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In chapter 116 of the Bleach manga, Ichigo finally meets Rukia in her tower (well, in fact, on the bridge) right after Byakuya has easily defeated Ganjyu, and Ukitake stopped him from finishing Ganjyu off.

However, when Ichigo tries to fight Byakuya, Yoruichi hits him in the stomach, and runs away carrying Ichigo. A little later, in chapter 120, when Ichigo complains about it, she says that he "had no chance of surviving that fight", and that "no one could have survived a fight against Byakuya".

While I have no doubt that Ichigo in his condition was no match for Byakuya, that phrase still confuses me. I can understand why Yoruichi thinks she would not be able to do it, since she has been in cat form for a long time, and mentions that she had "gone a lot weaker". However, Ukitake was on the bridge as well, and since we know he's a kind man, it is safe to assume that he would try to stop Byakuya from killing people (as he did for Ganjyu).

So did Yoruichi imply that Ukitake is also weaker than Byakuya, and had no chance of surviving a fight with him either? Wouldn't that be really debatable?

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It was likely a situational fact.

  • Ichigo had resolved the fight between him and Kenpachi, so he was physically weak. He wouldn't have been capable of fighting Byakuya in that state.
  • Yoruichi hadn't been in battle in over a hundred years. While she (somewhat) maintained her Flash Step, she couldn't have engaged him in a head-on battle.
  • It was very unlikely for Ukitake to intervene in the fighting, him being a fellow Officer, and while Ukitake would have been interested in protecting his subordinate, he wouldn't have immediately sided with the outsiders against the growing threat to Soul Society.
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    So much of this site is just helping authors cover up plot inconsistencies. +1 – Max Li Jul 13 '16 at 21:03
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Bleach characters often tend to exaggerate about things to make them more dramatic (it's really a Kubo trait).

She was referring that at that time, no one in the area would be able to fight off Byakuya:

  • Ichigo wouldn't stand a chance.
  • Yuroichi was weakened after a century of avoiding a battle.
  • Ukitake was sick, and weaker.

Hence, no one could match Byakuya at the time.

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