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The Shinigami whom Ganju Met
Kanji 岩鷲の見た死神
Romanji Ganju no mita Shinigami
Episode Number 40
Manga Chapters Chapter 113, Chapter 114, Chapter 115, Chapter 116
Arc Soul Society: The Sneak Entry arc
Previous Episode The Immortal Man
Next Episode Reunion, Ichigo and Rukia
Japanese July 12, 2005
English July 8, 2007
Theme Music
Opening D-tecnoLife
Ending Happypeople
Episode 40 Screenshots

The Shinigami whom Ganju Met is the fortieth episode of the Bleach anime.

While 11th Division Lieutenant Yachiru Kusajishi reminisces about her history with her captain, Kenpachi Zaraki, Ganju Shiba and 4th Division 7th Seat Hanatarō Yamada reach Rukia Kuchiki's cell in Senzaikyū.



The blade of Kenpachi Zaraki's Zanpakutō snaps in two from Ichigo Kurosaki's final blow.

Standing over a nearly unconscious Ichigo Kurosaki as he bleeds on the ground after being run through and torn open by his Zanpakutō, a grievously injured 11th Division Captain Kenpachi Zaraki watches a large amount of blood spurt from the deep chest wound inflicted upon him by Ichigo's Shikai, Zangetsu, and grins as he rests his Zanpakutō on his shoulder. With the blade of his Zanpakutō snapping in two, Kenpachi questions Ichigo's apology to his friends and asserts that he won.


Yachiru Kusajishi bows and sincerely thanks Ichigo.

Kenpachi loses consciousness and collapses as well, and as a strong wind blows over the area, his lieutenant, Yachiru Kusajishi, solemnly approaches the two of them. After reaching Ichigo, Yachiru bows and cheerfully thanks him for giving Kenpachi his first truly enjoyable fight in a long time, as she has not seen him so happy in a while. As she hoists Kenpachi over her shoulders, Yachiru requests that Ichigo survive and fight Kenpachi again if he can before leaping into the air with Kenpachi and repeatedly springing off two adjacent buildings as she disappears into the sky, leaving Ichigo to lose consciousness as well while watching them depart.


Ganju Shiba and Hanatarō Yamada reach Senzaikyū.

Meanwhile, Ganju Shiba and 4th Division 7th Seat Hanatarō Yamada stand atop a building close to Senzaikyū as Hanatarō observes that the sounds of combat have stopped. When Hanatarō wonders if Ichigo is alright, Ganju asserts that they have come too far to turn back and have no choice but to believe in him. With Hanatarō unsure of this, Ganju declares that they cannot get distracted since it is their turn now before pulling a grappling hook out of the pouch on his waist and spinning it above his head. Upon being told by Ganju that they are jumping across and being asked if he is ready, Hanatarō affirms this, prompting Ganju to begin running forward.


The grappling hook crashes into the ground next to Hanatarō.

Ganju spins around and attempts to throw the grappling hook across the gap with the force of his momentum, only to discover that the end of the rope has snapped as the metal grappling hook crashes into the ground a few feet away from Hanatarō. Shocked by this, Hanatarō admonishes Ganju for doing something so dangerous, which he bashfully apologizes for. Inside Shishinrō within Senzaikyū, Rukia Kuchiki realizes that the fighting has stopped because both Reiatsu have disappeared and admits that she cannot tell which combatant died due to the Sekkiseki walls around her diffusing and scattering the Reiatsu she is sensing.


Rukia wonders what Kaien Shiba would do in her situation.

Pondering why someone would spill blood for her sake, Rukia recalls dragging the body of another Shinigami and asks Kaien Shiba what he would do in her situation. Outside, Ganju ties the grappling hook to the rope it snapped off of with a butterfly knot and declares that it should be fine now, only for Hanatarō to point out that Ganju also tied up his arms as he holds up his wrists, which are bound together by the rope. After deciding that it would be too much trouble to untie him, Ganju proclaims that Hanatarō can simply fly alongside the grappling hook and begins spinning the latter above his head while Hanatarō protests that his arms are going to be ripped off.


Yoruichi Shihōin glows blue and grows in size.

Despite this, Ganju throws Hanatarō toward Senzaikyū as he screams in terror over the perceived impossibility of this tactic. Meanwhile, Yoruichi Shihōin stands over Ichigo and apologizes for being late. While praising Ichigo for battling a foe as tough as Kenpachi to a draw even though he was heavily wounded, Yoruichi promises to not let him die and begins glowing blue before suddenly growing in size. In the past, as a young Kenpachi sits in a clearing with his bloody Zanpakutō while surrounded by corpses, a toddler Yachiru smiles happily as she looks at his blade. Questioning where Yachiru came from, Kenpachi wonders if she is not scared of his sword.


Yachiru meets Kenpachi for the first time.

Kenpachi describes his Zanpakutō as a tool for killing people, but Yachiru simply grabs the blade and giggles as her hand is covered in blood. When he realizes that Yachiru does not have a name, Kenpachi reveals that he does not either. In the present, Kenpachi opens his eyes to find Yachiru standing over him on a rooftop, leading Yachiru to jump up in down in joy while celebrating his survival. Upon being asked by Kenpachi about Ichigo's condition, Yachiru assures him that she called 4th Division Captain Retsu Unohana to come tend to his injuries, and when Kenpachi reiterates his question, Yachiru admits she is not sure before theorizing Ichigo has survived.


Yachiru insists that Kenpachi won the battle.

When Kenpachi asserts that this is good because he needs to pay Ichigo back, a confused Yachiru claims that there is nothing to pay him back for, only for Kenpachi to deny this on the grounds of him losing. With Yachiru insisting that he did not lose, an amused Kenpachi questions why she looks so distraught, which prompts Yachiru to explain that Kenpachi won due to Ichigo fighting alongside Zangetsu and the battle thus being two-on-one. As Kenpachi chuckles at this, Yachiru demands that he not laugh and pushes her hand into his cheek to press his head against the ground, causing a surprised Kenpachi to spit onto the ground in response.


A young Kenpachi gives Yachiru her name.

Musing on the concept of fighting alongside one's Zanpakutō, Kenpachi asks Yachiru if she remembers the day that he decided her name, and with Yachiru confirming this and claiming to even remember how many clouds were in the sky that day, a smiling Kenpachi notes he does as well. Kenpachi grabs his broken Zanpakutō with his right hand, causing Yachiru to express confusion, and holds it up as he admits he had forgotten how painful it is to not have a name, with him having watched everyone around him be called by their name while he was never recognized this way in his youth. In the past, Kenpachi draws Yachiru's name in the dirt with his Zanpakutō.


Kenpachi asks his Zanpakutō for its name.

After Kenpachi notes that it is the name of the one person he has ever admired and that he is giving it to her, Yachiru happily says her name while Kenpachi decides to take the name of the strongest Shinigami in every generation. In the present, Kenpachi observes that he has kept his Zanpakutō waiting for a long time and requests that it tell him its name even though it has been so many years, only to not receive a response. As he smiles at his failure, Kenpachi holds his Zanpakutō over his face and expresses a desire to become stronger due to having found someone to fight for the first time in a long time, and as Yachiru looks away, Kenpachi slams his Zanpakutō into the ground.


Yachiru assures Kenpachi that he can get stronger.

With Kenpachi emotionally yelling that he wants to become stronger, Yachiru recounts how she had neither a name nor parents as a baby in Kusajishi, the 79th district of the Rukongai, and only knew the color of blood red because the people around her were more beast than human and could have easily stomped her to death before Kenpachi came from Zaraki, the 80th district of the Rukongai, and hacked apart her blood-soaked world to give her a name. After concluding that she would not be here now if it were not for Kenpachi, Yachiru assures him that he can do it and promises to get stronger alongside him because she knows he is the strongest one of all.


The two guards argue over their reaction to the Reiatsu.

However, when she does not receive a response from Kenpachi, who lets go of his Zanpakutō, Yachiru repeatedly calls out to him in concern. Meanwhile, on the walkway connected to the bridge outside Senzaikyū, one of the guards expresses relief at the intense Reiatsu finally dying down and notes that the fight was incredibly fierce. Upon being teased by the other guard as being pathetic for being shaken by the Reiatsu all the way over here, the first guard observes he is also shaking and is pathetic as well, leading the other guard to demand to know why he is considered pathetic. Suddenly, the second guard has a few drops of Shinten poured on his forehead by Hanatarō.


Hanatarō explains the properties of Shinten to Ganju.

With the second guard collapsing, the remaining guard sees Hanatarō creeping along the edge of the roof above and prepares to pursue him, only for Ganju to land on the walkway behind him and elbow him in the face, sending the guard hurtling down the walkway and crashing into the railing at the end. As he descends the grappling hook rope to the walkway, Hanatarō chastises Ganju for overdoing it, and when an incredulous Ganju brings up the drug he used on the other guard, Hanatarō details how it is a type of anesthetic called Shinten that will knock out anyone with low Reiatsu with the application of a few drops to their skin, unnerving Ganju with its effect.


Ganju and Hanatarō reach the entrance to Rukia's cell.

Hanatarō brushes this off and runs toward Senzaikyū, leaving Ganju to follow him. Shortly afterward, Ganju and Hanatarō reach the entrance to Rukia's cell, which Ganju notes is a shutter-type as he wonders how they will open it. Suddenly, Hanatarō tells him to not worry and responds to a confused Ganju's inquiry of what he has this time by pulling a wooden block key out of his shihakushō and revealing that he took it from the storage room in the canal network last night. With Hanatarō inserting the key and working on the lock, a surprised Ganju questions if it is alright for him to do such a thing, only for Hanatarō to admit that it likely is not.


Ganju and Hanatarō open the shutter to Rukia's cell.

However, Hanatarō details how he was thinking about how Ichigo keeps fighting so hard while he only runs away, which he considers to not look good, and concludes that he decided to do whatever it takes to save Rukia because that is also what he wants, even if it means he will be punished later. Though Hanatarō bashfully claims that stealing a key is all he can do and is not very helpful, Ganju assures him that he has done more than enough. As the shutter rises upward, Ganju theorizes that Rukia must be very attractive if everyone wants to save her so desperately, though Hanatarō denies this, and cheerfully looks inside the Shishinrō in search of her.


Ganju is mortified to discover who Rukia is.

Despite this, Ganju is mortified upon seeing Rukia and remembers seeing her once before with a spatter of blood on her face. When a surprised Rukia asks Ganju who he is and if he is with Ichigo, Hanatarō pops out from behind Ganju and calls out to Rukia as he expresses relief at her being alright. With Rukia wondering what he is doing here, Hanatarō runs over to her and promises to tell her later before attempting to pull Rukia by the wrist toward the door while telling Ganju to hurry because there is no time to waste. However, Ganju remains standing still in silence, and as a concerned Hanatarō wonders what is wrong, Rukia recognizes the pattern on his pants.


Rukia brings Kaien Shiba's corpse to his family.

Rukia asks Ganju if he is a member of the Shiba Clan, prompting Hanatarō to question if they know each other. Affirming this, Ganju recalls the night of his brother's death and tensely states that he could never forget Rukia's face before claiming that she is the Shinigami who killed Kaien. Unnerved by this, Hanatarō attempts to assure Ganju that Rukia could never do something like this, but Ganju recounts how Kaien's slit throat and stabbed chest were wounds from a sword and not something he would have died from had he fought a Hollow. As Ganju angrily proclaims that she said she killed Kaien that night, Rukia somberly tells a protesting Hanatarō that he is right.


Ganju confronts Rukia over her killing of his brother.

When Rukia reaffirms that Kaien indeed died by her hand, an enraged Ganju grabs her by the collar, and as Rukia assures him that he can do as he wishes to her without complaint, Hanatarō grabs Ganju's free arm while begging him to stop and reminding him that they came here to save Rukia because Ichigo entrusted them with her life. Suddenly, the three of them experience the sensation of a powerful Reiatsu crushing down on them, and as Ganju and Hanatarō turn around to face the doorway in fright, 6th Division Captain Byakuya Kuchiki approaches them on the bridge. During this, 13th Division Captain Jūshirō Ukitake lies in the Ugendō Quarters in his division's barracks.


Jūshirō Ukitake is informed of Sōsuke Aizen's murder.

Having been informed of 5th Division Captain Sōsuke Aizen's murder by his 3rd Seats, Sentarō Kotsubaki and Kiyone Kotetsu, Ukitake coughs repeatedly and props himself up with an ice bag held to his temple as he inquires about the circumstances of the incident, prompting Sentarō and Kiyone to relay in unison that it occurred this morning while the murder and motive remain unknown. Upon being asked by Ukitake why he was not informed of this sooner, Sentarō declares that he delayed the report out of concern for Ukitake's health and requests to be punished for this, only for Kiyone to claim that this is not fair and ask to be punished as well.


Ganju and Hanatarō are stunned by Byakuya Kuchiki's arrival.

With Sentarō and Kiyone arguing over copying one another's words, Ukitake asserts that this is enough and gets to his feet before deciding that he cannot stay her like this. Back at the bridge leading to Senzaikyū, a stunned Hanatarō identifies Byakuya, and when Ganju expresses recognition of him, Hanatarō is left surprised that Ganju knows of him. Ganju describes Byakuya as the current leader of the Kuchiki Clan, one of the four highest noble families, and the most well-known of the Gotei 13 captains, leading him to nervously conclude that someone like Byakuya appearing at this time is the worst thing which could have happened to them.


Ganju refuses to die for Rukia's sake.

As Ganju states that there is no way they can win and suggests that they beg for their lives, a shocked Hanatarō reminds him that they came here to rescue Rukia, but Ganju points out how there is no way out of the cell other than across the bridge before demanding to know if Hanatarō wants him to sacrifice his life for Rukia. While Ganju refuses to do this for someone who killed his brother, a trembling Hanatarō acknowledges this and admits that it would be asking too much of Ganju to force him to stay here for her sake because he never had a personal reason to save Rukia, only to request that he take Rukia with him when he escapes from Senzaikyū.


Hanatarō thanks Ganju for everything he has done.

Upon being told by Hanatarō that he plans to stay here and hold off Byakuya, a stunned Ganju questions what he is talking about and declares Hanatarō's understanding of his reluctance to sacrifice his life for an enemy to be irrelevant due to neither of them being able to handle someone with Byakuya's Reiatsu. Affirming this, Hanatarō claims he came this far out of a desire to save Rukia and cannot simply leave without doing anything before bowing as he thanks Ganju for everything he has done. With a smiling Hanatarō walking out of the entrance onto the bridge, Rukia desperately calls after him in an attempt to dissuade him, only for Ganju to block her.


Ganju confronts Byakuya after throwing Hanatarō back.

Though Rukia insists that he get out of her way, Ganju berates Hanatarō for attempting this without even having his Zanpakutō and visibly trembling. After ridiculing the idea of acting so tough despite being a weakling, Ganju curses and throws Rukia back before yelling loudly as he runs after Hanatarō and leaps over him onto the bridge. As he tells Hanatarō to stay back, Ganju picks him up by the collar and throws him back toward Rukia's cell, to Hanatarō's dismay. Turning to face Byakuya, Ganju mentally apologizes to Kaien for delaying his revenge due to Kūkaku Shiba not raising a coward who would abandon his friends as he proclaims that he will be Byakuya's opponent.

Next Episode Preview[]

Yoruichi Shihōin observes that the story is reaching its climax, and upon being asked if they can guess the secret that Yoruichi has been hiding all this time, Ichigo Kurosaki guesses that Yoruichi can speak human but not cat, 4th Division 7th Seat Hanatarō Yamada guesses that Yoruichi's fur is dyed black, and Ganju Shiba guesses that Yoruichi is actually a dog, only for Yoruichi to wonder with irritation if they are trying to make Yoruichi look like a fool.

Characters in Order of Appearance[]


Powers and Techniques Used[]

Other Powers:

Zanpakutō released:



Timestamp Track Listing
01:27 Bleach OST 1 - 13 - Burden Of The Past
03:59 Bleach 5th Anniversary Box CD 1 - 6 - BL_21
05:08 Bleach 5th Anniversary Box CD 1 - 11 - BL_995
05:23 No Official Release
06:12 Bleach OST 1 - 01 - On the Precipice of Defeat
08:23 Bleach 5th Anniversary Box CD 1 - 10 - BL_93
09:58 Bleach OST 1 - 19 - Never Meant To Belong
11:59 Bleach 5th Anniversary Box CD 1 - 11 - BL_995
13:38 No Official Release
14:51 Bleach 5th Anniversary Box CD 1 - 04 - BL_75
16:53 Bleach 5th Anniversary Box CD 1 - 04 - BL_75
17:48 No Official Release
19:27 Bleach OST 1 - 14 - Destiny Awaits
20:57 Bleach 5th Anniversary Box CD 1 - 18 - BL_33

Anime Notes[]

  • One of the guards outside Senzaikyū commenting on how Ichigo Kurosaki and Kenpachi Zaraki's fight demolished the eastern half of the compound before wondering if the cells inside the buildings were destroyed as well.
  • One of the guards calling the other guard pathetic for shaking.
  • Ganju Shiba referring to the door to Rukia Kuchiki's cell as the last door.
  • Jūshirō Ukitake declaring that he will get to the bottom of this situation.

  • Ganju spinning around as he prepares to throw his grappling hook, only for it to snap off the rope and crash into the rooftop next to Hanatarō Yamada, who lectures an apologetic Ganju on how dangerous this was.
  • A brief flashback to Rukia bringing back Kaien Shiba's corpse while she is musing on being fought for.
  • Ganju tying the severed grappling hook back onto the rope with a knot, only to discover that he has accidentally tied up Hanatarō's wrists as well and deciding to throw him along with the grappling hook, which he proceeds to do despite Hanatarō's protests.
  • Yoruichi Shihōin admitting that she is impressed by Ichigo doing so well against Kenpachi.
  • Kenpachi writing out Yachiru's name in the dirt with his Zanpakutō.
  • Ganju questioning what item Hanatarō has got this time.
  • Hanatarō asserting that Ganju's account of the night of his brother's death cannot be correct.
  • Ganju demanding that Hanatarō shut up while the latter is attempting to calm him down.
  • Sentarō Kotsubaki claiming that he delayed the report out of concern for Ukitake's health and requesting punishment, prompting Kiyone Kotetsu to request punishment as well and argue with Sentarō over who is copying who before Ukitake tells them to stop and notes that he cannot stay here.

  • The bodies surrounding Kenpachi and Yachiru in their flashback are covered in far less blood, while the ground has no blood spattered on it at all.
  • Ganju does not slam his head against the wall and draw blood that trickles down either side of his nose.

  • In the manga, Ganju and Hanatarō reach Senzaikyū after Kenpachi expresses his desire to become stronger; here, they instead do so after Yachiru takes Kenpachi elsewhere.
  • In the manga, Rukia comments on the fighting having stopped after Yoruichi finds Ichigo; here, she instead does so after Ganju and Hanatarō reach Senzaikyū.
  • In the manga, Yoruichi finds Ichigo after Ganju and Hanatarō reach Senzaikyū; here, she instead does so after Ganju throws Hanatarō across the gap.
  • In the manga, Yachiru refers to Kenpachi as being her entire world after promising that they will grow stronger together; here, she instead does so beforehand.
  • In the manga, after expressing confusion at Ganju's frightened reaction to his Shinten, Hanatarō assures him that it will not work on strong individuals; here, he instead notes that they should get going and runs toward Senzaikyū.
  • In the manga, Ganju briefly recalls Rukia's blood-spattered face after she inquires if he is with Ichigo; here, he instead does so upon seeing her inside the Shishinrō.
  • In the manga, Ukitake is informed of Aizen's assassination by a Riteitai, who falls backwards out of the Ugendō Quarters in surprise when Ukitake reacts as he stands in the doorway; here, he is instead informed by Sentarō and Kiyone, who remain inside the building with Ukitake as he lies down with a water pack on his head.
  • In the manga, Ukitake wonders what has happened while he was asleep; here, he instead questions why he was not woken up sooner.
  • In the manga, Ganju's realization of how scared Hanatarō is despite his bravado is mental; here, it is instead verbal.
  • In the manga, Ganju runs up to Hanatarō and kicks him back to Rukia's cell; here, he instead leaps over Hanatarō, picks him up by the collar, and throws him back to the cell.

  • Navigation[]

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