As 2nd Division Lieutenant Marechiyo Ōmaeda and Gegetsuburi begin to circle each other, a drop of sweat rolls down their faces. As they yell and prepare to attack, a large chunk of stone is launched from a nearby wall and hits Ōmaeda, who is sent flying away before crashing into a wall. As the portion of the wall Ōmaeda hit falls over, Gegetsuburi and Hōzukimaru express surprise as Ichigo Kurosaki, having kicked the chunk of stone, notes he knocked down the wrong guy, prompting Ikkaku to state it is no big deal because it is Ōmaeda.
Walking into the corridor, Ikkaku says he did not expect to find Zanpakutō Spirits here and proclaims this is perfect, for Ichigo will see the results of his training. As Gegetsuburi demands to know who Ikkaku is, Hōzukimaru yells as he runs forward and strikes at Ikkaku with Hōzukimaru. Blocking with his sheathed blade, Ikkaku struggles with Hōzukimaru, who states he has missed Ikkaku. Asking Hōzukimaru what he is saying, Ikkaku expresses surprise upon seeing Hōzukimaru.
Confirming his identity as Ikkaku's Zanpakutō Spirit, Hōzukimaru twirls his spear over his head before striking at Ikkaku once more, breaking part of the ground beneath him. As Ikkaku leaps back several feet, Hōzukimaru walks forward as Ikkaku asks him if he is really Hōzukimaru. When Hōzukimaru asks him if he wishes to confirm this, Ikkaku asks him how he would do this, prompting Hōzukimaru to proclaim Ikkaku can do it however he wishes.
Agreeing, Ikkaku says they will do "that" because Hōzukimaru seems ready and willing. When Hōzukimaru asks Ikkaku what "that" is, Ikkaku says Hōzukimaru will be able to keep up with him when they go for it if he is really Hōzukimaru. Chuckling, Hōzukimaru states he understands and says they will go. As Ikkaku states they will do it, Hōzukimaru agrees, and they begin walking on their toes while chanting. Extending their right legs behind them, they hold their weapons in front of them.
Continuing to walk on their toes, they extend their left legs behind them while holding their weapons in front of them. Crossing their feet, they leap into air while chanting and stab their weapons into the ground. Landing on the ground, they hold their weapons in front of them with their legs spread out and finish chanting. As Ichigo and Gegetsuburi watch in confusion, Ichigo asks Ikkaku what they were doing, prompting an enraged Ikkaku to ask Ichigo if he forgot about it.
As Gegetsuburi moves away, Ikkaku proclaims this was his Tsuki-Tsuki Dance and angrily says Ichigo should remember. As Ichigo expresses confusion, Ikkaku tells him to forget about it and turns to Hōzukimaru. Stating Hōzukimaru's dancing was perfect, Ikkaku says this proves he is Hōzukimaru. Stating this is perfect, Ikkaku proclaims all of his Zanpakutō power will once again be his to use after he defeats Hōzukimaru, who asks Ikkaku if he believes he can defeat him.
Saying he will give it a shot, Ikkaku states Hōzukimaru should know his rules for fighting because he is Ikkaku's Zanpakutō, Confirming this, Hōzukimaru says battles are always fought one-on-one. Unsheathing his sword, Ikkaku confirms this and begins to state whoever dies has no regrets as Hōzukimaru assumes a battle stance and finishes Ikkaku's sentence.
Leaping forward, Ikkaku strikes at Hōzukimaru with his scabbard. As Hōzukimaru blocks, Ikkaku slices at him with his sword before attacking him with his sword and scabbard. Blocking, Hōzukimaru jabs at Ikkaku with Hōzukimaru, which Ikkaku knocks to the side with his sword. Forcing Hōzukimaru back, Ikkaku repeatedly strikes at him with his sword and scabbard, which Hōzukimaru block with Hōzukimaru. As his sword cuts Hōzukimaru's abdomen, Ikkaku continues attacking Hōzukimaru.
As Hōzukimaru's face is cut, Ikkaku continues to attack him and cuts Hōzukimaru's bicep. Continuing to slash Hōzukimaru, Ikkaku demands to know what is wrong with him and proclaims his Zanpakutō would be this weak in a battle. Blocking Ikkaku's strikes, Hōzukimaru tells him to not be so quick to judge and proclaims this battle has only just begun before swiping at Ikkaku with Hōzukimaru, which separates into a sansetsukon.
As the bladed segment of the sansetsukon swings toward him, Ikkaku ducks and knocks the sansetsukon aside with his scabbard before slashing at Hōzukimaru with his sword. As Ikkaku ducks behind him, Hōzukimaru grabs the other segments of his sansetsukon before lunging at Ikkaku, who strikes at him with his scabbard. Blocking, Hōzukimaru swings the tasseled section of the sansetsukon at Ikkaku, who slashes at him with his sword, forcing Hōzukimaru to block.
Stepping backward, Ikkaku leans back to avoid the bladed segment of the sansetsukon. Standing up, Ikkaku dodges two jabs from the sansetsukon before leaping back to avoid a third. Landing, Ikkaku compliments Hōzukimaru on his fighting skills. When Hōzukimaru notes Ikkaku is bloodthirsty, Ikkaku chuckles and says they are both bloodthirsty before proclaiming this is where the real fight starts. Chuckling, Hōzukimaru states he should get serious in this case.
Rejoining the segments of his sansetsukon, Hōzukimaru raises Hōzukimaru above his head and twirls it before slamming its tassel into the ground. As a large amount of steam emanates from the ground and lightning crackles around Hōzukimaru, an explosion occurs, creating a large amount of smoke as Ryūmon Hōzukimaru falls from the sky and embeds itself in the ground around Hōzukimaru, prompting Ikkaku to grin at the sight of his own Bankai.
Later, as Gegetsuburi crashes into a roof, Ichigo puts Zangetsu over his shoulder as Ikkaku is sent flying past him. As Ikkaku crashes into the stairs in front of him, Ichigo calls out to him. Running to Ikkaku, Ichigo asks him if he is alright. Asking Ikkaku what is wrong, Hōzukimaru stands behind them with Ryūmon Hōzukimaru and asks Ikkaku if this is all he has got. As Ichigo turns to Hōzukimaru and curses, Ikkaku tells him to wait and steps out of the crater.
Walking forward, Ikkaku tells Ichigo to not interfere. Assuming a battle stance, Ikkaku states it is his battle and he will handle this. As Ichigo tells Ikkaku to get Hōzukimaru, Ikkaku pants before leaping forward as Hōzukimaru does the same. Appearing, 2nd Division Captain Suì-Fēng appears and tells them to stop. As Ikkaku and Hōzukimaru express surprise, several Keigun surround them as Ukitake says they have Ikkaku and Hōzukimaru surrounded.
As 8th Division Captain Shunsui Kyōraku apologizes and states they will have to interrupt, Ikkaku demands to know what they are doing and proclaims it is his fight because it is his Zanpakutō. Hearing something, Ikkaku expresses surprise and turns around to see Ryūmon Hōzukimaru embedded in the ground next to Hōzukimaru, who says it is not much of a fight. When Ikkaku asks him what he said, Hōzukimaru states he is done fighting for today, prompting Ikkaku to proclaim Hōzukimaru cannot quit now.
Grabbing the central segment of Ryūmon Hōzukimaru by the handle, Hōzukimaru yells as the dragon crest on the blade begins to fill. As a strong wind blows through the area, Hōzukimaru continues to yell as he spins Ryūmon Hōzukimaru above his head. Telling the Keigun to not just stand there, Suì-Fēng orders them to bring Hōzukimaru down. Agreeing, the Keigun run towards Hōzukimaru, who slams the central segment of Ryūmon Hōzukimaru into the ground.
As red Reiatsu erupts from the central segment, several Keigun are thrown back as an explosion occurs. When the smoke clears, Hōzukimaru is gone. After Gegetsuburi is captured by the Gotei 13 and brought to the Shinigami Research and Development Institute for a full investigation, Ichigo chases Hōzukimaru through a corridor. As Ichigo tells Hōzukimaru to not think he will get away from him, a blade petal cuts his face.
When a mass of blade petals obscures Hōzukimaru and moves towards him, Ichigo draws Zangetsu and slashes at the petals. When the blade petals overwhelm him, Ichigo activates his Bankai, Tensa Zangetsu, and deflects all of the blade petals. Wondering if this was Senbonzakura, Ichigo looks up and sees a figure standing on top of a nearby tower. As the figure moves away with Shunpo, Ichigo recognizes it as Captain Byakuya Kuchiki.
- ↑ 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 1.16 1.17 Bleach anime; Episode 237