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End of the Chrysalis Age
"You are becoming a snake tomorrow, and as you start to devour people, with that mouth that has eaten others, you cry your love to me, and the same as today, I do wonder, will I be able to say my love to you?"
Gin tells Ichigo to run away as Urahara, Yoruichi, and Isshin continue to fight Aizen.
Lieutenant Izuru Kira screams after Lieutenant Rangiku Matsumoto and tries to move forward, but in the process he sustains more injuries. However, he continues screaming after her as Rangiku was only healed to the point that her life could be sustained and nothing more.
Ichigo, now with his mask broken, begins breathing heavily and Gin questions if he's really this weak. He remarks that back when they first fought he was much scarier. Gin then tells Ichigo to run away.
Urahara asks Yoruichi, who now has her right arm-guard destroyed, if she's all right and she tells him to remember who he's talking to. She states that she was able to block the attack because of the "half-finished" armor, but that she would have simply dodged it without the armor. Aizen looks at Urahara and Urahara asks him what he's doing. Aizen explains that his act of worrying is simply a part of his plan and Urahara tells him that he thought he didn't caution himself anymore. However, Aizen explains that he isn't being cautious, but that he's simply making an observation. He continues to explain that he has an interest in him because he is the only person with an intellect that surpasses his own, but Urahara tells him that he's making too much of him and states that he's simply the poor owner of a small-time candy store now.
Urahara uses Hadō #32, Ōkasen, but Aizen easily blocks the attack and deduces that since he's using such a weak spell he must be planning a sneak attack. Yoruichi appears and she attacks him, but Aizen easily blocks the blow with his left hand. He tells her that no matter how many times she attacks him it won't work, but Yoruichi activates Shunkō, allowing her to break through his left arm and attacking Aizen himself. The blow ends up cracking the right part of Aizen's body, and Aizen himself falls into the town below. Yoruichi goes towards him and continues her assault, but this time Aizen catches her fist and reminds her that she can't beat him like this. Urahara suddenly attacks by using Shibari, Benihime, which binds Aizen, but Aizen tells him that he can't hold him down with something like this. However, Urahara uses Hiasobi, Benihime and Juzu Tsunagi which causes an explosion at Aizen's location, but Aizen appears barely harmed from the attack and questions if this could really be his trump card. All of a sudden, Isshin appears in front of Aizen and hits him at point blank range with a Getsuga Tenshō.
Aizen defeats his opponents and goes with Gin to the Real Karakura Town.
A huge explosion, caused by Isshin's Getsuga Tenshō, engulfs Aizen, leaving a crater behind along with several destroyed buildings. Urahara questions Isshin on its effectiveness, to which Isshin responds that he can no longer sense Aizen's Reiatsu since he transformed, indicating he doesn't know. Isshin then goes on to say that perhaps the only "one's capable of perceiving Aizen's power the way he is now are those standing in the same place as him". To Isshin's and Urahara's disbelief, Aizen emerges from the smoke with a large slash on his face. Aizen then remarks that it was a "palpable hit" and that he "'understood'" the attack. He then raises his sword and says that it is time for them to understand his power.
Meanwhile, Ichigo notices a large explosion and looks back to see what occurred. Gin remarks that Ichigo should be paying attention to their fight. Gin then completely loses respect for Ichigo, comes down from the high ground, and says that he isn't "a warrior anymore". He goes on to say that Ichigo isn't a Shinigami, Hollow, or even a person anymore. He then remarks that Ichigo could never fight an opponent like Aizen. Ichigo opens his mouth in a rebuke, but he relents and no words come out.
Gin then once again suggests that Ichigo should run as he is tired of him, and Aizen would be "disappointed" to see him as he is now. Gin remarks that he doesn't blame him because Ichigo understands Aizen's power and should be scared of him. Ichigo bows his head in despair and acceptance as Gin unsheathes Shinsō and says that if he isn't going to run he will cut him down where he stands.
Before Gin can attack, an explosion occurs behind Ichigo, revealing Aizen after it subsides. As Ichigo gazes at Aizen, he notices the defeated bodies of Yoruichi, Urahara, and his own father. He chokes out their names, as Aizen asks Gin what he was doing to Ichigo. Gin remarks he was merely "testing his [Ichigo's] strength". Aizen turns away from Ichigo and orders Gin to open a Senkaimon to Soul Society, where the real Karakura Town is, as it will be easier to storm the Royal Palace by creating the Ōken in Soul Society. Ichigo yells at Aizen to wait. Aizen turns, but his "face" seems to be falling off, to which Gin remarks that Aizen's incubation period must be over. Aizen fully turns and reveals his old face under the chrysalis, although he sports longer hair and black sclera, reminiscent of a Hollow. He then declares he can watch the fall of Soul Society with his own eyes.
As Gin opens a gate, Aizen turns to Ichigo and says that they are leaving him there in Fake Karakura Town. He then says "eating you can be done after all this is finished", and disappears with Gin inside the gate. Ichigo stares as the gate closes, but is reprimanded by his father for "just standing there". Isshin gets up and puts his arm around Ichigo, looking for support as he tells Ichigo to open a gate himself so that they can go and "protect Karakura Town".
Aizen and Gin arrive in Soul Society, some distance from Karakura Town.
Aizen and Gin arrive in the Dangai, and Aizen comments that it "feels rather nostalgic", to which Gin agrees. They then notice the Kōtotsu coming, and Aizen, interested, does not move from its path. Gin tells Aizen that it would be prudent to move on as it is a being of reason, and it would not be a good idea to mess with it using Reiatsu. Aizen, undaunted, lets the train run into him. It explodes and he remains satisfied and unscathed, although Gin seems to be a bit taken aback. Aizen asks what Gin is afraid of, and says that "reason exists for those who cannot go on living without clinging to it". He then says, "let's go...to the edge of reason", and they exit the Precipice World.
Meanwhile, back in Fake Karakura Town, Isshin headbutts Ichigo and reiterates that they are going to Soul Society to protect Karakura Town. Ichigo laments that it is impossible, to which Isshin angrily responds "How would you know?" Ichigo counters by saying that there is no way they can "beat a monster like that with that kind of Reiatsu". Isshin, stunned but now understanding, says that Ichigo does not actually understand Aizen's Reiatsu. Isshin begins walking and asks if Ichigo is coming. When Ichigo does not answer, Isshin asks him if he is just going to sit there and cry. Ichigo, with resolve once again renewed by his father, tells his dad to open the Senkai Gate. Isshin responds with, "I don't need you to tell me that" and opens one.
Aizen and Gin emerge from their own Senkai Gate into Soul Society, with Aizen remarking that they were a little off with the coordinates. Gin responds by saying that it was not his fault, "because Captain Aizen decided to be a little naughty". Aizen bluntly apologizes and says, "Shall we walk a little, then?"
Ichigo and Isshin are then shown hurrying through the Dangai themselves, when Isshin tells Ichigo to stop and remarks that Aizen definitely destroyed the Kōtotsu, even though Shinigami should not be able to touch it. Ichigo then tells him that they should be hurrying, but Isshin remarks that the Precipice World is just as it sounds, and is its own separate dimension, cutting off time and space from both the Soul Society and Human World. As such, time moves significantly slower than in the other two worlds. Isshin says that the slow time of the Dangai will be perfect for him to teach his son. Ichigo inquires as to what he will teach him, and his father responds simply, "the Final Getsuga Tenshō".
Aizen and Gin finally reach the real Karakura Town in Soul Society, just as Keigo Asano awakens...
As Ichigo meditates in the Dangai, Keigo meets up with Tatsuki. Meanwhile, Aizen and Gin arrive in Karakura Town.
As Ichigo meditates, Isshin tries to hit him. After Ichigo dodges, Isshin complains that he was not focused on his meditation, asking if he is unable to communicate with his own Zanpakutō. Ichigo tells him that he has never gone to his inner world by relaxing and that he does not really understand what he is supposed to be doing. Isshin repeats his instructions to him, but Ichigo says he knows that and closes his eyes.
Earlier, Ichigo asked what Isshin meant by teaching him there, and Isshin explains about how the Dangai is an isolated space which is surrounded by numerous stacked-up layers of time's current, resulting in it being a place where the density of time within it is extremely high when compared to other exterior dimensions. Isshin tells a confused Ichigo that when 1 year passes in the Dangai, 2,000 years will have passed outside the Dangai. Isshin continues his explanation, stating that if one is caught by the Kōryū, the will become stuck and die, while if one is chased by the Kōtotsu, they will be flung into a time far removed from when they entered the Dangai. Isshin notes that thanks to Urahara's technological prowess, Ichigo and the other Ryoka were only affected by a few days when they originally entered Soul Society. With the Kōtotsu gone, Isshin identifies it as a chance to buy some time. Stating that Soul Society cannot suppress the Kōtotsu, he reveals that there is a way to stop the Kōryū, called Kaikyō Kotei. Isshin removes four small forked blades from his uniform and ties them to himself before inserting them into the Dangai's walls. Isshin states that he will hold back the Kōryū for as long as he can, estimating that it will be about 2,000 hours. He urges Ichigo to use that time to get information from his Zanpakutō about the true nature of the Final Getsuga Tenshō.
With Ichigo settled into his meditative pose again, Isshin reveals that it is called Jinzen and explains its nature to his son. Meanwhile, Keigo runs through Karakura Town, noting that everyone is asleep. He is hit by Tatsuki, who tells the excited Keigo to be quite. Tatsuki and Keigo begin to bring the unconscious Chizuru and Michiru to their school and talk about what they have seen, deciding that it has something to do with Ichigo. Outside Karakura Town, Aizen and Gin arrive at the outskirts of the town. Aizen states that the town is ill-suited to the scenery of Soul Society, saying that it will be their last look at both.
In the Dangai, Isshin notes an injury on Ichigo's shoulder and wonders if he did it. He advises his son that this time Zangetsu will be on a rampage.
As Ichigo fights Tensa Zangetsu in his inner world, Aizen spots Tatsuki in Karakura Town.
Aizen and Gin take their first steps into Karakura Town. Meanwhile, Ichigo enters his inner world, which is submerged in water. As soon as Ichigo notices this, he frantically tries to swim towards the surface, but is grabbed and pulled down by someone. Ichigo than looks up and sees a young man who tells the former that he should be able to breath just fine. Ichigo notices this fact and asks the man who he is, saying Zangetsu should be in here. The stranger retorts that Ichigo is being quite rude to the one who taught him how to "breathe". Just than, the hooded man takes out Tensa Zangetsu and pulls his hood back, revealing his face. The man tells Ichigo that he is not surprised that Ichigo does not recognize him in this form, since this is the first time Ichigo has entered his inner world while being in Bankai. Before Ichigo can ponder this, the man charges forward and begins to fight. Ichigo questions if the man is Zangetsu, to which the latter answers no, he is Tensa Zangetsu.
In the Dangai, Isshin notices that Ichigo is "in". He than tells his son to be careful and that Zangetsu is going to "go wild" now. Isshin than touches his own Zanpakutō, Engetsu, commenting that it behaved the same way. He goes on to explain that the Zanpakutō don't exactly want to teach the Shinigami their techniques, and states that Ichigo would soon understand why. In the inner world, Ichigo skids on a building from Tensa Zangetsu's attack. Ichigo attempts to tell him to stop but cuts himself off, saying that it wouldn't be appropriate to call him "old man" while in this younger form. He calls him "Zangetsu" instead and says he wants to ask him something. Tensa Zangetsu asks if he means the "Final" Getsuga Tenshō, and responds that he cannot teach him such a move. Ichigo awkwardly smirks and tells his Zanpakutō that he can't go on without learning it and that it is necessary to protect Karakura Town. Tensa Zangetsu lunges forward and scoffs at Ichigo, asking why he should care what happens to what his master wants to protect before knocking him down into a building. Looking down at Ichigo, Tensa Zangetsu says that what he wants to protect and what Ichigo wants to protect are completely different.
In Karakura, a middle aged man who has awoken walks through town, wondering what is going on. He sees Aizen and Gin and asks if they know what's going on. Aizen warns the man not to come closer, but it is too late as the man falls on the ground dead. Aizen than states that Humans with no Reiatsu perception cannot sense his power, but will die from the shear might of his Reiatsu. Suddenly, Gin spots Tatsuki Arisawa carrying Michiru Ogawa. Aizen than says that he remembers them from Ulquiorra Cifer's report, and they are the allies of Ichigo Kurosaki.
Ichigo encounters an old enemy in his inner world. Aizen threatens the lives of Ichigo's friends.
Inside his inner world, Ichigo asks Tensa Zangetsu why he lent him his power, if not for his sake. Zangetsu replies that Ichigo's inner world has become a replica of Karakura Town, instead of the skyscrapers that reached towards the hopeful heavens. Although the raining has stopped, the entire world is now submerged. The reason for this is that Ichigo has ceased from moving forward. Zangetsu approaches Ichigo and pierces his chest with his hand, saying he will not allow Ichigo to stay like that; he will pull out the source of Ichigo's despair. Ichigo struggles and cries in pain, but eventually Zangetsu manages to pull something out of Ichigo's chest. As he looks up he is amazed to see his inner Hollow, wearing his horned mask. The Hollow greets Ichigo and asks why he is so surprised; removing the mask, he asks if Ichigo does not recognize him.
In Karakura Town, Tatsuki asks Keigo if he is going to search for Mizuiro Kojima. Keigo says he did look before, but did not find him. He adds that since Ichigo disappeared, Mizuiro has been walking to school alone and will not answer his cell phone and is probably still asleep somewhere. Tatsuki says since Mizuiro and Keigo have been hanging out since middle school, she thought they were friends. Keigo explains that it is a feeling of distance, which he finds important. He says Ichigo was the only person Mizuiro ever really opened up to, as he creates walls very easily. He is grateful that Mizuiro took the initiative with Ichigo. Keigo says they should drop the subject and Tatsuki agrees with him. She suggests once they leave Chizuru Honshō and Michiru at school, Keigo should go look for Mizuiro. Keigo asks about Mahana Natsui and Ryō Kunieda, but Tatsuki replies that they can take care of themselves. She intends to go look for the Ichigo's sisters instead. Keigo asks if they will not be with their father, but Tatsuki replies that he is probably asleep like the others.
They are then interrupted by the Reiatsu of the approaching Sōsuke Aizen and Gin Ichimaru. Tatsuki falls to one knee and Keigo asks her if she is alright. She replies she does not need his concern. When Tatsuki tries to ask who they are, Aizen commends them for still being alive while being this physically close to him. Tatsuki asks who they are again. Aizen replies that Ichigo will inevitably come there with a new power. His goal is to force that power to perfection, and their deaths will further that purpose. Tatsuki tells Keigo to run, but he hesitates. She tells him there is nothing he can do if he stays there and Keigo turns and runs, carrying Chizuru on his back. Aizen tells Gin there is no need to follow him and that they till start with Tatsuki. Tatsuki is on her knees unable to move with Michiru still on her back, as a mysterious shadow creeps behind their backs.
Tensa Zangetsu and Ichigo's inner Hollow merge to fight Ichigo, one-on-one. Sōsuke Aizen meets Don Kanonji.
The source of Ichigo's despair turns out to be his inner Hollow. Ichigo believed him to have disappeared after their last fight. The Hollow reminds of his words, that if Ichigo wants to control his powers he must try to stay alive until the Hollow returns. Ichigo says he was trying to destroy him; the Hollow responds sarcastically, saying it's a true shame that he couldn't. Ichigo moves on, asking the Hollow about his new attire with the horned mask. Zangetsu intervenes and says this was the mask on Ichigo's face when he defeated Ulquiorra Cifer. This form was what Ichigo feared most, in which his heart is overwhelmed by his destructive power and he can't even Hollowify properly. Ichigo asks what Zangetsu would advise him to do, should he simply fight the Hollow and defeat him? Zangetsu's reply is that Ichigo won't be fighting 'him', but rather 'them', one-on-one. And before Ichigo's eyes the two beings begin merging into one. As the newly formed creature gets to his feet, he says they are technically two parts of one being. They are both Ichigo's power.
Crushed under Aizen's massive Reiatsu, Tatsuki can't move a muscle. She tells herself she must at least get Michiru off her back, but is unable to. She believes it's all over for her, but suddenly a large ball of energy strikes Aizen. The attack came from none other than Don Kanonji, who says Tatsuki seems to be in a pinch, which is the right time to call for heroes. He tops it off with his catchphrase: "The spirits are always with you!". He apologizes to his fans and introduces himself, saying he has returned for good. As the smoke clears around the unscathed Aizen he asks Kanonji who he is. The surprised Kanonji says Aizen is quite uneducated for not being familiar with his face and concludes that Aizen must not watch television very often. But before he has the pleasure of introducing himself again, he is foiled by Tatsuki who asks what he is doing there, using his name. Angered that his introduction was ruined Kanonji asks Tatsuki if she is a girl or a demon. Tatsuki asks him to simply go home as there is nothing he can do to help. At that moment Kanonji feels Aizen's enormous power. Aizen says it's time for Kanonji's Human body to buckle under the pressure, or perhaps he should congratulate the Human for lasting that long. Tatsuki urges Kanonji to run, but he replies that if he were to run from battle he would no longer be deemed a hero in the eyes of children. He braces his stick and lunges at Aizen. Aizen asks him to stop, for any Human who touches him would cease to exist. Kanonji's stick is about to connect when a mysterious hand stops it.
Rangiku Matsumoto arrives in Karakura Town. Her motives are yet to be known.
Don Kanonji runs away with Tatsuki and Michiru as Gin stabs Rangiku.
Rangiku states that she made it in time, neither Aizen nor Gin respond. Rangiku tells Don Kanonji to run away with Tatsuki and Michiru, but Don Kanonji argues. Rangiku threatens to rip-off his beard and burn his hat if he does not do as he is told. A frighted Kanonji complies, but tells Rangiku to call him if she needs help, causing Rangiku to throw a can at him. As Tatsuki is carried away by Kanonji, she wonders if Rangiku is a friend of Ichigo's. She notes that her kimono is similar to Ichigo's and comments on how beautiful Rangiku is.
Meanwhile, Aizen tells Rangiku that she is wrong whether she means that she is in time to help the Humans escape or in time to stop Karakura Town from being destroyed. Rangiku does not answer and Aizen wonders if it is hard for her to speak to him. Gin intervenes and apologies for Rangiku and asks to take her off to the side. Aizen tells him to take his time and assures Gin, when the later asks, that they will not be an inconvenience to him.
Gin grabs Rangiku and flies up with her. Aizen comments that Gin is an interesting a child as he has always been. As they fly-up, Rangiku forces Gin to let her go and they land on a roof top some distance away from each other. Gin wonders what Rangiku is doing there when she is about to collapse. Rangiku explains that she opened at Senkaimon as soon as Gin's Reiatsu disappeared as she was well aware of the exact location of Karakura Town. Gin points out that he did not ask how she got here, but what she was doing there. Rangiku replies that it should be obvious that she is there because Gin is there. She explains that now she can ask him directly why he is serving Aizen, a question that Gin does not answer. Rangiku pushes on and wonders why Gin betrayed Kira, when the he trusted Gin so much. Gin wonders if she is seriously asking him that and wonders if she really is talking about Kira when she says "you betrayed him, even though he trusted you". Rangiku is left speechless as Gin approaches her, saying he really does not know why she is there. He gets close enough to lay a hand on her chest and states that she is getting in the way and draws his Zanpakutō on her.
Elsewhere, Tatsuki forces Kanonji to let her down and runs into Keigo carrying a sword. Keigo explains that he borrowed it from "Afro-san", who has collapsed. Keigo found Mizuiro and urges Tatsuki to run as Keigo can feel Aizen getting closer.
Back on the rooftop, Gin jumps down as Rangiku is seen lying on the floor will her Zanpakutō drawn. While in the Dangai, an exhausted looking Isshin wonders how much longer it will be, as Ichigo is seen bleeding from his mouth.
Ichigo's friends attempt to run away as Gin returns to Aizen's side.
Ichigo is sill fighting and Isshin questions why he is taking so long.
Rangiku is injured and Keigo and Tatsuki are running away from Aizen, when they run into a fully conscious Mizuizo and Chizuru. The group share experiences, then Chizuru questions what is going on, not understanding the situation. When they are located by Aizen, they begin to run, but to no avail. Mizuizo throws a bottle at Aizen, but when that fails, he reveals a smoke bomb, and then throws it at Aizen. When the smoke clears they see Aizen undamaged.
They all start to run again. Then, Zennosuke (The Shinigami of Karakura Town) appears, and releases his Zanpakutō, Tsuchinamazu, and crates a rock wall, in an attempt to ward of the group’s pursuer. Just then, Ichimaru appears and joins Aizen.