NO BREATHES FROM HELL (2024)

NO BREATHES FROM HELL (1)

A man relates the tale of his two childhood goldfish, both of whom he adored until the larger one passed away one day; while the sight of the smaller remaining goldfish made him lonely at first, it soon began growing larger and flourishing, making him relieved in the end that the larger goldfish died.

At nighttime in Karakura Town, Orihime Inoue peers into Kazui Kurosaki's room and observes that he seems to be asleep before mentally thanking Kon, who is in his plushie body, for playing with him today as she closes the door. Suddenly, Kazui opens his eyes and slides open his bedroom window, prompting a startled Kon to demand to know where he is going and remind Kazui that he should stay put since he just got in trouble yesterday. When Kazui asserts that he promised to visit again yesterday, Kon points out how he also promised Orihime that he would go to bed and questions which is more important, only for Kazui to bluntly state that his first promise does. With Kon exasperated by this and deciding to let him go if he is going to be stubborn about it, Kazui leaps out of the window while telling Kon he does not have to come, enters his Shinigami form, and manifests two large fish in midair, the larger one of which he lands on the back of. When Kon frantically follows suit and lands on the smaller fish, Kazui observes that he could have pretended to have been asleep and not noticed Kazui's departure, to Kon's chagrin.

Elsewhere, the Soul of a man with an afro weeps on a street corner before Kazui runs up to him with Kon, where the man proclaims that he was lonely and that he is only fifteen years old upon being addressed formally by Kazui, who counters that he is lying about his age. With the man wondering why Kon is here, Kazui apologetically reveals that he might not be able to come tomorrow, to the man's shock, but cheerily notes that this is why he is taking the man somewhere tonight so he will not be on his own. Kazui, Kon, and the man travel to Takakomo Shrine, where Kazui leads them through the bushes on the right side of the stairs to a clearing with a small shrine of rocks. Though Kon is creeped out by it, Kazui assures him that it is not scary and begins a ritual by clapping his hands three times, causing three large, ethereal eyeballs to pop into existence around the group. As Kon shudders at the sight of this, Kazui bows twice to the eyeballs and claps one more time, resulting in the creation of a large, circular portal with teeth-like markings at the top and bottom as Kazui assures his intimidated companions that it will be fine and everyone is in here.

Three hours prior, in the Seireitei in Soul Society, Ichika Abarai walks along a road with a water channel carved into the center and calls out to 11th Division Lieutenant Ikkaku Madarame, who chastises her for being late prior to casually holding his Zanpakutō sheath above his head when Ichika leaps into the air and comes down on him with a slash of her own Zanpakutō. Proceeding to effortlessly block all of Ichika's subsequent attacks while walking forward, Ikkaku eventually repels Ichika, who lands on a nearby roof and declares that Ikkaku has gotten better. In response, Ikkaku asserts that he was better from the start since he is the teacher and rudely tells her to get down from the roof, and as Ichika observes that he is the only one who gets to talk to her like this and seems to slip while maneuvering down from the edge of the roof, a concerned Ikkaku tells her to be careful, only to nonchalantly intercept Ichika's attempted surprise attack when she reveals that she is fine and slashes at him. Ikkaku questions why Ichika is acting like this and if she has been on a trip to the Human World, though an embarrassed Ichika reveals that she is only allowed to go during long breaks and responds to Ikkaku assuming that she wants to see Kazui by furiously claiming that the two of them do not have a relationship and berating Ikkaku for saying this. Approaching the two of them, 11th Division 3rd Seat Yumichika Ayasegawa expresses surprise that they are still going and thanks Ichika when she asserts that he looks as beautiful as ever today before glaring at Ikkaku, who claims that he did not do anything and inquires about Yumichika's choice of words since the two of them just started sparring, which leads Yumichika to realize he has forgotten about what is happening today.

Elsewhere, 6th Division Lieutenant Renji Abarai sits in a kimono on a video call with Ichigo Kurosaki, whom he tells about the Konsō Reisai, a ceremony performed twelve years after a captain's death in battle, which he admits is rarely seen since very few captains die this way. Upon being told by Renji that the ceremony consists of the Gotei 13 catching a Hollow in the Human World and purifying it in front of the captain's grave, something they have already done for former Captain-Commander Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto and 4th Division Captain Retsu Unohana and are going to do for former 13th Division Captain Jūshirō Ukitake, Ichigo is aghast at something so questionably ethical being done in Soul Society, prompting Renji to dismiss it as an old custom and question what is going on at Ichigo's location since it is so noisy. Ichigo reveals that Keigo Asano opened a ramen shop recently that he and his friends all decided to visit since Keigo has not gotten any customers yet and holds up the menu with the restaurant's name of Willpower Ramen, which Renji is confused by the meaning of. Behind Ichigo, Keigo refutes the former's assertion that he does not have any sense to begin with as Mizuiro Kojima requests that he stay out of their conversation since it will make other customers uncomfortable if it seems like he is holding a private conversation, and when Keigo demands to know why he is saying this when he knows there are no other customers, Mizuiro clarifies that he is telling Keigo to shut up while not addressing Keigo by name, to his incredible irritation.

When Keigo announces that his ramen is almost ready, Ichigo tells Renji that he will be hanging up to eat it, but Renji frantically asks him not to since he is the one who called Ichigo and reveals that he is extending an invitation for Ichigo to attend the Konsō Reisai, due to him having been affiliated with Ukitake even though he is not a captain. With Renji clarifying that this invitation comes from Captain-Commander Shunsui Kyōraku and 13th Division Captain Rukia Kuchiki, the latter walks over and is pleasantly surprised to see Ichigo on Renji's Denreishinki, which she realizes must be a new model. Explaining that she still has her old one since it works fine and that she did not know about the video call function of the new model until now, Rukia attempts to see Orihime by tilting Renji's Denreishinki, only for Ichigo to inform her that this will not work and that Orihime is doing laundry at home. In response, Rukia teasingly assumes that Ichigo leaves all of the housework to his wife and that means they are an estranged couple continuing to live under the same roof despite losing their domestic bliss because of emotional abuse, leaving Ichigo aghast at such an idea and wondering where Rukia learned about such terms, and when Rukia informs him that they now have television in Soul Society and can watch shows from the Human World, Ichigo laments that he never thought he would understand the feeling of being a parent telling their child to stop watching television and start studying in this manner.

Renji elaborates that Kisuke Urahara began working with the Shinigami Research and Development Institute after the Quincy Blood War and has developed all sorts of new Reishi devices, which leads an impressed Ichigo to comment on his skill. Suddenly, 12th Division Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi appears behind Rukia and Renji to proclaim that he cannot let such a remark go unheard, startling them both as he asserts that he has always tailored his developments to the Seireitei's aesthetic and that Urahara is undoing his hard work with a lack of good taste. Though Renji presumes Mayuri is actually here, Rukia reveals that this is actually a hologram being projected by a grotesque bug flying overhead, to Renji's disgust, and Mayuri clarifies that squashing the bug is futile since others he has deployed will take its place prior to noting he can hear Renji when the latter realizes that this is similar to what Mayuri says during battle. In the Fourth Division barracks, Captain Isane Kotetsu and 3rd Seat Hanatarō Yamada apologize to another hologram of Mayuri, though Lieutenant Kiyone Kotetsu points out that neither of them have done anything wrong here, and in the Fifth Division barracks, Captain Shinji Hirako admits that this is his first time seeing a hologram in person as his lieutenant, Momo Hinamori, shushes him and asks Mayuri if he has an urgent message, prompting Mayuri to reveal that it is a message for all the lieutenants.

Back at the Sixth Division barracks, Ichika returns and explains that Ikkaku sent her back since he remembered that he had important work left to do, only to see Mayuri's hologram and express excitement at the sight of him as she hides behind a wall. Mayuri informs Renji and the other lieutenants that they must assemble in the Human World soon to complete the pre-ceremony Jogimen Reibaku, leading 1st Division Lieutenant Nanao Ise to admit that he is right and prepare to depart while telling her co-lieutenant, Genshirō Okikiba, to stay by Shunsui's side while in the Second Division barracks, Captain Suì-Fēng kicks her lieutenant, Marechiyo Ōmaeda, and tells him to get moving, which he agrees to in pain. At the Seventh Division barracks, Captain Tetsuzaemon Iba asks some of his subordinates if they have seen his lieutenant, Atau Rindō, and learns that he is playing with animals in the garden, to Iba's chagrin. Upon being approached by Iba over Mayuri's message, Rindō looks up from his animals and uses sign language to convey that he just heard it, which Iba realizes is true. At the Tenth Division barracks, Captain Tōshirō Hitsugaya questions the need for Mayuri to set up such a messaging system in all the barracks for an event that they all knew about in advance, which leads his lieutenant, Rangiku Matsumoto, to theorize that it is a reaction to Urahara developing new merchandise, though Mayuri denies this and claims he is simply using a prototype with technology superior to his. At the Ninth Division barracks, Lieutenant Shūhei Hisagi points out how Mayuri is acting highly self-conscious about it despite this, but is shocked when Mayuri fires lasers from his eyes at the floor where Hisagi is standing and complains to his captain, Kensei Muguruma, about Mayuri being able to attack while Mayuri chastises him for referring to the creations of the SRDI as merchandise, though Hisagi counters that he is not the one who said this. Meanwhile, Ichika deduces that Renji and Ikkaku are keeping it secret that they are visiting the Human World and mischievously notes that this is no fair.

That night, Ichigo joins the lieutenants in his Shinigami form as they gather in the Human World, where he questions the need to gather all the lieutenants together for something like this as Renji admonishes him for complaining about their traditions as an outsider and demands to know why Ichigo is even here. When Ichigo points out how Renji is the one who said he is not an outsider and should be here, Renji angrily clarifies that he was only inviting Ichigo to the ceremony, only for Rangiku to sidle up to him and assure them that they will get this done quickly so Ichigo can attend the ceremony and then join them for drinks, to Ichigo's bemusem*nt. Upon being asked by Renji if he can still go out for drinks tonight, Ichigo confirms this since his deadline is still far off, and with Rangiku wondering what his job is, Ichigo reveals that he is a translator, leaving her impressed by his intelligence. Realizing that Ichigo almost never gets together with them anymore, Renji takes the opportunity to introduce him to the new recruits and points out Rindō, whom he notes does not talk. Though Ichigo apologizes for not knowing sign language, Rindō reveals that he can understand them by reading lips, which Ichigo considers cool as he chastises Renji for assuming he was referring to the latter. Suddenly, 8th Division Lieutenant Yuyu Yayahara introduces herself as well, and when Renji explains that she is obsessed with gyaru culture from the Human World, an astonished Ichigo denies having ever seen someone so ingrained in the culture before, only to learn that she is Captain Lisa Yadōmaru's lieutenant. Upon being accosted by Yuyu for a selfie, since she knows him as the hero from the Quincy Blood War, a startled Ichigo denies this and protests Yuyu's usage of filters.

With Yuyu revealing that Lisa gave her Ichigo's social media account and requesting that Ichigo add her as a friend once she sends him the photo, Ichigo is aghast at Lisa finding his account and at Urahara enabling messaging on the Denreishinki as Ichika emerges from a Senkaimon below and hides behind a wall, where she rejoices in getting here without being caught. However, Ichika is stunned upon seeing a Jigoku no Gaki standing in the air behind Ichigo and the lieutenants, who have not noticed it, and frantically calls out to Renji, who demands to know why she is here prior to being struck by the Jigoku no Gaki and sent crashing through a nearby telephone pole and building. In response, Ichigo draws his Zanpakutō, and slashes diagonally through the Jigoku no Gaki, causing its severed arm to crush part of another building below. When the other lieutenants attempt to respond to the attack, Kiyone is impaled through the right side of her stomach by another Jigoku no Gaki that stands with four more behind Marechiyo, Hisagi, and 13th Division Lieutenant Sentarō Kotsubaki, who assume combat stances. On the ground below, a bloodied Renji frees himself from the rubble prior to Ichika running over and tearfully hugging him. While Ichika apologizes to a bewildered Renji, Ikkaku cuts through the head of a Jigoku no Gaki with his Zanpakutō and warns the others that they do not have any Reiatsu, meaning they are not ordinary Hollows, before declaring that they will be combatting the Jigoku no Gaki in one go. When Marechiyo points out that they traditionally capture a living Hollow for the ceremony, Sentarō asserts that they do not have time to bicker over this and will find another one afterwards as he cradles Kiyone.

Nearby, Rindō releases the Taka form of his Shikai, causing the shikigami rope attached to the handle to transform into dozens of hawks that fly through one of the Jigoku no Gaki, stripping the flesh from its bones in the process. As the gigantic skeleton falls back, Yuyu lands on the ribcage and runs up the bones with enough force to crack them before leaping into the air, creating the visage of a large bear head by holding her hands out in the formation of teeth, and decapitates another Jigoku no Gaki by having the bear apparition bite its head off. On the ground below, 12th Division Lieutenant Akon is surrounded by a rain of blood and sprinkles a substance from a capsule into the liquid as a third Jigoku no Gaki approaches him. After reciting a string of numbers, Akon orders the Jigoku no Gaki to melt just as it steps into the liquid, causing its feet to dissolve into slush while its body begins to follow suit. When a flying Jigoku no Gaki hurtles toward Akon from above, 3rd Division Lieutenant Izuru Kira slashes his own foot seven times with his Shikai, Wabisuke, doubling his own weight seven times and allowing him to crush the Jigoku no Gaki into the ground by slamming into it from above before decapitating it with a single slash. With an annoyed Akon requesting that he put an end to his habit of guarding the perimeter, Izuru declines since he enjoys doing this and making a late entrance.

Meanwhile, Renji observes that the lieutenants seem to have the Jigoku no Gaki handled even though he does not know what they are and promises to lecture Ichika on this when they get home, only to find his left leg suddenly wrapped in chains from a nearby portal on the ground, where Szayelaporro Granz inquires about whether Renji needs to leave already since he came all the way out here just to see Renji on this momentous day as he rises from the portal in a heavily altered form, with a skeletal and burnt left arm and his Hollow hole floating in the air behind him. While Szayelaporro admits that he was just flattering Renji by claiming this and muses that Uryū Ishida and Mayuri are not here either, something he decides to not take as a slight, Renji hides Ichika behind his legs and questions if Szayelaporro looks different now because he is dead. In response, Szayelaporro confirms that he was cast into Hell and explains how it has let him cast aside his Hollow yoke so his hole is no longer bound to his flesh and his hate and suffering can pour out of his brain like tears, punctuated by two curving horns growing out of his temples.

Upon noticing a cowering Ichika, Szayelaporro asks Renji who she is and responds to Renji's silence by revealing that he already knows due to his position as the Jailer of Hell granting him clairvoyance before declaring that he will start by killing Renji's daughter, which prompts Renji to pick up Ichika and flee as Szayelaporro summons more chains to pursue him. Though the chains pierce through Renji's body in multiple areas to restrain him, Ichigo swiftly severs them with his sword and tells Renji to take Ichika somewhere safe while Szayelaporro decides to kill him now even though it will not earn much acclaim, only for Ichigo to demand to know who he is.

Simultaneously, in Soul Society, the captains gathered at Ukitake's grave notice globules of a strange black substance floating in the air around them. When Suì-Fēng rubs some between her fingers and deduces that it is not Reishi, Shunsui slashes through another globule, causing the substance to fall onto the blade of his Zanpakutō and sizzle, and identifies it as Jigoku no Rinki, to the surprise of the other captains, as he decides to tell them an old myth he heard long ago. Shunsui brings up the concept of Spirit Class, a scale formerly used by the aristocracy to indicate the density of Reiatsu within Reishi, with an average Shinigami having 20th-class Reishi, a lieutenant having 4th- or 5th-class Reishi, and captains having 3rd-class Reishi or higher, and how a Shinigami's body being composed of Reishi causes their body to break down into that and be reclaimed by the soil of Soul Society when they die, though captains have Reiatsu too dense to be reabsorbed without intervention, with the Shin'ō Academy teaching that the Konsō Reisai is a ceremony that allows this Reishi to return to Soul Society. However, Shunsui reveals that the myth says captain-class Reishi can never return to the soil of Soul Society, and since they cannot allow overly powerful Reishi to linger in Soul Society, the other purpose of the Konsō Reisai is to cast deceased captains into Hell.

Back in the Human World, Szayelaporro informs Ichigo of this while attacking the latter with his chains, though Ichigo is unsure of what he is talking about. Proclaiming that this is the truth, Szayelaporro asserts that power always has a cost and that wayward Souls who have lost the right of return due to the power they sought out being cast into Hell is salvation and a kindness to them, with the Shinigami being unaware that they have sent their comrades to Hell with their own hands. As Shunsui admits to a distressed Rukia that this myth may very well be true and that he is only just realizing it now, Szayelaporro points to his own appearance as proof that the balance has collapsed due to the powerful Reiatsu of Sōsuke Aizen and Yhwach that were holding Hell shut having disappeared and the Shinigami sending enough beings with powerful Reiatsu to Hell that its jaws can be wrenched open from the other side, namely "Gotei Kaiso" Yamamoto, "Shiken" Unohana, and now "Kamikake" Ukitake, who proceeds to impale Szayelaporro through the chest from behind with a gigantic version of his Shikai, Sōgyo no Kotowari.

When a stunned Ichigo expresses disbelief at this by stating that the ceremony has not been completed, Szayelaporro points out that Ichigo and the lieutenants have completed it by massacring the Jigoku no Gaki in front of Ukitake's eyes through Ichigo's Substitute Shinigami Badge, hidden in his shihakushō. Pulled back into the Gates of Hell by Ukitake, Szayelaporro leaves Ichigo to ruminate on why the Jigokuchō who guide the Shinigami have "Hell" in their names as one of the skeletons on the closed Gates looks down at an approaching Kazui with a single eye, causing the latter to grin cheerfully.

NO BREATHES FROM HELL (2024)

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