Having followed Ichigo to Urahara’s store, Keigo, Mizuiro, and Tatsuki sneak in to find out what’s going on. Down below, Urahara opens up a hole used by Arrancar called a Garganta and instructs Ichigo and friends to head towards the darkness by moving over the spirits. Before he leaves, Ichigo asks Urahara to tell his friends and family something that’ll make them not worry about him, and he vows to apologize after he comes back. Once Ichigo, Sado, and Ishida pass through the portal and it closes, Urahara calls out Tatsuki and the other two. He had known all along that they were coming and had even left the store unlocked for them. Urahara feels that Ichigo is naive for thinking that he could cut bonds just by acting a bit cold. Meanwhile, Inoue has arrived in Aizen’s throne room in Las Noches and gets asked by Aizen to show her power by healing Grimmjow’s arm. Luppi thinks that this is impossible and suggests that Inoue would have to be God to heal it, but to his surprise, Inoue succeeds in restoring the entire arm.
In explaining Inoue’s power to the bewildered Luppi, Aizen recalls how Ulquiorra had referred to it as time or spatial regression. Aizen himself thinks of it as event rejection – Inoue can limit, reject, and deny events so that she can return things to a previous state. It is a power that violates God’s domain. With his arm restored now, Grimmjow asks Inoue to take care of the burn on his back too – the one covering his No. 6 tattoo. Luppi realizes what this means, but before he can do anything, Grimmjow slams his arm through Luppi’s chest. After Grimmjow finishes Luppi off with a Cero blast, he starts laughing because of how he’s back as the Sexta Espada. By now, Ichigo and company are deep in a dark void as they head for Hueco Mundo, but both Ichigo and Sado are having trouble keeping their footing along the spirit path. Ishida, on the other hand, has no problems and gets asked by Sado about the promise with his father. Sado had heard from Urahara that in exchange for the Quincy training, Ishida wasn’t going to get involved with the Shinigami.
To answer the question, Ishida recalls how Urahara had visited the training place and told him about Inoue’s abduction. Urahara had also mentioned that Ichigo was going by himself to go save her, and upon hearing this, Ishida had asked for clarification. After Urahara explained that Soul Society dissociated itself from this matter, Ishida had decided to go with Ichigo after all. His reasoning is that Soul Society has abandoned Ichigo, so Ichigo isn’t really a Shinigami, meaning that he’s not breaking his promise by doing this. Back in the real world, Ryuuken finds the note that his son left. Ichigo’s father Isshin shows up at around the same time, and Ryuuken is a bit surprised to see him in Shinigami garb because this means that Isshin’s powers have returned. As for the note, Ryuuken feels that he doesn’t need to read it because he already knows what it says. Isshin thinks that Ryuuken sent his son on purpose, but Ryuuken notes that he merely restored his son’s Quincy powers. Whether Ishida keeps the powers alive or kills them is up to Ishida himself – that includes living and dying too.
In Las Noches, Inoue is sitting alone in her room staring out the window and worrying about if she should have come here. She realizes that healing the Arrancar will lead to more fighting, but she also feels that she has to make the them think that she has value, at least until the preparations for the battle are complete. Suddenly, Inoue starts sensing a great spiritual force. Aizen feels it too from his own room, and he knows that someone has come.
I still think Ishida’s reasoning for going to Hueco Mundo with Ichigo is too much of a stretch, but it doesn’t look like Ryuuken is too concerned about it, so he’s probably not going to hold his son to the promise in this case. Ryuuken’s conversation with Isshin was the most interesting of this episode for me, because it establishes that they knew each other previously, that Isshin only got his Shinigami powers back recently, and that Isshin might have done something bad that made him a good-for-nothing father. It’s hard to say what happened back then without knowing more (probably has to do with why Isshin left the Shinigami ranks), and so their past is one of the things I really want to see developed in the manga.
I also noticed that they sanitized Luppi’s death a little this episode, but it wasn’t anything unexpected since I didn’t think they’d show Luppi with his entire top half blown off. Anyway, there’s no Bleach next week: episode 144 will air October 17th. That should be when they start the new OP by Asian Kung-Fu Generation and the new ED by Atari Kousuke.