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In chapter 350 of Bleach, this set of panels appears:

enter image description here

But I don't understand what is being shown here. Is it Ichigo's newly made hole?

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Rotate the image around and it's a bit clearer how things must be oriented. Note that left-right has been reversed in this rotation, but it preserves the chronological order of the strips and puts them in the correct vertical orientation.

rotated, mirrored, annotated

The ground must be the white bit we start with to explain the position of Orihime's knee/hand and how the tears (possibly blood) are falling and impacting the initial white surface. Ichigo would be on his side on the ground, or on his back or chest with his head turned to the side. The second strip shows one of her spirits and the initial activation of Soten Kisshun. In the third and fourth strips Soten Kisshun is fully deployed. Since we can't see the corner/spirit anymore, Ichigo has probably tilted his head to see what's going on. Possibly the second panel is very early in the activation, in which case the spirit may still be in transit. But given the curvature in the third strip and how the maximum is obtained to the right (in the mirrored directions), it seems more likely that Ichigo has tried to move/tilt his head. In the third strip you can see Orihime's knee as she kneels by Ichigo to try to heal/protect him. Possibly it is her hand, as the blood/tears in the fourth strip seem more plausible to me if she is leaning forward on her hand a bit and her head is just off-screen while most of her body is behind it.

The next page makes it clear that, yes, Ichigo is on his chest with his head to his side.

the next page

The page after that makes Orihime's position a little less clear: yes, she's on her knees (not leaning forward on her hands) and crying, but the orientation of things makes it seem like Ichigo is (well) behind her, such that it's hard to explain how Ichigo sees her apparently being close and also behind Soten Kisshun's effect. She even turns her head to look behind her when Ichigo gets up in Hollow form. Possibly this is just an issue with perspective that Kubo and the artists overlooked.

and the page after that

  • Soten Kishun is a golden oval (drawn white) which surrounds what it is healing. Confirmed in the previous chapter, 349, Inoue is "above" Ichigos Head (infront of him when he stands up), and Ichigo, at least up until right before transforming, is completely surrounded by Soten Kishun. The only thing in his vision after its activated should be the ground, or the golden oval. That means something is up with the upper left corner of the third and 4th panels, there should be no black portion there. Any thoughts? – Ryan Apr 17 '17 at 19:06
  • @Ryan I think it's Soten Kisshun, as it's consistent with how it is activating in the second strip, but Kubo/they just goofed on previous and upcoming positions because they felt this gave a more dramatic effect. They wanted to add a visual reason to Ichigo going berserk with resolve to protect her (just hearing her wasn't enough, I guess), so they needed him to see "just enough" to know what's going, what his basic state is, and that she's upset. I think they just ignored that the positioning of things isn't terribly consistent in order to achieve this. – zibadawa timmy Apr 17 '17 at 19:13
  • You can also note how the color of the sky is inconsistent not only in these three pages, but indeed from one panel to the next, being either undecorated pure white to pure black to a streaked grey-ish. The last page where we see Orihime in the bottom three panels initially has a pure white background, the other two have the grey-ish sky. The next page after that also use the grey/black on Hollow Ichigo's image, but seems to revert to white for Orihime again (maybe that's partly symbolic, but I think it's just lazy drawing that emphasizes the shade only when convenient). – zibadawa timmy Apr 17 '17 at 19:19
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What I can tell for sure is that the 2nd panel here shows soten kisshun, Orehime's healing ability. With that thought, and the situation at the time, the first 2 panels look to be what Ichigo is seeing from his own eyes. The black/grey gradient is the sky of Hueco Mundo, and the white part is the Las Noches Roof, and the whole scene is on its side, since Ichigo is laying down.

The 3rd and 4th panels seem to display something else though, That pitch black can't be Hueco Mundo's sky, and Soten Kisshun would surround him, so the black being there means he is not surrounded by Soten Kisshun. At the same time, I can not identify the thing in the upper right of the 2 lower panels. As shown on the next page, the only thing Ichigo could see that is not Soten Kisshun, Hueco Mundos sky, or Las Noches roof, would be his own blood, and that is clearly not blood. That rules out Ichigos direct vision for the 3rd and 4th panels.

It does however have a resemblance to one thing 2 pages later, Orehime Inoue screaming for Ichigo's help. It does resemble an open mouth, with the bottom row of teeth, and a chin, but its missing everything else. Considering she was calling out for him at the time, and that is what woke up his powers, my personal guess here is that its a semi symbolic scene of that. However, Its extremely difficult to say for sure. If anyone has any ideas, feel free to bring them up.

  • You can see one of her spirit thingies in the second strip. – zibadawa timmy Apr 17 '17 at 18:01
  • @zibadawatimmy That is what I said, Its part of her Soten Kishun when she was trying to heal him – Ryan Apr 17 '17 at 18:18
  • Soten Kisshun is a technique that utilizes two of her spirits, which manifests in an oval-like region. It is not the spirits themselves. You seemed to be pointing out how you could see this characteristic region. When you can in fact see one of the specific spirits (as well). – zibadawa timmy Apr 17 '17 at 18:21
  • @zibadawatimmy Soten Kishun is the entire move itself, and by definition includes the spirit. The spirit is a part of the technique, as is the oval region, and the event negation. So at best pointing it out results in redundancy. – Ryan Apr 17 '17 at 18:27

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