Today in ‘the kind of shit you realise when you’re having a mind-numbingly boring day at work’:
Kurosaki Ichigo is a fucking shojo hero and not a shonen one
Like ok I’ve been saying jokingly for a while that Bleach was actually originally meant to be a shoujo and it’s just thinly disguised as shounen (because that bridge scene in the SS arc what the fuck), but…. like….. really think about it
Most shounen heroes are optimistic and bright. That’s their thing.They make friends through their unwavering optimistic attitude and bullshit nakama powers, idk. But Ichigo? He’s a fuckin tsundere who doesn’t like opening up to people and making friends (except ofc he does the latter, but only through beating the shit out of them/getting the shit beat out of him by them first). When was the last time you had a shounen hero as reluctant and tsundere as Ichigo? Usually in shounen, the tsundere is a character archetype assigned to the happy-go-lucky protag’s rival, not the protag himself. Plus, he’s supposed to be good-looking in canon (if Riruka’s reaction in FB is anything to go by), and like lmao once again that’s not a typical shounen protagonist trait. Ichigo isn’t a traditional shounen hero by any stretch of the imagination (mostly Bc as many ppl have pointed out, Bleach is structured more like a monomyth than standard shonen, but I digress).
But take him out of shonen and put him in a shoujo context and Ichigo fits the bill to a T. Good looking? Check. Tragic back story / mother trauma? Check. Stereotypical bad boy image with a heart of gold? Check. Secret dork? Check. Tsundere about expressing himself? Check. Angsty and prone to brooding by himself with all of his problems? Check. Fiercely protective? Check.
Sacrifices everything in his life for the sake of a single girl? Check check fucking check
And???/ Like???? Just look at all his colourspreads for Bleach and??? This shit becomes even more obvious? Like sure there’s a few colourspreads where he’s decked out in Shinigami gear looking heroic and shit surrounded by flames but for the most part Ichigo’s colourspreads are like… Ichigo in nice fashionable clothes looking at the audience with either this half-lidded sultry expression or a broody angsty expression on his face and im??????? Putting ur protag in fashionable clothes and posing them like a model is what u do in SHOUJO colourspreads not in shounen ones omg
And, just, the shoujo heroine finding the kinda aimless ‘’’’bad boy’’’’ with a shitton of potential and a heart of gold and changing them for the better, making them a better man who actually lives up to their potential is…. a shoujo trope…. it’s a shoujo storyline…… like….. I’m not trying to say Bleach would have worked better as a shoujo here but…. fuck it Bleach would have worked better as a shoujo