Bleach: Kurosaki Ichigo
Ichigo Kurosaki is a fictional character in the anime and manga franchise Bleach by mangaka Tite Kubo. He is the story’s main protagonist. The series begins with Ichigo receiving Soul Reaper powers as a result of a run-in with Rukia Kuchiki, the Soul Reaper assigned to patrol his city, Karakura Town. These powers come at the cost of Rukia’s own, and as a result, Ichigo concedes to work as Rukia’s stand-in, fighting to protect people from evil spirits called hollows and sending good spirits, wholes, to Soul Society.
Ichigo is a 15-year-old who attempts to cultivate a detached image, for which he keeps his eyebrows constantly furrowed. Ichigo has natural orange hair, a fact that annoys many bullies in his school, who constantly pick fights with him. Ichigo claims that he does not care what others think and seems to enjoy fighting the bullies. While in junior high school, Ichigo met and befriended Yasutora “Chad” Sado, a boy from another school who helped him out of a fight. Chad, although extremely strong, was often the target of beatings because he refused to fight for his own sake due to a promise he had made as a child to his grandfather. Upon discovering this, Ichigo made a pact with Chad in which they both agreed to fight and risk their lives for something the other was willing to risk their life for. Ichigo comments that thanks to Rukia his life changed, and thanks to her he is able to protect the people he cares for.
When Ichigo was nine, his mother, Masaki Kurosaki, was killed by the hollow Grand Fisher, although Ichigo did not find out the true cause of her death until early in the main Bleach storyline. Prior to learning about this, Ichigo felt guilty for his mother’s death, blaming himself for wandering too close to the water and causing her to put herself in harm’s way to save him. Even after that, Masaki’s death continues to influence Ichigo by causing him to feel guilt for his inability to protect those close to him. Since then, Ichigo lives with his father Isshin Kurosaki and his two younger sisters, Yuzu and Karin. His father runs a small medical clinic.
Ichigo’s name, written with homophone kanji, means 1 and 5 when separated as ichi and go, the reason behind the two numbers’ frequent appearances in the series, notably on the sampler hanging on his bedroom door. The word ichigo, written in yet another way, means “strawberry” —one of his nicknames— in Japanese, and is normally only used as a girl’s name; when teased about this fact, Ichigo proudly counters that his name is spelled with ichi as in “first” and go from “guardian”. Ichigo’s father once told him that his name means “he who protects.” The name also means ‘one’s lifetime.