By Kaliko Rosa
Facing each other in the dawn of battle, Ichigo Kurosaki questions his opponent, Uryuu Ishida, about the rules of their impending match. Ishida, a member of the dying Quincy clan, longs to defeat his Shinigami rival to prove the inferiority of the Shinigami. He pulls out a coin-like round tablet from his uniform pocket, referring to it as "Anti-Hollow Bait". "If you break it and scatter it around", he explains, "Hollows will gather. The one who beats the most Hollows in 24 hours will be the winner." Ichigo retorts that the idea is ridiculous; it would put many innocent lives in unnecessary danger. Ishida believes there will be no danger to anyone else, he is confident he can destroy every Hollow that appears. Ishida snaps the tablet, and it crumbles away. A black hole opens up in the night sky, and a Hollow's face appears. Ishida instantly destroys it with his spiriton arrows. "One down," he declares to all.
Ichigo angrily grabs Ishida by the collar,
commanding him to undo the summoning of the Hollows. The neutral Ishida tells
him that the Hollow bait is now everywhere, reminding him he should be more
concerned about getting rid of the Hollows than fighting with Ishida. As Ishida
picks himself back up, he reminds Ichigo that Hollows tend to attack those with
high spirit power. Ichigo instantly recalls the Hollows that attacked his
sisters, Karin and Yuzu. As Ichigo runs off, worried for his family, Ishida
mutters to himself that Ichigo has not yet realized that his family isn't the
only ones with high spirit power. "Don't worry," he reassures, "I'll defeat them
all." He glances up to the night sky and recalls the image of an elderly man.
Back at Ichigo's high school (it is daytime now and another schoolday -- not sure how time passed that quickly), Tatsuki Arisawa is relaxing against a school wall presumably after a phys-ed/karate class. She is annoyed by the presence of two flirting ghosts that drift by her, thus proving for the first time that Tatsuki can see ghosts and has a high level of spirit power. Her instructor calls her back to class, and as she is about to return, she runs into Orihime who has a tentative expression on her face. Tatsuki recalls what had happened earlier with Orihime's brother (Refer to Episode 3), unable to remember everything, but remembering random aspects, like thinking she had seen Kuchiki Rukia in the same room. Tatsuki had thought it was a dream, but when she spoke with Orihime, she realized that her friend had dreamt the very same thing. Ever since that day, Tatsuki had the ability to see ghosts. As she continues speaking with Orihime on the school grounds, an annoying ghost gets on Tastuki's nerves. She refocuses her attention on Orihime, but just as Orihime is about to speak what's on her mind, they hear a loud crash somewhere nearby. They both run to investigate, but Orihime pauses as she senses something ominous in the bright skies.
The scene changes to Karin Kurosaki who is playing
soccer with her friends. She too pauses at the sensation of foreboding.
Ichigo is still searching for his sister, destroying Hollow after Hollow. Ishida, standing on a bridge somewhere in the city, fires an arrow right through his tenth Hollow kill of the day.
At the Urahara store, Rukia's command receiver (cell phone) is going berserk with Hollow alerts that flicker off as fast as they appeared. She is alarmed with how many are appearing. She hears a Hollow cry, and running outside, Rukia discovers a black slit in the sky. She can't figure out what is going with the chaotic spirit force she senses, and she questions what will happen as she stares at the ominous black hole.
Ichigo continually tears up Hollows, taking on three at once with his huge Zanpakutou. Ishida is busy doing his job as well, firing off arrow after arrow.
Out on the city streets, Chad's friends are beckoning him to hurry up because they are hungry for lunch. Chad seems to be distracted by something. He has a bad feeling. Suddenly one of his friends attempts to kick him in the head, only to fall backwards and hurt himself, because of Chad's sheer bulk. He continues to bug Chad to hurry up and get some food. But just as they start walking, a large invisible weight falls behind Chad. As they fall back and dust erupts everywhere, everyone else can only see nothingness, and presume the explosion must have something to do with a gas explosion.. But Chad can see the faint outline of his enemy, a Hollow that lunges after him and creates destruction in the surrounding stores. Chad realizes it's after him, and begins running to lead the mysterious entity to a more deserted area.
At the soccer field, Karin's feeling kind of out of it. She can't concentrate on the sport. Just then she spots Chad, out of breath, recognizing him as Ichigo's friend from when Chad had visited their hospital (Refer to Episode 4). She questions what Chad's doing at the field, but at that same moment he grabs her and lunges forward. An explosion of dirt ensues behind them. They land safely away from the Hollow, and Karin stares at it over Chad's shoulder, with an expression of terror. Chad wishes he could see it better to help his evasions, but Karin simply comments, "It's back. What the heck is it?". Chad is surprised that she can see it perfectly. She suddenly screams out and warns him that the Hollow is behind them, and Chad picks her up and darts to the side in the nick of time. Karin continually warns Chad of the Hollow's impending attacks after she discovers he can barely see it at all. She rides on his large back and keeps watch of the giant Hollow, pursuing them on thundering legs. She explains that it isn't her first time to see a monster like that. She has noticed that somehow, these monsters are related to Ichigo. Suddenly, the Hollow attacks from the left, and out of nowhere Chad gets some visibility of the Hollow's arm, delivering it a powerful downwards punch. The Hollow cries out in pain and hits them quickly with no time for the two to react. As they are thrown aside, Karin thinks that Chad has passed out. Suddenly Karin's soccer friends come up to her and ask if Chad is alright. She warns them angrily that they're in danger, but they don't have a clue what she's talking about. She jumps at one of them to push him out of harms way.
Meanwhile, Chad is in a dreamlike state, remembering his youth. A man chewing on a cigar asks Chad's younger form if he has hit someone again today. The man questions Chad, "What is the point of hitting? Hurting others who hurt you... then what is left?". He lays a gentle hand on Chad's head, reminding him that Chad is a strong kid, and was born with many fortunate physical features that put him to an advantage. However, this man encourages Chad to be gentle, because the reason his big, strong fists exist, and the reason his body is big, is to protect others. Chad wakes up and picks himself up off the ground, echoing the words of his Abuelo (Spanish for grandfather). He takes his place behind Karin; the other children run away. Chad continues to ask his Abuelo for strength, so that he can protect those who need his help. He suddenly sees the Hollow coming clearly, and lunges his right arm in a defensive punch. There's an explosion of power. The Hollow's arm deteriorates and it is sent flying backwards. Karin stares in shock at Chad, and just as the dust clears, she notices that his right arm now wears a skin-tight glove that runs from his hand up to his shoulder. It has a "tail piece" and "fin pieces" by the wrist. It is black with a maroon stripe down the centre, and two white lines bordering the maroon stripe. Chad lunges forwards again and finally defeats the Hollow. Karin runs up to him and asks if Chad is okay, wondering what happened to his arm. Chad turns to face her, and raises his left arm in a thumbs up, saying that he is alright. Karin is totally appalled at the dorkiness of it. Chad collapses onto the ground, unable to fully understand what happened. He asks Karin if she was hurt, but she replies that only he was hurt. He comments that that's a good thing, but Karin kicks him on the head and angrily refutes how Chad being hurt is such a good thing. She runs off to call her dad to come help him. "She's just like Ichigo," Chad thinks to himself, "... in the way she kicks."
Back at the highschool grounds, Orihime Inoue is helping the girls to clean up the mess caused by the "explosion" they had heard earlier. As she stares in the direction of the gym, lured by an ominous feeling, she suddenly spots a shadowy figure staring right back at her...