Japanese manga and anime fans will get a chance to deepen their obsessions with the Viz Media re-release later this year of volume 1 of “Bleach,” an iconic comic strip.
One of the best-selling manga titles of all time, “Bleach” has sold over 120 million copies since its debut in Japan’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, including 2.7 million copies in the U.S. As an anime TV series, it ran to 366 episodes and spawned four feature films.
The release of a limited-edition 20th anniversary edition is set for Aug. 2, 2022, a couple of months before the scheduled October debut of a new animated series based on the final arc of Tite Kubo’s fantasy-adventure “Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War.”
Separately, Viz Media is planning the release of the first twenty volumes of the “My Hero Academia” manga series as a special boxed set, later in the year.
“My Hero Academia” is the fastest growing manga series today. It has been on the New York Times bestsellers chart for over five years, inspiring several spin-off manga, a record-breaking anime series and three animated films. The underlying manga has reached over 10 million copies sold in the U.S., including 1.2 million copies of vol. 1. Some 65 million copies have been sold worldwide. Pre-orders begin now, ahead of the Oct. 18 publication.
Anime and manga are reported to be gaining in popularity worldwide, aided by greater availability on streaming platforms including Netflix and HBO. Sony, which owns specialty destination Funimation, last year completed the $1.12 billion acquisition of Crunchyroll and is now in the process of aligning their operations.
Anime films have also been multi-territory hits during the recent pandemic period. Currently on theatrical release, “Jujutsu Kaisen 0” has grossed some $117 million to date in Japan and over $29 million in North America. Previously, starting from 2020, “Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train” earned an estimated $445 million worldwide, with $49.5 million of that in the North American market.