OUT OF BLOOM is the fifty-seventh volume of the Bleach manga series.
With Ichigo trapped in Hueco Mundo, the Soul Society comes under attack by a mysterious group of warriors calling themselves the Wandenreich. The Shinigami captains valiantly stand up to the invaders, but this is a battle they might not be able to win!
As word spreads in Soul Society that Ichigo Kurosaki is en route, the SRDI comes under attack and Quilge Opie is brutally attacked by an unknown assailant.
In Soul Society, Rin Tsubokura receives a message that transmitter swords will be placed at every battlefield, so that Rin can send direct messages to the fighters when they are ready. Rin then sends out a message to all Shinigami in Seireitei that Ichigo is currently heading to Soul Society. He then divulges that the Quincy are unable to steal his Bankai, as confirmed by the Research and Development Institute. Various Shinigami react to this information. However, Akon then discovers that Ichigo's Reiatsu in Garganta has vanished.
In the Garganta, Ichigo struggles to escape from Quilge Opie's jail. He attempts to contact Akon, but while Ichigo can hear Akon, Akon is unable to hear Ichigo. In Soul Society, Jidanbō Ikkanzaka attacks the Research and Development Institute. Hiyosu tries to seal the area, but he is attacked by Rin. With a blank expression on his face, Jidanbō prepares to attack again without saying anything.
Meanwhile, Ichigo starts hearing not only the Research and Development Institute, but many people throughout in Seireitei that are near the transmitter swords. After hearing their words, Ichigo renews his attempt to break out of the jail he is in. Quilge reveals that he was given the letter "J" by his majesty for Quilge Opie of "The Jail". He then turns to Orihime Inoue and Yasutora Sado, preparing to kill them, but he is suddenly cleaved in two from behind. This mysterious attacker then holds a sword to Urahara's neck.
As Ichigo despairs in the Garganta, Byakuya Kuchiki struggles to shake off the fear induced by Äs Nödt.
Unable to break out despite using Getsuga Tenshō, Ichigo begins to despair and notices that he has been cut off from Kisuke Urahara and the SRDI.
Meanwhile, in Soul Society, Captain Byakuya Kuchiki is injured by Äs Nödt. Byakuya stops Lieutenant Renji Abarai from coming to his aid as they do not know the enemy's ability. Instead, he instructs Renji to watch as he draws out the Quincy's power. As Byakuya wonders if he has been poisoned due to feeling cold, Äs explains that he is suffering from fear. Äs compliments him on being able to resist it.
As the Quincy talks, Byakuya attacks. He thinks about how he has never repressed his fear, but is then subjected to visions of Lieutenant Rukia Kuchiki decaying. Äs cuts him, and notes that the fear he is facing is primal and cannot be reasoned away. Byakuya shrugs off another vision and tries to attack, but Äs produces the Bankai stealing medallion and uses it to badly injure Byakuya.
Byakuya succumbs to Äs Nödt's attacks while Renji and Rukia are defeated. As Byakuya's apparent death is noted, Kenpachi Zaraki confronts Yhwach.
Byakuya falls to his knees, bleeding. Äs Nödt informs the captain that he cannot win against his own Bankai with his Shikai. Renji attacks Äs, shouting that he is unworthy of Senbonzakura.
Rukia notices what is happening to her brother, and attempts to run to him, but her enemy attacks her. Renji's attack, meanwhile, is effortlessly blocked. His fight continues to be unsuccessful. Byakuya attempts to attack the Sternritter, but is overwhelmed by his own Bankai. Renji attempts to stop Äs, but is stopped by another Quincy. As Byakuya's blade shatters, he makes a mental apology to Renji and Rukia.
Meanwhile, another member of the Wandenreich says to the leader that Byakuya is dead and two note that the battle is dragging on. The two of them suddenly notice Captain Kenpachi Zaraki with three Quincy on his back. He asks Yhwach if he is the boss.
Upon being asked how he defeated the them, Kenpachi briefly explains his battle with the three Sternritter and how he swiftly dispatched them. Haschwalth says that Kenpachi is a monster, but Kenpachi says that he is not interested in him. Kenpachi then attacks Yhwach, but his blow is blocked by the leader's arm.
Meanwhile, in the Garganta, Ichigo continues to attempt to break out of Quilge's jail. He remembers his friends among Soul Society and shouts that he will protect them.
In Soul Society, Lieutenant Shūhei Hisagi fights another of the Wandenreich, Driscoll Berci. However, he is at a disadvantage and his opponent even says that it is painful to fight someone so weak. Hisagi thinks to himself that his enemy is too powerful. Driscoll explains that his letter is "O" for "Overkill" and that his power increases every time he kills. He states that he killed 100 people today and 100 people, including a lieutenant, the last time he was in Soul Society. He attacks Hisagi, but his attack is deflected by Captain-Commander Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto. An excited Driscoll says that he is lucky to fight Yamamoto and that he will kill the Captain-Commander with his subordinate's own Bankai.
As Yamamoto weathers the attacks of his lieutenant's Bankai from Driscoll, the Captain-Commander recalls the time Sasakibe used his Bankai against him.
Driscoll activates Chōjirō Sasakibe's Bankai, Kōkō Gonryō Rikyū, telling Yamamoto that he should be thankful for being able to see it again. After Shūhei notes that it is able to affect the weather, Yamamoto is struck by lightning.
Yamamoto recalls a visit that the young Sasakibe made to him at his school and how he always referred to him as "Eijisai-dono", a reference to the scar on his forehead. Though he knew Yamamoto disliked it and apologized for doing so, Sasakibe insisted that it would be wrong to use Yamamoto's real name. Sasakibe told Yamamoto that he wished to be his right arm and compensate for anything that Yamamoto could not do. He declined an offer to become an instructor, as he thought that he would simply end up copying Yamamoto. At Yamamoto's behest, he tried to defeat Yamamoto with his mastered Bankai. Though he failed to defeat him, he left a permanent scar on Yamamoto's face. Sasakibe was told that his Bankai was like a child's, which he agreed with and said he would spend his life improving it in order to be of use to Yamamoto. He spent many years training intensely. When others began to call Yamamoto by a different name as a result of his new scar, Sasakibe continued to call him "Eijisai" as he could not change because of a scar he inflicted. It is due to this that he decided to call himself Genryūsai.
Yamamoto makes no effort to defend himself and Shūhei mistakenly thinks that he has lost consciousness and tries to help. However, Yamamoto stops him, and states that Sasakibe would be mortified to see the Bankai he worked so hard to improve appearing so weak. He then uses his Shikai to burn the flesh off of Driscoll's face and upper body.
After avenging Sasakibe, Yamamoto goes to fight on the front lines.
Finally able to express his condolences towards Sasakibe, having reduced Driscoll to ashes, Yamamoto vows to slay the entire opposition with his own hands. The Captain-Commander then moves to engage the enemy directly amid an enormous explosion of Reiatsu that is sensed throughout the battlefield.
As Captain Suì-Fēng becomes aware of Yamamoto's immense rage, Lieutenant Momo Hinamori reiterates a similar sentiment elsewhere, causing Captain Shinji Hirako to indicate that this was the first time he had seen the Captain-Commander fight on the front lines, so they had better hurry before Yamamoto steals all the fun. At the same time, Captain Tōshirō Hitsugaya tells Lieutenant Rangiku Matsumoto that they have a duty as captain and lieutenant to not be defeated so easily, which she acknowledges.
Also responding to Yamamoto's activities, Captain Sajin Komamura rallies a number of Shinigami from the verge of death with a rousing speech, bewildering Bambietta Basterbine in the process. Sensing the resonating Reiatsu, Shunsui becomes serious after admitting to feeling as if he was being scolded from afar, almost like Yamamoto was telling him directly to be ashamed and that he wasn't raised to be a coward.
Elsewhere, a defeated Zaraki is held aloft by his throat, as Yhwach remarks that to look at one of the 5 special war powers in such a pathetic state, meant he had vastly overestimated the captain's strength. Stating that Zaraki should sleep now, as Soul Society was about to end, he is interrupted by Yamamoto's destructive arrival. Bathed in flame, Yamamoto states that it had been nearly a millennium since they last met, before ferociously declaring that he had come to annihilate him.
The confrontation between the leaders of the Wandenreich and Gotei 13 continues.
As Shunsui and Robert Accutrone discuss the confrontation between their respective leaders, Yamamoto is ambushed by three members of the Sternritter, who he promptly cremates. Yhwach comments that they were foolish to interfere in his battle, prompting Yamamoto to attack him and say that the poor esteem he holds his subordinates in will end here. The leader of the Wandenreich retorts that Yamamoto has become old, but the manner in which he allows anger to get the better of him reminds him of when the Captain-Commander was younger. Yhwach draws his sword and Yamamoto activates his Bankai.
Upon seeing the release of Yamamoto's Bankai, Haschwalth looks on to the Bankai, wondering if the small scorched blade that Yamamoto now carries is truly a Bankai. Yhwach, however, tells him not to underestimate it, as Zanka no Tachi incorporates all of the flames into that little blade. He goes on to say that one swing and it is the end, as it burns anything it cuts to ashes. Yamamoto recounts that Yhwach already saw his Bankai 1000 years ago. When Yhwach wonders if it is the same, Yamamoto says Yhwach can try it on his own body to see if it is the same as it was 1000 years ago.
Elsewhere in Soul Society, Captain Jūshirō Ukitake notices his throat going dry, as Shunsui Kyōraku notes that his lips are chapped. In their barracks, Lieutenant Isane Kotetsu tells Captain Retsu Unohana that her skin feels dry. Unohana smiles and tells Isane that she has said something girly for once, causing Isane to say that that is not what she meant. Unohana looks out to the sky as she says to the distant Yamamoto that he better hurry and end his fight before he destroys Soul Society with his own power. Back out on the battlefield, the ice of Daiguren Hyōrinmaru begins to melt and Hitsugaya tells his opponent he can no longer use Hyōrinmaru. The captains then begin noticing that the water around Soul Society is evaporating, noting that it can only be the power of Zanka no Tachi.
Continuing their fight, Yamamoto swipes at Yhwach, who dodges the attack. Yhwach notices Yamamoto cut his cape, but it did not burst into flame. He questions if the Bankai has really changed in the past 1000 years. He goes on to say that no Zanpakutō has different abilities in Shikai and Bankai so the power of Zanka no Tachi must be fire. As he questions where the flames went, Yamamoto attacks again, as Yhwach dodges and the blade hits a rock, causing a large explosion. Yhwach realizes the power is in the point of the sword, which Yamamoto confirms. Yamamoto explains that Zanka no Tachi, Higashi: Kyokujutsujin focuses the destructive power of his flames into the point of his sword. He says that it does not burn or fire up, it simply blows away anything that it touches, leaving no trace. Yamamoto attacks, saying not even Blut Vene can help Yhwach, but the Wandenreich leader simply states how boring this is. He says that he will simply have to cut Yamamoto without touching his blade. He draws his blade and attacks, but pulls the sword away to see that half of it is missing. Yamamoto tells his opponent that he is too confident, saying that if there is an east, there must be a west and decides to show Yhwach his ability. Suddenly visible to all eyes, Yamamoto is engulfed in a mass of flames. He calls the ability Zanka no Tachi, Nishi: Zanjitsu Gokui, saying that its heat reaches 15,000,000 degrees and that while in Bankai, he cannot be touched, stating that it is as if his body and sword are clad in the sun's flames.
Captain-Commander Yamamoto continues fighting against Wandenreich leader, Yhwach.
Haschwalth begins to feel the scorching heat from Yamamoto's Zanka no Tachi, Nishi: Zanjitsu Gokui technique. He wonders whether the flames he's seeing are actually just illusions. However, he then concludes that they are actually the Shinigami's Reiatsu taking on a fiery form.
Yamamoto says to Yhwach that they shall end the battle, for if they prolong it, Yamamoto will end up burning the entire Soul Society to nothing more than ashes. Yhwach remains silent and instead focuses on the effects he's experiencing from Zanka no Tachi, Nishi: Zanjitsu Gokui. In addition, he realizes that he would be dead by now hadn't been the use of Blut Vene. Yamamoto speaks up and taunts him about his silence, adding that it's not surprising he cannot move, and that even if Yhwach were to run, he'd just kill him immediately. Hearing this, Yhwach fires a Heilig Pfeil only for it to be deflected. Yamamoto notes how, with his sword broken, he only has arrows left to fight with. With this in mind, he charges at his opponent.
Yamamoto proclaims that nothing will work against him. In response, Yhwach says that a Quincy can fight with more than just a Cross and Heilig Pfeil. He then uses the technique Kirchenlied: Sankt Zwinger, causing several Quincy Cross-like Reishi columns to emerge from the ground, surrounding the Wandenreich leader in a circular formation. He proudly states that it grants him the greatest form of protection, and that should Yamamoto step inside, he'd be killed. Yamamoto shouts again that it will not work against him and pierces his sword in the ground outside the formation. He chants, asking the fallen warriors who died by his blade to help him engage in combat. With this said, he activates Zanka no Tachi, Minami: Kaka Jūmanokushi Daisōjin, causing an army of skeletons to emerge from the ground.
Yhwach looks on in shock as an army of charred skeletons bursts out of the ground, summoned forth by Yamamoto's Zanka no Tachi, Minami: Kaka Jūmanokushi Daisōjin technique. Yamamoto explains that by using the heat of his sword on the ashes of the people he has killed, he is able to raise them and bring them under his command. He then sends them charging towards Yhwach, telling him that they won't stop attacking until they grind him into dust.
Yhwach expresses his amusement over the leader of the Shinigami rousing the dead, calling Yamamoto a disgrace. Declaring that the attack will not work against him, he leaps towards Yamamoto, only to be blocked by a wall of skeletons. Yamamoto chastises him for talking too much, and tells him to take a closer look at the skeletons he just damaged. As the skeletons start to surround and grab onto him, Yhwach recognizes some of them as his deceased subordinates - Zeidritz, Algora, and Hubert. Yamamoto asks him how it feels to be held down by his own subordinates, and proceeds to walk away from him.
Distraught, Yhwach shouts after him, asking where he is going. Yamamoto tells him that he is simply leaving some distance, and that Yhwach can come after him after he has destroyed his subordinates. He then asks Yhwach if he regrets having not stolen his Bankai immediately, before postulating that he was actually incapable of doing so. He states that Ichigo Kurosaki's Bankai cannot be stolen because it still has room for growth, and that his own cannot be taken because even a thousand years before, he had not shown its full power. He concludes that logically, Yhwach cannot steal something with an unknown limit.
Still trapped by the skeletons, Yhwach screams out, prompting Yamamoto to mockingly note that the Quincy still has a heart. Finally breaking away from the skeletons, Yhwach again declares that he will not be stopped by such a technique. Yamamoto states that Yhwach must hate him for summoning his dead men and forcing him to break them. However, he then declares that his pain is nothing compared to that of all the Shinigami he killed. He proceeds to use Zanka no Tachi, Kita: Tenchi Kaijin, instantly destroying a massive portion of Yhwach's torso, as well as most of his left arm. Believing the fight finished, he then deactivates his Bankai, prompting a deluge of water to fall. Mortally wounded, Yhwach states that his power was not enough, apologizing to Yhwach-sama.