• 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

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Thanks for sharing the translation of the interview, SandLeaf!

>Back to bleach. It was running for 15 years but Kubo never felt pressured or anything as he had more or decided on how things would go. He'd be planning for the next week while writing the current week's chapter, so that's how he kept things moving. Kubo is one who is very precise with how he spends his time, so he would have a strict schedule, one he kept until his health declined. He's the type of person who would do their summer homework at the start of vacation to get it out of the way.

I guess this point pretty much confirms that the ending happened that way because of his health issues.

Also, it seems like Jump and the editors never negatively interfered on his work. In truth, it looks like they tried to make everything possible to avoid a Yu Yu Hakusho kind of ending (as Kaizou 10 pointed above).

I'm happy to see that Kubo really was a fan of Saint Seiya. I can see how it inspired him a lot on Bleach.
 
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Interesting interview...hopes he gets better. But, I wonder why he was able to do the interview and not go to Italy...I guess the interview was before the Italy thing. But, I agree with B. Haddrell, Kubo is a professional and knows what to say. Even though he ended it the way he wanted to, I wish that he would have written it in order to fit the ending.
 
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Maybe you are right and the interview happened before the Italy journey he had to cancel. But even if not, the interview was a local event while Italy is a long journey away.

Kubo has been struggling with colds before and this is the cold season now. If Kubo didn't feel too well he could have a rest after the interview. Travelling to Italy is putting much more strain on someone who has a fragile health.
 
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This is a great interview! Thanks for taking the time to translate it.

In the end, I'm glad Kubo got to mostly stick to his original vision. I know some companies are much more lenient than others about allowing artists freedom and is sounds like Shueisha is quite strict. Regardless, Kubo still managed to get his vision across with little interference and I admire him for that. I also liked that he tried his best to stick to deadlines, even if they were almost late. Even though he sounds rebellious at times, he still puts professionalism first.
 

Polgarena

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Thank you everyone who contributed when it comes to Kubo's interview for the TBS radio. :loyal This is a very nice interview and I'm looking for the 2nd part. :)

Kubo seems to have a clear and strong vision as well as a strong author's integrity. The beginning of his mangaka career are interesting and some details look like they might come from the pages of a manga themselves. It is nice to know that an editor sought him out of after that first one-shot and that they reserved him a spot for what became Bleach's one-shot. I don't remember reading it before that a big part of Bleach's setting came from Kubo's own fear of death and afterlife. Given his health issues, it is completely understandable that some parts of the final arc weren't as elaborate as they could've been. I do respect Kubo for pushing forward despite the difficulties in order to reach that end he envisioned long ago - he owed it to his readers, his company and himself.

I found it funny that Kubo walked to the studio since he lives closeby. Other parts of the interview that caught my attention were those when he implies that he sewed the story around the most important scenes he thought of and that, just like any other artists I assume, he would feel the thrill when the finished work exceeded his expectations. The funniest part was when Kubo said that he's the type of a person to do the summer homework at the start of the holidays just to get it off. I'm exactly like that! :XD

He's not working on anything new at the moment, but I hope that the hosts will ask him something about the live action in the 2nd part of the interview.
 
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I'm not sure why it showed Shueisha being strict.

While I'm not 100% sure that it's true, I don't consider it all that usual for Kubo to be forced to read certain mangas and told to copy their styles so closely. First of all, most aspiring mangakas should already be well aware of popular series and second, the publishers are usually aware of this fact. All that should have been necessary was telling him to stick to the classic Shonen style.
 
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Thanks so much for the translation, very interesting to read things from Kubo's perspective. I'm glad for the most part he got to draw the story as he wanted. I can understand his frustration at the changes that were made in the anime but as with alot of other anime that is something that happens frequently. I admire him more now knowing that it was his determination to finish his story the way he wanted to despite his failing health so we at least got an ending even if he did skip alot of other stuff that could have been included. There are other manga I read (or have read) where the mangaka either keeps going on hiatus and the fans never know if the story would be completed or the project is not completed so I'm happy that Kubo managed to hold on long enough to at least conclude it.
 
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https://twitter.com/kiirobon/status/929440351991074816

All right, first they start off with Kubo's top three favorite Youkai. 3: Gasha Dokuro --Kubo likes it because it's huge, lol.

2: I'm not sure of the pronunciation of the name, but it's a youkai with one eye clad in black? (Anyone better at youkai than me know what it is?)

Kubo only like it because again, it's big, lol.

They're talking about where the youkai come from now, but no one is quite sure where Gasha Dokuro originates.

#1 is Nuri kabe (which the interviewers don't seem to be surprised by).

(Again, it's big. Kubo seems to have a theme running through these.)

They're talking about the types of Youkai Kubo drew when he was a kid.

Now back to Bleach. Kubo says since he finished bleach he's not up to anything else. He's mostly playing video games. He's playing Dragon Quest. (oh lord) and Monster Hunter for the most part. (So no new serials for you guys.) He actually has a switch too, so maybe people can play Monster Hunter with him? Lol the interviewer asks if he's playing games all day (From rise to sleep) and he basically confirms he is.

He did go out to Kanazawa recently and had some good food there. (Confirmed, Kanazawa does have some great places to eat.) But doesn't go out a lot.

They ask if he has any idea of what kind of series he'll do next, and he says he has absolutely nothing in mind.

They ask if he'll be okay without doing anything, --in terms of money, and he says he'll be fine though he doesn't elaborate.

So as for Bleach's ending, he actually was preparing for it about a year of advance of actually reaching that arc.

They ask how long he intends to rest after Bleach's ending, and he sites Inagaki (Riichirou?) for resting after a 7 year long serial for seven years so if Bleach was 15 years he'll rest for 15 years, lol.

(Not sure if joking or....)

(Inagaki was the writer for Eyeshield 21, BTW.)

Kubo doesn't have a car, BTW.

At the time Bleach ended (or slightly before) he was in the hospital for a broken shoulder.

It was a thing where he probably broke it a while ago but while he felt some pain during the serialization he didn't realize how bad it was until later.

He actually just finished recovery pretty recently (at the time of the interview.)

And now the part of the program where the interviewers are asking him to talk about any of his past editors he has any grudges on.

He says he doesn't have any grudges toward anyone really....

He does mention the first editor he took a picture with was Nakano, and before that he hadn't.

Apparently one of his previous editors even bought him a boxset of a TV show he really likes --also Kubo likes cakes and sweet things.

With Mont Blanc cake being his favorite. (God I'm just getting tireder and hungrier here.)

Nakano would buy him cakes as well --so despite being haughty they were pretty good buddies?

Kubo doesn't drink. (Eyyyyyy).

And now a question: How do you come up with and design new characters?
Ah, so he'd do things like write down or sketch people he sees on foreign TV shows --not so much to create new characters but because that was his hobby. He specifically says that he'd do this for foreign characters on TV. Hmm, guess he found them more interesting?

Now they're asking about the fashion sensibilities of the characters on bleach since they're usually well dressed.

Kubo says it's not like he was fixated on their fashion or anything, but...he just thinks that battle manga characters tend to wear the same thing and stuff.

Like all the Saint Seiya characters only wore shirts and jeans which he thought was odd.

So he just thought to himself "at least when they're not fighting they should wear different outfits.".

Kubo doesn't use digital tools to draw his manga.

He prefers the sounds of paper as he draws.

And besides, the digital wouldn't be good for his eyes as he plays video games when he's not drawing so it would be a heavy strain.

They're talking about the live action movie now. It will take the original manga into account and Kubo seems to be looking forward to it.

That'll be out apparently next year.

He was at a BBQ with Inagaki last summer, apparently -- and they mostly shittalked other manga, lol. (He laughed after this so he might be joking.)

The next question is about his close friendship with Usuta Kyousuke, and Kubo says he's actually one of his biggest fans.

Around when he started in Jump, Dragonball had ended, and Sugoi Masaru-san (by Usuta) and Kenshin were supporting the magazine --he was a big fan of Usuta's series.

The two formally met at a party jump threw for newbie manga artists.

Although back then he was too shy to really say anything to him. Compared to now, if Kubo were the mangaka and past kubo were the newbie, he'd dismiss himself as "unable to sell" and "this guy would be better off dead."

He doesn't have a special place he'd go to think about mangawhen he's drawing --the living room in his house was mroe than enough.

He likes working in his house cause he can work alone there.

He --like Araki was listening to American music when working on his manga ---in this case Bad Religion's American Jesus.

He'd listen to this song when he was feeling down.

To Kubo, Jump is a "Secret base" he's always admired.

https://twitter.com/JamesHanson94/status/929439914441297920
 
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