|Country of Origin:||Japan|
|External Links:||Official site (JP/EN)|
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Bleach is a long-running manga by Kubo Tite. In Japan, Bleach is serialized in Weekly Shounen Jump. Viz Media is the publisher of the English translation of the manga in North America. Bleach has also been adapted into an anime. The anime began airing on the Cartoon Network in September 2006, as part of its Adult Swim programming.
Bleach is known as one of Weekly Shounen Jump's Big 3 manga in English-language fandom, with the other two titles currently being One Piece and Naruto. However, Bleach has recently begun sliding down in popularity. Some fans speculate that, as one of the biggest titles in Weekly Shounen Jump, Kubo was not allowed to end the series at an earlier point.
One day, Japanese student Ichigo Kurosaki meets Soul Reaper/shinigami Rukia Kuchiki. While defending him from an evil spirit (or "hollow"), Rukia is wounded, and attempts to give Ichigo some of her special powers so that he will be able to defend himself. Accidentally, nearly all of Rukia's powers are transferred to Ichigo. The next day, Rukia appears at Ichigo's school, informing him that she is now stuck as a normal person until she gets her powers back. It is now Ichigo's job to take over Rukia's duties as a Soul Reaper, guiding lost souls and battling "hollows."
The first volumes of the manga focused on Ichigo's Soul Reaper duties in Karakura Town. His classmates and family were important supporting characters. The focus of the manga shifted during the Soul Society arc, when Ichigo and his friends invade the Soul Society in order to rescue Rukia. Many new characters were introduced during this period, and some fans felt resentful that the characters who had initially drawn them to the series were being neglected. Further arcs continued to move the action away from Karakura Town and Ichigo's human companions, while continuing to introduce more new characters.
Some fans joke that Kubo Tite enjoys trolling his own fandom, especially in matters related to shipping. Shipping is serious business in some corners of Bleach fandom, as more than one Fandom Wank report can attest to. The primary source of tension is between IchiHime (Ichigo/Orihime) and IchiRuki (Ichigo/Rukia) fans, as both groups think that there is canon support for their pairing of choice. The fierce shipping debates have lead to character bashing of the female characters, especially Inoue Orihime.
Other common het pairings include Abarai Renji/Kuchiki Rukia, Uryu Ishida/Orihime Inoue, Ulquihime (Ulquiorra Cifer/Orihime Inoue, and Ichimaru Gin/Matsumoto Rangiku. There are also many popular yaoi pairings, including GrimmIchi (Grimmjow Jaegerjaques/Ichigo Kurosaki), ByaRen (Abarai Renji/Kuchiki Byakuya, Kurosaki Ichigo/Urahara Kisuke, and Kyouraku Shunsui/Ukitake Juushirou. There is also a yuri presence in the fandom, and Yoruichi Shihoin/Soifon is a frequently occuring femslash pairing.
Genre-based LJ comms
- kurosaki_clinic: for all fanfic and fanart
- bleach_yaoi: for yaoi/slash fanworks
- bleach_het: for het fanworks
Character or Pairing-centric LJ comms
- rukia_fans: for fans of Rukia
- ichi_ruki: Ichigo/Rukia
- ulqui_hime: Ulquiorra/Orihime
- yumikkaku: Yumichika & Ikkaku
- asterisk_plus: For underwritten or rare pairings
Other LJ Comms
- Bleach News: a newsletter comm
- capslock_bleach: a CAPSLOCK community
- bleach_icontest: for icon makers
- bleach_doujin: for doujinshi
- bleach_cosplay: for cosplay
- Bleach Lists
- Hogyoku Ex Machina by Mac Ceallach - Time travel fic in which Ichigo and Aizen are sent back in time by the hogyoku.
- As N Approaches Infinity -- Crossover with Puella Magi Madoka Magica in which the Kurosaki sisters contract as magical girls.
Potential American Movie
In March 2010, the news began circulating that Warner Brothers was interested in making a Bleach movie. Many fans were reminded of the racebending that took place with the Avatar: The Last Airbender movie. Some fans argued that there's nothing intrinsically Japanese about Bleach; other fans despaired.