Twelve years before the start of the series, a powerful creature known as the Nine-tailed Demon Fox attacked the ninja village Konohagakure, decimating many people. In response, the leader of Konohagakure's ninja military – the Fourth Hokage – sacrificed his life to seal the demon inside his newly born child Naruto Uzumaki. Konohagakure, however, regarded Naruto as if he were the demon fox itself and mistreated him throughout most of his childhood.
The plot tells the story of Naruto Uzumaki, now a adolescent ninja who constantly searches for recognition and dreams to become the Hokage, the ninja in his village who is acknowledged as the leader and the strongest of all.
Ichigo Kurosaki has always been able to see ghosts, but this ability doesn't change his life nearly as much as his close encounter with Rukia Kuchiki, a Shinigami and member of the mysterious Soul Society. While fighting a Hollow, an evil spirit that preys on humans who display psychic energy, Rukia attempts to lend Ichigo some of her powers so that he can save his family; but much to her surprise, Ichigo absorbs every last drop of her energy. Now a full-fledged Shinigami himself, Ichigo quickly learns that the world he inhabits is one full of dangerous spirits and, along with Rukia, it's Ichigo's job to protect the innocent from Hollows and help the spirits themselves find peace. In 2005, Bleach was awarded the Shogakukan Manga Award in the shōnen category.