'Bleach' Interviews Shed Light On Its Controversial Ending

Bleach stands as one of the most popular anime series to hit the west. Its fast pace and [...]

Bleach stands as one of the most popular anime series to hit the west. Its fast pace and supernatural angle made it an easy sell to anime fans worldwide, but its legacy is marred by one ugly controversy. For some, Bleach's reputation took a hit thanks to its manga's brisk ending as fans felt it may have been forced on creator Tite Kubo.

However, that doesn't seem to be the case; Kubo has talked about his ending for Bleach before, and it seems the artist ended the series on his own terms.

While Bleach ended in 2016, Kubo did do an interview years prior to its finale where he addressed how the manga might end. The artist was asked in an interview with Shonen Jump if he had an ending in mind, and Kubo said he did not.

"I still haven't decided how the series will end," the artist said. "As for how far ahead I write, that all depends. Occasionally, when I get ideas for scenes, I try and link them by imagining the most interesting route. I don't know where scenes will go, because the ideas don't arrive in order. Things tend to be all over the place."

For shonen fans, this reply does differ from other famed creators. Take for instance Eiichiro Oda; The creator of One Piece has repeatedly told fans he knows how Monkey D. Luffy's story will end and has all along. This end-point has kept Oda on a straight path while writing One Piece, but Kudo lacked that kind of foresight for Bleach. However, in the end, the creator has said he ended the Soul Reaper series on his own terms.

Shortly after the manga ended a couple years back, Kubo took to Twitter to thank fans for following his work. The artist said he often felt conflicted about ending Bleach as his health started to deteriorate. Unsure of whether he could finish the series, Kubo said he made up his mind to end the series as he wanted when a terminally ill fan wrote him a touching letter asking him to draw Bleach as Kubo wanted "right until its end."

Did you have any issues with how Bleach ended? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!

For those unfamiliar with Tite Kubo's Bleach, the series follows the young delinquent Ichigo Kurosaki, who had 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.

The manga was serialized in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump from 2001 to 2016, and was collected into 74 volumes. It has been adapted into English thanks to VIZ Media, and has sold over 900 million copies in Japan. The series was 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. The English language broadcast premiered on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block in 2006, and you currently find the Japanese and English language versions now streaming on Hulu.