When creating the manga series, Kubo commented that Rukia Kuchiki, the first character he created, did not seem like a lead character, so he created Ichigo to be the series protagonist. When designing Ichigo's appearance, Kubo had thought of several types attributes of the character that were never added to the story. Initial design sketches show Ichigo wearing glasses, and having dark hair and kind eyes. When designing Rukia, however, Kubo modified Ichigo's appearance to contrast with hers, giving Ichigo orange hair, a trademark scowl, and removing the glasses. Along with Orihime Inoue, Ichigo has the hardest face to draw for Kubo.
Kubo considered Ichigo's greatest strength to be that he is considerate and thoughtful as he always thinks about other people's needs. However, he also saw that as his greatest weakness, since worrying about his friends tends to put him in danger. Kubo was asked in an interview if he had any plans to focus in the love triangle between him, Rukia and Orihime, but Kubo chose neither to confirm nor deny it as he did not want to focus in romance. Kubo thinks Ichigo is very popular among fans since he "looks cool". He also mentioned that as fans read more about him they discover that underneath he is warm and kind hearted, which attracts them.
Ichigo is voiced by Masakazu Morita in the Japanese anime, while as a child he is voiced by Yuki Matsuoka. Johnny Yong Bosch voices him in the English dub as a teenager, and Mona Marshall as a kid. Bosch has liked Ichigo's character due to how he wants to protect people. However, he experienced difficulty voicing him in the episodes in which Ichigo shouts for a long time.
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