Formation! The Worst Tag
Kanji 結成! 最悪のタッグ
Romanji Kessei! Saiaku no taggu
Episode Number 26
Manga Chapters Chapter 85, Chapter 86, Chapter 87
Arc Soul Society: The Sneak Entry arc
Previous Episode Penetrate the Center with an Enormous Bombshell?
Next Episode Release the Death Blow!
Japanese April 5, 2005
English March 10, 2007
Theme Music
Opening D-tecnoLife
Ending Houkiboshi
Episode 26 Screenshots

Formation! The Worst Tag is the twenty-sixth episode of the Bleach anime.

The group is forcibly separated throughout Seireitei and put into different situations.


The 5-man-1-cat team has been split into 4: Yasutora Sado; Uryū Ishida and Orihime Inoue; Ganju Shiba and Ichigo Kurosaki; and Yoruichi Shihōin. Sado readies his arm, Orihime calls on the Shun Shun Rikka, and Ganju resorts to his sand technique. Ganju and Ichigo land in a sandpit, and they and the others all land safely. Ichigo comments that they are safe thanks to the spell, but Ganju continues to cough out sand, prompting Ichigo to kick him and tell him not to choke on his own spell anymore. Ganju grabs Ichigo's lapels and they start a small quarrel as usual, but are interrupted by the arrival of two Shinigami on the roof behind them. One, a bald Shinigami holding his Zanpakutō over his shoulder, says that he’s lucky today. They jump down and he says that he was slacking off in a corner as he was finding it a hassle having to go to his post, then right before his eyes comes the reward. He starts doing a little dance, saying that luck is on his side today.

Another group of Shinigami are running towards one of the Ryoka falling from the sky, and they are led by a yellow-haired lieutenant. As the Ryoka nears, it suddenly disappears and they start searching. The one had been Yoruichi, who now stands on a nearby roof, saying that he’s on its own, which might be a good thing in the end.


Orihime lies injured, being attended to by Uryū.

Orihime, her arm bandaged, lies on the floor, dreaming about Ichigo. Uryū watches as she suddenly wakes, sitting up and hitting him squarely on the jaw with her head. Standing abruptly and feeling the pain in her arm, she puts a hand on it and turns to see Uryū blushing and saying that he is okay. He says that they were lucky to fall where no one was around and Orihime claps her hands together, suddenly feeling the pain in her arm once more. Uryū tells her that she got hurt from the impact of the fall, but holding up a first aid kit, says that he was able to give first aid with the bandages on hand. Orihime thanks him, standing and saying that she’s fine. Uryū apologizes, saying that she was trying to protect him and hence had gotten hurt. If he hadn't been there, she most likely would have escaped unscathed. Orihime replies that she’s such a dunce that either way, she’d still have gotten hurt and if it weren't for him and his first aid, she’d have bled and bled and would have become anemic. Uryū pushes up his glasses and says that they’d better move off, as they had made quite a lot of noise and someone was sure to come. Sure enough, someone has, but as they run off, the Shinigami gives no chase.

The bald Shinigami whom Ichigo and Ganju met does another little dance, singing and tiptoeing across the floor. Finishing with a flip over his Zanpakutō and a nice pose showing off his shiny bald head, he demands to know why Ichigo and Ganju hadn't gotten out of their sandpit while he was doing his “tsuki-tsuki dance”, and a little cabbage butterfly flutters past their bored faces. Ganju wants to take this opportunity to run away, but Ichigo does not want to, despite Ganju saying that those two Shinigami Reiatsu are nothing like ordinary weakling Shinigami. The bald guy interrupts them again, and the other Shinigami, says that they must be so scared of them. The bald one tells them to take their time arguing, but the other says that if they wait too long, others might come and steal their reward from under them. Acknowledging this, the bald one says that he will set a time limit for them – he’ll do one more dance so they can take their time to decide. Ganju still wants to run and tells Ichigo that if he wants to fight, do it alone and he runs off. The bald Shinigami asks Ichigo if they've split up, and when Ichigo says that it seems so, he asks them not to waste his time, and sends his partner, 5th Seat Yumichika Ayasegawa, after Ganju. Ganju, running as fast as he can, sees Yumichika chasing after him and says that he knew one of them was sure to follow him.

Ichigo jumps out of the pit and the bald guy asks him why he didn't run along with Ganju, who had sensed that their Reiatsu had been greater than his. Ichigo replies that if his spirit power was more than his own, then it’d be pointless to run, he’d be caught for sure. On the other hand, if his own spirit power is greater than his opponent, then he’ll just have to beat him and move on. The bald guy comments that Ichigo isn't stupid, then after a while of staring at each other, draws his Zanpakutō and with amazing speed and brings it down on Ichigo, who jumps up in time to dodge it. Ichigo grabs his sword and charges at the bald guy, who comments that the former handles himself well, and blocks with his scabbard. Using his other hand that holds his Zanpakutō, he tries to attack Ichigo, but Ichigo dodges. The two fight and simultaneously injure each other's forehead. The baldie asks for Ichigo's name, and Ichigo tells him. The bald guy comments that the name “Ichigo” is a good name and Ichigo says that is the first time someone has complimented his name. The bald guy says that men with “ichi” in their names are said to be handsome men bursting with talent. He introduces himself as the 11th Division's 3rd-Seat, Ikkaku Madarame, and says that as two “ichi” men they should be friends (“Ikkaku” begins with the same kanji character as "Ichigo"), but Ichigo says he doesn't think so.

Meanwhile, Ganju is running and panting, Yumichika hot on his heels. While running, Yumichika comments that Ganju has an ugly running style and tells him to look ahead. Ganju does so, and sees a dead end, just in time for him to use his Seppa to escape through the wall. Yumichika says that he uses such a strange ability, adding that it must have been Ganju who created the sandpit earlier. He jumps through the hole to continue his chase. Another wall blocks Ganju's path, but he does the same as he did with the previous wall, leaping through the hole and continuing on. Yumichika doesn't bother to follow, smiling and remarking on what is beyond the wall. Ganju almost falls into what seems to be a very deep pit with steep sides. As he wonders what this pit is, Yumichika appears behind him and tells him that it is the old execution grounds, where they used to release Hollows brought back alive and criminals to fight while the rest of them watched from the raised platforms on either side. Ganju remarks that Shinigami have rather disgusting habits, but Yumichika says that none of those habits are as disgusting as his face. Ganju adds that Shinigami's are such a pity, but Yumichika pretends to have heard that as “pretty”, saying that Ganju, too, understands the graceful features and utter magnificence that is he. Ganju mutters that he said “pity” and not “pretty”, Yumichika replies that he knew that, it was a joke, full of humor and wit. In any case, that disgusting custom is no longer practiced, but any who fall inside cannot climb back out.

Yumichika draws his Zanpakutō, asking Ganju to make a choice: to die here by his blade, or to fall in the pit and die like a dog. However, if he’s going to vacillate, please turn this way and show him his face, as he cannot resist faces inundated with this kind of life-or-death decisions. Ganju turns his head and says that he really does have disgusting habits.


Ikkaku releases his Zanpakutō to take on Ichigo.

Ichigo wipes the blood on his eye, and Ikkaku says that he doesn't get it. There might be a big distance between them, but Ichigo's taking a hand off his sword's hilt during a face-off is amateurish behavior. Ichigo snaps that he was merely trying to wipe off the blood on his eye that was blocking his vision and Ikkaku calmly replies that forehead wounds bleed a lot even if they’re shallow. He pulls off the bottom of his sword's hilt as Ichigo's wound lets out a downpour of blood. He puts a finger in the hilt and wipes that finger, applying its hidden ointment to his wound, saying that if he’s not going to stop the bleeding, then there’s no point in wiping. Ichigo shouts that Ikkaku is cheating by bringing his own medicine, but Ikkaku says that he’s simply being prepared, and Ichigo should be more impressed. However, Ikkaku points out that despite acting like a total amateur and not looking like a fighter, Ichigo's reaction time is first-class, his hits are violently strong, and his agility is about the same as his own. He asks who Ichigo's master is and when he hears that Ichigo, although only for 10 days, had learned from Kisuke Urahara, an image of Urahara, hat-less and wearing Shinigami clothes complete with a haori (what the captains wear) pops up in his mind. He says in that case, killing Ichigo without going all out would be seriously rude. Ikkaku releases his Zanpakutō into a Japanese spear. Ikkaku attacks Ichigo, who blocks each attack. Ichigo harrumphs, saying that he knows and will not misjudge that a spear’s range is longer. Ikkaku grins and says that that’s not it, spinning Hōzukimaru in his hand and holding it up. Ichigo seizes the opportunity, launching himself at Ikkaku. However, Ikkaku reveals Hōzukimaru is not a spear, but is a three-part-pole.


Ganju surprises Yumichika using Kidō Cannon Orb.

Yumichika asks Ganju once more to turn and face him to let him see his face in his last moment, as each time he sees such a face, his beauty is polished more. He suddenly spots sand drizzling out of Ganju's clenched fist, but before he can react, Ganju has flung sand into his eyes and made the ground below the two of them into sand. Yumichika jumps up to the side platforms in time, but Ganju begins to fall into the pit. Yumichika laughs and hops back down as he sees Ganju slipping away into the darkness, saying that he is so unsightly, he never thought there were really people living up to the saying “digging one’s own grave”. Suddenly, a blue light illuminates Yumichika's face and opening his eyes, he sees Ganju in a cannonball, which Yumichika's Zanpakutō cannot pierce, holding onto the spirit orb and saying how lucky he was to have brought a spare. He explains that this is a special cannonball, which couldn't be broken by any Zanpakutō with just a tap or two. Yumichika, however, says that Ganju has underestimated him, adding that he is the 5th-Seat of the strongest division, the 11th Division, and he releases his Zanpakutō saying that he'll smash that spirit barrier in a single attack. With a flick of the wrist Yumichika separates his Zanpakutō into 4 sickles in a fan-like manner and stabs the cannonball, successfully penetrating it.

Ganju laughs and reveals that if the cannonball is broken it will explode and suddenly, the cannonball starts to crack and in a sizable explosion Ganju is thrown across to the other side of the pit. Yumichika, dusting his clothes, says that there is no way he could be beat by that and it seems that Ganju seriously wants to anger him. Ganju goads Yumichika by saying he can’t hear him and turning the wall into sand so he can get through, and Yumichika says that he is just ugly, too ugly.

Ichigo's arm is all bloody and Ikkaku withdraws his blade, resting it over his shoulders as he tells Ichigo that was what he meant by “don’t misjudge”. He asks Ichigo if it hurts, mentioning that he probably will be unable to hold his Zanpakutō properly now. He adds that he is a kind-hearted guy, who would have captured Ichigo alive at this point were it not for the fact that a reward only comes if he kills the target. Ichigo has finished bandaging his arm with the excess bandage on his sword, and runs once more at Ikkaku, who steps aside, allowing the wall next to him to be destroyed. Ikkaku rolls away as Ichigo asks him not to talk like this is over, as he still hasn't shown off his true skills. It's just the beginning.

Kon-sama's Ultimate Shinigami Illustrated Guide

The featured character is Izuru Kira.

Characters in order of appearance

  1. Yasutora Sado
  2. Orihime Inoue
  3. Uryū Ishida
  4. Yoruichi Shihōin
  5. Ichigo Kurosaki
  6. Ganju Shiba
  7. Ikkaku Madarame
  8. Yumichika Ayasegawa
  9. Izuru Kira


Powers and Techniques used

Techniques Used:

Fullbring Used:

  • Right Arm First Form (巨人の右腕 (ブラソ・デレチャ・デ・ヒガンテ), buraso derecha de higante; Spanish and Japanese for "Right Arm of the Giant")

Zanpakutō Released:


Other Powers:

  • Shun Shun Rikka (盾舜六花, Six Flowers of the Hibiscus Shield; Six Princess Shielding Flowers in the English anime)


Penetrate the Center with an Enormous Bombshell?Release the Death Blow!
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