While Bleach stands out as a manga series with well-developed lore and cultural ificance, it also has a ificant following for its romantic pairings. After all, what's the point of saving both the world of the living and the dead, if not for love?
Protagonist Ichigo Kurosaki finds himself saving two different girls over two different story arcs, each with its share of angst and pining. Supporting characters also get to delve into their rich personal histories, adding to a plethora of romantic possibilities. These two characters never really got the canon relationship experience that many fans believed they deserved. Soifon's initial hurt and betrayal at Yoruichi's sudden departure belies a depth of feeling for the older woman.
This becomes increasingly clear as Yoruichi takes pity on Soifon and explains herself to her mentee.
As soon as this rift is repaired, Soifon is back to her devoted and doting self -- as many end-credit animations will attest to. There is a playfulness in this relationship that adds levity to the otherwise dramatic devotion.
Even Soifon's stalwart admiration of Yoruichi is played up to a comical extreme that is somehow still wholesome. Like many on the fan-favorite list, Renji Abarai and Rukia were childhood friends that came up together as orphans in Soul Society.
They entered the Soul Reaper academy together and remained in touch until Rukia was adopted into the Kuchiki family. However, they've earned a spot on the list of pairings fans couldn't behind.
The simplest reason is that although the elements of a potential romance are there, the devotion these two have for each other is closer to that of siblings than a romantic couple. Its hard to not be a fan of Yoruichi, and by association, anyone that she has a deep connection to. Kisuke Urahara is the boy from Soul Society that she followed into exile, leaving behind friends, family, and fellow Soul Reapers. As friends from childhood, they've always seemed to balance each other out. Kisuke holds a deep respect for Yoruichi that is apparent the way he talks about her and introduces her to Ichigo and gang.
While their relationship is also never made explicit, they get on like an old married couple, which fans adore. Kaien Shiba was the late lieutenant of the 13th division, to which Rukia served under as a Soul Reaper. He treated her like any other member of the division, despite her newly noble status, which helped Rukia integrate more easily into her role and duty.
He also promises that he would die to protect her.
Over time, Kaien is able to break down Rukia's walls and learn what troubles her -- a recipe for romance, if there is one. However, Kaien is married-- happily. Their chemistry never amalgamates into anything romantic, although Rukia does admit to herself that she has feelings for Kaien. His death at the hands of the Hollow Metastacia traumatizes Rukia and leaves her with survivor's guilt.
While their friendship and camaraderie were important for Rukia's character growth, to position them as anything more would be a disservice to both. On the outside, Toshiro Hitsugaya and Rangiku Matsumoto couldn't be any more different. Toshiro is a serious, mature, young-looking captain in Soul Society.
Rangiku, on the other hand, is a flippant, goofy, and buxom lieutenant. Toshiro can't stand anything he deems childish or immature, and yet when Rangiku acts in exactly such a manner, he tolerates it. Rangiku, for her part, does her best to get her surly captain to loosen up.
Fans enjoy their on-screen shenanigans as much as they do the more solemn, quiet moments in their platonic-adjacent relationship. Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez is the quintessential bad boy with a bad attitude, only he is also extremely violent and disrespectful as well. Viewers may have been initially drawn into his mysterious aurora or edgy appearance, particularly the strong partial jaw left behind from his Hollow mask.
However, preening aside, Grimmjow is repeatedly disrespectful to Orihime during her imprisonment in Hueco Mundo. He refers to her as "woman," not giving her the dignity of a name. While earning a partial redemption arc, Grimmjow never earns the redemption in the eyes of the viewers to be a sensible paring with Orihime. Ichigo Kurasaki and Orihime Inoue are the classic schoolmate pair that isn't a pair.
Even without the Soul Reaper complication, they would have had a compelling case.
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Orihime has been in love with Ichigo for the entirety of the series. She sees past the rough exterior and sharp edges to the kind and generous man that Ichigo is deep down.
Ichigo, on the other hand, inspires Orihime to break out of her soft-spoken shell and learn more about what she can do to help her friends in times of need. Together, they form a wholesome bond that fans love.
Kurosaki ichigo/sui-feng | soifon
Aizen Sosuke, before his betrayal and ascension to Hueco Mundo, portrayed himself as an attentive and mild-mannered captain. He addressed his subordinates by their first names and was especially kind to his lieutenant Momo. Momo, for her part, appears smitten with her captain. However, Aizen does betray Soul Society and reveals himself to be a cruel, duplicitous man.
He effectively breaks Momo's faith in him, and thus in any hope of the pairing becoming viable. As much as fans may have loved Aizen's flair for the dramatic, they couldn't get behind such an even relationship.
Ichigo Kurosaki and Rukia Kuchiki are by far the most esteemed pairing on Bleach. Their meet-cute is different than most; Ichigo sees Rukia for the first time when she is in the midst of a hunt for a Hollow. Their relationship quickly develops into one of a teacher and student, as Ichigo becomes more confident in his abilities as a substitute Soul Reaper.
Their bond is tested in the first ificant arc of the series, in which Rukia is sentenced to be executed in Soul Society for her involvement of a mortal human in Soul Reaper affairs.
Ichigo's steadfast determination to save her, no matter the personal cost, is what won over most fans to this pairing. Mayuri Kurotsuchi and Nemu Kurotsuchi have earned the spot of the most stomach-churning pairing in Bleach. The captain of the 12th division, odd physicality aside, it a cruel and unusual man.
Nemu is his creation, not human, but not entirely divorced from humanity. Her personality, as an artificial life force, is non-plussed and subservient, even in reaction to Mayuri's extreme cruelty. Despite this, the show positions the captain and lieutenant as a traditional male and female pair -- even if nothing about them is traditional in looks, genetic makeup, or personality. Thankfully, the relationship isn't romanticized on screen.
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By Anahit Moumjian Published Feb 23, Share Share Tweet 0. Related Topics Lists bleach. Top 10 Largest Swords In Anime.