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21 May 2012 @ 10:43 pm
New Banner and a word on Kubo's "different" final arc  

Hold on, hold on! I know some of you will haaate the banner, because well, either you dislike Yuki and are wondering what he has to do with Bleach or you just don’t like the gloomy look of the graphic, but hear me out. I chose the banner. I love the banner. I entrusted yorleni and her wonderful talent to make this banner, and for me ---ahhh-- *kisses fingers*---the foreboding final arc of Bleach is all here. Ichigo, the mentor but his face in shadow and half-hollowed, and the new generation (yeah, that kid upon whose appearance audiences groaned “not ANOTHER new character) is wide-eyed and vulnerable. I’m scared—aren’t you? If the last arc was all emo Ichi (last banner ) then this one is the final bloodbath….

Any time now with that invasion of SS, Sensei. You promised a Seireitei in ruins and judging from the last stupid bleachness poll, many are on to your teasing ways and there are claims of Battered Reader Syndrome.

The readers literally want BLOOD.

But will they get it? The bloodbath, mean. This is the last arc and anything can happen, right?

Not really. This is a formula genre we’re in, and we’re talking Bleach—a manga whose style we’ve grown familiar with over 10 years now. I’d say it’s fair to expect SOME death but not too much—this is Kubo and it hurts him as much to kill off a character with real finality as it does to say no to a cupcake. As final as they were, Gin’s death, Ginjou’s death, even Sasakibe’s weren’t shockers. We’re past the days when Sensei can fool audiences into believing Rukia is lying dead in the ice…or are we? Maybe not if fandom was so quick to buy Ukitake as the final villain.

Starve and deliver hot months later when you’re begging is Kubo’s usual. A final arc is more than standard fare though—it’s all those long-promised pizzas that didn’t come when we wanted them. Will they matter now? Let us then anticipate big panels for breakfast, poetic allusions for lunch, angsty backstories, humor (breadsticks that look like penises) and a full course pay-off where all mysteries are solved, dessert is a happy ending tinged with Kubo’s special sauce of bittersweetness and irony, and maybe we’ll get a timeskip after-dinner mint of baby namings.

Why do I always write these bleachness entries when I’m hungry?

If Sensei draws a full color Quincy spread, I’ll make Yorleni change the banner.

IT’S THE LAST ARC OF BLEACH AND I’M GOING TO HAVE MY QUINCY AND EAT IT TOO. Oh damn, I can’t remember the last time I was so excited about Bleach, and I’m regularly in a manic state about it. Quincy, Quincy, QUINCY ARC. My favorite character being spotlighted as all the mysteries of Bleach are finally answered….

And yet, isn’t it odd that the fandom is so blasé now? It’s true—it’s smaller, the anime is off the air, Bleach’s glory days are in the past. No one bats an eye at shipwars anymore, BA is a ghost town, the lively RPs and fics and arts that flooded fandom a few years ago don’t have rivals in 2012—I see old stuff being reblogged. Only the loneliest grudge-wankers are still floundering around this or that new social media (Tumblr is a hellhole for Bleach wankity—sometimes hilarious, most times sad), and discourse seems younger and screechier outside LJ –oh LJ, which is sooo dead if it’s not LITERALLY inaccessible because of yet another DDoS attack from Russia.

The last stupid poll asked for you to describe your relationship to Bleach in terms of a romantic metaphor. I’ve been in this fandom a long time. I’m more obsessive than most people, even most otaku I know, and I’ve seen fans come and go. I’ve heard that the heightened state of romantic love or obsessions with collecting orchids, pokemon, or sports cars tends to last at most two or three years and that after that the passion becomes more like a fond habit. Among psychobabbilists, the heightened state of love has been called limerence.

I’ve head people accuse Kubo-sensei of growing out of love with his own subject, but I don’t really believe that to be the case—if anything, I do believe he floundered around the Arrancar arc time when his personal life was at an ebb, but he’s not phoning the manga in at all now. He’s doing what he wants—it’s just that what he wants—the big panel posey graphic design and artsy stuffs, his unyielding urge to procreate new characters into an already too full house--isn’t speaking to an audience in limerence anymore. Their pulses won’t be easily aroused by the old tricks. Sensei said that this arc would be “different.”

How so?

I’m different. I’m not like most of the readers on the poll—I get turned on easily by Bleach, even when I see how the player is setting up the dominoes. I’ve found most of the manga fairly predictable and the pleasure for me is in the art and details, not the plot. That’s why I checked “married” on the poll. BTDT, in for the long haul. But even I’m wondering if Kubo can keep this lover’s promise. Different? That’s a very tantalizing word.

I don’t trust it at all.

And for some reason, that doesn’t bother me one little bit.

Current Mood: hungryhungry
noir: Stock | Boylaerkstrein on May 22nd, 2012 03:55 am (UTC)
I have to say, I'm with you on this. Even if he's setting up the same old design, I'm damn well married to this series, and I will not let it go. Maybe it's the wide cast and many possibilities; maybe it's just an addiction; maybe it's just some naive hope I have that I'll turn the corner again and have my pants blown clean off.

Whatever it is that keeps me bound to this series, I know it'll kill me when this is all over.

And dang, you made me hungry with all your food talk. XD
manonlechat: gin: bye bye!manonlechat on May 22nd, 2012 04:29 am (UTC)
As final as they were, Gin’s death

* weeps *
_debbiechan_: GIN FOXY_debbiechan_ on May 22nd, 2012 09:53 am (UTC)

I still cry when I see a persimmon tree. There's a whole yard of them in the neighborhood we love to go trick or treating in for Halloween so yeah, Gin for Halloween--it's great. Sighhhhhh.
(Anonymous) on May 22nd, 2012 04:31 am (UTC)
I believe kubo sensei gonna make a difference in this arc. Problem is how we imagine a “different“ arc and what kubo thinks as a different arc. That's for me what's going to happend here. Some fans gonna agree with the perception of a different arc of kubo, but other fans, not. It gonna happend.
x: onlyliveoncemylasia on May 22nd, 2012 05:16 am (UTC)
I guess in some ways I'm lucky that I only picked up Bleach a year and a half ago, eh? ^^" Things don't feel quite as repetitive when you can read 400+ chapters all in one sitting (or as close to it as I could manage).

(I love the banner btw! I'm not a huge fan of Yuki, but the banner's just gorgeous, and the color scheme fits the rest of the layout really well. And the mood--the mood does match the last arc perfectly. Kudods to yorleni!)
Super Nintendo Chalmers: Ichiruki - SS goodbyestrawberries_85 on May 22nd, 2012 06:03 am (UTC)
Just leaving a quick comment: LOVE the banner, still don't care about Yuki though. XD Beautiful, perfect design.

I miss Bleach glory days, lol. Nothing feels the same anymore. I just want that excitment and passion for Bleach reignited, but I don't think it's going to happen. Not for me personally and not for fandom in general. It's a depressing though because no other fandom I venture into offers me quite the same feelings as I had back when I lurked and first ventured into Bleach fandom.
_debbiechan__debbiechan_ on May 22nd, 2012 10:13 am (UTC)

It's never been Bleach itself that wore me out--always fandom. If I were only dealing with myself and my reactions to a text, it would be that introvert's dialogue I grew up with--me and a book. Nothing really exhausting about that. But even Internet social circles can be as draining as real social circles.

I just love Bleach. But the fandom is really on its last lega. Deathberry still grabbed the fun like a last chicken bone and ran off with it. I feel like a lot of people just want to see how Bleach turns out but I want to savor it--like Ky said, there's no way I'm missing out on the last arc without my best friends. I'm in.
Super Nintendo Chalmers: Ben Barnesstrawberries_85 on May 25th, 2012 02:42 pm (UTC)
I can react quite passionately to fandom related drama, especially if it involves my favourite characters or my friends. I bounce back from it fairly easily though, and then look back on it with amusement (and often some degree of disgust), so it never really wears me out. Maybe I am crazy, but sometimes I just like a bit of drama and shit stirring to amuse me. XD

I simply don't feel the same passion for Bleach. I want to, but it's just not there. Also, I think because Bleach fandom feels more condensed and less personal now, it's even more difficult to feel the same about it. I'm glad to still have Deathberry to discuss things, but I don't think anything will bring back the awesome feelings I had when Ulquihime lured me in. :p Still, I am glad to have a small group of friends (and Deathberry) to go on this final journey with; things might be different, but I am not quitting for good after all this emotional investment.
mangaryd on May 22nd, 2012 08:35 am (UTC)
End Of Bleach
Love the mood of the banner. I am looking forward to this final arc also. Then again, the answers I've been looking forward to the most are supposed to be answered now. I just hope the the telling of Isshin & Ryuuken's stories is done ala TBTP.
gruskek: hnghgruskek on May 22nd, 2012 10:38 am (UTC)
I don't care for Yukio, but the banner is really nice and does fit the arc :)

As to Bleach... I don't really have high hopes for it to wow me again. I'd just like it to end on a good note that gives us some closure.
oh gallant piglet,: ALLONaizome on May 22nd, 2012 02:37 pm (UTC)
All I can say is: I hope your enthusiasm rubs off on me later on. I don't LIKE being so blah about this series. I want to be excited about it again (though as you know, part of the problem here is me, lol).

I do like the new banner. As indifferent as I am to Yuki, his expression here kind of cracks me up. It seems appropriate for the final arc: that sort of "IDK if I'm ready to see this but it's happening anyway HOLY CRAP I NEED AN ADULT" look. At least that's my interpretation, lol. XD
_debbiechan__debbiechan_ on May 22nd, 2012 04:23 pm (UTC)

Haha, I knew you'd appreciate the banner.

I'm not sold on Yuki at all yet. But you know me. I'm willing to wait. What else is there to do? Learn to cook? I tried. LOL
peca_06peca_06 on May 22nd, 2012 06:29 pm (UTC)
Haha I love the banner (even though I loved the one before tons. Ichi is not emo anymore, but I'll miss him <3 ) specially the spanish menu "croquetas, filetes, pollo frito, pimientos..." *drools* mmmmmmh it makes me hungry XD.
Poor Yuki, he

I too replied to the poll that I'm married to Bleach. I do check out other mangas out there and browse, etc... , but Bleach is just awesome and I'll be loyal to it. Even though I'm partial to Ichiruki, I still love Kubo sensei's art, sense of humor, allusions, poetry, parallels, romantic flare, the pretty and the ugly, emotions, characterizations and Bleach World in gral.

Besides I have really wonderful friends on this community and DB that makes everything (the wait, the bad/ugly sides of fandom) be worthwhile and a rewarding experience, and with all kinds of discussions, info, great POVs, etc... as well, even if I don't have time to be as active as I used to. I'm very grateful for that ^___^ <33333
Phoenix Hawk's Deep Corefmphoenixhawk on May 22nd, 2012 11:26 pm (UTC)
You know, with all the Quincy coming for war, why didn't the SS look in the one place they should have really considered...

Quincy, Michigan?
oh gallant piglet,aizome on May 23rd, 2012 02:45 am (UTC)
There's a Quincy, Illinois too. I imagine it's a fairly common name.
♬ 謝健新 in B♯ Major: kurotsuchi mayuri: eyeroll x infinitygraphite on May 23rd, 2012 06:51 am (UTC)
I love Yuki because he reminds me of the Bleach of ages past. For me he represents all the series' former innocence, its playfulness ... 'course I can see how he no longer fits, but I love him nevertheless. Fantastic banner. And, though it's not the Bleach I was once in limerence for (great word-- will do more research), I'm still gonna go with it.
catalyst375catalyst375 on May 23rd, 2012 04:04 pm (UTC)
Limerence is a really interesting word. Sounds like what all those yandere girls in manga feel for the guy they love.

At any rate, I am eager to see what Kubo has in store for the final arc. He has a lot to conclude for his story, since there are a lot of question that still need answering. In a way, that is what the old Bleach feels like: a way for Kubo to set up the questions he wants the fandom to ask, and the Lost Shinigami Rep and the Final Arc are going to be where he answers these questions.

Even if there are some things that I want to see for certain characters (Tatsuki and Karin), I will be happy with Kubo gives me.