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18 October 2010 @ 08:35 pm
Bleach discussion - after chapter 423  
So maybe some of you know, but I watch the Bleach anime with my mother, and she loves it--we've been Netflixing through the Bount arc and after (I told her it was filler but she wanted to watch it anyway, what a trooper!).  Some of the last episodes we watched this weekend got me thinking about things that happened at the beginning of the Arrancar arc.

Mom and I watched the episodes where Isshin is first revealed to be a shinigami and kills arrancar-Grand Fisher, etc.  Ignoring the Bount sensor dudes that were present in the anime, the only people there to see Isshin as a shinigami were Kon, Isshin, Urahara, and Grand Fisher.  With Grand Fisher dead that leaves the other three.  What struck me as odd was that Isshin knew what the Visoreds were when he and Urahara talked about them contacting Ichigo, but what Isshin described was not the truth about the Visored as we later learned in Turn Back the Pendulum arc.  Urahara acts like it is, of course, because we all know he's Bleach's resident liar behind Aizen (don't get me wrong I love the guy but he's totally manipulating everyone else). 

Anyway, none of this seems out of the ordinary, it fits in the canon fine, etc.  What struck me as odd was that Isshin knew what the Visoreds were, or what the "official story" about them was.  Does this mean everyone in the Soul Society who was in the Gotei 13 when this whole thing happened know the same story as Isshin?  Does this mean Isshin was a captain (or at least a member of the Gotei 13) when this happened?  Urahara says something about it being twenty years since Isshin had his powers.  So if Isshin left the Soul Society to become a human (or suspend his powers in a human gigai) twenty years ago, and we assume he left as captain rank, why doesn't anyone think twice when they meet Ichigo?  Honestly, nobody thinks "Oh hey we used to have a captain Kurosaki who kinda looks like you?"

I know we're getting an Isshin gaiden soon, but I wonder how this will all settle itself out.  If Aizen knew about Ichigo when he was born, can we assume that Aizen was in the Gotei 13 (at some point in time) at the same time period that Isshin was?  Or at least their service records overlapped on a timeline at some point?  Yes if Aizen was watching Isshin for whatever reason, then he'd know about Ichigo, but if Aizen knew Isshin before Ichigo was born, shouldn't some of the other shinigami know him as well?  Granted none of the others have seen Isshin in his shinigami form, save Urahara, Kon, and whoever we could say was within eyeshot of Isshin when Ichigo appeared from the dangai in the Deicide chapters with Isshin thrown over his shoulder.  Still, the whole thing is odd.  Granted Kubo has plenty of time to answer my questions, but hey, isn't this half the fun of speculating?

Anyone have any theories, wild or not?  On a side note, I've been plotting an Isshin/Masaki fic where they meet, date, fall in love, etc., but after Kubo announced he would be doing Isshin's backstory I've lost my interest in writing it, since it's about to get Jossed.  XD 

Since we're talking about Isshin, feel free to share your favorite Isshin fics, art, cosplay, whatever.  DADDY!CAPTAIN NEEDS LOVE.  <3
Iris: Bleach Ichigo fieryhockeyiris on October 19th, 2010 01:02 am (UTC)
It could be argued that Kurosaki was just a name that he took when the 'incident' happened 20 years ago that caused him to drop his powers/lose his powers, whatever it is. And he took a pseudonym to hide himself and his family. There is still the fact that Ukitake, Byakuya, and I'm sure a few others remark on or notice Ichigo's resemblance to Kaien, but it's not mentioned or seemed to have been noticed at all by the Shiba clan. But then why not?

Then, you have when Shinji and Ichigo are up above the rooftops, 'talking' and Shinji seems to sense Isshin's power as he defeats Grand Fisher, but he says he doesn't recognize it. Has Isshin's power changed so much that it's unfamiliar to one of the former resident sneaks of Soul Society? There's talk about how little the squads used to interact, but Shinji seemed to know everything and everyone. But then all captains are accounted for in TBTP, because the 10th's captain fell in battle, the 11th's is a Kenpachi, and the others are seen/named. So it's fine to be assumed that Isshin was not a captain at that point, but possibly a shinigami, at least. That leaves him about 80 years to have advanced through the ranks, become a captain, and leave Soul Society.

So, the name can be ignored, really, and Ichigo doesn't resemble his father enough, since everyone who notices a resemblence goes to "Kaien!" and not "Isshin!" so the family resemblance can be overlooked.

But Engetsu and Zangetsu? and both having a Getsuga Tensho? That's a little lazy on Kubo's behalf, but it is something else that someone should have noticed.

And makes you wonder.. was it the Final Getsuga Tensho that caused Isshin to be put into a gigai in the first place? We know it drains spiritual pressure, so was that the only way for him to survive and it took all this time for his powers to return to full strength?

Um... I'm losing my train of thought. But you brought up some good things that I've been thinking about, and I know of others who wonder the same stuff.
(Anonymous) on October 19th, 2010 03:04 am (UTC)
Hmmm... I really like your idea about "Kurosaki" being an assumed name. Also considering what Kurosaki is translated to "Black Cape/Cloak" and seeing how similar it is to describing the garments worn by a shinigami, it is a possibility. The idea just tickles me so. Makes me want Isshin back story even MORE!!!

Also the possibility of Isshin being a member of the Shiba clan (Unlcle of Kukaku and Ganju perhaps?) seems more and more likely the more I look at the Dynamic/Unconventional Trio (Yoruichi, Isshin and Kisuke). In the past chapters during the S.S. arc I have always seen the Dynamic Trio as Yoruichi, *Kukaku*, and Kisuke but now seeing Kukaku’s place on the team replaced so easily by Isshin seems almost fishy.

I for one would have been ecstatic if Kubo-sensei added the Shiba siblings in the Fake Karakura Town brawl (I miss those two). But perhaps the reason for their absence was due to an already present representative of the Shiba clan on the job?

Only Kubo knows.
(Anonymous) on October 19th, 2010 03:03 pm (UTC)
Or maybe he's saving the Shiba family reunion for later??? I love Kukaku and Ganju and I hate how they've been all but eradicated from the story, so I'd love it if they were relevant again.
qwirky on October 19th, 2010 06:05 pm (UTC)
Also considering what Kurosaki is translated to "Black Cape/Cloak" and seeing how similar it is to describing the garments worn by a shinigami, it is a possibility.
Just a correction: "Kurosaki" means "black peninsula/cape," NOT "cloak." It's a different type of cape.
(Anonymous) on October 19th, 2010 07:03 pm (UTC)
Whoops! Yeah sorry about that. I couldent remember if kurosaki ment black cape or black cloak so I just mentioned cloak just in case.

The peninsula thing is new to me though, thanks for the correction! :)

So Ichigo's like a Florida Orange eh? Hhahaha!*shot*
The Orange Ratthe_orange_rat on October 19th, 2010 02:26 am (UTC)
The incorrect vizard story we first heard could have just been an early idea of Kubo's that changed when he fleshed them out with the Turn Back the Pendulum arc, but I tend to give his storytelling more credit than that. :) I do like the idea that it's a false story told to any shinigami who weren't there as propaganda against the vizard. But then why wouldn't Urahara have told him the truth?

Isshin couldn't have been a captain or vice-captain during the flashback, according to Masked. Maybe he was just starting out? Maybe he spent all of his shinigami years in the Royal Guard?

Maybe Isshin isn't the first generation of Kurosaki to be raised as a human. I haven't heard that before, but it could explain why no one recognizes the name.
eframepiloteframepilot on October 19th, 2010 03:58 am (UTC)
The hidden parts of the interview in Masked talk about the presumed dead captain of the 10th division, whom Kubo says is alive and well in (hidden), and his vice captain, who was supposed to succeed him except (hidden) happened and eventually Hitsugaya got the position. Oddly, Hitsugaya became a captain 20 years ago, which is when Isshin stopped being a Shinigami according to Urahara. So Isshin might have been either the unrevealed captain or vice captain of the 10th division, though Shinji should have recognized him if that were true.

The other popular theory is that Isshin was a member of the Royal Guard, which would explain why no one seems to know him.
The Lurker: urahara_shoplurk_stiltzkin on October 19th, 2010 03:40 pm (UTC)
About the Kurosaki name--I've talked about this in BA, but the one thing to remember is that Aizen called him Kurosaki, Kisuke called him Isshin-san but when Ishida Ryuuken called him Kurosaki, Isshin said that it was a rare occurence.

I could only deduce that Kurosaki is not his real name--because everybody would have noticed the moment Ichigo introduce himself in SS. Yet most of them kinda thought of Kaien instead, when the Shibas themselves didn't even raise an eyebrow at Ichigo's uncanny resemblance to their dead brother.

It's also an interesting fact that Isshin somehow figured out that the Visoreds would contact Ichigo after he came back from SS, while Shinji himself didn't recognize Isshin's reiatsu. It could be two reasons: he made it to Gotei 13 after Shinji's exile, or because Isshin somehow just retained his shinigami powers after 20 years, the reiatsu just sort of changed, thus Shinji couldn't put a finger to it. Knowing Kubo, it could be the latter. It screamed plotkai after all.

Isshin's sporting what seemed to be a ripped captain's haori--and the badge on his left arm is different than the one the VCs wore. This probably tells us a lot.

At this point he could be the ex 10th captain or a former Royal Guard. Anyway, I thought it's a widely accepted fact now that he lost his shinigami powers because of FGT, which explained why he can't see Rukia in chapter 1.
(Anonymous) on October 19th, 2010 08:23 pm (UTC)
I actually tackled the subject of Isshin in my Kuchiki Salvation Trilogy fanfic; but here's my current theory:

Assume Isshin is Shiba Isshin - Kuukaku & Kaien's brother and/or uncle. It would explain the resemblance between Kuukaku and Karin, and Ishin's own resemblance to Ganju. He was the captain of the 10th 20 years ago before Hitsugaya. He leaves to go to Earth after using final GT (on an unknown enemy at this point in time). He falls in love with an Earthly woman (the scandal that causes the 5th house of Shiba to fall into disgrace) whose name is Kurosaki Masaki - i.e., Isshin takes her name instead of the other way around.

Note that we do not know the name of Ganju or Kuukaku's zanpakutou; either could have a moon theme but we don't know. (What we do know is that Ganju is definitely earth, Kaien was definitely water, Kuukaku is likely fire, and perhaps Isshin is a wind elemental. Just speculating.)

Here's the clincher: 15 years ago, Rukia stabbed Kaien; killing him - and sending him into the land of the living to be reborn as Ichigo, son of the same man and the same physical resemblance. Hence the reason that Ichigo and her are connected, and perhaps it is subtly referenced by a non-canonical clue that still bore Kubo's hand:

"Hey, if death really isn't the end, then that may not have been the very first time we met. Maybe we've been linked together for a lot longer.

"I can't say for sure, but I think that once a bond is formed, it never disappears. So even if we forget everything, we'll be joined together again someday."

~ Kurosaki Ichigo to Kuchiki Rukia;
one of the last scenes in the third Bleach movie, "Fade to Black, I Call Your Name"

That's my theory, anyway.

-Nathan J Xaxson

PS: Debbiechan - mazel tov on your son's bar mitzvah. L'Torah, L'Chupah, U'Lemaasim Tovim!
(Anonymous) on October 19th, 2010 08:26 pm (UTC)
Re: Isshin
Arrg, I meant "brother or possibly father", not uncle.
mrdracospirit on October 19th, 2010 10:49 pm (UTC)
Re: Isshin
Yer I a fan of the Shiba Isshin theory myself, there way too many resemblences between the two families for it to be acadental. Not too big on Ichigo and Kaien being that directly conected tho, I just think its same bloodline only.
sunlight_kissessunlight_kisses on October 20th, 2010 04:02 am (UTC)
Re: Isshin
I agree. Nathan J Xaxson's theory is well thought out with interesting ideas (the 4 elements bit in particular caught my eye) but personally, I don't think Ichigo is directly related to Kaien. Same bloodline, yes, but not immediate family.

Reincarnation is such a ... murky subject for me. They're the same person, yet they're not the same person. The relationship between Ichigo and Rukia, whether it's romantic/platonic, is a major part of Bleach and an important aspect of Rukia's character development. Ichigo is arguably her strongest bond, and it's one she made post-Kaien. I think it's so, so important that she was capable of forging such a strong relationship with somebody new. If Ichigo turns out to be Kaien in a different life, Rukia hasn't really made a new connection; she's rekindled an old one.
_debbiechan_: Isshin warm and cozy_debbiechan_ on October 20th, 2010 11:13 am (UTC)
Re: Isshin

(What we do know is that Ganju is definitely earth, Kaien was definitely water, Kuukaku is likely fire, and perhaps Isshin is a wind elemental. Just speculating.)

Ganju and his sand manipulations, woah, and Kaien water and Kuukaku fireworks--that can't be a coincidence, ne? Didn't Isshin blow Aizen miles away with just his will in their last confrontation? It's seemed sort of ... windy, lol.

Quite an observation there although it still could be a case of us readers overreaching.

And yes we're very happy about our son's big day. I got your letter--will happily answer it soon. Busy busy busy all this morning with the daughter's changing schools.
(Anonymous) on October 19th, 2010 11:18 pm (UTC)
Bleach 424
insane bleach 424 Raws http://scholarization.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/bleach-424-bleach-424-raw/
(Anonymous) on October 20th, 2010 02:42 am (UTC)
I always though Karin and Kukaku looked alike, and so do Isshin and Ganju lol
tokiko76tokiko76 on October 20th, 2010 04:52 am (UTC)
I don't have anything to discuss but I just wanted to say you people are blowing my mind with all your thoughts to the topic. I wonder if everything you spoke of would be cleared up in the future. I hope so, I suppose we'll find out in time.
songsparrw1songsparrw1 on October 20th, 2010 11:37 pm (UTC)
I'm thinking Isshin was either Royal Guard or one of Yoroichi's assassin/punishment squad. I think he is connected to the Shiba clan and took Masaki's surname. Masaki was probably not human. She could be a noble, a royal, or a Quincy - perhaps Ryuken's sister?

I think Isshin lost his powers using the final Getsuga Tenshou, under suspicious circumstances (against an unknown enemy) and had to hide in the World of the Living in an untraceable gigai provided by Urahara Kisuke, who probably taught Isshin how to use the Final Getsuga. Isshin knew of the vizards, and mentioned '"we didn't know of their whereabouts" and the "we" seemed to indicate his associates. Exactly who his associates are is still in question, of course.

I can't wait for the next arc. I'm dying to know the backstory!

Additionally, Ichigo may regain his powers since Isshin did, but we don't know exactly who Isshin is, yet....
(Anonymous) on October 21st, 2010 05:30 am (UTC)
I do like the idea of Isshin's leaving SS for Earth after losing his powers, and maybe marrying Masaki, being the scandal that caused the Shiba house to fall into disgrace. It would fit so so well. And really, the Ganju, Isshin resemblance is just uncanny (I confess I hadn't really thought much of the Karin/Kuukaku resemblance until now, and so I'm still a bit iffy on that)

But more than the idea of Ichigo's mum being a Royal Guard or a shinigami, I'd always thought that ISHIDA's mum had a higher chance of being a member (or former member) of Soul Society. It's something I've always thought of as being very likely. The manner in which Ishida's dad and grandad always talked to him, the "finding what you want to protect" chapter, their sympathetic but hooded expressions, the "you'll find out someday", all the hints and foreshadowing that haven't really come to pass or had any resolution yet, what Ryuuken in particular "wants to protect", the Isshin/Ryuuken relationship, why Ryuuken forbade him to associate with the shinigami verbally, but didn't actually so much as lift a finger to stop him from leaving (both times). That, and well, it's very suspicious how Ishida's mum has yet to be mentioned in the manga. It's strange, how she's just sort of passed over, and we don't know a thing about her. We know Chad's parents died, so he had to go live with his grandad, Inoue's brother took her away from their abusive parents, and Ichigo's mum died. Seeing how everyone else's parents have been mentioned, I've always found it strange that Ishida's mum never has.

I'm really looking forward to the Isshin arc! I hope we'll get to find out more about Isshin (and Ryuuken) soon!