The famed shonen anime series Bleach is best known for its robust combat system, exciting characters, and unique approach to fantasy anime worldbuilding. Fans usually remember iconic moments such as Ichigo’s fight with Byakuya in the Soul Society, Orihime’s almost-kiss with Ichigo, and the satisfaction of seeing Aizen’s final defeat. But fans should also pay close attention to the dialogue, which may reveal much about Bleach‘s characters and the world they live in.
Plenty of Bleach dialogue is just comedic fluff, such as tsunderes annoying each other or fighters mocking one another. Still, author Tite Kubo made sure to also include some thought-provoking, inspiring, or just plain cool dialogue for his heroes to say, and the right words can make any scene in Bleach ten times better.
10 “I’m Not Fighting Because I Think I Can Win.”
“I’m not fighting because I think I can win. I’m fighting because I have to win!”
Protagonist Ichigo Kurosaki gets plenty of forgettable fluff dialogue in most Bleach story ars, such as mocking Ganju Shiba or getting into comedic arguments with his father, Isshin. He can also be serious and sound cool, though, such a when he delivered this line to Ulquiorra Schiffer during their final fight.
Ichigo was backed into a corner, and Ulquiorra claimed Ichigo couldn’t possibly win. Ichigo’s retort was typically defiant, coming from him, and it also alluded to his incredibly strong willpower and resolve. In his mind, protecting his friends and defeating enemies like Ulquiorra was a given, no matter the reality he faced.
9 “Even If It Means Standing Alone, I Will Protect What I Believe In.”
Ichigo’s Quincy friend, Uryu Ishida, was antagonistic at first but soon showed his good side, for which Bleach fans adore him. Uryu has all the makings of a shonen hero himself, from his incredible courage and grit to his noble desire to protect innocent people and justice from great evil.
Uryu is used to standing up for the near-extinct Quincy tribe alone, so he doesn’t mind defending his friends and his ideals all by himself. Characters like him do what’s right even if everyone else doubts them or gets in the way, and Bleach fans can applaud Uryu for that.
8 “Kaien’s Heart Is In Me!”
Ichigo’s tsundere friend Rukia Kuchiki had a lot on her mind when they met. Among other personal issues, Rukia was still grappling with her grief and guilt concerning Kaien Shiba, since she was the one who killed him. Kukaku and Ganju forgave her since Rukia acted out of necessity, but Rukia’s guilt remained.
When Rukia nearly died at Aaroniero’s hands in Las Noches, she thought back on Kaien’s wise words about the intangible “heart” that binds people, and that helped Rukia overcome her grief and guilt once and for all. Emotionally freed at last, Rukia found the strength to finish off Aaroniero and begin a new, better chapter of her life.
7 “I Wish There Were Five Of Me!”
Orihime’s quote to herself about living five different lives seemed silly at first, but she was actually making an important point about her life and her many relationships. Orihime imagined different lives for herself in different careers, but no matter which life she actually led, the end would be the same: loving Ichigo.
The point was that Orihime’s strong connection to her friends is the main anchor of her life, and the rest is just fluff details by comparison. Her life could look like anything and everything otherwise, and it’s all the same to her because her deepest desires are what matter most.
6 “Power Is Unstable. It Changes Constantly.”
Yasutora “Chad” Sado
Ichigo’s good friend Chad learned some vital life lessons while living with his grandfather in Mexico as a tween. At the time, Chad was angry and lost, and he often took it out on others. Then he learned to never abuse his strength and only use it to defend others, and Chad has been highly conscious of his own power ever since.
Chad spoke to his enemies about the nature of power, and he of all people would understand that. No one’s power is fixed – anyone can get stronger, or conversely, fall behind as others become even greater. Anyone who’s complacent or arrogant with their power may lose everything.
5 “If I Don’t Uphold the Law, Who Will?”
Byakuya Kuchiki’s quote about upholding the law was delivered at the best possible time. Until that moment, Byakuya was a villain who wanted to see his foster sister Rukia executed, and that made him unsympathetic. Then, after Ichigo and Byakuya fought to a draw, Byakuya asserted his beliefs, and not just to lecture Ichigo.
Byakuya finally explained things from his own point of view. He had already broken the law twice for personal reasons, and he was afraid to do it again. To protect himself, he obeyed the law to uphold Rukia’s execution, but changed his mind after his draw with Ichigo. Somehow, Byakuya’s line sounded vulnerable and sympathetic by that time.
4 “All Creatures Want to Believe In Something Bigger Than Themselves.”
Captain Sosuke Aizen‘s quotes often referred to his strong desire to claim the throne of Heaven and rule the world, all while doing away with delusions and lies along the way. Aizen even suggested that all things need a king or a boss to guide them, evidently because deciding one’s own fate or place in the world is too great a burden.
There may be a grain of truth to what Aizen said, since many people look to leaders either in their personal lives or in their communities for protection and guidance. Still, Aizen’s quote was mainly to justify his scheme to rule the world, typical of a shonen villain like him.
3 “Survive And Kill the One Who Killed You!”
As expected, Captain Kenpachi Zaraki has plenty of tough-guy dialogue in Bleach about strength, bloodshed, and victory in battle. Kenpachi is a straight shooter who knows what he likes, but even at his most brutal, he can be oddly inspiring. For example, Kenpachi encourages others to get stronger after defeat rather than merely give up.
Kenpachi framed his quote in terms of violence and revenge, but the core message is more universal. A person is only defeated when they decide they’re defeated, because until then, they can always try again and get stronger and better somehow. Kenpachi clearly agrees with the idea that defeat isn’t going down – it’s staying down.
2 “We Are All Like Fireworks.”
Captain Toshiro Hitsugaya of squad 10 is a stern tsundere who projects an air of cool maturity and a lack of sentimentality, but on the inside, it’s a different story. Toshiro is a boy who deeply cares for the people around them, and he will even compare them to fireworks, as beautiful, bright things that might eventually fade away.
Toshiro’s quote described people as fireworks that start off together before drifting apart to glow far from one another. It’s true people may drift apart as they grow up and realize their dreams, but the idealistic Toshiro hopes that his own firework-friends can stay together and shine without ever fading into the darkness.
1 “Without Anything Around Us, We Are Nothing.”
“Without anything around us, we are nothing. We become what we perceive.”
Each Espada represented an aspect of death, such as rage, loneliness, and greed. Ulquiorra Schiffer, the 4th Espada, represented nothingness, or nihilism. That theme closely reflected the grim reality of all Hollows and Arrancars, who each have a hole in their bodies for a reason. Hollows can never escape their own emptiness and despair.
Ulquiorra also spoke from personal experience when he made this quote. He saw no acceptance or meaning in Hueco Munbdo, so he internalized it and made it his philosophy. Thus, he rejected “the heart” while Ichigo’s friends, who could all perceive each other’s friendship and love, became something while Ulquiorra felt like nothing.
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