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Author Topic: Does Ulquiorra love Orihime? If so, when did he start?  (Read 13547 times)

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Offline Hinodeh

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Does Ulquiorra love Orihime? If so, when did he start?
« on: November 25, 2011, 01:25 PM »
For some people this may be an old hat, but discussion at places like narutofan (they have a whole thread on that) or even the great differences between how individual Ulquihime fans perceive Ulquiorra's feelings make me honestly wonder how people feel about this topic and on which parts of the manga they formed this opinion. Since this forum has quite a few UH fans, I thought that I'd ask them about this.

So far, I have encountered three different opinions:

1. Yes, he fell in love with her at point XYZ. (The most extreme I ever saw is that he fell for her at the moment of the handreach.)
2. No, but if he had lived his feelings would have eventually developed in this direction.
3. No, he is incapable of love.

Official sources like the databook Unmasked offer some clues, since it confirmed the common fandom opinion that Ulquiorra got interested in the heart when Orihime slapped him.

Personally, I do think that Ulquiorra had some attraction towards Orihime even before the slap. He does tell her that she looks good in her Hueco Mundo dress, he falls asleep in her presence despite being usually very guarded and uptight (check out his backstory in Unmasked) and even as early as his first meeting with her, he visibly hesitates before ordering Yammy to kill her, which he notably does not do with anyone else. http://www.mangareader.net/94-646-5/bleach/chapter-192.html

Of course, the farther you go back the shallower the potential reasons are. My view is that he was attracted to her at least since she donned her uniform, but he fell seriously for her after the slap. His later actions toward her don't contradict that for me since my impression is that after he returned from caja negacion, he tried to disprove her convictions so brutally because he wanted to sever his attachement to her and hoped that if he proved her wrong, he would also stop to find her so fascinating. (I don't think he himself was able to identify his feelings as love.)
When he reaches out to her in the end, I think that's him breaking down and finally admitting the full extent of her importance to him. His last question is asking her what she thinks of HIM, and he never did that before because he would have to face then how much she means to him.
Obviously, he was unwilling to do that because he thought hollows superior to humans and favored detachement and apathy. His clan trying to kill him at the start of his backstory might have also contributed to him shunning all bonds.

So yeah, I think he had romantic feelings for her for quite a while, but was unable to recognize them as love and also very unwilling to admit that he had grown in any way attached to her.
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Offline LilyJay12

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Re: Does Ulquiorra love Orihime? If so, when did he start?
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2011, 01:34 PM »
I can't say anything about love. Nor can I say anything like he could never love.
I don't even think "love" is the best word to explain it either. Deep and unexplained, but powerful.
With Orihime, I believe his eyes were opened. To heart. To friendship. To feelings. To understanding. And maybe even to hope.
I can't say he loved her romantically. But either way, it forged an everlasting crack and shattered his unfetterd, emotionless heart.
IMO :).
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Offline Tea-chan

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Re: Does Ulquiorra love Orihime? If so, when did he start?
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2011, 02:12 PM »
I am no. 2. option. Or rather, a mix of 1 and 2. He fell in love in a crippled way, he wouldn't realize it, it confused him, he acted the way he acted and finally, baptized the feeling he never felt before "heart", because this was the only hint of uniting emotion he ever got in his (un)life: Orihime's speech of "heart".

I think he fell for Orihime, but it couldn't possibly develop naturally because of his mindset and nature. Hollows are, essentially, creatures of instinct and while we can argue all day about how different and/or close/away emotions are from instincts, I doubt anyone would argue that what Ulquiorra felt for Orihime was based on instinct.

The way I saw it, his instinct had nihilism as root. As a very advanced hollow, he was able of feelings, but in an embryonic state, since this was completely new. So, his feelings of closeness and mattering clashed with his prime state of instincts and had him react and act the way he did.

So, I guess it's a mix of all three opinions. He fell in love, never realized it, named it "heart" after the only emotional input he ever had, but it couldn't develop normally and affect his actions because of his nature.

He's like Edward Scissorhands in my book (minus the innocence): capable in a crippled way, short in time to acknowledge it.

As for the question if his feelings would eventually develop had he lived... I don't see Ulquiorra living past the time he did, not even in an AU sort of way. He's a rather typical anti-hero, who is bound to find death, no matter what potential he had.

Offline maewie

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Re: Does Ulquiorra love Orihime? If so, when did he start?
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2011, 04:44 PM »
Option 1.
I wouldn't say it's love at first sight. However, already at first view Ulquiorra was intrigued by her, but mostly her power. In Hueco Mundo, this fascination was coupled with her strong spirit and her fearless attitude towards him because of the heart (she slapped him damnitxD). Orihime was everything Ulquiorra wasnt; and he could not understand her. This curiosity turned to romantic feelings, in my view. He wanted to keep her there, with him. She filled up his meaningless life, and made him realize the concept of the heart.
The volume poem, Unmasked and of course the handreach, speak for themselves. Ulquiorra developed feelings for her, yet he probably didnt understand it fully until the very end.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2011, 04:50 PM by maewie »
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Offline lovelymasoka

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Re: Does Ulquiorra love Orihime? If so, when did he start?
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2011, 05:26 PM »
One and two.

Well first it's Ulquiorra I don't think during HM and such he would ever think of his feelings as "love" since I doubt he ever knew that would feel like. But I do believe that he fell in love with her and does love her and will have those feelings for when he comes back, imo. All his actions, how he changed when around her, it's not exactly subtle that he feels something very strongly for her and holds her in a position above many.

Tho honestly I don't think I can pinpoint when he did fall in love with her, it happened gradually. But I think that look he gave her as she ran to Ichigo in 353 is when I think I realized just how strong his feelings were, as a shipper. For him to give ANYONE a look like that is amazing and defiantly says and shows something about were his feelings were going and how he was feeling. But it wasn't when he fell in love, but I think he was noticing his feelings around the hearts convo and the dome tho, but I think it's hard to say WHEN he fell in love. But it happened and he had feelings for her despite those who refuse to believe it.

And if he lived? Well of course, why would his feelings change? They would only get more intense with his heart, plus I believe he will come back so I defiantly and firmly believe this. Orihime changed his world in the most profound way that we never saw in Bleach, doing the impossible of giving a hollow a heart. So yes, his feelings would stay, intensify and grow more.

Either way option 3 is never, ever applicable. Ulquiorra, despite being nihilistic and uncaring, felt/feels a lot of emotions. I think Unmasked more or less proved this, I mean he wanted companions and everything in that comic! I think that proved a lot in how he wasn't as nihilistic or heartless as he wanted and others paint him. And the fact he was able to gain a heart also shows this as well, someone incapable of emotion or even love wouldn't have had that happened, more so since he gained it through her.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2011, 05:32 PM by lovelymasoka »

Offline debbiechan

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Re: Does Ulquiorra love Orihime? If so, when did he start?
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2011, 06:05 PM »
1. Yes, he fell in love with her at point XYZ. (The most extreme I ever saw is that he fell for her at the moment of the handreach.)
2. No, but if he had lived his feelings would have eventually developed in this direction.
3. No, he is incapable of love.


Interesting topic. A very subjective one for the most part because there are all sorts of definitions of love but I think we can definitely rule out #3. Ulquiorra gained a heart in the story. He formed a significant bond with Orihime--the kind of bond that over and over in Bleach has been emphasized as a major theme. It goes beyond romance and friendship probably--it is a significant sort of "soul connection." It is as weighty as ALL GET OUT. I find the word "love" as suitable a description for it as any.

Ulquiorra was fascinated with Orihime when he saw her on Earth. He took notice of her powers and Sensei dropped clues here and there such as Ulquiorra naming her whole name when the Arrancar watched the eyeball vid. I can't pinpoint a moment as to when he "fell in love" with her because I'm not sure that Ulquiorra would name his feelings as that. He would more likely identify his feelings as interest, fascination or as what was most intimately revealed in the lust poem (which audiences are to understand are narrated by the poetry speaker's mind to no one listening in particular--there's an implicit secrecy in poetry, as if the narrator is talking to himself), "I lust for everything about you."

Ulquiorra's feelings are carnal, intense, intellectual, wildly emotional in spite of himself and coming from place that while not at all innocent is totally NEW to these feelings.  The very fact that this ARRANCAR reached out with his hand to a human girl at the end of his life speaks volumes. He got his heart at that moment and perhaps that is when he could finally allow himself to FEEL all those feelings, if not exactly name them.  After all, I can't see Ulqui going "I love you, woman." His handreach was that--and more. (And significantly, she ran to him, this supposed enemy, the one who killed the guy she loved, and reached back, grasped once, twice, with tears in her eyes--one of the most triumphantly gorgeous scenes in Bleach ever--a redemption scene, a scene of connection and loss, I fell in love with Ulquiorra and Orihime right then!)
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Offline TsukiHana

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Re: Does Ulquiorra love Orihime? If so, when did he start?
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2011, 06:30 PM »
Oh what a great thread! to distract me from my studies...xD

This is a question that keeps me up at night XD

Normally, I'm someone that believes falling in love takes time, it's a feeling that grows slowly as people connect with each other. Ulquiorra and Orihime definitely connected in ways that neither of them had ever experienced before, but it's hard to actually put a name to the feelings they developed. (In Ulquiorra's case, it's fascinating that he developed feelings, period xD).

I think Ulquiorra was initially attracted to Orihime because she is everything he isn't. She is kind and caring, strong and brave; but she is also weak at times, fearful, jealous, selfish...All in all, she is incredibly human. The exact opposite of Ulquiorra who, unlike the rest of his humanoid arrancar buddies, did not feel anything, whether good or bad. I kind of see them like magnets. If Ichigo and Rukia are like the 'yin and yang' who complete each other, then Orihime and Ulquiorra are magnets- total opposites that are inevitably attracted to each other (not necessarily in a romantic or sexual way).

Being with Orihime, Ulquiorra's heart was basically created. Not just the good: he felt anger or wrath (see him fight against Ichigo- he's definitely way too passionate about defeating him and making him 'despair' for it to be mere apathy), and he felt, in his own poetic words- lust. Sure, this is Ulquiorra we're talking about, so it's only natural that he'd only point out all the negative feelings he developed, but all one needs to do is see his final scene to know that there were positive feelings in there too.

So all in all, Orihime gave him a heart. That's no easy feat. I think that the sole fact that it was implied that Ulquiorra 'lusted' for Orihime means that the negative emotion was accompanied by something positive. Aside from every other feeling he discovered, he found something that even if it wasn't exactly 'love', it was damn similar. Ulquiorra was interested deeply in Orihime, and he, presumably, lusted for her; we don't have much solid proof, but the fact that he had a chance to kill her and chose not to (on the lame excuse that Aizen hadn't ordered it yet) points at the fact that he did care for her in some way. All these are perfect ingredients for him to be in love or well on his way to it. I'm definitely of the opinion that if Ulquiorra had lived, he would have fallen in love with her.

So I think that he was on his way. He was on the road to falling in love, without a doubt. I think that in the last moments of his life, as he became ash, he probably did feel it- love, that is. He might not have had time to fall in love 'properly' (lol, as if this was a procedure), but I do think that what he felt when he speaks of discovering the heart was love. Made all the more evident by his search for reassurance when he asks Orihime if she's scared of him; I think that was his way of asking if maybe, just maybe, she cared for him in the way that he had come to care for her. Not that this was his conscious train of thought when all this happened, I doubt Ulquiorra ever tried putting a name to his feelings, but still, that's my interpretation.

I really love the relationship between Ulquiorra and Orihime. They're really that romantic idea of 'night and day', and the way their relationship was developed and portrayed gives one hell of a layer to Bleach, beyond just having a bad guy kidnap a girl to move the plot forward. It's so sad that it had to end (but storywise, it was such a perfect, bittersweet ending T.T Curse you for being so amazing Kubo!)

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Re: Does Ulquiorra love Orihime? If so, when did he start?
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2011, 08:58 PM »
I would call it a very deep infatuation.

First of all, he did seemingly sensitive to her, he never tried to personally kill her. But, he killed the one she's in love with, ripped off the arm of a very close friend, and threaten to kill her other friends. So what's more important? Killing her himself, or killing her physiologically. But I think his question about whether or not she was scared to die led him to cruelly killing Ichigo in front of Orihime was worse than killing her himself (at least in her mind; it wasn't her most redeeming moment ). He threatened to rip her heart and eyes out. He rubbed Chad's "death" in her face. He told her was was going to force food down her throat. He was not very merciful around her. But I think he was still a little soft around her.

This boring, tense, uptight Espada complimented her in her in her dress and fell asleep on her couch for Pete's sake!

At least at his death scene, I think he reached out to her because he felt she was the most innocent, purest thing he's ever encountered. She's the closest thing to a heart he'll ever get and I think that's what he wanted in the end. To get that "heart" that she spoke of. His death would have been pitiful if he didn't reach out to her. It was exellent and bittersweet because of it.

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Re: Does Ulquiorra love Orihime? If so, when did he start?
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2011, 03:20 AM »
Depends on how you define "love."  Personally I don't believe that he loved her in an amorous way, not because he lacked the ability (hollows being capable of emotion was one of the bullet points of the arc) but rather because he didn't understand himself well enough for such feelings to be made manifest.  Her reactions to his stimuli contrasting with his expectations of humans sparked fascination within him, which grew to the point of becoming the focal point of his character by the end.


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Re: Does Ulquiorra love Orihime? If so, when did he start?
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2011, 02:40 PM »
First off, thank you very much for all your contributions!  :-*

Quote
The exact opposite of Ulquiorra who, unlike the rest of his humanoid arrancar buddies, did not feel anything, whether good or bad.

This is a fairly popular fandom opinion TsukiHana, but I disagree strongly with it. I get on which parts of the manga it can be based on, but there is also a lot that contradicts it. Ulquiorra calls Nnoitra "disgusting" for wanting to rape Orihime, he averts and closes his eyes at least once when one arrncar kills another (GJ and Luppi), he tells Orihime right before the slap "I would be angry if..." and some other instances that clearly suggest that emotions in general are far from alien for him; it's just that he doesn't get love (whether platonic or romantic) and happiness. Otherwise, he would have asked Orihime about emotions in general, and not specifically about bonds.
He is frequently apathetic, but he certainly exhibits emotions. It only rarely shows on his face and up until he met Orihime they were never strong enough to drive his actions. But said emotions not being very strong is obviously not the same as not having them at all.

Quote
balladbird:Personally I don't believe that he loved her in an amorous way, not because he lacked the ability (hollows being capable of emotion was one of the bullet points of the arc) but rather because he didn't understand himself well enough for such feelings to be made manifest.
So it can be only "love" if you yourself identify it as such? That is interesting, since there are plenty of people who would argue that Orihime's love is not "true love" even if she sees it as such herself, or that Ulq's feelings are love, even if he would never call them that.
My question is basically: if a feeling is unidentified by the character who has it, why can't it be interpreted by readers, anyway, and even correctly way before s/he he gives it a name?

Quote
LilyLui:He rubbed Chad's "death" in her face.
I disagree. He at first didn't bring it up at all, even averted his face when Orihime pointedly looked at him, and only spoke to her when she kept insisting that Sado was not dead. His behavior was that of avoidance and maybe guilt/discomfort/regret/shame and not that of someone eager to rub it in her face. He pushes the blame on Nnoitra and says that he didn't obey orders. Then he asks her if she really expects comforting lies from him, that she should not be surprised because it was obvious that her friends would die and proceeds to tell her that he would be angry at his friends in her place (because he has no idea how friendship actually feels like). He was basically going "There's an easy way of not feeling miserable about this- blame your friends! It's weird that you don't!"
If he were rubbing Chad's death in he would have kept saying that he is dead and that there's nothing she can do. He actually never told her at all whether he believed that he was dead or not and offered her a way to deal with this and not be miserable. It misfired because he never felt friendship before and assumed that you could easily switch it from affection to detachement and anger.
Fight with passion
Spirit not temper
Always be with me in mind
Don't bear grudges
(But) don't be downtrodden
Always be with me in mind
So when you live to fight another day
I'll always be there with you
Don't surrender
Win and forever
Always be with me in mind