Ichigo Kurosaki, sometimes called "strawberry" due to his first name, is the main character of the Bleach franchise. Although able to see ghosts from birth, at 15 years-old he became a temporary shinigami, a soul reaper responsible for fighting off restless human souls known as hollows. Despite a lack of formal training, Ichigo quickly displays strong shinigami powers, which only grow as he trains throughout the series.
The series' protagonist and defining character, Ichigo is playable in every single Bleach game to date.
After the death of his mother, Ichigo is raised by his father, a former-shinigami. On his way home one day, Ichigo meets Rukia Kuchiki, a shinigami who, following a mission gone awry, gives her soul reaper powers to Ichigo, making him a temporary shinigami. As a result, Rukia is arrested and taken back to the Soul Society to be executed.
Hoping to save Rukia, Ichigo heads to the Soul Society, where he uncovers a conspiracy by elite shinigami, known as Captains, to overthrow the King of the Soul Society. In stopping the conspiracy, Ichigo clears Rukia's name alongside learning to use Bankai, a powerful soul-weapon typically reserved for Captains.
Soon after, a group of powerful hollows known as the Arrancar kidnap Ichigo's friend, Orihime Inoue, who they see as a way to reach the King of the Soul Society. Fighting against the Arrancar, Ichigo's inner hollow slowly changes, unlocking power previously unknown to him. At the same time in the real world, a team of Arrancar plan the final step of their plan: reducing Ichigo's hometown, Karakura Town, to a pile of ash, to harvest the residual spiritual energy. To prevent this, the Captains freeze Karakura Town and move it to a different dimension, replacing it with an identical city.
Upon returning to the replacement city, Ichigo is pursued Sosuke Aizen, a former Captain, who questions Ichigo's motivations and unusual power. As Aizen begins to claim responsibility for Ichigo's successful shinigami career, Ichigo is joined by his father, who attempts to fend off Aizen. Following a number of battles, Ichigo, Rukia, and the Captains successfully defend the replica Karakura Town, with Ichigo falling unconcious soon after.
Upon waking up, Rukia informs him that he has begun to lose his substitute shinigami title, and his powers along with it, including his ability to see ghosts. Although his memory of shinigami remains, Ichigo spends several months without his powers, before being contacted by an organization calling themselves "Xcution", comprised of humans who have unlocked spiritual powers. The group helps to restore Ichigo's spiritual powers, although conflicts arise between Ichigo and Xcution, leading him to fight the group. Seeing the trouble Ichigo is in, Rukia restores Ichigo's shinigami status.
Now reinstated as a shinigami, Ichigo is pulled into the Quincy Blood War, a war between Soul Society and Wandenreich, an empire populated by spiritually powered souls who seek to overthrow the shinigami. Following the war's conclusion, Ichigo marries Orihime, raising a child with her.
- Ichigo consistently placed first in series popularity polls, with the exception of the fourth official poll, taken 2008, where he placed third. In front of him were Rukia and Toshiro. Although later polls would ask about things other than characters, Ichigo's sword Zangetsu was ranked the third most popular Zanpakuto, and the four most popular battles from the series all featured Ichigo.