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THE MASCARON DRIVE
MangaVolume26Cover
"The voice that pierces
deep into my chest
is like a never-ending cheer."
Japanese
release
February 2, 2007
(ISBN 4-08-874315-8[1])
US
release
March 3, 2009
(ISBN 1-4215-2384-1[2])
Chapter list
(Shueisha)
224. Imitated Gaiety

225. Slip Into My Barrier
226. Right of My Heart[3]
227. The Swordless Soldier
228. Don't Look Back
229. The Howling Tempest
230. Dead White Invasion[4]
231. The Mascaron Drive
232. The Mascaron Drive 2

233. El Violador
Chapter list
(Viz Media)
224. Imitated Gaiety

225. Slip Into My Barrier
226. Right of My Heart
227. The Swordless Soldier
228. Don't Look Back
229. The Howling Tempest
230. Dead White Invasion
231. The Mascaron Drive
232. The Mascaron Drive 2

233. El Violador
Cover
character
Luppi Antenor

THE MASCARON DRIVE is the twenty-sixth volume of the Bleach manga series.

Publisher's summary

Ichigo Kurosaki and all his friends are training like mad, spurred on by the looming threat of Sōsuke Aizen's wicked plans. But while Uryū Ishida and Yasutora Sado increase their powers, Orihime Inoue finds out that she has to sit out the coming fight, leaving her friends without her protection. And Ichigo, despite his intensive training with the Visored, can't control his Hollowfied self long enough to battle. With the war against the Arrancar ramping up, can the team afford to have two fighters on the sidelines?

Bleach All Stars

All-Stars
ウルキオラ・シファー
Ulquiorra Cifer
Ep138GrimmjowCharaPic 浦原 喜助
Kisuke Urahara
Ep267UlquiorraCharaPic グリムジョー
Grimmjow
FtBUraharaCharaPic

Ep320RukiaCharaPic 井上 織姫
Orihime Inoue
Ep216IchigoCharaPic
朽木 ルキア
Rukia Kuchiki
Ep215OrihimeCharaPic 黒崎 一護
Ichigo Kurosaki



Chapters

224. Imitated Gaiety

Momo talks with Hitsugaya while Chad and Ichigo train for the upcoming battles against the Arrancar.

Summary :

C224 cover page Hitsugaya Tōshirō

Cover of 224. Imitated Gaiety

Hitsugaya is surprised to see Hinamori, but he quickly realizes that she finally woke up. When Hinamori apologizes for doubting him and pointing her sword at him, Hitsugaya acts like he does not care about small things like that and instead urges her to go back to bed, since she looks tired. After teasing her about her looks, he reminds her to call him "Captain Hitsugaya" as opposed to “Hitsugaya-kun”. A moment of silence passes before Hinamori asks if Hitsugaya is going to fight and kill Aizen. She desperately wants him to save Aizen and thinks that Ichimaru or someone else forced Aizen to betray Soul Society. Before she can get too far with this, however, Captain-Commander Yamamoto steps in and knocks her out with one hand motion in front of her face. The Commander suggests that they might have let her do this too early and then bids Hitsugaya farewell.

At the Urahara Shop, Chad is training rigorously against Renji Abarai and his Bankai. Renji had initially not wanted to do this, but Urahara persuaded Renji to train Chad because Chad needed opponents who had achieved Bankai and Urahara's own Bankai was not suited for training someone. Renji had eventually agreed to the training after Urahara offered to answer all his questions in three months time. Now, as he watches the two men fight, Urahara thinks to himself that Chad’s power is not like a Shinigami or Quincy, but rather something else.

Meanwhile, Ichigo is still practicing how to control his Hollow power, and he doesn't seem to be able to maintain the mask for too long, so Hiyori is mad at him, but the other Visored comment that they are getting along better than expected. Orihime tracks down Ichigo's Reiatsu, and she finds the building that he is training inside.

Characters in order of appearance :

Episodes adapted from this chapter:


225. Slip Into My Barrier

Orihime goes to the Visored to see Ichigo.

Summary :

Chapter225Cover

Cover of 225. Slip Into My Barrier

Orihime has tracked down the building hidden behind a special barrier that Ichigo is in and notices that the barrier feels similar to her own power, so she is able to pass through it. Inside the training area, Ichigo is fighting Hiyori with short bursts of putting on his Hollow mask. The point of this training is to extend the length of time Ichigo can keep the mask on, but the length that Ichigo can currently manage is only four seconds. The Visored all had to go through this training with the exception of Mashiro Kuna, who was able to keep on her mask for 15 hours from the very beginning. Hachigen Ushōda suddenly detects someone entering the barrier he had set up, which is impenetrable to Shinigami Kidō, and to their surprise, Orihime appears.

After learning about Aizen's plot and the King's Key, Ichigo tells Orihime not to worry and promises to stop Aizen because he can get stronger. Orihime notices how calm Ichigo is and attributes it to how he has found his strength and became stronger. Realizing that she needs to become stronger too, Orihime leaves.

Characters in order of appearance :

Episodes adapted from this chapter:


226. Right of My Heart

Ryūken gives Uryū his Quincy powers back.

Summary :

Chapter226Cover

Cover of 226. Right of My Heart

The Visored are talking about Orihime's sudden visit. Love Aikawa questions how Orihime was able to get through Hachigen's barrier. Hachigen reveals that Orihime seems to have the same type of power that he does, even though she is only a Human, which makes it very hard to believe.

Orihime runs into Yoruichi outside. Yoruichi had been searching for her, as Urahara wanted to talk with her.

In the Karakura Hospital, Uryū Ishida continues his training with Ryūken Ishida. Uryū is spending most of his time running away from his father’s attacks and attempting to counterattack with his Silver Tubes of stored spiritual energy. He recognizes that his father’s spiritual energy is getting weaker, so he decides to stop his father from moving with his last silver tube. The technique, however, does not work, as Ryūken breaks out and shoots Uryū in the chest with a spirit arrow. After Uryū falls, Ryūken reveals that the only way for a Quincy who has lost his powers to the Quincy: Letzt Stil to regain his powers is for that person to be taken to the limit mentally and physically before being hit with an arrow exactly 19 mm to the right of the senatorial node of the heart. With his son lying on the ground with a Quincy star pattern on his chest, Ryūken calls Uryū a fool for not using the right technique earlier with the silver tubes. But he decides to let Uryū off the hook for tonight.

Characters in order of appearance :

Episodes adapted from this chapter:


227. The Swordless Soldier

Urahara tells Orihime not to fight in the upcoming battles.

Summary :

C227 cover page

Cover of 227. The Swordless Soldier

Rangiku arrives at Keigo's home to find Ikkaku wearing a very uncharacteristic shirt that he is putting up with because he is getting free room and board. She tells them about the King's Key, but first she has to handle Keigo coming after her.

Over at the Urahara Shop, Yoruichi brings Orihime to the training area where Chad and Renji are fighting. Having been informed about the key by Rangiku already, Urahara thinks that there will be many casualties when the time comes, and they will need more fighters than ever before. Orihime wants to get stronger too, but to her surprise, Urahara asks her to stay out of this. He cites one of the reasons to be Tsubaki, the offensive spirit of Orihime's Shun Shun Rikka that was completely destroyed by Yammy Llargo. Chad objects to this because Orihime fought with them when they were in Soul Society and because she has healing abilities, but Urahara thinks the Fourth Division are better suited to that role. When Urahara states that a soldier who has lost his power would just get in the way, Orihime excuses herself and runs out.

Meanwhile, in Hueco Mundo, Aizen is watching video of Orihime from the previous battle with Ulquiorra and Yammy and is intrigued by her powers.

Characters in order of appearance :

Episodes adapted from this chapter:


228. Don't Look Back

Orihime talks with Rukia and Hachigen.

Summary :

C228 cover Rukia & Orihime

Cover of 228. Don't Look Back

Orihime encounters Rukia on her way out and breaks down in tears. After listening to Orihime's story, Rukia takes her side, even though Orihime now seems resigned to the fact that she is too weak. Rukia feels that it is unfair for Orihime to be excluded now, but Orihime sees the situation differently. She knows that she would be lonely if she were unable to fight with everyone; however, she hates getting in people’s way even more, so Orihime is okay with being lonely. Rukia responds that it is not the people who do not have strength that get in the way during a battle, but rather those who lack determination. She feels that there must be something Orihime can do and proposes that they find out what together. Their conversation is interrupted by Hiyori when she jumps between them and carries Orihime off because Hachigen Ushōda wanted to talk with her.

Hiyori brings Orihime back to the Visored training area where Hachigen introduces himself and examines her hairpins. He thinks that Orihime's hairpins are similar to a Zanpakutō and offers to heal it for her since they have similar types of abilities. Mashiro Kuna doesn't like the fact that Hachigen is going to fix Orihime's hairpins, but Rōjūrō Ōtoribashi comments that Hachigen must be happy, for meeting someone with a power similar to his. He feels like their family is growing. Hachigen succeeds in restoring Tsubaki, and Orihime is overjoyed. However, Hachigen also suggests that Orihime not fight because their abilities are not fit for battle. When Orihime still wants to fight, Hachigen advises her that what is important is not how it should be, but rather how she wants it to be. With these words in mind, Orihime steps out of the warehouse and finds Rukia waiting for her. Rukia does not require an explanation from Orihime because she can feel Ichigo's Reiatsu here and is content knowing that he is safe. As she leaves with Rukia, Orihime thinks to herself that she is going to move forward without looking back. When she meets Ichigo again, she hopes she will be able to fight without looking at his back.

Characters in order of appearance :

Episodes adapted from this chapter:


229. The Howling Tempest

As Ichigo and his friends train, Aizen makes his move.

Summary :

C229 cover page

Cover of 229. The Howling Tempest

In Hueco Mundo, Yammy's severed arm is finally healed. He tests it by killing the Arrancar who reattached it, while lamenting to Ulquiorra that his arm cannot regenerate as quickly as Ulquiorra's eye. Ulquiorra tells him not to complain, telling him that he should just be thankful that it could be restored, noting that Grimmjow lost his rank after losing his arm. Ulquiorra tells Yammy to follow as the latter wonders where they are going.

Meanwhile, in the Human World Ichigo trains with Hiyori in the Visored base. As they break for lunch, Shinji wonders how the training is progressing. Hiyori replies that it is not progressing and that Ichigo can only hold his Hollow mask for 10 seconds. As the Visored and Ichigo joke around, Shinji reflects on the fact that the Hōgyoku will awaken at the end of December, noting that it means they have but two months left, which is too little time and that they must hurry.

Back in Hueco Mundo, Ulquiorra and Yammy arrive just in time to witness, with Grimmjow and other Espada, the creation of Wonderweiss, whom Aizen creates using the Hōgyoku. He explains that while the Hōgyoku has not yet awakened, Aizen can temporarily release its full power by joining it with someone who has twice the Reiatsu of a captain. Following the birth of Wonderweiss, Aizen tells Ulquiorra to carry out the order he gave him a month ago. Aizen tells him that he can take whoever he likes, but personally asks Grimmjow if he would like to accompany Ulquiorra.

Back in the Human World, Yumichika and Rangiku have started Bankai training, but neither are making progress due to the nature of their Zanpakutō. As Yumichika and Rangiku fight and tease each other, Hitsugaya loses his temper over their antics. As Hitsugaya yells at them, Ikkaku notes a slightly odd behavior with the clouds, but dismisses it when Hitsugaya asks him if he said something. However, just as he says it, a Garganta begins to open.

Characters in order of appearance :

Episodes adapted from this chapter:


230. Dead White Invasion

The Arrancar invade Karakura Town.

Summary :

C230 cover page

Cover of 230. Dead White Invasion

In Soul Society, Hisagi finds Ukitake watching Orihime and Rukia training. Ukitake explains that Rukia asked for special permission to train with Orihime in one of the 13th Division training fields. Ukitake expresses his pleasure that Rukia made such a good friend, as Hisagi wonders about Orihime's Human status. Ukitake points out that Orihime is not normal and that she may well become a Shinigami when it is her time to come to Soul Society. He then asks what Hisagi is doing there, Hisagi produces a copy of Seireitei Communication and notes that he never realized how much work was required of a captain, as Tōsen never left anything for his subordinates to do. As Hisagi walks away after declining Ukitake's invitation to relax for a bit, Ukitake notes that there isn't much time left to mend hearts or build strength and wishes that the fleeting peace would last a little longer.

Back in the Human World, Yammy, Grimmjow, and Wonderweiss arrive with another Arrancar in the park where Hitsugaya and his team were training. Upon noting their presence, the new Arrancar states that they must be the Shinigami the "former six" told them about. Grimmjow simply replies that the guy he wants to kill isn't there and takes off. As Yammy yells after him, the new Arrancar tells him not to bother as Grimmjow is not even an Espada anymore, thus worthless. Yammy also notes that the person he wants to kill is also not there. The new Arrancar wonders who he's talking about as Yammy got beaten up by quite a few people last time. Yammy replies he's after all of them. Yammy then orders Wonderweiss to move on, but Wonderweiss is more enthralled with other things. This causes Yammy to state that another weird one has joined the team.

Hitsugaya attacks and identifies himself to Yammy. Yammy too introduces himself and states that he is "Arrancar Diez". Realizing that Yammy is No. 10, Hitsugaya asks if he is an Espada. Yammy notes that Hitsugaya fought someone chatty, as Yumichika asks the new Arrancar if he's an Espada as well. The Arrancar introduces himself as Espada no. 6: Luppi. At the same time, Wonderweiss ignores Rangiku and watches some birds as Rangiku wonders if its all right for her to cut Wonderweiss.

Back in the Visored hideout, Ichigo struggles to get free and fight as the other Visored hold him in check. Reminding him that his friends from Soul Society are there for this very reason. Unexpectedly, Shinji tells them to let go. As Ichigo races out, Kensei wonders what Shinji is up to. A short distance away, Ichigo runs into Grimmjow and tells him that he's been waiting for him and that he'll show him how much he's changed since last time.

Characters in order of appearance :

Episodes adapted from this chapter:


231. The Mascaron Drive

Ichigo resumes his fight with Grimmjow.

Summary :

C231 cover Yammy Riyalgo

Cover of 231. The Mascaron Drive

In Soul Society, the Shinigami Research and Development Division detects the arrival of the Arrancar and deduces that they are Espada. A Jigokuchō informs Rukia and Ukitake of the arrival of four Espada and their engagement with Hitsugaya's team. Rukia leaves to return to the Human World, but tells Orihime to stay behind for a little while as without a Jigokuchō, she'll just end up in the Dangai if she tries to return with Rukia. Ukitake tells Orihime that they are making arrangements to send her back, but it will just take a little time. As she runs to the Senkaimon, Rukia wonders what the Arrancar are doing there already when the Hōgyoku is not supposed to awaken until winter.

Meanwhile, in the Human World, Ichigo activates his Bankai, but Grimmjow mocks him and asks if he forgot that his Bankai was no good against Grimmjow. Ichigo counters that perhaps it is Grimmjow who forgot, given that his Bankai attack gave Grimmjow the scar on his chest. Grimmjow is silenced by the comment. Ichigo then asks Grimmjow what happened to his arm. Grimmjow replies that it got in the way and as such he threw it away. Ichigo replies that if that is the case then he won't hold back. As Grimmjow taunts him by saying that if he holds back then he'll die, Ichigo dons his Hollow mask. The shocked Grimmjow wonders what that is, but Ichigo, noting to himself that he has exactly 11 seconds, simply replies that he doesn't have time to explain and attacks.

Elsewhere, Hitsugaya's Shikai is useless against Yammy and Luppi easily tosses Yumichika around. When Luppi fails to get Ikkaku to fight him at the same time as Yumichika, Luppi asks Yammy to let him have Hitsugaya as well. He then tells them that he will release and take all four of them on at the same time.

Back in Urahara Shoten, Renji tells Chad to stay put, as he is too exhausted. As Chad argues with Renji, Urahara tells them to both stay back and rest, saying he will go in their place.

Characters in order of appearance :

Episodes adapted from this chapter:


232. The Mascaron Drive 2

Luppi releases.

Summary :

C232 cover page

Cover of 232. The Mascaron Drive 2

Recalling what happens when an Arrancar releases their Zanpakutō, Hitsugaya charges Luppi saying that he won't let Luppi release. He activates Bankai, but Luppi releases before Hitsugaya can reach him. Luppi then attacks Hitsugaya in his Trepadora form, but Hitsugaya blocks using his ice wings. Luppi praises Hitsugaya and says that he didn't think Hitsugaya would be able to block it, but wonders what would happen if that attack was multiplied by eight — revealing his eight tentacle arms. Before Hitsugaya can digest the implications of Luppi's declaration, Luppi attacks Hitsugaya with all eight arms at once, causing Hitsugaya to go down. Luppi then reminds them that he did tell them to fight four against one, but then corrects himself and says eight vs four as he attacks Rangiku, Yumichika, and Ikkaku.

Elsewhere, Grimmjow and Ichigo face off, with Ichigo being the one in control. Even Grimmjow's Cero fails to give him an opening on Ichigo. However, as Ichigo moves to finish the fight his mask suddenly breaks. Realizing his chance, Grimmjow declares that it is over for Ichigo and attacks.

Characters in order of appearance :

Episodes adapted from this chapter:


233. El Violador

Urahara's timely arrival saves Rangiku as Orihime is intercepted on her way back.

Summary :

C233 cover page Luppi

Cover of 233. El Violador

As Ichigo plummets to the ground, following his mask shattering, Grimmjow taunts him with his failure to beat Grimmjow as the latter keeps sync with the falling Ichigo.

Meanwhile, Luppi keeps Rangiku, Ikkaku and Yumichika at bay with his eight arms and taunts them with their inability to match him. Yammy complains about how he has nothing to do and watches Wonderweiss trying to catch a dragonfly and attempting to eat it. Luppi manages to catch Rangiku and sends a tentacle with a spiked tip towards her, but the tentacle holding Rangiku, as well as the spiked tip of the tentacles are sliced by Urahara. However, before Urahara can engage Luppi further Wonderweiss attempts to grab him from behind. Urahara sends Wonderweiss flying, but Wonderweiss is unfazed and readies another attack.

In the meantime, Orihime is sent into the Dangai with Shinigami escorts. However, Ulquiorra dismisses the escort as inadequate as he opens a Garganta right inside the Dangai.

Characters in order of appearance :

Episodes adapted from this chapter:


References

  1. Bleach 26 (Japanese). Shueisha.
  2. Bleach, Vol. 26. Viz Media.
  3. This chapter originally appears as "The Right of The Heart" in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine.
  4. This chapter originally appears as "The White Invasion" in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine.

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NO SHAKING THRONE THE MASCARON DRIVE goodbye, halcyon days.

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