Viz Media has officially unveiled a new trailer for Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War during its panel at Anime Expo. Ten years in the making, the Thousand-Year Blood War arc will finally be animated after the anime series abruptly ended in 2012. The trailer revealed the stunning key art for the anime and a look into the Stern Ritter characters that will play a significant role in the series.
After enthusiastic reception from the fans, Kubo mentioned in a recorded video message to his fans to expect a modern contemporary look and a refreshing viewing experience with the new anime. He also added that he has been working closely with the team on all aspects of the anime to ensure that nothing is left to chance. He did admit that there were parts where he omitted some scenes from the manga, but he did mention that he would bring them back if there were a chance.
While many fans were saddened by how the Bleach manga ended, the journey is still one to be treasured and appreciated. Despite that, author Tite Kubo has been working non-stop, keeping himself busy after fervent reception from his beloved anime series. The Thousand-Year Blood War is the final arc, an action-packed conclusion of Tite Kubo’s seminal manga series Bleach. Bleach has spanned two decades and spawned numerous spin-offs with 366 anime episodes, four films, 686 chapters, and 74 volumes of the manga. It has inspired several video games, novels, stage plays, and even a live-action movie aired last July 2018.
Official 1st Trailer Link:
Official 2nd Trailer Link:
The anime is scheduled to premiere in Japan in October 2022. It will cover volumes 55-74 of the original manga up to its ending. The advance screening will be held in Tokyo on September. There has been no official news on how many episodes the anime will be, just that there will be one.
Quick Anime Synopsis:
Ichigo Kurosaki is your average 15-year-old high school student until his family was attacked by a Hollow, an aberrant spirit that, if not slain, will feed on other souls. Just when he was about to be attacked by one, he meets a soul reaper named Rukia Kuchiki, who gets injured while trying to protect Ichigo’s family. To save his family, he accepts Rukia’s offer to transfer her powers over to him, thereby becoming a substitute Soul Reaper.
What seemed temporary at first, Rukia realizes that she can still not regain her powers and fulfill her duties. Hence, he convinces Ichigo to accept the daunting task of hunting down the Hollows that plague his town. He soon discovers that his friends have spiritual powers of their own and is later joined by his friends on his mission: classmates Yasutora Sado, Orihime Inoue, and Uryuu Ishida. Although initially reluctant to accept such heavy responsibility, they later learn that hollows are the least of their problems as he and his friends are dragged into Soul Society, an afterlife city modeled after Feudal Japan.
Quick Recap of the Events Before the Thousand Year Blood War
- Soul Society Arc (Warning: Spoiler alert)
Rukia is captured and taken back to Soul Society to face her crime of giving her powers to a human. Ichigo and his friends take on the arduous journey to Soul Society to rescue her, knowing they would have to go against the Captains of Soul Society, who are powerful in their own right. It was later revealed that Ichigo’s rescue efforts were merely part of a ploy by the charismatic Shinigami Captain, Sosuke Aizen. Aizen was just after the Hogyoku hidden inside Rukia. The Hogyoku is a small blue orb of unimaginable powers capable of materializing a person’s most inner desire. He then retreats to Hueco Mundo, the realm of the hollows, when he manages to secure the Hogyoku. Now, Aizen has set his sights on Orihime, for which he has big plans.
- Arrancar and Hueco Mundo Arc (Warning: Spoiler alert)
Aizen is intrigued with Orihime’s powers believing that her powers would be able to remove the seal on the Hogyoku. So, he orders her capture where Espadas, ten of the most powerful Arrancar (a Hollow that has obtained Shinigami-like powers thanks to the Hogyoku) in Aizen’s army. Ichigo is more determined than ever to rescue Orihime, but he understands he stands no chance against the Espada. Ichigo reaches out to Vizard, a group of Shinigami that have acquired Hollow powers, in hopes of mastering his Hollow form so that he stands a chance against Espada when he rescues Orihime. It turns out that capturing Inoue was yet another ploy by Aizen to have him distracted and trapped in Hueco Mundo while Aizen and his men attack Karakura Town.
- Fake Karakura Town Arc (Warning: Spoiler alert)
With the help of the other Gotei 13 Captains, Ichigo managed to rescue Orihime. They send Ichigo after Aizen, believing that he is their only hope of defeating him since he was not under the effects of Aizen’s Zanpakuto. Aizen’s Zanpakuto can control the five senses of the target to the point where it can hypnotize the person to see, hear and even feel whatever he wants. When everyone else is defeated, Ichigo faces Aizen in his final battle, where he is forced to lose his Shinigami powers in exchange for raw, unbridled power and massive strength. Aizen didn’t stand a chance, and he was later apprehended and sealed forever in a chain of seals.
- Lost Substitute Shinigami Arc (Warning: Spoiler alert)
After losing his Shinigami powers in his final battle with Aizen, Ichigo goes from protector to protected. Feeling powerless, Ichigo trains with a secret organization called the Xcution, who promises him to regain a different kind of power called Fullbring. Led by Kugo Ginjo, Ichigo eventually masters his Fullbring but is later betrayed by Ginjo, who was only after his Fullbring. When all seems bleak, his old allies from Gotei 13 (including Rukia) come to aid Ichigo. Towards the end, Ichigo regained his Shinigami powers just in time since a thousand-year-old enemy threatened the existence of Soul Society once again.
Link to Quick Recap Video:
What to Expect from Thousand-Year Blood War
Peace did not last long when new Shinigami and enemies appeared in Karakura. Ichigo and his friends find themselves again on the battlefield to help those in need. Meanwhile, Soul Society has observed a sudden surge of residents in the Rukon District that has disappeared without a trace. They have also received reports of a rapid increase in the number of Hollows being destroyed in the World of the Living. Still unsure if the two incidents are connected, Soul Society later comes under attack by a group calling themselves the Wandenreich. The mysterious group is led by Yhwach, the supposed father of all Quincies, and declares war on all Shinigami with the following message: “Five days from now, Soul Society will be annihilated by the Wandenreich.” With the appearance of the this new enemy, the shadowy history and truth kept hidden by the Shinigami for thousand long years is finally unveiled an brought to light. Everything comes to an end with Ichigo Kurosaki’s final battle begins.
What’s Next After TWBY
Kubo has been keeping himself busy that he managed to release a special one-shot celebrating the 20th anniversary of Bleach. The story is set 10 years after the Thousand-Year Blood War arc ends. To conclude the series, you will see bonds formed and relationships mended in this unusual yet satisfying closer.
You could also check out the four animated movies if you have not had the chance to do so:
- Memories of Nobody (2006)
- The Diamond Dust Rebellion (2007)
- Fade to Black (2008)
- The Hell Verse (2010)
You could also check out Bleach’s live-action adaptation, which was released in 2018. You could also check out the two official light novels, which are set after the Thousand-Year Blood War arc:
- We Do Knot Always Love You
- Can’t Fear Your Own World
If you’re looking for anime recommendations, you are in the right place. If you’re into supernatural themes, we recommend checking Blue Exorcist, Soul Eater, and Shaman King. D Gray Man and even Yu Yu Hakusho. We recommend Dragon Ball Z, Inuyasha, Black Clover, and Naruto if you like action themes. Now, if you’re excited and into samurais and swords, we recommend checking Gintama, Rurouni Kenshin, Afro Samurai, and Samurai Champloo.
If you’re more into manga, the best bet would be Burn the Witch. It is another Tite Kubo work of art, and yes, it is set in the same universe as Bleach. When I said that, I meant the pretense is the same: instead of Hollows and Shinigami, Burn the Witch has dragons and witches/wizards.
Link to Burn the Witch: https://www.viz.com/shonenjump/chapters/burn-the-witch?locale=en