Protect Ichigo! The Bonds of Friends!
Kanji 一護を護れ!仲間たちの絆!
Romanji Ichigo o mamore! Nakama tachi no kizuna!
Episode Number 339
Manga Chapters None
Arc Gotei 13 Invading Army arc
Previous Episode Kon's Thoughts, Nozomi's Thoughts
Next Episode Reigai vs. Original, The Fierce Fighting for Gambled Pride!
Japanese September 13, 2011
English April 6, 2014
Theme Music
Opening BLUE
Ending Haruka Kanata
Episode 339 Screenshots

Protect Ichigo! The Bonds of Friends! is the three hundred and thirty-ninth episode of the Bleach anime.

The Gotei 13 battle the Reigai, while the combined form of Inaba and Nozomi Kujō fights off a Hollowfied Ichigo and his friends.


At the Urahara Shop, Lieutenant Renji Abarai and Rukia Kuchiki, along with Uryū Ishida, Yasutora Sado, and Orihime Inoue, are sitting at a table when Tessai Tsukabishi arrives. Rukia asks him if he received any word from Kisuke Urahara yet. Tessai shakes his head and Uryū says that they are taking too long. Ikkaku Madarame suggests that they can just go back to Soul Society, as he enters the room along with Yumichika Ayasegawa, Lieutenant Tetsuzaemon Iba, and Lieutenant Izuru Kira. Tessai pleads for them to go, saying that earlier, they confirmed that there is captain-class Reiatsu inside the Seireitei. Tessai explains to the group that Urahara gave them permission to go to Soul Society if help is needed and that now would be the best time to attack.

Ichigo fires a Cero at Yushima.

In Soul Society, Yushima walks past a Hollowfied Ichigo and tells him that his fate will be his own destruction, and therefore he no longer has to go through the trouble of killing him. Hollowfied Ichigo regains slight control over himself and becomes confused over the identity of the man in front of him, but loses control soon after. Ichigo roars and charges a Cero. Yushima uses Shunpo to dodge and the attack lands on Lieutenant Nanao Ise‘s Reigai.

Urahara and his Reigai pushing each other back.

Kisuke Urahara and his Reigai continue their battle near the Senkaimon, using their Zanpakutō to push each other back. Urahara tells his Reigai that he prefers not to use brute force in battle and his Reigai agrees with him. Urahara says that is precisely why they are both pressing this battle by using brute force. His Reigai suddenly pushes him back and tells him that unlike his original, who avoids fighting with brute force, he does no such thing.

The Gotei 13 persist in their fight against the Reigai, where Captain Tōshirō Hitsugaya parries his clone’s attack with his Shikai. Captain Sajin Komamura’s Reigai approaches behind him and prepares to attack using his Bankai, but is stopped by Captain Komamura, who activates his own Bankai. Captains Jūshirō Ukitake and Shunsui Kyōraku fight back-to-back with the Reigai of Lieutenant Shūhei Hisagi and Ikkaku Madarame. Ukitake asks Shunsui on what he thinks on the current situation, with Shunsui answering that they are in trouble. Shunsui says the Reigai pretend to fight only one person at a time, but given an opening they strike other opponents. Ukitake says he knows that this would give the Reigai an advantage. As Shunsui tries to work up a strategy, Captain Kenpachi Zaraki and his Reigai suddenly appear and destroy the roof on impact.

Unohana taunts Mayuri.

Unohana attacks with her Shikai.

From afar, Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi observes the battle between Kenpachi and his Reigai, commenting on their barbarism and says he would rather have his future test subjects as unharmed as possible. Captain Retsu Unohana’s Reigai appears behind him, asking Mayuri if he only intends to watch the battle, calling him a coward. Mayuri turns around, deciding to use Unohana’s Reigai as a test subject and activates his Shikai to attack. To his surprise, the Reigai’s Shikai appears behind him, but Mayuri avoids the attack. The Reigai uses Bakudō #63. Sajō Sabaku detaching his left hand. Mayuri smirks, saying that would never work on him, as his arm grows back, only to be cut down by Kenpachi’s Reigai.

Both Captain Ukitake and Kyōraku notice Mayuri’s injury, as Captain Byakuya Kuchiki’s Reigai activates his Bankai. Before the captains can react, the area is enveloped by countless tiny blades.

Yushima, on Sōkyoku Hill, chuckles, saying that it won’t be long. The inner Hollow fires a Cero, causing an explosion. Yushima smiles and notes that it is quite remarkable he still pursues him, proceeding to use Bakudō #30. Shitotsu Sansen, stopping Ichigo in his tracks. Ōko tells him that he does not have time to waste on him. Ichigo breaks free and charges at Ōko, who responds by attacking with Hadō #58. Tenran, followed by Bakudō #99, Part 1. Kin, stopping him. Ōko repeats himself saying that he does not have time for him, and he exerts a huge amount of Reiatsu.

The Reigai notice that Yushima has become more powerful.

Below, the Reigai notice the incident, and Unohana’s Reigai notes that "Kagerōza" must have reached full power and the other Reigai proclaim that victory will be theirs.

Reigai-Urahara uses Hadō #32. Ōkasen.

Back at the Senkaimon, Urahara uses Bakudō #4. Hainawa, but his Reigai slashes through the Kidō. Urahara admits that a sneak attack is pointless if the opponent can still see and uses Bakudō #37. Tsuriboshi, to no effect. They both use Bakudō #63. Sajō Sabaku. Urahara uses Bakudō #75. Gochūtekkan, but his Reigai appears behind him, saying that he is wide open. The Reigai quickly fires Hadō #88. Hiryū Gekizoku Shinten Raihō, which Urahara stops with Bakudō #81. Dankū and attacks his Reigai, injuring the clone’s hand. Reigai-Urahara quickly uses Hadō #32. Ōkasen.

Ichigo's friends arrive.

A Hollowfied Ichigo stares at Yushima, paralyzed. Yushima says that he pities him, as he is unable to return to being a Shinigami, nor able to become a full Hollow. Yushima draws his Zanpakutō and prepares to slay Ichigo. He is suddenly distracted due to his vision blurring momentarily and Rukia appears, charging at Yushima, along with Renji. Orihime, Uryū, and Sado arrive as well and Uryū is confused by Yushima, as he has both Nozomi’s and Kagerōza’s Reiatsu, noting that is puts them at a huge disadvantage. Yushima smiles, stating that people like them are no match for him and asks them why they even bothered to come. Rukia answers that they have come to save their friends.

Yushima being mocked by others.

Yushima remembers his time at the Shin'ō Academy, where he was mocked and teased by both students and teachers for being weak and when he became a Shinigami, he swore that no matter at what circumstance, he would not need the help of others since they are only a hinderance to him. He remembers himself leading Project Spearhead, and splitting his soul in two.

Yushima laughs at Rukia’s words and says that if they don't value their lives and would sacrifice them like that, then they should die immediately and Yushima then exerts a large amount of Reiatsu, shocking the group.

Rangiku stops the Reigai's attack.

Below, Hitsugaya’s Reigai attacks Hitsugaya, who is saved by Lieutenant Rangiku Matsumoto. Many of the original lieutenants and other Shinigami appear to help. Kenpachi tells Ikkaku and Yumichika that he doesn't need their help, but they can go ahead and eliminate the weaker Reigai, as they are distracting him from his fight. The two comply and release their Shikai.

Yushima uses his Zanpakutō and teleports, but Ishida sees through his plan and fires an arrow. Ishida explains that he can manipulate space, therefore he can change location instantly and without warning. He says that when they first fought, he thought that he manipulated time, but he soon realized that he can create space that never existed before and uses that to change location, then asks Yushima if he is correct. Yushima apologizes to Uryū, stating that he has underestimated him, and that he will use his full power from now on. Renji says that he won’t allow that and charges at him, but Yushima uses Sumitsukigasa and effortlessly throws Renji back.

Urahara notices something and becomes distracted, while his Reigai activates Shikai and attacks Urahara, but is instantly parried. The two combatants then rush to attack.

Yushima returns Ishida's attack.

Both Rukia and Sado attack, but Yushima teleports away. Ishida fires a multitude of arrows, but all are absorbed and fired back, knocking the entire group back. Renji asks him what he did, and Yushima explains that he was able to reproduce the attack with Raikū and make the attack his own with Arazome Shigure, as his Zanpakutō possesses both abilities. He says that using Raikū drains his energy, but thanks to Arazome Shigure, he can use Raikū without losing any Reiatsu at all and that he is a combination of both Nozomi and Kagerōza. Renji gets up, despite his injuries, says that he’ll defeat Yushima and activates his Bankai. Thanks to Sumitsukigasa, Renji is defeated in moments. Ishida says that all they can do is fire an attack that he cannot absorb.

Back below, Lieutenant Iba and Captain Komamura fight their respective Reigai and Komamura tells his lieutenant not to get distracted. Reigai-Unohana repeatedly fires Kidō at Yoruichi, but misses. Yoruichi Shihōin curses the Reigai, saying they attack at random times and places. The originals, who value fighting one-on-one, are at a disadvantage. Suddenly, Reigai Shunsui appears in front of her.

Sado blocks the attack meant for Renji.

Rukia uses Tsugi no mai, Hakuren and Ishida uses Licht Regen to attack, along with Renji, who uses his Bankai, but all three fail. Yushima goes to attack Renji, but the attack is blocked by Sado, allowing an opening and Rukia attacks with Tsugi no mai, Hakuren, but Yushima deflects the attack with his bare hand and angrily stabs Sado and Renji. Ishida tries to attack again, but Yushima sends an attack powerful enough to knock all his opponents down.

Ichigo shields Rukia.

Yushima tells Rukia that the reason he became a Modified Soul was so that he could unlock the full potential of his Zanpakutō. Rukia asks him if he plans to use his power to rule Soul Society. Yushima asks Rukia if she really believed that nonsense, saying that his true objective is to destroy Soul Society, shocking Rukia. Yushima then tries to kill Rukia, but Ichigo intercepts the attack and is stabbed in her place.

Shinigami Illustrated Picture Book

Yushima explains how he created his Reigai army. He explains that Reigai are Mod-Souls that reside in Gigai, the reason why they revert to Mod Souls when their body is destroyed, but they can be recreated as long as the pill remains. As he begins to explain the process of creating the Reigai, Ishida, Rukia, and Orihime appear behind him, playing around with Ichigo's inner Hollow and making him jump through a hoop. As they cheer, Yushima asks if they are even listening.

Characters in Order of Appearance

  1. Renji Abarai
  2. Rukia Kuchiki
  3. Uryū Ishida
  4. Yasutora Sado
  5. Orihime Inoue
  6. Tessai Tsukabishi
  7. Ikkaku Madarame
  8. Yumichika Ayasegawa
  9. Tetsuzaemon Iba
  10. Izuru Kira
  11. Hollowfied Ichigo Kurosaki
  12. Nanao Ise (Reigai)
  13. Ōko Yushima (Modified Soul)
  14. Nozomi Kujō (fused)
  15. Kagerōza Inaba (fused)
  16. Kisuke Urahara
  17. Kisuke Urahara (Reigai)
  18. Tōshirō Hitsugaya
  19. Tōshirō Hitsugaya (Reigai)
  20. Sajin Komamura (Reigai)
  21. Sajin Komamura
  22. Shūhei Hisagi (Reigai)
  23. Jūshirō Ukitake
  24. Ikkaku Madarame (Reigai)
  25. Shunsui Kyōraku
  26. Kenpachi Zaraki
  27. Kenpachi Zaraki (Reigai)
  28. Mayuri Kurotsuchi
  29. Retsu Unohana (Reigai)
  30. Byakuya Kuchiki (Reigai)
  31. Shunsui Kyōraku (Reigai)
  32. Jūshirō Ukitake (Reigai)
  33. Rangiku Matsumoto
  34. Shūhei Hisagi
  35. Isane Kotetsu
  36. Nemu Kurotsuchi
  37. Marechiyo Ōmaeda
  38. Tetsuzaemon Iba (Reigai)
  39. Yoruichi Shihōin
  40. Rangiku Matsumoto (Reigai)
  41. Byakuya Kuchiki


Powers and Techniques Used

Kidō used:

Shinigami techniques used:

Hollow technique used:

  • Cero (虚閃, Zero (虚閃 (セロ) is Spanish for "Zero", Japanese for "Hollow Flash"; VizDoom Blast))

Techniques used:

  • Santen Kesshun (三天結盾, Three Sacred Links Shield)
  • Licht Regen (光の雨 , Light Rain (光の雨 (リヒト・レーゲン) is German/Dutch for "Light Rain", Japanese for "Rain of Light"))
  • Tsugi no mai, Hakuren (次の舞・白漣, Next Dance, White Ripple)
  • Irooni (艶鬼, Lustrous Demon)

Zanpakutō released:



Other powers:

  • Ginrei Kojaku (銀嶺弧雀, Arc Sparrow of the Silver Peak (銀嶺弧雀, Arc Sparrow of the Silver Peak, Viz “Lone Sparrow on a Silver Cliff))
  • Brazo Derecha de Gigante (巨人の右腕, Right Arm of the Giant)
  • Shun Shun Rikka (盾舜六花, Six Flowers of the Hibiscus Shield)


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