A Fine-tooth Plot Comb vs Fan Dumb! An in-depth Bleach liveblog


Hollow and Shinigami

Chapter 217: Hole in my Heart

I may be back, but Ichigo’s not. Everybody’s sad. But in order to keep things light-hearted, Here’s Ichigo on a treadmill. Umm… yeah. Turns out to be part of the Visored’s training, though Ichigo, who correctly guessed the purpose, says it’s a waste of time and I frankly agree. Three days is a long time to spend on one activity. Shinji snaps at him, demonstrating knowledge of Aizen’s actions, but then agrees to speed things up. He knocks Ichigo out, telling Hachi to set up a barrier. He warns Ichigo that what he’s doing is risky, and then Ichigo wakes up in his inner world, where he sees a colour reversed version of himself waiting, greeting him as ‘King’.

Chapter 218: Dark Side of the Universe 3

Hachi piles on the barriers. Ichigo asks his double, Hichigo, where Zangetsu is. Hichigo dicks him around a bit, and then claims he is Zangetsu, while attacking in an enjoyably hammy manner. shit starts going down outside, Hachi’s pillars doing all of nothing. One Visored, Lisa, steps inside to hold off Hollowfied Ichigo. Back in the inner world, Hichigo explains that he and Zangetsu are actually two parts of the same being, but change appearance and dominant personality based on which side of Ichigo’s power is stronger at the moment. Though, apparently, if Ichigo wins this fight, it’ll go back to Zangetsu being in charge. They taunt, and simultaneously go Bankai.

Hole in my Heart is referring to both Hichigo and Ichigo’s family. As for ‘Dark Side of the Universe’, however, is Kubo doing the little call back and pointed out the foreshadowing that’s only now paying off. More on that next time. Now… First, observe that the building in Ichigo’s inner world are smaller this time than they were last time. It’s only fitting, given how less secure Ichigo’s mental state is the time round. The only other thing I feel to be worth talking about now rather than later is the whole Hichigo = Zangetsu thing. Dialogue in the past has implied that Hollow powers and Shinigami powers are two entirely different things, but this seems to contradict that. This suggests that the two powers are opposite extremes, and intrinsically related. It makes sense once you remember how Ichigo got his powers in the first place; the training Urahara put him through forced him to run the risk of being turned into a hollow, with the goal of becoming a shinigami. From the very moment Ichigo gets powers of his own rather than just leeching off Rukia, Hollow and Shinigami have been mixed inside him. But then, and these are the questions I want my readers to ask themselves about this, if the two powers are not in fact different, and indeed inseparable in some cases, why would Aizen be simply seeking to overlay one on top of the other, as if it’s adding something new; if it is in fact just an altercation of the power balance? And if it’s possible to engineer a situation where one will gain both powers, as Urahara undoubtedly did, why was it for necessary for Aizen to go through that whole song-and-dance to get the Hyougyoku, if all it does is give one the other power?