Orihime and her brother, Sora Inoue, were raised by a drunken father and a prostitute mother, who always argued and beat their children. Fearing that their parents would kill Orihime, in the March that Sora turned eighteen, he ran away with Orihime, who was three years old, and raised her on his own from then on. For nine years, Orihime and Sora lived in harmony despite the fact that Orihime was bullied in school because of her unusual hair color. One day, Sora gave Orihime a pair of hairpins. However, Orihime refused to wear them because she said they were childish. That day, Sora died, and Orihime began wearing the hairpins every day since. After Sora's death, Orihime prayed for him every day. A year after Sora died, Orihime met Tatsuki and befriended her and the amount of days she prayed for him diminished. After entering Karakura High School, she stopped praying for him and instead talked about Ichigo before she left and when she returned from school. She wanted to show Sora that she was happy and that he did not have to worry about her.
Since Sora's death, Orihime has lived by herself in Karakura Town, receiving financial support from a distantly related aunt living elsewhere.
Agent of the Shinigami arc
At school, a distracted Ichigo Kurosaki collides with Orihime, knocking her to the ground. After he apologizes, she acts strangely and begins to make excuses while fleeing the scene. The next day, Orihime encounters Ichigo and Rukia Kuchiki on the street. She states that she is uncertain of whether or not she was hit by a car and has a bruise on her leg caused by a Hollow. Ichigo offers to walk her home, but she declines. Later, Orihime has Tatsuki over for dinner, revealing more of her crush when she becomes distracted by the thought of Ichigo's offer to walk her home. After dinner, they are attacked by Acidwire, who pulls Orihime's soul from her body, leaving the Chain of Fate unbroken so that she doesn't initially die.
Horrified, Orihime witnesses the Hollow attack Tatsuki, who is unable to see either of the spirits and becomes scared and confused. Ichigo attacks the Hollow, but is flung from the building. Acidwire then reveals to Orihime that he is Sora. Orihime is initially skeptical as she doesn't believe Sora would do such horrible things, but finally believes him when she sees his reaction to her hair-clips. As his fight with Ichigo continues, Orihime places herself between the pair, resulting in Acidwire wounding her. She embraces him and apologizes to her brother for causing all this. Sora then purifies himself with Ichigo's Zanpakutō as Orihime bids him farewell.
While both Tatsuki and Orihime's memories are modified by Rukia, this event enables them to start developing spiritual awareness. After introducing Ichigo to Uryū Ishida, she once again encounters a Hollow when Uryū lures a massive number to Karakura Town for his challenge to Ichigo. She tries to get her friends away from danger, but the Hollow, Numb Chandelier, uses her ability to make various students attack her. As the students endanger Orihime, Tatsuki arrives to defend her from the onslaught. However, Tatsuki soon falls under Numb Chandelier's control and is forced to turn on Orihime. Seeing Tatsuki in tears brings back old memories of the days when Orihime was bullied for the color of her hair and when Tatsuki saved her, thus Orihime decides it is time for her to protect Tatsuki in return for their friendship. This desire forces her powers to manifest for the first time. Orihime then notices her Shun Shun Rikka flying over her head and with their guidance, she uses them to defeat the Hollow and heal Tatsuki. Afterwards, Kisuke Urahara takes her and Yasutora Sado to his shop, where he explains their powers to them.
As she and Sado watch Ichigo and Uryū fight a Menos Grande, Orihime reveals that she had not forgotten what happened with Acidwire. After Rukia is arrested and taken to Soul Society, Orihime asks Ichigo why nobody seems to remember her. After Ichigo explains the situation to her, she asks him what he is planning to do about it. After he leaves, she swears not to let him get hurt. Along with Sado, she accepts an offer to begin training her abilities under the guidance of Yoruichi Shihōin, the cat. Orihime asks Uryū to train with them, but he declines. During their training, she manages to activate her powers after remembering how she felt about protecting Tatsuki. Orihime lies to Tatsuki about where she is going and spends her last day in Karakura Town with her and promises to return.
Soul Society arc
Orihime received the same message from Urahara as Ichigo and appeared upset that he thought she had no sense of humor. Orihime is impressed and ecstatic when they enter the underground training facility at Urahara's Shop. Orihime, Chad, Uryū and Ichigo are led by Yoruichi into the Dangai as they journey to Soul Society. Despite Yoruichi's warning, Orihime uses her shield against the Kōtotsu to save her friends, putting herself at risk. She heals Jidanbō Ikkanzaka after Gin Ichimaru prevents them from entering Seireitei.
When they reach the home of Kūkaku Shiba, Orihime proves able to create the Kidō cannonball needed to break through the Shakonmaku fairly easily compared to the others. She sacrifices her own food for Ichigo when he experiences problems with the technique. When the group uses the cannonball to enter Seireitei, she is blown away with Uryū when the ball disintegrates. Despite using Santen Kesshun to break their fall, she is knocked unconscious. Dreaming of Ichigo, she wakes up to find that Uryū had applied first aid to her injured shoulder.
Orihime spends most of the mission in the Seireitei with Uryū, and is noticed early on. The two manage to avoid Captain Kenpachi Zaraki, but are confronted by Jirōbō Ikkanzaka of the 7th Division. Orihime proves attempts to help Uryū defeat him, but her lack of killing intent renders her offensive ability ineffective, resulting in Tsubaki being injured. Nonetheless, Uryū defeats him with ease, saving her. Although happy with her friend's powers, Orihime laments her own lack growth through training. The pair steal Shinigami uniforms on Orihime's influence after she defeats weaker members of the Gotei 13. She attracts the attention of Toshimori Umesada of the Ninth Division, resulting in Uryū protecting her from his advances before he is called off. The pair renew their search for Rukia, unaware that they are being stalked by the captain of the Twelfth Division.
Later on, Orihime attempts to heal Tsubaki's injuries but proves to have difficulty doing so. The pair are then confronted by Makizō Aramaki of the Eleventh Division, who sees through their disguises. They are saved by members of the Twelfth Division, but they abruptly explode. Warned beforehand by Uryū, Orihime manages to use Santen Kesshun just in time to protect him, herself, and Aramaki. Orihime sheds tears over being unable to save the Shinigami, confusing Aramaki. When Mayuri Kurotsuchi appears and expresses interest in her abilities, she refuses to run away to save herself. However, Uryū threatens Aramaki into running away with her in his arms to get her away from the impending battle between him and Kurotsuchi, although the latter initially tries to prevent his target from getting away.
Orihime and Aramaki are found by Lieutenant Yachiru Kusajishi and brought to the Eleventh Division quarters where she is questioned by its members. The whole group, with Orihime traveling on Zaraki's back with a jealous Yachiru, run for the barracks where Uryū, Chad and Ganju Shiba are being held and break them out of jail. Orihime and her friends witness Kenpachi challenge Captains Sajin Komamura, Kaname Tōsen and their vice-captains to battle before being dragged off by Yachiru in order to find Ichigo.
Orihime identifies Ichigo's huge Reiatsu when they arrive during the climatic battle between their friend and Byakuya Kuchiki. Orihime explains their reasons for rescuing Rukia to a confused Aramaki. She refuses to leave the area when Uryū advises her to do so, staying despite the danger. Following his battle, Ichigo hurts himself by colliding heads with Orihime and is reassured that she was not injured at all during the mission. She tearfully informs him that she regrets not being able to help him, but Ichigo thanks her anyway for her concern. Because she isn't healed by the Fourth Division, she is the only person in the Seireitei who does not hear Lieutenant Isane Kotetsu’s message about Sōsuke Aizen’s betrayal. Aizen escapes as Orihime watches helplessly with her friends at the bottom of the hill, though Rukia survives the ordeal. Afterwards, she uses her abilities to heal Ichigo, drawing the Fourth Division's attention.
Orihime stays in Soul Society for a week while the others recuperate following Aizen's escape. After receiving new clothes for the return home from Uryū, Orihime suspects that he has a crush on Rukia due to the dress he made her, before discovering that her Shinigami friend is not in her quarters. She reports this to Ichigo after attempting to search for Rukia herself. They both search for her, with Orihime climbing up to Byakuya's window and having to decline an invitation to a drink with Lieutenant Rangiku Matsumoto; this leads them to the Shiba household, where they find Rukia. When Rukia decides to stay with the Gotei 13, Orihime gives Uryū's dress to her anyway, despite her not needing it in Soul Society. While many Shinigami officers look on, Orihime enters the Senkaimon with her friends to return to the World of the Living.
Orihime returns to school with her friends, where Lieutenant Renji Abarai turns up outside in a Gigai. Later that evening, she is visited at home by what appears to be her dead brother reassuring her, though he acts strangely. Her friends arrive in time to witness her being sucked into doors that bear a striking resemblance to the Gates of Hell. The next day everyone seems to have forgotten her. The shadowy figures rope Ichigo and the others into playing their "games" to get their friend back, eventually kidnapping Chad instead of returning Orihime. One of the shadowy figures impersonates Orihime beforehand, and turns into a tall thin man with a mustache, glasses, and top hat who reveals himself as Kurōdo. Next, a thin teenager with a zipper hood appears and introduces himself as Noba, and finally comes the girl who was phoning them, named Ririn. Chad is then sucked through the gates, leaving the group down to three. They discover that the culprits are three modified souls who return Orihime and Chad. Urahara reveals that he was behind the whole thing to test Ichigo and his group. After Urahara reveals the loss of Uryū's powers, Yoruichi arrives to tell them of the Bounts and how they might be potential targets. Orihime is paired with the Mod-Soul, Kurōdo, in the form of a rabbit bag. The Mod-Souls detect a Bount so she and Chad run to be confronted by Ryō Utagawa, who merely walks away from them. They arrive to the battle after he takes Yoshino Sōma. Orihime excitedly greets Rukia again.
After bringing Rukia up to speed with the situation, Orihime continues to help out against the Bounts. She is at the hospital with the others when they are attacked by Hō and Ban, who are eventually defeated with the aid of Ganju. She helps rescue Uryū from Kariya's mansion. When attacked by Yoshi, she teams up with Rukia and Kurōdo to fight her. Despite their efforts they can't defeat her and are ambush by a second Bount, Mabashi. He uses his doll, Ritz, to take over Rukia and force the two of them to battle one another. Orihime soon overcomes her fears and uses her healing ability to heal and rejects the doll from Rukia. Later, Orihime arrives at the Bount's cave with her friends, where they struggle with Ugaki's doll, Gesell. She stays behind with Chad in order to heal both Rukia and Rangiku, who were injured during the struggle.
Orihime and her friends chase the Bounts to Soul Society. After discussing the invasion, they all move out to search for the Bounts in Rukongai. Orihime and Ichigo, after sensing that Rukia was in trouble, arrive on the scene just after Byakuya saves her from another attack by Yoshi. She witnesses the explosions that damage the Seireitei. They all wait for Rukia to recover at Byakuya's luxurious home. Orihime calms Ichigo down when he and Byakuya get into a confrontation over their presence in Soul Society before she thanks the noble for helping Rukia. She and Ichigo tire themselves out searching for Bounts all day with no luck and later collapse at Kūkaku's house, confused. She enjoys riding the boars as they use them in order to go out searching once more.
Later, the group gets information on the Bounts’ whereabouts, but Ichigo leaves when Kariya begins fighting with Byakuya. She is there when the group is confronted by Maki Ichinose, who tries to wipe out the group using his light abilities, rendering their attacks ineffective. They are saved by the interference of Kenpachi, who takes over the fight and allows them to rush to stop Kariya from entering the Seireitei. They arrive at the gate too late and find that Jidanbō has been injured by Kariya and his Bounts. She heals the giant enough for him to open the gate, but upon seeing him struggle with his injuries, Orihime decides to stay behind and heal him more. She tosses Kurōdo towards her friends so he can aid in their search. Later on, Orihime meets up again with Ichigo and the others, and heals both Chad and Uryū's injuries.
On the first day of the new semester, Orihime greets Ichigo along with Chad and Uryū. She is ambushed by Chizuru Honshō; as usual, Tatsuki intervenes to extract Orihime from Chizuru's grasp. Orihime notices when Ichigo's badge alerts him to the presence of a Hollow nearby and along with Chad, fakes a bathroom trip to follow Ichigo. While there, Orihime lets the others know that Uryū hadn't come because he's not been himself, but realizes she should not have said anything. Orihime is distracted by a worried Ichigo as a new student arrives in class. The next day, Orihime arrives in school and greets both Ichigo and Shinji, who seems overwhelmed that she'd remembered his name and hugs her. This causes a ruckus with the other students who express jealousy and bewilderment, with Chizuru even threatening Shinji's life before Ichigo pulls him away. Noticing the change of behavior in Ichigo, Orihime and Chad confront Shinji after overhearing his conversation with Hiyori Sarugaki. They manage to get Hiyori's name out of her, but before they can learn anything else, Hiyori is carried away by Shinji despite Orihime's attempt to stop them.
From where the Visored left them, Orihime and Chad feel the immense spiritual pressure consume the world around them as two Arrancar, Ulquiorra Cifer and Yammy Llargo, arrive in the World of the Living. They rush towards its source to investigate. They arrive just after Yammy absorbs many nearby souls, saving the lone survivor, Tatsuki. Initially, on Chad's advice, Orihime runs away with her weakened friend, but stops when she witnesses the brutality with which Yammy deals with him in retaliation. She feels guilt because Chad asked her to run even though he knew neither of them could match Yammy in strength. Seen as worthless, the Arrancar goes to attack Orihime as well only to be stopped by her Santen Kesshun ability, surprising them both as she begins to heal Chad's injuries. She uses her Koten Zanshun against Yammy, but the attack is ineffective and Tsubaki is destroyed. Ichigo arrives to prevent Yammy from hurting her and she laments that she was useless in battle once more. She is reassured by Ichigo's determination to end the battle. Orihime recognizes the new darkness in Ichigo's Reiatsu that wasn't there in Soul Society. She retreats once more, but returns when Ichigo starts to get beaten. This time, Yammy lands a hit on her, aggressively smashing her away from Ichigo as she tries to help. Orihime sustains massive injuries from the battle, but is saved by the arrival of Yoruichi and Urahara. When Yoruichi attempts to treat Orihime's injuries, Yammy attempts to attack once more. However, they are protected by Urahara.
Five days pass before Orihime returns to school, reassuring her alarmed friends that she is alright despite her many bandages. When Ichigo shows up, appearing worried and conflicted, her failure to put him at ease upsets her.
The clash with the Arrancar prompts Soul Society to send a group of Shinigami to help defend the Human World, with Rukia among them. Recognizing Ichigo's guilt, she drags him towards Orihime and forces him to apologize for his inability to protect her and for his depressing behavior. Orihime appears shocked at her return and later glad as Ichigo vows to get stronger to protect her, welcoming Rukia back in the process. While the return of Rukia helps to cheer up a depressed Ichigo, Orihime becomes conflicted with gratefulness and jealousy, feelings she expressed to the memorial picture she has of Sora in her living room, seeming upset. Meanwhile, the other Shinigami decide they can't stay at Ichigo's so Rangiku decides to stay with Orihime and tries to persuade her captain to come with her. Although initially shocked, Orihime lets Rangiku stay at her house, exciting the Shinigami. Later on, while Rangiku is in the bath, Orihime tells her of her jealousy, confiding in her her feelings of inadequacy. Rangiku comforts her, calling her a fool for feeling that way, and advises her not to be jealous of Rukia nor to let such feelings get the better of her as she is equally as important to Ichigo as she is. They have fun after Orihime cooks and surprisingly, Rangiku enjoys her food.
During this time, Karakura Town is invaded by Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez and his subordinates. Orihime is left to look after Rangiku's Gigai so that she won't interrupt the battle. Instead she tries to run to her guests, but is held back by the Mod-Soul inside of Rangiku's Gigai. Following Hitsugaya's defeat of his opponent, Rangiku rushes to get Orihime's aid in healing him. Later on, while healing Rukia, she can't help, but notice Ichigo watch on in concern, sadly closing her eyes afterwards. Rukia comments on how greatly Orihime has improved her powers, given the speed with which she healed her, though Orihime denies this.
After the second assault on the Human World, Orihime becomes a little gloomy wondering if Ichigo is alright, but knows that he will be fine because, like Rukia, she can sense his Reiatsu if she concentrates. She notices that everyone seems gloomy, including Tatsuki and decides she needs to spend some time with her. However, her neighbor pulls her out of these thoughts when she is informed that her guests have brought something large into her living room. She stands enthralled by the large screen they brought into the room as the Commander of Soul Society finally informs them that they've figured out the true agenda of Sōsuke Aizen. She tries to leave what she considers to be an important meeting, but is stopped by Captain-Commander Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto, who states that she should stay as the matter involves Humans as well. At the mention of the Ōken Orihime becomes confused until Rangiku explains that Soul Society has a King and that he lives in an alternate dimension from the Souls and Shinigami. She is also horrified to learn that the creation of the Ōken requires over a hundred thousand Human souls. However, she further learns that Aizen intends to use Karakura Town and its civilians to create the key, thus wiping most of them out. Yamamoto then entrusts with her the job of telling her people about this revelation so they can start preparing for the worst in the war to come.
She is able to track down Ichigo at the Visored base, despite it being shielded by a barrier. She is then able to show her great intellect by deducing the barrier's abilities and how powerful it is. Furthermore, she manages to pass through the Visored's barrier without much effort, greatly surprising them when she arrives and is just a Human. This feat amazes and impresses the Visored Hachigen Ushōda, who created the barrier. She manages to inform Ichigo of Aizen's plans and is amazed to find that he is with the Visored in an attempt to get stronger to stop him. She also marvels at how strong he is getting mentally and how his Reiatsu doesn't feel as dark nor as scary anymore.
Yoruichi brings Orihime to see Urahara when she leaves the barrier. She wonders what he wants her for, watching Chad train with Renji and confirming that Tsubaki is still in a critical state. Because of her lack of offensive techniques, she is asked to stay away from the coming fights because she may become a liability and Urahara did not want her other techniques to draw the eye of Aizen. Although understanding the reasoning for it, Orihime runs off, upset. Despite this, she meets up with Rukia, who encourages Orihime to try her hardest, helping firm some of the Human girl’s resolve. Hiyori interrupts their conversation and drags Orihime back to the Visored headquarters to see Hachigen. While there, the large Visored explains that Orihime's hair clips act similarly to a Shinigami's Zanpakutō and offers to show her how to fix Tsubaki despite not having any piece of him left. After doing so, he informs her that her powers were like his own, and that she is more powerful than she can imagine, although neither of them are very suited for battle. Happy with the return of her offensive ability, Orihime leaves the warehouse to find that Rukia had followed her and was glad that Ichigo was at least safe. Together they decide to train in Soul Society together to improve their battle techniques.
Unfortunately, Orihime's ability does spur Aizen's attention. Upon seeing footage brought back by Ulquiorra, he decides to have her captured. A third invasion of the Human world is ordered, with the intention of luring Orihime out. Meanwhile, Orihime trains with Rukia within Soul Society, at the old training grounds of the Thirteenth Division. When the third invasion commences, Soul Society alerts Ukitake, who in turn alerts Orihime and Rukia. Orihime tries to hurry home with Rukia, but is reminded that she doesn't have a Hell Butterfly and will need to wait for the journey to be made safe for her, which Ukitake is already on top of. The Senkaimon is finally completed mid way through the battle, and Orihime leaves Soul Society with two Shinigami guiding her through the Dangai. Ulquiorra intercepts Orihime and her allies in the Dangai. Ulquiorra cuts down one of her escorts only to have Orihime immediately prepare to heal him and advise the other one to run away, however, he is cut down as well, forcing Ayame to extend the healing shield to both of them, exhibiting Orihime's improved abilities. Ulquiorra is amazed by this, but demands that she come with him, showing her images of her injured friends and stating that she will agree or he will kill them. Threatened with the lives of those she cares for the most, she has no choice, but to go to Hueco Mundo. Ulquiorra gives her a bracelet that covers her in a Spiritual Membrane, to prevent anyone but the Arrancar from sensing her Reiatsu while she is still in the World of the Living. He gives her twelve hours to get her effects in order and allows her to say goodbye to just one person during that time, provided that individual does not discover her presence as she is doing so.
During her twelve hours, Orihime works on a list of chores for Rangiku and Hitsugaya to follow while she is in captivity, knowing they would be useless without her instructions. Orihime decides to say goodbye to Ichigo and arrives while he is still unconscious from his injuries. She admits that there were many she could have said goodbye to, listing her friends, but says that she picked him instead. She admits that this is the first time she has ever been in Ichigo's room and she comes close to kissing his sleeping form, but cannot bring herself to do it. Instead, she breaks down into tears and admits that she has fallen in love with Ichigo and would love to do so five times over. She then heals his hand, thanks him and bids him farewell before leaving. Before going to Hueco Mundo, she writes a cryptic line in a notebook, as a message to the others, "Goodbye halcyon days."
Powers & AbilitiesEdit
Spiritual Awareness: Orihime has a good amount of skill in detecting spiritual energy. She can sense Hollows and ongoing battles at a significant distance. If she concentrates, she can even sense Reiatsu of people within protective barriers.
Spiritual Power: Orihime is able to get close to several battles between powerful opponents without being overwhelmed, such as the battles between Ulquiorra and Grimmjow, as well as Ichigo and Ulquiorra. During her basic training in Kidō with Kūkaku Shiba, Orihime demonstrated a natural talent for precise spiritual energy control, as she quickly mastered the technique. Her Reiatsu is golden-yellow.
Durability: Orihime is strong enough to survive separate assaults by Loly and Menoly, which involved physical attacks and the use of Bala, and minor assaults by Nnoitra and Tesra. It is also stated by a few people that she has a strong head.
Expert Hand-to-Hand Combatant: While a pacifist by nature, Orihime has a natural talent for martial arts. She reveals that Tatsuki has trained her somewhat in karate. According to Tatsuki, Orihime has the fighting skill of a black belt. Orihime is skillful enough to incapacitate two unseated Shinigami soldiers when she surprise attacks them.
Memory Chikan Resistance: Orihime was able to recall the event of her brother fighting Ichigo Kurosaki, even though the memory chikan has been used on her by Rukia.
Shun Shun Rikka
Shun Shun Rikka (盾舜六花, Six Flowers of the Hibiscus Shield; Viz "Six Princess Shielding Flowers"): Orihime's spirit energy is harbored in the pair of six-petal flower-shaped hairpins that her brother gave her. Shun Shun Rikka is composed of six spirits that reside within the hairpins, each of which is two petals on the clip when inactive. Only spiritually aware beings can see them. They reside in her hair-clips, which are shaped like six-petaled flowers. Through various combinations of the six fairies, Orihime has the power to reject phenomena by denying or undoing events in various forms. This power can be used for attack, defense, or healing (depending on the combination).
The Visored Hachigen Ushōda comments that her hair pins, being the physical manifestation of her powers, is very much like the Zanpakutō of a Shinigami, and that her powers resemble his own powers. Sōsuke Aizen, in his explanation of the Hōgyoku, states that Orihime's powers were actually awakened by the Hōgyoku; when she cursed her powerlessness with all her heart, the Hōgyoku answered her desire.
The spirits are separate manifestations of Orihime's spirit, each with its own unique appearance and personality. Each are named after a flower:
- The most prominent is Orihime, a Moe Ms. Fanservice, who got Rangiku to hug her while naked, in addition to the other girls who want her.