Ichigo's Stomach-cutting Persuasion Strategy
Kanji 一護の切腹説得作戦☆
Romanji Ichigo no seppuku settoku sakusen
Episode Number 204
Manga Chapters None
Arc None
Previous Episode Karakura Town Gathers! Aizen Versus Shinigami
Next Episode Thump! A Kemari Tournament Filled with Hollows
Japanese January 27, 2009
English May 15, 2011
Theme Music
Opening Velonica
Ending Sky Chord ~Otona ni Naru Kimi e~
Episode 204 Screenshots

Ichigo's Stomach-cutting Persuasion Strategy is the two-hundred fourth episode of the Bleach anime.

Ichigo Kurosaki tries to help out a feuding Rurichiyo Kasumiōji and Kenryū.


At Karakura High School, Mizuiro Kojima informs Ichigo that they have a guest, and Ichigo is shocked to see Rurichiyo in his classroom. Later, on the school's roof, Ichigo listens to Rurichiyo talking about the freedom of the Human World compared to life in the palace. He asks her if something had happened and asks why Kenryū is not with her. He reminds her that she is the head of the Kasumiōji Clan and she should bear that in mind. When Ichigo tries to return to class, she kicks a ball at him, demanding that he listen to her. However, Ichigo dismisses her and leaves, agitating her.

At lunchtime, Ichigo tells Rukia Kuchiki, Yasutora Sado, and Orihime Inoue about Rurichiyo being there without any escort. Ichigo guesses that she ran away after becoming tired of life in the palace. Rukia strikes Ichigo for not caring about what happens to Rurichiyo, insisting that as the leader of a noble family she should be protected. The four split up and go in search of Rurichiyo, but are unable to find her. Rukia notes the pressures of leading her family at such a young age and says it is unsurprising that she would want to run away to the Human World. Uryū Ishida encounters the group and suggests that they go to the Urahara Shop, where they find Rurichiyo.

E204 Rurichiyo argues with Ichigo

Rurichiyo refuses to leave with Ichigo.

Kisuke Urahara tells Ichigo that he would have come there straight away so he did not bother to contact him. Rurichiyo refuses to leave with Ichigo, and the two argue until Orihime suggests that they go get something to eat and invites Rurichiyo to accompany them. After enjoying her meal, Ichigo carries Rurichiyo home on his back. Outside the Kurosaki Clinic, they are confronted by Kenryū, who scolds Rurichiyo for leaving without telling anyone. He asks if she is angry about his refusal to allow a kemari game, which Rurichiyo confirms. The two argue about her important duties, leaving Ichigo stunned about the reason she is there.

E204 Rurichiyo and Kenryu argue

Rurichiyo argues with Kenryū.

Kenryū and Rurichiyo continue to argue, with Rurichiyo emphasizing the importance of recreation and Kenryū insisting that they must focus on improving relations with the other nobles and influential individuals, saying the commoners feel disconnected from them. Ichigo interjects, trying to calm them down, but the two try to make him take their side. Ichigo refuses to do so. Kenryū states that he will continue to oppose her plan, saying that he is the only one who can get through her thick, stubborn head. This prompts Rurichiyo to claim she hates him and asks him to leave if he will not obey her. A dejected Kenryū acquiesces and leaves.

E204 Rurichiyo football

Rurichiyo avoids a tackle while playing soccer.

The following day at school, Ichigo and Rukia tell the others about what happened and notes that Kenryū is now missing. Uryū notes that the entire Kasumiōji family is a source of trouble. Ichigo finds Rurichiyo watching a soccer game between the students and goes to her side. However, he is struck by the ball. Rurichiyo takes the ball and takes on the players, scoring a goal and earning applause from the pupils. Rurichiyo reveals that since the turmoil, she has not been able to get people to work together and things have been becoming worse, blaming herself. She thought of staging a Kemari festival, having seen soccer while in the Human World. Along with Shū Kannogi, she tried to organize it, but faced opposition from Kenryū, whom Rurichiyo believes does not understand her idea.

E204 Ichigo stops Kenryu seppuku

Ichigo tries to stop Kenryū killing himself.

Later, Ichigo tells his friends about what Rurichiyo had revealed, stating that she has good reasons for having a Kemari festival and that Kenryū will change his mind if he listens to her reasons. Rukia notes that it will be hard to get him to listen to her. They explain the situation to Kenryū, who in turn explains his own point of view about how the family should rebuild itself. He blames himself for not being able to convince Rurichiyo and attempts to commit seppuku, but Ichigo stops him. Uryū intervenes, telling Ichigo to allow Kenryū to kill himself and offering to behead him, unnerving Kenryū.

E204 Enryu saves Rurichiyo

Enryū saves Rurichiyo.

Ichigo goes to Rurichiyo and tells her that Kenryū is threatening to commit seppuku. Although surprised, Rurichiyo claims not to care about what happens to him as he has already left her. Unable to convince her, he leaves. As she is walking along, Rurichiyo is nearly hit by a truck. She is saved by Enryū and apologizes to him before rushing off, thinking about Kenryū.

At the river bank, Kenryū questions if their plan will work. When they spot Rurichiyo approaching, they pretend to be restraining Kenryū in order to prevent him from killing himself. Rurichiyo slaps him and gives out to him for thinking that killing himself would make her happy. She notes that it is her job to protect her servants and that she cannot let him die. Kenryū is grateful to her for her words, but calls kemari a silly game, angering her. She refuses to give in and Kenryū reveals that his seppuku was an act, enraging her. Kenryū insists that they are not playing kemari and claims to be a better player than her, prompting her to challenge him to a kemari match over their ideas, with the loser never arguing with the victor ever again.

Shinigami Illustrated Picture Book

While showing Ichigo around Soul Society, Renji Abarai brings him to the glasses selling store that he frequents, the Gin Tonbo. Ichigo tries to read the store's name, but is unable to read the kanji for dragonfly. Renji is surprised, claiming that he believed Ichigo to be good at Japanese. Ichigo determines that it relates to an insect. When Renji gives him a hint, saying that it is an insect that people often imagine wearing glasses, Ichigo says it is a slug, provoking an angry response from Renji.

Characters in Order of Appearance

  1. Keigo Asano
  2. Ichigo Kurosaki
  3. Mizuiro Kojima
  4. Rukia Kuchiki
  5. Orihime Inoue
  6. Yasutora Sado
  7. Uryū Ishida
  8. Rurichiyo Kasumiōji
  9. Kisuke Urahara
  10. Tessai Tsukabishi
  11. Ururu Tsumugiya
  12. Jinta Hanakari
  13. Ryūsei Kenzaki
  14. Rusaburō Enkōgawa
  15. Shū Kannogi



Powers and Techniques Used



Karakura Town Gathers! Aizen Versus ShinigamiThump! A Kemari Tournament Filled with Hollows