Kuchiki Rukia Profile
Rukia Kuchiki is the main female protagonist in the anime and manga series Bleach created by Tite Kubo. In the series, Rukia is a Soul Reaper in the 13th Division under Juushirou Ukitake. Shortly after meeting the main protagonist of the series, Ichigo Kurosaki, who can see supernatural beings such as Soul Reapers, she is forced to give him her powers in order to fulfill her duties as a Soul Reaper. Rukia has appeared in several other pieces of Bleach media, including the three featured films in the series, the two original video animations, and several video games.
Rukia was one of the first characters of the series created by Kubo, her design being the one he decided to use for all the other Soul Reapers. Reaction to Rukia's character is generally positive. Her differences from typical shonen heroines is praised, as is her interaction with other characters. Rukia usually ranks second in Weekly Shonen Jump's Bleach popularity polls. Several pieces of merchandise have been released in Rukia's likeness, including a plush doll and a figurine.
Bleach was first conceived from Tite Kubo's desire to draw a shinigami in a kimono, which formed the basis for the design of the Soul Reapers. Because of this, Rukia was one of the first characters of the series to be created. Before deciding that every Soul Reaper had swords, Kubo thought that they all should use guns while only Rukia used a scythe. However, this was changed as he created the Soul Reaper kimono. Kubo also mentioned that Rukia did not seem like a lead character, so he created Ichigo Kurosaki to be the series protagonist. Ichigo's initial design had black hair like Rukia; Kubo had to modify Ichigo's appearance to contrast with hers, giving Ichigo orange hair and a trademark scowl.
As for her name, Kubo stated that, because Rukia looks like a shinigami, he wanted her name to sound like a shinigami's name. When deciding upon her family name he considered using "Kuchiru" because it sounded like a name a shinigami would have, and then decided to use "Kuchiki". He adds that he once heard something that sounded like "Kuchiki Rukia" on Japanese television, and liked it enough to use it as a name. Her first name was conceived as a result of Kubo hearing the Latin name for cosmos on television, and later decided that the name really suited her since the Latin word from which her name is derived means "light" and Kubo sees her as "a ray of light for Ichigo." Shonen Jump asked in an interview if Kubo had any plans to make Ichigo and Rukia a couple, but Kubo chose neither to confirm nor deny it. After designing Rukia's zanpakuto, Kubo noted he liked it a lot and made it to be the most beautiful one from the series.
When Kubo was asked to make a cover with a female character during Christmas, Kubo initially thought of using Rukia; he later changed to use Orihime Inoue as he thought Orihime was more suitable for such role. However, Kubo commented he previously made a Christmas illustration with Rukia, and that he received request by several fans wanting to see the image. In contrast to this Kubo has found he liked Rukia more in the illustrations in which her face expresses pain such as when she is going to be executed in the manga.
Rukia has ranked highly in the Weekly Sh?nen Jump popularity polls for the series, placing in the top five most popular characters in all four polls. She was ranked as the second most popular character after Ichigo in the first two polls, and fell to third place in the third poll, being replaced by Toushirou Hitsugaya. In the most recent poll, she was voted the second most popular character in Bleach, receiving 383 votes less than the front runner, Toushirou Hitsugaya. Her zanpakuto, Sode no Shirayuki, ranked 2nd in the zanpakuto popularity poll of the series. The Japanese music distributor Recochoku has made two annual survey of which anime characters that people would like to marry. Ruki
a ranked 4th in the category "The Character I Want to Be My Bride" from the 2009 survey. In a 2007 character poll from the Japanese magazine Newtype magazine character polls, Rukia has been featured as one of the most popular female characters from any anime.