Because charlmeister is a fellow Ichi-Ruki fan, I want to share here (and with her) what I wrote about Bleach, Ichigo and Rukia at the end of the Deicide arc (Chapter 420). It was posted in my old blog (viktorialouise@LJ) last September 22, 2010.
I am stunned to learn that there are only a few Ichi-Ruki shippers. I’ve always thought that this pairing is the most famous and the most probable to come true should Kubo end the manga with a romantic twist. As of the moment, that wish of mine is far from ever happening. But I am crossing my fingers…
Anyways, here’s what I wrote before:
Chapter 420 (aka Deicide Arc No. 22) was published last Monday. A lot of Aizen transformations were shown in the previous chapters before this. Chapter 420 ended that monstrous evolution and began telling Ichigo’s own change. But prior to Ichigo’s transformation, Bleach fandom was already speculating about him and his battle with Tensa Zangetsu and Shirosaki (finally I learned the name of Ichigo’s hollow side), after all the battle marks the final transformation for Ichigo. He’ll finally understand his zanpakutou and the hollow inside him – why they seem to be on opposite sides always. Will Ichigo finally learn things about himself? Will he be able to accept the dark part of his persona?
I admit I am just a newbie in the Bleach fandom. I am not as adept as others are. I don’t dissect much the arcs and analyze the characters. Though I am an IchiRuki shipper, I don’t mind if the author/creator made other Ichigo-team-ups. I enjoy the series without getting geeky about it. But then reading die-hard fanatics’ opinions about the team-ups, the arcs and Ichigo’s growth over the years had me analyzing the recent chapters and how similar and yet different they are from the earlier chapters of the series. I nodded and said “yeah, that’s right” in several blog entries. I smirked and arched my left brow in others.
However, I am not going to talk about them here. I am just going to talk about the most recent chapter. My thoughts about it may be different and may gain unpopular attention but this is how I view the sudden darkness in Ichigo’s gaze and stoic attitude. I might also sound to be swaying heavily on the IchiRuki shipping, so please pardon me for what I am about to say.
Prior to Ichigo’s transformation as a subsititute shinigami, he was just an average high schooler with sadness rooted deep in his heart. His mother’s death and his inability to protect her brought that sadness. When he met Rukia, helping her (or protecting her) was natural for him. It was like his biggest break to redeem himself from the sad inability to do same for his mom. It was the first step in lifting the heaviness in his soul. Turning into a shinigami, though he was hesitant at first, became a goal for him. He used it as a means to protect, which I think is Ichigo’s ultimate goal – to be a protector.
Ichigo meeting Rukia, though Aizen said was just part of his great plan, for me was destiny. Imparting her powers to him, lifting that sadness in his soul, leading him to the shinigami ways, helping him realize his goal, awaking in him his capability to protect, were just some of the reasons why Rukia will always be that special for Ichigo. In the SS arc, saving Rukia was Ichigo’s ultimate goal because his friendship with her, actually his invaluable connection with her, is all that matters to him and that’s something he needed to protect. It’s not because he was in love with her, no matter how much I want it to be like that. Truth be told, he was protecting Rukia because he feels that she is a part of him (receiving her shinigami powers). Rukia is a part of the Kurosaki Ichigo that he had become – the shinigami, the protector.
Now, in the most recent chapter, many had noticed the sudden change in Ichigo’s attitude. His stoic gazes to Aizen’s repulsive evolution were the most apparent. Ichigo is known to be a hot tempered young man and he like in many instances before would have sarcastically commented on Aizen’s hideous show of power. Instead, he opted to gaze coldly and seemingly detached to the events in front of him. There was an apparent sadness in his aura. His eyes were filled with immeasurable loneliness.
The answer to that is the battle that happened in Ichigo’s inner world. Apparently learning the final Getsuga Tenshou has the biggest drawback ever – one has to lose his shinigami powers.
That in my opinion is what saddens Ichigo. In order to protect and defeat the ultimate badass, he had to gain Tensa’s trust and power. However, he also had to lose his shinigami ability, which I believe is the only thing that connects him to his goal (of protecting) and of course, to Rukia. (Yeah, I am stretching this storyline to this possibility. What can I say? I am a romantic.)
He had to choose and he chose what’s best for all that is concerned. However, it came with a price and that’s to relinquish his shinigami powers and probably the only link that he has with Rukia, the one who had been the reason why he gained back his confidence and taught him to fight – fight to protect, that is. Without his shinigami powers, how can he ever protect again? After his battle with Aizen, what happens next? That I think beleaguers our hero aside from the fact that he isn’t sure about defeating Aizen completely.
My opinion about the revelation of Ichigo’s final form may have a hint of truth. Or not! We can only conclude later on. However, I choose to believe this for I am a foolish IchiRuki shipper. I am just airing out my thoughts about it, which actually troubled me for a week. I would like to believe that the series started with Ichigo and Rukia for some great reason that later on will also end with them.