I was actually asked to make that comparison, because the parallel seemed very clear to me and my friends. This will delay a bit the big IchiRuki post, but hey, that one’s not bad actually…
First, let’s see what Isshin says about Masaki (sorry no pic, I actually had to delete a bunch of pictures from what I chose for IchiRuki to make it fit in one post…):
"But she was definitely like the sun… She attracted, forgave, illuminated anything and controlled it as she liked. I was just… happy to be at her mercy."
Of course, Rukia is no sun. That’s Ichigo’s role, because he is the hero of Bleach: the whole story revolves around him.
However, make no mistake, Rukia’s gentle nature didn’t go unnoticed by this rash hero: this is the end of the Memories in the Rain mini-arc, and while talking to his father about how Masaki died because of him, Ichigo says it: “nobody blamed me!” Interestingly enough, alongside his sisters (of course they’d be there!), there is… Rukia.
He noticed immediately that she didn’t blame him (hey, he doesn’t know it yet, but she shares a similar pain). She gave him support, and agreed to his wish to fight alone. She accepted him just as he was.
This page will always crack me up; two pages before, you have Orihime trying to compliment Ichigo on his kindness, and he is totally oblivious to it. The page before this one, he rages seeing Rukia doing the “bwahahaha” thingie, but immediately after, what does he notice? Her KINDNESS. She was ok with this stuff for him.
It makes me giggle every time that such a random sentence from Rukia immediately registers in Ichigo’s brain. As early as the Don Kanonji arc, Ichigo already paid instant attention to what Rukia was doing.
Isn’t this called, you know, attraction?
Insert Urahara smirk.
It’s a page I am fond of, and one I have already showed in my previous IchiRuki big post, and I’ll still show it, because HELLO? This is exactly it: you see Masaki with her whole family revolving around her? Here a world that does not have Rukia in it is weird to Ichigo: the message is clear, he feels that she should be by his side.
Cue “I Wonder if I can keep up with the speed of a world that has no you in it”. Doesn’t it mean that Ichigo just want Rukia to be beside him? For him to have the world go round, it surely seems this way. I should also add that those kind of metaphores have only been going on when Ichigo did not know whether he’d ever be able to see Rukia again or not: first time when she is abducted, second time when he loses his powers. When he is a shinigami, Ichigo KNOWS that he’ll be able to “see” her again. So there is no such metaphore, because there is no need to for him.
This is a page that doesn’t get much attention, but look what Ichigo’s telling Rukia there: “you can get mad however you like later (after I beat him)”.
He knows that Rukia is worried for him, and wants him safe; her gentleness gets right through him, once again, and he hardens his resolve because really, he REALLY wants to save her. And also get a bit of revenge for Ganju who’s fallen, trying to protect Rukia. And so, he basically tell her “you can do whatever to me after I win!”. LOL. Already agreeing to get abused by Rukia, Ichigo?
Just like Masaki changed Isshin’s destiny, by taking away his shinigami powers, Rukia changed Ichigo’s destiny, by giving him powers. I think the parallel is awesome, personally, and both Isshin and Ichigo are aware of that. There is destiny in those two pairs, really, and they both start with a debt too. I guess that’s how Shiba men pick out their wives?
"That’s right, nothing else can change my world."
I think it says it all about how central Rukia is to Ichigo, no?
You know, when Kubo randomly commented that Rukia was like a ray of light for Ichigo, I remember clearly the Japanese IchiRuki fans being very happy because it actually backed up what they had been saying about Rukia’s role in Ichigo’s life.
Ichigo is already a sun; a black one, one that gets lost easily, gets emo, and has troubles finding his way. Rukia is the white moon that illuminates the path he has to take. When everything gets dark, she is the one who saves him, and illuminates everything.
And when you look at it, it’s not such a random comment from Kubo: it’s something that he’s shown, again and again. To Ichigo, Rukia is the light that gently helps him when he’s lost. Her words lift him up: “that’s the kind of man you have been in my heart, Ichigo!” And voila! Ichigo gets out of his funk, and strikes the hollow.
It’s not the only time either, as she does the same at the end of the Fullbring arc.
How not to compare this to Masaki who illuminates everything for Isshin and their family?
Oh, and speaking about men being wrapped around girls’ little fingers, hello the scene that really, really made Orihime jealous of Rukia!
I mean, you can’t really miss that Rukia is acting like Ichigo’s girlfriend here, even talking in his stead. And make no mistake, Orihime knows pretty well that Rukia did everything for Ichigo, and that Ichigo promised this only because Rukia made him do it. Yes, she knows that Ichigo is already wrapped around Rukia’s little finger.
And in case people would doubt this, Kubo made sure to have Rukia staying at the Kurosaki household afterwards; “dummy, my bed is right there!!!” “Idiot!! My family saw you already!! Unless you come up with some explanation…”
Yeah, we get it, Ichigo: Rukia can do whatever she wants of you. Really. All she has to do is act, and you’d follow her anywhere, finding the worst excuses to do so.
Because seriously, Rukia’s excuse to stay with the Kurosaki was shitty. Even he thought it wouldn’t work!
And many, many years after Memories in the Rain, we get the confirmation that indeed, Ichigo was eased by Rukia’s words. So much that the forgetful Ichigo, who once had a hard time remembering his classmate names, can repeat Rukia’s same words to his father.
Yes, Rukia has that kind of effect on Ichigo: she eases his heart, giving him true comfort, one that can actually help him.
And even though Orihime is right beside his bed, it’s to Rukia that Ichigo’s gaze directly go to. Despite Orihime shouting loudly. Rukia’s like a magnet for Ichigo’s attention: this is a “normal” situation (read: even though he’s losing his power, there is no threat, this interaction is even quite normal). And you can see who actually holds Ichigo’s interest.
I don’t know how to spell it more bluntly, but in a manga, when a girl so easily gets the boy’s attention, it’s not hard to guess that she’s on his mind for a good reason.
Sadly, I’ve reached the 10 pictures, or I would have at least added one or two pictures from the Fullbring arc. Like, when thinking about Rukia triggered his power surge. Or when they reunited again, and she trolls him when he’s like, having a hand on his heart, trying to still believe what his eyes are telling him.
So many perfect moments. And while their personalities are vastly different, the IchiRuki relationship actually has a lot of similarities to the IsshinxMasaki one, if you look only at the core of it.