Tite Kubo's Bleach officially ended its run several years ago, but the series has been continuing on in spirit through smaller side projects. One novel series focused on Shuhei Hisagi, Bleach: Can't Fear Your Own World, came to an end recently, and Kubo had some things to say about it.
Thanks to some fan-translations online from the recent light novel's release, some interesting statements from Kubo came up teasing the franchise's future.
As translated on Reddit by user scheneizel, the afterword had a conversation between series creator Tite Kubo and the novel's writer Ryohgo Narita. The conversation revealed that Kubo still has a ton of ideas for the expansion of Bleach's world that could be implemented in a new project someday. The first comes with comments about Shuhei's and Shinji Hirako's Bankai forms, which Kubo also designed for the novel, " I am really happy that Shuhei's and Shinji's bankai, which could not be shown in the final arc, played active roles."
As scheneizel notes, this quote implies that Kubo could have had further plans for Shuhei and Shinji for the series' final arc but was not allowed to explore. As Narita discusses in the afterword, once Kubo decided the series would come to an end, he wanted to keep the focus on certain battles and Ichigo. But when he talked to Narita about the idea about contuining the series in novels, "Kubo-sensei delved deeper into the lore, giving advice about the characters we all know about; then introducing the new characters. Thus progressed the story about the malice of the nobles and Shuhei Hisagi was chosen as the protagonist."
The most interesting comments from Narita mentioned how Kubo has a story about Urahara and Yoruichi that Narita wants to see Kubo draw himself, "When Matsubara-san and I heard the story of Urahara and Yoruichi directly from Kubo-sensei, we immediately told him, "Kubo-sensei must draw this someday...We want to read it in manga form!"
Although this is in no way confirming Bleach will continue, the fact that Kubo is still sitting on ideas for his popular universe is a good sign for future projects to come. Whether they continue in a novel, rather than as a manga or anime as fans would want, the ideas are there.1comments
Bleach was first created by Tite Kubo for Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump, running from 2001 to 2016. The series follows the young delinquent Ichigo Kurosaki, who has the ability to see spirits. He soon obtains the power of a Soul Reaper - one meant to usher lost souls to the afterlife - and now has the duty to defend the living world from monstrous dark spirits known as Hollows.
It has been adapted into English thanks to VIZ Media, and has sold over 900 million copies in Japan. The series was later adapted into an anime by Studio Pierrot from 2004 to 2012, and has four feature-length animations, rock musicals, video games, and a ton of other merchandise. You can currently find the series now streaming on Hulu. There's also a live-action adaptation on Netflix. You can find ComicBook.com's review of the film here.