The gravely wounded Ichigo and Renji are attended to by their respective friends.
Renji collapses to the ground, as Ichigo watches on. The next moment, Ichigo himself collapses, prompting Ganju to run forward in concern, while Hanatarō marvels at Ichigo's defeat of Renji - a lieutenant. It is then that Hanatarō notices the group of Shinigami approaching. Ganju says that they cannot handle any more enemies right now, and the three of them flee back to the sewers. The approaching group of Shinigami are led by Kira, and all of them are shocked at the state they find Renji in. As some of the Shinigami rush to Renji's side, another wonders if they should give chase. Kira replies that saving Renji is their priority.
In the meantime, Hanatarō reveals his healing abilities to Ganju, who is surprised; he believed that the 4th Division used medicines. Hanatarō explains that the 4th Division actually uses their spiritual powers for healing, rather than combat and explaining that this is their chief power. Ganju asks how Ichigo is, and Hanatarō says that it is bad, but that he can be healed. He just needs a little time, but that he can heal Ichigo in one night.
Elsewhere, Hinamori is shocked to see the state Renji is in. Kira starts to blame himself for not arriving sooner, but Hinamori assures him that it was not his fault. As they start to form plans to send for the 4th Division, they are interrupted by Byakuya, who tells them to not bother and to simply throw Renji in a cell. He says that as he chose to fight the Ryoka by himself, defeat was not an option. He goes on to say that he has no use for a fool such as Renji. Hinamori starts to protest, but Kira stops her and apologizes to Byakuya. Hinamori reluctantly follows. After Byakuya leaves, Ichimaru draws attention to himself by commenting on how scarily Byakuya acted. Ichimaru, as it seems, had been standing in the corner for some time. Ichimaru assures them that he will get word to the 4th Division, and orders Kira to come with him. Hinamori thanks Ichimaru as they leave.
Suddenly, Hitsugaya appears behind her and comments on Renji's state. Hinamori comically berates him for sneaking-up on her, and demands to know how the captains can move so silently. It is then that she realizes that Hitsugaya is there alone, and without his lieutenant. Hitsugaya tells her that he was there to warn her to beware the captain of the 3rd Division.
Sometime later, a captains meeting takes place, where Yamamoto declares that he will overlook Gin Ichimaru's actions in order to focus on the Ryoka, who have now managed to grievously injure a Gotei 13 lieutenant. He authorizes all captains and lieutenants to be armed with Zanpakutō, and to use full wartime powers within Seireitei. He tells his captains to launch an all out war on the Ryoka.
Ichigo is recovering from his fight with Renji. Meanwhile, Aizen is found dead by his lieutenant, Momo Hinamori.
Ichigo wakes up as Hanatarō is healing him in the sewer. Hanatarō tells him not to get up, since his wounds aren't healed yet. Ichigo remembers that he was fighting Renji, and he gets up and tells Hanatarō that he is okay, despite Hanatarō's protests. But just when he is about to leave, Ganju knocks him out with a punch, saying if Ichigo can't take a punch like that, then he's not okay and he'd better lay down like a good boy until he's healed. Hanatarō comes and takes Ichigo away, and complains that now he has another injury, and that Ganju is so brutal. Ganju says that is how he does things, and that he at least stopped Ichigo. Hanatarō ponders why the wound on Ichigo's left torso is so shallow, as it should have been a fatal wound. It was the mask that was hidden inside of his robe that saved him. Hanatarō wonders what that mask is made of because it blocked an attack from Renji. But more importantly, he wonders why the mask looks so much like a Hollow's mask.
Renji is in the holding cell, having just been healed by a member of the 4th division.
Meanwhile, a messenger is reporting the special wartime instructions from Captain-Commander Yamamoto to Hinamori: All seated Shinigami and lieutenants are allowed to carry their Zanpakutō in the city, and the ban on full release has been lifted. The messenger also states that Renji has been defeated, and no one knows who is next, so Hinamori must be careful. Hinamori wonders how Renji ended up like that, and that will it be better that they don't take their weapons and keep things peaceful. Then she recalls Hitsugaya's warning about the 3rd Division. She says she doesn't want to fight anyone.
Hinamori comes to Aizen's room and wants to talk to him for a moment because she can't sleep. She tells him that she is sorry for bothering him so late and for always screwing up in front of him. Aizen says that he won't dismiss her for something like that, and asks if that is the image he projects to others during the days. He then allows her to come in and stay as long as she likes. Aizen tells Hinamori that Renji is fine, and Hinamori says it is a relief. Byakuya was trying to demote Renji, but everyone was against it. When Renji is healed, he will be able to return to his position. Hinamori asks if Aizen was the one defending Renji. He says that he is not the only one, since Renji is talented and everybody likes him, thus no one would be happy if he got demoted. Hinamori muses how Aizen's words, voice, and presence calm her restless spirit. She feels glad that she came, and thinks how lucky she is to serve under him. Aizen quietly leaves the room when Hinamori is asleep. When he leaves the room, there is a mystery Shinigami after him.
Hinamori wakes up and realizes that she fell asleep, and notices Aizen's absence. She also realizes that she is late for a meeting. She decides to take a shortcut, but she sees something that shocks her.
The other lieutenants hear screaming, and Kira notices that it is Hinamori's voice. When they come, everyone is shocked with what they see: Aizen's dead body is on the wall.
The grief-stricken Hinamori turns her blade on Ichimaru, believing he is Aizen's killer.
The distressed Hinamori keeps screaming Aizen's name, when Captain Ichimaru arrives on the scene, casually wondering what all the commotion is about. Ichimaru shows no signs of grief or surprise, and Hinamori remembers Hitsugaya's words, warning her to be careful of the 3rd Division's captain, especially when Aizen goes walking alone. Hinamori snaps, accusing Ichimaru of killing Aizen. She charges him and draws her Zanpakutō in the process. Ichimaru continues to smile, and does not move to dodge or parry her. However, her blade is blocked by Kira, much to Hinamori's shock. She demands to know why, which prompts Kira to remind her that he is the lieutenant of the 3rd Division and that he will not allow anyone to point a sword at his captain, no matter the reason. Hinamori tells Kira to step aside. Kira refuses. Getting increasingly angry, Hinamori screams at Kira and insists that he move aside. Kira, also beginning to get angry, tells her that he will do no such thing. Hinamori then releases her Shikai, Tobiume, and pushes Kira back. Kira chastises her, and tells her that this is not the place to resolve personal matters, but Hinamori responds by releasing a ball of fire from Tobiume. It hits the side of a nearby building, barely missing Kira. Kira responds that it would seem he has to treat her like an enemy, and releases his own Shikai, Wabisuke. As Hinamori prepares to fight Kira, Hitsugaya blocks their strikes and orders them not to move. He then orders the other lieutenants present to arrest both Kira and Hinamori. He says that he will report this incident to the Captain-Commander himself.
As Kira and Hinamori are led away, Ichimaru approaches Hitsugaya and apologizes for his lieutenant's actions. Hitsugaya, in turn, makes the observation that Ichimaru tried to kill Hinamori. Ichimaru claims that he doesn't know what Hitsugaya is talking about. Hitsugaya warns Ichimaru that if he makes Hinamori bleed, he will kill him. Still smiling, Ichimaru claims that Hitsugaya is frightening him, but that if he doesn't want misfortune to befall Hinamori, then he should keep a close eye on her.
Meanwhile, down in the sewer, Ganju wakes up to find Hanatarō drooling on him. He pushes Hanatarō away, who continues to sleep. Ichigo informs Ganju that Hanatarō is so exhausted because after he had healed him, he healed Ganju. Ichigo then says that it is time to go, vowing that this time he will make it to the Senzaikyū. However, Kenpachi Zaraki is waiting for him.
As Chad recalls the day he and Ichigo met, Ichigo runs into Kenpachi Zaraki.
Ichigo incorrectly reads Sado's name tag as Chad. Sado corrects him, but he persists on calling him Chad. Ichigo also notes that Chad is wearing the uniform of his middle school, but says that he has never seen him before. Chad tells Ichigo that he has recently transferred from another school, and that he's in class 2-F. Ichigo is shocked to find out that Chad is his age and in his class. Ichigo then thanks Chad for helping him out. Ichigo had been in a fight with upper-class students from their middle school, who had used rocks and other weapons against him, resulting in considerable injury to Ichigo. Chad wonders if Ichigo had done something to the upper-class students, but Ichigo tells him that the upperclassmen beat him up because he's different. He notes that Chad must face the same problem, given that he's different as well. Ichigo then casually leaves the scene with Chad.
In the present, Chad awakens, commenting on how nostalgic the dream was. He was sleeping in a warehouse and soon after he awakens, the Shinigami start to bang on the door. Chad says that he is grateful that he awoke early, stating that if the banging had awoken him, he would have had a bad day.
Back in the sewers, Hanatarō takes a pill to revitalize himself; although he claims that it is working, Ichigo and Ganju are not convinced. Regardless, they return to the surface and find it strange that no guards have been posted. However, Hanatarō suggests that they most likely did not think they could return so soon after yesterday. Ganju wonders if the others are alright. Ichigo replies that they are, saying Orihime and Ishida are a thousand times smarter than them, so they would never pick fights with people they could not defeat. When Ganju asks about Chad, Ichigo replies that he is even less of a worry, as not only has Ichigo been feeling Chad's Reiatsu since coming to Soul Society, but that Ichigo can't even imagine Chad losing.
Elsewhere, Chad beats up a group of Shinigami and extracts Rukia's location from one. As Chad is walking away, the Shinigami attacks him from the back, but instead of injuring Chad, the Shinigami's Zanpakutō is bent. The Shinigami pleads for his life, but Chad simply tells him not to do that again and leaves. His approach is noted by Lieutenant Nanao Ise. Captain Shunsui Kyōraku says that this means that they had better get going. Nanao offers to handle the Ryoka, but Kyōraku replies that per Yama-jii's orders, it has to be Kyōraku. He goes on to add that if his Nanao-chan goes out to battle and gets injured, then he would be sad. Nanao demands to know who he is calling "his", and angrily tells him to just go already. Kyōraku tells her not to worry so much, saying that this was just going to be a little fun and games.
Meanwhile, Ichigo, Ganju and Hanatarō run up the many steps leading to the Senzaikyū. When they get to the top, Ichigo comments on how lax security is when they suddenly feel a massive amount of Reiatsu. Kenpachi Zaraki is nearby.
Ichigo meets the captain of the 11th Division, Kenpachi Zaraki.
Hinamori has been jailed in 5th Division Special cell one. Rangiku comes to see her and gives her a letter, saying it was found in Aizen's room and was addressed to her. Rangiku goes on to say that she should be thankful that it was her captain who found it; anyone else would have simply submitted it as evidence. She tells Hinamori to be honored that her captain's last words were to her. She thanks Rangiku as the latter leaves. Hinamori reads the letter, the contents of which shock her.
Elsewhere, Ichigo, Ganju and Hanatarō try to run away from the massive Reiatsu that is nearby. Kenpachi gets up and notes that they are finally here. He wonders which one of them is the strongest, as Ichigo feels as if there is a sword at his throat. Hanatarō collapses, prompting Ganju to carry him. Suddenly, Ichigo notices Kenpachi sitting on a nearby rooftop. He stares at him, causing Kenpachi to wonder if that's all Ichigo is going to do when Ichigo feels as if he's been wounded. Stunned, Ichigo realizes that although he is fine, Kenpachi's murderous intent alone can make him feel as if he has received a wound. Kenpachi then appears near Ichigo and asks him if he is Ichigo Kurosaki. Ichigo wonders how Kenpachi knows his name. Kenpachi is surprised, and wonders if Ikkaku had not told Ichigo his name. Ichigo then remembers his conversation with Ikkaku, but cannot recall Kenpachi's name. Without waiting for Ichigo, Kenpachi introduces himself as the captain of the 11th Division: Kenpachi Zaraki.
This article is about the chapter, for the volume see THE UNDEAD
The fight between Ichigo and the 11th Division captain, Kenpachi Zaraki, has started.
Ichigo realizes that he is now standing in front of the 11th Division captain, Kenpachi Zaraki, who has a Reiatsu that is different from anyone he's ever met. Kenpachi tells Ichigo that he came here to kill him, and Ichigo is standing still, so Kenpachi asks if that means he is ready to start. Ichigo prepares to fight, but he realizes that Hanatarō and Ganju are suffocating because of the pressure. Ganju tells him not to worry, and to focus on the fight. Suddenly, Yachiru jumps out of Kenpachi's back and steps on Ichigo's shoulder to look at Hanatarō, making Ichigo furiously chase her off. Yachiru says he's angry, and Kenpachi tells her it's her fault. Ichigo tells Ganju to take Hanatarō to go rescue Rukia first while he stays here to stop Kenpachi. Ganju doesn't agree at first, but he knows he can't do anything else so he takes Hanatarō and runs off. Neither Kenpachi nor Yachiru chase after them, which surprises Ichigo, but Kenpachi says he's only here to kill Ichigo; he doesn't care about Rukia or his friends. Ichigo says that this is very good.
Meanwhile, in the Senzaikyū, Rukia can feel the pressure outside, even through the Sekkiseki walls. She is wondering if the city is under attack, and if Ichigo really is here and where is he right now.
Ichigo takes his stance to fight Kenpachi. Kenpachi comments that his stance is high in spiritual pressure, although it has a lot of openings. He states that their lieutenant would be no match for him, and says it is no wonder why Ikkaku lost. But he also says that Ichigo is still far weaker than him, so he will give Ichigo a chance. He gives Ichigo permission to cut him anywhere he wants, and to not hold back. Ichigo is shocked and says he won't attack an unarmed person. But Kenpachi tells him to save his sympathy for someone else and just enjoy this, because killing and being killed are just ways to pass time. So Ichigo charges at him, telling him not to regret it later.
Hanatarō wakes up while still being carried by Ganju. He asks where Ichigo is, and Ganju says he's still back there. Hanatarō says they have to go back; no matter how strong Ichigo is, he cannot win, because that man is the 11th Division captain, Kenpachi Zaraki. Kenpachi is the nickname given to the man who has slain the most enemies and won the most battles. The name means "no matter how many times you cut him, he will never fall".
Ichigo fails to cut Kenpachi. Kenpachi says it's disappointing and now it's his turn, and asks Ichigo not to die too quickly.
Ichigo can't cut Kenpachi and Chad meets Shunsui Kyōraku.
Hanatarō wakes up to find himself being taken away from the fight between Ichigo and Kenpachi by Ganju. Hanatarō tells Ganju to let him go, saying that if they don't help Ichigo, he will die. Ganju reminds him that they were paralyzed just from Zaraki's Reiatsu, therefore they realistically cannot do anything to help Ichigo. Ganju goes on to say that Ichigo has the best chance of beating Zaraki out of the three of them and that they have a job of their own, as Ichigo entrusted them to save Rukia. Motivated, Hanatarō heads towards Rukia's cell with Ganju as Ganju thinks about Ichigo. Telling him not to get killed and that they will come back for him.
In the meantime, Ichigo wonders how he was not able to cut Zaraki, despite having swung his blade as hard as he could. He further wonders how he is the one who is injured. Zaraki wonders why Ichigo is so surprised that his sword cannot cut him. Ichigo jumps away from Zaraki as the latter pushes Zangetsu back with his bare hands. Yachiru, who Ichigo suddenly notices is standing right in front of him, tells Ichigo that it is impossible and that to Zaraki, it is almost as if his sword has no blade. Ichigo is confused, prompting Zaraki to explain that because the latent Reiatsu being released from his body is so much greater than that which Ichigo is channeling though his Zanpakutō, when they clash, Ichigo is the one who absorbs the impact. Zaraki tells Ichigo that he won't even make a good anecdote and laments having waited for him all night. Zaraki then takes out his own Zanpakutō and tells Ichigo that he is counting on him to take the rust off of his blade.
Elsewhere, Chad blasts away a group of Shinigami and reflects on how much he has improved. He notes that in the beginning two shots a day was his limit, but now he can shoot five times without getting exhausted. He notes that he must thank Yoruichi for training him. Chad goes on to hope that no one has been hurt and continues on his way, only to find his path blocked by Tatsufusa Enjōji, who tells him that this is as far as he goes. Tatsufusa introduces himself as the 3rd Seat of the 8th Division and releases his Shikai: Hōzan. Chad pauses, causing Tatsufusa's division members to comment that Chad is so scared that he is unable to move. Tatsufusa begins to taunt Chad, telling him not to be timid and boasts of his masterful swordsmanship. However, Chad takes him out with one punch, saying that his defense was full of holes. This causes Tatsufusa's division members to panic as a voice suddenly compliments Chad. Chad is surprised, even more so when red petals begin to rain down. This heralds the entrance of Shunsui Kyōraku, captain of the 8th Division.
Kyōraku confirms to Chad that he's the 8th Division captain. He also has flower petals flying around him, which are thrown by Nanao. When she starts throwing too much of them, Kyōraku asks her to stop, but instead she dumps the whole basket on him. Chad asks him to move, but Kyōraku refuses. Chad says he doesn't look like a bad guy so he doesn't want to fight him. Kyōraku says it's problematic since neither of them want to fight, but he still can't let Chad pass so can he please go back. Chad refuses and Kyōraku says it can't be helped. He takes out a sake bottle and invites Chad for a drink, surprising Chad. Kyōraku says if he can't turn back then he should stay for a little while, stating that since other captains are making their moves right now, the battle will be over soon. But after hearing that, Chad knows that Ichigo and the others are also being attacked by the captains and asks Kyōraku to move immediately. Kyōraku asks what if he refuses, Chad attacks him, saying he won't get a chance to do so. But Kyōraku deflects that attack and says that things are getting ugly. Chad keeps attacking him, but Kyōraku just dodges all of them. Chad is shocked by this. He remembers Tatsufusa Enjōji said that he's the 3rd Seat, so that means he's just two levels below the captain, and Chad wonders how can there be so much difference in power and he wonders if all the other captains are that strong. Then Kyōraku suggests he should give up because although he is good for a human, Chad is no match for him. But Chad responds that he can't accept that. Kyōraku tells him that he's at his limit and is putting his life on the line to attack, if he keeps this up he'll die, but Chad refuses. Kyōraku asks why he is so persistent, and what is it he wants. Chad answers that he's here to save Rukia Kuchiki. Kyōraku says Rukia has only been gone since spring, that time is too short to have such a strong friendship that he would give up his life for her. Chad replies it's true, but Ichigo went all out to save her so that's enough for him. Kyōraku tells him he's a pain. Since Chad is so determined, it was impolite of him to dissuade Chad. Then Kyōraku unsheathes his swords and says he will have to take Chad's life. Chad rushes at him, thinking of Ichigo.
Chad recalls his promise with Ichigo and determines to win, but is cut down by Kyōraku.
Chad rushes at Kyōraku, thinking he will defeat him, even if it costs him his life. However, if he survives, he will make a promise, the same promise as that time.
Ichigo called him Chad, and asked him why he didn't fight back. He responded by saying it's Sado. Ichigo says whatever and that Chad was lucky he was around or he would have died a painful death. Ichigo asked why did he just stand there and take it. Chad said because he made a promise not to swing his fist for himself to his Abuelo. Ichigo asked what's that and Chad said it means Grandpa. He said he lived in Mexico before he came here. Ichigo said last time he told him he was from Okinawa. Chad didn't remember saying that. Ichigo scolded him for always saying whatever comes to mind and he'd better stop doing that or he won't care about him anymore. Then Ichigo asked about that coin around Chad's neck. Chad said it's very important, maybe more important than his life. Ichigo said where it's from, Chad said Mexico and Ichigo didn't seem to believe it. Then Chad stood up and said they should go. But then Ichigo saw a cell phone stuck on Chad's back. Chad said it's probably from those people, now he has to return it. But Ichigo kicked it away and said trash should be thrown away. But that cell phone was on and Yokochini heard all of their conversation. Chad wasn't lying, he was born in Okinawa then moved to Mexico after his parents died when he was 8, and was adopted by his grandpa. He was really cocky and rebellious, and used his height to bully anyone he didn't like. His grandpa kept scolding him for that, and thanks to that, he changed. He was really cocky then, and he was really careless that day. He got caught by Yokochini. Yokochini asked, after beating Chad, if it hurt so much that Chad wants to piss his pants. Chad said no, which pissed Yokochini off. Then he took Chad's coin and was about to cut it right before Ichigo came and knocked him out. Then Ichigo took his phone to call the ambulance for the rest of those bullies. After he knocked all of them out, he told Chad that he can keep doing his thing, not fighting for himself, but if he fights for Ichigo, then Ichigo will fight for him. If Chad puts his life on the line to protect something then Ichigo will do so too. So they promised each other that.
Remember that promise, Chad tells himself not to lose. But then Kyōraku gets behind him and cuts him, saying he's sorry.
This is a special Bleach chapter that focuses on Mizuiro's family life and his meeting of Keigo, Ichigo and Chad.
Mizuiro calls his mother, only to be yelled at for interrupting her date. His helper, Nanako, asks if that's who he was calling, and he cheerfully claims to not have a mother. It's Mizuiro's first day of school, and Nanako offers to drive him. At school, Keigo warns him about the "hoodlum bullies from hell," Ichigo and Chad. Mizuiro, however, is not worried, as they're simply rumors and he doesn't know them personally. They then notice that the class listings are posted, and find out that Chad and Ichigo will both be in their class.
As Keigo begins to panic, Chad and Ichigo enter the area, by kicking two other boys in the face. When they land, the four of them end up surrounded by a group of boys, and Keigo claims to not know Chad and Ichigo while Mizuiro introduces himself to them. Reiichi begins attacking Keigo, and because of Mizuiro's high praise of his friend, Chad and Ichigo decide to save him.
Mizuiro then thinks to himself about the happiness he feels and the connections he's established with others.
Every year I participate in Shonen Jump's annual Jump Festa event. This year, after leaving the stage, I looked around the convention center for the first time. A lot of fans wee cheering me on from behind, but it was kind of embarrassing so I didn't look back. I really feel bad about that. But what are you supposed to do in a situation like that? Should I have waved? That doesn't seem right either... Tite Kubo