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So we got Isshin, a shinigami who could potentially be 100+ years old who inevitably ends up with/pining for a high school girl who is also a Quincy...
A super old, albeit attractive dude falling in love with a girl who's part of a race/group that he is suppose to exterminate, and that girl loving him back despite the dangers shinigami pose to her as a Quincy....
So....who wants to start doing a Team Isshin vs. Team Uryuu competition just for sh*ts and giggles?
I don't think Twilight is an accurate description of the plot. The thing is that with Bleach, there was no plot to speak of until Aizen's defeat. How a series could acquire 400+ chapters with no defining plot is beyond me.
A story can be judged by what is left of it when you remove the romance part. Twilight would have nothing, but the Isshin+Masaki flashback would have Aizen's schemes, epic fights and everything you'd expect from Bleach. So no, by no means they are alike.
What has happened since then has tied earlier developments with what has happened thus far. The Fullbringers foreshadowed Ichigo's unusual birth - apparently his mother was tainted with hollow reitsu courtesy of her being a Quincy - and the Vandenreich tie into the backstory that is still ongoing. Keep in mind too Buckbeard's ultimate goal has yet to be revealed. After that we'll probably have a Squad Zero showdown since they have to fight at some point and won't be fighting the Nazi-like Quincies. Future developments will expand upon Ichigo's unusual birth, Aizen's ambitions, the true nature of the Spirit King, etc.
But none of this still changes the fact that nothing was elaborated upon for the first 400+ chapters. Rescuing Rukia and/or Orihime really doesn't count as "plot" since it's just the hero rescuing a distressed damsel from the evil overlord. Stuff like the Vandeinreich don't really count either since they weren't foreshadowed and came out of nowhere.
There isn't much room for debate on this anyway since Kubo has repeatedly confirmed that he makes stuff up as he goes (e.g. Aizen being the big one). He only had a few ideas at the beginning of Bleach, such as Isshin being a shinigami, but Kubo never expanded upon it since he was too busy with drawing next's week chapter to think of a plot.
Why else do you think Bleach's pacing has picked up considerably? Because we now have a plot!
Last edited by Franckie; April 12, 2013 at 05:29 PM.
Do you remember during Kill-Hogyo-Aizen arc where Kubo wasted an entire chapter with Don Kanoji that served no purpose whatsoever? He did not change this arc, with him introducing people like Ryuunosuke and Shino, the two Shinigami that we were introduced to at the beginning of this arc, and Ikumi, Ichigo's employer, and dump them on the sidewalk after accomplishing nothing with them.
Aside from that, I feel Kubo is just ret-conning a lot of stuff and forcing a lot of the events beyond what could be considered logical.
For instance, Renji's Bankai. Author gave the excuse through Mayuri that Renji's blades that were broken by Byakuya were never recovered to explain that broken Bankais can never be repaired. Here (http://www.mangahere.com/manga/bleach/v17/c143/7.html), we see literally nothing but ground up wood and the head piece that is barely intact.
Or the author choosing to prevent Unohana from joining the battle against the quincies for arbitrary reasons like "because the commander told me to," when we have witnessed that she was overwhelmingly stronger than the weakened-Kenpachi, who was able to kill three with ease during the invasion, and was capable of instantly healing a guy whose flesh she MELTED OFF with her Bankai.
I get that he was originally making things up as he goes, but now we're in the 500-chapters. I think it is reasonable for readers to assume that the author should have a solid, reasonable idea without him being forced to break/bend the rules of his own universe.
Kubo plans things. It's a fact. He doesn't plan everything. That would be impossible, how could he have anticipated how popular Bleach would be? However, some of these comments are really just absurd. There have been no retcons. Don Kanonji was "pointless", yes, but in that Deicide arc all of Ichigo's friends from Karakura Town were intereacting with Aizen. That's just what Kubo was drawing. No need to whine about it, it was one chapter. Ryunosuke and Shino may have relevance, who knows, however Ikumi is not useless. It is quite clear that Kubo has Ikumi play the role of a mother when no one else can, when Ichigo needs one the most. That's not useless.
Kubo has planned a ton of shit. And no worse example of him not planing could be Sosuke Aizen. Yes, he didn't initiially plan for him to be a bad guy, but, pretty much irrelevant. Why? Because Aizen "died" extremely early into the SS arc, and the whole Gin-Aizen-Toshiro-Hinamori subplot began when Gin first encounters Ichigo. Once Kubo actually got to Soul Society, he had it all planned out, and that arc was still one of the best arcs I've read. He didn't decide Aizen was behind everything the week before drawing his betrayal.
He plans loads of stuff.....it's infuriating that people don't see that actually. It is utterly mindboggling that people didn't think we'd see more Quincy. Are you serious? The fact that Ryuuken is a Quincy and has an underground Quincy training facility in his freaking hospital isn't suspicious to anyone? And what about the Quincy emblems being on Ichigo's bed from the first arc? Isshin and Ryuuken knowing each other, and their cryptic conversation right freaking before Hueco Mundo started? And the bad blood between Quincy and Shinigami, you never thought that might be a future conflict? Quincy show up for revenge? Oh sure, their all "extinct". that's why there aren't any Quincy in the main cast. People have been saying Masaki was a Quincy for years, before we even got into Hueco Mundo.
Bleach always had a plot. Things have always been connecting. The Xcution arc and the Final Blood War arc were planned for a long time before the Arrancar Arc ended. The Arrancar Arc was long because Arrancar were so popular, so he drew it out. Having a plot has nothing to do with the pacing, we always had a plot, once we got to Hueco Mundo Kubo took it slower and added more content to appease fans. The pacing of the current arc is similiar to the pacing of Bleach before we entered Hueco Mundo, before we entered Hueco Mundo the pacing was from moderate to fast. Complain about the Arrancar Arc all you want, but it was extremely popular. Also, in the manga right after Grand Fisher flees from his fight with Ichigo we see Grand Fisher become a mock Arrancar and Di Roy and Iceringer appear. Didn't plan it? Bullshit.
Ishida noticed something wrong with the substitute badge the moment it was introduced. Chad commented about his powers feeling more like a Hollow's in Hueco Mundo. Aizen's goal wasn't revealed right after he was defeated. A big portion was revealed when he betrayed everyone. Soul King was hinted at the end of SS, not even early Arrancar Arc. Unbearable vacancy on the throne in heaven? Hellloooooo???? Then early in the Arrancar arc we learn how he wants the Royal Key and is going to destroy KK, then right before Hueco Mundo starts Urahara says he has to go prepare something, then in the TBTP arc we learn about the Zero Squad. Shinji also said he knew all about Aizen and the Hogyoku 80-90 chapters before TBTP arc. Aizen planned from the beginning of SS arc to use Hogyoku to Hollowify himself. Him deciding to fuse with it instead is due to knowledge he learned after acquiring Urahara's Hogyoku, not a retcon, it's a plot twist. Also had little effect on the plot anyway, because it's the same outcome. Both idea's involve Aizen transforming into a more powerful being so he can take over.
Plenty about Aizen's goals were revealed before he was defeated, and the author isn't supposed to reveal every single detail about characters that important in one go. Why reveal Aizen's feelings before his defeat? It serves as a set-up for what may be the true conflict of Bleach later, the Soul King, and Ichigo may even have to fight Urahara if he sides with the Soul King. And that Hollow that appeared in Ulquiorra's fight, always heavily, heavily foreshadowed, but you probably will say it came out of nowhere, even though there was all those color pages with the strange horned mask, Hollow Ichigo warning Ichigo not to die if he wants to control his powers, and Grimmjow and Ulquiorra talking about Ichigo becoming too strong as a result of Ulquiorra not killing him and being hellbent on underestimating him.
And now it ties into Isshin's backstory. Planned. Kubo always had a backstory for Isshin. Like it or not, this arc is the best time to introduce that to the story. It's an arc that is about Quincy and their history with SS, and Masaki is a Quincy, hence a huge part of the mystery behind Ichigo's origins are the Quincy.
And Ichigo looking like Kaien from the beginning of the manga and constantly having that reminded is also another obvious one, another thing that is as old as Masaki = Quincy.
Just because Kubo doesn't immediately reveal the biggest secrets of this manga doesn't mean he doesn't plan things....Eichiro Oda originally was going to have One Piece be a 100 chapters, and now its over 700 and he's at the halfway point. To complain about Urahara's secret not being revealed would be like complaining about Oda not telling us about the Will of D yet, or Kishi waiting over 400 chapters to give away the secret behind the Nine Tails attack. Lot's of big things after a lot of chapters in the manga, especially in the Big 3.
Bleach always had a plot, especially in Soul Society, there was so much shit going on in Soul Society. The plot slowed down considerably once HM started, but the plot never disappeared. Saying Bleach never had a plot is a shallow and lazy attempt to write off Bleach and discredit Kubo as an author. Saying he pulls everything out of his ass is an insult to him. No one plans everything.
And quite frankly, if there was no plot before Aizen's defeat, then Bleach could have ended with Aizen's defeat without a million questions being unanswered.
Last edited by exacta; April 13, 2013 at 08:36 AM.
To be quite honest, I think Ichigo was planned to be a Quincy from the very start of Bleach, because of a numberous of things, therefore I can't see it be a Twilight rip off, albeit it may be similar, idk, I never cared to watch Twilight.
- Quincy were the most significant group other than the Shinigami from ther very first part of the manga. It was the first power on the good side to be introduced other than Shinigami powers.
- It's a shounen, Ichigo had a human mother, the chances of her being a Quincy to boot are signicantly high, cause Ichigo has to be special (typical Shounen).
- Isshin and Masaki had to meet somehow, thus she had to be able to see spirits. So she was either a Fullbringer or a Quincy, it turned out to be a Quincy.
- Ichigo gets Hollow powers early in the series, we already get many hints in the SS arc.
- Next up is Fullbring, like the hollow powers, it was kept away from us untill it started to matter to the story.
- Then came Quincy, following the same patterns as Hollow powers introduced into the story albeit on a much shorter span, it did surprise us just as much as Hollow and in particular Fulbring.
- It'd make sense for Ichigo to have Quincy powers, cause Ichigo gets a new power for every arc there is in Bleach, we should have gotten used to it.
- Quincy powers was called the opposite power by Aizen in recent chapter, and it's also the power he did inherit from his mother. Of course it has to come "last", if it's gonna be the biggest and most badass upgrade Ichigo has gotten thus far ever since he became a shinigami (It's his mothers legacy, of course it will be bad asss). Besides, if Kubo had dropped any more hints, we fans would have easily predicted Ichigo being a Quincy.
- Ichigo had a blanket on his bed in very early Bleach, that is similar to a Quincy symbol, quite a few suggested that this meant that Ichigo's mother was a Quincy (It'd make a lot of sense).
- Isshin and Ryuuken knowing each others despite that Ryuuken hates and distances himself to Shinigami, yet, he was still somewhat close to Isshin. It was another clue.
- The impression that Ryuuken cared A LOT (Sure might not be love) about Masaki was seen already in the early HM arc, I mean, it was kinda obvious.
- The chances of her being a Quincy when Ryuuken and Isshin Both were in for her, highly suggests that she wasn't just your normal human.
- Since Ryuuken was a Quincy, and he never knew about Fullbring, then Masaki had to been pretty likely a Quincy. This could have been predicted both in early HM arc, and it could have been further predicted in the Fullbring arc.
I'm just saying, I think Kubo had the idea of Ichigo being a Quincy down on paper already from the very first chapters.
If there is anything that Kubo loves, it's drawing new artorks, the whole point and reason behind his work with this manga, is to make a story where he can make new cool and awesome looking powers all the time.
He just never expected to get this popular, and that the manga would run for so long.
That on the other hand does not mean he didn't plan for Ichigo to be a Quincy, there are tons of blues, and I didn't even mention them all.
Making out Ichigo's basic powers from the very start of the manga, so that he could draw Ichigo in so many different and awesome ways, it sounds so Kubo'ish to do, in fact, he has led us see this side of him in more than just one interview.
Hollow powers was kept a secret untill it was time to introduce it (Early Bleach).
Fullbring was kept a secret until it was time to introduce it.
Quincy powers was kept a secret until it was time to introduce it.
I don't see what the big deal is? Kubo loves to draw, and he introduces new powers to Ichigo in every new arc, so that he can draw Ichigo in a completely new way everytime.
He has only used powers which was already in the manga, Fullbring was Chad, Quincy was Ishida, and perhaps Orihime will be the exception.
But come on, there are so many clues, I don't see it as a rip off, the manga has been going since 2001, and these clues started already back then!
It might be similar to Twilight, but then that is just a coincidence, in my most humble opinion.
Well, I think the story needs to advance just a bit more for the comparison to be completely relevant. We don't know if ishin and masaki actually get it on with masaki being a teenage girl just yet. Its entirely possible the story will unfold in a way in which they actually start their relationship once masaki is of a more appropriate age (I am of the school of thought that once she is out of high school it wouldn't matter if ishin was 100000000000000 years old). The story will have to necessarily move on to several years into the future so a timeskip is not all that unlikely as far as the relationship goes. Ever since ishin was revealed to be a shinigami it was obvious he would be at the very least well over a century old so the scenario of him being decades older than masaki was a given.
If it's the age thing then no. Anne Rice and bram stoker did it before twilight 8)
HE just spouts random dialogue at the beginning and just begins to introduce NEW events/concepts that are in reference to that to tie the loose ends 200+ chapters later.
One prominent example: during rescue Orihime arc, we have Ulq and Aizen talking about them having done something to Inoue that Ichigo has no clue/idea about. It has not been mentioned again.
Sure he could have "planned this all out, but introducing a concept/issue in one arc that does not serve any role and does not get resolved until 1+ arc later is just pointless and bad story telling.
I respect Kubo as an artist, but as a writer? not so much. Mostly because he brings forth random facts/perks as the story demands that it feels a lot like two kids playing super heroes against each other.
Ichigo: i have inexplicably gained the ability to use the mask for longer than 11 seconds
Ulquiorra: I can go through a second resurrection that no other arrancar can do
Ichigo: well, my complete-hollow form just curbstomps your never-before-seen super abilities
Ulquiorra: well, you can't use your hollow powers if i cut off your horn.
Not to mention that these fight scenes are soooo one-sided and the power-ups Ichigo gains are so sudden and without basis that there is little tension.
There is more meaning if the protagonist actually goes through trials and struggles to progress and grow. However, he goes through a change over the course of a single panel that lets him overpower any foe; it just diminishes any form of terror or formidability the antagonist held before.
And as for character development, the only thing we get is Ichigo screaming out the same mantra, that he'll "protect everyone," for the Nth time after 500+ chapters that the story does not feel like it got anywhere.
As for your arguments against my claims about pointless side characters, let's start with Ikumi. Ichigo has faced enemies that are capable of destroying the entire world with little fear and with determination. Having him in need of a "mother figure" at this point is taking a step backwards.
The two shinigami? I seriously doubt that they have a role (at least a more significant one than making small talk) to play in a battle against Quincies that are able to fight captains. Even the artwork behind them imply this strongly; their appearance is plain and their only distinguishing traits are the flower on her head and the glow on his cheeks. Compare them to all the other artwork and it's clear that even Kubo pays little attention to them.
OR what about the Fracciones that the vice captains fought against during the Karakura arc before the captains battled the Espada? What role did that serve?
And that chapter on Ichigo's friends waking up in Karakura town when Aizen arrived? We could have skipped their entire dialogue and gone straight to Gin stabbing him in the back and we still would have gotten to the same ending without having Ichigo's friends throwing molotov cocktails at Aizen for 3+ pages. (few pages don't seem a lot? It is a lot when Kubo likes to fill an entire page with a single panel).
Add the inconsequential protagonist on top of the pointless side characters and pacing equivalent to the speed of an iceberg moving across the sea, then you get something equivalent to a story about a girl who spends 4 books trying to figure out why she's being pined after by pretty characters.
Last edited by SuperSaiyan4; April 13, 2013 at 04:59 PM.
I just think we need to remember it's a shounen story though, while some of your arguments are highly justified, it does not mean that all of it has to be included in Shounen.
Think we need to relax more, and try enjoy what we get Besides we're getting this manga for free, we shouldn't complain, it's not like everyone support the manga by buying the manga, t-shirts, posters, models, etc.
So lets stay positive ^_^
Ulquiorra needed to reach his second Hollow form in order to allow Ichigo to evolve to Hell Knight. Similarly to how Gin stabbed Aizen causing him to evolve further, Ulquiorra had to stab Ichigo in order to get him to further evolve and unlock his transcendent potential.
If the fights are pretty even then they're dragged out. If the fights are one sided they're short. The reason why a lot of Bleach's battles are one sided is because battles serve only to illustrate the themes of the manga and when that's achieved there's not much reason to drag them out further.
You're kidding me. Ichigo went through trials to achieve his Hell Knight form. Aizen outlined it well. Ichigo's main goal to go to HM was not just to rescue Orihime but ot develop his killing instinct. He first had to let go of any sort of fear of his Hollow (Dorondi) then he had to gain full control of his Vizard mask (Grimmjow) then he could finally achieve a power greater than hollowfication (Ulquiorra). How is that not progression?
I guess the protection stuff is cliche but there's more to Ichigo in his actions than his words.
Lol judging by Ichigo's emotional state the one thing he really needs is a mother. He wasn't smiles and hugs after beating Aizen was he? He felt bad for Aizen himself and he needs a motherly figure to confide his insecurities to.
I guess the Fraccions were just fan service because those VC were pretty popular.
You're criticising a common convention in practically all stories. It's called building tension. The whole point of Dangai training was for Ichigo to come and rescue his friends. If Kubo didn't spend time showing them in danger then what was the point? Kubo also had ot illustrate how powerful Aizen had become so he needed to show what a gap there was between him and humans. If he just had Aizen say everything then fans would argue more that Aizen was insane and didn't know what he was talking about.
You're reading Bleach too literally and taking everything at face value. There's more depth to Bleach than it seems. Sometimes you may need to read a chapter 5+ times to see all the depth within it. First impressions don't matter in Bleach.
For example the recent chapters have shown that the Hollow had biten Masaki thus giving her the potential to give birth to a multi-hybrid like Ichigo. Back when Aizen first teased Ichigo about his past in Chapter 496, the chapter was called "The Bite". It was foreshadowed all alone and not just something Kubo made up on the spot. Same with Zaraki being shackled. The chapter Zaraki first fought Ichigo had "Undead" in the title. This was in reference to how Zaraki was shackled and thus "Undead". It was there from the start.
2) Where in the heavens have you gained the idea that Ulquiorra and Aizen wanted Ichigo to complete his "hell knight" form? Aizen's goal was to kill the soul king and Ulq's orders were to protect Hueco Mundo. How does Ichigo getting stronger help with any of that?
3) Keep the fights short to illustrate themes of the manga? What kind of theme does Hitsugaya burying Halibel under a mountain of ice illustrate? And shortening a fight that the preceding 50+ chapters have been building up to, all the fear, tension, and anticipation, into a dozen, oversized panels is not doing any service to anyone.
4) Ichigo does not go through trials. Aizen was antagonizing him when he tells Ichigo that his main goal was to develop a killing instinct. It's been stressed for the Nth time that it was to protect/save his friends.
a- he did not have any fear of his hollow, because he had already conquered it with help from Shinji. He started using his Bankai+mask and defeats Dorondi when he attacked Nel and she got hurt, making him feel guilty that he failed to protect her.
b- Ichigo somehow inexplicably gained the ability to keep the mask on longer after he was brought back to life. No explanation was given, nor was there any indication that Ulquiorra stabbing him was the reason why that happened. However, he defeats Grimjow as he makes the vow that he'll save everyone and bring them back to safety.
c- Ichigo hollowfies and curbstomps Ulquiorra when Orihime cries out to him for help.
The problem I have is that Ichigo does not train or work to get stronger. Kubo gives makes Ichigo stronger as the story demands so that he can save his friends. This is not legitimate character growth. This is just the author playing favorites.
5) Ichigo after beating Aizen. It actually shows a degree of emotional maturity on his part. He was showing empathy and understanding towards a person with a complicated past without being overwhelmed by emotion. This is in contrast to Hitsugaya who was overcome with rage at Aizen's crimes. This actually shows that Ichigo grew up. Add that on top of all the enemies he faced, it is a step BACK if he were in need of a mother figure to rely on. As Rukia once said, Ichigo came through much "worse despair."
6) Fracciones and VC being popular? No, if I were remember correctly, the captains were more popular and their fights were more anticipated. The fans were more curious with the captains' Bankais and the Vizards in action, rather than re-watch those Vice captains use their Shikai AGAIN after seeing them do so countlessly in movies and filler-anime episodes.
But this is pointless, as their fights did not make a difference. Even if those chapters were removed, the end result would not have changed. Hence why Kubo has pacing issues.
7) I have no complaint about the Dangai training. What I have problems with is all the other times Ichigo got random power-ups. and How the fights end up being completely one-sided. And spending hundreds of chapters illustrating how powerful Aizen is, and then having him get completely overwhelmed over the course of a few panels? This is not going out with a bang at the climax. No, that is just anticlimactic.
8) Kubo wanting to show how powerful Aizen had become compared to humans? And the best way to do that is to have high school students throw bottles at him? All the previous battles have sufficiently illustrated that. What purpose does following up a battle among the captains and Aizen with his confrontation against weak kids serve? Again, Kubo has pacing problems.
9) You are asking me to look for themes and depth in a story that focuses on a high school boy whose lines entirely revolve around the mantra "I will protect all of you?" Please do explain how much enlightenment I could receive from reading 5+ times, a scene dealing with Ryunosuke and Shino slapping each other around?
10) The chapter called "The Bite?" The word is way too ambiguous. For all we know, it is more likely that Kubo is illustrating the fact that Ichigo "played into [Aizen's] hand," as opposed to the LITERAL bite that his mother received from a hollow for reasons that are still unclear to us. Or it could be referring to the Getsuga Tensho that Ichigo finally landed on Aizen; Getsuga Tensho=Moon Fang Heaven-Piercer. Bite, fangs, see the connection? The chapter title "Undead" is more likely to be referring to the fact that Ichigo just revived himself from near-death to completely overpower Kenpachi. And the actual chapter during which Aizen talks about Ichigo's mother is called "Edge of the silence."
Regardless, again, introducing a concept/issue in one arc that does not serve any role and does not get resolved until 1+ arc later is just pointless and bad story telling.
Last edited by SuperSaiyan4; April 13, 2013 at 11:33 PM.
Also, I don't see the point, or releveance, of having an Isshin vs Uryuu competition? As far as we know, they have never even spoken to each other.