debbiechan: (all will turn out ok)
[personal profile] debbiechan
First, thank all of you have stuck with this blog even after I neglected it. I apologize for not being around in previous weeks---if you didn’t know, there was massive flooding in our area, eleven dead, thousands of people lost their homes and schools are still out, 170 school buses ruined. Our home was intact even though we have a creek that runs just behind our property and it was in danger of swelling when Bayou Manchac peaked. Our high banks saved us. We were trapped for a while; stores weren't stocked; there was a lot of commotion. In the meantime, Bleach was ending, a series as all of you know meant the world to me. I’d stuck with it to the end, had felt it going off the tracks but had loved so much of the last arc, the character of Askin, two ban kais in particular—Kenpachi’s and Urahara’s—and the beautiful Haschwalth and Bazz backstory. The Memories in the Rain arc was lovely. Flashes of Kubo’s talent were everywhere. I knew he wasn’t listening to editors and by the time the final two chapters came out, I felt trolled.

In the Final Days of Bleach, I only got two hate letters, one persistent teenager calling me “dumb” and “ableist” and “gross” and I promptly answered her as gently as I could and blocked her on Tumblr because I was sure she was getting her information from one familiar source, a person who for years went on a hate campaign against this site, painting it as a sexist place where Orihime hate reigned and where people were mocked. I knew there was a post made in recent weeks by this person on Tumblr maligning this site—why, I don’t know—there’s so little activity here, but the bitterness is there. Like I said to a new Bleach fan, I never expected the bitterness to go away, no matter what outcome in Bleach. In fact, let me copy what I wrote to her, because I know some of you will be dealing with mockery and hate:

“They don’t deserve your graciousness and intelligence. It bounces right off them. They aren’t being celebratory; they are being vindictive and petty. This sort of drama stirs up like dust storms for a short time (maybe reoccurring dust storms for years, lol) but in the end it’s just dust, never anything to advance real understanding. I’ve only seen it expose people for who they are; believe me, few people I’ve observed in fandom have grown up much or changed in the 12-13 years and of newcomers, there are just more of the same. No single one person in fandom, had the ending of Bleach gone this way or that, had all plotholes been satisfied, had Kubo had a solid grip on his final arc and never quarreled with editors, would be that much different–spiteful people would still be spiteful people, those who spread lies and never admitted to being wrong would still be that way, trolls would still be trolls, the casual fans would still be casual, the nice people would still be nice, hysterics would still be hysterics, the analytical would still be analytical, the accusatory would still be accusatory, the petty would still be petty. I actually admire my friends who had the foresight to leave fandom when the train went off the tracks a few years back—but I guess I don’t regret some of the beautiful moments of the last arc– Urahara’s ban kai, Askin’s whole character, Jugo and Bazz, and any and all Ishida.

Don’t waste your precious mind on spiteful, mean, insecure people. Remember I want happy endings for you. Those who try to engage you to shit on you constantly will never get their happy endings in RL, trust me on that one.”

More than hate, I’m grateful for all the amazing kind messages I’ve received from people who I thought had long disappeared from fandom—I got emails, DMs on social media sites, many of which made me cry because they were so personal and kind. Some bonds cannot be broken. Kubo may have betrayed his story but he can never take away my friends, some of the loveliest people I’ve known, some of whom have travelled miles, one even across the ocean, to meet me in real life. Many left Bleach when they grew bored of it, but our lives were always more about pairings or goings-on in a Japanese story. I’m grateful to all of you, acquaintances, lurkers and friends, who were with me for part or all of this journey. I started bleachness as a reservoir for my own fic and art and meta ramblings so as not to annoy non-Bleach fans on my main LJ blog and it became something bigger---so many people misunderstood that, expected it to be an unbiased newscast for Bleach information and my own blog and cast me, of all people, as an Orihime hater, and an elitist. One of the things I answered a note I got on Tumblr was about the inside joke about the English degrees the mods on bleachness had---we liked lit crit; some of those mods are lawyers now; I was an English teacher off and on; the ones who accused us of elitism wrote their own meta even when they said “it’s only a story for 13-year-old boys.” And I will say now for the record I was wrong in interpreting much of the final arc, especially regarding pairings. Kubo at some point went off track, Rukia disappeared totally, he said that “Ichigo was the protagonist of the human side and Rukia was the protagonist of the Shinigami side,” foreshadowing that Ichigo would stay in the human world, despite the Fullbringer arc being all about Ichigo’s identifying with the Shinigami, being heartsick over Rukia. In the end “I can’t keep up with the speed of the world without you” and “the love and destiny Ichigo inherited” was erased. I was wrong. I have no problem admitting when I’m wrong. I do believe I was misled, though.

Deathberry will probably (I’m not sure) go down in a few months, due to lack of interest from the caretakers and because its expensive to maintain—one of the mods pays for it herself. The IchiHime site FLOL is paid for by ads. Fandoms can’t be killed by any author, no matter what he or she does to the canon story—that has long been my observation. I haven’t seen such an outpouring of fic and art in the last week in the Bleach fandom in years. I swore I was going to move past Bleach, but I even wrote one. It was part of my grieving ritual. I was ready to let Bleach go a year ago, but at the moment all this feels like a bad break-up, and I have a few more steps to process before I can truly move on. I’ll leave this site up—it’s a lifetime account, bought when Live Journal was giving those out, so it stays as long as Live Journal stays, which is not a solid guarantee of anything of course.

I’m going to copy a few reactions I posted (and edited for clarity) from other places while I was avoiding my own blog. Thank you to my friends who posted in the chapter thread. It was difficult for me to come here. I have some issues still about this site, some pain. There are reminders here of some of the worst of fandom as well as the best.

I will claim to the end I never hated Orihime so let’s get that out of the way first. I wanted the best for her, and my more cynical friends told me I would be disappointed. I did not believe them. I should’ve. The general sexism of shounen and Kubo’s own tendency to write Orihime inconsistently, his rage when audiences didn’t accept her, his increasing trivialization of her should have been a clue. Orihime’s character degraded from the time she was the adorable girl by the river chasing dragonflies with a best friend to the time she was single-mindedly pursuing a boy; it seemed like a familiar character; I actually thought Kubo was making fun of it; it turns out he rewarded that giddy devotion—I could give so many panels where Orihime didn’t “get” Ichigo’s character but persisted in her love, but I don’t think Bleach is worth my analysis anymore. I can just say that I was wrong; Kubo, who has said in interview that he likes to champion characters audiences don’t like, screwed over the giant IchiRuki fanbase (I saw yesterday the horrified faces of the Burimyu actors who play Ichigo and Ruki holding WSJ covers over their mouths) and rewarded Orihime with the main character.

But he didn’t even do it right. He gave her no romance.

I’ll quote some from other places:

“I don't hate Orihime. I just died a little when I saw her in that apron in the Korean scan (still haven't read the chapter). I guess her big character development was that in 10 years she learned to cook. She wanted to be so many things in her five lifetimes speech--which unlike so many IR fans here, I actually liked--I thought it was poignant and representative of a teenage girl's love. It was the gross fanservice--the hotdogs with the mushroom pajamas and that awful dress that got me later. Her not being able to cook was always an endearing quality to me. I can't cook for shit either but I have other strengths. And I've heard that she uses Tsubaki to babysit her kid---her offensive fairy that was teased for the whole manga and which many expected her to use in battle. Used for BABYSITTING. Yes, this is a feminist issue. And so many bloggers and fanbois going OH MY MY KARIN GOT HERSELF SOME BOOBIES AND OOOH WEEEE WTG ICHIGO GOT THE BOOBS is just .... yeah, no. It's not about boobs. I like big boobs myself. One of my longtime gfs in my life before marriage had huge boobs and a very feminine look, I understand the appeal, believe me. I also expect women to be more than just their mammary glands. I expect them to accomplish their dreams independent of what is expected of them by men and a sexist society. So Orihime got her wish finally to protect Ichigo--that was good, I was ok with that, I was more than happy with that. I was sorry we didn't get to see her fire Tsubaki independently in battle (his being used in training with Ginjou was another tease). Never mind Ichigo not really getting a good fight but that was rushed to the end, bad planning and because of many reasons, mainly how WSJ works and how it’s honored Kubo for this last arc despite their disagreements, I believe Kubo had more than enough time to prepare and wandered in the past six months or a year. Orihime gets little panel time in the last chapter and again, not much interaction with Ichigo---there was never that chemistry there--but whatever. The ship itself isn't as heartbreaking as Orihime never getting any character development and being used so blithely for fanservice throughout the latter part of the series. Matsumoto was supposed to get a backstory and THERE was a mature strong woman--what happened to THAT? Orihime--I'd complained about her development forever and still believed Kubo would resolve her in the end. No, I didn't even hold out hope for IshiHime in the last chapters--there was too much one-sidedness (like IchiHime or RenRuki, I thought) and a timeskip would solve that but be awkward as shit. But the sight of her in an apron almost as a parody of Sakura was a real blow.

Like most things in that last chapter were a real blow. I mean, I used to defend Kubo all the time. Yes, he's a sexist Japanese man. What are his worst sins, I would say--shitty pacing and he likes big boobs. Turns out those were BIG SINS. Wow, his pacing was so bad he couldn't tie up dozens of loose threads, not even a few crucial ones that could’ve explained simple things—like who was the Soul King and how did Aizen get back in the bond chair, and omg, the big boobs thing turned out to be a fetish. I will still remember some of the things I loved about the last arc but Orihime went downhill so fast in Bleach and every time I got hope for her development, I was crushed. Kubo could've even developed her relationship with Ichigo. He could've put something dear and touching between the two, even had Ichigo thank her for fixing his ban kai, something, anything---instead there was that comedic panel in which she was humiliated and cried over wearing that dress and thinking Ichigo thought she was a hentai. That was disgusting and IH loved that as evidence of their pairing. No, they have their canon based on that sort of shallowness.

Orihime was so adorable when first presented. The SS arc was Bleach when Kubo was on a roll. I don't know what happened (well, I actually do know a little but hell if I'll ever tell). The Arrancar arc was spotty and he kept reeling us in with flashes of brilliance and Orihime kept having her moments of fail but her moments like slapping Ulquiorra or realizing that she didn't fear him in the end (one of Bleach's greatest moments, truly) and then the FB arc started and the Orihime jokes like Orihime vision just made me think Kubo was making fun of her. How could anyone in his or her right mind believe she was meant as the "love and destiny Ichigo inherited" after the MITR arc? Ichigo treated her like a nakama whereas Rukia was always more than a nakama... but I've gone on enough--it's really about more than the ship. It's about Orihime being the ideal of the Japanese housewife, and that trope itself is yuck. I have nothing against housewives--I've been one off and on to homeschool special needs kids and I value people who do it, but Orihime had dreams. She had an offensive weapon. Yeah, Tsubaki was used a babysitter. That was.... wrong. Tell me that wasn't a FU.

It’s so much more than the ships–I do believe many people who read Bleach primarily for the ships are projecting their own obsessions onto others. I still believe Kubo had plenty time to wrap up a few key plot details, if given six months or six weeks, but the ending read like a huge FU to his story and fandom–it was so weird. I enjoyed some parts of the final arc even when it was clear it was going off the tracks, but most of my salt is about Mayuri living, SS not changing and remaining the corrupt institution it always was, Urahara–where?, Matsumoto backstory–not necessary anymore but KIRA where? How the hell did Aizen get back in the chair? That could’ve been explained in one line. Was the bro-con with Yuzu comedy really necessary? Wtf was it with her new hair color. Ok, we get it that Karin’s boobs got bigger. Kubo really likes boobs. I was already prepared not to expect an explanation of Rukia’s missing years on Earth or the Soul King backstory or any more Quincy backstory. But I was gutted by Ishida facing away in the CP–I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it would’ve been so easy for him to turn around and smile with his friends or be at the party in the chapter, especially after his nakama speech of all time and after joining the enemy to die and being willing to have everyone believe he was a traitor so he would SACRIFICE HIMSELF to their sake. Ishida alone. Ishida alone. I felt like I’d been personally slapped in the face. ISHIDA SO ALONE.

My grief for Orihime is extreme. People have always called me an Orihime hater. I’ve criticized her character before but I always thought she’d make it. I cheered for her when she was fighting with Ichigo because she’d wanted to do that for years and been sidelined by the plot, but after her initial adorableness is SS arc (the arc that did no wrong) she was used for fanservice more and more and more–and I think I started losing it when she was shown holding a hot dog—and so many people, not just guys oblivious to the concept of the Male Gaze, defended it as “just a hot dog.” Forget the mushroom pajamas. People, her dress in the Arrancar arc had a cut over her crotch and her outfit in the final arc had a boob window. Representations of Orihime’s love in the FB arc seemed to mock her while Ichigo pined for Rukia. Bizarro world. And the sight of Orihime in an apron was gutting–so her achievement was she learned to cook in 10 years? In canon she said she wanted to be an astronaut. A teacher. Is she the ideal Japanese trophy wife? Did Ichigo interact much with her at ALL? Tsubaki, her offensive weapon, who was teased for years, ends up being A BABYSITTER. Oh please. I babysit. I think there’s no holier occupation that picking up a child so a woman can do something else with her useful hands but Tsubaki was supposed to represent Orihime’s KILLING INSTINCT, that which she had to some degree and was used in defense of Tatsuki once and never again to protect the innocent. So Tsubaki is supposed to squash any bug that Orihime’s super-powered baby comes across. No. Doesn’t work like that. We never saw Tsubaki in battle, forget Shinji’s ban kai. Tsubaki had three arcs--no wait four if you count the first time he went down on that roof-top--of build-up.

People have tried to console me with the headcanon that Urahara and Yoruichi went off somewhere because the ending embarrassed them—the sight of Ichigo on his dad’s sofa like Al Bundy. So the tickets being given out to his friends was a tease and Ichigo ended up where he started, sitting on his father’s sofa—what Shounen hero does that? Ends up where he started 13 years later? But it’s the Mayuri still being captain that hurts the most. And Nemu being rebuilt. I heard so many people going “kawaaaiiiiiii” over baby! Nemu and only one dude going OH G-D PLEASE CALL SS CHILD PROTECTION SERVICES. And why was the world, the corrupt SS that Ichigo was supposed to change not changed? And the execution site that he cracked once upon a time rebuilt stronger and bigger? While he’s reset to the very beginning, where he started, back at home—and SS is the same, none of its values changed–Rukia’s speech about he had changed SS completely erased.

I loved Bleach so much once, and that love was erased too."

I'll post a fic later. I still love the characters. More power to all those who are reclaiming them and more power to transformative art, "fix-it" fic and those who love what they love continuing to love. I will always have a special place for Ishida Uryuu and Urahara Kisuke and others in my heart but the canon story--it died for me with the end. I can only liken this end to a divorce. We had some good times, but I have to move on.
[identity profile]

Remember the Jump Shop in Toyko that feature the IchiRuki goodbye among all these RAWR shounen panels on a mural inside the store? Well it's changed its Bleach panel

from this

to this

Original photos from Ruki.

This info comes from a fascinating post by Spiderkiss at deathberry HERE which also features some hilarious manips of Ishida in famous IchiRuki spreads. ;)

So busy because I've got a few days before seder and this town has a matzah shortage. I should be scarce as a bread crumb in a kosher home next week but who knows--if anything exciting happens in the manga tomorrow I'll put down the broom to post.
[identity profile]
What a thing to wake up to. IchiRuki romansu and the destiny theme steamrolling over Aizen’s poor little ambitions in bondage somewhere…. Ah, Sensei, you’re such a romantic—just like Rukia told Ichigo at the end of the last musical, lol.

Todah rabah Annie, Nacchan, Mel and deathberry HERE

When the two that share destiny part and reunite, beyond the frame of time the ceased clock will awake and start to tick once again

Kubo sensei’s poem with IchiRuki spread from anniversary chapter (ch.460) from SOUL RESURRECTION Vol 6

If you follow the link to deathberry, you'll see a lot of IchiRuki squeeing of course because the forum is IchiRuki. Here's one comment from Nacchan's tumblr I found amusing and fangirly but also giving you some factual stuffs:

I love how Kubo-sensei provided the English version of the poem this time so there’s no need for unnecessary translation wank, I had enough of that seriously

So happy that IchiRuki got another canon poem AGAIN, I even already lost count how many poems they have right now

  • The “Black Sun - White Moon” poem
  • The “Sand and Rotator” Poem
  • The “One Boy, One Shinigami the story of destiny begins” poem
  • The “Things that take you high is not only wings” poem
  • Ichigo’s vol 19 poem — “That’s right nothing else can change my world”
  • Ichigo’s vol 49 poem — “Can I keep up with the speed of the world without you”
  • ….. okay I lost count, we just had too many (._____.  )

eta: the HQ scan, thank you to Ku. OMG, it's so lovely.

HQ in all its glory )
eta2--from Annie, another poem that illuminates a spread. OMG, this one is beautiful too. I'm dying over here:

Fullbringer shoe spread: "Are we standing in the same place? Are you going to betray me? Step towards the truth in shoes / washed by tears."
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Howdy, is everyone recovered from the holidays yet? I'm still digesting all the goodwill and hoping fandom doesn't blow all its gaskets before the next chapter is out. WSJ breaks are usually a little rough on Bleach fans, lol.

* First, congra to [ profile] peca_06 for getting her IchiRuki fanart featured on this site:  I love Bouguereau and Peggy-sensei and I squeed myself silly when I saw the angel IchiRuki art.

* As some of you have noted in my comments, I've moved [ profile] bleachness to Dreamwidth. I'll be making some changes in the upcoming weeks so stay posted for announcements. (This Live Journal account is a lifetime permanent one so [ profile] bleachness will never leave here and all future posts on Dreamwidth will be cross-posted to appear here. You'll get instructions on how to join DW's [ profile] bleachness later).

* My sister moved my personal website (which includes a few stuffs other than Bleach stuffs) to Wordpress. Expect some changes there too. I have lots of housecleaning to do. The new site is

* THE ICHI-ISHI FANWORKS CONTEST HERE IS STILL ONGOING. This part involves fic based on the previous contest's art entries. The deadline for submitting is Jan 31, 2011. More details HERE.

[identity profile]
Ah, some of this news isn't exactly hot off the presses in that it's a few days old but I've been busy all week. But  I know many of you aren't Bleach fanatics like me & don't get up every morning and look all over the net for Bleach stuffs but still appreciate a round-up of info. Maybe you haven't seen some of this stuff yet.

*   From ANN:
Cuuute drawing. The band guys are in shinigami garb.

*  Volume 53 came out. Surprise no Rukia on the cover but Kubo continues with his high contrast Western-style comic style drawings of Fullbringers. Yukio is in a gorgeous pose. High Quality cover of Volume 53 from Zangetsu01 HERE. I really like Yukio, and I'm wondering if Jackie will be the next cover (Giriko's not important enough--he was zapped by Zaraki so fast) or if it indeed it will be Rukia this time. Or Bya or Ichi? Seems like it's Rukia's turn, but I'm desperately rooting for a Jackie resurrection.

Doodles/Endpages and Info pages from Nyaro~n HERE. Apparently the characters are all commenting attributes of their new appearances. Kenpachi can't remember why he wore bells in his hair. lol. Rukia is smiling about some secret regarding her VC badge (ARGH, Sensei, why so many secrets about Rukia). The doodle about Orihime is really creepy and shows blood over the pic of Sora/Tsuki and little Hime following the "Why Me Sad" chapter. The text is "Sometimes a Past is Poisonous." I'm already villified for my opinions about Orihime so I may as well wonder aloud if the text doesn't refer to her real past with her brother or her real feelings for Ichigo rather than the inserted Tsukishima past. You know how Kubo loves his puns. That chapter was so sad--the weight of Orihime's sadness seems to be in a history of personal pain; Tsukishima's violation of her and others will be fixed with manga magic but whatever Orihime has to overcome in order to grow as a character seems deeper and preceding him. Speaking of growing, Hime didn't get to grow any in her stat page. No fair. Ichigo and the boys got growth spurts. Hime's breasts got larger but she's still 157 cm. Oh well. That's my height and I stopped growing around that age too.

Translation of Yukio's poem w/ comment by tenshi no hane from BA here :

The fact that I am so very young
And inexperienced
Seems to be unforgivable
To those decrepit
And perfect adults

I like it. It shows the envy of adults towards children for their youth. Nice contrasts as well: young vs decrepit and inexperienced vs perfect.

I like it too--it shows the ironies Kubo's poetry is famous for, as well as states Yukio's case--the "is he or isn't he guilty?" that makes him so controversial around fans. Unforgivable inexperience is a fascinating concept. He's quite adept at what he does--but does that make him innocent?

*   The new rock Bleach musical came out on DVD and caused a sensation with the closing scene of act 2 where Rukia dies and Ichigo takes a face dive into her boobs mourning her while the cast sings. I haven't watched the whole thing yet--I have a real affection for the musicals but they always take warming up to for me. The clips I've seen are fun--Ukitake is a twirling dancing BEAST of loveliness and the lead villain has a great voice. The singing is better than ever. The new Ichigo is a little youngish and not that attractive to me but the production seems fun and high quality for the most part.

Kubo-sensei really digs these musicals. If they're good enough for him, I can't complain about them. XD

long clip:

Lyrics plus translation of boob dive scene by Nacchan from BA IchiRuki FC HERE
[identity profile]
Oh my goodness, look what Spiderkiss found--this Rukia chibi figurine is a MUST HAVE--the new hair, the pink hair accessory, the CHAPPY! The cuteness is slaying me.

Read more... )

Oh by the way, early spoilers are out for chapter 371 and you can read about them at the Bleach Asylum Chapter Thread.

Read more... )

REMINDER AGAIN. The annual bleachness birthdays contest is only SIX DAYS AWAY. The day to post is this coming Sunday! If you won't be here to post on that day, you may mail me your entry to post for you. PM me via LJ or write me at for more info. Details about the contest HERE.

I had a few afternoons to draw the other week and did a few sketches for the BA IchiRuki November calendar. Here are some details from calendars that didn't make it as well as the actual calendar. Like a lot of Bleach fans I was inspired by the anime ice-skating scene. It was too cute. I want a pink scarf like Rukia's now. (I wonder if Deviko in the manga is pink like Rukia's devil costume of the Halloween spread--pink isn't Rukia's color but it suits her, oddly enough)

eta: woops had the links wrong--why is editing on LJ HARDER than it was before? :/
[identity profile]
[ profile] mezzo_marinaio scanlated an adorable IshiHime (w/IchiRuki) comic excerpt by Soul Love (Rui on Pixiv) as a gift to [ profile] la_kalaka
for becoming the new owner of the The IshiHime FanClub.

I'm happy to have founded the club and been owner for almost 8 versions but ENY WILL BE A GREAT NEW OWNER. IshiHime will always be my OTP <3

This comic is love.  (read Japanese style right to left)

Read more... )
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[ profile] melodymix  spied an interesting tweet from Sensei yesterday that I couldn't help get excited about. It seems that Kubo showed an upcoming chapter to a higher-up who was "captivated."

From here, Mel says: Kubo just tweeted on his twitter account


Got a reply from my Tantou (A term referring to a person in charge) who I sent the name (rough draft of the up-coming chapter) to saying "I was captivated!".

Hell, it could be anything right? Some eyesmex between Ginjou and Tsukishima? I expect some exposition from Urahara. Also, Ichigo and Rukia haven't exchanged words yet....

Quoth a friend, “My dictionary also renders うっとり as 'to be transported', 'entranced', and 'spellbound'. This is apparently one hell of a chapter. XD”

There's more from Annie about the Harajuku Event. Follow this LINK and you'll see more of what was on display there as well as some scans of the really cute comic featuring chibi Ichigo and Rukia that was featured in Saikyou Jump. (Thank you for the scan to poppy_moon) Apparently, one of Rukia's arts gets to be featured in a gallery display!

You can find larger pics of some Harajuku Ichigo pics from maxcora at BA HERE

Minerva has some LINKS to blogs w/more pics from the event, including some rather uninspiring t-shirts (imv) that were on sale, a nice pic of IchiThing going RAWR and the sketchy recent color page of Chad from this year’s arc on display.  It must have been a real thrill to see the art close-up. I'm so envious. I can make my own Kon curry but I will never get a chance to see Kubo's copic strokes that close. *sob*

Now that all the flailing about the recent chapter has quieted a bit (well, except for fanbois and shippers who run on RAEG), I offer my humble synopsis of The Lost Agent Arc. It's not over, no, by no means, but looking back over early blog entries (as have others--this week I've been getting comments to entries I made when this arc started) I see I predicted some stuff dead wrong but got 1) Ginjou is bad guy and 2) Ichigo's powers will return with Rukia.

That's what the arc was about--Mugetsu, the absence of the moon. Ichigo's powers being hidden and Rukia, whose absence was made tangible by so many teases from Sensei (the dream, Ichigo's denying he missed her, the cryptic voice from the badge, the hidden face in the colored mysterygami panels) and how those powers, almost embodied as a kind of esoteric knowledge, come and go with one person in this story. Kubo begins the new 10 years the way he started the first 10 years--with a human boy being pierced with a supernatural power by a tiny death goddess.

For all the criticism about how the nakama got nerfed in this arc, I say their stories are wide open. We have yet to see Chad's fullbring and what it LOOKS like let alone what it can do; we were only given a hint of how Orihime can use her fairies in combinations, and we didn't even see Ishida FIGHT (we saw him fall, prettily, alas, my fellow Ishida fans, but the boy has more panel time a-comin' I swear to you). This arc may have lingered on the nakama somewhat but it was a training arc after all.

A training arc for sure but in reverse. Instead of a hero gaining powers bit by bit, it showed a hero losing trust bit by bit. And losing his friends. Ichigo did learn a lesson, though. The idea that he put forth in the VERY beginning of the manga, what he told us the audience that all he wanted was to not see spirits and to live a normal human life NO LONGER HELD.

Or, going by chapters 00, it was a lie. Ichigo has always wanted the power to protect. And this arc proved to him that he wanted to be a shinigami. Hmm, what other lie did Ichigo tell in this arc? He told Keigo that he didn't miss Rukia. I wonder if he'll get around to that he doesn't miss her--and I wonder how he'll do that. :fu

See ya next time. I'm really REALLY hoping the color page coming is nakama-centered but my heart is telling me it's going to be IchiRuki. I want nakama. As long as its not another one featuring the fullbringers (I love Riruka and Yukio amd especially my lanky friend Tsukishima but enough, I miss those nakama spreads)


[identity profile]

See the ad for new Bleach Book Resurrected Souls featuring a new Ichigo and Rukia drawing in Kubo's new blocky style and read infos (all gratis of IR FC at BA, and thank you Ku, poppy_moon, for the scan)  here

Damn it. I'm going to have to buy it for the poster--I've wanted a poster of the 2010 spine pics since they started coming out and yes, my husband is just going to have to deal with it in the hallway. The kids will love it. We'll put it over the world map and the family photos. <3

Also, please welcome [ profile] qwirky (aka Athena on BA and Jackie to me) as a new moderator to [ profile] bleachness .

eta: breaking news, scan from Ku. The 2012 calendar will not feature spreads from this year (i WAS wondering what the calendar was going to do since color pages were scant this year and sorta sketchy--like the foot spread) but the paintings from Jump Festa last December. Hitsugaya will be featured for May/June. The calendar will be pricey--2800 yen. Ooo, I just want my Jump spine pic poster in the hallway but there's a new cover spread for this calendar to go along with the nine b/w paintings Sensei did for Jump Festa sooooo damn it, my wallet.

ad )
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[Poll #1765358]
If you didn't get to type up your reaction to the big happening chapter last week while LJ was wonky, here's your chance.

I enjoyed it---even though I saw Ishida's fall coming and like lots of people here, called most of it--Ginjou's betrayal, the stabbity of Ichigo with Ginjou's Cross of Scaffold, the Ginjou/Tsuki partnership (sexy!), Ishida in his civilian clothes (Ishida fans are wondering if the boy is using a sacred object anymore? There's been no sign of his Quincy cross all this arc) and the utter emotional devastation of Ichigo. The chapter being called "The End of All Bonds" tells me we're near the finish line and we're not going to get a series of numbered chapters like with Deicide. It seems too easy to call that Urahara and Isshin are up next, though. I almost expect something like a live fist to come at me from the pages after this recent horror show.

Speaking as an Ishida fan,(warning: extreme Ishida bias to follow) even though Ishida's appearances in this arc were short and sweet, it thrilled me that it was revealed in this past chapter that Ishida was indeed targeted to spur Ichigo to join Xcution (because as Jackie joked, Ginjou's ramen just wasn't enough XD). Not talking yaoi fantasies here--this is canon manga. It's said that it's usually a female love interest who is attacked in order to get the hero's attention to protect, but if there's one thing this arc has shown it's that Ichigo wants to protect ALL his friends and family. Yeah, Ichigo would've rushed to the hospital for anyone of his friends but it was Ishida who triggered his desire to recover his Shinigami powers and in the end, it was Ishida who was the only one not bookmarked by Tsukishima and who was Ichigo's only true ally.

As a fan of the Karakura gang, I was glad to see them all again--even briefly before they were "taken" from Ichigo, and in true story telling form, the bonds were all given increasing dramatic importance as they dissolved. First, Ichigo's sisters, always less relevant to the plot of Bleach, turned on him, then Ichigo's friends Mizuro Keigo and Tatsuki. Then, in a surprise twist, his new boss Ikumi.

His comrades Orihime and Chad, who had so recently revealed how they'd trained for 17 months to fight by his side, turned next, and then,  Ishida's arrival on the scene was singled out and given the kind of ooo-wee tension that makes fangirls like me wiggle in our computer chairs. Kubo's gorgeous irony was at work here again--because Ichigo so trusted his "new" bond with Ginjou, Ichigo didn't trust Ishida. Ishida, the one who had proven himself the Golden Boy of Friendship on the Dome (I could seriously get all choked up if I recount it! ). A whole chapter where you couldn't see Ishida's eyes--his glasses were white reflections like when he first showed up in the manga--so much tension but now with that added history of trust and kizuma. The white backgrounds, if you notice, came back--Kubo treated the whole encounter with much care (Chad and Inoue had each received some sad exchanges with Ichigo but not so much tension as this!) Then BAM! Down goes another surprise bond--Ginjou! Ishida too! Sliced by Tsukishima!

Damn it, it was so good. I was telling Neha that I felt ashamed that I didn't predict Ginjou having sliced Ishida (that bit about Ginjou having said someone other than Tsukishima must've done it had me suspecting everyone from ShiShi to Yoruichi, lol) but the best part was just being able to say YEY, I TOLD YA SENSEI PLANS SHIT. Screw those WSJ rankings. The Lost Agent Arc is a great one--and Sensei wrote it the way he wanted to and planned it every bit of the way--you got to take it all, doorknob close-ups and donuts and obscure heavy metal album references to get to the final door. Sensei never fails to deliver.  /truefangirl

Okay, change of subject. As for the rumor that because of this year's low WSJ rankings (yes, the reviled donut chapter had Bleach in the bottom 3 again last week), Bleach is being moved to a monthly, Jump Square, I have one word: BULLOCKS. Seriously, no way. Bleach still makes too much money; there's no way the anime could keep up with a monthly manga and the anime is still good business; can you see Sensei writing a monthly with his big ass panels?

No, just no.

Here's something you may find cute. Courtesy of Annie, a color ad for Saikyou Jump featuring chibi Kon, Ichigo and Rukia in the 4-panel comic called "KomaBuri."  I showed you these chibis before. Bleach chibis not drawn by Kubo still scare me a little. XD MOST people think they're cute. Can't wait for the comic, though--

see! )

Oh and the cheesy cheesy Bleach musical keeps on releasing clips. Shows evolve and apparently cheesier changes were made in Osaka. Everyone I know, including hardcore IchiRuki fans, who watched the closing bit of act one where Ichigo clings to Rukia's body as all this fighting (and singing and dancing) go on around him, were frankly embarrassed. Kubo-sensei has tweeted, though, that he can't wait to see the show again. I watched Fashionista in a solo clip this morning--he can really sing nice!

I'm looking forward to next week. Now that Ishida's injured and on the ground again I'm weirdly relieved. It's like his bit is done. And Ichigo's been fucked over SO BADLY. Things can only go uphill now for Ichigo... right? <.<  Right? ._.
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translations by [ profile] mezzo_marinaio 

Latest Bleach tweets from Sensei. He's recommending the anime to those who were shocked by the absence of IchiRuki's farewell scene from the anime, LOL. Apparently the "Bleach My Soul" scene meets with his approval?


"The check up of the scenario for the final episode of the Invading Army arc and for the first episode of the new arc is finished. It gives me a good feeling."

侵軍篇最終話は、侵軍篇から原作の破面篇最終話のラストシーンへとリンクする内容なんですが、これが良くで きてます。アニメを観て、一護とルキアの別れのシーンが無かった事にショックを受けた人、楽しみにしてて下 さい。納得のいく繋がり方になっているんじゃないかと思います。

"In the final episode of the Invading Army arc, we cut from that arc to content linked with the final scene of the last chapter in the original Arrancar arc... but it's done very well. Everyone who was shocked at the absence of Ichigo and Rukia's farewell scene, please watch the anime and enjoy yourself. I thought, well, weren't they tied together quite satisfactorily?"

最近、アニメ新章絡みの仕事が楽しいから、ツイートの内容が結構ちゃんと漫画家らしくなってる 気がする。

"Recently, since the work involved with the new arc in the anime is so fun, I feel like the contents of my tweets are becoming somewhat more proper and mangaka-like."

and earlier, because I thought this was adorable--Sensei tweeted about KiKi's Delivery Service, a movie I love, and while it may not be relevant at all to Ichigo's current situation, Sensei's thoughts about adults relationship to kids interested me:


I missed 'Kiki's Delivery Service'.


In 'Kiki's Delivery Service', my favourite scene is the one when that odious child says that he doesn't need his grandma's herring pie, because it's so awful... should I ever have children of my own, I'd like to show them this movie while they're little for that scene alone.

沢山の子に訊いてインパクトある20人を抽出したんだろうけど、それにしても面白い。 そして、子供の時分に「自分は愛されてる」と確信できてるってのは、とても幸せで、大切なことなんだなぁ、と再確認した。周りの大人がしっかり大人になっ ていないと、その確信もおかしなものになってしまうけど。

I guess they probably asked many kids, and then took a sample of 20 people with some impact... but still. It's interesting. Besides, when you're a child, being able to have confidence in the fact that you're loved is an important thing, it makes you happy... I can reconfirm that. But if the adults near you don't become reliable adults, that confidence also becomes an odd thing.


Somehow or other, even though I should have missed it, I'm dragging out the sentimentality of 'Kiki's Delivery Service'.

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Excellent goodies via Annie and IR FC.

First a Bleach spin-off, four panels style, that's going to appear in Jump for Kids. Artist is Ooba Atsushi. The Ichigo and Rukia here are chibis. I think they look creepy but some people may think they're cute.

See the news here at the IR FC at BA.

A poster that appears in Animedia magazine is drawn by the same artist that did the "Song For" ED animation--Ishikawa Tomomi. It shows Ichigo playing soccer with Hitsugaya while Matsumoto, Orihime and Rukia cheer on. Mats and Orihime wear bikini tops. Rukia and Mats wear hot pants. Rukia is shouting "do your best!" to Ichigo.

See the poster here in the IR FC at BA.

AND a new CM for the new Bleach musical here:  (you see Ichigo cradling dead!Rukia)

Oh and in case you missed it in earlier posts, [ profile] junklover posted synopses of the new musical at burimyu here:
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I'm here to redeem Annie. Actually Annie has the news. Not that people will believe her easily now, lol--this news is pretty LOL. First, we have very cheesy IchiRuki goings-on in the new musical. I have to say it's not stuff I recognize as MY IchiRuki from the manga. I mean, fanservice is fanservice but this is pretty over-the-top. It's effing Romeo and Juliet IchiRuki version. Kubo is tweeting as I type that he's seen it and liked it, though. Translations by [ profile] nacchan_touya  at the IR FC at BA:

Next, we have a musical booklet drawing and message from Kubo himself--Kubo drew the fashionista!Ichigo and... well, see for yourself. The picture comes via Annie:

This is by Kubo for sure )

I know this character is supposed to be a PART of Ichigo but but but... well, Nacchan said all she could see was

Fashionista!Ichigo )
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Just saw this at [ profile] burimyu  here and Annie reported it here. The director of the new Bleach musical is saying that the show will celebrate the 10th anniversary and the IchiRuki bond. That's one way to draw the crowds. Well, the previous musicals were heavy on the IchiRuki too.

I miss Rukia in the manga so much I can't even worry about Ishida's next appearance that much so you know THAT'S BAD. Drew Rukias all weekend and this one came out the best so I colored it. Please don't look at the hands... eh I know I just made you look. Anyway, I'm sure Sensei's next drawing of her will be gorgeous--his last one was unusually lovely, and I've really had it with the long long wait. I've even quit wondering if her hair will be different when we see her. I don't care if she's bald. (Renji should've been able to purchase new sunglasses if he's budgeted his salary well in 17 months but I'll bet he'll smash them the next time we see him).

My Rukia:
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The Jump Shop, Tokyo Station renovation includes this Bleach scene on their new wall:
(It's the only Bleach scene featured)

The novel in UnMasked will be about .... Yammi's dog! The novel, approved by Kubo and featuring his illustrations like previous Bleach novels, will be by Matsubara Makoto. It is separate from the new Bleach chapter in UnMasked which is art by Kubo-sensei about Ulquiorra and appears from the panels in the ad we've seen to cover Ulquiorra's backstory.  From this post at BA, czel's translation from the Chinese from spoilers in Japanese on 2ch by Ohana:

read more )

As I wrote at BA about the Ulquiorra backstory and is he or isn't coming back in the manga stuff that people seem to be discussing again...

Meh, the way I'm looking at this backstory now is that it's as canon as chapters 00 which were introduced in the databooks instead of WSJ. They're chapters today that readers regard as THE manga, no more or less than Hitsugaya's backstory--they were given numbers even. I'll bet you this Ulquiorra chapter (it's being called a "CHAPTER" even) will be given a number, so it has to be considered part of the manga.

So, does Kubo telling Ulquiorra's backstory now mean Ulqui's done for? Could be. Or does Kubo telling Ulquiorra's backstory now mean he's setting the stage for more story? That could be too.

I happen to believe in the latter, but then I've always believed in Ulquiorra's return for reasons more than "he needs a backstory." I believe he's got a future in Bleach (one non-shipping reason: he needs to throw his lanza del Relampago successfully)


breaking news--
I was disappointed in the UnMasked cover to be honest--I thought it looked rather plain but now I hear that the ad says that there will be a "gimmick" to the cover. I wonder if it's a holograph.. or one of those things where if you tilt the cover in the light, you'll see Ulqui naked... LOL or at least unmasked.
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Manga basic concepts, techniques, and conventions. )
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A little something for :iconichiruki-club:  I love White Day because you get stuff instead of having to give it. A good day for married peeps but I still have to remind the husband who goes "oh, okays." XD

Chappy White Day by debbiechan

big pic here )

And another fanart for the IchiRuki Fanclub Giveaway at Bleach Asylum. Annie blames me for the "Blue Ball" theme.

White Day with Blue Balls by debbiechan

big pic here )


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