Zangetsu Becomes an Enemy
Kanji 敵となった斬月
Romanji Teki to natta Zangetsu
Episode Number 233
Manga Chapters None
Arc Zanpakutō Unknown Tales arc
Previous Episode Sode no Shirayuki vs. Rukia! Delusion of the Heart
Next Episode Renji Surprised?! The Two Zabimaru
Japanese August 18, 2009
English December 4, 2011
Theme Music
Opening Shōjo S
Ending Mad Surfer
Episode 233 Screenshots

Zangetsu Becomes an Enemy is the two hundred and thirty-third episode of the Bleach anime.

Muramasa releases Zangetsu, and Ichigo Kurosaki fights him as his inner Hollow begins to take control.


233Senbonzakura looks

Senbonzakura looks at the center of the Seireitei.

In the Seireitei, Senbonzakura stands on a roof and looks at the center of the Seireitei. As Hōzukimaru asks Senbonzakura what he is doing, Ruri'iro Kujaku asks him if he sees anything interesting out there.

233Ruri'iro Kujaku begins

Ruri'iro Kujaku begins to walk towards Senbonzakura.

When Senbonzakura states it is none of his business, Ruri'iro Kujaku angrily demands to know what he said and states there is no need for this attitude. Senbonzakura does not respond, prompting Ruri'iro Kujaku to walk toward him while telling Senbonzakura to not ignore him.

233Ruri'iro Kujaku agrees

Ruri'iro Kujaku agrees with Hōzukimaru's goal.

Telling Ruri'iro Kujaku to not bother, Hōzukimaru says there is no point in fighting with one another before pointing out how their real enemies are in the center of the Seireitei. Ruri'iro Kujaku begins to protest, only for Hōzukimaru to proclaim the Shinigami will not get away next time before claiming he will crush his owner. Agreeing with him, Ruri'iro Kujaku admits he is looking forward to killing the one who refers to him with that insulting nickname as a smiling Hōzukimaru tells him that they will teach their owners a good lesson the next time that they meet.

233Muramasa asks

Muramasa asks Ichigo if he is going somewhere.

Meanwhile, a surprised Ichigo asks Muramasa if he said he was a Zanpakutō Spirit. Confirming this, Muramasa tells Sode no Shirayuki she should leave for now and leave this to him, prompting Sode no Shirayuki to thank him before moving away. Running forward, Ichigo tells Sode no Shirayuki to wait, prompting Muramasa to ask him if he is going somewhere. When Muramasa refers to him by his full name, Ichigo stops and asks Muramasa how he knows his name, only for Muramasa to state this is not important right now. Confused by this, Ichigo asks Muramasa what he is up to.

233Ichigo says

Ichigo proclaims Muramasa is the one behind all of this.

When Muramasa reveals he wishes to release all Zanpakutō Spirits from the Shinigami, Ichigo angrily proclaims Muramasa is the one behind all of this. Ichigo states Muramasa knows how Rukia can get her Zanpakutō Spirit back and tells him to start talking, only for Muramasa to ask Ichigo what a Zanpakutō Spirit is. As Ichigo expresses surprise, Muramasa explains how Zanpakutō Spirits are individual souls which are born in the hearts of Shinigami, draw their power from the same place as their Shinigami master, and are intertwined with their master's soul.

233Muramasa reveals

Muramasa reveals every Zanpakutō Spirit has its own free will like their Shinigami do.

Saying a Shinigami must reach deep into themselves to find the power hidden within, Muramasa states they commune with their Zanpakutō, bond together, and harness their power by learning their names. Muramasa notes certain Shinigami can gain even more power by manifesting an incarnation of their Zanpakutō and controlling it before stating that they wield the mighty Bankai. Pointing out how Ichigo and the captains have done this, Muramasa states living alongside Shinigami is not the only way for a Zanpakutō Spirit to exist. When Ichigo asks Muramasa what he is talking about, Muramasa reveals every Zanpakutō Spirit has its own free will like Ichigo does.

233Ichigo says this is not true

Ichigo says the Shinigami being arrogant is not true.

As Ichigo expresses confusion, Muramasa claims Zanpakutō Spirits are not dependent on Shinigami and states that they are two distinct and equal beings before asking Ichigo if this is so hard to believe. Muramasa proclaims this is more proof of how arrogant Shinigami are, prompting Ichigo to say this is not true. Claiming the blindness of the Shinigami is why he is here, Muramasa reveals he understands how the Zanpakutō Spirits think, sees into their souls, and grants physical form to those who join him, causing Ichigo to state this is impossible.

233Rukia states

Rukia states Muramasa is wrong about the Shinigami mistreating and ignoring their Zanpakutō Spirits.

Muramasa reveals any Zanpakutō Spirit who answers his call will become liberated from their Shinigami and manifest in the real world as their true form before stating that this power is the gift which he alone possesses. When Ichigo asks him why the Zanpakutō Spirits would listen to him, Muramasa says they do so because ignorant people like Ichigo have oppressed them for so long. Stating Muramasa is wrong, Rukia Kuchiki says what he is claiming is not the truth and states that she has never looked down on Sode no Shirayuki as her inferior before collapsing as Ichigo calls out to her. However, Muramasa says Rukia's Zanpakutō Spirit does not share her opinion before stating Sode no Shirayuki has confirmed what he is saying.

233Ichigo tells

Ichigo tells Rukia to stay there as he prepares to take on Muramasa in combat after hearing his intentions of freeing Ichigo's Zanpakutō Spirit and how he manipulated Rukia to this end.

When Rukia attempts to get up, Muramasa tells her there is no need to push herself and says Rukia has served her purpose well before asking her if she truly believed she was able to escape to the Human World on her own. Rukia expresses surprise as Muramasa reiterates his objective of freeing all Zanpakutō Spirits from their Shinigami before stating there are no exceptions. When Muramasa says he needed Ichigo to find his way here in order to accomplish this, Ichigo realizes Muramasa used Rukia for his plan as Muramasa welcomes Ichigo to his world. Rukia calls out to Ichigo, who tells her to stay there and rest while he handles Muramasa. Turning to Muramasa, Ichigo proclaims there is no way he will get away with this before stating they should take this elsewhere. Muramasa agrees, and the two move away.

233Muramasa blocks

Muramasa blocks Ichigo's attack with his Zanpakutō.

Muramasa appears on a roof as Ichigo falls towards him and prepares to attack. Manifesting his Zanpakutō form in his hand, Muramasa blocks Ichigo's attack and pushes him away. As he lands on top of a wall, Ichigo leaps towards Muramasa and attacks him once more. Blocking, Muramasa is forced back and blocks once more as Ichigo pushes him towards the ground. Muramasa lands on the ground and pushes Ichigo's blade away before leaping back when Ichigo slashes at him. As Muramasa extends his hand, the air around him distorts, prompting Ichigo to fire a Getsuga Tenshō at him.


The world around Ichigo begins to distort.

Hurtling towards Muramasa, the Getsuga Tenshō separates into three streams of Reiatsu upon hitting his hand. As the dust clears, Ichigo sees Muramasa has vanished and wonders where he is. Ichigo looks around as the world around him begins to distort. When Ichigo raises Zangetsu Muramasa tells him to put down his sword. Cursing, Ichigo slashes the air as the world around him begins to spin. Ichigo begins to spin in the opposite direction and is lifted into the air before falling to the ground. As Ichigo leaps up, Muramasa says this is useless as Ichigo is yanked forward.

233Portal opens

A swirling, black-red portal opens underneath Ichigo.

Ichigo lies on the ground and struggles to get up while wondering what is happening. As Muramasa walks towards him, Ichigo curses and demands to know what Muramasa did to him. Muramasa stomps on Ichigo's hand, sending the sword of Tensa Zangetsu flying away, and Ichigo curses as Muramasa hovers over him while perpendicular to his body. Extending his hand, Muramasa tells someone to hear his voice, follow their instincts, and release their soul from Ichigo's body. As Muramasa gestures with his hand, a swirling black-red portal opens underneath Ichigo, who screams in pain.

233Muramasa pulls

Muramasa pulls out a ribbon of red-black Reiatsu.

As Ichigo's body rotates to parallel his own, Muramasa tells someone to discard their fear, look ahead, go forth, and not stop. Red mist emanates from Ichigo as Muramasa states they will age if they turn back and will die if they hesitate before reaching into Ichigo's chest, causing him to scream in pain. Saying he knows their name, Muramasa says Zangetsu's name and pulls out a ribbon of red-black Reiatsu as the portal explodes. The dust clears as Ichigo lies in a small crater with Zangetsu in front of him. As Ichigo wonders what happened, Zangetsu calls out to him.

233Ichigo blocks

Ichigo blocks a manifested Zangetsu's attack.

Looking up, Ichigo sees Zangetsu, with Zangetsu in hand, standing next to Muramasa. When a shocked Ichigo asks Zangetsu how he can be here in the real world, Zangetsu assumes a battle stance and charges at Ichigo, who grabs his own Zangetsu and gets to his feet just in time to block the attack. Pushed back a few feet by the force of Zangetsu's attack, Ichigo demands to know why Zangetsu is doing this before asking Zangetsu what happened to the two of them being one mind and one body, only for Zangetsu to respond by pushing him back even farther.

233Zangetsu appears

Zangetsu appears next to Ichigo before the latter can react.

Ichigo curses before pushing Zangetsu several feet back. Landing, Zangetsu vanishes and appears next to Ichigo before slashing at him. Ichigo blocks, but is thrown against a wall and falls to the ground as Zangetsu fires a Getsuga Tenshō at him, destroying the wall behind him. Walking up to Zangetsu, Muramasa looks at the wall as the dust clears to see Ichigo lying on the other side. When Ichigo looks at them, Muramasa states he is impressed that Ichigo can still move before claiming it is over for him. A panting Ichigo gets up as Zangetsu assumes a battle stance once more.

233Zangetsu fires

Zangetsu fires another Getsuga Tenshō at Ichigo.

Saying he does not understand, Ichigo asks Zangetsu if he is allied with Muramasa now and curses. Zangetsu raises Zangetsu above his head as blue Reiatsu gathers around the blade, surprising Ichigo, before firing another Getsuga Tenshō at him. Meanwhile, at the 4th Division's Sōgō Kyūgo Tsumesho, 7th Division Captain Sajin Komamura lies on a bed. Entering the room, 4th Division Lieutenant Isane Kotetsu greets her captain, Retsu Unohana, who asks her if something is wrong. Isane confirms this before revealing she has a field report from the 12th Division.

233Mayuri sits

Mayuri performs tests on his own body.

Later, Unohana asks 12th Division Lieutenant Nemu Kurotsuchi if she is saying the Zanpakutō Spirits have somehow become separate entities. When Nemu confirms this, Isane wonders what this means, prompting Nemu to say she is not sure of the consequences of this. Nemu reveals 12th Division Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi only came to this conclusion after testing the phenomenon on his own body, prompting Unohana to ask her if she can share the details, which Nemu confirms. In the past, Mayuri sits at his computer with dozens of wires attached to his body.

233Mayuri says

Mayuri says the separation of spirits being impossible is why it fascinates him.

Reading the text on the screen, he states it appears the spirit of Ashisogi Jizō has left his body and chuckles before proclaiming this is very fascinating. Nemu stands nearby and says she was under the impression that a Shinigami and their Zanpakutō Spirit were different manifestations of the same soul, prompting Mayuri to state this is normally the case before revealing the two have now split into entirely distinct entities. When Nemu states this is impossible, Mayuri says this is why it fascinates him and tells Nemu to not act like she knows everything before stating they need to figure out what caused this change to take place.

233Nemu says

Nemu admits losing the Zanpakutō Spirits forever by defeating them is possible.

In the present, as Unohana says Nemu's report has revealed their situation is worse than she had imagined, Isane asks Nemu what will happen if a Shinigami defeats a Zanpakutō Spirit in battle if they are not connected anymore. Nemu states she does not know as Isane asks her if there is a chance they would lose their Zanpakutō Spirits forever if this happened. Admitting it is possible, Nemu states she cannot tell Isane what would happen without more data, prompting Isane to express disappointment. Unohana steps forward and says she understands before stating the only thing they can do is have faith in Mayuri.

233Unohana asks

Unohana asks Nemu what Mayuri wants from her and the 4th Division.

Saying there is one more thing, Nemu states Mayuri had a request for Unohana. When Unohana asks her what Mayuri wants, Nemu reveals he wants to know if Unohana can provide him with data on the Shinigami currently receiving treatment from the 4th Division so he can analyze it. Agreeing, Unohana says she will have it sent to him right away, but Nemu reveals Mayuri also wishes to begin compiling a data profile on Unohana, prompting a shocked Isane to ask her if this means Unohana has to go to the Shinigami Research and Development Institute. Nemu confirms this and states Mayuri told her that he needs to start collecting data on all of the captains.

233Unohana agrees

Unohana agrees to undergo Mayuri's examination in return for immediate updates.

When Unohana agrees to do this, Isane begins to protest. Unohana tells her it will be alright, but Isane says Unohana knows Mayuri's examination will be incredibly personal and invasive. When Isane asks her if she is sure about this, Unohana states they are in a race against time, which Isane concedes to. Unohana asks Nemu to report any new findings to the 4th Division immediately in return for her cooperation. As Nemu agrees, a Shinigami runs up and says large-scale combat has been confirmed in the Seireitei. He reveals the Reiatsu detected at the scene belongs to Rukia and Ichigo, surprising Unohana and Isane.

233Ichigo stands

Ichigo stands with his Hollow mask half-formed.

Meanwhile, as dust billows from the hole in the wall in front of Zangetsu and Muramasa, Zangetsu expresses surprise when the dust clears to reveal a grinning Ichigo with his Hollow mask beginning to form and covering half of his face. A surprised Muramasa wonders what this is as Ichigo looks up and attacks Zangetsu, knocking him into a wall, before stabbing at him. As Zangetsu dodges, Ichigo stabs his blade into the wall and pulls it out before attacking Zangetsu once more, knocking him back. Ichigo runs after Zangetsu, who points his blade at him.

233Ichigo grabs

A partially Hollowfied Ichigo grabs Zangetsu by the head.

Moving to the side with Shunpo, Ichigo grabs Zangetsu by the head and throws him into a wall. When Muramasa asks him who he is, Ichigo turns to face him as Muramasa states he is not Ichigo. Zangetsu appears behind Muramasa and says he is seeing the other soul which lives within Ichigo's body. Turning to face Zangetsu, Muramasa expresses confusion at there being another soul within Ichigo's body as Ichigo turns to face them. Zangetsu raises his blade, prompting Ichigo to do the same, and fires a Getsuga Tenshō, prompting Ichigo to fire a black Getsuga Tenshō in response.

233White substance covers

A white substance covers Ichigo's wound after Zangetsu manages to slash him.

As the two blasts meet and create a large explosion, Zangetsu appears on top of a nearby wall and disappears as Ichigo does the same. Zangetsu lands on top of a tower and moves away as Ichigo attacks the area where he was standing and cuts into the top of the tower. When Zangetsu appears on a bridge, Ichigo appears behind him and runs towards him before leaping into the air and slashing at Zangetsu, who dodges and continues to evade as Ichigo continues to attack him. Appearing behind them, Muramasa watches impassively. When Zangetsu slashes at Ichigo and cuts his chest, Ichigo moves back as a white substance covers his wound.

233Getsuga Tensho bursts

A Getsuga Tenshō bursts out of the worm's head after it eats Zangetsu.

The white substance dissipates, revealing that the cut has been healed. Noting this is High-Speed Regeneration, Zangetsu appears behind Ichigo with his sword raised. When his shoulder is slashed and spurts blood, Ichigo falls down and writhes on the ground. As Zangetsu relaxes, more of the white substance appears on Ichigo's body, alerting Zangetsu and Muramasa, as a large worm-like creature bursts from his body and attacks Zangetsu, who leaps away and lands, only for the worm to crash into him and eat him. The worm slides along the ground for several feet before a Getsuga Tenshō bursts out of its head, causing it to explode.

233Reiatsu emanates

Black-red Reiatsu emanates from a Hollowfied Ichigo's body.

As the smoke clears to reveal Zangetsu, Ichigo stands with a partially Hollowfied body, surprising Muramasa. Ichigo yells as a torrent of black-red Reiatsu surrounds him. As Zangetsu steps back, the Reiatsu covers Ichigo, resulting in an expanding orb of bright blue Reiatsu engulfing a large part of the bridge. The dust settles to reveal Ichigo standing in his Hollow form as black-red Reiatsu emanates from his body and strands of black-red Reiatsu fly overhead. As Muramasa expresses surprise at Ichigo's Reiatsu, Ichigo leaps into the air and attacks Zangetsu, who leaps away.

233Ichigo charges

Ichigo charges a red Cero in the palm of his hand.

Ichigo's blade sinks into the ground as Zangetsu lands, prompting Ichigo to emerge from the dust and slash at him. Forced to block, Zangetsu is pushed back as Ichigo continues to attack him before succeeding in cutting Zangetsu's arm, surprising him. Ichigo continues to slash at Zangetsu before headbutting him, sending Zangetsu flying back. Extending his hand, Ichigo charges a red Cero in his palm, surprising Zangetsu, before firing it at him. Zangetsu fires a Getsuga Tenshō in response as the two attacks collide, with the Cero overwhelming the Getsuga Tenshō.


Ichigo roars before Muramasa as he begins to resist the control of his inner Hollow.

The Cero pushes Zangetsu back and sends him flying into a column, which is knocked over by the impact. As the energy around Ichigo's hand dissipates, Muramasa appears behind him and slashes his back. The wound is healed by the white substance, surprising Muramasa, as Ichigo turns and slashes at him. Blocking, Muramasa is sent flying back several feet and lands before assuming a battle stance before stating this confirms what he thought. Ichigo walks toward him before stopping and making a choking noise. As Muramasa expresses confusion, Ichigo roars and falls to his knees as his mask begins to crack.

233Reiatsu surges

Black-red and white-blue Reiatsu surges around Ichigo.

As Muramasa wonders what is happening, the mask continues to crack. Ichigo says he is not giving this power to his inner Hollow and continues to roar as he proclaims he will not let his inner Hollow steal what belongs to him. Putting his hand up to his face and grabbing his mask, Ichigo yells as black-red and white-blue Reiatsu emanates from his body. Ichigo continues to yell as slashes through his mask, causing the black-red and white-blue Reiatsu surges skyward in columns. The columns of black-red and blue-white Reiatsu combine and explode, destroying several columns nearby.

233Hollow form breaks

Ichigo's Hollow form breaks apart around him.

As the dust settles, Ichigo's Hollow form breaks apart around him, leaving Ichigo standing in his normal body. The pieces of Ichigo's Hollow form hit the ground and fade away as Ichigo's pupils dilate. Saying Zangetsu's name, Ichigo takes a step forward and reaches out before he saying Zangetsu's name once more and falling over. Muramasa stands over Ichigo's body and looks at him before wondering who he is.

Shinigami Illustrated Picture Book

233Iba, Hisagi, and Izuru go

Iba, Hisagi, and Izuru go to the beach.

Wondering why the Shinigami Women's Association gets to go to the beach, 7th Division Lieutenant Tetsuzaemon Iba wants to enjoy his romantic adventure this summer. 9th Division Lieutenant Shūhei Hisagi agrees with Iba and imagines himself at the beach with Rangiku wearing a bikini. When Iba says he wants to go to the beach right now, 3rd Division Lieutenant Izuru Kira says they will have to fill out many forms, prompting both Iba and Hisagi to say they will finish it in a day. After much hard work, they finally go to the beach, but the weather is bad, prompting Izuru to state this always happens to them.

Characters in Order of Appearance


Powers and Techniques Used

Techniques used:

Shinigami techniques used:

Hollow Techniques:

Zanpakutō released:

  • Benihime (紅姫, Crimson Princess) (flashback)
  • Zangetsu (斬月, Slaying Moon)



Sode no Shirayuki vs. Rukia! Delusion of the HeartRenji Surprised?! The Two Zabimaru
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