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...