_debbiechan_ (_debbiechan_) wrote in bleachness,

Fic Rec, Shipping Dialogue, and New Databook Translations Glee

Happy Thanksgiving to Those Who Celebrate. My family doesn't but it's been a wonderful week for me in my fandom. I'm so thankful for all the fun and friends.

First a quick rec: a beautiful, absolutely beautiful piece of fiction that speaks to all my weaknesses--the RenIshi bond and the attention Ishida gives to Orihime. Even so, it's just plain good writing, emotional and descriptive and "real": Dimming Bright by schweinsty

Next up, how's about some shipping discussion? I enjoy it more than football.
There's a lot of crap out there, lots of senseless squabbling, but recently some of the discourse on contextual stuffs was criticized by some: Why, one fan asked, do people insist on writing essays trying to convince people of their opinions when Kubo will eventually do whatever he wants?

This person is into the "fun" of shipping and comes from a particular ship recently given to elucidating its pairings subtext with numerology and Discovery channel videos of bald eagles mating (I kid you not---here's one of those Infamous 4chan threads that calls that particular fandom on its excesses).

Anyway, shipping essays grounded in geek literature post-modern classes are.... JUST AS FUN AS NUMEROLOGY! For a real ride, go to Bleach Asylum's Shipping Debate. Things get rocky but less rocky than one would expect and there's a lot of enjoyable nerdom in the discourse, attempts at empiricism, and recently I fangasmed over an exchange between Starwing and my man sinta:



**I sought out my prof and discussed it with him just now. I didn't explain my point very well, I'm afraid. So I'm going to see if I can put it more simply, now that I understand my own argument a little more. XP

It's what is called the 'ghost in writing'. All writers have them. Though theoretically, the 'perfect' writer would not. The better a writer is, the less ghosts he/she has. And the closer Authorial intent resembles the resulting effect in readers.

In Writing:
Author Intent --> Written text/drawn panels/film/etc. --> Expected Audience reaction

However, we need to factor in the ghosts in the writing.
Intended text + ghost --> Expected and Unexpected audience reactions

In an editing process, the editor and author theoretically work together to get rid of the 'ghosts' or at least address them. Often, the ghost inspires the story to go in new directions. Ghosts in writing are not concrete (because if they're concrete, good writers wouldn't have them); rather they result of the transition of the story from the author's mind into the audiences'. They can result from cultural influences and differences in the readers. But they DO exist and MUST be accounted for.

HarryxHermione in HP, IMHO, was a ghost in writing. Something that is physically in the text that the author did not intend, that creates a specific reaction in the readers.

I do not believe the IchiHime vs. IchiRuki rivalry in the audience is a result of a ghost in writing. I believe Kubo intended this. But even if this wasn't Kubo's intention, Kubo still needs to address it. Although he doesn't have the same editing process that a writer would, his work is serialized and there is plenty of time to account for ghosts.

@debbie, I'm so glad you could follow that. ^^' I'm not very good at explaining, I'm afraid.

Sinta reacts to Starwing:

Originally Posted by Starwing View Post
@Sinta, lol,

Hm, you're looking at it from a plot-development standpoint. I'm looking at what effect the text has on the audience, and whether there is any author intention behind it.

I don’t think so, while you have take audience into account I think this would go against your theory, Inoue/Ichigo in japan is basically a non-issue, it so overwhelmingly unpopular.

Originally Posted by Starwing View Post
Let's see... Once again, in VII, Cloud, Aeris and Tifa formed an obvious, established love triangle. Upon Aeris' death, there is no indication that Cloud will return Tifa's feelings. However, the audience then accepted CloudxTifa as the most likely pairing. The game (and the movie) ends in a highly CloudxTifa note, even without Cloud once expressing an interest. Why? Because some things don't require heavy developments for the audience to accept.

The problem with this comparison is that VII is very distinguishable from Bleach, there was a base for Tifa to go for Cloud unlike in Bleach. I do think people will think in the alternative if not Ichigo/Rukia then Ichigo/inoue, but it doesn’t mean the Kubo meant to set it up that way and that is whats important. You take your audience into account, but no self respecting story teller and author is going to change the flow, purpose and plot of their story for their audience. It is my story, if you don’t like it that is your problem I think if that was the case and seeing how popular Ichigo and Rukia are he would developed it much faster. He’s doing things at this own pace. Furthermore, change things in the plot because of commercial reasons or fan reaction would often make the story inconsistent; Bleach of all things is consistent.
Some things don’t need heavy development but they need enough to stand on their own independent entity especially a couple. You need enough development that, when it happens you don’t have a WTF look on your face.

Originally Posted by Starwing View Post
I'll have to disagree with you here.

A story is essentially about the audience; plot, development, characterization comes secondary to that.

When I write I don’t write what I think an audience would like, I write it because that is how I want it written. I have a specific story that I am trying to tell; you as an audience are just along for the ride. If you don’t like it you need to get off that ride. So I would say the exact opposite; Plot, Development etc comes first. Everything else is just details. I think that’s how most writers, especially in the fantasy area write. They write the story they want thinking that there will be some place for their story.

Originally Posted by Starwing View Post
If a story successfully makes the majority of the audience FEEL that there is a triangle and a competition, then IMHO, that over-rides even the original text. I hate to bring up HP, but if we're just looking at the HarryxHermione and HarryxGinny shippers - by your definition, was it ever a real love triangle? No. However, it had a much greater effect than most real love triangles I know, because it generated such strong reader response, and had the same effect.

JK Rowling never had a real triangle, she said so herself, People see what they want, that doesn’t mean the author has any intention of placing two characters together or turning into a mutually dependant relationship. Inoue’s development of the last 130 chapters have been mostly about her. They just happen to have some ichigo moments which are Ichigo/Inoue moments for the sole reason that she likes him. I also don’t think that the majority of people think there is a love triangle, at not the people whom this is being written for.

Let me illustrate, Tenpa tenga Gurren Langann, it is a prime example of the audience misunderstanding of the writers intent and provides strong evidence against your "Results theory".

Many of the issues we are dicussing about plot, flow, outside influence etc played a part in this widely regarded anime. Despite the fans reaction the exact situation we are discusing (the exisitence of a love triangle and mutually dependant relationship) the issues were never discussed. They thought that the girl who had become the initial love interest would create a love triangle with the seconedary character who became the lead; Yoko (Initial love interest; had an a very strong IRR with the main character) Simon (lead) and Nia (secondary turned lead) had all the potential for a love triangle. But again this was never the intention of the author, Yoko feelings were never displayed or commented upon again, either was Simon’s. And you should know that Simon’s feelings for Yoko was HUGE to the plot in the beginning of the story. Huge. The reason that Harry/Hermonie/Ginny seem to have such a great effect is there were just so many fans. There is also a fundetmenal difference to Bleach. The fact that Hermonie was Harry’s best female trusted each other, spent an overwhelming amount of time sharing etc and the topic was never really even breached between the two goes against people’s understanding of female male interaction. What do I mean? They spent that much time together and it never crossed their mind that they might be good for another? People look at their potential IRR and compare that to Ginny which was very sudden in regards to Harry and are like WTF. I am getting off topic, sorry. In short, people saw what they wanted, and the author did what they had always planned regardless of what the fans said. There was resolution but there was no love triangle, regardless of the effect on the readers and wha tthey percived

Another thing you need to consider is WHO is the audience; most of Japan, again, doesn’t think that there is a love triangle between Ichigo/inoue/Rukia. Inoue/Ichigo has very little support despite the fact that Inoue is 10th in the popularity contest. Where you are getting mixed up is Inoue’s popularity here and in Canada, she is far more popular in thes state then in Japan. People like her, so they think she has more chance/importance then she really does.

Originally Posted by Starwing View Post
Audience response is something ALL literature has to consider. And you may not agree with me, but I think if the majority of the audience says there is a triangle; it exists. Just like in all those classical texts; when the authors are asked, "did you intend for so and so metaphor to happen?" The answer is often, "No, but the metaphor is there and the readers see it. Therefore it is effective."

If you look at the vast amount of ship-wars around this pairing, they would not exist if a triangle did not exist. 'TECHNICALLY' we can say it's not a true love triangle. But that does not matter. Effectively, there is one, and that is the important thing.

See as I don’t see the love triangle as important, just a piece of the side story, I don’t see people’s reaction to as important either. Shippers see what they want (we see that all the time don't we? Remember Asma Laksa from NF and BF). Shipper will exsist regardless of what the story shows, One Piece, the author himself said that all his characters are "in love" with adventure but there is still a huge shipping population for that manga. So I think the techncial aspect might be more important then you think.

Well then the question I ask you is, why do the dependency of these outcomes have to depend on character relationships? Why can't the dependency of IchiRuki and IchiHime be on the progression, comparisons and parallels in the plot? Why can't the dependency of IchiRuki and IchiHime be the observed reaction of the audience?

They are but the progression, comparisions and parallels should arise out of the characters interactions. If everything (or just about everything) is in Rukia’s favor is it really a love triangle/mutual relationship? The reason whythe dependency of IchiRuki and IchiHime can't be the observed reaction of the audience is because of the manga evidence isn't there to substain it.

The analogy doesn't exactly fit... but right now, I feel as if you have the theoretical aspect of a science experiment down, but haven't factored in outside sources like marketting, audience, authorial preference and factors that traditionally we scorn. 'A good author doesn't let readers sway his opinion' just like a good theory won't be changed because of outside factors. But the RESULT changes. The RESULT is that in the west, we have two prominent groups of people who are pitted against each other because of love for a character and how they see the manga. If we just consider the development of character relationships in the story, it is overly simplistic, IMHO. We also need to look at the plot. Does the plot compare Orihime and Rukia? Yes, HM and SS. Does the plot compare IchiRuki and IchiHime? Yes. One is vague and one is one-sided, but that doesn't change the results, in my view.
The plot comparisons are ambigious and different enough that it doesn't really matter; think for a moment, what if we go to another arc where Ichigo isn't saving a girl? Are you still going to be able to use those things? Probably not, you will have to shift your focus, thats why the evidence is stronger that way. I think your "Results Analysis" is too focused on the ends as opposed to the means. I afraid if you do that your conclusions will have big holes in them. (At least in theory)

Ichigo's reception to Orihime's advances is only one factor. In literature, other factors are involved.

I disagree that there are no IchiHime hints. So if I picture the manga without Rukia, I can name several scenes and plot points which causes the audience to assume the enventual IchiHime pairing. And considering the genre, that is enough. Not all genres require the same kind of build-up for a pairing to be considered cannon. Would IchiHime be a well developed pairing? No. But would it convince the majority of the readers that this is what Kubo intended? Yes.
The story is in the hands of one person; he had to have an intention in building each character the way that he did. Most scenes that are Ichigo/inoue are really just Inoue----> Ichigo scenes. Very few of them are really Ichigo/Inoue. This could have been a means to really develop her character and not develop her potential relationship, I think thats one of the holes of your "Results Analysis" There are too many other explanations for the behavior that is commonly seen as Ichigo/Inoue.

There is another place where we differ, I can’t picture the manga without rukia because with out rukia we don’t have a story. If we were say that Bleach was the real world, Ichigo and Inoue would probably never have developed the way that they have, so this is a moot point for me. But even i could, their relationship was directly effected by rukia without that efffect there was no way they were moving forward. Specific instances that aren’t put into a higher context have very little meaning. They aren't dispositive but circumstantial Those little scenes aren’t enough to take way from Ichigo/Rukia because I still can’t see them together in any way shape or form.

So without Rukia, IchiHime is poorly developed, but most readers would say that's the obvious pairing. The dispute comes from the fact that we get opposing trends with IchiRuki and IchiHime.
It doesn’t matter if people argue in the alterative most still wouldn’t accept it and probably call for Kubo’s blood, but if ichigo is actually developed, they may hate it but they will accept it. Especially if Ichigo/Rukia actually get around to discussing the nature of the ir relationship.

Similarly, without Orihime, IchiRuki would be undisputed. It would be better developed, but also more vague than IchiHime. But most readers would read Bleach and say Ichigo and Rukia are the obvious pairing, if one exists.

And I can confidently say that these scenes and trends are intentional on Kubo's part. He intentionally wrote Bleach so that part of the audience would be convinced of IchiRuki, and a lesser portion would see IchiHime.

Therefore, if Kubo effectively created this split in his audience, I highly doubt he is going to not address it.

But again he may not address in the way that you want, you are trying to draw binding connections to the character because of a potential conflict, what if he just has one, two or all three die? Then it is resolved is it not? That is why I say that it is stronger to look for evidence in the individual relationship as opposed to point to create a point system based on interpretation of individual scenes and taking away from one couple potential relationship because of an precived interaction of another relationship.

Even he did split the fans on purpose, the relationship isn't the main focus of the story and therefore could have another purose for it. That is why you should be careflu before you imply a lable like mutualy dependant I think it will mess up your analysis if you aren't careful.

Forgot about Shuffle... but yes, this is off topic...

Watch Gurren lagan I think you would like it…..

Originally Posted by Starwing View Post
^^' Well, why is it limited to a mutually dependent love triangle based on character relationships when IchiRuki vs. IchiHime obviously isn't?

When trying to predict future events in a story, if you want to do it accurately, you can’t base it on the precived results, Shuffle and Canvas II will show that just focusing on results is a bad idea. I wrote my Love triangle Essay because I don’t think there is a love triangle, I see the potential for a love triangle but I don’t focus on the ends I focus on the means, And the means just aren’t there to turn this into a real love triangle.

Originally Posted by Starwing View Post
I think I've been arguing that we have a love triangle that is communicated through different media, not just character relationships, but one every bit as important and perhaps even more effective. The effect I talk about here are 'result' based, determined by what kind of interpretations readers take away from it. I remember your take on an effective triangle, but I'm afraid I disagree with your priorities. Bleach is a commercial story, and while we don't like to talk about markets, it is a significant pressure. Just like the pressure all editors have on authors.

I disagree, the most effective love triangle are going to displayed through the character interactions. Shows where the love triangle is the primary focus will use those things you mentioned as a supplement. Despite the fact that it is a commercial story it still has to remain consistent and because the author had no intention could mean that he intents to resolve the discussion in away that no foresaw.

Originally Posted by Starwing View Post
So if we look at the results, Kubo has split his readership into people that care and people that don't care. Then in the people that care, he has split them into IchiRuki supporters and IchiHime supporters. I know the proportion of IchiHime supporters are less in number and all, but that's not the point. The point is that there IS a conflict presented in his story, and it IS causing the audience to react to it. Therefore, by the basic literature rules of contracts and broken contracts, he is inevitably pressured to resolve this conflict. Unless Kubo is saying something SPECIFIC by not pairing Ichigo with either girls (and so far, he hasn't been that kind of writer and takes risks in other ways), the story will inevitably end with IchiRuki or IchiHime.

This is the biggest problem with your analysis.

Kubo hasn’t split his readership, the people he is writing for are not split. Inoue/Ichigo has very little fan base in Japan. Now if you think that Inoue’s popularity here is enough for him to make the potential love triangle a bigger deal then it is, maybe you have a argument otherwise…..

Originally Posted by Starwing View Post
I think where we disagree the most are the fundamental priorities of a story. Sort of like the whole 'write for yourself/ideal reader' vs. 'write for the audience' debate. I am of the opinion that writers do both, but in the end, they are judged by how well they write for an audience, especially for a commercial piece like Bleach.

You are saying here that he cares how people judge his writing, but you forget that the fact that people read his writing is judgment enough. That is the important thing, he doesn’t have to worry about the “results” you mentioned because people already read it. He focuses on the story that he wants to tell.

Originally Posted by Starwing View Post
Same here. XP
Ulimately, I don't think results or ghost of a story (especially in this) are strong enough to counter the plot and characterization. To say that there is a mutual relationship because some people interpret it that way I think is a false premise. If the outside considerations you mention aren't consistent with the mangas flow, characterization and outline. I think the later qualities hold up against your ourside influences. I do understand your point however, and I think thats what is important.

On a final note, I think in the realms of practical application and effect, there may be a love triangle, I was merely noting that arguments based on an assumed mutual relationship aren’t going to be as strong as arguments based on the individual relationship dynamic.

Damn it Star, you see what you do to me….Ok I will stop here in our debate to let some others get in on this. I think we have both made our points though I feel sorry for some people who are just coming in, they are probably like “what the hell are they talking about?”


If I didn’t think it was inappropriate (and maybe a little weird) I would kiss you; that was a great post I think

Come to my journal; it is rad!!!


Yes, back on track. ^^' I apologize for the divergence, but I think such a discussion is valuable. I think if we're debating or discussing pairings, we should also examine the reason why we disagree.

One last post, I promise. ^^ It was an enjoyable exchange while it lasted.
Spoiler! <input ... >

IchiHime's popularity in western society is a result of the ghost in writing. What is in effect here is the difference in culture and expectations of the audience, and the transition of the story from Kubo's mind to readers.

Ghosts are not mistakes, merely factors the writer has not taken into account. But it is the job of every writer out there to address their ghosts. Just like sources of errors in a lab, unavoidable, expected, and even useful at times, but they must be addressed.

I do remember that in Japan and Asian societies, IchiHime is not popular. However, it is not nonexistent either. That's what I hear from my pen pals in Taiwan anyways. Japan is Kubo's intended audience and whatever he does there, we can assume is intentional.

However, Kubo is now working on an international stage. He needs to worry about more than Japan. We are not his intended audience, but no matter, we ARE his audience and all authors MUST address their readers in some way. Shoot them down, appease them, make things clear for them, ignore them intentionally... Whatever the author's intention is, if you want to market, you deal with your readers. Because the readers are your only windows into whether your story works or not.

Honestly, if readers get a different reaction than what the author intended, especially if is a mass reaction, that is the result of weak writing. As a reader, if I don't like a story, that tells the author that I am not his audience. However, if I misinterpret a story and see evidence where there shouldn't be evidence, that is a sign of weak writing on the author's part; that there are factors he has neglected that should be addressed.

HarryxHermione was a ghost because Rowling neglected to address the factor that due to prolonged proximity, readers will react in certain ways. She may have never intended for this pairing to happen, but it DID happen for the readers and so she eventually addressed it by pairing Harry with Ginny. IF she had the foresight and wanted to avoid this reader reaction, she could've included hints of Harry or Hermione being distinctly UNINTERESTED.

If IchiHime fans see evidence, and that wasn't Kubo's intention, then that means Kubo has neglected something. He forgot to factor in Orihime's popularity, and that in gaining sympathy for her, he also gained support for IchiHime. THAT is what it means.

When you say there is no evidence for IchiHime, that is an opinion and I disagree with you. I don't think it's very strong evidence, but I think it's there and Kubo wrote them in intentionally.

In a writing process, you write for an ideal audience (yourself, basically), but in the editing process, that is when you fix your story for a real audience. I must ask, has Sinta gone through the editing/publishing process? If you have, you'll agree that that is a basic and critical step to improve your writing. We don't live in bubbles and authors don't write stories in bubbles; we write them because we want readers. This is why authorial voice is so important, and why editing is so important. No matter how much talent you have, if you don't care about your readers, you'll be less successful than another author who DOES care.

You say that no self respecting author would change the flow of his story to suit his audience. I agree. But also, any self respecting author would carefully observe audience reaction and evaluate whether he/she made any mistakes, and address those mistakes if he/she can.

Now I don't believe the comparisons of IchiRuki and IchiHime are a mistake. You ask if Kubo didn't use a girl next, where would my comparison be? The answer is, if HM didn't parallel SS so much and it wasn't Orihime who was kidnapped, there wouldn't be a comparison. If Japan loves IchiRuki so much more than IchiHime, allegedly, that's because by comparison, IchiHime is weaker. Not because the comparison does not exist.

I think IchiHime vs. IchiRuki was intentional. And even if it wasn't, it's still something Kubo has to address because it IS in his work, and I believe he IS addressing the issue through his comparisons and the natural progression of his plot.

Lol, I'll address your points in detail through pm though, when I have more time.

debbiechan reacts to both people tickling her inner schoolmarm and makes out with them:

And I love you both, Sinta and Starwing. *blows giant kiss*

Why can't more shipping discussions be like this!

According to what Starwing is saying (and it sounds like a ship theory out of quantum mechanics--the observer changes the experiment) then popularity of a pairing DOES make a difference. In other words, what MOST readers perceive to be true matters and if some readers perceive something else (and strongly, as is in the case of a IchiOri contingent against a larger IchiRuki fanbase) then we have, by definition, a conflict--whether or not the author intended it or not.

I'm a great fan of the pedagogical function of authorial intent--it's a solid base in the stormy waters of "anything goes/your interpretation is relevant to your social circumstances" post-modern criticism. So yes, I see completely where Sinta is coming from. Kubo's story doesn't have any conflict because in it, Orihime doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of Ichigo's returning her affection. But how about this--KUBO'S STORY HAS CONFLICT because he intended to place red herrings, doubts, and false leads before his readers?

The majority of the Ichigo and Orihime interaction of recent chapters taking place during Tanabata in real time was CERTAINLY no accident; that timing however was OUTSIDE the story--it was in the realm of interaction with the audience. The IchiOri clues within the story itself were amplified because of the "when the story is being told" timing. In the overall context of the story, though, most readers (in Japan and elsewhere) would tell you that the cards come down in favor of an eventual IchiRuki match (from the plot and characterization alone). Some of those guessing at authorial intent would say that Kubo is throwing clues, emphasizing Orihime's dilemma (only so he can solve it happily in the end) and setting up an eventual IchiOri match. Those not guessing at authorial intent but looking at the plain hard facts of the story and characters as if they were real people would probably be more likely to call IchiRuki a given. I believe most do; the majority of readers see IchiRuki over IchiOri in the manga. I, like Sinta and Starwing, am in that majority. I can see the plot turning IchiOri and eventually Ichigo falling for Orihime but that's "what could be" and Kubo would have to work to make it happen, whereas IchiRuki is "what is in the process of happening" simply because the bond between the two characters is stronger, evolving at a steady pace (Sinta's IRR) and is emphasized by progress of the story itself (thus far).

Lastly, something for people to debate the concept of "canon" over. The databooks haven't been translated yet, and although Kubo is credited with writing them, no one believes that he's actually written every word. Nonetheless the books have new Kubo "approved material" and some interesting summaries of panels in the manga. Can we say that there's been clarification of authorial intent? Insofar as this one page goes, I'm still collecting informations about the nuances of the Japanese (in particular, 'omou' 想い in regards to Ishida's feelings having a strong romantic connotation) but maybe more on that later.

Translation by MelodyMix of Bleach Asylum
of Ishida and Orihime page from the SOULs databook:

Here is what it says

“She is not just a nakama…” Accepting Ichigo’s feelings towards Rukia, Orihime’s heart painfully sways. And inside Ishida, a new feeling develops. “I don’t want to make her sad” (referring to Orihime). With that thought, he wishes for Ichigo’s victory.

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