kohi_no_tora (kohi_no_tora) wrote in bleachness,

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Bleach's Final Batte: An Arguement Against Aizen vs Ichigo

Greetings all

Though I've been commenting here for a couple months this is my first actual post to the community and I hope that you find this interesting.

I have been thinking for a while that the opponents that Ichigo has been facing in Bleach, at least since the start of the Soul Society arc have been forming a pattern. And unless we can some rather startling revelations some time in the future, Aizen simply doesn't fit that pattern and I'm of the opinion that Kubo canny an author to throw all that work and pattern building simply for the sake of having following the formula of designated protagonist vs designated antagonist.

The basic idea is that all the major opponents that Ichigo has faced to date have had something with him in terms of personality.

Ichigo's 'main' fights to date have been with Renji, Byakuya, Kenpachi and Grimmjow and I'll take a look at them on  a case by case basis. I don't include his fights with Dordonii and Ikkaku becuase those both served the purpose of establishing the threat of his future opponents and giving Ichigo to show off the results of his latest training rather than advancing the plot.

First up is Renji both figuratively and chronologically. Both share similar loud and brash personalities but the true parallels didn't start to become clear until we got into the flashbacks chronicalling his shared past with Rukia. Both Renji and Ichigo shared close bonds with Rukia but Renji allowed himself to be cowed by the rules and authorirty of his superiors to the point where he not only didn't help her but actively assisted in detaining Rukia and delivering her up for punishment. This is a sharp contrast to Ichigo who follows his own instincts and goes to Rukia's aid. Despite the righteous smack down Ichigo delivers courtesy of a Getuga Tensho Renji doesn't fully become one of the good guys until he takes up arms against those who threaten Rukia (in the form of Byakuya) and tries to save her himself.

Next up comes Byakuya and as befitting a more formidable opponent his trangression is that much greater. Ichigo and Byakuya a both elder brothers and for all that he is sometimes aloof and a little distant from his sisters, they are very important to him and attacking them is a sure fire method of pissing him off no end, as proven by his fight with Grand Fisher. Jokes about 15 and strawberries aside, but the basic concept is even embedded in his name for crying out loud. Likewise Byakuya is an elder brother and even if it is only by adoption delivering his sister up for execution is possibly an even greater offense than Renji's betrayal of a friend. It goes against Ichigo's very identity and unlike Renji Byakuya doesn't even have the good grace to look conflicted about it. We can sympathise with Byakuya a little later on when we learn exactly what was going on inside his head all that time and he earns points for helping Rukia and Renji join up with Ichigo in Hueco Mundo but he doesn't earn his full redemption until he does the right thing (aka what Ichigo would do)  when he arrives in Hueco Mundo himself. And he finally erases all past sins with one line. "You dared point your sword at my pride," finally earning himself membership in the 'Big Brothers Club'

Third comes Kenpachi and he is a somewhat different beast from the other two. Renji and Byakuya's trangression were in respect to their relationships with Rukia and their actions but Kenpachi contrasts to Ichigo in simply who he is. From the very first chapter Ichigo proved that he is quick to violence but while Ichigo's violent tendecies to violence are curbed by his sense of responsibility and ethics. Kenpachi on the other hand has few if any restraints upon his violent impulses. Even the few people close to him are more likely to egg him on in a fight than try and stop him. He is basically what Ichigo might become is he ever loses control of his own tendency towards violence and it is not without reason that Kenpachi was the form that Ichigo's own fighting instincts during his fight in his inner world.
Oddly enough though Kenpachi, unlike Renji and Byakuya needs no redemption. He stands as a warning as what might happen to the hero but he is guilty of no transgression and as such has nothing to make up for. He is a force of nature, deadly and without compassion but in his own way innocent. Rather than atoning for mistakes you simply unleash him upon a target and stand back to view the carnage.

Finally we come to Grimmjow and he is Ichigo's dark mirror, his evil side manifested externally. White to Ichigo's black, a hollow who has taken on shinigami powers against a shinigami who has developed hollow powers. To complete the contrast Grimmjow even came complete with his own team of followers to contrast with Ichigo's own. Tellingly perhaps is that Ichigo could only overcome Grimmjow by mastering his own inner evil side, even surpassing the time limit one the use of the mask that has plagued him so often. Whether Grimmjow will be redeemed, or if he even can be remains in the hands of Kubo-sensei but the parallels remain.

All that having been said Aizen and for that matter Ulquiorra, just don't fit the pattern as they stand at the moment. They reflect nothing of Ichigo and they don't even seem the type to give some manzai style boke/tsukommi act that Ichigo engaged in during his fights with Ikkaku and Dordonii. Its entirely possible that Kubo-sensei will give us some insight into Aizen's personality or background that will link him to Ichigo in some fashion but if that doesn't happen and given my above stated belief that Kubo-sensei wouldn't build a pattern and then abandon it for no good reasn as things stand now I am predicting that Ichigo's final opponent will be some as yet unrevealed character.

That's just my thoughts on the matter. What do you think?
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