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  • A Handful for an Eye: Gin throws wood splinters towards Hitsugaya to distract him, and Jirobo uses sand against Ishida. Ganju also has a smoke bomb with pepper added for this effect but he ends up blinding himself too when he uses it against Yumichika.
  • Handwraps of Awesome: This can be found in characters that are prone to using their fists. Ichigo has been known to wear them, and Shishigawara wears them all the time.
  • Happy Flashback: A lot of character flashbacks recall times when things were a simpler, more content time in their lives.
  • Harsherin Hindsight: In one of the Omakes Giriko Kutsuzawa tries to cover up an explosion to the police by pretending he's a newly widowed father to his comrade, Riruka. It's played for laughs, but it's later revealed that he genuinely is a widower. When he was learning to master his Fullbring power, he decided to test its limitations by killing his wife.
  • Haunted Fetter: When a person dies, they become a Plus, a ghost bound to their body by a length of chain coming from their chest called a "Chain of Fate". If the person has regrets about something when they die, the chain will become bound to that thing instead. They are then called Jiibakurei if the chain becomes attached to a place or a Tsukirei if it is to a person. If the Chain of Fate of a ghost is destroyed, they then become a Hollow.
  • Healing Spring: Urahara and Yoruichi's secret Seireitei training ground has one which was created by Urahara. Ichigo uses it to heal his wounds during his Bankai training. Some Hot Springs Episode hijinks ensue. It's later confirmed to have been Kirinji's invention when he uses it to heal Ichigo, Byakuya, Renji and Rukia. The original is much more complex and powerful than Urahara's version and can also be weaponised.
  • The Heartless: Hollows, both figuratively and literally.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Discussed at the end of the Soul Society arc. In the middle of the arc, the helmet Captain Komamura always wore is broken in battle by Captain Zaraki. He'd been trying to hide the shame of being an anthropomorphic wolf instead of human. However, once everyone learns the truth, they accept him on the grounds that wearing helmets make a person come across as untrustworthy whereas showing his face makes him seem honest and therefore reliable - good guys don't wear helmets, only people who are up to no good hide their faces.
  • Hero Antagonist: The Soul Reapers (not counting Aizen and co) in the first arc. From their perspective, they're trying to deliver punishment to a criminal and Ichigo and his team are an armed mob raiding the police station.
  • Heroism Motive Speech: Ichigo tells Ishida about losing his mother, and after seeing his father and sisters suffer as a result, not wanting anyone else to feel the same. He states that he can't save everyone, but wants to protect as many people as he can, which makes Ishida reflect on his grandfather's teachings and accept his offer to fight the Hollows together.
  • The Hero Doesn't Kill the Villainess:
    • In the Hueco Mundo arc, the Amazon Brigade quartet of female villains all survive. Their leader, Halibel, is defeated by the Big Bad during a You Have Outlived Your Usefulness moment, and not the heroes.
    • In the Lost Shinigami arc, the female members of X-Cution (Jackie Tristan and Riruka Dokugamine), are one of only three to survive, along with another member who is a small child.
  • Hero Secret Service: Anime episodes 292-293, 296-297, 300-301. Several Soul Reaper captains and Vizards form a bodyguard for Ichigo to prevent Aizen from showing Ichigo his shikai and rendering him helpless through Mind Control.
  • Hidden Villain: Kubo likes using this trope a lot. If someone is introduced as the villain, the chances are they're a front for someone else who has yet to be unmasked.
  • High-Pressure Blood: Everyone manages to lose incredible amounts of blood without dying. It's even used for comedy in the anime, such as Hisagi's nosebleed in Episode 303.
  • Honor Before Reason: A major character point for almost all battles. Everyone puts some kind of personal philosophy on the line when they fight and the rules they follow in a fight conform to that philosophy. For many characters, it's better to die than be dishonoured, so it's common to see characters refuse to take a practical option in battle if it would conflict with, or betray, their personal ideals. Winning is not as important to many characters as how they achieve that victory.
    • Ichigo will not tolerate his inner Hollow making a fight unfair for his opponent. While under its influence, Ichigo inflicts serious injuries upon Byakuya; when he regains control, he sincerely apologies and asks to reset the fight. When his inner Hollow takes full control while fighting Ulquiorra, Ichigo later insists on receiving the same injuries to make the fight fair, even though it involves losing an arm and a leg.
    • Ukitake teaches an old-fashioned philosophy that there are two different kinds of fights; fighting for either one's life or one's pride. Kaien's final fight is a battle for the pride of himself and his murdered wife, so Ukitake does not help him and prevents Rukia from intervening. Only when Kaien is possessed by his Hollow opponent, putting his life at stake, does Ukitake finally act. Unfortunately, Kaien's life cannot be saved.
    • Having been taught by Ukitake, Rukia also believes in this philosophy. When Ichigo fights the Grand Fisher, she refuses to intervene, understanding that Ichigo is fighting for the pride of himself and his murdered mother.
    • The 11th division philosophy is anti-Kido; even Kido-type weapons are not tolerated. Yumichika is therefore hiding his Kido abilities, and his Kido-type Zanpakutou. He fakes a Shikai release and fights on sheer willpower alone. He's willing to die rather than be seen to betray his division's philosophy.
    • Ikkaku wants to die fighting under the command of Kenpachi Zaraki. Bankai achievement puts a Soul Reaper on the road to becoming a captain, so Ikkaku hides his Bankai. It's the only way he can guarantee he can remain in Zaraki's division. He even throws a fight against Aizen's forces to avoid activating Bankai in front of the 13 Court Guards.
  • Hopeless War: When you think about it, this is essentially what the Soul Reapers are involved in. Hollows are born from the very humans they are sworn to protect. It is a war they cannot ever possibly win...
  • Horror Hunger: When souls become Hollows, they are driven by an eternal and insatiable hunger to devour other souls, living or dead. However, when the void within an ordinary hollow's heart becomes so much that human souls are incapable of sustaining it, the hollows are driven to cannibalize other hollows. This usually results in them evolving into much stronger hollows.
  • Hour of Power:
    • All the Visoreds have time limits for their masks. Two are confirmed to be able to hold it for three minutes although it's implied this is the approximate time limit for all the Visoreds with the exception of Mashiro who can hold her mask for 15 hours. They trained Ichigo to be able to hold his mask for 11 seconds. Protecting Orihime and Nel from Grimmjow is what allowed Ichigo to break the 11 second barrier and develop the ability to use the mask indefinitely. He's the only Visored who was capable of out-growing this trope.
    • Prior to the time-skip, Hitsugaya's bankai could only be maintained for a set period of time before dissipating. His bankai activated with three four-petal ice-flowers that hovered behind him. As time passed, the petals disintegrated, one at a time like a clock ticking down. When the last petal shattered, his bankai disappeared. This was explained as his power being youthful and immature so he wasn't fighting with a completed bankai. It turns out to be slightly different: the flowers represent a count down until his bankai reaches full maturity. Prior to mastering it, he assumed that his power being immmature he was unable to sustain it after the flowers melted
    • In the Final Arc, the first Vandenreich assault on Seireitei takes place in a matter of minutes — very very deadly minutes, to be sure, but not all that many of them. The Quincies are operating on a strict schedule because they can only spend a brief time outside of their shadow realm before it drags them back in. In the second assault, Yhwach solves this problem by reversing the fields of battle: dragging the Soul Reapers into the shadow realm.
  • How We Got Here: The "Everything but the Rain" arc starts with a glimpse of a pivotal scene from the middle of the story (Masaki introducing herself to Isshin as a Quincy) and then rewinds several hours to show what lead up to it.
  • Human Hammer-Throw: Anime episode 326. While Kenpachi Zaraki is fighting Reigei!Soi Fon's men in the forest, he grabs one of them by the arm, spins around and throws him into the trees.
  • Hybrid Power
    • Ichigo is the offspring of a human and a Soul Reaper. Thanks to the quirks of his parentage, he therefore possesses all the known power types of the story. Ginjou does claim Ichigo is not the first human/Soul Reaper offspring to exist. His mother was a Quincy whose soul was affected forever by one of Aizen's hollow experiments, and to save her life, his father underwent a procedure to change him from a pure Soul Reaper into a Soul Reaper/human hybrid. As such, Ichigo was born with Quincy, hollow, human (fullbringer) and Soul Reaper power, all of which have awakened at different speeds throughout the story.
    • When a person survives a hollow attack, they are left with a residual taint of the hollow's powers in their body. This is then passed on to an unborn child via the mother. The child is permanently affected by this, resulting in the birth of a fullbringer: a human being with hollow-originated powers and the ability to manipulate the souls of matter (whether living or inanimate) to achieve all sorts of power effects and outcomes.

  • I Am Your Opponent: This is usually said by any character who wants to butt into someone else's fight or who feels their opponent is focusing too much attention on someone other than themselves.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: Shortly after joining the Vandenreich, Yhwach presents him a cup to drink for the Schrift-bestowing ritual. When Haschwalth later explains that his soul has been engraved by drinking Yhwach’s blood, Uryu’s look of shock and regret doesn’t slip by him.
  • Identical Panel Gag: Used on occasions, notably when Kon points out Ichigo has no way to become a Soul Reaper, or when Chad and Inoue meet Hiyori and Shinji.
  • Idiot Ball: Several examples, see Trope page for further information.
  • Image Song: Boy howdy. Important characters with voice actors who can carry a tune get two or three each.
  • Important Hair Cut: Several examples in the story. Played with, played straight and inverted. See trope page for detail.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: Almost any zanpakutou, being it Soul Reaper or Arrancar, releases from a normal sword into something that defies logic but which is often incredibly cool. It's lampshaded in the story when Byakuya points out to Renji that bankai defies the logic of what a sword is about and as such its power is incredibly hard to master.
  • Improbable Use of a Weapon: A couple of quincies have shown they can fire bows with less hands than a bow really requires. Ryuuken's default choice is a two-foot bow that he fires with his left hand. When forced to, Yhwach can produce a gigantic bow in the sky that is fired without any hands at all. Masaki was capable of shrinking her bow down to such a tiny size it could be nestled between her fingers and thumb, but used normal sized bows with two hands. The difference between Ryuuken, Yhwach and Masaki is that Ryuuken is the only one whose bow looks solid instead of energy.
  • Indy Escape: There's a giant rolling boulder during the Arrancar Arc, but Chad smashes it. There's also a Lampshading in anime episode 287.
  • Indy Hat Roll: In anime episode 263 the zanpakuto spirits Senbonzakura & Zabimaru do this while trying to escape the Research Division building.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: Anime episode 21. After Ichigo defeats the giant Soul Reaper gate guard Jidanbō by destroying his axes, Jidanbō starts crying uncontrollably and lamenting their loss.
  • Inevitable Mutual Betrayal: Aizen predetermined that Ichimaru Gin would betray him when he joined up with him, nearly a hundred years ago. He was only concerned with how.
  • Infernal Fugitives: Togabito are a species of spiritual being who were humans that lived lives wrought with sin and evil and thus were sent to Hell to suffer eternal torment. While most Togabito had no way of escaping Hell, there have been some that have escaped. While loose in the living world, they would often try to conceal their bodies as much as possible to stay unnoticed by the kushanada that warden them.
  • Instant Cosplay Surprise: This happens to Ichigo in one of the New Year specials. He's roped into helping Komamura and Unohana make a film about a humanoid dog hero that saves lives, only to find himself forced to wear a badly designed dog costume. He's not amused.
  • Instant Expert: Ichigo has an obscenely steep learning curve whenever he's in battle or life-or-death training.
    • After a single 240-hour session of Training from Hell fighting Urahara, Ichigo has apparently become skilled enough to fight Soul Reapers who have been fighting and training for centuries. Every single fight he then has with Soul Reapers increases his power to take on the next level of opponent until he's finally strong enough to survive a fight with Zaraki. Three days of Training from Hell and some Heroic Resolve is enough for Ichigo to learn a technique that usually takes Soul Reapers decades to achieve. This permits him to finally defeat Byakuya.
    • Training with the Visoreds for a month gives Ichigo a mask he can control for 11 seconds. When he goes to Hueco Mundo to rescue Orihime, each fight gives him more control over his mask until he's able to sustain it for as long as he wants, without any apparent time limits. He only stops using it in battle when it's broken, but he quickly masters how to reform it in mid-fight. The constant growth in power permits him to eventually thrash opponents that were originally curb-stomping him. He spends only a few days in Hueco Mundo to achieve this growth.
  • Instant Sedation: Soul Reapers have developed three types of tranquilliser: Shinten, Gaten and Houten. Shinten is used on targets with weak spiritual pressure, whereas Gaten and Houten are reserved for much stronger opponents. Hanatarou uses Shinten to knock out the low-level guards imprisoning Rukia. Yoruichi uses either Gaten or Houten to knock out Ichigo when rescuing him from Byakuya. Kira uses Gaten to knock out an overly-emotional Yumichika during the battle for Karakura Town. All three drugs work instantly; however, they are fantasy drugs created for a fantasy setting and therefore work to whatever rules the author needs.
  • Internal Reveal:
    • The audience learns Isshin is a Soul Reaper in the same chapter Kon finds out. However, Ichigo doesn't learn the truth until hundreds of chapters later.
    • The audience learns why Uryuu couldn't join Ichigo's group in Hueco Mundo long before either the other Quincies or Ichigo's group find out what Uryuu's up to. The audience learns Uryuu's joined the Vandenreich when he's first presented to Yhwach. Several chapters later, this is revealed to the rest of the Quincies, and it takes many more chapters before Ichigo learns the truth.
  • Intimate Healing...?: What Mayuri does to heal Nemu after his battle with Szayel. Squicks the hell out of Uryu and Renji. Mayuri, however, insists that they must be perverts to think he's doing that.
  • Invisible to Normals: Ghosts, Hollows, Soul Reapers, and their (often oversized and glowy) weapons.
  • Inverse Dialogue Death Rule: Mooks usually get taken out with a sword slash and are forgotten, higher-level subordinate villains may get a few minutes to die, but every major character death is apparently contractually entitled to a half-to-whole-episode flashback either immediately before death or sometimes after it.
  • I Owe You My Life: In the anime, during the Soul Society arc Ichigo says that the reason he's trying to rescue Rukia is because she saved his life from the Hollow in the first episode. Also, Komamura Sajin to Yamamoto Genryuusai Shigekuni.
  • Ironic Echo: After Ichigo returned and started laying the smackdown on Aizen, he notes that Aizen is keeping his distance, Aizen having previous to Ichigo's Badass Level Taking asked Ichigo why he was keeping his distance.
  • It Always Rains at Funerals: In episode 255, after Muramasa's death it starts to rain. It also rains when Ichigo's mom dies, Kaien dies, and Homura and Shizuka die. It also rains in Chapter 511 when Yamamoto is killed.
  • It Was with You All Along: Every zanpakutou typically believes this of their master. According to Nimaiya, asauchi are potentially omnipotent, because they can do or become anything. However, once they are imprinted with a piece of a person's soul, they begin to take a more defined shape. A recurring theme is that a hero like Ichigo or Kenpachi will be defeated and have their spirit berate them for the loss, stating that their own flaws are what's holding them back and if said character somehow managed to overcome all of their flaws, they would be completely invincible. This is unlikely to happen, due to the fact that their flaws are specifically what gives the zanpakutou its form and identity, but it also means there's always room for improvement.

  • Japanese Spirit: Bleach is one of the purest examples of this trope in modern fiction, with Ichigo as the poster boy. Gifted with ungodly high reiatsu, guided by a superb moral compass, and persistent to never give up and risk everything to succeed.
    • One blatant example when this trope is used is during Ichigo's fight with Renji. He and Renji are evenly-matched physically, although Renji has the edge on him in experience. Then, Ichigo has a flashback to his training with Urahara, in which Urahara talks extensively about Resolve, and how you simply need to know your resolve will work. Instead of dodging and thinking "I don't want to be cut", when you dodge, you think "I will not be cut!" After Ichigo finds his Resolve, he defeats Renji with one strike.
    • Another example is during a training session against his inner hollow. The hollow berates Ichigo for trying to rely on logic to defeat his enemies and says that doesn't work.
    • Yet another example is when Yoruichi is training Ichigo to use Bankai (notice a pattern yet?). She tells us the page quote for Japanese Spirit, which succinctly tells us what Yamato-Damashii is, in a nutshell.
    • And last, when Gin and Aizen are walking through the Precipice World back to Soul Society, a Cleaner (a giant spiritual bullet train that destroys anything it touches) is seconds away from hitting them. When Aizen (in the first stage of his One-Winged Angel form) steps up to challenge the thing, Gin states that the Cleaner "belongs to the world of reason" and that spirit energy is useless to defeat it. Aizen calmly walks up to the Cleaner, states that "Reason is only for those who must rely on it to survive", and destroys the Cleaner effortlessly.
  • Just in Time: Too many to count. The show practically thrives off of this for battle turnarounds.

  • Kabuki Sounds: In the anime, the soundtrack is very fond of using kabuki sounds, especially for dramatic scenes and fighting music.
  • Kick the Dog: This manga is incredibly dog-unfriendly. Downright abusive, in fact. See trope page for the proof!
  • Kill It with Fire: Reserved only for captain-rank criminals who are bound them to the gallows on Soukyoku Hill, is execution via activating the Spear of Soukyoku, the most powerful zanpakutou ever created. It transforms into a huge firebird to incinerate the criminal's soul via purification fire. It's the only known non-Quincy method for destroying a soul. Given that destroying souls can disrupt the Balance of Souls, threatening existence itself, this execution method is only used in truly exceptional circumstances.
  • Kill the God: The Arrancar Arc ends with a mini-arc called Deicide which focuses on Aizen's obsession with reaching, and surpassing, the realm of divinity. However, his target (the Spirit King) is not regarded as a god by most of the characters; he's the king. This arc is about the defeat of Aizen, including the culmination of Gin's century-long quest for revenge, where he uses his Bankai, the God-Killing Spear, to try and kill Aizen (he fails). Like the Spirit King, Aizen is not a god; he's simply reached a level of power greater than most characters can comprehend.
  • Kill the Host Body: Episode #49 "Rukia's Nightmare". Rukia Kuchiki's lieutenant Kaien Shiba is possessed by a Hollow. When Captain Ukitake realizes that he can't save Kaien, he decides to kill his body. However, he starts spitting up blood and can't carry out his decision. The possessed Kaien attacks Rukia and she stabs him through the chest with her zanpakuto, killing him.
  • Klingon Promotion: One of the three acceptable methods of becoming a captain is to kill the current captain in front of 200 witnesses from that division. As a rule, however, only the 11th division has been known to practice this method of obtaining a captain's seat.
  • Kneel Before Zod: In their final battle, Ulquiorra's goal is to crush Ichigo's spirit. He curbstomps Ichigo after entering his released state, but decides to reveal his second release solely because he wants Ichigo to give up but Ichigo hasn't done so even though he's terrified of Ulquiorra's power.
    Ulquiorra: Kurosaki Ichigo, those are the words of a man ignorant of true despair. Allow me to educate you.
  • Knockback Slide: Happens in virtually every fight scene.
  • Knuckle Cracking: In anime episode #201, Kenpachi Zaraki does a neck crack during his fight with Nnoitra Gilga in Aizen's fortress of Las Noches in Hueco Mundo.