The primary protagonist of Bleach, orange-haired high school junior Ichigo Kurosaki is forced to become a substitute Soul Reaper after unintentionally absorbing most of Rukia's powers. His cynical nature at first makes him ill-disposed towards the duty, but with the passage of time he comes to accept and welcome the strength his Soul Reaper powers give him, as it allows him to protect those close to him.
Rukia Kuchiki is a sarcastic Soul Reaper who is assigned hollow extermination duties in Ichigo's hometown. Though her physical appearance is that of a teenage girl, in reality she is around 150 years old. At the opening of the story, Rukia is forced to transfer her powers to Ichigo and assume a temporary lifestyle as a regular human. She registers at the local high school and takes up residence in Ichigo's closet, while teaching him how to be a substitute Soul Reaper in her place.
Orihime Inoue is a long-time classmate of Ichigo, closely linked to him by mutual friend Tatsuki Arisawa. She is effectively an orphan, as she and her elder brother Sora ran away from their abusive home at a young age, and her brother later died. Though initially devoid of spiritual powers, she develops spiritual awareness early in the plot and later obtains one of the strongest powers in the Bleach universe, a god-like ability to reject fate.
Yasutora Sado, better known as Chad, is one of Ichigo's friends at school. He is a biracial Japanese/Mexican student who towers over his classmates.Kubo, Tite (2002). Bleach, Volume 12. Tokyo, Japan: Shueisha, chapter 107. Despite his imposing appearance he is quite meek, and refuses to fight unless it is for the sake of another. Chad does not have awareness of ghosts at first, but this changes when he witnesses a group of children being attacked by a hollow. He discovers a unique ability that strengthens and armors one of his arms, enabling him to fight hollows. He later develops the ability to shoot energy from his armored arm.
Though on the surface he is nothing more than the solitary class genius, Uryū Ishida is actually a Quincy, descendant of a line of priest-like hollow-hunting archers who were historical enemies of the Soul Reapers. He bears a deep grudge against all Soul Reapers, including Ichigo, and is an early antagonist in the series. He comes to view Ichigo differently over time, however, eventually becoming a valuable ally and friendly rival.
The Template:Nihongo are a group of humans with special abilities. They are the main antagonists during the series' anime-exclusive Bount and Bount Assault on Soul Society arcs. The Bounts live by consuming human souls, which potentially gives them everlasting youth; according to Kisuke Urahara, they have historically been known as vampires. Like Soul Reapers, they each have a unique weapon known as a doll, a familiar equivalent to the Soul Reaper zanpakutō. Like a zanpakutō, a doll is its creator's power given physical form. However, instead of taking the form of actual weapons like zanpakutō do, dolls are mostly self-sufficient creatures when released, although they tend to be used as weapons in various ways; for instance, Gō Koga can mold his metal-based doll Dalk into a large battleaxe, and Ryō Udagawa uses his doll Frieda, who takes the form of a snake, as a sword and whip. A use of the German language is an apparent theme among the Bount given that several of their dolls have names based on German words. Additionally, both Koga and Kariya each use German incantations within the Bount arc (one to open a gate to Soul Society and one to release Jōkaishō). IGN criticized the Bounts as being "lame bad guys," noting that the bittō in particular were like "something straight out of a bad sci-fi movie," but admitted they were "decent plot devices" to develop the other characters.
Hollows are the class of spirit that most enemies in Bleach are a part of. They are formerly human spirits that were not sent to Soul Society in due time after death. This led to their corruption, robbing them of their sense of being and giving them a craving for human souls. Their main characteristic is a white mask completely covering their face. Each hollow's mask has a design unique to that individual. Arrancar, a stronger form of hollow that have acquired humanoid form and some of the powers of Soul Reapers, become the primary antagonists later in the series. Besides having a human body, their masks are partially broken to reveal part of their face.
The humans featured in Bleach are residents of a modern Japan. Most are unable to interact with spirits in any way. In rare cases a human is born with the ability to speak and interact with spirits, with the degree of interaction growing with time. Many of the humans introduced in the series have only become spiritually aware through their interaction with series protagonist Ichigo Kurosaki and, by extension, his friends.
Template:Nihongo is a classmate of Ichigo Kurosaki. He is an extremely hyperactive character and often uses overly-dramatic movements and words to act out his feelings. As such, he is primarily comic relief, acting as an antithesis to his usually calm friend Mizuiro Kōjima. Keigo appears to be a shallow character at first glance, with a passion for slacking off. Indeed, he takes great pride in not making it to the honors roster (higher than the 50th ranking) in his class and labels those who do so "traitors" (including Ichigo and Chad). Like many of Ichigo's friends, Keigo is spiritually aware, though he dismisses many of the peculiar things he sees as shootings for a TV show. He has yet to display any unique abilities, save blocking one of Rangiku Matsumoto's attacks. His parents are never seen, however he does have an older sister, Mizuho.
Template:Nihongo is a classmate of Ichigo Kurosaki. He has a boyish face and gentle manner of speaking, with a marked fondness for older women. He is apparently very successful with these women, once going on a vacation to Hawaii with ten girls. In an omake chapter of Bleach, Mizuiro is revealed to have had very few friends prior to entering junior high school. He then has a change of fortunes and has since found a niche of people to hang out with, most commonly Keigo Asano. He is very distant towards his mother, who is seldom home. Like many of Ichigo's friends, Mizuiro is spiritually aware, though he has yet to display any unique abilities.
Template:Nihongo is a classmate of Ichigo Kurosaki and the best friend of Orihime Inoue. She has known both since she was young, sparring with Ichigo in their karate classes and defending Orihime whenever people picked on or bothered her. Tatsuki is very tomboyish, displaying few feminine traits and even ranking as the second strongest student in her age group in all of Japan. In her friendship with Orihime, Tatsuki can sense Orihime from almost anywhere, even across dimensions; she is able to sense Orihime when she travels to Soul Society, but remarks that she can't sense her presence after Orihime is taken to Hueco Mundo. Throughout the series she slowly develops a spiritual awareness, and has recently revealed this awareness and, particularly, her ability to sense Orihime, to Ichigo.
Template:Nihongo is the father of the Kurosaki family. He is initially portrayed as a silly, fight-loving father who takes a keen interest in what his children are doing. He shows them affection either offensively or with an all-too-happy tone, which elicits comical reactions from his kids, usually in the form of a kick. Later in the series he reveals himself as a former Soul Reaper, regaining his powers after twenty years so that he can avenge his wife's death by killing Grand Fisher. While in the form of a Soul Reaper, Isshin is generally more serious than usual, only breaking character to defend his eccentric parenting methods. It is unclear what he did while he was a Soul Reaper or why he left, it only being implied that he was captain-level by the piece of captain's robe worn over his shoulder. He seems to be aware of the goings on in the spiritual community through Kisuke Urahara, knowing of Sōsuke Aizen's actions, knowing when Kon is inhabiting Ichigo's body, and having known for some time that Ichigo has become a Soul Reaper.
Template:Nihongo is the fraternal twin of Yuzu. She is typically cynical and sarcastic, and is significantly more assertive and aggressive than Yuzu. Karin is a sensible person and will not hesitate to kick her father in the head when she thinks he is acting unreasonable. Karin's tough exterior results from her mother's death; because she could not be useful around the house like Yuzu, she resolved never to cry so that she would not burden her family with her personal troubles. Like Ichigo, Karin is spiritually aware, though she initially chooses to ignore the spirits she sees. Once Ichigo becomes a Soul Reaper and starts combating hollows on a regular basis, she takes a greater interest in the spiritual world out of concern for him. When dealing with hollows herself (typically in omake chapters) she uses her prodigious soccer talents to deliver powerful blows to weak hollows. She is aware of Ichigo's Soul Reaper powers, and tells him of this, but Ichigo decides to act as if he doesn't know what she is talking about.
Template:Nihongo is the fraternal twin of Karin. She is more soft-spoken, empathetic, and emotional in comparison to her sister. She takes care of the housework, such as cooking meals and tidying up the living space, on a daily basis. She has a deep affection for Kon, calling him "Bostov". She is unaware of the fact that he is alive, and much to his chagrin frequently dresses him in feminine clothes and glues unwanted accessories onto his body. Yuzu has a weak level of spiritual awareness, only being able to see faint outlines of spirits. As such she tends to get upset when her Soul Reaper brother, Ichigo, disappears, being unaware of where he is going or what he is doing. She seems to get along better with Isshin than either of her siblings.
Template:Nihongo are artificial souls created by Soul Society researchers some time before the start of Bleach's storyline. They were created to reanimate the dead bodies of humans to act as a formidable fighting force, but this was found unethical and they were ordered to be destroyed. Four modified souls have been introduced in the series thus far, each having been saved from destruction. All have enhanced speed and strength when compared to normal humans, and often special abilities which set them apart from each other. Each typically inhabits a plushie with all of their abilities intact (albeit scaled down to fit their size). The three introduced in the anime's Bount arc also possess a personal Template:Nihongo, a synthetic human body, that they can use to avoid attention and otherwise regain complete use of their abilities.
Template:Nihongo is the first modsoul to appear in Bleach. He primarily serves as a comedic foil in the series, receiving little respect and much disdain from other characters. He is not completely undeserving of this treatment as he is highly perverted in nature; he is drawn to girls with big breasts (and displays attraction towards Rukia despite her lack thereof, but more because he believes she saved his life) and, when inhabiting another's body, spends his time trying to look up skirts since "it will not be [his] reputation that gets sullied". However, from the beginning he displayed a much more serious side to himself, believing that a life shouldn't be taken on purpose after he witnessed the destruction of other mod souls. Kon's area of expertise are his legs, and thus he can run faster and jump higher than any human, even in his plush form. He typically inhabits a lion plushie that he is very fond of, referring to it as his "sexy body". Kon also inhabits Ichigo Kurosaki's body whenever he is away, playing the part of Ichigo so that his family doesn't miss him. Although Kon makes only sporadic appearances in the Bleach storyline, he frequently hosts and/or stars in omake specials for the series, self-proclaiming himself the series' mascot.
Template:Nihongo is a somewhat cowardly modsoul. His longwindedness and actions often provide comic relief. He has the ability to shapeshift, and can replicate the abilities of others when he does so (although he can't replicate the potency of said abilities). His plushie body is a rabbit-esque purse. Kurōdo's gigai is of a bespectacled man with a mustache and two-tone hair color (black to the right, blond to the left). He wears a gray top hat, multi-colored suit and tie, as well as dark brown boots. He is often told he talks too much.
Template:Nihongo is very quiet, rarely speaking more than a few words. He is fairly shy, hiding his head when he wishes to show emotion. Despite this, he is somewhat analytical and adept at strategic combat. Noba has the power to teleport himself and others to almost any location he's been to. He can also create wormholes to redirect ranged attacks, both physical and energy based, back at the enemy. Noba's plushie body is an anthropomorphic turtle in gray dress trousers and a white ruffled shirt with a red bow tie. His gigai is of a young man in a fur coat with a shield on his back and a zippered mask, with a slim build, red hair, and aqua eyes.
Template:Nihongo acts as the leader of the modsouls introduced in the Bount arc. At times she is petty and arrogant, resulting in her initial dislike of Ichigo Kurosaki. Other times she shows real concern for others, eventually developing a fondness for Ichigo where in she will put herself in harm's way to protect him. She often looks down on Kon as inferior, which causes frequent arguments between the two. Her special ability is the creation of illusions. Lirin's plushie body is an anthropomorphic bird that wears a blue coat and boots. She doesn't like the plushie at all, and claims that she cannot change to another. Lirin's gigai is a small girl with short blonde hair wearing a pink, fur-trimmed coat, a purple bird-shaped cape, and red boots.
Template:Nihongo are a clan of humans who, over many centuries, became spiritually aware. In doing so they devised their own brand of spiritual powers; they can absorb spiritual energy and then manipulate for offensive purposes. They most commonly reshape spiritual particles into various types of bow and arrows, but can also concentrate spiritual energy into the form of swords or explosives. At their height, Quincies used their powers to combat the hollows, protecting the inhabitants of the human world with a success rate greater than that of the Soul Reapers. Unlike the Soul Reapers, who purify the souls of hollows, Quincy destroyed the hollow, soul and all. This created an imbalance between the worlds of the living and the dead, threatening to destroy the universe. To prevent this, the Soul Reapers almost exterminated the Quincy, leaving only two Quincy to survive into the current Bleach storyline and creating a great animosity between the two groups.
Template:Nihongo is the father of Uryū Ishida. He is initially portrayed as a bitter and cold Quincy who detests his own people, believing his father, Sōken, and Uryū to be wasting their time training their Quincy abilities. Ryuken dedicates most of his time to the Karakura Hospital. Ryūken is a very skilled Quincy, capable of defeating two incomplete arrancar with only three arrows fired from his one-handed bow. His outfit is usually covered in blue crosses and Ryuken has inherited his father's Template:Nihongo. To this end, he calls himself "the last Quincy", believing Uryū to be too talentless to deserve the title. Though he disapproves the Quincy lifestyle, since it's impossible to make a living if one kills hollows all day, Ryūken restores Uryū's lost Quincy powers, under the condition that his son is to never associate with Soul Reapers, although this command is immediately disobeyed on the rationale that Ichigo is only a substitute Soul Reaper and that he is acting independently of Soul Society's orders.
Template:Nihongo is the father of Ryūken and the grandfather of Uryū. He trained Uryū in Quincy abilities throughout his childhood, becoming his mentor in the process. Sōken tried to make amends with Soul Reapers by advocating a new system of response to hollow attacks: Quincy would be the first-response squad, protecting humans from hollows until Soul Reapers arrived to help. His proposal was never accepted, and he was eventually killed in a hollow attack. This event fuels Uryū's bitterness and distrust of Soul Reapers, claiming that, as the old man was kept under constant surveillance, the Soul Reapers were merely taking advantage of circumstances to be rid of him. Later in the series, Mayuri Kurotsuchi reveals to Uryū that this was his doing; he delayed the Soul Reapers meant to protect Sōken so that he could study Sōken's soul for his research. According to a reflection of a photograph seen in Uryu's glasses, all that was left of him in the end was his head.
Soul Reapers are the protectors of souls, granting them access to Soul Society and keeping them safe from hollows. Many of the protagonists introduced in the series are Soul Reapers, either in profession, origin, or abilities. Each Soul Reaper possesses a zanpakutō, a sword that doubles as both a weapon and a physical manifestation of the owner's soul. Each zanpakutō has its own personality, which is at times at odds with its owner's.
Though Soul Reapers make up the bulk of the characters from Soul Society that have been introduced in the series, a far greater number of souls occupy its outskirts. While many are simply departed humans' souls, a few have abilities resembling those of Soul Reapers.
Template:Nihongo is an ill-tempered fireworks expert and the somewhat authoritative older sister of Ganju. She lives with her family in flamboyant, ridiculously-themed houses (which she changes in design and location regularly) on the outskirts of Soul Society. She is missing her right arm, which in the anime is replaced with a prosthetic. Kūkaku is the head of the Shiba family, which fell from the status of nobility after her brother, Kaien, died. Because they knew only that Kaien was killed by a Soul Reaper, both Kūkaku and Ganju are distrustful of Soul Reapers when first introduced. After Kaien's killer, Rukia Kuchiki, explains how he died and apologizes, the Shiba make amends. Kūkaku seems to have some kind of relationship with the Urahara Shop, knowing Yoruichi Shihōin and claiming to have worked with Kisuke Urahara in the past. She can perform high level kidō spells, and she carries a short-bladed sword on her back.
Template:Nihongo wears a vest, scarf, bandana, and pair of goggles. He is often found with his gang, who all ride large boars. Ganju possesses a hot temper and a strong ego, though has shown a softer side, easily being cowed by his older sister, Kūkaku. He and his sister initially hate Soul Reapers due to the death of their brother, Kaien, though after his interactions with Ichigo Kurosaki he overcomes this. Ganju is not particularly attractive, something that has become a running joke in the series. He does not deny this fact and instead tries to talk around the subject. He has a dagger which resembles a meat cleaver or a Chinese Dadao, though his skills are limited and he instead relies on his arsenal of fireworks and his earth magic. Ganju's earth magic doesn't seem to operate on the same principals as standard Soul Reaper kidō spells; the one technique he uses, Template:Nihongo, doesn't need an incantation to work and is unnumbered. The spell can reduce whatever it is aimed at to sand or quicksand, useful when making holes in walls to escape pursuers.
Template:Nihongo is a convenience store that predominately deals in snacks and small household goods. It also caters to a more select crowd of spiritually-aware beings, providing them with merchandise it has acquired from Soul Society. Three of its regulars (owner Kisuke Urahara, Yoruichi Shihōin, and Tessai Tsukabishi) are former high-ranking Soul Reapers that are now fugitives of Soul Society.
Template:Nihongo is the owner of the Urahara Shop. He wears traditional Japanese wooden sandals and a bucket hat, which has earned him the nickname Template:Nihongo. Urahara is usually quite laid-back and has a jovial if not comical attitude, tendencies that tend to drive away customers. He will similarly leave his store unattended for long periods of time while he trains series protagonist Ichigo Kurosaki and his friends in the store's cave-like basement. Despite his odd work ethic and personality, Urahara can be very serious when the situation calls for it. When first introduced Urahara is largely shrouded in mystery, being knowledgeable of all spiritual-related subjects and a guide for Ichigo that works in the background. As the series progresses he is revealed to have been the captain of the 12th Division and 3rd seat in the 2nd Division, under Yoruichi, a century before the start of the series. He caught Sōsuke Aizen in the act of converting his fellow Soul Reapers into vizards. Before Urahara had time to save them and turn them back into Soul Reapers, Aizen had framed him for the crimes and he was banished to the human world. Tite Kubo based his character off of Snufkin, whom Kubo finds "cool." Hats in Urahara's likeness are among various Bleach merchandise to be sold to fans.
Urahara is a keen analyst, able to discern an opponent's weaknesses and attack patterns with ease, a quality he passes on to Ichigo Kurosaki during their training together. He is also an avid inventor, and while still a Soul Reaper created a number of items that went against Soul Society's conventions. Most prominent of these is the Template:Nihongo, a device that destroys the barrier between Soul Reapers and hollows. Fearing the potential power it could give someone, Urahara tried and failed to destroy it, allowing it to fall into Aizen's possession midway through the series. Urahara's zanpakutō is a shikomizue named Template:Nihongo. When released with the command Template:Nihongo, Benihime's blade becomes wider than that of his sealed zanpakutō and the hilt curves. In this form it has two known special abilities activated by the command Template:Nihongo: it can create a polygonal "blood mist shield" capable of blocking most attacks and can fire a crimson-colored energy blast which is similar to a cero. Benihime's bankai has yet to be revealed, but Urahara, when asked to use his bankai to help train others, states that his bankai is not fit for such a purpose.
Template:Nihongo does not work at the Urahara Shop in any official capacity. She is an old friend of owner Kisuke Urahara, and so uses it as a place of residence when she is not abroad. Her natural form is that of a woman, though can transform into a black cat at will. This form gives her a deep voice, which leads many character to initially believe she is a male and thus call her "Mr. Yoruichi". Yoruichi is very easy-going; she insists that Soi Fon not use formalities when speaking to her, and has no qualms appearing naked before Ichigo Kurosaki. She tends to avoid combat, and will not engage an enemy unless her allies will lose without her intervention. When first introduced, she helps Ichigo and his friends infiltrate Soul Society. Having once been the captain of the 2nd Division, she is very knowledgeable of Soul Society. A century before the start of the series, she abandoned her post by helping Urahara, Tessai Tsukabishi, and the vizards escape to the human world.
Yoruichi is skilled in the use of Template:Nihongo, a high speed movement ability. While the ability is not unique, her talents are; her speed is such that she is known as the Template:Nihongo. Similarly, she can defeat an enemy platoon in moments while never seeming to have moved. Yoruichi is also skilled with Template:Nihongo, a technique that combines hand-to-hand combat and kidō spells. She has never been seen wielding a zanpakutō in the current Bleach storyline, though is shown carrying a kodachi-like blade during flashbacks.
Template:Nihongo is Urahara's personal assistant in both business and other matters. He is a large, muscular man with a thick mustache who is always seen wearing an apron. He is shown to have great physical strength, made apparent by his ability to smash a hollow's head to pieces with a single, open-palmed thrust. During the Turn Back the Pendulum miniseries, it is revealed that he was the captain of the Kidō Corps in Soul Society. As a result, Tessai is extremely skilled in kidō, demonstrated by his ability to use a level 99 binding spell while skipping its incantation. He has not been shown to carry a zanpakutō, but he did carry a shakujo during his time in Soul Society. For aiding Kisuke Urahara in his attempts to help the vizards, Tessai was sentenced to imprisonment by the Central 46 and was forced to flee to the human world."Bleach" manga; chapter -97, page 10.
Template:Nihongo is a small, red-haired boy who is supposed to do manual labor for the shop, such as cleaning. Instead he usually slacks off and forces Ururu to do all the work. Though he frequently bullies her, he does care for Ururu as he recovers her body after she is injured by an arrancar. Though he is more knowledgeable than one might expect given his young appearance, he is still childish, calling Renji Abarai a Template:Nihongo,and he enjoyed teasing,spitting and drooling on Ichigo when his Chain of Fate was severed and Ichigo was becoming a hollow in a incapacitated state. Jinta seems to have a crush on Yuzu Kurosaki, calling her "The Goddess" and regarding anything she gives to him as sacred. His primary weapon is an oversized iron rod, similar to a Tetsubo, which he can use to attack.
Template:Nihongo is a meek, black-haired girl who mostly does manual labor for the shop. She uses a multi-barreled shoulder cannon as her weapon, which can turn into a rocket launcher to deal with powerful opponents. Ururu's meek attitude is somewhat at odds with her fighting ability, which is undefined, but quite high (Urahara vaguely mentions that her fighting ability is at an "anti-Soul Reaper" level). Her punches and kicks have a lethal amount of force and far surpass what is capable of most characters. She seems to respond robotically when injured or when hollows are nearby. During such times, Ururu seems to take on a rather simplistic view of right and wrong; she considers those that cause harm (relative to her) as enemies, and believes that enemies must be eliminated.
The Vizards are Soul Reapers who have gained hollow powers. The eight Vizards that have been introduced in the series (excluding Ichigo Kurosaki) are former captains and lieutenants of the Gotei 13. They have no particular allegiance to Soul Society or to hollow-kind, stating on one occasion their dislike of both.
The Arrancars are Hollows that have broken their masks and gained a [Zanpakutou]]. Most of them serves for the former 5th Division Captain Aizen Sousuke.
2. Soi Fong
5. Currently empty position.
9. Currently empty position.
11. Zaraki Kenpachi
3. Kira Izuru
6. Abarai Renji
8. Ise Nanao
11. Kusajika Yachiru
13. Currently empty position.