Bleach 686 – I… Whelp, I Guess That’s a Wrap

I’d been hearing rumors of spoilers all day yesterday and, thankfully, I was on the road to MidAmericaCON II/WorldCON so I had absolutely no opportunity to stew* about the voracity of them.

This morning, it seems my worst nightmare is true.

I guess you could go read it, but my partner wife have this policy with movies that seem to be getting too sad or awful. We find a good spot, and we just turn it off, and say, “Well, that was nice.  Butch and Sundance make it to Boliva.” It makes things so much nicer and we never have to be disappointed.

But, here’s where you can find it: http://mangastream.com/r/bleach/686/3613/1.  If you’re stumbling across these reviews later, after that link has expired, you can read all of Bleach at: http://www.mangapanda.com.

SPOILERS

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Okay, that left a bad taste in my mouth

First, before you think I’m crushed because one of my Ichigo ships have been broken… well, the answer is ‘yes,’ but not any that you’re probably imagining.  As a queer fan, I was very, very much hoping for Ichigo to be ace.

However, the biggest problem with Ichigo in this future?

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Ichigo, no honey, YOU NEED BANGS. You look like a moron.  Put a hat on!

What is this travesty of hair?

Look, go ahead and marry off queer/queer-potential characters, Kubo-sensei, but F*CK YOU FOREVER FOR GIVING ICHIGO A DORKY HAIRCUT.

The rest of this bullish*t is really hard for me to talk about.  Like last chapter, I actually skimmed a lot of the words because they physically hurt me to read them.

If you want to yell about individual atrocities, I invite you go find another reviewer.  I want to talk in-depth about the particular knife in my heart.

I signed-on for shounen, a boys’ adventure.

Adventure stories are not, by their nature, romances.  I like romances just fine.  But, the thing that I absolutely despise about this ending is that the implication of “Happily Ever After,” here, in a boys’ adventure story. Yes, we saw it in Naruto.  Yes, we even saw it in Harry Potter.  But this is a very FALSE and destructive trope that needs to be BURNED WITH FIRE.

First of all, as someone who has achieved both marriage and children I want to tell you all the truth: Marriage and children are not the END of anything, they’re the beginning of EVERYTHING. Your boys’ adventure doesn’t stop because you’re 27.  Life continues on and you can STILL BE A NINJA after 30, kids.

This ends nothing, and worse, it perpetuates the stereotype that all the REAL fun is over when you’re married.

No wonder half of marriages end in divorce.

That’s an ugly, horrible message.

My career as a writer started after I’d settled down with the woman of my life and I literally achieved my life’s dream after 30.

Getting married is no way to put a bow on a story that has NOT BEEN ABOUT COMING OF AGE.  Okay, if Bleach had sold itself as “boy needs to find out what it means to grow up” I would have been slightly more okay with married with kids as an end.  This story was not about that in the least–or, I didn’t think it had been sold to me that way.

The second and far more personal issue with this ending is that this pairing off stuff almost always ends with some fan queered character being heavily sprayed with NO HOMO.  If Kubo-sensei had asked me for an ending I could have come up with one that left everyone un-paired and ended with some spectacular action that could have been wickedly satisfying and left queer and straight fans alike, room to continue to have whatever fantasies they wanted about their favorite characters.

Because this sh*t hurts straight people and queer folk alike.  It tells straight people that marriage is the end. It tells people who never wanted marry that, too bad, that’s the only possible happy ending there is in life.  It tells queer folk that there’s no room for them at the table–sure, you can have your side characters THE ONES WE DIDN’T KILL FOR NO F*CKING GOOD REASON, but don’t you dare put your filthy queer fantasies on a main character.

I’m super done with this sh*t.

And don’t even start with what they did to Aizen.  Apparently, Aizen Sousuke–who was in full possession of Kyoka Suigetsu–helped Ichigo defeat Yhwach** and then stood around waiting for them to take him back to Muken.

Without a fight.

Without deception.

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THAT’S SO OUT OF CHARACTER I’M STILL KIND OF EXPECTING THIS WHOLE THING TO TO BE A TROLL AND NEXT WEEK WE GET A NEW CHAPTER WITH AIZEN SAYING ‘HAHAHAHHA, WHEN WILL YOU NOT FALL FOR THAT??’

*a lie. I spent all day in the car complaining to my friend about how awful this ending could be if the spoilers were true.

**not actually the part I have a problem with.  I actually think it was well telegraphed in Aizen’s character that he might care for the survival of the Soul Society, if, for no other reason, than to preserve it in order to claim it for himself.

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