Did The Creator Of 'Bleach' Diss Its Upcoming Live-Action Movie?

During a 2006 interview, the creator of the beloved manga Bleach made a comment that some fans on Reddit are taking to be shade pre-emptively thrown at a live-action adaptation, one of which is currently in production.

The quote, from a Wall Street Journal interview and recently reposted as part of a massive thread of Tite Kubo's available interviews, indicated that Bleach was essentially unfilmable by design, and that a live-action version would be inherently unable to capture it.

"If it were possible to do Bleach as a live movie, then I wouldn't have drawn the manga," the cartoonist said. "I want to draw something that can only be done as manga."

While there are some who might take such a comment as a swipe at the movie industry or the form in general, it is very unlikely to be such.

In fact, the idea that one is trying to create sequential art that cannot be filmed is something fans of western creators like Alan Moore and Erik Larsen have heard bunches of times: while film has certain obvious advantages over comics, there are things that comic books can do which film cannot.

Manga, which shares much of its dialect with comics, functions in much the same way. There are a lot of things that writers and artists can do on the printed page -- especially manipulating time and space -- that would become a muddled, muddy mess if they were to be done on the screen.

This is why there are always changes made to adaptations -- and of course, in the case of Tite Kubo, he could also have been talking about elements of visual storytelling that were not technologically possible in 2006. So even ignoring the fact that any artist wants to make a mark on their own medium that plays to its own strengths, it is distinctly possible that there were things that would not or could not look good at the time of that interview, which could have improved by now and might be adapted well in 2017.

The Bleach film was announced last year when the manga officially wrapped. Filming began last fall and wrapped during the winter, giving Warner Bros. Japan plenty of time to sort out its post-production affairs. Given the poor reputation live-action anime films get, the Bleach movie will need to go above and beyond to convince fans of its merit -- whether or not it has the blessing of the creator.

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