Essential Manga: What is Bleach?

by JoHarrington

Ichigo Kurosaki has been battling Hollows and guiding souls to the afterlife for a decade in Tite Kubo's mega-manga, Bleach.

Supernatural manga at its finest! Well, give or take 'Death Note' that is.

'Bleach' has been running since 2001 and it's taken over half of the planet with its fan-base.

The manga follows the story of psychic teenager Ichigo, as he encounters paranormal forces which would tear down his city. Can he stop them in time?

And what kind of strange organization will he have to sign up to in order to do so?

Follow the Fortunes of Kurosaki Ichigo in Bleach

From psychic schoolboy to shinigami substitute, most people's resumes never looked like this!

If you've never heard of Bleach, then you've patently been living under a rock for the past ten years. But now that you're here, let's bring you up to speed.

Ichigo Kurosaki has always been able to see and communicate with ghosts. When we meet him, as a fifteen year old schoolboy, he's also well equipped to defend them.

The opening scene sees Ichigo taking on three careless teens, who have just driven their skateboards through a road-side memorial. He wins the fight, but then the action pulls back for the readers to discover his motivation. The ghost of the girl, whose commemorative flowers had been so disrespected, is standing right beside him.

Yet his chivalry towards the dead is exhausting him. His psychic powers have been pumped up into over-drive just recently and he doesn't know why. He's about to horrifically and dramatically find out.

Bleach Manga in 3-in-1 Volumes

Read Bleach in the original form, as written and illustrated by Tite Kubo.

Enter a World of Manga Death Gods and Hollows

A terrible war is being fought in defense of the unseeing, unknowing human race. It's Ichigo's destiny to join it.

When huge, terrifying creatures attack his home town, Ichigo is as nonplussed as those all around him.

But they only heard the explosions and saw the wreckage. He alone could discern the soul-sucking horror at the center of it all.

Moreover, only he witnessed the fight to the death between it and the strange, black-robed woman with the large scimitar.

She is Rukia, a Death God and a defender of all humanity. The Shinigami act as a kind of supernatural police force, hunting down Hollows, who like to prey on human souls. We have form and they do not, thus they hate us for it.

It transpires that this isn't Ichigo's first encounter with a Hollow. His mother died protecting him from one, when he was just a baby. Now they're after him again and only Rukia stands between them.

However, Ichigo is no helpless victim here. Protective of his family and already experienced in fighting preternaturally motivated battles, his fate lies with the Shinigami itself.

Will they win?  You will have to read the manga or watch the anime to find out. No more spoilers here!

Bleach Anime Box Sets

Watch the animated adventures on DVD to see Tite Kubo's story come to life!

The Mega Selling Impact of Bleach's Popularity

Millions of anime and manga lovers have already discovered Bleach. The rest are bound to follow.

Bleach is one of Japan's biggest selling manga, alongside Death Note and Naruto, on a truly global scale.

It is available in, and has been translated into the languages of, over a dozen countries. In February 2012, Viz Media (who hold the US rights to the franchise) revealed that 2.1 million copies of the Bleach manga series had been sold in North America alone. Another 1.8 million people opted to watch the anime instead.

This is in addition to the 820,000 Bleach games being snapped up; and the downloads, on VizManga Application for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

The figures from its native country truly dwarf any of these. During the same month, 75 million editions of the 36 volume manga were being sold in Japan.

It seems that Warner Bros. will not have to worry about finding an audience for its proposed Bleach live action movie!

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Poll: Do you Enjoy Bleach?

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Look out for Bleach bargains on eBay!

Shonen Jump 2009 English Complete Comic Manga Magazines Naruto...

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Huge Bleach Manga lot 52 volumes 1-43, 46, 49-51, and 54-58 (R...

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Updated: 02/21/2014, JoHarrington
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?


JoHarrington on 02/26/2012

Thank you very much! These are harder to write than I thought they'd be, because there's so much more I want to say. I can't though, without giving too many spoilers away. I'm pleased that you imply I found the right balance. :)

onepagearticles on 02/26/2012

Been following this manga series for ages now and it's great! Great overview! the manga art style is just so interesting and the stories are best when they focus and go their own mythological routes through Japanese sub cultures and with a hint of history beyond the mythology!

JoHarrington on 02/25/2012

I've seen and like Doc Martin. I haven't watched the others though. I've just been informed by someone here that Rosemary & Thyme is great. I should start watching it then!

BrendaReeves on 02/25/2012

Doc Martin, Rosemary & Thyme and Murder in Suburbia. I wish we could get shows like that here. Americans like detective shows with a lot of blood and guts in them.

JoHarrington on 02/25/2012

We have plenty of our own dumb reality shows to be getting on with! LOL

Which British shows have you been watching?

BrendaReeves on 02/25/2012

I've also been living under a rock. I watch mostly Netflicks and the news. I'm really into your British TV shows. Do you get our dumb reality shows in the UK?

JoHarrington on 02/24/2012

One of my nephews has it as his favourite manga/anime too. I'm more of a Death Note girl myself.

Ember on 02/24/2012

I never actually got into Bleach. I've watched/read a lot of different anime's but I never actually got into Bleach. My brothers watch it all the time, I think. They constantly tell me to give it another chance XD I dunno, maybe someday.

JoHarrington on 02/24/2012

Nice one! Which is her favourite anime?

katiem2 on 02/24/2012

My 15 year old loves Anime, she will enjoy this article, she's in New York with her band members but will be home Sunday. I'll share this with her, and thanks great Anime Manga Bleach.

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