When huge, terrifying creatures attack his home town, Ichigo is as nonplussed as those all around him.
But they only heard the explosions and saw the wreckage. He alone could discern the soul-sucking horror at the center of it all.
Moreover, only he witnessed the fight to the death between it and the strange, black-robed woman with the large scimitar.
She is Rukia, a Death God and a defender of all humanity. The Shinigami act as a kind of supernatural police force, hunting down Hollows, who like to prey on human souls. We have form and they do not, thus they hate us for it.
It transpires that this isn't Ichigo's first encounter with a Hollow. His mother died protecting him from one, when he was just a baby. Now they're after him again and only Rukia stands between them.
However, Ichigo is no helpless victim here. Protective of his family and already experienced in fighting preternaturally motivated battles, his fate lies with the Shinigami itself.
Will they win? You will have to read the manga or watch the anime to find out. No more spoilers here!