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18 May 2008 @ 09:37 am
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?
Current Mood: thoughtfulspeculative
V to the A to the D-E-R (Vader!)jaina on May 18th, 2008 01:52 am (UTC)
I've been thinking for a long time that while Ichigo will no doubt be critical in the final battle (whatever that is) but Aizen is just not his arch-enemy, and Ichigo is just another cog in Aizen's plans.
Becky: Bleach - Anime!Ulquiorragully_moe on May 18th, 2008 02:24 am (UTC)
Yes I agree, I can't picture Ichigo being the one to defeat Aizen. Not only because of strength differences, but he doesn't seem to be a real opponent to him. Yes he realizes he is the one behind this, but he finds Grimmjow and Ulquiorra to be real opponents. Grimmjow after all hurt Rukia and Ulquiorra kidnapped Orihime. It seems that he wants to fight those that are real threats to him personally. He didn't really want to fight Dordonii... because he seemed weak to him.

It's possible that he'll try to fight Ulquiorra, but I don't think he could beat him easily.
SilvaNoir: Orihimexilvrin on May 18th, 2008 02:44 am (UTC)
I'll agree with this. I can see another Ulquiorra vs. Ichigo fight... but not Ichigo vs. Aizen. Aizen so far beynd Ichigo in terms of power... I think it will be someone much older/powerful to defeat Aizen if Aizen is defeated at all.
Danielwdboldstar on May 18th, 2008 03:39 am (UTC)
I like your analysis of each of Ichigo's major fights, and I think there's some good observation there, but I'm still of the strong opinion that We'll have an Ulquiorra vs. Ichigo fight very soon, likely almost immediately after we come back from the recent round of flashbacks.

To continue the idea of contrast with Ichigo, Ulquiorra could be seen as sort of a side of "giving in." Ulquiorra, of all the Espada, has seemed to be the one that might have had a truly noble soul at one point. Quiet, stoic, chivalrous. However, there seems to be an aura of despair and nihilism around him, which pervades his thoughts, words, and actions, and even his character album. It is not that he is pure evil or delights in carnage, but that he sees weakness and suffering as the only truths in the world, truths he can no longer fight, and therefore accepts with the same stoic quietness as he once had when he was good. Ichigo is the man who still fights, who does not give in to either his Hollow side or the Evil in the world.

Now Aizen? Yeah, I can see Ichigo not delivering the final blow. Aizen, Gin, and Tousen are, in many ways, still an "internal affair." I actually see Hitsugaya as a prime candidate for fighting Aizen, not only because he keeps topping popularity polls, but because he feels an obligation to Hinamori to avenge her. He might heed her words and try to bring Aizen back, or he might straight up Avenge her, but it seems likely that he will square off against him and possibly defeat him. Likewise, I expect Matsumoto may be allowed to square off against Gin and obtain the answers she seems to seek about him. Komamura, of course, will fight Tousen, his friend, and try to understand his justice.

In the end, part of me wants Ichigo to fight against Soul Society again, to reform it in some meaningful way. Aizen being a reformer who became Nihilistic who becoming less and less likely to me, but I think Tousen, at least, fits this category, and I'd like to see the clear problems of Soul Society addressed more strongly, possibly via Ichigo. Right now, he's too proud of being a Shinigami to really fight against the evident corruption in Soul Society (Which has only been highlighted more by the flashbacks, really), but maybe in the future.
Becky: Bleach - Shinjigully_moe on May 18th, 2008 04:51 am (UTC)
As much as having Hitsugaya fighting Aizen makes sense, I don't think he'd last. I would hate it if he was the one who defeated Aizen just because... well he's overrated in my opinion. I'm almost starting to loath him because of his popularlity. I'm sorry Hitsu fans, but I just don't see what's so great about him. I don't hate him, but I just can't see why he should get the glory just because he's popular. If Kubo were to make him be the one to defeat him, I would say he's stretching it to try to satisfy the fans.

Another reason why it wouldn't work is because Hitsugaya is the youngest captain with the least experience, and having him defeat Aizen would just be unrealistic.

If anything, I think it'd make the most sense for Shinji, Urahara and Yamji together to defeat him. For many reasons, and as these new chapters unfold I think that's how it's gonna be....
(no subject) - wdboldstar on May 18th, 2008 05:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
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Kim!: Mmm... Jump...spartydragon on May 18th, 2008 04:16 am (UTC)
IAWTC. Ichigo is definately a key player in the Winter War, but he won't be the one to Kill Aizen. That might be Urahara, or Shinji or Kensei... yeah. Ichigo's gonna have to get in line for that one. XD
nehalenianehalenia on May 18th, 2008 05:00 am (UTC)
That's a really neat analysis of Ichigo's opponents and how they are his mirrors or opposites. I hadn't thought about it, but it makes sense and has a kind of story-telling elegance about it. I also don't think Ichigo will take Aizen down, but I'm pretty sure he's going to have something to do with Ulquiorra. Thing is, I'm not sure how Ichigo is going to take him down since he couldn't before. The story-teller in me wants that to end up being Orihime's battle. Because she was able to put Ichigo behind her shield and keep him there, I'm wondering if she won't do the same to keep Ichigo and Ulquiorra from killing each other. We shall just have to see...
kohi_no_torakohi_no_tora on May 18th, 2008 07:29 am (UTC)
Actually Orihime being the one to take down Ulquiorra makes a lot of narrative sense. Of all the protagonists she has the greatest degree of emotional investment in his defeat, more so than Ichigo himself and it may finally snap her out of her current malaise.
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moonlightopal: original bad assmoonlightopal on May 18th, 2008 05:07 am (UTC)
You're right Ichigo will not be the one to fight Aizen unless Kubo does some amazing powerleveling and plot forming between the two. (Like directly threatening his family.) Though I am holding out for Isshin to kick ass and sincerely hope that he will be doing some pwnage in the next chunk of Aizen vs. world.
Vayshti: bleachvayshti on May 18th, 2008 04:23 pm (UTC)
I like how the fights these characters have with Ichigo transform them - and I actually think Kenpachi fits the pattern in just the same way as Renki and Byakuya.

Kenpachi was always, as you pointed out, about violence and brute strength - with it he could just smash his way through everything until his fight with Ichi.

It was this fight that made him question the path of brute strength as the only method forward, hence his new desire to discover the name of his zanpaktutou...

I'd consider this his redemption.
kohi_no_torakohi_no_tora on May 18th, 2008 09:38 pm (UTC)
Hadn't considered that point and it's a good one. Admittedly it's been a while since I read those chapters or watched the corresponding episodes of the anime.
(Anonymous) on October 31st, 2008 06:52 pm (UTC)
I think kubo is an amazing when it come to story plotting and leaving us all guessing what will be the out come of the battle but my opinion is that ichi vs ulqui whould be something hard to predict what would be the out come of it but i am hopeing that ichi will win this battle but i am sure there is going to be something big between them two and i know that ulqui will reveal something important after the battle is over and im a 100% sure that orehime will get hurt due to the out come of the battle.
(Anonymous) on March 6th, 2009 11:02 pm (UTC)
Ichigo in the end
What matters to me right now its how will ichigo reach the end. since in his current battle against ulquiorra in his released form, he is not really top shape if i could say... and schiffer is simply to powerful for him...
(Anonymous) on June 26th, 2009 05:29 pm (UTC)
I can see Ichigo fighting Sosuke in the end. He will be badly wounded, and then Captain Kenpachi and Captain Kuchiki will step in with Shinji and his Vizard army. Aizen will effortlessly defeat them all as Orihime heals Ichigo. He will awaken as Shirosaki and kill Aizen the same way he killed Ulquiorra.
(Anonymous) on March 18th, 2010 11:03 am (UTC)
final fight
i think these three people should show up now
- Ukitake
- Urahara
- Shinji (In his bankai)

After aizen getting throu yamaji i think ichigo should put up a good fight against aizen if not bleach should reveal squad 0 with ichigo's dad saving him otherwise yamaji should revive his rujin jakka and finish off aizen.

other critic could be that Ukitake or Urahara fight against aizen
and should end his saga coz the writter is really pushing to a limit

my question is how can Kyouraku Shunsui and Ukitake fall they should be stronger than all the captains. Or why doesnt Urahara fights Aizen has he is hold sogyoko which Urahara only understands it?
can anyone predict?
(Anonymous) on March 25th, 2010 12:10 pm (UTC)
like i said
so out of all ichigo's dad comes in finaly and will woop aizens ass.
i said earlier

from Ukitake, Sunsui, Shinji

not his dad will come.