Bleach has a lot of characters, and from time to time, you notice that some of them could be related to one another, which is natural when such a large-scale anime series is in question. And some of these relations are even quite important. Now, not all relationships have been established in the original manga, and in this article, we are going to discuss one such relationship. In the article, you are going to find out whether Shin and Ikkaku Madarame are related or not.
Shino and Ikkaku Madarame are related in Bleach; in fact, they are brother and sister. Initially, Shino was introduced as a member of the 13th Division who was charged with protecting Karakura along with Ryūnosuke Yuki. Her personality seemed brash, like Ikkaku’s, but the original manga never established a proper relationship between the two of them in that aspect. It was the Can’t Fear Your Own World light novel, which acted as a sequel to the original manga, that established a relationship between them, confirming they were siblings (although Ikkaku said she could also be his cousin, as he wasn’t absolutely sure), which was later canonized in the anime.
The rest of this article will explore the relationship between Shino and Ikkaku Madarame while focusing, in particular, on the nature of their relationship and whether they are related by blood or not. If you’re not fully up-to-date with the events of Bleach, this article might contain some important spoilers, especially since this relationship was initially not confirmed in the manga but much later, in the light novel, and then later canonized in the anime, but we have to state that no new information will be presented here for the readers of the light novel, as we will focus on old and well-known facts about the two of them from the series.
Shino Madarame is Ikkaku’s younger sister, and once you realize that, you cannot unsee it anymore
Ikkaku Madarame is a character who is known to all Bleach fans. He appeared for the first time not long after Ichigo and his friends entered Soul Society to save Rukia, and he was Ichigo’s first Gotei 13 opponent. To everyone’s surprise, Ichigo defeated him, thereby earning his respect.
Ikkaku is a member of the 11th Division to the letter, for he is rough, hot-headed, and loves combat so much that he is not willing to give up a sword even when carrying one is inappropriate. However, unlike most members of the 11th Division, Ikkaku has a sense of justice and is loyal to his Captain, Kenpachi Zaraki, as he wishes to fight under him and eventually die fighting by his side. Ikkaku shows a lot in common with his Captain, which is probably one of the reasons they respect each other.
Both see fighting as a means to gain joy and, therefore, also try to get the greatest possible amount of fun out of every fight. This goes so far that both take the greatest risks in order to prolong the fight. During a challenging fight, Ikkaku mostly smiles, again a trait he shares with Kenpachi, who enjoys such fights as well.
Like almost all members of the 11th Division, he is firmly convinced that a fight “one against one” is an honorable fight and is therefore not ready, even when death is near, to accept help since the winner of the fight is only determined if one of the two opponents dies.
Now that we have analyzed Ikkaku’s character and personality, let us see who Shino is. Shino was initially introduced as a Shinigami who, along with Ryūnosuke Yuki, was chosen to act as deputy for Zennosuke Kurumadani to guard Karakura Town. Shino is very confident, somewhat bossy, and easily provoked. She seems reluctant to show her sensitive side.
She quickly wiped away the tears of joy she had upon seeing Ryounsouke recover from the hollow attack and quickly attacked him with a choke hold as punishment for taking him two days to recover.
Zennosuke accompanied Ryunosuke and Shino to Karakura Town, where they soon found themselves alone. When Shino suggests splitting up to search for hollows together, Ryunosuke finds a giant hollow. Ryunosuke runs away in a panic and calls for Shino. However, he finds them badly injured in the violence of other hollows. Ryunosuke then tries to pull himself together and save Shino, but he hesitates and is badly wounded.
Luckily, at that moment, Ichigo and his friends show up and save them both. It only took Shino a day to recover from her injuries, while it took her comrade two days to finally wake up. Shino was relieved that Ryunosuke was feeling better but didn’t show it and instead attacked him as punishment for worrying her. Ichigo’s friends just walked in and decided to have dinner with Ryunosuke and Shino. However, Ivan Azgiaro then appeared, and a fight ensued between Azgiaro and Ichigo, which Ichigo moved outside.
When Ichigo returned, Ryunosuke’s cell phone rang, and he received a message that he and Shino should return since Chōjirō Sasakibe was killed. Later, Shino and Ryunosuke are seen preparing for the Vanden Empire’s attack. Both wonder why there has to be a war at all, whereupon Hidetomo Kajōmaru appears and tells them the story of the Quincy and the Shinigami. Sometime later, Ryunosuke notices that Hashwald has made it into Soul Society. Shino and Ryunosuke witness Hidetome being defeated by Haschwalth.
Now, as you can see, Shino does have a lot in common with Ikkaku in terms of personality (which is best seen in the light of her relationship with Ryunosuke), and some fans have immediately noticed a physical resemblance, but the original manga did not really connect them. In fact, Kubo only revealed her name to be Shino and never provided a last name for her. It could be that he had a big reveal planned later, but he probably scrapped that idea due to the manga’s ending being rushed.
But, a relationship was established. Those who have read the Can’t Fear Your Own World light novel will know that Shino’s last name has been revealed to be Madarame, which ultimately established a proper connection between Shino and Ikkaku, which was something that the fans of the original manga suspected, but Kubo never confirmed it. As we’ve said, the light novel confirms that Shino’s last name is Madarame and that she is related to Ikkaku.
Ikkaku stated that she was probably his younger sister, but since the living conditions in the Rukongai, where the two of them come from, are quite bad, he also said that she could be his cousin and that he wasn’t absolutely certain.
But, the anime adaptation of the Quincy Blood War provided us with some information, as it did in many other fields, and not only did it canonize that Shino and Ikkaku are related, but it also confirmed, with absolute certainty, that Shino was Ikkaku’s younger sister, so we can confirm that fact with certainty.