Oh I'm so full. My family doesn't usually celebrate Thanksgiving--even though we're Amercans, we're transplanted ones, but oh yum was yesterday loaded with Bleach goodies! If I didn't know better (lol, how often have I been saying that lately) and wasn't absolutely certain that the extra movie-tie-in Hellverse chapter didn't make its official debut in Japan this upcoming Monday, the title on the color page "You are invited to the feast of the unforgiven in the underworld" would make me think that Sensei timed the release of it to absolutely correspond with the American Thanksgiving holiday!
And to think the feast is far from over! The movie has yet to be released!
Of all the upcoming Bleach goodies, I most anticipate the Kubo Tite interview that's going to be in the movie 4 pamphlet.
It's always struck me as funny that Kubo Tite has such a rep for being a troll artist. For me, a troll is someone who deliberately baits an audience, provokes wank and controversy, and the main connotation of "troll" is someone who isn't at all serious, is more of a practical joker than an artist (or more of a wiseass than an honest debator on forums), and really needs to get a life. While Kubo has always come off as a jokey person to me (I mean, gosh, his sense of humor isn't for everyone--between Zombie Powder and Szayel Aporro Grantz generations of 13 yr olds would never run out of penis jokes) he's struck me as particularly hard-working and sincere in interviews. Not all authorial intent is equal--that's why it's such an unreliable gauge of what to expect in a story. But Kubo-sensei is a literate, vibrant person who talks about "illustrating the air" when he explains his lack of backgrounds or not using assistants to fill them in for him. He speaks of his emphasis on character-driven plots and how he'd like to put more stories in (like the Ashido plot) but isn't allowed for "lack of time" and he does claim to throw in "little things" that an audience wouldn't notice. (He doesn't play to entertain boys my son's age--neither do the authors of most long-running shounen either. I always laugh when people say "oh you're looking too deep into a shounen", because in Japan, people grow up with these stories. The people who started reading Bleach at age 13 are in their 20s now and still loyal readers. Parents and grandparents read shounen---there's always something in them for everyone despite the general tropes in them being structured around coming-of-age narratives that teach Japanese boys how to be good and moral citizens who believe in themselves and play well with others and trust in their nakama!)
Remember this quote of Sensei's? It's my favorite (translated by melodymix ): (empasis mine)
"There are bits in the manga where I draw scene that wouldn’t get the reader’s attention too much. I always put all my effort into my manga but how each audience read my manga are different. So it’s really important to make sure they would end up all having a similar idea of my story, but then again, it’s really up to them how they read the manga, but then there are scenes where I want the audience to be touched, so it’s really hard."
I love this quote because Sensei acknowledges that everyone is free to read his manga as he or she wishes--it's like he's saying, okay, you can see an eagle where I intended a hedgehog or vice versa but I wish you didn't. He talked about this desire of his once before when he observed some kids discussing Old man Yama's ban kai (they had mistaken the firebird at the execution site for being said ban kai) and Kubo told himself to "try harder"). Call me a fangirl but I see Kubo-sensei trying very very hard when he writes and draws. It makes me shake my head when I read people say he's fanservicing or making things up as he goes along. Sure, all artists are guilty of people-pleasing here and there, and there's this thing called improv but to say that Ulquiorra's last minute redemption was pure fanservice to UlquiHime fans and a total asspull is just .... who can I put this kindly? Wrong? XD
Anyway, my Ishida Uryuu FanClub over at BA was looking too closely at panels as usual the other day and la_kalaka noticed something interesting. Among all my happiness over Ishida being back in the story, I was sort of bummed that he was being a liar liar pants on fire in chapter 247 (yes people, I can note character flaws in even my fave character--just like I can with Orihime--please call me an "untrue" Ishida fan NAO). Eny noted that Ishida's hesitation over telling Orihime the truth was marked by a close up of Ishida's SHOE. Sensei had also made a similar close up of Ishida's shoe in chapter 117 when Orihime asked Ishida to take her up to the dome and Ishida hesitated
I called it Ishida's Hesitant Shoe. nehalenia calls it his Lying Shoe. I'm sure it was a definite parallel and artistic choice on the part of Kubo. People often look at their feet when they're unsure about whether to move forward. Isn't that a cool "little thing" that an author puts in? Make me feel all "yays" when someone catches it.
Okay, I've already forgotten what else I was going to type and there's a loaf of butternut squash bread with my name on it waiting for me in the fridge. Laters!