''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6310403/1/Downfall Downfall]]'' by ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/~shadowsforge Shadowsforge]]'' is a DeconstructionFic of Manga/{{Bleach}}

Shadowsforge has woven a deviation from canon Bleach: What if Sosuke Aizen— and, by extension, Gin Ichimaru and Kaname Tosen —are not, and never were, the villains.

Instead of those previously mentioned three, a trio of powerful Soul Reapers whom nobody had suspected are the ones rising in rebellion. Several other changes are also present, such as canonically dead characters appearing alive and well, or living ones dead, and other characters— such as the Espada —holding different ranks from canon.

This story can be found [[FanficRecs/{{Bleach}} here]]. Has nothing to do with either [[Film/{{Downfall}} the film regarding the end of the Nazi empire]] (seriously, the YMMV section keeps linking to that one's) or the [[Series/{{Downfall}} TV show]].

Has not been updated since May of 2012, and thus is likely a dead fic...

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!!''Downfall'' provides examples of:

* AFatherToHisMen: According to Momo, Aizen is this.
* AffablyEvil: [[spoiler: Unohana]] seems to be a genuinely kind woman, and [[spoiler: Ukitake and Kyoraku]] haven't changed much, personality-wise, from when they were in the Soul Society. They regret that they had to start a war. They're also advocating genocide, and are ruthless when something is in their way.
* AlmightyJanitor: "''Yeah. The only reason [[spoiler:Nelliel]] wasn’t the Segunda Espada was because Starrk hadn’t wanted the top position. Sometimes she forgot that.''"
* AlternateUniverse: The premise in general. Comes with toppings:
** AlternateHistory
** ForWantOfANail
*** Or, maybe, InSpiteOfANail. Depends on who you ask.
** Either way, it's definitely AlternateContinuity.
* AmusingInjuries: Inverted. [[spoiler:Hisana's]] sickness brings great anxiety and fear to Byakuya... but at its resolution people are chuckling about it.
** This makes the [[TearJerker later chapters]] all that more brutal in contrast.
* AnguishedDeclarationOfLove: [[spoiler:Momo to Toshiro]], kind of. The actual moment is [[MomentKiller aborted]] by Aizen, of all people. [[spoiler:Renji's and Rukia's]] fairs a bit better, but was still not resolved. Then thigns went FromBadToWorse, and [[TearJerker war happened]].
* AnyoneCanDie: Well, if [[spoiler:Rukia]] can, you've got to wonder.
** And we can now add [[spoiler:[[MadeOfIron Komamura]]]] and [[spoiler:Tetsuzaemon Iba.]]
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: Played with. Due to different leadership--[[spoiler:Unohana, Ukitake, and Kyoraku]]--the Espada are ranked according to their roles, not due to Reiatsu levels. Probably because the motives behind the traitors is different this time around.
* {{Badass}}: Quite a few characters have already touched on this, but of special note, Unohana. [[spoiler: Unohana slaughters an entire platoon of Soul Reapers in Chapter 17- all with her ''bare hands'''.]]
* BewareTheNiceOnes: So much so, in so many ways.
** Nelliel, [[spoiler: Primera Espada]], rather dislikes fighting and seems deeply interested in evolving past her base Hollow instincts. She [[spoiler: easily overwhelms Ichigo and [[MegatonPunch knocks him out cold]]]].
** Starrk is just as laid back as he was in canon, which is how he got his rank as the [[spoiler: Dècimo Espada]]. When Yammy tried to flash fry Lillynette, Starrk [[spoiler: [[CurbStompBattle plows him through a street]] and fires up [[BeamSpam a dozen Ceros]]]].
** [[spoiler:Unohana, Ukitake, and Kyoraku]] qualify. Evil or not.
*** Unohana's shikai command is interpreted by the author as "Bleed".
** [[spoiler: Gin]] due to a different set of circumstances, qualifies more along the lines of SociopathicHero, heavy on the hero, lighter on the sociopathy. He admits it.
** [[spoiler:Miyako Shiba]]. Subverted because she's not really herself, but rather [[spoiler:Aaroniero wearing her face]].
* BetaCouple: Byakuya and [[spoiler: Alive!Hisana]]; Gin and Rangiku. Kyoraku/Nanao.
** Heavily implied [[spoiler: Kenpachi/Unohana]].
* BlackAndGrayMorality: This is the general outlook most have of [[spoiler:Unohana, Ukitake, and Kyoraku]]'s motives. The Reader gets a somewhat different perspective.
* CannonFodder: Rudobon's Exequias. They make no sound--not even when they're hurt or killed--and will keep coming at you until they're dealt a fatal injury.
* CannotSpitItOut: For starters: Toshiro, Momo, Renji, Kaien, Rukia, Nanao, and Shunsui. Honestly. You could even say the same for Nel and Nnoitra.
* TheCavalry:
** Chapter 17: [[spoiler: Unohana and many big names from the Espada cut an escape route for the outnumbered and surrounded forces in the Hueco Mundo expeditionary force.]]
** Chapter 20: [[spoiler: Momo and a platoon from Squad Five arrive to reinforce Rangiku and the exhausted Squad Six detachment denying the Arrancar retreat to the Garganta.]]
* CelibateHero: While it's not stated outright that he's absolutely celibate, Aizen had an perfectly reasonable opportunity to [[IntimatePsychotherapy "comfort"]] a very distraught [[spoiler:Momo]]. He did not.
* TheChainsOfCommanding: [[spoiler:Aizen.]]
* CharacterDevelopment: Several cases.
** Kaname Tosen isn't nearly so bland as he was in canon.
*** Tosen still seems to hold a great capacity for anger, as shown when he [[CurbstompBattle went to town on]] [[spoiler:Cirucci]].
** Nnoitra's misogyny and inferiority complex are much reduced, [[spoiler:maybe because he's actually listening to Nelliel this time around.]] He also knows the value of dodging now, which saves him from [[spoiler: Orihime's attack.]]
** Wonderweiss isn't retarded. It makes him all the more creepy.
** Kenpachi apparently does have a serious side to him.
* CurbStompBattle: Several, but one is notable for being a blatant OffscreenMomentOfAwesome.
-->"Not a bit. [[spoiler:Baraggan]] was pretty much the king of Hueco Mundo before [[spoiler:Unohana]]showed up."
-->"So...?”
-->"He tried to kill her."
-->"And...?"
-->"[[spoiler:She wasted him.]]"
** Another one in chapter 20, which is ''again'' an OffscreenMomentOfAwesome.
--->"She dies."
* DeadpanSnarker: Tosen, when talking with Gin. Gin, in his head. Yenni, whenever.
* DeconstructionFic: Oh yeah.
* DeathFromAbove: Nanao's shikai works a bit like this.
* DoomedNewClothes: Rangiku gets caught out at ground zero during the second battle of the Rukongaki while wearing a nice new yukata. She takes a moment to bemoan its [[ClothingDamage impending fate]].
* DropTheHammer: [[spoiler:Yachiru's]] shikai is interpreted as an oversized maul with a spike on one end.
* DyingDeclarationOfLove: Extraordinarily tragic. It takes [[spoiler:dying]] for [[spoiler:Rukia]] to say it. It takes a [[spoiler:dying Rukia]] for [[spoiler:Renji]] to say anything. And while it's not dying, it takes a psychopathic version of [[spoiler:his wife]] for [[spoiler:Kaien]] to admit it.
* DyingMomentOfAwesome: She's bleeding out, has horrible burns, terrible internal injuries, and has undergone tremendous emotional and psychological stress. So what does [[spoiler:Rukia]] do? She [[spoiler:[[BoomHeadshot cleaves open]] Aaroniero]].
-->"I'll never... let you touch them!"
** Also, [[spoiler:Komamura]] gets an epic one fighting... his own Bankai. [[spoiler: Once something seizes control of Kokujo Tengen Myoo and slaughters most of the Squad Seven troops escorting him, including his lieutenant Tetsuzaemon, he starts punching out its teeth--and, due to its sympathetic weakness, his own--and gives it a concussion, knocking it down. Again, the same happens to him. Once it becomes clear that the bankai will not be useful any longer the unknown controller attempts to have it stab itself in the heart. It takes both Tosen and Komamura working in tandem to prevent this, until Cirucci breaks their barrier and their concentration. And Sajin is slain.]]
* EyesAlwaysShut: Subverted; Gin does not go around squinty-eyed in this universe. He tried it for all of one day, then Rangiku took one look at him and walloped him in the face, and that was the end of that.
* FriendsWithBenefits: What the relationship with Kisuke and Yoruichi seems to be. [[spoiler:Confirmed in the latest chapters]].
-->'''Kisuke''': "Love the pajamas, by the way."
-->'''Yoruichi''' (who sleeps naked): "It's not as if you haven't seen this before. Or gotten up close and personal with it."
* GambitPileup: Good God. We have the main event, which is basically Yamamoto and Unohana trying to kill the other's side off. Amidst ''that'', we have [[spoiler:Aizen]] who all but outright states that he has plans of his own, and [[spoiler:Wonderweiss]], who's been giving off bad juju. Then, we find out [[spoiler:Urahara]] also has plans involving [[spoiler:Ichigo]], and they don't seem so kind, either.
* HappilyMarried: Byakuya and [[spoiler:Alive!Hisana.]]
* HearingVoices: Every Arrancar, even Nelliel, hears whispers telling them things like "''devour/kill/destroy''".
* HoldTheLine: What [[spoiler:Momo, Rangiku]], and their forces have to do.
* HollywoodTactics: Averted right and left. Formations and unit deployments are important, and there's a distinct feeling of overall strategy when both parties are planning their tactical approaches.
* HorrorHunger: All hollows suffer from this. One of the big difference in this timeline seems to be that the Espada were largely chosen for their control of the hunger- and [[spoiler: Unohana]] has outright banned consumption of wholes. Some of her troops, however, sneak snacks when they don't think they'll be found out.
* IAmNotLeftHanded: Apparently, [[spoiler:Kenpachi]] is better at flash-step and kido than people thought.
** Also, subverted by Kenpachi. He knows taking on Unohana is serious business, so he tosses away his [[PowerLimiter eyepatch]] without preamble.
* ItsAllMyFault : [[spoiler: Aizen]], again.
* LoveableSexManiac : Kyoraku is less so (due to the timeline divergence). Also, Gin.
** Gin and Rangiku probably fit this Trope mildly as a couple, by this point.
** [[JustifiedTrope Justified]], in Shunsui's case, in that doing the LovableSexManiac routine in front of the Arrancar would only annoy them. And annoying [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Hollows]] is a bad thing.
* LoveTriangle: New ones, several revamped from different points of view [[spoiler:Aizen, Momo, and Toshiro]]. And even a new love [[LoveDodecahedron rectangle ]]. Namely: [[spoiler:Ichigo, Alive!Kaien, and Renji, with Rukia]].
* LighterAndSofter coupled with DarkerAndEdgier, it varies. In some ways it is more lighthearted--the Espada are noteably less militant due to [[spoiler: Unohana]]'s influence. However, that makes any violence stand out all the more stark against the backdrop. You feel genuine sympathy for the slain Arrancar spies and root for the 'bad guys' during the chase when [[spoiler: Yenni]] is captured. Furthermore, it seems at first glance that[[spoiler: Unohana]] has taken a page out of Yamamoto's problem-solving guide. Her solution to the Shinigami-Hollow conflict? [[spoiler: Genocide, [[WhatTheHellHero OF HER OWN PEOPLE!]] ]].
** Up until [[spoiler: Rukia's death]] the biggest changes are characters being alive, or the 'villain' being more pleasant than in cannon. Thus, the sucker punch.
* MissionControl: Nanao, with her shikai, a series of mirrors that can be moved at will to show her the battlefield.
** And later Momo, too.
* MomentKiller: Comedically enough, Aizen. Earns him a DeathGlare from Momo.
* {{Mon}}: It appears that not only can Unohana's shikai take the form of a flying manta creature with therapeutic stomach juices, but also a [[spoiler:fifteen-foot cylopean monstrosity with massive claws]]. BewareTheNiceOnes.
* MoralityChain: Rangiku for Gin, and he openly acknowledges it.
* NotHimself: Yachiru grows concerned that instead of becoming excited for the coming war, Kenpachi becomes moody and withdrawn. [[spoiler: Apparently, he was in love with Unohana and was really upset that she betrayed Soul Society.]]
* PreMortemOneLiner: [[spoiler:Yachiru]] gives a very fitting one.
-->[[spoiler:'''Mila-Rose''']]: You're [only] a Soul Reaper. How are you able to do this?
-->[[spoiler:'''Yachiru''']]: How? I had a poor upbringing.
** And now [[spoiler:Tosen]] has one as well.
--->"She dies."
* OutOfCharacter: Averted. All characters act realistically within canon constraints. Even with significantly altered circumstances, Aizen is [[GuileHero Machiavellian]], Unohana is [[TechnicalPacifist technically a pacifist]] and TeamMom while she [[SilkHidingSteel plots]], Gin's a [[AntiHero bit of a snake]], Tosen's [[DeadpanSnarker the straight man]], Ukitake's an [[BenevolentBoss ideal commander]], Kyoraku still moons after Nanao. The difference is new aspects added to these existing templates.
* OnlyOneName: Averted with Kanisawa, the character seen briefly in canon. The author seems to have interpreted the name as a surname, and has given her the given name Moriko.
* NotSoStoic: Byakuya's reaction to [[spoiler: Rukia's death]].
** Tousen's reaction to [[spoiler: Komamura's death]]
* RedHerring: The Author keeps us guessing. [[spoiler: Unohana]]'s motives are suspect, as her actions and motives don't match.
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: Renji after [[spoiler:Rukia's death]]. Also, [[TheStoic Byakuya]] when he learned Renji isn't just doing it for giggles.
* RefugeInAudacity: As mentioned, Unohana takes on Kenpachi Zaraki as a complicated diversion. Then, [[spoiler:when Kenpachi has her on the ropes]], she fires off a kido spell. ''At herself''.
* ScopeSnipe: Momo almost manages this through [[MagicalSecurityCam Nanao's shikai windows]]- as any kind of Kido can pass through. This leads to a tense and very fast-paced SniperDuel while they attempt to hit each other with Kido.
* ShapeshiftingSquick: [[spoiler: Kaien is fooled by Aaroniero imitating Miyako and kisses "her". He's not happy when he finds out the truth.]]
* SilkHidingSteel: Unohana, not much changed in temperament or personality from canon, takes on [[BloodKnight Kenpachi Zaraki]]. As a [[RefugeInAudacity tactical diversion]].
** HilariousInHindsight: Canon reveals she was the first [[BloodKnight Kenpachi]]. And is currently battling Zaraki. As part of a gambit by Kyoraku to get rid of one of them.
* SparedByTheAdaptation / DeathByAdaptation: At this point there's no telling who'll live to see the war's end...
* StealthHiBye: Wonderweiss is ''very'' good at this. He can even sneak up on Nnoitra, who is the best Arrancar at sensing reiatsu.
* StoicSpectacles: Judging from various character's descriptions of Aizen's appearance, he looks like his post-defection counterpart from canon. Except he kept the specs.
* StraightManAndWiseGuy / ThoseTwoGuys : Interestingly done with Gin and Tosen.
* SurveillanceAsThePlotDemands, MagicalSecurityCam, and SinisterSurveillance, by various characters attached to the Hueco Mundo Intelligence unit.
** Nanao's shikai is specifically designed to accomplish this. See MissionControl entry.
* TechnicalPacifist: Nel greatly dislikes fighting. She can throw down when push comes to shove.
* TheNicknamer: Yachiru is a known quantity, but the new character Yenni Laiggs brings some interesting ones to the table.
* TookALevelInBadass: Holy ''Christ'', [[spoiler:Momo.]]
* TortureAlwaysWorks: [[AvertedTrope Aversion]] [[JustifiedTrope justified]] by Aizen, when speaking to Yenni.
-->[[spoiler:"Exactly. Torture is, for the most part, counterproductive. Oh, for amateurs it could work. For someone as skilled as you—and don’t deny that you’re a well trained espionage agent; I read up on you—you should be able to resist giving away useful information. Eventually, though, your mind is going to be so overloaded from the pain that you’ll start blurt anything that you think we want to hear. You don’t know anyone named Sydney? With enough torment you’ll insist that you do. You might even start to believe it."]]
* TranquilFury: Kaname Tosen, after [[spoiler:Komamura gets killed]].
* UltimateShowdownOfUltimateDestiny: Admit it. We ''all'' want to see [[MemeticBadass Kenpachi]] versus [[InformedAbility Unohana]].
** [[spoiler:Both fight at their fullest, with masterful swordwork and kidou flying at every opportunity. At one point both are dissarmed and resort to unarmed combat. Comes out to a draw. An awesome draw.]]
* UnskilledButStrong: Several experienced characters' take on Ichigo. They note that his power overshadows theirs at its highest points... but that power fluctuates wildly. At its low points it's barely more energy than a regular Whole.
* {{UST}}: More and more, Aizen is acting a bit... unusually when it comes to [[spoiler:Momo. It might not be sexual per se, but he clearly cares for her more than he lets on]]. Gin Ichimaru even makes note of this.
* VillainousBSOD: Nanao after [[spoiler:she killed an off-duty Soul Reaper... After disabling and hiding several wholes--children, including said Soul Reaper's nephew. In other words, she not only knew the enemy's face, but some measure of the fallout her actions would leave...]]
* VillainousFriendship: In contrast to the original series, the villains' friendship is every bit as genuine as anything the heroes have, and they encourage positive relationships among their Arrancar subordinates as well.
* VillainsActHeroesReact: Played with. Just who happens to be the villain is up for serious debate. However, due to the nature of the threat from [[spoiler:Unohana, Ukitake, and Kyoraku]], there isn't a whole lot Soul Society can do without exposing themselves to greater danger.
** It is implied that there is either a possible BiggerBad, or a case of TheManBehindTheMan - based on the repeated runarounds we've had, and different insights offered the readers from the many points of view. But it's more a general feeling or theme than foreshadow.
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: A question wrestled with by Aizen in regard to the Hollows. Quite possibly Momo and Toshiro as well, now that Aizen brought it up.
* WarFic
* WarIsHell: [[AnyoneCanDie It is indeed]].
* WhatTheHellHero: But who is the hero, one wonders.
** Yenni calls out Aizen on how the Soul Society treats Wholes:
--->'''Yenni''':"'Beasts?' Where do you Soul Reapers get off? Every single damned one of you is so freaking arrogant."\\
'''Aizen''':"You prey on defenseless souls and Hollows weaker than yourselves."\\
'''Yenni''':"And so what? If you can fight back, you can. If you can't, too bad. Better than your Seireitei. If people don't have your bullcrap noble blood or a Soul Reaper's spiritual pressure, they get tossed out into the Rukon slums to rot. Yeah, we prey on souls. What do you do? You herd them away from your exclusive little club and pretend they don't exist. How, exactly, are you people any better than us?"
*** She's got a point. [[spoiler: That's the whole point ... We think...]]
* ZergRush: Exequias employ this tactic occasionally as skirmishers. Otherwise- as mentioned in the HollywoodTactics entry, unrealistic tactics are usually avoided.