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Ichigo Kurosaki vs. Jidanbō Ikkanzaka is the first battle Ichigo Kurosaki is involved in while in Soul Society. In order to even begin the rescue of Rukia Kuchiki, Ichigo has to get past the Gatekeeper of the West Gate, Jidanbō Ikkanzaka.
Jidanbō, immediately attacking Ichigo, tells him to attack from any angle he chooses. Uryū Ishida, amazed at his giant size, wonders who this person could be, noting his size makes him something else beyond human. Yoruichi reveals he is Jidanbō Ikkanzaka, one of the elites of Soul Society, the gatekeeper of the "White Way". Uryū deduces in order to enter the Seireitei, they will need to beat him. Yoruichi states it will not be so easy, as he has been a guardian for 300 years and nobody has ever been known to pass him. Yoruichi further explains he is so strong, with a swing from his axe, an opponent will disappear from the world. Jidanbō is as legendary as "Hercules". As Uryū ponders how they will defeat such a being, Yoruichi states the only possibility is to come up with a plan. Calling out for Ichigo to retreat, he sees Yasutora Sado and Orihime Inoue running toward the growing altercation. Jidanbō, striking the ground, causes it to surge upward and create a wall which prevents the two from interfering. Jidanbō, telling them their behavior makes him sick, asks if they are uncivilized. He explains the rules, making note of the final one which states "A duel is nothing else, but one-on-one.", and tells them he will fight them after he is done with Ichigo. The two, planning a sneak attack, are interrupted by Jidanbō, who hears their planning. Ichigo yells to Orihime and Chad to just wait there, as he will handle the situation on his own.
Resolved to win his first fight, Ichigo faces off against Jidanbō. Much to the surprise of Jidanbō, Ichigo blocks his axe. Jidanbō, laughing, notes it has been some time since anyone has blocked his axe, and now that he has come against such an opponent, he can use his full strength. He tells Ichigo up until now there have only been 3 people (including Ichigo) who could block his axe, but none have ever been able to block his second attack. When Ichigo effortlessly blocks the second attack, Jidanbō, congratulating him, proceeds to use his Jidan Ten Hit Festival, landing multiple blows with his axe, but is taken by surprise when Ichigo appears to have blocked his attacks without so much as a scratch. Undeterred, he, taking a second axe out, moves to use his finishing move Ten Thousand Year Hit Festival. Ichigo, apologizing, states he will have to destroy Jidanbō's axes. Swinging his Zanpakutō, he breaks the axes with relative ease, leaving Jidanbō holding nothing, but the handles.
The shock of the event sends Jidanbō falling back, causing him to question what just happened. Before he hops back up, he tells Ichigo he must have been rattled for a moment, but he cannot be beaten that easily. Noticing he is only holding his axe handles, he begins to become agitated, wondering where the blades are. Overwhelmed by his axes' destruction, Jidanbō breaks down and cries. Feeling bad, Ichigo apologize for destroying his axes, prompting Jidanbō to thank him for still caring about his defeated opponent, despite having already won. He reveals he is crying not entirely because of his broken axes, but because of the fact he has lost for the first time in 300 years. He grants Ichigo and his friends permission to pass through the gate.
As Jidanbō goes to open the gate, he does not proceed further. This causes Ichigo and co. to wonder what is wrong until they notice a man standing on the other side of the gate. When Ichigo asks who the man is, Jidanbō states he is Gin Ichimaru, the captain of the 3rd Division. Gin, stating allowing intruders entrance is not allowed, cuts off Jidanbō's left arm before anyone can react. Gin states Jidanbō is a gatekeeper, and it is not his job to open the gate.
Jidanbō tries to push the door up, but with only one arm, he can only hold it up with his back. Gin, scolding him for opening the gate for any reason, takes out his Zanpakutō to finish off the gatekeeper. When Ichigo confronts him, they engage in a minor crossing of swords before putting distance between each other. As Yoruichi yells at Ichigo to retreat, he, paying him no attention, vows to rip Gin apart for attacking an unarmed man. Gin, stating he is well aware of who Ichigo is, releases his Zanpakutō. As Shinsō extends forward, Ichigo blocks the blade, causing its force to propel him back into Jidanbō, pushing the giant from under the gate and sending them back into the surrounding town as the gate closes.
- ↑ Bleach Official Character Book Souls, page 262
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 71, pages 26-30
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 72, pages 1-13
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 72, pages 14-19
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 73
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 74, pages 1-10
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 74, pages 11-19
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 75