"Time to toss the dice." ~ Robert Jordan


Dying is easy. Anyone can do it.

Life is hard.

So many things have to align in order to create and sustain life. It has to occur in a location that can support life, something approximately as rare as an honest politician, from the perspective of the huge barren universe. Parents, in whatever form, have to come together at the right time for life to begin. From conception to birth a near infinite number of hazards can end a developing life.

Moving between stages of life requires toil, sacrifice and pain. For humans, birth requires the baby to be rammed through a tiny canal with such force that their heads are deformed by the process. It's not uncommon for babies to have clavicles broken or shoulders dislocated as they are forced out. Then, after the soothing protection and isolation of the womb, the overload of sensory inputs from the outside world is tortuous. The passive flow of oxygen and nutrients via the umbilical cord is abruptly replaced by the need to breath harsh air into lungs and suckle warm milk into a stomach that knows hunger for the first time.

Newborn infants scream for very good reasons.

Being reborn as Yuzu Korosaki was painful and terrifying.

Being held, comforted and fed by my new mother was amazing.

My new father was an embarrassment. The former Shinigami had screamed and cried more during the labor process than mom had until she'd finally decked him. Judging from his black eye mom had a great right hook. Apparently "Doctor" Isshin Kurosaki had also passed out during the labor, twice. I wasn't sure how Isshin Shiba, badass captain of the 10th Division and slayer of monsters, had been reduced to this goofy hyperactive klutz but I, at the tender age of less than one day old, resolved that my future friends would never ever be introduced to my father. Never.

Tentatively, I will say I was reincarnated although the process seemed to be a bit quirky and not as autonomous as I would have expected.

There was a goddess involved in my conception. My puny human mind and senses were somewhat overwhelmed by her whole phenomenal cosmic powers while I was being tucked into my new itty bitty living space. But I did get the impression of gentle hands, sunlight, fire, and infinite power. Coupled with the frequent silent visits/visions I have had throughout my life from a white wolf with crimson markings I believe that Amaterasu, the Shinto sun deity, was responsible for my reincarnation.

Amaterasu has never spoken to me directly. I cannot claim to be the recipient of any divine wisdom. No deity has answered my philosophical questions about life and the eternities.

When I was placed in my mother's womb by Amaterasu there were two spirits already within.

Ichigo, even as a tiny baby in the earliest stages of development, possessed a powerful vitality. My insubstantial senses perceived him as a surprisingly bright red glowing mass eagerly absorbing nutrients and growing rapidly.

In comparison, his fraternal twin was a faint gossamer collection of delicate strands of corn silk yellow. Her nascent life was fading, unable to compete with her brother's voracious appetite.

I don't know what Amaterasu did when she slid my spirit into the dying body of the original Yuzu Kurosaki. I don't know if Yuzu was returned to the cycle of reincarnation or melded together with my own spirit or if she's somewhere within this body with me cursing the extra-dimensional parasite which has stolen her life.

I think about the real Yuzu frequently and mention her in my infrequent prayers. As a form of penance and to honor the real Yuzu I have tried to be the positive supporting influence and good housekeeper that I remember that she was in the anime. I am not as altruistic nor as kind as anime Yuzu. I sometimes wonder how detrimentally neighbors and class mates have been affected by the lack of the real Yuzu in this world. There are probably a lot more hungry stray cats and sad overlooked kids.

Returning to my birth, I was born on the 15th of July at Karakura Hospital in Western Tokyo. My fraternal twin brother, Ichigo, proceeded me into the world by 21 minutes.

I was born into one of the mutant branches of the Bleach multiverse.

Being born into an alternate or parallel universe which has diverged from a "fictional" universe you know from your entertainment media of choice really makes you second-guess your supposed foreknowledge. If Super-Man grew up in the Soviet Union and a war is raging between Atlantis and Themyscira then is Alfred Pennyworth still the world's greatest butler? If Spider-Man has been swapped out for a pig named Peter Porker then is Galactus still coming to threaten Earth-616?

Apparently, in my new universe, Masaki Kurosaki had decided that Sōsuke Aizen would make a great OG/GYN.

Who knew? Both of my parents are insane.