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Bleach
BLEACH ―ブリーチ―
Bleach English Volume 1
First English Volume Of Bleach.

Publishers

Shueisha Flag of Japan
Viz Media Flag of CanadaFlag of US

Author (Mangaka)

Tite Kubo (久保 帯人)

Serialized In

Weekly Shōnen Jump (週刊少年ジャンプ) Flag of Japan
Weekly Shonen Jump Flag of CanadaFlag of US

First Japanese Issue

August 2001

Last Japanese Issue

Ongoing (On Final Arc)

Serialization Frequency

Weekly

Number Of Volumes Released

56 (57 Coming 12/04/12) Flag of Japan
51 (52 & 53 Both Coming 12/04/2012)
(54 Coming 01/01/2013)
(55 Coming 02/05/2013) Flag of CanadaFlag of US

Anime

Yes

Official Japanese Websites

bleach.com
BLEACH ―ブリーチ―

Official North American Website

Bleach @ Viz Media

Bleach
BLEACH ―ブリーチ―
100px
First DVD Volume Of The English Release Of Bleach.

Animation Studio

Studio Pierrot

Based On

Bleach by Tite Kubo (久保 帯人)

Aired On

TV Tokyo & others Flag of Japan
Cartoon Network (Toonami) Flag of CanadaFlag of US

Japanese Air Dates

October 5, 2004 - March 27, 2012

Number Of Episodes

366

Number Of Movies

4 Flag of Japan
3 Flag of CanadaFlag of US

Releaser Of Series In Each Country

Aniplex Flag of Japan
Viz Media Flag of CanadaFlag of US

Simulcast

Crunchyroll
Hulu

Official Japanese Websites

Bleach @ TV Tokyo

Official North American Website

Bleach @ Viz

Bleach (ブリーチ Burīchi) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Tite Kubo. Bleach follows the adventures of Ichigo Kurosaki after he obtains the powers of a Soul Reaper (死神 Shinigami, literally, "Death God") — death personification similar to the Grim Reaper — from another Soul Reaper, Rukia Kuchiki. His newfound powers force him to take on the duties of defending humans from evil spirits and guiding departed souls to the afterlife.

Bleach has been serialized in the Japanese manga anthology Weekly Shōnen Jump since August 2001, and has been collected into 56 tankōbon volumes as of September 2012. Since its publication, Bleach has spawned a media franchise that includes an animated television series that was produced by Studio Pierrot in Japan from 2004 to 2012, two original video animations, four animated feature films, seven rock musicals, and numerous video games, as well as many types of Bleach-related merchandise.

Viz Media obtained foreign television and home video distribution rights to the Bleach anime on March 15, 2006. Cartoon Network began airing Bleach in the United States as part of its Adult Swim block on September 9, 2006. Viz Media has licensed the manga for English-language publication in the United States and Canada, and has released 47 bound volumes as of September 2012 as well as published chapters of Bleach in its Shonen Jump magazine since November 2007. Viz Media released the first Bleach film, Bleach: Memories of Nobody, on DVD in North America on October 14, 2008. The second film, Bleach: The DiamondDust Rebellion, was released on September 15, 2009. The third film, Bleach: Fade to Black, was released on November 15, 2011. In addition, Hulu released subtitled versions of the anime a week after each episode aired in Japan.

Volumes of the manga have sold more than 72 million copies in Japan, and is one of the most sold mangas in the United States. The anime adaptation has been similarly received; it was rated as the fourth most popular anime television series in Japan in 2006 and held a position amongst the top ten anime in the United States from 2006 to 2008. The series received the Shogakukan Manga Award for the shōnen demographic in 2005, and is among the best-selling manga issues in both Japan and the United States. In 2011, Bleach was ranked 8th for top selling manga in Japan.

StoryEdit

Ichigo Kurosaki is a teenager gifted with the ability to see spirits. His life is drastically changed by the sudden appearance of a Soul Reaper — one who governs the flow of souls between the human world and the afterlife — named Rukia Kuchiki, who arrives in search of a Hollow, a dangerous lost soul. When Rukia is severely wounded defending Ichigo from the Hollow, she attempts to transfer half of her reiatsu (霊圧, literally, "spiritual pressure") energy to Ichigo so that he can defeat the Hollow. However, Ichigo takes almost all of her energy, transforming into a Soul Reaper and allowing him to defeat the Hollow with ease. With her powers diminished, Rukia is left stranded in the human world until she can recover her strength. In the meantime, Ichigo must take over Rukia's role as a Soul Reaper, battling Hollows and guiding souls to the afterlife realm known as the Soul Society (尸魂界 (ソウル·ソサエティ) Sōru Sosaeti).

As time passes and Rukia has yet to return to the Soul Society, her Soul Reaper superiors learn about her whereabouts and actions and sentence her to death for performing the illegal act of transferring her powers. Although he is unable to stop Rukia's departure to the Soul Society, Ichigo resolves to rescue her with the aid of several of his spiritually aware classmates, Orihime Inoue, Yasutora Sado, and Uryū Ishida, and the ex-Soul Reapers Yoruichi Shihōin and Kisuke Urahara. Once at the Soul Society, Ichigo and company battle against the elites of the Soul Reaper military and strive to reach Rukia before her execution.

It is revealed that Rukia's execution and Ichigo's rescue attempt both had been manipulated by a very high-ranking Soul Reaper, Sōsuke Aizen, who was previously believed to have been murdered, as part of a far-reaching plot to take control of the Soul Society. Aizen betrays his fellow Soul Reapers and allies himself with the strongest of the Hollows, the Espadas, whom he enhances. Aizen thus becomes the main antagonist of the series, and the Soul Reapers form an alliance with Ichigo.

At this point, Bleach chronicles the war between the Soul Reapers, the Espadas, and Aizen. After Aizen defeats the Soul Reaper captains, Ichigo undergoes intense training with his father Isshin who turns out to be a former Soul Reaper to become strong enough to battle Aizen alone. As Aizen is weakened by his battle with Ichigo, a spell that Urahara had previously hidden within him activates and seals him, thus ending the conflict and leaving the Soul Society to imprison him. As a result of using all of his Soul Reaper powers to defeat Aizen, Ichigo loses them and becomes an ordinary human once again.

Seventeen months later, Ichigo meets "Xcution", a group of humans possessing Fullbring powers based on Hollows and want Ichigo to absorb them. Ichigo starts training to regain his Soul Reaper powers by first developing his own Fullbring following the appearance of Shūkurō Tsukishima, the former leader of Xcution who is targeting his friends. After developing his Fullbring, Ichigo is betrayed by Xcution's current leader Kūgo Ginjō, a former Substitute Soul Reaper who had his memories rewritten to act as Tsukishima's enemy and help Ichigo gain powers to steal them. With help from Soul Society, Ichigo regains his Soul Reaper powers and starts fighting Ginjō's group alongside Soul Society's forces. The Soul Society forces end victorious with Ichigo killing Ginjō and Byakuya Kuchiki, Rukia's adoptive brother and a Soul Reaper captain, presumably killing Tsukishima.

Following these events, a group of Quincies called the "Vandenreich" declares war on the Soul Society. Ichigo once again ventures to Hueco Mundo, which has also been invaded by the Vandenreich; at the same time, the captains in the Soul Society battle a powerful group in the Vandenreich army known as the "Stern Ritter". During the invasion several Captains have their bankai stolen by the Stern Ritter. Meanwhile Captain Yamamoto takes revenge on the Quincy who stole Sasakibe's bankai and then immediately sought out their leader who he identified as "Juha Bach" who up till now was referred to by the other Quincy as "His Majesty".


MangaEdit

The chapters of the Bleach manga are written and illustrated by Tite Kubo. In Japan, they have been published in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump since 2001, with individual chapters collected in a series of tankōbon volumes, each of which includes a poem based on the cover character. The first volume was released on January 5, 2002, and as of September 2012, 56 volumes have been released.

North American licensor Viz Media has been serializing the individual chapters in Shonen Jump in North America since November 2007. As of November 2012, 51 volumes have been released, the first of which was released on June 1, 2004. On August 5, 2008, the company released a hardcover "collector's edition" of the first volume that came with a dust jacket, followed by a box set that was released on September 2, 2008, containing the first 21 volumes, a poster, and a booklet about the series.

Since Bleach's premiere, over 525 chapters have been released in Japan. Most chapter names are written in English and have katakana above them to indicate how they are read in Japanese, similar to the usage of furigana ruby characters with advanced kanji characters. In addition to the main series chapters, some chapters are published with a negative chapter number. These "negative" chapters are a flashbacks to important parts of the story that happen before the main plot of the series starts.


Volume ListEdit

Agent of the Shinigami/Soul Society/Arrancar & Turn Back the Pendulum Arcs (Volumes 1 - 48)Edit

Main article: Bleach Chapters 1 – 423


The Lost Agent/1,000 Year War Arcs (Volumes 49 - Current)Edit

Main article: Bleach Chapters 424 – current


Chapters Not Yet In VolumesEdit

These chapters have yet to be published in a tankōbon volume. They were originally serialized in issues of Weekly Shōnen Jump from December 2012 onwards.

  • 521. "A Piggy Party"
  • 522. "Love It"
  • 523. "Swords of Origin"
  • 524. "The Drop"
  • 525. "Edges"
  • 526. "The Battle"
  • 527. "Eliminate From Heaven"
  • 528. "Everything But the Rain"
  • 529. "Everything But the Rain Op.2. The Rudiments"
  • 530. "Everything But the Rain Op.3. Dark of the Moon"
  • 531. "Everything But the Rain Op.4. Dark of the Bleeding Moon"
  • 532. "Everything But the Rain Op.5. The White Noise"
  • 533. "Everything But the Rain Op.6. The Gravitation"
  • 534. "Everything But the Rain Op.7. Hole of Reproach"
  • 535. "Everything But the Rain Op.8. Defenders"

AnimeEdit

The Bleach anime series aired in Japan on TV Tokyo's Tuesday 6pm timeslot from October 5, 2004, to March 27, 2012, excluding holidays. The series was directed by Noriyuki Abe and produced by TV Tokyo, Dentsu, and Studio Pierrot.

Viz Media obtained the foreign television, home video, and merchandising rights to the Bleach anime from TV Tokyo Corporation and Shueisha on March 15, 2006. Viz Media has later licensed its individual Bleach merchandising rights to several different companies.

The adaptation of the Bleach anime premiered on Canada's YTV channel in the Bionix programming block on September 8, 2006. Cartoon Network began airing Bleach the following evening as part of its Adult Swim block. Adult Swim stopped broadcasting new episodes of the English adaptation on October 20, 2007 after airing the first 52 episodes of the series. It was replaced with another Viz Media series, Death Note, to provide Studiopolis more time to dub additional episodes of Bleach. The series began airing again on March 2, 2008, but went back on hiatus on November 21, 2009, after the airing of its 167th episode. The series returned from hiatus on August 28, 2010, on Adult Swim.

In the United Kingdom, Bleach premiered on Anime Central on September 13, 2007, with new episodes airing weekly. The English dubbed version of Bleach premiered on Animax Asia on 18 December 2009 with the first 52 episodes and season 2 premiered on 18 March 2011 this time with the original Japanese audio with English subtitles.

As of January 2012, 76 DVD compilations have been released by Aniplex in Japan. Viz Media has released 32 DVD compilations of the English adaptation of the anime, along with seven season boxsets that contain the first seven seasons of the anime. On July 29, 2009, Aniplex released a "TV Animation Bleach 5th Anniversary Box" that includes 15 DVDs and three bonus discs.

The Bleach anime series was cancelled on TV Tokyo on March 30, 2012, after 366 episodes. There is speculation that the anime will continue after the manga ends, but this has not been confirmed.


Anime FilmsEdit

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