Tite Kubo

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Tite Kubo
久保 帯人
BornNoriaki Kubo (久保 宣章, Kubo Noriaki)
(1977-06-26) June 26, 1977 (age 46)
Fuchū, Japan
Area(s)Manga artist, character designer
Notable works
Burn the Witch
Spouse(s)unknown (m. 2012)[1]

Noriaki Kubo (Japanese: 久保 宣章, Hepburn: Kubo Noriaki, born June 26, 1977),[2] known professionally as Tite Kubo (久保 帯人, Kubo Taito), is a Japanese manga artist and character designer. His manga series Bleach (2001–2016) had over 130 million copies in circulation as of 2022.[3]


Kubo was born on June 26, 1977, in Hiroshima Prefecture,[4] where his father worked as a town council member. In elementary school, he had already decided to become a manga artist,[5] due to reading the manga Saint Seiya. His first one-shot was "Ultra Unholy Hearted Machine", written for the Weekly Shōnen Jump in 1996.[2] He wrote his first manga Zombiepowder, which was also published in Weekly Shōnen Jump in 1999. It ran a short 27 chapters before being canceled in 2000. According to the author's commentary, Kubo was in a state of severe emotional trauma when he wrote it.[6] Kubo later stated that he was not used to the magazine weekly serialization and used to pay more attention to his editor's comments rather than his own ideas.[7]

His next series, Bleach, about Ichigo Kurosaki, a high school student who becomes a shinigami and fights creatures known as Hollows, began running in the same magazine in 2001. Kubo initially expected the series' serialization to continue no longer than five years.[2] The original story concept was submitted to Weekly Shōnen Jump shortly after the cancellation of Zombiepowder, but was rejected. Akira Toriyama, creator of Dragon Ball, saw the story and wrote a letter of encouragement to Kubo.[2] Bleach ran for 15 years of serialization and reached over 698 chapters from 2001 to 2016. Additionally, an anime adaptation of the series was broadcast in TV Tokyo for 8 years from 2004 to 2012, spanning over 366 episodes. The manga was named a winner of the Shogakukan Manga Award for its category in 2004.[8] Kubo and Makoto Matsubara have co-authored two novelizations of the Bleach series, which were published by Shueisha under their Jump Books label.[9][10] The first Bleach movie was released in Japan on December 16, 2006, followed by a second movie on December 22, 2007, a third on December 13, 2008, and a fourth on December 4, 2010. Kubo also appeared in the episode 112 of the Japanese radio program of Bleach B-Station. In that program, Kubo was interviewed by Masakazu Morita, voice actor of Ichigo Kurosaki, the main character of Bleach, and answered several questions from fans.[11] On July 26, 2008, Kubo went to the United States for the first time and made an appearance at the San Diego Comic-Con International.[12]

Kubo provided character designs for Madhouse's anime adaptations of Ango Sakaguchi's Sakura no Mori no Mankai no Shita and Ryūnosuke Akutagawa's The Spider's Thread and Hell Screen, which are parts of the Aoi Bungaku series.[13] In 2018, Kubo returned to Weekly Shōnen Jump and published a one-shot, Burn the Witch, in commemoration of the magazine's 50th anniversary.[14] Later on, in 2020, the one-shot was serialized in the magazine with a seasonal release schedule.[15] The 4-chapter first season was published in August to September 2020.[16] A second season of the series has been announced.[17][18]


Both of Kubo's serialized works are shōnen manga with a heavy focus on action. His fight scenes are noted for swift cuts and dramatic angle changes between panels, as well as minimal inclusion of background art or splash pages. As a character designer, Kubo held to a distinctively angular and lanky style through Zombiepowder and the early portions of Bleach, which filled out somewhat as Bleach continued. His designs often incorporate elements of body horror.[19][20][21]


Kubo's earliest influence is from Shigeru Mizuki's manga Gegege no Kitaro. He remembers trying to sketch its characters and found his own designs to be simpler than that of Mizuki's.[7] Bleach was first conceived from a desire on Kubo's part to draw shinigami in kimono, which formed the basis for the design of the Shinigami in the series, and conception of the character Rukia Kuchiki.[22] Kubo has cited influences for elements of Bleach ranging from other manga series to music, foreign language, architecture, and film. He attributes his interest in drawing the supernatural and monsters to Shigeru Mizuki's GeGeGe no Kitaro and Bleach's focus on interesting weaponry and battle scenes to Masami Kurumada's Saint Seiya, both manga Kubo enjoyed as a boy.[22] Kubo stated that Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball taught him that all villains must be "strong, scary and cool" without exception, and added that to this day no fight scene has shocked him more than Trunks' first appearance.[23] The action style and storytelling found in Bleach are inspired by cinema, though Kubo has not revealed any specific movie as being an influence for fight scenes.[24] Kubo has also stated that he wishes to make Bleach an experience that can only be found by reading manga, and dismissed ideas of creating any live-action film adaptations of the series.[25]

In the making of battle scenes, Kubo's comments that he imagines the fights with the empty backgrounds and then he tries to find the best angle to make it.[26] Then, he tries to make the injuries look very realistic in order to make the readers feel the character's pain.[27] Kubo mentions he sometimes is bored while illustrating them, so he tries to add a few jokes to make it more humorous.[26] When creating characters, Kubo first attempts to create the design and later decide how the character's personality will be according to what he drew. Since creating them like this, Kubo considers every character to be unique and wants each of them to be developed along the series.[28] When asked about romantic relationships between certain characters, Kubo answers saying that he does not want to turn the series into a love story since he thinks there are more exciting aspects concerning their personalities.[29] While the Soul Reapers' attacks and arsenal have Japanese names, other characters from the series also use different languages to describe their terms: German words used for powers from the Quincy and English for the members of X-Cution. In the case of the Hollows and Arrancars, Kubo choose to use Spanish terms about their abilities as he is interested in the Spanish language for sounding "bewitching" and "mellow" from his perspective.[30]



Initially appearing in Weekly Shōnen Jump and published by Shueisha in Tokyo, Japan, the manga have been licensed in North America by Viz Media.

  • Zombiepowder. (1999–2000, Weekly Shōnen Jump, Shueisha. Collected in 4 volumes.)
  • Bleach (2001–2016, Weekly Shōnen Jump, Shueisha. Collected in 74 volumes.)
  • Burn the Witch (2020–present, Weekly Shōnen Jump, Shueisha. Collected in 1 volume so far.)


Prior to being serially published, Tite Kubo wrote and illustrated several one-shot manga. Three of these were later published in English, included in Viz Media's collected volumes of Zombiepowder. These short manga display the rapid development of Kubo's artstyle in the mid-90s. Afterwards, Kubo published another one-shot after Bleach ended, with an artstyle that has been widely recognized as his own.

  • Ultra Unholy Hearted Machine (1996, Weekly Shōnen Jump, Shueisha). Kubo's first published manga, his trademark angular designs are absent.[20]
  • Rune Master Urara (1996, Weekly Shōnen Jump, Shueisha). Has rough art and an in-between style.[19]
  • Bad Shield United (1997, Weekly Shōnen Jump, Shueisha). The character aesthetics that carried through Zombiepowder. and the early arcs of Bleach are in full evidence here.[20]
  • Burn the Witch (2018, Weekly Shōnen Jump, Shueisha). Kubo's one-shot after Bleach ended.[31]
  • Bleach: New Breathes From Hell (2021, Weekly Shōnen Jump, Shueisha). One-shot set after the events of Bleach.[32]


  • Bleach All Colour But The Black[33]
  • Bleach Official Bootleg[34]
  • Bleach JET[35]


  • Bleach Official Character Book SOULs[36]
  • Bleach Official Anime Guide Book VIBEs[37]
  • Bleach Official Character Book 2 MASKED[38]
  • Bleach Official Character Book 3 UNMASKED[39]
  • Bleach 13 BLADEs.[40]


  • 2020: With Ryohgo Narita: Bleach: Can't Fear Your Own World, Vol. 1 (Novel), Viz publishing, ISBN 978-1-9747-1326-4
  • 2020: With Ryohgo Narita: Bleach: Can't Fear Your Own World, Vol. 2 (Novel), Viz publishing, ISBN 978-1-9747-1327-1
  • 2021: With Ryohgo Narita: Bleach: Can't Fear Your Own World, Vol. 3 (Novel), Viz publishing, ISBN 978-1-9747-1328-8

Video games


  1. ^ "Tite Kubo Has Gotten Married". Anime News Network. December 22, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d Charles Solomon (August 28, 2008). "Creator Tite Kubo surprised by 'Bleach' success". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on April 23, 2009. Retrieved September 17, 2008.
  3. ^ BLEACH 千年血戦篇:キービジュアルに護廷十三隊の隊長陣、星十字騎士団集結 PVでユーハバッハのせりふも. Mantan Web (in Japanese). July 3, 2022. Retrieved November 12, 2022.
  4. ^ "久保帯人の一覧". BookLive [ja] (in Japanese). Retrieved August 7, 2021.
  5. ^ Aoki, Deb (January 9, 2018). "Interview With Manga Artist Tite Kubo". LiveAbout. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  6. ^ Kubo, Tite (2000). Zombie Powder vol. 03. Shueisha. Author's commentary. ISBN 4-08-872877-7.
  7. ^ a b Kido, Misaki C. (February 2012). "Interview with Tite Kubo (Creator of Bleach)". Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha. Viz Media (2–20–12): 124–126.
  8. ^ 小学館漫画賞: 歴代受賞者 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Archived from the original on April 24, 2005. Retrieved August 19, 2007.
  9. ^ "Bleach novel series" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved April 15, 2008.
  10. ^ "Bleach novel series" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved April 15, 2008.
  11. ^ Tite Kubo, Masakazu Morita (August 2007). Tite Kubo Interview, Bleach B-Station 112. Japan: Bleach B-Station.
  12. ^ "Comic-con 2008 Guests". Comic-Con International. Archived from the original on July 24, 2009. Retrieved December 12, 2009.
  13. ^ "Madhouse's Aoi Bungaku Posts Staff, Cast Lineup". Anime News Network. September 22, 2009. Retrieved September 26, 2014.
  14. ^ Pineda, Rafael Antonio (June 27, 2018). "Bleach's Tite Kubo Unveils 'Burn the Witch' 1-Shot Manga". Anime News Network. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  15. ^ Martinez, Phillip (March 18, 2020). "'BLEACH' ANIME TO RETURN IN 2021; 'BURN THE WITCH' GETS SERIALIZATION AND ANIME". Newsweek. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  16. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (August 10, 2020). "Tite Kubo's 4-Chapter Burn the Witch Manga Debuts on August 24". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  17. ^ 久保帯人「BURN THE WITCH」単行本の発売&Season2の制作が決定. Natalie (in Japanese). September 14, 2020. Retrieved September 14, 2020.
  18. ^ Pineda, Rafael Antonio (September 13, 2020). "Bleach's Tite Kubo Unveils Draft Pages for Burn the Witch 'Season 2' Manga". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 14, 2020.
  19. ^ a b Theron Martin (March 1, 2007). "Zombie Powder GN 3". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 12, 2008.
  20. ^ a b c Snow Wildsmith (January 31, 2008). "Zombie Powder". TeenReads.com. Archived from the original on August 14, 2014. Retrieved August 14, 2014.
  21. ^ Santos, Carlo (November 2, 2012). "Bleach GN 48-49". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
  22. ^ a b Deb Aoki. "Interview: Tite Kubo (page 1)". About.com. Archived from the original on November 12, 2016. Retrieved September 16, 2008.
  23. ^ Suzuki, Haruhiko, ed. (December 19, 2003). "5: Dragon Ball Children". Dragon Ball Landmark (in Japanese). Shueisha. p. 172. ISBN 4-08-873478-5.
  24. ^ Shonen Jump #51. Volume 5, issue 3. March 2007. Viz Media. 328.
  25. ^ Shonen Jump #39. Volume 4, issue 3. March 2006. Viz Media. 010.
  26. ^ a b Deb Aoki. "Interview: Tite Kubo (page 3)". About.com. Archived from the original on November 27, 2011. Retrieved September 16, 2008.
  27. ^ Kai-ming Cha (August 4, 2008). "Kubo Comes to Comic-Con". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved September 17, 2008.
  28. ^ Anime Insider. Wizard Universe (61): 39. October 2008. ISSN 1547-3767. {{cite journal}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  29. ^ Deb Aoki. "Interview: Tite Kubo (page 2)". About.com. Archived from the original on February 4, 2009. Retrieved September 16, 2008.
  30. ^ Shonen Jump. Volume 6, issue 6. June 2008. Viz Media. 12.
  31. ^ Rafael Antonio Pineda (June 28, 2018). "Bleach's Tite Kubo Unveils 'Burn the Witch' 1-Shot Manga". animenewsnetwork.com. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  32. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (August 1, 2021). "Tite Kubo Pens New Bleach 1-Shot Manga". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on August 10, 2021. Retrieved August 1, 2021.
  33. ^ "BLEACHイラスト集 All Colour But The Black" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved April 27, 2008.
  34. ^ "BLEACH OFFICIAL BOOTLEG カラブリ+| 久保 帯人| ジャンプコミックス" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved April 27, 2008.
  35. ^ "'Bleach' Announces Massive Art Collection". Comicbook.com. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  36. ^ "BLEACH―ブリーチ― OFFICIAL CHARACTER BOOK SOULs" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved April 27, 2008.
  37. ^ "BLEACH―ブリーチ― OFFICIAL ANIMATION BOOK VIBEs" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved April 27, 2008.
  38. ^ "BLEACH―ブリーチ― OFFICIAL CHARACTER BOOK 2 MASKED" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved August 6, 2010.
  39. ^ "BLEACH―ブリーチ― OFFICIAL CHARACTER BOOK 3 UNMASKED" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  40. ^ "BLEACH 13 BLADEs. ブリーチ 13 ブレイズ" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved August 10, 2015.

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