Things are turning scary very quickly for the protagonists as a hollow hole suddenly appears in Masaki’s chest. The attack from the hollow-shinigami hybrid has indeed corrupted Masaki’s soul, just as Aizen had hoped to see, and she collapses in pain even as Ryuuken’s mom and Katagiri are in the middle of lecturing about her helping Isshin. The irony is definitely here: Ryuuken’s actions to protect Masaki may have delayed any potential treatment, and as he rushes out blindly in panic he almost gets both of them killed by another hollow. After Isshin saves them, he immediately starts blaming and even threatening him for what happened to Masaki. Though it’s somewhat understandable given the circumstances, Ryuuken is still acting very irrationally – very unlike his personality and also a big contrast to Isshin’s reactions.
Luckily before the circumstances get any worse Urahara shows up (he always seems to arrive precisely when he wants to). As we already know, he possesses the ability to prevent the hollowfication process from killing the soul, which he was able to do for the vizards almost a century ago. Urahara launches into a lengthy discussion that I had to read twice to understand, but essentially his ethically dubious concoction of human souls and light arrows maintains the balance of the two souls. However since that only prevents the death of the soul, they need to take a step further to allow Masaki to live as a human, which is where Isshin comes in. I found the explanation rather convoluted, and I don’t think Isshin completely understood it either, but it involves a large restriction on his shinigami powers. Basically he enters some sort of gigai and becomes a human-shinigami hybrid, the opposite of Masaki, a quincy-hollow hybrid. Although Isshin in his eagerness cuts off Urahara before he finishes talking, Urahara does mention something about when he will be able to leave the human shell. I’m assuming he is just referring to when Masaki dies, which would be why Isshin was unable to save her from the hollow.
It’s just speculation at this point though, and it’s possible she becomes some sort of super quincy with the addition of hollow powers. Of course, it does explain the yet-to-be-born Ichigo, who will become the world’s only human-shinigami-quincy-hollow hybrid. Sadly for Ryuuken, their romance is pretty much charging full speed ahead at this point, and only till death do they part.
Sorry about the delayed post. I’ve had a hectic week.