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27 September 2010 @ 08:23 am
We have rebuttal to Karenai's essay!  
Warning for shipping.

We've waited over a year for someone, anyone, to answer karenai 's Lust Arc essay (linked on side of this community). The author has asked over and over for a response, and now it seems we do have a long and comprehensive rebuttal:

The rebuttal essay is Orihime Loves Ichigo. The title itself is deceptive since that statement itself is arguably canon fact (although Karenai's essay does, among other things, conclude that Orihime does not really love Ichigo--I have always disagreed with her about that one particular). This essay, posted on a site that doesn't allow for comments, addresses many points besides Orihime's love for Ichigo and does seem to beg for comments insofar as it seems to be riddled with errors. I'm asking everyone here who responds to it to read the whole thing before responding, to be on his or her best behavior before responding, to acknowledge the effort that went into compiling all the documentation in the essay and to refrain from mocking statements, but please, address the more outrageous claims. In particular I'm interested in the issue of Viz's translation being the one correct source, the characterizations of romance in shounen, Rukia's characterization ("Rukia is as naive as Hinamori when it comes to a pretty face"), the idea that Ichigo and Rukia being a couple would cause havoc among the nakama, and the bizarre conclusion that it wasn't Ulquiorra's breaking off IchiThing's horn but Orihime's calling out to IchiThing that caused Ichigo's transformation back to normal and caused him to not fire the cero at Ishida.

Anon comments disabled. Please, respond succinctly and politely.

eta: and in anticipation of the question why link this essay and not other IchiOri essays, the answer is that this is the only one I've seen that directly responded to an essay on this site.
shinigami_1nabe on September 28th, 2010 06:49 am (UTC)
Re: An Attempt at a Response (4)
I was mostly bothered the characterization of Ichigo and the idea that he "willed" his own recovery back to normal for the sake of Orihime at the end of the Ulquiorra battle.

Yes, I was bothered by this, too. It seems to me that viewing what happened in the dome from this perspective absolves Ichigo and Inoue from their less than stellar actions in those chapters. It makes it all OK because those actions were done for love, after all. Never mind the casualties and the real heroes in those chapters (Ishida and Ulquiorra). Their actions don't count because in end Inoue and Ichigo saved each other.

I love Ichigo, I really do, but until he fully confronts the monster he turned in the dome and vows to do something about it (and apologise to Ishida and swear on his life to give Ishida a lifetime's worth of sewing equipment and materials), he will never achieve true victory. The same goes for Inoue.

... but yes, Orihime's thoughts and feelings and desires are given enormous focus in this essay. I know what it's like to fangirl hard, but to anticipate conclusions based on one's love of a character--this essay read like "I love Orihime therefore everyone else (read ICHIGO) should too." That's the feeling I got when I was done.

I tend to pay the same rapt attention to every panel that Rukia is in because I just love her to bits. I also admit to being sometimes guilty of over-stretching and -analysing Rukia's role in the manga as some kind of wishful thinking that Kubo will write more of her... I suppose it's in the nature of being a fan of any character.

My problem with Beruhime219's over-emphasis of Inoue is that it required the re-interpretation the rest of the manga towards conclusions that only serve one aspect of Inoue's character (her feelings for Ichigo).

I'm not an Inoue fan but even I know that Inoue is made up of more than her feelings for Ichigo. She has other facets to her and other relationships she values. She had a bad childhood saved by a brother who loved her and Tatsuki. She aspires to be a gazillion things when she grows up. She tends to think the best of everyone. She feels overly-guilty when she's less than perfect. She holds herself (quite unforgivingly, sometimes) to the standards that she admires in her friends. She cooks weird food (some of which I actually tried to replicate in my kitchen to my deep regret). I think that it is a disservice to Inoue to only see her as a romantic potential for Ichigo and for her happiness to rest solely on whether or not she gets Ichigo in the end.

Granted, that ever since the start of the Arrancar arc, she has been written and drawn as someone who is all about Ichigo. I haven't quite forgiven her for choosing Ichigo over Tatsuki (or heck, her brother's grave) before leaving for Hueco Mundo. She has been gobbled up by her supposed love for Ichigo, resulting in the monster she turned into in the dome. So I'm fine with analysing the Arrancar and HM arcs from the perspective of Inoue being a character whose defining aspect is her feelings for Ichigo. I am not fine with going back several chapters and only seeing her as that when she was written and drawn to be more than that.

I also have a problem with presenting Inoue as a perfect character who therefore deserves Ichigo's love. Inoue's not evil but she's not perfect either. But that means squat as to whether or not she deserves to bag the guy of her dreams. I think it's borderline sexist to conclude that a girl's good qualities make her deserving of a man as if those good qualities only exist so she can get the mate she wants.