Noriaki Kubo, better known as Tite Kubo, was surprised his creation, Bleach, has taken the world by storm. His first trip to America was this summer at San Diego’s Comic Con. Through an interpreter, he addressed his legions of fans, and we also got to see how humble he really is.
Tite Kubo decided he wanted to be a manga-ka (manga artist) during his third year in high school. He had no idea how to draw manga, but he submitted his first work to Weekly Shonen Jump for a contest. He didn’t win, however he got a phone call from the editors recognizing his talent. They suggested he worked together with them.
In 1996, his first manga “Ultra Unholy Hearted Machine” appeared in Shonen Jump. In 1999 he published his first series called Zombie Powder. In 2001, Kubo would begin drawing a picture of a girl in a schoolgirl uniform that carried a huge blade. It was then he knew this girl, Rukia Kuchiki, would be a shinigami.
Shonen Jump initially turned down Bleach. Kubo was disappointed, but soon received a letter from Akira Toriyama, creator of everything Dragonball. That letter cheered Kubo up, and soon after Weekly Shonen realized their error, and published Bleach. 7 years later, Bleach has become a worldwide success. It has sold over 40 million books and has become on the same level with Dragonball here in the United States.
With the recent trend of turning anime into live-action movies, Kubo says,
If it were possible to do ‘Bleach’ as a live-action movie, I wouldn’t have drawn the manga. I want to draw something that can only be done as a manga.
That’s good news to those that feel live action ruins great anime. I can’t wait to see what Tite Kubo has for us in store as I know Bleach will be around for a long time to come.
Via Los Angeles Times.