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 Fear of Death?

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SoldierG65434-2
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PostSubject: Fear of Death?    Sun Jan 01, 2012 3:30 am

Despite my well documented seething hatred of Bleach's anime, I'm a lazy fucker and never bothered to walk the nine feet to change the channel so I ended up watching some of it. I don't know what episode it was and that's not really important, but it had Baraggan in it, which reminded me of his comment about how "even Shinigami are afraid to die." That lead me to Sui-Feng "pep" talk to Ichigo before the all beat the shit out of Momo about how they (or she?) weren't sacrificing themselves for his sake, but were actually fighting to live. And that reminded me of the fact that Sui-Feng has an article in the Sereitei Communication called I'll do anything to live. All this got me thinking...

Is Sui-Feng afraid to die? If so, why?

I gave this a few minutes though and the most fun idea I came up with was that yes she is, and it's because of her life style. She's lived her life essentially as a hired killer, first as a member of the Feng house and then as a member (as subsequently the leader) of the Onmitsukido. If she fears death, it's likely because she's done some gnarly things in her life that she feels gives her at least a 50/50 shot of going to Hell.

Shinigami can go the Hell, right? I hope so, because if they can't then the whole system is totally busted.

That, or being a member of the Onmistukido she knows something about the nature of death that all but the highest ranked are privy to that makes the whole dying business seem especially unpleasant.

She also has to tell Yoruichi how she feels be fore she eats it.

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PostSubject: Re: Fear of Death?    Sun Jan 01, 2012 7:11 am

I call her Soi Fon...

From what I understand is that when a person in the soul society/Hueco mundo dies they will either do one of two things. If they were good/pure then they will be reincarnated into the world of the living. If they were bad then they will go to hell. This is why the Shinigami had to wipe out most of the Quincy cause them killing the Hollows was messing up the reincarnations cycle. I always wondered why there are No Quincy in the SS cause they would have to be killed twice for them to be reincarnated.

The thing that I think she would fear is failure in general. She believes that if she fails that she is failing not only herself, but Yoruichi. I am also sure that while reincarnation would mean that her soul would live on; it would also mean that her memories would be gone and she would have to go through life again.

A fear of death could be a fear of living in this case. Not everyone has great lives. Right now she is a high ranking and respected captain. However if she is reborn she will be an every day child in who knows what kind of family or environment. I am sure that living out in a subconscious of another developing mind isn't as much of an appeal to some people.
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PostSubject: Re: Fear of Death?    Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:05 pm

HardcoreHunter wrote:
I call her Soi Fon...
As of the data book Masekd, her name is officially romanized Sui-Feng.

Fear of failure sounds credible. The only issue I see with there is that everything about her is refrence to living, not suceeding. Her column is called I'll Do Anything to Live, not I'll Do Anything to Win. And I was under the impression that when a soul passes from one state of being to another, it doesn't carry it's memories. If they did, then the World of the Living would be full of Shinigami trapped in human bodies.

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PostSubject: Re: Fear of Death?    Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:04 pm

I know, but I say it Soi Fon.

Souls remember their lives when going from the world of the living to the SS, but not from the SS to the world of the living. We see this in the episode when chad found that bird kid that Ichigo sent to the SS in the Rescue Rukia arc. They explained how most people give up on finding family and just make adoptive ones. This shows that they would have kept their memories. However Rukia did a short explanation a couple times about the reincarnation cycle and how it would work in the first season. I think Kubo may have forgotten about it or he may not have thought of a way to work it back in.

I think if they ever bring up reincarnation again it will be Ichigo being the reincarnation of Kaien Shiba /theory. They look the same and act the same except for hair color.

I think the explanation where memories of dead shinigami go is handled in the movie Memories of Nobody.

As for Soi Fon; she has a lot of things that she wanted to do before death. One was become stronger than Yoruichi and the other was to protect Yoruichi. Either way it's death if she didn't have some sense of it then all her attacks would be kamikaze style and reckless. Her style is as she puts it is more Perice. She does have a sense of duty and if the objective can't be reached any other way I am sure she would give her life in order to achieve her goal rather than live with the shame of failing. I would say that is off cause she has shown a good bit of disgust for anyone who would fail or not complete an assignment. If she would do anything to live and not win that would include running away or abandoning a mission which she is very against.

That could refer to assassins fighting style in general. While Samurai had an honer code of how to fight. Assassins only rule was to win by any means. It's a believe that there is no fair or unfair in a fight to the death; only the living and the dead.

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PostSubject: Re: Fear of Death?    Mon Jan 02, 2012 1:42 am

HardcoreHunter wrote:
That could refer to assassins fighting style in general. While Samurai had an honer code of how to fight. Assassins only rule was to win by any means. It's a believe that there is no fair or unfair in a fight to the death; only the living and the dead.
I can see that. Still, I think it would be much more fun for her to have this deep fear of dying. Maybe something was lost in translation, but I still think that there's something to her fearing death, given how direct everything is in reference to living.

Also, I should probably just bite the bullet and watch the Bleach movies. Except that one about Hitsugaya. There's not enough booze or money in the world to get me to watch that.

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PostSubject: Re: Fear of Death?    Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:53 pm

Quote :
I don't know what episode it was and that's not really important, but it has Baraggan in it, which reminded me of his comment about how "even Shinigami are afraid to die."

I've been re-reading Bleach, and I got to the point Soldier mentioned. In the manga, at least, Sui-Feng looks completely terrified in that sequence. I'm fairly sure she wasn't thinking of winning or losing when she screamed at Omaeda: "Cut of my arm!!! Do it now!! Do you want me to die!?!". And, according to the translation I read, Barragan says: "How ironic. A death god afraid of death". He's not talking about shinigami in gereral, he's talking about Sui-Feng.

So, to answer Soldier's first question, my conclusion is, just by looking at her face, Sui-Feng is very, very afraid to die. As for why, who knows? Instinct maybe? I also think it has to do with her being an assassin, but not just because she might end up in hell (though that's a great theory), but because she is in contact with death constantly, and denying her own mortality is a way to deal with it.
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PostSubject: Re: Fear of Death?    Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:13 pm

Anil wrote:
He's not talking about shinigami in gereral, he's talking about Sui-Feng.
Huh, I missed that. Even more fuel for the fire.

Anil wrote:
So, to answer Soldier's first question, my conclusion is, just by looking at her face, Sui-Feng is very, very afraid to die. As for why, who knows? Instinct maybe? I also think it has to do with her being an assassin, but not just because she might end up in hell (though that's a great theory), but because she is in contact with death constantly, and denying her own mortality is a way to deal with it.
I don't know about denying her own mortality. She seems cutlery aware of it, given her article. It seems like, as you said, she's legitimate afraid to die. I would really love to get more insight into why. It seems more than instinctive.

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PostSubject: Re: Fear of Death?    Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:24 am

Well she could fear it because of her brothers... Or even her grandmother (Or Great Grandmother I forget which one it was...)
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PostSubject: Re: Fear of Death?    Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:29 pm

RSforsevers wrote:
Well she could fear it because of her brothers... Or even her grandmother (Or Great Grandmother I forget which one it was...)
I forget about her brother's sometimes. If she's afraid to die because of them, then it could be that she fears failure.

I don't know that, her desire to live seemed much more...selfish in her fight with Baraggan. Not to mention her lile "pep" talk to Ichigo about how they were "fighting to live." The desire to protect people from Aizen was secondary to their (her) own survival.

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PostSubject: Re: Fear of Death?    Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:36 am

SoldierG65434-2 wrote:
RSforsevers wrote:
Well she could fear it because of her brothers... Or even her grandmother (Or Great Grandmother I forget which one it was...)
I forget about her brother's sometimes. If she's afraid to die because of them, then it could be that she fears failure.

I don't know that, her desire to live seemed much more...selfish in her fight with Baraggan. Not to mention her lile "pep" talk to Ichigo about how they were "fighting to live." The desire to protect people from Aizen was secondary to their (her) own survival.

I kinda think you're taking her "pep" talk to Ichigo a bit too literally. Its, admittedly, been a long time since I read that, but wasn't she just trying to assurge his fears? The impression I got was that he thought they were all going to suicide dive Aizen to give him an opening, and she just pointed out that non of the shinigami had any intentions of dying there. She never at all mentioned the desire to protect people because it would be a meanignless gesture. And surely fighting to beat Aizen, and to llive, is fighting to protect people. She just narrowed the scope for Ichigo. It went from "the entire universe rests on your shoulders, man" to "we take this guy out because if we don't then we all die". Makes sense to me.

Having said that though. Yes, I do think that she is afraid to die but then I think if they were sit down and think about it, most shinigami would also be afraid to die. I think especially since fighting Barragan she's afraid to die. Shinigami live for hundreds, potentially thousands, of years. "life" for them is not short like it is for us. Its long and the longer it goes on the less they're likely to think about the dying.

Also it must be pretty depressing to know that when you die your body/soul breaks down and becomes part of the furnishings in the mens room.
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PostSubject: Re: Fear of Death?    Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:40 am

In my analysis, this would be something she has internalized that has little to do with Yoruichi (Yoruichi's influence may have exacerbated this tendency, but did not originate it)

We know that her brothers all died, and we know that she looked upon their deaths as if she were somewhat ashamed of the fact that they had died. Given years of life and training in arts that emphasize victory over honor, perhaps she ran the other way with the idea of honor and death than most classical viewpoints on the matter: rather than many warriors who seek honor in death, she specifically finds shame in death, for death is the ultimate inability to serve, and as her brothers had failed to serve, she wishes to succeed, or succeed as long as possible (canon being hazy on the exact matters of shinigami aging, who knows how long this will be?)

It is easier to establish that Soi Fon is afraid of shame, or what she views as shame, and therefore is afraid of death because death brings shame

So it's related to "I want to win," but more about "I want to continue to be able to win."
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PostSubject: Re: Fear of Death?    Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:55 am

I'm going with fear of failure. Or maybe she panicked, because let's face it, even if you didn't give a damn if you died, I'm pretty sure it just suddenly happening like that would freak anyone out. Like you turn around and Death's just standing there staring right at you, caressing your arm as it dissolves away. Any normal person would've pissed themselves.
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PostSubject: Re: Fear of Death?    Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:45 pm

Mr Khan wrote:
We know that her brothers all died, and we know that she looked upon their deaths as if she were somewhat ashamed of the fact that they had died. Given years of life and training in arts that emphasize victory over honor, perhaps she ran the other way with the idea of honor and death than most classical viewpoints on the matter: rather than many warriors who seek honor in death, she specifically finds shame in death, for death is the ultimate inability to serve, and as her brothers had failed to serve, she wishes to succeed, or succeed as long as possible (canon being hazy on the exact matters of shinigami aging, who knows how long this will be?)
I can buy that.

Still, that was such a humanizing moment. That desperate fear is something you don't see often in the action genre. It was a raw enough emotion that for once I want don't want to analyze it to death and take it at face value. I feel like she comes out a richer character for it, honestly. But that's just me.

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