"Your loli harem will cry if this keeps up."
|Ship||4423 (formerly Winding Way)|
Ichigo is everybody's big brother. He is strong and brave, and though he can be hotheaded and confrontational, Ichigo's burning shounen heart is in exactly the right place. Though he comes off as rude and abrasive, Ichigo cares very deeply about his friends and those he considers under his protection. Recent events have forced him off the Winding Way, which had become a second family to him.
Ichigo is difficult to get along with. Hot-tempered and prone to violence, Ichigo hates to back down from an argument. He is stubborn and headstrong. He'll follow the rules, as long as they're not stupid rules. (If they are, he has no qualms whatsoever about breaking them.) His tendency to start fights and his general disregard for anything he didn't respect labeled him as a punk and a troublemaker during school, which meant paranoid scrutiny from his teachers. Ichigo found, though, that if he worked hard to keep his grades up, it meant less grief all around. He focused on schoolwork and helping out in the clinic, and as such, skipped out on a lot of social activities. He didn't like people in general much, anyways, apart from four or five friends of varying closeness. Those he is close to, however, have gained a powerful ally who will easily put his life on the line to give them a hand. Few people know this; Ichigo works hard at creating an image that says, "I don't give a damn what you think," which is a paradox in itself.
Beneath this prickly exterior is an older brother to the core. He has a strong drive to protect people, although the details are admittedly a little fuzzy. Ichigo cares much more than he lets on, and although he pretends he wouldn't, Ichigo would go out of his way to help someone who needed it in a heartbeat. He loves his sisters deeply and would take out anyone who messed with them in a heartbeat. The same goes for friends and anyone who he thinks needs to be protected. What about an object of romantic interest, you say? That's pretty much out of the question for Ichigo. Even at 22, he's very awkward when it comes to sex. His first reaction to a naked woman is to spin around, go bright red, and yell for her to put some clothes on, doesn't she have any decency?! He's seen romance as a waste of time. Ichigo has no problem with women - one of his best friends growing up was female (and kicked his ass in swordfights every time) - but has never been romantically attracted to anyone. The possibility simply never crossed his mind, not when there was work to be done, fights to be fought, monsters to be killed, and lives to be saved. Most girls were scared away by his attitude, anyway, and even if someone was interested in him, Ichigo would never notice.
Recently, though, Ichigo has gone through some changes. It began when he made a promise with Watanuki and grew with the death of Hughes. He has realized the value of life and the devastation a death brings. Rather than charge in, guns blazing, Ichigo will act less rashly, especially if there are other lives at stake. Case in point: this post: before, Ichigo would have told them to kick every door down and beat the minions up until they cried. Now, however, he feels responsible for those who look up to him, and will -- dare I say it -- think about what he's going to do.
Ichigo was born and raised in Melior. His father ran a family-owned clinic that struggled to compete with the universities. Life was far from easy, but as long as his mother Masaki was there, everyone was happy. Then, a monster attacked her and Ichigo while they were out walking. Masaki died protecting Ichigo, who blames himself for her death. Since then, he's devoted himself to fighting monsters and protecting everyone within reach. When he was 17, he left home to join up on board a freelance mercenary ship dedicated to stopping monster attacks. There, he received flight training and eventually his own plane. He also honed his ground-combat skills, and was put through some very strange training with a mysterious man named Urahara, training with effects that Ichigo is only beginning to realize the full extent of. He didn't intend to make many friends, but formed bonds with several teammates anyway, not to mention an older man who acted as a mentor to him in his early weeks. Ichigo never learned his name, but the man turned Ichigo from a wet-behind-the-ears rookie to a skilled fighter. However, he died a few months afterward, and Ichigo inherited his fighter plane, Zangetsu.
Two Lunasas ago, however, the shifting political climate had an explosive impact on Ichigo's life - bombs were planted on his ship. Seeing that it couldn't be saved, Ichigo grabbed the first few people he could find without planes of their own and jumped ship on Zangetsu. He deeply regrets not being able to save those who didn't make it off the ship, and lost more than one comrade in the blasts. He dropped off his passengers, then took off for the nearest city, searching for a new ship, preferably one with a decent cause, but definitely not a military ship for either side.
He found the Winding Way.
Over the next year and a half, Ichigo formed many close friendships. Though trouble hit the ship in the form of evil puppets and the dread pirate Magentabeard, it was a good time for Ichigo. Before he knew it, he had essentially adopted most of the crew. Ilya and Rikku were like little sisters to him, and Ness a little brother. He knows almost everyone on the ship, and there isn't a single one he wouldn't put his life on the line for. And though some of them might disagree, Milk and Watanuki especially, Ichigo is basically the ship's hero. Most of the crew rallied behind him during the Gearship Motors race last July -- though he nearly wasn't in it at all, thanks to an arrancar attack. Watanuki, however, jumped in the way, and Ichigo, driven by rage and lack of time, discovered new abilities. He brought Watanuki back to the Winding Way in time, though the cook needed a blood transfusion badly. Ichigo gave it, and was awake in time to take third place in the finals. He and Watanuki cleared up a few things after that, and their discussion culminated in a mutual promise not to get themselves killed doing stupid self-sacrificial things.
The next big event was a mass kidnapping of several people on the ship by an evil witch named Grita, who intended to use the children to fuel her own immortality. Ichigo, accompanied by Luffy and Sora, pursued the ship in Ichigo's plane, but were repelled. Ichigo then decided to train. According to Grita, the kidnap victims had a month to live: Ichigo made very good use of it. Under the tutelage of a crazy cat lady, Ichigo learned more about what Urahara had done to him. He was capable of achieving a state known as bankai, a level of power that greatly increases his speed and strength.
But it also increased the power of a monster that had taken up residence in Ichigo's soul. It's called a hollow, and it is a creature that eats souls. After the successful rescue of the children and defeat of Grita, Long Night was right on Ichigo's heels. The hollow took over his mind, terrorizing the Winding Way in search of souls and strong opponents to battle. It was subdued by several crew members working together, and Ichigo was left to recover in the infirmary.
He left the ship the next day. Yoruichi told him of others like him, others who could teach him how to suppress his inner demon. Without a word to the crew, without even a note saying goodbye, Ichigo abandoned ship, heading to the 4423 to become master of himself once more.
The biggest and most confusing thorn in Ichigo's side on the Winding Way, and the person he's closest to at the moment. He and Watanuki have more in common than either one would like to admit, and in the past few months, it has come to Ichigo's attention that there is more to him than meets the eye. He suspects that Watanuki values himself far less than he should, and in an attempt to convince him not to throw his life away, Ichigo told him about his mother's death. Watanuki went for months making him bento on a biweekly basis in an attempt to pay Ichigo back for helping him on Long Night, when the pair attracted more ghosts than Watanuki's wards could handle. Ichigo, however, hated the idea of being paid off to protect someone -- that wasn't why he did it. Though they got off on a particularly unpleasant foot, bicker all the time, and are a constant source of humiliation for each other, Ichigo genuinely cares about the guy, and Watanuki has actually earned his respect thanks to his quick action against the banshee and the wards Watanuki put on his chest to suppress the hollow before and after last Long Night. After the plane races, Ichigo made a promise to him, one he has not forgotten. This promise drives him to find a way to stop the hollow and remain alive: he will do whatever it takes to survive. ...However, right now, he's kind of horrified thanks to the porn Joshua put up on the network starring them, so he doesn't want to talk about that.
She's his mechanic and one of his best friends. Rikku has rebuilt Zangetsu twice, and is the only one besides Ichigo allowed to fly it. He trusts Rikku completely and loves her like a sister -- though he'd never put it that way, or say as much out loud. She is one of those he wants to protect. He doesn't get how she can get along with Watanuki, though.
Though Ichigo doesn't know it, he physically resembles a boy named Shirou, an older-brother figure to Ilya. They got to know each other while working in the radio room together, and, well...Ichigo is super-weak to little girls. She's another little sister. Ichigo would protect her with his life. Though if she tried to pull anything he wouldn't take it, she's a close friend and woe betide anyone who even threatens her. But he also feels deep shame for attacking her when his hollow took over, and in his heart of hearts, he is terrified that she'll be afraid of him from now on. He feels guiltiest about leaving her, especially since he'd told her he wouldn't, months ago.
Ichigo's crazy father. Seriously. Isshin is NUTS. Ichigo is incredibly annoyed by him 99.9% of the time, and is VERY glad he got out of Melior. It was Isshin who honed Ichigo's reflexes, attacking him in his sleep every morning -- and attacking him awake the rest of the time. Though Ichigo despairs at times of his father ever being anything but an embarrassment to him, .1% of the time Isshin has actually come through for him, telling him something he needed to hear. Behind the facekicking and yelling and irritation, Ichigo does love his father -- but he would never, EVER say it. The old man would probably keel over of a heart attack.
The little brother Ichigo never had, Ness is important to Ichigo in the same way the rest of the crew is. He genuinely likes Ness, and would protect the kid with his life. They met when Ichigo was told to keep an eye on him after the Candy Mountain incident, and Ness turned out to be an okay kind of guy.
An asshole who is going to get PUNCHED IN THE FACE when Ichigo gets back. Unless he forgets about the shit Joshua put up on the network before he gets back. Which is a definite possibility. Or he just doesn't come back. Which is also possible.
JEAN IS HIS BRO. No seriously, she's his Tatsuki: a girl he hardly thinks of as a girl, who can hold her own in fights. Jean is kick-ass and awesome and understanding and all-around a great friend. He'd fight back-to-back with her any day. His relationship with her is 100% platonic, though -- she falls into the sister category as well, but not an older or younger sister. He feels less like he has to protect her, though if he needed to, he would fight for her in a heartbeat. He respects her.
Girls usually fall into two categories for Ichigo: little sisters to be protected and strong, frightening and sort of emasculating older women. Zeetha falls very firmly into the latter category. As a seasoned warrior, she has a great deal of his respect: they exchanged backstories last May, when Ichigo was grieving his mother's death. He could go to her for help, and he would help her in return. Though they're not quite friends, they are comrades, and it is Zeetha who Ichigo trusts most to protect the Winding Way in his absence, along with Jean.
This guy drove Ichigo nuts. He reminded Ichigo a little too closely of his father, and the man's insistence on having the kids call him "Daddy" did not help. In his heart of hearts, Ichigo didn't think Hughes was a bad guy, and was impressed with how he dealt with that guy from the 4423 on the network, but that didn't mean he had to admit it.
But then Hughes died, and it hit very, very close to home. That death affected Ichigo deeply, and though he was able to revive the not-entirely-dead Hughes with Orihime's help, Ichigo will never forget the sight of the limp body hanging from the mask, or the crying and grief, or the sense of loss and despair. A large part of Ichigo's motivations are preventing others from going through what he did when his mother died, and here it was happening to all the kids on the Way and he couldn't stop it. It was a violation of how Ichigo saw the world, one he rejected hard. To prevent the people of the Winding Way from crying over a death again....that is Ichigo's goal.
Harlequin is another little brother -- strange, since the creature in question is a living puppet. Ichigo finds himself thinking of Harlequin as a child more often than not, and will look out for the little guy in small ways. He knows Harlequin came from a bad situation, and he wants to see the little guy happy.
TSUN TSUN TSUN TSUN TSUN ANNOYING LITTLE BRAT WHO RUNS AROUND IN HIGH-HEELED SHOES AND WHO WANTS TO BE A HERO BUT DOESN'T CARE ABOUT PROPERTY DAMAGE. Ichigo thinks her fighting style is horribly impractical, and thinks her reasons for fighting could be better. Much better. Still, she's got some pretty good moves, and Ichigo doesn't think she's malicious or anything -- just a brat. Still, he'd gladly fight alongside her, and if anyone gave her trouble, he'd beat them up.
An old shipmate of Ichigo's from the Amadeus, Utena is another one of Ichigo's girlbros and comrades-in-arms. He thought she was dead until they ran into each other during the raid on Grita's castle. They had a shouting match, then beat up a dude together. It was AWESOME. She went off to another ship, but Ichigo is very glad to know that she is alive and all right. He taught her hand-to-hand fighting.
Luffy is an odd case. Ichigo doesn't think he's quite all there in the head, but Luffy's a pretty good dude to have around in a fight, and his heart's in the right place.
The crazy cat lady who trained him and taught him bankai. She falls into the same category as Zeetha: strong, confident, emasculating. He is grateful to her for all her help, though she's still mostly a mystery to him.
Rhyme's big brother, who isn't doing a very good job of big-brothering. Ichigo thinks the kid has potential, but is young and isn't handling things right. He'll give Beat a chance.
- Gintoki Sakata
Fellow shounen hero and total idiot, Ichigo and Gintoki had a very antagonistic relationship. They insulted each other, beat each other up once, and though Ichigo was in the wrong, it taught him a few things. Though Gintoki learned that Ichigo wasn't a bad guy when Ichigo gave up blood for Watanuki and left him a carton of strawberry milk while he was sleeping, Ichigo wasn't sure what to think of that. When Gintoki left, he left Ichigo his whole supply of strawberry milk, which Ichigo left in the kitchens for the rest of the Way to share. He still isn't sure what to think, though he found himself wishing Gintoki was with them when they attacked Grita.
- Nick Shalalalalalala (Ocelot)
Fellow radio operator who was always listening to Badlands radio dramas on the job. Ichigo thought they were okay, but wasn't really into it. He was completely ignorant of Ocelot's true nature as a spy and agent of Denouement.
- Rhyme Bito
ADORABLE LITTLE SISTER GET. She'd lost her memory, and Ichigo is still keeping an eye open for things she needs to get it back. He's glad she left the ship when she did, though, since she missed the attack by Grita. She had him wrapped around her little finger.
- External link
"If you had died, what would I have done? What would the people on the ship have thought? You'd have died to protect me, but you'd be dead. Do you know what that would have done to the people here? Do you know how badly that would hurt them?"
"Those who die, and those who are left behind -- don't they share the same loneliness?"
"WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING?!"
- Although Ichigo isn't a fan of most sweets, he does like chocolate. Mostly he goes for spicy things.
- The person he respects the most is Lord Avon, the playwright who lived near the beginning of Reial's history.
- He's a virgin, and will likely remain so unless he gets the courage to hit on a woman.