As a member from the mysterious Soul Society, the Shinigami named Rukia Kuchiki, attempts to defend from a Hollow. While fighting the Hollow, an evil spirit that preys on the Souls and Spiritual Energy of humans, Rukia lends Ichigo some of her powers so he can protect his family. Much to her surprise however, Ichigo absorbs almost all of her power.
Now a fully-fledged Shinigami himself, Ichigo quickly learns that the world he inhabits is one full of evil spirits and beings. Along with Rukia, Ichigo now realises that it is his duty as a substitute Soul Reaper to protect the innocent from Hollows and help wandering Souls find peace,
In 2005, Bleach was awarded the Shogakukan Manga Award in the Shounen category.