I drew a picture of Orihime yesterday. It was all about watery-eyed waaah because that's what I was feeling (because of the monthly inundation of progesterone if you must know but also because fandom forums were irking me). The title is from a Kubo poem which I believe gently mocks Orihime's sweet, girlish farewell words at Ichigo's bedside about loving the same person for five lifetimes if she had those five lives to live.
At the current manga moment, Orihime is locked in Tower Five with Ulquiorra Schiffer and Ichigo is racing to fight him. Aizen't just announced that Orihime is "useless" to him. A loaded word. Orihime's been feeling "useless" now in the plot for a while, since long before she came to Hueco Mundo. Looks like we may have a resolution of Orihime's story this summer.
Deviant Art Link : Five is Where the Heart Lies
The poem translation I used in the link was chira_chira"s but there are lots of others around. I like plenty others but couldn't find them atm---feel free to post them.
Are not intertwined
Do not share the same form
Of the third:
We simply don’t have eyes
Of the fourth:
We have no hope in that direction
At the fifth
Therein lies the heart
For the past couple years it seems I can't go anywhere on forums without being pounced upon as an Orihime HATER if I point out some of her shortcomings, strategic mistakes, or do anything less that kiss the hem of her robe for being anything other than a miraculous gorgeous fairy princess who has withstood amazing ordeals in life and in Hueco Mundo and who deserves to be rewarded with the Prince of her Heart simply for being so fab. Am I retarded here for wanting to see Orihime's story resolve itself in some way that befits a coming of age heroine and allows her to discover her own power?
If you follow a serialized story, you've got to have some patience. I drew this pic, Shooting Tsubaki in Hueco Mundo, for Hime's birthday last year, and I'm still waiting for the one sixth of her that IS a fighter to show itself. I don't agree with all of this post by LB7 but it's one of my faves on Orihime. Maybe I'm your old-timey feminist mom here, but I think I'm reading Kubo right. *shrugs*
Even before HM, Orihime was having doubts about herself---not only in regards to her relationship with Kurosaki-kun and how she fell short of Rukia insofar as being able to cheer Ichigo on and lift his spirits--but Orihime vowed to herself that the next time she saw Ichigo she would not let him protect her but that she would fight next to him.
This is shounen manga. We've had Tsubake cut down twice. Helloooooo. Doesn't anyone else smell a set-up? Isn't anyone here reading the simple shounen plot? Orihime has doubts about herself as a FIGHTER and those have to be resolved in the great old shounen way.
All this cheering of Tsubaki isn't to discount the lovely healer and comforter and waves of softness that is the rest of Orihime. The other five sixths of her fairy personas aren't fighters--they include dingbats and a shy bug and a fussy little man.
It's odd but I'm so self-critical and panties-in-a-wad whenever I draw usually but whenever I draw Orihime I feel mighty relaxed. Maybe it's the hair. It's fun to color her hair. Maybe it's because I'm a girl and I love doodling pretty fairy princesses in the back of my math notebook. Maybe it's because I identify with Hime--honestly, folks, I'm a total ditz, if you haven't figured that out by now, and I'm a ridiculous romantic.
I've said elsewhere that I believe that like Ishida's pride, Ichigo's impetuousness, and Rukia's guilt, Orihime's romantic imagination is both her greatest strength AND her great failing. Like all young coming-of-age leads, she has to learn to channel her failings into her better self.
I'm looking forward to this summer. Orihime is my favorite female character in Bleach--I can't wait to see what happens with her.