Bleach: Tite Kubo’s Unconventional Name for the Series Has a Deeper Meaning After He Almost Chose a ‘Boring’ Alternative

Tite Kubo talks about how he came up with the title Bleach for his manga series.



  • Tite Kubo's Bleach is one of the most distinctive storylines, as it revolves around Soul Reapers.
  • However, Kubo's masterpiece is distinguished by more than just its narrative. The series' name also has a unique meaning that many fans are unaware of.
  • Once, Tite Kubo explained how he came up with the name "Bleach" for his masterpiece.
Show More
Featured Video

Tite Kubo’s Bleach is one of the most unique stories because it is based around Soul Reapers who are trying to protect their Soul Society from impending doom while also maintaining peace on Earth. However, the story is not the only thing that is unique about Kubo’s magnum opus. The name of the series also has a unique connection that many fans don’t know.

Bleach Anime
Bleach Anime

Bleach as a name felt weird to a lot of fans as it did not have any direct reference to the vast variety of elements of the series. For example, Dragon Ball’s name references the magical orbs that give rise to a mysterious dragon who grants wishes. This is why Kubo once revealed how he came up with the name “Bleach” for his magnum opus.

But Bleach was not the first choice of the manga creator. He initially planned another name for the series but later changed it to make it more relevant to the story.


Tite Kubo Revealed How He Came Up With Bleach

In an interview with Anime Insider in 2008, which was later shared by Animetics, Kubo was asked about his inspiration for Bleach. The manga revealed that he wanted to draw Soul Reapers with Kimono, and as the color of a Soul Reaper’s kimono is black, he focused the name around it.

Kubo stated:

“The Soul Reaper — the color that you associate with the Soul Reaper is black. But. “black” is too straightforward. So I thought about “white,” but just white is too simple. So if you put “bleach,” somebody can associate that with white. So that’s how Bleach came.”

Kuchiki Rukia in Black Kimono
Kuchiki Rukia in Black Kimono

Soul Reapers in Bleach wear black kimonos and carry swords, which is why he first thought of naming the series Black. But it was too simple for his manga series which is why he went with the opposite of it: White. He faced the same problem with white, which is why he finalized Bleach; it represented the color white in a way.


Bleach was Originally Going to be Called Snipe

As mentioned above, Kubo was going to name his manga series “Black,” but that was also not the first choice of the manga creator. He initially planned that all the Soul Reapers would have guns instead of their traditional swords, except Rukia, who would have a scythe. The Soul Reapers would actually be gunslingers instead of swordsmen.

Bleach Hell Arc
Bleach Anime Series

This is why he decided to call the series “Snipe” based on snipers. However, as Kubo went on with the idea of black kimonos for the attire of Soul Reapers, he disliked the idea of them wielding guns while wearing traditional Japanese clothing. This is why he decided to name the series around the kimonos.

If Tite Kubo had gone with his original idea of using guns as the main weapon for the Soul Reapers, the story would have developed differently, and a lot of the narratives from the manga series would have changed. This could have very well stopped Bleach from becoming one of the Big Three and gaining international recognition for being one of the best anime and manga series of all time.


You can watch Bleach on Hulu.


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.