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25 August 2016 @ 10:21 am
Thank you and my opinions on 686  
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
 
 
 
kari_izumikari_izumi on August 25th, 2016 04:41 pm (UTC)
But he didn’t even do it right. He gave her no romance.

And that's just it. I was always fine with an Ichiruki friendship outcome and Ichihime being a thing (at best, I was indifferent to it), but what about having her confess to him, while he's awake? How about having someone else point it out and Ichigo be like "huh. I never thought about her like that, but I wouldn't mind going out when all this is over"? It's a shounen series so I never expected this to end in a gigantic wedding or anything, but yeah, even if I shipped it, it would be a hollow victory.

There was so much other shit wrong with this ending that once the "OH MAN FANDOM IS GONNA SHIT A BRICK" feelings subsided, the shipper thing was the very least of why this fell flat, and I can't blame all of that on WSJ cancelling the series. It's a business, I get that. The pacing was horrendous.

Le sigh.

I do have a board of my own where we have a lotta fandom nerds, so if anyone from Deathberry is looking for another Internet home besides Reddit, we'd love to invite them there.
_debbiechan_: urahara hat_debbiechan_ on August 26th, 2016 03:20 pm (UTC)

Yes, I remember you had a board. A link would be good. I expect the Bleach fandom will go on in a fury for a good while--Naruto went on for months and there was a follow-up series and an animated movie--and while Bleach doesn't have that promptly following the end, there is a different flavor to the fury--a large and articulate fanbase that's disgruntled and the opposing sides going why the fuss and shippers of course doing their shipper thing. All to be expected and I have no doubt it will go on intensely for months and never truly end. Never.
♬ 謝健新 in B♯ Majorgraphite on August 25th, 2016 07:12 pm (UTC)
I have utterly nothing to add to this magnificent post other than this. As trolled as we felt with the final chapters (and, sometimes to me, the entire final arc), I still want to like the Bleach canon.

Man, I know it's rough. I know it's off the rails. But every week I'd read the chapter and call my brother and we'd both be so, so hopeful that this would be it, this would be the chapter where Orihime wasn't going to have useless characterization, where Ishida would start ten chapters of screen time, where Mayuri's sins would be punished.

But it wouldn't be it, and it isn't now, and I wish I could disown all of it but I can't. This thing ran for how long? It's as part of me as anything.
_debbiechan_: Ichigo in the rain_debbiechan_ on August 25th, 2016 09:08 pm (UTC)
Oh man, I know that feeling. That's why I had to reclaim the characters. I don't hate what I lived or regret what I loved, but Kubo shat on his story and his audience and I will never forgive him; I have to distance myself from the fandom if not leave it altogether (but never my friends made there--some bonds will never break---and my love for some characters will never die).

15 years it ran. I was there for 12? 13? It was a big part of my life. My children sat in my lap when I started reading and they gave it up before I did.

I am heart-broken.
rocknyx: dorkiukirocknyx on August 25th, 2016 07:19 pm (UTC)
I was really unhappy with the ending too :( and I didn't even care who Ichigo ended up with. There are just so many questions left and the characters that I liked had crappy endings. I was sad for Ukitake! He was my favorite ;~:
I am gonna miss waiting for bleach on thursdays. I loved reading the forums on weds and seeing the spoilers and people predicting what was gonna happen.
_debbiechan_: Ukitake_debbiechan_ on August 26th, 2016 01:53 pm (UTC)

I'm so sad about Ukitake myself. I loved him so much. If his death had been for any purpose or had saved anyone, it would have been less tragic. But it was like Kubo killed him, just killed him for no reason--this after saying he would be "cured" in interview.

Blessings.
kari_izumikari_izumi on September 5th, 2016 03:07 pm (UTC)
My own thoughts on that is Kubo would've revived every dead character if he'd written the story out as he wanted. How many characters have been beaten to a pulp and should have died? The first episode of this show that I happened to see flipping though stations and no knowledge of the series was the Renji/Bya fight, and I'll be damned if I thought our fave redhead was done for. Then, four episodes later, he's back without a scratch. 😂
kari_izumikari_izumi on September 6th, 2016 02:40 pm (UTC)
My own thoughts on that is Kubo would've revived every dead character if he'd written the story out as he wanted. How many characters have been beaten to a pulp and should have died? The first episode of this show that I happened to see flipping though stations and no knowledge of the series was the Renji/Bya fight, and I'll be damned if I thought our fave redhead was done for. Then, four episodes later, he's back without a scratch. 😂
JadeRentjaderent on August 25th, 2016 07:50 pm (UTC)
I'm another fan who let go on my grip of Bleach thinking I'd catch up when the manga ended. With the pacing I left at, I could read a year (Or 3) worth of chapters in a weekend. Now I'm not so sure it's worth it.

But I did pop into Bleachness time and time again because it was always a place to catch up with the first fandom I joined and adored. I can TOTALLY see why Deathberry closed it's registration as this end has caused drama galore everywhere. It's an ugly thing but I'm not going into that.

I want to say thank you for Bleachness and all the breakdowns, opinions, and analysis. They may seem for naught now, but for me it was a highlight and what helped make reading the manga more than just a fun hobby but a great experience with memories I’ll always have. Thank you to everyone in the fandom who contributed to that. There’s a connection there that I don’t have with close friends because they weren’t involved and can’t understand. (I tried explaining IchiRuki and Bleach to my mom with hilarious results.)

I could get angry about the end (and I was, but I’m calmer now. Being away from the fandom didn’t lessen my disappoint with how far it fell) but I’d rather hold onto the new zeal and appreciation I have for Bleach at it’s best and the art and fic that’s coming out again. There is some AMAZING talent that I’ve discovered through my love of Bleach and IchiRuki especially. So in the end I’m grateful and I hope everyone can pull something positive from this manga journey. I know I did. Thank you!
_debbiechan_: kaien friend_debbiechan_ on August 26th, 2016 01:55 pm (UTC)

My kids were Bleach fans; my husband still doesn't quite get it but every time the packages came over the years, gifts and letters from Bleach fans ALL OVER THE WORLD he didn't stop being amazed at all the connections I made. He doesn't quite get my grief and rage over the ending but he does understand that the friendships I've made were worth it. And that Kubo can eat a bag of dicks. :D
oh gallant piglet,: primeraaizome on August 26th, 2016 03:59 am (UTC)
it's still sinking in for me: this is really the end. you know i already had several things i will never forgive kubo for (icon is an example), so this end just felt like the biggest asspull. all those times fans would use that word (or "plotkai") were just silly, imo. but this really deserves the word "asspull". Chad promised his Abuelo he would never fight for personal gain. end chapter? he's a boxer??? the fuck? you covered ori thoroughly, Deb. Ishida i could see changing his mind & becoming a doctor but being unable to be w/ his friends was cruel. Rukia never treated Renji as anything but a brother. but i suppose she and Renji were the most unscathed by this end. ichigo tho??? this is the series HERO, who wanted more than anything to protect his family & friends AS A SHINIGAMI. he identified AS A SHINIGAMI. and his glorious triumphant shounen hero end is... becoming a Japanese Al Bundy. i can't think of a single shounen manga that ended with such a weak, boring "hero". gee thanks, kubo.

he betrayed his characters, his story, and his fans. BUT, he can't erase the wonderful friendships we've made over the years, thanks to bleach. so good riddance kubo, but thanks for making it possible for me to have made some of the best friends i have ever had. we will continue to share creativity and love among each other. what will he do now? go back to watching 90210, i suppose. i honestly don't even care.

thank you Debbie for everything you've said and done for us. this comm has always been a wonderful place for discourse and sharing love. i don't regret any of this ride, despite the end. <3<3<3<3
_debbiechan_: antithesis of happiness_debbiechan_ on August 26th, 2016 01:51 pm (UTC)

Yeah, all those panels in Rukia's mind where Renji shared the panel with her brother Byakuya and then bang, solo panel of Ichigo---! Sure, we got it. Rukia put Ichigo in a special place and Renji as a brother. Meanwhile Renji and Ichigo both had visuals swearing on their souls with the same love for Rukia. Renji -Rukia was one-sided. Orihime-Ichigo was one sided. Ishida-Orihime was one-sided. Given Kubo's propensity to adore tragedy in love, I was expecting an open ending of unrequitedness in the romance department, truly, if only some IR interaction but the final chapter was a deliberate FU to the IR fanbase. It's hard to read it as anything else given so many other retcons discussed at length elsewhere--like when Zangetsu chided Ichigo for falling back to Karakura town from the high skyscrapers in the inner world, for not going beyond that small world and achieving more beyond (as shounen heros are meant to do). Chad using his fists to fight mere humans without supernatural strength is so ridiculous as to think Kubo didn't even care what he was writing. Ishida's neglect seems almost charitable--like he was kept away from this trainwreck out of pity. Urahara not being mentioned was just ... it could've been done in a single line instead of bringing in Hiyori. The last chapter was a FU.

No wonder Eastern fans (and others) started burning their Bleach merchandise and saying FU back to Kubo. Many in 2ch were wildly disappointed but condemned the destruction of property. How about the destruction of 15 years work that Kubo wrought? How about the hurt he cast on his fanbase? What happened? We will never know. I am beyond speculating. I am done. Almost done. Have a fic to post, many personal letters to answer, some things to sell.
luminous85: Neutralluminous85 on August 26th, 2016 06:12 pm (UTC)
I didn't know what to think. I'll admit that I was in Bleach for Ishida. The less I saw of him in his own arc, the more concerned I felt. I've wondered why I care so much about this character? It's like you said; Ishida being alone is not how it should have been, and it breaks my heart. I also feel the ominous pit in my stomach saying it doesn't really matter anymore.

Ultimately I'm glad I was challenged as an artist through this community, and I love the people I have met here. Thank you for always being so encouraging and thoughtful, Debbie!

Now to go on and figure out what will occupy my overactive imagination. :/

Edited at 2016-08-26 06:13 pm (UTC)
_debbiechan_: antithesis of happiness_debbiechan_ on August 26th, 2016 07:30 pm (UTC)

Thank you for your beautiful art and your constant inspiration and lovely comments. You have always been a wonderful Ishida fan. I have one more fic for you; I hope you like it. It may be my last. My heart is broken but it won't stay that way. Remember the Japanese art of kintsugi--mending broken pots with pure gold? So that what is broken is more beautiful than before? The Jews have a saying too--when the string between two points is broken and then tied again, the two are closer than ever before.

Suffering has its way of bringing intimacy and joy to us at times; not to discount true misery and the unthinkable suffering that is in the world and to liken any of it to the bad ending of a Japanese manga, but when I wrote my last story, I thought about happiness and unhappiness and how Uryuu dealt with whatever came his way with the same grace.

Move forward. Sometimes it's best not to turn around and look back, at least not for long. If one does, it's impossible to move forward.
coffee_gyrl: to-do-list Ulquiorracoffee_gyrl on August 26th, 2016 10:15 pm (UTC)
I'm so happy to hear that you are okay. I always value your character discussions and ditto to everything you said. I pettered out at the end their in the manga and now I'm glad I did. I couldn't agree with you more about Orihime. Fan fiction to the rescue.
_debbiechan_: aim high_debbiechan_ on August 26th, 2016 10:23 pm (UTC)

Hey there Coffee_gyrl! So many people are writing "fix it" fic. I really wanted to write "KILL MAYURI" fic in the final weeks when it became plain to me that Kubo wasn't going to gloss over that evil captain's crimes--it became an obsession, in fact. I ended up writing a story that wasn't about that at all. So maybe I still will do a Mayuri fic but I don't know. I prefer clean breaks rather than lingering ones. I do want to move on. But I'm all for artists reclaiming characters, especially since the author treated his story so badly in the end.
caviszecavisze on August 26th, 2016 10:17 pm (UTC)
I did find this https://branchandroot.dreamwidth.org/1458264.htm and felt like maybe, maybe I could reconcile what I thought I had read in the manga. The bit about Orihime accepting that she is constantly being protected and allowing it to happen... maybe BT saw that (and not the boobs, I hate thinking about the boobs) as Ichigo's eventual ideal. And Rukia, being so Rukia... forever connected to Ichigo...whether there is a romantic relationship between them or not... maybe it was KT only way to keep both relationships in tact.

Who knows.

Really, on some level, even though I am still "????!?!?!?" I am also feeling very "...." about it. It's very hard, to have a story I was so drawn to and attached to just go like this. I feel like I'm going through a terrible divorce.
_debbiechan_: It's Like He's Doing it On PURPOSE_debbiechan_ on August 26th, 2016 10:39 pm (UTC)
Ok, so I read that and it seems like forced apologetics to me--not literary at all, more like numerology than anything to do with literary narrative. I'll give you that Kubo was obsessed with numbers--he had that weird thing for 15 and he made sure he ended Bleach on its 15th anniversary, perhaps even to the detriment of the story if it meant filling in essential clues, but if that is truly the case that means he's not only a really eccentric writer, he's a mad one and a bad one, and we always assumed he wasn't. I saw flashes of his brilliance in his small stories near the very end--the little parable between Ishida and Haschwalth that was a philosophical exercise in ultilitarianism vs deontology. Poignant backstory, beautifully drawn. But Kubo could not carry off a long narrative or pick up plot lines anymore, and his ending had more plot holes than Swiss cheese and his pairings--I could see RenRuki foreshadowed possibly in the narrative in the final arc only but not IH. Anyway, it's all water under the bridge and done. There's no point in arguing about it anymore although I know the arguments will go on infinitely.

I can't help myself sometimes--in my Tumblr timeline someone said Kubo kept Orihime a pacifist and I had to respond SOMETHING along the lines of "you keep using that word--I don't think you know what it means." Orihime entered war; pacifists don't do that. Also, the same people who had wanted her to be a SWP or the Soul King's heart or thigh are all defending her housewifely honor now. She can do no wrong; they never saw how poorly she was written, or the inherent sexism in the genre and how Kubo succumbed to it again and again, with disturbing frequency in the latter part of the series. Don't get me started about Nemu. Don't. I'll put up an old avie from years ago re Nemu and the Szayel fight that horrified (not in a good way) many feminists. I had the fucking nerve to cut Kubo a break then, even as I agreed with how badly Mayuri's character had been twisted to serve as a mouthpiece for exposition and how the dark humor had just been so misplaced... but the Pernida fight topped that one in grossness. Oh yeah. Mayuri. I'll never forgive Kubo for letting Mayuri live. He loved Mayuri so much. Kubo destroyed his own manga---and I can only believe he did it at the cost of destroying his own heart. Unlike Mayuri, he can't grown back a new one for himself. I don't want to speculate but what can I do? I think the man must've been dead inside to trash and retcon so much of 15 years of work.

Edited at 2016-08-26 10:45 pm (UTC)
peca_06: absentpeca_06 on August 27th, 2016 08:32 pm (UTC)
part 1
It has been an insane rollercoaster and I still feel like I have a strange feeling of emptiness in the middle of my heart and I still can't believe it. But I'm not in denial, it just seems so outrageous and nonsensical, it just doesn't fit with the rest of Bleach that it is hard to fathom such ridiculousness. It is like someone I loved and trusted so much, that I never thought this person would do anything to hurt me and went and did just that, in the worst possible of ways. Some have said it feels like a bad divorce or break up and I think that fits very close to this emotion we are all experiencing :P. I keep on feeling that I'm fine, only to see or hear something that reminds me of the good beautiful times I've experience and I burst into incontrollable tears again. I feel used and betrayed.

I was the type to love close ups of doorknobs and other things like that, because I thought of Kubo as being an artistic nerd like me and frankly I thought he had time, to tie up everything just fine. Despite his weird sense of humor, I had faith in his ability to tell good heartfelt stories. Some Arrancars got better stories and more meaningful ones that the main most beloved characters of Bleach (Ishida for example, after such poignant speech to Hashwaldt about friendship and then end up alone... Its just TAT UGH! ). Ichigo, my favorite male character, who could've been one the greatest heroes in Shonen history, reduced to a couch potato, eating ramen with peanut-butter for the rest of his days and with one the worst hair cuts I've seen in a while.

I never, in my wildest dreams, could have I imagined such a strange ending. It looked like what a desperate bad illusionist would do, by running around chaotically, making things fall over for shock value, while simultaneously babbling continuous complicated metaphysical things thinking that if he keeps meandering through enough mind portals, back and forth between Past, Present and Future, without honing on one concrete thing, he could make us believe that he knows what he was doing. All the same time, he kept on forcing characters together, having panel time, like that is going to equal chemistry and be a believable romantic ending... Well, just NOPE.

peca_06peca_06 on August 27th, 2016 08:32 pm (UTC)
part 2
... NONE OF IT WORKED or was CONVINCING. Now that the dust has settled and the curtain of the Wizard of OZ that Kubo has been, have fallen, we can see what a simple minded person he has always been. We gave him way more credit than he deserved. Even though I think he is a great artist and has had some good moments, but the majority of the substance behind it, is as hollow as the creatures he had his characters hunted...

I felt some pity thinking that he had a lot of pressure and that dealing with Shonen Jump was probably not a cake walk, but it isn't that way for EVERY ARTIST there. He isn't special or better than the rest. He knew what he was going into and others have endured and made the best of it and he just ruined it all, just cause who knows... "big tits"?. Seems incredibly immature and non professional when other authors are making the best they can.

Not only our love of Bleach has been erased in an instant, but logic, intelligence, intellectuality, depth, continuity, years of the little development that was made on the characters, heroism, decency, strong female presence, respect towards women, and the list goes on and on... This mediocre ending was a deliberate F.U. towards his fans and I still don't know what have I done, to deserve this, when I've been nothing but a loyal, supportive, loving fan for a decade.

This community has been a wonderful place for intelligent discussion and I've enjoyed the wonderful camaraderie that the fans radiate here. I've felt always at home and I thank you Debbie for creating it. Funny that this little community was also the one to brought to light the blatant plagiarism that Simmons son did of Bleach for his own gain. We all mobilized for him, to help him, to help his creation, only to be treated with such disdain, kicked to the curb our favorite characters and disrespected and insulted his loyal fans at the end. Wow, just wow :( . We all deserved better.

I love you Debbie, you will always be in my heart. Thanks for being so wonderful and thank you all for making this years such memorable and wonderful time. Because of that and the friendships, I didn't think I've waisted my time ^____^ <33333.
_debbiechan_: PUPPY_debbiechan_ on August 27th, 2016 09:04 pm (UTC)
Re: part 2

Peggy, I don't even have to write the words again but I will: I will always love you. You are a wonderful person. Kiss your puppy for me. Our good times are far from over and no one can take away our bond.
Danielwdboldstar on August 28th, 2016 09:19 am (UTC)
Glad to hear you and yours survived the flood, Debbie. When I saw you posting on Deathberry, I was worried.

Glad to see one last analysis on the series, and I definitely agree. It's like... damn. It seemed like the cerebral side of fandom was always accused of hating Orihime, so it was nice to know the truth, that a lot of us were rooting for her, and our main beef was how badly she was treated. That poor girl. I think she and Renji may have gotten the shortest end of the stick there, being trophies/consolation prizes. I mean, Ishida at least had the good sense to get out of that group of friends, because... oof. Not a great spot for any of them to end up in. Maybe he and Chad hold a "I got stuck with the wrong job and my friends married off to people that aren't good for them" support group when they're both in town.

Oh hey, since I doubt bleachness will see very many other posts, for the record, if anyone still wants to keep up with me, I do most of my fandom stuff over on tumblr these days. republictrooper.tumblr.com is my main blog.
Robertaodetoneverland on August 29th, 2016 03:24 am (UTC)
(I posted this at Deathberry and I'll post it here because this place was such a huge part of my teenage years that I think I need to post it here for some closure, for some people, maybe, know how much they meant (mean) to me.)

I wish I could let it go of Bleach, but the feelings are still lingering... I'm really just fell very silly. I've been for some time away from fandom that I thought that I would not care that much, but in the end I did. I just love these characters so much, it pains me a lot to see they all "assassinated". And it hurts a lot to see this site dying little by little.
I never participated because my English is bad and it was worse when I got in fandom back in 2008, but I was always there lurking in BA and Bleachness reading the fabulous and thoughtful essays. You guys were (are) so intelligent it just inspired me to study more.
Mezzo funny essays were a masterpiece! I wish she/he was here just to make a funny remark. I think she/he would make something funny and this pain would hurt a little less.

I'll never regret that I shipped IchiRuki because of the awesome fandom! I never said anything to you guys and at the same time I care so much about a lot of you... Annie, Syn, Debbie (gosh, I really love Debbie and I'll never understand people who say bad things about her, she's so sweet, I wish I was as sweet as her), Karenai, Pikeish, Peca, Metaphore_art (her lj entries made my day!!!), really everybody of those awesome days. These days they were so much fun they'll be forever in my heart.
Hugs to you all! I really think I needed to say these words, so you guys will know that in the end there is this connection that Kubo can never break, as much as in the end he wanted to break and destroy everything that was beautiful. This is ours for no one to taint.
_debbiechan_: Rukia_debbiechan_ on August 29th, 2016 11:38 am (UTC)

Blessings. I'm still going through dozens--and I mean omg so many letters, I can't stop the tears and I know the process of letting go is going to be a drawn out one for me--but thank you so much. I know what really matters now. Thank you.
peca_06: Ichiruki lovepeca_06 on August 29th, 2016 11:58 pm (UTC)
I know how you feel sweetie. This fandom is full of caring, warm and wonderful people. Thank you so much for being there and for finally finding the courage to post. You are not alone <3333
*HUGS BACK*
pony_rockspony_rocks on August 29th, 2016 10:50 am (UTC)
I think your feelings resemble mine a lot.
Many of the characters I loved were neglected in the end, especially Ishida. It left a very bitter taste in my mouth. But I will still love the characters, keep my headcanons and most of all - keep the friendships that were born thanks to Bleach, because that is after all the most precious thing.

(Also, it is nice to see you posting again, albeit under such circumstances. Hope things go well for your whole family - stay safe!)

Edited at 2016-08-29 10:51 am (UTC)
_debbiechan_: Ishida Water (experiment)_debbiechan_ on August 29th, 2016 11:41 am (UTC)

My beautiful friend, I was thinking of you this week. I thought of you first when Ryuuken appeared, when Ukitake died, and I'm glad to hear from you. It was always a honor and a blessing to be your friend. It's early now, before coffee and I'll sign off before my emotions run away with me, lol.
Kylla: squee!eriss on August 31st, 2016 05:39 am (UTC)
I don't blame Kubo for ending his story the way he did. This video gives a very insightful look into what happened with Bleach.

_debbiechan_: Aizen ILLUSION_debbiechan_ on August 31st, 2016 01:43 pm (UTC)

The video's been taken down (interesting that TV Tokyo took it down) but I've seen it several times. I think its too soft on Kubo, personally. Lots of people want to blame the business, Shueisha and WSJ, but Kubo, as far as I'm concerned, given his personal history and statements he's made in public, never worked well with editors, was sensitive to public criticism and even public comments he read an japan amazon.com re Bleach volumes; he always did what he wanted and he made his own bed and now he has to lie in it. WSJ allowed him a lot of freedom over the years. Kubo acted like quite the artiste on a number of occasions, posting that massive declaration with the dvd of the last movie (after sales were less than expected) that inferred that no one listened to his vision. Kubo is willful, has stated that he champions characters people dislike, has said contradictory things plenty times (never a movie then bam a movie contract) and I see his abandonment of the Bleach story and his shitty ending as a supreme tantrum of "I do what I want, fuck the audience."
patpatoly on September 4th, 2016 05:08 pm (UTC)
deathberry forum problem
hey. I'm ichiruki fan who has been lurking at the deathberry forum. I didn't post anything because my English isn't good enough and I don't have any information. so I always read the things you guys inform abut ichiruki and not noticing about the ban. I don't know how to contact anyone because I'm alone in the website. I've been finding the way to contact anyone till I find this website. So, could you guys please unban me. I may not have any information about ichiruki because I dont have any Ichiruki friends all I the information I know is from the deathberry. I had been visiting you guys since in BA and it's the best place about ichiruki so I'd like to be part of it again. my account is "ppp". thankyou :)
ps. I dont use livejournal but I've just sign p to contact.
I left bleach long time ago and just come back

Edited at 2016-09-04 05:16 pm (UTC)
_debbiechan__debbiechan_ on September 4th, 2016 06:22 pm (UTC)
Re: deathberry forum problem

I've contacted the administrators. They're looking into it.
patpatoly on September 5th, 2016 01:42 pm (UTC)
Re: deathberry forum problem
thankyou so much ^^
_debbiechan__debbiechan_ on September 5th, 2016 04:05 pm (UTC)
NotRe: deathberry forum problem

Not sure the issue is fixed. Try making a post. I'll see what I can do. Sorry for delay. People who never posted were banned but I'm not sure what the current status is.
_debbiechan__debbiechan_ on September 5th, 2016 08:28 pm (UTC)
Re: NotRe: deathberry forum problem

please try posting in this thread: http://deathberry.com/index.php?topic=1041.new#new
_debbiechan__debbiechan_ on September 6th, 2016 12:48 pm (UTC)
Re: NotRe: deathberry forum problem
hI, I finally had the situation explained to me by administrators. You're not banned. Members with less than 10 posts were limited.
This is the message I was asked to pass along:

"They have not been banned or anything. It's just that in an effort to protect members here further from trolls and all that, we tightened the security of the forum. These two users, unfortunately, have a 0 post count which makes them fall in the group that was affected.

Users with a 0 post count had their access to the general bleach thread blocked until they at least get 10 or more posts. I understand that we may have gotten some genuine posters affected but that is why I am trying to encourage people to post in the News/Announcements section."

So my understanding is that you have to keep posting in order to view more posts.

d
mc456 on September 9th, 2016 03:29 am (UTC)
Re: NotRe: deathberry forum problem
Hello I'm also an ichiruki fan and a member of the deathberry forum and am unable to view anything other than the news and announcements section.
enisy: Bleach:: Ulquihime (One Last)enisy on October 26th, 2016 11:58 am (UTC)
Re: NotRe: deathberry forum problem
Could you also vouch for me on Deathberry, when you have some time, Debbie? I'm a pretty well-known Ulquihime (and by extension Ichiruki) fan.

Edited at 2016-10-26 11:58 am (UTC)
chalitychality on September 7th, 2016 12:50 am (UTC)
Thank you from a long time lurker
Thank you for the beautiful post. I first discovered Bleachness nine summers ago, and, as always, the sight of a fresh new essay on the front page makes my day, even under these sad circumstances. The love, insight, and engaging discourse that you and so many other wonderful posters brought to this community over the years made not only Bleach fandom, but my life itself more fun, and I can’t find adequate words to convey my gratitude. I hope that you and your family are doing well, now and always.

I’ve been a “Wallflower on the Precipice” of Bleach fandom for a very long time. I started to read it in May 2004 when the first volume was released in the U.S. The “When you’re ready to talk, I’ll listen” conversation during “Memories in the Rain” cemented Rukia as my favorite character, and the raw emotion of “broken coda” drove me to ship IchiRuki with a passion that will endure well beyond this travesty of a canon ending.

I also trusted in Kubo’s integrity when I shouldn’t have, and clearly misinterpreted (or was actively misled by) the final arc. Long after he proved unable to craft a plot with a satisfying payoff, an adequately foreshadowed power-up, or a compellingly choreographed fight scene, Kubo continued to write romance poignantly. I believed that the IR/Masshin parallels in EBTR, coupled with the emotional moments throughout the FB arc, pushed IR to the brink of canonization. Until recently, the dearth of interaction proceeding the flashback seemed to be a casualty of Kubo’s meandering plot (if an excruciatingly boring succession of standalone side character battles can be called a “plot”). I had no misgivings until Renji alluded to “A Star and a Stray Dog” apropos of nothing en route to the final battle. Nonetheless, I remained optimistic that although the overarching plot was a lost cause, the ending might still do justice to the characters that I loved. I avoided spoilers because I wanted to be surprised one final time.

I was absolutely devastated.

I’ve read many eloquent enumerations of each level on which the ending failed, and your points above regarding Orihime are especially spot-on, as always. For me, the saddest aspect of Bleach’s conclusion is the wanton destruction of everything Ichigo ever desired or stood for. Shortly after reading the final chapter, I recalled the author’s note from Vol. 8 where Kubo mentioned that a reader had named his son after Ichigo and expressed hope that the child would be proud of his namesake when he grew up. Thirteen years later, Kubo has left that child, and us all, with a stunted protagonist that no one could ever aspire to emulate or even relate to. In the final arc alone, Ichigo killed a small pantheon of deities, found his mother’s heritage within himself and was subsequently robbed of it, and went from protecting a mountain of people to…becoming a mountain of unfulfilled potential in his father’s living room. We never gained a single insight into how he felt about any of it.

And yet, in spite of it all, I have never loved the Bleach fandom, and the IR fandom in particular, more, and I’ve never wanted to emerge from the shadows and join in so badly. I want to convey my gratitude to everyone at DeathBerry as well, but I can’t post even in the Announcements section, nor can I access my profile. If there’s anything at all that you can do about this, I would be immensely grateful. My username is the same at both Bleachness and DB.