“Your manga is not good”: Dragon Ball Legend Wanted Bleach’s Tite Kubo to Ditch His Original Style, Said They’ll Never be a Hit

How Tite Kubo was almsot forced into changing his storytelling and art to fit into WSJ standards.

dragon ball, bleach


  • Tite Kubo recounts that his first one shot led him to harsh criticism.
  • He was called in by Weekly Shonen Jump's editor in chief to have a talk.
  • The editor told him to follow Dragon Ball's style, but Kubo eventually created his own masterpiece without paying heed to those words.
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While Bleach is considered Tite Kubo’s Magnum Opus, it wasn’t his first manga. Any great work of art has several undiscovered or abandoned pieces behind it, and it’s the same with Kubo.


His one-shots before Bleach were coarse in nature and attracted severe criticism in the manga industry. In a radio interview, the author opened up about how he was once critiqued by an extremely famous editor.

Tite Kubo’s Previous One Shots Before Bleach

Ichigo Kurosaki
Ichigo Kurosaki in Bleach | Crunchyroll

Tite Kubo wrote several one-shots before Bleach was serialized. Kubo’s previous manga, Zombiepowder, was serialized in the Weekly Shonen Jump magazine between 1999 and 2000. It was a short serialization and did not receive much fanfare in Japan, but was successful overseas.


Before the launch of Zombiepowder, Kubo wrote two one-shots: Ultra Unholy Hearted Machine and Rune Master Urara. The one-shots came out in 1996, but they were not appreciated by the industry’s higher-ups.

Back when Kubo’s one-shots were released, he was a rookie, and the serializations were considered to be too early in his career. When the one-shots were serialized, Kubo did not have a lot of experience. His trademark designs were absent, and the art style was rough. This did not fare well with his seniors. In fact, he was often scolded and was even called in by a renowned person just to receive some extremely harsh feedback.

Tite Kubo Received Tough Schooling from Dragon Ball‘s Editor

Bleach Anime by Tite Kubo
Bleach Anime | Crunchyroll

Before Tite Kubo’s second one-shot was released, he was called to Tokyo by none other than the editor-in-chief of Shueisha, Torishima. Kazuhiko Torishima joined as an editor of the Weekly Shonan Jumo and began overseeing Dr. Slump, Dragon Ball, and other hit series.


When Tite Kubo reached Shueisha due to Torishima’s summoning, he was met with a disappointed editor. He met up with Torishima along with his editor. Torishima then told him:

Your manga is not good. Go home and read these. Write these kinds of manga

Apparently, Torishima had thrust Kubo with copies of Dragon Ball and Fist of the North Star and demanded that Kubo follow the styles of these famous Shonen works if he wanted to be successful. In fact, his intonation was extremely harsh with the budding writer.

Naturally, Kubo did not like it and thought of Torishima as a ‘bas**rd’. Kubo realized that the intention behind the meeting was to make him produce huge Shonen hits like the examples he was shown. He did not, in fact, read the provided volumes later, though he was already familiar with them, given their popularity.

Bleach Thousand-Year Blood War animation
Ichigo Kurosaki in Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War arc (Credit: Studio Pierrot, Crunchyroll)

After his manga Zombiepowder ended in 2000, Kubo’s editor told him to write another one-shot unless he wanted to be forgotten. Thus, Kubo wrote the Bleach one-shot that later inspired his biggest franchise, whose anime is still ongoing with the Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War arc.

Nonetheless, Bleach never followed in Dragon Ball‘s footsteps and yet became one of the most successful franchises in existence.

You can read Bleach on Viz Media and watch the anime on Crunchyroll. Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War arc is available to stream on Disney+.


Written by Aaheli Pradhan

Articles Published: 193

Aaheli is an anime content writer at FandomeWire. With four years of experience under her belt, she is a living, breathing encyclopedia for anime and manga. She believes in living a slow life, surrounded by incomplete art projects and her beloved cat.