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21 March 2008 @ 10:19 pm
Fic Rec, Will the Real Ichigo Please Stand Up?  
 nehalenia  is one of those writers like incandescens or laurie_bunter--I'm just going to rec ALL this writer's Bleach fic anyway so just remember the author's name. She's done it again. This time she's written a piece that for being first person Hollow!Ichigo narration is surprisingly eloquent-- yet the guy is  IC. Hollow!Ichigo maintains a dynamic with an Ichigo who figures in the story even if nicey Ichigo's not there. The violence is handled expertly--it's never over the top. The characterizations make me give this piece of smut my "more than smut" award (didn't know I gave those out, eh? Usually sublimeparadigm racks them all up in my head for her emotional but hardcore yaoi stuffs). And yes, it's disturbing subject matter, and yes it's disturbingly erotic, and yes, the story is about that ambivalence. It's smart stuff.

Runaway Horse (NC17) by  nehalenia Warning: non-con, yaoi, Hollow Ichigo/Ishida

Now more about chapter 315. The scans are out, and I've read at least two interesting discussions on friends' LJs about Ichigo's character--is it consistent? What about his speech to Kenpachi at the end of the chapter? IC? Unnecessary?

I loved the whole chapter--the art was spectacular, the return of Ulquiorra gave me goosebumps and the eyeball exchanges between Ulqui and Orihime were ZOWIE! off the charts. (Does Kubo even know what sort of UST he's created here? I suspect he does. Last year's Hime slap on Valentine's day seemed like pure calculated romance to me. In the cleverest, most demented sort of Kubo way, of course).

The only criticisms I've been hearing about the chapter concern Ichigo.  Why is he being so spastic? turkwriter explained it all very neatly by reminding me that Ichigo is SIXTEEN. That explains the spazzing, but what about the righteous speech towards Kenpachi?I thought that Ichigo's whole panicking to save Karakura and then rushing to fight Ulquiorra once he detected the Espada's presence was very much in character. What some people are questioning was Ichigo's taking the time to make the little speech--"You're wrong, Kenpachi." Kenpachi was wrong? What?

Of course Kenpachi wasn't wrong. Kenpachi was telling Ichigo to protect his town (something Ichigo just tried to do in the last chapter) and to protect the girl (something Ichigo is trying to do NOW).  The way Ichigo phrased his "my duty is to protect my nakama" makes it sound like he made a choice whereas the fact is---the choice was already made for him because the exits from HM were sealed.

Just glory-hogging like your average shounen hero?

The line "to protect my nakama" didn't faze me at first glance. My shipper biases  were to note that Ichigo has yet to say he's come specifically to rescue Inoue-san in this entire arc (contrast Mister "I'm here to rescue Inoue-san, not to fight Espada" Ishida Uryuu) and that he didn't even call her by name in this scene. But beyond that, the line didn't bother me too much. Then brightredglow pointed out in her LJ that maybe Kubo " realized how bad Ichigo looked when he didn't think of Orihime in 313 so he put this lame dialogue in."

Do ya think?

I like to think better of my Kubo in that I believe Ichigo's not thinking right away of Orihime in 313 was natural, understandable ( and deliberate on the part of the author) and that the rest of Ichigo's behavior is in character. Still, I think people are onto something. Ichigo isn't sitting right with audiences. He seems off. He seems scattered and cocky and I think Kubo wants us to see him this way.

I think we're going to see an upset of the powers that be in Ichigo's inner world soon. I hope we see HOLLOW!ICHIGO.
Danielwdboldstar on March 22nd, 2008 04:13 am (UTC)
Yeah, I admit that I've sometimes lost some faith in Kubo's abilities in the HM arc, but... I think I'm going to keep plugging on with the idea of Hollow Ichigo coming back to the fore. I know the real Ichigo's in there, but he was certainly warned that he could get pulled over again, and with him deliberately ending his Vaizard training early, there's going to be trouble. He's going to have to tangle with Hollow Ichigo again, perhaps as soon as he tangles with Ulquiorra.
_debbiechan_: urahara hat_debbiechan_ on March 22nd, 2008 04:29 am (UTC)

One of Kubo's most FRUSTRATING plot devices is setting up a shounen staple or giving you a classic set-up ... then dropping it and not resolving it for like, I dunno, THREE YEARS.

So Hollow Ichigo warns that he can come back, especially if Ichigo dies.

Ichigo dies. Ulquiorra puts a hole right in him. Um.... what happened?

This is like when Nnoitra was lost in HM for several chapters--we all knew he was going to show up but WHEN? Kubo's all about surprising us. He's got that old Italian filmmaker's heart.

AND yes, the HM hasn't been as clean as SS. I think a lot of what happens with shounen is that the audiences grow up and its a tricky job writing for that audience that was once 15 and is now in its 20s (supposedly--shounen have always had a diverse audience). Mangaka grow up too. Bleach got denser--there was just no way it could be as plot-sleek as it was in SS.

What I find unfortunate is that Kubo created SO many great characters we haven't had time to see them while he spins this involved story and trudges out the fights.
(no subject) - deathlike on March 22nd, 2008 04:41 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - wdboldstar on March 22nd, 2008 11:44 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
_debbiechan_: Ichigo cross-eyed_debbiechan_ on March 22nd, 2008 04:53 am (UTC)

Totally. That all makes sense. But what about the high and mighty speech to Kenpachi? "I have to defend my friends!" TAH-DAH! THE GREAT CRY OF THE SHOUNEN HERO! Yet he just told Kenpachi "wrong," that he didn't have to defend the town. Hold on--he's got FRIENDS in that town, not to mention little sisters.

Ichigo... not too bright sometimes.
Bunnisteffi lay flayrah u silflay.: kenpachibunnisteffi on March 22nd, 2008 05:26 am (UTC)

Ichigo has been going "Protect my nakama!" too much, that when I see it again in 315, my mind simply goes, 'Oh. There he goes again. Another battle to follow through.'

I wouldn't mind seeing Ulquiorra pummel Ichigo for... more than once. But my sense-than-is-common says that Kubo won't probably drop his hero into the Discard Pile again, not after having left him in it for so long. If Dandelion is on the losing end (again?), someone will probably get in and finish it up for him.

Everyone's going strange in Hueco Mundo. First Neriel, then the Renji/Ishida/Mayuri/Nemu battle, then Kenpachi and the Guy-with-a-Hole. It isn't surprising if Ichigo('s character) doesn't remain constant. Perhaps it's the Hougyoku that's doing it. Shooting off too much invisible rays or some such, affecting everyone in Hueco Mundo without their knowing it?

deathlike on March 22nd, 2008 05:33 am (UTC)
Nakama (Hakama?) = Tomodachi = Yuuji = Friends. It's all the same in the same tongue of everyone's lips; people used in various words, phrases and meanings that suit them best.
(no subject) - bunnisteffi on March 22nd, 2008 05:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - deathlike on March 22nd, 2008 05:55 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bunnisteffi on March 22nd, 2008 06:02 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - _debbiechan_ on March 22nd, 2008 01:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bunnisteffi on March 22nd, 2008 01:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - deathlike on March 22nd, 2008 05:46 am (UTC) (Expand)
coffee_gyrl: Chad's I'm with Stupidcoffee_gyrl on March 22nd, 2008 07:09 am (UTC)
Debbie did I miss the post on Ishida in 315 is now naked and wraped in black rope?

I had an icon all picked out for this OMG ISHIDA'S NAKED AND TIED UP AT MARIYU'S MERCY! and everything.

As for Ichigo if we assume that he's heard that his sisters are safe and sound in SS then I wouldn't consider it out of character for him to beat feet to the only guy who's beaten him in a fight and is still standing.

I really don't want to see him and Emospada go at it again, how boring. I wonder if the houko-thing is hanging out by the throne and when Orihime jumps between them she activates it.

I miss my kitty, Yaurichi should find him and ask Kenny if she can keep him.
_debbiechan_: Grimmjow Quickest Way to a Woman's Heart_debbiechan_ on March 22nd, 2008 01:23 pm (UTC)


I can't believe I'm going so crazy for him to show up. Kubo and all his damn characters. I want to see Unohana heal him but I wonder if we're not going to get a scene like at the end of SS where the gate guards and Shiba rocket girl and all the captains show up to checkmate Aizen (haha)
(no subject) - _debbiechan_ on March 22nd, 2008 09:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
incandescensincandescens on March 22nd, 2008 12:18 pm (UTC)
Aww. Thank you very much!

(And I am jumping on each new chapter with renewed enthusiasm. Things are being *fun*!)
_debbiechan__debbiechan_ on March 22nd, 2008 09:09 pm (UTC)

And thanks for your comment on my last story. I'm just slow getting around to answering comments lately--not to mention LJ keeps sending me email notices one month after the comments are posted.
(no subject) - incandescens on March 22nd, 2008 09:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
andrew_jpandrew_jp on March 22nd, 2008 02:24 pm (UTC)
All I have to say is this: 2008 is apparently not the year for dark-haired, implacably evil bishies, and I fear for Ulquiorra's survival through the coming chapters.
_debbiechan_: Emo Boy_debbiechan_ on March 22nd, 2008 09:10 pm (UTC)

ANY CHARACTER WHO HAS A BLEACH BEAT COLLECTION CAN NOT DIE! I used to think Ulquiorra was doomed but no longer.
nehalenianehalenia on March 22nd, 2008 02:40 pm (UTC)
Wow, thank you! That's one of the most flattering recs I've ever received. *blushes*

I've been looking at the Ishida panel in 315, and you're right, you can't see the part of his Quincy cross scar that you should be able to see. Also, if Ishida were actually naked in front of people, I think Kubo might have him acting differently; like screaming "Give me back my clothes, heathen!" or something like that. I could be wrong about that, of course. Still, the panel seems to show collarbones and muscle/tendon, so I now think Mayuri's "remodeling" has got him & Renji wrapped in some sort of skin-tight layer, or even a second-skin sort of thing.

Yeah, all kinds of stuff going on in 315, and all I can think about is "Is Ishida naked?" Sigh.

And... I just read the Ju-Ni translation, which included the additional panel of Byakuya & Rukia. Hah, that could be the SS arc all over again, with Ichigo and Renji trying to rescue Rukia from this latest "execution". Hee!
_debbiechan_: 1200_debbiechan_ on March 22nd, 2008 09:14 pm (UTC)

Yeah, all kinds of stuff going on in 315, and all I can think about is "Is Ishida naked?" Sigh.

Ishida naked in this chapter and I missed it the first time I read it, can you BELIEVE?

Of course I've been obsessed with those Mayuri gadgets for a while but... you can't see a clavicle on Ishida here and it looks like his bicep is this armor thing and not a natural bicep.... Kubo knows how to draw naked chests (I know because I HAVE EXAMINED SAID CHESTS CLOSELY) so why are the shadows on Ishida's so... off? I don't think he's naked....

more like what you said--something's pressed over his skin and then the black ribbons are over that.
nehalenianehalenia on March 22nd, 2008 02:45 pm (UTC)
Also... re Ulquiorra, Orihime and Ichigo... if the two boys start fighting in front of Orihime, I'm wondering if she won't find some way to stop them (like maybe throw a shield up between them). It would be a great moment for her to realize she's got feelings for Ulquiorra as well as Ichigo. Not that I'm an Ulqui/Hime shipper or anything; I just love that kind of angst.
_debbiechan_: party by sxylilwitch_debbiechan_ on March 22nd, 2008 09:20 pm (UTC)
We may have been set up for just that scenario when Kubo showed us that Orihime can CONTAIN Ichigo in her healing bubble.

Someone else somewhere imagined the scenario where Ichigo is pwned by Ulquiorra because he's taking the "don't get hurt anymore" business from Orihime literally and then maybe Rukia shows up to KICK SOME SENSE INTO THE BOY.

I still just want to see Shirosaki. Your story made me miss ole Hollow!Ichigo. It's time for him to come out and play.
windxalchemist on March 22nd, 2008 06:54 pm (UTC)
I fear that the boy's going through the ugly process of strange chemical disorders in the brain called PUBERTY a few years too late. =.=;;
He's forgetting Zangetsu, Karakura, and pretty much everything that he's been saying in previous chapters.

Just glory-hogging like your average shounen hero?
I think he's just a little on the slow side of the intelligence spectrum right now, and that he doesn't realize that he's been given no choice anyways. -.-;;

&I'd like to think that your boyfriend knows what he's doing. How could a mangaka that was doing so well suddenly decide to drop the pace, and make everything so BLAHHHHHHHHH out of nowhere??
He has a purpose, I just have no friggin' idea what that purpose is. >.>
I don't think he's doing this "accidentally" by any means. What SANE person would do a manga at such an ANTI-fanservice pace, and do things that fans are BOUND to hate? There's got to be SOMETHING the crazy man's after. XD
*points to Stark icon<333*
_debbiechan_: Kubo is my boyfriend 2_debbiechan_ on March 22nd, 2008 09:26 pm (UTC)

Kubo is not sane. Maybe only deathlike understands him. I know I try. I may not understand the ways of Kubo-sensei but I love what he does to me and how he does it. <3
schweinsty: IchiRukischweinsty on March 22nd, 2008 08:25 pm (UTC)
Whoah there - Ishida is naked? And I missed this?

Hmm, Re: Ichigo: I just saw that, went 'oh, eh, there he goes again,' and let it go. But in retrospect, I think it's a bit callous of him to just be all 'Forget about my town and family, let me go fight to save my friends! Rah!'

But, in retrospect, I think it is sort of typically Ichigo. Even in SS he tended to always be looking for fights - not to waste time, but just wanting to beat each and every person up the chain of command so he could free Rukia, and I think this is sort of an extension of that. Right now he's in HM, he's got Ulquiorra in front of him, and for them to find a way to get out of HM and keep all his friends safe, in Ichigo's mind beating Ulquiorra is a must. Also, I think there's a certain amount of trusting the shinigami captains to keep Karakura safe - at least until he can make it out of HM. And, besides that, he is 16 and spazzy.

Mostly, though, I'm excited about naked Ishida. =D.
_debbiechan_: party by sxylilwitch_debbiechan_ on March 22nd, 2008 09:19 pm (UTC)

You have a point there. Ichigo WAS looking for fights in SS, to the point that just wanted to fight with Ganjyu at the risk of avoiding his purpose of saving Rukia.

He was that "punk" even before Soul Society who needed no excuse to beat up on those guys who were beating up on Keigo. He beat up on people who knocked over the dead girl's flowers. He was just cruisin for a bruisin. This is Ichigo.

I thought he was growing up, though.

And where is Shirosaki in all this?

Edited at 2008-03-22 09:24 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - schweinsty on March 25th, 2008 01:31 am (UTC) (Expand)
SilvaNoir: trenchcoatxilvrin on March 23rd, 2008 02:14 am (UTC)
Ichigo is not the "lets stop and think about this logically" type.
He's always been the type to just barrel into things... only when he's horribly beaten will he ask for training and advice from others. and after that, go on barelling into action.

I think his speech to Kenpachi is more him trying to figure things out for himself... if he can yell it loud enough, it can drown out any other thoughts (like form his inner hollow or self-doubts).
rukia_42gami on March 23rd, 2008 04:43 pm (UTC)
Man.......the time when ichigo said i'll protect my nakama....it actually....kinda......hurt my ichiruki shipper's feelings....dunno why.......but i can understand his feelings though, okay aizen and the other are going to attack karakura town, but with almost all of the captain&vie-captain there maybe he think they can handle it for a while so he rather help orihime that's in real danger now with ulqui-chan near her,ichigo probably worried....he's that kind of man isn't he?always worrying the other,and he said to protect my friends right?that means............................................maybe not oly orihime that he wannna protect but chad too and renji too an ishida too and ooh!rukia too...............ooohhhhh tite kubo i can really hate you sometimes!

ps:i hope hichigo/shirosaki/whatever you calle ichigo's hollow.....I MISS U!!!!PLEASE SHOW UP AGAIN!!!!!!