Logo of Bleach.
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Jump|
|Genre(s)||Action, Adventure, Fantasy|
|Year of inception||2001|
|Original run||August 20, 2001 – August 22, 2016|
The Bleach (ブリーチ) universe refers to the Super Smash Flash series' collection of characters, stages, and properties that hail from Weekly Shōnen Jump's manga series written and illustrated by Tite Kubo. Bleach follows the adventures of Ichigo Kurosaki after he accidentally obtains the power of a Shinigami—a Japanese death personification similar to the Grim Reaper—from Rukia Kuchiki. Bleach has been continuously serialized from August 2001 to August 2016 and has been collected in 74 tankōbon volumes. The anime adaptation has been similarly received, rating as the 7th most popular anime television series in Japan in 2006, and in the top ten anime for North America from 2006 to 2008. The series received the Shogakukan Manga Award for the shōnen demographic in 2005, and is among the best-selling manga properties in both Japan and North America.
Bleach was first conceived from a desire on Tite Kubo's part to draw shinigami in kimono, which formed the basis for the design of the Soul Reapers in the series, and the conception of character Rukia Kuchiki. The original story concept was submitted to Weekly Shōnen Jump shortly after the cancellation of Tite Kubo's previous manga Zombiepowder., but was rejected. Manga artist Akira Toriyama saw the story and wrote a letter of encouragement to Kubo. Bleach was accepted for publication a short time later, in 2001, and was initially intended to be a shorter series, with a maximum serialization length of five years. Early plans for the story did not include the hierarchical structure of Soul Society, but did include some characters and elements which did not come into the plot until the Arrancar arc, such as Ichigo's Soul Reaper heritage. The series was originally meant to be named "Black" due to the color of the Soul Reapers' clothes, but Kubo thought it was too generic. He later tried giving it the name of "White", but came to like more "Bleach" as it was associated with the white color and he did not find it too obvious.
The chapters of the Bleach manga were written and illustrated by Tite Kubo. In Japan, they have been published in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump since 2001. Since Bleach's premiere, 686 chapters have been released. Most chapter names are in English and have katakana above them to indicate how they are read in Japanese, similar to furigana ruby characters used with advanced kanji characters. In addition to the main series chapters, some chapters are published with a negative chapter number. These "negative" chapters are side stories and consist of events that precede the start of the series. North American licensor Viz Media has been serializing the individual chapters in Shonen Jump since November 2007 in the United States. The individual chapters are collected by Shueisha in a series of tankōbon volumes, which include a poem based on the cover character, with the first volume being released on January 5, 2002.
The episodes of the Bleach anime series are directed by Noriyuki Abe and produced by TV Tokyo, Dentsu, and Studio Pierrot. The episodes have aired from October 5, 2004 to March 27, 2012 on TV Tokyo in Japan. Viz Media obtained the foreign television, home video, and merchandising rights to the Bleach anime from TV Tokyo Corporation and Shueisha on March 15, 2006, and the English adaptation of the anime first premiered on Canada's YTV channel in the Bionix programming block on September 8, 2006. In addition to adapting the first 54 volumes of the manga, the anime also introduces several original, self-contained story arcs due to the production outpacing that of the manga at certain points. A new anime adaptation, Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War, is scheduled to air in October 2022 and adapt the final story arc of the manga.
The Bleach franchise has spawned several video games, many of which are exclusive to Japan. These mainly include fighting games, such as the Bleach: Heat the Soul series by Eighting and the Bleach: Blade Battlers series by SCEI, as well as role-playing games such as Bleach: The 3rd Phantom by Tom Create and the Bleach: Soul Carnival series by BANDAI NAMCO Games. Bleach has also been featured in several Weekly Shōnen Jump crossover games, such as Jump Ultimate Stars, J-Stars Victory VS, and Jump Force.
In the Super Smash Flash series
In Super Smash Flash 2
The Bleach series debuted in the Super Smash Flash series as one of the earliest franchises to appear in Super Smash Flash 2.
- Ichigo Kurosaki: The primary protagonist of Bleach, an orange haired high school freshman, he is forced to become a Substitute Shinigami after unwittingly absorbing most of Rukia's powers. Ichigo was the first character programmed into SSF2, the first manga-originated character to appear in the game and is one first four characters to debut in demo v0.1a. Ichigo is able to use the Getsuga Tenshō, a Zangetsu's special ability and technique which involves charging and launching a strong wave in the shape of a crescent moon. Among other attacks, including Flash Step, Ichigo has a Final Smash in which he uses Mugetsu.
- Rukia Kuchiki: The captain of the 13th division in the Gotei 13 makes an appearance as an Assist Trophy. When she is summoned, she uses her signature technique, Some no mai, Tsukishiro, an attack in which Rukia slashes forward, damaging and freezing anyone in her path. She waits a couple seconds before attacking if there's an enemy on stage, but he/she is not in front of her.
- Hueco Mundo: A the desert-like area between the human world and Soul Society. Literally meaning "hollow world" (the word hueco can also mean "empty"), it is where hollows reside when not hunting in the human world, where they are undetectable. The terrain in the middle is flat but in the left side is a huge slope that connects to the boundaries, a hovering platform appears from the abyss on the right side and slides across the stage until it is out of sight.
Media with elements appearing in the Super Smash Flash series
The following list consists of media from the Bleach universe that appears in Super Smash Flash 2.
- Ichigo Kurosaki, who debuted in chapter 1 of this manga as its main protagonist, appears as a starter character in SSF2.
- His design in SSF2 is based on his base Shinigami form, which originates in chapter 1 of this manga.
- Several of Ichigo's moves and animations in SSF2, including his on-screen appearance, midair jump, sidestep, roll, down tilt, dash attack, forward aerial, up throw, side special move, and down special move utilize the Flash Step technique, which originates in this manga.
- Getsuga Tenshō, Ichigo's neutral special move in SSF2, originates as his signature technique in chapter 88 of this manga.
- Mugetsu, Ichigo's Final Smash in SSF2, originates as a technique he performs as Getsuga in chapter 420 of this manga.
- Ichigo's second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, and twelfth costumes in SSF2 are based on Hiyori Sarugaki, Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck, Tōshirō Hitsugaya, Yoruichi Shihōin, Orihime Inoue, Kon, Uryū Ishida, and Zangetsu's spirit, respectively, who each debuted in this manga.
- Ichigo's eleventh costume in SSF2 is based on his incomplete Fullbringer form from this manga.
- Rukia Kuchiki, who debuted in chapter 1 of this manga, appears as an Assist Trophy in SSF2.
- The stage Hueco Mundo in SSF2 is based on a recurring location where the Human World and Soul Society in this anime, debuting prior to its first appearance in the Bleach manga.
- Bleach Medley, a dramatic medley of seven remixed songs (Will of the Heart, Treachery, Invasion, Clavar La Espada, Nube Negra, Quincy's Craft, and What Can You See In Their Eyes) from this anime, plays as Hueco Mundo's main music track in SSF2.
- On the Precipice of Defeat, a synthetic remix of the theme that plays when Ichigo's demise is approaching in this anime, plays as Hueco Mundo's alternate music track in SSF2.
- The victory theme of Ichigo in SSF2 is a remix of an excerpt of the theme Number One from this anime.
- Engetsuzan and Gazan, Ichigo's side special move and down special move in SSF2, respectively, originate as moves he performs in this game.