Being among the mainstream anime/manga series of this generation, Bleach
with so many powerful moments that it's difficult to list them all, but we'll try.
Please list the entries under the appropriate arc.
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Agents Of Shinigami Arc
- Possibly Ichigo's first truly awesome moment in the series is when he breaks free of Rukia's Sai spell through sheer force of will. It's the first real demonstration of Ichigo's power, and let's us know the type of character we're dealing with.
- Ichigo gets A Taste of Power upon receiving Rukia's Shinigami powers — then he proceeds to kill a gigantic demon that Rukia, a far more experienced Soul Reaper, couldn't kill, using only brute force. For most of the first arc, Ichigo doesn't gain any skill so much as he continually overpowers his opponents through natural talent.
- While fighting the hollow Shrieker, Chad rips a telephone pole out of the ground and hits him with it...and this is before he develops any special powers. Rukia had to tell him where to hit because he couldn't see the Hollow.
- Oh, and Rukia's pretty awesome in the same battle: she's got a tiny bit kido mojo back but otherwise she's fighting a former serial killer with nothing more than moxy and cunning.
- Orihime first manifesting her powers — a rare moment where The Pollyanna gets well and truly pissed-off. It was so awesome that it let her: a) awake her Shun Shun Rikka, b) save a bunch of Brainwashed and Crazy Karakura students (two of them being her friends Tatsuki and Chizuru) and c) kill the Hollow controlling them.
- Speaking of which, I think that Tatsuki could qualify herself for this page. Despite being Overshadowed by Awesome when Orihime's power awakened, Tatsuki was trying to fight against Numb Chandelier and all the mind-controlled students, and even tore off a part of Numb Chandelier's tentacle with her TEETH. Also, how many girls can win a national Semi-finals karate match with a broken arm?
- Uryuu may be a right prat for most of his introduction story, but he gets a combined moment of Awesome and Heartwarming when he saves Ichigo's life at the end even though doing so shreds his hands in the process.
- Uryu gets another moment when he tries to save Rukia from Renji taking her. Even though his hands are still seriously wounded, he still tries to fight a much stronger opponent, who quickly beats him offscreen.
- Right at the point where Ichigo might seem like an Invincible Hero with his track record of overpowering foes, Byakuya Kuchiki, one of the 13 Captains in the Soul Society, enters the fray to rescue his lieutenant Renji, and proceeds to traumatize Ichigo with a Flash Step attack.
Soul Society Arc
- The battle between Ishida and Mayuri features the latter unleashing his Bankai, a giant worm with a baby's head that sprouts spikes and spews poison gas. Uryuu's response? Arrow through the head.
- This is AFTER Uryuu manages to beat a paralyzing neurotoxin through sheer Tranquil Fury and turn himself One-Winged Angel in order to exact vengeance for his grandfather.
- Ganju, in his most heroic moment, was mercilessly torn to shreds by Byakuya while defending Rukia (who, he had just discovered, is the one who killed his brother).
- Kenpachi Zaraki. When The Hero attempts to fight him, Kenpachi's skin/spiritual pressure is so intense, even while dormant and unused, that the sword is unable to cut him. He eventually proceeds to cut a nearby skyscraper in half with a single stroke of his sword. Later, while blinded and deafened by Tousen, he allows himself to be gutted just for the opportunity to "know" where his opponent is.
- Kenpachi does not have a Bankai as of yet. So far, every other Captain has shown theirs off or needed to display a higher echelon of power to keep up with their opponents. Kenpachi, however, merely switches from using one-handed sword strikes to two-handed sword strikes. He has no coordination/technique with his Zanpakuto; he uses it as a club more than anything else.
- Ichigo's Big Damn Heroes moment has him block Rukia's execution — the Soukyoku, a device that supposedly has the power of a million Zanpakutous. After saving Rukia, he beats up the Vice Captains in the vicinity with his bare hands.
- Any of Byakuya's "bankai moments," especially the first time he reveals it to us (and concludes the awesomesauce-scene with "Your fangs will never reach me. Ever.")
- "All you had to do was quietly sheathe your sword. Did you seriously think you could defeat me? Renji, don't tell me you have forgotten, that I too have a bankai... Bankai... Scatter, Senbonzakura Kageyoshi". With the Music Of Awesome, you can feel the Badass.
- Yamamoto's spiritual pressure is so strong that it nearly asphyxiates Nanao from him looking at her. Doubles as a Kick the Dog.
- The part where Aizen blocks Ichigo's Bankai with his finger, also cutting short his Theme Music Power-Up in the process. Bad. Ass. Not to mention the part where he wipes away his "harmless scholar" facade by crushing his glasses with two fingers and slicking his hair back with a hand, all while rising up in a pillar of light and claiming "I will stand in Heaven" (the English dub phrases it as "I will stand at the top" in an incredibly awkward attempt to avoid any religious connotations).
- Unohana Retsu might've been one of the forgotten characters, had it not been for her calmly scaring the shit out of the battle-happy Squad 11 with just mere words and a very slightly scary look. That event cements her as awesome, even though she doesn't actually get to fight until years later.
- Yoruichi's much overlooked complete outclassing of Byakuya, the resident badass. Just as all hope seems lost. Just as Byakuya is about to bust out his epic yet effeminate super sword. Just as Rukia screams out in horror, begging Ichigo to run for his life. BAM! Yoruichi appears, wrapping Byakuya's sword in bandages and moving past him before he even realizes she's there. She then proceeds to make Byakuya look like a fool by showing how superspeed is REALLY done, before running off with Ichigo over her shoulder.
- Made even more badass by this exchange:
Byakuya (slices into Yoruichi): "Did you really think you could escape with a flash step that slow?"
Yoruichi (reappears unharmed on Byakuya's extended arm): "Did you really think you could capture me with a flash step that predictable?"
- Gin's epic trolling of Rukia when he pretends he's going to rescue her, then straight-up says, "Just kiddin!" what makes this even more impressive is that Rukia has mistrusted Gin since she became a Soul Reaper, and yet he STILL manages to convince her that he's suddenly going to help her.
- Hanataro willingly joins Ichigo and goes against Soul Society in order to help save Rukia, and after finding Rukia, goes to stand up to Byakuya knowing full well the ass-kicking he will receive.
- He receives another one when he heals Renji's wounds after his fight with Byakuya. Renji was near-death, and Hanataro saved his life.
- Both of Zaraki's subordinates get theirs, one earlier than the other. Yumichika's comes during Soul Society when, while fighting a vice-captain who is supposed to massively outclass him, reveals that he accepted a lower position because he wanted it, then revealed his Zanpakuto's special ability. Ikkaku's comes during the Arrancar arc when he reveals he can use Bankai. And he didn't really want to be forced to do it, so he was pissed off about it.
- In Chapter 168-169, Lieutenants Rangiku Matsumoto and Izuru Kira face off during the Ryoka Arc. Kira reveals his sword's special ability to double the weight with every strike and Matsumoto's sword crashes down on the roof tiles. As Kira smugly announces, "That's not a weight you can run around easily holding", Matsumoto delivers a Pre-Asskicking One-Liner, "So what? If I can't hold it and run...I just won't hold it" and transforms to ash, nullifying Kira's Wabisuke attack and defeating him handily. Truly, an Awesome Moment, with a side of I Am Not Left-Handed and a soupcon of Out-Gambitted.
- After Yamamoto orders Soifon to Bad Boss Sentaro and Kiyone (for helping destroy the Soukyoku, Yoruichi saves them by tackling Soifon off a cliff, and then, when Soifon gives a Breaking Speech and turns loose the Mooks, Yoruichi beats them all in one panel.
- Jidanbo knocking three traitors the same size as him flat without taking a hit in return. Bizarrely left out of the anime.
- "Tensa Zangetsu." After all the tension and build up, Ichigo's simple appearance and the change of his uniform into a Badass Longcoat is the perfect resolution to the scene, and most certainly one of Bleach's most profound Moments of Awesome.
- Even before that, Byakuya's face of utmost surprise and disbelief as Ichigo reveal he can now use Bankai.
- The icing on the cake is when Ichigo proves to be faster than even the Flash Step, to the point where Byakuya can't even keep up with his movements. When it looks like Byakuya has Ichigo trapped, with nowhere to dodge, Ichigo cuts every single individual blade of his Bankai effortlessly. Byakuya sports an even bigger Oh, Crap than the aforementioned one above.
- When Ichigo is getting shredded by Byakuya and it seems he is about to be done in by his own spirit energy crushing him, Hollow Ichigo takes over and proceeds to break Byakuya's stoic demeanor.
Hueco Mundo Arc
- Isshin gets one when he drops the goofy dad act to reveal the fact that he is a Captain-level Shinigami. And then proceeds to use his sword to slice a giant arrancar in half.
- Okay, Quincy appreciation time:
- Uryuu is still capable of fighting back even without Quincy powers ...because he took the time to plan ahead. Likewise, even while de-powered, it still takes DAYS of being run into the ground before he hits his physical and mental limits.
- Ryuuken can one-shot incomplete Arrancar, hit a moving target less than an inch away from a vital organ, and is STILL capable of running Uryuu to breathless exhaustion without breaking a sweat himself even after his son's powers are fully restored and then some.
- Chad saves Tatsuki's life, and then tries to hold off Yammy as Orihime runs for it, even after he acknowledges his opponents power is way beyond his.
- Grimmjow gets one when Orihime reform his arm, allowing him to re-take his place as the sixth Espada.... by delivering the mother of all Curb Stomp Battles to Luppi.
- What about prior to that where he asks Orihime to heal his back. It was priceless watching Luppi's reaction to seeing the '6' re-emerge followed by being impaled in the chest a split second letter. To top it off: Grimmjow giving an Ironic Echo and blasting the upper half of Luppi off. Aizen's smile seemed to have indicated he was wanting Grimmjow back just so he can get rid of Luppi.
- Ishida defeating Cirucci, especially his speech after she mutilates herself for enough power to kill him.
Çirucci: If it's a battle between two swords, she with the longer reach will always come out on top.
Ishida: It appears you misunderstood me. When a Quincy does battle, absorbing spirit particle from the environment to strengthen ones weapon is imperative and the strongest embodiment of that process is this Seele Schneider.(Drains energy form her sword into his bow) Those precious spirit particles of yours are already mine.
: Get fucking
real, you bastard!!!
Ishida: There's one other thing you misunderstood. Seele Schneider is not a sword. Quincy only use a bow. (Draws Seele Schneider in his bow like an arrow) I'm sorry, but this is my win, Cirucci Thunderwitch. The key to winning this battle was indeed having the longest reach. (Shoots her)
- Orihime's real Moment comes when, after having offered herself as a Barrier Maiden and being imprisoned by Aizen, she is set upon by two jealous Arrancar girls, who give her a rather savage beating. Then, when the two are butchered by a superior (Grimmjow) who has come to take Orihime away, she promptly proves that she is capable of resurrecting the dead — apparently not holding a grudge against those who just nearly killed her.
- And before that? When Orihime is being tortured by Menoly and Loly, we get a closeup to her face. She's been beaten up so badly that her face is disfigured... but she hasn't cried a single tear over it. For a soft-hearted and sensitive girl who's very much a fawn surrounded by hungry wolves in that moment, it's quite a lot.
- Orihime gets more awesome points for stunning Ulquiorra into silence after she slapped him, even though he almost certainly didn't feel it.
- Actually, this is more like an awesome moment for Ulquiorra than for Orihime. Why? Because Orihime had decided to put on a mask of false tranquility and hide her feelings so she'd be able to get close to the Hogyoku and destroy it. But the moment she slaps Ulquiorra? The mask falls and it lets us see that she's got a huge inner turmoil, and the poor girl's plan pretty much falls apart, alongside her composure. Who was skillful enough with words and manipulations to get to her? Ulquiorra.
- Chapter 341 of the manga. Orihime uses her shields again. To stop an attack from none other than * Ulquiorra*. Notice that now she doesn't even need to chant the Rikka spells to do such things, and that this is Ulquiorra aka the Fourth most powerful Espada we're talking about.
- Kuchiki Byakuya, in order to keep Espada No. 7 from controlling parts of his body, calmly cuts the tendons in his own arm and leg. Without even flinching.
- Another one comes shortly after that. #7's power is that, should one of his 50 eyes lock in on a body part, he controls it. He uses this ability on Rukia's head, which allows him to control her brain and thus her whole body. He then has Rukia hold her sword up to her neck and threatens to have her kill herself if Byakuya doesn't give up. Byakuya puts his zanpakuto away, paralyzes Rukia with Bakudo #61, then proceeds to use his bankai.
- Mayuri gets his own where he not only comes to save Renji and Uryu (while either squicking them out or just plain humiliating Uryu) from his Arrancar equivalent Szayel Aporro Grantz, he ends the battle by stabbing him through the heart and hand while the other was under the effect of a drug that heightens his reflexes to the point that the stabbing takes centuries. Seeing as he's amongst the biggest Base Breakers in the series, this would either redeem him slightly in the eyes of the fans or make him look even more evil.
- He doesn't just stab him, he screws with Szayel by moving v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y so as to d-r-a-g the whole thing out. The amount of time it takes for Mayuri's blade to even reach Szayel's hand takes forever without your perception of time slowed to glacier speed.
- Every single second Bull Ichigo is on screen.
- With Ichigo out of commission, Uryu buys Orihime time by stepping up and fighting Ulquiorra himself. He doesn't stop even after losing his hand; he just draws a Seele Schneider and keeps fighting.
- Ishida grabbing Bull Ichigo's arm to try and stop him from killing the... remnants of Ulquiorra (the 40% of him that's left is not as pretty as it used to be). He's more worried about Ichigo losing his humanity than he is about saving the life of the Emospada who cut off his hand. The only thing that could have made it more awesome was if Bull Ichigo hadn't started attacking him instead of Ulquiorra.
- Episode 201: Zaraki Kenpachi just continues to prove what a walking CMOA he is. Yet all the while, Yachiru stands there smiling, which, compared to Ichigo and Inoue freaking out over everything, somehow just contributes to her awesomeness.
- Kenpachi's CMOA of CMOA in this fight: Catching a freaking Cero barehanded and tossing away like a goddamned beach ball. Even Nnoitra's just standing there with a look that just says "Oh. Fuck. Me."
- To hell with it, the entire freaking eleventh division is made of awesome. If anyone from it is not having a Crowning Moment of Awesome, they will be soon enough.
- Rukia exposing her seemingly resurrected and evil teacher, Kaien Shiba, as Aaroniero Arruruerie, and then proceeding to kill him by cutting him in half using her Third Dance, Shirafune. And verbally owning him as she does so.
- The first time we see her Shikai, she one-shots D-roy, an Arrancar that could have killed Sado in one blow, and the second time, Hakuren is used to save Ichigo from Grimmjow. She also beats Rudobon and the Exequias he produced single-handedly when he releases, and freezes his branches, preventing him from using his power.
- To make it even better, she was probably under power limits at the time meaning that her first curbstomp was done while at twenty-percent power.
- Ulquiorra mopping the floor with Ichigo every time they fight excluding his fight with Ichigo's full-Hollow form. Yeah, Ichigo's The Hero, but there's something undeniably awesome about the main character getting his ass handed to him when the other guy's not even trying.
Fake Karakura Town Arc
- Izuru got one in the manga while fighting Abirama. After Abirama criticizes Izuru for not acting like a warrior (chants, goading, insults, etc.), he starts to beat Izuru down, asking him what his weird shaped zanpakuto could possibly do. Izuru finally manages to lure him in and hit his wings (which are heavier than steel) four times, multiplying their weight by 16 and effectively paralyzing him. Izuru calmly explains that his zanpakuto best portrays the traits of his division: the magnolia symbol of the 3rd division means despair, and they view war as something dark and undesirable. His zanpakuto's name is Wabisuke, which is fitting since its power makes its opponents bend down as if in apology. Izuru finally replies "You asked what I could do with this strangely shaped sword." He holds the sword up below Abirama's head, literally hooking him into a reverse guillotine.
- "A warrior does not beg for his life." SHUNK
- "Ryuujin Jakka. Number One. Nadegiri. Is "stop" such a difficult concept to understand, kid?" And the same huge chimera that almost kills Matsumoto, Momo and Hisagi is split in half with a single stroke. WOW, YAMAMOTO.
- The revelation of Baraggan Luisenbarn's Arrancar powers. Yes, I know. Poor Soifon. But it's still awesome for him, and freaky as hell.
- It also brings up yet another Soifon CMOA: She has Omaeda cut her rotting arm off right then
- And then Soifon Ban — WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?!?!
- Ushoda Hachigen is the ONLY Vizard that wins his fight. How does he do it? By using Barragan's own power against him by cutting off his own rotting forearm and transferring it into Barragan's body causing the old bastard to rot from the inside out.
Barragan: What have you done with your arm?
Hachi: I gave it to you.
- Starrk's and Lilynette's Resureccion form is a CMoA by itself.
- Anime-only, but Loly's Defiant to the End moment with Yammy, complete with Famous Last Words calling him a scumbag...twice. The girl had spunk: perhaps a little TOO much of it but there's something admirably ballsy about not giving into fear of someone who far outclasses you and insulting him to his face. Even better is that this came after defending Orihime, the girl she HATES, from Yammy. You just have to admire that.
- Turns out she's not dead after all, so the defiance wasn't quite to the end, and her famous words not so last.
- Chapter 390, in which Aizen solos the Gotei 13.
- Chapter 392...oh Aizen. The person Hitsugaya and the captains just attacked was Momo. Aizen used his shikai already. As you can imagine it's a huge Curb-Stomp Battle afterwards...Aizen one by one cuts down the captains. A completely horrifying moment, but also an horribly intelligent plan.
- Chapter 393, and Aizen is still on a roll: Everyone in FKK is down for the count. Old Man Genocide steps up to bat. How does he go about fighting Aizen? By allowing Aizen to stab him, then grabbing his sword arm, Kenpachi style. After some more banter, Yama reveals his plan to kill Captain Broken once and for all: He's going to burn Karakura Town to the ground, killing everyone on the scene, including Aizen, Gin, and well over half of the Gotei 13. Does Aizen have a plan to counter the strongest fighter in Soul Society? You bet he does, and the name of this plan is... Wonderweiss Margera, who specializes in Anti-Magic.
- Old Man Genocide gets one somewhat, as Aizen explicitly states that Yamamoto is stronger than he is. That's right. Aizen himself says he cannot beat Yamamoto alone. Considering the fact that Aizen was thought to be the strongest person in the series thus far, that's saying a lot.
- To put it in perspective, the official data for their personal combat ability (persumably excluding zanpakutou powers) put Aizen and Yamamoto as equal in terms of total point score; Aizen, however, states that Ryuujin Jakka's unrivaled offensive power would tip the scales in Yamamoto's favour.
- Chapter 394: Deprived of the power of Ryuujin-Jakka, Yamamoto decides, instead, to go the Badass Normal way and beat Wonderweiss to death with his bare hands.
- His bragging about how not one Shinigami in the past 1000 years has ever been stronger than him also qualifies. It's essentially admitting that the Soul Society is run by Klingon Promotion — or at least the 1st Division.
- Up against someone like Yamamoto, Aizen seems to have nothing but his magical toy and his game-breaking sword and still has a couple of close calls. The old man, on the other hand, is willing to sacrifice himself (and everyone else), uses unlikely, reckless tactics — allowing himself to be stabbed — and is most importantly not limited to the powers of his sword. What Aizen got through luck and bastard-ness, Yamamoto got through experience and...being a different kind of bastard.
- Chapter 398 features an absolutely EPIC moment, Isshin sending Aizen flying through several buildings by giving him the finger!
- This can interpret in two ways:
- He is so good, he can perform Kido powerful enough to affect Aizen without mumbling a single word.
- He is so AWESOME, he can send Aizen flying just by SNAPPING HIS FINGERS!
- Ukitake gets one in the manga when he backhands Lilynette's Cero out of existence. He asked the kid several times to not bother him, and when kid refused to listen, BAM. Gone.
- Ukitake revealing his shikai ability for the first time when he deflects Starrk's Ceros. Also, his "no arguments" line to Kyoraku when he tries to protest. Starrk's theory on over-powering Ukitake's zanpakuto may be sound, but we never saw Ukitake have any trouble no matter how many Ceros Starrk fired or how fast he moved.
- Hachi's comes during the flashback arc when he pulls off a Level 99 Kido spell without incantation, one-shotting the now mindless Kensei.
- Komamura Sajin is normally thought as one of the weaker captains but he has a Crowning Moment of Awesome when, after being knocked down by an opponent that managed to defeat Ikkaku,he quickly gets back on his feet, blocks and throws away his opponent, even though the opponent's size is way more immense than him, then quickly curb-stomps him with Bankai. From that point on, the audience know that Komamura's not just all bark.
- Marechiyo Omaeda who has up until now been a fat rich guy who has only been known to stuff his face and getting owned by a bare-handed Ichigo. Then when he fought Nirgge Parduoc, he was simply being seen getting thrown around and doing little damage with his sword. The Fraccion was even able to mock him for his slow speed. Then the Fraccion released and became stronger, with a cut in speed. Nirgge chased Omaeda around until Omaeda revealed he was much faster than the Fraccion and proceeded to crush his head with his Shikai.
- The most recent Soifon CMOA, now from the manga? Not only does she verbally bitchslap Omaeda for coming to her rescue, but she kills Ggio Vega with incredible speed and swiftness.
Soifon: "I'm sorry. I said death in two strokes, but you probably only felt one"...
- In the manga as well... Rangiku Matsumoto is cornered by three Arrancar ladies as Hitsugaya fights Halibel. Guess who comes to the rescue in a GREAT Big Damn Heroes? MOMO HINAMORI. Yes, one of the most hated characters, who isn't fully healed of her HUGE traumas but has at least assumed that there are things she has to do. And pulls a small Batman Gambit by using her kido to suppress her spiritual pressure and slip unnoticed towards the place Rangiku was fighting so she could join her without interruptions, AND then use her power to create a a huge explosion, while still having energy left to raise a barrier to protect herself and Rangiku..
- During his fight with Baraggan, Oomaeda brings down a skyscraper with his shikai.
- Chapter 399 has Ichigo totally gimping Gin's 13 km long sword and hitting him with a getsuga tensho. Gin actually opens his eyes, which is saying something.
- Chapter 403 is nothing but this for everyone involved:
- Aizen admits that if he weren't powered up by the Hogyoku, Urahara would have beaten him.
- Yoruichi shows up, and actually manages to hurt Aizen more than anyone we've seen so far!
- Remember Keigo? You know, who ran after Tatsuki told him to?. Well, he went TO GET A SWORD TO DEFEND THEM BOTH. Granted, it's not his, but that kid's still got balls
- This is nothing against the sheer Crazy Awesomeness of the other one of Those Two Guys: Mizuiro was completly unfazed about the invincible Aizen, even after he survived an explosion!
- Chapter 411: Don Kanonji returns, and his first action is to attack Aizen. Bear in mind that Aizen's power is strong enough to paralyze lower level Shinigami just by being close to him. Kanonji not only manages to move freely, but he attacks! It's doubly awesome that he refused to back down, even when Tatsuki told him to run and he sensed Aizen's true power. Why didn't he run? Because that isn't what heroes do.
- Gin in 414. He reveals that he knows the one weakness to Aizen's complete hypnosis, and uses it to stab him in the heart. Then he reveals that his sword's ability isn't what he's been telling everyone. It can turn into a dust which destroys the cells from within, and he just left a piece of that dust in Aizen's heart. Cue most of Aizen's chest simply vanishing into nothingness. Even though Aizen survives it, that was pure, undiluted awesome.
- As of Chapter 417, Ichigo is about to duel Aizen, but suggests they move to another spot, away from his friends and family, so that they can finish each other off without hurting anyone else. Aizen scoffs at him, merely commenting that moving would be pointless, as he plans to kill Ichigo and then demolish the rest of Karakura Town shortly afterward. Before he can finish, Ichigo comes barreling out of nowhere and delivers a truly awesome, well-deserved Face Palm of Doom, then proceeds to drag Aizen by the face over the town and to an empty mountain range, then throws him into the ground from hundreds of feet up, from the look of it hard enough for Aizen to break the sound barrier. Aizen, understandably, is not pleased, but Ichigo has once again proven his total badassery due to that moment.
- What makes it even more awesome is that freaking Aizen has no clue how it happened. He can't sense any reiatsu from Ichigo at all, which led to thinking that Ichigo failed to get any stronger. Ichigo made Captain Butterfly bleed with nothing but brute strength.
- Well, it may well be THE most awesome moment in the last twenty episodes, considering Aizen was constantly leveling up, mocking move after move done against him. Ichigo, the same person who was afraid to do a single strike against Aizen when he caught him off-guard, only needs ONE transformation to give our much-hated Captain Broken a well-deserved ass-kicking!
- Chapter 418: Aizen crushes the landscape with a single swordstroke! Ichigo is completely unfazed. Aizen swings at Ichigo with insane Speed! Ichigo blocks it with his hand. Aizen actually gets off his lazy ass and performs the full-power chant for the Black Coffin spell, showing us exactly what he meant when he said that it was a "failure" the first time he used it! Ichigo shatters the magic without a single word. Ichigo explains to Aizen that he is stronger than Aizen now, and asks Aizen if he's scared of something he can't understand. Finally, Ichigo explains that the sword that broke the landscape wasn't Aizen's... it was his! It says a lot when someone who's been a Smug Snake through basically the entire manga has a Villainous Breakdown.
- Would it be awesome or stupid if Aizen, after spending most of the series being a smug Villain Sue ended up being an Anticlimax Boss? I'm not even sure anymore.
- I've been pretty much expecting Aizen to be an Anticlimax Boss, but this is ridiculous. It's somewhere between really awesome and really stupid. Still, out of context it was a pretty good "fight".
- Chapter 420: Mugetsu. That is all.
- Somewhat defusing the awesome of the above, Aizen manages to live through Ichigo's ultimate attack, albeit severely weakened, and has him dead to rights. However, Urahara shows up, and reveals that he planted a kido seal in Aizen way back when Aizen was first using the Hogokyu to evolve, which causes the Hogokyu to reject Aizen as its master. Aizen goes off on a rant about how Urahara, a genius like himself, should be siding with him, which Urahara calmly denies. Aizen doesn't even get to finish his rant before the seal completely envelops him.
Lost Substitute Shinigami Arc
The Thousand-Year Blood War Arc
- Chapter 481. After Ichigo's Big Damn Heroes to save Yuki and Shino, we have for the first time Ichigo, Ishida, Chad AND Orihime... fighting side by side killing hollows. And in a simply awesome two-page Badass Pose.
- 483. The Vandenreich comment on how easy it was to break into the Captain-Commander's room, chiding Yamamoto's lack of security. Yama-jii's reply?
- Ivan baits Ichigo into activating his bankai just so he can whip out his special anti-Bankai technique. What follows is a full 5 pages of special effects and Ichigo's Oh, Crap face. Then, just when you're convinced that Ichigo is royally screwed, he completely No Sells the technique and counters with a Getsuga Tenshou right into Ivan's face.
- 484. The Vandenreich kill Yamamoto's liutenant Chojuro Sasakibe. He's the first straight-up fatality on the good guys' side ever since the beginning of the manga. Oh, and later we learn that they have already conquered Hueco Mundo and keep Harribel hostage. It's both awesome and horrible.
- Tying with the above, even when Sasakibe ended up kicking it, we have to give him points for managing to use his Famous Last Words to relay vital info to Yamamoto. While bleeding to death, nevertheless.
- 488: Despite the epic entrance of Halibel's fraccion last chapter, Kirge Opie obliterates them when they refuse his offer for them to join Vandenreich.
- 489: There is one for Ichigo: the moment the leader of the Vandereich learns that Ichigo is in Hueco Mundo and currently occupied fighting against Kirge Opie and his henchmen,he IMMEDIATELY orders an attack against Soul Society. Why is this a CMOA for Ichigo? Because this showed that the Vandereich considers him alone more dangerous than the entire army of Soul Society!!!
- 491: Kirge gets one when he unleashes his powers and not only he dodges the Getsuga Tenshou, but also peels off everything around him — including Orihime's Santen Kesshun. Thinks whatever you want about him, but that's pretty badass.
- 494: One that overlaps with Moral Event Horizon: The Vandereich decimating an almost whole division as they fully enter Seiteirei''
- 495: Rose going without hesitation towards the Stern Ritter member that obliterated his squad, in a total Tranquil Fury mode. Don't let us down, man.
- A crowner for the Stern Ritters: Being able to get a clearly visible Oh, Crap expression from Byakuya after he made a miscalculation in assuming their power seals a bankai when it really steals it. Well played, As Nodt.
- Renji warns Byakuya that the Vandenreich are invulnerable to their swords. Byakuya says he thinks not and shreds As Nodt's arm with his shikai. "Masked Man" berates As Nodt and tries to attack Byakuya, but Byakuya casually makes the floor collapse on him and he falls out of sight.
- 497: The glasses-wearing old Vandereich manages to shoot out Kyoraku's eye in just a few seconds of fighting. Bad. Ass.
- Which is followed by Kyouraku merely smiling and talking back to him. Also Bad Ass.
- Its a bit subtle, but its worth noting that Hitsugaya takes only a few seconds to mourn over the loss of Hyourinmaru before immediately ordering his lieutenant to warn the rest of the Gotei 13 not to use bankai. Despite there being three other captains in his same situation, all of them older and presumably much more experienced than him, he's the quickest to override his shock so that the rest of the shinigami with bankai will not suffer the same mistake.
- 498: Kirge's Villainous Breakdown as Ichigo continues to curbstomp him since he can't seal his bankai is quite satisfying since he's been such a Smug Snake up to this point. This is immediately followed by Urahara unceremoniously shooting him in the back.
- 501 is a full Chapter of Awesome for As Nodt, due to managing to effectively overpower none other than Byakuya. Tsukishima was close to do it in the past, but it looks like As Nodt may manage to do it — and if he doesn't, it's still pretty impressive (and totally horrifying) to have him Mind Rape and then subdue Byakuya motherfuckin' Kuchiki.
- 502: Kenpachi confronts the Vandenreich leader and his second-in-command carrying the bodies of not one, but three Stern Ritters.
- And with carrying, we mean he's holding on his back the three Stern Ritters shishkebobbed on his sword.
- 504: Yamamoto tanks Choujirou's bankai, and then proceeds to one-shot Driscoll by burning his skin off. This is a guy who killed over 200 shinigami and a bankai-wielding VC, and Yama one-shots him.
- Not only that, but he verbally humiliates Driscoll via telling him ''Chojiro's bankai WAS NOT THIS WEAK" before one-shotting him. Seriously awesome.
- And Chojiro gets one post-mortem, as we learn exactly how he became Yama's lieutenant. Even when he couldn't defeat him in a fight like Yama asked him to, he still left a scar on him, and effectively gained Yamamoto's respect. And we're talking about a young Choujiro (the equivalent of a 20-something youth, in Shinigami age) who had just developed his bankai.
- 505: One for the Vandenreich Emperor Yhwach: Oh shit, did he just defeat Kenpachi friggin' Zaraki off-panel?
- Also, another massive one for Yamamoto. Just him getting really angry is enough to make everyone in Seireitei enter full Hot-Blooded battle mode. And he finishes it via a Big Damn Heroes against the Emperor that has just defeated Kenpachi and an awesome Badass Boast:
Yamamoto: "It has been over 1000 years, Yhwach I have come here TO ANNIHILATE YOU."
- 506: Yamamoto one shots three Stern Ritters at once. Before taking on Yhwach.
Yhwach: You act as though you were waiting for me to draw me sword.
Yamamoto: I was waiting, indeed. So that I can smash your flesh, blood, sword and soul into many tiny pieces. Bankai. Zanka no Tachi.
- Let's all take a moment to remember that Yamamoto has one arm. Unlike his subordinates, he did not acquire another.
- 508: "Oh corpses. Ashes of the dead scattered by my flame. Lend me your aid. For a spell, I shall grant you the pleasure of battle. Zanka no Tachi — South. Kaka Juumahokushi Daisoujin." Cue an army of charred skeleton warriors rising from the ground.
- 509: Yamamoto exploits what little affection and loyalty Yhwach has by revealing that his undead army is made of his old subordinates. As the Emperor hesitates, Yamamoto explains that he believes that the Vandenreich can't steal his bankai nor Ichigo's because they've never shown their full potential, so the Vandenreich cannot properly analyze them. Yamamoto finally unleashes Zanka no Tachi — North — Tenchin Kaijin, which blows Yhwach in half.
- The true awesome part is that Yhwach the real one, has just played Yama like the emotional idiot he used to be. And Yamamoto's conga line of awesome suddenly means absolutely nothing!
- 510. One single phrase: Yhwach has Yamamoto's Sun.
- 511: Yhwach's graduation into Magnificent Bastard. He kills Yamamoto by lopping off the rest of his left arm, then slices his body in half from his left shoulder all the way down to the right side of his waistline. After the upper portion of the body falls to the ground — his legs and half his torso were still standing — Yhwach then butchers the remaining arm that was still clutching Yamamoto's sword. Then he steps on Yamamoto's head and taunts him for his failures. Then he blasts the entire corpse into nothing. Then he orders -- and watches -- the destruction of Soul Society. Doing all of this with all kinds of flair and efficience? Magnificent. Doing it all in the first place, without even batting an eyelid? Bastard.
- 512: Ichigo finally arrives in Soul Society, one-shotting a stern ritter, and introduces himself to Yhwach and Hashwald as the two are leaving by shattering the ground by throwing his sword into it before picking it up.
- 513: Just when it seems like Yhwach has defeated Ichigo, Ichigo totally blindsides him by blocking his sword with Blut Vene.
- To clarify, Bach pretty much manhandles Ichigo in under a minute and would've have killed him or worse, save for the last second twist.
- 515: Kyouraku's Rousing Speech to the other captains in their first post Yamamoto's death reunion.
- 517: When the Zero Squad shows up, Soi Fon is still super pissed about the whole thing and starts running her mouth. One of the five captains uses Super Speed to get directly behind her, which pretty much shut her up.
- Later, one of the Zero Squad reveals she, unlike Mayuri, can repair Bankai. She then calls him out for his pathetic security measures, and he just sits there and takes it, which nicely highlights the levels of badassery we're dealing with.
- Hell, Zero Squad as a whole can be considered walking CMOAs. It's later revealed that they've been inducted into Zero Squad for impressing the Spirit King for making a revolutionary contribution to the Soul Society that's completely changed the way they operate. Tenjirou created the healing hot-springs and various medical procedures, Hikifune discovered how to imbue objects with reiatsu and thus created the original formula from whence all Mod Souls and Soul Candy originated, and Ouetsu was the creator of the first Zanpakuto, making him the progenitor of shinigami as a whole.
- 520: We finally learn why Unohana is so feared and respected by everyone: Her real name is Yachiru Unohana, and she was the first Kenpachi. And she's going to train the current Kenpachi in swordsmanship.
- Shunsui becomes the new Captain Commander. And tells the Central 46 they can either agree to his plans or have a go at protecting themselves.
- And one for Renji. Despite having most of his head and all of his body covered in bandages, he manages to tank a punch to the gut from Tenjirou. This just after it was stated that one punch from him would have killed Ichigo if he hadn't healed.
- 523: The first and current Kenpachi get down to brass tacks. And it's clear that this is less "lesson in swordsmanship" and more "fight to the death".
- Continued in 524 where Unohana is mercilessly curb stomping Kenpachi for all it's worth.
- The fact that she effortlessly lands a killing blow to Kenpachi's neck, then heals it so Kenpachi can survive long enough to become stronger shows just how dangerous Unohana really is.
- Let's pause for a minute to fully appreciate the magnitude of this chapter. Beforehand, almost everyone had predicted that Zaraki would win handily, and perhaps due to the mercy he's shown his defeated enemies, allow Unohana to live. Or that Unohana's regenerative abilities would spare her life, or that he would actually kill her. Instead, Zaraki was absolutely brutalized in disturbingly short order, and it is SHE that is allowing him to live.
- 525: Kenpachi nearly killed UNOHANA in her prime WHILE HE WAS STILL A CHILD . He weakened himself out of fear he would never have an equal in combat ever again, and Unohana is having to literally beat the power back into him. She isn't curbstomping him, she's helping him regain his true power, and considering what he was capable of as a kid...
- Give Unohana some credit, too. she was fighting what is effectively Zaraki's Shikai with her sword sealed. Although, if the previous chapter is any indication, that may be because they were both enjoying the pure swordplay and fighting, or, in an even more awesome scenario, Zaraki was keeping her on the defensive so well that she had no opportunity to release Shikai or Bankai and overwhelm him — Unohana said that he gave her "no time for such tricks before." Not to mention she seems perfectly willing to sacrifice herself in order for her overpowered legacy — Zaraki — to wreak havoc on her enemies. Now that's revenge!
- Chapter 528: Masaki and Isshin first met when she saved him from a Hollow. Keep in mind that Isshin is a captain-level shinigami and was apparently defeated by it. Masaki managed to kill it and only got a shoulder wound.
- Also, Ikumi taking Ichigo under her wing without hesitation, then headbutting him... and telling him "YOU ARE NOT ALONE!".
- 531: Masaki senses a Hollow (the one that Isshin's fighting) and decides to go fight it. Ryuuken tries to stop her, citing the rules of the Quincies and how she should consider her current position. Masaki... stands her ground and goes anyway. It's doubly awesome by what's said...
- And then one chapter later, wherein she lets the hollow bite her... because it'd be the best way to get a clear shot, point blank. Bad. Ass.
- 535: Isshin sacrifices his life as a Shinigami to save Masaki from hollowfication without any hesitation. Made even more awesome since the reason he gives for doing this is exactly the same reason that Masaki gave for defying Quincy tradition to save him a few chapters ago. Also a Heartwarming Moment.
- 536: Isshin one-shots the hollow inside Masaki's inner world with a Getsuga Tensho.
- In 538 Mashiro returns. And with quite the bang! Not only is she back to being a lieutenant, but on Kensei's instructions she immediately puts on her Hollow mask and attacks Shuhei to start his Training from Hell.
- To be fair, this also leads to Shuhei getting one of his own. Once Mashiro punches him and Kensei warns him that he's not as "gentle" as Tousen, he gets back on his feet and tells them to not badmouth Tousen, showing that he's ready to take them on.
- One for Ichigo as well After returning to the royal realm, Nimaiya places Ichigo back in the pit with the Asauchi, expecting that Ichigo will now pass the "let the sword spirits beat the shit out of you until one bonds with you" test. Instead the Asauchi kneel before Ichigo, and Ichigo picks one, and as soon as he touches it, it assumes a form reminiscent of his original Hollow form. Nimaiya says that he will personally reforge Tensa Zangetsu immediately.
- 539 gives us one for Komamura. He goes to the leader of his group and ancestor, asking him for help to defend Soul Society. He's refused due to the Leader's belief that the world won't change, as well as his anger since Komamura hid himself behind a mask for years. Komamura is not fazed, however, and stands his ground. The Leader then rises on his MASSIVE height and tells Komamura that he will have "to crush you". And Komamura still stands his ground, getting ready to defend his beliefs and his stance on Soul Society in what's most likely a Duel to the Death. You gotta admit, Doggie-Dog" has MASSIVE balls.
- Let's put this into perspective: Komamura towers over the rest of everybody in Seireitei, and yet the Leader is 5x larger than Komamura himself. He still won't back down.
- Also give props to Akon for putting a camera in Mayuri's room. The creepiest captain in Soul Society, the one who's most likely to just off somebody because he felt like it, and Akon felt the need to have surveillance. That's ballsy.
- It's a small one, but when Ichigo and Quincy!Zangetsu are talking, and Ichigo's world is basically falling apart, Quincy!Zangetsu tells Ichigo that he was going to have to kill him and summons a sword. Ichigo looks at the other with blank eyes before his eyes clear and he clenches his fist. Quincy!Zangetsu tells Ichigo that he changed his mind. But Ichigo thought that he was, and in the midst of despair basically gathers enough will together to fight Quincy!Zangetsu because he felt he needed to.
- 542: The creation of Ichigo's new zanpakuto. The asauchi is burning hot and yet Ichigo grabs it with his bare hands, adds his own spiritual power to it, and dries up the entire sea just to cool it off. And then we have the zinger: We have not one but two blades that make up Ichigo's new zanpakuto!
- 543: Yhwach proves himself to be The Chess Master in politics as well as on the battlefield. Appointing Uryuu — a brand new recruit and a Gemischt at that — as his Unexpected Successor plays into his followers' justified paranoia, entirely on purpose. Uryuu's chances of pulling off a successful double-cross are now massively FUBAR'd note : every other Stern Ritter is now watching him, and they'll strike at the slightest sign of weakness or disloyalty. YHWACH-OWNED!
- 546: Keigo, of all people, delivers a What the Hell, Hero? speech to Kyoraku when the latter explains why Ichigo might not be able to return home.
- How does Yhwach solve the problem of not being able to stay in the Soul Society for too long? By swapping Seireitei with the Vandenreich's city. The reaction of Soul Reapers (and especially Akon) matches that of the readers.
- 547: How did the Vandenreich get inside Soul Society? They didn't. They were there the whole time, in the shadows.
- 548 has awesome team work by Toshiro and Rangiku. Proving once and for all that he is absolutely worthy of being a captain, Toshiro compensates for the loss of his bankai by turning his shikai's weakness (limited amount of ice it can create) into strength, and together with Rangiku's Haineko, they create a multi-layered vacuum ice shield which Bazz-B is unable to penetrate with his Heat. And then Toshiro proceeds to impale him with his sword. Eat your hearts out, Hitsugaya haters! Aww Crap spoke too soon... again
- And in the chapter's beginning, Omaeda manages to defeat his fear and proudly stand against the enemy invaders after seeing his little sister scared and promising to protect her. Did he take a level in badass during the timeskip? Yes, yes he did.
- 549: Sui Feng/Soifon has finally mastered Shunkou.
- The other one goes to BG9 that has its own BFG aside from Soifon's Jakuho Raikoben.
- 552: Urahara arrives in Soul Society, trolls Kurotsuchi and creates pills that will temporarily turn Bankai users into hollows to make their Bankai poisonous to a Quincy if they get it stolen, which affects even Bankai that have already been stolen.
- 553: With some help of Omaeda (who already has a CMOA spot for having stayed with her through all this crap), Sui Feng takes a hold of Urahara's temporary solution and returns to the fight.
- There's another difficult-to-spot, but nonetheless Crowning Moment of Awesome with Omaeda. How does he end up with Soifon in his arms several stories below BG9? By flash-stepping so fast BG9 barely has any time to notice Soifon has been snatched away from its tentacles. Yes, it happens so quickly, Kubo only shows us a black blur over BG9's helmet, made by Omaeda's uniform.
- Hitsugaya also comes back to the fray and recovers his Bankai from Cang Du, all while giving a Kirk Summation about how Bankais have souls and their own minds.
- Chapter 554 has a few badass moments, as well.
- Soifon's bankai blasted a huge hole in BG9's helmet, but unlike with Barragan, it actually knocked him out.
- Seven of the Stern Ritter release their Vollstandig, including Bambietta, encased in ice Cang Du and not-so-unconscious BG9. This is followed by Yhwach's Badass Boast, which rivals Aizen's speeches.
Bambietta: You will come to regret having taken your bankais back. In the warmth of what you call hope, your unexpected stand... ends here. From here on out, it becomes true despair.
- Chapter 556: Komamura reveals exactly what happened with The Leader: He gave him the ability to transform into a human, like his clan was before being turned into beasts. It's worth noting that in order to pull this off, Komamura had to rip out his own heart, which he did with zero hesitation. Bad Ass.
- Then in the following chapter, he beats Bambietta in her Vollstandig form!
- Chapter 558: Of all people, Iba gets a big one via showing his Undying Loyalty to Komamura (who at that point has given his all and has completely lost his powers, and his Shinigami form) and promising to stay by him so they can keep fighting against Bach. Crosses into Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
- Chapter 561: After Rose and Kensei have been beaten to a bloody pulp by Mask de Masculine, Renji goes Big Damn Heroes and save the day.
- Mask completely destroying two Bankai-wielding Captains is an awesome moment in his own right. Especially since he is the only Stern Ritter so far to triumph against a Bankai much less two.
- Him crushing his eardrums to defeat Rose's Bankai was badass too.
- Chapter 562: After crushing two captains and powering up, Mask de Masculine is totally helpless against Renji who blocks his strongest punch yet and defeats him only with his Shikai.
- Chapter 563: ... And it turns out that he did NOT defeat Mask. He's actually alive, and then uses his Vollstanding to power himself up further.
- Anothe one goes to James. Who not only survived the brutal beatdowns given to him, but manages to split himself in several James to keep cheering for Mask. Man, is this guy Made Of Diamond or what?!
- But let's be fair to Renji, who also gets his own for not being knocked down/out by the empowered Mask, either.
- And in Chapter 564, Renji proceeds to use his newly awakened Bankai to break Mask's arm and burn the wrestler quincy to ashes. Bonus points for his Ironic Echo right before the end:
Renji: Finally burned out? You should be proud of that, Superstar.
- Chapter 566: As Nodt pierces Rukia with his Fear thorns, but not only does she almost immediately shake it off, she shocks him by saying, "...So that was my fear...then, what is your fear? Perhaps fear to someone immune to you?"
- Chapter 567: Continuing from the previous chapter, Rukia explains how she did it. She temporarily froze herself to a state of undeath since As Nodt's "Fear" relies on manipulating the instincts of the living. She then chops up and freezes As Nodt. The chapter ends with As Nodt experiencing fear.
- Chapter 568: Only to be subverted at the start of the chapter by As Nodt, as Rukia's attack did nothing more but broke his mask, and As Nodt reveals that his only fear is being scolded by Yhwach. Then he activates his Vollstandig and turns the battle entirely in his favor, and he would have easily killed her if not for Byakuya's intervention in the last moment.
- Chapter 569: Here we see Byakuya utterly and thoroughly destroy As Nodt, followed by...well, to sum up:
- Chapter 570: Rukia shatters As Nodt in a single attack with her both badass and beautiful Bankai. In his final moments, he finally admits he is afraid.
- Chapter 571: Finally, after over a decade's worth of Bleach chapters, we get to see why Yachiru is Squad 11's Vice-Captain and why her power is respected by even Ikkaku!
- Stern Ritter V, Guenael, explains that his power causes him to disappear on three planes of consciousness. Yachiru cheerfully reveals the power of her shikai, which fights on three planes as well, effectively No Selling him.
"Come out, Sanpo Kenjuu!"
- Yachiru implies that the only reason why she hasn't fought in previous chapters is because she gave Kenpachi first dibs on every opponent they've met before this. Since Kenpachi is currently unavailable, that dibs does not exist and she can fight as freely as she wants.
"But Ken-chan’s not here right now. So he won’t mind if I slice this one down instead, right?"
- Chapter 572, Yachiru using her powers to defeat Guenael notwithstanding, Kenpachi makes a Big Damn Heroes return to rescue her and Isane from a Sternritter whose power manifests through imagination!
- Chapter 573: Gremmy boasts that he's the most powerful Sternritter and says he's now as hard as steel. Kenpachi points out he can cut through steel and slashes his shoulder anyway.
"Inside all that imagination of yours... there ain't a single thing you can come up with... that I can't cut. Because I am... the 'Kenpachi.' "
- Chapter 576: V clones himself and prepares to drop a METEOR to obliterate the Soul Society. Kenpachi's reaction?
"A meteorite? That's something I haven't slashed so far. That's great. Nozarashi."
- Chapter 577: Gremmy boasts that there's nothing Kenpachi can do to stop the meteor. Kenpachi uses his Shikai and Nozarashi becomes a huge axe, which he uses to smash the meteor in a single blow.
- The fact that no one sensed his presence before Gremmy lifted the platform. This either was an early indication that he'd finally mastered control of his spiritual pressure, or it might imply that he's on the same level as Hogyoku Aizen.
- Chapter 578: Kenpachi tanks the vacuum of space.
- Chapter 580: Villains or not, Bambietta's Girl Posse pretty much OWNED the battlefield from the moment they stepped in. The fact that they're savvy enough to wait until Kenpachi was done with Gremmy and the meteorite proves they're not fucking around. — then Candice dodges Kenpachi's attacks and fries him , Lilotto curbstomps, kills, and eats several Red Shirts, Meninas first punches Kenpachi to the ground and literally drops a building on another team of Red Shirts who wanted to help him, and then Giselle lulls the ones who are left into a sense of false security, and once one 11th Division member wounds her, she first literally brings herself together and then uses the blood on him and others to force them to commit seppuku. It's both freaking awesome and freaking horrible.
- Chapter 581:
- Momo makes one hell of an entrance and Big Damn Heroes for herself and Shinji, via vaporizing several mooks that were ready to kill Oomaeda with Tobiume.
- The fact that Oomaeda was still on his feet protecting Sui Feng and Mareyo after the deal with BG9 is rather remarkable, too.
- Ichigo going Big Damn Heroes on Kenpachi to help him against the 4 Female Sternritters.
- Chapter 582: Ichigo effortlessly knocks the female Sternritters through some buildings, then No Sells Candice's 5 gigajoule lightning arrow, which was hot enough to turn an ordinary man to dust.
- Chapter 585: It's revealed that Ichigo's new duds are made of the Soul Key; as a result, when he comes back from the Soul Palace, the barrier is left wide open for around one and a half hour note , explaining why eight of the Stern Ritter had attempted to surround Ichigo. As he understandably panics and rushes to stop Yhwach, the eight try and stop him (first Meninas, then Nanana, only for the pursuit to be cut off by a few old friends: Renji, Rukia, Byakuya, Shuhei, Ikkaku, and Yumichika. Ladies and gentlemen, the final battles of Bleach have begun.
Renji: "I don't talk just to listen to the sound of my own voice, so don't make me repeat myself: All of you are staying right here."
- Also, even if she's on the enemy side, Meninas gets credit for calmly punching Ichigo into a bunch of buildings without hesitation. And Ichigo gets points for withstanding her empowered punches.
- In 587, the ones who get moments to shine are Orihime and Chad. The first by shielding Ichigo from the last attack coming from Ishida, Yhwach and Haschwalth before leaving to the Spirit King's castle with both her own body AND her Rikka's shields, the second by giving a both great and hilarious Get a Hold of Yourself Man to Ichigo via picking him up effortlessly like a ragdoll, tossing him into a nearby ruckus, and then telling him to shape up. True Companions or True Companions, huh?
- Chapter 589. Urahara is a big, fat liar. And that's glorious.
- Not to mention, Giselle is quite able to hold off both Yumichika and Ikkaku. Specially by using Zombie!Bambietta's exploding powers with quite the accuracy.
- Though let's be fair to Yumichika, he managed to cut Bambietta's arm to protect Ikkaku from an upcoming explosion. And if you're sharp-eyed, you'll also notice that right before he did so, he actually used kido in battle. Without bothering to hide it!
- Chapter 590 is a big one for whoever was a fan of the long-gone Arrancars. Charlotte, Luppi, and the Privaron Dordoni and Cirucci are back. As Mayuri's own "zombie team", but still.
- Once again we find ourselves cheering for Mayuri. Say what you will about him, but considering who his opponent is, seeing Mayuri grandstanding while shooting down Giselle's attempts at emotional warfare and using his own experiments to counter every attack coming from her is rather glorious.
- 591. Again say what you will about Mayuri, but his Brutal Honesty-laced Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids! speech to Yumichika and Ikkaku about the priorities of the Gotei can be seen as this.
- Not to mention, Charlotte gets a pretty good one when he stops an enemy as powerful as Zombie!Bambietta by simply grabbing her face and then tossing her into a building. With next to no effort. It looks like when he said he was the Number One among Baraggan's Fraccion, he definitely wasn't kidding.
- Crosses into hilarity when you see that Mayuri was standing on said building and Charlotte almost hit him too.
- 592: Zombie!Hitsugaya is utterly ruthless in battle and it is glorious. This is the power of the Captains when you get down to it. He utterly destroys Ikkaku, the 3rd seat of the combat-specialized 11th Division, Charlotte is on the wrong end of a One Hit Ko and Yumichika fares about as well.
- 593: Mayuri enters the fight. He parries all of Hitsugaya's attacks effortlessly, detonates a bomb on him for trying to use hand-to-hand combat, and once he uses his Bankai, Mayuri sticks him in a "Groundhog Day" Loop. As soon as Hitsugaya realizes what's happening, Mayuri cuts him down. All this; without even bothering to activate his Shikai, and with all the smugness of Aizen. Mayuri-OWNED!
- 594: After Mayuri is observing the result of injecting one of his drugs into Toshiro, we cut over to Kuchiki Byakuya who took out three Stern Ritter on his own using his Bankai. One of these Stern Ritter was the Quincy with the Glasses, the same one who shot out Kyoraku's eye. Now we have seen the fruits of training for all of the Royal Guard trainees.
- Mayuri gets his own moment when zombified Matsumoto, Rose and Kensei appear right beside him and he nonchantly tells the arrancar to deal with them while he goes back to observing the effects of his medicine on Toshiro. Nerves of Steel, indeed.
- 595: Byakuya once again proves that being The Stoic and having Undying Loyalty has its upsides as he completely resists Pepe's "love" Mind Control.
- 596: Explaining Mayuri's Crazy-Prepared and Crazy Awesome in regards to this chapter would take several Walls of Text, but it's summed up in the line that he delivers before he defeats Giselle and has Zombie!Kensei stab her through the chest:
" Your zombies will become my zombies. Thanks for your time. Game Over, Zombie Girl."
- Mayuri does it again when Pepe Waccabrada tries to gain control of zombie Kensei, since his "Love" control works on Giselle's zombies. Unfortunately for him, Mayuri's version of the zombification works differently, resulting in the creepy Pepe getting a well-deserved pummeling from the zombified Kensei :
- 597: Liltotto of all people joins in the fight with Pepe and actually lands the killing blow on him, eating him alive for taking control of Meninas.
"...Dude, you damn well tried to kill us all. At the very least, you gotta take responsibility, y'know?"
- 598: An old friend joins with Ichigo, Orihime, Chad, and Yoruichi for the final battles: Ganju is back!
- 600: A number of them for the Royal Guard members -
- Shutara is still alive, and had actually created a fake "Spirit King Palace" using her sewing that was so convincing that it actually simulates the Palaces being destroyed by Lille Barro.
- Ichibei hid the actual Spirit King Palace behind a barrier he created by writing the Kanji "Hidden" in the air.
- Hikifune traps them all inside the "Cage of Life", a tree given life with her own reiatsu that completely absorbs any reiatsu and reishi-based attacks directed at it.
- Nimaiya draws his Zanpakuto from a water tank and he tells the Quincy to come at him all at once.
- 601: Nimaiya bests all four of the Quincies with ease. Bonus awesome goes to Askin Nakk Le Vaar, who survives a slash to the throat, thanks to his Death Dealing. What this does remains to be seen.
- 602: We get to see what the Death Dealing is: basically, transforming Askin's opponent into a Poisonous Person. And then a big-ass CMOA for Nimaiya follows, as he realises that since Askin poisoned his blood, by drawing it out, he may be able to win... and does so via slashing his own throat. When told that it won't work, he doesn't lose his cool and simply calls out to Combat Medic Tenjirou, who pours the content of his "red pool" over Nimaiya to replace his poisoned blood with new one and heals him completely. Then, he slashes the still gravely wounded Askin with his zanpakutou and defeats him, and then he looks at the enemies that remains.
Nimaiya: "It's finally your turn, Yhwach
- 603: The mere fact that Liltotto managed to save herself and Giselle from Yhwach's Auswählen by dodging his life-absorbing pillars of light qualifies as this. Think of it: this is what killed people like Masaki, Kanae and many other Quincies several years ago, it also killed someone as experienced as Accutrone (implied to be old-school Quincy material) and other Ritters, and yet a teenage girl dodged it and saved her friend from it, even if just for the moment.
- 604: Moments for Elite Guard members Pernida and Lille in Vollstandig:
- The true "X-Axis" does not fire reishi bullets - it simply "pierces through anything" between the muzzle and the target. Case in point: it pierces through Kirinji's paddle and Hikifune's spoon and straight through Nimaiya without being impeded. As we saw before, the paddle hides Kirinji's Zanpakuto, meaning Lille likely shot through the Zanpakuto of two Royal Guard members.
- Pernida uses "The Compulsory" to shatter Hikifune's "Tree of Life", allowing Yhwach to confront Ichibei.
- And we have Liltotto and Bazz-B not only surviving the Auswählen, but swearing that they will NOT die there.
- 605: Ichibei using Senri Tsuutenshou (Heaven-Piercing Palm of a Thousand Ri) to send Yhwach flying 3927 kilometres. Twice. And we see that speaking his name too many times causes you to lose your voice.
- To counter both his lost voice and being sent flying by Senri Tsuutenshou, Yhwach stabs his own throat in order to restore his voice, summons a giant spirit bow below him, and shoots himself with an arrow to propel himself back up to where Ichibei is. Yhwach may be a Complete Monster, but that's just hard-core.
- 606: Ichibei's paintbrush is able to "cut the name" of whatever it comes into contact with in half, as demonstrated when Ichibei effectively halves Yhwach's strength, and the proceeds to send Yhwach flying all the way back to the Soul King Palace in one blow.
- Yhwach also deserves credit for his composure in this chapter. Despite having his strength halved by Ichibei, he is still eager to fight, preparing to restore his power at the end of the chapter.
- 607: At this point the entire Ichibei vs Yhwach fight is shaping up to be made of awesome. Yhwach restoring his power back to himself; the Blut Vene Anhaben; Hidden Kido and Ichimonji. It is the fight between the two strongest of their respective races, and none of it disappoints.
- 609: The art here really brings across the sheer power of Ichimonji. After the loss of his name reduces Yhwach to a paralyzed wreck, Ichibei uses his Bankai to rename the would-be god, 'gifting' him with the name and power of an ant, then crushes him like the insect he's been reduced to with giant summoned limbs. To counter, Yhwach finally reveals his Schrift: The Almighty.
- 610: Yhwach gains yet another villainous Awesome Moment with a chilling Badass Boast after Ichibei tries and fails to rob him of his name, he proclaims: "My name is Yhwach- the one who shall take everything from you." He then immediately follows up on this by utterly obliterating Ichibei's torso with a simple wave of his hand!
- 611: Ichigo and the others finally arrive at the Royal Realm. The Monk asks Ichigo to say his name, which Ichigo does with no ill repercussions. Although having permission might have done so, still pretty cool. Especially since Ichigo likely knows saying his name is bad.
- Perhaps it should be said again: Ichibei managed to survive complete obliteration by Yhwach. Yes, not even Yhwach's alleged omniscience could pick up on that. Rather impressive.
- An understated one, but: Orihime's first response to seeing the Royal Guard in a mess? Is to do what she does best: Heal. Granted, the Monk fixes himself by using some of Ichigo's reiatsu before Orihime can do anything for him, but likely? She could have fixed him up all by herself.
- A villainous moment of awesome when Yhwach finds and stabs the Soul King, who is apparently his father. To put this into perspective, Yhwach succeeded in doing everything Aizen failed to do - he stormed the Soul King Palace, had his Elite Stern Ritter defeat Squad Zero while he dealt with Ichibei, and seemingly kills the Soul King. Indeed, Yhwach is the superior villain.
- 613 has Nanao Ise standing up to Kenpachi motherfuckin' Zaraki, of all people. Kenpachi is (rather understandably) upset because not only he was defeated in battle, but because his vicecaptain and daughter Yachiru is missing and wants to go outside and look for her despite the current situation... but Nanao steps in and manages to make him change his mind - with words alone. Since this is Kenpachi we're talking about, how Nanao stood her ground and reasoned with him without fighting him is quite the deal.
- 614: Holy fuck, Yhwach's Magnificent Bastardry has reached a new level. While he may have stabbed the Soul King and left the blade inside him, it was Ichigo HIMSELF that killed him. Yhwach uses Ichigo's protective nature against him, and then reveals that all Quincies have an instinctive desire to kill the Soul King when they are close to him. As atrocious as it was, this may be, without a doubt, one of the finest villainous CMOAs in Bleach.
- 615: Yoruichi surrounds Yhwach in Razor Floss in the blink of an eye.
- 616: It's both heartbreaking and horrifying, but Ukitake's plan to "replace" the Soul King by using his own body as well as the spirit that has kept him alive, basically trading his life for the King's so Soul Society won't die is also awesome enough to qualify here. Even more so because he has known through his whole life that this will happen, he knows how horrible it will be for him, and yet he does it without any hesitation. Bad Ass.
- 617 adds to the awesome, as not only the destruction of Soul Society and the world is stopped or at least delayed for some time (where hopefully a definitive solution will be found) thanks to Ukitake and Mimihashi-sama's efforts , but it manages to get a massive Oh, Crap from Yhwach who, despite his omnniscience, did not see that coming. Just when he thought everything was said and done...
- Aizen is back to his old tricks at the end of the chapter. Shunsui gets Central 46's permission to use just three out of the many seals on Aizen's prison. Shunsui undoes one of these seals that permits Aizen's ability to speak, but then notices he's walking towards him when it shouldn't be possible. Practically every reader shat their pants at this ending line.
Aizen: What's the matter? You've still got two more keys haven't you?.
- A moment of Byakuya's occurs in the movie, Memories of Nobody. Rukia was getting her ass handed to her by one of the Dark Ones, things were looking bleak. Then, you saw the blades from Byakuya's bankai rise from the ground, without actually seeing Byakuya. He gives the command, ripping the Dark One to shreds, and then just turns around and mutters over his shoulder something to the effect of "Let's go home." Rukia books to catch up to him.
- Soi Fon in the movie Memories of Nobody also deserves a mention here. First, while one of the Dark Ones, Benin (the girl with purple hair), was about to fire an arrow at Yumichika. She fires the arrow ... only for Soi Fon stole her arrow the second she fired it. In fact, it takes her a while to realize her arrow disappeared and Soi Fon had to call out to her for her to truly realize.
- Also from the movie, Kenpachi and Yachiru were just walking around when suddenly something sharp cut Kenpachi's face. He grabbed the blade and flung it to where the Dark One was hiding. He backed up and bam! Kenpachi was right behind him. Then, he tried to run away, only to be easily caught up with Yachiru, who was laughing the whole time, seeing it as a game.
- Kenpachi gets another one when he drops in for the final battle... literally. (The guy's like a one-man Colony Drop )
- In the Hell Chapter movie, Ichigo finds out that he was tricked into coming to Hell so the villains could force him into his uber-hollow form and break them out. Ichigo is sent back by an emergency spell, but leaves Yuzu, Renji, Rukia and Ishida stranded in Hell, with Yamamoto forbidding him to save them and leaving Ukitake and Toshiro to guard the partially damaged Hell Gate. After a pep talk from both Byakua and Orihime, Ichigo shows up at the hell gate with a look that clearly says "I fucking DARE you to try and stop me." The Hell's Will guardian showing up provides them with a convenient excuse to ignore him, but you can tell Toshiro was thinking "Nah man. I like having my spinal cord intact." It's not a fight or a big victory, but it's a great moment that shows that you never want to get in Ichigo's way.
- Also as we see Ichigo head to the the Hell Gate, guardian emerges to get in his way... and from behind Ichigo comes Byakuya's Senbonzakura blades, successfully driving it back. We get a glimpse of the captain manipulating his bankai, as if giving his support to Ichigo.
- That was still nothing compared to Ichigo temporarily becoming an agent of Hell, to punish Kokuto. That has got to be THE most awesome scene in all the four movies.