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Fanfic / Sight

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Ichigo can see ghosts. He can see Shinigami and Hollows, and that’s fine with him, if not always safe. But he kind of wishes that he doesn't also see Zanpakutou spirits. All Zanpakutou spirits. Because apparently, no one else can.

How much difference can one single ability make? Ichigo can see ghosts, but when you add in the ability to see the spirits of the Zanpakutous as well, things take a surprising turn.

Sight is found on AO3 and comes recommended on the Bleach fanfic recs page.


  • A Wizard Did It: A lot of Soul Society's most foolish and idiotic decisions in the more recent past seem to have been influenced by Aizen and his brainwashing sword.
    • Case in point, one of the Five Great Families, a fundamental pillar of Soul Society was stripped of its dignity and status without explanation and everyone accepted it.
    • Several high ranking officers including Captains, Lieutenants and other seated officers were experimented on and then slated for execution and none of their colleagues raised the slightest concern.
  • Achievements in Ignorance: Ichigo didn't know that it wasn't considered possible to just talk to your inner Hollow and make an agreement to not fight.
  • And I Must Scream: Kenpachi's zanpakutou is described as being in constant agony and screaming with no one able to save it, and his wielder can't save it because he can't hear it. The zanpakutou disturbs Ichigo greatly, but he can't do anything about it.
  • Anti-Climax: Isshin kills the Grand Fisher and Ichigo arrives in time to see its body disintegrate. The lack of resolution leaves Ichigo feeling numb.
  • Answers to the Name of God: When Ichigo is too lazy to name his inner Hollow and tells him to name himself, Hollow!Ichigo mockingly tells Ichigo to call him "Kami."
  • Apathy Killed the Cat: Double Subverted. Ichigo does asks questions, like who is Shiba Kaien? Why does Kaien look so much like him? It's when he stumbles onto the truth that he decides not to ask questions. He tells Isshin that he knows who Isshin was, but leaves it to Isshin's discretion to tell him the rest of the truth in his own time.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Sakanade rips Shinji a new one when Ichigo gets Shinji to talk to her for the first time in a century.
    You've completely shut me out after what happened! The Hollowfication was not my fault so why are you punishing me for it?!
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Invoked by one of Kyouraku's zanpakutou spirits, Kyoukotsu, who warns Ichigo that Kyouraku Shunsui and Ukitake Juushirou are very dangerous despite their kind natures.
  • Blood Knight: Benihime misses the fighting the most from her Glory Days.
  • Blunt "Yes": When Ichigo asks if everyone thinks he should really run Grimmjow through while he's unconscious and helpless, Kensei, Lisa, and Hiyori all respond this way.
  • Bridal Carry: Since Orihime can't do Flash Step Ichigo has to carry her to the Visored hideout. He initially attempts an Over-the-Shoulder Carry since it is less embarrasing. Benihime though will not have it and Ichigo is forced to carry Orihime bridal-style, much to his mortification.
  • Cannot Tell a Lie: Ichigo believes this is the case for Zanpakutou spirits.
    From what I've seen, souls don't... they don't lie. Heck, I'm half-convinced they can't lie. I think that makes sense if you consider the fact that they're manifestations of who you really are on the inside.
  • Change the Uncomfortable Subject: Ichigo becomes good at changing the subject and distracting people to cover up that he's apparently talking to air.
  • Chekhov's Gun/Meaningful Echo: While recovering in Fourth Divison after uncovering Aizen's coup, Ichigo hears the first echoes of Hakuran in his soul. Zangetsu tells him this:
    If you know yourself, if you accept yourself, then there is nothing to fear.
    • Ichigo remembers this when Hakuran attempts to take over and chooses not to fight his inner Hollow, because fighting against himself isn't accepting anything.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Benihime shows subtle hints of this. She gets downright irritated when Ichigo talks to Sode no Shirayuki.
  • Cool Mask: Benihime wears an eyemask that covers the upper half of her face.
  • Dead Fic: As of 2022, it hasn’t been updated in eight years.
  • The Corruption: Becoming a Visored results in one's Zanpakutou becoming one's inner Hollow, forcing the Visored to lock their own Zanpakutou spirit away
  • Curious as a Monkey: Sougyo no Kotowari.
  • Easily Forgiven: Sode no Shirayuki forgives Ichigo for hurting her when he took Rukia's powers because she understands that it was an accident on his part.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Berry-tan, courtesy of Mashiro
  • The Empath: Ichigo feels the emotions of the Zanpakutou and the wielder when he crosses blades with them or looks at them. This nearly killed him during his fight with Kenpachi because he kept getting distracted by the sword's pain and suffering.
    • Shinji notes that the ability seems to be getting stronger, seeing as when they're around Ichigo, Zanpakutou seem capable of interacting with him and with non-living items. This eventually extends to Shinigami and Visored being able to interact to a small degree with their own Zanpakutou without physically manifesting them so long as both of them are around Ichigo. As seen with Grimmjow, Ichigo begins to be able to sense Arrancar emotions if they feel them strongly enough.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Ichigo explains that he couldn't feel Shinji's zanpakutou, Sakanade, when he first met Shinji, only to realize since Sakanade was Hollowified, it means that Shinji had to lock away his own zanpakutou spirit.
  • Fiery Redhead: Benihime is a passionate spirit, and her "crimson" theme includes her hair.
  • Figure It Out Yourself: Benihime tells Ichigo to find out the truth himself after she tells him he's no mere human.
    Figure it out yourself! I certainly will not tell you since you insist on being so thick.
  • First-Name Basis: Ichigo annoys Byakuya greatly by addressing the latter by his given name and without any honorifics.
  • For Want Of A Nail: Because he can see spirits, Benihime and Zangetsu are able to train him to be an efficient fighter. Because of this and the fact he has the cooperation of his zanpakutou and inner Hollow, Ichigo wins his fight against Grimmjow when Zangetsu lets him go into Bankai. He wins the fight but loses the battle when Tousen shoots him in the back.
  • Freudian Trio: Ichigo and his facets of personality: Ichigo is the Ego, the conscious self; he acts as the mediator between Hakuran and Zangetsu and reconciles Zangetsu's suggestions with Hakuran's desires. Zangetsu is the Superego; he acts as Ichigo's conscience and is better at strategy and recognizing social conventions, such as knowing when to tell Ichigo how to lie through omission. Hakuran is the Id, the base desire; he is always itching for a fight, does not censor himself in his language, and has a childish curosity.
  • Funetik Aksent: Hakuran speaks this way as befitting his childish and violent personality.
  • Genre Savvy: Ichigo refuses to go anywhere with Shinji, even after Shinji shows him his Visored mask and tells them that they are kin, because he only has Shinji's word that he is who he is. Ichigo only listens to Shinji after he calls Urahara to verify Shinji's claim that Urahara sent him.
  • Glory Days: Benihime reminsces over how much stronger Urahara, Yoruichi and Tessai used to be before remaining idle for a century.
    But once upon a time, Ichigo, we were magnificent.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: The Visored think Ichigo is extremely naïve when he decides to spare Grimmjow after he escapes Aizen instead of killing him. Although Ichigo doen't want to kill Grimmjow in cold blood, he does have another reason. Ichigo is wise enough to know that Grimmjow wouldn't be swayed into joining their side by appealing to his morality. He tells Grimmjow that he doesn't care what Grimmjow does as long as he stays on the sidelines and doesn't try to return to Aizen or attack Ichigo or any of his friends, thus depriving Aizen of a potential warrior that knows how to find the Visoreds' secret base and better impressing Grimmjow. It works, as Grimmjow decides to help Ichigo with his Hollow powers rather than return to Aizen or remain on the sidelines.
  • Grave-Marking Scene: Ichigo skips school to visit his mother's grave and have lunch with her after the Grand Fisher is finally killed.
  • Hearing Voices: The first sign of his inner Hollow is Ichigo hearing laughter that comes from no one but seems familiar.
  • Hour of Power: When Ichigo and Hakuran first merge together, they can hold on to a mask for 30 seconds, which slowly (for them) grows longer as they get used to it.
  • I Resemble That Remark!: Benihime tells Ichigo not to be so vulgar as to descend to his Hollow's level. Hakuran gets offended and proves her point.
    Benihime: I will when you learn to stop being so vulgar. Honestly, do try not to descend to your Hollow's level.
    Hakuran: Oi, what's that supposed ta mean, bitch?!
  • I Take Offense to That Last One: After having a good two-hour spar with Ichigo:
    Urahara: I've said it before, Kurosaki-san, though I don't believe you heard me last time—you really are quite a frightening child.
    Ichigo: Don't call me a child.
    Urahara: And you skip right over with the frightening part.
  • It's Personal: Benihime hates the Soul Society captains for not speaking up for Urahara when he was banished.
  • Identical Stranger: Ichigo gets a little annoyed when people act weirdly around him because of his resemblance to Kaien Shiba.
  • Implausible Deniability:
    "I wasn't terrified," Ichigo retorted, ignoring the fact that he sort of had been.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Despite having the cooperation of his inner Hollow, Ichigo still does poorly against Yammy because Shinji, Benihime, and Zangetsu strongly advise against him using Bankai or his Visored mask so he won't reveal all his trump cards to Aizen.
  • In the Back: Just when Ichigo is about to win his fight against Grimmjow, Tousen shoots him in the the back and nearly kills him.
  • Internal Reveal: Ichigo tells his father that he knows the latter was a former Shinigami.
  • In-Universe Nickname: Ichigo refers to Benihime as "Hime."
  • Invisible to Normals: Normally, Zanpakutou can only be seen by their wielders in their Inner World; the fact that Ichigo can see them makes him even more unusual among Shinigami.
  • It's All Junk: Urahara throws out his Visored research when Ichigo disproves years of study with his non-violent confrontation and agreement with Hakuran.
  • Hidden Depths: Isshin was a Shinigami and gave up his powers for his wife. His zanpakutou, Engetsu, is a stern and deliberate figure who takes it upon himself to teach Ichigo about his shinigami heritage and the Shiba clan's history.
  • Lady of War: Benihime is described as majestically lethal.
  • Late for School: After exhausting himself with the first use of his Visored mask, Ichigo ends up oversleeping. He gets even more late when Hakuran decides that he wants to try coffee and causes the coffee machine to explode.
  • Lawful Stupid: Ichigo sees the Shinigami as idiotically law-abiding.
  • Living Lie Detector: Since Zanpakutou cannot lie, Ichigo gets into the habit of looking at the zanpakutou to tell if their wielder is lying. Ichigo can tell that Ukitake lies to him about the Substitute Badge when Sougyo no Kotowari look guilty while Ukitake lies to him with a kind, straight face. Conversely, this is why Ichigo feels he can trust Urahara despite the latter's secrets and lies, Benihime tries to be truthful and feels guilty on Ichigo's behalf which indicates that Urahara is being truthful when he can.
  • Manchild: Hakuran can be very childish, throwing tantrums when he doesn't get what he wants and showing a very childish curosity.
  • Mask of Power: When Ichigo lets Hakuran control his body, he develops a white mask with black suns in the outside corners of the eyes.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": The Visoreds all nearly have heart attacks when Rose's zanpakutou lashes out at Ichigo and injures him, as up until that point they were unaware that the spirits were capable of hurting him.
  • Magnetic Medium: When zanpakutou spirits realize that Ichigo can see them, they flock to him out of boredom.
  • Meaningful Name: Hollow Ichigo is named Hakuran, which means "white storm."
    • Meaningful Rename: Although, there is a strong implication that Hakuran knows he's Ichigo's true zanpakutou, meaning he allowed himself to be renamed.
  • Metaphorically True: Urahara asks Ichigo how he learned the Flash Step techinques and Zanjutsu techinques he displayed in their spar. Ichigo tells him that Yoruichi used those techinques and Zangetsu shows him stuff. Yoruichi did use those Flash Step techiques, and Benihime taught Ichigo Flash Steps after watching Yoruichi for centuries. Zangetsu has been teaching Ichigo, through one-on-one sparring outside of his Inner World.
  • Ms. Exposition: Kyoukotsu tells Ichigo about Kaien Shiba after he wonders why the Sougyo no Kotowari twins call him "Orange-Kaien."
  • Mundane Solution: With some medical knowledge, Ichigo is able to narrow down Ukitake's illness to being either pneumonia, tuberculosis, or lung cancer and recommends he get some modern medical treatment at the Kurosaki clinic.
  • Must Make Amends: Urahara clearly feels guilty over what happened to the Visored (although it can be argued that it wasn't really his fault) and has spent the past century researching possible ways to help them.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Ichigo has this reaction when he takes all of Rukia's powers, resulting in Sode no Shirayuki being torn away from her wielder screaming.
    • It's subdued and mostly in the background, but it's pretty clear that Urahara feels this way about how his advice to the Visored caused them to lock down their Zanpakuto spirits. He didn't see any other way at the time, and is horrified that there was an alternative to locking away their Zanpakutos all aloong.
  • Not So Stoic: Zangetsu chuckles when Sougyo no Kotowari tease Ichigo to make him play with them. He also smiles when Ichigo applies his earlier advice and accepts Hakuran as a part of him.
  • O.C. Stand-in: Benihime and Engetsu are Urahara's and Isshin's zanpakutou, but do not have any established personalities in canon. In Sight they both become Ichigo's Spirit Advisor.
  • Oh, Crap!: Ichigo finds out that his father Isshin was a Shinigami captain that faked his own death to marry a human. He then realizes that he invited Ukitake, one of the strongest Shinigami captains, to visit his father's clinic.
  • One Degree of Separation: Ichigo learns that Isshin is a former Shinigami captain when he researches the Shiba family tree to find out why Kaien Shiba looked so much like him.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Ichigo decides to actually ask his father to have a one-on-one discussion with him and Isshin takes it seriously when Ichigo angrily demands he stop acting silly. Ichigo defies his usual Apathy Killed the Cat nature by asking his father questions about his past.
    • Isshin puts aside his silliness to comfort Ichigo after Isshin kills the Grand Fisher.
  • Only Sane Man: Ichigo sees himself as this because he seems to be the only one who actually gets along with and speaks to his Zanpakutou spirit.
  • Our Spirits Are Different/Our Souls Are Different: Zanpakutou are the embodiment of strong Shinigami's souls. They can leave their wielder's Inner World whenever they want and go anywhere if they're not needed. The Sougyu no Kotowari twins prove that Zanpakutou can go between worlds without needing their wielder nearby.
  • Painting the Medium: When a Zanpakutou or Hakuran speaks "out loud," their dialogue is always in italics with colons in place of quotation marks.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Mashiro and Kuna are tiny but powerful.
  • Precision F-Strike: Ichigo lets one loose when he tries to have a serious talk with Isshin over the fact Ichigo knows that Isshin's a former Shinigami and Isshin initially doesn't take the talk seriously.
    Oyaji, for fuck's sake, could you be fucking serious for one fucking minute?!
  • Proper Lady: Sode no Shirayuki is very well mannered, refined, soft spoken and very forgiving. Ichigo even describes her as the personification of beauty and elegance.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Ichigo gives one to Kinshara when he's trying to talk him into compromising with Rose.
  • Retired Badass: According to Benihime, exile hasn't been kind to Tessai, Urahara, and Yoruichi. Their skills have suffered during their forced retirement and they are nowhere near their skill level during their prime.
  • Sadistic Choice: The Visored had the choice of keeping their Zanpakutou spirits but losing their sanity to their inner Hollows or locking away their Zanpakutou spirits along with their inner Hollows.
    • Take a Third Option: For Visored, fighting your inner Hollow results in one of two things: the Hollow winning and taking over your body, or the Hollow losing and being locked up until you slip. Ichigo does neither by acknowledging his inner Hollow as part of himself and simply refusing to let that part have any power over him, somehow disarming him.
  • Sharing a Body: One of Hakuran's stipulations to not forcibly take over Ichigo's body is for him to be allowed to take over during fights.
  • She's Not My Girlfriend: Said word for word when Hakuren calls Orihime Ichigo's girlfriend.
  • Single-Minded Twins: Ukitake's zanpakuto, Sougyo no Kotowari, are indistinguishable in both appearance and personality and often Speak in Unison. Ichigo is recommended to refer to the both of them as Sougyo no Kotowari.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Hakuran has quite the potty mouth.
  • So Proud of You: Zangetsu is very proud that Ichigo has figured out how to confront Hakuran.
  • Speak in Unison: Ukitake's zanpakuto, Sougyo no Kotowari, sometimes speak like this.
  • Spirit Advisor:
    • Since Zangetsu is not limited to Ichigo's Inner World, he teaches Ichigo how to fight one-on-one in the real world.
    • Benihime becomes one to Ichigo, training his strategy, analytical thinking, flash step, and sword skills.
    • Isshin's zanpakutou, Engetsu, tutors Ichigo on Shiba clan history and how the Seireitei functions.
  • Spit Take: Ichigo spits out the water he was drinking when Engetsu shows up in the middle of class.
  • Surveillance as the Plot Demands: When it's time for Ichigo to reveal to Urahara and Shinji his secret, Urahara reveals he has surveillance cameras set up around the basement training area, the footage from which shows Ichigo talking to something unseen.
  • Take That!: Hollow Ichigo's response to being given the popular fan nickname "Shiro":
    Bland as oatmeal, King. Try again.
    • A rather light one since the author has called Hollow Ichigo "Shiro" in their other works.
  • Tantrum Throwing: Hakuran throws one when Ichigo refuses to let him drink sake.
  • There Are No Therapists: For the Visored. Justified in that as far as they know, there isn't anyone else out there who can help them, and Urahara probably shaped his recommendations on what they told him about their interactions with their inner Hollows.
  • Threat Backfire: After Ichigo insults Benihime after she decides to make herself his new mentor.
    Benihime: You impertinent child! Don't speak to your betters like that! It would serve you right if I decide against teaching you now!
    Ichigo: [Gives a thumbs-up] That's okay with me.
  • To Win Without Fighting: Ichigo figuratively and literally disarms Hakuran by accepting his inner Hollow as a part of him and refusing to fight him.
  • True Sight: Ichigo has the ability to see Zanpakutou spirits, which are manifestations of the wielder's soul, making Ichigo become an empath and a Living Lie Detector through seeing them. The price of his ability is that as it gets stronger the zanpakutou can interact with him and the world around him, meaning the spirit can touch or hurt him if they desire to. It gets strong enough that he can have other people physically interact with their Zanpakutou spirits when in proximity to him.
  • Trickster Twins: Ukitake's zanpakuto, Sougyo no Kotowari, are a very mischevious pair of twins, playing pranks on Ichigo and playing Kidou Tag, which consists of them firing kidou at Ichigo while he runs away. (He can't use Kidou, so they're always "it.")
  • Tsundere:
    • Hakuran, Ichigo's inner Hollow, shows shades of this: he's rude and childish to Ichigo but still cares for him.
    • Benihime is haughty and very proud of her power, but looks out for Ichigo's wellbeing and is willing to teach him in the hope that Ichigo will think more clearly and be in less danger.
  • Waking Up Elsewhere: Ichigo wakes up in Fourth Division after the invasion, with Unohana's zanpakutou looking down on him and scaring the crap out of Ichigo.
  • Warrior Therapist: Ichigo becomes this to the Visored, helping them make amends and accept their inner Hollow/zanpakutou with words or with action.
  • Water Wake-up: Sougyo no Kotowari dump a bucket of ice-water on Ichigo when he tries to sleep in, to force him to play with them.
  • Weirdness Magnet: When some of the Zanpakutou realize that Ichigo can see them, they never leave him alone because he can relieve their boredom. Ichigo hangs a lampshade.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: There is no mention of Orihime after Ichigo brings her to train with him and the Visored.
  • Wrong-Name Outburst: Ichigo slips twice and accidentally talks about Benihime. Since he refers to her as "Hime" by that point, it is initially assumed that he is talking about Orihime.
  • You Can See Me?: Most zanpakutou spirits have this reaction when they realize Ichigo can see them. Sode no Shirayuki attempts to point it out to Rukia at first, to no avail.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Aizen maims and almost kills Grimmjow when the latter loses his first fight against Ichigo.