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Bleach: Tropes L-N

Tropes for Bleach, L to N:

  • Last Name Basis: Ichigo with his friends, save for Rukia, Tatsuki, Keigo and Mizuiro. Chad is debatable, as "Chad" is Ichigo's mispronunciation of "Sado" which became a nickname that stuck, though all other characters use Sado. Averted/subverted in the English dub and to a lesser degree in the English manga, as most characters are referred to by first name, while Chad is "Chad" to everyone, when in the original it's only Ichigo who uses the nickname. Also, Hitsugaya, Urahara, Aizen, and a couple more.
    • The English manga doesn't go quite as far with the aversion/subversion, as many of the characters who used last names continue to do so, but some exceptions remain (Ichigo's friends; Renji, Momo and Izuru; and Ukitake and Kyoraku).
    • Taking it further, Ichigo and Ishida both drop honorifics when speaking to one another. Of course Ichigo rarely uses honorifics anyway; Ishida is a more interesting case since normally he has a "well-mannered young man" speaking style from which he only deviates when he's talking to Ichigo (and some enemies, not to mention his father).
    • When Ryuken addresses Isshin by his last name with no honorifics, apparently having never used that particular surname in over twenty years of knowing each other, Isshin's pleased reaction indicates this is positively cuddly behaviour from the very aloof Ryuken.
    • Ichigo seems to always use given names for the people he met in Soul Society, whether he befriended them or not. This greatly irritates Byakuya and Hitsugaya.
  • Late Arrival Spoiler: Aizen is evil, Gin is a subverted Red Herring, Aizen is evil, Tousen goes with them because he's a Knight Templar, Aizen is evil, Shinji Hirako is a Bad Ass, Aizen is evil, Urahara isn't as nice as he seems, and oh yeah, AIZEN IS EVIL!!!
    • Anything that's aired in the often-delayed American dub. If it's gotten that far, it's been around long enough that it doesn't need spoiler tags.
    • The Fullbring arc is suffering from this as well, what with a magazine cover showing Ichigo fighting fiercely against Ginjou, who was supposed to help him against the Arc Villain - and was the Arc Villain himself.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In chapter 430 when Karin and Yuzu are talking about Ichigo Karin says "He's just a normal guy, you know? He's not some anime character."
  • Left for Dead: Happens a fair bit in this manga. Byakuya in particular has a habit of doing this but he's not the only one.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang. During the Season 7 (Hueco Mundo Sneak Entry) and Season 9 (New Captain Shusuke Amagai).
  • Lies to Children: Some American fans often accuse Rukia of using Blatant Lies when she tells souls that Soul Society is a wonderful place to go to despite the fact she's simply doing her job to expedite the natural cycle of souls passing to Soul Society. Given the length of time between Soul Society's first mention and it's actual appearance in the storyline, fans also debate whether this is simply an example of the evolution of the afterlife's concept in the author's mind. It should also be noted that only the districts with higher numbers are bad— Ddistricts 1-49 aren't too bad. It doesn't go bad until after District 50, and mostly after District 59.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: The page has a break down of just how many characters this series has by Arc. Wikipedia lists over 145 speaking characters, and that isn't including the spirits of the Zanpakuto or the Shun Shun Rikka. Kubo has said that when he has trouble writing plotlines and new materials, he begins to think of new characters, usually en masse, hence new characters usually arriving in large sets (the Soul Reapers, the Vizards, the Espada, and so forth). Heroic characters rarely die, resulting in long periods between seeing various characters and sometimes fights even finishing off-panel.
  • Logical Weakness: Blut Vene and Blut Arterie use different systems to create attack and defense modes. These systems can't be activated at the same time and therefore need to be switched between. The moment of switching is a vulnerability, especially if they're fighting an opponent that was too fast for their switching speed.
  • Loving Bully: In one FAQ Rukia says that someone was a schmuck towards her in the Soul Reaper Academy because he couldn't tell her his feelings.
  • Lower Deck Episode: Chapter 480.
  • Made of Phlebotinum: Everything in the Soul Society and Hueco Mundo is made of spirit particles.
  • Magic Is a Monster Magnet — Due to Supernaturally Delicious and Nutritious
  • Magic Skirt: Kubo is not at all fond of Panty Shots (although he ''really'' LOVES some other features of the female body), even when it should happen according the laws of gravity. Notable examples are Nemu, Lisa and Rukia, the latter being the worst offender. Averted with Harribel, who seems to be Going Commando.
  • Make Them Rot: Baraggan Louisenbairn's Respira causes everything to age rapidly. Stone crumbles, spells fade away and flesh rots.
  • Male Gaze: No shortage in this manga.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: The Vandenreich's main introduction to the Soul Reapers was by presenting a group of seven fully masked warriors to Yamamoto himself.
  • The Man Behind The Monsters: The Arrancar army isn't led by another hollow, it's led by the very human-looking Soul Reaper, Aizen. In fact the leader of the hollows was displaced by Aizen.
  • Man of Kryptonite: Quincies eradicate Hollows from a survival instinct due to having an innate vulnerability to Hollow taint. It can weaken their powers and has the potential to destroy their very souls.
  • Marshmallow Hell: Always played for laughs. It usually involves Rangiku Matsumoto squashing someone's head in her breasts from filler boys to Orihime and especially her captain. However, it's also been used by Nemu to stifle protests from Uryuu regarding Mayuri's concoctions. It's even been done in a flashback to a young Byakuya, courtesy of Yoruichi.
  • Mask Power: The trope is played straight by Vizards, who gain power when they put on Hollow masks, and inverted by the Arrancar, who become stronger when they remove their masks.
  • Masquerade: The hollow-hunting activities of Soul Reapers are kept secret from ordinary humans through copious use of memory-erasing devices.
  • Mass Hypnosis: Subverted. Aizen does keep calling his power "complete hypnosis" but the way his power works doesn't have anything in common with hypnosis. He cannot directly control how people behave or what they think. Instead, his zanpakutou fools all of the senses and Aizen uses that in combination with completely normal methods of manipulation to trick people into doing what he wants them to do. He does not, however, hypnotise peoples minds.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": Powerful villains and lots of crowded fight scenes make for a lot of these. Notably: the captains' and lieutenants' reaction to Aizen revealing who Hitsugaya REALLY stabbed, the entire Gotei's reaction to the Vandenreich invasion, and both factions' shock when Gremmy brings down a meteor on friends and foe alike.
  • Meaningful Name: The kanji used for the non-Japanese word "Vandenreich" mean "Invisible Empire". In German, it means "walled-off empire."
  • Mechanically Unusual Fighter: In the DS fighting games, Don Kanon'ji has a "Ratings Meter", befitting his TV personality, where certain attacks do more damage the better he is performing. Missing attacks or calling for certain attacks when he does not have the energy decrease his ratings, while doing damage gains ratings. Taunting significantly increases his ratings.
    • Hanataro Yamada has a weapon that heals instead of cuts, then, when enough wounds are healed, it deals damage in one attack equal to the damage healed.
  • Mental World: The Soul Reapers possess a mental world where they commune with their zanpakutou. Ichigo's takes the form of a sideways city. When Ichigo's upset, the sky darkens, and when he's especially saddened or angsty, it rains. In a late chapter, Ichigo's been in a bad way for such a long time that the entire city is underwater. This is part of the reason why Zangetsu is so insistent that Ichigo learn how to use him properly during the first several arcs. Zangetsu hates the rain.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Kaien Shiba and Soken Ishida both go out in really ugly ways, in the presence of the ones they were mentoring.
  • Merger of Souls: Hollows become more powerful by eating each other (and human souls). At lower stages of strength, this normally leads to them becoming beastial creatures known as Gillians, composed of many thousands of souls and forming the first stage of a Hollow's existence as a Menos. Occasionally one of these hollows contain a soul strong willed enough to remain sapient and somewhat intelligent, which takes control and continues to feed on other hollows to become more powerful. If such a Gillian consumes enough souls, it turns into a more powerful and now-truly intelligent Adjuchas.
  • Militaries Are Useless: The Gotei 13 is a glaring example. Their military is comprised of roughly 6,000 soldiers, yet, their strength rests almost entirely on its thirteen Captains, thirteen Lieutenants and the seated officers, who're always sent to the front lines while the rest of their divisions stay behind. They also have an entire spy network (the Onmistukido), and a Kidou Corp. which never get used.
  • Mind Screw:
    • Baura is a fish. And he's able to fly. And he has an entire dimension inside his mouth. He can also shoot lightning, along with regurgitating anything he's previously swallowed - like fire and dust.
    • Chapter 453. All of it. Tsukishima is now apparently Ichigo's COUSIN and an old friend of Keigo and Tatsuki. And apparently he pulled the same thing with Chad and Orihime. When Ichigo tries to get away from this, he finds out that Tsukishima also made fast friends with Ikumi. Basically the only other person that isn't friendly with Tsukishima now is Ginjo. Can't comprehend it? That's OK, you don't have to.
  • Mirror Match:
    • One of the filler arc characters can mimic anyone else and Ichigo ends up fighting a "copy" of himself. Also one of Szayel's powers.
    • Another filler arc has all the Soul Reapers cloned so there have been several of these, and several captains end up fighting themselves.
    • Loyd Loyd tried this on Zaraki during the Stern Ritter invasion. Emphasis on tried.
  • The Missing Faction:
    • The highest level of aristocracy in the Seireitei is held by the Four Great Noble Clans, only two of which have been revealed in the story (The Shihouin Clan and the Kuchiki Clan). The true extent of their power has never been fully revealed but they're indicated to even have ties to the Royal Realm. However, in the past, there actually used to be Five Great Noble Clans. The Shiba Clan was disgraced by mysterious events that still haven't been explained . The clan has been reduced to two known members, siblings living with the commoners in the Rukongai. The Shiba clan is also found in the World of the Living as Isshin Kurosaki was the head of a minor branch of the Shiba clan and is the siblings' uncle. The family has also retained its connection to the Royal Realm despite being disgraced in Seireitei.
    • An inversion. For most of the manga, the only known Quincies are the two surviving members of the Ishida family, Uryuu and Ryuuken, who refer to themselves as the last of their kind. In the final arc, it turns out that the Ishidas are the last of a dissident traditionalist faction and The Missing Faction, the evil Vandenreich, is actually the majority faction.
  • Moment Killer:
    • In chapter 228, Rukia and Orihime are veering close to a touching moment when Hiyori quite literally drops from the sky and drags Orihime off.
    • At the end of the Soul Society arc, Renji visits the bed-ridden Byakuya and things begin to get sentimental (in a manly way). Cue Ichigo bursting through Byakuya's third-floor window, shouting Renji's name into a very shocked Byakuya's ear. Renji is not amused.
  • Monstrosity Equals Weakness: The more powerful a Menos or Arrancar is, the more human-like they appear. The lowest-level Menos are as tall as skyscrapers and are shredded like wet tissue paper by the main character, while the Arrancar Espada all appear to be human and take several episodes to fight.
  • Mood Whiplash: Kubo admits that he injects humor into the story at any point where he just feels bored. This can lead to awkward situations like Arrancar maiming or Aizen slaughtering people one scene, and funny arguments between protagonists the next! Can seem particularly bizarre the many, many times said arguments take place while an extremely powerful villain is right there.
    • In a possible Lampshade hanging, even Aizen gets annoyed at Isshin and Ichigo after their battle, and just says what he plans to do.
    • Nel beating down Nnoitra with a dead serious expression on her face before turning and giving Ichigo a bone-crushing hug.
    • The fight between Yumichika and Charlotte Cuuhlhourne. It starts off as comedy and a Silly Reason for War before suddenly whiplashing into a deadly serious, in-depth character revelation.
    • Chapter 480 has a brutal version. The timid new Soul Reaper, Yuki, encounters a hollow and immediately runs to try and find his friend Shino, the other Soul Reaper sent with him. The scene is mostly played for comedy, but then he finds her, bloody and unconscious, in the palm of a gigantic hollow. Just when he goes to save her, another hollow attacks him from behind and practically guts him.
  • Mook Chivalry: Most characters adhere to this in the story regardless of whether they're on the protagonist's side or evil. Most will allow conversations to finish rather than taking advantage of the distraction, most prefer fair fights and so on. One of the reasons why the Quincies have such a profoundly successful first strike against the Soul Reapers in the final arc is precisely because they are the first group in the entire story to do away with Mook Chivalry.
  • The Movie: Four so far. Also, Warner Bros.. began developing a live action movie in 2010.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Almost every male character; this is the reason why this is one of those shonen series that manages to gain a substantial female following.
  • Ms. Fanservice: A lot in this manga.
  • Multiple Reference Pun: Arrancar is read as the Spanish verb for 'uproot' or 'tear' and written with the kanji for 'tear, violate, smash' and 'face, mask.'
  • Mundane Object Amazement:
    • Rukia is amazed at the way humans drink out of juice boxes, by poking the straw through the foil hole and using it to drink. In the anime she even tells Hanatarou about it as if she'd mastered some difficult skill by being able to do it.
    • When Hitsugaya's advance guard settle into the human world to prepare for the Arrancar invasion, Ikkaku is so amazed at the idea that shops can sell multitudes of neatly wrapped onigiri (and order even more when they run out!) that he's convinced it must be a conspiracy - he can't imagine humans being capable of such a feat without something dodgy going on behind the scenes.
  • Mundane Utility: We've seen that Hitsugaya will use his zanpakutou to create ice for cold drinks on hot days and we've seen that Yamamoto will use his zanpakutou to light fires as needed (ovens, cooking potatos, staying warm). However, apparently this problem is so pervasive amongst the captains of Soul Society that Yamamoto ended up having to issue a blanket ban on the mundane use of bankai.
  • The Musical: The (several) "Bleach Rock Musicals"; live stage adaptations that very loosely follow the plot of the manga but focus on Soul Society and the Soul Reapers: Orihime and Chad only appear once or twice and Ishida doesn't appear at all.
  • My Kung-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours: The normal pattern for how fights unfold in this story.
  • Myth Arc: Tite Kubo confirms that every arc in the series has been building up to the Thousand Year Blood War.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: The Vandenreich's entire set-up seems to be inspired by Nazi Germany themes, most especially in certain behavioral attitudes, including one that borders on ethnic cleansing (one that fans nicknamed a Hollowcaust). Their logo is also vaguely reminiscent of the Nazi swastika and their very name is reminiscent of the Third Reich (even though the term, like the swastika, predates the Nazi era). Considering how Quincies in general take their cues from the Teutonic Knights, as did the Nazis themselves, it makes sense. The inspiration for this comes from The Emperor himself, who's the only one of his ilk to deliberately target undesirables in his spare time.
  • Neck Lift
    • Grimmjow does this to Orihime twice. First after he rescues her from death at the hands of Loly and Menoly.. Later, during his and Ichigo's fight as she questions him.
    • Ulquiorra inflicts this on Ichigo twice. First while he's beating him up while in his first Resurrección form, and again while in his Segunda Etapa form, choking Ichigo with his tail before blowing a hole through his chest.
    • In anime episode #314 the hollow in Haruko's body does a two-handed version to Kon (who's in Ichigo's body). Kon escapes by kicking Haruko's body in the stomach.
    • Anime episode #321. Yumichika's reigei grabs him by the neck and lifts him up and presses him against a tree while taunting him.
    • Later in the Thousand-Year-Blood-War-Arc, Juhabach does this to Zaraki Kenpachi of all people, which is quite a feat given that the latter is over two meters tall. Of course, this being Juhabach, he only does it after he's thoroughly curbstomped Kenpachi.
  • Nested Mouths: All Hollows below Menos class have a second set of teeth within the first, indicating the remnant of the human soul inside them.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Ichigo will spontaneously develop a new power quite often right in the middle of an important fight.
  • New Transfer Student: Played with. The Soul Reapers seem to like using this as an excuse for getting their fighters into Ichigo's class. Rukia, Hitsugaya, Matsumoto, Renji, Ikkaku and Yumichika have all attempted it. Shinji also used the tactic when his gang decided to make contact with Ichigo. The anime also plays with this trope, having had filler characters try the tactic as well, including one young girl who was clearly far too young for the class (a fact that was lampshaded by other classmates who couldn't believe how young she looked).
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Most of the characters are ghost samurai. Secret mobile corps members like Soifon and Yoruichi are pretty much ninja as well.
  • No Big Deal: Rukia has a Men In Black-style "flashy-thing" kicking around.
  • No Body Left Behind: When Hollows and Arrancar are destroyed, sometimes their bodies dissolve into thin air.
  • No, I Am Behind You: Kubo's favorite trope. Practically every fight involves several examples of this.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Any effects of a Fullbringer's ability disappear with his death.
  • No Sell: Most enemies are randomly immune to Ichigo's powerful moves.
    • Let alone Szayel who just happens to be immune to whatever Ishida throws at him, making the poor boy useless against him.
    • Inverted gloriously in 417+ — when Ichigo effortlessly slaps away every superpowerful attack Aizen throws at him, with only a singed arm for his trouble.
    • The Quincy's "Blut" ability allow them to do this with most attacks.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: The unnamed female arrancar that controls Aizen's hollow fortress in anime episodes 213 and 214 has such a laugh. She displays it at the end of episode 213.
  • Nominal Hero: Kenpachi and Mayuri don't care about the greater good or even just the good. Kenpachi is motived solely by the enjoyment of the fight and Mayuri has the opportunity to experiment to his heart's content.
  • Non-Promotion: Kira, Hisagi, and Momo all have to act on their captains' behalf as Acting Captains, without actually holding an official position.
  • Nonuniform Uniform: Kubo seems to revel in finding new variations on factional uniforms.
    • The Soul Reapers have a standard black hakama-and-gi uniform that comes with regulation socks, sandals, obi, etc, but many characters have added unique tailoring (Nemu's minidress) or accessories (Kyouraku's pink over-kimono), and there seem to be no standards at all for hair, tattoos, or jewelry. The only dress code rule that we actually see enforced is that captains are required to take good care of their white divisional haoris, but even those can be customised.
    • The Arrancar all wear black-trimmed white jackets with high collars, but in a whole range of different styles. Some much sillier than others (I'm looking at you, Aaroniero).
    • The Karakura kids even wear their school uniforms in different ways: Ishida and Mizuiro wear it properly, Ichigo doesn't wear the tie, Keigo wears the tie but never seems to tuck his shirt in, Orihime later starts using Zettai Ryouiki while Tatsuki prefers sneakers, etc.
    • Like the Arrancar, the Vandenreich all wear variations on a standard white uniform...a standard uniform that is VERY Putting on the Reich.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Rukia's first visit to the human world, which she can't even remember, is glossed over by Kiyone as soon as it's mentioned. What happened and why Rukia cannot remember it ever happening, isn't explained.
    • When Byakuya activates Senkei against Ichigo, Byakuya mentions in passing this is only the second time he's ever let someone see Senkei. What happened the first time has never been explained.
    • Hisagi once brought a motorcycle back to Soul Society from the World of the Living. Something happened and it was confiscated. What happened has not been explained.
  • Normally, I Would Be Dead Now: Many, many examples. Ichigo and Aizen are easily the worst abusers in the series, though Hiyori is poised to take the title from him if she survives being chopped in half by Gin. Though Momo may come close if she survives getting stabbed in the chest by Hitsugaya, and there's no need to mention Matsumoto surviving getting a massive chunk of her torso ripped off. She survived it once before, though she was incapacitated for a long time in the anime. Also, Nnoitora after getting stabbed in the eye by Kenpachi.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: With all the fanservice around, it goes without saying that most characters rarely react to it all. Ichigo, in fact, stands out with the way he reacts to such things. Kon and Keigo are also in the minority of those who react, as is Mizuho, who went a little crazy over Ikkaku's shaved head.
  • Not Quite Dead: A lot of fights will have the bad guy appear to be defeated only for the protagonist to have counted his chickens before they hatched. This is also a mistake bad guys will make against good guys as well. Examples range from Renji making this mistake against Ichigo in their very first fight to Luppi making this mistake against Hitsugaya, to Ulquiorra and Ichigo taking it in turns to make this mistake against each other in Hueco Mundo.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain:
    • Starrk, the lazy, pacifist Espada who is unconcerned about Aizen's plot, is Espada #1.
    • Yammy, the complete moron who gets outsmarted by every hero he fights and can't even figure out who he's supposed to be killing without Ulquiorra looking over his shoulder and telling him what to do, outranks Starrk, although it doesn't stop him from being defeated off-screen by two captains (reluctantly) working together.
    • Wonderweiss, the happily insane child who easily puts an arm through Ukitake's chest and has a Ressurection that was altered so he could counter Yamamoto's powers.
  • Not Worth Killing: Often, including to Ichigo. Subverted when Kenpachi attempts to spare Nnoitra, saying that it's not worth his time to finish off someone who can't fight back. This only further enrages him, so he makes a last ditch attack on Kenpachi, who finishes him off.


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