Author and Artist: Tite Kubo
30 volumes (continuing)
- Shonen (Boys') Manga
- Action / Adventure
- Martial Arts Action
About the Manga:
Bleach first appeared in 2001 in the pages of Shonen Jump, the most popular shonen manga magazine in Japan. Now up to 27 volumes and counting, Bleach has since become a mainstay of the magazine, and has inspired a popular weekly anime TV series. Bleach also won the Shogakukan Manga Award in the shonen category in 2005.
In North America, Bleach is serialized in the English-language edition of Shonen Jump magazine and is also a top-rated animated series on the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim timeslot.
About the Author / Artist:
Tite Kubo (born Noriaki Kubo) was born in Hiroshima prefecture, and made his manga debut in the pages of Weekly Shonen Jump in 1996. His first series Zombie Powder was a moderate hit, but it took Bleach to propel him to his current status as one of the most popular mangaka (manga artist) working today.
Japanese high school student Ichigo Kurosaki stands out from the crowd because of his orange-hair, but that's not the only way that he's different than the average sophomore. Ichigo can see ghosts, and has had that ability since he was a child. A fateful encounter with a shinigami or "Soul Reaper" turns Ichigo's world upside down as he gains the power to see and battle "Hollows" or malevolent undead souls that prey on humanity.
But it doesn't stop there. As the story unfolds in Bleach, Ichigo, his classmates and his Soul Reaper mentor Rukia Kuchiki get swept up into the secret world of the undead, the Soul Society, a place resembling medieval Japan that's filled with mystery, political intrigue, danger and betrayals. Soon, Ichigo is not just battling Hollows, he's up against other Soul Reapers who test his newly-found spiritual strength and sword-fighting abilities to its limit.
Seeing ghosts is only the beginning of Ichigo's problems. In a society where being different invites a fight, this Japanese teen learned early on how to defend himself against his enemies, but he never imagined that his strength would be tested to its limits in the world of the afterlife as a Soul Reaper.
Sarcastic and tough, Rukia is a Soul Reaper charged with sending the malevolent undead Hollows to their ultimate reward. After accidentally giving Ichigo all her Soul Reaper abilities, Rukia acts as his mentor, teaching him about the world that exists between the living and the dead. Rukia is a no-nonsense gal and fierce warrior, but she also has a weakness for cute things, and often explains the complex rules of the Soul Society to Ichigo with bizarrely cutesy diagrams.
Busty cutie Orihime may act like a spacecase, but she's actually a sweet, sensitive girl who is a lot smarter than she cares to let on. Like Ichigo, who lost his mother when he was nine, Orihime also lost her older brother and guardian when she was in her early teens, and she's often the only one who is empathetic enough to sense Indigo's inner emotional turmoil as his world is turned upside-down by his Soul Reaper abilities.
While Soul Reapers are the primary means for sending evil souls to the afterlife, there once was another faction of spiritual warriors, the Quincies. Uryu is the serious and stern classmate of Ichigo, and is one of the last remaining Quincies. Since the Quincies were largely eradicated by the Soul Reapers, Uryu considers Ichigo his rival and enemy, but eventually finds that they have a lot in common.