Bleach Anime Return Poster

Bleach Anime Return

The Bleach Anime return is slated to happen in October of 2022, big Manga and Anime outlet VIZ Media announced in late 2021. This means that the final arc in Tite Kubo’s magnus opus is being animated and is coming to your screen. Bleach fans around the world rejoiced at the showing of the official trailer (see below). But before you grab your favorite Bleach costume and dust off those Manga volumes, know that the wait is long and that we’ve already had a similar news flash back in 2020. So is this really happening? And what was Bleach about again? Find out all that and more about the Bleach Anime return in this article.

Bleach Anime Cancellation

The original run of the immensely popular Bleach Anime got cancelled in 2012. That was just before the final Arc of the Bleach Manga. Many Bleach Manga fans were upset while those who only ever watched the anime were left unsatisfied. The end of the Fullbring Arc saw Ichigo retconned and only just getting his Shinigami powers back, essentially putting him where he was before the Arc. For many, readers and watchers alike, the Fullbring Arc felt like an unnecessary step; a bad pitstop for Ichigo and everyone else in the Bleach story which could be skipped without much concern for the story’s continuity.

Although the Fullbring Arc is canon and not filler, many consider it Tite Kubo’s weakest work on the Bleach universe. After Aizen’s defeat and Ichigo’s loss of all his power, the story seemed to be over. But the popularity of Bleach demanded more. More of Ichigo, more crazy new characters with interesting designs and powers. This is what Kubo excels at anyway, character design. He even admitted so in an interview. So he came up with a whole new crew, the Fullbringers and invented a new system of powers for them to have. Of course, Ichigo was to be a Fullbring too; a substitution for his lost powers. The story had the potential to shed a new light on Ichigo and those around him. Sadly, the Fullbring Arc never garnered as much enthusiasm as the Arcs before that. The same formula of Ichigo training to control a new power and eventually coming out as the strongest one to possess said power was applied. The villains just couldn’t match Aizen and the Arrancar in “coolness and badassery” either and the ending was rushed.

The result was that fans started to chip away from Bleach. That’s the harsh reality of the Anime industry, especially when talking about TV-Shounens: you don’t actually have that many hardcore fans in relative terms. 90% of watchers just watch out of a general interest. They’ll follow the story and probably watch most of the episodes, if not following faithfully along. But they don’t buy much merchandize and they don’t start reading the Manga. Once a show starts boring them for more than two episodes, they become flaky and once out of sight means out of mind as well. Even though the Fullbring Arc wasn’t even that bad, especially when compared to some of the atrocious filler arcs, it happened at an inopportune time. In my opinion, it got compared to earlier arcs of Bleach and to the other Shounen aired at the time like Naruto and the ever-popular One Piece. Those shows were doing really well at the time, while Bleach was showing its (arguably) weaker side. A case of particularly bad timing because the subsequent 1000-Year Blood War Arc was generally LOVED by the Manga readers of Bleach.

Bleach Manga After the Anime

If you haven’t read the Manga, you might be surprised to learn that Bleach didn’t end in 2012. There was more to come, and there is reason to believe that this time around the Bleach Anime return will actually be BETTER than the Manga. After the Fullbring Arc, Kubo returned to his roots and dug really deep. The final Arc of Bleach sees the Quincy, who we know since the very first Arc of Bleach, return and this time they’re the antagonists. Here Tite Kubo really shined once more, especially in the character design department. The story overall was just much stronger and felt much better rooted in the Bleach universe. We already knew about the Quincy’s existence and they made sense from the world-building point of view. They didn’t feel disjointed to the narrative like the Fullbringers were.

The 1000-Year Blood War Arc Animated

The Bleach Manga stopped in 2016 with the conclusion of that arc, four years after the Anime got cancelled. That’s a lot of source material to draw from, enough for at least a season if not two. All the old cast have been assembled for the Bleach Anime return with the 1000-Year Blood War Arc. The only exception is the voice actor for Captain-Commander Yamamoto Genryusai, Masaaki Tsukada who sadly passed away back in 2014. Studio Pierrot, who also animated the original run of Bleach as well as other popular Anime like Naruto, will be producing the new Bleach season. Although even the Manga’s ending felt kind of rushed as well, the Anime will allow Kubo to expand on the plot, for instance by lengthening the fights between certain key characters and fleshing out their interactions.

For those who can’t wait for the Bleach Anime return, there are only two options: one is to watch the trailer by Viz Media on YouTube, the other is to buy the Manga’s last Arc and start reading.

29 thoughts on “Bleach Anime Return”

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