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Bleach: The Hollowfication Question

Ichigo Kurosaki from the anime Bleach gets thrown down a path of violence, death, and corruption. But it is a path he believes that he must take if he wants to protect his friends. The path he chooses though is a road littered with enemies. With each enemy seeming to be more powerful than the one preceding it, Ichigo continuously needs to become stronger.

Each time he grows stronger, however, the source of his power becomes darker, and he soon realizes that his soul is partially possessed by an evil spirit—his inner Hollow. The presence of his inner Hollow burdens him, so much that he almost loses control of his body, and meanwhile, he is suddenly faced with an incredibly powerful foe. As a result, Ichigo doesn’t know what other method to turn to, other than by controlling and using his inner Hollow to boost his power.

Is it logical for the hero of a story to use or join sides with evil in order to bring about a desired good. Or does this confuse society, and make the line between good and evil too blurry? And most importantly, is it moral to use an evil means to meet a just end?

  • Ah, that definitely is a colorful type of discussion. Good & Evil, work hand in hand. They need to exist for the other to as well. Within this article it "literally" works together. – ChrissyC 8 years ago
  • I think this makes the line a little blurry because from the perspective of the reader whatever side the hero joins is the good side. So that makes it more confusing to the reader about which side in the conflict is truly good or evil. I think though that the ends justify the means, if we are able to create peace through one large final conflict than I think the world needs the conflict. – Dandylion 8 years ago
  • I've always liked the blurring of the lines in Bleach as it pertains to Ichigo's Hollow side. It helps provide a balance between good and evil, and in doing so helps Ichigo become a more 'complete' character. Were he simply a boy who did what was right with no darker side to play off, he would seem far more dull I think. Am enjoyable article. – mattdoylemedia 8 years ago
  • Honestly the lines between good and evil should be blurred more often. In many shounen anime and manga the lines never get blurred. The fact that Ichigo is fighting with his inner evil and might end up in the "evil" category is a very good story. Also, it would be a great character arc to see him go through. – Animegirlinglasses 8 years ago
  • Manga can often be very narrow in its depiction of good and evil. I believe Ichigo's inability to control his hollow is partly due to his unwillingness to accept that it is a genuine part of him. – Jiraiyan 8 years ago
  • I think disregarding the end justifies the means is a little too easy. I think the statement means something more like "The end result produced so much good, that the evil results of the means are outweighed. So in the example, one man being super wealthy is really good or bad. I suppose it's good for the guy and his family, but because he stole and hurt so many people the end does not justify the means. The means created more harm than the end caused good. So if the character in the manga does a lot of good and there is little harm from using the hallow, then yes the end justifies the means. But on the other hand if the hallow took him over and destroyed the world.... that'd be a different story. – Tatijana 8 years ago
  • Tatijana: I understand where your argument is coming from. It's very close to consequentialism, in which the morality of an action is weighed based upon the consequences that take effect as a result of the action. However, consequentialism is a messed up moral-theory because it disregards the objectivity of morality; it takes away Truth. Consequentailism says that doing something bad can bring about a greater good. But that's a flawed way to approach the subject of morality. It devalues the idea of right or wrong and reduces moral objectivity to a set of consequences that result from an action. Actions made should be based on conscience and Natural Law, even though those both have some flaws too. The loophole, you might be interested to know, is provided by the Principle of Double Effect. Ichigo's actions still don't qualify for this, but allow me to explain. The requirements for the Principle of Double Effect to take action are 1) the action of the person must be good or indifferent. 2) the person must have good intentions. 3) the evil effect cannot be the means to the good effect. d) the good effect must balance the evil effect. Once again, this is just a loophole, and overall, Ichigo's predicament is quite messy insofar as morality applies. Great discussion and please comment if you want to take this further! – Dominic Sceski 8 years ago

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