The live-action Bleach film sealed for release in 2018 has just revealed its Rukia in Shonen Jump magazine. Plans have been officially in place for this film since 2016, but knowing that Hana Sugisaki, fresh from starring in Mary and the Witch’s Flower, will be playing the Reaper to Sota Fukushi’s Ichigo is worth the wait.
It was also revealed that the film will open in Japan on July 20, as Sugisaki gave her thoughts on the demands of playing this role. To prepare to take up the zanpakuto and examine the character in her own way, she read the manga and watched the anime several times, absorbing the sense of the “powerful and pure Soul Reaper”.
Sugisaki is sure the chemistry between Ichigo and Rukia will reach the audience, going on to say that “While Ichigo and Rukia are human and death characters in this story, I thought they have hearts, after reading through the screenplay. I fell in love with them whose existences are supporting each other and becoming stronger. I think I was able to feel that way because Fukushi-san was with me.”
The film is directed by Shinsuke Sato of GANTZ and I Am a Hero, and reportedly went for principal shooting from September to November 2016. If this is the case, post-production will have been a long process, and the prop sword captured in set photos of Fukushi as Ichigo would attest to that. The story adapts the Substitute Shinigami arc of Tite Kubo’s manga, told across its first to eighth volumes. At least now, with a release date in place, we won’t have to wait much longer to see how it all comes together.