'Bleach' Creator Opens Up About its New Bankai
Bleach recently concluded its spin-off novel series focusing on Shuhei Hisagi, Can't Fear Your Own World, and the finale saw a few comments from original creator Tite Kubo and the novel series' writer Ryohgo Narita.
With Shuhei Hisagi and fan-favorite Shinji Hirako debuting their Bankai forms during the spin-off, Kubo noted how happy he was to see the two of them finally debut in some form.
With translations provided by Reddit user scheneizel, Kubo said following the novel's finale, "I am really happy that Shuhei's and Shinji's bankai, which could not be shown in the final arc, played active roles. I was pleased at Shuhei's lead role in this story. Good for him!" Kubo famously provided illustrations of their Bankai, with Hisagi's taking on the form of a noose around his neck and Hirako's taking on a staff form, so he might have been sitting on those designs for a while.
Although Tite Kubo's Bleach was one of the most popular series in Weekly Shonen Jump for the majority of its tenure, the series has an admittedly truncated end in which it felt like the final battles of the Thousand-Year Blood War arc had been cut short in order to bring the series to its conclusion. Kubo most likely had these designs for such things as new Bankai, and even a fuller look at Ichigo's final Shikai form, and cursory looks through later art books see new designs for Ichigo and Rukia's future children.
Kubo's comments seem to imply greater plans for these Bankai designs, and it's clear he had more illustrations and designs to explore if he just had the time. Maybe fans will see more from this universe from Kubo in some official capacity some day?
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.