Upon the upcoming Thousand-Year Blood War (now it’s ongoing, 7 episode) adapted to the anime version, I tried to rewatch some of the episodes. Unfortunately I didn’t know that there is one canon arc after Ichigo fighting Aizen and losing his power. It is the time when there are some humans with power (like Chad or Inoue) and Ichigo is trying to get his shinigami power back to help them erase their power. At least those are the premises.
What fascinates me about this arc is that it tells of character development who gets stronger not just from the traditional way, like Ichigo fighting skills and power, but also his mental part. Without going into further details that might ruin some people’s experience who haven’t watched it, this is the time when Ichigo feels helpless, betrayal, then progresses to a state of feeling alone.
When it comes for Ichigo, his friends, or any other manga/anime character training to become stronger, it will be about how they fight. It is something physical (or spiritual kind of power) but not their mental condition. For the mental part it will be something that comes naturally with their fight and their age. Well it is what happens with Ichigo too. But not only these.
Seeing a main character feeling alone hurts me more than they don’t have any power left to fight. Imagine people you care about, your closest friends and even your families seeing you doing your best effort for them but they see it wrongly. Finally they turn their back on you. Good thing there are another group of people who support Ichigo. He doesn’t need to fix everything alone.
Ichigo gained so much maturity not by fighting with his sword but going through psychological issues with help from people who care for him. When I see a storyline like this in today’s “popular” trend, I think I won’t highlight it in any way. Yet Tite Kubo—Bleach creator is way ahead of his time.