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05 September 2009 @ 02:25 am
In which I babble about shoujo, manga in general and Bleach [Edited]  
Although I am probably one of the most un-romantic people around, I love reading shoujo - albeit, most are comedic, but still. And I've read a number of shoujo you guys probably don't want to know.
I'm someone who grew up with anime, read a lot of mangas before beginning to read Bleach. At that time, I didn't try to analyze the panels I had under my eyes; the tropes that the writers used, I didn't bother to analyze them, although I did get them, because this is definitely part of the things I learned while growing up with those around.

It's only when I started to truly analyze Bleach for shipping reasons - making points, etc - that I began to notice them in my shoujo. Some people believe that there is nothing going on between Ichigo and Rukia and that Ichigo and Inoue are the 'romantic pair'. I beg to differ. Kubo used a lot of tropes to disprove that.
Now that I've read way more shoujo than you can imagine, I decided to show those tropes. Some are romantic, some are not but are still meaningful. The pic are very numerous and large, so bear with me :/

Edit: I realize that because it was late, I forgot to add the biggest trop of all XD So, I just added it _o/


1. The girl who can see herself in her beloved's eyes

: Lovers who get reunited after 3 years and the girl goes: "I'm reflected in your eyes"

Do NOT tell me that Kubo, the guy who loves shoujo, didn't know what he was doing there. The shoujo page I showed is just an example amongst many, many others. It's widely used as a trope by shoujo mangaka to show either requited love OR unrequited love, depending if they can see themselves in the other's eyes or not.

The fact that Inoue was just saved by Ichigo who IS in control makes it even worst. The panel of her brother is not there to show that she's scared FOR Ichigo, but that back then, it was the same, she couldn't see herself in her brother's eyes.

However, what does this say? It also says that indeed, she is NOT reflected in Ichigo's eyes, her love is still as unrequited as it has always been. I THOUGHT IT WAS OBVIOUS, DUH. Ichigo is fighting, and it's not for her. This is what Kubo is saying. As for me, when I read this, I really went WTF ARE YOU DOING, INOUE? WHAT ARE YOU WISHING FOR? SHe knows, yet she gets her hopes up. It was only the beginning of showing a fucked up love, though, now I reckon that _o/

Common trope is common.

2. More than friends, less than lovers

Shuukatsu!! Kimi ni Naitei: Said guy has kissed her while she was sleeping, and said girl is fully aware of her feelings. And they definitely ended up as a couple. Again, I can't count how many times I've encountered this in shoujo. I stopped counting a long while ago.

Again, why should I miss the clue that they're MORE than friends, exactly? If I see someone say again that it's about guilt >___>

The tension here is a common trope in all media: "what are we? We're friends?" yeah, but not only. Hence the face. "Yeah, we're friends..." What else can they say, when they're not lovers and there's no word to tag their relationship? This trope is certainly the 'more than friends, less than lovers' one, the one that is commonly used to show that there is something more going on there. They both showed hesitation before asking/replying, Ichigo is clearly surprised - she does not fit in that category! she didn't either in ch189 when Shinji talked about his friends - and there's even a little awkward scene at the end. This moment does not concern Renji, who clearly pushes himself out of the chat by looking away, it's only between Ichigo and Rukia, and this is a trope to show the 'more than friends' connection. Not sibling, family, teacher/student, or acquaintances: MORE than friends, not YET lovers. This is how this trope is commonly used, because this is what 'more than friends, less than lovers' mean.

And yes, Kubo also stated that they were more than friends, less than lovers in an interview. Shocking how everything fits _o/ It doesn't mean that their bond will not evolve though; this is how it is right now.

3. Bedroom sexual tension [yes, it's safe XD]

After friends: childhood friends; the girl napped on the boy's bed, got kissed while she was sleeping, and guy asked her to not come in his room anymore. Why? Duh _o/

This trope is commonly used in manga with friends, especially childhood friends. Why? Because it's to show how their feelings evolved into something more mature - there is definitely sexual tension in that. Usually, the line is said by the boy and leaves a very confused girl - why is he suddenly acting like that?

While Ichigo's line is slightly different, I'm also remembering an old manga where the guy totally freaked out because the girl was sitting on his bed. This is exactly the same, and while used in a very humorous tone, there's not doubt about the setting: Ichigo freaks out [why? He was fine before when Rukia sat on his bed!], and Rukia is confused [stingy!]. Kubo is portraying a change in behaviour from Ichigo that is very interesting to note - at the same time, I don't think that he's really conscious of WHY he is freaking out ;)

But yes, Kubo used very stealthily this trope to show how the IchiRuki relationship was progressing.

4. The boy carrying the girl

Kaichou wa Maid-sama!: Usui strikes! Go Usui XD A tad jealous boy takes away the girl he has a deep connection with from a boy who's loved her since forever [dang; that reminds me of something you know? XD]. 

OMG! Kubo used a shoujo trope for IchiOri! We're doomed!!

Or, are we? In the shoujo I showed for the sake of example, the guy is shown as being overly confident and CONSCIOUS of what he's doing. He is presented in a king of 'heroic' way - and all the shoujo that use this trope are the same, really: guy "saves" girl, taking her away from something/someone dangerous [here, the other guy is dangerous because he's a potential love interest LOL; yes Usui is that simple XD].

In Bleach, we have Ichigo taking Inoue like this because it's the fastest way to get down - there's no danger anymore. He's having her BUTT near his face and he's not fazed at all by it [sexual tension=0]. Plus, he bluntly says to Inoue that he thought she was FATTER? I think that this scene is cute, you know. Yes, it definitely is cute. However, romantic? Kubo KILLED any romantic vibe it could and SHOULD have had. 

On the other hand:

We also have this scene to compare with it: we have a very conscious Ichigo picking up Rukia in slow motion, telling her he won't leave [her] and that he came to save her. Not only that, but Kubo took care to draw Rukia smaller than usual to make Ichigo stand out and look like a true hero, in a full page [and what's more, this scene is redrawn in the next chapter]. If any pick up scene has a very romantic vibe, it's definitely that one.

Tropes are tropes, and Kubo definitely knows them. He could have made the IchiOri scene very romantic, but he CHOSE not to. Instead, he showed that a very shoujo-ish scene used with IchiOri wasn't romantic at all!

5. Bickering party!

Warau Kanoko-sama: guy and girl are bickering; people expect it to be a lovers' spat.

People who say "I don't think IchiRuki will happen because they're always bickering like siblings" really, really make me laugh XD It's a cultural thing, in Japan, that the bickering shows how close two persons are. And if they're of the opposite sex, people expect that something is going on between the two. Why? Because it shows that they can talk freely to each other, without the walls one usually builds around him/her in this very strict society. This gets reflected a LOT in mangas. Space once told me that there also was a saying in Japan about how one should marry his/her best friend, and I guess that this also stems from this kind of thinking.

Beside, it's also a very common trope in shoujo/shounen to have the girl abusing the boy [more or less]. In IchiRuki's case, you'd be surprise: she hit him 4 or 5 times in the whole serie, and the two last times, I think everyone will agree that the idiot needed it [ch196 and 247]. 

6. Hiding faces, showing backs

Venus Capriccio: the girl carelessly takes a shower at the boy's house because she's angry at her brother, and said boy is arriving at his limits XD

This trope is commonly used by Kubo and EVERY MANGAKA out there. It is not necessarily romantic, but it does mean that either it's because the boy [or the girl] is hiding his intense feelings, or that he's very troubled. Either way, the feelings are those that they don't want to show.

Now, let's have fun with this one: what is Ichigo feeling? Is it something intense, like, possible romantic feelings for Inoue? The reply, for anyone who doubted, is showed during the little sketchs in the tankoubon: we have Ichigo being held back. Why? The guy always fears to lose his friends, and right before, he had Inoue being scared OF him. Yes, she HELD HIM BACK WITH HER FRIGHT. That's not romantic feelings, but undoubtely, that's very IC for Ichigo to fear to lose his friends - as you can remember the banter between him and Shinji in ch189. 

Maybe this scene then?

While the first page is certainly powerful, I think that there is some worry for Ichigo; and not only for Inoue, but also for Ishida. Because this page is exclusively shared by the three of them, it's hard for me to say that he's worrying about one more than the other. But more importantly, there's not only worry for his friends, but also... excitation for the fight. In the second page, Ichigo is definitely grinning in his shaded panel, so I definitely think that it's a mix between fear and excitation. Still nothing romantic, sorry _o/

So, has Ichigo ever be drawn like this in a romantic setting? With intense POSITIVE feelings for the character?

He definitely has _o/ And ohhh, surprise, this was for Rukia XD It's not about worry, or walking away calmly: obviously, Ichigo wasn't calm, he was agitated, because the thoughts he thought his were shared by Rukia - even away from the other, they still connect in a deep level, don't they? XD

This scene pumped him up to save her, so it was very intense and definitely very positive. The way Kubo hid his face, showed only pieces of clothes from him or showed his back is very telling - those emotions that Ichigo is feeling, he doesn't want the others to see them, but they're definitely very strong. I was very surprised when I first read this chapter in a mini-marathon to read Bleach, because to me, this seemed very straightforward. Even now, years later, I still think of this scene as a very powerful one, a setting stone for IchiRuki.

However, it can also be a great, great fear:

These very intense feelings from Ichigo; they can also be fear. In that case, Ichigo wanting to go back to Rukia [even in ch271, and I can prove it if needed, meaning yes, him lashing out at Ulq didn't mean he forgot about Rukia for his new true wuv Inoue], refusing a fight, ready to flashstep [in the first pic], and showing this shadowed face with this heavy back [while chatting 'hey guys I'm terribly OOC, don't y'a think?'] is definitely an indicator of Rukia's position in Ichigo's heart and how these emotions were running through him at that time.

What's interesting with the page from when Ichigo entrusts Inoue to Ishida is that his face is nearly entirely black. Somehow, I've read it many times, but I can't find this to be a good omen. I remember Ichigo, in ch03, saying that looking at her wore him out, because you'd start worrying for her. I think that she truly did that during the Lust arc, she wore him out until she broke him, and somehow that seems to be a bad omen. So I've been wondering if he didn't want to leave her in Ishida's care to not have to worry about her anymore and focus on Ulq instead.
Speaking of the Lust arc...

7. The girl will always put her beloved's safety before hers

Hanatsuki Hime: the girl has the devil's heart, and, to prevent him from turning into a monster, kills herself to give him back his heart.

While Hanatsuki is certainly a tad extrem [XD], it represents very well this idea that the girl will always put her beloved's [and even friends, but even moreso the guy she loves] safety before hers. I stopped counting how many times, even the worse heroine would step in a guy fight, or even take a hit or a slap to protect the guy.

This is why, when you see Inoue crying out for help to a dead body is certainly not a good sign. The fact that he's dead makes it worse, but usually, heroines, even shoujo girls who don't know how to fight, don't shout for help. They try to find a solution by themselves. And Inoue IS a shoujo girl, so the fact that she cried like this was really foreign to me. I was like WTF? WHY? The fact that she reckons later on that it was a mistake is certainly a timid step, but not enough. If anything, it says a lot about her 'love' for Ichigo - isn't it more like hero worshipping at this point?

If you compare this with the scene where Ichigo rescues Rukia, even though she's about to die... she begs him to go back, because she can't bear the thought of having him being hurt because of her - or worse. This is how you expect a girl in manga to act, especially towards the boy who is special to her - not saying she's in love or remotely aware of her feelings, but Ichigo IS definitely special to her. See ch196 for further details _o/

8. The guy resting on the girl's lap

Kiss/Hug [again, because it's such a nice shoujo XD]: obviously, guy is resting on the girl's lap, with a very romantic setting.

The lap scene is one of the most common tropes in shoujo manga. I have something like dozens of example just for this one >__>' I don't even have to look very far, because it's often used in chapter covers pages. Because the guy is able to be at ease with the girl, he likes to rest on her lap - I think that's the idea behind the trope.

And there is only ONE instance where you can see it in Bleach, and that's in vol03 with Ichigo and Rukia. Ichigo literally fell into Rukia's arms [you have to wonder about the metaphor there] and she let him rest on her lap while healing him. This is one of the most romantic setting, and it's very, very early in Bleach, where Kubo could have easily shove us IchiOri if that was his intent. Apparently though, his intent was to show us deep romantic scenes between Ichigo and Rukia, I wonder why? :P

If you want to comapre the scenes with Inoue [after the Byakuya fight and after the Ulq fight], she never gets to get him, and I think that this metaphor is very telling as well.

9. The hands clutching on the heart

Otogibanashi de himitsu no: I chose this shoujo to show the trope because of what she's thinking right when she takes her hands to her heart [yes, in manga, they show their heart there, right where Ulq's hole is BTW]. "The sound of what one truly feels?" with the hands clutching on her heart like this is telling more than a lot of words XD

In Bleach, it becomes Rukia clutching her hands on her heart while looking at Ichigo, with [again], one of the most romantic settings of the whole serie.

Do I even need to go on about this? _o/

10. The Destiny theme

Sora Log: Girl meets Boy. I'm waiting for you, the man of my destiny.

Bleach: One shinigami. One boy. The accidental encounter. The Story of Destiny Begins.
The Destiny theme is one of the biggest tropes in shoujo EVER. Like: 'it's destiny/fate that we met'. The only time when I've seen it used in a non-romantic way, and even some may argue, it was in FF7, and that's a game with a more western influence. Other then that? I can shove way too many shoujo that have a babble about this.
I've seen people rant about my FC title 'The Story of Destiny Begins'; is it me, or do people really think I haven't got enough cheesy quotes to put as my FC title? I just chose the BIGGEST trope ever

Other random things that caught my eyes, but I don't necessarily have any reference right there AND I already have too many pics anyway:
- the looks people can share: this is not necessarily a romantic setting, however, this is also VERY important. Because it shows that both characters are paying attention to each others, are connecting [they also happen a lot between fighters, but that's only because they're paying attention to each other, obviously]. I found it quite funny that the only true look that Inoue and Ichigo share are with him behind a mask, as if even though he was protecting her, they still didn't connect. Meanwhile, Ichigo and Rukia share many, meaningful looks.
- Inoue's near kiss: this is usually really bad, because it shows the disconnection between two characters. People can think whatever they want about how Inoue was feeling, the truth is that she knew Ichigo wasn't hers, thus she couldn't bring herself to kiss him. If she was saying goodbye and he was sleeping, then in any shoujo, she would have kissed him if they were meant to be, connecting, or whatever. Thing is, Kubo chose to show her unrequited love that way. I also found it very telling that in this scene, we couldn't see Ichigo's face: Inoue's love is about herself and only herself, how she imagines Ichigo and not how he truly is. Personally, because of this, I don't think that Inoue will ever confess to him.
- When Inoue awoke in SS and called Ishida 'Kurosaki-kun', I also thought that it was the strongest hint of Inoue --> Ishida. I've talked about it to Annie and she laughed, saying that she didn't think that many people thought like that, but I still stand my point. When I read it, I clearly saw that behind the Ichigo that she imagined stood Ishida. Of course, it was rude of her, and usually in shoujo, it's bad if a girl calls another guy's name in her dream in front of her lover. But Ishida and Inoue aren't lovers, we know since the very start that Inoue likes Ichigo and we also know that Ishida and Ichigo are alike in many points. Which is why I interpretated it that way.

Well, did anyone survive this? XD Thank you for reading and don't hesitate to reply! Just so you know, I only used a few examples: more can be found whithin Bleach. I simply think that Kubo uses tropes that are literally a cultural thing, and since I read so many shoujo, that are often more open about those tropes, it's easier to spot them like that.
PS: I apologize for the possible typing mistakes, but I began to write it on a whim and now it's really, really late XD

Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
fatexstay_nightfatexstay_night on September 5th, 2009 01:11 am (UTC)
You've done it again Syn! Wonderful wonderful essay, and I really do agree with your points [although it may be because Ichiruki is my OTP, ~fufufu!]
Grenatescarboucle on September 5th, 2009 08:30 am (UTC)
Thanks XD I'm glad you enjoyed the trip XD
_debbiechan__debbiechan_ on September 5th, 2009 01:32 am (UTC)

I KNOW I've seen it in a shoujo--maybe one you showed me?--where the gang is making fun of a boy (named Kurosaki, I believe!) for throwing a girl over his back like a sack of potatoes instead of carrying her bridal style. There was a whole to-do among the students watching about it.

Just goes to show that THERE is a implicit message with touching and people are always trying to interpret it. I believe Kubo is always clever with his shipper-tease moves... particularly with IchiOri...omg, is she going to KISS HIM? Omg, he isn't actually going to embrace her, is he? (after the Grimmjow fight) and OH WOW, Ichigo just stood up and said "I will protect her!" but in each of these cases it was A BIG FAKE OUT. XD No, she "couldn't" take his first kiss, no it was a humorous moment when he tossed her over his shoulder and was all "oh ho hum, guess I gotta go save Chad and Rukia now" and my favorite fake out was the glorious hero standing up to protect the girl and then whoooooosh, he immediately makes her take a face plant in the dirt.

Ah well, shippery interpretations are fun as always with you. Gotta go to bed now, more later.
Grenatescarboucle on September 5th, 2009 08:35 am (UTC)
Yes, I remember showing it to you. I can't remember the name though XD This majorly proves that the mangaka can make or unmake tropes, if that makes sense XD

Yeah, it looks like Kubo is a big tease [like all authors], but whenever he makes something that could be big for IchiOri, he kills it afterwards. Now, I understand that IchiOri isn't his intend, but I truly miss IchiRuki, you know >___>"

Glad you had some fun :3
The potato sack incedent - (Anonymous) on September 6th, 2009 04:04 pm (UTC) (Expand)
aeri: ichirukiiluxe_love on September 5th, 2009 01:36 am (UTC)
Great job with this essay! I enjoyed every second I spent reading this.
I think my favorites were #5 and #7. I've said it at the IchiRuki FC at BA already: the way Ichigo and Rukia bicker so easily shows they're comfortable with each other, not that they don't get along.

About #1: LOL, I just saw a Hong Kong romantic comedy movie where this sweet girl says she will know when a guy loves her only if she sees herself reflected in her eyes. I had no idea that this was a common theme in shoujo! I think your point was wonderfully clear and well made here.

- Inoue's near kiss: this is usually really bad, because it shows the disconnection between two characters. People can think whatever they want about how Inoue was feeling, the truth is that she knew Ichigo wasn't hers, thus she couldn't bring herself to kiss him. If she was saying goodbye and he was sleeping, then in any shoujo, she would have kissed him if they were meant to be, connecting, or whatever.

THIS. Yes!
This was how I interpreted this scene while a lot of other people were going "Awwww..." While Orihime's little speech about five lifetimes was charming and cute, it couldn't be backed up by her actions; they were just pretty words. It was very telling when she said "I can't do this." Why can't she kiss him? It's not as if it's because she would get embarrassed from kissing Ichigo (he's asleep... he would never know XD). I think it's her conscience telling her that Ichigo reciprocate her feelings and that he belongs to another girl.

Sorry for the long comment. All in all, great essay, thanks for sharing!
Grenatescarboucle on September 5th, 2009 08:43 am (UTC)
Yes, whenever two characters of the opposite sex bicker - especially if they're of the opposite sex, because it looks like there are often some major barriers between guys and girls, as shown in Bleach earlier where the girl didn't take their meals with the boys for example - you can count on people for saying that they're close. If they're boys, even if they're faking to be rivals and hating each other, then the girl who's in love with one of the two will comment how close they are too.
Warau is only beginning, and the romance is not really centered around the main girl for now, but this happened in ch01. She changes school at every chapter - for now - and he's the only guy she's seen in each chapter, despite her making friends here and there against her will XD

About #1, I didn't know it was used in other cultures! But, yes, this is widely used in shoujo to show either connection or disconnection - the girl thinking he's looking at another girl and not at her, etc. XD This is why when I read this scene, it immediately caught my eyes, and I hated Inoue for that, because it looked like she wanted to be saved to be important to Ichigo. I really went, WTF.

Oh and yes, about the near kiss, I've seen a lot of people making excuses etc, but the very truth is that it is bad. Not to mention Japaneses hated it as well, for that Inoue had no right to do what she tried to do [even though it happens in shoujo, I think that in shounen it's more shocking you know? Especially when the boy shares a deep connection with another girl].

I'm glad you enjoyed this! :)
(no subject) - iluxe_love on September 6th, 2009 02:08 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - escarboucle on September 6th, 2009 09:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - iluxe_love on September 7th, 2009 11:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
SimHumansimhuman on September 5th, 2009 02:45 am (UTC)
Wonderful essay. Before I got into Bleach fandom, I interpreted Orihime's feelings about Ichigo as a high school crush that developed into hero worship. It's interesting to see an interpretation reaching a similar conclusion, but with more evidence (and the all-important evidence in the context of other manga!) than I could ever find. #7, Orihime begging dead Ichigo to protect her, was the strongest confirmation possible.

#5 was hilarious and true. I can't name how many anime I've seen where two characters bickering are taken as a couple or joked about as being married. Communicating freely is a pretty big deal in Japanese culture, and it's exactly what doesn't happen between Orihime and Ichigo.
Grenatescarboucle on September 5th, 2009 10:59 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed this XD

Yes, there is hero worship and a tad of big brother complex too in Inoue's feelings. Alongside a crush and feeling of 'like', me guess. But Inoue's feelings have always been about herself, so I expect her feelings to come to an end whithin herself too.

Yup, #5 is, if anything, pretty much why people can enjoy IchiRuki to their fullest, because they always talk what they have in mind freely with each other xD
Kylarakarenai on September 5th, 2009 04:44 am (UTC)
Lovely post. I liked reading the earlier version on your blog, and this is even more fun.

Wanted to add my own favorite shoujo to the list, by the way:

XD This practically defines the implications of the lap pillow. It's even censored when Ogata sees it ^^;;;;

Also, awhile back in Japan... someone manufactured pillows in the shape of a lap XD just a lap, nothing else. Wheeeee~ anyway, really fun post. Sorry, I'm kind of braindead, so there's probably something really intelligent I should say and can't. D:
karkashan: CrackPairingkarkashan on September 5th, 2009 06:08 am (UTC)
What manga is that?
(no subject) - karkashan on September 5th, 2009 06:08 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - karenai on September 5th, 2009 06:43 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - karenai on September 5th, 2009 06:43 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - vayshti on September 5th, 2009 10:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - escarboucle on September 5th, 2009 08:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - karenai on September 5th, 2009 08:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
Nacchannacchan_touya on September 5th, 2009 06:05 am (UTC)
Great essay <3 seeing all those tropes makes me remember the "Kubo is a shoujo man" popular joke XD

my favorites are #3, #4 and #7

the bedroom scene is one of my all time fave because it shows that Ichigo sees Rukia as a woman who he could jump on and the presence of blushing Yuzu and Isshin (and Yuzu's "this one is more... girlish!") only adds the spice XD

the potato-sack scene is always hilarious (and I love your pick of UsuiMisaki/UsuiHinata? as example) and not only that, Kubo himself already gave us an example carrying someone in that style is.. so not romantic

and #7 : I stopped counting how many times, even the worse heroine would step in a guy fight, or even take a hit or a slap to protect the guy.

navijinaviji on September 5th, 2009 06:14 am (UTC)
(no subject) - nehalenia on September 5th, 2009 06:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aizome on September 5th, 2009 07:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - escarboucle on September 5th, 2009 08:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - escarboucle on September 5th, 2009 08:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mikaoru on September 7th, 2009 03:28 am (UTC) (Expand)
navijinaviji on September 5th, 2009 06:17 am (UTC)
ooo you posted it! =D

Thank you for sharing these <3 I always love to read about these since it really does help readers be able to understand more to techniques that are usually used by mangakas for certain scenes. My favorite has always been the head on the lap, but the others are really new to me so were a delight <3
Grenatescarboucle on September 5th, 2009 08:55 am (UTC)
Yes, I finally posted it XD

There are times when I don't get how a scene can be misinterpreted, not when Kubo is using a trope that's fairly used in other mangas - may they be shoujo or shounen. It's like hey, you know, that's how people are meant to read it!

The lap scene is just so romantic, especially with Kon looking at them with such a face, unable to enter their world :333
nehalenia: chad interp dancenehalenia on September 5th, 2009 06:17 am (UTC)
That was really interesting! I never read shoujo and don't read that many manga other than Bleach, so I didn't know about all those tropes -- tho I'd heard people talking about the 'reflected in his eyes' thing.

As for the bickering thing, that's not just Japanese, I think. 'Bickering like an old married couple' is a common saying in my area. To me, the sort of arguments that Rukia and Ichigo get into actually are romantic because that's how most of my married or coupled-up friends act. As long as it's not a serious fight (the sort that makes people uncomfortable) it's looked upon with amusement and generally thought to be kind of cute. That's why I automatically thought Ichigo and Rukia were meant to be a canon pairing -- they act like my married friends do.
Grenatescarboucle on September 5th, 2009 11:59 am (UTC)
Thank you! XD

Yeah, a majority of couples bicker me think; and it's such a trope in manga as well. Like it, hate it, it IS how it's viewed. Especially in shounen. I mean, Rukia hitting on Ichigo seems like a joke when you compare Kaori's traps for Ryo in City Hunter. XD
oh gallant piglet,: tiny!rukiaaizome on September 5th, 2009 07:04 am (UTC)
Innnnnteresting! I know nothing of tropes other than they exist and a lot of people quote them. The only argument I could make here would be that #2 and #6 could also apply to Ichigo and Tatsuki. Except, she's not enough of a main character for those examples to count.

That was a fun read. :)
Grenatescarboucle on September 5th, 2009 12:09 pm (UTC)
#2: funny, I just talked about it with a friend in MSN XD #2 is a tad different if it's with childhood friends, because you EXPECT childhood friends to have a good relationship.
Beside that, Tatsuki is the tomboy; so if she hits Ichigo with her school bag or shouts at him, it's only "natural". While Rukia is viewed as more feminine - especially in the school - and someone who'll have walls around her in general [won't express her feelings freely]. And it's also always a big trope in shoujo to have the new girl around who banters with the [hot] guy. Depends if you see Ichigo as hot or not, I guess XDDD

As for #6, I've always seen it as a very burdened Ichigo back then. One of his nakama was missing, Chad had been nearly killed, Rukia and Renji were taken away... to me, it's clear that Ichigo cares deeply about Tatsuki, Keigo and Mizuiro and that's why he doesn't want them involved in this whole mess. That's why we see his back, because all those heavy feelings are going on in his head, and it's too much so he needs to cool off and not show his face that'd tell too much to Tatsuki and the guys.

Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed this read XD
(no subject) - escarboucle on September 5th, 2009 12:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on September 5th, 2009 01:14 pm (UTC)
(Baka-Chan) Oh Syn-Chan, you are made fo pure win <33 I love all the examples you used,looking back at all my Shhoujo anies/mangas...the Lap Scene is SO POPULAR.And which ship got it?

IchiRuki.Thank you for this!!~ Kubo is one Shoujo write in disguizzze! xD
Grenatescarboucle on September 5th, 2009 06:34 pm (UTC)
Haha I KNOW THE LAP SCENE! I HAVE SO MANY MANGAS THAT USE IT XDDD All the romantic mangas seem to use it XDDD
tuathafae on September 5th, 2009 02:39 pm (UTC)
I think one of the reasons I like Bleach so much is because it's got a lot of Shoujo-ness (wtf this should be a word) to it but is, at the end of the day, always shounen. This means that we get shoujo, and then we get to make fun of shoujo, which is always the best. I have to admit, though, that I take the other side of the Rukia-shoujo-triangle-thing. I like her with Renji because they have the childhood friends thing going on like woah and it's rare the day I don't prefer that. But I understand where the IchiRukia bickering couple supporters are coming from.

Oh, and I'm so glad you used Usui in your examples (one of the few instances where I like the new guy better than the childhood friend, though my heart bleeds sometimes for Hinata) because he is way too cool to be anything other than extraterrestrial. XD
Grenatescarboucle on September 5th, 2009 06:40 pm (UTC)
I used to like the RenRuki dynamic, but it got absolutely outshined by the IchiRuki one that and the spiteshippers made me go meh about it.

I can understand the childhood friends one, but sadly, I think it's terribly one-sided from Renji - and I'm not sure I can forgive him for not talking to Rukia for 40 years, even after the Kaien debacle when she needed it the most. Yes, I love Rukia the most in the whole serie, so I prefer her with someone who will always go out for her XD

Usui's so cool, no one can go against him XDD I :3 him and Misaki :333 Hinata never stood a chance, I'm afraid XD
(no subject) - simhuman on September 5th, 2009 09:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
Grenatescarboucle on September 5th, 2009 06:46 pm (UTC)
LOL, but lot of those tropes are also used in shounen XD As I said, it stems from their culture, so it's not like it's just in shoujo XD Shoujo being the romance mangas usually, I liked to base this because yes, those are 'romantic' settings. And as I pointed out, some are not necessarily romantic settings either :P

The fact that Kubo enjoys good shoujo is only the icing on the cake XDD
secila80: Renji can't hear yousecila80 on September 5th, 2009 11:58 pm (UTC)
This is so interesting. Thanks for putting it together. I loved reading it and seeing all the great examples you gave. I guess this is further proof poor Renji won't get the girl. *sighs* It is hard wanting IchiRuki to happen and wanting Renji to be happy. Hmmm, maybe Kubo will find someone else for Renji so he won't end up sad and alone at the end of this?

Curious Kubo putting Ulquiorra's hollow hole right there, very curious.
aeri: abarai renjiiluxe_love on September 6th, 2009 02:10 am (UTC)
Off topic, but I know what you mean about wanting IchiRuki and happy Renji. I absolutely love Renji but my love for IchiRuki is simply greater. Sorry Renji. TT.TT
(no subject) - escarboucle on September 6th, 2009 09:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - secila80 on September 6th, 2009 01:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
renruki = settled issue - ylla19 on September 16th, 2009 09:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
la_kalaka: ishioriex_la_kalak on September 6th, 2009 04:48 am (UTC)
Oh my god! I need to put this in my memories. Pretty educative i have to say since there is a lot of tropes I didn't know that exist. Thank you so much for the clarifications, mainly for the "I can see myself in his eyes", i've been reading about that particular topic and till now I can understand completely.

Example number 6 was revealing too. I keep wondering why Kubo choose to show Ichigo like this, thank you for that, i agree with you and makes perfect sense. Ichigo is a protector I think it would be ahrd for him to transform in from of ishida who had never seen his hollow form. So I can imagine that the dark face told us about Ichigo's fears and doubts about what he was going to do when faced Ulquiorra.

- When Inoue awoke in SS and called Ishida 'Kurosaki-kun', I also thought that it was the strongest hint of Inoue --> Ishida. I've talked about it to Annie and she laughed, saying that she didn't think that many people thought like that, but I still stand my point. When I read it, I clearly saw that behind the Ichigo that she imagined stood Ishida ... But Ishida and Inoue aren't lovers, we know since the very start that Inoue likes Ichigo and we also know that Ishida and Ichigo are alike in many points. Which is why I interpretated it that way.

A very, very interesting point. Looking at the image right now (I open onemanga) it's curious, she sees/imagines that is Ichigo's face but the expression is Ishida's; she imagined Kurosaki's voice but only Ishida call her "Inoue san"

'Behind the ichigo she imagined, stood Ishida'

A curious idea, and one that suddenly is growing on me. But at the same time, this is way many IshiHime fans though that Orihime is searching in the wrong place. All the things she wished from Ichigo, all those things are in Ishida.

Something gonna explode in me if she realizes that x3

Thank you for the essay, I'm going to put it in my memories :3
Grenatescarboucle on September 6th, 2009 09:18 am (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed this :)

For the Ishida part, that is what I always believed; that Inoue imagined an Ichigo that doesn't exist, but all those qualities are inherent to Ishida. However, as she stands right now, I don't want her to fall in love with Ishida right now. I want her first to stand on her two feet, FOR HERSELF. Stop loving Ichigo first - she already knows that they're not going to connect further than just friends. And then, when she'll have repaired her friendship with Tatsuki, when she'll come to a term with her problems, then she can notice Ishida :3
(no subject) - la_kalaka on September 6th, 2009 09:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - la_kalaka on September 6th, 2009 09:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
lorkylorklorkylork on September 6th, 2009 11:28 am (UTC)
Syn, in my case, Trope #10 is the final nail in the coffin(if not the major nail) coz no one can deny the Destiny bit that Kubo gave ichiruki.....so even if they can see panels differently, to ignore that destiny bit just does not make sense

Awesome essay as always!!!!
Grenatescarboucle on September 6th, 2009 12:51 pm (UTC)
Thanks XD Yeah #10 is a BIG BIG trope XD I can't get why I've forgotten it while writing, but it was already so late and I wanted to finish, haha XD