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10 November 2009 @ 06:39 pm
Orihime vs Aizen and Soul Society's Sketchiness  
So, when I saw the spoiler thread at BA, I started a response with my theories... and got a little carried away.

No objectionable content beyond crazy theories that actually have basis, a bit of NelIchi wishful thinking, and a long mini-essay.

Personally, I want Orihime to take Aizen out. I know, it sounds insane, but hear me out.

First off, he pretty much admits that she's the only one who can take him down. Though Hacchi hints at it, Aizen is the first one to flat-out admit that Orihime has the "power to surpass God", or the "power that trespasses in God's domain". Aizen refers to himself continually as some variation of the word "God" (though I will admit that he never outright says it) throughout the series, starting with his betrayal. True, he revealed that Orihime had been nothing but bait, but stop for a moment. If she was just bait, why did he go through so much trouble to make sure she was broken down?

First off, the walls of her room were not made of sekkiseki, the reiatsu-blocking stone. In other words, she would know that Ichigo and co. came to save her. She'd feel a false hope, only to have it crushed bit by bit as each of them fell. Granted, this only happened to a certain extent with Chad and Rukia nearly dying, but it had the desired effect. In addition, her room was completely unguarded, allowing Loly and Menoly to slip in with ease and harass her.

Speaking of those two, note that they were the ones that escorted Orihime to her private audience with Aizen? If there's one thing that hurts Orihime, it's being spurned and hated. She went through it in middle school, both before and after Sora's death, and it turned her into a wreck until Tatsuki came along. Interestingly, the way she was assaulted in middle school is eerily similar to how Loly and Menoly attacked her- both times, she was thrown against a wall, and something on her being was destroyed- be it hair or clothes. (I'm encompassing both assaults here) Aizen is well-known for being able to read others like a book, and he full well knew the effect Loly and Menoly's hatred and jealously would have on her- and how badly she would hurt, but never fight back.

I suspect he was also well aware of Ulquiorra's curiosity in regards to humanity as soon as Orihime awakened it in him, or perhaps even before that. Playing off it combined with Orihime's kind and forgiving nature, he instilled a sense of sympathy for the Arrancar that even Grimmjow took note of. One also must take into consideration her willingness to forgive Sora even after what he did to Ichigo and Tatsuki, because she knew he was still a person beneath his mask. This mentality about Hollows has been with her since the get-go of the series, and quite frankly, I wouldn't put it past Aizen to have been watching her all this time, aware of her potential.

So then we continue to the infamous scene atop the 5th tower. Now, I don't know how you other girls feel about this, but being Orihime's age, I think I'd be rather disgusted to have a man who'd done so many horrible things come in so close to me and essentially mock my entire personality by telling me to "smile more". Not only is this... well, creepy, for lack of a more serious word, but it's also demoralizing for her to be treated this way, right on the heels of Nnoitora shoving his fingers into her mouth. Aizen can allegedly see everything in Hueco Mundo, meaning he would have witness her being dehumanized. He acted accordingly to that, to further her feelings of being nothing but an object, a "pet". If one also wanted to fall back on one of Bleach's many recurring metaphors, Ichigo is referred to as the "Black Sun" (with Rukia being the "Silver Moon"), and Aizen says "Overcast skies always blot out the sun... And that always brings people's spirits down... So why not let the sun shine... For the time being". He then goes on to explain to all those in Hueco Mundo his reasons for bringing Orihime there, and promises to return and "deal with [them] at [his] leisure"... In other words, he's telling her that once he gets back, he's going to kill Ichigo, the one who all her faith was vested in.

That all seems a bit... excessive for a "useless" human girl whose only purpose is to draw the bigger fish into the net, right? Additionally, this can all be applied to Orihime's side of things as injustices Aizen's committed, not only unto her, but unto her friends, the Gotei 13, and yes, the Arrancar, whom he used for his own purposes with no regard to the tormented states of their souls. Stack that up alongside what Orihime's felt are her on shortcomings, the death of Ulquiorra, Ichigo's transformation, and Uryuu's injury- this may just be the straw that breaks the camel's back, and I suspect Tsubaki is going to see his day very soon.

Kubo Tite has shown himself to be a master of plot twists- Aizen's defection probably being one of the biggest ever in shounen's weapon-slinging history. So here's where we re-enter the partial topic of the thread (hey, this is just a prediction with a shitload of background. xD)- Ichigo versus Aizen. I suspect Kubo's setting us up here- Ichi will hold his own against Aizen for a while, and then, bam, sorry, just an illusion. It's not well-remembered, but Ichigo did in fact fight Aizen on the Soukyoku hill- he says so himself, though Unohana seems to draw him away from the fact (fishy fishy!). Aizen nearly cut him in two, ala Hiyori. And what did he use to do the deed? Kyouka Suigetsu. It's very much possible that while the cut was real, the sword was still released, and thus Ichigo's been unknowingly added to its roster all this time. Which leaves who? The obvious candidates are Chad, Uryuu, and Orihime. I really like the idea of Ryuuken or Isshin (maybe both?) coming in, but I'm sticking to my guns with Orihime.

So Ichigo is essentially screwed, since he's under Aizen's sway as well. Here, he will obviously still try to fight, which may well lead to the Hollow taking over once more- this time completely against Ichigo's will. Pan back to Hueco Mundo, where a patched-up Ishida brings Orihime down from the dome after Kenpachi kicks Yammy's ass six ways to Sunday. The ever-perceptive Sado will instantly notice something is off, but before he can say anything, out comes Yachiru with a new friend... Our little lispy Arrancar, Nel. Harmless banter ensues, until the reverberations of Ichibeast's reiatsu give even those in Hueco Mundo a nice smack. Orihime starts to panic, Ishida demands that Mayuri send them to Karakura... Only to be denied. In the moment of confusion, Nel asks Orihime to fix her mask. Judging by her whisper of "Nnoitora" (said sans any lisp), she has at least a portion of her Espada memories intact, or at least enough to know that her mask needs to be fixed. I can't see Orihime saying no to this, though Mayuri certainly might object, wanting to experiment on her. But I think Neliel will not only make a triumphant return, but also get Chad, Uryuu, and Orihime out of Hueco Mundo with a gargantua of her own. I've always wondered how Neliel would react to Ichibeast (and I know I'm not the only one!), so I suspect she would try to subjugate him, especially considering her philosophy on beasts and warriors. Which leaves us with Orihime versus Aizen... Or so I hope.

Now, on to Soul Society (and the actual topic! xD) I've always thought they were incredibly sketchy, letting Kurotsuchi and even Kenpachi, as someone else said, do as they pleased, leaving the Rukongai to its own devices. Now, I'll bring a rather obscure theory to the table, one that started as crack in the corners of the fandom, but is quickly gaining possible validity: Urahara is no more a 'good guy' than Soul Society, and may even be outright evil. I know, 'not Getaboshi-san!'. But think about it- he just so happened to be around after Rukia lost her powers, and just so happened to have a gigai that was tailored to her form and appearance. He sent Ichigo down to the Shattered Shaft likely knowing that he'd become a Hollow, one that would eventually evolve into the Ichibeast. There are a whole lot of other sketchy things surrounding Urahara, and maybe I'm just a nut. But consider this: Urahara was meant to be executed, possibly even by Soukyoku. And yet Soul Society contracted him to let four taichous into Hueco Mundo as well as create the Fake Karakura Town. So, is he evil, is Soul Society really just that indiscriminate, or are they all on the "dark side"? Your thoughts on this and anything else?

 
 
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(Deleted comment)
n a o k o || want your rad bromancenendo_chan on November 11th, 2009 12:32 am (UTC)
Mn, Ichigo just isn't in the right state for that, I don't think. It wouldn't be like Kubo to fall into the pit of unrealistic shounen tropes so easily, in my opinion. Also, the mention of Hacchi was just to segue into the concept of "rejecting God"- theoretically, Tsubaki can cut anything, and for all Aizen's power, he's still a Shinigami.

This is also wishful thinking on my part. xD
Kim!: Mmm... Jump...spartydragon on November 11th, 2009 01:48 am (UTC)
I think the Aizen-Inoue issue has less to do with power and more to do with vision. Kubo's taken what's usually considered a weak power, that of illusions, and really shown everyone its full potential. I don't think Aizen is as powerful as he claims to be, he's probably about average as captains go, but he's very well versed in human nature, and his own abilities. He's very good at manipulating people without illusions, and having a shikai that allows him to keep everyone under an actual physical spell means he can do whatever the hell he wants.

But if this is so, why didn't he hatch his nefarious plot until fairly recently?

I'm guessing there is, in fact, a limit to his illusions. If he uses it too often, people will start to be able to see through them. And there's probably people running around who are less susceptible to them than others - they might not even be able to be fooled at all. I'm guessing Aizen uses his power very carefully, building a solid groundwork of good old fashioned brain washing before he actually uses any illusions. Look at what he did to Hinamori, he didn't have to use his shikai on her, he simply manipulated her. Remember, he hand selected her to be his vice captain because she was so trusting.

Inoue's kind of the same way. She's very trusting, she has low self esteem, and a very obvious crush on someone. She's ridiculously easy to manipulate. But, because of the nature of her powers, she may not be phased by Aizen's illusions. She can reject reality - which means she must know what reality is to begin with - it seems illogical that illusions would effect her. I'm guessing Aizen's powers are useless against her and he knows that if she ever get the guts to stand up to him, not only will he not have an easy victory, he might loose his trump card all together if she can shatter the illusions completely. But, because of aforementioned character flaws, he's not particularly worried about it. Until or unless Inoue grows a set, she's just going to keep spiraling deeper and deeper into self loathing, which will make her weaker and weaker. Aizen's counting on her mental weakness to keep her true powers suppressed and he's doing a damn good job of keeping her in a situation where she can shy away from every opportunity to step up.

It's rather brilliant.

For now, no one can touch Aizen so long as they all think he's untouchable. Ichigo MIGHT be stubborn enough to not be fooled twice by the guy, but I doubt he'd be able to break free of a shikai or bankai illusion - especially in the state he's in. He might get out of it because of the mindless hollow factor, which probably isn't particularly effected by illusions. Hollows are instinct, and the instinct of a mad beast is hard to fool - especially when a tasty treat/hated enemy is standing right in front of it. Of course, this mostly just means Ichithing on a rampage with no one strong enough to stop him, much less get him back to normal. He could probably force a retreat on Aizen & co's part but little else.

So, we've got the Gotei 13 who are either cruel idiots, or just idiots; a lost and overpowered teenage boy who may or may not be able to make Aizen flinch; an overpowered teenage girl who likely can put a stop to things but lacks the will to do it, and far too many players who are conspicuously absent.

Personally, I think Isshin's going to show up at the right moment with a temporary solution and the manga's gonna settle into an uneasy lull (uneasy in that it's just the eye of the storm, a calm patch of training, soul searching, gearing up for full out war, and probably a flashback or six). In fact, we might even be in for a time skip.

But I'm probably wrong. Kubo's dished out some standard shounen fodder when I fully expected some interesting twist or character development. *shrugs*

n a o k o || want your rad bromancenendo_chan on November 11th, 2009 01:52 am (UTC)
Your analysis is really accurate- but I'm still hoping Hime will grow a pair and take him down. However, I love the Isshin idea, though I'm against a timeskip, simply because every shounen manga ever has one. -_-
Kim!: Nose Ponies!!!!spartydragon on November 11th, 2009 05:11 am (UTC)
9 doctors outta 10 say everybody needs moar Isshin.

And I doubt it'd be a major time skip - maybe only a few months tops. Kubo's too obsessed with little details to leave things out like that. X) Personally I think it'd be cool to leave things off on a uneasy note, then pick up again in the midst of a vastly changed environment with a few key flashbacks to clue everyone in to the major goings on. But I think the cast is too big for that - it'd take forever for Kubo just to check in with everyone. X)
n a o k o || want your rad bromancenendo_chan on November 11th, 2009 12:24 pm (UTC)
I demand some Granz flashbacks- we need to know more about them, and not just because I'm a fangirl. Some background for a lot of the Arrancar would be nice.
georg_vanlundengeorg_vanlunden on November 12th, 2009 08:18 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't be too sure of Aizen not being as strong as he seems to be: remember that twice now, he has managed feats of kidou that truly shows him to be very impressive at that, at least. He managed to defeat Komamura in an instant with one of the most complicated kidou spells AND deflected a powerful attack spell from the very captain of the Magic Corps: not something just about any captain could do.

Of course, that says nothing of his physical strength since for all that we know all that could be illusions... and of course, one CAN make the argument that all those spells were illusions too, but I think that's stretching a bit.

That said I would say there may be incentive for thinking there are characters who can build up some kind of resistance to his illusions. Recall if you will that Shinji managed to tear through what appeared to be an illusion of Aizens when he was captain. It may not be a stretch to suggest this means Aizens illusions are not as omnipotent as they appear to be.
(Anonymous) on November 11th, 2009 05:40 pm (UTC)
[i]First off, the walls of her room were not made of sekkiseki, the reiatsu-blocking stone.[/i]
Huh, now that you mentioned it... isn't it weird that Orihime didn't try to break through the walls with Tsubaki? She must have been oppressing this possibility hard for her (uncouncious!?) desire to be saved by Ichigo, to not even try to flee when she thought Rukia and Chad were killed...
sorry for bad English
n a o k o || want your rad bromancenendo_chan on November 11th, 2009 07:50 pm (UTC)
It's alright, you got your point across~ And that's a really interesting idea, one I agree with. Hopefully, though, we'll see her break free from this subconscious desire soon...
Quirkygrlmshepnj on November 12th, 2009 05:01 pm (UTC)
I agree that Orihime has a larger role to play in the final battle against Aizen, but I don't think she will be the one to defeat him personally. I had hoped that Orihime would be the one to take down Yammy with her Tsubaki, but I'm not sure that's going to happen unless the bickering Captains end up unestimating Yammy and end up in peril only to be rescued by a human girl.

While Aizen has acknolwedged Orihime's power, she would have to outsmart him, and he is the chessmaster to beat all other chessmasters (except maybe Uruhara, who wanted to keep Orihime out of battle perhaps because he recognizes the peril if she were to be captured).

As bright as Orihime may be for a human, she's too naive to realize she's being played. I don't think Aizen showed Orihime where the hogyouku was "as a gesture of trust", nor does she believe it, so why? I think he knows her well enough to know she will attempt to steal it to protect her friends and loved ones and by releasing it, she will unwittingly fulfill some part of Aizen's plan. Either that, or he's just a sadist who likes toying with the scared human girl because he wants her fear and submission. While I think Aizen does want Orihime to fear him because it serves his purpose, I don't think he's doing it because he's a sadist (like Gin).

Aizen does nothing without thinking every aspect and potential consequence through, good and bad. He's made some mistakes and had some failures but seems to be able to put that into perspective, because his failures haven't undermined the big picture.

I don't think he'd give a monkey wrench with God-hijacking potential the means to foil him. If Orihime is as powerful as Aizen says, and she probably is at least potentially, he would not take any risks with her power. He'd know how to exploit her and mold her power for his own purposes.
n a o k o || want your rad bromancenendo_chan on November 12th, 2009 07:46 pm (UTC)
That's all why I really hope she does get the gumption to take him down. As you said, Aizen's made mistakes, and this fan is hoping for one more...