It turns out Kubo was dealing with major mental health issues after his series ended, and it took a while to come to terms with why.
Kubo and his health problems after finishing Bleach. pic.twitter.com/O2O2A9Pr0D— Ashita (@AshitanoGin) August 29, 2018
In a recent interview, Kubo was blunt about his mental state following Bleach. He felt lonely after the series has ended, but couldn't quite pin it down for a while, "I thought I could finally take a break, but something was wrong. I went to the hospital, where it turned out I had a torn shoulder tendon and such, but I still felt like it was something different, and I just didn't feel right. I spent about a year of feeling like this without knowing the cause until I finally realized: 'Oh, I feel lonely."
As for why he felt this way, it seems a part of him was drawn to the hustle and bustle of producing a weekly manga series, "During the serialization, I'd always been thinking about dozens of characters. I'd been spending my days with all kinds of people inside my head. But once the serialization ended, I stopped thinking about them, and I didn't know how to spend my time...It wasn't that my health was bad, but that I was lonely. Once I realized this, I wanted to draw manga again for the first time in awhile."
While fans want more Bleach material from Kubo, the fact that he came back from his manga hiatus with the one-shot Burn the Witch makes a lot more sense when you factor in his mental state after Bleach. Kubo's working around back to the idea of authoring manga, and the playful little shoutouts to his major series was a way for him to warm back up.
It might be awhile before Kubo's next full serialization, but fans will surely want the creator to be at his best and be free of as many mental health issues as possible. They certainly don't want him to work himself sick for their sake.
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.