Honestly I think he's lying and I'm pretty sure I can prove it.
Aizen claims to have planned Ichigo's growth here in chapter 396. Fine, claim that all you want Aizen.
Now lets go back a bit.
Ichigo goes to Soul Society and once he finally gains entrance with help from Ganju and his sister, his first fight, in Seireitei, is with Ikkaku. Aizen neglected to mention this battle and I think it's key. After Ichigo defeated Ikkaku he was told to be on the lookout for Zaraki Kenpachi. When Ikkaku was questioned by Mayuri he refused to give details. He didn't inform on the ryoka, or Ichigo specifically, until his captain arrived. So just how did Aizen manipulate the fight between Ichigo and Zaraki if it was Ikkaku that informed his captain about the power level of Ichigo?
By the way it's chapter 93 where Ikkaku spills to Zaraki and evades answering Mayuri's queries.
Now after that Aizen claimed to have leaked the info about the ryoka to the vice captains as well. However it was Iemura that gave the report, so is Aizen claiming he gave info to Unohana's team member without her knowing? It was pretty clear he was worried about Unohana's detective skills and reasoning when he spoke to her in the Court of the Purewood Towers, so I don't think he'd wade into her department unnecessarily.
Ok... so Ichigo fights Ikkaku, kidnaps Hanataro, the report is given in the VC meeting and Renji bolts to go fight Ichigo. This was their second meeting and fight but Aizen really only commented on the first fight, in the real world. So Ichigo fights Renji, wins... draws (your choice), and goes into hiding so Hanatarou can heal him. Another thing Aizen neglected to mention was that Ichigo kept getting healed by Hanatarou. If Aizen was planning Ichigo's growth to Ban Kai why not also take credit for healing injuries? Hell, if you're going so far as to say you've held someone's growth as a shinigami why not just spill it all?
Next up we have Aizen's death. Ok.. fight Ikkaku, fight Renji, get healed and Aizen fakes his death at the same time as sewer healing. With me? Good. Now Ichigo feels Zaraki's reiatsu for the first time. Odd... Aizen has faked his death and is doing research on the Ouken AND directing Zaraki to fight Ichigo? Nah, doesn't wash. Zaraki got his info from Ikkaku. Ichigo first heard about Zaraki from Ikkaku. Aizen wasn't involved with those. So I think that Aizen is just manipulating Ichigo into thinking that he's planned Ichigo's growth and powerups to this point. Why? Well I happen to thick Aizen does it when he doesn't know what else to do and hasn't exactly planned for whatever is happening to/around him. I happen to think it's one of his stronger traits/techniques. I think he did it when Ichigo landed the critical strike on him after exiting the blast attack from Yamamoto. Aizen was in a weakened state, he was cut and bleeding, the Hougyoku was working overtime to repair it's master and Aizen needed to stall for time so Ichigo didn't decapitate him. Or further injure Aizen to the point that someone else could join in to help fight.
Other lies or omissions on Aizen's part would be not mentioning the fight with Nnoitra and Tesla. Heck, you've claimed all the fights so far, why not throw that in the mix? The first fight with Yammi was also left out of the mix, but we knew he sent Ulquiorra and Yammi tagged along at the last second but still, why not claim it anyways? Also, Aizen left out the first time Ichigo and Shinji fought, not to mention fighting Hiyori as well before training with them. Why didn't Aizen claim he allowed Ichigo to train with Uruhara AND the Visoreds to get stronger?
I don't think Aizen is lying. There's a very simple explanation for the inconsistencies, Aizen was not the main villain in Kubo's mind until his death:
If Aizen was not the main villain at that time, it means Kubo didn't write the story according to Aizen's plan, so some inconsistencies are inevitable. Likewise, Kubo didn't plan Aizen would have a hypnosis ability, so we just have to believe that he hypnotized everybody in Seireitei without drawing suspicion. Releasing a zanpakuto in Seireitei was a first class offense, and nobody knows how Aizen performed his ritual on everybody.Quote:
personally, after reading Bleach for almost 5 years, i don't think it's a "villain & hero" scenario here. to me, there's neither, it's more or less, one person fighting against another person's ideals that just happened to cause problems for other people.
Aizen is really, as of now, only a real threat to Soul Society and the Spirit King himself. however, we don't really know that yet.
i do think Aizen is telling the truth about tracking Ichigo's record of battles, being that he was also and always near the Hougyoku. but, i pointed out earlier in another forum, about how exactly did Aizen even learn of the Hougyoku, when Urahara first introduced it to Tessai after the Vaizards were created.
Kubo can put together great ideas, but i think he's manage to complicate Bleach alot, especially with the characters.
I wouldn't put it past him. It can go either way. This is either all true and is going to be the thread that pulls together alot of the loose threads of plot through Bleach, or it was all bullshit, and will be Aizen's next epic reveal ( a major plot point in Bleach now).
There was no reason to stall Ichigo though. Aizen was struck by Getsuga Tenshou, and then Ichigo immediately followed it with more attacks, Aizen was defending himself just fine with his wounds.
There might be an issue of mental control over Ichigo by making it seem like he has manipulated everything around him, but I don't think that will necessarily be the case. It feels too weak of a motivation for me. Aizen could have killed Ichigo at any time. So it begs the question of what does Aizen need Ichigo for?
For greater power it would seem, but how does that translate onto himself? Ichigo seems to have a God like ability to rise to a fight and become exponentially stronger after each one. But that is him, unless the Hougyouku has some more abilities I am a little dumb founded.
Hmm there is a difference between steering Zaraki and manipulating him.
Think about it, anyone who knows Zaraki, knows he is by far the most eager to fight a strong opponent.
Aizen didn't need to tell Zaraki where to go, he simply expected Zaraki to seek him out on his own and deemed Ichigo capable enough to survive an encounter.
Of course it could still be a bluff by Aizen to throw Ichigo off (weakened resolve = weakened reiatsu), but the only people he directly manipulated were Gin, Tousen, Renji and Momo. For everyone else he could have more or less interpreted the way they'd respond, simply from having been around them for so long.
Why did he feel the need to antagonize Hitsugaya when on every encounter he was toying with him?
Aizen seems like a control freak to me, and if he can keep calm while his opponent is an emotional mess, he has the pace of the battle in the palm of his hand. He doesn't need it to win, he just seems to enjoy being in control