Chichiri's Guide to Bleach

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A fire is started with a fang that doesn't reach
Without looking at that star
To keep this throat from being torn

  1. Masterly! And Farewell!
  2. See You Under a Firework
  4. Masterly! And Farewell! [Reprise]
  5. Steer For the Star
  6. Gaol Named Remorse
  7. CRUSH
  9. Talk About Your Fear
  10. Star and a Stray Dog

Author's Comments

Lately, perhaps because I've been unusually busy, I've often thought, "I didn't notice that I've been drawing pictures alllll this time." However, if I'm actually free, I get annoyed and say don't waste everyday not doing anything at all. Or probably that's what I do. In the end it's that. I'm teasing myself over nothing.


General Overview

Ichigo uses the healing balm in Hoozukimaru to heal both himself and Ikkaku After finding out where Rukia is and how to get there from Ikkaku and getting a warning to watch out for Kenpachi, Ichigo sets off and Ikkaku gets found and treated by the 4th division. Once Ikkaku's brought to the main hospital of the 4th division, Mayuri Kurotsuchi, captain of the 12th division unsuccessfully tries to question him about the intruders, but is driven away when Kenpachi arrives. When Ikkaku tells him about Ichigo he gets excited about the possible fight.

Ishida and Orihime, on the other hand, get attacked by Jiroubou Ikkanzaka, 4th seat of the 7th division. Orihime damages her offensive Shun Shun Rikka when she unsuccessfully tries to attack, but Ishida's powered up kojaku is more effective as he shoots every single shuriken of Tsunzakigarasu. Eventually Jiroubou tries to attack the defenseless Orihime, but is utterly defeated when Ishida shoots him at critical pressure points to seal his shinigami powers. After that they move on.

Meanwhile, after using a lot of tricks on Yumichika, Ganjuu manages to get rid of him by using Shibashiki Sebahou Ougi: Renkansebbasen on the edge of a pit so Yumichika either has to jump or fall in the pit. While he's jumping Ganjuu chucks a huge firework at him and blows him up. This firework has the added side effect of helping Ichigo find Ganjuu again, only to get surrounded by the shinigami chasing both of them. Among the crowd is Hanatarou Yamada of the 4th division, who trips and lands face-down right in front of the two intruders. At first they try to use him as a hostage, but are forced to fight their way out in the end. Luckily for them, Chad shows up and distracts half the crowd while they take care of the other half, though Chad doesn't manage to join up with Ganjuu, Ichigo, and Hanatarou before they flee.

It turns out Hanatarou got to know Rukia while she in the holding cell and liked her enough to want to help her. He guides them through a shortcut using the sewers, but when they emerge, Renji is there waiting to fight Ichigo. At first Renji has the upper hand, but eventually Ichigo recalls Urahara telling him that you need determination, not fear, driving your attacks. After that he apologizes to Renji for not going all out and then breaks Zabimaru with a single blow, critically injuring Renji so badly that he can no longer move his arms or legs.

Renji then recalls his childhood with Rukia in the bad part of South Rukongai and how they eventually became shinigami to escape that. They easily entered the school, but once there Rukia got adopted into the Kuchiki noble family. After that he trained hard every day to try to beat Byakuya but no matter how hard he tried he always failed. He then bows before Ichigo and begs him to save Rukia, which Ichigo agrees to.


In Depth Summaries

  1. (+) Masterly! And Farewell!
    Corresponding TV Episode - episode 27
    Characters Appearing - Tatsuki Arisawa, Yumichika Ayasegawa, Jiroubou Ikkanzaka, Orihime Inoue, Uryuu Ishida, Ichigo Kurosaki, Yachiru Kusajishi, Ikkaku Madarame, Ganjuu Shiba, Kenpachi Zaraki
    Kidou - None
    Locations - Court of Pure Spirits
    Released Soul Cutters - Fujikujaku, Tsunzakigarasu
    Relevant Terminology - release, Rukia, soul cutter

    This chapter opens with Yumichika commenting that the nearby battle sounds lively. He then says they should finish things now. Ganjuu has drawn his stubby sword and Yumichika releases his soul cutter, Fujikujaku, which looks to be a scythe that pivots by a joint near the hilt. Ganjuu pulls a bomb out of what resembles a fanny pack on his back and lights it using the flint on his hand guards. He throws it and the whole area is covered in smoke. But it backfires and Ganjuu starts coughing and having watery eyes as well as Yumichika. When the smoke clears, Yumichika finds Ganjuu has run off again. Then we see the title page: Tatsuki and Orihime in pigtails, wearing really short dresses and walking on some sort of stepping stones.

    Next we see Ikkaku coming to. Ichigo stupidly waited with him and comments that soul cutters revert to their sealed forms when the user is conscious. Ikkaku immediate demands that Ichigo return his soul cutter, but the only reason Ichigo took it was to use the medicine Ikkaku stores inside it. It turns out all of it got used up because he also used it on Ikkaku's wounds. Ikkaku is embarassed to be saved by his enemy. Ichigo then asks him where Rukia is. Ikkaku's shocked to learn they're there to rescue her, and even more shocked to hear the party only consists of 5 people and a cat. However, he gives Ichigo directions. He tells Ichigo he doesn't care what they're up to and tells Ichigo before someone comes and sees him. But just as Ichigo is about to leave, Ikkaku asks who the strongest intruder is. Ichigo says it's more or less him, and Ikkaku warns Ichigo to beware of his captain, Kenpachi Zaraki, because the guy will most likely seek Ichigo out.

    It seems Zaraki's doing just that, but got lost because his lieutenant, Yachiru, has poor intuition and led them to a dead end and head another way. It turns out to be a good thing, because Inoue and Ishida are on a nearby rooftop watching them. After they're gone, Inoue suggests they head to the white tower, but Ishida doesn't see it. When he looks to see which way she's pointing, he sees a huge shinigami standing beside her. Ishida barely manages to get Inoue out of danger's way before the shinigami slices downward with his Soul Cutter. So close in fact, that Ishida's clothes were torn.

    The last thing we see is Zaraki and Yachiru still hopelessly lost, with Yachiru telling them to go back the way they came.

    Differences in episode 27:
    • Fujikujaku was released in episode 26.
    • Ganjuu and Yumichika nearly falls into the pit after Ganjuu uses his smoke bomb.
    • After Ichigo asks where Rukia is, we see Ganjuu and Yumichika fall into the pit, which turns out to be a trash pit. Yumichika is furious at getting smelly, and Ganjuu has to climb out the ladder and run again.
    • When Ichigo talks about the intruders, it shows Orihime Inoue, Uryuu Ishida, Rukia Kuchiki, Yasutora "Chad" Sado, and Yoruichi Shihouin.
    • The scene with Inoue getting attacked isn't shown until episode 28
  2. (+) See You Under a Firework
    Corresponding TV Episode - episode 28
    Characters Appearing - Yumichika Ayasegawa, Ichigo Kurosaki, Ikkaku Madarame, Ganjuu Shiba
    Kidou - Sebba, Shibashiki Shakasendan: Senpenbanka, Shibashiki Sebahou Ougi: Renkansebbasen
    Locations - Court of Pure Spirits
    Released Soul Cutters - Fujikujaku
    Relevant Terminology - shinigami

    This chapter opens with Ichigo running in search of Ganjuu and Yumichika (with a very poor mental image of Yumichika), but he can't find them anywhere. He stupidly starts shouting for Ganjuu and attracts the attention of a lot of shinigami in the process, who begin chasing him. Then we see the title page - Ganjuu holding his place in a magazine while he gazes off thoughtfully, wearing jeans and a sleeveless shirt.

    Meanwhile Ganjuu is panting, slumped against a wall with Yumichika standing before him. They can hear Ichigo shouting for Ganjuu in the distance and Yumichika wonders if he has a brain because it will just draw the attention of other shinigami. But Ganjuu correctly points out that if Ichigo is running around like that, it means he's already defeated Ikkaku. Yumichika denies that, and as he does Ganjuu takes some fireworks out of his fanny pack, lights them, tosses them in Yumichika's face, and runs off again. As he's running he chucks a ton of bombs at Yumichika, but Yumichika isn't phased a bit and gets a good kick in at Ganjuu's stomach as Ganjuu's turning on his hands. Ganjuu seems to have a plan, though, which calls for Yumichika underestimating him. But this goes sour when Yumichika suddenly appears behind Ganjuu and slices him before Ganjuu can dodge and he goes flying into the pit, only just barely managing to hang on with one hand. Yumichika approaches the edge of the pit to gloat, but this turns out to be just what Ganjuu had planned. He uses Sebba, and the ground underneath Yumichika turns to sand, causing him to slide into the pit, but he saves himself by grabbing the edge. Ganjuu then uses Yumichika to climb out of the pit and uses his final move as Yumichika climbs out as well. This move turns out to be a larger, more focused version of sebba, which causes nearly the entire side of the pit to tumble in the pit. Yumichika jumps off it at the last minute, and then Ganjuu chucks a big fireworks at him in the air. Not only does this get rid of Yumichika, but it also lets Ichigo, who has clobbered a pile of shinigami by this time, know where Ganjuu is.

    The last scene shows Ikkaku, still lying on the ground, noting that Yumichika must have gotten defeated as well.

    Differences in episode 28:
    • There is a overhead scene like a map showing Ichigo getting chased by shinigami.
    • When we first see Ganjuu, he runs into the edge of another pit, and when Yumichika takes a swipe at him, he dodges and ends up hitting a wall. After that you see him leaning against that wall.
    • There's a second scene with Ichigo getting chased while Ganjuu and Yumichika hear him shouting.
    • Zaraki and Yachiru notice the fireworks when they go off instead of Ikkaku is shown seeing them and he realizes Yumichika also got defeated. Zaraki then kicks a hole in the dead end he's in to head after the fireworks. This is when Ishida and Inoue watching Zaraki and Yachiru leave on a roof (from Chapter 89)
    Corresponding TV Episode - episode 28
    Characters Appearing - Jiroubou Ikkanzaka, Orihime Inoue, Uryuu Ishida, Yoruichi Shihouin
    Kidou - None
    Locations - Court of Pure Spirits
    Released Soul Cutters - Tsunzakigarasu
    Relevant Terminology - hollow, kojaku, quincy, released, sanrei glove Shun Shun Rikka, soul cutter

    As Yoruichi continues to run along the rooftops, he senses for the others and tells them to not die on him. Back with Ishida and Inoue, Jiroubou is counting and Inoue tells Ishida she's fine now. She was really impressed by how quickly he moved to pull her out of harm's way and she thinks he's changed quite a bit. Finally Jiroubou reaches 10 and says the time for letting them regret is up and then he attacks them. We then see Ishida in a suit with one arm raised for the title page.

    After Jiroubou's attack Inoue sends in Tsubaki (the offensive member of the Shun Shun Rikka), but he gets cut by Jiroubou's soul cutter and scolds her for using such a weak attack. Jiroubou says that it's his first time seeing such an attack, but it didn't have killing intent and wouldn't work on him even if it does work on hollows. He's about to kill her when Ishida shoots his hand with kojaku and says his bow is full of killing intent. Jiroubou asks if he's a quincy, while Inoue's shocked that Ishida's bow looks different. Now it attaches to the glove on his hand instead of the bracelet. She realizes he trained by himself. Jiroubou is amused that they're both airborn weapon users since his soul cutter, Tsunzakigarasu, is one as well and then releases it, revealing it is a large number of hovering, whirling two-bladed shuriken that move at Jiroubou's command. Finally he introduces himself as Jiroubou of the 7th division. He has the nickname "Kamaitachi" (which means a cut caused by whirlwind) since he has the strongest airborn soul cutter. Ishida, however, is not phased by that and rains down a storm of arrows on him, breaking every single one of the shuriken. Ishida says things are different here if the "strongest" is a babbling idiot. Jiroubou puts the hilt back to the sheath and draws more shuriken out so he can attack, Ishida shoots his hand and says today he'll take that nickname away, although he doesn't think it will sound that good with his name.

    The last page shows Inoue thinking about a pun on the nickname. "Kama" can mean "scythe" and "itachi" can mean "weasel" so she pictures Uryuu in a weasel outfit wielding a pair of scythes.

    Differences in episode 28:
    • Ishida's clothes don't get torn from Jiroubou's attack.
    • Ishida tries to get Jiroubou to fight him, but nearly falls off the roof from Jiroubou's attack after he's done counting.
    • After Ishida says kojaku is full of killing intent, there's a scene with Hanatarou Yamada trying to get into the Shrine of Penitence to clean it, but the guards won't let him in and he leaves. Then Ichigo gets surrounded or piled by the shinigami chasing him, but manages to throw them off somehow and continues running.
    • After Jiroubou asks if Ishida is a quincy there's a flashback of Ishida training.
    • After Ishida say's he'll take the nickname "Kamaitachi" there's a scene with Mayuri Kurotsuchi and Nemu Kurotsuchi where Mayuri orders a bunch of shinigami to look for the intruders but not kill them since they make for some interesting research. Nemu then receives a message from a hell butterfly. Ikkaku Madarame has been defeated by one of the intruders and although the 4th Division has treated him, the intruder was already gone by that time so his location is still unknown. Mayuri is interested that an intruder could defeat a shinigami and decides to see Ikkaku before Kenpachi Zaraki does. We then see Yoruichi on the roof again, thinking he can sense Zaraki on the move and tells Ichigo to not die. We then see Rukia in her cell and Chad smashing through a wall and then hearing a lot of noise.
  4. (+) Masterly! And Farewell! [Reprise]
    Corresponding TV Episode - episode 28
    Characters Appearing - Yasochika Iemura, Jiroubou Ikkanzaka, Orihime Inoue, Uryuu Ishida, Ichigo Kurosaki, Hanatarou Yamada
    Kidou - None
    Locations - Court of Pure Spirits
    Released Soul Cutters - Tsunzakigarasu
    Relevant Terminology - kojaku, sanrei glove, shinigami, Shun Shun Rikka, spiritron

    Jiroubou is screaming in pain because Ishida took off a good chunk of his hand with the last shot. Inoue is impressed with how strong Ishida's become since he fought Ichigo the last time. On the title page is shows Ishida standing on the rooftop with kojaku as Inoue thinks he's like a totally different person now. Ishida then asks if Jiroubou regrets running into him, and that really sets Jiroubou off. He moves to attack Inoue with his bare hands, but before he can attack Ishida is in front of her and asks if he was going to attack Inoue because he can't defeat Ishida or if he was going to use her as a hostage. Ishida notes that Jiroubou's been picking on Inoue from the start as he points an arrow straight at Jiroubou's neck and says doing that makes him look bad. Jiroubou then screams just as Ishida shoots him twice in the abadomen, knocking him off his feet. After that Ishida lets kojaku disappear and Inoue thanks him for saving her, saying he did a great job. She then asks if Jiroubou is dead and Ishida's reply is that he's not, but the pressure points that make him a shinigami have been sealed, so he can never be a shinigami again. After that they leave.

    Inoue is depressed on seeing Ishida's improvement in just 10 days. She thinks that quincy gather spiritrons from their surroundings to fight so his glove must increase his ability to gather spiritrons a lot. If the glove was too strong and he couldn't control it properly, then he could have hurt those around him, so he trained by himself. But he managed to learn it perfectly in just 10 days and so became a whole lot stronger. She, on the other hand...

    Meanwhile Ganjuu is getting chased by a ton of shinigami as he wonders why he's always getting chased. And this time they outnumber him so he can't possibly win. Just ahead of him, Ichigo runs into the same street from a side path, and Ganjuu thinks Ichigo has good timing and came to help. But then he realizes a swarm of shinigami are chasing Ichigo as well, so he wants Ichigo to stay away because it does no good regrouping if they get surrounded. Plus Ichigo is making them more frantic by waving at Ganjuu. As usual, though, Ichigo doesn't listen and Ganjuu punches a shinigami as Ichigo jumps over him. Ichigo then tells Ganjuu to duck and starts beating shinigami up.

    Hanatarou Yamada is among the hoardes of shinigami, wondering why it's so noisy. Iemura tells him to be quiet and that they're to go to the point of conflict immediately.

    Back with Ichigo and Ganjuu, Ganjuu is yelling at Ichigo because he nearly got killed. Ichigo says it's because Ganjuu has slow reactions, and we see there are unconscious shinigami lying on the ground, and further away but still surrounding them, a hoarde of conscious ones.

    Hanatarou managed to get left behind because of he was tying his shoelace and lost his squad. So when he spies a bunch of shinigami he approaches them to ask where his squad is. But then he trips, tumbles into the crowd, and ends up lying face down right in front of Ichigo and Ganjuu. They both say they've just thought of a way out of that predicament as Hanatarou begins to pick himself up.

    The last page shows Tsubaki getting healed by his fellow Shun Shun Rikka members.

    Differences in episode 28 and episode 29:
    • Episode 28 only shows Ganjuu getting chased by shinigami.
  5. (+) Steer For the Star
    Corresponding TV Episode - N/A
    Characters Appearing - Ichigo Kurosaki, Mayuri Kurotsuchi, Nemu Kurotsuchi, Yachiru Kusajishi, Ikkaku Madarame, Yasutora "Chad" Sado, Ganjuu Shiba, Hanatarou Yamada, Kenpachi Zaraki
    Kidou - None
    Locations - Court of Pure Spirits, Main Hospital of the 4th Division
    Released Soul Cutters - Zangetsu
    Relevant Terminology - 4th division, 11th division, 12th division, captain, Rukia Kuchiki, lieutenant

    Hanatarou is very confused about what Ichigo and Ganjuu are planning, but the two of them are on the exact same wavelength. For the cover page they take him hostage and threaten to hurt him unless they're allowed to escape. Unfortunately the plan doesn't work since most of the crowd is from the 11th division and hate the 4th division, which is the one Hanatarou is in. Ichigo says they'll have to beat up the entire 11th division instead, but the numbers are halved when when a wall collapses. They manage to battle their way through with Hanatarou in tow.

    It turns out the wall had collapsed because Chad punched his way through. He ends up confronting the remainder of the 11th division, which he claims he'll clean up in 2 minutes.

    Meanwhile, Mayuri Kurotsuchi, captain of the 12th division, and his lieutenant, Nemu, are at the main hospital questioning Ikkaku about his encounter with the intruders. He gets violent when Ikkaku claims he doesn't know or remember anything about the intruders, but is stopped by the entrance of Kenpachi Zaraki. After Mayuri and Nemu leave, Ikkaku tells his captain about Ichigo and Zaraki gets excited when he hears how strong Ichigo is.

    Back with Ichigo and company, Hanatarou formally introduces himself. They start griping about it being hard to remember and Hanatarou being an enemy, but when the conversation turns to how to get to Rukia Hanatarou interrupts saying he knows a shortcut there.

    The last page shows the picture of a nurse at the hospital.

  6. (+) Gaol Named Remorse
    Corresponding TV Episode - N/A
    Characters Appearing - Renji Abarai, Momo Hinamori, Shuuhei Hisagi, Tetsuzaemon Iba, Yasochika Iemura, Itzuru Kira, Rukia Kuchiki, Ichigo Kurosaki, Rangiku Matsumoto, Harunobu Ogidou, Ganjuu Shiba, Hanatarou Yamada
    Kidou - None
    Locations - Court of Pure Spirits, Meeting Hall, Shrine of Penitence
    Released Soul Cutters - None
    Relevant Terminology - 4th division, 11th division, Yumichika Ayasegawa, 6th division holding cell, Jidanbou Ikkanzaka, Jiroubou Ikkanzaka, Ikkaku Madarame, lieutenant

    Hanatarou explains he's talking about the sewers, which is very good for Ichigo and Ganjuu, who don't want to be noticed. Furthermore, the only division familar with the sewer's layout are the 4th division because they're so weak they're always given the chores. When Ichigo asks why Hanatarou is helping them Hanatarou explains that he's heard a lot about Ichigo from Rukia and he hopes they can save her. We then see Rukia on the title page, sitting with her back against a wall, looking at a bird that came in through the open slit-like window of her cell.

    Hanatarou then explains that while Rukia was in the 6th division holding cell he had janitorial duty there. But she didn't act high and mighty towards him like most nobles did and told him about Ichigo - even though she's only known him a short time she regards him highly and he really turned her whole life upside down. But no matter what she can't make up for all the pain she's caused him. She seemed sad and gloomy most of the time. This upsets Ichigo and he hurries ahead and thinks those were his lines. He then vows to save her.

    At the meeting hall, the lieutenants are gathered listening to a list of injured being read out by Yasochika Iemura, 3rd seat of the 4th division. Not only are Yumichika and Ikkaku out of commission, but the entire 11th division has been wiped out and a member of the 4th division has been taken hostage. They're all stunned by that information. Then Iba Tetsuzaemon adds that the 4th seat of his division, Jiroubou (Jidanbou's younger brother), is most likely out of commission as well. When Momo goes to speak to Renji, however, she finds that he's gone.

    Meanwhile, Hanatarou and company have just emerged from the sewers and arrived at their destination. But then they notice someone standing at the foot of the tower. Ichigo pushes the others back and moves forward. When the smoke clears they realize it's Renji.

    The last page shows Iemura crying because he has to speak deferentially to the other 3rd seats since he's weaker than them. The 8th seat, Harunobu Ogidou, scolds him, saying he looks ugly crying like that.

  7. (+) CRUSH
    Corresponding TV Episode - N/A
    Characters Appearing - Abarai Renji, Ichigo Kurosaki, Ganjuu Shiba, Hanatarou Yamada
    Kidou - None
    Locations - Court of Pure Spirits
    Released Soul Cutters - Zabimaru, Zangetsu
    Relevant Terminology - captain, Byakuya Kuchiki, Rukia Kuchiki, released, lieutenant

    When Ganjuu learns who Renji is from Hanatarou he tells Ichigo not to fight, but Ichigo doesn't listen. Renji compliments on managing to survive Byakuya's attack, but says he'll kill Ichigo now so Rukia can get her powers back. Ichigo then ask what's the point in that since he brought Rukia back to kill her. They both rush forward to attack. Then we see the title page: Ichigo skateboarding.

    Ganjuu thinks Ichigo's an idiot for attacking and there's no way he can beat a lieutenant, but Hanatarou disagrees. Renji asks Ichigo how he plans on saving Rukia, pointing out there's 11 more lieutenants and 13 captains for him to fight. Ichigo retorts that he'll defeat all of them if necessary. Renji asks where his confidence comes from and says he's gotten arrogant after a few life-or-death battles, and then forces Ichigo back and releases Zabimaru. Ichigo is then shoved back into a wall by Zabimaru. Renji then explains that when captains and lieutenants go to the real world they suppress their powers so they don't create disturbances, so now he's 5 times more powerful than when they last fought. Ichigo, however, is not overly impressed and thinks he can handle 11 more guys at this strength, although he is bleeding from a head wound.

    The last page shows Renji's glasses.

    Corresponding TV Episode - N/A
    Characters Appearing - Renji Abarai, Momo Hinamori, Itzuru Kira, Ichigo Kurosaki, Ganjuu Shiba, Kisuke Urahara, Hanatarou Yamada
    Kidou - None
    Locations - Court of Pure Spirits
    Released Soul Cutters - Zabimaru, Zangetsu
    Relevant Terminology - Rukia Kuchiki, lieutenant

    Hanatarou is amazed Ichigo can still stand, but unfortunately Ichigo is having trouble with blurry vision. While he's trying to cope Renji mocks him and attacks again, slicing way back into the building behind Ichigo as he says the fight is over. For the title page it shows Renji shirtless with tattooes going down his chest and arms.

    However, Ichigo has managed to spring from the rubble and starts running on the rooftop of the damaged building. Renji follows and the entire building collapses in the ensuing attack. Ichigo is being pushed back, and Hanatarou thinks that he's being overwhelmed. But then Renji suddenly disappears.

    Meanwhile Momo and Kira are discussing Renji's disappearance from the meeting. Momo explains how he suddenly disappeared and then later she found his lieutenant badge in his office, but hasn't reported about it yet. Kira tells her to keep it that way, worried that Renji might do something rash since he's been moody lately due to Rukia. In the meantime Kira will go look for him.

    Back at the fight, Ichigo is struggling. He tells Renji that he has to save Rukia and Renji scoffs at him, saying she wouldn't be trouble in the first place if it weren't for him. Ichigo retorts that he knows that and that's why he has to save her. He then throws off Zabimaru and thinks on something Urahara told him: every combo has a maximum number of attacks. If you can figure out the number and dodge all the attacks, then you can take advantage of an opening. In the case of Zabimaru it can attack one time when extending and twice while extended before it has to retract. In Renji's next attack Ichigo manages to avoid all three hits and attacks Renji, but Renji manages to dodge out of the way and then slices a nasty gash down Ichigo's front.

    The last page shows Zabimaru's tip dripping with blood.

  9. (+) Talk About Your Fear
    Corresponding TV Episode - N/A
    Characters Appearing - Renji Abarai, Jinta Hanakari, Ichigo Kurosaki, Ganjuu Shiba, Tessai Tsukabishi, Ururu Tsumugiya, Kisuke Urahara, Hanatarou Yamada
    Kidou - None
    Locations - Court of Pure Spirits
    Released Soul Cutters - Benihime, Zabimaru, Zangetsu
    Relevant Terminology - shinigami

    Renji explains that although Ichigo's plan of attack and timing were perfect, he was too slow to carry it out. He then says Ichigo can't save Ichigo because he's there to kill Ichigo and slices down at him. The title page shows Ganjuu and Hanatarou looking on in horror as Zabimaru speeds towards Ichigo.

    Ichigo then has a flashback to the 5 days he fought with Urahara after regaininig his shinigami powers. Urahara kept going all out at him until he had nowhere to run so he could learn to reproduce the attack that cut Urahara's hat and learn basic fighting skills since Ichigo was then about the strength of a 3rd or 4th seat shinigami. He then attacked and Ichigo blocked, but got slammed into a mountain. Ururu and Tessai wanted to go treat his wounds, but Urahara held them off until he attacked once more, which Ichigo managed to meet with his really powerful attack. But then Urahara replies that he's disappointed that Ichigo's overwhelmed by this and all he can see in Zangetsu is fear. He then explains that you need determination in order to fight well. After that Ichigo gets up, and manages an attack with that determination.

    Back in the present, Ichigo grabs the tip of Zabimaru with his bare hand and apologizes for making Renji wait for him to put all his determination into defeating him. Renji wonders what's up with Ichigo as he stands and forces Renji back. As Renji moves to attack, Ichigo slices Zabimaru off near the hilt and lands a powerful blow on his chest.

    The last scene shows the tip of Zangetsu dripping blood.

  10. (+) Star and a Stray Dog
    Corresponding TV Episode - N/A
    Characters Appearing - Renji Abarai, Byakuya Kuchiki, Rukia Kuchiki, Ichigo Kurosaki
    Kidou - None
    Locations - Court of Pure Spirits, South Rukongai Area 78 "Inuzuri"
    Released Soul Cutters - None
    Relevant Terminology - 13th division, shinigami

    Renji is stunned that he lost, but he can't even move his arms or legs. As he screams he thinks Rukia's name. For the title page it shows Rukia with her eyes closed.

    He then looks back on his childhood in South Rukongai, Area 78 "Inuzuri." As one of the higher number sections of that area, living conditions there were very bad with hardly any resemblance of law. Renji and his friends stole to survive and were under constant threat of getting killed. He first met Rukia when she helped him steal some food by tripping its owner, stomping on the owner's face, and then running for her life. After that she became their leader. She had weird manners - acting and talking like a guy, yet somehow still being gentle, and spiritual powers (Renji was the only other one in their group that had any), but they were like family in a place where the adults were thugs and the kids were animals, where everyone hated everyone else. The only way for them to break away from that was to become shinigami. By the time they decided to do that, though, only Rukia and Renji were the only ones still alive in their group. They managed to enter the school pretty easily due to their abilities and worked hard to do well against the nobles, but then she got adopted into the Kuchiki noble family. When Renji heard the news he acted excited for her sake since she'd get to graduate early and get immediately assigned to the 13th division. She had finally gotten a family.

    Back in the real world Renji says thinking back on it he was probably just scared and that he's a stray dog through and through. No matter how much he barks at the stars, he can never reach out and grab them. He then grabs Ichigo by the collar and tells him that no matter how hard he's tried he's never managed to beat Byakuya. He's trained every day since Rukia got adopted, but to no avail. He then bows down before Ichigo and begs him to save Rukia, and Ichigo tells him he will.