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YMMV / Bleach

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General YMMVs

  • Americans Hate Tingle:
    • Hinamori, due to being brainwashed by Aizen and staying loyal for a while. Ironically, Hinamori doesn't seem to have many fans on the staff of the anime itself. She appears in none of the movies, and only one of the filler arcs not counting her evil clones in the Gotei 13 Invading Army arc, and even that involved her zanpaktou talking down to her for being naive.
    • Toshiro, due to becoming a Spotlight Stealing Character, is at times compared to Ichigo, and is viewed as having the ability of Ass Pulls. Having his own movie, which cashes in on his Japanese popularity, made him even more disliked in America. European attitudes tend to be more ambivalent than either the Japanese or American attitudes.
  • Arc Fatigue:
    • The series is littered with tons of fights that, while interesting and offering some character development, halt and pad the story tremendously. Happened first in the Soul Society arc. Then in the Hueco Mundo arc. Then in the Battle of Karakura arc. Then again in the final fight against Aizen. And that if you don't count the arcs from Hueco Mundo to Aizen as a single arc (the anime named it "The Arrancar Saga"). To be fair on Kubo, it was mostly due to Executive Meddling.
    • "The Thousand Year Blood War Arc" unfortunately fell into this as well despite starting off strong and getting right into the heart of the action, with some very meaty exposition of the series Myth Arc later on. But once the second invasion on Soul Society begins, it resumed its habits of focusing on the fights than progressing the plot. The fights with the Schutzstaffel were particularly dragged out thanks to their Story Breaker Powers allowing them to repeatedly survive supposed finishing blows. This led to some Too Bleak, Stopped Caring reactions.
  • Ass Pull:
    • Toshiro Hitsugaya is infamous in the fandom for this, having several instances of the story pulling out random stuff that never gets used or explained again.
      • During his fight with Harribel, Hitsugaya spontaneously displays the ability to create an ice clone, which seems to be just as strong as him and capable of fighting and speaking just the same as the original. He used it to avoid an attack from Harribel, at which time he claimed he could only use it once. It is not brought up again except for filler.
      • Hitsugaya’s adult form. Daiguren Hyorinmaru comes with ice flowers that gradually crumble away, and Shawlong suspects that they act as a timer because he’s not yet mature enough to handle using Bankai. While Hitsugaya doesn’t directly confirm this, his obvious concern toward the flowers after, and in later fights, and his training to extend their duration, and how during his fight with Luppi he was able to restore them using water in the air to seemingly extend his time-limit for it, almost unambiguously proves Shawlong right. However, in his fight with Gerard late in the final arc, the loss of all the flowers instead ages him up and makes his Bankai even more powerful. Why he was so averse to this is never given a proper explanation (he mentions that he prefers his usual body, but his adult form clearly isn’t permanent), making it come across as last minute power-up in order to have him stay useful to the finale. It also raises questions about why he doesn't like using it considering it makes him very powerful.
    • A huge one for the anime-only Reigai arc, after Ichigo uses the last of his reiatsu to launch Getsuga Tensho at Kageroza, it's moments later revealed Kageroza had a cloning ability, so Ichigo basically wasted it on a clone.
    • The revelation that Chojiro Sasakibe, deceased at the hands of the Vandenreich, knew Bankai. Given that his only contribution to the story beyond dying was getting effortlessly beaten by a bare-handed Ichigo during the Soul Society arc, it's safe to say that there was no build-up to this (outside of his white coat and how Bankai isn't a captain-exclusive ability).
    • Byakuya surviving his fight with Äs Nödt. It's one of the goriest drawn panels in the manga, and not only do several other characters confirm his death, but his Zampakuto falls and breaks, and he gives a final speech to Ichigo to protect Soul Society. Within three chapters though, he is revealed to be in a Convenient Coma, and returns a bit later without much problems. It's clear that he was initially written to die, but for whatever reason, Kubo hastily changed his mind, and had to awkwardly write around said idea.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The noodle scene. Yoruichi is shown eating noodles for close to two full minutes for no apparent reason and the most that is said about it is Urahara commenting that her arm is working. Probably Filler to pad out the episode. The same scene in the manga took all of two panels or so.
  • Broken Base:
    • In the English dub, a huge amount of drama results whenever a character's voice actor is replaced for any reason, and many many completely give up on the show entirely because of it. Chad's and Ikkaku's voices were replaced only temporarily, but Kaien, Hiyori, Kenpachi, Urahara, and Komamura each have a permanent change. This is not helped by the fact that nearly no one in the course of the show in Japan had any voice replaced except for temporary occasions.
    • Was the Lost Agent arc a badly-placed Filler-esque Story Arc that detracted from the important stuff, or a well-paced and refreshing expansion of the series' lore? The only consensus is that it robbed the fans of a satisfying backstory for Ginjo and Character Development via Book of the End. The question of how Fillerish the Fullbring arc was is an ongoing debate now due to the Fullbringers who died reappearing in Soul Society during the Thousand Year Blood War arc.
    • The Thousand Year Blood War arc has several areas of contention between the fans. The reception to several plot twists is split between those who felt they were pure ass pulls and those who felt that there was enough foreshadowing/plausible explanations to them. The Soul Reapers continue to ratchet up really poor decisions, so the question here is whether it's downright inexcusable by now, or that they're just being exposed by the superior tactics of the Vandenreich. How Byakuya survived despite appearing dead in the water; how ridiculously powerful Renji and Rukia became following their training in the Royal Realm; how most of the villains continue to be thrown away in favor of the heroes (although the Sternritters' power level still dwarfs every other villain group to this point); how Komamura's first and only true victory where there wasn't a huge gap in power between him or his opponent was turned into an excessively cruel pyrrhic victory that has condemned him to a horrific fate; and how Unohana was used as a way to hype up Zaraki. On the other hand, people largely appear to enjoy the way many hanging plot threads have been answered and tied together neatly into the Myth Arc, with Everything But The Rain being a standout case.
    • Kubo's stance on No Hugging, No Kissing is a bit of an issue in the fandom, basically requiring Anti-Shipping Goggles to make sense. There are several aspects of the story that ruin Kubo's credibility on how there is "not supposed to be any romance in this series", the biggest examples being Orihime's unrequited feelings for Ichigo and the Relationship Writing Fumble between Ichigo and Rukia.
    • Who's a better Big Bad between Aizen and Yhwach. Yhwach supporters admire him for his ruthless pragmatism, his planning ability spanning centuries, and succeeding where Aizen failed while deriding Aizen as an overpowered Smug Snake who relies too much on luck. Aizen supporters find his Complexity Addiction, theatricality, and good looks to be extremely entertaining, while dismissing Yhwach as a bland villain whose type is dime-a-dozen in manga and was just as if not more overpowered in his own way. And then there's people who hate both of them with a passion.
  • "Common Knowledge": No, the publication didn't cancel it - Kubo had failing health.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Shrieker was a sadistic Serial Killer in life who died shortly after murdering a woman named Shibata when, while he was walking to land the final stab, her infant son Youichi grabbed his shoelaces, causing him to fall out of a window. Stealing Youichi's soul and putting it inside of a parakeet, the Hollowfied Shrieker promises that if Youichi can escape him for three months at a time, he'll bring the child's mother back to life (something he can't do). Able to track Youichi's soul, Shrieker kills and devours anybody who tries to help Youichi, feeding off the psychological torment it causes, as much as the actual souls.
    • Szayelaporro Granz is the Eighth Espada. When he was human, Granz was an unhinged alchemist who performed torturous experiments on prisoners captured by his brother. A sadistic player of games, Granz creates voodoo dolls out of his victims, and then proceeds to torture them to death, rupturing one organ at a time, as he cheerfully does to Renji Abarai and Uryu Ishida. He's also the worst boss of any of the Espada, modifying the bodies of his subordinates so that in a pinch he can convert them to raw energy and devour them with ease, using their lives to fuel his own. A sickening scientist, who regards himself as the ultimate life form, Granz takes pride in his unique brand of depravity, and regards everyone, including his late brother Ylfordt Granz, as beneath him, and, ultimately, disposable.
    • Sōsuke Aizen is a sociopathic Übermensch with a desire for godhood who considers himself above the notions of morality and decency adopted by "lesser beings." Uncaring for anyone but himself, Aizen has a habit of using and betraying anyone close to him. Examples of this include testing out an experiment by turning his former captain, Shinji Hirako, into a monstrous abomination along with seven other Shinigami officers, trying to kill his subordinate Harribel once she had outlived her usefulness, and impaling his devoutly loyal lieutenant, Momo Hinamori, while hugging her, leaving her traumatized for months. Later, Aizen would outdo himself by creating illusions that tricked Momo's best friend, Hitsugaya, into nearly killing her. Aizen also used Wonderweiss Margela as a tool, stripping him of his speech, intelligence, memory retention, and rationality in order to turn him into a Power Nullifier against one man's weapon. Once Wonderweiss had successfully absorbed the flames of this person's weapon, Aizen had arranged it so that Wonderweiss self-destructed, nearly taking out a city with him in the process. Finally, when Aizen had achieved Physical Godhood, he tested out his abilities by calmly walking through a human city, knowing that his powers caused anyone who came into close proximity with him to blow up. In the end Aizen ended up killing over a dozen civilians, and planned on doing the same to Ichigo Kurosaki's human friends just so he could mock Ichigo by hanging up their corpses on display.
    • Yhwach is The Emperor of the Vandenreich, the King of all Quincies, and the final Big Bad. Yhwach attacks the Soul Society, killing numerous Soul Reapers, while personally slaying the Gotei 13's commander Yamamoto Genryusai. It is then revealed Yhwach was responsible for the Auswählen nine years prior—stealing the power from Quincies he deemed "impure"—for all intents and purposes killing them—to restore his own power, which led to the deaths of Ichigo and Uryu Ishida's mothers. Furthermore, Yhwach maintains his power and life by harvesting the souls of those slain in the war, on both sides. On his second invasion, Yhwach callously uses the Auswählen on his elite Stern Ritter forces, save his own personal guard, when he deems them useless to the coming battle. Finding the Soul King, Yhwach destroys him, nearly sundering the separate worlds, while not caring about the innocents or even his own soldiers caught up in the destruction. Said soldiers offer their aid to the Shinigami once they understand the extent of Yhwach's threat to existence; this Enemy Mine also includes various other factions, demonstrating how dangerous Yhwach is. Absorbing the Soul King's power, Yhwach later uses Auswählen a third time on his Royal Guard, including his trusted second-in-command Haschwalth, before defeating Ichigo himself, stealing his powers and declaring his intent to bring ruin to Soul Society and the human world, while threatening to kill Ichigo's friends in their happiest moments should they interfere, all to create a world where he won't have to die. Brutal, callous and unrelenting in his selfish belief that everything exists to benefit and empower him, Yhwach stands as Bleach's cruelest and most dangerous villain.
    • Can't Fear Your Own World: Tokinada Tsunayashiro is a sadistic Soul Reaper and the head of the Tsunayashiro family. Possessed of a vicious cruelty innate to him, Tokinada killed his own best friend when he tried to duel him, killing his own wife Kakyo in the process before finding her best friend Kaname Tosen and savagely beating him after revealing the truth for kicks. Seeking to remake the cosmos himself, he develops the Artificial Human Hikone with the intent on giving them a Fate Worse than Death as the new Soul King, killing many or having them killed while attempting to slaughter or mentally destroy everyone he faces, even threatening to kill Yoruichi Shihoin with the technique of Suì-Fēng, the woman who loves her. Upon his loss, Tokinada even attempts to drop his simulated world upon Karakura Town, meeting his end with declarations that he regrets not a single evil deed.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Everything Mayuri does, such as the way he heals Nemu.
  • Die for Our Ship: The actual page elaborates it best. The summary is that, even though fans of yaoi pairings dislike straight pairings, it's the het fans that cause the most amount of trouble over shipping.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Half of the villains in Bleach seem to be well-regarded despite all the horrendous and villainous things they have ever done, with the most notable being Mayuri, Grimmjow, Ulquiorra, Aizen, Gin, and Tsukishima (Check out the Character YMMVs for the specifics.)
  • Ending Aversion: It's not uncommon for fans to tell new readers to stop after Ichigo and Rukia part after Aizen's defeat or even earlier at the end of the Ryoka Invasion, as most found the actual ending to be a terrible stopping point in comparison, as it leaves many questions open after a rushed climax.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: The manga ends Happily Ever After with ten years of peace after the war with Yhwach. However, the first of two novels released after the ending gives some disturbing implications. Namely, Yhwach's corpse is taken by Squad Zero and made into the Soul King, with the history books being written to say that the original Soul King was successfully defended on orders of Squad Zero, and the war was named "The Great Soul King Protection War." And that Yhwach may not be as dead as some initially believed him to be. While these points are not given much focus in the first novel, it does raise questions about the validity of the ending overall.
  • Evil Is Cool: Several of the Arrancar exhibit this, but the ones that stand out are Grimmjow and Ulquiorra. They constantly score in the top five of the show's character popularity polls. Being badass, good-looking and having cool personalities might have something to do with that.
    • Several of the Sternritter exhibit this as well, from As Nodt and BG9 to Bambietta and Haschwalth, just to name a few.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Many of the Arrancars, Stern Ritters and a good percentage of the movie characters. It seems that being a bad guy in Bleach requires showing copious amounts of skin.
    • Special mentioning goes to Bambietta's popularity among fanboys (and some fangirls) because she's unapologetically sexy, very aware of it, as well as a big example of a Bastard Girlfriend.
  • Fandom Rivalry: With One Piece, Fairy Tail and especially Naruto. There's also a milder, but still very vocal one, with fans of YuYu Hakusho. While YYH concluded years ago, fans of the series accuse Bleach of being a ripoff. Made hilarious by how the Pilot episode of Bleach was rejected by WSJ because it was too similar to YYH, which had Kubo tweaking the plot/visuals quite a bit before re-sending it.
  • Fan-Preferred Pairing: Ichigo/Rukia is easily the most popular ship for the series. Even more so than the official Ichigo/Orihime pairing.
  • Fanon Discontinuity:
    • A sizable chunk of the fandom likes to ignore pretty much anything post Aizen's defeat, finding it to be either a waste of time (the Fullbringer arc), or a particularly bad case of Arc Fatigue (the Thousand Year Blood War arc). The epilogue is an especially contentious point, in part due to the official couples being Ichigo with Orihime and Rukia with Renji.
    • The canonicity of ongoing light novel series overseen and co-written by Kubo as a continuation of the manga is a sticking point for many fans, who refuse to acknowledge anything not part of the manga and anime or solely written by Kubo himself to be canon.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Pretty much too much to count, but Lille Baro is one of the those who stands out the most. He had an interesting get-up since his debut, which involved a white bicorne hat the same color as his hair, a top sleeveless on one side and adorned with white fur on the other, topped off by a gigantic rifle covered also swathed in white fur. Taken to new heights in Vollständig, in which he fashions himself a skirt and reverse heels when preparing to finish off Kyoraku.
  • Foe Yay: here
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • With Black Clover. Tabata has stated that Bleach was an inspiration of the series, and has a similar premise of Magic Knights and Soul Reapers being in squads that serve their respective countries. After Bleach had ended, many of its fans went on to watch/read Black Clover as a new action shōnen.
    • You can find many fans of Bleach being fans of Jujutsu Kaisen it doesn't help that Gege Akutami (The creator of Jujutsu Kaisen) admitting that Bleach is one of his inspirations for the series.
    • You'll find that many fans of Hell's Paradise: Jigokuraku are also fans of Bleach due to the stories' similarities in kenjutsu-based battles and themes on life and death.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Early in the manga, a young Ishida tells his grandfather the old-fashioned Quincy uniform is totally uncool and needs a fashion-makeover. Later, when Ishida visits Hueco Mundo, a Large Ham scene has him declaring to the Arrancar he's defeated that "Aizen's True Enemy isn't a Soul Reaper, but a Quincy!" The Vandenreich later brings Hueco Mundo to its knees and sacks Soul Society. To go with their militaristic, ethnic-cleansing attitudes, these Quincies have had a Nazi-esque fashion-makeover. Curse you, Ishida!
    • The Beach Episode shows Captain Ukitake buried in a sand casket that gives the 13th Division first place in a sand-sculpting competition. Hilarious!...until we see Ukitake's actual grave in the penultimate chapter of the manga.
    • All of Captain Kyoraku's flirtacious interactions with his lieutenant, Nanao, become harder to watch after it's revealed that Kyoraku is her biological uncle.
  • Genius Bonus: Kubo packs a lot of folklore, legends and mythology from Shintoism, Buddhism, Christianity, German history and culture and Voudoun in almost every character, plot reveal, and world-building mechanic. If you're familiar with this sort of thing, some revelations can seem quite clever. If not, good luck making sense of it.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • Second Espada Baraggan Luisenbairn is much more popular in the west than he is in Japan, his popularity exceeding Aizen's in some places.
    • Shunsui also has a considerably larger fanbase with the American Audience.
    • Askin is only moderately popular in the east, but extremely popular in west.
  • Growing the Beard: Many will look to Rukia's self-imposed arrest and the Soul Society arc as the moments that really made the series intriguing. While the pre-Soul Society stories were mostly episodic, the Soul Society arc greatly expanded on the setting of the series and set up many of the series' long-term storylines.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: A flashback gives a brief overview of Renji's promotion to sixth lieutenant. He was pursuing promotion to gain the social position necessary to rekindle his old friendship with Rukia, and planned to tell her of the promotion after her she returned from her assignment to the World of the Living. Unfortunately for Renji, it's Rukia's assignment to the World of the Living that kicks off Bleach, and his next meeting with Rukia is when he and Byakuya arrest her.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Early in the series, as soon as the first chapters/episodes, Ichigo makes an off-hand comment about how people think he's some sort of delinquent for having natural orange hair, and that if he cared what they think he'd have just dyed it black years ago. Hundreds of chapters later, and Ichigo's Final Getsuga Tensho does exactly that while it's active.
    • The anime gave Ichigo a Quincy Cross on his bed from the very beginning, although he's never had one in the Manga. That's always been very funny to the fandom but Chapter 515 makes this even more amusing. Chapter 515 confirms Ichigo is half-Quincy thanks to his Quincy mother.
    • One piece of chapter art had Ichigo dressed as a sentai character. Guess who got to voice him in America?
    • While on the topic of Bleach Voice actors as rangers, Don Kanonji mainly wants to round up members to start his own sentai group. Which becomes funny when a little more than a year after the anime ends, his Japanese voice actor ends up playing an actual sentai ranger.
    • Due to the fact that Zanpakuto spirits are manifestations of the wielder's own soul, then that technically means that Kenpachi Zaraki is the president of the Shinigami Women's Association.
    • English dub example: Patrick Seitz went from playing Johnny Yong Bosch's father to playing his adoptive brother.
    • Matsumoto's nervousness when faced with the creation of Harribel's fraccion gets harder to take serious when it opens its eyes later, revealing that she was staring at its nostrils.
    • Chad is this in 2020 if you're at all familiar with some of the more terrible corners of the internet. He's a handsome, muscular dude with flowing hair who's literally named Chad, though given his consistently horrendous performance in battles and that he never does end up with anybody, he falls short of what an actual Chad is supposed to be like.
  • Ho Yay: Also has its own page.
  • It Was His Sled:
    • Almost everyone knows Aizen betrays the Soul Society
    • The reveal of both Ichigo and Rukia's bankai
    • The final chapter in which Ichigo ends up with Orihime
  • Jerkass Woobie: Now has its own folder on the anime/manga page.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Ichigo's sympathetic traits and lack of explicit romantic interest in anyone for most of the series means that he can—and has—been paired with almost anyone in the cast.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: A long established meme in the fandom that protagonists or antagonists that become personally connected to Ichigo never die wavered in the final arc due to two significant protagonist deaths, leading into a battle between Byakuya and As Nodt. As Nodt uses Byakuya's stolen Bankai to defeat Byakuya in an unusually graphic manner. Ichigo finds Byakuya pinned to a wall by his own blood, his arms bloody stumps and his torso ripped open to the spine. With his final breath, Byakuya begs Ichigo to save Soul Society and apologises for not being able to protect everyone, especially Rukia and Renji. As Ichigo races to find Yhwach, Byakuya's head bows and his sword slips out of his hand, crumbling away into nothing. The fandom went wild with speculation for weeks until the confirmation of Byakuya's survival killed for good any remaining expectations within the fandom for any further protagonist deaths.
  • Magnificent Bastard: See here.
  • Memetic Mutation: Also has a page.
  • Mis-blamed:
    • While many fans criticize Kubo Tite for glacial pacing leading to Arc Fatigue, the most consistently reviled arcs are Invading Army, Bount, and Arrancar. Of those three, the first two are anime-only Filler which Kubo had little to no involvement with. As for the Arrancar arc, interviews with Kubo suggest that he'd planned for it to be shorter but his editors at Shueisha pushed for much more attention given to the individual Arrancar characters. And blame the editors for the years it took to get any resolution to those plotlines if you want, but the reason they were pushing the Arrancar in the first place was their unexpected popularity with the fanbase.
    • The abrupt ending to the Thousand Year Blood War arc that left several plot threads and character statuses hanging was often blamed on Shonen Jump for cutting the series shorter than intended, a misconception fueled by Bleach's decline in sales and general popularity. In reality, Kubo simply wasn't in proper health to continue the grind of producing a weekly manga chapter and needed an extended break.
  • Moe:
    • Orihime. Before she was kidnapped, she was perky and bizarre, invoking feelings of protectiveness. Post-kidnapping even more so due to the emotion distress she causes.
    • Ururu, the Cute Bruiser who apologises even when attacking.
    • Hanataro is a male example. His clumsiness and kind-hearted nature cement his status as one.
    • Despite being the tallest woman in Bleach, Isane is normally portrayed as shy and suffers some self esteem issues from her height.
  • Narm: There's a page for that.
  • Narm Charm: The first opening, Asterisk, is hilariously indicative of mid-2000s anime trends with its constant "sliding" style of animation, showing characters in a variety of different outfits they never wear in the anime itself, occasionally garish color choices, and so on. Yet, all that combined with the genuinely great song and contrasted against some of the later, more generic "standing, running, fighting" openings ends up making Asterisk just as endearing and original as it is silly, to the point that it's held up as one of the best openings in the genre.
  • Never Live It Down: Orihime. You get kidnapped once, this happens only via a terrible Sadistic Choice that you truly can't refuse and suddenly, you're the Princess Peach of anime. It probably didn't help how similar the arc's setup was to the Soul Society arc, nor did the constant cries of "Kurosaki-kun!"
  • Nightmare Fuel: Here's its page.
  • No Problem with Licensed Games: Bleach: Soul Resurrección falls under either this or The Problem with Licensed Games (depending on whether or not you like anything similar to Koei's Bread and Butter franchise).
  • No Yay: Any scene involving Nnoitra and Orihime. It's quite clear what he wants to do. Ulquiorra even calls him on it. In the transition from manga to anime, some of the subtext was toned down; for instance, where the manga has Nnoitra shoves his fingers down Orihime's mouth and throat (actually enacting a popular kink in Japanese porn) during Ichigo's fight with Tesla, in the anime he covers her mouth with his hand.
    • The reveal that Shunsui and Nanao are uncle and niece, with Nanao being the daughter of his older brother. Cue many fans abandoning ship.
  • Periphery Demographic: One of the largest, strongest and craziest in the history of Shonen manga serialization. The generous amount of Action Girls and Clothing Damage the male characters suffer are major reasons why Bleach has quite a large female fanbase. In addition, there are several traits on this series that appease to the Shoujo fans: on one hand, Rukia and Ichigo get quite a bit of Ship Tease in the anime while on the other Orihime is a straight-up shoujo heroine placed in a shonen environment (cheerful personality hiding quite the issues, Magical Girl-like abilities, shoujo-like affections for Ichigo and borderline Romantic Two-Girl Friendship with both Rukia and Tatsuki included).
  • Relationship Writing Fumble:
    • Regardless of how you ship Ichigo, some fans feel the canonical pairing with Orihime is underrepresented when compared to the Fan-Preferred Pairing with Rukia. After spending much of the series declaring how Rukia is the most important person in his life and being compared to a married couple with her, seeing Ichigo married to Orihime, who he never treated any differently than his other friends and started off the series knowing only a tiny bit about, feels like a disservice to both characters, with fans of either pairing lamenting that it seems that Ichigo "settled" for Orihime rather than developing a genuine relationship with. It doesn't help that Orihime's relationships with other characters like Uryu, Ulquiora, and Tatsuki are written with more depth and interactions on both sides compared to her's with Ichigo.
    • On a similar note, Renji and Rukia getting together in the finale has this issue. While Renji and Rukia are very close, having grown up together and clearly see each other as incredibly important, the series never really goes into depth to imply that either one had romantic feelings for each other. Their childhood comes across with more of a Like Brother and Sister vibe, and it doesn't help that after the Soul Society arc, Renji only has a few instances of interactions with Rukia, which leaves the two looking like Platonic Life-Partners rather than having a Childhood Friend Romance.
  • The Scrappy: Go to the character section below for the specifics: Tousen, the Modsouls, Riruchiyo and Nozomi.
  • Seasonal Rot: The Fullbringer arc is considered this by many, especially anime watchers only fans. While the arc has interesting ideas and gives Ichigo some amount of development, the new Fullbring powers feel underused, the new characters are considered less interesting then ones who came before, and much of the history of Ginjo is never explored in the series, which leaves the arc feeling more like a filler arc compared to the previous. The only things people agree is that characters like Tsukishima are great, as well as liking the chance to give the human characters more spotlight, but for many the arc feels wasted.
  • Shipping Goggles: Shippers of whatever pairing are particularly fond of using this as the basis for their "my pairing is better/more likely to happen than yours" arguments, but this also extends to anti-shippers and non-shippers. The latter two are often sick of these endless ship wars breaking out all over the fandom, and more often than not, use Anti Goggles in an attempt to stop the debate by 'proving' that there will not be any canon pairings whatsoever.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat:
    • While the entry elaborates more on just how bleh it gets at its absolute worst, we'll give you a bit of a preview. The three most prevalent characters in the ship wars are Ichigo, Rukia and Orihime. Rabid fans of both Ichiruki and Ichihime are notorious for clawing out each others' throats on a daily basis, while those that support Ulquihime end up primarily going against Ichihime.
    • Ship Mates: On the more benign side, fans of one pairing generally support another pairing that makes a b-line for theirs. Those that ship Ichigo with Orihime tend to like Rukia, so they usually pair her up with Renji (which makes sense considering their backstory). Those that prefer Ichigo with Rukia are often more than happy to give Orihime off to Ulquiorra or Ishida (or sometimes Tatsuki or Riruka, while allowing Renji to go with Tatsuki. Even when they've never met.)
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: Toshiro/Karin is one, especially since they only meet in anime filler-arc. Tatsuki/Renji have a few fanfics despite never meeting in the series.
  • Signature Scene:
    • In general, any time a character reveals a new form of their Zanpakuto, you can expect a one-to-two page spread of them with their new blade.
    • Rukia stabbing Ichigo to awaken his Shinigami powers. Also reawakening his powers in the same way when he was at an all-time low.
    • Ichigo saving Rukia from execution by casually holding back the Soukyoku, which had turned into a firebird equivalent to a million Zanpakuto.
    • Ulquiorra finally understanding what the heart is and reaching out to Orihime just before he dies.
  • Squick: Mayuri Kurotsuchi's tendency towards invoking Body Horror sometimes reaches this level, but him molesting his lieutenant-slash-daughter definitely enters this territory. Szayel is full-on Body Horror and uses his zanpakuto release's abilities in ways that are highly reminiscent of molestation, and has a habit of moaning and licking his lips. It's not No Yay because he's not lusting after the heroes or deliberately being perverse, he's just gross like that.
  • Spoiled by the Format: The opening part of the Fake Karakura Town arc shows the lieutenants cutting down a few hollows and preparing to fight Barragan's fracciones. Ikkaku, Yumichika, and Izuru are pointedly shown releasing their shikai as they carve up the Hollows. Shuhei, whose shikai is unknown to the viewer at this point, just gets a panel of his face before killing his target with his unreleased sword. The viewer can thus most likely guess that this is the arc where that shikai gets revealed for the first time. In the same sequence, when Barragan is sending his fracciones to duel the lieutenants, all of them have panels of/pans over their faces except Cuuhlhorne, who is also the only one addressed by last name, so it's easy to understand his face and name are significant in some waynote .
  • Strangled by the Red String: A common complaint about Bleach's ending is the way that it paired its characters. While Orihime's crush on Ichigo was referenced as early as her first appearance, Ichigo never seemed to regard her as more than a friend—at best, a close, trusted friend—and seeing them together bothered a lot of fans. Ditto for Rukia and Renji, whose relationship was always described as familial and arguably more like siblings. Though both ships have their fans, most everybody agrees that the series didn't properly set them up before the epilogue.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Tosen believed that Soul Reapers were inherently corrupt, and did not fight for justice, but their own ends. Tosen eventually ended up betraying his own goals, but everything he said about them was not only right, but nothing in the story suggests that Soul Society has changed. For instance, Tosen resented the fact that his friend was murdered by her own husband and was not punished by the justice system for the crime because both were Soul Reapers. And while some prior injustices such as Rukia's sentencing and the banishment of the Visoreds were overcome, these were the actions of General Yamamoto, who Took a Level in Kindness by the end and used his emergency executive power to accomplish them. It's only after the deaths of Yamamoto and Yhwach that Soul Society begins the slow process of radical change, including disbanding the Central 46 and Hisagi beginning an investigation to obtain proper justice for Tosen's dead friend. Nothing is said about someone like Mayuri, however, who committed horrible deeds even well beyond what were considered Necessarily Evil. We're told that he was placed on trial for his actions before, but got off either because there were bigger problems at the time or because the Central 46 officially sanctioned them. After the crises are over and the Central 46 is disbanded, however, there is no indication of comeuppance for him.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Orihime and Chad in the Fullbringer arc. Both were focused on training themselves to cover for Ichigo, who lost his powers after his final fight with Aizen. While they show a bit of improvement from before the Time Skip, they mostly end up reduced to pawns for Tsukishima's Book of the End to psychologically torment Ichigo, and get knocked out for the rest of the arc once the Shinigami (and with them, Ichigo's powers) are reintroduced to handle Xcution.
    • Unohana. The first Kenpachi, the original Yachiru, and the worst criminal of the Soul Society, is perfectly willing to die so she could power up Zaraki. Additionally, her backstory remains undeveloped. We're not told how she got from being the worst criminal in Soul Society to the motherly healer seen throughout the series and it's not explored which, if either, should be considered the "real" personality. Further, many fans feel that Zaraki's improved abilities are more of a Power Up Letdown, since he's supposed to be so strong that nothing can stop him, and yet he keeps being taken out either by enemies even his zanpakutou spirit says he should be capable of beating alone or by his own powers backfiring, and the only thing he really ends up accomplishing post-empowering is being so powerful so as to essentially scare a reality-warping Sternritter into killing himself with his own powers.
    • Uryu Ishida unfortunately fell into this camp during the Thousand Year Blood War arc. Considering the fact that the arc was focused on the Quincies, and he was the only truly established Quincy before it began, it would make a lot of sense for Uryu's character to be heavily spotlighted and his backstory examined, especially when it's revealed that he has joined the Vandenreich. Instead Uryu appeared very sporadically throughout the arc with only a little focus on his character when necessary. Worse the reveal that he was a mole within the Vandenreich (already in itself a patently obvious reveal) comes off as poorly thought-out on his part, since he doesn't really accomplish anything in this role. Uryu doesn't even have a proper fight during the arc getting mostly Curb Stomped off-screen by Jugram before the latter gets absorbed by Yhwach and then only getting to fire a single arrow at said villain to end the final fight.
    • The Visoreds during the final arc. The three returning captains, Shinji, Rose and Kensei are beaten around in each fight they show up in (the later two outright die, then are briefly zombified, and despite being cured by Mayuri, they don't appear until the epilogue), and they glaringly never even attempt to use their Hollow masks, which would not only augument their powers but could give them an advantage against the Quincies, who are revealed to be susceptible to the essence of Hollows. The other Visoreds sparsely appear, with their most notable appearance being an utterly inconsequential team attack on the enlarged Gerard (though at least they tried using their masks).
    • Rangiku Matsumoto has an established connection to no less than three characters of importance throughout the series. Not only was she childhood friends with Gin Ichimaru but she was also the lieutenant of Isshin Kurosaki when he was the captain of Squad 10 and was also an incarnation of the Soul King before Aizen ripped that part of her soul out and fed it to his Hōgyoku when she was young. None of these connections or events are ever really used to give Rangiku meaningful Character Development (Rangiku and Isshin don't even interact during the final arc) and her primary role in the series is either as Toshiro's sidekick or Ms. Fanservice.
    • Tessai Tsukabishi. He's a former Soul Reaper of the Kido Corps, making him essentially The Archmage in terms of Kido, and potentially the best (or one of the best) users of it in the series. Plus he has a history for Urahara, the Visoreds, and knew of Aizen's evil like those who were wronged by him. Unlike just about all the other exiled Soul Reapers, he never gets any chance to appear in any meaningful way beyond being a shopkeeper, while being mostly comic relief. He's the only one of that group to not show up to fight Aizen or the Vandenreich, which is strange when everyone else appears in either arc to fight.
    • Jushiro Ukitake. One of the oldest Captains in the series, essentially the equal to Kyouraku, and someone tied to the deep history of Soul Society alongside Yamamoto, Unohana, and Kyouraku. Of all of them, he's used the least in the wider story, sitting on the sidelines for most of the story and only having two fights, one against Yamamoto that is offscreen, while the other, a brief fight against Starrk, gets ended when Wonderweiss injuries him and takes him out for the rest of the arc. This is made worse in the final arc, where it turns out he's Living on Borrowed Time thanks to having a piece of the Soul King in him as a child, only to then perform a Heroic Sacrifice that only buys the heroes a few minutes at best. Compared to the other three Captains, he gets barely any usage in the story, his powers are barely explained and utilized, and his personality remains almost entirely just a Nice Guy even with the vague hints of Beware the Nice Ones. While some of this is understandable since he has an illness that cripples him, he gets virtually no exploration save his past, which is used to justfy his Heroic Sacrifice moreso than giving him more depth.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: In the Lost Agent arc, its implied through Karin's interactions with Urahara and a comment about her reiatsu increasing by Ichigo that Karin is preparing to become a Soul Reaper in order to protect Ichigo and the rest of their family. Given that, just like her brother, the next arc reveals she has a Quincy mother and a Soul Reaper father, this could have been an interesting way of allowing her to become an ally in the final arc, either as a Soul Reaper or even awakening Quincy powers. Instead this plotline ends right after it gets introduced and Karin never again has anything to do with becoming a Soul Reaper.
  • Too Bleak, Stopped Caring: The Thousand Years Blood War arc suffers this a lot. Once again, the Gotei 13 can only seem to win a fight whenever it's stacked in their favour. Anyone Can Die. And they won't put up a fight either... Almost nobody gets to actually win a fight without extreme cost. Only the Author Can Save Them Now. Combine this with multiple Marathon Boss fights against people with extremely overpowered Antagonist Abilities and you have a recipe for people not caring until they simply see "Round two" or when things start turning the table.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • American culture has a relatively strong taboo (and in some areas, relatively strong LAWS) against first cousin marriage, while in Japan cousin marriage is fully legal and perceived more as quaint and odd than Squicky. Some American fans' reaction to the arranged engagement between first cousins Masaki and Ryuuken (which is presented as a casual aside) brought the dissonance to the front.
    • Japanese culture tends to view child abuse as a private problem that should be dealt with inside the family first and foremost, while Western attitudes are much more interventionist. From a Western perspective, Chad and Orihime both living without guardians by age 15—Orihime has been living alone since middle school, specifically because of parental abuse, and having limited economic support from her only living relative instead of living with her—can be difficult to suspend disbelief for. Reality Is Unrealistic, in many Western countries, even America, there are many officially and de facto independent minors in situations ranging from parental abandonment to walking out themselves to separation agreements that provide support but not control.
    • Kubo really really likes the Japanese Spirit trope, and as a result, many characters (especially Ichigo) have the tendency to power themselves up through sheer force of will. While it makes sense from a Japanese perspective, in Western eyes it often looks like the characters are pulling new abilities out of their behinds.
    • The complicated relationship between Captain Mayuri and his daughter/clone Nemu seems absolutely strange to Western audiences. Later chapters reveal that Mayuri views Nemu as his scientific Magnum Opus, and thus he holds a lot of pride in her growth and is unwilling to see her killed even to save his own life. This is treated in-universe as a sweet sentiment on Mayuri's part, and the closest he can ever come to Petting the Dog. In Japanese culture "amaeru" is referred to as a type of love that one feels towards a societal inferior (such as a child or subordinate) by which you are compelled to treat them well for selfish reasons. The chapter in question was thus demonstrating that since Mayuri has invested so much of his effort and pride in developing Nemu, he feels "love" (amaeru) towards her. Nemu's thoughts on the matter sum this up for the audience.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Badass?: Depending on which portion of the fanbase you talk to, Orihime is either this, an example of Underestimating Badassery or badass for non-fighting reasons.
  • The Woobie: Most of the good guys at some point achieve Woobie status, but the ones that stand out are, not surprisingly, the nominal cuties:
    • Orihime, who already had hidden issues, suffers one Heroic BSoD after the other in the Hueco Mundo arc. This culminates with her breakdown when Ulquiorra almost kills Ichigo in front of her. After so much, the girl needs a hug.
    • Momo. If Aizen's betrayal and stabbing her wasn't bad enough, everyone assaulting her because of Aizen's illusions in the Fake Karakura arc squarely makes her a woobie.
  • Woolseyism:
    • The replacement of "Shinigami" with "Soul Reaper" in the English releases, something that the Japanese studio actually agreed with. Kubo himself even said that the name "Soul Reaper" is a better fit for what the Soul Society are over Shinigami.
    • The Spanish occasionally gets partially cleaned up as well. Yammy screaming "¡Suerte!" (Luck!) was changed to "¡Qué suerte!" (What luck!).
    • Another change in the Spanish: As he uses Sprenger on Szayel, Ishida goes from saying "Hasta Aqui" (see you later) in the original, to "¡Está terminado!" (It's over!) in the dub.

Assorted Character YMMVs

    Main Characters 
Ichigo Kurosaki
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: His hero complex. Is it because he truly cares about his friends' safety, or has his trauma from his mother's death fueled his need to save people comes from his own perceived inability to save his mom? The story itself argues that they're both the same thing (his desire to save those precious to him motivates him to get stronger), but fans have debated this point.
  • Angst? What Angst?: The villain's big reveal of the Lost Agent Arc is supposed to break Ichigo with the shocking truth. Instead, Ichigo passively dismisses the villain's speech as nothing more than a scare tactic because he's already figured out and accepted the truth for himself. Unlike Ginjou, he realized Soul Society surveying a substitute soul reaper was common sense and that Ukitake had worded his description of the Substitute Badge's purpose to deliberately ensure Ichigo could figure out the truth for himself.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Being the main character and not having a definitive love interest for most of the series made him easy to pair off with most of the characters. To such an extent that he's often promiscuous in fanfics.
  • Memetic Loser: Not necessarily Ichigo himself, but the reforged Tensa Zangetsu. Yhwach regards it as dangerously powerful, and actually suffers a One-Hit Kill when Aizen gives Ichigo an opening, yet it's often ridiculed for ease and frequency at which Yhwach breaks it (though one instance was just part of Aizen's illusions), most egregiously right after Ichigo first released it.
  • The Woobie: Has its own page

Rukia Kuchiki

  • Broken Base: Rukia obtaining bankai. Depending on who you ask, this is either a long overdue development that treats Rukia with the importance that she deserves, or it's the final nail in the coffin of the idea that bankai is anything more than a generic power-up, when it had previously been treated as something that only the most exceptional Shinigami obtain.
    • Some fans find her fiesty and brave, while other people find her shrill and bratty.
  • Die for Our Ship: The wars between those who shipped Ichigo with her and those who shipped him with Orihime got very nasty, with both characters having their worst traits exaggerated.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: For whatever reason, fans like to ship her with a wide variety of characters, with her most commonly being one side of a Crack Pairing.
  • The Woobie: Her back story shows her having to deal with the deaths of her sister and her mentor, issues which affect her greatly during her imprisonment in the Soul Society arc.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Her importance to the story plummets after the end of the Soul Society arc. Before that point, she is basically the number 2 character after Ichigo, but after that arc, she disappears from the story for a while and then only shows up sometimes as an ally. And to top it off, right before Ichigo goes off to the final battle of the story, he tells Rukia to stay behind with Orihime and instead goes with Renji, despite the fact that it would have been a perfect opportunity for a Bookends to the story. They start the story as partners and end the story as partners against Ywach. But no, she gets to stay behind and do absolutely nothing.

Orihime Inoue

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Her crush on Ichigo, prior to the Lost Agent arc. Was it innocent and sincere, borderline obsession, or her way to actually strengthen herself? After she gets over the Hueco Mundo debacle, she shows more affection towards Ichigo than normal; is it because she's more open about her feelings, is it because she's back to being her Genki Girl self (and is naturally more enthusiastic), or is it because she's more comfortable about showing it since he's still clueless?
  • Angst? What Angst?: While the audience knows better, Riruka is weirded out about how casually Orihime mentions that her parents were horrible people to the extent that her brother ran away with her to save her life before dying himself a few years before the story began. This leaves her all alone apart from a distant aunt who pays for her education. What's she doing at the time? Drooling over donuts.
  • Base-Breaking Character: One of the most polarizing characters in the series. Supporters view Orihime as an endearing and adorable Love Interest, and like her supportive role (both emotionally and physically). Common criticism against her includes her minimal fighting ability and general aversion to fighting feeling out of place in a battle shounen, and her Reality Warper powers not being utilized to their fullest extent (such as her initial vow to do something about the Hougyoku that goes nowhere). Her characterization during the Hueco Mundo arc is especially controversial; some argue that her gradual mental breakdown is a perfectly realistic response to being held in captivity while her friends risk their lives to save her, while others were frustrated by her Neutral Female role in a Recycled Script of Rukia's kidnapping arc.
  • Broken Base: Chapter 587 had a fairly infamous color page depicting Orihime's rather large boobs in front of the camera, which caused an eruption between fans who find it to be uncharacteristic on the part of Orihime and needless eye candy on the part of Kubo, and fans who think it is an adequate symbolization of Character Development for Orihime (in that she's more confident than before and she's expressing it through her more revealing outfit). For the record, Chad - who trained with Orihime - now has a Walking Shirtless Scene, yet nobody is complaining about that quite as much. Chapter 589 tells us it was Urahara who suggested she wear it because "it would make Ichigo very happy"—which, given how squeamish Ichigo tends to be about sex, is pretty blatantly a lie.
  • Die for Our Ship: Primarily by the Ichigo/Rukia side to the fandom, often targeting her obsessive crush on Ichigo, the Stripperiffic outfits she wears later in the series (usually at another character's suggestion), and the time she tried to kiss Ichigo while he was in a coma.
  • Les Yay: Several cases in which she is easily the biggest case of Even the Girls Want Her in the series as she has had Les Yay moments with Tatsuki, Chizuru, Matsumoto, Riruka, Rukia, Loly, etc. In which certain fans have noted that some of these ladies have went further with her then Ichigo ever did.
  • Memetic Loser: Gets this reception for having a notorious arc dedicated to getting stronger that goes nowhere, with her in fact achieving the exact opposite results in the Hueco Mundo arc. Although some still argue in her defense, as seen by the What Measure Is a Non-Badass? example below.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: During the Fake Karakura Town arc Ulqiorra implies that Aizen has done something to significantly alter her. This is never mentioned again. As well, when she's captured by Aizen, she vows to use her powers to return the Hogyoku to a state of non-existence. This never comes up again, leaving it unclear what purpose she was meant to serve besides motivation for the heroes.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Badass?: Most characters in the story that have suffered from break-downs and moments of giving up entirely tend to receive sympathy, justifications and forgiveness by the majority of the fandom, who regard it as good character development in a story about constantly warring spiritual factions. Orihime is a pacifistic healer with shielding powers, who is singled out both in-universe and out as being unsuited for battle, leading to a kidnapping that split the fandom due to abuse of different kinds being heaped upon her without respite until it reaches breaking point. Part of the fandom believed this to be the natural outcome of her type of powers and personality, given that even talented fighters were struggling to succeed. Part of the fandom believed this made her irredeemable for not transforming into a warrior character to fight back in a successful way. The debate became high profile enough to reach the creator's ears, whereupon he stepped in to explain that Orihime's experience is a natural human reaction to the level of abuse and stress she had suffered. The fandom uses the author's statement on both sides of the debate.
  • The Woobie: She already suffered from a broken family. Aizen specifically intended to weaken her resolve when he captured her, and two of his Espada make her watch as the man she loves is nearly killed.

Yasutora "Chad" Sado

  • Base-Breaking Character: The Lost Agent Arc introduced X-Cution, a group of Fullbringers. Tite Kubo stated the arc was "Sado's Arc" but the fandom was split by Chad's coverage. While some fans were satisfied to see the nature of his power explored and explained, some fans were unsatisfied by his lack focus despite it being his arc. He was perceived as still generic and with a role that was much smaller than other character had in their arcs. Although the Fullbring reveal explained that Fullbringers arise from mothers who are attacked by Hollows, Chad's back story was not explored, leaving him less developed as a character than the rest of Ichigo's group.
  • Memetic Loser: His battle record is a common target of mockery, only displaying a decent performance against relative nobodies before getting trounced the moment he comes across a more credible threat (Soul Society and Hueco Mundo both had him smacked down shortly after managing a victory). Coupled with his minuscule plot relevance despite being one of the main characters, he's often ridiculed as irrelevant.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Out of all of Ichigo's friends Sado probably suffered from this the most. Initially he was setup as a strong ally to Ichigo, with his backstory and devotion to Ichigo endearing many in the fanbase to him. However, as the series progressed Sado was often used to establish the threat level of antagonists with many of his victories being immediately undercut by crushing defeats. Despite attempts to avert this with Sado being made Kubo never really seemed to follow through. All the training he underwent ending up as a bad case of Hard Work Hardly Works and his character arc unintentionally being cut short every time. The Lost Agent arc explores Fullbring (Sado's power type) and has him join the Xcution group to help Ichigo regain his Shinigami powers, yet Sado is barely part of the training process, establishes no relationships with the other Xcution members, does not learn anything from his time with the Fullbringers. Ultimately he was used as a pawn against Ichigo by the villains and not even allowed to join the final battle against the Fullbringers. The final arc is no better either, as he has very little if any relevance either.

    Thirteen Court Guard Squads 

Squad 1

Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto

  • Never Live It Down: While a lot of his decisions afterwards were more reasonable (sending Ichigo backup in Hueco Mundo, trying to get him out of the way of his suicide attack, restoring his powers and not killing Ishida just for being a Quincy), a lot of fans probably aren't going to forget about him sentencing Rukia as a traitor.
  • Too Cool to Live: Being one of the most powerful Shinigami, his death early in the final arc greatly increased the stakes and made the Vandenreich a much scarier opponent for the remaining characters..

Squad 2

Yoruichi Shihoin

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Is she cruelly playing fast and loose with Sui-Feng's obvious feelings and leading her on for her own sense of fun, is she aware and simply does not wish to return the feelings but also does not want to burden Sui-Feng with rejection, or does she love her but is merely torn between different obligations which cause her to feel she must keep Sui-Feng at arm's length?
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: She makes quite an impression, being badass, intelligent and funny. Despite all that, her appearances after the Soul Society arc are very sporadic. She's given very little independence as a character, with her main role in the story relegated to being Urahara's lackey. Many questions and potential plotlines involving her (such as how her defection affected the standing of the Shihoin House, if she misses anyone in her family, why she doesn't carry a zanpakuto and how she can turn into a cat) are ignored for hundreds and hundreds of chapters. Some have been answered; the Shihoin house is still going strong, her younger brother Yushiro (who looks quite similar to her) is now head of the family.


  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Fans debate whether her affection for Yoruichi is meant to be implicitly romantic, or if she just greatly admires her.
  • Die for Our Ship: More than one Urahara/Yoruichi rabid fan has been caught twisting her into a Psycho Lesbian to make Urahara a better "suitor" for Yoruichi.
  • Jerkass Woobie: She tends to be pretty harsh towards other characters, but her backstory shows that she didn't have an easy time growing up, and Yoruichi's defection hurt her pretty badly.

Squad 4

Retsu Unohana

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: She claims that she took up her medic role because she wanted to use it to fight more. Given that she changed her name to Retsu and refused to fight even in the face of an invasion, how much of it was truth and how much of it was a lie?
  • Base-Breaking Character: Her Yachiru characterization. While some fans don't like how she was turned into a counterpart of Zaraki and served as little more than a way to further hype his character, others liked the blood-hungry, serenely psychotic angle, seeing as it would make perfect sense for everyone to fear her with the revelation.

Squad 5

Momo Hinamori

  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • What are her true feelings regarding Hitsugaya? Kubo claims that it's platonic, but it's more than often portrayed as romantic.
    • Her feelings towards Aizen are just as ambiguous. Is it infatuation, Undying Loyalty or More Than Mind Control? According to Aizen's own words, it's the third option - one could argue that his claim is false, but considering the circumstances ( he told that to Hitsugaya right after stabbing Momo to almost death, and before almost killing him), there would be next to no reason for him to not tell the truth.
  • Die for Our Ship: Being a divisive character to begin with, she's often killed or otherwise mischaracterized to prop up other Hitsugaya ships: specifically, Hitsugaya/Rangiku.
  • Never Live It Down: The infamous "since when were you under the illusion that Kyoka Suigetsu wasn't active all this time?" moment, featuring her getting stabbed by Hitsugaya thanks to Aizen's hypnosis. It was already bad when Aizen did it directly to her in the Soul Society Arc, but this one subsequent moment pretty much cemented Hinamori as the series' preferred stab victim.
  • Values Dissonance: Japanese fans sympathize with her loyalty towards Aizen and her reluctance to accept his true nature, making her popular over there. Western fans tend to see her as someone in deep denial, and find her characterization foolish rather than sympathetic, making her rather base-breaking.
  • The Woobie: Aw, you poor girl.
    • First, there’s what happened when one of the people she trusted the most ends up betraying and almost killing her in the Soul Society Arc. Then, poor doesn't even begin to describe it when your childhood friend who swore to protect you with his life impales you with his sword from behind during the Fake Karakura Town Arc... and the one to blame is Aizen. AGAIN. It gets worse too. During the final arc, an army of Quincies invade and destroy Soul Society(which basically means they destroyed her home) and end up killing a lot of her colleagues, some of which were people she personally knew as friends.
    • If the anime’s filler arcs are taken into account, her anime counterpart has it even worse than her manga counterpart, because not only does anime Momo have to go through everything manga Momo did, but then there’s the cherry on top: She gets betrayed by someone close to her again and that someone even goes as far as to try to kill her, but it’s not Aizen. Rather, she got betrayed by someone who was even closer to her than Aizen: Her own Zanpakuto. Granted, they reconciled later, but still...

Squad 6

Byakuya Kuchiki

  • Broken Base: Byakuya's "death" scene in the final arc split the fandom in half. His fans were horrified at his death and overjoyed to later learn that he had survived. However, the rest of the fandom disliked the outcome having felt the death scene was extremely well-written, but then rendered pointless by the revelation that he had survived; it was felt that the tension created by the killing of Yamamoto and his lieutenant had been removed in favor of restoring Status Quo Is God. Not helping either side of the debate is that while he does play a role in the story after this, his overall impact is very minor, which raises the question of why he was returned, while naturally some don't really care and are just happy he is there.

Renji Abarai

  • Broken Base: His fight with Jackie. Did he have a point in regards to it, or was it an horrible Out-of-Character Moment?
  • Die for Our Ship: Has been increasing steadily with time, specially from rabid Ichigo/Rukia fans who think of him as an abusive, misogynistic loser who has no right to Rukia's love.
  • Memetic Loser: Renji is considered one of the weakest characters amidst the protagonists, even used as a benchmark to determine if an enemy is actually worth any trouble.note  This of course ignoring some of his more legitimate victories against the likes of Jackie and Mask. Doesn't help that Renji is the one of Bleach's poster boys for The Worf Effect.
  • What an Idiot!: Renji trying to use his Bankai several times against the Vandenreich even after seeing firsthand that they can steal Bankai for their own use. One can argue that he was emotionally broken after Byakuya almost bites it, but SHEEEESH.

Squad 7

Sajin Komamura

  • Memetic Mutation: Komamura's reaction when Tosen says he's ugly. It's been used for a variety of other serious lines to inject a bit of comedy, like "I am your father."
  • Stoic Woobie: During the final arc, he gives up his heart to obtain a human form and an invulnerable Bankai, but this ultimately reduces him to an ordinary wolf who can no longer serve the Gotei 13.

Squad 8

Shunsui Kyoraku

  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • A rare case where this is intentional on his part. He freely admits that he prefers to keep his motives and mindset ambiguous and unpredictable. He could be interpreted as Obfuscating Stupidity whenever he can get away with it.
    • His strategy to get Unohana to train Zaraki so the latter can take a level in badass. Was it a needless case of sacrificing the second strongest captain after Yamamoto (and the best healer) in an attempt to make Zaraki even stronger? Was it actually another case of Kyoraku recognizing that Unohana was too much of a pacifist and that Zaraki is a more valuable asset on the battlefield? One crack theory is that he recognises that Unohana is stronger than he is, and with Yamamoto gone, there's no one able to keep her in check. So, given her closeted instability, she now presents a threat, is he just using Zaraki as a convenient excuse to get rid of her?
    • Why did he go to the living world, on his own, to relay a message to Ichigo's Muggle friends when he could've sent Nanao? Was it because he's more concerned about other peoples' feelings than Yamamoto, was it his way of showing proper gratitude towards Ichigo, or was it because he's willing to take the blame from Ichigo's friends over whatever happens to Ichigo? Perhaps it's all three? Maybe, he was lying to them about the nature of the Soul Tickets and plans to use them for something?
  • Memetic Molester: His behavior towards his subordinates occasionally seems rather suspect, especially towards the future Lieutenant Nanao Ise during the flashback arc. Becomes a case of No Yay when it's revealed that they're uncle and niece through Shunsui's older brother.

Squad 9

Shuhei Hisagi

  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Tite Kubo was very surprised to hear how popular Hisagi was. He admitted he would have preferred fans to have waited until they could get to know the personality rather than latching onto a character that (at the time) had barely been revealed.
  • Stoic Woobie: He's just as hurt by Tousen's betrayal as Kira and Hinamori are about Gin and Aizen, respectively, but he doesn't allow it to interfere with his duties.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: In the finale, he is forced to undergo training by Kensei to awaken his Bankai so that he can fight in the final battle. Nothing comes of this at all, and he doesn't play any role in the final battles of the series, nor do we see anything about his Bankai at all. The plan was to use it during the final war but had to be cut off due to Kubo's declining health forcing him to end the final arc abruptly. The spin-off novels do have him use his Bankai there, but due to the questionable canonicity of them, Hisagi never actually showcases his Bankai in a 100% canon fashion.

Squad 10

Toshiro Hitsugaya

  • Americans Hate Tingle:
    • Despite being the most popular character in Japan, in America he's hated just as much as he's adored, with both sides being very vocal depending where you look.
    • In Europe and Latin America, it's fairly different. He's nowhere as divisive or loved than in Japan and the USA. Basically, he's simply the target of affectionate jokes to them.

Rangiku Matsumoto

  • Iron Woobie: Despite her rough childhood and her having to deal with Gin betraying the Shinigami, she still manages to remain plucky, kind and strong.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Gin reveals that when they were kids, Aizen removed a piece of Rangiku's soul as part of an attempt to create a proto-Hogyoku. How this affected her and why she doesn't seem to remember isn't explored, and since then the plot point hasn't been acknowledged in any way, shape or form. The later released novels make this worse by revealing she had a part of the Soul King in her. Such a major reveal would make it seem like she is important, but after the Arrancar arcs end, she hardly appears.
  • The Woobie: She was an orphan who had almost starved to death before she met Gin. In the present story she has to deal with her oldest friend joining up with a man who wants to overthrow the Soul Society.

Squad 12

Mayuri Kurotsuchi

  • Memetic Molester: His penchant for experimentation and the suggestive way he revives Nemu in the Arrancar arc causes fans to portray him as someone without much sense of personal space.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Some fans feel this way about the conflict between him and Ishida, especially given Mayuri's escape without comeuppance and that his actions were largely brushed under the rug afterward. Kubo wasn't planning it to go that way, however, as he wanted to pit Uryu and Mayuri into several fights before Uryu finally avenged his grandfather.

Nemu Kurotsuchi

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Does she truly take her abuse from Mayuri in stride, or are there lingering feelings of resentment towards him?
  • Iron Woobie: She takes a lot of abuse from Mayuri, but she doesn't let it affect her (nor does she show it often). In fact, the abuse seems to have decreased with every arc, so perhaps Mayuri may have softened up a little.

Squad 13

Jushiro Ukitake

  • Memetic Molester: He's shown to be awfully friendly towards the young Captain Hitsugaya, regularly gifting him snacks. This naturally leads to lewd comments about him from fans. He's also regularly shown to be friendly towards children, refusing to fight Lillynette and in the anime his zanpakuto are shown to be a pair of kids.

Kaien Shiba

  • Epileptic Trees: He looked like a more cheerful, black-haired Ichigo. Lots of fans believed that Ichigo was his reincarnation. But he wasn't. He's actually Ichigo's late cousin.

    Aizen, His Cohorts and the Arrancars 
Sōsuke Aizen
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Is he actually planning everything out to the letter, or is he exaggerating his involvement by taking credit for stuff that happened outside his sphere? Maybe he's trying to psyche out his opponents with absurd rants and random Ass Pulls? Does he really believe things are due to the will of the Hogyoku, or is he attempting to deflect that he's actually improvising? Hell, maybe he's a complexity addict who's so narcissistic that he thinks everything that happens is because of his will.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Being a handsome, charismatic antagonist to the morally ambiguous Shinigami sometimes causes fans to portray him as more noble than he's ever shown as in the actual story.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Just for a few minutes, ladies (and some gentlemen), let's forget that he's one of the most controversial characters in recent history and appreciate what he has in the looks department, hmmm?
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: His penultimate transformation after merging with the Hougyoku — a butterfly with a mullet in a dress.
  • Fountain of Memes: He inspires a lot of memes related to his grand reveals and taunting comments towards other characters.
  • It Was His Sled: Aizen being the Big Bad was a major spoiler for its time, but the series has gone on for so long with Aizen as the main villain, that his status as the villain is no longer spoiler-tabbed here.
  • Memetic Mutation: The items he usually uses to play up his Faux Affably Evil status like his tea and his couch.
    • His frequent use of Xanatos Gambits and incredulous statements has fans making him behind all sorts of devious plots in other series, including writing the manga itself.
      "Since when were you under the impression I wasn't writing the script?"
    • As of the Vandenreich arc, his return has him still bound to a chair, observing everything. Said chair has also taken a considerable amount of abuse and is still standing intact. As a result, he gains the nickname Chair-sama from the fanbase.
  • Memetic Molester: Things like stabbing Momo and placing his hand on Ichigo's chest to show how easy he could get to him causes some to jokingly interpret him with sexual undertones.
  • Memetic Troll: Sosuke Aizen, a Soft-Spoken Sadist who practically rubs in the protagonists' (and the audience's) faces at every opportunity. While his plans were carefully laid out with judicious use of his zanpakuto's totally hax powers during the Soul Society arc, the infamous Hinamori incident in which he brutally showcased his Kyoka Suigetsu's abilities automatically propelled him from Chess Master to God of the Bleach-verse in the eyes of the fandom, with countless parodies to boot. Even after his eventual defeat, fans could still be heard musing that he's just using his Bankai to progress the plot.
  • Moral Event Horizon: While stabbing Momo and revealing he was manipulating her to be loyal to begin with is bad, most fans were ready to give up on him once he has Hitsugaya and several others stab her while using his powers of illusions to trick him to think she was him.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: We never find out what exactly his Bankai does, which is odd because his fellow traitors all revealed theirs without much trouble. It could be argued that his Shikai alone was already so broken trying to up the scale would have snapped any tension of the plot in half, but not even expanded materials come close to suggesting what its powers are.
  • Vindicated by History: An minor example all things considered. He was always a Base-Breaking Character, and his Gambit Roulette certainly played a part in it. Some even rejoiced when he was defeated. However, many fans felt with how aimless the later story arcs that there really was nowhere else for the series to go once he was out of the picture, so some reeavaluated their stance on the guy for, if nothing else, giving the series a direction during his time.

Gin Ichimaru

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: When giving Ichigo a speech on how he had failed, was he trying to motivate Ichigo to regain his resolve as a backup in case his own plan to kill Aizen failed, or was he just doing it for his own amusement? Hell, was his messing with Rukia out of random sadism, or was he actually trying to delay the execution (since Ichigo appeared almost literally at the last second)? Knowing Gin, it could very well be both.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: He was supposed to be creepy and off-putting, but gained a rather significant fangirl following regardless. It's gotten worse since his betrayal of Aizen. Several fans have gone so far as to call him a "good guy," despite his psychological torture of Rukia, his gleeful bifurcation of Hiyori, and the fact that he attacked Aizen for Rangiku's sake and no one else's. You could argue that he's an anti-hero, but flat-out calling him a "good guy" is going too far. And it's also even more blatant when fans claim that Rangiku is a slut or an ungrateful bitch for moving on with her life and not mourning him for the rest of her life.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Tite Kubo never intended Gin to be popular. He wanted him to be creepy. He was very surprised by how popular Gin became.
  • Woolseyism: In Japan he has a Kansai Regional Accent. The Kyoto accent is softer, more polite and more indirect than standard Japanese. They couldn't quite pull that off for the English version seeing as it would sound downright silly and uncharacteristic, so instead he gets a faux-British accent with a facetious tone.

Kaname Tōsen

  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: When he's thoroughly defeated, barely able to talk and finally confronted by Hisagi and Komamura, he admits that he was in the wrong just before dying, causing many fans to feel bad for him in the end.
  • The Scrappy: Tousen earned a great deal of dislike during his fight with Kenpachi; he removes Kenpachi's senses then lectures him while knowing that he can't hear it, toying with him instead of ending it. It gives Kenpachi a chance to adapt and turn the tables. Once his motives for siding with Aizen against Soul Society came out, the dislike worsened. He is motivated by a desire for peace and a decision to find the path of least bloodshed towards achieving that peace... by supporting a man that incites civil war within Soul Society and who follows up that civil war with a war between Shinigami and Hollows. His reasoning is therefore viewed as stupid and hypocritical by fans and was cemented further when the first thing he did upon gaining sight was insult his oldest and most noble friend, Komamura.

Coyote Starrk

  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Not as much compared to say Grimmjow or Ulquiorra, but the tragedy of his character makes him one of the most popular Espada and villains despite his relative little screentime to the point he often gets Spared by the Adaptation in fanworks.
  • The Woobie: He's basically Lonely at the Top and I Just Want to Have Friends to the point he joined Aizen and saw the other Espada (who aside from Harribel aren't really pillars of moral character) as the closest things he had to friends. The entire reason he fights and dies for Aizen is because he's just that grateful to him for averting his loneliness. It's hard not to want to give him a hug.

Baraggan Louisenbairn

  • Evil Is Cool: His Post-Release form is a skeleton in robes and with a crown, making him stand out as a majestic and scary villain.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: He has a very large online American fanbase. He was more popular than Aizen in the online fandom for a long while.

Ulquiorra Cifer

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: His final moments are of some contention. Was he trying to ask for forgiveness by reaching out to Orihime? Was he trying to get one final chance at touching someone before he died? Was it his way of symbolizing that he understands what a human bond is?
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Alternative Character Interpretation is one thing, and his and Orihime's interactions can be seen in rather different ways... but some of his fangirls can get really creepy in their admiration for him, going so far as to utterly dismiss how he repeatedly went the Breaking Lecture way with Orihime (despite them having gotten along decently well at the beginning, as shown in Unmasked), brutally mauled Ishida and killed Ichigo.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: He became very popular with fans after his debut, even managing to get into the top ten of the final character polls.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Quite a few people prefer him to be with Orihime. He's her most popular Foe Yay partner, and forms the second or first most popular Orihime ship overall.
  • Jerkass Woobie: As bad as he can be, his backstory showcases his loneliness and his desire to understand what a heart truly is causes a lot of fans to feel sympathetic towards him.

Nnoitra Gilga

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: He clearly has an inferiority complex, but there's enough ambiguity in its execution that this crops up as a result. Some would say his sexism is just a ruse to cover up his insecurities. Nelliel was the only one he displayed sexism towards, but he wouldn't been admit it to her face, not even when she asked him why he wanted to fight her.
    • There's also a camp that believes Nnoitra was such a rat bastard to Nel because he was attracted to her and wasn't able to handle that well.
    • Given that he's past the Despair Event Horizon in some form, his Don't You Dare Pity Me! attitude might have resulted in equating that to someone looking down on him.
    • Another reason for his utter hatred of her could be that, during many of their fights, Nelliel would never finish him off, which Nnoitra, as a Death Seeker, took as the ultimate insult and kept trying to provoke her into killing him off. That, and she was rather condescending towards him, going so far as to belittle his entire mindset as primitive and unworthy of a warrior.
  • Awesome Music: Treachery fits magnificently when he releases his Resurreccion.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Not nearly as much as others, but he does have his share of fangirls who don't seem to care that he's a male chauvinist and an outright creep. Some fan arts even portray him as being far more good looking than he actually is.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain:
    • The infamous spoon-shaped thing behind his head, and dear Lord, those shoes.
    • Not quite so much when Nel was still around. Apparently he just lost what little fashion sense he had over the years.
  • Foe Yay: There's a lot of this between him and Nel. Some subscribe to the theory that he couldn't handle his feelings for Nel, others believe he really did hate Nel but also lusted after her.
  • Memetic Molester: His rapeface puts Grimmjow's Slasher Smile to shame. It's really not helped by him basically enacting Japanese porn kinks when restraining Orihime.

Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Is he a genuinely sadistic Blood Knight, or is he a just bully who's trying to assert himself as "the king" due to an inferiority complex?
    • Did he seemingly abandon his ambitions to be King of Hueco Mundo after witnessing Aizen's downfall personally, seeing where such lofty ambitions get you, or does he still intend to rule it once he's dealt with Ichigo for good?
  • Draco in Leather Pants: He does plenty of awful things throughout the seriesnote , and his overall personality is petty and sadistic. While Grimmjow did have a few Pet the Dog moments and showed some hints of a warrior's honor, he's ultimately only slightly better than the likes of Nnoitra but certainly not as sympathetic as Harribel.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Grimmjow is easily one of - if not the - most popular villains in the entire manga ever since his first appearance and fight, to the point where in the last popularity poll he ended up in the top five whereas many of Ichigo's close friends/allies didn't even place top ten.
  • Evil Is Cool: His cool design and his brutal fighting style form the base of a lot of his popularity.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Grimmjow's usual outfit is a jacket open to display his abs at all times and it gets completely shredded off in his second bout with Ichigo. His face, voice and hairstyle also really help.

Szayelaporro Granz

  • Memetic Molester: From his Zanpakuto's name being Fornicaras ("you will fornicate") to his ultimate technique impregnating himself in Nemu's body, he's full of sexual undertones.
  • Squick: Incarnate, even more so than Mayuri. Even his "pretty" resurrection gets pretty gross when you realize it's a parasitic worm. His sword's name translates to "you will fornicate", for crying out loud! Since he specifically wants people to hate him, appearing as grotesque as possible is likely intentional on his part, or he could just be a narcissist. His sword's name can also be translated to "you will rape".

Yammy Llargo

  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The whole Cero Espada deal. Fans have been mocking the idea that Yammy could be the strongest of the Espada despite his terrible track record in fights... then it turns out he is.
  • Memetic Loser: Yammy is supposed to be the Cero Espada in his released state, yet much of the audience views him as a joke. Over the course of the Arrancar Saga, Yammy's simple-minded brutish fighting style gets him constantly humiliated. Ichigo quickly cuts off an arm and might have done more if his inner Hollow hadn't paralyzed him, Urahara fools him with a blowup doll and analyzes his Bala enough to neutralize further use of the technique, and Uryu uses anti-Arrancar mines from Mayuri to send him plummeting all the way down Las Noches. Even when he does release, Kenpachi and Byakuya have such an easy time handling him that he becomes an Ignored Enemy. It's probably quite telling that Aizen didn't bring him along to invade Karakura Town.

Luppi Antenor

  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Oh yes. Some people didn't realize he was a boy until one of the Espadas explicity referred to him as such.

Tesra Lindocruz

  • Draco in Leather Pants: Despite his actions (blasting a Cero at Nel, willingly and fully knowing that she was in her child form, as well as breaking Ichigo's arm and nearly finishing him off), fanon would have you believe that Tesla is just Nnoitra's unusually willing and soft-spoken punching bag... among other things.
    • Strangely, the dub managed to make it even more explicit, with the way he call's Nnoitra "Master."

Loly Aivirrne and Menoly Mallia

  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Since the animation of Loly's scenes with Orihime called special attention to the Foe Yay between them, a growing interpretation of Loly as a Depraved Bisexual has started to crop up.
    • Also open to interpretation is the reason that they decided to go after Orihime a second time after she had gone through the trouble of healing them, once they were mauled by Grimmjow. Much fan wank ensued (see below), but it should be remembered that these two Hollows, spirits born from death, despair and fear, were faced with a being that can literally rewrite reality so that events do not occur (i.e. revive them). Taken in this context, Orihime is less like an angel of mercy to these two and more like an Eldritch Abomination from their perspective - a being whose nature and abilities are so alien that they outright defy explanation. Considering this, it's understandable that they would react less than pleasantly to what happened to them.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: On a few forums, YouTube and DeviantArt, there are fans of Loly, but they acknowledge her unstable personality. Both of them are (big surprise) popular among Orihime haters.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Evil, definitely. Drawn to be attractive, also definitely.

Cirucci Sanderwicci

  • Epileptic Trees: One of the mysterious "spoils of war" Mayuri collected from Szayelaporro is believed by many to be her remains. This was confirmed in the second Vandenreich invasion.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Her attractive figure and her use of a whip gained her certain fans.

Lilynette Gingerback

  • Tear Jerker: Lilynette's death is the anime is sudden and very heartbreaking; Lilynette takes a blow for Starrk and dies very quickly. The following shot of Starrk calling for Lilynette as smoke from the attack reveals her fate adds to the revelation of her death.
  • The Woobie: She hasn't really hurt anybody until she became Starrk's weapon after his resurreccion, and she shares his Dark and Troubled Past every step of the way. So did she really deserve to die?

Emilou Apacci, Franceska Mila Rose, and Cyan Sung-Sun

Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Was she babysitting Nnoitra to stick it to his chauvinist beliefs, or was it due to her feeling obligated to protect a comrade (even if he was a prick)? Seems to extend to Grimmjow now, as of the Blood War.
  • Broken Base: Half of her fans prefer her child form, while the other half prefers her adult form. Her child form is either funny or annoying, while her adult form is either condescending and boring, or badass and hilarious (see her glomping Ichigo).
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: She's mostly just tags with Ichigo for most of the Hueco Mundo arc acting purely as a comic relief. Then finally get the reveal about her true nature, kicks a good amount of ass...and then her power runs out. Basically a glorified Hope Spot. To which she's regulated to Ichigo's cheering squad for the rest of the arc. Worse, there's no follow up to her once the arc's over. She's just gone without a trace for the Deicide through Fullbringer arcs before returning for the Vandenreich arc wherein, despite regaining her adult form once again thanks to a bracelet Urahara outfitted her with, she doesn't even get to have a single fight due to the series sudden ending.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Nnoitra is a disgusting misogynist and sadist, but Nelliel was foolish to continually spare him while she was an Espada, rubbing each defeat in his face and not expecting him to eventually retaliate. She viewed her actions as compassionate and respectful to a colleague, but it was blatantly obvious that Nnoitra was beyond help.

Wonderweiss Margela

Kugo Ginjo
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Ginjo was the first Substitute Soul Reaper who turned against the Soul Society because he felt betrayed. His actions were the reason it was against the law to give humans Soul Reaper powers. He had potential to explore more of Soul Society's dark past and being setup as Ichigo's Evil Counter Part. Despite having all these interesting elements Ginjo's history wasn't explored in detail unlike the other members of the Xcution and he's defeated in a single chapter after both he and Ichigo release their bankai. Fans felt cheated at not getting Ginjo's history, especially since it was hinted that he knew of Urahara and Isshin. He had the chance to appear in the final arc, but he only appears roughly twice before vanishing, both times being mostly just cameo roles with no significance.

Giriko Kutsuzawa


  • Alternate Character Interpretation: He claims that he enjoyed driving his parents to suicide, but when someone insinuates that he abandoned them, he completely flipped his shit. There was also a scene where he was crying, bringing to question whether or not he regrets his parents' deaths.

Shukuro Tsukishima

  • Draco in Leather Pants: His good looks and loyalty to Ginjo cause some people to overlook his sadistic manipulation of other characters.

Tatsuki Arisawa
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Tatsuki is possibly Bleach's crowning example of a wasted character. Early on in the story, things seemed to be setting up for her to join the main cast. To wit, she is a childhood friend of Ichigo, is one of the best martial artists in the country, and develops spiritual awareness early on. However, once characters started getting powers, Tatsuki didn't. After this, she spends several arcs Locked Out of the Loop and hell-bent on figuring what the hell is going on with her friends. She's shown several times to have high spiritual power for a human, and when the Deicide arc comes around, she's the first person in Karakura to wake up. After Aizen's defeat, she finally gets the explanation that she's been looking for off-screen, and then she has no further relevance. She easily could have awakened powers during the Fullbringer arc or the final arc, and been an ally for Ichigo and the others to defeat Ywach, but she ultimately gets one minor appearance before vanishing until the final few pages of the manga.
  • The Woobie: She has to be saved by her friends multiple times, and as she never gains powers she can't fight alongside them, no matter how much she wants to help them.

Kukaku Shiba

  • Crazy Is Cool: An old friend of Yoruichi, a one-time ally and trainer of Ichigo, both of whom she shoots out of a giant fireworks cannon into the very heart of the Seireitei.

Isshin Kurosaki

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Is he a well-meaning man who did what he could to prepare Ichigo for the kind of life having spiritual powers would bring him, and who only held back on telling him about his past because he might not be ready to hear it? Or has him keeping so many secrets from Ichigo done nothing more than cause him undue pain, especially since Ichigo usually ends up hearing it from the villains instead? Does he treat his son more like a weapon than a person, encouraging him to put himself in harm's way and only getting involved in his struggles when he absolutely has to, and putting a lot more faith in Urahara's complex and morally dubious plans than he really should? Even a couple of the characters (including Isshin himself) have said that his parenting skills kind of suck. In fact, Isshin suggests that, of the pair of them, Ryuuken is the better father, because at least he's been honest and consistent about what he wants for Uryuu.

Ryuuken Ishida

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Is he a genuinely emotionally abusive father who either doesn't understand or even worse doesn't care what his merciless criticism is doing to his son, or is he being harsh only because the spirit world will be harsher and if Uryuu is determined to stay involved in the face of Ryuuken's opposition he has to be ready to face it? On the one hand, Ryuuken has said some egregiously horrible things to Uryuu ("I have no interest and you have no talent" being kind of the standout example, given how young and impressionable the kid was at the time), to the point where (generally polite and dutiful) Uryuu can't stand to live under the same roof with him. He's also tried to police who Uryuu is friends with, which is a major red flag for abuse in real life. On the other hand, Ryuuken's apparently got a lousy track record at actually preventing Uryuu from sneaking off to see Souken or Ichigo and Company, and the Final Arc suggests Uryuu really is in over his head and going to need to be crazy-tough to make it out alive. The middle-ground position (especially post-"Everything but the Rain") is more-or-less that Ryuuken acted out of love and concern (and accepted that his relationship with his son was collateral damage) but took dissuading Uryuu a LOT further than he should have...the Despair Event Horizon might have something to do with that.
  • Stoic Woobie: Ryuuken initially appears to be cold, aloof, bitter, sarcastic and hypercritical. Then it's hinted that Beneath the Mask he might be gentle and protective. Then a Whole Episode Flashback arc reveals he used to be a warm and kind personality with high hopes for the future of the quincies until Aizen's Hollowfication experiments incidentally destroyed his Arranged Marriage and he was forced to sacrifice that hope. Then it's revealed he could not fix the problem and had to stand aside while a Soul Reaper fixed it instead. Then his wife was killed and an attempt was made on his young son's life when a folkloric quincy prophecy came true. In the current storyline, he and his son Uryuu are badly estranged because Uryuu is furious that Ryuuken refuses both to use his quincy powers AND to explain his refusal. Ryuuken has downright encouraged his son to come to the worst possible conclusions about his motivations and we still don't know exactly why. Yet not once during all this has Ryuuken complained about how his life has turned out.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Despite his deep backstory, Ryuuken is underused in the story heavily. He gets one "fight" against Uryu when wanting to unlock Uryu's powers again, before sitting around the series and doing nothing to advance the story. The final arc especially has him sitting out despite the Big Bad being responsible for the death of his wife, and his cousin who he was close to (Masaki). He appears once to hand over the item needed to beat the Big Bad and then vanishes. Its especially bad when you consider that Isshin gets to actually show up and fight Aizen, and gets a larger role in the story despite both being framed as characters in the same position narratively speaking.

Kanae Katagiri

  • Iron Woobie: A genuinely kind young woman, deeply in love with Ryuuken, who is forced to witness his emotional breakdowns in "Everything but the Rain". She keeps her grief for him to herself until the very end of the arc, and holds it together well enough even then to coax him home after his Heroic BSoD. A few years after she manages to help him pick up the pieces of his heart, they marry and have a child together, what happens? She falls into a coma and dies.

Kisuke Urahara

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: His morality is probably one of the longest-running debates in the Bleach fandom. Is he wholly benevolent and only concerned with stopping the bad guys? Or is he a Manipulative Bastard who's only differentiated from Aizen by having a lot less ambition? Do his plans involve manipulating people because they're the best he can think of? Or does he not care about their well-being enough to think of better options? Does he feel guilty when his plans fail and people get hurt because of them? Or is he unconcerned as long as the endgame is successful? It doesn't help that none of the people who have been hurt by his plans have ever called him out on it, and he remains as guarded to the reader as he does to the other characters, making it hard to determine if he's even supposed to come off a particular way. It has been implied a couple of times that Ichigo doesn't truly trust him (he hesitates when Ginjo asks him if he truly knows anything about Kisuke, and he outright admits near the start of the last arc that Urahara doesn't tell him anything).
Ururu Tsumugiya
  • Creepy Cute: Whenever she lapses into her Creepy Child mode complete with Creepy Monotone speech pattern.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Despite being a relatively minor character with very little screen time and plot significance she made enough of an impression to come in at numbers 10 and 15 in the first and second popularity polls. Outranking other more plot significant characters.

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: His final claims of having been trying to create a world without fear of death, complete with a Single Tear. Was the narrative trying to evoke a genuine Alas, Poor Villain moment, or was it simply the ramblings of an Ax-Crazy Unreliable Narrator trying to paint himself in a positive light? Consider that Yhwach has been portrayed as extremely self-centered, believing that everything in the world exists for him to take. Furthermore was it rather poorly done or a rather understandable motive? Especially once Fridge Logic kicks in and one realises that Yhwach's Eden among other things would have solved the Hollow-Problem, as Hollows cannot exist without humans dying.
  • Anticlimax Boss: Despite his godlike power, he dies thanks to a last-minute intervention that had limited foreshadowing involving his Auswählen being turned back on him and a simple attack from Ichigo's shikai while depowered. It was unfortunately expected when the series was forcibly cut short, but for most readers, it was still a lukewarm ending for the tyrant.
  • Broken Base: Is Yhwach taking on the name of the God of Abraham offensive or a perfect way to cement his status as the Dark Messiah? Or perhaps it's a perfect way to cement his status as the Dark Messiah BECAUSE it's so offensive?
  • Evil Is Cool: His successful invasion of the Soul Society initially gained him a lot of fans, who found him and the Vandenreich far more effective than the Arrancar.
  • Memetic Mutation: His hilarious reply to Luders prediction is quite popular in the fandom. "Luders Friegen, are you perhaps a prophet?"
  • Moral Event Horizon: He was always a prick, but it really hit home once we find out that he instigated a purge on "impure" Quincies, which led to the deaths of Masaki and Uryuu's own mother. What's more, Uryu was one of the targets... meaning Yhwach tried to kill an eight year old boy just for existing. The fans have turned against him full-force after that.

Äs Nödt

  • Broken Base: His brief backstory. Many feel that it elevated him into an Alas, Poor Villain route, while just as many think that it was too short for anyone to truly care.
    • His Villainous Breakdown falls under a similar scenario. Either his grotesque transformations make him as terrifying as ever, or his constant rants about fear and disgusting transformations take away from the horror.
  • Evil Is Cool: His terrifying powers and demeanor made him one of the more popular of the Sternritters.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: most refer to Äs Nödt as male these days, but there's still some confusion about his gender, even though he refers to himself as the masculine "boku" in chapter 501. While at a book festival in Germany, Tite Kubo confirmed the gender as male, but some parts of the fandom still think the character is female.

Bambietta Basterbine

  • Creepy Awesome: Her penchant for brutality is both freaky and badass.
  • Evil Is Cool: Her being a psycho-bitch that makes everything explode makes her a rather fun antagonist.
  • Evil Is Sexy
    • She's a crazy lady, but she's quite the looker herself, something the camera enjoys pointing out to the audience. She's even aware of this as she orders a random soldier to her room and kills him out of frustration. She's one of the most popular members of her group as a result.
    • Depending on your preferences, her zombie self can be quite attractive, specially when she starts drooling when she says she wants "something" from Giselle.
  • Jerkass Woobie: She was a psychotic, trigger happy bitch, yes... and that still doesn't mean Giselle's treatment (and conversion) of her as a zombie was right.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Some fans had been hoping to see Bambietta use Komamura's Bankai, which she stole during their first battle, in their second fight. Instead, the Bankai were stolen back by their Soul Reaper owners giving the Stern Ritter access to their Vollständig again. Sure, we got to see Komamura fight with an upgraded Bankai, but it still could have been an interesting battle.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Bambietta is an arrogant Jerkass and psycho bitch. Her Karmic Death and Giselle's treatment as her Zombie slave should be viewed as some well-deserved karma. However, it's turn out that Giselle never brainwashed her and still restrain her consciousness before being killed by her comrade, which means that her submissive side is her actual personality. As in Bleach: Can't Fear Your Own World, this tropes seems to have been played deliberately by show her having some severe case of PTSD and Stockholm Syndrome.

Berenice Gabrielli

  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Parts of the fandom are convinced this character is female, and most (but not all) English translations claim the character is male. The Japanese refers to Berenice in a manner that does not confirm gender. The character's face could be either female or bishounen and even the name doesn't prove anything as Tite Kubo has given several males feminine names, including the main character. This leaves fans arguing over the gender of this character with no resolution in sight given the very minor role in the story this character has played.


Mask de Masculine

  • Base-Breaking Character: Mask is one of the most polarizing members of the Vandenreich, specifically because of how weird he is compared to the rest of his comrades. For some, his Masked Luchador gimmick feels very out of place for what is supposed to be A Nazi by Any Other Name organization, and he is far more comedic than the majority of the other Sternritters', making him feel like he doesn't fit the arc at all and would have been better off being an Arrancar. Others think that him being so odd fits well into the villains, as he still is a dangerous foe and find that his comedy is offset by how dangerous he is when he fights, going on to become one of the most effective members of the Sternritters (he managed to take out two Captains and several Lieutenants without much trouble).

Pepe Waccabrada

  • Squick: His Vollständig involves this Fat Bastard stripping, leaving only an enormous diaper, as he shoots out his tongue in a very creepy manner. Yeeeesh.

Candice Catnipp

  • Evil Is Sexy: She's right up there with Harribel when it comes to unapologetic, stripperiffic fanservice, and her occasional wicked smile reaches borderline Bambietta levels. While "evil" stretches a bit, if anything, her Hot-Blooded attitude when fighting, coupled with the shameless closeups of her skimpy uniform, makes it all the more eye-candy.

Meninas McAllon

  • Evil Is Sexy: She has the same body type as Orihime, including large boobs, shapely thighs, and a penchant for skin-tight clothing. Again, the "evil" part isn't really all that clear.

Giselle Gewelle

  • Broken Base: Due to Yumichika claiming she's male because he smells something from her, people are divided over whether he was wrong or right. Fandom speculates whether she is a Creepy Crossdresser, or intersex, or a male-to-female Trans gender woman...
  • Moral Event Horizon: Ambushing Bambietta when she was at her weakest and turning her into a mindless, zombified slave has not exactly endeared her to the viewership (although she actually hasn't lost that many fans). She ironically made Bambietta sympathetic due to Giselle's pointless mistreatment of her allies.

Askin Nakk le Vaar

  • Evil Is Cool: What else can you call a guy who acts like he belongs in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure with just as crazy a power? Especially a guy that can force Urahara Kisuke to go all out?

Robert Accutrone

  • Memetic Badass: His cool mustache and him casually blowing out Shunsui's eye earned him a lot of praise.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Par for the course for many Sternritters, but the fandom hyped up this man to be Shunsui's No-Nonsense Nemesis after shooting out the latter's eye. The reality is that he gets absurdly little screentime, only has his name and rank revealed after over 100 chapters (nearly 2 years), before biting the dust as necromancy fodder.

Gerald Valykrie

Guenael Lee

  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Lee had an interesting ability, a novel appearance and a chance to give Yachiru some time in the spotlight. He accomplished the latter, but once that was done, he was casually thrown away in favor of Gremmy, who himself just existed to further extol how amazing Kenpachi is.

Gremmy Thoumeaux

    Anime-Only Characters 
Bount Arc


  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: During the Training from Hell segment of the Bount arc, her smug demeanor and grating laugh (in addition to the grating length of that segment itself) made her almost insufferable. After she officially joined the team, she becomes much more tolerable.
  • The Scrappy: The Modsoul trio of Ririn, Noba, and Kurōdo were reviled during their debut in the Bount Arc for their individual traits. Ririn's sometimes loud and arrogant, Noba's too shy, and Kurôdo talks too much for the audience's taste. By the end of the Bount Arc they were not only reduced to comic relief, but allowed to leak into the canon material of the Arrancar Arc, quickly increasing their earlier hate.


  • The Scrappy: The Modsoul trio of Ririn, Noba, and Kurōdo were reviled during their debut in the Bount Arc for their individual traits. Ririn's sometimes loud and arrogant, Noba's too shy, and Kurôdo talks too much for the audience's taste. By the end of the Bount Arc they were not only reduced to comic relief, but allowed to leak into the canon material of the Arrancar Arc, quickly increasing their earlier hate.


  • The Scrappy: The Modsoul trio of Ririn, Noba, and Kurōdo were reviled during their debut in the Bount Arc for their individual traits. Ririn's sometimes loud and arrogant, Noba's too shy, and Kurôdo talks too much for the audience's taste. By the end of the Bount Arc they were not only reduced to comic relief, but allowed to leak into the canon material of the Arrancar Arc, quickly increasing their earlier hate.



The Captain Amagai Arc


  • Damsel Scrappy: Rurichiyo Kasumiōji is a spoiled brat of a rich kid who's prone to being kidnapped just to keep her unpopular Filler arc going. Fans also find her Third-Person Person quirk annoying to listen to, and just plain don't like how useless she was in said arc.

Unknown Zanpakuto Tales Arc

Ashisogi no Jizo'


  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Never had any dialogue, barely had any screen time, and we don't even know what Minazuki's gender is, much less its appearance and personality. Therefore, this leaves fans the opportunity to come up with their own ideas about what Minazuki is; some fans think that Minazuki is an Eldritch Abomination that embodies the aspects of Unohana's personality that so many people seem to fear, while others think that Minazuki is apathetic, cold and mute, or that Minazuki continues to be the mysterious enigma that we've seen in the actual arc. Either way, anything goes, since there's not much shown/known about Minazuki in general.

Gotei 13 Invading Army Arc

Nozomi Kujo

  • The Scrappy: Nozomi's existence was justified by rewriting canon character backgrounds, stealing unique canon abilities, reducing Rukia and Orihime to bit-roles that consisted solely of shilling her, Kon becomes the main protagonist and her Love Interest, and making her more powerful than even Yamamoto.

Kageroza Inaba

  • Only the Author Can Save Them Now: He has command over (stronger and more aggressive) copies of Kenpachi, Kyoraku, Ukitake and Unohana. His army is leagues above Espada, he has a cloning ability that wasted Ichigo's abilities, and he's got the ability to steal Nozomi's power, Ichigo's power and Yamamoto's power all at the same time. By the time he had fused with Nozomi to become Ouka again, the only way he could be defeated was through a massive cop-out: the reigai randomly turn against him to sacrifice themselves in an attempt to save Soul Society from destruction while Nozomi fights from within to regain self-control long enough to destroy Ouka's soul chain (which Soul Reapers actually don't possess in the first place), which both costs Ouka his power and Nozomi her life.

    Movie-Only Characters 
Bleach: Memories of Nobody


  • Die for Our Ship: Despite only appearing in one film, Senna's chemistry with Ichigo provoked a lot of attacks from shippers of both Ichigo/Rukia and Ichigo/Orihime, but since she's never featured in any other Bleach-related media, outside of the first movie, a video game and a cameo in episode 204, the hate for her (thankfully) isn't as frequent or heated. The fact she dies after her debut helps.
  • The Woobie: The poor girl goes through the emotional wringer over the course of the movie, finding out she's not a real person but instead the Memory Rosary, nearly arrested by Soul Society, kidnapped by the Big Bad so his plan can be Powered by a Forsaken Child and to top it all off she literally dies as Ichigo carries her to where her grave is.

Bleach: The DiamondDust Rebellion

Ying and Yang

  • Evil Is Sexy: They're actually rather good-looking, with looks comparable to that of Senna and Apacci.

Bleach: Fade to Black


  • Stoic Woobie: Been through all the stuff his sister did, but still manages to keep his head rational and calm, maybe even a bit aloof.


  • Jerkass Woobie: Her love for Rukia is genuine, but her wanting to keep Rukia all to herself no matter who she had to hurt still makes her a villain.

Bleach: The Hell Verse


  • Crazy Is Cool: His treatment of Yuzu notwithstanding, Kokuto not only defeats three of the main characters within seconds, but also RIDES Hollow!Ichigo's Cero while laughing maniacally, setting him up as one of most badass characters to be featured on-screen.


Live-Action Movie

  • Complete Monster: The monstrous Grand Fisher is an intelligent and evil Hollow who uses the form of a lost little girl to lure in other children so he may devour their souls. When Ichigo Kurosaki was a child, Grand Fisher attempted to prey on him, with Ichigo's beloved mother Masaki dying to save him. In the present, Grand Fisher attempts to eat Ichigo's younger twin sisters, and when Ichigo interferes, Grand Fisher uses an illusion of Masaki to torment him before bringing their fight to a crowded metropolitan area where it shows zero concern for trying to cause collateral damage, boasting that it had been waiting for Ichigo so it could finish the job it began years ago.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: When the full cast list was announced, Toku fans called the movie a Kamen Rider Fourze reunion, since Ichigo, Ishida, and Orihime's actors played Gentaro/Fourze, Ryusei/Meteor, and Nadeshiko respectivelynote . This even got acknowledged by the movie's official Twitter account, which shared a picture of the three actors in costume performing Fourze's memetic "Uchuu KITAAA!" pose.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Not really changes made for the movie's story, but the voice cast for the English dub of the film. While some actors being replaced was understandable, Michelle Ruff being changed to Cassandra Lee Morris was not well-received, though not because of Cassandra Lee Morris being cast as she's a loved voice actress and a decent choice to replace her, but because it turned out Michelle hadn't been notified of the change. Given how Rukia was a Star-Making Role for her and a role she has stated multiple times remains one of her favorite roles period, many were upset at her iconic role being taken away from her in that manner, especially since several characters have their original voice actors, like Ichigo, Orihime, Uryu, and Urahara (at least, his later voice actor).
  • So Okay, It's Average: Most fans, non-fans, and critics' response to this film.
  • Special Effects Failure: Some fans have claimed the Hollows in CGI really don't mesh well with the live-action.

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