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  • Bleach - His and Her Circumstances - Ichigo and Rukia

    Posted on April 15th, 2007 by Darkshaunz - 100,703 Views

    Darkshaunz assesses the IchiRuki war machine

    Looks like its going to be a Bleach-heavy week for Retsgip Anime Blog. As readers here know, I am a Rukia fan, amongst other things. I think overall as a character, she has traits which appeal to me, you know, the prideful and capable kind of demeanour. The kind of lady which knows how to handle herself, yet has a soft and soothing presence about her (The cute and ridiculous sketches help too). I am intrigued by her character because she’s got a wonderful chemistry in the series with Ichigo. So I decided I’d take some time out to just see where the two are currently at in terms of their interaction as characters, and maybe try and figure out just whether or not our Lady Kuchiki has got a rival in terms of Orihime.

    This is my Bankai suckers, Bitch in one hand, Tight-ass sword in the other. Fuck Yeah!

    Oh Haruhi, this is another Anti-Orihime spiel.

    Actually it isn’t, so rest assured that if you are Inoue fan, there’s not going to be any flames or anything attacking her character for that matter. If you are a regular to this blog and my entries, you know that I bag the shit out of everything anyway, even on characters I like. From a lot of the IchiRuki Entries I have seen, well I would not call them entries, they are more like Essays with really solid and well referenced material. Its kind of surreal to see people put in University-level analysis into the relationship of two fictional characters. Then again, Rukia and Ichigo have quite a unique relationship. I think if we take a look at how the characters are designed to be and how they behave at present, we can make at the least a pretty-decent attempt at predicting the outcomes of character relationships.

    Being a Rei-fanboy, I can understand the assumption that I would automatically adopt an Anti-Orihime or even Anti-Asuka standpoint for that matter. But hey, lets face it, what is sexual tension without rivals-in-love in any series. Shana has Yoshida to contend with, Chidori has Tessa to contend with, Sakura has Ino to contend with and the list just goes on and on. So Orihime’s character is at odds with Rukia right? Well actually it’s rather on the contrary, because Rukia herself has never declared a love rival to Orihime in any way, shape or form (The same could be said about Chidori in FMP). So what I don’t understand is some of the massive rants about how IchiRuki fans are wrong or about how IchiOri fans are wrong in some of the articles I have come across. They are just really close friends, its as simple as that…..or is it?

    Clearly, this is what all Normal couples do in Japan.

    Orihime - Fighting against herself?

    She’s a dilligent, attractive and friendly girl, so uh, why is she so sadfase?

    Now I am not a big fan Orihime (I definitely don’t mind her though), her kind of goofy nature in the series hasn’t helped that fact. To her credit, she has a lot of shining attributes; loyalty, kindness and sincerity. Orihime is at least true to herself on how she feels about Ichigo, Rukia and other cast members she interacts with, and she definitely goes out of her way to try and make things right. I am spotting out Ichigo and Rukia because the former is the object of her desire and the latter is her (imagined) rival in “romance” or “serious relationship”. Her fighting/healing powers are a nice break from the usual BANKAI Super Saiyan shit which Rukia and Ichigo will no doubt be spamming come the Hueco Amigo Buritto arc in the manga (or so I’ve heard). She’s not unattractive, and after watching a lot of Boobular Ikkitousen, hey…maybe her rack isn’t so bad after all. I’ll guarantee you my current stance on her is a vast improvement over me hoping she died ASAP a while ago (think Siesta-hate in ZnT).

    Just another generic conversation in a stereotypical Japanese high school.

    I thought Rei vs Asuka Fanboy flamewars were bad, wait till you see Orihime vs Rukia campaigns, its like watching Omaha Beach, but with more mother-fucking and family-death threats. I think the problem here lies not with the character, but a misunderstanding that there isn’t any outward competition for Ichigo’s affection. In fact when you look at it, there’s only one girl expressing her intentions here, and that’s Orihime. Rukia isn’t doing anything to stop it, she’s not reacting to it in any way and hey, I think Rukia genuinely appreciates Orihime as an ally or comrade. So to me, Orihime’s situation is kind of like hitting “Training” mode in Street Fighter, where you play against yourself. Sure you end up beating the dummy at the other side of the screen, but Surprise surprise! Thats still you and you alone. So I can understand people not liking either Rukia or Orihime, but I think we can all agree that the girls aren’t locked in any sort of “Round One…Fight!” kind of scenario.

    See? There’s absolutely zero hostile vibes here, except for Ichigo getting his ass kicked.

    Why don’t I get hawt girls like that welcoming me back home? =(

    So why is Orihime beating herself up so bad? I think it’s to do with a lack of reciprocation of feelings from Ichigo. Love needs to be an interaction, so the concept of Love is a two-way thing, and I think that in Orihime’s case, its unfortunately very much a one-way affair. She’s pouring out her soul this way to soul society, but getting very limited (if any) signals from Ichigo. He just has Rukia in his mind, and that I think, is not a matter of argument. I am stating this as a casual viewer of Bleach, and I am sure those reading this who have written IchiRuki fanfics or host IchiRuki blogs have all kinds of amazing proof or justifications etc. However, he’s genuinely concerned about Orihime too, I have no doubt that as a character, he would definitely want to protect her from harm or injury (he’s demonstrated this many times in the anime anyway). I am not sure where Kubo Tite intends to take the whole one-way affection thing in her character, but I don’t really see it going anywhere past either it being an obssessive-compulsive thing or she gradually becomes insane because Ichigo fails to reciprocate her signals. Let’s hope it doesn’t end in either, I think the best thing for her character is to grow stong, independent of her reliance from Ichigo (kind of like Post-Timeskip Sakura from Naruto).

    I’d wish she joined Rangiku in the Bath Tub. Heh heh.

    I think an IchiOri relationship would be the most “Normal” relationship of the pairings in Bleach. Its a high school guy with a high school girl, as opposed to Rukia, who is probrably older than my whole family tree put together. If Kubo Tite does indeed intend to take this route with Ichigo and Orihime, then I think he needs to start easing us into Orihime’s past with Ichigo, like if they knew each other prior to high school and all that (which I am assuming they may have). To be fair, Rukia and Ichigo have had a lot of flashbacks of each other and we know they are the central pair (for now), but it would be nice to see obviously, some more character development not only in Orihime’s case (though she should be the first), but also with Chad and Ishida. So in saying, if we look at it from this perspective, Orihime would be “better” suited to Ichigo seeing as she belongs in the real world, as opposed to Rukia who has to fight a constant battle in either remaining in the mortal realm or in Soul Society where she would be beckoned to anyway. In terms of a “Settled” relationship, Orihime would be the better candidate, but its just not looking that way at the moment.

    Thar she blows again, stop crying, you’re plenty cool.

    I’d descibe the IchiOri relationship as a tragic one, on one layer the two share a good and healthy friendship and on the other, its a one-sided love bordering on being unfair to Orihime. Hence I’d like to close by saying that I doubt Orihime will eventually become bitter about Rukia. She’s frustrated about her situation with Ichigo, yes, but despite everything, she can’t help but admire Rukia and value the friendship they have. The Orihime I see now is definitely different, she’s coming to terms with her one sided love and I think she’ll definitely carve her own path and perhaps even demolish her hang up with Ichigo. Like Sakura from Naruto, she’s got a lot of potential as a character in terms of strength and power, I’d like to see her become a worthy warrior in the Bleach line-up (lets note that she is already making a difference as she is), and I mean c’mon I think the whole Healing/Shield thing is kind of cool, no Party is awesome/functionable without a healer (all MMORPG players know this). To my fellow Rukia fans, lets lay down our artillery towards her eh?.

    I want to be comforted by their kind hearts (I mean boobs)

    Rukia - Locked in a constant battle between Duty and Desire

    Strike a pose!

    I’m going to say a lot of nice things about Rukia of course, but you know I want this to be a fair assessment as well. Rukia’s got a lot of spunk in her, she’s got a warrior-like determination, she has discipline and her character design appeals to me (I like the hairstyle and her relatively petite build) but she’ll drop and throw the rulebook away when it comes to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the people she truly cares for, and that would most likely include Ichigo, Renji and even Orihime (I’d go as far as saying Ishida and Chad too). Rukia has a reason for everything she does, she’s a bit of a Pragmatist like me, always assessing the cause and affects of making a decision (basically we suck at taking quick action when it counts sometimes). Whilst being a Pragmatic is good, it also bars her from trying new, exciting things and restricts her from lunging out and being who she really desires to be as a person. All of the above and the fact that she draws the most Ridiculous sketches just adds flavour to her person.

    “Use the fucking door next time, Rukia”….”Huh? what was that Ichigo?”


    Ever since her fateful meeting with Ichigo on the night a Hollow decided to crash into Ichigo’s place, we’ve seen Rukia and Ichigo interact on a wavelength rarely seen on the anime screen. Their interactions are subtle, they give off vibes and these small almost unnoticeable body language signals give away that the two of them are communicating with each almost secretly. So my intrigue on the pair is definitely on this level, sure I am an IchiRuki shipper because I support Rukia, but it’s definitely another case when it comes to seeing the things the characters don’t want us to see, or what Kubo Tite doesn’t want to let on just yet. Then again, what body language? The two haven’t even hugged even after all this time, definitely haven’t seen anything close to a kiss (or attempted kiss) and I know I have not seen Rukia swaying her hips in a seductive motion towards Ichigo (Hentai Doujins don’t count, guys).

    Mating Season in Karakura town, the males get kicked in the face as foreplay.

    Aside from that, Rukia has a crazily big effect on Ichigo. She’s like his control system, in scenes where she isn’t around, Ichigo is just his “keep to himself” badboy/shounen self (kind of like Shikamaru). But when Rukia is around, he gets kind of antsy because she’s always nagging him, but you’ll never see Ichigo more relaxed with the opposite sex than with Rukia. I guess this is because of a lot of things, Rukia spent a lot of time sleeping in Ichigo’s closet pre-SS arc, She’s the girl that completely changed his life and how he views the world of spirits (in that most of the spirits want to eat my face), She is one of the few who knows about Ichigo’s mother’s incident, She was the one willing to pay the price with her life for taking responsibility in passing her powers to Ichigo (To make sure his family was safe from the Hollow) and the both of them have been through Hell (soul society) and back. If I were Ichigo, I’d probrably be thinking about Rukia quite a lot, and is probrably what is happening with Ichigo’s character at the moment. That and he is definitely inspired in recent events to stop being an emo-kid and protect the people he treasures most.

    Stop fapping to porn and get to bed already!

    “Instead ask yourself, what should a free ma”-Ooops wrong entry.

    So aside from the subtle affection the two share for each other, I think its safe to say that Rukia is definitely stubborn about her obvious inclination towards Ichigo. But every kick, punch and sketchbook-throw she aims at Ichigo, are all done affectionately. Though mind you if a girl I knew constantly maimed me that way, I would call the fucking police or something. So a bad side to this is of course if Ichigo and Rukia do get together, he better not piss her off, I mean a Girlfriend with BANKAI would suck if you forget like her birthday or something (when I say suck, I mean you could literally Die and shit). Rukia’s controlled and assessive nature is what is keeping her from outwardly expressing that affection towards him, and in this recent arc in the anime, its obvious that she wants to be with him. She automatically opts to stay in his house, even though she could have followed Renji over to Urahara’s. So how do I say this, Ichigo and her have an awesome unspoken bond with each other, when they look at each other, they are like in a separate dimension where there’s nobody and nothing else but the two of them. Ichigo also serves as Rukia’s personal mount, as Rukia is smart enough to realize Shinigamis are a more efficient way to travel in urban areas). I’d take public transport anyday though (comfy seats for the win).

    “The Airport please”

    “Actually, make that Central Park please”

    Despite doing all they can to suppress their emotions, sometimes their actions make it obvious they are the couple on the pedestal. So when it comes to Rukia and Ichigo, I don’t know if I am intrigued by their subtlety or if I am just amsued by the sheer stupidity of the pair. I think we can all agree that its a definite combination of both factors. Rukia also brings out the most extreme reaction out of Ichigo, and I think its a combination of her selflessness and her Stern-concern approach to Ichigo. Think of her like how Seargant Mao behaves towards Sousuke in Full Metal Panic, the kind of tough but genuinely loving older-sister kind of approach. I think that when a guy decides to charge into a Soul Society to bust a girl out by enduring ten days of Training hell, that the girl probrably means a metric shitload to him. Rukia is restricted in a sense that its contradictory to her character to act outwardly romatically, but she knows that Ichigo will listen to her and that she is at least acknowledges that the two of them are a synergy.

    I forgot how hot Ichigo’s mother was.

    Also, I’d like to add that Rukia is Pimp. She not only has Ichigo, but Renji too, and its ironic because Ichigo and Renji have become quite close recently and there’s kind of this brotherly bond. Its a fact that the two of them are bound by the same girl. Whether or not she is “aware” of it, she currently sways the actions and doings of two men. Renji is definitely a cool character I enjoy watching and I think in the future Ichigo and Renji would pair up extremely well as a combat duo. Most would probrably argue that she controls three men, including Ice-cold Byakuya. Then again, it’s Byakuya, who knows what that tight-ass captain, I doubt anyone could influence him. He’s the kind of guy who wouldn’t be influenced even if you aimed a Rocket Launcher in his face. Who knows? maybe she secretly knows she has two guys wrapped around her finger and she’s actually enjoying it in a devilish way? (Evil Rukia does sound kind of cool)

    She’s missing a Pimp cane.

    In terms of Power and Strength, I know we were used to seeing Rukia beaten up and short of power until the end of the Soul Society arc, though her fighting spirit never waned. To me, seeing her Shikai was completely awesome. I mean her Zanpaktou definitely reflects Rukia, the whole angelic blade of purity really appealed to me, that and the fact her “Ice Ice Baby” special move was impressive as well. Regulars know that I am sucker for combat vixens, and although no woman would ever top Revy (Black Lagoon) in badassery and severe ass-canning, I want to see Rukia at least get close to some serious ownage in Bleach. I remember watching early on in the series that Rukia was more of a prodigy than Renji back when they were kids, so I am hoping this is a hint as to how soon we will see Rukia unleash her Super Saiyan 2. I am guessing her BANKAI will have her Sprout angel wings and the skies open up with Angels coming down from the sky holding Holy Bolter Rifles (a’la WH40k) raining Purging Fire upon her enemy. Though if that really DID happen, I would probrably die from overexcitement as my Brain could not possibly handle that much awesome.

    I think that means, “Really shiny white circle” in Japanese. I know because I am a Jap expert.

    So the bottom line, if push came to shove, Ichigo would definitely endure Heaven or Hell for Rukia…No Questions asked. And vice versa. See now, its obvious to us and I think Kubo Tite purposely made it evident, so that we can be even more frustrated at just what these two bumbling clowns will get themselves into. Intriguingly Frustrating, yet Cute, is how I would describe their relationship. I am interested in seeing where K.T takes the two and develop them in the near future, for a pair that is well known for popularity via maintaining the status quo, how long would it take before even their characters become genuinely frustrated?

    Someone call the Orihimebulance! Weeooo Weeooo!

    Ichigo and Rukia - Not romantically inclined, but Important to each other, and the Series.

    There are few couples which capture my interest, the relationship either has to be unique, fucking epic or utterly hilarious for me to even worth mentioning. Revy and Rock from Black Lagoon is definitely in one of my tops (they are a joy to watch), Chrno and Rossette from Chrno Crusade was an epic couple (and possibly the only tear-inducing on my list) and Chidori and Sousuke from Full Metal Panic! series is also definitely one of my all time favourites. I am very satisfied to include Rukia and Ichigo into the “Unique” category of my favourite “couples/pairs/super-friends” of all time. Aside from being an absolute blast to watch, you can’t help but feel envious that the two share such an amazing connection.

    “Next time, remind me never to say yes when you ask, want me to draw a picture?”.

    Wow it all makes sense now…..Not

    An anime is many things, and for a Shounen series like Bleach, its got competition from heavy hitters like Naruto and One Piece. It has to set itself apart, not just by providing quality entertainment but also by embedding an identity in the anime scene. I think Rukia became more popular than she was originally intended, but Kubo Tite made her into such a spectacular character, I can’t help but be a fan. The health of the series definitely depends not only on making the Arrancar arcs interesting and exciting, but by the development of Ichigo and Rukia. If Rukia or Orihime was ever taken out of the equation, I would stop watching Bleach. It’s a biased way of putting it, I know. The two have become such a hit with not only me, but a lot of Bleach fans that I don’t think we can imagine either of them crossed off. It’d be like taking Rei or Asuka out of Evangelion, you wouldn’t do it even if you had the balls to do it (if you did, you’d probrably get stoned to death by thousands of angry, angry otakus).

    Lovey Dovey Meter (or Hot Sex Meter, if you so wish)

    Nice Ichigo, you are so “In”.

    Physical Proximity - Rukia can smash, kick, punch and slap Ichigo all she wants.

    History - The two have a Colourful, Action-Packed and Unforgettable past.

    Relationship Status - Strictly Platonic, but a lot of mutual affection.

    “Knight in Shining Armour” factor - King Ichigo would go Sparta for Queen Rukia anyday (Dining in Seiretei etc.).

    Synergy Level - Not as high as Yuuji/Shana or Rock/Revy, but they definitely work well together.

    Likelihood of Full blown romance - Highly unlikely. That would just make their unique and special bond lame.

    Rukia vs. Orihime statement - Rukia’s the gal that has my fanboy meters going into the Red, but Orihime’s got the bigger rack and looks hotter.

    At the end of the day, Its only Speculation

    “OMG Rukia!? WTF!?”

    Definitely, nobody can say for sure whether we are on the right track with our analysis. This is because only one person is involved in the decision making process, that is Kubo Tite. At the end of the day, it’s his call on how he wants the characters and how he wants to synergize the cast. Nobody knows for sure if he’s working on the fly according to fan/reader wants, or he already has a structured and scheduled series of events he will execute regardless of fan feedback. However, lets be reasonable enough and assume that we can take single events and individual moments as our points of references, I think it’s very possible for us to see the “Couple” in Ichigo and Rukia. There can be such a thing as Over-analyzing it, but I think in this case, its neeeded, purely because their actions fall below the radar, in a manner of speaking.

    Kon loves Rukia too.

    So before we all go outside and wave multi-coloured flags with IchixRuki 4eva!!! printed on them, there is the realization that even with what seems to be overwhelming evidence and more, it all falls down to the Big K.T. That said, taking aside the whole Rukia-sided factors “Ichigo looks like Kaien therefore..bla..bla..bla” and “She is indebted to Ichigo in many ways…etc”, Yes, nobody is disputing that those two factors play a role in her preliminary attachment to Ichigo, but let’s face the cards here, it’s grown beyond that. So what I am getting at is, we can take at what seems to be an “Opinionated Hypothesis” to at the very least an “Educated Guess”. However, this is anime, and for all I know, KT can go the full 360 and make Rukia lesbian for Orihime (Not that I would complain). On that note I am sure there are like craploads of Doujins with Bleach Yuri in them, I know I have *accidentally* come across a few Yoruichi/Rangiku ones (accidentally is the keyword here, honest).

    Ara ara ara~

    So there you have it, Ichigo and Rukia is indeed a pair that will continue to entertain and amuse Bleach viewers for arcs to come (hopefully). Their chemistry undeniable, their affection for each other is at scouter-breaking levels and if one or the other got seriously injured, there is going to be an Epic Battle of world-breaking proportions (Remind to get Epic Battle Insurance). Call it whatever you wish, IchiRuki, KuroKuchi or IchigoXRukia. I’m personally calling it character interaction well executed. If this makes me an official IchiRuki shipper, the so be it, I just hope I don’t have to pay a membership fee or anything. To the IchiOri fans reading this, its a pretty interesting and promising time for Orihime to develop as an individual character, there’s no reason whatsoever why you should be on a warpath with IchiRuki fans. Can’t we all just get along? Because I know the characters are.

    You’ve reached the end of the entry! Take care now.



    55 comments to “Bleach - His and Her Circumstances - Ichigo and Rukia”

    Please use <spoiler></spoiler> tags when appropriate, thanks!

    1. Sometimes a couple, even if not romantically involved, come to define a particular anime and I think that Rukia and Ichigo are a central pillar of Bleach’s storyline. What I think they enjoy an unspoken bond of trust that transcends regular friendship and makes them closer than most, even closer than “nakama”. Orihime, with her strong sense of insecurity, lacks this even though Ichigo would sacrifice as much to protect her as he would Rukia. Both of them are very important people to him but in vastly different ways.

      This is illustrated best in the manga when Rukia appears on the windowsill during the Arrancar Arc. Since the Bounto Arc is non-existent in the manga, this is the first time that they’ve met since the end of the Soul Society Arc. However they fall back into the same patterns of behaviour as before almost immediately. That’s how comfortable they are with each other.

      Orihime can comfort Ichigo, she’s what he’s fighting for. The normal life with his friends from Kakakura Town. Rukia however gives him inspiration. She’s who Ichigo fights with. While Orihime accompanied Ichigo during the Soul Society Arc, its apparent that she lacks the temperament to be a front-line fighter. In Ichigo’s mind Orihime is someone who needs to be protected since she lacks martial inclination despite her powers. Rukia however has been by his side since the beginning when she was his guide and mentor as they hunted Hollows. With Rukia depowered at the time, Ichigo also grew protective of her as Renji had. However their relationship grew around being comrades in arms albeit with her being the brains and Ichigo being the zanpakuto.

      Lastly some very small spoilers for Rukia fans….
      Spoiler Space…..
      Rukia calls the attack her “Sode no Mai”, the “First Dance”. It implies that there are more than one. Look forward to more cool Shikai powers from Rukia in the future! After all she is a kidou-type fighter.

      Rukia does go toe to toe with an Espada and gets some personal fight scenes. One of the first set in the manga really since the initial Hollow in the first few chapters and the arrancar she owned just recently.

    2. Don’t really have any particular point of contention, I completely agree with you when you say that it’s highly unlikely for their relationship to turn romantic.

      “She’s the girl that completely changed his life and how he views the world of spirits (in that most of the spirits want to eat my face)”

      Actually the impact is far more different, and important, than that. Before Rukia’s arrival and Ichigo’s subsequent stealing of her shinigami power, his experience of the spirit world was never pleasant. He would always befriend spirits but see them suddenly disappear for no reason, usually only leaving behind some blood stains. He feels powerless - that he can’t help all these people, dead though they are, that only he could see and be friend with. Rukia’s arrival changed that - she gave him the power to protect and to help those who he had always felt empathy for, largely because of the incident with his mother. She changed his world, and it was a change that he had always hoped for.

      Anyway I’m rambling and spoiling… I hope they animate that special story called Chapter 0.

    3. can the pilot be considered chapter 0?

      its more heavy on the comic part though with rukia reduced to uber small haha.

    4. Nothing will become of Ichigo and Rukia, Read the manga

    5. Lol what happened to her face in that 2nd picture!! XD

    6. I really liked this post of yours. I was directed here by a friend’s blog, and it was really interesting to hear a boy’s take on all of these issues. (It’s just not a luxury I can get most of the time! =P) I really agree with everything you said; I love Rukia, but I also like Orihime, and can definitely see Ichigo has important relationships with both girls. I think a lot of fans get caught up in this “shipping war” business, and depending on which side they’re on, will say ridiculous things like, “Ichigo doesn’t care about Orihime at all!” or, “Ichigo only saved Rukia because he had a debt to repay to her!!11″ I mean, can we grow up please?? *sigh*

      But one thing I noticed was what I imagine is a pretty popular idea, that Orihime and Ichigo would be more suited for one another because they’re both high school kids. I’m of the opinion that Rukia, Ichigo, Orihime, Chad and Ishida will always be involved with one another, and in particular, Ichigo will -always- have a presence in Soul Society because of his enormously strong sense of duty, and because c’mon… shit will always go down there, let’s be honest. xD I think their lives as a whole were forever changed when they discovered their powers and decided to act on them, and even if they hadn’t, we well know some baddies would track down their reiatsu and try to wreak havoc on their lives. I guess it’s like a Pandora’s box for them. (Without all the bad connotation.) Once you open it, there’s no going back.

    7. “Nothing will become of Ichigo and Rukia, Read the manga
      by Saku April 15th, 2007 at 8:08 am”


      You mean, nothing will become of Ichigo and Orihime.

      READ THE MANGA. -__-

    8. Oh! And I forgot to mention, I loved your comparisons of Orihime and timeskip!Sakura. Sakura has become such a strong female lead in Shippuuden, and when I look back at part one… well, she’s changed so much for the better. And of course so much of that has to do with her growing independent of Naruto and Sasuke, who always overshadowed her or, in the case of Sasuke, near inhibited her because of her obsession.

      I hope Kubo does something similar for Orihime, because honestly, I don’t think -anyone- should be wrapped up in a one-sided, unrequited love. It’s sad. And furthermore, actually -liking- Orihime’s character, it is difficult to watch her beat herself up. I hope she grows stronger as an individual because of this ordeal of hers.

    9. “I hope they animate that special story called Chapter 0.
      by Lupus April 15th, 2007 at 6:45 am”

      Well, they did… in eps. 109 if I remember correctly.

    10. Wow :) Extremely good essay here, i pretty much agree with all points you made, whether or not its rukiichi or oriichi it should atleast be presented well and with lotsa evidence although fans will decide for themselves which one they want to happen(ichiruki) Ahem, this is about the time that i would usually say some kinda manga incident that’s happened between ichigo and rukia in order to have an excuse to spoil ya,but in this case i wont. So yea great essaything. Keep em coming!

    11. I´ve only read the manga. The Ichigo/Rukia relationship is close but not romantic, at least not yet. Bleach never got onto that angle until Orihimes

      (Spoiler, Mangareaders should know what I mean, Anime only viewers skip),

      Confession to a unconcious Ichigo. It is like Gourry/lina from slayers it´s obvious but not official because no one said anything. Now that it has been voiced the issue will have to be adressed, after beating “numbered villians” 1 to 10.

      Rukia proved to be a good fighter, Orihime might be stronger than everyone thinks. The real turning point would be one of them saving Ichigo. Currently I think Orihime is “in the lead” since shes the only one that has clearly romantic feelings. Who will be the namaka and who the lover isn´t written yet…

    12. Just want to say I love your essay, I’m an IchiRuki fan and I believe they’ll be together. It doesn’t matter if other people think otherwise, I believe IchiRuki is the direction the author is heading towards to. And I like your witty humour. Thanks for writing. I enjoyed reading it.

    13. good stuff :)

      i’d like to add something to the Rukia/’Hime vs Shana/Yoshida comparison, is that in both cases one girl represents the mysterious side of the protagonist’s life, and one the mundane. does he embrace the new world he’s found himself in, or try to live a normal life?

      interestingly this isn’t the case with Lousie/Siesta as they’re both part of Saito’s new world, which is probably why the ‘”choice” between them doesn’t work so well (though, c’mon, you know Siesta would put out ;) )

    14. This is a really interesting topic and It is really educative(wait! really?) and I’m glad that someone took the time to explore it and it was awesomely done my friend.

      All hail Darkshaunz!!


      have nice one

      I’m out

    15. Breathes In

      Firstly, thank you all for taking the time in producing such thoughtful and supportive responses. Part of the perks of releasing an editorial, on a personal level, is just to see the discussions and thoughts coming out from all the different perspectives in the community. Some of you here are already regulars (you know who you are!) and those of you who tended to lurk and left your first comment, Here’s a warm Welcome and we hope you enjoyed your stay.

      Here goes!

      @Gary Ee: Wow dude, for a moment there I mistook your response as an Expansion Pack to my entry! Eloquently put, and I could not agree with you more. There is something to be said about pillar-characters and just how pivotal a role they play in any series. Its no news that Ichigo, Rukia and Orihime are all important components in the Bleach engine.

      @Lupus: Thanks for dropping by, dude. And also I see where you are going by saying Rukia’s effect on his life may be different from what I had assumed. At the end of the day, Ichigo is thankful for Rukia’s presence, because she put everything on the drawing board (or sketchbook) for him and things suddenly started to make sense in one way (especially about his mother).

      @Saku: Yegads!

      @Hinano: The Animators went on coffee break when the reels were collected.

      @Orihime Pectus: Take zat Saku! Touche mon’ ami

      @Valkyrie77: My God…It was under my nose this whole time!

      @Shannon: Thank you very much for taking the time for reading it, and also for plugging in, not one, but two such enthusiastic responses! I do believe I am in the same impression as you outlined, Ichigo, Orihime and Rukia all share and possess an intertwined fate. Though Rukia and Orihime may seem to be at odds on the surface, I think they know that their friendship is important not only for their survival, but also because Ichigo needs them both in a manner of speaking.

      @Inuhanyou: You’re already a regular, and on this blog’s “Run crazily towards and give Free Beer” list. Thanks for the kind words as usual, and I think when we look at this subject, evidence is indeed important (events and occurrences), but I appreciate that people can have different stances on either pairing or on the individual characters themselves. Perceptional Interpretations is the spice of life. Don’t mind if I start using the word “Essaything” as well, it tickles my fancy.

      @Unentschieden: Welcome! I will be honest here, I copy pasted your name :p. Its such a cool-sounding name. Thats quite an interesting way of looking at it, so you’re saying that saving Ichigo would be the swaying factor of his affections? I think that can work, and fans would accept it, as saving a lead from near death would be a pretty epic event. However, if you reflect on your approach, hasn’t Ichigo been saved by both Rukia and Orihime at one point in the series already? Maybe my approach may include “saving” his sanity and integrity, though a near-death save would be one heck of an event.

      @Justine: Thanks for dropping by. You’re absolutely right, and I did mention that KT is letting on more of IchiRuki than anything, whether its a ploy to catch us off-guard and slam a Plot twist on our toes…is another thing. But it’s looking that way for now, very much so. I too have become increasingly intrigued by the pairing, and I can tell you its always a blast watching the two on-screen.

      @Panda Monium: Have I ever commented on how cool your name is? I think I may have (and Justine above you tells me Im witty!). I’ve seen you around also, and so welcome back. I think Ichigo has always been part of spirit world, what with the incident with his mother and all. He’s always been living a half-reality, part of him knows he has a calling which is not of this world. So whilst Shana made Yuuji aware of the Torch concept, Ichigo was technically always aware. That aside, your comparison is very accurate and I guess we shall have to wait. Does Ichigo look to a life amongst deities? or a life with his endeared little sisters?

      …and Siesta would put out, but Louise is THE DFC in question (hehe).

      @Tabi Karasu: Looks at “Run crazily towards and give Free Beer” list, yeap, you’re on it too. Thanks for dropping by and reading it bro. I’m very pleased you found it educative! Granted, it is an interesting topic which started to enchant me when I started piecing all the Ichigo/Rukia interactions together. All hail Tabi Karasu!

    16. I really enjoyed reading this, I’m an IchiRuki fan but am a proponent of maintaining the status-quo so it was really refreshing to read. I’ve always felt that Ichigo and Rukia’s relationship is the very backbone of the series, their relationship, their development has easily been the one of the most engaging aspects of Bleach for me, I don’t care if they “end up” together romantically so long as Kubo continues to have the two interact and develop I’ll be content. So far as I’m concerned their relationship is intimate but platonic, neither seems to desire more from their current relationship and neither seems to be ready for romantic intimacy anyway. I wouldn’t be diametrically opposed to a romantic relationship between the two but I’m plenty happy as is.

      Having jumped in a lot of shipping discussions the thing that always struck me the most as you mentioned is how it’s often positioned that Rukia and Orihime are “rivals” for Ichigo’s affections when Rukia has done nothing to demonstrate that she has romantic inclinations towards Ichigo or that she would “fight” Orihime for Ichigo’s affections. It is very much a fight of Orihime against herself, I love how you put it and I wish more people would see it that way.

      I have a horrible tendency to write a lot so I’ll stop myself before I get carried away.
      Again, very much enjoyed reading this :)

    17. Oh I never actually expected an answer^^. Btw. my name is G the German word for draw, I couldn´t decide what nick to take back then so I just took that.

      But on topic again: Saving may be misleading, i´ll try to ilustrate my point by comparing to another series

      Spoilers for Bousou Renkin!

      Kazuki and Tokiko have a somewhat similar relationship as Ichigo and Ruika but in the end they become a couple. The turining point for them was inho when Takiko “betraied” her organization as thouse wanted to kill Kazuki.
      Likewhise both Rukia and Orihime have fought WITH but not (yet) FOR Ichigo.

      Hm… argh please give a bit feedback so I can explain a bit better how i see it.

      On another note it seems like the team gets some more character development in the manga (Orihime as “traitor”, Rukia and Kaien, Chad and Ichigo…) so there might come up some interesting factors in the near Future.

    18. this article is so freaking hilarious. and it also made me realize that no matter where i am or what i’m doing, the moment someone mentions “round one….FIGHT!” my thumbs automatically want to MASH BUTTONS!!!

    19. Thanks for a witty essay. You really made me laugh out loud. I’m not really what we can call a “shipper”, I just like Bleach - nevertheless I believe, just like you, that Kubo is planning to make a couple out of Ichigo and Rukia. You made quite a few points very clear to me, and made me open my eyes to new (and obvious?) things I hadn’t noticed before. Now all we can do is wait and watch to see what Kubo will do. But, alas: I guess it won’t be the end of the world if things doesn’t turn out the way we would want them to. Pretty close, but not entirely.


    20. OMG you own this universe! XD

      HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! That made me laugh SO MUCH. I actually had to close the door to my room so my family wouldn’t hear me. The part where Rukia uses Ichigo as transportation made my day, no, make that my week. Hahahaha! And thanks to you, I’ve lightened up a bit towards Orihime too. I really hated her guts before, and was (still am) an aggressive IchiRuki fan, but this made me change my point of view. Well, for the moment.

      Anyway, great job! XD

    21. Omfgwtfbbq. Well. Now that Rukia went and died after killing the Kaien look-alike, at least that ‘HOMG-ICHIGO-LOOKS-LIKE-KAIEN’ theory should be out of the way. But with her body starting to decompose and all, now we’ll never know, will we?!


      I’m still waiting for some Rukia pwnge too. That end scene with the trident was awesome though. :O

    22. Great job on this analysis! I’ve never seen one so detailed and not full of “RUkia should b with ichigo b/c she rox!!!!!11″

      You gave some great evidence. I’m more of a ‘anything is fine with me as far as the story is ok’ but you’ve got me hoping for an eventual IchigoxRukia ’ship. Unfortunately, there is evidence for a possible OriIchi ship, though [I hope] it stays one-sided. There are a lot of anime’s I’ve seen or mang’s I’ve read that have had a

      >>>almost-kiss between the two in a relationship, but that’s mainly shojo, not shonen. Who knows where this will go.

      More evidence to the IchiRuki relationship:

      >> Take a look at chapter 270. Who does Ichigo consider turning back to go after? ^_^ None other than Rukia. Also, who can forget the extermely tender look he gave an injured Rukia in 213? That’s probably the most “affectionate” and tender look I’ve seen Ichigo drawn in the whole series. It was so sweet.


      Anyway, if I had to be on a side, it would definately be IchiRuki, though I’m not totally close-minded to Orihime. As time has gone on, KT has developed her character into something very 3-dimensional. Though everyone has to admit, no character in Bleach is flat, even the characters we’ve come to hate, [*hugz Gin and Aizen and Grimjaw and many other peeplez*] we like very much. Rukia and Ichigo definately have to be my two favorite characters out of any anime do to their character development.

    23. I’m disgusted every time I see a question regarding weather Orihime or Rukia are going to end up with Ichigo.

      It sickens me that many of you people who sit on the computer watching nothing but anime have to put in a romantic scenario in everything you see. It is very obvious that Rukia and Ichigo are close. But, nothing more then FRIENDS. Any of you who think that they are going to be together don’t have any proof besides the fact that they have much in common and they care for each other. Sure, Ichigo would sacrifice his live for Rukia and Rukia would do the same… but that doesn’t mean any romantic involvement! Have you seen any REAL clues about that couple (that AREN’T created by fantasies in your minds)?

      I think not!

      They hit each other, curse at each other, worry for each other… isn’t that what friends are suppose to do? And I’m not surprised that they share a unique bond. I mean come on! She lived in his closet!

      Don’t come on to me and say the Ichigo sacrifices too much for Rukia to be just friends.

      Put it this way, if your friend saved your family wouldn’t you do the same?

      If not—

      It’s nice to know you wouldn’t sacrifice much for your closest friends. This reminds me when my freaggin’ mother always thought that me and my best friend (which is a male) liked each other because we talked for hours.


      As for Orihime…. You can’t have a good anime without a major character liking another main character!

      If not the show would be as pointless as Dragon Ball Z.

      People should have expected a character like this to appear, so stop bickering about her obsessive complex towards Ichigo…

      (Which I suspect won’t be returned.)

    24. I enjoyed reading this article, as it nearly mirrors my thoughts exactly. It’s a shame that people can’t appreciate the tantalizing complexity of the whole network of relationships. (Though I am an avid IchiRuki fan. *Waves multi-colored banner sheepishly*) But I agree that Orihime needs to be developed more as a charachter, as she is one of my favorites. (She is! Honest!) I’m also tired of the fact that a girl can’t have a deep friendship with another girl without “OMG, like, they are totally lesbo!”.

      So anyway, thanks a bunch for this article!

    25. This essay was the reason I started lurking this blog! I mean its hard to spend ones internet time surrounded by rabid shippers and anti-shippers and suicidal H/Hr (Harmonians.)

      Some lulz with my shipping coffee is appreciated. Also, bitch dissed DBZ!! *beep* *beep* m**ther*beep*

      I ship ichiruki, I think there’s canon evidence, but I also just think it roxz, that said I’m not about to strap dynamite on my chest and proclaim it new genesis. Unless Aizen tells me too. Aizen 2008!!

    26. Dude people are entitled to their own opinions beside that isn’t that what some couple do any way and after all she the to talk him out of his major Funks and plus you can tell she has a little interest in him because when ever he’s in mortal danger she do what she can to help and on top of that do you guys recall the episode when he left to become a vizard who was that person that was worried about him can you say Rukia and not only that when she did find his spirit Pressure she said as long as he’s ok that alright by me so she may have feeling for him but doesn’t really knows how to show it and after all she doesn’t really know about the living world because didn’t ichigo warned her about some of his friend hitting on her I believe he did and if you think that she didn’t then maybe you need to watch episode 120-140 because she’s the one who came to his side when he was fighting Grimmjow and plus when he came to rescue her she scold him saying that she wouldn’t forgive him if he came why did she say that because she knew that he would come and try to save her so my opinion is that she has feeling for him like i said she just doesn’t know how to say are act on her emotion and plus she doesn’t know how he would reat to her one more is that when chad and the gang had Finally reach the top of the stairwell inoue said that ichigo and Rukia are more that just friend after all she did change his word.

    27. hi, i was just doing a random search on google for rukia and your page came up. i must say i read every single paragraph you have written and i love it. i love your statements and your whole out look on things. the whole entry was really well written. well just giving my kuddos.
      look forward to reading more.

    28. ‘Rukia is a pimp’ = absolute perfection.

      Awesome analysis too, not that I really understand ’shipwars’ or whatever it is The Fandom gets worked up about these days (have decided that now I’m out of my teens that I’m way too old for that crap. maybe. hopefully) but Rukia is one of my most favourite characters from anything ever and now I have the mental image of her decked out in a chappy-fur coat strutting around Karakura with Renji on one arm and Ichigo on the other threatening to choke any and all bitches who might get in her way — and for that I have to thank you sir. Thank you very much :)

    29. hey, has anyone seen the new episodes, cuz i think i missed from when rukia was saved till now…anybody???

    30. i’m verry intresting this manga . i’m the fan of nana too
      are there any one like me?

    31. wow!!!
      thats really.. coooool
      now i write in german *hehe* its to much work to write it all in english^^
      so lot of fun by translate into english *lol*

      also des is wirklich wahnsinn.
      ich bin ja ein total kranker IchiRuki fan^^
      die zwei sind einfach soooooooo genial.
      ich hab nichts gegen orihime. sie is atraktiv und lieb. aber rukia is irgendwie besonders.
      sie is einfach so lustig und .. weis gar ned wie ichs beschreiben soll^^
      sie is einfach nur lustig und cool
      sie und ichigo sind meine lieblings character im manga (hitsugaya toshiro mag ich auch end gern)

      du hast des echt gut gemacht und orihime und rukia sind relativ gleichberechtigt. klar nen bisschen wird rukia schon vorgezogen aber des find ich ned so dramatisch (>>>rukia vernatiker)
      hab mir gestern bei youtube das 267 kapitel angeschaut.
      ich bin halb gestorben als rukia von dem speer durchbort wurde :( (
      und das sie da stirbt is echt deprimierend.
      wobei ich nich weis ob sie vielleicht doch überlebt…
      bis zum kapitel 293 war sie dann nich mehr zu sehen. weis also nich ob sie nicht vielleicht doch überlebt (HOFFENTLICH!!!)

      liebe früße aus Bayern^^

    32. “Stop fapping to porn and get to bed already!”


    33. Bleach is a cool anime. I love the battle between the girls.but the anime kinda flew over my head,oops and its gone.

    34. I enjoyed your blog yay!

      Take Rei or Asuka out of EVA? Zomg -gulp- hell nuuu ^_~ nice blog

    35. Oh and by the way..I don’t usually read this sort of stuff but I enjoyed this..I think RukiaIchigo is a good ship.

      I’m the same as far as, I’m not impressed with couplings unless they are just really unique and cool, and the RukiIchi one is a good one. (I’m a chick and I’d like to see the OrihimeRukia for once)

      Loved your little side comments (ie stop fappin to porn) hilarious. Gahh and you mentioned EVA in here so you rule twice!

    36. That was one one hell of a great reading and totally agree with you. One doesn’t need to have a degree in analysing the story in order to see Ichigo and Rukia are the closest ones to form a couple, if we are going to get any at all. Though, I like reading and writing those kind of essays in which you won’t overlook any tiny manga panel here and there, but speculate it to death, but this is part of the reasons I’m that attached to Bleach. (and by this I mean visiting Bleach forums, lurking around and sometimes commenting on people’s blogs or LJs shamelessly)

      Still, if you read/watch Bleach as it is, IchiRuki is what you get without looking into too much. If you look into too much, you’ll still get IchiRuki. It’s only that if you don’t read/take it as it is that you don’t see the big picture, and try to see things that aren’t there by applying some astrology/numerology or any other crackology, then you can even have Ulquiorra/Yachiru. It’s what I’ve understood in the past year being the Bleach fandom, that never underestimate the will of tards and the wonders of twisting things.

      Anyway, before I go into “nothing good happens after 2 a.m” territory, I’ll stop. Finally, I did enjoy reading your entries, particularly this one. Looking forward to read more.

    37. i no not allot of people / no one, will read this but anywayz, bleach sucks!!!

    38. HOLY SCHNIKES!!!! That was like the most indepth thing i’ve ever heard on an anime. Kudos to you man! That was like amazing. I was totally like freakin out a minute ago about to have a spasm cuz i haven’t been watching bleach since episode 95 cuz I’m lame sauce and i saw some like IchixRukia action on an AMV and was like “WTF have i missed?!” and stumbled upon this work of like amazingness. I am in awe of you. I worship you! You saved me from like heart attack. Props dude, props. I definitely hope that if anybody does go together its Ichigo and Rukia. Pretty much though as long as Ichigo doesnt go with anybody but Rukia and vice versa I’m fine. In other words if they stay alone forever thats ok too but if one of them goes with someone else, well I’ve got a bleach pistol ready in my hand(don’t worry I’d never actually kill myself over anime). Does anybody wanna like tell me all the good Ichigo Rukia moments that I;ve missed? Anime and manga would be just loverly. You can always mail me at calvin_hobbes_awesome@yahoo.com NO SPAM!!! Again dude you rock my world right now!

    39. I LOVE YOU DUDE!!!(yes I know i already commented…shut up XP…) that was like soooo amazing! I just cant express how great reading that was. It turned on like a little light bulb in the black abyss called my mind. Thank you sooo much!

    40. viva rukia kuchiki

    41. Did I comment on this? I DIDN’T?! Shame. This was the very first entry of yours I ever read, and prompted me to read others. It’s currently the most concise analysis on the relationships in this show I know.

    42. Breast oggling and face to foot style is still hot in the Japanese culture, I like it I like it allot.

    43. i think that ichigo renji ishida and kon love rukia!!!!!

    44. From 1 to 10, ten being perfect, you’re a nine. There’s 1 point for improvement ofcourse. Der r words i dont understand. But dats probably i’m not in da circle. It gets 2 deep, & den u express in so many words, i get a little dizzy. But dont go down on my account. Stay up der. But i must say, whenever rukia is not in da episode, bleach is incomplete for me. I’m not da type who is into violence, so Bleach became my No. 1 favorite bec. of da story between ichigo and rukia. I always wait for da more romantic sides of dem with each other. If in da end, they dont pair up in a more serious manner, it will be like a stale bitter taste for me. The pair was so unique, it has the promise of heaven…

    45. Well,I guess I have nothing else to say other than, “You are a freakin’ genius and I seriously worship you!” You have put into words the thoughts I’ve had bottled up inside me. I admit, I’m one of the many IchiRuki shippers who goes on an all out warfare with IchiHime shippers. But it has nothing to do with the pairing, I simply hate Orihime’s character. Maybe, like you said, she will change someday so there’s still hope for her. Of course, like others shippers I’d be really glad if Ichigo and Rukia gets romantically involved. But like you said, it might make their relationship lame. So I’m also okay with them staying the way they are as long as they don’t end up with other people. I just wouldn’t be able to bear it if Ichigo or Rukia ends up with other people. That just doesn’t seem right!

    46. This blog is superb…I think this one enthralled me the most to analyze and ponder EVERYTHING about IchiRuki Possibilities you can squash out of the series. I’m not really into warfares with other shippers when in fact I’m not one of them (or I wasn’t just merely aware). As of now, i think RukiA and Ichigo is still lurking between strong subtlety of comradeship and romance intimacy. I’ve seen Ichigo friggin’ worried about rukia, but I actually see things rationally that even if it’s not Rukia, same thing goes for him trembling and faultfinding that he couldn’t protect anyone…I hope Mr. Kubo would find some time sorting out deeper, exceptional bonds for IchiRuki moments.

    47. i love this entry.
      very much.

    48. rotflmao..this blog is sensical…i love ur sense of vulgarity on words…i learned a lot and i feel so great after reading everything…thank you!keep that humor up!!!

    49. ahh… i like very much how this is exicuted .> but i like how you did all this explaining and stuff

    50. Would just like to say that your essay was awesome!! Haha i agree with everything and it voices out many stuff which i am very happy about ^^ The character analysis is very good, and good and humourous use of language. Interesting to see a male’s point of view on such stuff. Also, this is one of the few times i see people advising different ships to get along tgt lmao

      Good good very good job! =D

    51. i’m a rukia fan so it’s obvious what i ship…

      i love your essay… it was so funny my brother was scolding me for luaghing inside their office… tsktsk…

      i like orihime as an individual person but not the with the “kurosaki-kun” shit…

    52. Hey, i was browsing the Net out of boredom, searched Bleach and came across your analysis thingy (which is KEWL by the way, love the pics and side notes! ie “Rukia is a pimp” HILARIOUS)
      anyways just thought i’d mention that Kubo Tite isn’t planing on making any couples in Bleach for a long while, because he doesn’t want to turn it into some kind of love story/action storyline combined. But he says he will be delving into the Character’s pasts a lot more (like Tatsuki, Orihime, Chad, and the rest of the gang. Cant forget Uryuu, either!)
      btw, i cant seem to remember where i got the info, but i think it was from an anime mag or something… either way, AWESOME BLOG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      (Im not RukiIchi or OriIchi… i just wanna see the characters being developped more.)

    53. sta super la infomarcion…
      me gusto mucho no me acordaba de algunos capis jeje..♀
      ichigo y rukia rulez!!!!!
      lo mejor jajajaja!!!♥♥♥

    54. Some No Mai >> そめの舞
      which means “the first dance” actually.


    55. um about the whole thing where you said that ichigo and rukia had never hugged or anything…um they did hug actually it was in the third bleach movie, fade to black: i call your name :) but nice analysis overall :)

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