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 Kenpachi Zaraki 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.



Tatsufusa Enjōji confronts Yasutora Sado.

In the Eighth Division compound, an energy blast from Yasutora Sado's Fullbring, Brazo Derecha de Gigante, blows a large hole in a wall, sending several unseated Shinigami flying through it in the process. As he walks through the hole and along the trench gouged into the ground, Sado finds himself confronted by 8th Division 3rd Seat Tatsufusa Enjōji, who declares that Sado has gone far enough and introduces himself before proclaiming that this road is a dead end for Sado with him here.


Sado defeats Tatsufusa with a single punch.

After drawing his Zanpakutō, Tatsufusa initiates Hōzan Kenbu by rapidly and repeatedly slashing in all directions around his body while screaming a repeated kiai. However, with Tatsufusa goading Sado to make a move and not be timid just because his swordplay has never been beaten, Sado simply punches him in the face with his Brazo Derecha de Gigante fist, sending Tatsufusa hurtling into the sky above, where he vanishes.


Shunsui Kyōraku confronts Sado in front of his office.

Sado looks at his steaming fist and notes that he will have to thank Yoruichi Shihōin for training him because he can now fire more than five blasts in a row without fatigue after previously having only two blasts per day as his limit. Looking toward Senzaikyū behind the Eighth Division captain's office, Sado begins running toward it, but stops in his tracks upon hearing 8th Division Captain Shunsui Kyōraku praise his performances. As an unnerved Sado searches the area for Shunsui, he is surprised to see flower petals falling around him while Shunsui lands on the ground in front of Sado before introducing himself and politely greeting Sado.


Nanao Ise throws flower petals down onto Shunsui.

With Sado stunned to learn that he is the 8th Division Captain, Shunsui affirms this and chuckles, only to look up in confusion when the flower petals falling around him increase in number and density. While Sado looks upward as well, Shunsui asks his lieutenant, Nanao Ise, to stop throwing petals as she stands on the balcony above him with a large basket of petals in her left hand and uses her right hand to throw clumps of them down. When Shunsui repeatedly requests that she stop and refers to her with affectionate terms, an irritated Nanao dumps the remainder of the flower petals on top of him, leaving Shunsui buried up to his waist, before throwing the basket at him as well.


Sado requests that Shunsui move aside so he can pass.

Having had his hat knocked off by this, Shunsui sits still with the basket covering his head, prompting an embarrassed Sado to apologize for not having time for his skit as he asks Shunsui to let him pass. Shunsui bemoans Sado not being willing to play along because everyone is so indifferent these days as he puts his hat back on, and when Sado asserts that he does not want to fight Shunsui because he seems like a good person, Shunsui reveals that he also does not want to fight if possible, but states that he cannot allow Sado to pass and inquires if the latter cannot retreat. As Sado denies this being possible, Shunsui concludes that he is left with no other choice.


Shunsui offers to have a drink with Sado.

However, though Sado tenses up and prepares to fight, Shunsui merely brings out a jug of sake and two cups before suggesting that they have a friendly drink together, leaving Sado stunned. With Shunsui explaining that he thought Sado could stop here for a while if he is not willing to retreat and promising to only keep him for a while, Sado bluntly refuses due to it being illegal for minors like himself to drink alcohol, which a surprised Shunsui admits is a good point and something he cannot condone. Elaborating that it will all be over soon anyway because the other captains are on the move, Shunsui begins to request that Sado simply sit out until the battle is over.


Shunsui deflects Sado's energy blast with his bare hand.

Upon picking up on Shunsui's mention of the other captains, Sado realizes that his friends are being pursued by them and firmly requests that Shunsui move out of his way because the situation as changed. Sighing, Shunsui asks him what will happen if he does not comply and drinks sake from one of the cups, prompting Sado to proclaim that he will not allow this before firing an energy blast at Shunsui, only for the latter to catch the blast with his free hand and throw it to the side, where it slams into a wall, knocking his flowery kimono off in the process and stunning Sado. As he stands up, Shunsui observes that things are getting complicated now.


Shunsui nonchalantly evades Sado's energy blast.

While a concerned Nanao watches from above, Sado fires several more energy blasts, each of which shake the compound and destroy portions of the surrounding area as Shunsui nonchalantly dodges them. After Shunsui evades his last blast and drinks more sake, a sweating and confused Sado wonders why he has not been able to hit Shunsui once and recalls Tatsufusa introducing himself as a 3rd Seat before questioning if two ranks can really make that much of a difference and if captains are really this powerful. Shunsui tells Sado to give up because he should understand by now that, despite how hard and fast his considerably destructive attacks are for a Human, they cannot hit Shunsui.


Sado attacks once more as he refuses to withdraw.

Though Shunsui concludes that he will never be able to land an attack and suggests that he go home, Sado merely thanks him for the suggestion before declaring that he cannot withdraw as he rushes at Shunsui and fires another energy blast, which Shunsui avoids by ducking at the last second. With the blast destroying a large portion of the area behind where he was standing, Shunsui appears behind Sado and explains that the two types of moves one can perform are those that cannot be performed at all once one's limit is reached, and those that can be performed beyond one's limit at the cost of one's life force, the latter category of which he concludes Sado's move is in.


Shunsui sends Sado flying with Tsukiyubi.

Pressing two fingers against Sado's right shoulder, Shunsui uses Tsukiyubi, sending Sado hurtling across the compound and down the length of the trench his first blast gouged into the ground for several seconds while he yells in surprise. As Sado comes to a halt near the wall he destroyed and sits up while panting heavily, Shunsui encourages him to leave and promises to not disparage him for doing so, only to realize Sado has still not changed his mind and sigh before inquiring why Sado insists on fighting and what purpose he came here to fulfill. After standing up, Sado proclaims that he is here to save Rukia Kuchiki, to Shunsui's surprise.


Shunsui prepares to fight Sado seriously.

Shunsui observes that Sado could only have a thin friendship with Rukia at best after having known her for a few months with her going missing in the Human World in the spring, and as he affirms that he has only known Rukia for a short while and that this may fall short of being worth risking his life for, Sado concludes that Ichigo Kurosaki wants to save her and that he does not need any other reason to put his life on the line. While musing that it would be insulting to ask Sado to leave after learning how strong his resolve is, Shunsui draws his twin Zanpakutō and asserts that he now has no choice other than to take Sado's life.


Ichigo Kurosaki saves Sado from two thugs who were attacking him.

Upon seeing this, Sado begins charging at Shunsui and prepares to unleash one final energy blast as he mentally notes that this might kill him before promising Ichigo that he will swear once more what they swore before should he survive. In the past, on a riverbank in Karakura Town, two thugs beat up Sado, who remains standing as he refuses to fight back, and mock him for being so stubborn. However, when one of the thugs attempts to hit Sado with a large rock, Ichigo runs up and kicks him to the side as he wraps his legs around the other thug's neck and flips him onto the ground. With Ichigo landing on the ground, the thug with the rock recognizes him.


Sado reveals that he made a promise to never fight for himself.

The two thugs run up the riverbank and flee from Ichigo as they tell Sado to remember this, leading Ichigo to spit after them. Shortly afterward, while Sado lies on the riverbank and looks at his coin, Ichigo stands on the road above and inquires why Sado was just standing there. With Sado correcting his usage of "Chad" once more, Ichigo brushes this off and points out how Sado could have been seriously hurt had he not shown up to help before questioning why Sado let the two thugs beat him up despite his great strength instead of fighting as he did when he saved Ichigo before. Sitting up, Sado reveals that he promised Oscar Joaquín de la Rosa to never use his fists for himself.


Sado tells Ichigo about his grandfather and home country.

When Ichigo expresses confusion at the term abuelo, Sado details how it means grandfather and names Oscar, and when a confused Ichigo wonders what ethnicity that name is, Sado clarifies that it is Mestizo before noting that he lived in Mexico with his grandfather prior to coming to Karakura Town. A bewildered Ichigo notes that Sado said he came from Okinawa when they first met last month, which Sado is surprised by. As Ichigo declares that Sado only talks nonsense and that he will not bail Sado out next time as he walks down the bank to stand next to him, Sado merely chuckles and holds his coin, which Ichigo wonders about the significance of.


Yokochini hears Ichigo break the cell phone.

While Sado confirms that it is more precious than his own life, Yokochini listens to the conversation with a cell phone in a different part of town. Sitting on the grass next to Sado, Ichigo remarks that the coin looks foreign and inquires where it is from, only to be irritated when Sado reveals it is also from Mexico. Suddenly, Ichigo notices a cell phone lying open in the grass and questions whose it is. When Sado observes that it likely belongs to one of the thugs who were attacking him earlier and decides to give it back to them, Ichigo declares that he should just throw it away and breaks the phone, leaving a startled Yokochini listening to the dial tone.


Sado fights three other boys for bumping into him.

The next day, Sado walks down the street with headphones over his ears and mentally notes that he had not lied about his past because he was born in Okinawa and moved to Mexico when he was eight due to his parents dying when he was young and him not having any other relatives. Further in the past, a young Sado stands on a dirt road as Oscar gets out of a pickup truck and calls him over. Some time later, Sado bumps into another child while walking in a town and punches him to the ground in retaliation before fending off his friends as he recalls how he would use his strength to bully anyone who annoyed him because he was a rotten child.


Sado refuses Oscar's help and runs off.

Soon afterward, Oscar approaches a battered Sado sitting against a wall and kneels as he holds out his hand, but Sado merely slaps it away before running off. Back in Karakura Town, Sado recounts how Oscar is the one who showed him the error of his ways and taught him how to be good as he admits that he was hopelessly careless that day. Behind Sado, the two thugs who had attacked him the previous day run up and hit him over the head with a large rock. Later, Sado is tied with thick cable to a chair under Onose river bridge in Nishi-Toriya district two, where he is surrounded by Yokochini's men as Yokochini himself lounges on a couch across from him.


Yokochini threatens to cut up Sado's coin.

Proclaiming that this is the end for Sado of Mashiba Middle School, Yokochini asks Sado if the pain makes him want to wet himself, only for Sado to question if people wet themselves from pain before apologizing for not feeling the urge. Irritated by this, Yokochini gets up and decides to take a different approach as he yanks Sado's coin off his neck, to Sado's shock, and reveals that he knows how Sado values this more than his own life, to the point of wanting to die if he lost it. As he holds up a pair of pliers to the coin, Yokochini tells Sado to die. In the further past, a young and injured Sado runs into an alleyway and is confronted by two older men wielding wooden poles.


Oscar takes Sado's beating in his stead.

Though Sado closes his eyes in anticipation of the beating he is about to receive, he finds himself not being attacked and opens his eyes in surprise to find Oscar standing between him and the men as he takes the beating in his stead. Though he begins bleeding from the mouth due to his wounds, Oscar remains standing until the men stop attacking, at which point he kneels and asks them for forgiveness. Humbled by this, the two men walk away, leaving Oscar to smile at Sado before taking the coin necklace off his neck and pressing it against Sado's forehead as he inquires what Sado believes he was blessed with his strong fists for.


Sado buries Oscar after the latter dies.

Oscar gives Sado his coin to help him learn what that purpose is. Eventually, Oscar dies, and after burying him and leaving flowers at his grave, Sado returns to Japan. Back under the bridge, as he mentally attributes his decency to Oscar and claims that he could never thank his abuelo enough, an angered Sado begins straining against the cables binding him, startling the thugs around him. Assuming that Sado could not possibly break his bindings, Yokochini orders his men to kick him down before being kicked in the face by Ichigo and being sent skidding across the ground. Having stood on top of Yokochini the entire way, Ichigo grabs Sado's coin from his hand.


Ichigo requests five ambulances for the thugs.

After thanking Yokochini for this, Ichigo begins searching his pockets while the thugs identify him and demand to know why he is doing this. Upon finding Yokochini's cell phone, Ichigo picks it up and starts dialing, and as his men call out to him, Yokochini berates them for calling him "Yokochin". As he stomps on Yokochini's face to knock him out, Ichigo contacts emergency services and requests an ambulance be sent to his location, leading Yokochini's men to presume that he is calling an ambulance for Sado before facing them. However, Ichigo turns around and counts up the five of Yokochini's men before concluding that this is how many ambulances they will need.


Ichigo proposes that he and Sado fight for each other.

Enraged by this, Yokochini's men rush toward Ichigo, who tosses away the cell phone and begins fighting them. After beating up all of Yokochini's men, Ichigo lies on his back in front of Sado and proposes that they fight for each other and for what each other wants to protect with their life so he does not have to violate his rule of not using his fists for himself, which Sado agrees to. In the present, Sado recalls this promise and reaffirms it as he continues to run toward Shunsui while charging up one last energy blast with Brazo Derecha de Gigante. As he approaches Shunsui, Sado remembers the events of the past two months and Oscar's words about his purpose.


Shunsui defeats Sado.

However, after Sado unleashes his blast and destroys the captain's office, he expresses shock as Shunsui lands behind him and apologizes, leaving Sado to spurt a large amount of blood from a wound on his chest while his coin falls to the ground.

Next Episode Preview

11th Division Lieutenant Yachiru Kusajishi tells her captain, Kenpachi Zaraki, that one of the bells on his hair has fallen off, and as Kenpachi decides to fix it, Ichigo Kurosaki inquires if he styles his hair himself, prompting Kenpachi to claim that a man must look good. While Yachiru praises him for being so cool, Kenpachi offers to style Ichigo's hair as well and encourages him to not be bashful when Ichigo declines.

Characters in Order of Appearance

  1. Yasutora Sado
  2. Nanao Ise
  3. Shunsui Kyōraku
  4. Tatsufusa Enjōji
  5. Ichigo Kurosaki (recollection)
  6. Yokochini (recollection)
  7. Oscar Joaquín de la Rosa (recollection)
  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

Zanpakutō Techniques:

Hakuda Techniques:


  • 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")


Kenpachi Zaraki Approaches!Desperation! The Broken Zangetsu
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