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Translations: Gintama 507 (2)
Most translators translated 千年前 as '1000 years ago' however in Japanese 千年前 can also mean 'Millenia ago'.Originally Posted by BadKarma
Millenium means 1000 years ago while a millenia is the plural so it means several thousand years ago (meaning it could be 1000, 2000, 1500 etc). So Kubo actually left the timeline quite ambiguous. However I'm inclined to believe that Yama founded the Gotei 13 shortly after Sasakaibe obtained his Bankai as he showed no significant sign of aging from that flashback so I'd say the Gotei 13 was founded around 2000 years ago.
Same for several parts throughout this arc at basically whenever '1000 years ago' was used. Yama claims he hasn't seen Juha for a millenia and not millenium. Also the name of this arc is actually 'Millenia Blood War' and not 'Millenium Blood War' so the war could have been going on for more than simply 1000 years.
I thought the name of the arc was "the 1000 year blood war". I wasn't aware that the chapters actually had that ambiguous translation though.
Even if 千年前 can mean "millennia ago" (which is arguable at best), there's no point for ambiguity.
If Kubo had wanted to accurately say when all that happen in the past, he could have 二千年前 (2000 years ago), 三千年前 (3000 years ago), etc.
Therefore, it would logical to assume that 千年前 means 1000 years ago in this case.
Last edited by DraMas26; February 01, 2013 at 12:14 PM.
Just to say, we don't know how long Yama was at war with Juha Bach, but that the war actually ended about 1000 years ago. Presumably the G13 were founded quite a while before that. I'm tempted to say Yama was already working on it at the time of the Sasakibe flashback. At that time Yama was already referred to as head instructor of the 'Genji Academy', which is what may have evolved into the Shinigami Academy as it's known today. I'm inclined to think the G13 preceded the Academy, since it all goes towards Yama's goal of organising SS. Given how old Yama is likely to be, I doubt he spent his first millenium or two just sitting around before deciding to whip things into shape.
But I'm just speculating, obviously.
Yeah, I'll admit the Shunsui/Ukitake thing does leave me a tad confused. If the Academy is over 2000 years old, then yes, having gone that long without producing a single future Captain seems implausible, rare as Captain-class individuals might be. Unless the original 13 were in power for a very very long time, which is plausible given that they are said to be the strongest generation. It could be that Shunsui & Ukitake were the first 2nd generation Captains. But I doubt that, tbh. Another possibility is that the Genji School is what eventually became the Shinigami Academy. Maybe they don't technically count as the same thing, and whilst the Genji School produced several Captains, Shunsui & Ukitake were the first to attain the rank after it was restructured into the Academy as it stands today?
But when I was referring to the G13 preceding the Quincy extermination, I should have said 'The Divisions'. I forgot to differentiate between the two, which I guess is what you were doing when you said the G13 began 1000 years ago. My mistake. Although, on the other hand, we don't know if they took on the title of 'Gotei 13' before or after Bach's Quincy were defeated.
I don't think the differentiation between the gotei 13 and divisions in that context is all that important to this particular point. The divisions were the origins of the gotei 13, as if that point the only thing that changes was that they were numbered eventually. The point would be what exactly existed before the divisions. If the divisions were formed roughly 1000 years ago then before that the structure of SS's military was different. Perhaps there wasn't even a captain rank before that.
I would think the genji school is what eventually became the academy. It makes sense overall. Sasakibe acquired his bankai roughly 2000 years ago and the academy was founded roughly at that time. Overall it makes sense. All we need is for the captain rank to appear or be similar in meaning to what it is today by the time the quincy got defeated 1000 years ago for kyoraku and ukitake to make sense in the timeline. I do wonder what sort of structure the army would have had before the squads appeared. rather than having captains the seated officers were captain level shinigami and there was a single division?
But the Divisions must be over 1000 years old, since Bach says they ceased to be what they were when they lost the Quincy as enemies, which was 1000 years ago. How old they are, we can't say, since the Shinigami-Quincy war might have raged for years, decades, or even centuries before Yamamoto finally bested Bach. It doesn't look like they were formed yet during the time of the Sasakibe flashback, since Yama wasn't wearing his Captain's robe, which he seems to take pride in. So I suppose the Divisions are anywhere under 2000 years old, but older than 1000.
But what came before them is an interesting question. I suppose if SS is based on Feudal Japan, Yamamoto would be the man who united the land into a functioning empire, and before that, SS may have been a divided realm of warring clans. Some Captains of the original Divisions may once have been clan leaders, the most powerful Shinigami in their respective groups.
My own impression (however biased it might be) is that the war with the quincy had been long and complex (perhaps there was a time when it wasn't limited to one side killing the other but rather there were more political elements in the mix) and at some point yamamoto as leader of the military forces just stopped giving a f**k. Juhabach's comment on the original division captains being murderous thugs is something I personally took to heart (perhaps too literally). Once yamamoto became the fearsome man juhabach came to fear in his earlier days he went on through SS to gather every single powerful guy he could. At the time they would have been simple criminals with too much powers and little to do with it (perhaps like unohana in her recent flashback). Think about it, rugonkai is basically a hellhole however it cannot be just because SS doesn't care. How can there be an economy when so few souls even have need for an economy? Most souls do not have spiritual power or age meaning that they have no need for food and other commodities (the manga has at least implied only spiritually aware souls even need to eat a number of times). Beyond a roof it does not seem like souls actually need much. Under those circumstances even running a criminal empire seems like a dull existence. So yamamoto went and gathered criminals through SS who had too much power and literally nothing to use it for and gave them purpose through the gotei 13. He structured the divisions so that those murderous thugs would have a purpose and went to war with the quincy. At that point all that awaited the quincy was horror. The captains would be a simple bunch off assholes with no sort of empathy or regard for life, they would just not make a distinction between man, woman or child. Yamamoto would know that the guys under him were assholes with no regard for anything so there really is no reason for him to give a damn about them either. Provided they won the war it even worked to his advantage that the lot of them died as he would have less work keeping them in check through sheer strength and badassery. He just wanted the damn conflict to be over, nothing else mattered. After all, even with the newly structured military force of SS he would just need to replace the fallen captains with new ones which he could take from the academy over time (hence the eventual appearance of kyoraku and ukitake). This is jut my own crackpot theory of how it went down.
So you think the Divisions were formed in response to the already existing Quincy threat? I hadn't considered that that might have been the case, but it's certainly a possibility. I was under the assumption that Yama set about forming the Divisions before Juha Bach and co. showed up, but yes, it actually makes more sense that the Divisions weren't initially organised when the war began. Still, though, I have to wonder what the soon to be Captains were doing with themselves if that's how it went. Whether or not the Shinigami were organised, the Quincy must have been trying to exterminate them like they nearly did just now. Surely the most powerful Shinigami would have been involved whether or not Yama gathered them into one army. Yet Unohana was apparently busying herself wreaking havoc in her own homeland. With that in mind, I'd argue that it's still a possibility that Yama had already organised them before the war and that the time when Unohana was just a criminal came before it. Ignore the possibility of the war going on for decades and it becomes more plausible. But also, given that Yama went so far as to use his Bankai back then (noting that it somehow made things worse), it does seem that the Quincy put up a decent fight. Much better than the Espada, who were wiped out in a single day. If the Quincy were strong enough and numerous enough, there may have been a good bit of back and forth between both sides, with the Divisions starting out with more Captains than they ended up with.
I'm eager to get some info on Soul Society's past actually. I'm sure Kubo will give us some details sooner or later.
I wonder were can I find a good review of this comic? Thanks in advance :-)