Revisiting the ‘Lust Arc = Ichihime FAIL!’ Essay
Or A treatise on how karma’s a bitch
or I’m dismantling a years old essay because it was used to hurt and belittle Ichihime fans for years and it’s for my own damn healing
or holy shit Eski’s being a petty angry bitch
So. I think we ALL know the ancient essay. That massive piece of work written directly after The Lust chapters, which in hindsight is one of the BIGGEST fucking indicators of Ichihime in the work (seriously Ichigo came back from the dead for her and HEARD HER BEFORE SHE SAID ANYTHING), and has been jossed to hell and back by the canon itself. but you know what? I think it’s time to DELVE into it. Laugh at the hubris, and give it such a sound thrashing that we can all move on, because it was used as a weapon to tell us Ichihime shippers that we were stupid for being excited over this, and that we were going to be so SORRY for not kowtowing to the party line.
With this in mind, let’s go, shall we?
Feel free to read alongside me here.
Warnings for Anti-Ichiruki, Anti-Ulquihime, and the like. The author left the fandom years ago, so it’s not like they’d really care about me tearing apart a years old essay, lol. Brackets are the Essay itself.
[This essay is devoted to deconstructing the Ichihime frenzy that has appeared regarding The Lust arc. ]
Man, I fucking love it when the first thing you read is “I AM A BIASED SHITHEEL THAT WANTS PEOPLE TO STOP HAVING FUN”.
[When Kubo started his seven deadly sins arc, I remember commenting that if he really went through with them, any chapter called “the Lust” was going to cause convulsions in the shipper fandom. In the end, while I was right, “The Lust” mini-arc was six chapters, concluding with “The Ash” for seven.
There was a minority that insisted this was the moment for the Ichigo x Orihime ship: Orihime asking and Ichigo delivering, Ichigo sacrificing his humanity (on a silver platter) to his beloved, a glittering moment where The Ship Of Bleach was crowned in a powerful and upstaging parallel to the Byakuya fight that capped off the end of the Soul Society arc.
I can’t agree. ]
Gee, I wonder why. I wonder why you’d write this -
[Now, I did not write this to soothe the anxiety from my own ship. I did not write this because I have sour grapes that this didn’t happen to my ship. I did not write this because I am a vicious, evil human being who likes munching on the delicious feelings of Ichihime shippers for breakfast.]
like, if your first fucking thing is I DIDN’T WRITE THIS TO SOOTHE MY ANXIETY OVER MY SHIP then yes you did. You totally did, and you also did it because you HAD SOUR GRAPES, as the myriad of fanart about Rukia and VastoLorde Ichigo attest. And as for the last point?
[(Well, that last one is a little true.)]
good for you! You’re one of the people who helped make bleach fandom the toxic hellhole it’d been for fucking years. GOOD JOB KARENAI!
[I mainly wrote this because I disagree. If this arc is the crowning moment of anything, it’s the time Kubo Tite decided to show why Ichigo and Orihime won’t ever be a couple. ]
(Thanks, Ichihime at tumblr!)
[Disclaimers: I’m an Ichigo x Rukia shipper, yet I don’t ship Ulquiorra x Orihime. Funny, that.
Warnings: I am extremely long-winded. Accordingly, VERY heavy image usage behind the cut.]
So much so she actually uses the images to do her arguing for her. I DON’T DO THIS, except for a joke - because I assume if you’re reading this, you’ve already read Bleach and I really shouldn’t have to drag panels up to remind you of shit.
[The first hint that Kubo gives that this may not be the arc of Ichihime love is when he introduces it in the first place, by calling it “THE LUST”. It opens with Ichigo fighting Ulquiorra, and the former’s mask being blown to pieces. Down below, the rush of power is strong enough that it throws Orihime to her knees, though they don’t know what’s happening: “What on earth is going on up there?” (c347) Orihime then asks Ishida to take her up to the top of the dome.
While Kubo is sometimes lax with drawing the injuries on Orihime’s face, note that as soon as she makes this fateful request: “Would you be able to carry me to the top of the dome?”, the bruise is visible for the first time in the chapter. As the rest of the arc progresses, Orihime steadily becomes more and more bruised and beaten, a reflection of Orihime’s mind and heart.]
Now, beyond the condensending THIS ISN’T ICHIHIME bullshit, she has a good point here - orihime’s physical state began to match her mental one in hueco mundo, coming to a head during the lust chapters. I do believe Kubo did that on purpose, although when it comes to kubo’s drawing skills, he’s amazing at body language and expressions. That was one of the things that made me so happy about the final chapter re: ichigo, because he finally didn’t have that underlying tension in his body language he’d always had as a teenager.
But I digress.
[/orihime calls for help
This is the biggest mistake Orihime has made in the entire series. In fact, this is the biggest mistake of her life. Many years from now, after the war is over and they’ve danced in Aizen’s blood and are living normal lives, she will look back on this moment and regret, with all her heart, that she did this.]
Wow. Hyperbole much? What I find funny is that Orihime did regret it - but instead of becoming a sorry horrible sad sack and getting over Ichigo like they all wanted her to, it instead drew up her resolve, making her determined to never let Ichigo be hurt like that again and fight at his side.
Which, you know, she did.
The essay goes on thrashing Orihime for daring to fail during a horrible experience, DESPITE it being obvious EVEN BACK THEN that this was the low point for her - that there was nowhere else to go, and it was the point that later would make her determined to get stronger and protect Ichigo, which she did against Juha until he pulled out the bullshit hax.
[Kubo did not intend her calling his name like this to be read as a sane thing, either. Take a look at this panel in the original Japanese:
The name “Kurosaki-kun” is usually written in kanji (characters), like this: 黒崎くん
However, Kubo decided to write it in hiragana, which made it look like this: くろさきくんくろさきくんくろさきくんくろさきくんくろさきくんくろさきくん
It’s not a name anymore. It is syllables coming out of her mouth that sound like “Kurosaki-kun”, evidence of her loss of elocution and mental stability.]
And this isn’t seen as her having a breakdown? That she’s overwhelmed and has no idea what to do? They go on to call this an ‘emotional failure’ and give a list of 'excuses’, but very few people would be able to remain calm in the face of something like this. It’s fucking called panic, you huge asshole - and while panic rarely shows up in shonen, Orihime was clearly under the throws of it - so much so she couldn’t even make a complete shield, which relies on her emotions and determination.
Like holy shit, god forbid a teenage girl panic when ALL HER FRIENDS ARE DYING.
[That’s right. Her offensive fairy, Tsubaki. He’s healed, he works, but he hasn’t been seen in a hundred chapters because she won’t bring him out. For a person who has stated that her goal was to protect her love of five lifetimes, is there any good reason that she should not have brought out her one weapon in a fight where his life is on the line?]
HOLY SHIT THE TSUBAKI CRYING
For a while, these people wanted nothing more than to see her fire tsubaki. And while I think it would have been GREAT to see her use him again in canon, Orihime’s role has always been support. She doesn’t possess the killing instinct Ichigo or Rukia have, and that’s okay - her powers were still strong enough, when she was in the right mindset, to reject attacks from Juha until aformentioned bullshit hax. And when she did use him again, as an OFFENSIVE SHIELD against ginjou, these are the same people who yelled that it didn’t count.
[I understand that her powers are a lot like Hachi’s, no? After all, he tells her that like him, she is unsuitable for fighting. That must mean they have really, really good reasons for not fighting.
/picture of hachi taking out menos
In other words, she’s not a pacifist, and she has other options that she does not exercise in this scene.]
Wait, what? How do you link Hachi to Orihime? Just because HE fights (and it would be odd for him not to - he was a leader of the Kidou Corps with Tessai, UNLIKE ORIHIME, who was a normal human girl) doesn’t mean orihime should. There’s a difference between fighting to protect and fighting to kill, which is clear in how Kenpachi fights versus how Ichigo fights, and their approaches to them.
[ Even beyond that glaring one, there are others. Why doesn’t she try bargaining with Ulquiorra? (As proven at the end of this arc, she’s not afraid of him.)]
She wasn’t afraid of him at the end BECAUSE HE WAS DYING. Before then, he was fucking terrifying - and for GOOD GODDAMN REASON.
[Why doesn’t she throw her body in front of the attacks? Why doesn’t she try her shields again? And if they break, again? Who cares if they break: she has no other moral options.]
-gee, Ichigo’s dead and Ishida just lost an arm
-Ulquiorra stated before that orihime no longer had any use to aizen! He didn’t really care about her physical state beyond that she’s still an interesting person because she and Ichigo keep going on about this bond thing???? The fuck is a heart
Also, you know, Ulquiorra tried to induce stockholm syndrome against her.
But let’s be real - the reason she didn’t try again is that kubo didn’t want to waste panels on her trying over and over to use a shield that keeps shattering. He showed it once - which was enough to clue us into the fact that her mind was in a really bad place - and that it wouldn’t protect against Ulquiorra. It was a device to MOUNT TENSION and make you feel like all three of the nakama up there were well and truly fucked so it was MORE OF A SURPRISE when Ichigo got the fuck back up.
Like. When talking about characters, especially in manga, you have to realize also how the artist is putting things up and the limited amount of pages and panel space they have to work with. This is common fucking sense, and a major reason in the last couple of chapters why IH and RR shouldn’t have been such a fucking shock to anyone with critical reading skills.
[When you love someone, when they need you, that is the time to pull through. She’s capable of it. This is why it’s also not an excuse that “Ichigo is the love of her life and he died, of course she would lose her mind.” ]
Can we also talk about the weird insistance that love is selfless and people in love can never ever fail or they’re wrong for each other? That’s not how love works - no matter WHAT TYPE of love it is - and a romance that never has conflict or tension or anything to overcome is fucking boring.
Which is why I never shipped Ichiruki romantically BUT MOVING ON
[/brings up sora
So when again Orihime was wrapped in emotional despair, looking at someone she loved in pain and suffering, this time, what does she do? She fails both of them by asking for his help. There is every reason to think that Orihime can pull through. “She’s so scared, it’s the man she loves and he’s dead! It’s okay that she panics.” No, Inoue Orihime is capable of better. She has a warm heart, kindness, and the willingness to do what’s right, even in the most emotionally difficult of times. Saying that it’s understandable when she fails to pull through for the man she says she loves - that is a condescending and brutal underestimation of her character.]
Yes, this from the person who fucking HATED Orihime Inoue as a character. Mmmhmmm. I totally believe you were mad just because she didn’t live up to her potential or whatever.
Again, the situations were different - Sora was the only one, and he wasn’t actively trying to fucking kill the people she loved - JUST HER. Because Orihime is like Ichigo - she’s alright if it’s her. If it’s her friends, then it’s different.
[It’s been foreshadowed that should Ichigo ever “fall off his horse”, his hollow will take over. Lo and behold, irreparable hole through his chest and his hollow came out. Now, I can’t prove one way or another that his hollow would have come out for sure, but this early hint does indicate that there is no way it can be definitely assumed she saved Ichigo, either.
In any case, say she did. Say she’s the reason Ichigo became a monster. That wouldn’t make her “HELP ME, KUROSAKI-KUN” morally sound, unless consequences are the sole determinant of morality. For instance, Person X wants to drown a child in a freezing lake. He fails, through no fault of his own, so no harm done. Morally sound? Of course not.
And before anyone shrieks “hater” (more than previously, that is), I am not suggesting that Orihime would drown a child in a freezing lake. The point is, “the ends justify the means” is not a valid argument here.]
oh my god
just read this
soak in the pompous bullshit
Like, Yeah - The hollow came out because Ichigo died, and he foreshadowed that shit. AT THE SAME TIME, the hollow followed a specific pattern BECAUSE He and Ichigo were the same person.
And I know that’s hotly contested in the IH fandom, and I understand if people don’t agree with my take on the hollow. But I went by the obvious Fruedian allusions that Kubo put in the chapters where Ichigo fought his hollow (and wrote a mini essay about, which you can read here (and I can’t believe I wrote that six fucking years ago holy shit what the fuck), so the basic assumption I work on is that the hollow is a walking talking embodiment of Ichigo’s unconscious. (And since 'zangetsu’ was revealed to be not Ichigo at all, but a shard of Juha, his motivations should be considered seperate from Ichigo and his hollow). And honestly, the actions taken in the rest of the series make sense with that in mind (prioritization of self, selfishness), but I’ll talk about that a bit more later on.
Skipping over a lot of bullshit about how other characters never asked to be saved and orihime is so bad for it, we come to the most HILARIOUS misunderstanding of the Japanese language I’ve seen in some time.
[As for her asking for help for Ishida, to all the people who like to translate this scene as “Help us, Kurosaki-kun!”, you are incorrect. There is no pronoun in the original Japanese. If anything, the most accurate literal translation is simply, “Help”. Given context, that’s why the translators assumed a pronoun…Just as they assumed one here. I am told by multiple sources that Japanese usually has a pronoun that is dropped after its initial use because it would be redundant. Guess what, everyone who thinks that Ichigo knows exactly who is calling him, this page is without even those pronouns.
Here, because the need exists, is EXACTLY what is written in the Japanese (credit to Cezaria):
tate, ore ga
Ore ga mamoru–
Which is literally:
Calling, I can hear
Stand, I will
I will protect–
There is. no. pronoun. for. “her”. There is no pronoun. Really, if there is, challenge me and my translators and bold the specific romaji or original Japanese and bring it in the comments, because you can see and hear for yourself, there is no “her”. The pronoun that isn’t there isn’t there.]
OKAY. So. I’ve been slowly learning written japanese. It’s slow going, but I have also learned something about how it’s spoken and how the sentence structure works.
This shit? This shit right here is hilariously false and twisting, because japanese doesn’t rely on pronouns the same way english does. English is actually MASSIVELY REDUNDANT in how we address people and make our sentences, mostly because it’s a frankenstein language cobbled together from a bunch of other languages. Japanese is much more straightforward, and your 'translators’ at the time had no idea how japanese as a language functioned - because pronouns aren’t needed here. Why? Because Orihime was talking before in the last chapter. Because she’s the LAST PERSON we see yelling before he makes this resolution. He doesn’t have to put pronouns because it’s implied, and this is how japanese fucking works. Going THERE HAS TO BE A PRONOUN!!! is stupid, because 'taskute’ on it’s own is just 'help’, but it’s assumed to be 'help ME’ because the person yelling it is ASKING FOR HELP. Not to mention, the actual pronoun for 'her’ is kanojo, more commonly used for someone TALKING ABOUT THEIR GIRLFRIEND. tldr not all languages function like english and fuck off
Not to mention, this is the epitome of twisting because you know this is shippy shit.
[The answer to this question is the same answer to, “Why haven’t Ichigo and Orihime gotten a color spread?”]
Okay running gag aside, there’s been a lot of colorspreads with Ichigo and Orihime in them as a pair, along side rukia and renji.
[Every single one of you who insists that Ichigo’s protection for Orihime is so very fierce and wild and special, you are missing the point. This is the backbone of what makes Ichigo Ichigo - it’s in his name, for chrissake. He truly wants to protect people, specifically, a whole mountainful of people. Rare in this series it may be, it is unsurprising that he reacts to a request for protection. The man didn’t need an excuse in the first place. In any case, the lack of pronouns and the lack of proper nouns - and the fact that Ichigo doesn’t remember a thing later - tell me that it is impossible to prove that IchiThing was specifically reacting to the person, Inoue Orihime, she whom he should love.]
I just feel like chinhanding here because lol
like yeah, Ichigo wants to protect, and it’s his main motivation. But trying to fucking say Orihime wasn’t a factor in this is FUCKING ABSURD and actually goes against what’s plainly fucking shown in the manga.
[If you can’t take the time to read her excellent post, know that the form of IchiHime love, the supposed depths to which he will sink in order to protect her, talks 1) without pronouns that identify Orihime and 2) in katakana, a style of Japanese writing that in manga “most often used to signify that the speaker is NOT human or does not resemble anything human”.]
BAHAHAHA HOLY SHIT I’M CRYING
two: Katakana is used in a LOT OF FUCKING WAYS. Hell, Rukia’s NAME is in Katakana! calling Katakana the language of monsters is fucking laughable, considering it’s used to clarify or simply for foreign words. More to the point, Katakana IS ALMOST NEVER USED FOR WHOLE SENTENSES. That’s because it’s a language that’s based on sounds, like the english alphabet, unlike kanji. It’s also used for fucking, idk, SOUND EFFECTS.
[What it really is? It’s standard Hollow talk. A ton and a half of Hollows in this series, particularly the early ones and ones like Aaroniero, speak in Katakana.]
AARONIERO DOESN’T TALK IN KATAKANA. And, again, most of the normal hollows are just. screaming. Which Katakana is used for BECAUSE IT’S SOUND BASED.
So after that misleading bullshit about japanese….
[Instincts vary per Hollow based on his or her original life. Some people become Hollows that really want pink champagne. Some really want to chew their little sister’s friends into pieces. Some really want beef, pork (chicken, mmm).
When you get Ichigo to the core of who he considers himself as and what his primary goals are, he wants to protect. It is the most important thing to him in the whole world and makes up the backbone of his identity.
So when you take away Ichigo’s heart and literally break him down, this is what happens. All that is left is this pile of instincts. This is his version of “beef, pork”. His screaming, the incoherency, the inability to express oneself - all of these are characteristics of when Allon and other Hollows are born. Orihime doesn’t deserve all the blame here. Ichigo himself left Vizard training early; he refuses to accept that his Hollow is a part of himself and is constantly warring with it, leaving him open to a coup; Ichigo has gotten the attitude that he can protect everyone and no one can protect him.]
I’d like to mention MORITA HIMSELF mentioned in an interview he screamed his throat raw while thinking of how Ichigo felt about Orihime. Then again, these are the people who instantly dropped him like a hot potato when he went 'yeah, It’s Ichihime’.
The thing is, she’s not quite wrong about hollows - they are the Id of a person, and they act quite animalistic. This is to be expected - the Id is the subconscious, and it’s not a pretty thing.
[If the only thing he cared about was protecting Orihime, it’s pretty funny that the first thing he does is explode her face-first into the ground. He clearly does not care enough about her to stop from hurting her, which is the exact opposite of protecting.]
Except it gets her and Ishida out of the way so he can wreck Ulquiorra, and it does so without actually hurting her - she doesn’t have any more brusing on her face after this. She also doesn’t mention him going ‘I WILL PROTECT HER’ while in hollow form because that would fucking break her goddamn argument into tiny pieces.
[Now, looking back to the vice-captains in FKT chapters, I didn’t originally know where Kubo was going with Allon. “This is boring and pointless,” I said. Now I know. That character’s whole existence was to give you a reference point for IchiThing. And Allon is, of course, the chimera-like creature made from the spare parts of others, a screaming, howling, bestial creature with a desire to fight and fight violently.
At this point, if you don’t see the resemblance, I can’t help you. They’re only both screaming in katakana, roaring the same awful OOOOAAARGH noise, being drawn in the same poses, scaring the crap out of people around them, and in general, being quite incoherent. Which is not the same as stupid - they are both damn good fighters with a lust for blood.]
Holy shit, no? Correllation is NOT causation - Allon was his own thing, as VH!Ichigo is his own thing. Allon isn’t even a FUCKING HOLLOW, for god’s sake - it was made from the parts of three other arrancar. It’s more like a tool than an actual hollow, and going IT WAS FORESHADOWING FOR THE TERRIBLE AWFUL BEAST is bullshit! BECAUSE AS WE FOUND OUT LATER, ICHIGO’S HOLLOW WAS HIS TRUE POWER ALL ALONG!
[But in any case, this is as clear as Kubo has ever been in a volume poem. Making a mistake is human enough, but killing is evil.]
God, I’m so glad the poem bullshit is done and over with. The thing is, Poems can be interpreted HOWEVER THE FUCK YOU WANT THEM. Not to mention, going KILLING IS BAD is weird when Ichigo’s whole fight with his hollow had a bit about how he had to embrace his killer instinct in order to win. It’s not that killing is bad - it’s that killing for the sake of killing, killing MINDLESSLY or with evil intentions, is bad. It’s a theme common to a lot of Japanese work, tbh.
[He woke up to find that he stabbed his nakama in the chest. However stupid his attempt at reparations may be, he knows that what happened is wrong, and that is why he is panicking. Ichigo likes to think that he’s all about protecting, about fighting to protect, and when he comes out of whatever just happened, he finds that he stabbed his own friend and fought in such a way that his enemy is now dying. However much he wants to deny it - and this is one of his problems - protecting isn’t the only instinct Ichigo has.]
Again, this is where she gets it at least somewhat right. Ichigo, for most of the series, denied his darker self, his id - which, in the essay I wrote, is BAD and leads to a deeper fractioning of the self and a weaker Ego. It’s not a coincidence that Ichigo gained his true power and more confidence and esteem in himself once he’d finally recognized that the hollow was a part of him, which was something I’d predicted for his character for YEARS (and this crowd complained about because they wanted the hollow gone forever lol)
[Why was Ichigo fighting this fight? He never tells Ulquiorra why he has to win, only that he has to win. I am perfectly happy to point out that in the oft-compared Byakuya fight, Ichigo would not shut up with why he was there and why he had to win and what he was going to do once he won. Ichigo never says any of those things here. And no, it’s not because he’s overtaken by his feelings for Orihime, the love that dare not speak its name.]
Actually, that’s pretty much exactly it. Kubo never pointed it out because he originally was going to end the series once the HM arc was all done with - so Ichigo admitting he was there to get his friends back and get orihime back would have wrecked the ending. But honestly, HM has so many fucking IH hints it’s insane.
[Ichigo has problems in this arc. He is overprotective of his friends to the point where he tries to exclude them, in the misguided hope that this will help. He cannot properly resolve his Hollow - he relies on its powers without accepting it, the equivalent of hating and beating your horse and using it anyways. And as much as he is overprotective, there is a part of him that is here to fight, exclusive of the need to protect. Ulquiorra tells him that he won’t kill Orihime… but Ichigo wants to fight anyway. When Ulquiorra agrees, Ichigo is pleased that he’s been accepted.
That is not the right attitude for saving someone who should be your friend, much less the love of your life. He’s careless with Orihime’s feelings here, sending her off with Ishida and starting a fight he says he has to win … but really, does he? He certainly never says why.]
Yes, because Ulquiorra was going to let him take orihime and waltz off. Oh wait, NO HE WASN’T. He just said he wasn’t going to kill her - big fucking difference, when Ichigo’s goal was to take her and everyone who came to rescue her back home with him.
God, this shit is as funny as when they were like ICHIGO GAVE UP THE MISSION FOR RUKIA when he was like 'lol rukia’s not dead I'mma go get her’ 'Btw I took Orihime’ 'moTHERFUCKER I WILL END YOU’
[If Ichigo was in control, he would not do this. He’s horrified that he has once he wakes up. Seriously, this is his nakama. This is Ichigo’s failure crystallized: his shortfalls in controlling his hollow, his instinct to protect turning into a problem: it all results in him stabbing his friend through the gut. And no, Ishida does not deserve it.
So, now, Ichigo’s desire to protect has manifested itself as the demonic motivation of his instincts. Once-good feelings turned into fodder for brutal failure.]
BECAUSE CHARACTERS CAN NEVER HIT THEIR LOWEST POINT OR FAIL! IT’S NOT LIKE THIS WHOLE THING MATCHES IN POINTS OF THE HERO’S JOURNEY OR ANYTHING
(guys remind me to make a post about Ichigo and the hero’s journey, Kubo very obviously followed it with his story and bleach and it’s great)
[The thing about Hueco Mundo is not that it’s about Ichihime. It’s largely about Ichigo and Orihime, but in terms of their separate individual inadequacies, manifested in awful ways. Keep in mind that Ichigo doesn’t even know Orihime has feelings for him. The fact that the large part of Orihime’s actions towards Ichigo, her thoughts, her desperate crying and catching him - all of this happens while he’s unconscious, moments he doesn’t remember - it’s exactly like her feelings for him in the first place.]
(I’m gonna keep fucking doing this)
[On the topic of these feelings, I want to go over why she went up there in the first place. Orihime is not here to protect him. Why do I say that? I can’t possibly mean that, can I? Why else would she be there?
She left because she was convinced, despite very good evidence to the contrary (like the last several times that Ulquiorra owned Ichigo) that Ichigo would win. That he would succeed. She feels a sudden, horrible blast and decides to go back up. She does not say that she wants to help - she simply asks for Ishida to take her up. That alone doesn’t preclude her going to help, right? She said she wanted to help. I was babbling up there about consequences not determining morality; shouldn’t I be judging her on her intent?
Sure I am.
She doesn’t know the answer. That’s because the question isn’t really “why did you help him?” but “why didn’t you help him before?” The answer to this question goes unsaid, but there’s only one reason for Orihime’s lack of intervention.
The answer? She herself did not want to intervene.]
Because - and she TALKS ABOUT THIS - she thought Ichigo would always win. Her faith in him was that intense, that she thought Ichigo would always be alright, because it was Ichigo. She ended up being wrong, but her original belief in him WASN’T A FUCKING BAD THING. And in the end, this caused her to not sit back - to actually do what she resolved and fight by his side, EVEN AGAINST A DUDE WHO ATE, BASICALLY, GOD.
[Orihime made herself a promise that when the time came around, she was not going to be protected by Kurosaki-kun again. She is capable of protection. She turns Sora back to sanity, she protects Tatsuki - they protect and cherish her all her life, and she returns these precious people the favor. To Ichigo, the boy she has declared that she would want to fall in love with five separate lifetimes, this should be the most important person of all that she should want to protect. Who, after all, is more important to protect than the person you love? No one in the world.
And yet, in the end, she wanted him to protect her. She’s horrified and shocked by this, but there you go. This is what Ichihime comes down to, in the end. This is what this arc amounts to, this is what Kubo is driving home, and this is how her feelings will be resolved - not in requited love. In fact, not even in unrequited love.]
[Orihime is not in love with Ichigo.]
Yeah sure okay
Is this why your side kept getting angrier and angrier the more Orihime refused to get over Ichigo and jump on Ishida / ulquiorra’s dick?
[When someone is truly the person you love, the love of your life, the person you think is the half of your soul, your most important person, there had better be nothing you won’t sacrifice of yourself for that person’s sake. Your powers, your strength, your life - for what purpose are they if you don’t give them for the one you love? For all that shippers were saying Ichigo sacrificed his humanity to protect Orihime, they missed the point that Orihime sacrificed nothing of herself for him.]
Why the fuck do we have this shit about love? Like this is me bitching about common perceptions about love, because holy fucking shit. Also, she did sacrifice something - SHE WENT WITH ULQUIORRA IN THE FIRST FUCKING PLACE TO TRY AND SAVE EVERYONE. But to these people, that doesn’t count!
[It is the only character in this series who has openly expressed romantic feelings that cannot give of herself to save the man she says she loves. Who is not there to protect him, but to be protected. Who left only because she thought he could win and discovered to her horror otherwise. The fact that she is the only one with open feelings has often been cited as proof that her love is the only real one, that her love will definitely be reciprocated: and in fact, the opposite is true. Hers is the one that’s not real.]
idk looks pretty real to me brosef
They even have a kid
[The last nail in this coffin of Ichihime fail is the presence of Ulquihime.]
Ah yes, the 'here’s a bone shippers, now he’s dead forever goodbyeeeee’ moment.
[Frankly, the Ulquihime is overkill at this point. I mentioned that I don’t ship Ulquihime, and I am dead serious. But the fact that this business and talk about where the heart is and Ulquiorra finding it in Orihime’s hand? Her reaching back to him? It’s an Ulquihime moment. #2 most popular heterosexual Bleach ship. You bet your ass Kubo knew exactly who he was catering to here. Rather than Hueco Mundo being the arc of IchiHime love, it ended up being the crystallizing moment of high romance and tragedy for Ulquhime.
(For those of you who are Ulquihime shippers, you may be wondering why I’m not talking about your ship more. Well, because Ichihime fails on its own, even without you showing them up in a lesson titled “HOW KUBO DOES ROMANCE”.)]
This is Kazui, he is their son
Such an Ichihime fail amirite
Also, popularity =/= ship actually fucking happening. Ask any m/m shipper.
[On a different and unrelated note, I know Ichihime shippers were confused by Ishida’s presence. “Why is he here? Is he just a plot device? Will this be the moment when he realizes she’s only going love Kurosaki forever and ever?”
No. First, he was here as Ichigo, and the reader’s, moral compass. You know, “If you do this / You won’t be human anymore!” But aside from that, Ishida had a personal reason for coming.
Ishida is here for Orihime. He came here to protect her. It’s canon that Ishida likes Orihime romantically, and he’s said consistently throughout this arc that he came here “not to fight Espada, but to save Inoue-san”. He is the counterpoint to this situation, the one who stays human throughout this whole fight, the one who tries to fight for his friend, and the one injured by that very same friend.]
Alright so. I’ve always been :/ on Ishida LOVING ORIHIME OMG!!! because….ehhhhn??? I didn’t really see it. I could see a crush, but he’d always fucking know Ichigo was the one Orihime wanted - and even if she did pick him, his pride would always remind him that he was never the one she really wanted, that he was always second to Ichigo. And he would have been incredibly unhappy with that, lbr.
Besides, now he has a hot mexican boxer boyfriend. (YOU CAN TAKE MY CHADISHI FROM MY COLD DEAD HANDS)
[More than that, Ishida was here the. whole. time. Orihime was not alone in seeing Ichigo fall to being nothing more than his instincts. Far more than a plot device to bring Orihime up, Ishida’s very presence here, his own witnessing of the killing of Ulquiorra at the hands of the creature his nakama became, his attempt to save his friend’s own humanity as best he could - this places Ishida right alongside her. There will be no happenings on this dome that herald in a new kind of era of IchiOri love, because it must include Ishida.]
I’m not even going to say whoops anymore
[For an arc that is supposed to be crowning Ichihime glory, that is the most excruciatingly boring, snooze-worthy reunion on the face of existence. Ichigo barely acknowledges Orihime before cutting to Ishida, not even waiting for a verbal response. Is it because she smiled and that was enough? If it was, Ichigo is still a man who has no idea what’s going on in Orihime’s head (as Grimmjow commented long ago). She’s really not okay right now, and yet he passes by, off to talk to other people, ignorant of the turmoil inside her. That’s what his perception of her is like.]
So ignorant he constantly asks if she’s okay, notices when she’s crying when she’s running behind him, lets her get away with things he’d never let anyone else get away with…
He doesn’t notice her or her wellbeing at all amirite
And then there’s some bullshit about ICHIGO CAN HEAL HIMSELF NOW!! which…ended up being false as well, as she still needed to heal him and ended up HELPING TO FIX HIS SWORD WHEN JUHA BROKE IT.
God, I love how every fucking inch of this thing got jossed. it’s so fucking good holy shit
[See that face? This is not the face of a boy who chose to do all this, who made some sort of voluntary sacrifice on a silver platter in behalf of his beloved. He wakes up horrified and not even cognizant of the horrors that he himself had unleashed. As for Orihime, she broke her most important promise to herself; didn’t save Ichigo, didn’t heal him, didn’t protect him. Then she had a tragic moment with Ulquiorra, who promptly died. They have only just begun to pay the heavy prices for their sins in this arc.]
…..except, all that really happened was Ichigo lost his powers. There was no 'heavy price to pay’ beyond the loss of something that was important to ichigo, and he got that back in the end anyway….BECAUSE OF ORIHIME.
I’m serious. Remember the 'Death Saves the Strawberry’ novel and how much IR furhor there was around it? ….right until it came out and they all suddenly went dead silent about it? There’s a good reason for that - because rukia didn’t go to get Ichigo’s powers on her own. Orihime had to come to her and tell her what was going on with Ichigo for Rukia to put the 'get Ichigo’s powers back’ plan into action. The novel itself is actually mostly about Rukia, and she doesn’t really think much about Ichigo because she had more shit to worry about. It’s AMAZING, but that scene with Rukia and Orihime is meant to parallel the scene between Ichigo and Orihime before the SS arc, where she tells Ichigo to go get Rukia by cheering him up.
[I sincerely doubt any Ichihime fan got down here (frankly I doubt more than ten people altogether did). But if you did, know this. I’m not telling you to not ship your ship. Ship whatever you like, that’s the joy of it. But one day, maybe not very soon, but in the near future, there will come a day when it becomes brutally clear to all that Ichigo and Orihime will never be a canon couple. When it does, don’t claim that Kubo is forcing it, that this is an about-twist of him, how dare he convert the Straight Will and Grace, that he’s only giving into the money of the popular, obvious ship because he’s a shallow, selfish author… you’re wrong. Kubo’s had this in the works for a long time. This arc was his way of letting you know.]
[As khyata put it, Kubo could very well change his mind, do a 180, and fuck with everything that he’s been developing for over 350 chapters, making all of this irrelevant. But when I consider the kind of author he is, I think the chances of that are very unlikely. It is the way it is.]
Nah, Kubo never changed his mind, despite what the Fandom is currently trumpeting. It was that, all along, you read more into shit that wasn’t there, into things that were never meant to be taken romantically, and then got mad when it turned out that nope! That wasn’t foreshadowing to a relationship and trying to shoehorn a shoujou-esc romance into a shonen was never going to fly.
God, this was so fucking cathartic. And the most hilarious part? Re-reading this, I have no idea why anyone bought into this shit. It’s full of fallacies and trumped up ego trying to act important, but I guess it just shows how fucking desperate the IR fandom was at that time. It’s just sad that it also brought in a level of toxic obnoxiousness towards anyone shipping Ichihime, although with the BNFs that had been in charge of the IR fandom, that’s not surprising.
But again - Karma’s a bitch, and it feels great to know that shit like this, that every single person who spewed toxic bullshit and called us delusional and stupid? Were just people with shitty reading comprehension trying to feel superior to others.
The real takeaway from all of this?
Don’t say shit that might come to bite you in the ass later.
speed of the world......is it romantic word to be used? depending on how it is used. two type of speed.....fast and slow.
the world is fast paced, i have so many things to think about and settled. i don't have time to breath. there you came and asked me to sit and laugh, you make me forgot my problems for a while as you make me eat those throwaway breads....i breath a little, my mind cleared a little.
the world is moving slow snail paced. i have nothing to do but wait for the life to pass slowly uninterestingly. you spiced up my life. you come with weird jokes and funny gags. i nearly jumped and got heartattack when you do something dangerous.
Given that this person didn't asked if this is romantic (in a sarcastic way?),I assumed that he/she thinks that this is romantic,or was it just me?
which world speed do you think ichigo's world is in book 49 that he must have Rukia, and how can she help him deal with it.......romantically?
make it a fast world so that ichigo wouldn't feel lethargic....always feeling adventurous fighting hollows and demons.....is that even romantic??
make it a slow world so that ichigo....i don't know.....i can't imagined rukia trying to make ichigo stop everything, forget what his burden are.....ichigo, you go and rest while i fight the hollows for you......is that even romantic??
First of all,I have explained on the first part of this essay,that Ichigo is referring to someone who is not there with him anymore,so this assumptions serves no purpose at all.Saying that the "kimi" that is referred to a woman,is helping him to keep up with the speed of the world,would only mean that Ichigo is not struggling to cope up with it,because the certain "kimi" (female),is there to help him.Unfortunately,Ichigo is struggling to keep up with the speed of the world,so,arguing that the "kimi" that Ichigo is referring to someone who is with him,is obviously wrong.
This should go like this...
This is what Rukia have done for Ichigo,before she was gone in his life...
the world is fast paced, i have so many things to think about and settled. i don't have time to breath. there you came and asked me to sit and laugh, you make me forgot my problems for a while as you make me eat those throwaway breads....i breath a little, my mind cleared a little.
Rukia is telling him to take time and enjoy himself,and Ichigo was so surprised to hear that Rukia is also concerned about his well being,hence he was speechless.
Ichigo is so depressed over his Mom's death (since he was 9),and because of that,he stopped smiling,he couldn't bear the guilt that he was carrying,and Rukia is the one who made him feel at ease during that time.
Even Ichigo confirmed it here...
And that conversation with Rukia is the thing that also helped him to be patient and understanding with his Dad's secret.
Another time is here...
And Orihime confirmed this...
She said that Rukia brought Ichigo back to normal,in short his burdens are lessen after he talked to Rukia.
Rukia is helping him to forget his problems?
Ichigo wants to protect,and Rukia gave her powers to him...problem solved.She did not help him forget his problem,she helped him SOLVE his problem.
Ichigo even said that here...
Ichigo is really grateful towards Rukia,don't you think?And him being a shinigam,is the thing that gave him resolve with his depression over his Mom's death....
And,to sum it all up,here's what Ichigo said....
Ichigo is thanking Rukia "IN HIS INNER THOUGHTS" for stopping the rain.The rain that represents Ichigo's LONELINESS.
Come to think of it,everything that Rukia does for Ichigo was always being highlighted in the story,it is even confirmed in the manga as well (how Ichigo feels about everything she do for him).On the other hand,Orihime's eating bread,drinking tea,and sliding on a pipe,as well as making gags,wasn't confirmed to be anything that helped Ichigo in a sense....hmmm....(rubs my chin slowly).I'd rather use the times that Orihime did something for Ichigo before "The Lost Agent Arc".But then again,Ichigo is still unable to keep up with the speed of the world,even though she was there with Ichigo,so...
And for the last part...
Seriously,this whole argument implies that Ichigo would be grateful towards Orihime for eating bread and drinking tea?Sliding on a pipe and making gags?And those things could make him wonder if he can keep up with the speed of the world without her,but is not wondering if he can keep up with the speed of the world that is currently no Rukia?Rukia who does all those things (I post above) for his sake?Are those are just nothing compared to him eating bread and drinking tea with Orihime?Really?From the start,one should be able to notice that there's something wrong there...is it something REALISTIC to anyone of you?I just want to know.
the world is moving slow snail paced. i have nothing to do but wait for the life to pass slowly uninterestingly. you spiced up my life. you come with weird jokes and funny gags.i nearly jumped and got heartattack when you do something dangerous.
Perhaps I'll just write everything about this "spicing things up"
When Ichigo became a shinigami he have gained new goals.like protecting mountain loads of people.He met Ishida.He became closer (became closer,not become close,don't be confused) to Orihime,Chad,Ishida,(since the rescue mission for Rukia).He met Urahara and his gang,as well as Yoruichi.He met lots of strong shinigamis,he gained an even more friends (shinigami's,vizaards,hollow *Nel and Co.*).He found his purpose in life (the one who protects,hence his name finally achieved its meaning).
Or perhaps,something like this?
Ichigo almost have a heart attack,he doesn't want to be discovered that there is a woman living in his closet.I can still give a lot of examples,but that would crowd this essay,so,I'd rather not to put them all here (laughs)
Now,for this part....
how do you think rukia can help ichigo to counter the world's speed?
Yeah,she cannot counter the world speed for Ichigo because she was not there with him anymore,that's why,he was UNABLE to keep up with the speed of the world.
And what's with this question?
wouldn't it be easier for kubo tite to put, 'how can i keep up with the world without you in it?' instead of 'how can i keep up with the world's speed that you are not in it?'?
No matter how I tried to analyze those two sentences,it only gives me one answer.The essence of the statement was still the same,it is about "how to keep up with the speed of the world,*if she's not there*"
I don't know if this person haven't heard those lines before.I've heard it so many times,mostly when the person is already separated from someone who is so important to them.Although,there are also some times that the person is still there with them,and it happens after doing something for them,that they thought no one could ever do,or won't ever do for them.However,like I have already explained,Ichigo's behaviordoesn't matched with the possibility that it could be Orihime,because,saying that he was able to keep up with the speed of the world when she's there with him,and it is only when she's gone that he wouldn't know if he could,I suppose we wouldn't see the Ichigo who was unable to keep up with the speed of the world,since Orihime is still with him,right?
About this part..
speed of the world......is it romantic word to be used? depending on how it is used. two type of speed.....fast and slow.
After explaining Orihime's deeds for Ichigo could make him able to keep up with the speed of the world,and not asking if it's romantic,I honestly think that this personthinks it is romantic,since he/she only asked if it's romantic when he/she is talking about Rukia's.
Now,if I am going to base this "romatic" or "not romantic" in this person'sown perspective of something ROMANTIC,does that mean that Ichigo and Rukia are indeed romantic?
Tags: bleach romance, ichihime.ichigo, ichiruki, orihime, rukia