Rukia I do not know why you have become a Traitor of the Soul Society or betray us your friends but in the name of Godstrike and Justice I will kill you no matter what your reason is!
Ichigo Kurosaki is a Human who had Visored powers. He is the son of Isshin and Masaki Kurosaki, and older brother of Karin and Yuzu. He is the main protagonist of the Bleach series. Ichigo is a Member of Godstrike and the 2nd General of the Hero Organization Godstrike, formerly led by Yoruichi Shihoin but now currently led by Sparda.
Ichigo looks like a normal teenage boy; the one exception to that is his spiky orange hair, a trait that he has been ridiculed about for years. He is a fairly tall, lean-built person with peach skin and brown eyes. Since becoming a Shinigami he has become noticeably more muscular, as noted by his sister Karin. When in his spiritual form, Ichigo wears standard Shinigami attire with the addition of a strap across his chest. Initially it was a thick brown belt to hold his Zanpakutō sheathe, but it later became a red rosary-like strap. Ichigo's appearance has caused several people, including Jushiro Ukitake, to notice a similarity to Kaien Shiba; the former lieutenant of Squad 13. After training in the Dangai, Ichigo's hair grows considerably and is noticeably taller, as stated by his friends. However, after Ichigo loses all his spiritual powers, his appearance reverts to the way it before his Dangai training.
When he was young, Ichigo considered his mother to be the center of his world. Ichigo always smiled whenever he was with Masaki and he was regularly at her side, holding her hand. Despite crying whenever he lost in a match at the Dojo he attended, Ichigo started to smile again as soon as he saw Masaki when she came to pick him up. At a very young age, Ichigo heard his father saying that his name means "to protect one thing", which instilled in him a desire to protect his mother. When his sisters were born he began attending a dojo for the sake of protecting them, since then the number of people he wished to protect has continued to grow, causing Ichigo to risk his life to protect both his family and strangers. As a Human teenager, Ichigo's personality is much more complex. Stubborn, short-tempered, strong-willed and impulsive, he attempts to maintain a detached and "cool" image, despite claiming not to care about what other people think about him. He generally keeps his face set in a permanent scowl, with his eyebrows drawn together. His outspoken, hot-headed demeanor is a trait Ichigo himself acknowledged, and that if somebody picks a fight with him, he cannot help fighting back. He coldly refers to his teachers as “instructors" He is shown to be genuinely compassionate and empathetic about others, as seen by him promising to bring a Plus flowers and a toy plane or soothing others when they become upset. Ichigo is also a capable student, ranked 23rd in his high school. He studies regularly and does not neglect his schoolwork, claiming that he has "nothing better to do at home", though he actually works as hard as he does simply to overcome the misconceptions many have about him, which are based on his hair color and fighting. Ichigo hates fortune telling, horoscopes, feng shui, psychics and anyone whose trade involves taking money from people for things that they cannot see. He has difficulty remembering people's faces and names. Ichigo becomes extremely shy and uncomfortable around nude or immodestly dressed women, a fact both Rangiku Matsumoto and Yoruichi Shihoin have teased him for. Ichigo has some trouble with authority and traditional respect, often quite rude and disrespectful when talking to those older than himself, calling Genryusai Shigekuni Yamamoto "gramps" and referring to several of the Shinigami captains by their given names. When it comes to fighting, Ichigo has a complex sense of honor; he regularly seeks to exact revenge for the actions of his opponent, such as instilling the fear of being murdered in Shrieker and cutting off the right arm of Yammy Llargo in retaliation for him ripping Yasutora Sado's right arm apart. He would often taunt and belittle his opponents when fighting, sometimes even attacking without warning. Ichigo has a strong desire to win his fights and to win them in what he views as a legitimate manner. To this end, he has refused the aid of his inner Hollow, even when knowing that it would allow him to win Similarly, after regaining control of his body, he tells Ulquiorra to cut off his limbs so that they may have a fair fight and refuses to kill him when he is dying; saying that it was not the way he wanted to win. Ichigo has even shown that he despises those who mistreat their allies in any way, even if they are his own enemies. He is disgusted when an individual berates his/her own allies, such as when Yammy calls Ulquiorra Cifer, Nnoitora Gilga, and Grimmjow Jaegerjaques "trash". He also expresses anger towards those who go as far as attacking their own allies, expressing that he cannot forgive those who murder their own comrades. Despite Ichigo's strong sense of honor, his will to win can waiver at times, which directly affects his overall energy levels and fighting abilities. His absolute resolve is depicted by his eyes glowing bright blue and his body being engulfed in a bright blue aura. The same is included with his Hollow powers, in which his eyes glow yellow and his aura turns black. Ichigo’s abilities at their peak allow him to hold his own, if not contend, against the toughest opponents. His will to protect his friends is shown to be so great that, even when battle-worn, he can fight at deceptively high levels, as seen when he effortlessly caught Grimmjow’s punch when in his released state. However, at the same time, his lack of resolve to win can also impede his spiritual energy and fighting prowess, shown when he goes into a state of depression and self-loathing when he loses a major battle or lets a friend down; after losing his fight against Yammy and Ulquiorra, thanks to the crippling fear of Hichigo Shirosaki, Ichigo's will became so weak, he was unable to even defeat a weak Hollow until Rukia helped restore his resolve.
Ichigo was born on July 15th, as the son of Isshin Kurosaki and Masaki Kurosaki, 15 years before he became a Soul Reaper. His sisters Karin Kurosaki and Yuzu Kurosaki were born a few years later. When he was four, Ichigo joined a karate dojo, where he met and befriended Tatsuki Arisawa. Tatsuki beat Ichigo in every match they had. Tatsuki would also help Ichigo if he was being picked on by bullies and cheer him up if he was upset.
Ichigo was able to see Pluses for as long as he could remember. He could see them so clearly that, as a child, he could not tell the living from the dead. This resulted in him appearing to other people to be looking at deserted places and talking to himself. This caused people to say that he could see ghosts, though when Tatsuki Arisawa asked him about this, he denied being able to see them.
On June 17th, when Ichigo was nine years old, he and his mother were walking home alongside one of Karakura Town's rivers; which was swollen from heavy rain. Ichigo saw a girl near the river and thought that she was about to jump into it. Unable to tell the difference between ghosts and living people, Ichigo ran towards her to stop her, unaware that the girl was the lure of the Hollow Grand Fisher. Masaki tried to stop him, but he did not listen. After failing to grab hold of the girl, Ichigo lost consciousness for a time. When he awoke, Masaki was lying on top of him, covered in blood. Starting the day after Masaki's death, Ichigo repeatedly skipped school to go to the riverbank where Masaki died. Tatsuki found him there, where he would stay from morning until night, wandering along the bank as if searching for his mother; squatting down if he was tired and then wandering some more.
One day when Ichigo was twelve, prior to the Clinic opening, he heard the bell ring and answered the door to find a girl with her brother on her back. He had been in a car accident and was covered in blood. The clinic did not have the equipment necessary to save him and he died before an ambulance arrived to transfer him to Karakura Hospital. Sometime later, he learned that the girl was Orihime Inoue.
Ichigo later entered Mashiba Junior High School. During this time, Ichigo had finally defeated Tatsuki in a karate match and had not had another match with her since. Ichigo regularly got into fights with thugs, due to the unusual color of his hair. During one of these fights he received help from Yasutora Sado. Shortly after Ichigo returned the favor when he rescued Chad from two gang members roughing him up. When the thugs later abducted Chad, Ichigo found them and knocked down their leader, Yokochini. He used Yokochini's phone to ring for an ambulance for each of the five thugs, and then beat up all of them. After Chad was freed they made a pact to protect and fight for each other, they have remained good friends since.
Shortly before Ichigo became a Soul Reaper, he and Chad began attending Karakura High School, and their reputations preceded them. During a fight with a gang led by Reiichi Oshima, Ichigo and Chad met Keigo Asano and Mizuiro Kojima, saving the former in the process. While Keigo was initially afraid of Ichigo and Chad, both he and Mizuiro later became friends with them.
The Substitute ArcEdit
One evening, Ichigo confronts a group of skateboarders who had knocked over an offering to a dead girl. After beating an explanation out of them, he orders them to apologize to the ghost of the dead girl; who is floating behind him. When the skateboarders run away, Ichigo tells the girl that they scared them so much that they will leave her alone and apologizes for using her to scare them. He then promises to bring her some new flowers and tells her to hurry up and go to heaven. When he arrives home, he has an argument with his father, Isshin Kurosaki, and storms off to his room; where he sees Rukia Kuchiki. Ichigo mistakes the Soul Reaper for a burglar and kicks her. Isshin comes to Ichigo's room to tell him to stop creating a ruckus, but when Ichigo informs him about the intruder, he tells his son that he cannot see anyone else in the room. As a result, Ichigo accepts that she is a ghost of some sort, but refuses to believe Rukia's explanation about Soul Reapers; causing Rukia to bind him with Kidō. As Rukia continues her explanation a Hollow attacks the Kurosaki Clinic. Hearing his sister's pleas for help, Ichigo breaks out of the Kidō and rushes to stop the Hollow. Upon seeing the Hollow, Fishbone D, Ichigo is gripped by fear, having expected the evil spirit to be similar to a Human, rather than the monster standing before him. While reassuring himself, he notices that it is holding Yuzu and charges at it with a baseball bat in a futile attack. Rukia injures the Hollow, freeing Yuzu, and explains that the Hollow's target is likely him. Ichigo thinks this means that it is his fault that his family is in danger and his reckless actions force Rukia to shield Ichigo with her body; causing her severe injuries. Seeing that Ichigo is truly determined to protect his family, Rukia offers to temporarily turn him into a Soul Reaper by piercing his chest with her Zanpakutō and transferring half of her power to him. However, Ichigo absorbs almost all of Rukia's power. Transformed into a Soul Reaper, Ichigo makes short work of the Hollow, collapsing afterwards.
The following morning, Ichigo awakens from a nightmare to find that his family have no memory of the attack and instead believe that a truck hit the clinic. When Ichigo goes to school he is horrified to find that Rukia, who is visible to the other students, is now a part of his class. After she threatens him not to make a scene, Ichigo brings Rukia outside, where she informs him that she is using a Gigai while she awaits the return of her powers. While she is recovering, Rukia insists that Ichigo take over her job. Ichigo initially refuses, saying that the only reason he fought the previous night was because his family was in danger. But Rukia forces his Soul Reaper form out of his body and takes him to a park where she has received word that a Hollow is about to attack. She then manipulates the situation to persuade Ichigo to perform her duties. After having undergone some training with Rukia to improve his combat tactics, Ichigo hears a beeping sound from inside his room and is startled when Rukia jumps out of his closet whilst trying to warn him of a Hollow attack. As a large hand bursts through the floor, Rukia dons her Skull Symbol glove and forces Ichigo's soul out of his body. Ichigo slashes at the Hollow's head, but only manages to slice off a portion of its mask, revealing the Hollow to be Orihime Inoue's brother; Sora. Rukia explains that all Hollows were once a Plus, causing Ichigo to angrily say that he thought they were just monsters that had to be defeated, questioning what he has been killing up to that point. Rukia cuts him off, saying that Orihime is in danger. As Rukia explains that Hollows often attack their relatives, she and Ichigo rush to Orihime's apartment. Ichigo manages to stop the Hollow before it eats Orihime's soul, positioning himself between her and the Hollow and telling it that it will have to kill him first. Ichigo notes that Tatsuki has been caught up in Sora's attack before realizing that Orihime's body is lying on the other side of the room. Ichigo turns to confirm that Orihime is still behind him and she exclaims that she thought it was him. Remembering Rukia's words that only other spirits can see Soul Reapers, Ichigo is puzzled by why Orihime can see him. Sora explains that he is talking to her soul, and that Orihime is already dead.
The Hollow attacks Ichigo with its scale-covered tail, which Ichigo is unable to cut, sending the substitute Soul Reaper flying through the wall. As Ichigo lands and comes to a stop in mid-air, the Hollow spits acid at him, burning his hands and causing him to drop his Zanpakutō. Sora then hits him from above, knocking him into the ground before returning to Orihime. As Rukia wakes Ichigo, he notes that the battle is different, and that it has affected him. Rukia reminds him that Orihime's soul will be eaten if he loses. Ichigo jumps back into the apartment, but is again shrugged off by Sora. As he threatens to kill Orihime, Ichigo cuts off his hand, telling Sora that older brothers are supposed to protect their siblings. Sora demands to know why Ichigo is interfering and insists that he will not give her to anyone else, especially Ichigo. As Sora tries to bite him, Ichigo tells him that Orihime does not belong to anyone. Sora charges at Orihime and bites her. Ichigo listens as she talks to her brother. As she collapses, Rukia arrives and tells him that she can be saved as long as the Chain of Fate is still attached to her body. As Rukia attempts to heal her, Ichigo reveals that Orihime had told him that her hairpins were a present from him and tells him that he should not think that he is the only one who is sad. Sora grabs Ichigo's sword and uses it to break off his mask, saying that he wants to disappear before he lose himself again. Ichigo tries to talk him out of it, but Rukia stops him, saying that he should let him disappear. She explains to him that Hollows defeated by a Zanpakutō are purified and sent to Soul Society. After Sora purifies himself, Ichigo asks Orihime how her injuries are but instead she tries to ask him other questions; only for Rukia to erase her memory.
When Ichigo remarks that his wounds have healed very well, Rukia tells him that she excelled at Kidō in the Soul Reapers Academy. Ichigo asks if there is a school for Soul Reapers, but Rukia changes the subject by asking him how to open a juice box. Mizuiro Kojima interrupts, noting that Rukia and Ichigo are together again, saying that they get along well. Ichigo denies this. When Mizuiro questions the impression Ichigo is giving those around him, Ichigo tells him that he would have dyed his hair long ago if he was worried by such things. As Mizuiro introduces himself to Rukia, Ichigo says that his hobby is womanizing, warning Rukia to watch out for him. As Keigo Asano arrives, Mizuiro tells him that Ichigo asked her out. Despite Ichigo's denial, Keigo congratulates him and introduces himself to Rukia, only to be interrupted by Reiichi Ōshima. Reiichi then asks Ichigo when he will dye his hair, claiming that Ichigo is copying his style. Ichigo reminds him that it is his natural hair color and tells him to do something about his own hair, calling him a chicken and claims to be a thousand times stronger than him. Angered, Reiichi ignores Keigo's pleas not to fight and produces brass knuckles. He is then knocked out by Chad. As Chad explains his injuries, Ichigo notices that he has a parakeet with him. Rukia tells him not to worry, as the spirit inside of it is just a lonely Plus, which they should send to Soul Society that night. Ichigo complains about missing another night of sleep. When Ichigo returns home, he finds his sisters busy helping with the injured from a car accident. He asks Isshin if there is anything he can do to help, but is told to stay out of the way. When Chad is brought into the clinic, Isshin asks him to help his friend. Ichigo notes that the wound on his back were inflicted by a Hollow, which Rukia confirms.
The following morning, Isshin tells Ichigo that Chad has disappeared from his room in the clinic. Ichigo rushes to school and asks Mizuiro if Chad is there. Realizing that he is not there, Ichigo runs out of the class just as his teacher is entering; telling her that he has a stomach ache. Rukia catches up to him, saying that she did not find him nor has she received any information about Hollows from Soul Society. She explains that Hollows can hide between the Human World and Soul Society, so Ichigo decides to try to track the spirit inside the parakeet. To Rukia's shock, Ichigo finds the Spirit Ribbon of the Plus and begins to follow it. When they find Chad, he runs away from them. Ichigo tells him that it is dangerous to be by himself, but is distracted by a weakened Karin. Rukia tells him to bring Karin, who has collapsed, home. He complains, but when Rukia insists, he tells her to be careful as her power still has not returned. As he runs home with Karin in his arms, she tells him that she saw the memories of the child trapped within the bird and that the Plus saw his mother being murdered. She asks him to save the child. After placing her in her bed, Ichigo rushes back to help Chad. Reflecting upon how long it has been since he last saw Karin cry, he promises to send the Plus to Soul Society.
When Ichigo arrives to fight the Hollow, he stamps on its head and tells Rukia not to try to act cool when she is beaten up. He introduces himself to the Hollow, Shrieker, and tells him that he is the one that he should be fighting. Rukia releases Ichigo from his body and he immediately injures Shrieker's shoulder while Rukia takes care of his body. Ichigo notes the small creatures nearby, commenting that he had seen them carrying Chad's birdcage and he was glad that he killed them. Rukia tells him that they spit out explosive leeches. Ichigo slices the creatures that jump at him, but the leeches they contain spill out and explode when Shrieker makes a noise with his tongue. Ichigo emerges from the smoke and hits Shrieker, asking him if he was the one who killed the child's parents, which he confirms. After listening to Shrieker's explanation, Ichigo becomes disturbed and the Hollow pushes his sword away; throwing more of his artillery creatures at him. Ichigo catches one and slams it into Shrieker's mouth. When the Hollow does not detonate them, Ichigo rips out its tongue, before stabbing his sword into Shrieker's leg. Ichigo asks him how it feels to be unable to move or fight, and if he can savor what it is like to be murdered. Shrieker rips his leg off to escape, causing Ichigo to mock him before cutting through his head. From this wound, the gates of Hell emerge. Rukia explains to Ichigo about Hell as the gates open and Shrieker is dragged inside. When Rukia tells the Plus that they will send him to Soul Society, Ichigo tells him that he might be able to see his mother there.
The following day, Ichigo notes that Chad's memory has been erased. Rukia asks to speak with him and punches him when he refuses to talk in private. She drags him outside and gives him a Gikongan, a dispenser of Artificial souls. After explaining its purpose, and striking Ichigo for making fun of her, she forces him to try one. Ichigo is unconvinced by the replacement soul's personality, but is forced to leave it in his body when they receive an order from Soul Society. After defeating the Hollow, Ichigo rushes back, concerned about how the artificial soul is getting on. Upon noticing a broken window in his class, Ichigo jumps up to it, only to see his body jump out the same window and run away at an extremely high speed. As they chase after him, Rukia tells him that it must be a Mod soul. Angered by the Mod soul's actions, Ichigo argues with Rukia, before asking her to explain what a Mod soul is. While listening to the explanation and looking at Rukia's drawings, he complains to himself that he cannot take it seriously because her pictures are so bad. Ichigo questions if Rukia is alright with the idea of the Mod souls being created and killed all for Soul Society's convenience, but she tells him that it is irrelevant as it is Soul Society's law which is there to protect Humans. Ichigo thinks to himself how the Mod soul must feel about being persecuted and then gaining his body. As they search for him, they receive an order informing them of an immanent attack by a Hollow. Hurrying to its location, they find the Mod soul is already fighting it. Ichigo rushes to his aid. When the Mod soul tries to ask why Ichigo saved him, he demands to know whose body it is while fending off the Hollow. The two continue arguing as they defeat the Hollow together. Kisuke Urahara arrives to reclaim the Mod soul, removing it from Ichigo's body. Ichigo asks him what he is going to do with it and, realizing that Kisuke can see him, he asks who he is. Rukia snatches the Mod soul back, dismissing him as a greedy merchant. She tells Kisuke that she is happy with the Mod soul and gives him to Ichigo; who thanks her for not throwing him away.
On the 16th of June Ichigo is woken by Kon who threatens to sneak inside his bag when he goes to school, to get him in trouble, if he does not get up. Ichigo throws Kon at the wall, reminding him that he has been told to act like a normal stuffed toy animal. Ichigo recalls how he and Rukia had searched for a body to place the Mod soul in, but ended up placing him inside a stuffed animal they found by the roadside. He also reminisces about how he came to call him Kon. Rukia complains about the noise they are making. Ichigo scrambles to hide her and Kon as Yuzu comes into the room to tell Ichigo that Mizuiro is waiting for him. Whilst hurrying to get dressed, Ichigo tells Mizuiro from the window that he has just woken up and to wait inside for him. Ichigo notes that Mizuiro's memory seems to have been erased, remembering that Rukia had told him that Kisuke , whose name he cannot remember, must have worked hard. As Rukia leaves via the window, Ichigo complains that Isshin did not wake him up as usual before noticing the date. Rukia asks why he has such a long face, but Ichigo says it is nothing and that "it's soon". When he arrives in school, Orihime says hello to him and he smiles back as he returns the greeting. That night, the Kurosaki's hold a family meeting to discuss their trip to Masaki's grave the following day for the anniversary of her death. Ichigo asks Rukia if he can take tomorrow off from the Soul Reaper work for just one day, telling her that it is the day Masaki was killed. Ichigo lies in his bed, a towel over his eyes as memories of that rainy night flash through his mind. As he walked with his mother he had seen a girl by the river bank take a step into the raging waters and had gone to rescue her. Ichigo covers his eyes, trying to block out the painful memories. His attempts are unsuccessful, as he remembers his mother calling after him as he ran to the girl. The next thing he remembers is being by the side of his dead mother.
On the 17th of July, while walking to the graveyard, Ichigo notes that it is very hot, completely different from the day Masaki died. When the twins see Rukia waving at them, Yuzu asks if Ichigo knows her, which Ichigo denies. Karin then says she thinks she has seen her before, prompting Ichigo to claim to have suddenly remembered that she is from his school and goes to talk to her, sending the girls ahead to the grave. Ichigo asks Rukia why she followed him and gets annoyed when she says it was in case of a Hollow attack, saying that she should be more covert. He then denies being angry about it. Rukia asks him who killed Masaki, questioning if she was killed by a Hollow. Ichigo reacts angrily to the suggestion that a Hollow could have been targeting him and killed Masaki by mistake, saying that she blames everything on Hollows. As he is saying this, Ichigo notices the same girl he saw the night Masaki died and he runs after her. When Rukia catches up to him, he tells her that the one who killed Masaki was himself. At Masaki's grave, Ichigo looks on as Isshin declares that it is time for the annual "Kurosaki Family Tombstone Domino Rally", with Isshin and Ichigo being the first match. However, Yuzu stops Isshin. Ichigo stands at the grave, reflecting on the night his mother died and what impact it had on the family. Later, Isshin uses a whistle to call Ichigo and the twins. Ichigo tells him to stop, as he can hear him even without the whistle. Ichigo asks him if Karin and Yuzu are there yet, but Isshin tells him that he would have left without him if Ichigo was the only one that he was waiting on. He tells Ichigo to find the girls, but he refuses, saying it is tiring and that he should go himself. Isshin grabs Ichigo, asking if his little sisters are not precious to him and decides that they will split up search for them. He tells Ichigo to search in one direction, and then says he will stay there, prompting Ichigo to kick him. Isshin complains that Ichigo broke his jaw. Ichigo then senses the Spiritual Pressure of a Hollow.
While running, Ichigo realizes that Yuzu and Karin are easy targets. He meets up with Rukia, saying that he must be heading in the right direction if she is there too. He asks her if she is going to question him further on his mother's death, but she tells him that it is his problem and that she will wait until he is ready to talk about it. Kon pops out of Rukia's backpack, telling them to stop acting so cool, surprising Ichigo. Ichigo questions when Kon became so devoted to Rukia and tells him that Orihime is there. Seeing his reaction he says that Kon is not devoted at all as the little plushy is left behind. As the Hollow attempts to eat Yuzu, Ichigo arrives and cuts off the tentacle holding Yuzu before severing its hand, freeing Karin. Ichigo demands to know why the girl he saw when Masaki died is there; asking if she is a Hollow's crony or if she is controlled by a Hollow. The Hollow tells him that he is wrong. The girl's form changes and it sprouts a tentacle from its head, connecting it to the Hollow's body. As Ichigo asks if the girl is a part of him, Rukia tells him that the Hollow is called Grand Fisher, and that it uses a lure to trick and devour Humans who have souls with high levels of spiritual power. Ichigo realizes that the girl he was trying to save when Masaki died was actually Grand Fisher's lure and that the Hollow killed his mother. Despite Rukia's protest, Ichigo lunges at Grand Fisher, who dodges his attack. Grand Fisher grows a new hand and attacks Ichigo, who blocks the attack, only to find the furry Hollow launching 's hair growing and attacking him. Rukia begins to chant a Kidō spell, but Ichigo tells her to stop and cuts his way free from the hair. he tells Rukia that he will fight the Hollow alone, and instructs her to look after his sisters with Kon. When she protests, he cuts her off and asks her not to interfere, claiming it is his fight.
Ichigo struggles against the faster Grand Fisher, who mocks him. Ichigo realizes that all he can do is shrug off the Hollow's attacks and that his stamina will not last at this rate. He stops himself, saying that this is his mother's killer. Thinking of Yuzu and Karin, he remembers that he decided to protect them and swears to defeat Grand Fisher. He dives at the Hollow's chest, but Grand Fisher catches Ichigo's sword. As he tells Ichigo that he hesitated, his fingers tear apart and grow, stabbing Ichigo in the chest. Angered by Grand Fisher's taunts, Ichigo slashes at the Hollow, swearing to defeat him even if his arms and legs are ripped off. Grand Fisher remarks that he is so young and easily manipulated, before transforming his lure into an image of Masaki. The Hollow explains that, using the hand that impaled Ichigo, he can look into an enemy's memories and create an image of the one thing that they cannot cut more than anything else in the world. Ichigo screams at him that this is not the kind of place to bring out Masaki's form. He charges at Grand Fisher, but he uses the lure to block him, telling him to sheath his sword. The Hollow punches through Masaki's form and pierces Ichigo's chest, telling him that anger can dull the blade. Ichigo stabs the Hollow's chest and grabs his arm, saying that he has finally caught him. He says that his dulled blade is all he needs to defeat someone like him and turns the Hollow's own words back on him; slashing open his chest. As Grand Fisher collapses, a severely injured Ichigo uses his sword to prop himself up. When Rukia arrives, Ichigo tells her that she is late and that he has already cleaned up. Rukia reminds him that it was him who told her to stay out of the fight. As Grand Fisher stirs behind Ichigo, Rukia warns him just in time to dodge another attack. The Hollow then transfers its form into the lure, saying that both parts of him are the real body. The Grand Fisher leaps into the sky and escapes. Rukia tries to convince Ichigo that he cannot fight him any more, but he insists that he can still fight and that the Hollow is still not dead yet; despite this he soon collapses on Rukia.
Ichigo awakens back inside his body, in great pain. Rukia tells him not to make a fuss as the wounds his soul received will show up when he returns to his body, insisting that he should know that by now. Ichigo complains that she always returned him to his body after healing all his wounds, this prompts Rukia to apologize as she says that she used most of her strength to heal his stomach wound. When Ichigo thanks her, she tells him that the pain numbed in battle returns when one re-enters his body and gives him some plasters for the cuts on his face. Ichigo asks her if he lost, but she tells him that the Hollow fled and nobody died, so he won. Ichigo says that Grand Fisher is not dead and walks off. Back at Masaki's grave, Ichigo apologizes to her for being able to avenge her. Isshin offers him an umbrella, but Ichigo refuses the offer, prompting Isshin to repeatedly poke Ichigo in the head until he hits him back with it. Isshin notes that the time has gone past quickly and that it has already been ten years since Masaki died. Ichigo says that it has only been six years, to which Isshin replies that he was "so close". Ichigo loudly complains about this, causing Isshin to say that Masaki can rest easily if she sees him being so lively. When he starts smoking a cigarette, Ichigo says that he thought he had quit smoking when Karin and Yuzu were born. Isshin explains that Masaki complimented him when they started dating about his hand looking cool when he was smoking. He notes that this was the only time that she had complimented his looks. As a result he smokes at her graveside every year on the anniversary of her death. Isshin tells Ichigo not to look so sad. When Ichigo asks why nobody blames him for Masaki's death Isshin asks why he would blame Ichigo, saying that if he blamed her death on him, Masaki would become mad at him. He explains that Masaki was a woman who would die to protect her son. Isshin reminds Ichigo that he is the one that the woman he loved gave her life to protect. He then knees Ichigo in the back and tells him to live his life well and leaves. Ichigo asks Rukia if her powers are returning and asks that she allow him to remain a Soul Reaper for a while longer, regardless of whether it is returning or not. He says that he wants to become stronger so that he can defeat Hollows, protect those that are targeted and to defeat Grand Fisher; otherwise he will not be able to face Masaki.
One Sunday morning, Ichigo leans out his bedroom window to beat Kon clean against the wall, in spite of Kon's protests. Rukia tells him to stop, as she has arranged for an implement to clean him with - the schools toilet brush. Ichigo orders her to take it back. Later, Kon, wearing a dress, leaps at Ichigo apologizing for having run away from home. Ichigo, who had been wondering where Kon was, questions why Kon is dressed in such a way. While Yuzu and Isshin are watching Don Kanonji's Ghost Bust TV program one Wednesday evening, Ichigo asks Yuzu what the pose they are doing is. When Yuzu calls the show cool, Ichigo asks himself if that can be considered cool. Yuzu says that he can definitely see them, but Ichigo says that he does not know about that, annoying Yuzu. Ichigo then tells her that if he says he can see them, then he can see them. As Ichigo finishes his juice, he asks a distracted Karin what she is looking at. She says it is nothing, prompting Ichigo to tell her that she is acting weird. Ichigo asks her if she is not going to watch with Yuzu and Isshin, but she says she is not interested. She tells Ichigo that she can see spirits about as clearly as Ichigo can, hence her disinterest in the ghost show. Ichigo remembers that she was the only member of the family to see the Hollow that attacked the house when he first met Rukia. He then realizes that if she can see Hollows, then she might be able to see Soul Reapers as well. His thoughts are interrupted by Yuzu shouting as the announcer reveals that the show will be broadcast from an abandoned hospital in Karakura Town the following week. The next morning at school, Orihime performs Don Kanonji's pose as Ichigo arrives in class, confusing him. She asks Ichigo if he has not heard of it. When Ichigo says it is Ghost Bust, Orihime ask him to do the pose together, but Tatsuki drags her away. As Ichigo's friends all do the pose, Ichigo tells Keigo that he is not going to the show when it arrives in town. Keigo tries to convince him to go, but he retorts that Keigo is not even from Karakura. Keigo reveals that he has invited Rukia and tries to get her to do the pose.
The following Wednesday evening an annoyed Ichigo, accompanied by Isshin and his sisters, watches his friends gather at the abandoned hospital where Ghost Bust is being filmed. When they note that he did come after all, Ichigo tells Keigo and Mizuiro to shut up and that he will kill them. Orihime apologizes to Ichigo for trying to get him to do Don Kanonji's pose, explaining that Tatsuki had told her he hates such shows. Ichigo, who did not remember it at first, tells her that it is okay and that it doesn't bother him. He reveals that Keigo and Mizuiro know he despises it, but yet still do it anyway. When asked why he came, he tells Orihime that Isshin and Yuzu are huge fans of the show, saying that they would look pitiful if just the two of them went. Orihime tells him that he is so kind, but Ichigo dismisses it as normal. Ichigo notes that everyone is foolishly gathering at the hospital, thinking that the TV show's staff will think that they do not get any entertainment, calling them freaks. Rukia tells him that he must be tired from his dual life and instructs him to use this chance to spread his wings. Ichigo is surprised that she is concerned about his health, but gets annoyed with her when she reveals that she does not know what the "festival" is about. After explaining it to her, he asks if there really is a spirit in the abandoned hospital, noting that if a spirit really is there, the Soul Reapers would have dealt with it already. Rukia replies that that is not exactly correct. She says that it is likely to be a Jibakurai, or Demi-Hollow, and begins to explain what this is. When the Jibakurai begins screaming, Ichigo notes that it sounds like the voice of a Hollow. Rukia tells him that it is on its way to becoming a Hollow. Ichigo notes that it feels like there is a Hollow nearby, but it does not look like one; prompting Rukia to finish her explanation. As the Jibakurai screams at those who have gathered, Ichigo says that he is carrying "one hell of a greedy grudge". As the show begins filming Don Kanonji parachutes into the hospital grounds, causing Rukia to go watch the events unfolding. Ichigo asks her if they should not perform Konsō on the Jibakurai to prevent him from becoming a Hollow. Rukia tells him that it takes months, even years to turn into a Hollow. She says that it would be trouble if there was a struggle as somebody might get hurt and instead states that they will perform the Konsō after the show. Seeing that Ichigo is unconvinced, she seeks to reassure him. However, Don Kanonji jams his staff into the hole in the chest of the Jibakurai.
Concerned, Ichigo jumps over the cordon and shouts at Kanonji to stop. He is immediately pounced upon by security. He tells them to let him go or something bad will happen. Rukia tries to change him into a Soul Reaper, but is caught by security too. Ichigo tells her to break free and get over to him, as she only has two guys restraining her. Kisuke Urahara pokes his cane through Ichigo's head, freeing his Soul Reaper form from his body. Recognizing the sandal-hat guy, Ichigo asks what he is doing there, only to be told not to space out. Ichigo rushes towards Kanonji. Ichigo shouts at Kanonji to stop and knocks him away from the Jibakurai. Kanonji asks what he is doing, causing Ichigo to realize that the medium can see him. When Kanonji calls him a fan, Ichigo threatens him but is cut off by the screams of the Jibakurai, who vanishes in an explosion. Ichigo notes that it did not turn into a Hollow, thinking that Kanonji took care of it. When he asks him if he sent the Plus to heaven, he promises to send Ichigo to heaven too. Rukia shouts at him to look up, where they see the Plus reforming into a Hollow on top of the hospital. Kanonji asks what it is, surprising Ichigo, who tells him it is a Hollow; but Kanonji ignores him. As the Hollow charges at them Ichigo tells Kanonji to run away, but Kanonji pushes him back, telling him to run. Kanonji challenges the Hollow but Ichigo jumps in between them and knocks the Hollow back. The two momentarily bicker but when the Hollow attacks again, Ichigo blocks it. Ichigo knocks Kanonji out of the way of a charge by the Hollow, who gets its head stuck in the hospital wall. As it frees itself, Ichigo drags the medium inside the hospital.
Annoying Ichigo, Kanonji argues that he should not run away as he is viewed as a hero and must be a symbol to his fans. Ichigo stops him from returning to where the TV cameras can see him, asking the medium what he will do if the audience gets caught up in the fighting; insisting that protecting his fans is also a hero's duty. He explains that Hollows attack people with high levels of spiritual power, meaning that the Hollow will definitely come after them if they stay inside, avoiding harm to the hostages. As Kanonji compliments him, the Hollow bursts through the floor. Ichigo swings his Zanpakutō at it but it hits and becomes stuck in the ceiling. Realizing that the corridors are too confined to use his sword in, Ichigo admits to himself that he never thought of such a thing. The Hollow spits a goo-like substance at him, sticking his hands together. Unable to use his sword, Ichigo tells the Hollow that he will beat him with just his legs. Kanonji, however, steps between them and jams the Hollows mouth open with his staff. Ichigo tells him to run away, but he insists that Ichigo's words have made an impression on him and that his way of fighting is befitting of a hero. To Ichigo's chagrin, he calls Ichigo his battle buddy and says he will die protecting him. As Kanonji prepares his Kanon Ball technique, Ichigo says that it is useless. Kanonji fires the energy ball at the ceiling, freeing Ichigo's blade. He thanks the medium and charges at the Hollow. While Ichigo manages to injure the Hollow, he confirms his suspicion that he cannot target its head properly with his hands stuck together. As Kanonji cheers him on, he wishes that the medium would shut up. With his sword still embedded in the Hollow's shoulder it smashes through the external wall and climbs up on to the roof, dragging Ichigo with him. Freed from the Hollow, Ichigo takes advantage of the open space attacks, saying that as long as Kanonji does not come, the Hollow is nothing to him. Kanonji promptly steps through a nearby door onto the roof, attracting the Hollow's attention. Ichigo tells him to run away and stops the Hollow from attacking Kanonji; knocking it into the guard rail. Ichigo immediately slices the Hollow's head, prompting Kanonji to congratulate him and dance around. Ichigo tells him to stop. As the Hollow's body disintegrates, Kanonji notices that it is the same spirit he thought he sent to heaven. Ichigo explains what happened, causing Kanonji to become distraught. Ichigo tells him that he should not let it get to him, as he did not know and regretting it will do no good. Ichigo points out that the crowd is waving and tells him to answer them, asking if it is not his duty. Kanonji thanks him, complimenting his courage, quick-wits and strength and asks that they work together in future. Ichigo agrees to help him once in a while. Kanonji then annoys him by calling him his number one pupil. Before departing, Ichigo is forced to take a Don Kanonji fan club card, signed “to my #1 pupil”.
The following day, Ichigo is among a group of students brought before the principal regarding the events at the abandoned hospital. Showing a recording of the program, Kagine complains that their escapades were broadcast live nationwide. He asks Ichigo if he has anything to say to this, prompting Ichigo to comment that the person in show looks a lot like him. Kagine insists that it is him, to which Ichigo replies that he is his twin brother, separated at birth. Kagine persists with his complaint, but is interrupted by Tatsuki. When Rukia says that it is her own fault for not stopping Ichigo and distracts Kagine, Ichigo and the others sneak out the window. After they make their escape, Keigo thanks Rukia, but Ichigo tells him not to, as she was going to sell just him out. When Keigo mentions that the announcer talked over Ichigo’s shouting during the show, Ichigo thinks that he owes the announcer one for preventing people from realizing that he had called Rukia by her first name. That afternoon, Ichigo answers the door when someone calls to the Kurosaki Clinic. Upon realizing that it is Don Kanonji, Ichigo closes and locks the door. When Kanonji questions why he did this, Ichigo demands to know how he found out about his house and tells him to go home. Kanonji reveals that he invited Rukia along and Ichigo realizes that it was her who told the TV star where he lived. Yuzu then sees Kanonji and knocks Ichigo over while opening the door. Rukia’s phone alerts her to a Hollow, and Ichigo says that he would rather be “anywhere but here” and transforms into his Soul Reaper form, ignoring Kanonji asking him where he is going. As Ichigo and Rukia pass by Uryu Ishida, Ichigo comments that while he always thought it better that Hollows did not appear, this time its appearance saved him. Rukia tells him not to ask for it or drop his guard, prompting Ichigo to complain to her about accepting food from Kanonji.
Arriving at what they believed to be the location of a Hollow attack, Ichigo and Rukia find a Plus cowering in a corner, but no Hollow. Ichigo asks Rukia how many times such a thing has happened in the past week, suggesting that Rukia’s phone is broken. The two bicker and Ichigo complains that he is in the middle of exams, even though Rukia is sitting the same exams. As Rukia insists that the phone is working, Ichigo asks if there is another Soul Reaper defeating the Hollows before him. Rukia tells him that Soul Reapers are strictly sorted and that it should not be the case. As the Plus jumps at Ichigo, thanking him, Ichigo hits him and orders him to say that to the person who saved him. When Rukia is unable to get the Plus to tell them who saved him, Ichigo performs Soul Burial on him.
At school, Ichigo tells a worried Keigo that exams do not hold a lot of meaning in life. Mizuiro points out that Ichigo is ranked 18th out of the 322 people in their grade, shocking Keigo. Ichigo replies that he studies at home and turns down the “nerdy” that Keigo presents to him. He points out that his orange hair causes him a lot of trouble as older students pick on him and teachers watch him closely, and so he studies so that the school does not complain about him. Mizuiro says that he has a lot of problems, but Ichigo replies that he is used to it. Mizuiro then asks him if he has seen Rukia, saying that they are always together. Ichigo tells Mizuiro that he has been trying to keep away from her at school to avoid the “creepy glances” and rumors since their appearance on Don Kanonji’s TV program. Rukia then drags Ichigo off, causing him to complain about the rumors about them. Rukia tells him to complain later as there is a Hollow. Ichigo tells her that he will not forgive her if it is not there this time. After school, as they fail to find another Hollow, Ichigo complains about the current missing Hollow and the one from lunch time. As Rukia drags his body from its hiding place, she tells him to shut up and return to his body. Re-entering his body, Ichigo tells her to do something about the problem. The pair are approached by Uryu Ishida, dressed in a Quincy outfit, prompting Ichigo to ask if the unusual outfit means that he is a priest. Uryu asks Ichigo if it is correct that he can see spirits, which Ichigo denies is even possible. When a new Hollow appears, Uryu kills it with his bow and introduces himself, saying that he hates Soul Reapers, and that he hates Ichigo.
When Keigo and Mizuiro notice that Ichigo is ranked twenty-third in the freshmen first semester final exams, Keigo tells him that they will not invite him anywhere again. Ichigo reflects upon his encounter with Uryu, wondering why he would say such things to a complete stranger and why Uryu was angry when he was the one who interfered with Ichigo’s duties. He notes that remembering it irritates him and decides that he will not go easy on him the next time he meets the Quincy. Realizing that he cannot remember his full name, Ichigo lists of possible names out loud. Orihime overhears him and reveals that Uryu is in their class. Tatsuki tells her that he is poor at remembering people’s faces and names, guessing that he cannot remember half of the class yet. When Ichigo tells Tatsuki to be quiet, Orihime tells him more about Uryu. She takes him to the handicrafts club to show him Uryu. Ichigo notes that he is indeed in their class and they watch him sew a teddy bear for Michiru Ogawa. Orihime asks what happened between Ichigo and Uryu, but Ichigo dismisses it as no big deal.
After school, Ichigo followings Uryu as he leaves the school. The Quincy asks him if he intends to follow him all the way home, noting that he had noticed him spying on him from the classroom doorway. When Ichigo applauds him, Uryu states that it is due to Ichigo’s inability to restrain his spiritual power, and that he lacks the ability to sense reiatsu, as evidenced by him not noticing Uryu until that day. Uryu then explains that he noticed Ichigo’s unusually high spiritual power and that in mid-May, he acquired Soul Reaper powers. Using Reiraku, Uryu explains that a Soul Reaper’s spirit thread is colored red and invites Ichigo to fight him, saying that Soul Reapers are unnecessary in the Human World.
Ichigo calls the idea ridiculous, saying that his grudge against Soul Reapers has nothing to do with him and that Uryu is no match for him. Uryu taunts him, Uryu succeeds in convincing Ichigo to fight him. Ichigo takes Kon and places him inside his body, freeing his Soul Reaper form. He tells Kon to watch from there as he beats Uryu and then asks the Quincy what the rules for the fight are. Uryu takes out a piece of Hollow bait, explaining that it will cause Hollows to gather in Karakura Town and the one who defeats the most Hollows within twenty-four hours wins. Angered by this, Ichigo demands to know why he is exposing the residents of the town to such danger for their fight. Uryu tells him not to worry as they will kill all the Hollows. When Uryu kills the first Hollow, Ichigo leaps at him and tells him to undo it, but Uryu tells him that Hollows will soon flood the town and that he should run if he wishes to protect as many people as possible. When Uryu warns him that Hollows tend to prefer people with high spiritual power, Ichigo thinks of Karin and runs off, followed by Kon. After slaying his third Hollow and saving a pair of Pluses, Ichigo notes that Karin should be finished school and would be outside playing, but he struggles to think where she is. Noting that his detection range is too narrow and his reaction to Hollows appearing is too slow, he sends Kon to get Rukia’s phone. Ichigo defeats the Hollows between the Kurosaki Clinic and the last place where he saw Karin, thinking that it should be safe for her now. He then decides to go after Uryu to make him fix the mess he created, but sees a vision of Uryu mocking his ability to find him. He tells the vision not to underestimate his instincts, and then hopes that Kon hurries up with Rukia’s phone.
Having tracked down Uryu without Rukia’s phone, Ichigo tells him that he needs to trash Kon first. He demands to know what took the mod-soul so long and blames him for having to wander the entire town. The two argue over the situation, with Ichigo saying that if Kon was so dedicated to Rukia, he should have been able to find her immediately. Having failed to attract their attention by shouting, Uryu fires an arrow at Ichigo, who blocks it. Ichigo insists that it is a battle between him and Uryu, and that the amount of Hollows they beat is irrelevant. Kon points out that there is a large crack forming in the sky, and Uryu notes that the Hollows are converging upon it. When Uryu begins to fire arrows into the group of Hollows, Ichigo tells him there are too many and that they need to come up with a strategy. Uryu asks him if he is afraid and charges towards the Hollows, shouting that the last Quincy will be their opponent. Ichigo asks what he means by this, and Rukia explains about the fall of the Quincy at the hands of the Soul Reapers, prompting him to run after Uryu and attack several Hollows around Uryu. Ichigo tells him that he does not know or care about whether the Soul Reapers or Quincy were right and expresses his frustration at Uryu’s methods, but is interrupted by him. Uryu tells him that he thought the Soul Reapers were correct, until his sensei was killed in front of him. Uryu tells Ichigo of his sensei’s attempts to convince the Soul Reapers to work together with the remaining Quincy, but he died fighting a group of Huge Hollows without achieving that goal. Uryu says that he must prove the strength of the Quincy to the Soul Reapers. Ichigo complains that his story is too long to remember all of it and kicks his head into a Hollow, dazing it. Ichigo points out that his sensei’s wish was to work together, not to prove the Quincy’s strength and asks if he will do that now, saying that fighting back to back is the best way to deal with the situation.
As Uryu dismisses the idea as nonsense, Ichigo attacks a Hollow that had come up behind Uryu, while kills another Hollow. Uryu insists that he is not co-operating, but that he simply had to kill it or else he would have been killed. Ichigo tells him that that is good enough. Ichigo reveals that he does not know much about the Soul Reapers, nor does he have much pride in doing Soul Reaper work - he simply wishes to defeat Hollows. He attributes this to his mother's death and his desire to prevent others experiencing what his family went through. Ichigo tells him that his approach to their fight is endangering the people he wants to protect and says that he will not forgive him for that, but it is not the time to talk about such things. Stating his own reluctance to work with Uryu, Ichigo asks him if he will co-operate. Uryu kills another Hollow in reply, saying that his story is rather long as well. The pair agree to beat each other up after the Hollows have been dealt with, but as they are about to attach the horde of Hollows, a Menos Grande rips apart the sky. After they argue about how to deal with the Hollows and the Menos, Ururu Tsumugiya, Tessai Tsukabishi, Jinta Hanakari and Kisuke Urahara arrive to fight the Hollows. Urahara tells them that they will take care of the "small fry" so that Ichigo can concentrate on fighting the Menos. Seeing its size, Ichigo questions whether it is in fact a Hollow and is shocked to see it eating the nearby Hollows. He tells Uryu that there is no way they can figure out how to fight such a monster and that the will have to simply cut it repeatedly until it succumbs to its injuries. He charges towards the Menos, calling for Uryu to accompany him. Ichigo attacks the Menos' leg, cutting it, but he is knocked back by the unfazed Menos. In response to Uryu's questions, Ichigo tells him that he is alright and that he thought he could cut its feet off and work his way up to the head and kill it that way. Uryu complains about his way of thinking and places his hand on Ichigo's Zanpakutō as he insists that they need to rethink their battle plan. While Ichigo thinks to himself that there was no plan to begin with, Uryu notices that Ichigo's power is flowing into his bow. Ichigo is shocked to see the increased size of Uryu's bow and asks what happened to it
With Ichigo's Zanpakutō tied to his head, Uryu instructs a dubious Ichigo to increase his power to its maximum so that he can shoot an extremely large arrow at the Menos Grande. Ichigo points out that he never controls his energy output and that if people say that his power is great then it must be at maximum all the time. When the Menos starts to charge a Cero, Ichigo rushes towards it and blocks the Cero with his Zanpakutō. Uryu notes that Ichigo's power increases as he resists the Cero. Ichigo repels the attack, injuring the Menos in the process As the Menos retreats from the Human World, Ichigo yells "Victory" and asks Uryu whether he is going to thank him for his help before collapsing. Ichigo notes that he cannot move and his Zanpakutō begins to destabilize, losing its form. The energy released from Ichigo and his Zanpakutō causes Uryu's bow to grow again, this time without having to touch it. Noting that it will explode, Uryu begins to fire arrows into the sky to release the excess power, injuring himself. Ichigo tells him not to over do it, as he will lose his arm. Uryu tells him to make sure that he lives so that they he can beat him later. The following day, when Uryu arrives late to school with both arms bandaged, Rukia tells Ichigo not to pay attention to it, as Uryu is responsible for his injuries. Ichigo denies being worried, but Rukia replies that she did not say anything about worrying, annoying Ichigo. Ichigo later overhears Keigo telling Mizuiro that he saw Uryu talking to himself the previous day, believing it to be related to a theatre. Ichigo is thankful, thinking that it is good that Keigo is an idiot. At lunch time, Ichigo asks Uryu to join Keigo, Mizuiro and himself for lunch. Uryu quickly declines, but when Ichigo tells him that it is Keigo's treat, he agrees. While they eat, Keigo notes the heavy atmosphere. Ichigo instructs him to tell some jokes to liven things up, thinking to himself that maybe he should not have invited Uryu. When Uryu asks Ichigo why he invited him, he replies that he is in a good mood and that he ought to be grateful that someone invited him. When the Quincy says that he prefers to eat alone, Ichigo says that he enjoys eating alone too and tells him to eat while facing the other way.
That night, Yuzu complains when Ichigo takes the left-overs from dinner again. Ichigo claims that it is a midnight snack, as it is very tiring during puberty. When Yuzu tells him she will not care when he gets fat, he says he will be careful and goes into his room. Ichigo calls Rukia, but she is not there. Realizing this, Ichigo resigns himself to eating the meal, even though he is not hungry. At 2:00 a.m. Ichigo wonders whether Rukia is going to return that night, noting that it would be nice to get a full night's sleep for once, with no Soul Reaper duties to carry out. Hearing a muffled noise, Ichigo finds Kon gagged and tied to the back of the toilet bowl. Ichigo brings him back to his room, where Kon thanks him while Ichigo holds his nose due to the smell. Ichigo sprays him with deodorant, prompting an argument between them. When Ichigo asks why he was tied up, Kon tells him that Rukia is in big trouble. He shows Ichigo a note that is sitting on his desk and informs him that she has left. Not knowing why she left without any explanation, they open the note and are shocked to find that she has left the message in a word puzzle. Ichigo figures out the puzzle and reads the message, telling them that she has to leave and instead of looking for her, they should go into hiding. Still confused about the situation, Ichigo decides that nothing will be resolved if they just stay there. He tells Kon that he will become a Soul Reaper and find her. When Kon asks him how he will change into his Soul Reaper form, Ichigo realizes that he cannot change form without Rukia. He demands that Kon change him into a Soul Reaper, but he resists. Urahara appears at the window and offers to change him into Soul Reaper form, saying that he wants to help his frequent customer.
As Renji Abarai attacks Rukia, Ichigo arrives and attacks him. Renji dodges and demands to know who he is. When Renji notes the size of Ichigo's Zanpakutō, Ichigo replies that he thought it was large compared to Rukia's, but there had not been anyone else to compare it to. Renji realizes that he is the Human who took Rukia's Soul Reaper powers and attacks him. As they clash swords, Renji asks if Ichigo's sword is just for show. Ichigo tells him that his yapping is becoming annoying and that he will end up biting his tongue. As he mentally notes Renji's speed, Renji cuts Ichigo's shoulder and tells him that it is over. He reveals that Rukia will be executed in Soul Society. Renji taunts him, saying that he could not even scratch him. Ichigo slashes at him, cutting his chin. He then apologizes for interrupting his speech and asks him to continue, reminding him that he was saying that he could not scratch the more experienced Soul Reaper. Captain Byakuya Kuchiki tells Renji that thirty three hours previously, their undercover forces witnessed Ichigo inflicting a scar upon a Menos Grande. Hearing this, Ichigo wonders what a Menos is, thinking that he must be referring to the "big-nosed guy" he fought with Uryu. Renji laughs at this, saying that while his sword is big, it has not power to back it up and asks Ichigo what the name of his Zanpakutō is. Ichigo replies that he has not named his sword and asks if they actually give them names. Renji activates his Shikai, surprising Ichigo with its change of form. He leaps into the air and slashes Ichigo's left shoulder, saying that it is the end of the rookie.
Renji explains that a Zanpakutō can change its size and shape based on the strength of the owner and that while he does not have a grudge against Ichigo, he will finish him slowly. Rukia attempts to stop Renji and tells Ichigo to run, but Ichigo grabs his sword. As he stands up, Ichigo's reiatsu increases, severing the tassel on his Zanpakutō's hilt. Ichigo injures the surprised Renji and quickly overwhelms him, claiming that his movements have slowed. Ichigo reveals that his wound no longer hurts and that he feels great. As he attempts to end the fight, the blade of his sword disappears. Stunned, Ichigo concludes that Renji is not responsible for it. He then notices that Byakuya is holding the severed blade. Ichigo thinks this to be impossible due to the distance between them and as he prepares for Byakuya's attack, Byakuya appears behind him and stabs him through the chest. As he falls to the ground, Ichigo wonders whether he was attacked from the front or from behind. Byakuya comments that he is slow, even when falling over and stabs him again. As Rukia runs to Ichigo's side, Renji stops her and Byakuya acknowledges that he greatly resembles "him". Ichigo grabs Byakuya's leg, telling the Soul Reaper captain not to talk about him as if he is dead. Byakuya tells him to let go, but Ichigo instructs the captain to look at him when he is talking so that he can hear him. When Byakuya threatens to cut off his arm, Rukia kicks Ichigo's hand away from her brother, telling him that as a Human, he should know his place. She then tells Byakuya that she is ready to leave for Soul Society. Ichigo protests, but Renji tells him to stop making things worse. Rukia tells Byakuya that there is no point in deliberately kill Ichigo, as he will soon stop breathing on his own. Ichigo asks if this is a joke, causing Rukia to reply that if he tries to follow her, she will never forgive him. She tells him to conserve what energy he has left so that he may live a moment longer. Byakuya acquiesces to Rukia's request and explains that he Ichigo should die within thirty minutes due to his injuries, but if he does survive, he will no longer possess any Soul Reaper powers. As Renji opens a Senkaimon and leaves with Rukia and Byakuya, Ichigo notes that he cannot move or speak. He reflects upon coming to protect Rukia, but instead she protected him again. As Ichigo contemplates his injuries in the rain, Urahara and Yoruichi Shihoin approach him.
Ichigo thinks to himself he must finally be dying, as he was just cold and now he has no pain and is also warm. He then awakes to see Tessai Tsukabishi lying on top of him in a small bed on the floor. As Tessai calls Urahara, Ichigo recognizes him as one of "sandal-hat's" associates, and pushes him out of the bed, hurting his left shoulder. Heavily bandaged, Ichigo realizes that he is neither dead nor at his own house. Urahara enters the room, telling Ichigo that his wounds are not yet fully healed, and that if he moves too much he could die. Ichigo realizes that he is in Urahara's house, and that it was Urahara who saved him. He asks the shopkeeper if he found Uryu as well, and if he is alright. Urahara explains that Uryu's injuries were less severe, so he treated them on the spot. When he left, he was worried about Ichigo. Ichigo is skeptical of this, but Urahara continues, saying that Uryu had stated that Ichigo was the only one who could beat the Soul Reapers and save Rukia. Ichigo says that he cannot do anything as Rukia has been taken to Soul Society, which he cannot go to. Urahara reveals that he can send Ichigo to Soul Society, but on the condition that he trains with Urahara for the next ten days. Ichigo replies that since they do not know when Rukia will be executed, he should go to Soul Society as quickly as possible. Urahara knocks him to the ground with his cane, saying that he will die if he goes there in his current condition. Urahara then reveals that he purposely allowed Ichigo to fight Renji and Byakuya, as he believed that it would be easier for him to realize this after having fought them himself. As Urahara continues to force the point home, Ichigo stares at Urahara's cane, noting that it feels as if there is a sword pointed at his head. Urahara tells him that Soul Society typically allows a grace period of a month before executions, so they till spend ten days training and seven days opening the gate to Soul Society, leaving Ichigo with thirteen days in Soul Society to rescue Rukia. Ichigo asks if he can truly become stronger in ten days. Urahara assures him that he can and asks if he will do it. Ichigo responds that if he does not, then nobody will.
Urahara gives Ichigo a bottle of pills and instructs him to take one every hour. Saying that he will be recovered from his injuries by dinner time, Urahara sends him to school for the final day of the term. At school, Tetsuo Momohara speaks with Ichigo, who fails to remember his name. Tetsuo reminds Ichigo of his name and that he has repeatedly tried to recruit him for the karate club. Ichigo apologizes and Tetsuo takes Rukia's seat in the class. Ichigo reflects upon the rate at which he is healing thanks to the pills and the fact that nobody appears to remember Rukia. As Misato dismisses the class for summer, Ichigo notes that Uryu did not come in, thinking that he would remember Rukia. Keigo interrupts his thoughts by blind-folding and spinning him around, telling him to guess where the watermelon is. Ichigo hits Keigo over the head with a stick, shocking Keigo and Mizuiro. Keigo recovers and excitedly invites the group on a ten day trip to the ocean. Ichigo declines, saying that he has no time in his schedule, insisting that he cannot go no matter what Keigo says. As he walks home, Ichigo thinks that it is odd that nothing feels out of place, that the world is continuing as normal without Rukia, and that if this is how things are supposed to be, then why should he bother. When Ichigo meets Orihime on the way home, she asks him where Rukia is. She notes that everyone has forgotten about her, but she believed that Ichigo would know. Ichigo explains the situation to her, saying that he had no idea that she could see his Soul Reaper form. Orihime scolds him about thinking that he could take Rukia away from her friends and family in Soul Society, and that she would be taken back again. She then tells a confused Ichigo that she knows he has already made up his mind even if she scolds him like that. She then gives an impression of how she thinks Ichigo would react and tells him to go save her, insisting that she does not want her friend to die either. Ichigo thanks her and runs off. Ichigo goes to the Urahara Shop, showing Urahara his healed wounds. He tells Urahara that he told Isshin that he would be sleeping over at a friend's house and asks Urahara to teach him well.
In a hidden training area underneath Urahara's shop, Urahara acts surprised to see such a large space underneath his shop. Ichigo tells him to stop feigning surprise, but Urahara ignores him, prompting Ichigo to tell Tessai that his boss has a habit of ignoring his customers and going off on rants. Ichigo ridicules Urahara's comments about the training area and urges Urahara to hurry up and start the training. Urahara tells him that he has an admirable spirit and pokes his cane through Ichigo's head, freeing his soul form. Ichigo complains, but is quickly finds it difficult to move. Urahara notes that it is his first time he has had to move in soul form. He explains that Byakuya destroyed the source of his power, leaving him without any Soul Reaper powers and that he must restore these powers in order to fight the Soul Reapers. Urahara explains about Spiritual Pressure, saying that the more one's Spiritual Pressure rises, the sharper the movements of their spiritual body becomes. He says that if Ichigo can manage to move even better with his spiritual body than he can with his mortal body, then we will have made a complete recovery of his Spiritual Pressure. Not understanding what Urahara wants him to do, Ichigo asks if he has to do gymnastic exercises. Urahara tells Ururu Tsumugiya to get ready. The two greet each other before Urahara tells him to fight her, stating that the lesson will end when one of them can no longer move. Shocked, Ichigo refuses to fight the girl, but is interrupted by Ururu, who tells him to put on some gloves and headgear or else he will die. She lunges at Ichigo and causes a large could of dust and debris. Ichigo emerges from the dust and grabs his headgear, thinking that he would have been killed instantly if that attack had hit him. Noting that it might not do any good, he asks how to put on the headgear. Urahara tells him to put it on his forehead and shout an incantation, but Ichigo refuses. However, when Ururu narrowly misses him again, he does as Urahara instructed, but nothing happens. Annoyed, he yells at Urahara, who is surprised that he did as he had said. Ichigo figures out how to put on the headgear, but runs away from Ururu after another near miss. Ichigo realizes that he is able to run away from the girl. Knowing that he can match her speed, he guesses that he can also dodge her attacks directly and allows her to attack him. Ichigo dodges and begins to attack Ururu. Trying to keep his self control, Ichigo does not aim for the face, preferring to hit her headgear lightly, believing the weight difference will do the rest. However, he hits and cuts her face, causing Ururu to leap onto his outstretched arm and kick his head, sending him flying him into a rocky outcropping. Tessai catches Ichigo before he hits it, cushioning Ichigo from the impact.
Ichigo asks for one more try, but Urahara congratulates him for clearing the lesson. Urahara explains to a confused Ichigo that he never said anything about beating Ururu to clear the lesson. He says that she is strong enough to fight a Soul Reaper, so there is no way he could win. He asks Ichigo if he is still having trouble breathing or moving, and Ichigo says no. Urahara says that he has successfully recovered his spirit energy; the soul tends to gain the Spiritual Pressure faster when it is in danger of being destroyed. If Ichigo had not been able to dodge the attacks, however, he would have died. Ichigo gets mad at this, but Urahara says that everything worked out and that they will move straight to the next lesson. Tessai then cuts Ichigo's Chain of Fate. As Tessai pins him to the ground by sitting on his back, Ichigo yells at Urahara that he will die, as he can no longer return to his body now that the chain has been cut. Ichigo becomes angrier when Urahara tells him that he knew that, who tells him that all he has left is death. He reveals that the chain has already begun to corrode from the severed end, and that if it reaches his chest, a hole will open up and Ichigo will become a Hollow. Urahara tells him that he can avoid this by becoming a Soul Reapers. The point of this lesson, which Urahara calls "Shattered Shaft", is to restore Ichigo's Soul Reaper powers. A hole opens up underneath Ichigo and he and Tessai fall to the bottom, where Tessai immobilizes him with Bakudō #99 Kin. Urahara tells him to scale the sides of the deep shaft to clear the lesson, but Ichigo tells him that this is not possible. Urahara points out that the corrosion of his Chain of Fate has begun, as the chain begins to eat itself. Ichigo falls to the ground and demands that Urahara stop the corrosion, but Urahara tells him that he would only be eaten as well. He then reveals that there is a gas at the bottom of the shaft which speeds up the corrosion process from months or years, to at most 72 hours. He tells Ichigo to become a Soul Reaper and climb out of the hole before that, or else he will become a Hollow and they will destroy him. Ichigo asks him if he is planning on killing him, prompting Urahara to tell him that is what he will have to do if Ichigo gives up.
After the fifth corrosion of the chain, Ichigo notes that the process alternates between a few minutes of corrosion and a few hours of dormancy. Due to the pain caused by the corrosion, he is only able to attempt to escape during the dormant phases. Ichigo stands up and attempts to run up the wall of the shaft, but quickly falls back down. Jinta Hanakari asks him if he is hungry. Ichigo replies that he cannot be hungry as souls do not get hungry. Jinta tells him that a soul feeling hungry is a sign that they will soon become a Hollow. He then offers to allow Ichigo to drink his drool and spits down the shaft, encouraging Ururu to do the same. Ichigo threatens to beat them up as drool lands around and on him. Later, as Ichigo wonders how long he has been in the hole for and how he can get out of it, Jinta runs down the shaft's wall with a platter of fruit. He offers the food to Ichigo, who denies that he is hungry, saying that the chain is still long. Jinta places the food on the ground and tells him that it he cannot tell the time in the hole, but it has been seventy hours since he entered the Shattered Shaft. He also reveals that the final corrosion phase is stronger than the earlier ones. The entire remaining length of the chain then begins to eat itself. Ichigo asks Urahara and his associates to stop it, but a hole opens in his chest and a mask begins to form over his face. As Jinta leaves the shaft, Urahara explains that the mask forming before his body reforms is a sign that Ichigo is resisting the transformation. Hearing a voice calling him, Ichigo awakens inside his consciousness on the side of a tall building and sees a man standing on a flagpole. He asks the man who he is. Surprised at this, the man says his name, but Ichigo cannot hear it. He remarks that it is sad, and asks how many times he has to tell him his name before he is able to hear it, as he thought that nobody in this world knew him better than Ichigo. Ichigo denies know anyone as "gloomy" as this man, but is stunned to see him stand on the side of the flagpole. As the man asks how he can sit like he is doing, Ichigo falls from the building and screams. The man follows him and tells him that it is good that he can yell and that Soul Reapers control death, so he should not worry. As the two fall towards the ground, Ichigo tells him that he is not currently a Soul Reapers. The man tells him that he can control the Reishi around him and that he should focus them underneath his feet to stand on. The man urges Ichigo to try to remember a time when he was a Soul Reapers when he stopped in mid-air. He tells Ichigo that Byakuya only destroyed the powers given to him by Rukia, but he failed to realize that Ichigo has his own Soul Reaper powers. Saying that his powers were hidden deep inside his soul and awakened by Rukia's power, he instructs Ichigo to find it as the world is crumbling around him
With the buildings of his inner world dissolving into countless boxes, the man tells Ichigo that his powers are hidden inside just one of them and that if he cannot find it before the world disappears completely, then he will become a Hollow. Ichigo falls through a fissure into water where he wonders if he should do it. He thinks to himself that he has never been any good at sensing Spiritual Pressure, as Uryu had previously told him. He then remembers that Uryu had an easy way of sensing Spiritual Pressure and soon figures out what it was. Ichigo finds the red Reiraku of his Soul Reaper powers and opens the box it is coming from, surprised to find a Zanpakutō's hilt inside. The man tells him that this time he ought to hear his name, and urges him to take the hilt. Ichigo struggles to pull out the Zanpakutō as the world crumbles around him. In the Shattered Shaft, the Kidō restraining Ichigo's arms begins to break apart. Tessai tells Urahara that he can no longer simply hold him and activates the next stage of the Kidō, Bankin, restraining his entire body. However, a burst of energy from the hole in Ichigo's chest ruptures the Kidō and there is an explosion. As the smoke clears, Ichigo, wearing a Hollow mask and Soul Reaper clothes, emerges. As Jinta and Ururu prepare to fight him, Ichigo draws his still broken Zanpakutō and uses it to smash the Hollow mask. Urahara congratulates him on his success, saying that he is now a complete Soul Reaper, prompting Ichigo to hit him in the eye with the sword's hilt. Ichigo reveals that he swore that he would kill Urahara when he got out of the shaft. Urahara suggest they move straight to the third lesson, which is simply to knock Urahara's hat off of his head. Ichigo immediately attacks Urahara, cutting the hat slightly. Urahara compliments the power of the broken blade, prompting Ichigo to say that he can do better when he gets serious. Ichigo proposes a five minute time limit as Urahara draws a blade from within his cane.
Urahara quickly overwhelms Ichigo, who compliments the power of his attacks, despite the sword being so skinny. Remembering that the only thing which can cut a Soul Reaper is a Zanpakutō or a Hollow, Ichigo concludes that he cannot be harmed by Urahara's blade and relaxes. Urahara, however, immediately cuts off the remains of Ichigo's Hollow mask and calls him naive for thinking that his sword is not a Zanpakutō. He activates Benihime's Shikai, telling him that it is a genuine Zanpakutō. As Ichigo remembers Renji using his Shikai during their fight, Urahara tells him that every Zanpakutō has a name. He attacks again, destroying a rocky outcropping and sending Ichigo flying. Ichigo blocks his next attack, causing Urahara to compliment him on his bravery. He then cuts through the remains of the blade, slicing off even more of it. Ichigo runs away from him in response and wonder how it could have happened. Urahara catches up and destroys the rest of the blade and the tsuba, saying that there is no power in Ichigo's sword. Urahara asks him if he can still win with just the hilt remaining, saying that he will kill him if he continues to fight with just the hilt. Ichigo runs away again, thinking that he is going to die. As Urahara continues to attack him, Ichigo thinks that it is embarrassing and questions why he ran. As he is knocked to the ground, Ichigo sees the man from his inner world again. The man asks why Ichigo ran when he has not yet called him. He says that Ichigo should be able to hear him now and tells him to cast off his fear. He reveals that his name is Zangetsu and Ichigo stops in his tracks, turns towards Urahara and calls out Zangetsu, activating his Shikai. Ichigo looks at the new form of his Zanpakutō as Urahara tells him it is time to start lesson three for real. Ichigo warns him that he might not be able to hold back and swings Zangetsu at Urahara, who activates his Blood Mist Shield ability. As the dust settles, the hat-less Urahara comments that he could have lost an arm if it were not for the Blood Mist Shield. He picks up his ruined hat and calls Ichigo a scary kid, as he did not expect so much from one swing. Urahara congratulates a sleeping Ichigo on passing the third lesson.
After completing Urahara's training, Ichigo has a relatively normal summer holiday while waiting for the gateway to Soul Society to be opened. On the first of August, Ichigo and his friends gather for a fireworks festival. Having kicked Keigo in the face for over-reacting to seeing Ichigo again, Ichigo asks him why the have gathered so early in the day when the festival is that night, prompting a short argument. Ichigo asks Tatsuki what happened to her arm, which was broken when she was hit by a car during a national tournament. Isshin, Karin and Yuzu, all wearing kimonos, come running up to Ichigo, knocking him down a bank. Due to the girls' behavior, Ichigo asks if they are drunk. Isshin explains that a juice seller had used wine to dilute the juice instead of water. Isshin then tells the group that they saved a seat on the opposite bank of the river that morning and Isshin heads off with the twins, and several of Ichigo's friends. Ichigo decides to follow them and apologizes to Tatsuki for always bothering her, saying it is alright if she does not want to come. She tells him to hurry up, and that she will be there later. Later that night, Ichigo complains to a drunken Isshin about having to carry Karin and Yuzu. Isshin tells his son that he can enjoy that touch and that they did not wear any underwear under their kimonos. When Ichigo angrily asks him what he wanted to do to his daughters, he replies that it is just a joke and that he should not make such scary expressions. Ichigo tells him that he will be leaving for another week again and that he might not be back until the summer vacation ends. Ichigo looks at his father, prompting Isshin to ask why he is giving him a "I'm very worried about what will happen when I'm gone look". He tells Ichigo that he will take care of everything at the house and that while he is still around, he will not allow anyone to hurt his family. Ichigo asks if he is an idiot, saying that he is not worried at all.
Seven days after completing his training, Ichigo follows Urahara's instruction to open his window at 1:00a.m. and wait for his message. Saying that he has a bad feeling about this, Ichigo enjoys the breeze before a ball flies through the window and leaves a bloody message on his closet door, telling him to go the Urahara Shop. Ichigo notes that it is like a message from a dying person and becomes angry when more of the message is revealed, showing that Urahara had anticipated his reaction. As Ichigo leaves, he says goodbye to Yuzu and Karin. Outside the clinic, Isshin once again tries to assault him, only to miss and smash his head into the pavement. Isshin gives him an amulet, which Ichigo dismisses. Isshin tells him that Masaki gave it to him, and that it will bring him good fortune. He insists that he is lending it to him for his trip, and that he is to give it back when he returns. When Ichigo does not answer, Isshin tells him he will have to shave his beard if he loses it. Ichigo asks if this is a threat and decides to borrow the charm. On his way to the Urahara Shop, Ichigo meets up with Orihime, who reveals that she had received the same message as Ichigo. Ichigo reveals that he did not know she was going too until Urahara mentioned it and asks her if she is sure about it. When she insists that she is, he urges her to hurry. When they arrive at the shop, they find Chad waiting for them there and asks where Uryu is, saying that he had heard that he was coming too. When Uryu arrives in a Quincy outfit, he promises to show Ichigo how powerful he has become. Ichigo, however, asks him if he had walked the entire way there wearing that outfit, saying that he is very brave. Urahara interrupts them and invites the group inside, saying that they must listen carefully to him or else they might die before reaching Soul Society.
In the underground training area, Ichigo notes that Orihime finds it easy to get along with new people, unlike Chad and Uryu. Urahara attracts their attention by revealing the Senkaimon that they will be using to enter Soul Society. He then uses his cane to remove Ichigo's Soul Reaper form from his body. As the others examine his body, Ichigo complains about them touching it freely. Kon appears and agrees with Ichigo, prompting Ichigo to demand to know why he is there. Kon insists that he is going with them, but Urahara requests their attention again as he explains about how the Senkaimon works. When Ichigo says that he understands and that it is time to go, Urahara pokes him in the side with his cane and continues talking, saying that the Senkaimon will only stay open for four minutes. If they do not reach Soul Society in that time, then they will become trapped in the Dangai. As Urahara tells them about the Dangai, Yoruichi tells them that only those who are truly ready for the task can go, Ichigo tells the talking cat that that everyone gathered there has already made their decision and will go to Soul Society. When Yoruichi tells him that they will never return if they lose, Ichigo responds that they simply have to win. When the Senkaimon opens, Ichigo tells the now tied up Kon to take care of his family. Ichigo, Uryu, Orihime, Chad and Yoruichi enter the gate and appear in the Dangai. Yoruichi tells them not to zone out and run to the exit. As they run, the parts they have already passed through collapse behind them. When Uryu's cape is caught by the Dangai, Ichigo grabs his Zanpakutō, but Yoruichi tells him not to use it, as the Dangai will trap it and he will not escape. Ichigo asks what he should do instead, but Chad grabs Uryu and tears the cape. The group continues along the path, but are chased by the Janitor. Realizing that they will not make it to the exit in time, Orihime uses her shield to protect them from the Janitor and the group is propelled through the exit and into Soul Society.
Soul Society ArcEdit
Upon arriving at one of the Seireitei entrance, Ichigo and his team meet Jidanbo Ikkanzaka, a Seireitei gatekeeper. There Ichigo quickly shows off his newfound might by defeating the giant easily, but he is in turn quickly repelled back outside the gate by Captain Gin Ichimaru.
Needing a new method to enter the Seireitei, Yoruichi brings them to Kukaku Shiba whose fireworks speciality helps launch them into the Seireitei through a spirit cannon. While successfully entering, Ichigo and the team get separated from each other. He then proceeds to fight Ikkaku Madarame. Ichigo beats Ikkaku, even after Ikkaku reveals his Zanpakutō's Shikai, and learns that he will be hunted down by Kenpachi Zaraki, who will seek out the strongest of the intruders.
Ichigo is then met by Renji Abarai, who seeks revenge for his earlier defeat. Renji gravely injures Ichigo, who becomes stronger during the fight and manages to barely defeat Renji using a direct Getsuga Tenshō; after which Renji begs him to rescue Rukia, his childhood friend, upon changing his mind regarding his loyalties. Renji is taken into detention for trying to fight alone and losing, while Ichigo is healed by Hanataro Yamada in Seireitei's sewage system. It is revealed here that Ichigo's Hollow mask was able to lessen the damage from what would have been fatal blows by Renji, causing Hanatarō to discard the mask in fear. Ichigo finally encounters Kenpachi Zaraki on his way to the Shrine of Penitence, where Rukia is held, and at first hardly injuring the powerful captain, who according to Hanataro, is immortal. After Zangetsu helps Ichigo find his resolve, Ichigo makes a tremendous comeback, managing to overpower and greatly injure Zaraki. Finding Ichigo his equal, Kenpachi decides to unleash his full power. This prompts Ichigo to call for help from Zangetsu to summon his full power (and perhaps his inner Hollow as his spiritual power manifests into his Hollow mask during the clash) shocking his opponent again by equaling Kenpachi's own immense spiritual energy to defeat the captain. Despite technically winning, both Ichigo and Kenpachi are left incapacitated in the aftermath. After Kenpachi is evacuated by his lieutenant Yachiru Kusajishi, Ichigo is rescued by Yoruichi.
After learning of Yoruichi's true Soul Reaper form and having most of his injuries treated, Ichigo quickly rushes to the tower where Rukia is being held to save both Hanataro and Ganju from Byakuya Kuchiki. Upon his arrival he confronts Byakuya, even though he is not at full strength. The fight goes better than his first confrontation with Byakuya, but knowing that Ichigo is not ready to fight someone of Byakuya's caliber, Yoruichi stops the fight by incapacitating Ichigo, swearing to make Ichigo stronger than Byakuya in three days. After escaping Byakuya, Yoruichi then takes Ichigo to the secret training ground to undergo training to achieve the said power.
Yoruichi tells Ichigo that he cannot save Rukia with his present power and asks him to train to achieve the Bankai of his Zanpakutō. Upon completing the training, he, along with Yoruichi and sympathetic captains Shunsui Kyoraku and Jushiro Ukitake, separately converge upon the Sokyoku to stop Rukia's execution. At the last possible second, Ichigo stops the execution, and proceeds to dispatch three lieutenants — Marechiyo Omaeda, Isane Kotetsu and Chojiro Sasakibe — barehanded. Along with being able to stop the Sokyoku, a blade with the power of 1 million Zanpakutō, he proves that he has truly become more powerful within three days. He is then confronted by Byakuya Kuchiki.
At first they fight without releasing their Zanpakutō, Byakuya casually analyzing Ichigo as he fights, noticing an impressive difference. Ichigo eventually coerces Byakuya to use Bankai. Ichigo is unable to keep up just using his Shikai, and he reveals his Bankai against Byakuya, using his speed to outmaneuver Senbonzakura and eventually injure him for the first time. Byakuya counters using the second form of his own Bankai, and after a while Ichigo's bones begin to break under his Bankai's spiritual compression, giving Byakuya the chance to paralyze him with a single Kidō attack (shot through his shoulder). This leaves him in critical condition. At this point, Ichigo's inner Hollow surfaces and injures Byakuya to the point that both combatants have almost no power left. After regaining control of himself, Ichigo faces off against Byakuya in a final clash, each channeling all their energy into a single attack. After this final clash, neither has the strength to fight, but Byakuya admits his defeat because his blade was destroyed by Ichigo's. Byakuya then departs, leaving Ichigo barely standing, the only thing supporting him being his Zanpakutō.
Through a message relayed through Kidō by Isane Kotetsu, Ichigo then finds out that the events in Soul Society were an elaborate plot masterminded by Sosuke Aizen. Renji is then severely wounded by Aizen but refuses to give Rukia over and Aizen tries to kill him but Ichigo saves them. The two of them then join forces to fight off Aizen. Renji uses his Shikai Special Ability, Higa Zekkō where he uses the broken segments of his Zanpakutō to surround the opponent in order to give Ichigo an opening. But this plan proves futile for Aizen is able to deflect Ichigo's sword with his finger and instead slashes him across the midriff just by flicking his wrist. As Ichigo falls to the ground in a state of shock, Aizen slashes Renji who falls to the ground as well.
He then takes Rukia by the collar but is interrupted by Ichigo who surprises him as he is still alive. Aizen then begins to tell Ichigo how he had planned every move from the beginning for his goal, to obtain the Hōgyoku with the help of which he would be able to surpass the powers of normal Soul Reapers by merging the thin line between that of Soul Reapers and Hollows. However their conversation is interrupted by Sajin Komamura captain of Squad 7 who tells Aizen that he would never forgive his betrayal to Soul Society and demands an explanation from Tōsen. He proceeds to hit Aizen with his Shikai but Aizen stops it with his bare hands and gets away quickly and moves up close to him.
He then tries to release his Bankai but is unable to for Komamura is caught in Aizen's hypnosis. Aizen then defeats him single-handedly by using a Level 90 Kidō spell. Ichigo looks on dumbstruck, wondering about the vast difference between the powers of two captains. With Komamura out of the way Aizen continues his conversation with Ichigo and tells him that Kisuke Urahara had planted the Hōgyoku inside Rukia Kuchiki in order to hide its very existence as Rukia was inhabiting a Gigai that would ultimately reduce her to a normal Human. Thus concealing the Hōgyoku for ever. Just then Ichigo's comrades, Orihime Inoue, Yasutora Sado, Uryu Ishida, and Ganju Shiba arrive at the scene but are rendered helpless as Gin releases an enormous amount of spiritual power.
Aizen then proceeds to extract the Hōgyoku from within Rukia using an technique that was made by Urahara that could forcibly take the Hōgyoku from within a soul without damaging it. One other way of extracting it that Aizen had thought of was using the Sōkyoku on Rukia, though this proved to be a failure because of Ichigo's interference. He is unable to do anything without the help of the remaining captains before Aizen departs for Hueco Mundo.
Prior to leaving Soul Society, Ichigo is given a badge by Ukitake that serves as a license that allows him to hunt Hollows in his area officially. He also speaks with Rukia who has decided to stay in Soul Society.
After his adventures in Soul Society, Ichigo, not aware he is unable to perform Bankai outside of Soul Society, faces off against three mod souls in a series of games set by Urahara which involved kidnapping Ichigo's friends, unbeknownst to Ichigo. When Ichigo attempts Bankai he is unable to, and undergoes training with three Modified Souls (Lirin, Kurodo and Noba).
After the training, which ends up unsuccessful, he finds out about the Bounts and confronts Yoshino Soma, who uses a powerful fire-type Doll. Ichigo is unable to win, even with the help of Rukia Kuchiki. However, he is unintentionally saved by another Bount, Ryo Utagawa. Utagawa appears later to try to eat Uryu's soul, and a battle between him and Ichigo's group ensues. Yoshino then appears and takes Uryu away. While visiting Uryu in the hospital, the group is met by Ho and Ban, Bount twins who use Dolls that manipulate water. Ichigo attempts to defeat them, but any damage sustained to the Dolls quickly regenerates. He discovers that when the twins are separated, their ability to control their Dolls is greatly reduced, and with some assistance from Ganju Shiba, the group succeeds in blowing the weakened Dolls up with fireworks, killing the Bount twins in the process. Ichigo and company then infiltrate Jin Kariya's mansion in search of Uryūu.
Upon entering Kariya's mansion, Ichigo engages Utagawa in battle, during which he obliterates a large portion of the house. His spiritual power surprises both Utagawa and Maki Ichinose, a Shinigami deserter who joined forces with the Bounts. Ichinose confronts Ichigo and the two fight until Kariya takes over and overpowers Ichigo. As Ichigo is at the brink of defeat, Kisuke Urahara and his assistants arrive to rescue them, demolishing the remainder of the mansion in the process.
Later on, Ichigo fights Go Koga and his Doll, Dalk, after the Bitto nearly killed Keigo Asano. Ichigo is slowly beaten, allowing his Inner Hollow to take over. Ichigo manages to repel his Inner Hollow and take over, only to succumb to his previous injuries. Izuru Kira soon appears to lend a helping hand, disabling the Doll. Koga retreats, unwilling to kill such young men due to an incident in his past with a young Bount.
Ichigo then invades the Bount hideout that Ugaki is defending with Chad, Orihime, Rukia, Renji and the modified souls. Four Soul Reaper lieutenants who had entered the cave earlier and fought Ugaki's Doll, Gesell, assist them. Finally, only Renji and Ichigo continue into the depths of the cave to find Ugaki. Renji decides to take on Gesell one on one with his Bankai so that Ichigo will have the strength to take on the remaining Bounts. Renji's attacks send Gesell on a fury that ends when Ugaki is killed by his own Doll (possibly due to the Doll being influenced by Kariya). The cave begins to crumble and Yumichika Ayasegawa convinces Ichigo to leave them behind and go further into the cave.
Ichigo finds the remaining Bounts and they open a portal to an unknown destination. Ichigo starts a battle with Kariya. Kariya defeats Ichigo's Shikai and threatens to kill him using Zangetsu. The threat convinces Ichigo to recover his will to fight and regain his ability to use his Bankai. The fight continues, with both adversaries now evenly matched. They are interrupted by Uryu Ishida, who helps the Bounts reach Soul Society, believing he will get stronger there and defeat the Bounts.
In Soul Society, Ichigo's group uses Kukaku Shiba's house as their initial base of operations and separate to search for the Bounts. After the Bount Yoshi almost kills Rukia Kuchiki, she is saved by Byakuya. Ichigo asks Byakuya for assistance, but Byakuya refuses, making it clear that he still dislikes Ichigo. Later, Ichigo comes across Kariya and Byakuya fighting in a forest and joins in. Despite being outnumbered, Kariya is able to hold his own. Ran'Tao, the Soul Reaper who created the Bounts, steps in and takes Ichigo and Uryu Ishida (who arrives soon after) back to her home in Rukongai. Ran'Tao explains to Uryu and Ichigo about how her spirit powers were sealed and how she was banished for creating the Bounts, among other things.
After departing from Ran'Tao's home, they meet up with Toshiro Hitsugaya, Rangiku Matsumoto, and Renji Abarai, who are in the middle of a battle with former Soul Reaper Maki Ichinose. This does not last long though as Kenpachi Zaraki arrives and challenges Ichinose, allowing the others to pursue the Bounts. At the Department of Research and Development, Ichigo and Chad catch up to Kariya, but are unable to stop him. Their battle inadvertently unearths the Jōkaishō, a massive energy source, which Kariya had been searching for. Kariya absorbs the energy and uses its destructive potential as a threat to keep Ichigo at bay. He then gives the whole of Soul Society a day to think about their impending destruction. With permission from Rangiku, Ichigo uses Squad 10 as a base of operations during this time.
The next day, Ichigo saves both Uryu and Ran'Tao from Kariya, and the two battle.
Ichigo uses his Bankai and begins to fight Kariya. Ran'Tao reveals that there are multiple Jōkaishō scattered throughout Soul Society that will detonate when Kariya uses his Jōkaishō, and the Soul Reapers of the 13 Court Guard Squads begin to seal all of the Jōkaishō. Meanwhile, Ichinose arrives and attacks Ichigo, but turns his sword on Kariya, claiming that he did not join Kariya to watch him destroy Soul Society. Kariya kills Ichinose, and reveals his doll, Messer, in the form of a sword of wind. Kariya uses the wind from his doll to produce electricity, and attacks Ichigo with it. Ichigo's inner Hollow momentarily takes over his body, but Ichigo regains control of his body, surprising Kariya. Ichigo informs Kariya that he cannot absorb spirit particles to heal himself because Ran'Tao sealed his absorption ability. Kariya attempts to detonate a Jōkaishō. Ichigo then deals a fatal blow to Kariya, who wonders what will happen to Ichigo and his inner Hollow before dying. Ichigo concludes that Kariya intended to travel to Soul Society in order to end his eternal life.
Ichigo, Renji and Rukia return to the Kuchiki Manor to discuss Kariya's life. Ichigo remarks on how his life was changed when Rukia gave him her powers, Renji recalls when he was promoted to lieutenant of Squad 6, and Rukia reminisces on the day when she was assigned to the Human World. Afterwards, Ichigo and his friends return to the Human World. Yoruichi brings Koga, who survived his fight with Hitsugaya, to Ran'Tao's hideout. Hidden from the Soul Reapers, he is able to recover from his injuries. Koga accepts that the destiny of the Bounts is to eventually die out.
When Ichigo returns from Soul Society, Isshin attacks him in bed. Ichigo blocks the attack, earning praise form Isshin. Ichigo returns the protective charm to Isshin, but he says that he does not want it and sews it to Ichigo's school uniform. Ichigo asks if he lied about Masaki haven given him the charm, but Isshin changes the subject.
When Ichigo returns home from school, Isshin elbows him in the face, knocking him to the ground, surprising Isshin, who notes that he looks depressed. He says that he must have done poorly in an exam and tells him that Isshin "The Man" Kurosaki does not get upset by school exam results, saying that grades are unimportant. He tells Ichigo that a high school student should be energetic and do things that are difficult to speak of, such as falling in love. Ichigo, however, says that he will stay in his room until dinner, prompting Yuzu to blame Isshin for not apologizing.
Shinji Hirako reveals himself as a recruiter for the Visored, approaches Ichigo and attempts to convince him to join his organization. Ichigo persistently refuses, even after being warned that his inner Hollow will eventually take over and destroy everything in sight. Shortly afterwards, two Arrancar, Yammy Llargo and Ulquiorra Cifer, appear in Karakura Town in order to locate and evaluate Ichigo's strength. Upon seeing Chad injured, Ichigo battles Yammy using his Bankai, and manages to cut off the giant's right arm. Before he could progress, however, Ichigo's inner Hollow soon interferes, paralyzing Ichigo, and Yammy injures both him, and Orihime. The arrival of Yoruichi Shihoin and Kisuke Urahara forces Ulquiorra into strategic retreat. Ulquiorra returns to Aizen believing that Ichigo is a waste of his and Aizen's time.
After his failure against the Arrancar, Ichigo loses his will as a Soul Reaper since he cannot protect his friends. This mood lasts until the arrival of 13 Court Guard Squad's expeditionary force: six Soul Reapers sent to the Human World under the command of Toshiro Hitsugaya. Rukia, who is among them, forces Ichigo to defeat a Hollow, all the while chastising him. Later that day, Ichigo discusses the growing Arrancar threat with Hitsugaya's force and learns what the Arrancar actually are. When Rukia returns to the Kurosaki household, Isshin and Yuzu try to eavesdrop on her and Ichigo from his bedroom door. When Ichigo hears him talking to Karin, he scares them off. After they discuss the mission, Renji and Rangiku study Kon's Mod Soul pill and his stuffed lion body, amazed that a gikongan pill could be used in a stuffed animal's body. Getting annoyed by their company, Ichigo asks them when they would be leaving. Renji tells him that they cannot return to the Soul Society until after the Arrancar threat is dealt with. Ichigo tells them he has no problem with them in the Human World, but insists that they all cannot stay at his house, which eventually causes all of Hitsugaya's team to leave Ichigo's residences, except for Rukia, who tries to move into Ichigo's closet again, which Ichigo prevents, since his family now knows about her. Rukia tells Isshin and Yuzu a cover story of having no home in order to coerce them to let her stay with them, which apparently succeeds. However, instead of staying in Ichigo's closet, Rukia ends up sharing a room with Karin and Yuzu (much to her dismay).
Later during the night, six Arrancar under the command of Grimmjow Jaegerjaques invade Karakura Town, intending to finish what they view as an incomplete mission on Ulquiorra's part. They split up, seeking targets with spiritual power. Ichigo senses them and fully recognizes their reiatsu. Rukia tells him that there are six Arrancar total and that they are targeting anyone with Spiritual Pressure, regardless of how much or how little each person has. She further states that one of them already arrived Chad's house. Although he has not completely recovered from his injuries against Yammy, Chad heads out to fight the Arrancar, but is nearly killed by Di Roy Linker, who tries to impale his arm into Chad's chest. Ichigo arrives in time and stops Di Roy's strike, narrowly saving Chad's life. Ichigo tells Chad to let him handle Di Roy. Chad tries to protest, but Ichigo insists that he lets him fight Di Roy. Realizing that he is not strong enough to help Ichigo anymore, Chad lets Ichigo fight Di Roy and runs off. Rukia arrives after Chad leaves, asking Ichigo what he said to Chad. Ichigo just tells her that he told him to step aside and let him fight. Rukia then tells Ichigo to step aside, as he already exceeded his strength when he fought Yammy during his last encounter with the Arrancar. She swallows a Gikongan pill and transforms into her Soul Reaper form, which surprises Ichigo. Rukia explains that she lost her powers in the first place because of Urahara's Gigai, and that once she was out of that Gigai, her powers returned as time passed. The artificial soul possessing Rukia's Gigai pounces on Ichigo. Rukia explains that the soul's name is Chappy, and that it was the one she originally intended before they got Kon by mistake, to which Ichigo remarks that he's glad they got Kon instead.
Growing impatient, Di Roy attacks Rukia while Chappy continues to keep Ichigo from interfering with their fight. Chappy keeps Ichigo pinned down until Rukia returns from the fight, having killed Di Roy with her Zanpakutō's Shikai. Chappy explains Rukia's Zanpakutō to him and that her abilities are actually on-par to that of a seated officer, and that Byakuya pulled some strings to prevent Rukia from being promoted, so she would not be involved in dangerous missions. Before anything else can be said, another Arrancar arrives, having sensed Di Roy's death at Rukia's hands. He introduces himself as Arrancar #6: Grimmjow. Rukia is lost in her own thoughts, as she questions as to whether or not if Grimmjow is really the same species as Di Roy, as he is much more powerful than Di Roy was. Grimmjow questions them both as to which one of them is stronger, breaking Rukia from her thoughts. She yells to Ichigo to retreat, but Grimmjow silences her shortly after by impaling her with his arm, stating that he knew that Rukia was not the strongest of the two. Rukia loses consciousness as Grimmjow slides her body off of his arm. Ichigo proceeds to charge at Grimmjow in response to him impaling Rukia.
He tries to attack him with Zangetsu, but Grimmjow blocks it with his bare arm and pushes him back with his reiatsu. Grimmjow tells him that he is giving him a chance to use his Bankai, and that if he does not, then he will punch a whole in him like he did to Rukia. Ichigo complies and activates his Bankai. Ichigo tries to attack Grimmjow with his Bankai, but Grimmjow is able to block each of Ichigo's strikes unarmed and is even able to out-maneuver him. He proceeds to attack Ichigo unarmed and severely beats him to the point of exhaustion without sustain any injuries or fatigue of his own. Grimmjow is disappointed with Ichigo's Bankai, as he only notices that Tensa Zangetsu increases Ichigo's speed. Desperate, Ichigo uses his black Getsuga Tenshō to attack Grimmjow, which he barely manages to block. Grimmjow questions what attack Ichigo used, as Ulquiorra's report did not record Ichigo's use of his Getsuga Tenshō. Ichigo smirks and ask Grimmjow if he is still disappointing. However, Ichigo is halted by his inner Hollow, who tries to take over. Grimmjow laughs at Ichigo's remark and states that he might just be worth killing after all. Ichigo looks at Grimmjow and sees that his Getsuga Tenshō only wounded him superficially. He further states that his black Getsuga Tenshō was originally his inner Hollow's technique and determines that he can fire two or three more blasts before his inner Hollow takes over completely. Grimmjow begins to draw his Zanpakutō, but is stopped by Kaname Tosen who tells Grimmjow to sheathe his sword. Ichigo recognizes Tosen as one of the captains who defected with Aizen. Grimmjow questions Tosen why he is in the Human World. Tosen tells him that he broke orders by mobilizing five Arrancar, taking them to the Human World, and getting them killed in battle, when he did not receive orders to attack the Human World in the first place. He informs Grimmjow that Aizen is upset with his actions, and that he is to be taken back to Hueco Mundo to be punished. As Tosen opens a Garganta, Grimmjow reluctantly complies, which upsets Ichigo. As Grimmjow explains that he's returning to Hueco Mundo, Ichigo demands that Grimmjow finishes their fight. Grimmjow counters him by saying that the only reason he is still alive is because he is leaving before their fight is finished. He further states that he knows Ichigo can only fire two or three more Getsuga Tenshō blasts at him, and that even if he could fire his Getsuga Tenshōs without limit, he would not stand a chance against him in his released state. He tells Ichigo not to forget his name: Grimmjow Jaegerjaques, as the next time he hears his name, he would be a dead man. The Garganta closes, leaving Ichigo alone to ponder the events that have occurred. Renji arrives soon after, asking Ichigo if he won. Ichigo states that he lost, but Renji argues that since he's alive, it means that he won. Ichigo tells him not to patronize him, as he would not be saying that if he were in Ichigo's position. He further states that he cannot protect anyone or even help the wounded; he was defeated in battle by Grimmjow.
Ichigo, unable to control his inner Hollow, accepts Shinji Hirako's offer and seeks out the Visored in order to gain control. During a sparring match with Hiyori Sarugaki, he loses control to his Hollow side once more and nearly kills her. After reverting back to his Soul Reaper state, Ichigo is informed that he cannot simply keep his Hollow in check with his body or mind, but must force it into the very core of his soul. After a brief period of unappreciated training, Ichigo is told to confront his Hollow side within his inner world. There, Ichigo squares off against his Hollow self. Even after several exchanges, Ichigo is unable to damage the Hollow, while badly injured and stabbed himself. Finally, Ichigo is defeated, and his sword shatters. After a brief discourse with his Hollow, and then another with an inner manifestation of Kenpachi Zaraki (in the anime, Byakuya Kuchiki and Jin Kariya appear before this, and force him to fight their battles again. Ichigo is defeated by both of them), Ichigo realizes his trouble is that he lacks pure fighting spirit, instead needing reasons to fight his opponents. His spirit rekindled by this revelation, Ichigo is able to make a comeback, seizing the Hollow's sword and impaling him on it. With his Hollow subdued for the moment, Ichigo fades back to reality. When he comes to, he learns that while he was fighting internally, his outer body had transformed into that of a powerful and berserk Hollow. The Visored had taken turns battling this monster to keep it in check. Ichigo then trains with Hiyori to increase the amount of time he can stay in masked form.
A month later, the Arrancar once again invade Karakura, and Ichigo brashly heads off to fight Grimmjow, even though he can only remain in his masked form for eleven seconds. This backfires, as despite using his masked form and Grimmjow's loss of an arm since their last meeting, Ichigo is unable to defeat him within the eleven-second limit. His mask crumbles, and Ichigo is brutally counterattacked. On the brink of defeat and pinned to the ground, Ichigo is granted a short reprieve by Rukia. As Grimmjow recovers from Rukia's attack, Shinji Hirako appears and fights him until the Arrancar retreat by order of Ulquiorra.
When tending to Ichigo's wounds, the Visored Hachigen Ushoda reveals that Ichigo's spiritual power has been contaminated somewhat by Grimmjow's. As per his instructions, Rukia takes him back to the Kurosaki Clinic to recover. While in a deep sleep, he is visited by Orihime, who has been taken prisoner by the Arrancar and given a twelve hour reprieve by Ulquiorra to say good-bye to just one person. Orihime tries to kiss Ichigo while he sleeps, but is unable to. She does, however, confess her love for him.
Later, Ichigo awakens from a bad dream and realizes that the wound from his wrist is healed. Trying to sense by spiritual pressure who has healed him, he is visited by Hitsugaya, who tells him to come immediately for an emergency Soul Reaper meeting. The meeting is held at Orihime's apartment where Hitsugaya and Rangiku took up residence and done via a live-conference device connecting Soul Society and the Human World. Captain Ukitake greets them and informs them Orihime was taken by an Arrancar and might have been killed. Ichigo informs them that she visited him to heal him the night before, which leads Yamamoto to believe that Orihime has betrayed them. Renji requests permission to go to Hueco Mundo to rescue her but the request is denied, as Yamamoto believes that the death of one person and the death of the world are weighted on a scale, thus saving Orihime is not important overall. Ichigo asks to go save Orihime by himself, but Yamamoto once again denies the suggestion, stating that Ichigo is a significant asset to Soul Society. The Soul Reapers are ordered to return to Soul Society to fortify their defenses, leaving Ichigo alone.
Despite Yamamoto's decision, Ichigo decides to make preparations with Urahara to single-handedly retrieve Orihime from Hueco Mundo. At school, Tatsuki Arisawa confronts him about her sightings and she becomes angry and violent over his reluctance to explain himself. She reveals to him that she is able to sense his and Orihime's spiritual energy, and can see Ichigo and other Soul Reapers. She is restrained by Keigo and Mizuiro while Ichigo walks away coldly telling his friends not to get involved. At Urahara's shop, Ichigo is joined by Uryu with his Quincy powers restored and Chad with a new more powerful right arm. After some convincing, the trio agree to help each other rescue Orihime, and Urahara opens a gate to Hueco Mundo. Ichigo leads Chad and Uryu into Hueco Mundo but unbeknownst to him, Tatsuki, Keigo, and Mizuiro had followed him and witnessed his departure.
Hueco Mundo ArcEdit
As Ichigo, Chad, and Uryu enter Hueco Mundo, they are immediately detected by Aizen and attacked by two Arrancar, Demoura Zodd and Iceringer Wernarr. Ichigo is then told to stay back and simply watch as Chad and Uryu engage the two Arrancar by themselves. Once they are victorious, the room and passageway collapses around them, forcing the trio to race outside where they see their destination, a castle in the middle of a barren desert.
They see what looks to be a Human child being chased by three Hollows. After Ichigo attacks the three, it is revealed that the "Human" is actually an Arrancar named Nel Tu; the Hollows are her two "brothers" and their pet. After becoming friends, the expanded group travels to the wall of Las Noches, where they are attacked by a sand-based Hollow, Lunuganga. The Hollow is immune to their attacks, but the group is saved by Renji and Rukia, the latter of which freezes Runuganga in a circle of ice.
Ichigo and his group break into Las Noches and split into five directions, leaving Nel and her brothers behind. The siblings decide to follow Ichigo but get lost. Nel is the only one who catches up to Ichigo, arriving just in time to see Dordoni Alessandro Del Socaccio, a Privaron Espada with the number 103.
As Ichigo and Dordoni fight, the difference in power between the two quickly becomes apparent. Dordoni suggests that Ichigo use his Bankai, so he will at least stand a chance, but Ichigo refuses, noting that it would only be a sign of weakness if he were to use his Bankai in every battle. Hoping to force the issue, Dordoni releases his Zanpakutō, thus greatly increasing his power. Now commanding two wind elementals, Dordoni is more than a match for Ichigo. When Dordoni tries to fire a Cero blast at Ichigo, Nel steps in and absorbs the blast and fires it back. Enraged, Dordoni attacks Nel, who is then saved by Ichigo, now using his Bankai.
Dordoni, not satisfied with Ichigo's Bankai, wishes to see his Hollow form. He even resorts to attacking Nel in an attempt to force Ichigo to transform. Ichigo sets Nel aside and tells Dordoni he will show him his Hollow form, but for only a second. Dordoni is pleased at first, but Ichigo defeats him in one blow. Dordoni is healed a bit by Nel, and unexpectedly attacks Ichigo again, who blocks the attack and runs away with Nel, and finally encounters Ulquiorra Cifer.
Ulquiorra tells Ichigo that Rukia has been killed, which Ichigo denies. Ichigo attempts to leave to save Rukia, reasoning that he and Ulquiorra have no quarrel and thus no reason to fight. Ulquiorra reveals that he was the one who kidnapped Orihime and successfully goads Ichigo into fighting. Though Ichigo starts out well, he proves to be no match for Ulquiorra, who explains that even if Ichigo managed to somehow win, there would be three other Espada who are stronger still, as Ulquiorra reveals himself to be the 4th Espada. Ulquiorra then impales Ichigo's chest with his hand. He leaves after telling Ichigo to leave Hueco Mundo if he is able to.
Grimmjow brings Orihime to heal Ichigo before he can die, wanting to fight him at full strength. Ulquiorra discovers this and attempts to retrieve Orihime, but Grimmjow uses a portable Negación field to temporarily imprison him, thus allowing the two to battle unimpeded. Much like Kenpachi before him, Grimmjow insists that Ichigo not battle for his friends, instead just wanting him to focus on killing him, and reveals that he kept the scar from their first battle as a reminder to fight and kill Ichigo to prove that he is stronger.
As the battle ensues, the advantage shifts between the two combatants at random. During the battle, Grimmjow fires a Gran Rey Cero at Orihime and Nel to make Ichigo put on his Hollow mask. Seeing that Ichigo is finally at his full strength, Grimmjow releases his Resurrección and fiercely attacks Ichigo, smashing him into the ground. As he looks for Ichigo amongst the dust, Ichigo appears behind him and fires a Getsuga Tenshō at him. Grimmjow only starts to laugh maniacally and tells Ichigo how much he hates his "eyes". As the fight continue both fighters seems to be on par, and Tier Halibel, who was watching the fight from a distance, even said it felt like a fight between two Espada.
Towards the end of the battle, Grimmjow is about to kill Ichigo, but after hearing Orihime beg for him to not get hurt anymore, Ichigo deftly catches Grimmjow's fist without looking, and slashes his shoulder. Grimmjow gets up after this, enraged at the injury, and impales Ichigo in the stomach. He then uses his most powerful attack, Desgarrón, but the battle still ends in his defeat. Grimmjow, badly injured and reverted back to his unreleased state, tries one more attack which Ichigo blocks bare-handed. Suddenly, Nnoitora Gilga appears, incapacitates Grimmjow, then attacks Ichigo, revealing that he is the 5th Espada and is thus more powerful than Grimmjow, whom Ichigo barely defeated.
As they fight, Nnoitora notices Nel, recognizes her as the former third Espada, Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck, and explains to Ichigo that he gave Nel the crack in her mask. Nel denies this accusation heavily as Nnoitora attacks Ichigo again, eventually snapping his wrist. Seeing Ichigo hurt triggers Nel's transformation into her adult form. Nel attacks Nnoitora after revealing her ex-Espada status and easily matches him. She releases her Zanpakutō and overwhelms Nnoitora; but, just before finishing him, reverts to her child form. Nnoitora kicks Nel and the enraged Ichigo attacks again, only to be slammed into the ground. Nnoitora then orders his Fracción, Tesla Lindocruz, to switch with him and kill Ichigo and takes hold of Orihime. Tesla also releases, but just as he is about to kill Ichigo, Ichigo is once again saved at the last moment by Kenpachi, who defeats Tesla in one strike and briefly explains that along with him, Byakuya, Retsu Unohana, and Mayuri Kurotsuchi have come to perform an intrusion on Las Noches before engaging in combat with Nnoitora. As Kenpachi and Nnoitra fight, Orihime heals Ichigo and Nel to full health. When Nnoitora, thinking for a moment that Kenpachi is dead, attempts to attack Yachiru Kusajishi, Orihime rushes to defend her, while Ichigo, trying to stop Orihime, is stunned that he cannot break through her healing shield.
Kenpachi kills Nnoitora, and as he orders Orihime to heal him, Coyote Stark appears, apparently reluctant as he snatches Orihime away to bring her to Aizen. Aizen makes an announcement to all of Hueco Mundo, stating that Orihime is in the fifth tower, should anyone want to retrieve her, and that he has closed the Gargantas that the captains used for entry into Hueco Mundo. He informs them that he is leaving to destroy Karakura and orders Ulquiorra to take charge of Las Noches. Ichigo tells Kenpachi that his duty is not to defend his town, but to protect his friends, and flies to rescue Orihime as Ulquiorra declares his challenge to Ichigo. Before he gets far though, he is attacked by the Exequias, but is assisted by Renji, Chad, and Rukia who start fighting them while he continues on. Before Ulquiorra can interrogate Orihime's mind further, Ichigo reaches them. In order to protect Las Noches, Ulquiorra brandishes his sword and begins dueling with Ichigo.
The New Captain Shusuke Amagai ArcEdit
Ichigo Kurosaki and Rukia Kuchiki are alerted to an abnormal amount of Hollow sightings. As they leave to dispatch them, Ichigo encounters Lurichiyo, who asks him for sweets and is attacked by Hollows. As Kenryū and Enryū take Lurichiyo away, Ichigo uses his Bankai to defeat the Hollows, impressing Kenryū and Enryū. The following day, they move into the house next to Ichigo's, and become students at his school. He later learns that they are two Soul Reapers named Kenryū and Enryū, who are the personal bodyguards of the child with them, Princess Lurichiyo Kasumiōji. Kenryū explains that Lurichiyo is the heir to the Kasumiōji clan, the highest noble clan under the Four Great Noble Houses. Despite Lurichiyo's young age, it is still unavoidable for her to take on the role of leader so young, as Lurichiyo's parents passed away. They came to the living world to protect Lurichiyo after several suspected assassination attempts on her from one of the lead members of the Kasumiōji clan, Gyokaku Kumoi, who strongly desires to become the leader of the clan. Kenryū asks for Ichigo's help to stop Kumoi.
Later, a group of assassins come to kill Rurichiyo. Their leader, Hanza Nukui, faces Ichigo with an unusual mirror-sword connected to his arm. Hanza is able to gain the advantage by allowing his sword to cover more of his arm. He then uses this sword's mirror to paralyze Ichigo. Hanza explains that his sword, Saiga, evolves in power by consuming spiritual energy from its wielder. Yoruichi intervenes and forces Hanza to retreat. Hanza later returns with new subordinates, each armed with a unique parasitic weapon called a Bakkōtō. While Chad and Uryu go to lure some of the enemies away, Ichigo faces Hanza. As the fight progresses, Hanza's entire body is eventually consumed by his Bakkōtō, ending the battle. The following day, it is learned that Lurichiyo is expected to marry Shū Kannogi soon. After thanking Ichigo for his help, Lurichiyo sneaks back to Soul Society as she cannot stand seeing people get hurt for her sake anymore.
Ichigo, Rukia, Kenryū and Enryū arrive in the compound and separate to find her. Kenryū and Enryū are locked in a storehouse by Kumoi, Rukia encounters eleventh division captain Kenpachi Zaraki, who realizes that Ichigo is present and goes to find him, and Ichigo finds Lurichiyo. However, Ichigo is forced to evade the guards, and loses track of her. Lurichiyo is attacked by one of her child servants. Zaraki arrives and kills the assassin, and Rukia asks Zaraki to keep the incident a secret. Watching from a distance, Hanza tries to frighten Ichigo by releasing his spiritual pressure, but is surprised when Ichigo is unperturbed.
Kumoi sends Hanza and a dozen assassins to kill Ichigo, his friends, and Lurichiyo. Hanza fights Ichigo using the mirror weapon an assassin previously used against Ichigo, and explains that the weapon, Saiga, is stronger via feeding on his spiritual energy. Hanza traps Ichigo in a separate dimension using Saiga. Ichigo is freed by Yoruichi Shihoin, who reveals that the remaining assassins have been defeated. After hearing about this, Hanza retreats. The following day, Kumoi installs Lurichiyo's fiancé as the head of the clan. Having failed in his previous attempt to kill Lurichiyo, Hanza gathers three of his subordinates from the criminal underground and requests that they be given weapons similar to Saiga. Kumoi agrees and the four set out to kill Lurichiyo, Ichigo, and his friends. In Karakura Town, Lurichiyo tells Ichigo that others would frequently be blamed for her reckless actions, including Kenryū and Enryū. Sensing the arrival of Hanza and his subordinates, Ichigo and Rukia stay to protect Lurichiyo and Yasutora Sado and Uryu Ishida leave to confront their attackers. Hanza fights Ichigo and Rukia, Chad, and Uryu each begin to fight one of his subordinates. Ichigo fights Hanza, and using the enhanced speed from his Bankai, breaks Saiga's mirror. In response, Hanza uses one of Saiga's abilities to engulfs Ichigo in light from the shards of the mirror. Sealed inside a different dimension, Ichigo is forced to relive his childhood and his mother's death. Reflecting Ichigo's guilt for being unable to save his mother, the image of Ichigo's mother tries to kill him. Ichigo manages to break free of the dimension by making peace with his mother. Ichigo dons his Hollow mask and overwhelms Hanza, forcing him to allow his Bakkōtō to absorb more of his energy. However, Hanza is consumed by his Bakkōtō, ignoring Ichigo's pleas to stop.
Kumoi schedules Lurichiyo's wedding for the following day, and Kenryū and Enryū realize that he will replace her with an impostor if Lurichiyo does not return for the wedding. Ichigo goes to speak with Lurichiyo, who reveals that she knew about the assassins' true goal and Kumoi's connection to them, and feels guilty that Chad and Uryu were injured. She escapes into Soul Society, intending to participate in the marriage to keep Kumoi in line; however, when she arrives on the other side, her eyes have gone blank and she expresses no desire to leave. Kenryū, Enryū, Rukia and Ichigo attempt to follow them, but are unable to reach Rurichiyo, as Kenryū and Enryū have been blamed for kidnapping her. On the day of the wedding, the four enter the compound to retrieve Lurichiyo, but Squad 2 captain Soifon and several members of the Squad 2 surround them, and Lurichiyo does not respond to Ichigo's calls to her.
Enryū uses his Shikai to destroy the building, and in the confusion, Ichigo reaches Rurichiyo. Revealing Kumoi's intention to gain control of the clan to Lurichiyo's fiancé, Shu Kannogi, Ichigo is attacked by Lurichiyo, who is revealed as an impostor. Soifon begins to fight Ichigo, allowing Rurichiyo and Kumoi to escape. Kenryū and Enryū are captured by the Squad 2 members, and Ichigo and Rukia escape with Shu's help. The three decide to escape by having Shu pose as a hostage. In response, Yamamoto orders a manhunt for Ichigo and Rukia. Ichigo, Rukia, and Shū decide to rescue Lurichiyo, but are attacked by the new Squad 3 captain Shusuke Amagai, who uses his Shikai against Ichigo. Shu stops the battle, revealing the truth of Kumoi's intentions to Amagai, who agrees to help them.
Despite the patrols of the 13 Court Guard Squads, Ichigo, Amagai, Rukia, and Shu manage to make contact with the Squad 3 members, and head towards theSquad 3's training grounds, Lurichiyo's last known location. Ichigo and Amagai pursue a pair of assassins with Lurichiyo, and discover that the Lurichiyo they are carrying is a fake. Ichigo, Rukia, Amagai, and Shu head to the Kasumiōji compound, which Squad 10 captain Toshiro Hitsugaya is guarding. Amagai fights Hitsugaya and Rukia fights Matsumoto, the 10th Division lieutenant as Ichigo and Shu enter the compound.
After discovering that one of Amagai’s men, Makoto Kibune, is working for Kumoi and has a Bakkōtō, Amagai has it sent to Yamamoto to tell him about Kumoi's treacherous actions. After receiving the message, Yamamoto orders the 13 Court Guard Squads to take the Kasumiōji clan into custody. After Ichigo and Rukia manage to catch up to Kumoi and Lurichiyo, Amagai strikes down Kumoi. After which, Amagai teleports away, taking Lurichiyo with him. The dying Kumoi reveals that Amagai is the true brains behind the conspiracy.
Amagai explains that he is after revenge for the death of his father, Shin'etsu Kisaragi. Before his father died, Amagai was told by him of the Bakkōtō. Amagai later learned that Shin'etsu discovered the illegal manufacturing of the Bakkōtō and sought to stop it, but was then killed by Yamamoto. Amagai knew that Yamamoto was well-aware of the Kasumiōji clan's actions but refused to do anything, eventually prompting Amagai to the conclusion that he was in league with the Kasumiōji clan. Ichigo and Rukia quickly catch up to Amagai at Yamamato's headquarters, where Amagai is facing off against Yamamoto and vows to destroy both Yamamoto and the entire Kasumiōji clan. Amagai also reveals that he has a special Bakkōtō of his own that had the power to negate all Soul Reapers and Zanpakutō powers other than his own. Amagai uses his Bankai, and Ichigo arrives to fight him.
Despite hearing these allegations against Yamamoto, Ichigo is determined to stop Amagai, stating that Amagai has selfishly caused innocent people to suffer. Ichigo is still able to use his spiritual energy and unleashes his Bankai. As the battle progresses, Ichigo also reveals his Hollow mask and quickly takes advantage in the battle. Amagai then realizes that while his Bakkōtō can seal away Soul Reaper power, it cannot do the same for Hollow powers. Amagai begins to attack Ichigo's mask, and Ichigo manages to hit Amagai with a Getsuga Tenshō. Injured, Amagai declares that he is willing to die for his revenge, and starts to draw more on his Bakkōtō's power. With some well-timed maneuvers, Ichigo is finally able to strike and destroy the Bakkōtō power-negation ability. Then in a final clash, Ichigo is able to defeat Amagai. While injured, Amagai turns his attention to Yamamoto and stabs him in the stomach, which Yamamoto allows to happen. Yoruichi, who arrives with the other captains, explains that Yamamoto did not betray Amagai's father. Rather, Shin'etsu was another victim of the Bakkōtō. After Yamamoto learned about the Bakkōtō, Yamamoto tried to get permission from Central 46 to investigate, but they refused. Instead, Shin'etsu volunteered to investigate by himself. However, he was made into a test subject for the Bakkōtō development. Losing his mind to the Bakkōtō, Shin'etsu attacked Yamamoto, forcing the captain to regretfully strike Shin'etsu down. Horrified by the truth, Amagai falls into complete shame. Wishing to make up for his mistakes, he decides to take his own life as payment. Ichigo is about to stop him, but Byakuya makes Ichigo understand that he needs to let Amagai repent the best way he feels possible. Later, Ichigo says he will help Lurichiyo whenever needed, but she says she will try as the head of her clan to handle it with her own power from now on.
Fake Karakura Town ArcEdit
Ichigo is seen with a wound on his right shoulder done by Ulquiorra during the battle. As his fight with Ulquiorra continues, Ichigo manages to fight on equal footing with the Espada. Ulquiorra taunts Ichigo as they fight. Ulquiorra is surprised when Ichigo manages to catch his wrist. The battle rages on hard than before. Orihime is able to save Ichigo from an attack with her Shield.
Ulquiorra continues to taunt as Menoly Mallia and Loly Aivirrne show up and ambush Orihime. Ichigo tries to help her but is interrupted by Ulquiorra and the Arrival of Yammy Llargo The arrival of Uryu Ishida sends Yammy falling to the bottom of Las Noches and Ichigo orders him to protect Orihime. Ichigo dons his Hollow mask and manages to gain the upper hand against Ulquiorra. Ulquiorra, noticing how strong Ichigo has become, heads to the top of Las Noches. Ulquiorra explains the reason why he has brought them there and releases his Zanpakutō, Murciélago. Ulquiorra attacks but Ichigo instinctively blocked with a Getsuga Tenshō to which Ulquiorra notes that had he not done so, the attack would have killed him. Ichigo then starts to realize how much more powerful and faster Ulquiorra is. Ichigo continues to try but has no luck in doing anything to the Espada. Ulquiorra then tells Ichigo he will demonstrate the difference in their power with his Cero Oscuras.
Ichigo then prepares for Ulquiorra's "Cero Oscuras", but is overwhelmed by it and greatly injured. Ulquiorra continues in a series of attacks and questions why Ichigo will not put his sword down. He explains that he always knew that Ulquiorra was stronger, but nothing he sees him do will stop him from fighting. Ulquiorra then states that Ichigo has still not realized the meaning of despair, and transforms into a new form. Ulquiorra explains that only he has a second release form and then proceeds to carry on with his series of attacks against Ichigo. Ichigo is completely overwhelmed but keeps going, which Ulquiorra does not understand. Ichigo says he has no choice but to fight but Ulquiorra calls him a fool. Ulquiorra attacks with his tail and Ichigo tries to reform his mask but it easily breaks. Orihime arrives to the top of the dome just in time to see Ulquiorra fires a Cero Oscuras through Ichigo's chest, seemingly killing him.Orihime is devastated by the attack on Ichigo and tries to heal him. Uryu then tries to attack Ulquiorra to little success. Seeing Uryu losing, Orihime pleads for Ichigo to help. Ichigo slowly begins to move as his hair grows longer, almost resembling a mane and his hands grasp at the ground. Hearing Orihime's desperate cry for help, Ichigo's inner Hollow takes over, resulting in a new transformation. Quickly, Ichigo's new form proves vastly superior to Ulquiorra in every conceivable way and easily defeats him. However, Ichigo has no control behind his desire to protect Orihime and tries to attack Uryu with a Cero but Ulquiorra cuts off one of Ichigo’s new horns, resulting in an explosion. Ichigo's mask then breaks off entirely and he falls back down to the ground. Spiritual power gathers and enters the hole in Ichigo's chest healing him completely.
After recovering slightly from his battle, Ichigo jumps off of the dome and manages to save Rukia before she falls. Ichigo then teases Yammy and manages to stop his cero. Yammy attacks but Ichigo manages to dodge along with Rukia. He tells Rukia he will take care of things. Ichigo runs causing Yammy to follow and get away from his friends. He dons his new mask and slams Yammy to the ground.
Ichigo notes that his mask is very heavy. Yammy recovers and fires off a barrage of Bala and explains his rank to Ichigo. Ichigo cuts through the Bala and taunts Yammy once more. Ichigo tries to summon his mask again, but is unable to. While distracted by this event, Yammy grabs Ichigo. However, before Yammy can continue his attack against Ichigo, he is blindsided by a Sōkatsui spell. Before he is able to retaliate, one of his appendages is cut off as well; Byakuya Kuchiki and Kenpachi Zaraki have arrived. Kenpachi scares off Ichigo so he won't get in the way of his foe as he fights off the Cero Espada. Ichigo is concerned but Byakuya reminds him that Karakura Town is his duty. Mayuri Kurotsuchi approaches Ichigo and opens a Garganta. Retsu Unohana volunteers to accompany Ichigo on his way back and the two head off while Byakuya and Kenpachi fight Yammy. On their way through, Unohana tells him how Aizen's Shikai works and that he is the only one able to defeat him due to having not seen it. She informs him that he must not look at Aizen's Shikai, no matter what. Ichigo then says he will defeat Aizen.
As they continued their path, Unohana decides to take the lead to produce a sturdier path to run on. Unohana says Ichigo’s skills are not polished enough but Ichigo insists that if he was at full strength, he could produce a much more solid path. After explaining how the damage to his Bankai shihakusho’s condition gives a clear example of how much spiritual energy he has left, Unohana was awe struck to discover just how great Ichigo’s reiatsu is. Realizing Ichigo’s potential power, Unohana offers to replenish his energy along the way. He jumps out of the Garganta and tries to end Aizen in one blow but is blocked by a barrier. Ichigo thinks he should have used his Hollowfication but Aizen, guessing his thoughts says that it would not work and invites him to try.
Ichigo tries attacking with his mask but Aizen moves behind him. Ichigo tries to back away but Aizen tells Ichigo that distance Is meaningless between them. Aizen questions why Ichigo is fighting him when he does not hate him. His comrades are all alive so he has no reason to fight. Ichigo begins to waiver but Sajin Komamura appears beside him and tells Ichigo not to be taken in by Aizen's provocation. He tells that the Soul Reapers and Visored will not let him see Aizen’s Shikai as they all gather around him. Ichigo is reluctant to receive help but Shinji says the battle is everyone’s. Komamura thanks Ichigo for his arrival, stating that if he did not arrive when he did, he would have attacked Aizen in anger and would have most likely been cut down. Shinji asks Ichigo why he didn't bring Orihime back with him due to her healing powers but says that since it is combat, Unohana was a better choice. As the Visored leave, Soifon advises Ichigo to watch them fight Aizen and says they are all their to fight for survival. She then leaves to fight Aizen. Ichigo resolves to watch for now.
Ichigo watches the battle closely waiting for an opening on Aizen, but sees him defeat Komamura, Rose, and Love. Ichigo then watches as the captains and Visored rejoice for defeating Aizen. Ichigo, the only one of them not under Kyōka Suigetsu's influence, asks everyone what they are doing as they realize it is not Aizen but Momo Hinamori that has been stabbed. When the remaining captains are cut down, Head Captain Yamamoto engages Aizen in battle. He tells Aizen that the 13 Court Guard Squads will lay down their lives to stop Ichigo but Ichigo should fall back. After Yamamoto uses a Ittō Kasō spell against Aizen, Aizen emerges only to be pounced on by Ichigo using Getsuga Tenshō.
Ichigo’s attack sends Aizen through a building. As Ichigo continues his attack, Aizen blocks his blade and tells him that was his final chance to kill him. Aizen’s wounds heal and Ichigo believes it is High-Speed Regeneration but Aizen says it is merely the instinct of the Hōgyoku to protect its master, revealing that he has implanted it in his chest. Aizen complements Ichigo's Spiritual Pressure, saying that he has grown, just as he had planned. He lists various important moments in the development of Ichigo's power and tells him that all of his battles have taken place exactly as he desired. Ichigo becomes angry at this and Aizen explains that he believed Ichigo to be the perfect subject for his research. Aizen tells Ichigo that all of Ichigo’s victories were by his own doing, prompting Ichigo to attack Aizen again. Aizen blocks and Ichigo tells him that his claims do not match those he made back in Soul Society but Aizen questions what made Ichigo believe he told the truth back then. Aizen claims responsibility for the events that have led Ichigo to this point. Ichigo asks him when he came to the conclusion that he would be a perfect subject for his research. Aizen replies that he has known about Ichigo from the day he was born. He is interrupted by Isshin, who appears on the battlefield between his son and Aizen, stating that Aizen "talks too much".
As Ichigo calls out to him, Isshin turns to his son and head-butts him, knocking him to the ground below. Catching up to his son, Isshin says that he will answer any questions later. Ichigo says that he has no questions and accepts that Isshin must have had a reason to keep things a secret. He then thanks his father and heads off. Ichigo begins a fight against Gin Ichimaru and Gin notes that it has been a while since they fought. Gin asks if Ichigo remembers their fight but Ichigo says no. Ichigo further explains his philosophy on battle. He notes that he could not feel Gin’s heart in his blade when they last fought. Gin states that he had thought Ichigo was an interesting kid, but now thinks he is simply a creepy one. He then notes that is starting to understand why Aizen is interested in Ichigo.
After quizzing Ichigo on the length of his sword, Gin releases his Bankai, Kamishini no Yari. The two fight as Ichigo is able to stop Gin’s attacks and Gin notes that Ichigo is a creepy kid. The two continue exchanging blades and Ichigo begins to worry about Gin’s blade and it’s speed. After his shoulder is grazed, Ichigo states that he has found the true danger of Gin’s blade is the speed and the speech on the length was a distraction. Gin claps and tells Ichigo that even though he has found this it still doesn’t mean he can win After being knocked into a building by Gin's Bankai, Gin says that stopping his blade was a fluke but Ichigo claims it not to be. When the Hōgyoku begins to envelop Aizen, a shocked Ichigo asks Isshin what is occurring. Isshin states he does not know and after the two banter, Aizen is suddenly attacked by Kisuke Urahara. Ichigo watches on as Urahara, Isshin and Yoruichi battle Aizen, but make little progress. As Ichigo watches Aizen go on the offensive against Yoruichi, Gin points out that his back is wide open. He tells Ichigo to relax and the two discuss Aizen and Ichigo’s allies. Once over, Gin presses his Zanpakutō against his chest, and activates his Butō ability, but Ichigo dodges. Before he can react, however, Ichigo realizes that Gin's blade has already fully contracted. Gin then uses Butō Renjin, causing Ichigo to don his Hollow mask.
After Ichigo becomes winded, Gin tells him to run. Gin tells Ichigo that it is hopeless and tells him that he has already realized he cannot win. He moves to finish Ichigo off but he is stopped by Aizen. Ichigo notices Urahara, Yoruichi, and Isshin lying on the ground and when Aizen orders Gin to open a Senkaimon to Soul Society, Ichigo tells him to wait. Aizen turns to him and tells him he will "devour" him after they have destroyed Karakura Town and leaves with Gin to Soul Society. Isshin manages to get back on his feet and tells Ichigo to open a Senkaimon and to get ready to defend the real Karakura Town. Isshin head butts Ichigo to get his attention and says they need to head to Karakura town. Ichigo says there is no way they can beat Aizen with that monstrous reiatsu and Isshin realizes that Ichigo, unlike him and others, can sense Aizen’s reiatsu. He tells Ichigo to come with him but Ichigo does not move. Isshin asks if he is just going to stand there and cry, reminding Ichigo that if he does not fight, Aizen will just destroy everything he cares about anyway. Ichigo resolves to go and asks his father to open the Senkaimon, to which Isshin responds he didn't have to tell him. As they are running through the Dangai, Isshin stops Ichigo and notes that the Janitor is not there. He explains how this benefits them in their situation and says he will teach Ichigo the "final" Getsuga Tenshō.
Confused, Ichigo asks his father what he means. Isshin explains the nature of the Dangai's time distortion. Isshin informs Ichigo that he will suppress the restrictive current and embeds four implements in the Dangai's walls, saying that he believes he can suppress it for around 2,000 hours, or nearly three months. He tells his son to use that time to get information from Zangetsu about the true nature of the "final" Getsuga Tenshō. As Ichigo meditates, Isshin hits him and Ichigo dodges, proving he is not concentrating. Isshin then explains the proper procedure and Ichigo tries it. Sometime later Ichigo receives a slash in his shoulder, indicating to Isshin he "did it". Isshin then warns him to be careful as this time around Zangetsu is going to be on a rampage.
Ichigo awakens in his inner world to find himself underwater and struggles to breathe. He is pulled by an unknown figure and thrown into a building. The figure tells him to calm down and teaches him to breathe. Ichigo questions who he is as Zangetsu is supposed to be there. The figure then pulls out Tensa Zangetsu. He tells Ichigo he is not surprised that he does not recognize this form, as this is the first time Ichigo has ever come to his inner world in Bankai. After attacking Ichigo, he identifies himself as Tensa Zangetsu as he continues his assault. Ichigo tries to stop the fighting so he can ask a question but Tensa Zangetsu already knows what Ichigo wants. He tells Ichigo that he cannot teach him such a technique. Ichigo says he needs it to protect Karakura town but Tensa Zangetsu says that what Ichigo wants to protect and what he wants to protect are different.
Ichigo is surprised that Tensa Zangetsu will not lend him his power and Tensa Zangetsu tells Ichigo to look around and that where there were once hope-filled skyscrapers, there is now a replica of Karakura Town, submerged by constant rain. Tensa Zangetsu explains that this all occurred because Ichigo ceased to walk forward and fell into despair. Tensa Zangetsu appears in front of Ichigo suddenly and pierces his arm into Ichigo's chest. He tells him that he will pull out the source of his despair. Tensa Zangetsu proceeds to rip out the "source of despair" and tosses it behind him. When Ichigo looks at it, he sees his inner Hollow, in a new form that he has not seen. His inner Hollow proceeds to remove his mask, asking Ichigo if he recognizes him. Ichigo is shocked to see his inner Hollow as he believed that he had defeated him but his Hollow reiterates what he said last time. Tensa Zangetsu reveals that this is the form Ichigo took to defeat Ulquiorra Cifer. Zangetsu states Ichigo will fight them together as they begin to fuse. The fused form of Zangetsu and Ichigo's inner Hollow emerges and tells Ichigo that they are two parts of the same being and they are his power and proceeds to attack Ichigo. Meanwhile, outside his inner world, Isshin is exhausted, still trying to suppress the current, as Ichigo starts bleeding more.
As their battle continues, Ichigo says that he will not give up until he learns the Final Getsuga Tenshō. Fused Tensa Zangetsu states that he already told him he has no intention of telling him about it. Ichigo begins to find something strange in the Fused Tensa Zangetsu’s actions. As they continue to fight Ichigo realizes something and discards his broken sword allowing Fused Tensa Zangetsu to run him through with his blade. Fused Tensa Zangetsu congratulates Ichigo on figuring it out and Ichigo notes the blade does not hurt. Ichigo then notices that Fused Tensa Zangetsu is crying and asks him why. He reveals what he wanted to protect all along was Ichigo. Ichigo is confused and questions what he means by this to which Fused Tensa Zangetsu states that its meaning, along with the essence of the technique, should be conveyed to him directly from the blade. Fused Tensa Zangetsu tells him that if Ichigo uses the Final Getsuga Tenshō he will lose his Soul Reaper powers. He then bids Ichigo farewell.
Ichigo later arrives with his unconscious father in Karakura Town in the Soul Society as Rangiku is grieving for Gin. Startled by Ichigo's arrival, Aizen turns his attention towards him. Ichigo, now taller and with longer hair from his time in the Dangai, places Isshin on the ground and thanks him. After searching for the reiatsu of his sisters to make sure they are safe, Ichigo greets his friends and tells them to stay where they are. Aizen tells Ichigo that he is disheartened as he does not sense any reiatsu coming from him. Ichigo interrupts him, saying that he wants to move their fight elsewhere. Stating that Ichigo cannot harm him, Aizen refuses, but Ichigo grabs Aizen and brings him outside Karakura Town, throwing him into the ground. He tells a stunned Aizen that he will finish the fight in an instant.
Aizen states what he believes is the reason for Ichigo’s loss of Spiritual Pressure, believing he has converted it into raw physical power. He then tells Ichigo that he should give up all hope as even with his enhanced physical strength he still is far from being able to reach him. The two clash as a nearby mountain is cut in half. Aizen gloats on this feat. He moves to attack Ichigo head on and the two clash again causing significant devastation to the surrounding area. Aizen comments on their appearances, noting the similarities between each other with the agglutination of their right arms and Zanpakutō's and how it has brought forth a revolutionary discovery. Aizen continues to gloat as Ichigo then stops Aizen’s blade with his bare hand. The attack destroys the land behind Ichigo, who remains in place and uninjured. Ichigo asks Aizen if his feat is really that hard to believe. Ichigo then asks him if he's scared of what is in front of his eyes right now, of something he can't understand.
Aizen recovers and tells Ichigo not to gloat as he will crush Ichigo with Kidō and uses the full incantation of' the "Kurohitsugi". Aizen proudly gloats at the full power of his Kidō. Ichigo waves his hand and destroys the spell. Ichigo begins to explain to a stunned Aizen that he didn't notice that Ichigo is stronger than him currently. Ichigo then notes it was actually him who blew that mountain away with his sword, not Aizen. Ichigo moves in and strikes. Ichigo lands a strike across Aizen’s torso, but Aizen instantly backs. Ichigo tells him that it's a strange feeling when he put distance between them. Ichigo then asks Aizen why he has put distance between them. Aizen becomes enraged and the diamond shape on his forehead opens up and develops into a third, vertical eye as he transforms again. Aizen then states that he now sees that the Hōgyoku will not truly allow him to lag behind a human. Aizen then fires an immensely powerful blast that creates a crater. Ichigo survives the blast but it destroys the upper half of his shikakushō and singes his left arm he used to block the blast. Aizen attacks Ichigo, sending him into the crater. Aizen grabs Ichigo and creates a large circle of spiritual energy. He asks Ichigo if he can hear him as he goes to theorize how at one point Ichigo destroyed the barrier between Soul Reapers and Hollow and became transcendental. He then states that now Ichigo has lost that power and will now be destroyed by a true transcendental being. Aizen continues his gloating as Ichigo asks Aizen if something like that is going to end him as he slashes at his chest forcing Aizen to release him as well as destroying the circle of charged spiritual energy. Ichigo then tells him they should put a stop to this as he is sick and tired of Aizen's logic. Ichigo readies himself and tells Aizen he wants to show him the "Final Getsuga Tenshō".
Ichigo initiates the technique causing Aizen to react in surprise to the new form he has taken. Ichigo explains the technique as Aizen becomes enraged, saying it is not possible for a human to surpass him. Ichigo initiates Mugetsu and darkness falls all over the land. Aizen is surrounded by the darkness and attacked causing him to plummet to the ground below. The darkness dissipates as Ichigo touches down on the ground as the blue bands covering his face begin to crack and peel off. Standing where Aizen crashed, he watches as his opponent’s wounds heal. Aizen begins to revert back to his original form. Ichigo falls to the ground as he realizes his Soul Reaper powers are disappearing. Aizen stands up and tells Ichigo he has lost as his Zanpakutō begins to disintegrate. Aizen tells him that the Hōgyoku has decided he doesn't need a Zanpakutō and likens it to Ichigo becoming one with his Zanpakutō and its powers. He then states that in fact he has risen even higher than Ichigo who has just lost that power. Ichigo then looks on as Aizen is affected by a hidden Kidō spell hidden inside his body by Kisuke Urahara, who appears at the scene to explain the mechanics of the spell. The two converse briefly before Aizen is finally sealed as Ichigo looks away.
Sometime after their battle with Aizen, Ichigo asks Urahara where everyone is and asks if everyone’s memories have been erased. Urahara says no and Ichigo is relieved. Urahara then tells Ichigo that Aizen's seal structure will be dealt with by Central 46. Ichigo asks him if Aizen was really rejected by the Hōgyoku and wonders if Aizen himself wished to lose his power. He explains his theory and thinks maybe Aizen wished to just be a Soul Reaper. Orihime, Uryu, Rukia, Chad, and Renji find Ichigo and he asks them if it's okay for them to be up like this. Rukia says that's her line and Orihime, while crying, says she knew it was him in the distance though Ichigo's longer hair made her think she was wrong at first. Ichigo laughs saying what a face she's making right now and adds that his hair is a mess. Suddenly, he collapses and everyone rushes to help him while he screams in pain.
Ichigo awakes to find himself back home surrounded by Orihime, Rukia, Uryu and Chad who explain that he has been unconscious for almost a month. Rukia explains that Urahara told them he has lost his Soul Reaper powers. Ichigo realizes that they all know now and tells Rukia he will most likely have to give back his substitute Soul Reaper title. Rukia explains that the first stage of loss brings intense pain, loss of consciousness, and a reverse flow of the time that his body experienced in the Dangai. She notes that his hair is shorter but it's not because they cut it. She further explains that he lost his Soul Reaper powers at that point. Then in the second stage, his remaining reiatsu stabilized, he woke up, and in due time, the remainder of his spiritual power will completely disappear. Ichigo, unsurprised by this, says that he expected this to happen, asking if he can go outside. As his energy continues to disappear, Ichigo notes that he can no longer sense spiritual presences anymore and that it is becoming harder to see Rukia. Realizing this is farewell, Rukia mocks Ichigo's sad face, saying she will still be able to see him; Ichigo says that fact doesn't make him happy at all and he wasn't being sad. As she starts to fade before his eyes, Ichigo asks Rukia to give his best regards to everyone, says goodbye, and thanks her.
Zanpakutō Unknown Tales ArcEdit
While sleeping, Ichigo is taken into his inner world by Zangetsu, who asks if Ichigo can hear anything other than his voice. Only able to hear Zangetsu's voice, Ichigo asks what is going on. Zangetsu responds that all is well. Later Ichigo discovers a seriously injured Rukia just arriving in the living world. Later, a Yuki-onna appears and demands for Rukia. After forcing the woman to retreat, he learns from Rukia that she was actually the spirit of her Zanpakutō, Sode no Shirayuki. After Orihime heals her wounds, Rukia explains that a strange man named Muramasa has somehow released all the Zanpakutō spirits in Soul Society from their ties with the Soul Reapers and had them throw Soul Society into chaos. After discovering Rukia has gone back to Soul Society, Ichigo decides to follow her.
In Soul Society, Ichigo briefly fights Sode no Shirayuki to protect Rukia, but Rukia manages to bind the Zanpakutō spirit and herself together with Kidō. Muramasa arrives and ends the battle, reminding Ichigo that Zanpakutō are more than just a source of power for Soul Reapers in the form of swords. They have a life and will of their own. Convinced that all Soul Reapers mistreated their Zanpakutō, Muramasa stated his goal was to “free” all of them from their control of Soul Reapers. Muramasa then removed Zangetsu’s spirit from Ichigo’s being, who quickly attacks Ichigo. Being hesitant to fight his partner, Zangetsu quickly overpowers Ichigo. Taking advantage of Zangetsu's power and influence leaving Ichigo, Ichigo's inner Hollow took over the battle. While Muramasa was confused, Zangetsu explained that Ichigo's soul has another side to it. Hollow Ichigo then quickly defeats Zangetsu and then forced Muramasa back as well. Before the outcome could be decided, Ichigo regained control and returned to normal, passing out in the process.
Ichigo later awakes within his inner world, where he finds Muramasa, who wishes to learn about Ichigo’s unique powers. Muramasa uses his powers to forcibly draw out Ichigo’s inner Hollow and tries to gain control of Hollow Ichigo, only to be surprised from a sudden attack. After a skirmish, it soon becomes clear that Hollow Ichigo is too powerful for Muramasa to fight directly, instead relying on his powers to bind him. After finally seeing through Muramasa’s invisible power, Ichigo saves his Hollow half, surprising both spirits. He then unleashes a huge surge of spiritual energy to force Muramasa out of his body, greatly shocking the rogue Zanpakutō.
Outside, Zangetsu appears again, unleashing his Bankai. Ichigo’s inner Hollow calls to him, reminding Ichigo that he cannot access his Zanpakutō’s true power because it resides with Zangetsu. Hollow Ichigo offers instead to lend him his power, as long as Ichigo agrees not to seal him within the mask. After an initial struggle against Zangetsu, Ichigo asks why Zangetsu wants to fight so badly, who responds that his desire is to see how strong Ichigo can really become and if it is great enough to defeat him. Deciding to honor Zangetsu’s wish, Ichigo his inner Hollow’s power is able to defeat Zangetsu. Soon afterwards, Ichigo turned his attention to Muramasa, began coughing very sickly and became transparent, prompting him to teleport away. Zangetsu then appears again, assuring Ichigo he has returned to his normal self. Zangetsu explains that Muramasa's power is to forcibly unleash a being's deepest instincts, and then warp them to make the target care only about those desires, regardless of the consequences.
Ichigo then reports his new findings to the Soul Reaper captains. Afterwards, he is joined by Ikkaku who also wants to fight his Zanpakutō. Together, they find Hozukimaru and Gegetsuburi. While they are able to catch Gegetsuburi, Hozukimaru escapes, to which Ichigo follows. To his shock, Ichigo's pursuit is seemingly stopped by Byakuya who quickly disappears. While trying to find Byakuya, Ichigo is confronted by Tobiume and Haineko, who attempt to fight him, but the battle quickly taken over by Rangiku Matsumoto and Momo Hinamori. Later Ichigo is ambushed by Hyorinmaru, who attempts to fight Ichigo. However, once Ichigo releases his Bankai, Hyorinmaru decides to withdraw, revealing that he is searching for his master and has no memory of either his master or his own name. Before he is able to leave, Toshiro Hitsugaya arrives. Hitsugaya explains to Hyorinmaru that "Hyorinmaru" is his name and that Hitsugaya himself is his master. However, Hyorinmaru does not believe him, which leads to the two of them fighting each other. Hitsugaya eventually manages to convince Hyorinmaru to return to him.
Ichigo decides to let Hitsugaya rest and continues to look for Byakuya until he runs into Rangiku and Momo who have already defeated their Zanpakutō spirits. Muramasa appears at their location through a Garganta. Muramasa states that he believes him and Ichigo are connected. Ichigo proceeds to fight him, but Muramasa, who is not used to his "new" body, is put at a disadvantage. Senbonzakura then intervenes, fighting Ichigo in Muramasa's place and activates his Bankai. Ichigo, having already fought Byakuya's Bankai in the past, is able to hold his own against Senbonzakura, eventually overpowering the spirit and cracking its mask in the process. Senbonzakura tries to fight back in retaliation, but is stopped by Byakuya. Ichigo is surprised to see Byakuya again, who quickly attacks him with a Kidō spell. Ichigo questions Byakuya's actions and Byakuya explains that, like the Zanpakutō spirits, he is following his own inner desires: to protect his pride. He then retreats, along with Muramasa and Senbonzakura, the latter using his technique to cover their escape.
Ichigo returns and informs the others of Byakuya's betrayal, much to their dismay. Renji even gets angry with Ichigo, refusing to believe that Byakuya has betrayed them. Later that night, Ichigo senses Renji and Rukia's distress and rushes to help them. He arrives with Soifon and some others to combat the numerous Zanpakutō spirits who had surrounded Renji and Rukia. Ichigo squares off with Senbonzakura again, while Renji holds off Byakuya. When Izuru falls prey to Wabisuke's power, Ichigo frantically tries to come to Izuru's aid. Suddenly, Kenpachi Zaraki makes a dramatic entrance with great delight. After overpowering Senbonzakura, Ichigo quickly rushed to Byakuya and Kenpachi’s battle. While distracted by facing Byakuya, Senbonzakura reappeared and launched Ichigo into Ashisogi Jizo’s poison mist. Unable to react in time, Ichigo was poisoned and soon after collapsed. Before Ashisogi Jizo could take Ichigo’s unconscious body, Yachiru chased it away. Upon awakening, he is treated by Squad 4 members. Soon afterwards, Yoruichi appeared with knowledge on the whereabouts of Yamamoto.
Yoruichi leads them to an underground network of caves, prompting the team to split up. Ichigo goes with Yoruichi. After voicing Ichigo concerns about Byakuya, the two are attacked by Haineko and Tobiume. Yoruichi quickly over-powers them and tells Ichigo to go on ahead. Ichigo later encounters Minazuki, who retreats from him. Ichigo pursues the Zanpakutō, but loses track of it. Ichigo is then attacked by Kazeshini. After a short struggle, Ichigo quickly defeats and strikes down the Zanpakutō, apologizing to Shuhei Hisagi. Ichigo soon finds Yamamoto inside a barrier. Before Ichigo can attempt to free Yamamoto, Muramasa appears, forcing Ichigo to do battle. Muramasa repeatedly insisted that Ichigo fights with full force, to which Ichigo eventually agrees and dons his Hollow mask. He then launches his strongest Getsuga Tenshō, but rather then dodging or deflecting it, Muramasa adds his own power to the blast and directs it towards Yamamoto’s barrier, causing it to shatter. Yamamoto quickly awakens, and voices his dread at the turn of events. It is then revealed that the barrier Yamamoto was in was not Muramasa’s doing, but rather Yamamoto’s in an attempt to keep the rogue Zanpakutō entering his inner world. Seeing Ichigo’s potential power, Muramasa tricked Ichigo to unleashing Hollow form Getsuga Tenshō, so Muramasa could finally gain access to Yamamoto's inner world and liberate Ryujin Jakka. Quickly, Muramasa uses his newest servant to cover his escape and trap Ichigo and the Soul Reapers.
Upon learning Muramasa's intention to free his former master, who is sealed in Karakura Town, Ichigo feels that it is his fault that the town is in danger. After several failed attempts to escape, Ichigo dons his Visored mask and tries once again. However, he is wrapped up in Ryujin Jakka's flames. He is freed by the arrival of Captain Hitsugaya. Yamamoto tells Ichigo to go stop Muramasa. Hitsugaya and his Zanpakutō spirit activate their Bankai and freeze Ryujin Jakka's flames for long enough to allow Ichigo to escape. Upon arriving in the world of the living, Ichigo immediately confronts Muramasa. However, he is too late as Muramasa releases the seal on his master's coffin. Upon witnessing the release of Koga's seal, Ichigo and Rukia are surprised to sense how much spiritual energy Koga has after being sealed for such an extensive amount of time. However, their surprise turns into shock upon witnessing Koga stab Muramasa. After revealing his motive for doing so, they watch on as Koga prepares to deliver the final blow upon Muramasa, but he is stop by the timely arrival of Byakuya.
Senbonzakura then appears, revealing that he had only been pretending to still be under Muramasa's control, as Byakuya had freed him during their first encounter, and explains Byakuya's betrayal of Soul Society was an act. Byakuya acted as he did in the quest of finding and destroying Koga to erase the dark stain on the Kuchiki clan's history. When Koga finalizes his rejection of Muramasa by destroying his sword, the shock proves too painful for Muramasa to deal with, causing his powers go out of control and release all the Hollows he absorbed. Ichigo, understanding that Byakuya was trying to restore his family's honor, tells Byakuya to forget about the Hollows and handle Koga, while he deals with the Hollows.
As the amount of Hollows keeps increasing, Muramasa's energy and despair causes his body to collapse into itself, becoming a vortex that sucks all nearby Hollows into him, causing him to merge with them and become a Hollow himself. The Hollow Muramasa quickly attacks Ichigo and his friends. Ichigo initially defeats Muramasa, but Muramasa undergoes another transformation. He becomes a huge dome-like creature that engulfs Ichigo as it grows. Ichigo finds himself inside Koga's inner world, where he battles Muramasa. As the realm collapses around them, the Zanpakutō spirit uses his powers to immobilize Ichigo. Rubble falling into the water disrupts his ability, however, allowing Ichigo to come up with a strategy to counter his power. However, Muramasa then uses his illusionary powers to confuse Ichigo. Zangetsu offers his assistance, acting as Ichigo's eyes. Working together, they manage to defeat the ailing Muramasa and escape from the dome. After Muramasa dies, Byakuya thanks Ichigo for his efforts.
Beast Swords ArcEdit
In the Human World, Ichigo encounters a beast Sword searching for his master, but the Beast Sword escapes. Squad 10 captain and lieutenant, Toshiro Hitsugaya and Rangiku Matsumoto and their respective Zanpakutō, Haineko and Hyorinmaru arrive in the Human World to find the Beast Sword. Haineko attempts to flirt with him by showing photos of her and Rangiku, but Ichigo brushes it off, saying he is not interested. Hitsugaya fills in Ichigo and Urahara about the current situation in Soul Society. After the Beast Sword is absorbed by a Hollow and the two fuse together, Ichigo saves Haineko from it and battles the creature. He is told by Zangetsu that the creature is the same Beast Sword from before. Ichigo is thrown back by a powerful Cero and Hitsugaya defeats it with his Shikai.
Zabimaru accompanies Renji Abarai to the Human World to deal with the Beast Sword problem. Zabimaru decide to remove their chains and split up to increase their numbers. The Hebi half becomes too fascinated by the living world to pay attention to their mission. He meets Yuzu and Karin Kurosaki. The twins immediately try to befriend Hebi, who stubbornly continues to act indifferent as he continues to try and convince himself that he is better off alone. Karin, however, disagrees with Hebi's view. As they bring him to their house, Hebi begins warming up to the girls. However, when Ichigo arrives and tells him that Renji is looking for him, Hebi returns to his bratty self and leaves.
13 Court Guard Squads Invading Army ArcEdit
One month has passed since the defeat of Aizen. Ichigo continues his duties as a Substitute Soul Reaper, with Rukia remaining in Karakura Town. After dealing with another Hollow attack, Ichigo and Rukia return home to find that Kon has brought a sleeping, naked girl to the house, greatly angering Ichigo. While Kon tries to explain himself, Rukia notes that she cannot sense the girl's existence and that the location of the Senkaimon they noticed earlier is where Kon found the girl. Concerned by this, Rukia sends a report to Soul Society. New orders are then received for Rukia to appear before the SRDI with Ichigo. When Rukia tries to contact Soul Society again, she is unable to.
When they go to Urahara for help, Urahara reveals that Yoruichi went to Soul Society three days ago and has not been heard from since, despite her intending to return immediately. He advises Ichigo against traveling due to his condition. He reminds Ichigo that while his power is currently stable, they will eventually fade away and that overexerting himself will only quicken the loss of his powers. While passing through the Dangai, Ichigo and Rukia are chased by the regenerated Janitor, surprising them. As they run, Ichigo drops his Substitute Soul Reaper Badge. Ichigo activates his Bankai to escape the Janitor with Rukia. Upon arriving in Soul Society, Ichigo feels faint and falls to the ground. There, he is confronted by Hitsugaya, who attempts to arrest him as a material witness. Other Soul Reapers arrive and surround him.
Whilst Ichigo is sitting in his prison cell, he wonders why the Soul Reapers arrested him. Rukia sneaks over to his cell, carrying Zangetsu on her back. They leave the cell and upon Rukia's recommendation, they flee towards Seireitei's Hakuto Gate. Ichigo tells her that if he explains himself, everyone will understand. Rukia informs him of the current situation, as Renji and Ikkaku come across their location. They proceed to fight, as both Ichigo and Rukia note that their threats are serious. However, their fight is brought to a close by Yoruichi, who seals Renji and Ikkaku with Kidō.
The three escape and at Yoruichi's hideout, Ichigo thanks her for saving their lives. Ichigo comments upon the strange behavior of Renji and Ikkaku. Yoruichi states that they weren't the real Renji and Ikkaku, much to his surprise. She explains that they were Reigai, the Soul Society variant of a Gigai. She tells Ichigo that she has no idea how many Reigai have infiltrated the 13 Court Guard Squads, but speculates that the Squadd 12's Department of Research and Development may have something to do with it. Ichigo then runs off to Squad 12's barracks alongside Rukia, as they come across specific information regarding Nozomi Kujo, who was present in the Dangai.
Yoruichi then returns having dealt with her pursuers, who despite protests from both Rukia and Ichigo decides that they should breakthrough the Senkaimon head-on. Upon arriving at the Senkaimon’s location they discover the area being guarded by the Reigai copies of a multitude of high-level Soul Reapers, including several captains. Choosing to attack them directly Ichigo and the others charge in, fighting several Reigai each, only to reveal to have been using an invention of Urahara’s to distract the Reigai long enough for them to make it through the Senkaimon. Shattering the gate with a Getsuga Tenshō, they almost make it through only for Yoruichi to be flung back by an attack from the Reigai of Byakuya Kuchiki. Choosing to sacrifice herself to let Ichigo and Rukia make it back to the Living World, Yoruichi makes a stand against all the Reigai giving the others time to escape.
Ichigo then returns to the Human World in time to save Orihime from Kageroza Inaba’s attack, who reveals himself as the mastermind behind the entire incident. Restless, Ichigo attacks the man for harming his friends, only to be beaten through a nearby wall and continue the fight within an industrial building. Kageroza proves himself capable of fighting Ichigo on even terms despite the latter already using Bankai. While initially worried about pushing himself in his current condition, Kageroza chides him to use his true power, which leads to Ichigo bringing out his hollow mask in an attempt to overpower his opponent. Doing so causes his unstable reiatsu to fluctuate again but quickly appears to gain the upper hand, outpacing Kageroza with speed and strength. It isn’t until Kageroza effortlessly deflects a powerful Getsuga Tenshō that it becomes clear that they are dealing with somebody of immense power. Launching his counterattack, Kageroza proceeds to soundlessly beat Ichigo to the ground, who is only saved by the timely arrival of the real members of the 13 Court Guard Squads. Deciding it was time to retreat, Kageroza leaves with a warning to Ichigo about coming back to take control of the Living World.
Later on it is revealed that all the 13 Court Guard Squads members now trapped in the Living World are using Ichigo’s bedroom as a temporary headquarters, from where they learn from Mayuri Kurotsuchi what Kageroza’s role in the Department of Research and Development was and what Nozomi’s role in recent events may be. Ichigo then takes part in the group who defend Nozomi and Kon from the attacks of the Reigai copy of Rangiku Matsumoto. After learning that Nozomi has run away again Ichigo is a part of the group searching for her, however he is unable to join in any of the fights as he was lacking access to his Substitute Soul Reaper Badge or Kon at the time. He then splits up from the group to find Nozomi. He finds her attempting to seal herself away permanently in a natural Precipice World only to be stopped by several Reigai. Despite being outnumbered and his powers continuing to diminish, Ichigo refuses to let them take Nozomi. Ultimately, he is forced to use his Bankai and destroy them. After explaining his reasons for helping Nozomi, he convinces her to abandon her plans of running.
After a run in with the reigai of Rangiku, Ichigo walks with Kon and Nozomi to the Urahara Shop. Orihime greets Ichigo and he inquires as to the state of the injured Soul Reapers. Tessai says they are inside and being treated. Ichigo says that that is good and asks Tessai to take a look at Nozomi as well. Kon touches Nozomi's leg and she kicks him away, calling him a pervert. Ichigo asks her what she is doing and she says that all guys are alike, they are all perverts. Ichigo hastily grabs Kon and holds him up, saying not to put him with Kon. Kon angrily kicks Ichigo in the face and says the same goes for him. The two fight for a few moments, insulting and hitting each other before Ichigo begins to get weak and falls back. Orihime catches him and says she will treat him. Ichigo says it is nothing but Kenpachi appears and kicks him away, proving it to be more than nothing. Ichigo angrily yells at Kenpachi, saying it was a sneak attack from behind and that anyone would be sent flying. He then says he thought that Kenpachi had left for Soul Society and Kenpachi responds that he is leaving now. Ichigo says he will go too but Kenpachi tells him to stay. Ichigo then tells Kenpachi not to die and Yachiru appears, saying Kenpachi will be fine and there is no way he will get killed. Kenpachi tells Ichigo that until they fight again, he will not die. Ichigo then tells him to just go.
After Urahara reports that the captains have made it safely to Soul Society, Ichigo pleads with Urahara to send him to Soul Society. Kon asks what he is doing and Ichigo says that he cannot sit idle. Kon tells him to leave it to the others and points out the injured Soul Reapers, saying there is almost no one left that can put up a decent fight. Kon says that Ichigo swore to protect Nozomi. Orihime brings up that his powers are fading and should not be stressed. Kon agrees and urges him to stay. Nozomi gets up and asks why everyone is trying to protect her. Ichigo says he does not really know. He says at first it was more so about protecting his friends by keeping Kageroza from attacking her but she tried to take everything on by herself and he can't let her do that. He reassures her and says that if she does not want to tell, that is fine but she knew something bad would happen if Kageroza caught her and tells her that she is not alone. After snapping Nozomi out of a trance, Ichigo repeats that he does not know why he is protecting her but adds that he heard a voice saying he had to. Nozomi worriedly asks if he is an idiot but Ichigo gets angry and says that that is no way to talk to a person. She says she does not hear a voice and he says that that is not the point. Nozomi begins to laugh and says he is an idiot after all. Nozomi then heals Ichigo with Kidō so as to restore some of his Spiritual Pressure.
After she finishes healing him, she collapses onto Kon. Ichigo helps her up and then asks once more to let him go to Soul Society. He says it is only a matter of time until he loses his Spiritual Pressure completely so it would be best if he took the fight to them. Kon tries to stop Ichigo again but no one backs him up. Knowing there is no stopping him, Kon tells Ichigo to defeat Kageroza and come back or he will never forgive him. Urahara agrees to it but says this entry will be much riskier than his first. Urahara takes Ichigo down to the Senkaimon and he reassures Nozomi that everyone will protect her. He tells Kon to look after her as well and he happily agrees. Ichigo tells Nozomi to think of Kon as an over sized amulet and Kon gets angry. Urahara tells Ichigo to be careful and Kon tells him to hurry up and leave. Nozomi then tells Ichigo to come back safely. He says he will and leaves through the Senkaimon.
Having made it through the Dangai, Ichigo arrives in Soul Society but notices that he is not where he was supposed to be. Looking up, he sees Kageroza, who says he summoned Ichigo there by tweaking the Dangai a bit. Ichigo asks why and Kageroza just laughs. Ichigo launches into an attack against Kageroza who easily blocks. Ichigo questions Kageroza on many things before Kageroza backs off and says he will answer the first question. He says he summoned Ichigo there to erase his existence. Ichigo asks why and Kageroza just smiles again. Ichigo attacks once more but Kageroza uses his Shikai ability to suddenly appear behind Ichigo. Ichigo is then enveloped in a circling green and yellow portal and Kageroza says he that Ichigo should not exist as he is not human, nor is he is pure Soul Reaper or Hollow. He is an anomaly and Kageroza says he cannot create a reigai of him from pure Spiritual Pressure so he is getting rid of a variable. Kageroza wipes his blade with a cloth as Ichigo is swallowed by the portal and trapped in the Dangai.
After being transported into the Dangai, Ichigo is caught off guard by the Janitor and falls is overrun by it. He awakens in a strange place, floating on his back and surrounded in purple light. A bright light appears above him and a mysterious figure reaches for him. Ichigo reaches up to grab his hand but is too far away. Later, Kisuke Urahara and Renji receive notification of Ichigo's reiatsu within the Dangai, proceeding to rescue him. As Urahara comes across Ichigo, he notices wispy reiatsu surrounding him, realizing that it is fragments of illegal Mod Soul data. As he wakes up in the Urahara Shop, he screams out, asking who a person is. However, he finds his friends sitting before him instead of the mysterious figure from the Dangai. Nozomi becomes angry with him, saying he was supposed to defeat Inaba. He says she should not be so tough on him and at least he made it back alright. Seeing Renji, he asks if it was he who rescued him from the Dangai but Renji says no, prompting Ichigo to wonder who it could have been. Urahara asks if he was swallowed and he confirms this. Urahara says that what Ichigo did is impossible and says he will find out how it happened. As Urahara states that Kageroza was after information about mod souls, Rukia explains using her drawings and Ichigo says it has been a while since she ruined things like that.
Ichigo tells his family about Nozomi, saying that Rukia is the only relative she has left following the break up of her family. After Isshin agrees to let her stay, Rukia receives an order about a Hollow on her Denreishinki. Ichigo tells Nozomi to stay and watch TV. He switches with Kon and they leave. Ichigo defeats the Hollow. Ikkaku and Yumichika ask him how Nozomi is doing. Ichigo tells them that she seemed a bit tired. Ichigo returns home to find that Kon is not there. He waits impatiently for him in his Soul Reaper form. When Kon arrives, Ichigo asks him to swap back to their normal bodies, but the dejected Kon walks off without changing forms.
While out shopping, Ichigo senses a Hollow and rushes off to fight it. However, without Rukia or Kon to transform him into his Soul Reaper form, he has to evade the Hollow until Uryu kills it. Ichigo thanks him and invites him for dinner, saying that Kon needs to be cheered up. Later, Ichigo talks with Renji, Ikkaku and Yumichika, who want to question Nozomi. They comment that they know too little about her. Ichigo asks them if it is not enough that he protects her. He is told that the 13 Court Guard Squad captains were defeated by Kageroza's invasion force, which they will now have to face in Karakura Town. Ichigo tells them that as long as someone is born into the world, they have a right to continue existing.
In Ichigo's room, Ichigo, his friends and the Soul Reapers are updated on the situation. As Nozomi's powers are debated, Ichigo suggests that if her Zanpakutō is dormant, then they should awaken it. Along with, Rukia, Uryu and Sado, Ichigo spars with Nozomi. While fighting her, Ichigo reflects upon the training he received from Urahara, telling himself that they are doing the right thing. With Nozomi panting, Ichigo suggests that they take a break, which Nozomi reluctantly agrees to. As the group resumes the training, they notice a powerful Spiritual Pressure and Renji appears to tell them that the enemy is attacking. Nozomi tells Ichigo to continue the training, which they do, with her Zanpakutō absorbing reiatsu from him. Yumichika suggests that he hit her with a much stronger amount of reiatsu, saying that they are both unintentionally holding back. He instructs Ichigo to attack her with real power, filled with killing intent. Nozomi agrees and Ichigo ignores Kon's pleas, instead asking her if she is certain about this, which she confirms. The group begin another round of attacks against Nozomi and Ichigo activates his Bankai, but has difficulty seeing. He fires a Getsuga Tenshō at Nozomi, who attempts to block it, successfully releasing her Zanpakutō's Shikai in the process. Confident that she could help now, Nozomi rushed off to help the others, forcing Ichigo to run after her.
Ichigo catches up in time to catch an exhausted Nozomi after seemingly defeating the Reigai Kenpachi. As Nozomi explains the nature of her Zanpakutō's Spiritual Pressure-absorbing powers, Reigai Kenpachi emerges unfazed and excited. Yumichika volunteers himself as a distraction by engaging the powerful reigai while Ichigo and Nozomi retreat with an injured Ikkaku. Ichigo complies but Nozomi runs off, determined to help the others fight. After bringing Ikkaku to Orihime to heal, Ichigo finds Nozomi and convinces her to retreat. They are soon found by reigais, having easily pushed back or defeated their respective opponents. Ichigo fights of Reigai Kenpachi, but his fluctuating Spiritual Pressure continues to falter, making it difficult to keep up with his opponent. Realizing they are at a disadvantage, it is agreed to rely on Nozomi's Zanpakutō. Ichigo, his friends, and the Soul Reapers all direct their attacks on her, allowing her to absorb the power. Nozomi then directs all the energy into a powerful blasts that defeats all the reigai. Reigai Byakuya was able to just avoid the blast with his "Danku". Furious, he then launches a "Suren Sokatsui" that knocks out all but Ichigo and Nozomi. Before Reigai Byakuya could launch another attack however, he is struck down by the powerful flames of Yamamoto.
As Ichigo and Rukia introduce Nozomi to Yamamoto and attempt to convince him to accept Nozomi as an ally, the reigai of Kyoraku and Ukitake appear to get Nozomi. Yamamoto tells everyone to stay back, but Nozomi stubbornly refuses and attacks. Knowing she can't beat the two powerful reigai captains, Ichigo joins in the fight. While holding his own, Ichigo's low reserves of energy become obviously clear as Reigai Ukitake mocks him about. While wondering if he should use Bankai or even his "Getsuga Tenshō", he sees that Nozomi is overwhelmed by Reigai Kyoraku, prompting Ichigo to use his Bankai. As the fight continues with no clear side winning, Kageroza appears and tells the reigai to step back while he finishes things. Ichigo warns Yamamoto about Kageroza and his "Raiku" power to copy attacks, but Yamamoto plainly states he is aware of that. While deciding how to handle Kageroza, Nozomi volunteers to act as a decoy. After agreeing to this, Nozomi attacks Kageroza. When finding an opening, Ichigo and Yamamoto launch two attacks from different sides as Kageroza can't negate and copy attacks from multiple angles. Kageroza revealed to have already copied Nozomi's energy-absorbing Shikai power, using it instead to counter their attacks. Having reached his limit, Ichigo collapses and plummets to the ground, narrowly caught by Renji.
After regaining consciousness to find an unconscious Yamamoto, Ichigo joins Renji and Rukia in defending him. Kageroza asks Ichigo why he so stubbornly gets in his way. Ichigo responds that it is because Nozomi doesn't want to go with him. Kageroza explains that it is laughable that they act like they understand Nozomi. Kageroza then claims he knows her better than anyone because the two are actually one in the same; beings created from the Spiritual Pressure of the same Soul Reaper. Refusing to believe these words, Ichigo charges at Kageroza, only to be quickly beaten aside in his weak condition. As Nozomi escapes and is pursued by Kageroza, Ichigo goes off to find her. He finds Kageroza with Nozomi and gathers his remaining strength for a Getsuga Tenshō which annihilates him. Immediately after, Kageroza appears again and explains that his Raiku replicating powers can also create exact copies of living beings, including himself, meaning Ichigo merely defeated a copy. Kageroza then strikes down Ichigo, knocking him out and draining the last of his Spiritual Pressure which causes his uniform to turn white. Kageroza then knocks out Nozomi and teleports away with her.
Roughly half a day later, Ichigo awakes in Urahara's Shop. While healed, he quickly realizes that he has lost his powers. While going for a walk to clear his mind, he meets up with his friends, (including Renji and Rukia in their Gigai). Ichigo attempts to put on a calm demeanor about his situation, but they can see his pain. Back at Urahara's Shop, while deciding the best course to take, Uryu voices his curiosity as to why Kageroza would constantly try to kill Ichigo first. Urahara deduces that it is because he is unable to produce a Reigai with Hollow powers and as such found Ichigo a dangerous variable. As Ichigo remembers how Kageroza would even use the Janitor repeatedly on him, this gives Urahara the idea that by obtaining Ichigo's remaining reishi swallowed by the Janitor, they can restore his powers.Urahara explains that because Ichigo has no Spiritual Pressure now, he can move freely through the Dangai. Determined to rejoin the fight, Ichigo agrees to the idea. Before entering the Dangai, he is given a Spiritual Energy collecting device by Urahara. Inside the Dangai, the Janitor eventually appears and swallows Ichigo. After some resistance from the Janitor as it tries to force Ichigo back out, he manages to find and collect his Spiritual Energy. Before leaving, he is surprised to find an unconscious version of himself. While confused, he quickly grabs his other self and escapes the Janitor, only to find that his other self has disappeared. After he returns to the Human World, Ichigo tells the others about his other self. Urahara surmises that the other Ichigo was the him of the past and realizes that its the Ichigo of the present that saved the one from the past during Ichigo's last encounter with the Janitor. Satisfied with the answer, Ichigo wishes to move on with the next stage of restoring his powers.
Urahara brings Ichigo and Kon to the same natural Dangai, Nozomi attempted to use previously. Upon arriving in Soul Society, they sneak in to the Department of Research & Development and find Kageroza's lab. There, Urahara uses the technology Kageroza was seemingly using to create Gikon for his Reigai to begin restoring Ichigo's Spiritual Energy in the form of a Mod Soul, warning Ichigo that it might put a serious strain on his soul. As the process nears completion, a trap in the system is set off, causing it to begin self-destructing. Before the explosion happens, Ichigo ingests the Mod Soul. It successfully restores Ichigo's Spiritual Pressure. However, the process was incomplete, leaving his Spiritual Pressure still very weak and causing his inner Hollow to start growing out of control. While Ichigo fears he might transform again, Urahara strongly believes that Kageroza has another lab and a backup of his research that they can use to stabilize Ichigo. As they leave the building, they are surrounded by several Reigai captains. Urahara offers to fight the them while Ichigo escapes, but Yoruichi arrives with the missing captains.
After explaining how they escaped their last battle with the Reigai, Yoruichi and the captains engage the Reigai to allow Ichigo and the others to escape. However not long after escaping, Ichigo's Hollow begins to act up again and ultimately causes him to faint. Upon awakening, Urahara and Kon insist that he stay behind to be safe. After half-heartedly agreeing, Urahara makes an extra precaution of binding Ichigo with a "Kin" spell. However, Ichigo begins transforming into a Hollow and breaks free from the spell. As he rampages through the area, several Soul Reapers find him and attempt to subdue him, only for Ichigo to easily overwhelm them. As he turns his attention to Reigai Nanao , he then notices a mysterious Soul Reaper behind him.
The mysterious man, Yushima, casually walks past Ichigo. Ichigo, having regained some control, notices that he bares a striking resemblance to both Nozomi and Kageroza before becoming completely controlled again by his inner Hollow. Ichigo then fires a Cero blast at Yushima, who effortlessly dodges it and escapes, causing Reigai Nanao to be incinerated instead. Later, Ichigo finds Yushima again and savagely attacks. Yushima binds him with a "Shitotsu Sansen" spell. After some minor struggling, Ichigo breaks free from it only for Yushima to bind him again with a much stronger "Kin" spell. Yushima then stands over Ichigo, prepared to finish him off, but seems to hesitate. Before he can make a decision, Rukia attacks Yushima and forces him back, followed after by the arrival of Ichigo's other friends. Yushima proceeds to effortlessly defeat Rukia and the others, in the process freeing Ichigo from his restraints. Yushima then moves to kill Rukia, only for Ichigo, still hollowfied, to surprisingly block the attacks with his body.
In that moment, Ichigo sees into Yushima's being, regaining his self-awareness and learns that Nozomi is still alive inside Yushima. Ichigo changes back to normal, but in the process loses his Spiritual Pressure. Yushima, acknowledging his state, contacts his Reigai to bring him medicine to stabilize the fusion. Then, seeing Ichigo as a major threat even with his Spiritual Pressure, decides to finish Ichigo first. Ichigo's friends then step forwards, placing themselves in front of Ichigo. They follow Uryu in a team strategy to restrain Yushima. Yushima counters with a "Hajokuri" spell, giving him the opening to break free and defeat them. Yushima launches his collected reishi as a blast that knocks the other away as it moves to finish Ichigo. Before it hits, Nozomi's essence appears, dispersing the blast and stopping Yushima from moving. Ichigo tries to reach Nozomi, who asks him to kill Yushima with his blade. Ichigo refuses as it will also kill her.
Yushima regains control and knocks Ichigo down. He begins to mock Ichigo for his beliefs of friendship and teamwork, gloating about his Reigai army and his new power that he obtained on his own. Ichigo calls him pathetic in response, noting that it was only thanks to collected Spirit Particles of other Soul Reapers that he could create his army and thanks to Nozomi's power that he obtained his powers; meaning that hasn't Yushima really done anything alone. Once Ichigo says Yushima is a fool to think he can do anything all by himself, Yushima in raging denial shoves Ichigo to the ground. Reigai Nemu then appears with a fusion-stabilizer medicine. As she approaches him, she kicks him back, revealing it to be Kon in the Reigai's body. After Kon explains how Urahara helped make this possible, he gives Ichigo a compete Mod Soul pill of his Spiritual Particles, completely restoring his Soul Reaper powers and manifesting Zangetsu. Ichigo then activates his Bankai.
Yushima scoffs at Ichigo's claiming his powers have been fully restored, but Ichigo attacks strong, pushing Yushima back. As the two begin fighting evenly, Ichigo's friends join in the fight. While they are struck down again, Ichigo finds an opening and surprises Yushima with his Hollow Mask. Unable to absorb Hollow-based Spiritual Particles, Yushima is completely overwhelmed by Ichigo's attack and left battered. Seeing through Yushima's thoughts, Ichigo explains that while his powers aren't fully restored, his attacks are much strong than their last encounters because he refuses to fight with regret from fear of losing his powers. Yushima counters with his displacement technique, appearing behind Ichigo. Ichigo however sees through the attack and catches Yushima's Zanpakutō, restricting Yushima's movements. He then blasts Yushima at point-blank range, severely injuring Yushima.
Exhausted from his still weak Spiritual Pressure, Ichigo finds that Nozomi has taken control again. She begs Ichigo again to finish her and Yushima off, but Ichigo still hesitates. Kon then tells Ichigo to strike for her Soul Chain to break the fusion. Ichigo attacks, but Yushima regains control and blocks. Refusing to admit defeat, Yushima activates his Renzan Hajokuri technique to destroy all of Soul Society. Ichigo is unable to break through the technique, but is aided surprisingly by the Reigai, as they always wanted to just protect Soul Society in their own way. The Reigai are able to destroy the technique, but are destroyed as well in the process.
As Ichigo's Spiritual Pressure again begins weakening and deactivates his Bankai, Yushima emerges, battered and barely able to stand. He demands to know why he can't defeat Ichigo. Finally beginning to understand the concept of friendship, Yushima attacks madly at Ichigo, furious that his believes are wrong and because Ichigo represents everything Yushima detests. Despite his relentless attacks, Ichigo defeats him, finally causing the fusion to end and restore Nozomi and Kageroza. After Kageroza dies, Nozomi begins vanishing as well as she earlier managed to stab Yushima's body with a Spiritual Particle blade. Nozomi is not upset about dying as she was not alone in the end thanks to her friends. Later, Ichigo is given back his Subsitute Soul Reaper badge and returns home with his friends.
The Lost Subsitute Soul Reaper ArcEditSeventeen months after Ichigo defeats Aizen, Ichigo, now a high school senior, wakes up for school and eats breakfast with his sisters, who are about to enter middle school. Ichigo recalls his loss of powers, and that Chad and Orihime had already told the others while he was asleep, who believed them immediately. He also notes that since his own spiritual power disappeared, Karin's has been getting stronger, and since Karin has not asked him about it, Ichigo figures that she is dealing with it well.
He then goes to school with Mizuiro. They soon meet up with Keigo, who is wrestled to the ground by Ichigo. Mizuiro decides to move ahead on his own while Ichigo is wrestling Keigo. Ichigo also meets up with Tatsuki, who asks if he brought her video game back to her. As Ichigo looks for it in his bag, he finds his Substitute Soul Reaper Badge, noting that its ability to remain invisible to Humans without spiritual power is gone, as well as its Hollow detection abilities and the ability to force Ichigo out of his Human body. He sees it as only remaining proof that he was ever a Soul Reaper. He then notices Uryu running out of the classroom, claiming he's going to the nurse's office. Ichigo is aware that Uryu began taking over the Hollow extermination he used to cover, stating that it was probably better for Uryu to handle it than Zennosuke Kurumadani.
At lunch, Keigo asks Ichigo if he thought about his career after high school, to which Ichigo asks if it's too early to think about that, indicating that he has not. Keigo tells him that his grades were good when he first started high school, but started slipping during the second half of the first year. Ichigo reminds him that he was still covering his Substitute Soul Reaper duties, and still managed to do pretty decently in school despite his duties. Keigo then wonders out loud what Rukia is up to. Ichigo asks why Keigo brought her up, to which he answers that he thinks it would be nice if she came back once in awhile. Ichigo responds that she's not a representative of Karakura Town, so it is normal for her not to come. Keigo asks Ichigo if he is lonely. Ichigo answers that he is fine with the way things are; he is fine with the peace he's getting to live with for the rest of his life. Keigo agrees with Ichigo's statement, exclaiming that he does not want to go through an experience like Aizen again. After his conversation with Keigo, Ichigo thinks to himself that he never felt superior to other because of his ability to see ghosts, nor has he ever thought to make a living from his unusual ability; he only dreamed of a normal life where he could not see them, and now he is finally living that dream.
As he walks home with Mizuiro and Keigo, he notices someone stealing another person's bag. Ichigo runs up to the thief and punches him in the face, knocking him down. The thief pulls out a knife and attempts to stab Ichigo with it, but Ichigo easily catches his arm and knocks him out, reflecting as he does so that he still has the body and reflexes of someone trained to fight and win. The owner of the bag thanks Ichigo for recovering it and tells him that he is pretty good at fighting. He offers to treat Ichigo to ramen, but Ichigo declines and asks for the man to keep Ichigo's actions a secret. The man agrees and says that it is too bad.
One day when Ichigo is dreaming, he sees silhouettes of Renji Abarai, and Rukia Kuchiki, telling him to wake up. As he wakes up, he hears Isshin's voice, also telling him to wake up. His father pounces on him, but Ichigo dodges, sending Isshin through the open window. His father questions him about the dodging and the risk of him falling, but Ichigo tells him that he would go to Soul Society if he died, prompting Isshin to state that he has finally become able to talk about it. The annoyed Ichigo blames his father for him having weird dreams recently and demands his father to apologize to him. When Isshin asks about his dreams, Ichigo tells him that after the moment he mentioned them, he had already forgotten them.
In Karakura High School, while negotiating with a number of clubs over renting his services to them, Ichigo rejects an offer of 5,000 yen a week as ridiculous. When Satoda requests that he join the soccer club, Ichigo inquires about the length of time and price. When he is asked to be their goalkeeper, states that Chad would be a better fit for the position. Satoda answers that Chad is already working on a better paid job. When Ichigo accepts Satoda's offer, Keigo asks him about the negotiated price but Ichigo says it is a secret and he will start today. As Ichigo prepares for practice in at the school, Tatsuki asks him what happened to basketball. Ichigo replies that his job with them ended a week ago and asks her about her job. Tatsuki says she is working now on a part-time job as an assistant dojo instructor. Ichigo states that he is relieved that he no longer goes to the dojo as he would hate it if he had to call her sensei. As the annoyed Tatsuki threatens him, Orihime calls to them and slides down a water pipe to reach them. Tatsuki hits Orihime's head and scolds her. Ichigo tries to calm Tatsuki down, saying that she should not scold Orihime as she is not hurt, but Tatsuki screams to him that he must not interfere on how she lectures Orihime on her mistakes. Ichigo screams back that she must not be that cruel to her. Orihime interrupts the row and soon Tatsuki leaves for work. When Ichigo tells her to work hard, Tatsuki replies that he should call in to his boss, Ikumi Unagiya. She warns that the last time he didn't call in to work, he was scolded by her. Tatsuki further tells him that she will not come to save him this time.
Ichigo tosses his gloves to Satoda and rushes out to call his boss. When Ichigo tells Ikumi that he will be off for another week, she angrily scolds him and asks him if he thinks that everything will be okay if he just apologizes for his actions. She demands that Ichigo must come immediately or else he will be fired, but Ichigo calmly responds that it seems that he has no choice but to be fired. Ikumi tries to take her words back but Ichigo states that he will not go back anymore and gives his last apologies and thanks to her. As he hangs up his phone, a gang arrives at the school looking for him. When Ichigo hears them shouting for him and looks at what is going on, he sees the thief that he had previously beaten up. When the gang leader demands again for Ichigo, Uryu confronts the group and attacks a gang member, prompting Ichigo to rush to him to prevent the incident from worsening.As Ichigo and Uryu fight the gangsters, the pair scold each other. When the gang leader recognizes Ichigo, Ichigo and Uryu together knock him out and continue their yelling at each other. The remaining gangsters rush them from behind, and Ichigo and Uryu beat every single one of them, as they discuss about Uryu's Hollow extermination. Before they finish, another gangster, Yokochini, appears and asks Ichigo if he still remembers him. When Ichigo fails to remember him, Ichigo states that he neither wants to or cares about his past. Yokochini and his men are beaten by Ikumi, who takes a scared Ichigo away in a van and brings her to her office.
Inside the Unagiya shop, Ichigo demands to be untied, but Ikumi refuses before answering the phone. Ichigo advises her to change the store's name, as it being often mistaken as an unagi restaurant. She refuses and shows Ichigo a pile of documents related to work from different clients, saying that he seldom does them. Her son, Kaoru, comes in as she quickly changes her outfit and persona into a motherly figure. The child mocks Ichigo. As Kaoru leaves, Ikumi apologizes for his behavior and tells him to bear with it, before hitting Ichigo for his reply. She yells at him to go to work as she removes the tape around Ichigo. Kugo Ginjo enters the store and Ichigo recognizes him as the guy he helped out from being mugged. Ginjo offers Ichigo some ramen, but Ichigo refuses it.
As Ginjo eats the ramen, Ichigo criticizes him for not eating it at his own house. Ichigo later asks what he wants from him. Ginjo says that he does not want anything from Ichigo and that it is a coincidence that he is at the shop at the same time as him. Ichigo points to the ramen as a sign it was not a coincidence and that he does not walk around carrying chocolate just because he likes it. Ginjo shows them a picture of Isshin, asking for background information on him. Ichigo says that Isshin is his father and says he can tell him anything he wants to know. Ginjo asks if Ichigo even knows enough to answer and then says he doesn't, as Ichigo shouldn't even know about his family yet, which leaves Ichigo stunned. When Ichigo tries to question him about what he means, Ikumi interrupts, saying that she is closing shop for the day and will consider the job. As he leaves, Ginjo tells Ichigo to go to the Urahara Shop.At Urahara's store, Ichigo witnesses Karin leaving. While wondering what she was doing there, Ginjo approaches, calling Urahara a shady character. As Ichigo tries to defend Urahara, Ginjo questions how much he knows about Urahara and warns him to act quickly to defend his family before introducing himself. After Ichigo tells Ginjo that he does not trust him, Ginjo gives Ichigo a card with "welcome to our Xcution" written on it. Ichigo returns home where Yuzu greets him with the results of her first exam, which she excelled at. Ichigo congratulates her and tells her to show it to Isshin, inquiring where he is. When she tells him that their father is not there, Ichigo goes up to his room and remarks that he could find Isshin if he still had his Soul Reaper powers. Orihime calls round to Ichigo to sell him some bread and she asks him if something happened recently or if he is being followed, which Ichigo denies. Later, Ichigo exams the card Ginjo gave him as he hears sirens nearby.
After being offered dinner by Yuzu, Ichigo decides to eat later and rushes out of the house as Karin calls after him. He arrives at Karakura Hospital looking for Uryu and finds that Orihime is there already. He asks where Chad is, but Orihime tells him that he didn't answer when he was called. After Ryuken Ishida states the cause of Uryu's wounds, he asks what happened, only for Uryu to respond that it had nothing to do with him. Ichigo offers to walk Orihime home, but Ryuken decides to drive her home instead, telling Ichigo he should get home as well. After thanking him, Ichigo runs off, frustrated that there is something going on which he can do nothing about. He dials the number on the card Kūgo gave him and states his name. The person on the line tells him that they have already been informed of him and welcomes him to "Xcution".
Ichigo is given a complicated dialing sequence to follow, which eventually puts him through to Ginjo. Following a brief exchange, during which Ichigo complains about the complicated nature of the phone call, Ichigo arranges a meeting between the two at 8:00 PM the following evening. Ichigo is instructed to go to Chouhara, Naruki City, Block 7-1 and stand in front of the dirty apartment building there. The following day, Orihime asks Ichigo if he knew what happened to Chad, which he does not. Orihime then reveals that she wanted to tell him what happened to Uryu, but he didn't seem to be in school. After declining an offer to go to Chad's house with her, Ichigo walks off, remembering the exchange with Ginjo. When Ichigo arrives at their meeting place, he is greeted by Ginjo, who remarks that he is five minutes early. Ichigo points out that he is only three minutes early and informs him that his friend was attacked and he wants his help. Ginjo inquires if Ichigo trusts him, prompting Ichigo to say that he is probably not a normal Human. Ginjo gives a vague answer and notes that Ichigo has nobody else to count on. Inside the building Ginjo jokes about his request to investigate Isshin, before insisting it was only to gain Ichigo's interest. They enter Xcution's hideout where Ichigo sees some of the other members of the group. Ginjo then informs him that they aim to restore his Soul Reaper powers.Ichigo demands to know how and why they intend to do this, but Ginjo insists on taking their time. He explains that the members of Xcution are Humans who were born with a special ability called Fullbring, which Ginjo demonstrates by making the liquid in a glass makes its way into Ginjo's mouth. He explains that all matter has a soul and that he is able to pull out the soul that resides within objects and make it do as he pleases. He then transforms his necklace into a large sword. When Riruka Dokugamine enters the room complaining, Ichigo asks Ginjo who she is. He introduces her and tells her to come in. She is followed inside by Yasutora Sado, surprising Ichigo.
Ichigo angrily asks Chad why he's here and why he hasn't been going to school. Ginjo tells Ichigo to calm down so he can explain everything. As Ichigo glares at him, Ginjo explains that the hole of a Hollow is where their hearts used to be and that their lost hearts have become their masks, their outward appearance and their individual powers. Ginjo then explains a Fullbringer is a person who had a parent that was attacked by a Hollow before their birth and traces of the Hollow's powers remain in their mother's bodies and are passed on to them at birth. These powers are always closer to Hollow than Soul Reaper powers. He further explains that Fullbringers do not enjoy their powers similar to the way Ichigo hated his Hollow powers. Ginjo says he wants to erase these powers from within, and they've learned they can pass their powers on to someone who possesses both human and Soul Reaper powers. Ichigo then realizes that he wasn't the first person born from a Soul Reaper and a Human.
Ginjo says they have old allies who have reverted to being Human and that they will help Ichigo to get his Soul Reaper powers back so that he can help them become normal Humans. He then explains that Chad offered to help them if it meant Ichigo getting his powers back. Ichigo asks Chad to confirm this and listens as he explains that he sees the pain Ichigo feels at not being able to protect the people he cares about. He tells Ichigo he doesn't have to hide it, that his feeling this pain means that's who he is. Ginjo says they will restore his Soul Reaper powers and add their powers on top of that. Ichigo accepts this deal. The other Fullbringers are happy that Ichigo will work with them except for Riruka who still hasn't even seen Ichigo and doesn't believe he's someone they should trust so easily. She takes out a flashlight, shines it on Ichigo and is surprised to see that he is rather attractive. When Ichigo asks if she's alright, she blushes, saying she's not
Having arrived home late for the last two nights, Ichigo returns to the Kurosaki Clinic late once again, to the delight of Karin and Yuzu. He urges them to go to bed as it is late. Ichigo is later called back to Xcution's hideout, where he asks if he is going to be doing any training in a more spacious area. Riruka enters the room with a doll house, saying that they will be. She tells him that the doll house is his training facility and explains that her Fullbring allows her to place people into something that she considers to be cute. She places her pass on Ichigo and he is pulled into the box. A miniaturized and disorientated Ichigo is told to defeat a doll inside the box. She says that it is not strong and he can defeat it using Fullbring.
As Ichigo evades the doll's attacks, he shrugs off Riruka's complaints, saying that he does not even understand the situation yet. Riruka reiterates her explanation of her Fullbring and tells him to beat the stuffed animal by using Fullbring. Ichigo questions how this will help him regain his Soul Reaper powers and states that he cannot suddenly use a power that he has never used before. The doll then gives out to Ichigo, surprising him. Riruka explains that she trapped an old yakuza man inside the doll, Mr. Pork. The yakuza says that if he does not kill Ichigo within fifteen minutes, he will be trapped there permanently. Riruka leaves and Ichigo begins to reflect on what she said. He thinks about Ginjo transforming his pendant into a sword and concludes that he should focus on something that he regularly has with him. Chad tells Ichigo to use his Subsitute Soul Reaper badge if he wants to get a Fullbring to use for battle and Ichigo tells him he had just thought of it too. As Ichigo holds his badge, the fifteen minutes expire and Mr. Pork enters "Mad Beast Mode", growing in size.
Chad reveals to Ichigo that it was pride that allowed him to use his Fullbring. When Ichigo thinks of times he was proud to be a Soul Reaper, his Badge begins to take the form of Tensa Zangetsu's tsuba. Ginjo explains that the badge recorded every battle he ever fought by touching it. Shocked, Ichigo tests out a variety of ways on how to use this new power before successfully flinging a large amount of energy shaped like a wheel at Mr. Pork, which defeats the doll. Ichigo wonders if the power will help him get his Soul Reaper powers back. At Ichigo's behest, Riruka lets him out by sneezing on him. Back to his normal size, Ichigo is irritated by being covered with saliva and mucous and receives a towel from Ginjo. As he is drying off, he realizes his Fullbring deactivates and returns his badge back to normal. Ichigo briefly hears a voice coming from the badge, which he recognizes as Rukia's and wonders what is happening.
Ichigo listens as the yakuza tries to extort money from Riruka. He asks Ichigo if she forced him to come there as well and Ichigo notes that he looks exactly like the doll he was inside. Ichigo asks if he is to stay for further training, but is told that Fullbring puts more strain on the body than can be felt. Ginjo advices him not to push himself as his body will fall to pieces if he wears himself out. Saying that a few more days without his powers should be bearable after all this time, he promises to call him when he has recuperated. As Chad and Ichigo walk to Chad's home, the latter tells Ichigo that Orihime has been bringing him leftover bread everyday lately. Ichigo tells him that she is worried about him and that he should call her. As Chad goes to give half of it to Ichigo, he notices something is wrong with her reiatsu and shouts that something happened to her.Ichigo tries to call Orihime, but Chad tells him not to, as it could distract her and lead her to her death. He says that he cannot quite locate Orihime's exact location, but Ichigo can tell by the direction they are going that she is at her apartment. They arrive to find Orihime kneeling in front of her door and ask her if she is alright. Orihime grabs her shoulder, seeming distracted, but notices Chad and Ichigo and asks why they are there. Hearing their explanation, Orihime tells them that nothing happened and that she was with a friend before going into her apartment. As they leave, Ichigo asks Chad about Orihime. Chad tells him that he was probably sensing things wrong and tells Ichigo not to worry.
Realizing that Chad and Orihime will not tell him anything, Ichigo calls the Xcution headquarters and asks Ginjo to let him in. When Ichigo arrives, he explains the situation to Ginjo and Jackie, telling them that he believes Orihime was attacked by the same guy who attacked Uryu. Ginjo and Jackie both suspect it is Tsukishima. Ichigo asks who this is and Ginjo explains that Tsukishima is a Fullbringer and the former leader of Xcution who came up with the idea to give their powers to a Substitute Soul Reaper. However, when they did so, he killed the Soul Reaper and those that gave him their power and then disappeared. He shows Ichigo a Substitute Soul Reaper Badge and tells him that he believes Tsukishima wants to keep Ichigo away from them and is using his attacks on Uryu and Orihime to catch Ichigo's attention. He tells him to go home until they are ready for the next stage of training. While walking the streets, Ichigo spots Isshin in an alley and hides. He witnesses him meeting with Urahara and when they leave, Ichigo contemplates Ginjo's warning about Urahara, wondering if he should follow them, but decides not to. Ichigo later returns to Xcution's hideout where Riruka places him inside a fish tank, to fight Jackie Tristan, Ichigo introduces himself as he activates his Fullbring.
After an exchange of words between the pair, Jackie activates her Fullbring, Dirty Boots and they begin to fight. Jackie tells Ichigo that he is too lax and he cannot take his time getting into a battle. Jackie rubs her boots in the mud, increasing her attack power, and slams Ichigo into the water. She explains about her Fullbring, before warning Ichigo that because he is in a living body, he will die if he keeps taking her attacks with his body. Ichigo fires an energy blast at her, only for Jackie to easily shatter it. Ichigo reveals that he knows his attack's weakness and uses Fullbring to increase his speed and attacks her. After being asked who taught him to fight, Ichigo explains that he first learned from Urahara, but then he learned from his battles as time went on, saying that even though he was only a Soul Reaper for a brief time, he probably has more experience in battle than Xcution.
Reiatsu from Ichigo's badge begins to engulf his right arm and Ichigo begins to tire as a result. Jackie says they will abort training as Ichigo's Fullbring is going berserk in a way she has never seen before. Ichigo is adamant in continuing. Jackie calls for Kūgo to retrieve Riruka to end the training, but Ichigo suddenly pins her to the ground. He says his Fullbring is not going berserk and has always been like this. He believes this is his badge's way of telling him to hurry and get his Soul Reaper powers back soon. Believing that it is too dangerous to continue, Jackie decides to stop him by force.
When Tsukishima arrives at the Xcution headquarters, he cuts through Riruka's Fish Tank, and Ichigo emerges, engulfed in reiatsu shaped similarly to his Soul Reaper shihakusho. Ichigo asks who he is before clashing with him to test his new abilities. Chad attacks Tsukishima to protect Ichigo's new powers, resulting in Ichigo learning about how he was being protected from the truth. He realizes that Tsukishima attacked both Uryu and Orihime. Ichigo manages to surprised Tsukishima in the subsequent clash but he is swiftly overwhelmed due to Tsukishima's greater experience with Fullbring. Just when Tsukishima moves to make a devastating blow, Ginjo deflects his blade, stating that he can't let them fight yet.Ichigo tells Ginjo to get out of his way, but Ginjo simply elbows Ichigo behind the neck and tells Ichigo that he isn't fine as he just got dropped in his real body. Ichigo then tries to go back to fight but is stopped by Chad, who tells Ichigo that Tsukishima is way ahead of him, and it is impossible for Ichigo to win at his current state. But Ichigo disregards this and rushes off to fight, attacking Tsukishima from behind. This lightly burns his sword wielding arm. Tsukishima asks how Ichigo can evolve so well so quickly and comments that Ichigo is becoming much closer to the heights of his previous powers. Yukio uses his Fullbring to seal Ichigo in order to stop him from interacting with Tsukishima.
Inside Yukio's Fullbring, Ichigo yells to try and get out. Later, in Xcution's back-up hideout, Yukio frees Ichigo He asks what happened with Tsukishima and Ginjo replies that he has fled for now. Ichigo then asks what Ginjo is worried about, to which he says that if Tsukishima wanted to harm Xcution, he could have kept going but it seems that his objective is Ichigo. Ginjo tells Yukio to help with Ichigo's training. Ichigo asks if it will be a live battle and Ginjo says that is what seems to work best with him, stating that he will fight Ichigo himself.
Yukio loads Ichigo and Ginjo into his console. Seeing this, Ichigo realizes that this is what happened to him before on the rooftops and Ginjo explains about Yukio's Fullbring. Ginjo activates his Fullbring and says it would be great if they had rules like a video game. Ichigo asks what kind of rules and Ginjo asks Yukio to give them six HP each and six crosses appear above their heads. Ginjo asks if Ichigo needs a tutorial but he says understands. Yukio tells Ichigo that he will make it says that he is dead when he loses. Ichigo tells Yukio to bite him in response. Ichigo activates his Fullbring and they charge at each other.
Orihime arrives inside Yukio's game world to find Ichigo lying on the ground, badly injured. Orihime begins to heal him and Ichigo guesses that Chad called her. Chad arrives and confirms this, saying he knows that Ichigo did not want to get Orihime wrapped up in this but they will need her. Chad then goes to train by himself. Ginjo grows impatient and asks Ichigo if he is ready to fight. Ichigo says yes and they ignore Orihime's protest. Orihime blocks Ginjo's attack with her Shiten Kōshun ability, injuring Ginjo in the process. Orihime explains to the surprised Ichigo that it is a new technique and explains that in the 17 months that Ichigo has been powerless, she and Chad knew he would get his powers back and swore that when he did, they would be there with him and not fall behind. She tells him not to worry about them and Ichigo thanks her. He gets up, Fullbring now intact again and tells Ginjo to come at him.Following Orihime's arrival, Ichigo's movements become sharper. He attacks Ginjo up close to counter the range of his sword, but Ginjo is able to fend him off, injuring Ichigo's leg. As they fight, Ichigo notes that he cannot feel anything from Ginjo's sword, contrasting it with his battle with Gin Ichimaru. He notes that while Tsukishima did not look at him, he felt his killing intent. He wonders if he cannot feel anything because they are not using Zanpakutō or if it is because he does not fully trust Ginjo. Ginjo slashes Ichigo's eyes and notes that when Ichigo lost his powers he also lost his resolve. Blind and confused, Ichigo demands to know what Kūgo thinks he is playing at and states that he does not trust Ginjo as he is not helping him as he had promised he would. Ginjo reminds him that their deal was to get his Soul Reaper powers back and that if he did not trust him then he should not have agreed to his training. When Yukio prevents Orihime from interfering, an enraged Ichigo attacks but with no success. Ichigo tries to dodge Ginjo's attacks by sensing the presence and sound of his opponent, but Ginjo further injures him, finally leaving Ichigo lying on the ground, impaled with his sword. Ginjo walks away, telling Ichigo that he's going to kill Chad and Orihime and further taunts him. Ichigo struggles for a moment, reflecting his inability to see, move or speak. Just then he sees a white shape in the darkness and realizes that he is beginning to see Ginjo's Spiritual Pressure. With a roar, Ichigo begins to manifest a new form. Ginjo puts his life on the line to control Ichigo's new explosion of power. After stating his pride in Ichigo's accomplishment, a bloodied Ginjo smiles, admitting that his villain act is not the best and welcomes Ichigo to Xcution. After completing his Fullbring, Ginjo puts Ichigo through a new training regiment of over a dozen sets of 100 push-ups to increase his stamina to meet the demands of using Fullbring. Ginjo tells an annoyed Ichigo to aim for 15 sets, to match his name, prompting him to say that he hates when people do that with his name. Ginjo calls him a liar as he regularly wears shirts with a 15 pattern on them, prompting Ichigo to call him a stalker. Ginjo asks if Ichigo saw something when he completed his Fullbring and Ichigo is shocked he knows this. Ginjo says that Ichigo saw him bathed in Spiritual Pressure and that is why he cut Ichigo's eyes as that is proof that Ichigo is beginning to regain his Soul Reaper powers. Ginjo explains that when Ichigo lost his reiatsu, a tiny portion accumulated in a single location inside of him over time and that is why they used the reiatsu flowing from his badge to jolt that awake. He says all that is left to do is to beef up his new body and powers and then his Fullbring and Soul Reaper powers will fuse, giving Ichigo a power transcending that of a Soul Reaper. Ichigo takes his badge and tries out his new Fullbring. Ginjo then tells him that his Fullbring needs a name. Ichigo leaves Yukio's Fullbring and thanks him but Yukio alerts him to the time that has passed. He becomes worried but Yukio says it has only been 90 minutes thanks to his Fullbring's abilities. Ichigo goes home and Yuzu confronts him at the door, saying they have a surprise guest. She takes him into a room to find Tsukishima sitting on the couch and Yuzu calls him cousin Shu. Tsukishima greets Ichigo.
Karin and Yuzu explain how Tsukishima came along, with Tsukishima apologizing for having annoyed them. Ichigo, watching their conversation in disbelief, grabs Tsukishima, demanding an explanation for why he is there. Karin and Yuzu try to pry him off Tsukishima, but the doorbell rings, and Tsukishima asks Yuzu to get it, saying it must be Keigo and the others. Tatsuki begins to lecture Ichigo on staying out so late, and Tsukishima tells Ichigo he called everyone, and starts to call Chad and Orihime as well. As he is on the phone, Ichigo attacks him, prompting Tatsuki to berate Ichigo for attacking his relative. Ichigo can only quietly respond that she's wrong, before every asks why he is acting the way he is. Ichigo flees his house, wondering whether what is going on is Tsukishima's ability. He runs into Ikumi Unagiya, who takes him to her store to let him calm down. She says he can talk about it if he wants. As she goes to answer the door, Ichigo decides against telling her about Soul Reapers and Hollows, as it would make her uncomfortable. She interrupts his thoughts to tell him Tsukishima has come to pick him up. Ichigo flees the store, saying he needs someone in their right mind, when Ginjo finds him, saying that everyone in Xcution has fallen for Tsukishima's trap.
Ginjo takes Ichigo to a location which he says no members of Xcution know about to discuss the events that transpired. Ichigo wonders why everyone is acting the way they are. Ginjo tells Ichigo that, thanks to information that Chad provided about Tsukishima's attack on Orihime and with what has transpired, that his ability may be cutting himself into people's pasts. He proceeds to explain that it would make sense considering his Fullbring object is a bookmark and that he places himself in people's pasts as whatever he wants. Ichigo then asks if this would break if Tsukishima were to die. Ginjo tells Ichigo that he does not know the answer yet still asks if he could kill him despite this. Just then, Yukio finds them and takes them to a house in the middle of a forest.Tsukishima greets them at the door and upon seeing him, Ichigo angrily rushes towards him, reaching for his badge. Kūgo stops him, telling Ichigo not to attack without thinking, as if he is correct about Tsukishima's ability, Ichigo will be in trouble if he is cut even once. Tsukishima invites them inside, saying he only wants to talk. Ichigo refuses to go inside, worried about traps, but Tsukishima points out that if there were any, he would have placed them in the forest. Inside, Ichigo's family and friends greet him. They tell a shocked Ichigo that he should be happy that Tsukishima is not angry and urge him to apologize. Kūgo tells him not to worry, because even though they view Tsukishima as a friend, Ichigo is their friend also, so they won't suddenly attack him. However, it is too much for Ichigo to handle and he flees the room. He wants to kill Tsukishima, but he cannot fight him where his friends and family can be dragged into the fight. He goes upstairs and comes across the other members of Xcution. Tsukishima appears behind Ichigo. Kūgo appears, having destroyed the stairs so Ichigo's family and friends cannot follow and tells Ichigo he can now fight without holding back. Ichigo activates his Fullbring and while Tsukishima is activating his, Ichigo cuts off his left arm. As Tsukishima expresses his surprise that Ichigo mastered his Fullbring in such a short time, Ichigo tells him that he came here to kill him. However, Chad bursts through the window and he and Orihime shield Tsukishima.
Orihime heals Tsukishima's arm, leaving Ichigo unable to believe that Chad and Orihime have become the same as the others. Chad asks why Ichigo is attacking Tsukishima. Both Orihime and Chad say that Ichigo was able to save Rukia and defeat Aizen because Tsukishima helped him do so. Tsukishima appears behind Ichigo, asking him if he understands, but Ichigo tries to attack him. Tsukishima explains about the ability of his Fullbring, Book of the End, to modify the past of those affected by it. He states that to those affected, Ichigo is the one whose past is incorrect. Ichigo tries to attack Tsukishima, but Orihime stops Ichigo's attack with her Santen Kesshun. Chad tries to attack Ichigo, saying that he did not become strong to fight with Ichigo. He attacks again and Ichigo is pushed outside from the force of the attack. As he wonders why he things turned out this way and that he only wanted to protect his friends, he asks what he got his powers back for. Tsukishima suddenly appears above Ichigo, causing him to charge at him.Tsukishima continuously berates Ichigo, who unleashes a Getsuga Tenshō, which Tsukishima manages to redirect. Trying to finish him off again, Chad intervenes and blocks his attacks. Ichigo yells at Tsukishima, demanding that he stop hiding behind his friends and face him. However, Tsukishima gets behind Ichigo to attack him, but Kūgo takes the attack instead. Ichigo rushes to see if Kūgo is alright and Kūgo that he's still one of his comrades. Uryu then arrives and Ichigo questions his allegiance. Not wanting to fall for a trap, Ichigo is hesitant to listen to Uryu. However, Uryu informs Ichigo that it was Kūgo who attacked him. Uryu fires arrows at Kūgo, but he blocks them and attacks Ichigo. Ichigo asks if Kūgo was turned by Tsukishima's powers, but Kūgo states that Tsukishima had just returned him back to normal by cutting him a second time. Kūgo then merges the Substitute Soul Reaper Badge he had with his sword and tells Ichigo that it is time to relieve him of his Fullbring and stabs Ichigo through his chest.
Kugo explains to Ichigo how they attacked Uryu; he was the one who actually attacked Uryu, explaining that Uryu was the key. Ichigo would need to be able to discern Uryu from the others and changing him would make the fight too easy. Then he ordered Tsukishima to cut him to make them "enemies" betrayed by each other. Tsukishima explains he can negate his power by striking someone a second time. Kugo further elaborates that Tsukishima's ability prevented Ichigo from suspecting him. Tsukishima jokes the reason that he cut Kugo was because his acting is bad, pointing out that Kugo started saying Kurosaki instead of Ichigo after he was cut. Kugo withdraws his blade from Ichigo's chest and Ichigo drops his Substitute Soul Reaper Badge as his Fullbring disappears. Ichigo thinks about how hard it was for him to go 17 months without any power and when he thought he found a way, he was so happy he could protect his friends again. Ichigo yell's very loudly at the loss of his Fullbring. Tsukishima wonders if he's crying, saying it makes him feel horrible. Kugo doesn't care, saying they will likely never meet him again. Ichigo asks Kugo to give his power back to which Kugo responds it was power he gave to Ichigo and that it belongs to him. Kugo says he will spare his life and should thank him.
Ichigo is suddenly stabbed in the back. He looks back and sees Urahara and Isshin. He starts crying more, asking his dad if he was in on this too. Isshin calls him an idiot saying he didn't stab Ichigo and that he will be able to see the person who did by now. Ichigo sees Rukia was the one who stabbed him, and he is surrounded by a big explosion. Ichigo emerges with a new Soul Reaper outfit and a slightly altered Zangetsu, ready to fight. Rukia greets Ichigo and momentarily berates him for crying before explaining to him that Urahara told her about Tsukishima's ability. She tells him that no matter how much of the past Tsukishima changes, he cannot change his future, and his bonds with his friends and family can be rebuilt. Ichigo clarifies that Tsukishima didn't change his own past and asks Rukia about the sword she is carrying. Rukia explains that Urahara made it and she was able to transfer Soul Reaper powers to Ichigo again with it. Kugo interrupts their conversation and disputes the return of Ichigo's Soul Reaper powers. Renji Abarai, Byakuya Kuchiki, Kenpachi Zaraki, Toshiro Hitsugaya and Ikkaku Madarame step through a Senkaimon, revealing that they all poured their Spiritual Pressure into the sword in order to restore Ichigo's own powers. Rukia then tells Kugo that he only stole a small portion of Ichigo's power that had Ichigo's Fullbring, and that Ichigo's Soul Reaper powers wells up from deep inside, and he could take that from him. Rukia tells Ichigo to show Kugo and Tsukishima that despair wouldn't be able to stop him. Ichigo swings it towards Kugo. Kugo blocks the attack, mistaking it for Getsuga Tensho. Ichigo appears behind him and tells him it was merely a practice swing before firing a Getsuga Tensho.
Ichigo's Getsuga Tensho misses Kugo and Kugo tries to retreat, but Ichigo stops him from leaving. He attacks Kugo with another Getsuga Tensho and then Ichigo realizes that he, Shinji, Rangiku, Unohana, Hanataro, Isshin, Urahara, Yoruichi and Yamamoto also contributed to the restoration of his powers. Ichigo asks if it was a crime to transfer Soul Reaper powers to a Human. Renji informs him that Yamamoto ordered that all captains and lieutenants should put their Spiritual Pressure into Urahara's sword to help bring back Ichigo's Soul Reaper powers. Hitsugaya tells him that he did this because Ichigo was able to change the Soul Society by fighting, and that he should accept it proudly. Ichigo notices Kugo emerging from the dust behind him. Hitsugaya then tells Ichigo that Yamamoto also gave that order to stop the original Substitute Soul Reaper, Kugo Ginjo. Ichigo is confused about this and Hitsugaya reminds him of when Ukitake gave him his badge and tells Ichigo the Substitute Soul Reaper law was created solely because of Kugo. Before explaining more, Byakuya interrupts him and Hitsugaya tells Ichigo they need to focus on Kugo right now. Kugo thanks Ichigo, saying if he hadn't taken his powers, he would've been dead by now.
After Kugo grants the other members of Xcution part of Ichigo's Fullbring, Giriko Kutsuzawa tells Ichigo to prepare. He says that Ichigo will now experience the power of his Fullbring himself. Blaming himself for their increased strength, Ichigo attacks them all. However, Yukio used his Fullbring to deceive Ichigo and the Fullbringers are unharmed. He reminds Ichigo they received his Fullbring powers, which is a Fullbring that allows for wearing your powers as a mantle and expelling them. He says with Ichigo's help, his Invaders Must Die is now able to influence the world outside his console. Ikkaku tells Ichigo not to hold back and kill them properly.
Yukio uses his Fullbring to split everyone up into individual rooms. Ichigo finds himself facing Kugo, in a replica of Karakura Town. Kugo says he picked the environment so Ichigo could fight easier and says they can go one-on-one then. However, Uryu steps out, declaring their fight to be two-on-one. Ichigo asks if he is hurt but Uryu says that Rukia healed him. Uryu then apologizes to Ichigo, saying that when he first saw the Substitute Soul Reaper Badge, he had thought there were other Substitutes before him. He thought that if the previous one was alive, they would have told Ichigo and if he was dead, they would have said why, leading Uryu to believe the Soul Society did not know. Ichigo responds by kicking Uryu, telling him it does not matter as they could not have done anything anyhow and that he would have forgotten in a few days. He tells Uryu to stop worrying all the time. The two friends insult each other before Ichigo tells Uryu to clean his glasses as they prepare to face Kugo.
While Ichigo and Uryu fight Kugo, they eventually begin hiding from him. Ichigo asks Uryu if he has a plan. Uryu tells him that he was not trying to come up with a plan; instead, he was observing Kugo's Spiritual Pressure. Realizing the Uryu is not trying to come up with a plan, Ichigo confronts Kugo, who was thinking they were trying to come up with a plan as well. Ichigo attacks Kugo with a Getsuga Tensho, but Kugo cuts through it with his sword and attacks him with a Getsuga Tensho as well, surprising Ichigo. Uryu then concludes that Kugo took Ichigo's abilities as well, in addition to taking his Fullbring and Spiritual Pressure. Kūgo and Ichigo continue to fight each other. Kūgo comments that Ichigo is fighting well, but if looks like to him he does not care what happens to himself. Ichigo disagrees with him. Ginjo then asks him what he is fighting for, which confuses Ichigo. Ginjo then clarifies that Tsukishima is dying, and that if a Fullbringer dies, then all traces of their ability disappears. And if Tsukishima does end up dying, then the pasts he modified will return to normal. He asks Ichigo again what he is fighting for, but when Ichigo does not answer him, Kūgo informs him of an enemy that he should be fighting.
Ichigo dismisses this as an attempt to shake his resolve. Kūgo begins talking about the Substitute Shinigami Badge, saying that the badge is awarded whether the person is of benefit to Soul Society or not, saying that it carries no authority. Ichigo remembers showing his badge to Zennosuke, who had no idea what it was. Kūgo goes on to say that the badge's true purpose is to observe and restrict Ichigo as a Shinigami. He notes that Ichigo's reiatsu was always rampaging in Shinigami form but completely calm while in Human form. When he first activated his Fullbring, Ichigo's reiatsu came pouring out of the badge and Ichigo's friends were heard through it. Kūgo then says that this whole scheme was designed by Ukitake to control Substitute Shinigami. As Kūgo goes on to say that everyone in Soul Society was in on this, an enraged Ichigo tells Kūgo to shut up and shouts Bankai. The release of his Bankai shatters the pocket dimension. Ichigo dismisses Kūgo's words, saying that he knew Ukitake was not trying to mislead him. He looks on as Kūgo activates his Bankai. Ichigo remembers that Kūgo is a former Substitute Shinigami. Kūgo reminds Ichigo that he has some Hollow in him and the pair clash. Ichigo blocks an energy blast from Kūgo and slashes him across the chest.
Darkness within ShadowEdit
After Kugo Ginjo & Shukuro Tsukishima's defeats, 10 years later Ichigo sees Rukia Kuchiki and Renji Abarai along with the rest of the 13 Court Guard Squads betray the Soul Society to join Dark Emperor in his quest for Universal Domination.
Ichigo angered tries to stop them but before he can, the Bleach Universe starts to collapse which Ichigo learns from Yoruichi that Aizen, Kugo, Rukia, Soifon, and Dark Emperor have killed the core of the bleach world; The Spirit King which without him the world will soon fade into Darkness. Ichigo than flees with his friends and Yoruichi, Urahara, Ururu, Jinta, and Tessai and the visoreds flee to form the holy and Hero Organization Godstrike to stop Dark Emperor and his evil army Shadowblood.
Ichigo after a year becomes the 2nd General of Godstrike.
Beginning to the End ArcEdit
Ichigo is 1st seen when Sonic and Mario bring four of the Heroes of Earth to Godstrike like Yoruichi ordered. But when Sosuke Aizen, Father, Bowser, and Naraku appear. Ichigo along with Shinji Hirako attack and fight Aizen. Even while Ichigo is in Bankai he has a tough time harming Aizen and eventually Aizen reveals his rank as the Death General (his false rank) and tells Ichigo and Shinji what rank his 3 cohorts are.
Later when Kaname Tosen releases his Resurreccion during his fight against Sora the Fox, Ichigo is ordered telepathically by Urahara to go to save her alongside Cloud. Ichigo than arrives and along with Cloud Easily defeat Tosen by stabbing thier swords in his Resurreccion Form's Hollow Mask. Ichigo than questions what Sora meant by what Tosen said about his Lord Dark Emperor only to hear her say that he may of been a friend to Tosen.
Much Later on Ichigo saves Urahara and Yoruichi in thier battle against Soifon and Dark Emperor and tells them and the others to retreat And says he will stall them time to do so. Yoruichi tells Ichigo to be careful which he smiles and says he will. But while Ichigo fights against Soifon he has a tough time with her but unexpectly to him he is killed by Soifon's Zanpakuto's special ability but he is than transported somewhere by an unknown force.
Ichigo along with the other present Heroes meet the Future Godstrike Members who are alive upon thier arrival, Future Yoruichi explains to them what has happened in the past 10 years which greatly Shocks Ichigo and the other present heroes.
The Present Heroes and Future soon split into two teams once Soifon appears before them. Ichigo in his group watches as his allies fight several Titan class members and sees both Midnas get kidnapped by Future Vaati.
Ichigo is later seen in the Final Battle fighting against Grimmjow of the present while his future self fights Future Grimmjow. Eventually the future versions of the heroes and villains give thier present selves thier knowledge, power, skills, new abilities, new look, and etc before all the Titans are sealed away in Tartarus. Ichigo and all the heroes return to the present while the villains return to present tartarus.
Ichigo is engulfed in light with the other remaining bleach heroes and watches as his allies of Godstrike return to thier home worlds but as he sees this; he sees an evil Grin on Yoruichi thus causing him to mistrust Yoruichi for some reason.
Enter the Worlds ArcEdit
Substitute Soul Reaper Badge: Given to Ichigo by Ukitake before leaving Soul Society for the first time, the pendant he commonly carries on his belt signifies him as a substitute Soul Reaper, allowing him to remain active in the Human World. The pendant gives Ichigo the ability to separate his soul from his body in the absence of Rukia's glove or Kon. It also alerts him to the presence of Hollows in Karakura town, like Rukia's Denreishinki. Ukitake informs Ichigo that the badge can also be dangerous and thus it has built in protection making it invisible to normal Humans. Zennosuke Kurumadani tells Ichigo that he's never heard of his "Seal of Approval" causing Ichigo to refer to it as useless before Shinji Hirako's arrival. When Ichigo loses his powers, all of the special abilities of the badge are lost as well. Nonetheless, Ichigo keeps it with him regularly.
Powers & AbilitiesEdit
Expert Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Physically, Ichigo is in top form even when he is not in his spiritual body. Ichigo has been trained in martial arts since he was a small child both professionally and by his father. He has repeatedly shown great agility and coordination in his attacks. In addition to having powerful kicks and punches, Ichigo has also shown proficiency in counterattacks, takedowns, and body locks. He has repeatedly been able to catch an opponent's weapon strikes with a single hand. He also regularly defeats multiple bullies and gangsters, and is a better martial artist than Tatsuki Arisawa, who is ranked the second-strongest girl in all of Japan despite her fighting with a broken arm in the last few matches of the competition. While he stopped training officially after defeating her, his constant attacks from bullies and his father help keep his skills fresh. It should be noted that he was able to effortlessly dispatch three lieutenants with Shikai released Zanpakutō in rapid succession merely bare-handed.
Enhanced Strength: Even without using his Soul Reaper powers, Ichigo has shown himself to be deceptively strong, as shown from his ability to smash a man's head through a concrete floor.
Enhanced Speed & Reflexes: Even before learning Flash Step, Ichigo has repeatedly shown himself to be a very agile fighter. Ichigo has demonstrated great reflexes in battle, able to quickly dodge a strike with no wasted effort and he can instantly counterattack right after.He is able to strike quickly without warning and in rapid succession. His speed also allows him to follow the movements of faster opponents to better analyze their movements or blocking difficult and otherwise fatal strikes.
Enhanced Durability: While only a teenage Human, Ichigo has shown himself to be a highly resilient man, as shown from his ability to safely break free from a binding spell (albeit a low-level one) and withstand an assault from a large Hollow.
Advanced Growth Rate: According to both Aizen and Urahara, Ichigo's most astounding ability is his growth rate: he grasps the basic control of advanced techniques in days where it would take several years for even the most gifted Soul Reapers. Shortly after getting Soul Reaper powers and with no previous training, began learning advanced spiritual energy sensing techniques by sheer instinct, as he proved he can use a spirit ribbon to find Yuichi Shibata (in bird form). Another example of his growth rate is the amount of time he took to learn the Bankai of his Zanpakutō, which he learns in two days (albeit with the assistance of a special device invented by Urahara that was originally intended for three days). He also gains considerable experience in the use of Flash Step while training with Yoruichi, which was done over the same period as his Bankai. Besides his improvements in his Soul Reaper abilities, Ichigo was also shown able to greatly increase the time he could maintain his Hollow mask from eleven seconds to considerably longer amounts of time. During his first fight with Ulquiorra, he is instantly incapacitated by one Cero blast even with his Hollow mask (which broke within a second), but only a few hours later, he is able to withstand another Cero from Ulquiorra without undergoing Hollowfication and can analyze Ulquiorra's movements much better than before, when he had "felt like [he] was fighting a machine or a statue", and failed to predict and counter his attacks. He is also capable of completing Jinzen within roughly 3 months in the Dangai, which even the strongest of the Soul Reapers in Soul Society will take thousands of years before it is completed.
Keen Intellect: Despite his somewhat punkish attitude, Ichigo has shown himself to be analytical, perceptive, and deductive. In his high school, Ichigo's grades are almost always near the top, despite his work as a substitute Soul Reaper. Aside from that, Ichigo appears to be able to determine the pattern of his opponent's battle methods and correctly deduce a proper counter-strategy to defeat his opponent's attacks.
Soul Reaper Powers & AbilitiesEdit
Master Swordsmanship Specialist: In terms of fighting style while in his Soul Reaper form, Ichigo relies mainly on swordplay, and thus would be considered a swordsmanship specialist. Aside from his initial training with Urahara, he is basically on a "learn as you go" training regimen thus his skill has developed by fighting rather than formal instruction, becoming even more capable with every fight. His overall skill has been shown capable of competing on equal grounds against the sword masters of Byakuya Kuchiki, Dark Emperor and Kenpachi Zaraki's caliber. While usually performing right-handed, Ichigo appears to be ambidextrous as he has shown proficient skill wielding Zangetsu in his left.
Shunpo Expert: Though not particularly versed in its various techniques, Ichigo has become proficient enough of the technique itself to keep up and even surprise high-level Soul Reaper with his speed. Even Byakuya Kuchiki, one of the most proficient users of Shunpo in Soul Society, complimented Ichigo's growing mastery of the technique. During his first demonstration of this skill, he was able to quickly move to knock out three lieutenants and grab his sword before any of them hit the ground.
Vast Spiritual Power: Ichigo has been noted on several occasions to have tremendously vast levels of spiritual energy well beyond other Soul Reapers. He is capable of defeating a Gillian before awakening his true power with only his sealed Zanpakutō. Even at less than half strength, his spiritual energy is still comparable to a Captain-level fighter. His spiritual power is noted to be heavy, which surprised Renji Abarai, a lieutenant-ranked Soul Reaper. Ichigo constantly gives off Spiritual Pressure at the level of a captain. It is so overwhelming that even when worn-out in battle, he can continue fighting effectively while still capable of unleashing Getsuga Tensho or even unleash and maintain his Bankai. Because Ichigo's spiritual energy constantly being so high even at its base level without him consciously being aware of it, he rarely becomes exhausted in battle, thereby meaning the sheer resilience and amounts of energy Ichigo has is monstrous. Ichigo's spiritual energy is still rather difficult for him to control as he has no formal training in controlling it and upon the instances of Hollowfication his Spiritual Pressure fluctuates wildly, with it being unreadable at its lowest point and at its highest point more powerful than that of the 4th Espada Ulquiorra Cifer's. Due to this and that he has far more spiritual energy than his body can consciously contain, it leaks out constantly, preventing him from hiding it and effectively making stealth impossible when dealing with other spiritually-aware beings. However, he has learned how to harden his spiritual energy and enhance the strength of his attacks or act as a barrier to reduce the impact of attacks on him, if not negating them completely. He has shown some skill in channeling his spiritual power as he was capable of destroying the Arbor of the Sōkyoku, seemingly an impossible feat which surprised the 13 Court Guard Squads, by channeling his spiritual power through his sword into the execution stand.
Enhanced Strength: When he is in his Soul Reaper body, Ichigo's already impressive strength is greatly enhanced. His overall abilities are great enough that he was able to fend off three Soul Reaper lieutenants with a single punch each; one of which shattered one of their Zanpakutō at the same time. His strength is also great enough to stop repeated axe blows from Jidanbo and hurl Rukia several meters into Renji’s arms and still send them both skidding several meters more, achieving both feats with a single-hand. He is strong enough to hold back the Sōkyoku, a halberd with the destructive force equivalent to one million Zanpakutō combined, just using his Zanpakutō. After regaining his Soul Reaper powers, one swing from his sword was capable of cutting off the top portion of Tsukishima's mansion. The strength of the swing was enough to make Kugo Ginjo mistake the shock wave resulting from this swing as a Getsuga Tensho.
Immense Durability: When in his Soul Reaper form, Ichigo's physical durability is strengthened to the point he can continue fighting effectively even after receiving many injuries and can survive attacks that would easily kill normal Humans effortlessly. It was stated by Rukia that a Soul Reaper's life force is their spiritual power. As such, Ichigo is able to withstand attacks that would be fatal to most Soul Reapers. Uryu once stated that Ichigo was a monster in this regard.
When Ichigo first becomes a Soul Reaper, his Zanpakutō is a standard-looking katana, but oversized with an equally-oversized brown sheathe hung by a strap across his back and over his right shoulder. It has a rectangular bronze tsuba with gently inward-curved edges, a stylized flame pattern on the long sides, and a simple decorative slit on the short sides. The handle's hilt has a red-wrapping two light blue tassels attached to the pummel, which is decorated with a flame design on its short sides. The large size is due to the unfocused but immense amount of Ichigo's spiritual power, which he didn't know how to control. As a result, the sword itself was rather weak, since very little spiritual power was used to create it. Nevertheless, it was powerful enough to subdue a Gillian-class Menos and lesser Hollows, completely blocking a Cero from the former. It was even able to upturn the ground with a single strike. Because of its weak spiritual energy nature, Byakuya Kuchiki was able to easily cut off most of the blade during his first encounter with Ichigo and Kisuke Urahara subsequently slices it down to the hilt during their training, forcing Ichigo to learn the name of his Zanpakutō in order to release its true form. This sword is found to be a result of Rukia's deprived spiritual energy and not a result of his own power.
- Shikai: The Shikai form of Zangetsu looks like an oversized elegant cleaver rather than a formal "katana". He has no tsuba and no proper hilt; what Ichigo holds is the cloth-wrapped tang. The sword is as tall as Ichigo is, 1.75 meters, and has a black blade with a silver edge. The cloth wrapping on the tang seems to react to Ichigo's will, changing length at a thought or twining about the blade in an impromptu sheath. When in combat, the cloth falls away when necessary, shrinking back to a manageable size. The cloth can also be used to swing the weapon like a flail and toss it at opponents for mid-range combat, but this is rarely done. The cloth also can be done to wrap up wounds, as Ichigo does during his fight with Ikkaku Madarame, but this is also done rarely. Ichigo has also on more than one occasion used Zangetsu's wide blade as a shield from incoming attacks. Unlike most Zanpakutō, which can be sealed into their original form, Zangetsu is always in its Shikai form. Yoruichi Shihoin has stated that his Zanpakutō is a full-time released form type because of Ichigo's vast but uncontrollable spiritual energy upon generation of it, implying that it is simply a type of Zanpakutō that without proper control of his spiritual energy, once in Shikai form, it remains in its said state. After Ichigo regains his powers, Zangetsu's appearance changes, giving the blade a silver hilt with gray-wrappings and a short length of chain at its base. The blade itself becomes slightly reshaped, curving inwards at the backside of the tip similar to a trench knife.
Shikai Special Ability: Zangetsu's Shikai is largely used for melee combat but possesses one known special ability.
- Getsuga Tensho: At the instant of the slash, Zangetsu absorbs his spiritual energy and releases highly condensed spiritual energy at the tip of the blade, magnifying the slash attack and then flies forward. This slash takes the form of a crescent moon or in the shape of a wave. Ichigo uses this ability without knowing its name several times but masters the technique later on during his Bankai training. As stated by Zangetsu, knowing the name of an attack heightens its power compared to its strength when the wielder does not know its name. The Getsuga Tensho is a powerful technique with great force, capable of causing large-scale damage and destruction. While it is currently the only attack Ichigo knows from Zangetsu, Ichigo has used this technique in several different manners, such as striking the ground to create an omnidirectional blast to knock away incoming attacks or slashing at the ground to upturn it and crush everything in its path. After Ichigo regains his Soul Reaper powers, his Getsuga Tensho is shown to be noticeably larger and more powerful in its Shikai form, than it was before he lost his powers. It is shown to be powerful enough to push Dark Emperor back a couple meters.
- Shikai: Tensa Zangetsu: It is considered completely out of the ordinary for any Zanpakutō. Unlike most Bankai forms, which usually create some sort of massive creature or effect, Ichigo's Bankai actually shrinks his sword down to a daitō (Japanese long sword) with a black blade instead. The cross guard has four prongs bent out to form the shape of the manji (which is the kanji for "ban," meaning "full", as in "full release"). The blade itself can endure even the strongest of attacks, making it quite effective in blocking and deflecting incoming attacks. It can even withstand getting crushed by force. Instead of the cloth his Shikai form had, a short length of chain with a broken link at the end dangles from the base of the hilt. After Ichigo's training in the Dangai, Zangetsu's guard becomes noticeably big and rougher looking with its chain extending around Ichigo's entire right arm, as well as what appears to be a glove on his right hand. In addition to his sword, Ichigo's robe is replaced with a long-sleeved, ankle-length black coat (or shihakushō) with red lining that is closed at his chest, then left to flare out into ragged ends, much like that of Zangetsu himself. This coat is part of Ichigo's Bankai and the damage it can take is directly proportionate to the remaining strength and level of Ichigo's Spiritual Pressure.
After his training in the Dangai, Ichigo's bankai takes on a slightly different appearance. While Zangetsu still takes the form of a daitō with a black blade, the four prongs on the cross guard extend out farther than they previously did. While still in the shape of the manji, the prongs become more abstract and slender in appearance. Ichigo's right hand becomes covered by a black glove and the chain at the base of Zangetsu's hilt extends out further than it previously did, spiraling up the length of his sleeveless right arm with the additional portion of the chain hanging down freely from his upper arm.
Bankai Special Ability: Tensa Zangetsu, much like its Shikai form, is used heavily for melee combat, but also possess a certain special ability.
- Hyper-Speed Combat: Ichigo takes all the power of his Bankai and compresses it into a small, condensed form. Then, he uses the power of the Bankai to perform high-speed combat. His new speed is so great, that it also enhances his Flash Step prowess and allows him to create dozens of afterimages to confuse his opponent.
- Enhanced Strength: Ichigo's Bankai also allows him to further enhance his natural great strength as shown from how effortlessly he blocked a punch from Yammy Llargo, an Espada known primarily for his immense strength. He is strong enough to cut through Yammy's Hierro with relative ease. The sudden boost in strength upon releasing allows Ichigo to break free from any attack that binds him and prevents him from moving. After his training in the Dangai, Ichigo's strength has drastically increased to the point where a single swing of his sword can level a mountain. He can grab hold of Aizen's Zanpakutō blade with his bare hand without feeling any of the exerted force, although that force was capable of doing considerable damage to the surrounding area. He is able to effortlessly break through a #90. Hadō spell "Kurohitsugi" with his bare hand alone.
- Enhanced Getsuga Tensho: Tensa Zangetsu retains the use of Getsuga Tensho and can be used in the same manners, but can be used in an enhanced form. When used in Bankai, these potent blasts are black with a red outline and their path can be controlled, with explosively augmented power and speed. During Byakuya Kuchiki's fight with Ichigo, he refers to this attack as a Kuroi Getsuga, referring to the attack's darkened color. Ichigo has stated that the Black Getsuga was originally Hichigo Shirosaki's technique, and has been proven as Ichigo had no knowledge of it during his fight with Byakuya Kuchiki, using the original Getsuga when in Bankai, and Shirosaki stated that all Ichigo was doing when he used the technique was copying his inner Hollow. Ichigo can also keep Getsuga Tensho within Tensa Zangetsu to augment his sword swings.
- Enhanced Spiritual Power: His Spiritual Pressure is so intense and rough as well as thick and heavy that it can suffocate Humans just by being in the general vicinity of his released Bankai. Ichigo's Spiritual Pressure was solid in his Bankai despite him only recently acquiring it. In addition, his already immense spiritual energy has grandly and explosively increased, and now has a deep black spiritual energy with a crimson outline. It has come to a point where the red-outlined black energy emanates off of Ichigo's body when his spiritual pressure is exerted, replacing his blue aura. Ever since Ichigo defeated his inner Hollow and affirming his place as a Visored, he produces a black aura with a red outline that surrounds him as he initiates Bankai, rather than a white aura that shoots high into the sky. After his training in the Dangai, Ichigo's ability to sense Spiritual Pressure has increased greatly as he can now sense his sisters blocks away through various buildings and determine their current status. According to Sosuke Aizen, by achieving evolution into a dimension separate from Soul Reapers, both Soul Reapers and Humans have become unable to feel his Spiritual Pressure unless he voluntarily lowers his level and allows them to interfere, in the same way that a two-dimensional being is unable to interfere with a three-dimensional being. In this same way, he surmises that Ichigo is standing in a dimension even higher than the one he is in.
- Saigo no Getsuga Tensho: By using this technique, Ichigo becomes the Getsuga itself. It is referred to as the “Final” Getsuga Tensho because if Ichigo uses it, he loses all of his Soul Reaper powers. For the duration of the ability, Ichigo’s hair turns black, and becomes waist-length. Light bluish-gray bandages form around his body, tightly wrapped around his torso, right arm, and face, ending just beneath his eyes. Black flame-like markings spread across his chest and wrap around his left arm, and the remains of a tattered black cloak cover his lower body. In this form, Ichigo’s body constantly emits smoky black reiatsu, most of which is focused around his right arm. Being in this form allows Ichigo to use Mugetsu. Once it is used, the transformation dissipates, in which he will then lose consciousness accompanied by intense pain with the loss of his Shinigami powers following. Then, any remaining reiatsu stabilizes and he will awaken (sometime later, roughly a month) followed shortly by the loss of his remaining Spiritual Pressure.
- Mugetsu: Ichigo generates a blade of deep black spiritual energy in his hand and swings it towards the target. Doing so causes a massive veil of black spiritual energy to erupt upwards and approach the target, darkening the sky, and heavily damaging anything caught within the blast. The energy then continues to rise, dissipating into the sky.
Hollow Mask: Ichigo's Hollow mask manifests in the appearance of what could best be described as a menacing skull. The mask is white and originally had only three dark red stripes on the left side, and has since increased in number. The stripes have changed in thickness after he subjugated his inner Hollow. It eventually covers almost the entirety of the mask's left half during his third battle with Grimmjow Jaegerjaques. While pure white on the right side, the mask possesses a total of ten red stripes (a total of ten can be seen during his last fight with Ulquiorra) spread across three spots on the left side of his mask. In the aftermath of his victory over Ulquiorra Cifer, Ichigo's mask has changed again, as seen when he faces off against a released Yammy Llargo. Where his mask once had a series of thick red-black stripes that covered almost the entire left half of his mask, there are now only four thick red stripes that appear to emerge outwards from the widened eye-holes of his mask and either disappear into both sides of the lower jaw or travel past the very top of the mask itself.
The Hollow mask was originally a sign of Ichigo's possession by the Hollow within him, but after his training with the Visored, it has become an indication that he is merely utilizing his Hollow powers. To access Hollow Ichigo's power, Ichigo must summon the mask onto his face, which is normally done by placing one of his hands over his face and concentrating spiritual matter on it in order to manifest the mask (previously it had appeared on its own before he mastered the Hollow within him), summoning the mask in a "ripping" fashion. With the mask in place, Ichigo's eyes irises become yellow, and he has black sclera and pupils, his voice also has a slight hollow echo to it, and he gains access to increased physical enhancements (although most of the other Visored have been able to shift the position of the mask while apparently still retaining the abilities of their Hollowfied state as well as using general Hollow abilities neither of which Ichigo been shown capable of doing).
- Power Augmentation: While wearing the mask, Ichigo's Hollow powers supplement his Soul Reaper powers, giving him a vast increase in both strength and speed.
Augmented Getsuga Tenshō: When Ichigo wears his mask, the power, speed, blast area, force, and size of the Getsuga Tenshō becomes drastically augmented to the point of seriously harming a foe. When used with his Bankai and Hollow mask in combination, his Getsuga Tenshō is stated to be his ultimate attack. Ichigo's tremendous speed allows him to move faster than the Getsuga Tenshō itself, allowing him to fire multiple blasts from different directions. Ulquiorra Cifer believes that the Getsuga Tenshō is Ichigo's strongest attack, and has compared it to a Hollow's Cero, particularly a Cero Oscuras. The Kuroi Getsuga was first displayed by Ichigo's inner Hollow, and initially carried the risk of causing his inner Hollow to surface if used too much. With Ichigo's later control over his inner Hollow, this is no longer a problem. With the use of his new mask, he was able to use Tensa Zangetsu with only a single hand, sending a Getsuga Tenshō powerful enough to send Yammy Llargo falling down head first while he was in his much larger and stronger Resurrección state.
Enhanced Spiritual Power: While wearing the mask, the spiritual power Ichigo possesses becomes even greater than before. During Ichigo's fight with Grimmjow the 3rd Espada, Tier Harribel, notes that the volume, concentration, and catastrophic nature of his reiatsu didn't seem like that of a Human but more like she was watching a fight between two Espada. Additionally, Ulquiorra Cifer commented that his reiatsu was almost exact as Espada's. It has been noted multiple times that with the mask on his spiritual energy changes into something similar to that of a Hollow.
Enhanced Strength: While using the Hollow mask, Ichigo gains a substantial increase in strength. In his second fight with Grimmjow, he was able to overpower Grimmjow's Cero. As in his third fight with Grimmjow, he was able to even block the destructive force of an Espada's strongest Cero, the Gran Rey Cero fired by Grimmjow. As evident after he unleashed his Hollowfication state in his battle with Ulquiorra, and was even able to slightly break his sword with a single slash. He is able to effortlessly block a Cero fired by Ulquiorra.
Enhanced Speed: While wearing his mask, Ichigo’s already formidable speed is greatly enhanced. During his second battle against Grimmjow, Ichigo’s speed was great enough to completely overwhelm the Espada, who was unable to follow Ichigo’s movements and was forced completely on the defensive from his barrage of attacks. His attacks also become so fast that the opponent cannot even perceive them until after they are hit. He also becomes fast enough to outrun his own energy attacks, allowing him to strike and enhance them or launch simultaneous attacks at the opponent from different angles.
Enhanced Endurance: Apparently, using the Visored form makes him much more pain resistant, Ichigo even states at the beginning of his Visored training that "wearing the mask feels like being in control of someone else's body".
Enhanced Durability: His durability is even more evident throughout the fight as he is thrown through various buildings and obstructions. Ichigo shielded Orihime from a barrage of Grimmjow's dart bullets which have enough destructive force to destroy a large building. Even after taking this barrage, he was still able to fight and defeat Grimmjow, even destroying one of his Desgarrón claws, which was Grimmjow's most powerful technique.
- Mask Regeneration: Ichigo seems to have the ability to repair small amounts of damage that is inflicted upon his mask. This is seen during his 3rd fight with Grimmjow and during his most recent fight with Ulquiorra. He has also been shown to have the ability to call his mask out a second time after it shatters, but with less benefits. Also his sclera do not change, and remain Human, although this happens only in the manga. Ichigo retains his black sclera and yellow irises in the anime during all the times he Hollowfies. This was first used against his first fight with Ulquiorra, although unseen, it was used to help defend against Ulquiorra's Cero, and again with his most recent confrontation with him, after he went into his released form.
- Mask Shielding: The mask has also shown the ability to block attacks on Ichigo's body from within his robe, serving as a shield to stop or lessen attacks on him, sometimes saving his life. One example is when the mask blocked several hits from Renji's Zanpakutō during their fight; Hanataro Yamada notes the hits could have been fatal.
- Hollow Combat: When Ichigo fights with his mask on his fighting style becomes more instinctive than practiced. The Hollow mask also makes Ichigo more ruthless, akin to the battle style of Hollow Ichigo. Throughout the duration of the Hollowfication, Ichigo has shown less concern for injuries to his person, even going so far as to ignore grievous wounds to continue fighting.
- Increased Mask Duration: After training with the Visored and subjugating his inner Hollow, Ichigo can use his Hollow mask while retaining his personality, but could originally only wear it for eleven seconds at a time. His limit and Hollow powers greatly increases during his third battle with Grimmjow. The reasons behind Ichigo now being capable of fighting entire battles with his mask, currently remains unknown. Grimmjow speculated that Ichigo's improvements came from a subconscious need. However, once Ichigo's mask changed in his battle with Yammy Llargo, he noticed his mask felt different as well, as if it was heavier, and he is unable to re-summon it for a brief period of time. It is unknown if the time limit has changed as well, although his new mask began deteriorating directly after he attempted a Getsuga Tenshō on Aizen with it on.
Initially, Ichigo’s Fullbring powers focused on changing the form of his Substitute Soul Reaper Badge. By recalling the memories of his pride as a Shinigami, Ichigo causes the badge to release black reiatsu in the shape of Tensa Zangetsu's tsuba. Like a tsuba, the weapon is used primarily for defense, particularly to block attacks, and has no cutting power. If Ichigo releases his hold on the badge the Spiritual Pressure dissipates.
Later, his Fullbring powers evolves so that they changed the appearance of his entirety, covering his whole body in a black Spiritual Pressure with a dark blade forming in his right arm. His abilities are classified as a Clad-Type Fullbring, because Ichigo is shrouded in his own power, which resembles a Shihakushō, much like his former Bankai. In this form, Ichigo is able to Fullbring even concrete and solid air in order to propel himself higher and at faster speeds.
After goading from Kugo, Ichigo's Fullbring is completed and transforms to a more solid outfit. A white armor covers his chest, arms, shoulders and feet while a stripe runs across his face. Underneath this he wears a completely black bodysuit. A short sword grows from his badge which he hangs across his back. This form also changes the markings on his badge.
- Energy Blast: Using his first Fullbring, Ichigo is capable of unleashing spinning, propeller-like blasts of black spiritual energy. Ichigo compared the feeling of using these blasts to that of using Getsuga Tenshō. However, the attack is flawed. The blast's power is inconsistent, as it can have anywhere from three to six blades on it. If fired in succession, the number of blades decreases, with the attack becoming more fragile with each one it loses. If the attack has anything less than three blades, it can be shattered with ease. Ichigo and Jackie Tristan both came to the conclusion that if he fires three shots in row, he leaves himself wide open to attack.
- Getsuga Tenshō: In his completed Fullbring form, Ichigo is able to fire off a Getsuga Tenshō from his blade. Though the attack is not as large as it was while he had his Soul Reaper powers, Tsukishima noted how fast it moves.
Enhanced Speed: Through Fullbring, Ichigo can move far more quickly than usual, at one point catching Jackie Tristan off guard by vanishing and appearing behind her with a kick readied. Ichigo's feet emit a flickering "Bringer Light," which indicates that it is preparing for his next high speed movement. Jackie Tristan noted that the presence of the Bringer Light indicates that Ichigo is beginning to master Fullbring. Ichigo's speed is enhanced even further, as his Fullbring is now complete (not unlike his old bankai), as he was able to get behind Tsukishima and sliced off his left arm before he could even successfully attack him.