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Marvel and DC may rule the North American multiplex, but that doesn’t mean their fans have read the source comics. In Japan the opposite is true: The manga comes first and foremost in a media chain that eventually leads to anime, games and, at the end, live-action films.

The latest example is “Bleach,” Shinsuke Sato’s live-action adaptation of Tite Kubo’s megahit manga (120 million paperback volumes sold) about a teenage boy who confronts supernatural forces.

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