The Death Trilogy Overture: Death & The Strawberry was a major conflict detailing the first time Ichigo Kurosaki met Rukia Kuchiki and became a Shinigami in charge of protecting Karakura Town from Hollows.
The conflict started when Rukia arrived at Ichigo's house lead by a Hollow's scent. She was injured by the Hollow and had to pass her Shinigami powers to Ichigo.
Ichigo agreed to help her protect the town from Hollows while her powers were restored, which led him to numerous battles against different Hollows.
The conflict ended when Captain Byakuya Kuchiki and Lieutenant Renji Abarai were sent from Soul Society to take Rukia as a prisoner. Ichigo lost his Shinigami powers while trying to prevent this and had to be aided by Kisuke Urahara to get them back. After undergoing training with Urahara, Ichigo, along with Orihime Inoue, Yasutora Sado, Uryū Ishida, and Yoruichi Shihōin, left to Soul Society to rescue Rukia.
After arriving home late, Ichigo Kurosaki finds a strange woman in his room.  Believing her to be a burglar, he kicks her, but she explains that she is a Shinigami. Ichigo does not believe her. She becomes angry and binds him with Kidō. After the Shinigami tries to explain things once more, Ichigo hears a loud voice. She mentions that it is odd that a Human was able to hear it before she was and she goes to find the source. Ichigo, not wanting to sit by idly as his family is in danger, manages to break the Shinigami's spell and rushes downstairs to find a Hollow.  After Ichigo unsuccessfully tries to fight the Hollow, the Shinigami manages to wound it and tells Ichigo that due to his high spiritual concentration, the Hollow's target was most likely him. Ichigo blames himself for his families injuries and the Shinigami turns around to tell him that that is not what she meant. Ichigo goes to fight the Hollow, but as it is about to hit him, the Shinigami jumps into the way, taking the blow and becoming grievously wounded. Unable to continue, she presents Ichigo with a choice: become a Shinigami temporarily to save his family. Ichigo accepts and she introduces herself as Rukia Kuchiki as she stabs her Zanpakutō into him. while she only meant to transfer half of her power to him, all of it is transferred and Ichigo is transformed into a Shinigami. Rukia remarks that she has never seen a Zanpakutō so big before as Ichigo is able to defeat his first Hollow.
The next day, Ichigo discovers Rukia is gone and his family has forgotten about the incident. He arrives at school to find Rukia, who can't return to the Soul Society because she has lost her powers. Rukia takes him to a nearby park where he is forced to fight the Hollow Hexapodus in order to protect the spirit of a young boy. By doing this, he accepts to help Rukia to do her job as a Shinigami. 
Ichigo and Rukia meet Orihime while training. Ichigo tells Rukia about Orihime’s brother who died three years ago. A Hollow attacks them later in Ichigo’s room and escapes. Rukia tells Ichigo that Hollows are souls of formerly normal humans. They chase the Hollow to Orihime’s house, and it turns out to be Orihime’s dead brother. Orihime apologizes to him for not praying for him, and he asks Ichigo to kill him so that he won’t lose himself and try to devour Orihime again. Orihime bids him farewell as he disappears. 
Chad finds a speaking parakeet, which is said to be cursed and keeps it. He is later admitted to the Kurosaki Clinic with grievous wounds. Rukia tells Ichigo that Chad’s wounds smell of a Hollow. Chad escapes from the clinic and hides with the parakeet. Rukia and Ichigo find him, but Ichigo has to take Karin back to the house, so Rukia is left to chase after him. They are caught by a Hollow chasing Chad and the parakeet. In order to protect the parakeet, Chad helps Rukia to fight the Hollow, even if he can’t see it. The Hollow takes the parakeet hostage, so that Chad won’t fight anymore, leaving Rukia alone. When the Hollow takes the upper hand, Ichigo finally arrives to fight. Ichigo fights the Hollow and its exploding leeches while the parakeet tells Rukia the story of how he was deceived by the Hollow. Ichigo listens the story from the Hollow itself, and enraged by it, kills the Hollow, who falls to Hell instead of being purified since it had committed terrible sins when it was alive. Ichigo finally performs Konsō on the soul of Yūichi trapped inside of the parakeet, who promises to let Chad carry him when they meet in Soul Society. 
After spending several months in the Human World, Rukia realizes that it will not be long until the Gotei 13 comes for her. She buys what she believes to be soul candy from the Urahara Shop so that Ichigo can separate his soul from his body. She goes and confronts Ichigo and forces him to take a pill. The two leave the artificial soul in Ichigo's body as they head off. The Artificial soul begins terrorizing the school in Ichigo's body, revealing incredible leg strength in the process. It goes after Orihime's chest and kisses Tatsuki on the cheek. After arriving back, Ichigo and Rukia discover that the soul in Ichigo's body is actually a Mod soul. They chase the Mod soul around with no luck and the Urahara Shop team joins in. After the Mod soul terrorizes more people, Rukia receives an alert that a Hollow will be there shortly. When they arrive at the scene, they find the Mod soul already there, fighting it. Ichigo joins in and the two defeat the Hollow together. Afterwards, Ichigo names the Mod Soul, Kon and he becomes an alternate means for Ichigo to become a Shinigami. 
On the anniversary of Masaki's death, the Kurosaki family goes to her grave. Once there, Ichigo notices that Rukia is there. She says that she has to be in case a Hollow comes along. Ichigo then reflects on the circumstances leading to his mother's death and blames himself. Karin then notices a ghost over by a cliff and goes to it as a figure appears behind it.The Hollow then emerges and attacks Ichigo's family. Ichigo arrives and slashes the Hollow. Rukia tells Ichigo that this Hollow is named Grand Fisher and explains about him. After struggling against Grand Fisher, Ichigo is paralyzed when Grand Fisher brings out his lure and transforms it into Masaki. After staring in disbelief for a short time, Ichigo finds the resolve to fight back and greatly wounds Grand Fisher. Ichigo gains the upper hand. Rukia tells Ichigo to stop fighting and Grand Fisher makes his escape. Later, Isshin and Ichigo talk about Masaki's death and Isshin comforts his son. Elsewhere, Grand Fisher is healed by an unknown Hollow and the Hollow removes Grand Fisher's mask as he calls out Ichigo's name.
Sometime after, Don Kanonji, host of the popular show Ghost Bust, brings his show to an abandoned Hospital in Karakura Town. They find a ghost within and begin filming. The Demi-Hollow tries to ward them away and Rukia assures Ichigo that they have nothing to worry about since it is far from becoming a Hollow. Kanonji, however, shoves his Super Spirit Stick into the half opened Hollow hole and twists, hastening the Hollow transformation. Ichigo tries to stop him, but is too late. The Demi Hollow dissipates and reappears on the roof as a full Hollow. Ichigo fights the Hollow while trying to keep Kanonji out of harm's way. However, Ichigo's large sword becomes lodged in the ceiling and to make things worse, the Hollow then uses an adhesive to glue Ichigo's hands to the handle of his sword. Kanonji tries to aid Ichigo and releases his Kan'onball to free Ichigo's sword.The fight moves to the roof where Ichigo is finally able to use his sword more freely and slashes through the Hollow's mask, purifying it. Kanonji realizes the error of his ways and Ichigo cheers him up. Later, Ichigo and friends are punished by the principal for interrupting Kanonji's show, but they all manage to escape.
Ichigo is confronted by Uryū Ishida, a Quincy, who hates Shinigami. The next day, Uryū challenges Ichigo to a fight to prove that Shinigami are unnecessary. Uryū uses a Hollow bait to attract Hollows as part of his fight with Ichigo, saying that the one who kills more Hollows will be the winner. Hollows start to invade the town. Chad encounters a Hollow. He leads the Hollow to the soccer field where Karin plays with his friends. When Karin is endangered, Chad's right arm transforms and he is finally able to see and kill the Hollow just before collapsing. Orihime, Tatsuki, and Chizuru are at school when Orihime realizes there's a Hollow watching them. The Hollow suddenly attacks them and uses seeds to control Chizuru, Tatsuki and the other students to attack Orihime. In order to protect Tatsuki, she awakens her own powers and defeats the Hollow and heals Tatsuki, but this causes her to lose consciousness. Ichigo and Uryū are still killing Hollows, and Uryū starts to get worried about their increasing number. Meanwhile, Urahara explains the truth about their powers to Orihime and Chad. When Ichigo and Uryū finally meet again, the sky begins to crack and hoards of Hollows appear. Uryū rushes to fight them and Ichigo runs to assist him. A Menos Grande comes out and it shoots a Cero which Ichigo repels managing to harm the Menos, forcing it to retreat. Ichigo collapses and his Zanpakutō starts to change due to his spiritual power being out of control. Uryū uses his arrows to release the spiritual power and stabilize it. 
Rukia leaves from Ichigo's home. Renji Abarai and Byakuya Kuchiki from Soul Society find her. Uryū arrives to the scene and confronts Renji. In Ichigo's home, Kon shows Rukia's goodbye letter to Ichigo, who decides to go after her to save her. Renji defeats Uryū. Ichigo arrives to fight Renji. Renji releases his Shikai and takes the upper hand. Ichigo's spiritual power suddenly increases and he overwhelms Renji. Byakuya intervenes and defeats Ichigo, destroying vital points that make him lose his Shinigami powers. Ichigo collapses and Rukia decides to go to Soul Society to protect Ichigo from further injury. 
Ichigo awakes in the Urahara Shop. Urahara tells him he must train with him for ten days before going to Soul Society. He takes Ichigo to the basement and forces his soul out of his body and has him fight Ururu Tsumugiya. Ichigo is defeated, but still completes the first lesson. Tessai cuts Ichigo's Chain of Fate. Meanwhile, Orihime and Chad start their lessons with Yoruichi, and Uryū begins to train on his own. Urahara tells Ichigo that the second lesson consists of him recovering his Shinigami powers. Ichigo's chain begins to corrode, and he ultimately begins to transform into a Hollow. Ichigo is dragged to his inner world where Zangetsu tells him Byakuya's attack only destroyed the powers he received from Rukia and that he should find his own Shinigami powers. Ichigo finds them and becomes a Shinigami again. Urahara then starts the third lesson and challenges Ichigo to knock off his hat. In Soul Society, Byakuya announces that Rukia's execution has been decided. Urahara releases his Shikai. Zangetsu appears in front of Ichigo and tells him his name. Ichigo releases his Shikai for the first time. Ichigo attacks Urahara knocking off his hat, and falls asleep immediately, while Urahara announces he has completed lesson three. Meanwhile, Uryū, Orihime and Chad have all completed their training and are ready to go to Soul Society. 
The group gathers at the Urahara Shop's underground training facility. Urahara explains the mechanics behind the Senkaimon to them and tells them that they must make it through the Dangai in four minutes. If they do not, they will be trapped in there forever. The group's resolve does not waiver. Ichigo wants to immediately press on, but he is stopped by Urahara. Yoruichi joins them and says that only those with great resolve can make it and that if they lose they can never go back. Ichigo replies that losing is not an option then. They head through the portal and despite some difficulties, manage to make it to Soul Society.
- ↑ Bleach manga Chapter 1, page 12
- ↑ Bleach manga Chapter 1, pages 13-16
- ↑ Bleach manga Chapter 1, pages 17-30
- ↑ Bleach manga Chapter 1, pages 30-47
- ↑ Bleach manga Chapter 1, pages 51-55
- ↑ Bleach manga Chapter 2, pages 1-23
- ↑ Bleach manga Chapter 3-6
- ↑ Bleach manga Chapter 7-12
- ↑ Bleach manga Chapters 13-17
- ↑ Bleach manga Chapters 18-25
- ↑ Bleach manga Chapters 27-33
- ↑ Bleach manga, Chapters 34-50
- ↑ Bleach manga, Chapters 51-56
- ↑ Bleach manga, Chapters 57-67
|e · d · v||Bleach Plot|
|Major Events:||The Death Trilogy Overture: Death & The Strawberry · Ryoka Invasion · Arrancar Invasion · Invasion of Hueco Mundo · White Invasion · Invasion of Soul Society · Tale of the Lost Agent · Quincy Blood War|
|Major Anime-only events:||Bount Invasion · Kasumiōji Conspiracy · Zanpakutō Rebellion · Tōjū Campaign · Reigai Uprising|
|OVAs:||Memories in the Rain · The Sealed Sword Frenzy|
|Movies:||Memories of Nobody · The DiamondDust Rebellion · Fade to Black · The Hell Verse|
|N/A||Agent of the Shinigami arc||Soul Society arc|
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