After the battle, Mayuri attempts to uses the Tenkaiketchu to transfer Karakura Town back to the world of the living, but his squad members beg him to wait until everything is ready. In the fake Karakura Town, Unohana finishes healing the Vizard, including Hiyori, though she says Hiyori will need the will to live to pull through. In Soul Society, Byakuya, Kenpachi and Yachiru return from Hueco Mundo after defeating Yammy. In Karakura Town, Urahara tells Ichigo that his friends had gone home, and Ichigo states that he will explain everything to them later. However he is a bit reserved about his victory over Aizen and questions whether the Hougyoku really rejected Aizen, and whether Aizen possibly gave up his powers willingly. Because Ichigo reached the same level Aizen was on, he could feel his opponent’s emotions through their swords, and he felt only loneliness. Ichigo theorizes that Aizen may have wanted to just be a regular shinigami.
Rukia, Renji, Chad, Inoue, and Ishida find Ichigo, and Inoue begins crying in relief. When Ichigo tries to comfort her however, he suddenly collapses and begins spazzing. Ten days later, he finally wakes up in Rukia’s home, and Rukia tells him that Urahara had explained his situation. Ichigo had begun to revert to his original self and will soon black out again, losing all his shinigami powers, but he does not regret his decisions.
In Soul Society, the Central 46 sentence Aizen to the Muken prison for 18,800 years, but Aizen mocks them. Elsewhere, the captain commander berates the captains for losing their hayori and becomes irate when they don’t seem to care. In the research center, Matsumoto attempts to visit Hinamori, who is still injured, but is not allowed access. She then visits Histugaya, who is frustrated at not being able to protect Hinamori and is training with his bankai in a cave. She reminisces about Gin and how he left nothing behind for her.
This episode wraps up the whole arrancar arc, and indeed it actually ends the main storyline of the war against Aizen which has been the main focus since the beginning of the series (remember that Aizen planned it all from the time Ichigo gained his powers). Content-wise I don’t have much to say that I haven’t said before in the manga posts. I can’t say I’m satisfied as even though the fates of most of the characters are cleaned up (none of the good guys died), I think many questions and loose ends are purposely left unanswered so that the series can continue on into infinity. It seems that as soon as Aizen was defeated, every other thing was just abruptly cut off in a very faced paced conclusion. It is a little ironic that the only character I really wanted to live, Gin, was killed off even though he wasn’t completely a bad guy.
The most life changing moment here was Ichigo beginning to lose his shinigami powers, though his sacrifice doesn’t seem all that great if he’s just going to get them back. It’s not so bad living normally for a while though as I think Soul Society can handle any problems as they normally do now that Aizen is gone for the moment. I can’t say I’m looking forward to what’s coming next though.