Bleach – 346, 347
「完現術の能力者·銀城空吾」 (Furuburingu no Nouryokusha · Ginjou Kuugo)
“The Fullbring User · Ginjou Kuugo”
Inoue tells Ichigo that Sado hasn’t been coming to class, and says that she’ll go visit him. However, Sado does not answer the door. Ichigo wonders what is going on to the people around him, and he finally decides to meet up with Ginjou, who leads him into a run-down apartment complex converted into an elaborate hideout filled with the other members of the Xcution. He reveals that he only used Isshin as a pretext for getting Ichigo’s attention, and states that their goal was to restore Ichigo’s shinigami powers.
Ginjou begins his explanation, saying that they are humans born with special abilities called “fullbring”. They can draw out the souls of objects, including inanimate ones, and manipulate them and use that as a power, or even transform them into other things. He demonstrates his power, and has Riruka bring in Chad. Ginjou then continues to explain that all of their parents were attacked by hollows before they were born, and that vestiges of those abilities were left inside them. He states that they wish to use a person with both human and shinigami powers to rid themselves of their fullbring abilities, which a number of their previous members had already done. Ichigo however, demands to know what’s happening to him and his friends.
「黒崎家に忍び寄る危機！？一護の迷い！ 」 (Kurosaki-ke ni Shinobiyoru Kiki!? Ichigo no Mayoi! )
“A Creeping Danger in the Kurosaki Family?! Ichigo’s Confusion!”
Ichigo leaves the Xcution’s hideout, and Ginjou tells his members that they really do need him, but that he is confident that Ichigo will give an answer. Riruka begins tailing Ichigo.
The man with a book that Ishida was pursuing approaches a soul close to turning into a hollow and stabs him. Inoue visits Ishida in the hospital again, but he declines her offer to heal him. She asks why Ishida was near Ichigo’s home when he was attacked, and he claims the two things aren’t related. They suddenly feel the presence of a hollow however, and Inoue rushes off to find Ichigo. The hollow disappears abruptly, and so she drops the issue.
At home, Karin feels a strange presence outside their house, but sees no one when she goes out. Ichigo suspects Ginjou, and the next day, Chad tries to convince him that he needs his powers back. Later, Ichigo sees the unknown man reading a book again and gives chase, wondering if he was the one near their house the other night. He runs into Yuzu however, who is suddenly attacked by a hollow. Ginjou shows up and defeats the hollow, saying that they can’t let him die. Ichigo decides that he wants his powers back in order to protect his friends and family, and agrees to work with the full-bringers.
It’s not often we see Ichigo seriously losing his cool, and Ginjou has tell him several times to calm down and listen. Though he looks rather pathetic, it’s also somewhat understand as this is one of those rare times where he truly is completely helpless, and he knows it. Of course the “Xcution” taking advantage of his lack of options is also morally questionable, but the way Ginjou puts it, his deal does seem like a win-win situation. The hyperactive tsundere Riruka gets on my nerves in part because of her shrill voice, but she is the one character whose personality sticks out among the full-bringers (as much as her pink/magenta hair does). She’s even begun stalking Ichigo, which would just be funny if she wasn’t a bit obnoxious.
On a more serious note though, there’s the dude reading the book who constantly shows up but rarely speaks and remains cloaked in mystery. It’s heavily implied that he’s the main source of Ichigo’s current troubles (that will turn out to be mostly true). With all his friends/family at risk and several already attacked, Ichigo has no choice but to turn to the Xcution in an attempt to regain his powers. In some ways though I wish this was not the case, and that he could find some way to overcome the threat without using supernatural powers, or at least that his friends could rise up for a change and fight for him. Unfortunately now we’ll just have to go through the usual training arc, and hope that it’s more exciting when animated.