Ichigo Kurosaki vs. Gin Ichimaru is a battle which takes place in the Fake Karakura Town. The fight marks Ichigo's second confrontation and first actual battle with the former 3rd Division captain.
Following his confrontation with Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto, Sōsuke Aizen is attacked by a masked Ichigo Kurosaki, who fires a Getsuga Tenshō at him. Blocking the rest of Ichigo's attacks, an injured Aizen states he had missed his chance to kill him. Ichigo points out Aizen's injury, which begins to heal itself. When Ichigo wonders if this is a form of High-Speed Regeneration, Aizen asserts he would not undergo mere Hollowfication. Aizen reveals he has implanted the Hōgyoku into his own chest, and its power is healing its master. Declaring Ichigo's Reiatsu has developed well, just as he had always planned, Aizen affirms all of his battles have contributed to his growth, shocking Ichigo by disclosing how the events took place exactly as he designed.
When Ichigo demands to know what he means, Aizen, asking him not to yell, calmly explains how once he realized Ichigo had been the thing he had been looking for, he decided to help him grow. Reminding Ichigo of oddities he should have noticed as a Shinigami, Aizen, blocking more of his attacks, tells him he should have gotten stronger than this. When Ichigo declares his words do not match his story back at Sōkyoku Hill, Aizen asks Ichigo why he should believe him back then and not now. Aizen reveals he had sent Rukia to the Human World, equipped Renji with the ability to detect her Reiatsu, informed the lieutenants of his whereabouts, known where the Hōgyoku had been for the last 100 years, and, crucially, known about Ichigo since the day he was born. Just as Aizen prepares to explain Ichigo's heritage, Isshin Kurosaki, interrupting, tells him he talks too much.
Isshin headbutts a shocked Ichigo across town, where he clings to a building before being kicked off by his father, which Aizen states is a smart move. When Isshin goes to his son, knowing he will have many questions, Ichigo, kicking him, tells him he knows when to keep quiet. When Isshin says he can see the questions in Ichigo's eyes, his son denies this, knowing if his father did not tell him everything, he had his own reasons for doing so. As Isshin marvels at how his son now speaks quite competently, Ichigo thanks his father for punching him, as he now feels more alive than before. Elsewhere, as Aizen comments on how Isshin must have put up a strong barrier, Gin Ichimaru, showing up behind him, tells Aizen he saw no opening or necessity to come to his aid up until this point. As Ichigo and Isshin reappear, Ichigo engages Gin in combat as his father takes on Aizen.
On a building, Gin blocks Ichigo's attack from behind. As the building breaks apart from the force of their clash, Gin notes it has been a while since they fought. When Gin asks Ichigo if he remembers their last encounter, when he cut off Jidanbō Ikkanzaka's arm and thought Ichigo was such an interesting kid, Ichigo states he cannot recall. When Gin wonders if he is trying to provoke him, Ichigo insists he cannot remember Gin's heart. Revealing he always remembers the heart of his opponents during battle, Ichigo states Gin showed him nothing of his own heart, as he had possibly been distracted. Stating now he just thinks Ichigo is a creepy kid instead, Gin notes why Aizen is so interested in him.
Talking about the length his Zanpakutō can extend to, Gin reveals it is 100 times its length to a disinterested Ichigo. Trying to get an unenthusiastic Ichigo to guess the length his Bankai can extend to, he, disappointed when he refuses, states it can extend 13km. Telling Ichigo he will not go easy on him, he releases his Bankai, Kamishini no Yari, cutting multiple buildings in half. He swings the blade at Ichigo, but it is easily blocked, surprising Gin. Surmising it would be easy for Bankais to block each other, Ichigo, batting Gin's blade away, fires a Getsuga Tenshō. Hit directly by the attack, a surprised, lightly injured Gin again states Ichigo is a creepy kid.
Asserting he has to end this battle soon, Gin contracts his blade faster than Ichigo can follow. Reflecting on how Ichigo stopped his Bankai easily, Gin, fighting him "the old-fashioned way", lunges at Ichigo to attack. While on the offensive, Gin reveals his blade feels like it is about to break. Telling him to let it break in two, Ichigo, defending himself, notes even while small, Gin's blade is still in Bankai, and he needs to be careful. Jumping into the air, Gin, extending his blade suddenly, grazes Ichigo's shoulder before evading Ichigo's counterattack. Ichigo deduces the danger in Gin's blade lies in its speed and not its length, which Gin had tried to imply by destroying the buildings to distract Ichigo from this fact. Clapping, Gin reveals his blade is 500 times faster than the speed of sound, but knowing this will not help Ichigo defeat him.
Blocking one of Gin's attacks, Ichigo is knocked into a building. Gin calls it a fluke, which Ichigo refutes. As Isshin tries to talk to him, Ichigo tries to tell him to get out of his way just as Aizen is enveloped by the Hōgyoku. When a stunned Ichigo asks what is happening, Isshin, denying any knowledge, suggests he asks Aizen, who is attacked from behind by Kisuke Urahara.
Ichigo watches on as Urahara, Isshin, and Yoruichi Shihōin battle Aizen before Gin, appearing behind him, points out how his back is wide open. They converse for a while before Gin, pressing his Zanpakutō to his chest, uses Butō, which Ichigo dodges. Before Ichigo can do anything else, he realizes Gin's blade has already retracted. When Gin uses Butō Renjin, Ichigo is forced to don his Hollow mask.
When Ichigo is left winded with his mask shattered, Gin, mocking Ichigo's lack of resolve, notes how in Soul Society he was much fiercer than now. Gin tells Ichigo to run away, as he no longer has any interest in him, and neither will Aizen. As Ichigo turns to watch Aizen's fight, Gin, telling him not to turn away when he is right next to him, wonders if Ichigo thinks he can defeat Aizen as he is now, given how Aizen has just defeated his opponents. Offering to let him run away, Gin, realizing Ichigo understands Aizen's power, moves to finish Ichigo, but is stopped by Aizen.
As Ichigo notices Urahara, Yoruichi, and Isshin lying on the ground, Aizen orders Gin to open a Senkaimon to Soul Society. Telling him to wait, Ichigo falls silent as Aizen's body begins to shed his sleek new form as his "incubation" completes. Unconcerned with Ichigo at the moment, Aizen, telling him he will "devour" him after they have destroyed Karakura Town, departs with Gin to Soul Society.
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 74, page 16
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 396, pages 2-20
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 397, pages 1-19
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 398, pages 1-17
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 398, pages 1-19
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 399, pages 6-10
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 399, pages 10-20
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 400, pages 6-17
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 401, pages 10-19
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 404, pages 3-18
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 405, pages 3-5
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 406, page 7-14
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 406, pages 15-18