|Evolution?! The Menace of the Final Sword Fiend|
|Romaji||Shinka?! Saigo no tou-jū no kyōi|
|Arc||Beast Swords arc|
|Previous Episode||Battle of the Females? Katen Kyōkotsu vs. Nanao!|
|Next Episode||Ichigo VS Ulquiorra, Restart!|
|Japanese||April 6, 2010|
|English||August 5, 2012|
|Ending||Tabidatsu Kimi e|
|Episode 265 Screenshots|
The Zanpakutō spirits struggle with the final Tōjū when their wielders arrive to help.
Several Shinigami are in hot pursuit of a cleaver wielding Tōjū. Among them is lieutenant of the 9th Division, Shūhei Hisagi and his Zanpakutō, Kazeshini. Kazeshini takes on the Tōjū and is able to push him back, but before he can land a killing blow the Tōjū suddenly grabs his throat and reverts back into his sword form. Hisagi commends his Zanpakutō, having not witnessed the anomaly, and Renji Abarai and his Zabimaru arrive too late to be of assistance. The two lieutenants comment on how the Tōjū have become scarce and deduce that probably there are not many of them left. When the lieutenants leave, Kazeshini tells Zabimaru about the way his fight with the Tōjū ended. Saru and Hebi are amazed to hear that.
Later on, they approach Hōzukimaru and Ruri'iro Kujaku. Hōzukimaru is surprised to see them together and begins teasing Kazeshini, when the latter loses his temper, Saru reminds him that they came to talk about a grave matter. The Zanpakutō spirits have been monitoring the movements of a specific Tōjū, that is known for draining other spirits' Reiryoku, and Kazeshini tells them about the Tōjū he fought. Zabimaru explains that Tōjū have limited amounts of Reiryoku, which will eventually be depleted, at which point the Tōjū will revert to its sword form. But the Tōjū they're after can steal the Reiryoku from other Zanpakutō and use it as his own. Ruri'iro Kujaku comments that he has this power is well, but Kazeshini says that as a Zanpakutō this Tōjū surpassed his master, and once his master died he was freed to do as he pleases. The spirits realize that this is the worst foe for a Shinigami, and so they resolve to go after him and finish him themselves.
Later that day, Momo Hinamori, Rangiku Matsumoto, and Nanao Ise are having dinner and drinks at the Kamenoya Bar & Grill, along with Tobiume, Haineko, and Katen Kyōkotsu. Rangiku, her tongue loosened by the saké, asks Nanao why she brought the quiet younger half of Katen Kyōkotsu. Nanao replies that she brought her along since they are in the same squad. When Rangiku asks where the other half is, Nanao replies that she's back at the headquarters, drinking with Captain Kyōraku. Rangiku asks if it's safe to leave the two of them alone together, and Nanao replies that as she is his Zanpakutō there is no harm in it. Rangiku berates Momo for not having drunk any saké. When Momo says she only came to enjoy the food, Rangiku asks in drunken anger if Momo thinks she is too good to drink with her. Tobiume angrily stands up for her master, but Haineko calms her own master down by offering to drink with her instead. Rangiku notices that Haineko is much nicer than usual. When the evening concludes Momo and Nanao are forced to carry the inebriated Rangiku to her quarters, while the three Zanpakutō spirits say they wish to hang out among themselves. The lieutenants agree, but instead all the spirits gather together to mount an attack against the Reiryoku stealing Tōjū.
The next morning finds the Reiryoku-stealing Tōjū chasing three other unnamed Tōjū. He quickly defeats and absorbs their Reiryoku, but as soon as the third Tōjū is subdued, he is confronted by most of the materialized Zanpakutō spirits: Zabimaru, Ruri'iro Kujaku, Kazeshini, Senbonzakura, Sode no Shirayuki, Haineko, Tobiume, Hyōrinmaru, Suzumebachi, Katen Kyōkotsu, Sōgyo no Kotowari, Ashisogi Jizō, Wabisuke, Gegetsuburi, Gonryōmaru, Hōzukimaru, and Tenken.
Kazeshini recognizes the Tōjū as Kirikaze, and says he knew it was him, since he's always had a conflict with his master. Zabimaru explains that Kirikaze uses his ability to turn into mist to absorb other spirits, and Haineko comments on the technique's brutality. Tobiume is astounded to see how big he's grown. Hōzukimaru is first to attack, but Kirikaze repels him easily with his large sword. When Hōzukimaru attacks again, the Tōjū uses his ability to turn into mist to engulf the Zanpakutō. Senbonzakura releases his Shikai to disperse the mists, and when Hōzukimaru tells him to stay out he replies that they all must fight the Tōjū together to defeat it. Flailing his enormous sword around he manages to keep all the Zanpakutō at bay. Kazashini uses one of his kamas to hold the sword, but Kirikaze merely pulls him towards him and whips him off. Ruri'iro Kujaku tries to use his Reiryoku absorbing ability against Kirikaze, but before long the Tōjū reverses the effect and Ruri'iro Kujaku begins to fade away. Kazeshini cuts his vines away to save him. The other spirits attack, but Kirikaze turns to mist again and creates a burst of wind that blows even the heaviest among them in all directions. The Zanpakutō spirits surround the Tōjū at a distance, following his gust of wind. Tenken hits the ground with his sword, sending a seismic wave towards him, but Kirikaze responds with a wave of his own, which negates Tenken's. Gonryōmaru fires a bolt of lightning at him, but Kirikaze simply dissipates into mist again, reforming behind him and hitting him, sending him flying into the ground. Saru tries using Zabimaru's extendible Shikai, but the Tōjū dissipates again and reforms above them, dropping from the sky on their heads. They are saved at the last second by Renji, who uses Shunpo to whisk them away.
Izuru Kira binds Kirikaze with a Sajō Sabaku, temporarily taking away his ability to turn into mist. As the Tōjū struggles against the spell Rukia Kuchiki, Rangiku, Nanao, Momo, and Hisagi arrive to back up the Zanpakutō spirits. Nanao says they all noticed something was amiss. When Kazeshini asks his master why he came, Hisagi tells him that he and the other spirits are at the ends of their ropes. The spirits explain that they knew this Tōjū would be dangerous for Shinigami to fight against, and so they decided to defeat him on their own, without risking their masters, but Renji says that, apart, Zanpakutō and Shinigami are useless; only together they can release their true power. Saru admits that they were in the wrong going off on their own, but, as she speaks, Kirikaze manages to break Kira's spell and set himself free.
The Zanpakutō Spirits agree to work along with the Shinigami to defeat the Tōjū. In his frantic search for a target, Kirikaze fixes his sights on Rukia and charges forward in mist form, but Sode no Shirayuki protects her master with her ice powers. The Shikai attacks of Gonryōmaru and Senbonzakura force Kirikaze to take form again and Hyōrinmaru tries to freeze him, but fails. When the Tōjū frees himself from the ice, Hyōrinmaru starts fading away, having used up much of his Reiryoku. Realizing she has too little Reiryoku to fight, Sode no Shirayuki hesitates, but Rukia encourages her, telling her they'll always be together. She calls her Zanpakutō's name and Sode no Shirayuki reunites with Rukia's sword. Rukia's subsequent white ripple move proves much more efficient than Hyōrinmaru's previous attack, and Sode no Shirayuki is soon followed by Wabisuke, Tobiume, Kazeshini, and Haineko, who also merge with their masters' swords. A joint attack by Kira, Momo, Hisagi, and Rangiku manages to bring Kirikaze to the ground, and he loses his ability to change into mist. As the Tōjū begins crawling away, Zabimaru merges with Renji's sword, and he gets a power boost from Suzumebachi, Hōzukimaru, Ruri'iro Kujaku, Gonryōmaru, Tenken, Gegetsuburi, Katen Kyōkotsu, Sōgyo no Kotowari, Ashisogi Jizō, Hyōrinmaru, and Senbonzakura, which allows him to create an exceptionally large Hihiō Zabimaru, big enough to fit the huge Tōjū in his mouth, and destroy him with a Hikotsu Taihō.
The Shinigami realize that, just like the Tōjū, the Zanpakutō Spirits' Reiryoku was also running out, since their new forms were created as a result of Muramasa's powers, and were temporary to begin with. They understand, however, that there is no reason to be sad - the spirits are now back where they belong, they will always be with them, and the Shinigami can see them whenever they want. Safe in the knowledge that the damage Muramasa inflicted upon Seireitei is finally mended, they make their way back home.
Shinigami Illustrated Picture Book
Ichigo Kurosaki arrives to continue his battle with Ulquiorra Cifer and Nel asks him what he's doing here. He states that he came because he hasn't had any air time and Ulquiorra tells him it's questionable if he's even the main character anymore. Ichigo tells him not to say that and he states that they should continue their fight. However, Nel yells at him stating that Ulquiorra's still drinking his tea and that because Ichigo's so selfish, it would explain why he's not the main character anymore. Ulquiorra then appears with Orihime Inoue and they tell him he's too slow and that they should continue their fight now.
- Zanpakutō Spirits vs. Kirikaze (concluded)
Characters in Order of Appearance
Powers and Techniques Used
- Shunpo (瞬歩, Flash steps)
- Tsugi no mai, Hakuren (次の舞・白漣, Next Dance, White Ripple)
- Hikotsu Taihō (狒骨大砲, Baboon Bone Cannon)
- Senbonzakura (千本桜, Thousand Cherry Blossoms)
- Tenken (天譴, Heavenly Punishment)
- Gonryōmaru (厳霊丸, Solemn Spirit)
- Tobiume (飛梅, Flying Plum Tree)
- Hōzukimaru (鬼灯丸, Demon Light)
- Hyōrinmaru (氷輪丸, Ice Ring)
- Haineko (灰猫, Ash Cat)
- Kazeshini (風死, Wind Death)
- Zabimaru (蛇尾丸, Snake Tail)
- Suzumebachi (雀蜂, Hornet)
- Wabisuke (侘助, The Wretched One)
- Gegetsuburi (五形頭, Five-formed head)
- Ruri'iro Kujaku (瑠璃色孔雀, Azure Peacock)
- Hihiō Zabimaru (狒狒王蛇尾丸, Baboon King Snake Tail)
|Battle of the Females? Katen Kyōkotsu vs. Nanao!||Ichigo VS Ulquiorra, Restart!|