As a mangaka, Bleach creator, Tite Kibo, usually gets a ton of fan letters. Of course, the mangaka also likes to read them and see what the fans think of his work. However, he received one which didn’t have a return name or address, and this one actually has a touching story to tell.
Kubo didn’t know who the fan was, but he did know that the fan is a young boy with terminal illness. When he wrote the letter, they boy revealed that he was already bed-ridden in a hospital and only has a year-and-a-half to live.
The boy told Kubo that he liked playing video games and watching TV. He admitted he really wanted to die, but then, people told him he must live out his life happily.
And to enjoy life, the boy turned to manga. And because of this, Kubo’s BLEACH left a mark on him. He said that for the first time since his hospitalisation, the manga inspired him to think about tomorrow. The boy told Kubo that his manga made him want to live again.
However, the boy told Kubo that he only had the letter sent after he passed on. This means that by the time Kubo received the letter, the fan has already died. Kubo then said that the fan asked him one thing:
“Please draw Bleach the way you want to right up until the end. That’s what I want to read.”
On twitter, the mangaka then asked fans for more information about who the boy is. He didn’t know anything at all, as the letter didn’t mention the sender or where the letter came from.
However, the fans came through, and told the mangaka who the sender is. He got in touch with the anonymous sender, who turned put to be the boy’s friend. However, at first, he thought the sender was a family member. He then thanked the fans for pointing him to the right direction, and released this illustration of Ichigo saying thanks:
Now ain’t that touching. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to deal with a few ninjas cutting some onions for some reason…