Bleach's Tite Kubo Draws Manga in Search of Dying Fan

Bleach's Tite Kubo Draws Manga in Search of Dying Fan

With more than 83 million copies sold as of 2013, there’s no denying that Tite Kubo’s shonen manga Bleach earned its place as one of the most popular manga of all time, and with its serialization having run in Weekly Shonen Jump for an incredible fifteen years from 2001 to finally reaching its end just three months ago in August, there can be no doubt that this manga which many people had read since they were children had a massive effect on them. People grew up following its story and watched Ichigo Kurosaki grow as a person and Soul Reaper while his friends all developed their own skills, as well.

That influence isn’t one-sided, though. Manga of this scale are written with true passion through the best and hardest times of their creator’s lives, and just as mangaka can affect fans, fans can likewise influence mangaka.

Like many mangaka, Tite Kubo values his fans highly. When you’ve put your blood, sweat, and tears into a work, it’s no surprise that sometimes you’ll feel like quitting, and like any artist, Tite Kubo felt that, but letters and support from fans often helped him get back up. He’s kept the tens of thousands of fan letters he received over those fifteen years, but one in particular is of special importance, and on Nov. 17, he posted a short comic on Twitter explaining this letter and its importance, and then asked his fans a favor.

Kubo begins the comic by thanking his fans for their immense support over the fifteen years of the comic. He then explains that he would sometimes get colds while working on Bleach, but would usually be able to recover pretty quickly. About ten years in, though, he got a cold that he couldn’t shake off. It kept coming back each time he thought he recovered, and eventually he felt so drained and unable to continue that he wasn’t sure he could finish Bleach.

It was at this time that he received a letter from a young fan. The boy explained that he was sick and his medicine had stopped working, so he was in the hospital. He had stopped enjoying things like TV or video games because they reminded him of his friends, and he had learned that his illness was incurable. He had eighteen months to live.

The boy decided to dive into the world of manga, something he was able to find enjoyment in, and then came across Bleach. He loved this manga, and for the first time since finding out his illness was incurable, he had started thinking about ‘tomorrow.’ It gave him life again.

The letter went on to say that he had asked for it to be sent after his death, meaning he had passed away, and it ended with his request: Please draw Bleach the way you want to until its end. I want to read that.

Kubo continued the comic with a request of his own. This letter had given him strength to keep drawing the comic, and he wants to find out anything he can about this boy to show his appreciation. You can see and read the comic below.

This is the letter in question, and hopefully Kubo will be able to find out the identity of or any other information about the boy.

I’ve uploaded a picture of the actual letter. It doesn’t matter what kind of information you have about him. If you know anything, please send a message through this form.

We hope Kubo-sensei finds the fan!

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