Shinigami-form Ichigo is running around Karakura when he feels some reiatsu. After dashing over to the river, a spirit gate opens up above in the sky, and out falls Rukia's barely conscious body. Ichigo catches her and proceeds to freak out, but has no time to do anything before another spirit gate opens, this time with Sode no Shirayuki.
Sode no Shirayuki: Are you this town's shinigami?
Ichigo: What are you?
[SnS poses atop a tall pole, à la Rukia episode 1.]
Sode no Shirayuki: Give her to me.
[Ichigo looks at Rukia]
Ichigo: I don't know what the hell you are, but I won't give Rukia to you!
Sode no Shirayuki: I see.
Sode no Shirayuki: You are the shinigami substitute. [literally, "shinigami daikou", let's hear it for old vocabulary!]
Shirayuki uses Tsukishiro and Hakuren (almost identically to Rukia, but there are small differences), confusing Ichigo, since he knows very well they are Rukia's powers. After telling him that "yes, they are Rukia's - that is why they are mine", she leaves through a spirit gate. Injured!Rukia tells Ichigo that the woman was her zanpakuto and promptly passes out.
Ichigo takes Rukia to Urahara's (where Orihime heals her but is not given a single line of dialogue). Here, Rukia tells Urahara, Chad, Ichigo, Orihime, Uryuu, Kon, and those little bount dolls about What Happened That Night. Basically, Muramasa sealed Yamamoto with the swords of Ukitake, Shunsui, and Unohana. Everyone has a moment of shock and horror ("The.. the soutaichou!") before Ikkaku attacks Muramasa - but Hyorinmaru defends. All the shinigami start fighting zanpakuto (for the most part, not their own). The only matching pair here is when Shuuhei runs to help Komamura; Kazeshini tries to attack them (Soi Fong intervenes).
After Mayuri's zanpakuto looms over the area, Shunsui tells everyone to book it because of the poison. (Mayuri is not distressed in the slightest.. he seems vaguely.. pleased.) Everyone runs away, but the zanpakuto pursue. Renji and Rukia are together when they're cornered by Kazeshini (this guy gets around) and this
He electrocutes them both and prepares to move in on Rukia, but Byakuya defends her with Rikujou Kourou. Muramasa appears with Senbonzakura, and the latter has a fight with Byakuya, eventually plowing him with cherry blossoms into a wall. Rukia wants to go help, but Sode no Shirayuki appears and blasts her and Renji with Hakuren, ending the summary and getting back to the present.
Urahara says some stuff about the real form of zanpakuto that I can't translate because my understanding of Japanese is limited
This clearly bothers Rukia, enough that later that night, the Bount dolls burst screaming into Ichigo's room and inform him that she's left. Basically, she opened a spirit gate and went back to Soul Society without telling anyone. Rukia is still injured, and so a very worried and frustrated Ichigo asks Urahara to open a spirit gate. He and Yoruichi go through it.
I understand very little Japanese, so I credit Yuuk1 and Pikeish from the IchiRuki FC for some specific translations of the first and last scenes.
- Sode no Shirayuki only recognized Ichigo after he refused to give Rukia to her. She calls him a "shinigami substitute", which means she remembers him from a long time ago.
- Yamamoto: I can't tell if he's sealed like a zanpakuto or not.
- Hyorinmaru is a serious bishounen. Check out this hair:
- Byakuya has a bishounen on the INSIDE, DAMN IT.
See? HIS EAR IS PRETTY IT IS I'M NOT IN DENIAL AT ALL~