Read Chapter 321 scanlation by Sleepy Fans here
No Jump next week. Bleach ends on a high note. I loved this chapter--the art, the spirit, the resounding silliness and the simple lesson that grotesque pretenders will always be defeated by true asthetes. HA!
'The inability to appreciate beauty isn't a crime; on the contrary, it's something to be pitied, Living with such vulgar sensitivities is nothing short of agony."--Charlotte Coolhorn
I love Kubo-sensei's wicked sense of humor. I feel like he's poking fun at himself and his audience a lot. After his recent "please no pictures" trip to America and all those photos that emerged with him looking like your average Tokyo fashion victim (albeit a very toned-down and cute one) and knowing that unadulterated beauty--not only in his penstrokes and colorspreads--is a priority in this artist's life, this chapter felt like self-commentary. The vain poser against the vain poser? And a victory of all-seeing peacock eyes in the darkness....
Yeah, and it was a funny, well-drawn fight too!
I haven't liked a fight so much since Grimmjow versus Ulquiorra. A simple conflict and a few dramatic panels and it's over.
Eh, the posery Yumichika is one of my favorite Kubo characters. Not just because he's beautiful but because he's so layered, likable, and whenever he appears, I'm curious.
What is this feather-browed creature doing among the thugs of the eleventh division? He broke his arm in three places last chapter--he has his 11th tough guy cred for sure.
I bet all those peacock eyes were fun to draw. When you don't use a digital repeat brush (my graphics tablet, r.i.p. left me last week and I have to draw the primitive way now--with pencils), there's something hypnotic about drawing a symbol over and over. The pages with the peacock eyes must've taken a while. I put myself in the poet-artist's place and what I would be thinking about drawing those aggressive peacock eyes on page 16 over and over.... Accusatory, power-draining, final judgement eyes.
Or maybe Kubo just scribbled them off without a care, who knows? Haha.
And while I'm in a musing mood....
I go through phases of self-consciousness about my Bleach fanaticism. I have a life, a very full one and one possessed with lots of do-goodery and green, granola occupations. And hobbies and pasttimes are just that--ways to just be. Yet I can forgive myself all those afternoons of sodoku or wandering the meadows looking for four-leaf clovers more easily than I can all those hours spent watching Cartoon Network instead of furthering world peace.
Maybe my recent guilt has come about because just about every time I make a post, no matter how benign, on Anime Suki these days someone either neg-reps me or sends an PM with the words GETALIFE. Well, the person who harrasses me and I are in the same boat--we spend altogether too much time getting amusement out of shipping arguments and speculations when we could be ... oh, I don't know... doing noble volunteer work or holding ill premies in hospitals.
A life? I have one. This week in my my shoutbox at Bleach Asylum there was a message (from a well-known crazy in the fandom--I hadn't heard from it in months but no doubt I did something to poke the stick at the crazy dog, I just don't remember what) you miserable pig, of course I maligned you, you miserable pig and I thought---geez, I'm too visible on the internet. I need to get out of here.
Then I remembered that before the internet I had a talent for attracting stalkers and weirdos too.
A life. I have one. I’m a young mom with two kids, no wrinkles yet but plenty encroaching gray hairs, a mortgage, many middle-class woes and just as many delights. Although I can claim a nice chunk of ethnicities (just call me a Jewish Latina with a Chinese Grandmother), I can’t say that I need a conscience to inform me, like Madge the manicurist in those old Palmolive commercials-- “White Privilege? You’re soaking in it.”
And I am an otaku.
Friends, it is no sin to be an otaku.
Some people download manga, some crochet doilies, some lose consciousness after too many cases of beer at tailgate parties, some spend their college cafeteria money on cosplay wigs. Life is obsessions and indulgences; our culture calls these passions “addictions” when they begin to interfere with our daily functioning (what would this daily functioning be? Showing up for work? Remembering that there’s a toddler in the backseat? Personal hygiene? Have I ever been so worked up over the latest Bleach manga chapter that I neglected to brush my teeth? Oh thank goodness, I’m safe!)
I just worry sometimes when the people who are really far gone in fandom, like Charlotte Coolhorn, point their fingers at me and accuse me of vanity and shallowness. I feel self-conscious because I am a delicate flower. But I'm a steel magnolia too.
And ha, I have some secret powers!
Not saying whether or not they involve peacock eyes!
Damn, I have some fics to write and I'm rusty as hell. A friend told me to not worry about it, that I've written so much Bleach fic that I can rest on my laurels. I told him laurels were itchy and I'd rather rest on something soft like the illusion that fandom was a sweet and welcoming place where people who liked your stories read them and people who didn't left them alone and didn't tear into them on anonymous bitch memes.