Hitsugaya Howls!
Kanji 日番谷、吼える!
Romanji Hitsugaya, hoeru!
Episode Number 48
Manga Chapters Chapter 132, Chapter 133
Arc Soul Society: The Rescue arc
Previous Episode The Avengers
Next Episode Rukia's Nightmare
Japanese September 6, 2005
English September 8, 2007
Theme Music
Opening D-tecnoLife
Ending Happypeople
Episode 48 Screenshots

Hitsugaya Howls! is the forty-eighth episode of the Bleach anime.

10th Division Captain Tōshirō Hitsugaya battles 3rd Division Captain Gin Ichimaru.



Tōshirō Hitsugaya orders Izuru Kira to run away.

With 10th Division Captain Tōshirō Hitsugaya and his captain, Gin Ichimaru, staring each other down while exerting their Reiatsu and gripping their Zanpakutō, an intimidated 3rd Division Lieutenant Izuru Kira expresses concern for Gin, who instructs him to stay back if he does not want to die yet. However, Hitsugaya asserts that it is not enough to simply stay back and orders Izuru to run away even after he can no longer see them because he may die if he is within three ri of Hitsugaya.


Hitsugaya and Gin Ichimaru clash in midair.

Appearing in front of Gin with Shunpo, a yelling Hitsugaya brings his Zanpakutō down on him, creating a small explosion of force on impact as Gin leaps back next to Izuru. After catching up, Hitsugaya repeatedly slashes and stabs at Gin, who casually dodges each strike, and while Izuru braces himself against the resulting wind pressure from several feet away, Gin jumps high into the air, where Hitsugaya joins him and resumes his assault by bringing his Zanpakutō perpendicularly down onto Gin's while the latter blocks. As he clashes with Hitsugaya several times, Gin forces Hitsugaya's Zanpakutō to the side and sends him flying back with a slash of his own.


gin handsprings away from Hitsugaya after evading his slash.

Upon landing on the platform below, Hitsugaya leaps back to avoid Gin's stab at the area where his right foot was located, only to be distracted when Gin pulls his Zanpakutō up, causing shards of wood to fly at Hitsugaya's face. Gin declares that this is an opening and stabs his Zanpakutō forward, but Hitsugaya steps on top of it and forces the blade to the ground before slashing horizontally at Gin, who falls back to evade it at the last second, losing a small lock of hair in the process, and handsprings onto his feet to propel himself several feet away from Hitsugaya, where he lands and turns to face the latter while commending Hitsugaya's skill as reflecting his status as a rare prodigy.


Gin rapidly stabs at Hitsugaya with his Zanpakutō.

With Gin describing him as dangerous, Hitsugaya exerts his Reiatsu outward from him in several powerful, vertical waves, leading Gin to realize he is serious as he assumes a battle stance, and Izuru is amazed by the intensity of his Reiatsu. Hitsugaya and Gin rush toward each other and clash in an explosion of Reiatsu, and as Gin stops smiling upon realizing that his left sleeve has been cut, Hitsugaya attacks him several times in rapid succession, forcing Gin to block. After Hitsugaya separates from him, Gin rips off the end of his sleeve and throws it at Hitsugaya, who slashes it away, before rapidly stabbing at Hitsugaya dozens of times with his Zanpakutō.


Hitsugaya declares that Gin should regret pushing him to this point.

Though Gin tauntingly asks him how it feels to be cornered as he struggles to block the rapid strikes, Hitsugaya manages to bind Gin's Zanpakutō in place with the chain and blade attached to the hilt of his Zanpakutō and leaps over Gin's head to the area behind him, where Gin pulls his Zanpakutō out of the binding chain and admits that he should not underestimate Hitsugaya due to the risk of regretting it later. However, Hitsugaya asserts that he should not be regretting anything yet, to Gin's confusion, and declares that he should regret pushing Hitsugaya to this point while his eyes glow icy blue and a wave of pressure blasts outward from him, frightening Izuru.


Hitsugaya releases his Shikai, Hyōrinmaru.

Leaping high into the air above Gin, Hitsugaya covers the sky in clouds with Tensō Jūrin and releases his Shikai, Hyōrinmaru, creating a large, serpentine dragon out of water and ice that coils around him. On the platform below, Izuru mentally details how this dragon is created from Hitsugaya's overwhelming Reiatsu and how Hyōrinmaru can even control the weather before describing it as the most powerful ice-type Zanpakutō and something he has never seen in action until now. A yelling Hitsugaya directs the dragon to crash into Gin by slashing at him with Hyōrinmaru, and while Gin evades the resulting torrent of ice unscathed, Izuru leaps out of it drenched in water.


Hitsugaya binds and freezes Gin's left arm.

As he admits that he could not dodge the large volume of water, Izuru discovers his soaked arm and fist being frozen by the intense cold and screams in terror as a tendril of ice binding his legs slams him into the roof of a nearby building, where the majority snaps off to leave him lying immobilized. With Gin landing on the roof of a different building, Hitsugaya generates another ice dragon and sends it hurtling toward Gin with its jaws open, leading Gin to hold his Zanpakutō out in front of him and disperse the dragon into ice and water around him until the tip of its tail vanishes. However, Gin is shocked to find his left arm frozen and bound by the chain on Hyōrinmaru.


Rangiku Matsumoto protects Momo Hinamori from Shinsō.

When Hitsugaya declares that this is over while standing behind him with the chain in his hand as Izuru desperately calls out to him, Gin opens his eyes and releases his Shikai, Shinsō, which pierces through his haori and extends toward Hitsugaya's left eye. Though Hitsugaya manages to dodge the blade by falling onto his back, Gin questions if he really wants to do this because the girl is going to die as Hitsugaya realizes that Shinsō is hurtling toward an unconscious 5th Division Lieutenant Momo Hinamori. Suddenly, before Shinsō can reach Hinamori, 10th Division Lieutenant Rangiku Matsumoto appears in its path and intercepts the blow with her own Zanpakutō.


Yoruichi Shihōin notes that they only have two days left.

With Rangiku pushed back several feet in a burst of yellow energy and with the tip of Shinsō cracking her Zanpakutō, those present look on in astonishment as she apologizes and explains that she came back from the barracks upon sensing the Reiatsu of Hyōrinmaru'. Requesting that Gin sheathe his Zanpakutō, Rangiku promises to engage him from here if he does not, and as he sees Shinsō cracking her Zanpakutō further, a frowning Gin smiles. Elsewhere, Yoruichi Shihōin sits on the edge of a cliff on Sōkyoku Hill near a waterfall and notes that there are only two days left for Ichigo Kurosaki to achieve Bankai using Kisuke Urahara's Tenshintai method.


Ichigo Kurosaki performs warm-up exercises in the Study Chamber.

While Ichigo performs warm-up exercises within the Study Chamber inside Sōkyoku Hill, Yoruichi admits that he has improved with alarming speed compared to ordinary Shinigami, but clarifies that this only extends to his combat prowess and that his Reiryoku has not been bolstered nearly as much. With Ichigo completing his exercises, putting on his shihakushō, and wondering where she went because he wants to start soon, Yoruichi wonders if he can really achieve Bankai in only two days at this rate and if she should extend the deadline before recalling how she learned that Rukia Kuchiki's grace period was shortened to twenty-five days when she was gathering information.


Yoruichi recalls how Kisuke Urahara achieved Bankai.

Though she observes that ordinarily they would have had no extra time for training because the execution would have taken place the day after the third day of Bankai training, Yoruichi details how being chased by the Kōtotsu in the Dangai shifted the time axis in the favor of the Ryoka when they entered Soul Society, causing them to arrive a full week earlier than planned and giving her and Ichigo eight more days after completing the initial three days of training. Despite being able to extend the training due to this, Yoruichi remains uncertain if she should because Urahara is the only one to have achieved Bankai through this method and believed that training any longer would be dangerous.


Rukia Kuchiki is stunned by the news relayed to her.

As an increasingly irritated Ichigo repeatedly calls out for her, Yoruichi remembers Urahara assuring her that Ichigo's natural abilities are greater than his own are, but observes that there is no guarantee his Soul will be able to withstand the longer training period. With Ichigo angrily questioning if she ran away due to being scared of him, Yoruichi decides to wait one more day and only implement this change if there is still no noticeable change in his Reiryoku. Meanwhile, within the Shishinrō inside Senzaikyū, a stunned Rukia asks a member of the Kidō Corps what he just said as he stands before her in the entrance to her cell alongside six of his comrades.


Hitsugaya and Rangiku stand before a hospitalized Hinamori.

Assuming that Rukia did not hear him the first time, the Kidō Corps member reiterates his message of her execution date being changed to tomorrow and departs with his comrades, leaving Rukia standing alone in the dark. Elsewhere, in one of the barracks, Hitsugaya and Rangiku stand before Hinamori, who lies unconscious on a bed with medical equipment hooked up to her, as Hitsugaya thanks Rangiku for arriving when she did because Hinamori would be dead otherwise, only for Rangiku to downplay this. In the past, with Rangiku struggling to hold back Shinsō, Gin retracts it and smiles at Rangiku before turning to leave, prompting a startled Hitsugaya to demand that he wait.


Gin disappears after suggesting Hitsugaya look after Hinamori.

Gin suggests that Hitsugaya look after Hinamori instead of pursuing him and disappears with Shunpo. In the present, Rangiku rubs her bandaged arms and notes that Gin still has a bad habit of leaving without telling her where he is going as she wonders where he is trying to go. While pondering how much of 5th Division Captain Sōsuke Aizen's letter was forged, Hitsugaya recalls Hinamori discovering Aizen's corpse pinned to the East Holy Wall and questions if the line about the power of the released Sōkyoku being commandeered at Rukia's execution is true. However, before Hitsugaya can finish thinking, he and Rangiku are approached by a Jigokuchō.


Hitsugaya and Rangiku learn of the change in Rukia's execution date.

After letting the Jigokuchō land on her finger, Rangiku relays its message of Rukia's execution taking place twenty-nine hours from now, to Hitsugaya's shock, and this being the final change to the date. With the Jigokuchō flying away, Hitsugaya walks out of the room into the hallway, and when Rangiku calls out to him in concern, Hitsugaya asserts that he cannot let this execution proceed if the release of the Sōkyoku is part of Gin's plan before ordering Rangiku to come with him so they can stop the execution. Across the Seireitei, 8th Division Lieutenant Nanao Ise, 2nd Division Lieutenant Marechiyo Ōmaeda, and 7th Division Lieutenant Tetsuzaemon Iba learn of this change.


Ichigo and Zangetsu clash within the Study Chamber.

With 9th Division Lieutenant Shūhei Hisagi, a smiling Gin, and a stunned Izuru learning of this change as well, Rukia sits somberly next to the narrow window in her cell. Meanwhile, outside Sōkyoku Hill, 6th Division Lieutenant Renji Abarai walks up to the base of the cliff near the waterfall and recognizes Ichigo's Reiatsu emanating from within Sōkyoku Hill. Within the Study Chamber inside, Ichigo and Zangetsu wield new swords while repeatedly clashing with one another before entering a blade lock while Yoruichi watches from the side and notes that Ichigo seems to be making solid progress, only to wonder why she feels so uneasy regardless.


Renji Abarai enters the Study Chamber.

As a yelling Ichigo continues to battle against Zangetsu, Yoruichi describes the sensation she is experiencing as that of something ominous approaching. Suddenly, the entrance at the top of the nearby ladder is destroyed, startling Ichigo and Yoruichi, and Renji admits that he was wondering what Ichigo was doing in here before inquiring if Zangetsu is his Zanpakutō Spirit while falling to the ground below. The resulting dust cloud clears to reveal Renji with his Shikai, Zabimaru over his shoulder, and as Renji requests to join him in training to achieve Bankai, Ichigo is astonished by his presence, prompting Renji to deduce that Ichigo is wondering why he is here.


Renji prepares to achieve Bankai with Zabimaru.

Upon being told by Renji that they are out of time and that he simply wants a place where he can concentrate on training, a confused Ichigo demands to know what he means by them being out of time and is shocked alongside Yoruichi and Zangetsu to learn that Rukia's execution is now taking place at noon tomorrow. Admitting that he came here because his current level of power is not enough for him to save Rukia, Renji promises to not interfere with Ichigo's training since he already knows how to manifest his Zanpakutō Spirit and is close to achieving Bankai as mist swirls outward from Zabimaru and concentrates in the air, resulting in Zabimaru manifesting behind Renji.


Ichigo declares that he will achieve Bankai today.

Though a stunned Yoruichi is convinced that he cannot achieve Bankai by tomorrow, Ichigo draws her attention by shattering most of his sword's blade and asserts that she does not get to give up first when she is the one who initiated this training for him. When Yoruichi begins to remind him of the consequences of not achieving Bankai in time, Ichigo cuts her off with a refusal to speak of what cannot be done and shatters the remainder of his sword's blade against his hand while glowing with Reiatsu and declaring that he will simply achieve Bankai today if the deadline is tomorrow, leading Renji to smile with approval as the force of his Reiatsu generates a strong wind.


Rukia clutches the bloody corpse of Kaien Shiba and screams his name.

With the wind surging through the Study Chamber and over those present, Yoruichi is stunned by the intensity of Ichigo's Reiatsu. During this, Rukia lies on the floor in her cell and decides to request that Ichigo and his friends be allowed to return to the Human World before she is executed tomorrow, which might be allowed since she is a member of the Kuchiki Clan. After mentally admitting that she was surprised but not sad to learn of the new execution date, Rukia concludes that this is due to the dream she had last night about the night she will never forget and closes her eyes. In the past, Rukia clutches the corpse of 13th Division Lieutenant Kaien Shiba and repeatedly screams his name while rain pours down on the forest they are lying in.

Next Episode Preview

While rain falls, Rukia Kuchiki thinks of 13th Division Lieutenant Kaien Shiba and asserts that nothing of her is worth saving.

Characters in Order of Appearance

Fights & Events

Powers and Techniques Used

Zanpakutō Techniques:

Hohō Techniques:

Other Techniques:

Zanpakutō released:



  1. 01:27 - Bleach 5th Anniversary Box CD 1 - 04 - BL_75
  2. 03:06 - Bleach 5th Anniversary Box CD 1 - 09 - BL_82
  3. 05:35 - Bleach OST 1 - 20 - Storm Center
  4. 08:47 - Bleach OST 1 - 01 - On the Precipice of Defeat
  5. 12:26 - Bleach OST 1 - 19 - Never Meant To Belong
  6. 15:11 - Bleach 5th Anniversary Box CD 1 - 18 - BL_33
  7. 16:49 - Bleach 5th Anniversary Box CD 1 - 15 - BL_35
  8. 19:08 - Bleach OST 1 - 18 - Battle Ignition

Anime Notes

Removed Content:

  • The graph of the initial timeline for the Ryoka Invasion prior to the time-axis shift provided by the Dangai, containing the time measurements for each period of the Ryoka Invasion.

Added/Expanded Content:

  • Tōshirō Hitsugaya and Gin Ichimaru clashing directly with their Zanpakutō for a couple minutes, where Gin demonstrates his speed and Hitsugaya displays his tactical prowess and intense Reiatsu, after which Gin admits that he should not underestimate Hitsugaya and the latter declares that his regret begins now before releasing Hyōrinmaru.
  • Izuru Kira's legs being frozen and him getting slammed into a rooftop by a tendril of ice attached to it.
  • Izuru calling out to Gin after Hitsugaya freezes and binds his arm.
  • Rangiku Matsumoto being cloaked in yellow energy and getting pushed back several feet when blocking Shinsō.
  • A flashback to Yoruichi Shihōin leaping across the Seireitei in search of information on recent events.
  • Ichigo Kurosaki repeatedly calling out for Yoruichi with growing irritation so they can get started, culminating in him demanding to know if she ran away.
  • Rangiku rubbing her bandaged arms.
  • A flashback to Momo Hinamori discovering Sōsuke Aizen's corpse.
  • Nanao Ise, Marechiyo Ōmaeda, Tetsuzaemon Iba, Shūhei Hisagi, Gin, and Izuru learning of the change in Rukia's execution date.
  • Ichigo and Zangetsu clashing repeatedly before they cross blades.
  • Renji Abarai noting that he is already close to achieving Bankai.
  • Ichigo exerting his Reiatsu during his promise to achieve Bankai today, resulting in a powerful wind that sweeps over the area and stunning Yoruichi with its intensity.
  • Rukia calling out Kaien Shiba's name several times while clutching his corpse.


  • Gin's arm does not start bleeding above the elbow while frozen and bound by Hitsugaya.


  • In the manga, Hitsugaya uses Tensō Jūrin after releasing Hyōrinmaru; here, he does so prior to release.
  • In the manga, Hitsugaya sends a wave of ice at Gin after releasing Hyōrinmaru and the latter slashes through it; here, Hitsugaya instead creates another ice dragon and sends it hurtling toward Gin, who defends himself by holding out his Zanpakutō and letting the ice dragon destroy itself against the tip.
  • In the manga, while ruminating on whether she should extend Ichigo's training, Yoruichi sits on the edge of Sōkyoku Hill in front of the Sōkyoku itself; here, she instead sits on a cliff on the side near a waterfall.
  • In the manga, Yoruichi voices her conclusion of letting Ichigo train one more day before deciding whether or not to extend his training out loud; here, she does so internally.
  • In the manga, Rukia's cell is properly lit when she is informed of the change in her execution date and when she ruminates on the dream she had last night; here, a light is shone on her that leaves most of the surrounding area dark and turns off when the Kidō Corps leaves.
  • Rangiku's Zanpakutō is cracked further by Shinsō here than it is in the manga.
  • Shinsō retracts much slower here than it does in the manga.
  • In the manga, the Jigokuchō informs Hitsugaya and Rangiku of the change in Rukia's execution date telepathically; here, it lands on Rangiku's finger and she relays the announcement to Hitsugaya.
  • In the manga, upon discovering where Ichigo has been training, Renji arrives at the base of the front of Sōkyoku Hill; here, he instead arrives at the base of the cliff near the waterfall where Yoruichi had been sitting prior.


  • During the his short clash with Hitsugaya prior to the latter releasing his Shikai, Gin's sealed Zanpakutō is erroneously portrayed as a regular-length katana instead of a short wakizashi multiple times.
  • Hitsugaya makes use of the long chain and blade created by his Shikai before he actually releases his Shikai.
  • Hitsugaya uses Tensō Jūrin prior to actually releasing Hyōrinmaru; this occurred several years before it was revealed in the manga that Tensō Jūrin is a specific power of Hyōrinmaru and not just a side-effect of its release.


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