Renji and Rukia’s relationship, and their story, is so interesting, so… complete. They are best friends, they are lovers, their interactions are funny, deep, intimate. Their story has so many shades and ups and downs, it’s so complex and rich. It has it all. People can explore so many angles of their relationship and story, the different feelings between them throughout the different stages of their story.
How they met, how their personalities initially collided in their group, how Renji felt jealous of her (but attracted to her at the same time), so initially it had some sort of rivalry between them. But despite this they became so close. They spent 10 years living together with their friends, sharing many happy and sad moments, with their friends and between them, going from childhood to adolescence.
Then they had to endure very difficult moments, their friends’ deaths, they became only two, so they became the most important person to the other. And they decided that they were going to be shinigami because the life in Rukongai was so hard. They didn’t want to lose any more friends, they didn’t want to lose the other.
Their stay at the academy brought new feelings: insecurities, feelings of loneliness, and feelings of love. There are so many things to analyze and discover about that period.
Some time later their relationship had to face a sudden conflict that neither of them had thought that they would have to confront, and so, the decisions made at that moment marked the future of their relationship for the next more than 40 years. The moments of their separation are so poignant, Rukia wants that Renji fight for her, she has too many insecurities to clearly say it, but Renji’s own fears and insecurities impede this. Renji let her go and thus started the more painful years of their relationship.
A painful estrangement happens where they avoid each other’s path. Because both knew that their relationship had been broken when Renji let Rukia go. They now belonged to very different social levels. Renji tries to fix it, trying to reach her social level, but it seemed something too far and almost impossible.
But that moment comes, Renji is going to be appointent vice captain, and he, although is still unsure, finally decides to talk to her. But just then Rukia gets into trouble, and everything became much worse. But also, in this situation, they, for the first time in many years, are forced to interact and talk, especially Rukia, who had been the one disappointed, the one who still feels hurt. The wall between them is still there, they hide things, but the old dynamic of their relationship is still there too.
What happened after was a very hard experience, but it had a very positive side too. They showed their worry for the other, their masks fell off, they showed and knew that they were still very important to the other. And Renji finally learned to confront his fears, and Rukia finally admits that she needs and wants Renji in her life. They aren′t going to repeat the same mistakes, the wall between them is finally falling down.
They regain the closeness that it has always characterized their relationship. We see this closeness in many of their gestures with each other, in them being together most of the time. They come to a point where it looks like they don’t want to separate from the other, they are always next to each other. They don’t hide their feelings anymore and they aren’t like family anymore, they are finally a family.