Downfall by Shadowsforge is a Deconstruction Fic of BleachShadowsforge 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 here. Has nothing to do with either the film regarding the end of the Nazi empire (seriously, the YMMV section keeps linking to that one's) or the TV show.Seems to be a Dead Fic now...
Affably Evil: Unohana seems to be a genuinely kind woman, and 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.
Almighty Janitor: "Yeah. The only reason Nelliel wasn’t the Segunda Espada was because Starrk hadn’t wanted the top position. Sometimes she forgot that."
Authority Equals Asskicking: Played with. Due to different leadership—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. Unohana slaughters an entire platoon of Soul Reapers in Chapter 17- all with her bare hands'.
Nelliel, Primera Espada, rather dislikes fighting and seems deeply interested in evolving past her base Hollow instincts. She easily overwhelms Ichigo and knocks him out cold.
Starrk is just as laid back as he was in canon, which is how he got his rank as the Dècimo Espada. When Yammy tried to flash fry Lillynette, Starrk plows him through a street and fires up a dozen Ceros.
Unohana, Ukitake, and Kyoraku qualify. Evil or not.
Unohana's shikai command is interpreted by the author as "Bleed".
Gin due to a different set of circumstances, qualifies more along the lines of Sociopathic Hero, heavy on the hero, lighter on the sociopathy. He admits it.
Miyako Shiba. Subverted because she's not really herself, but rather Aaroniero wearing her face.
Beta Couple: Byakuya and Alive!Hisana; Gin and Rangiku. Kyoraku/Nanao.
Heavily implied Kenpachi/Unohana.
Black and Gray Morality: This is the general outlook most have of Unohana, Ukitake, and Kyoraku's motives. The Reader gets a somewhat different perspective.
Cannon Fodder: 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.
Cannot Spit It Out: For starters: Toshiro, Momo, Renji, Kaien, Rukia, Nanao, and Shunsui. Honestly. You could even say the same for Nel and Nnoitra.
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 went to town onCirucci.
Nnoitra's misogyny and inferiority complex are much reduced, maybe because he's actually listening to Nelliel this time around. He also knows the value of dodging now, which saves him from Orihime's attack.
Wonderweiss isn't retarded. It makes him all the more creepy.
Kenpachi apparently does have a serious side to him.
Doomed New Clothes: 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 impending fate.
Drop the Hammer: Yachiru's shikai is interpreted as an oversized maul with a spike on one end.
Dying Declaration of Love: Extraordinarily tragic. It takes dying for Rukia to say it. It takes a dying Rukia for Renji to say anything. And while it's not dying, it takes a psychopathic version of his wife for Kaien to admit it.
Dying Moment of Awesome: She's bleeding out, has horrible burns, terrible internal injuries, and has undergone tremendous emotional and psychological stress. So what does Rukia do? She cleaves open Aaroniero.
"I'll never... let you touch them!"
Also, Komamura gets an epic one fighting... his own Bankai. 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.
Eyes Always Shut: 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.
Friends with Benefits: What the relationship with Kisuke and Yoruichi seems to be. 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."
Gambit Pileup: 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 Aizen who all but outright states that he has plans of his own, and Wonderweiss, who's been giving off bad juju. Then, we find out Urahara also has plans involving Ichigo, and they don't seem so kind, either.
Hollywood Tactics: 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.
Horror Hunger: 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 Unohana has outright banned consumption of wholes. Some of her troops, however, sneak snacks when they don't think they'll be found out.
Love Triangle: New ones, several revamped from different points of view Aizen, Momo, and Toshiro. And even a new love rectangle . Namely: Ichigo, Alive!Kaien, and Renji, with Rukia.
Lighter and Softer coupled with Darker and Edgier, it varies. In some ways it is more lighthearted—the Espada are noteably less militant due to 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 Yenni is captured. Furthermore, it seems at first glance that Unohana has taken a page out of Yamamoto's problem-solving guide. Her solution to the Shinigami-Hollow conflict? Genocide, OF HER OWN PEOPLE!.
Up until Rukia's death the biggest changes are characters being alive, or the 'villain' being more pleasant than in cannon. Thus, the sucker punch.
Mission Control: Nanao, with her shikai, a series of mirrors that can be moved at will to show her the battlefield.
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 fifteen-foot cylopean monstrosity with massive claws. Beware the Nice Ones.
Not Himself: Yachiru grows concerned that instead of becoming excited for the coming war, Kenpachi becomes moody and withdrawn. Apparently, he was in love with Unohana and was really upset that she betrayed Soul Society.
"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."
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.
Unskilled, but Strong: 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 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.
Villainous BSOD: Nanao after 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...
Villainous Friendship: 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.
Villains Act, Heroes React: Played with. Just who happens to be the villain is up for serious debate. However, due to the nature of the threat from 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 Bigger Bad, or a case of The Man Behind the Man - 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.
What Measure Is a Non-Human?: A question wrestled with by Aizen in regard to the Hollows. Quite possibly Momo and Toshiro as well, now that Aizen brought it up.
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. That's the whole point ... We think...
Zerg Rush: Exequias employ this tactic occasionally as skirmishers. Otherwise- as mentioned in the Hollywood Tactics entry, unrealistic tactics are usually avoided.