Bleach’s Ichigo vs. Aizen: Here’s When They Fought & Who Came Out on Top

Ichigo vs. Aizen: Who Won, How, Why & in Which Episode?
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Sōsuke Aizen was the main villain in Bleach before the appearance of Yhwach, and since a lot of people never read the manga beyond the events of the anime, Aizen remains in the collective memory of a lot of Bleach fans as the ultimate villain of the series. He was defeated by the combined efforts of the Gotei 13, the Vizoreds, Urahara and his allies, and, of course, Ichigo Kurosaki; all of them contributed to Aizen’s downfall in one way or another. In this article, though, we are going to focus on Ichigo’s final duel with Aizen in Soul Society after everyone – save for Urahara – was down. You’re going to find out who won, how and why he managed to win, and in which episode it happened.

  • Article Breakdown:
  • Ichigo Kurosaki managed to defeat Aizen after unlocking the Saigo no Getsuga Tenshō, with the help of his father and Zangetsu.
  • After that, Aizen was sentenced and imprisoned by the Central 46.
  • Ichigo and Aizen fought in Episode 309 of Bleach anime and chapters 418 – 419 of Bleach Manga.

How did Ichigo defeat Aizen?

After a grueling battle with Isshin, Aizen undergoes a transformative process with the Hōgyoku. Kisuke arrives on the scene and engages Aizen in a conversation about the powerful artifact. Despite Kisuke’s attempts to defeat Aizen with Kidō spells and seal his powers, Aizen releases his true powers, resulting in a complete transformation in appearance and demeanor. The once familiar Aizen is now unrecognizable, showcasing newfound strength and an arrogant attitude. The confrontation continues as Yoruichi joins the fray, launching an attack from above. However, even her assault proves ineffective, and Aizen manages to damage part of Yoruichi’s armor in response.

Isshin, Kisuke, and Yoruichi launch a joint attack on Aizen, but he effortlessly withstands even Isshin’s powerful Getsuga Tenshō. Aizen swiftly defeats all three of them. As his body undergoes transformation, he instructs Gin to open a Senkaimon, completing his union with the Hōgyoku. Aizen and Gin enter the Dangai, destroying the Kōtotsu. In Soul Society, Aizen encounters Tatsuki Arisawa and Keigo Asano, friends of Ichigo. Aiming to boost Ichigo’s power, Aizen decides to eliminate his friends. Keigo manages to escape, but Tatsuki falls victim. Don Kanonji attempts to intervene, only to be halted by Rangiku Matsumoto.

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Gin disappears with an old acquaintance to have a conversation and calm her down. When he rejoins Aizen, who is poised to kill Tatsuki and Ichigo’s friends, Gin intervenes. He stands in front of Aizen, touches Kyōka Suigetsu’s blade, and reveals the only way to escape Kanzen Saimin, the total hypnosis. Activating his Shinsō, Gin surprises Aizen by attacking and stabbing him in the chest. Aizen initially dismisses it as insufficient, but Gin explains the true ability of his Zanpakutō—it injects a toxin that dissolves the cells in the body.

Gin activates his Bankai, Kamishini no Yari, causing everything around the Hōgyoku in Aizen’s chest to dissolve. Gin seizes the Hōgyoku, and Aizen collapses with a scream, seemingly exploding. A bright pillar of light emerges, and Aizen reappears in his third form with three pairs of wings. Despite Gin’s efforts, Aizen, still connected to the Hōgyoku, attacks him. In the fierce battle, Aizen tears off Gin’s arm, stabs him again, and hurls him through a wall. Tatsuki and Don Kanonji are overwhelmed by the spiritual pressure, while Keigo stands alone, witnessing the intense spectacle.

As Gin lies motionless in the rubble, Rangiku Matsumoto mourns her dying childhood friend, unaware that Aizen is standing behind her. Suddenly, Ichigo appears with the unconscious Isshin, catching Aizen off guard as he can’t sense Ichigo’s Reiatsu. Aizen assumes his development has failed, but Ichigo surprises him by grabbing his face and throwing him away.

Aizen, still confident in victory, realizes Ichigo has thrown off his Reiatsu, enhancing his physical abilities. Their clash causes a mountain to crumble, and Aizen believes it’s his doing. However, Ichigo reveals that it’s his own power. Aizen, enraged by this revelation, undergoes a fourth transformation—an unprecedented and ominous development.

Aizen undergoes a dramatic transformation—his face changes, his right hand merges with his Zanpakutō, and he gains hollow masks on his wings capable of shooting cero. Despite his renewed power, Aizen strikes Ichigo, who remains unimpressed. Ichigo responds with the Final Getsuga Tenshō, assuming a new form called Mugetsu, where he becomes Getsuga itself.

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Aizen is frustrated that Ichigo managed to fuse with his Zanpakutō, surpassing the limits of a Shinigami. Aizen attacks, and the final blow has devastating consequences. Despite high-speed regeneration, Aizen gradually reverts to his second form. Ichigo loses his powers from the Final Getsuga Tenshō, rendering him unable to continue the fight. Aizen, poised to end it, sees Kyōka Suigetsu disappearing, indicating Hōgyoku deems it unnecessary. Before Aizen can deliver the final blow, Kisuke Urahara intervenes, using a sealing Kidō to save Ichigo.

During the fight against Aizen in Fake Karakura Town, Urahara recites a Kidō spell to seal him. Aizen, initially believing he can’t be sealed, transforms back into a shinigami. Urahara reveals that the Hōgyoku no longer accepts Aizen as its master, enraging him. Aizen dismisses the logic of losers, asserting that winners shape the world as it should be.

The seal is completed, and Ichigo looks away. Urahara informs Aizen that his fate is in the hands of Central 46. Ichigo contemplates Aizen’s desire for an equal and suggests that Aizen may have wished to lose his powers granted by the Hōgyoku. Aizen, now bound to a chair, faces Central 46’s decision to banish him to the eighth level (Muken) of the underground prison for 18,800 years. Unfazed, Aizen’s calm response leads them to cover his mouth and the other eye, increasing the sentence to 20,000 years.

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In which episode does Ichigo defeat Aizen?

The final moments of the battle we have described above happened in Episode 309 of the Bleach anime, which was titled “Fierce Fighting Conclusion! Release, the Final Getsuga Tenshō!”. This episode showed Aizen’s demise and the effects of Urahara’s Kidō. The episode was adapted from the pages of Chapter 421, which was titled “DEICIDE23”.

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