No One Piece this week, so only Bleach to cover. Also sorry about being late!
I have a big rant to get to, but before let’s just say a few other things.
This chapter, despite having very little actual stuff happen, felt reasonably long by Bleach standards. I felt sorry for Yoruichi. She has always been a support character who does plot convenient things and when it is convenient for the plot, she gets thrown aside (as we saw in this chapter). Dumb.
I would be mad at Ishida, but this “dramatic development” was expected. I really wish though he had taken the higher route and fought against moustache-kun instead. You know, a bit like a mole who infiltrated with the goal of assassination. cough Gin cough.
Moustache-kun is useless. I have no empathy for him as a villain. I can’t understand his viewpoint and more importantly, I can’t be bothered to do so.
Now then, time time to actually rant a little. Note: Incoming swearing.
I am really tired of the treatment Ichigo gets in this manga. Every fucking opportunity it gets, the manga strips away all agency from Ichigo.
Oh hey Ichigo, defeat Aizen and protect the human world. Oh and your powers are all part of Aizen’s plan.
Oh hey Ichigo, hang out with these Fullbringer people. Oh, and everything that happens is so that someone can steal your power.
Oh hey Ichigo, help protect us from moustache-kun! Oh, and everything you do and everything you have done till now was premeditated and part of his plan.
it would appear that Ichigo gets no say in his decisions. I don’t think Aizen’s manipulation of Ichigo is forgivable, but it was better than this. Aizen was a manipulative asshole and manipulating Ichigo’s powers to suit him was not totally unreasonable (and frankly speaking, it started with an accidental encounter anyway).
This last one is especially annoying because not only is it not the first time Ichigo has lost all control over his life, but it is also a very literal loss of control. He couldn’t stop himself from killing the Soul King and everything he has done up to this point has been supposedly orchestrated by moustache-fuck-face.
To me, this feels like a betrayal of the Shonen spirit. Sure our main characters are normally thrown into extraordinary circumstances, but they are normally asked to made choices and decisions. Do you go out of your way to save your friends? Do you protect the world? Do you hold back on your anger and refrain from killing someone? Do you …
In chapters like this, Ichigo is totally stripped of that ability to make a decision. He isn’t just backed into a corner and forced to follow a small path, he was supposedly on that small path all along. This is stupid and annoying and it is made even worse because Ichigo is genuinely likable. We complain a lot about him, but at his core, Ichigo is a highly respectable protagonist. He is smart, hard working, brash, caring in his own way and fairly interesting, but this manga abuses the heck out of him. Actually abuse isn’t even the correct word. When it is convenient, he is simply forgotten and replaced with a literal puppet. Then when all is said and over, we are shown a glimpse of his proper character once more to keep us reading before he becomes a puppet in the next arc.
Yes, I know that eventually Ichigo will overcome this trial, but the fact that such a trial exists annoys me. I hope this manga ends soon and it ends with Ichigo having retained at least some dignity.
Sorry for the useless rant. Have a good day!