Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Anime News

Welcome Back!

Ichigo Kurosaki Returns

Some of you may see the title and think “why would you do an article on such an old anime?” Granted, it’s one of the best anime and stands beside Naruto and One Piece in a trifecta of shounen standards, but that anime ended ten years ago! Years of rumors that another season would be coming out have made many, including myself, skeptical that we would ever see the conclusion of the Bleach story in anime form. But now it’s been confirmed. BLEACH IS BACK!! With an official trailer, interviews with Tite Kuba and the crew working on the anime, and the announcement of the streaming service we know for a FACT that the season of Bleach is coming out in October. Woo!

Bleach

Thousand-Year Blood War

Directed by: Tomohisa Taguchi

Written by: Tomohisa Taguchi, Masaki Hiramatsu

Music by: Shirō Sagisu

Studio: Pierrot

Licensed by: Viz Media

Scheduled to release in October 10, 2022

Plot

Thousand Year Blood War

The new season of Bleach will focus on a group that has stayed pretty mysterious for most of the story so far- the Quincies. Just like how Hueco Mundo has a lot of Spanish influence, and the Shinigami of the Soul Society has Japanese, the Quincy and their culture has a lot of German influence, including some Third Reich ideals about purity. Most of the Quincy were exterminated by Soul Reapers 200 years ago to prevent the worlds from collapsing due to imbalance after the Quincy hunted the Hollows to near extinction. Soul Reapers and Quincy are considered polar opposites, and their contrasting ideals come into play as major plot points in Ichigo’s family history, his friendship with Uryū Ishida, and why the Soul Society is invaded.

The driving force behind the new season is that of a Quincy legend. It is a song that describes how their sealed king would regain his heart after 900 years, his intellect 90 years after that, and then his power 9 years after his intellect. What most Quincies don’t know is that there is another part to the song: 9 days after he regains his power, the emperor will regain the world. The Thousand-Year Blood War is the result of this legend, or prophecy, coming to pass and the king, Yhwach, the Father of Quincies, making his move to collapse Hueco Mundo, the Soul Society, and the Human World together into one. In his mind, this would free the worlds from the fear of death. To accomplish his goal of collapsing the worlds he must kill the Soul King, an enigmatic entity hidden away at the center of the Soul Society, and he brings an army of Quincy known as the Wandenreich (Invisible Empire) and enslaved Arrancars to help him.

What To Look Forward To

There is so much hype for this new season, and it is all justified. In terms of lore, we will finally get to learn more about our favorite strait-laced Quincy Ishida, Ichigo’s mom, and the mysterious Soul King and

his connection to how the worlds came to be separated. Many supporting characters like the Royal Guard, a.k.a Zero Division, and the Sternritters, super-powered Quincies hand-picked by the king, will be making their appearance and giving us amazing fight scenes. And of course, all the familiar faces will be showing up to bring us right back into the world of Bleach we love so much.

Many manga readers complained that TYBW and the arc after it was not fleshed out very well and there were many questions that remained unanswered. After the series was finished, Tite Kubo (the mangaka of Bleach) revealed in an interview that his health had slowly deteriorated over the course of the series. After the final episode was completed, he went in to have his shoulder checked and it was discovered that tendons in his shoulder were severed, and there was even a partial fracture. With the return of Bleach to anime, Kubo is taking this opportunity to be very involved in the production and fans hope this means these problem areas will be addressed. During a recent Viz interview, he appeared to be very enthusiastic about being able to add in more fight scenes that he had trimmed from the manga, which leads me to think that he is already in the process of revising and filling in gaps in the storyline.

The legends from Soul Society return

According to Tomohisa Taguchi (director) and Yoshihiro Tominago (producer), we should also be looking forward to the art and music studio Pierrot is developing. Pierrot originally worked on the show during its first run, and now they are working hard to create a product that will live up to the expectations of fans that have waited ten years (TEN YEARS!) to see its return. All of the characters, props, and settings have been redrawn and revitalized with new techniques and technologies to give the anime a fresh, modern feel. However, what is also apparent from watching the trailer is how dark everything is. Taguchi is famous for being able to convey strong emotions through creative color palettes and lighting, and we immediately get the feeling that this new arc of Bleach is going to be a serious one. In addition to the artwork, Bleach’s original composer Shirō Sagisu has expressed how excited he is to be working on the anime’s projects once again. His music is part of the reason Bleach is so recognizable, and we can look forward to more of his unique and memorable arrangements.

What Could Go Wrong?

Disney x Bleach???

Unfortunately, it’s not clear if we here in the States will get to see Bleach when it first comes out in October. It was recently confirmed that Disney+ has received the streaming rights to the anime, which could mean that Bleach may be stuck in Disney jail for a few months while the episodes stack up. Let’s hope that Disney learned their lesson with the other animes they delayed airing and will instead simulcast Bleach for us. Otherwise, fansubs may be where it’s at while we wait for Bleach to be available to the Western audience.

Conclusion

I am super pumped for Bleach to come back! Even after ten years, hearing Ichigo yell “Bankai!” has never lost its appeal. What are you looking forward to in the new season? Have you read TYBW? I’d love to hear your thoughts on what to expect in the new season!

Written By: Kathryn Vallejo

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