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The Rebellion Begins: Rise of Muramasa is the beginning of the Zanpakutō Rebellion. It focuses upon Muramasa's rise to power, the liberation of the Zanpakutō from their respective Shinigami, and the subsequent conflict between the two factions.
In a candle-lit cave, several Zanpakutō Spirits sit around. Jumping down from a rock, Haineko wonders how long they will have to stay here and states she is bored. When Haineko says she is going to look outside, Sode no Shirayuki states this is not a good idea.
As the other Zanpakutō Spirits express surprise, Sode no Shirayuki points out how not everyone has arrived yet, which Haineko counters by asking her who the others are. As Hebi watches a frog, Sode no Shirayuki admits she is not sure.
Laughing, Kazeshini proclaims the size of their group does not matter and wonders out loud if he should go outside and handle this himself, prompting Hōzukimaru to tell him to shut up before saying rushing into things is foolish. Flying past Hōzukimaru, Suzumebachi agrees and proclaims an impatient man is very unattractive as a door opens. Muramasa walks down a flight of stairs, prompting Tobiume to welcome him, and states he has brought them a new friend.
Muramasa puts his hand on Tobiume's shoulder and tells her to look after the newcomer before continuing to walk down the stairs. Suzumebachi flies next to Haineko as the newcomer walks into the light, revealing himself to be Hyōrinmaru. As Suzumebachi notes he is very attractive, Haineko tells Muramasa to be honest with her and asks him how long they will be waiting down here, prompting Muramasa to say Haineko will have to wait a little longer before revealing the rest of their comrades will be joining them very soon. When Haineko begins to protest, Muramasa walks up to her and puts his hand up to her face, causing Haineko to freeze in place. Muramasa curls his fingers and proclaims the era of the Shinigami is coming to an end.
Calm Before the Storm
Meanwhile, in Ichigo Kurosaki's inner world, Zangetsu calls to Ichigo, who is sleeping on the side of a skyscraper. When Zangetsu asks him if he can hear "it", Ichigo awakens and gets up while wondering why he is here. Zangetsu states Ichigo must be able to hear it, prompting Ichigo to ask if Zangetsu is referring to his own voice, which he can hear. When Zangetsu denies this and says this is not what he means, a confused Ichigo looks around and apologizes before stating he cannot hear anything other than Zangetsu. Ichigo asks Zangetsu what he is talking about, but Zangetsu tells him to forget about it, prompting Ichigo to say he cannot forget about it now.
When Zangetsu does not respond, Ichigo tells him to answer him. Elsewhere, 6th Division Lieutenant Renji Abarai leaps into the air and releases his Zanpakutō, Zabimaru, before attacking his captain, Byakuya Kuchiki. Blocking with his sword, Byakuya moves away with Shunpo as the segments of Zabimaru grind across his blade. Byakuya appears behind Renji and slashes at him, forcing Renji to block before pushing Byakuya's blade away. Renji attacks Byakuya once more, and as they struggle in midair, Renji pushes Byakuya away, causing the latter to fall to the ground below.
As he falls, Byakuya releases his Zanpakutō, Senbonzakura, and has the blade petals move toward Renji as several Shinigami watching on the ground express surprise. As the petals push him back, Renji activates his Bankai, Hihiō Zabimaru, creating a large explosion of red smoke. As Byakuya lands on the ground below, 8th Division Captain Shunsui Kyōraku and Lieutenant Nanao Ise watch from the sidelines. The smoke clears to reveal Hihiō Zabimaru, which roars, as Renji lands on the ground to the cheers of the other Shinigami. Byakuya activates his Bankai, Senbonzakura Kageyoshi, by dropping his sword, which phases into the ground, and asks if Renji has forgotten.
Byakuya states Senbonzakura moves twice as fast if he controls it with his hands before noting Renji's slow Bankai is no match for it. As Byakuya prepares to attack, Muramasa tells someone to hear his voice, causing one of the blade petals slashes Byakuya's wrist. Seeing Byakuya's surprise, Renji prepares to attack, prompting Byakuya to send Senbonzakura Kageyoshi toward him. When Renji leaps into the air, Byakuya has Senbonzakura Kageyoshi follow him, only for Renji to have Hihiō Zabimaru shield him from the blade petals before using Hikōtsu Taihō, which prompts Hihiō Zabimaru to burst through the petals.
The segments of Hihiō Zabimaru separate as it fires a wide beam of red energy at Byakuya, who has Senbonzakura Kageyoshi form several enormous blades in front of him in order to block the attack. The energy beam explodes upon impact, prompting the other Shinigami present to shield themselves from the powerful shockwave. Landing on the ground, a chuckling Renji rubs his chin and expresses surprise at Byakuya using his Bankai. Byakuya reforms his sword and ends the sparring session as Renji walks up to him and asks him if something is wrong. Byakuya denies this, which confuses Renji, as Shunsui claps.
Shunsui approaches Byakuya and Renji while proclaiming their sparring session was very enjoyable. 13th Division Captain Jūshirō Ukitake walks up and agrees before noting Renji's skills have improved. As Renji thanks Ukitake, Byakuya turns away. When Renji expresses concern, Byakuya looks over his shoulder and states this will be all for today, prompting Renji to thank him and say he appreciates the opportunity to spar with Byakuya. As Ukitake expresses concern, Byakuya asks them to excuse him and walks away. Shunsui scratches his chin and wonders what is wrong.
Elsewhere, as small chunks of ice swirl into the sky, 10th Division Captain Tōshirō Hitsugaya holds his sword in front of him as the nearby trees freeze solid. The ground under Hitsugaya's feet becomes covered in ice as Hitsugaya utters the name of his Zanpakutō, Hyōrinmaru, before pointing his blade to the side as the area around him vanishes. A powerful tornado swirls around Hitsugaya as his Zanpakutō dissipates, and Hyōrinmaru flies down from the sky in his spirit form. When Hyōrinmaru lands in front of him, Hitsugaya asks him what is wrong, but Hyōrinmaru does not answer, prompting Hitsugaya to extend his hand toward him.
Leaning towards Hitsugaya, Hyōrinmaru glows brightly and shatters, leaving a shocked Hitsugaya holding his sealed Zanpakutō. As Hitsugaya wonders what happened, the area around him returns to normal as a book crashes through a nearby window. 10th Division Lieutenant Rangiku Matsumoto angrily tells someone to come out, causing Hitsugaya to turn towards the window and express irritation. Inside the nearby building, Rangiku stabs her Zanpakutō into the floor and tells Haineko to come out. As she moves around the room, Rangiku berates Haineko. Hitsugaya opens the door and tries to get Rangiku's attention, but Rangiku merely demands to know if Haineko is missing.
Stating she is mad, Rangiku sits on a couch and proclaims Haineko is lazy, moody, and annoying. As Rangiku says Haineko is a useless Zanpakutō, Hitsugaya pops up behind her and yells her name, prompting Rangiku to react in shock. Hitsugaya asks Rangiku why she is yelling, prompting Rangiku to tell him to not scare her like this before stating she was having a friendly conversation with her Zanpakutō Spirit, irritating Hitsugaya. 4th Division Lieutenant Isane Kotetsu asks Hitsugaya and Rangiku to excuse her as the door to the library opens, revealing Isane and 5th Division Lieutenant Momo Hinamori, who greets Rangiku and Hitsugaya.
As Rangiku greets Isane and Momo in return, Hitsugaya asks Momo why she refuses to refer to him as Captain Hitsugaya. Rangiku asks Isane and Momo what brings them here, prompting Momo to give her a piece of paper before saying this is a special notice announcing a lieutenants meeting. As Rangiku thanks her, Momo turns to Hitsugaya and asks him if something is wrong, prompting Hitsugaya to ask her if she has somewhere to be. Isane looks at Haineko and asks Rangiku what she was doing in here. Stating she was talking to her Zanpakutō Spirit, Rangiku says they have to hone their skills because their enemies are constantly becoming craftier before expressing irritation at Haineko and revealing she refuses to manifest.
When Rangiku says Haineko can be very irritating, Momo expresses shock and states Rangiku should not speak of her Zanpakutō Spirit like this before asking her to be more forgiving toward it. Noting Tobiume was concerned about her when she was at her lowest point, Momo reveals this is when she realized she is never alone. As Hitsugaya asks Momo if this means she has been driving her Zanpakutō Spirit crazy as well, Isane steps forward and reveals Itegumo has been slow to respond during the past few days before stating this has never happened before. Hitsugaya's eyes widen as Rangiku says Isane is lucky it is only happening now, for it is constant with Haineko.
Isane says she is concerned because it is the first time as Hitsugaya begins to walk away. When Momo asks him where he is going, Hitsugaya asks her where she thinks he is going and states he is still on-duty. Momo reveals they brought some sweet baked-bean desserts they received from 4th Division Captain Retsu Unohana, causing Hitsugaya to blush as Isane fumbles with the box she is carrying. When Rangiku says they should have a tea break, for the desserts are Hitsugaya's favorite treat, Hitsugaya regains his composure and walks away as Rangiku calls after him. As he walks down the hallway, Hitsugaya recalls Hyōrinmaru shattering and wonders what this means.
The Rebellion Begins
At the center of the Seireitei, Katen Kyōkotsu, Minazuki, and Sōgyo no Kotowari arrive at the 1st Division barracks. The taller woman of Katen Kyōkotsu proclaims they have reached their destination as Sōgyo no Kotowari state they should get started. In his office, Captain-Commander Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto writes at his desk before looking up. Yamamoto tells someone to reveal themselves as the doors open, prompting 1st Division Lieutenant Chōjirō Sasakibe to appear behind Yamamoto with Shunpo before nods his head. Chōjirō stands up and walks forward with his hand on his Zanpakutō before demanding to know who is there.
As Chōjirō looks into the hall, Yamamoto's eyes widen in surprise. Elsewhere, a Jigokuchō flies through the air as a second Jigokuchō flies past 2nd Division Captain Suì-Fēng and her lieutenant, Marechiyo Ōmaeda. Unohana notes it is an urgent summons as Isane holds a third Jigokuchō in her hand. As 7th Division Lieutenant Tetsuzaemon Iba asks his captain, Sajin Komamura, what could be happening at this hour of the night, a fourth Jigokuchō flies past 11th Division 3rd Seat Ikkaku Madarame and 5th Seat Yumichika Ayasegawa, the former of whom expresses confusion. A fifth Jigokuchō lands on a surprised Rangiku's knee.
Hitsugaya looks at the Jigokuchō in surprise as a sixth Jigokuchō flies past Byakuya and Renji, who notes they are all being summoned before calling out to Byakuya. As a seventh Jigokuchō flies towards the moon, several Shinigami gather on top of Sōkyoku Hill. Ukitake tells Komamura he received the same urgent message as Hitsugaya and Rangiku appear in front of them with Shunpo, with Hitsugaya asking them what he missed. As Ukitake greets him, Hitsugaya asks him if he knows what is going on and why they were called here. Ukitake admits he is not sure. When Ukitake begins to say something, Hitsugaya asks him what is wrong.
Rangiku notices Rukia Kuchiki standing nearby. As Rukia turns, Rangiku walks over to her and asks Rukia if she was summoned as well. Confirming this, Rukia says she received the call like the others did before admitting she is not sure why. Shunsui states it is an interesting group before asking Ikkaku and Yumichika if they are filling in for 11th Division Captain Kenpachi Zaraki, prompting Ikkaku to admit they have never had to represent Kenpachi before. Yumichika reveals Kenpachi and 11th Division Lieutenant Yachiru Kusajishi are currently away, so they have no choice if Shunsui orders them to stay and listen. When Shunsui asks Ikkaku and Yumichika where Kenpachi and Yachiru went, Yumichika states he is not sure before noting it happens frequently.
12th Division Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi asks those assembled if none of them know why Yamamoto sent for all of them at such an unreasonable hour, prompting Renji to proclaim this is annoying before stating the fog is a hindrance. As the fog thickens, someone walks across the bridge connecting Sōkyoku Hill to the main building. The fog clears as those assembled turn to see Chōjirō with his arm outstretched. When 3rd Division Lieutenant Izuru Kira asks him what is going on and where Yamamoto is, Chōjirō collapses. As Izuru, Momo, and 9th Division Lieutenant Shūhei Hisagi run over to Chōjirō, Ōmaeda turns to Suì-Fēng, who tells him to scan the area and remain alert.
Renji looks around as Isane tells Unohana that Chōjirō has gone into cardiac arrest. When Unohana tells Isane to begin resuscitation, Muramasa snorts in derision, prompting Ukitake and Hitsugaya to turn around in surprise. As the moonlight reveals his face, Muramasa says Yamamoto will not be joining them tonight, prompting Hitsugaya to ask Muramasa who he is. Rangiku and 13th Division Co-3rd Seats Sentarō Kotsubaki and Kiyone Kotetsu appear in front of Ukitake and Hitsugaya as Muramasa smirks. Appearing in front of Muramasa, Komamura asks him how he knows Yamamoto is not coming. As Iba calls out to him, Komamura states they are waiting and asks Muramasa what he did with Yamamoto.
Muramasa does not answer, prompting Komamura to prepare to attack him. When Komamura slashes at him, Muramasa leaps back and gestures at those assembled with his hand, causing a strong wind to surge against the Shinigami as Ikkaku notes this just became interesting. Yumichika asks Ikkaku if they should get involved, but Iba appears in front of them with Shunpo and tells them to stay back, for Komamura is fighting Muramasa and they will get hurt if they become involved. Meanwhile, Komamura activates his Bankai, Kokujō Tengen Myō'ō, which looms over Muramasa as Komamura demands Muramasa reveal Yamamoto's location.
When Muramasa states Komamura's attacks will not touch him, Komamura proclaims they shall see and prepares to attack. As Kokujō Tengen Myō'ō raises its blade, Ukitake expresses surprise and yells at Komamura to look behind him. Komamura looks back as the blade of Kokujō Tengen Myō'ō crashes down upon him, prompting Iba to call out to him. As the dust clears, Komamura gets to his feet next to the enormous blade as Hitsugaya wonders what happened. Suì-Fēng says it is impossible for a Zanpakutō to attack its master, Shunsui expresses confusion, and Renji wonders what is going on. Mayuri proclaims this is very intriguing as Komamura stands up. A powerful wind blows through the area.
As Muramasa chuckles, the wind stops blowing as Komamura gets to his feet and asks Tenken who he is. As fire emanates from Tenken's mouth, Komamura recognizes him as Tenken and begins to ask him how he is here before Tenken attacks him, forcing Komamura to block. Pushing Tenken's blade away, Komamura slashes at him, only for Tenken to move away and wrap a pair of fiery bolas around Komamura's arm. As a growling Komamura struggles against the rope, Tenken pulls him forward before slashing him with a flaming sword, visibly shocking the other Shinigami present. Komamura wonders how this could happen before collapsing.
Calling out to Komamura, Iba begins to run towards him, only for Yumichika to grab his arm and tell him to wait. As Iba tells Yumichika to let go, Hitsugaya leaps into the air and releases Hyōrinmaru as Suì-Fēng releases Suzumebachi. As Hitsugaya notices Hyōrinmaru has not entered its Shikai form, Tenken strikes at him with his whip. Dodging in midair, Hitsugaya lands in front of Tenken as Rangiku calls out to him. A confused Hitsugaya looks at his blade and notes Shikai does not work as Suì-Fēng confirms this. As the lieutenants draw their Zanpakutō, Renji attempts to release Zabimaru, only to express confusion when nothing happens.
As Rangiku fails to release Haineko, Ikkaku slams the sheath and hilt of his sword together and tries to release Hōzukimaru, only for the whirlwind around the hilt and sheath to disperse instead of extend. Renji wonders what is wrong with his Zanpakutō before noting there is no more Reiatsu within it. As Momo asks Tobiume what is wrong, Mayuri confirms Renji's observation and states the Reiatsu of his blade is absent. When Mayuri says the question is why, Muramasa smiles and states the Shinigami and their Zanpakutō Spirits are no longer united before putting his hand up to his face and proclaiming he freed the Zanpakutō Spirits from the control of the Shinigami.
As Isane wonders if this is possible, a tear of blood drips from Muramasa's right eye as he gestures with his arm. When several explosions occur behind Muramasa across the Seireitei, Rukia wonders what this is as Renji asks Muramasa what he is trying to do now. Muramasa notes it was not him before revealing the Zanpakutō Spirits of the Shinigami present are responsible for the destruction. Momo denies this, but Muramasa states it is true and reiterates his statement of the Zanpakutō Spirits being released from the control of the Shinigami before Muramasa laughing. In the Seireitei, a bell rings as several Shinigami try to put out the fire in a burning building.
When one of the Shinigami points out someone standing on the rooftop, other Shinigami wonder who it and if he is an intruder. Laughing, the man, revealing himself to be Kazeshini, moves to the Shinigami and gleefully cuts them down. Kazeshini laughs maniacally and leaps into the air before throwing his kusarigama at two more Shinigami, cutting them down as well. As the Shinigami wonder who he is and why he is attacking them, Kazeshini picks up his kusarigama and proclaims this is too easy before continuing to cut down the Shinigami. As the other Shinigami watch, Tobiume wonders if Kazeshini has to be so barbaric with his attacks.
The Shinigami turn around in surprise as Tobiume greets them, says they should start running, and begins to spin. As Tobiume spins around, the bells on her hair burst into flame and hurl fireballs at the Shinigami, who dodge. Apologizing, Tobiume states she does not have time to play with all of them and moves to the air, where she hurls fireballs at the buildings below, causing them to burst into flames. Elsewhere, as several Shinigami hold onto a ladder, Hōzukimaru grins and tosses them away before proclaiming the Shinigami do not stand a chance. When small chunks of ice float past his face, Hōzukimaru looks back, where he sees Sode no Shirayuki standing on a roof.
Telling Hōzukimaru they have been summoned, Sode no Shirayuki generates a large amount of ice from her outstretched hand. Hōzukimaru snorts in derision and moves away as the ice encases the Shinigami. At Sōkyoku Hill, Muramasa wipes away the blood on his cheek while proclaiming this was a demonstration so the Shinigami would begin to comprehend the power of his comrades. As Muramasa tells the Shinigami to witness the true forms of their Zanpakutō Spirits, the Zanpakutō Spirits appear above them. Hitsugaya realizes the Zanpakutō Spirits managed to manifest themselves as Hyōrinmaru manifests next to him before walking forward.
As Renji proclaims this is insane, Senbonzakura manifests next to Byakuya before walking forward. Ashisogi Jizō manifests next to Mayuri before floating forward as Ukitake wonders how this is possible. Haineko manifests near Rukia before walking forward as Shunsui says this is crazy. Walking up to Rangiku, Haineko puts her hand on Rangiku's shoulder and leans toward her before shoving Rangiku and telling her to move out of the way. As Rangiku expresses shock at her rudeness, Haineko moves away as the Zanpakutō Spirits above the Shinigami drop to the ground.
Byakuya walks forward and tells Muramasa to reveal his identity. Revealing his name, Muramasa proclaims this night marks the end of the reign of the Shinigami over the Zanpakutō Spirits and that the Zanpakutō Spirits shall rule over the Shinigami. Muramasa manifests his sword form and stabs it into the ground, causing the ground to rise up in segments, allowing the Zanpakutō Spirits to tower over the Shinigami.
After Muramasa denounces the Shinigami, they proceed to fight against the Zanpakutō Spirits, but find themselves extremely outmatched. Running from Sōkyoku Hill, Rukia Kuchiki and Renji encounter Kazeshini and Gonryōmaru, who proceed to attack them. When Rukia is overwhelmed by Gonryōmaru, Byakuya subdues him with Bakudō #61. Rikujōkōrō. As he does this, Muramasa commends his abilities as a captain and states he can control a powerful Zanpakutō Spirit. Senbonzakura proceeds to fight Byakuya, who is engulfed by the blade petals and slammed into a building. As Rukia calls out to Byakuya, Sode no Shirayuki appears before her and uses Tsugi no mai, Hakuren.
- ↑ 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 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 Bleach anime; Episode 230
- ↑ Bleach anime; Episode 231