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06 January 2011 @ 04:31 pm
Debbie Vision, a editorial in lieu of a chapter  

The following post contains editorial opinions and a dumb poll. I was joking around on Twitter the other day alluding to the recent Orihime panel, maybe I should make a warning icon for such posts and comments: "Warning: Debbie Vision."

First, the dumb poll, in lieu of a chapter this week. We shouldn't have spoilers until the 12th or 13th or so, and we should have a color page per Zangetsu01 by then.

Poll #1665054 Your relationship to your eyewear

Consider your relationship to your eyewear vis a vis Bleach characters and check all boxes that apply. Not applicable if you wear contacts or have 20/20 vision unless you think metaphorically--which of course, you may.

Like Ishida, I push my glasses up from the middle.
Like Nanao, I push my glasses up from the side.
Like Kenpachi, I wear an eyepatch that holds back my TRUE POWERS but when I take it off, LOOK OUT.
I have Yadōmaru Lisa Vision and seek out porn.
Like Szayel, my eyewear is all for style. I have spy cameras everywhere.

Next, like everyone else, I've been contemplating ten more years of Bleach. I've been amused by how many young-uns have been wondering if they will still be reading manga and watching anime in a decade. Haha, I know the idea that shounen fighting manga are just for 12-year-olds is easy enough to topple, but the notion of how loooong ten years really is seems relevant to how many years have passed for you yourself. Older people seem to think of decades as shorter (who can remember getting older?), and younger people see only the vast evolution from childhood to adolescence to adulthood and the forever it takes (if you're a parent, it's a blink of an eye, trust me).

Back to Bleach--so why are so many people in fandom so upset about another decade of it? Is there honestly that much concern for the integrity of the plot and for another favorite jumping the shark? When I think back to beloved series I've followed for over a decade (I can't think of a manga since I haven't read any that long--so far my beloved manga have all ended on happy notes--Nodame Cantible most recently), yes there was that sense of er, stick a fork in it, it's done, but I kept watching. Yes, Friends kept on being funny and X-files never stopped being full of pop-culture allusions, mythological stuffs and conspiracy puzzles like sudoku for nerdmos, but I got a little bored. I think it was the shipping parts that bored me. Even though I shipped Ross/Rachel and Mulder/Scully (X-files was the fandom that invented the word "shipping"--I found the Internet just in time to discover that!), I got bored with my ships about a season before they inevitably, predictably, oh so predictably became canon with babies.

Ha, wonder if that may happen with me and IchiRuki and Bleach before the next decade is up?

Maybe--if I were reading Bleach for only this ship or that one, but I suspect that Kubo-sensei will find something to keep my interest. After all, even during the Arrancar arc that was a yawner for so many people, I was laughing my ass off over the gorgeous horror that was Szayel Aporro (the chapter called "The Bad Joke" was ultimately filler even though it had its moments--"The Bad Joke" should've become the byword for what Kubo pulled on his audience back then instead of "the Kubo Troll').

I suppose that there really are people horrified enough with the idea that a work of fiction they loved will sour before their eyes, but in my experience, works of fiction are kinder to you during break-ups than lovers. You have the ultimate say-so in regards to closing the book or turning off the channel; you keep whichever mementos you choose, and you move on. Series always end--they leave with you a good feeling or that "why the $%%&+@#$# did I hang on for this last year!!" but you really can't blame the producers, the creator, Chris Carter or Kubo Tite for your own indulgences, can you? Don't want? Don't stay. Get out before your only source of references is TV Tropes. Gardening is a good hobby. Volunteer, meditate, go on safari.

So yeah, I'm a little sad because some friends left Bleach during HM, came back, and seem to have left it for good now, but I can't blame them one bit.

I've been in this fandom going on six or seven years now (can't keep track) and I'm the obsessive type, so I figure I'm in for the long haul, given that I like to turn little pebbles over and over for meaning. I didn't treat Friends or X-files this way but when those shows weren't the highlight of my week, they were still a little bit more than welcome background noise, and I find it hard to understand why most people aren't pleased about a serial manga they read and enjoy on a regular basis sticking around for a while. I mean--I'm happy to have Bleach once a week in my life predictably. Even those who like to complain about Bleach should be happy to have it around to complain about it seems.

I wonder too about the culture of shounen manga in Japan. It's often argued that Bleach is for 12 and 13 year-old-boys and one shouldn't look too deeply into it. I was chided for this in fact just a couple days ago when poetry-geeking at the Orihime FC at BA. I was feeling cheeky and asked all 12 year olds in the FC to raise their hands--not a fair question because I think you have to be 13 in order to join the forum, but when you think about it, because some of these serial manga go on for freaking years and years and people literally grow up with them, here's a large chunk of their readership being twelve one decade and twenty-two the next. So does the author, say Kubo-sensei at the dawn of a new decade and a new arc, accommodate for his grown-up new audience? How about the audiences who started the manga at even older ages? One would think it's only natural that before the first chapter is even conceptualized, the artist sees his story as having a broad appeal (There are no escaping the adult jokes in all kid stories and Kubo's very amazing poems are something that distinguish his shounen manga from others), but when it comes to coming-of-age stories, I like to think of artists growing up with their own styles and their own audiences. Also, in a way, although a shounen hero never really becomes completely sophisticated within the genre, his story does become more complex over time. Think about the audiences who grow up with these heroes. Consider this phenomenon--growing up with stories from a sole author not a franchise series of authors and seeing these stories through many coming-of-age adventures to a natural conclusion.

I read the Dragonball story--the Ur of shounen--all in one gulp but that's an amazing collection right there telling of a magical boy who lives through challenges that not only make him the world's strongest warrior but also bring him to marriage and adulthood. In fact, at the end of Dragonball, Goku is zipping around the world on a cloud with his bride-to-be in search of the wind harp to put out the fire at his wedding party (!) Fine, on the surface there's a story for children but there's a little something for everyone in a shounen. Generations of people adore Goku. Grandmothers love Bleach (I hope to be a grandma loving Bleach one day), and there's a little something for everyone in Kubo's manga--maybe even people who like to fret about metaphors and fuss about how little poems illuminate characterization.

I may be feeling a little extra mushy about all things that try to bridge the gap between generations The son, as some of you know had the bar mitzvah a couple weeks ago--for those of you not familiar with this rite of passage--it's when a Jewish boy turns 13 or becomes a "man." My Jewish "man" still reads Bleach. A dear friend of mine, an Asian American who unlike me actually did begin reading Bleach at its inception 10 years ago, is now in her first year of law school. Another decade and I may have already picked out and mailed out her Bleach doujinishi wedding gifts and her Bleach action figure baby shower gifts! *sob*

Okay, it's time to sweep the porch and restrain myself from making observations about shippers. I forgot to mail out a prize to luminous85 ! If you haven't received a prize from me from the recent contest, please let me know! I've been scattered lately. I'm recovering.

I'm so pumped about the next chapter and Sado-kun's role in Xecution.

eta: also, paging nendo_chan . Please contact me--I can't PM youuuu~~
Current Mood: dorkydorky
gruskek: blgruskek on January 6th, 2011 10:50 pm (UTC)
I push my glasses up in all possible ways and mistreat them in general xD Fun poll :)
Silviasilverarmada on January 6th, 2011 11:00 pm (UTC)
Just had to say, Rukia looks ridiculously sexy in your icon. <3
(no subject) - gruskek on January 6th, 2011 11:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - _debbiechan_ on January 6th, 2011 11:04 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - strawberries_85 on January 7th, 2011 01:46 am (UTC) (Expand)
◦ a girl like me ◦: Bleach - Kurosaki Boys by indefianceafteriwake on January 6th, 2011 10:52 pm (UTC)
My son is 8. I am turning 30 in 17 days. We geek out about a lot of stuff, and one of them is Bleach, even though I am more experienced a fan in this fandom than he is. Yeah, he's a little young, but he's loved shonen manga since he was six and reading MegaMan, and anime since watching Naruto at four. I'm careful what I expose him to in Bleach (though he got a Shonen Jump subscription for Christmas so he's bound to run into Szayel more in the next few months). I like being able to geek out about this with him because it's cool, and it's fun, and I love Kubo-sensei as much as he loves Kubo-sensei, if not more. I want my son to have ten more years of this manga, so that when he's graduating from high school and I'm encroaching 40 we still have something that bonds us: being fans of a good shonen manga.
_debbiechan_: Espada Nunber Eight_debbiechan_ on January 6th, 2011 11:09 pm (UTC)

It's a great feeling isn't it?

Oh, in America's Shounen Jump, the Szayel tentacles Nemu issue appeared this very month. I didn't discuss that part with my son--he was more interested in the crucifixtion pose of Szayel on the chapter cover. It all makes for interesting convo and bonding moments, that's for sure! He reads more shounen than I do and recs plenty to me--I don't have time for all and my fave is still Bleach by far.

My daughter is 9. She's a Renji fan. He's on her mousepad. He just replaced Hello Kitty, LOL.
(no subject) - afteriwake on January 7th, 2011 01:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - _debbiechan_ on January 7th, 2011 03:41 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on January 6th, 2011 10:52 pm (UTC)
Nice post. I too am happy for more Bleach. But I think Kubo himself is underestimating just how long 10 years is. It's a nice grand number to declare. I don't think we should be taking his declaration to literally though. I'm sure there's plenty of story left to tell, but I think it's gonna be the one short arc and one long arc he's been saying and that's it. But knowing Kubo, that could easily be another 4 years. His saying "10 more years" is akin to wishing someone a Happy Birthday and "many more." In the afterglow of having completed a decade of work, he probably does feel the juice to go for 10 more, but anyone writing story (Kubo especially) know that you can't accurately predict how long a story will take to tell until you've finished telling it. No one plans a story 100% ten year in advance, because that's absolutely no fun. Part of the joy of creating and writing(at least in my experience) is watching it organically change and grow, almost taking on a life of its own, as you're writing it.
_debbiechan_: What would KUBO DO?_debbiechan_ on January 6th, 2011 11:00 pm (UTC)

You may be right, but although with Kubo I always anticipate that things will be LONGER than he says they're going to be, LOL. When you think about it--there's still so much story left to tell, so many ban kais left to reveal, the whole Isshin backstory, the much talked about mystery of Ichigo's birth now, the return of Hueco Mundo subplots, the promise that we'd find out who those bodies belonged to in Szayel's lab, the inevitable return of Aizen and finding out about why he put the hougyoku in Rukia, etc etc etc! Hey, it could take.... well, I'd guess five or six years but with this arc and all these new characters that could very well add another good three or four!
Silviasilverarmada on January 6th, 2011 10:58 pm (UTC)
I haven't been online for some time due to real life issues taking over, but in the back of my mind I wondered if Chad secretly had something to do with Ginjou and co., and holy crap I was right! That never happens. And it will never happen again. XD

That random note aside, I do think stories evolve and people who say something like Bleach is only for twelve-year-old-boys are underestimating the author and the meaning in the story. All humans like a good story, it's programmed into our brains. Why limit the audience of a story based on something as arbitrary as age? And, like you said, if the story goes on for a long time, are the people who were 12 when it started supposed to stop reading after a year or two because it's "not for them" anymore?

Interesting to think about, at least.
_debbiechan_: CHAD DEAR KUBO_debbiechan_ on January 6th, 2011 11:02 pm (UTC)

I'm so happy you were right! Because I never dared to hope that Chad would figure this prominently in the story. I mean, Sensei said Chad would be important later but I didn't dare to hope. I really love Chad--there's so much unexploited stuff there between him and Ichigo. Their relationship is so touching as all true friendships are.
gruskek: bl2gruskek on January 6th, 2011 11:05 pm (UTC)
I had an about two year break with Bleach. I just wasn't feeling it for a while, and there were also other fandoms I go into (only bleachness kept me updated about the happenings of the fandom - thanks :))... but recently the interest came back :) Probably people are scared of getting tired with the series over another ten years. My advice is taking a break when you feel tired with something. Don't force it down your own throat. When you start missing the story and the characters, you'll come back to it with a new enthusiasm. If you don't start missing them at least you'd have stopped reading before the story turned into self-imposed torture for you.
balladbirdballadbird on January 6th, 2011 11:05 pm (UTC)
When I bother to wear my glasses, I push them up from the side, with the heel hand. A habit I fell into during middle school, thanks to my short lived but very intense fanboying of Captain Kuro.

As to unease about the 10 more years thing... I can kind of understand where it comes from... a lot of people consider DBZ to be the blueprint of the modern successful shonen, so expectations tend to favor a series running between 4 and 600 chapters. That's a little arbitrary though, since the repetitive nature of the shonen genre allows a series to run virtually indefinitely without the quality changing significantly.

There are plenty of series in the shonen genre that have run 20 years or longer. One Piece hasn't quite reached that benchmark, but it almost assuredly will, given its whimsical pacing. Likewise, my second favorite sports shonen ever: Hajime no Ippo, has been running since it was first syndicated in 1989, and it's just as good today as it ever was, despite the formulas being repeated (which is something that happens regardless, because this is shonen, and that's what shonen does.)

Given Kubo's character-focused style, and mamoth cast of characters, 10 more years of bleach isn't hard to imagine. I personally won't enjoy it, because I'm pretty sure most if not all of the arrancar who aren't Grimmjow and Nel are gone forever, but fans with less narrow tastes should find it little different from the bleach of today.

Granted, you'll have to wait longer to see if your ship comes true, but that's christmas: the wait is far more exciting than the day itself.
Astraea: ichigo good timelady_leia_solo on January 6th, 2011 11:17 pm (UTC)
I actually don't mind reading Bleach for 10 more years, it just makes me feel old when I think about it XD! But I enjoy the story and I would love to see more of it!

Oh and when I do wear glasses, I push them up from the side. Which reminds me I need to make an appointment with the eye doctor as I failed my most recent vision test!
andrew_jpandrew_jp on January 6th, 2011 11:31 pm (UTC)
I push my glasses up the middle, the correct way.

I have been watching The Simpsons since at least 1993. Long-running series are not a problem for me. (Although, who would have predicted that, out of the big three shonen fighting manga, Naruto would start winding down before Bleach and One Piece?)
the cosplayin' cat ladymochavalentino on January 7th, 2011 12:28 am (UTC)
I think I'm just expecting Bleach to continue with loose ends never being tied. I'm not quite sure where it's going from here, but I'd imagine Aizen didn't die for a reason (which is a whole other rant), and Ichigo's getting his powers back for something to do with that, etc.

But I do not like even more characters when we don't even know what happened to all the old ones that didn't really die, or just kinda vanished. I have the sinking feeling that these xcution peeps are like replacements for the vizards, and we'll never see them again T^T
SummelBaerli: L-O-V-Esummelbaerli on January 7th, 2011 01:01 am (UTC)
I'm wearing sunglasses the Renji style - too bad that wasn't listed xD

Well, I started reading manga with Detective Conan and Inu Yasha. Both turned out to be series that just went on ridiculously long and I dropped both when I found myself not caring whether Conan will ever become Shinichi again or whether Naraku will finally get what he deserves. With Bleach however, it's different. I've been following the series for 3 to 4 years and even though I was sometimes a bit bored of the HM-arc, I never found a manga that'd be more captivating, touching or thrilling than Bleach. If Sensei keeps up his wonderful work like this, he can expect me to anticipate every new chapter for another 10+ years xD But I wanna see Rukia again sooooooooon ;__;
Chad is finally getting more screentime! I've been waiting for this since chapter 201 ;A; And we'll finally get to learn more about Isshin's past! Why are so many people so incredibly pessimistic? I think it's better to just enjoy what we are already given before worrying about the future.
kaibasgirl on January 7th, 2011 01:24 am (UTC)
I think the unease about the ten year thing is the fact that most of us who are in it for the shipping are going to have to wait ten years to see our ships become canon. Also, I don't know where I'll be in ten years, quite personally. I may be married, I may be in Med school, I may be stranded on a desert island with no cellphone or internet(!) so it's kind of hard knowing that I'll have ten long years ahead of me to wait for Kubo to wrap things up; that's just a little bit aggravating.

Also, there's that fear that Kubo might end up killing off my favorite characters. I mean, did anyone think Gin would die--or at least die the way he did? Nope. So who's to say the same won't happen to the other cast of characters that everyone loves?? *sigh* -___-

(p.s. I don't like Gin, though I do love GinRan. I was just bringing that as an example XD)
Super Nintendo Chalmersstrawberries_85 on January 7th, 2011 01:45 am (UTC)
Nanao and Lisa is totally the way for me. :p
Slipstremeslipstreme on January 7th, 2011 02:54 am (UTC)
I'm looking forward to Bleach sticking around. I don't really have any trepidations with the storyline and my pairings are all oddball ones so I don't really care about shipping anyway. I only hope that the future holds great things and that Kubo never gets to the point he is dragging his story along for the fans, the fame and money, instead of for himself first (IMO, an artist who looses passion for his art is no longer an artist).

You can usually tell when this happens and the art becomes bland and cookie cutter (seen this happen with a couple furry artists I watch).

When I fan, I fan for life, so I will be sticking around.

When I wear glasses I push them Ishida style, but I don't need to wear glasses because I have 20/20 and sunglasses tend to bother my nose.
iam_paranoidiam_paranoid on January 7th, 2011 03:40 am (UTC)
Mindless ramblings/ conundrums
Ten years, IMHO, is a little arbitrary, if not extreme. Granted, this is shonen, and with shonen, things can drag on forever and ever, so long as the main character doesn't die. But then that's the problem.

Ichigo predictably will get back his powers; Rukia will predictably make an appearance in the future chapters to come (I am not complaining, tho. XD). In declaring that there will be 10 more years of Bleach, you're just... IDK, taking away some of the suspense. Ichigo won't ever die in any fight, and everyone knows that his 'loss of power forever' is not really going to be 'forever'.

I'm getting Naruto vibes from this series ;__;

.../is very incoherent in the morning desu.
sombra29 on January 7th, 2011 05:09 am (UTC)
I still have mixed feelings about this... I love this manga,I bought copies of the original material even if its a pain to get them here and they are always overpriced.I support Kubo in his work... I even find his music-dorkiness cute. But...

Bleach just doesn't seem like the manga that has enough strength to last for so long to me. I agree with a lot of what iam_paranoid said.

The world is really interesting,but its not been that fleshed out in my opinion(for example, is there something in the spirit world beyond the sereitii and the SS?do all souls in the planet are forced to live in a Japanese culture setting in the aftermath? is there something beyond?what about all those bankais we haven't seen? if there is stuff like Jazz,is there more stuff that influences the real world?) and I don't get the feeling Kubo is going to address this stuff ever and will just focus in the "character driven" stuff...Which, is not -bad- as is it why we like this series in the first place...but I don't know if it has enough substance to last for so long...

I might just not be a hardcore fan enough.