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reveal

end of hypnosis

The day of Rukia's execution comes and Soul Society is thrown into utter chaos as Ichigo arrives to save her at the very last minute. While the Gotei 13 members turn against each other and Ichigo and Byakuya duel, Histugaya and Matsumoto pay a visit to Central 46 Chambers, the seat of Soul Society's supreme governing body.

All the members have been slain. The dried blood indicates that the massacre was not committed recently. Kira suddenly arrives on the scene, and Matsumoto and Histugaya give chase. But Kira reveals that Momo had following them, and Hitsugaya rushes back. The scene cuts to Momo looking on in horror at Central 46. Gin then appears behind her, and leads her to meet someone in the residential area of the Central 46: Aizen. He explains that he faked his death, and embraces his crying Vice Captain and apologizes for worrying her. And then proceeds to stab her through the torso with a calm "good bye." Gin and Aizen walk off, leaving Momo for dead.

Hitsugaya arrives at the scene too late. Aizen explains that he never considered anyone other than Gin his Vice Captain: Momo was simply a tool; her admiration rendered her blind to the fact that Aizen was deceiving Soul Society. Hitsugaya releases his Bankai, but Aizen effortlessly defeats him. Then Unohana arrives, explaining that there was something suspicious about Aizen's corpse: it was a fake. But Aizen corrects her: it was not a fake, but an illusion. His zanpakutou , Kyouka Suigetsu, has the ability of "complete hypnosis." The other Shinigami had been told that it was a water type, able to create illusions with reflections in water and fog. They had even been shown its ability. But Aizen reveals that viewing Kyouka Suigetsu's shikai was what enabled its true ability; the five senses of those who viewed it would be entirely controlled. Thus, all of Soul Society was victim to Aizen's hypnosis. That is, all of Soul Society except Ninth Division Captain Tousen Kaname, who was immune to the hypnosis because he is blind. Tousen is then shown intercepting Renji and Rukia, who are escaping while Ichigo fights Byakuya. Tousen transports Renji and Rukia back to the hill near the soukyoku, and Gin and Aizen appear as well. Aizen demands that Renji leave Rukia and back away.

Inside Rukia's body is hidden an object called the Hougyoku. It was the creation of Urahara Kisuke, former Captain of the Twelfth Division. The object allows for the erasing of the barrier between Hollows and Shingami, allowing for the creation of beings such as the Arrancar. The act of erasing that line allows for one to go beyond the normal limits of a Shinigami's skills. Banished from Soul Society, Urahara set up shop (literally) in Karakura Town, where he met Rukia after she transferred her powers to Ichigo. He managed to hide the Hougyoku within a special gigai that drains a Shinigami of their powers, which was given to Rukia and allowed for the Hougyoku to be hidden within her soul. Aizen destroyed Central 46 in order to ensure Rukia's execution: the soukyoku would destroy her soul, allowing Aizen to take the Hougyoku. Using complete hypnosis, he killed off Central 46 as soon as Rukia was discovered, and he, Gin, and Tousen acted as the 46 while giving the outside appearance that the committee was still functioning. Aizen even predicted the coming of Ichigo and his friends, and used the invasion as a distraction, allowing him to move about freely after his false murder. He orchestrated the fights between Momo, Kira, and Hitsugaya, in hopes that Momo would be easily killed off.

Aizen tells Renji that the Aizen he, and the other members of Soul Society, knew never even existed in the first place. The kind, well-respected, and sympathetic Captain that everyone had known was as the product of deception. The real Aizen is revealed to be a clever, manipulative, ruthless man who shows no hesitation to kill those he doesn't need. He is also unimaginably strong, able to stop Renji's shikai with his bare hand. Once Ichigo arrives on the scene, Aizen is able to stop Ichigo's zanpakutou, in bankai release, with a single finger. Aizen goes to far as to refer to Renji and Ichigo as "specks of dust," making it clear that he views others are insignificant. Komamura Sajin, Captain of the Seventh Division, arrives soon after Ichigo only to be effortlessly defeated by a kidou spell from Aizen before he can release his bankai. This impossibly powerful Aizen, the real Aizen, will be the individual that becomes the central antagonist of Bleach.

The execution failed, Aizen uses another method to retrieve the Hougyoku, forcibly reaching inside Rukia's soul to retrieve it. By now, word of Aizen's betrayal has reached all Captains, Vice Captains, and the invaders. Byakuya arrives to stop Gin from murdering Rukia after Aizen obtains the Hougyoku, taking a nearly fatal hit for sister. Soon, the other Captains and Vice Captains arrive, cornering Aizen, Gin, and Tousen. It looks like there's no escape, but Aizen just smiles. Suddenly, the sky cracks open and a mass of Menos Grande peak out. Beams of light shoot out of the sky and engulf the three traitors; called "negation," the light is used by Menos to assist their own kind. Those inside it are untouchable. Floating into the void, Aizen declares that he will fill a vacant throne in the sky. Crushing his glasses and brushing a hand through his hair, Aizen announces that he will be the one to "stand in heaven."

"Bleach" and its characters © Kubo Tite. All other content belongs to Michelle.