BLEACH MEME TOP 6 CHAPTERS
» CHAPTER 423 “FAREWELL SWORDS/BLEACH MY SOUL” (2/6)Rukia: This is goodbye, Ichigo.
Ichigo: …So it seems.
Rukia: What, don’t look so sad! Even if you can’t see me, I can still see you!
Ichigo: What? That doesn’t make me happy at all! And I wasn’t looking sad…! …Give everyone my regards.
Rukia: I will.
Ichigo: Bye, Rukia. …Thank you.
And so Ichigo defeated Aizen, the war is done and over with, and Aizen is sentenced to 18,800 years in jail. This chapter had a bit of everything: Aizen still thinking he’s god, Central 46’s frustrating ineptitude, Soul Society recovering from the war, a dash of humor (Yamamoto berating the captains for losing their haori: “Just what do you think your captains’ robes are?!” Kenpachi: “A pain in the ass.” Byakuya: “Cheap.” Shunsui: “A fashion statement?” lmao.)… and the angst. Oh, the angst. I really do love sad chapters, and this is pretty much as sad as it gets. And such beautiful art. (That one frame of Rukia and Ichigo standing face to face as she is fading away breaks my heart every time.)
First we see Matsumoto in self-reflection, noting that the people around her were all progressing forward, while she stayed stagnant, rooted to the spot where Gin left her. Hitsugaya is refining his bankai so that he can protect Hinamori; Shuuhei and Renji are off training, preparing in case they see an enemy the likes of Aizen again (You think any Soul Society jail will be able to contain Aizen? Ha!). But Matsumoto is still grieving over Gin, looking on sadly as her friends move on without her. I’ve never been much of a GinRan fan, to be honest. (I did like them in the beginning, but then I turned into a much bigger HitsuMatsu fan.) But I can’t deny that what Gin and Matsumoto had was pretty much canon and it was saddening to see Matsumoto suffer so much, first from Gin’s betrayal, and now his death. I hope we get to see her soon, kicking ass by her captain’s side again.
Then we get to the main point of the chapter: Ichigo’s and Rukia’s farewell.
I don’t care whether you are an IchiHime, RenRuki, IchiRuki, whatever shipper: I think anybody can agree that this scene was beyond sad. What Ichigo and Rukia have, be it love or friendship or something else, is incomparable. Rukia was the one who gave him his shinigami powers and this is the end of Ichigo’s life as a shinigami. Not only has he lost all of his powers, but he also can’t sense spirits at all anymore, the one thing that has plagued him all his life. Years before he met Rukia, I’m sure he would have been glad to rid himself of that gift/curse, but now? After all they’ve been through together? You can sense the resignation in his eyes, his words. Just imagine one important person in your life, fading before your very eyes…
What makes this even more poignant - and I didn’t even realize this until not too long ago, on my 234568th re-read of this chapter - is the fact that their friends (Ishida, Chad, and Orihime) stand in the background, witnessing the farewell. But they can’t see what Ichigo sees (ie, Rukia disappearing into thin air) because they still have their spiritual power. They can’t grasp the full intensity of the situation - but even so, it’s obvious in their faces that they understand that they’re witnessing a very, very different goodbye from the last one when Ichigo left Soul Society.
And as Ichigo looks up into the clear, empty sky, he utters one more, final “thank you.” That last “thank you” just really completed the whole chapter for me. (This is the cue for my eyes to start watering ;____;) How many times have Ichigo and Rukia said “thank you” and “Idiot, that’s my line”? When Rukia entered Ichigo’s life suddenly in Chapter 1, he was just a human boy. And now she abruptly leaves his life, and Ichigo is once more just a (powerless again, but internally changed) human boy.
(I realize I wrote an essay for this but I just have a lot of feelings about this chapter, okay?! ;____;)
omg aldfja;lsdjf;alksjdf thanks ♥#bleach #bleach meme #ichiruki