The Fall of BLEACH and the fate of the Big Three Millennial Manga

YouTube user Super Eyepatch Wolf posted a fascinating video last year about how the manga/anime BLEACH went from being one of the big three to cancellation. It’s a sad but fascinating story that tells you a lot about the manga industry in Japan, and is worth watching even if you don’t like BLEACH. (I’m not a BLEACH fan myself, I tried but never cared for it.)

I’d have to say the reason BLEACH died sounds like it was just a case of Tite Kubo just plain not being a good writer. When you combine that with being forced to serialize a story for over a decade on a weekly basis, and not being able to actually enjoy any of the money he was raking it, it’s not hard to see why the project collapsed. BLEACH just didn’t have a core concept to carry it through and give it direction, and that’s ultimately why it couldn’t sustain itself.

A fascinating follow up to the above video was this one the same creator did on the recently finished Naruto franchise, where he goes into good detail about how and why Naruto may have managed to keep itself going while BLEACH fell into a death spiral.

Both videos are worth the watch both as a study in the Japanese anime/manga industry and from a storyteller’s perspective.

Oh, and since both videos do extensively refer to One Piece (perhaps the best anime/manga ever made) here’s his intro to One Piece video as well to round out the Big Three!

One thought on “The Fall of BLEACH and the fate of the Big Three Millennial Manga

  1. >YouTube user Super Eyepatch Wolf posted a fascinating video last year about how the manga/anime BLEACH went from being one of the big three to cancellation.

    ….and he seems to have a real mad-on against the Jump rating system.

    >I’d have to say the reason BLEACH died sounds like it was just a case of Tite Kubo just plain not being a good writer.

    It became Dragonball Z. THAT’S what killed it. The character bits went away so they could introduce yet another set of even more powerful baddies, new techniques to learn, etc.

    ‘Course that’s a common problem. YuYu Hakusho, Naruto, One Piece…. they ALL become Dragonball Z.

    >BLEACH just didn’t have a core concept to carry it through and give it direction, and that’s ultimately why it couldn’t sustain itself.

    ….for a decade. It was super popular for almost a decade. Hardly a failure. Everything has an expiration date. Bleach had a phenomenally good run.

    >he goes into good detail about how and why Naruto may have managed to keep itself going

    Hmmmm…. one of the “cheats” they used was to establish a conflict at the beginning and hold off resolving it until the very end. Specifically the conflict between Naruto and Sasuke. Even in the review, he’s basically saying that Naruto is the Soul Society story from Bleach, but drawn out for the first two thirds of the series. It`s a cheat `cos it hints at a bigger, overarching story without really NEEDING a bigger, overarching story.

    >here’s his intro to One Piece

    Hmmmm…. I think a lot of the setting that he gushes over is ad-hoc. BUT I think the series is pretty good at making use of stuff they’ve added, and keeping things consistent. In a lot of ways it’s like the old days of Marvel and DC…. when they had editors and writers…. who’d take this big chaotic mess and make it a cohesive whole. It DOES turn into Dragonball Z early on, but Ohta is good at coming up with weird, interesting baddies, so that’s not a problem like it is in other stories.

    Don C.

Comments are closed.