Bleach: Eiichiro Oda and Masashi Kishimoto Paid a Tribute to Tite Kubo With Their Own Twist to Solidify its ‘Big 3’ Status

Eiichiro Oda and Masashi Kishimoto celebrated the success of Tite Kubo's Bleach in their own way.

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  • Bleach marked its 20th anniversary in 2021 with a new art display that detailed the series' history, development, and advancement over time.
  • Other well-known manga artists in the field got together to celebrate Kubo's legacy by sharing artwork that included characters and scenes from the Bleach manga series.
  • All of the manga artists' artwork was quite precious, but the illustrations by Masashi Kishimoto (Naruto) and Eiichiro Oda (One Piece) were the most valuable.
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In 2021, Bleach celebrated its 20th anniversary with a new art exhibition giving details about the series, its history, its progress over the years, and the overall success of Tite Kubo’s magnum opus. The art exhibition was opened on December 18, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan, and it was probably the biggest celebration of the Bleach franchise.

Bleach Anime
Bleach Anime

To honor the legacy of Kubo and his masterpiece, other prominent manga creators from the industry also came together and shared their own artwork featuring the characters and events from the Bleach manga series. This was their way of congratulating Kubo on completing 20 years and still going strong with the latest adaptation of Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War.

While all the artworks from the manga creators had a lot of importance, the illustrations from Eiichiro Oda (One Piece) and Masashi Kishimoto (Naruto) held the most value, as all of them make up the “Big Three” of the anime industry, and they grew together by competing with each other to create a better series.


Eiichiro Oda and Masashi Kishimoto Paid a Tribute to Tite Kubo

The unofficial account of Weekly Shonen Jump on X(Formerly Twitter) shared a post in December 2021, which revealed the illustrations that the eleven most popular manga creators drew to celebrate Kubo’s legacy.

While most of them featured the protagonist, Ichigo Kurosaki, they all followed the art styles of the mangakas who drew them.


The list included Oda, Kishimoto, Gege Akutami (Jujutsu Kaisen), Koyoharu Gotouge (Demon Slayer), Yuki Tabata (Black Clover), Yusei Matsui (Assassination Classroom), Riichiro Inagaki (Dr. Stone), Kohei Horikoshi (My Hero Academia), Kyousuke Usuta (Pyu to Fuku! Jaguar), Jigoku no Misawa (Kakko Kawaii Sengen! ), and Kouji Ooishi (Inumarudashi).

Ichigo Kurosaki
Ichigo Kurosaki in Bleach

Among all the creators, the most impactful illustrations were by Eiichiro Oda and Kishimoto. Both of them tried to create Ichigo with their own artistic expression. Oda’s Ichigo had the facial characteristics of One Piece characters, while Kishimoto focused more on the background and added nuance to the blade of Ichigo using blood.

The Overall Growth of the Big Three

The three series representing the “Big Three”: One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach started almost at the same time. One Piece was the first to be serialized in 1997. After that, Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto came out in 1999, and finally, Bleach made its debut in 2001. While Naruto has been completed and started with its sequel spin-off, Bleach and One Piece are still in the game.

The Big Three
The Big Three

These three anime and manga series define the very nature of Shonen Jump. They are one of the main contributors to anime and manga getting world recognition, and even after so many years and so many series being released, they are still at the top in terms of numbers, storyline, characters, and quality.

Oda and Kishimoto celebrate Tite Kubo’s achievement, which not only solidifies the status of the “Big Three” but also expresses the respect all three of them have for each other. Even after so many years, they are still considered the pillars of the anime and manga world, and their legacy will remain intact in the future too.

You can watch Bleach and Naruto on Hulu and One Piece on Crunchyroll.


Written by Tarun Kohli

Articles Published: 1132

Konichiwa! With a Master's Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and a 2-year experience in Digital media writing, I am on my way to becoming one of the biggest anime content writers in my country. My passion for writing and Anime has helped me connect with Fandomwire, and share my love and experience with the world.