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Memories in the rain
MangaVolume3Cover
Poem
"If I were rain
That joins sky and earth
that otherwise never touch
Could I join two hearts as well?"
Cover Orihime Inoue
Volume 3
Pages 192
Anime Episodes 7-9
Release Data
Print (J) June 4, 2002
ISBN (J) 4-08-873275-8[1]
Print (US) October 12, 2004
ISBN (US) 1-59116-443-5[2]
Chapter List
Shueisha 017. 6/17

018. 6/17 op.2 "Can't Smile Don't Blame"
019. 6/17 op.3 "memories in the rain"
020. 6/17 op.4 "face again"
021. 6/17 op.5 戦う少年[3] 022. 6/17 op.6 "BATTLE ON GRAVEYARD"
023. 6/17 op.7 "意志は鋭し、刃は鈍し"[4] 024. 6/17 op.8 "All One Way Sympathies"
025. 6/17 op.9 "戦う少年2 [The Cigar Blues Mix]"[5]

Viz Media 017. 6/17

018. 6/17 op. 2 Doesn't Smile Much Anymore
019. 6/17 op. 3 memories in the rain
020. 6/17 op. 4 A Face From the Past
021. 6/17 op. 5 A Fighting Boy
022. 6/17 op. 6 A Battle in the Graveyard
023. 6/17 op. 7 Sharp Will, Dull Blade
024. 6/17 op. 8 One-Sided Sympathy
025. 6/17 op. 9 A Fighting Boy 2 (The Cigarette Blues Mix)

This article is about the manga volume. For the OVA, see Memories in the Rain (OVA).

memories in the rain is the third volume of the Bleach manga series.

Publisher's summary

Ichigo Kurosaki was a little boy when his mother passed away. One rainy day, Ichigo, whose ability to see the undead is a blessing and a curse, tried to stop a young girl from drowning in a nearby river. His mother, Masaki, ran after them, frantically trying to rescue her only son. Then everything went black, and Ichigo awoke only to discover his mother dead and the little girl gone.

It's the anniversary of Masaki's death, and the entire Kurosaki clan, along with former Shinigami Rukia Kuchiki, head to the cemetery to pay their respects. Sleeping demons rarely ever stay still and pretty soon Ichigo confronts the Grand Fisher, the Hollow that may be responsible for his mother's demise. This and more in this action-packed volume of Tite Kubo's manga smash-hit Bleach.

Bleach All Stars

All-Stars
黒崎 真咲
Masaki Kurosaki
Ep142IsshinCharaPic 有沢 竜貴
Tatsuki Arisawa
Ep178MasakiCharaPic 黒崎 一心
Isshin Kurosaki
Ep2TatsukiCharaPic

Ep215OrihimeCharaPic 朽木 ルキア
Rukia Kuchiki
Ep216IchigoCharaPic2
井上 織姫
Orihime Inoue
Ep320RukiaCharaPic 黒崎 一護
Ichigo Kurosaki



Chapters

017. 6/17

Ichigo Kurosaki prepares for the anniversary of his mother's death.

Summary :

17Cover

The cover page of 017. 6/17.

Dreaming about the night his mother died, Ichigo Kurosaki notes that it is why he decided that he would protect his friends and family until the day he died. Suddenly, he is woken by Kon, now in a stuffed lion plushie, pounding on his chest and telling him to wake up because it is morning. When Kon threatens to sneak into Ichigo's book bag and go to school with him so the girls there will mock him for carrying around a stuffed animal if he does not get out of bed, Ichigo angrily throws him against the wall and reminds Kon that he has to act like a stuffed animal now. Ichigo recalls how he and Rukia Kuchiki decided to find a body for Kon after the events of the previous day, but had no intention of putting him into a Human body and did not want to force a Soul out of its living body with his pill, in addition to being unable to find a fresh animal corpse lying around, so eventually they put him in a plushie that they found lying in the street, which ended up functioning as a proper body. While Kon yells at him for not treating him more gently, Ichigo notes that they are calling him Kon because he is a Kaizō Konpaku and "Kai" is too cool of a name for him. Opening the closet door behind Kon, Rukia steps out in her school uniform and berates Ichigo and Kon for being so loud, only to be alerted to Kon staring up her skirt from underneath her foot and subsequently kicking him in irritation, causing Kon to protest about his stuffing coming out.

Startled by his sister Yuzu Kurosaki knocking on his door, Ichigo has Rukia and Kon hide in his closet and lets Yuzu come in as he closes the door, prompting her to ask him what he is doing in confusion. When Ichigo asks her what she wants at such an early time, Yuzu states that it is not that early and reveals Mizuiro Kojima is waiting for Ichigo, who notices the time on his bedside clock and is shocked at how late he woke up as Yuzu tells him to get ready and apologize to Mizuiro for making him wait. As he apologizes to Mizuiro and invites him inside the Kurosaki Clinic, Ichigo notes that the memories of Kon's antics were erased from the minds of his classmates and that Kisuke Urahara apparently told him his name, which he managed to forget and is not concerned about, before recalling how Rukia said Urahara would get in considerable trouble if word got out that he had let Kon go. Realizing that he has become lost in thought, a flustered Ichigo resumes getting ready for school. As she prepares to exit Ichigo's room through his window, Rukia bids farewell to Ichigo, who wonders why his father did not wake him up early with his usual antics before suddenly freezing upon seeing the date on his watch. Perturbed by this, Rukia asks Ichigo what is wrong, only for him to claim it is nothing before noting that "it" is tomorrow, to Rukia's further confusion.

At Karakura High School, Michiru Ogawa asks Tatsuki Arisawa if she did the "My Future" assignment for their art class, and when Tatsuki confirms this, Michiru asks to see it because hers is not very good. Tatsuki pulls out her artwork, depicting her standing over a defeated fighter in a martial arts ring with a championship belt in hand, and declares that she is going to become a female vale tudo champion as Michiru praises her piece while claiming that her own is too bad to be shown and wondering if Tatsuki does not want to be an artist instead with her drawing talent. When Michiru turns to her for her artwork, Orihime Inoue proclaims that she is glad Michiru asked before pulling out a drawing of herself as a robot in a futuristic city with tank treads for legs, a large minigun on her hip, and missiles replacing her breasts as she details how she would have a maximum velocity of 240 mph, be able to shoot 20,000 °C flames from her mouth, and unleash destruction beams from her eyes, to the great shock of both Michiru and Tatsuki, who try to explain that this is not what the assignment meant and that Orihime could get detention or even jail time for turning this in.

Upon noticing Ichigo walking into the classroom, Orihime calls out to him, only to be surprised when a smiling Ichigo asks her how she is doing. While Michiru comments on Ichigo apparently being friendly for once, Orihime wonders what is wrong with him as Tatsuki asks a confused Michiru what the date is. When Michiru tells her that it is June 16th, Tatsuki commends Orihime for being perceptive enough to pick up on something it took three years for her to notice before stating that Orihime should take care of any urgent business she has with Ichigo today because he will not be at school tomorrow, to Orihime and Rukia's puzzlement. That night, at the Kurosaki Clinic, which has had a notice attached to the front door stating it will be closed tomorrow, Isshin Kurosaki announces to his children that they will be having a meeting to go over their jobs for tomorrow and declares that he holds all decision-making power as the chairman. When Karin Kurosaki protests, Isshin tells her to raise her hand if she wishes to speak as the chief of staff, leading Karin to be pleased despite herself at being appointed this title. Isshin proceeds to assign Yuzu to preparing lunch and Karin to loading their packs before revealing that he got a haircut for the occasion and asking how he looks, only for his daughters to declare that he looks exactly the same as Ichigo looks on with a smile.

Later, as Karin and Yuzu sleep together in Karin's bed, Rukia tells Ichigo that his family meeting looked fun before guessing that he is skipping school tomorrow to go on a picnic, only to be shocked when Ichigo asks her if he could take tomorrow off from carrying out her Shinigami duties. Refusing to allow this and demanding to know why Ichigo has been acting strange all day, Rukia is shocked when Ichigo reveals that tomorrow is the anniversary of the day his mother was killed.

Characters in order of appearance :

Episodes adapted from this chapter:


018. 6/17 op.2 "Can't Smile Don't Blame"

Tatsuki Arisawa recounts her history with Ichigo Kurosaki to Orihime Inoue. Meanwhile, Ichigo tells Rukia Kuchiki that he is responsible for his mother's death.

Summary :

18Cover

The cover page of 018. 6/17 op.2 "Can't Smile Don't Blame".

The night of June 16th, as she sits on her bed with Orihime Inoue, Tatsuki Arisawa recounts how she first met Ichigo Kurosaki at the local dojo when they were both four years old and describes him as being scrawny and smiling all the time while he held his mother's hand, which made her consider him a wimp. Noting that Ichigo was also very weak and would start crying whenever he lost, Tatsuki states with pride that she was the first person in the dojo to make him cry by beating him in ten seconds with a single high kick. However, Tatsuki reveals that Ichigo would stop crying and start grinning from ear to ear as soon as his mother came to pick him up, which she hated because she could not understand why a boy would smile when he lost, and admits that she thought of Ichigo as a baby for clinging to his mother before concluding with sadness that he was happy and had a sweet smile in the beginning.

The following afternoon, as the Kurosaki Family walks up a hill to the local cemetery, Yuzu Kurosaki complains that the hill is too steep while Karin Kurosaki disagrees. Overhearing this, Isshin Kurosaki tries to encourage Yuzu by walking up the hill on his hands, prompting Karin to tell her sister to not make eye contact with their father because attention will only encourage him. However, Isshin proclaims that he does not need attention because he is self-motivated and begins rapidly running toward his daughters on his hands before tripping and sliding under Yuzu, whom he notes is wearing polka dotted underwear. Irritated by this, Karin kicks Isshin away as she tells him to vanish, and Isshin tumbles to the bottom of the hill as he declares that this will lead to great volatility in the Tokyo stock market, leading Karin to claim that he should stick to listed stocks as Ichigo watches in embarrassment.

As Ichigo notes how hot it is and how different this June 17th is from the rainy day that his mother died, his sisters notice another visitor standing nearby and wonder if she is here to see their mother as well as a shocked Ichigo realizes it is Rukia, who waves at him. When Yuzu asks him if Rukia is a friend of his, Ichigo claims to have never seen her before in his life, but when Karin begins to recognize her, Ichigo frantically reverses course and tells his sisters that he and Rukia were best friends in junior high before declaring that he will take a minute to set her straight alone as he runs off. Seeing this, a chuckling Karin rubs her chin and asserts that they should should give Ichigo some space because he is reaching "that age", prompting a confused Yuzu to protest this assumption.

Elsewhere, Ichigo demands to know what Rukia is doing here, prompting her to state that he will need her help if a Hollow shows up. Ichigo points out that Rukia could have done so with more stealth, but when she brushes this off as her not thinking things through, a surprised Ichigo asks her if she is mad at him. Clarifying that she is just curious, Rukia brings up how Ichigo said his mother was killed, and as Ichigo denies having said this, she notes that he also said that he has been able to see spiritual beings since he was very young before asking him if his mother was killed by a Hollow. With Ichigo remaining silent at this, Rukia asserts that Ichigo having that much power as a child could have led to him being targeted by a Hollow, but Ichigo loudly and aggressively denies this, stunning Rukia, and asks why everything needs to be about Hollows with her as he claims that there was no Hollow involved in his mother's death. However, Ichigo suddenly stops upon seeing a young girl standing at the top of the stairs behind Rukia and nervously wonders what she is doing here before running off, to Rukia's confusion. Wondering who Ichigo was talking about, Rukia looks at the top of the stairs, but does not see anyone, prompting her to wonder if the girl ran away or if something else happened as she runs after Ichigo.

The previous night, Tatsuki reveals to Orihime that Ichigo's mother died when he was nine years old and admits that she did not understand what that meant at the time because she was only nine years old as she details how he was still clinging to her like a baby even at that age. Noting that she went looking for Ichigo after this because he did not show up at school for a while, Tatsuki recalls finding Ichigo searching the riverbank where his mother died from morning until night, only taking breaks when he got tired, and states that she could not bear to see Ichigo like this.

The following afternoon at the cemetery, Rukia catches up to Ichigo and grabs the back of his shirt, which causes him to trip and fall, before demanding to know why he ran, only to be shocked when Ichigo informs her that he is the one who killed his mother as the girl from before watches from the top of the stairs.

Characters in order of appearance :

Episodes adapted from this chapter:


019. 6/17 op.3 "memories in the rain"

The Kurosaki Family visits Masaki Kurosaki's grave in remembrance of the day of her death.

Summary :

19Cover

The cover page of 019. 6/17 op.3 "memories in the rain".

Praying in front of her mother's grave, Karin Kurosaki asks her mother how she is doing and notes that her being dead probably mitigates this before assuring her that she, Yuzu Kurosaki, and Ichigo Kurosaki are all doing fine. However, Karin also notes with a pained expression that her father is doing too well and annoying her as Isshin Kurosaki enthusiastically announces the annual "Kurosaki Family Tombstone Dominoes Tournament", with the first match being between himself and Ichigo and where the losers must serve the winners for the week, as Yuzu begs him to stop while Ichigo watches in embarrassment. As Isshin prepares to begin, Yuzu warns him that he will not get dinner tonight if he actually proceeds with this tournament, shocking Isshin.

Meanwhile, as she sits on the wall above, Rukia Kuchiki recalls Ichigo's claim of having killed his mother and notes that it was likely a random homicide or an accident because Ichigo could not have intentionally hurt his mother before berating herself for bringing up the possibility of a Hollow killing her. When Kon emerges from her backpack, Rukia states that she did not say he could come out, prompting Kon to complain about how hot and stuffy it is inside the backpack as he asks her to take pity on him. Kon points out that they may as well go home because Ichigo wants to be left alone today, but Rukia reminds him that she needs to stay nearby in case a Hollow shows up, only for Kon to complain about how she is always focused on Hollows and never on actually enjoying her time in the Human World. Hearing this, Rukia decides Kon may be right and pulls her hat down. Down at Masaki's grave, Ichigo burns incense in front of it and recalls the day of his mother's death.

In the past, a young Tatsuki Arisawa asks Ichigo if he can really see ghosts, and when he denies this, she admits that this is what she thought and details how one of the girls at their school was claiming Ichigo talks to things that no one else can see, which Ichigo laughs off. Ichigo recalls how he has always been able to see spiritual beings so clearly and for so long that he could not distinguish them from living beings when he was a child, which he did not think was a problem because he could laugh off questions from others about it until the day of his mother's death. On that June 17th, during a heavy downpour of rain, Ichigo walks along the side of the road with Masaki and is splashed with water by a passing truck, prompting Masaki to ask him if he is okay and offer to switch places with him as she wipes his face. However, Ichigo declares that he is fine because his raincoat keeps him dry and promises that he will protect his mother from such things, which leads Masaki to call him brave before teasing him for making such a claim despite being unable to beat Tatsuki. As Ichigo protests that he won against her the other day, Masaki finishes cleaning his face and invites him to keep going, which Ichigo does while holding her hand. Remembering how much he loved his mother, Ichigo recounts how she never once cried or got mad around him because she knew that a parent's moods heavily influence their children and how it felt like he would always be okay regardless of what happened when he was with her.

As he details how his sisters and father loved Masaki as much as he did because she was the center of their universe, Ichigo recalls how how Isshin once told him that his name means "one who protects", which made Ichigo want to protect his mother because she always protected him. As he walks with his mother, Ichigo sees the young girl he would later encounter at the cemetery and notes that she caught his eye because she was standing in the rain with no umbrella like she was planning to jump despite the river being engorged due to three straight days of heavy rain before reasserting that he still could not tell the difference between living and dead beings at the time. Telling his confused mother to wait there, Ichigo leaps over the railing and runs toward the girl as he details how he wanted to protect more and more people besides his mother as time went on. Masaki screams out to Ichigo and tells him to stop as she takes off her shoes and runs after him just as Ichigo reaches the girl. In a blur of motion, Ichigo wakes to find himself lying underneath his mother's bloody and dead body with the girl gone, and he begins to cry as he realizes what has happened. In the present, Ichigo admits that he did not know what cut her and states that she died trying to protect him before asserting that he tore the heart out of his family's universe.

Elsewhere, as Yuzu cries on a set of steps, Karin sits next to her and claims that they are too old to be crying every time they visit their mother's grave, only for Yuzu to resume crying after a brief attempt to stop herself. Upon hearing Isshin blowing a whistle to get his children's attention, Karin tells Yuzu that this means that they need to go and tries to get her sister to her feet, only to stop upon seeing the mysterious girl standing on the edge of a nearby cliff. Karin wonders what the girl is doing there, and when Yuzu asks her whom she is referring to, Karin realizes that the girl must be a spirit if Yuzu cannot see her and tells her sister to stay there as she approaches the girl. Asking the girl why she is staring over the edge of the cliff, Karin informs her that there is a priest living at the bottom of the hill if she is troubled by something. When the girl expresses surprise at Karin being able to see her, Karin confirms that she is spiritually aware and asks the girl to keep it to herself since it is embarrassing. However, after confirming that Karin can also hear her, the girl declares that she looks tasty as a large Hollow begins to appear behind her, to Karin's shock.

Characters in order of appearance :

Episodes adapted from this chapter:


020. 6/17 op.4 "face again"

Yuzu Kurosaki and Karin Kurosaki are attacked by a Hollow, leading Ichigo Kurosaki to come to their aid.

Summary :

20Cover

The cover page of 020. 6/17 op.4 "face again".

As Isshin Kurosaki blows aggressively into a rooster-shaped whistle, Ichigo Kurosaki descends the stairs nearby with his hands over his ears and angrily asserts that Isshin does not have to use that to call his children. When Ichigo notices that Karin Kurosaki and Yuzu Kurosaki are not here yet, Isshin declares that this is why he is using his whistle and claims that he simply would have left without Ichigo otherwise before ordering his son to go look for Karin and Yuzu. Ichigo tells his father to look for them himself, but Isshin berates him for not loving his sisters enough, prompting Ichigo to point out that they are probably off using the bathroom and will turn up soon enough. Deciding that they should split up to look for the girls, Isshin tells Ichigo to go into the forest while he searches the cemetery, only for an irritated Ichigo to knock him down with a kick to the chin while declaring that he should lie down and look. While Isshin remarks that the new split in his chin will make him look like John Travolta, Ichigo senses something that unnerves him and takes off up the stairs as his confused father demands to know if he will actually be looking for them before wondering what has gotten into Ichigo.

Meanwhile, Yuzu asks Karin what is wrong and reminds her that Isshin is blowing his whistle, but a scared Karin tells her to not come over before asking the girl what she is and what the thing behind her is, only for the girl to claim that Karin is especially gifted if she can see the Hollow. Elsewhere, Rukia Kuchiki senses the Hollow and is confused as to why she has not received an order from Soul Society about it, only for her Denreishinki to beep as it receives one, prompting Rukia to realize it came late as she leaps down onto the stairs nearby. As he runs up the stairs, Ichigo prays that the Hollow is not attacking his sisters before suddenly crossing paths with Rukia, whom he immediately begins running down the intersecting path with as they greet each other. Noting that they must be going in the right direction if Rukia is here, Ichigo asks her if she is going to ask him anything, only for Rukia to state that she will not bring up the death of Ichigo's mother on her own because it is a deep and jagged wound that will only cause Ichigo more pain if she does so before promising to simply wait until Ichigo himself is ready to talk about it, which Ichigo thanks her for.

Suddenly, Kon bursts out of Rukia's backpack and complains about being forced to sit in there while Ichigo and Rukia are busy making sweet memories, surprising Ichigo, who did not know he had come along. When Kon claims that he is Rukia's pupil, Ichigo expresses his disbelief at this and asks when it came to be, prompting Kon to assert that it has been true since the day she saved him, which Rukia states is news to her. Ichigo claims to see Orihime Inoue in the forest nearby, and when Kon shifts his attention and begins calling out for her, Ichigo reveals he was lying and mocks Kon's hollow claim of being loyal to Rukia as an embarrassed Kon expresses anger at his deception. As Rukia tells them to be quiet, Ichigo notes the Hollow is close.

Elsewhere, Karin is sent flying by the Hollow and warns Yuzu to not come near before being pinned down by the Hollow, causing her to scream in pain. When she tries to help Karin, Yuzu is able to touch the Hollow's arm and wonders what it is as she demands that it release her sister, only for the Hollow to release a tentacle from one of the holes in its mask that wraps around Yuzu's throat and lifts her into the air. The girl declares that Yuzu is too noisy and does not have the spiritual prowess required to stop her before deciding to eat her anyway as an appetizer to devouring Karin. However, as the Hollow draws Yuzu toward its mouth, Ichigo appears in his Shinigami form and cuts through the tentacle, to the shock of those present, and grabs Yuzu out of midair as he lands and severs the Hollow's hand, freeing Karin. Recognizing the girl as the one he saw by the river six years ago, Ichigo demands to know what she is doing here and why she is with a Hollow. When the girl admits that she does not remember the events of six years ago and notes that Ichigo has seen her before, Ichigo confirms this and asks if she is the slave of the Hollow or if it is controlling her, only for the girl to reveal that neither is true, to Ichigo's shock.

Characters in order of appearance :

Episodes adapted from this chapter:


021. 6/17 op.5 戦う少年

Ichigo Kurosaki confronts Grand Fisher, the Hollow who lured him to the riverside six years ago and killed his mother.

Summary :

21Cover

The cover page of 021. 6/17 op.5 戦う少年.[3]

As she runs through the forest with Ichigo Kurosaki's body on her back, which Kon complains is too heavy, Rukia Kuchiki comes across Karin Kurosaki and Yuzu Kurosaki lying unconscious against a rock and wonders what happened to them before having her attention drawn by Kon to a stunned Ichigo, who asks the girl what she is. Expressing amazement at Ichigo having actually seen her and lived, the girl states that he is lucky as half of her face sloughs off to reveal a sphere with a hole underneath, to Ichigo's shock. A tentacle-like limb emerges from the hole, causing the rest of the girl's skin to crumple up and fall away, and attaches itself to another hole on top of the Hollow's head as the Hollow itself addresses Ichigo, whom it declares it must devour because he has seen him twice.

As Ichigo wonders what this is and asks the Hollow if the girl is part of him, Rukia identifies the Hollow as Grand Fisher and explains how the lure on his head disguises itself as a person, which he uses to choose his victims by going after those who see it and absorbing their power. While her Denreishinki prints out a list, Rukia details how Grand Fisher has managed to outwit or defeat Shinigami for the past 54 years and hands the paper detailing his record from Soul Society's database to Ichigo before declaring that he is a true scumbag, prompting Grand Fisher to claim that she is hurting his feelings. With Grand Fisher chuckling over having met so many people that can see him and wondering if they will all fit in his stomach, Ichigo realizes that he tried to save Grand Fisher's decoy and that his mother was killed by Grand Fisher, prompting him to leap into the air above Grand Fisher before attacking him while screaming in anger.

However, Ichigo's Zanpakutō slams into the ground, prompting Ichigo to look up to see that Grand Fisher has evaded by jumping into the air as well. As Rukia criticizes Ichigo for making a reckless move, Grand Fisher restores his severed arm and mocks Ichigo for his inexperience as he extends his arm toward Ichigo, who narrowly blocks it and is pushed back before jumping off the arm onto a nearby cliff. Looking up, Ichigo is surprised to see Grand Fisher's fur extending out from him and is swiftly engulfed by it, prompting a concerned Rukia to begin chanting an incantation for a Kidō spell. Suddenly, Ichigo demands that Rukia stop and cuts himself out of the hair before asking her to take care of Karin and Yuzu while staying out of the fight. Rukia points out that Grand Fisher is too strong for Ichigo and has been beating the Shinigami for over fifty years, but Ichigo asserts that this fight is personal.

Characters in order of appearance :

Episodes adapted from this chapter:


022. 6/17 op.6 "BATTLE ON GRAVEYARD"

Ichigo Kurosaki continues his fight against Grand Fisher.

Summary :

22Cover

The cover page of 022. 6/17 op.6 "BATTLE ON GRAVEYARD".

While Kon protests, Rukia Kuchiki threatens to burn him if he keeps complaining and resisting as she tries to get his Gikon pill into Ichigo Kurosaki's lifeless body, prompting Kon to claim he would rather be burned because he does not wanna kiss Ichigo. Rukia clarifies that he just needs to get close to Ichigo's mouth, but Kon declares that he does not want to do this either because Ichigo's breath smells terrible, only for Rukia to force them to make contact, which breaks Kon's spirit. After Rukia knocks Kon's pill out of the lion plushie and down Ichigo's throat, Kon awakens in Ichigo's body and begins screaming in horror at what just transpired while Rukia reminds him that they need to move Karin Kurosaki and Yuzu Kurosaki. Recalling Ichigo asking her to not interfere because this is personal, Rukia promises to take care of his sisters and asks him to not die.

Meanwhile, in the cemetery, Grand Fisher destroys one of the tombstones with his fur as it pursues Ichigo, who has his left hand ensnared by it. Yelling, Ichigo cuts through the fur with his Zanpakutō in his other hand, only to be caught off-guard when Grand Fisher appears behind him and declares he is too slow as he attacks with his fur, which grazes Ichigo's temple. Landing, Ichigo begins running parallel to Grand Fisher, who declares that Ichigo will never beat him by simply running away or wildly flailing his sword as he continues to attack Ichigo with his fur. While Grand Fisher mocks him for trying to protect his friends with such mediocre skills, Ichigo continues to block his attacks while mentally noting that Grand Fisher is much faster than his appearance would suggest and that he cannot close the gap or properly evade his attacks before almost resigning himself to defeat, only to pull back from this upon remembering the suffering that he, Yuzu, and Karin have endured due to Grand Fisher killing their mother. Ichigo reaffirms his vow to protect his family and swears that he will kill Grand Fisher as he rushes in.

However, Grand Fisher rushes to meet Ichigo and warns him to never recklessly throw himself at a foe as he moves to attack. Ichigo raises his Zanpakutō to block, but Grand Fisher merely grabs it and declares that Ichigo has no discipline as talons emerge from the tips of his fingers before impaling Ichigo and extracting something from him. Elsewhere, Karin wakes up in a shrine to see Kon in Ichigo's body and believes he is her brother as Kon explains to her that she and Yuzu fell asleep on the mountain after being worn out by the walk up it. Exiting the shrine while promising to get their father, Kon asks Rukia how he did, and after she praises his performance, drops Ichigo's stoic demeanor while gasping and wondering how he maintains such an exhausting frown for so long. As she sits inside next to the sleeping Yuzu, Karin recalls being saved by Ichigo and wonders if that was a dream.

Meanwhile, as he pulls his talons out of Ichigo, who collapses, Grand Fisher criticizes him for sending away his allies and throwing himself at the Hollow in a fit of blind rage, which resulted in him playing right into Grand Fisher's hands, and declares that Ichigo will die without even having wounded him. Slashing at Grand Fisher, who evades, Ichigo proclaims that he will kill Grand Fisher even if he has his arms severed and his legs blown off, but Grand Fisher reforms the girl around his Lure and details how Ichigo's youth and impetuousness makes him quick to anger and dulls his sword before reforming his Lure to look like Masaki Kurosaki as he declares that Ichigo is far too inexperienced to challenge him while Ichigo watches in shock.

Characters in order of appearance :

Episodes adapted from this chapter:


023. 6/17 op.7 "意志は鋭し、刃は鈍し"

While Grand Fisher uses Masaki Kurosaki's likeness to prevent Ichigo Kurosaki from effectively fighting him, Rukia Kuchiki struggles over whether or not she should intervene.

Summary :

23Cover

The cover page of 023. 6/17 op.7 "意志は鋭し、刃は鈍し".[4]

Noting that Ichigo Kurosaki is surprised by his recreation of Masaki Kurosaki, Grand Fisher admits that he really does not remember what happened six years ago and states that he was able to recreate Ichigo's mother anyway before mocking the upset expression on his face. Grand Fisher explains how he attacked Ichigo with his left hand so the talons on it could search Ichigo's memory for the one person he cannot bear to hurt, as that is something even the most cold-hearted Shinigami has and is how he has beaten every Shinigami sent to purify him, and declares that this person is Ichigo's mother as the fake Masaki asks Ichigo if this is not the case, further stunning him.

Elsewhere, Rukia Kuchiki runs through the forest and recalls Kon asking her if she is not going to go back to help Ichigo. In the past, Rukia reminds him that Ichigo asked her to stay out of it, but Kon points out how Rukia said Grand Fisher is a powerful Hollow, which Rukia does not respond to. After Rukia admits that she does not know if Ichigo will be killed, Kon begs Rukia to go help Ichigo, to her surprise, and admits that it is hard for him to beg before explaining that he could not bear to keep living with Ichigo's family while pretending to be him. As Kon melodramatically declares that doing so would kill him and resumes begging, an exasperated Rukia agrees to go help Ichigo so Kon will stop begging and orders him to protect Ichigo's sisters as she leaves, which Kon agrees to do. In the present, Rukia wonders if coming to Ichigo's aid is the right thing to do because he is being driven by guilt and vengeance and, consequently, fighting for himself for the first time.

As she wonders if Ichigo would ever forgive her if she intervened during such a fight, Rukia arrives at the site of the battle and sees Ichigo facing down Grand Fisher with multiple holes in his torso. Holding herself back, a visibly concerned Rukia tells herself that Ichigo will never move on if she helps him win and recalls a man telling her that helping "him" will save his life but permanently damage his honor before explaining that every fight one engages in is either a fight to preserve life or a fight to preserve one's honor. Realizing that Ichigo's honor is at stake and that she has to let him fight alone, Rukia physically restrains herself and repeatedly tells herself to not get involved before demanding that Ichigo not die.

Meanwhile, as Ichigo continues to stare at the fake Masaki, Grand Fisher asks if the sight of his mother has paralyzed him, only for Ichigo to declare that he will not allow Grand Fisher to defile her memory like this as he prepares to attack. However, the fake Masaki moves in front of Ichigo and begs him to not cut her, causing Ichigo to hesitate long enough for Grand Fisher to impale him through the fake Masaki. Reminding Ichigo that his anger dulls his blade, Grand Fisher proclaims that Ichigo was the youngest, most reckless, and weakest Shinigami he ever faced. Suddenly, Grand Fisher finds Ichigo's Zanpakutō lodged in his shoulder as Ichigo, having grabbed onto the limb impales him, admits that Grand Fisher may be right about anger before declaring that a dull blade is all he needs to kill scum like Grand Fisher. As he declares that Grand Fisher was the oldest slimiest, and most annoying Hollow he ever faced, Ichigo slashes through Grand Fisher's side.

Characters in order of appearance :

Episodes adapted from this chapter:


024. 6/17 op.8 "All One Way Sympathies"

Ichigo Kurosaki concludes his fight with Grand Fisher.

Summary :

24Cover

The cover page of 024. 6/17 op.8 "All One Way Sympathies".

In Karakura Town, it begins to rain heavily, which Orihime Inoue comments on, prompting Tatsuki Arisawa to express surprise because it had been sunny all day. When Orihime asks her if she can borrow an umbrella, Tatsuki agrees but notes that Orihime should stay over tonight since her house gets cold with all the holes it has, only for Orihime to casually reveal that she got evicted. Shocked by this, Tatsuki asks Orihime where she is living now, and is further stunned when Orihime pulls out a reversible sleeping bag, leading Tatsuki to believe she is camping out on the streets and warning her that this is dangerous regardless of how comfortable the sleeping bag is. However, Orihime reveals that she is actually staying at a hotel until she finds a new place to live, and when Tatsuki asks her if she has really been carrying around that sleeping bag for a joke, Orihime confirms this while admitting that she was not sure that it would be worth it after the first week of carrying it around and noting that Tatsuki's reaction was not as good as she expected, leading Tatsuki to assure her that it was funny after all. After getting Orihime an umbrella, Tatsuki asks her if she is sure she wants to go since her family is out for the night, but Orihime reminds Tatsuki that her school uniform is not here and states that she feels like walking tonight, prompting Tatsuki to bid her farewell. As she walks through the street, Orihime reflects on learning that Ichigo Kurosaki's mother died when she was nine and recalls her brother as she notes that she knows what it feels like to realize that nothing is certain in life. Wondering what she feels for Ichigo now, Orihime settles on feeling like she knows him a little better.

Meanwhile, as his blood splashes on the nearby trees, a badly wounded Grand Fisher screams in agony over his arm nearly being cut off by Ichigo's attack as Ichigo props himself up on his Zanpakutō. As Ichigo's scabbard falls to the ground after its damaged clasp finally breaks, Grand Fisher lies on the ground and breathes heavily. Rukia Kuchiki calls out to Ichigo as she arrives, prompting Ichigo to ask her what took so long for her to arrive since he already beat Grand Fisher. When a smiling Rukia reminds him that he told her to stay out of it, Ichigo asks her if she thought he was serious. Suddenly, Grand Fisher's remaining tentacles shoot out of his mask at Ichigo, who narrowly dodges them while getting cut on his cheek, and attaches to his Lure before shifting his body into it. As Ichigo and Rukia look on in shock, Grand Fisher brings up Ichigo's earlier question of whether his Lure was a part of him or an appendage before revealing that it is actually a separate body as he faces them with Masaki's face and his limbs on the same body. Detailing how he can slip into another body if one gets hurt, Grand Fisher declares that he is now in one that Ichigo cannot cut.

Elsewhere, Kon sits outside the shrine while in Ichigo's body before standing up as he notices something. Inside the shrine, Isshin Kurosaki notices the rain and notes that he should probably let him inside as he opens the doors, only to see no one is outside. Meanwhile, Ichigo is enraged by Grand Fisher further exploiting Masaki's likeness, but Rukia warns him to stop moving and aggravating his wounds. Grand Fisher declares that beasts with acute vision are slaves to their eyes and points out how Ichigo cannot cut him down because he looks like his mother before leaping away as he proclaims that Ichigo is also too badly injured to catch him. As Ichigo demands that Grand Fisher come back here and attempts to pursue him, Rukia restrains him and asserts that the battle is over, but Ichigo declares that he can still fight, only to suddenly collapse in Rukia's arms, to her surprise.

As Kon reaches the clearing where the fight took place, he sees Ichigo lying on the ground in front of Rukia, who states that a Shinigami's life force is equivalent to their Reiryoku and assures Kon that Ichigo's powers are greater than she thought if these wounds have not killed him before thanking Ichigo for not dying.

Characters in order of appearance :

Episodes adapted from this chapter:


025. 6/17 op.9 "戦う少年2 [The Cigar Blues Mix]"

Ichigo Kurosaki and his father discuss Masaki Kurosaki's death.

Summary :

25Cover

The cover page of 025. 6/17 op.9 "戦う少年2 [The Cigar Blues Mix]".[5]

Upon returning to his body, Ichigo Kurosaki screams in pain, prompting Rukia Kuchiki to berate him for not remembering that the wounds he sustains as a Soul stay with him when he returns to his Human body. When Ichigo points out how she has always healed them before he returned to his body, Rukia apologizes and states that she could not heal Ichigo's minor wounds because she used up most of her power repairing the hole in his chest. Realizing this, Ichigo thanks Rukia, who explains how any pain he does not feel in battle will be felt more acutely when he returns to his body and tosses him some bandages to patch up his face with. As he bandages his remaining wounds, Ichigo notes that he lost, but Rukia disputes this because they took no casualties even though Grand Fisher got away. However, Ichigo states that Grand Fisher is not dead and gets to his feet before walking away, and Rukia watches in silence as Kon complains about being too wet to stand up.

Shortly afterward, Ichigo stands in front of his mother's grave and apologizes for not being able to avenge her death. Suddenly, Isshin Kurosaki walks up with two umbrellas in hand and states that he was wondering where Ichigo went. When Isshin offers him an umbrella, Ichigo asserts that it does not matter if he has one because he has already been drenched by the rain, only for Isshin to repeatedly poke him in the head with it, causing Ichigo to grab the umbrella and smack his father with it. As Ichigo opens his umbrella, Isshin notes that Masaki has been gone for ten years, and when Ichigo corrects this to six years, Isshin merely states that he was close, prompting an incredulous Ichigo to point out that four years is the difference between grade school and high school, which merely leads Isshin to commend him for his intelligence as Ichigo berates him for not knowing how long it has been since his wife died.

Isshin says that Masaki will feel good on the other side if she sees how well Ichigo is doing, but Ichigo mentally notes that Isshin does not know that Masaki's soul was devoured and does not comment. When Isshin begins smoking a cigarette, a surprised Ichigo asks him when he started smoking, prompting Isshin to detail how Masaki told him when Karin Kurosaki and Yuzu Kurosaki were born that she thought he looked cool when he smoked during the time they first started dating. Admitting that this was the only time Masaki ever told him that he looked cool, Isshin states that this is why he decided to have a smoke on this day every year in front of her. When Ichigo continues to somberly look at Masaki's grave, Isshin slaps him on the back and tells him to cheer up. However, Ichigo asks Isshin how he can not hold Masaki's death against him and points out how he failed to protect and save his mother before tearfully demanding to know why everybody does not blame and hate him as he wishes they would, as he believes it is his fault.

Hearing this, Isshin merely asks Ichigo why he should blame him and states that Masaki would be mad at him if he did before assuring Ichigo that it is not his fault that she died. Asserting that he is proud of Masaki for giving her life to save her child, Isshin reminds Ichigo that he is the child she saved, and as his son calms down, Isshin knees him in the back while declaring that he is lucky. Isshin tells Ichigo to live a long life, go bald, die after he does, and die laughing if possible because he will not be able to face Masaki otherwise, and asserts that he should stop sulking because he is not old enough to shoulder the burden of sadness. As Isshin leaves and promises to be waiting at the bottom of the hill, Ichigo calls out to Rukia, who is hiding behind a nearby tree, and asks if her Shinigami powers are returning before asking her to let him be a Shinigami for a little longer regardless because he wants to become incredibly strong and kill Grand Fisher, as he will not be able to face Masaki if he does not, to Rukia's relief.

Meanwhile, in another realm, a masked man repairs and reconstructs Grand Fisher's body, causing the latter to scream in pain as the masked man berates him for playing with Ichigo too much and running away from his fight without using all his powers. Watching from above, another man reminds Grand Fisher that they are supposed to go right for a Shinigami's head when fighting them, which Grand Fisher apologizes for. As the man states that he does not like to clean up Grand Fisher's messes, the masked man notes that they managed to get Grand Fisher's mask off and asserts that this situation will not be repeated, which Grand Fisher confirms. Standing in a new, more humanoid body, Grand Fisher promises to never toy with a Shinigami again and swears revenge on Ichigo.

Characters in order of appearance :

Episodes adapted from this chapter:

Author's Notes

Volume 3 Intro Image
I tend to get worried about the seasons in BLEACH as opposed to the actual seasons in real life. The series started in the summer, but at that time, it was May in the book. That discrepancy has always bothered me. In this volume, the introduction of Ichigo, the main character, finally comes to an end. The setting is June. Unexpectedly, this all worked out quite well. If possible, please read this on a rainy night.

Tite Kubo

References

  1. Bleach 3 (Japanese). Shueisha.
  2. Bleach, Vol. 3. Viz Media.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Translation: "Fighting Boy"
  4. 4.0 4.1 Translation: "Sharp Intent, Dull Blade"
  5. 5.0 5.1 Translation: "Fighting Boy2 [The Cigar Blues Mix]"

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