Let me show you some random info regarding 2008's Top Selling Manga. I will just post of Bleach tankoubon ranks and their sell then. Here is the link in case you want a confirmation that I didn't made it up.
12. Bleach #34 (ch 296- 305: Captains show up) sold 874,153 copies
17. Bleach #33 (ch 287- 295: NnoiNel flashback and fight) sold 802,692 copies
18. Bleach #35 (ch 307-315: Ken vs Nnoi and Aizen entered the real world) sold 761,802 copies
35. Bleach #32 (ch 279-286 Ichigo vs GJ )only sold 519,631 copies
And right now Vol 36 (turn back the pendulum) has sold at least 751,547 (and this is the record from its second week released).
I thought I was the only one bored to tears by the Ichigo and Grimmjow fight. I loved the flashback to Grimmjow's past but the fight itself was all smash-smash and non-strategic (just not a fave sort of fight of mine) and I'm one of those people who was frustrated by Orihime's endless Kurosaki-kunning. Annie and I were speculating that since this volume is also the one with the GREAT ICHIORI BONDING SCENE that I interpreted as a romantic red herring but which many people read as the deathknell to the IchiRuki ship (hence my essays a couple summers ago trying to reassure people that such was not Kubo's intent), IchiOri is one pairing that goes over like stinky eggs in Japan. Annie also noted that Japan doesn't like Bleach to push other women on Ichigo. The Memories of Nobody movie with Ichigo spending quality time with original character Senna did poorly at the box office (it plummeted out of the top ten after its second week) whereas the current IchiRuki shippy movie Fade to Black is doing better than all the Bleach movies.
My friend sketchbaka just came back from Japan (with gift of Ishida and Orihime doujinshi for me! <333). She was at Comiket, the big doujinshi sale in Tokyo and she reports that not one, NOT ONE, Ichigo and Orihime doujin was for sale there. She found a couple at a re-sell doujin shop later, though.
Some fans are saying now that if Bleach ends up with an IchiRuki canon ending it will be because the fans pressured Kubo.
I believe there are more Bleach yaoi fangirls in Japan that IchiRuki fans, though--I don't think we'll see GinKira becoming canon just for the yen it will bring in (although ohhhhhh, I would LOVE to see that movie! XD)
I was just watching the anime today, the Ken-chan fight that was such a bust with my circle of fanbois. Most people I know thought the whole Kendo twist was lame, but I loved it---there was so much comedy and delicious irony in the fight. For a beast who is supposed to be an instinctive fighter, Kenpachi sure does a lot of thinking. I adored it when he faked dead in order to spend time contemplating strategy on his back. The whole "sure, let's use formal fighting technique and TWO HANDS TO BEAT SIX" move I thought was clever as hell. I thought it was was Kubo's way of going "fooled ya! No Kenpachi BAN KAI THIS TIME!" I was amused (and then I was moved to tears shortly thereafter by the whole Nnoitra backstory).
How much I enjoyed the Ken-chan fight (and the other captains' fights---the oh so swoony Byakuya voodoo love poem fight and Mayuri's little parable about perfection) reminded me how BORED I was with the Grimm fight to come.
I hope Kubo's leaned his lesson and makes this Ichigo and Ulquiorra fight worth our while.
Look, Szayel's been courting trouble around my house again!
OH NOES! SZAYEL HAS MY RENJI AND ISHIDA PLUSHIES!
Look what someone sent DEB! MANGA CALENDAR! Winky is checking out Hitsugaya!
Pheleon Plushie Family Portrait
Oh and I colored an IchiRuki pic by the wonderful darkcountessb HERE.
Guys, I'll get that yuri story and yaoi story to you before long but first I need to get them to my trusty beta vayshti and one of these lifetimes, I swear I'll finish that fic I promised jaina for her last birthday.