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  • Early-Bird Cameo: The opening for the anime-only Bount arc featured a different character illustration flash for a second for every individual episode. Aizen (in his Las Loches attire), Ulquiorra, and Grimmjow all received illustrations well before the Bount arc was wrapped up.
  • Easter Egg:
    • In the Menos forest, Nel uses her status as an arrancar to try and escape. In the dub, one of the adjucas leaders tells her "All that gets you is a free cup of tea at Las Noches". This aired over a month before the infamous "Tea with Aizen" scene did.
    • Speaking of tea, the On the Next segment at the very end of the Zanpakuto Tales filler arc involves Ulquiorra refusing to return to the battle with Ichigo before he's had his tea.
  • Easy Road to Hell: Literally going to Hell seems to be pretty rare, but since your other options for afterlives are a desert where monsters hunt you until you become one of them and a depressing slum where you will live poverty while ruled over by unquestionable overlords (unless said overlords recruit you, in which case you will serve as a soldier until the aforementioned monsters manage to brutally kill you), going figuratively to Hell (that is, being sent to an awful and inescapable afterlife) is, to the best of our knowledge, a complete certainty.
  • Eating the Enemy:
    • While hollows generally consumepeople and fellow hollows for sustenance, they also do it to gain powers and steal the forms of their victims. A notable example was Aaroniero, the 9th espada. He had the ability to consume hollows and soul reapers alike and take all their forms, powers, and memories. This allowed him to pull off some serious Mind Rape against his enemies. He can also display the features of all his victims at once, which made for quite the Body Horror.
    • Mayuri Kurotsuchi's Bankai takes the form of a giant caterpillar with the torso of a baby. On top of its Poisoned Weapons, it can actually consume his foes. He tries this against Szayelaporro, an Evil Genius espada. He technically does get eaten but when he does, he's in his Resurrection mode which allows him to to hijack the Bankai and then revive himself from Nemu. Unfortunately, this lands him with a Cruel and Unusual Death.
    • Baura, the doll of the bount Sawatari, is a Reality Warper that can tear wholes in the the space-time continuum and reappear freely at will. One of his main tactics is bursting out beneath his enemies and engulfing them whole. Inside they end up in a Pocket Dimension where they're eventually broken down into oblivion.
  • The Electric Slide: All of the Soul Reapers pull this off at one time or another.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: What Hitsugaya's fight with Harribel eventually devolves into.
  • Elite Army: Kyoraku goes as far to say that calling the five members of the Royal Guard "captains" wouldn't do justice to their power due to the strength of the five together being greater than the combined strength of the Gotei 13.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Several characters have been the victim of this thanks to Yachiru's habit of nicknaming everyone. That said, 'Shirou-chan' and 'Bedwetter Momo' have nothing at all to do with Yachiru and are nicknames Hitsugaya and Hinamori came up with each other while children living with their grandmother. Hitsugaya has mercifully left Hinamori's nickname in the past. Unfortunately for him, Hinamori can't break the habit of using his.
  • Emergency Authority: After the Central 46 was destroyed by Aizen, Gotei 13 leader Yamamoto assumed total control as a military dictator until suitable replacements could be found. As a non-abusive example, Yamamoto used the authority to overturn the miscarriage of justice Aizen had previously engineered against Urahara's group and the Visoreds before giving up the authority as promised once the new Central 46 was convened.
  • Empathic Weapon: The zanpakuto with which Soul Reapers fight start as this. If a Soul Reaper can develop enough of a rapport with the weapon for it to obtain a name and a shikai release, it becomes a Talking Weapon.
  • Empathic Environment: Rain is such an integral part of the mood of the story that it's nearly a character in its own right. When characters are despairing or their ideals have failed, the rain is either falling or begins to fall. Several characters are particularly defined by this, especially Ichigo, Rukia and Ryuuken, all of whom have experienced the Grey Rain of Depression. The Databook says it best:
    "It was as if the sky was was crying in response to Rukia and Ichigo's sad hearts... Even now, it still rains in their hearts."
  • Empty Piles of Clothing: During the Turn Back the Pendulum arc.
  • Enemy Mine: When Yhwach succeeds in killing the Soul King, the threat he poses to the existence of all three worlds forces the Gotei 13 and Aizen to team up together to fight him. This coalition keeps expanding until it includes: Ichigo's group, the Gotei 13, Aizen, the Visoreds, the Arrancar, the Fullbringers and even some of the Quincies. Literally everyone is trying to stop him.
  • Enemy Without:
    • Ichigo has to battle his own mirror self inside a dreamscape.
    • It's mentioned later on that forcing a Shingami's zanpaktou to manifest, then submit to you, is a required technique for accessing the second release.
  • Enforced Method Acting: In-universe example. In filler Episode 298, Ichigo is filming a movie directed by Abarai Renji, with special effects provided by Kuchiki Byakuya. Said special effects include Byakuya attacking Ichigo with his Bankai. Ouch.
  • Enlightenment Superpower: Zanpakutou-based abilities, basically. Zanpakutou represent the user's specific talents and strengths, and you must form a bond with them to access all of your hidden powers. The problem is that they also represent your faults and weaknesses, too — specifically the parts of your personality you don't want to acknowledge.
  • Epigraph: Each tankubon opens with a small panel depicting a single character and a short poem seemingly in that character's voice. Kubo Tite's emokid poetry is surprisingly good.
  • Episode Title Card: In a variation, the cards feature only episode numbers.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: The Vandenreich offer recruitment opportunities to both Arrancars and Soul Reapers, with mixed results.
  • Equivalent Exchange: Aizen wanted to give Wonderweiss the ability to nullify the powers of Yamamoto's zanpakuto. He succeeded, but in return, Wonderweiss had to lose his ability to speak, his intelligence, and his sanity. Aizen being Aizen, the 'exchange' apparently did not include Wonderweiss's ability to feel fear.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Kyoraku and Nanao's deserve special mention. She finds him sleeping and tells him that intruders have broken into the Seireitei, to which he lazily responds "What do you want me to do about it?". The reason it stands out is because Starrk and Lilinette have the exact same exchange during the Hueco Mundo arc.
    • After Sosuke Aizen is revealed to still be alive, the first thing he does is stab his lieutenant Momo Hinamori while pretending to comfort her for making her believe that he was dead, simply because he didn't want to leave any witnesses.
  • Eternal Prohibition: When Chad tells a Soul Reaper captain that has little reason to regularly visit the human world that he's refusing the offer of a drink on the grounds that he's a minor, he's understood immediately.
  • Evasive Fight-Thread Episode:
    • The fights between Yamamoto, Ukitake, and Kyoraku and the one between Kenpachi and Komamura either never get past opening remarks or simply aren't shown. Komamura ends his fight early specifically in response to sensing the other one happening.
    • Kenpachi and Byakuya has been danced around in both the anime and manga briefly.
    • The Yamamoto/Ukitake/Kyoraku fight is rectified in the anime, where Yamamoto ends up fighting Reigei of the other two during the Gotei 13 Invading Army arc. It ends up being a pretty good fight.
  • Everything Fades: As a spirit, when you die, your body and clothing convert into reishi and you disappear. People vanishing while leaving their clothing is considered suspicious.
  • Every Japanese Sword Is a Katana: Somewhat averted. There are plenty of katana running around (as all zanpakuto start out as katana before adapting other traits), but there's also other kinds.
    • Ichigo's sword appears to be based heavily off of a Pesh-kabz or 'Khyber Knife', only of course stupidly big. His bankai is a daito.
    • Gin, for example, has a dagger that isn't a dagger if you consider the physics of it. It's expands and contracts at will.
    • Kyouraku has a tachi and a wakazashi. Tachi were what the Japanese used as longswords before katanas were invented, and Kyoraku has probably had his Zanpaktou since long before then.
    • Ikkaku looks like he has a katana, but it actually becomes a staff... except it's not a staff, it's actually a three-section staff. His bankai is a bizarrely oversized guan-dao/monk's spade combination.
    • Yumichika looks like he has a katana. Then it splits into a single-baded sickle sword that looks like a khopesh. Then it splits into a four-bladed sickle-sword. His shikai, however, doesn't have a blade at all. It's a mass of vines.
    • Ginjou uses a western two-handed sword.
  • Evil Costume Switch: Chapter 537 ends with the reveal that Uryuu is at the Vandenreich headquarters sporting a natty new Vandenreich uniform.
  • Evil Counterpart: Many characters, of different races and factions, possess this.
    • The Espada and the Stern Ritter are both Evil Counterparts to the Gotei 13. They're all basically squad leaders, with the Gotei Captains leading an organized company of disciplined soldiers while the Espada lead only a group of hand-picked lieutenants and the Stern Ritter merely having extra pull in an otherwise standardized army. The Espada are an "army" in name only with each individual member basically being in competition with the others. The Stern Ritter swing to the other extreme and are an army whose leader hates conflict and they are all expected to play their individual parts without question.
    • Aizen is this to Urahara Kisuke, with both playing the part of Big Bad and Big Good, respectively, during the first half of the manga. Both are super geniuses far ahead of their time, but while Aizen sees this as an excuse to proclaim himself The Unfettered, Urahara instead tries to remain subordinate to some form of morality.
    • Grimmjow is an Evil Counterpart to Ichigo, and represents what Ichigo could have become if he cared more about fighting than protecting.
    • Starrk is this to Kyoraku Shunsui, with both men being far more laidback than their comrades. The difference is that Starrk is poorly disciplined and his resolve tends to unravel easily. Shunsui, on the other hand, is a Combat Pragmatist and is more than willing to put his feelings or ethics aside to get the job done.
    • Zaraki Kenpachi and Nnoitra are both Blood Knights, but Kenpachi merely enjoys the sensation of fighting a strong opponent, and will do everything in his power to keep a fight even and going as long as possible. Nnoitra, on the other hand, simply likes to kill and crush everything in his path. He will take any easy or unfair option if it's available and only likes an even fight for as long as it amuses him. If the stalemate drags on too long, however, he will become unhinged and try to kill his opponent by any means necessary.
    • Szayelaporro Granz is the more evil counterpart to Mayuri Kurotsuchi. Both of them are mad scientists that enjoy spying on their enemies. However, whereas Mayuri Kurotsuchi is mainly played for laughs and does what he does For Science!, Szayelaporro Granz is played for horror and does what he does out of sadism. In addition, only Granz wishes for perfection.
    • Riruka is the counterpart to Rukia. Both have a love of cute things and a fondness for Ichigo. Riruka's interest in Ichigo, however, doesn't got far beyond basic lust, and she's perfectly fine with selling him out for the sake of power that sets her apart from other humans. Rukia, on the other hand, would protect Ichigo with her life.
    • Yukio and Toshiro Hitsugaya are both young boys with power beyond their age, and both maintain a cold and distant attitude to everything around them. Yukio, however, truly is completely apathetic, while Hitsugaya is merely reserved but cares a great deal about the people around him.
    • Tsukishima is the Evil Counterpart to Byakuya Kuchiki, both maintaining a detached, smug sense of superiority and extremely arrogant means of speaking to an opponent. Byakuya, however, has an extremely deep sense of duty to go along with all of that pride, and it's that sense of duty that allowed him to "betray" Tsukishima after being hit by his Mind Manipulation powers and win their fight.
    • Ginjo is another example of what Ichigo could have become. In his case, he demonstrates what Ichigo might have been if their situations had been reversed. One of his dying thoughts even lampshades this, as he wonders if their lives had been reversed, would one have turned out like the other.
    • Yhwach is the Evil Counterpart to Genryuusai Shigekuni Yamamoto, the Captain Commander. Both are insanely powerful and strict leaders of their respective armies, and in the past, both were equally ruthless and amoral. However, Yamamoto found something worth protecting and thus mellowed out, while Yhwach has retained his cold, opportunistic pragmatism.
    • Yhwach refers to his hand-picked bodyguards which accompany him into the King's Realm as his "Zero Division", which is also the name of the Soul King's hand-picked bodyguards.
  • Evil Laugh: Multiple examples, including Hollow Ichigo, Espada #6 Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez, Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi, Espada #9 Aaroniero Arruruerie and Kageroza Inaba.
  • Evil vs. Evil: It is stated right out from the start that during the Soul Reaper versus Vandenreich war both sides are evil. Further emphasized during Mayuri and Giselle's duel, where both sides are completly amoral and using former shinigamis as their pawns to fight eachother. Both are very sick individuals, but even Giselle lampshades that Mayuri may be worse than her (though her statement is actually full of hypocrisy when you take into account her treatment of Bambietta):
    Mayuri: What I'd really like to know is... where is the fun in controlling someone that has no conscious thoughts?
    Giselle: Well, I'm not a sadist so I can't give you an answer to that question.
    • A more literal example is Aizen VS. Yhwach. Right from the get-go, Aizen refused Yhwach's offer to join the Vandenreich - even screwing him out of a potential early win. It goes even further near the end when Aizen outright takes on Yhwach head-to-head, and later teams up with Ichigo and Renji to take him down. Make no mistake: Aizen is a monster, and he'll never ever be one of the good guys, or even redeem himself, but no way will he allow yet another god to lord over him, his own pride be damned.
  • Evolving Weapon: The weapon continues to transform through each release stage. It can also undergo further tranformations as the Soul Reaper develops deeper bonds with it and better understands their own power and self.
  • Excalibur in the Rust: Most zanpakutou look utterly ordinary when sealed only revealing a special look when they release their powers. The two zanpakutou that exist in permanent shikai form also fit this trope. Ichigo's zanpakutou looks half-finished, missing both a hilt and a cross-guard. Several zanpakutou also look completely ordinary when released, as well, and it's only when the power activates that the true nature and incredible power of the weapons are revealed.
  • Excited Title! Two-Part Episode Name!: Only a few episode titles give two part episode titles that both contain exclamation marks. Examples include, Episode 18 ("Reclaim! The Power of the Shinigami!"), Episode 54 ("An Accomplished Oath! Get Back Rukia!"), or Episode 228 ("Summer! Sea! Swimsuit Festival!!").
  • Explaining Your Power to the Enemy: Happens very often. It's the default battle style for this story. Only one or two characters subvert it.
  • Exposition Diagram: Many, such as Rukia's drawings of rabbits and how Nel explains ranks among the Espada.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Aizen, of course. Also many different characters have different hairstyles in the present than they do in flashbacks.
  • Extranormal Institute: The Spiritual Arts Academy (nicknamed in-universe and in the fandom as the Shinigami Academy) trains people who possess spiritual power to become shinigami. It teaches four Shinigami Arts (Zanjutsu, Hakuda, Hohou and Kidou) to prepare students for one of three organisations, the Gotei 13, the Kidou Corps or the Stealth Force. The emphasis on meritocracy was lampshaded in universe when it was observed that only those with the best grades make it into these organisations, but that the best students often find themselves only "average" once into the organisation itself. Given the needs of the three organisations, the bizarre curriculum and unique threats the students are trained to handle, the Academy functions as a Superhero School, Military Academy, Wizarding School, Ninja School and Spy School all rolled into one. Students certainly don't find the education boring, and may not even make it out the other side alive!
  • Eyelid Pull Taunt
    • In anime episode 11, Tatsuki does it to Ichigo while they're facing school discipline and Keigo does it to Ichigo after calling him a nerd.
    • In anime episode 337, a cartoon image of Captain Mayuri appears on the screen and does this to Kisuke Urahara each time Urahara fails to guess the Squad 12 computer system's password.

  • Faceless Goons: The Exequias, The Soldat.
  • Failed a Spot Check:
    • During the Soul Society arc, Kenpachi takes Yachiru, Ikkaku, Yumichika, Aramaki, and Orihime and breaks Chad, Uryuu, and Ganju out of the Fourth Division prison and go in search of Ichigo. While travelling through the labyrinthine streets, the group ends up arguing about the amount of times they run into dead-ends and get lost. The only person who realises they're being followed by two captains and two vice-captains who are hiding their reiatsu is Yumichika. When Yumichika warns Kenpachi, Kenpachi acknowledges that he can sense them, too. Everyone else in the group, however, is completely oblivious until the four reveal themselves.
    • During the Bount Arc, Vice-captains Hisagi, Kira, Rangiku and Fifth-Seat Yumichika are sent after the Bount. Outside the hide-away caves, the vice-captains catch Yumichika admiring himself in his mirror and chastise him for dropping his guard. However, the anime shows the audience that Yumichika had both noticed the vice-captains approaching him via his mirror and that he's the only one who realised the Bount had already detected the group's arrival. Once inside the caves, the group examine many strangely designed pillars but Yumichika keeps looking off in a completely different direction to the others. When they're suddenly attacked from behind, Yumichika saves them all by blocking the strike. He then chastises them for having been so unobservant they'd never noticed the danger he'd been aware of all along.
    • In the manga, when Hitsugaya's Advance Guard split up to find different locations to sleep in, the only one who notices the unusual hollow reiatsu that heralds the arrival of Grimmjow's group is Yumichika. He tries to warn Ikkaku who tells him to ignore it, but he still thinks the situation is far too strange. When Grimmjow's assault begins, a panel is shown of all the Soul Reaper reactions, and the only one not surprised is Yumichika.
  • Fake Memories: Used by Soul Reapers for covering up spiritual activity in the World of the Living. Rukia is particularly trigger-happy with the device that does it. The Soul Reaper has no control over the replacement memories the target ends up with, resulting in sometimes outlandish results. Ichigo's family thinks everyone slept through a lorry crashing into the side of their house to explain the devastation caused by a Hollow attack that almost killed them; Orihime's bizarre tale for the devastation a Hollow attack causes to her house, is only accepted by everyone because Orihime's fantastic imagination is infamous. Orihime, however, turns out to be immune to the device because she possesses spiritual power.
  • Family Business:
    • The Kurosaki Clinic was set up in Masaki's name and while Isshin works as a doctor in the clinic, both of his daughters function as nurses during busy periods to help him out. According to the Jet Artbook, Yuzu and Karin may potentially be the ones to take over the clinic (Isshin still runs it in the epilogue and Ichigo does not study medicine while he's at university, ruling him out).
    • At Ryuuken Ishida's hospital, Uryuu is shown to have followed his father's footsteps and become a doctor in the ten-year epilogue.
  • Family Theme Naming: Kubo's very fond of this.
    • Ichigo and his sisters have names that are homonyms (same sound, different characters) for fruit. (Ichigo=strawberry; Karin=quince; Yuzu=citron).
    • The Shiba siblings are all named after birds: Kaien=sea swallow; Kuukaku=sky crane; Ganju=rock eagle.
    • The Kuchiki clan have colour associations connected to their names. Ginrei (silver), Soujun (green/blue), Byakuya (white).
    • The Ishida clan practice a samurai custom of "bequeathing" a name character from father to son. Their names usually relate to their quincy heritage: Souken (soul/essence bow), Ryuuken (dragon/imperial bow). Uryuu (rain dragon) may be the Odd Name Out because of Ryuuken's rejection of the family heritage, or it may be a stealth reference to his signature attack Licht Regen ("Rain of Light").
    • The named Inoue members have celestial themes. Orihime (a celestial weaver maiden from the Tanabata legend) and Sora (the sky itself).
    • The Kotetsu sisters (Isane and Kiyone) have sound-themed names.
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence: Bleach is a battle manga with lots of completely normal shounen violence. That is, until As Nodt drops an Emotion Bomb on Byakuya Kuchiki in the most graphic and brutal defeat of the entire story. Byakuya is splattered into a wall, limbs ripped from his body and his entire torso shredded right open to the bone. Literally. His entire ribcage and spine is completely visible. The volume publication deliberately blurs the image compared to the original chapter publication to disguise the torso injury slightly. Apparently even the manga publisher felt that scene was a bit too graphic.
  • Fan Disservice: There are semi-naked muscular hunks flexing their muscles... and then there's Charlotte Cuulhorne. Note the very twisted use of Female Gaze which is lampshaded in the volume omakes. Kubo draws Yumichika wondering what the hell he's looking at and then deciding it's simply too horrific to even go near it with his sword.
  • Fan Fic: Many and varied.
  • Fanservice: This manga is full of it — affecting both female characters and male characters alike. Kubo does seem to be working his way through TV Tropes to see how many different kinds of fanservice he can insert.
  • Fastball Special: Chad and Rukia do this against Shrieker, the first Hollow Chad ever fights. Later during the Soul Society arc Ichigo does it to throw Rukia to safety.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Being the Soul King amounts to having all of your senses and your ability to speak robbed from you for all eternity.
  • Female Gaze: Kubo seems as willing to play with male characters in a manner female readers/characters will find sexy as he is to play with female characters in a manner male readers/characters will find sexy. (See trope page for examples.)
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: When triple-teaming Aizen, Isshin primarily uses his zanpaktou and attacks head on, Urahara focuses on kido and other tricks, and Yoruichi attempts to blindside him and attack when he wouldn't expect it.
  • Fighting Series: There's a lot of action in this story, especially since the main protagonist-based organisation is a military organisation. Characterisation and development usually also occurs during or as a direct result of combat.
  • Filler Villain: The Bount, Captain Amagai, Muramasa, Kageroza, Ouko Yushima.
  • Final Boss Preview: Basically, any time Ichigo jobs against someone he later beats, it's this. Byakuya was the first one, then Grimmjow, then Ulquiorra, then finally Aizen.
  • First-Name Basis:
    • Uryu is unusual among the Karakura High students in that not even Ichigo (who is massively informal with everyone) or Orihime (probably his closest friend) refer to him by his given name — he's always "Ishida-kun" or just "Ishida". This is indicative of his lone wolf social status and aloof personality. In the Soul Society arc, Uryu gets quite upset when Ganju, whom he doesn't know well or like, calls him by his given name. Uryu refers to his father by his given name, Ryuken, which is cold even by Western standards.
    • A young Soifon is initially hesitant to call Yoruichi by name, but later settles for "Yoruichi-sama" ("Lady Yoruichi" in the dub and "Ms. Yoruichi" in the English manga).
    • Ukitake calls everybody by their given names, including people he's only known briefly, like Ichigo. Except for Yamamoto, who is both his superior and his former teacher.
    • Hitsugaya hates when people call him by his given name. Momo is the sole person who can do it and get away with it.
    • At the end of the Soul Society arc, a wounded Byakuya asks Renji pathetically "Is [Ichigo] going to keep calling me by my given name?"
  • Flaw Exploitation: Savvy villains abound.
  • Flechette Storm
    • Byakuya's bankai Senbonzakura, which has millions of small blades that look like cherry blossoms.
    • Privaron Espada Cirucci Sanderwicci's released form, which includes two wings each with five half-moon shaped blades. She can fire the blades at an opponent, guide them in flight and make them return to her if they miss.
  • Flipping the Table: Lampshaded in the first chapter, where the table has a note posted on it saying 'Use for sight gags only'.
  • Floating Advice Reminder: Kenpachi, consulting imaginary squad members while fighting Tousen (and as it happens, it's Yumichika's advice he actually takes).
    Yachiru: Try swinging wildly!
    Kenpachi: I've been doing that.
    Ikkaku: Maybe it's like this? Try using your inner eye.
    Kenpachi: If I could do that, he'd be dog meat by now.
    Yumichika: If it were me, I'd give up. Elegantly.
    Kenpachi: Die.
  • Flower Motifs: Each of the 13 divisions gets a flower insignia which corresponds to the division's values or attitude. It is displayed with a division number on the lieutenant badge. Several zanpakutou also have flower themes running through them. See trope page for more detail.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: In anime episode 14, Ichigo does this to a group of hollows while going to Uryu's aid.
  • The Force Is Strong with This One: Anyone with spiritual awareness can sense the power in other beings with spiritual awareness. As a result, it's common for Soul Reapers, hollows or humans with spiritual awareness to comment on just how much power they can feel in another as a way of conveying power levels.
  • Foregone Conclusion: The "Turn Back the Pendulum" and "Everything But the Rain" arcs. In "Pendulum", we know that Kisuke ends up exiled to Earth and who ends up going with him: the suspense is in the details. In "Rain", we know Isshin and Masaki will end up together and Ryuuken will forsake the Quincy Clan... the mystery is how it gets there.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • At the beginning of the manga, one of Ichigo's earliest cases is protecting Orihime from her hollowified big brother. He reveals his belief that the reason a big brother is born first is to protect the younger siblings that follow. This foreshadows his climactic battle with Byakuya and the debate they have during that fight over why Byakuya isn't protecting his sister.
    • When Shinji's first introduced to the manga, he's seen in the background hanging upside down in the air while drinking a bottle of water as if he was the right side up. When he introduces himself to Ichigo's class, he writes his name backwards and admits he's very good at doing that. More than 200 chapters later, we learn this his zanpakutou's power is the ability to flip the perception of its targets so all directions are reversed.
    • After Grand Fisher is beaten early in the manga, he is shown being healed and put back together as a more humanoid Hollow. Two arcs later, we learn that he was turned into an Arrancar.
    • After being subdued, Ichigo's Inner Hollow warns Ichigo that if he slips up he'll take over completely. When Ulquiorra brings Ichigo to the verge of death, the Inner Hollow consumes Ichigo completely.
    • Remember when Uryu told Ice Ringer that Aizen should not fear the Soul Reapers, but the Quincy? And Cirucci's snide remark about how the Quincy were "a sad group of people who were destroyed by the Soul Reapers"? Take one guess as to which group conquered Hueco Mundo eighteen months after Aizen's defeat and then invaded the Soul Society?
    • Ginjou describes all Fullbringers as someone whose parents were attacked by a Hollow before they were born, thus giving them "a little Hollow in them". In the next arc, we learn that this is true of Ichigo too, courtesy of a prototype Arrancar that attacked his mother, Masaki, before he was ever even conceived.
    • Ichigo's true heritage and the truth about Zangetsu were foreshadowed several times. The Shattered Shaft manifested Shinigami and Hollow forms equally; Zangetsu stopping Ichigo's blood loss against Kenpachi was Quincy "Blut" power; the inner Hollow stated that he was Zangetsu; the inner Hollow stated he and Zangetsu were originally one being and the reader sees Zangetsu absorbing the Inner Hollow; Ichigo's Fullbring's initial form is the shape of his Bankai's hand guard and fires attacks in the same shape as the Quincy Cross, and while it was stated to draw on his Hollow power its final form synchronizes with his Soul Reaper abilities. Even reveals that all Soul Reapers are given an Asauchi on which to imprint their Zanpakutou, with the exception of Zaraki and Tousen, who took the Asauchi of other Soul Reapers to use set up the reveal that Ichigo never having been given an Asauchi meant that his original "Zanpakutou" was driven by his Old Man inner spirit hiding the truth about his identity and Ichigo's power.
  • Four Is Death:
    • Espada #4, Ulquiorra has come the closest of anyone to killing Ichigo. Additionally, his general appearance is pretty morbid, especially after using Resurrección. He is also the only Arrancar to have mastered his 2nd-level Resurrección.
    • The Fourth squad are the healers. As a military unit, they're also expected to fight when necessary, so they're trained to both heal and kill thus giving them — on a symbolic level — the most control over life and death of any squad in the Gotei 13. They're also treated poorly by the entire Gotei 13 and reduced to doing menial and public hygiene work as a result. The 11th division in particular treat them badly.Ironically played straight with Retsu Unohana, the captain of the division. Though introduced as the strongest healer, she is eventually revealed to be Yachiru Unohana, the deadliest and most notorious killer of the Soul Society, as well as the 1st Kenpachi and founder of the 11th Division.
    • In the 11th division, there is a captain, a vice-captain, a third seat and a fifth seat. Yumichika wanted the third seat, but upon realizing Ikkaku wanted it he was content to let Ikkaku take it instead. He settled for fifth seat because the kanji is almost as pretty as the kanji for three, but he utterly refuses to take the fourth seat because he hates the number and thinks the kanji is ugly. As a result, the fourth seat stays empty.
    • In the final arc, the 3rd division gathers to confront the invaders. The highest seats below the captain gather together: the lieutenant, third seat, fifth seat and sixth seat. The 3rd division's War Is Hell philosophy is the complete opposite of the 11th division's Blood Knight philosophy, but it seems they have the lack of a fourth seat in common.
    • Chapter 444 was arguably Ichigo's own personal Darkest Hour, where it shows that being a badass does not equal having the mental fortitude to handle a World Gone Mad (and he doesn't even realize the full extent of it until several chapters later). He finally comes face-to-face with Tsukishima in a confrontation that turns everyone against him, from Ikumi and Keigo to Mizuiro and Tatsuki; even his sisters side with Tsukishima due to Retconjuration. Even the Fullbringers end up against him, with Ginjo as the only one on his side — and several chapters later, we learn that it wasn't genuine.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Up until now, the audience/readers have never been able to see through Aizen's illusions (which, as of Chapter 391-392, seems to include his mental monologue as well), even when they are supposedly viewing the unfolding scenes/events from an "omniscient narrator" perspective; yes, that's right, his Complete Hypnosis apparently transcends the fourth wall.
  • Friendly Tickle Torture: In one episode, Orihime has invited Rangiku Matsumoto over as a guest, as she's bathing Orihime tells her about what had recently happened to her and she begins to cry. Rangiku then gets out of the tub and starts tickling her in an attempt to cheer her up.
  • From Bad to Worse: Several times throughout the series. The most striking example is Chapter 390, also known as Chapter Aizen-Kicks-The-Shit-Out-Of-Everybody. After the Hope Spot that was Chapter 391, it gets... rather malicious. Generally, any time Chad goes down. Kubo uses his defeat as a turning point in both the Soul Society Arc and the Hueco Mundo Arc. After Chapter 511, pretty much everything for the Soul Society and Ichigo went from bad to worse.
  • Fun with Foreign Languages: In the anime's Japanese dub at least, the Soul Reapers tend to have Japanese names and use Japanese for the names of their techniques and Soul Society's architecture and clothing is very like that from Feudal Japan. The Hollow's techniques use Gratuitous Spanish and the Arrancar tend to have names that are inspired by Spanish artists. The Quincy use Gratuitous German for most of their techniques, though the Quincys we've seen that have been named were all Japanese and thus have Japanese names, Subverted with the Vandenreich Quincy, who all have mangled foreign-sounding names.
  • Funbag Airbag: Hitsugaya and Rangiku's first meeting involves this happening.
  • Functional Magic: Rule Magic variety, called kidou (lit. "the demon way"), Quincies have their own variation of this that uses German spell-calls.
  • Fundoshi:
  • Furo Scene: Rangiku at Orihime's house, complete with Censor Steam.

  • Gadgeteer Genius: Each member of the Royal Guard was chosen in part because they developed some special device or technique that is fundamental to the Soul Society. Ichibei gave everything in Soul Society its true name, Kirinji developed the healing arts used by Squad 4, Kirio developed the reishi transference technique at the heart of Soul Candy, and Nimaiya created the zanpakuto.
  • Gag Boobs: Happens a lot in this manga. See trope page for some examples.
  • Gag Dub: The fourth film has a particular reputation for producing gag dubs.
  • Gainaxing: See trope page for examples.
  • Gambit Roulette:
    • Any of Aizen Sousuke's masterful schemes. The Soul Society arc was one elaborate plan to extract the Hougyoku from Rukia's soul, involving killing and impersonating Central 46, using Ichigo and friends as a distraction, faking his death, and throwing the Seireitei into civil war. If things don't go quite as planned, the plans change; Brute-forcing a quick fix is an option, too.
    • It's now been revealed that he knew that Ichigo was the son of a captain level Soul Reaper from the start, and that basically the entire series was Aizen carefully modulating the Sorting Algorithm of Evil to ensure Ichigo is ready for whatever Aizen needs him for. You didn't read wrong; every fight Ichigo's been in from the start, including the one where he became a Soul Reaper in the first place, was all according to Aizen's master plan. However, Ichigo doubts that Aizen could've done all this, and the series leaves it ambiguous if he was telling the truth or just trying to mess with Ichigo.
    • Urahara also deserves mention. It has been revealed that his plans are almost as complicated as Aizen's. They are not quite as unbelievable since you see him making sure it all works properly. But still, the fact that his plan was what ultimately defeated Aizen makes him quite a master of these.
  • Gas Mask, Longcoat: The Soldat include a longcoat in their uniform as well as the gas masks that completely hide their faces.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: The Soldats function as a faceless army only when called in by the established Quincy characters of the story.
  • Gate Guardian: The Seireitei, the center of power within the Soul Society has four gatekeepers, one for each of its gates: Jidanbo (West), Higonyudo (South), Danzomaru (North), and Kaiwan (East). Jidanbo is a giant who is a renowned fighter, but his massive girth is necessary to open the gate, which only responds to physical force and resists spirit energy.
  • Gender Misdirection: the heroes talk about the rumored Kuukaku Shiba as a guy until they discover, err, proof of the contrary.
    • Yoruichi's voice in cat form sounds male, leading to Ichigo being quite surprised at the transformation.
  • Gentlemen Rankers: Rukia Kuchiki is described as powerful enough to be a lieutenant (the third-highest officer rank in the military), but is basically an unranked foot soldier. We later find out that this is because her big brother, trying to protect her, used his influence to keep her from being promoted. Near the end of the series, however, she's finally promoted to lieutenant.
  • Geo Effects: Hollows and Arrancar are much more powerful when fighting in Hueco Mundo because there is a much higher concentration of spirit energy in the air than in the real world. This also applies to Quincies and Soul Reapers as well.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!
    • Shino pulls a comical one on Ryūnosuke Yuki due to his lack of faith in his abilities to take on the job as Karakura Town's Soul Reaper protector. Pity he was right.
    • Anime episode 334. After Nozomi rescues Kon from Kagerosa Inaba, he gets over-emotional and goes crazy hugging her. She slaps him twice across the face to bring him out of it.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: The hollow summoned by the kemari game in anime episode #205.
  • Giant Mook: The Gillians. Fura is a Giant Mook turned Up to Eleven.
  • Giant Poofy Sleeves: Orihime's Hueco Mundo costume and Cirucci Sanderwicci's.
  • Giving Up the Ghost: Kon gives his up quite frequently, usually after receiving abuse from Rukia or Ichigo. He usually deserves it though.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: There are plenty of examples throughout the manga of this (See Page for detailed examples).
  • Godzilla Threshold
    • In the first film, a group of exiles are preparing to crash a smaller dimension into the Soul Society, destroying both it and Earth. To prevent this, Yamamoto orders the whole thing blown up. However, Ichigo has gone into the dimension to save his new friend and hopefully stop the villain's plan in the process. Rukia barges into a captain's meeting and begs Yamamoto to send in back up. Yamamoto points out that while Ichigo is powerful, they only have an hour to fix things, and they have no guarantee that a squad of Soul Reapers can get in and get out before the dimension hits. Though when most of the captains and lieutenants go anyway, he waits until the last minute before giving the order to fire.
    • Defied with Kenpachi who only likes to meet force with an appropriate amount of force. He's unconsciously shackled his power to ensure he can meet a Worthy Opponent that can give him the thrill of feeling fear in battle without overpowering and killing them (thus leaving him bereft of enjoyment). Otherwise, he'd be so powerful that even the strongest Kenpachi in Gotei 13 history would have been unable to defeat him when he was a mere child.
  • Gold-Colored Superiority: Don Kanouji seizes gold for his Sentai color after the rest of the team spends an entire episode arguing over who gets to be red. They eventually settled on two reds in addition to his gold.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: Aizen of all people relies on this trope. At the end of the Soul Society arc, he's set up a situation whereby he can call on the Negaccion power of Menos Grande to escape from Soul Society. Later on, he calls in this same being (Fuura) to destroy Yamamoto's fiery cage which is cutting him off from the fake Karakura Town battle.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: The Bount came into existence from an accident during an experiment into eternal life.
  • Gonk: Tite Kubo has a particular talent for creating some truly ridiculous looking characters.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: Goes with the typical Japanese color scheme for good and evil, with the Soul Reaper good guys wearing black uniforms with white trimmings and the Arrancar army (including the treacherous Soul Reapers) wearing white uniforms with black trimmings. This Soul Reaper-versus-hollow color scheme extends to Ichigo's inner world where he retains his black Soul Reaper uniform and his inner hollow is an inverted (white) version of himself, akin to the Arrancar color scheme.
  • Good Hair, Evil Hair:
    • Aizen slicks his hair back when he discards his Clark Kent disguise.
    • Mullets are a sign of great evil in Bleach. Just look at Grimmjow's released form and Ichigo's über-hollow form.
    • And now, Aizen's new form... Thing. Really the only apparent differences are his eyes and white trash hair-style.
  • Good Is Not Nice:
    • Mayuri is a Mad Scientist who captures people for experimentation and turns his own men into living bombs. Mayuri is only a very liberal definition of good (i.e. "He kills bad guys.")
    • Kenpachi is a battle nut who got his captain seat by killing his predecessor. Like Mayuri, his definition of good is very liberal.
    • Basically the whole Soul Reaper organization; while about half are actually pretty decent individuals, most have very little qualms about performing very questionably ethical or even downright ruthless acts if it benefits their self-imposed goals.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: The more powerful a character is, the better their ability to heal is. As a result, captains, vice-captains, Vizards and other powerful characters can survive wounds that would kill weaker characters. Even when they need extra help in healing, they heal fast.
    • A mock-arrancar displays an instant regeneration ability. Uryuu can't fight it but his father defeats it in two shots.
    • Ichigo's ability develops throughout the story as he becomes more and more powerful. It's related to the increasing strength of his hollow powers.
    • Ulquiorra tells Ichigo that he is the only Espada who did not sacrifice his regenerative abilities for extra power. It does not make him unkillable, however.
  • Gratuitous English:
    • Tite Kubo loves writing the chapter titles in Gratuitous English (although sometimes they'll be Gratuitous German or a few other languages instead). Sometimes, his chapter titles come across as goofy as a result ("Why Me Sad" is a classic).
    • Don Kanonji and his catch phrase "Spirits are always with you!" and "Smells like Bad Spirits!"
    • Charlotte Cuuhlhorne's attack names are not only this trope but gratuitous full stop.
    • Dordonii says "IT'S SHOWTIME!" when he powers up in the games.
    • Fullbringer powers are activated via Gratuitous English with the exception of Chad's which is activated via Gratuitous Spanish. Most of the powers also double as call outs to song titles.
    • Ouetsu Namiya enjoys making grandiose introductions and announcements in Gratuitous English and competes with Don Kanonji in doubling as a Large Ham while doing it.
  • Gratuitous German:
    • Ishida's attacks and weapons.
    • The Quincies in general. Most words pull double duty as "Blind Idiot" Translation.
    • Some of Kubo's chapter titles, especially when the chapter is about quincies.
    • The anime jumped on board with the Bount Arc as well.
  • Gratuitous Spanish:
    • Spanish names for Hollow-related things. They're not incredibly bad, but they leave much to be desired. Special prize goes to Dordonii who uses actual Spanish words when he talks(calling Ichigo Niño(boy) and Nel bebé(baby)).
    • Chad's power is activated via this trope as well.
  • Great Offscreen War: There is a millenium-long history of conflict between the Soul Reapers and the Quincies, and while much of that time may have been cold war, there have also been at least three periods of active fighting: Yhwach's original war against Yamamoto 1000 years ago (which resulted in the creation of the Gotei 13), the ethnic cleansing carried out by the Soul Reapers 200 years ago, and the present invasion of Soul Society. We know very little about the events of the first two wars but they have major consequences within the story.
  • Green Lantern Ring: The Hougyouku's power is to fulfill the deepest desire of the hearts around it. It created the Vizards because that's what Urahara wanted. It created Arrancar because the Hollows wanted to be Arrancar. It also released Orihime and Chad their powers because they cursed their powerlessness from the bottom of their hearts. The limit on the Hougyouku's power is that the wish has to already be within the target's potential.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body:
    • Chapter 351 — Uber-Hollow Ichigo rips Ulquiorra's arm off and throws it at him.
    • In a manga-only sequence, Grimmjow rips Loly's leg off and beats her over the head with it.
  • The Grim Reaper: The Soul Reapers are guides of the dead. When humans die, Soul Reapers perform Soul Burial on their spirits to help them reach the Soul Society. If a human spirit becomes a Hollow, a Soul Reaper cleanses the corruption from their soul which sends them to Soul Society. When the Soul Reapers fight their Evil Counterpart adversaries, the Espada leader Barragan transforms into a robed skeleton whose very breath and presence kills everything around him, even rotting the ground he walks on. He regards himself as the God of Death and compares his power directly to the more spiritual role of the Soul Reapers.
  • Groin Attack: This happens often. It's usually used for punishment or ally-versus-ally violence or for comedy rather than in true fights, although it's not unheard of in actual battle either. Examples include Nel doing it to Ichigo when he accidentally indicates Orihime is heavy, when Oomaeda blocks his captain's punch to the face, she punches him in the groin instead, and Vice-captain Hiyori once kicked Captain Urahara in the groin but came off the worst because whatever she kicked wasn't his nads but was something very hard and unyielding instead.
  • Growing Muscles Sequence: Ggio Vega and Poww both do this when they unleash their full power. Later on, fullbring forces a yakuza trapped inside a weaponised plushie to go through one of these.
  • Gut Punch: The Thousand Year Blood War arc is filled to the brim with these in quick succession, to show that Kubo really isn't pulling any punches for the final arc. Check out the actual page to see.


Example of: