How did Orihime get her powers in Bleach? Explained

Bleach and how did Orihime get her powers in the series (Image via Studio Pierrot).
Bleach and how did Orihime get her powers in the series (Image via Studio Pierrot)

Bleach fans often wonder how Orihime got her powers in the series, not because of the moment in the story but rather the cause of that event. Most fans know that she got her powers while protecting her friend Tatsuki from a Hollow during the Substitute Shinigami arc. Still, Yoruichi initially stated that she and Chad got special abilities because of their exposure to Ichigo's reiatsu, although the truth is a lot more complex.

The truth is that Inoue Orihime got her powers because she was exposed to the Hogyoku, one of the most abstract artifacts in Bleach, and one in Rukia Kuchiki's gigai during that series. That basically answers the question of how Orihime got her powers, but there is a lot more to it, such as the existence of the Soul King and the nature of the group Inoue belongs to, which is the Fullbringers.

Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers for the series. Any opinion expressed here belongs to the author and not Sportskeeda as a whole.

How Orihime got her powers in Bleach?

Orihime in the anime (Image via Studio Pierrot)
Orihime in the anime (Image via Studio Pierrot)

Inoue Orihime was introduced in chapter 2 of the manga during the Substitute Shinigami portion of the story, and she activated her powers for the first time when protecting her friend Tatsuki from a Hollow named Numb Chandelier. Chad also went through a similar process to get his powers, and Yoruichi Shihouin initially explained to them that they got these abilities by being exposed to Ichigo Kurosaki's Shinigami reiatsu.

However, it was later revealed by Sosuke Aizen during the Fake Karakura Town arc that the Hogyoku, the abstract object that was created out of the souls of Shinigami and Hollow and the nails of the Soul King, could grant people their most desired wishes.

Orihime was exposed to the Hogyoku when it was trapped in Rukia Kuchiki's body during the Substitute Shinigami arc, granting her the ability to protect those she cared about. This turned Orihime into a Fullbringer since she can summon her ability, Shun Shun Rikka, through the six-petal flower-shaped hairpins, but how she got those powers differs from the rest of this ilk.

She developed her abilities through exposure to Hogyoku and not because Hollow Reiatsu infected her mother before giving birth, which is the origin of most Fullbringers in the series.

Orihime's abilities, explained

As mentioned earlier, Orihime's powers are called Shun Shun Rikka, six spirits that she can materialize from her hairpins. They are named Ayame, Baigon, Higaniku, Lily, Shun'o, and Tsubaki, and serve specific roles to each of Orihime's abilities, which, as per Aizen during the Arrancar arc, can be described as the rejection of phenomena.

Her abilities include Santen Kesshun, which is the creation of an energy shield that can protect people; Koten Zanshun, which focuses on attack (only Tsubaki contributes to this ability); and Sōten Kisshun, which is the one she is most known.

This last ability allows her to return people or things to their previous state, which can even go as far as recovering a person's limb, as she did with Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez and Uryu Ishida in Hueco Mundo when both characters had originally lost their arms.

However, the big caveat of Orihime's powers is that they are as strong as her force will and determination at the moment of using them. This is mentioned several times when she uses Tsubaki to attack because she lacks killing intent, making her offensive abilities less effective than Sōten Kisshun. Even Santen Kesshun proved more effective, as it was capable of blocking one of Yhwach's attacks in the Thousand-Year Blood War arc after he had absorbed the Soul King's powers.

Final thoughts

The origin of Orihime's powers in Bleach is a bit dubious because Yoruichi initially explained it and later revealed it to be another thing, Aizen. However, she does have one of the most unique abilities in the entirety of the Bleach manga and one that has proven to be very useful time and time again.

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