Bleach's creator originally intended to include Burn The Witch's West Branch of the Soul Society! As a cool Easter Egg included in Kubo's original one-shot released back in 2018 (and theatrical anime film released earlier this year), it was confirmed that Kubo's new limited series, Burn The Witch, actually took place in the same universe as Bleach. Not only that, but it featured characters working in the Western Branch of the Soul Society as a direct connection to the fact that the Soul Society in Bleach was known as the Eastern Branch.
In a recent interview with Comic Natalie (as broken down by Arturo-Plateado on Reddit) about the release of Burn The Witch, Kubo explained that he actually had plans to reveal the Western Branch within the Bleach series but had held off because the original series was already to wide and complex to introduce an entire new wing of characters.
Noting that the Soul Society in Bleach was always referred to as the East Branch, Kubo noted how he always had the idea for a West Branch in his head but never found the right time to introduce it to the series properly. With Burn The Witch, however, it was the perfect opportunity to finally introduce the West Branch that he had always wanted to include in the original series.
Kubo also revealed that he knew that the West Branch would always be located in England, but also admitted that he had no particular reason as to why. For those who are looking forward to learning more about the Burn The Witch universe in the next wave of new chapters for the limited series, Kubo unfortunately confirmed that "Season 2" of the series is not going to be ready any time soon.
"There were a lot of people on Twitter commenting that they 'were sure I'd start drawing Season 2 soon.,'" Kubo stated, "I ended up thinking that 'I'd actually have to start drawing 'soon', it seems.' But it will probably not be 'soon,' so I'll be happy if readers can patiently wait." Maybe when it returns we'll see more connections to the East Branch?
What do you think? Surprised to see Kubo had plans for the West Branch long before Burn The Witch? Curious to see what that means for the rest of his newest series? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or you can even reach out to me directly about all things animated and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter!