Just yesterday, I had the pleasure of reporting that Warner Bros. has finally decided to begin the process of making a live-action Bleach movie. However, it's with mixed feelings that toady, I report that the anime will air it's final episode in Japan on March 27th. The manga will continue on but it's also been confirmed that Tite Kubo is entering the final arc of the series. Hopefully it will receive the send-off it deserves as both the anime and manga have enjoyed a LONG run atop the best-seller's chart. Most anime fans would agree that the series peaked during the Soul Society arc and has been locked in a meandering waltz ever since; however, Bleach remains profitable and popular and will go out as one of the top 3 anime/manga's alongside Naruto and One Piece.
Of course, it's bittersweet that the anime and manga are wrapping up but if history is any indication, Hollywood will re-imagine the series to make it more relatable to the American market and in the process give us a fresh new take on Tite Kubo's story. Of course, Hollywood hasn't fared to well with anime and manga adaptions in the past but this announcement shows that Warner Bros. is committed to being the first American studio to crack the anime/live-action movie formula. With Akira being put on the back-burner, the studio has quickly shifted focus to Bleach, and just as they targeted A-list talent for Akira, I'm sure they'll do the same for Bleach.
Stay tuned to CBM as the countdown to the finale of Bleach begins and development for the live-action Bleach movie continues.
Bleach (ブリーチ Burīchi?, romanized as BLEACH in Japan) is a Japanese shōnen manga series written and illustrated by Tite Kubo. Bleach follows the adventures of Ichigo Kurosaki after he obtains the powers of a Soul Reaper (死神 Shinigami?, literally, "Death God") —a death personification similar to the Grim Reaper—from another Soul Reaper, Rukia Kuchiki. His newfound powers force him to take on the duties of defending humans from evil spirits and guiding departed souls to the afterlife.
Bleach has been serialized in the Japanese manga anthology Weekly Shōnen Jump since August 2001, and has been collected into 51 tankōbon volumes as of August 2011. Since its publication, Bleach has spawned a media franchise that includes an ongoing animated television series that is produced by Studio Pierrot in Japan, two original video animations, four animated feature films, seven rock musicals, and numerous video games, as well as many types of Bleach-related merchandise.
Viz Media obtained foreign television and home video distribution rights to the Bleach anime on March 15, 2006. Cartoon Network began airing Bleach in the United States as part of its Adult Swim block on September 9, 2006. Viz Media has licensed the manga for English-language publication in the United States and Canada, and has released 34 bound volumes as of March 2011 as well as published chapters of Bleach in its Shonen Jump magazine since November 2007. Viz Media released the first Bleach film, Bleach: Memories of Nobody, on DVD in North America on October 14, 2008. The second film, Bleach: The DiamondDust Rebellion, was released on September 15, 2009.
Volumes of the manga have sold more than 72 million copies in Japan, and is one of the most sold mangas in the United States. The anime adaptation has been similarly received; it was rated as the fourth most popular anime television series in Japan in 2006 and held a position amongst the top ten anime in the United States from 2006 to 2008. The series received the Shogakukan Manga Award for the shōnen demographic in 2005, and is among the best-selling manga issues in both Japan and the United States.