Uryūu Ishida by Tite Kubo
|First appearance||Bleach manga chapter 33|
|Created by||Tite Kubo|
Takako Honda (young)
Derek Stephen Prince
|Relatives||Ryūken Ishida (father), Sōken Ishida (grandfather, deceased)|
Uryū Ishida (石田 雨竜 Ishida Uryū?, rendered as "Uryū" in the Viz Media manga and "Uryu" in the Viz Media anime and Bleach: The 3rd Phantom) is a fictional character and major figure in the anime and manga series Bleach created by Tite Kubo. Uryū is introduced in the series as a classmate of the Soul Reaper Ichigo Kurosaki, who reveals himself to be a Quincy, a clan of humans which was destroyed by the Soul Reapers. Wanting to prove the Quincies were better, Uryū challenges Ichigo to see who could kill more Hollows. However, once they are overpowered and start working together, they start getting to know each other, to the point they become friends. Since then, Uryū appears in the series as an ally to Ichigo, accompanying him in every fight he has.
Besides his appearances in the manga and the anime, Uryū has also had minor roles in two animated films from Bleach and has been playable in all of the video games from the series. His character has been well received by readers of Bleach, commonly appearing in the top ten of the characters popularity polls from the manga. Reviewers of manga, anime and other media have commented on Uryū's character, adding praise and criticism. Although he received negative responses in his introduction as an antagonist, Uryū's development as a friend of Ichigo has been praised.
Creation and concept
Along with the Quincies, Uryū was created by Tite Kubo to be the rival of the Soul Reapers, Aizen included. Thus, several of his characteristics including his white outfit to contrast the Soul Reapers' black kimono, and the use of arrows which contrast the Soul Reapers' zanpakuto swords.
In the Japanese anime, Ishida is voiced by Noriaki Sugiyama, His English voice actor is Derek Stephen Prince, who found his character to be "the most complex" he ever made as he saw it as the "black sheep" from the series, noting that it is unknown from which side he tends to be. However, he mentions he sometimes has problems in distinguishing his vocal portrayal from that of the similar character of Shino Aburame from the Naruto' series. He also liked how his character manages to handle every situation "in a cool way", something that he would like to do.
Uryū Ishida is a black-haired, bespectacled teenager of average height, generally shy and quiet yet tries harder to act cool around others. Uryū comes from the Ishida family, a family of pure blood Quincies though he is impure like his mother. As a child, having lost his mother at a young age, Uryū mostly interacted and trained with his grandfather Sōken Ishida before witnessing him being killed by Hollows right in front of him. This is one of the reasons he hates Soul Reapers as they knew of the attack but did nothing to stop it. As a Quincy, Uryū uses the most common power and ability of the Quincy: a bow named Lone Sparrow (弧雀 Kojaku?) composed of spiritual energy. During the Arrancar arc, Uryū uses a new Quincy cross, and a variant of his original bow called Lone Sparrow on a Silver Cliff (銀嶺弧雀 Ginrei Kojaku?). Unlike his original bow, this bow is shaped like a spiderweb and can fire up to 1,200 shots at once.
After Ichigo Kurosaki gains the Soul Reaper powers of Rukia Kuchiki, Uryū confronts him in an attempt to prove that Quincy are superior. Using some special bait, Uryū attracts a swarm of Hollows to Karakura Town so that he and Ichigo can compete to see who can kill the most Hollows in three days. This bait, however, attracts too many Hollows, and Uryū and Ichigo are forced to a Gillian-type Menos together. A few days later, Uryū is defeated by Renji Abarai when he attempts to stop him and Byakuya Kuchiki from capturing Rukia Kuchiki. Intent to save Rukia by joining Ichigo's group, Uryū trains to better equip himself for the next time he needs to battle a Soul Reaper.
Their group is split up soon after their arrival, and Uryū ends up partnered with Orihime Inoue. Though the pair manage to avoid detection for some time, they are eventually found by 12th Division captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi who played an indirect role in Sōken's death. As their battle progresses, Uryū removes his sanrei glove, greatly increasing his Quincy powers and allowing him to beat Mayuri at the cost of losing his powers. However, a tired Uryū is then captured by Kaname Tōsen. He is soon reunited with other members of his rescue team that have also been imprisoned, and they are freed by Kenpachi Zaraki. Upon reuniting with Ichigo and saving Rukia, the rescue team returns to the human world. In the anime, during the Bount arc, Uryū used the last of his Quincy powers to defeat the Bount Yoshi.
Back in Karakura Town, Uryū finds his father, Ryūken, who offers to restore his Quincy powers on the condition that Uryū never associate with Soul Reapers again. Uryū agrees and regains his powers, but soon discovers that Orihime has been captured by the Espada. He joins Ichigo and company in going to Hueco Mundo to rescue her. Their group splits up upon arrival, and Uryū and defeats Cirucci Sanderwicci before meeting up with Renji to fight Szayelaporro Grantz. Just as they are about to be defeated, despite aid from Nel's Fracciónes, Mayuri indirectly comes to their aid. After his injuries are healed, Uryū holds Yammy at bay before protecting Orihime from Ulquiorra Shiffer during the Espada's fight with Ichigo. He tries to stop a nearly Hollowified Ichigo from mutilating the defeated Ulquiorra, and is attacked himself, but is saved by Ulquiorra, who dies shortly afterwards. He remained with Orihime for the duration of the final battle against Aizen.
Seventeen months after Aizen's defeat and the subsequent loss of Ichigo's Soul Reaper powers, Uryū takes over Ichigo's original duty of protecting Karakura Town from Hollows. However while walking the streets one night, he is attacked by who he later learned to be Kūgo Ginjō, Ichigo's assumed ally. After recovering, Uryū attempts to help Ichigo fight Kūgo's ally Shūkurō Tsukishima prior to revealing his attacker's true identity before being cut down by Tsukishima. Rukia later heals him and he regroups with Ichigo to battle Kūgo. But when the Vandenreich take over Hueco Mundo, Uryū refuses to aid his friends in the matter on the grounds that Quincys can do more harm than help. However, Uryū is brought before Yhwach and learns that he has been named the Vandenreich leader's heir. Learning the reason is tied to an unforeseen power that allowed him to survive the effects of Auswählen the Yhwach used to kill all impure Quincys for their power. Despite learning that Auswählen is the cause of his mother's death, Uryū accompanies Yhwach to the Soul Society.
In other media
Uryū has also had minor appearances in two films from Bleach, Bleach: Memories of Nobody and Bleach: The DiamondDust Rebellion. He has also been playable in all of the video games from the series. He has also has his own CD soundtrack as part of the Bleach Beat Collection. His CD contains several tracks performed by his common Japanese voice actor, Noriaki Sugiyama.
Several pieces of merchandise based on Uryū's appearance have been released, including key chains, plush and necklaces. Ishida has been a popular character since the manga's inception, ranking high in several popularity polls. So far, he has placed third in the first character popularity poll, eightth in the second and fifth in the most recent.
Reviewers from anime, manga and other media have commented on Uryū's character, having received mixed responses. When he was first introduced as an antagonist, Mania Entertainment writer Bryan Morton commented that Ishida is "annoying", having found him to be little likeable to the point the viewers would probably hate him. When commenting on his role as an antagonist, Morton added he may be the "most demented" villain he has ever seen. However, when Ishida becomes one of Ichigo's friends, the response was turned around with Morton having stated Ishida had become "a good guy with a chip on his shoulder." He found him to be more likeable although he did not see to be very fun when fighting along with his friends. When reviewing an episode from the Bounts arc, Jason Van Horn from IGN commented that Ishida was "an impressive character" and wished he had had a more active role in the Soul Society, having liked his actions in this season. Additionally, Carlos Santos from Anime News Network found his character to be very likeable, including his attacks and demeanor, noting him to be a good rearranged version of a stereotypical character. He was also called "the coolest human character" from the series by Santos as he praised his new weapons shown in his fight against the arrancar while focusing on their appearance.
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