Welcome to the You Are Kubo Tite CYOA topic! This topic, as elegantly and eloquently expressed in the topic title, will be heavily influenced by you, dear readers. You will direct OT's undisputed favourite mangaka Kubo Tite, author of the smash hit manga Bleach, in his day to day existence. Last time we encountered cyborgs, keikakus, last minute deadline drawings, Eichiro Oda and dramatic action sequences. All available in the link below. Since when were you under the impression that it was not compulsory reading?
By my gathering it's been just about a month, give or take. My internet connection right now is...sporadic. It should be better in about a week, but for now, I'll try my best to update regularly.
You are Kubo Tite. And you are not happy.
You have not been happy for some time. Your love of life has been slipping away for weeks. You feel lethargic, listless, unable to concentrate. And it's all for one simple reason. Just under a month ago, your editor rang. He rang to say that Shonen Jump had cancelled Bleach. To be honest, you don't recall much of what was said, only that a new administration had been put in place and that a higher standard had been enforced across the board. As if Bleach was anything but the highest quality.
Enraged, you immediately did the reasonable thing and made a tweet lambasting all the lazy, decrepid, cretinous mouth breathers who dared to criticize your work. They think Bleach is anything less than the best? They should draw their own manga! And see how difficult it truly is! Soon, however, other thoughts began to surface. How can you ever face your loyal fanbase after what has happened? More to the point, what about making lots and lots of money?
Your billions of yen turned into millions, and then into mere hundreds of thousands. All your attempts to plant money trees have failed. You sigh deeply, reclining on your oversized couch, an exact copy of the one Aizen-chan used so famously all those years ago.
"What should I do now?" You mutter to yourself, idly toying with a Rukia action figure. You should probably do something before you committ seppuku with a plastic zanpakuto model. After thinking for a moment, you decide to...
1. Go outside and find the nearest slimy, greasy, loli-loving otaku, then beat the crap out of him. It's because of people like him that Bleach got cancelled.
2. Just chill out, mang. Try to find a new publisher. Bleach will rise again with a little effort.
3. Make breakfast. Most important meal of the day!
4. Ring up Oda. Your best friend will surely understand your pain.
You decide that the best way to ease your inner pain would be to share it with your eternal friend Oda. You pick up the phone and dial his number, drumming your fingers on the armrest as you wait for the line to connect. Eventually Oda picks up on his end.
"This is...whoa...th-this is ODA, HERE. Wh...what is it, mang?" Wow. He seems even more out of it than usual.
"Heya bro, it's your ultrabuddy Kubo! My situation is, how do you say, a big pinch! It's terrible! Those asses down at SJ cancelled Bleach!"
"Ohgodthatssterriblewhatevershouldwedoohdearibitmytongue-Wait, wut? They...CANCELLED...Bleach? No..no way...Just yesterday, I had a phone call from my editors! They're cancelling One Piece too!" Oda devolves into rambling incoherence.
You shake your head in disbelief. Oda's work may not be Bleach quality, but he certainly tried hard to reach your level. A sudden suspicion overwhelms you. With Kishimoto dead, Naruto has been discontinued. Now One Piece and, more importantly, Bleach, have also been removed from Shonen Jump's lineup. The Big Three of shonen have been destroyed. There has to be a reason, a pattern, somewhere.
"Sit tight, bro, I'm coming over." You put the phone down and pull your laptop over. A quick scan of the Weekly Shonen Jump website reveals something horrifying.
Shonen Jump Weekly Lineup!
2. Moe Moe Panick!
3. K-On: Return of Ritsu
4. Full Metal Loli - Sisterhood
6. KyunKyun Rocket!!
7. Moe Angel Moeta: Last Order
8. Kana-chan's Daily Life
You stop reading there. A wave of nausea flows over you. This...this trash is what the youth of Japan wants to read? This horrifying cancer of loli and moe and slice of life?! The other SJ manga may have paled in comparison to the juggernaut that was Bleach, but they were never as bad as this. Shaking your head in disgust, you get up to leave. With the Kubomobile and Kubocopter still undergoing repairs, you'll have to walk it.
To get to Oda's house, you decide to...
1. Go through the park. The scenery and scenic beauty should wash away the foul aftertaste of moe crap.
2. Take a shortcut through the back alleys of Tokyo. What could possibly go wrong?
3. Go through the city centre. Maybe something interesting will happen.
4. Take the shady taxi that appears to have parked right outside your home.
You notice that an odd taxi with tinted windows has pulled up outside your home. You begin to feel slightly optimistic as you get up from your awesome couch. It looks like the next plot thread has arrived. Perhaps it'll result in you getting lots and lots of money again. Wading through the six inch deep sea of Bleach memorabilia, you open the door and walk towards the taxi. As you approach the window winds down and a man with the same type of stylish sunglasses you always wear peers out at you.
"Hey dude, take me to my bro Oda's place, and make it quick." You decide to be polite this time. After all, someone with such excellent taste in sunglasses deserves a small degree of respect. As the taxi pulls away you think back on the events of the past few weeks.
It all started so innocently. Something had been needed to replace 'Naruto'. Your suggestion to add a duplicate chapter of Bleach as a replacement had been tragically shot down by the editors. In the end, it was decided that the moe loli action series DesuxDesuxDesu would be a suitable replacement. You and the other shonen mangaka had laughed in the cafeteria afterwards. Surely the newcomer would be crushed beneath the superior writing and art of the established serials, Bleach in particular.
But no. Bolstered by the purchasing power of thousands of greasy lolicon otakus, DesuxDesuxDesu had rocketed into first place, outstripping even Bleach after only the third installment. Soon, more moe loli series were introduced, and the mangaka of the old shonen jump were slowly fired, their series's abandoned and cancelled by the callous capitalistic machine.
"It's not natural..." You whisper to yourself. Even with tens of thousands of lolicons throwing their weight around, the long runners of SJ Magazine should not have fallen so quickly. There must be another conspiracy going on, perhaps some plan of Masashi Kishimoto's being carried out since before he died.
Suddenly you notice that you are nowhere near Oda's house, and are, in fact, going in the opposite direction. The taxi driver, noticing your dawning realisation, begins to talk.
"Do not panic, Kubo-san. I am here on behalf of certain parties interested in the continuation of your superior shonen manga 'Bleach'. We are currently driving to meet them at a secure location. I do not wish to alarm you, but your life may be in danger. If, however, you wish to have nothing to do with any of this, I will take you to your friend Oda's house instead."
...Wut. Bleach. Continue. Shonen Manga. Bleach. Continue. Life in danger. BLEACH. CONTINUE. These words loop through your mind, drowning out everything else. What do you do?
1. Bleach will continue! You can go '**** YOU IM KUBO TITE" again! Go with him!
2. Bleach will continue! You can make lots and lots of money again! Go with him!
3. Bleach will continue! You can love your life again! Go with him!
Okay, now that I'm back in good old Blighty, updates should be more frequent. Speaking of which...
Your answer is obvious. Tears of joy begin to stream down your face, leaking out beneath your sunglasses. You knew deep down that Bleach would continue somehow. But there's something else that needs to be done before you completely agree.
"Sure thing dude, so long as my bro Oda can come too." It'll be good to have your best buddy with you, and it should go a long way towards paying him back for his help in your first adventure.
"Of course, Kubo-san. I will make the necessary arrangements. For now, there are crayons and a notepad in the glove compartment. We would be very pleased if you could start work on the next chapter immediately."
Excellent. It is a well known fact that the best chapters of shonen manga are drawn hastily in the passenger seat of a taxi. Your love of life is back in full swing, and the prospects of earning lots and lots of money has given you a great deal of inspiration. Surely this will be the best chapter of Bleach ever! Picking up the nearest crayon, you begin to draw.
Cover Page: Aizen-chan's third best smugface.
Page 1 - 2: Splash panel of Aizen-chan's second best smugface.
Page 3: Matsumoto looking shocked, reaction shots from Ichigo's friends.
Page 4: A bump in the road makes you smudge a line across the page. You pass it off as an ineffectual sword slash.
Page 5: Totally black page with the chapter title in white.
Page 6: More reaction faces with a few speech bubbles. You're not sure what to put in them just yet, but it'll probably be something about how amazing Aizen-chan is.
Page 7 - 8: Full page spread of Aizen-chan and that upstart Ichigo facing off. You make sure to add extra detail to Aizen-chan's pretty wings.
Page 9: Cut back to Hueco Mundo. Yammy is still raging. Heh, that Yammy, what a joker.
Page 10: Actually, you don't want to go back to Hueco Mundo. Cut back to fake Karakura Town.
Page 11: Shots of everyone lying on the floor with 1HP. Your editors wanted you to kill them, but **** THEM YOU'RE KUBO TITE AND YOU DON'T LISTEN TO ANYONE WHO CANCELLS YOUR SERIES
Page 12: Fake Karakura Town sucks too, so you cut back to Aizen-chan, who is far more interesting.
Page 13: More speech bubbles, possibly about Aizen-chan's plans. You're still not sure what to write in them. Maybe you'll phone him up later and ask him about it.
Page 14 - 18: Fight scenes! Aizen-chan reveals new powers, obviously. That punk Ichigo can't do anything but flail and lose. Page 18 sees the use of the 'Final' Getsuga Tenshou. Lol, like that'll work.
Page 19: Aizen-chan's very best smugface, followed by the word, 'Bankai'.
You put down your crayons, immensely satisfied with your work. It truly is a good day to be Kubo Tite. You notice that the taxi has slowed down and is entering an abandoned construction site. Ah, a truly thematic location for a righteous resistance! Your theatrical senses are appeased. The taxi comes to a halt and the driver motions for you to exit the vehicle.
Looking around, you see several men in dark clothing approaching. Looks like it's time to meet your new colleagues. You focus on the nearest, and are shocked to discover that he is none other than...!
1. Kentaro Miura
2. Yoshihiro Togashi
3. Ken Akamatsu
It's him! That guy! That guy who did that thing! That guy who...
...What was his name again?
You scratch your head in confusion. You're sure you've seen him somewhere before. Maybe at a Bleach book signing? You should really have another one of those after your series is uncancelled. He must be a truly adoring fan to go this far to get a signed copy. You rummage through your infinitely deep pockets for a copy of Bleach volume one. You carry several signed copies around in case of emergency, and this situation certainly counts!
The man reaches you first, however.
"Hello there, Kubo-san. My name is Akamatsu. I have called you here today because we have a very serious problem on our hands, a problem that threatens the entire manga world."
Of course. The cancellation of Bleach will be positively catastrophic for shonen manga. You stop rummaging and begin to listen to what this 'Akamatsu' character is saying.
"Over the past two months, shonen manga have been cancelled one after the other. HunterxHunter, One Piece, my own Negima!, and, of course, Bleach. They have been replaced by a landslide of moe and loli. I thought I could beat the system by disguising my Negima! as a moe series. It worked for a time, but in the end it too was cancelled."
Ah, so this guy is a mangaka! Even more of a reason to give him a copy of your masterpiece. You're sure he'll be honoured to learn from the great Kubo Tite. Oh, wait he's talking again, better pay attention!
"I have gathered other mangaka like us. We have enough funding between us to start our own magazine, a magazine free of moe, kawaii and editors! We would be truly humbled if a legendary mangaka such as yourself would lend us your aid."
Wait. What did he just say? A shonen magazine...with no editors at all? But then... to whom would you exclaim '**** YOU IM KUBO TITE!!!' on a regular basis? It just wouldn't feel right! Maybe there should be just one editor, just for you. That would be perfect.
"I will certainly accept your kind offer, Akamatsu-san. However, I think it'd be cool to have one editor, y'know, for target practice and menial tasks. Also, with any luck my buddy Oda will be here soon and he can join too!" Ah, this is the feeling. You, Kubo Tite, finally love your life again. Things are finally getting better.
Suddenly, an unfamiliar voice echoes across the construction site.
"Haaah? I didn't expect to find so many whipped dogs gathered all in one place. Good, good! This isn't usually my area of expertise, but the WSJ editing team will be glad to know of your demise."
Akamatsu's eyes widen in surprise, staring at something behind you. He gasps, taking a step back.
"It can't be...one of the editing team's three strongest...!"
You whirl around, reaching for your Kubopod; Number One may soon be needed. Standing at the entrance to the site is...!
The afro...The brightly coloured suit...the sunglasses that are just a shade less awesome than your own... The man standing before you is none other than Nabeshin, the greatest hero of Japan. If such a man is your enemy... At the least, this is going to be very difficult. You suddenly feel an overpowering urge to get an afro just like his.
"You guys run. I'll buy you some time." You say dramatically, bracing yourself for the epic battle that is sure to ensue.
"Thank you, Kubo-san! We'll find a way to contact you after this blows over!"
Akamatsu and his retinue swiftly depart, leaving the two of you alone. Japans greatest mangaka versus its greatest hero...for the first time, you feel slightly nervous. You surreptitiously reach inside your jacket pocket, turning on the Kubopod for a Number One powerup. But before you begin, one question remains. Why? Why would a hero like Nabeshin side with such evil? It just doesn't make sense.
"Ah, so you remained behind, Kubo-kun. How admirable. It's a shame you cannot see the truth behind the changes that have occured in the manga world." He takes a step forwards.
"I don't understand, Nabeshin-sama! Are you not a warrior of justice? Why do you assist these lolicons in their endeavors? The true spirit of shonen manga is being destroyed by the cancer of moe! So why?!"
"Kubo-kun... To you, moe and loli is indeed a cancer, a blight on the manga world. But...to lolicons all over the world, this is a golden age! An age where they are accepted, an age where they too can finally purchase Weekly Shonen Jump without being spat on! Tell me, Kubo-kun...why is your justice more valid than theirs?" Another step.
"Maybe so! But what about our lives? The lives of shonen mangaka, who can no longer earn lots and lots of money to live because of these changes? WHAT IS THE JUSTICE IN THAT!? NABESHIN!?"
"Kubo-kun. To you, making lots and lots of money, and loving your life, is the only justice in the world. But other people are not the same. In the end, one can only fight for what one believes in! So, Kubo-kun! Fight me, and prove the strength of your justice!" The final step.
Reaching deep into the curls of his afro, Nabeshin pulls out a steel katana. As expected, from the national hero of Japan. You balance yourself on the balls of your feet, pondering your next move. What should you do?
1. Nabeshin's katana gives him the advantage on open ground. Dive into a half built structure to even the odds.
2a. A true shonen hero never backs down from a fight. Pick up an iron bar and prepare to fight right now!
2b. You need no weapon; you are the weapon. Charge in bare handed and unprepared, Leeroy style!
3. It's time for some dirty fighting. Kick up some cement dust and attack under cover.
4. You've stalled long enough already. Fight a defensive battle whilst you plan for escape!
You instinctively know what to do. You went into nearly every battle unarmed before, and came out on top. Nabeshin spoke of justice, but there is only one type of justice in this world. The justice of Kubo Tite. Everything seems to slow down as you launch yourself at your opponent. Your flash step brings you into melee range as Nabeshin's katana descends towards you.
"Ha! Such a cheap attack is worthless!" As the blade sweeps downwards you perform a flawless blade block, catching the weapon between your palms.
As Number One booms in your ears you twist your hands violently, snapping the blade in half. You barely have time to savour your small victory before Nabeshin's foot buries itself in your stomach. The massive blow propels you across the construction yard and into a partially built wall, which shatters behind you under the impact. You sure are glad you brought along those copies of Bleach volume one; without them you'd have been crushed by the impact.
"Kubo-kun...A true hero carries his sword in his heart! Break this blade however you wish; I have many more weapons to fight with." Once again Nabeshin reaches into his afro, this time pulling out a pair of iron knuckles.
So, he has other weapons. As expected of such a great hero. It looks like it's time to get dangerous. You cannot use your shikai or bankai just yet, but surely... Picking yourself up, you calculate the distance between the two of you. If you angle it just right... Before Nabeshin can beegin his advance, you prepare to flash step-
-and less than a second later you are behind him in midair. It's been far too long since you performed a classic Bleach maneuver, and you fully intend to enjoy it. He tries to turn around to face you but it's too late! Your fist, filled with burning heroic justice, plows into the side of Nabeshin's head, dislodging several items from his afro. Nabeshin himself stumbles backwards, falling to his knees.
"Ngh...Not bad, Kubo-kun. However...it's not enough! A legendary Afro Warrior is not defeated so easily!!!"
Your opponent gets up, unharmed. Your burning justice punch has had no permanent effect on the man before you. You grind your teeth in frustration. Nothing is working. If this were Bleach, what would happen? If it were Bleach...if it were Bleach, the enemy would make a pithy remark, chastise you for being weak, then walk away and let you retreat. It's a brilliant narrative device, but then again Bleach is a brilliant manga.
"Hmph. It seems you have some small skill...but it's not enough, Kubo-kun. I have the measure of you now, so I will withdraw for the time being. Be warned, though; Ryukishi and Obata will not be so merciful. Farewell." Nabeshin vanishes in an afro-shaped puff of smoke.
Damn. Although you weren't KO'ed, you still lost the fight. Even if it was against the legendary Nabeshin, it still leaves a sour taste in your mouth. For now, however, you decide to...
1. Go home and drown your sorrows like a true shonen mangaka. The taxi not here? Then you'll run the whole way. Because you're Kubo ****ING Tite and you need the training.
2. Follow Akamatsu. You're starting to remember what you heard about him before. Apparently he has a harem, and you love harems almost as much as your life.
3. Go to Oda's house. You've gotta repair the Kubovehicles before **** goes down again.
4. Y'know what? You need a break from all this serious crap. Since you didn't get to do it in the first CYOA, go to an internet cafe and play some WOW.
You slowly make your way out of the building site and onto the streets of Tokyo. One way or another, you've achieved your objective of holding off Nabeshin. Akamatsu and his group escaped safely back to their HQ and now it's time you did the same. Where did the guy live again? You decide to walk in a random direction. Characters in Bleach inevitably reach the places they are meant to go, so it should work for you as well.
Random passers by stop and stare as you walk by. It's understandable; you, the great Kubo Tite, are gracing these mere peons with your awesome presence. It's a wonder they don't spontaneously explode because of the waves of pure awesome that emanate from your person, much like Tousen did when Aizen arrived. These poor people, deprived of Bleach for so long. Once again, you vow to continue your life's work so that the common people can once again have access to high quality literature.
You soon cross over into a residential district. From here, Akamatsu's home is not hard to find. A gigantic western style mansion towers over the neighboring houses. As you approach, you realise that the stories of Akamatsu's harem have not been exaggerated; females of every colour and nationality mill around the building. Glimpses through the windows show that the inside is similarly filled with women.
The shady taxi is parked outside, and you realise that you've arrived early; Akamatsu himself is just stepping out. To outrun, nay, outwalk a speeding taxi...you, Kubo Tite, are truly amazing. Surely you would win the gold medal at the Olympics. You wave at Akamatsu as you approach.
"Hey Akamatsu! Looks like you made it!"
"As expected of you, Kubo-san, getting here before us despite not having a car. Allow me to welcome you to my humble abode."
"You seem to be pretty popular with the chicks, dude."
"Aha, so you noticed! It's the same with harem manga, Kubo-san. All you really need to ensnare the fairer sex is to be like a harem protagonist! Having written harem manga all my mangaka life, I am, to put such things modestly, rather good at attracting the ladies."
You nod appreciatively. His logic is truly flawless. Perhaps Akamatsu would be willing to lend a few of them to you...after you've sorted things out with Bleach, of course. Most important things come first, after all. You follow Akamatsu into the mansion. Waiting there are several mangaka you know very well. You should probably talk to them and find out exactly what's going on, but which one first?
1. Kentaro Miura
2. Yoshihiro Togashi
3. Akira Toriyama
4. Akira Amano
5. Ryuhei Tamura
Yoshihiro Togashi is standing in a corner of the entrance hall. You decide that now is a good time to say something you've been meaning to say for a long time. He looks up as you approach, then swiftly looks away, almost as if he knows what is coming.
"Hello there, Kubo-san."
An uncomfortable silence follows, but then again, you are about to broach an uncomfortable subject. The subject, of course, being plagiarism.
It seems everybody is plagiarising you these days. First it was Nick Simmons and his baka gaijin manga. You don't recall what it was called, or how exactly he plagiarised you, but the internet said he did, so it must be true. Although, to be honest, the fact that Gene Simmons's son was a mangaka was far more important.
Then there was Masashi Kishimoto, ripping off your original idea for the main character to have a superpowered evil side. Even now, your blood still boils at the sheer nerve of the man. Kishimoto and his robot copy are dead now, but that changes nothing.
And now, recently, you have discovered yet another attempt at plagiarising you. An attempt by the man standing in front of you right now, Yoshihiro Togashi! His manga, Yu Yu Hakusho, is very clearly ripping off large chunks of your masterpiece, Bleach. The setting and characters are indisputably copied! The fact that you have only read volume summaries changes nothing, as does the fact that it was supposedly written before Bleach. It just means he has access to one of those blue boxes the English use for time travel.
"Togashi. I cannot help but notice certain...similarities between our two manga. I was wondering if you could explain yourself in a satisfactory manner."
"K-kubo-san...Kubo-san, I never had any intentions of plagiarism! I was simply so inspired by your incredible work! I just wanted to make a manga one tenth as good as Bleach, so I...borrowed...a few elements. I am truly sorry, Kubo-san! The first time I read Bleach, I just knew I had to pay homage to it in some way! So, I went back in time and made Yu Yu Hakusho as a pre-emptive tribute."
That makes sense. After reading Bleach, who wouldn't want to make a small tribute manga to celebrate it? And such modesty, going to the trouble of traveling through time in order to evade your notice. It looks like you won't be needing your nail bat after all.
After that, the conversation moves on to more pleasant matters, such as the discussion of money and telling editors where to stick it. Togashi is apparently so rich he uses 10000 yen notes as fuel for his car. Maybe he could give you some tips about growing money trees.
But there are more important matters at hand, chief among them being...!
1. Exploring the house! It's a huge western mansion, it's bound to be exciting and totally not an anticlimax!
2. Talking to other, lesser mangaka. (Include suggestions as to which one)
3. Finding a computer and making a tweet about your day.
4. ...Something else. (Include suggestions)
You suddenly realise that a large number of girls are milling around nearby. Most seem to be cosplaying, carrying swords and such. Some are giving you approving looks. Being the ultimate ladies man, you decide to go over and introduce yourself. Akamatsu won't mind, his harem is big enough to afford the losses. You put on your smoothest, sexiest voice in preparation for the upcoming festivities.
"Hello...ladies. I couldn't help but notice you standing around, being so very beautiful and all. How are you all doing this fine day?"
Damn, you're good. Some begin to blush. And who wouldn't be a little embarassed, at being approached by Japan's newly reinstated premier mangaka, Kubo Tite?
"Oh~ Kubo-sama~ How amazing, to have you speak to us~ <3" Their attention is now firmly upon you. Excellent. Now to reel them in.
"Aha...amazing? Really? Heh. Now that Bleach is back on track, I'll be needing a bit of inspiration. Y'know, to get the ol' creative juices flowing. Would any of you like to, you know...help out a little?"
Oh yeah, that'll do the trick all right! You, Kubo Tite, are not only a superb mangaka, not only the world's best driver, and not only the soon-to-be richest man in Japan, but also the world's number one ladies man. The girls blush even deeper, and begin to cluster around you. Everything is going perfectly.
"Hmph. Kubo Tite? Bo-ring. C'mon everyone, lets move it!" A voice rings out from behind the crowd.
"Ah, it's her!"
"Sorry Kubo-sama~ We'll be back later~"
"Eeeeeh? Time already?"
The other girls give you a commiserating look before dispersing back into the house. For a moment, you stand there, shocked. Then the fury boils up inside you. Someone has dared to interupt your big moment! You whirl around, ready to take vengeance on the one who shattered your fantasies. But something stops you before you can do so. A short distance away stands another girl. She is a little taller than the others, and is wearing an odd shirt with two western letters stamped on the front. She looks at you with a haughty, defiant expression.
"Haaah? So the 'legendary' Kubo Tite is here now is he? Huh. I didn't realise that something as crappy as Bleach would be chosen for our new magazine. Guess standards really have fallen, eh, Kubo Trite?"
"...What? Bleach...crappy? Listen, lady, I don't know who you are or what you intend, but Bleach is the greatest manga ever created! All the critics say so! Who the hell are you, anyway?"
"Hmph. Greatest? Yeah right. The plot is inconsistent and full of holes, the art is what you'd expect from a toddler, the main villain is so ridiculous I could write three essays about why he sucks, and every powerup is a total ass pull. Oh, right, my name? It's OT-chan."
Hmmm, so this girl is called OT-chan... Have you heard that name somewhere before? Nah, must just be your imagination. Anyway, she's insulted Bleach, and you cannot let that stand.
"Well excuuuuuuuse me, princess. First of all, there are NO plot holes in Bleach! It's why I made the hogyoku to tie up loose ends. And the art is great, I spend at least half an hour on every chapter! Sometimes without coffee! That's real dedication right there! And yes, I know that Ichigo sucks. That's intentional, so that Aizen-chan can look better. And ass pulls? Nobody pulls anything out of their ass in Bleach, that's unhygenic and icky."
There. A splendid rebuttal. But then you are splendid at debating, especially when the subject is Bleach. But OT-chan is apparently not impressed.
“Having read every volume, I find that hard to believe. The Hueco Mundo arc was a rehash of Soul Society, nobody ever uses their Bankais when they would actually be useful and the power levels make no sense. It just sucks, period.”
How could anyone hate Bleach this much? It’s really sad that some people just can’t appreciate your genius. It’s truly, truly sad… Wait a minute. What did she just say?
“OT-chan. You just said something interesting. You just told me that you’ve read every single volume of Bleach. If you hated it so much, why did you read it all?”
“And you memorized every plot point. That takes dedication. Do you really hate Bleach, or is it something else?”
“B-baka, it’s not like I read Bleach because I like it or anything…”
“You know what I think? I think you enjoyed every minute of Aizen-chan’s actions up until this point! I think you cheered when Isshin appeared on the battlefield! I think you’re one of those Tsundere’s I’ve heard so much about. OT-chan, you are Tsundere for Bleach!!!” You give her the pointer finger, Phoenix Wright style.
“I-it’s not… I-I don’t like… Bleach is… WAAAAAH!!!! I CAN’T DENY IT!!!! I’M SORRY KUBO-SAMA, THE TRUTH IS I REALLY REALLY LOVE BLEACH!!!!!!” She bursts into tears and runs off.
That was nonsensical, but satisfying. The entrance hall is now empty, and you wonder vaguely what to do now. The best course of action would be to…
1. Because it can’t be said enough, watch Bleach reruns on TV. It’s gotta happen some time!
2. Now is the time for Serious Business. Discuss battle plans with Akamatsu and company.
3. ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES KUBO TITE A SLEEPY BOY. Get some sleep, maybe you’ll have a kickass dream.
4. Bleach is back, and it’s time to celebrate. Get completely smashed and act outrageously.
5. Any of the above, but give Aizen-chan a call first. You should let him know the good news about his upcoming comeback.
It would probably be best if you discussed a plan of action with Akamatsu. Before that, however, there is someone you have to call. You reach into your infinitely deep jacket and fumble for your Kenpachi patterned cellphone. You notice a new text message and open it up; apparently Oda finished work on the Kubomobile yesterday. Cool, but you have something else in mind. Holding it with two hands, you dial a very special number and wait for the call to connect.
"-click- Hello there Kubo-kun. I anticipated that you would call me at this moment, presumably to inform me of the fact that Bleach is returning to print." It seems he already knew. How very like him, to know everything that's going on in the world.
"I sure did Aizen-chan. Isn't that wonderful news? You can finally return to the public eye!"
"Indeed. However, I am a little...disturbed, at recent chapters. Right now I seem to be at a slight...disadvantage. Needless to say, the possibility of defeat does not exist, as a superior existence such as myself cannot possibly lose to a mere hybrid. I hope you do not let me down, Kubo-kun."
"Of course not, Aizen-chan. Don't worry, everything is going according to plan. You'll be back in top form in no time."
"Yes...it's all going according to plan. Ah, it seems I have another call incoming, but for now, I think I'll drink some tea. Goodbye, Kubo-kun. -click-" Heh, that Aizen-chan, what a kidder. Of course he won't lose. And even in the impossible event that he does, bringing him back would be a trivial matter. You chuckle in amusement to yourself at the thought.
Anyway, it's time to move on to battle strategy. You swiftly make your way over to Akamatsu, who is now accompanied by several other mangaka. They've been talking for some time, but you're pretty sure it wasn't anything too important.
"...And send someone over to Miura's house. His obsession with idolm@ster may have corrupted him to the side of moe, we don't know. If so, hopefully he can be saved; Berserk is the very antithesis of moe."
Huh. Looks like it was kinda important.
"Toriyama, you go and investigate the Figurine Factory, see if you can stop production somehow. I don't think it can be saved, it's produced nothing but loli models for over two months now. Three of my Girl Squad members will accompany you. I assure you, they are quite capable. Togashi, you're in control of our finances. Takahashi, you're in charge of defense. Make sure to set up plenty of trap cards. Oh, and give Oda the full run of the greenhouse when he gets here, we'll need all the inspiration we can get."
It looks like everything is going smoothly. You wonder what role you'll have to play in all of this. Hopefully a dramatic one, where you can strike an epic pose.
"Ah, Kubo-san. I have something special in mind for you. Your mission is to infiltrate the root of this cancer, the newly rebuilt Shonen Jump Building. It would be great if you could recover anything detailing how this moe fad gained so much ground in so little time. I'll have to warn you, though. We have reports that one of the movement's strongest three is there."
"Nabeshin again?" You frown. It'll be a real pain if he shows up. His afro powers are no joke.
"Apparently not. We don't really know much about him, other than his code name, R07. There is some time before the mission starts, so make sure to properly prepare before you set off."
Hmm. It looks like this will be tough. Bringing out your phone again, you activate the Kubomobile's remote control. It should find its way here eventually. Aside from that, it seems you have some time to kill. You should probably use it wisely, and in that case, the best thing to do would be...
1. A training montage! For some reason, nobody ever tries them in real life, which is silly because everyone knows that montages fix everything!
2. A montage? Hah! That'll never work. A full length training session with Toriyama, on the other hand...
3. Toriyama? Don't make me laugh. It's mind over matter, dude. Re-read the entirety of Bleach right now, to mentally prepare yourself for the upcoming battles.
You need to get strong quickly. If you've learned anything from the movies, it's that training montages are a surefire way to win future battles. You'll need to borrow a camera - Akamatsu is sure to have one. You don't have very long, so Toriyama should keep time whilst you work - five minutes should do. Oh, and a laptop, so you can upload your inspirational workout to Youtube and Nicovideo after it's finished.
With everything quickly in place, it's time to begin your epic montage. It's time for some Third Person Narration!
1Sec - 20Sec: Kubo running a circuit around Akamatsu's backyard, carrying every published volume of Bleach on his shoulders.
21Sec - 40Sec: Kubo doing some hardcore bench pressing interspersed with pressups, weighed down by every Bleach DVD in the house.
41Sec - 50Sec: Kubo lifts oversized weights, with Toriyama in the background shouting encouragement.
51Sec - 60Sec: Kubo hurriedly scrawls new Aizen transformations on sheets of scrap paper. At 57 seconds the led breaks and Kubo collapses in exhaustion, lurching forwards onto the desk in slow motion.
1:00 - 1:15 - Kubo repeatedly uppercutting the sky.
1:16 - 2:00 - Clips of Kubo running around town, with lead weights attached to his wrists and ankles. The last clip shows him running back to the mansion with the sun rising behind him.
2:01 - 2:20 - Kubo punches a beanbag with a loli on it. At 2:19 the bag explodes into flames.
2:21 - 2:40 - Kubo practices swordplay with a plastic zanpakuto, slicing through a pillar of Naruto volumes with a single stroke, before going on to practice diagonal cuts. He is now visibly sweating.
2:41 - 3:00 - Rapid fire jump cuts of Kubo playing Yugioh, training with Toriyama and counting money with Togashi. The clips end with Kubo doing situps whilst 10000 yen notes rain down around him. In slow motion, of course.
3:01 - 4:00 - A whole minute of Kubo posing dramatically and grimacing. The average viewer may not notice, but he is actually training his reiatsu. Training reiatsu is tough, but it must be done.
4:01 - 4:10 - A transition shot showing a closeup of Kubo's face turning slowly to face the sun.
4:11 - 4: 30 - Kubo does star jumps, his profile superimposed over low quality .gifs of Mt. Fuji erupting.
4:31 - 4: 50 - Clips of Kubo doing more circuits around Akamatsu's backyard, with everyone living there following behind him.
4:51 - 5:00 - Kubo power reading the latest Bleach volume, ending with a close up of his hand shutting the final page in slow motion with an explosive sound effect.
Ah, what a great montage. You wipe the sweat from your brow as you review the footage in Windows Movie Maker, cutting and pasting where necessary. With a sigh, you upload the video to the internet. You feel stronger, faster, harder. You just hope it'll be enough.
You hear a screeching sound from the street outside. Walking over to the window, you see that the Kubomobile has finally arrived. It looks like it's time to head over to the Shonen Jump Building and face your destiny. You say your farewells to Akamatsu and company before hopping into the drivers seat and moving out onto the roads of Tokyo. As you drive, you wonder how best to approach the situation at hand. Should you...
1. Enter through the front door and work your way up to the top? You're gonna start a fight eventually. Might as well start sooner rather than later.
2. Park somewhere discrete, then go through the service entrance and remain undetected? Perhaps you can take out R07 before he even knows you're there!
3. Park outside, then climb the fire escape up to the roof. The upper offices is where all the evidence lies, after all.
4. Drive through the walls? They'll never see you coming.
5. Some other way? (Include suggestions)
How foolish, to even consider other options. The path ahead is clear. You, Kubo Tite, will perform the most epic, dynamic and stylish entrance to a building ever. It is time to crack open the nest of lolicons that the WSJ Building has become, by smashing it to pieces with your newly reforged Kubomobile.
You push the engine to its limits, smashing other cars out of the way as you race towards your former workplace. Of all the Kubovehicles, the Kubomobiles have always had the shortest lifespans, and this one will be no different. Up ahead you see the pristine walls of the Shonen Jump Building getting closer and closer. You flip open the top of the gear lever (Obviously you drive a manual. Automatics are for losers.) and press the big red Super Duper Ultra Kubolicious Turbo Nitrous Booster button.
The exhaust spits fire and you hit a strategically placed speed bump, propelling the Kubomobile into the air. The back half of the car explodes in a truly epic fashion, the burning projectile seconds away from impact. A second later, you hit the building at the third floor.
An incredible detonation blasts a huge hole in the side of the building. You lie back in your flaming seat, perfectly calm, as the wreckage of the Kubomobile carries you forwards, demolishing several office suits and setting countless more ablaze, finally sliding to a halt in front of the third floor cafe. Casually, you kick out the door and step into unfamiliar territory. Seconds late the wreck explodes behind you, framing your silhouette against an orange fireball.
"It's good to be back." You say dramatically, the inferno still raging behind you. Yeah, it'll be really hard to top this entrance. Still, it must be done eventually. Perhaps involving the Kubotrain and five hundred tons of firecrackers.
You're on a recon mission, but it can't hurt to take a quick break. Entering the cafe, you swipe a plastic cup and pour yourself a coffee from the machine, ignoring the shocked interns and office assistants who are running to and fro. Ah, it's good to know that whatever happens, the flavour of the coffee will always stay the same. The TV in the corner is playing a news report.
..."...reasons are unknown. Reports indicate that the factory spontaneously exploded, with passers by reporting a strong smell of instant coffee after the blast. Four individuals were seen nearby, all of whom are currently wanted for questioning. Police are urging any witnesses with information to come forward. In other news, three months after the eruption of Mt. Fuji, geologists are saying..."
As usual, nothing important. You finish your coffee and straighten up. It's time to get down to business. What should you do first?
1. Go to the editorial offices on the second floor. It's time for some payback...
2. Gather information on this level. You need to know everything you can about R07.
3. Go directly to the president's office. There're sure to be automated turrets and laser grids, so you'll have plenty of action scenes.
4. Go to the chief editor's office. He's sure to know a thing or two.
There can be only one destination. You stroll forward through the carnage, stopping only to casually backhand a few of the more adventurous interns, sending them flying across the room. It's time to pay your old editor back for all those years of rejections. His room should be somewhere close by...
Why? Why did he not understand your supreme artistic vision? Always pushing you to kill off characters, always breathing down your neck about pacing, plot points and ink spills. Phillistines, the whole lot of them! How could they not appreciate the beauty of Hitsugaya's bleeding, thinking ice clone, or Aizen-chan's masterful switching with Hinamori? Your fanbase certainly did, so why didn't your editor? Well, it won't matter soon, because you just found his office.
Gathering your strength, you kick the door with all your might. It flies off its hinges and slams into the opposite wall, shattering into so many splinters. Your old editor looks up from behind his desk.
"So, you return at last, Kubo... I knew this day would one day come."
"It's time for you to pay, Editor-san! I let Bleach suffer under you for far too long!"
"Do you really think you can beat me!? Kubo! I, who have edited your manga since the start, I, who know every one of your skills, I, who personally cancelled Bleach? ABANDON YOUR ARROGANCE, KUBO!!!!!!!!"
Your editor braces himself, then upends his desk, throwing it directly at you. The giant slab of wood and plastic hurtles towards you, trailing marker pens and draft pages behind it. Everything seems to slow down as you jump forwards, landing on the edge of the projectile. Using the desk as a stepping stone, you propel yourself forwards, slamming into your editor at tremendous speed. You both tumble to the ground.
You are the first to recover. Picking up your former editor, you throw him bodily out of the room and into the central office space. Ah, what a wonderful feeling, to finally crush your editor with your own two hands. But it's not over yet...
Editor-san manages to stagger upright, grasping two handfuls of red ballpoint pens between his knuckles. A barrage of pens envelops you, stabbing you repeatedly and totally ruining your stylish jacket with red ink. This is unforgivable... Not only does he ruin Bleach with his red lines and snarky margin comments, he now ruins your clothing in the same way?
As one, you charge at one another, the shockwaves from your footsteps sending paper, desks, montiors and hapless interns flying across the room. An instant later, your fists cross one another in the most epic cross-counter ever recorded, sending you both flying to opposite ends of the area. You struggle to your feet, thankful for the layers of Bleach volumes contained within your ruined jacket for lessening the impact somewhat.
But your editor is also recovering quickly. Ultimately he is just a miniboss, so you should finish him off now to avoid problems later. You flash step towards him, ready to deliver the final punch...
...Only for Editor-san to smash a computer monitor into your head the moment you reappear. Well gee, that's embarrasing.
"How foolish, Kubo! However much I didn't want to, I also read Bleach... I know all about flash steps. I predicted you would reappear here, ready to finish me! But it is I who will finish you instead! Prepare yourself! Kub-"
Before he can finish, you Falcon Punch him in the face. The impact crushes Editor-san's face and smashes his body through the wall and out into the street, where it blasts through a neigboring building. Heh, what a fool. Using the only flat screen monitor in the building... If this were a plot point in a manga, it would be a laughable way to lose a fight. Hmm? What's that on the floor?
You bend down and pick it up. It's a letter entitled 'Top Secret Orders'. It must have fallen out of Editor-san's inferior jacket when you punched him. This is surely an important plot point, but you cannot help but feel that your work is not done. Where should you go now?
1. The Ground Floor, specifically, the vault where they store fresh manga chapters. Burn the moe to the ground.
2. Back up to the Third Floor. Who knows what you might find amongst the scattered ruins?
3. The Fourth Floor, with the President's room. Maybe you'll fight a laser hallway, since you didn't get the chance to in the last CYOA.
4. The Helipad. Surely the Boss will appear in such a climactic location.
You cannot help but be curious about the secret document you have discovered. Perhaps reading it will shed some light on what to do next. You open the envelope and pull out the paper within. Most of it seems irrelevant, except the last part:
Top Secret: Editorial Eyes Only
Subject - DesuxDesuxDesu
Directive - Maintain current levels of kawaii in all chapters for the forseeable future. Ensure a high level of implied yuri between female characters. The blanket ban on named male characters is still in place; any that currently exist must turn out to be female in the end.
Addendum - Breasts are not allowed. Advise the mangaka to flatten all chests immediately so that maximum loliness can be achieved.
Comments - Well done Editor-san. The cancellation of Bleach was difficult, but succeeded mostly due to your help. Your contributions to our organisation have not gone unnoticed, and 'O' will soon be promoting you to the position of Chief Editor. Until then please continue to listen to R07's advice and edit the manga accordingly. In addition, the fledgeling magazine being published by disaffected ex-WSJ mangaka is to be shut down with extreme prejudice. 'O' is already drawing up plans to attack their base of operations, and we would like you to be a part of them.
This is bad. It looks like the nebulous evil organisation is planning an attack on Akamatsu's mansion! This is serious news, but you're stuck here for now. You'll have to fight your way out somehow. You pull out the Kubovehicle remote and summon the Kubocopter. It'll take a while to get here, so you might as well got to the President's room and collect more info.
You flash step across the room, through the double doors and back up the stairs. The fire from the Kubomobile has spread quite a lot, allowing you to perform an awesome fire walk that's totally worth the cost of new pants. And skin. You briefly wonder how much new skin costs. Probably not much, since there's so much of it out there.
After putting yourself out you climb up to the fourth floor. The only thing on this level is a huge iron door with the letter 'P' engraved onto it. This lack of originality disgusts you. Each floor of a building should be fresh and new, like each new arc of Bleach.
"Here we go." You mutter, turning Number One up to full volume. Still smoking from your awesome fire walk, you kick the door down and march into what seems to be a completely normal office room. Wait, wasn't this supposed to be the President's office? Suddenly the lights shut off. You whirl around, ready to run, but the door slams shut behind you. Low level lighting on the floor hums to life, throwing the entire room into shadow.
"It's good to see you, Kubo-san." A man steps out of the shadows.
" The doors and windows are locked. The key is within the room. What we have here, is a perfect case of a 'Closed Room'. A 'Closed Room', in which the mangaka 'Kubo Tite' will be found dead. Can you solve it?! This 'Closed Room'? It's the only way to escape!! At this time, I, Ryukishi07, will create the greatest 'Closed Room' mystery in all of history! A mystery that can only be solved via magic! Ahaha.wav!!!!!!!"
You were going to look for the boss eventually, but it seems that he found you first. In this situation, what would the best course of action be?
1. Launch a pre-emptive attack whilst he's laughing like a maniac. The victim in this 'Closed Room' will be R07, not you.
2. Wait a minute... A locked door has never stopped you before. Just kick it down and leave, this isn't worth your time.
3. Wait for R07. Perhaps he'll reveal something about his strategy if you let him monologue for long enough.
4. Beat R07 at his own game, and solve the mystery using your superior intellect and debating skills.
It would be so easy to just walk away. The door can't be too tough, a single kick could easily overcome its hierro and let you escape. And yet, to do so would mean that you, Kubo Tite, were defeated by logic. Logic, which, up until now, has not mattered one bit to either you or the people around you. To give up now and enforce logic onto the setting would bring the entire world to the brink of collapse.
You make your way to an empty chair and sit down, eyeing the shadowy figure in front of you.
"Okay R07, I'll play this ridiculous game of yours. Explain the setting, and we'll get started."
"-Good-. Let's begin, then. The 'Closed Room' mystery is as follows. Kubo Tite is found dead in this room three hours from now. The body has been decapitated and a ball point pen has been driven through the heart. The lights are off. The room is locked and the key is inside Mr. Tite's breast pocket. There is no sign of a struggle. None of the windows are open. Can you solve it? Kyahahaha, it's impossible, right? This 'Closed Room' mystery? Ahaha.wav!!!!!!!"
"Before anything else... Dude, why do you keep putting Closed Room in inverted commas? It's really distracting." You voice something that's been on your mind for some time.
"Because it makes me feel all tingly inside. It's like how I, just, love my, commas. I love, them, so, very much."
"Okaaaaay... Anyway, it's quite simple. Mr. Tite, who is assuredly a handsome and affluent individual, was killed by one of his co-workers in a fit of jealousy. The killer clearly had a spare key he used to lock the door after he left." Heh. Wow, that was easy. You begin to rise from your seat.
"Ahaha.wav!!! There's no waaaaaay it can be that easy, Kubo Tite!!! Cooooommeee ooooooon, it's sooooo stupid. A spare key? There is only one key to this room!!! And it's in Mr. Tite's pocket!!! Your theory faaaaaaiiillls, just like you!!!!" R07's shadowy features contort into a truly epic smugface. Has this guy been taking lessons from Aizen-chan?
"Dude, how do I know you aren't lying? Prove that there's only one key. Oh yeah, you can't. Sucks be to you." Heh, let's see him worm his way out of that one.
"...Are you stupid? I said it in red, it has to be true."
"...What? ...How do you say something in a colour? That's just stupid. Even when I look at the text, it's still black." R07 must be hallucinating or something. Maybe he knows Oda as well as Aizen-chan.
"What? You mean, the TC doesnt know how to write in red? ...Oh. Well that's my strategy ****ed, then. Just take my word for it, there was only one key!" He exclaims, gesticulating wildly. You can't help but wonder what a 'TC' is.
"Whatever you say, man. Okay, so, there's only one key. Well then, clearly the culprit clearly used a secret passage to escape."
"Secret passages are FORBIDDEN. They do not EXIST. The Knox decalogue will not allow any to EXIST." Now he's talking funny, and what the hell is a 'Knox'? This guy is probably just insane.
"Calm down, dude. Okay then, is it possible to pick the lock?"
"... It is possible, but highly unlikely."
It's time to attack the problem from another angle. "Alright. What about the windows? Spiderman could have climbed up and opened a window and killed Mr. Tite, then escaped back down the building."
"KUUUBOOOO!!! YOU'VE STOPPED THINKING!!!!! It's wrong wrong wrong!!!! The windows can be opened from the outside, but the lock cannot be closed from the outside!! If what you say was true, the window would still be open! And since Spiderman was not witnessed heading away from the crime scene, he didn't use the door either! Ahaha.wav!!!"
Damn that Spiderman, what a craftly little bastard. But maybe it wasn't spiderman, but Doctor Octopus? Wait, why are you even considering western comic characters as suspects? This is getting silly. Maybe Mr. Tite's head was blown off by really small bombs? Nah, that idea is so impossibly stupid that nobody would ever consider using it. Heh.
But then. A sudden flash. My god, it all makes sense! You've been doing it wrong all along! It's time to turn the chessboard around, then shred it into tiny pieces and eat it with a garnish of lettuce. Your super duper Kubolicious theory is...!
(Okay, this one is going to be slightly different. I'm going to ask you, dear readers, to come up with a theory. Make it wild, but plausible on a very loose definition of the word. As in, plausible according to this crazy CYOA world. Try to include a motive, murder weapon, means of entry, etc. But overall, make it Kubolicious.)
I have some free time right now, so let's update.
We're clearly on the right track. I say these scenarios need to be combined. Aizen flash steps out of the room as the locked door closes. "Since when were you under the impression that it was Kubo Tite who was dead?". The corpse changes shapes to reveal R07. Kubo rips off his R07 mask to reveal that this entire riddle was in the palm of his hand.
This is the one. Let's see if I can do it justice... -
This Closed Room case is really quite simple. Reclining back on your chair, which has inexplicably turned into a couch over the course of the conversation, you begin to explain your brilliant reasoning.
"Let me explain my theory. Three hours ago, the handsome and gifted Mr. Tite entered this room, presumably to talk about the obscene amount of money he earns, and whether there is any possibility of a raise. At this point in time, the door was open and unlocked.
But, little did he know that the President was actually Aizen-chan using Kyouka Suigetsu! In a flash, the devilishly intelligent and smugfaced President decapitated Mr. Tite and stabbed a pen into his heart for good measure. And how does Aizen-chan exit the room? He flash steps to the door, locks it, flash steps back to Mr. Tite's body, puts the key into his breast pocket, then flash steps through the crack in the door just before the tumbler turns."
Silence. Your amazingly perfect theory has stunned R07 into complete silence. But then-
"What. There are no words to describe how ridiculous that idea is! Aizen doesn't exist, he's fictional!"
"Is that so, R07? Then I ask you... Whose corpse is that on the floor next to you?" You smile. Since the very start, this entire riddle has been in the palm of your hand.
R07 looks down at the floor. There is a corpse there. But isn't it the wrong shape, the wrong height, to be Kubo Tite? He bends down for a closer look... And realises that the corpse is his own.
... Or is it?
Ryukishi reaches up and grabs his own face, tearing off the mask to reveal... Kubo Tite. And across from him, Kubo Tite tears off his own face to reveal... Aizen-chan, wearing his very best smugface, even smugger than the time he made Hitsugaya stab Hinamori. Yes, from the very start, this riddle has indeed been in the palm of your hand.
The corpse on the floor disintegrates into dozens of butterflies. Yes, it's true. You were R07 all along, with the help of Kyouka Suigetsu. You turn to thank Aizen-chan for his help, but when you look back at the couch, he's already gone. He's such a great guy, always helping you out like this. Wait a minute, there's something on the couch...
It's a folder marked 'Top Secret WSJ Files'. Well, Aizen-chan also has a vested interest in your success. You tuck the folder into your infinitely deep inside jacket pocket and make your way out of the room and up the stairs to the roof. The thrumming sound of rotor blades announces the arrival of the Kubocopter, right on time as usual.
You are about to board, when a voice shouts out behind you!
"Kubo Tite, kisama! You can't escape so easily!"
You turn around and discover that it's...!
1. R07, who escaped due to Endless Magic!
2. Editor-san, now a made into a cyborg improbably quickly!
3. A fat, sweaty, greasy otaku VIP trying to stop your valiant crusade!
4. Internman, seeking vengeance for the deaths of his intern brothers!
You turn around. A pitiful sight greets your eyes.
Standing halfway up the stairs is a man. Well, not so much a man as a gigantic lump of lard in the rough shape of a human being. Its skin glistens with sweat and grease, and its hair is speckled white with dandruff and dead skin, which falls behind it in a slug-like trail. The thing shudders and heaves disgustingly as it plods its way up towards you. You cannot help but take a step back in horror at the abomination before you. A maw opens on the thing's pasty face, and a low gurgling voice issues forth.
"Kubo, kisama! It's time for...*wheeze*...for...*gasp*...vengeance, you traitor!"
Vengeance? You're pretty sure you've never seen this disgusting excuse for a person in your life before.
"Uh...what's your beef with me, dude?"
"You know damn well what it is! Kubo...*cough*...You scum,.. Why did you...Why did you cancel Bleach? How could you betray your loyal fanbase that way? KUBO TITE!!!"
A cold feeling washes over you. He thinks...that you, Kubo Tite, were responsible for cancelling Bleach? How could that be? You would never abandon your fanbase and the lots and lots of money they send you!
"In our hour of need... You abandoned us. Abandoned us to be seduced by the loli corruption! Look at what it's done to me! But... But maybe it's not too late... If Bleach could return, with Nel and Yachiru and Karin, with no male characters at all, everything would be okay again!"
A Bleach without male characters? A bleach without Aizen-chan? That wouldn't be Bleach at all! You almost feel sorry for the poor deluded fool in front of you, but the fact of the matter is that he's disgusting and you hate disgusting things. If this is what happens to people who are deprived of Bleach, then it's a good thing that Bleach is coming back.
"It was not I who cancelled Bleach, but Editor-san. I'm sorry, Otaku-san, but Bleach is returning in a new magazine, with no alterations. Just the way it should be. My loyal fanbase will be deprived of the greatest manga on earth no longer!"
"Kubo, KISAMA!!!! Do you think...*splutter*...that makes any difference now?! It's TOO LATE!!!! It's just the way the world is now, it cannot be changed!!! Your fanbase lost faith because of it!!!"
"Otaku-san...THAT'S THE LOGIC OF A LOSER!!! A WINNER MUST ALWAYS THINK NOT OF HOW THE WORLD IS, BUT HOW THE WORLD SHOULD BE!!!!" Damn, that was an awesome line. You should find a way to put it into Bleach at a suitably awesome moment.
"I see...I guess...I'll just have...to...k-kill...yo..." His eyes roll upwards. The blob of living fat collapses in on itself and begins to roll back down the stairs. It looks like Otaku-san died of heart failure before he could get the words out. Oh well.
You climb into the cockpit of the Kubocopter, which now contains a reinforced coffee machine and two stereos for twice the Number One goodness. In addition, the pilot seat has been outfitted with hundreds of sensor bars stolen from Nintendo Wii consoles, allowing you to control the Kubocopter with dramatic hand gestures. It's time to return and warn Akamatsu about the impending attack on his mansion.
Takeoff goes smoothly and you are soon flying over the streets of Tokyo. Ah, this brings back memories. Fighting Mecha Kubo in midair, flying towards Kishimoto's secret volcano lair... Yeah, good memories. But you don't have time to reminisce, because a warning light has appeared on the lego dashboard. It looks like you've got company! The radio flares to life suddenly, and an all too familiar voice fills the cabin... Who is it?
1. Obata. You storming the WSJ building was part of his plan all along.
2. Mecha Kubo Mark II Liquid Play-Dough edition.
3. FrankenKishi, back from the dead with a terrible vengeance!
4. Internman, riding a giant paper aeroplane.
5. Orihcie Ado, your buddy Oda's evil twin!
"Ku...Kuhahahahahaha!!!! Keikaku doori, Kubo-san... Everything went exactly as I predicted!" An impossibly smug voice fills the cockpit. A voice you remember well from the last story arc.
"Heh... Everything went according to Keikaku 234. As the author of Bleach, I deduced that there was a 97.5389% probability that you would be the one to storm the WSJ building. because of that, we now know where your base of operations is. Hahaha!!!" Wait, so all of this was just a ploy? Has this guy been taking lessons from Aizen-chan?
"What do you mean? You already knew where we were! You were planning an attack before I arrived!" The conveniently placed top secret note said so!
"The document you found was fake, Kubo-san. We had no idea where Akamatsu's hideout was... Until we hacked the GPS on that ridiculous contraption of yours. All of this was a keikaku, a perfect keikaku to lure you out and discover where you were hiding. Keikaku 1000...and it worked, Kubo-san. Don't worry though. By the time you return, all of your companions will have been thoroughly sakujo'd! Heh...sakujo...such an awesome word. Sakujo!!!"
With a supremely awesome evil laugh, Obata blasts past you in his jet black plane. Dammit, he's faster than you, he'll get there sooner! Wait a minute...Obata? Hmmm...
Didn't his manga, Depth Neet or Desu Noto or whatever have shinigami in it? You vaguely remember that it may have. When will people learn to stop plagiarising you? It's truly distressing to have so many people stealing your original ideas. It might have been okay if they'd sent you some of the money, but no, you never get a single yen of the profits. It makes u so mad. Oh yes, u mad.
Your face catching the dying rays of the setting sun, you lean back in your seat and give the retreating jet the pointer finger. The motion causes the Kubocopter to surge forward. You may not be able to catch him, but at the very least, you can get back in time to prevent some casualties. You twist the dial thingy on the radio in an attempt to warn Akamatsu about the upcoming danger.
A burst of static tells you that you're being jammed. Hopefully you'll arrive just in the nick of time for extra drama, like Ichigo's rescue of Rukia from the gripping Soul Society arc. Ah, such good times you had drawing those chapters. And now you have Deicide to work with, where Aizen-chan stomps all over everyone, which is just the way it should be.
But wait...wouldn't it be dramatic if Ai-chan...lost the fight? Wait, wait, no. Not 'lost', because the hero can't ever lose. But what if, for extra tension, he was maybe sealed away somehow? Then your loyal fanbase can eagerly anticipate his return! It would be a masterstroke! Yes, that's what you'll do. You should probably tell Aizen-chan about it first, though. You wouldn't want him to get the wrong idea.
You are jolted out of your reverie by the bleeping of the Satnav. Looking through the windscreen you can see Akamatsu's mansion ahead of you. It looks like Obata crashed his jet into the front of the building. Despite everything, you cannot help but admire his dramatic entry. Faceless mooks are everywhere, battling members of Akamatsu's girl squad on the ground. The fight looks about even, but where is Obata? What should you do in this situation?
1. Crash into Obata's Jet for a double dynamic entry, then track the bastard down and finish things.
2. Land gracefully in the front yard and destroy all of Obata's mooks. Then score with the chicks. Especially OT-chan.
3. Land on the roof, then look for Akamatsu. He's the key to Bleach coming back, after all.
4. Crash in the back yard, meet up with Oda in the greenhouse and go on a two-man rampage, just like old times.
Hmph. So this guy thinks he can outdo you in the field of dynamic entries? How laughable. I mean, his jet isn't even made out of lego. You begin pressing every single button on the dashboard randomly, whilst maintaining the calm facade of a man who is hiding the fact that he really has no idea what he is doing. Dozens of additional rotor blades and rocket boosters are deployed, increasing your speed and chaotic uncontrollability to nigh infinite levels. Finally, you give the wrecked jet in front of you the most epic middle finger in history, the sensor bars reading your motion and tracking a path downwards.
The impact of the double dynamic entry shakes the entire building. You fly straight forwards, smashing through the windscreen in a hail of broken glass and shrapnel as the resultant fusion of jet and copter explodes behind you. Hmmm, stuff exploding behind you is becoming kind of a theme. You should probably try something different next time, to keep things fresh.
You double jump and then roll on the floor to protect yourself from the fall damage. The darkened corridoors of the mansion stretch before you, flickering shadows cast by the burning wreckage dancing along its walls.
"Oh? You're here so soon, Kubo-san. Not that it matters. Keikaku 3525 correctly predicted that you would choose the flashiest entrance possible, so I landed my jet exactly where I wanted you to come." Obata stands at the end of one of the corridoors, smiling smugly at you. This guy used to work for Kishi, but it seems he has his own agenda now.
Perhaps, if you are clever enough, you can trick him into a villain monologue where he reveals his intentions.
"Obata... What is all this? Loli, moe, everything... What's the point of it all? What do you get out of it?"
"Look around you, Kubo-san. The manga world...it's rotten. Rotting away on the inside. Manga artists have become sloppy and lazy, recycling plot points and favouring certain characters over others in a bid to appeal to demographics."
Obata darts forward suddenly. His sheer speed catched you off guard and you cannot defend yourself from his crushing shoulder barge. Such power! It seems that despite his position as a schemer, this man is no pushover in direct combat. The impact sends you reeling backwards towards the fiery wreckage. Obata continues to talk, walking forwards slowly.
"Kishimoto was a fool, but at least he had a vague idea of the problem. There is so little new talent in the big manga magazines. Creative manga like Mx0 are doomed to die due to the public's demand for generic action shonen. Our little experiment with the moe craze proves that popularity trumps ability. As does Bleach. Of course, there is something else."
He takes out a medium sized black notebook. Wait, isn't this kind of familiar? You try to remember, but it just won't come. Oh well, what possible harm could a book cause anyway?
"Heh... The tidal wave of moe will peter out soon. It will lose all popularity and collapse in on itself, leaving a blank slate. Leaving me free to become the God of the new world! A world where the hard working, chosen few will rule over the manga world! Ku...Kuhahahaha!!! Isn't it magnificent, Kubo-san? All the parasites and evildoers will be purged, leaving a brand new world for everyone!" Whoa, this guy is nuts.
"So you're saying that you destroyed our beloved manga industry just to validate your own retarded opinion? How pathetic! Let's finish this, Obata!" Crouching down low, you spring into action-!
1. Classic moves work best. Go for the backstab.
2. That notebook... You can't shake the feeling that it's important somehow. Disarm Obata and take it for yourself.
3. First, arm yourself. Wield a piece of burning wreckage as your zanpakuto.
4. Huh. Obata looks unconcerned; he clearly knows something you don't. Enact a tactical withdrawal and find some allies to back you up.
5. Come on, that monologue was far too short! Insult him some more, maybe he'll say something amusing.
But wait. Surely it would be better to let Obata finish his big villain speech first? It would give you time to think of an especially awesome finishing move.
“Is that all, Obata? That’s the reason you tried to destroy the manga world?”
“Of course. Heh, although, you probably can’t see the problem. Our audience has grown complacent, content to be spoon fed plot and exposition, never taxing their minds with innovation or ambiguity. It’s the same reason why Ryukishi was sympathetic to our cause; manga readers have stopped thinking. The entire system must be purged and begin anew under my supervision! Kuhahahahaha!!!”
“…I don’t buy it. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that it would take lots and lots and LOTS of money to set up something like this. Money that you don’t have. Someone’s been financing you.”
“Oh? Well done, Kubo-san. It seems you can use your brain when you try. Yes, there is another besides Nabeshin and R07 in our little group. Someone you are familiar with. Heh. But enough talk; it’s time for you to die.” Obata takes out a pen and begins to write in his notebook.
What follows can only be described as the most jaw-droppingly epic writing scene in the entire world. Obata’s eyes flash a deep red. The pages of the notebook seem to swirl in slow motion as he finds a blank page. The pen leaves a blazing afterimage across the paper, and ominous latin chanting from nowhere serves as a chilling backdrop to the event unfolding before your eyes. Wow…you never imagined writing could be epic before.
With a final flourish, Obata finishes writing, the very air seeming to divide in front of his pen. Immediately he begins to laugh.
“KUHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! KEIKAKU DOORI, KUBO TITE!!! I am…Kira!”
You wonder briefly why he looks so smug. Oh well, this is a perfect opportunity. You spring into action, running down the corridor with all your might. In less than a second you collide with Obata, cutting him off mid-laugh. Your assailant is bowled over, his ribcage smashed, eventually coming to rest in a pile of limbs at the end of the corridor. Wow, he should really have invested more points in his DEF stat.
“Ugh…W-why… You should be…should be dead… I wrote your name…in my Death Note… Ngh…”
“My name? Obata-san, perhaps you didn’t know, but…Kubo Tite is my pen name.”
“…What? No…NOOOOO, THAT CANNOT BE!!!! ARE YOU SAYING…ARE YOU SAYING I WAS OUTWITTED BY KUBO? NOOOOOITSIMPOSSIBLEIWONTACCEPTITNOWAYNOWAYNOWAY!!!!!!!!! BLEARGARBLGARBLWHARBL!!!!!!” Huh, he’s frothing at the mouth. Now that you look at him properly, he’d probably make a pretty good swimming coach, what with all the kicking and thrashing around.
Well, it looks like he’s been neutralized for now. Tucking the dropped Death Note into your jacket pocket, you turn around and head down a nearby flight of stairs, leaving Obata to his insanity.
- Due to pacing issues, assume the rest of the battle for Akamatsu’s mansion occurs off-panel, herp derp. It’s what Kubo would want.*
Wow, that was a totally awesome action sequence you just had! Defeating 1000 of Obata’s mooks on your own, armed with nothing but a rubber duck…what a show! You think OT-chan was especially impressed. She certainly made eyes at you! Anyway, with the fight over, what should you do now?
1. Go to Akamatsu and give him the secret dox. We have to keep the plotline going.
2. Yeah, we’ll do that later, but FIRST! We have to draw more Bleach!
3. Sure, the above two are important, but what about BrOda? Is he okay? Is the ‘Inspiration’ okay? Seriously, you haven’t spoken to him in ages.
4. You feel lost and confused. When was the last time you read/watched your favorite Bleach moments? Call everyone together for a Bleachfest. It’s what they all deserve after such a tough fight.
A sudden thought occurs to you. Oda should have arrived just before the attack. Is he okay? You better go check on your best bro just to be safe. Pushing through the crowd of adoring fangirls, you make your way over to the backyard, and by extension the greenhouse.
The greenhouse itself is huge, taking up a quarter of Akamatsu's back garden. Within the glass walls lies a mixture of "Exotic Plants" and "Mystery Agriculture", awaiting "Refinement" into the "Inspiration" that is so important to the manga industry. Long lists of "Shipments" and "Transfers" are piled up in a corner, detailing who needs what. And there, in the centre, is your soul bro.
It looks like Oda really took a battering. His clothes are torn and his stylish hat from the first CYOA has been completely shredded. He also seems to be limping slightly. Despite this he is still patrolling the greenhouse. What a dutiful bro he is.
"Hey bro, are you okay? You look beat up." You call across to your eternal friend.
"Oh hi Kubo. I'm okay, just shot up some **substancedeleted** so I'm not feeling anything right now! It'll take more than a few World Government thugs to take me down!" Ah, that's good. Oda starts talking at length about his amazing battles, but you’re not really paying attention. It’s enough that he’s okay, though the loss of his hat is truly unforgivable. Through your thoughts you hear snippets of Oda’s monologue.
“Oh, yeah, something important happened. Akamatsu says the first issue of our new mag has sold out everywhere!” Well, that is good news. Naturally, Bleach would have been the highest rated, but you’re sure everyone else tried hard as well.
“I’m gonna start drawing the next chapter of One Piece right after I’ve tested out some of these new “MysteryMushrooms”. I suggest you do the same, bro, we need more material!”
More Bleach is certainly never a bad thing. Maybe you should join Oda in sampling some of his suspicious mycenoids. You lean over and pick one…
-Four Hours Later-
Oh man, what a rush. Those few hours were totally insane. It started out okay, with hundreds of eyeballs sprouting out of the walls and rolling around like…rolly things. But then a fifty foot tall Metal Greymon rose out of the sea and started shooting the two of you with nuclear missiles shaped like killer whales! Luckily a machinegun wielding Jimmi Hendrix with a top hat and a pimp cane came to the rescue just in time, but then the Dinosaur Empire invaded and things really got crazy. It all ended with you, BrOda and the rest of the Scooby Gang piloting the Thunder Megazord in a climactic battle with the Houses of Parliament, animated and twisted by dark magic and wielding Big Ben as a weapon.
But, uh…anyway…You should probably start a new chapter of Bleach now. Hmmm, there’s a timeskip right now, but it can’t hurt to write the chapter two weeks in advance, right? But what should it be about…?
1. It must be…An Aizen-chan flashback, detailing his grudge with the Spirit King!
2. A spinoff chapter featuring Tatsuki and company as crime fighters.
3. A Mexican’s promise! Chad’s mighty effort to better himself and support his friends!
4. Grimmjow, Kenpachi and Yamamoto take their driving tests! Wacky hijinks ensue!
5. The Curious incident of the Kensei in the Fake Karakura Town
(*-)At this point, Purging_Flame’s laptop became infected with a virus. This virus, in a surprisingly Aizen-like move, hid itself in the Microsoft Folder of the Program Files, then trolled his registry, dll, exe and html files, presumably for the lulz. It called in its espada, BackdoorTrojan.A, W32Ramnit!inf, Desktoplayer and many other infamous Arran-I mean malware, and proceeded to invade Fake Hard Drive Town with the intent of further mayhem, presumably pulling trollfaces in their infection strings.
The valiant efforts of the assembled captains of PCWorld and Norton360 were not enough to repel this vile invasion, forcing Purging_Flame himself to take direct action! His Bankai, Safe Mode, nullified the virus’s power to download more malware. However, the virus then requested that he abandon his arrogance and stated that his entire registry was in the palm of its hand. Undeterred, the valiant PF-Sama managed to use his secret technique, the ‘Final Right Click of Deletion’ on the hidden file at the heart of the infection. Without their leader, W32Ramnit!inf and the rest swiftly fell to the captains of Norton360, and all were sentenced to 20,000 years in quarantine.
Whilst this was happening, however, mrzetta stepped up to the challenge, taking up the reins of the story for a while, leading to a flashback to Kubo’s origins, and how he became the greatest mangaka in shonen history…(*-)
-Start of mrzetta Arc-
Strangely, you felt unsatisfied after the fight with Obata's goons. Even getting some inspiration your bro, Oda, couldn't shake this feeling you had - that there was something you had forgotten, something that was missing...
You start thinking about it rationally. Was there something missing from your fight? You compile a mental checklist of what every good fight (AKA every fight in Bleach) needs:
0 (as you know, lists don't go from 1-10. Did you appear behind someone and leave them looking shocked? Of course. More times than you could count. 1. Did you reveal a new power? Not only did you reveal a new power - you did so off-panel. Even better. 2. Did you troll your opponent? So much that Aizen-chan would be proud of you. Did that one mook actually think that his "Last Getsura Tengou" would be capable of killing you? 3. Did you say something epic and badass? Only if screaming "**** YOU IM KUBO TITE" and shouting about how much you love your life - and your money - counts. Which it does. 4. Did you have a flashback to your traumatic past and motivations? Ye-Wait a minute...
No! That's what was missing all along! A flashback! How could you ever forget something so crucial? As a shonen mangaka, you should be ashamed of yourself! However, as a shonen mangaka, you also know that you can devote a few chapters to a flashback after the action has settled down a little bit and it will still be great! Better get on that.
And so, you begin to recall what lead you to where you are today; the events leading up to the first chapter of your masterpiece, Bleach, and the cancellation of your other manga, Zombie Powder...
(I could go on with this if you guys want and if Purging_Flame doesn't mind me hijacking his gimmick for a bit.)
(Well. Surprising turnout, but...anyways.)
The year was 2000. You were not the Kubo that was known by all today; you had as of yet to tell an editor "**** YOU IM KUBO TITE", and you didn't have lots of money. You couldn't even afford a pair of decent sunglasses to smugly put on whenever someone questioned your writing. You had just canceled your previous series, Zombie Powder; the lack of brilliant writing (like what you would later do in the Aizen vs. Ichigo fight) made you feel...empty. And it wasn't making you lots of money. However, these differences between the you ten years ago and the you now were trifles compared to the one, huge thing that had changed:
You did not love your life.
In fact, your life was pretty crappy. Unlike a shonen action hero, you did not have any friends (you would later meet your bro, Oda, while looking for some 'inspiration' after the end of the SS arc - Shinji's ability of doing things backwards, which is what you had just experienced, was the result), you did not have enough resolve to defeat any enemy that came your way, and you didn't even have a theme song to blare while you did anything epic. Not that you ever did do anything epic - after all, you didn't even have lots and lots of money.
And so it was that you, Kubo Tite, future mangaka extraordinaire and literary genius, ended up shut in your small apartment in Tokyo. You had become a - what was the word for those people who never left their home and didn't love their lives? - a hikikomori. You sat there, day after day, with a pen in hand, just waiting for inspiration to come to you - but it never did. When you got hungry, you would eat some cheap cup ramen (as, again, you did not yet have lots and lots of money) and then go back to waiting. For inspiration. But it never came.
One day, you gave up. This was not the way to create the next chart-topping SJ manga. You picked up a copy of weekly SJ - even though you didn't leave your house, you still had it delivered to you weekly along with food - and flipped through it. Lets see - "Tennis no oji-sama"? "Hikaru no Go"? Sports and games manga seemed to be popular. Maybe you should try one of those. "Naruto"? Something about ninjas with weird-looking eyes? Sounds kind of dumb. Even you could do better than that - this'll probably get canceled soon. Some other fighting shonen - "Black Cat" and "Shaman King"? Hmm. So that's what's popular these days...
Having given into the mangaka's worst enemy - pandering to the base! - you sit down and decide to write a new manga. You decide to make it a...
(Feel free to include other suggestions, as I know you all love to do).
1. Sports manga! Those are almost always popular. Strangely, you feel the urge to make a kendo manga where one character's special ability is to appear behind someone else...
2. Psychological thriller. Jump didn't seem to have a good one of these in it, so it means that there's an opening. It gives you lots of chances for great lines, too - maybe something like "I did not solve this crime. I simply stopped pretending that I didn't know who the criminal was".
3. Gag manga. Shonen jump needs more gags. Shonen jump always needs more gags.
4. Highschool romance/comedy. Well, those creepy otaku guys never seem to get enough of them - and you do draw some mighty fine females, too.
(Well, 2 it is!)
A week later, you sat across from your editor in the Shonen Jump building. In his hands, he had the name of your new manga: Aizen-chan to Gin-kun (Aizen-chan and Gin-kun).
"You have written something very...different, Kubo-san," said your editor, scratching his head as he put down your new work of genius. "Except it's...how do I say this? Almost too bizarre."
"Bizarre? What do you mean, Editor-san?" (And yes - this is the same editor that you would later falcon punch through a window.)
"Think about it, Kubo-san! The main character is a grown man known as 'Aizen-chan' who solves mysteries with his boyish sidekick 'Gin-kun'. That's bad enough - but think about how he does it. I mean, honestly - his power is to create a perfect illusion and trick his criminals into admitting their crimes? He's ridiculously overpowered! There's nothing that can stop him! Sure, his smugface is priceless, but still! And how he solves this mystery - he tricks an innocent girl named Hinamori into thinking she committed a crime, and when the police are about to take her away from her only remaining family - her brother, Hitsugaya - Aizen-chan says 'Since when were you under the impression that you were the criminal?' and suddenly Hitsugaya was being arrested? This is ridiculous, Kubo-san!"
"Nani!? But Editor-san, this is an amazing work of art! I'm sure that the readers of shonen jump will love my literary genius!"
"Ahh, Kubo-san, Kubo-san. The readers are not yet ready for a work of this caliber - no, go back to what you're good at, Kubo-san. Action and hot women - because it's all your good at, Kubo-san."
You feel the urge to scream something at the top of your lungs to your editor - but you can't think what. Something that, if posted on a web board, would probably have to be censored. Something about being Kubo Tite - but no, you don't. You knew that this manga was too much for Jump - that Jump wouldn't be ready for a work this amazing. You sigh, pick up the pages of your manuscript, and exit the Shonen Jump building in the same way you entered - the front door (indeed, your lack of love of your life means that you have not yet mastered the art of DYNAMIC ENTRIES that you would later learn).
You stand in front of the Shonen Jump building for a while. You don't feel like going back to your apartment right now - it would be too depressing. No, you should...
0) Visit Akibahara. To appeal to those silly otakus, you must first understand them!
1) Go to a nearby manga store. You must do more research on the current level of manga!
2) Visit Shibuya. Maybe you can find some hot girls to use as 'research' for your next manga.
3) Ride the subways back and forth like a depressed kid who just left his home because his father doesn't love him and made him pilot a giant robot - sounds kind of familiar, but whatever.
4) Go straight back to your apartment. No use going anywhere else, really...
You decide to stop in at Akibahara before you return to your apartment to start work on your next masterpiece. After all, lets face it - Otaku are the ones who really decide which manga are long-runners because they're the ones who buy most of the volumes and merchandise. Now, to invade their paradise!
After a lengthy train ride, you arrive in otaku central. After looking around for a bit, you decide that if you really want to use this experience to better your manga skills, you have to spend less time looking at which obnoxiously large television you'd like to get when you start making lots and lots of money and go somewhere that is related.
And thats how you ended up in a doujinshi shop.
As soon as you walk in, you can just sense the aura of sexually depraved otaku's desires for their favourite anime characters. You unobtrusively walk (its a shame that you don't have some sunglasses - they would hide your secret identity) towards the racks that hold the more popular anime doujinshis and pick one up at random. Oh, you recognize this series - it was that one about the ninjas that you read in Jump the other day. What was it called? "Sasuke"? Something dumb like that. You open it up and start reading. Hmm...It seems pretty straight forward - if not necessarily straight. You put it back down and pick up another one. Oh, this one is a "Sasuke" doujin too - with girls, this time! Alright. And...lots of different girls. Huh.
You flip through doujinshi for the next two hours, at which time the store closes and they forcefully eject you. Even when you tried to tell them that you were a mangaka doing research, they didn't believe you - the nerve of them. Maybe they would have believed you if you had some kind of well-known catchphrase or feature. You should get on that.
On the way home, you briefly summarize your findings: 0. The more hot girls a manga has in it, the more popular it will be. And then if it gets canceled, the mangaka can just get a job writing doujinshi for his own series. Genius! (And why do people always think that lists should start from 1? Honestly...) 1. Things do not have to make logical sense, or even any sense at all; if there is one thing that all those doujinshi taught you, its that otaku are very good at thinking abstractly for their own enjoyment. 2. You don't necessarily need to draw backgrounds for action scenes - they seemed to detract from the 'action', after all.
When you arrive home, you write down these golden rules of manga and stick them to the wall above your desk. They still sit in your studio, though you've added a few more - for example, that editors don't know anything about manga and if they did, they'd go out and write their own.
After you've done this, you decide to...
0. Get to work immediately! The next great manga will not write itself! (Feel free to include suggestions)
1. You're too depressed to work. Make yourself feel better by going out for a night on the town. Maybe you'll get a chance to try out some of those great pickup techniques you found in those doujinshis today.
2. Re-read some manga to better your understanding of what you should write next - research, research, research!
(And, having just brushed over the terms of service to make sure that the following post at least tries to abide by the rules, I present you with this beast of an installment. Sorry about that.)
You hop on the train after dropping off your things and changing into something a little snazzier. You check yourself out in the window on the train - you know, for a mangaka who had his series canceled and failed to get a new one, you don't look half bad. Maybe you aren't so lame after all. Maybe your life isn't so bad after all - you might even be able to...dare you say it? Love your life. However, you feel that there's something missing from your outfit. Hm. Lets see - nice polo shirt, slightly ridiculous hairstyle...But if you were a manga character, what would you be missing? A defining accessory! Of course!
The train stops at Shibuya and you get off, immediately hitting the nighttime streets in search of a place that sells accessories cool enough to compliment your epic fashion sense. You finally find somewhere suitable - a place that sells sunglasses! Of course! Those will make you cool. Hm...Bright orange sunglasses that are shaped like a V? Nah, those will never be cool - not even in seven years. Now, these big sunglasses that make you look kind of obnoxious? These are keepers. You buy them for 350 yen and then go in search of a bar to pick up a harem.
After arriving in the bar, you walk up to the counter and order a drink. You idly drink it (making you look aloof and cool, of course) and look around you for an appropriate girl - every harem starts with one girl, after all. Oh! That one over there looks pretty nice. And she has a friend. Even better. You slide up next to them.
"Hey babes, what say you be my tsundere childhood friends who have had secret crushes on me since childhood and were too embarrassed to admit it and then you both love me so much that you decide to form a pact and then you-"
-And the next thing you remember, you're standing outside of your apartment. Man, it's been one crazy night. Sure, you didn't end up in a love hotel surrounded by beautiful women, but whatever. Or you might have. You can't really remember. It all went a bit fuzzy after the first tsundere girl hit you over the head - obviously it was the only way for her to express her love. Thats what the doujinshi tell you, anyways. And some other things didn't exactly help either...
You stumble inside the building, not really walking very straight. You take the elevator up to your apartment and walk in. You realize that three straight days of manga drawing, with however many days of doing nothing but getting ready to draw manga, had left your apartment in a state of extreme uncleanliness. There were clothes and food scattered around, manga lying half-open everywhere...well, first things first; you need clean clothes so that you can impress women and those who do not instantly recognize your talents as a mangaka. Time to do some laundry. Who cares if its 1AM?
With a slightly more steady step, you make a late-night trip to the laundry room in the basement of your apartment building. After adding soap and all other things that make your clothes beautiful and sparkling white, you take a seat on a nearby chair and watch the clothes go around and around.
And so, you, a failed mangaka, at age 23, sit in the laundry room of an apartment building in Shinjuku, watching the spin cycle go around and around and around and- you get the picture. Is this all your life has amounted to? You couldn't even write a decent manga. After all, manga is all about getting published, getting people to read it and to make lots and lots of money. Isn't that what Osamu Tezuka said? Maybe it was Akira Toriyama, you're not sure. Is there any point to a life like this? You were thinking earlier that you might even love your life, but – no, that was just you trying to make yourself feel better. Your life is horrible. You take off your sunglasses (which you had been wearing the whole time) in disgust; you don’t deserve to look that cool. Not when you’re like this. You say ‘not when you’re like this’ – but you’ll always be like this. A pathetic, failed mangaka who can never love his life.
In fact…it would probably be better just to end it.
You look around the room, looking for something you can use to erase your pathetic excuse of an existence. Washing machines – too messy. Laundry detergent – not messy enough. Chair? Too bizarre. And then, your eyes settle on it, sitting next to your bottle of soap…
You get up quickly – shouldn’t have done that! You fall back down. Your adventure in Shibuya hasn’t quite worn off yet, and so you half-stumble, half-crawl towards the bottle of bleach. It was simple, relatively clean and easy, and it was right there to boot. You pick it up.
Are you really going to do this? After all, you’re just a failed mangaka. There have been lots of those, and they’re still around – it’s not that bad. You can write a new manga, one that Editor-san might actually understand. But then you’ll have to dumb down your raw talent, your brilliance – you’ll be nothing more than a mangaka who writes what he knows will sell. You want to make lots and lots of money, but not like that. You unfasten the cap of the bottle.
But – this is a bit much, isn’t it? Any mangaka can tell you that they’re not always happy with what they draw, but they’ll draw it anyways because it keeps them going. They may not love their life and make lots and lots of money, but hey – that isn’t so bad. However, you are Kubo Tite. You cannot be happy with such a low standard of living. With one last sigh, you raise the bottle to your lips and…
Nothing happens. Fear runs down your spine – is it going to be fast? Slow? Will you just disappear in an instant? But you never even got to show the world your true genius! There was so much you wanted to do! There were so many readers you wanted to bring your literary genius to! Now, ‘Since when were you under the impression’ will never turn into an internet meme as it was destined to! Now-
The bottle was empty.
The gods of manga have decided to spare you today, Kubo Tite – you are alive. This is your destiny. They have been planning it out since your birth, as you are half human and half mangaka. All so that you would be here, in this laundry room – all so that you could write the ultimate shonen manga.
Picking your sunglasses up off the floor, you put them on, a thin smile creeping onto your face to form the ultimate smugface. You toss your head back and scream to the heavens…
0. **** YOU IM KUBO TITE
1. **** YOU IM KUBO TITE
2. **** YOU IM KUBO TITE
3. **** YOU IM KUBO TITE
4. **** YOU IM KUBO TITE
Now that you've recovered from your bout with suicide and realized your ultimate purpose in life - to be the greatest mangaka in Japan (GMK? Nah, thats dumb) - you return to your drawing table with renewed vigor. Now you feel like number one, shining bright for everyone, living out your fantasy, the brightest star for all to see - hm, that's good. Maybe you'll get to use that later.
You grab a sheet of manuscript paper and your godlike G-pen and set to work.
You do not lift the pen from the paper for 24 straight hours. You draw like a man taken by madness - of course, you are Kubo Tite, and only an arrogant fool would dare think that you're insane. Before, you had actually had to think about what you would draw - now, you let it flow out of you, because you trust in your literary genius. Thinking about what you write? Nonsense! Let those silly shoujo artists worry about that! Ugh, you thought about shoujo manga while drawing - now you'll have to burn the page and do it again. There's no way that it can be manly.
Regardless of it being 3AM when you finish your still unnamed manuscript, you immediately call up Editor-san to set a meeting for tomorrow.
"What? Kubo-san, why are you calling me so late? If you've revised that Aizen-chan manga, work it over some more - I don't think it'll be good enough yet, Kubo-san."
"No no, Editor-san - I've made a completely new manga. Aizen-chan isn't in this one," at least not YET! "And it has lots of cute girls in it, too. I think it's pretty good."
"It hasn't even been two days since I last saw you, Kubo-san! Excellent! You're too fast!" Hm, you're too fast - you like the sound of that too. You should make sure to write that one down too. Sounds like a classic. Editor-san agrees to meet you tomorrow afternoon.
And so, not even three days after you're last failed attempt at getting a manga serialized, you sit in your editor's office as he reads over your manuscript.
"You have surprised me, Kubo-san," says Editor-san as he puts down your manuscript. "This has the potential to be your next big hit. If you draw up a few more chapters and a name for it, I'll even turn it in at the next serialization meeting.
Now, Kubo-san, there are just a few things that you need to improve on. To begin, all of the girls in your series are what we call 'loli' characters - I think you should include some women with a few more assets, if you catch my drift, Kubo-san. Secondly, everything seems to make good sense now, but your definitions of things are too broad - it'll cause problems later if the series goes on. Lastly, Kubo-san, you need to draw backgrounds. Lines and blank spaces are good sometimes, but for the most part, readers like to see backgrounds in their manga. Fix these things and it'll be published for sure," he said as he handed you back your manuscript.
You pick your sunglasses up off the table - you had taken them off a minute ago when he started criticizing you, just so that you could put them on dramatically later - and say "You know, Editor-san, there's one thing I have to say to your criticisms - and that is this. **** you, I'm Kubo Tite!". With that, you walk out of his office and the Jump building like the badass mangaka you are.
Where to now?
0. You know, your apartment isn't really that comfortable - now that you're the greatest mangaka in Japan, maybe you should go and get a nice, big couch to lounge on smugly...
1. These sunglasses are not obnoxious enough! You need some more! Bigger ones!
2. Wait, who was that that just walked by...? It kind of looked like...Naaaaaaah.
3. Go back to your apartment and write more manga, of course.
Was that…? No, that’s impossible. But…You’d better just make sure.
You rush through the crowd after the back of the rapidly retreating mysterious stranger. You call out to him, but he doesn’t stop. No matter how fast you run, he never gets any closer. As you chase after him through busy city streets, you slowly start to leave populated areas until you come to a relatively uncrowded part of town, at which point he turns down a dark alleyway. Like the shonen lead you are, you pay no attention to how shady that is and follow him.
“Ahh, Kubo-san. We are finally alone.” His deep, powerful voice reaches you from the shadows of the alley. Dressed in all white, he slowly steps forward into the light, wearing his best smugface.
“But…But…you…” But he’s a fictional character! He doesn’t exist! You made him up! How can he be here!?
“Is this your manga, Kubo-san?” asked Aizen-chan, who was now standing behind you. You turn around with a shocked expression to see him holding your manuscript papers. “Its wonderful, Kubo-san. You’ve come a long way – just as I expected.”
“You drew Zombie Powder. Your experience with cancellation made you stronger. After reading those doujinshi, you awoke your inner talent for incomprehensible plot lines. Then, when you almost committed suicide, you learned your true purpose in life – to create the ultimate shonen manga, and thus the ultimate shonen villain. Every panel, every page, every manga you’ve drawn - has played right into my hand.”
“What…but…I created you! You’re just a character in my manga!”
“No, Kubo-san – I created you, the ultimate shonen mangaka, to immortalize me in manga form. Now then, Kubo-san – I’ve said enough for today. If you have any questions, you can call me.” Aizen-chan started to walk away.
“But I don’t have your cellphone number!” you called after him.
“Oh, Kubo-san – since when were you under the impression that you didn’t have my cellphone number?” He disappeared, but not before you saw his epic smugface. And when you opened your cellphone, you found that Aizen-chan was in fact #1 on your quick dial list - and he had left you the most peculiar but AWESOME ring tone.
After heading back to your apartment in something of a confused daze, you decide to get to work on those new chapters of your manga. You had planned (or had Aizen-chan planned? You really weren’t very sure anymore) to introduce Aizen-chan later, so you should probably stick to that.
You draw at a much more relaxed pace now. You accidentally bump your knee against your drawing desk, leaving a long line of pen across your paper – oh well, it was about time for a full-page shot of Ichigo cutting something anyways.
A few weeks later – and now that everything in your life has settled down – you turn your manuscript into Editor-san. He reads it over quickly.
“Good as always, Kubo-san. I notice that you haven’t taken my comments into account, but – that’s fine. Juuuuuuust fine – except for one. It still needs a name, Kubo-san. Have you thought of one yet?” No, you hadn’t – but you can’t let Editor-san know that. You come up with one quickly – what sticks out to you? What should you call it? What started the whole thing? And then, a smug smile spreads across your face.
“I have, Editor-san. I think I’ll call it…Bleach.”
-End of mrzetta Arc-
Wow, that was a long flash back you just had. It's good to reminisce about how things all began for you. The good old days, when nobody plagiarised you and Editor-san was marginally less annoying and you had no idea who Masashi Kishimoto was. Perhaps one day you'll reminisce over how you met your soul bro Oda, but not today. This is the present, and you have serious work to do.
Snapping out of your daydreams, you find yourself in the mansion's manga studio. It's time to begin drawing the long awaited bonus chapter, the 'Bleach Character Driving Test Chapter'. Another fabulous original concept from you, the great shonen mangaka Kubo Tite, which will assuredly be one of the greatest chapters yet. You grab some sheets of lined A4 paper (The lines mean you have less to draw!) and get going, scribbling madly with your favourite black crayons.
Bleach Bonus Chapter - Driving Time!
Cover - Every single Captain and Espada member posing around an impossibly pimped out sports car. The car's windscreen is shaped just like your epic shades.
Page 1: Pure exposition and text bubbles. After all, you need to have some way of explaining this event. You just can't think of one right now, so lets just leave them blank for the moment.
Page 2: A line of cars is shown in the first panel, each with a Captain or Espada in the driving seat. Head Captain Yamamoto is yelling at them, telling them that this is their last chance to pass their tests or he'll have them all executed. Heh, that Yamamoto, what a joker.
Page 2 - 3: The cars all move off, except for Kyoraku, who is asleep at the wheel. Kenpachi gets overexcited and shunts Unohana into a ditch.
Page 4: Grimmjow pulls an angryfaec, then rams into Kenpachi. Kenpachi laughs madly and uses Two Hands to shift his six gear car into seventh gear.
Page 5: Nothing but speed lines, and a few crayon smudges. Perhaps you'll cover it up with a short poem.
Page 6 - 7: Yammy comes up behind everyone in a pickup truck. 'Who said the number of gears went from one to seven?!' He shifts into zeroth gear.
Page 8: Ukitake collapses from his manga AIDS, causing the car to swerve and hit Hitsugaya. Hitsugaya then crashes into Momo.
Page 9: Aaroniero boasts that he has absorbed over 30,000 liscenced drivers, making him the best driver in the world. But then his car skids on a conveniently placed patch of ice and he plows into a ditch like a chump.
Page 10: Byakuya is currently ahead of everyone else. The honour of the Byakuya family demands nothing less. A single panel at the bottom shows Yammy's burning pickup truck.
Page 11 - 12: Cut to Ulquiorra, who is wondering what the meaning of this 'Driving' is. If he opens the glove compartment, will he find it there? If he crushes the engine will he find it inside? If he tears out the fuel tank, shreds it to pieces and sets it aflame, will the answer appear? Maybe, one day, he'll know the answer. Page 13: Barragan is swiflty moving up the line. He laughs, boasting that he is the one and only God of Driving, and that even if one had a car that could last 10,000 years, it would still fail before his abilities. However, Soifon nudges him into a tailspin and leaves him in the dust.
Page 14 - 15: Zommari is now neck and neck with Byakuya. He rants about how shinigami have no right to prevent hollows from taking driving tests, and about the arrogance of soul society in withholding Arrancar's driving liscences. He releases in an attempt to gain more speed, but the wheels on his car vanish, causing him to slide into a nearby boulder.
Page 16: Mayuri has a secret plan; he has replaced the fuel in his car with his patented 'Super Special Awesome Megafuel', which was created through many painful experiments on innocent souls. Sadly, it seems Szayelaporro had the same idea, and they are now in equal position.
Page 17: Hmmm. You'll leave this page empty for now. It'll probably involve Mayuri using poison to make Szayelaporro's fiery car crash feel like it lasts a thousand years, but you're not sure about the details just yet.
Page 18: The remaining cars are now in a complete free for all. Head Captain Yamamoto facepalms in despair, then prepares to write death warrants for everyone involved.
Page 19: 'Since the very beginning...this Driving Test has been in the palm of my hand.' Kyouka Suigetsu's illusion lifts, and every car is still at the starting line. Aizen-chan's car rolls back into place; it seems he is the only one who actually took the test. With his fourth best smugface, he takes out a shiny new driving liscence.
You take a minute to review your handiwork. Yep, looks good. Reclining back in your comfy chair, you realise that it's still dark out. What should you do to pass the time?
0. For the very last time...play some WoW. Your Guild is probably very annoyed at you by this point.
1. Go downstairs and talk to your fellow mangaka. They might actually have something marginally interesting to say.
2. Somehow, you can't quite shake an odd feeling you've had since facing R07. Perhaps you should play some of this 'Umineko' and see what all the fuss is about.
3. Completing the newest Bleach chapter calls for celebration. Get very, very drunk and party hard all night long.
Come to think of it, it's been a while since you've spoken to your co-workers. Perhaps it's time to descend and converse with them, and perhaps offer some sage advice on how they might improve their skills. You tuck the manuscript for the bonus chapter into your Jacket Pocket of Holding and leave the manga studio, then head down the nearest staircase to the ground floor.
It looks like Obata's attack was heaviest here. Most of the mook's corpses have been removed, and here and there you spot Girl Squad members tending to the wounded. You spot OT-chan peeking at you from behind a door, but she runs off as you begin to approach. Ah, that OT-chan, such a tsundere she is! Perhaps if you raise some more flags with her, you can unlock the fabled True End to this CYOA. But such thoughts are for another time.
Everyone seems to be gathering around the sitting room for some reason. As you get a little closer you realise why; there is a new addition to the mangaka within the mansion. Yes, it's true. Kentaro Miura has arrived.
"...damn Idolm@ster nearly had me! I can't believe I fell for it... Thank you so much for showing me the truth! Now I can get back to drawing what everybody loves. I can advance Berserk's plot! Guts and co. can finally get off the boat!" Hmm, that went right over your head. Maybe you should read some of this 'Berserk' sometime. With a name like that, it has to be somewhat passable.
"Ah, Kubo-san! It's good to see you're alright." Ken Akamatsu seems unharmed by the recent turmoil. He was probably saving himself for last.
"Yeah, I'm okay bro. I went over to WSJ HQ and found some secret info. I also fought some wacko called R07 or R2D2 or something, but Aizen-chan sorted him out. "You hand over the secret documents Aizen-chan helped you to find.
"So you encountered R07...Hmm. Be careful, they say he has 'Endless Magic' or something. He may still be around somewhere. In any case, that leaves Nabeshin as the remaining threat." Akamatsu looks at you seriously. It seems the endgame may be nearing.
"Kubo-san. I'd like you to take care of Nabeshin while we have the advantage. You'll be part of a team consisting of you, Oda, Miura and Togashi. Nabeshin lives in the mountains, he fights bears for a living. It's probably how he became so strong. Can I count on you for this mission?" There is only one answer you can give for this.
"I was born ready, Akamatsu bro. When do we leave?"
"At your discretion, Kubo-san. Be sure to prepare beforehand. We'll be decoding these documents in the meantime. I probably don't need to say this, but...Good luck, Kubo-san." He turns and walks away. Well now, it seems like you've got a little time before you have to leave. What should you do before then...?
0. Leave right away mang, preparations are for weaklings.
1. Sleep for a bit to replenish your HP, level up, maybe change class too, then set off.
2. You thought the True End was a joke, rite? FLIRT WITH OTCHAN NOW, IT MAY BE YOUR LAST CHANCE
3. Lolseriusansur - Get together with the team, discuss strengths and weaknesses, then plan the assault accordingly.
Before you leave, there's someone you need to see. Someone you haven't spoken to in a while. It's very important that you talk to her before you go. This might be your last chance. You can see her out of the corner of your sunglasses, almost out of view, watching you.
"OT-chan..." You call over to her, but she darts into a nearby room to avoid you. You wait for a moment, and she peeks around the doorframe to look at you. Oh OT-chan, always playing hard to get at.
"W-what is it, Kubo Trite? Spit it out, I've got lots of important work to do!"
"OT-chan. I'll be leaving soon. To the mountains. I may not be coming back. So, before I go, there's something I'd like to discuss with you." You put on your most sauve and sexy voice.
"Hmph-! Why me, huh? There are plenty of other girls around. Go talk to them, I'm not interested. I've already told you, I don't like Bleach!" She speaks forcefully, but the tell-tale tsundere luminescent blush is beginning to spread across the bridge of her nose and beneath her eyes.
"But OT-chan...you've read every chapter. You must have, to know the plot so well. Weren't you happy, when Ichigo beat Fishbone D? Didn't you laugh, when Kenpachi got lost time and again? Didn't you smile, when Aizen-chan played his little joke on Hitsugaya?"
"N-no...the writing...it was terrible...bile fascination...awful pacing...*mumble*"
"Alright. That's okay. You can think what you want. But OT-chan...can you honestly say that, when reading Bleach...you wished it was different?"
"I...if it was different, then..."
"Then it wouldn't be Bleach, would it, OT-chan? Even if you cannot admit it, you were entertained by my manga. And as long as that is true, as long as people buy my manga, read it and enjoy it, then it means my manga was a good one. And if that is also true, I can love my life as much as I want! OT-chan, it's thanks to people like you, who always read Bleach every week, that I am the greatest mangaka of all time. Well? Am I wrong, OT-chan?"
"B-baka...i-if you put more effort in, it...if you drew more backgrounds, then..."
"Oh, OT-chan...little things like artwork and effort don't mean anything. I mean, look at Togashi! But it's okay, OT-chan. One day, I'm sure you'll come to appreciate my vision. Here, take this." You give her the manuscript for the Bleach bonus chapter. Hopefully it'll bring a smile to her tsundere angryfaec.
"*Gasp* K-kubo, this is-!"
"Keep it. It's my promise to you, that I'll come back and keep drawing new Bleach for you to read. I'm going now, OT-chan. But I promise...I'll be back."
You turn around, a dramatic wind from nowhere causing your jacket to flutter stylishly behind you. Swiftly you walk away, leaving OT-chan staring after you with teary eyes, clutching the manuscript tightly to her considerable chest. Yep, you've gotta come back for that at least!
A few minutes later, after a couple of last minute preparations, you meet up with your fellow mangaka. Miura keeps sharpening his gigantic pen, which seems to swirl with dark ink whenever the moonlight touches it. Oda is checking his 'substances', holding each vial up to his face and swirling them a little, checking for purity and imperfections. Togashi is drawing in his giant notebook, and every now and again you catch a glimpse of the 10000 yen notes that make up the pages.
"All right everyone. It's time to rock and roll."
...To be Concluded.