Desperation! The Broken Zangetsu
Kanji 絶対絶命! 折られた斬月
Romanji Zettaizetsumei! Orareta Zangetsu
Episode Number 38
Manga Chapters Chapter 108, Chapter 109, Chapter 110
Arc Soul Society: The Sneak Entry arc
Previous Episode Motive of the Fist
Next Episode The Immortal Man
Japanese June 28, 2005
English June 24, 2007
Theme Music
Opening D-tecnoLife
Ending Houkiboshi
Episode 38 Screenshots

Desperation! The Broken Zangetsu is the thirty-eighth episode of the Bleach anime.

As the Gotei 13 continue to deal with Captain Sōsuke Aizen's death, Ichigo Kurosaki continues his battle with Captain Kenpachi Zaraki.


Yasutora Sado stands in the crater left behind from his attacks. Captain Shunsui Kyōraku asks why he is so intent on passing by, and Sado explains that he wishes to save Rukia Kuchiki. Kyōraku finds this odd, but Sado explains that what's important to Ichigo is important to him. Kyōraku realizes he can't convince Sado to go home, so he draws his dual-sword Zanpakutō. Sado attacks, destroying the building behind. Kyōraku easily jumps by Sado, cutting him down as Sado's attack demolishes a nearby building. Lieutenant Nanao Ise appears unharmed by the blast, watching the fight solemnly. A Onmitsukidō soldier then arrives with important news.

Ichigo is still running from Kenpachi, but is cut off. He parries and runs away as Kenpachi mocks him. Rukia stands silently toward the window, trying to find out what's going on outside, and Ichigo continues running. He remembers his first cut on Kenpachi and the failure it ended in. Ichigo grasps his wounded hand and tells himself to calm down. He sees the wall crack. Thinking it to be Kenpachi, he readies. Kenpachi indeed bursts through the wall, still telling Ichigo to stop running. Ichigo clashes with the captain, who blocks all the attacks with no effort. Ichigo is winded, but Kenpachi is still fine. The two clash as Lieutenant Yachiru Kusajishi watches safely from above. Ichigo lands a hit to no avail and runs again. Pausing to catch his breath, he still tries to figure out why his hits don't work. He tries to bring his fear under control, and with a new found resolve, he plots to attack. Suddenly, however, he feels Sado's Reiatsu disappear.


Shunsui stops Nanao from finishing off Sado.

Kyōraku stands over Sado's bleeding body, marveling at Sado's strength. Nanao approaches worriedly, announces Aizen's death, and she elaborates that it was a murder. The two Shinigami take their leave. Ichigo tries unsuccessfully to call out to Sado, until he feels a small trace of Reiatsu coming from Sado. Nanao also notes that Sado is alive and offers the final blow. Kyōraku tells her girls shouldn't fight and she argues that the Ryoka probably killed Aizen. Kyōraku says it's only a possibility. He instead orders Sado to be arrested and the Rescue Squad to be called.

Assured of Sado's safety, Ichigo decides that everyone is counting on him and he must fight on. Kenpachi arrives right on cue, asking if Ichigo is done running. Ichigo attacks, delivering a blow on Kenpachi, finally wounding him Kenpachi seems quite pleased at this, as does Yachiru. Kenpachi attacks, and is blocked.


Unohana confirms Aizen's death.

Elsewhere, Aizen's body lies on a table, surrounded by Captain Sajin Komamura and Captain Kaname Tōsen, as Captain Retsu Unohana confirms his death. Captain Tōsen asks if maybe it was a faux body, but she says she's already disproved it. She dismisses the two captains. As they leave, they are met by their lieutenants, who ask for Aizen's condition. They confirm Aizen's death, and Tōsen decides it is time for him to fight the Ryoka. He express his distaste for battle, but leaves to join the fight anyways.


Kenpachi cuts through Ichigo's Zanpakutō.

Back to Ichigo and Kenpachi, it seems Ichigo's zeal has not deteriorated. After a small acrobatic feat, Kenpachi vanishes only to resurface behind Ichigo. Ichigo hears the bells on Zaraki's head and blocks. Kenpachi notes how he wears his bells and eye-patch in order to make fighting more fun for him. Ichigo asks why he hasn't released his Zanpakutō, but Kenpachi simply says that his sword has no name, so it's already released. He also mentions that due to his vast Reiatsu, he couldn't keep his Zanpakutō sealed if he tried. Ichigo says it's a relief that his sword won't get stronger, but Kenpachi attacks and says that Ichigo's wrong and that he can get stronger. His Zanpakutō then easily cuts through Zangetsu and cuts Ichigo. He rebukes Ichigo's temporary lack of guard. Zangetsu splits in two and Ichigo collapses. After a short eulogy, Kenpachi turns to leave, but Ichigo's resolve prompts Zangetsu to take a human-like form, stopping time and approaching Ichigo.

Kon-sama's Ultimate Shinigami Illustrated Guide

The featured character is Yasochika Iemura.

Characters in Order of Appearance

  1. Nanao Ise
  2. Onmitsukidō Agent
  3. Ichigo Kurosaki
  4. Kenpachi Zaraki
  5. Rukia Kuchiki
  6. Yachiru Kusajishi
  7. Shunsui Kyōraku
  8. Yasutora Sado
  9. Orihime Inoue (flashback)
  10. Uryū Ishida (flashback)
  11. Ganju Shiba (flashback)
  12. Hanatarō Yamada (flashback)
  13. Yoruichi Shihōin (flashback)
  14. Sōsuke Aizen
  15. Kaname Tōsen
  16. Sajin Komamura
  17. Retsu Unohana
  18. Shūhei Hisagi
  19. Tetsuzaemon Iba
  20. Zangetsu


Powers and Techniques Used

Techniques Used:


Motive of the FistThe Immortal Man
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