A tribute to episode 19 of Bleach, which was very meaningful to me. It represents one of my deepest held beliefs: accelerated growth through crash course evolution; finding one's inner strength by testing one's limits, often in risky and drastic ways; knowing that in the end we face all things alone, and have no one to save us but ourselves. Ichigo went through such a trial. He was thrown into a pit in a race of time against his soul being devoured by a mindless hollow (evil spirit). Naturally, there's SPOILERS ahead, so stop reading if you don't want to know!!
Ichigo found himself in the world of his own mind. The structures of this world were eroding as fast as his soul was being shattered. Countless boxes fell all around him, and he was told that only one of these contained the key to his soul and that if he wishes to survive he must find it before the world falls apart. He knew it would be futile to search through every box, so instead he called on his innate power to track souls, their traces appearing as white strings connected to the boxes. The soul of a Shinigami (death god/soul reaper) appears as a red string, however, so he quickly found the appropriate box and overcame the trial. This is represented here symbolically by him being dressed in Shinigami clothes (the power he sought) and, though he is surrounded by white strings, he holds onto the red string - the only one that leads out of the pit.
Colored in Photoshop. I'm a little annoyed/disappointed in the background, but proud of the way Ichigo himself turned out, so I included a close up of him.
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Revised: 12 May 2010 07:46:39 -0400 .