|Changing History, Unchanging Heart|
|Romaji||Kawariyuku rekishi, kawaranu kokoro|
|Manga Chapters||Chapter 476, Chapter 477, Chapter 478, Chapter 479|
|Arc||The Lost Substitute Shinigami arc|
|Previous Episode||Ichigo vs. Ginjō! The Secret of the Substitute Badge|
|Japanese||27 March 2012|
|Episode 366 Screenshots|
Both in their Bankai, Ichigo Kurosaki and Kūgo Ginjō continue to clash as the group of Shinigami watch from below. They begin to turn away and leave the scene, much to the distress of Rukia Kuchiki, who asks why they are leaving. Byakuya Kuchiki pauses and asks Rukia if she recalls the reason for their mission to the World of the Living. He thus reminds her that their true mission was to observe the decision that Ichigo made. Tōshirō Hitsugaya elaborates that the Gotei 13 had always known that once another Substitute Shinigami appeared, he would, sooner or later, be targeted by Kūgo. Thus, the decision was made that when this happened, they would use that Substitute Shinigami to lure our Kūgo and then kill them both to prevent the problems that Kūgo had caused by betraying them, insisting that all of the captains shared this view at the time due to those problems.
Hitsugaya then explains the change in their views because the contact with the new Substitute Shinigami had completely changed the views of the Soul Society irreversibly. Instead, they shared their powers with the person they were supposed to kill and were now dispatched to observe his decision. He asks Rukia if she remembers asserting that Ichigo would never succumb to Kūgo's temptations. Hitsugaya confirms that she was correct in her assessment and that the Ichigo they had known for years now made the choice she knew he would make. He then laments that he is glad that the latest Substitute Shinigami is a man like Ichigo and not a man like Kūgo in that he has not changed his will once and has, in fact, changed the rigidity that had lasted thousands of year in the Soul Society.
As they continue to battle, Kūgo realizes that instead of judging him like he expected, Ichigo has been trying to understand him by seeing things from his point of view. He maintains that he will destroy all the Shinigami who betrayed him and yet Ichigo wants to understand him and then reject his ideals. He screams Ichigo's name, raises his blade and shoots a large fuchsia beam of energy at Ichigo, who easily blocks the attack with his hand without flinching. Ichigo then concentrates Reiatsu on the edge of his blade and slices Kūgo across the chest with it, causing his opponent to fall to the ground.
Kūgo still tries to battle back, but Ichigo easily slices his blade apart and cuts him down. After falling, Kūgo glances at Ichigo and then at the broken edge of his sword; he laments if things have been reversed had Ichigo been the first Substitute Shinigami and he had been the second. He wonders if that had happened would he have been the one forced to cut Ichigo down to stop him getting revenge of the Gotei 13. As he speaks, Kūgo's powers begin to fade away,the markings of his face completely disappearing although his hair remains white as he passes away.
As Ichigo stands over his defeated enemy, a severely injured and distraught Shūkurō Tsukishima suddenly rushes in to attack him from behind. Rukia notices this before Ichigo does and jumps in front of the blade to take the blow instead. However, a green light flashes on Rukia's chest and Riruka Dokugamine suddenly appears to defend her, having previously used her ability to hide inside the Shinigami. Tsukishima's blade cuts through Riruka's left shoulder blade, slicing off most of her left pigtail in the process. Shocked by the sudden appearance, the exertion causes Rukia to collapse into Ichigo's arms.
Riruka demands to know if Tsukishima is stupid, pondering why he was going for the kill. Her comrade removes the blade and hysterically insists that she get out of his way. Tsukishma begins to scream desperately to Kūgo for him not to die and to get up. Crouched on the ground behind him, Riruka shakily tells him to give up. Visibly upset, she asserts that they could never have saved Kūgo despite that fact he was the one who had saved them. She explains that the one who has saved Kūgo was Ichigo.
Tsukishima thinks back to the time Kūgo, as the Substitute Shinigami, found him as a child. He had realized that the young child was alone, just like him, so had decided to take him under his wing. Tsukishima mentally demands to know why Kūgo taught him how to use his abilities and how to fight but had not taught him how to live without him. Still heavily injured, he begins to convulse and cough up a pool of blood. Looking up he sees Moe Shishigawara in front of him and finds some form of clarity from his subordinates presence.
Some distance away, Yukio Hans Vorarlberna is kicking a stone along a pavement. He is chastized from behind by Jackie Tristan who tells him that he has a bad habit of kicking things and thus he shouldn't annoy Riruka so much about her habits. Yukio comments that it is nice she survived her battle but Jackie retorts that she might as well be dead. He realizes then that her Fullbring abilities have been lost asserting that it should be a good thing considering how much she detested her abilities.
Yukio explains that he had found Giriko's watch and corpse previously so had decided to bury the watch with Giriko. Jackie confirms that she really did hate her abilities while she had them. However, now that they have left her, she almost envies Giriko for being able to die whilst still being in possession of his abilities. She elaborates that at some point while being a member of Xcution she realized that their Fullbrings were the only thing that held them together as a unit. Yukio stares at her for a while before replying that her opinion was stupid and that he was now leaving.
Sometime later, at the Urahara Shop, Riruka wakes up with Rukia beside her. Rukia alerts Ichigo to this development and he enters the room just as Riruka is expressing surprise that she is alive. Ichigo informs her that her survival is due to the arrival of Kisuke Urahara, who saved her life. He also delivers the bad news that they could not find any other members of Xcution. Saddened, Riruka rolls over and is confronted by Orihime Inoue who is lying next to her, crying freely due to the events. Riruka also begins to cry then.
Elsewhere, Moe is carrying the injured Tsukishima through a forest while encouraging him not to die because he is the strongest of them all. The dying Tsukishima begins to smile as he listens to Moe insisting that he cannot die. He realizes that Kūgo must have always known that even if he had died that Tsukishima was not alone. He weakly thanks Moe for being there but his subordinate happily brushes off his thanks, maintaining that it is not needed since as his apprentice, he is supposed to help him.
In Soul Society, Kiyone Kotetsu and Sentarō Kotsubaki rush to the lakeside residence of their captain, Jūshirō Ukitake. They inform him that Ichigo has successfully defeated Kūgo and the Shinigami dispatched to the area have all returned safely. They also inform him that Kūgo's body has also been retrieved as a traitor. Through the shutters they see Ukitake trying to get to his feet and become alarmed but their captain insists that he is alright before asking about Ichigo. When informed that the latest Substitute Shinigami is safe, Ukitake lifts the shutters, holding an icepack to his head as he smiles and murmurs that he is thankful for the outcome of the situation.
Back in the Human World, Urahara calls out to Riruka that it is time for breakfast. However, upon recieving no answer, enters the room to find it empty and her sheets neatly folded in the corner. Riruka has decided to leave as she stands on a building lamenting all that has happened. She thanks Kūgo for making her a part of Xcution; she thanks Sado for believing in them; and she thanks Orihime for shedding real tears for her. She hopes that Ichigo will move on with his life and forget about Xcution, bidding him farewell although she mentally admits that she knows he will never ever forget. With that, she uses Bringer Light and vanishes.
Meanwhile, in the Seireitei, a messenger arrives at Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto's office to report that the team tasked with cleaning up in the Human World has finished. Yamamoto curiously asks why he is reporting something so trivial to him. Simultaneously, all the captains learn that Ichigo has arrived in the Seireitei and is requesting an audience with Yamamoto and the other captains. Renji confronts Ichigo about this but his friend just walks on passed him causing the lieutenant to get annoyed. Rukia calms Renji down by informing him that Ichigo has permission to speak to the Captain-Commander, shocking the red-head. Ichigo proceeds towards the meeting with Renji and Rukia following behind him.
Nanao Ise reports the development to her captain as he lies on a roof at their barracks. Shunsui Kyōraku reminds her that Ichigo has learnt that there was a Substitute Shinigami before him, he must have a lot on his mind that is troubling him. Kyōraku states that he would not be surprised if Ichigo was quite furious with them. Nanao asks him if he thinks he is going to return his badge, Kyōraku insists that he can't say for sure but the situation is a complicated one.
Ichigo arrives at the entrance hall to the meeting room to be greeted by most of the Gotei 13 captains. He is stunned and asks if all the captains needed to greet him but Suì-Fēng appears behind him and reveals that Mayuri Kurotsuchi and Ukitake are not here. Kensei Muguruma steps forward and tells Ichigo to go inside. Ichigo expresses excitement over Kensei's promotion but the captain tells him to shut up and go on inside.
Everyone enters with Renji and Rukia bowing believing they should leave. However Yamamoto tells them to remain quietly at the back of the room. Yamamoto welcomes Ichigo and commends him for fighting admirably. Ichigo brushes off his compliment and then states that he wants to take Kūgo's body and give it a proper burial. This shocks all the captains with Shinji Hirako standing forward and asking how he can forgive a man who messed up his family. Rukia quietly wonders why Ichigo is making a request that is like asking for Kūgo's pardon.
Ichigo states that it is not about forgiveness, since all of his family are uninjured and returned to normal. Yamamoto asks if he has considered the ramifications and Ichigo replies that he doesn't care about the consequences. He just wants to bury a fellow Substitute Shinigami out of respect since he is going to continue that mantle and remain one. The revelation that he is not retiring causes relief among the captains and Yamamoto grants Ichigo's request. Rukia is so soothed by this news that she has to hold back tears. As he leaves, Ichigo asks that they start informing Shinigami in Karakura Town about what a Substitute badge is.
As Ukitake sits alone on a grassy hill, he is approached by Kyōraku who informs him that Ichigo is preparing to leave. Tense, Ukitake asks about the badge and his friend admits that Ichigo has decided to take it with him confirming that Ichigo has insisted that he trusts them. Ukitake sighs as he closes his eyes, a weight being lifted from his shoulders. Kyōraku asserts that Ichigo has matured a lot through his role as a Substitute Shinigami. Both of them agree that they can never stop youngsters growing up and that it happens so fast they never see it coming.
At the Senkaimon, the Kidō Corps open the door to allow Ichigo to bring the body of Kūgo back to the World of the Living with their aid. Rukia follows him to the door, reflecting of their time as friends and how much Ichigo has grown with a wistful smile on her face as she quietly thanks him for all that he has done. Ichigo stops at the doorway and tells Rukia that he will see her around. She mocks him playfully by wondering how many times she has heared him say that. Ichigo replies that it won't be the last time so it doesn't matter how many times he says it. Rukia agrees before Ichigo waves one last time and runs into the Dangai.
The credits roll, showing a series of scenes of the Gotei 13 members. Yamamoto and Sasakibe are watching the pillar of light where Ichigo was leaving. Nanao was scolding Shunsui for drinking again. Ukitake was also watching the pillar of light, with Kiyone Kotetsu and Sentarō Kotsubaki running towards him and tripping over each other. Ikkaku was being (painfully) healed by Captain Unohana and Isane and Hanatarō are shown in the same room, pointing out the pillar of light to Unohana. Kira, Iba, and Yumichika are shown in a restaurant where Kira is drunk. Kenpachi and Yachiru are shown running in the opposite direction of the pillar of light, though they pause for a while to see it.
A fully-healed Hinamori is shown chatting with Hitsugaya, who smiles at her appearance, before he is "bumped" by Matsumoto's breasts, causing him to fall towards Hinamori. Suì-Fēng is attacking two wooden poles with pictures of Urahara and Shinji attached to them, succeeding in reducing them to splinters whilst Ōmaeda looks on frighteningly. Nemu manages to steal Kūgo's Combat Pass for Mayuri to experiment on, much to Mayuri's interest. Shinji is arguing with Hiyori over the phone (with the latter winning the argument). Kensei, Komamura, and Hisagi visits the grave of Tōsen's old friend. Hisagi is shown to be slightly depressed about it, but Kensei manages to console him. Byakuya is shown staring at Hisana's picture with a slight air of mourn before he looks at the pillar of light as well. Renji and Rukia stares at the pillar of light as it fades into the sky.
At the Human World, Ichigo arrives home and is greeted warmly by all of his friends and family. A white card appears, with his personal information written on it, including his occupation, which reads "High School Student/Substitute Shinigami".
Characters in Order of Appearance
- Ichigo Kurosaki & Uryū Ishida vs. Kūgo Ginjō (concluded)
Powers and Techniques Used
- Getsuga Tenshō (月牙天衝, Moon Fang Heaven-Piercer)
- Energy Beam
- Bringer Light (完現光, Full Manifestation Light)
- Saigo no Getsuga Tenshō (最後の月牙天衝, The Final Moon Fang Heaven-Piercer) (flashback)
- Mugetsu (無月, Moonless Sky) (flashback)
- Shunpo (瞬歩, Flash steps)
- Cross of Scaffold (クロス•オブ•スキャッフォルド, Kurosu obu Sukyafforudo)
- Book of the End (ブック • オブ • ジ • エンド, Bukku obu ji Endo)
- Dollhouse (ドールハウス, Dōruhausu)
- Horōka (虚化, Hollowfication) (flashback)
Anime and Manga Differences
- In the anime, there is no mention of Jackie wanting to be along Yukio and his desire to rebuild his company.
- In the anime, there is no mention of Tsukishima by Riruka when she is in Urahara's house.
- Ichigo calling Suì-Fēng's name without an honorific and her reaction are omitted in the anime.
- Ichigo's talk with Captain-Commander Yamamoto is longer in the anime.
- Kūgo's body is transported in a box by 4 white-clad people.
- When one of the Reversal Counter Force members is reporting to Suì-Fēng, her two hair tails are missing, but in later scenes, they are there.
- Despite being 17 months after Aizen's defeat, Yumichika and Kurotsuchi's design is the same as the Arrancar arc (their new looks appears in the next arc).
- A flashback of almost all arcs in the anime is shown.
- Several scenes were added in the ending credits:
- Yamamoto and Sasakibe watching the light where Ichigo is leaving.
- Kyōraku being scolded by Nanao because he was drinking.
- Ukitake watching the same pillar of light while Sentarō Kotsubaki and Kiyone Kotetsu are running to him and falling over.
- Madarame is being (painfully) healed from his dislocated shoulder by Unohana. Also in the room are Isane Kotetsu and Hanatarō Yamada.
- Yumichika, Iba and Kira are in a restaurant where Kira is drunk.
- Kenpachi and Yachiru running away from the pillar of light.
- Tōshirō talking with Momo before being pushed by Matsumoto's breasts.
- Ōmaeda looks on as Suì-Fēng attacks images of Urahara and Hirako on wooden sticks.
- While Kurotsuchi is working with something, Nemu appears to him and she stole Kūgo's Combat Pass to give it to him.
- Hirako fighting with Hiyori on the phone.
- Komamura, Hisagi and Kensei visit the grave of Tōsen's friend.
- Byakuya looking at Hisana's picture.
- Rukia and Renji watch the pillar of light disappearing.
- Ichigo returns to Karakura Town where he is greeted by his friends and family.
|Ichigo vs. Ginjō! The Secret of the Substitute Badge||None|