You know, I've always had the theory that renji has been in love since forever and he never told her after the 40 years because he could see that rukia was in love with ichigo and ichigo could make her happy so he backed off
Yeah, me too!
I feel like Renji feels love for Rukia for years indeed. Hmm… but it’s hard to describe. What kind of love is it? I feel like it’s a mixture of love, camaraderie, familial and romantic? It’s hard to describe in just one word (dang! Kubo Tite is a master of portraying bonds between people).
But yeah, I also think that Renji is in-love with Rukia. However, saying that it’s “romantic” feels like underestimating it. It looks to me as something deeper than that. Hmm… I guess the closest thing to call it is… “True Love”?
Love is patient, love is kind, love is not jealous, it does not boast, it does not become conceited, it does not behave dishonorably, it is not selfish, it does not become angry, it does not keep a record of wrongs,
it does not rejoice at unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth,
bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all
I have a different view from those who are hating on Renji. For me, he is actually the most selfless when it comes to loving Rukia.
I know there are people berating Renji for abandoning Rukia. Viewing it from Rukia fan’s perspective (which I usually do), what he did is indeed bad because it hurt her deeply. But actually, in Renji’s perspective, it isn’t really that way. He didn’t abandon her. He let her go. He set her free.
Why? For her sake. He let her go for her sake. He let her go to give her a happy life. He wanted Rukia to have all the blessings and happiness in this world.
This is why he acted this way. Even if he hated it (because he knew he’ll be separated from her if she became a noble), he acted happy. Because he knew that if he ever acted grumpy about it, even showed the slightest hint of dissatisfaction. Rukia, will most likely than not, reject the invitation to become a noble.
But Renji doesn’t want that to happen. He wanted her to live a great life, in which he deemed she’ll get if she live as a noble (she did, by the way. His selfless action had lead her to find a family in the name of Byakuya Kuchiki).
This way of thinking is very obvious when he said this in his thoughts.
For Renji, he didn’t abandon Rukia. He set her free. He knew he can easily have her by his side. But he deemed his self unworthy enough (the stray dog) that he didn’t want to drag her down. For him, she is the star… the one that shines in the dark of night. Well, for Tite Kubo (and Rukia fans), she is The Moon. But the concept is still the same. She is The Light in the darkest hours of night.
Unfortunately, for Rukia, this action hurt her very much. Why? Because she is so selfless she doesn’t want any riches. The only thing she wanted was to live a good life with her comrades.This is why she asked Renji, hoping that he’ll stop her. Hoping that she’ll have a reason to reject such a good offer. But the thing is, he didn’t. He pushed her away to a place she didn’t want. He pushed her to a place she didn’t want to be. She wanted to stay by his side.
That’s why this reaction.
Rukia felt rejected.
And thanks to this. Rukia became a very anti-social person. She never approached or open up to people. She had felt abandonment so many times. First by Hisana, though she doesn’t know this. She had been living her life as an orphan in the dangerous outskirts of town where you have to steal to live. She doesn’t have a family… until she met Renji and gang. But the life in Rukongai is harsh, and all her friends (family, if you will) died with the special exception of Renji. That’s why she wanted to leave that place. She doesn’t want to stay there anymore. It was only after her friends died that she wanted to live a good life with Renji (take note, her talent could have make her easily enter Seireitei but she never did. She only did so after her friends died).
Anyways, with Renji pushing her away. It served as a final straw. Rukia never felt right in the Kuchiki household. Byakuya never looked at her. People put her in a pedestal because she’s a Kuchiki. She’s treated “special” even though she didn’t want it. She wanted to be treated normally. She wanted to be treated in an equal manner as comrades. Oh, and the fact that the one person who made her feel this “normalness” die by her own hands just made everything worse. No wonder she closed her heart (until Ichigo came along and open it up for her just like what she did to him).
Anyways, back to topic. Renji’s ways of showing his love is not really the way Rukia wanted him to do. It’s ironic to say this, but his selfless love had lead him to selfishly impose what he deemed best for her.
And take note, he didn’t abandon her (although I love using that term to describe what he did to Rukia). He pushed her up. And he was planning to catch up to her and join her side. That was why he was working hard. He wanted to be someone “worthy” enough to stay by her side. Staying by her side is what drove him to rise in ranks and become a Vice Captain. Oh, and yes, the reason why he views Byakuya as a rival is because he’s the one who gave the happiness that he wanted to give Rukia. For him, Byakuya is the one who took Rukia away from him. This is why he wanted to work hard and beat Byakuya someday (but their levels are so different). This is why he views himself as the “stray dog that barks at the star”. You can say that the star symbolizes Rukia, or Byakuya who took Rukia.
Of course, he is so absorb by his own weaknesses and desire (to make Rukia happy) that he didn’t realize that Rukia is very unhappy(THE IRONY!!!). But he already became a vice captain. So he can finally stay by Rukia’s side like always.
But that is all until …
… ICHIGO CAME AND RUINED EVERYTHING!
He planned to approach her after she returned from her mission. He postponed to approach her, thinking he have all the time in this world to tell her the news that he can finally stay by her side.
But then BOOM!
Rukia is going to be executed because a human boy got in the way and took away her powers. Just as soon as he thought he can get to her, he was delivered with the news that she’s going to die because of a human boy.
No wonder he is so pissed off here.
Oh, and yes. Even though it seemed his anger is irrational to some fans (hey, it’s his fault! He should have talked to her first). I think Renji is still being sensible here. What he failed at is to communicate his feelings, but this is inevitable if he had low confidence in his self. He felt like Rukia is still out of his reach. She’s the gentle soul that is full of light. She’s not someone you’ll selfishly take for yourself. You need to be a worthy one before you can take her. But when he is so close to his goal, a mere human boy, a newbie shinigami (that she just met at that!) took her away!
I think anyone will lose their temper here and flip if they are in his position. I mean, he worked so hard for years to stay by her side. But then a new guy out of the blue just took her away in just …what? A few days? Rukia sacrificed her life (Renji worked so hard for to be a happy one) to a boy she just met (literally at day one!).
To make it worse? Do you know why Renji attacked Rukia and berated her? It’s because she’s acting “human”. He immediately saw at her an expression he hadn’t seen for years (cause this dork doesn’t understand how to make a woman like Rukia truly happy). Ever since she entered the Kuchiki household, her face had always been rigid and serious. He and his friends thought it’s because she’s a “noble” now so she became “unapproachable”. He never knew that the reason she’s acting “unapproachable” is because she’s been hurt so much she doesn’t want to be hurt again by the people she love (I still blame Renji :P). She had been hiding and ignoring all her emotions away, deeming it as a nuisance for shinigamis because it only causes “unnecessary pain”. In a sense, you can say she’s acting like a robot (this is why I made a post that her acting skill used for laugh is from her dark painful past). He had never seen her show so much emotion before.
He is angry at Rukia for the fact that she just sacrificed her life. A life he worked so hard to make into something great. He is angry at her for showing such emotions when all the years he spent so much to make her happy she only had this cold serious expression on her face. His angry at her for not being happy for something he worked hard for but she grown attachment instead to a world she didn’t belong to.
Yeah, he’s angry at her here.
Oh, but his real pet peeve here is Ichigo.
The human boy, the newbie shinigami who took away Rukia from him. The reason why she’s going to die. Yeah, he really wanted to kill him. And hey, maybe the death sentence would be lowered if this newbie shinigami died. It’s a two birds in one stone.
This is what made the Renji vs. Ichigo fight so meaningful.
Why? Because they are fighting for the same woman. But their approach is different. Renji’s approach is to still operate by the laws of their world. Ichigo’s approach is to break everything that is chaining her down. Just like the Byakuya fight, the theme of SS arc is “Order vs Chaos”. The Order is presented by Shinigamis, but Chaos is represented by Ichigo.
And Ichigo (the Chaos, The Yin) is willing to go against anything that will make Rukia sad. Who said this isn’t “romantic” again? This is what I’ll call True Love!
Oh and just in case, it seems there are some fans who didn’t realize this. But what Renji feels for Rukia is the same as what Ichigo feels for her. Kubo Tite has been paralleling them together since day one.
When Rukia is hurt so badly by Grimmjow, and Ichigo felt lost and angry at his self for letting it happen. The one who sympathize with him was …who? It’s Renji.
Renji: At least you’re alive. Ichigo: You wouldn’t say that if you’re in my position
Renji tried to cheer him up by saying that at least he is alive. But Ichigo knew better how empty those words there. Why? Because they have the same feeling. Having Rukia get hurt, is a hurt to their pride as a man. Why? Because she’s the “precious one” they wanted to protect the most.
What Renji and Ichigo feel for Rukia is the same.
But there’s a difference.
What is it, you ask?
Unlike Ichigo who is confident in his power, Renji isn’t. This is why he never approached Rukia until he felt worthy enough.
As I said before, It’s Renji who has the most selfless love. Ichigo does too, but he did show some desire to keep her by his side (acting like it’s a given that they should stay together).
But these two had the same desire,
They wanted Rukia’s happiness.
And they both know that her happiness is something she chose for her own.
Rukia wanted to stay at Soul Society instead with me? Okay, if that’s what you want. That’s what I save you for after all. So you can choose without those tears in your eyes.
Rukia is sad? Okay, then I’ll mention Ichigo to cheer her up. It’s the first time in years since I saw her eyes light up like that.
Well, let me correct myself a bit. Renji is initially indignant at Ichigo because he’s just a new guy she just met. That’s unfair after all he went through. This is why he kept on calling him “newbie” and such. But after seeing Ichigo’s resolve to save her, his own resolve wavered. He finally see that Ichigo is much worthier for Rukia than him. He can’t save her. He feel that he’s just the Stray Dog who couldn’t do anything but bark at The Star. But seeing Ichigo’s strong will to save her… he gave in. He gave up Rukia and entrusted her in his hands.
This scene was way more emotional and dramatic because of this.
Renji is in-love with Rukia? Yes, I believe so. And this isn’t some mere form of “romantic love”, it sounded shallow if say it just like that. What Renji has for Rukia is in the form of True Love.
And that made RenRuki so loved.
Honestly speaking, the only reason why I can’t ship RenRuki (I actually love childhood/bestfriend couples) is simply because it’s not Renji who made her happy. He’s not the one who dried her rain. He’s not the one who can save her when she needed it most.
This is for the @deathberryprompts weekly drabble theme. This week’s theme was ‘remorse’. Serious angst, Re-do of the end of Fade to Black, where everything goes rather poorly for everyone involved. 907 words.
She came at him in a rush, he barely had time to get his blade up to deflect, and she was fighting to kill - there was no doubt in her gaze. She chased him across the plateau, and Ichigo could not bring himself to do anything but deflect and defend. She leaps, and swings and he turns at the last moment, catching her gaze with his.
What if Rukia were the human and Ichigo the soul reaper: The Sequel
As requested by anon. :)
I once imagined how the first Bleach arc would have gone if Rukia were the human and Ichigo the soul reaper. I also switched the roles of their close friends and family, so that Byakuya was Rukia’s “totally normal” human guardian, Renji was her human best friend, Isshin was the Captain of Squad 6 who came to arrest Ichigo, Tatsuki his lieutenant, etc, etc. It might be easiest for you to just read the original list here. Or if you prefer, read this awesome comic based on the list. In any event, I am now going to continue with this reversed AU, and take on the next arc of Bleach. If the Hueco Mundo arc occurred with the shinigami and human characters swapped, how would it go?
1. Upon returning to the human world, Rukia is tormented by Dark Rukia.
After rescuing Ichigo, Rukia returns to the human world, only to find that that hollow woman who showed up during her fight against Isshin is NOT going away. She’s invading her dream, affecting her fights, and generally being a pain in Rukia’s ass.
Dark Rukia: I’m getting closer…
Dark Rukia: I’m going to SWALLOW YOU UP!
Rukia: Wow. Gay.
Rukia: Also, um, please don’t?
2. This causes her to fall into an emo depression.
A depression only made worse when Ulquiorra and Yammy invade, and Rukia finds herself unable to defend her two best friends, Renji and Hanataro, from their onslaught. It’s only thanks to Kurotsuchi and Yoruichi that everybody is saved. And Rukia can’t cope with that.
Ulquiorra: I will tell Aizen-sama that the human is trash, not worth killing.
Kurotsuchi: He’s right, you know. That totally sucked.
Rukia: SHUT UP
3. Luckily, Ichigo, Tatsuki and some fellow soul reapers show up in time to shock Rukia out of her depression.
Rukia is there in her classroom, brooding darkly, when she hears a familiar voice call her name. It’s the Squad 6 lieutenant Tatsuki, standing the doorway, along with the two shinigami besties, Keigo and Mizuiro, the tiniest of all tiny captains, Captain Karin of Squad 10, and her much taller and more chill lieutenant, Chad.
Ichigo (from behind her): Long time no see, Rukia!
Rukia: Did you climb up to the window just to make an entrance???
Ichigo: …you got a problem with cool?
4. Rukia fights Dark Rukia in her soul world.
After some yelling and some more arrancar fights, Rukia decides that she’s going to train with those creepy visored after all. So she goes to Shinji’s hideout, and asks for their help. This, of course, leads to the epic soul world battle between Rukia and her inner hollow, Dark Rukia.
Rukia & Dark Rukia: BAN-KAI!
[Meanwhile, in the real world…]
Kensei: Um our hollow friend just turned into ice. What now?
Shinji: ……….break time?
5. Meanwhile, Byakuya flexes his newly returned shinigami powers.
While Rukia is busy training and the shinigami are busy fighting fracciones, Byakuya enjoys his newly returned captain powers. Which he flexes by, um, killing totally random hollows with no emotional backstory.
Byakuya: Another hollow slain. The world that much safer.
Kurotsuchi: Betcha wish you could kill the thing that killed your wife, huh?
Byakuya: You mean…….a sickness? A sickness cannot be killed with a zanpakuto.
Kurotsuchi: Yes my point is that your life sucks. Thanks for spelling it out.
6. But everything changes when Hanataro is kidnapped.
Everything is going…..not great, when everything suddenly gets worse. Aizen decides he’s kinda interested in the cool healing powers of Rukia’s friend Hanataro, so he sends Ulquiorra to kidnap him. To make it even worse, Ulquiorra makes it look like Hanataro left voluntarily, so that Soul Society pulls away its troops, leaving Rukia and her friends alone.
Head Captain: Look, Hanataro might as well have left a signed confession saying, “I may be adorable, but I’ve also decided to be evil.”
Head Captain: We’re out.
Rukia: You can’t be serious!
Ichigo: Yeah, we have to help!
Head Captain: I thought you might say that, so I sent Captains Isshin and Ikumi to come collect you.
Ichigo: Looks like you’re on your own, Rukia.
7. Rukia goes to Hueco Mundo with Renji and Ishida.
Not to be deterred, Rukia decides to go to Hueco Mundo by herself. Her loyal friends Renji and Ishida are, of course, right by her side.
Renji: Don’t worry about Soul Society abandoning us, Rukia. We can totally rescue Hanataro on our own!
Ishida: Yes. Three of us against 10 espada, 3 shinigami traitors, and all of those fracciones? Totally doable.
Rukia: You guys can stop comforting me now.
8. Later, Ichigo and Tatsuki show up.
And they are PISSED that Rukia didn’t wait for them.
Rukia: I-Ichigo! Tatsuki!
Ichigo: [hits Rukia in the face]
Ichigo: [high-fives Tatsuki]
Tatsuki: [hits Rukia in the face]
Rukia: DON’T YOU PEOPLE KNOW HOW TO JUST FUCKING SAY ‘HELLO’?!
9. Ichigo faces off against Aaroniero, who looks like Masaki.
Later the gang splits up to fight their respective espada. Ishida and Tatsuki fight Szayel. Rukia gets busy fighting Grimmjow and Ulquoirra. Renji fights Mosqueda. And Ichigo fights Aaroniero, an espada who can make himself look exactly like Masaki.
Masaki: It is me, Ichigo. Your mother.
Masaki: And do you know how many years it’s been since you got me a mother’s day present? So many.
Masaki: So I think you should kill your friends for me.
10. Isshin and Orihime show up to save Ichigo.
Ichigo manages to kill Aaroniero, but unfortunately this leaves him broken and bloody. He only has the strength to drag himself a few feet, calling Hanataro’s name, before he collapses. Luckly, Isshin and Orihime show up to save him.
Zommari: You say ‘unconscious soul reaper.’ I say 'easy win.’
Isshin: Not if I have anything to say about it!
Isshin: I am ready to sacrifice life and limb to save my son!
Orihime: Damn. I am super lost.
11. Rukia faces off against Ulquiorra.
Rukia in her turn engages in a variety of awesome battles, before she finally reaches the climax: Ulquiorra. Unfortunately this battle goes badly, and she winds up sorta dead.
Hanataro: Rukia! RUKIA! RUKIA!!!!!
Rukia: [suddenly a long-haired hollow monster]
Hanataro: Apparently I’ve been wasting my time with those fairies.
12. And then leaves for the human world…after quickly saving Ichigo from Yammy.
So super hollow Rukia beats Ulquiorra, and decides to go after Aizen. But not before quicky stopping by to save Ichigo from Yammy. Just because.