Byakuya, Disappearing with the Cherry Blossoms
Kanji 白哉、桜と共に消ゆ
Romanji Byakuya, sakura totomo ni shō yu
Episode Number 231
Manga Chapters None
Arc Zanpakutō Unknown Tales arc
Previous Episode A New Enemy! The Materialization of Zanpakutō
Next Episode Sode no Shirayuki vs. Rukia! Delusion of the Heart
Japanese August 4, 2009
English November 20, 2011
Theme Music
Opening Shōjo S
Ending Mad Surfer
Episode 231 Screenshots

Byakuya, Disappearing with the Cherry Blossoms is the two hundred and thirty-first episode of the Bleach anime.

Ichigo Kurosaki battles against the manifested Zanpakutō Spirit of Sode no Shirayuki, who arrives in the Human World while chasing Rukia Kuchiki.


231Ichigo lands

Ichigo moves to a riverbank with Shunpo.

In Karakura Town, Ichigo Kurosaki leaps into the air while in his Shinigami form before sensing a large amount of Reiatsu. Wondering who it belongs to, Ichigo lands on top of a telephone pole and leaps off before moving to a riverbank with Shunpo.

231Senkaimon appears

A Senkaimon appears above Ichigo.

Ichigo moves to the other side of the river with Shunpo before sensing the Reiatsu once more as a Senkaimon appears above him and opens. Rukia Kuchiki emerges, prompting Ichigo to call out to her, and falls to the ground below as the Senkaimon closes and vanishes.


Ichigo catches Rukia.

Catching Rukia, Ichigo kneels and asks her if she is okay before demanding to know who did this to her. Rukia opens her eyes and states it is good to see Ichigo before claiming there is no need to worry. When Rukia grunts in pain, Ichigo asks her how he could not worry when she has been injured so badly. As Ichigo asks Rukia about who did this to her again, he senses the Reiatsu once more as a bright light shines behind him. Ichigo moves away with Shunpo as another Senkaimon appears. As mist covers the ground, Sode no Shirayuki emerges from the Senkaimon, which vanishes.

231Grass freezes

The grass around Sode no Shirayuki freezes.

As Sode no Shirayuki sets foot on the ground, the grass around her freezes in an expanding circle. Upon seeing the circle of ice approaching him, Ichigo moves to a nearby hill and sets Rukia down while wondering who Sode no Shirayuki is. Ichigo wonders if she is a Hollow before noting she does not have a mask or Hollow hole as Sode no Shirayuki turns and states that Ichigo is Karakura Town's resident Shinigami. When Sode no Shirayuki asks him if this is correct, Ichigo gets up and demands to know who she is, prompting Sode no Shirayuki to snort in derision before sending a wave of ice toward Ichigo.

231Getsuga Tensho travels

The Getsuga Tenshō travels towards Sode no Shirayuki.

Ichigo draws Zangetsu and fires a Getsuga Tenshō, which obliterates the ice and travels toward Sode no Shirayuki, who moves away before it hits her. As the Getsuga Tenshō crashes into the ground, Ichigo looks at the bridge, which Sode no Shirayuki is standing on top of. When Sode no Shirayuki says she will take Rukia now, Ichigo expresses confusion and looks at Rukia, who is sweating, before turning to Sode no Shirayuki. Stating he does not know who Sode no Shirayuki is, Ichigo proclaims she is not going to take Rukia. Sode no Shirayuki states that she sees now and moves to Ichigo.


Ichigo moves away as the pillar of ice shatters.

When Sode no Shirayuki says he is the Substitute Shinigami, Ichigo leaps away and lands before asking Sode no Shirayuki how she knows him. Drawing her sword, Sode no Shirayuki uses Some no mai, Tsukishiro, causing a circle of ice to form on the ground around Ichigo. Ichigo moves away with Shunpo as a pillar of ice forms and shatters. As Ichigo recognizes the attack, Sode no Shirayuki uses Tsugi no mai, Hakuren, sending a wave of ice from the tip of her blade towards Ichigo. Cursing, Ichigo fires another Getsuga Tenshō, which cancels out with the wave of ice.

231Sode no Shirayuki shatters

Sode no Shirayuki shatters into ice.

Appearing in front of Sode no Shirayuki, Ichigo slashes at her, only for his blade to sink into the ground as Sode no Shirayuki shatters into ice. A smiling Sode no Shirayuki appear behind Ichigo, who turns and demands to know who she is before proclaiming that Some no mai, Tsukishiro and Tsugi no mai, Hakuren are Rukia's techniques. Confirming this, Sode no Shirayuki says this makes them her techniques as well. As Ichigo expresses confusion, Sode no Shirayuki puts her hand up to her face and uses Icy Wind, prompting Ichigo to shield himself from the cold gust of wind.

231Kon states

Kon states he hopes Rukia is okay.

As the wind dies down, Ichigo sees Sode no Shirayuki standing within a Senkaimon and tells her to wait, only for the doors to close as the Senkaimon vanishes. Cursing, Ichigo runs over to Rukia and acknowledges that she is badly hurt before asking her who Sode no Shirayuki was. Rukia looks at Ichigo with one eye closed and reveals Sode no Shirayuki's identity as the spirit of her Zanpakutō, shocking Ichigo, before falling unconscious as Ichigo yells her name. Later, at the Urahara Shop, Kurōdo gives Ichigo some tea before hopping off of the table as Kon states he hopes Rukia is okay.

231Urahara reveals

Urahara reveals he sent Yoruichi to Soul Society.

Kurōdo says there is no need to worry because Orihime Inoue is tending to her, prompting Noba to state this is encouraging. When Yasutora Sado wonders what happened, Uryū Ishida says Rukia revealed the woman who confronted her was Sode no Shirayuki. Confirming this, Ichigo states a Zanpakutō Spirit taking on a physical form and attacking its master sounds unbelievable. Kisuke Urahara notes this is interesting and reveals he sent Yoruichi Shihōin to Soul Society to investigate before stating they should talk to Rukia before they decide what to do.

231Ririn kicks

Ririn kicks Kon in the face.

Hearing the door open, Urahara looks to the side to see Ririn, who reveals Rukia has regained consciousness. In Rukia's room, a sobbing Kon lies on top of Rukia and proclaims he has been worried about her. When Rukia tells him to not worry and says she will be alright, Kon begins to tell her how he felt before being kicked in the face and sent flying away by Ririn, who demands to know if he did not hear Rukia say she is alright before proclaiming that Kon should have more faith in Orihime as Urahara asks Rukia if she can give them more details about what happened.


Orihime helps Rukia sit up as the latter prepares to tell the others what happened.

As Orihime helps her sit up, Rukia states she felt like she was in a nightmare before recalling the events in Soul Society. In the past, Muramasa wipes the blood from his face and reveals his name before claiming that this night marks the end of the reign of the Shinigami over the Zanpakutō Spirits. Proclaiming that the Zanpakutō Spirits shall rule over the Shinigami from now on, Muramasa manifests a sword in his outstretched hand and spins it to point downward before stabbing it into the ground, causing lines of blue Reiatsu to radiate outward from the blade as the ground is sliced into square columns, which begin to rise.

231Shunsui asks

Shunsui asks Muramasa where Yamamoto is after Muramasa proclaims the Zanpakutō Spirits shall rule over the Shinigami.

The dust clears as the Zanpakutō Spirits stand on the newly-created columns of earth. As the Shinigami present look on, 13th Division Captain Jūshirō Ukitake expresses disbelief at Muramasa's statement of the Zanpakutō Spirits ruling over the Shinigami. Confirming what he said, Muramasa reveals the Zanpakutō Spirits of every Shinigami present have been freed from their control. When 6th Division Lieutenant Renji Abarai tries and fails to release his Zanpakutō, Zabimaru, the Zanpakutō Spirits laugh derisively. 8th Division Captain Shunsui Kyōraku walks forward while stating this Zanpakutō news is important before asking Muramasa where Captain-Commander Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto is, for he is the one who called for this meeting.

231Shinigami learn

The Shinigami learn of Yamamoto being sealed away.

When Shunsui asks Muramasa if he knows where Yamamoto is, Muramasa reveals Yamamoto has been sealed away, shocking the Shinigami present. Revealing Ryūjin Jakka refused to cooperate with the other Zanpakutō Spirits when they approached it, Muramasa explains how they called upon Katen Kyōkotsu, Sōgyo no Kotowari, and Minazuki, who combined their Reiryoku to seal Yamamoto away, prompting Ukitake to express anger at this. 4th Division Lieutenant Isane Kotetsu turns to her captain, Retsu Unohana, and expresses concern.

231Hyorinmaru blocks

Hyōrinmaru appears before Ikkaku and blocks his attack.

As 2nd Division Captain Suì-Fēng expresses disbelief at the Zanpakutō Spirits being able to seal away Yamamoto and wonders if it is even possible, 12th Division Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi proclaims this is very interesting. Shunsui asks Muramasa if he expects them to believe this, only for Muramasa to say it is the truth regardless of whether or not they believe it. Running up, 11th Division 3rd Seat Ikkaku Madarame leaps into the air and attacks Muramasa, but Hyōrinmaru appears before him and blocks his attack. As Renji calls out to him, Ikkaku states they have heard enough from Muramasa.

231Shunsui says

Shunsui decides it is time to begin their attack after Ikkaku's initial strike.

Ikkaku proclaims that the time for listening to what Muramasa has to say is over as Ukitake puts his hand on his Zanpakutō and calls out to Shunsui, who says it is time. As Suì-Fēng and her lieutenant, Marechiyo Ōmaeda, run forward with their blades drawn, 10th Division Captain Tōshirō Hitsugaya, his lieutenant, Rangiku Matsumoto, and 3rd Division Lieutenant Izuru Kira move away with Shunpo. Leaping forward, Renji attacks Tenken, who nonchalantly blocks Renji's strike before pushing him to the side. As Rukia and 5th Division Lieutenant Momo Hinamori appear on either side of him, Tenken spins his flaming bolas and knocks them away.

231Hitsugaya and Senbonzakura clash

Hitsugaya and Senbonzakura clash in midair.

Clashing in midair, Hitsugaya and Senbonzakura separate as Rangiku watches from below and attempts to run to Hitsugaya, only to be intercepted by Suzumebachi, who smiles. Meanwhile, Unohana tells Isane to tend to the injured 1st Division Lieutenant Chōjirō Sasakibe. Lifting his injured captain, Sajin Komamura, 7th Division Lieutenant Tetsuzaemon Iba expresses surprise when 9th Division Lieutenant Shūhei Hisagi grabs Komamura's other arm and proclaims he will help Iba. Laughing manically, Kazeshini falls towards them before being attacked and pushed away by Suì-Fēng.

231Hihio Zabimaru prepares

Hihiō Zabimaru prepares to fire Hikōtsu Taihō.

As Kazeshini laughs, Ukitake tells Shunsui to retreat as the latter appears along with his lieutenant, Nanao Ise, and states this sounds like a good idea. A baby's scream is heard as Konjiki Ashisogi Jizō appears above the Zanpakutō Spirits. Saying this is an amazing sight, Mayuri notes it is about to release poison, prompting Shunsui to tell everyone to run away. As Muramasa states it is no use, Hihiō Zabimaru appears from behind him and fires Hikōtsu Taihō. A bright blue column of energy extends into the sky from Sōkyoku Hill as several Shinigami watch from around the Seireitei.

231Hozukimaru wonders

Hōzukimaru wonders where the captains are.

One of the Shinigami wonders what is going on as an explosion engulfs him and the other nearby Shinigami. As a nearby building burns, Hōzukimaru lands on top of it and wonders where the captains are, for he wishes to fight them. Another Shinigami is engulfed by an explosion as Tobiume soars through the air and throws more fireballs at nearby buildings. Saying there is nowhere for the Shinigami to run, Tobiume lands and throws another fireball at a group of Shinigami. Elsewhere, Gegetsuburi swings Gegetsuburi over his head before knocking several Shinigami away with it.

231Kazeshini laughs

Kazeshini laughs maniacally after confronting Rukia and Renji.

Meanwhile, as Rukia and Renji run through the Seireitei, Renji curses and states the Zanpakutō Spirits are destroying everything. When Rukia asks Renji if he believes everyone was able to escape, he confirms this and says there is no need to worry about the captains. A portion of the building next to them explodes as Gonryōmaru emerges from the smoke and stands in front of them. When Kazeshini appears behind them and laughs, Rukia and Renji draw their blades as Renji asks Rukia how her Zanpakutō is. Rukia reveals she cannot use her Shikai before stating that they are coming.

231Gonryomaru appears

Gonryōmaru appears behind Rukia in midair.

As he and Gonryōmaru leap toward Rukia and Renji, Kazeshini leans in towards Rukia and chuckles before moving away as Gonryōmaru generates electricity along his pike and surrounds Rukia and Renji with lightning, prompting them to leap into the air. However, Gonryōmaru appears behind Rukia in midair before stabbing at her. Meanwhile, Renji clashes several times with Kazeshini, who spins towards him before striking at him. Blocking the attack, Renji expresses concern for Rukia, who lands on a nearby roof as Gonryōmaru leaps into the air and prepares to attack her.

231Gonryomaru is immobilized

Gonryōmaru is immobilized by Bakudō #61. Rikujōkōrō.

Extending his arm and pointing at Gonryōmaru, 6th Division Captain Byakuya Kuchiki uses Bakudō #61. Rikujōkōrō, immobilizing Gonryōmaru in midair with six yellow spiritual bands. Seeing this, Rukia looks towards Byakuya, who stands on top of a nearby tower, and calls out to him. Renji calls out to Rukia and asks her if she is alright before calling out to Byakuya. Looking at them, Byakuya tells them to stay alert as Muramasa states he is right. As Rukia and Renji turn to face him in surprise, Muramasa admits the captains are very impressive.

231Senbonzakura draws

Senbonzakura draws his sword upon seeing Byakuya.

Muramasa stands beside Senbonzakura on top of a nearby building and Muramasa states the captains possess the strength to control powerful Zanpakutō Spirits. Senbonzakura steps forward and draws his sword, which glows pink before assuming its normal appearance. As Byakuya and Senbonzakura look at each other, Rukia tells Renji to be careful. When Senbonzakura reveals his identity as Byakuya's Zanpakutō Spirit, Byakuya tells Rukia and Renji to leave. Rukia begins to protest, but Byakuya puts his hand on his Zanpakutō and says he will not repeat himself.

231Byakuya knocks

Byakuya knocks Senbonzakura away with a powerful strike.

Moving away with Shunpo, Byakuya appears in front of Senbonzakura and slashes at him. Senbonzakura blocks before jumping away as Byakuya leaps after him. As they clash several times in midair, Byakuya knocks Senbonzakura away with a powerful strike, prompting Senbonzakura to land on a nearby roof as Byakuya moves to him. Senbonzakura and Byakuya cross swords as Senbonzakura states Byakuya is an experienced fighter before proclaiming that Byakuya should know it is hopeless to challenge Senbonzakura's thousands of blades with one sword.

231Byakuya expresses

Byakuya expresses surprise at Senbonzakura releasing his Zanpakutō.

Senbonzakura's sword separates into blade petals, prompting Byakuya to express surprise before moving away with Shunpo. As Byakuya lands on another roof and leaps away, Senbonzakura sends the blade petals after him while proclaiming that he cannot escape. Byakuya lands on another roof and jumps away, only for the stream of blade petals to rebound off of the roof before surging after him. Leaping into the air, Senbonzakura proclaims it is useless and sends the blade petals after Byakuya, who is engulfed by the petals. As Rukia calls out to Byakuya, the blade petals crash into a nearby building, destroying it.

231Sode no Shirayuki attacks

Sode no Shirayuki confronts Rukia and Renji.

When Rukia attempts to move to the destroyed building, Renji grabs her arm and tells her to stop. Rukia tells him to let go, but Renji says Byakuya can handle this himself before telling Rukia to look at who has arrived. Looking up, Rukia sees Sode no Shirayuki standing at the other end of the roof. As Rukia recognizes her, Sode no Shirayuki uses Tsugi no mai, Hakuren, enveloping the building in a wave of ice. In the present, Rukia reveals she and Renji were separated after this and she escaped to the Human World through a Senkaimon while fighting off Sode no Shirayuki.

231Sado asks

Sado asks Ichigo if his Zanpakutō, Zangetsu, has a spiritual true form as well.

Stating the Zanpakutō Spirits are resisting the will of their Shinigami and turning on them, Urahara says he has never heard of something like this occurring before and states something is odd because a Zanpakutō Spirit's true form exists within their Shinigami's inner world. When Uryū asks him what a Zanpakutō Spirit's true form is, Urahara explains how each Zanpakutō has a consciousness controlling its power, and this consciousness is its true form. Urahara reveals a Shinigami can draw power from their Zanpakutō by conversing with its true form, prompting Sado to ask Ichigo if Zangetsu has a true form as well.

231Yoruichi says

Yoruichi says she will tell Rukia about everything she saw.

When Ichigo confirms this, Urahara says Benihime possesses one as well. Ichigo asks Rukia if everyone in the Seireitei is alright, but Rukia shakes her head, only to be surprised when Yoruichi proclaims they are all fine. Leaning against the door, Yoruichi states the Gotei 13 have not been destroyed as Urahara greets her and expresses surprise at her returning so soon. Noba and Kurōdo set up a pillow as Rukia asks Yoruichi how Soul Society is doing and how Byakuya is. Telling Rukia to calm down, Yoruichi sits on the pillow and says she will tell Rukia about everything she saw in Soul Society.

231Yoruichi looks

Yoruichi looks over the heavily damaged Seireitei after being sent there by Urahara.

Yoruichi states the Seireitei was in a terrible state before explaining how she could see the damage which had been done and how the battle had ended because it was daytime. Revealing many buildings were demolished and many Shinigami were injured, Yoruichi says she traveled to the 4th Division's Sōgō Kyūgo Tsumesho because she wanted to find someone who could tell her what happened. In the past, Yoruichi looks over the heavily damaged Seireitei from the top of a damaged tower before moving away with Shunpo. In the present, Yoruichi reveals she found Unohana, Ukitake, and other Shinigami who had been staying at the 4th Division's barracks.

231Chojiro lies

An injured Chōjirō lies on a bed after the battle.

In the past, Yoruichi walks past several injured Shinigami lying on beds, among them Chōjirō. Later, she meets with Shunsui, Unohana, and Ukitake. When Yoruichi asks them if the renegade Zanpakutō Spirits caused all of this damage in a few hours and disappeared, Ukitake states they did so without a trace as Shunsui says many Shinigami were injured in the Seireitei and the Zanpakutō Spirits burned down many of their buildings, starting with the 1st Division's barracks. Looking up, Unohana states the only good news they have is of the Zanpakutō Spirits leaving the Sōgō Kyūgo Tsumesho untouched.

231Unohana states

Unohana states they must work together with Yamamoto missing.

Explaining how the barracks of the 2nd and 12th Divisions are also intact, Ukitake reveals Suì-Fēng and the rest of the Onmitsukidō have already left to track down the Zanpakutō Spirits. As Shunsui states Mayuri is currently investigating to figure out what is behind all of this, Ukitake says they will use the 4th Division's barracks as a command center for now before explaining how he will begin assigning all able-bodied Shinigami to security posts. Unohana agrees with this course of action before stating that they know they need to work together with Yamamoto missing.

231Shunsui says he will help

Shunsui says he will help with the security efforts as well.

As Ukitake agrees with Unohana's statement, Shunsui says he will help as well. Hopping down from the porch, Yoruichi begins to walk away and states she is going to return to the Human World before looking back and telling the captains that they must find out why the Zanpakutō Spirits are rebelling. When Yoruichi states she will talk with Urahara about this, Unohana says this is a good idea before stating that they need all of the help they can get. Smiling, Yoruichi says she will get to it. In the present, Kurōdo states this news cheered him up and that it appears the captains are okay.

231Urahara states

Urahara reveals several Shinigami are having trouble controlling their Zanpakutō.

Ririn says the Gotei 13 are under attack and are in terrible shape, Kurōdo states this is depressing, and Noba says there are many problems, which Kurōdo states is more depressing. When Urahara asks Ichigo if he has noticed any changes with his Zanpakutō, Ichigo states it has not changed at all. Expressing surprise, Urahara notes that they have numerous reports of Shinigami in Soul Society having trouble controlling their Zanpakutō before revealing he has not had any problems with Benihime, prompting Uryū to theorize the enemy's ability to exert control over Zanpakutō Spirits appear to only work in Soul Society and has no effect in the Human World.

231Rukia asks

Rukia asks Yoruichi about Byakuya's whereabouts and status after her report on Soul Society.

Wondering if the enemy's power is unable to reach the Human World or if there is another reason, Urahara states they will not know until they look deeper into all of this. When Yoruichi says she will return to Soul Society tomorrow morning, Urahara tells her to do so. Rukia asks Yoruichi about Byakuya, only for Yoruichi to reveal the Gotei 13 has determined the whereabouts of every captain, lieutenant, and seated officer except Byakuya. Recalling Byakuya being engulfed by the blade petals, Rukia states that she knew it, but Ichigo tells her to not worry and says Byakuya must be okay before asking her if she really believes they could take down someone as strong as he is.

231Noba, Kurodo, and Ririn fall

Noba, Kurōdo, and Ririn fall out of a portal on Ichigo's ceiling.

A smiling Rukia states they could never do so. Later, at the Kurosaki Clinic, Ichigo lies on his bed. As a portal appears on his ceiling, Ririn, Kurōdo, and Noba emerge from it as Kurōdo greets Ichigo. As they land on his bed, Ririn says there is bad news as Ichigo asks why they are here this late at night. Kurōdo states it is an emergency, Noba says there is a big problem, and Ririn reveals Rukia has disappeared, shocking Ichigo. Later, at the Urahara Shop, a crying Kon lies on Rukia's pillow as Urahara tells Ichigo that Rukia must have returned to Soul Society because it appears a Senkaimon has been opened.

231Kon cries

A crying Kon lies on Rukia's pillow after she leaves.

Wondering what Rukia thinks she is doing, Ichigo states Rukia knows she is too weak to return. When Kurōdo theorizes she was too worried about Byakuya to stay here, Noba notes she is tough. Ichigo tells Urahara to open a Senkaimon and says he will find Rukia, but Urahara tells him to think about this and states it is too dangerous to go there with the current situation before pointing out how they need to have more information. Proclaiming that they cannot wait around, Ichigo notes they may not have very much time. As Urahara states he would think twice, Yoruichi says he should let Ichigo leave.

231Yoruichi states

Yoruichi states she will be returning to Soul Society in a few hours.

Yoruichi points out how she will be returning to Soul Society in a few hours anyway before claiming she will get much more done if she has someone with her. Agreeing with this, Ichigo turns to Urahara and asks him once more. Conceding, Urahara states Ichigo can go because Urahara cannot stop him. In Urahara's underground training area, Urahara says he will do whatever he can to help them from here before asking Ichigo to not rush into dangerous situations. As Ichigo states he understands, Yoruichi says they will go and walks away as Ichigo tells Rukia to stay calm and not do anything reckless.

Arrancar Encyclopedia

231Gin explains

Gin explains the names of the Resurreccións.

Gin Ichimaru explains the names of Mamut, Tigre Estoque, Cierva, Leona, and Anaconda and how to write them in kanji. Walking onscreen, Ichigo Kurosaki questions the purpose of the segment, prompting Gin to talk about how serious studio executives are about it and how difficult it is to run the segment before asking Ichigo if he can host it himself.

Characters in Order of Appearance


Powers and Techniques Used

Kidō used:

Techniques used:

Shinigami techniques used:

Zanpakutō released:



A New Enemy! The Materialization of ZanpakutōSode no Shirayuki vs. Rukia! Delusion of the Heart
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