Bleach: We Do Knot Always Love You is a light novel based on Bleach, co-authored by Tite Kubo and Makoto Matsubara. Released in Japan in December 2016, the novel focuses on the reconstruction of Soul Society after Yhwach's defeat, and on the Official Couples' love lives and marriage: specifically, on Rukia and Renji's Childhood Friend Romance.
Warning: This page contains unmarked spoilers for the epilogue.
Tropes present in the novel include:
- All There in the Manual: Reveals a lot about what happened during the ten-year Time Skip between the Final Battle and the epilogue, including minor areas such as Rukongai, as well as any clarifications about characters.
- There is confirmation that Yoruichi and Urahara, whose fates after their battles in the manga were left unknown, did survive. Yoruichi makes an appearance at the academy where she now teaches weekly, and Urahara appears in a voice message to Rukia.
- Mashiro's last appearance in the manga was to help train Hisagi for his bankai — she's not seen helping in the battle nor at Rukia's promotion. The novel clarifies she helped in the protection of the academy students.
- The manga epilogue reveals that Iba, amongst others, has become captain, but doesn't show nor mention his vice-captain. The novel reveals that his vice-captain is former 4th Division 3rd Seat Iemura Yasochika (who also barely appears in the manga's final arc).
- Komamura, who is last seen in the manga having turned back into a wolf, is revealed to be alive but now lives in the hillside, unable to speak the human language. Additionally, he has been proclaimed as dead to the public — although everyone else knows he's still alive, they've decided to respect his decision and ignore him.
- As Kiyone and her abilities have limited screen time in the main series, her promotion to Squad 4 vice-captain in the manga epilogue appears random at first (other than being the captain Isane's sister). The novel clarifies that she's actually skilled in kido and helped tend to an Ill Boy like Ukitake, which makes her a reasonably good candidate for leadership in a squad that focuses on healing and use of kido.
- Yachiru is outright confirmed to be Kenpachi Zaraki's Zanpakuto Spirit, Nozarashi; something that was strongly implied but not explicitly stated in the manga.
- Character Development:
- Hitsugaya gets some paragraphs to himself, and it's said that he's becoming less reclusive and interacting more with people.
- Byakuya is seen handling several details of the wedding itself, from helping out with paperwork to making sure Renji will have a really nice wedding kimono, to openly telling Renji "take care of Rukia" when they're officially married.
- Everyone Can See It: Rukia and Renji's relationship has been so obvious that the only one in their friendship group surprised by their marriage announcement is Hisagi.
- Fanon Discontinuity: In-universe, of a sort. The official narrative of Soul Society's history states that the Royal Guard successfully defended the Soul King, which is not what actually happened. Not everyone is happy about this.
- Interquel: It's set after Ichigo defeats Yhwach, but before the epilogue, and is primarily centered on Rukia and Renji's wedding, as well as Ichigo and Orihime's relationship.
- Karmic Transformation: Yhwach's corpse is made into the new Soul King, after he'd previously forced Ichigo to kill the original via his Quincy blood.
- Late-Arrival Spoiler: The novel's main focus is the Official Couples as Ichigo with Orihime and Rukia with Renji.
- Pun-Based Title: "We Do Knot Always Love You" is one on tying the knot.
- So Proud of You: Isshin cared quite a bit for his nephew Kaien, was very happy when he became a sub-captain, then mourned quite a bit when he and Miyako died.
- Textile Work Is Feminine: Zigzagged: while Orihime (implied to be a decent seamstress in the canon series) comes up with the idea to make a wedding veil for Rukia, both men and women in the cast take part on making the veil itself: Orihime herself, Uryu, Ichigo's sisters, Keigo, Tatsuki, Isshin, Riruka, Ganju...
- Wedding Day: The novel deals with Rukia and Renji's wedding preparations, as well as the wedding itself at the end. Their friendship group has to convince them into holding the ceremony first, though.
- Weddings in Japan: Since Soul Society is modeled after Medieval Japan, Renji and Rukia's wedding follows Shinto rituals.