Ichigo Kurosaki is a brash 15 year old who is often picked on because of the unusual bright orange color of his hair. But although he seems like a hot-headed troublemaker, Ichigo has the unique ability to see ghosts and spirits in the world around him that other people cannot see. This ability allowed him to meet Rukia Kuchiki, a shinigami(death god) from the spirit world known as Soul Society. Rukia explains to Ichigo that many dead spirits are sent to live in Soul Society, but lost or vengeful spirits often turn into vicious soul-eating creatures called hollows, and it's the responsibility of the death gods to vanquish the hollows from the living world. Not long after meeting Rukia, Ichigo's house and family were attacked by a hollow, which was attracted to Ichigo's strong spiritual energy.
In a desperate attempt to protect them, Rukia ended up transferring all of her death god powers into Ichigo, and Ichigo managed to defeat the hollow. Unable to take back her powers, Rukia decided to teach Ichigo to become a death god in her place, since he already has such incredible spiritual powers. It doesn't take Ichigo long to settle into his role as a death god and learn to use his powerful zanpakuto(soul slayer) sword effectively. Rukia also settles into life in the living world, using a faux body to attend Ichigo's school and hiding out in the closet in his room. During Ichigo's many battles with the hollows, it becomes apparent that he's not the only one with spiritual powers. Not only does his sister Karin possess some, but his classmates Orihime and Sado(nicknamed "Chad") also begin to realize their spirit powers when hollows attack them. And Ichigo later discovers that another of his classmates, Ishida, actually comes from a long line of spirit users called Quincys.
As he battles more hollows, Ichigo begins to like his role as a death god. He becomes closer to his classmates and feels good when he's able to protect them and his family from hollows. In addition, he manages to battle the hollow that killed his mother and he also gains a strange ally in Kon, a spirit inhabiting a stuffed lion toy(Kon can also temporarily exist in Ichigo's body while his spirit is off fighting hollows.) However, Ichigo's new life is suddenly shattered when two other death gods come from Soul Society on a mission to arrest Rukia and sentence her to death for illegally transferring her powers to Ichigo and remaining in the living world longer than is allowed. Ichigo desperately tried to fight off the powerful death gods(one of which was Rukia's older brother) but he was no match for them, and Rukia surrenders, not wanting to put Ichigo in more danger. As she's lead back through the doors to Soul Society, she demands that Ichigo not follow her. But, not one to abandon a friend in need, Ichigo becomes determined to find a way to Soul Society and rescue Rukia before it's too late.
With some special spiritual training from Urahara, the mysterious manager of a store that is somehow connected to the spirit world, and the support of Orihime, Sado, and Ishida, as well as guidance from the talking cat Yoruichi(who was once actually a respected female member of Soul Society), Ichigo and his friends finally find a way to Soul Society. But once there they are seen as invaders(ryoka) and are split up and immediately attacked by the hundreds of death gods that exists there. But also at this time there is a secret coup going on among the high ranking death god captains and lieutenants. Rukia's execution sentence is somehow connected to this plot although most of the death gods are too involved in getting rid of the invaders to take notice. But as events of betrayal, deceit, and murder begin to plague the death gods of Soul Society, it's apparent that the culprit is one of their own. But as for Ichigo and his friends, the most important thing is rescuing Rukia before she's used as a pawn in this twisted plot!
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