The Bleach manga is on a long 3 week break so mangaka Kubo Tite can do a little investigating for the new Bleach arc. Luckily, Kubo-sensei won’t leave us completely Shinigami-less during this time as he offers some information in Shonen Jump to feed our need for Bleach! This segment is titled “Repeat & Reboot Vol 1. Birth” and includes some information we’ve wondered about in the past as well as some insights into the future of Bleach. Scan #1 mentions that the new Bleach arc will begin with Weekly Shonen Jump Issue #11 (which from our understanding is officially released in Japan on February 13, but we could be wrong).
Scan #2 offers a little of history of Bleach.
This includes what Kubo-sensei drew up in his journal as Ichigo and Rukia’s designs during the planning stages of Bleach, before the manga was actually published in Shonen Jump. Kubo-sensei mentions the early design of Ichigo with glasses made him look like a young intellectual and along with a scythe-wielding Rukia, thee two look very different from the characters they are today. The scan mentions that in order to protect his family, friends, and Karakura Town, Ichigo became a Shinigami. Taking Rukia’s place, he fought and confronted the hollow responsible for his mother’s death. Then one day, representatives from another world appeared to take Rukia away.
Scan #2 also explains that each arc has its own theme. The Soul Society arc was about saving Rukia. The Arrancar arc was about saving Orihime. The Lost Agent arc was connected to Chad. And the new arc will be about, well, it leaves us at a cliffhanger!
Kubo-sensei mentions that he had created Hirako before Bleach was published in Shonen Jump, and actually had drew him in the very first color spread of the first chapter, but didn’t introduce him until later in the series. Kubo-sensei’s original goal of the manga was to draw stories about Ichigo’s classmates, so he drew in Hirako as one.
As for Ichigo’s latest outfit, which is pictured at the bottom left of scan #2, Kubo-sensei has sent it to his editor before the start of the Lost Agent arc. The armor around his arms and neck represent how much Ichigo has grown, mixing the look of his Shinigami and Fullbring powers.
Scan #3 talks about the Gotei 13 in an interview-like fashion
The topic is about what happened and what they did during the 17 months between Ichigo’s defeat of Aizen and the start of the Lost Agent arc. The first person of focus is the Captain of the First Division, Yamamoto Genryuusai Shigekuni, who lost his arm due to a sacrificial kido during the Lost Agent Arc. The scan mentions he is a softer, kinder person now, but the question mentioned in the scan is if he has gotten any stronger.
Question: What is the deal on First Division Captain Yamamoto Genryuusai Shigekuni arm?
Kubo: He only has his right arm.
Question: Is that all that’s changed?
Kubo: I think Genryuusai wouldn’t change much from his current state even if he trained. Wouldn’t it be strange for someone who’s lived for over two thousand years to change over a period of 17 months? However, he does have unseen, inner changes.
The next person of interest if the Second Division Captain Soi Fon, who changed her hair during the 17 month period, possibly to make her quicker in battle. She lost her left hand during the battle with Barragan, thanks to the healing skills within the Gotei 13, it has now been restored.
Question: What happened to the hand lost to “aging?”
Kubo: Soi Fon’s left hand has been healed.
Question: What about her change in appearance?
Kubo: Her hair has changed a little. Speaking of changes, I also wanted to change Yoruichi, but her current look really suits her, so it’s difficult for me.
The third person the scan talks about is the Captain of the Third Division, also a Vizard, Otoribashi Rojuro (Rose). He has returned to the position he held a hundred years ago with Kira remaining the lieutenant of the Third Division.
Question: Rojuro has rejoined the Gotei 13.
Kubo: Rojuro and Kira suit each other very well, so I decided to put Rojuro into the Third Division. I should add that Shinji returned to the Fifth Division, and Kensei returned to the Ninth.
The fourth and final person of interest in the scan and in the interview with Kubo Tite is the Captain of the Fourth Division, Unohana Retsu. The scan mentions Unohana, will finally use her Zanpakuto against an enemy and enter battle in the up-coming new arc. She is the most senior member of the Gotei 13, after the Captain Commander, and has a special duty of healing others.
Question: Unohana will finally fight?
Kubo: In the next arc, I’ve decided that Unohana will enter the battlefiled. Her zanpakuto’s true form will also be revealed. I can also add that when Unohana fights, she unravels her large braid.
In next week’s Shonen Jump, volume 2 of the “Repeat & Reboot” segment featuring Bleach and Kubo-sensei, the new arc’s battlefield is described along with information on members of the Gotei 13’s fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth divisions.
Credit goes to Saiyan Island’s NaruHina_fan_girl for providing this information!