Here to answer some questions. Kubo is obviously hinting about Ichigo being Yuki's mentor. Do you think this situation may be benefiting to our ship? If so, please explain how.
Honestly I don't see how Yuki mentoring Ichigo benefit IchiRuki really. Except in the mind of fans like seeing Ichigo and his son
I think Yukio is more meant to help Ichigo's character grow more. It's the first time he's really going to have to coach someone, and another shinigami who lacks self confidence. Ichigo has a hard job ahead of him lol.
The only way this mentoring could relate to IchiRuki in any way, would be if, Yuki and Shino are actually from the 13th division. Which would mean Yuki or Shino mentioning something about their VC, Rukia. Something like Ichigo kinda reminding them of Rukia in his behavior or them making a joke about how something Ichigo did would get Rukia on his back, etc... Okay my mind is going a bit into IchiRuki dream land lol.
I do think though that with Ichigo being a mentor, we might get parallels between him making Yuki stronger and Rukia making him stronger. Not in the same way, but it's still possible. Ichigo and Rukia, because they do not see each others often, interact seldomly, but when they do, it always seems that they are taking a new step in their relationship. What do you name and how do you define their feelings and statues at this point of time in the manga?
At this point in the manga, I'll simply go with more than friends and almost like lovers to describe them. In terms of feelings, I and statues, I'll definitely say that they know they're important to each, like really, really important to each other.
Rukia not only noticed the Ichigo is pathetic when she's not with him, but she's also been so emotional as she looked up at him, thinking of how he changed her and everyone else. So she knows he's very important to her and that she's important to him too. But then again, we saw how she worried about Ichigo and was so focused on him that she kind forgot the shinigami mission to the real world. That was kinda unlike Rukia and showed that her emotions were on high because of Ichigo. Well seeing her future husband transform and become sexy like that in bondage, ofc even Rukia would get distracted ... pffff
Ichigo ... I'm not sure he's really
realized how important she is to him although his body and heart have been trying to tell him that XD In chap 436, Ichigo;s heart choose the memory of beautiful Rukia leaving Ichigo, as if to emphasize her importance to him and how much he missed her. And then, how his body went lax in 459 when he saw Rukia, how he trusted her above everyone else at that moment and literally dropped his sword to gaze at her, in 460. We have Ichigo's body showing how important she is. But even there, we also have emotions were running high like in Rukia's case: because of Rukia, Ichigo forgets the situation he's in, the enemies, his dad, Urahara, etc... Ichigo also knows he's important to Rukia, seeing how much she has faith in him.
IMO, they're like on the verge of passing that nakama filter they've put between them, but we are not quite there yet. They need a little shove from Kubo. They're definitely giving me the romantic vibes with the way how they acted toward each other, the almost like lover vibe, so I'll just wait for what Kubo has in store for them.And as a last question, What event do you think might trigger the epiphany -both to Ichigo and Rukia- that they love each other? This is left to your wondering imagination.
Hmm them coming to understand the nature of those feelings they have for each other hey? It's actually hard for me to imagine, since I reall have troubles seeing them thinking about how they love each other or even confessing that... hmm, let's see...
A situation for them would be one of them in danger of being taken away while the other watch, or one of them in danger of dying. I could see them both react without thinking and try to reach for the other one while crying out their name or something. But yeah even that isn't really a realisation of feeling. It's more like they're already lovers hey?
Argh I need to think more about this. My mind won't let come up with scenarios without screaming shoujo
Anyway, let's all cross our finger for another beautiful Rukia entrance, this time to stay. In the meanwhile, if Kubo could give us another IchiRuki
badge conection moment, I would die happy... And later, I'll get my IchiRuki with Yuki fantasy spread.