Log in

No account? Create an account
04 June 2013 @ 11:56 pm
Render Unto Caesar

I have come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.

-Mark Antony, Julius Caesar, Act III

Ladies and Gentlemen! Welcome back to the third and final part of my “Crossing the Rubicon” essay. Yes, it is late...so very very late. Dishonor on me, my cow, etc.  In part one, (found here) is an introduction to the historical significance of the Rubicon metaphor.  In part two, (Ta-Da) I laid out the patterns of parallels Kubo most often uses to structure his story.  Now we’ve got all that laid out, it’s time for PART THREE, we will wrap up the Caesar metaphor as it pertains to Ishida, I will make some prophecies, and issue my conclusive proof that we will see a second, darker “Quincy Archer Hates You” chapter arc.

Bleach is THE story of Ichigo.  I hope you make no mistakes on this count. He is the moving, driving force behind the plot--the Rubicon river that wreaks havoc and wroughts change.

We know our trusty shounen hero like the back of our hand.  Never do we have to wonder, “Why is he acting this way?  What’s his motivation in this scene?”   Ichigo is straightforward, blunt, likes to hit things and is consumed by a “saving-people-thing.” He is not a man of mystery.

However, Bleach is fleshed out and strengthened by the characters around him.  When was the last time Ichigo’s inner soliloquy gave us a fully accurate picture of another character?   However, the supporting cast is always ruminating on Ichigo himself--from how he acts, how he looks, seems, feels, even on occasion SMELLS to them.  The way these characters picture Ichigo, and by extension compare themselves to him, reveals more about the observer than Ichigo himself.

Since his first big introduction scene, Ishida Uryuu has wrecked precious little havoc on the plot of Bleach.  Yes, he has participated in fights and remained a steadfast and true nakama to Ichigo, but our dashing hero in spectacles has not had much of a chance to stand forth and really shine--when any of the OTHER nakama were around to take note (or mentally capable of taking note).  Although his personal journey has mirrored Ichigo’s nearly step for step, there has been no one to witness his growth.  This is because Ishida’s journey has been a private show just for the audience--something meant purely for us because the way WE see Ishida and Ichigo is much more telling than any other character could point out.

Ishida Uryuu and Ichigo are not enemies.  They are not opposites--Ichigo already carries his own dark opposite inside of him. Ishida is not going evil. He’s playing a long con.  Guess what, these two boys aren’t even each others complements! (*cough, Rukia’s job, cough*)  What Ichigo and Ishida are?  FOILS.

Foils is a literary term (an actual one that I did not even make up). A foil is a character in literature that the author uses to contrast with another character. (Usually he or she contrasts with the protagonist.) Typically they have something major in common (history, defining characteristics) but then the foil will have several contrasting (and usually negative) characteristics. Or, they may share many characteristics, but the foil's will be less significant. An author creates a foil to bring out main points in a character, points that he or she wants the reader to notice.

For instance, anyone read "Jane Eyre"?   Bertha Mason is Jane's foil. While Bertha is an insane, emotional animalist, Jane is cool, sensible, and (for most of the story) impassive. Jane's rationality and her strong moral perceptions are two staples of her character which made more apparent by the lack of these characteristics in Bertha.  The scene where Jane encounters Bertha for the first time drastically shows these two differences.  Poor Jane, still in her clean white wedding dress, silent and shocked and hurt by the plot twists of the day, looks on Bertha in a grimy grey gown scrabbling and howling like an animal.  Jane comes off as all the more pure and preferable when placed next to the insane Bertha Mason--but she still has the passion and anger inside her.

See, foils are not perfect opposites--and they are not always enemies.  The word originally came from the common practice of putting a piece of tin foil under a gem to make it shine more brightly.  It is the differences between them that are the most important.

Let’s take a quick moment to talk about the similarities: Their first large fights were in the name of avenging a lost parent figure, Masaki and Souken.  These two boys have both suffered through the indignity of losing their powers. Their dads are tied for “crap father of the year” after hiding their shinigami/quincy heritage from their offspring.  As children their determination to help others grew out of their abilities to see spirits.  Good greif, with these newest chapters we find out the same blood flows in their veins, LITERALLY.

After the “Crossing the Rubicon” story, Ishida suffers a mighty change in heart.  He’s been dragged out of his loneliness and solitude.  His new found camaraderie with Ichigo comes with additional friends--and these friends easily spot that Ichigo and Ishida are more alike than these two boys are willing to admit.  It’s ironic that Orihime’s intuition, specifically pointed out as being “dead wrong” by Kubo when it comes to ANY THING ELSE is always spot on for Ichigo and Ishida’s friendship. He’s no enemy--the boys grow more and more alike as the story progresses.

So what are the Big Differences? Manner of fighting yes, passion and hot headed emotion verses logic and planning. Ishida himself mentions it during the fight with Ulquiorra, that his cool headedness

This is their biggest difference, the core issue: Ichigo fights to protect life.  Ishida fights to protect pride.  These are only two reasons in Bleach to fight.  These boys are punished anytime they have stepped out of their assigned alignments.  Fighting for anything else has always ended in failure (this is one of the big reasons Hueco Mundo went down the drain, but I digress)

His every fight, every single one, has evolved into a fight to protect pride. Even mayuri, started as fight for inoue, turned to pride--all of them except one, Ulquiorra on the dome.

Ichigo is not ALLOWED to fight for his own pride.  He tries several times. Example, when slighted by Ganju, wants to regain his image, his ‘honor’ until he’s violently reminded he is here to save Rukia’s life (thanks, Yoruichi).  When he arrogantly decided he’s gonna whip the Vizards into giving him the hollowfication secret? Yeah, that goes badly.  Kenpachi does the same in HM when Ichigo’s like, Karakura town, I must go, my town is my pride, and Kenpachi is all, DUDE YOU ARE FIGHTING FOR THE LIFE OF THIS GIRL, CAN YOU FOCUS HERE PLEASE?   Ichigos’ fullbringer was literally a manifestation of the pride he felt as a shinigami and it got him CURBSTOMPED until he got his real shinigami (note: PWR TO PROTECT) ability back.

Same goes for Ishida.  His fight to save Orihime’s life from Mayuri in SS morphs into a battle for the pride of the quincies. When he jokes about saving Rukia first, Tousen drops him in seconds.  And then we got the dome. We saw how his efforts to avenge Ichigo’s life turn out.  And the mercy he shows trying to spare Ulquiorra? Gets him a katana through the pancreas. (oooh, ouch)

They are both punished when they step out of their roles. Why?  Seriously?! To explain...

Let’s jump back to Ichida’s Crossing of the Rubicon.  Our Ceasar stands on the banks of the river, trying to make a decision...This desire to fight with Ichigo did not spring up overnight.  Ceasar didn’t roadtrip back to Rome on a whim.  Ishida, the terminal planner, must have had some version of this battle rolling around in his mind since Souken died.  He’s been plotting--says so himself that he knew Rukia’s identity, had recognized Ichigo’s power the moment he changed.  We know there were Shinigami stationed in KKtown before.  Why now?

It’s because no amount of Quincy Pride can absolve the hatred Ishida has for himself.  He covers it up just fine, but by the end of this conflict admits to the blame he’s placed on himself all these years--that he’s too weak to stand up to the real shinigami and hollows his ancestors fought against.   Outwardly Ishida is fighting the age old Shinigami v Quincy conflict but at the end of the Rubicon fight admits it was for the pride of his grandfather and that he FAILED.  There’s one thing he really does not admit--

Ishida does not see himself as a true Quincy.

Distances himself from them, agrees that Soul Society’s destruction of them was the correct decision! That doesn’t seem like someone who strongly identifies with his heritage.  Some months later when Ryuuken outright claims that HE is the rightful last Quincy, Ishida puts up no argument.  Ishida must know of his parentage, of Katagiri’s half-blood status.

Who does Quincy Archer hate? Himself.  He thought stepping across the Rubicon would bring absolution, self-justification, some kind of redemption.  Instead Ishida steps into a world of war he could not have imagined.  He gives everything he has for the Quincy Pride in his battle with Mayuri--and loses the powers he had built his identity around. His vow to Quincy papa is thrown out the window the moment Orihime is in trouble--the flimsiest of loopholes and he is back with his friends.  That doesn’t sound like someone who values Quincy honor and pride.  He doesn’t hate Ichigo.  He doesn’t hate Shinigami.  He hates himself.

Don't mistake me, I don't think he sits around in dark lonely rooms consumed by self loathing.  Ishida (like many other Bleach characters) looks down on himself for not living up to the standards he sets for himself.  We saw a perfect example of it after the first Rubicon battle--self blame and doubt.  He went through another wave of it after losing his powers and (although we haven't seen much of him since Hueco Mundo) I have a strong feeling these negative thoughts have continued.  I'm interested to get another glimpse into his state of mind now that his infiltration of the Vanderreich is successful.

Well, as my paralell theories from last part state, both our boys must have the opportunity

to either go through a dark paralell (where Ishida fights for his life and what he wants and Ichigo must defend his own pride) or they must reach perfect absolution--Ishida will reinvent and perfect what it means to have Quincy Pride and Ichigo will save ALL THE LIVES.

And NOW (*confidantly pops her knuckles*)  we have reached what the story has told us.  I am going to predict some serious awesome shiz.

Let’s take a quick look at Ishida’s Chiasmatic journey

A. He fights Ichigo, Crossing the Rubicon, pride of Quincies long dead.

B. Trains alone with old Quincy relics

  C. Soul Society--the battle with Mayuri. What does he want to protect?

      D. Loss of power, loss of identity--distancing himself from his friends

         E. The central question.  Why does Ishida want to be a Quincy?   

     D. Regains powers, jumps back in with his friends.

C. Hueco Mundo--the battle with Sayazel.

B. KUBO DID NOT SHOW US THIS, but I betcha Ishida has been training on his own, plotting and planning

A. WHAT IS TO COME. Fighting against Ichigo (for certain) but he will ultimately fight alongside Ichigo, back to back like that first fight.

Now, prophecy!

-Quincy Archer Hates You II:  Ichigo and Ishida must fight again.  It is inevitable. After finding out that Ishida is a Vadderrich boyscout recruit, Ichigo will try and drag him back to the right side.  I think Ichigo is going to make the same mistake he did with Orihime--that he will believe (however subtly) that his friend went to the enemy on their own.  Imagine it--Ichigo in full fury mode and Ishida cool as a cucumber absolutely kicking his trash.

And it’s going to end with Ishida shooting him in the heart.

At least, that’s how it will seem.  Ishida is going to pull the same move his dad did on him, and GIVE ichigo some quincy powah!! (poor kids inner world sure is going to be crowded)  Dear Ichigo has to be the ultimate avatar--it’s part of his destiny to save EVERYONE, literally everyone, so he must have something in common with all of them.  Don’t worry though--our favorite substitute shinigami is not going to change to ranged waponry.  Ithink the Quincy ability Ichigo will use will be the Reiishi absorption ability.

-Crossing the Rubicon II: Instead of a Menos, these boys are going to team up against Juha Bach. (Yes, I know the correct spelling, please leave me content with the mental image of this guy playing dramatic organ music) Back to back, old buddies old pals.  This is the fight where Ishida decides what he finally wants to protect, either his own pride in himself or the life of someone specific.  However, these lads are not going to defeat Back on their own.

-Dads: As Ichigo failed to finish off Grande Fisher and Isshin got the final blow, Ryuuken and Isshin will get to defend their wives where their sons fall short.  Papas, go preach! (and also, sorry, but you are probably going to die but BONUS you’ll get reunited with wifeys!)

-Maryuri: Ishida is not going to kill Mayuri, the way Ichigo did not get to kill Grande Fisher. As terribly wronged as he has been, there are others who deserve vengeance more.  My current theory?  Mayuri will create the weapon of his own undoing.  You can tell from one of his earliest lines, “Tut tut, a bomb isn’t supposed to come back.” as he casually blows up his squad members.  Mayuri has created such horrors and caused unbelievable pain in the name of science.  This current FrankenQuincy on his slab is what’s going to do it.  The pieces of this hideous golem are made up of bodies who died swearing on the Pride of the Quincies.  This creation will remember this. It will also recognize what Mayuri has done and I hope the sicko dies screaming as his creation destroys him.

-Ishida and Ichigo: Where do they go from here? These two boys who had to grow up with terrible, awful fathers. Not because of abuse but because of neglect.  To complete the “perfection of the parallel” these two have to become amazing fathers.  Not literally (although I would about burst seeing their babies) but Ishida will evolve from the ‘Last Quincy’ to the ‘First Quincy’ and reboot the whole organization.   This confrontation with the Quincies will not be the last fight of Bleach--either Aizen is going to kill the king and Ichi has to deal with that OR the King is the final bad and Ichigo and Aizen have to team up. Ichigo is going to save everyone’s lives, save the whole world, but I am afraid he won’t save it for himself. (but that’s a topic for another day.)

Pride goeth before a fall.  Ishida, lovely dear boy, your own dome is coming.  You will be indeed brought low IF you cannot redefine your Quincy Pride and learn to love who you truly are.  The Vanderreich do not exemplify the memory you hold dear -- you must let your pride go and discover what life you want to PROTECT.  In Quincy Archer Hates You II (coming soon to a Bleach near you) Ishida must forsake the false Quincy pride he’s clung to all this time.  He must fight to discover what he wants to protect.

Caesar was called back to Rome as a trap which he knew full well.  Ishida cannot honestly be expecting to fool the Vanderreich. This whole situation is a trap.  And, although Kubo blocked the past few months of Ishida’s life from our view, you can imagine how he’s spent his time offscreen.  Ishida has a very clear understanding that by siding with the Vanderreich, even in appearance, he has crossed another river, declaring himself an enemy to Soul Society.

Caesar took a gamble crossing the Rubicon.  All the planning in the world could not have accounted for this final decision.  Some accounts say it was a supernatural event that gave him the final stroke of determination to cross to the other side, throwing him into a war.

44 BC, 5 years after crossing the river, Caesar has everything he wanted.  Named Dictator in Perpetuum (RULER FOREVER OF ROME) the five year conflict is over, with him the victor.

Then, on March 15 44 BC, weeks later, he is assassinated by the people he trusted as friends.

So, some other chapter titles leading up to this one: 35, Will you be my Enemy? and 36, They Died for Vengeance.  Ruminate on those, dear reader, and cross your fingers that Ishida’s completion of his chiasmatic storyline will not end in death.  Ishida, don’t avenge. Protect what you have--do not fight for what is already lost.

And please remember that all your Quincy vows to your father (translation: the last pure quincy, the embodiment of your Quincy Pride) meant nothing to you when your friends were in danger.



LET’S TAKE A POLL, please vote on your choice in comments!  Which of these essays would you like to read next month?

1. Through a Glass, Darkly: Examining the parallel between Soul Society and Hueco Mundo. What went wrong the second time around?
2. Anachronism: Inoue Orihime is being punished for existing in the wrong story.
3. No Grey Area: An essay full of unapologetic ultimates and absolutes proving Ichigo and Rukia have ruined each other for anyone else.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Megan Lloyd has a BFA in animation with an emphasis was on storyboarding and screenwriting from Brigham Young University. Her intent is to direct feature films, both animation and live action.

For now, she co-runs a video blog with her old roommate Britta,  and has just started her very own comic, Double Edged Crown.

Megan dreams that someday people will write essays like this about her stories.

Tags: ,
luminous85: Contentluminous85 on June 5th, 2013 07:21 am (UTC)
I have so much to say about this essay! It's brilliant and, clearly you have amazing insight regarding the characters and their well being. I find the part you mentioned about Jane Eyre fun because that happens to be a favorite of mine. Also reliving what happened with Mayuri does bring one to realize that so much damage control needs executed beyond what he did to Quincies. I do recall he said something about revenge on Ishida for beating him so bad in Soul Society. That homunquincy--do you rekon he's making it with Souken's head(once cameod in Ishida's glasses during Mayuri fight)? Talk about messed up possibilities! I'll be on watch the see if any of your proficies come true!

Oh I think the Inoue Orihime essay would be an awesome read next! I do feel she will have a great purpose still. I believe since Quincy blood can be called to do Juha's bidding(I think I understood that correctly from recent chapters), I kind of feel like Inoue's rejecting power might offer a way to reject blood types out of people--like Quincy blood--to keep them from being used or minipulated. I actually kind of feel like Ishida is being used against his true will. I suppose Ichigo could have been, too, in that case, so I'm not sure that holds any ground.

Ahhh...just some things I've had stewing in my brain.

rinkafushi: Soma - Goldrinkafushi on June 5th, 2013 10:58 am (UTC)
I love your essays, aah *A*
Thank you very much for your detailed analysis! I'll be looking forward to seeing how much of these predicitions will become true! (And aah, how nice to see there's someone else hoping for a karmic death for Mayuri, and I really wouldn't mind him getting Frankensteined).
You did a great job analyzing their similarities here, that comment back in the very first arc of them being so similar always struck me as interesting. On a superficial level, it seems that the character most like Ichigo would be Renji, them having this motivation of saving Rukia and rather rage-y personality, but in the end Renji is just part of a whole other field of conflict (with Rukongai vs Seireitei, therefore his contrast with Byakuya, which once again is catalyzed and resolved with Ichigo's arrival in Soul Society). With Uryuu and Ichigo being that two parts of of the Quincy-Shinigami conflict, they both experienced negative impacts on their lives from both sides - their mothers killed by Bach, their fathers not exactly parent of the month, and then (almost) getting killed by Shinigami(and Arrancar) multiple times.

As for the essays, may I cheat and say that I would love to read your Ichigo-doesn't-save-the-world-for-himself essay?
But by chosing from those three, the Ichigo-Rukia one, please.
oh gallant piglet,: ishida hipsaizome on June 5th, 2013 12:27 pm (UTC)

This was well worth the wait, Megan. I know it was vexing you, but I'm really happy you were able to get it out finally. Your predictions are my favorite part here! I hope that most if not all happen just like that (especially Mayuri's demise. Only Bleach character I truly loathe, sorry Mayuri fans). Thank you again for sharing all of this with us!

As for the poll, I gotta be honest here: Throwing out the name "Orihime" is so much like throwing a lit molotov cocktail into a crowded room of angry people. No matter how thoughtful and intelligent an essay about her is, it is destined to draw 9000 times more wank than genuine discussion. So I personally would rather read about the parallels between SS and HM. (A lot of people hated HM. I get why, but I'm really genuinely interested in it, especially the arrancar.)
tick-tocking: BLEACH ☂ just as plannedscuttling on June 6th, 2013 06:22 am (UTC)

okok but seriously /goes back to reading properly sldkfmls
tick-tockingscuttling on June 6th, 2013 06:22 am (UTC)
(I was on similarities ala foils)
tick-tocking: BLEACH☂ don't you come around herescuttling on June 6th, 2013 07:40 am (UTC)

First, this is fantastic and delicious and I hope this all pans out. UGH WHAT IF THE FRANKENQUINCY HAS KATAGIRI AND SOUKEN IN IT??? OK Katagiri might make less sense... RYUUKEN'S MOM?

Second, I'd be surprised if Ishida actually hates himself, especially if he has insecurity from not being a properly pure Quincy. If he thought the Quincy were wrong back then, I'd be surprised if he now thought it was right to value based on blood, but then again, that might be something hard to argue with (like facts might be that no matter how you look at it, the pure Quincy is stronger).

Like, hmm, how to say... I COULD SEE THAT being revealed, since Uryuu isn't honest with himself and tends to shroud himself in tens of other reasons and motivations that aren't entirely untrue, but also aren't the whole story, while covering and denying his heart. Thus, I could see it being said and surprising me without it feeling untrue.

Now, obviously the reason we are given at the time of that first fight is that, Uryuu blamed and hated himself for being unable to save Souken. He was a child and had probably been told to stay out of it, unable to do much anyway, yet he thinks he failed, let Souken die, and thus in order to live with himself, displaced that blame onto the Shinigami -- and hell, if you think about it, he wasn't wrong. Especially given what we learn about Mayuri. But, he wouldn't have blamed them with such an obsessive vengeance if not for needing to escape his own blame.

I love Uryuu in part because I tend to think of him as a sum of many conflicting parts-- LOL it's as if he's emotionally what Ichigo is spiritually. Like, just because two things are at odds, doesn't mean he doesn't feel or believe both of them. He's guy who speaks properly while saying rude things, is a nice guy asshole, is all about the Quincy pride but would break his word ("loophole" sure kid) in order to fight for his friends. I've always been a bit at odds with people who interpret him as having low self-esteem (note, this isn't you, just some Ishida fans), because not only is he so intent on his pride (perhaps overcompensating?), but he comes off as very secure and confident. That said, APPEARING that way doesn't mean that one is, or that one won't have insecurities... in the end, I think it's like with everything else about him, that he's got a mixture of both. (like uh anyone human??? lol).

That (esp the oddness of how his "swearing on my pride as a Quincy" ...EACH TIME... that promise gets broken, pretty much) COULD be because of a secret perception of himself as less-than, and that's a really cool perspective that honestly never struck me before. I think because he's always been a weird mesh of uber-Quincy while giving it a modern and traditional (well traditional insofar as what he takes from Souken, who seemed to both follow and divurg from Yhwach's sect... pro-Shinigami and happy faces, but anti-new methods!) twist, in a way that didn't seem to me to be evincing secret issues of worth, but more his unique take on it. I might just be wrong :O lol I think of how Uryuu, as a kid, tells Souken that he thinks the uniforms are uncool -- http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y284/misstoad/BLEACHIDA/ishisoukenuncool.png -- suggesting even that capes are uncool? Maybe just Souken's cape, because when he redesigns it... http://s7.photobucket.com/user/misstoad/media/BLEACHIDA/iluishida.png.html

lol well, I used to think it bore a striking resemblance to Yhwach, http://25.media.tumblr.com/4961e6848fa1a02fe2c0c223af809d6d/tumblr_mlljm3otOi1qhv2hdo2_250.png , but I knew I was reaching, and now with the Zangetsu reveal I can't imagine that meaning anything. OR WAIT I JUST REALIZED. URYUU WANTED THE TRADITIONAL UNIFORMS TO COME BACK-- THAT'S SIMILAR TO WHAT HE DESIGNED FOR HIMSELF/WHAT ZANGETSU AND YHWACH WEAR ARE DIFFERENT FROM SOUKEN'S ATTIRE

WHAT as a kid he thought it was uncool then he defending the garb to Ichigo and in the Radio Kon interview... saying it looked good on him... WHICH DO YOU RLY THINK URYUU DID YOU START LIKING IT OR FEEL YOU HAD TO OR WHAT

Edited at 2013-06-06 07:52 am (UTC)
tick-tockingscuttling on June 6th, 2013 07:52 am (UTC)
...........i broke the comment limit editing :|

anyway I can't wait for him to realize who/what he wants to protect. Do you consider his fight with Cirucci to be one of pride? She was an obstacle on his way to Orihime, yes, but not actually threatening anyone's life (sure his and Pessche's but not in such a way where he was actively protecting someone's life).
 Lady Camille Catherine Cecily Lloyd-George Xskilly_n_duff on June 6th, 2013 07:03 pm (UTC)
So I guess 'hating' himself is a pretty drastic way to phrase it, but really NO BODY in Bleach likes themselves. Like, the only person who has a halfway decent amount of self esteem is Rukia. It's like you said, he's human. We see a great deal of characters hating on themselves--pretty much everybody.

I'm not saying Ishida continuously wallows in self loathing. I'm not even sure he's fully aware of it, but it's clear to me he doesn't feel like he 'measures up'. It's sort of the same relationship/envy Orihime has with Rukia.

I actually group Cirucci into a sort of conglomerate Hueco Mundo filler fight? Like, there wasn't any personal stakes there--this wasn't a threat, it was sort of an excuse for Ishida to show off (like that 7th seat dude in SS). Everybody had to get past some sort of gatekeepers to get into Hueco Mundo. The fight also seemed like a vehicle to give Pesche some screentime. It was part of the big save Orihime quest but it didn't feel like this battle had any stakes and therefore doesn't really...count? --does that make sense?

Thanks for your careful reading of my essay and lol, way to break the editing limit! XD
tick-tocking: BLEACH☂ until my head comes offscuttling on June 6th, 2013 08:05 pm (UTC)
HAHA yeah, fair enough! And Rukia only rates higher because she got some closure by fighting Aaroneiro, realizing Kaien left his heart with her, but even so she felt she should and would die for him once saving Orihime. Re: everyone in Bleach, yup, I guess that follows with it being a shounen, thus centering on growth. They all perceive a need to improve.

Uryuu is generally subtler about it, and at least he hasn't really been measuring himself against ICHIGO. It *seemed* to be external in SS -- beyond helping with Rukia's rescue, which yes he did want to do, he could not forgive himself for losing to Renji and trained thusly. It's always interested me that he trained a technique guaranteed to cost him his powers -- did he go to SS that determined to defend his pride that he'd sooner sacrifice the root of it in its defense? He had so defined his life by being a Quincy, sacrificing even his relationship with the father he initially wanted to be a Quincy to reach, yet knew himself too weak to be effective without consciously preparing to possibly give it all up.

Which could play into inferiority, though he didn't know Ryuuken had powers, thought he was the last... Lol the proud last Quincy who thought the extermination was probably right and gave up his powers to defeat Mayuri. Less prioritizing their future eh kid. BUT HE DOES QUIETLY MOURN THAT POWER AND IDENTITY even before it means he can't go play with his new friends.

UGH MY TLDR uhm oh yeah then in HM we see him reflecting to Orihime that, if only he'd realized z power thing sooner, maybe it/he could have been useful in battle... Which I like cos not only have they both confided in one another re: feelings of weakness and inadequacy (and it's almost an indirect apology to her since he was there for her), but what a striking admission from Uryuu, out loud!

LONG STORY SHORT yeah everyone in Bleach has issues with that stuff. I wonder if his really do have blood roots. Hard for me to see but could buy it, too.

Omg i could babble about cirucci and 7th seat dude but i've already tl;dred a you too much and I'm doing this on my phone

No thank you for putting up with my babble!! Any excuse to go onnnnn about Uryuu I clearly will take x-x so ty for this essay!
 Lady Camille Catherine Cecily Lloyd-George Xskilly_n_duff on June 6th, 2013 08:06 pm (UTC)
Oy, if you could vote for next essay would you want Orihime, Ichiruki, or HM v SS?
tick-tocking: E7☂ head's all empty and i don't carescuttling on June 6th, 2013 08:17 pm (UTC)
AH yes, sorry. Then my phone browser ate my reply.

All three, ideally, :/.

I think that while fandom might have more exhausted the first two, I'd really love to read your take on them, especially Orihime. She IS guaranteed to draw wank, since it's no longer possible to talk about her, in any context outside of effusive praise, without drawing that... but ugh wants your perspective. So, tentative vote is Ori->IR->SSHM.
_debbiechan_: All Turn Out OK_debbiechan_ on June 8th, 2013 07:06 pm (UTC)

Ahhh, but Rukia had TONS of self-esteem issues once right up unto when she was part of the HM rescue team and told fake-Kaien that ok, he could kill her but she had to save Inoue first. I was seriously worred about her then.

The main kids in the Bleach narrative have issues with self-sacrifice. That's ok--it's better to err on the side of giving too much than giving too little. And Orihime is self-less and selfish in extremes, willing to do anything for her friends and then desperate for approval and zoning out and not paying attention to them at interesting moments (yes, I would like that Orihime essay, please--I don't care if it's controversial; Orihime's issues seem the most interesting to me in the manga--both in terms of how Kubo writes her, how audiences perceive her, and how her type does and doesn't conform to expectations).

As for Ishida, I'm reluctant to peg him as as self-hater.
I've always called him the metaphorical Jew, and it's a cliche that Jews are self-loathing, but Ishida if anyone seems to be too practical to waste emotional energy with such a debilitating exercise. He does not despair. Ichigo is the wangsty one. Ishida is a steady hard worker. That one time he was on the Quincy surfboard with Orihime in the Arrancar arc, he opened up to her about what he COULD'VE done and showed some vulnerability but otherwise, he wastes little time feeling sorry for himself.

In other words, his not measuring up to Kurosaki may actually be an issue that is dealt with in this arc but so far it hasn't been a motivation for ANY of his actions.

And while I'm here in this comment, let me thank you for writing this series of essays. SO MUCH. I've enjoyed them all. I really have more to say but I've been bogged down in a haze of writer's block all week. I very much love your Franken Quincy prediction. I disagree thoroughly that either of the Papas will die. Ishida has lost ALL his family--Ryuuken hasn't done anything that merits his being offed in the final story and Isshin either. I think Ichigo can and will save the universe and provide the ultimate solution somehow as the uber hero--with some help from his friends and family, of course.

AND I VOTE FOR ORIHIME ESSAY (and don't let that vote influence you more than othere just bc I run this comm). I also have been wanting an HM VS SS essay for yrs now. The two arcs are dazzling parallels. I'm sure everyone's sick of PARALLEL O PARALLEL by now, but most of my friends can't stand another word about Orihime. To tell the truth, I think everything that can be written about IchiRuki HAS been written by so many great and gifted essayists. Most Orihime fans with brainz I know are skeered to show themselves in fandom or have little interest in writing about her.

I'm not ashamed to say I adore Orihime, still. And Kubo's story.
♀*La Muerte Chiquita*♀: Himetubola_kalaka on June 9th, 2013 02:23 am (UTC)
I love Orihime too but for me is quite simple to see that Kubo knows what he is doing, all of the issues with her are about his horrible passing and that he commonly takes an eternity to deliver.

Look, the reason why Masaki died was delivered recently! And that was at the beggining of the story; Orihime's conflicts and shortcomings were addressed in HM, we gonna have our resolution with her but just in this arc so... well i think we aren't going to wait too long xD

I am not as emotionally attached to her than I am with Ishida, so I suppose I don't get the need to overanalize her character that much
_debbiechan__debbiechan_ on June 11th, 2013 12:27 pm (UTC)

ah, what should I buy you if any of your predictions come true?

I would particularly love to see Ishida shooting Ichigo in the heart to jumpstart his Quincy powers. That would make me swoon.

Crack predictions? I still suspect Unohana may live. Kira's alive for sure. Maybe Sode No Shirayuki will show up in the manga proper.
 Lady Camille Catherine Cecily Lloyd-George Xskilly_n_duff on June 11th, 2013 11:59 pm (UTC)
BYAKUYA. He is my heart's true desire.
♀*La Muerte Chiquita*♀: uriori fightla_kalaka on June 9th, 2013 02:19 am (UTC)
For me the HM battles lacked that emotional element that was in the SS battles. there was no deep, personal involvement or at least some ideals, they were just "fights"

 Lady Camille Catherine Cecily Lloyd-George Xskilly_n_duff on June 12th, 2013 12:00 am (UTC)
I agree. I mean, there were stakes (rescuing Inoue) but it was never made clear WHAT they were rescuing her from (and there was doubt within a few select teammembers that she WANTED to be saved). Contrast that from SS where they had a ticking time limit to save Rukia from execution and the drive is much more insistent.
♀*La Muerte Chiquita*♀: Chadapprovesla_kalaka on June 7th, 2013 03:49 am (UTC)
I'll vote for Number 2: I LOVE To read about Orihime, she is a great topic for me :3

Your essay deserves to be r-read many times, it's enjoyable, i like what you make me see, i call myself an Ishida fan but you put some interesting thoughs on him that I never considered.

I have to reconsider camly what you mention about Ishida hating himself, do you refer at him not being up to the standards he wants to consider himself a proper quincy?

As you said I find odd that he sided with the shinigamis when the topic about the extermination was touched, i find it weird from someone who says he is proud of his quincy heritage, and the most when the reason he states to hate shinigamis are merely personal (Souken's dead)

Uryuu's vision about the quincies is centered about his family more than the oranization/ race/ clan as a whole. His father, the last pure Quincy and his grandfather who thaugh him.

I really, really wouyld like to know what Uryuu's true thoughs abut the quincies are. Because the last time he referred to them in an important fight was during his fight against Mayuri.

During HM arc for him after reading this makes me think that getting his powers back not only had to do with his identity but also as the way to go to his friends and help them to rescue a person that not only is his friend but also a very important person for him.

The "foil" concept was unknow for me, so thank you very much *_*//

Nardz (Rukia-chan)kookynella on June 7th, 2013 04:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you for this!! Your ideas and prophecies are interesting and make a lot of sense, I llok forward to seeing which things unfold as you've said they would. Love the parallels you've described & discussed, well put together essays, and an enjoyable read.
It's got me thinking more about Ishida, I knew he was a deep kinda guy & had his pride bla bla blah & found him funny but this essay has made me consider him and his actions more, lol, it's true in his case that actions speak louder than words, always breaking his Quincy vows :D

Anywho I would love to read your take on Orihime being in the wrong story, & if not then my next vote woulkd be Ichiruki (I can't get enough of good writing on IR!!)
(Anonymous) on June 13th, 2013 09:30 am (UTC)
First of all, thanks a lot for writing this amazing essay :)

Then, about the poll: Well, I'd really love to read all three of them :) but, eh, honestly the shipper in me wants 3) No Grey Areas <3