In reference to this post.
Oh boy, where to start…
For the record, I wasn’t even going to bother addressing the original reblogger’s argument because that would imply I gave it weight, which I don’t. It’s obvious as hell that they’re only salty because they can’t handle the fact their ship isn’t canon, so they think it’s alright to leave passive-aggressive comments on other people’s posts and then block them so they can’t respond. But since you couldn’t or wouldn’t let it go, here we are.
‘Renji beat Rukia’
I’m only going to say this once, so listen carefully: Renji never beat Rukia. The manga panels that reblogger posted were taken completely out of context, but even then they don’t do anything to support their claim. Yes, Renji attacked Rukia. I don’t think any Renruki shipper has ever denied that or tried to argue that his behaviour was appropriate, because clearly it wasn’t. However, attacking her in the context of this one very specific situation does not constitute “abuse”, which is what we all know you’re really trying to accuse him of. Even then, Rukia only sustained one tiny cut to her cheek during the whole thing. I’d hardly say that equals a “beating”, wouldn’t you?
If Renji had wanted to seriously injure Rukia during this scene, he could have. Rukia had no powers at this point and there’s no way she would have been a match for him if this were an actual fight. Renji was deliberately holding back because he didn’t actually want to hurt her. Why would he? She’s his childhood friend, the ‘star’ to his ‘stray dog’; everything he’s done over the past forty years, every goal he’s reached or achievement he’s made, has been for her sake. For all his talk about “next time, my attack will be serious!”, it makes no sense that he would just throw all of that away by purposely trying to hurt or kill her. The very idea is so ridiculous, it’s unbelievable.
It’s also important to remember that when Renji and Byakuya arrived in Karakura, Rukia was already considered a traitor to Soul Society. Renji wasn’t sent to bring back his childhood friend, but to capture a wanted criminal. Rukia knew she was breaking Soul Society’s rules when she transferred her powers to Ichigo, but she did it anyway because there wasn’t any other choice. Was it the right thing to do? Sure, but that doesn’t change the fact that she knowingly broke one of the Gotei 13’s laws, something she knew she’d be punished for eventually. Why else would she avoid returning to Soul Society immediately if she wasn’t trying to hide it for as long as possible?
When he attacked her, Renji was treating her like the traitor Soul Society believed she was. And yet he still pulled his attacks and avoided hurting her as much as possible. Those hardly sound like the actions of an abuser to me.
Was he angry? Sure! But honestly, who could blame him? He’d just spent the last forty years working to become respected enough to be able speak to her as an equal, and here she was gallivanting around in the human world where she didn’t belong. Of course he was angry! He didn’t let her go to the Kuchiki clan all those years ago just so he could watch her throw away her future and position for the sake of some punk kid. Renji doesn’t know Ichigo at this point and he doesn’t care about him, especially not when he’s the reason Rukia is in trouble. If Renji is angry, it’s because he feels he has cause. But even then, he doesn’t “beat” her because that’s not the kind of person he is.
‘with a grin plastered on his face’
If you honestly believe that Renji was enjoying himself during that scene then you clearly don’t understand his character at all and there’s nothing I can say to you really. But sure, if it helps you feel better about him getting in the way of your ship to believe that he’s the kind of guy who’d genuinely enjoy attacking his oldest friend, taking her prisoner at sword point, and dragging her back to Soul Society in disgrace to stand trial, go nuts.
'took her to her death, and taunted her over it’
Yeah, he joked about her execution one time and in a later scene he said some things in the heat of the moment (after Rukia deliberately antagonised him by making light of her sentence) that I’m sure he regretted, but I think accusing him of taunting her is a bit of a stretch (actually, more like a giant leap) when his actions clearly weren’t malicious.
Also, we know from canon (y'know, that thing you all ignore whenever it’s inconvenient to you) that Renji didn’t think Soul Society would actually go so far as to execute her. He believed that Byakuya would intervene before it ever got to that point…and when he found out that she’d been convicted of treason and sentenced to execution (and worse, that Byakuya intended to do nothing about it) his whole demeanour and attitude changed. Suddenly he began to question whether bringing her back had been the right thing to do after all, and you can see his loyalty to the Gotei 13 begin to waver. If you’re not so obsessed with reading the manga with a focus on nothing but your shipping preferences that you continually misinterpret everyone else’s actions, that is.
'and denied her agency when she said to let her go’
I can’t believe anyone would even try to bring the issue of agency into this, seriously. Renji wasn’t “denying her agency”, he was following Ichigo’s orders. Rukia wanted to go back because she was worried about Ichigo, but it was Ichigo himself who told Renji to take her and run. Are you going to accuse Ichigo of denying her agency as well? Because if not, you’re a hypocrite.
As for refusing to hand her over to someone who’d just revealed themselves to be not only a villain but also the one who’d orchestrated the entire thing: Rukia only wanted Renji to let her go because she didn’t want him to get hurt for her sake. End of story. If you think Ichigo would have acted any differently in the same situation then you’re f*cking lying to yourself and I can’t help you.
‘Ichigo. Would. Never.’
Would never have what? Have found the resolve to go to Soul Society to rescue Rukia if Orihime hadn’t encouraged him? You’re right, he wouldn’t have. But that’s a topic for a different post.
While we’re here, is there anything else y'all would like to accuse Renji of? I know it was popular among certain fans to call him a misogynist a few years ago, maybe you’d like to bring that one back too? We’ve already got abuse and denied agency, might as well throw misogyny in there as well.
And before anyone thinks about it: do us both a favour and don’t bother reblogging this post to argue with me because I don’t want to hear it. I’m not interested in getting into a debate about this; I know nothing I have to say will change anyone’s opinion anyway, so why waste my time? This is the last I’m going to say on this topic.