Bleach‘s twenty-fourth volume continues showing how the fight between the Soul Reapers and the Arrancars in the world of the living unfolds.
There are nine chapters in this volume, from two hundred and six up to two hundred and fourteen.
Ichigo and the Soul Reapers wage a furious battle against the Arrancars who are attacking Karakura Town. But this enemy is unlike anything they have ever fought before, and these aren’t even the strongest of the Arrancars! If Ichigo and his friends can barely face them, how can they hope to fight off the elite Arrancar warriors, the dreaded Espada?
We begin by seeing the result of Ikkaku’s fight against Edorad in chapter 206, ‘¡Mala Suerte! 5 [LUCKY]’. There’s also a flashback in which we see that Ikkaku lost a fight to Kenpachi in the past. It’s also revealed that the only Soul Reapers who know about Ikkaku’s bankai are Renji and Yumichika.
At the end of the chapter, we see that Renji and Tôshirô have both unleashed their bankai against their respective opponents.
In chapter 207, Renji continues to fight against Ilfort. As he does so, the Arrancar’s spiritual pressure ends up affecting Ururu. She ends up overwhelming Ilfort with her power, forcing him to release his zanpaku-tô. Ururu is impaled on one of Ilfort’s horns as Renji looks on in shock.
Jinta grabs Ururu and tries to attack Ilfort in chapter 208, ‘The Scissors’. Renji ends up saving him and getting injured in the process – confident of a victory, Ilfort properly introduces himself as Arrancar Quince (#15), Ilfort Grantz.
Elsewhere, Tôshirô continues to struggle against Shawlong – Shawlong makes some observations about Tôshirô’s bankai, but Tôshirô neither confirms nor denies them. Regardless, Shawlong releases his zanpaku-tô, Tijereta, and delivers a devastating blow. The Arrancar reveals his full name to be Shawlong Qufang.
Shawlong reveals that an Arrancar’s number indicates their birth order in chapter 209, ‘Lift the Limit’. The exception to that rule are the ten Espadas, numbered from 1 to 10. One of the Arrancars in Karakura Town is the 6th Espada – Grimmjow Jeagerjaques.
Grimmjow goads Ichigo into releasing his bankai as they fight.
As it seems like that Tôshirô, Rangiku and Renji will be defeated, Gentai Kaijo is approved.
The Soul Reapers reveal to their respective opponents that captains and assistant captains have their powers restricted in the world of the living in chapter 210, ‘Turn the True Power On’. This is to prevent excessive influence on the spirits in the world of the living. With their full power unleashed, Tôshirô, Rangiku and Renji are able to defeat their opponents.
Though the Soul Reapers were able to claim victory, chapter 211, ‘Stroke of Sanity’, shows that they are in bad shape. After having released his bankai, Ichigo continues to fight Grimmjow – even managing to wound him with Getsuga Tenshô.
Tôsen arrives in Karakura Town in chapter 212, ‘You Don’t Hear My Name Anymore’, in order to bring Grimmjow back to Hueco Mundo after his unauthorised trip into the world of the living. This brings Ichigo’s fight to an abrupt end, but Ichigo feels that he lost to Grimmjow.
Chapter 213, ‘trifle’, begins by showing those who were injured by the Arrancars recuperating from their injuries, including Ikkaku – both he and Yumichika are taken in by Keigo, as he previously promised.
In Hueco Mundo, Aizen decides not to punish Grimmjow. Tôsen takes matter into his own hands, and cuts Grimmjow’s arm off and incinerates it.
The loss of five Arrancars doesn’t bother Aizen in the slightest.
Uryû undergoes training with his father in chapter 214, ‘Immanent God Blues’, whilst Ichigo pulls a disappearing act from his home. Tôshirô reports to the Soul Society about their battle, whilst Chad asks Kisuke to train him.
The chapter ends with Ichigo meeting the Vizards.
The volume ends with the results of the 3rd popularity poll.
More action in this volume with the continuation of the Soul Reapers vs. Arrancars, and yet further demonstration that the Arrancars are a forced to be reckoned with. Even lowly foot-soldiers caused trouble for captain-class Soul Reapers, though admittedly they weren’t operating at their full power from the beginning. However, the fact that Tôshirô acknowledges that that they had to resort to gentai kaijo shows that the Arrancars possess far more power than expected.
We also have the first mention of the Espada – the ten most powerful Arrancar. Grimmjow’s chance to show his full power is prevented by Tôsen, though it seems pretty likely that Ichigo would not have stood a chance in his current state.
Ichigo is all too aware of his powerlessness, hence his decision to finally seek out the Vizard – that marks the start of Ichigo working towards his next power-up.