Bleach is the story of high schooler Ichigo who is dragged into a world of "reapers" and "hollows", using the spirit world to grant himself super human abilities. Naruto is the story of the titular character who is also a young man finding super human abilities granted from his pursuit of ninjutsu and a giant nine-tailed fox inside of himself. The two manga turned anime series both premiered in Shonen Jump and took the world by storm. The creator of Bleach so enjoyed Naruto that he decided to sketch one of the most beloved characters.
Masashi Kudo was an animator for the Bleach tv series who worked as a storyboard artist, character designer, and director of several of the show's episodes. He also helped collaborate on several of the feature films starring Ichigo and the rest of the Soul Society. Aside from just Bleach, Masashi also has worked on anime series such as Witch Hunter Robin, Wings of Rean, and The Aquarian Age. While Bleach itself may have ended in its current form, its clear that Kudo still has a love for the series and anime in general.
While Naruto may be the titular character of Naruto: Shippuden, his rival Sasuke Uchiha has just as big a role in the story as our blond haired protagonist. Vowing revenge against his brother for the destruction of the Uchiha clan, Sasuke grew in strength over the years, following a darker path than Naruto and leaving the Leaf Village of Konoha. Deeming himself unable to grow stronger with his friends, Sasuke turned to the villain of the series Orochimaru in order to learn skills in the black arts of Ninjutsu. Sasuke eventually managed to kill his brother but still found himself at odds Konoha and Naruto.
In Boruto, the current sequel of Naruto that follows Naruto's son as he lives under his father's shadow, Sasuke acts as a secret ninja for the leaf village, finally having buried the hatchet with the new Hokage. Always something of an anti-hero, Sasuke has finally managed to find peace within himself in his new role though external threats to Konoha, as we see in the series, are fast and frequent so the Uchiha won't be out of a job any time soon.
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.
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