We finally come to the end of the series and my top rated shinigami (non-captain). It is Miss Rukia Kuchiki, one of the most important characters in the series, and one of the best overall in the entire Bleach series. Rukia is the sister of Captain Byakuya Kuchiki and part of the 4 noble families in all of Soul Society. She is also the lieutenant of squad 13, making her one of the highly ranked officers in all of soul society. Rukia was adopted by Byakuya when she was younger because her older sister was marrying Byakuya. He sore to protect and raise her and has done so every step of the way. Its why she was placed in squad 13 to begin with, less chance to be sent to the front lines at the beginning.
Rukia is critical to the entire series. It was her meeting with Ichigo that started everything that becomes the Bleach series. She was the reason Ichigo was able to become a shinigami from the start. It was later revealed that it was all Aizen stepping everything in motion, but it was the personal powers of Rukia that got Ichigo going. She has been a key factor ever since then.
As a character, Rukia is very serious and by the book. She is often scolding Ichigo or stepping in to take command, but she also has a funny side. She has built relationships with so many in the human world and has a deep friendship with them. She is often drawing goofy pictures to explain situations, leading to a lot of laughs, but when it comes to combat, she won’t back down. Her zanpakuto is Sode no Shirayuki, an ice zanpakuto that is referred to as the most beautiful sword in all of soul society. She can freeze everything around her and her bankai hits absolute zero, making her devastating in combat. Although, her bankai is so dangerous it could kill her if she is not careful when using it. She is also the only other ice zanpakuto aside from Captain Hitsugaya in all of soul society at this point in the series.
Rukia is my favorite shinigami for multiple reasons. She is smart, funny, pretty, powerful, and the key figure to the start of the entire series. If she doesn’t meet Ichigo, the series doesn’t happen and the two worlds may never meet in the cannon. It was Ichigo being able to see her and meeting when a hollow was attacking that led to everything in the series. She started it all and continues to be companion beside Ichigo as the series continues.