_debbiechan_ (_debbiechan_) wrote in bleachness,
_debbiechan_
_debbiechan_
bleachness

Orihime and Rukia. Why do People expect MORE of the girls? SPOILERS 272 EVERYWHERE....

People who are minorities and culturally misunderstood will know what I mean when I say that if you join the game, you've got to be twice as good as everyone else to be taken seriously. This is why fans don't evaluate the boys in Bleach as negatively as they do the girls.
The boys go down; the boys doubt themselves; Ichigo goes so emo he doesn't want to fight a bottom class Hollow; Ishida makes that terrible pompous goof with the Hollow bait; EVERYONE agreed to go down the five separate paths--it wasn't all Rukia's doing; and listen to me, people, Orihime is NO fraidy cat. I saw her savvy and bravery in Soul Society. After that arc, even though she was falling apart emotionally over Ichigo and doubting her own capabilities, even though she was starting to fear (she had been there on the soukyoku hill and seen what Aizen was capable of) I saw her stand up to Ulquiorra and then later walk right into the Visored den (she HAD to have felt the dangerous level of unknown reiatsu) and ask to use the bathroom. So why, in the name of all that sparkles with shoujo emotions, can't people cut her a break when she acts 16, scared, and helpless? Here comes the line we threw about when Rukia was in the tower, when Rukia dropped her sword before Arrorino--If any one of us had been through half of what she's been through, how would we be acting? I'm no shrinking violet in a crisis situation, especially when it comes to protecting those I love, but I think that after seeing two friends go down and blaming herself, Orihime has every right to be stunned for a while. It doesn't mean she's given up. (I've read that she may not want to reveal her true powers yet bc she has plans--I've thought about it and I'm figuring that she should know that Aizen may know more about her own power than she does--esp after the whole Grimmjow healing).

I'm reminded of how when Rukia supposedly "gave up" (upon hearing from Arroniro that Kaien's spirit body was really inside him) that oh she should be tougher, oh I expected better things of her, what the hell does Kubo think he's doing, he's making his females all wimpy damsels who need rescuing. Ha. The following chapters brought the most stirring display of mental toughness I've read in the WHOLE manga. That "don't give up and face your demons" formula that always works for shounen heroes was seen as something "impossible" and no indication of Rukia's power. She beat Arroniro because he was off-guard people said; they paid attention to the dynamics of the battle and missed the whole emotional drama.

Strength, as I've been reading people say on BF, isn't just about butt-kicking--it's mental fortitude too. Granted, Orihime is out right now--she looks pathetic, and her mind seems as beaten as her face. Maybe she's "brave" for bearing the blows but I've never seen her look so pathetic. I was expecting her to tear down the doors and reveal her powers when she felt Ichigo go down... now here she is, looking like a rag doll. But can't you see it's a set-up? Tsubaki--have we forgottten him? He got plucked from the skies the last two times he was fired, and the third time's a charm. If Orihime can slap an Arrancar, she can cut loose Tsubaki and satisfy all those who believe that in order to prove your worth in a shounen, you have to fight. When she'll show her stuff I don't know, but I believe in her, as much as I believed in Rukia.

Orihime's charm for me was always that she loved, loved ridiculously and unconditionally, and healed instead of knocking down. Yes, I agree with you who say her character lacked oomph, didn't stand up for herself, was passive and too easily cowed. Obviously, the girl has to learn to toughen up---that's one of the ways her character is going to grow. And no, I don't necessarily mean she has to "get over" Ichigo; what she has to do is accept the reality of the relationship and know that she's okay if her dreams don't come true. All women/girls who expect to bring a partner into their lives need to know that they can stand on their own two feet first. Whether it's Ichigo (doubt it ^^ ) or anyone else that our princess is going to walk off into the sunset with, I don't think that Kubo--who knows his audience, who knows girls, who knows Orihime (see Is Kubo a Misogynist?" discussion) is going to disappoint us. He's been hinting about her MAGNIFICENT G-DLIKE POWERS all over the place--do you really think he's going to leave her helpless and needing to be held up by any one of the boys? By Grimmjow? By Aizen, that manipulator?

Just as Orihime needs to toughen up, Rukia needed to soften up. Her rigid defense against the pain of Kaien memories was as much an exercise in bravado and denial as I've seen in any man. She needed to find her heart ; she came face to face with her worst fear (killing Kaien, having killed Kaien, destroying what was once her world of innocence and pure love) and impaled by a fricken trident, she leaned over the impossible pain and delivered the fatal blow. She wasn't able to do this because she was a tough warrior--she was only able to do this because she was strong in her heart.

Orihime already has a strong heart. She lives and loves with sweet childlike innocence. She needs to grow up--and when I say that horrible phrase that gets me jumped on by people, I don't mean that she's a dummy who has to change or even "get over" Ichigo. I believe that like all the young characters in Bleach, she has to face something that's holding her back, whatever fear, whatever memory. Maybe for her it's fear of being rejected by Ichigo, maybe it's the fear of failure--I don't know. All I know is that the balance of the story DEMANDS character growth. When she shoots Tsubaki again, it will be with the purest of intent. It will be in a way that would make Ishida, who seemed to understand what was holding her back, proud. I just know she's going to do it.

There. Rants do feel good. If only I had a Tsubaki in my hair that I could launch, though, I wouldn't need to type so much.
Tags: misogyny, orihime, rukia
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