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Renji, Oath of the Soul! Death Match with Byakuya

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Renji, Oath of the Soul! Death Match with Byakuya
Bleach 52
Kanji 恋次、魂の誓い! 白哉との死闘
Romanji Renji, tamashii no chikai! Byakuya to no shitō
Episode Number 52
Manga Chapters Chapter 140, Chapter 141, Chapter 142, Chapter 143, Chapter 144
Arc Soul Society: The Rescue arc
Previous Episode Morning of the Sentence
Next Episode Gin Ichimaru's Temptation, Resolution Shattered
Japanese October 4, 2005
English October 13, 2007
Theme Music
Opening Ichirin No Hana
Ending Life
Episode 52 Screenshots

Renji, Oath of the Soul! Death Match with Byakuya is the fifty-second episode of the Bleach anime.

Lieutenant Renji Abarai and Captain Byakuya Kuchiki battle each other.



Ichigo continues battle with Zangetsu to achieve Bankai.

Ichigo Kurosaki has a flashback of the day he became a Shinigami. He then remembers how Rukia Kuchiki saved his life and the day that the Soul Society took her back. He remembers all of the events and battles he has had up to the day of Rukia's execution. Ichigo then declares he will achieve Bankai today.

In the training room, Ichigo is running with clones of Zangetsu, who are chasing and attacking him. Yoruichi Shihōin watches from a cliff and Zangetsu tells Ichigo that he has still not achieved Bankai. Ichigo tells Zangetsu to go harder and Zangetsu agrees. Ichigo picks up another sword and charges.


Renji manages to follow Byakuya's shunpo and block his attack.

Outside in Seireitei, Renji has dispatched a group of Shinigami in his way, breaking their swords so they can not follow. He leaves the group and continues on. As he runs, he has flashbacks of the days he spent with Rukia before they became Shinigami. As he passes through a doorway, a tremendous Reiatsu bears down on him. He feels it and looks up to see Captain Kuchiki, who is watching from atop a building.

Byakuya does not allow Renji to pass and save Rukia. He attempts to attack with Senka, but Renji blocks the attack and pushes Kuchiki away. Renji says that he cannot be killed by those skills because he has seen them so much and is more powerful. Byakuya is not impressed and prepares to release his Shikai. Before he can complete the release, Renji attacks and Zabimaru appears without Renji having to say its name. Byakuya is startled and asks if Renji has achieved Bankai. Renji does not answer, but powers up his Reiatsu.

In the mean time, Ichigo continues training, but time is running out and so is his energy. Zangetsu asks if he wants to continue.


Renji reveals his Bankai.

Renji yells Bankai and when the smoke clears, Renji is standing with a very long, skeletal version of Zabimaru, with a snake head at the end. Renji calls out its name: Hihiō Zabimaru (Baboon King Zabimaru). Byakuya appears calm, but is angry and asks when Renji achieved Bankai. After Byakuya yet again refuses to move, Renji says he has no choice, but to kill him and go on.

Byakuya is confident that Renji will do no such thing. Renji attacks and Byakuya dodges leaving a path of destruction as the Bankai hits surrounding buildings. As the Bankai hits Byakuya, Byakuya blocks with his sword, and then releases it to sever the Bankai. The parts fall to the ground, but join up again. Byakuya is surprised, but Renji explains that the blade joints are connected by his reiatsu.

Renji attacks from underground and Byakuya lands on one knee. Confident now, Renji declares that he will finish the fight. Byakuya says he will finish the fight with his own sword and Renji attacks.


Renji hit by Byakuya's Rikujōkōrō.

At the last moment, Byakuya uses a Kidō blast that hits the Bankai head on. Startled that Byakuya was able to get so much power even though he skipped the incantation, Renji finds Byakuya's shadow and attacks. The Bankai goes out of control, crashing into the ground and Byakuya explains that the attack was not meant to blind, but to confuse the movements of the Bankai. Renji tries to attack again, but he is bound by Kuchiki who reminds Renji that he too has a Bankai.

Byakuya drops his sword to activate the Bankai and a thousand swords come out of the ground scattering into uncountable blades. Renji can only watch in horror. There is a great crash and the building behind Renji is torn by the blades. Renji freezes as blood comes running down his face, then he sprays blood from his entire body and falls to the ground. Saying that Renji's fangs will not reach him, Byakuya prepares to leave.


Renji lays at Byakuya's feet, defeated.

As he walks away, Renji groans as he tries to get up. Byakuya tells him to stop moving, but Renji ignores him. Renji rushes Byakuya, but he raises his hand and several pink blades pierce Renji, going right through his arms. Renji screams and falls to the ground again. Byakuya questions Renji telling him that if he moves again, he will die by his blade. Renji can no longer move and he sits on the ground thinking.

Ichigo is asked by Zangetsu if he will get up. Ichigo smiles and Renji does too. They both say that they promised their souls that they would go on. Renji abruptly stands up shattering the blades around him and he charges at Byakuya, catching him by surprise. There is a spray of blood as they meet.

Renji looks down and sees the upper half of his blade fall to the ground. The rest of the blade crumbles and Renji falls to the ground unconscious. Impressed, Byakuya removes his scarf and throws it over Renji, and then he walks away.

Meanwhile, Rukia senses Renji's spirit pulse disappear and stops walking in shock. She looks around trying to sense him, but can't and asks why he had to die. She turns to see Captain Gin Ichimaru walking toward her.

Characters in Order of Appearance

  1. Ichigo Kurosaki
  2. Zangetsu
  3. Yoruichi Shihōin
  4. Renji Abarai
  5. Rikichi
  6. Rukia Kuchiki
  7. Byakuya Kuchiki
  8. Ikkaku Madarame (flashback)
  9. Izuru Kira (flashback)
  10. Gin Ichimaru


Powers & Techniques Used

Kidō used:

Techniques used:

  • Senkei (殲景, Slaughterscape)

Zanpakutō released:


Senbonzakura (千本桜, Thousand Cherry Blossoms) (attempted)
Zabimaru (蛇尾丸, Snake Tail)


Hihiō Zabimaru (狒狒王蛇尾丸, Baboon King Snake Tail)
Senbonzakura Kageyoshi (千本桜景厳, Vibrant Display of a Thousand Cherry Blossoms)


Morning of the SentenceGin Ichimaru's Temptation, Resolution Shattered

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