Manga author Tite Kubo's Bleach has a cast of colorful and memorable characters, and some of them are supernatural Soul Reapers while others are human beings gifted with rare powers. Hero Ichigo Kurosaki does not fight alone; his classmates and friends from Karakura Town are ready to battle the bad guys too, and they have plenty of their own heroic moments.
Uryu Ishida is, on paper, Ichigo's rival. But this Quincy boy proves that he's a real hero, and he can always be trusted to have Ichigo's back during a battle. With bows and arrows and a kind heart on his side, this Quincy proves a deep and fun character to watch on screen. What are some things any fan should know about him? (spoilers ahead)
10 He's good at sewing clothes
Uryu certainly looks like a pencil pusher, with his neat dark hair, crisp school uniform, and his stylish glasses and composed behavior. Not only is he a top student at Karakura Town high school, but he's an expert in the tailor shop, too. It didn't take long for Uryu to prove that he can sew up anyone's clothes like a pro, and he even gave Kon a new outfit. After the Soul Society battle, Uryu kindly gave all his friends new duds to wear, at no charge.
9 He can be aggressive
For the most part, Uryu is indeed calm and composed, acting as a foil for the more hotheaded Ichigo and Rukia. But if his friend are in dire straits, Uryu can leap right into action with all guns blazing. He's smart, but he's not a coward, nor is he afraid to get a little dirty. When Ichigo fell to the super-powered Ulquiorra near the end, Uryu didn't hesitate to let loose with Licht Regen and other moves.
8 He's totally into Orihime
Shonen manga is known for not giving much time to on-screen romance, and such things are usually just hinted at in the material while fans' imaginations go crazy. But even if you don't count the fan art (and there's plenty of it), viewers can see that Uryu definitely has a soft spot for the red-headed Orihime Inoue. And given how lovely and wholesome she is (and fearless), who can blame him? She's a real catch!
7 He puts friends first
It was mentioned earlier that Uryu is "supposed" to be Ichigo's bitter rival or even enemy. As one of the few remaining Quincies on earth, Uryu should have a massive chip on his shoulder after the Soul Reapers wiped out the Quincies in years gone by. But that's not what happens. Uryu is a bigger man than that, and after a hollow-slaying competition with Ichigo, Uryu quickly joins Ichigo's band of hollow hunters. Not even Ryuken Ishida's approval can keep these friends apart.
6 He will fight to the death
Speaking of that fight against Ulquiorra, this clash shows that Uryu is a man ready to fight to his last breath. Until then, Uryu had also fought the mad scientist Espada Szayelaporro Grantz, and Uryu didn't dare retreat from that fight, either. Uryu knows what's expected of him, and he'd sooner perish than flee. After Mayuri Kurostuchi finished off the Octavo Espada, Uryu was ready to give his life fighting Ulquiorra, even when his arm got blown off. That's some true grit.
5 He's a prodigy
Uryu isn't just a skilled fighter; he's a legitimate prodigy. His father, Ryuken Ishida, is also an expert archer, but Uryu learned the ways of the Quincies from his grandfather. Then, when Captain Kurotsuchu cornered Uryu during the Soul Society arc, the young Quincy activated energy puppet strings to keep on moving. Even a Captain was impressed with this move, and Uryu wasn't done yet. He released his maximum power and actually defeated the cruel Captain Kurotsuchi in a dazzling Bankai vs Quincy battle.
4 He disagrees with Ryuken about the future of the Quincies
In fact, Uryu is not quite completely alone as a Quincy. His father is one too, and his grandfather certainly was a Quincy as well. But Ryuken is a pragmatist, and he feels that being a Quincy is, put simply, not profitable. Ryuken has turned his back on the Quincy ways to pursue his medical career at the hospital, but Uryu was enamored with romanticized ideas of slaying monsters as a Quincy hero. Fortunately for Ichigo's group, Uryu followed his grandfather's footsteps rather than Ryuken's.
3 He becomes a doctor
It's clear that Uryu and his father don't completely get along, but Uryu does grow up at some point. After the Wandenreich is defeated in the manga, there are really no more bad guys to fight. The heroes grow older and go their separate ways, and Uryu's path led him to medical school. By the final chapter (#686), Uryu has become a doctor too, and he took the time to watch Chad's televised boxing match during a break.
2 He was the next Sternritter "A"
Uryu joined the Wandenreich late, and not only was he accepted as a Sternritter ("star knight"), but he was Sternritter A, and that is a big deal. Not even the powerful Haschwalth had that rank, and Uryu was no less than Yhwach's successor. This caused some real confusion among the remaining Sternritters, and Sternritter "E", Bambietta Basterbine, was hopping mad about this particular decision. It became moot later on, though, when Uryu helped Ichigo put an end to Yhwach's rampage.
1 He has a merciful side
Uryu is a tough fighter, and he's ready to shoot to kill, as he did with Mauyri Kurotsuchi and Szayelaporro Grantz. But he's not a cold-blooded killer like some of his enemies are. In fact, after Uryu defeated Cirucci Sanderwicci in battle, he spared her life. To stay on the safe side, Uryu broke the core of Cirucci's strength to render her powerless, and he simply moved on.