Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Release Date, Plot, Trailer & Everything We Know So Far

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Everyone's favorite Soul Reaper is back! When fans thought that they would never see a proper ending for one of their favorite anime series, the creators surprised them by announcing Bleach Season 17, which is expected to adapt the Thousand-Year Blood Arc of Tite Kubo's manga series.

Bleach, which made its television debut on October 5, 2004 thanks to Studio Pierrot, released 16 seasons of the shonen series, which has a total of 366 episodes. The last episode aired on March 27, 2012, and since then, fans have been asking for more episodes to adapt the rest of Tite Kubo's manga series.

Even though it took almost a decade, the creators are finally giving what fans want, and it's expected to arrive next year, and as per the leaks, Studio Pierott will be animating the new season of Bleach.

Here's everything you need to know about Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood Arc:

Bleach: Thousand Year-Blood War Official Announcement

Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War
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Credit: Viz Media
Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War

In March 2020, on Bleach's 20th anniversary project, Weekly Shonen Jump Issue 17 announced that creator Tite Kubo and the animators behind Bleach have renewed the anime series for Season 17.

The Japanese magazine also announced that the upcoming season will adapt the Thousand-Year Blood War arc from the manga series, confirming the conclusion of the anime series. It was also revealed that the anime adaptation would be uncensored.

Shonen Jump also shared an official video on YouTube, announcing an OVA episode titled Burn the Witch, along with the upcoming season.

Bleach: Thousand Year-Blood War Trailers

In December 2021, Shueisha and Viz Media released the first trailer for Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War, giving us an early look at the upcoming season. Although the trailer reveals familiar characters, it doesn't give away major spoilers for the upcoming season. It's likely that another trailer will be released to give us a closer look at the story of the highly-anticipated final season.

On July 2, Viz Media released a new trailer for Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War, which you can watch below:

On Sept. 11, Viz Media released another trailer for the new Bleach anime, which you can watch below:

Viz Media also released a short trailer for the premiere of Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War:

In late September, another trailer was released to tease the major villains of Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War.

Bleach: Thousand Year-Blood War Release Date & Time

Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War
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Credit: Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War
Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War

Update: The first five episodes of Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War are now available to stream.

The first episode of the anime adaptation of Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War was released on Oct. 10 October 2022 at 8:30 AM Pacific Time.

The first episode of Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War premiered at New York Comic Con on Oct. 8, and the sixth episode is set to release on Monday, Nov. 14.

The description of the premiere reads: "In the must-see panel of NYCC, thousands of lucky fans will get to see episode one of BLEACH: Thousand-Year Blood War ahead of the simulcast! We'll have special messages and an epic cosplay contest with amazing prizes. Don't miss it."

As the anime prepares for its full premiere on Oct. 10, the official Twitter account for the show has begun a special countdown where members of the staff have been sharing some new sketches to hype up the fans who are looking forward to Bleach's big return.

You can check out the release date information forBleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Episode 3.

Bleach: Thousand Year-Blood War Plot

Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War
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Credit: Viz Media
Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War

As previously mentioned, the upcoming season of the anime series will adapt the final arc (so far) of the Bleach manga series. The arc known as the Thousand-Year Blood War Arc runs over 200 chapters total, and it begins from Chapter 480 and through the end of the manga series, which has a total of 698 chapters, so that means Bleach Season 17 is expected to cover 218 chapters.

Bleach Season 17 will likely continue where Season 16 left off: The Wandenreich, which translates to "Invisible Empire" is a confidential group of the Quincy. A thousand years ago, the Quincy were defeated in a war against the Shinigami. As a result, they escaped and hid for years, but they've been gathering their power.

The Wandenreich is expected to launch their attack on Soul Society resulting in an all-out war between the Shinigami and the Quincy. The soul reaper protagonist Ichigo will undergo intense training in order to become more powerful so that he can save Soul Society and fight back.

In Feb. 2022, Bleach creator Tite Kubo did a Q&A with members of his fan club, and it was there the mangaka shared two major updates about the return of the anime.

As the manga artist revealed, the anime adaptation of the Thousand-Year Blood War arc will take time to answer things the original source couldn't get to. Kubo worked closely with the anime's team to provide the answers, so fans of the anime series should expect new content from this adaptation. For instance, the final season will reveal who exactly targeted Rukia during the first Quincy Invasion, and that's just the beginning.

Ahead of the Anime Expo 2022, an update from director Tomohisa Taguchi and producer Yoshihiro Tominaga courtesy of Viz Media revealed that Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War will be adapting the arc all about Isshin and Masaki. Volume 60 of the manga features one of the saddest moments in Bleach:

The official website of Bleach released the first images and synopsis for the first episode of the Thousand-Year Blood War, titled The Blood Warfare, which you can check out below:

"It is observed that Hollows are disappearing one after another in the real world, and the Soul Society and Technology Development Bureau is in an uproar. Meanwhile, in Karakura Town, two newly appointed shinigami named Ryunosuke Yumiki and Shino Madarame encounter a Hollow as soon as they arrive. Ichigo Kurosaki and his companions help the two who were helpless amidst the sudden attack. But two days later, a man wearing a mask appears before Ichigo and the others who interacted with Ryunosuke who has finally regained consciousness. And all the while, strange things are happening in the Soul Society."

Related: Is Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War The Final Arc of Tite Kubo's Manga Series?

Why did Bleach's story end abruptly?

Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood Arc
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Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood Arc

Some fans wondered why Bleach's story ended abruptly. The manga's epilogue seemed quite abrupt and hastily put together, leaving readers with more questions than answers. Back in 2016, Kubo reported that he suffers from torn tendons in his shoulder along with a partial fracture, caused by drawing for hours on end for 15 years.

By 2011, his overall health began deteriorating significantly due to a recurring cold that he could not get off. The manga artist would often be bedridden for up to a week at a time, only to recover and fall sick yet again. Although he regularly endured the pain to continue working, Kubo's declining health undoubtedly affected his productivity and made prolonging the Bleach arc a difficult task. Kubo also battled with depression, which decreased his motivation to continue working on Bleach.

Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Voice Cast

The cast of the original series will return for the new anime, and they include:

  • Masazaku Morita as Ichigo Kurosaki
  • Fumiko Orikasa as Rukia Kuchiki
  • Noriaka Sugiyama as Uryu Ishida
  • Yuki Matsuoka as Orihime Inoue
  • Kentaro Ito as Renji Abarai
  • Hiroki Yasumoto as Yasutora Sado
  • Shinichiro Miki as Kisuke Urahara
  • Satsuki Yukino as Yoruichi Shihoin
  • Binbin Takaoka (who replaces Masaaki Tsukada) as Genryusai Shigekuni Yamamoto
  • Houko Kuwashima as Sui-Feng
  • Shouto Kashii as Rojuro Otoribashi
  • Aya Hisakawa as Retsu Unohana
  • Masaya Onosaka as Shinji Hirako
  • Ryotaro Okiayu as Byakuya Kuchiki
  • Tetsu Inada as Sajin Komamura
  • Akio Ohtsuka as Shunsui Kyoraku
  • Tomokazu Sugita as Kensei Muguruma
  • Romi Park as Toshiro Hitsugaya
  • Fumihiko Tachiki as Kenpachi Zaraki
  • Ryusei Nakao as Mayuri Kurotsuchi
  • Hideo Ishikawa as Jushiro Ukitake
  • Naomi Kusumi as Ichibe Hyosube
  • Yoji Ueda as Oetsu Mimaiya
  • Tomoyuki Shimura as Tenjiro Kirinji
  • Rina Satou as Senjumaru Shutara
  • Ayumi Tsunematsu as Kirio Hikifune.

Ichigo Kurosaki voice star Johnny Yong Bosch will return for the English dub version. A new promo from Viz Media features the voice actor hyping up the premiere of Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War.

The new voice actors joining the Japanese cast include:

  • Daiki Yamashita as Ryunosuke Yuki
  • Asami Seto as Shino Madarame
  • Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Äs Nödt
  • Koichi Yamadera as Quilge Opie
  • Hideyuki Tanaka as BG9
  • Takaya Hashi as Robert Accutrone
  • Nobuaki Kanemitsu as Driscoll Berci
  • Yasuhiro Mamiya as Mask De Masculine
  • Tomoaki Maeno as NaNaNa Najahkoop

New additions have also previously announced that will be new to the anime but have been a part of the Bleach: Brave Souls characters, and they include:

  • Takayuki Sugo as Yhwach
  • Yuichiro Umehara as Jugram Haschwalth
  • Shunsuke Takeuchi as Askin Nakk Le Vaar
  • Ayana Taketatsu as Bambietta Basterbine
  • Yuki Ono as Bazz-B
  • Yumi Uchiyama as Candice Catnipp
  • Natsuki Hanae as Gremmy Thoumeaux
  • Satoshi Hino as Lille Barro

Where to watch Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War?

Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War is set to air on TV Tokyo in October 2022, and fans in the U.S. will be able to stream the latest episodes on Hulu. The new anime will be available to stream internationally on Disney Plus in other regions, but fans in the U.S. will need to have a Hulu subscription to watch the new episodes. Both streaming platforms will simulcast the new episodes.

Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War
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Credit: Viz Media
Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War

For more details on where you can stream, check out our streaming guide for Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War.

Bleach: Thousand Year-Blood War News

New Key Visual

The official Twitter account of Bleach anime shared a brand new look at the upcoming Thousand-Year Blood War arc with this updated visual featuring familiar characters of Soul Society and the new villains.


New Artwork of Ichigo & Rukia

The official Twitter account of Bleach kickstarted the marketing for Thousand-Year Blood War with new artwork featuring Ichigo and Rukia:

Wave of New Promo Art

Bleach also shared a new wave of promo art to hype up the anime's big return this fall. The art features familiar characters like Ichigo, Rukia, Uryu Ishida, as well as Soul Reapers: Byakuya Kuchiki, Toshiro Hitsugaya, and Kisuke Urahara.

Opening and Ending Themes Revealed

According to a recent report, the opening theme for Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War is titled Scar by musician Kitani Tatsuya, who had composed a new song for last year's Bleach Exhibit in Japan, while the ending theme is reportedly titled Saihate by musician SennaRin, who had previously composed the theme song for the Legend of the Galactic Heroes.

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