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Hirako Nariko never goes anywhere without her scroll. It's tucked within her kimono, just above her heart, and no one, not even her younger brother Shinji, has ever read it. Which is probably a good thing, since it's filled with everything she can remember about the future.

You see, before she was Nariko, she was someone else. And that someone, officially charged with helping her brother mature into a clan leader and a captain, has given herself a mission: to keep her world canon. But with all the time in the world until canon rolls around, it's all too tempting to throw memory to the wind and follow her own dreams...

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Dual Pendulums is a Bleach fanfic which centers around Hirako Nariko, a Self-Insert character reborn as the older sister of Hirako Shinji. As she is born well before even Turn Back the Pendulum, from which the fic takes its name, the story thus far is original, centered around Nariko's journey to become a Shinigami.

Has a supplementary fic, Clockwork.


This fanfiction series contains examples of:

  • Academy of Adventure Shin'ou Academy is shaping up to be this. All plots to date, from a crazed Zanpakutou cannibalizing Shinigami to putting down a Quincy-led uprising, have taken place in or been facilitated by it. Even the current plot, a tournament, is unofficially promoted by and staffed by students from the school.
  • Achievements in Ignorance Nariko assumes her classmates have fallen asleep after she has her reiatsu tested, though it's clear to the reader that she's knocked them out. Later, she uses a high-level technique (spirit ribbons) without thinking about it.
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  • Animal Motifs Nariko has been repeatedly associated with snakes, while Aizen is occasionally compared to a bird of prey.
  • Armor-Piercing Question Nariko tells Aizen that he can share his burdens with her and their friends. He asks her who she truly trusts. She can't answer.
    Aizen: Who adds their strength to yours, when you're too burdened to continue?
  • Asexuality Nariko and Minoru are this. Aizen may be, but is so socially awkward it's difficult to tell.
  • Badass Boast Nariko gives a pretty good one to a Yakuza member.
    Nariko: I am the left hand of Inari, who wields and forges blades. Work for me and I will remake you into a tool with meaning. Refuse again and I will see you broken.
  • Big Bad Friend Barely recognizable as this, but Aizen does fit it.
  • Bi the Way Played straight with Shinji, zig-zagged with the biromantic Nariko.
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  • Bring My Brown Pants or, Bring My Yellow Hakama. After being blown up by Mari/Mira, Nariko's dignity is further tarnished by this.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass Hiyori of all people was to be this to Nariko, but Nariko's choice to go to Shin'ou Academy spoiled it.
  • Cannibalism Superpower Mari
  • Cassandra Truth Nariko outright tells Shinju her origins early on, only to have Shinju brush it off as a joke.
  • Central Theme:
    • Are our hard choices necessary or self-serving?
    • Is truth worth the consequences of telling it?
    • How do you find balance between cooperation and independence?
  • Combat Hand Fan Nariko wields a pair of these as the released form of her Zanpakutou.
  • Combat Pragmatist Nariko is shaping up to be this. Not only does she repeatedly go for the groin, she's played dead, pretended to switch allegiances until she could shove enemies down a hill, and impaled an enemy after electrocuting him.
  • Creepy Crossdreser Momohiko.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond Shinji and Nariko qualify, being tan and blond. However, they may just tan easily.
  • Debt Detester Minoru.
  • Dual Wielding Of course.
  • Empathic Weapon/ Talking Weapon Par for the course, but Nariko has a specific fascination with them.
  • Exact Words Nariko employs this technique heavily.
  • Fantastic Racism Against Quincy.
  • Flower Motifs Left and right, to the point that each arc has its own symbolic flower. In addition, Nariko is associated with clematis as their name in Japanese is homophonous with her Shikai form and irises, while her roommate Shinju is associated with wisteria.
  • Foreshadowing
    • In chapter 12, Minoru warns Nariko that when Shinji finds out about Seinosuke Yamada and company beating her up, he'll go after them, including the one she took under her wing. Six chapters later, he does just that upon learning the truth.
    • Throughout the Kinsawa arc, Nariko has severe deja-vu when it comes to her commander, comparing him to Ryuuken and noting that he doesn't look entirely Japanese. In fact, he's a Quincy, who are prime examples of Gratuitous German and Putting on the Reich.
    • At the beginning of chapter 29, Momohiko says Nariko and the gang's 'insolence' will end that day. By the end of the chapter, Nariko's been arrested for poisoning her opponent in a Frameup.
  • Giver of Lame Names The Hirako name their kids for virtues... those they want the kids to contrast. Shinji is supposed to be a liar and Nariko lazy. Their father isn't named for a virtue, but he's noted as the opposite of a swordsman.
  • Hair-Contrast Duo Platonic, inverted variant with the Hirako siblings.
  • Harping on About Harpies Nariko's Zanpakutou spirit, a tennyou.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation Nariko. Shinji tries to talk her out of it, but hasn't shown much luck. Minoru also thinks little of himself, at least around Nariko and other nobles.
  • Hime Cut Nariko calls this the mandatory hairstyle of the Hirako clan, though she draws hers back into a ponytail.
  • Ill Girl Rare male variant with Soujun Kuchiki.
  • Incurable Cough of Death Aizen appears to have one of these, in sharp contrast to canon. Turns out he's Secretly Dying.
  • Informed Attribute Shinji and Shinju are repeatedly said to be more social than our hero, but as most scenes involve Nariko, their social circle appears to be far smaller than stated.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler It's kinda hard to hide Nariko's Zanpakutou, or how she gets it.
  • Making a Splash Nariko's Shikai produces a spray of water upon release. No powers have come of it, however. Averted as of chapter 29, where she gets water blades.
  • Metallic Motifs The Hirako clan colors include gold, and much is made of Shinji's golden hair. In contrast, utilizing the 'second best' association, Nariko prefers silver.
  • Mundane Utility The Shinigami specifically select proctors with ice affinities to proctor Shin'ou Academy's entrance exams, since they take place in the heat of summer.
  • My God, What Have I Done? Nariko, after she kills Oshiro in self-defense. She gets over it.
  • No Social Skills Aizen. Everyone, including and especially his roommate, indicates he's incredibly creepy when not around Nariko.
  • Not So Above It All Shinju squees at the chance to makeover her friends.
  • One Steve Limit Averted. Several names, first and last, are shared.
  • Past-Life Memories By way of reincarnation. Unusually, Nariko preserves them by writing everything she can remember down at the beginning of the story.
  • Pragmatic Hero At her best, Nariko is this, ranging into Unscrupulous Hero. At her worst, she verges on being a Knight Templar.
  • Psychic Powers Nariko develops them, being able to see and hear Zanpakutou spirits, although she has them sealed by Unohana. In a side-story, Nimaiya indicates they're related to the age of her soul.
  • Reincarnation Normal for Soul Society, although as a noble Nariko isn't supposed to be this, not that anyone's caught on.
  • Royal Brat Momohiko. Actually a Rich Bitch.
  • Self-Insert The premise.
  • Ship Tease Between Nariko and Aizen, as well as Shinji and Shinju.
  • Shock and Awe Nariko's Shikai power. Notably, it's also the only type of Kidou she's managed to work just far.
  • Shout-Out To Macbeth and Luke Cage
    Nariko: Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent underneath.
    Nariko: Forward, always.
    • To Yang with the character Shouron Asahiya. Apart from a name extremely similar in sound (Shouron=Xiao Long) and meaning (both contain the words little, sun, and dragon), both are blonde, long-haired, and aggressive, fighting with fiery gauntlets.
  • Solar and Lunar Shinji and Nariko.
  • Stepford Smiler Despite her emphasis on truthfulness, Nariko herself has been hinted to be this as a result of the enormity of her mission and the uniqueness of her situation.
  • The Leader Nariko is mostly Levelheaded with a dash of Mastermind. The times she cedes the spot to Shinji, he displays traits of both Charismatic and Headstrong types.
  • Tournament Arc Currently in one, though it's taking some time to get going.
  • True Companions Nariko specifically befriends Minoru to gain this trope.
  • The Unfavorite Nariko. Shinji's not too happy to learn this.
  • Verbal Tic Shinju frequently ends her sentences with 'you know.'
  • Yakuza Pop up in the Rukongai, and the Hirako are reputed to have dealings with them.
  • You Are Not Alone Invoked between Nariko and Aizen multiple times.
  • You Can Barely Stand Nariko takes on Kurotsuchi and Mari concussed, paralyzed in one arm, and missing half her Shikai. She only defeats the former with teamwork and the latter because she's gone off the deep end.
  • You Monster! Nariko loathes Kurotsuchi even more than the creature that tried to devour her soul.
  • What the Hell, Hero? Aizen of all people calls Nariko out like this in chapter 30, pointing out that Momohiko wouldn't have poisoned Soujun if Nariko hadn't continued to push him and that for all her ranting about how awful he is, the worst outcome would be her rival winning the tournament. On the other hand, if she succeeds, a major clan will be destabilized and Momohiko's abusive father will probably be very displeased. YMMV depending on how you view Momohiko and Nariko's refusal to cut him any slack.
  • Will Not Tell a Lie Overlaps with Can Not Tell A Lie, depending on how you view Zanpakutou
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