Although there’s no sign of a comeback for the anime or manga version of Bleach, fans will still have plenty to look forward to in 2018. The live-action adaptation of the series is heading to Japanese theaters soon, and every new look at the series looks better than the last.
Warner Bros. Japan is celebrating its upcoming release by debuting a new look at the film’s version of fan-favorite Shinigami, Rukia.
The new character visual features the live-action Rukia’s Shinegami and student versions. The movie will be following the “Substiture Shinegami” arc from Tite Kubo’s internationally-bestselling manga, which of course is the very first major arc in the franchise. It features Ichigo doing Rukia’s Shinegami duties after he accidentally “steals” her powers. This forces Rukia to live among humans and even go to Ichigo’s school.
主人公・黒崎一護とともに物語のキーパーソンとなる、👻悪霊・虚〈ホロウ〉を葬る死神・朽木ルキア役に、2017年の映画賞を総なめ🏆✨ 2018年最注目女優🎬 #杉咲花 さんが決定❗ 女子高生姿＆死神姿のビジュアル初披露🎉
— 映画『BLEACH』公式 (@bleach_moviejp) 2018年2月4日
The live-action Bleach adaptation will release July 20 in Japan, and it stars Sota Fukushi as Ichigo Kurosaki and Hana Sugisaki as Rukia Kuchiki. The new poster shows Sugisaki’s take on Rukia in both her traditional Shinigami garb and her schoolgirl look in the living world.
Though there has yet to be any footage released of the film outside of its initial teaser featuring a fiery Ichigo Kurosaki cutting down a Hollow with his Zanpankuto, and fans have been waiting for more ever since. With the film’s imminent release in Japan, there will surely be more footage released soon. Otherwise, there’s very little known about the project but series creator Tite Kubo shared his thoughts in an interview with TBS Japan.
He spoke about his excitement and confidence in the adaptation stating that, ““For the Japanese live-action version, I feel that we have come close to the original work…I am really looking forward to it.”
While Kubo is excited about the live-action film, fans are a little more wary as anime adaptations don’t have the best reputation. But given the increase in quality for them in recent years, maybe fans won’t have to worry as much.
For those unfamiliar with Tite Kubo’s Bleach, the series follows the young delinquent Ichigo Kurosaki, who had the ability to see spirits. He soon obtains the power of a Soul Reaper – one meant to usher lost souls to the afterlife – and now has the duty to defend the living world from monstrous dark spirits known as Hollows.
The manga was serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump from 2001 to 2016, and was collected into 74 volumes. It has been adapted into English thanks to VIZ Media, and has sold over 900 million copies in Japan. The series was adapted into an anime by Studio Pierrot from 2004 to 2012, and has four feature-length animations, rock musicals, video games, and a ton of other merchandise.
The English language broadcast premiered on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block in 2006, and you currently find the Japanese and English language versions now streaming on Hulu.