Ghost Touch – Quincy

“I am a Quincy.” Dark black hair. Cold, angry blue eyes. Glasses and a weird white coat that could have been ripped right out of an illusion-drama featuring an insane wizard-alchemist. “And I… hate shinigami.”

Negative points for the outfit and the melodrama, Ichigo tallied mentally, still gaping at the dissipating energies where a Hollow had been. Huge, glowing longbow made out of shadow magic – big plus.

And instead of starting the classic evildoer’s knock-down drag-out after his declaration of everlasting hatred, Ishida simply turned and walked away. Which gave him a definite bonus for pure class.

Darn it.

So instead of chasing after the guy-

To do what? Fight him? Hey, I go after monsters, not crazy people.

-Or running away from the idiot-

Sure, fine, spirit-killing bow – I’ve got a job to do, and no veiled threats are gonna keep me from doing it.

-Ichigo just stood there on the street corner with an equally shocked Rukia, trying to work out exactly how he’d ended up in this mess.

So far these past weeks: Survived first Hollow attack. That I knew of, Ichigo ticked off. Survived going after first Hollow deliberately. Survived telling Karin I’m hunting said man-eating magic-mutated ghosts….

And that had been a trick and a half all by itself. On the one hand, his little sister had been glad to have an explanation for what had wrecked the living room, why her brother suddenly felt a little funny around the edges of her ghost sense, and where Yuzu’s pajamas had gone. On the other, Karin was pretty much convinced he was going to do something stupid and get himself killed. And worse, make her explain it.

Rukia’s blithe and cheery assurance that nonsense, she was an experienced shinigami, nothing was going to happen, was not helping.

Although when Rukia finally broke down and grumbled that if anyone was going to kill an orange-haired loudmouthed punk of a substitute shinigami, it was going to be her….

Well, after that, Karin grinned. Evilly. And seemed quite willing to leave him to Rukia’s nonexistent mercies.

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12 thoughts on “Ghost Touch – Quincy

  1. Siblings are evil. Especially younger siblings (big sister speaking here).

    And yes, Ishida does so love being dramatic.

    We also have another Magi parallel – Cassim and Ishida. Both have a legitimate reason to be angry but they let said anger go into hatred and allow their hate blind them and encourage them to pick up the idiot and conflict balls and superglue them to their hands.

    Don’t know if this is a shounen manga thing or a Vathara thing (because you have a type – of course, so do I) or a combination thereof.

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      1. Yeah. It does.

        Most of said characters are male and males in a lot of cultures are socialized to only express anger. Or to cover other feelings with anger. And to not analyse their feelings too much.

        Also some of them are young and most young people, regardless of sex or gender, have some problems with impulse control.

        And everyone has at one point or another has allowed their anger to make a decision for them. It is usually not a good decision. I’d like to think most people learn this and do their best to avoid doing that.

        Maybe that’s why such characters frustrate me so much – they let their anger do too much of their thinking for them and NEVER LEARN THAT IS A VERY BAD IDEA. I know people in real life do that all the time but I find them just as frustrating to deal with.

        Or do they really face any real, long term consequences for it. Look at how many times Ishida endangers his comrades and innocent bystanders alike just for his pride and/or anger at the Shinigami.

        Also the anger tends to be indiscriminate to a collective. Like Ishida hates all Shinigami rather than just the ones who hurt him.

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      2. Not that anger, properly channeled, can’t be a good and useful thing. It most certainly can. But – “properly channeled” is key. I suspect that’s why there’s a lot of “missing parents” in manga and anime. Part of a proper family’s job is socializing young idiots into knowing how to make those fine distinctions of who to be angry at and why, and what kinds of consequences come down on your head by being stupid.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Or do they really face any real, long term consequences for it. Look at how many times Ishida endangers his comrades and innocent bystanders alike just for his pride and/or anger at the Shinigami.

      Also the anger tends to be indiscriminate to a collective. Like Ishida hates all Shinigami rather than just the ones who hurt him.

      I don’t see Ishida as the worst or even a somewhat notable example of this character type. After the screwup with the hollowbait I don’t really recall him endangering comrades or bystanders with his actions. What I do think is a remarkably negative trait is his tendency to keep his information, capabilities and problems to himself.

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      1. It was filler but he did allow the Bount to invade the Soul Society. Which did endanger Ichigo and the rest of that group at minimum. And while the Soul Society was having to deal with that nonsense, they probably couldn’t send out as many patrols to the real world to konso ghosts and fight Hollows.

        And I don’t think he got in enough real trouble for that Hollow bait thing. He might have realized the dumbness of it when the really big Hollow came but until that point . . . if their super powers hadn’t activated, his actions could have killed Chad and Orihime along with several others. And all for what was effectively a penis measuring contest.

        He was not the worst example of this character type. There are several characters across the multiverse who are much worse than he is.

        I can’t remember off the top of my head but did any of our “let’s destroy the Soul Society and/or Shinigami” have a comprehensive and feasible plan for replacing them after they were gone. You know, getting souls to pass on before they came Hollows and all that jazz?

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      2. The Quincy King’s plan to replace the Shinigami and Soul Society was to merge the worlds of the living and the dead.

        I think Ishida’s relationship with the others is actually the core point of Bleach. Like how the end of Naruto shows, with the final fight, exactly why so much narrative weight was put on Sasuke.

        *spoilers*

        *

        *

        *

        *

        Uryuu had been estranged from Ryuuken because Ryuuken had dissected Uryuu’s mother after she was killed by Quincy eugenics. (Which wasn’t Ryuuken’s choice or action.) Soken had left bombs in the Quincy base, and Isshin and Ryuuken went there to set them off. While there, Ryuuken passes Uryuu the arrow(made from Uryuu’s mother) that lets Ichigo kill the king of the Quincy.

        Blood War arc is, as far as I can tell, significantly about the why of Uryuu’s emotional journey to becoming someone who will admit to friendship with Ichigo, and no longer has a grudge with Shinigami.

        If I’m guessing right about the focus, the other areas beyond that focus might have a reasonable amount of development.

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      3. I think we underestimate the editors and other permanent employees that carry the institutional culture of Shonen Jump.

        (Like how Toni understudied Jim, and carries forward the Baen legacy of that type of story.)

        Yeah, their goal is keeping a not very literary target audience in suspense and buying subscriptions. But the organization has been around for a while, and some of their active senior management might well have forty years of experience in stories that fit the tastes of that market. That is a good foundation for putting a unifying theme and emotional arc into a serial taking five, ten, fifteen or even twenty years to tell.

        Bleach was 682 chapters, which is like thirteen to fourteen years.

        I may be reading too much into it. My theory is that, at least for Naruto and Bleach, they picked the essential story (boys becoming men, and friends), and made sure to put the hooks of the planned ending in at the beginning. Then while the mangaka is juggling complexity, trying to hold attention, they follow certain rules to keep the ending possible. Once sales and prospects dictate, they transition to the planned end. I think they budget more complicated and intricate endings for the longer running series. Someone who picked up a manga when they were at the entry level of reading for Shonen Jump will potentially have a deeper grasp of stories ten or twenty years later. Those are part of the market for selling volumes with the ending.

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  2. >>I can’t remember off the top of my head but did any of our “let’s destroy the Soul Society and/or Shinigami” have a comprehensive and feasible plan for replacing them after they were gone. You know, getting souls to pass on before they came Hollows and all that jazz?

    Hard to tell here if you’re referring to Uryuu hating Shinigami in specific or to the original stated reasons/cause of the Quincy vs Shinigami war (i.e. the Quincy genocide). In Uryuu’s defense: Manga canon – from what I recall – he says that in the ancient war, he actually agrees with the Shinigami. The Quincy were throwing the world out of balance and the Shinigami did what was necessary when the Quincy refused to listen. Uryuu’s problems are much more specific to the Shinigami abandoning his grandfather. And even then – filler that I have not seen and cannot comment on aside – his stated goals were not ‘Destroy Soul Society,’ they were ‘Pick a fight with this Shinigami I see like a street punk wearing rival gang colors’ and later ‘murder the hell out of this Shinigami monster who orchestrated my grandfather’s brutal death and torture, in that order’… Though Uryuu did run a side business in ‘being acerbic to any Shinigami I find myself working with’.

    However, I agree: Uryuu did not properly get punished for the Hollow Bait stunt. But he started realizing it was a mistake before the Gilliam showed up. It was back when he was internally monologuing about how there were waaaay to many Hollows for the amount of bait he used. He had no way of knowing Karakura was spiritual ground zero and already attracted Hollows like flies to honey. Given the rate at which we see him sniping the Hollows off and that we don’t know how many Hollows that bait was supposed to attract it’s entirely possible that he was confident he could keep anyone from getting ‘et.

    Still a colossal screw-up and even if it had gone exactly as intended it was both a dumb /and/ stupid decision. But one I can totally see an angry and overconfident 15 year-old making. Canon, I don’t remember his punishment, but didn’t it all come down to: well that was terrifying, but here we all are, alive and hella exhausted. ‘Uryuu? You’re an ass. A really stupid one. Let’s all go home and lick our wounds and check on our loved ones and we’ll figure out what to do with Uryuu’s idiot behind later.’ … Aaaand then Byakuya shows up before they really can and there are promptly bigger things to worry about.

    Point is: Uryuu’s a frustrating problem, but he’s at least willing to listen to reason… sometimes.

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