Motive of the Fist
Kanji 拳の理由
Romanji Ken no riyū
Episode Number 37
Manga Chapters Chapter 105, Chapter 106, Chapter 107
Arc Soul Society: The Sneak Entry arc
Previous Episode Zaraki Kenpachi Approaches!
Next Episode Desperation! The Broken Zangetsu
Japanese June 21, 2005
English June 17, 2007
Theme Music
Opening D-tecnoLife
Ending Houkiboshi
Episode 37 Screenshots

Motive of the Fist is the thirty-seventh episode of the Bleach anime.

Yasutora Sado battles with 8th Division captain, Shunsui Kyōraku.



Chad defeats Tatsufusa Enjōji with a single blow to the face.

As Chad gets closer and closer to the White Tower, his presence and actions are noticed by the Eighth Division's lieutenant, Nanao Ise, and Captain Shunsui Kyōraku. Shunsui decides that it is time for him to go out and fight. Nanao argues that it is not necessary for him to fight and that the strength of a lieutenant would be enough to defeat one Ryoka, but Shunsui tells her that he has orders from Captain-Commander Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto to engage the Ryoka and assures her that it will all be over soon.

Chad blasts through yet another wall, sending several Shinigami flying. To meet him, however, is the 3rd Seat of 8th Division, Tatsufusa Enjōji, who is extremely confident that he will beat Chad with ease. Despite Tatsufusa's speedy sword-work performance, Chad quickly defeats him. Chad, looking down at his hand, finally realizes how much stronger he has become, thanks to Yoruichi Shihōin's training.


Shunsui offers an underaged Chad a drink instead of fighting.

Chad pushes onward. Soon, a voice calls out to him and he notices flower petals fluttering down in the air. Shunsui lands gracefully on the ground before Chad and introduces himself in a calm, yet mysterious manner. Silence follows as more and more flower petals float to the ground, seemingly from the sky as there are no trees in the area. However, Shunsui looks up at Nanao, who is throwing petals from a basket into the wind from the balcony above and he affectionately calls up to her to stop throwing petals, which she responds to by dumping them all on him at once.

Chad tells Shunsui that he does not wish to fight him if it is possible, but Shunsui replies by telling Chad that he cannot let him pass and suggests that Chad should retreat, though Chad refuses. Shunsui expresses his disappointment and then becomes more serious. He informs Chad that the other captains are also on the move and that the battle will be over soon. Upon learning this, Chad becomes much more determined to get through the gate Shunsui is blocking, and launches an attack. Despite the attack's power, Shunsui easily deflects it with one hand.


Shunsui attacks with only two fingers and sends Chad flying.

Chad then repeatedly attacks the captain with increasing speed and frustration as Shunsui dodges them all with ease. Chad sees that he is very much outclassed and he wonders about the gap in power between the 3rd seat, whom he defeated in one blow, and the captain. Shunsui seems to be able to read Chad's shock and tells him that, for a human, he is indeed very powerful, quick, solid, and destructive, but not powerful enough to even touch a captain.

Shunsui once again suggests that Chad give up and leave. Chad, however, tells Shunsui that he can't do such a thing and runs forward in another attempt to land a blow. Shunsui dodges, appearing right behind Chad, and warns Chad that if he continues, the toll on his body will cost him his life. Then, using only two fingers, Shunsui lands a powerful hit on Chad's shoulder, blasting him several meters away. Shunsui takes note of Chad's obvious determination, but wonders why Chad is willing to go so far to rescue someone he has only known for a short while. Chad acknowledges that truth, but says Ichigo wanted to save her, and that's a good enough reason to put his life on the line.


Ichigo and Chad discuss the Mexican coin that's important to Chad.

Shunsui, although reluctant to fight Chad, comes to the conclusion that it would be rude to try to persuade him to give up, since Chad is so intent on his noble goal. Shunsui draws his Zanpakutō (which is, in fact, two swords) and Chad once again charges. Before he tries to land another blow, Chad promises Ichigo in his thoughts that if he survives the battle, he'll "swear this time by the same words and promise made that time."

In a flashback, Chad is being beaten by two guys, although he himself is not fighting back. Ichigo Kurosaki promptly comes to the rescue, easily fighting them back and sending them dashing away. Ichigo remarks that Chad is very strong and asks him why he keeps getting into fights, but never retaliates. Chad replies, "I made up my mind. I will not strike my fist for my own sake. It's a promise to my abuelo (his grandfather, Oscar Joaquín de la Rosa)." Ichigo is rather confused with the Spanish words and Chad explains that before he came to Japan, he lived in Mexico with his grandfather. Ichigo notices that Chad is playing with the coin hanging on a chain around his neck. Ichigo asks if it is dear to him. Chad replies that it may even be more dear to him than his own life. Ichigo finally realizes that there is a cellphone, still on and connected to another phone, lying only a few feet away in the grass and he throws it away without any qualms. A group of punks on the other end listen to the dial tone...

Another flashback shows an eight-year-old Chad in Mexico. Unlike the fifteen-year-old Chad, the eight-year-old version of himself was a spoiled brat who constantly started fights. His abuelo, however, always reprimanded him of his actions.


Chad's grandfather gives Chad the coin that's so special to him.

Sometime after the first beating, Chad is ambushed by the punks and is tied to a chair under the overhang of the bridge. The leader of the gang, Yokochini, attempts to intimidate Chad, but Chad simply throws back an insult. Yokochini, remembering what Chad said about his coin necklace, yanks it from his neck and reminds Chad that if he were to lose the necklace, he would have no choice, but to die.

Chad has another flashback of himself in Mexico. He remembers being cornered by two men when his abuelo came and blocked the two men from attacking his grandson. However, Chad notices that his abuelo simply takes the blows and does not fight back, to the point when his abuelo falls to his knees. The two attackers lose interest and leave. Chad is extremely moved and, seeing this, his abuelo removes his coin necklace and places it on Chad's forehead. "Those big and powerful fists of yours. What do they exist for? Find that out. This is a charm for that."


Chad determinedly tries, in vain, to attack Shunsui one last time.

As the memory of his late abuelo fades away, Chad becomes enraged at the thought of his abuelo's necklace being destroyed. Chad tries with all his strength to break the thick wires holding him to the chair, but Ichigo suddenly jumps into the scene and kicks the gang leader's face. Ichigo takes back the coin and takes out the leader's cellphone as the other gang members look on in shock. Ichigo makes a call, requesting for an ambulance, and enough to carry five guys to the hospital. Angry that Ichigo thinks so lowly of them, the gang rushes him and engage in a fight as Chad looks on. Ichigo sustains some injuries, but beats all five of them

"Oh yeah. Why don't we do this, Chad?" Ichigo's voice says in Chad's memory after the fight. "You do what you've been doing so you don't have to beat up anyone for your own sake. In return, you use those fists of yours for my sake. I'll use mine for you. If you've got something you want to protect with your life, I'll risk mine to defend it. It's a promise."

The flashback ends as Chad continues charging Shunsui, his fist ablaze. He recalls Ichigo's promise and his abuelo's words. He tries his last attempt to attack the Eighth Division captain. He recalls a few more memories of his friends in Karakura Town, and then releases his attack. The attack itself is devastating, yet Shunsui still manages to dodge, slicing Chad with his Zanpakutō. Shunsui murmurs, "I'm sorry" before Chad, and his necklace, fall to the ground.

Kon-sama's Ultimate Shinigami Illustrated Guide

The featured character is Jidanbō Ikkanzaka.

Characters in Order of Appearance

  1. Yasutora Sado
  2. Nanao Ise
  3. Shunsui Kyōraku
  4. Tatsufusa Enjōji
  5. Ichigo Kurosaki (flashback)
  6. Yokochini (flashback)
  7. Oscar Joaquín de la Rosa (flashback)
  8. Mizuiro Kojima (flashback)
  9. Keigo Asano (flashback)
  10. Rukia Kuchiki (flashback)
  11. Yūichi Shibata (flashback)
  12. Orihime Inoue (flashback)
  13. Uryū Ishida (flashback)


Powers and Techniques Used

Techniques Used:

  • Tsukiyubi (撞指, Thrust Fingers)

Fullbring Used:

  • Brazo Derecha de Gigante (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")


Zaraki Kenpachi Approaches!Desperation! The Broken Zangetsu
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