Animated Character Database

Rukia Kuchiki (朽木 ルキア, Kuchiki Rukia) is the current captain of the 13th Division. She formerly served as lieutenant of the 13th Division under Captain Jūshirō Ukitake. Rukia is the adoptive sister of Byakuya Kuchiki, a friend of Ichigo Kurosaki, and is married to Renji Abarai.


Short and petite, Rukia has light skin and purple eyes. Her hair is black, with several strands of hair always hanging between her eyes. Byakuya has stated she strongly resembles her sister, Hisana Kuchiki. As a Shinigami of the Gotei 13, Rukia wears a standard shihakushō. 17 months after Aizen's defeat, Rukia wears her hair cropped into a bob which hangs about her face. She wears a fingerless white tekkō, similar to Byakuya's, which extend above her elbows. As a lieutenant, she wears her Division Badge around her uniform's left sleeve, which has been shortened to just reach her upper arm.

Ten years after Yhwach's defeat, Rukia's hair is in a style similar to the time before Aizen's defeat, but much longer. She also now wears a typical captain haori over her usual Shinigami shihakushō.

Twelve years after Yhwach's defeat, Rukia wears her long hair in a sideways ponytail.


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. According to Ukitake, Rukia never opens up her heart, and has difficulty making friends. Rukia is clueless about the ways of the modern Human World. She is very good at acting, having acted her way through a number of tough situations, such as getting out of trouble with school teachers and convincing the Kurosaki family to let her stay at their house.ㅤ

Rukia 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 likes everything rabbit-themed, and becomes quite sensitive when someone insults her obsession with them. People often have difficulty understanding her drawings, which are typically rabbit-like, and doesn't like it when people complain about their quality. Rukia's favorite foods are cucumber, eggs, and rice dumplings.


Approximately 150 years ago, Rukia and her older sister, Hisana, were brought together to Inuzuri, the 78th District of Rukongai, after they died in the Human World. Unable to live there while caring for a child, Hisana abandoned Rukia when she was still a baby. Rukia grew up on her own for a considerable amount of time. One day, Rukia tripped an adult who was chasing Renji Abarai's group of friends, and urged them to follow her to avoid losing the water they had stolen. Rukia joined their group, becoming their spiritual leader, and they lived together as a family.

They all hated Inuzuri and the people there. Rukia exhibited some spiritual power during this time. Ten years after Rukia joined the group, with all of their friends dead, Rukia proposed they become Shinigami and live in Seireitei, noting she had heard it was pretty there. Renji agreed with her. As they were gifted with spiritual powers, they entered the Shin'ō Academy with ease, where they struggled to stand out from those from the noble families. The night before the welcoming ceremony for the new students of the Academy, against Rukia's advice, Renji slept in a tree. The following morning, he fell out of the tree and landed on a headstone where a startled Izuru Kira had been praying, for which Rukia scolded him.

Two months after entering the Academy, Renji, scolding Rukia for still not fitting in, informed her he was going to the Human World for field training to practice Konsō for the first time. Rukia complained about this being unfair, but Renji retorted that it is about talent, and that he will get stronger. Rukia said she will show him she is the stronger one, but trailed off. One day, Byakuya Kuchiki informed Rukia that the Kuchiki Clan was interested in adopting her and having her graduate immediately to be assigned to the 13th Division. In the middle of this meeting, Renji burst into the room to tell her he had passed an important exam. Disappointed with the interruption, the nobles left, and Rukia told Renji of their offer, which he congratulated her on. Rukia thanked him and left. Rukia was told Byakuya adopted her into the Kuchiki Clan due to her similarity to Hisana, whom he had married.

Rukia was admitted to the 13th Division without taking their entrance exam. On her first day in the Division, she is shown into a room by a fellow Shinigami, whom she told to treat her like any other new recruit. After he left, she heard him and others talking about her and the favoritism shown to nobles. Rukia was disappointed it was like that there as well. Lieutenant Kaien Shiba entered the room, introduced himself, and scolded her for her weak reply. Rukia was deeply happy she could have a normal relationship with her superior, rather than being treated as special. That evening, Rukia reported to Byakuya her first day had ended peacefully and she did not attain a Seated Officer position, but Byakuya asked her to leave. Later, Rukia, becoming Kiyone Kotetsu's assistant, went on a mission to the Human World.

During her time in the 13th Division, she became friends with Kaien. One day, seeing she was gloomy, Kaien told her as long as she was in his Division, he would stand by her, even if he died. They were interrupted by the drunk Kiyone and Sentarō Kotsubaki, who tried to encourage her. Kaien mentored Rukia, teaching her how to fight. Their first training location was Mount Koifushi of Hokutan, the 3rd District of West Rukongai, where Kaien taught her about the concept of the heart. He was present when she learned her Shikai's first two "dances".

Rukia greatly admired Kaien's wife, 3rd Seat Miyako Shiba, wanting to be like her someday. When Miyako was killed by a Hollow, Rukia, Kaien, and Ukitake went to its lair. She offered to go first in order to scout out its abilities, but Kaien asked to face the Hollow alone. When its special ability destroyed Kaien's Zanpakutō, Rukia attempted to help, but was stopped by Ukitake. He told her Kaien's fight was one of honor rather than a fight for his life. If she were to help, Kaien's life would be saved, but his honor would be forever damaged. After protesting about this, Rukia reluctantly obeyed his order. However, the Hollow, entering Kaien's body, possessed him.

The Hollow attempted to attack Rukia, but Ukitake, blocking it, sent Rukia away as he fought it. Afraid to fight it, she obeyed, but she came back because she wished to help Kaien and was afraid to face her cowardice in future. As it leaped at her, she noted it was no longer Kaien. Unable to bear seeing him like that, she stabbed Kaien. He thanked Rukia and apologized for dragging her into it. Kaien died in Rukia's arms. Rukia brought the corpse to the Shiba family estate, but was afraid to apologize out of guilt from her role in Kaien's death.

Forty years after her adoption into the Kuchiki Clan, Kiyone and Sentarō informed Rukia she had been assigned to the Human World. Rukia thought this was a transfer order, which Kiyone denied, reminding her of her previous mission to the Human World, which Rukia still failed to remember. Ukitake told her she was being assigned to Karakura Town for one month, which should be easy for her. Rukia thanked him for telling her. Ukitake asked if she had told Byakuya about it, but she stated he would not wish to be bothered with such a minor thing. Ukitake offered to tell him for her, for which Rukia thanked him.


Agent of the Shinigami arc[]

One Friday evening, Rukia feels a strong presence. She enters the room of Ichigo Kurosaki, who, mistaking her for a burglar, kicks her. Surprised Ichigo can see and touch her, Rukia, telling Ichigo normal Humans cannot see her, informs him of the existence and purpose of Shinigami. Ichigo, refusing to believe Rukia's explanation, insults her. Incensed, Rukia binds him with a Kidō spell. Explaining what Kidō is, she returns his insults.

Rukia, reassuring a nearby Plus, performs Konsō on it. With the aid of some drawings, she explains Konsō and the duties of Shinigami to Ichigo. She reveals she is unable to sense the Hollow she had been tracking anymore because a great power is hindering her senses. Ichigo tells her he can hear something howling. Rukia realizes it is a Hollow, but is confused by how Ichigo heard it before her. She rushes out of the room to confront the Hollow, refusing to free Ichigo. Spotting Karin Kurosaki lying in the corridor, she listens as she tells Ichigo what happened. Ichigo breaks free of the Kidō, much to Rukia's shock, and rushes to stop the Hollow, Fishbone D.

As Ichigo futilely attacks the Hollow, Rukia injures it, freeing Yuzu Kurosaki from its grasp. When Rukia explains Fishbone D came because of Ichigo, he attempts to attack the Hollow himself. Rukia shields him with her body, rendering her unable to fight. Seeing that Ichigo is truly determined to protect his family, Rukia offers to transfer half of her power to him. However, Ichigo somehow absorbs almost all of her power instead. Rukia realizes it was Ichigo's power which had confused her senses earlier, leaving her wondering just who he is. After defeating Fishbone D, Ichigo collapses and Rukia goes to his side, where she is approached by Kisuke Urahara, who offers her a Gigai.

The following day, Rukia shows up at Karakura High School as a new student, telling people her family had just moved there. She quietly threatens to kill Ichigo if he reveals anything about her true identity. Later, Rukia explains that her power is still inside Ichigo, preventing her from returning to Soul Society. She reveals she is using a Gigai to recover, enabling normal Humans to see her. Rukia tells Ichigo he will have to take over her Shinigami duties, which he initially refuses to do. Rukia, forcing his Shinigami form out of his body, takes him to a park where a Hollow is about to appear. As the Hollow attacks a young Plus, Rukia successfully persuades Ichigo to perform her duties.

Rukia arranges for Ichigo to undergo some rudimentary training to improve his combat tactics. As he trains, she studies modern speech by reading a horror manga. They are interrupted by Orihime Inoue, whom Rukia initially does not recognize. Rukia notices a mark on her leg left by a Hollow, and asks Ichigo about her before leaving. That night, Rukia receives a message about a Hollow on her Denreishinki. She tries to warn him of a Hollow attack just as a large hand bursts through the floor. Rukia uses her Gokon Tekkō to force out Ichigo's soul, and he manages to slice off part of its mask, revealing it to be Orihime's brother, Sora Inoue. As the Hollow flees, Rukia explains to Ichigo that all Hollows were once Human.

Ichigo and Rukia rush to Orihime's home, where Ichigo engages the Hollow in battle. When Ichigo is thrown through the apartment’s wall and knocked out, she wakens him, warning that if he loses, Orihime's soul will be eaten. Rukia enters the apartment as Orihime is badly injured. Revealing she can save her with Kidō, Rukia, telling the lucid Sora to move out of the way, treats her. When Sora decides to purify himself with Ichigo's Zanpakutō, Rukia states his sins will be washed away by the sword. When Orihime, waking up, starts to ask Ichigo questions, Rukia replaces her memory.

When Ichigo states his wounds have healed very well, Rukia tells him she excelled at Kidō in the Academy, before changing the subject by asking him how to open a juice box. Mizuiro Kojima interrupts, noting Rukia and Ichigo are together again, saying they get along well. Ichigo says Mizuiro's hobby is womanizing, especially older girls, and warns Rukia to watch out for him. Keigo Asano, arriving, introduces himself to Rukia. As Reiichi torments the group, Rukia, ignoring him, continues to struggle with the juice box until Yasutora Sado arrives with a talking parakeet. Rukia tells Ichigo the spirit of a lonely Plus is inside it, which they should send to Soul Society that night. She notes Ichigo is now concerned about other people's safety. When an injured Sado is brought to the Kurosaki Clinic, Rukia tells Ichigo the wound on Sado's back was inflicted by a Hollow.

The next morning, Sado disappears and Rukia searches for him. She later tells Ichigo she did not find him, nor has she received any word about Hollows from Soul Society. Ichigo, trying to track the parakeet himself, quickly finds the Reiraku of the parakeet, much to Rukia's shock. Just as they find Sado, they also come across a weakened Karin. Rukia orders Ichigo to take her home so he is not distracted while fighting. Brushing off Ichigo's concerns about her fighting a Hollow, she runs after Sado. Unable to catch up to him due to the restrictions of her Gigai, she curses the SRDI. Rukia is attacked by a Hollow called Shrieker, but is surprised when she survives his initial strike. During the fight, she realizes Sado cannot see Shrieker. Surprised by his calmness, Rukia verbally directs his attacks towards the Hollow.

When Ichigo arrives, she, transforming him into a Shinigami, warns him about Shrieker's abilities. She and Sado hide Ichigo's body and the parakeet in a safe place. The parakeet says it is his fault she was injured, as he wanted to bring his mother back to life. Rukia questions him about this. When Ichigo defeats Shrieker, the gates of Hell open to claim the Hollow. Rukia explains Hell to Ichigo. After examining the parakeet, she, determining he cannot be returned to his body, reassures him about going to Soul Society. She erases Sado's memory.

With her supplies running low, Rukia visits the Urahara Shop. She stops Jinta Hanakari from bullying Ururu Tsumugiya outside the shop before being shown in to Urahara. Ordering various goods, she pays for them with the bounty from Ichigo's defeat of Shrieker, shrugging off Urahara's concerns. She collects a previously ordered Soul Candy dispenser. At school, she gives Ichigo the dispenser, stating it will allow him to transform into a Shinigami without her help, while placing an artificial soul in his body. Ignoring Ichigo's unease with the idea, she makes him use it. When she receives an order, she drags him off to deal with it, leaving the artificial soul, Kon, in Ichigo's body. After dealing with the order, they rush back to find the artificial soul is causing mayhem in their classroom. They attempt to confront it, but he escapes, leading Rukia to believe it is a Mod Soul.

As they search, Ichigo and Rukia argue until she tells him of Operation Spearhead, revealing that according to Soul Society's laws, all Mod Souls must be destroyed. As Rukia naively asks a shopkeeper if he saw Kon, she receives an order. When they find the Hollow, they find Kon is already fighting it. After it is defeated, Urahara arrives to reclaim Kon. Rukia tells him she is content with her purchase, and he does not have to worry about it. Later, Rukia and Ichigo see a news report about the incident on TV. Ichigo asks what they should do, but gets no reply. Rukia and Ichigo search for a dead animal to put Kon into, but eventually settle for a stuffed toy animal. On the 16th of June, Rukia notices Ichigo is very distracted. After a family meeting that night, Ichigo tells the confused Rukia the following day is the anniversary of his mother's death.

The following day, Rukia waits for Ichigo near Masaki's grave. She questions Ichigo about his mother's death, asking if a Hollow killed her. Angered, Ichigo tells her he was responsible for Masaki's death. Horrified by this and what she had said to him, Rukia quietly watches Ichigo's family visit the grave. Kon, crawling out of her backpack, asks to go home, but Rukia insists they must be nearby in case a Hollow attacks. When Karin and Yuzu are attacked by Grand Fisher, Rukia senses the Hollow, but is once again surprised by the lack of any orders on her Denreishinki. She rushes towards them, meeting up with Ichigo on the way. She tells Ichigo she will not ask about Masaki any more. She, transforming him into a Shinigami, carries his body. Finding Ichigo's sisters, she sees Ichigo being confronted by Grand Fisher. Rukia, telling Ichigo about this infamous Hollow, berates him when he recklessly attacks it. As she realizes Grand Fisher killed his mother, Ichigo, stopping her from helping him with Kidō, tells her to stay out of the fight. Rukia puts Kon in Ichigo's body, and they bring the girls to safety.

When she honors Ichigo's request to stay out of the fight, Kon asks her to save Ichigo. Rukia rushes back to watch Ichigo's battle. Thinking to herself that she cannot interfere, as Ichigo is fighting for himself, she remembers the events of Kaien's death and decides not to interfere. When Grand Fisher escapes, Rukia tries to calm the heavily wounded Ichigo, insisting that the fight is over. When Ichigo collapses, she begins healing him. Rukia uses up most of her strength healing Ichigo's major wounds, so she returns him to his body before he is fully healed, reassuring him over the outcome of the battle. Rukia listens as Ichigo talks with Isshin. Afterwards, Ichigo asks Rukia if he can remain a Shinigami for a while longer.

One Sunday morning, Rukia stops Ichigo as he beats Kon clean against a wall, revealing she has arranged for an implement to clean him with. She proceeds to use the school's toilet brush on Kon, but Ichigo orders her to take it back. At school, Keigo invites Rukia to the live broadcast of Don Kanonji's TV show and encourages her to do his pose. Rukia declines, politely saying she is too shy. The following Wednesday evening, Rukia accompanies several of her classmates to the broadcast at an abandoned hospital. Telling Ichigo he must be tired from his dual life, she instructs him to relax. She reveals she does not know what the "festival" is about. Ichigo explains it to her, but she still does not understand. He asks Rukia if there really is a spirit there, thinking the Shinigami would have dealt with it. She states it is likely a Jibakurei, which can be difficult for Shinigami to detect.

When the Jibakurei screams, Rukia tells him it is a Demi-Hollow. As the show begins filming, Rukia, turning her attention to the events unfolding, is impressed with Kanonji's entrance. Ichigo asks her if they should perform Konsō on the Jibakurei, but Rukia tells him it takes months to years for one to turn into a Hollow. Believing it would be trouble if there was a struggle with so many people there, she states they will do the Konsō after the show and seeks to reassure him. However, Don Kanonji jams his staff into the hole on the Demi-Hollow's chest. Rukia condemns Kanonji's actions. When Ichigo is pounced on by security after attempting to stop Kanonji, Rukia, trying to change him into a Shinigami, is caught as well. Urahara frees Ichigo, prompting Rukia to ask what he is scheming. Urahara, claiming he is there because Ururu and Jinta enjoy the show, frees her. After Urahara knocks the guards unconscious with a blast, Rukia berates him for using Soul Society's tools so freely. When the spirit disappears, Rukia, realizing its body is about to reform into a Hollow, searches for it with her Denreishinki. She yells at Ichigo to look above him, attracting the attention of some security guards.

The following day, Rukia and the others are called before the school principal over their appearance on the show. Rukia distracts Kagine by claiming responsibility, allowing the others to flee. When Kagine notices the others are gone, Rukia escapes as well. That afternoon, she receives an order and leaves with Ichigo. As they bicker, they pass Uryū Ishida. Later that week, Rukia and Ichigo arrive at what they believe to be the site of a Hollow attack, but find a Plus cowering in a corner and no Hollow. Ichigo suggests her Denreishinki is broken, but Rukia insists it is working, rebuking Ichigo's suggestion that there is another Shinigami defeating the Hollows before him. Rukia is unable to get the Plus to reveal who saved him, but determines somebody is responsible.

Rukia decides to call Urahara to ask whether her Denreishinki is broken. When he does not answer, she complains about him to herself. After school, she and Ichigo arrive at yet another site with no Hollow. The pair is approached by Uryū, who tells them a new Hollow has appeared. An order confirms this, and she is surprised when Uryū kills it. He introduces himself as a Quincy. The next day, Rukia tells Ichigo to keep Kon with him in case Uryū tries to contact him again. Later, she visits Urahara, and after scolding him for not answering her calls, asks about the Quincy. Rukia is confused by the repeated appearance and disappearance of Hollows. Seeing a large number of Hollows, Rukia goes outside and notices a spiritual disturbance in the sky.

Later, Rukia is attacked by a Hollow. During the fight, she realizes, with annoyance, her power has not recovered, despite her being in a Gigai for two months. Kon, arriving, subdues the Hollow, but Rukia bickers with him for forgetting what he was supposed to tell her. When Uryū interrupts them, Rukia deduces he is responsible for the large amount of Hollows. Ichigo, arriving, argues with Kon. The group argues until they notice the Hollows are gathering at the disturbance in the sky. When Uryū leaves, Rukia tells Ichigo about the Quincy and their extermination by the Shinigami. Ichigo chases after Uryū, leaving her alone with Kon. Ignoring Kon's advice, she goes after them.

Rukia watches in shock as a Menos Grande appears near her. When she tries to stop Ichigo from attacking it, Urahara, binding her with Kidō, tells her to watch the battle, which he claims will be crucial for her and Ichigo. She is left stunned when Ichigo severely injures the Menos, forcing it to flee. When Uryū turns up at school heavily bandaged, Rukia tells Ichigo not to pay attention to it, as it is not his fault. Mahana Natsui, inviting her to lunch with the girls of the class, asks Rukia what her relationship is with Ichigo. Despite Chizuru Honshō and Orihime's encouragement, she states they are just friends. Realizing she has become too attached to the Human World, she ties up Kon and writes a coded note for Ichigo, telling him not to look for her and to go into hiding. She then leaves the Kurosaki clinic

Lost in thought as she runs, Rukia is surprised by Renji. Complaining she has become too soft in the two months she has been missing. He demands she summon the Human she gave her powers to. When Rukia denies doing such a thing, Renji asks why she is acting like that. Byakuya appears behind Rukia, surprising her. When Renji prepares to attack her seriously, Uryū intervenes, but is unable to defeat him. As Rukia notes Renji's increased strength, Ichigo arrives. Angry that he came after her, Rukia watches Ichigo and Renji fight.

Hoping Ichigo will run away, Rukia leaps on Renji to distract him. However, Ichigo, continuing to fight, ends up being greatly injured by Byakuya. Rukia, saying it is her fault he is dead, asks to go to him, prompting Byakuya to say Ichigo resembles "him". Ichigo grabs Byakuya's leg, relieving Rukia. However, she kicks his arm away from her brother to prevent Byakuya from attacking again. She tells Ichigo to know his place and accepts her arrest, saying there is no point in finishing off someone who is clearly about to die. She tells Ichigo she will not forgive him if he tries to follow her. Renji opens a Senkaimon, and they leave for Soul Society.

Rukia is imprisoned in the Sixth Division’s barracks. Refusing Renji's instruction to eat something, she mocks his eyebrows and new rank. Rukia asks if she is going to be executed. Renji states Byakuya is reporting to the Central 46, and he will most likely appeal for her sentence to be reduced. Rukia disagrees, saying she knows what type of person he is and he has not truly looked at her once since her adoption. Later, Byakuya, informing them Rukia will be executed in 25 days, tells Rukia they will not meet again until her execution. After Byakuya leaves, Rukia tries to cheer Renji up by saying it only makes her more determined to escape. She makes fun of his tattooed eyebrows, angering him.

Soul Society arc[]

During her stay in the 6th Division's prison, Rukia regularly talks to Hanatarō Yamada, who is assigned as a janitor there. When he remarks on how she always seems gloomy and sad, Rukia asks him not to address her with honorifics. She tells him of Ichigo, expressing her faith in him. She goes on to mention how it is her fault Ichigo's life changed, and that he suffered greatly. 14 days before Rukia's scheduled execution, Renji escorts a group of Onmitsukidō guards as they transfer her to the Senzaikyū. Once there, he points out to her they can see the Sōkyoku, which will be used for her execution, from the windows. Before leaving, Renji tells Rukia there was an unconfirmed report that five Ryoka invaded Soul Society, and one of them matched Ichigo's description.

While in the Senzaikyū, Rukia notices the sky becoming brighter when Ichigo and his companions break into Seireitei. She senses the Reiatsu from Ichigo's battle with Kenpachi Zaraki, but is unable to determine if anyone died because of the prison's Sekkiseki walls. She quietly asks Kaien if she is worth spilling blood over. Shortly after, Hanatarō and Ganju Shiba open the door to her cell. When Ganju realizes Rukia is the one who killed Kaien, Rukia urges him to kill her, saying she will have no regrets if she dies by his hands. However, they are interrupted by Byakuya's sudden arrival. When Hanatarō decides to face Byakuya by himself to allow Rukia to escape, Ganju goes out to face him instead.

Rukia tries to stop the fight, but is unable to handle Byakuya's Reiatsu because of the Sekkiseki's effects. She is shocked when Ichigo arrives, but becomes angry at him for attempting to rescue her. Ichigo, ignoring her protests, fights Byakuya. As Byakuya prepares to use his Shikai, Rukia warns Ichigo to run. However, Yoruichi Shihōin arrives, and stops him from releasing. When Hanatarō asks who the woman is, Rukia tells him about her. After Yoruichi escapes with Ichigo, Byakuya's Reiatsu renders Rukia unconscious. Despite Hanatarō's protests, Ukitake orders Sentarō Kotsubaki to take Rukia back into the Senzaikyū.

The following day, Rukia is told her execution has been brought forward to the next day. Rukia notes that despite her shock, she is not saddened by the news. Attributing this to a dream she had the previous night about Kaien's death, she reflects on her role in his death, wondering why she did not stop him. She states she does not deserve to be rescued or have anyone stand by her.

On the morning of the execution, the guards, tying up Rukia, escort her out of the Senzaikyū. As she is being moved onto Sōkyoku Hill for her execution, Rukia senses Renji falling in battle against Byakuya. As she mourns his defeat, 3rd Division Captain Gin Ichimaru approaches her. Gin, teasing her over how she greets him, points out Renji is still alive. After telling her he was trying to rescue her, Gin offers to save her friends for her. Reflecting on how much she has hated Gin since she first met him, Rukia briefly wonders what he would have to gain from such an act, only to learn he was joking. After he leaves, Rukia reflects on how Gin's lie restored her will to live, leaving her disgusted.

Rukia is brought to the base of the Sōkyoku, where she sees Byakuya arrive silently. Rukia asks Captain-Commander Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto to allow the Ryoka to leave Soul Society after the execution, to which he agrees, pleasing her. As she watches the release of the Sōkyoku, Rukia notes her heart is at peace once again, despite Gin's earlier intervention. She wonders to herself whether it is because of Yamamoto's promise or because Byakuya ignored her. She reflects on her life, concluding she has no regrets. As she says goodbye, the Sōkyoku moves to attack her. However, Ichigo, arriving, manages to halt its advance.

After overcoming her initial shock, Rukia becomes upset that Ichigo is attempting to rescue her again. As the Sōkyoku prepares to approach again, Rukia warns Ichigo not to face it. However, Ukitake and 8th Division Captain Shunsui Kyōraku destroy it, after which Ichigo destroys the Sōkyoku's stand, freeing Rukia. Ichigo dismisses Rukia's protests, but she refuses to thank him. As she asks what his next move is, she notes to herself he has become stronger. Renji arrives moments later, much to Rukia's relief, but the moment is cut short as Ichigo throws her to Renji. Rukia and Renji scold Ichigo for being reckless, but are told to get to safety.

As they are escaping, Renji refuses Rukia's demands to release her and help Ichigo. Insisting they have to run, he tells her Ichigo feels he owes her for allowing him to protect everyone. They are eventually confronted by Kaname Tōsen, who brings them back to Sōkyoku Hill, where Sōsuke Aizen and Gin are waiting for them. Aizen demands Renji hand Rukia over to him. When Renji refuses Aizen's order, he is attacked by the captain. Renji tries to attack Aizen while still holding Rukia, but he is quickly overwhelmed. Rukia offers to surrender herself, but Renji silences her. Ichigo returns to defend the pair, but Aizen, defeating them both with ease, grabs Rukia.

Rukia listens as Aizen talks about Ichigo's role in his plans and about how to overcome the limits of a Shinigami. Aizen reveals the existence of the Hōgyoku, revealing Urahara had buried it deep within her soul. He states Urahara gave her a Gigai in hopes to turn her into a Human and hide the Hōgyoku forever. He further reveals he killed the Central 46 and orchestrated Rukia's execution. Wanting the Hōgyoku for himself, Aizen hoped her death would give him access to it, but settles for a non-fatal alternative, since the execution was interrupted. Aizen, removing the Hōgyoku from Rukia's body and tells Ichimaru to kill her, but a battle-worn Byakuya, grabbing Rukia, is impaled by Ichimaru's Zanpakutō instead. Rukia asks him why he saved her, but Aizen advances on them. Before Aizen can kill them, the remaining captains arrive to subdue Aizen, Ichimaru, and Tōsen.

During the aftermath of the battle, Rukia is restrained by a member of the 4th Division when she tries to go to Byakuya's side while he is being healed. Captain Retsu Unohana, taking over the treatment of Byakuya, tells Rukia Byakuya is calling for her. Byakuya tells her about his deceased wife, Hisana, revealing Rukia is actually Hisana's younger sister. He recounts to Rukia about how Hisana had regretted abandoning her, and had kept searching for her while they were married. He reveals she asked him to find and protect her, as well as why he had sworn to always abide by the rules, thus leaving him torn between two promises when the execution was announced. He apologizes to Rukia for his actions.

During the following week, Rukia, visiting Kūkaku Shiba's home, apologizes to both Kūkaku and Ganju for her role in the death of their brother, Kaien. Kūkaku cuts her apology short, saying she forgives her. She reveals Ukitake had already told her what had happened. When Ichigo and Orihime arrive, Rukia tells Ichigo she wishes to stay in Soul Society. The next day, Ichigo and the others gather at a Senkaimon to return to the Human World. Orihime gives Rukia a dress Uryū made, insisting she take good care of it. The group, saying goodbye, leaves.

Arrancar arc[]

Tōshirō Hitsugaya and an advance team of Shinigami, which includes both Rukia and Renji, are sent to protect Karakura Town from the threat of Aizen's Arrancar army. Upon arrival, Rukia, greeting a stunned Ichigo, assaults him. Removing his Shinigami form from his body, Rukia, dragging Ichigo off to fight a Hollow, tells him not to fear his inner Hollow, but to rise up and crush it. She forces Ichigo to apologize to Orihime for not being able to protect her. Orihime, thanking them both, welcomes Rukia back.

Rukia accompanies Ichigo to the Kurosaki Clinic, where she is greeted by an excited Kon. Stomping on him, she bickers with Ichigo. After Ichigo shoos away the eavesdropping Yuzu and Isshin, Rukia, stating his family has kept its charm, watches as the other members of Hitsugaya's team enter the room. As they explain to Ichigo why they are there, Rukia assists with some drawings, throwing them at Ichigo when he criticizes them. Rukia, seeing the others off as they leave, annoys Ichigo by insisting she will stay in her old spot. She tells Isshin and Yuzu a false story to convince them to let her stay with them. She shares a room with Yuzu and Karin, which disappoints her slightly.

When Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez invades Karakura Town with his Fracción, Rukia and Ichigo sense their presence. Counting six of them on her Denreishinki, Rukia, expressing surprise at their numbers, deduces they are combing the town, intent on killing anyone with spiritual power. She tells Ichigo Orihime is safe with Hitsugaya and Matsumoto, but one has targeted Sado. As she runs towards Sado's location, Ichigo goes on ahead. Rukia passes Sado halfway there. She expresses her happiness at his safety, but he runs past her. When she reaches Ichigo, who has confronted the Arrancar Di Roy Rinker, she asks him what he said to Sado. When he states he told him to step aside, she, ordering him to do likewise, leaves her Gigai, saying he runs the risk of losing control again if things go bad so soon after his previous fight. She tells Ichigo that Urahara's Gigai was responsible for her powers never returning, and she has recovered. While the Artificial Soul Chappy restrains Ichigo, Rukia, releasing her Shikai, kills Di Roy.

Shortly after, Grimmjow confronts Ichigo and Rukia. Sensing Grimmjow's incredible power, Rukia urges Ichigo to run away. However, Grimmjow impales her with his hand. Chappy goes to her side, and after the battle, Rangiku takes her to Orihime, who heals her. After Orihime is finished, Renji asks if she is fully healed while Chappy fawns over her. Rukia, stating she healed incredibly fast, thanks Orihime, noting her skills have improved. When Ichigo asks how she is, Rukia tells him not to blame himself for her injuries. She suggests he ask Urahara about his inner Hollow. The following day, Isshin and Yuzu ask her if she has seen Ichigo, and she goes in search of him. Unable to find any trace of his Reiatsu, she returns to the Kurosaki Clinic, apologizing to Yuzu when she asks if Rukia had found him.

At the Urahara Shop, Rukia encounters an upset Orihime leaving the store. Rukia is angered to hear that Urahara told her to stay out of the battle, insisting it is not right for her to be cast aside so easily. She tells Orihime, who is worried about being in the way in battle, that the ones who get in the way are those who lack resolve, not power. She states if any one of those who came to rescue her were not there, she would not be here today. As she says they should look for a way for her to help in the battle, Hiyori Sarugaki, appearing, takes Orihime away, leaving Rukia to wonder who she was. Rukia later finds Orihime leaving the Visored's hideout. When Orihime tries to explain, Rukia tells her she felt a bit of Ichigo's Reiatsu when she arrived, and is content he is safe.

Rukia and Orihime travel to Soul Society, where she asks Captain Ukitake to open the training grounds behind the Division's headquarters. The pair spend a month training. When the Espada attack Karakura Town, Rukia receives notice of the attack from a Hell Butterfly. Ukitake orders her to head to the Senkaimon in front of the Division headquarters. Rukia tells Orihime she cannot accompany her, reminding the Human she would end up in the Dangai if she entered a Senkaimon. When Ukitake tells her the Kidō Corps will secure the walls of the Dangai for her, Rukia tells her she will wait on the other side for her. As she rushes to the Senkaimon, Rukia wonders why the Espada are attacking so soon.

Rukia arrives in Karakura Town to find Ichigo losing in a battle against Grimmjow. Freezing the Arrancar with her Zanpakutō, she tries to free Ichigo from Grimmjow's blade, which is pinning his hand to the ground. Ichigo comments on her power, prompting Rukia to state he was using a reckless power himself. Grimmjow, breaking free from the ice, grabs her head and charges a Cero. She is saved by the intervention of Shinji Hirako, who takes over fighting Grimmjow. The battle is cut short when Ulquiorra Cifer appears, restraining Grimmjow, before leaving with the aid of Negación.

After the battle, Hachigen Ushōda, healing Ichigo, tells Rukia to take him home, as he will recover better if he is not near people with Hollow-like Reiatsu like them. That night at Ichigo's house, Rukia is unable to connect to Soul Society with her Denreishinki due to spiritual interference. She wonders who Hachigen and his comrades are, as well as what power Ichigo is trying to acquire. As she ponders the Arrancar's sudden retreat from battle, she decides to go outside to cool her head. She finds Karin and Yuzu outside the door, who ask if it is alright to have dinner with Ichigo. She tells the girls Ichigo would enjoy that.

The next day, Rukia is present when Hitsugaya's team, filtering through the interference, contacts Soul Society. They learn from Ukitake that Orihime was taken by the Arrancar. Captain-Commander Yamamoto orders them to return to Soul Society. Rukia, accusing him of abandoning Orihime, states she cannot obey the order to return. As Yamamoto states he expected as much, Captains Byakuya and Zaraki arrive via a Senkaimon to force them to return. Soon after, she leaves with the others through the Senkaimon. In Seireitei, Byakuya states he did not receive any orders beyond returning them to Soul Society, and they may do as they wish. He allows them to return to the Human World.

Hueco Mundo arc[]

Urahara opens a Garganta for Rukia and Renji, and, shortly after arriving in Hueco Mundo, they rescue Ichigo and his group from Runuganga's attack. As Ichigo greets the pair, they, hitting him, demand to know why he left for Hueco Mundo without them. She asks why he did not have faith in them, saying they immediately planned to come back to help rescue Orihime. As the group travels towards Las Noches, Rukia reveals Byakuya, allowing them to do as they pleased, and gave them cloaks to protect them in Hueco Mundo's desert. She asks Ichigo who Nel Tu, Pesche, and Dondochakka are. They introduce themselves, and Ichigo tells her they are Hollows.

Upon reaching the walls of Las Noches, Rukia notes it is not made of Sekkiseki, so Renji and Ichigo break through it. As the group runs through the opening they made, Rukia mocks Renji for trying and failing to use Kidō to illuminate the tunnel. Upon arriving at a crossroads, Rukia proposes they split up, insisting she did not come to Hueco Mundo to be protected by Ichigo, and telling him not to worry about her. After Renji leads them in a chant about their safe return, the group splits up. As she explores Las Noches, Rukia senses Sado's defeat. She hurries in the direction of his fading Reiatsu, intent on helping him. However, she finds herself under a blue sky, which confuses her. The 9th Espada, Aaroniero Arruruerie, appearing behind her, leads her inside his palace. When he removes his mask, Rukia is shocked to see the face of Kaien Shiba.

Rukia asks if he really is Kaien, reminding herself she killed Kaien. Aaroniero, convincing her that he is Kaien, says he is alive and has taken the place of an Espada. However, when Rukia approaches him, Aaroniero attacks her. Aaroniero, reminding her that she killed Kaien, asks if she is prepared to offer her life to atone for the action. Rukia states she would do so, but she must rescue Orihime first. When Aaroniero tries to manipulate her into killing her friends, Rukia, enraged, demands he stop shaming Kaien's memory, insisting Kaien was not like him, Rukia begins to fight him.

Throughout their battle, Rukia hesitates, troubled by the thought of fighting her mentor. However, remembering Aaroniero has been avoiding sunlight, she exposes his true form. She is eased by the notion of not actually fighting Kaien, but is sad she had not saved her mentor from the control of a Hollow as she had previously thought. Aaroniero, releasing his Zanpakutō, impales her, breaking Sode no Shirayuki. Rukia, reflecting upon her training with Kaien, remembers his warning not to die alone and that he left her heart with her. Activating Third Dance, Shirafune, she kills Aaroniero. She is determined to go to Orihime's aid, but loses consciousness.

Later, the 7th Espada, Zommari Rureaux, arrives to finish her off, however, Byakuya Kuchiki, appearing, challenges Zommari. Hanatarō, arriving, tries to move her away from the battle, but Zommari, using Amor, takes control of Rukia's body. Byakuya binds her with Kidō, which prevents Zommari from further controlling her. Byakuya, killing Zommari, requests Isane Kotetsu heal Rukia and Hanatarō.

When Rukia wakes up, she is surprised to see 4th Division members there. She is also surprised to see Byakuya is injured, but he insists that she lie there until she is fully healed. Later, Rukia, hearing Aizen's announcement via Tenteikūra, learns that she and her comrades are trapped in Hueco Mundo. However, Byakuya explains the Gotei 13's preparations for battle in Karakura Town to Rukia.

Fake Karakura Town arc[]

Rukia comes to Ichigo's aid at the five towers at the center of Las Noches. Freezing Rudbornn Chelute's arm as he tries to attack Ichigo, she tells him to hurry and rescue Orihime. Rukia, defeating Rudbornn's underlings fairly easily, battles Rudbornn. At this time, Rukia notices the battle between Ichigo and Ulquiorra Cifer above her. Eventually, Rukia overpowers him by freezing his "branches". Rudbornn is knocked out of the way by Yammy Llargo, who bursts through a nearby wall. Yammy confronts Rukia, Sado, and Renji. When a Cero comes through the roof of Las Noches, Rukia notices Ichigo's Reiatsu.

As Rukia wonders if Ichigo defeated Ulquiorra, an enraged Yammy, cursing the fact that they are all he has to fight, increases in size, causing his jacket to tear and revealing his Espada tattoo. Renji tells Rukia and Sado that together they can defeat Yammy, as he is only the 10th Espada. However, Yammy releases his Zanpakutō. As he towers over them, Yammy reveals he is the 0 Espada, much to the trio's shock.

After Renji and Sado are defeated, Rukia is caught by Yammy, but Ichigo, intervening, prevents the Espada from finishing her. She asks where Orihime is, and is told she is tending to Uryū's wounds. Ichigo, moving her to safety, begins to battle Yammy. She watches Ichigo as he fights, wondering what happened to Ichigo above the dome. Rukia notes his eyes do not look like those of someone victorious in battle or about to cut down his enemy.

After seeing Ichigo's attack on Yammy, she realizes his Hollow mask has changed from its previous form. Some time after Urahara seals Aizen, Rukia, along with Uryū, Sado, Orihime, and Renji, arrives in Karakura Town. Her arm is in a sling as they greet Ichigo. When he suddenly collapses, Rukia, along with the rest of the group, runs towards Ichigo as he screams in pain.

A month later, Rukia and Ichigo's other friends are present in his bedroom when he wakes up. Rukia tells Ichigo how long he had been unconscious for, and that Urahara revealed he has lost his Shinigami powers. Rukia further explains the stages of losing his powers, with the first stage bringing intense pain, unconsciousness, and a reversal of the time Ichigo's body spent in the Dangai. With his Shinigami powers gone, the second stage sees his Reiatsu stabilizing and him awakening before his remaining spiritual power completely disappears. At Ichigo's request, the group goes outside. As it becomes harder for Ichigo to see her, Rukia knows this is farewell. Mocking Ichigo's sad face, she states she will still be able to see him, much to his displeasure. Disappearing from Ichigo's sight completely, Rukia leaves through a Senkaimon as Ichigo, bidding farewell, thanks her.

The Lost Substitute Shinigami arc[]

Soul Society is aware of Ichigo's involvement with Xcution members. Shortly after Ichigo awakens his Fullbring, Rukia is ordered to observe him. Upon learning Ichigo has allied himself with the enemy, she denies he would ever do such a thing.

Rukia appears with Kisuke Urahara and Isshin Kurosaki when Kūgo Ginjō and Shūkurō Tsukishima succeed in stealing Ichigo's Fullbring powers. She stabs Ichigo through the chest from behind, eventually materializing behind him so he can see her. Rukia's actions result in Ichigo once again acquiring Shinigami powers, which manifest in a new form.

After greeting Ichigo, she kicks him in the face, and then proceeds to berate him for crying, saying he should be ashamed he became a coward while she was gone. She states even though Tsukishima's ability is horrible, it does not matter, because it cannot change Ichigo's future, and the bonds he lost can be rebuilt. Rukia tells Ichigo of the sword she used to restore his powers, revealing Urahara created it. When Kūgo interrupts, saying one person's Reiatsu is not enough to restore Ichigo's power, Renji Abarai reveals the Gotei 13's contribution of Reiatsu to the sword. Rukia explains that a small part of Ichigo's power fused with his Fullbring, and there is no way Kūgo could take all of his powers, as he has deep wells of power. She calls Kūgo and Tsukishima fools, telling Ichigo they cannot make him despair because they do not know how much despair he has already conquered, and to show them despair can never stop him.

After healing Uryū, she enters Yukio's chatroom to face Riruka Dokugamine, where she finds herself surrounded by stuffed animals. Throughout their battle, Rukia insists she will not kill Riruka, because it is her duty as a Shinigami to protect Humans. Infuriated by the notion of being called a normal Human, Riruka uses her Addiction Shot ability to trap her in a doll, turning the tide of the battle in the process.

Cornering Rukia, Riruka asks her if she still thinks Fullbringers are normal Humans. Rukia notes Riruka is caught up with the idea of being more than normal, prompting her to explain her concept of "survival of the fittest." As Riruka reflects on the past, Rukia, taking advantage of the distraction, nearly defeats her with Some no Mai: Tsukishiro. Rukia reaffirms she will not kill her, but Riruka, releasing her from the stuffed animal, transfers herself into her body. As Riruka disappears, Rukia, wondering what happened to her, collapses to the ground.

After Yukio shuts down the chatrooms, Byakuya Kuchiki finds Rukia unconscious, noting she is uninjured. Rukia awakens to see the other Shinigami standing around while Ichigo is still inside one of the pocket dimensions. When she urges Byakuya to do something, Yukio tells her he cannot deactivate the dimension, and they cannot break it. Rukia refuses to believe this, wondering if there is some other reason they are not acting. She looks on as the dimension is broken apart by Ichigo activating his Bankai.

To Rukia's surprise, the captains turn to leave. Byakuya reminds her they were only tasked with observing Ichigo and his decision. Hitsugaya states the captains had agreed to use whatever Substitute who came after Kūgo to lure him out and get rid of them both, but Ichigo caused them to change their plans. Reminding Rukia of her reaction to being told to observe Ichigo, he acknowledges she was correct about him. When Tsukishima tries to attack Ichigo, Rukia leaps between them, and Riruka bursts forth from her chest to take the attack. As Rukia collapses, Ichigo catches her. Later, Rukia is present at Urahara Shop, where she informs Ichigo that Riruka has woken up. Later, she accompanies him to Soul Society, and is present with Renji at the captain meeting when Ichigo requests to retrieve Kūgo's body.

The Thousand-Year Blood War arc[]

As Rukia paces impatiently while the captains are in a meeting, Renji tells her to calm down. Izuru interrupts them by asking about the recent disappearances in Rukongai. As pillars of blue flame erupt across Seireitei when the Wandenreich begin their invasion, Rukia passes Kiyone and Sentarō on her way to the base of one of the pillars. She hurriedly explains the enemy is likely waiting at the base of the pillars.

Later, Rukia, along with the other captains and lieutenants, is notified by Rin Tsubokura that Ichigo is currently heading to Soul Society. Later, she is distracted by Byakuya's apparent death, which her opponent took advantage of and knocked her unconscious.

While recovering from surgery to treat her severe injuries after the Wandenreich leave, Rukia briefly talks with Ichigo. After he leaves, she asks Captain Hirako for his opinion on Ichigo's sorrowful expression. He suggests it is the result of a difficult battle, but her intuition tells her he is hiding something much more serious. Later, Senjumaru Shutara brings Rukia, Renji, and Byakuya to the Royal Guard's Tenchūren so they can be taken to the Royal Palace. Unohana states their condition is too critical for them to leave Seireitei, but the Royal Guard insist on taking them.

Upon arriving in Reiōkyū, Rukia and the other wounded are taken to Tenjirō Kirinji's headquarters, where they are placed in his "Blood Hell Pond" hot springs, allowing its unique healing properties to treat the wounded Shinigami.

She eventually recovers completely, and goes to Senjumaru's palace with Renji for clothing measurements, in which she and Renji are forced to strip down. After they conclude their business there, they move on to Ichibē Hyōsube's palace to begin training. There, they note the extreme difficulty of moving, with Rukia comparing the Reishi around her to water. She then hears of Byakuya's recovery, which excites her, but then remarks on what he has to go through when reaching Senjumaru's palace. It is then that Ichibē greets them and offers to personally train them.

Rukia and Renji later head for Soul Society. When they begin to get close, Rukia notes that night is coming and tells Renji that they must hurry. She and Renji arrive near Mask De Masculine. When Renji confronts Mask, he tells her to treat Rōjūrō Ōtoribashi and Kensei Muguruma. Rukia agrees to this and says that he should be able to defeat Mask easily before taking them away from the battlefield.

Later, Rukia dashes through the city while searching for the Reiatsu of other Shinigami. Noting the only Shinigami she has been able to find is Isane Kotetsu, whom she left to treat the injured captains, Rukia wonders if the Shinigami are really so inferior to the Sternritter before noting she cannot sense the Reiatsu of any Quincy either. Stopping, Rukia wonders if she should wait for Renji and then attack the enemy castle together with him. While standing still, Rukia has the sensation of someone touching her arm and asks for whomever she felt to reveal themselves. Appearing behind Rukia, Äs Nödt says he is lonely and asks where his Senbonzakura is. Recognizing him, Rukia refuses to tell Äs where Byakuya is, prompting Äs to ask her if Byakuya will come should he kill her as Rukia says he might. The Quincy attacks her with his thorns, causing Rukia to release her Zanpakutō to defend against his fear. However, the ice generated by her Shikai is unable to stop the advancing fear, and Rukia is hit. When Äs claims she is unable to move because she has been struck by fear, Rukia stands up, unaffected by his power, and asks Äs what he fears before wondering if he is afraid of encountering someone he cannot defeat with fear.

When Äs expresses disbelief at the notion of someone with no fear, Rukia tells him to fire his thorns at her once more if he does not believe her before stating she is now using the real power of Sode no Shirayuki. Firing the thorns, Äs points out how she was running from them a moment ago, but Rukia simply freezes them upon touch before revealing she had to avoid them until her body adjusted. When Äs explains how fear works and proclaims she has no way of becoming unable to feel fear, Rukia reveals fear cannot affect her because she is not technically alive before explaining how the true power of Sode no Shirayuki allows her to drop her temperature to below freezing. Though Äs does not believe such a thing is possible, Rukia attacks him multiple times at varying degrees until he is left frozen solid.

Slowly raising her body temperature to a normal level, Rukia notices a small cut on her finger and wonders if she stayed at absolute zero for more than 4 seconds. Noticing Äs still moving, Rukia watches as he activates his Quincy: Vollständig. When Rukia tries to freeze him, Äs moves behind her as Rukia notices she cannot move. Revealing his fear ability now works on sight instead of on contact with his thorns, Äs generates innumerable eyes around Rukia and explains how she can no longer escape his gaze and must feel fear. As Rukia experiences intense fear, Byakuya cuts through the eyes, saving her.

Rukia warns Byakuya to avoid eye contact with Äs as he unleashes his power again. However, the attack is easily deflected by Byakuya. While observing Äs running wild with rage, Byakuya compliments Rukia on becoming stronger, an acknowledgement which leads Rukia to shed a tear. He further encourages her by stating that she has nothing to fear, and with that, leaves the fight to her. Rukia unleashes her Bankai, and a blinding pillar of white emerges. As Äs is frozen solid and fades away, Rukia stands in her Bankai form as a crack appears on the back of her hand. Stepping forward, Byakuya tells her to slow down while returning to normal temperature. While complimenting her Bankai, Byakuya proceeds to tell Rukia it requires delicate control to prevent herself from getting harmed as well and reminds her that a blade wielded with the cost of the wielder's life will not be able to protect anything. She obeys Byakuya and moves on with him.

Later on, Rukia and Byakuya head towards the location of the defeated Zaraki, seeing lightning in the distance. Byakuya tells Rukia to take it easy due to her injuries. She starts to answer, but suddenly stops as she notices Ichigo's Reiatsu coming closer. Soon afterward, Rukia, Renji, Byakuya, Hisagi, Ikkaku, and Yumichika confront the Sternritter gathered at Ichigo's location. When Bazz-B tries to break through using his Spirit Weapon, Rukia freezes his arm and repeats that they will not let the Sternritter pass. Rukia prepares to defend herself as all the Quincy activate their Quincy: Vollständig and charge.

However, the combatants are scattered by the enormous explosion that occurs when Yhwach, Haschwalth, and Uryū depart for the Soul King Palace. Afterwards, Renji pushes rubble off of himself and Rukia with Hihiō before noting that they were separated. When Rukia wonders why Uryū betrayed them, Bazz-B appears and offers to help them kill Uryū, but Renji throws some rubble at him and declines before insulting his mohawk. Angered by this, Bazz-B uses Burner Finger 4, engulfing the area in a massive explosion. Later, when Bazz-B's powers are taken by Yhwach, Rukia looks on in surprise at the turn of events.

Soon afterward, Rukia and Renji arrive at the laboratory Urahara is using after receiving an urgent summons, where they find Marechiyo and Shinji Hirako outside. After Shinji and Marechiyo inform them of how they survived Bazz-B's attack, they are surprised by the arrival of Suì-Fēng, whom Rukia notes is showing her kinder side. Inside the building, Rukia is shocked to learn of Urahara's intention to break into the Soul King Palace. After Zaraki agrees to leave the search for his lieutenant to the rest of his division, Urahara gives Rukia a sphere to charge with her Reiatsu. When Hiyori Sarugaki arrives and pours a strange liquid on the floor, Rukia notes that she does not feel wet.

When Seireitei starts falling apart, Urahara states the Soul King must have died, shocking Rukia and the other Shinigami. A distraught Rukia watches as Ukitake uses the power of Mimihagi to replace the Soul King. When black creatures begin pouring into the Seireitei, Rukia emerges from the lab alongside Renji and Byakuya to confront them before expressing shock when Aizen arrives. She demands to know how he got out before becoming even more shocked when Shunsui Kyōraku appears and admits to letting him out. Rukia and the others loudly protest, but they are silenced by Shunsui stating they must set their pride aside and fight evil with evil. After Aizen destroys the black creatures and begins exerting his Reiatsu to destroy the veil of darkness above them, Rukia shouts for him to stop when the pressure starts breaking apart the doorway to the Royal Realm, prompting Aizen to say he will drag down the palace to them instead.

As Aizen's Reiatsu starts cracking open the veil, Rukia tries to move towards him, but is stopped by Shunsui grabbing her shoulder and watches as Aizen's attempt is interrupted by his restraints restraining his Reiatsu. After Bazz-B, Liltotto Lamperd, and Giselle Gewelle show up to help the Gotei 13, Rukia returns to fueling the doorway with her Reiatsu alongside them. When Yhwach begins tearing apart the Wandenreich city in the Seireitei, Rukia watches in concern. Shortly afterward, the doorway is completed, and Rukia enters the Soul King Palace alongside the other Shinigami, where she agrees with Shunsui's command of moving forward and protecting the Seireitei no matter what. After Yhwach creates his new stronghold, Wahrwelt, Rukia moves out toward it alongside her allies.

Rukia runs through the city along with the other Shinigami as Lille Barro begins sniping them. However, she manages to avoid the shots and continues running after Shunsui locates Lille. Rukia and the remaining Shinigami reach the upper levels of the city, and Shinji warns them to stay focused. They are then confronted by Gerard Valkyrie, who says the Shinigami will have to team up and beat him in order to continue.

Renji and Byakuya easily defeat Gerard, but before the Shinigami depart a giant foot rises up and slams into the ground. A giant Gerard then rises up and shouts at the Shinigami, pushing them back with the force of his voice. Gerard explains how his Schrift The Miracle works as he throws an obelisk at the Shinigami, splitting them up. Gerard slams Shinji and Momo Hinamori into the ground and does the same to Byakuya after deflecting one of his attacks, causing Rukia and Renji to cry out in shock. Gerard then blows onto Rukia and Renji, the force of his breath slamming them into the ground. Gerard then stands victorious over the Shinigami.

Rukia and Renji survive Gerard's attack, and much later Rukia is carried by Renji back up to where Gerard is. However, they are overwhelmed by Gerard's monstrous presence, as the Quincy has grown even larger since when they last saw him. They are greeted by a matured Hitsugaya, and Renji wonders who he is. Rukia states that it is obviously Hitsugaya's older brother, and Hitsugaya goes along with what she said. Suddenly, Rukia and Renji sense that Ichigo is confronting Yhwach up in the palace.

Rukia and Renji run through the rubble when Gerard suddenly swipes at them; however, they are rescued by Byakuya. Byakuya tells them to meet up with Ichigo, and Rukia argues against him, but Byakuya tells them that Ichigo's Reiatsu is comparable with Yhwach's. As Byakuya blocks another of Gerard's attacks, he tells Rukia and Renji that he is not saying Ichigo needs them, but that he has no need for them here. Rukia and Renji thank him for his honesty as they run off to the palace.

Rukia and Renji arrive at the palace as Yhwach prepares to depart after defeating Ichigo. He expresses annoyance at their insignificant appearance and invites them to follow him through his portal, where he would give them an extravagant death in the moment when each of them feels the greatest joy and happiness. After Yhwach escapes, Rukia tends to Orihime, and becomes shocked after she hears that he has the power to re-write the future.

Less than ten years later, Rukia marries Renji and they have a daughter named Ichika Abarai.

Ten years after Yhwach's defeat, Rukia is inaugurated as the Captain of the 13th Division. Immediately afterwards, she, Renji, and Ichika depart for Karakura Town in order to visit the Kurosaki Clinic. Rukia greets Ichigo and her human friends, and Ichigo wonders about the absent Ichika. Rukia flippantly guesses that she is getting into fights, which shocks Ichigo, causing the two to have an argument.

Echoing Jaws of Hell arc[]

Two years after her inauguration as Captain of the 13th Division, Rukia, alongside Captain-commander Kyōraku, personally extends an invitation for Ichigo to attend the Konsō Reisai ceremony for the late Ukitake. As Renji and Ichigo communicate over a video call concerning this news, Rukia interrupts them and is pleasantly surprised to see Ichigo on Renji's Denreishinki, which she realizes must be a new model.

Rukia explains that she still has her old Denreishinki since it works fine and that she did not know about the video call function of the new model until now; Rukia attempts to see Orihime by tilting Renji's Denreishinki, only for Ichigo to inform her that this will not work and that Orihime is doing laundry at home. In response, Rukia teasingly assumes that Ichigo leaves all of the housework to his wife and that means they are an estranged couple continuing to live under the same roof despite losing their domestic bliss because of emotional abuse, leaving Ichigo aghast at such an idea and wondering where Rukia learned about such terms, which prompts Rukia to proudly and smugly tell him that they now have television in Soul Society and can watch shows from the Human World.

After Renji elaborates to Ichigo that Urahara began working with the Shinigami Research and Development Institute after the Quincy Blood War to developed all sorts of new Reishi devices, leading an impressed Ichigo to comment on his skill. Suddenly, Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi appears behind Rukia and Renji to proclaim that he cannot let such a remark go unheard, startling them both. Though Renji presumes Mayuri is actually here, Rukia reveals that this is actually a hologram being projected by a grotesque bug flying overhead, to Renji's disgust, and Mayuri clarifies that squashing the bug is futile since others he has deployed will take its place.

Rukia later accompanies the other captains to Ukitake's grave to perform the Konsō Reisai, where she and the others see Jigoku no Rinki floating around the gravesite and learn from Shunsui that the ritual serves to send the deceased captains' souls to Hell. A distraught Rukia confronts Shunsui over this revelation, and the Captain-Commander clarifies that even though he only discovered it recently, he can sadly confirm it is the truth, to her further distress.


  • Ōken Clothing: After training with the Royal Guard, Rukia dons special clothing in order to safely return to the Seireitei. These clothes are made from the bones and hair of the members of the Royal Guard, and they possess incredible defensive power, allowing Rukia to withstand the friction that results from breaking through the 72 barriers between Soul Society and the Soul King Palace without suffering any damage; Yhwach notes that no Shinigami could hope to wear greater garb. These clothes take the form of a long white shawl wrapped around her head and hang past her shoulders, fluffy white earmuffs, a white visor covering her eyes, and a long white cloak worn over her shihakushō. They are destroyed when Rukia activates her Bankai and temporarily gains new clothing.

Powers & Abilities[]

Kidō Expert: Rukia's greatest strength is her knowledge and skill in Kidō, having been top of her class at the Shin'ō Academy. While the sheer power of her Kidō was just average when she joined the 13th Division, she continued to develop her skill, with her now being able to use up to Hadō #73. Sōren Sōkatsui without incantation to considerable effect. She can switch from Zanjutsu to Kidō without delay upon losing her Zanpakutō. She has great skill in using various spells in unique combination, even using multiple spells at the same time. However, she requires incantations when using high-level spells simultaneously.

Expert Swordsman: Rukia initially only knew the basic, rudimentary skills of Zanjutsu, but after much training by her former mentor, Kaien Shiba, her skill drastically improved, to the point where she can defend herself from attacks from the 9th Espada, Aaroniero Arruruerie, who possessed the expert swordsmanship skill of Kaien Shiba himself. Rukia has also demonstrated enough skill in swordsmanship to cut down multiple of Rudbornn Chelute's attacking Calaveras.

Shunpo Expert: Renji says Rukia is helpful and effective because of her high speed. During her battle against the Adjuchas of the Menos Forest, she skillfully dodged multiple attacks from several enemies. After her training in the Soul King Palace, Rukia is able to move fast enough to surprise and cut Äs Nödt.

Hakuda Combatant: While seldom used, Rukia is proficient in hand-to-hand combat, using it as her main method of combat when she was in a depowering Gigai.

Great Spiritual Power: Being a Captain of the Gotei 13, Rukia boasts a great level of spiritual energy and can exert large amounts of Reiatsu when needed. Her Reiatsu is white.

Keen Intellect: Rukia has repeatedly demonstrated her keen intellect. She compensated against the power of the 9th Espada with combination attacks. During her forced stay in the Human World after losing her powers, Rukia proved herself very useful in assisting Ichigo with his new Shinigami duties. Rukia is very knowledgeable, with a detailed knowledge of Soul Society's history.

Enhanced Endurance: Rukia is notably resilient. She withstood being impaled by Aaroniero's Nejibana in conjunction with his Glotonería, and finished him off before losing consciousness.


Sode no Shirayuki redirects here. For the manifested spirit who appears in the anime-only Zanpakutō Unknown Tales and Beast Swords arcs, see Sode no Shirayuki (Zanpakutō spirit).

Sode no Shirayuki (袖白雪, Sleeved White Snow; Viz "Sleeves of White Snow"): In its sealed form, Sode no Shirayuki is a normal katana. It has a rectangular tsuba with a vaguely flame-like pattern on the long sides and a curved line on the short sides, 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. Sode no Shirayuki is regarded as one of the most beautiful Zanpakutō in Soul Society. The transformation is accompanied by a rush of cold air in all directions.
Shikai Special Ability: Sode no Shirayuki is an ice-type Zanpakutō. Sode no Shirayuki possesses multiple techniques, labeled as "dances" by Rukia. Besides ice techniques, Sode no Shirayuki's general ability is freezing. Sode no Shirayuki can freeze a target from a distance, or used in a different manner, create a path or platform of ice in midair. Rukia can freeze even the Reishi-created Spirit Weapon of a Quincy, causing it to shatter. In reality, Sode no Shirayuki does not spread coldness from its blade; its actual ability is to bring the body temperature of its wielder to a temperature below freezing. As a result, anything its wielder touches freezes, the sword itself merely increasing their reach. Due to this power, Rukia is capable of momentarily "killing" her body by controlling her own Reishi, putting herself in a form of cryostasis. She completely stops all the molecules in her body, preventing any material or substance attempting to affect her from doing so because it cannot enter her body. However, if someone uses an optical attack on her, it will affect her because her nerves are still working. Rukia can lower her body temperature to a point at which the ground below her feet freezes instantly, causing ice quakes, and can even reduce her temperature to absolute zero, though she can only safely maintain this temperature for no more than four seconds.
  • Some no mai, Tsukishiro (初の舞・月白, First Dance, Moon White): Rukia calls out the name of the dance while holding her Zanpakutō upside down. The blade glows, and she makes a slashing motion when her target is in position. When she does this, she draws a circle with the tip of Sode no Shirayuki. The space within that circle and anything inside freezes. The circle not only freezes the ground, but everything within the circle's influence, including anything above it in the air, creating an extending pillar of light which freezes all within the circle. Shortly after being frozen, the victim shatters along with the ice.
  • Tsugi no mai, Hakuren (次の舞・白漣, Next Dance, White Ripple): Rukia, calling out the name of the dance, punctures the ground once, creating a large ice circle, similar to the first dance. She punctures the ground in front of her four times in a semi circle. As ice particles begin to flow up from the punctures she made in the ground, she takes a battle stance. The particles, building up at the tip of Sode no Shirayuki, are released as a large, powerful avalanche of cold air. It flash freezes whatever it comes into contact with, encasing it in 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 gather moisture in the air to the tip of Sode no Shirayuki, creating a blade of ice. This makes it possible to augment the length of the blade. After piercing its target, it continues to freeze any surrounding objects and the immediate area.
  • Ice-Rope Connection: If Rukia can't reach her sword, she can create an ice extension to connect her hand to the sword hilt, which allows her to use Sode no Shirayuki's Shikai abilities at a distance. (Unnamed)
  • Bankai: Hakka no Togame (白霞罸, Censure of the White Haze; Viz "White Haze Punishment"): Rukia's Bankai changes both her physical look and the clothing she is wearing dramatically. Rukia wears a white, ankle-length kimono with lined patterns. The robe has an attached ornate collar, edges, and shoulder design with long, wide sleeves. There are long, flowing ribbons tied at her back that form numerous large loops. She has a small ice flower formation at the center of her chest, and a half crown of ice which extends around the back of her head. Rukia's hair becomes white, and her blade becomes transparent ice.
Bankai Special Ability: Hakka no Togame increases the area of influence of Rukia's ability to reach the temperature of absolute zero. Upon release, a pillar of cold mist rises up into the air from where Rukia is and covers a wide area in her vicinity. Anything within the area of influence of the mist is frozen. Once frozen solid, victims crumble away within seconds. Physical contact with Rukia herself causes other people to begin freezing solid due to how cold her body is.



Temperature Stability (Shikai, Bankai): When raising the temperature from absolute zero, Rukia has to do so slowly or risk harming her own body.

Mastery Difficulty (Bankai): While Rukia possesses a powerful Bankai, it is also a difficult one, as the slightest mistake could kill Rukia.

Time Limit (Bankai): Because Rukia is physically affected along with everything else in her vicinity, the amount of time she can use her Bankai appears severely limited, as prolonged use can potentially cause her damage, so she must thaw slowly when leaving this state, otherwise she would risk damaging herself.


  • Rukia wasn't wounded and bleeding as much in the anime, as she was in the manga when she was attacked by Fishbone D.
  • When Rukia transferred her Shinigami powers to Ichigo, the latter was shown being impaled by her Zanpakutō, the tip of which was then covered in his blood. In the anime however, Ichigo wasn't shown being impaled and the rest of the aforementioned factors weren't shown either.
  • In the anime, Rukia's arm and forehead weren't bleeding as profusely from the Shrieker's exploding leeches compared to the manga.
  • In the anime, after Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez impaled Rukia, his arm wasn't covered in blood during and after he impaled her, compared to the manga.


  • Wanting to draw a Shinigami in kimono, Tite 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.
  • In Volume 1, the horror comic Rukia was reading was "The Jade Hermitage" by Marie Hatsue.
  • Rukia is consistently the most popular female character in the series. In the fourth character popularity poll, she was ranked as the 2nd most popular character in Bleach; in the seventh, she was ranked as the most popular character overall, and again in the tenth.
  • Sode no Shirayuki, Rukia's Zanpakutō, was ranked the 2nd most popular Zanpakutō in the first Zanpakutō poll; in the second, it was ranked the most popular Zanpakutō.
  • Solely in Bleach: Dark Souls' English version, Rukia yells out the translated name of her Zanpakutō during her Super Move C, albeit grammatically flipped around (as "Sleeve of the White Snow").
  • In the first best bout poll, Rukia's fight with Aaroniero ranked 7th; in the second, it ranked 2nd, while her fight with Äs Nödt ranked 3rd, her fight with Di Roy Rinker ranked 47th, her fight with a Metastacia-possessed Kaien Shiba ranked 68th, and her fight with Shrieker ranked 83rd.
  • The soul-removing glove Rukia uses early in the series is colored light blue, gold, orange, and white in the manga, while being colored red, black, dark blue, and white in the anime adaptation.
  • In the manga, after Ichigo's battle with Grand Fisher, Rukia notes how a Shinigami's life force is measured by their Reiryoku, and comments on Ichigo's potential. In the anime, Eikichirō Saidō states it instead.
  • Rukia's report on Ichigo, titled the Substitute Shinigami Work Diary, along with her illustrations, are slated for publication in the Seireitei Communication.
  • Rukia was mistakenly shown as holding Senbonzakura in chapter 302.
  • During Rukia's rematch with Yoshi, a voice line error causes her to label Byakurai as Hadō no. 33 instead of Sōkatsui (shown in Episode 93 of the English dub).


  • (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 naive. 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 behavior is this... Rukia Kuchiki?"
  • (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 Ichigo Kurosaki) "Don't even try to move one step from there. If you try to follow me... I'll never forgive you!"
  • "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."
  • (To Aaroniero Arruruerie while thinking he is Kaien Shiba) "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...!"
  • (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 Shin'ō 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 Riruka Dokugamine) "You are no Hollow or Arrancar. You are human. It is the duty of a Shinigami to protect humans such as yourself. I will not raise my blade against you."