“As Long As The Work Exists, The Author Is Not Dead” Bleach Creator Tite Kubo Pays Tribute To Akira Toriyama

WSJ editors were planning on cancelling Bleach, so apparently Toriyama sent in a letter of recommendation and saved the series from cancellation. 


Akira Toriyama and his works have directly touched the lives of so many people, including Bleach manga author Tite Kubo. While Eiichiro Oda and Masashi Kishimoto credited Toriyama to be the main inspiration for their work, Kubo, on the other hand, has a more personal connection with him.

Without Toriyama’s help, Bleach wouldn’t have seen the light of day and I mean literally!

Following the cancellation of Zombiepowder, “Kubo submitted Bleach’s initial draft to Weekly Shonen Jump, hoping that it would be published. But the story was rejected, since the editors claimed it was too similar to Yoshihiro Togashi’s Yu Yu Hakusho. However, Toriyama sent a letter of encouragement to Kubo, which inspired him to continue working on Bleach.

Upon a second attempt, Kubo was subsequently accepted and BLEACH was serialized, much to his joy.

The editors were planning on cancelling the manga, so apparently Toriyama sent in a letter of recommendation and saved the series from cancellation.

The Bleach creator had also taken inspiration from Dragon Ball, where he said he took hints from Tao Pai-pai, Chiaotzu, Piccolo, Raditz, Vegeta, Nappa, Zarbon, Dodoria, Ginyu, Recoom, aand Frieza to create his own batch of villains for Bleach.

Upon Toriyama’s passing on Mar 1, Kubo released his statement on Mar 10, 2024, saying he doesn’t actually feel Toriyama is gone but he lives forever through his works.

“It would be strange to write a diary without mentioning this, so I’ll just talk about something serious. Personally, I don’t feel any loneliness or pain. I’m not saying there aren’t any at all, but there aren’t as many as I thought. It’s the death of someone I’ve read since I was a child, someone who works in the same magazine as me, and someone I’m deeply influenced by, so it feels different than when I deal with death in general, but that’s why I feel like it doesn’t exist. I’ve never really talked about this to anyone, but I’ve always believed that creating things means expanding your sensibilities and expanding your life. This is because I believe that as long as the work exists, the author is not dead. And I believe that being able to properly get used to this feeling is proof of the magnitude of the work’s existence that remains in my heart. That’s all.”

(Tite Kubo’s rendition of Dragon Ball villains and characters)

About Dragon Ball:

Dragon Ball is a manga series by Akira Toriyama. It first began its serialization in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in 1984.

The manga was later adapted into a multitude of animated series, movies, and games.

The franchise consists of five different anime series, about 21 animated movies, and around 10 games spanning various platforms, from Famicon to Playstation and Xbox.

Synopsis of the Dragon Ball anime:

Goku Son is a young boy who lives in the woods all alone—that is, until a girl named Bulma runs into him in her search for a set of magical objects called the “Dragon Balls.”

Since the artefacts are said to grant one wish to whoever collects all seven, Bulma hopes to gather them and wish for a perfect boyfriend.

Goku happens to be in possession of a dragon ball, but unfortunately for Bulma, he refuses to part ways with it, so she makes him a deal: he can tag along on her journey if he lets her borrow the dragon ball’s power.

With that, the two set off on the journey of a lifetime.

Source: Twitter