|Age:|| 150 est|
|Occupation:|| Squad 13
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Rukia Kuchiki|朽木 ルキア|Kuchiki Rukia is an unseated Shinigami in the 13th Division under Captain Jūshirō Ukitake. Rukia is the younger sister of Hisana Kuchiki, and the adoptive sister of Byakuya Kuchiki, as well as a friend of Ichigo Kurosaki.
Short and petite, Rukia is among one of the shortest characters in Bleach. She has pale skin, violet-colored eyes, and black hair, with one strand of hair always hanging between her eyes. Byakuya has said to Rukia that she strongly resembles Hisana Kuchiki.
Initially born into a lower class, Rukia retains her modesty even as an adopted member of the nobility: she is graceful and "clean", yet chooses to talk to ordinary people. However, her cool and lone demeanor often forces her to hide her personal troubles even from her friends. She is clueless about the ways of the modern living world. She is initially unable to figure out how to drink from a simple juice box, and learns to speak modern Japanese through the manga she reads. She always has trouble finding clothes that fit her, especially when inhabiting a Gigai in the Human World, leading to her stealing clothes from Ichigo's sister, Yuzu. She likes to climb to high places. Rukia also likes everything that is rabbit-themed or resembles a rabbit, and her drawings are typically rabbit-like. Rukia's favorite foods are cucumber, eggs, and rice dumplings.. Rukia instantly takes a liking to rabbit-like plushie form of Kurōdo, who resembles a Rabbit.
Her attitude towards Ichigo varies: at times she is a bickering adversary, and at other times, she worries about him and dispatches advice like a wise old sage. Despite their quarrels, the two have a deep understanding of each other, often being the only ones able to talk each other out of a funk. Rukia is an accomplished actress, being able to act her way through a number of tough situations, such as getting out of trouble with school teachers or managing to get a room at Ichigo's house. Ichigo is the only one to always pick up on it and accuse her of pretending.
Rukia and her older sister, Hisana, were brought together to 78th District of Rukongai after they died in the Human World. Hisana abandoned Rukia when she was still a baby since she could not continue to support both herself and Rukia. Rukia grew up on her own until she met Renji Abarai and other children her age. They worked together to steal food in order to survive and became a makeshift family. During this time, Rukia and Renji showed signs of having spiritual power. While they initially opted against becoming Shinigami, the death of all their friends prompted Rukia to suggest joining the Shinigami Academy for a better life.
At the Shinigami Academy, Renji was admitted into the top class and Rukia into the second ranked one. Renji and Rukia started growing further apart as Renji got further ahead in his training. The emotional distance continued until Rukia was asked to join the Kuchiki family. Renji expressed happiness for Rukia's opportunity but both did not admit that they disagreed with the arrangement since they would likely never see each other again. Rukia reluctantly joined the family and was immediately inducted into the 13th Division without having to graduate or take a squad entrance exam. Unknown to Rukia, Byakuya Kuchiki had adopted her in order to fulfill the last wish of Hisana, whom he had once taken as his wife.
In the 13th Division, Rukia was not given a seat position, due to Byakuya Kuchiki's influence, since he did not want her sent on dangerous missions. She became friends with the division lieutenant, Kaien Shiba, who trained and mentored her. Their first training location was Mount Koifushi of Hokutan, the 3rd district of West Rukongai.
Rukia greatly admired Kaien's wife, 3rd Seat Miyako Shiba. When Miyako was killed by a Hollow, Rukia, Kaien, and the division's captain Jūshirō Ukitake hunted the Hollow down. Kaien faced the Hollow alone but its special ability destroyed his Zanpakutō. Rukia attempted to draw her sword and help but was stopped by Ukitake. He told her that Kaien's fight was one of honor rather than a fight for his life. If Rukia were to help, Kaien would be saved but his honor would be forever damaged. Meanwhile, the Hollow entered Kaien and possessed him. Ukitake faced the Hollow but his illness allowed the Hollow the opportunity to attack Rukia. Kaien momentarily regained control and thrust himself through Rukia's Zanpakutō. He thanked Rukia and Ukitake for letting him fight for his honor and died in Rukia's arms. Rukia brought the corpse to the Shiba family but was afraid to apologize since she felt guilty about her role in Kaien's death.
 Agent of the Shinigami arc
Rukia first meets Ichigo Kurosaki when she enters into his room. Ichigo mistakes her for a burglar and kicks her. Isshin calls out to Ichigo about creating a ruckus, but when Ichigo informs him about the intruder, he tells his son that he cannot see anyone else in the room. As a result, Ichigo accepts that she is a ghost of some sort, but refuses to believe Rukia's explanation about Shinigami, causing Rukia to bind him with Kidō spell. As Rukia continues her explanation, a Hollow attacks the Kurosaki Clinic. Hearing his sister's pleas for help, Ichigo breaks out of the Kidō and rushes to stop the Hollow. Upon seeing the Hollow, Fishbone D, Ichigo is gripped by fear, having expected the evil spirit to be similar to a Human, rather than the monster standing before him. While reassuring himself, he notices that it is holding Yuzu and charges at it with a baseball bat in a futile attack. Rukia injures the Hollow, freeing Yuzu, and explains that the Hollow's target is likely him. Ichigo thinks this means that it is his fault that his family is in danger and his reckless actions force Rukia to shield Ichigo with her body, causing her severe injuries. Seeing that Ichigo is truly determined to protect his family, Rukia offers to temporarily turn him into a Shinigami by piercing his chest with her Zanpakutō and transferring half of her power to him. However, Ichigo absorbs almost all of Rukia's power. Transformed into a Shinigami, Ichigo makes short work of the Hollow, collapsing afterwards.
The following day much to Ichigo's surprise Rukia shows up at his school as a new student. Later he asks her what she is doing there as her job was over so she should have gone back to Soul Society. Rukia explains that only Shinigami can go to Soul Society and she can't currently return as she has lost her Shinigami powers. Ichigo is confused and reasons that he is no longer a Shinigami, which causes him to ask where powers went. Rukia plainly tells him that her power is inside him. She further explain that it's not his "body" but his "soul" that has become Shinigami. She affirms that last night she had almost all of her powers taken by him. As she had barely any abilities left, she had been forced into a Gigai. Ichigo is confused so Rukia explains that Gigai are a Shinigami's other body, to be used in an emergency situation. A weakened Shinigami enters one to wait until their abilities have recovered. She then tells him that until her powers are returned he will have to take over her Shinigami duties. Ichigo flat out refuses but Rukia forces him into Shinigami form and put him on patrol.  After having undergone some training with Rukia to improve his combat tactics, Ichigo hears a beeping sound from inside his room and is startled when Rukia jumps out of his closet, trying to warn him of a Hollow attack. As a large hand bursts through the floor, Rukia dons her Skull Symbol glove and forces Ichigo's soul out of his body. Ichigo slashes at the Hollow's head, but only manages to slice off a portion of its mask, revealing the Hollow to be Orihime Inoue's brother, Sora. When Rukia explains that Hollows often attack their relatives, she and Ichigo rush to Orihime's apartment. Ichigo manages to stop the Hollow before it eats Orihime's soul.
While visiting Masaki's grave, the Hollow Grand Fisher attempts to consume Ichigo's sisters, Karin and Yuzu. Ichigo quickly realizes that Grand Fisher killed his mother and seeks revenge. Rukia tries to keep Ichigo from fighting, as she fears the Hollow is too strong, but Ichigo orders her to go with Kon and take his sisters home. Ichigo greatly wounds Grand Fisher, but the Hollow escapes.
During a duel with the Quincy Uryū Ishida, a massive amount of Hollows, including a Menos Grande, are drawn to the Human World and defeated in one form or another, mostly by Ichigo and Uryū. Ichigo's victory against the Menos draws the attention of Soul Society. Meanwhile, Uryū and Ichigo develop an uneasy friendship as Shinigami and Quincy, with both of them having saved each other's lives.
After drawing the attention of Soul Society, Ichigo loses the Shinigami powers he gained from Rukia when he is swiftly defeated by the Shinigami captain Byakuya Kuchiki, who along with Renji Abarai, arrests Rukia and takes her back to Soul Society. The damage Ichigo suffers renders him a powerless Human soul, while he discovers that Rukia is guilty of a felony for transferring her powers to a Human and remaining in the Human World for so long. They succeed, and upon their return Rukia is sentenced to death for giving her Shinigami powers to a human.
 Soul Society arc
Initially, Rukia is placed in a normal holding cell while waiting for her sentence for her crime. She is regularly visited by Renji, but once she is sentenced to be executed by the Sōkyoku, she is placed in the Senzaikyū. During her time in the Senzaikyū, she resigns herself to her eventual execution, barely reacting to anything going on in the Seireitei. However, when Renji visits, he tells her that a swordsman vaguely matching Ichigo's appearance was seen among the Ryoka trying to infiltrate the Seireitei wall, which surprises her.
She remains in the Senzaikyū until Hanatarō Yamada and Ganju Shiba arrive to rescue her. She is surprised to see the both of them, but Ganju recognizes her as the Shinigami who killed his brother, and she recognizes the symbol on his clothing as the emblem of the Shiba clan. Ganju, angered by Rukia's past deed, acts hostile towards Rukia, who does not protest any acts Ganju wants to commit, even killing her. However, before the conversation can continue any further, Byakuya arrives to kill Hanatarō and Ganju. Ganju attempts to fight Byakuya, but is defeat by the captain's Senbonzakura. Byakuya continues his attack to kill both Ganju and Hanatarō (despite Rukia's protests), but is stopped by Jūshirō Ukitake.
As Byakuya and Ukitake discuss the Ryoka invasion, everyone present senses the arrival of a being with captain-level spiritual pressure, which is followed by the arrival of the spiritual pressure's owner, Ichigo Kurosaki. Although Rukia is shocked by Ichigo's arrival, she becomes angry with him attempting to rescue her, insisting that he is no match for her brother. Ichigo ignores her protests and begins to fight Byakuya, seeming to fight on equal ground with the 6th Division captain, but Rukia knows that Byakuya isn't fighting to the fullest of his abilities.
The fight is stopped as Yoruichi Shihōin arrives and drugs Ichigo, effectively rendering him unconscious. Although Byakuya gives chase, he is unable to keep up with Yoruichi and she escapes with Ichigo. After the departure of Yoruichi, Ichigo, and Byakuya (who lost interest after Yoruichi fled), Rukia falls unconscious. Ukitake orders his 3rd Seat, Sentarō Kotsubaki to take Rukia back into the Senzaikyū (while he orders Kiyone Kotetsu to retrieve a medic from the 4th Division to treat Ganju's wounds). Rukia awakens later after the incident and begins to reflect on her role in Kaien's death during the night before her execution.
When the day of the execution arrives, Rukia is being moved onto Sōkyoku Hill for her execution, but senses Renji falling in battle against Byakuya (only recognizing his spirit energy after it began to drop). Although she mourns for her fallen friend, it is cut brief, as Gin Ichimaru arrives. He offers Rukia to save her friends for her, which briefly makes her wonder what he would have to gain from such an act, only to learn that he was only kidding. Rukia is then disgusted that Ichimaru was able to make her want to live again.
She is finally brought to Sōkyoku Hill. Before her execution begins, she asks Captain-Commander Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto to let her friends leave after the execution has ended. Yamamoto tells her that he would grant her request (though, he is lying to her, but he told her he would to comfort her before her death). Pleased with his answer, Rukia is finally placed on the Sōkyoku stand, and she awaits her death as the Sōkyoku transforms to evaporate her soul.
However, Ichigo arrives and manages to stop the Sōkyoku with his Zanpakutō alone. Rukia is once again upset that Ichigo has attempted to free her, but he ignores her protests. Before the Sōkyoku can strike either Ichigo or Rukia again, Ukitake and Captain Shunsui Kyōraku destroy the Sōkyoku with a shield-like device (which originated from the Shihōin clan). Deciding to take advantage of the situation, Ichigo destroys the Sōkyoku stand and frees Rukia.
Renji arrives moments later, which relieves Rukia greatly. Ichigo then decides to throw Rukia to Renji, and orders him to run with her to safety, which he does. Although Chōjirō Sasakibe, Marechiyo Ōmaeda, and Isane Kotetsu give chase, they are all easily defeated by Ichigo barehanded.
While they are escaping, Renji and Rukia are eventually confronted by Kaname Tōsen, who uses a kidō spell to bring them all back to Sōkyoku Hill, where Sōsuke Aizen (who was originally thought to be dead) is waiting for them (along with Gin Ichimaru). Although receiving resistance from Renji and later Ichigo, Aizen is able to defeat them both with ease. Aizen then reveals to her that within her soul is stored the Hōgyoku, a powerful artifact created by Kisuke Urahara which gives Hollows Shinigami powers and vice versa. He also reveals that he killed the Central 46 who govern Soul Society and orchestrated the events of Rukia's execution. Wanting the Hōgyoku for himself, Aizen hoped that her death would give him access to it, but settles for a non-fatal alternative, since the execution was stopped. Aizen removes the Hōgyoku from Rukia's body and tells Ichimaru to kill her, but a battle-worn Byakuya arrives and is impaled by Ichimaru's Zanpakutō instead. Before Aizen can proceed to kill them, the remaining captains arrive and are able to subdue Aizen, Ichimaru, and Tōsen.
However, they are not captured, for Gillian-class Menos arrive and retrieve the trio by using Negación and take them to Hueco Mundo. During the aftermath of the battle, Captain Retsu Unohana tells Rukia that Byakuya has something to say to her. Byakuya reveals that Rukia is actually the younger sister of Hisana Kuchiki, his late wife, and reveals the events that occurred before he found Rukia in the Shinigami Academy.
As Ichigo, Orihime, Chad, Uryū , and Yoruichi are staying in Soul Society, Rukia finally decides to travel to Kūkaku Shiba's home and apologizes to both Kūkaku and Ganju for her role in Kaien's death. Kūkaku readily forgives her and invites her (and later Ichigo) to dinner. She also tells Ichigo that she would stay in Soul Society. Ichigo agrees and leaves with the rest of his friends to the Human World the next day.
 Bount arc (anime only)
Note: Events occurring in this arc are only in the anime and do not constitute canon material.
Rukia remains in Soul Society for a while before appearing back in Karakura Town and rescuing Ichigo from Yoshino, a Bount, and her Doll, Goethe. However, Goethe attacks again, but is stopped by a fellow Bount, Udagawa, who retreats with Yoshino. The others meet up with Ichigo and Rukia then, and they rejoice at Rukia's return before informing her about the Bounts and the current situation. Rukia aids Ichigo and the others to rescue Ishida from the Bounts, who say that the Bounts leader, Jin Kariya, needs a Quincy in order to enter Soul Society, which the Bounts wish to destroy, as revenge for their creation.
Later on, Rukia is possessed by Mabashi's doll, Ritz. She is then controlled to turn against and fight Orihime, who is unwilling to hurt her friend. Shūhei Hisagi arrives and after being informed about the situation by Orihime, is set on killing Rukia in order to stop the Bount and his doll. However, Rukia overcomes the Ritz's possession for a moment, and Orihime gains some reason and is able to free Rukia from the doll's control. She also joins Ichigo's group when they assault the Bounts' cave, but she is left behind by Ichigo and Renji when it becomes apparent that she and the others are unable to fight back against Ugaki's Doll.
Afterwards, Rukia joins Ichigo and his group to Soul Society, following the Bounts, who have managed to get there. They all split up in Rukongai, and Rukia and Ririn encounter Yoshi. They engage in a fight but since Rukia has still not regained her full powers, she is unable to defeat Yoshi. Yoshi is about to deliver the final blow, but is stopped and defeated by Byakuya, who then sends Rukia back to the Kuchiki house to recuperate. She later encounters Renji and asks him to take her to Sōkyoku Hill, where Ichigo is battling Jin Kariya. She attempts to assist him, but Renji stops her, confident that Ichigo is able to fight Kariya on his own. She watches the fight until it ends with Ichigo's victory. She is taken back to the Kuchiki manor to recover once more. She is visited by Ichigo and Renji, and she recalls how her life changed when coming to Karakura Town. She stays in Soul Society once more as Ichigo, Uryū, Orihime, and Chad return to the Human World.
 Arrancar arc
With the Hōgyoku, Aizen is able to create an army of Arrancar, which he uses to attack Ichigo and his friends once they return to the Human World. Tōshirō Hitsugaya is sent with an advance team of Shinigami that includes both Rukia and Renji. Upon arrival, Rukia drags Ichigo to fight a Hollow and tells Ichigo not to fear his inner hollow, but to rise up and crush it. After Ichigo returns home from school, he brings Rukia with him, and she manipulates Isshin Kurosaki and Yuzu Kurosaki into letting her stay with them, albeit with a false story (though, she shares a room with Yuzu and Karin, which seems to disappoint her slightly).
Later, when Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez invades the Human World with his Fracción, Ichigo saves Chad from a lethal strike from Di Roy and prepares to fight him. Rukia arrives shortly afterwards, deciding to fight Di Roy in Ichigo's place (though, she has her Artificial soul restrain Ichigo the entire time, to prevent his interference). Her fight with Di Roy is short, as she kills him quickly with her Sode no Shirayuki's Some no Mai ability. Shortly after, Grimmjow senses Di Roy's defeat and confronts Ichigo and Rukia. Sensing Grimmjow's incredible power, Rukia urges Ichigo to run away, but Grimmjow silences her by impaling her with his hand. She remains incapacitated until after Ichigo and Grimmjow's battle.
Sometime after Grimmjow's first visit to the Human World, Ichigo goes missing with nobody able to sense or find him. However, she manages to find Orihime Inoue leaving a warehouse sealed by a barrier, which, in reality, was the hideout of the Vizards, and finds out that Ichigo is there as well. With Tsubaki restored, Orihime regains her attack ability and Rukia and Orihime train in the Soul Society.
However, the training is cut short, as Espada-level Arrancar invade the Human World. Rukia leaves Orihime behind to assist those in the Human World. She arrives to find Ichigo losing in a battle against Grimmjow again and freezes the Arrancar with her Zanpakutō's Tsugi no Mai ability. She tries to free Ichigo from Grimmjow's blade, but Grimmjow breaks free from Rukia's ice and attempts to incinerate her head with a Cero. She is saved by the timely arrival of Shinji Hirako, who proceeds to fight Grimmjow and nearly beats him. The battle is called off, for Ulquiorra Cifer appears and restrains Grimmjow, and they are both taken back to Hueco Mundo via Negación. At first, they are confused as to why the battle was called off, but in the aftermath of the battle, they realize Orihime has gone missing. Discovering that Orihime was taken back to Aizen, Ichigo, Rukia, and Renji attempt to persuade Shigekuni Yamamoto-Genryūsai to let them bring Orihime back, but he denies their requests and pulls back Hitsugaya's advance team, sending Byakuya Kuchiki and Kenpachi Zaraki to ensure their cooperation.
 Hueco Mundo arc
Unwilling to give up Orihime to Aizen, Rukia goes to Hueco Mundo with Ichigo to rescue her. While there, Rukia encounters the 9th Espada, Aaroniero Arruruerie, who soon reveals himself to contain the soul of Kaien Shiba. Saddened that she had not saved her mentor from the control of a Hollow as she had previously thought, Rukia kills Aaroniero so that Kaien can finally be free. Rukia then passes out and the 7th Espada, Zommari Leroux, appears to finish her off, but in the nick of time Byakuya Kuchiki appears and challenges Zommari. Zommari uses his Zanpakutō, Brujería, to take control of Rukia's body, but Byakuya stuns her with Kidō and kills Zommari.
 The New Captain Shūsuke Amagai arc (anime only)
Note: Events occurring in this arc are only in the anime and do not constitute canon material.
Rukia learns while in the living world that Princess Rurichiyo Kasumiōji was being targeted for assassination by Gyōkaku Kumoi. During a fight against several assailants armed with unique weapons called Bakkōtō, Rukia releases her Shikai in response to her opponent Jinnai Dōko's speed and long range sword attacks. She delivers a finishing blow but to her surprise Jinnai breaks out of her ice attack, only to suddenly die from being devoured by his Bakkōtō.
Later on, Rukia opens a gate back to Soul Society and joins Ichigo, Enryū, and Kenryū to save Rurichiyo after her escape from the real world. They are confronted by the 2nd Division, for causing chaos at a Noble wedding and Rukia ends up clashing swords with Soifon so that Ichigo could save Rurichiyo. Rukia manages to escape with Ichigo after they realize that there is something wrong with Rurichiyo. Soifon is forced to inform the rest of the Gotei 13 of Ichigo and Rukia's apparent betrayal and Sereitei is called into a state of emergency.
The two eventually team up with Shū Kannogi and manage to escape underground. However, they are soon discovered and confronted by Captain Amagai. Amagai and Ichigo engage in a fierce battle, only to be stopped by Shu. When Amagai realizes that Rukia and Ichigo have good intentions, he decides to help them in their mission to save Rurichiyo.
The team are attacked by members of the Gotei 13, under the orders of the Captain-Commander. Rukia engages in battle with Matsumoto whilst Ichigo and Shu continue to look for Rurichiyo in the Kasumiōji manor. When the Captain-Commander discovers that the Kasumiōji family are guilty of treason, he orders and attack on the family manor. Rukia and Mastumoto are attacked by dozens of Kumoi's soldiers, each wielding a Bakkōtō.
Rukia goes on to find Shu and Ichigo in a similar situation inside the secret part of the noble manor. She takes Shu through the forbidden rooms until they find a secret passage where Rurichiyo was taken.
Finally, the three find Rurichiyo being held hostage by Kumoi himself, but are unable to fight him as he threatened to kill her. Captain Amagai suddenly appears and kills Kumoi, taking Rurichiyo with him, to the complete surprise of Ichigo, Shu and Rukia.
 Fake Karakura Town arc
Rukia appears with Renji and Chad to stop the Exequias. She dispatches Rudobōn's underlings fairly easily, and taunts the Exequias' Captain about it. This angers the Arrancar enough to make him release his Zanpakutō, Árbol, after which he comments that simply defeating his men doesn't mean she can beat him.
However, she is eventually able to overpower Rudobōn by freezing his "branches", stating that he shouldn't have showed her his ability. Suddenly, Rudobōn is attacked by Yammy Riyalgo, which ends their battle. He confronts Chad and Renji as well (though his mind is on his defeat in the hands of Uryū Ishida), and all three of them prepare to engage him in combat.
When they become aware of Ulquiorra's demise Yammy becomes angry, stating that he had been building up spiritual energy to fight Ichigo alongside Ulquiorra, but now only had Rukia, Renji, and Chad to fight. He then increases in size, causing his jacket to tear and revealing his Espada tattoo. Renji then tells Rukia and Chad that together they could defeat Yammy, who is only the 10th Espada. But at that moment, Yammy releases his Zanpakutō, revealing to the horrified trio that he is in fact Espada number 0.
Rukia is later seen to be in Yammy's grasp. She uses Hadō #33: Sōkatsui against him and he tells her sarcastically that it hurt him; afterwards he throws Rukia to the ground. She realizes she cannot recover because of the strength of the throw and the air pressure. She hits the ground in an explosion of sand but when it clears she realizes that Ichigo saved her. She asks where Orihime is, to which Ichigo says that she is tending to Uryū's wounds. She then watches Ichigo fly off to fight Yammy, while (in her mind) asking Ichigo what happened above the dome. Rukia notices that his eyes did not look like those of a man victorious in battle, nor were they the eyes of a man who's prepared to slice down his coming enemies. After seeing Ichigo's attack on Yammy, she realizes that his mask has changed from its previous form.
 Zanpakutō Unknown Tales arc (anime only)
Note: Events occurring in this arc are only in the anime and do not constitute canon material.
Rukia receives a notification from Yamamoto to meet at the Sōkyoku Hill where it was learned that a man named Muramasa was really the person who called her and all the high-ranking Shinigami of the Gotei 13. Muramasa reveals that he captured Yamamoto and had turned all the awakened Zanpakutō spirits against their Shinigami partners. Rukia manages to escape through the Senkei Gate and is taken by Ichigo (after a brief battle with her Zanpakutō spirit Sode no Shirayuki) to the Urahara Shop. While resting at the Urahara Shop, Orihime heals Rukia's wounds and Rukia then tells Ichigo, Chad, Ishida, Orihime and others of what had happened in Seireitei and of how Byakuya had been defeated by the spirit of Senbonzakura. Later on, Rukia goes back to Seireitei to find Byakuya. Instead, she finds Renji, who tells her that Byakuya's status and whereabouts are still unknown. Soon after, Sode no Shirayuki attacks Rukia again. After Ichigo tries to protect her again, Rukia binds both her Zanpakutō and Ichigo, and tries to kill herself along with Sode no Shirayuki, in order to "set her free". Sode no Shirayuki, who tries to reach out for her, is then stopped by Muramasa.
She was later retrieved and saved by the Fourth Division. Rukia then finds Byakuya in the partially-destroyed Sixth Division office, standing among a pile of fallen bodies. It is implied that he was responsible for the attacks. He does not answer her questions, but Senbonzakura tosses her the broken fragments of her sword as an explanation. Renji then arrives to protect Rukia from Senbonzakura's attacks, and questions Byakuya, before putting him under arrest as a co-conspirator behind the Zanpakutō rebellion. They engage in battle, and Byakuya wins. He tells his sister that she is not to get involved in the Zanpakutō rebellion and to stay out of his way. Other Zanpakutō spirits sent by Muramasa appear soon after, and they question Byakuya on why he did not finish Renji off. Kazeshini prepares to step in to do the job, but the Onmitsukidō arrive, together with Soifon, Ikkaku Madarame, Yumichika Ayasegawa, Izuru Kira, and Ichigo Kurosaki, and surround them. An all-out battle between the two sides begins.
As Byakuya battles the newly arrived Kenpachi Zaraki, Rukia runs towards their duel, only to be caught in the poison of Ashisogi Jizō's Bankai form. She is seen later talking with Ukitake about her brother.
When Muramasa enters the Karakura Town to free his master, he encounters the likes of Uryū Ishida, Sado Yasutora and Inoue Orihime. After dispatching Sado, Muramasa proceeds to launch an attack at Ishida but is intercepted by Rukia's Kidō spell. Rukia had come to their location because she had followed her brother's reiatsu. Rukia witnesses Muramasa's power that somehow brings forth several Hollow and questions Muramasa what type of Zanpakutō he is. Muramasa simply replies that he is a Zanpakutō that will change the world and leaves to continue off with freeing his master. After getting Sado and Inoue to safety, she goes to Muramasa's location. She tries to stop Muramasa with Kidō, but is unsuccessful. Rukia learns of Muramasa's objective as Kōga is freed from his seal. Ichigo then appears right as Kōga awakens.
To Rukia and Ichigo's shock, Kōga stabs Muramasa, believing that Muramasa abandoned him back before he was sealed away and decides to kill him. At the last second, Byakuya intervenes. Senbonzakura appears and explains that he had been pretending to still be under Muramasa's control, and that Byakuya had pretended to betray Soul Society so he could find Kōga and put an end to him in order to draw a close the dark chapter of the Kuchiki clan's history. Relieved to learn that her brother was not a traitor, Rukia joins Ichigo in fighting off dozens of Gillian-class Menos released from Muramasa's body while Byakuya fought Kōga.
As the number of Hollows increases, Muramasa's unstable power reabsorbs the Hollows, resulting in Muramasa transforming into a Hollow. While fighting Ichigo, Muramasa's unstable powers and mental state causes another transformation, becoming a giant domes that continues to grow, attracting more Hollows and gradually opening a huge Garganta. One of the Hollows attacks Rukia and Orihime. They are saved by Sode no Shirayuki. While Rukia is unable to comprehend how this is possible, the Zanpakutō spirit reveals that she is also with several other Shinigami and Zanpakutō spirits, here to help battle Muramasa. After the Gillians are defeated, Ichigo emerges from the collapsed dome with a dying Muramasa, who apologizes for his mistakes.
 Beast Swords arc (anime only)
Note: Events occurring in this arc are only in the anime and do not constitute canon material.
The Soul Society is given a day of rest and partying to recover form the recent chaos. Unfortunately, it is short lived as two strange beings attack the Kuchiki manor. While Rukia is overpowered by them, she is saved by Senbonzakura and Sode no Shirayuki. After talking to Captain Kurotsuchi, he explains that several Zanpakutō spirits manifested by Muramasa were never recaptured and succeeded in killing their partners, changing them into Fiend Swords. Hoping to stop this problem quickly, Rukia takes Sode no Shirayuki and Senbonzakura (who Byakuya offered to help), and began their search. Much to Rukia's annoyance, the two spirits' best ideas to find the Fiend Swords was to either cause more destruction to lure them out or through a big party. After the latter plan fails, Rukia has some time to talk with Sode no Shirayuki (after Senbonzakura passes out from too much drinking). When Sode no Shirayuki admits to how weak and foolish she felt for falling to Muramasa's control, Rukia assures her spirit that she has always been of great help and importance to Rukia. Soon afterwards, they encounter one of the Tōjū. While initially overpowered, Rukia and Sode no Shirayuki combine their powers to subdue the rogue sword. They then have it delivered to Captain Kurotsuchi for analyzing. Later, while waiting for new orders, Rukia takes advantage of their free time to talk with Sode no Shirayuki, during which the Zanpakutō tells Rukia how it felt to be lost in her own anger due to Muramasa's brainwashing.
 Powers & Abilities
Expert Swordsmanship Specialist: Rukia knows the basic-levels of Zanjutsu, of which she seemed to have only mastered the rudimentary skills. By her own admission, she has less talent in swordsmanship than Kidō. However after much training by her former mentor, Kaien Shiba, her skill drastically improved. She has shown herself to be capable enough to hold her own in a battle, most notably defending herself from attacks from the 9th Espada, while he was using the expert swordsmanship skill of Kaien Shiba.
Kidō Expert: Rukia's greatest strength is her knowledge of the Kidō, amongst her known skills are those for binding, healing, purifying, and destruction. However, as she said herself, while her Kidō skill at the Shinigami Academy were the highest of her class, the sheer power of them were just average when she joined the 13th division. Through continuous training she has greatly developed this skill. She has shown she is able to use several high-level Kidō in rapid succession without incantations and still have considerable control and power. She has also shown great skill for using various spells in unique combinations, even using multiple spells simultaneously. Rukia has shown that she is capable of using a level 61 Bakudō spell and a level 63 Hadō spell consecutively, though she needs to chant the incantations for both to perform them.
Enhanced Durability: As a Shinigami, Rukia has a great amount of durability. She was able to withstand being impaled by Aaroniero's Nejibana, in conjunction with his Glotonería, and finish him off before losing consciousness.
Enhanced Strength: Despite her size, she is actually powerful enough to defeat a superior opponent. Even without the aid of her Zanpakutō, she was still a considerable opponent. Her strength was displayed in the Bount arc and beyond (I.E, when Ritz was controlling her, she picked up Orihime with her own two hands, able to throw her in the air, despite her size).
Hand-to-Hand Combatant: She was also seen in a Gigai fighting enemies with her physical strength (kicking, punching, etc.). She is also capable of having hand-to-hand combat while in her Shinigami state, with augmented strength. During the Bount invasion, she showed herself capable of countering the swift and accurate attacks of Yoshi.
Keen Intellect: Repeatedly in missions, Rukia has shown herself to be very intelligent, as seen from her ability to compensate against stronger opponents with combination attacks. During her forced stay in the living world after losing her powers, Rukia proved herself very resourceful in assisting Ichigo with his new Shinigami duties. Rukia is also very knowledgeable, as shown from her high marks in the academy and her knowledge of the Soul Society's history.
High Spiritual Power: Rukia's spiritual energy is personified by the element of ice. Much like Captain Tōshirō Hitsugaya's, but to a lesser degree. When Rukia is focused or under stress, her great spiritual energy is manifested as ice particles flowing and falling in the air. She has at times shown a measure of control of her spiritual energy affecting the surrounding area with cold and even freezing the things she touches. Rukia exerts her Spiritual Energy on her Kidō most of the times. She may also use her energy on other occasions. Nonetheless, she is capable of exerting large amounts of Spiritual Pressure. Although Rukia is an unseated officer in the 13th Division, her skills and power is equal to those of a seated officer.
Flash Steps Expert: Renji says that Rukia is also helpful and effective because of her high speed. In the anime, during her battle against the Adjuchas of the Menos Forest, she skillfully dodged multiple attacks from several enemies.
|Sode no Shirayuki|
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Sode no Shirayuki|袖白雪|Sleeved White Snow: In its sealed form, Sode no Shirayuki is a normal katana with a rectangular tsuba with inward-curved corners with curved slits above and below the blade and a series of curved lines embossed on either side of the blade. It has a reddish-brown hilt.
- Shikai: Its Shikai command is "Dance"|舞え|mae. Rukia holds her Zanpakutō out in front of her and turns it in a circle counter-clockwise. While she is turning it, the blade, hilt and tsuba turn completely white. The tsuba becomes a hollow snowflake-like circle and a white ribbon forms from the pommel from the end of the handle. Sode no Shirayuki is regarded as one of the most beautiful Zanpakutō in the Soul Society. The transformation comes along with a rush of cold air in all directions and can potentially cause a cold fog to descend upon the area.
- Shikai Special Ability: Sode no Shirayuki has control over ice, rather fitting for her cold and icy demeanor, much like Tōshirō Hitsugaya's Hyōrinmaru, but uses it in a different manner. Like Kaname Tōsen's Suzumushi and Kisuke Urahara's Benihime, Sode no Shirayuki possesses more than one ability in Shikai.Sode no Shirayuki's abilities are labeled as "dances" by Rukia.
- Some no mai, Tsukishiro|初の舞・月白|First Dance, White Moon: Rukia calls out the name of the dance while holding her Zanpakutō upside down. The blade glows and then she makes a slashing motion when her target is in position. When she does this, a large ice circle forms around her intended target which freezes everything that touches it. The circle not only freezes the ground but everything within the circle's influence including anything above it up in the air, creating an extending pillar of light that then freezes all within in the circle. Shortly after being frozen, the victim then shatters along with the ice. Rukia appears to be able to control the size of the circle at will.
- Tsugi no mai, Hakuren|次の舞・白漣|Next Dance, White Ripple: Rukia calls out the name of the dance, and punctures the ground once creating a large ice circle similar to the first dance, then she punctures the ground in front of her four times in a semi circle. She takes a battle stance as the ice particles begin to flow up from the protrusions she made in the ground. They build up and then fires toward the target in a massive, powerful pure-white wave of ice from Sode no Shirayuki's blade, in turn encasing the target in a block of ice.
- San no mai, Shirafune|参の舞・白刀|Third Dance, White Sword: Rukia calls out the name of the dance, which allows her to reforge her Zanpakutō with ice particles if it is broken, piercing through objects in its path. After piercing its target, it continues to freeze any surrounding objects, including the battlefield.
- Bankai: Not Yet Achieved
Rukia has encountered many characters in the series. The most prominent of these relationships are listed below:
 Ichigo Kurosaki
Rukia has a unique, complex, and dynamic relationship with Ichigo. When Rukia is taken into custody and Ichigo is gravely wounded in an attempt to save her, she assumes that he dies of his injuries. Feeling that Ichigo's death would have been avoided had she never met him, Rukia loses her reason for living and resigns herself to her sentenced execution. Later on Renji tells her that Ichigo not only survived, but is mounting a rescue attempt with his friends. While she is grateful to know that he survived, and that he cares for her enough to risk his life and the lives of his friends to rescue her, she stubbornly refuses to accept his assistance. This is done out of concern for her friends' well-being, however, as she doesn't want another one of her companions to die because of her. Ichigo, however, remains persistent and is eventually able rescue her from the Shinigami Captains. Rukia, although overjoyed at her rescue and his immense increase in power, refuses to thank Ichigo for his help. Respectful of her decision, Ichigo commends her for her choice to remain in Soul Society. This statement visibly surprises Rukia, as she did not expect him to be as easy-going as she hoped he would be-- not after everything he went through to get her back to Karakura Town-- but quickly regains her composure and silently thanks him for his actions, both in regards to his rescue attempt and his acceptance of her decision to remain in the Soul Society.
 Renji Abarai
Rukia also has a strong relationship with Renji, both sharing a history since they were children. When all their friends passed away, Rukia and Renji joined the Shinigami Academy seeing as they had high spiritual potential. Rukia struggled to keep up with him as he excelled in swordsmanship, but they remained close. However this changed when Rukia was offered a place in the Kuchiki family. Renji congratulated her and assured her that joining would be the best thing that could happen, stating how jealous he felt. Rukia understood he was only saying such things to make her feel happier and to hide his own feelings of sadness (due to the fact that they would probably never see each other again). Rukia thanks him, shedding tears as she runs off. During the Soul Society Arc Renji fights Ichigo not for revenge but out of anger that he indirectly gave Rukia the death sentence. After his defeat he demands Ichigo to save Rukia, and trains rigorously to save her himself. He fights Byakuya and sustains many injuries until his defeat, determined to save her at all costs. This powerful determination to protect her is seen when he faces Aizen, and once more against the 8th Espada during the Hueco Mundo Arc. At the moment his spiritual pressure disappears Rukia becomes distraught over his seemingly fatal loss. Upon entering Las Noches Renji berates Ichigo for expressing concern for Rukia's well being, as soldiers on the battlefield, this is seen as an insult to one`s abilities. This demonstrates Renji's confidence in Rukia, which is reciprocated. More recently Renji has been seen fighting the lesser Arrancar and Hollows alongside Chad, keeping them away from Rukia/Ichigo's respective battles.
 Kaien Shiba
Kaien Shiba was the Shinigami who helped Rukia ease into the 13th squad. Rukia often felt overwhelmed and insecure about her standing as a Shinigami, but Kaien was the one who helped her find her footing. As a result, Rukia has great respect and adoration for Kaien. When Kaien was possessed by a hollow, Rukia was forced to kill him in order to release his spirit, an action that Kaien showed his gratitude for.
 Byakuya Kuchiki
Byakuya Kuchiki is Rukia's adoptive older brother. In the beginning of the series, their relationship was somewhat strained because of Byakuya's icy demeanor and strictness, to the point that Rukia was convinced that Byakuya would support her execution, stating, "Forty years have passed since I was taken in by the Kuchiki family, and in all those years, he has never once looked at me." In reality, Byakuya was very torn over what role he should play in Rukia's execution, due to his conflicting promises to his parents, to always abide by the rules, and to his wife Hisana, to protect her beloved younger sister. After the fight with Ichigo and the subsequent revelation of Aizen's conspiracy, Byakuya saves Rukia from getting killed by Gin Ichimaru, which shocks Rukia greatly. After this, she begins to be less wary of him and seems to have formed a genuine, if not unusual, bond with him. During his fight with the espada Zommari Leroux, he indirectly refers to Rukia as his "pride".
 Jūshirō Ukitake
Rukia's superior and captain of the 13th squad. During the Soul Society Arc he tried to save those who came to rescue her (Ichigo and company) when they were found by Byakuya at the entrance to the Senzaikyū. Later it was stated by Yoruichi he did so because they came to save one of his subordinates, Rukia.
 Orihime Inoue
Rukia and Orihime started their friendship soon after they first met and became significantly closer friends as of the Arrancar Arc. In preparation for the upcoming Winter battle, Rukia takes her into Soul Society and trains her, increasing each others abilities in combat. While being a somewhat stern tutor, Rukia tells Orihime what mistakes she does and how to correct them, earning a mutual respect of fighting ability between the two (not unlike Chad and Renji's relationship). She told Orihime not to worry about her trip into the Living World without her, as she'd be on the other side waiting. Unfortunately, Aizen had other plans, kidnapping the teenager, forcing Rukia to take action. Orihime then became in the same situation Rukia was in while waiting for her execution: alone, hoping her friends do not fall in battle, and feeling a sense of helplessness, similar to a damsel in distress. She can relate to her more than anyone else in the current situation, and Inoue is the only friend in her thoughts right before she loses consciousness after her fight with Aaroniero, determined to keep moving for her while also trying to keep her promise to Kaien.
 Appearance in other media
Dark Rukia is an alternate form of Rukia, exclusively appeared in Bleach: Fade to Black. While in this form, instead of her own Zanpakutō, she has a gigantic, double-edged scythe that she easily wields with one hand. Her outfit appears to be completely different, and she is also barefooted. Her deep black hair is now lavender, as well as her eyes. While in this alternate state, her powers have been augmented and she appears to fight differently, as opposed to her current and usual self. Dark Rukia also appears in Bleach: Heat the Soul 6 as a playable character.
- Wanting to draw a Shinigami in kimono, Kubo drew Rukia - making her the first of the Bleach characters to be conceived.
- According to Tite Kubo, Rukia's theme song is Wing Stock by Ashley MacIsaac.
- Rukia is consistently the most popular female character in the series. In the 4th Shōnen Jump poll, she was placed as the 2nd most popular character in Bleach, with Tōshirō Hitsugaya being the 1st (and Ichigo Kurosaki placing 3rd).
- Sode no Shirayuki, Rukia's Zanpakutō, is the 2nd most popular Zanpakutō in a recent Bleach Poll.
- In the Bleach best bout poll Rukia's fight with Aaroniero came in seventh place.
- (To Ichigo Kurosaki) "Even if you save that kid here, nothing will matter if you don't become a Shinigami! Saving him because he's right in front of you!? Don't be naïve. A Shinigami has to treat all spirits equally! You cannot just conveniently save those you can see, those you can reach. Don't save that kid with such half-heartedness. If you want to save him now... accept that you must save all spirits. To go anywhere for them... to even give your life to save them, make that kind of commitment!"
- (To Ichigo Kurosaki) "...If I ask, will you answer? ...It's your problem. A deep, deep problem. I have no right to know. I don't have a method of stepping into the depths of your heart without getting it dirty. So I'll wait. When you want to talk, when you think it's okay to talk... Talk to me. Until that time, I'll wait."
- (Thinking about Ichigo Kurosaki) "Whether I like him, whether I hate him, it's just all so troublesome. Love, companionship and friendship... it's nothing but trouble."
- "When the time comes when I have to leave, I have to cut myself off from them all. Love, companionship and friendship. It's troublesome. It's really, really nothing but a saddening emotion. All Shinigami shouldn't have these unnecessary feelings. What kind of disgraceful behaviour is this... Rukia Kuchiki?"
- (To Ichigo Kurosaki) "Don't even try to move one step from there. If you try to follow me... I'll never forgive you!"
- "We must not shed tears. That is the defeat of the body by the heart. Because, for us, this thing called 'the heart' can become nothing less than proof that one's existence is superfluous."
- "I'm not scared. I'm content with my life. Meeting Renji and the others, adopted by Nii-sama, Kaien-dono's guidance, then Ichigo's attempted rescue. No pain, no sadness, no regrets. There is nothing for my heart to linger in this world. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And goodbye."
- (To Orihime Inoue) "In a battle, the ones who get in the way are not the ones that lack power, but the ones that lack resolve."
- (Flashback) "At that time I was consumed by a single insecurity. From the start, I had little talent with a sword. My Kidō grades were good when I was in the Shinō Academy, but even that was average among the Gotei divisions. Was it really alright for me to be here? Where does my heart lie? Why am I here in the Gotei divisions?"
- (To Aaroniero Arruruerie) "I remembered where the heart lies. What's inside you is indeed Kaien's spirit body, but... Kaien is not there... Kaien... left his heart with me!"
- "I know the loneliness of being a prisoner. I know the joy you feel when your friends come to rescue you and the fear of them being injured and defeated."
- (To Renji Abarai about Ichigo) "I...I was the one who dragged him into this!! It's my fault he died!! Since it's my fault he died...! Is it so wrong to go to him?"
- (To Aaroniero Arruruerie while thinking he's Kaien) "I...I did take your life Kaien. I think that sin is something that will never vanish, no matter how many years pass. If killing me will lift your spirits even a little bit... then I will gladly offer you my life. However, I came to Hueco Mundo to save Inoue... my friend. Until I rescue Inoue Orihime I cannot offer you my life no matter what you may say...!"