• A special Bleach chapter, for its 20th anniversary has been released in Weekly Shonen Jump Issue 36/37. You can read it on VIZ or MangaPlus.

Interviews with Kubo Tite


The Gigas
Aug 24, 2001
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This is for all interviews and discussion with Kubo.

Still working on bringing all the old interviews to the new thread. Look for them here.

Here is Azley's Masterlist:

O.K. here are all the old interviews I could save from old BA. Prepare for 5 doublepost deathcombo - (Approved by Belias because we have a character limit of 20k for just one single post).

““ said:
Here's his character commentary that he did in 2004:
All translation and everything by k_shi

"Kurosaki Ichigo
When Ichigo goes to the hair dresser, people ask him about his hair color and since he hates that, he doesn't go to the hair dresser. Normally, Yuzu cuts it.

Kuchiki Rukia
Sometimes people ask me this, in book 5 they announced the semester's final exam scores and regarding Rukia's rank, out of 322 people in the 1st grade, she's 302nd. Besides Japanese, she flunked most of it.

The plushie body of his is the fake copy of the main character of the popular TV show, "Carnivor Kingdom" named "Ponkichi". It was a prize from the shooting game in the Karakura Town Festival.

Inoue Orihime
Tied with Ichigo, her face is the hardest to draw. She's going to be a very important character later on so, I want to get used to drawing her faster.

Sado Yasutora
He likes music so he rarely watches TV, but the only program he likes the "Carnivor Kingdom" that starts at 8 AM on Sundays. He likes it so much that he bought the DVDs for it.

Ishida Uryuu
The TV program he likes is Don Kanonji's "Bura-Rei". It's not mentioned in the comic, but in chapter 29, the shadow that tried to jump in before Ichigo was Uryuu.


Urahara Kisuke
The rare candy sold only in Urahara shouten, "Space candy". From the name, it sounds like it'll have some strange taste, but inside is only a coca cola tasting candy.

Shihouin Yoruichi
Yoruichi-san cannot drink so much alcohol. She likes milk the most. When she's tired, first she starts with milk. As long as there's milk, she's in a good mood.

Zangetsu was the most difficult to decide for the appearance. After nitpicking on his hair style and his clothes, the only thing that remained from the original sketch were his shades.

Shiba Ganjyu
He looks good with goggles, so every time he came out with new clothes, I put a new goggle hanging from his neck, but by the next week I forget to draw it.

Ichimaru Gin
In my opinion, I was trying to draw him all creepy since his first appearance, but for some reason he is a man who is very popular amongst women. I envy him.

Kuchiki Byakuya
Within the seireitei, there're only four major noble families including the Kuchiki family that are considered high class noble men. Besides them, the life style of the other nobles are not much different from normal city people.

Zaraki Kenpachi
Tied with Tousen Kaname, out of the BLEACH characters, he has the hardest hair style to draw. I think I'll continue to regret eternally for giving him that hair style.

Hitsugaya Toushirou
He's from the West Rukongai 1st area "Jyunrinan". He is actually friends with Jidanbou and was the one who taught him the "city rules".

Abarai Renji
All his sunglasses are from Seireitei's popular glasses store "Silver dragon fly glasses store" (megane no gin tonbo). Every time he wears it, he gets it broken, but that costs half a year worth his paycheck.

Kira Izuru
All of Seireitei's shinigami are all considered "nobles", but it also has a high, middle, and low class and Izuru is from a low class noble family. He's had a pretty tough time.

Hinamori Momo
I had a tough time trying to decide her name. The name "Hinamori Momo" was decided right before drawing the official comic. During the sketch stage, she had a totally different name.

Yamada Hanatarou
A rather pitiful Hanatarou whose birthday lies on April Fools. Every year, on his birthday a bunch of people keep tricking him the entire day."

Shonen Jump interview from 2006:

Shonen Jump: How did you get into creating manga?
Tite Kubo: The summer of my third year if high school was the first time I’d ever written a manga. I didn’t have any experience or knowledge of how to draw manga – I didn’t know you were supposed to draw rough pages first, so I just drew directly on the paper and submitted to Weekly Shonen Jump for a contest. I didn’t win, but I got a phone call from one of the editors who suggested we work together.

SJ: Which comes first, the story or the art?
TK: Of course, it’s either the pictures, or the characters – sometimes I have ideas for the characters’ appearances, or sometimes their personality. Once you get those characters set, then the story kind of moves on by itself. The key thing is that I come to love the characters, as if they re real.

SJ: If you weren’t a manga-ka, what else would you do?
TK: Industrial design, architecture – I never studied them, but I’m very interested in them.

SJ: What are Rukia’s favourite manga?
TK: She loves horror manga, shojo-orientated horror titles. She’s from the afterlife, but there’s actually nothing scary to read in the afterlife.

SJ: How involved are you in making the Bleach animated series?
TK: I’m involved with the character designs. Usually the character designs are done with manga artists just overseeing, but in my case I actually draw what all the characters should look like – I am essentially drawing all of the characters that appear in the anime. It is very rare for the artist to be involved this much.

SJ: What aould your dream cast be fore a live-action Bleach movie?
TK: If it were possible to do Bleach as a live movie, then I wouldn’t have drawn the manga. I want to draw something that can only be done as manga.

There are a couple of other interviews, but I'm too lazy to find them right now :)

“Velius“ said:
Rather readily available interview of Kubo Tite and Morita Masakazu (Ichigo's seiyuu)

Question: When did Kubo-sensei and Morita-san first meet?

Kubo: After recording the first ever animated version of Bleach*1 where I did the role of Kon. I think that was the first time.

Morita: I had other work scheduled that day and had to leave early, so I didn't really get to talk with him.

Question: What were the first impressions of each other?

Morita: A shy person

Kubo: A very energetic person. He's always very excited. I don't tend to get along very well with overly energetic people, but Morita-san was very friendly and open, which helped a lot. We got along very well once we started talking.

About Bleach the animated series
Question: Kubo-sensei, do you watch the animated version?

Kubo: Of course! I get a copy of it before it's aired, and I watch that too.

Question: Any opinions?

Kubo: I have to do everything myself for the comic, but a lot of people work together for the animated version. People interpret the script in different ways, so I'm always impressed by how it turns out and watch in awe! *laughs*

Question: Does Ichigo talk to you with Morita-san's voice when you imagine him in your mind?

Kubo: It happens. *laughs* I've told Morita-san about it.

Morita: When I heard about it, I just had to look for that scene.

Kubo: It's when the crew returns from Soul Society, when Ichigo says „Ijime?“*2 *laughs* (* Ijime = bullying)

What you want to portray

Kubo: Earlier, Morita-san was saying how a story is born when people interact*3. I agree with that. For me, drawing comics is not about drawing lines and faces, but about portraying the mood. So whether or not you're working on a novel or a comic, you work to portray the mood on paper with words and drawings. Like for example backgrounds. Backgrounds can tell you where a character is, but I don't think it's that important. I don't want to draw a background if the focus is on the character. In Bleach, a lot of the times when a new character appears, I leave the background white*4. I want the reader to feel the mood the character gives when they're there. Characters make the setting real, so I keep that in mind when I work on each character.

Morita: When I read the comic, I can feel the mood, the tension (or lack of) that the drawings create, and I can really imagine hearing the dialogue. So when I put voice to the characters, it's important that I try to recreate that mood as much as possible without any distortion.

Kubo & Morita Q&A
Question: How do you spend your days off? Kubo: I don’t get any days off.

Morita: Same here.

Kubo: If I have any spare time, I work on colouring or some other task. It's so rare to get any time off; I don't remember what I did the last time I had time off. I might give myself a few hours to go get a hair cut, but it's back to work once I get back.

Question: What's the number one thing you want to do right now?

Kubo: I'm not sure… If I think about what I want to do everyday, I think I'd go crazy! How crazy is it that I haven't been able to do anything I want to for the past two years??

Question: Kubo-sensei, do you ever think about moving on and working on a different project?

Kubo: I try not to think about it. When I start thinking about something else, my mind shifts away to it, and if I focus too hard on it, my mind my ideas [for BLEACH] start to blur. So, if something pops up, I satisfy it with just sketch of a character or two for it, and leave it at that. I try to keep my mind focused on Bleach as much as possible. I could make a lot of side-stories for Bleach, but if I make a side-story for something else, then Bleach won't turn out the way I'd like it to so I've never wanted to make one.

Question: What kind of work would you like to do in the future then?

Morita: Work wise, I'd like to do some stage work. I started off acting on stage, so I'd like to go back to acting on stage and on TV, but that's quite a ways into the future. I just don't have the time with how things are right now.

Kubo: Designing work. I'd like to do some fashion designing*5&6. I'd have to do a lot of studying for it, but. Maybe a few years from now, I'd like to give fashion designing and interior decorating a try.

About the poetic verses
Question: The story about Aisen*7, I liked the title!

Kubo: Thank you.

Morita: The poetry you have at the beginning of the comic books is impressive too.

Question: How long does it take you to write one?

Kubo: I have some written already. When something inspires me, I write it down, and later I pick out the ones that work for the scene I'm working on.

Morita: So you have a book full of them?

Kubo: Yes I do! I think I have about 50 written down. They could be about a character's image, or what they're thinking about. If I can't find one that fits into my idea, then I think about it until I do. It's quite tough if I can't find anything good in my stash.

Question: Is it like that now too?

Kubo: Yeah. I have to think of some for the upcoming Character Book. I was told they'd like some [poetry] in the Character Book and Anime Book just recently, so I'm struggling to come up with something good*8.

The feel of satisfaction
Question: Kubo-sensei, when do you feel satisfaction when you're working?

Kubo: I guess that would be when I'm able to draw out exactly what I've imagined. I only get 19 pages to work with every week, so I have to cut out some stuff on occasion. It rarely works out perfectly, but when it does, it feels great!

Question: Parts of your work sometime seems like a scene from a movie. Like when Hinamori goes after [Ichimaru] Gin right after Aizen's death*9.

Kubo: That's actually one of the scene's that worked out as I wanted. It's one where I was able to portray everything with the right techniques, so I'm happy to hear you say that.

Morita: It's one of those things that you can read on without really noticing. But after you go over it again, and think about the frame size on each page or the kind of effects he's using, you realize how well it's drawn out.

Kubo: There's still a lot I'd like to develop on. If I had infinite time that is. Like more about [Zaraki] Kenpachi. I'm sure I'll be able to somewhere down the storyline.

Question: I really wonder who Yachiru refers to

Kubo: I plan to bring it up. It's a secret for now.

Morita: And the Four Noble Houses?

Question: Kuchiki and Shihouin and Shiba?

Kubo: No, not Shiba. When they were around, it was the Five Nobel Houses. There are a lot of other ideas I'd like to work on, but I'll only bring up ones that are really good. You'd only want the best right?

Morita: I'm looking forward to it! *laughs*

A message to the fans
I read every single letter that is sent to me. Your thoughts and opinions are what really keep me going. Please keep the fan letters coming! *laughs*

*1: After Recording the First Episode
The first ever animated version of Bleach was shown at the Jump Festa Anime Theater 04. It was also Kubo-sensei's first attempt at voice acting, doing the role of Kon. How did he do?

*2: Returning from Soul Society
The dialogue by Ichigo as he and the crew run through the tunnel connecting the real world with Soul Society.

*3: Chat with Morita-san
See the animated conversation recorded for the animation book VIBES.

*4: The White Backgrounds
The return of Aisen after his faked death. As Kubo-sensei mentioned, the background is white with nothing drawn behind him.

*5: The Other Talent
The shirts that Ichigo wears are all designed by Kubo-sensei. They're a popular item from the Shonen Jump store!

*6: The Lace Fairy
Ishida goes wild fixing up Kon. The birth of a fancy Lace Fairy!

*7: The Story about Aisen
The body of Aisen pinned against a building. The title of the story was “Like a flower on the side of a cliff.

*8: Struggling on Poetry
On the inside of the covers of the comic books, you can find poetic verses that Kubo-sensei worked on.

*9: The Feel of Satisfaction
See Comics Book 9, Story #101

“DawnFire“ said:

“Syn“ said:
Thanks to Orihime who found the interview:

SJ: What would you give Rukia as a present?

Tite Kubo: A vacation! She's been busy all year.

SJ: Is there a character that you enjoy drawing especially?

TK: I tend to prefer characters that are rough and tough. They seem more three-dimensional. I'd say someone like Kenpachi. Komamura's fun to draw, too. Behind his headgear, he's got the face of the wolf -- something you normally wouldn't think to draw.

SJ: So you like fierce characters?

TK: Yes, I like characters that aren't typical or a bit unusual. I enjoy drawing secondary characters. It's also fun drawing Mayuri.

SJ: If you could switch places with one of the characters for a day, who would it be and why?

TK: I'd switch places with Kon. He seems so carefree, and everybody loves him in one way or another.

SJ: What items from the human world does Kisuke sell in his shop?

TK: Basically lots of candy and snacks, and household items. Small things, like detergent.

SJ: Could we find copies of SJ there?

TK: You won't find SJ. Kisuke doesn't have a distribution channel. But he does buy copies from himself at a nearby convenice store. [Laughs]

SJ: Are kimono easy to draw?

TK: Initially I wasn't all that interested in a traditional Japanese look, so it was hard at the start, but I got used to it. I wanted a kimono style that was slightly different from the usual. For instance, I wanted some decoration along the edges and sleeves that fluttered a lot to make the action scenes gorgeous to watch.

SJ: Do you use models or have one of your assistants pose for you? Have you ever dressed as a Soul Reaper and posed for a drawing?

TK: I don't do such things. I know in my head pretty much what a character is going to look like, so for any action scene I'll make the character move around in my head, choosing the angle I want and drawing from there.

SJ: How can Ichigo swing a sword that looks heavier than he is? Is he secretly working out at home?

TK: Well, no. To begin with, a zanpaku-tou isn't something you'd swing with your muscles. Ichigo's zanpaku-tou comes from inside him, so he wouldn't find it heavy. If Ichigo tried to wield Renji's zanpaku-tou, Zabimaru, he'd find it heavy.

SJ: So it depends on the person?

TK: Yes. Zabimaru looks pretty heavy, too. Ichigo wouldn't be able to wield him. Renji would probably find the same thing with Ichigo's zanpaku-tou, Zangetsu.

SJ: The relationships between siblings mean a lot in Bleach. Do you have any brothers or sisters yourself?

TK: Yes, I'm the eldest of three children. I have a younger sister and a younger brother.

SJ: If you could choose a character as a sibling, who would it be?

TK: I'd choose Rangiku, I wish she were my older sister. [Laughs] Well, that's because you cna count on her when you're in trouble.

SJ: And you want to be Kon, too?

TK: Hey, I didn't mean that! [Laughs]

SJ: Could you tell us which characters you would want to see fight each other?

TK: Hmm...I'd pick Shunsui and Ukitake.

SJ: Why is that?

TK: Because they're both nitouryuu [two-handed swordmen] which would make for fantastic visuals. Also because I can't imagine a reason they would fight each other in the story. They get along so well; they have been best friends for so long. I'd want to see what I fight between them would be like. If I had to pick one that's simply impossible, then I'd choose Ichigo and (dundundun! ) Kaien. Kaien being dead, that is.

SJ: Bleach is increasingly popular in the U.S., now that the anime is airing on TV. What aspect of the anime do you want readers of the manga to enjoy the most?

TK: I think what's fun in the anime and what's fun in the manga are two different things. What's fun to see in the anime is, of course, the way things move and sound. What I recommend most is to read the manga first then watch the anime. You'll discover and enjoy how a particular scene in the manga is transformed and how the action is portrayed. Some things in the manga have evolved into something new or have been shown in a way only the anime can achieve. These are the things that I hope readers will enjoy most when watching the anime.

SJ: Do you have a message for our readers?

TK: I never imagined when writing Bleach that it would be eventually published in the U.S., so I'm really glad that American readers have taken to it and enjoyed my work. Please continue to support Bleach. I've also been told that I shouls visit America someday.

Continued from post 1:

Souls and Vibes interviews

“kaya“ said:
realized there is no SOULs interview translation at all so I translated it to share with everyone here.

SOULs and VIBEs' interview are connected and SOULs' continued from VIBEs.

VIBEs' interview has been translated by our lovely Melodymix so it is advised to read VIBEs' first and then this one.

Enjoy! :)

Creator Kubo Tite and Kurosaki Ichigo's voice actor. Masakazu Morita's "BLEACH" special interview
"SOULs is focused on Kubo sensei
K- is Kubo
M- is Morita

Both first meeting and impression

When is Kubo sensei and Morita san's first meeting?
At the earliest recording(*1), I took the role as Kon; that should be the time we first met.
M: Because on that day, I have other jobs to do, I just stay for a while. Therefore we were really just passing by, even our conversations didn't consist more than a few words

-Both impressions on each other?
M: He is a very reserved person.
K: He is a very lively, really passionate person. Although I am someone who is difficult to mix with people who are very outgoing, luckily Morita san is very approachable. In a favorable coincidence and common interests, we quickly become closer.

-About TV animation "Bleach"

Q---Have Kubo sensei seen the anime before?
Of course I watched it. Before the anime is broadcast, I've gotten the tape and seen it.

What is your feeling?
K: From the beginning to the end, the original work is done by me alone, while the animation is a product of a team that requires multitudinous people to understand, to interpret, and then to compile everything together.For that reason, it will make me even more "restless" to watch it. *laugh*

Did any line spoken by Ichigo as Moritan san's voice even appear in sensei's mind?
Sometime.*laugh* I have messaged about that part to Morita san.
M: When I heard it, I even searched for that one particular scene vigorously.
K: That was from the scene where he is leaving Soul Society back to the modern world, of the spoken line, "Bullies!" *laugh*(*2)

(*1) The recording is that pilot episode for the show, shown in Japan at the Jump Festa 2004 Anime Tour("BLEACH Jump Festa 2004 Anime Tour: Memories in the Rain")Kubo sensei debuts as voice actor, voices Kon in this special.
How does everyone thinks of his performance?!

(*2) The line that is spoken by Ichigo, the part about back to the modern world, when they required going through the dangerous "Dai-gai" once again.

[size=“3“]"I think drawing is just like illustrating the "air"." [/size]

About "drawing ideas"

K: Didn't Morita san just mentioned "Connection to one another and a story is born."(*3), I think it was marvelously well-said.
I think when I am drawing, I wasn't just clarifying the lines, but illustrating the "air".
Therefore, no matter in drawing or writing,neither words nor lines, but singularly illustrating the "air". I always have this feeling of bringing the "air" into the paper when drawing.
How to phrase it, every panel should have a background.
Backgrounds are drawn to remind the reader where is the characters situated. However, I feel that it was not that important. In this manner, at the very panel when a character is exceptionally distinctive, I don't feel like filling the background at all.

In BLEACH, when a new character debuts, the background is actually white.(*4)
The reason is I want the readers to savor the atmosphere of one's surrounding through the characters themselves.
I believe that the world coexists with the characters and shaped, so I would hold this belief of "I want to shape this world" and pen it down.

M: When I read the manga, I can experience this kind of atmosphere; sometime intense, sometime 'delicate'. Because of that, I can even frequently hear the voices of the work as a role of a voice actor. How to conserve its most genuine state, to converse it most genuinely, that is very significant.

(*3) Please look up Moritan san's conversation in Animation book, 'VIBEs".

(*4) The White Background
The scene which Aizen is appeared alive.
It was just like what Sensei has mentioned that the background is white, but nothing is drawn behind the character.

Kubo and Morita Q&A

How do you spent your vacation?
K: I have no vacation.
M: Me too.
K: When I am free, I would do some colorings. I don't even remember what I'd done for the last vacation. I didn't rest. The most is I spent a few hours outside, cutting my hair. Once I reached home, it's work again.

What is the thing you want to do the most now?
K: Now that you asked, I am unsure too. On account of the normal days whereby I just need to ponder what to do, my mind would be in a tangled mess. The things I wanted to do 2 years before, I can't do them anymore now.
What is happening?

Kubo sensei, have you ever think of working on a totally different work?
K: I try my best not to. Once you decided, your heart and mind will tend to lean over there as well. And once you concentrated too much, the other work would be discarded. So that's why I would try my utmost best not to think, and once I think of one, I would use my characters to divert the attention. Thus, I would only dedicated to BLEACH.
However, if it is BLEACH's side chapters, then I can draw. Someone mentioned of "trying other type of side-comics, but then it would make me grow distanced to BLEACH, as it has some difficulties, so until now, I didn't try.

Let's not talk about the present. What about the future?
M: If it is about career, I would challenge acting.
Originally, I can be considered someone from the theater field, and I considered of being in a performance or film before... But that is a faraway future. In the current state, I can only dream but I don't have the time to start.
K: In the area of design.
I would like to be the field of fashion design.(*5 & *6) Or maybe I should be practical and start investing first. I don't know whether I would have the desire to do it a few years later, but I would like to be in the fashion industry, and maybe I should try furniture design as well.

(*5)The designer shirt wore on Ichigo is another Kubo sensei's talent. It is currently the best-seller in "JUMP SHOP"

(*6) "The lacy fairy"
Ishida's pride, helping to fix up Kon, born into fantasy "The Lacy fairy"!

About the work's poetry

The title of Aizen's story(*7) is pretty interesting.
K: Thank you for your compliment.
M: The poem at the front of every volume too.

Around how long does it takes to write a poem?
K: Those are what I collected a few years before.
When I think of an idea, I would just jot it down, and then find a suitable one later.
M: So you have a small note book?
K: That is a must. I already owned about 50. For example, it can be about the vibes the characters leaves, or just writes about the thoughts of the characters. If the poems I complied didn't suit the intended character, then I would keep contemplate of one that is most suitable. If even now I couldn't think of any, then it would really means trouble.

So you still this feeling even now?
K:[/b] Definitely.
Moreover, I was asked all of the sudden for SOULs and VIBEs, that every volume has to insert a poem, and now it has given a big headache.(*8)

-The satisfying moment

When Kubo sensei is at work, which moment give you the best satisfaction?
It should be the scenes that I always wanted to draw and I can still follow my heart and present it.
Every week, there are only 19 pages, so some scenes has to be cleared. Although it is hard to have a moment whereby everything you want is ideally portrayed,but when you get the smooth ride, it is pretty satisfying.

People say your work give off the impression "like watching a movie". For example, after Aizen's death, the before and after panels of Hinamori/Gin's battle.
K: That particular scene(*9) is among one of my most satisfying moment.
The reason is that scene expressed the portrayal of manga-paneling extremely well, and hearing this from you made me very happy, Thank you.
M: About this point, if you don't pay enough attention, you will missed it. And after you study the paneling and when you realized "so it was presented in this way", it would really give you a shock. How can someone draw out something so delicate like this?
K: There are still quite a lot of things I wanted to draw, and if i have unlimited amount of time, like Kenpachi's story, sooner or later I would put into the plot.

I am so curious about Yachiru's back story.
K: I will draw them. I still can't say it out now.
M: And the four nobles are?

Kuchiki and the Shihouin... and the Shiba?
K: The Shiba is not. At the beginning when the Shiba is part of the five nobles, I even thought of all other related ideas. However if it is not required, then there isn't a need to draw the out...
I want to portray the very best.
M: I am so looking forward to it. *laugh*

Words to the readers
Every readers' letters that sent to me, I have read every single one of them. Your feedback are going to be my biggest support. I look forward to everyone's letters. *laugh*

-Tite Kubo working laboratory
--Kubo sensei is an avid music lover. In every corner of the studio's wall-shelves are filled with CDs.
-- Kubo's sophistication to interior design, on the desk that is multi-functioned, BLEACH is born.

“Rain“ said:
SJ: You're obviously into music. Do you listen to different kinds when you're thinking up the story and drawing it?
TK: I never know when a story idea will come to me or what I'll be doing when it happens. I don't listen to music when im writing. if i listen to music, i start tof ocus on listening, so i dont do that. but i do listen to music when i draw.

SJ: Do you like any type of music in particular?
TK: I listen to rock. Its my favorite

SJ: What music do you recomend reading bleach to?
TK: It would depend on the scene. Ideally, you'd listen to the music that I imagined for it. that said, every scene would have music to go with it, so it could get hard to explain *kubo laughs*

SJ: Should readers listen to background music when they're reading the managa? Or should they skip the music and focus on reading?
TK: I think either is fine. Ive listed the theme music for each character in the manga volumes. if you listen to that while you read scenes with the characters in them, they'd probably go together well

SJ: How how often do you get away from your studio? And what do you do in your spare time?
TK: I go out enalry everyday. Ive moved closer ot the center of Tokyo, where there are lots of places to eat and plenty of staore, too. I spend my tiem either eating or shopping

SJ: What do you eat when its crunch time
TK: I don't really eat when im busy *kubo laughs* But i do eat tiny chocolates. i lvoe chocolate. Itadakimasu* (SJ gave kubo a chocolate)

SJ: do you have a favorite food or drink
TK: I wonder what that would be. These days, its fuit

SJ: What kind of fruit?
TK: What dio you call mikan in America

SJ: They're called Mandarin oranges
TK: I wan't used to eating fruit, but i got a new editor whos been bringing me some fuit to cheer me up. they're rich in vitamins. Ah, so thoughtful...! *kubo laughs*

“debbiechan“ said:
Haha! There was a Part ONE to the interview Rain posted earlier! I found it in my son's Shonen Jump the June Issue (which I thought I'd read but I guess I'd skimmed over it). Anyway here it is.

Astute readers of Bleach will have noticed by now that the manga is unusual in more ways than one. For instance, where else can you find characters with names like Grimmjow? Or tons of characters each with a cool unique look? Being as curious as you are, we put our questions to the man behind it all, Tite Kubo himself. Here's what he told us.

SJ: There's a lot of Spanish in Bleach How did you get interested in the language?

TK: Spanish has always sounded bewitching and mellow to me.

SJ: Bleach uses and amazing number of special terms, like he names of the different zanpakutou (swords) and hadou (spells). When we interviewed you a while back, you told us that they were inspired by ancient Japanese literature. Where did you get the inspiration for the Arrancar names? They're so distinctive.

TK: This isn't something I normally do, but I got the idea of the Arrancar names from those of architects and designers. There is, in fact, a furniture designer named Ulquiiorra. And Grimmjow is inspired by an architect named Niicholas Grimshaw.

SJ: Oh, we're sure the American Bleach editor will be happy to know that!

SJ: You have such unique character designs that it's always easy to tell who's who, even with all the new characters in the Arrancar-Vizard storyline. How do you come up with so many designs, and do you have any tips for us?

TK: I don't have any tips (laughs). I've discussed this with other mangaka who've asked me the same thing. I can't figure it out myself. It could be because I like observing peoples' faces... that might have something to do with it. I've been doing that since I was young.

SJ: Do you people watch in cafes?

TK: I don't go anywhere in particular. It just happens in my daily life, like when I'm on a street and see people walking by or when I'm on a train.

SJ: Don't people recognize you when you're out?

TK: Not at all. I normally don't show my face in very public situations.

SJ: Do you consciously create characters whose outward appearance belies their true nature? For instance, are there good guys with mean looking faces and bad guys who look gentle?

TK: I've always been attracted to people with that seeming contradiction. I get this urge to draw people like that when I work.

SJ: Kon is such a character

TK: Oh, yes. He's cute on the outside , but... (laughs)

SJ: Evil inside?

TK: He's actually quite naughty. (laughs)

“debbiechan“ said:
page 27 US Shonen Jump August 2008

hink getting feedback on your fan art from your beloved mangaka is like asking for the moon? Guess again. We got Bleach creator Kubo-sensei to comment on a few pieces of fan art you sent in. How cool is that? We can't promise a response to all your queries and requests, but it pays to keep the dream alive. Just keep on drawing!

Here's what Kubo-sensei said:

"They're great. The thick outlines make some look like product designs. You know, I was imagining that American readers would draw in American comics style, since the Japanese style is so different. But the drawings are closer to the Japanese style than I expected."

“Kreed“ said:
over in B.E. member IchiRuki08 posted this link,has this been posted here already? its a bit more in depth of the san diego comicon events,if it has been posted i'm so sorry.

heres the link:


“vaizado“ said:

“Enth“ said:
This isn't really an interview, but an article of Kubo being asked questions by fans at a Comic-con panel, but it's very interesting all the same :) I've bolded the bits Kubo says, and I've underlined one part that made me really happy to know;

After a brief introduction by the Viz staff, questions written by panel attendees were read to Kubo-san. When asked to give his impressions of Comic-Con and America, he said "Compared to Japanese events it's immensely huge.

This is my first time in America as well as abroad. For this I obtained my passport!" When asked if he'd done any drawing or work on Bleach while he was in San Diego, Kubo was quick to joke "I work hard in Japan so I can come here!"

As a special treat to panel attendees, a visual tour of Kubo-san's studio was presented. Fans were held in awe of the nearly 2000 CD's in his collection. "I choose the music" he said with authority when asked who controls what his assistants listen to while working. Fans also got a good laugh about the extra clean kitchen on the premises. "It's very clean because we don't cook!" he laughed.

After the tour was over, it was back to the Q&A. When asked what he might have chosen as a career had he not become a manga artist, he responded "I decided to become a manga artist when I was in elementary school, so when you ask about other careers, I really don't have one." He also had a lot of advice for aspiring manga creators: "Believe in your talent, no matter what others may say. It is important for others to enjoy it, so you must enjoy it. If not, you're being dishonest."

The questions then turned to Bleach. Where did the inspiration come from? "I wanted to draw Soul Reapers wearing kimonos. Rukia at first wasn't wearing a kimono, so I put her in one. Bleach grew out of that." One attendee asked about Chad's Mexican background. "It wasn't intentional," Kubo replied. "When I first started drawing Chad, it just seemed that he should come from a Mexican heritage." When asked why he created the Quincy, he offered a lot of insight. "I created the Quincy to be Ichigo's rivals, which is why they wear white clothing. Also, they use bow and arrows, which makes them harder for Ichigo to fight."

(POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT) One fan asked if there would ever be a back story for Ichigo's dad. "I will draw it!" he responded to thunderous applause. "When I finished drawing the first chapter, I knew he was a Soul Reaper."

Some final questions dealt with his artistic style and ability. "Nobody poses for me when I'm doing action scenes. I usually have rock music playing and it comes out of that. When I think about the story, if it's something I want to draw, I usually have these random scenes I want to draw, so my real job is trying to connect those scenes."

Continuing from post 2:

“debbiechan“ said:
Another Kubo interview from SDCC.

I remember Jaina talking about overhearing this one because Kubo was dodging the romance questions. That makes all the interviews he gave that are out except for hers which comes out in Anime Insider on Sept 17 and the "leftover" questions from the panel which will be out in the October issue of America's Shounen Jump.

From here: http://manga.about.com/od/mangaartistinterviews/a/TiteKubo.htm
It appears to incorporate the panel questions as well.

Q: First of all, welcome to San Diego. It's been so exciting to have you here at Comic-Con!

Tite Kubo: Thank you! It's great to be here. I was really looking forward to coming to America. This is really my dream come true.

Q: You got this incredible rock star-type reception from your fans today! Did you expect that?

Tite Kubo: I had heard before that American fans are very, very enthusiastic, but I didn't expect this much!

Q: When did you realize that you had such a broad fan base in America?

Tite Kubo: Yesterday. (laughs)

Q: What are your impressions of San Diego Comic-Con so far? Is there anything like this in Japan?

Tite Kubo: This is really impressive. Compared to Japanese events, Comic-Con is immense! I go to Jump Festa, but compared to that, Comic-Con is many times larger.

Q: Is this your first visit to the U.S.? What do you think?

Tite Kubo: It's the first time for me to be abroad from Japan. I got my passport just so I could come to this event. Compared to Japan, the sunlight is very different and it's very strong. It makes things look very colorful as well.

Q: I heard that you have to draw 19 pages of manga every week, and that you drew ahead so you could take a break to come out to San Diego. Have you done any drawing since you've been here?

Tite Kubo: I worked really hard so I could take the time to come here, so no, I haven't worked on any drawing since I've been here (big smile).


Q: When did you decide to become a manga artist?

Tite Kubo: I had already decided when I was in elementary school. When I became a manga artist, I became interested in architecture and design, but I've really only wanted to become a manga artist.

Q: Which artists influenced you then, made you feel like it would be really cool to become a professional manga artist?

Tite Kubo: Hmm. My number one favorite manga then was Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro (by Shigeru Mizuki)! I've always liked the yokai (monsters) in that series. The other one that I liked a lot is Saint Seiya (a.k.a. Knights of the Zodiac by Masami Kurumada) -- the characters all wear armor and have interesting weapons.

Q: Huh! I guess that makes sense. I can kind of see some of the influence of both series in Bleach -- the Japanese supernatural themes from Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro and the weaponry and battle scenes from Saint Seiya.

Tite Kubo: Yes, I think so, definitely.

Q: What was your inspiration for Bleach?

Tite Kubo: I wanted to draw Soul Reapers wearing kimono. When I first designed Rukia, she wasn't wearing kimono, but i wanted to create something that no one has seen before. From there I created the world of Bleach.

Q: You've been drawing Bleach since 2001, seven years now. Has it changed dramatically from what you thought this story would be when you first started drawing it?

Tite Kubo: At first, I didn't plan that there would be Taicho, the head Captain of the Soul Society. The captains, they didn't exist at first.


Q: What comes first? the characters, or the story's plot?

Tite Kubo: (emphatically) Characters first!

Q: Bleach has so many characters with so many different powers, weapons, personalities and relationships! How do you come up with them?

Tite Kubo: I really don't intend that characters have certain personalities when I come up with them. Sometimes I can't think of any new characters. Then other times, I come up with 10 or more new characters.

Q: Are there any characters that you thought fans would love but didn't, or a character that caught on with fans in a way that you didn't expect?

Tite Kubo: I don't really recall any characters that I've created that I thought fans would love but didn't, but usually I notice that when I start describing a character's personality or back story, the fans start to really respond to them, and really start liking them.

However, in the case of Suhei Hisagi (Lieutenant / Acting Captain of Squad 9), fans got hooked on him before I even started describing his personality, so that was very unusual.

Q: Are there any characters that are most like you?

Tite Kubo: I feel like all the characters have a little bit of me in them! (laughs)

Q: How do you come up with the clothes for the characters in Bleach?

Tite Kubo: I just put the characters in the clothes I wish I could buy, but can't find in stores.

Q: What do you consider to be Ichigo's greatest strength and his greatest weakness?

Tite Kubo: His strength is that he is always considerate and thoughtful. He always thinks about other people's needs. That is a great strength, but it's also his greatest weakness, because worrying about his friends puts him in danger too, sometimes.

Q: Speaking of Ichigo's relationships with his friends, there seems to be a love triangle between Ichigo, Rukia and Orihime. Do you delve more into this in later volumes?

Tite Kubo: (laughs) I get asked about that a lot! I don't want to make Bleach into a love story because there are much more exciting things about their personalities and things that they can do instead of getting into the romance aspect of their relationships.

Q: Your male characters are great, but your female characters are also very strong, interesting women. Are you influenced by strong women in your life when you create these characters?

Tite Kubo: I have quite a few female friends who are not physically strong, but mentally, they are really very strong people.

Q: Do you have a favorite female character in Bleach?

Tite Kubo: Hmm. Yoruichi and Rangiku! Their attitude is like, they just don't care what people think of them! (laughs) I have a lot of fun drawing them and creating stories with them.

Q: What inspired you to have a Mexican character like Chad and to include Hispanic culture in Bleach?

Tite Kubo: It wasn't something intentional. When I designed Chad, he looked like he had a Mexican heritage, so I just wrote that in.

Q: How did you come up for idea of the Quincies?

Tite Kubo: I created Qunicies to be Ichigo's rival characters, so i put Uryu in white clothing (compared to the black kimono worn by the Soul Reapers). Qunicies use arrows because they're long range weapons, so it's difficult for Ichigo to fight them with his sword, which is more for short range combat.

The Quincy cross has 5 points, kind of like the the Japanese 5-pointed star. 5 points, quintet, Quincy! Quincies use arrows, so if you call them Qunicy archers, it sounds like a name, so I kind of liked that.

Q: Is the Kon doll based on anything from your childhood?

Tite Kubo: I wanted to create something that looks fake, that looks like something that was just random things put together. Normally you don't have a sewing line in the middle of a stuffed doll's face unless it's done to make the face look more three-dimensional. But look at Kon! His face is flat so that line is unnecessary -- so I kind of like that fact.

Ichigo and Rukia first find Kon on the street, so I made up a back story about how he got there. At a festival, a child wanted a stuffed animal, but since the one that he wanted was too expensive, so the parent bought a cheap one instead. The child didn't like it and threw it away, so that's why the Kon doll was found on the street!


Q: One thing your fans love about your manga is that you always keep them guessing. Do you plan very far ahead how your characters will interact with each other, and the various plot twists you throw into your stories?

Tite Kubo: After i finished drawing chapter one, I already knew that Ichigo's dad Isshin would be a Soul Reaper. At the time, I didn't plan on having leaders in the Soul Society, so I didn't plan on him being one of the leaders.

Q: Will you feature a back story about Isshin?

Tite Kubo: Yes, I will draw it!

Q: One thing I enjoy about Bleach is that there are many moments of humor as well as drama. Is that intentional to break up some of the heavier moments in the story?

Tite Kubo: I don't really plan on it, but when I get bored drawing battle scenes, then I throw in a joke or two to make it more fun for me.

Q: How do you draw your action scenes? Do you have models?

Tite Kubo: Nobody poses for me -- I just have rock music going in my head and just imagine the action scenes. I pause the action and rotate the characters and find the best angle, and then I draw it.

Q: What part of the creative process do you enjoy most?

Tite Kubo: When I think about the story, if it's something I've wanted to draw for a long time, it's fun.

I usually have this rundown of scenes I want to draw in my head. My job is to try to make it interesting. When it comes to drawing a scene I really want to do it's fun. When I draw the connecting scenes, I try to make it lively. And when it comes to inking, I really enjoy doing that work too.

Q: You're already up to 33 volumes of Bleach -- how much longer do you think this story will go?

Tite Kubo: I can't really say how long this story will be by the time it ends, but I have a few more stories that I want to tell, so this series will go on for a while. (laughs)


Q: Let's talk a bit about your encounters with your fans this weekend. Are there any memorable experiences, or anything that stands out in your mind as your favorite memory so far?

Tite Kubo: One of my favorite experiences so far was seeing the artwork from the winners of the fan art contest. The color illustration (by Christy Lijewski) was especially impressive. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to meet the artists, but it was really great to see their work.

Q: So as you can see, there are a lot of American fans who love manga and who would love to be a professional manga artist like you are. Do you have any advice or secrets to your success that you could share with them?

Tite Kubo: Just believe in your talent. Maybe others will tell you otherwise -- but just believe in it. It's very important for readers to enjoy what you create, so you must do something that you find enjoyable too. Otherwise, it's dishonest to charge people for something that you don't enjoy.

Q: Do you have any message that you'd like to pass on to your fans who weren't able to meet you here today?

Tite Kubo: I really get it now that American fans are really enthusiastic (about my work). I would love to come back to America again to meet more of my fans and maybe see them where they live next time.

“debbiechan“ said:

*braces self for moans of "he's been making it up as he goes along!!!!*

Wait for Anime Insider interview for the fun scoop!

PW Comics Week: When you were first creating Bleach, did you think it would be this successful?

Tite Kubo: I don’t think it’s a success yet. But I’m very, very happy to learn that lots of fans are enjoying it in a place where I’d never imagine [it would be popular]. It’s very rare and difficult for me to see fans because I’m so busy, so this is a rare opportunity for me.

PWCW: What do you think of the U.S.? And Comic-Con?

TK: My first impression is that America is so huge, so big, and the sun is very strong, very bright. Thanks to the intense light, you can see the vivid color of trees, the buildings.

Comic-Con is huge, too. It’s very interesting to see big major publishers and also independent artists drawing and selling [their comics] on the same floor. That doesn’t really happen in Japan. Also artists are close to their audience, which doesn’t happen in Japan, either. I feel envious of this situation. Artists and fans are so close, and they can get closer to each other. In Japan, artists and fans are rather far apart from each other.

PWCW: Now that Bleach has been going on for a bit, how do you keep the adventure and the story fresh?

TK: I think it maintains a freshness because when I create manga, I don’t think about what’s going to happen—I just come up with an idea and let it flow. It’s a weekly installment, so I have a very short time to create manga, but the good thing is that because it’s short, I can come up with the idea and start creating it.

PWCW: Have you ever gotten yourself into a situation that made you say, “Uh-oh”?

TK: I don’t really face that kind of situation because it’s a long story and sometimes I forget what’s happened in the past, but I read the previous volumes of Bleach and that usually helps me to create and have a new idea.

PWCW: What is your favorite aspect of creating Bleach?

TK: When I draw the scene that I’d been dreaming about or had always wanted to draw, that is the time that I’m happiest. The other time that I really enjoy is when I create new characters. But when I create new characters, it’s not usually when I’m working. When I’m running errands, it will come up in my mind, and then I’ll develop it. It’s one of the most enjoyable parts. But I enjoy drawing and creating manga, so it’s always fun.

PWCW: In both Bleach and Zombie Powder 9 [an early, unfinished work by Kubo], the theme of death is prevalent. People are haunted, family members are killed. Why is this theme important to you?

TK: When I was very small, three or four years old, I remember wondering what was going to happen to me or other people when they die. When I saw babies’ images in mothers’ wombs, I wondered where we all came from. For me, life and death are very important themes. There is no life without death. That’s why it’s very important to me.

PWCW: You mentioned that when you draw action, you choose the best angle in your head. How do you decide which is the best angle?

TK: I select the angle based on its looks. It has to be cool. And at the same time, it has to be realistic. If it’s not realistic, the reader cannot feel the pain. In a battle scene, it’s most important to make it realistic so that readers can feel the pain. I choose the action where if I were the character, I would feel the most pain.

If the flow of power or impact is not right, then the impact cannot be communicated to the reader. Otherwise it’s incomplete, and it needs to be perfect.

PWCW: How do you maintain such a demanding schedule?

TK: Hard work. (laughs) I don’t think it’s too hard. I draw faster than others so I don’t really think it’s an issue.

PWCW: You also had a message for aspiring mangaka, advising them to believe in their work, otherwise it’s dishonest to charge money for it. What do you mean by that?

TK: The message is that if you believe in what you create, it’s enjoyable and people will follow. The talented mangaka should know that, otherwise no one would read or enjoy it. So believe in yourself. Believing in yourself is important.

“vaizado“ said:

“Amaranth“ said:
Is there a reason the manga is called Bleach, or is that a secret?

The Soul Reaper - the color that you associate with the Soul Reaper is black. But "black" is too straightforward. So I thought about "white", but white is too simple. So if you put "bleach", somebody can associate that with white. So that's how Bleach came.

If you become a Soul Reaper, what division would you want to be in?
The fourth [medical], because you don't get hurt there!

One thing a lot of people have noticed is that Bleach has many different female characters, each with a distinctive strength. Is that something you took a lot of care in doing?
Usually, I don't intend to create personality before I draw. Usually I draw a character and then I know which side of her is strong and which side is weak. But sometimes the personality and the design come at the same time. I don’t think that the artists should create the character that you want it to be. I think that the character should have its own character. Let them grow: that’s my belief.

What do you think is the main theme of Bleach?
In my work, I don’t like to impose a message or theme onto the reader. I want the characters to develop on their own and create the story themselves, and it usually turns out very clever. So I tend to do that sort of thing.

Way back in the beginning of the manga, when Ichigo was first using Rukia’s powers, was he also wielding her actual sword, just much bigger? A lot of people have noticed that the marking on it were the same.
The design is the same because at that time he was bearing her power. So yes.

Was the spirit of her zanpakuto in him also?
The outside [of the zanpakuto] has the design of Rukia’s but when he was fighting at the beginning, the spirit was his – Ichigo’s. At one point during some battle, Urahara tells him that Ichigo’s zanpakuto is big, but there’s nothing in it. So at that time he hasn’t really developed his spirit in it, but he gradually starts to.

For a shonen series, Bleach spends a lot focusing on the emotions and different bonds between the characters. I’m sure you’re asked this a lot, but will we ever see any romance by the end of the series?
I don’t really intend to make it a romantic story, but it’s one of the aspects of the series, so I put it in here and there.

In some of the earlier collected volumes, you list a theme song for each character in the character profile. Do you have any songs picked out for some of the newest characters?
Usually when I draw, when I create a character, I’m playing some music in my head and that’s why I assign that music, for example, to Ichigo. So even if I don’t list it now, I do assign it, I just don’t put it on paper. But every character has a theme song.

When did Rukia have the Hogyoku put inside her?
It’s a secret!

From the beginning of the series, the team-up of Ichigo and Rukia was very important to making the series work. How did you plan it out?
Ichigo obviously needed help because he was developing his talent and strength, and here she was, so I thought they’d be a good match to help each other.

Finally, can you tell us why Aizen’s couch is so big?
The bigger, the more beautiful!

Continued from post 3:

“debbiechan“ said:
Lucia just posted these links in the IchiRuki fanclub to translations by sketchbaka of Bleach B Station 112 and Bleach B Station 103 when Kubo and Morita were guests.

Btw, I just read something really interesting from Sketch's LJ. Bleach B Station 112's guest was Kubo. He did an interview with Morita Masakazu (Ichigo's seiyuu) during the show last year. In case anyone doesn't know, Bleach B Station is a Bleach-related radio program in Japan. Sketchbaka heard the interview and did a translation of it. There are info about Rukia and where Kubo got her name from. But nothing about the meaning for it. There's also another interview from Fumiko Orikasa (Rukia's seiyuu) last year on Bleach B Station 103 as well. There are some info about Rukia and IchiRuki on it.

Re Rukia's zanpakutou: Morita mentioned that Kubo-sensei told him before that her zanpakutou is the most beautiful. Fumiko added, "He keep telling me he has a 'totteoki' (special/most valued) feeling for it." Fumiko was very happy for it.

There are some other things the seiyuu say that shippers can go to town on but the transcripts are very fun and presented here for your enjoyment

“Sheryl Nome“ said:
here's one from American SJ.

"Tite Kubo's Big Comic-Con Adventure!"
Drawing Inspiration
Shonen Jump: Did anyone inspire you to draw?
Kubo-sensei: When I create characters, I'm inspired by music rather than stories, other manga or movies. The characters then create the story. So for me, my creativity comes from music.

SJ: Are any of the characters based on people you know?
Kubo-sensei: Well, I haven't mentioned this before, even in the Bleach SOULs Official Character Book, but Kisuke Urahara is based on Snufkin. Snufkin is so cool.
[The character appears in Tove Jansoon's Moominvalley novels.]

SJ: You seem to use mythical content about death and the afterlife from Japanese folklore. Did any books influence you?
Kubo-sensei: I can't point to a particular book, but one manga that influenced me when I was small was Saint Seiya [published in the U.S. as Knights of the Zodiac], which is based on Greek mythology. Because of it, I started looking into things like myths, monsters and the afterlife. I was reading about them until around junior high school, so they might have been the basis.

SJ: What does Rukia's name mean, and why is it written in katakana?
Kubo-sensei: When I'm working, I jot down names in the margins of my notebook as they come to me. Once on TV, I saw the original type of cosmos in South America.

SJ: You mean, the flower?
Kubo-sensei: Yes. The show mentioned the name of the flower in Latin or something-like "rukia." It sounded like "Kuchiki Rukia" to me, and I wrote this down. When I created the character, I thought Kuchiki really fit as a Soul Reaper (Shinigami) name and called her Kuchiki Rukia. She had her full name from the very beginning. Later on, I learned that the word "rukia" means "light." She's like a ray of light for Ichigo, which makes the name really suit her.
[In English, the name is read "Rukia Kuchiki." The meaning of the kanji for Kuchiki is "decayed tree." When Kubo-sensei talks about light, he may be referring to the word "lucia."]

SJ: Why did you pick Bleach as the title?
Kubo-sensei: The title wasn't Bleach when I decided to draw a story about Soul Reapers. (Shinigami) This was before I drew the one-shot manga that appeared in Akamaru Jump. The weapon wasn't a sword, but a scythe. Only Rukia had a scythe and the other characters used guns. At that point, the title was Snipe [as in "sniper"]. Right before I started drawing, I began to think that a sword would be better and realized I couldn't use Snipe as a title anymore. I began looking for a title that grasped the bigger picture. Soul Reapers (Shinigami) are associated with the color black, but it would have been boring to use "black." "White," on the other hand, can suggest black as a complementary color. So I chose "bleach" to evoke the impression of the color white.
[Kubo-sensei explained to us how he chose English chapter titles for the manga. He uses a dictionaru to look up words that match his idea for the title, and ogten replaces a word with one that has a similar meaning but sounds better. Kubo-sensei didn't use a dictionary to choose "bleach" because the English word is already commonly used in Japan.]

Behind the Scenes
SJ: Will you ever do an Aizen backstory?
Kubo-sensei: Will I...? To be honest, I think part of Aizen's appeal is that he's mysterious. It probably wouldn't be good for his character if I revealed everything about him. If I felt the urge to tell, maybe I would, but I'm just not sure right now.

SJ: Does Captain Yamamoto have a larger plan for the Soul Society? He seems to have no problem with his captains dying.
Kubo-sensei: Does he? I don't have anything planned for him right now. What's interesting about Genryuusai is you can never guess his true intentions. Among the captains, like Shunsui and Unohana, there are a few who appear to have something more to them, but for now I'll have to say it's all a secret.

SJ: Will we learn who will become captains in place of Aizen, Ichimaru and Tousen?
Kubo-sensei: Probably not anytime soon. Assistant captains lack certain abilities that captains have. I personally think the assistant captains need some time before they can become captains. Renji is a major character who's pretty powerful, but put him next to the captains and you'll probably notice that he's kind of erratic... and missing a noble quality. The captains are simply on a whole other level.

SJ: Do you have any plans to make Ichigo and Rukia a couple?
Kubo-sensei: I'm not going to confirm nor deny that. [Laughs]

SJ: Which American superheroes do you admire?
Kubo-sensei: I don't know of many American comic book heroes. I only know them from the movies, but appearance-wise, I thought Cyclops [from the X-men] looked pretty interesting. He can't take off the visor. When he does, his eye power is too strong and kills people- wasn't it something like that? I think that kind of setup is great because it's so dramatic.

SJ: Will Kon ever get his own body?
Kubo-sensei: I hadn't thought about it. I like him in his current body, and I think Kon likes it, too.

SJ: He gets more attention in that body.
Kubo-sensei: That's true.

Kubo-sensei on Comic-Con
SJ: What was the most impressice Bleach coustume you saw?
There were actually two. One was Komamura, who had a wolf's face on when he took off his helmet. The other was Neliel [a character who hasn't yet appeared in the manga in the U.S.], who was in all white. Those two coustumes impressed me the most. I also saw a few Kons out there that were very cute.

SJ: We do call it Comic-Kon!
Kubo-sensei: It's an event made for Kon. [laughs]

SJ: He seems to think so.
Kubo-sensei: That's right, definitely.

SJ: We also saw on Arrancar with a mirror.
Kubo-sensei: Ah, yes. That was Grimmjow.

SJ: He had a round mirror over his stomach to look like a hole.
Kubo-sensei: That was a great idea.

SJ: What will you tell your family and friends about this trip?
Kubo-sensei: I want to tell them about everything. I'll take the time and tell them everything I can remember. I was so glad to meet the fans. I received their heartfelt welcome and felt their warmth. I want to be able to convey what I felt as much and as truthfully as possible.

SJ: Thank you so much for the interview!
Kubo-sensei: You're welcome. It was fun.

“debbiechan“ said:
I went to JUMP festival.

They voiced over the manga WJ 31st JUMP BLEACH316:Swang The Edge Down

Orikasa(Rukia), Morita(Ichigo), Itou (Renji) appears

Morita: “Its hyped up than yesterday!” then does the Bleach call

Through the smoke Kubo appears. His outfit was same as yesterday. Black jersey, a black V necked inner wear and sunglass.

Talk about the movie

They said the same thing as yesterday. Naming the original characters from Rukia’s POV was very difficult.

Orikaksa: “A strong yet gentle name Rukia would come up with”

What bits do you want everyone to focus on?

Kubo: “The relationship between Ichigo and Rukia. Their change in their own feelings”

Talk about the manga

What will happen in Karakura Town? Tell us sensei

The pillars that are broken is paid by the Captains of the division. That’s why everyone is just watching (laughs)

Kubo: “The flashback arc had many feedbacks” (Lol, shows how boring the HM arc was )

From there “Everything happened from Aizen’s betrayel” and Hayami (Aizen) appears.

He was wearing a similar clothes as Kubo, a black jacket.

I was surprised by Hayami-san. The other face of Aizen.

Kubo: “Aizen will become more evil"

Kubo: “At first I did not plan Aizen to become the shadow behind everything. I just thought he will become the enemy after he was killed

The flow to Kubo’s plan
There was trouble in Seireitei--> that’s it! Lets kill Aizen!--> The most exciting person to make him/her the culprit--> That’s it! Let’s make himself the culprit!

On the screen shows the present Captains and the past captains
In the past there was no Captain for the 10th division and the 11th division
Kubo: “In the 10th division during the flashback arc the Captain just pasted away”

Orikasa: “In the flashback arc there is a scene where Hirako goes “Lets go then” but where did they go? When will they appear again?” (end of TBTP arc)

Kubo: “I want the Vizards to appear all at once. So I am preparing a stage for them now. I can’t say when they will appear. Not anytime soon.

Morita: “When will Ichigo, Rukia and Renji appear?”

Kubo: “Ichigo will appear next week”

Sambomaster appear (the band who did the Diamond Dust Rebellion theme song)

Yamaguchi (band member): “What will happen to Chad?”

Kubo: “He will have an active role. I am still planning”

The drummer fell in love with Rukia after watching the movie. After seeing Orikasa-san he said “She’s real!” at back stage.

The sing enthusiastically “Hikari no rock” and 2 other unpublished songs

The comment from voice actors and Kubo

Orikasa: “Coming to JUMP festival makes me feel like you guys are sharing your energy with me. I will do my best in Bleach next year as well. Thank you so much”

Kubo: “Thank you all for coming today. When I went to America it made me feel that there is not much difference between the American fans and the Japanese fans as they both have no boundaries to something they love.

“Cezaria“ said:
This is the interview that appeared in Akamaru Jump during golden week.

Some highlights:

About art styles
KT says Kudo's art is "cuter" than his own. And that Kudo's Orihime has a suppleness that KT is bad at drawing.

KT says his art style always changes in the beginning, and it only started to cement after the anime started to air.

KT says his art also gets influenced by Kudo. He used to draw hair behind the ears but Kudo doesn't do that. It was then that KT realized humans don't have hair behind their ears. XD

Kudo tries to draw Orihime like KT, but he always ends up drawing her really supple and round. KT seems to like it.

KT's favorite picture of Kudo's is that DVD cover with Yoruichi.

About the new filler arc

They thought about separating Zabimaru into two people because it's a baboon and a snake.

The names of Komamura and Hitsu's bankai are all related to hell (it's pretty disturbing too)

Ichigo won't appear in the new arc, but Zangetsu will be appearing lots.

KT seems to be fond of the filler this time, he says he almost wants to draw them into the manga, but that's going to be impossible.

“debbiechan“ said:
Thanks to Pikeish for the overview translation of Kubo's recent appearance on Jump Bang on Japanese television. Kubo took questions from his fans and drew pictures on the spot. He said that Isshin would play an important role in the future and that the bodies hanging in Szayel Apollo's lab hold an important key to the story.

“debbiechan“ said:
Kubo-sensei drew a picture of Ichigo and Rukia for JumpBang and another picture of Byakuya for a guest who said her favorite character was Byakuya.

Pics below the spoiler

“Weils“ said:
Here's what Kubo Tite said during Jump Festa this year

(info taken from a Japanese blogger):













Arrancar arc to end by next mid-year (June 2010).

A short arc will follow.

After that, a new arc will begin.

Arrancar arc has been going on for 4 years.











Weekly Jump No.3 & No.4 double issue on Monday.
Front cover with Naruto.
Kubo-sensei draws the inner cover. Spread is of Rukia.
No.3,4 issue will contain news of Bleach movie #4.

“debbiechan“ said:
more from yesterday's Jump Festa appearance by Kubo from 2ch gleanings here:



“Zangetsu01“ said:

“Zangetsu01“ said:
Some info about the Jump Festa 2012
Thanks for the report, pictures and translation^^

“Ishida“ said:
New Kubo interview.
Credits to Nacchan on deathberry.com:

Q1.個性的な面々が揃うXCUTIONですが、彼らを創る過程で工夫した点、注力した点などを教えてくだ さい。
A.今までBLEACHを描いてくる途中で頭の中に出てきたキャラクターの中で「これは尸魂界でも虚圏でも 出せない。現世に居るべきだな」と思ったキャラクター達の中から、一つの集団として相性が(いろんな意味で )良さそうな連中を選んで登場させました。

Kubo-sensei comments for JUMP 53th Leisure Newcomer Mangaka Awards

Q1. We've already get the backgrounds from each members of the XCUTION but can you tell us more about the process how you first created them?

A. While I'm drawing BLEACH among the characters that keeps popping up inside my head there are this group that「Haven't appeared in soul society or hueco mundo. They belong in the real world」 I picked those who has the best looks be it individually and when being put together as a group then I put them on the manga.

Q2.一護の完現術や死神の力復活時の姿などの形態変化のデザインをする上で気をつけていることを教えてく ださい。
A.一護の完現術は特撮ヒーローのようなイメージで、小さい子達にはカッコ良く見え、長らくBLEACHを 読んでいる、或はある程度年齢のいった読者には違和感や不満を持ってもらえるものを目指して描きました。「 死覇装に戻った時」の爽快感を大きくする為に。そしてそれと同じくらい重要だったのは「衣装のイメージが一 護よりも銀城に似合う」という事です。

Q2. Please tell us more about the change of designs from Ichigo's Fullbring outfit to his new appearance when he got back his shinigami power.

A . Ichigo's fullbring outfit was based from the image of tokusatsu heroes that little kids would find it as cool. My goal when designing the fullbring outfit was to give the longtime BLEACH readers in certain age groups feels uneasy and worried, so the "relieved" impact when Ichigo is back in his shihakuso (shinigami robes) can be felt more immensely. At the same time I designed those with 「an outfit that would suits Ginjou far better than Ichigo」in mind.

A.好きなものを好きなように作れる仕事は、それほど多くありませんが、マンガ家はそれができる数少ない仕 事です。楽しんで描きましょう。楽しくなくなったら諦めましょう。自分が楽しくないものを、読者に楽しんで もらおうなんて思うことのないように。

Q3. Some messages for the contestants?

A. There are not many jobs that enables you to make something you truly love in a way that you also love. Being a mangaka is one of those few jobs. Let's draw with enjoyment, and when you can't find the enjoyment when drawing then stop because I don't think readers can enjoy reading something that the author himself didn't enjoy making it.

A/N : Right now SJ is holding contest for new mangaka, Kubo's messages is for the applicants.

Continued from post 4:

Ishida“ said:
Please Credit Estella May for the translation:

The Gotei 13 Reborn

What happened during those missing 17 months!!?

Captain of the First Division – Yamamoto Genryuusai Shigekuni

A softer Captain Commander Yamamoto

Commander of the entire Gotei 13. Lost his arm due to a sacrificial kido… But did he also change inside!?

Tite Interview

Q: What about Genryuusai’s left arm?

Kubo: He only has his right arm now.

Q: Is that all that’s changed?

Kubo: I think Genryuusai wouldn’t change much from his current state if he trained. Wouldn’t it be strange for someone who’s lived for over two thousand years to change over a period of 17 months? However, he does have unseen, inner changes.

Captain of the Second Division – Soi Fon

Following the deadly battles with Aizen and the Espadas, Soi Fon changed her hair during the 17 month period. Perhaps because the Second Division prizes quickness, her hair is now shorter.

Losing her left hand during the battle with Barragan.

The Second Division Captain, whose duty is assassination, lost her left hand during the battles at Karakura town. Thanks to the top healing skills of the Gotei, it has now been restored.

Tite Interview

Q: What happened to the hand lost to “aging?”

Kubo: Soi Fon’s left hand has been healed.

Q: What about her change in appearance?

Kubo: Her hair has changed a little. Speaking of changes, I also wanted to change Yoruichi, but her current look really suits her, so it’s difficult for me.

Captain of the Third Division – Otoribashi Rojuro

Rojuro has returned to his same position from a hundred years ago. Same as TBTP, his look is modeled on that of a western gentleman. His hair has also become more refined.
The lieutenant of the Third Division is…
Kira remains the lieutenant of the Third Division. How well does he complement his new captain!?

Tite Interview

Q: Rojuro has rejoined the Gotei 13.

Kubo: Rojuro and Izuru suit each other very well, so I decided to put Rojuro into the Third Division. I should add that Shinji returned to the Fifth Division, and Kensei returned to the Ninth.

Captain of the Fourth Division – Unohana Retsu

Unohana, who will finally turn her zanpakuto against the enemy and enter battle.

The Captain of the Fourth Division, who has the special duty of healing and is the most senior captain next to the Captain Commander, will finally enter battle, and release her reiatsu & zanpakuto in the new arc.

Tite Interview

Q: Unohana will finally fight?

Kubo: In the next arc, I’ve decided that Unohana will enter the battlefiled. Her zanpakuto’s true form will also be revealed. I can also add that when Unohana fights, she unravels her large braid.

Next time: Kubo-sensei describes the new arc’s battlefield!! Also, the Gotei 13 Reborn <Fifth Division – Ninth Division>

Bleach Pre-Publication Planning Journal

Kurosaki Ichigo and Kuchiki Rukia before publication!!

Before publication, Kubo-sensei drew Ichigo and Rukia in his journal. Looking back, Sensei says Ichigo with glasses looked like a “young intellectual.” Along with a scythe-wielding Rukia, they are truly different from the characters as they are today!!

Secret Theme – Agent of the Shinigami and Soul Society Arcs

The volume on Rukia

With the status of a Substitute Shinigami, stepping into battles to protect the living world!!

In order to protect his family, friends, and Karakura town, Ichigo became a shinigami. In Rukia’s place, he fought and confronted the hollow responsible for his mother’s death. One day, emissaries from another world appeared --------

Tite comment

Each arc has its own theme. The Soul Society arc was about saving Rukia. The Arrancar arc was about saving Orihime. The Lost Agent arc was connected to Chad. The new arc will be about…

Title is… “Snipe”

Tite comment

The original advertisement was titled “Snipe.” But I decided that it didn’t feel right, so I changed it.

Tite Idea Note

Sensei’s secret notes contain sketches of some familiar characters. This is one portion. They all look different from how they are now. We can guess that during the planning stages, Sensei had already drawn out his main characters.

Rescue Rukia from execution!!

Because she gave shinigami powers to Ichigo, Rukia was sentenced to death. In order to save his own savior, Ichigo and friends went to Soul Society. Ichigo fought several deadly battles with the shinigami protecting Seireitei, and succeeded in saving Rukia. At this time, Aizen’s deception was revealed…

Secret Theme – Arrancar Arc

The volume on Orihime

A new power enters the stage, shinigami enter full-on battle!!

After returning to the living world from Soul Society, Ichigo took up the duties of substitute shinigami again. At this time, before him appeared two new powers, the Vizards and the Arrancar. The shinigami begin battling against the Arrancar under Aizen’s leadership…

Both current and previous members of the Gotei 13 fight against the traitor shinigami and the hollows under their command!!

The Idea Note

Hirako, whose character was planned out pre-publication, finally enters the scene!!

Hirako was drawn on the very first color spread in the first chapter.

Tite comment

I originally wanted to draw stories about Ichigo’s classmates, so I drew Hirako as one.

Gradually disappearing, Rukia’s existence…

Secret Theme – The Lost Agent Arc

The volume on Sado

Time passes, although 17 months later all is well…

Aizen created disorder never seen before. In order to defeat him, Ichigo lost his shinigami powers. He got the normal student life that he’d hoped for, but also became restless as he couldn’t protect his friends. At this time, a group of people with mysterious powers appeared. The fullbringers began a battle against Ichigo and the other shinigami at Karakura town.

Receiving new powers, Ichigo continues his development…

Ichigo’s new look from “The Lost Agent Arc!!”

Before the Lost Agent Arc began, Kubo-sensei sent this sketch of Ichigo 17 months later to his editor. The armor around his arms and neck represent the mixture of his shinigami and fullbring powers. How will he continue to change in the new arc!?

“Ishida“ said:

Bleach Repeat & Reboot Vol 2 Stage

Uncovering the secrets of Bleach’s new arc for three consecutive weeks!!

The brand new battlefield that’s about to be uncovered…

What sort of story and battles will unfold in this location that’s never before entered the story? And what has happened to the Gotei 13 after the battles with Aizen?

The Gotei 13 Reborn

What happened during those 17 missing months? Vol. 2

Captain of the Fifth Division Hirako Shinji

The changes in Hirako, who has returned to the Fifth Division

Hirako has changed his bangs during the 17 months after battling with Aizen and returning to the Fifth Division. Also, same as when he was part of the Vizards in the living world, and perhaps because he likes to pay attention to his appearance, he also wears a tie.

Tite Interview

Q: What happened to Hirako’s hair?

Kubo: Since his hair can’t grow all that much over 17 months, only his bangs changed a little bit. And one day, I’d like to draw how Hinamori, who was heartbroken after losing Aizen, developed a good trusting relationship with Hirako.

Captain of the Sixth Division Kuchiki Byakuya

Expensive personal ornaments

Byakuya, who previously declared that the Captain’s haori is cheap, has changed his appearance somewhat.

Details of what Kubo-sensei has noted is not kenseikan, as well as the finely crafted Captain’s haori

Lieutenant of the Sixth Division Abarai Renji

Becoming even more wild and rough over the 17 months.

With a towel wrapped around his wrists, and a “specially made, not store bought” ornament in his hair.

Tite Interview

Q: Renji trained hard to become stronger?

Kubo: Yes.

Q: Other people trained as well?

Kubo: Yes.

Q: So they wouldn’t be troubled by even Aizen-level opponents?

Kubo: They’re not quite at that level (laughs). What can I say, they’ve become stronger. But even so, they haven’t gotten to the point where they’re not worried about Aizen-level opponents (laughs).

Q: Will they display new abilities or techniques in the new arc?

Kubo: That will be revealed. Renji’s bankai has already changed.

7th div
Komamura Sajin

armor-like shoulder adornments extended to his neck, forearm and feet

Komamura who lost his close friend, Tousen, a distressing moment
17 months after the battle, his clothing has changed.Inside where it usually covers by shihakuhou, wore an armor-like adornment

8th Div
Kyouraku Shunsui:

The origin of the colorful haori
Shunsui,who releases shikai during the battle against Starrk, the colorful haori that he wore hiddens "a history", the truth will be revealed in the next arc!?

Tite Interview:

Q: The senior captains doesn't change their appearance much, so Kyouraku did not change either?

Kubo: yes. Captains who holds the position for a very long period will not change a lot. Thats because they've undergo numerous pitched battles in the past. However, will witnesses the difference and new sides in the future battles. I guess Shunsui will go bankai. Also the haori that he wore contains some "history/background"

9th Div
Murguruma Kensei:

9th division's fateful reunion
Hisagi's saviour, Kensei is back to the 9th division to take on captain spot, the same division where Hisagi became a vice captain. They also in charge of editing for the 9th division's task[Sereitei news magazine]

Hisagi still wears sleaveless haori to inherit Kensei from hundred years ago.

With Murguruma "6" Kensei leading the "ninth (9)" division. Hisagi who inherits the number "69" became his saviour's subordinate.

The bottom banner also says that next week will be Kubo's rough plans for the next arc, as well as Divisions 10-13. Kon adds "the plans for Nee-san will also be revealed!" while blushing.

The places that have seen innumerable battles –

Naruki City
The place where Ichigo’s friend Keigo lives. The battlefield for the Lost Agent arc. The base for Xcution.
In the center of Soul Society, where the shinigami live. Soul Society itself already has 1 million years of history.
Located outside of Seireitei, separated into 320 districts.
Karakura Town
A town located near central Tokyo. Also a center of spiritual activity.
Hueco Mundo
A place that is largely desert. Barragan’s “city” is also located here.

Tite comment
The new arc is located neither in Karakura Town nor Soul Society. Although it is a new location, but it’s also “underneath somewhere” and “unexpectedly close.”

The location of the new arc is here!!!
“The concept is a place like a ‘palace made of ice.’”
Partial sketch
Two pillars immediately catch the eye in this rough sketch of the new arc’s battlefield. Behind them, there is a “palace of ice.” Perhaps the new enemies are hiding in there.
Partial sketch
Like tall cliffs and precipices. Everything is covered with ice, and what is that at the very end resembling a large waterfall…. The palace is on top of all this?

Tite comment
In the new arc, I want to draw a place like a “palace of ice.” It will be colored white, with blues and silvers as well.

Kubo-sensei confesses! The Arrancar are also in his plans!!
Tite Interview
Q: In the new arc, the shinigami will of course be represented, but will other characters from the past also appear?
Kubo: Yes, if the arrancar appear, I think they will stand with the shinigami.
Q: Will there be characters that appear in the role of a friend?
Kubo: Ulquiorra has already turned into ash. Grimmjow might become a friend. Also, what about Harribel, who is still alive? But, I wonder how I’d bring them out of Hueco Mundo. I think Harribel would not leave Hueco Mundo.
Q: Was the idea of arrancars becoming friends in your plans before this break? Or was it just a feeling that they might return?
Kubo: “They might appear.” Or it could be that “they might not appear.” (laughs) Even if they did appear, it wouldn’t be individually, but as a group.
Q: What about Nel?
Kubo: I think I will let Nel appear.
Q: I’d really like to see her interactions with Kon.
Kubo: Kon did not appear in the Lost Agent arc. But to tell the truth, he has rarely appeared since the end of the Soul Society arc, roughly five years ago. (laugh) People who only recently started reading might not know that he exists. (laugh)
Q: It can’t be that you’ve forgotten him?
Kubo: (laugh)

Will the espada return in the new arc? The editor makes a courageous prediction!!
0. Yammy –
1. Stark (extremely unlikely)
2. Barragan –
3. Harribel (unlikely)
4. Ulquiorra –
5. Nnoitra (extremely unlikely)
6. Grimmjow (very likely)
7. Zommari (extremely unlikely)
8. Szayel –
9. Aaroniero –
Previous No 3. Nel (very likely)

“Melodymix“ said:
Hiya. There was an interview with KT on chapter 307 and I have translated a part of it. I already posted it on the IchiRuki FC but I thought I might post it here as well.


About the character. 1 Until Ichigo and Rukia were made

Okay, let’s ask about this months topic “Characters”. First of all, let’s start with our main characters Ichigo and Rukia

“The first Ichigo I drew wore glasses. He wore glasses and had black hair * laugh *
He also had kind eyes… and it looks like a different person from the Ichigo we have now”

Is it true that Rukia’s design was decided before Ichigo’s design?

“Before the story was decided a Shingami uniform popped up into my mind. Unlike the design we have now it was like a uniform from Catholic school where they wore a black jacket over a white blouse with a black bowtie… and they carried a huge scissors. I thought that was what Shinigami was like. After that, to match Rukia’s design I changed Ichigo’s character design. Like Rukia had black hair so it’s best if Ichigo didn’t have black hair.”

Bleach Repeat & Reboot Volume 3

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Mar 24, 2013
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Transcript of Kubo's new German interview: http://bleach.wikia.com/wiki/User_blog:Chitamachii/Tite_Kubo_in_Germany_2013

At least he said Gin was definitely dead, so that settles one issue. And Äs Nödt is male. :p

That's disappointing. I was really hoping for Gin to come back :( I guess it's best to get confirmation one way or the other though. As for Äs Nödt, I'm not surprised... though if Kubo had to clarify it, I can't imagine how many people were confused by him lol.
Mar 24, 2013
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A lot of people were hoping for Gin to still be alive. I'm glad Kubo didn't dance around that one and settled it for us. But hey, at least flashbacks of Gin is better than no Gin.
Mar 24, 2013
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just read the interview an hour go..And I think it was okay that Gin's dead even though I admit that I am one of "them", and hopefully my avatar's still have THE chance to own some Stern Ritters..:D
Mar 24, 2013
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Oh so Aizen is alive because hes still important huh?I wonder if he will be killed off once his importance goes away....:rolleyes: It was a pretty okay interview and we at least got confirmation on Gin's status and As nodt's gender.
Mar 24, 2013
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Ahh... spam bots ^

Yeah it was disappointing about Gin's confirmation, but I'm so so glad that he just said it outright and plainly instead of something like "He got stabbed" (I may or may not be referring to Ulquiorra).
Poor Rangiku. :c


Mar 24, 2013
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Transcript of Kubo's new German interview: http://bleach.wikia.com/wiki/User_blog:Chitamachii/Tite_Kubo_in_Germany_2013

At least he said Gin was definitely dead, so that settles one issue. And Äs Nödt is male. :p

Some of the questions asked in the interview were a little pointless but I think we did get a little good out of it all too.

Other things we got were:
1. Aizen will make his return and is important to the plot. (I wonder if he will lose his immortality by the end of Bleach...)
2. We will see two new drawings from Kubo hopefully in the future. (Yoruichi vs. Ulquiorra seems like a rather interesting concept.^^)
3. Grimmjow has a deeper back-story. (Maybe someday Kubo could release it in a databook?)


Kirinjis hot springs
Mar 24, 2013
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Its really good that Kubo confirmed that Aizens story wont end here, especially when HE is the reason why Ichigo was even born.