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Bleach: Carousel by Kay Willow - Awww, this was adorably sweet and fluffy, yet well-written enough that the author pulls it off. It's a simple fic, Orihime wanders off at a carnival and Ichigo goes to find her, but it's full of cute little details, like how much cotton candy she eats or the way she stares off into the distance sometimes. But I also liked it for the sense of how it... moves Ichigo forward a little, he's not precisely there yet with his feelings, but you can see him slowly starting to get there, to return those feelings she obviously has. I like that you can believe he doesn't really quite notice how she feels here, too. Plus, they just make me happy. <3 (Ichigo/Orihime.)

Bleach: Fear (For Him) by shinebunny - Well, I can hardly let a post with Bleach recs go by without seeking out an Ichigo/Orihime fic, now can I? I was all prepared for this fic to be just pure fluff, which I like sometimes. Even if they have a lot more going on underneath the fluffy moments, Ichigo/Orihime is a pairing that can do fluff really well and not be boring or OOC about it. But then the author contrasted the two different points in her life, what "fear" used to mean to Orihime and what it means now and it grew into this really lovely little bittersweet fic. I really quite liked this. <3 (Ichigo/Orihime.)

Bleach: Reverie by p_sky - I was just looking for one more Bleach fic to finish off my recs for the day, grabbing the first link that caught my attention, I had no idea what I was going to click onto, but luck was with me today because this was... well, I'm not quite sure how to describe it. It's an AU, which I don't normally read, but it also feels connected to canon and Ichigo/Orihime is one of the few Bleach pairings I'll read AUs for because of Orihime's "Five lives, one love" line, which is the attitude I started with when I began to read this piece. But rather quickly into the fic, I got sucked into it, finishing the fic before I hardly even knew I'd begun, because the author has a lovely, smooth, clean writing style and she does a fantastic job with the characterization. It's actually sort of an intriguing piece, I think it could stand on its own if it needs to, but I'd also love to see more of it, whichever the author chooses to do. (I'm... sort of torn about it, actually. I really like the ending of this piece. But I'm intrigued at the possible connection to canon, too.) It was a really lovely read and I'm so glad to have clicked on it today. ♥ (Ichigo/Orihime.)

Bleach: Of Myths and Princesses by p_sky - You know who I really love? (Not that it's any surprise, but. XD) I love Orihime a lot and this short little fic that gets into her head while she's in Hueco Mundo is really lovely. I adore the way the author weaves the idea of fairy tales and her own issues of self-doubt/self-worth and how this maybe isn't a fairy tale and what Orihime can/cannot do for her friends all together in the way her thoughts go round here. I loved the whole thing, as much for an Orihime piece as an IchiHime piece. <3 (Ichigo/Orihime.)

Bleach: Small Talk (1/3) by bitter-tea - I think what really charmed me about this fic, aside from that the story and the setting were pretty solid, was the use of Tatsuki. Remembering and showing Tatsuki's friendship with Ichigo--at the same time she's also dear friends with Orihime and protective of her--was a nice treat, since I feel like I get to read so little of it. But I also liked that the story was almost simple in setting, that it's Ichigo happening upon Orihime doing school chores after they return from Hueco Mundo, watching her and how cheerful and sweet she is. I could picture that so easily and I was just... charmed by all of it. <3 (Ichigo/Orihime.)

Bleach: heads up! and fall in love by alice hattercandy - It took me a bit to figure out that this is set way pre-series (because I'm a genius who totally pays attention, yes) but once I did, I kind of fell in love with it. Well. Once Orihime dropped into Ichigo's life rather literally, I completely fell in love with it. I love the structure of it, the author's writing style here, it's almost sort of sparse, yet brings to mind a sort of fairy tale between the tone of it and the bits of description. I adore the take on Ichigo's character--such a cantankerous little snot and then this girl just sort of drops down on him and he can't help the way he sees her. I adored this so hard, it's one of my more recent favorites for these two. ♥ (Ichigo/Orihime.)

Bleach: Clear Skies by imadra_blue - This is a simple fic, just a moment of Ichigo staring up at the cloudless sky after they all return from Hueco Mundo, and Orihime offers to share her lunch, but it's that simple quality that's like the sun breaking through the clouds after the storm that makes it so warm-hearted and sweet. It's adorable and I love that it reflects how much nicer Ichigo is to Orihime and it brings back her batshit crazy foods! After finishing this fic, I just felt all warm and fluffy and happy inside, especially because I like to think that this is the place they'll get to after all the hardships in the HM arc. (Ichigo/Orihime.)

Bleach: when you were very small by peekaydee - This was just too cute for me to pass up. Well, not cute in that it's about Ichigo and Orihime as kids, as her brother dies and that moment when Ichigo has to tell her, but the way they kind of looked at each other as kids, the way Orihime was always beaming and Ichigo was a nice person underneath the scowls, it was just so cute. And I like that, even when he's at a loss for what to say, Ichigo has always been a little kinder to Orihime. ♥ (Sort of Ichigo/Orihime.)

Bleach: The Arrow That Pierces The Heart by die kaiserin - ....oh, my god, my heart. Like, I don't even know what to do with myself because this fic hit me so squarely dead-on with what I want for these characters and this pairing! Orihime fic! On Valentine's Day! With Tsubaki! I was seriously cackling out loud by the scene scene and I fell further and further in love with Tsubaki as this fic progressed (and this is exactly how I see him, too!) and then the final scene just. Made my heart entirely too big for my chest. I honestly don't know what I loved more, the IchiHime implications or TSBUAKI BEING AWESOME. Probably the latter. ♥ (Implied Ichigo/Orihime, but it's only half the point.)

Bleach: Asano Keigo is Cooler Than You by die kaiserin - So, this is another one of those fics. Where I started reading for the pairing, which was all kinds of fabulous, but then ended up staying for the POV of a character that I don't often read about. Keigo's POV on this fic was beautiful. It was hilarious and fit so incredibly well with his character that I had zero trouble seeing it unfold in KT's style and I was kind of, you know, laughing my ass off the entire time. Seriously, my face kind of hurts. I love the characterization of everyone around him, too, especially Ichigo, who was kind of pitch perfect. Orihime was a delight and Tatsuki is my love all over again and I just loved all the little attention to detail, right down to how Orihime didn't think she'd get any White Day gifts and how the forms of address were all on and Keigo's speech patterns. This was exactly what I needed today. (Implied background Ichigo/Orihime, but it's not really the point.)

Bleach: Is a Snowmobile Racing Across a Tundra by die kaiserin - And one more by this author 'cause I had to. This fic just... Orihime is my favorite, so of course I'm going to be more invested in her, but this fic just makes my fannish heart break for her. It's a series of scenes from her childhood to closer to the beginning of the manga, little scenes where she runs into Ichigo and watches him. The wrenching loss of her brother, the harsh times in her life, it's beautifully written and makes me love her character all over again, even more than I love this ship. The writing of this is lovely and, oh, I want to see more from this author already. *__* (Ichigo/Orihime implied.)

Bleach: this love by alice_candy - A series of three shorter ficlets that aren't necessarily in a series together, but can be put together for the same feeling they evoke--which is to make me feel all warm and happy and fluffy inside. I especially kind of liked the first one, where Ichigo finally has to say something to Orihime, more than a couple of word strung together at a time, and even when he manages it, the momentum is lost so easily. Plus, Orihime is darling and, even in her nervousness, her crazy thoughts start coming slowly back and just a;sdklfjals;kj omg they are so freaking cute. Each of these is lovely. <3 (Ichigo/Oirhime.)

Bleach: Only with me by sr625sw - A lot of the IchiHime fic I read is very sweet and gentle, which I really enjoy with them. I love the focus on emotions and the subtle touches a lot. But then there are times when I just want porn because of all the UST built up between them... and along comes this fic, which is purely about the porn and certainly not shy about it, but even then you can pick up on all the emotional connections between them. What I really like, what gets me with this, is how they both really want each other, how they're both very much into this, how it can be hard and fast while still being safe and good. Plus, it's just nicely written porn. :Db (Ichigo/Orihime, NC-17.)

Bleach: Meet me Halfway by sr625sw - I read this fic pretty much at the same time as the previous one by the author, which aren't necessarily meant to go together, but I like how that one was an Orihime pov while this one is an Ichigo pov. Once again, it's the combination of not being shy about the porn along with how much these two really want each other that makes me a little over the moon for the writing. I love how wildly attracted they are to each other and how easy it is to pick up on the underlying feelings even in a pwp fic. It was a really fun read! (Ichigo/Orihime, NC-17.)

Bleach: bright by alice hattercandy - Lately, I've been wanting to read more Bleach fic, so I finally just sat myself down and did it, starting with this semi-short piece about Ichigo and Orihime not really quite getting there with each other for years, each of them not quite saying anything and not realizing the other feels the same way. It works for me because they're both a little stupid and, yet, when things finally start moving again, they're older and still recognizbale, but a little more tempered, and I like the author's writing style. It might not be for everyone, but I was absolutely smiling by the end of this fic and really just quite delighted at it. (Ichigo/Orihime.)

Bleach: peu peu by alice hattercandy - A post-Hueco Mundo fic where Orihime decides that today is going to be the day, where she confesses her feelings to Ichigo, and it's just so... I love this Orihime because she's so determined and upbeat, but not brainless or without fear. The point is that she's overcoming her nervousness and the butterflies in her stomach are still there, but she's more sure of herself after everything that's happened, and it's just so sweet and adorable. I love that Ichigo is a total idiot here, too, flailing and turning red over her actions and just. It was light and airy and upbeat without being pure fluff. Very sweet! ♥ (Ichigo/Orihime.)

Bleach: Seems Like Forever by copperheadfightingninja - What I liked about this fic is the way Ichigo is so gruff, even in his own thoughts as he sits by himself on the rooftop of the school. Post-war especially, it felt nicely done to me. But also, overhearing Rukia and Orihime's conversation, the way Orihime can tell Rukia things that she couldn't say aloud to others, and his reactions were also a lot of fun to read, because I'd just finished rereading those chapters today (all what Ichigo went through for her, during the fights with the Espada) and this was a great little coda for those. Plus, the ending totally had me in that fluttery, happy place that I love, making it super enjoyable to read. <3 (Ichigo/Orihime.)

Bleach: It's All About Timing by Sweety8587 - I was browsing FFNET randomly this afternoon and managed to stumble over this fic and kind of fell a little bit in love. It's somewhat simple in concept--Orihime is trying to work up the nerve to give Ichigo a birthday present and it seems like her timing is all off, no matter how hard she tries--but it's in the little details that make this fic fantastic. Orihime's thoughts, even as she's screwing up her courage and trying to stay focused, the little stray thoughts about aliens and elephants and everything weird is just so charmingly Orihime. And I love how you can feel Tatsuki's patience with her and how she really adores Orihime and Ichigo's confusion, but he's always a little more gentle with Orihime and just. Oh, I wanted to flail madly at the ending, I love that it didn't have to end in makeouts to be incredibly happy-making and satisfying. (Ichigo/Orihime.)

Bleach: Maid in Heaven by Sweety8587 - When I clicked onto this fic, I pretty much knew what I was looking for with it, given that the summary was: A series of IchiHime drabbles centered around the theme of 'Maid'. I was looking for maid-play antics and this fic delivered them very nicely! I'll grant that Ichigo is smoother here than he is in canon, but it's clearly an established relationship and I can buy that someday he'd get there and, really, the point was maid-play antics. Ichigo teasing Orihime through the maid's costume, the totally adorable/sexy picture that made, the nicely done het sex (still such a rarity after all this time, but still so welcome!) and the sense of sex being fun, even as Orihime was desperate to tumble over the edge of release for quite some time, is all exactly what I was looking for with this fic. It's very satisfying and I definitely hope to see more maid-based fics from this author. ....I have a bit of a weakness for it, which I'm sure I'll be subtle about. (Ichigo/Orihime, NC-17.)

Bleach: Oedipus Complex by Crystal Dawn - The premise of this fic alone is pretty aces. When Ichigo refuses to act on his feelings for Orihime, Isshin does the only logical thing - he decides to marry her himself! Can Ichigo stop the wedding, or is Orihime going to be his new step-mother? Isshin dating Orihime in order to get Ichigo to get his head out of his ass! Awesome. And the fic definitely lived up to the potential, it had some really great characterization and it was super-fun all the way around, with Ichigo trying so hard to push her away and Orihime being so darling and adorable and sweet. I especially liked that it was set from Ichigo's point of view and stayed there, so you really got a chance to get inside his head (occasionally literally) and he felt right to me here. But also Isshin! And the rest of the Bleach cast, each with their own moments of hilarity! It was satisfying as a regular Bleach fic as much as it was satisfying as an Ichigo fic and and Ichigo/Orihime fic. The best fics add in those touches with the rest of the cast, on top of an awesome summary, and give me ship satisfaction. Definitely a great little read today. (Ichigo/Orihime.)

Bleach: You Never Meant It by xXsnowfeltXx - I stumbled over this fic a few days back, because I've been wanting to seek out post-Hueco Mundo fic after all that happened there, and I liked this piece for the way it delved into the issues between Ichigo and Orihime, the way it didn't gloss over the stuff they went through, but also got at why it's such a positive connection, too. The weight that Ichigo carries around isn't always focused on, but I love that Orihime gets that here, that she gets what he's afraid of, and it was just. A nice read when I was in need of a fix. (Ichigo/Orihime.)

Bleach: electric by alice hattercandy - I randomly stumbled over this fic tonight and felt, oh, I think I'm in a Bleach mood again, so I read this one. And it's a darling little piece, set after Ichigo and Orihime get into a relationship, but are still new to things and it's just so... adorable early relationship cuteness! Orihime is so sweet and lovely, Ichigo is slightly rough around the edges, but far less so with her, and just. The image the author paints some really adorable imagery here and it was just a nice, fun, light-hearted read tonight. (Ichigho/Orihime.)

Bleach: love story, maybe by alice hattercandy - I'm not sure what prompted me to read this fic, aside from being curious about how an Ishida pov on Ichigo and Orihime would go. What I got was this lovely piece that sucked me in instantly and felt so right to Ishida's narrative, both in terms of his role in their blossoming relationship (for as much as this is an Ishida piece, it's also an Ichigo/Orihime piece) and in the way there's something almost a touch stark about the writing that fits his character. It's a beautiful piece for that, but even more this fic impressed me for how... for a few brief moments, I wanted to ship Ishida/Orihime here, because the author did such a beautiful job with his character and how painfully much he loves her in his quiet way here. I'm a sucker for this kind of Ishida and this kind of take on the characters and the way the author pulls you into what he's feeling without having to beat you over the head. Beautiful. ♥ (Ichigo/Orihime, one-sided Ishida/Orihime.)

Bleach: tragic, infection, gallery by alice hattercandy - This is a series of three different scenes, though, I don't think they're related? In a weird sort of way, I almost liked the first tragic one the most (and boy am I glad the author started with that one, rather than ended with it!) because it painted such a lovely (if heartbreaking) picture to it. But also! The second one was a little heartbreaking for all that Ichigo goes through and the kind of effect it has on him, but it's not unhappy. And I like that the third scene was the happiest of all, it was totally happy and adorable, which made the piece feel like it got progressively happier and happier. I enjoyed it a lot! <3 (Ichigo/Orihime.)

Bleach: untitled by sarcasmmonster - I was browsing the comm again and stumbled over this cute New Year's prompt response and was just... really charmed by it. I liked the opening lines a lot, it paints a lovely picture of Orihime, but also I just like the nervousness and adorable awkwardness that comes with the Ichigo/Orihime pairing so often. It's very sweet and fluffy and just made me happy to read today, especially the way it's such a cheerful fic, even as Orihime frets about being alone when the clock strikes twelve. ♥ (Ichigo/Orihime.)

Bleach: Perdition by Kiritsubo Oh, I do apologize in advance, but I think I'm going to go a little batshit over this fic. I love shounen manga and I love my otps and I love fic, but so very rarely do these three things intersect, much less in a fic that's well over 70k words! Or, if you do find those rare three things, somehow there's a certain something missing, whether it's characterization or the lack of Japanese culture woven into the story or just something. I'm not sure I can recall the last time I found a fic that worked for me on every level in this genre. So this fic? I almost feel like I can never ask anything from the Bleach fandom again because it was so fucking perfect.

At its heart, it's an IchiHime fic, which is why I picked it up (and I was intrigued by the summary--I have a great fondness for supernatural stories where one character dies and the other literally goes to hell and back to save them!), but the author does a stunning job of having a large cast of characters and giving them all important roles and individual dynamics with each other. The author also absolutely fucking nails the details of the world, they clearly knew their shit about the world-building aspects and then built it up even further from there. Even the characterization is spot on and brilliant! Each character was understood for their own motivations and reasons! All the important relationships and friendships are here, so it's not just isolating Ichigo and Orihime into a bubble away from the rest of the world! Nope, their friends are still important, their allies still have major roles to play, and half of the fic is devoted to the plot, to help Ichigo get into the Royal Realm so he can go into Hell.

And, oh, the author doesn't pull their punches when it comes to that, either--there are action scenes here! Both in the sense of the cast running around to get the Royal Key, but also direct fights between two characters! The author also made me love them forever when Orihime wasn't just forgotten about once she was dumped in Hell, which I wouldn't have complained too loudly about, because her presence was still felt with the other characters and there's not really a lot to do in Hell. But nope! The author never forgets her and lets her have her moments of being such an amazing, strong character, all while still remaining Orihime. She didn't have to be changed to be wonderful when she needed to be! Just, ugh, that was so good for me, I could have smooched up on the author for ten straight minutes over that alone.

And those are all my favorite things when it comes to fic reading, I would have read and enjoyed the fic for those aspects, even if everything else had been terrible on a technical level. But it wasn't! This was well-plotted, well-paced, no parts of it dragged on even away from the main pairing, each scene had a point that built towards the greater end, the writing was exactly what I love to read, where I don't think I hardly noticed the words at all because I was seeing everything in my mind's eye really well, it all felt very professional. About the only thing I could see being a complaint (and I actually don't feel it was, but I was also mostly invested in this for the IchiHime aspect) is that the fates of some characters were never explained. This is an epic story, which means some plot threads are not going to be tied up, especially not in a story that's about Ichigo and Orihime. You can make educated guesses, though, and they're the kind that are often dropped in manga in general, so it's not really a warning, more just an offhand mention. Because this is now going to be the fic I point everyone to when I want them to read satisfying Bleach fic--it's an excellent IchiHime fic, picking up on the feelings present in canon (Orihime's being textual, Ichigo's being potential) and building from there, but working in a huge cast, making this feel like a natural extention of the Bleach canon, right down to fight scenes and world building and satisfying plot! Ugh, now I have a fic hangover from this one and no other fic is going to be able to compare in this fandom, I fear. (Ichigo/Orihime, some other background pairings, but they're only half the point, this is an ensemble action fic.)

Bleach: Five Lifetimes, One Love by codegal & Errechan I saw a rec for this one on one of the IchiHime tumblrs somewhere and saved it into my backlog to read and thought, eh, why not. I will warn that it's inconsistent with names (the author switches between Ichigo calling her "Orihime" and "Inoue" a lot, despite that it's a plotpoint later in the fic) and rough around the edges, but! It's a story where Ichigo finds himself flung into five different lifetimes of meeting Orihime and falling in love with her and I was pretty much instantly charmed by the idea and wondered why I hadn't read a hundred of these already! The AUs are all fun and there's a charisma/charming quality to the fic that I really enjoyed. It was just a lot of fun and a great way to pull me back into thinking, yes, I need to find more fic for these two! (Ichigo/Orihime.)

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