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Translations: Gintama 507 (2)
There is something I have been wondering about and I feel the manga is supposed to have long given us an explanation about and that is where is the sense in urahara's shop. When the manga was introduced rukia got a gigai and a number of other things from urahara's shop. For those things we actually saw her paying with otherworldly currency and bounties from hollows.
Even somewhat recently we saw urahara given stuff for an apparently reasonable price to good old karin (a plot point on which kubo never elaborated on but that is a tangent to what I want to discuss).
Now, if urahara has a shop which sells normal human goods but beyond that also sells otherworldly goods to otherworldly beings.... who exactly is the target market of his otherworldly goods? Normal human beings can't even see otherworldly stuff made out of reishi and spiritually aware humans are rare even in the most optimistic scenarios (rukia had never seen one when she first met ichigo and she had been a shinigami for some 40 years by then). More so, spiritually aware beings generally live normal human lives and as far as we know so they wouldn't even have access to the currency good old rukia was using and discussing with urahara early in the manga. Pluses are souls that roam places and have no need for food or water or even basic commodities so they would by definition be a horrible target market.
Now, the way I look at it there are two possibilities regarding this. The first would be that the whole otherworldly shop thing is but a facade meant and conceived specifically to have a reason to get close to ichigo by the time he would awake his powers. It makes sense as he always has the right gadgets which the gang needs and always seems to appear at the right time at the right moment.
The alternative would be that there is some degree of truth to the previous theory but there also exists a target somewhere from which a profit can be maid and sustained. If there is a shred of truth to the idea that urahara has some sort of spiritual clients from which a profit can be made by selling them spiritual stuff then we are talking about an actual underground society of souls somewhere in karakura town (perhaps located at nightmares, under the beds and closets of little kids). Anyways, the sole thing against this idea is the fact that we have never actually seen such a society. I would find it a tad hard to believe that ichigo would not have met or felt anyone from such a society if he has spent so much time around kicking the crap out of hollows all over. More so, would SS allow for a society of spiritually aware beings to roam freely in the human world?
I tend to think Urahara's Shop has been long acknowledged by SS as a store with specific purpose for Shinigami that has been stationed to the human world. He has been banished from SS, but I don't think Urahara's presence in the real world was unknown to SS.
The profit theory doesn't really make sense to me. But I'd also doubt the SS would allow Ichigo to be that much close to Urahara if they also knew about his heritage, not trusting Urahara entirely. No matter how I look at it, it doesn't really make sense for him to have opened the store at that specific place.
Urahara was for the better half of the manga an outlaw wanted for charges of hollowification experiments and the "murder" of 8 captain level shinigami though. I don't think SS knew anything about urahara's shop. More so, it was rukia who was approached by urahara, not the other way around back in the day. Rukia just kept going back to the store because she new she could get stuff she wanted.
I don't think urahara's shop would have been there for stationed shinigami. At large that would be just about 1 or 2 at a time. More so, shinigami don't particularly seem to need stuff from there. Rukia got a gigai and the stuff to remain attached to them only because she didn't bring her own from SS. The only thing ichigo ever got from there after MONTHS of being a shinigami was kon. As far as we have seen shinigami are not usually stationed for long at the human world and for the most part the only tool they need to perform the totality of their duties is the zampakuto which sends soul to SS and slays hollows. At least what we have seen does not seem to suggest there is a need for shinigami to keep stocks of anything at the human world. Even if they did, there wouldn't be a need for a "shop" in the strict sense of the word. Having a target market of size "1" or maybe "2" is not a good business strategy if urahara is supposed to get a profit out of it and pay salaries to 3 employees(ginta, ururu and tessai). Even if he does not pay salaries to them that business model would not allow to even buy them food....
But I find it a bit odd that Rukia would use it a shop when she had no confirmation whatsoever about who Urahara was in reality. It's either Rukia being a fool not to do so or she had an idea who Urahara was.
I do realize that there is no urge to open a store for a couple of Shinigami stationed occasionally, but it looks more and more weird to me that he wasn't even noticed by any other Shinigami up to that time. If Urahara really had a "wanted" status, why did no one bother to go look for him in the real world? I mean, even for Rukia, whose crime was much milder by nature was found out by a captain, and a person labeled as a dangerous researcher wasn't? It just doesn't make any sense to me.
Though, Ginta and Ururu are probably human beings with higher reiatsu than most, so, they'll still need to eat stuff, which means Urahara was probably carrying out a job as the candy store owner to get the necessary money.
How would she know though? Rukia was not even at the academy by the time urahara had been exiled some 70 years. Thinking about it the situation with urahara is weird in that he was initially supposed to be exiled (and we saw him being unable to enter SS) while during the TBPA he was about to get sent to prison. I wonder if his exile is something which came later somehow... Rukia's crime would not normally have warranted all that she went through, all of that was actually aizen's fault.
Its not an issue of shinigami not looking for him either. Urahara was as far as we know hiding and he had the means and technology to hide damn well. The vizards were also wanted and they managed to stay hidden for 110 years.
That's true, but she would still feel awkward about a Shinigami goods shop stationed in the real world and inform the higher-ups about that. It would be out of responsibility, I'd say.
Considering they didn't go for a full search to hunt down neither Urahara nor the Vaizards, there is a chance their punishment was reverted to banishment instead.
Well, she should have informed the higher ups after the facts however there are a few other things which come into play. Rukia was basically stranded in the human world and did not have the means to communicate with SS. Even if she could there is a practical issue against reporting urahara if she needs his goods. Even then, perhaps the fact that the shop is there is not quite an issue as SS right now is perfectly aware of urahara and his presence in the human world and as far as we know he is just about the same as always.
Well, we don't know if they actually hunted down the vizards and urahara to that extent. That was 110 years ago and the last we saw of the legal issues involving them was yoruichi taking urahara away from chamber 46. We don't know to what extent they were hunted however I would assume that even if they were hunted down extensively they would stop after a few years. Urahara and co had rugonkai and the human world to hide in and shunpo.... Provided they did not make their reiatsu's explode at random there is no reason for them to be found. With urahara's gadgets and gigai along with hachi's supposedly godlike barriers there is no reason for any of them to ever be detected.
IIRC Urahara was ordering supplies from SS, one of the products was called soul candy which was named by Shinigami Women's Association. (the president is Yachiru) It seems SS was aware of Urahara's whereabouts but they simply didn't take any action. Urahara was forced to live in the real world, perhaps Gotei 13 thought that further punishment wasn't necessary. Yoruichi is the leader of one of the four noble familiies, she might have pulled some strings. I guess the target market of Urahara Shop is mostly humans but he provides stuff for shinigami every once in a while.
Well, going back to the earlier chapters it does seem like urahara is able to place orders from SS (if we care to actually believe his words at the time). Then again, why the shop? The stuff rukia was getting was stuff that ordinarily would have been a prerequisite for shinigami to do their job. I guess SS can be backwards enough as to charge shinigami for basic tools to do their job however the situation is still strange. Then again it is possible urahara's methods for getting stuff from SS were less than legal to begin with. even if he does sell only to shinigami, his market is still 2... More so, he had to order the stuff for rukia... Rukia at the time was stranded in the human world and had to stay there longer than usual, what would he do if the shinigami in question weren't in that situation? If urahara really does sell to someone else I want to know who exactly that would be....
I just attribute it to Kubo's lack of planning and inconsistency. The whole thing with Urahara's status as exiled/escapee, his shop, the reason of his exile/escape makes no sense whatsoever.
well like any shop- they service and sell spirit related items. they also could facilitate an exchange of goods and services between Soul society and the human world.
Perhaps Uraharas shop sells globally, not just in KK town.
If that is the case, he might provide everything from Juju powder for a shaman ritual in asia, or extra hollow dust for a voodoo witch in jamaica.
also there are hollow repellants and other things we have seen, likely a full assortment of vitamins for those with spirit power.
about the only thing I dont see him selling is Mogwai from gremlins. but i imagine the shop is similar to that.
But the purpose of Urahara's shop, in manga's point of view, is to offer services to humans and shinigamis, as well as conduct experiments and researches. No idea why he chose that particular place, but it could be due to Isshin. From story's point of view, his store is established there to provide Ichigo with support, aid, and information.
Has it been said that Ichigo's town has the most amount of hollow invasion? There could also be plenty of reasons not touched upon in the manga yet. Anyone who cries foul is jumping the gun, in my opinion.
By the way, Karakura Town was stated to be the one with highest spiritual pressure potential in the world, so, no wonder why the Hollows would be baited in there at more than anywhere else.
So basically, there's no retcon like people claim, right? Though I'm not sure what Central 46 found dangerous considering the Vaizards helped against I forgot what conflict (I keep thinking Aizen for some reason...).
Urahara was probably in Karakura because he assumed with the amount of hollows and reiatsu, he could be more useful there, as well as have more useful experiments and research. Though to be honest, I don't know how many customers he gets that are Shinigami. But he and Yoruichi are pretty powerful, it seems, so they can take on most hollows if need be. Seems like apart from Rukia and Ichigo, Karakura has had no strong shinigami.
I won't say it's a retcon. Urahara was banished from entering SS. There is no way to suggest he was being hunted down to be killed at that moment. Besides, as I already said, Rukia would probably know who Urahara was, since Ikkaku also did know about him for a bit, and they didn't track him down in the real world.
Well, there is generally no need for a seated officer of high rank to be stationed in the real world to deal with weak Hollows, so, Rukia was more than enough for almost everything, had she not lost her powers the day he met Ichigo.