Блич: Глава про Ад (ブリーチ: 地獄篇, Буричи: Дзигоку-хэн) — четвёртое полнометражное аниме, снятое по мотивам манги Блич. Премьера состоялась 4 декабря 2010 в кинотеатрах Японии. Режиссером фильма был Нориюки Абэ, созданием сценария занимался Нацуко Такахаси. Тайт Кубо участвовал только в качестве режиссера-постановщика, а дизайном персонажей занимался Масаси Кудо. Кубо заявил, что принимал участие в планировании сценария лишь на ранних стадиях. Заключительная музыкальная композиция фильма является детищем группы T.M. Revolution и называется «Save The One, Save The All».
Для продвижения фильма Тайт Кубо опубликовал специальную главу манги под названием Воображаемый номер 01. непрощённые. Также был нарисован специальный 299-ый эпизод аниме Открытие театра! Глава Ада・Пролог. Кроме того, была выпущена официальная пригласительная брошюра «Блич: Стих про Ад» (Bleach: The Hell Verse).
В городе Каракура появляются Врата ада, из которых выходят странные духи, грешники, во главе с Шуреном. Общество душ отправляет Рукию Кучики и Ренджи Абарая на расследование. Грешники похищают сестёр Ичиго Куросаки. Грешник-отшельник Кокуто спасает Карин, но Юзу забирают в ад. Кокуто ведёт Ичиго с друзьями спасать её. Внутренний пустой Ичиго начинает спонтанно проявляться, и Кокуто предупреждает Ичиго, что он может потерять контроль над ним, если не перестанет пользоваться маской пустого. Ичиго, Рукия, Ренджи, Исида и Кокуто в битве с Шуреном и другими грешниками узнают, что Шурен хочет использовать Ичиго, чтобы сбежать из Ада. …
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ВоспоминаниеA flashback appears of the battle between Hollow Ichigo and Ulquiorra Cifer on Las Noches. As the Cuarto Espada soars through the skies of never-ending night, Hollow Ichigo roars and charges, meeting Ulquiorra head on in a clash between claw and sword. Both combatants loop around once more and continue to battle, parrying each other's strikes until Hollow Ichigo abruptly catches Ulquiorra's wrist. Ulquiorra lashes out and kicks the Hollowfied Substitute Shinigami into one of Las Noches' pillars and shoots after him. Hollow Ichigo regains his footing and swings his sword, sending the shockwave of the swing towards Ulquiorra. Ulquiorra flies away, but Hollow Ichigo appears behind him and promptly tears off both his left arm and wing with a single stroke. Ulquiorra falls out of the sky and struggles to rise as Hollow Ichigo lands, managing to regenerate both his lost limbs before quickly forming Lanza del Relampago and throwing the attack headlong into Hollow Ichigo's powerful crimson Cero. A massive explosion rips through the sky, which Ulquiorra flies out of before coming under assault from his enemy and getting hurled into a pillar, leaving him helpless before the Inner Hollow's Cero. As the battle comes to a conclusion a mysterious hooded figure in Hell is awakened by the battle and screams as he regains his mortal body which causes an explosion to erupt from the ground.
Meanwhile in Karakura Town, Ichigo picks a fight with three guys who, on purpose, knocked a vase with flowers that was left for the spirit of a young boy. After Ichigo finishes he heads for his home where he's greeted by Isshin by attacking him. Ichigo delivers a blow to the face with his bag which knocks Isshin into a wall. Isshin is joining the Resident Clinic Committee and leaves Ichigo in charge of to take care of Yuzu and Karin while he is gone. Later, when Ichigo goes out to bring flowers the young boy, he is confronted by Rukia and Renji, who were coming back from an impromptu mission. But they didn't come to see him, they were on a mission. Ichigo offers to help, but Rukia said that Byakuya didn't want him to get in their way. So, Rukia and Renji leave, promising to send the young boy's spirit if they find him.
Ichigo goes to school and is greeted by Orihime and Chad. While they are chatting, a rattling is suddenly heard, and with scarcely any warning the entire metal scaffolding outside the school gives way and crumbles. A girl is about to get crushed by one of the falling metal sections, but Chad saves her by blocking it with his body. While the students discuss the incident, Uryū comes to see Ichigo. They don't say a word, but Uryū makes a sort of sign, which Ichigo understands. Later, the group examines the structure to see what Reiatsu caused it to collapse. Ichigo is unable to detect any reiatsu whatsoever, but Uryū discovers small traces of it, noting how it came from a sort of enemy they have never faced before. Then, another rumbling occurs and Reiatsu explodes inside the school. Rukia and Renji sense it, but Rukia soon detects another one. They split up, with Renji heading to assist Ichigo and Rukia investigating the second source.
Ichigo (in his Shinigami form), Orihime, Chad, and Uryū arrive in the classroom and see Tatsuki and other students wounded from the explosion. Suddenly Ichigo is attacked by a fat masked figure clad in a black cloak, which recognizes Ichigo. Ichigo is somewhat confused as to how he knows who he is, but is soon embroiled in combat. As they are fighting, the masked foe proves more of a match than an ordinary Hollow to Ichigo so he unleashes his Getsuga Tenshō, but to their astonishment the attack hardly even scratches their foe. Ichigo unleashes Bankai and attacks, but suddenly a three pointed glaive flies from an unseen location and forces Ichigo back. Another masked figure catches the glaive and launches a furious attack on Ichigo. Soon a third, hulking figure joins the fight and soundly beats Sado. Uryū has similar troubles with their first foe, as the figure is absorbing every arrow he uses and throwing each one back as a storm of purple energy bolts. Uryū is beaten, and just as all seems lost Renji calls out, and a great skeletal serpent crashes down upon the one that defeated Uryū.
Renji asks Ichigo if he's alright, while the enemy who he attacked comments that the Shinigami will be a problem. Renji mutters "Those guys..." to himself, causing Ichigo to ask if he knows who they are. The Lieutenant of the 6th Division confirms it, saying things are getting out of hand. He then states that another with reiatsu like theirs has appeared, and it's now at Kurosaki Clinic, shocking the Substitute Shinigami. Renji says that Rukia went their earlier, but he has doubts about her being alright. Ichigo exclaims that that means Yuzu and Karin are in danger, so Renji gets ready to battle his enemies, and Ichigo races towards the clinic. The masked enemies intend to stop him, but barely move an inch before Uryū cuts them off with a barrage of arrows. The enemy with the glaive attacks, but Renji uses his Bankai to battle him. His target quickly retreats, and another enemy intercepts, catching Hihio Zabimaru and using his bare hands to pry the jaws open, but only ends up being smashed into a wall. In the midst of all this, Ichigo jumps away. The fat figure exclaims angrily that the Substitute got away.
Much to Renji's surprise, the masked hulk is shown to have fared well against the attack and yanks on the skeletal serpent, pulling Renji towards him and allowing him to strike the Lieutenant with a powerful punch. The one wielding a glaive attacks Renji, declaring him finished, when suddenly Uryū blasts arrows at him, and one successfully hits, breaking his mask to pieces. The fat one shouts for him to put his mask back on, but before the now unmasked figure can do so, chains materialize around his body. A gale begins to whip up, and the surroundings are bathed in unearthly green light. Uryū, Chad and Renji can only watch in surprise as the Hell Gate suddenly manifests, opening and pulling the unmasked figure inside it. The blade extends, and the chained one screams in terror just before being hit by the blade and seemingly obliterated. Then his remains drift into the Hell Gate, which promptly closes. The remaining two figures decide to retreat, and disappear just as Uryū fires arrows at them.
Elsewhere, Rukia is having similar problems. Two figures clad similarly to the ones that Uryū, Chad and Renji fought a couple moments ago stand before her, the taller one whipping her with tentacles from his chest. In each tentacle in the place of an arm is one of Ichigo's sisters. Rukia demands that he release them, to which he replies that she cannot order him to do so. His companion tells him that it's time to finish Rukia off. The masked figure with tentacles, which his companion refers to as "Gunjō", gives an affirmative reply to "Shuren", and then declares that they have no time to "play with her" and attacks. Rukia attempts to stop it with Hado 33: Sokatsui, but the tentacles pierce straight through the blast of fire.
Suddenly, Ichigo arrives and cuts the tentacles quickly. He demands for Gunjō to release Yuzu and Karin, and for them to tell him what he wants with them. Gunjō comments that it appears that "Taikon" and his comrades had failed. But then Shuren walks forth, offhandedly saying it'll all end the same way. Then he demands that Ichigo come with them, saying they need the Substitute to accomplish something for them. Ichigo refuses, and repeats his request for Gunjō to release his sisters. However, the masked foe replies that he cannot do so. Shuren suddenly causes flames to materialize in his hands in a similar fashion to swords, telling Gunjō to "go back first". He then attacks Ichigo and quickly proves himself to be a powerful fighter, smashing Ichigo out of the sky and onto a building. The flame wielder praises Ichigo for his power and says that they are looking for such power. But then Ichigo sees something else: Gunjō is walking backwards into a rift with flaming edges. Ichigo chases after him, but his foe stops him with another battle. Meanwhile, the rift is closing quickly.Suddenly, blue light explodes from the rift, and it opens wide. All the ones present express surprise; clearly Gunjō and his companion were not expecting this. Gunjō shouts as one of his arms is cut off, releasing Karin. Then a figure with black bandages wrapped around his head grabs Karin. Ichigo and Rukia wonder who he is, while the two masked ones appear to remember him in an ill light. The mysterious figure says that he is tired of watching them do whatever they please, and both of the figures attack him. The newcomer easily handles all of their attacks. Shuren shouts for Gunjō to fall back, and the rift appears once again, closing significantly faster than before. Ichigo quickly rushes towards the rift as the newcomer gives Karin to Rukia. Ichigo has a brief scuffle with Shuren before going after the rift, but is unable to rescue Yuzu before it closes. Then the remaining one attacks him from behind, but is blocked by a chain dangling from the bandaged newcomer's wrist. Shuren pauses briefly when he sees the chain before the newcomer slashes him. Rukia gasps, realizing what the chains mean. The newcomer pulls the bandages off his nose and mouth, asking if the flame wielder wants to continue the battle, to which his adversary curses him, placing a hand over his cracked mask. Ichigo shouts that he return Yuzu, but is forced to dodge a flame bolt. Unfortunately, the same flame bolt is rushing towards Rukia and Karin. A sudden appearance by Chad saves them, but he is horribly burned in the process. Renji and Uryū appear afterwards and voice concern about Chad. Shuren suddenly calls Ichigo's name, referring to him and his comrades as Togabito from Hell. He then says if Ichigo wants to rescue Yuzu, he must help them break free from Hell, because he requires Ichigo's power to achieve this. However, Ichigo spots him and attacks. The Togabito blocks Ichigo's sword swing and declares that Ichigo must destroy Hell's Gate if he wants Yuzu back before disappearing into flame. Ichigo immediately presses the man in bandages for answers, demanding who Shuren was, where they took Yuzu, and what was going on with the Hell Gate. The bandaged man tells him to calm down and slow down with asking the questions. But Ichigo immediately shouts for him to answer now. Rukia tells him to calm down and that they must tend to their injuries at this point.
That night, Orihime begins to heal Chad, and Rukia questions the bandaged man about who he is. When asked if the chain he has is Hell's Chain, he confirms this and introduces himself as Kokutō, also adding that he is a Togabito as well. Rukia asks why he helped them against the masked Togabito from earlier, if he's from where they are from. Kokutō replies that he's not helping them, and he merely dislikes those Togabito. Ichigo immediately demands that Kokutō take him to Hell, saying "Yuzu might..." Kokutō finishes with "...die, right?" He explains that Hell's air cannot be breathed safely by Humans, so Yuzu will die if she stays in Hell. After a brief description of Hell, Kokutō asks if Ichigo still wants to go. Ichigo maintains that he has to go to save Yuzu. Kokutō agrees to go with them to teach the Togabito from earlier a lesson. Renji asks why he fought the Togabito, to which Kokutō responds to by repeating that he dislikes them, and in Hell, disliking one creates enemies. After a question from Rukia, he says that he deserves to be in Hell for things he's done in his life, and then sadly adds that some people fall to darkness for people they love.
Quickly changing the topic, Kokutō says that they should get going to Hell. Renji asks Ichigo if he really trusts Kokutō, to which Ichigo says he'll trust him if it means getting Yuzu back. Renji continues by saying that entering Hell would allow the Togabito to toy with him, but Ichigo still maintains that he must go. Rukia then states that they will go as well. Kokutō tells them to hurry up; he's opening Hell's Gate. Rukia quietly talks to Renji, and trusts him to use "that" to get everyone out of Hell if it goes wrong.
Yuzu is locked in a cage inside what appears to be a strange, dark room. A Togabito talks Shuren, saying that it appears that Ichigo and his friends entered Hell. Shuren asks if "Murakumo" is back, but apparently, he is not as he is taken by Kushanāda and has sunk into the depths of Hell. In order to revive him, they will need a tremendous amount of time; therefore, the Togabito is instructed to intercept the intruders along with "Taikon" and "Garogai".
Ад: Первый уровень
Ichigo, Renji, Rukia, Uryū, and Kokutō enter a section of Hell which resembles a city, except the buildings are little more than blocks, and blue roads hover over a void. Renji comments that he never thought that Hell would look this way. Uryū asks if it's Renji's first time here, because he thinks Hell is under jurisdiction of the Shinigami. Rukia replies that it is only under their surveillance. Renji comments that it feels nauseating in Hell, and anyone with low Reiatsu would have fainted by now. Kokutō reveals that the Togabito's base is at the lowest level of Hell, and they descend to the road. As they begin to run, Ichigo notices that people are staring at them. Kokutō says that they are Togabito as well, and they gave up fighting. He begins to talk about how Togabito keep their abilities in Hell so they can fight Hell's guards; however, this is merely to make them despair, for the guards are practically unbeatable. All this causes them to be "brain dead" and makes them want to die. But some people resist anyway, fueled by their resentments and memories, keeping them the way they are.Suddenly, Kokutō says that "they" discovered the group. From out of the void, a massive creature with an elongated skull mask and samurai armor on his right shoulder rises, eyes focused on them. It raises a hand towards them as Kokutō introduces them as the Kushanāda, Hell's Guardians. The Kushanāda eats several Togabito (though according to Kokutō, they reincarnate afterwards) and proceeds to plow through everything to attack the intruders. The group attempts to flee from it, only to run into another Kushanāda, and even though they jump over it, more and more Kushanāda pour in from the walls to pursue them. Rukia, Renji, and Uryū attack one Kushanāda, but it fails. Ichigo activates Bankai and tries to use Getsuga Tenshō to defeat the Kushanāda, but his Hollow mask suddenly materializes on his face. Ichigo falters for a bit before using his attack to destroy all the Kushanāda.
Rukia berates Ichigo for using his Hollow mask without warning them. Uryū agrees and states that they almost got caught up in the attack as well. Ichigo apologizes and stares bewildered at his hand. Rukia notices this and asks what the matter is. Ichigo explains that he did not call for the mask, and it donned itself upon his face without him calling for it. Rukia is shocked by this. Kokutō inquires if that was Hollow power. Ichigo confirms it. Kokutō then asserts that Hell's miasma must be affecting Ichigo strangely. The air in Hell could possibly bring out Ichigo's dormant Hollow power, and could even cause that power to run out of control. After a moment of silence, Kokutō moves on, and Ichigo follows soon after. Uryū, Rukia, and Renji stay behind for a moment, the latter two questioning Uryū on what was wrong. Uryū recounts that he had seen Ichigo's Hollow power run out of control before, and comments that if Hell is exactly how Kokutō claimed it is, then Ichigo is in much graver danger than they originally imagined.
The group runs around several corners before coming to a road leading into empty space. Ichigo comments on this, but Kokutō informs them to ignore that and just jump. They all jump into the vast smoky chasm below and plunge through the clouds into Hell's next level: an endless expanse of sea with many small stone islands circling the equator. The group lands on one shaped like a flower. Uryū wonders what this place is; Renji stares up at a large skeletal statue in the likeness of a Kushanāda, and wonders if this is a grave. Ichigo asks Kokutō if this is where Yuzu is, but before the Togabito can respond somebody informs them that there is nobody there. They whirl around to see the tall Togabito with whip-like tentacles from earlier, and also the hulking one with large fists. Ichigo demands that they give Yuzu back, but then a voice from above that he can have her and the overweight Togabito from earlier crashes down upon the skull of the statue, which Ichigo was previously standing upon. The overweight Togabito then tells Ichigo the catch to the deal: the Substitute Shinigami would have to help them out first.
Renji scoffs at the idea while the figure jubilantly exclaims that he can finally take off his uncomfortable cloak. He whips it off and introduces himself as Taikon. The tentacled Togabito slips out of his cloak and introduces himself as Gunjō, and their third member takes off his cloak, revealing his name to be Garogai. Gunjō states that this is a precarious environment, and asks the uninvited to leave. Ichigo once again demands for them to give back Yuzu as he unleashes a Getsuga Tenshō upon Taikon. Suddenly, Garogai drops down from above and attempts to crush Ichigo, who jumps back. However, he barely has finished moving when Gunjō rushes him, only to be intercepted by Renji and Zabimaru. The Lieutenant unleashes a counterstrike, only for Gunjō to evade it. He and Garogai then dodge Rukia's Hado #4: Byakurai. Taikon then lands behind Ichigo and attempts a strike of his own but is immediately shot down by Uryū's Ginrei Kojaku. However, lips suddenly appear on Taikon's skin and they swallow up the lingering energy from the arrows. The Togabito thanks the Quincy for the treat. Rukia lashes out with Sōkatsui, only for Taikon to swallow that up too. With a motion similar to blowing a kiss, Taikon sends the energy flying back at them, forcing them to dodge and creating a heart-shaped crater in the ground behind Uryū. Garogai then lands in the crater, forcing him to jump out of the flower and land on the edge. Kokutō lands beside him and warns him that here, unhindered by their cloaks, they are much stronger than they were in the Human World. Uryū asks why, but before the Togabito can answer, Garogai attacks again, forcing them to jump away.
Ichigo leaps out of the flower as well and runs along the rim, with Gunjō in hot pursuit. Before they can go too far, bright blue Kidō blasts rain down between them and force Gunjō to stop for a moment. Rukia and Renji close in, but Taikon then reveals that he absorbed all the reishi from Rukia's attack and returns fire, destroying a large amount of the flower structure. Ichigo, Rukia and Renji land on the crumbling rock face, and wisely decide to retreat as the rocks around them crash into the water. Garogai suddenly rises out of the water, hefting a giant circular stone slab, and throws his improvised weapon into the water to create a huge tidal wave that crashes down towards the group. Rukia stops running and turns to face the wave, plunging her sword into the ground four times to activate Tsugi no Mai: Hakuren and freezing the wave and the surface of the water solid.
Undaunted, Taikon and Gunjō blast through the ice and the latter smashes into Ichigo, sending both combatants into another stone flower, where they fight a tremendous battle. Uryū lands and is about to help, but before he can do anything he is forced to jump away as Taikon blasts him again. Rukia looks up and calls Ichigo's name in concern, but is distracted when Garogai approaches, shooting his fist towards her. Rukia dodges and Garogai retracts his fist as he closes in. Before he can attack her, however, Rukia shoots a Kidō bolt of her shoulder and into the Togabito, sending him crashing through a number of rocks until he actually breaks into the stone flower Ichigo and Gunjō are fighting in. Ichigo growls and prepares Getsuga Tenshō, but once again his Hollow Mask manifests without him calling for it, and after a split seconds hesitation blasts his foe with the extra power granted by his mask.Ichigo then flies out of the resulting explosion, landing on the rim of the flower as Kokutō lands beside him, informing the Substitute Shinigami that his sister is further away. Hearing this, Renji tells Ichigo to go on and leave the Togabito to them. Rukia agrees and tells Ichigo that the two of them and Kokutō would run ahead. Ichigo reluctantly agrees, and the group rushes ahead. The three jump off the edge and Kokutō plunges into the water, but suddenly Gunjō runs up, stating that he would not let them escape, and Rukia stays behind to hold the Togabito back as Ichigo plunges in after Kokutō. Elsewhere, Uryū stands across from Taikon, who asks if the Quincy honestly intends on fighting him, and that if so, he must be tired of living. Uryū disagrees and is willing to bet his honor as a Quincy that he won't lose to the same person. As they begin their fight, Renji stands across from Garogai and releases his Bankai, suggesting that the two finish the fight they started in the World of the Living.
Ichigo and Kokutō plunge through the bottom of the sea and descend upon a large wasteland with many pools of yellow liquid all about. Kokutō states that once they pass through this area, they will be at their base. Also, Kokutō adds, since Shuren's cronies are currently battling Ichigo's friends, their base's defenses will be at their weakest, making it perfect for them to attack. As they descend, however, a giant fist bursts out of a yellow pool and a Kushanāda reaches for them. Kokutō pushes Ichigo out of the way and tries to attack the Kushanāda, but is hurled painfully to the ground. Kokutō glances at his arm, which is burning from where some of the liquid got on it, and grimaces. The Kushanāda punches its fist into the ground and then seemingly grasps chains out of thin air. The chains then shed their invisibility and reveal their linkage to Kokutō, who cries out in fear. Before the Kushanāda can do anything more, however, a Hollowfied Ichigo cuts through its arm and then cuts the entire guardian in half with a Getsuga Tenshō. Ichigo then flash-steps over to where Kokutō is lying, spirits off his mask, and then flash-steps away with Kokutō in tow just before the yellow liquid cascades over the spot they just occupied.
Ichigo asks Kokutō if he's alright. The Togabito replies that he is, and asks if Ichigo's okay using his mask. Ichigo says he's fine just before Kokutō grunts in pain from his wound. He tells Ichigo to leave him there, as such pain is not unusual in Hell, and he should just think about saving Yuzu. Ichigo bends down and asks why he was helping him; after all, Kokutō's heart fell to darkness for the person he loved. Kokutō reveals he had a sister once, but "her stupid brother let her die", so he'd throw himself through any kind of danger for her. Kokutō tells Ichigo not to let Yuzu suffer like his own sister did, and save her. As Ichigo looks at him in surprise, the Togabito begins to struggle up, saying it must not be very convincing, coming from a heartless Togabito banished to Hell like him. Ichigo stares at him again before Kokutō tells Ichigo that they should hurry, or else he'd be letting his friends down. That being said, the two prepare to dive down to the next level.
High above, the water-like sky bursts as Hihio Zabimaru thunders down from the level above, reeling through the air before tossing Garogai away. Renji attacks again with the skeletal serpent, but Garogai grabs the jaws and pulls them apart, bringing Renji's attack to a forceful stop and telling him it will not work before swinging Hihio Zabimaru around and tossing it down towards the yellow liquid below. But Renji regains his balance and fires Hikotsu Taiho at the hulking Togabito, knocking him into the water. Garogai emerges, badly injured, prompting Renji to wonder if it was the yellow liquid that was affecting him. He attempts to fire Hikotsu Taiho again, but Garogai punches the accumulating energy before Renji can fire, causing a massive explosion that sends all of Hihio Zabimaru's segments flying. Renji stares in shock before Garogai sends him flying upwards with a bone shattering punch, then follows up with stomping on Renji right after he lands. The hulk attempts one more punch, saying it's the end for the Lieutenant, but Renji shouts that it's the end for Garogai, not him. As if on cue, all of Hihio Zabimaru's segments glow red and float upwards before Renji uses Higa Zekko to bring down all the segments of Hihio Zabimaru down on Garogai, crushing him. Renji gets up and says not to underestimate Zabimaru.
Elsewhere, millions upon millions of arrows shower upon Taikon, but the fat Togabito calls it all useless and proceeds to eat all of them. Uryū growls as Taikon comments about how good it tasted before blasting rapid fire attacks at Uryū, who uses Hirienkyaku to appear behind Taikon and slash him with a Seele Schneider, but Taikon absorbs that, too. Taikon finds the taste rather funny, but says that doesn't really matter. The two combatants land and Taikon tells Uryū that he should just stop struggling and let the Togabito kill him before firing another blast at Uryū. Uryū sidesteps and tells him to follow his own advice before charging at Taikon and slashing him with another Seele Schneider, which Taikon absorbs and calls useless. Uryū says he isn't finished and slashes him again, to which Taikon says he had better stop before it's too late.
The Quincy lands, whirls, and fires the same Seele Schneider at the Togabito, but Taikon just deflects it to the side and asks if it was supposed to be Uryū's killer shot, saying he never imagined Uryū to be so stupid. Uryū tells him to say so after his final shot, drawing one last Seele Schneider and firing it at his fat enemy. Taikon repeats for the umpteenth time that it's useless and prepares to absorb it, but the blade suddenly flickers out of existence, the hilt floating in midair in front of Taikon's open mouth. Taikon wonders what it is before suddenly, two squares meeting at right angles materialize around him, their vertex marked by the Seele Schneider, followed by a blue box. Uryū calls this Gert Schneider, surrounding an opponent with high density reishi, and it's similar to Sprenger. Taikon says he should have absorbed all of Uryū's reishi, to which Uryū replies that the box is created by Taikon's reishi, not his own. As if on cue, cuts begin to appear on Taikon's body which reishi escapes out of. Uryū explains that Gert Schneider took the reishi it needed from Taikon where the Seele Schneider cut him. He tells Taikon that the Togabito is not the only one who uses an opponent's reishi as a weapon. The Quincy pulls out a Gintō and tosses it, saying Quincy are much better at it. The Gintō strikes the Seele Schneider and breaks open, and Uryū turns away as the box contracts and explodes, destroying the Togabito inside.
Far away, the explosion is seen by Gunjō, who realizes Taikon's fate. Rukia immediately attacks while he isn't looking, but her intentions happen in reverse; Gunjō dangles her upside down with his tentacles. The Togabito notes that his comrades had failed, but this doesn't affect their plan too much. Rukia begins to attempt to slice the tentacles, but only ends up breaking Sode no Shirayuki. As Rukia stares at the blade in shock, Gunjō decides it is time for her to die. The tentacles begin to constrict, tightening and causing Rukia to scream. Gunjō says it is such a lovely sound, and then lowers a motionless Rukia, thinking she is dead. He prepares to move on to another one of Ichigo's companions, but suddenly notices it's snowing. Then the Shinigami he's holding in his tentacles suddenly raises her blade, and uses San no Mai: Shirafune. A blade of ice forms, freezing Gunjō over and causing him to break, freeing the Shinigami.
Rukia pants on the ground, and Uryū runs over, calling to her. Rukia tells him she is alright, but they suddenly hear Gunjō laughing and saying they are better than he initially thought. The Togabito says, as he continues to freeze, that he initially wanted to drag them down with him if he was defeated. He chuckles and tells them to forget it, because it is inevitable for them to die there. Uryū asks what he means, but Gunjō says he cannot tell them, and then finally shatters in a peal of maniacal laughter. Rukia wonders with dread what Gunjō is.
A stairway shrouded in mist takes Ichigo and Kokutō through a number of tiny houses with one wall missing, and a flame flickering inside. Ichigo gazes at them in wonder, but messes up with his footing, crashing to the ground, but fortunately not falling too far. Kokutō walks up to him and asks if he's alright, offering him his hand. Ichigo grabs Kokutō's hand and pulls himself up, apologizing for the hold up. Kokutō tells Ichigo to be careful before turning to continue their descent.
The stairs take them out of a rock splitting a waterfall of the yellow liquid in two, into the deepest level of Hell. Yellow clouds hover above them, and spherical rocks are arranged in a grid fashion in black sand. Ichigo looks at the sand and notices that he can sense reiatsu in them. Kokutō replies that they are no ordinary sands; they are filled with the reiatsu from the bones of Togabito, surprising the Substitute Shinigami. Kokutō explains that after being constantly bombarded by the Kushanāda, the Togabito lose heart. Eventually, their bodies rot on the ground, and Hell's fire consumes the bones. He says it is the resting place of those Togabito. No matter where you are, freedom is nonexistent. Ichigo questions this, since they came to Karakura Town. Kokutō replies that the Kushanāda's watchful eyes extend there too, remembering what happened to Murakumo. Regardless of what you do, there is no escape, no telling how long you will suffer, and in the end, you will be broken. He turns to Ichigo and asks for a favor after he's saved Yuzu: release him from Hell. Ichigo is surprised by this, as Kokutō states that he wants to be reborn, to see his sister again, and to apologize to her. Ichigo agrees to do it if he can, and Kokutō apologizes for asking to do this. Then he turns and tells Ichigo they must hurry; it's just beyond a hill. Ichigo gets ready to save Yuzu and starts running, with Kokutō following.
Reaching the top of the hill, Ichigo looks into the distance and is shocked by what he sees: Yuzu is unconscious in a small cage, dangling from a large skeleton with rods impaled in it above a pool of lava, surrounded by a stonehedge that has finger-like rocks in front of the open end. Ichigo charges down the hill, screaming Yuzu's name, he slips on the sand before leaping onto a rock and flying towards the skeleton. But then, there is an orange gleam from on top of the skull, and a bolt of fire flies at the Substitute. Slashing the blast with Tensa Zangetsu, Ichigo sees another one coming, which he jumps over, bounding onto one of the fingers. On top of the skull, the flame wielder, who is in a green cloak and with a Togabito mask on his chest suspended by chains, thanks him for coming. Ichigo raises his blade, shouting for him to give Yuzu back. The flame wielder identifies himself as "Shuren" and says that if Ichigo wants to save Yuzu, he must listen, prompting the Substitute to lower his blade slightly. Kokutō catches up and shouts to Shuren if he plans on taking on both of them by himself. Shuren says he will not, and while Ichigo and Kokutō wonder what he means, the flame wielder says that Togabito do not die in Hell, and Kokutō should know this best. Kokutō realizes what Shuren means and says "You did not..." Shuren poses with his arms, shouting "Taikon! Gunjō! Garogai!"Three streams of lava burst from the pool below Yuzu's cage, taking on the form of the three Togabito who they encountered earlier. Ichigo and Kokutō stare as the Togabito groan and growl as they reincarnate. Shuren explains that they fought earlier to separate Renji, Uryū and Rukia from them, and then died so they could revive here, at his side. Kokutō claims that this is impossible; you cannot be revived so fast. But then Gunjō, who has finally taken solid form, declares that what Kokutō thinks he may know may not always be that way, before launching his attack. His target, Kokutō, quickly jumps away and shouts for Ichigo to go save Yuzu and not worry about him. Taikon then tries to tackle Kokutō, but this fails. The fat Togabito voices how strange it is for a Togabito and a Human to be friends. Then Garogai drops down, forcing Kokutō to evade once more. Before Ichigo can do anything, he suddenly notices an attack and uses Shunpo to move away as Shuren slashes at where he was. Shuren says that he will fight Ichigo and slices again, but Ichigo blocks, then when Ichigo charges, the Togabito skillfully redirects his charge, knocking Ichigo into the stonehedge, and then using his flame power to blast fire bolts at Ichigo, forcing him to run. Flying alongside the stonehedge, flame sword in hand, Shuren shouts angrily that it's about time Ichigo started listening, to which the Substitute Shinigami shouts for him to shut up and slashes at him.
Meanwhile, Kokutō is sent flying by a punch from Garogai, towards one of the fingers, which Gunjo is standing on. Gunjō sends a tentacle flying at Kokutō as he nears. Kokutō cuts it, but smashes into the finger and falls towards the ground. Taking advantage of this, Gunjō launches tentacles down at Kokutō, but he uses his sword as a vaulting pole and propels himself out of the way. Just as he lands, Taikon fires an energy blast at him, which Kokutō cuts in half. Meanwhile, Ichigo runs from Shuren's flame bolts and jumps onto yet another one of the fingers, as Shuren pursues. A flame bolt is fired from Shuren's hand, but as Ichigo blocks it, Shuren attacks with his flame sword, knocking Ichigo through still another finger after a brief scuffle. Then Shuren fires a barrage of flame at Ichigo. The Substitute attacks once more, but Shuren smirks and blasts bolts at Ichigo while charging a much larger one in his left hand, which he fires towards his side. Ichigo suddenly realizes what Shuren's doing; he's firing it towards Yuzu. But because he let his guard down, Ichigo goes flying, unable to do anything about the flame bolt. Kokutō quickly cuts Garogai in half and jumps in front of the flame bolt, slashing it in half.
Ichigo goes flying into the dirt, while Kokutō is bound by several of Gunjo's tentacles above the lava. More come to skewer him, and though the Togabito attempts to slash them, several get through anyway and impale him. Taikon lands next to Gunjo and declares that Kokutō cannot win now. Kokutō tells him to shut up, saying it's the same for them, throwing his sword at Taikon. Taikon swallows it and laughs, until Kokutō uses his Hell Chains to pull on the sword, sending the fat Togabito into the lava. As Gunjo is shocked by what happened, Kokutō shouts that it's over and jumps into the lava, pulling the tentacled Togabito with him. Ichigo shouts Kokutō's name, but then hears Shuren attacking once more and runs away from a storm of flame bolts. Shuren asks what he's looking at; his opponent is over here. However, then blue light begins to surround Ichigo, who declares he doesn't have time to play with Shuren. His mask briefly materializes, then fades as he launches Getsuga Tensho at Shuren. But the flame wielder dodges, causing the Getsuga to penetrate through the many levels of Hell, quaking the blocks at the top level.
Ichigo stares at what just happened, but his attention is attracted by Shuren laughing, calling his power wonderful. Then he declares that that is the power he needs to destroy Hell's Gate. Ichigo tells him to shut up, but just as he's about to attack, he suddenly pauses; his attack would hit Yuzu. Shuren laughs that the Substitute was rational enough to realize what would happen if he attacked, then blasts a flame bolt which splits as it hits Ichigo's chest and explodes behind him. The Togabito says he will not kill Ichigo and continues to fire flame bolts at him. Ichigo marches towards him, blocking a flame bolt with Tensa Zangetsu, but the bolts' explosions obscure him from view. When he is visible once more, the Substitute has his Hollow Mask on. Shuren laughs again, calling it splendid, and tells Ichigo to destroy the gate before blasting another flame bolt. Ichigo sidesteps, then begins to run toward Shuren. The Togabito is alarmed, realizing what will happen, and starts a more ferocious attack. However, this is futile; Ichigo just uses Shun-po to dodge all of them and jumps at Shuren, getting ready to slash him. Now fully aware that Ichigo may be able to beat him now, Shuren uses a flame barrier to keep Ichigo at bay. But then Ichigo quickly rushes to behind Shuren, jumping off a rock at him. Shuren tries to blast Ichigo as he flies next to the stonehedge, but now the Substitute is just far too fast for him. Then a Getsuga Tensho is fired at Shuren, followed by Ichigo slashing Shuren and cutting him successfully. Ichigo attacks one more time, and this time deals Shuren a killing blow enhanced with a Getsuga contained within the blade, which rockets off into the distance as soon as he has hit the Togabito. Exhausted after defeating Shuren, Ichigo spirits his mask away. Then Ichigo says to Yuzu that he's coming, and begins to run towards her cage, but has barely taken two steps when a blade stabs him through the chest, but not just any blade; it's Kokutō's blade. Then the Getsuga that he used to kill Shuren finally explodes, and Ichigo collapses as the wind from the blast catches up. And then, Kokutō walks up, asking Ichigo how he is in a carefree manner.
Kokutō bends down and pulls the blade from Ichigo's chest, telling him to shut up as the Substitute screams in pain, calling it a small cut. Then he stands up and raises his blade over his head, slashing Ichigo. Ichigo stares up at him, saying "Why..." Kokutō replies with "Why what?" He says he did it for the same reason they did, and reminds Ichigo about what he said before: After you die, you'll be revived. Kokutō suddenly averts his attention: Shuren lands nearby in lava form, moaning as he tries to revive. Kokutō calls him a nuisance, wondering why he won't stay dead for a couple moments, and then begins beating Shuren down. Ichigo asked why the Togabito betrayed him, to which Kokutō responds with "Who?" He states that everything is going according to plan; he says they are all helping him. He tells Ichigo to Hollowfy and help him; after all, didn't the substitute promise to help him? Ichigo struggles to get up, but fails, and asks about Kokutō's sister. Kokutō replies that that was real, and she was killed, so, in turn, he killed her murderer. Shuren begins to moan again and struggle up. The bandaged Togabito angrily begins to attack him, telling him to shut up, and he had felt great for a moment. He shouts that his sister will never come back to life, so he wants everyone to have a taste of his pain. Kokutō then rips his bandages off, revealing his face was horribly burned on the other side, and screams why was he banished to Hell. Flashing back, he says that he tried to escape several times, but each time, he was pulverized by the Kushanāda and sent back to Hell. Then he saw a discarded memory of Ichigo battling Ulquiorra, fully Hollowfied. So he passed the information to Shuren and his minions.
Kokutō states that he must get out of Hell, no matter what. He doesn't even care if the Human World and Hell became one. Ichigo glares at him, but then hears Rukia coming and realizes what Kokutō will do now. Rukia asks if Ichigo is alright, but Kokutō quickly speeds past her and incapacitates her. Uryū then appears behind Kokutō and shouts that he is evil after all, and prepares to fire a Seele Schneider, but then Kokutō uses the same move on him, and when Uryū tries to slash him, one of the Togabito's Hell Chains blocks his attack. Uryū falls to the ground, defeated, as the Togabito tells him that he can't break the chain with that. Ichigo shouts out to Uryū and Rukia, as Rukia struggles to rise, but fails. Renji appears and shouts out to Rukia, but he sidesteps Kokutō's attack and attempts to launch one of his own, but the chain once again blocks this attack, leaving Renji wide open to two slashes from the Togabito while he wonders what happened.
Ichigo, reiatsu flaring out, attacks Kokutō in a rage, but Kokutō dodges, and the impact of Ichigo's slash obscures his vision. Ichigo quickly attacks again, as Kokutō tells him he must release all his hatred and anger upon him so he will cut the chain. More attacks from Ichigo are blocked by the chain, and Kokutō states that's not enough; to break the chain he must unleash the monster in him, then speeds away. Ichigo looks up at the giant skeleton and sees Yuzu's cage falling, but Yuzu is no longer in it. Standing on top of the skeleton, Kokutō commands him to look. Holding up Yuzu, Kokutō states she can no longer withstand Hell's miasma. He holds her up for him to see: a Hell Chain is growing from her chest. Ichigo, rendered utterly speechless, cannot stand this failure, and his reiatsu flares up in rage. Renji stares in shock, and Kokutō tells Ichigo to let all his anger out; this is Hell, so he doesn't have to hold back, he can just let the darkness in him take over. Renji quietly whispers "Ichigo..." By now Ichigo is holding nothing back and is unleashing all of his anger, his reiatsu flaring wildly to show this. Kokutō smiles cruelly and drops Yuzu, whispering "Welcome to Hell!"As Yuzu is dropped down towards the lava, Ichigo blazes forward in fury and catches her before flash-stepping back onto safe ground. A Hollow hole rips open in his chest, and he erupts into a blaze of intense reiatsu. When the reiatsu clears up, Ichigo is in his Hollow form, wasting no time as he immediately charges a Cero, with Kokutō goading him on, telling him "That's it, use that power to cut my chains!" Ichigo, past the point of coherent thought, roars as he builds his Cero to maximum power and unleashes it in a destructive blast that obliterates the skeletal statue along with the stonehenge around it. Kokutō laughs as he evades, allowing his chains to take the hit. As the Cero dissipates, the remains of Kokutō's chains become visible as they fall to the ground. Renji glances at one as it falls down beside him. Kokutō reappears atop the last section of the structure surrounding the skeleton, commenting that Shuren and his group believed that destroying Hell's gate would free them. This was not correct; Kokutō reveals that the source of their incarceration lay in their chains. He then orders Ichigo to cut more of his chains, as Renji tries to come up with a plan to stop this.
Ichigo fires another Cero, which Kokutō blocks with an energy shield, laughing maniacally as he is blasted backward, unharmed, but more of his chains are destroyed. But the explosion from the Cero causes a massive explosion that reaches up all the way to the top level. The Hell Gate can't stand the impact and is shattered, allowing a massive jet of fire to blast into the sky of Karakura Town. Kokutō lands on the shattered skull of the skeleton and declares that this is the last chain. Ichigo prepares one last Cero, but Renji suddenly intervenes, shouting for Ichigo to not let Kokutō provoke him and slashes one of the horns on Ichigo's mask, causing the Cero to explode harmlessly.
Kokutō realizes what will happen and jumps at Ichigo, but he is too late; Renji uses a special, one time use Kido, enveloping Ichigo in a bright blue light. Kokutō is unable to reach Ichigo in time and is halted, wondering what this is. Renji grins and tells him it serves him right before collapsing, as Ichigo floats upward in blue light, his mask breaking, his arm still wrapped around Yuzu. Kokutō watches his only hope for escaping Hell fly up and away before screaming in utter rage "NO!!!!!"
The morning sun dawns on an eerie sight: the destroyed Hell Gate is hovering in midair. Blue bands are surrounding the gate, and in turn, those bands surrounded by Shinigami. Inside a tent, Ukitake, Byakuya, Hitsugaya, and Yamamoto are having a meeting. Ukitake tells Yamamoto that their Kidō Team is preventing Hell's miasma from spreading any further. Yamamoto asks how Karakura Town is, to which Ukitake replies that everything is normal at the moment. Yamamoto orders them to continue with the repairs of the Hell Gate, putting them in charge. Hitsugaya wonders how the Gate was destroyed; none of the Togabito could have, and they never saw anyone do it from the outside, so who could? Ukitake adds that Rukia and Renji could not have broken the gate, either, as Byakuya has a pained expression on his face for Rukia's fate. Suddenly, their meeting is interrupted by a Shinigami reporting that Ichigo has appeared outside of the Hell Gate.
Outside the Hell Gate, Ichigo lies unconscious, an arm still over Yuzu. Several Shinigami appear around him as he begins to regain consciousness. As soon as Ichigo is fully awake, he shouts at the Shinigami to get away, shouting he must get Yuzu away. A Shinigami informs him that they have called a medical team to check on her while they attempt to restrain him. The Substitute shakes them off, angrily shouting he has no time to wait for that. Ichigo and the Shinigami continue to argue, and things become more of them trying to hold Ichigo while waiting for the medical team, and Ichigo trying to escape. Suddenly, Ichigo's name is called, and the Shinigami bow down, as Ichigo realizes that Yamamoto has arrived. Byakuya, Hitsugaya, and Ukitake also arrive, and Rangiku comes shortly after with Orihime, who quickly runs over to Ichigo, shouting his name. Ichigo quickly tells Orihime to save Yuzu. Orihime quickly summons Ayame and Shun'ō to heal Yuzu. However, the shield suddenly begins to flicker, then shine with irregular colors. Orihime wonders what is going on before the shield explodes violently, causing Ichigo and Orihime to recoil.
Orihime slowly reaches over and flips Yuzu onto her back, revealing eyes blankly staring forth, dead, and a Hell Chain extending from her chest. Orihime grips the chain briefly, before helplessly releasing it. Ichigo stares before screaming at Orihime, shaking her by the shoulders and begging her to do something. However, Yamamoto interrupts by saying all their attempts are futile. That is a Hell Chain; therefore, she's a Togabito, and they can do nothing about it. Ichigo stares helplessly before denying it, unable to accept that his sister is dead. Yamamoto replies by saying everything started because of Ichigo. Ichigo is devastated that his sister is dead now, and he is responsible for it, and screams in rage at what happened.
In the Gotei 13's base in Karakura town, Yuzu is lying in a bed inside a tent, and Ichigo is sitting nearby. Memories flash in Ichigo's mind of Yamamoto telling him that he made the wrong choice in charging into Hell; that's why they now must deal with the current situation at hand. He reminisces about how he lost control and demolished Hell, and Yamamoto tells him that the demon in him broke the chains that for centuries had never been broken once. Another flashback of Kokutō's chains breaking and falling races through his mind as he recalls Yamamoto saying that now Ichigo has caused the Human World to combine with Hell. Ichigo recalls the massive Cero that destroyed the Gate and blasted a massive jet of flame into the sky, while Yamamoto's voice says that his irresponsible actions have doomed all the Humans.
Ichigo feels unable to cope with the remorse that his deeds caused to him, and his hands begin to crumple the rug that covers the ground, but his thoughts are suddenly interrupted as Byakuya comes in. Ichigo turns to him, but quickly averts his eyes. Byakuya asks him why he is avoiding his eyes. Ichigo quietly tells him that he left Renji, Rukia and Uryū in Hell. He then adds that because he left them there, and was unable to save Yuzu, he let everyone down, and begins to break down again, but then Byakuya interrupts by saying "So what?" Ichigo stares at Byakuya in shock, before grabbing his haori and shaking it, shouting that Rukia is in Hell, and they did everything to get him out. The captain firmly states that Rukia is an honorable Shinigami and she'd know what she was doing. Ichigo slowly releases Byakuya and stares at him, while the captain calmly tells him that if they decided that he should be the one to escape, then he'd better start thinking about their intentions. Ichigo ponders this, while Byakuya turns to leave, apologizing for intruding.
Suddenly, the blanket covering Yuzu blows off and her Hell Chain begins to glow red. Ichigo and Byakuya whirl as the Chain blasts a pulse of energy out and shakes. Ichigo runs over, but the Chain suddenly begins to dissolve. Byakuya stares in shock, as the Chain completely disappears, and the red light fades. Yuzu begins to cough, and Ichigo grabs her in concern. Byakuya swiftly exits the tent, causing the Shinigami to believe something happened. The captain tells Orihime, who is standing outside, to enter the tent. Orihime complies and runs in, while Byakuya ponders what happened.
Much later in the day, in the Kurosaki Clinic, Orihime tucks both Yuzu and Karin into bed, while Ichigo sits inside the living room, thinking about what Byakuya said. He looks up again, resolve in his eyes, to act upon their intentions. Orihime enters, and Ichigo asks how Yuzu is, to which she replies that she's better now. Ichigo gratefully thanks her, but Orihime shakes her head, saying everyone helped. The Substitute asks how Chad is doing, and is told that he's unconscious, but he's almost fully recovered. Ichigo thanks her again, and then says she must be tired, asking if she wants something to drink. Orihime quickly realizes what Ichigo intends to do and asks if he plans to return to Hell. Ichigo is silent for a few moments, then states that Yuzu was taken by Hell, but she recovered; therefore, there is still a glimmer of hope for Rukia, Renji, and Uryū. Orihime begins to argue that if he does that, he may lose control again, but Ichigo replies that he knows, and if he does that, then the world may come to an end, just like Yamamoto said. But this time, he says, he will not lose control. He flashes back to several scenes of Kokutō fighting and states that he is extremely strong, so he's not sure if he could beat him again, even if he Hollowfied...but he must win. Ichigo nearly breaks down again while saying if he doesn't, then he would never be able to face any of his friends who entrusted their lives to him. Orihime suddenly grabs him in the back and tells him that he must come back. Ichigo replies, with resolve in his eyes, that it won't be long.
The sun sets on Karakura Town, and the Hell Gate still is not repaired. A messenger comes to Ukitake, Rangiku and Hitsugaya, telling them that Ichigo has broken the barrier and is coming to the Gate this very moment. Hitsugaya curses Ichigo and asks Ukitake if they should stop him, but Ukitake replies that their top priority is repairing the Gate. The silver haired captain begins to say that he'll handle the Substitute, but suddenly realizes that Ichigo is behind them, Zangetsu drawn. The three captain-class Shinigami reach for their swords and Hitsugaya asks if he's looking for revenge. When Ichigo gives no reply, Ukitake says that they have even more reason to stop him in that case, but before he can finish telling Ichigo what will happen if he loses control again, Ichigo activates Bankai and quickly obtains Tensa Zangetsu in a flash of pale blue light. Ichigo declares that he's going to save his friends. Before the Shinigami can do anything, however, the Gate begins to pulse red, and a Kushanāda lunges out, grabbing at them. They all use Shunpo to get back and Ukitake orders everyone to stop the Kushanāda from entering the Human World. Ichigo takes this opportunity to charge into the gate, but Hitsugaya tells Rangiku not to go after him before releasing his reiatsu; after all, they can't worry about him right now. As Ichigo charges in, the Kushanāda attempts to stop him, but a flurry of pink blades slash it, Byakuya raises his hand, ready to stop the Kushanāda using his Bankai.
Ichigo charges through the levels of Hell, quickly diving through the first level before any of the Kushanāda can grab him, plummeting through the water in the second level without stopping, and plunging straight into the chasm on the third level, ready to save his friends.
Sitting upon what looks like a Kushanāda's skull, Kokuto notices lightning flashing in the sky. He stands up to look at what is the matter, and sees Ichigo plunge through the dark clouds above him, pleased that Ichigo came to him. Ichigo dives down towards Kokuto, who is actually standing on a tower in a lake of lava, which a river of lava feeds into. Several pillars surround them, pools of lava resting on top and flowing down into the lava river. The Substitute lands on the ground, which is actually composed entirely of bones, and is greeted with Kokuto telling him that he intended to come to the Human World so Ichigo may cut his chains, but wasn't expecting Ichigo to come to him. The Togabito asks if he is here to avenge Yuzu, but is surprised when Ichigo states that Yuzu is alive and well, asking why Ichigo came if that was the case. Ichigo replies that he came to rescue his friends. Kokuto scoffs at this and declares that Ichigo doesn't seem to know Hell very well. Hell has already bound them in chains, he says as he turns toward a tree of bones. Ichigo follows his gaze and sees Renji and Uryū, bound by Hell Chains and rotting. Kokuto says that they have not yet been taken by Hell, then pulls out his sword and says that he's in no hurry; "the petite Shinigami woman" is ready to be resurrected.
At that point, the lava bubbles up, and Rukia bursts out, a Hell Chain wound around her body. A white Shikahusho quickly covers her, as she gasps in pain. Rukia looks up and wonders why Ichigo's there, but she is interrupted when Kokuto suddenly grabs her Hell Chain and pulls her close, and the Togabito explains, as Rukia groans from the pain of having her Hell Chain pulled on, that the rule in Hell is simple: Those who are bound with the chains can be revived countlessly, and if you don't break the chains, you'll never get out. Ichigo prepares for battle and declares that he'll break the chains, to which Kokuto comments "How dependable...", proceeding to ask if Ichigo will cut his chains, too. The Substitute replies that that won't do. He raises Tensa Zangetsu, his reiatsu flaring through the blade, and shouts that he came to defeat Kokutō.
Ichigo immediately rushes to attack, and Kokuto releases Rukia just as Ichigo appears in front of him, ready to slash him, and blocks the attack. With a simple motion of his arm, Kokuto knocks Ichigo away and attacks him, forcing Ichigo back as they spar on top of the tree. Ichigo quickly jumps to another place on the tree, but Kokuto quickly runs up to him and continues attacking, knocking the Substitute away. However, his opponent quickly springs off a branch and charges, unleashing his reiatsu. Kokuto smirks and sidesteps, allowing Ichigo's momentum to carry him off to the side. Ichigo loses his balance and falls off the tree, and Kokuto grabs him by the neck, hurtling towards the ground and berates him for thinking he could defeat the Togabito without his mask, before throwing Ichigo down at the skull. Ichigo rolls off the skull and onto the ground, and just as he stands up once more, Kokutō rushes down to attack again. As the two continue to clash, Kokutō says that Ichigo is naive; he will never defeat him like this, no matter how much resolve he has. That being said, he smashes Ichigo so hard the Substitute goes flying off the tower. Seeing the lava below, Ichigo uses Getsuga Tenshō to attack and propel himself up. Kokuto mutters "That's right..." before slashing through the pitch-black energy, redirecting it into a tree.
Rukia crawls on top of the skull to watch the battle, and is just in time to see Ichigo return to the tower. However, a Hollow mask begins to form on Ichigo's face, and he struggles with his inner Hollow for control, as Rukia watches helplessly. Finally, Ichigo manages to rip the incomplete mask from his face, but the effort necessary to do that taxes him greatly. Kokuto asks what's wrong, and then suddenly disappears, reappears next to Ichigo for an instant, and asks what he's afraid of. Ichigo makes a slice, but Kokuto is gone already. Then, behind Ichigo, the Togabito steps out of the shadows, asking if it's his inner Hollow which will destroy the world. If that's the case, he says, then Ichigo should never come here again, and he proceeds to grab Ichigo, throw him a ways off, and attack once more. The Togabito angrily states that Yuzu was saved because Ichigo became the monster, and without its power, Ichigo can't do anything, before striking Ichigo and sending him flying into the mouth of the skull. Rukia is shaken by the shockwave, and a lava vein flares up violently, causing Rukia to worry.
Inside the skull, Ichigo is recovering from Kokuto's attack, but then said Togabito suddenly appears above him and mercilessly stomps on his chest. The Togabito reminds Ichigo that he said that in a world of despair, resentments and memories are what keep a person sane. He smashes his heel into Ichigo's face and continues to press, cracking the ground as he says that revenge is what drives him. Ichigo suddenly notices that lava is beginning to trickle down towards them, and begins a panicked struggle. An annoyed Kokutō asks what is wrong, and then the lava lands on Ichigo's hand, catching fire. Ichigo screams in pain, and Kokuto laughs cruelly as the magma explodes outward. The flames hurtle out of the skull, and Ichigo is sent flying far away from the skull, badly burned. Kokuto lands nearby, his sleeve still on fire, and Ichigo angrily glares at him, as the Togabito tells the Substitute to hate him more, as that will make him even more powerful. His sleeve is completely burned away, revealing his hand to be horribly burned as well.Ichigo hasn't even recovered from the lava when Kokuto begins to attack him, and Ichigo desperately rolls away, but is caught by his Hell Chain and smashed through several rocks into the ground. Not wasting any time, Kokuto jumps at Ichigo, stabbing him in the chest and causing magma to erupt from the earth. He steps on Ichigo's chest and asks the Substitute if he wants his sisters dragged into Hell again. The fear and anger of even contemplating that causes Ichigo's reiatsu to flare out violently, and Kokuto jumps away to avoid taking too much injury. Ichigo slowly stands up, his sclera already black and irises yellow, his anger in full control of him...and then he suddenly loses control, and a mysterious gray substance bursts from his mouth and chest, threatening to swallow him. Kokuto shouts that that is how he wants it, as Ichigo struggles against the gray substance: Once the body is broken, it's easy for a relapse. He states that Ichigo might as well relent, since he can't escape from the monster.
As Ichigo's Hollow continues to take over his body, Rukia makes her way over to watch. She screams his name, but then Kokuto grabs her by her Hell Chain and tells her to be quiet; the show's just starting. Kokuto grins when he hears familiar strange humming noises and asks the now almost completely Hollowfied Ichigo if he hears it: The Kushanāda have discovered the change in his reiatsu and will devour him to prevent Hell's destruction. The Togabito laughs maniacally and tells Ichigo to hurry up and finish up his transformation, or else he'd be devoured; then again, he'd be revived anyway, so he needn't worry. He then says that Ichigo will continuously relive this if he doesn't destroy Hell. The Kushanāda army advances, ready to destroy Ichigo, and Kokuto moves himself and Rukia to on top of the tree to get to a safe distance, asking Ichigo what he'll do. But to his surprise, Ichigo mutters "Who would...want to be a monster?"
The Substitute repeats the question, then reaches up and tears off one of his own horns, saying as his Hollow form disintegrates that because Kokuto can't get what he wants, he seeks revenge, and only makes people as miserable as he is. As his Hollow form continues to crack, Ichigo says that revenge is only the path that Kokuto took to escape his sufferings, oblivious to the fact that the Kushanāda are climbing the tower now. Ichigo declares that while he wanted to save his friends, he will not sacrifice innocent bystanders to do it. A Kushanāda rises, now with chin on level with the ground, and Rukia frantically struggles in Kokuto's grip, telling Ichigo to run. Ignoring the looming threat behind him, Ichigo shouts that he swore that he will fight, and breaks the remains of his Hollow form completely. But the Kushanāda is directly above him now, and Rukia screams as it brings its hand down on top of Ichigo.
Suddenly, golden light begins to shine from underneath the Kushanāda's hand, and other Kushanāda move away, appearing to drop their offensive postures. Kokuto thinks it's great and shouts for Ichigo to kill them all, but the Kushanāda's hand begins to dissolve, revealing the golden light clinging to Ichigo's form, creating armor across a side of his head, his torso and left arm. The Togabito takes a step back, completely not knowing what's going on. More Kushanāda lend their powers, and a massive pillar of golden reiatsu jets into the sky. Kokuto releases Rukia and braces himself, while the latter grabs onto the tree to avoid being blown away. As the Kushanāda bow down, Rukia loses her grip and goes flying. Then something unseen cuts the Hell Chains suspending Renji and Uryū in the air, and catches Rukia as she falls off the tower. And then, he lands on the tower with Rukia, her Hell Chain on the ground, severed. Rukia gasps and clutches at where it used to be, then looks up towards her savior to see that it's none other than Ichigo, now clad in an armor of bones.
Kokuto wonders what's going on and lands nearby, angrily demanding to know what Ichigo did. The Substitute replies by asking if Kokuto's sister wanted him to avenge her, a question which bewilders the Togabito, and he asks what Ichigo's getting at. Ichigo continues by asking if she would wish to see Kokutō in his endless killing spree, saying that there would be no end to revenge, and he'd just make his sister eternally miserable. As he does this, Ichigo levels his blade at Kokutō and declares that his friends didn't want him to avenge them, but rather to stop Kokutō. He declares that Hell agrees with him, and they'd rather help a Human than let Kokuto escape, and golden light emerges from the skulls in his armor. Kokuto stares in shock, repeating that Hell is helping a Human before screaming in denial, shouting it isn't possible, and their predicaments were the same. Unable to accept such a thing, he attacks Ichigo. Raising his sword and glowing with ethereal energy, Ichigo agrees: They are both Humans, and both elder brothers. Tensa Zangetsu comes down, unleashing a golden wave of energy at Kokuto, cracking one of his chains, before launching him backward and ripping a giant gash in the tower.
When the smoke clears, a giant rut lies in front of Ichigo. At the far edge of the gash, Kokutō crawls away from it, with a grievous chest wound, but then suddenly, the shackle on his wrist falls to the ground. Kokutō gasps and stares at it, and then looks at his chest, which is unchained, and then screams in joy that he is free. But that is short lived; the ground suddenly begins to rumble, and from out of the slash that Tensa Zangetsu made burst hundreds of chains, each one diving for Kokutō like a snake. The Togabito begins to struggle as the chains impale and bind him, wondering why this is and telling them to stop, but this is futile; they soon completely immobilize him, wrapping around his entire body multiple times save for his head. Ichigo declares that this is Kokutō's retribution for deceiving Hell, and then raises his blade once more, shining with ethereal light, shouting for Kokutō to atone for his sins in Hell. Purple-red flames burst from the ground and close around Kokutō like a claw, before the chains drag him even deeper into the earth, demolishing the tower in the process. Ichigo grabs Rukia and uses Shunpo to get on top of the skull, as daylight pours down from a hole in the clouds, shining down Ichigo as the Kushānada bow down to him.
Rukia suddenly notices her Shikahusho is now black, and her Zanpakutō has returned. She looks up at Ichigo, who says to himself that he did it before throwing his arms up into the air and cheering. Rukia smiles and congratulates Ichigo on what he has done, then stands up and says they need to find Uryū and Renji. Ichigo remembers them and says he broke their chains, wondering where they are now. They look around before Renji shouts out, and he and Uryū dig themselves out, complaining on how they feel stiff and ache all over, to which Rukia shouts at them to deal with it; they were bound with the chains too. Renji wonders what she's talking about, as Uryū gets up and comments that he believes it's all over, while Renji wonders what happened to Kokuto. Ichigo replies he was dragged into the depths of Hell.
Beginning to say what the important thing is, Renji and Uryū are surprised by Ichigo's skull armor and demand to know what it is, with the Substitute replying that he's not sure. He says that it was power the Kushanāda gave to him, and comments that it's rather strange. The lieutenant replies that it's more than strange; now they're talking about controlling Hell's power. Uryū sighs and calls Ichigo hopeless; this is why people often take advantage of Ichigo, and Renji tells Ichigo to go back to his normal form. Just as Ichigo deactivates the armor, Rukia begins to say that if he does so, the Kushanāda will start attacking again, and just when that registers in Ichigo's mind, the Kushanāda loom above them, ready to renew their assault. The group panics and runs away as one brings a hand down on the skull, crushing it, and another one attempts to crush them, an attempt which fails and actually gives them a ramp on which they can rush up back to the surface.
Outside the Hell Gate, Hitsugaya and Rangiku have their swords drawn in case another Kushanāda attacks, but this seemingly proves to be unnecessary; the Hell Gate is finally regenerating. At the last moment, Ichigo and his friends hurl themselves out of the small hole in the Gate. Orihime runs up to greet them, but they begin to fall, so she uses Santen Kesshun to catch them all. Chad comes and waves to them, completely healed. Just as Hitsugaya begins to relax, Rangiku suddenly grabs him, which, to this matter, the captain is not pleased at all. Byakuya appears to not be affected much emotionally by any of this.
Meanwhile, Yuzu awakens and yawns, but then Karin suddenly bolts up and interrupts a "Good morning" from her sister to quickly check and see if she's completely alright, and then suddenly touches the area where a Hell Chain had been some time ago. Yuzu is completely clueless when Karin hugs her and begins crying in joy. Isshin announces that he's home, and he brought lots of souvenirs, but then suddenly wonders if no one's home.