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Updated Oct 10, 2022 at 04:19PM EDT by Rebecca Rhodes.

Added Nov 09, 2014 at 12:22PM EST by Synge.

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Bleach is a Japanese manga and anime series created by Kubo Tite[1] and originally published in Shōnen Jump[2] and later in Weekly Shōnen Jump[3]. Since the beginning of its run in August 2001, the series has garnered a strong online following across the world.


The manga follows the adventures of Ichigo Kurosaki[29], a Japanese teenager who has the ability to see ghosts. He soon accidentally comes across a girl named Rukia Kuchiki[30], who comes from the Soul Society[31], a society of Soul Reapers[32] who help guide dead souls away from the world of the living. However after she is wounded in battle, she transfers some of her powers into Ichigo, causing her to later be arrested by the Soul Society. Ichigo, as well as his classmates Orihime Inoue[33], Yasutora "Chad" Sado[34] and Uryū Ishida[35], then decide to travel to the Soul Society in order to free Rukia from her sentence.


The idea for Bleach was first conceived when creator Kubo Tite decided to draw what a shinigami[4] would look like in a kimono. The design he came up with would be the basis for the Soul Reapers and the character Rukia Kuchiki. Though the series was initally rejected by Shōnen Jump, after a letter of encouragement from fellow manga artist Akira Toriyama[5], the series was picked up shortly thereafter. The manga began production in August 2001 and is still ongoing. The popularity of the manga prompted an anime series by the same name to be produced. The anime started airing on October 5th, 2004 and ended on March 27th, 2012. In addition to the manga and anime series, four animated movies based on the series have been produced. The manga reached its conclusion with its 686th chapter on August 22nd, 2016.


Sequel Series, Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War

Ten years after the anime was canceled before it could reach the finale, Bleach is coming back for new episodes as part of the adaption of the last arc in the manga, known as the "Thousand-Year Blood War." The anime will return to screens on October 10th in Japan, as Tite Kubo's manga celebrates its 21st anniversary. Bleach's new addition "will run for four split cours."

The new season announcement also made fans of the anime create several memes on social media about their excitement and expectations of the new installment to the franchise, like this Twitter[40] post by @DarkFoxTeam_ from September 11th, 2022, with a then and now cropped image of the old anime and the new version. The post earned 9,485 likes and 1,600 retweets in three days.

Sequel Leak

On October 9th, 2022, the first episode of Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War was leaked online ahead of its official premiere on Hulu and Disney+, and fans desiring to watch it have already started streaming the episode. This Twitter[41] post by @MangakaSelim shared his thoughts about watching the anime leak. The tweet received 97 likes and 4 retweets in one day.

Other Media

In March 2010 Warner Bros.[6] confirmed that it was in talks to produce a live-action film[7] based on the franchise. A series of musicals known as Rock Musical Bleach[23] have been produced starting in August 2005 with the latest premiering in August 2012. A trading card game[8] based on Bleach was produced from 2007 to 2009, and has since ceased production. Three Light Novels[9] have been produced based on the series, all of which were co-written by Kubo himself. Along with all these, numerous video games based on the series have been created[10] with first game, Bleach: Heat the Soul[11] being released on March 24, 2005, and the latest release being Bleach: Soul Resurrección[12] on August 2, 2011.

Online Presence

Bleach has an immense online following in the online anime community, and is often grouped with Naruto and One Piece into the "Big 3" of the Weekly Shōnen Jump series. The series has a significant following on sites like Tumblr [13], Reddit [14], Fanpop[15], 4chan's /a/ board[16], My Anime List[17], and DeviantART [18]. Aside from these there are also numerous sites dedicated to archiving information based on the series such as the Bleach wiki[19] and TV Tropes [20]. There are multiple Facebook pages based around the series, the most popular of which have over 400,000[21] likes and 350,000[22] likes respectively.

On YouTube there are around 2.6 million results for "Bleach".[36] The two most viewed videos (excluding AMVs) the franchise are "Bleach – Ichigo's Theme – Number One", uploaded by YouTuber All Music I Can Think Of on April 26, 2007 (shown below, left), and "Bleach OST – Stand Up Be Strong", uploaded by YouTuber LaryRecords TV on February 18, 2011 (shown below, right). As of July 2015, both videos have over 7.6 million views and 6.8 million views, respectively.


The Bleach series has spawned a significant online fanbase since its creation, which has created much fanart and fanfiction. On the Japanese video shaing site, Nico Nico there are over 1,300 videos,[26] as well as over 79,000 stories on[28].

On YouTube there are around 320,000 results for "Bleach AMV".[37] The two most viewed AMVs are "Bleach AMV: Ichigo – 'The Animal I have Become'", uploaded by YouTuber Monztor on June 9, 2007 (shown below, right), and "Bleach AMV – Monster", uploaded by YouTuber Epyon757 on July 3, 2010 (shown below, right). As of July 2015, the videos have over 6.9 million views and over 6.6 million views, respectively.

Fan Art

On YouTube there are various YouTubers who upload speed drawings of various Bleach characters.[39] The two most viewed speed drawing videos have over 343,000 views and over 309,000 views, respectively (both shown below).

On DeviantART, there are also over 847,000 images tagged related to the series[27], as well as over 39,000 images tagged under “ブリーチ” on the Japanese fanart site Pixv.[25]

20 o14 Hp//Prince Sasuke the first motion picture from the creator of bleach michelle ruff bosch ynn kon

Also on YouTube there are around 45,300 results for "Bleach Fan Animation".[38] On July 31st, 2013, YouTuber Rayjii uploaded a fan animation of the 542nd chapter of the Bleach manga entitled "Ichigo´s True Zanpakuto – Animation" with full original voice acting and music taken from the anime series (shown below, left). As of July 2015, the video has over 1.1 million views. On January 3rd, 2010 YouTuber klFiretears uploaded a fan animation titled "Fan Animation Aizen Jacks Hair Gel" (shown below, right). As of July 2015, the video has over 587,000 views.

Notable Submemes

Leekspin / Loituma Girl

Leekspin / Loituma Girl is a 2006 YouTube video featuring Bleach character Orihime twirling a leek to the tune of Finnish song Ievan polkka. As of November 2014 the video has over 6 million views.

Kubo Troll

Kubo Troll refers to the criticism of Bleach creator Kubo Tite's seemingly lazy designs where a panel will appear to be mostly blank with little to no background whatsoever.

Incarnate / The Nick Simmons Plagiarism Scandal

Incarnate / The Nick Simmons Plagiarism Scandal refers to the allegation of plagiarism directed towards Nick Simmons' (son of KISS member Gene Simmons) comic series Incarnate[24]. The series is notorious for allegedly copying panels from the Bleach manga.

Incarnate #2 pg11 BLEACH 220 pg10

Search Interest

External References

[1] Wikipedia – Tite Kubo

[2] Wikpedia – Shonen Jump

[3] Wikipedia – Weekly Shonen Jump

[4] Wikipedia – Shinigami

[5] Wikipedia – Akira Toriyama

[6] Wikipedia – Warner Brothers.

[7] Anime News Network – Bleach Live Action Film

[8] Wikipedia – Bleach Trading Card Game

[9] Wikipedia – Bleach Light Novels

[10] Wikipedia – List of Bleach Video Games

[11] Wikipedia – Bleach: Heat the Soul

[12] Wikipedia – Bleach: Soul Resurrección

[13] Tumblr – Bleach on Tumblr

[14] Reddit – Bleach Subreddit

[15] Fanpop – Bleach on Fanpop

[16] 4chan – /a/

[17] My Anime List – Bleach

[18] DeviantART – Bleach

[19] Bleach Wiki – Mainpage

[20] TV Tropes – Manga/Bleach

[21] Facebook – Bleach Anime

[22] Facebook – Bleach

[23] Wikipedia – Rock Musical Bleach

[24] Wikipedia – Incarnate

[25] Pixiv ブリーチ

[26] Nico Nico Douga – ブリーチ

[27] DeviantART – Bleach art

[28] – Bleach

[29] Bleach Wiki – Ichigo Kurosaki

[30] Bleach Wiki – Rukia Kuchiki

[31] Bleach Wiki – Soul Society

[32] Bleach Wiki – Shinigami

fn33 Bleach Wiki – Orihime Inoue

[34] Bleach Wiki – Yasutora Sado

[35] Bleach Wiki – Uryū Ishida

[36] YouTube – Search results for 'Bleach'

[37] YouTube – Search results for 'Bleach AMV'

[38] YouTube – Search results for 'Bleach Fan Animation'

[39] YouTube – Search results for 'Draw Bleach'

[40] Twitter – @DarkFoxTeam_

[41] Twitter – @MangakaSelim

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