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Now, I have seen a common misconception on this board about how Bleach fights would play out. People think just because Fighter A beat Fighter B and Fighter B beat Fighter C, then Fighter A would naturally beat Fighter C.
Unfortunately, it doesn't work like that. From keeping up with Naruto, I realized that there is a deep analysis required for fights in mangas. Now, from keeping up with Bleach, I am confident that Bleach does not suffer from the infamous 'DBZ Rule' where power level = everything.
For some of the Naruto followers on this board, we know of the Shikamaru VS Hidan. Hidan was an S-Class criminal and Shikamaru was a Chuunin. The ranking has a rather big gap. Anyway, when I analyzed this fight in an earlier post on the Naruto boards, I broke apart fighting into some key categories: Power (chakra, reitsu, etc.), Speed, Techniques, Resourcefulness and Intelligence.
Power: As noted, this can be chakra (Naruto), reitsu (spiritual power; Bleach), or whatever the manga you're reading calls it. Fortunately, unlike DBZ, Bleach and Naruto don't have power determining everything. Naruto is the best example because the main protagonist, Naruto, was given the most chakra anyone can ever have at the start of the manga (the Kyuubi and high amount of natural chakra), but he was far from capable of beating anyone at the start of the manga. Why? Well, a) he couldn't control all that power and b) power means nothing if you can't use it to get the advantage in a fight.
Speed: This is a big part of determining a winner in a fight. You can have all the power in the world, but if you cannot hit your opponent, then you cannot win. Furthermore, you can have like no power, but if you are very fast, you can kill a strong opponent by just using a knife to quickly cut the opponent's throat. I value speed over power in most fights.
Techniques: Techniques also play a big part. Technique, to a certain extent, can determine the winner more than power. If a certain technique can just shut down a fighter (Hidan's technique and Tousen's bankai), then it can override other the techniques of other fighters by decreasing the chance that the other fighter's technique will be effective or just stopping the other fighter's ability to perform the technique altogether.
Resourcefulness: This factor can be important only at certain times. Resourcefulness basically applies to using your surroundings to your advantage. Arleri used darkness to his advantage so he could disguise himself and put Rukia into a position that would be advantageous to him. Deidara exploited Gaara's love for his village to his advantage. Some people may consider these to be cheap tactics (and to an extent they are), but they are useless in getting the job done and that job is winning the fight.
Intelligence: This is a huge factor. This is one of the big reasons that Shikamaru beat Hidan. In fighting, you really don't have many chances to make mistakes, so a fighter has to be able to identify an opponent's weakness, be able to exploit and capitalize on it. If a fighter can find a weakness in an opponent's fighting style of techniques and be able to exploit it, their chances of winning increases.
Now, how do these 5 factors apply to to Bleach and Naruto? Well, these fighter mangas are similar in the way the fighters engage in battle.
Example of these 5 factors in action: Hidan vs Shikamaru -
Technique: Hidan's "Voodoo" Technique VS Shikamaru's Shadow Binding
-Now, if Hidan ever obtained Shikamaru's blood to perform his technique, Shikamaru would be dead. Furthermore, Hidan's immortality makes it so that Shikamaru would have to find a way to incapacitate Hidan, since he cannot kill him. However, Shikamaru's technique makes it so he can control Hidan's movements if he can strategically use it.
Intelligence: Shikamaru survived his first encounter with Hidan, fortunately, so Shikamaru took what he learned from Hidan, identified Hidan's weakness, and exploited it. Shikamaru also has a high IQ and he was able to analyze Hidan's fighting style even during battle.
Speed: Both fighters are pretty fast. They aren't top notch in this category, both they are probably on par with each other. Since, Shikamaru knew Hidan's fighting style inside and out, he was able to predict Hidan's movements and dodged his attacks accordingly. Shika was able to set up Hidan and also set him up for a trap.
Resourcefulness: Hidan has no resourcefulness. Shikamaru on the other hand, used the secret of his clan's forest to trap Hidan in a whole, where he collapsed the hole on top of Hidan (who was in pieces), successfully incapacitating Hidan.
Power: Power wasn't a big factor in this fight. Shikamaru did need a lot of chakra to hold his shadow bind technique for a long time, but it wasn't as big of a factor as most may think. Shikamaru defeated Hidan using mostly explosive notes (a weapon) and Hidan defeated Asuma technically using a spear to the chest. Power doesn't have to play a big factor.
Anywayz, that was just an example fight. Bleach is the same way. Some people just think since Ichigo supposedly beat Kenpachi (really a draw), and Kenpachi beat Tousen, that Ichigo could easily beat Tousen. But, you can't analyze things so easy. The circumstances in the two fights were VERY different. Kenpachi had to use his intelligence to identify the weaknesses in Tousen's bankai, then exploit it. Is Ichigo smart enough to do that same? Could Ichigo exploit Tousen's bankai FAST enough? Kenpachi also endured Tousen's shikai no problem. Can Ichigo endure that as well? We don't know yet, so it's pretty ignorant to assume Ichigo would defeat Tousen.
If you fully analyze both fighters (Tousen and Ichigo) using the 5 factors I listed above, you will be closer to identifying the winner than just randomly doing the "A >B, B > C, so A > C" method. Unfortunately, we don't know all of Tousen's abilities or if he has learned any new abilities, so we have to hold off on that analysis.
This post is just something that will help make your discussions more credible.
Interesting reading... Can you make an analysis other fights?
Well, the idea of using as many resources as possible to win the fight has always appealed to me in fiction. Not only does it make the fights more interesting, it's more realistic. After all, the "A-B-C" example you used doesn't work with boxers and martial artists, so why should manga/comic book characters be exempt?
That said, I agree that Bleach fights aren't particularly DBZ-ish, but power and speed are given VERY heavy weight. Intelligence and resourcefulness aren't given enough weight anymore--and that, I think, is where the misconceptions arise. It wouldn't be as much of an issue if the fights were simply more tactical.
I don't think that's going to come into play until Ichigo really gets used to his powers, and he can fight toe-to-toe with the best of the Espada. That's what happened with Byakuya.
The only problem I have with the speed argument is that it never seems to be addressed. With the exception of Ichigo Vs Byakuya, any fighter that has been stronger than their the opponent has also been faster, with the exceptions being Ichigo dodging 1 or 2 of Grimmjow's attack in their first battle. Although Ichigo is supposed to be wicked fast with his Bankai, the only fight that really buys into that is Vs Byakuya.
Otherwise, I do agree that Bleach isn't QUITE in the DBZ category (How else can you explain Rukia killing the otherwise untouched Aaroniro, other than the fact that she caught him off guard, whereas in DBZ it wouldn't have harmed him regardless), but it definitely seems to be drifting there with the recent developments....
As much as I hate the admit it, the fights in Naruto seem to be more entertaining, as strategy and tactics seem to be given more weight.
EDIT: Now that I think of it, Ishida is also seen as being exceptionally fast...
Last edited by Kurouno; July 24, 2007 at 05:33 PM.
A few arcs back Ichigo was made out to be on par with the Strongest captains. All of a sudden he's at the bottom even though he's gotten alot stronger...wtf?
Seemingly Ichigo is about to get his ass kicked by Ulquiora who is espada #4, yet still we see WEAK Hitsugaya going up against Hallibel; Espada #3
Ichigo went through LENGTHS to defeat espada #6 but yet still Kenpachi came in and fucked up #5 like childs play
It makes no sense to me. Kubo needs to make up his mind
"Its all for the sake of a good story", all it goes to show u is not everyone can solve and win everything :P
How do you classify Hitsugaya as weak, is there a solitary factor that displays him being weak. So what he goes up against Halibel, he isn't winning at the moment (from how Halibel just dispatched him). You're reaching your finis way to fast, the fights not finished.Quote:
Well fights in Bleach aren't based on just one factor, otherwise Rukia shouldn't have beaten Aaroniero. Kenpachi didn't defeat Nnoi effortlessly, he himself admitted that he was close to death (though I still believe Kubo could have done better than kendo). Fights in bleach use a lot of factors, instead of just a power level (just cuz you have more reiatsu doesn't guarantee a victory). Would Ichigo have beaten Zomari ? How would he overcome Zomari's ability ? What about Szayel, how would Ichigo have beaten him, just brute force wouldn't have won the fight.Quote:
Byakuya was the perfect opponent for Zomari because he was able to win through the sheer use of Bankai (greater numbers) plus his Kido knowledge helped. How would Ichigo ever break free from Zomari's ability or even defend against it. Just cuz he defeated Grimmjow doesn't guarantee he will win against lower ranked espada. That itself shows that there isn't powerscale for bleach (for fights like espada vs shinigami, since both are different and thus spawning a lot of factors).
Last edited by TheChosenOne; February 16, 2009 at 12:39 AM.
I'm always astounded by these long, quality posts. And you are quite right too. Bringing out the Zommari vs Byakuya example: it was good fortune that Byakuya's bankai is made of millions of separate parts others he would not have been so lucky. And also the Szayel vs Mayuri battle: in this case it was szayel's misfortune to fight the guy that completely analyses his opponent before the fight, as well as being able to change his body so dramatically. If these two situations were switched around so Zommari vs Mayuri and Szayel vs Byakuya the result may have been very different.
No matter how you people try to defend the bleach fights the powerscale is there and it does apply to this manga.
How would you Explain the fact that Aizen>Everybody else if the powerscale was non-existent? or Yama> all the captains
I agree it takes skill and resourcefulness to defeat certain enemies but if you're fast enough (Byakuya) or strong enough (kenpachi) you enemy really cant harm you.
and Yes Aizen> all the espada. It would be dumb for him to have underlings he cant control. Not to mention Gin and Tousen
and the most obvious factor, the ESPADA ARE NUMBERED BASED ON HOW STRONG THEY ARE
with this, you're still going to tell me that there's no powerscale?
Also if you look at soul society arc ichigo didnt win fights because of tricks or anything like that but rather on situation increases of his own spirit power or manifestation of it.
Kempachi also mentions that if two spiritual preasures crash the weaker one will get hurt.
Of course that doesnt mean that always the one with higher spiritual preasure will win, it simply means he will have an inmediate advantage.
If you have two individuals, one who is at VC level and another who is at captain level, obviously the one at captain level will win, for all we know the VC wont be able to even cut the captain in the more extreme cases.
On the other hand, the situation gets more complicated when the two fighters are on a similar power scale(for instance both being captains or both being espada or both being VC). If two individuals in the same power scale fight, the one with the lower reiatsu has the posibility of harming his oponents with his attack (although he will still be at a disadvantage). This is the situation in which resourcefulness, inteligence or the terrain come into acction. In that sense while it would be absolutely imposible for a VC to even hurt a captain level oponents, a low tier captain has a decent oportunity of pulling of a victory againts a middle level captain and even injure a top tier captain. At least that is my take on power levels in beach.
That wasn't my argument, I was trying to state that you can't use the espada vs shinigami fights to prove how one shinigami is greater than the other because they defeated a higher ranked espada. The powerscale only remains when it consists of similar characters. There is a powerscale for Espada, cuz of the ranking, you can make a case for a powerscale for shinigami cuz they have similar basic skill sets, but you cannot make a case for a powerscale when you mix both espada and shinigami.Quote:
Let's say Shunsui beats Stark, does that make him stronger than Byakuya who defeated a lower ranked Zomari, not necessarily. Shunsui could have had an ability that countered Stark's, just like how Byakuya had a bankai that gave him an advantage due to greater numbers. This is the point I was trying to show when you made the statement about how Hitsu, a supposedly weaker captain is going against a stronger espada. If Hitsu does defeat Halibel, that doesn't make him stronger than Ichigo, even if Ichigo went to great lengths to defeat Ulq. Halibel may have an ability that works to Hitsu's ice natured zanpaktou, which could give him an advantage, but that doesn't necessarily mean that Hitsu will defeat Ulq.
Last edited by TheChosenOne; February 16, 2009 at 12:47 AM.
There is always a powerscale, though the Espada are most likely ranked based on overall performance e.g. attack, defence, speed etc.
The Espadas follow a powerscale, but not the Shinigamis. The squads aren't numbered by strength and there isn't really any clear significant powerscale indicator for shinigamis.
Even the powerscaling of the Espadas isn't definite. It's based on overall performance. It doesn't mean that every aspect of the Espada is better than the lower one. The fact that we have comments on Zommari having the fastest Sonido and Nnoitora having the strongest Hierro kind of shows that the numbers are not based on specifics. Of course, these things are self proclaimed statements so we can take them with a grain of salt.
Likewise, you can't compare the Espada vs Shinigami fights on a pwoerscale because of what TheChosen said. If anything, Kubo plot-deviced all the fights in matching the worst possible Shinigami for each Espada. Had any of the matchups changed, the outcome would've been different perhaps.
And in regard to the Espada: just like the captains each Espada specialise in different areas as you can refer to above.
Originally, the Covert Ops was a separate entity from Gotei 13, but since the head of Shihouin clan has typically climbed to the ranks of head of the Covert Ops, whenever they become a captain in Gotei 13, the ties between the Covert Ops and that division of Gotei 13 become very strong. Since Yoruichi became captain of the 2nd Division, the links between the Covert Ops and the 2nd Division were strong. This strong link was kept due to Soi Fon's obsession with claiming all of Yoruichi's ranks. Other than that, the Covert Ops has no real tie to Gotei 13 or especially the 2nd Division.
We also saw in the Pendulum arc that it was Urahara who brought the technological focus to the 12th division by starting the Shinigami Research Institute.
There is a thread devoted to discussing the specialities of each Gotei 13 division (this thread). Further discussion on the matter should go there.