An Original Flavour canon divergence of Bleach from the Hueco Mundo Arc onwards, attempting to fill in myriad plot holes and explore the inner workings of the universe via tightly-choreographed battle porn, existential angst, crack humour and cameos of almost every character on record.
This Epic Fanfic has many threads, chief of which is how Ichigo reacts after he once again loses a family member to hollows, and whether the strength he seeks to make up for it will destroy everything around him. There's also the question of why was Karin the perfect choice for Aizens latest Hougyoku experiments?
From there it expands into the Winter War, the nature of zanpakuto, and the origins of the Gotei 13, with a side of troubled romance. It is divided into four arcs, including recaps to compensate for interminably long waits between updates. (The author is sorry.)
Warning: Everything is foreshadowing. EVERYTHING.
Hell Butterfly provides examples of:
- An Arm and a Leg: Aizen tears off Hiyori's arm, though she soon regrows it with her inner hollow's moderate regeneration ability.
- Badass Boast: When Barragan and Yamamoto face off, they trade more Badass Boasts than they do actual blows.
- Brought Down to Normal:
- Due to Hanataro's Bankai, Ulquiora was reverted to a Plus soul (though he has a tail) and loses all his powers.
- From the same fight, Tia Harribel is turned to a human. She still keeps her authority.
- Caffeine Bullet Time / Time Stands Still: Yoruichi's zanpakutou allows her to control how quickly time flows around her.
- David Versus Goliath: One of the people who ends up fighting Ulquiora is Hanataro. Unbelievably, the latter wins, though his Zanpakuto warns him that he won't be able to pull off such a stunt ever again (see Brought Down to Normal for more details).
- Death Is Cheap: For quite a few of the main cast. Karin in particular has a revolving door on her grave, as do Orihime and Ichigo.
- Defensive Feint Trap: Hitsugaya makes a Tactical Withdrawal when confronted by Tenebra Shirojos in Soul Society, leading her all over Seireitei until he thinks to lead her into the Senzaikyu (Penitence Shrine) tower, which quickly saps her powers.
- Despair Speech: Every single espada has a dramatic speech. After all, the natural habitat of hollows is beyond the despair event horizon.
- Didn't See That Coming: Unknown Unknowns variant. Urahara didnt know about the existence of Adamastor, the Sky-Hollow. He's still traumatized.
- Friendly Enemy:
- Nel and Kyoraku share a drink while they're supposed to be fighting.
- Starrk and Lilinette with Chad, who was a friend of theirs in his previous life. Hitsugaya and Byakuya have no idea how to react at the whole scene (though that could be due to The Reveal thrown in).
- From a Single Cell: Orihime takes her restorative powers to the logical extreme by bringing Ichigo Back from the Dead using a few hairs she finds in his house.
- Deconstructed: Orihime has to focus on creating the skeleton, then the blood vessels and nervous system, then organs and muscles, and then skin and details; the process takes about 12 hours of constant focus; and when the inner hollow regains consciousness halfway through and tries to attack her, Orihime drops her healing field and the hollow can't move because Ichigo's body is barely half-formed.
- Imagination-Based / Semantic Superpower: Isshin's zanpakutou works by making whatever he (or anyone else) says about it as a hypothetical statement come true. For example, if he says, "Maybe it's coming from behind you," then the target will be hit from behind. If he says, "Maybe it's a water slide," then everyone in the immediate area will be sent down a water slide. It takes suggestions from others nearby, as well, so his opponents can use it against him if they figure out how it works.
- Killed Off for Real: Aikawa Love and Ukitake Juushirou are killed in the royal realm. Otoribashi Rose, Kuna Mashiro, and Muguruma Kensei may be dead, depending on whether or not they can return from going full-hollow.
- Magical Land: Zanpakutou swords are just conduits for channeling a spirit's power; the spirits themselves live in the royal realm with the Spirit King and the Zero Division, and each spirit has its own space wherein the environment is tailored to its powers and personality.
- Meaningful Name: Naraku means "Hell" in Japanese, and she controls the Hell Butterflies and is trapped in Hell.
- Mythology Gag: In this story, the zanpakutou spirits are the basis for the Shinto gods; there are approximately 80-million kami, one for each Shinto shrine in Japan.
- Not So Different: Benihime forces Urahara to realise that he's not so different from Aizen.
- Power at a Price: All zanpakutou spirits have a condition that anyone wielding their power must abide by, usually related to the nature of their power; e.g., Ichigo must never retreat or hesitate (remember the speech Zangetsu gives in canon? He takes it very seriously)—hence his recklessness, Toshirou must know how it feels to freeze to death, Ukitake must know how it feels to breath water (his zanpakutou spirit is a pair of fish, and his bankai involves a giant whirlpool)—hence his tuberculosis, etc.
- Power of the Void: This appears to be Naraku's power.
- Redemption Equals Death: Several espada have their power neutralized when they are slain by zanpakutou and are sent to Soul Society as wholes.
- Reincarnation: Chad is the reincarnation of a legendarily strong vasto lorde who was a friend of Staark & Lilynette and whose name is where he got the name for his left arm's attack. The primera espada recognize the aftermath of his attack and track Chad down to try to fully bring out their old friend.
- Resurrective Immortality: Yamamoto apparently has this. He likens himself to a phoenix.
- Took a Level in Badass: Hanatarou's bankai absorbs damage and shoots it in a giant cannon-blast strong enough to defeat Ulquiorra in Segunda Etapa.
- To the Pain: Naraku has Barragan restrained and is torturing him this way, and almost captures Karin with intent to do the same. Implied for any other resident of Hell.