You thought he forgot. You thought it was a DBZ rip-off. You thought it was a deux ex machina. You thought it would never be explained. You thought this arc would just be filler.
YOU WERE HALF RIGHT. PERHAPS EVEN MORE SO.
So at this point I would be only mildly surprised if Ichigo is the Quincy King's grandson. I really don't think Ichigo is his SON. That line could have either been poorly translated or it could have been in reference to one of the default ways rulers typically think of their subjects: as their children.
The other is as their servants. That doesn't seem to fit here.
I had a couple questions going into this arc.
1) Does Ichigo's reputation REALLY get around THAT much? Are we REALLY going to further promote the fact that he's JUST that special?
2) They want Ichigo behind bars. Becaaaause why? They're Quincies. They're arrogant. I don't think THEY think much of Aizen. It doesn't sound like they do. Sure, Ichigo took Aizen out. Sure, the Soul Society is showing a bit too much interest in an outsider. But so what? He's not a "secret weapon"... really... and even if he were, he doesn't seem to have demonstrated capabilities that the Quincy should be afraid of. And even if he DOES use his world-altering powers, he can only do it once. Supposedly. And then it's gone forever (or until other people step in and give it back, anyway). And if they kill off most of the Shinigami, especially the powerful ones who were mainly responsible for that, then, well... it's not like he can get a restart again. He'd be able to use it once. On one person. All they'd have to do is get him to use it up on a low-level person, and he'd be out of the picture.
3) Okay, what jaw-dropping truth is coming out for THIS arc? You're killing off principle cast members left and right (aka PEOPLE WITH NAMES), and the story's barely even started yet! Something is DEFINITELY going down. Or we're having "Madoka Magica" levels of world restarts heading our way.
Other questions I've thought about for a long, long time, without ever really thinking up any reason for why beyond "it's a DBZ rip-off" or "he's a deux ex machina/angsty generic shounen hero":
Why is Ichigo so special?
Well I thought it was because the author just wanted him to be that way. Heck, he was heading along the endless powerup stages so reminiscent of other shounen, like "Dragonball", "Rave Master", "MAR", "G Gundam", and so on, with perfect recyclable plot glee. He's learned powers from the Shinigami, the Vizards, Xcution... He's learned from Rukia, Urahara, Yoruichi, general Vizards, general Xcution, his father... It would not surprise me to know that he now has to turn to the only group he's only really learned one minor fact from, way back when: the Quincy. Heck, if any more groups get thrown into this, alongside the humans, the ghosts, the Hollows, the Arrancar, the Vizards, the Shinigami, the Quincy, the Xcution people... I have no idea what to do. I barely even remember the cast from the Vizards and Arrancars. STOP ADDING IN MORE DAMN CHARACTERS AND THEN KILLING THEM OFF BEFORE I LEARN ENOUGH TO CARE ABOUT AND/OR CELEBRATE THEIR DEATHS!
I thought he'd never get around to it. I'm not entirely certain we ever learn about why Goku or Gohan are so special in the DBZ universe. Gohan, of course, is Goku's son, and therefore receives specialness by bloodline. Goku, though... I have no idea.
In "Rave Master"... well... I mean it's destiny. And bloodlines. "Our bloodlines have fought for all of time, because of x, and therefore destiny will always make sure we fight."
In "MAR"... well, part of it is that oh-so-magic-thing called will. And people from our world are "just that special" in the MAR world. "G Gundam" has a similar explanation.
I always assumed it would never be gone into. We know that Ichigo's father was Just That Special and was banished for Reasons Unknown (I presumed because, after using his power for whatever reason he did, which was apparently never being gone into, he was powerless, and was thus kicked out cause the Shinigami are snobs), and thus his children would be Just That Special. It's been done quite often before.
But, well... if Kurosaki Isshin fought in the Quincy War... or whatever happened way back when (and who knows how long ago it was, really), and had to use his power... on someone... and somehow Masaki, the Quincy, was involved... perhaps he was protecting her. Perhaps he was running from pursuers who wanted to punish him for loving/marrying Masaki. Or even escaping to the human world. Or something. I can see this happening.
Was this what he was hiding the whole time? I doubt it. I believe it was Tite Kubo who said something along the lines of "when I'm under the effect of writer's block, I create new characters rather than continue story because that gets me nowhere."
So he wanted to go out with a bang. Tie up some loose ends. We never went into how Isshin and Masaki met. Why Isshin got kicked out of Soul Society. How Isshin and Ryuken met. Heck...
He's going there, isn't he. HE'S GOING THERE!
I forget what the trope is called. It's like "multi-generational copying" or something. Where children mimic their parent's romantic messes. For instance, Minato and Naruto fell in love with women with strong personalities and red hair. Picture a scene where you see two parents talking to their kid, who looks like a mini version of one of the parents. Another kid walks into the picture, and they look exactly like the other parent, and even match that parent's temperament in some way. Of course, this child is destined to be child A's future soul mate.
I can see a story where Ryuken, a Quincy with ingrained power-climbing desires (for the sake of his family), was pursuing Masaki, a powerful Quincy. With his demonstrated abilties, coupled with the way the new Quincy refer to the Ishida family, I have no doubt that he was a strong Quincy and/or from a very strong and well-respected family, who would have thus made a VERY good match for the daughter of the Quincy ruler.
I can then see a story where Masaki and Isshin somehow cross paths, whether during a fight between themselves or with another foe, and fall in love. I can see Ryuken either getting angry about this and fighting it out with Isshin until they resolve to like each other like Comradely Male Fighters love to do, or doing something and admitting that he's in love with someone else (possibly Uryu's mother, whom we have never once heard anything about), and giving Masaki up. He might have even helped Isshin escape. Or his anger over Isshin winning Masaki over could be the basis for the pair's frosty relationship. The fact that he knows about the time Isshin lost his powers speaks volumes. The fact that they haven't spoken in some time speaks volumes.
I so see Kubo doing this. It's... well... yeah. He's gonna do it. I hope he does because I would REALLY love to at least ONCE see proof that Uryu has a mother. Maybe even proof that he has a grandmother. I mean, come on! What the heck HAPPENED to those women?
Heck, maybe Ryuken married Masaki's sister. He could have been close to the royal family and so went after Isshin and Masaki when they got together. Perhaps to kill them. Perhaps to just kill Isshin.
A mix of Quincy/Shinigami heritage would help explain the weirdness of Ichigo's early powers (I'm sure there's a trope about RANDOM POWER JUMBLE SOLVES PROBLEMS/DOES AWESOME FOR REASONS), before that power was taken away and he went through hollowfication. The hollowfication, mixed with the Quincy/Shinigami mix, plus any unusual bloodline capabilities he recieved through his parents (his father, a very powerful shinigami, and his mother, a descendent of royalty) would explain most other things. This makes me very curious and Yuzu and Karin. They already demonstrate latent abilities of some sort. I have to wonder what they'll be, sometime in the future.
On a side note, King Endymion: Troll of epic proportions. At least according to the anime. In the manga... he's a mix between somewhat helpful and moderately useless. MUCH LIKE TUXEDO KAMEN! OOOOH! STAYING IN CHARACTER! You know how he's grown as a character in the 900+ years he's lived since the present story? ...Um... he's slightly more useful than he was 900+ years ago! And he went purple!
On another side note... I wonder what fashions Takuechi would give the cast if she were to start fresh with the series. The senshi already went through at least one costume change - all of them have draft costume designs. At least in the case of the Inner Senshi, the early costume designs were substantially different than what they ended up wearing. The costume design changes gained through power-ups over time could even be seen as an excuse to build on poor early costume design. Plus, she would probably have a BIG group of assistants to help her this time around. Some of her choices could have been an attempt to lessen the amount of work she would have to do on her own. All of the original senshi uniforms are relatively simple. Even things like Neo-Queen Serenity's/Princess Serenity's gown are relatively simple for what it should be. And why does Chibi-Usa always wear a school uniform? We never see her going to school in the future, and we never see any other children wearing it. I don't know why she wasn't given a gown similar to Usagi's, like she does later in the series... until much later in the series. Say... most of the way through the Stars arc. Or why she wasn't given civilian clothes.
Now I'm not supporting the use of ridiculous outfits. I'm just trying to be realistic, story-wise. You've got royalty. You've got a set of guardians with armor that is by no means made in consideration of actual protection, intimidation, or fight capability... and, over time,they got exceedingly more so. You've got a basic world creation.
If Takeuchi could remake them... what would she take into consideration?
It would be so much easier if she'd done anything AFTER Sailor Moon, so we could see her growth as an artist afterwards, as well as her changes in preference. Authors like Nobuhiro Watsuki, Noboyuki Anzai, Rumiko Takahashi, CLAMP... they all went and continued with their work.
Toki*Meca seems to be the only thing she really returned to after Sailor Moon. And... it's kind of weird and doesn't really tell me anything. Her art HAS picked up somewhat, at least.
Sigh. I WANT TO KNOW WHAT ARTIST IS DOING THE NEW SERIES OMG....
I hope it's amazing. I hope it is SO amazing I cry when I see the first episode. FROM JOY!
So NaNoWriMo is starting in two days. Well, midnight tomorrow. My goal is to have 11/01's portion done before I go to the Halloween costume contest so I can just put it up and not have to worry about things...
There have been a couple of students taking the initiative and starting some English-major relatedness.... things... For instance, we now have an English major's club. For some reason. I'm still not entirely sure about why, but we have one. People have also brought up some other events related to the major. And they mention them during my Creative Writing class.
Yes it's a stupid major.
So I thought about, during today's class, making an announcement for NaNoWriMo, since that's writing-related and such. It's fun. Ish. And very educational. It's good to give people what, two days to decide whether to participate or not, right?
So anyway, since class was cancelled today, I never had the opportunity to do that. So I put it up on our school's homework website on our class section. Which is always emailed out to people. I don't know how I could have avoided that, but, well... maybe people actually read it.
Of course, I didn't contact my professor beforehand and ask if it was okay... I kind of just assumed "well, I get no profit whatsoever out of this, it's a way for people to practice writing, it's a way to get connected with other writers and a way to get helpful information from other writers and a way to join the writing community and it's educational and if you do it right it doesn't take a lot of time and you don't have to pay for it and if I send it out like this it doesn't take away from class time like the OTHER student announcements did so... maybe I can just put this out there without any problems..."
Also, the homework site is kind of up at least partially for communication and discussion. So... yeah.
My email could have been shorter. The use of summary is not my strong suit. Note, this entire journal/blog thing.
I think I was 99% successful at keeping myself out of the email though. It was pretty much just about NaNo. I made a comment about how the goal is intimidating, and that it can be seen as unintimidating at first, possibly, and that I originally didn't see it as intimidating (it was very brief). I then added that "as someone who has done this for three years, I can say that it is helpful, worth it, and blah" and that was about it for me. After the "hi!" at the beginning of the email, anyway. I was very good for once! I even checked it over twice for grammatical and spelling mistakes and to be certain it was clear!
I think maybe I should have asked for her permission first... I don't really think she minded but, well...
I spent my lovely free day yesterday doing a couple things: a) sleeping, b) surviving the rain to get food for lunch, dinner, and lunch and breakfasts for the next week or so, c) WoW, of course, d) some writing, e) at least five or six hours of computer science homework, for which I have STILL not heard anything back from my professor, and f) reading "The Darkness".
My professor was supposed to have office hours today for students to come and ask him questions on the homework that's due tomorrow, general questions, and questions on the project due in a couple weeks... and whatever. I sent him questions early yesterday afternoon, and at like... 1 AM. I kind of expected to at least see a "sorry, you can't ask me these questions - you need to figure them out on your own" email. I haven't even gotten that. I'm going to assume that he's lost power. Certainly he doesn't have the excuse that I sent him emails at the last minute.
I really did knuckle down and get some comp sci homework done. Like really. I learned some stuff. That I really should have known a while ago, but STILL! I learned stuff!
I really don't like "The Darkness". It has occasional moments of amusement... but the narration is so over-dramatic, difficult to read because of font decisions, and, well... predictable... that it is extremely uninteresting. I've started completely ignoring the pure narration and just reading over speech bubbles. I even skip a lot of the speech bubbles because of, oh, predictability and sexism.
"Why are you reading "The Darkness" if you're concerned about sexism? Are you a moron?"
Because I grew up reading "Tomb Raider". Thank my dad. Personally I think it had a great story. I also haven't read over it in a long time because I am quite certain the sexism in certain places would bother me. The "Tomb Raider" comics interact with the other major Top Cow franchises, including "The Darkness" and "The Witchblade". I always wondered about these other two. Jackie also looks pretty hot when he's drawn interacting with Lara, so... yeah. A story featuring a hot guy who's really badass.
AND THEN THEY ADD IN THE SEXISM AND... WELL...
Anyway. The idea is at least half-decent. Like a wrote earlier, it's amusing at times. I've been reading in a rather non-chronological order at times, and Jackie made a reference to getting probed in the ass at one point while talking to aliens... and I thought he was joking. And then, well... let's just say he had a bad run in with some Predators. It was very amusing.
Honestly, you don't need to read the speech bubbles to get what's going on 95% of the time. If I realize I'm missing something important... which happens INCREDIBLY rarely, the most I have to do is re-read the page I'm on, closely. There's so much repetition and, well... I'm sure the authors are at least somewhat aware that their target audience will be distracted by BOOBS and PANTY SHOTS that they need simple ways to know what's going on, and not long-ass narrative.
Also, when a comic consists of 70% story and 30% sexist darklings being sexist with no real relation to the plot 99% of the time... that already takes out a chunk of the text you need to read.
I'm also familiar with a lot of the plot at this point, through the issues I got a hold of early on, before I started reading the comic in mostly chronological order, and what I've been connecting as I read. I don't need to read through every. single. character. epiphany. that really isn't an epiphany and is just a character angsting. Most likely with sexism involved, SOMEHOW, and 95% of the time doing it out of character. The number of out-of-character moments are simply RIDICULOUS in this story. The way women react to people in general and to each other and their jobs just makes no sense, and then the way they act on their own, when you're already familar with the character is just... wth people? WTH??? And then there's the way Jackie just randomly becomes the omniscient narrator perspective on his life, and not in a "I'm telling the story, and this is how I feel" way, which would be fine, but in a "yeah, I see all these things and all this stuff and everyone is right" or well... it just doesn't make sense how he's doing some of this stuff.
Could I have missed it because I'm reading too quickly over the damn speech bubbles?
No. Not some of the stuff. I'm not talking about ARC-CROSSING changes. I'm talking about weirdness going down in single issues and on pages that are SIDE-BY-SIDE.
The art is also REALLY terrible for the most part. I mean REALLY terrible. To the point where I question whether this was done by Liefield or not. It's THAT awful. And there are so. very. many. splash pages. that are AWFUL!
I also think that Nebeziel, who did some of the comics, put in some of his earlier art here. It's how I forgive him for, on occasion, not being very good with his techniques. But he's one of the few artists who does a somewhat decent job with the comic. That narrows it down to about... three or four people. Outside of that...
I was also still tempted to read "The Witchblade" series. Now I'm really, really not. The art looks twenty times worse than what's in "The Darkness", and so does the story. Sara has more OOC moments than Jackie does, and I'm only looking at the Darkness/Witchblade crossovers.
Anyway, I got through a lot of it yesterday, and I'm at least halfway done. So far, I've enjoyed... three story arcs. There's at least one large plothole (Jenny was engaged to a badass with badass levels substantially larger than Jackie... and she STILL somehow got kidnapped and killed? What? - I'm assuming we're going to learn how this happened soon). I don't really know. I'm so close now, I'll just finish. And heck, it's a way to avoid reading "Deadpool"! Which IS drawn at least on occasion by Rob Liefield!
So apparently Disney bought "Star Wars". Okay... Disney now owns Marvel and Star Wars. I don't really understand the point of that... but whatever. I now demand a Marvel-Disney-Star Wars zombieverse storyline.
I also really look forward to Star Wars movie 7. Yes, people were disappointed with the new prequels. But look at it this way: I enjoyed at least the first two movies. The third one was kind of eh. Admittedly, I was distracted by a number of things at the time. Including the fact that I was sitting between my Dad and one of my best friends and they were both trying to talk to me about different things at the same time and I was not used to being someone people ACTUALLY wanted to talk to (this still confuses me) and, well... I'm really terrible at multi-tasking.
Also, Hayden Christensen will not be in it. CGI Yoda and Jar-Jar Binks will not be in the show (I assume, anyway). If Anakin and Yoda are in it at all, it will probably be a brief thing where POSSIBLY Older Luke will be asking them for advice. Assuming the story involves Luke at all.
While I know it's not going to happen because Mark Hamill is having a lot of health problems, it would be really awesome if he at least had a cameo as a Cool Old Dude. Heck, if they even just had Harrison Ford show up as ye old Rogue of Yesteryear... he's still kicking as an actor.
Back to homework. Ta.