First, from KawaiiS, a little comic to break the tension, okay?
What a chapter. The long, long story arc is at that point where stuff is finally happening and questions can’t be answered fast enough. Those who insist that Kubo-sensei doesn’t plan got a blast from the past from this color spread in Ichigo’s new form, and those of us who get off on Shishou’s many clever set-ups loved the fact that Ichigo, who currently seems to be a form in flux made up of equal parts Shinigami, Human and Hollow, is howling like Allon, the Chimera made up of the severed arms of Hueco Mundo’s version of the three Greek Fates.
Really, the allusions are crunchy good. Yum, yum.
And the art as always is breathtaking. HQ raws came out a few hours ago and now we diehard fans are waiting on the definitive Ju Ni scanlation.
I’ve been watching the fandom for translation wank and there’s been surprisingly little—what there has been is the usual shipping wank.
So, did Ichigo really say "She's calling me?" or "I will protect her?"
Here's the Japanese and the direct translation:
聞こえる 呼んでるんだ 立てよ 俺が
I can hear - calling - stand up - I - I will protect
According to my Japanese lessons, direct objects in Japanese are often implied so the Sleepyfans quick scanlation of “I will protect her” really isn’t a terrible one. After all, Ichigo heard (someone) calling and stood up to protect (her). The point to me that takes a little wind out of the IchiOri shipper sails is that Ichigo didn’t say Inoue Orihime’s name or indicate that he recognized her or say “stand back back Inoue, it’s all right now”… what he did was promptly smack the ground with his zanpakutou (after that AMAZING calling forth of it with the power of George Lucas animated in Kubo Tite’s pen marks) and send her tumbling on her head. An unsettling moment.
No Ichigo to Orihime exchanges of words, trust or promises. Nothing on the order of "The power in my hand was gained for her sake" like there was in the SS arc when Ichigo went ban kai. Instead, Ichigo seems to have been born, like all Hollow, out of fear and despair--Orihime's fear? It couldn't have been a more timely power-up but it's not exactly a Power Rangers Go! moment. It's chilling.
Not exactly a heart-warming moment.
No, Ichigo has no heart at the moment. And the prize for courage goes to his trusty sidekick bleeding in the corner over there. You know, the maimed guy plot device who whose only job was supposed to be to elevator Orihime up to the scene of the action. He also seems to be doing an excellent job as perfect foil to Ichigo. Ichigo’s an unpredictable, dangerous power and Ishida is dependable and right as … well… right as white rain.
You’re hearing it from an Ishida fangirl, yes, but I've never seen Kubo showcase a character more splendidly--not even Ichigo’s has shown this purely in a series of chapters. Ichigo gets the Shounen Main Hero Golden Power Ups as always, but Ishida gets the Quincy Silver Medal for Pure Heart. Reminds me of Ishida’s old cover page and the little poem Kubo gave him: I am silver, quietly and beautifully reflecting all light.
As an owner of the IshiHime and Ishida fanclubs over at Bleach Asylum (I don’t know why caretakers are called “owners” in the fandom lexicon—I’m an old-time socialist—PROPERTY IS THEFT! FANS BELONG TO NO-ONE—BLEACH BELONGS TO THE PEOPLE!), I’ve been having a hard time keeping up with all the new joiners. I’ve been loving the love for my fave Bleach dude and my fave ship, though. Allow me to beam a little:
A LITTLE ASIDE ABOUT FANCLUBS.
From Ishida FC
Joinage please! Can't believe I haven't done that years ago since Ishida is my favourite character ever since the beginning of Bleach. I really enjoy seing him grow from being a lone wolf who only relied on himself and his pride to become a trustful and selfless nakama, with his heart at the right place. He really is proving his worth and at the same time fulfilling his grandfathers dream; joining forces with shinigami and finding out what he wants to protect.
I'm telling you, with every chapter I become more and more impressed by his bravery and his heart. Without fail, he has been right there on top of things. He is a true friend and hero.
From Ishida x Orihime The Gentleman and the Fair Maiden FC:
Yea, everyone it is totally obvious that Uryu's one hand-save was awesome.
That's a real man, right there.
IshiHime just keeps getting better and better. Other pairings must be so bored and sad C:
First thing first...Ichigo*smack* I smack you. Firstly you do not go super saiyan and blast Inoue away and then scary her...you fail as a hero.
Unlike ISHIDA! That was an epic catch. But poor Inoue...first Ichigo told her to go to a coner to not help, then he couldn't save her from those girls that torn her clothing, THEN he blast her away and made her land on her face/arm. But of course Ishida was there to help her unlike Ichigo.
ISHIDA AND INOUE FOREVER!
Ichigo says he's going to protect but Ishida does it. Ichigo can't save Orihime from Yami--Ishida does it. The point is really being hammered home here. I smile that people see it otherwise. Orihime's real hero is Ishida, but she has eyes for Ichigo--wake up and smell the ISHIDA, WOMAN! XD
Lol, I'm with you debbiechan and other Ishihime supporters. It's quite frustrating that Orihime is so spellbinded by Ichigo,
the big plotkai hero. Ishida keeps being awesome, what more can he do to make her notice?? He pulls out the next stunt after another; saving her, concerning about her, reading her feelings, helping her, bleeding for her, shielding her. It's so freaking obvious it hurts! Dx
Eh, fanclubs are stupid fun. I once left the Renji FC in a huff when the owner didn’t take kindly to people linking Renji yaoi and I’m about to call quits on the Orihime FC because of the shipping ruckus that gets instigated there, but one of the nice things about FCs is that they are a space to be totally carelessly biased and stupid. Interestingly, two of my favorite FCs, the IchiRuki and the UlquiHime, aren’t stupid; they’re usually very lively with art and speculation, cartoons and midrash, as well as run-of-the-mill dumb fun.
There are no “hate clubs” at BA—boy, I was ever curious about those when I saw those on other forums. I thought they’d be at least interesting in a sick way, like 4chan, but mostly they were puerile post after post of “I hate her too--can I join?”
Beyond my love for Ishida that I thought could grow no bigger but continues to bust the seams of every form my poor fangirl adoration can shape, I’m curious about my other Bleach bishie Ulquiorra. He’s joined the armless club along with my Ishida and he’s looking mightly vulnerable for the first time. The real story of “Who’s a Hollow? Who’s a Human?” seems to be just starting, and although there looks like there’s going to be a major fight, we’ve been promised a lesson about the heart from Kubo. After all, many a fan has observed that Ichigo's form creepily resembles his opponent's. What does that tell you about who is the good guy and who is the bad guy?
I can’t wait for the mix-ups.
metaphore_art's post on 350
vesperh's post on 350