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26 August 2013 @ 05:14 am
Discussion: If Katagiri is the perfect "samurai wife", is the Ishida clan as much samurai as Quincy?  
I know the TV Tropes site should never be taken as gospel or anything, but it can be an entertaining way to waste an hour -- or an entire evening. In any case, while clicking links over there, I somehow ended up on the Yamato Nadeshiko entry and got a surprise.

If you don't know this particular trope, it's basically a character who represents "the flower of Japanese womanhood", i.e. the perfect samurai wife: dedicated to the family and to upholding tradition, loyal, wise, beautiful (but not too beautiful), and trained in martial arts in order to defend the homestead when necessary. Unohana is usually given as an example of this trope (or at least she was before her reveal as the first Kenpachi.) To my surprise and delight, however, I found that another Bleach character had been added to that trope: (quoting from the TV Tropes site):

Kanae Katagiri (Ryuuken's wife and Uryuu's mother) fits both the physical description (long dark hair, wide eyes, modestly and femininely dressed) and the personality traits (clearly has domestic skills since she works as a maid, holds Undying Loyalty to Ryuuken, a competent Quincy warrior when necessary). And her silk does hide some serious steel: she's the one to convince Ryuuken to return home after his nasty Heroic BSOD. And she does so via a gentle, heartfelt appeal instead by force.

As much as I adore Katagiri and as much as I had rhapsodized about her during the Everything But The Rain arc, I had never made the connection. In this case, I think TV Tropes is right as rain (ha ha), and Katagiri Kanae fits the bill perfectly: domestic but trained for war and defense, devoted and obedient but with a strong sense of tradition and the spirit to stand up to Ryuuken when she knew he was wrong and acting against the good of the family and clan, pretty and appealing but modest and appropriate.

The idea of Katagiri as a Yamato Nadeshiko made me look at the whole Ishida household differently. I was so caught up in how westernized they seemed in the EBTR flashback, especially given the obviously German roots of the Quincy, that I never realized they could just as easily be viewed as an old samurai family. The arranged marriages, the dedication to the clan, the authority of the master and mistress, the clear caste system where everyone has their place, the training for battle -- these things were also required in a noble/Samurai class household of the Edo period.

In fact, compare the Ishidas to Soul Society's most noble Kuchiki clan. Byakuya is the very epitome of the cool, aloof samurai warrior, right down to the cherry blossom motif. And who else married for love a woman from a lower station? Who else throws around the whole "pride" thing almost as often as Uryuu does?

So let me run with this Samurai Ishida thing here for a moment: For one thing, it puts a different light on the Holy Selection. One one hand, in samurai terms, Yhwach would be the Lord/Emperor of all Quincy and they would owe him their service and their lives. However, we know that Souken had split from from the Wandenreich. In that case, wouldn't the only appropriate response be to seek vengeance for the family members who were killed in the Selection?

If I'm right about this, and Uryuu only recently found out how his mother really died, then vengeance may well have been the trigger that set Uryuu on this course.

And what about Ryuuken? By denying his heritage, was he also stepping outside the samurai expectation of vengeance? Now that Yhwach has shown himself, will we see him come off the sidelines and take action?

Maybe I'm off base here, but I wanted to put this out to see what the Bleachness community thinks. Is there something to this theory, and if so, what else could it mean? Does it change your interpretation of things that have happened so far in this arc?

If you'd like to read the entries in TV tropes yourself, here's the link to the http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/YamatoNadeshiko and here's the link to the entry on the Ishidas (click on "Ishida Manor" if it doesn't open automatically): http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/BleachKarakuraTownResidents. I'd love to hear what you all think.
_debbiechan_: I am SILVER_debbiechan_ on August 26th, 2013 11:55 am (UTC)

I'll start with my response to this from the DB Ishida FC:

That's a great theory--it does seem to make sense. After all, even though the Quincy seem more European than Japanese, it only seems to follow that Kubo would know more about TRIBES from a Samurai point of view than, say, a Jewish point of view, so the Samurai references just came naturally to him. But he's been doing his homework lately so I expect more German references and also references to the Holocaust and Judaism--I mean Yhwach's name being so like the four lettered name of the Hebrew G-d is downright... disturbing, as I'm sure it was meant to be.

As for vengeance being Uryuu's true motive, I can see that if he has acted alone. At this point, I'm hoping that Urahara sent him (I'm not forgetting that Uryuu worked for Urahara during the FB arc) and that our striped hat Magic Man has provided our intrepid Quincy with some fail-safe device and protection for whatever Yhwach may use against him. I remember your saying that if Ryuuken knew that Uryuu was going up against the Wandenreich, he would've locked Uryuu up in the hospital basement, so I'm not entirely sure Ryuuken knows of his son's plans--maybe Uryuu DID act of his own accord, although it's possible he's gone there with Ryuuken's blessing as well. I can't see Ryuuken not training his son during the time Orihime and Chad trained--not necessarily in anticipation of a Quincy invasion but why not? His son needs to protect himself, especially after nearly getting killed again by Ginjou.

Which brings me to Ryuuken's motives. He's the one who I've always believed capable of true vengeance. Uryuu is, as Ryuuken himself has said, "too soft." I thought Mayuri had one of Ryuuken's arrows with his name on it. The very fact that there's a hospital training ground speaks to the fact that Ryuuken has BEEN TRAINING all this time....

Uryuu told Mayuri that he swore by the Pride of the Quincy he was going to kill him but then he didn't... Nemu leads us to believe that Uryuu missed Mayuri on purpose but Ishida denies that (as Orihime has observed, Uryuu often says the opposite of what he means--I personally believe he missed on purpose because he couldn't KILL, not quite yet, when he could disarm--he knows the weight of his Quincy power and that is to obliterate a soul from the cycle of reincarnation).

Given that Uryuu may have only recently been given the information about Yhwach about his mother, it does seem to figure that he went after the dude to kill him. Ichigo sought similar vengeance after Grand Fisher. What's important to note is that in Bleach, vengeance--while a Samurai tradition and everything--isn't given any moral heft. Those who pursue it are checked and judged by the narrative. Witness Tousen. And it is, by rights, a husband's claim to seek justice for a spouse's death before it is a child's, so Isshin claimed justice for Masaki by slaying Grand Fisher. I expect that Ryuuken, when we get his backstory, will do some killing after he steps in for an Uryuu who fails in his mission to backstab Yhwach...

Then again, Uryuu hasn't had his first honest kill the way Ichigo has. This too is a part of a coming-of-age warrior story. Uryuu let Circucci go and then she was subject to perhaps a more horrible fate at the hands of ---what was his name? The tree guy Rukia fought and his execution squad? And then Szayel and Mayuri's experimentations.

The vengeance theme is an interesting one. Kubo doesn't play clean black and white with moral themes and he's clearly not having Uryuu do a Sasuke here. I am quite sure that Uryuu is not turning his back on his friends. The Quincy identity issue for Uryuu is huge, but I'm sure he's going to come down on the side of Right and what he was brought up to believe in, even as he stands with those who commit atrocities in the name of righteousness. That's Kubo's M.O. Ishida Uryuu is his moral compass. I really can't wait to see how this all plays.

As for Katagiri? Please more. I don't think her story's been completely told. Cue more when Uryuu fights. I'm dying for a flashback of his memories of her.
♀*La Muerte Chiquita*♀la_kalaka on August 26th, 2013 06:38 pm (UTC)
he knows the weight of his Quincy power and that is to obliterate a soul from the cycle of reincarnation

This is an element that is often overshadowed or neglectdwhen it comes to Uryuu's discussion from my side. IS something that makes understand why Uryuu does not hunt hollows on his own accord but does for another reasons like replacing Ichigo while he was powerless and when Urahara sends him a message to do so.

Hollows are no just monsters but fallen human souls. Souls that could be similar to Inoue Sora. I have been using this element in some of my works, so I always remember that Uryuu's arrows doesn't clean a soul but... obliterated them.

If he is not careful maybe he could destroy innocent souls. So He doesn't use his arrows unless is necessary or when he is in battle.

That's a good reason to ponder if Quincy needs to keep existing knowing full well why the do, even in their names carried their true purpose: destruction.

nehalenianehalenia on August 26th, 2013 09:21 pm (UTC)
This is one of the things that puzzles me, and I often wonder if it will be addressed to my satisfaction. (Probably not.)

In EBTR we found the standard Quincy practice was NOT to go out & engage a Hollow *until* the Shinigami was dead. If the Shinigami fail, it makes sense to go kill the Hollow. This seems to be pretty much what Urahara was having Uryuu do while Ichigo was powerless.

It does bother me that Quincy destroy souls when they kill Hollows, but I can forgive it if it's the only remaining option. I've also wondered if the Shinigami were lying about that aspect, but given the way the arc started, the destruction seems to be confirmed.

On the other hand, if the Shinigami had been doing their jobs in the first place and dealing with the Hollows, would the Quincy have been necessary in the first place?

I've decided to delay judgment until we get the whole story on the Quincy -- why they developed, or rather, why Yhwach created them, what their real/original purpose was, and what's the backstory between Yhwach & Yamamoto?

We've already had characters question why the Quincy and Shinigami are fighting, already heard the opinion that both sides are evil, that neither is in the right or the wrong or has the "just" cause. We've seen the WR conflated with Nazis and angels, and we've seen Yamamoto raise an army of the dead that looked like it marched straight from hell. It seems plain to me that there simply are no good guys -- except for Ichigo and his nakama. And that includes Uryuu.

I just don't know what we're going to find out. There's been foreshadowing that Uryuu will question being a Quincy, but it's hard to imagine him giving up his hard-won powers.
Phoenix Hawk's Deep Corefmphoenixhawk on August 27th, 2013 02:26 am (UTC)
A thought I've had many times on this idea that the Quincy arrows obliterate instead of purify, can that be changed? Can a Quincy learn how to purify targets with his shots instead of destroying them? And can it go the other way: A soul reaper learns to destroy souls instead of purifying them.

Maybe that's why they kept Kempachi without a bankai for so long. That might be his power. Notice in his fight with Ichigo, his aura manifested as a skull, not as a monstrous (or Hollow) form of his body. Perhaps that aura is the expression of his sword. And maybe that's what the Kempachi title really is, the soul reaper willing to permanently kill. Unohana's shikai heals, it might be absorbing all that power to release it (Like Hanataro's) in a soul-blasting attack.

As for the "no good guys" I think it's more a matter of perspective. The two sides of any long-term conflict are rarely "right" or "wrong" except through the lens of history. With a few exceptions, most sides in a war are ambiguous. That's the point of this, one person's justified action is another person's atrocity. Although, if destruction of souls will destabilize and destroy existence, then yeah, it's bad. I think the SS will ultimately be the good guys here, even if some of their powers are a bit dark.
nehalenianehalenia on August 27th, 2013 06:44 am (UTC)
I don't know if the way the arrows function could be changed, but weirder things have happened in the Bleach-verse.

I'm not sure how much thought Kubo gives to the technicalities of Bleach. Personally, I think the whole soul balancing thing sounds a bit off simply because if Hollows eat the souls of dead humans, then aren't Hollows off-setting the balance? Or do the souls of whoever they ate also go to Soul Society? This hasn't been addressed AFAIK.

Also, why is the balance only between Soul Society and the Living World? What about Hueco Mundo? If a Hollow escapes the Living World & goes to HM, isn't that another soul lost to the "balance"? And then Menos are 100s of Hollows piled onto each other? In that case, then each Adjuchas, Arrancar & Espada could represent 1000s of souls. And SS is worried about the Quincy?

This is one of those things where we just don't know if Kubo will try to explain it, and if so, if he'll do it to everyone's (or anyone's) satisfaction. (Bleach fandom experience suggests not.)

Then there's the question: what's happening to the Shinigami killed by the WR? Obliterated? Turned into reiatsu?

Heck, for that matter, aren't Quincy arrows made of reiatsu? Why would reiatsu -- which is what all of SS is made of (if I recall correctly) -- obliterate a soul?

This is one of those areas where we simply don't know enough yet and will have to wait for more info. We need answers to several questions, like: What was the real reason for the extermination? What was the cause of the war between Yamamoto & Yhwach 1000 years ago? Did the Quincy exist then, or did Yhwach create the clan after the battle? Or is that when he was "sealed" and fell into a 900 year sleep?

I guess this is a question we'll have to revisit when we have a few more answers.
(Anonymous) on August 27th, 2013 09:14 am (UTC)
What La_kalaka said about Quincy arrows destroying souls has always been somewhat unsettling to me but stayed at the back of my mind, in part because it's rarely addressed in the story unless it affects the balance of the worlds. Because yeah, any soul could be unlucky enough to cross paths with a Quincy instead of a shinigami. And it seems wrong on some...moral level that they'd be destroyed because of something that was technically beyond their control (as Nehalenia said, maybe a case of shinigami neglect, or maybe there being too many hollows and too few shinigami)? And the story didn't linger on this specifically but I'd like to see it dealt with, and this being the final arc and one that centers on the Quincy and their conflict with the shinigami, now is the perfect opportunity.

Although this kind of leads to another issue. La_kalaka mentioned thinking about the necessity of Quincy, but I don't think Kubo would do away with them. With the emphasis on things like the Quincy genocide and the "last" Quincy and such, it seems like the generally happy ending we know this series will have involved the Quincy finally prospering (and working alongside the shinigami as most of us expect). But would that entail the Quincy adjusting their methods so that their powers purify, and like fmphoenixhawk said, is that even possible? And is that changing what is inherent to Quincy? I'm not sure we'll see any of this but it'd be cool if they at least had the option not to destroy, even if it was only framed as a solution to the balance problem rather than "man, obliterating souls kinda sucks, let's try this instead."

(AND I AGREE the balance thing can become a convoluted mess when you really examine it. I also don't know how much thought Kubo put into it, or if Hueco Mundo had been created when the balance concept was introduced. Soooo I'll leave the balance stuff alone for now, it's too late).

I'm thinking Uryuu's mission was his own idea but I could definitely see him having received aid from Urahara (it'd be a bit silly to turn down help from the story's best strategist and the one who has so many nifty tools and gadgets), and yeah, maybe Ryuuken too. My guess is he's aware of Uryuu's plans even if he didn't condone it. I can see Uryuu's motivation being vengeance. I'm sure part of it is because Yhwach trying to rule and take out the shinigami is, well, bad, but those would be pretty much everyone's reasoning. Vengeance on behalf of his mother, and maybe all the Quincy that died as a result of Yhwach's holy selection gives him strong personal ties to this.

It would be funny though because right now vengeance appears to be Yhwach's motivation too. Speculation gets much harder with him, there's still too much vagueness surrounding him and his crew. Where did Yhwach get all these VR Quincy? I assumed the other Quincy came about naturally through genetics, but maybe he can also make them at will. After all, he can take the power away, maybe this "holy father" can also give it to people. And this is all over the place but anyway, yeah, lotta questions here. On good and bad guys, I figure Kubo will continue to focus more on the individuals and less on what group they're part of. - mojave green
nehalenianehalenia on August 27th, 2013 10:44 am (UTC)
Typical Kubo: answers some questions that we've been agonizing about for years and then leaves us with new ones.

It seems to me that Yhwach must have found a way to create his own Quincy, or at least to "Quincify" other beings. That would explain Ebern and Luders, who had obviously started out as Arrancar but received souped-up Quincy powers. (And probably some "re-education, as well, remembering how Ebern scoffed when Ichigo asked if he was an Arrancar.) Also, when Yhwach did the big reveal about having captured Haribel, didn't he say "we can always make more"? Who's to say he didn't do something similar with regular humans in order to create the Wandenreich? They can't be mixed blood Quincy since he killed them all. I hesitate to say he was keeping a stash of pureblood Quincy back because, let's face it: some of those VR just do not look like normal humans. (I'm thinking of the gorilla guy, the Sha-na-na guy with checkered teeth, and even the weird Loyd/Royd twins.

Others look more normal and might even be pureblood, but I wonder what's brought them all together? I agree, Yhwach is out for vengeance, but I'm not sure the rest of the VR have the same vengeful fire burning in their breasts. They must have reasons for following Ywhach, tho. For some it could just be the thrill of the getting to slaughter Shinigami and the snazzy uniform (looking at you, Bambietta) but others don't seem quite that psycho.

From what we've seen so far, I'd say that Yhwach totally controls the Wandenreich members' Quincy power. He has the ability to take that power, as we saw in the Selection, and to bestow it, as with Ebern & Luders. Given that Opie said he needed to tell "His Majesty" to adjust the Blut, that's a big hint that Yhwach entirely controls the power levels of his Stern Ritter.

And I'll bet that's the "something about Uryuu" that he mentioned. Uryuu survived the Selection because, somehow, Yhwach couldn't take his power. And that may be the ace up his sleeve on this mission.
Phoenix Hawk's Deep Corefmphoenixhawk on August 27th, 2013 04:08 pm (UTC)
I think the balance is of all souls. When Hollows talk about consuming souls, and the mention that Menos are made up of hundreds of thousands of souls, I think what happens is that as a Hollow eats a soul, it absorbs that soul and it's power. When the Hollow is defeated, all the souls inside it show up in the SS. The balance is maintained.
nehalenia: chad interp dancenehalenia on August 26th, 2013 07:52 pm (UTC)
ETA: (reply to Deb's comment which I obviously put in the wrong place & can't delete.) :P

For some reason I'm still unwilling to think that Urahara sent Uryuu off to the WR, but since he's the one who's arranged all the other trips the nakama have been on, he may well have had something to do with it. Funny how he showed up on Ichigo's windowsill in time to divert attention away from Uryuu's real reasons for not going to HM, though, right? If he is responsible for Uryuu getting to the Ice Palace, it was previously arranged, though, since this time he went with Ichigo-tachi to HM.

What's important to note is that in Bleach, vengeance--while a Samurai tradition and everything--isn't given any moral heft. Those who pursue it are checked and judged by the narrative. Witness Tousen.

Well noted. You're right, vengeance certainly isn't a major theme in Bleach. Even after killing Grand Fisher, Isshin said "I never really hated him like that." I wonder if he feels the same way about Yhwach, though, since the Selection is the real reason Masaki died?

I know that Ichigo is the one who always takes out the Big Bads, but in the case of Yhwach, I wonder if it won't start to be Ichigo and Uryuu together, only for their attempt to be usurped by their fathers.

The EBTR flashback surprised me. Yes, it was the story of Isshin and Masaki and why Ichigo is the way he is, but to me the central figure of that mini-arc wasn't Masaki (despite her picture being on the volume cover) but Ryuuken. There weren't that many big surprises with Isshin & Masaki -- many of us had guessed she was a Quincy & Isshin was a Shiba and even that there was some sort of relationship between Masaki and Ryuuken. In those cases, it was more confirmation than new info. I doubt anyone was prepared to discover that Ryuuken was an idealistic school idol dedicated to the preservation of his clan, co-victim of arranged marriage plans, trying to be a buffer between his irritable, traditional mother and his free-spirited future wife while his father is god-knows-where.

Like you, I want to know more about Katagiri (and the fate of the rest of the Ishida household as well.) If she was frail, as Isshin said, why did it take her 3 months to die? And did she have anything to do with why Uryuu survived?

So many questions. Come back and answer them, Kubo.

P.S. I have no real hope of it happening, but now that I've conflated the Ishidas with the Kuchikis, I really want Byakuya and Ryuuken to meet.

Edited at 2013-08-26 07:54 pm (UTC)
Between the Mountains and the Seaanat_astarte on August 26th, 2013 08:49 pm (UTC)
Now I want Byakuya and Ryuuken to meet too. And Isshin. And they talk about parenting styles and there's no way for Byakuya to escape them.
♀*La Muerte Chiquita*♀: Chadapprovesla_kalaka on August 28th, 2013 03:17 pm (UTC)
can you imagine that meeting? the room they enter gonna drop some degrees below zero xD
nehalenianehalenia on August 26th, 2013 07:54 pm (UTC)
See my misplaced comment below. :)
Danielwdboldstar on August 26th, 2013 09:49 pm (UTC)
Hm. I dig it. I'd probably have more to say if I wasn't still pretty sick, but I kind of wonder if you can also play with Uryuu as the lone Samurai. Maybe not Ronin, exactly, but close. His Sensei dead and his father giving up the sword, he sets on a lone quest to restore his family's honor (Yeah, still refuse to believe his joining of the Sternritter is legit).
nehalenianehalenia on August 26th, 2013 10:29 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I started thinking about that too. My first thought was that if the Ishidas had truly divorced themselves from the WR, did that make the whole clan kind of ronin. It's intriguing to look at the Ishida men in that light. Souken is clinging to the old tradition -- kind of like the samurai who refused to give up their swords when carrying them was outlawed as Japan modernized. Ryuuken allegedly gave up being a Quincy, which means he should have "hung up his sword" so to speak, only we know he didn't. The training room, his take-down-an-Arrancar-with-one-shot power level, the fact his bow is different from what we see in EBTR all indicate he didn't really give up being a Quincy.

Looking at it from the samurai POV, Uryuu would be the most like the ronin samurai -- and always kind of has been. A loner who challenges the protagonist and who (at least verbally) refuses to fully affiliate himself with the protag's band.

And now, suddenly, he has a "lord/master" and affiliates himself with a group that his sensei rejected? Yeah, I don't believe he's really joined the Sternritter. You know who else doesn't either? Yhwach. XD The TV tropes entry on him is worth a read since it points out (hilariously) how he never falls prey to "stupid villain thinking" and simply doesn't make the mistakes that other Big Bads have.
♀*La Muerte Chiquita*♀: ishichila_kalaka on August 28th, 2013 03:09 pm (UTC)
I like my ruthless jerk for that xD (dammit, I can't against those sexy looks! ... I find Yhwach attractive! :_D)

Now I have this question, if Souken is clinging to the old traditions... does this means that in the beggining Quincy were a force of good? Uryuu learns from him and even Mayuri mentioned it, that quincy were about protecting the innocent ones, not mistreating women and fighting with honor.

If Yhwach is the father and the origin of all, does this mean he started as a man with principles and noble ideals but ended being this homicidal maniac?

So, what happened? who or what makes him to become like this?
nehalenianehalenia on August 28th, 2013 09:53 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think Yhwach is strangely sexy too. ;)

You bring up a good question: did Yhwach start out "good"? Did he create the Quincy because the Soul Reapers weren't doing their job? I think we have to look at what we've been told so far:

1. Yhwach & Yamamoto/Soul Society fought 1000 years ago.

2. Yamamoto should have killed Yhwach (according to Mayuri) but, for some reason, didn't.

3. At some point in the distant past, the Gotei 13 were a bunch of thugs, but then Yamamoto reformed them and started the academy.

4. If we can believe the Kaiser Gesang, then 900 years ago (100 years after the battle with Yamamoto), Yhwach was imprisoned or went into some kind of hibernation from which he's only recently awakened.

5. 200 years ago, the Shinigami exterminated the Quincy (meaning that the clan had been growing since their creation & were large enough to pose a danger to the balance of the universe at that time.)

6. The Quincy souls that Mayuri tortured sound like they were the type that followed Souken's path. Also, all 2600+ of them were pretty under-powered since Mayuri considered Uryuu a prodigy capable of using "lost" Quincy techniques.

7. At some point in the past, Souken either split from the Vandenreich or (I think more likely) was approached by them and refused to join/follow.

8. Yhwach woke up 9 years ago, performed the Selection that killed all the gemischt Quincy & got his power back.

Here's what I think happened. Yhwach created the Quincy either before or after the battle with Yamamoto. He then became the "Sealed King" & slept for 900 years while the Quincy continued to develop their powers & skills and increasing their numbers. The extermination 200 years ago left only pockets of Quincy in various places (like the Ishida & Kurosaki families in Japan) and the Quincy in different areas probably lost contact with each other.

When Yhwach woke up, he sucked up the power from all the gemischt Quincy and then tried to gather up all the pure-bloods he could find. (It's also possible that a line of Quincy remained with or near him waiting for his return. I believe the purebloods he gathered formed the nucleus of his Stern Ritter, and he then began finding other likely candidates (possibly spiritually talented humans like Chad & Inoue) to whom he gave some of his power and blood in order to make them Quincy.

That's the best I can do with the little info we have. I need to go check some of the line by line translations because I can't recall if Opie just said "only Souken Ishida followed those old ways" or if he said "no one but Souken's used those ways for 200 years." The latter implies the VR's techniques were developed after the extermination by the surviving Quincy.

There are a lot of blanks that need to be filled in.

ETA: to answer your original question, I think the Quincy were originally "good" & hunted Hollows to keep people safe when the Shinigami weren't fulfilling their duties. Whether Yhwach was originally "good" remains to be seen, but from the way he and Yamaji were talking, it doesn't really sound like it. Still, who knows?

Edited at 2013-08-28 09:57 pm (UTC)
♀*La Muerte Chiquita*♀: uriori momentla_kalaka on August 28th, 2013 03:04 pm (UTC)
Well, samurai family and samurai wife are things that comes naturally to Kubo, while the western elements are something that he is doing consciously, adding accesories here and there to dress his characters and they do a perfect mix.

Katagiri truly is a samurai wife, Kubo keeps her modest and she is pretty but not too pretty, in that regard Kubo really, really nailed it, normally Katagiri is depicted almost like a normal girl, her prettyness is not as remarkable as the main girls who stand out for their looks like Orihime, Rukia, Rangiku, Yoruichi and Masaki. They are clearly and insitently depicted as beautiful in every panel except the comical ones but Katagiri when I first saw her, looked very normal, not as pretty just that quiet girl over there who looks older in her maid clothes.

However if you looked closely (at least in close up panels) you noticed she was pretty, her eyes weren't as big as Masaki's, and her face was less round, thiner just as her body (i think Uryuu got his mother slim complexion).

From afar she looked generic but closer she was not the generic beauty, Masaki could be mistaken as an Orihime-ish character but no one could compare Katagiri with another girls, I find her character design to be pretty different and for that more outstanding that others.

nehalenianehalenia on August 28th, 2013 10:21 pm (UTC)
Katagiri actually does resemble the other Bleach characters they mention in the Yamamoto Nadeshiko trope: Hinamori & Unohana. Interestingly, all three have their hair bound in some way when we meet them. Of course we later find out Unohana is covering a scar, but it still gives the impression of restraint and propriety.

Personally, I think Katagiri is one of the loveliest female characters Kubo has drawn. Maybe this is because I don't like the "kawaii shoujo" character designs as much, but I really liked her expressions and how she didn't hide her emotions behind a smile or a mask. The panel of her crying in the rain saying that Ryuuken's pain was breaking her heart... gah. I felt mine cracking right there. I think she's one of the most soulful characters Kubo has drawn.

I have to admit that when I realized "oh, this has to be Uryuu's mom" that I was a bit disappointed, probably because we'd all speculated on who she could have been & where she was now. I was anticipating something dramatic, like her being in the VR, but this worked out so much better.