While Ichigo's Hollow side takes on Muramasa, back in Soul Society, Renji and Shuuhei continue to struggle in battle against their own Zanpakutou. Shuuhei was already at odds with Kazeshini because they have different fighting styles, and he decides that he doesn't mind if his Zanpakutou dies and disappears. Renji, on the other hand, has to deal with the Zabimaru duo calling him weak, and he's unable to do much against them on his own. They know that he's afraid of destroying his own power, and as he gets beat up, Renji finally remembers his fight against Ichigo and his feelings towards Rukia during her imprisonment and also Byakuya and the reason he fights. Determined to become stronger and refusing to lose, Renji surprises the duo by successfully releasing his sword into its shikai form.
Back inside Ichigo's inner world, Ichigo watches as Muramasa decides that his Hollow side should just be disposed of, and since Muramasa isn't able to win by normal fighting, he uses his special ability to disable Ichigo's Hollow side. Ichigo then notices from the reflection on the building in his inner world that Muramasa is actually using invisible bindings to keep his Hollow side down, and he decides to step in and save his Hollow side since it's a part of him despite their differences. He also makes it clear that he's not a Shinigami - he's a human - and he then forces Muramasa out of him using his willpower. Opening his eyes back in Soul Society, Ichigo is determined to get Zangetsu back, and like Renji, he refuses to lose.