Bleach is a classic shonen action series starring the antihero Ichigo Kurosaki and his crew of friends, and they have been through a lot together. Each story arc pits Ichigo, Orihime Inoue, Uryu Ishida and Chad against stronger and stronger foes, and only their bonds of friendship and trust can see them through to the end. This is especially true of Orihime.
Orihime had a difficult childhood, being abandoned by her parents and having only her big brother Sora to look after her. But in Bleach, she's ready to make something of herself and comes to realize that her friend Ichigo, in particular, is special to her.
When Orihime Proposed A Love Race Involving Ichigo
This scene initially felt like a throwaway gag from Bleach's first season, but it may have been a little more meaningful in hindsight. Orihime is lonely at heart, having lost her parents and brother, so she greatly values her friends and classmates and makes the most of what she still has. She didn't like the idea of keeping Ichigo all to herself. Instead, when Orihime heard a rumor that Rukia Kuchiki might have a crush on Ichigo, she proposed that she, Rukia, Tatsuki and even Chizuru should race each other to see who can win his heart first.
It's likely Orihime was not just saying this out of fairness, but also because winning that romantic race would prove to her friends (and herself) that her love is strongest and could overcome all obstacles. Orihime loved Ichigo, but not in a selfish way -- she wanted to earn it.
When Orihime Said Goodbye To Ichigo In His Room
This scene took place much later in Bleach when the Espadas took the fight to Ichigo's friends and the Soul Reapers in Karakura Town. Elsewhere, Ulquiorra Schiffer cornered Orihime and set the terms for her abduction, then allowed her to say goodbye to one friend before departing for Hueco Mundo.
Orihime chose Ichigo and worked up the courage to say a few words to the slumbering hero in his bedroom that night. She admitted all the things she wanted to do with her life, then said that no matter what she did, she would always fall in love with the same person: Ichigo. Orihime even tried to kiss him, but couldn't bring herself to do it. So she departed the room after healing Ichigo's wrist, and that was that.
When Orihime Knew Ichigo Would Rescue Her In Hueco Mundo
Orihime was brave to follow Ulquiorra to Hueco Mundo and on to Las Noches, where she became Sosuke Aizen's prisoner. Despite her dire situation, Orihime had total conviction in her friends' loyalty to her, and most of all that her best friend Ichigo would come all the way there and rescue her.
Ulquiorra doubted it, but not even his cold words could shake Orihime's absolute faith in her friends. She had a special bond with them, a shared heart that would always bring them back together. In light of other events, such as the bedroom scene, it's clear that this shared heart is strongest between Orihime and Ichigo in particular.
When Orihime Felt Jealous Of Ichigo's Connection To Rukia
Orihime's strong feelings toward Ichigo gave her courage and strength, but they also opened her up to getting hurt or feeling jealous. Not long after Bleach's Soul Society arc, while Rukia was fighting alongside Ichigo against Hollows and Arrancars, Orihime feared he was replacing her in his heart with Rukia -- the thought was devastating.
She admitted as much to Rangiku Matsumoto, who assured her new friend that Ichigo needed both Rukia and Orihime in his life to sustain him as a hero. No way would Ichigo ever replace Orihime like that. She felt much better after hearing Rangiku's words, and never doubted her relationship with Ichigo again.
When Orihime Hated Seeing Ichigo Get Hurt While Fighting Grimmjow
During the Hueco Mundo story arc, Orihime ended up at Grimmjow's party. Out of honor, Grimmjow demanded that Orihime heal Ichigo before the final fight could commence. Ichigo assured Orihime that he would win, but then he struggled against Grimmjow's released form, Pantera. Little Nel acted as Ichigo's cheerleader and urged Orihime to do the same. Orihime was reduced to tears upon seeing the injured Ichigo and urged him not only to win but to concede no more blows for her sake.
It broke her heart to see Ichigo suffering. She just wanted the friends to return home safely together, not to be great action heroes. Spurred on by her kind words, Ichigo rallied himself and finally defeated Grimmjow, and tried to evacuate Las Noches with Orihime. That's the power of love in Bleach.