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Submitted by on May 18, 2022

Ichigo Kurosaki is a fictional character from Tite Kubo’s Bleach manga series and its adaptations. He is the series’ primary protagonist, and after befriending Rukia Kuchiki, the Soul Reaper assigned to guard the fictitious city of Karakura Town, he gains Soul Reaper abilities. These abilities come at the expense of Rukia’s, so Ichigo agrees to serve as Rukia’s stand-in, battling bad spirits known as Hollows and delivering good spirits known as Wholes to a dimension known as the Soul Society. Ichigo appears in a variety of Bleach media, including the anime series, four featured films, two original video animations, rock musicals, multiple video games, light novels, and the 2018 live-action film, in addition to the manga series.

Ichigo, according to Kubo, was developed to take the place of Rukia as the series’ protagonist because he believed she was unfit for the job. Johnny Yong Bosch plays him in the English versions. Sota Fukushi portrays him in the live-action film. Ichigo is voiced in Japanese by Masakazu Morita in the Bleach anime adaptations.

His character has earned positive feedback from both readers and reviewers. Ichigo frequently appears in character popularity surveys for Weekly Shnen Jump. In Bleach, he was consistently voted as the most popular character. Ichigo was voted one of the top 100 most popular anime characters in a poll conducted by the Japanese magazine Newtype in 2007. His personality has been appreciated by series reviewers, however other critics believe he is a clichéd anti-hero. Toys, apparel, and action figurines based on Ichigo’s likeness have been made available. His anticlimactic clashes in the series’ later half, on the other hand, were panned by critics owing to a lack of noteworthy sequences at these periods.

Rukia Kuchiki, the first Bleach character Kubo introduced, was initially supposed to be the protagonist, Kubo said while sketching the manga series. However, as the story progressed, Kubo opted to make her a valuable ally and instead establish Ichigo as the main character. Ichigo is seen in early concept designs as having black hair and softer eyes, as well as wearing spectacles. Kubo, on the other hand, changed Ichigo’s look to contrast with Rukia’s, giving him orange hair, a signature scowl, and removing his spectacles. Ichigo’s wristwatch in the first chapter of the series was based on one Kubo wore at the time. His wristwatch was modeled on Naoto Fukasawa’s W11K smartphone in subsequent episodes. Ichigo, along with Orihime Inoue, are the most difficult characters to draw, according to Kubo. Kubo found it tough to sketch Ichigo with a pleasant grin while drawing one of Ichigo’s situations.

Ichigo’s greatest strength, according to Kubo, is his compassionate and thoughtful attitude; he is always thinking about others’ needs. He also identified it as his worst flaw, because thinking for his buddies puts him in danger. When questioned in an interview if he had any intentions to focus on Ichigo, Orihime, and Rukia’s love triangle, Kubo preferred not to confirm or deny it since he did not want to dwell on romance. Ichigo’s popularity among readers, according to Kubo, stems from the fact that he “looks hip.” He also stated that when people learn more about him, they would learn that he is a nice and caring individual.

Kubo feels Ichigo was the most developed character after fifty volumes of the manga were released. He claims that Ichigo is the protagonist of the tale and that he introduces the events to the audience. Kubo relaunched the story after the Arrancar arc finished, which resulted in Ichigo losing his Soul Reaper abilities. Similarly to how Ichigo became a Soul Reaper in the first chapter of the manga, he begins looking for ways to reclaim his natural abilities. Ichigo gets a new attire after obtaining his Fullbring abilities in this tale arc. When developing this design, Kubo intended to give the readers a sense of unease, since it resembles a tokusatsu figure more than his kimono counterpart from the Soul Reaper form, to the point where it would match Ginjou Shinjo better. As a consequence, Kubo noticed that readers were relieved that he had reclaimed his Soul Reaper because he was once again dressed in a kimono, although one that was noticeably different from the original.

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