Friday, 30 December 2011

Reflections on: Chapter 475, or Why the hell should Ginjo Shut Up

Due to certain circumstances beyond my control, I was unable to post this when I originaly intended. So please bear in mind this was supposed to be out several weeks ago.

After a lengthy and rather one trick fight  with Ichigo (and what do you expect when you steal the moveset of a person with only one move ?) Ginjo gets out his biggest, whitest set of teeth and says, with his usual restraint and witt

Now children, can anyoen tell me what the answer is ? No, well then let me explain:

1. Nothing you've ever said made sense and every time you open your mouth you grossly contradict everything you've said before

How many completely contradictory explanations on how Fullbrings works have you given us so far, Mr. "He can't have memory alteration powers, I'd remember that !". And then who could forget "Fullbring powers can't evolve, only change".

2. Thusly you have been given at least three different oportunities to explain the basics of your powers, and yet they're still as vague as before

I still have no idea how being fond of one item that you're especialy close to makes you make air want to repell you, or whisky want to slip through your gullet ?

3. You're big "reveal" wasn't that big of a reveal

Considering that it basicly amounted to a GPS/security failsafe, which the person directly involved with doesn't even mind because he apparently thinks being tricked is okay (which is some other can of worms entierly)

4. Your entiere organisation is destroyed

So whatever vague, unexplained goal you might have, you're not gonna accomplish it. Especialy if this "goal" is revenge against Soul Society. Aizen had an army of legendary level hollows and a wish granting orb in his chest, you have a sword and Ichigo's bankai.

5. There are four, FOUR captains outside, capable of instantly killing you the moment you win

Again, planning on taking on four of them with Ichigo's bankai ?

6. With purposefully leaving Tsukishima dead you lose the ability to make anyone instantly your lackie, so this won't save your ass.

This guy was the only thing that could give you the advantage to aproach the level of Aizen's theat, simply due to how haxed it is (like it making people completely oblivious to the glaring contradictions and seemingly impossible chains of events)

7. Even though you claim to have been acing this whole fight, you did nothing of the sort yet

Swinging your sword back and forth and missing isn't considered a flawless victory.

8. Even though you tried to intimidate Ishida, he can still very easily shoot you in the back while Ichigo spars with you

At any time that Ichigo has blocked your sword, Ishida could have just easily shot you right in the ass. There is seriously no reason why Ishida should not have intervened and ended this, beyond, of course, Kubo wanting Ichigo to get solo XP's from this fight, as usual.

9. Your new "ability" so far is one attack, one single basic slash attack the hero has been using for like 400 chapters.

Captain Commander Yamamoto can incinerate an entiere city with a huge pillar of fire. Mayuri can be night unkilllable due to his fake organs. Komamura has a giant mech.

YOU have Ichigo's bankai.

10. Your smug and annoying

I believe I'll just reuse this older compilation I've made.

And this was when you were supposedly brainwashed to be a good guy.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Coming Soon from EStanding...

That's right ladies and gentlemen, for my debut post, I bring you...

A comparison multi-part series, like no other...

Poorly written...

In HD3D....

Strawberry vs Strawberry

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Your plot point has expired: Fullbring marathon part 1

In my last entry, some eons ago, I gave an overview of the sheer ludicrousness of Ginjou and Tsukishima's self-brainwashing scheme, as well as their method of approaching Ichigo. Since the Substitute Shinigami Arc is coming to a close and almost all the cards have been dealt, I thought that it’s time to move through the different phases of the magnificent duo's plan step by step.
My goal is to see if everything that has happened so far holds up to their recently unveiled scheme of:

- Give Ichigo Fullbring powers
- Steal powers
- Cheese it!
- No repercussions from soul society!
- Use marginal increase in strength to show the world! SHOW THEM ALL!
Spoiler: Not much of it makes sense. After these recent reveals, you can affix a “why did they do that?” to pretty much every step of the plan. So let’s get started:

Phase I: Contact with Ichigo

The very first thing they did was have Ichigo meet Ginjou, after Ginjou had his bag stolen. Let me just pull the brakes right here and ask: How exactly they can plan for a random thug to steal Ginjou's bag at just the right time and place? Because surely they must’ve planned it--the alternative is that Mr. Superpowered Building Block Destroyer Ginjou Kuugo accidentally got mugged by a bottom tier goon, which is absolutely hilarious. Maybe this actually is the case though, because I can’t see how this meeting contributes to the Plan in any way. Ichigo gets the bag, gives Ginjou the bag, and leaves. Nothing that happens has any significance for their later meeting, which is where Ginjou starts blabbering about Ichigos family, so absolutely nothing is accomplished.

I guess we get to see Ginjou take out his badge on an open street for no real reason while he’s talking to himself, but I can’t for the life of me figure out why any sane person would do that, least of all someone on the run from the shinigami authorities, and especially someone who knows the badge is a freaking surveillance device! How Ginjou never got caught is beyond me. From the writers perspective the scene of course serves to make him seem mysterious and show off the badge to pique the readers’ interest, but that doesn’t make the scene any less bizarre…or pointless.

Then Ginjou makes proper contact at Ichigo's job, and sows the seeds that will make Ichigo come train with them. I talked at length about how stupidly they handled this last time, and I still wonder why they couldn’t just flat out tell him that they could help him with his reiatsu insufficiency. That way we’d have avoided all that nonsense about Ichigo doubting his father and friend. And choosing to meet Ichigo at his job and reveal how you’ve been spying on his family in front of his boss seems counterintuitive. Yes yes, she doesn’t know about shinigami and such, but Ginjou is still supposed to be lying low.
Worth noting is that at this point, judging by Ginjou's rooftop meeting with Bradley and Riruka (I cannot promise that I won't subconsciously call her Perona. Hm? What's that about the chainsaw guy from soul eater? I don't know what you're talking about. There's just Bradley), all the Fullbringers seem to be on their Evil setting: The panel layout and dialogue makes Ginjo seem like a shady character (which he is), and Perona sneers as she states how she wished she could see Ichigo's face as Ginjou talked about his family.
Then they proceed to the next phase:

Phase II: Create Xcution, and give Ichigo a reason to join

On the very same day, Ishida gets attacked. Ichigo immediately contacts the guys who gave him a callcard earlier, not thinking it weird that mere hours after being approached by them he is given incentive to join them. Meanwhile, Ishida refuses to give any details about his attacker. The reason for this is obvious--it’d have cut the whole arc short, duh! And Kubo probably didn’t know it was Ginjou who did it at that time. In any case, you’ve got to admire the nobleness of Ishida's decision here, where he basically has renounced his life and given himself over to death. After all, you’re having all your friends abandon you, including the chick that could heal you instantly, just because your attacker might come back. This leaves you with a snowball's chance in hell of surviving if he actually does show up. I’m glad this dramatic moment got the panel time it deserved, we really felt that Ishida understood the gravity of his choice, and we’ll ignore the fact that if his attackers really wanted Ishida dead they could’ve finished him off when he was unconscious and bleeding on the pavement. Again, check last post for even more stupidity regarding this step of the plan.

It is not until this point that the Fullbringers get brainwashed into being anti-Tsukishima. We must assume all of them got this treatment, because they need to share the confirmed brainwashed Ginjou's delusions if they are to keep their cover. If anyone isn’t up to date on the fake backstory it all falls apart, and it’s not like they can read Ginjou's mind or had a script of it or anything. Then there's Tsukishima's offscreen fullbring friend-recruiting session and, further indicating a change, we get several scenes of the Fullbringers expressing concern for Ichigo when he’s not around, and Riruka's evil attitude towards him has completely evaporated. Strangely, so has most of her knowledge about Ichigo; she yells about how they can’t trust him, and doesn’t even know his face anymore. Pretty fucking weird considering how much they’ve been spying on Ichigo, their specific targeting of him, and the rooftop scene, but whatever. Who am I to judge how Tsukishima's amazingly handy (for the writer, anyway) ability rewrites stuff?

Bottom line is, from this point on the Fullbringers now believe they’re good, and that they’ve got an organization with radically different goals and history than before:
True Xcution is a bunch of thugs giving people fullbring, and then taking it from them.
Fake Xcution hates having fullbring, and several members (who, since this story is false, never existed) have given up those powers, by seeking out people like Ichigo (who also never existed).
Seems like an awful lot of backstory/worldview to change by just altering their perception of Tsukishima, especially with all the former or dead members who didn’t actually exist. But this is the minor problem.

The main problem is Chad.

Chad has been a member of Xcution for quite a while before Ichigo joins. He knows their names, has been socializing with them, used their training methods and so on, so he’s been part of the Fake Xcution for at least some time-

The Fake Xcution which has only existed for a single day.


Well, now this just seems silly.
A lot of the other stuff in this plan is stupid, overcomplicated, or strains your suspension of disbelief. But this is just flat out impossible. Chad cannot join an organization before it is formed.

But since no was supposed to be brainwashed before this point, perhaps the fullbringers have just lied to, and fooled Chad instead!

Note that this whole explanation is something I made up completely from scratch, based on no hints whatsoever. That’s what you have to do to try and untangle Kubo's work: make up the explanations for him, because you're damned if he’ll do it, and it’s something you’ll notice me doing often in this piece. The only problem is that even my wholly unfounded theory designed specifically to make this thing make sense cannot cut it.
Because if they just lied to Chad they could have done the same to Ichigo, and the brainwash scheme is again-you guessed it- utterly pointless.

To be continued...

Monday, 22 August 2011

Aborted Segment explanation

Hi all. Just wanted to explain something.

When I sugested creating this blog, I hoped that I could transfer into blog post form what I do whenever I read a new Bleach chapter, that is post my first impressions of every page that left any. I started with 451, and wanted to wait a week before doing the next installment, but then, personal issues (a combination of real and imagined) prevented me from dissecting the following chapter, until the begining of what I like to call the "Ever spiraling staircase of anger and rage" that were the "Tsukishima mindfucks everyone" chapters ,running up till about two weeks ago.

The one thing that annoyed me, that stopped me from being able to give any kind of impression on these chapters beyond a small handfull of words that could very easily get this site an "adult rating" was just one thing, just one little tiny aspect of these chapters that later on somehow became ever more terifyingly painfull to bear.

Chad and Orihime. The main characters who weren't in this series for several years now (barring Orihime's episodic and pointless cameo at the end of the last arc). Ones who very recently admited they had actualy trained, and in fact still were training, in order to not be useless anymore.

And then they're brainwashed, thinking that everything that Ichigo ever did was done by Tsukishima, then start to fight and attack Ichigo, blocking and healing his attacks on Tsukishima, even after the latter starts attacking Ichigo again and evily gloats about his awesome powers - in fact admits he changed their pasts in front of them, and this doesn't even make them wince, nor react in any way.

This is without a doubt the worst possible case of character rape I have ever seen. This is beyond Yamcha, this is a whole new level of character derailment, and quite frankly, I was, and still am quite baffled at just how something this bad, uncharacteristic and just plain dumb could have happened.

Rukia's recent apearance (on which neither of the two commented or reacted to in the slightest, strenghtening my suspicions that the 10 people inexplicably missing from chapter 460 have gone out for a pizza or something) gives me a tiny shred of hope that maybe, just maybe, Chad will try uttering his Tsukishima-worship BS about how he saved her life, only for Rukia to smack some sense into the two, using raw pain and simple, logical questions, break the impossibly contradictory mind rape inflicted upon them by "Shuu-chan". Granted Ichigo should have done that ages ago, but I digress

So there you have my little explanation. I'll try to get back on track (even though I never properly got on in the first place), but in the meanwhile, enjoy these random ramblings of mine.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Your plot point has expired: chapter 459 chewout extravaganza

The advent of the latest in a long line of patented Kubo Twists has gotten my mind reeling from a nigh uncountable list of contradictions and problems. Chapter 459 has made the fullbring arc a little microcosm of the very worst of Bleachs' problems; sure, Kubo abandoning plot points and pulling out nonsensical explanations is nothing new, but in an arc this short they stick out like never before. Chapters this horrendously heinous and ill conscieved are rare even in Bleach, so, I decided to treat you all to what I've gathered so far, and add to this as time goes on - hold your noses, this is gonna get very, very pedantic!

- So Ishida was attacked by Ginjo all along. Nope, not buying it Kubo. When Shuu-chan jumps into Ishidas face theres a blurry line beneath him- are you saying that’s not a swiftly drawn blade? Are you saying the fuzzy line is Ginjo? Also, notice how Shuu-chan passes right by Ishidas right side. Then, right afterwards, Ginjo comes flying towards him, also on the right side, where Ishida should be looking already. How did he fucking not notice him?
And boy is this the weirdest ambush ever. “Hey dude, I got an idea! You go walking around on that rooftop there, above Ichigos home. Then, his friend can’t help but follow you! Then, suddenly, you surprise him by doing a 180 directly into his face, only you don’t actually attack. That’s when I, waiting on the streets, seize my chance to jump up and attack!”
“Uh, couldn’t I just attack when I surprise him? I could just, you know, not brainwash him, just cut him. That way I’ll be the only villain, and it minimizes risk-
“Dude that’s like, wayyyyy too boring. My plans much better”

And what the hell is up with the line “sheesh, this is one of Kurosakis friends, right?”
What? You mean you didn’t know!? You just thought you were roughing up some random dude who stalked Shuu-chans rooftop reading stroll? The thing that set the whole damn arc in motion was pure fucking chance!?

- Ginjo states that "We shouldn't brainwash Ishida". Thats right Ginjo, you can't do that because
"Because that would be boring" NO THATS NOT WHY YOU MORON!
If you brainwashed Ishida he would just return without physical injuries, and maybe with a weird new friend. If this is how you want to motivate Ichigo, you NEED to have Ishida injured.
Otherwise, you.
EVERYTHING hinges on Ichigo being so worried about his friends that he'll go to completely untrustworthy strangers to get powers! He wont be that if Ishida gets brainwashed into being fine and dandy!

Also, Ginjos reasoning that it wont be boring is that Ichigo might discover the difference in the attack on Ishida and the attack on the others. Funny, I'd think the extra excitement would come from the fact that theres absolutely nothing (but his own ideocy and inexplicable slowness) stopping Ishida from getting out of the hospital, visiting Ichigo, and going "Dude, thats the guy who attacked me!" They didn't even monitor him in the hospital or anything. Their entire plan could have been ruined at any minute. BUT AT LEAST IT WOULDN'T BE BORING HURRR DERRRP

- Ginjo appearantly needed to be brainwashed because he's a terrible actor.
Except he doesn't get brainwashed until after he cuts Ishida.
At which point he has already conversed with Ichigo THREE TIMES
And managed to gain his trust despite saying nothing but "LOL your dads suspicious" and "LOL Uraharas suspecious"

I know Ichigo has all the brains of a block of granite, but still, "can't act" my fucking ass.

- As a matter of fact, why does Ichigo contact Ginjo at all? Ishida is hurt and Ichigo wants strength to protect his friends, I get that, but why does he think Ginjo can help with that? The absolute only thing Ginjo has done prior to the training is say that Isshin is suspicious, and that Urahara is suspicious. Nothing about “hey, gimme a call if you need some training”. Ah, but Ichigo says that because they knew about him and his dad, they can’t be ordinary humans, and hence should be able to train him.

Riiiight. Apart from that reasoning being a huge stretch, just them knowing your fathers name and the existence of Urahara shop doesn’t mean they are spiritually attuned or anything. They could be detectives, or just have spied on Isshin and Urahara and noticed they are up to weird stuff. They could be completely normal and know these things.

But Ichigo, you know who else knows Isshin and Uraharas secrets? Keigo, and your other schoolmates. In fact, random people were capable of seeing Mulletzen in all his glory. Are any of those “normal humans”? Technically no. Would any of those be capable of training you? No fucking way. His reasoning is fundamentally nonsensical.

But screw their untrustworthiness and the fact that theres nothing indicating they can be of any help, Ichigo calls Xcution because he has no one else to count on. No, not even the Aizen level guy who has that shop around the block and you’ve known for several years. Not even the Aizen-level shinigami in his own home, whom he’s known his entire life. Because Ginjo said they were suspicious – never mind the fact that they haven’t DONE anything suspicious- and who are we to trust the words of characters who have helped Ichigo the entire series, compared to some strange new dude who rambles about ramen?

- I’m bugged by their stalker-knowledge of Ichigo and the timing of this whole debacle. Okay, so they know that Ichigo was a substitute shinigami, that he killed hollows, lost his powers and yadda yadda. I sincerely doubt that Karakura library has these events on record, or that soul-sensitive security cameras have captured them, so it’s impossible for anyone to learn these things after Ichigo lost his powers. Which would mean they were stalking him a year ago, somehow keeping tabs on his movements for +40 volumes from the sidelines without being seen. Which begs the question: Why have they been sitting on their asses so long, and not approached Ichigo ages ago? They could have done it after Soul Society easily! “Ah, but only a powerless Ichigo would be desperate enough to trust them so they needed to wait!” One, they had no way of knowing he would lose his powers. Two, it is entirely possible a hitherto unknown group could approach an Ichigo brooding over his inner hollow, claim that they too have inner hollow issues, gain his trust and put him through hazardous training excersizes. Actually, exactly that happened.

Oh yeah, and all the stalking in the world can’t explain how they knew Ichigo had an inner hollow. The ONLY time he was masked in the real world was for 10 SECONDS of fight with Grimmjow, and the two GJ fights are also the only times Ichigo shows off getsuga tenshou.

Then maybe Chad told them all that stuff! Only Chad was said to have joined because they told him they’d be getting Ichigos powers back. So there.

- You need one guy to train Ichigo, and another to antagonize and motivate him. Makes sense. But heres’ a crazy thought: What if Tsukishima took Ginjos role? Ginjo could be the douchebag villain- in other words, his normal self- and Tsukishima befriends Ichigo. This has the huuuuge advantage of Ginjo not needing to be brainwashed, plus Tsukishima has a pretty surefire way of making friends with people. With no-one brainwashed they could keep in touch, and Ginjo would know the instant Ichigos powers had ripened to their most delicious state.

- Fuck, why not just scrap the need for a villain entirely? Let me just condense the entire Fullbringer nonsense to the bare minimum of what the NotAizens could have done to achieve their goal:

*Ichigo walks home from school *

*Surprise backstab!*

Ichigo: What the – oh, if it isn’t my best friend with those funky fullbring powers, Shuu-san!

Tsukishima: Ichigo my friend, how would you like to get your powers back? I have gathered some people who can help you with a training program!

Ichigo: Sounds great, after all you’re the most trustworthy guy I know!


Tsukishima: Very good Ichigo, we are almost done. By the way, meet this new friend of mine.

Ichigo: Hi

Ginjo: ‘Sup

Ichigo: Huh, there appears to be a sword stuck in my chest


If for some reason it absolutely had to be Shuu Chan being the villain and Ginjo getting brainwashed, why didn’t Ginjo just give Tsukishima a list of all the hideouts? He obviously new of the first one (them staying there is a whole other dose of stupid. HERP DERP WHY DOES OUR FORMER LEADER KNOW OUR BASE), but he never showed up at the second, and used Yukio to track them down at the third. It would have made things much much easier if he’d known all of them, that way he could show up anywhere at any time, check on Ichigos progress, and de-brainwash Ginjo.

- How exactly do you drain a fullbring power? If I’ve understood anything from Kubos hamfisted exposition, it’s that the fullbringer communicates with an items soul via his own soul, and manipulates the item to produce his fullbring. Or in other words, Ichigo talked to his badge, and it covered him with goo. So what is it Ginjo steals? It looks like he just sucks up Ichigos armor, but in that case you’d think Ichigo could just have his badge barf up a new one. Appearantly not though. So what did Ginjo do? Did he eat the ability of Ichigos badge to get activated? Did he eat Ichigos mental connection with his badge? Neither of these seems more like thoughts than like a thing you can just absorb.

More to come

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Side order of ramble: Zword Kompression 2, and the woes of being Ichigo Kurosaki

Back when I did my last piece on sword sizes, and reused the phrase “compressed sword” quite a few times, I got to thinking about bankais. Bankais are supposed to be the ultimate sword release, where the blades full potential is unleashed into an over-the –top piece of weaponry that may or may not resemble a sword. Compared to their normally compressed states the swords are almost unrecognizable, but that’s why it’s called a sword “release”. So why did I start thinking of bankais? Well, specifically I just thought of Ichigos’.

By the time Ichigos was revealed, the bankais we’d seen were:

- A giant Samurai warrior who follows your movement

- A giant baboon skeleton snake whip-thing

- A million pieces of flying shrapnel that you can control and shape into whatever you want

- A giant poisonous fetus caterpillar with swords poking out of its torso

- A giant sphere that locks down all the senses of everyone in it, besides the user

The unique trait of Ichigos bankai is to compress his power into the size of a normal sized blade. Well that’s a bit anticlimactic but it sure is unique compared to all the extraordinary other ban –


The special ability of Ichigos bankai is what every single other captain level zanpakuto wielder is subconsciously doing to their swords all the time. And Ichigo gets stronger by compressing his power, whereas everyone else gets stronger by releasing it. Not only is Ichigos method thus opposite of the Standard Rules Of Transformation of the shonen genre (Freezer wasn’t strongest in his first form, was he?), it goes against all the captains and arrancar of Bleach itself – and thus infers that everyone would potentially be better off not releasing their swords at all.

But that’s not really my issue here, that’s just tangential rambling. What really got me was the realization that the only unique thing about Ichigos bankai was something every other relevant character could do. But wait! Unlike everyone else, Ichigos bankai gives him a huge speed boost! None of the other guys have that!

Well, apart from the Bleachverse having separate speedboosting techniques for Qiuncies, Shinigami, Hollows AND fullbringers, speed based fighters in Bleach are not exactly scarce. Yourichi, Soifon and Byakuya are all known as speedsters of soul society, Zommari had his afterimages, Grimmjow and Ulq had speed increasing transformations, Aizen could move in the blink of an eye, Jackies boots make her fleet footed, and even Chad got faster in Hueco Mondo. So I’m not exactly giving Ichigo points for originality just for being a little speedy –especially when that “power” is rendered completely unimpressive come the arrancar arc.

Ah, but his bankai gives him his trusty signature attack, Getsuga Tenshou! That’s Ichigos thing, his trademark!

…Which is also used by Urahara, and Isshin. Plus, as some may forget, it is not a bankai specific skill; Shikai Ichigo was launching flying sword slashes too, all his Bankai did was color it black. And really, Getsuga Tenshou as a signature technique and pretty much ONLY technique of the series main character is just plain not cutting it. Go through any shonen series that features a swordsman, and odds are they’ll launch a flying slash from their blade.

Hell, even Naruto has introduced this move lately, used by Samurai warriors, ranking pretty low on the fodder tier list. Whereas main character Ichigos GT comprises his entire repertoire, and is differentiated from everyone elses by being chocolate flavored.

Well…his bankai does come with a wardrobe change…he gets a slightly matrixified black garb, compared to his usual black garb.

Except yawn. A shikai-bankai comparison of Ichigo is completely and utterly unremarkable compared to every arrancar transformation ever, and Renji and Jackie have the clothes-transformation skill too. And we can’t forget Lord Aizen and his faaaaabulous last minute array of outfit changes. So, the only thing unique Ichigos bankai leaves him with is that his amount of clothing serves as a gauge of his strength, which as far as abilities go, is hard to describe with a straight face.

But maybe Ichigos’ bankai didn’t need to be anything special. After all, being part shinigami part hollow made him different, since it gave him his mask, and-

I think I’ll just stop here. Suffice to say, Ichigo moveset wound up as interesting as his character, and his latest Ranger suit seems to mix things up very little: Move fast, cut stuff.

But why? Why did Ichigo end up this way? This time I’m not even going to pretend I don’t know. If you are to introduce a powerup for your main character that he will be relying on for the foreseeable future, consider this:

What is easier to draw?

- A giant baboon skeleton snake whip-thing


- A slightly different black cloak and a new sword, and the same old fighting style

And which weapon is easier to write fights for?

- A giant baboon skeleton snake whip-thing


- a sword that shoots beams

And there you go.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Chapter Bleach: Bleach vs. Plagiarism

Hello, RPGJay here. I suppose I should start off by mentioning that I used to be a fan of Bleach. A few years back, I really got into anime and manga. One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach were really my first foray into the world of manga since my days of watching Dragon Ball Z reruns as a kid. After the Soul Society arc, something about Bleach changed. I kept reading though, slowly watching this series that I once loved become something different. It wasn’t until the Arrancar arc that I finally snapped. Bleach had become unequivocally awful. Worse yet, to this day, this series that was once splendid is still continually degrading. Now is the time for healing, let’s delve into The Heart of Bleach.

Ordinarily, I would be talking about the physical side of the Bleach manga in topics such as pacing, padding, panel structure, etc. I am postponing that future series of columns for today’s subject. To sum up the current arc of Bleach (as of June 21, 2011), the Fullbringer arc, it’s about a group of characters, one of the main characters having lost their powers before a time skip, having to team up with a new cast of characters with powers completely different to any powers seen previously, to fight an evil group with the same new powers and restore the powers of one of the main characters.

Which is not to be confused with the Chapter Black arc of YuYu Hakusho, which is about a group of characters, one of the main characters having lost their powers before a time skip, having to team up with a new cast of characters with powers completely different to any powers seen previously, to fight an evil group with the same new powers and restore the powers of one of the main characters.

Oh yeah, I went there.

The purpose of today’s article is to show not only how the current Bleach arc is plagiarizing YuYu Hakusho, but also how it rips off other manga. Warning, if you have not read the Chapter Black arc, you will be spoiled. I hope you enjoy this comparison.

YuYu Hakusho:

A brief time skip occurs following the Dark Tournament arc, Yusuke and gang go back to their regular school life. Kuwabara, one of the main characters, as a result of fighting Toguro last arc has lost his spiritual powers (i.e. the ability to see ghosts and use his spiritual energy to fight). However, Yusuke is kidnapped by a group of three teenagers with unusual powers. Yusuke’s friends and Hiei all gather together to find the group’s hidden mansion and rescue Yusuke. After defeating the kidnappers, then revealed as Psychics, and rescuing Yusuke it is then revealed by a newly revived Genkai that the whole kidnapping was all an elaborate training regime to prepare the group for the real threat.

Sakyo’s plan from the last arc has not stopped; someone else is planning on opening a whole to hell in a nearby city, the effects of which are causing some citizens to obtain strange psychic powers. With the help of some evil Psychics (made evil by the eponymous tape Chapter Black), this unknown person is trying to destroy the world. Yusuke and gang team up with these Psychics to stop this evil team of Psychics led by a former spirit detective like Yusuke. Kuwabara’s lost powers are unknowingly restored by one of these Psychics along the way.


For sake of being fair, the Fullbringer arc is still ongoing so not all details on the plot are available yet. Given Bleach’s glacial pace though, they may not be available for awhile.

A lengthy time skip occurs following the defeat and capture of Aizen. Ichigo and his crew all return to their normal school lives. Ichigo, as a result of his fight with Aizen, has lost his spiritual powers (the ability to see ghosts, fight with spiritual energy, etc etc). Worse yet, the gang have no way to contact Soul Society for help, so Ishida Uryu is left to fight hollows in Ichigo’s place. Assuming you’ve read past volume 5 of Bleach, you should be wondering why anyone agreed to allow the Quincy to do that for the last few years.

However Uryu is badly damaged by a stranger with strange powers that no one has seen before. Ichigo, after a fashion, is enlisted by a group of people who have the same sort of powers (including Chad of all people), called Fullbring. They want to stop Tsukishima, a former member of their group X-Cution, and train restore Ichigo’s powers in their secret apartment so the Fullbringers can no longer have their abilities. X-Cution is also apparently led by a former substitute Shinigami, like Ichigo.


The two stories, aside from minor details, are nearly identical. It’s uncomfortably similar. But trust me, we're only getting started with the comparisons.

YuYu Hakusho:
From left to right we have Yusuke’s new Psychic allies: Kaito, a student at Kurama’s school
that is nearly on par with Kurama’s intelligence, Kido, the unofficial leader of the group, Mitsunari, the man with the Polnareff/Guile haircut, and eventually Morota, who joined after Yusuke made the convincing argument of PUNCH HIM IN THE FACE.

Admittedly, aside from Kaito, most of the new Psychics aren’t particularly developed beyond their initial introduction (that is, after the “kidnapping”). However you get the impression that they’re all good natured people that just want to help their city and are willing to put their lives on the line to do it. Except Morota, whose list of accomplishments is getting shot in the head, getting horribly sick, and getting eaten. Their personalities are distinct though. Kaito is level headed and intelligent, Kido can be cocky but a nice guy, and Morota is arrogant and cowardly. The only one that is hard to get a grasp of is Mitsunari who is a stoic and doesn’t really contribute much to the story. Still 3 out of 4 isn’t bad.

As for their designs, they are alright for the most part. Each one is very distinct so you won’t get any of these characters confused with another. As for Mitsunari’s hair, I wouldn’t say it would more likely be a rip off of either JoJo’s Polnareff or Street Fighter’s Guile (the latter was inspired by the former). I’d be more inclined to call it an homage knowing the author’s passionate love of video games. Besides, it’s only one character that makes this reference. If I’m not mistaken, I believe a few other Street Fighter characters have made cameos in YYH previously, so Mitsunari’s hair isn’t so problematic in regards to plagiarism as it is problematic to the environment. Seriously, how many cans of hairspray does that man have to use every day just to keep that look? I think the cast needs to worry more about the hole in the ozone layer opening more quickly than they do about the hole to hell.


Count off the plagiarism squad!
From left to right we have Not-Aizen#1, Perona from One Piece, Bradley from Full Metal Alchemist, black Pakunoda from Hunter X Hunter, and Hitsugaya variant#9001.

I wish I was kidding.

As for their personalities, they’re Bleach characters. Aside from their powers it’s honestly hard to distinguish them apart. Giriko (Bradley) and Jackie’s (black Pakunoda) personalities are non-existant. I get Giriko is supposed to be a butler so maybe you could make the argument that he is supposed to be the stoic one (though Jackie seems to be stoic as well), but even when their
own apartment (aka the secret hideout) is blown up the only thing that troubles him is that he has to call the police and such. C’mon, emote for Christ sakes. Give me at least the impression that you are anything but a bunch of lines scribbled together.

Jackie though is exactly the same. Kids, let me tell you about what not to do when writing a character. Define a character by events, fights, or powers. In a good character, I can name their personality without ever mentioning what they have or haven’t accomplished. I can tell you what they are like, how they would react to situations, etc without ever actually describing their appearance, powers, or accomplishments. Even if they haven’t been around that long, in a good character I at least have the impression I can get into their heads and know what they’d likely think. If you’ve read Bleach, stop reading this article for a minute and answer this question:
Without mentioning their appearances (that includes gender), powers, and fights they’ve been in, name ONE difference between these two characters. Short answer is that you can’t.

Riruka (Perona) is…just terrible. She’s horrifically annoying, every other line of Riruka is of her shouting at something. Though I’ll be fair and say that I’ve read far more annoying characters in other series. I think what gets me though is her large amount of panel time. It gives off the impression that Tite Kubo is desperately trying to push this character down our throats. That, and she has one of the dumbest powers in this entire series (more on that later). Also I can't help but think she's basically Hiyori with longer pigtails.

Yukio (Hitsugaya Variant) is a character I’ll admit I initially liked if only because he openly dislikes Riruka. That’s always a good sign isn’t it? I immediately latch onto a character just because they have one thing in common with me, hating Riruka. Other than that there really isn’t much to his character, he’s lazy, rich, he is constantly playing a PSP, and doesn’t like Riruka. Not much else to say about him.

Finally there’s Ginjou (Not-Aizen#1). He’s another hard character to get a mental grasp on, but for different reasons than 99% of the other characters in this series. Nothing about him is really consistent. He runs a secret hideout with absurdly difficult phone instructions, yet he can’t figure out that anyone with Reiatsu tracing powers can easily find his apartment. He wants to recruit Ichigo into his ranks, but despite having met him more than once he barges into someone else’s apartment to eat ramen so Ichigo will notice him (I still don’t know what the hell happened). He says he’s going to train with Ichigo but then starts randomly talking about whether Ichigo has ever wanted to be in a video game. He says he is someone Ichigo should trust yet he insists that Ichigo doesn’t know anything about Urahara and his own father Isshin. I don’t get it. Is Ginjou supposed to be a hero or a villain? Is he an anti-hero that’s only using Ichigo to his own “benefit” (when you plan to lose your powers for helping someone, I use the term benefit very loosely)? I can’t tell what Ginjou is supposed to be, and this eerily similar panel didn’t help:


This is just atrocious. Bleach is blatantly ripping off multiple character designs and reusing some old designs as well. This is just inexcusable. If it were maybe just limited to one character, MAYBE two, I’d be more inclined to call it an homage, like YYH. Instead we have this random mish mash of characters that likely won’t contribute much to the story beyond maybe one or two fights with their power.

YuYu Hakusho:

In sake of fairness since Bleach hasn’t gotten around to introducing any other characters besides the main villain of this current arc and his lackey, I will only focus on the main villain and lackey of Chapter Black.

The enemy team during the Chapter Black arc was composed of 7 different characters, 5 of them Psychics, each with a codename (Black Angel, Gatekeeper, Gamemaster, Gourmet, Seaman, Sniper, and Doctor). Their goal is to have the world destroyed by powerful demons since they feel humans no longer have the right to live. That was the initial plan anyways before things got really weird. In either case, let’s get started.

Sensui (codename: Black Angel) is the leader of the group and definitely a gigantic threat. He was the former spirit detective prior to Yusuke before retiring due to going absolutely insane. Sensui reemerges years later with his partner and admirer Itsuki (Gatekeeper) to open a hole into hell, and then brainwash a team of psychics that would eventually be created along the way using Chapter Black, a video tape that’s the highlight reel of humanity’s worse accomplishments. Apparently it’s so bad that watching even 5 minutes of it will make any human consider genocide of their entire race by super demons the right thing to do. Ouch.
Chapter Black?

Sensui, despite the many misgivings I have against him by the end of the arc, is a very interesting character. For starters, he is a former spirit detective, which makes for a great villain to have against Yusuke. In addition to having similar powers to Yusuke, Sensui also has multiple personality disorder in order for him to deal with the horrible things he’s seen. While I don’t think that aspect worked well in execution, it was still an interesting idea in concept at least. It certainly makes this villain memorable. His design is alright, it definitely gives off a creepy vibe. I don’t know, maybe it’s the dot between his eyes or his permanent rape-face, but every time you see this guy, you know shit just got real.

Itsuki is one of the few gay characters I can recall in shounen that isn’t made out to be a joke. While other than his homosexuality and love for Sensui there really isn’t a whole lot to Itsuki other than the fact that he is the one that’s opening up the hole to hell. So we shall move on.


Our villain is the bastard lovechild of Aizen and Hiramaru from Bakuman.


Seriously, how does Tite Kubo get away with that? Who’s the editor that approved this?

Anyway this is Tsukishima (Not-Aizen#2). His plan has something to do with Ichigo and his friends but I honestly don’t have a single clue as to what’s going on. Tsukishima wants to fight Ichigo or at least stop him from gaining Fullbring powers for some reason. I have no idea what Tsukishima’s plan is. He also knows Ichigo’s friends and has targeted them and stabs them with his power (more on that later), but nothing he seems to do makes sense. He apparently did not want Ichigo to meet Ginjou and develop his powers, yet now he seems interested in Ichigo developing his powers and is willing to let him go. He just seems to be the obligatory villain and does everything for the sake of being evil. As of this current writing, the Fullbringer arc has been over 25 chapters long. That’s more than enough time to establish a villain and his motivations.

Also I would limit the comparison between Tsukishima and Aizen to only physical appearances if Tsukishima didn't also apparently have illusion abilities like Aizen. UGHHHH.

His lackey is named Shishigawara. His job seems to be failing at his job. He’s so bad that during his failed assassination attempt of Orihime (he can’t hit women) Tsukishima tries to kill him…only for Shishi to apparently forgive him completely later since he picked up groceries. Man the employment benefits must be nice if your boss trying to kill you is easily shrugged off by you later. As of current writing he doesn’t seem to actually have any powers so why Tsukishima sends him off to do anything is anyone’s guess. Maybe his power is to change his hair style between panels?


I’d like to give the benefit of the doubt with Bleach, really I would, but there is no way anyone could read through an issue of Shonen Jump and not see the obvious rip off of Hiramaru. This is a disgrace and a terrible villain with no real or consistent motivations. What a joke.

YuYu Hakusho:

The Psychic powers were created as a result of the change of energy when a gigantic hell hole is being widened, though not everyone in the area receives them. It’s literally ordinary humans with powers that aren’t necessarily spiritual or demonic created from the unusual energy fluctuations. Though even if the hole is sealed the powers that the humans have will still continue to exist. The powers are very JoJo esque in the sense that the powers are very niche but usually have a set of rules of what the user can and can’t do within their psychic territory.

The Psychic powers do make sense in how the power is manifested, as the powers reflect the user’s personality. Though not everyone is developed well enough to make perfect sense, you can still see a common pattern. Kaito doesn’t like violence and is a master at language so his ability is to set up a territory where no violence can occur and if anyone says a taboo word their soul is forfeit. Gamemaster does nothing but play video games so he can set up a territory using his game system to apply video game logic onto his territory. Gourmet is always seen stuffing his face every other panel he’s in so he can engulf anything (or anyone) and receive the abilities of who he’s eaten. Doctor can use a psychic scalpel, chemically adjust his body, and release a virus into demon bugs that turns people into Muscle Man from Regular Show.

Truly a fate worse than death


When a parent is attacked by a hollow, survives, and the wife gives birth, their child will become a Fullbringer, a human with the ability to pull the souls out of objects they have affection towards to use as weapons. At least I think they’re human.

Do I really need to point out how nothing about that explanation makes sense? Even if I’m willing to accept that having your mother being attacked by a hollow makes her children have powers, why would those powers have anything to do with objects? Wouldn’t they be more hollow-like?

Even if you were willing to accept the origin of these powers, the Fullbring powers themselves don’t have any consistency. Okay so you have to particularly like an object to utilize it, like a favorite necklace. Fair enough. How then are they able to fullbring asphalt to super jump or fullbring the air in order to flash step? Do you have to really enjoy the air or ground in order to do it? That’s just broken. Even the objects where it would make sense don’t necessarily have limitations. Riruka can fullbring literally any object she finds cute. That’s so vague it hurts. Not to mention it makes her status as a Perona ripoff much easier to identify (dream of cute things anyone?).

The powers themselves are what I like to call “because I said so powers”, how do they work? Because the author said so. The powers themselves barely have any connection to the objects anyways. Giriko can set timers for indefinite amounts of time on any object that will explode if the vaguely defined condition is not met before the timer goes off using his pocket watch (which totally isn't at all like a taboo word rule from Kaito). Riruka can shrink anyone or anything she finds cute and she permits to accommodate the object she’s sending them into. Oh, and she deactivates the power by sneezing on them. Yukio's powers revolve around his PSP (WHICH TOTALLY ISN'T AT ALL LIKE GAMEMASTER NO SIR). Tsukishima’s power is that he can create a sword that can cut anything out of a bookmark. But even that’s up for debate since he may or may not be able to turn people against others by illusion cutting them. Sure why not? Aizen's illusion powers weren't at aaaaall annoying right?


Bleach’s Fullbring powers, unlike the Psychic powers, don’t make any sort of sense. I also can’t help but feel Bleach is also ripping off JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure since more than a few Fullbrings are named after bands (Invaders Must Die, Time Tells No Lies, etc). I know JoJo is not the only manga that had music-themed naming schemes, but it's still uncomfortably similar.


I can’t say I’ve liked Bleach intentionally for a long time. However even I think Tite Kubo can do much better than plagiarism. This is proof that Kubo ripped off YuYu Hakusho’s Chapter Black arc among many other series all in the course of this current arc.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

This week in Bleach : 451

So, following last week's eyesore of a cliffhanger, we pick up with

An encore of 397's "What the hell did you just say".

After babbling at Ginjo for several panels, Ginjo , with a shit eating grin that he and Tsukishima inherited when Aizen left the plot, says his own version of "Didn't you know, I've had the upper hand since before you were born" and goes to attack Ichigo.

Oh remember how Orihime, suposedly a main character, managed to use her powers for something other then background/offscreen healing two chapters back , for the first time in roughly three years ?

Well no need to worry, because she's instantly put in a magic bullshit cage, her powers, involvement and development completely nullified.

On a sidenote: doesn't anyone else hate how Kubo's been taunting us with Orihime actualy starting to attack, but being cut off before her powers can actualy manifest ? It's like he's teasing us with "Remember this guy whom Orihime used for fighting and used to talk with ? Well I DON'T !"

And no I am not talking about the colour page, that's just desperation and I won't even get into that.

So after that, Ginjo begins slashing at Ichigo, laughing at how he asumed he could make out his location through presence and sound (which would be used in 9 out of 10 other training arcs, mind you) he then starts boasting about how Ichigo was already dead when he came to him, and then about how he's gonna kill Orihime and Chad. But then, surprise surprise, Ichigo, thanks to his one sole motivation (because it's been previously admited, Ichigo has no real goal as a protagonist, he's kinda like the manga version of Davis from Digimon 02) "fwendship", Ichigo manages to sense Ginjo's reiatsu and attack him and , whadya know, it was all a snare by Ginjo to provoke Ichigo to finaly reach his spirit-fullbring ejaculation (seriously, it looks messy) while he's nearby to make sure it doesn't get out of hand.



Remember that Ichigo was completely blind the whole chapter ?

Now how does one explain all these faces Ginjo makes while flaunting his suposed badness ?

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Your plot point has expired # 3

This time around the topic is what comes to mind first for most guys when they think of Bleach; a constant, rubbed-in-your-face presence of jaw dropping, shiny, beautiful, plentiful, larger than life, multicoloured, multisized swords.
Swords. Right.
Swords has been the weapon of choice for the vast majority of the series characters, be they shinigami, arrancar or fullbringer, and as such they and their abilities form the core of the fights of Bleach. Naturally, this meant that Kubo needed to make the blade of the series’ protagonist special, fitting of the beloved shonen trope of the one of a kind wunderkind. And if there’s one thing Final Fantasy VII has taught us, it’s that you simply cannot go wrong with a sword so big that it should do more damage to the hero’s spine than the enemy.
I believe Asakura Yoh is the current record holder -that tentlike thing he’s in is the swords hilt
Thus we arrive at Ichigo and his Megazanpukoto, and to put the cherry on the superpowered protagonist cake, the soul cutters size is reflective of ones Power Level. The fact that this is no ordinary sword/powerlevel is established as early as chapter one by a wide eyed Rukia, and later echoed by an incredulous Renji, who repeat the thoughts of any reader over 16 when they declare Ichigos sword the most ridiculous thing they have ever seen. At this point Kubo probably realized that having Ichigo steamroll his way through the entirety of Soul Society because of his unheard of strength would make for a terribly dull arc.
Solution: Renji proclaims that though Ichigos sword is long, it isn’t used to its full potential; Ichigo just isn’t as good as a man with that big a sword should be. So since Ichigos swordsize was just indicative of his true full potential, strong opponents running around with smaller swords than him isn’t that weird since his abilities hadn’t caught up with his swordzise yet. Problem solved!
….but if that was the case I wouldn’t have a post would I?
Fast forward to after the SS arc. Grand fisher reappears, arrancarized, wielding a sword that makes Ichigos look like a toothpick, menacing as fuck. As he faces down Isshin, he points out that, in perfect agreement with everything in the story so far, he has a damn bigass sword, and as such, Isshin can consider himself royally boned. Isshins retort?
“fair point. But I need to be elevated post haste to a top tier fighter, so sucks to be you”
See, apparently sword size means absolutely jack, since as duh everyone except dumb hollows knows, anyone of Captain strength or higher is constantly suppressing their zanpakutos size since otherwise they’d run around with swords the size of skyscrapers. This makes Renji and Rukia the most easily impressed shinigami in existence, because ignoring that any shinigami with the slightest bit of intelligence would figure out the sword compression deal, it should be most obvious to people either related to or subordinates of Captains… Like sisters or vice captains for instance. So unless they’ve started making skyscrapers less than two metres tall, Rukia and Renji have absolutely no business gaping at Ichigos sword like it’s the most impressive thing ever.
Because when we have a reference point called “skyscraper!” for the captain level, logic dictates that there ought to be a general transition towards that length across the shinigami ranks. In other words: if random pathetic fodder shinigami KO’ed by chad has a 1m sword, Renjis should be the size of a schoolbus. That is of course, unless your sword just changes a few millimetres when ascending from lowly mook to vice captain and then explodes into the Empire state building at the captain rank, which doesn’t sound very plausible to me.
Which makes this guy one of Soul Societys top dogs. Who knew.
As it stands, Kubo could have spared himself quite a few plotholes if Isshin had said that “vice captains and captains” compressed their swords rather than just Captains. For a time this seemed plausible; Renji once brought up restraining his power in the human world, but his was later revealed to be the limiters, an external compressor, not a conscious internal one. Meaning that in SS, strength gauging by sword size is still completely fair game outside of captains.
And while the surprise of Rukia and Renji would still be as nonsensical as ever, sword compression would have helped alleviate one of Bleachs’ most obvious issues: Powerlevels.
Oh don’t worry, I’ll Be getting to that down the line.
Remember Grand Fisher? Remember his absolutely gigantic sword? Remember the fact that he was an arrancar just based off a single hollow? Grimmjows fraccion (I’ll be harping on them a lot) were arrancarized adjuchas, which means that they’re each thousands of Grand Fishers mashed together. Strangely this doesn’t seem to give them anything but standard-sized swords, but maybe Aizen taught them compression…and somehow Fisher didn’t notice…I don’t know, but let’s just roll with it. One thing is sure though, their “true” sword size should be much bigger than Fishers, which in turn was much larger than Ichigos. See where I’m going with this?
These guys get absolutely butchered by vice-captains and seated officer level shinigami. With non-compressed swords, smaller than, or same size as the arrancars. Even though Ichigos swordsize was appearantly unheard of.
And this is where the biggest contradiction with Rukias/Renjis surprise at Ichigos strength reveals itself: They both ought to have bigger swords than him. You could argue that Renji went through a powerup, but Rukia certainly didn’t, and Rangiku neither, and at this point I’m starting to ramble and I’d better end this because my head is starting to spin and this could go on and on…
But why?
Aside from the obvious reason of making Isshin have a badass moment, Kubo perhaps thought he was patching up a plothole that ultimately is unpatchable. But the reason we have an issue at all is likely because, as stated by the man himself, Kubo had not thought up the concept of captains and head captain of SS when he started the series, and as such hadn’t factored in how their strength would compare to Ichigos. And then come the arrancar arc, also thought up on the fly as SS arc was ending, he needed the series now huge cast to be relevant à logic be damned, these guys can take out Menos Grande on steroids now, where before Renji and Rukia shat their pants at them. Bottom
line is that Kubo introduced a concept that he subsequently neglected, which as we will see is a staple of his, but unlike so many other plot points he actually brought it up again, only to create a whole new mess of other issues.
So, the entire concept of swordlenghts as powerlevels, I declare you a bona fide PLOTHOLE!

Friday, 20 May 2011

Your plot point has expired #2

Still thinking about a good logo.

For this first proper post, I’ll be taking a look at something that qualifies as both a blatant contradiction, and shoddy writing: The relationship of Byakuya and Rukia.

Now,as any Bleach fan would know, Byakya was presented as the main antagonist of the SS arc. Sure, Yamamoto was stronger by far, and Aizen stole the show completely in the end, but for the majority of the arc Mister Headress was the guy we all knew would be Ichigos final obstacle because of how hell bent he was on Rukias execution. And then, Byakuya became a protagonist, with a good relationship with his sister, whom he even rescues from certain death. But the problem is that Kubo basically has written two different Byakuyas.

The first Byakuya is the arrogant, haughty main antagonist of the Soul society arc, and was a major bastard through and through. He was hell bent on executing his own sister, personally, with no pity whatsoever, based on the flimsiest most ridiculously unjust of grounds- and if anyone tried to argue this point, he’d make a counterargument with a million pieces of flying shrapnel, former lieutenant or not. Rukia herself says that she’s confident that he of all people won’t hesitate to kill her, and that he’s never even properly looked at her since her inclusion into the family. He could hardly speak a sentence without making a snide remark about humans, and was overall an unsympathetic douche. This comes very well across in this particular scene, a flashback of Rukias:

Rukia has just finished her first day of duty, is understandably psyched, and Byakuya doesn’t even turn to face her, as he asks the sole question: “what seat did you get?”

Rukia tries to point out that making officer on your first day of service is a little optimistic and that she didn’t make it, which fits pretty well with Rukias less than impressive performance against Fishbone D in chapter 1.

This gets her a prompt “I see. You may fuck off now” from Byakuya.

What a total prick.

Of course, we all now what happened: Aizen was the true antagonist, freeing up Byakuya for a villain-come-hero instant turnaround. He was now absolutely 100% guiltless in the whole Almost Killing Rukia ordeal, and it instantly mended their relationship.

Look, he even saves her and everything!

“If anyone gets to execute this girl, it’s me! “

And then after Aizen splits and we enter the SS cooldown phase, we finally get some insight into Byakuyas character and reasoning. The Byakuya Redemtion Train is chugging along merrily. We learn that Byakya did what he did because, as a noble, he felt he absolutely have to obey orders to set an example. Ordnung Muss Sein. But he didn’t WANT to kill Rukia and that’s what counts, right? I mean, if the central chambers declared war on cats as an april fools joke, I’m sure we could all forgive Byakuya going on a feline massacre as long as he feels bad about it.


Byakuyas reason for wanting to execute Rukia so badly boils down to being not because he hates her, not because she’s charged with an extremely gruesome crime with ironclad evidence, not because he’s brainwashed or manipulated, but because “I was told to”. Now, I’m not saying that soldiers shouldn’t obey orders, but theres’ a difference between following sensible (Fall back! Thats’ an order!) and moronic (swap your grenades for rotten fish! That’s an order!) orders. And blindly following “Execute your own sister because of this absolutely insignificant felony she has committed, and please ignore the extremely unorthodox and suspicious progression of this trial, that’s an order!” falls firmly into the latter category.

But the redemption train keeps going, and eventually arrives at Supporting Character Central. Here we find the new and improved “mellowed out” Byakuya, the kind of guy who looks the other way as people invade Hueco Mondo unauthorized, who thinks the traditional captain garb is meaningless, gets pissed and serious if people lay a hand on his dear little sister, and likes to chill at the local starbucks. In the name of character development and “seeing the light” in the time post soul society this is acceptable, even if Rukias –and everyone elses- immediate acceptance of Byakuyas sororicidal behaviour is a bit jarring. However, things get iffy when New Byakuya starts invading the past and overwriting Asshole Byakuyas existence entirely.

The reason I’m saying this is because of this scene:

When Grimmjow and his posse attack karakura, we see Rukia One-shotting an arrancarized adjuchas. Should the reader remember that Rukia is not even a seated officer, that her jaw dropped upon seeing just a gillian, and that she couldn’t even sever the arm of a regular hollow, this should cause some raised eyebrows on the readers.But not to worry, Rukias soul mod explains It all: Rukia COULD easily have been a seated officer, but her big brother secretly prevented her from getting promoted, because of the danger a position like that would entail. Apart from this not addressing the two latter oddities in the slightest, just think about that explanation for a second.

Byakuya, the guy couldn’t even question orders when tasked with executing his own sister, screwed with the rules. In order to prevent a promotion. Because he wanted to protect that very same sister from harm. Whaaaaaat.

Apart from this clashing rather horribly with Byakyas entire SS characterization, allow me to remind you of the Asshole Byakuya example so cleverly placed earlier in this post. Indeed, it seems Byakuya chided Rukia for not making officer, when he in fact at the same time was keeping her from making officer.

You might say that he was just putting up a front to hide his secret, but this hardly flies.

Because why did he even bring up the damn topic then?

And how big a secret can it be if freaking MOD SOULS knows what a big softie Byakuya really is?

Byakuya and Rukias rank advancement, I hereby deem you a certified PLOTHOLE.

But why did this have to happen?

The reason for this glaring contradiction is simple: Kubo could get two birds with one stone with this little retcon. Firstly, after having her be unimpressive/powerless/damsel in distress for the first 200 chapters, Kubo realized that Rukia needed a major credibility boost to be relevant against the new standard of enemy powerlevels. Solution: he makes her an unofficial officer courtesy of her brother, who gains several redemption points in the process.

I guess we should consider ourselves lucky that Kubo hasn’t done a flashback chronicling Mayuris admirable Test Subject treatment policy…yet.