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Kirge Opie and the Rules of Improv

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Are you familiar with the rules of improv comedy? I know it sounds a little unrelated to Bleach, but let me explain. Improv comedy is comedy in which participants must create a scene with characters, relationships, setting, and plot off the top of their heads. It can be fairly taxing and requires a lot of dedication and creativity to pull off well. I personally love improv, but there are a number of rules that have to be followed for each scene to go over well. And I personally think that the rules of improv comedy are surprisingly relatable to writing a good fight scene. So let me elaborate and show you why, as of Chapter 493, Kirge Opie is one of the worst improv performers I've ever seen.

One of the key rules of a good improvised scene is to have a plot. Your characters can be beautifully well-rounded and hilarious to watch, but they're not going to work if they have nothing to do in the scene itself, and a good scene will always push the characters towards a goal of some kind. Kirge's trying in this regard, but it's not working because he won't pick a plot and stick with it. At first he was fighting the Tres Bestias because they intruded on the Jagdarmee's "recruiting session." But then that ended. He then went on to fight Ichigo purely by virtue of "because he's a Shinigami" though later because his boss told him to wipe Ichigo out. But then Ayon showed up. And from Ayon he moved back to the Tres Bestias, and now back to Ichigo. I've kind of forgotten why he's even fighting these folks at this point. Yes, he was ordered to take out Ichigo, but why is he still going after the Tres Bestias? And why Orihime and Chad? He's meandering. It's not making for a very good scene.

However, Kirge chiefly fails at one of the biggest rules of improv: don't deny. In a scene, nothing will ever move forward unless all the participants agree with and accept every plot twist and contrivance offered. If someone suggests something in a scene, you accept it. Always say yes, because saying no will stagnate the scene. Kirge is failing so hard in this regard, it's ridiculous.

"The Tres Bestias have arrived! They're extremely powerful Arrancar! Oh, wait, no, I guess they're not because Kirge quickly beat them offscreen."

"Ayon is here now! He's an enormous monster and he's beating Kirge to death! Oh, wait, no, I guess he's actually okay after all and Ayon's attack was pointless."

"Sung-Sun is using her Muda ability! She and the others will be able to hide from Kirge while they figure out what to do! Oh, no, wait, I guess Kirge broke the Muda barrier in an instant, so using it in the first place was a waste of time."

It's hard to watch. It really is. Nothing's moving forward in the scene, as it were. Kirge is just showing off, and while his tricks are very flashy (and, if I do say so in regards to combining his powers with Ayon, kind of badass-looking) they're not doing anything for the plot whatsoever.

And that brings me to my last rule that Kirge has shamelessly broken: he doesn't know when to quit. In a scene, if your character has done all they can do in the context provided, the best thing an actor can do is know when to find a reason to leave. Step offstage. Stay away from the main action for a while. Just know when you're needed and when you're not. If you stay on too long, the audience gets tired of you and wonders why you're still there when you're clearly not helping the scene at all. Kirge needs to leave the stage. Quickly. It's time to let the other, better improvisers handle things for a while. He still has a chance to leave the scene with a cool exit, but he does need to leave, honestly and truly.

That's all I really had to say. I know it's kind of silly to compare improv to fight scenes, but I was surprised, as I wrote this out, just how well it applies. Thoughts? Comments? Leave them below! I'd love to read them.

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