'Bleach' Designer Shares New Soul Reaper Sketches

It has been more than a year since Bleach ended, but fans of the series aren’t ready to let Ichigo go. The huge shonen title still spurs on whispers of a revival, and the anime’s character designer is not helping to quiet fans and their hopes.

Over on Twitter, Masashi Kudo gave his followers a treat when he shared some new Bleach artwork of his. The man drew up a series of sketches that will be hosted at an upcoming convention, and fans were glad to see the artwork housed some familiar faces.

As you can see below, Kudo returned to Bleach by doing sketches of Ichigo as well as two other Soul Reapers. The main character was drawn in black-and-white, and the piece appears to capture Ichigo’s older appearance. The hero is seen dressed in his Soul Reaper robes, and fans admit it is odd to see Ichigo drawn without his orange hair colored in.

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(Photo: Twitter / Masashi Kudo )
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(Photo: Twitter / Masashi Kudo )
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(Photo: Twitter / Masashi Kudo )

The second image may be shocking to Bleach fans who aren’t caught up with the manga. Kudo did a drawing of Toshiro Hitsugaya, but the 10th Division captain looks notably different. The hero looks much older in this sketch than he does in the anime, but manga fans are used to the look. Bleach’s final story arc saw Toshiro unlock a version of his Bankai that aged him up considerably, and this drawing reimagines that form for the manga.

The third sketch is also one that anime fans may not be able to recognize. Kudo’s work shows Sajin Komamura’s impressive Bankai at work. The attack was first revealed in the anime when Komamura went up against Kaname Tosen during the Soul Society’s climatic fight with Aizen. Kudo’s version is a more stylized version of the attack, and manga readers will likely have an easier time recognizing the image.

Are you glad the folks behind Bleach have yet to give up on the franchise? Hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to let me know and talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime!