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Let's Talk Bleach! Part 15a - Ichigo Kurosaki

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Hey y'all, it's Mrlmm0605 coming to talk to you about Bleach! This is not a discussion of individual episodes or chapters; rather, it is a look at the main ideas of Bleach, illustrated using examples from the story to prove a point. It is to be noted that, as this blog uses examples from Bleach fiction to make its point, there are unmarked spoilers contained throughout, so read at your own risk. Also, this blog is NOT a replacement for the Wiki's pages on the subject of discussion; I will not tell you what something is, but I will discuss what I think it means. The thoughts portrayed below will not be embraced by everyone, and I welcome dissenting opinions in the comments. Please, keep all responses within the confines of Bleach Wiki's Policies and the Wikia Terms of Use.

Finals and moving have delayed me, but hey, I'm not gone this time!

Song of the blog: [Electroheart] by Amaranthe

This is the fifteenth part of my blog series. Fifteen is kind of a big number in this series, as it is closely associated with the protagonist, Ichigo Kurosaki. So, I figured I'd write this blog about him.

Ichigo Kurosaki is a teenage boy who happens to be able to see spirits. A Human-Quincy hybrid who has, over the course of his life, acquired Shinigami, Hollow, and Fullbring abilities, Ichigo is the only being known to exist that possesses the capacity to access the powers of all major races in the Bleach universe. His story kicks off when a large hollow, Fishbone D, attacks his home and family and he acquires Shinigami powers from Rukia Kuchiki in an effort to save them. From that point on, he either directly catalyzes or becomes embroiled in every event in the entire universe. Ain't being a shōnen protagonist great?

Personality wise, Ichigo is almost boringly cliche. He's brash, headstrong, smart yet clueless, and emotionally dull. There's a reason that Ichigo is not a favorite character of very many fans in this regard. At the risk of starting a drinking game, I will again lay the blame on his protagonist status; he is a vehicle for moving the story along, as opposed to story dressing like many of the more fleshed out supporting cast.

Ichigo really shines in his arsenal of powers and abilities. His go-to combat skills are his monstrous strength, ridiculous endurance, and constant-release Shikai, Zangetsu. Zangetsu is your anime-standard oversized sword, becoming more defined and streamlined as Ichigo gains and loses powers. And hey, now it's two swords, so there's that. His default, and at this point only, technique with this blade is Getsuga Tenshō, which launches a wave of spiritual energy from the sword and essentially makes anything in its path stop existing. When the going gets tough, Ichigo enters his Bankai state, Tensa Zangetsu, shrinking his weapon from a cleaver to a daitō and granting him a sick new coat. This form grants him exceptional strength and speed, as well as an enhanced, black Getsuga Tenshō, which he can now manipulate to accomplish varying effects from earth-shattering shockwaves and bullet-like blasts to tidal waves of energy and enhanced cutting power. When the going gets even tougher, Ichigo could once tap into his inner Hollow power, donning a mask and further amplifying his power for a limited time. He has also, at various times, displayed access to the Final Getsuga Tenshō technique, a clad-type Fullbring, and limited Quincy abilities such as Blūt Vene, but as these are either one-off or very rare occurrences, I will not dwell much on them here.

Ichigo's combat style is very straightforward. He charges in, launches a Getsuga or two, and utilizes brute force and his own resistance to damage to win the day. He's not really prone to strategic fighting, as he simply doesn't need it. Recounting examples of this tendency would literally require me to explain the entire plot of Bleach, so instead I will simply link you to his [Battles and Events] page.

As stated above, Ichigo is less a thematic or characterful part of Bleach, and more a mechanism for moving the plot along. Every theme or significant literary device that Ichigo is a part of is better explained with one of his friends. That, ironically, is Ichigo's main role of import in the story. He is the one that brings the disparate cast of Bleach together and allows for their stories to evolve, overlap, and become thematically important. Cliche and boring though he may be, it is undeniable that nothing would happen in Bleach without him.

Those are my thoughts on Ichigo Kurosaki. I hope you enjoyed the read. If you didn't, I have some good news for you. As stated in my last entry, this is a two part blog, with the second installment coming later in the week. Until then, remember to vote in the poll and comment your thoughts on our protagonist below. See you in a few days!

What do you think of Ichigo?
 
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The poll was created at 20:52 on May 9, 2016, and so far 19 people voted.

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