I stumbled upon a MAL post. Which had a nice graph which displays that after a small peak in 2010, bleach had a significant drop in rank.

This same post also claims that this data was biased, as the ranking is determined per chapter. Aka, people didn't like the arc bleach was at.

This drop was also visible in the yearly sales

November 23, 2009 to November 21, 2010: 5th place by selling 5,204,193 copies.

Nov 22nd 2010 - Nov 20th 2011. 8th place by selling 4,187,258 copies.

November 21, 2011 to November 18, 2012. 12th place by selling 2,974,750 copies.

However, unlike in the below chart, the sales popularity seems to remain consistently above 2.5 Mil, until 2016, where it dropped to 2.2 Mil. Suggesting it's popularity just normalized, instead of really 'dropping'

So what really happened to Bleach? Did it really suffer from a significant drop in popularity as shown in the graph below? Or is this just misinterpreted data by a user?

enter image description here

  • It would be interesting if you would also show the yearly sales data from 2012-2016. Commented Nov 19, 2017 at 10:11

1 Answer 1


As mentioned in the MAL post itself, that graph was actually made by a YouTuber by the name of Super Eyepatch Wolf. He uses it specifically in a video where he goes in depth as to why Bleach had such a massive fall in popularity:

The Fall of BLEACH: How it Happened

I highly recommend watching the video, but I will give a summary of the main points brought up in the video.

One of Wolf's points is in regards to the author (Tite Kubo) of Bleach's drawing ability and it's deterioration in quality due to the difficulties of being a manga author. The start of Bleach really showcased Kubo's talent in drawing which really brought people into the the world of Bleach. However, the fatigue from the grueling schedule and the like had caused the drawing quality to suffer. This fatigue and frustration was also in part to relationship issues with his editor.

Another point was that Kubo's Story was not really cut out for the long term. He pointed out that several of the characters started out strong but was never really developed. Some even regressed. For one, the main character starts off as this interesting character but regresses to a less expressive reactive type character - compared to Naruto and One Piece where they are proactively going after their well-established goals. Also, at one point, the story stops shifting constantly (going from a typical monster of the week to the introduction of the Soul Society arc which tapped into teenager's feelings as the became a part of the foreign adult world to the amazing Aizen arc) and started recycling several of its previous tropes. This leads to the main problem of nothing really changes as pretty much after each arc everything gets a factory reset. The backlash from the fans and editorial department when these problems began to show really pushed it down in rankings, leading to its rushed three chapters to end it before it got canceled.

In essence: Drawing and Drafting (drawing panels/ panel structure) quality diminished, the extremely difficult schedule of a mangaka and issues with his editor wore him down, and his story plot quality lost what gave it its wide appeal in the first place especially since it was not written for the long term.

  • 2
    rather you give a link, it would appropriate if you explain that in text
    – Gagantous
    Commented Nov 20, 2017 at 1:43
  • 1
    following Gagantous' advice, the reason is if for some reasons the YouTube video doesn't exist in the future, the content described in the video is still preserved here.
    – Aki Tanaka
    Commented Nov 20, 2017 at 2:24
  • I tried giving a brief summary that hit the main points. As to proof - it is difficult to take what was said and make it short and to the point, as he uses several examples from other manga, quotes, as well as picture examples (of the manga) and an explanation of it. If there is anything more absolutely needed - I can write it. Commented Nov 20, 2017 at 2:58
  • I also watched the video. But his facts, the chart, and the sales data conflict. There ovviously is some drop in popularity, due to the reasons described in your answer. But was the drop really that hard/far? Sales suggest no. Youtuber suggests yes.
    – Dimitri mx
    Commented Nov 20, 2017 at 10:01
  • That is because his data averages out strictly by weekly rankings over the ten-year-long span. Jump rankings are not determined solely by sales data but also by reader's surveys. That is why there might be some differences, but the trends are the same. Even your own link to sales shows an eventual and huge drop in ranking from 2011 to 2015. The 2009 - 2011 was a drop but reader surveys could have still kept it up. It went from 4 mil to 2 mil in only a year. That is a HUGE drop and although it stabilized a bit sales-wise, the writing had suffered so reader's survey would have been bad as well. Commented Nov 20, 2017 at 22:10

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