Bleach, WTF?

Uhm. Right. I think that that is my general opinion as I'm catching up with the Bleach Manga as part of my preparation for Twin Souls. It does my heart some good to see a few things that we've done/planned for Winter War are backed up with what happens in canon, but... still... WTF?

I think I'm realizing that part of why I love One Piece so much is that Eiichiro Oda stays true to the characters and to the themes he sets from the very beginning. Every single HUGE REVEAL he's ever done fits into what has happened, characters don't do a 180 without some really solid visceral need/want/wish that stems from exactly what they've been all along. It's integral, it makes sense, and he sets the groundwork (or uses the stuff he DID to make up the new stuff in such a way that it *seems* like he set it all up to start) so early on that I can re-watch every episode AGAIN and go "Oh, wow, he knew THAT from this point HERE!!!"

All of which plays well with Robert McKee's idea of why the big reveal, that closing of the gap between what has happened and what caused it to happen, can be so darned satisfying and is kind of the gold at the end of the rainbow for storytellers. And why the unanchored/unconnected SURPRISE! can be so off-putting.
LOL I've certainly had that response to the Bleach manga a multitude of times, ever since shortly before the Arrancar/Aizen war ended (I remember it starting early on in the final Aizen v. Ichigo showdown, and pretty much went on from then through the end of that storyline. And I had more than my usual share of Kubo-induced WtF-moments in the Fullbring Arc - in fact, I'll have to confess I neither fully understood nor appreciated that one until I saw it animated (and I still think it was far from his best, and primarily a ham-fisted means to an end to solve one rather large problem he'd left himself with by the end of the big Hougyouku arc. (I'm being deliberately vague, since I don't know just how far you've read yet.)

But the arc that has come after the Fullbring, the current one.... I gotta say, the first month or so of that left me seriously concerned that TK had just burned out, flamed out, or something - I'd often be reading it muttering to myself, "what kind of crack has this guy been smoking!?!" But as its gone on, it's slowly gotten better, at least IMO, and he does seem to be weaving all the myriad of loose (and crazy) threads into a semblance of order and reason - even if I don't always like or agree with some of his editorial decisions.

I've found myself ruminating on how relatively young he is,and how much of his adult life has been spent writing the series. I think he's a brilliant young man, with great imagination and some real flashes of insight about human nature. But I also think sometimes his lack of RL experience shows a bit, the fact that he's spent most of his time in a room imagining and capturing these other worlds and people, without enough time out in the world to learn how life (and sometimes, people and relationships) all really work. That's my thoughts on it, at any rate... he frustrates me sometimes, but I still remain fascinated, so he must be doing something right!

Edited at 2013-02-27 10:50 pm (UTC)
The current one was the one that really had me concerned. I'll also have to watch the Fullbring anime now with BOTH arguments by people.

I'll hope!!

But your observations about his youth and relative inexperience do feel right, too. He is brilliant, but some of that is missing...

Very cool to hear from a true believer, I'll keep the faith.
Where are you at in the current one? Have you read up all the way to the one that came out today, or are you not that far?
I read right through the last 20 issues yesterday and then backtracked into the earlier ones to figure out what was going on... *laughs* So that may well feed my sense of disconnection. I will do it all then and say when I have. <3

It was good to see Kisuke. *grins*
*digs up a Bleach icon that's more cheery... sorta...*

I kinda liked the Fullbring one -- though the anime, I will say, brought some stuff out a lot better in it. The anime, for instance, was just... really good about people going *BOGGLE* while everyone else is going, "Yeah, it's Ichigo; he's like that. Want a donut?"

I will say, the Fullbring bit MISSED A BET at the very end. Which, if you haven't gotten there yet, I won't spoil. If you have gotten to the end, just say...
*laughs* Okay... you've given me more hope as I definitely haven't looked through all the anime episodes since the Aizen defeat... I probably should...

Thank you!!
Watch the Fullbring series! And... Hm. Watch it with the urge to eat popcorn and laugh and generally kick back and make mildly snide comments now and then.
I will note that something has just (in the last few weeks) come up in the manga which references the Fullbring arc, which I think may amuse you when you see it.

I agree that KT is taking an axe to a number of background setting bits.

OTOH... hm. It's not so much that there is no foreshadowing at all, or that there is lots of foreshadowing. But a number of background bits are now coming back to bite us with an unanticipated explanation that casts the whole thing in a much darker light. Why is it illegal to the point of a possible death penalty for shinigami to transfer their powers to the living? Why has Yamamoto always been by-the-book and legalism for as long as we have known him? Why has Ishida Ryuuken always wanted his son to give up being a Quincy? Why are people scared of Unohana? Why did the shinigami apparently kill all the Quincy?

I thought it was explained way back that the Shinigami killed all (well, almost all) the Quincy over a difference of agreement over the whole balance of souls thing - the Shinigamis wanted to kill all the hollows to keep the balance of souls right, and the Quincies disagreed, they wanted to just extinguish the hollows completely. The shinigami decided they had to kill the Quincy since the Quincy refused to compromise about it, and the safety of the human world was at stake if the balance of souls wasn't maintained.

It's frustrated me because there are so many other things I had hoped to see more of in the Seireitei - especially the Vaizards return and the remainder of the Arrancar and how those new personalities and their complexities coming into the scene would affect everything. It all seems a little haphazard and improvised, to the point that I'm surprised sometimes when he actually works it around to where the plot line actually connects back up with itself! And I have a feeling many of the unanswered questions about Unohana and Yamamoto will end up never being answered, either, which is kind of frustrating, too. (I'm just so relieved he seems to have toned down the whole quasi-Nazi thing with the Quincies - that was beginning to make me kind of squirm..... >_> )
That is certainly the accepted/received story for why the shinigami killed the Quincy.

I'm just wondering if it's necessarily the complete/true story. We've only had it from secondary sources (Ishida Uryuu, etc), after all...
It may well be that whole attitude shift that is affecting me adversely... a mild sense of betrayal in some ways... though I'll admit that I like how Unohana is playing out.

True! There were some hints that those histories were there and those are excellent questions. Okay, and I'll admit to a very very sophomoric miffedness about being proven so very wrong with the entire tone of the Gotei 13's origins. *laughs*

Though, come to think of it, TK's Zombie Powder *started* in that very dark zone.
It's true that certain parts of the tone of the Gotei 13's origins aren't quite as we planned them. Though... I suppose it depends how far back one goes.

Have you seen the bit with Little Shunsui (aw so cute etc) talking with Yamamoto? If the events referenced were "back in the past" even when Shunsui was just a tiny little nipper, then they are really far back.

(Though it is harder to reconcile Unohana, I admit.)
Precisely. *laughs* You have the sticking point.

I haven't seen that yet, and now I truly want to.