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Bleach is a new anime series that follows the life of a 15 year old boy by the name of Kurosaki Ichigo. Ichigo is not any average boy; he has the ability to see and communicate with ghosts and spirits. This stems from his other unusual trait: awesome, untapped Spiritual energy. Ichigo does what he can for the spirits he meets, until a Hollow (evil soul spirit) attacks him and his family. To the rescue comes a female Shinigami (Death God) named Kuchiki Rukia. Rukia chases the Hollow off, and is astounded by the fact that Ichigo can see her and the Hollow, which most mortals cannot. She explains that Shinigami have two duties: to lead the “Pluses” (good souls) to their rest in Soul Society, and to exterminate Hollows, who endanger them. All Shinigami carry a Zanpakutou, or Soul Slayer, with which they can release the Pluses and kill the Hollows. These Zanpakutou resemble katanas in their shape and size. The Hollow comes back at this point to menace the pair again, and Rukia is badly wounded. She thrusts her Zanpakutou into Ichigo’s body, intending to transfer enough of her power into him to enable him to destroy the Hollow….except his soul takes all her power, and combines it with his own, which enables him to dispatch the Hollow with ease. Thus begins Ichigo’s journey, as high-school student and part-time Death God!
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