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Kubo Tite is the creator of the spectacular manga and anime series called 'Bleach', He also is the creator of the manga series 'Zombie Powder'. Kubo is recognized as being the creating of Bleach as it has sky rocketed to the top and is one of the most popular animes in Japan. He was born on June 26, 1977 and grew up watching Dragon ball and Akira which Inspired not only Kubo to want to be a Manga artist but also Naruto's creator Masashi Kishimoto.
Although hard to believe, it wasn't always easy for Kubo as he wrote Zombie Powder while still in high school but do to lack of popularity Zombie Powder was cut after only 4 volumes which was an emotional blow to Kubo. Shortly after Kubo starting writing a new manga ,as we know now as Bleach, and sent it to the weekly Shonen Jump but all his dreams were crushed after 'bleach' was rejected as it was said to be to similar to Yu-Yu Hakusho. Akira Toriyama, Creator of Dragon Ball, Happened to read the manga that kubo had submitted and had heard that it was rejected. Akira quickly mailed Kubo and with this letter Kubo was able to get confidence back to himself and was once again inspired to write.
Shortly after the letter from Akira Toriyama the first volume of Bleach was published in Japan on the 5th of January, 2002. Bleach began to publish weekly (and even now it even does). Bleach is now published in the weekly Shonen Jump with the top manga's in Japan, Naruto, One Piece, Prince of Tennis, Hunter X Hunter, Death Note and where Dragon Ball was once published itself.
TALK OF BLEACH: Kubo Tite x Morita Masakazu Interview
|How they met and their first impressions|
Kubo: After recording the first ever animated version of “BLEACH”*1 where I did the role of Kon. I think that was the first time.
Morita: I had other work scheduled that day and had to leave early, so I didn’t really get to talk with him.
Question: What were the first impressions of each other?
Morita: A shy person
Kubo: A very energetic person. He’s always very excited. I don’t tend to get along very well with overly energetic people, but Morita-san was very friendly and open, which helped a lot. We got along very well once we started talking.
|About “BLEACH” the animated series|
Kubo: Of course! I get a copy of it before it’s aired, and I watch that too.
Question: Any opinions?
Kubo: I have to do everything myself for the comic, but a lot of people work together for the animated version. People interpret the script in different ways, so I’m always impressed by how it turns out and watch in awe! *laughs*
Question: Does Ichigo talk to you with Morita-san’s voice when you imagine him in your mind?
Kubo: It happens. *laughs* I’ve told Morita-san about it.
Morita: When I heard about it, I just had to look for that scene.
Kubo: It’s when the crew returns from Soul Society, when Ichigo says “Ijime?”*2 *laughs* (* Ijime = bullying)
|What you want to portray|
Morita: When I read the comic, I can feel the mood, the tension (or lack of) that the drawings create, and I can really imagine hearing the dialogue. So when I put voice to the characters, it’s important that I try to recreate that mood as much as possible without any distortion.
|Kubo & Morita Q&A|
Morita: Same here.
Kubo: If I have any spare time, I work on colouring or some other task. It’s so rare to get any time off; I don’t remember what I did the last time I had time off. I might give myself a few hours to go get a hair cut, but it’s back to work once I get back.
Question: What’s the number one thing you want to do right now?
Kubo: I’m not sure… If I think about what I want to do everyday, I think I’d go crazy! How crazy is it that I haven’t been able to do anything I want to for the past two years??
Question: Kubo-sensei, do you ever think about moving on and working on a different project?
Kubo: I try not to think about it. When I start thinking about something else, my mind shifts away to it, and if I focus too hard on it, my mind my ideas [for BLEACH] start to blur. So, if something pops up, I satisfy it with just sketch of a character or two for it, and leave it at that. I try to keep my mind focused on “BLEACH” as much as possible. I could make a lot of side-stories for “BLEACH”, but if I make a side-story for “something else”, then “BLEACH” won’t turn out the way I’d like it to so I’ve never wanted to make one.
Question: What kind of work would you like to do in the future then?
Morita: Work wise, I’d like to do some stage work. I started off acting on stage, so I’d like to go back to acting on stage and on TV….but that’s quite a ways into the future. I just don’t have the time with how things are right now.
Kubo: Designing work. I’d like to do some fashion designing*5&6. I’d have to do a lot of studying for it, but…. Maybe a few years from now, I’d like to give fashion designing and interior decorating a try.
|About the poetic verses|
Kubo: Thank you.
Morita: The poetry you have at the beginning of the comic books is impressive too.
Question: How long does it take you to write one?
Kubo: I have some written already. When something inspires me, I write it down, and later I pick out the ones that work for the scene I’m working on.
Morita: So you have a book full of them?
Kubo: Yes I do! I think I have about 50 written down. They could be about a character’s image, or what they’re thinking about. If I can’t find one that fits into my idea, then I think about it until I do. It’s quite tough if I can’t find anything good in my stash.
Question: Is it like that now too?
Kubo: Yeah. I have to think of some for the upcoming Character Book. I was told they’d like some [poetry] in the Character Book and Anime Book just recently, so I’m struggling to come up with something good*8.
|The feel of satisfaction|
Kubo: I guess that would be when I’m able to draw out exactly what I’ve imagined. I only get 19 pages to work with every week, so I have to cut out some stuff on occasion. It rarely works out perfectly, but when it does, it feels great!
Question: Parts of your work sometime seems like a scene from a movie. Like when Hinamori goes after [Ichimaru] Gin right after Aisen’s death*9.
Kubo: That’s actually one of the scene’s that worked out as I wanted. It’s one where I was able to portray everything with the right techniques, so I’m happy to hear you say that.
Morita: It’s one of those things that you can read on without really noticing. But after you go over it again, and think about the frame size on each page or the kind of effects he’s using, you realize how well it’s drawn out.
Kubo: There’s still a lot I’d like to develop on. If I had infinite time that is. Like more about [Zaraki] Kenpachi. I’m sure I’ll be able to somewhere down the storyline.
Question: I really wonder who “Yachiru” refers too…
Kubo: I plan to bring it up. It’s a secret for now.
Morita: And the “Four Noble Houses”…?
Question: Kuchiki and Shihouin and…..Shiba?
Kubo: No, not Shiba. When they were around, it was the “Five Nobel Houses”. There are a lot of other ideas I’d like to work on, but I’ll only bring up ones that are really good… You’d only want the best right?
Morita: I’m looking forward to it! *laughs*
|A message to the fans|
The first ever animated version of “BLEACH” was shown at the Jump Festa Anime Theater 04. It was also Kubo-sensei’s first attempt at voice acting, doing the role of Kon. How did he do?
*2: Returning from Soul Society
The dialogue by Ichigo as he and the crew run through the tunnel connecting the real world with Soul Society.
*3: Chat with Morita-san
See the animated conversation recorded for the animation book “VIBES”.
*4: The White Backgrounds
The return of Aisen after his faked death. As Kubo-sensei mentioned, the background is white with nothing drawn behind him.
*5: The Other Talent
The shirts that Ichigo wears are all designed by Kubo-sensei. They’re a popular item from the Shonen Jump store!
*6: The Lace Fairy
Ishida goes wild fixing up Kon. The birth of a fancy “Lace Fairy”!
*7: The Story about Aisen
The body of Aisen pinned against a building. The title of the story was “Like a flower on the side of a cliff”.
*8: Struggling on Poetry
On the inside of the covers of the comic books, you can find poetic verses that Kubo-sensei worked on.
*9: The Feel of Satisfaction
See Comics Book 9, Story #101