Back to Back, a Fight to the Death!
Kanji 背中合わせの死闘!
Romanji Senaka awase no shitō!
Episode Number 14
Manga Chapters Chapter 45, Chapter 46, Chapter 47, Chapter 48, Chapter 49, Chapter 50
Arc Agent of the Shinigami arc
Previous Episode Flower and Hollow
Next Episode Kon's Great Plan
Japanese January 11, 2005
English December 9, 2006
Theme Music
Opening *~Asterisk~
Ending Thank You!
Episode 14 Screenshots

Back to Back, a Fight to the Death! is the fourteenth episode of the Bleach anime.

Ichigo Kurosaki and Uryū Ishida work together to defeat a Menos Grande.



Ichigo Kurosaki slashes through a Heilig Pfeil accidentally fired by Uryū Ishida.

Staring down Uryū Ishida on a path in Karakura Town as Rukia Kuchiki and Kon stand nearby, Ichigo Kurosaki declares that he has finally found Uryū and will not be satisfied until he beats him up. When Uryū grimaces and pulls back a Heilig Pfeil on his Heilig Bogen, Kojaku, Ichigo notices a Hollow standing behind him and runs in front of it. Surprised by this, Uryū is unable to keep his grip on the bowstring due to the blood on his finger, causing the Heilig Pfeil to hurtle toward Ichigo, who slashes through it.


Dozens of Hollows congregate around a large crack in the sky.

Bifurcating the Hollow from the top down, which purifies it, Ichigo turns to face a shocked Uryū and notes that the latter understands how this is a battle between the two of them before challenging Uryū to abandon the Hollow-killing contest and settle this one-on-one with him. However, as Ichigo grows irritated by Uryū not saying anything, an unnerved Kon draws his attention to a large crack in the sky as Uryū observes that the Hollows are congregating around it, shocking those present.


Uryū's Heilig Pfeil splits apart and destroys multiple Hollows.

Uryū begins to run up the nearby steps to combat the Hollows, and when Ichigo cautions him to think about his next course of action because there are so many of them waiting, Uryū stops and asks him if he is scared, startling Ichigo. Advising Ichigo to stay there and watch if he is scared, Uryū declares that he is the winner of this duel and reaches the top of the steps, where he fires a Heilig Pfeil that splits apart mid-flight and kills multiple Hollows flying overhead. As the remaining Hollows look down at him, Uryū declares that the Last Quincy will take them on, prompting Ichigo to wonder what he means by referring to himself as that.


Rukia begins explaining the fall of the Quincy to Ichigo.

In response to this, Rukia tells Ichigo that the Quincy went extinct 200 years ago before clarifying that the Shinigami exterminated them at that time, shocking Ichigo. In the past, Kisuke Urahara sits in the Urahara Shop and explains to Rukia that this was a difficult decision for the Shinigami to make because they had to exterminate the Quincy in order to prevent the destruction of the universe. Noting that Shinigami are often referred to as Balancers in Soul Society, Rukia explains that a roughly equal amount of Souls are maintained in Soul Society and this world at all times and observes that Souls can travel between the two worlds.


Rukia illustrates the effect of the Quincy on the two worlds.

After clarifying how the Shinigami serve to adjust the number of Souls in the two worlds, Rukia reveals that this changed when the Quincy appeared because they completely eradicate Hollows, preventing those Souls from returning to Soul Society and leading to the number of Souls in the Human World increasing instead of remaining stable, and explains how this would have eventually led to the collapse of the universe. With Ichigo listening in stunned silence, Rukia recounts how Soul Society began pleading with the Quincy to leave the management of Hollows to the Shinigami a few years after they were discovered, only to note that the Quincy stubbornly refused.


Uryū is surrounded by several Hollows.

Shortly afterward, as he runs toward Uryū and the Hollows, Ichigo recalls Rukia concluding that the Quincy beginning to rapidly increase in number afterward is what led to the decision that the Quincy must be eliminated and asking him if he thinks this was the results of the arrogance of the Shinigami. Meanwhile, as he destroys another Hollow with a Heilig Pfeil through the head, Uryū stands surrounded by several Hollows and observes with frustration that their numbers are not decreasing as he thinks of Sōken Ishida. Suddenly, Ichigo yells Uryū's name, prompting the latter to turn and see Hollows being flung into the air by Ichigo's assault.


Ichigo confronts Uryū atop a mountain of defeated Hollows.

With Uryū left bewildered by his rash approach, Ichigo stands atop a mountain of defeated Hollows and tells Uryū that he has heard why he fights before asserting that he is not going to tell him whether the Shinigami or Quincy were right. However, as Ichigo attempts to declare that he does not agree with Uryū's methods, Uryū flatly states that the fall of the Quincy is just an old story, to Ichigo's surprise. Uryū explains that he does not care about the extermination 200 years ago because it is just a story that his master told him and admits that he actually agreed with the Shinigami when he first heard the tale before revealing that this changed when his master died, further surprising Ichigo.


Sōken Ishida explains the truth of the Quincy extermination to Uryū.

In the past, Sōken sits with a young Uryū on the roof of Karakura Hospital and explains that he felt the Quincy were at fault for refusing to listen at all to the Shinigami. Surprised by this, Uryū points out how the Quincy were the ones who were annihilated, which Sōken affirms before asserting that it was pointless to think about who was right or wrong when there were so many casualties as he tells Uryū that all they must think about is how to prevent it from ever happening again. As Uryū sits in stunned silence, Sōken states that it saddens him to see the sad faces of Humans or Shinigami. In the present, Uryū declares that Sōken was a kind and gentle man who never hated anyone.


Sōken is surrounded by five large Hollows.

Destroying another Hollow with a Heilig Pfeil, Uryū recounts how Sōken kept pleading with the Shinigami to join forces and work together with the Quincy even though he was constantly under surveillance as the Last Quincy, only to constantly be told to not interfere with the work of the Shinigami. As he continues to destroy Hollows, Uryū recalls how Sōken was confronted by five large Hollows one day and obviously could not take them on without the help of Shinigami, but they only showed up two hours after Sōken had begun fighting, which led to his death. Uryū turns to face Ichigo and asserts that the Shinigami would have saved Sōken if they had listened to and acknowledged his ideals.


An irritated Ichigo kicks Uryū in the back of the head.

After asking Ichigo if he understands that Uryū must prove the strength of the Quincy to the Shinigami, Uryū turns back to the Hollows and acknowledges that they have opposite ways of thinking and tells him to watch if Ichigo disagrees with his methods, only for Ichigo to suddenly kick him in the back of the head while proclaiming that he talks too much. Sent skidding along the ground by this, a flabbergasted Uryū sits up and demands to know what Ichigo is doing as the latter points out that Sōken's hope was for the Shinigami and Quincy to work together rather than prove the power of the Quincy to the Shinigami before grabbing Uryū by the collar.


Ichigo and Uryū face down the Hollows back-to-back.

Ichigo inquires when Uryū will be able to do this if not right now and pulls him to his feet before walking behind him and asserting that it is fine if they have opposite ideologies because it is best to fight multiple opponents back-to-back. As Ichigo slashes a Hollow's head in half, Uryū destroys two more approaching him with Heilig Pfeil, leading Ichigo to commend him as Uryū claims that he only did so because he would have been killed otherwise. Declaring that this is also fine because it is kill or be killed, Ichigo points out that it is too hard to do alone and that this is enough reason for the two of them to join forces before admitting that he just wants to kill Hollows.


Ichigo explains how he wants to protect lots of people.

When Uryū asks him why this is the case, Ichigo reveals that his mother was killed by one, to Uryū's surprise, and states that this is enough reason on its own before explaining that he primarily does not want anyone else to go through that after seeing what his father and two sisters went through after his mother died. Cutting through two more Hollows, Ichigo proclaims that he just does not want to see any more of that, leading Uryū to recall Sōken explaining how it saddens him to see the sad faces of Humans and Shinigami. As he admits that he cannot protect everyone in the world, Ichigo refuses to just protect a few and proclaims that he wants to protect as many as possible.


Uryū fires Heilig Pfeil into several Hollows.

Ichigo criticizes Uryū's plan as endangering too many innocent people and asserts that he will not forgive Uryū for it, only to dismiss this as not being important right now before appealing to Uryū to join forces with him for the time being. As a Hollow advances toward him, Uryū claims that Ichigo talks too much, but states that he understands Ichigo's logic because they will not have someone to beat up later if they do not both survive as he draws back a Heilig Pfeil in Kojaku and aims it at the Hollow. Encouraged by this, Ichigo runs past Uryū and cuts through several Hollows as Uryū fires Heilig Pfeil into several more, destroying them all.


A Menos Grande begins pushing through the Kūmon.

While Ichigo continues to slash through Hollows, Uryū destroys three more with Heilig Pfeil before returning to his back-to-back formation with Ichigo in the middle of the Hollow horde. However, as the two of them stare down the remaining Hollows, Uryū draws Ichigo's attention to the crack in the sky, where they are shocked to see two massive white hands grip the edges of the void from the inside. With Rukia watching in terror from several meters away, a Menos Grande pushes apart the Kūmon and brings its head into view, prompting a stunned Kon to wonder what it is. Inside the ring of Hollows, Ichigo expresses astonishment at the Menos Grande's size.


Kisuke Urahara's crew arrives to help Ichigo.

Though Uryū asserts that his Hollow Bait should not be able to draw such a large Hollow, Ichigo points out that it is too late now before cursing alongside Uryū when four more Hollows attack them from behind. Suddenly, the Hollows are destroyed by a barrage of blasts from Ururu Tsumugiya, who lowers her Senren Bakusatsu Taihō and timidly greets the surprised Ichigo and Uryū as Jinta Hanakari smashes several Hollows away with Jinta Home Run and Tessai Tsukabishi destroys the upper half of a Hollow's head with Tesshō. As the dust clears, Kisuke Urahara stands with his crew and reveals that they came to help Ichigo, who is shocked by his appearance.


Urahara explains his plan to Ichigo and Uryū.

Jinta destroys a Hollow with a single swing of his Muteki Tekkon and Ururu mows down several other Hollows behind Ichigo and Uryū, who can only watch in stunned silence as Urahara explains that they will take care of the ordinary Hollows so Ichigo can focus on the Menos Grande before noting that Ichigo does not have time to listen to his rambling. Upon seeing the Menos Grande push its head through the Kūmon, a terrified Rukia identifies it and explains to Kon that it is a gigantic Hollow formed from hundreds of other Hollows combining before admitting that she has only seen it in the form of illustrations in textbooks up until now.


Urahara appears in front of Rukia as she tries to intervene.

Expressing disbelief that such a powerful Hollow would be drawn out, Rukia reveals that only the Royal Guard are supposed to combat it and asserts that a single Shinigami cannot hope to take it on. As the Menos Grande turns its head to stare at him and Uryū, a grinning Ichigo states that there is no point in thinking about how to fight such a massive opponent and declares that the only method available will be to cut the Menos Grande up over and over before charging forward as a bewildered Uryū runs after him. Though Rukia runs up and shouts after Ichigo that the Menos Grande is not an opponent he can take on, she is interrupted when Urahara appears in front of her.


Ichigo attacks the Menos Grande head-on.

As Rukia demands to know if he plans on killing Ichigo, Urahara holds two fingers up to her face and uses Shibireyubi before denying this. While Rukia falls to her knees and realizes that he has used a Bakudō on her, Urahara states that this battle is necessary for both her and Ichigo. Meanwhile, a yelling Ichigo leaps toward the Menos Grande as it steps into the Human World and sinks his Zanpakutō into its ankle, only for the unfazed Menos Grande to simply kick him back. Seeing Ichigo skidding to a halt in front of him, Uryū reminds him that he criticizes this plan of action and fires a Heilig Pfeil at the Menos Grande, which does minimal damage.


Ichigo explains his plan for defeating the Menos Grande.

Uryū curses and asks Ichigo if he can stand, prompting Ichigo to assert that he is okay as blood begins to trickle down his forehead. When Uryū demands to know what he was thinking and how he planned on defeating the Menos Grande, Ichigo explains his plan of cutting away sections of the Menos Grande starting with its feet until he could reach its head. Expressing disbelief at Ichigo's way of thinking, Uryū kneels and tells him to get up and think of a new strategy while placing his hand on Ichigo's Zanpakutō, only to be shocked when his Kojaku suddenly increases drastically in size, leading him to realize that he is absorbing Ichigo's Reiryoku through his Zanpakutō.


Orihime Inoue and Yasutora Sado watch the Menos Grande.

Upon having his attention drawn by Uryū, Ichigo is equally shocked to see the size of his Kojaku and asks him how it got so big, but Uryū dismisses this and reveals that they may have a way to defeat the Menos Grande, to Ichigo's confusion. Watching the Menos Grande exit the Kūmon and begin approaching Ichigo and Uryū, Orihime Inoue and Yasutora Sado stand on a nearby bridge as civilians walk around them and confirm with each other that they can see Ichigo and Uryū clearly. As she notes that Urahara asked them to wait here and watch, Orihime wonders if he wants them to watch before choosing the path which they want to take with their powers.


Uryū ties Ichigo's Zanpakutō to his head.

Mentally admitting that she has not forgotten a single thing from the night her Hollowfied brother attacked her and could only doubt her own memories, Orihime asks Sado what they are supposed to do, only for him to remain silent. Back on the ground, Uryū declares that they are ready to go as he kneels in front of Ichigo with the latter's Zanpakutō tied to his head, prompting Ichigo to let go of his Zanpakutō, which causes Kojaku to shrink back to its normal size, as he asks Uryū if he is crazy. Offended by this, Uryū explains that he will be able to fire a massive Heilig Pfeil if Ichigo channels all of his Reiryoku into Uryū through his Zanpakutō.


The Menos Grande begins to charge a Cero.

However, when Uryū tells him to exert control over his Reiryoku and release it all at once, Ichigo bluntly asks him how to do so, leading a shocked Uryū to asks him if he really cannot do that. Upon being pressed about how he has fought Hollows up until now, Ichigo guesses that he just fought on instinct, further bewildering Uryū, before asserting that his Reiryoku being so high must mean that it is always at its maximum level. Suddenly, as Ichigo and Uryū stare at each other, they are alerted by the Menos Grande beginning to charge a Cero in front of its mouth, prompting a stunned Rukia to tell Ichigo to run before he is obliterated by it.


Ichigo blocks the Menos Grande's Cero with his Zanpakutō.

Seeing this, Uryū decides that there is no other way and tells Ichigo to grab his Zanpakutō again, only for Ichigo to yank it off his head and charge at the Menos Grande while yelling, to Uryū's confusion. As Ichigo runs up to it, the Menos Grande fires an enormous red Cero at him, forcing Ichigo to block it with his Zanpakutō held over his head. Forced back by the resulting shockwave, Uryū stares closely at Ichigo's Zanpakutō and wonders where this powerful Reiatsu he is sensing is coming from. While Ichigo struggles to withstand the Cero, Uryū realizes that his power is increasing and recalls Ichigo theorizing that it is always at maximum level.


The Menos Grande is scarred by Ichigo's attack.

Uryū concludes that this is not possible because always having one's Reiryoku output at maximum would invariably result in it running out regardless of size, which means that Ichigo must have an immense amount of Reiryoku available if his unconscious output is so high, and details how most people would quickly turn off a faucet if it were spewing a large amount of water after they turned it on before wondering what will happen if Ichigo's Reiryoku is always at its minimum and were suddenly let loose. As Urahara notes that it is about time, a roaring Ichigo pushes through the Cero and slashes at the Menos Grande, resulting in a massive cut spanning the height of its entire body.


The Menos Grande retreats into the Kūmon.

With those watching shocked by this, a massive shockwave emanates from Ichigo as the Menos Grande rears back before pulling the Kūmon around itself, leading Rukia and Uryū to realize that it is retreating. Seeing this, Ichigo turns around and forms the peace symbol with his hand as he sticks it in the air and declares victory. While Uryū wonders just what Ichigo is, Tessai expresses admiration of his power and observes that this must be why Urahara is interested in him. Ichigo stands in front of Uryū and demands that the latter thank him for saving his life, only to suddenly collapse as he realizes that he no longer has any strength left in his body.


Uryū begins to fire Heilig Pfeil in order to stabilize Ichigo.

However, those present are shocked when Ichigo's Zanpakutō begins glowing brightly and distorting, leading Uryū to realize that it is losing its integrity as Rukia explains that this is the result of Ichigo releasing so much power at once before asserting that his spiritual body will not survive at this rate. Declaring that he must do something, Uryū steps on top of an agonized Ichigo's Zanpakutō, causing his Kojaku to flare up to an even larger size than before as several cuts appear on his arm. Despite the pain, Uryū manages to fire a giant Heilig Pfeil up into the air and mentally details how he will stabilize Ichigo by releasing the power he cannot control.


Uryū falls to his knees as he asks Sōken to forgive him for intentionally ignoring his wishes.

Looking up to see Uryū continuing to fire Heilig Pfeil into the air, Ichigo demands to know what he is doing and observes that Uryū's hand is tearing apart, but Uryū tells him to shut up and reminds Ichigo of their plan to stay alive so they can beat each other up later before ordering Ichigo to stay alive so this can happen. As he continues to fire off Heilig Pfeil, Uryū mentally asks Sōken to forgive him for looking away from Uryū's own failure to save him by hating Shinigami while recalling the time he spent with his master as a child. Declaring that he will save a Shinigami today, Uryū falls to his knees as Ichigo stabilizes and asks Sōken if he can forgive him as he addresses him as his grandfather, which leads Ichigo to admit that he cannot beat up a man who looks so sad.

Next Episode Preview

Kon asks the audience how they are doing and introduces himself as the superstar of Bleach before revealing that he will be starting his own segment soon that will shock even Soul Society. As Kon declares that Kon-sama's Ultimate Shinigami Illustrated Guide will begin soon and tells the audience to stay tuned, Ichigo Kurosaki pulls him off-screen while asserting that he has never heard of such a thing.

Characters in Order of Appearance


Powers and Techniques Used

Hakuda techniques:

Hohō techniques:


Hollow techniques:

  • Kūmon (空門, Air Gate)
  • Cero (虚閃 (セロ), Sero; Spanish for "Zero", Japanese for "Hollow Flash")

Spirit Weapons:

Other weapons:


Flower and HollowKon's Great Plan
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