Bleach: How Aizen’s Army Kidnapped Orihime Inoue, RIGHT Under Ichigo’s Nose

In Bleach, after Ichigo managed to rescue his friend Rukia Kuchiki from a crooked execution in the Soul Society, Sosuke Aizen's army attacks Karakura Town and Orihime ends up paying the price for it. Orihime Inoue is no ordinary high school student. She has unique healing powers thanks to the fairies in her hair clips, and Aizen knew she was precious to Ichigo. In having her kidnapped, he decided to strike Ichigo where he was most vulnerable.

Ulquiorra's Diversions and Ambushes


At this point in the story, the Soul Society and Ichigo are preparing for the upcoming battle against Sosuke Aizen's Arrancar army, and Orihime is training with Rukia while under the watchful eye of Captain Jushiro Ukitake. Although Kisuke Urahara told Orihime not to get directly involved in the fighting for her own sake, Orihime was determined to train a little more, just in case, and she had friends to protect her. Orihime was told to travel through a senkaimon gate to return home, and off she went, with two Soul Reaper escorts by her side.

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At the same time, Ichigo and the Hitsugaya advanced team had their hands full with the mighty Espadas. Four powerful Arrancars had arrived in Karakura Town, and Grimmjow Jaegerjaques leaped right out of the garganta gate and ran off to find Ichigo, determined to get a rematch. A new Espada named Luppi Antenor and Yammy Llargo kept Hitsugaya's team busy, and they were convinced that this was the Espadas' main plan: to raid Karakura Town and weaken its defenses. They were wrong.

Orihime faced Ulquiorra Schiffer, the fourth Espada, who intercepted her en route to the world of the living. Ulquiorra killed Orihime's two escorts, then demanded that she return to the palace of Las Noches with him, or else. If Orihime refused, Ulquiorra would find and slaughter all of her friends, and he knew that this was serious leverage. Orihime had no choice but to obey, but at least the deal came with some generous terms. She took advantage of them.

Orihime Was Missing, But Not Gone

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Ichigo was too late to find and protect Orihime, and he was told the next morning that she had gone missing. So, Ichigo vowed to storm Aizen's stronghold to save her, all by himself if he had to. But the Soul Reapers thought that Orihime was a traitor since evidence suggested that she had left voluntarily. After all, she had healed the wounded Ichigo the night before, and if she had been dragged off kicking and screaming, she never would have had the chance to do that.

This was a trick on Ulquiorra's part. He didn't drag Orihime back to Las Noches right away; instead, he gave Orihime 24 hours and gave her a bracelet that would hide her presence and allow her to phase through solid objects if need be. Orihime took this chance to write down housekeeping instructions for her new Soul Reaper roommates Rangiku and Toshiro, then visited the Kurosaki household. While Ichigo was asleep, Orihime healed him and took the chance to explain how she really felt about him.

She couldn't stand the idea of leaving Ichigo, but to prevent any more trouble, she had to follow Ulquiorra's instructions. She trusted Ichigo and the others to find and save her, sooner or later. In her diary, Orihime had bid good-bye to the innocent and carefree days of her life, but if Ichigo had anything to say about it, Orihime would get those days back, no matter what.

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