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15 November 2009 @ 11:17 am
The Case of Kurosaki Ichigo's Clothes  

The Case of Kurosaki Ichigo’s Clothes

We knew it had to happen sooner or later. Kubo Tite would have to write a chapter that discussed at length the issue of CLOTHING. In this particular case, not the stylishness thereof but the relationship of reiatsu to the current apparel of Kurosaki Ichigo.

The fandom started speculating wildly about Ichigo’s new bandages when he reappeared in the manga in chapter 377 but Annie jumped into assuage my overactive imagination with the reminder that sometimes Kubo just makes drawing mistakes

It’s also been said that the bandages themselves are part of Ichigo’s shihakushou and that the last time we saw them was when Ichigo had some clothes torn in SS—they were just under his clothes. I’m not sure about that one. I do know that Kubo-sensei likes to wrap bandages around Ichigo’s muscles to make him look cool.

There were lots of confusing things about the discussion between Ichigo and Unohana that may be cleared up by an HQ translation (Ju-Ni's will be out any minute) but one thing that the conversation reminded us is that outfits themselves, not just weapons, are manifestations of reiatsu. In other words, Ichigo’s fancy ban kai duds that resemble old man Zangetsu’s gothic rags ARE his ban kai as much as that sleek black zanpakutou. There’s no other Shinigami I can think of right off hand whose clothes change when going ban kai except for Renji, but it’s a long-standing shounen tradition that power-ups bring snazzy new costume changes.

Leave it to fandom to have a MASSIVE MISUNDERSTANDING RIGHT AWAY, however that shihakushou = reiatsu = power level and start to wonder what would happen if water spilled on Ichigo’s ban kai jacket or if he ripped it in a fight—does that mean he’d lose some power?


Selenityshiroi cleared up this misconception best with the answer “Ichigo's bankai outfit being half missing ISN'T the sign of Ichigo being at half power.

Ichigo only having the strength to regenerate his outfit to the half he's currently wearing IS the indication of Ichigo being at half power.”

If you’ve been one of the clothes hounds sniffing after the mysterious case of Kurosaki Ichigo’s clothes, you will have noticed that sometime after our seeing Ichigo on the dome when Ulqui turned to dust, Ichigo acquired some fabric. He was sans one pants leg and bandages in his last scene on the dome, and when he returned in 377, he had two hakama legs and one bandage.

Why would Orihime put a bandage on him when she could heal him? Wasn’t Ichigo already healed because of his own self-regeneration? Was Ishida carrying bandages in his trusty cape? Most importantly, who’s going to write the fanfic to explain the mystery?

At this point, there appears to be a division between the two current scanlations of the manga as to whether or not Ichigo was partially healed by Orihime on the dome. Onemanga suggests he was. The mangafox scan suggests otherwise.

Ichigo may have been healing himself slowly as a result of his self generation, but he seems to believe that Orihime healed him because he “came to” and assumed she did as she always has and he doesn’t know about his own self-regeneration. Selenity postulates:

I've been saying for weeks that Ichigo is slowly regenerating his Bankai outfit. If you look at it now, it has more fabric to it than it did when he first returned to himself.

However, if he had his full reiatsu, he would have regenerated his outfit already. The fact that it's taking so long to regenerate is a sign that he doesn't have the reiatsu to spare to heal it.

Ichigo is slowly recovering his reiatsu and says as much in the chapter. And he is also slowly regenerating his outfit.

It's not a case of Clothes=A and Reiatsu=B and A=B. It's a case of Ability to Regenerate Clothing=A and A=B.


Although Selenity's point is that Ichigo could've been healing himself and restoring his own clothes, I’ve read somewhere else that the simple fact of added clothing makes the case for Orihime having healed Ichigo on the dome. A pro-Orihime-doing-the-healing arguer wrote:

In chapter 353 we had Ichigo still showing some leg and he had no wraps around his arm or torso.


Then he comes back and his pant leg is fully restored and we get wrappings around his arm and even his torso.


Come to think of it, the tail part of Ichigo's bankai tux is half restored as well. I think he really just had his right sleeve left when he was fighting as Ultimate!Hollow. Orihime must have been healing him...

But the flashback shown when Ichigo is talking about Orihime healing him isn’t from any scene on the dome—it’s from when Orihime was healing Ichigo after the Nnoitra fight, as if Ichigo were speaking in terms of “general healing.”


During the Ulquiorra/Ichigo fight alone, Kubo made mistakes.

Here’s Ichigo with his sleeve before Ulqui zaps a hole in him:

Then the sleeve is gone

Then Ulqui tosses the body and the sleeve is back again!

And how about Ichigo traveling through the garganta with Unohana?

Ichigo’s bandage is on his arm in this pic:

And here, a few pages later, the bandage is gone (is Ichigo’s reiatsu restoring or destroying his clothes or wavering or is KUBO-SENSEI JUST A TAD OVER-WORKED like every other manga-ka in the business?):

Yes, Ichigo... huh, indeed... I mean, you gotta love fandom. Especially the Bleach fandom--so much ado over little shreds of cloth! Paging Ishida Uryuu. He would have the answers. You know he would.

eta: The JuNi translation of what Ichigo's saying seems to confirm that Orihime (gasp!) WAS healing Ichigo on the dome and that Ichigo did ask Orihime a question AT THAT TIME:

the proof of this is that, when I had Inoue heal me earlier my shihakushou only recovered a little bit
Inoue's healing always fixes my shihakushou too, so I got to thinking about it and asked her why it didn't this time
And it seems that Inoue can heal wounds quickly, but it takes her a while to restore reiatsu

and also from cnet we have: Well, it looks like those clothes themselves are actually part of my bankai. // When Inoue healed me earlier, that pretty much proved it. / My clothes barely regenerated at all, right? // I thought it was weird, since usually when she heals me, my clothes get fixed up too, so I asked her about it... // ...and apparently Inoue's pretty quick at fixing up wounds, but regenerating reiatsu takes her quite a bit longer.

So HMMMMM, we do have two of the respected translators VERIFYING the talk between Ichigo and Orihime here and it does seem that Orihime was healing Ichigo--but why? He had no wounds. This would mean that she was attempting to bring back his clothes? She better have been doing this at the same time she was working on Ishida ...
selenityshiroi: ichigo bankaiselenityshiroi on November 15th, 2009 05:25 pm (UTC)
I think I've made more posts in this chapter thread than any other, just slapping down the silly ideas like 'If you rip Ichigo's sleeve off, will it reduce his power?'.

I can't believe I have so much to say about clothes!
Grenatescarboucle on November 15th, 2009 05:28 pm (UTC)
I think there's a reason why Kubo put the Nnoi fight flashback while Ichigo was talking; it's to show that this was the moment when Inoue explained how her powers worked to him, and not to show off how Inoue means so muchhhh to him [more like he talks about her to compare her to Yammy first and now only to talk about her powers? Did he forget that she was the rescuee here?].

And since he only have his wounds healed when he comes back and she's right there, he simply made the conclusion that she was the one who healed him - but he has no clue about his regeneration powers which is the right answer to his question.

There are not many ways to read that part; the clueless!Ichigo that we see there is clearly there to show that it's all his thinking and him connecting the dots he knows together. In no way it means he's fully right. The reader know this, but I think that Kubo wanted to show off Ichigo's reiatsu for one and wanted to talk about how Inoue's powers worked for two. Inoue's powers look very shallow compared to kidou - the shinigami powers work to the core of the problem and then together they work on the state of the shinigami. As I already said, Hiyori may actually be lucky that it's Unohana heading to her right now and not Inoue.
Kim!: Mushroom Mushroomspartydragon on November 15th, 2009 06:31 pm (UTC)
I was under the impression that the status of the pimpcoat was more of a power meter - it just indicates his power level. If I had a scouter I'd say he's around 3,000 right now. *nodnod*

I'm also guessing that as you get better at bankai, the wardrobe changes start to dispensary so that your opponent can no longer see your HP/Mana bar - which is why the older captains and Ikkaku don't really undergo any wardrobe changes. :B
Kim!spartydragon on November 15th, 2009 07:15 pm (UTC)
TYPING FAIL! That should be disappear up there. Clicked the wrong thing in spell check and didn't notice until just now. X)
(no subject) - _debbiechan_ on November 15th, 2009 07:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - spartydragon on November 15th, 2009 07:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
nehalenia: ishida what am I wearingnehalenia on November 15th, 2009 06:46 pm (UTC)
I am anxiously awaiting the Ju Ni scan in hopes that it sheds light on this confusion.

I had never realized that Ichigo's bandages are part of his bankai but that makes sense. It's hard to tell, though, when he's been bandaged because he's hurt, and when he's bandaged just because it looks cool. (I still don't really understand the whole Bleach bandage-fetish thing.)

Anyway, it makes a lot more sense to me that he's regenerating his own bandages (which are part of his bankai outfit) than those bandages being for wounds that we know weren't there.
_debbiechan_: deflower me_debbiechan_ on November 15th, 2009 09:48 pm (UTC)

I can understand a bandage fetish. I just didn't get why Ishida had to have his HAIR bandaged in the Bounto arc.
(no subject) - arcadiasilver on November 16th, 2009 07:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - karenai on November 19th, 2009 06:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arcadiasilver on November 19th, 2009 06:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Kylara: Orihime - NO EXCUSESkarenai on November 15th, 2009 08:30 pm (UTC)
I like Selenity's explanation about how it's his ability to restore his clothing; it also explains why he wouldn't do that, say, in the middle of a fight.

This is a little OT, but in both scanlations, Ichigo says that Orihime is not very fast at healing his reiatsu, though, which is an interesting limitation on her powers. She can't reject the existence of low reiatsu? I wonder why, because it's not a problem for Unohana. In fact, the way Unohana makes it sound, it's not a problem for any of the other healers, because this is the basics of healing - restoring the patient's reiatsu.

In any case, I know why some people really want Orihime to have healed him :elmo but I personally don't hope for it, simply because if she was healing Ichigo, the one who was conscious and able to stand and essentially woundless, when Ishida was gutted and unable to stand, Orihime would suck monstrously. And I don't dislike Orihime so much that I would want her to be that horrible. :)

Anywho, speaking as someone who wrote about the significance of Orihime's facial wounds in the Lust arc, Kubo is a pain in the ass about this kind of thing. He's incredibly inconsistent, as you have demonstrated with those above panels. My rule with him is "he draws whatever he wants, to hell with continuity", and then I don't try to construct elaborate arguments that may-or-may-not-lead-to-a-healing-moment-of-canon-glee-that-we-didn't-see-OMGZ!!!!! - I'm much happier this way.

You know what's really weird? Is why Renji ended up as the mummy, and not Ichigo XD XD XD
Kim!: Nose Ponies!!!!spartydragon on November 15th, 2009 09:24 pm (UTC)
Maybe Inoue can restore reitsu but just hasn't realized it 'cause she's more focused on healing wounds.
(no subject) - shinigami_lucia on November 15th, 2009 10:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - karenai on November 16th, 2009 03:20 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arcadiasilver on November 16th, 2009 08:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
downjune: soul eaterdownjune on November 15th, 2009 08:56 pm (UTC)
What's most interesting to me is how much smaller KT is drawing him now. It looks to me like he's back to his original, kinda scrawny size from the beginning. Yes, there's muscle definition (lots, thanks) but he looks much more vulnerable now.
Kim!: Mmm... Jump...spartydragon on November 16th, 2009 05:44 pm (UTC)
Yeah - it's kinda nice to see him looking like a 15/16 year old again. I'll miss the beefyness though...
(no subject) - downjune on November 16th, 2009 07:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
vesperhvesperh on November 15th, 2009 10:07 pm (UTC)
All very true. But I have to admit, my need for internal logic was deeply gratified by having an explanation for Ichigo's clothes that I could finally hang my hat on. So to speak.
(Anonymous) on November 15th, 2009 10:27 pm (UTC)
All of the continuity issues stem from the fact that in a one week pencil + ink + screen tone cycle you have absolutely no time for quality control. In fact the Manga-ka + assistants do in one week what takes at the minimum 2 weeks when publishing an American comic(monthly releases). Although a lot of the mistakes don't get noticed until people start analyzing every panel, this is because when the audience is reading you are filling and the details will happen if you just indicate. However if they didn't have a one week production cycle everybody would have rage quit Bleach by now more than likely.

I have just been using the reason that Kubo needed to cover Ichigo's dangly bits as to why he clothes are growing back.
林: mama hahahaya5h1 on November 16th, 2009 12:29 pm (UTC)
Fascinating, really. though all the time I was reading I kept thinking:
"Reiatsu - the fabric of our lives."
Grenat: danceescarboucle on November 16th, 2009 06:00 pm (UTC)

After reading Ju-Ni, cnet and talking to Annie and deb.. I feel I have to say this.

Cnet version for the next page:
Ichigo: We were in a hurry back then, because Rukia and the others were getting beaten up down below... / ...so in the end, I headed down there before she got a chance to regenerate my reiatsu. // So basically, this is all the reiatsu I have right now! // All right?! / If I was at full power...!

Ichigo self regenerated. He wasn't wounded afterwards. His right sleeve is all that's left

Now, looking back at ch353 and 354, there are curious things.
1. Yes, Ichigo had less clothes back then, however
2. Yammy releases shortly after

Did Inoue really try to heal his reiatsu back in that short time? I do think that maybe at first, Ichigo tried to believe that his three friends could do fine against Yammy. It's obvious he didn't get down right when Yammy released.
Maybe she did begin to heal his reiatsu but he got impatient because it was taking too long and left her and Ishida.

I won't lie though; there's something fishy here because I feel that Inoue lied by omission. It's a very strong feeling because Ichigo believes his wounds were healed by her when they weren't. Like, when he asked her, she was already healing him but she forgot to say that it wasn't her who mended his wounds and explained only why it took her longer to resplenish reiatsu. Don't tell me it's not in her character, she already lied to Rukia ^^

Why would she do something like that? I tend to think it relates to her need to be seen as useful, especially by Ichigo - especially since she did nothing but worsening the situation. If she's the one who healed him, then she is still useful to him. I'm not sure she is even conscious of this *shrugs*

If that's it though, I think that Ishida has to call her out on that. We definitely need to know what happened up there and I'm quite curious to see how this turns out.
tamzin: nelboobsconquistadora on November 16th, 2009 11:11 pm (UTC)
So there is a possibility that Inoue lied instead of actually healing him at all? I'll take that over her actually healing him.
(no subject) - strawberries_85 on November 17th, 2009 03:02 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scuttling on November 19th, 2009 01:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - escarboucle on November 21st, 2009 12:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Styx667styx_uchiha on November 16th, 2009 07:20 pm (UTC)
Personally, I just assumed that when Ichigo was talking about Orihime healing him, he was talking about this : http://www.onemanga.com/Bleach/353/11/
Wouldn't you think it's plausible that Ichigo thought he has been healed by Orihime just after getting a hole in his chest ? And knowing that Orihime's power takes much longer to heal reiatsu (let's assume she told him that during the fight with Nnoitora, as the picture suggest, since I decidedly can't picture her saying this kind of trivial things after Ulquiorra's death), he just decided to head under the dome without asking her to, knowing he had no time to spare if he wanted to save his friends down below. That would clear off the confusion. And let's not forget that the last image Ichigo had of Orihime was of his BACK. Meaning, if she had turned around to heal him, it would have been her teary face we would have seen in 379, not her back.
_debbiechan__debbiechan_ on November 16th, 2009 08:57 pm (UTC)

See, your above explanation is the one I want to go with--but Ju Ni has Ichigo asking Orihime why his clothes didn't come back THIS TIME.

And obviously the explanation is that Orihime didn't bring them back, that the self-regeneration did, so if Orihime attempted to heal Ichigo's reiatsu (and/or clothes) then she didn't tell him the whole story....

Shinigami_Luciashinigami_lucia on November 16th, 2009 09:09 pm (UTC)
Wow, so Orihime did in fact try healing Ichigo? o_O; ...Or did Ichigo assumed she healed him, thought that since his ban kai outfit didn't return back to normal, he asked her why that is, and she said she's quick in fixing up wounds but not regenerating reiatsu?? Did Orihime made him think that she healed him or what?
_debbiechan__debbiechan_ on November 16th, 2009 10:13 pm (UTC)

Yes, they apparently talked about CLOTHES AND REIATSU if they did talk--nothing special, but still rather ODD.
nahlackasexical on November 16th, 2009 10:49 pm (UTC)
Curiouser and curiouser.

I...don't know what this means. Too many blanks left open for me to try and fill. So, if Ichigo was already healed by regeneration, is it that Orihime was trying to restore his reiatsu as well? Or did he assume she did, since he is apparently under the impression that she healed his original wounds?

Frankly, I only have one thing to say.
tamzin: rukiawuuutconquistadora on November 16th, 2009 11:08 pm (UTC)
So wait. There are now several trans of "Orihime said" so and so on the dome? I'm sorry, but what bullshit.

THERE WAS NO REASON FOR HER TO HEAL HIM. It doesn't make any sense. /pissed
nahlackasexical on November 17th, 2009 12:00 am (UTC)
I have to agree with you on that one.

Also, if she did in fact try to heal his reiatsu up there before he left, why the hell is he flashing back to the Nnoitora fight? He can't even remember their talk up on the dome from 15 minutes ago?
(no subject) - escarboucle on November 17th, 2009 06:44 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lackasexical on November 17th, 2009 07:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - nehalenia on November 17th, 2009 03:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - escarboucle on November 17th, 2009 06:46 am (UTC) (Expand)