Song of the Week: [Chapter Four] by Avenged Sevenfold
As promised in a comment section less than 24 hours ago, I am going to tackle Sōsuke Aizen today. It's time for a bit of psychoanalysis on this one, so buckle up.
Aizen is a Shinigami, once affiliated with Gotei 13. He is notable for his shocking betrayal of the aforementioned group and his subsequent military campaign against Soul Society. A genius beyond measure, Aizen's plot revolved around gaining power through manipulation of the Hōgyoku and the attempted assassination of the Soul King. However, this plot failed, due in some small part to stalling actions by Ichigo and company.
How, though, was Ichigo able to defeat the far stronger, smarter, and more skilled Aizen?
The answer to that one is simple: Aizen defeated himself. Aizen fell victim to a crippling level of pride, one that prevented him from even taking notice of others whom he perceived as lesser beings (so, basically everyone). In particular, Aizen could be said to suffer from self-apotheosis, wherein he elevated himself to the point of godhood in his mind, perceiving himself as untouchable by others. His later Hōgyoku-granted power boosts only served to reinforce this conception, to the point where he lost all interest in maintaining his guard, because a god is, by nature, above the mortal plane. He even aspired to the highest level of power in the Bleachverse, the Soul King's throne. Unfortunately, Aizen is NOT a god, whatever power boosts he receives. He is a Shinigami, albeit an artificially immortal one, and is prone to all of the weaknesses that afflict that race. And, ultimately, his pride and refusal to acknowledge his own limitations led directly to his defeat and imprisonment.
But, that's not where Aizen's story ends.
Lately, Aizen has been a source of intrigue in the manga. Between his attempted recruitment by Yhwach and his conscription by Captain-Commander Kyōraku, Aizen remains a key player in the events of the story, and the fate of Soul Society likely still rests at least partly in his hands.
This is where I must commend Kubo's writing. Aizen remains beholden to the characterization that had been established. Fitting with his pride, he is unrepentant in his imprisonment and irreverent upon release. He still views himself as inherently above all other beings, including Yhwach, who, as stated previously, might actually be a god. So, even if Aizen has an overblown sense of self worth, at least he's consistent, which is a rarity in manga villains coughNarutocough.
That, then is my two cents on Aizen. I like him, but he's far from the god that people portray him as.
Now, I want to try something. Thanks to Mr. Xilinoc (seriously, thanks Xil), I now know how to code a poll into this post. I ask only that you respond to the poll, so I can get an accurate display of the size of my audience for demography reasons.
I might judge you all based on your collective answers, though.
See you next week!