Rukia Ichigo Essay

Title: I Will Follow You Into the Dark
By: Britt (luvinaoshi)
Fandom: Bleach
Pairing: Kurosaki Ichigo/Kuchiki Rukia
Spoilers: Up to more recent Bleach chapters (pretty much the whole series so far)
Disclaimer: Don't own Bleach. Woe is me.




Ichigo/Rukia is probably one of, if not the biggest, ship in the Bleach animanga fandom. And it’s not surprising either, considering that Ichigo is the main protagonist of the story and Rukia the lead heroine. It’s always tempting and easy to stick the two most important characters of opposite sex together, especially when they’re in so many scenes together.

However, there is so much more to Ichigo/Rukia than that. It may be the reason we first noticed its potential, but as the series has progressed, so has the depth of the relationship, and the potential for love. This, I will try to prove in the following essay.


I Will Follow You Into the Dark







Kurosaki Ichigo//黒崎 一護
(boy wonder)


From the very beginning of the story, Ichigo –and I put this simply- is the epitome of cool. His nickname is “strawberry” because of his name’s similarity to the Japanese word for the fruit. His hair is naturally bright orange in color. He’s dripping with attitude, and his t-shirts have slogans on them such as “Speaking Is Not Communication.” Though he is only fifteen years old, he already has a large chip on his shoulder. (And a hero-complex as well, but we’ll get to that later.)



He also has some good moves. In the first scene, we see him beating the crap out of a couple of thugs who have desecrated a dead girl’s memorial offering. Because she asked him to.

It turns out that Ichigo is also gifted with the ability to see the dear departed, and even talk with them. He’s had the power from birth, and other members of his family exhibit similar though less developed skills. His younger sister Karin can see them, and his other younger sister Yuzu can sense their shapes. (His father Isshin can also see them, but at this point we don’t know.)

Despite the occasional supernatural elements, Ichigo manages to live the life of an average teenager. He occasionally helps out at the family clinic, and attends high school at the nearby Karakura High. He has a group of friends, and a number of enemies- perhaps more than the usual student because of his unusual hair (the upperclassmen think he bleaches it), the tough attitude he puts on and his willingness to get into a brawl.

Enter Kuchiki Rukia.

One fateful day she walks into his bedroom through the wall, and is alarmed when he attacks her, thinking she is some sort of burglar. “You mean you can see me?” is her first reaction, but she quickly picks up on the fact that abnormal amounts of spiritual energy are pouring out of him subconsciously. She therefore reveals her true identity to him- she is a shinigami assigned to reaping Hollows (bad souls), and bringing good souls to the Soul Society. Ichigo is skeptical until they are forced to fight a Hollow that attacks his family, lured by the presence of his strong energy.

During the battle, Rukia is injured, and attempts to gives Ichigo some of her power so he can fight the Hollow himself. Unintentionally, she ends up giving him all her power. He is able to defeat their enemy, and from that point on, agrees to act as a shinigami while she recovers.

At first Ichigo seems reluctant to take the reigns, claiming he’s not doing it because he wants to but because he owes her. We soon find out the truth- that this is what he was meant for.

Ever since childhood, when he began study at a dojo, Ichigo had a powerful desire to protect people, especially those around him. It was intensified when his mother Masaki was killed protecting him as they were walking outside in the rain (by a Hollow, as he finds out later). He carries with him the guilt of her death, blaming himself and his inability to help her for his family’s loss. He gains a fierce desire to never seem weak, never be beaten.

One of the things I love best about Ichigo is this depth to his character. On the surface he is prickly and detached, always frowning or fighting. But it’s all an image- a carefully created attitude he has developed to not show weakness. Perhaps it’s his survivor’s guilt as well; a part of him wants to be hated by others. He can’t even understand why his family doesn’t blame him for Masaki’s death.



It must be said that Ichigo never points fingers; he always accepts all the guilt, all the responsibility on his own shoulders, whether or not it is warranted. He has to be the hero. Not only does he launch himself unflinchingly into battle with Hollows without fear, but he has an overdeveloped sense of responsibility, as we see with his interactions with the TV personality Don Kanonji.

Ichigo is, despite how he may appear at first, deeply concerned for others. He doesn’t hesitate to fight for his friends’ sakes, and eventually, even for complete strangers. He comes to prove that he will do anything for others, especially Rukia. As a result, his character is constantly enduring change throughout the series, always striving for new strength and attaining it.




Kuchiki Rukia//朽木 ルキア
(an atypical Cinderella)


Slight in size but great in spirit, that’s Rukia. And though it’s not immediately evident, she is probably as marked by her past as Ichigo is.

A shinigami of no seating from the 13th Divison, she entered the training academy after a childhood spent living on the streets and stealing for food with her close friend Renji (later a shinigami as well and vice-captain) and the other street brats. Her sister Hisana had abandoned her when she realized she was unable to help her at that time. However, Rukia was later able to join the wealthy noble class after Hisana’s husband, Kuchiki Byakuya, adopted her into the family at his late wife’s last request.



Then, when she was serving as a shinigami under Captain Jūshirō Ukitake and Vice-Captain Shiba Kaien (who she seemed to have a crush on, or at least greatly admire), an incident occurred that was rather traumatizing to her. Kaien’s wife was killed by a Hollow, and after they had sought and located this Hollow to destroy it, Kaien was unable to. Ukitake stopped her from interfering to protect Kaien’s pride, and as a result he was taken over. Ukitake could not defeat him, and in a fit of clarity, Kaien killed himself on helpless Rukia’s sword.

Rukia is unable to forget Kaien’s death, and it seems to be an important factor behind a lot of her decisions in the way she deals with Ichigo. Not only does he physically resemble Kaien, but she feels a desire to protect him when a similar incident with a Hollow occurs near his mother’s grave.

Rukia takes her shinigami duties quite seriously. We see her frequently informing Ichigo of Soul Society laws and how he should follow them. Even with her powers gone, she makes herself useful by training Ichigo, badgering him relentlessly, and cleaning up his wounds.



However, this careful attention to regulation and order is broken more and more often during the time she spends with Ichigo; Rukia is a shinigami often distracted by the human element. In times of great danger, she shows that she has her priorities firmly in place. She will break laws to save lives, even if it puts herself in a bad situation. Not only does she allow Ichigo to share in her power though it is not allowed, but she later makes another exception to save the life of the Mod Soul Kon, though by Soul Society laws he should be destroyed.

We often see Rukia as serious and thoughtful, but she has many other sides to her. She manages to have fun posing as a student in Ichigo’s class; she plays the part of a demure, sweet girl for her own benefit and amusement while they’re in public. Many aspects of the current youth culture confuse, amaze and amuse her as she tries to learn them. She devours cheesy horror manga, struggles to put the straw in a juice pouch, and even tries to pick up on the slang, much to Ichigo’s dismay. She also seems to enjoy drawing, though most of her pictures are pretty bad.



Rukia is gifted with a tongue than can be as sharp as Ichigo’s at times and an equally stubborn will. But that’s not where the similarities end; Rukia also exhibits a fierce desire to protect those around her, and refuses to be anyone’s burden. This is their first and strongest link.




Ichigo/Rukia
(the best kind of partnership)



It is true that Rukia and Ichigo are not the most romantic of duos, for all the fangirling we make of them. They are not characters that find it easy to openly express that type of emotion. Instead, their relationship is all about subtexts- the wonderful, subtle things that we see beneath the surface in other actions and gestures.



They are rather curt and snarky with one another, often throwing insults back and forth, and accusing the other of being overly stupid or reckless. This is a tension that definitely works in their favor; it belies a certain intimacy as well.

Not only is Rukia also free to approach Ichigo on a more physical manner, she’s the only girl that is allowed to do so (dragging him, hitting him, touching him on the shoulder, etc.) This is particularly meaningful in the sense that Ichigo often displays a discomfort around other women. We know that the sight of an unclothed, or even scantily clad woman (read: Yoruichi) makes him distinctly uncomfortable, and in all other respects Ichigo is typically asexual. Only with Rukia is he more relaxed; she is on a different level than all the others.

Ichigo is even able to discuss his mother and her unfortunate death (at the hands of a hollow as they find out) with Rukia very early on in the series. This is a particularly painful sticking point with his character, and after realizing just how much, Rukia handles him with great tact and care. She gives him the space not to tell her if he wishes, and allows him to fight his own battle for his honor, even if he may lose in the process and it hurts her to watch him do so.

Rukia: Thank you for not dying, Ichigo…thank you.


We can also theorize that Rukia’s empathy for Ichigo is made all the stronger by her difficult past and losing Kaien in a similar manner. This is yet another way in which they are able to connect on an emotional level; she can understand where he is coming from.

Partly because of their pasts, and partly because of the quick, strong connection made between them, both Rukia and Ichigo demonstrate an unusually strong will to sacrifice their feelings and wants, even their lives, for the other. Upon their very first meeting Rukia goes well beyond the line of duty to protect Ichigo from the Hollow that attacks his family. She makes a reckless, nearly fatal forward attack in order that Ichigo will not get eaten. And in return, Ichigo eventually agrees to repeatedly put his life on the line to kill Hollows while she regains the power she lost helping him. But it goes further than this.



Rukia’s actions come back to haunt her once more, when she is arrested, taken back to the Soul Society (shinigami world) for allowing Ichigo to have her powers, and condemned to die. Ichigo tries in vain to stop her from being taken away, almost dying in the process. To protect him, Rukia insists that he must not try to help her.

Rukia: Move one inch from there…try coming after me…And I will never forgive you.


After being saved from death’s door by Urahara Kisuke, Ichigo vows that he will go anyway. Urahara tells him he train first.

Urahara: If you wish to save Kuchiki-san with all your heart, then you have at your disposal a power stronger than iron. But if your resolve is half-hearted, forget it. For the next ten days, I’m going to put you through hell.

Ichigo: Well, if I don’t do this, there’s nobody else who can, right? Let’s do it.



Despite all the danger, despite all that he must go through to be strong enough to face the other shinigami, Ichigo perseveres and travels to the Soul Society to save her.



This is why the relationship between these two is so crucial to the series as a whole. It is Rukia who, directly or indirectly, encourages Ichigo’s growth, his gaining of new strength. It is she that he trains so hard to save, she is the reason he must achieve bankai (the final, ultimate form of his shinigami sword or zanpaktou). He fights shinigami captain after captain to reach the tower where she is being held, goes to the brink of death and back, emerging stronger at the other end and finally succeeding in his goal. She has a positive, driving effect on him, the likes of which no other character in the series can claim.

Orihime: To Kurosaki-kun, she is an important person. Because to Kurosaki-kun, Kuchiki-san is the person who changed his life.


Ichigo’s effect on Rukia is equally as important. We see her adapting to new environments and situations, letting up and allowing herself more freedoms. She is forced to put her trust in a fifteen year old high schooler at the beginning, but as the story progresses, it becomes her choice to put her faith in him and his abilities.




In more recent chapters, they have come even further. After parting for a while post-Soul Society, when they meet up again, both seem to be more willing than ever to acknowledge just how much they mean to one another.



Ichigo, who is always detached and nonchalant as a part of the image he tries so hard to keep up, does not bother to hide any of his emotion. We, the reader, are perfectly aware of how much it means to him to see Rukia in his classroom once more at the beginning of this new arc- it is written all over his face.






As we come to see, their relationship has indeed gone to a whole new level. Of course, many things remain the same: Rukia is as rough-talking and physically abusive as ever, and she is the only one that can return Ichigo’s confidence in his abilities to protect in friends. But for the first time, Rukia can at speak frankly to him of what he really means to her



Judging by the look on his face at this, he knows it, too.

He is also openly expressive of his concern after Rukia is injured in a battle with one of their newest adversaries, Grimmjow. As Orihime heals her, and Ichigo watches over, his affections are made plainly evident (and made many Ichigo/Rukia shipper squee, if I recall correctly.) Orihime does not fail to notice his expression either, which brings me to my next point.

I truly have no problem whatsoever with Orihime. I adore her character and enjoy reading about her. It must be said though, that her love for her friend Ichigo is also plainly evident throughout the series; however it is my opinion that the love remains one-sided, at least for now. She lacks the same level of positive influence that Rukia exerts over Ichigo, and even she is painfully aware of it.

To me, an Ichigo/Orihime relationship seems like it would be more of a backtracking for the two characters than anything else (and let me note again that this is simply my viewpoint- you obviously don't have to agree with it). I would like to see Orihime grow stronger on her own, independently from Ichigo. This is why I personally prefer Ichigo/Rukia, though I can see a case being made for Ichigo/Orihime.



Ichigo and Rukia do seem perfectly suited to each other- an admirable duo. They have like personalities and have overcome similar difficulties in the past dealing with the loss of loved ones. They work together perfectly in times of battle, while maintaining the deepest trust and honesty in their relationship outside. And lately their feelings of affection have seemed to grow as they continue to have a positive influence on one another.

These are all reasons why I am proud to call myself an Ichigo/Rukia shipper.





More



Fanart

I apologize for my lack of links in this section; I really don’t follow fanart as much as I should. But as far as the artists I do know…fanartist has a lot of really lovely work. I especially like this blue one. dragonboy_mt is also a great artist; the Ichigo and Rukia he draws have a great likeness to the ones you will see in the manga- With or Without You.

Poking around, I found a few more. This art drawn by nic-xc is hilarious. I enjoyed this drawing) by shinigami-lashae, and this art by sandied.

And though I don’t like the name much, Strawberry Sankyuu by animegher is great - love the outfits they’re wearing.



Fanfiction

Fortunately enough for this pairing, it’s got a handful of great authors going for it.

The first that comes to mind is berrygold. She’s written, among other things, a collection of Ichigo/Rukia drabbles Flutterby, Mind Prisms and Perchance to Dream.

hecatehatesthat that is another must read. She’s got a great road-trip series going called When the Sun Comes Up, You’d Better Be Moving, and I also rather like It’s Hour Come Round At Last. Her characterization is great, and you can read her here.

I like the way autophanous writes Ichigo/Rukia as well, particularly in the tongues of serpents, vcr, tv, and other such confusing acronyms and morning. And I adore bravecows’ fic: the second to last room and A Debt Unpaid.

Then there’s team7’s fic from when she claimed them at 30_kisses, you can find some of it here, here and here.

Also: cynic_in_charge and lacewood’s Something They Can Live With, pinkpuruu’s untitled and letters, tokyofish’s beautiful fic , and tenebris’ What the shadows say . I also like her fic Introduction, though it’s technically Zangetsu/Shirayuki.


Fanlistings

The IchiRuki fanlisting Keep Me Strong
And also, individual fanlistings for both Ichigo and Rukia


At livejournal

There’s the basic ichi_ruki comm. They’ve got fun fanfiction/fanart contests every year, the occasional weekly discussions, and more. There’s all sorts of fans of the pairing to be found here, as there are nearly 1000 members.

Then there’s the slightly more exclusive sane_ichiruki. You have to write a few paragraphs explaining yourself before you join, I believe.


Extras

IchiRuki 100 themes
Ichigo&Rukia photo gallery (I got some of my images from here)
Ichigo x Rukia Colorbar


 
                     I am utterly surprised that even this argument have really exist,the first time I have read someone said that Rukia was being replaced by Inoue as the heroine of BLEACH,I thought,what had happened in the story?I made a two years hiatus on BLEACH,because I am impatient to follow such a long running story,so I take a hiatus,and checked the progress of the story after 2 years,and this is what surprised me the most.Before I start on explaining things,I suggest you to read the article from this link.... : theeditorsblog.net/2011/03/06/first-impressions-and-introductions/

note:the highlighted sentences are copy pasted from the link I posted above.

 

Introduction of the protagonist

          Introduction of your lead character is one of the highlights of your story. Make it memorable. Make each word count. Paint the picture of your lead that you want the reader to carry with him into your story.

Now,let's take a look at how these girls were introduced in the story
 

The Beginning of BLEACH.......how they were introduced to the readers?............

let's begin with Rukia.



This is the first time we saw Rukia,and she is the very first person shown in the story.....what happened next?



She was introduced to the main protagonist,namely.... Kurosaki Ichigo,as theFIRST shinigami,he have ever seen.What happened next?





She is the one who gave him the power to protect his family by transferring her powers to Ichigo,and become a shinigami.

Now....let's see how Inoe was introduced in the story.





 

                      Inoe was introduced as a CLASSMATE who have a romantic interests towards Ichigo.She's even first shown with Tatsuki,which lessen the focus in her introduction,and is definitely being friend zone.

Again,what are the things we need to see during their introductions,to identify which one is the female protagonist?

Introduction of your lead character is one of the highlights of your story. Make it memorable. Make each word count. Paint the picture of your lead that you want the reader to carry with him into your story.

 After seeing how they were introduced in the story,which one have the huge impact when being introduced?Which one was memorable?It was Rukia's,obviously,but I guess no one would argue regarding this?

How about the Arrancar,HM,the Lust,and the Deicide chapters?or the

Whole Aizen event

                           There are some assumptions saying that Rukia was being replaced by Inoue as the heroine of BLEACH in this Plot after the SS arc.Lets take a look at how they were being reintroduced in this arc next to the SS.

Lets see Inoue first,how was she reintroduced?



There she was,along with Chad and Ishida,is there any high light?There's absolutely none.

How about Rukia?How was she reintroduced in this Arc?



                     Rukia is not the only shinigami who came to the RW,but KT never showed her along with them,instead he gave her a dramatic entrance,separated from the others.When she showed up,every single person's attention inside that room were focused on her.He even drew that in a double paged panel for that single scene.As if that's not enough,he even focused on her image in a whole paged panel size,followed by Ichigo's reaction when he sees her,sharing the half of the page with Rukia's "Long time no see,Ichigo"

                     Did you noticed the big difference in their reintroduction in the story?Rukia was still the one who gets the major high light during their reintroduction.

How about showing up their abilities?

Lets see how Inoue's abilities were shown in this arc.



I agree that her abilities were awesome,and even Ulquiora noticed her abilities as well.How about Rukia's?




                        Again,the huge difference was definitely undeniable,only blind would not be able to see,which one shines brighter in the story.

                       Also,notice that in Inoue's case,she ended up being protected by Ichigo,whereas in Rukia's,Ichigo is the one being protected by Rukia.Though both of them was defeated by the enemy,the scene with Rukia,remains as she is the one who protects Ichigo,while Ichigo failed to protect her too,just like with Inoue.

How about the latest Arc?The FB arc?.....

The Lost Agent Arc

How they were reintroduced here?

Let's satrt with Inoue first..



Another normal reintroduction right?

Let's see how Rukia was reintroduced in this arc.



                      See,another obvious difference between the two?In fact,before this actual reintroduction of Rukia,we have been presented some build ups for her reintroduction,like Ichigo having thoughts of her not visiting the Karakura town? even once,his dreams,and the mysterious shinigami that makes everyone wondered who could that be.

To make things simple,I guess,the answer to these question,is what counts the most....

"what is their role in the story?"

Pre SS

Rukia :
                     - She gave Ichigo the power to protect.
                     -She is the one who tells him everything about the hallows and the SS.

                     -She is the one who eased up Ichigo's feelings about his Mom's death,it gave him the courage to talk  to       his Dad,how he really feels about it.
                     -She is the reason why he wants to have his shinigami power,to be able to save her.
                     -She is the reason why Ichigo wants to go to the SS and save her,that made Chad,Ishida and Inoe to develop their abilities,so that they can accompany Ichigo in his mission to save her.
                   

Inoe :
                    -A classmate who have a romantic interest towards Ichigo.
                    -A classmate that  also have a special ability.
                    -A comrade during his rescue mission for Rukia.

Compare the two,what are their purpose in the story?which one have the spotlight?

SS arc :

Rukia  :

                    -She is the reason why Ichigo and friends invade the SS.
                    -She is the reason why Ukitake and her comrades,went against the law of the SS,in order to save her.
                    -She is the reason why Yoruichi needs to go back to SS,and accompany Ichigo,to be able to save her.
                    -She is the reason why Renji wants to kill Ichigo at the beginning.
                    -She is the reason why Byakuya who's very loyal to the law of the SS,acts against it by saving her from Gin.
                    -She is the reason why Ichigo and Renji wants to become stronger.
                    -She is the one who made Hanataro sacrifice himself by trying to face Byakuya alone.
                    -She is the main target of Aizen for having the hougyoku.    
                    -Huge part of the story in SS arc,was about her,being a friend of Renji,her memory about Kaien,her words about Ichigo that he heard from Hanataro,gave him more determination to stand up and continue fighting.
                    -She is the reason why Ichigo is trying to stay alive during his fight with Kenpachi.
                    -She is the reason Ichigo gained his bankai in just two days.
                    -She is the reason why the hallow Ichigo didn't manage to control Ichigo during his fight with Byakuya.
                    -She is the reason why the rain in Ichigo's heart had stopped.



Inoe :      
                    -She healed their injuries after the battles.

I guess no one would argue who's the female protagonist here.

Arrancar arc

Rukia :
                     -She is the one who showed Ichigo her faith in him that regain his confidence after being defeated by Yammy.
                     -She gave Ichigo his resolve,and made him swear to his friends that he will protect them.
                     -She is the reason why he went to the Vaizard and train.
                     -She is the reason why Ichigo wants to defeat GJ.
                    

Inoe :
             -She is the reason why Ichigo and CO.Renji and Rukia went to HM to rescue her.


HM arc 

Rukia :
            
-She is the only one among the rescue team who have manage to defeat an arrancar ALONE.
                -She is the one who have the greatest character development,by fighting with her greatest weakness which was her guilt over Kaiens death.
                -She is the one who gave the final blow to defeat the leader of Exequias.
                -The one that remains standing against Yammy.

Inoe :
           
-She never really contributes anything here,the only thing that happened to her,is the growth of her character individually...
               -She realized that they are an important part of each other,and would do everything to protect each part of those who belonged to their circle of friends.
               -She realized,that even though Ichigo might not have the same feelings for her,she was still an important person to him,that he will also go anywhere to save her as well.

Aside from being the catalyst for everyone to invade the HM,is there any other role she have?

The latest arc,The Lost Agent Arc

Rukia :
            
-She is the one who was in Ichigo's heart when he activated his fullbring.
                -She is one of the biggest reason why Ichigo wants to have his powers back.
                -And most importantly,she is the one whom Isshin and the others,chose to stab Ichigo,and bring his shinigami powers back.

Inoe :
           
There is nothing much in the story as of now,I haven't seen yet what role could she have in this new arc.Saying that showing her new ability is emphasizing her importance in the story,is truly ridiculous in my own POV,sorry for being frank.It's normal to show their progress in the story,in fact,it wouldn't only be her who's going to be stronger,surely............everyone will get stronger.It didn't even have much emphasis,just so you know.

NOTE: She can maybe get stronger in the future,but always keep in mind that........EVERYONE DOES..........as the story progress.



For more elaboration for those who are being persistent.

Some may argue that Inoe became the MC of the story after the SS arc,and it made her as the new heroine of BLEACH?.........*head shaking*..........Being the new MC doesn't mean that she would also be the new female protagonist,there's a difference between that.The protagonist is the heroine of the Overall Storyline,whereas the MC could be the protagonist as well,but not necessarily means,that he/she would always be the MC.The MC is just the focus of a partial story.....

read here for more details.....storyfanatic.com/articles/story-structure/when-the-main-character-is-not-the-protagonist

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



For further explanation:

When you blend the two together you can cause all kinds of blind spots during the writing process. It’s the reason why so many people confuse the Main Character with the Protagonist and assume that both are the same. It’s the reason why so many story theorists ascribe to the Hero’s Journey mythology made famous by Joseph Campbell. And it’s also the reason why some unsuccessful stories can have too many Main Characters. Writers that suffer from the latter haven’t taken the time to identify the one personal viewpoint on the story’s central problem; they’re essentially grasping at story-straws for something that they know they need, but can’t quite exactly figure out what.

However, here’s a little trick you can use to help think of the Objective Story “objectively.” Think of what ALL the characters in your story are concerned with. What holds them together – why are they even in the story. Make sure that, when thinking of the characters, you identify them by their ROLE (heroine, villain, father, doctor, sister, etc.). Avoid using their proper names. Once you think about a character in terms of their name it’s very difficult to avoid personalizing your feelings about them.------------copy pasted from the article-------------



To make things more simple..........I'll discuss some of the chapters from BLEACH manga itself.......

BLEACH : chapter 1-2

The MC of these introduction chapters,was Ichigo and Rukia,how they met,how does  Ichigo became a shinigami,why did he accept the request of Rukia to help her do her shinigami job.How does their lives were twisted.The beginning of everything.The very core of BLEACH story.Heck it even take a very long chapter,just for their introductions to each other.

BLEACH  : chapter 3-6

Notice that the Main Characters from these chapters are Sora & Orihime,yes.....they are the MC of these chapters.It was about a normal human soul that turns into a hallow,which was Sora,and Orihime,his little sister.Those chapters were about Sora's loneliness and his thought about Orihime,starting to forget about him.Now tell me..........being the MC,or the focus of the story,thus that made them the PROTAGONIST of BLEACH?......obviously NO,because it was Ichigo and Rukia,who was the Protagonist of BLEACH.Want another example?

BLEACH : chapter 7-12

In these chapters,Chad and the parakeet were the new MC of the story,These chapters were about Chad,who was trying to protect the parakeet,that was being possessed by a little boy who witnessed the murder of his Mom,thus that maid them the protagonist of BLEACH?....of course not!......want another?

BLEACH : chapter 13-16

Who's the MC here?It was Kon,these chapters were about the modsouls,why they are created,why they are decided to be destroyed,how does he feel about it?The story was all about him,and not Ichigo or Rukia,thus that mean his the new protagonist of the story?.......definitely NO.want more?

BLEACH chapter 17-25 known as the Memories in the rain

These chapters were dedicated to Ichigo's Mom,the most important person to Ichigo.Ichigo's Mom is the MC of these chapters and Ichigo as well,these chapters were about Ichigo's Mom's death,her importance to Ichigow he loved her,how he felt guilty for what happened then.In these case,we can say that the MC is the Protagonist as well.

BLEACH : chapter 27-32

The MC of these chapters was Don Kanonji,but his not even one of the major character isn't he?These is what the article that I put above,I mean,the article from the link I put there.......I'll copy paste it here.........


Main Character is really a point of view. It just means the player through whom the audience experiences the story first hand, as if it were happening to them. That “player” that contains the Main Character could also contain the Protagonist, or the Antagonist, Sidekick, or any archetypal or non-archetypal objective character. Keep in mind that while MC is just a point of view, a position of the audience, as it were, the objective characters are defined by their dramatic function in the plot. Just like looking at a battle from a hill, you see the soldiers not by looking through their eyes, but by the job they are doing.


It simply means,that anyone can become the MC,but at the same time,the protagonist remains as the protagonist,for they are the MC of the OVERALL storyline

BLEACH : chapter 33 and so on........

The beginning of these chapters were about Ishida Uryu,yup! he's the new MC here,continued by everything that unfolds Inoe and Chad's abilities.At the very last chapters of Pre SS arc,there are 5 MC's,whereas they were developing their abilities.

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Those chapters I have posted above,were just a sub story of the whole Pre SS arc,which was a sub plots of the overall BLEACH storyline.Now,while each of them have different MC's,what are the effects that these chapters had brought to the whole Pre SS arc storyline?What development did they brought to the protagonist's character?

here they are.......

BLEACH : chapter 1-2

In these chapters,everything have started,Ichigo was introduced to the world of the shinigamis and hallows,but what was it that truly made him starts his shinigami life?

it was these.....



What is it?....It was Rukia's KINDNESS,When Rukia told him that a shinigami should treat all the spirits equally,that even if he have saved that kid who happened to be in front of him,there might be another soul,who needs to be saved somewhere else,and because they aren't in front of him,then he wouldn't save them?and thus he mean that,if that kid wasn't in front of him,then he wouldn't bother helping him?then there's no difference in not helping the kid,for it won't change the fact that they are both being attacked,whether they are in front of him,or not.That's why,if he became a shinigami,then he have to go for them everywhere,and if necessary,give his life to save them.After hearing those words from Rukia,the night that she saved him flashes back onto him,does that mean that he suddenly forgets his debt in her?of course not.It just seems that Ichigo have realized,that Rukia didn't just saved him,because he happened to n front of her,but because,that is what she wanted to do,that it was in her character.....which he means here.....




Like he said,only a nice person would do that,and he is not that nice of a person to fight for a total strangers.That was Ichigo before he met Rukia.And when Rukia said,treat all the spirits equally,means,she wouldn't do that *risking her own life* only for him,but for others as well,could also means,that at that time that she was unable to do that,Rukia must be so worried,that there might be some soul who needed to be saved,and she couldn't do anything to save them,that she was that desperate to help them,that's why she asked for his help,since her shinigami powers were inside him.

Look at her here,while she was trying to convince Ichigo to accept the shinigami duty.



She was tensed,simply means that the decision was still up to Ichigo,if he would accept it or not.Then let's take a look at her reaction when Ichigo saved the kid.



She was still tensed,not knowing what was in Ichigo's mind....Ichigo,on the other hand,might have thought that it was him who made her worry not being able to do her job,that seems really important to her,that is when he accepted her request to help her,but not to the point of risking his life.He said that he would run away if things gets bad,for he isn't that nice like her.

See?.......It wasn't really just his debt,but his guilt as well,for causing Rukia's worry for the souls who needs help.In short,Rukia's kindness,is the thing that made Ichigo to become a substitute shinigami for her.

BLEACH  : chapter 3-6

What are the importance of these chapters to the overall storyline of BLEACH?Sure these chapters were about Sora and Orihime,but it's purpose was to further Ichigo's knowledge about shinigamis and hallows.In these chapters,he learned,that hallows were actually a normal human soul that was never saved by the shinigami at the right time.He also finds out,that he isn't actually killing them when he was cutting them,instead,he was just purifying their souls.

And what is the other development about the story?It was these.....



Ichigo was seeing Rukia's other personality,I mean,he's getting to know her even more.....aside from the one who saved his life.And these....


He's becoming aware of her actions,when she seemed to be worried.

BLEACH : chapter 7-12

Even though the MC of these chapters were Chad and the parakeet,or including Karin as well,it only served as another step forward for Ichigo's knowledge about the shinigamis and hallows.In these chapters,he learned that,not all the hallows that he cuts would definitely go to SS,he found out that,when a soul has committed a mortal sin during his previous life,they would be sent to hell.

And the other development in overall story?....it was these.....



  

Ichigo was starting to worry for Rukia,because he knew that she have a hero personality.Ichigo was seeing Rukia's selflessness once again.Even though she didn't have enough powers to fight the hallow,she still asked Ichigo to take Karin at home first,then she decided to chase the hallow by herself.

BLEACH : chapter 13-16

In these chapters,were Kon was the MC,Ichigo have learned about the mod souls,the purpose why they were made and was decided to be destroyed in the end,for the SS convenience,he though of it as something really rude.And also these.....





Ichigo was shown another kindness from Rukia.He knew that saving Kon was definitely against the SS law,but still,Rukia saved him,because she knew that Ichigo was having a sympathy for the mod soul.

BLEACH chapter 17-25 known as the Memories in the rain

These chapter was about Ichigo and his Mom,why does he felt guilty for her death.These chapters explains why Ichigo is the Ichigo that was being introduced to all of us.These chapters also made his resolve to protect the others from being attacked by the hallow,to prevent others from having the same painful experience as his.he made that vow as a resolve for what he felt for his Mom's death,so that he would be able to face her.

And what is it that he also realized that time?...it was these.....




Rukia,showing him,her respect for his feelings,not forcing him to talk,until he wants to.She assured him that whenever he felt like talking,she would be there to listen.

BLEACH : chapter 27-32

In these chapters,Ichigo was told by Rukia about the earth bound and obsessed spirits who was being chained with their regrets,just read the manga for further information.....^m^.....I'm lazy to specify them.

And also these.....




Ichigo noticed Rukia's concern for him.

BLEACH : chapter 33 and so on........

In these chapters,Ichigo learned about the quincy,and Ishida's way of challenging Ichigo,is the thing that made Chad and Inoe discover their abilities,that they are going to need to develop,in able to help Ichigo.....to what?......it was these.....






Noticed Uruhara's words?It was crucial for her,as well as for Ichigo.Oh PUH LEASE!!!!,I can say there might be some certain people that would say it is also for their nakamas........of course it was,but....a big big BUT.It became crucial to them only because,they need,and wanted to accompany Ichigo.Yes,that is a major turn for their lives,but the main focus was Ichigo and Rukia,the reason for them to develop their abilities,were their attachment to Ichigo,while Ichigo's reason for saving Rukia,was his attachment for her.





Now that I have stated the development that each events have brought to the OVERALL STORYLINE,What are those constant thing that keeps on developing events after events?......It was Ichigo slowly,or gradually learning things about the shinigamis and hallows,at the same time,knowing Rukia,and getting close and more attached to her.Why?....for these following sub plot......the SS arc.......the Pre SS arc,was a build up,for their relationship,to make it believable,why Ichigo was acting the way he was,during the rescue mission for Rukia.It's to justify his determination of saving her,and to show,what are the things he could do,when he have a strong determination.


The SS arc

What is these arc all about?.....It is all about Rukia and the SS.I won't do the same way of explaining things here,like what I did for the Pre SS arc,or I would end up,summarizing the whole story of BLEACH in these entry *laughs*.Just like the Pre SS arc,the SS arc was another sub plot of the overall BLEACH storyline,and the chapters along these arc,were the sub story for the SS arc,and within those chapters,there are different MC's.But what are the development these arc has brought up to the overall storyline?.....it was these......

Aside from Ichigo,getting stronger,as he comes close to rescue Rukia,to the point the he have gained his bankai,in order to defeat Byakuya,these are the things that happens....



Ichigo,once more have learned,how selfless Rukia could be,he didn't knew that she was blaming herself for everything that had happened to him,the moment he turned into a shinigami.Instead of blaming him,that's why she was going to be executed to death,she worries for him,than for herself,and that gave him even more determination to save her.That's why he said these.....



That shows how much determination he have,these made everyone keep on asking,not only him,but also his friends,why is he so persistent in saving Rukia?

Sure Ichigo have thought these at the beginning......



And also these.....




Hmm,but it seems that he himself,was thinking as well,why he was that persistent in saving Rukia?.....In the end,he said these.......



Did Ichigo suddenly forget about his debt?Of course not,for he always said that he owe her his life,means that when he said "I remember now,why I wanted to save you so much",he was also thinking what was it really?the reason why he wanted to save her,simply means,it wasn't really because of his debt.,for he himself,seems to be aware that he was doing it in a not normal limit,for someone's who's just paying his debt.Attempting to save her,and risk his life,was enough already,but to be persistent in staying alive,for so many times,until he really have saved her,was totally not anything normal.



See?...even in these arc Ichigo and Rukia's relationship were the very core of the story.



The Arrancar and the HM arc

The same goes here.like SS arc,the Arrancar and the HM arc was yet,another sub plot of the OVERALL STORYLINE of BLEACH.What was these arcs all about?

The Arrancar arc,was about Ichigo's struggle with his hallow,and it continued until the HM arc.Again,what are the developments it brought to the overall storyline of BLEACH?.....it was these.....



 

That was the first time he heard directly from Rukia,how she sees him as a person,and that gave him back his usual self confidence.

And also,these things have happened.....during the HM arc

Group separation Link : *upcoming.....^.^......*

GJ fight  Link : kawaichappy.livejournal.com/6292.html

Ulquiora fight Link : http://kawaichappy.livejournal.com/6019.html

The lust Link : kawaichappy.livejournal.com/7219.html

                        Sure that Orihime became the MC *in some chapters,the same as the situation during the SS*,HM arc was actually about Aizen's plan of creating the Key,in order to be able to do that,he needs the Karakura town,They just happened to discover Inoe's powers,and they thought it would be useful for them.Thus that made her the new BLEACH heroine?Absolutely NO.She is just the new MC,for the new sub plot,it was also about Ichigo who was losing his usual confidence when fighting.his determination,and it was because of his hallow.This arc shows what will happen if Ichigo lacks his determination.

                   Ironically,why is it that,instead of Inoe's selflessness was supposed to be acknowledged,since she is the one who surrendered herself to the enemy,making her the new heroine,like some certain people are claiming......

then why does Ichigo acknowledges these certain girl's selflessness instead of Inoe's?




Ichigo was blatantly recognizing Rukia's selflessness,once again.....he said....."safer than down here"......he was indirectly telling her again,that she shouldn't be worried about Inoe,for she is the one who was about to die,just a few seconds ago,and that she is the one who was having a dangerous battles down there.

Isn't that just the same here.....



Isnt the essence of Ichigo's words in these panels were just the same?.....it was about Rukia who was being worried for others,though she was actually the one who was in greater danger.

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Did you noticed?,,,,,the thing that keeps the story moving how it was until now,was because of Ichigo and Rukia's interactions......Like I said before,Pre SS arc was a build up for their relationship,that justifies,Ichigo's actions during the SS arc,and we see changes from Ichigo's way of treating Rukia during the Arrancar arc,Ichigo was unconsciously showing that he was prioritizing Rukia.During the Pre SS arc,we've seen Ichigo being so depressed when Rukia was taken away,at the HM arc,he seemed to become afraid of losing her,not that he isn't afraid of losing his friends,it's just that,she is his priority above everyone else,at the beginning of Inoe's rescue,he didn't want to separate with the others,because he wanted to protect her,he also turn back for her,when her Reiatsu fades.

Those actions were just a build up for these scene......






KT seemed to  make sure,he have shown enough,how much Rukia became so important to Ichigo,and what are the things he would do,when he was about to lose her,or having the thought of losing her.......

And those build ups made his actions really believable for the latest arc which was

The Lost Agent Arc

What was these arc all about?.....It was Ichigo who have no longer shinigami powers left in him,but when he finds out that there is a way to regain his shinigami powers back,he then went to try that out,but what was the reason?

First,let's see the first chapter of these arc.....



                            The arc,still begins with Ichigo and Rukia.how?Rukia was out of the picture,true......but.......are you reading?..........She was still brought up in the story.So funny,that the chance they are saying was so wasted,for after 17 months,Ichigo was there thinking of Rukia not coming to visit the Karakura town?..............or him? Ichigo was shown as being consistent of denying the fact that he really missed Rukia



Look at these panels.....



                        When Chad told him to think of his proud moments as a shinigami.......why is it that in the panel,that was supposed to be Rukia's image should be shown,it was Ichigo himself instead?It was obvious that he was avoiding to think of her.That means,that he was really hurting when they parted,if it is only because Ichigo was just avoiding to talk about anything related to shinigamis,because he is now powerless,then,why is he able to think of the proud moments of being a shinigami,but was avoiding to think of Rukia?Simple,it's actually Rukia's absence is the thing that really hurts him the most,the reason why he didn't want to talk about anything related to shinigamis,is the thought of not being able to see Rukia again.

And when he was about to lose hope....these image unconsciously crossed his mind......



It seemed to me that Ichigo,thought of the thing that would happen if he failed regaining his powers back.And the thing that he was worrying the most,was to lost the chance of seeing Rukia again.

Well,it's true that,a part of the reason why he wanted to regain his shinigami powers,was to be able to protect his friends,but.......don't for get.......what Chad said here.........



Chad said "ever since you lost your powers,I haven't been able to look at you"True that he also said,that Ichigo was sad being unable to protect,but hey!.....since his powers were lost?.......thus anyone needs to be protected by then?........there's no one.........but still Chad can't look at him,means,he couldn't stand seeing the DEPRESSED Ichigo,after losing his powers,but why?Isn't it what he really wanted?...a normal life?.......that's what Keigo have brought up to him earlier,for he can also see Ichigo's loneliness.

And I guess.....these panel,confirms it all.......



When Chad told him,think of his proud moments as a shinigami,nothing happens,the badge didn't respond,then when he started to panic.......an image of Rukia fading away in front of him,unconsciously flashed through his mind,then the badge reacted.

Read here for more explanation about the fulbring Link : kawaichappy.livejournal.com/3653.html

Obviously,even though Rukia was still out of the picture for now,she was definitely the biggest reason why Ichigo was regaining his shinigami powers.What ever the reason is,whether my speculations about these fullbring were right,or wrong,still.....there is no doubt that it was still about Ichigo and Rukia.......Ichigo's wanting to be with her,to be able to see her,was the biggest reason,why he was regaining his shinigami powers.Again,she is the one who's pulling Ichigo back to his shinigami life,like she is the one who drag him in that kind of life.

Tags: bleach heroine : rukia vs inoe

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