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Rukia Kuchiki->Reception

Rukia has ranked relatively high in the Shonen Jump popularity polls for the series, placing in the top five most popular characters in all four polls. She was ranked as the second most popular character after Ichigo in the first two polls, and fell to third place in the third poll, being replaced by Tōshirō Hitsugaya.[6] In the most recent poll, she was voted the second most popular character in Bleach, receiving 383 votes less than the front runner, Tōshirō Hitsugaya. Merchandise based on Rukia's appearance has been released, including a key chain,[41] a plush doll,[7] and a figurine.[8]

Several publications for manga, anime, video games, and other related media have provided praise and criticism on Rukia's character. Active Anime, while noting that Rukia's appearance was "somewhat androgynous," celebrated her "intriguing" and "sarcastic" persona, making specific note of her "enjoyably evil sense of humor."[5] Anime News Network praised the differences between Rukia and stereotypical shōnen heroines, asserting that Rukia's loss of her powers and subsequent dependence on Ichigo were "a great source of both drama and comedy in the show." However, the removal of the humor from Rukia's scenes as a schoolgirl due to the English translation was lamented, although Rukia's voice actor, Michelle Ruff, was extolled for doing an "excellent job."[4] IGN called the scene where Rukia is forced to leave Ichigo Kurosaki and return to Soul Society as "touchingly beautiful" and celebrated Rukia's character development during her time in the human world.[42]

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