On November 17, BLEACH author Tite Kubo uploaded on Twitter a short comic that evoked a strong response from readers.
The comic starts expressing his deep gratitude for all the fans. It reveals all the hardships and struggles the author has experienced during BLEACH‘s serialization. He also shares a story about a fan letter that saved him in a very tight moment of his career.
Three months after the end of BLEACH, Tite Kubo felt he still had something left to do and decided to convey his thanks to his readers on Twitter. According to him, over the fifteen years of BLEACH‘s long serialization, he has received tens of thousands of letters from the fans.
The letters have come from a wide range of readers such as a three-year-old boy, a 78-year-old elder and many people from overseas. In this manga, the author says he has read all of the letters and still treasures each one of them.
However, by the time the series celebrated its 10th anniversary, Kubo came down with a nasty, chronic cold. Usually he had been able to get over any cold with six hours of sleep. However, the nasty cold he caught that time was far different and it has afflicted him over a long period of time. He was unable to continue working on BLEACH.
Kubo had a strong belief that manga authors must deliver work every week. He thought he didn’t deserve to be a manga author anymore. The only thing he was thinking about during that time was how he could quickly finish the serialization.
Then, he received a single anonymous letter.
The letter was from a boy struggling with illness. The boy said that the illness suddenly deprived him of his joyful school life, confined him to an empty hospital room, and put him in a tough state in which he couldn’t feel any joy.
He was told he only had a year and half left to live.
That he started to read manga so he can get absorbed in their worlds and forget about his difficulties. He found BLEACH and it gave him hope for the future.
The boy had wished for the letter to be send after his passing. Kubo knew that the boy had already passed away by the time he read it.
At the end of the letter, the boy made a request: ‘I want to read BLEACH created by the author’s free will’ Having been inspired by the boy’s wish, Kubo took up his pen and started drawing.
Kubo asked for the help of his fans. He made this Twitter comic because he wanted to find the sender of the letter and express his gratitude.
The purpose of art is to instill hope in one’s heart. Many similar episodes have inspired artists to give their work everything they’ve got. Kubo is one of those artists.