Bleach Everything but the Rain! Origins of Ichigo story!
Ahoy all, Pein here for probably my final Bleach Manga Breakdown, with things so busy etc. I been finding it more and more difficult to keep up with a constant breakdown. If there is no manga writer to take my place, I will pop around once in a while to write a short breakdown of what has been happening and random information etc. So kinda like a Hiatus from me to try get my life in order.
I thought for this breakdown it would be important to focus on the ‘mini’ arc within the Quincy arc, Everything but the Rain as Kubo has named it… Funny how nothing Happy ever seems to happen in the rain in Manga, its like an unspoken rule it seems. Rain = Sadness and Kubo/Kishi etc have used it to portray this emotion effectively in the past. Standing in the rain while crying masks the tears. It is poetic in its very nature but Rain also signifies life. So naming this segment of the Arc seems apt as it signifies both Death and Sadness felt about Ichigo’s mother while also showing the catalyst to Ichigo’s life and birth.
I am glad we are getting more of a back story on Ichigo’s history and proving Aizen’s statement of being there from Ichigo’s birth. I personally had mixed feelings of Isshin’s origins in squad 10, it just feels too recent but in the same breath it does make more sense lining up with Ichigo’s age far better than some theories of Isshin being from Squad 0 etc.
It also explains Toshiro’s quick and almost premature promotion to Squad 10 Captain. Also explaining to a degree the similarities of Kaien Shiba and Ichigo, since Isshin’s original name was Isshin Shiba. Meaning the two would of been related in some way or another. Many theories of Ichigo actually being Kaien Shiba reincarnated may still be plausible looking at the most recent chapters but it is still too early to tell. Kaien’s death and Ichigo’s birth may still be related.
The first really interesting chapter of this arc for me was Chapter 3, it had a good balance and removed a lot of the ‘silly-ness’ that was almost over bearing in the first two chapters, this chapter begins with a darker tone. Showing Isshin’s more serious side though not completely still being able to make half jokes in the midst of all this darkness.
The plan of Aizen and pals seems to be to breed Vasto Lorde’s from Shinigami instead of the later transforming of Hollows into arrancar, it created a perfect polar opposite to a Quincy. Aizen seems less interested in the projects goal and more, ‘intrigued’ by each individual outcome. This attitude reminds us more of the initial villain we incounter and not the “god” we see at the end. Here he is closer to Urahara then at any other point even in looks.
And it is none other than Urahara Kisuke that appears near the end to help foil Aizen’s plans. Though there is something else I would like to touch on first… Quincy…
The Quincy are a very interesting group in the story, they remind me a lot of the Uchiha in Naruto, a small elite group that focus on bloodlines and purity within them. They seem to live within a strict rule almost like that of Ancient times where people would be married off etc. Some of these customs are still practiced today in royalty.
I enjoyed learning about Masaki but she reminds me a lot of Orihime, in the end it was the Isshida family and those around them that interested me the most. It is easier to engage for me with these characters since some of them such as Ryuken we can see his character as a foil to his future self and see his growth in this back story, he matured as a person from the boy hard pressed (but admittedly conflicted) to the Quincy cause, to the Doctor we know him as seemingly uninterested in the matters of the Quincy universe. It also explains why Uryu has been built to have so much potential as a pure blooded Quincy.
The tri-angle between Isshin, Masaki and Ryuken develops without going into too soppy a detail here though, we find that Ryuken does care deeply for Masaki while still wishing to marry her even though against her will. There is still that inner battle and it does seem to form the catalyst to his change in personality… Also Uryu’s mother is unknown… Could this be a sort of Star Wars reference, where Ichigo and Uryu are twins split at birth @___@ Probably not but it would be an interesting avenue if Kubo decided to use it…
During these in-counters with the Quincy we are given subtle hints and clues to their origin and where they have been, some more noticeable then others. Ryuken asks his mother about his father and finds out he is in the “Fifth Field” this could be where the Quincy has been hiding all this time, training in the shadows…
The last two chapters have truly accelerated and halted the development of the mini arc, while the latter of the two was heavy in reading and information the first was far more emotional, showing Ryuken’s feelings for Masaki and even his willingness to cast away his Quincy family to save Masaki. It is funny, in the previous chapters first Ryuken is shown to sacrifice for his love of Masaki and the second Isshin’s sacrifice for Masaki. One after the other.
He realized too that his reasoning for marrying Masaki at first was wrong, it would be too much to sacrifice Masaki’s happiness just for the ideals of his parents.
This is where things begin to get really interesting, the injury from the “White Soul” began a chain of events that brought about the Hollowfication of Masaki, and while we have seen this before in the Visord’s it would be interesting to see how this would affect a “Human Quincy.” Luckily this all happens at the exact time Isshin decides to visit the human world and luckily they all meet at one point where Urahara can step in to save the day… With Talkai…
The entire process seems extremely difficult to understand and most of the chapter feels more like a a Death Note chapter then our usual Bleach, though it is to be expected with all the questions raised previously, but I won’t be going into the gory details there is enough reading to be done on the chapter itself but bottom line is.
Masaki becoming part Quincy part Hollow, Ryuken realizes he can do nothing about it and freaks out, Isshin pulls a typical “Hero” move and sacrifices everything for the greater good.