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Pssst, pssst, new fic. I heard there was a thirst for post 686 IshiHime smut. HEED WARNINGS.

Doctor Ishida, Allow Me to Examine You

By debbiechan

Doctor Ishida sketch above by @hashtagartistlife, used with permission. Hahahaha.

I have the world’s best editor. Blessings to nehalenia who helped me put this PWP through three rewrites.

Based on @mizulily‘s suggestion that #Doctor Ishida sounds like a legit porn, Sera’s drawing above, the goings-on here: http://hashtagartistlife.tumblr.com/post/150304004539/mizulily-sequencefairy, the fact that the aforementioned said that “What now? You make me your bitch” was their favorite line in my story “The End of Perfection” (http://bleachness.livejournal.com/793634.html) and alas I’d cut that scene, so….

PWP with some plot because I can’t help myself. Actually a lot of plot, sorry. But NSFW. Not up yet at ff.net so save the hate notes for the weekend. Mature content, a dominant woman, oh noes, blood, erotic asphyxiation, humor, fluff, salmon toast.

Bleach 686 seems to have turned loose a lot of muses; some of them are naughty.




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12 September 2016 @ 03:08 pm
I'm jumping on the art meme. I'm awed by it.  I've lost count of how many arts and fics I've seen on Tumblr now, but indeed IR is the universe's most elemental, indestructible spiral.

DA link: http://debbiechan.deviantart.com/art/Dance-with-Snow-White-by-debbiechan-633947131



 
 
07 September 2016 @ 01:43 pm
Dance with Snow White
By debbiechan

It’s been very touching to me to see the IchiRuki reclaim their love for their favorite pairing in recent days.  Fans demanding refunds of WSJ, burning their Bleach merchandise—all that is an inevitable reaction to a bad deal, but the art and joy and transformative art on Tumblr and Pixiv has been awe-inspiring, particularly the “Dance the Snow White” meme.

Inspired by the art meme, this vignette is specifically drawn from the lovely composition by teodoralovesteo
http://teodoralovesteo.tumblr.com/post/149857160567/dance-with-snow-white-based-on-these-amazing


After the war, Ichigo and Rukia did not neglect their training. The Monk Who Calls the Real Name bade them dance in the Royal Realm, and no one but Ichibe was witness to the phenomenon.  Right away, without hesitation, Ichigo took Rukia’s hand, and so began the circles of the absolute dream and the darkest desire.

She was tiny but in possession of the deadliest power; his reiatsu erased it for vital moments and it was necessary to lift her by the waist and spin her around in a full circle to keep her alive. In the meantime, his moonless sky was replenished by her white spirit. They danced in the universe’s most elemental spiral.

On their feet, following steps the monk called out to them, Rukia in her ban kai form could only hold at zero for so long, and Ichigo in his perfect Mugetsu was a blackening reiatsu that threatened to burn all the world. The two powers held one another apart, dissipated into one another, came apart and reunited with a rhythm that was the heartbeat of Time Itself.

Breaking tempo, Ichigo spun his partner too fast and dipped her. He laughed, his hands fast around Rukia’s waist.

“Control,” chided the monk.

Rukia’s white ribbons had flown into a flower around the moment. She paused for four seconds, her head fallen back, white hair wavering, arms limp like the stricken swan in a ballet, her ice power a deadly circle spreading past her body.

“Yes,” the monk beamed at Rukia. “All dance is about recovering from falling. All life is about saving grace.”

Ichigo scooped Rukia up and led again, his dark hair billowing like the flame of death that would destroy Rukia’s absolute power to freeze and shatter the world to glittering dust, but the destruction never happened; the death never came; the dance spun and the dancers eyed one another with playfulness.

Their mutual powers never canceled one another out; each supported the other and was made stronger.

Sun needs moon, black repels white, woman loves man. These are ancient beliefs, tired and sometimes untrue. The old ideas had killed civilization after civilization in the Living World and had pitched the Higher Worlds to change and adapt, for even stars and planets can shift their orbits over time. The old monk understood that the universe was dancing towards its own annihilation, that the only way to survive a bad ending was to have old ideas scorched by new ones and for the stars to bloom again in new configurations. To dance, to keep on dancing but not in panic. In balance like this pair.

Look at them. The stars speak a language of white explosions and their Creator hears only darkness but these two have fun when they yin and they yang. Kids today---they play with Good and Evil like costumes they pull out to go to the disco, eh?

To look at a couple like Ichigo and Rukia, one had to wonder if any Creator could tear apart such a bond. Take any other pair of powerful Shinigami. One misstep, one wrong word—these mistakes would weaken the dance or throw partners apart, never to be matched again—but mistakes made Ichigo and Rukia invent new moves; they instinctively knew one another’s spirits.

They had danced like this before; they would dance like this again.

“Enough!” said Ichibe and clapped his hands. Rukia and Ichigo transformed out of their heightened states, but the air around them still crackled with flashes of dark and light, like a stormy night.

“I’ve had enough,” the monk said. “No more dancing lessons. I know more now than I need to know.”

“I thought,” Ichigo put forward, “that the purpose was for us to learn a thing or two, not you.”

“Insolent child.”

“Excuse him,” Rukia said. “Before we are dismissed, are there any instructions? Should we continue to practice on our own?”

“You two are dangerous together,” said the Monk Who Calls the Real Name. “Indestructible.”

Ichigo and Rukia glanced at one another, their eyes smiling but their mouths maintaining decorum.

“Do what you want. Dance or don’t. It’s very beautiful to watch. Indestructible, that’s what you are. Go, make babies or something. Practice kendo for all I care, or Rukia show him some kidou or how to make a marmalade. I’m done.”

And like that, the monk was gone, disappeared to his palace.

Rukia stood there, blushing, even though the air around here was still freezing cold, and a drop of sweat formed on Ichigo’s brow.

“I didn’t know I could dance,” he finally said.

“Neither could I,” she added.

“Did you feel it? The everything of it?” Ichigo’s voice was awed.

“Yes, Ichigo.” Rukia’s blush was fading. Her face was serious. “Let’s do it again. Sometime, not now. Maybe I’m a little tired now.”

“And again,” he said.

“Oh yes,” she said. “It was too wonderful not to do over and over.” She looked across the darkening skies of the Royal Realm. The stars seemed small and insignificant now. She knew of a dance more indestructible than even the heavens. “Tomorrow. Again.”

Ichigo bowed. It was proper to bow after a formal dance. “I’ll see you tomorrow evening, Rukia.”

End


 
 
 
Current Location: cuddled up, wheezing
Current Mood: sicksick
Current Music: the air conditioner humming
 
 
I'd forgotten that LJ hates long fics. Here's part two with the ending I actually revised and gave ample thought to about consequences and character. Of course, I don't live in a fancy studio apartment in Tokyo and get millions of yen for whatever hard work I do every day; I just want to make some people happy and make some jokes. I'm still sure, though, in my heart of hearts, that transformative artists will have the final say about Bleach's shabby ending; its our solace.

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Current Location: dogs snurfling at me
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: it's quiet before dawn
 
 
I lied. Not as bad as Kubo did, but I had another story in me. This one is part saddess, part comedy, much parody, maybe a better last hurrah? It comes with many warnings. NSFW. It's already earned me a review of "garbage" and other insults (probably all from the same anon) on ff.net. But since the final Bleach chapter has been called "garbage" more times than I have, I don't mind. Interestingly on Tumblr, I'm not getting hate mail. Wonder why that is.

Anyway, this is a long one-shot. I got carried away one day when I was trying to read other things and avoid thinking about Bleach.  I have some illustrations from my darling Eny coming.




The End of Perfection
By debbiechan

Blessings to Nehalenia who is such a thoughtful editor and an honest friend.

Hugs to partner-in-many-crimes @mags-duranb who is illustrating this fic.

This fic was inspired by ideas from Neha, Mags, @gunnerpalace and many others.

This fic is dedicated to elena (formerly @deathbympreg), @mizulily, @teodoralovesteo, @sequencefairy, and any others who have been harassed by Church Ladies for writing adultery fics post the Bleach 686 final chapter.  My heart supports you, my tongue is my cheek, Ishida’s Uryuu’s tongue is everywhere. 

Warnings: Sex sex sex, adultery, post-structuralism, implied homosexuality, swearing, character-death.

This fic has an actual plot with sword-fighting, rise and fall of action, and consequences. NOT KIDDING ABOUT THE POST-STRUCTURALISM. Questionably “fix-it” fic. I prefer to call it personal therapy. IshiHime (adultery), IchiRuki (theme of destiny), IchiIshi (almost?), appearances by Kazui, Hiyori, Mayuri, Urahara, Ryuuken on cell-phone, and someone else. I apologize for Chad missing. No really, I do.

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Current Mood: quixoticquixotic
Current Music: silence
 
 
It's a rule of fandom that the worst day to post is Saturday but Neha always said that sometimes you just have to post or the fic will burn a hole in your hard-drive. Here it is. Maybe my last Bleach fanfic.

ANTITHESIS OF HAPPINESS TUMBLR PIC.jpg

Antithesis of Happiness
By debbiechan

For mizulily, my last little ray of light in a stormy fandom
Thank you to nehalenia for being the best editor over the years

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Current Location: Noah's arc
Current Mood: gloomygloomy
Current Music: Hamilton cast album
 
 
25 August 2016 @ 10:21 am
First, thank all of you have stuck with this blog even after I neglected it.  I apologize for not being around in previous weeks---if you didn’t know, there was massive flooding in our area, eleven dead, thousands of people lost their homes and schools are still out, 170 school buses ruined. Our home was intact even though we have a creek that runs just behind our property and it was in danger of swelling when Bayou Manchac peaked. Our high banks saved us. We were trapped for a while; stores weren't stocked; there was a lot of commotion. In the meantime, Bleach was ending, a series as all of you know meant the world to me. I’d stuck with it to the end, had felt it going off the tracks but had loved so much of the last arc, the character of Askin, two ban kais in particular—Kenpachi’s and Urahara’s—and the beautiful Haschwalth and Bazz backstory. The Memories in the Rain arc was lovely. Flashes of Kubo’s talent were everywhere. I knew he wasn’t listening to editors and by the time the final two chapters came out, I felt trolled.

In the Final Days of Bleach, I only got two hate letters, one persistent teenager calling me “dumb” and “ableist” and “gross” and I promptly answered her as gently as I could and blocked her on Tumblr because I was sure she was getting her information from one familiar source, a person who for years went on a hate campaign against this site, painting it as a sexist place where Orihime hate reigned and where people were mocked.  I knew there was a post made in recent weeks by this person on Tumblr maligning this site—why, I don’t know—there’s so little activity here, but the bitterness is there. Like I said to a new Bleach fan, I never expected the bitterness to go away, no matter what outcome in Bleach. In fact, let me copy what I wrote to her, because I know some of you will be dealing with mockery and hate:

“They don’t deserve your graciousness and intelligence. It bounces right off them. They aren’t being celebratory; they are being vindictive and petty. This sort of drama stirs up like dust storms for a short time (maybe reoccurring dust storms for years, lol) but in the end it’s just dust, never anything to advance real understanding. I’ve only seen it expose people for who they are; believe me, few people I’ve observed in fandom have grown up much or changed in the 12-13 years and of newcomers, there are just more of the same. No single one person in fandom, had the ending of Bleach gone this way or that, had all plotholes been satisfied, had Kubo had a solid grip on his final arc and never quarreled with editors, would be that much different–spiteful people would still be spiteful people, those who spread lies and never admitted to being wrong would still be that way, trolls would still be trolls, the casual fans would still be casual, the nice people would still be nice, hysterics would still be hysterics, the analytical would still be analytical, the accusatory would still be accusatory, the petty would still be petty. I actually admire my friends who had the foresight to leave fandom when the train went off the tracks a few years back—but I guess I don’t regret some of the beautiful moments of the last arc– Urahara’s ban kai, Askin’s whole character, Jugo and Bazz, and any and all Ishida.

Don’t waste your precious mind on spiteful, mean, insecure people. Remember I want happy endings for you. Those who try to engage you to shit on you constantly will never get their happy endings in RL, trust me on that one.”

More than hate, I’m grateful for all the amazing kind messages I’ve received from people who I thought had long disappeared from fandom—I got emails, DMs on social media sites, many of which made me cry because they were so personal and kind. Some bonds cannot be broken. Kubo may have betrayed his story but he can never take away my friends, some of the loveliest people I’ve known, some of whom have travelled miles, one even across the ocean, to meet me in real life. Many left Bleach when they grew bored of it, but our lives were always more about pairings or goings-on in a Japanese story. I’m grateful to all of you, acquaintances, lurkers and friends, who were with me for part or all of this journey. I started bleachness as a reservoir for my own fic and art and meta ramblings so as not to annoy non-Bleach fans on my main LJ blog and it became something bigger---so many people misunderstood that, expected it to be an unbiased newscast for Bleach information and my own blog and cast me, of all people, as an Orihime hater, and an elitist.  One of the things I answered a note I got on Tumblr was about the inside joke about the English degrees the mods on bleachness had---we liked lit crit; some of those mods are lawyers now; I was an English teacher off and on; the ones who accused us of elitism wrote their own meta even when they said “it’s only a story for 13-year-old boys.” And I will say now for the record I was wrong in interpreting much of the final arc, especially regarding pairings. Kubo at some point went off track, Rukia disappeared totally, he said that “Ichigo was the protagonist of the human side and Rukia was the protagonist of the Shinigami side,” foreshadowing that Ichigo would stay in the human world, despite the Fullbringer arc being all about Ichigo’s identifying with the Shinigami, being heartsick over Rukia. In the end “I can’t keep up with the speed of the world without you” and “the love and destiny Ichigo inherited” was erased. I was wrong. I have no problem admitting when I’m wrong. I do believe I was misled, though.

Deathberry will probably (I’m not sure) go down in a few months, due to lack of interest from the caretakers and because its expensive to maintain—one of the mods pays for it herself. The IchiHime site FLOL is paid for by ads. Fandoms can’t be killed by any author, no matter what he or she does to the canon story—that has long been my observation. I haven’t seen such an outpouring of fic and art in the last week in the Bleach fandom in years. I swore I was going to move past Bleach, but I even wrote one. It was part of my grieving ritual. I was ready to let Bleach go a year ago, but at the moment all this feels like a bad break-up, and I have a few more steps to process before I can truly move on. I’ll leave this site up—it’s a lifetime account, bought when Live Journal was giving those out, so it stays as long as Live Journal stays, which is not a solid guarantee of anything of course.

I’m going to copy a few reactions I posted (and edited for clarity) from other places while I was avoiding my own blog. Thank you to my friends who posted in the chapter thread. It was difficult for me to come here. I have some issues still about this site, some pain. There are reminders here of some of the worst of fandom as well as the best.

I will claim to the end I never hated Orihime so let’s get that out of the way first.  I wanted the best for her, and my more cynical friends told me I would be disappointed. I did not believe them. I should’ve. The general sexism of shounen and Kubo’s own tendency to write Orihime inconsistently, his rage when audiences didn’t accept her, his increasing trivialization of her should have been a clue. Orihime’s character degraded from the time she was the adorable girl by the river chasing dragonflies with a best friend to the time she was single-mindedly pursuing a boy; it seemed like a familiar character; I actually thought Kubo was making fun of it; it turns out he rewarded that giddy devotion—I could give so many panels where Orihime didn’t “get” Ichigo’s character but persisted in her love, but I don’t think Bleach is worth my analysis anymore. I can just say that I was wrong; Kubo, who has said in interview that he likes to champion characters audiences don’t like, screwed over the giant IchiRuki fanbase (I saw yesterday the horrified faces of the Burimyu actors who play Ichigo and Ruki holding WSJ covers over their mouths) and rewarded Orihime with the main character.

But he didn’t even do it right.  He gave her no romance.

I’ll quote some from other places:

“I don't hate Orihime. I just died a little when I saw her in that apron in the Korean scan (still haven't read the chapter). I guess her big character development was that in 10 years she learned to cook. She wanted to be so many things in her five lifetimes speech--which unlike so many IR fans here, I actually liked--I thought it was poignant and representative of a teenage girl's love. It was the gross fanservice--the hotdogs with the mushroom pajamas and that awful dress that got me later. Her not being able to cook was always an endearing quality to me. I can't cook for shit either but I have other strengths. And I've heard that she uses Tsubaki to babysit her kid---her offensive fairy that was teased for the whole manga and which many expected her to use in battle. Used for BABYSITTING. Yes, this is a feminist issue. And so many bloggers and fanbois going OH MY MY KARIN GOT HERSELF SOME BOOBIES AND OOOH WEEEE WTG ICHIGO GOT THE BOOBS is just .... yeah, no. It's not about boobs. I like big boobs myself. One of my longtime gfs in my life before marriage had huge boobs and a very feminine look, I understand the appeal, believe me. I also expect women to be more than just their mammary glands. I expect them to accomplish their dreams independent of what is expected of them by men and a sexist society. So Orihime got her wish finally to protect Ichigo--that was good, I was ok with that, I was more than happy with that. I was sorry we didn't get to see her fire Tsubaki independently in battle (his being used in training with Ginjou was another tease). Never mind Ichigo not really getting a good fight but that was rushed to the end, bad planning and because of many reasons, mainly how WSJ works and how it’s honored Kubo for this last arc despite their disagreements, I believe Kubo had more than enough time to prepare and wandered in the past six months or a year.  Orihime gets little panel time in the last chapter and again, not much interaction with Ichigo---there was never that chemistry there--but whatever. The ship itself isn't as heartbreaking as Orihime never getting any character development and being used so blithely for fanservice throughout the latter part of the series. Matsumoto was supposed to get a backstory and THERE was a mature strong woman--what happened to THAT?  Orihime--I'd complained about her development forever and still believed Kubo would resolve her in the end. No, I didn't even hold out hope for IshiHime in the last chapters--there was too much one-sidedness (like IchiHime or RenRuki, I thought) and a timeskip would solve that but be awkward as shit. But the sight of her in an apron almost as a parody of Sakura was a real blow.

Like most things in that last chapter were a real blow. I mean, I used to defend Kubo all the time. Yes, he's a sexist Japanese man. What are his worst sins, I would say--shitty pacing and he likes big boobs. Turns out those were BIG SINS. Wow, his pacing was so bad he couldn't tie up dozens of loose threads, not even a few crucial ones that could’ve explained simple things—like who was the Soul King and how did Aizen get back in the bond chair, and omg, the big boobs thing turned out to be a fetish. I will still remember some of the things I loved about the last arc but Orihime went downhill so fast in Bleach and every time I got hope for her development, I was crushed. Kubo could've even developed her relationship with Ichigo. He could've put something dear and touching between the two, even had Ichigo thank her for fixing his ban kai, something, anything---instead there was that comedic panel in which she was humiliated and cried over wearing that dress and thinking Ichigo thought she was a hentai. That was disgusting and IH loved that as evidence of their pairing. No, they have their canon based on that sort of shallowness.

Orihime was so adorable when first presented. The SS arc was Bleach when Kubo was on a roll.  I don't know what happened (well, I actually do know a little but hell if I'll ever tell). The Arrancar arc was spotty and he kept reeling us in with flashes of brilliance and Orihime kept having her moments of fail but her moments like slapping Ulquiorra or realizing that she didn't fear him in the end (one of Bleach's greatest moments, truly) and then the FB arc started and the Orihime jokes like Orihime vision just made me think Kubo was making fun of her. How could anyone in his or her right mind believe she was meant as the "love and destiny Ichigo inherited" after the MITR arc?  Ichigo treated her like a nakama whereas Rukia was always more than a nakama... but I've gone on enough--it's really about more than the ship. It's about Orihime being the ideal of the Japanese housewife, and that trope itself is yuck.  I have nothing against housewives--I've been one off and on to homeschool special needs kids and I value people who do it, but Orihime had dreams. She had an offensive weapon. Yeah, Tsubaki was used a babysitter. That was.... wrong. Tell me that wasn't a FU.

It’s so much more than the ships–I do believe many people who read Bleach primarily for the ships are projecting their own obsessions onto others. I still believe Kubo had plenty time to wrap up a few key plot details, if given six months or six weeks, but the ending read like a huge FU to his story and fandom–it was so weird. I enjoyed some parts of the final arc even when it was clear it was going off the tracks, but most of my salt is about Mayuri living, SS not changing and remaining the corrupt institution it always was, Urahara–where?, Matsumoto backstory–not necessary anymore but KIRA where? How the hell did Aizen get back in the chair? That could’ve been explained in one line. Was the bro-con with Yuzu comedy really necessary? Wtf was it with her new hair color. Ok, we get it that Karin’s boobs got bigger. Kubo really likes boobs. I was already prepared not to expect an explanation of Rukia’s missing years on Earth or the Soul King backstory or any more Quincy backstory. But I was gutted by Ishida facing away in the CP–I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it would’ve been so easy for him to turn around and smile with his friends or be at the party in the chapter, especially after his nakama speech of all time and after joining the enemy to die and being willing to have everyone believe he was a traitor so he would SACRIFICE HIMSELF to their sake. Ishida alone. Ishida alone. I felt like I’d been personally slapped in the face.  ISHIDA SO ALONE.

My grief for Orihime is extreme. People have always called me an Orihime hater. I’ve criticized her character before but I always thought she’d make it. I cheered for her when she was fighting with Ichigo because she’d wanted to do that for years and been sidelined by the plot, but after her initial adorableness is SS arc (the arc that did no wrong) she was used for fanservice more and more and more–and I think I started losing it when she was shown holding a hot dog—and so many people, not just guys oblivious to the concept of the Male Gaze, defended it as “just a hot dog.” Forget the mushroom pajamas. People, her dress in the Arrancar arc had a cut over her crotch and her outfit in the final arc had a boob window. Representations of Orihime’s love in the FB arc seemed to mock her while Ichigo pined for Rukia. Bizarro world. And the sight of Orihime in an apron was gutting–so her achievement was she learned to cook in 10 years? In canon she said she wanted to be an astronaut. A teacher. Is she the ideal Japanese trophy wife? Did Ichigo interact much with her at ALL? Tsubaki, her offensive weapon, who was teased for years, ends up being A BABYSITTER. Oh please. I babysit. I think there’s no holier occupation that picking up a child so a woman can do something else with her useful hands but Tsubaki was supposed to represent Orihime’s KILLING INSTINCT, that which she had to some degree and was used in defense of Tatsuki once and never again to protect the innocent. So Tsubaki is supposed to squash any bug that Orihime’s super-powered baby comes across. No. Doesn’t work like that. We never saw Tsubaki in battle, forget Shinji’s ban kai. Tsubaki had three arcs--no wait four if you count the first time he went down on that roof-top--of build-up.

People have tried to console me with the headcanon that Urahara and Yoruichi went off somewhere because the ending embarrassed them—the sight of Ichigo on his dad’s sofa like Al Bundy.  So the tickets being given out to his friends was a tease and Ichigo ended up where he started, sitting on his father’s sofa—what Shounen hero does that? Ends up where he started 13 years later?  But it’s the Mayuri still being captain that hurts the most. And Nemu being rebuilt. I heard so many people going “kawaaaiiiiiii” over baby! Nemu and only one dude going OH G-D PLEASE CALL SS CHILD PROTECTION SERVICES. And why was the world, the corrupt SS that Ichigo was supposed to change not changed? And the execution site that he cracked once upon a time rebuilt stronger and bigger? While he’s reset to the very beginning, where he started, back at home—and SS is the same, none of its values changed–Rukia’s speech about he had changed SS completely erased.

I loved Bleach so much once, and that love was erased too."

I'll post a fic later. I still love the characters. More power to all those who are reclaiming them and more power to transformative art, "fix-it" fic and those who love what they love continuing to love. I will always have a special place for Ishida Uryuu and Urahara Kisuke and others in my heart but the canon story--it died for me with the end. I can only liken this end to a divorce. We had some good times, but I have to move on.
 
 
Current Location: It's raining
Current Mood: gloomygloomy
Current Music: rain falling gently
 
 
posted on Tumblr (sorry folks--I'm spending more time there because fandom has made the exodus there).

Why People Put Too Much Stock In Orihime's Powers

Because Aizen said so? Aizen the troll of all trolls? I’ve said before that Aizen has been known to play with facts, but he isn’t exactly a liar. I actually do take him on his word that Orihime’s powers trespass on the territory of GOD. In other words, when Aizen bullshits, I pay attention. When Bleach fandom bullshits, I tend to tune out—unless it’s one of those situations like this week when I think people are getting super carried away with prematurely announcing Orihime as the new main character of the series. They honestly expect her to have the perfect counter to Yhwach’s amazing over-poweredness. What? Can she time-travel into Yhwach’s future now? Can she reject his google eyes?

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08 April 2016 @ 01:04 pm
Since the reveal of Urahara’s ban kai and Kenpachi’s ban kai in less than a span of a month, it’s been hitting people that Bleach is really ending. I’ve even heard a few speculate that we’ve got only a couple fights left—to which I say woah, Nellie. I know we’re seeing wonders only dreamt of fourteen years ago, but so much more remains untold in the story. Aizen’s part, for one. Where does Aizen, Kubo’s most beloved, the man who was once arguably the top manga villain of his era, figure in restoring the universe to its rightful order after he once aimed to sit on the very throne of the Soul King? And speaking of illusionary zanpakutou, we’ve yet to see Shinji’s ban kai—what the hell does THAT thing do? Then there’s the role of the Fullbringers being trained by the Shiba Cannon Mistress, Kukaku. Uryuu’s fight with Haschwalth may be the main event for this summer, but there are so many other events yet to come—Bleach has years left.

That said, I do feel a true sense of having come through the dark woods, over the high mountain, and now being on the straight path home. I expect Kubo to try to spook me or throw a crazy snake in the road here and there, but somehow it is starting to feel familiar now—like, the narrative is coming to a natural conclusion. Just about everyone and his sister predicted that Yachiru would be Kenpachi’s sword. That was a fan theory going back ages. Grimmjow rollicking around in the plot being an audience-pleaser is no surprise either; I remember rolling my eyes over the debates as to whether he was alive or dead, but I never doubted he was FINE. Same goes for Kira. Hell, call me crazy for thinking that Ulquiorra will return to throw his Chekov’s lanza at some point, but I’ve been batting 1000 with these guys returning (It helps that Kubo has a hard time killing characters—and I knew he would NEVER kill Byakuya, like hell he wouldn’t). Ulquiorra may have had a perfect death, but he’s always had “Rise From the Ashes 2” written all over him.

The most activity my fanblog bleachness saw was back in 2009, during the Lust Arc preceding Ulquiorra’s death. Back then, Bleach had a whirlwind of fans and fan controversy to boot. When Ulquiorra died, there was a huge reverberation in the fandom as it tried to process the Arrancar arc, many finding that last scene touching but ultimately unsatisfying, especially in comparison to how the Soul Society arc had ended—which, I’d always argued, was Kubo’s point. The man loves parallels.

Bleach seemed to die with Ulquiorra. It never recovered its popularity after that time. I'd always championed it along, through its most plodding post SS days and even unto the despised Fullbringer arc (which I loved--it only took a little over a year to tell and it retold the ur-conception of Ichigo's power in a way that added some mythological oomph to the story--I, for one, wasn't flipping my cans over jokes that didn't hit the spot or Orihime munching one too many donuts) I knew even as I loved Bleach when it was floundering--it's pretty hard to ignore Kubo’s propensity to ignore fan favorites while creating new characters no one was much interested in. And another flaw he developed post SS was structuring fights that seemed to have no real emotional stakes... and yet, he pushed his story forward, playing with parables, toying with visual puns, amusing himself with high literary allusions and making dick jokes, and then every once in a while pulling off a stunning gaiden like Turn Back the Pendulum or Memories in the Rain—both well-told, poetically dense tales that not only stood alone as good stories but changed the main storyline forever. I’ll always love Kubo. He’s come back time and time again for me, if Ulquiorra hasn’t yet.

I realized the other day that I rarely check my own Bleach fanblog anymore. I still religiously read Bleach. I still love the hell out of the series, even as thousands have left it, bemoaning its convoluted plot and artsy excesses. I probably love Bleach as much for those very flaws as anything else, the way it lingers on a close-ups of doorknob or makes an excessive metaphor out of a moon sliver that looks like a toe-nail clipping in the sky.

When Ishida Uryuu, my favorite character, had his recent moment of realizing that there was some flaw in Haschwalth’s foresight, smiled his little Ishida half-smile, made some speech in keeping with Bleach’s great theme of destiny and materialized his bow, I flailed to the left, flailed to the right and fell out of my chair like electrocuted.  I still think that maybe after Ishida goes Volstandig and after Ichigo reaches Yhwach (yeah, like right, Ichigo is just going to kill the dude in his sleep—not gonna be that easy), something bad will happen, and we may end up with that teased at Ishida/Ichigo fight after all.

When Urahara said ban kai not long ago, there was similar flailing. Benihime may be my favorite zan yet—she’s truly gorgeous and terrifying in all ways and I’m certain we haven’t seen the last of her. Askin was the most elegant and satisfying opponent, and his death was savage—wow, what a way to go--and I'm  sure he’s dead because the four reiatsu that Neliel senses are Urahara’s, Yoruichi’s, Yoru’s brother’s, and Grimmjow’s. That story of that rescue has to be told too—and Kubo did promise us a Kisuke/Yoruichi backstory. I’m not worried for Kisuke’s life for one second. I do admit I was scared for Shunsui back there during his chapters but his ban kai seemed all about suicide so can you blame me? I guess I was having a bad week. Anyway, Urahara will be fine. Let’s see how he gets out of this pickle.

When Kenpachi got ban kai, though, I didn’t fail or get up and fanboy whoot, I sat in my chair and outright cried. I don’t know why. That story is one of the loveliest in Bleach. Say what you will about Kenpachi being an overpowered, one-note character but his relationship with Yachiru, the little pink-haired foundling, is one of Kubo’s best done. The whole theme of naming which echoes over and over in the story, the communing with one’s true soul, the idea that this little girl is Kenpachi’s beast killer nature and she’s been by his side all along—didn’t we all know this? It was like the best of revelations, to understand something that we’ve understood for years.  There was a part of me that very much needed to see that little girl tell a man who had just been splatted onto the ground by all that was irrational and mighty that he was silly and needed to get up, that he had the power and it was called “ban kai.” I cried.

I love Bleach. It’s moments like that one I’d waited years for.

 
 
 
09 November 2015 @ 08:45 am
This didn't scan well. Oh well. Everyone is free to share any Uryuu arts here or any Uryuu discussion for his birthday if you so wish. His birthday can last all November as far as I'm concerned--this is a very very Ishida Uryuu happy site!

happy birthday uryuu 2016.JPG
 
 
06 November 2015 @ 06:54 am
I am so very very sorry to have not hosted the annual Ishida birthday celebration this year.  In so many ways, the contest wasn't do-able, but I don't love Ishida any less and I know his fans don't. Last night, after a very long week, I scrambled to write up a character analysis thingie as an offering. I've been sketching our boy off and on for a while so I may post a sketch later today. Here's my little essay--I still love writing about you, Uryuu, and happy birthday.

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22 July 2015 @ 08:05 am
I'm drawing again.... So I sketched Uryuu this week after what seems like years of not drawing at all. Some sketches weren't utter crap and I may finish the following drawing based off a Qin dynasty sculpture of a kneeling archer: http://debbiechan.deviantart.com/art/Kneeling-Archer-Uryuu-548113755?ga_submit_new=10%253A1437569543



Qin Dynasty.jpg
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Current Mood: artisticartistic
 
 
I'm baaaack!  With a very short vignette that was almost three years in the making. For my dear friend Peggy who won an IshiHime contest a while back with the art below (http://pre05.deviantart.net/5cd3/th/pre/i/2015/109/8/8/ishihime_fairy_tale_by_peca06-d6ueyue.png), I present "The Frog Princess" a tiny piece I tried to work into the current storyline (somehow?)  I still love Orihime, despite what people say, and I want the best for her, with or without Ishida-kun.



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First of all, much love and thanks to the faithful Ishida fans who posted entries this year!  All the entries may not have been viewable  to the general public, so here they are:

"Knight of Immortal Fire"
http://bleachness.livejournal.com/770101.html

"Toden Engel"
http://bleachness.livejournal.com/769813.html

"Ishida's New Vollstandig"
http://bleachness.livejournal.com/769680.html

 "Ishida Transformation"
http://bleachness.livejournal.com/769100.html

"Have Some Wings!"
http://bleachness.livejournal.com/768307.html

"One Winged Ishida"
http://bleachness.livejournal.com/767722.html


Apologies from your bleachness maintainer for dragging almost as long as the Szayel fight this year, but I was so busy with work and family! I still love BLEACH and especially ISHIDA as much as ever and it was a delight as always to see loyal fans turn out for our Quincy boy's birthday with these fanarts. The mod staff and I promised winners, but as I always like to say, the fandom wins. The Ishida fandom is a feverent one, and I know that we're waiting for Kubo's reveal of Ishida's powers, his ultimate role, his new bow, new cape, his naked chest? in this final arc!  But in the meantime, we dreamed Vollstandig!

Winners!

Because this entry was so creative in terms of design (we loved those hip belts and the ponytail) and in so pleasing in terms of artistic composition, the first place winner is la_kalaka for Toden Engel.  The art is full of all the drama we imagine Ishida's transformation will present.

Second place for an artwork that was gorgeous and full of energy despite not showing a new costume or powers goes to peca_06 's Ishida's New Vollstandig. The coloring, the intense restraint in Ishida's face, the kinetic blues are marvelous here.

Third place goes to a wildly inventive design by moga_moka. Her art here shows a unique and atmospheric style and best of all, the return of Seele Schneider!

Mazel tov to all winners and participants. I know enthusiasm for bleach as well as Live Journal is diminishing, but I hope to run this contest again next year and until Bleach ends.

Winners, please p.m. _debbiechan_ with paypal addresses and/or snail mail addresses so I can get prizes to you!
 
 
29 November 2014 @ 11:23 pm
So here as I promised, the bunch of doodles I did for Ishida's design.

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Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
 
 
Like a lot of my work these days, this is far from perfect, but Ishida's birthday always forces work out of me. I had fun attempting this, though! I sure would like to do a more dynamic picture with this design someday. Until then I hope you like the concept. Good luck, guys!

I also hope that you had a Wonderful Birthday, Debbie!

[Knight of Immortal Fire]Final Form
 
 
Current Mood: artisticartistic
 
 

Engel
by kala-k on deviantART


I worked on this design all this month and I am quite proud of this one :) I love designing characters and this was such an enjoyable challenge for a character I've loved during the past decade. I added and take off several things till get the final design. I wanted something neat, not too overloaded but that was able to give a strong feeling. this was the result, I wanted six wings like a seraph (which are the highest ranked angels) but there were too much sondering the halo and Uryuu's arrow and bow, it looked pretty overloaded, so I opted for just four wings :3

Happy belated Bday Debbie and Happy Thanksgiving (belated too, lol!) for you all <3

Click onto my DA to get a better version <.
 
 
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
 
 
01 November 2014 @ 09:11 am
Arrrgh I've been so busy and sick and sick and busy! But Eny drew a graphic to replace my rotten one for the Ishida contest this year (OMG, ISHIDA'S BDAY IS NEXT WEEK!) and here I am with some updates! First, la_kalaka 's cute drawing:

ishida_contest_2014__by_kala_k-d82lhnm

Extra rules: Your entries must be new arts, not posted anywhere else previous to Nov. 6. Your art can be ANYTHING, really--food art, a music video, a plushie, a pillowcase--whatever as long as it depicts Ishida's Vollstandig (his new winged Quincy form!) OF YOUR IMAGINATION.  You must upload your arts, one art per post, on Nov. 6, with the subject heading "Draw Ishida's Vollstandig Contest" and the title of your particular piece (or "untitled" if your art has no title). Tag the entry "Draw Ishida's Vollstandig Contest" as well.

As always, gifts and tributes to our boy are welcome on this day, but please note if your gift is not to be considered for judging in the competition.

Sorry to be so absent from Bleachness lately folks--unlike many, I'm still a huge HUGE fan. I will always love Bleach. I've been swamped with work and RL lately and am currently buried under a mountain of tissues from my perpetual cold.  The Naruto manga is ending next week and I feel so nostalgic and weird about that--I'm no longer very invested in the manga, but my son who was just a preschooler talking about it with me one day is now a teenager taller than I am!  Funny how a long-running manga can make one face one's own mortality and get all weepy about time passing!

I really hate how the shipping phenomenon ruins fandom joy, and how Japan just fans the flames---there's a perverse pleasure WSJ took in asking "Will it be Sakura or Hinata in this week's preview for the last chapter?" and Studio Perriot's movie previews are always horrible trolls. Eh, my ship in Naruto was NaruSasu so I got the satisfyingly super gay ending I always wanted and predicted in chapter 698, and now I'm just watching the fireworks. I've predicted NaruSaku for years, even though I don't care for it, but I've never been wrong about a ship.  I hope that when Bleach ends, there won't be half the wank, although some folks are predicting worsel I remember how Kubo trolled the fandom over Rukia's ban kai and pray he won't do the same with shipping, although I fear the worst. Some people are just cruel for the heck of it and to show up the stupidity of manga fans.
 
 
11 October 2014 @ 10:45 pm
I saw this on Facebook, and I have to know if anyone here knows the artist!? It's so beautiful!

[Spoiler (click to open)]Ishihime
 
 
25 September 2014 @ 01:53 pm
I came up with the idea for this contest the moment Opie popped his fugly wings on panel. A few months ago, when it looked like Ichigo and Ishida were about to come face to face in this arc once again, nehalenia told me that it looked like Ishida's Vollstandig would be revealed soon enough and we wouldn't be having our contest after all---but naaaah, in true Bleach fashion, that encounter was just a prelude, a foreshadowing of angst and glory. I'm sure Kubo will hold off Uryuu's final form for the final chapters.

In the meantime, YOU CAN JUST IMAGINE IT. I threw together a little graphic last week while I was busy and meant to post it, but today's chapter got me all excited again about the inevitability of an IchiIshi showdown--with Orihime watching--and yes, ISHIDA'S VOLLSTANDIG. WHAT WILL IT LOOK LIKE?

That's the theme of this year's birthday contest!

draw Ishida Vollstandig contest flyer
 
 
31 July 2014 @ 12:36 am
So word is that the Japanese government, in conjunction with some anime production companies and manga publishing houses is executing a crackdown on pirated anime and manga, over 500 manga titles and 80 anime series.

With special focus on China...
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Current Mood: nostalgicnostalgic