Most Shonen protagonists define themselves not only by their fighting strength, but also by their circle of friends and allies. bleaching‘s star Ichigo Kurosaki is like that, even if he is more of a moody antihero than Naruto Uzumaki or Monkey D. Luffy. Ichigo sees himself as the ultimate defender of his friends and he will risk everything for them.
Who is in Ichigo’s inner circle? He has some friends in high school bleaching‘s first season, and he soon makes a few more vital friendships during the Soul Society arc and even the Hueco Mundo story arc after that. These people are all very valuable to Ichigo, and he will take on any enemy to protect them. Who could they be, in no particular order?
10 Orihime Inoue is Ichigo’s beautiful friend and future wife
Orihime Inoue is one of Ichigo’s longtime friends, and like him, she suffered personal loss in her childhood and even has spiritual powers. Orihime lost her big brother Sora in middle school and has since paid tribute to his memory. She is now fighting valiantly at Ichigo’s side, mostly as a healer and a kind of support mage.
Orihime happily suggested that she, Rukia Kuchiki, and several other girls compete with each other to see who can win Ichigo’s heart first, to show how much she cares for him. During Ichigo’s bitter struggle with Grimmjow Jaegerjaques, Orihime’s warm words reached Ichigo and gave him the strength to triumph.
9 Yasutora “Chad” Sado is Ichigo’s partner in combat
Ichigo’s good friend Chad is a gentle giant, a strong boy who refuses to abuse his strength and harm others. He took this oath in memory of his late grandfather Oscar, and Chad won’t fight back even if bullies beat him up. He’s mostly a pacifist.
Ichigo saved Chad from some tyrants by the Karakura River one day, and the two have been inseparable ever since. Chad and Ichigo trust and respect each other deeply, and Chad insisted on helping Ichigo rescue Rukia from Las Noches, despite the danger. A true friend indeed.
8th Mizuiro Kojima keeps everyone on the ground
Mizuiro Kojima is a minor character in bleachingbut he makes a good point for himself. Mizuiro is one of Ichigo’s classmates at school, and when they first met, Ichigo and Chad were fighting some bullies and Ichigo saved Mizuiro and Keigo Asano from them. And Mizuiro made sure that Ichigo and Chad didn’t get into trouble from arguing.
Mizuiro is cool and “normal” compared to most of his friends, but he is a real friend of Ichigo and helps Ichigo keep Keigo Asano and his uninterrupted antics in check. Mizuiro may be simple, but he’s vital to Ichigo’s social life at school.
7th Keigo Asano is Ichigo’s Ladies’ Man Pal
Keigo Asano’s friendship with Ichigo is a bit one-sided, and he’s better friends with Mizuiro, whom he has known since middle school. Even so, Keigo regards Ichigo as part of the gang, and Ichigo will reluctantly play along. Ichigo doesn’t particularly like him, but neither would he hesitate to protect him from tyrants or monstrous hollows.
In contrast to the cool and collected Mizuiro, Keigo is like a firecracker always looking for another adventure or prank that usually involves beautiful girls. Keigo considers himself a woman’s man, although reality has to go far to catch up with Keigo’s self-image.
6th Rukia Kuchiki is Ichigo’s otherworldly ally
Rukia Kuchiki from Squad 13 is something of an inverted Isekai heroine who travels to Karakura Town from Soul Society to kill Hollows. She lost her strength and had to stay in the human realm for weeks or even months, which gave her and Ichigo plenty of time to become good friends.
It is true that Ichigo and Rukia get angry often, but their bond is strong and each of them will go out of their way to help the other. Their chemistry is so strong that the fandom often sends Ichigo with Rukia even though it was meant to never be. Friends, let them stay.
5 Renji is another Soul Reaper ally of Ichigos
First, Renji Abarai of Squad 6 was an enemy of Ichigo as he helped Captain Byakuya Kuchiki capture Rukia and bring her back to the Soul Society to face twisted justice. Renji fought Ichigo twice until he stood up and accepted Ichigo’s way of thinking. Now Renji is ready to save Rukia no matter what.
Renji has since fought at Ichigo’s side, helping him face the traitor Sosuke Aizen and then the many arrancars who followed Aizen’s orders. Renji and Ichigo don’t always get along perfectly, but they’re definitely comrades.
4th Uryu Ishida is Ichigo’s Quincy friend regardless of feuds
On paper, the Quincy archer Uryu Ishida should be Ichigo’s bitter enemy as the Soul Reapers and Quincy have a longstanding feud. Uryu is better than that, however, and he and Ichigo learned to become allies and friends rather than enemies. They are also classmates in school.
Uryu is Ichigo’s loyal ally, just as his father Ryuken learned to get along with Ichigo’s Soul Reaper father, Isshin Kurosaki. Uryu is also very loyal to Orihime and risked his life to save her in Las Noches. With his Quincy honor, he won’t leave a friend behind.
3 Nelliel became Ichigo’s best friend straight away
Most arrancars are aggressive thugs or twisted schemers, but not Nelliel Tu Odelschwank, who has a heart of gold. She was betrayed by Nnoitora Gilga and then turned back into toddler form in the Hueco Mundo desert. When Nelliel met Ichigo she was scared at first but quickly became an ally.
In fact, Nelliel was attached to Ichigo at the waist and ran after him as he pushed deeper into Las Noches. Both risked their lives for each other’s sake, and Nelliel paid back the favor when she assumed her adult form to face Nnoitora again. She was also hanging out with Ichigo at the beginning of the Millennial Blood War.
2 Kisuke Urahara is an important ally in Ichigo’s cause
Ichigo doesn’t connect with Kisuke Urahara on a personal level very often, but even so, Ichigo won’t complain if Urahara-san shows up to help him save the day. Kisuke proved his worth by helping Ichigo train to maintain his true zanpakuto, zangetsu, and Kisuke also helped him get to Las Noches.
Kisuke is cool, funny, and smart, and he keeps impressing Ichigo with his knowledge of ghosts and alternate worlds. Without his local ally Kisuke, Ichigo would never have got very far in his search.
1 Hanataro Yamada was Ichigo’s Soul Reaper friend for a while
Not all Soul Reaper were hostile to Ichigo’s group during the Soul Society arc. For example, a certain Hanataro Yamada of Squad 4 became Ichigo’s friend and ally during this time, and although he was meek and unassertive, he at least tried to help.
Hanataro has some healing abilities, both through Kido spells and through his gentle Shikai. Ichigo appreciated having Hanataro around, and later Hanataro helped Byakuya heal Rukia in the Hueco Mundo story arc as well.
Next: Naruto: 10 Anime Characters Shikamaru Would Be Friends With
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