In the world of anime, plenty of series end and leave a bad taste with fans. A slew of shows have popped up for a season or two before dropping off the radar, but it’s more unusual to see a tested franchise bumble to a slow end. Most recently, fear has settled in that Tokyo Ghoul may get a quiet send-off given its prolonged hiatus, but nothing will beat Bleach’s goodbye. The long-running shonen series was on air for years before ratings pushed Studio Pierrot to bid farewell to the anime with an abrupt finale.
Since Bleach’s anime came to an end, Tite Kubo has wrapped the actual manga. Plenty of fans have taken to the Internet to ask creators to revive Bleach, allowing anime fans to finish up the franchise with a condensed, more canonical take on the Soul Society. There has been no word from any official parties regarding Bleach’s return, but anime enthusiasts continue to rally for Ichigo’s comeback. And, earlier last week, a noted member of Bleach's animation team said a revival is not totally out of the question.
Last week, the Paris Manga & Sci-Fi Show was held abroad, and the event invited Masashi Kudo to speak to anime fans there. The character designer is currently working on a new anime Chain Chronicle. The artist spoke about his new project with fans at the convention, but Kudo also took a moment to speak with Manga News about his time with Bleach. It was there the designer said his colleagues hope Bleach will get another go at anime.
When asked if the Bleach anime would resume one day, Kudo had this to say: “All the staff, including myself, hope that the anime can continue, but nothing has been decided yet.” The artist went on to say he’d like to work on other series such as Sailor Moon, but Kudo’s talk about Bleach has caught fans’ attention.
While the artist’s comments give no nod to any official anime developments, fans are relieved to hear that Kudo and others still have Bleach on their minds. When an anime is sent to rest, the franchise often fades to complete obscurity within the industry, so it’s nice to hear that the shinigami all hold a spot in the anime community still.
If you are not familiar with Bleach, then you can always take time to catch-up. Created by Tite Kubo, the manga was first published in 2001 by Weekly Shōnen Jump. Since its release, Bleach has become one of the most popular mangas in history as it still ranks as a best-selling series in both Japan and the U.S. Bleach has sold over 84 million copies in Japan alone, and the series has gone on to spawn spin-off media with its popular anime, video games, films, musicals, and tons of licensed merchandise.