_debbiechan_ (_debbiechan_) wrote in bleachness,
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SJ Kubo Interview

It continues to be a shippy season. What with the new Bleach movie being promoted with such shippy dialogue as "Rukia is the one who changed my world" and "Your name.... say it again," there's been flailing aplenty among my friends who are big fans of the IchiRuki pair. And now, in the latest issue of America's Shounen Jump, here are some of those "leftover" questions from the SDCC panel that Viz promised, and guess what? A laugh and a non-committal answer from Kubo-sensei are like rose petals and champagne to IchiRuki shippers!

Thanks goes to Sheryl Nome over at BA for the scans. The scans haven't been transcribed yet but the shippers picked out the important parts. Warning: BIG IMAGE, hard to read but you can make out a lot of the interview tidbits. I'll post more as it arrives.




SJ: What does Rukia's name mean, and why is it written in katakana?

Kubo-sensei: When I'm working, I jot down names in the margins of my notebook as they come to me. Once on TV, I saw the original type of cosmos in South America.

SJ: You mean like the flower?

Kubo-sensei: Yes. The show mentioned the name of the flower in latin or something- like "rukia." It sounded like "Kuchiki Rukia" to me, and I wrote this down. When I created the character, I thought Kuchiki really fit as a Shinigami name and called her Kuchiki Rukia. She had her full name from the very beginning. Later on, I learned that the word "rukia" means "light." She's like a ray of light to Ichigo, which makes the name really suit her.

SJ: Do you have any plans to make Ichigo and Rukia a couple?
Kubo-sensei: I'm not going to confirm nor deny that. [laughs]






 
ETA:  Sheryl Nome transcribed the rest of the interview!




"Tite Kubo's Big Comic-Con Adventure!"

Drawing Inspiration


Shonen Jump: Did anyone inspire you to draw?
Kubo-sensei: When I create characters, I'm inspired by music rather than stories, other manga or movies. The characters then create the story. So for me, my creativity comes from music.

SJ: Are any of the characters based on people you know?

Kubo-sensei: Well, I haven't mentioned this before, even in the Bleach SOULs Official Character Book, but Kisuke Urahara is based on Snufkin. Snufkin is so cool.
[The character appears in Tove Jansoon's Moominvalley novels.]

SJ: You seem to use mythical content about death and the afterlife from Japanese folklore. Did any books influence you?

Kubo-sensei: I can't point to a particular book, but one manga that influenced me when I was small was Saint Seiya [published in the U.S. as Knights of the Zodiac], which is based on Greek mythology. Because of it, I started looking into things like myths, monsters and the afterlife. I was reading about them until around junior high school, so they might have been the basis.

SJ: What does Rukia's name mean, and why is it written in katakana?

Kubo-sensei: When I'm working, I jot down names in the margins of my notebook as they come to me. Once on TV, I saw the original type of cosmos in South America.

SJ: You mean, the flower?

Kubo-sensei: Yes. The show mentioned the name of the flower in Latin or something-like "rukia." It sounded like "Kuchiki Rukia" to me, and I wrote this down. When I created the character, I thought Kuchiki really fit as a Soul Reaper (Shinigami) name and called her Kuchiki Rukia. She had her full name from the very beginning. Later on, I learned that the word "rukia" means "light." She's like a ray of light for Ichigo, which makes the name really suit her.
[In English, the name is read "Rukia Kuchiki." The meaning of the kanji for Kuchiki is "decayed tree." When Kubo-sensei talks about light, he may be referring to the word "lucia."]

SJ: Why did you pick Bleach as the title?

Kubo-sensei: The title wasn't Bleach when I decided to draw a story about Soul Reapers. (Shinigami) This was before I drew the one-shot manga that appeared in Akamaru Jump. The weapon wasn't a sword, but a scythe. Only Rukia had a scythe and the other characters used guns. At that point, the title was Snipe [as in "sniper"]. Right before I started drawing, I began to think that a sword would be better and realized I couldn't use Snipe as a title anymore. I began looking for a title that grasped the bigger picture. Soul Reapers (Shinigami) are associated with the color black, but it would have been boring to use "black." "White," on the other hand, can suggest black as a complementary color. So I chose "bleach" to evoke the impression of the color white.

[Kubo-sensei explained to us how he chose English chapter titles for the manga. He uses a dictionaru to look up words that match his idea for the title, and ogten replaces a word with one that has a similar meaning but sounds better. Kubo-sensei didn't use a dictionary to choose "bleach" because the English word is already commonly used in Japan.]

Behind the Scenes

SJ: Will you ever do an Aizen backstory?

Kubo-sensei: Will I...? To be honest, I think part of Aizen's appeal is that he's mysterious. It probably wouldn't be good for his character if I revealed everything about him. If I felt the urge to tell, maybe I would, but I'm just not sure right now.

SJ: Does Captain Yamamoto have a larger plan for the Soul Society? He seems to have no problem with his captains dying.

Kubo-sensei: Does he? I don't have anything planned for him right now. What's interesting about Genryuusai is you can never guess his true intentions. Among the captains, like Shunsui and Inohana, there are a few who appear to have something more to them, but for now I'll have to say it's all a secret.

SJ: Will we learn who will become captains in place of Aizen, Ichimaru and Tousen?

Kubo-sensei: Probably not anytime soon. Assistant captains lack certain abilities that captains have. I personally think the assistant captains need some time before they can become captains. Renji is a major character who's pretty powerful, but put him next to the captains and you'll probably notice that he's kind of erratic... and missing a noble quality. The captains are simply on a whole other level.

SJ: Do you have any plans to make Ichigo and Rukia a couple?

Kubo-sensei: I'm not going to confirm nor deny that. [Laughs]

SJ: Which American superheroes do you admire?

Kubo-sensei: I don't know of many American comic book heroes. I only know them from the movies, but appearance-wise, I thought Cyclops [from the X-men] looked pretty interesting. He can't take off the visor. When he does, his eye power is too strong and kills people- wasn't it something like that? I think that kind of setup is great because it's so dramatic.

SJ: Will Kon ever get his own body?

Kubo-sensei: I hadn't thought about it. I like him in his current body, and I think Kon likes it, too.

SJ: He gets more attention in that body.

Kubo-sensei: That's true.

Kubo-sensei on Comic-Con


SJ: What was the most impressice Bleach coustume you saw?

Kubo-sensei: There were actually two. One was Komamura, who had a wolf's face on when he took off his helmet. The other was Neliel [a character who hasn't yet appeared in the manga in the U.S.], who was in all white. Those two coustumes impressed me the most. I also saw a few Kons out there that were very cute.

SJ: We do call it Comic-Kon!

Kubo-sensei: It's an event made for Kon. [laughs]

SJ: He seems to think so.

Kubo-sensei: That's right, definitely.

SJ: We also saw on Arrancar with a mirror.

Kubo-sensei: Ah, yes. That was Grimmjow.

SJ: He had a round mirror over his stomach to look like a hole.

Kubo-sensei: That was a great idea.

SJ: What will you tell your family and friends about this trip?

Kubo-sensei: I want to tell them about everything. I'll take the time and tell them everything I can remember. I was so glad to meet the fans. I received their heartfelt welcome and felt their warmth. I want to be able to convey what I felt as much and as truthfully as possible.

SJ: Thank you so much for the interview!

Kubo-sensei: You're welcome. It was fun. ________________


Tags: ichiruki, kubo con, kubo tite, sdcc
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