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Fanfic / A Protector's Pride

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A Protector's Pride is a Bleach For Want of a Nail Fan Fic by NeoRyu777. It is the most popular Fan Fic in the Bleach fandom.

The premise: Ichigo decides to handle his inner hollow like every other problem he faces: fighting it head on instead of running away. Things quickly snowball from a seemingly minor change. The story begins just before the Vizards approach him and covers canon up to Aizen's defeat. The remainder covers an original Hell arc.


The author began the story in April of 2009, and completed it in September of 2015.

This fic contains examples of the following tropes, in addition to those already present in the source material:

  • Achievements in Ignorance: Rukia manipulates ambient reishi for kido at one point and thinks nothing of it, until a worried Hitsugaya points out that is a quincy technique.
  • Action Girl: Unlike canon, Orihime takes a far more active role in defending Karakura.
  • Affably Evil: Hell seems to spend most of his time in combat complimenting his opponents when they impress him, such as with Hachi's barriers and Yamamoto's bankai.
  • A God Is You: Barragan invokes this on Orihime stating that her ability to reject the ravages of time are only done by gods, going so far as to call her "little Kami."
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Ichigo begs for Yamamoto's help after his mother is kidnapped.
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  • Alliterative Title
  • And the Adventure Continues: Ayumu is defeated, Hueco Mundo forms a tentative alliance with Soul Society, Masaki is given a proper home and protection in Soul Society, and Ichigo has finally made peace with his life. Then, Quincy activity is detected in Hueco Mundo and the heroes are informed about Yhwach's prophesied return, so they start taking steps to counter him.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Some of the togabito will ask an opponent to surrender and will apologize for what they have to do before fighting.
  • Armor of Invincibility: Hell has armor that can negate any attack he understands.
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    • Zangetsu asks Ichigo one when he fears becoming a monster if he embraces his inner hollow.
      Zangetsu: What makes a person a monster?
    • When Momo tries to defend Aizen's actions, Unohana stalls her with this:
      Unohana Retsu: If it had been anyone else, say, Kurotsuchi-taicho who had done such things, would you have argued against killing him for treason?
      Hinamori Momo: No... But Aizen had a higher purpose in mind.
      Unohana Retsu: Perhaps, but do the ends justify the means. Where is the limit, Hinamori-chan? Thousands of people? Millions? Billions? How many until it's worth it?
      Hinamori Momo: [falters and quietly whispers] I...I don't know.
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    • A lot of Asahi no Kagami's illusions ask these.
    • Chad gives Hell one:
      Sado "Chad" Yasutora: I channel that desire [to hurt others] into my left arm, and I've used it to protect others. What is better? To be born perfect, or overcome your flawed nature through great effort?
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: How hollows determine who's in charge.
  • The Assimilator: Ayumu can use the powers of any given soul trapped in Hell.
  • The Atoner: Many (if not most) souls in Hell.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Ichigo being able to use his hollow's zanpakuto in shikai along with his own is noted as increasing his attack power but decreasing his agility and preventing him from casting kido. In bankai, however, it compounds the normal effect—but is impractical in a different way. Twice the power and twice the speed is negated by the damage done to Ichigo's body and him not really being used to fighting while dual-wielding.
  • Awesome by Analysis: Uryu has this in spades, particularly in figuring out weaknesses in Tosen's and Zommari's attacks.
  • Awful Truth:
    • Hell's zanpakuto forces a person to face the "devastating, unadulterated truth" about themselves.
    • Quincy arrows don't erase souls from existence. They send people to Hell.
  • Back from the Dead: Zommari Leroux comes back as a togabito. Grimmjow was presumed dead, but it's revealed he actually ate a togabito and inherited its chains.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Orihime of all people gets one.
      Inoue Orihime: This is my power. You may be able to rot away flesh, bone and sinew. You may be able to decompose earth and metal and even dissipate reiatsu. But my technique is based on none of those, nothing but the eternal force of my will to protect! This is my power, Baraggan, Lord of Hueco Mundo! This power that intrudes on Kami's territory! The power to reject and reshape reality! And I reject you and your power! Tsubaki! Koten Zanshun! I reject!
    • Yamamoto gives a brilliant one to Hell.
      Yamamoto Genryusai: Allow me to tell you exactly whom you are dealing with. My name is Yamamoto Genryusai Shigekuni. I have lived for millennia, in times of war and in times of peace. I have made damning mistakes. I have won impossible victories. I have committed terrible atrocities, ordered and led utter genocide, not once, not twice, but thrice in the name of world balance, in the name of sanity, in the name of the human soul. I am he who conquered Soul Society and united the strongest under my rule! I am he who fought and survived the First Quincy, Yhwach, one thousand years ago, destroying his powers! I have had one thousand years since then to increase my powers, Hell! Now taste the ever-burning flame of my soul! Bankai! Zanka no Tachi. Now... can the fires of Hell compare to me?
    • Yamamoto gets another one the following chapter.
      Yamamoto Genryusai: Enough talk! No Togabito will distract me! No attack will faze me! No defense will stop me! I came here to end the threat you pose to all the worlds, and you will not escape me!
    • Yamamoto again, a few chapters later:
      Yamamoto Genryusai: I am the sōtaicho of the Gotei 13! There is no Shinigami stronger than I! What does it matter if you understand one technique? I have dozens, hundreds of techniques that I have mastered in the millennia I have lived! Your armor may have saved you from my flame, but do not presume to think you have defeated me! ... I may not succeed in sealing you, but I will keep you from getting to Kurosaki Ichigo. I will buy him the time he needs to tear your soul apart!
    • Urahara gets one in Chapter 79:
      Urahara Kisuke: Did you really think that after a hundred years of exile, I would not have a plan for how to counter Yamamoto? That I would not account for every possibility? I know his Shikai. I know his Bankai. I know every single one of his capabilities, and I have a plan to counter them all. This is why Aizen feared me so, why he never came after me directly until after he had the Hōgyoku in his grasp. He knew that if he did, I would kill him, because I always work out a counter to every power I am ever exposed to.
    • Ichigo gives a very dark one in Chapter 81 with a Slasher Smile on his face:
      Kurosaki Ichigo: Look me in the eyes, Ayumu. The fact that you breathe is an unforgivable affront to me after what you have done. So this is your punishment. You will die at my hands, again and again, until I am satisfied. When you revive, you are to return directly to me. For every minute you do not appear before me, I will use a Gran Rey Cero to tear your world, your soul apart. And when I get bored of that, I will seal you with a technique of my own making, one that will leave you in eternal agony. Then I will leave you buried alive in the deepest level of this world. Your existence will be nothing. Blind, alone, in endless torment with no one to hear your screams. Now die, Ayumu. Die, and return to me for more. [Slasher Smile widens] Or don't return to me. The Quincy thought for years they were destroying souls. It would be rather fitting for me to destroy yours, oh so slowly. Anyways, the choice is yours.
    • Ichibei gives one upon his introduction that is both a boast and a warning: "Do not speak my name casually lest you lose your voice."
  • Badass Creed: Ichigo uses one to bring out his Inner World.
  • Badass Family: The Kurosaki family all have amazing powers, except Yuzu. Actually, even Yuzu.
  • Batman Gambit: Hell fully expected Zen'i would try to convince Ichigo to reabsorb him. Then Ichigo would be vulnerable to Hell's chains again and made into a general in Hell's army.
  • Beach Episode: Ichigo and crew go on vacation to the beach after Aizen's dealt with. Sadly, the next crisis interrupts them.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension:
    • Ichigo has this to say when looking at Hiyori and Shinji's relationship.
      Kurosaki Ichigo: [to Rose] You know, it sounds like there's a lot of repressed sexual tension between them. Maybe that's why they fight—hoping for some good make-up sex?
      Sarugaki Hiyori and Hirako Shinji: [kick Ichigo in the face while showing a Luminescent Blush] Baka-Strawberry! It's not like that.
      Kurosaki Ichigo: So quick to deny and you reacted so well in unison. It's like you're in tune with each other. Is anyone else here seeing what I am?
      Yadomaru Lisa: [giggles] Hey Shinji. You wanna borrow my manga? Might give you some ideas.
      Hirako Shinji: No! I'm not into little whiny brats like her!
      Sarugaki Hiyori: Says the man who makes faces when he knows he's lost a verbal war!
      Kurosaki Ichigo: Definitely an old married couple. They know each other way too well, push each other's buttons too easily. If they really hated each other, one of them would have killed the other by now. It's been over a hundred years of living together, for crying out loud. Betcha anything they don't act like that with other people normally.
      Otoribashi "Rose" Rōjūrō: He's got a point.
      Sarugaki Hiyori: ROSE!
      Aikawa Love: What? You only get that pissed off at Shinji, and we all know Shinji does those antics just to get a rise out of you.
    • Shinji later turns this back on Ichigo, suggesting he has this situation with Rukia.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: All of the nice characters, and Orihime in particular.
  • Blood Knight: Cazador de la Luna (Ichigo's inner hollow) of course. He insists Ichigo is as well. Also per usual, Zaraki Kenpachi and Madarame Ikkaku.
  • Bloody Murder: Urahara's bankai includes a spell that can call down a Rain of Blood and turn it into a Flechette Storm. It also allows him to control the blood of everyone he's ever killed, which is implied to be a lot of people.
  • Boring, but Practical: Ichigo uses Sai, the weakest of bakudo, against Aizen. Though it only holds him for a second, that's long enough for Soifon's attack to connect.
  • Boxing Lessons for Superman:
    • Tessai trains Ichigo in kido after the latter acknowledges that he's functionally helpless against them.
    • Ichigo spends a fair amount of time training to increase his skill rather than his strength, such as learning various ways to use Zangetsu and Getsuga Tenshou.
  • Break the Cutie: Poor Momo. Aizen redeems himself in her eyes with a tale of Well-Intentioned Extremism, then uses Kyouka Suigetsu to make her see and hear Ichigo telling her that he's going to cut off Aizen's head, hang it on his wall, and kidnap Momo and rape her in front of it daily.
  • Break Them by Talking:
    • Zen'i does this to Ichigo about how for all his power and experience, Ichigo has no idea what to do with himself if he's not fighting.
    • Hell attempts this on the nature of humanity, which leads to a Shut Up, Hannibal! from the heroes.
    • Zaraki Kenpachi, of all people, does this to Ayumu—again, of all people—after the latter's zanpakutou is destroyed.
  • Brought Down to Badass: After sealing away a significant portion of his power, Ichigo can still bring captains to their knees.
  • Brutal Honesty:
    • Upon learning about the Arrancar and Aizen, Tatsuki wants to help, only for Ichigo to casually display his power and explain that his enemies are far stronger than he is.
    • When Karin starts developing powers of her own, Kon explicitly tells her that if she tries to fight in the current crisis, she will die. Not might die, will die.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Some Seireitei nobles decide Ichigo is too powerful and decide to blackmail him by threatening to send his mother to Hell if he leaves the living world. While Ichigo complies at first, when he's forced to break the deal, they follow through and now have a being in the same weight class as Yamamoto furious with them.
  • Call-Back:
    • Kon shows his more serious side from his debut episode when he talks to Karin about Ichigo.
    • Ichigo blocks Gin's bankai in the same manner he deflected Byakuya's: channeling reiatsu to his arm then using his Super Speed to deflect each individual strike.
    • Hell's barrier is pierced in a similar manner to how Ichigo and Uryū attempted to defeat a Menos back in the Substitute Shinigami arc.
    • The Turn Back the Pendulum arc of the manga includes souls breaking apart and disappearing, and Urahara mentioning an experimental gigai he's inventing that could re-stabilize a crumbling soul. For when the soul's pieces are totally scattered far apart already, such as those souls making up the desert in the bottom level of Hell, Urahara reveals here that he came up with an experimental spell to pull them back together.
    • The Hougyoku's ability to read people's hearts is used to set up a system for letting souls out of Hell: those who truly wish for redemption, forgiveness, and to set things right are released from their Hell chains and sent to Soul Society.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Ichigo and Ishida point out to Orihime that the only reason the Gotei 13 haven't done anything to them before is that there was the threat of Aizen to worry about and they needed the help. Way earlier in the fic, Hitsugaya accuses Ichigo of distrusting the Gotei 13, and Ichigo retorts that if Aizen weren't the bigger threat, the Gotei 13 would be coming after him and his friends.
    Kurosaki Ichigo: Soul Society might tolerate me long enough to put Aizen down, but guess who'd be next? Especially since I'm just a human being living here. Soul Society might tolerate the existence of a human who could defeat some of their best Shinigami, since we humans live a short time anyway. But a human who could defeat some of their best Shinigami and then have the additional power to push him beyond Taicho [captain] level? They'd assassinate me!
  • Chain Pain:
    • Though not used as weapons, Ichigo is shown to have an affinity for chains to the point that all of his binding kidō appear as chains.
    • The togabito can use their chains as weapons or shields.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Ulquiorra reveals that crossing the Despair Event Horizon will unlock the Resurreccion: Segunda Etapa.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Ichigo's budding skill in kidō becomes important more than once.
  • Color-Coded Armies: When Uryuu makes note of the canon red (shinigami) and white (ordinary humans and quincies) colorations of spirit ribbons, he also mentions that hollows appear black and togabito appear purple.
  • Combat Pragmatist: When Orihime is kidnapped, Ichigo makes another deal with Cazador (they fight for control a week early and if Cazador wins, Ichigo won't challenge him again). Unlike their previous fights, Ichigo refuses to banter and immediately goes for the kill.
  • Combined Energy Attack: Urahara has an experimental Kido spell that can pull a dispersed soul back together, but it requires WAY more reiryoku (spirit energy) to use than he has personally. So, all of the shinigami currently around add their power to his in order to use the spell.
  • Crazy-Prepared: According to Urahara, the reason Aizen never came after him until he already possessed the Hogyouku was because he knew Urahara prepares a counter for every power and ability he ever encounters.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Zommari's over-reliance on his Amor comes back to bite him when Uryuu uses Gritz to entrap him in stone walls too far away for him to punch and then shoots him before he can charge a Cero.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Renji versus D-Roy happens offscreen and has the former noting that he barely even needed to use shikai against his opponent.
  • Curiosity Killed the Cast: When it's learned Ichigo's mother is a quincy, Yamamoto asks that information be suppressed lest Captain Kurotsuchi decide to "commit suicide by Kurosaki."
  • Damsel out of Distress: When Orihime is captured and taken to Hueco Mundo, she uses her powers to slice a hole in the wall and escape, meeting Ichigo and the others halfway.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: The Kido Corps are charged with creating a kido to deal with Hell. Their possible solution is so dangerous that they plan to destroy all records of it after it's used along with making the underlying principles forbidden to anyone but the Kido Corps captain.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Cazador and Zen'i are merely parts of Ichigo's soul.
  • Deader than Dead: The blue desert in the fourth layer of Hell is made of togabito that have died permanently or have been killed by Hell (who can also revive them from this state). Shuren was on the receiving end of the latter and does not get revived.
  • Deal with the Devil:
    • Ichigo handles his hollow by making a deal to fight for control every two weeks with the loser helping the winner until their next fight.
    • The source of the quincies' powers is a contract made between Juha Bach and Hell/Ayumu.
  • Death by Adaptation: Aizen is killed during his final battle against Ichigo.
    • Subverted with Grimmjow; they thought he'd died, but he actually became a togabito by eating one and inheriting its chains.
  • Death Is Cheap: Hell can revive within seconds of being killed.
  • Death Seeker: Ichigo has suicidal thoughts and is happy to be run through by a sword after seeing his mother get her head crushed and various illusions of her blaming him for all the pain she ever experienced in his lifetime. Thankfully, Yuzu and Karin snap him out of it.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Mashiro lampshades Ichigo's affinity for this trope:
    Muguruma Kensei: [reading Mashiro's notes] Things to learn to be like Berry-tan: Bankai. Scary serious faces. How to beat people up and then make them your friend.
  • Despair Event Horizon:
    • Aizen of all people seems to go through this shortly before his death.
    • According to Ulquiorra, this is the secret to unlocking Segunda Etapa.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Orihime kills Barragan by rejecting his existence.
  • Doorstopper: In totality, the fic is over 570k words longs.
  • Dual Wielding: When Ichigo first wins his battle with his inner hollow, he claims the latter's sword for himself, and from then on is able to use both Zangetsus as once. However, he rarely does so due to it being Awesome But Impractical (see above).
  • 11th-Hour Superpower:
    • Chad's power upgrades twice: first against Ulquiorra and again when the togabito attack the living world.
    • Ichigo achieves Resurreccion: Segunda Etapa in the final battle against Hell.
    • Later in the same battle, he learns how to project his inner world into the real world.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • Though not necessarily enemies, Soifon and Ichigo can't stand each other on principle. However, they understand the need to cooperate until the current crisis is over.
    • Earlier, Ichigo mentions that Harribel "isn't so much with us as against Aizen."
  • The Empath: Yuzu develops empathic powers near the end of the story.
  • Epic Flail: Ichigo learns to use Zangetsu as one by throwing it while holding onto the cloth/chain.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: After Chad asks Urahara a few questions they realize that Hell (the person) has been sending togabito specifically to be defeated so the reishi left behind would eventually merge the living world and Hell (the dimension).
  • Explaining Your Power to the Enemy: Zommari goes on for so long about his powers that Ichigo just tunes him out and notices that Ayumu looks seconds away from face-palming at Zommari's idiocy.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Barragan, after seeing that his struggling is pointless, congratulates Orihime for killing him and gives her advice.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Asahi no Kagami was originally meant to be a therapy tool, but had to watch as instead she destroyed the dreams and hopes of countless souls.
  • For Want of a Nail: The story kicks off from Ichigo's choice to confront his inner hollow rather than avoid the problem until the Vizard confront him.
  • Friendly Enemy:
    • It's theorized that this was Aizen's end goal with Ichigo.
      Kurosaki Ichigo: I believe that what he wanted above all else, was a companion who would stand with him at the top. Maybe he felt that after a century or two, our battles to the death would evolve into rivalry, and then perhaps into a friendship of equals, because who else could we turn to? Touch is such a huge part of human affection. Can you imagine not being able to receive even a simple pat on the shoulder? To play around with your friends? Can you imagine complete physical isolation? To Aizen and I, our evolutions kept us from doing that to any save each other. To us, it would be such an enormous gift to be able to actually touch one another, be it in combat or in friendship. It would be a sign that we are not alone. That was why Aizen made the deal to leave Karakura alone. He didn't want to alienate me completely, I don't think.
    • Likewise Zen'i.
    • Ichigo and his hollow, Cazador de la Luna. They playfully banter when they fight.
  • Godzilla Threshold:
    • Unlike in canon, Ikkaku uses his bankai during the Fake Karakura Town arc, commenting that people knowing his secret is not as bad as not doing everything to prevent everybody from dying.
    • After Yamamoto and Urahara die, Ichigo hopes that the Zero Division will realize the Godzilla Threshold has been reached and step in.
  • Head Desk: Uryu starts hitting his head against a wall upon learning Ichigo's mother is a quincy.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Ulquiorra, Harribel, and Starrk & Lillynette change loyalties to Ichigo. Tousen and Amagai return their loyalties to Soul Society after realizing they were misguided in turning against it.
  • Heroic BSoD: Ichigo has a BIG one after seeing his mother having her head crushed, her soul being removed from the reincarnation cycle, and various illusions of her blaming him for all the hardships she's gone through in his lifetime.
  • Heroic Neutral: Post-Aizen, Ichigo wants to be this. The machinations of multiple factions prevent it, however.
  • Honor Before Reason: Averted. Ichigo decides that protecting others is more important than his honor or his pride.
  • Hope Spot:
    • For a brief moment, it seems as though Hell has been resealed and everything will be alright. Then Hell regenerates and mocks Ichigo and Yamamoto's attempts.
    • After it looks like he's lost his mother forever but a way to get her back is presented to him, Ichigo is afraid to try it because he knows it will hurt that much worse if he fails.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: It takes a while for Cazador to figure out how to use Resurreccion.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed:
  • I Gave My Word: Subverted. Ichigo agrees to let Aizen go in exchange for sparing Karakura, but then decides that stopping him is more important than keeping his word.
  • I Have Your Wife: Well, "I Have Your Mother" in this case.
    • How Aizen tries to force Ichigo's compliance. It ends how you'd expect.
    • The Berean clan are more successful, at least until Ichigo goes off to save his sisters.
    • This is why Zen'i doesn't try to break his own Hell Chains.
  • I Knew There Was Something About You: Rukia just knew Ichigo had to be connected to Kaien somehow.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: Ichigo and friends' excuses when they have to deal with spiritual matters. It becomes something of a Running Gag with their teacher, who comes to believe that Ichigo and Chad are off dealing with an escalating personal war against the criminal underworld of Karakura. By the end she believes that Chad was kidnapped and held hostage for days, that Ichigo spent days rescuing him and extracting retribution, and that Ichigo was later shot and put into a coma in retaliation for this.
  • Ignore the Fanservice: Unlike canon, Ichigo is not remotely interested in Rangiku's attempts to get him to let her stay at his place. He even notes that though she could probably give him the night of his life, 1) he's way too tired from training to be interested and 2) he's the son and occasionally assistant of a doctor, so she doesn't have anything he hasn't seen before.
  • Instant Expert: Uryuu figures out the basis of firing arrows one-handed after a single fight with his father.
  • It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: Ichigo is not amused that it's always up to him to save the world(s).
  • Just in Time: Gin prevents Soifon from killing Hinamori.
  • Laughing Mad: This happens to Yuzu when she feels the rage and vengeance in Ichigo's heart as he goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Leave Me Alone!: One of the lessons Ichigo learns from the trials of Asahi no Kagami is to not let his pride invoke this and instead allow his friends to help against Big Bads.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Urahara when Ichigo asks his help to fight Hell.
  • Logical Weakness:
    • Zommari needs direct line of sight to use his Amor, can't control inherently immobile objects, and is immobile in Resurreccion. So, Uryuu puts a barrier between them and then shoots Zommari through it.
      • Because Zommari's Amor controls only whatever it hits (hitting someone's hand give control over their hand, not their whole body) he can't fully control Ichigo's chains and can only take control of one link at a time.
    • Toshiro realizes that Barragan's time dilation field won't work against Tier's water attacks.
    • Asahi no Kagami's illusions don't affect someone who's at peace with him- or herself.
  • Lonely at the Top: Ichigo believes this is why Aizen manipulated his life to make him as strong as possible.
  • Long List: One is made for things that cannot be done to Masaki with a note that the list is incomplete, may be added to at any time, and punishments can and will be given out retroactively. Ichigo notes said list was probably made for Mayuri.
  • Loophole Abuse: Ichigo isn't allowed to attack Seireitei nobles for sending his mother to Hell. However, Byakuya can hire Ichigo to investigate said noble family.
  • Magnetic Hero: Ichigo is one. This makes Yamamoto very suspicious of Ichigo because Ichigo has a quincy, a human with hollow-like powers, a girl with Reality Warper powers, the Vizard, Urahara, Yoruichi, Tessai, Ulquiorra, Harribel, Stark, and Lillynette, and several of Yamamoto's own high-ranking officers willing to fight for him.
    Yamamoto Genryusai: [thinking] Is Kurosaki trying to build an army?
  • Mama Bear: Masaki once she regains her quincy powers.
  • Marked Change: When Ichigo reenters his body after performing Jinzen, his body changes to match his new spiritual form.
  • Marshmallow Hell: While talking to Matsumoto and Rukia, Renji says something that prompts Rukia to Dope Slap him. Unfortunately/Fortunately Rukia applies a bit too much force and Renji stumbles forward head first into (a very amused) Matsumoto who has her chest confidently puffed out at the time.
    Matsumoto Rangiku: [with one hand holding his head closer to her chest and the other holding his bicep] Oh Renji! I never knew you were so bold!
  • Me's a Crowd: Hell can split himself into weaker clones.
  • Mental World: Taking physically manifesting a Zanpakutou spirit to the logical extreme, it is theoretically possible to physically manifest one's entire inner world.
  • Mundane Solution: In order to prevent future clashes between Ichigo and Soul Society, Kyoraku attempts to make Ichigo a captain. However, the attempt fails. Then, to keep the Central 46 off of Ichigo's back, Kyoraku hands the Central 46 the task of designing and implementing a justice system for every district in Rukongai (all 320 districts) with the justification being that they'll fix the problems that made Aizen want to change Soul Society through any means.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Soifon thinks that Ichigo becoming a captain would insure that he's loyal to Seireitei but Momo's fear of Ichigo prevents it. Her solution: kill Momo (though she doesn't succeed). Earlier, when she's worried about Ichigo turning on Seireitei, Soifon starts planning how to narrow the gap in their power levels so she can kill him.
  • Mythology Gag: Nelliel "not minding" Ichigo chaining her up brings to mind her comments on being a masochist when they meet in canon.
  • Naked on Revival: All of the good guys who were killed in Hell when they get revived by Ichigo.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Ichigo and the other Vizard kill so many Kushināda that they accidentally revive Hell.
  • No Endor Holocaust: Justified given that before Karakura was put to sleep, Ryuuken announced both on the radio and on television that a "contagion would put everyone to sleep for a few hours" and warned everyone to get to a safe place. Squad 4 members were brought in to both heal anyone who was injured anyway and keep an eye on hospital patients.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: The author makes it very clear that there will be no pairings. Averted at the last second when Ichigo and Neliel (the adult version, not "Nel") confess to each other near the end of the epilogue.
  • No Place for Me There: Hell feels this way about the perfect world he's trying to create.
  • No-Sell:
    • Uryū's Ransō Tengai allows him to completely negate Zommari's Amor.
    • The Hell Armor from the fourth movie absorbs Getsuga Tenshou attacks.
    • Asahi no Kagami's illusions can't affect Yamamoto at all because they're powered by a person's insecurities and Yamamoto has made peace with all his decisions.
  • Not Even Bothering with an Excuse: Unlike his friends, Chad doesn't even try inventing an explanation for why he's running out in the middle of class. He just asks if the teacher really wants to know.
  • Not Me This Time: Soifon may be the loudest proponent of acting pre-emptively to prevent Ichigo becoming a threat to Soul Society, but she's not the one who is holding his mother hostage. Her past actions make it very easy to frame her, though.
  • "Not So Different" Remark:
    • Byakuya says this about Ichigo and Yamamoto despite their dislike of each other. Both will fight viciously for their beliefs, goals and True Companions. Byakuya, however, notes that this must hurt Yamamoto more since Ichigo might remind him of his younger self before years of compromise and dealing with the (corrupt and xenophobic) Central 46 made him Lawful Stupid.
    • Likewise, Ichigo realizes this about his relationships with both Cazador and Zen'i.
  • The Nudifier: Yoruichi knows a kido that can destroy clothes. She eventually uses it to destroy Hell's seemingly indestructible armor.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Yamamoto is this to Ichigo and causes the very thing he wished to avoid: reviving Hell and causing a new war.
  • Official Couple: Despite promises of No Hugging, No Kissing, the final chapter pairs Ichigo and Nelliel.
  • Oh, Crap!: Everyone watching in the living world along with Ichigo when Hell kills Yamamoto, and even more so when he kills Urahara. Karin gets scared out of her wits when she sees Urahara take on his assassin persona with her True Sight.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When Orihime loses her temper, even Ichigo and company are scared of her.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: In Ichigo's words, he doesn't have to beat Yamamoto to destroy Soul Society. A fight between the two of them would accomplish that just fine.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • Yamamoto's refusal to tell Ichigo why he won't help him break into Hell to rescue his mother and sisters results in Ichigo gathering allies and doing it anyways, without realizing that killing many Kushināda in close succession may result in reviving Hell.
    • As in the anime, Amagai is working to kill Yamamoto for killing his father because Yamamoto never explained that they had been investigating the Kasumiōji clan against Central 46 orders and he'd been forced to Mercy Kill him when he'd been taken over by a Bakkōtō. Luckily, Yamamoto unknowingly tries to recruit Amagai for the exact same mission as his father and the truth comes out on both sides before things can get any worse.
  • Power Limiter: Ichigo wears two after performing Jinzen. Mashiro even refers to them as "power limiters."
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • Orihime gives one while fighting Yammy.
      Inoue Orihime: Trying to kill my friend again... was a very big mistake, you cocky little bastard! Koten Zanshun! Tsubaki! Kill the son of a bitch!
    • Chad gives one while fighting Ulquiorra
      Sado "Chad" Yasutora: It doesn't matter what you look like, I'm going to rip that scrawny head of yours from your fucking shoulders!
    • Renji shouts one when Yamamoto is killed.
    • Ichigo gives one when Urahara is killed.
  • Properly Paranoid: Soul Society makes sure to be very diligent with Masaki's protection. Given what happened earlier in the story, it's fully justified.
  • Rage-Breaking Point: During their fight, Ulquiorra deliberately pushes Chad's Berserk Button in an effort to see his full power. While still not a match for him, Ulquiorra is impressed a mere human manages to injure him in his Resurreccion.
  • Rain of Blood: One of Urahara's techniques weaponizes this.
  • Rape as Drama: Played with. Aizen makes Hinamori think Ichigo threatened to keep Aizen's head as a trophy and rape her in front of it daily.
  • Resurrected for a Job: Ayumu resurrects Zommari Leroux in a bid to use his Amor to turn Ichigo's power against him.
  • The Reveal: Chapter 82 finally reveals the completed versions of the lines that Ichigo has been gradually discovering as well as the fact that Ichigo's inner spirits each view him as a part of them, as well.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: Isshin makes one to Ichigo.
    Kurosaki Isshin: How do you just come out and say, 'Hey Ichigo, do you wanna hear how your Mom and I first met?'
    Kurosaki Ichigo: Exactly like that.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
    • Chad is not happy when he finds out his grandfather has been tortured.
    • Ichigo threatens this when Seireitei nobles kidnap his mother.
    • Ichigo when Aizen reveals he had Ichigo's mother killed to push him to get stronger.
    • Ichigo after gaining Resurreccion: Segunda Etapa.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Ulquiorra leaves as soon as he decides that Ichigo will defeat him and thus has a chance against Aizen.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: As it turns out, Hell is both a dimension and the name of its ruler that was sealed away there.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Ichigo. His dad tells him to unwind after "The Winter War" or he might go insane. He proves his point by pointing out that Ichigo's posture is always in a defensive stance.
  • Shout-Out:
    • To The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Chad asks Hell, "What is better? To be born perfect, or to overcome your flawed nature through great effort?"
    • The Badass Creed Ichigo uses to bring his Inner World into the real world is a shout-out to Fate/stay night, but actually doing it was thought up long before the author had seen anything from the Nasuverse.
  • Side Bet: Though the exact terms of the bet are unclear, Shinji collects money from Rose and Kensei when they hear Yamamoto say, "If Kurotsuchi-taicho finds out [that Ichigo's mother is a quincy], then I can see no scenario where he does not commit suicide by Kurosaki."
  • Slasher Smile: Ichigo gets one when he starts taking vengeance on Ayumu. Yuzu has one at the same time due to her empathic ability making her feel Ichigo's emotions at the time.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Zommari has this in spades, claiming that even the king of Hell fears his power. Never mind that the other combatants could kill him by proximity alone.
  • So Proud of You: Isshin tells Ichigo he doesn't have the words to say how proud he is of the man Ichigo's become.
  • Spanner in the Works: Kenpachi almost ruins Unohana's attempts to keep Ichigo from becoming a captain when they decide to fight.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Gin, Tousen, Ulquiorra, and Starrk & Lilynette.
  • Stating the Simple Solution:
    • Uryuu regains his powers after Ichigo wonders if Orihime could reject him ever losing them.
    • When Retsu is worrying about how to keep Ichigo from becoming a captain, Gin suggests simply asking him to decline.
  • Stealth Mentor: Zen'i seems to be one.
  • Storm of Blades: This is one of many tactics Ayumu uses to attempt to counter Ichigo's Segunda Etapa.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: After killing him, Ichigo discusses Aizen with Kisuke, pondering the depths of his despair to have resulted in three Hollow holes. Ichigo even admits he understands Aizen's motivation to an extent.
  • Take Care of the Kids: Kon explains to Karin that when Ichigo rescued Rukia from Soul Society, he was trusting Kon to take care of her and Yuzu if he died.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Averted. Uryuu snipes Harribel's fracciones while they argue.
  • Tears of Remorse: After the final battle Yuzu is depressed and crying over having enjoyed seeing their mother's killer suffer and having wanted to see more of it. Ichigo has to convince her she's not a bad person for wanting to see their mother's killer suffer.
  • The Tease: Nelliel.
    Nelliel Tu Odelschvank: [After Ichigo binds her with reiatsu chains] I've got no problem with it, but people are going to wonder about you if you keep chaining me up in public.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Zangetsu seems to believe this. He lectures Ichigo for not using his mask against Gin. When Ichigo claims it would have been overkill, Zangetsu insists there is no overkill when fighting to protect someone.
  • These Hands Have Killed: Chad has a temporary Heroic BSoD after killing several of the thugs who tortured his abuelo.
  • They Would Cut You Up: When Hitsugaya hears about Rukia's new, quincy-like ability, he advises her to keep it a secret, unless she wants to be locked up or experimented on.
  • This Is Gonna Suck:
    • Used almost verbatim by Ichigo about fighting an even stronger Hell.
    • When Ichigo's allies learn that his mother was a quincy Uryuu's reaction is to start banging his head against the nearest wall. According to the author, Uryuu invokes this trope when he imagines the sheer headache involved in teaching Ichigo how to fight like a quincy and realizes that the job would likely fall to him.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: Yoruichi knows a clothing-destroying kidō which is perfect for getting around Hell's armor.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Zennosuke gets to be a Spanner in the Works, since he wasn't around to be hypnotized by Aizen's Shikai, and get a badass moment where he resists Aizen's reiatsu enough to carry Ichigo's friends and family to safety.
  • Title Drop: "My life's purpose has been to protect. I have thrown away a protector's pride. My humanity compels me."
  • To the Pain: Chad's description of what he'll do to the thugs that tortured his grandfather.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Everyone.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Unlike canon, Ulquiorra seems less creepy and more honestly trying to understand human emotion.
  • Touché: Uryuu concedes that he has no place to talk about creepy powers given that his send people to Hell.
  • Tranquil Fury:
    • Often the only way to tell Ichigo is thoroughly pissed is his reiatsu driving captain-class fighters to their knees.
    • As mentioned above, Chad when he sees his Abuelo armless and about to be tortured.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Ichigo achieves Resurreccion: Segunda Etapa after crossing the Despair Event Horizon in Chapter 80.
  • True Sight: Karin develops this ability.
  • The Unfettered: Zen'i will do anything to protect those he cares about.
  • Walking Spoiler: Hell.
  • Warrior Therapist: Ichigo uses a shinigami's ability to read each other's hearts through their zanpakutou to convince Hinamori he's not a threat to her.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Ichigo thinks Aizen might have been one before developing a god complex.
  • Wham Line: "Zen'i was Ichigo's desire to protect."
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Yamamoto calls out Ichigo for trying to go to Hell to save the soul of his mother and sisters, saying he's placing three people over the safety of the world.
  • When All You Have is a Hammer…: Ichigo learns different methods of using Getsuga Tenshou: namely, spinning Zangetsu by its cloth to increase its charge or not unleashing it and instead throwing Zangetsu to increase its penetrating power.
  • Worf Had the Flu: When Ichigo beats Renji's bankai using just his shikai, he quickly learns that as they're in the living world Renji is wearing his limiter (which seals away 80% of his power).
  • Worthy Opponent:
    • Barragan refers to Orihime, who killed him, as a fellow Kami, making her the only person in existence he respects as an equal.
    • Yamamoto views Hell this way.
      Gods, how long had it been since he [Yamamoto] had really been able to let loose, to bring every bit of his power to bear against a worthy opponent?
  • Xanatos Gambit:
    • Hell sending togabito to Karakura turns out to be this. If his minions kill the defenders, he can more easily invade. If they don't, the reishi left behind when they lose will eventually let him merge the Hell dimension and the living world.
    • If Ichigo and Zen'i don't rescue Masaki from the second arc's Big Bad, then he maintains leverage over them. However, in order to rescue her they end up having to blast through the seal imprisoning him in order to escape his realm, and in doing so allow him to enter the living world himself.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Ayumu's reaction to his Armor of Invincibility that he spent centuries creating being destroyed by Yoruichi's clothing-destroying kido.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It:
    • Though Ichigo kills him after rather than before, during his first fight with Cazador de la Luna Ichigo claims his hollow's zanpakutou as his own.
    • Later, Ichigo becomes the king of Hueco Mundo after killing Aizen. He then has to fight a lot of hollows to prove his strength so other contenders won't attack him in the human world and cause a lot of collateral damage while trying to become king themselves.
    • Grimmjow eats a togabito and inherits its Hell chains.