Bleach is a Japanese shonen manga series written and illustrated by Tite Kubo. Bleach follows the adventures of Ichigo Kurosaki after he obtains the powers of a Soul Reaper —a death personification similar to the Grim Reaper—from another Soul Reaper, Rukia Kuchiki. His newfound powers force him to take on the duties of defending humans from evil spirits and guiding departed souls to the afterlife.
Bleach has been serialized in the Japanese manga anthology Weekly Shonen Jump since August 2001, and has been collected into 51 tankobon volumes as of August 2011. Since its publication, Bleach has spawned a media franchise that includes an ongoing animated television series that is produced by Studio Pierrot in Japan, two original video animations, four animated feature films, seven rock musicals, and numerous video games, as well as many types of Bleach-related merchandise.