First Bleach Set Photos Revealed For Live-Action Film

It's not been long since Bleach ended its hugely popular manga. Back in July, Shueisha confirmed the series would end with its 74th volume, leaving longtime fans gutted. However, Weekly Shonen Jump did announce a live-action adaptation of Bleach would be coming from director Shinsuke Sato. And, now, the first set photos from the film have hit the Internet.

Shooting near Sagami-Ono Station in the Kanagawa Prefecture, fans snapped photos of actor Sota Fukushi dressed in costume as Ichigo Kurosaki. The photos don't quite capture the sleek aesthetic fans have come to recognize Bleach for, but Sota does look formidable with his Zanpakutō unsheathed.

Fans have already started comparing the actor's appearance to that of Ichigo in the manga. Most notably, Sota's hair seems to be a bit more subdued than expect. Tite Kubo, the creator of Bleach, has said he was a bit concerned about how the character's hair color would translate to the screen. Ichigo is known for sporting vibrant orange hair, something which many felt would look strange in real life.

As such, Sota is seen with lighter brown hair. The rest of his costume looks spot-on with the Bleach manga though. The actor's shihakushō, or Garment of Dead Souls, looks like those seen in the source material. It will be interesting to see how CGI can spruce up the regular, old ensemble to suit Ichigo's Soul Reaper status.

Judging by the sword Sota is toting, it seems like the live-action Bleach film will take place towards the beginning of Ichigo's story. The giant sword looks to be taken from the earlier chapters of Bleach before Ichigo reaches his various states of Bankai. Of course, fans are definitely hoping they will get to see the Soul Reaper go through those transformations at some point in the film.

While plenty of fans are excited for the upcoming film, there are those who aren't so hyped. Live-action anime adaptations have the tendency to go either really well or terribly wrong. Given the supernatural elements of Bleach, there are many who are afraid film won't capture the explosive action of the series well, but Tite Kubo has said he will do what he can to ensure the film goes well.

The creator said he will assist the live-action Bleach adaptation as much as he can to make sure the film is great for both new and old fans.

While rumors have long whispered about a Bleach film, little progress was ever made on the project until recently. The announcement aligned perfectly with the end of its manga run. The series, which house over 800 chapters, stands as one of the most popular manga and anime franchises around. Bleach has sold over 80 million copies in Japan alone, and it has experienced wild success around the world due to official and fan-made subbing efforts.

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[H/T] Kotaku