the songs from BEST OF HERO and Kotetsu/Barnaby albums are so good, along with the opening and ending songs! But I gotta go with Inoue
Gou’s Thanks, and thanks again! because, even after all these years, I never forgot its existence unlike the rest of the songs. I love Sky High, and
this song is just perfect for him.
Hands down, Spain. His voice is just…cheerful and makes me want to speak Spanish except my language skills suuuck. Go Inoue is one cool voice actor/ seiyuu. rawr. Spain’s version of Marukaite Chikyuu is pretty good as well, assuming he sang it. Do all seiyuus sing their respective character’s songs?
The thing is, I don't hate Ichihime, but could you explain me what makes Orihime stand out to Ichigo? Because the way I see it, Ichigo is very protective of most of his friend tbh..
Ichigo isn’t just protective of his friends; he wants to protect everyone, or “a mountain of people” in his words.
Where it became interesting/significant and indicative of deeper romantic feelings is when one of the people he wanted to protect was a) consistently singled out from all others on numerous occasions and b) Ichigo’s desire to protect that person was emphasized/highlighted/focused on the most.
And that person was Orihime.
Ichigo is using that power…for you. He’s fighting in his blood-splattered body, all for you!
Orihime is the one who was consistently targeted by Ichigo’s enemies to get to him, as if they clued into the soft spot he had for her and used it against him as a weakness. They used her specifically, time and time again, to taunt him into a fight, or fuck with him emotionally/psychologically.
It is such a classic romantic trope for enemies to go after the hero’s ‘certain special someone.’ And nearly ALL of Ichigo’s enemies went after Orihime.
This effectively highlighted Ichigo’s underlying feelings for her as it triggered some of his strongest emotional reactions—his blind rage when they threatened her or used her to taunt him, his terror and panic when she’s in danger and he can’t get to her, the way he beats himself up when he fails to protect her, etc. Orihime was constantly singled out when she was used as a target and trigger:
*Glares at the enemy while shielding Orihime*
*Grimmjow aims his strongest cero at Orihime to get Ichigo to hollowfy*
*Throws himself in front of her and shields her with his own body*
Which was immediately followed up with this:
You want to protect her? How sweet.
Let go of her.
Let Inoue go.
Get away from her.
SHUT UP!! MOVE!!!
You’ve gotten stronger…
Is it for that woman?
You bastards, what did you do to Inoue?
Now that’s a good face, Kurosaki!!!
His movements are unquestionably sharper than before…I was right in arranging for her to be here then.
Telling him Tsukishima attacked Inoue will only hurt his performance!!
I see…so he’s the one.
‘Ichigo’s not paying attention to me, I better mention Orihi-’
Yep, that worked.
Ichigo was so fucking extra when it came to Orihime lmao. So dramatic!
And then you have Kubo pointing out in the text that Orihime was, in fact, the trigger to Ichigo’s emotionally-charged response. It’s no accident. He wrote these things on purpose. So why? What point was he trying to make here?
The answer: Kubo reinforced this pattern and recurring theme over and over and over again to drop hints about Ichigo’s underlying romantic feelings, consistently putting the focus and emphasis on Orihime, Ichigo’s desire to protect her specifically, and his emotional responses when she’s in danger and/or he can’t protect her.
As you said, Ichigo wants to protect all of his friends, but no other character was singled out as a point of focus anywhere near this much.
And there’s more:
He drags some creep out of the classroom for coming on to Orihime—another classic romantic trope.
Bonus: Chizuru remarks, “…when did he get so protective?”
And Shinji points out that Ichigo reacted as if Orihime is his girlfriend. It didn’t escape Kubo’s mind that another guy coming on to Orihime triggered a reaction out of Ichigo, that the implication of Ichigo’s jealousy and protectiveness over her is what got him up and out of his seat. Kubo pointed it out in the text itself, and even teased Ichigo about it.
Tsukishima comes to his house, brainwashes his friends and sisters. All of this escalates, and builds up to the moment when Ichigo finally snaps and attacks Tsukishima. And the straw that breaks the camel’s back? The thing that finally sets Ichigo off?
Is when Tsukishima calls Orihime.
He mentions Chad and Orihime first, but Ichigo doesn’t attack when they’re both mentioned—no, no. For the hundredth time, Kubo made it a point to single Orihime out.
Ichigo listens and waits as he dials the phone, listens and waits as it rings. And then, as soon as Orihime is singled out even further, as soon as Orihime’s name is mentioned, as soon as he realizes it’s Orihime on the line, you see Ichigo’s eye in the bottom panel blacken over with seething rage.
Ichigo finally snaps. He punches Tsukishima, throws him into a wall. And Orihime was the catalyst. Look at the panels—Kubo drew them so that we’re viewing the scene from Ichigo’s perspective: drawing closer and narrowing in on Tsukishima like a shark, frame by frame, as Tsukishima talks to Orihime, soft and slightly suggestive, laughing and flirting a bit, if you will. And he gets thrown into a wall.
So, that’s twice now that an enemy has gotten too-close-for-comfort with Orihime on purpose just to taunt Ichigo, and twice now that Ichigo has thrown said enemy into a wall for trying to make a move on Orihime. Interesting.
Now, top all of that off with the fact that Ichigo’s desire to protect Orihime was so strong it transcended death—that he’s dead on the floor with a hole in his chest but can somehow still hear her voice, and with his very last vestiges of life, he tells himself he must stand up, he WILL protect her. If that’s not indicative of deeper, latent/subconscious feelings, idk what is.
He even attacked his own friend, yet immediately turned to Orihime chanting “I will protect her.” Even in death, the desire to protect her still persisted. Even after hollowfying, it was the one shred of his real self and humanity that remained intact: his desire to protect Orihime.
And, once again, we have yet another classic romantic trope: the love-interest being in danger, which triggers some sort of level-up or burst of uncontrollable power from the hero, even when it seemed all hope was lost, as his desire to protect her is what pushes him to keep going or rejuvenates him. The hollow did the physical rejuvenating obviously, but Ichigo vowed to protect Orihime both before and after he hollowfied.
Now, top all of THAT off with the way he mopes around and beats himself up for failing to protect Orihime.
The way he walked around like a lifeless zombie with dark circles under his eyes after she was abducted.
And after the first espada invasion:
He got down on his knees at her bedside and apologized for failing to protect her. This is Ichigo’s flashback of the scene—meaning he was still thinking about it the next day, still kicking himself over how hurt she looked and remembering what she said to him.
Then he approached her AGAIN at school that next day:
The look in his eyes is so pained, and he couldn’t even get the words out because he felt so guilty and ashamed for not protecting her, as if that’s his duty in life and he failed. His body language says it all: hands in his pockets, shoulders sagging, head/eyes tilted down. He felt so guilty he could barely even look at her. He was already acting like it was his job to protect Orihime, before he had even vowed to do so!
This is a whole lot of emphasis to put on Ichigo’s protectiveness and emotional reactions involving Orihime—again, raising the question of his underlying romantic feelings for her. Why is so much focus being put on her?
He moped around like this, all sad and beating himself up, because he couldn’t protect Orihime. Tatsuki and Chad are mentioned too, but the most focus is put on Orihime. Again, why?
He literally bowed before Orihime, looked her right in the eyes, and made a singular, exclusive vow to protect her specifically. Just her. No one else.
The question you raised was, “what makes Orihime stand out to Ichigo? Because the way I see it, Ichigo is very protective of most of his friend tbh..”
And yet, here he is, only vowing to protect Orihime. Remember that he just mentioned how Chad and Tatsuki got hurt too, but yet Orihime is the ONLY one he is shown apologizing to, the ONLY one whose bedside he kneels at. The ONLY one he is shown approaching again at school, the only one he exclusively vows to protect like this.
So why? Why only her? Why is she so special to him? What sets her apart from the other “just friends” ?
Why did Kubo feel the need to put the focus on Ichigo’s desire to protect Orihime specifically, emphasizing it more than his desire to protect any other character, time and time again? What major hint was he implying through this pattern and recurring theme?
Greetings anon! I agree, Chad does not get a whole
lot of love and totally deserves it (the big hard softie). I thought this
picture was perfect for him so please give the artist lots of kudos! Even
though it’s near the end of May I had a Halloween theme pop in my head for this
one, so I hope you enjoy it.
Chad Yasutora – Prompt #91 - “Can I hold your hand?”
What possessed you (maybe that’s the wrong choice of word
given the holiday) to agree to go to a haunted house with Ichigo and the gang
you will never know. Well, that’s not entirely true. You know why you agreed to
it; because Chad is here. It isn’t often he’s able to join the lot of you for
evening outings because of work, so the fact that he has the night off is a
minor miracle. Now if you could just avoid having a heart attack all will be
“Don’t worry, ______-chan, I’ll protect you,” Keigo says puffing
out his chest.
“Hmph, more like you’ll use this as an excuse to grope the
girls inappropriately,” Ishida comments prompting Keigo to whirl round on the
bespectacled male and shout, “Hey! That’s what Chizuru would do, however I am a gentleman.”
“Put a sock in it will ya?” Ichigo says, smacking the short
boy on the back of his head.
“You guys are so mean!” he whines before storming off
through the entrance of your impending doom. Less than a minute later he runs
out screaming like a girl, rushing past you all in a blur.
Watching him go you mutter to Inoue-san, “So much for protecting
us girls.” The orangette giggles, her long tresses blowing in the sudden wind.
The trees sway, branches rustling and making the scene that more ominous.
Swallowing thickly, you follow your friends towards the rambling old house,
curious how what was once no doubt a beautiful, sprawling estate turned into a
You’re trailing behind, slightly dragging your feet. To your
utmost embarrassment, it’s Chad who notices you dawdling.
“_____-san, are you ok?” his deep voice rumbles pulling a
slight tinge of pink to your cheeks.
“Heh, yeah!” you exclaim a little too enthusiastically, “Yeah,
I’m great! Come on, what’re we waiting for?” You can hear the tremble in your
own voice and by the look in Chad’s eyes (at least the one you can see) you’re
fairly sure you haven’t got him fooled.
Just as you’re about to enter the dwelling, he pauses. He
leans down and asks quietly, “Can I hold
your hand?” The pink on your cheeks flushes to a deep crimson but you nod
silently nonetheless. As your hand is encased in his large warm one he adds, “Thanks,
I’m feeling a bit nervous.”
You smile, completely aware he’s lying but not caring one
bit. Maybe at the end of all this, you’ll have the guts to finally tell him how