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Author Topic: Ichigo: dead or alive?  (Read 2686 times)

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Offline Detergent

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Ichigo: dead or alive?
« on: December 01, 2012, 10:39 AM »
In the most recent chapter thread people are discussing whether he should be considered dead or alive, and in my opinion this topic has not so much to do with the current chapter. Hence a separate thread.


An argument in favour of the claim that Ichigo is dead:


He is technically dead and his body just functions like its fake counterpart, the gigai. Rukia clearly states that a spirit is NOT considered dead as long as its chain is attached to its body, and whether some people like it or not, Ichigo's chain has been severed a long time ago.

Here is a simple hypothetical scenario: If Ichigo (a) decides to leave his body on his own accord; (b) goes to soul society, and (c) never returns to his body? How would that make Ichigo's spiritual body in that hypothetical scenario any different from any other shinigami's spiritual body that 'is' considered to be dead by you, and that is residing in Soul Society? Or to rephrase it, how would that make him, the soul Ichigo, in that hypothetical scenario more alive or more dead than Renji, Byakya, Rukia, or any other shinigami or soul that resides in Soul Society? Another scenario would be: if Ichigo's soul that originally was part of his physical body were to enter a gigai instead (that is specifically made for that soul by Urahara for example), then how in whomever's name would that make Ichigo's soul any different from any other soul that occupies a gigai?

Lastly, during Ichigo's training Urahara mentioned that Ichigo could only return to his body if he would become a shinigami. This is even more confusing than the chain aspect of it, because this means that after Tessai cut his chain Ichigo wasn't apparently able to return to his body. This implies that he's a dead soul, but that his unique situation (in which the chain is not detached by murder or health issues, but from Tessai cutting his chain) can be dealt with if he goes through some training that is facilitated by Urahara and that provides him the ability to continue to use his body , but only if he becomes a shinigami


Argument in favour of considering Ichigo alive:


His physique and appearance in spirit form is the same as it was in human form. He has become taller (7 cm) according to non-conanical soucres that are cited by the Bleach wikia.  And we see that his sideburns are visible on his human body as well as on his spirit body.

Secondly, Aizen and other characters have called Ichigo human. Why would they call him human, if he's practically a shinigami. They must have basic understanding about the way the spiritual world works etc. So if he really is dead, why would they use the term 'human'.


« Last Edit: December 01, 2012, 01:40 PM by Detergent »

Offline Crissy

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Re: Ichigo: dead or alive?
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2012, 11:26 AM »
Secondly, Aizen and other characters have called Ichigo human. Why would they call him human, if he's practically a shinigami. They must have basic understanding about the way the spiritual world works etc. So if he really is dead, why would they use the term 'human'.

Perhaps they call him human because they do not know for sure that Urahara and Tessai cut his chain. Renji keeped telling him while they fought that if he was defeated Rukia's powers would return. So maybe they think he is still running araound by the way of Rukia's borrowed powers. And as far as SS knows he has "human"parents. At lest at the time. How many know that Isshin fought Aizen with Yurroichi and Urahara? Trough thy probably saw Isshin when they were dealing with FB...but do they know he is Ichigo's father?

Offline Detergent

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Re: Ichigo: dead or alive?
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2012, 01:37 PM »
Secondly, Aizen and other characters have called Ichigo human. Why would they call him human, if he's practically a shinigami. They must have basic understanding about the way the spiritual world works etc. So if he really is dead, why would they use the term 'human'.

Perhaps they call him human because they do not know for sure that Urahara and Tessai cut his chain. Renji keeped telling him while they fought that if he was defeated Rukia's powers would return. So maybe they think he is still running araound by the way of Rukia's borrowed powers. And as far as SS knows he has "human"parents. At lest at the time. How many know that Isshin fought Aizen with Yurroichi and Urahara? Trough thy probably saw Isshin when they were dealing with FB...but do they know he is Ichigo's father?

Or they simply call him like that because of him operating from the world of the living and having a body of flesh and blood, and that it's more the way they address him than that it has any meaning to it regarding Ichigo's status.

Just my two cents.

Offline Berry of Death

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Re: Ichigo: dead or alive?
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2012, 04:11 PM »
 But since Urahara implied he could return to his body when he became a shinigami again, doesn't that mean that he would go back to his body as a regular human? So after he finished/succeeded the training he became normal again. I think he's still a human, and as stated I don't think gigais can age. Plus if he wasn't(a human) his friends would've already noticed by his reiatsu, and I'm sure they wouldn't hide that factor from him. Every single one of them shouldering that kind of a secret is impossible. And also, if he was dead, he would be able to sense other spirits...No spirit would have lost its spiritual power. That just wouldn't make sense.

Offline Kylara

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Re: Ichigo: dead or alive?
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2012, 06:04 PM »
I think he's alive after the 17 month skip. I, too, thought it was weird. But then the time skip happened and all the problems I had before with this clearly were not enough. It is apparent enough that he is alive right now. It may not make perfect sense, there are a lot of reasons to eye it suspiciously, but since Ichigo was aging and growing during this gap of powerlessness, probably alive. I also do not think he got swapped into a gigai that could age or something without him knowing it - yes, his dad and Kisuke hide big things from him but "LOL NEW BODY" is a weird one. Plus, there's an adjustment process in fitting into gigai (remember how Rukia's control was not very fine) and I think Ichigo would have noticed. 

Whether or not he will remain alive for the future is another thing entirely. I doubt very much that the status quo will remain based on what Kuukaku said about her uncle and his sadness. That is a different story, I suppose.
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Re: Ichigo: dead or alive?
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2012, 06:58 PM »
Like Kylara said, Ichigo is "alive" as a human. When his body is occupied by his soul, it's able to function and grow like a normal body. However, since the soul chain was cut, he has no permanent attachment to it anymore. I would describe him as an unorthodox human. XD

It's just my personal opinion that he's technically dead since there is no soul chain, but he can choose to be alive when he wants I suppose? He has the option to leave and re-enter his body, which of course the normal humans don't. I'm a little confused on the subject, but the main conclusion I always come to is that he can choose to be "alive", but he can also choose to leave his body and let it rot if he wants, there's nothing to stop him. Perhaps he's in-between alive and dead? A little of both? Haha, I can't decide.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2012, 12:34 AM by PurpleRoseNinja »
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Re: Ichigo: dead or alive?
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2012, 11:30 PM »
Why would you even think that ichigo is dead. lol..

Offline PurpleRoseNinja

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Re: Ichigo: dead or alive?
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2012, 12:43 AM »
Why would you even think that ichigo is dead. lol..

The first post of the thread gives you several paragraphs of reasons and that's the best you can say?

We're not talking about "obliterated" dead. We're not talking about removed-from-the-series dead like Ulquiorra is. The subject of death in Bleach is an ambiguous and (as evidenced here) confusing one, especially for the main character.
When Orihime's brother came for her in the first chapters of Bleach, her soul chain was still attached to her and that's where we first hear about the significance of the soul chains. Though she wasn't in her body, she still had some attachment to it.

Ichigo is a special case where his soul chain was cut, then eaten in the process of becoming a hollow. However, he still is able to return to his body, though there really is no attachment to it. His body is more or less a natural gigai right now. By occupying his body, he allows it to thrive, yet I'd argue he's technically dead. Maybe I'm putting too much significance in the soul chain, but that's just what I think based off of what I've read.
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Offline Rokujou

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Re: Ichigo: dead or alive?
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2012, 03:36 AM »
For such a simple question the answer is actually difficult.

If we set aside our personal desires re: dead or alive, and look at this objectively the most simple answer is undoubtedly the most accurate. Is Ichigo dead or alive? he is the same as he's always been, both.

Ichigo was born of a human mother and a shinigami father (as are Karin and Yuzu) so from the moment of his birth he has been both dead and alive. While the cannon states that a soul is considered dead when the chain of fate is cut, and Ichigo's was so that should have 'killed' him, however Ichigo is special, he was born half dead already, so from a non biased point of view, the chain cutting aspect doesn't make him any more dead than he already was.

Death in bleach is a very hard thing to quanitify because, well its a story about the afterlife, or living after death.

So what do we define death as then?

1)Is death when a soul ceases to exist, as is the case when its destroyed by a quincy?

2)Is death when a human body dies, ejecting the human soul to float around the real world with a broken chain, waiting to receive a Konso or decend into a hollow?

3)Or, would death be when a soul is Konso'd (or purified as a hollow) and enters Soul Society?

These are all examples of "death" in bleach, and as far as i know each is considered accurate. So which of these applies to Ichigo then?

None of them do, even after his chain was cut Ichigo has continued to age normally, and use his body normally, so that means that aside from gaining access to spiritual powers, he is no diffrent now than when he was when he was born. Essentially, due to his unique parentage the 'normal' rules shouldn't apply.

In the first post, Detergent asked what makes Ichigo diffrent from Byakuya, Rukia and Renji, well lets explore that question in depth.

We know that Byakuya was born, in Soul Society, never having been 'human'.

We also know that Rukia was born as a living human and died as an infant and entered Soul Society that way.

So what makes Rukia a dead shingiami and Ichigo a living human?(the entire cast calling him human means Kubo considers him human) They were both born as humans and they both through different means, had their souls removed from their bodies and their chains severed. (Rukia's from death, and Ichigo's from Urahara and Tessai).

So at the most basic possible level, these two should be equally dead, right?

But they are not, the difference between Ichigo and any other 'dead human' like Rukia, is that the dead humans have passed over into Soul Society, they entered the afterlife, Ichigo has not undergone this process yet, hence why he is still considered a living human.

In the broadest possible meaning, being dead means that you are "from" the afterlife (Soul Society/Hueco Mundo) Byakuya was born in SS so he is from there and is dead, Rukia died as a human and entered SS as a soul, so she is "from" Soul Society and considered dead.

We have seen that when a 'dead' soul from the human world is Konso'd, they vanish by some unseen means(the spirit king?), lose their chain of fate and reappear/reconstitute inside soul society, having no more ties other than memories to the human world.

This is what I am considering being dead in bleach, this unseen process of a soul being taken out of the human world and placed into soul society, no longer having a chain of fate. Purified hollows also fall under this category since they 'dematerialize' (for lack of a better word) after being cleansed by zanpakutou. (though its not actually been shown, its heavily implied that the hollows soul is sent to soul society)

We know that Ichigo is special, however, no matter how special he may be, the basic natural laws of bleach have to also apply to him, otherwise he would have stopped aging as soon as his chain was cut, so from that view, and since his soul has not entered Soul Society through "death" we must concede that Ichigo is still alive and human, but also equally concede that due to the shattered shaft, and/or his father, he is also dead and a shinigami/hollow(yes he is a hollow he dosnt have a hollow).

So, Ichigo is both dead and alive. (as of ch518)

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Offline Crissy

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Re: Ichigo: dead or alive?
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2012, 09:28 AM »

So, Ichigo is both dead and alive. (as of ch518)


Wouldn't be considered both since chapter one?
On this line of thought, maybe he didn't turn the way other souls do, when his chain was cut, was because of his Shinigami heritage. And considering there is a term (that Grand Fischer mentioned) for the child between living human and Shinigami, what is it again Shinketsu? I think, so this state of being is not unheard of...rare but not unherd of. In regards of that if Karin would go trough similar process the results would probably be the same as Ichigo's, while Yuzu would go the way of normal Koso proses. (same as Qunci)
As for aging process...I think that is the matter of in witch world the soul resides in. Since souls in Rukognai age as well....example of that is Rukia and Renji...and souls that are born in SS age as well (Byakuya, Ukitake Kira)