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Bleach: Tropes S to T
aka: Tropes S-T

Tropes for Bleach, S to T:

  • Samurai: Soul Society is modelled on mediaeval Japan. With the Soul Reapers filling the role of the samurai class, emphasis is placed on courage, loyalty and obedience. Particular examples include Byakuya and Komamura, whose Zanpakutous sometimes manifest as warriors wearing traditional armour.
  • Samus Is a Girl: The reaction Ichigo and the gang have to the true identity of Kukaku Shiba. Also, Ichigo's reaction when Yoruichi, formerly known as a black cat with a masculine voice, reveals her true form.
  • Sarashi: Unsurprisingly seen on a lot of Soul Reapers, including Ichigo, precisely because they're kimono-wearing warriors. Some characters make them an integral part of their powers and abilities, however, such as Ichigo and Soi Fon.
  • Say My Name: Multiple examples, including Ichigo, Rukia, Captain Hitsugaya, Orihime, Momo and Kon.
  • Scenery Censor:
    • When Wonderweis is first born, there's a convenient shadow covering where it counts.
    • When Yoruichi transforms into a human for the first time there's liberal use of Censor Steam. But when she sits down, Ichigo's freaked out reaction ensures his flailing limbs hide parts of her anatomy that would have very clearly been on display.
    • In in a filler episode, when Mizuho walks into the bathroom, Ikkaku's so shocked he drops his towel. No matter what panicked position he moves into, there's always a conveniently located item blocking the audience from seeing too much.
  • School Swimsuit: The Beach Episode reveals that Nemu wears one.
  • Schrödinger's Butterfly: Aizen invokes this trope through his zanpakutou's power, especially during the Fake Karakura Town battle.
    Aizen: "'How long?' What a funny thing to ask. My Kyouka Suigetsu is 'complete hypnosis'. At any given time, I can control all five senses and cause you to see anything I desire."
    Shinji: "That's exactly what I'm asking you... how long you've been using it!"
    Aizen: "In that case I shall ask you... How long have you been under the impression that I haven't been using it?"
  • Scooby Stack: In anime episode 138. While Captain Ukitake is talking to Rukia in the Soul society, his two lieutenants and Orihime Inoue create one while observing them.
  • Secret Test: At the beginning of the Bount arc, our heroes are confronted by a trio of mod souls that kidnap them and a number of innocent schoolchildren, apparently as part of some bizarre game with their lives at stake. Later they discover that the mod souls were created by and are under the control of Kisuke Urahara, who is using them to test the main characters' abilities and teach them teamwork.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: There are four types of soul power: Human, Quincy, Hollow and Soul Reaper. Human is opposite to Hollow and Quincy is opposite to Soul Reaper. If souls mix, they break the boundaries and create beings much more powerful than having one soul alone. However, the soul becomes unstable and self-destructs in a process known as soul suicide. Visoreds are Hollowfied Soul Reapers who were stabilized by a Quincy/Human vaccine. Masaki was a Hollowfied Quincy whose self-destructing soul was stabilized by being bound for life to "Humanified" Soul Reaper soul (Isshin).
  • Self Healing Phlebotinum: If a Zanpaku-to is broken, it will eventually repair as long as its owner is alive.
  • Self-Parody: Episode 287.
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains: Zigzagged all over the place. The Soul Reapers usually wear more conservative outfits, but Rangiku has a low-cut cleavage and Nemu wears a miniskirt, and the male Soul Reapers suffer through Clothing Damage. The more revealing Arrancars (Harribel, Grimmjow, Mila Rose, Lilynette) are some of the more sympathetic ones, though Nelliel wore a pantsuit as an Espada.... only for her garbs to rip apart once she regains her memories as an Espada. Abirama has a Walking Shirtless Scene and Loly has Zettai Ryouiki and Bare Your Midriff, but Aaroniero, Szayelaporro and the traitor trio wear more than those two.
  • Sensor Character: Almost all of the main characters are able to detect the reiatsu of others.
  • Servant Race: Gemischt Quincies are expected to serve the Echt nobility from birth, and even lay down their lives for them in battle. As the Gemischt son of a dissident Echt father, Uryuu's social status within the Clan is very murky. His first introduction to Quincy society ends with him Kicked Upstairs as an Unexpected Successor to mitigate the threat he poses to Yhwach.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Evidently, the Espada were originally only going to be seven instead of ten, and Kubo had intended them to each be one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Additionally, there are a series of chapters named after the Sins, each seemingly referring to the characters and their actions (it's a bit vague)
    • 341 - The Envy: Clingy Jealous Girl Loly
    • 342 - The Greed: Ichigo shuts down Orihime from getting involved in HIS fight
    • 343 - The Gluttony: Starts with Yammy stuffing his face, then has him kill Loly and Menolly for the lulz
    • 344 - The Pride: subverted Ishida has accepted help from Mayuri, likely a gigantic blow to his pride, but doesn't really fit the "Sin" theme
    • 345 - The Sloth: The despair Ulquiorra tries to instill in Ichigo.
    • 346 - The Wrath: possibly Ulquiorra's Tranquil Fury as he thrashes Ichigo
    • 347 - 352 - The Lust 1 - 6: The emergence of Ichigo's new hollow form (lust for power), and Ulquiorra's resolution of his issues with figuring out 'the heart'. (lust for sensation)
  • Sexposition: When Ichigo is training to master his inner Hollow, the conversation is intercut with dialogue about a young perverted woman's Porn Stash.
  • Shadow Archetype: Pretty much expected for a story that relies so heavily on the Anatomy Of The Soul, but specifically, zanpakutou spirits. For example:
    • Rangiku calls her zanpakutou, Haineko, lazy and stubborn (which she herself is).
    • Yumichika calls his zanpakutou Ruri'iro Kujaku, vain and narcissistic (which he himself is).
    • Byakuya's Senbonzakura and Soifon's Suzumebachi also showcase their masters' inner traits, but ones they've locked away or deny to themselves. Both zanpakutou display more emotions than their masters let on.
    • Hisagi Shuhei's Kazeshini is a bloodthirsty killing machine which Hisagi's fighting philosophy demands he be terrified of, even if it's his own power.
    • But the shining example is Zangetsu, Ichigo's zanpakutou. ...Who we later learn is actually the "Inner Hollow", and not the Old Man. Zangetsu is a blood thirsty Berserker who singularly wants power, much like Ichigo does. However, Ichigo suppresses his own Blood Knight tendencies, wanting only the power to protect, while Zangetsu is a Blood Knight interested only in survival and victory. Ichigo despises the insinuation that he's the same.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: The Gotei 13 Incursion Arc focuses on trying to keep Nozomi Kujo alive both by preventing her from getting herself killed and Kageroza Inaba from accomplishing his objectives. However, Kageroza achieves all his goals and Nozomi sacrifices her life at the end of the arc anyway. The only reason the protagonists win is because the real Arc Villain screws up.
  • Shapeshifter Guilt Trip: Ichigo's fight with Grand Fisher got this. For a more later example, Aizen... if he wanted to.
  • Shinigami: The Soul Reapers as described throughout this entry.
  • Ship Tease: Studio Pierrot loves IchiRuki to the point where they created a lot of material focused on it and removed/toned down a lot of IchiHime and RenRuki material in the process. They did put in one major IchiHime moment in Episode 167 that caused some backlash and also cranked up the UlquiHime Ship Tease in his dying moments. They also cranked up the Ship Tease between Renji and Rukia in a flashback. They love YoruSoi and Ikkaku/Yumichika and they've even played with Kenpachi/Byakuya Ship Tease.
  • Shirtless Scene: Yamamoto, Ichigo, Kenpachi, even Mayuri. In fact, so many male characters have had shirtless scenes that it's easier to observe who hasn't - Byakuya and Yumichika. However, even Byakuya has had one in official art, which just leaves Yumichika.
  • Shouldn't We Be in School Right Now?: Averted. The True Companions time their world-saving to coincide with school breaks whenever possible, but also cut class on a regular basis to deal with emergent threats...and get in trouble for it. Ichigo can at least fake attendance with Kon's help; Uryu, Chad, and Orihime have to come up with (often absurd) excuses for their absences. They avoid more serious punishment by keeping their grades up so the teachers only have so much to complain about.
  • Shout-Out: Quite a few, both in the manga (towards Kamen Rider and probably JoJo's Bizarre Adventure) and some fillers (Neon Genesis Evangelion and Code Geass)
    • Fist of the North Star when Love quotes "You Are Already Dead" while reading manga.
    • In Episode 354, Yukio sends Ginjo and Ichigo to do fullbring training in a Videogame stage. The Stage bears a striking resemblance to Chun-Li's Stage in [[Street Fighter II Street Fighter II
    • Ulquiorra's eye ability is one to Saint Seiya, where Black Cygnus is able to records things he's seen with one of his eyes and then rip it off and send it for another to receive the images it has recorded. Black Cygnus can't regenerate his eyes, however.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!:
    • Isshin to Aizen.
    • And more notably, Ichigo to Ulquiorra.
    • Chapter 417 gets us a rather epic one from Ichigo to Aizen, which has lasted to at least 419 (and most likely longer), leading to Aizen turning red and going Clipped Wing Angel... to the complete non-reaction of Ichigo. Never has seeing a Smug Snake get smacked backwards repeatedly been so satisfying.
    Ichigo: Is that all you've got?
  • Sideboob: Kuukaku Shiba. When they go into shunkou both Yoruichi and Soi Fon sport this, particularly Yoruichi.
  • Side Kick / Foil: Each lieutenant is one or the other to their captain, and some are a little of both.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: Played with. Few battles are truly of this trope in their entirety but will end this way. After a few episodes of monologuing, taunts, releasing zanpakuto and explaining their abilities, flashbacks, Superpowered Evil Sides, random philosophy, and building up one's Battle Aura, both parties agree to end the fight in a single strike. At that point, this trope gets played straight.
    • Ichigo versus Kenpachi. Ichigo is the first to fall (with an intact sword), believing he's lost. Then Kenpachi confirms Ichigo won and collapses next to him, his sword being revealed as shattered. Confirmed in the Official Bootleg and the final arc that Kenpachi did indeed lose the fight.
    • Ichigo versus Byakuya. They agree that they have no strength left to prolong the fight so decide to end it in a single strike. Ichigo staggers, blood flowing everywhere as he desperately tries to prop himself up with his sword to avoid falling over. Then Byakuya staggers (but doesn't fall), blood spurts and he opens his hand, revealing his sword had shattered. He graciously concedes defeat to Ichigo on those grounds.
    • Ichigo and Jin Kariya at the end of the anime Bount arc.
    • Ichigo and Captain Amagai. Subverted. It looks like this but Ichigo's opponent isn't killed and goes on to attack someone else.
  • Sissy Villain: Szayel Apporo Granz, sealed with his dub voice's Noblewoman's Laugh. Also, Luppy, who simpered a lot over his enemies, especially regarding Rangiku's sexy body.
  • Sitting on the Roof: Ichigo and his schoolmates have a tendency of retreating to the school roof. Several Soul Reapers also have a tendency to retreat to roofs both in Seireitei and Karakura Town (mainly Hitsugaya and Ikkaku, but also Hinamori, Matsumoto, Kenpachi and even Aizen before he was revealed as a villain).
  • Skinship Grope: Usually happens when a female character grabs another female character's boobs during a comedy moment. It also happens when Rangiku takes a bath at Orihime's and when she realises how depressed Orihime is, she gets out of the bath to hug and tickle Orihime into a good mood, despite being wet and naked.
  • Sleep Cute: The "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" opening.
  • Slipknot Ponytail: Renji, Kenpachi and Byakuya have all experienced this.
  • Smashing Watermelons: During the anime episode 228 Beach Episode.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Ichigo's not only fighting hollows; he's likely to get into a snark battle along the way. Likely opponents include Uryu, Rukia, and Renji.
    Uryu: Nothing personal Ichigo, but it seems to me in a situation like this, my bow and arrows are gonna be more effective than your single sword.
    Ichigo: That's about as handy as a can of bug spray.
  • Snap to the Side: Ichigo makes people do this all the time.
  • Sneeze Cut: When Yoruichi assesses how Ichigo's improving during his bankai training, she recalls Urahara's speech to her about Ichigo's ability and acknowledges that Urahara was right all along. The scene immediately cuts to Urahara sneezing and complaining that someone must be talking about him.
  • Social Services Does Not Exist:
    • In a typical comedic use of this trope, Isshin Kurosaki regularly launches surprise assaults against his son Ichigo, claiming it as a form of martial arts training. Ichigo only remarks on this as an unpleasant distraction. Isshin's far more likely to be on the receiving end of physical abuse from Karin, but he did at one point rip off his shirt and tell his daughters to "Come give your big, sexy daddy a hug!"
    • Much less hilariously, Orihime's older brother Sora was able to get custody of her as soon as he turned 18, due to their parents being abusive, and basically raised her on his own. Apparently no one thought it necessary to remove Orihime OR Sora from an abusive environment before then, and after Sora's death Orihime lived alone, despite being in middle school. We don't have much detail on Chad's family situation except that he, too, seems to have had no living family and no guardian since at least middle school, and yet receives no attention from social workers. Even Uryuu lives in his own apartment rather than share a house with his estranged father, although we know Ryuuken keeps an eye on his son from a distance and presumably is still his legal guardian.
    • In a classic non-comedic use of this trope, Soul Society has absolutely no welfare infrastructure for recently arrived souls in the Rukongai; even the souls of children are left to fend for themselves as best they can. While some arrive in decent districts and get cared for by lonely adults (Hitsugaya and Hinamori and their adoptive grandmother), others get dumped into impoverished, lawless areas and have to form gangs for self-defense (Matsumoto and Gin). Rukia and Hisana's story is basically a cautionary tale of what Rukongai's lack of social services can drive a person to do out of desperation.
  • Sole Survivor: Holy Selection was intended to kill all Gemischt Quincies…and succeeded, except for Uryu, who is now the last Gemischt alive. Yhwach's stated reason for naming Uryu as his successor is that his mysterious survival implies that he has some power beyond even Yhwach's understanding.
  • Something Completely Different:
    • Episode 141 has no fighting, focusing more on drama and romance.
    • The New Captain Shusuke Amagai Arc is a sudden change in settings and focus.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil:
    • Played straight for the first three arcs:
      • Substitute Soul Reaper features progressively stronger and more cunning Hollows culminating in the Menos Grade at the end of Ichigo's conflict with Uryuu.
      • Soul Society has the True Companions fighting their way up the Soul Reaper ranks from unseated grunts to captains with bankai.
      • The Arrancar attack in order with their (ranked) power levels — Fraccion, Privaron, Espada — before the Co-Dragons and Aizen get involved in the fight.
    • And then, in Deicide, Aizen ''invokes'' this trope to explain events up until this point. The reason Ichigo has been faced with progressively stronger opponents always at exactly the moment when they can best catalyze his development is because Aizen was orchestrating his progress to produce his ideal opponent.
    • Subverted in Thousand Year Blood War. The Vandenreich use a Blitzkrieg-like strategy of leading with the strongest troops and leaving cleanup to the Mooks.
  • Soul-Cutting Blade: Zanpakuto directly translates to "Soul Cutting Sword". Seeleschneider, the Quincy arrow/sword/chainsword, directly translates into "soul cutter" - but in German.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Lots of it. You've have a scene like Gin and Hitsugaya about to go at each other with swords, and then roll credits to "Happypeople".
  • Spanner in the Works: Wonderweiss showing up in the middle of the Soul Reapers' fight in Karakura Town, with a gigantic ball of horror in tow. Two captains promptly get pounded.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Sasakibe and Yamamoto, due to the anime's cancellation without their deaths animated.
  • Sparkling Stream of Tears: Rukia and Orihime once. Dondochakka Bilstin and Keigo Asano on a regular basis.
  • Spell Levels: Kido is ranked from 1-99, and the higher the level, the more difficult (and powerful) a kido is to perform.
  • Spell My Name with an S: There could be a competition with Hunter × Hunter here. The names started to get really weird when the Arrancar appeared, and it only got worse when the Vandenreich showed up.
  • Spiritual Successor: Considering the similar themes, and how they share the same anime director, some have stated this show is the Spiritual Successor to YuYu Hakusho.
  • Spontaneous Weapon Creation:
    • Quincies are capable of producing weapons out of reishi, the spiritual equivalent of "atomic particles". They usually need a physical object as a focus for creating the weapon and the weapon itself tends to be an Energy Weapon, traditionally an Energy Bow. However, they can generate these weapons whenever they feel like doing so. Advanced Quincies can make their weapons a form of Hard Light that makes the weapon look solid and physical.
    • When in his resurreccion and segunda etapa forms, Ulquiorra is capable of producing a lance made of energy whenever he likes.
    • Fullbringers are similar to Quincies in that they use a physical object as a focus to producing weapons. However, Fullbringers tend to be more limited in the range of weapons they can produce, usually producing the same weapon every time. Their weapons become physical rather than energy.
  • Spot the Imposter: Anime episode 326. While Captain Hitsugaya is fighting Reigei!Momo Hinamori, the real Momo appears and attacks Reigei!Momo. Hitsugaya has to figure out which one is the real Momo so he can defend her from Reigei!Momo's attack. Then, once he makes his choice, to his surprise the Momo he's protecting stabs him, revealing that both of them are Reigei!Momo. They then team up to try to kill him.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: The original focus on humans and a single Soul Reaper quickly gave way to a focus on the Soul Reapers and their society. This has been an even bigger problem in the anime where the human characters are often discarded in favor of the Soul Reapers and even the main character can struggle for screentime.
  • Springtime for Hitler: Word of God expressed surprise in an interview regarding the number of fangirls gained by Gin Ichimaru since his introduction, as he was designed to be sinister and off-putting.
  • Standard Evil Organization Squad: The Espada.
  • Step into the Blinding Fight: Captain Tousen uses this. His bankai creates a huge sphere of darkness (in which his blindness doesn't give him a disadvantage). Unfortunately for him, he was fighting Kenpachi, who just lets himself get stabbed to immobilize Tousen's sword and beat the crap out of him.
  • Stock Ninja Weaponry: There's an entire organisation of them using weapons like these. Both Soifon and Yoruichi have used kunai, for example.
  • Story Breaker Power:
    • Letzt Stil vastly inflated Uryuu Ishida's abilities to such a degree he was capable of one-shotting both a captain and his bankai at the same time. It gives him complete dominance over reishi. In a world made entirely out of reishi (Soul Society or Hueco Mundo) it can destroy the world itself to give him limitless power. The author made the ability temporary, burning out the Quincy who uses it, destroying their power forever. Uryuu later regains his power due to Parent Ex Machina and eventually the story introduces a different variant of this technique called Vollständig, which can be used freely because it doesn't burn out the Quincy's power afterwards.
    • Aizen's Shikai is complete control over the five senses. Once hypnotised by the Shikai, a person will always be so vulnerable to the illusions they won't even know they're ensnared. Since everyone of note in Soul Society has been hypnotised, it's impossible for them to beat him even when working together. Ichigo only stood a chance because he had not been ensnared and, by the time they fought, Aizen was so drunk on power that he willfully discarded his sword due to the belief he had gained even better Story Breaker Powers than ever.
    • Yamamoto's Shikai is capable of killing every person for many miles around and he has to erect barriers to protect humans living outside the battlefiend before he'll use it. The only way to combat Yamamoto is to seal his power and then fight him physically. Even then, Yamamoto is so overpowered he can thrash the enemy with his bare fists alone... and if that's not enough, his kidou power is insane as well. His Bankai is The Power of the Sun. Activating it will destroy the world by accident if switched on for too long.
    • Orihime possesses a Reality Warper power that is an in-universe mystery. Characters have speculated that can do anything if she believes she can and that she's never tapped into her full potential. She is exactly as strong as she believes she is, which is both her greatest strength and her greatest weakness. Her personality is her limitation. She's so gentle, pacifistic, kind and unassuming that she cannot harm others, not even enemies, and it doesn't occur to her that she can break the laws of physics even when told she can.
    • Ichigo's Final Getsuga Tenshou, easily defeated Aizen when Aizen was at his most powerful. As with Uryuu's Letzt Stil, using this form was temporary and burned out Ichigo's powers quickly. Also like Uryuu, Parent Ex Machina ensures that he eventually does regain his powers.
    • Barragan's power is Senescencia. He slows down everything around him by manipulating time and aging everything at incredible speed. In resureccion, this upgrades to Respira, a black smoke that rots everything that comes in contact with it and which travels large distances at extreme speed. Speed, Bankai, Kidou are all useless. It's so overpowered that the only way to defeat Barragan is by turning Respira on himself as even he is vulnerable to his own power.
  • Stylistic Suck: All of anime episode 298, but especially the movie Squad 6 is making.
  • Sucking-In Lines: The formation of a cero sometimes begins with this lines. Also, kidou casting can sometimes involve sucking in lines as well. Byakuya's activation of his final bankai form also involves a huge use of this.
  • Suit Up of Destiny:
    • Ichigo in the first episode after gaining Soul Reaper powers for the first time. Then for a second time after he loses his powers and gets them back.
    • Ishida when he reveals he's going to go to Soul Society with Ichigo to rescue Rukia (lampshaded by having Ichigo question his fashion sense). Then for a second time after he loses his powers and gets them back.
    • And finally, as part of a reveal, this is used to show that Isshin, Ichigo's father, was a Soul Reaper all along. Apparently for a second time having lost them before and now got them back.
  • Super-Deformed: When violence is used for comedy instead of serious combat, this trope often happens if a character is kicked, stepped on or punched/booted in the face.
  • Super Empowering: Ichigo's powers are first activated at the beginning when Rukia decides to share with him a portion of hers, although Ichigo accidentally sucks up more than she was willing to give. Ichigo's powerful aura ends up activating the dormant spiritual powers of Sado and Orihime. Because of the nature of quincy powers, Uryuu can suck up Ichigo's power when touching him.
  • Super Toughness:
    • A Soul Reaper's life force is affected by their spiritual power. The more spiritual power they possess, the harder it is to even scratch them, let alone kill them.
    • Arrancar possess Hierro , a supernaturally tough skin which makes it difficult to injure or kill them.
    • Quincies possess Blut , a method of channelling reiatsu through their body's blood vessels via reishi manipulation. By channelling this through their arteries (Blut Arterie), they can massively increase their attacking power. By channelling it through their veins (Blut Vene), they can massively increase their defensive power. Blut Vene can make it incredibly hard to injure or kill a quincy.
  • Super Weight: There seems to be an in-universe example with the way Aizen kept evolving and talking of dimensions and breaking barriers. Hollowfication and the Hougyoku are regarded as methods of altering one's natural weight to an artificially induced higher level. During the Deicide mini-arc, Aizen undergoes an artificial increase whereas Ichigo actually undergoes a natural one simply by communing with his zanpakutou. It leads to a discussion on the meaning of super weights and who qualifies as what. By the end of it, Aizen seems to be a little confused. See trope page for fandom assessments.
  • Supernatural Elite: All residents of Seireitei (lit: "The Court of Pure Souls"). It's where all the privileged souls reside in the afterlife. That includes government officials, Soul Reapers, nobles, vassals, peacekeeping forces, and others. Every other soul either resides in Rukongai (lit: "Wandering Soul City") or suffers a Fate Worse than Death elsewhere.
  • Supernaturally Delicious and Nutritious: the more powerful you are, the more tasty you are to Hollows. This is more of a concern for people who have just enough power to say I See Dead People, but can't fight them.
  • Supernatural Phone: It's standard issue for Soul Reapers to use special cell phones to detect spiritual pressure in a close location in the World of the Living and to communicate with Soul Society. Lampshaded by Ichigo when he learns Urahara gave one to Uryuu during the time-skip: when Uryuu tells Ichigo to text him, Ichigo points out that a Soul Society phone isn't going to be compatible with "normal" phones.
  • Supernatural Sensitivity: Spiritual awareness allows anyone to sense spiritual power in others. It tends to be described as a "smell", often resulting in Soul Reapers saying they can "smell" a hollow's power in the area.
  • Supernormal Bindings: In the anime "Soul Society/The Rescue" arc episode 45. After Ganju, Uryu and Chad are captured by the Soul Society, manacles are put on them that seal off their spiritual pressure and prevent them from using their powers.
  • Superpower Lottery: Soul Reapers have a wide variety of zanpakuto powers, ranging from pitifully lame to gamebreakingly unfair. Shikai example: Ikkaku gets a spear with the special power to separate into three attached sections and Renji gets a sword that stretches. Meanwhile, Ichigo's fires giant energy blasts, Mayuri's induces complete paralysis, and Aizen's traps anyone who sees its release in a nearly perfect, unbreakable illusion. The best part is, they don't even get to decide what their powers do. Soul Reapers get what they're given. And let's not even get started on bankai...
    • Chad and Orihime were born with powers that were locked away in their soul until unlocked by Ichigo's reiatsu and the Hougyoku. Chad was always a physical fighter, who used his strength to protect people after his grandfather taught him, and his powers manifested as mystically empowered arms. Orihime can't stand to see people being hurt and her powers reject harm or anything that will do harm. Chad's limits seem based on his physical might and Orihime's based on what she can conceive of as being possible for her to do.
  • Superpowerful Genetics: The Kurosaki children have inherited spiritual power as a result of their parentage. And quincies inherit power off their parents.
  • Surprisingly Good English: The first closing theme, Life is Like a Boat, features full verses in word-perfect unaccented English, due to the fact that the singer was raised in the US. Also Hazel Fernandes' song, "Number One," which plays during action sequences.
  • Swiss-Army Weapon: Zanpakuto and their optional shikai and bankai forms.
  • Sword Beam: Ichigo's Getsuga Tensho and Ichimaru Gin's Shinsou are the most obvious examples, but a lot of the Soul Reapers use these.
  • Sword Fight: This is shonen—the whole flippin' series is essentially one very long and angsty sword fight.
  • Sword Pointing: Very common in most fights. Examples include Ichigo pointing his sword at Byakuya, Kenpachi pointing his sword at Nnoitra, Hitsugaya pointing his sword at Harribel, and so on. More examples can be found on the trope page.
  • Sword Sparks: An anime favourite, clashing swords are often made more dramatic by having sparks fly.
  • Talking Is a Free Action:
    • Kidou incantations can only be skipped by skilled practitioners, which significantly reduces the spell's power. Some of the incantations are incredibly long. This is only sometimes subverted when characters comment on the inconvenience of trying to finish chants during battle.
    • This is taken to ridiculous extremes with Charlotte Cuuhlhourne, whose attacks are sometimes preceded by sixteen-word long names. This becomes particularly jarring in the anime, which has to recycle animation just to give him enough time to shout out the whole name. Admittedly this is definitely lampshading.
    • Subverted and Lampshaded in Chapter 389. Kyoraku attacks Aizen while Aizen is having a conversation with Hitsugaya. Aizen dodges it then criticizes Kyoraku for attacking him.
    Aizen: How uncouth. We are in the middle of a conversation, Captain Kyoraku.
    • Hilariously averted in chapter 463 where Kenpachi kills his opponent as he's bragging about his powers.
    • Ichigo averts this in his first encounter with Renji. See Tempting Fate below.
  • Talking Weapon: The only one we see in detail is Zangetsu when communicating with Ichigo in Ichigo's inner world. However, it's considered standard that Soul Reapers must learn how to communicate with their zanpakutou and that zanpakutou have thoughts and feelings of their own that they do communicate with their owner even though the manga doesn't detail the conversations that occur (only suggesting them and hinting at them). We also see Zabimaru manifest and talk to Renji at one point and Zangetsu once asks if Ichigo can hear Kenpachi's zanpakutou screaming in pain because of how Kenpachi ignores it (Ichigo can). When Lilinette transforms into Stark's weapon, she continues to talk to him, making her an example of this trope as well, at least for a while.
  • Tangled Family Tree: The Shiba siblings: Ichigo's first cousins on his father's side. Uryu: Ichigo's second cousin on his mother's side. The Big Bad of the Blood War Arc: Ichigo and Uryu's ancestor. And these are some of the more normal relationships.
  • Technicolor Toxin: Let's see...
    • Mayuri Kurotsuchi has Ashisogi Jizo, whose poison is purple in color.
    • In the anime, when Loly uses her Resurrecion Escolopendra it has a purple aura.
    • Gin Ichimaru dissolves Aizen with a dark purple poison from his sword.
  • Teen Genius: In the manga, the following teen characters have been cited (in-universe) as 'genius': Hitsugaya (who's probably only just old enough to slip over the edge from Child Prodigy to this trope), Gin and Uryuu Ishida. Orihime has been cited (in not so many words) as a Ditzy Genius. Ryuuken Ishida is implied to have been one as well. As a teenager, he was able to keep up with Urahara, much to Urahara's shock: even Aizen admitted Urahara's intellect is too great for him.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Rivals are forced to team up and end up becoming Fire-Forged Friends. It's par for the course in this manga. One of the most notable is the relationship between Ichigo and Uryuu. They're still in denial about being friends. The Gotei 13 is made up of semi-autonomous divisions. As a result, when captains enter a battlefield together they usually stick to their own fights unless they're close friends. Some of the captains have almost nothing to do with each other and disdain each other at best (loathing each other at worst). Cue the battle with the espada Yammi where Kenpachi and Byakuya find themselves having to team up. The only way their pride can handle it is by turning it into a rivalry to see who can kill Yammi first while pretending he's getting in the way of them trying to kill each other. Strangely enough, they seem a lot more tolerant of each other after that event.
  • Teeth Flying: Cleverly and artistically used as part of the title of chapter 426. Ichigo and Uryu both punch out the big boss of a gang who was after Ichigo, knocking out three of his incisors. The artistic part is where the chapter number appears on the teeth as they fly out. The reason why they were there? Ichigo previously had punched out SEVEN of one of their guy's teeth.
  • Ten Little Murder Victims: In the Bount filler arc in the anime, one of the "games" involves one of the True Companions being replaced with a shapeshifter. The heroes have to figure out who it is before an elapsed time runs out or the modsouls will start playing Kill 'em All with the Muggles.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You:
    • Surprisingly, Gin to Aizen. Holy crap!
    • Kenpachi to Ichigo, much to Ichigo's dismay.
    • Kenpachi and Byakuya during their fight with Yammi. The only way they can swallow their pride enough to work together is to play on the idea that Yammi is getting in the way of them trying to kill each other.
    • Grimmjow to Ichigo, to an obsessive degree. He gets extremely pissed off when he perceives that Ulquiorra is going after his "prey," and at one point helps Orihime so she can heal Ichigo so they can finally have their all-out, one-on-one fight.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: "Number One" plays whenever Ichigo is about to kick some serious ass. Hilariously subverted when Ichigo charges at Aizen at the end of the Soul Society arc: the music starts up, Ichigo makes his move... Then his sword is blocked by a single finger, the song abruptly stops, and Ichigo nearly gets cut in half. This is lampshaded in the Karakura Super Heroes episode, in which Don Kanonji declares that the role of Karakura Red (the protagonist) will go to the contestant who is worthy to be the Number One. Naturally, the song starts up when the real hero (the cat spirit) starts fighting.
    • The newest episode has a metal remix of the aforementioned Number One. And this time it's Ichigo who does the asskicking without an interruption. Even better, he returns the favor from before by stopping Aizen's music.
  • There Are No Therapists: With all the traumatic stuff going on in this series, ESPECIALLY to little kids, you'd really expect some mental health professionals to get involved, even if psychiatry has a somewhat larger stigma in Japan than in the West.
    • Okay, so Soul Society in general operates on a feudal-ish political and technological level. At least the Gotei 13, being a military organization with medical expertise on the very advanced end of the setting's Schizo Tech, really ought to have some sort of psychological evaluation and counseling. Among the Soul Reapers who might particularly benefit from professional help (in addition to talk therapy just being generally a good way to help soldiers process war trauma), Hinamori shows pretty classic Stockholm Syndrome and PTSD symptoms, Kira does NOT recover well from Gin's betrayal and may have some substance abuse issues, and Rukia nearly committed judicial suicide (by pleading guilty to false charges) because of her guilt complex over Kaien's death.
    • In the human world, Orihime not getting therapy to deal with her parents' abuse and her brother's death could possibly be written off as her guardians being distant and uninvolved, or simply lacking funds and access to health care. But considering that Isshin and Ryuuken are both doctors (Ryuuken's a hospital administrator, no less) lack of involvement or access won't explain their sons Ichigo and Uryuu not receiving some sort of grief or trauma counseling after witnessing the bloody deaths of their mother and grandfather, respectively. It probably has more to do with All Therapists Are Muggles: start telling a therapist about seeing monsters and Soul Reapers and how they keep trying to kill your family members...and there's a decent chance you're going to get committed to a psych ward as delusional instead of treated for the anxiety that naturally arises from being monster bait.
  • There Was a Door:
    • In the anime, Grimmjow, in order to get into Orihime's room, blows a hole in the wall next to the already broken door (in the manga, he enters through the door, violently).
    • At one point, four different characters enter the same room. Not one of them uses a door. Instead, they burst through the floor, two different walls, and another dimension.
    • Renji, Matsumoto, Ikkaku, and Yumichika all enter Ichigo's room through the roof...and break his ceiling light in the process. Then they get scolded by Hitsugaya for their destructive entrance methods. After all, he had enough sense to climb in through the window.
  • They Call Me Mister Tibbs: Captain Hitsugaya and "Toshiro," as well as Captain Kuchiki when Ichigo calls him "Byakuya."
  • They Would Cut You Up: Mayuri finds a lot of things beneath his interest. That's probably for the best considering anything that does register on his radar will be collected by him and will be cut up and experimented on to find out how it ticks.
  • Third Time's The Charm: Ichigo practices this trope regularly against quite a few of the people he eventually defeats.
  • This Cannot Be!: Often when a character who previous thought they were winning the fight discovers they're not going to win will exclaim this, or a variant.
    • Soifon in her fight with Yoruichi. She banked everything on the belief that, having spent a hundred years obsessively training, she would now be able to surpass Yoruichi. When she realizes that she still can't defeat Yoruichi even though Yoruichi's skills have stagnated for a century, she screams this before dissolving in tears and revealing the real reason why she's so angry with Yoruichi.
    • Anime episode 197. Espada #7 Zommari Rureaux while fighting Byakuya Kuchiki.
    • Also, Aizen's EPIC Villainous Breakdown during his final battle.
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Many instances, most notably the Kaien flashback—"If you help him now, what will become of his pride?"
  • This Is Unforgivable: Multiple examples
  • This Was His True Form: Anime episode 291. When Kaname Tousen is stabbed and mortally wounded while in Hollow form, he returns to his true Soul Reaper form just before he dies.
  • Throat Light: During "The New Captain Shūsuke Amagai" anime arc, several people have this while wielding bakoto blades.
  • Tiered by Name: A Soul Reaper's Zanpakutou has a fixed name for sealed and Shikai states but that name is expanded into a full title for Bankai. For example, Byakuya's Zanpakutou is called Senbonzakura (Thousand Cherry Blossoms) until entering Bankai, whereupon its name becomes Senbonzakura Kageyoshi (Thousand Cherry Blossoms Vibrant Display).
  • Time Skip: The first 423 chapters take place over a span of 6-9 months, with more than 150 of those chapters occurring within a single day. Chapter 424 jumps forward 17 months, ageing the main characters up to senior year in high school and creating an excuse for major character redesigns and a couple levels in Badass.
  • Title Drop: The last chapter before the Time Skip is called "Bleach My Soul."
  • Took a Level in Badass: A lot of examples, see trope page for detail.
  • Torso with a View: Almost every single Arrancar possesses such a hole, but it tends to vary - Grimmjow has it on his stomach, Ulquiorra has one in his throat when he first appears but it later moves to the center of his chest.
  • Total Party Kill: Happens when Soul Society and the Vizards faces Aizen.
  • Touched by Vorlons:
    • A human can gain Soul Reaper powers if a Soul Reaper plunges their sword into the human's heart. It doesn't have a very high success rate but can work sometimes. There are special reasons why it worked in Ichigo's case.
    • Captains and lieutenants have to wear power-limiters on their reiatsu when in the human world lest their power start affecting human souls. This is lampshaded by observations on how Ichigo's extremely powerful, uncontrolled reiatsu (when in Soul Reaper form only) has affected humans around him (with help from the Hougyoku changing the odds to make something that can sometimes happen into something that definitely happens)) to enable Orihime and Chad to unlock to latent powers they possessed from birth but couldn't access without help and to give several classmates the ability to see ghosts and Soul Reapers when they previously couldn't.
    • Aizen uses the Hougyoku to create artificially-boosted Arrancar at levels mock-Arrancar in the past haven't naturally been able to reach. He also uses it to, in his personal belief, break the boundary between the Soul Reapers and the divine (although Urahara and Ichigo between them suggest he might have misinterpreted what happened to him). The small print behind the Hougyoku does actually say that it's only capable of manifesting desires that already have the potential to be achieved without the Hougyoku's involvement.
  • Trailers Always Lie: Nel's adult form barely appears in the actual storyline, yet appears extensively in a few of the openings and other media, giving the reader/viewer the impression that it will be a huge and key part of the continuity.
  • Training from Hell:
    • Urahara puts Ichigo through this in the Soul Society arc; later, during the Bount arc, Ichigo and his friends learn that the Mod Souls' dangerous "games" were actually training exercises devised by Urahara to force them to work together as a team.
    • During the Vandenreich arc, in order to get him up to maximum combat efficiency Unohana begins training Kenpachi through a brutal combat strategy of fighting him to the death. She's so far above him that she can kill him with a sealed zanpakutou. Kenpachi only gets stronger at the moment of death, so she has to inflict a killing blow on him then instantly heal it so he doesn't actually die just so he can develop. For three days, she fatally wounds him over and over again until he's finally strong enough to defeat her.
  • Traitor Shot: Michel in anime episode #311 gives a nasty smile as part of his evil plot succeeds.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: Though this is actually also subverted a lot, especially in zanpakuto releases. Even a Captain, Kuchiki Byakuya got his release interrupted at least twice—once by Yoruichi, who fast-wraps some kind of magical(?) bandage around his sword, and once by Renji, who simply just pushes Byakuya's sword aside with his own and throwing it out of balance. Grimmjow also gets stopped in two fights, as well—by Tousen and by Ulquiorra, both grabbing his sword right after the release command but before he could call out his zanpakuto's name. And then there's the one in the Arrancar Encyclopedia where he interrupts himself.
  • Transformation Sequence: Espada and fraccion releases are this. Some of the Soul Reaper releases are this as well. As are some of the Fullbring releases.
  • Trap Door: two open up under Renji Abarai and Dondochakka Bilstin in anime episode #159.
  • Treasure Chest Cavity: Rukia had the Orb of Destruction hidden in her soul.
  • Trivial Title: Many people assume that it's named after Ichigo's bleached-looking bright orange hair, but Word of God states that the word 'bleach' is meant to be evocative of the color white, which contrasts with the color black, which is the main color of the main characters' uniforms. So the title refers to the complementary color to their uniforms just to make it more interesting and artistic.
  • Troubled Backstory Flashback: Most villains get one of these, and only during the fight where they're going to be killed. It's almost as if they're being fattened up with character interest before the writers slaughter them to make tasty, delicious entertainment sausage.
  • True Companions: The concept pops up multiple times in the Hueco Mundo arc, used by both heroes and villains to describe Ichigo's crew. It's something of a theme for the arc, at least in between all the one-upmanship.
  • Try Not to Die: Renji to all the ryoka storming Hueco Mundo, Orihime to Ichigo during the Grimmjow fight. Rukia many times in SS, also Rukia to Ichigo in his fight with Grand Fisher.
  • A Twinkle in the Sky: The anime likes doing this for comedy, especially when a character has been kicked by a character who is annoyed with them, especially if the one being kicked is Kon.
  • Twinkle Smile: Don Kanonji has one in anime episode 10 and Michel has one repeatedly in anime episode #311, just to show how cool they are.

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