The majority of the Fullbringer Arc happened in 2011. At a little over a year long, such a short arc is unprecedented by Kubo standards yet people still complained that it dragged. It's winding up now, and I hear complaints about how unsatisfying it was.
Well, it was an unpopular arc to be sure--if WSJ reader polls and forum posts in both the East and West are anything to go by.
I'm in a distinct minority of being one of those who thoroughly enjoyed the arc--I believe Kubo-sensei's story-telling skills improved, but he wasn't telling the story people wanted him to tell and he was neglecting the characters people wanted to see.
took to the Fullbringers, and even though Sensei's pacing and clues and story-elements were all carefully placed as far as I can tell (on three re-readings), the strengths of the arc could never overcome its weaknesses: in a chapter like "Spotlight Brocken" where Kubo makes doorknobs and phases of the moon and shadows of figures in alleyways allude to passages of time and a creepy distortion of perspective that occurs during the brocken spectre
, the elaborate poetry got befuddled with the dissonance readers felt when Ichigo's character suddenly distrusted his longtime mentor Urahara and his own dad--when that was exactly the point of the chapter. Some people were frustrated with an Ichigo this dumb.
As were others with the nakama showing hints of their powers or character development only to be nerfed later in the arc.
Characterization--Kubo's famous strength--was clearly in evidence in the lyrical parables of the Fullbringer backstories--each of which, even Ginriko's, could have stood alone as a short story. But not many fans seemed to care that much. There were huge pay-offs in the arc for Ichigo's character eventually, and Kubo had picked up a stitch here and there from months past (Rukia's voice from the shinigami badge) and from many years past (Ishida's noticing something off with the shinigami badge just after the SS arc) but he had strewn too many other clues and dropped too many other stitches in the meantime.warning: lots of images (not neatly organized bc I value my time) under cut( Read more... )