Monday, 8 September 2014

AfB: Black People Are Wacky! Laugh!


(Titles for this article I also considered were “Black and White,” “Soul Brothas,” and “Fuck Da Gotei”)

Somehow I think this guy ain't gonna be inspiring many cosplay renditions.



I don't know if you've been reading the latest chapters. They have been, for the most part, the same old clusterfuck of meaninglessness (will any of this goddamn fights actually matter down the road?). But since Mayuri's around, they've managed to scintillate a not imperceptible mote of enjoyment value. Plus, zombies.

Why the dead people gotta be black!?
Hitsugaya Toushirou has discovered that now that he's properly dead like us cynical snarkfiends have been urging him, he's far more effective than before! Although it would've been quite kind of him to tack on yet another level of dead atop "soul being" and "zombie"--maybe Rukia could help freeze his molecules in place!

Well, I'm sure he won't have to suffer anyone immobilizing him

Attack From Beyond!
Wait... Is that a spot of trouble??
Don't panic, Hitsu! I'll come back with the popcorn as soon as I can!!

god just walk it off
Ahhh, I'm sure it's nothing. I bet zombies get fantastic insurance rates.

Yes yes, that was all very amusing. But soon, the familiar specter of perpetual disappointment was to yet again rear its ugly head. The Sternritter named Pepe just had to bust in and shoot his love gunk all over our good times.

“I remember the first time I saw our esteemed Lord, as a wee baby. My first reaction was 'it ain't mine.'”
Pepe looks like the kind of caricature you'd find on a Third Reich anti-smoking poster (FREEDOM IS SMELLY!! NEIN!!), the picture of a degenerate libertine who reeks of cannabis but takes a Tic-Tac or two when he's after your white women. But worse than that, he acts like he stepped out of a Tijuana Bible. He is one-dimensionally about LOVE. He shoots LOVE BEAMS at you to make you fall for his baboon while guffawing stupidly. And he probably dances to disco and funk at the same time.

At least it's a heart to the cheek, and not a star through the solar plexus.
I mean, yeah, As Nodt couldn't talk about anything besides FEAARRR, and that was dumb, but LOVE is a whole other level of cringe.

And of course, he uses this INSANELY HAX POWER to kill his own comrades.

Damn girl you must have been schlicking like CRAZY
The Vandenreich, the army that needs to keep killing each other for the Gotei to stand a fighting chance. And the only black ones amongst their number are a) fucking Pepe and b) Nanana Najahkoop.

In case you needed a reminder, this is what Nanana Najahkoop looks like.

He should consult ol' Ass Nuts for some intimidation tips.
Not exactly the most threatening of threats when you're offscreened what, 3 times? 4?

"If only other people ever mattered. Sighh."
But what's this, you say? He looks a lot like Tousen's visor/bug-form eyes!? So glad you noticed!

Love that grin though
And it also kinda looks like Don Kan'onji!?

In fact are we sure he's not Nanana?
Aaaaand the sword guy.

"Ouetsu Nimaiya." Like even fans will remember that shit
Someone call the Environmental Protection Agency's awards bureau, somebody's been recycling.

This seems to be one of Kubo's character design obsessions. The funky, wacky, weirdo black guy. Most of them have some hint of dignity to them though. Not so Pepe!

"Love is like a battlefield. By which I mean to say, I destroy your anus with my obsidian missile until it's a red afterimage baked into the dust."
Yes. Waste time talking. I swear to Christ each Sternritter's first priority is going around to each shinigami and introducing themselves; why don't they print some fucking business cards to boot? And Pepe ain't the best face of the Vandenreich either. I hope he doesn't upload images of himself to his OK Cupid account.

"Match rating... 100%!?"
Things HARDLY improve when Pepe takes some Red Bull!

Well, ever since I opened my JUMP to a random page and saw that many-teated Nen beast from HxH, I've been desensitized.
"You know what they say! Every time a soul gets pulverized, an angel gets its wings!"

"Mommy I don't like heaven anymore. I'm going to give myself over to sin now Mommy"

By the way, it amuses me how even beards get super forms.

Pepe's papa. Don't ask.
And why wouldn't his beard bend out of his mouth's way, with how he waxes philosophical about his thing (Love, that is) like every Sternritter must (brace yourselves for a long-winded speech from Bazz B about how everything in the world revolves around setting your fingers on fire). It's gotten ridiculously annoying. Everybody in this series loves reducing the complexity of the world to their shallow one-size-fits-all surface readings. If I were in BLEACH and my ability happened to be, I dunno, siccing otters on people, I'd be obligated to spend the ten pages preceding the fight explaining why Israel-Palestine is actually about otters, all while wearing the most smug, superior expression in history. Fuck you otter-me.
 
Speaking of reducing, have you noticed that every other black person in this series is either 1) a flamboyant entertainer-type or 2) a repellent monster-clown? There ARE some cool black characters, but you can't deny it's a noticeable trend. And there's one character in particular who swims to mind when talking about Pepe. Ugh, I can't QUITE picture him but he's so similar to Pepe! Well, I'm sure it'll come to me.

Actually, why don't we take this opportunity to gauge the stereotypicalness of some of the series's black characters?

As it so happens, I have designed the perfect metric for just such a thing. It is the Blacula Scale of Respectability.

Level 5: Blacula

Description: This character should by all rights be a joke, but is actually fucking awesome.

Level 4: Sammy L.


 Description: Sammy L. is a damn entertaining actor, but he's always been a bit of a cartoon.

Level 3: Zippity Doo Dah

Description: A sort of positive portrayal, but still somewhat smacks of condescension.

Level 2: Mr. Popo

Description: We're entering "Some of My Best Friends Are" Land now.

Level 1: Minstrel Show

Description: Why don't you just go secede from the Union while you're at it?

That's right—I'm gonna give you the expert analysis of racial undertones that only I, the whitest dork on the planet, can provide. My writers workshops tremor with anticipation.


Now, lest I find myself hurtling down a slippery slope crafting ten-generation bloodline charts and rounding the mestizos up into the truck with a whip while weeping, I'll keep it intolerably simple and define “black” as “characters with a skin tone. Any skin tone.”


Also, disclaimer: I'm fully aware the indignation I feel towards black people being reduced to vaguely condescending jokes, contrasts with (faux-)racist jokes to come, and that probably amounts to having my cake and eating it, too. What can I say, I'm a bad person! <----- LOL!!

Yoruichi

"Here, I got you some WHITEHEAD REMOVER!"
Halle Berry eat your heart out, the real black cat woman's come to town.

Why she gotta be a black cat!?
Yeah, remember how she used to be a cat? God that was random. I don't think that's ever been explained, either. But you know who can't vote? CATS. (redditumblr.com/felinesuffrage)


Kidding aside, she's probably the coolest character of the bunch. Kung fu sexy kick wooo! She even had a huge impact on two of our captains, igniting thoughts of the bees and bees in Soi Fong and teaching Byakuya that occasionally moving at the speed that's opposite to his usual “a foot in the grave” languor can prove a fun change of pace.


There need to be more black chick characters as kickass as her! She isn't quite Blacula level but she's enjoyable and she makes my peeny sproing out of its denim cell with a grand electric discharge.


4.5!


Halibel

"3!? Where's the third one!?"
Halibel is hard to appraise, not least because she's been unfairly pinned with so many of Halle Berry's Razzies for Catwoman. The lack of any discernible character or personality also makes analyzing her a bit tricky. Then again, I admit Hollows are supposed to lack “hearts.” Whatever that means. Halibel's the only one who acts like she's lacking a heart, every other damn Hollow loses control over their emotions all the time. Wait... Hollows... hearts... control... Hollow controlling hearts?? Who's the guy who's like Pepe again!? ARGH

There are three things we can puzzle over in our quest to understand Halibel and her scope in the great question of black people in BLEACH, or “bleack people.” (Well, five things, but let's put those two.)

Number one: She's got a wicked shark design that she loses when she releases. Weak. It'd have been way cooler if she'd taken on even more shark aspects, as opposed to, you know, conveniently transforming into a Sports Illustrated cover. Well, that's more of a gender comment I guess, but still, even Neliel's release is like a goat-centaur thing.

Number two: She got backstabbed by Aizen for no reason other than LOOK I'M SO EVIL! Talk about a character without agency, jeez. Bet those jumblies cushioned the fall though. So she could live another day!! Maybe now she could forge her own way in life!?

Number three: She is now shackled to the Vandenreich's devious designs.

Wouldn't she logically be in her unreleased form?
Sorry, Halibel, that's a pretty low score you've racked (ahem) yourself there. I'd give her a 2.7
Yes! The perfect ability for a ghost boobs wet T-shirt contest!

Hachi


Hachi is a bit, well, kinda, well, how to put this... servile. If you catch my drift. Now that isn't to say he could land a part in Amistad, as he seems pretty well-fed all things considered. In fact, I can only surmise the pink in his moustache is from donuts, much like the hue of a flamingo deepens with each shrimp. He also mentored Orihime, his fellow in servility (dedicated, let's say dedicated) and dispensed some choice wisdom that then fell right through Orihime's new sartorial aperture.


Must... complain... yet... must not complain... circuits... frying!!

Do you think ratings grabs can be stuffed in the boob compartment?


Why that hand gotta be black

Also mitigating Hachi's omg stop sharecropping factor? The fact that he's pulled off one of the legitimately badass moves in the series. He killed an unstoppable corroder of flesh, death incarnate, by teleporting its own digits of decay whence they came. He didn't, for instance, pepper his body with super energy crotch beams and scream “FUNK IS POUND HOLES! FU_K ATTACK!! ” only to succumb to Barragan's aging ability giving him AIDS and Flava Flav teeth. That could have been the course Kubo took, and I think we're all glad he was at the “god this is boring and not much of anything” phase of Fake Karakura when Hachi came to the fore.


"Why are you all standing... on the same plane?? Gehhh"
For all this I give him a Sammy J with just a smidgen of Uncle Remus. Perhaps we could call him a suitable backup/understudy for Morgan Freeman. 3.8 stars!

Charlotte Cuulhorne

I'm afraid this caption has only made the "staring at his nethers" problem even worse.
I have a complicated relationship with Charlotte. In addition to blowing him twelve times in the shower only to be met with a haymaker to the sternum upon each climax (hello! Mixed signals!?), I also have a rich inner life thinking about him. Is he an incredibly offensive caricature propped up for ridicule? Or is he simply a man-eating abomination who's brave enough to follow his own way? It's a turbulent topic, one that no amount of blowjobs can solve!

It probably all boils down to Kubo's notion of Spanish-speaking people as “passionate and flashy,” as opposed to the relatively unemotional restraint of Japanese culture (direct displays of emotion during interpersonal relations are considered childish and Japanese guys are for the most part not affectionate with their SOs). Brown skin, therefore fab. The problem, as you well know, is that that's like thinking Japanese people are all crazy and weird just from watching NHK game shows or the like.

And, veering from race, I want to add that when a “gay” person shows up in Japanese media, it's almost always played for laughs as camp. They are treated like walking punchlines. There's some cross-bleed for “wacky” here from both the 'black” and the “gay” aspects to his design/writing.

I'm gonna slap Charlotte with a 2. Not really a worthwhile character in my opinion.

What, he's a zombie now? Of all the hunks of meat to store in your locker, Mayuri!

Tousen

He was a black, blind Japanese guy. Good luck finding a subreddit for THAT shit.
Tousen is Geordi if he were a badass. There's something to be said for that. However, there's also something to be said about Kubo yet again diving into the entertainment industry for black characters and fishing out Mrs. Wonder and Charles.


I'm of a split mind here.


No, not that kind of mind splitting! *Wah-woooh

On the one hand, he's got a lot of things going for him. Effective explanatory backstory, a philosophy of justice, a cool sword power. He even earned himself a renewed mystique when we couldn't understand why he would betray Komamura and join Aizen.


On the other hand, Tousen just ended up being a huge letdown. What WAS that shit with him in Fake Karakura? Just unsightly.


I give him a 3... point 3.

Chad

I can see why Chad hasn't done anything in a century. Byakuya definitely needed his four hundred billionth fight.
Sigh... Why can't we go back to the days when Chad was around and BLEACH wasn't a festering shithole? Sorry, did I lose any veneer of humor? Chad makes me bitter as hell. He used to be a cool dude punching Hollows, now he's the guy who gives Ichigo a pep talk now and again. You know you're wasted potential when fucking Omaeda gets more action than you. Pssst, Kubo, I don't think Omaeda is that popular!! Fuck this, 5 for Chad back then, 0 for him now.


Every Omaeda fight could have gone to Chad. Just saying.
 Looking at that face, it made me realize that if Kubo had made Omaeda black, I'd probably be pitching a fit.

Hey, I give Kubo tons of shit, but I have to give him this: At least he HAS black people in his fantasy series. A fair number of them, too. He may have some weird hang-ups regarding their design (when will Don Kan'onji #3 show up?), but they're harmless for the most part. All except for Pepe, he's just the worst.

That reminds me, I just can't remember the guy who reminded me so much of Pepe. He's on the tip of my tongue, and trust me, that's the last place I want him to be.

I swear I just saw him too, right after “accidentally” refreshing this blog for the 500th time today (Google... call me). I should scroll up.
































































HOLY GODDAMN JESUS IT'S 
ZOMMARI

Move!

And now for...

TRIALS OF THE BLACK WITCH DOCTOR HALF-HOLLOW GUY
The world's against you, man!

"They took one look at me and turned me away for food stamps. Even after I insisted I could use my head spikes as an office hole-puncher for a day, or use them for picking up trash on the side of the highway, they still said I was, quote, “more pumpkin than human” and therefore ineligible. Racists."

"C'mon officer! You know full well that no amount of narcotics would make me sprout EXTRA EYES to get dilated! Oh, those? Those are just soul pills."

"They say I'm just like Cinderella with her pumpkin carriage. Absurd. If you must know, each one of these eyes is a place I got shot by cops on the streets, after attempting merely to extract the necessary spiritual fluids from the elementary school piano recital for my amor potions. Do you think it's easy looking like this in prison!?"

"Do you know why I call my speed clones 'sonido'? Because bitches so-needy. Ba-dum tish! Now how many holes you need plugged baby?"

"They got me for 'murder.' It was a set up! I only eat people who are already dead! I can't help it if sucking the soul out kills the body!"
"Goddammit, all I did was walk the dog! Already a double tasering! Maybe Mom was right and I should lose the necklace."
Well there goes all the usable Google Images results. I had fun. I hope you did too!





































































Get a new job, guys.





 

7 comments:

  1. Oh god yes, I missed reading these, glad this blog got updated again.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm starting to suspect that Kubo has turned full-on troll and is just trying to find out how long he can draw out this final arc before Jump straight up cancels it.

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  3. Here's a question: why was yoruichi thrusting her arm between orihime's breasts?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because extremely poorly thought out fanservice.

      Kubo is obvisouly no Hiro Mashima. : P

      (And before you ask, I think Fairy Tail is really sorta terrible too : P)

      Delete
    2. Haven't read FT. But isn't all fanservice poorly thought out? It detracts from the story and adds nothing.

      Also, bleach itself is poorly thought out. We're nearing 150 chapters since the start of the final arc and we still don't know what buckybeard's ultimate goal is. What the fuck is kubo waiting for? Or is it that he himself doesn't have the answer?
      (Holds head)
      I really hope kubo doesn't stretch this out for another five years.

      Delete
    3. Poorly thought out as in showing an upskit shot of a female character as they are brutally beaten.

      And also a lot of loli fanservice bait too. >_>

      And the reason is, Kubo does not know. He's just been improvising to make it seem "mysterious" except that when he doesn't even know, all the vague as hell non-hints he had Bach spout thus far just feel pointless because he's not building up to anything, he's just randomly throwing around vague statements in the hope of that making his bad guy look cool to the kids.

      Delete
    4. Platitudes and blank pages are what kubo is best at.
      Regarding fanservice, I get the feeling that both kubo and kishimoto want to do an ecchi manga, given the amount of female characters with staggeringly large breasts.

      Delete