers and a small promise not meant to be broken. Yukio then says that his promise with Ginjō is that as long as he is within his ability's range, "dispelling" it is impossible without Ginjō's explicit order.
Ginjō is then shown launching a Getsuga Tenshō towards Ichigo. Ichigo then counters it by releasing his own Getsuga Tenshō and dashing towards Ginjō. Ginjō then swings his sword down onto Ichigo, but he manages to step aside. As they then clash swords, Ginjō exclaims that Ichigo's fighting well and it's like he doesn't care what happens to himself. Ichigo then says he's wrong, which makes Ginjō continue saying that he's just fighting to the best of his ability and asks what he's fighting for. Ichigo then asks him what he means, but Ginjō then cuts it short by stating that Tsukishima is dead. This surprises Ichigo, who then backs off. Ginjō then says that Tsukishima isn't really dead yet, but his Reiatsu is almost gone and that he only can last around 10 minutes at best, while also saying that when a Fullbringer dies, all traces of their ability will disappear. Ginjō continues that if Tsukishima were to die all the edited pasts that he "slipped" his presence into will all revert back to how it originally was and everyone going back to normal, to which Ginjō asks again what Ichigo is really fighting for. Ichigo was unable to answer it, which makes Ginjō begin telling him about "the enemy he should be really fighting".
Kūgo reveals the truth of the Substitute Badge to Ichigo.
After Tsukishima's defeat, the condition of Orihime Inoue and Yasutora Sado stabilizes. Kisuke Urahara leaves them in the care of Tessai Tsukabishi and heads off to the battle. He tells Isshin Kurosaki that most of the fighting is over and that he should remain behind. Isshin asks if the should join Ichigo's battle to end it swiftly, but Urahara interrupts him, saying that Ichigo will learn the truth from Kūgo. He says this is fine as he would have learned it regardless.
Ichigo dismisses Kūgo's words as an attempt to shake his resolve and Uryū agrees that he is mentally pressuring them, asking if Kūgo hopes that Ichigo will join him. Kūgo dismisses this, daring Uryū to fire an arrow at him. He then asks Ichigo about his Substitute Shinigami Badge, telling him that it was not given solely to those that prove to be of benefit to Soul Society. After asking if Ichigo has ever experienced the badge's authority, he claims that it is instead awarded regardless of whether the person is beneficial or not as a means of observing them and suppressing their Reiatsu.
Kūgo notes that while Ichigo was powerful in his Shinigami form, his Reiatsu was not a problem in his Human body and that when he first activated his Fullbring, his Reiatsu came pouring out of the badge. Insisting that Soul Society was controlling him, he states that Captain Jūshirō Ukitake is responsible for this scheme. He claims that they were both conned by him. Uryū thinks to himself that the worst case scenario is that neither of those things are true. Believing this information to be too much for Ichigo to bear right now, Uryū tries to intervene, but Ichigo then takes his stance and proceeds to reveal his Bankai.
Yukio is shocked to see his chat room burst open as Ichigo releases Bankai, prompting Kūgo to do the same.
Rukia awakens to see the other Shinigami just standing around while Ichigo is still inside one of the pocket dimensions. Yukio tells her that even he cannot deactivate it and that they cannot break it. Rukia refuses to believe that and wonders if there is some other reason they do not act. To Yukio's shock, the dimension is broken apart by Ichigo activating his Bankai.
Ichigo tells Kūgo to be quiet and complains about Uryū worrying about him too much. He reveals that he knew there was something odd about what Ukitake had said, but one day he realized that if Ukitake was so much smarter than him, he could have easily avoided making Ichigo suspicious of the badge. Instead, Ichigo thinks that he did so intentionally and that he chose the path that would allow him to protect people. He swears to protect his friends and allies.
Kūgo responds by saying that he had not wanted to kill Ichigo and activates his Bankai.
Having fulfilled their objective, the Shinigami begin to leave as Ichigo and Kūgo fight.
As Kūgo reminds Ichigo that Xcution's members all had parents who were attacked by a Hollow and that he has some Hollow in him, the pair clash.
To Rukia's surprise, Byakuya, Ikkaku, Kenpachi, and Hitsugaya turn to leave. Byakuya reminds her that they were only tasked with observing Ichigo and his decision. Kenpachi interjects that he only came because he was bored. Hitsugaya states that they knew that if a new Substitute Shinigami ever appeared, Kūgo would take an interest in them. The captains had agreed to use that Substitute to lure out Kūgo and get rid of them both.
But when they encountered Ichigo, Soul Society changed and they shared their power with Ichigo to restore his powers and went to watch over him instead of killing him. He reminds Rukia of her reaction to being told to observe Ichigo and acknowledges that she was correct. Hitsugaya states that he is glad Ichigo is the one that followed Kūgo.
As he fights Ichigo, Kūgo ponders Ichigo's actions and remarks that he intends to crush the Shinigami that betrayed him. He attacks Ichigo, who blocks the attack and slashes Kūgo across the chest.
As Ichigo overwhelms Kūgo, Tsukishima tries to intervene, but Riruka exits Rukia's body to stop him.
As Riruka listens to Rukia's thoughts about Ichigo changing Soul Society, Ichigo and Kūgo land nearby. They clash again, resulting in Kūgo's sword breaking and him being mortally wounded. Kūgo slumps to the ground, wondering what would have happened if Ichigo had become a Substitute Shinigami before him.
As Tsukishima tries to attack Ichigo, Rukia steps between them and Riruka bursts forth from her chest, taking the attack instead. She chastises Tsukishima for using an attack that would kill rather than alter memories. As Tsukishima screams at Kūgo not to die, Riruka tells him that Ichigo saved Kūgo while they could not.
Kūgo meeting Tsukishima for the first time is recalled.
Tsukishima is upset at Ginjō's death, Yukio departs, and Riruka is still alive. Tsukishima has a realization.
Tsukishima cries out at the loss of Ginjō, yelling why did he have to die. He says that Ginjō taught him how to fight, but never taught him what to do if he died. Moe Shishigawara shows up and Tsukishima calms down and says the he sees, that's how things should be. Yukio and Jackie Tristan are then shown and Yukio is relieved that she survived. Jackie says that she might as well be dead since she lost her ability. Yukio says that good for her since she is the only one who hated her ability. Jackie tells Yukio that she found Giriko Kutsuzawa's body on her way and buried it. Jackie says she is a bit jealous of Giriko who died with his Fullbring and that the only thing linking them together might have been their Fullbrings. Yukio says that he wasn't linked to anybody and that he'll come back in three years and the company will be three times as large. Jackie says they'll be waiting.
Riruka wakes up surrounded by Ichigo, Rukia, and Orihime. She is surprised to be alive and Ichigo states that Urahara came to get them, but they couldn't find any of the others. Orihime is shown lying next to her and is happy that she is alright. Riruka asks, what about Tsukishima, but Orihime asks who that is.
Shishigawara is walking holding Tsukishima on his back, who is not dead. Tsukishima says, now I see it Ginjō, and that it's only after he (Ginjō) died that he was able to see it, but that maybe Ginjō knew all along. Tsukishima thanks Shishigawara and says he was never alone.
As Riruka leaves, Ichigo arrives in Seireitei and meets the new captains of the Gotei 13.
Urahara brings Riruka breakfast, but finds that she is gone, so instead offers the meal to Jinta Hanakari. Meanwhile in Soul Society, Co-3rd Seat Sentarō Kotsubaki informs Ukitake that Ichigo has defeated Kūgo, who is glad to hear the news.
A messenger reports to Captain-Commander Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto that Ichigo has arrived in Soul Society. Ichigo is greeted at the First Division meeting room by many of the captains, including Captain Kensei Muguruma, who instructs him to go inside. Ichigo tells Yamamoto that he came to bring Kūgo's body back to the Human World to bury it. The captains are surprised by this. Captain Suì-Fēng protests that he is a criminal and murderer, while Captain Shinji Hirako asks if Ichigo can forgive Kūgo for what he did to his family. Ichigo replies that it is not about forgiving him, saying that everything is back to normal and he is just a Substitute Shinigami. Yamamoto states that he believes Ichigo has thought carefully about what he said.
Later, Captain Shunsui Kyōraku visits Ukitake, telling him that Ichigo is back and that he took his Badge with him. He states that he ask Ichigo, but that he apparently trusts them, commenting that he has grown up. Ukitake states that they had failed to realize this.
In the Human World, Riruka thanks Kūgo for inviting her to join Xcution, Chad for trusting them, Orihime for crying for her. As she silently leaves she expresses her hope that Ichigo would forget about her, but knows he will always remember Xcution.
I received a break at the beginning of the year, so for the first time I was able to attend the New Year's party while not working. It was the best one! It's so nice to come home and not have work waiting for me.