I suppose I should state what we're talking about, then. I'm looking not for a discussion of Ichigo/Orihime v. Rukia/Ichigo (v. Rukia/Orihime!)--this isn't a right and wrong sort of discussion. What I'm thinking, as a driving force behind this post, is looking at how it all relates to plot and character. Which, I guess, is going to turn back into a pairing discussion, but I tried, ne?
Some questions to mull:
-What do you think of the development of Orihime's affections towards Ichigo? Where has the impetus for that development come from?
-How do you think her character has been affected by the authorial decision to invest so much in her feelings? Has there been a positive impact or a negative one on the plot? On the fans' view of Orihime?
-What's the difference between her feelings for Ichigo and her feelings for Tatsuki? Actually, let's just talk Tatsuki in relation to Ichigo and Orihime all together, because MAN this just doesn't come up enough. Orihime has been successfully defended by many people, but has only truly successfully defended one herself: Tatsuki. Talk to me about this.
-KT draws personal connections between Ichigo and Rukia and Orihime in various ways--the tragedies of Volume 3, for instance. What are some other paralllels?
-What's the deal with Rukia and Orihime? What sort of future relationship implications does this have for them and for Ichigo? (PAIN!...I am so biased.)
-IchiOri or IchiHime: what is the difference?
-How does Rukia's relationship with Ichigo differ from Orihime's relationship with Ichigo? Reaaaally broad question, but I'm thinking of terms of the overall plot and the Chapter 0s we got for them both.
-How clueless IS Ichigo?
-Rukia's arc was Soul Society. Orihime's arc is the Hueco Mundo arc. Are there parallels in character growth? What are the differences? What's going on with Ichigo in both of them?
...and I think I'll stop there, 'cause this is ambitious enough as it is.