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A New Enemy! The True Nature of the Beast Swords
Bleach 257 anime title
Kanji 新たな敵!刀獣の正体
Romanji Arata na teki! Gatana-jū no shōtai
Episode Number 257
Manga Chapters None
Arc Beast Swords arc
Previous Episode Byakuya's anger, collapse of the Kuchiki family
Next Episode Stray Snake, Tortured Monkey
Japanese February 9, 2010
English June 10, 2012
Theme Music
Opening Anima Rossa
Ending Tabidatsu Kimi e
Episode 257 Screenshots

A New Enemy! The True Nature of the Beast Swords is the two hundred and fifty-seventh episode of the Bleach anime.

10th Division Captain Tōshirō Hitsugaya battles a Tōjū which has been absorbed by a Hollow.


257Toju falls

An object falls from the sky.

In the Human World, an object falls from the sky and crashes into a construction site. When an architect asks the contractor next to him if he heard a crash, the contractor denies this and states everything looks okay to him as a crane lifts a large beam above a truck.

The Toju appears in the Real World

The dust clears to reveal a man wearing a pink cloak.

As the architect says he must be hearing things, a cloud of dust clears within the construction site to reveal a man wearing a pink cloak. Meanwhile, Ichigo Kurosaki looks at the sky as Keigo Asano calls out to him. As Ichigo looks at him, Keigo asks him if he is sensing something which cannot be sensed by Humans like the undead, prompting Ichigo to state this is possible.

257Ichigo asks

Ichigo asks Keigo if he is dead.

When Ichigo looks at him and asks him if he is dead, Keigo expresses horror and proclaims he does not want to think or hear about anything which cannot be seen. As Ichigo notes he has hit a nerve, a crying Keigo says he does not know anything about this and tells Ichigo he will see him later before running off. Stating Keigo has got some issues, Ichigo notices something and expresses surprise. Elsewhere, as the cloaked man steps forward with a spear in his hand, a truck drives past him. When the truck drives away, Ichigo stands before the cloaked man in his Shinigami form.

257Ichigo blocks

Ichigo blocks the cloaked man's attack.

As Ichigo says it is as he thought, the cloaked man notes Ichigo is an enemy before leaping forward. As Ichigo draws Zangetsu and assumes a battle stance, the cloaked man spins his spear before striking at Ichigo, who blocks. As the end of his spear glows blue, the cloaked man spins around in midair before attacking Ichigo once more. Blocking with Zangetsu, Ichigo expresses surprise upon seeing the cloaked man has been injured. When Ichigo forces him back, the cloaked man lunges forward, only for Ichigo to catch his spear and hold Zangetsu to the cloaked man's head.

257Hitsugaya slashes

Hitsugaya slashes the cloaked man across the chest.

Asking the cloaked man who he is, Ichigo says he does not appear to be a Hollow or a Shinigami. When the cloaked man demands to know where his master is, Ichigo expresses surprise and realizes what the cloaked man is as Captain Hitsugaya proclaims the cloaked man is a Zanpakutō Spirit. When the cloaked man frees himself and leaps into the air, Hitsugaya appears above him and slashes the cloaked man across the chest. Moving to a bridge below, the cloaked man leaps away as Hitsugaya moves to the bridge and tells him to stop, only for a train to hurtle past him.

257Ichigo asks Hitsugaya what is going on

Ichigo asks Hitsugaya what is going on.

Moving to the ground underneath the bridge, Hitsugaya states the cloaked man got away. When Ichigo asks him what is going on and says he believed they had settled the Muramasa problem, Hitsugaya looks at him and says he is here to tell Ichigo they are not done. Later, at the Urahara Shop, Tessai Tsukabishi places a cup of tea in front of Hitsugaya and sits down before him. As Tessai states he heard things got intense and restoring order took a lot of work this time, Kisuke Urahara turns to Hitsugaya and asks him how Soul Society is doing now.

257Hitsugaya says

Hitsugaya says he wishes he could confirm this.

When Urahara asks him if Soul Society has completely recovered yet, Hitsugaya says he wishes he could confirm this, prompting Urahara to express disappointment. In the hall, Ririn states she heard Muramasa was betrayed by his own master and says this is not right. Stating Muramasa's actions caused major damage to Soul Society, Kurōdo says he is not someone whom they should feel sorry for. When two figures approach, Ririn, Kurōdo, and Noba look up in surprise. Meanwhile, when Ichigo expresses confusion at the mention of Tōjū, Hitsugaya states they are Zanpakutō Spirits who have lost their masters.

257Ichigo says

Ichigo says there is more work for him again.

Saying he feels sorry for them, Hitsugaya states they cannot let the Tōjū roam free before revealing some of them have already wandered into the Human World as he suspected. As Urahara notes things could get dangerous very quickly, Hitsugaya asks Ichigo if he understands, prompting Ichigo to confirm this and say there is more work for him again. When Ririn asks one of the figures who they are, those present express surprise as Haineko states it does not matter who she is and says she is not here to see Ririn. When Haineko states she has no business with stuffed animals, Ririn demands to know what she said.

257Haineko greets

Haineko greets Hitsugaya.

When 10th Division Lieutenant Rangiku Matsumoto tells them to calm down and says there is no reason to fight, Hitsugaya expresses irritation and notes it is Rangiku. Opening the door as Ririn bites her shoulder, Haineko greets Hitsugaya as Rangiku expresses surprise at Hitsugaya being there. As Tessai turns on the burner under the kettle, Hitsugaya asks Rangiku and Haineko what they are doing and states he never gave them orders to accompany him here. Pointing out how Hitsugaya never gave them orders to not accompany him, Rangiku says Haineko wanted to see the Human World.

257Urahara looks

Urahara looks at the pictures.

When Hitsugaya angrily states he is not here to have fun, Haineko tells him to calm down and tells Hitsugaya to check these out as Tessai turns around in surprise. Looking at several recently taken pictures of Rangiku and Haineko in various poses, Urahara expresses surprise and smiles. Expressing anger, Ririn pokes Haineko's head repeatedly while demanding to know who she is. Revealing Haineko is her Zanpakutō Spirit, Rangiku tells Ririn to be nice to her as Haineko smiles. As Ririn angrily declines to do so, Kurōdo and Noba look at the pictures as Noba's head turns red and expels steam.

257Hitsugaya expresses

Hitsugaya expresses irritation.

As Rangiku tells him to take a look, Ichigo drinks tea and says he is fine. Sliding over to Ichigo, Haineko bumps his arm, causing his tea to spill, and states she believes Ichigo wishes to see the pictures. As Haineko says Ichigo will like what he sees, Hitsugaya expresses irritation as the tea kettle boils over. Slamming his fist on the table, Hitsugaya angrily states this is it and loudly tells Rangiku and Haineko to knock it off. Meanwhile, in the Seireitei, at the 4th Division barracks, 8th Division Captain Shunsui Kyōraku picks up a card and says he cannot stop wondering how many Zanpakutō Spirits lost their owners as he places it on the table.

257Shunsui states

Shunsui states it is awful.

Picking up a card, 13th Division Captain Jūshirō Ukitake places the card on the table and states it is reasonable to believe there is a Tōjū for every division member who died in battle before saying this means there are hundreds of them. As Shunsui states it is awful and notes they lost many good men, Ukitake says their own Zanpakutō Spirits are creating chaos for them again even though they had seemingly returned to their swords. As Shunsui states this would appear to be the case, the violet-haired woman throws a card on the table as Sōgyo no Kotowari dance with each other.

257Sogyo no Kotowari jump

Sōgyo no Kotowari jump onto Ukitake's shoulders.

Running around the table, Sōgyo no Kotowari look at something as Shunsui says they face a difficult situation. Stating the Tōjū are completely lost on their own, Ukitake says they will not be able to simply ignore the Tōjū if their loss of control turns into violence and destruction. Drawing a card, the violet-haired woman smirks before revealing she has won. Confirming this, Shunsui notes he has lost again as the violet-haired woman states Shunsui owes her. As Shunsui says he is aware of this and hands the violet-haired woman a paintbrush, Sōgyo no Kotowari jump onto Ukitake's shoulders.

257Katen Kyokotsu paints

The violet-haired woman paints a circle around Shunsui's right eye.

As Sōgyo no Kotowari ask Ukitake to draw for them, one of them holds up a piece of chalk as Ukitake agrees to do so. As Ukitake draws part of a circle on the floor, Sōgyo no Kotowari tell him to draw some more as the violet-haired woman paints a circle around Shunsui's right eye. When Ukitake notes they have work to do, Shunsui confirms this and states it is a lot of work. Saying the most natural state for a Zanpakutō Spirit is for it to remain within its sword, Ukitake states it is trouble when they leave their sword as Shunsui says they should all change back.

257Katen Kyokotsu and Sogyo no Kotowari express

The violet-haired woman and Sōgyo no Kotowari express horror.

As they express horror, the violet-haired woman pinches Shunsui's cheek as Sōgyo no Kotowari hit Ukitake's back repeatedly while telling him to take it back. As he and Ukitake express pain, Shunsui says they should discuss this matter alone next time. Elsewhere, Rukia Kuchiki states this feels very strange, prompting Sode no Shirayuki to ask her what she means. Saying they were always together even before Sode no Shirayuki manifested, Rukia states it feels very different to actually be walking side by side with Sode no Shirayuki, who admits this is true.

257Sode no Shirayuki apologizes

Sode no Shirayuki apologizes for making Rukia worry so much.

When Rukia says there was a time when she believed a day like this would never come, Sode no Shirayuki asks her when this was, prompting Rukia to reveal it was when she found Sode no Shirayuki destroyed and depleted of all of her Reiatsu. Recalling having the broken Sode no Shirayuki thrown at her feet by Senbonzakura, Rukia states she was terrified at the thought of having lost Sode no Shirayuki forever. Apologizing for making Rukia worry so much, Sode no Shirayuki says she is here with Rukia because of 12th Division Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi's research.

257Sode no Shirayuki floats

Sode no Shirayuki floats within the container.

Turning to Sode no Shirayuki, Rukia asks her what kind of research Mayuri performed. In the past, Mayuri states they will begin. Confirming this, 12th Division Lieutenant Nemu Kurotsuchi turns a dial as a container around Sode no Shirayuki lights up. As Sode no Shirayuki glows with white light, Nemu reveals an unknown signal is influencing Sode no Shirayuki. As Mayuri notes the theory which he came up with is being proven valid, the white light encompasses the area. As the dust clears, Sode no Shirayuki floats within the container. As Nemu notes she has regenerated, Sode no Shirayuki opens her eyes and looks up.

257Toju holds

The cloaked man holds his arm.

In the present, Rukia admits she has always had her doubts about Mayuri because of the odd experiments which he performs before stating she is grateful for Mayuri's research because he is the one who saved Sode no Shirayuki, who smiles and says it all worked out as she and Rukia giggle. Meanwhile, in the Human World, as Humans walk along the streets, the cloaked man leans against a truck and holds his arm. Stating he must find his master now, the cloaked man expresses shock upon feeling an intense Reiatsu around him. Turning, the cloaked man sees a large Hollow at the end of the alley.

257Eyes light

The Hollow's eyes light up.

When the Hollow's eyes light up, the cloaked man assumes a battle stance as the Hollow rushes toward him and bites at him. As the truck crashes into a wall, the cloaked man stumbles out of the dust before turning around in surprise. As a nearby window cracks, the Hollow bites onto the cloaked man's lower body and pulls him back. As the cloaked man screams in pain, the Hollow swallows him as his spear falls to the ground. Later, as Hitsugaya and Hyōrinmaru stand on top of a bridge, they sense something and express surprise as Hyōrinmaru notes it is a Tōjū.

257Rangiku says

Rangiku says there is just one thing.

Confirming this, Hitsugaya notes the Tōjū disappeared instantly and wonders what is going on. When Hyōrinmaru suggests calling Haineko and the others, Hitsugaya says this would only complicate things. Meanwhile, at Orihime Inoue's house, Orihime proclaims Rangiku and Haineko are very cute as they wear school uniforms. As Haineko asks Orihime if she thinks so, Rangiku notes the portable Gigai is working out fabulously and states Orihime's clothes appear to fit Haineko really well. Saying there is just one thing, Rangiku pulls down the collar of Haineko's shirt to reveal more of her cleavage.

257Nanao says

Nanao says Mayuri tried many experiments.

When Rangiku states this is much better, Haineko agrees and admires herself in a mirror. When Orihime draws her attention, Rangiku asks her what is up, prompting Orihime to ask her how the Zanpakutō Spirits are able to revert to their manifested forms. As Rangiku begins to explain, Hyōrinmaru says a Zanpakutō Spirit and its owner are able to synergize for battle when the owner calls out the Zanpakutō Spirit's name and states they become one. In the Seireitei, 8th Division Lieutenant Nanao Ise says Mayuri tried many experiments in order to achieve this all-important goal.

257Mayuri says

Mayuri says this meant he just had to stabilize them.

When Nanao reveals Mayuri utilized the physical properties of the Zanpakutō Spirits in order to return them to their normal state, Shunsui states he understands. In the past, Mayuri says synchronization and interference were the two keys to this and states he found the brainwashed Zanpakutō Spirits were in a very unstable state. Saying this meant he just had to stabilize them, Mayuri notes Nanao likely would not understand his full explanation. In the present, 5th Division Lieutenant Momo Hinamori looks up at the mention of stabilization.

Shunsui face drawing

Shunsui asks Nanao what is so funny.

Confirming this, Tobiume reveals Muramasa was able to find a way to destabilize the physical existence of the Zanpakutō Spirits. Stating all of the anxiety which they had kept from their masters became magnified when Muramasa did this, Tobiume says they could not avoid losing control. As the violet-haired woman finishes drawing on his face, Shunsui notes this is what happened. When Nanao stifles a giggle, Shunsui puts his hat on and asks her what is so funny. As Nanao states it is nothing, Ukitake asks Shunsui if he believes they could control the Tōjū by using the same method.

257Shunsui reminds

Shunsui reminds Nanao to take some sweets.

Saying this is likely a question which only Mayuri can answer, Shunsui asks Nanao if she can go to the Shinigami Research and Development Institute again and find this out for them. When Nanao agrees to do so, Shunsui reminds her to take some sweets. Later, at the SRDI, Nemu holds a box of sweets in her as Mayuri notes Nanao wants him to solve this mess. When Nanao confirms this, Mayuri states it is easy for her to ask as Nanao asks him if he can do this. When Mayuri says it is not something which he is interested in, Nanao expresses surprise.

257Nemu states

Nemu states Mayuri is not feeling well.

When Mayuri reminds her of how he was the one who released the Zanpakutō Spirits from Muramasa's mind control, Nanao confirms this. Stating he is aware the Zanpakutō Spirits who have lost their masters have become troublesome Tōjū, Mayuri chuckles before saying the prospect of taming them does not interest him. Beginning to state the current situation demands he does this, Nanao stops in surprise when Mayuri stands up and says she may leave. As Nanao asks Mayuri to wait, Nemu steps in front of her and tells her to come back another time before stating Mayuri is not feeling well.

257Mayuri holds

Mayuri holds up his broken Zanpakutō.

Later, Mayuri laughs in delight at the sight of the sweets and tells Nemu to prepare some cream tea. As Nemu agrees to do so and walks away, Mayuri notes he does not have a choice and holds up his broken Zanpakutō before expressing surprise. Elsewhere, Rukia says Shinigami and their Zanpakutō Spirits share a close bond. Confirming this, Sode no Shirayuki states this is what she finds intriguing and says what led to Muramasa's madness could have happened to any of the Zanpakutō Spirits before stating they are now more aware and can prevent it from happening ever again.

257Orihime, Rangiku, and Haineko take

Orihime, Rangiku, and Haineko take a picture together.

Smiling, Rukia says she is glad. Meanwhile, in the Human World, Orihime, Rangiku, and Haineko take several pictures together. As storm clouds gather overhead, Orihime, Rangiku, and Haineko walk along the sidewalk as Rangiku notes Orihime knows all of the hotspots and states she never knew there was a photo booth like the one which they just used. As Orihime laughs, Rangiku says the Human World is amazing and states there is something new every time she comes here. When Orihime asks them if they wish to head to another shop next, Rangiku and Haineko agree.

257Rangiku reveals

Rangiku reveals she sensed the Reiatsu of a Tōjū.

When Rangiku stops in surprise, Orihime asks her what is wrong, prompting Rangiku to reveal she sensed the Reiatsu of a Tōjū. When Rangiku looks toward a construction site, Haineko expresses disbelief at Rangiku actually doing her job, prompting Rangiku to reveal she has been keeping track of its presence the whole time before reminding Haineko she is a lieutenant. When Rangiku notes the Tōjū's Reiatsu just changed, Haineko expresses confusion and asks Rangiku why this happened. Saying she does not know, Rangiku states they do not know nearly enough about Tōjū.

257Orihime notes

Orihime notes it is a storm.

Saying they only know the Tōjū are Zanpakutō Spirits who have lost control, Rangiku states she is going to try to capture this one. When Rangiku asks her what she thinks is causing the Tōjū to act up, Haineko says she was able to return to normal because Rangiku survived before stating the Tōjū were not as fortunate and are lost without their masters. When Haineko says all Zanpakutō Spirits are the same, Rangiku states a Zanpakutō Spirit living or dying depends on its master. As Haineko nods, rain begins to fall around them as Orihime looks up and notes it is a storm.

The Hollow Toju appears before them

A Hollow-like being stands on top of a crate.

As Rangiku tells them to stay alert, Ichigo looks at the construction site from another street before moving away with Shunpo. As the street lamps flicker on, Orihime, Rangiku, and Haineko run along a road. When Rangiku stops and notes the Tōjū is close, Orihime asks her how close it is. Noting she definitely sensed a Tōjū's Reiatsu, Rangiku notes there is something else. When Haineko points upward and reveals it is up there, Rangiku and Orihime look up to see a Hollow-like being with a spear standing on top of a crate being held up by a crane.

257Haineko pushes

Haineko pushes Rangiku out of the way.

Appearing closer to the construction site, Ichigo expresses surprise and notes it is a Hollow. Holding up a Gikon, Rangiku tells Orihime and Haineko to stand back as the Hollow-like being cuts the rope holding up the crate and leaps away. Expressing surprise, Haineko pushes Rangiku out of the way as the Gikon falls out of Rangiku's hand. As Orihime and Haineko run, with Haineko holding Rangiku, several beams crash into the ground around them as the Hollow-like being looks on from afar. As the dust clears, Santen Kesshun dissipates as Orihime asks Rangiku and Haineko if they are alright.

257Hollow Toju slams

The Hollow-like being slams Haineko into a wall.

As Rangiku confirms this, she and Haineko sense an intense Reiatsu and turn to see the Hollow-like being standing several feet away. As Rangiku notes she cannot fight it in her present form, Haineko tells her to let Haineko handle the Hollow-like being. As a surprised Rangiku tells her to hold on, Haineko says she can take it on before expressing surprise as the Hollow-like being crashes into her. When the Hollow-like being slams Haineko into a wall, Rangiku calls out to her. When the Hollow-like being tells Haineko to give him back his master, Haineko asks him what he is blabbering about.

Ichigo saves Haineko from the Hollow Toju

Ichigo appears with Haineko slung over his shoulder.

As the Hollow-like being demands to know what Haineko has done with him and prepares to attack her, those present express surprise when a cut appears on its arm. As the Hollow-like being roars in pain, Ichigo appears on the ground with Haineko slung over his shoulder and asks Rangiku who the Hollow-like being is. As Rangiku calls out to him, Ichigo stands up and faces the Hollow-like being, who moves to the top of a nearby wall with Sonído and runs away. Giving Haineko to Rangiku, Ichigo tells Rangiku to take care of her before moving away with Shunpo.

257Ichigo clashes

Ichigo clashes with the Hollow-like being.

Within the building, Ichigo runs up the beams. When debris falls toward him, Ichigo expresses surprise before slashing through it with Zangetsu. Upon seeing the Hollow-like being standing above him, Ichigo yells and leaps toward it before clashing with the Hollow-like being several times as he remembers Zangetsu stating the pockets of Reishi in the Human World will become dangerously unbalanced and Karakura Town could be destroyed if Muramasa becomes a Hollow. As they burst out of the building, the Hollow-like being lands on a nearby beam before turning around to see Ichigo.

257Zangetsu appears

Zangetsu appears behind Ichigo.

Saying there is no escaping, Ichigo states he is going to end this here. Appearing behind Ichigo, Zangetsu reveals this is the Tōjū whom Ichigo encountered earlier. Recalling his fight with the cloaked man, Ichigo says he looks completely different. When Zangetsu notes it appears to have fused itself with a Hollow, Ichigo confirms this and states he had a feeling he recognized the weapon which the Hollow Tōjū is carrying. When the Hollow Tōjū roars and rushes toward them, Zangetsu fades as Ichigo slashes at it, resulting in the Hollow Tōjū's spear being sent flying away.

257Hollow Toju charges

The Hollow Tōjū charges a red Cero.

As the Hollow Tōjū's spear embeds itself in the ground several yards away, Ichigo points Zangetsu at the Hollow Tōjū and apologizes before saying the Hollow Tōjū has to go. As Ichigo prepares to fire a Getsuga Tenshō, the Hollow Tōjū opens its mouth before charging and firing a red Cero. Expressing surprise, Ichigo blocks the Cero with Zangetsu and curses. Standing on top of a nearby beam, Hitsugaya releases his Zanpakutō, Hyōrinmaru, as Hyōrinmaru appears in front of him and sends an ice dragon toward the Hollow Tōjū, which is encased in a large amount of ice.

257Hitsugaya tells

Hitsugaya tells Rangiku to be very careful.

As Ichigo says Hitsugaya's name, the ice cracks and shatters as the Hollow Tōjū's spear snaps into three pieces. Later, inside the building, Hitsugaya states it is just as he thought. Confirming this, Ichigo says the Hollow Tōjū was a lot stronger than he expected it to be. Stating he figured the Reiryoku of a Tōjū would be intensified if it fused itself with another spiritual entity, Hitsugaya turns to Rangiku and says they will not be easy to defeat. When Hitsugaya tells her to be very careful, Rangiku agrees to do so.

Shinigami Illustrated Picture Book

257Senbonzakura wears

Senbonzakura wears his mask and helmet in the bathhouse.

As Senbonzakura walks down a corridor, Haineko tells Tobiume she wishes to see what Senbonzakura looks like under his mask, prompting Tobiume to agree. At a bathhouse, Haineko and Tobiume look in through a window as Haineko states they can see it here. When Tobiume says she cannot believe they are waiting for Senbonzakura here, Haineko tells her to shut up before noting he is here when a door closes. When Senbonzakura steps forward, Haineko and Tobiume express anticipation before expresses surprise upon seeing Senbonzakura is still wearing his mask and helmet. When Senbonzakura asks them what is wrong, Haineko and Tobiume demand to know why his mask is still on.


Characters in Order of Appearance

Powers and Techniques Used

Techniques used:

Shinigami techniques used:

Hollow techniques used:

  • Sonído (響転 (ソニード), Sonīdo; Spanish for "Sound", Japanese for "Sound Ceremony")
  • Cero (虚閃 (セロ), Sero; Spanish for "Zero", Japanese for "Hollow Flash")

Zanpakutō released:


Byakuya's anger, collapse of the Kuchiki familyStray Snake, Tortured Monkey

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