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Bleach has a large cast of quirky, lovable characters, so naturally, whenever the situation calls for it, their interactions are pretty touching to watch.
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Agents of Shinigami arc
The fight against Numb Chandelier in the beginning of the series, in the "Princess & Dragon" chapters. First we had Tatsuki charging in, beating away the controlled students from Orihime, and declaring her intents to make the hollow pay. Cue the end of the chapter, and a little drawing of a dragon standing in front of a princess defensively. The next chapter, things go wrong and Tatsuki is beaten. As Orihime's powers begin to manifest and she faces Numb Chandelier, she promises to be the one to protect Tatsuki this time. The chapter ends, and we're treated to another little picture. This time, The princess stands in front of the fallen dragon, her arms outstretched.
Ichigo was willing to go to the soul society to save Rukia from execution even if that meant being killed by the soul reapers. Since Rukia gave him the power to defend those he cared about she committed the most forbidden act in the soul society. Ichigo wasn't going to let Rukia be executed for giving him the power to save the ones he cared about.
As a bonus, he wasn't the one who came up with the idea. It was Orihime, who wasn't affected by the Laser-Guided Amnesia caused by Rukia's absence (likely due to her own spiritual awareness and awakened powers). When Ichigo was depressed over what happened, she spoke to him and told him that they should gather and then go save their friend who had protected him.
Back in the Memories in the Rain arc, Ichigo asks his father why he doesn't blame him for his mother's death, and his father replies that Masaki would be angry if he did, that it's not Ichigo's fault that she died, and that he's glad the woman he loved could die protecting her son. It's also quite heartwarming when Rukia thanks Ichigo for staying alive, especially considering the last time she let someone fight a personal battle on his own, she ended up having to kill him.
Of course, we find out later that part of why Isshin doesn't blame his son is that he also knows exactly who is to blame, though he had no ability at the time to do anything about it. Which is why when he does get the ability to deal with the issue, awesome occurs in the form of his first appearance as a Captain level Shinigami.
Ichigo and Rukia while chasing Grand Fisher have a telepathic conversation that pretty much cements their friendship and trust with one another. Rukia pretty much offers to be someone to talk about his mother's death.
Soul Society arc
When Rukia gets transferred to another place, just after Gin meets Ichigo for the first time, Renji goes out of his way to tell Rukia:
Renji: I'm about to tell you some unconfirmed informations. You know about the Ryokas who tried to sneak in ? They're five. One of them is said to be an oranged hair Shinigami with a sword as big as him.
Rukia then gets one of the most expressive face we've seen in the series.
Shortly after nearly getting himself killed saving her life from Aizen and Gin, Byakuya finally told Rukia the reason why he adopted her. His deceased wife, Hisana, was Rukia's older sister; since Hisana was a commoner, Byakuya had to break the rules to marry her. At her death, she asked Byakuya to find the sister she abandoned and protect her as his own sister without telling her about herself (Hisana), as she feels "unworthy" due to abandoning her. However, adopting Rukia caused him to break the rules again. Afterwards, he swore to his parents' graves that he wouldn't break any more rules. But when Rukia was sentenced to death, he didn't know what to do. Should he keep his promise with Hisana or the promise he made with his parents? Byakuya would later grab Rukia's hand and apologized sincerely to her. The fact that Rukia squeezed his offered hand tightly showed that she accepted his apology.
Few later, Rukia visits the Shiba siblings to apologize for having Mercy Killed the eldest brother Kaien long ago. The reaction of Kaien's sister, Kuukaku? Kicking Rukia in the face... and then grinning while telling her that it wasn't Rukia's fault at all, and that she shouldn't even ask for the forgiveness because she never blamed her in the first place
Kenpachi: Yachiru, do you remember that day, the day when I gave you your name? So long ago.
Yachiru: Of course I do, I even remember how many clouds there were in the sky.
Kenpachi: Yeah... me too.
There's also Yachiru reflecting on how much Kenpachi has done for her:
I had no name. No home. No parents... I was lost there, in the north Rukon District, Area 79, a place known as Kusajishi. I've no memory of anything I saw there, other than the colour of blood. The people around me were beastly and cruel. A helpless child like me would have surely been stomped to death before very long. But then you came along. From the north Rukon District, Area 80, a place known as Zaraki. You appeared from the very depths of darkness, you carved up my bloody world in an instant, and... you gave me a name. If you hadn't appeared when you did, I know I wouldn't be here today. And since that moment, you've been my whole world.
When Ichigo and Renji resolved themselves to save Rukia, they both say the exact same thing, with Renji in response to Byakuya asking to whom he swore he would save Rukia. There has never been such a moment in Bleach where the hearts of two characters were one since.
Renji and Ichigo: I swore... TO MY SOUL!
Hueco Mundo arc
After getting his butt kicked by the Arrancar for the first time, slowly losing control of his inner hollow and failing to protect his friends, Ichigo is depressed and is isolating himself from those friends. In comes Rukia, seeing each other for the first time since leaving the Soul Society, who tells (more like shouts at) him he's stronger and better then this, that the Ichigo she knows wouldn't run away from his problems. Ichigo picks himself up and regains his confidence at that minute! Awesome.
When Orihime is saying goodbye to Ichigo and she talks about how she wishes she could live five lifetimes to accomplish everything she wants in life. The best part is the ending:
Orihime: "And then for those five times... I'd still fall in love with the same person... Thank you, Kurosaki-kun.... Goodbye."
Byakuya's fight with Zommari in Chapter 302. Concluding the fight and saying that he did not fight because it was of the everlasting rivalry and disdain between Shinigami and Hollow; it was because Zommari dared to raise his sword at "his pride" (in other words, Rukia, his adopted sister, while she was incapacitated from her previous fight. All past offenses were immediately forgiven. Of course, Byakuya being himself, his delivery also makes it a Crowning Moment of Awesome as well.
One of the best scenes in the series goes down between Rukia and Orihime: After basically being told that she's useless and would end up as little more than a burden to her friends, for lacking offensive capabilities since Tsubaki was destroyed earlier, Orihime quickly runs outta the Urahara shop and bumps into Rukia on her way out, where she almost immediately starts crying her heart out. After telling Rukia about what happened earlier, Rukia vehemently confronts Orihime over her self-esteem and loneliness issues, straight-up, flat-out telling her that she's a great person, every bit as valuable and wonderful as any one of their other friends, and that her friends love her just as much as she does to them. Motherfuck the Die for Our Ship crap, Rukia and Orihime adore each other!
Another sweet moment involving Rukia and Orihime's relationship: At the end of Rukia's fight with Aaroniero, when she is seriously injured and potentially dying, images of her friends flash across the screen. The last and largest image is Orihime, smiling, and Rukia swears she will come for her. Awwwww.
A very sweet scene happens between Orihime and Rangiku. While showering, Rangiku quietly listens in as Orihime basically admits that, while she is jealous of how close Rukia is with Ichigo, she actively admires and adores Rukia, actually rejects ever hating her — or wanting to feel jealous — at all, and even feels terrible for ever having felt jealous, lonely or inadequate. Rangiku's response: Immediately getting out of the tub and hugging Orihime, calling her silly for beating herself up about her feelings and hovering over her as she advised the girl not to be jealous of Rukia, nor to let those feelings get the better of her, reasoning that she is as equally as important to him as Rukia herself is.
From Chapter 341:
Ichigo: "Take care of Inoue. If Inoue's Rikka can't shield her from my energy, shield her with your body."
Ishida: "I would even if you hadn't asked."
Ichigo hears Orihime shouting for him to stop. She sees him look up, and in barely intelligible language, repeats "...you. Help... you... I'll... help... you..." He's practically mindless by now, and it's obvious that all that is left of him is that one final impulse to protect her. More like Crowning Moment of Heartbreaking.
Chapter 353 would be ridiculously full of these (with a big ass exception) if you could stop squeeing and/or sobbing long enough to count them. First, Orihime disregarding danger and running to Ichigo before his body even hits the ground. The strawberry himself after he goes back to normal, when the first thing he asks (after being understandably shocked at sudden lack of a hole in his chest) is whether or not Orihime is okay. After that, he freaks out at the damage his Hollow self did to Ishida and Ulquiorra, and demands that Ulquiorra remove his arm and leg as well to keep them on an even footing (which is really more of a Crowning Moment of Idiocy, but Ichigo is a Shonen Hero...). And THEN we backslide into Heartbreaking territory again with Orihime reach for Ulquiorra's outstretched hand and telling him she's not afraid of him. He his expression is much softer and more "human" than his usual stoic fronw. Before dissolving into ash and being scattered to the wind.
Not to mention Orihime and Ulquiorra reach their hands out to each other as he slowly disintegrates. His hand is the last thing to disintegrate, mere moments before they would have touched.
And who could forget Ulquiorra's final line?
Ulquiorra:"What is this thing you call heart? If I rip open your chest, will I see it? If I crack open your skull, will I find it there? You Humans are always so quick to speak of such things. Its almost as though...ah...I get it...This. Yes. This thing in my hand...The Heart..."
Ichigo's third fight with Grimmjow in which: he goes Vizard, notes that Orihime is afraid of him, tells her not to worry, protects her when she has her shield up, Nel tells Orihime that Ichigo is doing it all for her, Orihime realizes she's not afraid of Ichigo, and finally culminating in her begging him not to get hurt anymore, because she doesn't care about whether he wins or loses, she just wants him to be safe. Ichigo then stops a near lethal attack with his hand and taunts Grimmjow, before slashing him across the torso.
When Nelliel becomes an adult again, and after she rescues Ichigo from Nnoitra, she thanks him for protecting her, and will repay Ichigo by protecting him in turn.
Yamamoto gets a minor one when, after explaining Aizen's plot to Orihime regarding the Oken, he promises her that the Gotei 13 will stop him. That's unusually kind for him.
Hitsugaya and Hinamori talking to each other after Yamamoto is done relaying instructions to the team in the world of the living. Yeah, it does go downhill, and yeah, most people aren't too fond of Momo in the first place, but when she tearfully apologizes for doubting Hitsugaya and attacking him through Aizen's influence, he just calls her an idiot for worrying about things like that instead of resting from her ordeal and states that he's already pushed all those events to the back of his mind. They then have a somewhat hilarious banter in which Hitsugaya more or less tells her that if she doesn't sleep enough, she'll never become like Rangiku, to which Momo indignantly responds that Rangiku is a special case and that he has no right to lecture her on size as he's smaller than she is.
It's especially significant given how this is one of the rare times in the entire series where you'll see Hitsugaya smile.
The fact that Ichigo has spent practically his whole life trying to protect the ones he loves with no one to protect him, and then seeing EVERYONE separating Aizen from him, even consoling him in their own ways before heading off to face that son of a bitch * sniffle* .
For some reason, Byakuya's and Kenpachi's insulting and intent on fighting each other in chapters 381 & 382 is this. Just the general ease of it and how ready they are to fight each other gives off the impression that despite the trash talk they are really good friends. The thought is solidified in Ch. 527 by Unohana, when she's asking why Kenpachi's sad, listing off 'enemies to fight' and 'friends to argue with'. Byakuya is listed alongside Ichigo and Renji as a friend to argue with.
Read Chapters 385 through 387. Pick a line of Komamura's dialogue. ANY line of Komamura's dialogue, but in particular:
Tousen...on that day, I detected a small lie in your words. You spoke often of "the world that she loved", but not once did you speak of loving it yourself. I understood this: "Yes...truly, this man detests the world." I could understand that. In fact, I believed it to be only right. Anyone would have such feelings after having a loved one stolen away. And yet...never once did you see fit to play the saint and claim to love the world you hated. I respected that. That is why I swore to become a true friend to you. If you bore great sadness, I would take it on myself. If I obtained great joy, I would share it with you. If you strayed from your path, I would scold you. If you made terrible mistakes, I would forgive you. If the world scorned you, I would be your shelter. Somehow, I would give this man, who had lost his love for the world, the power to love it once more.
An alternate translation for the last one has Ichigo thanking his dad for hitting him because it made him "feel like he was home."
A villainous example to be sure, but tell me that Starrk and Lilynette don't qualify. Despite her anger at his laid back personality, it's clear they care deeply for one another. The flashback to all of the loneliness Starrk had before he and Lilynette split in half, followed by him giving her his cloak and announcing "We can go anywhere...we'll do everything. We'll do anything. But let's stay together...until the very end" followed by Lilynette's smile? Coupled with Starrk's "I'm not alone..."
The anime managed to make this even more of a tearjerker when Lilynette sacrifices her life for Starrk. If you can't feel bad for Starrk as he frantically calls her name with the most heartbreaking expression on his face followed by a broken "I'm all alone..." then you have no soul.
In Chapter 398, when Isshin finally appears just in time to stop Aizen from revealing everything to Ichigo, who is, understandably, shocked to find his dad in full Shinigami mode. After some humorous bickering, Isshin calms down enough to say that he knows Ichigo must have a lot of questions and might even be angry with him for keeping the truth from him. Ichigo, however, simply says that he isn't angry and that he understands that if Isshin was keeping something like this from him, it was probably for a good reason. He then goes on to say that, whenever Isshin feels ready to tell him the whole truth, Ichigo will be willing to listen, and that he won't pester him for the truth in the meantime. The real heartwarmer? The speech Ichigo gives to his dad is the exact same as the speech Rukia gave to Ichigo a hundred chapters back, when they were talking about his mom. The subtleness of this moment just about took this troper's breath away.
Chapter 406. First gives out something of a Hope Spot, when Kisuke, Isshin and Yoruichi all tag-team against Chrysalis-Aizen, who has since grown increasingly careless and cocky since his transformation, essentially forgoing and/or trading in intellect, deception and resorcfulness, with brute strength and ultimate power. As a result, since his transformation was still in the works, they were all evenly-matched throughout the majority of the entire battle....until the transformation finally reached its end stages, causing Aizen to emanate an extremely powerful shockwave that utterly trances all three of them. By this point, Ichigo himself is the only one left, with Gin calmly demoralizing and breaking his resolve in a Breaking Lecture mixed in with "The Reason You Suck" Speech, by pointing out that, with his already fragmented and unfocused state, combined with the frightening power of the Big Bad, all it'll take is just one second for Ichigo to lose absolutely everything. About a minute later, Aizen and Ichimaru both open up a Senkaimon and head directly towards the Soul Society, to the direction of where the real Karakura Town — Ichigo's hometown, no less — so that he could destroy it, create the Ouken in the process and overthrow the Spirit King himself, all in front of the broken Ichigo, whom by this point, is completely powerless to stop them, simply because he's just not at their level at all. What happens next? Isshin, his father, quickly picks himself up, urges Ichigo to open a Senkaimon to the real hometown, and wraps his arm around his son.
Let's analyze what's going on in that one panel: As a bit of a Cooldown Hug, it's Isshin comforting his disheartened and demoralized son in the wake of absolute, utter defeat, which is merged with simultaneous encouragement in continuing the fight despite the odds and unwavering confidence in defeating their opponents. You read that right; after 16 straight years, with one exception (already listed above), the ever-so eccentric and embarrassing IsshinKurosaki is finally acting like a real father.
The very next chapter after that, 407, follows up on it. Since Ichigo understandably gave up after witnessing Aizen soundly defeating all that ever stood a chance against him, Isshin gives out a harsh, but much-needed scolding to his son, coupling it with a reminder of what'llhappen to every single person he knows should they let Aizen succeed. This is the effect it has on Ichigo.
417. Ichigo's return. Before going against Aizen and after rescuing Rangiku, he thanks Isshin for his help and says his sisterswill be safe from now on, then addresses his friends before asking them to not move from their places...
Gin'sFamous Last Words in 417 could count. Some clarification: Those words and the chapters immediately preceding turn everything readers knew about Gin on its head. He spent hundreds of years casting aside any possibility of a good reputation or constructive social relationship with anyone, playing the role of a borderline-traitorous snake that everyone hated and/or feared, ruthlessly pursuing as much power as he can, all just for one solid chance...to pay Aizen back for hurting his friend Rangiku and making her cry.
Chapter 422: When Unohana heals Hiyori from her bifurcation at Gin's hands, Shinji says that they are in her debt. Unohana then asks why they owe her anything, as she did it because they are her friends. Imagine: the Vizards are a group of Shingami torn from lives in Soul Society forever, because of what happened to them 100 years ago. Fearing that they'll be treated as Hollows, they distance themselves from Soul Society completely, to the point that when they appeared in Fake Karakura Town, nearly no-one from their side wanted to say anything to anyone to the Gotei 13. The two that did (Shinji and Lisa) simply told Yamamoto and Shunsui respectively, that they're not on their side, but are here to take revenge against Aizen. Hiyori herself even stated he hates Shinigami. And Unohana simply puts all that aside, probably even knowing how they'd might feel towards her, and anyone else from the Gotei 13, and still calls them her friends. She even got a Tsundere moment out of Shinji.
Chapter 420: Zangetsu's farewell to Ichigo. Zangetsu admits that he only ever wanted to protect Ichigo.
The relevance of this is compounded when you realize that this is not just Zangetsu, but also Hollow Ichigo talking, as they are merged together. Ultimately, for all the animosity between, all of Hollow Ichigo's actions were driven by his desire to protect Ichigo, and that's all he ever really wanted to do.
When Ichigo returns after having defeated Aizen, all of his friends are waiting for him. All of them are smiling, and Orihime is crying Tears of Joy much to the amusement and understanding of Rukia.
Lost Substitute Shinigami arc
Ichigo, after being asked to focus on a single moment he was proud of being a shinigami in order to activate his new power-up responds that he can't. Because there are too damn many.
Chapter 449: Chad brings Orihime to Xcution's new headquarters to help heal Ichigo, who's going through Training from Hell with Ginjou while he trains in a separate room. Orihime's not healing Ichigo fast enough for Ginjou, and Ichigo tells him to attack. Ginjou charges ahead, but Orihime reveals she has a new shield, Shiten Koushen, which attacks those who attack the shield. She goes on to tell him not to attack her when she says no. She then tells Ichigo that these seventeen months that he was powerless she and Chad trained so that when he got his powers back they could fight alongside him and not be in the way. His friends really have been looking out for him, and the expression on her face shows it.
Ikumi comforting Ichigo in Chapter 453, just before Tsukishima shows up, proves one thing — Ikumi works well as Ichigo's surrogate mother/sister.
Chapter (459) After having his fullbring taken by Ginjo, Ichigo goes into another Heroic BSOD. While he's standing there a sword bursts through his chest. He looks back and sees his father and Urahara standing there and assumes that his dad is the one who stabbed him. Isshin: "You idiot...It wasn't me who stabbed you. Look closely." and suddenly Rukia materializes holding the glowing sword stabbed through his chest. Giant explosion and suddenly when the smoke clears Ichigo is in full shinigami garb again.
The page that cements this as a Heartwarming Moment.
And 460 only makes it better. Renji, Ikkaku, Hitsugaya, freaking Kenpachi and Byakuya lent some of their own reiatsu to help Ichigo get his powers back.
Actually it was YAMAMOTO ordering the whole FREAKING Gotei 13 to do it.
And then there's the blurb on the splash page. The previous few chapters had been titled "End of Bonds" with increasing numbers; in each one, the situation got worse, until we hit the Darkest Hour in the chapter titled "End of All Bonds". But now? The blurb on the splash page simply says "Time goes by, but bonds don't break."
Ikkaku urging Shishigawara not to throw his life away for Tsukishima.
Chapter 473: The defeated Tsukishima rages at Byakuya for "betraying" him (in Byakuya's Fake Memories, Tsukishima was his sensei in swordsmanship). Byakuya replies that he owes him everything, but he ruined Ichigo's life, and that was a good enough reason to kill him.
Chapter 475: Ichigo reveals that he choose to protect and that he always wanted the power protect as many as possible complete with a flashback to Chapter 1.
Chapter 476: Kenpachi, Ikkaku, Byakuya, and Hitsugaya explain that they were originally planning to kill both Ichigo and Ginjo, but Ichigo changed them all for the better. They will leave it in his hands to defeat Ginjo.
In one panel while Rukia thinks of Ichigo's resolve it shows all of Ichigo's changes.
Chapter 477: The young Tsukishima and Ginjou here.
Shishigawara is utterly devoted to Tsukishima and is willing to throw away his life for him. And in Chapter 478, he carries an injured Tsukishima and says he's glad Tsukishima didn't die. Tsukishima is shown to be touched by Shishigawara's loyalty and tells him "Thank you...I was never alone."
In 492, in between all of the craziness that Allon's return brought, there was an oddly cute moment... Before launching his massive attack on Kirge, he turns towards his three mistresses, and it seems that he's slightly worried for them in his own way. (The girls doubt it, but considering that Allon's supposed to be a totally mindless machine of destruction, it may not be THAT far off.)
501 was horrifying, but out of it comes the reveal that Byakuya fears his sister Rukia getting hurt more than anything.
502 may very well be the biggest Tear Jerker in the series thus far, but through the tears Byakuya's last words asking Renji and Rukia to forgive him truly brought Byakuya's true nature into the light, even through the tears; that despite UNBEARABLE suffering, his final thoughts were not begging for mercy or disbelief at himself, but love and concern for his younger sister and faithful lieutenant. Mixed heavily with Tear Jerker, of course; he is apologising for his own weakness in not being able to defend them.
Byakuya: "Rukia... Renji... I'm sorry..."
Considering the dude's a massive Base Breaker, even the haters gave a moment of silence for that one...
And as a bonus, even when it doesn't work, it's heartwarming and heartbreaking to see Renji attacking As Nodtnot to protect himself, but as punishment for what they have done to Byakuya. It beautifully showcases both his and Byakuya's Character Development.
505: Upon seeing Yamamoto defeat Driscoll and get ready to keep fighting back, Soul Society as a whole begins to recover hope and gather Heroic Resolve. It has to be seen to be believed.
512: Byakuya's speech to Ichigo.
Before that, the first thing Byakuya asks Ichigo is if Rukia and Renji are alright.
515: in between the big-ass Tear Jerker that the chapter was, Ichigo's joy upon seeing that his closest friends on both sides (Orihime, Urahara, Nel and Chad in Hueco Mundo, Rukia and Renji in Soul Society) are alive was a small ray of sunshine in the Grey Rain Of Depression.
527: Unohana seems to have completely gotten over any antagonism she had against Zaraki at the beginning of his training. The sweetest part is that she is completely at peace, even proud of him, as he killed her — she is happy in the knowledge that her title and legacy will live on in Zaraki.Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other!
Also, the flashback with a young Masaki tending to still-Shinigami!Isshin after saving him.
533: Remember the scene with teen!Masaki tending to still-Shinigami!Isshin? We get to see fully how it happened, and it's lovely. Specially when Masaki is confused, scared and worried about meeting a Shinigami for the first time, while Isshin is all smiles about having met a Quincy.
534: When Masaki falls under the aftereffects of letting the Hollow bite her, Ryuken immediately starts looking for a way to cure her
535: Isshin voluntary gives up his life as a Shinigami to save Masaki with absolutely no hesitation. It's even sweeter when you realize that due to the deal he made with Urahara for Masaki's sake, technically speaking Isshin could have gone back home but his love for his and Masaki's children was stronger than any ties to his former home.
The look on Ryuken's face when Isshin decides to do so, makes the moment that much better. You can definitely see that this is the exact moment when their Odd Friendship was formed.
Chapter 536 has Kanae reminding a devastated Ryuken about her duty: stay by his side and protect him from anything. She says seeing him cry breaks her heart. These words help Ryuken get a hold of himself, and they return home together.
Chapter 537 has the reveal that Kanae and Ryukendid tie the knot, and Uryu is their son. Immediately becomes a tearjerker since Kanae died nine years ago when the leader of Vandenreich reclaimed his power from all mixed-blood Quincies, which was enough to kill the weaker ones like Kanae. Ryuken still keeps a photo of her in his office.
Ichigo's reaction upon learning the truth about his mother is a genuine and resolute "Thank you, Dad."
In Chapter 541, Fake!Zangetsu tells Ichigo that while he wasn't Ichigo's real zanpakuto, he really did want to protect him. And that his stance changed from keeping Ichigo from becoming a shinigami so he won't have to kill Ichigo to protecting Ichigo as best he could.
As "Zangetsu" reveals the truth to Ichigo, he summons a reishi sword and seems prepared to kill him like he originally intended... only to surrender peacefully after saying how proud he is of the man Ichigo has become.
Even more heartwarming is combined with Fridge Brilliance when you think about the fact that the second Ichigo finds out that Old Man Zangetsu deceived him, rain starts pouring down (rain being symbolic of Ichigo's sadness) and when the Old Man says he isn't Zangetsu, the building beneath them instantly shatters (that being symbolic of Ichigo's hope). In other words, Zangetsu was so dear to Ichigo's heart that when he thought he'd been betrayed, Ichigo lost almost all hope.
542 sees the conclusion to the "Blade and Me" mini-arc, and it ends with Ichigo reconcile his Quincy, Shinigami, and Hollow sides and thanking Zangetsu for everything. The chapter title is then changed to "The Blade IS Me", as Ichigo accepts that he and his zanpakuto are one.
The beginning of the chapter is what really sells it, as Ichigo concludes that there were never any lies in the words of "Zangetsu" or in those of Hollow Ichigo's, and no matter how much the old man might deny it, he believes that they are both Zangetsu.
545 has Yuzu wearing an apron with words "Love You Berry Much." Now, who could this Berry be other than her brother with a Punny Name?
546 begins with Kyoraku telling Keigo, Mizuiro and Tatsuki that the training Ichigo is going through means he might not be able to return to the human world. Keigo calls him out on his actions. KEIGO. Kyoraku then provides a moment of his own when he gives the three of them Soul Passes so that they can visit Ichigo in the Soul Society whenever they like. And he also gave them to Ichigo's family.
548: Omaeda saying his goodbyes to his little sister. Really shows that he DOES think about others than himself and genuinely cares for his family. He really has matured since the Fake Karakura Town arc.
553: Hitsugaya reclaiming Hyorinmaru and giving Cang Du a Kirk Summation about how Bankai have their own minds and souls; and them proceeding to hand the Quincy a crushing defeat.
554: After the fight, Hitsugaya immediately tries to go check up on Rangiku. Despite his constant frustration over her work ethnic, he really does care about her.
Histugaya: Wait Matsumoto, I'll help...you now.
555: Squad Zero acknowledges that Ichigo has finally grown up, and is a true shinigami at last.
Also Urahara's smile when Ichigo tells him that "he'll definitely do something" when he reaches Soul Society. It's like a proud mentor acknowledging how much his pupil has grown.
558: Tetsuzaemon helps the now completely Brought Down to Normal Komamura, offering to help him kill Yhwach and avenge Yamamoto. While carrying him on his back.
568: A blink and you'll miss it moment, but when Rukia's memories are shown as As Nodt tries to mindrape her... we see Orihime among them. Further proof that the Die for Our Ship is ridiculous, since Rukia sincerely likes Orihime.
569: After saving her from As Nodt's fear ability, Byakuya takes a moment to comment to Rukia with some encouraging words on how strong she had grown and assured her that she should not be afraid of As Nodt's power.
On a similar note, the very fact that Rukia has finally unlocked Bankai counts as well, after all these years and after all we've seen her go through. She's finallycaught up with Ichigo and Renji, and it couldn't be more deserved or well-earned.
573: Isane is not mad at Kenpachi for killing Unohana. In fact, she's actually proud.
579: Kenpachi Zaraki has just won a fight. His first action after confirming victory? Making sure Yachiru is okay. It's a wonderful thing, seeing the blood-hungry big man so concerned over his little lieutenant, something we haven't really seen since the Nnoitra brawl.
Similarly, he finished a brief and hilarious interaction with the newly arrived Ichigo in 581... with this:
"Take care of yerself."
587: Ichigo, Rukia, Renji, Orihime, and Chad are all understandably upset about Ishida's supposed betrayal. They also agree on one other thing: By force or not, they're bringing him back home.
589 and 592 implies that Yumichika has told Ikkaku about his kidou abilities (not including Ruri'io Kujaku though so it seems) and the latter is cool with it; in 589 Yumichika uses it back up Ikkaku in their battle and he attempts to use it again in 592. Ikkaku doesn't show any surprise in either moments, and only tells him off in 592 saying his kidou is no good against zombie!Hitsugaya. Comes to show how even more trust and acceptance has been built in their friendship during the timeskip.
Rose got a major one back in 495, when he first heard that Izuru might have been killed, and he openly states that his Vice-Captain (Kira, who has had shit luck with Captains Gin's real motivations be damned) is an inspiration to him. This, from a man who was wrongfully exiled for a century and had nothing to say to his old comrades in the Fake Karakura Arc, but is now berating berating an enemy for not understanding friendship (or why Rose is angry that so many of his men are dead before him)... and assuring said enemy that he won't be leaving alive.
In the middle of the HUGE mess that was 603, it's sort-of sweet to see that Liltotto, who had been quite the Jerk Ass up until then, is doing her best to not just save herself from The Purge, but to keep Giselle alive as well.
The scene where Orihime faces down a mind-controlled Rukia, walking straight through all the kido she could throw to hug her (incidentally removing the mind-control at the same time) was still adorable. It may be a filler, but the intention remains.
In the recent Filler arc, Hitsugaya's Hyourinmaru had forgotten his memories and didn't even know his own name. When forced to fight him, Hitsugaya constantly called him by his name and begging him to remember who he is and who had called him. In the end, a smilingHyourinmaru carried an exhausted, but victorious Hitsugaya.
Episode 262, but we'll have to elaborate a bit on that: As a masterless Empathic Weapon, Narunosuke was, by default, an enemy of the Soul Society, due to his suseptibility of devolving into a rage-filled berserker, but Haineko, who had met and cared for him for the entire episodes' length, even had a crush on, understandably kept her relationship with him, as well as his very existence a secret to her Shinigami master, RangikuMatsumoto. After being forced to kill Narunosuke off herself, Haineko later admits to Rangiku that the reason she kept quiet about it all was due to her crush on Narunosuke, which Rangiku says she already knew about, but still tried to comfort her a bit in spite of that. When Haineko expresses some gratitude on how she's still young, and Rangku asks her to elaborate, Haineko playfully states that she still has "plenty of time until I become an old hag", prompting Rangiku to warmly smile and softly chuckle at her in response, as they spend the last few seconds staring at the rising sun.
Note that, even up to the occasional arguments they get into, the relationship between Haineko and Rangiku is very much like that of a mother and daughter. Episode 262 pretty much confirms that.
It may be filler, but there's still a damn good one in the Shusuke Amagai arc. Ichigo has just been trapped in his opponent's Bakkoutou, which makes him live out his worst nightmare — being strangled by his mother. Hanza Nukui, the Bakkoutou's wielder, basically traps Ichigo in a Sadistic Choice — he can either die or harm his mother. He decides to Take a Third Option, hugs her, and starts overpowering the dreamworld with his own reiatsu. As his last vision of his mother collapses, he apologizes for her death, tells her that the family turned out OK, and thanks her for protecting him all those years. It's a really sweet image to behold.
Episode 303, or rather the latter half. Once Rukia realizes Orihime's going to spend New Years alone, she makes she she isn't by taking her to Urahara's with Renji, and then later sending Renji to get her True Companions and have them meet them at the shrine. And this is an episode based on a gorgeous color spread from earlier in the year where you can just see the love between everyone in it.
Yumichika and Ikakku's little exchange at the end of episode 119 always makes this troper go 'Awwww'.
From the Reigai filler arc: Kenpachi faces his duplicate and is cut down. At first, Kenpachi accepts his defeat, telling himself it was a good match and an honorable death. Then, he sees and hears Yachiru crying for him. He comes to his senses, apologizes for forgetting her, then declares that he will not die, summoning the Heroic Willpower to rise and defeat his duplicate. Yes, Yachiru is what keeps Kenpachi from being like Nnoitra.
In the Bount Filler arc, Orihime freeing Rukia from the influence of a Bount by hugging her.
Episode 260: During the amusing Zanpakutou filler arc, Hisagi's Zanpakutou Kazeshini went rogue and was hell-bent on finally killing people to sate his bloodlust, especially Hisagi. However, he wound up looking after an orphaned baby which culminates with Kazeshini shielding the child with his own body from a Sword Fiend. The icing on the cake is at the end when Hisagi tells a defeated Kazeshini they'll fight to protect someone — it makes Kazeshini's epiphany all the more heartwarming.
There are lots of great friendships in Bleach, but this Troper was very touched by Chad and Ichigo's pact; "You use your punches for my sake, and I'll use mine for yours. And if there's anything you're willing to sacrifice your life to protect, then I'll do the same."
And then how Chad justifies to Kyoraku why he's come so far into Soul Society for a girl he barely knows. Ichigo wants to protect Rukia, and that's more than enough for Chad to risk his life. A little indirect bit for Kyoraku; not only does he seem to understand where Chad's coming from, it appears he does so because he has such a close friend in Ukitake.
When Nel turned into her true form, this Troper felt like patting Ichigo on the back and going "They grow up SO QUICKLY!"
Another villainous example in episode 284, where you find out about Tia Harribel's past. When faced with an arrancar she can't defeat, Haribel has her future fraccion run away while she keeps the Arrancar busy. Once they've run away all three of them realise they can't abandon her and return to try and help her, failing to achieve anything but giving Haribel Heroic Resolve to land a blow strong enough to cut through the Arrancar's Hiero. The Arrancar resumes winning only for Aizen of all people to pull a Big Damn Heroes and save them.
Although this made Harribel's defeat even sadder, since the viewers can realize quickly what Harribel couldn't know; that Aizen was the one who made that Arrancar strong enough to threaten them in the first place and sicced it on Harribel so he could recruit her. If Aizen had left her alone, Harribel would have lived a peaceful life protecting her True Companions and never gotten involved in this war...
However in the Unmasked databook has a huge one: the light novel part in which the badly wounded but still living girls from Harribel's Fraccion beg Orihime to save their "mother" and leader. And she does. Even more so when Orihime offers to heal Apache first, but she refuses because she wants that badly to have Harribel saved.
Kind of an odd one, but the anime ending is currently reviewing the past ten years of Bleach. It's filled with clips from important moments, and it is really touching, looking and seeing everything we've been through with the characters; all their struggles, all their enemies, all their failures, and all their triumphs. Like I said, a bit of an odd one.
In the Nestle In The Night novel, we see the reactions of Ichigo's shinigami friends on the news that he's going to lose his powers after stopping Aizen. Renji is angry that Ichigo had to give up so much to beat him, especially since he's not even from Soul Society, and shouldn't have had to bear that burden. When the medics begin treating Ichigo, Renji tells them to be careful with him — the hero who defeated Aizen.
In Hitsugaya's backstory, everyone in his village feared and distanced themselves from him except for two people: his grandmother and Momo. There's a reason why he's sworn himself to protect her, people.