Darkshaunz assesses the IchiRuki war machine
Looks like its going to be a Bleach-heavy week for Retsgip Anime Blog. As readers here know, I am a Rukia fan, amongst other things. I think overall as a character, she has traits which appeal to me, you know, the prideful and capable kind of demeanour. The kind of lady which knows how to handle herself, yet has a soft and soothing presence about her (The cute and ridiculous sketches help too). I am intrigued by her character because she’s got a wonderful chemistry in the series with Ichigo. So I decided I’d take some time out to just see where the two are currently at in terms of their interaction as characters, and maybe try and figure out just whether or not our Lady Kuchiki has got a rival in terms of Orihime.
This is my Bankai suckers, Bitch in one hand, Tight-ass sword in the other. Fuck Yeah!
Oh Haruhi, this is another Anti-Orihime spiel.
Actually it isn’t, so rest assured that if you are Inoue fan, there’s not going to be any flames or anything attacking her character for that matter. If you are a regular to this blog and my entries, you know that I bag the shit out of everything anyway, even on characters I like. From a lot of the IchiRuki Entries I have seen, well I would not call them entries, they are more like Essays with really solid and well referenced material. Its kind of surreal to see people put in University-level analysis into the relationship of two fictional characters. Then again, Rukia and Ichigo have quite a unique relationship. I think if we take a look at how the characters are designed to be and how they behave at present, we can make at the least a pretty-decent attempt at predicting the outcomes of character relationships.
Being a Rei-fanboy, I can understand the assumption that I would automatically adopt an Anti-Orihime or even Anti-Asuka standpoint for that matter. But hey, lets face it, what is sexual tension without rivals-in-love in any series. Shana has Yoshida to contend with, Chidori has Tessa to contend with, Sakura has Ino to contend with and the list just goes on and on. So Orihime’s character is at odds with Rukia right? Well actually it’s rather on the contrary, because Rukia herself has never declared a love rival to Orihime in any way, shape or form (The same could be said about Chidori in FMP). So what I don’t understand is some of the massive rants about how IchiRuki fans are wrong or about how IchiOri fans are wrong in some of the articles I have come across. They are just really close friends, its as simple as that…..or is it?
Clearly, this is what all Normal couples do in Japan.
Orihime - Fighting against herself?
She’s a dilligent, attractive and friendly girl, so uh, why is she so sadfase?
Now I am not a big fan Orihime (I definitely don’t mind her though), her kind of goofy nature in the series hasn’t helped that fact. To her credit, she has a lot of shining attributes; loyalty, kindness and sincerity. Orihime is at least true to herself on how she feels about Ichigo, Rukia and other cast members she interacts with, and she definitely goes out of her way to try and make things right. I am spotting out Ichigo and Rukia because the former is the object of her desire and the latter is her (imagined) rival in “romance” or “serious relationship”. Her fighting/healing powers are a nice break from the usual BANKAI Super Saiyan shit which Rukia and Ichigo will no doubt be spamming come the Hueco Amigo Buritto arc in the manga (or so I’ve heard). She’s not unattractive, and after watching a lot of Boobular Ikkitousen, hey…maybe her rack isn’t so bad after all. I’ll guarantee you my current stance on her is a vast improvement over me hoping she died ASAP a while ago (think Siesta-hate in ZnT).
Just another generic conversation in a stereotypical Japanese high school.
I thought Rei vs Asuka Fanboy flamewars were bad, wait till you see Orihime vs Rukia campaigns, its like watching Omaha Beach, but with more mother-fucking and family-death threats. I think the problem here lies not with the character, but a misunderstanding that there isn’t any outward competition for Ichigo’s affection. In fact when you look at it, there’s only one girl expressing her intentions here, and that’s Orihime. Rukia isn’t doing anything to stop it, she’s not reacting to it in any way and hey, I think Rukia genuinely appreciates Orihime as an ally or comrade. So to me, Orihime’s situation is kind of like hitting “Training” mode in Street Fighter, where you play against yourself. Sure you end up beating the dummy at the other side of the screen, but Surprise surprise! Thats still you and you alone. So I can understand people not liking either Rukia or Orihime, but I think we can all agree that the girls aren’t locked in any sort of “Round One…Fight!” kind of scenario.
See? There’s absolutely zero hostile vibes here, except for Ichigo getting his ass kicked.
Why don’t I get hawt girls like that welcoming me back home? =(
So why is Orihime beating herself up so bad? I think it’s to do with a lack of reciprocation of feelings from Ichigo. Love needs to be an interaction, so the concept of Love is a two-way thing, and I think that in Orihime’s case, its unfortunately very much a one-way affair. She’s pouring out her soul this way to soul society, but getting very limited (if any) signals from Ichigo. He just has Rukia in his mind, and that I think, is not a matter of argument. I am stating this as a casual viewer of Bleach, and I am sure those reading this who have written IchiRuki fanfics or host IchiRuki blogs have all kinds of amazing proof or justifications etc. However, he’s genuinely concerned about Orihime too, I have no doubt that as a character, he would definitely want to protect her from harm or injury (he’s demonstrated this many times in the anime anyway). I am not sure where Kubo Tite intends to take the whole one-way affection thing in her character, but I don’t really see it going anywhere past either it being an obssessive-compulsive thing or she gradually becomes insane because Ichigo fails to reciprocate her signals. Let’s hope it doesn’t end in either, I think the best thing for her character is to grow stong, independent of her reliance from Ichigo (kind of like Post-Timeskip Sakura from Naruto).
I’d wish she joined Rangiku in the Bath Tub. Heh heh.
I think an IchiOri relationship would be the most “Normal” relationship of the pairings in Bleach. Its a high school guy with a high school girl, as opposed to Rukia, who is probrably older than my whole family tree put together. If Kubo Tite does indeed intend to take this route with Ichigo and Orihime, then I think he needs to start easing us into Orihime’s past with Ichigo, like if they knew each other prior to high school and all that (which I am assuming they may have). To be fair, Rukia and Ichigo have had a lot of flashbacks of each other and we know they are the central pair (for now), but it would be nice to see obviously, some more character development not only in Orihime’s case (though she should be the first), but also with Chad and Ishida. So in saying, if we look at it from this perspective, Orihime would be “better” suited to Ichigo seeing as she belongs in the real world, as opposed to Rukia who has to fight a constant battle in either remaining in the mortal realm or in Soul Society where she would be beckoned to anyway. In terms of a “Settled” relationship, Orihime would be the better candidate, but its just not looking that way at the moment.
Thar she blows again, stop crying, you’re plenty cool.
I’d descibe the IchiOri relationship as a tragic one, on one layer the two share a good and healthy friendship and on the other, its a one-sided love bordering on being unfair to Orihime. Hence I’d like to close by saying that I doubt Orihime will eventually become bitter about Rukia. She’s frustrated about her situation with Ichigo, yes, but despite everything, she can’t help but admire Rukia and value the friendship they have. The Orihime I see now is definitely different, she’s coming to terms with her one sided love and I think she’ll definitely carve her own path and perhaps even demolish her hang up with Ichigo. Like Sakura from Naruto, she’s got a lot of potential as a character in terms of strength and power, I’d like to see her become a worthy warrior in the Bleach line-up (lets note that she is already making a difference as she is), and I mean c’mon I think the whole Healing/Shield thing is kind of cool, no Party is awesome/functionable without a healer (all MMORPG players know this). To my fellow Rukia fans, lets lay down our artillery towards her eh?.
I want to be comforted by their kind hearts (I mean boobs)
Rukia - Locked in a constant battle between Duty and Desire
Strike a pose!
I’m going to say a lot of nice things about Rukia of course, but you know I want this to be a fair assessment as well. Rukia’s got a lot of spunk in her, she’s got a warrior-like determination, she has discipline and her character design appeals to me (I like the hairstyle and her relatively petite build) but she’ll drop and throw the rulebook away when it comes to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the people she truly cares for, and that would most likely include Ichigo, Renji and even Orihime (I’d go as far as saying Ishida and Chad too). Rukia has a reason for everything she does, she’s a bit of a Pragmatist like me, always assessing the cause and affects of making a decision (basically we suck at taking quick action when it counts sometimes). Whilst being a Pragmatic is good, it also bars her from trying new, exciting things and restricts her from lunging out and being who she really desires to be as a person. All of the above and the fact that she draws the most Ridiculous sketches just adds flavour to her person.
“Use the fucking door next time, Rukia”….”Huh? what was that Ichigo?”
I SAID USE THE FUCKING DOOR.
Ever since her fateful meeting with Ichigo on the night a Hollow decided to crash into Ichigo’s place, we’ve seen Rukia and Ichigo interact on a wavelength rarely seen on the anime screen. Their interactions are subtle, they give off vibes and these small almost unnoticeable body language signals give away that the two of them are communicating with each almost secretly. So my intrigue on the pair is definitely on this level, sure I am an IchiRuki shipper because I support Rukia, but it’s definitely another case when it comes to seeing the things the characters don’t want us to see, or what Kubo Tite doesn’t want to let on just yet. Then again, what body language? The two haven’t even hugged even after all this time, definitely haven’t seen anything close to a kiss (or attempted kiss) and I know I have not seen Rukia swaying her hips in a seductive motion towards Ichigo (Hentai Doujins don’t count, guys).
Mating Season in Karakura town, the males get kicked in the face as foreplay.
Aside from that, Rukia has a crazily big effect on Ichigo. She’s like his control system, in scenes where she isn’t around, Ichigo is just his “keep to himself” badboy/shounen self (kind of like Shikamaru). But when Rukia is around, he gets kind of antsy because she’s always nagging him, but you’ll never see Ichigo more relaxed with the opposite sex than with Rukia. I guess this is because of a lot of things, Rukia spent a lot of time sleeping in Ichigo’s closet pre-SS arc, She’s the girl that completely changed his life and how he views the world of spirits (in that most of the spirits want to eat my face), She is one of the few who knows about Ichigo’s mother’s incident, She was the one willing to pay the price with her life for taking responsibility in passing her powers to Ichigo (To make sure his family was safe from the Hollow) and the both of them have been through Hell (soul society) and back. If I were Ichigo, I’d probrably be thinking about Rukia quite a lot, and is probrably what is happening with Ichigo’s character at the moment. That and he is definitely inspired in recent events to stop being an emo-kid and protect the people he treasures most.
Stop fapping to porn and get to bed already!
“Instead ask yourself, what should a free ma”-Ooops wrong entry.
So aside from the subtle affection the two share for each other, I think its safe to say that Rukia is definitely stubborn about her obvious inclination towards Ichigo. But every kick, punch and sketchbook-throw she aims at Ichigo, are all done affectionately. Though mind you if a girl I knew constantly maimed me that way, I would call the fucking police or something. So a bad side to this is of course if Ichigo and Rukia do get together, he better not piss her off, I mean a Girlfriend with BANKAI would suck if you forget like her birthday or something (when I say suck, I mean you could literally Die and shit). Rukia’s controlled and assessive nature is what is keeping her from outwardly expressing that affection towards him, and in this recent arc in the anime, its obvious that she wants to be with him. She automatically opts to stay in his house, even though she could have followed Renji over to Urahara’s. So how do I say this, Ichigo and her have an awesome unspoken bond with each other, when they look at each other, they are like in a separate dimension where there’s nobody and nothing else but the two of them. Ichigo also serves as Rukia’s personal mount, as Rukia is smart enough to realize Shinigamis are a more efficient way to travel in urban areas). I’d take public transport anyday though (comfy seats for the win).
“The Airport please”
“Actually, make that Central Park please”
Despite doing all they can to suppress their emotions, sometimes their actions make it obvious they are the couple on the pedestal. So when it comes to Rukia and Ichigo, I don’t know if I am intrigued by their subtlety or if I am just amsued by the sheer stupidity of the pair. I think we can all agree that its a definite combination of both factors. Rukia also brings out the most extreme reaction out of Ichigo, and I think its a combination of her selflessness and her Stern-concern approach to Ichigo. Think of her like how Seargant Mao behaves towards Sousuke in Full Metal Panic, the kind of tough but genuinely loving older-sister kind of approach. I think that when a guy decides to charge into a Soul Society to bust a girl out by enduring ten days of Training hell, that the girl probrably means a metric shitload to him. Rukia is restricted in a sense that its contradictory to her character to act outwardly romatically, but she knows that Ichigo will listen to her and that she is at least acknowledges that the two of them are a synergy.
I forgot how hot Ichigo’s mother was.
Also, I’d like to add that Rukia is Pimp. She not only has Ichigo, but Renji too, and its ironic because Ichigo and Renji have become quite close recently and there’s kind of this brotherly bond. Its a fact that the two of them are bound by the same girl. Whether or not she is “aware” of it, she currently sways the actions and doings of two men. Renji is definitely a cool character I enjoy watching and I think in the future Ichigo and Renji would pair up extremely well as a combat duo. Most would probrably argue that she controls three men, including Ice-cold Byakuya. Then again, it’s Byakuya, who knows what that tight-ass captain, I doubt anyone could influence him. He’s the kind of guy who wouldn’t be influenced even if you aimed a Rocket Launcher in his face. Who knows? maybe she secretly knows she has two guys wrapped around her finger and she’s actually enjoying it in a devilish way? (Evil Rukia does sound kind of cool)
She’s missing a Pimp cane.
In terms of Power and Strength, I know we were used to seeing Rukia beaten up and short of power until the end of the Soul Society arc, though her fighting spirit never waned. To me, seeing her Shikai was completely awesome. I mean her Zanpaktou definitely reflects Rukia, the whole angelic blade of purity really appealed to me, that and the fact her “Ice Ice Baby” special move was impressive as well. Regulars know that I am sucker for combat vixens, and although no woman would ever top Revy (Black Lagoon) in badassery and severe ass-canning, I want to see Rukia at least get close to some serious ownage in Bleach. I remember watching early on in the series that Rukia was more of a prodigy than Renji back when they were kids, so I am hoping this is a hint as to how soon we will see Rukia unleash her Super Saiyan 2. I am guessing her BANKAI will have her Sprout angel wings and the skies open up with Angels coming down from the sky holding Holy Bolter Rifles (a’la WH40k) raining Purging Fire upon her enemy. Though if that really DID happen, I would probrably die from overexcitement as my Brain could not possibly handle that much awesome.
I think that means, “Really shiny white circle” in Japanese. I know because I am a Jap expert.
So the bottom line, if push came to shove, Ichigo would definitely endure Heaven or Hell for Rukia…No Questions asked. And vice versa. See now, its obvious to us and I think Kubo Tite purposely made it evident, so that we can be even more frustrated at just what these two bumbling clowns will get themselves into. Intriguingly Frustrating, yet Cute, is how I would describe their relationship. I am interested in seeing where K.T takes the two and develop them in the near future, for a pair that is well known for popularity via maintaining the status quo, how long would it take before even their characters become genuinely frustrated?
Someone call the Orihimebulance! Weeooo Weeooo!
Ichigo and Rukia - Not romantically inclined, but Important to each other, and the Series.
There are few couples which capture my interest, the relationship either has to be unique, fucking epic or utterly hilarious for me to even worth mentioning. Revy and Rock from Black Lagoon is definitely in one of my tops (they are a joy to watch), Chrno and Rossette from Chrno Crusade was an epic couple (and possibly the only tear-inducing on my list) and Chidori and Sousuke from Full Metal Panic! series is also definitely one of my all time favourites. I am very satisfied to include Rukia and Ichigo into the “Unique” category of my favourite “couples/pairs/super-friends” of all time. Aside from being an absolute blast to watch, you can’t help but feel envious that the two share such an amazing connection.
“Next time, remind me never to say yes when you ask, want me to draw a picture?”.
Wow it all makes sense now…..Not
An anime is many things, and for a Shounen series like Bleach, its got competition from heavy hitters like Naruto and One Piece. It has to set itself apart, not just by providing quality entertainment but also by embedding an identity in the anime scene. I think Rukia became more popular than she was originally intended, but Kubo Tite made her into such a spectacular character, I can’t help but be a fan. The health of the series definitely depends not only on making the Arrancar arcs interesting and exciting, but by the development of Ichigo and Rukia. If Rukia or Orihime was ever taken out of the equation, I would stop watching Bleach. It’s a biased way of putting it, I know. The two have become such a hit with not only me, but a lot of Bleach fans that I don’t think we can imagine either of them crossed off. It’d be like taking Rei or Asuka out of Evangelion, you wouldn’t do it even if you had the balls to do it (if you did, you’d probrably get stoned to death by thousands of angry, angry otakus).
Lovey Dovey Meter (or Hot Sex Meter, if you so wish)
Nice Ichigo, you are so “In”.
Physical Proximity - Rukia can smash, kick, punch and slap Ichigo all she wants.
History - The two have a Colourful, Action-Packed and Unforgettable past.
Relationship Status - Strictly Platonic, but a lot of mutual affection.
“Knight in Shining Armour” factor - King Ichigo would go Sparta for Queen Rukia anyday (Dining in Seiretei etc.).
Synergy Level - Not as high as Yuuji/Shana or Rock/Revy, but they definitely work well together.
Likelihood of Full blown romance - Highly unlikely. That would just make their unique and special bond lame.
Rukia vs. Orihime statement - Rukia’s the gal that has my fanboy meters going into the Red, but Orihime’s got the bigger rack and looks hotter.
At the end of the day, Its only Speculation
“OMG Rukia!? WTF!?”
Definitely, nobody can say for sure whether we are on the right track with our analysis. This is because only one person is involved in the decision making process, that is Kubo Tite. At the end of the day, it’s his call on how he wants the characters and how he wants to synergize the cast. Nobody knows for sure if he’s working on the fly according to fan/reader wants, or he already has a structured and scheduled series of events he will execute regardless of fan feedback. However, lets be reasonable enough and assume that we can take single events and individual moments as our points of references, I think it’s very possible for us to see the “Couple” in Ichigo and Rukia. There can be such a thing as Over-analyzing it, but I think in this case, its neeeded, purely because their actions fall below the radar, in a manner of speaking.
Kon loves Rukia too.
So before we all go outside and wave multi-coloured flags with IchixRuki 4eva!!! printed on them, there is the realization that even with what seems to be overwhelming evidence and more, it all falls down to the Big K.T. That said, taking aside the whole Rukia-sided factors “Ichigo looks like Kaien therefore..bla..bla..bla” and “She is indebted to Ichigo in many ways…etc”, Yes, nobody is disputing that those two factors play a role in her preliminary attachment to Ichigo, but let’s face the cards here, it’s grown beyond that. So what I am getting at is, we can take at what seems to be an “Opinionated Hypothesis” to at the very least an “Educated Guess”. However, this is anime, and for all I know, KT can go the full 360 and make Rukia lesbian for Orihime (Not that I would complain). On that note I am sure there are like craploads of Doujins with Bleach Yuri in them, I know I have *accidentally* come across a few Yoruichi/Rangiku ones (accidentally is the keyword here, honest).
Ara ara ara~
So there you have it, Ichigo and Rukia is indeed a pair that will continue to entertain and amuse Bleach viewers for arcs to come (hopefully). Their chemistry undeniable, their affection for each other is at scouter-breaking levels and if one or the other got seriously injured, there is going to be an Epic Battle of world-breaking proportions (Remind to get Epic Battle Insurance). Call it whatever you wish, IchiRuki, KuroKuchi or IchigoXRukia. I’m personally calling it character interaction well executed. If this makes me an official IchiRuki shipper, the so be it, I just hope I don’t have to pay a membership fee or anything. To the IchiOri fans reading this, its a pretty interesting and promising time for Orihime to develop as an individual character, there’s no reason whatsoever why you should be on a warpath with IchiRuki fans. Can’t we all just get along? Because I know the characters are.
You’ve reached the end of the entry! Take care now.