It's my little daughter's first day of public school and even with the busywork I'd planned so I wouldn't fret about her, I've found an unexpected hour of free time--so here comes a rambly fandom entry. A friend pointed me yesterday to some old Bleach fandom posts from 2005. Funny how much doesn't change. Same shipwars, my same Ishida giddiness, the fandom moaning about Kubo-sensei's pacing had only begun. I amused myself looking over my pattern of predictions since that time--I've always said that a lot of the fun of a serial story comes from the eternal cliffhangers, the incessant clue-dropping (example--Kubo made Aizen smile after showing Orihime the hougyoku three years ago! When oh when will we find out what that smile was about?), and the trying to piece story bits together to predict not only story elements (such as, will the Royal Key be made out of Karakura souls in order for us to progress to the next arc?) but to predict character development (such as, will Ichigo attain mastery of his many selves at a great price and enter some dark psychological struggle in order to defeat Aizen--if indeed he can?)
I found it funny that my first post in fandom (at Bleach Forums in 2005) was in a pairing thread and that in it I went on and on about my fave ship (IshiHime of course!) and mentioned something about Ishida maybe becoming the Sasuke of Bleach (he'd just mentioned to Ichigo about "the next time we meet we meet as enemies") and how Orihime might function in his necessary "redemption." Funny how the character that Orihime would redeem would be Ulquiorra, someone we hadn't met yet.
Other guesses I did pretty well at. Not that Sensei doesn't drop anvil-sized clues. Remember when Keigo blocked a punch from Vice Captain Matsumoto? I didn't revise a story (The Risky Art of Listening) some years back even though friends said I'd gotten the characters Keigo and Mizuiro backwards. I knew Mizuiro was the observant one but I wanted Keigo to be the reiatsu-sensitive one because in my post-canon story, he was the one who'd attained the most spiritual power of Ichigo's non-spiritually gifted friends. Cool that the recent chapters has shown a Keigo who doesn't flinch even near uber!Aizen. Predicting that Ulquiorra would be touched somehow by Orihime in a spectacular way after the day she slapped him was probably my best call. A lot of fans, including me, expected Ulquiorra to save Orihime on the dome, but his saving Ishida took us all by surprise. I still love that development, honest--not for the UlquiHime, but for the fact that it makes Ishida's presence on the dome important. Lots of fans didn't want Ishida to be important on the dome. I was just re-reading posts yesterday from people convinced that Ishida would not show up at the dome, period, because the fight with Ulquiorra wasn't his business, that he was definitely going to stick with Nemu and Mayuri, that he had no "story business" on the dome. I hear the same about Ulquiorra's return too--that he has no part in a future story in Bleach
And I'm calling it now--Ulquiorra will return. Like my signature says: I support Ulquiorra's return because of Chekhov's Gun Principle: Ulqui must fire Lanza del Relámpago successfully. Such is Shounen Law that dictates projectile weapons WILL hit something. See Orihime and Tsubaki.
And speaking of Orihime and Tsubaki, there are some parts of fandom claiming now that Orihime is primarily a healer, that her strength isn't in fighting, that if you look at her history in Bleach it's all a shining testament to her compassion and contributions as a faithful friend, protector and healer and ergo there was no "failure" on the dome because Orihime didn't launch Tsubaki--the little guy would've only been killed anyway. It's fairly hilarious to read the very same fans posts in forums the week of the Lust chapters--post after post calling out for Orihime to kick ass, use Tsubaki, tag-team with Ichigo, and be a fighter.
I do recommend going through old forum posts some day when you have time to kill. Very elucidating.
So, tell me guys, what bragging rights do you have insofar as predicting Bleach goes? I can usually predict big stuffs, but my friend Syn has an amazing track record with more specific things--like knowing Unohana would show up to heal Hiyori in FKT. At the moment, I'm not feeling especially precognitive--I don't have anything other than gut feelings to lead me to think Gin is going to live (he had his eyes open last we saw him and his grand moment for passing has passed, so to speak, lol) and that Ichigo's Final Getsuga is going to fail?
What have you, Bleach fans? Any one of you have a crystal ball?