The fateful day has finally arrived.
This is a transitional episode of sorts, or what one would call a ‘calm before the storm’, as it goes without saying that Rukia’s execution will most likely not go according to plan. In the meantime, everyone is making their various preparations, some of which may or may not be going against the wishes of the Shinigami superiors.
Even among the Shinigami, there are some who are secretly against the decision to execute Rukia, and this is their final chance to thwart this turn of events, if they can.
The general atmosphere within the Seireitei is quiet and solemn. Some though, like Kenpachi, Ikkaku, Yumichika and Makizo, are in a hurry, as they are seen scurrying down the endless corridors, bound for some unknown destination. What’s odd is that there are, not one, but two individuals hitching a ride on Kenpachi’s back today; as usual, there’s Yachiru, but Orihime, of all people, is on his other shoulder, and she’s the one giving directions to where they’re going.
They’re headed to where Uryu, Chad and Ganju are being held, and Kenpachi makes a characteristically bombastic entrance, by breaking through the roof, alarming the cell’s occupants. They continue to be alarmed, Ganju in particular, when they discover the identity of their rescuers.
While the jailbreak is occurring, other characters are seen making preparations for the day. Before Byakuya leaves for the execution, he is seen looking at a picture of someone with an uncanny resemblance to Rukia, someone who looks to have passed on. The identity of this mysterious Rukia lookalike is not revealed, but it’s obviously someone Byakuya cared deeply for, which makes his perceived indifference to Rukia all the more curious.
Elsewhere, Iba is shown paying homage to his Captain Komamura, who we haven’t seen much of until now, and whose appearance is still a mystery. Komamura has been planning something, probably to do with the execution, and whatever it is, Iba is on board, and so is Tosen and Hisagi, who appear in the background shortly after. Komamura expresses his commitment to the will of Head Captain Yamamoto, and to the carrying out of the execution according to his orders.
Later on, it becomes clear what’s happening as the two factions, one led by Komamura, the other with Kenpachi and the escaped Ryoka, meet and begin to face off. Kenpachi proposes a four-to-one battle with his opponents, which he considers perfectly acceptable odds. Naturally Komamura thinks he’s way too arrogant. To Kenpachi’s annoyance, Ikkaku and Yumichika step forward because they want in on the fight too.
This standoff gives Orihime, Uryu and the rest the opportunity to flee and continue the search for Ichigo.
The opponents begin to pair off for their individual fights, Iba with Ikkaku, and Hisagi with Yumichika, leaving Kenpachi to deal with Komamura and Tosen.
The fight begins, and Komamura releases his zanpakuto, along with Tosen, whose fearsome Benihiko sends countless blades flying in Kenpachi’s direction. Unbelievably he not only survives the barrage, but begins to taunt Tosen: “Is that it?” He starts nonchalantly removing the blades stuck in his back. This guy is unbelievably tough…
Before the episode ends, we check in again on Ichigo, who is still at it with the training, and it’s as intense as ever. Yoruichi now has unshakeable faith in his power, but will he be able to achieve Bankai in time?