A fictional character in the anime and manga series Bleach created by Tite Kubo, Rukia Kuchiki is one of the most powerful characters in the franchise, despite being only level 63 (for most of the series) and weaker than other members of the Gotei 13, such as her brother ByakuyaKuchiki and Ichigo Kurosaki. This makes Rukia Kuchiki stand out from the crowd with regard to how powerful she actually is, but what makes her so powerful? Let’s take a look at some key features that make RukiaKuchiki so strong.
Rukia has mid-back length black hair with a red streak running through it, a trait she shares with her brother. Her hair is gathered at her left side with a short, thin red ribbon. Rukia Kuchiki has narrow brown eyes and fair skin. While in regular clothing, she wears black high heels, along with a white shirt that splits down most of her abdomen.
When Rukia Kuchiki reverts to her Soul Reaper state, she dons a full-length white robe with red trim. The sleeves of her robe are red, and form into black material covering her hands and forearms. Her Soul Reaper attire also includes a black obi around her waist, a small pouch on her left hip, and black sandals that come up to her calves. Her Zanpakutō has been described as fairly large (though not too big by Shinigami standards), with an oversized white hilt that contains one blood-red vein along its length. Its guard has two curved extensions on either side of it.
Being a Soul Reaper, Rukia has existed for hundreds of years. Her assignment to Karakura Town in particular was very much against her will, but she nonetheless bears responsibility for protecting its citizens from Hollows with Ichigo Kurosaki and his friends.
Initially seeming cold and distant due to her interactions with Ichigo during her tenure as his bodyguard, she eventually reveals more about herself and becomes an active member in efforts to protect Karakura Town from all manner of threats. The character development between Bleach characters Rukia Kuchiki and Orihime Inoue is one example of why Bleach is such a popular anime series.
Like Ichigo Kurosaki, she was born with a special power known as The GetsugaTenshō (Spiritslayer in English translation). This ability allows Rukia Kuchiki to wound or kill supernatural beings such as Hollows and Soul Reapers by slicing them with her sword. Her Zanpakutō is Sode no Shirayuki, who takes on different forms during various situations. In its Shikai state, Sode no Shirayuki takes on a form of a Japanese katana. In battle, Rukia Kuchiki retains some use of kido (the casting art form central to Bleach) while in Bankai mode but obtains better skill at swordsmanship than previously shown when fighting alongside ByakuyaKuchiki.
Her powers are twofold. First, she possesses Shikai and Bankai states for her Zanpakutō, Sode no Shirayuki. Second, when necessary (and with help from other Soul Reapers), Misato Katsuragi can discharge Hollow bait in her spirit form to force nearby Hollows to flock towards a specific location so that they can be dealt with more easily by large groups of Soul Reapers. Along with her duties as a Soul Reaper, Rukia Kuchiki has also served as an instructor at Shin’ō Academy and occasionally gets involved in Ichigo Kurosaki’s fights against the various evil spirits that plague Karakura Town.
Generally, as one of Ichigo’s first friends in soul society, Rukia has a certain amount of emotional attachment to him. While most people typically develop emotional attachments through long-term interactions, Rukia’s bond with Ichigo was instantaneous. Even after she was forbidden from speaking to or seeing him again, she showed immediate concern for his well-being and attempted to rush back into town to aid him in his fight against Grand Fisher.
Although her actions were forbidden by Soul Society, they demonstrate that she cares deeply for Ichigo and his friends. When interacting with other characters (such as Ishida), she often presents a calm demeanor despite being placed on guard.
Rakia also possesses a certain amount of loyalty towards her Captain and Soul Society. Although she was frustrated with having to constantly be on guard for Grand Fisher, she knew that her first priority was protecting innocent humans from hollows.
During her training session in soul society, she feared being reprimanded for losing against Ichigo but accepted that it was a necessary occurrence for his growth as a Soul Reaper. When interacting with other characters (such as Grimmjow), she often presents a serious demeanor despite wanting to be friendly.