The majority of this volume focuses on Ichigo's fight with Zaraki, complete with some surreal moments as Ichigo battles within himself to prove himself to Zangetsu, his zanpakutou. Since Zaraki rejects the notion of fighting in concert with his sword, he is ultimately the loser when Zangetsu lends his strength to Ichigo, and vice versa. Though Zaraki makes strides towards possibly learning his sword's name at the end, he is still unable to - too weakened from his fight with Ichigo or still too blind to his sword's power?
Towards the end we see Hanatorou and Ganju make actual progress towards rescuing Rukia, only to be stopped by Byakuya and his giant letters of DOOM surrounding him. I have to admit I did a facepalm when I realized Kaien is a SHIBA. I remembered, from the anime, how Rukia blames herself for Kaien's death, and Ganju does as well - and then I saw the battle with the Espada who has come to possess Kaien's soul, but I didn't make that connection. It probably has to do with the long amount of time I spent not watching Bleach between the Soul Society arc and the filler Bount arc. Silly... anyway, now I know.