Bleach Manga Guide - Chapter 001

Volumes: 1-7 | 8-14 | 15-21 | 22-28

001
Chapter 001: "Strawberry And The Soul Reapers"

"It's close by", the words of a female figure dressed in black jumping her way through the night into the heart of Karakura Town. All the while as a High school teenage boy with Orange hair, Ichigo Kurosaki is teaching some punks a lesson. Not happy at the fact that these skaters had knocked over a small memorial bottle containing a flower inside, Ichigo forced them to leave. Replacing the bottle, Ichigo apologized to the young spirit girl who was watching the whole time. Thanking Ichigo for what he has done, Ichigo left for home.

Arriving late at his household, his father Isshin was not pleased and the two of them had a little rumble while the dinner got cold. Breaking up the fire, Karin one the younger sisters/daughters told Ichigo of a guest floating around. Looking up, Ichigo found a Ghost of a man hovering over him. Trying to get rid of him, Isshin took Ichigo by surprise but Ichigo managed to shake him off. Fed up with so much hassle, Ichigop skipped dinner and went to his room. Karin and Yuzu, the youngest sister/daughter of the family, blamed Isshin for the trouble and wondered why Ichigo was being pesstered by so many spirits lately. Isshin couldn't believe that he was not informed on such information and upset at Karin's harsh words, he turned to a picture of his decieced wife, Masaki, and asked why their daughters were so cold.

Lying on his bed in the dark, with the window open and a nice cold breeze blowing through the dark night Ichigo noticed a Black Swallowtailed Butterfly flutter in. Watching it grace through the air, a figure of a female dressed in black walked through his bedroom wall. Ichigo saw her wielding a sword and suddenly backed off against the wall. Asking who she was, she completely ignored him and saying "It's close" once again. Hating to be ignored, Ichigo kicked her up the rear end and pointed at her saying that she's one lousy burglar. The woman stunned, and confused asked if Ichigo could see her. Of course he replies, that's why he planted a boot up her back side. Suddenly Isshin bursts in the room asking what all the noise is about. Ichigo asks why the security is so bad and what to do with the intruder. Isshin strikes a look of loss and doesn't understand at what he's supposed to be looking at, while Ichigo points at the Samurai chick in black who says that she is a Soul Reaper.

Meanwhile a dark force looms, the spirit girl who Ichigo comforted awhile back hits the floor in a pool of blood. And a grumbling voice speaks out of a high spiritual energy is nearby. Back at Ichigo's room, Ichigo asks if her information of her being a Soul Reaper, and that she comes from a place called Soul Society to vanquish an evil spirit is true before flipping his table in anger calling it all bogus. She asks why he finds it so hard to believe if he can see Ghosts; Ichigo just tells her to run along and continue playing her Soul Reaper game. Annoyed at him talking to her in such a manner, she uses a strange spell to bind Ichigo's arms to his back and restrain him down. Telling him it's the ancient arts of Kidô that Soul Reaper's use, she says that she would happily kill him if it wasn't for the Soul Society law forbidding unauthorized executions and that from now on, he should keep his mouth shut. Ichigo watches as Rukia draws her sword and make an attack. He opens his eyes to find the Ghost of the man from before sitting next to him with Rukia holding the end of the handle against his head. The man cries that he doesn't want to go to Hell; Rukia removes her sword to reveal a seal on the man's forhead and calmly says that he is not going to Hell, he's going to Soul Society and he dissapears into the air leaving behind a Black Swallowtailed Butterfly to flutter out of the window.

Asking what she just did. She replies that she preformed Konso which Humans would call "Passing on", and sent him to Soul Society, another job that Soul Reaper's preform. Taking out a sketch pad and a pen, she draws diagrams explaining the two different types of Spirits: The Wholes, which are normal spirits like the man and the Hollows, which are evil spirits which attack the Living to eat their Souls and try to eat Wholes. Ichigo tries to follow but asks why her drawings suck so badly. Rukia draws a mustache on him and carries on her talk. Explaining that she preforms Konso to Wholes and Vanquishes Hollows to save the Living and the Wholes. Ichigo asks her why has she not vapourised this Hollow she is looking for yet and she replies that she can't seem to track it's presense lately. Suddenly a loud noise erupts from downstairs and the Soul Reaper seems completely oblivious. Ichigo asks just what in the heck that noise was and suddenly it happened again but this time she heard it. The blood curdling howl of a Hollow. Wondering why a Human was able to hear it before she could, a girl screamed, the high pitched voice of Yuzu. Taking quick action, the Soul Reaper made a way for the door but Ichigo cried out that he has to be untied from the spell as it's his family being attacked. Telling him he's a fool, she opened the door and suddenly felt a dramatic force rushing in like hot air. Confused as why she could not feel such a horrible force, Karin stumbled and collapsed into Ichigo's room telling him they need his help from something attacking downstairs. Ichigo gritted his teeth and tried to move but the heavy pressure of the spell was keeping him down. Roaring in anger, Ichigo managed to stand up but the Soul Reaper yelled him to not force the Kidô or it could break his Spirit when suddenly Ichigo ripped his arms free breaking the Kidô. Picking up his Baseball Bat, he past the Soul Reaper and took off downstairs. She simply found it astonishing for a Human to break a Kidô, it's impossible.

Running into the loungem he found the place to be a wreck, Isshin on the floor bleeding and a monster lurking in the shadows outside the destroyed wall holding someone. It was Yuzu and Ichigo saw the ugly face of that of the Hollow known as Fishbone D. Shaking in fear, Ichigo blindly swung his Baseball Bat at Fishbone D but was easily pushed aside. The Soul Reaper pitched in and cut Fishbone D's arm making it drop Yuzu into Ichigo's arms. Telling him that they are alright, and that Fishbone D has not yet eaten their Souls. Ichigo asks why did this happen and Rukia compiles all the data she has learned on Ichigo and tells him that Fishbone D was seeking for large Spiritual energy, that which Ichigo holds. Ichigo tries to take it all in, that all this was because of himself. Rukia reasures him when suddenly punched into the wall by Fishbone D. She holds her head unforgiving her carelessness and sees Ichigo standing tall in the night screaming at Fishbone D to take him and leave everyone else. Fishbone D makes it's move and lunges in with it's teeth when the Soul Reaper jumps in placing herself between the beast and Ichigo using her sword to stop the teeth crushing down fully but suffers deep embedding injuries and collapses to the ground in blood. Telling Ichigo she is unable to battle she enlightens him with a question of if he wants to save his family. Ichigo whole heartedly accepts and is told that he must become a Soul Reaper. She tells him that he must thrust her Sword, called a Zanpaku-to through his heart which will transfer half her power into him. Telling him the consequence that he has a 50% chance of dying, Ichigo looks at his injured family. Grabbing her Zanpaku-to, he introduces himself and she does the same introducing herself as, Rukia Kuchiki.

The deed is done, and Ichigo thrusts Rukia's Zanpaku-to through his heart and a immediate gust of light pierces through the dark sky and Fishbone D's arm detaches from his body bouncing across the road. Rukia looks at herself to find her robes replaced by a white Kimono and all her power had gone. Standing behind Fishbone D, Ichigo in a black Kimono wielding a abnormally large Zanpaku-to strikes a pose of determination. Running at Fishbone D, Rukia watches in awe at Ichigo's power as he easily sliced off one of Fishbone D's legs before finally finishing it with a clean blow through the head and Fishbone D vapourises into thin cold air. Ichigo looks back and his new life has just begun.

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