Following the defeat of the other Captain-level Reigai that invaded Karakura Town, Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto shows up and uses Ryūjin Jakka to defeat Byakuya Kuchiki's clone before he can deal further damage to Ichigo Kurosaki and his friends. All about them, the lieutenants lie defeated from Reigai-Byakuya Kuchiki's last attack. Yamamoto is introduced to Nozomi Kujō, but disregards her as unimportant due to her status as a Modified Soul, stating that her name does not matter. Ichigo and Kon try to argue for her case and even Rukia Kuchiki tries to explain to the elder Shinigami that her abilities can be of help to them. Yamamoto asserts that they do not need a Mod-Soul's help and decides that they will discuss the issue later, much to the annoyance of both Kon and Ichigo. Again, the old man asserts that their discussion must wait, indicating the sky as it begins to crack again. Ichigo tells Uryū Ishida and Yasutora Sado to take the injured to Orihime Inoue for treatment. Ichigo also tells both Rukia and Lieutenant Renji Abarai to stay back. Yamamoto also orders the two to stay back, stating that they would only get in the way in their condition. As the sky shatters, the Reigai clones of Captains Jūshirō Ukitake and Shunsui Kyōraku arrive. Yamamoto quickly takes note that his opponents will be these two Reigais again.
Upon their arrival, the two Reigai clones express exasperation that they have to face Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto in combat a second time. Even so, they maintain their defiance and release their Zanpakutō, determined to still fight for their master. Yamamoto commends them for being almost identical to his original students, but insists that they are still merely brats that he will have to teach a lesson to. He also releases his powerful Zanpakutō and tells Ichigo and his friends to stay back and out of the fight. Ichigo asserts that he wants to fight as well, but Yamamoto maintains that he cannot guarantee that they will not get caught in the crossfire of the battle.
Despite Yamamoto's warning, Nozomi glares at their opponents and decides she wants to fight regardless. She steps forward, gripping the sheathe of her Zanpakutō before leaping into the air. The others are shocked as she declares to them that she will finish this herself. The Reigai watch her coming towards them and Kyōraku maintains that even though she wants to fight them, they must capture her without injuring her. Ukitake agrees, asking him whether he remembers what her Zanpakutō abilities are which his partner insists that he does, stating that they have to be careful or else she will absorb their Reiatsu quite easily. Nozomi tries to attack the two of them, but they easily avoid her attack using Shunpo.
Unable to stand by and watch, Ichigo launches an attack at Ukitake's clone, cursing loudly as he yells for Nozomi to stay back. Nozomi, by now battling against Kyōraku, reasserts that she will end this battle. Kyōraku's clone states that she is scary whilst he continues to dodge her attacks, making sure that he does not cross swords with her. From below, Yamamoto expresses irritation that they both defied his orders. Distracted, he does not have time to notice that Retsu Unohana's clone has appeared behind him, giving her time to use Bakudō #61. Rikujōkōrō, Bakudō #62. Hyapporankan, Bakudō #63. Sajō Sabaku and Bakudō #75. Gochūtekkan in quick succession to bind him before he realizes what's happened to him. She comments that he really must have been preoccupied because it was not like him at all to leave himself wide oped in such a fashion.
Ichigo continues to battle Ukitake's counterpart as their swords clash over and over. The Reigai comments that he can sense that Ichigo's Reiatsu is getting dangerously low, however, Ichigo tells him to shut up. From below, Kon watches their battle in a concerned fashion, noticing that Ichigo is really not doing so well. Rukia and Renji are also watching the battle from the ground, expressing their own concern, but not being able to help in any way due to their injuries from their previous battle.
Elsewhere, Nozomi skids backwards along the ground amidst the flames of Ryūjin Jakka. Grimacing, she glares about herself as she loses sight of her opponent, wondering where he's gotten to. Reigai-Kyōraku's Zanpakutō appears from the shadows as the clone uses his Kageoni technique to try and catch her off guard and defeat her. Nozomi manages to block and parry his attack at the last minute as the Reigai emerges from her shadow, shocking her. Reigai-Kyōraku states that her observation is correct and tells her the name of the technique. She then jumps into the air as to not create a shadow. Reigai-Kyōraku commends her strategy to avoid the technique by not creating a shadow for him to use Kageoni, but informs her that his Zanpakutō has a range of abilities involving games that he can use on her. He jumps above her and explains about his Takaoni technique, but stops himself from attacking at the last minute, so she can't absorb his Reiatsu. He kicks her to the ground instead, causing a small crater. He then wonders if he hit her too hard, but expresses relief upon seeing Nozomi getting up.
Ichigo and Reigai-Ukitake continue to battle it out without anybody gaining an upper-hand, although Ichigo is clearly tiring quickly. He wonders to himself whether or not he should release his Bankai and perhaps use Getsuga Tenshō to defeat his strong opponent. However, the Reigai appears to read his mind and taunts him about his diminishing powers. He predicts that Ichigo only has two or three Getsuga Tenshō left before his Shinigami powers completely desert him. Ichigo curses before he notices that Reigai-Kyōraku is completely overpowering Nozomi, having just slashed her using his Irooni technique and calling out the color black.
Seeing this happen, Ichigo decides he cannot afford to wait any longer and kicks Reigai-Ukitake away before releasing his Bankai, Tensa Zangetsu. He appears behind Reigai-Kyōraku and uses Getsuga Tenshō to attack him before giving him a chance to counter. Reigai-Ukitake intervenes, using his Zanpakutō's abilities to absorb the attack and send it back in Ichigo's direction. Ukitake advises him that he should always understand the power of his opponents when he fights, otherwise he'd end up wasting a perfectly good attack, as he had just done. He also observes that Ichigo's Reiatsu had dropped even lower than before and Ichigo is now breathing even heavier as well.
Back on the ground, Kon begins to behave erratically over the current situation, expressing over and over how badly things are going. Rukia turns to him and demands that he calms down. Kon asks her how he can do this, given how much trouble both Ichigo and Nozomi are in and there's nothing he can do to help them. Rukia decides that she will get involved in the battle and Renji agrees to go with her. However, Kon reminds the both of them that they are still injured from their last bout with the Reigai and that they should remain still. Aggravated, Rukia strikes the Mod-Soul as she and Renji insist that sometimes, one still has to fight, regardless to the outcome.
Suddenly, both Renji and Rukia stop talking as an immense Reiatsu begins to surround the area, shocking them into silence. The barriers that surround Yamamoto begin to shake and become unstable as Reigai-Unohana watches on in a dumbfound fashion, wondering how this was possible. The original Unohana ambushes her from behind, binding the Reigai with Bakudō #63. Sajo Sabaku before she can react to her presence. She then goes on to mock how her double underestimated Yamamoto and that level of Bakudō would do nothing more than stall somebody like him bound for a moment. Yamamoto's Reiatsu begins to intensify in concentration as Renji pushes the others to the ground. Just then, his Reiatsu causes a massive, fiery explosion that engulfs much of the surrounding area.
Ichigo's friends watch the resultant explosion with much apprehension for Ichigo's and Nozomi's safety. Renji is seen holding both Rukia and Kon down for safety from the blazing fire surrounding them as Yamamoto's silhouette appears behind the flames. Kon pushes his head up and demands to know why Yamamoto thought such a dangerous attack was necessary. Yamamoto doesn't answer as Rukia begins looking around for Ichigo, whom nobody can see, wondering if he got caught in the blast. They finally spot Ichigo above the fire, who notes that the attack was too close for comfort. Renji and Rukia both assume that it is possible that Yamamoto intended to eliminate Nozomi in the explosion due to the bitter legacy of Mod-Souls, although Kon refuses to excuse his actions. Nozomi thinks the same thing, as she knows that Inaba's plan would be stopped with her death, but she asserts that she refuses to die and demands that Ichigo releases her.
Yamamoto quietly observes the battlefield around him, waiting. A little worse for wear, the three Reigai emerge from the flames as Yamamoto watches on. He admits that they wield the powers of the originals well for imposters, and that he was a little surprised that they were still standing. The Reigai draw their blades and move in to attack the elder Shinigami. They are halted by the arrival of Inaba, who states that their hard work is appreciated, but they could retreat for now, which all three of them do so. Inaba enters the flames in order to talk with Yamamoto, his presence shocking everyone present in the field. He compliments Yamamoto's abilities, but reasserts that everything is still going to plan and will now take Nozomi he needs her in order to fulfill his wish. He then moves in to attack Yamamoto, who evades and both of them engage in combat, which takes them into the air.
Ichigo and Nozomi both appear beside Yamamoto as he stares down Inaba. Ichigo warns the Captain-Commander not to attack Inaba recklessly, but Yamamoto rebuffs his warning, informing him that he is well aware of what Inaba's abilities are. This shocks Ichigo, who insists he still has to be careful. Yamamoto admits it would be a problem if Inaba copied his techniques, so Ichigo asks what he will do instead. Yamamoto muses that he will probably attack in a way that won't allow Inaba to copy him. Nozomi then speaks up, announcing that she will be their decoy. Ichigo exclaims that she is crazy to think up such a plan. However, Nozomi tries to reassure him that it would be alright and that she wants to do it. Ichigo asks Yamamoto what he thinks and the elder Shinigami agrees with Nozomi.
A concerned Kon watches from below as Nozomi launches towards Inaba. He wonders what she is up to, as she begins to attack him. He dodges her initial strikes before appearing beside her. Inaba reveals that he is aware of her strategy, trying to get him to cross swords with her so that she can absorb his Reiatsu and end the battle. Nozomi continues to try and attack him, but Inaba insists that he will not fall for her ploy and that her attacks are futile. Suddenly, Nozomi's Zanpakutō begins to glow, revealing that she had secretly absorbed some of Yamamoto's Reiatsu before attacking. Inaba is briefly surprised, but tells Nozomi that her attack will not be enough as he twirls Raikū in time to avoid the attack.
He repeats that it is futile to try to fight him. He is then surprised to find Yamamoto suddenly appearing in front of him. Yamamoto quickly swings his fiery Zanpakutō to attack Inaba, who uses Raikū again to negate the attack. As he tries to stop the attack, he twirls his Zanpakutō, including Nozomi in his range, who gasps when she realizes what he's done. Yamamoto continues his attack. before Ichigo also joins in, deciding that he will defeat Inaba with the last of his spiritual pressure, unleashing a Getsuga Tenshō to devastate his opponent. The combined attacks cause a massive explosion and those watching believe the battle to be over. An exhausted Ichigo begins to fall to the ground, but before Nozomi can reach him, Inaba is revealed to be alive, breathing heavily as he admits they almost got him.
As Renji runs to catch the falling Ichigo, Inaba reveals that he combined Nozomi's powers with his own in order to absorb both of their powerful attacks and that his judgement proved correct in this case. He then also reveals that his Raikū now has both the powers of Yamamoto's Ryūjin Jakka and Ichigo's Getsuga Tenshō. Inaba asserts that as strong as Yamamoto is, there is no way that he can stand up to the combined powers he absorbed at once. As he speaks, Inaba's Zanpakutō glows brilliantly with the amount of power it has absorbed. Inaba laughs triumphantly as he decides to end the battle by unleashing the devastating power in the elder Shinigami's direction, much to everyone's horror. Yamamoto prepares himself for the powerful attack, but Nozomi gets in between them at the last minute.
Nozomi raises her Zanpakutō and attempts to absorb the massive attack, but the capacity of Arazome Shigure is soon exceeded and the Zanpakutō begins to crack. Yamamoto appears stunned that Nozomi is trying to protect him and Inaba demands that she step back, becoming hysterical at the thought of her dying in the attack. Nozomi begins to struggle, but is still determined not to give in and continues to absorb as much of the attack as she can, despite the pressure and urging of Inaba.
Finally, the blade of Nozomi's Zanpakutō gives way and breaks completely as Inaba begs her to get away. Seeing her blade, Yamamoto steps in and sends his flames through the attack, deflecting it so that the two attacks start to cancel one another out. The stalemate continues for a bit before Yamamoto renews his attack, and pushes Inaba's effort backwards. Eventually, the build up of concentrated Reiatsu causes a massive explosion that sends all three of them flying.
Leaving Renji to look after Ichigo, Rukia rushes over to Yamamoto as he falls to the ground following the explosion. She kneels down beside him and requests that he pulls himself together. Kon moves to follow her only to spot Nozomi falling from above. She stands on him and rushes over to Yamamoto as well, with Kon lamenting her ignorance of him. Nozomi demands to know why Yamamoto felt the need to save a Mod-Soul like her, but he replies that she is foolish if she felt that he needed somebody like her to protect him. He also reminds her that while she is a Mod-Soul, she is also still a young girl. Kon yells at him to be more honest with her, but the elder Shinigami collapses due to his injuries.
Renji sighs before he senses Inaba's Reiatsu as it comes towards them. Agitated, he warns Rukia, who prepares to attack. Ichigo regains consciousness before Inaba gets the chance to appear, demanding to know where he is. Renji indicates Inaba's location. They watch as Inaba struggles to his feet and Kon exclaims that he refuses to stay beaten. Inaba smiles sardonically as he expresses relief that Nozomi survived the explosion. She draws her Zanpakutō as does Rukia, but Inaba reminds her that her blade is broken and that she wouldn't be able to fight him with it. Inaba continues to advance towards her, with a morbid smile on his face which prompts Renji and Ichigo to Shunpo in front of her to protect her.
Inaba demands to know why Ichigo is trying to stop him and Ichigo replies that the reason is that Nozomi does not want to go with him. Inaba appears confused by this, refusing to believe his words as Kon reasserts Nozomi's desire to stay over and over. Inaba says that the research of Nozomi's creator, and thus father, is about to be completed. Kon tells him that they won't let him take over the World of the Living and Soul Society as it won't make Nozomi happy anyway. Inaba denies this as he believes since it would make him happy, it would make Nozomi happy as well. Kon tells Inaba to stop speaking nonsense and Ichigo says Nozomi is not like him.
In reaction to this, Inaba begins to laugh maniacally while the others watch in shock. When he composes himself, Ichigo demands to know what he was laughing at. Inaba informs him that they are the funny ones, given how they believe they understand Nozomi. He laughs again before explaining that unfortunately for them, nobody understands Nozomi better than he does. Kon looks to Nozomi for explanation, but she turns away in a shamed fashion as Ichigo demands to know exactly what Inaba means. Inaba sums it up with a simple statement that both he and Nozomi were born of the same Reiatsu of the same, single Shinigami. Kon demands some sort of explanation from Nozomi, repeating himself several times when she does not answer. Eventually, she falls to her knees in an anguished fashion, seemingly confirming Inaba's words.
Inaba laughs again, and Kon demands that he stop doing that, but Inaba continues in his explanation, citing that Nozomi always knew she would become one with him and thus become their enemy once she was captured. He also alludes to this as the reason for Nozomi's initial reluctance to become close to them, why she continually kept them at arms length and repeatedly ran away when she first arrived in Karakura Town. Nozomi remembers everything that has happened since that day as Inaba evilly concludes his theory. Stubbornly, Kon tells Inaba to shut up and to quit trying to tell Nozomi just how she felt. Inaba reasserts that "Nozomi is me, and I am Nozomi" and requests that he tells Kon to ask Nozomi herself if he didn't believe him. Kon tries, but Nozomi does not answer.
Tired of Inaba telling them he was the only one who understood Nozomi, Ichigo decides to end the battle and attacks Inaba, much to the shock of everyone else. They clash for a bit and Inaba calls him foolish for fighting while in his condition. Reluctantly, Renji, Rukia, and Kon all run forwards to help Ichigo, attempting to ambush Inaba from behind. They are pushed back easily and move in for another attempt, but again he pushes them back. Though Kon doesn't give up and tries to hit Inaba from above, but his opponent merely steps out of his way and allows him to fall onto the ground in front of him. Inaba then proceeds to stand on Kon's face, holding out his hand towards Nozomi as the Mod-Soul struggles beneath his foot. Inaba continually tries to coax Nozomi to come with him, telling her to come home as being with him was where she belonged. Distraught, Nozomi stares around the battlefield at all her defeated comrades before finally denying Inaba's request, taking a step away from him. This irritates Inaba as he tells her that it is unfortunate as he will have to take her back with force.
Inaba walks over to Nozomi, who tries to strike him with her broken blade, but he easily catches her arm. Just then, a freed Kon throws a rock at Inaba's head, forcing him to release her as Kon runs over to attack. He yells to Nozomi that he was giving her a chance to run away as he goes against Inaba. Inaba eventually grabs him and states that for a Mod-Soul, Kon was a total failure. He throws him onto the ground and stomps on him repeatedly until Kon is incapacitated from having green pill come out of his body, much to Inaba's glee.
Surprising Inaba, Nozomi then uses Hadō #58. Tenran on him, knocking him over. She quickly runs over to grab Kon's doll and his pill before running away. Cursing, Inaba gets up to pursue her. However, he shocked to find that Yamamoto has regained consciousness, as the Gotei 13 Captain-Commander attempts to hit him with his flames. Inaba stares in a stunned fashion as the elder Shinigami pulls himself to his feet. Inaba then tells Yamamoto that he doesn't have time for this and flees from the scene in pursuit of Nozomi and Kon. Yamamoto stares after him as Ichigo sits up as well in a dazed fashion.
An exhausted Nozomi runs through the forest, pausing briefly to replace Kon's pill and slap him when he becomes emotional. He warns her as Inaba sneaks up behind her and she dodges at the last moment, causing their pursuer to fall down the edge of the hill. She escapes once more, running for a while before collapsing again and tells Kon to go on. The Mod-Soul disagrees and attempts to help her to her feet,but to no avail. Emotionally, she reminds him of his words when he told her to live and this time, she tells him the same thing. Kon still refuses to leave her side, forcing her to use Bakudō #30. Shitotsu Sansen to bind him to a rock, running away crying after she does this.
A dazed Ichigo wanders through the forest searching for Nozomi, who is close to collapsing again as she rests against a tree. Inaba suddenly appears in front of her and Ichigo tells her to get down as he appears behind her. Elsewhere, Kon manages to dislodge the rock he was bound to and runs after Nozomi himself. As Nozomi crouches onto the ground, Inaba notices his Zanpakutō is gone as Ichigo unleashes a Getsuga Tenshō in his direction, hitting him directly. When the smoke clears, Inaba is gone and Nozomi runs happily to Ichigo so they can leave.
They are stunned to realize that Inaba has tricked them again as he appears once more, informing them that he used his Zanpakutō to create a clone of himself as a precaution, which Ichigo defeated in his place. He then bids Ichigo farewell as he slashes him across the chest and defeats him. Inaba then knocks out a distraught Nozomi as she stands over Ichigo's defeated body. Nozomi collapses to the forest floor unconscious as Inaba insists it is now time for them to go back to where they belong.
Inaba finally manages to capture Nozomi and casts her over his shoulder. Still bound to his rock, Kon runs furiously through the forest, desperately trying to reach Nozomi in time. However, he only manages to watch as Inaba summons his Dangai using his Zanpakutō, and stepping through it, taking Nozomi to the Soul Society. The results of the battle cause Ichigo to lose his Shinigami powers.
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 Bleach anime; Episode 333
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 Bleach anime; Episode 334
- ↑ Bleach anime; Episode 335