Muramasa sends Sode no Shirayuki away, and Ichigo asks why he wanted the zanpakutō to gain independence over the shinigami. Although he does not give the reason, Muramasa replies that zanpakutōs can seperate themselves away regardless of being the so... (more)ul of a shinigami, and he is a good example of one. Ichigo cannot accept this view and attacks him. Muramasa uses illusions to overwhelm Ichigo and pins him to the ground, where he proceeds to drag Zangetsu out of him. Once Zangetsu manifests, he immediately attacks Ichigo. Meanwhile, Mayuri begins experimenting on himself in order to research the zanpakutōs' manifestation. After Zangetsu seemingly defeats Ichigo, Ichigo transforms into his hollow form and strikes back. After a while, he transforms into his stronger form and easily beats down Zangetsu. Muramasa tries a sneak attack but Ichigo immediately regenerates and attacks him. Before the hollow form can do anything else, Ichigo manages to return to his shinigami form and falls unconscious at Muramasa's feet.