The race to save Rukia from the Soul Society is officially on, and Ichigo and company have come to their first roadblock, a very, very big roadblock. Jindanbo, the monstrous, fez-sporting gatekeeper hasn't let a single soul enter the Western Gate he guards in over 300 years, and he isn't about to change his mind about it just because Ichigo's crew wants to go through.
But, in a where-the-rubber-meets-the-road kind of way, Ichigo wasn't expecting his assault on the Soul Society to be a piece of cake either. After all, that'd just be boring.
Story and art by Tite Kubo.