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Bleach Chapter 237 – “Goodbye, Halcyon Days” August 1, 2006

Posted by Lupus in Manga, Review.
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First thing first: Orihime would make the best wife/girlfriend.

m7bleach-ch237-04.jpg

‘Halcyon day’, courtesy of Wikipedia:

Halcyon days is Old English influenced by the Greek language, literally meaning calm days; a reference to the fourteen days of calm weather the ancients believed to precede the winter solstice that coincided with the brooding of the Halcyon.

The chapter is almost entirely about Orihime, but it doesn’t really give us any new insight into her character. It reinforces what we already know about her – on the outside she’s ditzy and careless, but on the inside she’s a very sensitive, caring and determined individual, with a touch of pessimism. I can break down her soliloquy at the end of the chapter and make insightful comments about each line, but that’s not the point – it’s a build up to the final, powerful line where she expresses her utter devotion towards Ichigo.

m7bleach-ch237-18.jpg

She’s dedicated, but she won’t be clingy because she cares about you and how you feel… I wished I have a girlfriend like her.

Orihime decided to follow Ulqiorra, as I expected, but what I found weird was the “grace period”. I doubt it came from Ulqiorra himself, he’s too detached, mechanical and precise to have any sudden feelings of sympathy. It’s definitely part of Aizen’s plans, but for now I cannot think of any reason for it. Most probable reason I can think of is the “carrot and the stick”, to disarm her.

The name of the chapter is interesting, using the word halcyon instead of any number of alternatives. The Wiki definition gives a period of “calm weather the ancients believed to precede the winter solstice”. The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year, when the darkness of night lasts the longest. The name seems appropriate when you compare this relative period of calm and the on-coming period of darkness that Aizen is bound to bring with his ambition, and how Orihime is bidding farewell. Whether this darkness will remain eternal will have to depend on Ichigo, the Vaizards and the Shinigami.

Moving away from the story sides of things, I’m really impressed by Kubo’s ability to just insert humour in the midst of serious plot progression. The running gag of Urahara Shop’s special brand of healing, Uruu-chan’s appearance defying actions and Yuzu’s face pushing up against Ichigo’s bed all made me chuckle, though I admit I’m very easily amused and you might not find the humour as satisfying as I do.

2 final notes:

1) It took me a while to do so, but I finally noticed the build up to another “rescue the damsel in distress arc”. It would be very interesting to see Ichigo’s reaction to (and Kubo’s treatment of) Orihime’s disappearance compared to Rukia’s kidnapping.

2) I’m finding the new character designs to be more and more annoying, especially on the face of girls. All the characters look more mature now, with longer faces and smaller eyes, and this is particularly noticeable on Karin (who no longer looks like a kid) and Orihime on the second last page. I don’t like it, I like the cute and ditzy Orihime dammit!

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Comments»

1. helspectre - August 1, 2006

orihime’s boobs are way too big. Doesn’t look good in a sweater.

2. Kurogane - August 1, 2006

Best wife? Wait till you taste her cooking.

My suggestion is to hire a meido as well.

3. animeotaku - August 2, 2006

Wait until you have a meido like Rosarita Cisneros (Roberta) … :)

4. Haine-chan - August 11, 2007

wow. . . i really like orihime. she maybe a little annoying and stubborn but inside, she’s really a great person. and besides, i want to see her in arrancar costume! weeeeeeee! i love orihime!

5. Liam - September 22, 2007

Halcyon days refer to the happiest period of one’s life

6. james - September 23, 2007

her boobs are way too big they dont look good in anything…i would go for rukia over orihime any day. i like orihime in that she is a very kind, generous, loyal and gentle person, but her personality is just not my type. she gets on my nerves a lot and hence i dont like episodes that focus on her, however i admit this one was different. very touching.

7. frd - November 5, 2007

Matsumoto’s boobs are way worse. They are actually a detriment to her appearance, no matter what she wears. Inoue’s aren’t nearly as bad, though they would look better slightly smaller, it isn’t as unattractive as everyone says, in my opinion.

I like the progression in age, it shows the passage of time, and eases the upcoming transitions. Soon Ichigo’s sisters will be heading into adolescence, and there will probably be many filler episodes dealing with how dad and Ichigo handle it. As well as the usual angst between the characters of Ichigo, Rukia and Inoue.

If they maintained the same faces throughout, any plots revolving around their future ages would be fairly flat, and look more contrived as if it were an afterthought, rather than character devolpment

8. Esoragoto - November 17, 2007

I want to see Ichigo end up with Rukia. I really don’t like Orihime. Rukia and Ichigo seem to have a deep understanding of one another and their arguments are like couple’s quarrals :p

9. Lazy Mew - December 4, 2007

I don’t agree if Kubo-sama ends the story with Ichigo x Orihime. I do love Orihime as person-she’s cute, sweet, and very kind. But Orihime just simply doesn’t match with Ichigo. A brash and brazen person like Rukia will be way better than Orihime for Ichigo. Besides, I’ve read somewhere that Ichigo loves girls who are slim from top to bottom. I do think Rukia fulfils this much better than Orihime (her boobs can’t be called slim, right?) I really wanna see Orihime x Ishida or Orihime x Chad, tho. And Ichigo may end up with Rukia. Ichigo and Rukia built a deep understanding towards each other (even at the beginning of the story) and Rukia was very sad when she was about to leave Ichigo (and when she was about to be executed-she cried and said goodbye to Ichigo…but she only said thank you to everyone else) and Ichigo was also very worried about Rukia when she was sentenced to death. And if you watch Bleach anime eps 54, you’ll see that Ichigo’s face when he saved Rukia was full of care and love ^^ and Rukia was also very touched when Ichigo finally saved her ;3

10. Lupus - December 13, 2007

Dear Lazy Mew,

First, let me thank you for your extended reply. Support like yours mean a lot to me.

I don’t think there’s anything romantic in Rukia and Ichigo’s relationship, though. They’re simply VERY good friends. But of course, that opinion is heavily influenced by my IchiOri-shipper side :P

11. railer - January 1, 2008

well, well, people think Orihime’s boobs are too big, WHAT ARE YOU CRAZY! i mean i know that there is a limit and i guess Matsumoto’s are encroaching upon that limit but Orihime is perfect she is obviously the hottest chick in the show and although Rukia is cool shit she is kind of a flaker when it comes down to her and ichi, its the catch 22 you want what you cant have ichi<Rukia and your too stupid to see what you already have Orihime<ichi… although as to which one i think would be a better girlfriend i dunno Rukia is cool shit

12. anoynmous - August 31, 2008

Orhime>Rukia.

13. Saya Heartnet - November 5, 2008

With Orihime’s feelings finally being made official, I believe we’ve hit a slightly complicated love…shape…not triangle, more like a decagon.
See, we have several couples that Kubo-sensei could be considering: there is IchiOri– Ichigo with Orihime. This would work in many possible ways, Orihime and Ichigo being fairly close, and Orihime’s undying affection (which is a serious turn-on, if you ask me). These two naturally have great chemistry and get along so well.
There is also IchiRuki– Ichigo and Rukia. This one, I believe won’t work as well. It is true that they have similar personalities, but with their fiery tempers and flaring, brash emotions, I have a feeling that they are better remaining friends. Rukia and Ichigo are obviously very important to each other, but due to their friendship, it might not be anything more. And, you could probably imagine the disappointment of everyone should there be an unrequited love or maybe a coupledom that would ruin or replace the great Ichigo-Rukia friendship.
And, has anyone considered TatsIchi? Tatsuki and Ichigo? This, though, could also be a similar situation to IchiRuki– the close, deep bond of friendship being twisted by the complexity of affection. These two have been friends since about the time they were four or five, and they get along great, but with the way I’ve noticed Tatsuki acting, there might be a bit of a crush going. Who could blame her? We’ve got a great, chivalrous guy with awesome hair who is really buff and powerful. To be truthful, though, I’m a total Gin Ichimaru fangirl… _<

14. Saya Heartnet - November 5, 2008

Oops! The rest of my message got cut off, so here’s the rest:
All the same, I sort of like TatsIchi…and it goes back to whoever said that Ichigo liked girls who were skinny up and down, side to side. (Hmm…)
Anyway, this also brings up other problems: UryuOri/IshiOri, for example. I love Uryu Ishida’s little crush on Orihime. This is reflected so much in the way he looks at her and the way he is constantly looking after her. He is also aware of her feelings for Ichigo, and (this is why I love Uryu) decides to sort of leave her be and not persue her because he knows how she feels. (Such a gentleman. I wish I had an Uryu in my life. I’d love him lots. And he’d look like Gin. *Sigh, blush* That’s my perfect man: Uyru’s manners, Gin’s looks…and how about Ichigo’s muscles? Can’t beat that!!!!!!)
And! We also have the complexity of RenjiRuki. I also like RenjiRuki, but again this is another version of TatsIchi– best friends since childhood. Put a little bit of IchiRuki in there and you could have affection getting in the way of an already great partnership. But, come on– the guy thinks about her all the time. Take, for instance, the two major battles he fought in the Soul Society. There was his battle against Ichigo, after which he roared, “RUKIAAAA!” or something (did he really do that?!) and remembered their childhood together. There was also the battle agaisnt Rukia’s brother, Byakuya. After being sliced by Senbon Zakura (did I spell that correctly? I’m doing this all by memory), he remembered all the people who said that his feeligns for Rukia wouldn’t reach her and that he should just leave her alone, the memories ending with the day she was adopted and she ran away from him, crying, as he congratulated her. There was also a point in there where he remembered watching Ichigo during his Bankai training and observed that Zangetsu was questioning Ichigo’s motives to continue training. Ichigo then replies that he made a promise to save Rukia. Renji then repeats Ichigo’s words, telling Byakuya he made a promise to no one but himself to save Rukia.
Well, I’m talking way too much and I’ve gotten a bit off track…but that’s just my analysis on this subject. I wish I could talk more, but who wants to hear me babble? >_<

15. Saya Heartnet - November 6, 2008

Oh! I forgot to add that, though I’m really into TatsIchi, I’m pretty sure we’re going to see a IchiOri coupling.
It’s more than possible: Orihime is Kubo-sensei’s FAVORITE character– he’s not going to disappoint her, is he?
Just something I thought I’d point out…
>_<
“No warm fuzzies here…just the truth according to Bradley Bell.”
–Bradley Bell

16. Lizzie - November 6, 2008

I dunno. I mean, Rukia’s is cool, but–if you all would recall, RukiaxIchigo lovers–Rukia’s lived ten of Ichigo’s lifetimes.

I’m pretty sure Ichigo is into women his age.

In fanfiction, anything is possible. But for the manga and anime, I’d like to keep it somewhat realistic. Rukia has a deep understanding with Ichigo that resembles the first true show of trust and loyalty, as both Rukia and Ichigo risks their lives for the things the other cares for most–i.e. Rukia for Ichigo’s family.

But Orihime has this deep want to give Ichigo everything that she is. I am waiting to see how Kubo-san will have Ichigo react to Orihime missing rather than Rukia. In the beginning, he already started panicking, when they said she might be dead. They said the same of Rukia, and he didn’t panic quite as much, then. Also, Orihime and Ichigo both got picked on because of the color of their hair, they both lost someone insanely dear to them (Ichi’s mum, Hime’s bro), I’m sure there’s more to the list. I think it’s more romantic to put Ichigo and Orihime together because while Orihime can’t kick Ichigo back into shape like Rukia can, she can heal him–heart and soul. But, that’s just my lengthy opinion.

By the way, forgive me for being so late. I’m still catching up ^^;;

17. Lizzie - November 6, 2008

Ahem. I meant to say “Rukia’s cool” not “Rukia’s is cool”

…boke. lol

18. Saya Heartnet - November 8, 2008

I really agree with you, Lizzie, and I think that Ichigo would be into women his age.
Did you see my post, above yours? I think it has some pretty good points to it…take a look if you want…

19. Couples « My random postings about manga and anime - November 8, 2008
20. Black - September 27, 2009

Its gonna be IchiOri. Even in his prototypes of Bleach Kubo had the IchiOri love going on. Proof? Read this.
http://www.onemanga.com/Bleach/0/01
Now that all you fans of other Ichigo matches are crying and cutting yourselves let us move on to why IchiRukia is a bad idea.

#1 Rukia is over a hundred years older than Ichigo.
#2 Ichigo is a living soul. Rukia died over a hundred years ago. I guess she could just wait for him to die but unless he gets killed in battle he’s going to enjoy a very long and happy life due to the strength of his spirit and his great physical shape.
#3 If Ichigo even thought along that line Renji would challenge him to a deathmatch. If you want to see one of them die then cheer away.

To tell you the truth I’m glad Kubo is straightforward unlike Masashi Kishimoto (Naruto) which has so many complex relations that it makes my head spin and yet I still watch and read it (maybe I just like headaches lol). Yay for the simple stuff like Bleach now lets get back to the fighting! MORE WAAAGH AND DAKA!!!!

21. I hate loneliness,....but it LOVES ME - November 2, 2009

Ichigo is the re-incarnation of kaien shiba thus, Rukia loves him(but I think that subconciously she thinks that both kaien and ichigo were/are out of her reach, [kaien was married and ichigo is his reincarnation] but she is happy just watching him, being by his side, and making sure he is happy) Orihime loves ichigo, which puts her at odds with rukia, however (if my love likes you, I like you, so he wont hate me) in other words anything for Ichigo…(cute huh?) and it seems that Tatsuki shaped up ichigo and loved her “sculpture” so much that…..you get the picture right? (Incest? [shes basically his sis] kinda creepy) Ishida has the hots for ‘hime (but being so “refined” and “cool” hell never say anything cus he knows whats goin’ on) so, yeah…..SUMMARY as tite kubo wrote on a BLEACH manga cover, NO HEART-WARMING STORIES! translation= all couples are F**ked (think about it when have you seen a happy couple? heck, even a f**cked OFFICIAL couple? <as in they kiss from time to time……yeah NOT ONCE (maybe its kubo's way of sayin "Life's a b*tch, deal with it!")

22. Nhu xD - March 2, 2010

Well i really haev no opion but still i think that Tite Kubo will simply not be able to choose between orhime and rukia…You know why? Because there are many reasons he should choose rukiaXichi and many reasons he should choose ichigoXOri A few reasons he would choose IchiXruki is because they understand each other and they haev a deep connection as seen in episode 115 when poor ichigo was really down in the fact that he discovered he was a visard, Rukia was able to lift up his pride again when she states that even if no one believes in him she will continure to and she states that she knows a minor thing such as this will not affect him because she knows the type of man he is. Also Rukia is seen to have a greater affect on ichigo then Orhime is when she was able to make ichigo feel better unlike orhime, even though orihime has tried many times Orhimi is jealous of rukia as seen in 116 episode of bleach when rukia totally has a greater affect on Ichigo then Orhime is. Many reasons Orihime might end up with ichigo is that she is totally in his age group and rukia isnt :P Also Orihime seems to know ichigo much longer than rukia has…even though they never really get to know each other until ichigo becomes a soureaper. But still Orihime can be clutz sometimes which will SOMETIMES match with Ichigos firm personality but it also might NOT be a good combonation. I really dont know what Tite Kubo has in mind. But it would be fun either way :P But if you think about it then Rukia and Ichigo dont have much of a future cause Byakuya Would totally object them getting together and shes well dead……I would want Ichigo And Rukia to be together but still either way is fine =]

23. Chris - March 9, 2010

The grace period is so it appears as though Orihime went willingly as opposed to being forced to go. It makes her look like a traitor. Ulquiora knew she visit Ichigo and he knew her spiritual presence would be detected. It was cold, calculated, and brilliant.

24. Cristi - June 8, 2010

While Ichigo and Tatsuki have known each other since they were kids I dont think they would end up together. Ichigo and Rukia would make a good couple, I mean the episode when Orihemes friends ask her whats going on between them, and how he went to save her, there is an unspoken love going on between them. But you also have Oriheme and Ichigo shes never really left his side during battle, and Ichigo did go against orders to save her, but he also saved Rukia, he cares alot about Oriheme as you can see in his battles when hes protecting her. Ichigo protects everyone of his friends in battle, even if he shows up just in time. He could go for both Rukia and Oriheme, or choose just one, who knows they might not say who he will choose. You can see and feel how he feels about Rukia and Oriheme when he is fighting to save them. He beat Rukia’s brother just to save her. He also wouldnt give up to save Oriheme even when Oriheme felt his spritual preasure dropped. But if you remember when he was saving Rukia he said something about how hes not close to her but owed her a favor. But also at the begining him and Oriheme werent close either. Neither are him and Tatsuki, they knew either other since they were kids, but it seems that when his mom died they werent as good friends.

Renji talks about how him and Rukia have been friends since kids, and that she was the closest thing to a family. He goes against orders and saves her, even with the bounts. It seems that he could have a crush on Rukia, but its more likely that because he let the only person who was like family to him get away not be able to talk to her for 40 years, seems as if he doesnt want his sister to get hurt(the same way as Ichigo is with his two sisters). He lays his life down on the line for her as comitment to feeling like family. Renji and Oriheme just dont mix at all, so I dont see how that would be considered.

Chad and Rukia dont seem likely, yes he did go to save Rukia but he said that she saved him, so that was one of his reasons, the other was that him and Ichigo have an arrangement. Chad and Oriheme seem less likely, it didnt seem like they were friends until they gained there abilitys. But he always did have her back when she needed it.

Uryu and Oriheme seem like that could work, he knows how she shouldnt fight and he can basiclly see right thru her. He protected her on the mission to save Rukia, and he went to save Oriheme on his own will to do so. At some points he does seem to have a bit of feelings for Oriheme. Uryu and Rukia seems unlikely, he keeps saying throuhgt the series that he is not friends with Soul Reapers and that they are his enemy, so unless he forgets all of that or Rukia lives in the would of the living(like Ichigo’s dad is doing), there are possibilitys. But to me it just seems unlikely.

These are my thoughts, everyone has there own opinions, I thought I would share mine.

25. kesh - August 19, 2010

wel, having moved way past chap 237 i’d have 2 say that unless Kubo does a complete overhaul of Inoue’s character thr is no way in hell she’s going2 end up with her dear Kurosaki-kun. Also, I’d like 2 point out that b4 Inoue snuck in and made her FLOL speech Rukia was there worrying herself 2 death over him. Now I’m not saying he and Rukia should get together- that would shock 10yrs off my life- the relationship they have is 2 mature for a child of Ichigo’s age. He needs 2 grow up some. And Renji n Rukia…heck no! He would hav sat back and watched her die if Ichigo hadn’t beat sense into him.

26. Anonymous - October 29, 2012

I find it quite poetic that she decided to put “Goodbye, Halcyon Days” of all things. Yes, “the calm before the winter solstice” is one thing linking it to this, what with the lead up to the war against those in Hueco Mundo. But, if you dig a little further into the history behind Halcyon Days, a new side opens up.

This takes us to a tale, way back in Greek mythology, that of Alcyone and Ceyx. They were happy together, and deeply in love, but the gods were angered by them for their sacrilegious nicknames of “Zeus” and “Hera”. One day, while Ceyx was out at sea, the god Zeus threw one of his trademark thunderbolts at his ship, and he never made it home. Soon after, Morpheus – the God of Dreams – took the form of Ceyx and appeared to Alcyone to tell her of her husband’s fate, whereupon she threw herself into the ocean out of grief. Out of compassion, the gods changed them both into Halcyon birds, named after Alcyone.

This tale fits surprisingly well into Bleach; however, the roles are reversed. Where Ceyx leaves for his fishing trip, Orihime leaves to train in the Soul Society. On her way back to the world of the living, she is taken by the Espada, as Ceyx is taken from Alcyone by the gods. (If you want to take that comparison further, it could be argued that the Espada are, themselves, almost god-like figures in power, making it that much more fitting.) And lastly, Orihime comes to Ichigo as he sleeps, in order to say her goodbyes, very similar to that of Ceyx in the dreams of Alcyone.

But that’s just my two cents.


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