Kubo appeared during Jump festa during December 2011, his hair was styled differently and he removed his glasses. Kubo answered a few questions and spoke about his manga - Bleach, like he does every year in an interview.
^ Kubos art on display.
Q: Ichigo, Shinigami vs. XCUTION. The whereabouts of the battle?
A: In Ginjou’s design, his appearance came to mind first. Kanji "Go" in name Kuugo was made in pair for Ichigo’s "Go". "Kuugo" was named as an opposite to Ichigo.
(空吾Kuugo – One who is empty; 一護Ichigo – One who is protecting)
The reaction of the readers for the part where Ginjou betrays them was good. It was large. Ginjou was suspicious from the start, and the readers were feeling ill/doubtful of him, so now that is cleared.
Touchi: Ginjou has always been suspicious and it was a betrayal at a point where I start to think if he was a nakama, so I was surprised.
Ono D: Tsukishima is alone. More than being a nakama to Ginjou and the gang, he’s more of a “business partner”. Seems about to explain and doesn’t.
Kubo: Tsukishima’s solitude is an important point.
Kubo sensei creates powers by their images/impressions.
Tsukishima’s solitude is a key.
The book that Tsukishima is reading is “The Return of Aion” by George Kirian
He thought of it when requested by the anime staff for “even just the cover…”. He thought of a title for a book Tsukishima’s most likely to read.
Aion (ancient Greek) refers to a period of time, a generation a century, a person’s lifetime.
Kirian is derived from an actual person.
There’s no meaning to Tsukishima’s name. Tsukishima’s appearance and name came to mind simultaneously. Kubo was originally thinking about a Shinigami "with a beautiful sword". Tsukishima was created many years ago. Perhaps he might have appeared as a Shinigami.
Chapters 477 and 478 are Lost Substitute Shinigami Arc climax. Lost Substitute Shinigami Arc was very gloomy, dark and a tiring story, and Kubo is grateful that fans kept reading.
Q: Why are only those Shinigami came to the Real World?
A:Kubo: Because they are characters who have a strong bond with Ichigo. They must be the ones to come and help Ichigo, no other way around! So that’s that. Though I was hesitating about Ikkaku, haha.
Q. We’ve already get the backgrounds from each members of the XCUTION but can you tell us more about the process how you first created them?
A. While I’m drawing BLEACH among the characters that keeps popping up inside my head there are this group that「Haven’t appeared in soul society or hueco mundo. They belong in the real world」 I picked those who has the best looks be it individually and when being put together as a group then I put them on the manga.
Q. Please tell us more about the change of designs from Ichigo’s Fullbring outfit to his new appearance when he got back his shinigami power.
A . Ichigo’s fullbring outfit was based from the image of tokusatsu heroes that little kids would find it as cool. My goal when designing the fullbring outfit was to give the longtime BLEACH readers in certain age groups feels uneasy and worried, so the “relieved” impact when Ichigo is back in his shihakuso (shinigami robes) can be felt more immensely. At the same time I designed those with 「an outfit that would suits Ginjou far better than Ichigo」in mind.
Q. Some messages for the contestants?
A. There are not many jobs that enables you to make something you truly love in a way that you also love. Being a mangaka is one of those few jobs. Let’s draw with enjoyment, and when you can’t find the enjoyment when drawing then stop because I don’t think readers can enjoy reading something that the author himself didn’t enjoy making it.
Yay for the end of this abysmal arc! And yes, Lost Substitute Shinigami Arc was very gloomy. If by gloomy you mean "fucking terrible". Kubo better be damn grateful that people (ie. those that actually pay for Shounen Jump, not us parasites who just read scans) kept reading.
On a side note I poked around for transcript of the interview. Ended up on a site called "death berry". Christ. People actually refer to Kubo as "the Sensei". Unfuckingbelievable.
Yeah, it's good to know that the arc is going to be over after Chapter 478, but I just hope we get a back-story on Ginjou, Tsukishima, and/or Isshin. Or, maybe the Isshin back-story will be given in the next arc. Looking forward to it either way, though.
Click this Spoiler Tag to see (the rest of) my Stuff!
Bankai - Ichigo's Photobucket--click to see it!
In this spoiler tag are my three Sig banners that I had made by other people, and their names are in the spoiler tag [I've been experimenting with Photoshop, so my work is there as well now] (first Spoiler Tag is for Bleach, and the second one is for other series):
Signatures by me, Seikaeku, Mobius, JadorOnizuka, Cmc 42, Goroth, MMZ, KingtheKing, Emperor Tomato Ketchup, and notorious UZIMAKI, respectively (the very first four are my own work, as well as the purple Yoruichi Sig and the Yoruichi Sig with her in partial cat form).
Signatures by me, Emperor Tomato Ketchup and SonPan (the YGO 5d's one is from SonPan and the Air Gear ones are my own work; the Natsume Maya Sig (Tenjou Tenge) is also my own work).
Wanna Learn Something? Here are some quotes in the spoiler tag that you guys may want to look at; they're awesome quotes with great descriptions, you might actually learn something!
"Life is a game; if you don't have the skills, you won't succeed."
As Zei's Sig used to say, "The Bankai doesn't make the person, the person makes the Bankai".
"You can't have everything done your way; otherwise, you'll just become arrogant."
--Me. This ties in with the thing about nobles: nobles basically get everything they want, and when they don't get something they wanted, they think things like "How could this have happened?!" or "I'm supposed to be the center of everything; the world revolves around me!" But hey, we know that the world revolves around the sun, so that kind of thinking is just wrong; and that, my friends, is what being arrogant is like. Nobles that are arrogant also tend to think that commoners always mean them harm; either that or they just want to "wound their pride". But of course, there are some nobles that are good hearted and actually care about the part of society that aren't nobles--since this is about the Bleach anime/manga series, I'll use two examples of this type of noble person from the Bleach series: Yoruichi (of course, I mean c'mon! She is a princess, but does she care about rank?! No, she doesn't!) Example 2: Ukitake.
OK, now this one I learned from life: "Life isn't fair; don't fret or worry too much if you don't get a certain thing you wanted, or if something isn't done how you hoped or wanted it to".
"When asking a question, remember what the what the question was to be able to answer it." Means that when you are asking a question, you should always remember what the question was to answer it.
"Looks can be deceiving--don't always go by what you think is the truth based on how things appear (to the eyes)."
"No one is perfect; everyone makes mistakes."
- Of course it's a cliche (spelling?) saying, but it's still a damn good one.
"Don't believe half of what you hear and don't always believe everything you see."
-Another cliche saying, but this one is also a damn good one.
As Notorious Uzimaki quoted Gandhi in the 3rd Division, "Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony". [Uzimaki's explanation of the quote: "too often not the case, rationalizing mis-actions, cognitive dissonance. i always try to remind myself of this quote in difficult situations."
Division I am in:
[Avatar: The Last Airbender FC (FC is inactive, and there's no working banner atm, either.]
The Realm of Kokuraimaru is a huge, wide, endless plain covered with countless craters, gashes, and burn-marks, while also being shrouded in darkness, as it is always nighttime there. There is a faint, eerie glow however, due to there being a group of extremely dense storm clouds present in the sky, from which high voltage lightning comes out to scorch the ground. There are also strong and violent gales that constantly blow in this inner world.
The storm clouds almost always have in them thunderstorms that have black lightning with a dark-blue outline. That black lightning within the inner world is itself Kokuraimaru. He is everywhere within this realm, as an almost omnipresent being.
As he is made purely of lightning, he is actually able to take virtually any form he wants (note: this ability does not translate into Shikai or Bankai; it is Kokuraimaru's ability alone). Whenever I go into my inner world outside of Bankai, Kokuraimaru would take his lightning form out of the other places and present most of it in front of me temporarily in the form of free-flowing lightning (for the amount of time that I am in the inner world).
He was not always a Zanpakutō Spirit. Originally, he was Raijin, the Japanese Shinto god of storms, thunder and lightning. He "died" and later reincarnated as my Zanpakutō with some help from Ouetsu (creator of Zanpakutō) in the process of becoming my Zanpakutō, according to what he's told me. He has a companion wolf made of the same dark blue energy as he is, with his body wrapped in lightning. His name is Kokuraiko ([黒雷子] Dark Lightning Child) and he is an incarnation of Raijū, who is said to be a companion of Raijin in Japanese mythology and Shintoism. Whenever black thunderstorms are occurring, he gets agitated and creates trouble within this Realm. Kokuraimaru has to flex his reiatsu to calm him down. Sometimes, when that is not enough, I have to weigh in with my own reiatsu.
In character, Kokuraimaru is kind and strong-willed, but is sometimes easily angered. When we get into arguments, there are times when he tends to get a little cranky when he is unable to get the last word and/or "win" the argument. He also has a very bad habit of coming off as arrogant without meaning to, oftentimes. Kokuraiko is the same in personality as Kokuraimaru.
When we spar, he takes the form of a man wielding his Shikai sword. When I visit the inner world in Bankai, there is a noticeable change in the inner world to represent that: the complete lack of black thunderstorms due to the fact that, in Bankai, he is permanently in his "human" form, as a master swordsman Spirit that is 6ft in height, has almost no weight due to being lightning, and blue eyes and blue-black hair that reaches down to his waist, hanging loose (untied).
In his "human" form, he is dressed in a samurai get-up that is enough of a darker blue that it looks almost black, except he is barefoot. He wields the same sword I have in Bankai. The belt on the outfit is black, with the kanji for "black" on the left strap of the belt tie and the kanji for "lightning" on the right one. Kokuraimaru is ancient himself, but his "human" form looks to still be in his 20s, and is also seemingly lean and well-built. On his back, with their top sides facing forward, are three black drums with three tomoe on each of them. There are no drumsticks to go with the drums, but they are not needed as Kokuraimaru is able to beat on them with just the force of his reiatsu alone (is translated into Bankai as well; it's not that I do this with my own reiatsu, it's still Kokuraimaru (no Kenshi) himself who does). When Kokuraimaru is in this form, Kokuraiko likes to sit either on his head or on his right shoulder.
Sealed Form: A daicho (Japanese long sword). The hilt of the sword is dark blue, 5 inches long with a black ray-skin under the hilt-wrapping. The cross-guard is circular, with a picture of multiple lightning bolts engraved into it. The blade of the sword is 8 inches long, coming out of a black collar. In the middle of the blade are inscribed two symbols; one being that of Raijū's face, and the other being that of three tomoe. The sheath is dark blue, with the kanji for "lightning" printed on the up-facing part in black color. For a reason that was unknown until Shikai, the sword doesn't seem to have much of a weight at all, and seems to require multiple slashes made at high-speed, as it doesn't have enough cutting power to deal a decisive blow in one slash.
Release Command Hikare to Shūgeki! Kokuraimaru! [光れと襲撃! 黒雷丸! (Flash and Strike! Dark Lightning!)]
Release Animation: I hold the sword in a guard stance and call out its Release Command and name. There is a loud thunder clap that can be heard, along with a flash of lightning coming from the sword, and in the next instant, the onlooker can see the following changes:
Appearance of Shikai:
Same daicho as the Sealed state, except with a 1 and a half inch longer dark blue blade coming out of a black collar, with the hilt also being one inch longer. The blade is made of electrically charged reishi that is in the form of a highly conductive metal, tampered to be extremely light (lighter than it was in Sealed State).
As the blade in Sealed State was being covered by an insulated material, the true nature of the blade was hidden and its weight was slightly increased. The Shikai sword still requires the wielder to execute multiple slashes done at high-speeds, as even though it is sharp enough to cut, it is still weaker in power than other swords but can allow for multiple slashes done at high-speeds, the damage of which accumulates to deal high amounts of cutting damage from the blade.
Abilities of Shikai:
This Zanpakutō has the power to control lightning, electricity and thunder (can create thunder as well). Whenever thunder is created, the tomoe and Raijū face symbols on the blade start to glow with a light that is a slightly lighter blue than the blade itself. When already existing thunder is controlled, only the face of the Raijū glows. The Raijū's face also glows whenever Kokuraiko is helping with the abilities to make them powerful or effective (depends on the nature of the ability).
As long as there are still protons and electrons in the surroundings within a radius of 2-3 inches from both me and the sword, the electricity on the blade will (almost) never run out.
Due to the make-up of the blade, when it cuts the opponent, it also delivers a ticklish-type shock.
Ability 1: Kokuraigeki [黒雷打] (Black Lightning Strike): When I want to use this ability, I have the electricity on the blade produce a strong static charge that is discharged as lightning from the tip of the blade. The power and amount of electricity on the blade, when using this technique, can be controlled at will, so that the lightning produced can be controlled.
Immediately after having used this attack, some of the strong electric charge will be left on the blade, and before it runs out (in 3-4 seconds' time), I'm able to use that to deal a bit more of a zapping effect than normal through my melee attack(s).
Ability 2 (Passive): Raipo [雷歩] (Lightning Step): This is an ability that I have due to the light weight of the sword, as well as the focus in high-speed melee attacks. I can't use Shunpo in conjunction with this. This is a variation of Shunpo that increases my running speed by that of lightning. In Shikai, I get a speed increase of half the speed of lightning in reality, even though it's called "speed of lightning".
Ability 3 (Active): Raiken [雷剣] (Lightning Sword): Whenever there is a thunderstorm occurring near me, and I'm close enough, I can take control over some of the thunder and lightning within it. I have my sword conduct the electricity from the lightning to strike at my opponent(s) with it from the sword, or have it strike them from where it already was to begin with. I can only do this to affect thunder and lightning within a 2 and half mile radius distance of me and my sword.
Name of Bankai: Kokuraimaru no Kenshi [黒雷丸 の 剣士 (Dark Lightning the Master Swordsman)]
Release Animation for Bankai: I hold my sword with one hand, pointed towards my opponent(s), and call out the words, "Ban Kai!" An almost deafening thunder clap is heard, and both my sword and I release a powerful torrent of reiatsu that looks like black lightning with a dark blue outline. When the lightning fades and my form is once again clearly visible, the appearance of my Bankai is seen. . . .
Appearance of Bankai:
In Bankai, the Zanpakutō splits into four parts; two gloves that reach up to right below the elbows and two unarmored boots that reach up to right below the knees. The gloves and shoes are both dark blue, and are made of the same electrically charged reishi as the Shikai blade; they are further tampered with than the sword's blade so that they are flexible enough for me to have full freedom and ease of movement in the parts of my limbs that the pieces of tampered metal are on. The Bankai also gives me a shirt and belt that are similar to the ones the Spirit wears in Bankai form. The same sword from the Shikai is also present, though the power and amount of control I have is greater/augmented (explained in detail a bit later). On the arm parts of the gloves are the same tomoe symbols as the blade; the inscription of the Raijū is now complete, showing a mini picture of a whole Raijū.
On my back appear the same three drums from the Spirit description, facing forward so that the three tomoe that are on the top of each of the drums show.
In Bankai, the dark blue outline looks almost pure black. This carries on to the shoes and gloves, making them also appear to be almost pure black, and the blade is also the same color due to being practically made of the same black lightning.
Abilities of Bankai:
The same abilities from the Shikai are carried over and powered up 5x. In Bankai, the electricity on my Zanpakutō can regenerate as long as there are still protons and electrons present in the surroundings within a radius of 5 inches around both me and my sword.
The gloves and boots, as well as the sword in Bankai, work pretty much the same as the Shikai sword on how to use the lightning attacks. The power and amount of electricity on the surface of the gloves and boots/shoes, as well as on the sword can now always be controlled at will at all times, and the potential voltage and the maximum power and amount of current is 5x greater when compared to Shikai.
The range of the "Raiken" technique's influence is increased in Bankai; it is now possible to control all of the thunder and lightning within any given naturally occurring thunderstorm.
The attacks I can use with this Bankai are possible with either my blade, my hand(s), and/or my foot/feet. I can use either of those at any given time for any of my electrical or lightning type attacks.
The "Raipo" ability is now able to literally increase my running speed that I augment with my reiatsu by that of lightning. It is still impossible to use Shunpo with Raipo.
The tomoe and Raijū inscriptions act up the same way, as well as on the same occasions, as in Shikai. Kokuraiko's help in making the abilities more efficient/powerful is also a greater.
This Bankai has two additional attacks; Attack 1: Kokuraigeki Jitai no Ni: Kuroi Arashi [黒雷打 代表 の 二: 黒嵐] (Black Lightning Strike Type 2: Black Storm): Basically, I turn existing clouds into cumulonimbus clouds through static energy build-up, then use my own spiritual energy to take control of the thunder and lightning. Thunderstorms created through this technique spread over a 6.5 mile radius around both me and the opponent in all directions (gets bigger as needed when fighting multiple opponents).
Attack 2: Kokuseiryokuhō [黒勢砲] (Dark Energy Cannon): This attack takes all of the electrons from either the sword or one of the gloves, compresses and condenses them, and then fires them at the opponent. Takes a few minutes to maybe a half an hour to regenerate all of the lost electricity.
Hatchery - Eggs Around the World - Eggs and Hatchlings (not mine; I'm trying to help this hatchery by doing what they asked and putting the codes into my Signature; just keep refreshing the page and the eggs/hatchlings will get refreshed/new ones will come up):