Bleach – Nation Mourns Whats-His-Face
How many times have I brought up how little I know about Bleach? I don’t know, but it’s definitely less than 486 times. Well now we have a chapter where almost everyone reading is having the same reaction I usually have to major events. Sasakibe’s recent death came right out of nowhere, and it strongly gave the impression that it was done to allow one or two plot developments later on, rather than for any emotional response. Sure, that happens all the time in stories, but the audience shouldn’t know you’re doing that. Death is supposed to be tragic, not something to move the story out of convenience, so no matter why someone dies, the default response should be one of tragedy.
The problem is that we knew almost nothing about Sasakibe. He was just one of those guys who was around sometimes, taking up a slot in the Gotei 13 roster. He’s kinda like Tenten from Naruto, except worse because there are a dozen other Tentens scattered around. If I had taken the opportunity to read the early chapters of Bleach, I don’t think I would know much more about him than I do now. That’s why he was chosen to die, since there was an attack on Soul Society and there needed to be a familiar face in it. The one dead character you barely know is more memorable than the dozens of dead characters you don’t know at all.
Of course the other purpose for having him die is for his Bankai to get taken. I still don’t know the exact method by which that happened, though I’m sure this plot point came from everyone asking about the unknown Bankais lots of people have and there needing to be an excuse to show them. Most likely this will lead to someone who knew Sasakibe fighting against the person using the Bankai, though I’m not sure how they’ll recognize it if he hasn’t used it before. I don’t even remember what his Shikai was supposed to be. I do find it interesting that Bankai, which was once the pinnacle of Shinigami power, may have effectively become a tradeable commodity, if those disks holding them are significant.
There’s not much else to say. It’s hard to think of much to talk about when the person who died was fairly unremarkable. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about him in the future, since we’ll probably get a flashback when his killer or Bankai holder shows up. And since it looks like all the scattered groups are being gathered together, don’t be surprised if we have more funerals for random side characters in the near future.
And now a moment of silence for the other recent loss we’ve had recently. The Bleach anime has ended after seven and a half years. I still remember seeing the occasional episode on TV back when it was still about Ichigo and Rukia fighting random Hollows. The story may have gone up and down, but I know it will be sadly missed.