The Cruel Arrancar, Ulquiorra's Provocation
Kanji 残酷な破面、ウルキオラの挑発
Romanji Zankoku na arankaru, Urukiora no chōhatsu
Episode Number 161
Manga Chapters Chapter 269 (from page 8), Chapter 270.
Arc The Hueco Mundo arc Part 1
Previous Episode Testament, Your Heart is Right Here...
Next Episode Szayelaporro Laughs, The Net Trapping Renji is Complete
Japanese February 20, 2008
English October 24, 2009
Theme Music
Opening After Dark
Ending Kansha
Episode 161 Screenshots

The Cruel Arrancar, Ulquiorra's Provocation is the one-hundred-sixty-first episode of the Bleach anime.

As the Espada react to the death of Aaroniero Arruruerie, Ichigo Kurosaki is confronted by Ulquiorra Cifer.


161Szayelaporro draws

Szayelaporro Granz unsheathes his Zanpakutō to battle Renji.

As Lieutenant Renji Abarai wonders what happened to his Bankai, Szayelaporro Granz informs him that he can't use it in this room. Renji is shocked by this and Szayelaporro tells him to take his Bankai out again, as it will make him look like the perfect fool. Szayelaporro explains that he knows everything about his Bankai and because of that, he was able to make this chamber able to negate it. However, Renji points out that only someone who has fought against him would know all of that information. Szayelaporro states that he was able to get all of this info from his brother, Yylfordt Granz and Renji is shocked from this. Szayelaporro is surprised that he actually remembered "trash like him" and thanks his opponent for that. He goes on to explain that he put spectral parasites on Yylfordt's body, which collected information on his Bankai. Szayelaporro tells him though that he's not out for revenge and that he's mature enough not to get mad over his "box" getting broken. Renji calls him scum and Szayelaporro states that he didn't expect him to say that. Szayelaporro tells him that he has no way to win and he unsheathes his Zanpakutō, while telling him not to struggle as this is his first time meeting someone with a Bankai and he'd rather not have his body get mangled before he dies.

The Espada all sense the death of Aaroniero. Emilou Apacci asks Tier Harribel what they should do, but she doesn't answer, Baraggan Louisenbairn remarks that he wasted his life, Zommari Rureaux simply continues meditating and Yammy Llargo scoffs at this news. Lilynette Gingerbuck puts her hand in Coyote Starrk's mouth to wake him up, choking Starrk in the process. Lilynette says good morning to him, but Starrk decides to go back to sleep. After some fighting, he finally stays up. She informs him that Aaroniero is dead, but Starrk already knew that. When asked if it's alright, he asks what could he do.


Lumina and Verona inform Szayelaporro of Aaroniero's death.

Renji releases his Zanpakutō, Zabimaru and attacks Szayelaporro. He begins overpowering the Espada, but just as he's about to go for the final blow, Szayelaporro remarks that he was just kidding and easily blocks his Zanpakutō. He then counterattacks his opponent and Renji is forced to kneel down from his injuries. As Szayelaporro mocks him, Renji realizes that Szayelaporro barely moved from his original position. Szayelaporro asks Renji if this is the best he can do without his Bankai and Renji angrily responds by attacking him again. Szayelaporro tells him that he no longer needs to study his attacks and wounds Renji's left shoulder. Renji continues attacking him, but Szayelaporro overwhelms him. All of a sudden two of Szayelaporro's Fracción, Lumina and Verona, appear and they inform him of Aaroniero's death. Szayelaporro realizes that they're correct and states that he didn't notice because of his current battle. He informs Renji of this news as well and tells him about Rukia Kuchiki's "death", causing Renji to attack Szayelaporro again. As Szayelaporro blocks the blow, he mocks his opponent, but Renji puts much more force behind it, causing a small amount of blood to slide down on the Espada's head.

As Ichigo runs through Las Noches, he notices Rukia's disappearing Reiatsu. All of a sudden Ulquiorra appears on top of a flight of stairs and states that he's shocked that he would actually notice Rukia's predicament as he thought he was just nothing but brawn. He then tells Ichigo that it's been some time since they last saw each other.


Ulquiorra Cifer provokes Ichigo into attacking him.

Uryū Ishida senses the Reiatsu of everyone around Las Noches and Pesche Guatiche asks him a question while referring to him as "Ichigo". After they argue about this for a bit, they continue on through the palace.

As he walks down the flight of stairs, Ichigo remembers who Ulquiorra is and refers to him by his name, surprising the Espada as he didn't remember telling him his name. Ulquiorra then reaches the bottom of the stairs and informs him that Rukia and Aaroniero killed each other in battle. Ichigo tells him that he doesn't know that, since he wasn't at their battle, but Ulquiorra tells him that Aaroniero had the ability to give information to the rest of the Espada on whoever he was fighting. As this is happening, Orihime Inoue bangs on the door to the room she's locked in and desperately yells for someone to let her out so she can help Rukia. Ichigo decides to leave this location and help Rukia, but Ulquiorra asks him if he's sure he doesn't want to kill him before he leaves. Ichigo tells him that while he may be his enemy, he's done nothing to anger him. However, Ulquiorra provokes him by revealing his involvement in Orihime's kidnapping. Ichigo immediately unsheathes his Zanpakutō and attacks Ulquiorra, who blocks the blow with his arm. Ichigo tells him that because of what he did, everyone is calling Orihime a traitor, but Ulquiorra tells him that if that wasn't the case then his plan would have failed. Ichigo tells Nel Tu to get out of the way and he activates his Bankai, Tensa Zangetsu.

Shinigami Illustrated Picture Book

Lieutenants Nemu Kurotsuchi and Isane Kotetsu take pictures of Captain Byakuya Kuchiki, but Byakuya notices this and they run away. However, he is able to hold them down with Onmitsukidō members. He then unsheathes his Zanpakutō in front of them and tells them that they guaranteed defeat by choosing him as a target.

Characters in Order of Appearance


Powers and Techniques Used

Hollow techniques used:

  • Hierro (鋼皮 , Iron (鋼皮 (イエロ) is Spanish for "Iron", Japanese for "Steel Skin";Viz "Iron Skin"))
  • Negación (反膜 , Negation (反膜 (ネガシオン) is Spanish for "Negation", Japanese for "Counter-Membrane")) (flashback)

Techniques used:

Zanpakutō released:



Resurrección used:

  • Del Toro (蒼角王子, Of the Bull (蒼角王子 (デルトロ) is Spanish for "Of the Bull," Japanese for "Pale-Horned Prince")) (flashback)
  • Glotonería (喰虚 , Gluttony (喰虚 (グロトネリア) is Spanish for "Gluttony", Japanese for "Eating Hollow"; Viz "Hollow Eater"))


Testament, Your Heart is Right Here...Szayelaporro Laughs, The Net Trapping Renji is Complete
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