Producers: TV Tokyo, Aniplex, Dentsu, TV Tokyo Music, Studio Kelmadick, Shueisha
Licensors: Viz Media
Studios: Studio Pierrot
Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Super Power, Supernatural, Shounen
Duration: 24 min. per ep.
Rating: PG-13 – Teens 13 or older
Bleach (stylized as BLEACH) is a Japanese anime television series based on Tite Kubo’s original manga series of the same name. It was produced by Studio Pierrot and directed by Noriyuki Abe. The series aired on TV Tokyo from October 2004 to March 2012, spanning 366 episodes.
The story follows the adventures of Ichigo Kurosaki after he obtains the powers of a Soul Reaper—a death personification similar to the Grim Reaper—from another Soul Reaper, Rukia Kuchiki.
His newfound powers force him to take on the duties of defending humans from evil spirits and guiding departed souls to the afterlife. The anime adaptation includes original storylines not found in the manga with repeated appearances and stories containing these original characters.
The Bleach anime series adapts Kubo’s manga but also introduces several original, self-contained story arcs. In Karakura Town, a 15-year-old high school student Ichigo Kurosaki becomes a substitute Soul Reaper (死神, Shinigami, literally, “Death God”) when Rukia Kuchiki, a Soul Reaper, cannot fulfill her duties after engaging in battle with a particularly powerful Hollow.
Although initially reluctant to accept the heavy responsibility, he begins eliminating Hollows in Rukia’s place and during this time discovers that several of his friends and classmates are spiritually aware and have powers of their own: Uryū Ishida is a Quincy who can use spirit particles, Orihime Inoue possesses a group of protective spirits known as the Shun Shun Rikka and Yasutora Sado (“Chad”) has strength equal to the Hollows encased in his tough right (and occasionally left) arm.