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|Occupation||Owner of the Unagiya Shop|
|Base of Operations||Karakura Town, Japan, Human World|
|Relatives||Kaoru Unagiya (Son)|
|Manga||Volume 49, Chapter 426|
|English||Mary Elizabeth McGlynn|
Ikumi Unagiya (鰻屋 育美, Unagiya Ikumi) is the owner and manager of the Unagiya Shop in Karakura Town, a business which performs a variety of odd jobs for its customers. She hires Ichigo Kurosaki sometime after the loss of his Shinigami powers.
Ikumi is a tall, curvaceous, and fair-skinned woman with brown eyes. Her raven hair, which reaches to her upper back, has bangs which part to the left of her face, and is styled in a ponytail with a purple scrunchy. She normally wears a white t-shirt with long purple sleeves, tight black pants with a buckle belt, and black rubber boots. As the owner of the Unagiya Shop, she has her shop's logo on her shirt with "Unagi" written on. She wears a brown cap with goggles and work gloves. When around her son, she removes her gloves, hat, and goggles, and replaces them with an apron.
Ikumi runs the Unagiya Shop, and because she is short-handed, she relies on Ichigo Kurosaki for help. Ikumi is violent and aggressive, as she is willing to use force, usually excessively, to get her way, beating up a group of thugs whom Ichigo was fighting just to bring Ichigo to work, doing so by kidnapping him shortly after. She takes pride in her shop, refusing to change its name despite Ichigo's recommendation to do so and the mistakes some customers make. Despite her aggressive personality, she is still very caring, maintaining a stereotypical sweet-mother demeanor around her son, even when he is rude to others. With Ichigo, she has occasionally shown her motherly side in giving advice to him, and offering him shelter in his emotional state, considering herself an older sister to Ichigo.
The Lost Substitute Shinigami arc
When Ichigo calls Ikumi while at school, she, yelling at him, says he only worked for one day the previous week. Annoyed by him wanting to take another week off, she angrily threatens to fire him that day if he does not show up, but changes her tone when he nonchalantly states somebody like him has no choice but to get fired. As she attempts to change his mind, Ichigo hangs up on her before she can continue to talk.
Later on, as Ichigo and Uryū Ishida fight off a large group of delinquents, Ikumi, arriving, kicks one of the delinquents, Yokochini, in the back of the head. Stating Ichigo looks like he is having fun and she is not going to put up with how he skips work for no reason anymore, she grabs him by the face, ties him up, and throws him into her van. She drives him to the Unagiya Shop, where she throws him onto a couch. Ichigo asks her to remove the tape, which she agrees to do if he does not try to run away. When the phone starts to ring, Ikumi, thinking that it is a customer, picks it up. Annoyed when the person on the phone asks for two orders of special quality eel, confusing it for an eel shop because of its name, she chastises the caller for their mistake and hangs up. When Ichigo suggests she just change the store's name, Ikumi, refusing, says she inherited the name from her ancestors.
She proceeds to read off an assortment of odd jobs for Ichigo to perform. When he asks why she does not just do them all herself, she states she is busy, and this is the reason she hired him in the first place. When her son, Kaoru, calls out for her from the other room, she, hearing his voice, takes off her hat and gloves and pulls on an apron. As Kaoru enters the room, she, asking him if anything is wrong, calmly chastises him for walking into the room barefoot. As she ushers him out of the room, he tells Ichigo to not try to get close to his mother. Apologizing to Ichigo, Ikumi says Kaoru still has not warmed up to him. When Ichigo states he has no interest in an old lady anyway, she, smacking him on the head with a book, starts to pull off the tape she tied him up with. She is surprised when a customer shows up, whom she greets. When the man, Kūgo Ginjō, asks Ichigo to have some ramen, Ichigo tells the man it is an eel shop. Oblivious to the atmosphere, Ikumi corrects him irritably.
As an annoyed Ichigo questions Kūgo, Ikumi listens, correcting him when he calls the store his personal rest stop. Asking Kūgo what he wants, she brings him some Ōlong tea when he requests it. Asking if Ikumi is the boss, Kūgo tells her he would like her to investigate someone, placing a photo on the table. Recognizing his father in the photo, Ichigo angrily asks him what he wants. Interrupting the heated discussion between Kūgo and Ichigo, Ikumi says she is closing up shop for the day, and she will hold onto the picture while she considers whether to take on the job. She tells him it is time to leave, and she will contact him after she has thought it over.
Mad when Ichigo returns to her home after training with Xcution in order to request more time off, Ikumi states he has had a lot of time off already, and when he becomes distant, she demands he talk to her about what is clearly troubling him, letting him know it is alright to trust an adult every now and then, for which Ichigo is grateful.
After Ichigo runs from his home, which has been taken over by Shūkurō Tsukishima, Ikumi, seeing him while she is in her car, asks what he is doing. After Ichigo gets in, she, driving off, notes he is very dirty and not even wearing shoes. At her store, she makes Ichigo and herself two cups of coffee and tells him if he needs to talk, she is there. As Ichigo thanks her, she shoves his head against her breast. When he tries to speak, she tells him to shut up, and everything will be okay. When the doorbell rings, she, going to get it, wonders who it could be at this time. Smiling at Ichigo, she tells him Tsukishima is there to cheer him up.
As Ichigo and Kūgo enter Tsukishima's mansion, they are greeted by Ikumi and other friends of Ichigo. Grabbing him, Ikumi, asking what the shocked face is for, tells him to come over. After everyone tells Ichigo Tsukishima is not mad, she, along with everyone else, says he should apologize. Later, following the death of Tsukishima, she, along with Ichigo's family and the rest of his friends, returns to normal.
The Thousand-Year Blood War Arc
After Ichigo is sent back from the Soul King Palace, he goes to Ikumi's home. Commenting on Ichigo's pitiful appearance, Ikumi lets him use her son's shower. As Ichigo exits the bathroom, Ikumi, throwing a hot bun at his face, tells him to eat it. As Ichigo tries to apologize for his repeated absence from work, Ikumi, headbutting Ichigo, says she does not care as long as Ichigo does his job. She restates her point about children relying on adults and how she feels like she is Ichigo's older sister. Ichigo tries to make light of the statements, which angers Ikumi, causing the two to fight and argue. After hearing a noise at the door, she, going to greet the person, finds no one is there. Unable to see Isshin, who is in his Shinigami form, she believes it was someone playing a prank. As Ichigo leaves, she, letting him use her umbrella, notices Ichigo left one of his belongings at her home. As she tries to tell Ichigo he left it, he is already gone, so she decides to return it to him the following day. She later returns it to Ichigo, who thanks her.
Powers & Abilities
Expert Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Ikumi is a very fearsome fighter, effortlessly pummeling an entire gang on her way towards Ichigo.
Enhanced Strength: Despite her slender frame, Ikumi is surprisingly strong. She can launch several delinquents a noticeable distance, and easily subdues Ichigo by effortlessly grabbing his face and dragging him away.
- (To Ichigo Kurosaki) "...Listen, all right? I don't know what's been going on with you... But you should quit trying to keep me in the dark. I'm not one of your school buddies, you know! I'm an adult! I don't need a brat like you worrying about me or trying to protect me from whatever you've got yourself mixed up in! So if there's something wrong, then come right out and say it! Kids like you... are meant to be able to rely on us adults!"
- (To Ichigo Kurosaki) "I don't need your apologies! If you feel bad about it, try actually coming in to work! Doesn't matter to me, you know! You can come 'cause you're lonely... 'Cause you're having a hard time... Or even just 'cause you happened to be in the area... Ever since the day I hired you, I figure I'm basically like a big sister to you... so you can come see me whenever you like! I told you before, didn't I?! Helping out kids like you is what us grown-ups are here for!"