Bleach is one of the most popular manga series to have ever been created. From the art to the arcs, Tite Kubo is deeply praised for his work. While manga is deeply appreciated, fans grew mixed reviews about the anime adaptation. Despite the critical views, Bleach has sold about 120 million copies in Japan, becoming one of the biggest manga ever. There are several facts about Bleach that will surprise many of its fans. As readers, we only get to know what the creators let us see. Yet, behind the curtains, there are several interesting facts that remain hidden forever. Bleach, too, has had some hidden facts over its course of production.
Bleach became insanely popular for its lovable characters. Every character was very written in the manga. Along with the characters, the arcs of Bleach were a perfect blend of intense and funny, where things never got too intense to be boring nor too funny to lose depth. The story is one that wakes up several emotions and questions among its readers and viewers. If you haven’t watched or read Bleach yet, we highly recommend it. The manga is currently available on Shueisha’s Manga Plus app. In fact, the Jump app is re-uploading all the chapters of the manga.
But if you have already read the manga, here are some facts about Bleach that you will definitely find very interesting!
The Idea behind the manga’s title “Bleach”
When naming a project, people look for a name that can define the content. Time and again, people have questioned why Bleach was named ‘Bleach’. People started believing that it was a rather random choice made by Tite Kubo. But, it turns out there was quite a deep thought behind the manga’s name. Bleaching represents whiteness in contrast to the black color represented by the Shinigami. Why not use ‘white’? Of course, because that would be too vague. Bleaching is associated with whitening, so I can see where Kubo is coming from.
Initial Idea behind the manga.
Many people might know that Ichigo Kurosaki was not Kubo’s first preference. Rukia was supposed to be the protagonist of the show carrying a scythe as her weapon. At this point, Bleach was not even named ‘Bleach’, but ‘Snipe’. Kubo’s inspiration came from his desire to create Shinigamis wearing kimono. However, the idea was dropped, and Tite Kubo decided to introduce Ichigo to the story as the protagonist. One of the facts about Bleach that many fans might not be aware of is that Kubo’s illustration of Rukia differed greatly in the first draft. In the first draft of issue 1, Rukia looked like a fairy rather than the badass Shinigami we know her as now.
Akira Toriyama and the publication of Bleach
All great works have faced rejection. It’s the determination to continue working hard that carves the path to success. Tite Kubo faced a similar crisis before Bleach was published. After he sent his work to Shonen Jump, it was rejected. But there was one person who was deeply impressed by Kubo’s work. This was Akira Toriyama, whose Dragon Ball manga was rocking Shonen Jump’s sales at the time. The mangaka wrote a letter to Kubo and encouraged him to keep writing Bleach. Kubo altered his story and resubmitted his work. This time, Shonen Jump decided to publish Bleach, and we cannot be more thankful for this decision!
From the above fact about Bleach, we know that the manga was initially rejected by the Shonen Jump magazine. Of course, we are definitely extremely thankful that they chose to serialize Kubo’s story. But perhaps Shonen Jump was equally thankful about their decision. Bleach became one of the most popular ongoing manga series of the time. Because of Naruto, One Piece, and Bleach, the sales of Shonen Jump exploded. People loved the story and kept buying the magazine in heaps to keep up with it. This led to Shonen Jump nicknaming Naruto, One Piece, and Bleach as the Big Three.
The change in Tite Kubo’s Art Style
A lot of manga artists have a specific art style that lets their readers recognize them in a glimpse. However, Tite Kubo claims that he did not have any specific art style before. However, he felt somewhat inspired by Masashi Kudō, the illustrator who drafted the character designs for the Bleach anime. Hence, after the release of the Bleach anime adaptation, Kubo began following certain habits from Kudō. His art changed slowly, and he began forming new patterns and specifications instead of illustrating whatever. One prime example of a habit that he picked from Masashi Kudō was drawing characters who had their hair loose and in front of the ear instead of drawing characters with hair behind the ears.
Bleach and Fashion
If you are a hardcore Bleach fan, the fashion sense within the show could not have gone unnoticed. Every character has several amazing clothes and style statements that definitely impress its readers and viewers. This was no accident and is probably one of the facts about Bleach that not many fans know about. Kubo took an interest in fashion when he was in elementary school. The mangaka expressed his love for fashion by drawing several cool clothes on his characters. He designed these clothes himself. These fashion statements were highly acknowledged in Japan. A shop in Tokyo, Urahara Soten, even sold shirts that Ichigo wore.
Music in Bleach
The Bleach anime adaptation might not have been as popular as the manga. However, one has to agree that it had some really sick music. Not only did the anime have amazing music, but it also had too many music tracks. This is one of those facts about Bleach that I find absolutely amusing. There are more than 15 opening theme songs of Bleach. These theme songs were composed by the composer of Neon Genesis Evangelion (Shirou Sagisu). Theme songs are not the only musical component exceeding in numbers. Every character had a theme song which reminded Kubo of these characters. Some popular examples of these theme songs are News From The Front by Bad Religion (for Ichigo), Wing Stock by Ashley MacIsaac (for Rukia), and Idioteque by Radiohead (for Uryu).
The inspiration for Kon
Remember Kon, the stuffed lion from Bleach? Here is a quick fact about Bleach revolving around this character. We all know that Kon is a modified soul which brought fun and humor to the darker story of Bleach. Tite Kubo was inspired to include Kon into the manga when he saw a young brat disrespectfully throw away a toy because his father would not buy him another (more expensive) stuffed toy. While we do not know what Tite Kubo thought of at the moment. Kon, in the story, is mistreated often. While it is displayed in quite a comedic setting, it relates to the real-life treatment of the inspired toy.
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Who voiced Kon?
Kon’s theme songs were Nichiyoubi Dansu” by Kuuki Koudan and “Bushman” by Rip Slyme. The stuffed doll was voiced by Madano Mitsuaki, a renowned voice actor who also voiced Kugenin Hibiki in Shijou Saikyou no Deshi Kenichi (OVA) and Ryudou Issei in the Fate series. Madano Mitsuaki is a very talented voice actor. But that’s not the most amusing part about this fact about Bleach. Although Madano Mitsuaki voiced Kon for the rest of the series, the character was voiced by Tite Kubo himself in the pilot.
Improvisation in the Anime
It is not new for the creators to make certain improvements, especially in the case of Bleach. The anime has several improvised scenes and arcs. In fact, a lot of times, certain story arcs were left incomplete. The improvisation that we are talking about is one of the most interesting improvisations in anime. In the Hueco Mundo arc, we see a Shinigami meeting with Rukia. The interesting point of this scene is that this particular Shinigami never appears in the manga. But, Kubo had always wanted to involve him. He could not do so because of the lack of time. Kubo fulfills his desire by including this character in the anime.
Tite Kubo used several languages in Bleach.
Kubo loves including different languages in his story. He is naturally swaying towards different tongues. For different races like Arrancar and Quincies, he makes use of Spanish and German. In an interview, he reveals that he also wishes to use French in the future as well.
There are up to 45% Filler Episodes in Bleach.
One of the popularly known facts about Bleach is that a large part of the anime consisted of filler episodes. Filler episodes are inserted when an anime runs out of source. This happened to Bleach because the anime skipped several initial arcs from the manga. The anime rushed towards the Soul Society arc, skipping several important details that come very handy for the development of the story’s future. However, due to the massive skipping, the true essence of Bleach’s story went somewhat missing. Not only that, the anime had to stuff in unnecessary fillers as they waited for the manga to catch up.
Tite Kubo was once moved by a touching letter from a terminally ill fan.
Yes, Kubo received a letter from a terminally ill patient in 2016. The patient in question was a young child who had little time in his hands. Amidst his misery, he would read manga, one of which was Bleach. The child expressed his emotions of dealing with the tragic experience too. However, he also left a deep message for Kubo in his letter. He asks the mangaka to write the manga to satisfy himself and give it an ending that he wants.
Kubo was so moved by the letter that he asked people to search for the sender. Unfortunately, he had already passed away after asking his close ones’ to post the letter only after his death. Kubo’s search did not stop and tracked down the person who had sent the letter. He found out that it was the little boy’s friend. In the sense of gratitude, Kubo later made an illustration.
Tite Kubo Avoids Drawing Backgrounds in his manga
A distinct feature of Tite Kubo’s art is how he would often keep his background clear of minute details. It would make one think that he is a lousy illustrator, or he just doesn’t know how to make backgrounds. However, Kubo’s reasoning for this is completely different and reveals it in an interview. According to Kubo, backgrounds distract the readers. He wants his readers to keep their eyes on the characters and feel the emotions they are feeling. With a background, readers tend to drift away and fail to see the emotions that the character is trying to portray.
Facts about Bleach’s protagonist.
Ichigo Kurosaki is every bit of a cool protagonist we could ask for. He is funny and strong and keeps the story very entertaining. However, the protagonist was not always what we know him to be. Kubo intended to give him a nerdy personality with glasses and no orange hair. However, the idea changed, and Tite decided to give his protagonist a rough look with orange hair.
Kubo was once asked what he thinks of Ichigo. He simply replies that Ichigo’s weakness and strength is his thoughtfulness. While it does save others, it also puts him in danger a lot of times.
Ulquiorra– dead or alive?
Ulquiorra is an Arrancar character from Bleach. In the series, the character was killed by Ichigo, but the truth is although he had died, several fans kept asking about him. Kubo never responded to these questions, but finally, he satisfied several fans by updating that the character is alive and bright back to life.
Naming characters in Bleach
A lesser-known fact about Bleach is that Tite Kubo has given some deep thought into naming not only manga but also his characters. Initially, Yoruichi was supposed to be named Kuroneko, which means a black cat. However, to avoid public conflicts, he decided to change it.
Did you know that Kubo also put some considerable thought into Ichigo’s name as well? The protagonist’s name comes from combining Ichi, which means prize, and Go, which means an angel.
Is the Bleach Manga coming back?
After the conclusion of the manga, Tite Kubo returned once more with a new one-shot manga of Bleach to celebrate its 20th anniversary. This one-shot came out this August and featured the characters after a time skip. Tite Kubo’s new one-shot of Bleach was not an ordinary one-time event. Rather, it was a declaration of the manga’s return. The one-shot only teased the introduction of the upcoming arc, which is titled “Howls From the Jaws of Hell arc”. If you weren’t already, it’s time you get excited about the return of Bleach!