is a Japanese shōnen manga series written and illustrated by Noriaki "Tite" Kubo. Bleach follows the adventures of Ichigo Kurosaki after he obtains the powers of a —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.
Bleach has been serialized in the Japanese manga anthology Weekly Shōnen Jump since August 2001, and has been collected into 51 tankōbon volumes . Since its publication, Bleach has spawned a media franchise that includes an ongoing animated television series that is produced by Studio Pierrot in Japan, two original video animation, four animated feature films, seven rock musicals, and numerous video games, as well as many types of Bleach-related merchandise.
Volumes of the manga have sold more than 72 million copies in Japan , and is one of the most sold mangas in the United States. The anime adaptation has been similarly received; it was rated as the fourth most popular anime television series in Japan in 2006 and held a position amongst the top ten anime in the United States from 2006 to 2008. The series received the Shogakukan Manga Award for the shōnen demographic in 2005, and is among the best-selling manga issues in both Japan and the United States.
As time passes and Rukia has yet to return to the Soul Society, her Shinigami superiors learn about her whereabouts and actions and sentence her to death for performing the illegal act of transferring her powers. Although Ichigo is unable to stop Rukia's departure to the Soul Society, Ichigo resolves to rescue her with the aid of several of his spiritually aware classmates, Orihime Inoue, Yasutora Sado, and Ishida Uryū, and the black cat Shihōin Yoruichi and Urahara Kisuke. Once at the Soul Society, Ichigo and company battle against the elites of the Shinigami military and strive to reach Rukia before her execution.
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