Stars and the Stray
Kanji 星と野良犬
Romanji Hoshi to norainu
Episode Number 32
Manga Chapters Chapter 98
Arc Soul Society: The Sneak Entry arc
Previous Episode The Resolution to Kill
Next Episode Miracle! The Mysterious New Hero
Japanese May 17, 2005
English May 6, 2007
Theme Music
Opening D-tecnoLife
Ending Houkiboshi
Episode 32 Screenshots

Stars and the Stray is the thirty-second episode of the Bleach anime.

Lieutenant Renji Abarai remembers his past with Rukia Kuchiki.



Renji cries out his frustration at not being able to avenge Rukia.

A flashback to the previous episode of Renji's defeat at Ichigo Kurosaki's hands. He falls to his knees, vision blurring, as Ganju Shiba and 7th Seat Hanatarō Yamada witness the end of the battle. Renji looks up and envisions Rukia, and has several flashbacks of her. He reaches out and regrets that he didn't go after her when she left.


Rukia slide tackles the man pursuing Renji and his friends.

Then the scene switches to Rukongai and Renji narrates, explaining that each district, North, South, East, and West, has 80 districts, with District 1 having the highest standard of living. As a child in the 78th District of South Rukongai, Renji explains that he was essentially "the lowest of the low." Renji, as a child, and some of his friends secretly strap a man's foot to his table, who is selling goods and swatting Renji and the others away, and steal some the goods he's selling. They run from the man who loosened the strap, and Rukia comes from nowhere, knocking the man down and leading the kids away. She is a child like them, and Renji announces this as the day he and Rukia first met. Renji gives her some of the candy they divided up as their loot. Before she can eat some, she sees an older child steal the candy of a younger one. The child wrestles it back, but it spills everywhere and he begins crying. Rukia boldly approaches the older child and scolds him. She then offers her own candy to the child and then walks outside. Renji runs after her and finds Rukia sitting in a tree happily, teasing Renji for coming and looking for her.

Back in the streets, the children find a rickshaw and hear some adults talking about someone leaving to become a Shinigami. They see the new Shinigami leave the building, but before he reaches the rickshaw, Rukia almost faints on the street. The Shinigami asks if she's hungry, and she says no. The Shinigami explains that it was likely his Reiatsu that caused her to collapse due to her hunger, and he gives her some food and leaves. In a back alley, the children practice summoning spirit energy. Renji struggles to form a ball of spirit energy, while Rukia summons a larger one with ease, and the other kids say the two should become Shinigami. Rukia says she wants to stay with her friends forever, and the others agree. Later, the two are hunting for fish unsuccessfully. Flowers float by, and Renji finally catches a fish. He turns in triumph to see the others staring at Rukia, clearly love struck. Renji scolds them for it and the scene changes to night as Renji notes that they were like close family back then.


The two decide to become Shinigami at the graves of their friends.

Another day, years later when Rukia and Renji are older, the two stand on a cliff overlooking the 78th South Rukongai District. Rukia tells Renji that they should become Shinigami. Renji recaps their meeting and how they had come together out of necessity. The scene pans out and three graves are visible, presumably belonging to their three childhood friends.


The two friends depart, Rukia being adopted into the Kuchiki nobility.

Soon, the two were accepted into the Shin'ō Academy. Renji excitedly announces that he knows the answer to a question the teacher asked, but the teacher points it's impractical for him to answer it by shouting out loud in class. The other students mock him for it. After class, Rukia is concerned about him, and she tells him to keep being enthusiastic and explains that she's sick of the upper class kids mocking them. Renji is next seen running eagerly down the hall to Rukia's room, announcing he passed a test. He stops short as he realizes that Rukia is in the presence of nobility, including Captain Byakuya Kuchiki. The nobles leave, announcing they expect a response from Rukia about something. Renji is awed by their Reiatsu, and once they leave, Renji unfreezes and asks what happened. Rukia announces they wanted to adopt her into the Kuchiki Clan. Renji tells her that he is happy and describes all of the benefits she will receive, but Rukia sadly exits the room with a few tears visible. Renji feels determined not to interfere with her happiness.

Back in the present, Renji stands with much effort. He curses his cowardice for not stopping Rukia from joining the Kuchiki Clan. He dashes up to Ichigo and announces that he feels responsible for Rukia's condition. He says he only wanted to make her happy when he encouraged her into the Kuchiki Clan and never expected her to end up being branded a traitor on death row. He begs Ichigo to save Rukia, which Ichigo solemnly accepts.

Kon-sama's Ultimate Shinigami Illustrated Guide

The featured character is Jirōbō Ikkanzaka.

Characters in Order of Appearance

  1. Renji Abarai
  2. Hanatarō Yamada
  3. Ganju Shiba
  4. Ichigo Kurosaki
  5. Rukia Kuchiki (flashback)
  6. Cleric of the Kuchiki House (flashback)
  7. Byakuya Kuchiki (flashback)



Powers and Techniques Used

Kidō Used:

  • Summoning Spirit Energy


The Resolution to KillMiracle! The Mysterious New Hero
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