Wow. I haven't been this excited about a chapter since the first time Isshin blew my Bleach mind (oh was it really five years ago?) and showed up in Shinigami garb. That reveal will always top Aizen's in my book as the greatest WTF of Bleach because it was pure joy instead of the OhNoes! that came with the Aizen-is-really-a-baddie revelation. This chapter, "The Edge of Silence" has something of the aftertaste of both those reveals--in it, Aizen is shown to be even a badder baddie than ever before and Isshin, well Isshin, oh joy! joy! joy!
*clings to Isshin* Isshin, Aizen has been saying such bad, bad things! He's been driving fandom crazy and making Ichigo very unhappy! Please, Papa Isshin, make it all better!
Aizen has shown himself to be nothing but a master mindfucker throughout the entire series and last week, I was so sure that Aizen didn't tell Ichigo that he had planned Ichigo's entire progress. Are you ready for this? I was wrong . After much talk with some translators, I figured that the word was deliberately ambiguous. Spacecat told me that it could mean "Just as I expected" but had the connotation of "planned" and could be read that way and that the audiences was supposed to wonder--the beauty of Japanese. So, seriously, apologies to Binktopia and Mangastream. I also found out recently that the person who did Bink's more ... er ... innovative translations isn't with those scanlators anymore. So the "Just as I planned" wasn't a bad translation.
Prediction-wise, I'm not one to go out on cracky tangents (well, save for that Szayel is a Quincy theory... *fondles it*) so I haven't been this wrong since refusing to believe that it was really Kenpachi who came to rescue Ichigo in Hueco Mundo. Aizen really has a hand in Ichigo's development. Kubo-sensei is doing some serious ret-conning in Bleach.
The idea first chilled me. The spoilers didn't tell the whole story, but once I saw Ichigo reacting the way the audience would and calling Aizen on how he contradicted himself, I knew Kubo had the audience right where he wanted it. Dazed and fucked, just like Ichigo. Because Aizen is a master bullshitter you see. He tells a little bit of truth in all his lies and right away, you're dazzled. He's like a charismatic cult leader.
I wrote in my personal LJ yesterday when we had just a rough translation of Aizen's speech:
"All that exists in that world were, personally, just convenient truths in your mistaken reality, and with that, all other lives have no meaning. However, that world generally accounts for me, personally, all other inconvenient truths are merely part of that reality."
omfg Aizen why do I find this so sexy? I know. I married a philosophy major is why. This sort of stuff turned me on bad as an undergrad. Dammit, you're a world class bullshitter, Aizen.
You too, Kubo-sensei. <3
Aizen is such a mofo. His world of no values and no truths isn't one that wins in Shounen Hero land.
His world of no Destiny isn't one that triumphs either. He's a villain with a great tragic flaw--he doesn't realize that he himself is a tool of Destiny. Kubo didn't forget that he himself wrote "One boy, one shinigami, an accidental encounter, the story of destiny begins." Bleach isn't the story of Aizen. It's the story of Ichigo.
Yet Aizen is trying to devalue Ichigo's efforts and relationships and break Ichigo's identity down further. Oh Isshin, you showed up just in time. Aizen, like Al Franken said of Rush Limbaugh, is a BIG FAT LIAR. Let's put this philosophical dialogue to a real test, manly chest versus manly chest, good guy versus bad guy, family values versus Aizen bullshittery.
The fandom hysteria has been a little nerve-wracking to watch. I was reading things in the spoiler thread at BA about Ichigo maybe having been genetically manipulated to LOOK LIKE KAIEN. The shippery nonsense was getting to me too--it started last week with some trying to pin the fact that if Aizen set up Ichigo and Rukia's meeting then that deflated the Destiny theme and the IchiRuki ship. Then I read that some shippers were quite happy to claim that Aizen the "awesome matchmaker" has been planning Ichigo and Orihime's interactions (orly? Where was there any mention of Orihime in this chapter?) but that Aizen saying that he planned for Ichigo and Rukia to meet constitutes Kubo trolling the IchiRuki fandom. Great load of nonsense right there. And oh the Masaki speculation--is she an Arrancar, a Vastrolorde, Royal family or Aizen in a Gigai? Oh, and I think I saw some mention of Isshin being Ishida's father and Ryuuken being Ishida's mother in the chapter thread too--no lie.
As much as I can't wait for next week's chapter, it's going to take me a whole week to recover from this one.