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Bleach Episode 8: Memories in the Rain

Written by Hikaru no Michiru

First Aired: November 22nd, 2004

Corresponds with “Bleach” Vol. 3, Chapters 17 - 20

Opening: Asterisk, by Orange Range

Ending: Life is Like a Boat, by Rie Fu

It’s the morning of June 17th, which means the Kurosaki family makes their annual trip to their mother’s grave. On the way, the Kurosaki sisters notice a black-haired girl waving in their direction. Ichigo freaks that Rukia has decided to tag along and pulls her aside for questioning. She admits she didn’t ask to come, but she needs to be around to help Ichigo incase a hollow were to appear. Rukia reminds Ichigo of what he told her the other night. She asks that since his spiritual awareness is so high, if a hollow had killed his mother. This hits Ichigo where it hurts. Pissed, he refutes it, and as he walks away, admits to Rukia that he killed his mother.

The scene changes to Orohime asking Tatsuki about the old Ichigo
*. Orohime thinks she’s figured Ichigo out – he’s a hero, saving mankind. Amused by her friend’s imagination, Tatsuki tells her about the old Ichigo. “The first time I met that ‘hero’ was when we were four…” She and Ichigo
Ichigo and his mom in happier times.
went to the same dojo, where she would beat him every day. She actually made him cry, but whenever his beautiful mom arrived to pick him up, his tears dried and he became all smiles. When he was nine, he was still a goofy clingy momma’s boy. And when he was nine, she died. Tatsuki remembers seeing him standing by the river where it happened. Day after day he would pace up and down, expecting to find something. When he got tired, he would sit down, but get back up and start pacing again. Back then, she couldn’t stand to see him that way.

Now alone with her thoughts, Rukia reflects on her prior conversation with Ichigo. Rukia realizes she had gone too far into a subject she had to right to pry. Kon convinces Rukia to leave Ichigo alone today. Leaving, Rukia and Kon run into a soul reaper **. Kon freaks and runs off to find Ichigo. The events of six years ago were playing through his mind. He remembers it was raining a lot that day, and he was walking home with his mom

All his fault.

 from the dojo. He saw a girl who was going to jump into the river.

Back then, he couldn’t tell the difference between ghosts and real people. He ran to save her, and his mom tried to stop him, a train went by – next thing he remembers his mom is on top of him, bloodied and dead. He doesn’t remember how it happened, but he remembers she tried to save him. He remembers that his mom was the center of his family’s universe, and he had taken that center out.

The stranger reveals himself to be Saidou Eikichirou, a soul reaper who was two years ahead of Rukia at the Central Spirit Technique Institute. Soul Society is wondering why Rukia hasn’t returned yet. She refuses to return for the time being. With that, Saidou resolves that he has to bring her back by force. Just then, Ichigo arrives with a frantic Kon, who told him Rukia was in trouble.


A hollow approaches the girls.

Saidou realizes the boy can see him, and asks who he is. Rukia tries to stop him, but Ichigo admits he’s a substitute soul reaper. Saidou isn’t pleased with this news – Rukia has committed ‘a freakin felony’. Saidou takes a swing at Ichigo. It’s obvious he has to fight back, so he reaches into Kon’s mouth, pops the soul candy and goes into soul reaper form. As the battle goes on, Saidou comments that Ichigo relies on brute strength, not a good way to fight. The battle is interrupted by an order from Soul Society – a

Soul Reaper vs. soul reaper.

 hollow, a big one. The soul reapers put aside their conflict to pursue it. Running to the scene, Ichigo asks if Rukia is going to keep asking about his mom. Rukia admits that it’s his problem, and when he’s ready to tell her about it, he will.

Karin and Yuzu’s prayers are interrupted by the sound of loud footsteps. Footprints appear in the

The unnecessary hostage.

ground, and tree branches break as a disturbance in the air approaches. They try to run, but it pins Karin to the ground and grabs Yuzu by the neck with its long tongue. Yuzu in its sights, the hollow figures it only needs one hostage.

* This scene happens earlier when, before the family leaves for the grave.
** This soul reaper doesn't show up in the manga. Ichigo didn't see the order, he sensed the hollow's presence.


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