Orihime is a teenager of average height. She has brown eyes and long, waist-length, burnt orange hair. Her most noticeable physical trait is her slender yet curvaceous figure for a teenager, especially in terms of her large breasts. She wears her hair in bangs tucked behind her ears with hairpins, which she only removes to sleep, as they are worn in the memory of her brother. Orihime initially wears her hair with a full but parted fringe before pulling most of her bangs behind her ears as she was ready to leave for Soul Society, a change noted by Tatsuki.
Seventeen months after Aizen's defeat, Orihime's hair becomes fuller and wavier. Her bangs naturally frame her face without her hair clips and also hang over her ears. She stops wearing her hair clips and instead keeps them clipped onto the left collar of her school uniform.
Orihime is independent, friendly, humorous, sensitive, caring and kind. She comes off as naive and rather clueless, which is at odds with her exceptionally high marks in school. She studies hard because when her grades drop, she receives less financial support from her relatives. She is a member of the Handicrafts Club and likes to invent very ridiculous sports to play with Tatsuki (such as "base-cer," a combination of baseball and soccer). She tends to zone out with her mouth open and loses track of what she was thinking or dreaming about. She has an over-active imagination and gets carried away thinking of implausible scenarios, such as portraying herself as a futuristic and highly destructive robot in an assignment asking a student "How do you see yourself in the future?".
Orihime likes Asian flower print clothing and comedies. While she does eat some normal food, Orihime cooks and eats unusual meals, which other people often find unappetizing. Her favorite food is red bean paste and she likes putting butter on sweet potatoes. She enjoys cheese and butter most of the time.
Orihime has demonstrated that she is perceptive when it comes to people's mental and emotional state, especially in regards to Ichigo, as she is able to tell what kind of driving force is pushing someone. She additionally has a crush on Ichigo and later falls in love with him. She has exhibited traits that appear to have some connection with Ichigo, such as the ability to detect Ichigo by scent,  sense his Spiritual Pressure even when masked by the Visored, and an awareness of what mood Ichigo is in, sensing his feelings of anguish, disappointment, or worry, even feeling pain herself when she sees Ichigo getting hurt.
Orihime and her brother, Sora Inoue, were raised by a drunken father and a prostitute mother, who always argued and beat their children. Fearing that their parents would kill Orihime, in the March that Sora turned eighteen, he ran away with Orihime, who was three years old, and raised her on his own from then on. For nine years, Orihime and Sora lived in harmony despite the fact that Orihime was bullied in school because of her unusual hair color. One day, Sora gave Orihime a pair of hairpins. However, Orihime refused to wear them because she said they were childish. That day, Sora died, and Orihime began wearing the hairpins every day since. After Sora's death, Orihime prayed for him every day. A year after Sora died, Orihime met Tatsuki and befriended her and the amount of days she prayed for him diminished. After entering Karakura High School, she stopped praying for him and instead talked about Ichigo before she left and when she returned from school. She wanted to show Sora that she was happy and that he did not have to worry about her.
Since Sora's death, Orihime has lived by herself in Karakura Town, receiving financial support from a distantly related aunt living elsewhere.
Agent of the Shinigami arc
At school, a distracted Ichigo Kurosaki collides with Orihime, knocking her to the ground. After he apologizes, she acts strangely and begins to make excuses while fleeing the scene. The next day, Orihime encounters Ichigo and Rukia Kuchiki on the street. She states that she is uncertain of whether or not she was hit by a car and has a bruise on her leg caused by a Hollow. Ichigo offers to walk her home, but she declines. Later, Orihime has Tatsuki over for dinner, revealing more of her crush when she becomes distracted by the thought of Ichigo's offer to walk her home. After dinner, they are attacked by Acidwire, who pulls Orihime's soul from her body, leaving the Chain of Fate unbroken so that she doesn't initially die.
Horrified, Orihime witnesses the Hollow attack Tatsuki, who is unable to see either of the spirits and becomes scared and confused. Ichigo attacks the Hollow, but is flung from the building. Acidwire then reveals to Orihime that he is Sora. Orihime is initially skeptical as she doesn't believe Sora would do such horrible things, but finally believes him when she sees his reaction to her hair-clips. As his fight with Ichigo continues, Orihime places herself between the pair, resulting in Acidwire wounding her. She embraces him and apologizes to her brother for causing all this. Sora then purifies himself with Ichigo's Zanpakutō as Orihime bids him farewell.
While both Tatsuki and Orihime's memories are modified by Rukia, this event enables them to start developing spiritual awareness. After introducing Ichigo to Uryū Ishida, she once again encounters a Hollow when Uryū lures a massive number to Karakura Town for his challenge to Ichigo. She tries to get her friends away from danger, but the Hollow, Numb Chandelier, uses her ability to make various students attack her. As the students endanger Orihime, Tatsuki arrives to defend her from the onslaught. However, Tatsuki soon falls under Numb Chandelier's control and is forced to turn on Orihime. Seeing Tatsuki in tears brings back old memories of the days when Orihime was bullied for the color of her hair and when Tatsuki saved her, thus Orihime decides it is time for her to protect Tatsuki in return for their friendship. This desire forces her powers to manifest for the first time. Orihime then notices her Shun Shun Rikka flying over her head and with their guidance, she uses them to defeat the Hollow and heal Tatsuki. Afterwards, Kisuke Urahara takes her and Yasutora Sado to his shop, where he explains their powers to them.
As she and Sado watch Ichigo and Uryū fight a Menos Grande, Orihime reveals that she had not forgotten what happened with Acidwire. After Rukia is arrested and taken to Soul Society, Orihime asks Ichigo why nobody seems to remember her. After Ichigo explains the situation to her, she asks him what he is planning to do about it. After he leaves, she swears not to let him get hurt. Along with Sado, she accepts an offer to begin training her abilities under the guidance of Yoruichi Shihōin, the cat. Orihime asks Uryū to train with them, but he declines. During their training, she manages to activate her powers after remembering how she felt about protecting Tatsuki. Orihime lies to Tatsuki about where she is going and spends her last day in Karakura Town with her and promises to return.
Soul Society arc
Orihime received the same message from Urahara as Ichigo and appeared upset that he thought she had no sense of humor. Orihime is impressed and ecstatic when they enter the underground training facility at Urahara's Shop. Orihime, Chad, Uryū and Ichigo are led by Yoruichi into the Dangai as they journey to Soul Society. Despite Yoruichi's warning, Orihime uses her shield against the Kōtotsu to save her friends, putting herself at risk. She heals Jidanbō Ikkanzaka after Gin Ichimaru prevents them from entering Seireitei.
When they reach the home of Kūkaku Shiba, Orihime proves able to create the Kidō cannonball needed to break through the Shakonmaku fairly easily compared to the others. She sacrifices her own food for Ichigo when he experiences problems with the technique. When the group uses the cannonball to enter Seireitei, she is blown away with Uryū when the ball disintegrates. Despite using Santen Kesshun to break their fall, she is knocked unconscious. Dreaming of Ichigo, she wakes up to find that Uryū had applied first aid to her injured shoulder.
Orihime spends most of the mission in the Seireitei with Uryū, and is noticed early on. The two manage to avoid Captain Kenpachi Zaraki, but are confronted by Jirōbō Ikkanzaka of the 7th Division. Orihime proves attempts to help Uryū defeat him, but her lack of killing intent renders her offensive ability ineffective, resulting in Tsubaki being injured. Nonetheless, Uryū defeats him with ease, saving her. Although happy with her friend's powers, Orihime laments her own lack growth through training. The pair steal Shinigami uniforms on Orihime's influence after she defeats weaker members of the Gotei 13. She attracts the attention of Toshimori Umesada of the Ninth Division, resulting in Uryū protecting her from his advances before he is called off. The pair renew their search for Rukia, unaware that they are being stalked by the captain of the Twelfth Division.
Later on, Orihime attempts to heal Tsubaki's injuries but proves to have difficulty doing so. The pair are then confronted by Makizō Aramaki of the Eleventh Division, who sees through their disguises. They are saved by members of the Twelfth Division, but they abruptly explode. Warned beforehand by Uryū, Orihime manages to use Santen Kesshun just in time to protect him, herself, and Aramaki. Orihime sheds tears over being unable to save the Shinigami, confusing Aramaki. When Mayuri Kurotsuchi appears and expresses interest in her abilities, she refuses to run away to save herself. However, Uryū threatens Aramaki into running away with her in his arms to get her away from the impending battle between him and Kurotsuchi, although the latter initially tries to prevent his target from getting away.
Orihime and Aramaki are found by Lieutenant Yachiru Kusajishi and brought to the Eleventh Division quarters where she is questioned by its members. The whole group, with Orihime traveling on Zaraki's back with a jealous Yachiru, run for the barracks where Uryū, Chad and Ganju Shiba are being held and break them out of jail. Orihime and her friends witness Kenpachi challenge Captains Sajin Komamura, Kaname Tōsen and their vice-captains to battle before being dragged off by Yachiru in order to find Ichigo.
Orihime identifies Ichigo's huge Reiatsu when they arrive during the climatic battle between their friend and Byakuya Kuchiki. Orihime explains their reasons for rescuing Rukia to a confused Aramaki. She refuses to leave the area when Uryū advises her to do so, staying despite the danger. Following his battle, Ichigo hurts himself by colliding heads with Orihime and is reassured that she was not injured at all during the mission. She tearfully informs him that she regrets not being able to help him, but Ichigo thanks her anyway for her concern. Because she isn't healed by the Fourth Division, she is the only person in the Seireitei who does not hear Lieutenant Isane Kotetsu’s message about Sōsuke Aizen’s betrayal. Aizen escapes as Orihime watches helplessly with her friends at the bottom of the hill, though Rukia survives the ordeal. Afterwards, she uses her abilities to heal Ichigo, drawing the Fourth Division's attention.
Orihime stays in Soul Society for a week while the others recuperate following Aizen's escape. After receiving new clothes for the return home from Uryū, Orihime suspects that he has a crush on Rukia due to the dress he made her, before discovering that her Shinigami friend is not in her quarters. She reports this to Ichigo after attempting to search for Rukia herself. They both search for her, with Orihime climbing up to Byakuya's window and having to decline an invitation to a drink with Lieutenant Rangiku Matsumoto; this leads them to the Shiba household, where they find Rukia. When Rukia decides to stay with the Gotei 13, Orihime gives Uryū's dress to her anyway, despite her not needing it in Soul Society. While many Shinigami officers look on, Orihime enters the Senkaimon with her friends to return to the World of the Living.
Bount arc (anime only)
Note: Events occurring in this arc are only in the anime and do not constitute canon material.
Click "show" to read the arc plot.
Orihime returns to school with her friends, where Lieutenant Renji Abarai turns up outside in a Gigai. Later that evening, she is visited at home by what appears to be her dead brother reassuring her, though he acts strangely. Her friends arrive in time to witness her being sucked into doors that bear a striking resemblance to the Gates of Hell. The next day everyone seems to have forgotten her. The shadowy figures rope Ichigo and the others into playing their "games" to get their friend back, eventually kidnapping Chad instead of returning Orihime. One of the shadowy figures impersonates Orihime beforehand, and turns into a tall thin man with a mustache, glasses, and top hat who reveals himself as Kurōdo. Next, a thin teenager with a zipper hood appears and introduces himself as Noba, and finally comes the girl who was phoning them, named Ririn. Chad is then sucked through the gates, leaving the group down to three. The culprits are revealed to be three modified souls who return Orihime and Chad. Urahara reveals that he was behind the whole thing to test Ichigo and his group. After Urahara reveals the loss of Uryū's powers, Yoruichi arrives to tell them of the Bounts and how they might be potential targets. Orihime is paired with the Mod-Soul, Kurōdo, in the form of a rabbit bag. The Mod-Souls detect a Bount so she and Chad run to be confronted by Ryō Utagawa, who merely walks away from them. They arrive to the battle after he takes Yoshino Sōma. Orihime excitedly greets Rukia again.
After bringing Rukia up to speed with the situation, Orihime continues to help out against the Bounts. She is at the hospital with the others when they are attacked by Hō and Ban, who are eventually defeated with the aid of Ganju. She helps rescue Uryū from Kariya's mansion. When attacked by Yoshi, she teams up with Rukia and Kurōdo to fight her. Despite their efforts they can't defeat her and are ambush by a second Bount, Mabashi. He uses his doll, Ritz, to take over Rukia and force the two of them to battle one another. Orihime soon overcomes her fears and uses her healing ability to heal and rejects the doll from Rukia. Later, Orihime arrives at the Bount's cave with her friends, where they struggle with Ugaki's doll, Gesell. She stays behind with Chad in order to heal both Rukia and Rangiku, who were injured during the struggle.
Orihime and her friends chase the Bounts to Soul Society. After discussing the invasion, they all move out to search for the Bounts in Rukongai. Orihime and Ichigo, after sensing that Rukia was in trouble, arrive on the scene just after Byakuya saves her from another attack by Yoshi. She witnesses the explosions that damage the Seireitei. They all wait for Rukia to recover at Byakuya's luxurious home. Orihime calms Ichigo down when he and Byakuya get into a confrontation over their presence in Soul Society before she thanks the noble for helping Rukia. She and Ichigo tire themselves out searching for Bounts all day with no luck and later collapse at Kūkaku's house, confused. She enjoys riding the boars as they use them in order to go out searching once more.
Later, the group gets information on the Bounts’ whereabouts, but Ichigo leaves when Kariya begins fighting with Byakuya. She is there when the group is confronted by Maki Ichinose, who tries to wipe out the group using his light abilities, rendering their attacks ineffective. They are saved by the interference of Kenpachi, who takes over the fight and allows them to rush to stop Kariya from entering the Seireitei. They arrive at the gate too late and find that Jidanbō has been injured by Kariya and his Bounts. She heals the giant enough for him to open the gate, but upon seeing him struggle with his injuries, Orihime decides to stay behind and heal him more. She tosses Kurōdo towards her friends so he can aid in their search. Later on, Orihime meets up again with Ichigo and the others, and heals both Chad and Uryū's injuries.
On the first day of the new semester, Orihime greets Ichigo along with Chad and Uryū. She is ambushed by Chizuru Honshō; as usual, Tatsuki intervenes to extract Orihime from Chizuru's grasp. Orihime notices when Ichigo's badge alerts him to the presence of a Hollow nearby and along with Chad, fakes a bathroom trip to follow Ichigo. While there, Orihime lets the others know that Uryū hadn't come because he's not been himself, but realizes she should not have said anything. Orihime is distracted by a worried Ichigo as a new student arrives in class. The next day, Orihime arrives in school and greets both Ichigo and Shinji, who seems overwhelmed that she'd remembered his name and hugs her. This causes a ruckus with the other students who express jealousy and bewilderment, with Chizuru even threatening Shinji's life before Ichigo pulls him away. Noticing the change of behavior in Ichigo, Orihime and Chad confront Shinji after overhearing his conversation with Hiyori Sarugaki. They manage to get Hiyori's name out of her, but before they can learn anything else, Hiyori is carried away by Shinji despite Orihime's attempt to stop them.
From where the Visored left them, Orihime and Chad feel the immense spiritual pressure consume the world around them as two Arrancar, Ulquiorra Cifer and Yammy Llargo, arrive in the World of the Living. They rush towards its source to investigate. They arrive just after Yammy absorbs many nearby souls, saving the lone survivor, Tatsuki. Initially, on Chad's advice, Orihime runs away with her weakened friend, but stops when she witnesses the brutality with which Yammy deals with him in retaliation. She feels guilt because Chad asked her to run even though he knew neither of them could match Yammy in strength. Seen as worthless, the Arrancar goes to attack Orihime as well only to be stopped by her Santen Kesshun ability, surprising them both as she begins to heal Chad's injuries. She uses her Koten Zanshun against Yammy, but the attack is ineffective and Tsubaki is destroyed. Ichigo arrives to prevent Yammy from hurting her and she laments that she was useless in battle once more. She is reassured by Ichigo's determination to end the battle. Orihime recognizes the new darkness in Ichigo's Reiatsu that wasn't there in Soul Society. She retreats once more, but returns when Ichigo starts to get beaten. This time, Yammy lands a hit on her, aggressively smashing her away from Ichigo as she tries to help. Orihime sustains massive injuries from the battle, but is saved by the arrival of Yoruichi and Urahara. When Yoruichi attempts to treat Orihime's injuries, Yammy attempts to attack once more. However, they are protected by Urahara.
Five days pass before Orihime returns to school, reassuring her alarmed friends that she is alright despite her many bandages. When Ichigo shows up, appearing worried and conflicted, her failure to put him at ease upsets her.
The clash with the Arrancar prompts Soul Society to send a group of Shinigami to help defend the Human World, with Rukia among them. Recognizing Ichigo's guilt, she drags him towards Orihime and forces him to apologize for his inability to protect her and for his depressing behavior. Orihime appears shocked at her return and later glad as Ichigo vows to get stronger to protect her, welcoming Rukia back in the process. While the return of Rukia helps to cheer up a depressed Ichigo, Orihime becomes conflicted with gratefulness and jealousy, feelings she expressed to the memorial picture she has of Sora in her living room, seeming upset. Meanwhile, the other Shinigami decide they can't stay at Ichigo's so Rangiku decides to stay with Orihime and tries to persuade her captain to come with her. Although initially shocked, Orihime lets Rangiku stay at her house, exciting the Shinigami. Later on, while Rangiku is in the bath, Orihime tells her of her jealousy, confiding in her her feelings of inadequacy. Rangiku comforts her, calling her a fool for feeling that way, and advises her not to be jealous of Rukia nor to let such feelings get the better of her as she is equally as important to Ichigo as she is. They have fun after Orihime cooks and surprisingly, Rangiku enjoys her food.
During this time, Karakura Town is invaded by Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez and his subordinates. Orihime is left to look after Rangiku's Gigai so that she won't interrupt the battle. Instead she tries to run to her guests, but is held back by the Mod-Soul inside of Rangiku's Gigai. Following Hitsugaya's defeat of his opponent, Rangiku rushes to get Orihime's aid in healing him. Later on, while healing Rukia, she can't help, but notice Ichigo watch on in concern, sadly closing her eyes afterwards. Rukia comments on how greatly Orihime has improved her powers, given the speed with which she healed her, though Orihime denies this.
After the second assault on the Human World, Orihime becomes a little gloomy wondering if Ichigo is alright, but knows that he will be fine because, like Rukia, she can sense his Reiatsu if she concentrates. She notices that everyone seems gloomy, including Tatsuki and decides she needs to spend some time with her. However, her neighbor pulls her out of these thoughts when she is informed that her guests have brought something large into her living room. She stands enthralled by the large screen they brought into the room as the Commander of Soul Society finally informs them that they've figured out the true agenda of Sōsuke Aizen. She tries to leave what she considers to be an important meeting, but is stopped by Captain-Commander Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto, who states that she should stay as the matter involves Humans as well. At the mention of the Ōken Orihime becomes confused until Rangiku explains that Soul Society has a King and that he lives in an alternate dimension from the Souls and Shinigami. She is also horrified to learn that the creation of the Ōken requires over a hundred thousand Human souls. However, she further learns that Aizen intends to use Karakura Town and its civilians to create the key, thus wiping most of them out. Yamamoto then entrusts with her the job of telling her people about this revelation so they can start preparing for the worst in the war to come.
She is able to track down Ichigo at the Visored base, despite it being shielded by a barrier. She is then able to show her great intellect by deducing the barrier's abilities and how powerful it is. Furthermore, she manages to pass through the Visored's barrier without much effort, greatly surprising them when she arrives and is just a Human. This feat amazes and impresses the Visored Hachigen Ushōda, who created the barrier. She manages to inform Ichigo of Aizen's plans and is amazed to find that he is with the Visored in an attempt to get stronger to stop him. She also marvels at how strong he is getting mentally and how his Reiatsu doesn't feel as dark nor as scary anymore.
Yoruichi brings Orihime to see Urahara when she leaves the barrier. She wonders what he wants her for, watching Chad train with Renji and confirming that Tsubaki is still in a critical state. Because of her lack of offensive techniques, she is asked to stay away from the coming fights because she may become a liability and Urahara did not want her other techniques to draw the eye of Aizen. Although understanding the reasoning for it, Orihime runs off, upset. Despite this, she meets up with Rukia, who encourages Orihime to try her hardest, helping firm some of the Human girl’s resolve. Hiyori interrupts their conversation and drags Orihime back to the Visored headquarters to see Hachigen. While there, the large Visored explains that Orihime's hair clips act similarly to a Shinigami's Zanpakutō and offers to show her how to fix Tsubaki despite not having any piece of him left. After doing so, he informs her that her powers were like his own, and that she is more powerful than she can imagine, although neither of them are very suited for battle. Happy with the return of her offensive ability, Orihime leaves the warehouse to find that Rukia had followed her and was glad that Ichigo was at least safe. Together they decide to train in Soul Society together to improve their battle techniques.
Unfortunately, Orihime's ability does spur Aizen's attention. Upon seeing footage brought back by Ulquiorra, he decides to have her captured. A third invasion of the Human world is ordered, with the intention of luring Orihime out. Meanwhile, Orihime trains with Rukia within Soul Society, at the old training grounds of the Thirteenth Division. When the third invasion commences, Soul Society alerts Ukitake, who in turn alerts Orihime and Rukia. Orihime tries to hurry home with Rukia, but is reminded that she doesn't have a Hell Butterfly and will need to wait for the journey to be made safe for her, which Ukitake is already on top of. The Senkaimon is finally completed mid way through the battle, and Orihime leaves Soul Society with two Shinigami guiding her through the Dangai. Ulquiorra intercepts Orihime and her allies in the Dangai. Ulquiorra cuts down one of her escorts only to have Orihime immediately prepare to heal him and advise the other one to run away, however, he is cut down as well, forcing Ayame to extend the healing shield to both of them, exhibiting Orihime's improved abilities. Ulquiorra is amazed by this, but demands that she come with him, showing her images of her injured friends and stating that she will agree or he will kill them. Threatened with the lives of those she cares for the most, she has no choice, but to go to Hueco Mundo. Ulquiorra gives her a bracelet that covers her in a Spiritual Membrane, to prevent anyone but the Arrancar from sensing her Reiatsu while she is still in the World of the Living. He gives her twelve hours to get her effects in order and allows her to say goodbye to just one person during that time, provided that individual does not discover her presence as she is doing so.
During her twelve hours, Orihime works on a list of chores for Rangiku and Hitsugaya to follow while she is in captivity, knowing they would be useless without her instructions. Orihime decides to say goodbye to Ichigo and arrives while he is still unconscious from his injuries. She admits that there were many she could have said goodbye to, listing her friends, but says that she picked him instead. She admits that this is the first time she has ever been in Ichigo's room and she comes close to kissing his sleeping form, but cannot bring herself to do it. Instead, she breaks down into tears and admits that she has fallen in love with Ichigo and would love to do so five times over. She then heals his hand, thanks him and bids him farewell before leaving. Before going to Hueco Mundo, she writes a cryptic line in a notebook, as a message to the others, "Goodbye halcyon days."
Hueco Mundo arc
Orihime is taken straight to Aizen's throne room in Las Noches. Terrified of Aizen's immense power, she is forced to demonstrate her abilities by Aizen so that others may observe them. Using Sōten Kisshun, she regenerates the left arm of Grimmjow, which had previously been incinerated by Tōsen. Most of those present are shocked, Luppi in particular. Aizen explains her powers enable her to be able to trample upon the horizons that God himself has set in place. By Grimmjow's request, she then heals his scarred back, restoring his 6 tattoo. He swiftly kills Luppi to restore his Espada rank, much to Orihime's dismay.
Orihime is assigned a modest room in Las Noches, and notices that there is nothing to do. She laments over doing the right thing in going to Hueco Mundo since helping Aizen would hinder her friends' efforts against him. She promises to appear worthwhile, before she suddenly feels the Reiatsu of her friends in Hueco Mundo. She is given a new white outfit similar to the Arrancar's. Supervised by Ulquiorra, he informs her that her friends are in Hueco Mundo, in an attempt to rescue her.  Although Orihime is shocked, Ulquiorra insisted it would not change anything as she was now their 'comrade' and belongs to Aizen.
Aizen has Loly Aivirrne and Menoly Mallia bring Orihime to his chambers and to leave them alone despite their heightened protests not to do so. The two Arrancar storm off, harboring great animosity for Orihime, especially Loly. Aizen then reveals his reasons for summoning her and proceeds to show her a slightly deteriorated form of the Hōgyoku. He claims that showing her this is a token of his trust in her as his plans cannot be achieved without its powers. He marvels at her powers, carefully asking whether or not she was going to use her powers for him or not in a coaxing fashion. His ruse doesn't fool Orihime; she knows he doesn't trust her, but the encounter allows her to resolve to erase the Hōgyoku from existence.
Along with the rest of her friends, Orihime senses the defeat of Chad at the hands of Nnoitra Gilga. Her shock is observed by Ulquiorra, to whom she insists that her friend is definitely still alive, contrary to what he implied. This comment is ignored and caterers are summoned to her room. She is threatened to eat the food, or else Ulquiorra will shove it down her throat. Again, she insists Chad is still alive despite the subject change and so Ulquiorra informs her that it mattered little since all her friends would die soon enough and that they should expect this outcome. Orihime slaps his face, but earns no response to this action. The Fourth Espada leaves, again threatening her with force feeding should she not have eaten in an hour. Left alone, Orihime starts to cry.
Later, Orihime senses Ichigo's defeat by Ulquiorra, but before she can react, Loly and Menoly break into her room. Loly attacks her and berates her weakness as a Human. Orihime does not react, angering the Arrancar even more which results in louder attacks and Menoly trying to quieten her down. Grimmjow then explodes into the room, ending the assault. Grimmjow proceeds to dispatch the two weaker Arrancar with little effort, much to Orihime's horror, with Menoly having the top half of her body blown away by the Espada's ‘’’Cero’’’. He tells her that this is repayment for her healing his arm. He grabs her by the scruff then, demanding her attention on an errand.
Grimmjow gives her the chance to heal herself, but Orihime heals a reluctant Loly before resurrecting Menoly by rematerializing her body physically, being called a "monster" for doing so. The Sixth Espada then drags the captive Orihime to Ichigo's apparently lifeless body and demands that she heal his rival as he sits down. She initially has trouble doing so because of the leftover Reiatsu left behind in the wound by Ulquiorra, as she meets an upset Nel Tu. She is shocked to learn the identity of Ichigo's attacker and that the wound was Ulquiorra's signature move. She eventually breaks through the Reiatsu and Ichigo begins to show signs of life. Both she and Nel watch over him in a relieved fashion, surprising him when he regains consciousness. Before she finishes the healing process, however, the Fourth Espada arrives on the scene. Ulquiorra's presence makes Orihime feel uncomfortable as he demands she is returned to his care. A fight breaks out between the two Espada with Grimmjow using a Caja Negación to take the other by surprise, temporarily imprisoning him.
Orihime and Grimmjow then have a disagreement because she doesn't want to heal Ichigo just so they could fight and get injured again. Ichigo has to get in between them as Grimmjow begins to use physical force against her, and requests that she do as Grimmjow asks to end it once and for all in an even battle. When he's healed, Ichigo reassures her and Nel by promising he will win. Orihime does the same for an upset Nel after the battle begins, reminding her of his promise to them and that they should wait and believe in him. To goad Ichigo into using his full power, Grimmjow fires a Gran Rey Cero in their direction when Ichigo dodges it. They are protected by a masked Ichigo, the appearance of which disturbs Orihime, but Nel tells her she need not fear him in that state as the mask will help him win. When Grimmjow releases his Pantera, Ichigo advises her to use her powers to protect both her and Nel. Orihime still feels unsure of the mask due to his ruthlessness and dark power in this form. She becomes scared of even looking into his Hollowfied eyes, something Ichigo notices while fighting the battle. She attempts to overcome this fear, but the eyes continue to chill her.
When Ichigo appears to be at a disadvantage, Nel deduces Orihime's fear is having a negative effect on him. Orihime is shocked when the little Arrancar begins to berate her for not cheering him on and reminds her how Ichigo gained the power to protect his friends and now was in an all-out battle just to save her life, needing her support in the process. Orihime remembers why she came to Hueco Mundo and how she was happy that they had come for her; part of her was afraid that the mask meant he actually had ulterior motive for being in Hueco Mundo. She then summons strength and cries out for Ichigo not to get hurt anymore. Her support gives Ichigo the resolve to block Grimmjow's most powerful attack and end the fight.
Ichigo comes back to her on the tower, causing her to feel relieved that he was normal again once he checks her injuries; she becomes cheerful when he is relieved she is fine. Ichigo embarrasses her by lifting her over his shoulder to get off the tower, insisting she’s not as heavy as he would have thought. Orihime asks Nel to stop dragging it out when the small Arrancar tries to explain his folly, telling Nel that it was depressing her more. Their departure is interrupted by Grimmjow, still alive, wanting to continue the battle, something Orihime tries to stop. She witnesses the arrival of the Fifth Espada, who wants to fight Ichigo after injuring Grimmjow further.
Orihime is held captive by Nnoitra’s Fracción, Tesra Lindocruz, as she tries to help an injured Ichigo. She tries to convince the Espada that his actions are unfair, but her argument is ignored. When she thinks about helping by using her powers, Tesra threatens to break her clips and thus destroy her Shun Shun Rikka powers in the process, forcing her to comply. She fails to bluff as to the whereabouts of Nel’s presence and her captor blasts away the rock concealing the tiny Arrancar, causing Orihime concern. Both she and Ichigo are informed of Nel’s true identity as an ex-Espada. Orihime is shocked, but Nel tries to defend herself, denying the charge as impossible. Orihime cries out for Nel when Nnoitra ruthlessly grabs her up in the air by her mask, revealing that it is broken because of him.
Orihime and Ichigo are surprised when Nel spontaneously transforms into her adult self. A stunned Orihime is released by Tesra when Nel dominates Nnoitra and blasts him with her Cero Doble. She runs to heal Ichigo, but is stopped by Nel, who screams excitedly before hugging an injured Ichigo with all her might. In a panic, Orihime tries to stop her, but he is knocked out by the tight hug before Nnoitra reveals that he has survived. Orihime tries to warn Ichigo about his injuries. but he’s knocked back by Tesra, who takes her prisoner once more.
Orihime is worried when Nel becomes a child again. She is released by Tesra so that he can release and start beating on Ichigo. Nnoitra grabs onto her, sticking two fingers down her throat when she goes to cry out, forcing her to watch Tesra's carnage in front of her. When Kenpachi Zaraki appears out of nowhere, everyone is shocked and Orihime is tossed aside so that Nnoitra can sense his level of strength. As Kenpachi dispatches Tesra, Orihime shows concern for Ichigo. Kenpachi reveals that her kidnapping was a major cause for concern in Soul Society, so Urahara forced himself to work faster to prepare for the war with Aizen.
While Kenpachi and Nnoitra battle one another, Orihime goes to Ichigo and heals Nel first, at Ichigo's request, promising to heal him once she finished with the small Arrancar. Along with Ichigo, she watches in shock as Kenpachi stabs through Nnoitra's 'eye' and discovers his Hollow hole. They continue to observe the match from the sides as it escalates. When it appear that Kenpachi has been cut down, Nnoitra moves to take care of ‘left overs’, referring to Yachiru Kusajishi, however, Orihime rushes to her aid and erects her Santen Kesshun to protect the youthful Shinigami. However, when the little girl merely points to something behind the Fifth Espada, it is soon revealed that Kenpachi is actually alive and their battle continues.
Due to the amount of arms Nnoitra has, and his regeneration ability, Orihime wonders if Kenpachi stands a chance. However, Kenpachi uses Kendō, finishing Nnoitra off. Kenpachi demands that Orihime heal his wounds. As she runs to do so, she is intercepted by the First Espada, Starrk, as he appears in front of her before anybody can do anything. Stating that he’ll be reluctantly borrowing Orihime, he vanishes with her before the others can attack him. Before she knows it, she is with Aizen again, who asks that she smiles and waits as he destroys Karakura Town. He reveals that her kidnapping was a ruse to trap as many Shinigami within Hueco Mundo as possible, to reduce resistance in Karakura Town. Ulquiorra is then left to guard her from Ichigo, who intends on taking her back.
The New Captain Shūsuke Amagai arc (anime only)
Note: Events occurring in this arc are only in the anime and do not constitute canon material.
Click "show" to read the arc plot.
Orihime appears in the classroom, showing the odd drawing she did for her homework to the others. She helps her friends deal with the multiple Hollows that suddenly appear. She imagines Rurichiyo Kasumiōji to be a dominatrix before she actually joins their class with her bodyguards. Orihime enquires where Rurichiyo is from but she is answered vaguely by Ryūsei Kenzaki. Later, when Rurichiyo runs away, she runs into Orihime in the darkness, mistaking her for a Princess as well. Orihime discusses the young noble’s problems with her and helps her to forgive her guardians. When Rurichiyo's veil, that conceals Reiatsu, blows off, the two of them are set upon by assassins almost immediately. Orihime uses her powers to protect the Princess over and over, being almost overwhelmed by her opponent’s Bakkōtō. They are saved by her friends. She stays behind along with Uryū and Chad as Ichigo and Rukia rush to Soul Society when Rurichiyo attends her friend's tea party. She does help protect her and Rukia during Hanza Nukui's first attempt at assassinating the princess. While doing her laundry, Orihime senses her friends battling and rushes to them as they battle Hanza and his companions once more. Orihime heals Uryū and Chad after the battle and allows Rurichiyo to help her out. She also tries to reassure the Princess, but she still runs back to Soul Society. With speed required, Orihime doesn't follow Ichigo and Rukia into Soul Society once more.
Fake Karakura Town arc
After Aizen leaves with Gin, Tōsen and the top three Espada, Orihime is left in the fifth tower with Ulquiorra watching over her. Ulquiorra taunts her, asking if she was afraid since she was no longer of use, but Orihime stands her ground and denies feeling any fear because the spirits of her friends are with her. She informs the Espada of the resolve she found when Ichigo fought Grimmjow, and how she would have done the same thing as any of her friends. She goes on to claim that all their hearts were now beating as one. The concept of a heart gains Ulquiorra's interest, making him wonder if he would find it if he ripped open her chest or cracked open her skull. Ichigo arrives before he can act on this intrigue and proceeds to fight him.
Ulquiorra wonders that if Ichigo's increased strength during their second battle was due to him seeing Orihime safe and well. He also hints that Aizen did something to Orihime to make rescuing her pointless. Because they appear evenly matched, Ichigo wonders aloud if Orihime has been affecting Ulquiorra, making him more human. This enrages the Espada, who strengthens his attacks on Ichigo. As he nearly lands a fatal blow, Orihime saves Ichigo with her Santen Kesshun.
The Espada berates her but Ichigo intervenes and asks her to stay back where she is safe. However, Loly and Menoly ambush Orihime from behind and begin to torture her. Loly threatens to pull out Orihime's eye should Ichigo try to help her, but Ulquiorra prevents him from doing so anyway, when suddenly Yammy arrives. The massive Espada easily defeats Menoly and Loly, tossing them aside. He expresses his desire to kill Orihime, but before he can act, Uryū arrives and sends Yammy crashing down the tower. As Ichigo returns to his battle with Ulquiorra, he tells Uryū to guard Orihime with his life.
Orihime expresses grave concern for Ichigo's safety, as Ulquiorra finally releases his Zanpakutō above the dome of Las Noches. Uryū tries to reassure her that Ichigo will be fine. She then asks Uryū to take her up to the battle after Ulquiorra uses "Cero Oscuras". By hardening the Reishi below their feet and raising it, he does as she asks, taking them to the dome. Their conversation is interrupted as they are consumed by Ulquiorra's dense Reiatsu when he uses his Segunda Etapa technique. She arrives to see Ulquiorra holding an unconscious Ichigo with his tail and is forced to watch as he uses a Cero Oscuras at point blank range, blowing a hole through his chest.
Numbly, Orihime stares at the hole created by Ulquiorra and after he throws a seemingly dead Ichigo down the tower, she rushes to rescue him using Santen Kesshun to catch his falling body. Before she can reach him, however, Ulquiorra appears before her, saying that Ichigo can't be healed, even by her powers. Uryū intervenes, buying enough time for Orihime to get past him to Ichigo. Despite using her Sōten Kisshun on Ichigo, the hole doesn't appear to be close, and she begins to blame herself and panic. Her desperation only worsens when Uryū flies past her, having lost his left hand at the hands of Ulquiorra. He is then defeated by Ulquiorra and she shields him from the Espada while still panicking over and over about what she should do. Distraught, Orihime cries out for Ichigo to wake up, not noticing the change in his appearance. The sound of her voice triggers a change in Ichigo as his inner Hollow takes over and moves to defend Orihime and Uryū. They are stunned by his new appearance as the fight resumes. One of Ichigo's swipes send them both tumbling away and they become worried about him as their calls to him are ignored.
Orihime and Uryū watch as the Hollow almost effortlessly defeats Ulquiorra, though the latter survives. Uryū, in an effort to stop Ichigo from killing Ulquiorra in cold blood, restrains him with his hand, but is stabbed through the stomach while Orihime screams out in panic. Ichigo's inner Hollow then turns to Orihime at the sound of her voice and begins to stutter that he will help her. Startled, she starts to blame herself because she knows this has happened because of what she said to him unconscious. Just then, the Hollow begins to charge a Cero to fire at Uryū and she calls out for him to stop. Using the last of his power, Ulquiorra uses a Lanza del Relámpago to sever one of Ichigo's inner Hollow horns, thwarting the attack. The explosion shatters the Hollow's mask, restoring him to normal.
Under the stunned gaze of Ulquiorra, Orihime rushes towards Ichigo, trying wake him up. They watch as the hole in Ichigo's chest miraculously heals, unable to comprehend what has happened. Ichigo awakens, unaware of the events that have occurred. He attempts to finish his fight with Ulquiorra, but injured Espada begins to fade. After asking Ichigo to kill him, the dying Espada turns to Orihime, once again asking if she was afraid of him. He reaches out for her, and she does the same, telling him that she wasn't scared just as he fades away. After the fight, Orihime stays on top of the dome to tend to Uryū's wounds.
She arrives in Soul Society along with Chad, Renji, Rukia, and Uryū following Ichigo's defeat of Aizen. She cries in relief upon seeing that Ichigo is fine, commenting that due to Ichigo's changed appearance she thought she was seeing things. She rushes towards Ichigo with the others, just as the latter suddenly collapses mid-sentence while replying to her. About one month later, she is in Ichigo's room with Rukia, Chad, and Uryū as he wakes up. She screams his name in joy, only to be embarrassed for being the only person to do so.
Zanpakutō Unknown Tales arc (anime only)
Note: Events occurring in this arc are only in the anime and do not constitute canon material.
Click "show" to read the arc plot.
Orihime is called to heal Rukia Kuchiki when she shows up in the World of the Living severely injured. She is later attacked by Muramasa, but he faints while doing so. Orihime heals him despite the fact he is Ichigo Kurosaki's enemy. She notices his similarity to an Arrancar and can sense his emotional distress. Orihime observes the subsequent fight between Muramasa and Senbonzakura against Uryū Ishida and Yasutora Sado, protecting her friends several times throughout the battle until Rukia and Ichigo arrive. When Muramasa becomes unstable after his master's betrayal, absorbing many Hollows within him, Orihime can still see Muramasa inside the rampaging Hollow-like creature. Muramasa attacks her when she tries to reach him, forcing her to erect her shield to protect herself. Ichigo intervenes and defeats him causing a further transformation into a domed creature that swallows him. Although she worries about Ichigo, she is saddened when he finally breaks free with a dying Muramasa in his arms. She is reassured by Ichigo that he died with his pride as a Zanpakutō intact.
Beast Swords arc (anime only)
Note: Events occurring in this arc are only in the anime and do not constitute canon material.
Click "show" to read the arc plot.
After Muramasa's defeat, Orihime is visited by Lieutenant Rangiku Matsumoto and her still manifested Zanpakutō Spirit, Haineko. After learning about a new threat called the Tōjū, Orihime offers to help. She lends some of her clothes to the now Gigai-clad Haineko so she can see the Human World. During their fun, they are attacked by one of the Tōjū, now transformed after fusing with a Hollow. Orihime uses her shield to protect them, before they are saved by Ichigo and Captain Tōshirō Hitsugaya. Orihime also befriends Kyōko Haida when she transfers to Karakura High School, inadvertently revealing her powers to the girl protecting them both from a falling flower pot. Orihime insists on being normal friends with the girl but the notion causes an odd effect in Kyōko, who runs off despite Orihime's protest. Orihime arrives before the Tōjū, that has manifested from Kyōko's body, can kill Mai Suzuki, calling out for it to return the control to Kyōko. She is saved by Rukia and Ichigo after it attacks her. Orihime uses her healing abilities to force out the Tōjū and it is then destroyed by Ichigo. Both Orihime and Kyōko remain friends.
Gotei 13 Invading Army arc (anime only)
Note: Events occurring in this arc are only in the anime and do not constitute canon material.
Click "show" to read the arc plot.
As Orihime is out with Sado and Uryū, Rukia and Ichigo pass overhead. Orihime asks if they need help, but they decline her offer. Uryū notes that Ichigo has not undergone any changes and Sado states that because Rukia remained in Karakura Town, Ichigo has not had to expend more Reiatsu than necessary. Later, as Uryū is about to be killed by Kagerōza Inaba, Orihime saves him with Santen Kesshun. When Inaba goes to strike Orihime, she is saved Ichigo.
After Inaba retreats, Orihime assesses Nozomi Kujō's condition at the Urahara shop. As Nozomi wakes, Orihime tells her not to overexert herself. As Ichigo leaves for a meeting with the Gotei 13, Orihime helps set up a barbecue to make Nozomi feel welcome. However, when Kon goes berserk after eating some chili powder, Nozomi uses the distraction to escape. Orihime joins the others as they search for her. Once Nozomi is saved, they return to the barbecue and Orihime informs everyone that the meat is ready as they all take the time to enjoy and relax.
When Nozomi wanders around Karakura Town again, Orihime joins Chad and Ichigo in search of her as the other Shinigami do the same. While searching she wonders if Nozomi knows something that she is not telling them about the situation, and if she is trying to rectify it. Later, she senses the defeat of Rangiku and Nemu Kurotsuchi at the hands of Reigai-Rukia. Orihime advises Ichigo to go find Nozomi while she and Chad go to the other fallen Shinigami. Ichigo agrees and they separate. She and Chad eventually find their comrades on the bank of the river and approach them only to be confronted by Renji's Reigai. Chad stops her from advancing as he takes on the Reigai while Orihime heals their friends.
Orihime greets Ichigo when he returns with Nozomi, inquiring after his health and prevents him from falling after Nozomi calls him a pervert. She advises him to rest, but he refuses to do so. Orihime oversee the healing on Rukia and the other Shinigami as Ichigo begs to be allowed to go to the Soul Society. She reminds him of his weakening powers, before helping Nozomi when she gets tired after using her powers to heal Ichigo. As Urahara gathers information on Soul Society, Orihime asks him about Ichigo; Urahara says he is fine, to her relief. As an alarm goes off, Orihime asks what it is and Urahara says that Ichigo made it to Soul Society.
Soon after, Urahara tells everyone that Ichigo's Reiatsu has disappeared. Orihime asks if Ichigo is dead but Urahara says that he last recorded Ichigo in the Dangai and the only likely explanation is that he was swallowed by the Kōtotsu. As Nozomi blames herself, Orihime goes to console her, but is batted away. Orihime continues to sit with the others while Urahara looks for Ichigo's Reiatsu; when he finds something, he asks Orihime and the others to accompany him to find Ichigo. Orihime sits by Ichigo as he awakens and sits by as Urahara explains what Inaba is really after.
Outside the Kurosaki Clinic, Sado and Orihime see Kon. Orihime asks if Nozomi is home and Kon tells them that she is probably bored, asking them to keep her company. He then walks off, leaving Orihime wondering what is wrong with him. She goes inside and begins to cook with Nozomi. When the meal is finished, she calls it one of her specialties and presents it to the others. While Ichigo and Sado are confused by it, Nozomi states that it is delicious. Karin invites Orihime to come back later to make dinner. When she asks if she could, Isshin agrees, saying that he will be a father to them all. Orihime calls Nozomi and they leave to do some shopping. She later prepares dinner at Ichigo's house and eats with Uryū, Sado, Kon and Nozomi.
Orihime participates in a meeting in Ichigo's room, where she listens to Nanao Ise reporting on the situation in Soul Society. Along with Kon, she watches as Ichigo, Rukia, Uryū and Sado spar with Nozomi, who is training to awaken her Zanpakutō. After a while, Ichigo suggests that they take a break. When Nozomi refuses, Orihime warns her that she will fail if she tries to do too much at once. When the training resumes, Orihime watches as Nozomi succeeds in releasing her Shikai. As the battle continues going in the Reigai's favor, Orihime is tasked with healing her friends and allies.
Ultimately, Inaba manages to capture Nozomi and destroy the last of Ichigo's Reiatsu. Orihime regroups with her friends at Urahara's while leaving the wounded in Captain Unohana's care. As Uryū wonders why Inaba would constantly try to kill Ichigo first, Orihime guesses it was because Ichigo was always protecting Nozomi. Kisuke, however, surmises that it was because of Ichigo's Hollow powers and Inaba was uncomfortable allowing a being he could not create a Reigai of live, even to the point of using the Kōtotsu to swallow Ichigo. From this, Kisuke believes that they can restore Ichigo's power from the remaining Reiryoku still inside the Kōtotsu. As Ichigo is the only one who can do this because he has no Reiatsu at the moment, everyone is forced to wait for him, much to Orihime's concern. Orihime is present when Ichigo returns from the Dangai with a sample of his Reiryoku. Afterwards, Orihime and the others agree to act as diversions through the Dangai while Ichigo and Kisuke sneak into Soul Society.
Upon returning to Urahara's Shop, Orihime and the others become worried after no new news from Kisuke or Ichigo. Ultimately, Orihime and the others return to Soul Society, with the now-healed Shinigami. There, they find Ichigo has again turned into a Hollow and has been subdued by a man. They combine their efforts against the man, Yushima, but are quickly subdued.
After the Hollowfied Ichigo surprisingly saves Rukia from Yushima's attack and returns to normal, albeit deprived of his Reiatsu again, Renji comes to and joins his friends to protect Ichigo. While the others engage Yushima, Orihime stays back to wait for her moment. The others manage to help Uryū in setting up for his "Sprenger". After anticipating that Yushima would drain the energy from the five "Seele Schneiders", Orihime joins the others in feeding their Reishi into them. Before the attack can take full effect, Yushima counters with a "Hajokuri" spell to dispel the attack. When the fight ends with Ichigo's victory, Orihime joins him and the others back home to the Human World.
The Lost Substitute Shinigami arc
Orihime is admired by other students as she walks down the school hallway, before she sees Ichigo and Tatsuki out the window and calls out to them, almost falling in her excitement. She grabs a drainage pipe and slides down it, being admonished and hit on the head by Tatsuki for being so silly. She discusses her inability to sing the song of her life, the Wahaha Song, but is advised she cannot do so because she has matured. She is then reminded that she needs to go home and get ready for work as Tatsuki leaves for her job as well. On her way home, Orihime catches up with Uryū, initially believing Ichigo to have been kidnapped before informing him that she's felt something different about him in the last number of days before she rushes home to get ready for work. Orihime goes to the Kurosaki Clinic, where she calls to Ichigo, offering him cheap bread. Ichigo lets her inside, where she fidgets due to being in Ichigo's room. As the two talk, Orihime asks him if something had happened or if he was being followed, saying that her intuition led her to believe that to be the case. After Ichigo denies this, Orihime says that her intuition was wrong and that she allowed it to get her worried.
At her apartment, Orihime notes that her face is still red and expresses her surprise that Ichigo had invited her inside, idealizing what actually happened. She says that Ichigo is so nice for telling her to pick out the bread she liked to bring it home. Spinning around, she becomes dizzy and falls, knocking over her picture of Sora. She picks up the picture and apologizes before affirming that Ichigo is hiding something. Her phone rings, startling her. She answers, finding that it is Uryū. Ichigo arrives at Karakura Hospital to find Orihime already there. He asks after Sado, but Orihime tells him that he did not answer his phone. Seeing that she called Ichigo, Uryū says that she is taking things too far. After they and Ryūken talk about his injuries, Uryū tells them that he cannot tell them anything and asks them to go home. When Ichigo offers to walk Orihime home, Ryūken tells him that he will drive her home. Ryūken tells Orihime that Ichigo does not seem to able to help and informs her that he examined the Reiatsu left in Uryū by the attacker. He reveals that the attacker was not a Hollow or Shinigami, but rather was something that he had not encountered before. He theorizes that the assailant was a Human with powers, similar to Orihime and Sado. Noting that Quincy broadly fall into this category, he warns her that she or Sado might be in danger.
At school the following day, Orihime asks Ichigo if he knows anything about Sado's condition. Ichigo inquires if he is sick. Orihime tells him that she went to his class to inform him about what had happened to Uryū, but it seems that Sado has not been in school lately. She tells him that she was planning to take a get well present to him after school and invites Ichigo, who declines. She tells him that it is too short notice and that she will let him know about Sado condition. Ichigo thanks her and walks off. At Sado's home, Orihime finds that Sado is not in. She remembers Ryūken's warning, but quickly dismisses such negative thoughts and leaves some bread and prays for him. Orihime remarks that Ichigo and Chad still haven't returned to school before being challenged by Moe Shishigawara, who tells her to die.
Moe moves in for the kill, but flings himself away when he sees how beautiful she is. Believing him to be Uryū's attacker, she becomes angry; Moe notes that he can fight her when she acts as such. However, Shūkurō Tsukishima appears behind her and orders Shishigawara to stop. Demanding to know who Tsukishima is, she decides to get in between him and Shishigawara when it appears he might hurt him, even though he has brought out his sword. She asks him if it is a Zanpakutō, but is told that it is his Fullbring. Orihime tells him that if he was the one who attacked Uryū, then she cannot let him get away. Orihime attempts to use her powers when Tsukishima turns away, however, he appears behind her and seemingly cuts her from her left shoulder down through her chest. However, when Sado and Ichigo arrive, she is unharmed despite being sure she had felt the cut from the sword. Concerned for Ichigo, whom she thinks is powerless, she brushes off his concern while deciding to text Sado with the information later. For a moment, she believes that Tsukishima is her friend, making her wonder what she was slashed by.
Talking with Sado on her phone, Orihime tells him that she is certain she was cut, but by the time she came to, Tsukishima and Shishigawara were gone and there was no wound. She reveals that when Sado and Ichigo arrived on the scene she thought for a second that Tsukishima was her friend. She says that she does not understand it and rather than mistaking him for a friend, it felt like an old memory, leaving Sado shocked. Orihime tells him to be careful as she believes that Tsukishima's power is scary. She then gives him her attackers' names, though she mistakenly says Shishigawara's name as Sushigawara.
Orihime goes to the hospital to visit Uryū on his request. When she arrives he apologizes for his brash attitude last time they spoke and asks that she heal his injuries because he senses the change in Ichigo's Reiatsu. Orihime confirms that she senses it as well, but has decided to let Ichigo tell her when he's ready before informing Uryū that she was attacked by the same person who attacked him. They discuss the differing abilities they were attacked with and she is able to inform him that Tsukishima's abilities were called "Fullbring" as Uryū had mistaken them for Zanpakutō. On the way home, she meets with Sado, who asks that she tell him all about Uryū as they walk home. She confirms that while the Reiatsu surrounding his injuries was different from anything she'd seen, she was able to heal him.
Chad brings Orihime to Xcution's temporary hideout and Riruka Dokugamine jumps down, asking questions about her healing abilities and if she's here for Ichigo's training. She then tells Orihime that if she heals Ichigo he'll just get injured again and allow him to endure endless pain. Orihime then asks Riruka if she's worried about Ichigo as well, which she denies angrily. Orihime says she understands Riruka, but has left those worries behind a long time ago. She further says if Ichigo needs her help, she will use her powers to help him, no matter what. Riruka then asks Orihime what she'd do if he is hurt beyond her abilities to heal, and Orihime says she'll never allow that and will heal it all, no matter how hopelessly injured he gets. Orihime then enters Yukio's Fullbring, prompting Kūgo to call her the healing item.
As Orihime introduces herself, she is directed towards a heavily injured Ichigo. She rushes towards him and begins to heal him. After some time, Orihime has almost fully restored Ichigo's health. Kūgo, however, states that she is taking too long. She pleads with him to wait, but he declines, asking Ichigo if he's ready. When Ichigo says yes, Kūgo rushes him. Orihime steps in front of Ichigo, erecting a barrier. Ichigo calls out, asking her to stop, while Kūgo mocks her attempt to stop his Cross of the Scaffold Fullbring with Santen Kesshun. Orihime simply tells him that he's wrong - Kūgo questions her meaning as he strikes the barrier, and is instantly cut by a blast of energy. He falls back, grunting in pain, as Orihime explains that she used Shiten Kōshun to block his attack. Ichigo begins to question Orihime on her new ability. She tells him that over the seventeen months he was without his spiritual abilities, both she and Chad had been constantly improving. She claims that they knew Ichigo would eventually regain his powers, and that neither of them would let themselves fall behind again. Ichigo says he understands, thanks Orihime and moves to combat Kūgo.
Riruka enters Yukio's Fullbring with a box of doughnuts. Seeing Orihime crouched on the floor watching Ichigo and Kūgo fighting, she asks why she is sitting on the floor. Orihime replies that there are no walls or pillars to lean on. Riruka demands that Yukio quickly create a table and chairs for her and Orihime. He refuses, but when Orihime politely asks for a chair for herself, he accedes to the request. As she is eating her doughnuts, Riruka notices Orihime staring longingly at them. Initially refusing to give her any, she soon relents. Orihime wolfs down the whole thing, leading to Riruka criticizing her and wondering how her parents cope with her. Orihime reveals that Sora took her away when she was a baby because he feared they would kill her. Riruka asks if he supports her, but she tells him that he died and that a distant relative supports her financially. Riruka says that she is no fun to talk with and starts to leave. She tells Orihime that there must be something wrong with her to be able to talk so nonchalantly about it. However, Orihime replies that she has already been saved and that she can talk as she had been doing because of Ichigo. When Orihime points out there are still some doughnuts left, Riruka tells her that she can have them instead. Orihime thanks her and tells her that she is really nice.
When Kūgo slashes Ichigo's eyes, Orihime tries to help him, but Kūgo stops her. He tells her to watch and notes that when Ichigo lost his powers he also lost his resolve. He tells Ichigo that he will bring that back to him. Yukio traps her inside a cage at Kūgo's behest. He tells Orihime that her voice cannot be heard from outside the cage and that it cannot be broken due to the game's rules. He then notices that he cannot hear her either. After Ichigo completes his Fullbring, Orihime awakens in a house inside of Yukio's Fullbring. She gets up and brushes her teeth before looking out the window at Ichigo's training. Riruka comes in and brings her breakfast without knocking first and Orihime tells her that she came in before she said alright. Riruka tells her to shut up and gives her her breakfast. Orihime excitedly asks Riruka to join her, but Riruka says she just had doughnuts. Orihime grabs her hot dog and says that Riruka eats a lot of doughnuts before taking a bite. She later leaves Yukio's Fullbring along with Ichigo and Sado.
After Tsukishima invites several people over to Ichigo's house, he calls Orihime, who does not remember him when he says hello. He then reminds her and invites her to Ichigo's house, but their conversation is interrupted when Ichigo throws Tsukishima. As Ichigo attacks Tsukishima at his mansion, Sado attacks him and after the smoke clears from his attack, Orihime stands next to Tsukishima along with Sado. Orihime heals Tsukishima's arm then and he compliments her abilities much to Ichigo's annoyance. Orihime asks Ichigo if he has forgotten about how Tsukishima saved Rukia and how he stopped Aizen, showing that her and Sado's memories have been altered by Tsukishima's abilities. Orihime later protects Tsukishima when an enraged Ichigo attacks him before Sado begins battling him.
Later, Orihime runs to Ichigo, who she had heard crying. She wonders why Ichigo and Tsukishima are fighting when they are "best friends." She notes that Tsukishima has always been there for her and that she has known him longer than Ichigo. She asks why she feels so much pain when Ichigo cries. She spots Ichigo and is relieved to see that he is not crying. She also notices Rukia, Renji and Hitsugaya and assumes that they are there to stop Ichigo. However, Sado notes that they look as if they intend to help Ichigo and kill Kūgo. Tsukishima abruptly appears behind the two, sensing their uncertainty, and attempts to alter their memories further. As a result, she is nearly pushed to the brink of mental breakdown before she is knocked out and rendered unconscious by Urahara. She and Sado are brought to Urahara's shop and after Tsukishima is defeated, they become stable. They are left in the care of Tessai and Isshin.
At Urahara's Shop, Orihime greets Riruka as she wakes up, expressing her happiness over her well-being. She tells her that they couldn't find any of the other Fullbringers, but that at least she is alright. Riruka asks about Tsukishima, but Orihime says she doesn't know who that is - an unwitting confirmation that Tsukishima was killed. In the revelation, Riruka starts tearing up. Despite her denying it and Orihime telling her not to, the two end up shedding tears together.
The Thousand-Year Blood War arc
Orihime arrives with Uryū and Chad to help Ichigo fight the Hollows that attacked Ryūnosuke Yuki and Shino. She gives the injured Ryūnosuke first aid and heals him after the battle. Two days later, she arrives at Ichigo's house with some bread from her job. Orihime, along with the others, are surprised by the sudden appearance of Asguiaro Ebern. When Ichigo kicks him off his bed, Orihime quickly opens the window, allowing Ebern to fall through it. She praises Uryū by remarking the advancement of his and Ichigo's friendship. When Ichigo returns, Orihime learns about the death of Chōjirō Sasakibe.
Orihime, Sado, and Uryū return to Ichigo's house at his request to hear from Nel Tu and Pesche about the Wandenreich's conquest of Hueco Mundo and capture of various Arrancar, including Dondochakka. The group begin to discuss rescuing them when Urahara arrives and offers to facilitate their entry to Hueco Mundo. Along with Ichigo, Sado, Urahara, Nel and Pesche, Orihime travels to Hueco Mundo. The group exits the Garganta in the sky, so Orihime breaks their fall with her Shun Shun Rikka. Once on the ground, they notice the large number of dead bodies. When Ichigo goes to rescue a group of captured Arrancar, Orihime sets off in pursuit. As Ichigo begins to yell at Nel, Orihime tells him to be quiet if they don't want Wandenreich to spot them. While facing the Quincy, Ichigo throws Nel at Orihime, telling her to take care of Nel.
When Quilge Opie activates his Quincy: Vollständig during his fight with Ichigo, Orihime notes that she cannot sense a shock wave of Reishi, nor can she sense any Reiatsu from Quilge's Quincy: Vollständig. Quilge begins to absorb Reishi from his surroundings, including Orihime's Santen Kesshun, which surprises her. Sado notes that everything around them composed of Reishi, including the rocks, sand, trees, and buildings, are being absorbed by Quilge's technique. Orihime then understands why she couldn't sense a shockwave of Reishi, since Quincy don't emit Reishi, but absorb it.Emilou Apacci, Franceska Mila Rose, and Cyan Sung-Sun regain consciousness and summon Ayon, who attacks Quilge, and begins to pummel him under the three Arrancar's orders. Ayon attacks Quilge to the point of breaking his neck, horrifying Orihime. Nonetheless, he simply stands back up and snaps his neck back into place.
Ayon attempts to attack Quilge again, but the Quincy uses Sklaverei to absorb the Reishi making up Ayon's body, causing Mila Rose and Sung-Sun to retrieve Apacci and try to conceal themselves, along with Sado, Orihime, and Nel, with Muda. Within Muda's dome, Mila Rose recognizes Orihime as the Princesa that Aizen abducted, and asks why they have returned to Hueco Mundo. Sung-Sun dismisses Mila Rose's question, knowing that they need to regroup with Ichigo. However, Quilge is able to locate them easily, and his Sklaverei not only affects Mila Rose and Sung-Sun, but Orihime and Sado as well. Ichigo then activates his Bankai and attacks Quilge, stopping his attack on his friends and the Arrancar, reasoning that if he crushes Quilge's head, he won't be able to use Sklaverei any more. As Ichigo fights Quilge, he enrages him, causing Urahara to wound Quilge, so Ichigo can go to the Soul Society.
Orihime and Sado approach Urahara soon after. Urahara asks them to search Quilge's body for the Medallion he used to try to seal Ichigo's Bankai, as they need to analyze the enemy. However, as Urahara is explaining Quilge's powers to Akon, Quilge recovers using Ransōtengai and wounds Orihime, Sado, and Urahara before proceeding to trap Ichigo in a cage of Reishi. After Quilge traps Ichigo, he turns his head towards Orihime and Sado, before abruptly being split in half by an unseen attacker.
Later, Urahara contacts Ichigo in Soul Society through a communication system he installed in Kon. Upon seeing him, Orihime is relieved that Ichigo is alive and well. She calls Sado to see Ichigo, but their conversation is soon cut off by a voice demanding to see Ichigo. Orihime and Sado frantically attempt to keep the person away from the tent they are in. After some time passes, Orihime travels across Hueco Mundo's desert. Arriving at the Negal Ruins, the young woman muses about how Chad and the others must be doing while devouring a snack, before calling out to her nearby companion, Pero. Remembering Urahara's words about Pero being there to alert him in case she found herself in trouble, Orihime still comments how despite the dangers she faced he never actually showed up. From behind, Chad emerges and reveals that everyone has arrived.
Using their time to train, while taking a break Orihime comments on how peaceful it is. Reminding her of the war, Chad questions how she can think that. Orihime replies that despite the circumstances, the fact remains that humans such as themselves are spending time in Hueco Mundo as easily as anywhere else, while saving Arrancar and doing their best for the Shinigami. She then wishes that it could go on forever, with everyone helping each other and protecting their worlds without any bloodshed occurring.
Sometime later, Orihime and Sado enter the Soul Society, and Orihime protects Ichigo from Uryū's Licht Regen. While Orihime and Sado are both surprised to see Uryū with Yhwach, he leaves with him and Jugram Haschwalth to the Soul King Palace. When a massive explosion occurs at the site of the departure, Orihime shields herself, Ichigo, and Sado with Santen Kesshun. Noting they were all blown away, Orihime wonders if this is indicate of Uryū or Yhwach's power before noticing Ichigo's distraught face. However, after Sado points out that Uryū must have had a good reason for doing this, Orihime watches him and Ichigo debate how they will take Uryū back while noting Uryū would be angry if he heard this. Afterward, she is surprised by the arrival of Urahara, who offers to take Ichigo to the Soul King Palace.
Soon afterward, Urahara brings Orihime, Sado, and Ichigo to the basement of the 12th Division, where Mayuri has built a replica of Kūkaku's cannon. Sado points out Orihime's clothes to a shocked Ichigo, who states he thinks she is showing a bit too much. Believing Ichigo will think she is an exhibitionist, Orihime explains how Urahara told her Ichigo would be very happy if she wore these clothes and tries to cover them up, only for Yoruichi to arrive and scold Ichigo for not understanding Orihime's situation. As they are propelled towards the Palace, Orihime reminisces about how their situation resembles their attempt to rescue Rukia, except Uryū is not on their side this time. She asks if Uryū will come back, prompting Ichigo to say that he will force him back if necessary.
Powers & Abilities
Shun Shun Rikka
Shun Shun Rikka (盾舜六花, Six Flowers of the Hibiscus Shield; Viz: Six Princess Shielding Flowers): Orihime's spirit energy is harbored in the pair of hairpins that her brother gave her. Shun Shun Rikka is composed of six spirits. Orihime has four techniques, which use the spirits in combination with a spirit chant and the technique name. Only spiritually aware beings can see them. They reside in her hair-clips, which are shaped like six-petaled flowers. Each fairy is two points on a given clip when inactive. Through various combinations of the six fairies, Orihime has the power to reject phenomena by denying or undoing events in various forms. This power can be used for attack, defense, or healing (depending on the combination). Orihime's determination directly influences the effectiveness of her powers. Feelings like doubt or worry make them weaker, while conviction makes them stronger.
The Visored Hachigen Ushōda comments that her hair pins, being the physical manifestation of her powers, is very much like the Zanpakutō of a Shinigami, and that her powers resemble his own powers. The Arrancar Tesra, when holding Orihime captive, warns her not to try to attack him, as he can easily break the physical container of her Shun Shun Rikka, the hair pins themselves, stating that they are ridiculously weak.Sōsuke Aizen, in his explanation of the Hōgyoku, states that Orihime's powers were actually awakened by the Hōgyoku; when she cursed her powerlessness with all her heart, the Hōgyoku answered her desire.
The spirits are separate manifestations of Orihime's spirit, each with its own unique appearance and personality. Each are named after a flower:
Lily is a female spirit with bright pink hair, transparent yellow goggles, and a blue bathing suit. She has a tattoo on her backside. Lily is part of Shun Shun Rikka's defense. She has a futuristic style.
Shun'ō is a friendly young male spirit (who appears to be female in the anime) with a topknot. He and Tsubaki are usually the ones who talk to Orihime. He, along with Ayame, is in charge of Shun Shun Rikka's healing ability.
Tsubaki is a fiery male spirit. He is the only Shun Shun Rikka spirit capable of direct attack. He often strikes anyone who gets on his nerves (including Orihime). Because he is primarily focused on attacking, he is vulnerable to counter-attacks, and has been injured several times. The stronger Orihime's anger and killing intent, the more powerful he becomes. However, Orihime's timid nature limits his overall power, and has contributed to his injuries in the past. At one point, Tsubaki was killed by the Espada Yammy Llargo, who crushed Tsubaki into tiny pieces. Orihime was distraught by this, and since the pieces were too small to find, she couldn't bring Tsubaki back. But due to meeting Hachi, whose powers are similar to Orihime's, Tsubaki is restored by Hachi, despite Hachi having no pieces of him.
Orihime's techniques involve incantations and manipulating the Shun Shun Rikka into different groups. Though Orihime initially needed to recite their kotodama to use her techniques, further training has rendered this unnecessary. Her kotodama consists of voicing the names of the members involved, followed by the technique name and the phrase "I reject" (私は拒絶する, watashi wa kyozetsu suru), a reference to the nature of her powers.
Santen Kesshun (三天結盾, Three Sacred Links Shield): is Orihime's defensive technique. It repels attacks by placing a shield between the enemy and Orihime. The incantation arranges Hinagiku, Lily, and Baigon into a triangle which has the ability to repel the "outer shield." A 'shield' is raised between her and her enemy, and they repel the attack she receives. Because the barrier rejects negative events, it can also function as an airbag of sorts, allowing Orihime and anyone else nearby to survive a potentially lethal fall unharmed. Orihime is later able to shape Santen Kesshun into a dome-shaped barrier large enough to easily hold herself and other individuals.
Sōten Kisshun (双天帰盾, Twin Sacred Return Shield): is Orihime's "healing" technique. It surrounds something and returns it to the way it was before it was destroyed. It rejects, reverses, and reconstructs phenomena that have occurred, even phenomena that Orihime hasn't witnessed. When Sōten Kisshun is used, she can reject and reconstruct subjects that are covered in her shield. The incantation summons Ayame and Shun'ō to form a half-oval barrier around whatever or whomever Orihime wishes. Their ability is to repel the "inner shield." The shield placed inside means that they repel the damage within a limited area. In other words, they return a subject covered by the shield to the state that they were in before taking damage. Orihime fully restored Grimmjow's destroyed arm from nothing. Sōsuke Aizen describes this as "The Rejection of Events". Her ability is to limit, reject, and negate any kind of event that has happened to her target. It is an ability that returns her target to its former state, no matter what has happened to them. Yasochika Iemura comments that the technique's healing speed is potentially faster than Isane Kotetsu's and his own. However, it is far more powerful than "Temporal Regression" or "Spatial Regression"; it is a power that trespasses into God's territory. Originally, Orihime wasn't able to restore a destroyed Tsubaki, but Hachigen Ushōda states that since she has powers very close to his own, she should be able to restore him to his original form, even without a shattered fragment. Later, she can fully resurrect the dead. While Orihime can heal wounds quickly, it takes longer for her to replenish the patient's Reiatsu. Large amounts of foreign spiritual pressure around a wound makes her power to reject ineffective.
Koten Zanshun (孤天斬盾, Solitary Sacred Cutting Shield): is Orihime's offensive technique. It rejects the fusion of matter and splits it. The incantation summons Tsubaki, who has the ability to repel "both sides of the shield." He breaks through the enemy, puts up a shield inside, and repels the combined substance, splitting the enemy in two. While Tsubaki can cut through basically anything, Orihime's general dislike of combat and hesitance to use lethal force degrades the effectiveness of the technique, making him easy to counter and equally easy to injure.
Shiten Kōshun (四天抗盾, Shield of Four Heavens' Resistance): is one of Orihime's techniques. It combines Shun Shun Rikka's offensive and defensive properties. The incantation integrates Tsubaki into the center of her Santen Kesshun ability, creating a triangular shield which, at the very instant of receiving an attack, disperses the resultant force as a concentrated explosion which is automatically returned along the attack's opposing trajectory.
Spiritual Awareness: Orihime has a good amount of skill in detecting spiritual energy. She can sense Hollows and ongoing battles at a significant distance. If she concentrates, she can even sense Reiatsu of people within protective barriers.
Spiritual Power: Orihime is able to get close to several battles between powerful opponents without being overwhelmed, such as the battles between Ulquiorra and Grimmjow, as well as Ichigo and Ulquiorra. During her basic training in Kidō with Kūkaku Shiba, Orihime demonstrated a natural talent for precise spiritual energy control, as she quickly mastered the technique. Her Reiatsu is golden-yellow.
Durability: Orihime is strong enough to survive separate assaults by Loly and Menoly, which involved physical attacks and the use of Bala, and minor assaults by Nnoitra and Tesra. It is also stated by a few people that she has a strong head.
Expert Hand-to-Hand Combatant: While a pacifist by nature, Orihime has a natural talent for martial arts. She reveals that Tatsuki has trained her somewhat in karate. According to Tatsuki, Orihime has the fighting skill of a black belt. Orihime is skillful enough to incapacitate two unseated Shinigami soldiers when she surprise attacks them.
Memory Chikan Resistance: Orihime was able to recall the event of her brother fighting Ichigo Kurosaki, even though the memory chikan has been used on her by Rukia.
Appearances in Other Media
Orihime has appeared in every Bleach video game to date, mostly as a playable character. Several of these games have expanded her Shun Shun Rikka's abilities, which she uses her Santen Kesshun for offensive tactics. In games where she is a supporting character, she normally uses her healing ability to replenish the life of the character. Orihime has also appeared in all four Bleach movies.
Orihime's Shun Shun Rikka came 33rd tying with 2 others in the Zanpakutō popularity poll.
The color of Orihime's eyes vary from the manga to the anime. They are shown as brown in the manga while the anime depicts them as silver or gray.
"I was proud of my hair color that my brother admired. I was happy to be told such things, so I grew my hair out ever since I was little. Soon after I entered middle school, 3rd years said they didn't like my hair color and cut it. I had no choice but to cut the rest short to even it out. I couldn't tell brother.'I felt like changing it', is what I said to dodge the question. Then my brother died soon after. I became alone. I stopped talking, even at school, and became more alone than ever before. The one who stopped me from being that way was Tatsuki-chan. Tatsuki-chan yelled at me for backing down and she looked out for me. I could grow my hair out again thanks to her. I will never have short hair again, because my long hair is proof of my faith in Tatsuki-chan."
(Thinking about Tatsuki Arisawa) "Thank you, Tatsuki. Please do not worry, Tatsuki. Because Tatsuki will come find me, that's why I can go anywhere without worry. If the place I'm going is somewhere Tatsuki can't go, then please wait for me here, I will come back for sure. Come back to Tatsuki's side."
(To Rukia Kuchiki) "It's not frustrating at all. It's just... it's going to be lonely, not being able to fight alongside everyone. But being lonely isn't nearly as bad as being in the way. If I'm just going to be a hindrance to Kurosaki-kun, to everyone, then it's far better to be lonely"
(To Ichigo Kurosaki, who is asleep) "Kurosaki-kun, you know I had a lot of things I wanted to do... I want to be a teacher... I also want to be an astronaut... and also make my own cake shop... I want to go to the sweets bakery and say 'I want one of everything'... Ohhhh, I wish I could live life five times over. Then I’d be born in five different places, and I’d stuff myself with different food from around the world... I’d live five different lives with five different occupations... and then, for those five times... I’d fall in love with the same person..."
"I don't believe that he showed me the Hōgyoku because he trusts me... but, at least I have learned the location of the Hōgyoku... and... about my own power, too. Everything that has occurred... it reverses it all, and destroys the very event itself. Thank you, Kurosaki-kun, for coming to save me, but I've found something I must do here. And it's definitely...something only I can do. With my power... I will return the Hōgyoku to before it ever existed!"
(To Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck) "Kurosaki-kun... doesn't assure us he is going to win for that reason. Kurosaki-kun is a kind person. Whenever he uses strong words, it's like he's making a promise. I believe that, he makes a promise to himself. I think that he expresses his feelings in words so that he will follow through. So that's why it's okay. When Kurosaki-kun says he is going to win, he'll win for sure. So...so that's why we should wait and believe in him."
(To Ichigo Kurosaki) "Don't die! Kurosaki-kun! I don't mind if you don't win. You don't even have to try. So please, don't get yourself hurt any more..."
(To Ulquiorra Cifer) "Maybe it's impossible to feel exactly the same way as another person, but it's possible for people to care about one another and to place their hearts as close together as they can manage. I'm sure that's what it means to make your hearts as one."
(To Yasutora Sado) "It's like, even though we're human, we can just spend time here in Hueco Mundo like it's normal now. Helping out all the Arrancar people, doing our best to help the Shinigami protect their home...it's just kind of nice, don't you think? I kind of wish things could stay like this forever. All of us together, helping each other out, trying to do what's best for everyone's worlds...and one day we look back and realize the start of the war just never came..."