Rukia Kuchiki is one of the main characters from the Bleach anime and manga.
Rukia's encounter with Ichigo in his bedroom while Hollow-hunting is the trigger for the story. Upon losing the fight with the Hollow, she transfers her power to Ichigo to save his family. She forces him to act as a Soul Reaper in her stead until she is hauled back to Soul Society for illegally empowering Ichigo.
Sarcastic, aggressive, and convinced of her own artistic merit, Rukia is proficient at kidou and a powerful fighter. Far too talented for her low military rank, she's eventually promoted to 13th Division lieutenant.
In the XP4 fics, Rukia debuted in XP4 Heroes Coalition - Kick-Off!.
In the AWA fics, Rukia is a student at the AWA Academy and is part of Class 7.
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.
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.
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.
Rukia is a member of the Heroes Coalitions and is part of the Full Force Guerilla. She also attends the Vanguard Academy as a student.
XP4 Heroes Coalition - Kick-Off!
In Chapter 12, Rukia, alongside her team, the Full Force Guerilla, are seen in an empty city where they're tasked to stop Dr. Dolan Danger and his army from taking it over. After defeating Dolan's army with the doctor fleeing, Rukia and the others regrouped, discussing of cleaning the city.
Kidō Expert: Rukia's greatest strength is her knowledge of Kidō. Among her known skills are those for binding, healing, and destruction. However, as she herself stated, while her Kidō skill at the Shin'ō Academy was the highest of her class, the sheer power of her Kidō was just average when she joined the 13th Division. Through continuous training, she has greatly developed this skill, able to use Hadō #73 without incantation to considerable effect. She switched from Zanjutsu to Kidō without delay upon losing her Zanpakutō. She can use high-level Kidō in rapid succession without incantations and still retain considerable control and power. 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 knows the basic levels of Zanjutsu, of which she seemed to have only mastered the rudimentary skills. By her own admission, she has less talent in swordsmanship than Kidō. However, after much training by her former mentor, Kaien Shiba, her skill drastically improved. She can hold her own in a battle, most notably defending herself from attacks from the 9th Espada, who possessed the expert swordsmanship skill of Kaien Shiba.
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. She is able to move fast enough to surprise and cut Äs Nödt.
Hakuda Combatant: While in a Gigai, she fought enemies with her hands and feet (kicking, punching, etc.). She is capable of hand-to-hand combat while in her Shinigami state, possessing augmented strength. During the Bount Invasion, she countered the swift and accurate attacks of Yoshi.
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 Strength: Despite her size, she is powerful enough to defeat a superior opponent. Even without the aid of her Zanpakutō, she is still a considerable opponent. Despite her size, she can lift and throw a human.
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 (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. It's Shikai command is "Dance" (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 (First Dance, White Moon): 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. The ice pillar will not shatter if the victim is not caught within it.
- Tsugi no mai, Hakuren (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 (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.
- Juhaku ( White Tree): Rukia stabs the ground, which creates a trail of ice in the direction of her intended target. The ice freezes the target from the base up, in a continuing freezing process, as it transforms the target into ice.
- 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.
Hakka no Togame
- Bankai: Hakka no Togame (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 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.
- 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.
- Rukia is consistently the most popular female character in the series. In the 4th Shōnen Jump poll, she was ranked as the 2nd most popular character in Bleach.
- Sode no Shirayuki, Rukia's Zanpakutō, is the 2nd most popular Zanpakutō in a recent Bleach poll.
- In the Bleach best bout poll, Rukia's fight with Aaroniero came in seventh place.
- 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'e life force is measured by their Reiryoku, and comments in 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.
- When Rukia is having a rematch with Yoshi she mistakenly used Hadō 33 Byakurai instead of Sokatsui.