Fanfic Worldbuilding: DtB/Bleach

Has been a hectic day, so… have some stray crossover worldbuilding thoughts.

The most visible obstacle in crossing Bleach and Darker than Black is the moon. In Bleach it’s there; in DtB, it’s still physically there but no longer visible from Earth’s surface. There’s really no way to compromise on this, so for the Shattered Sky stories (Interrupted Circuit and Distractions so far) I’m just declaring by fanwriter fiat that there’s no visible moon in the shared ‘verse. At least, not in the living world. Hueco Mundo and Soul Society still have theirs.

Other world elements are much easier to fit together. Main characters in both settings are actively avoiding – and in some cases mind-wiping – mundane attention. Put that together with shinigami focusing on the dead, while Contractors focus very much on the living, and the fact they haven’t actively crossed paths in the past ten years is at least plausible.

(Hei doesn’t count. Hei is a weirdness magnet. In fact, from what it turns out his canon power is, he really is a weirdness magnet. Or a creator of weirdness. Take your pick.)

…I’m very sure that Kisuke did a lot of misdirection and no little fervent praying to make sure Aizen kept his attention on the spirit worlds, especially after Heaven’s War took out a large section of South America. The last thing Aizen would need was access to humans with Hollow-like powers.

Then again, Aizen has actual Arrancars to work with. My bunnies say he didn’t even notice Contractors, because they didn’t have enough spiritual power to register as more than a low-level Hollow. Whatever the Gates are, Aizen had nothing to do with them.

This does not necessarily make Urahara feel any better.

One of the DtB canon elements I wanted to explain was the fact that a Contractor who loses their original body also loses their remuneration; the Contract is paid in full, and they can use their power as much as they like. I poked a variety of possibilities, but settled on this: if Contractor powers are Hollow-like powers, then they’re limited by the original human body.

Lose the body, lose the limitations.

Hei, of course, is a special case. But his situation in DtB canon dovetails pretty neatly with what Bleach would define as “mortal possessed by ghost”. Bai lost her body, so she has no remuneration anymore.

Though my take on DtB ep 25, in a crossover context, is that Bai-as-Xing moved on peacefully to the next life once she knew her brother had made his decision. But she’d been living inside Hei’s soul, and one thing we know from Bleach is that an alien power bedding down in your spirit has consequences.

Hei might find things a little more interesting than he’d planned on. 😉

Advertisement

35 thoughts on “Fanfic Worldbuilding: DtB/Bleach

      1. I’m intrigued by that last remark. I was a fan of Bleach from late into the Hueco Mundo arc to the epilogue and I don’t get it. I also want to know how he stood having an appetite that big. How was it not in the way? I remember having hyperthyroidism and I was so weak I couldn’t really exercise.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Are you of the school of thought that Bai was to blame for her brother’s appetite?

        *Halo* Maybe. Then again, with Bleach involved….

        Hmmm . . . maybe not in the usual sense for a Contractor but maybe his appetite does have something to do with his powers. The energy for it has come from somewhere.

        It’s power. There is always a price.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Has been a hectic day . . .

    Already? Jeez . . .

    he really is a weirdness magnet. Or a creator of weirdness.

    Maybe both?

    Don’t think they are mutually exuclusive.

    Ichigo seems to be both a creator and magnet for weirdness too.

    The last thing Aizen would need was access to humans with Hollow-like powers.

    Quite.

    This does not necessarily make Urahara feel any better.

    Can you blame him?

    one thing we know from Bleach is that an alien power bedding down in your spirit has consequences.

    Often involving sharp, pointy things.

    Hei might find things a little more interesting than he’d planned on.

    I bet he is just thrilled by this.

    Granted, I doubt he could have gone back to completely normal anyway. Too many things have happened. But there is weird and then there is weird. Three guesses which one Hei is and the first two don’t count.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Eh, I try to write and post things in advance, because of said hectic interruptions to my life. As in, yes, things are usually hairy enough in the morning that I don’t get a chance to get on until at least an hour after the post is visible….

      *G* I have in mind exactly how Li and Ichigo meet. It involves tall buildings and food.

      As for the sharp pointy things – Hei has enough of those already. 😉 Poor guy’s soul has been so battered that splitting off any part of it for a zanpakutou would be highly problematic.

      …But there are plenty of other tricks you can do with enough energy.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. …But there are plenty of other tricks you can do with enough energy.

        Quite.

        Helps mix up the combat a little, through as noted he is already had plenty of sharp, pointy things so it isn’t as if his combat will be empty of blade work.

        Methinks that the Shinigami thing that will really catch Hei’s eye is the flash step. He’s already fast but you can never be too slow when up against people trying to kill you.

        Through I imagine that Hei’s enemies think the very last thing he needs to learn how to move faster. But who cares what they think.

        Li and Ichigo

        Ichigo and Li (and Hei later) make just an interesting duo. They contrast but are also real similar in some ways.

        I think if anyone will understand Hei’s decisions regarding his little sister, it will be Ichigo.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Actually, IIRC, there wouldn’t be any soul-splitting involved. If anything, more like soul-fusing.

        It’s stated outright that Aizen’s experimental Hollow “White”, and the Asauchi that form the very basis of Zanpakutō, were/are both created via the same method: by combining the souls of multiple Shinigami together.

        In an Asauchi’s case, the resulting “entity” is then forged by Ōetsu Nimaiya into the shape of a blade, to be given to a prospective Shinigami (usually while the latter is still in the Academy, though exceptions obviously exist *coughZarakicough*). Said Shinigami is then literally required to keep the blade on their person at all times, in order to imprint the essence of their existence onto the sword.

        Ichigo’s version simply happened to be a hell of a lot more convoluted than normal, due to “White’s” existence. As I said, the thing was already a proto-Asauchi, anyway – all Nimaiya needed in the end, was to be able to draw the “material” out properly, so that he could go to work on it.

        Hei won’t be anywhere near as much of a headache, by comparison. Just give him an ordinary, bog-standard Asauchi, make sure he knows to keep it on himself at all times, and call it a day.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. In an Asauchi’s case, the resulting “entity” is then forged by Ōetsu Nimaiya into the shape of a blade, to be given to a prospective Shinigami (usually while the latter is still in the Academy, though exceptions obviously exist *coughZarakicough*).

        I suppose.

        Through that does depend on accepting the later sections of Bleach. Which I refuse to do.

        If you like the later story arcs and the stuff revealed therein, good for you. Not sarcastic. I’m glad that someone enjoys it. I personally do not.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. I have fond memories of the soul society invasion arc, and running the numbers for “ten days to travel a quarter of the circle’s circumference”, and estimating the size of soul society from that. I fundamentally like the implied world building of that, and the suggestion about the true size of the outer districts. But the movement inside of the walls seems to imply a much smaller location.

        I’m pro later-material because of Masaki, and that the enmity for the Quincy makes sense. But I’ve become more and more disenchanted with the ending, and with the failure to produce the follow up series teased in the epilogue. I don’t think as badly of Kubo as I do of Lucas, but he definitely started a project he didn’t have the ability to finish to this American’s satisfaction. It may be cultural differences, but it feels confused and a bit nihilistic to me.

        The takeaway for me is that it is easier to make promises early in a work than it is to deliver on them with a satisfying ending.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. Re: Masaki and Quincy

        I don’t particularly like that twist simply because I got tired of Kudo making Ichigo part of whatever supernatural critter appeared in that story arc. Being a Vizard that is mix of human, Shinigami, and Hollow is enough of a tangle for one character.

        Also something about doing a recon (I don’t care what he claims – he did not have that Masaki twist planned out from the beginning) that gives a character superpowers that were nerfed and/or disabled so you can explain how they managed to die without fighting back so not completely contradict established canon . . . doesn’t sit well with me.

        Maybe I don’t like the idea of a woman dying to protect to her son because SOMEONE decided to take away her superpowers and thus leave her helpless to protect her kid except by hoping that killing her would delay the beast long enough for help to arrive to actually save her kid. Because if she was Quincy, Masaki knew darned well that if help didn’t arrive in time, the Hollow would just kill Ichigo after it killed her.

        Okay, that helpless to actually save her child would be there if she had never had powers . . . but it feels more bleak knowing that if not for someone else’s actions, she wouldn’t have been so helpless.

        Yes, that gives Ichigo a very good reason not to side with the Quincy . . . still.

        Also the Quincy King and his minions were big enough jerks (the parts I read before throwing the book against the wall) that I started questioning about whether is really so bad that they were largely wiped out. I still don’t condone the massacre – because I going to assume that most Quincy were more like Uryuu’s grandfather – but still . . .

        Maybe it all just feels too bleak and nihilistic and I’ve always hated that.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. *nods*

        Bits of soul . . . so souls are like skin cells and cat fur? Bits of it flake off all the time and make a kind of dust everywhere?

        That might account for the numbers but I still prefer the original explanation.

        Sorry for those who like the latter stages but that has about the same appeal to my imagination as midichlorians – my bunnies were lukewarm on the idea that the Force powers was due to germs. (It was science fantasy, the magic didn’t need to be explained. It just needed to be consistent.)

        I’m stopping here before I start grumbling about every decision make by a creator of series I love that I have problems with.

        Liked by 2 people

      7. He killed off Juushirou. Not okay….

        Which is honestly one of my reasons for disliking the later parts. I generally dislike it when authors kill off the characters I like or are decent person in favor to retaining the jerks. If any of the non-traitor captains deserved to die, it was Kurotsuchi, not Juushirou.

        Maybe this kinda of thing annoys me because I don’t want to spend time with assholes IRL and really have no desire to spent extended time with them in my entertainment. If I want to see people be horrible human beings and get away with it (and sometimes be rewarded for it), I can watch the news. I don’t need fiction for that.

        Liked by 2 people

      8. I actually tend to interpret the “multiple Shinigami souls” thing, more as “little bits of soul, which are cast off naturally as the soul itself grows.”

        Like a tree shedding its bark, or panning for gold out of a river (*respectful nod to “The History Lesson”*). Individual gains might be small, but spend long enough at it, and eventually you’ll accrue a considerable mass.

        (And Nimaiya’s been doing this for… how many centuries, now? With how many different Shinigami passing through existence, during that amount of time?)

        Liked by 2 people

      9. Would ‘leaving bits of soul’ be an imprint? Be cause that’s less ‘shedding used bits of self’ and more ‘this object has power by osmosis’…

        Personally, I accept the bits of later canon that make sense and re-interpret the rest to suit the kind of sense I think it should make. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      10. Haven’t had the time and sense to run the numbers, but had a thought today. My intuition is that the whole ‘wall falling from the sky’ thing works out to a fairly hefty amount of energy. So the point of ‘this makes no sense’ might be quite early, at least as early as the Soul Society invasion, leaving only a very short portion that could be considered truly authoritative.

        In hindsight, Zombie Powder was a fairly good guide to how Bleach would turn out.

        Liked by 1 person

      11. > Would ‘leaving bits of soul’ be an imprint? Be cause that’s less ‘shedding used bits of self’ and more ‘this object has power by osmosis’…

        I’m thinking it’s a bit of both, actually. However, because of the sheer number of individual soul-bits mixed together, any imprint left behind would be so watered-down within the whole as to be negligible to the point of nonexistent. Tabula rasa.

        We’re almost literally talking about the Shinigami version of a Menos Grande, only on a (figurative and literal) smaller scale.

        Which I’m pretty sure is actually the whole point, here.

        Think of the two different types of Gillian: the mindless version that wasn’t able to hold onto any sense of identity (which IIRC, is like 90% of them), and the type that did hold onto it.

        In that light, what Nimaiya did was to combine the two concepts, in a manner that a Shinigami could take direct advantage of. Take the mindless, identity-watered-down-to-nothing version and condense its substance down into a blade, then deliberately set it up so that the Shinigami it’s given to – or rather, their Inner Spirit – becomes that blade’s identity.

        The blade itself is merely a vessel, a both mirror and doorway through which the Shinigami’s Inner Spirit can interact with the “Outer” World, and be be interacted with.

        (If you’ve ever read the original Battle Angel Alita manga, think of Kaos and his alternate personality Den, and how both were able to exist simultaneously and independently of each other, due to Den piloting a remote-controlled robotic body via a transmitter embedded in Kaos’ heart and nervous system.

        (It’s essentially the same thing here, just with less sci-fi involved.)

        Liked by 3 people

      12. Juushirou, Nemu, Kisuke, Yoruichi, Ryuken and Isshin. If he had killed off the elder Captain Kuchiki, all the previously established characters at the human world epilogue with known family no longer have family elders for guidance. Having parents and/or grandparents alive is still pretty nice in your twenties and thirties. Okay, Sarugaki is still hanging around, and maybe Tessai, and that single mother they introduced as having been Ichigo’s boss during the time skip. But it has become less and less satisfying over time.

        Liked by 3 people

      13. > *Headdesk* Killed off Kisuke? There goes my suspension of disbelief….

        Actually, no, he was not.

        While the manga itself leaves his fate open-ended and hanging, it’s confirmed in the post-series light novels – specifically, “We Do Knot Always Love You”, which gives details on the 10-year time-skip between Yhwach’s death and the Epilogue (though primarily focusing on Rukia’s wedding to Renji) – that Kisuke survived.

        Liked by 3 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s