EntertainmentThousand-Year Blood War final arc confirmed for Fall 2022...

Thousand-Year Blood War final arc confirmed for Fall 2022 by trailer


Bleach manga artwork
The Bleach 20th anniversary project included Bleach Season 17 and a new 2020 OVA episode. Pic credit: Tite Kubo

The Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War release date has been confirmed to be in October 2022, the Fall 2022 anime season.

Bleach’s final arc was initially confirmed to be in production as part of the Bleach 20th anniversary project. Weekly Shonen Jump Issue 17, 2021 reported that Bleach Season 17 will adapt the Thousand-Year Blood War story arc from the Bleach manga series by creator Tite Kubo, which means the anime will finish adapting the Bleach manga’s ending.

On April 21, 2022, Kubo announced, “I’ve decided on the opening and ending songs for the Anime!!! Great!!!” While it’s unusual for any manga creator have any say about the theme song music selection, this announcement gives anime fans an idea of just how involved Kubo is in the production of the final anime series.

In June 2022, Kubo revealed an update on the progress of the Bleach anime return. The Bleach audio dubbing procedure is now ongoing according to Kubo. Although he did not say how far the audio recordings have progressed, voice actors are usually the last ones to touch an anime because the booth recording begins only once the main animation is finished. So, since the team is already recording their lines, Bleach must have completed a chunk of its episode order.

On December 16, 2021, the latest Weekly Shonen Jump news leaked out, confirming that the new Bleach anime will start its broadcast in Fall 2022. The Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War release date time frame received an official confirmation during Jump Festa 2022, which took place on December 18 and 19, 2021.

Besides the Bleach Season 17 announcement, Jump Festa 2022 contained announcements for Spy X Family, World Trigger, Jujutsu Kaisen, Dr. STONE, My Hero Academia, Chainsaw Man, Platinum End, and many other anime.

A Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War trailer preview video was also released during the Jump Festa 2022 event.

As of the last update, Weekly Shonen Jump or any company related to the production of the anime has not officially confirmed the exact Bleach Season 17 release date. Once the news is officially confirmed, this article will be updated with the relevant information.

The original Bleach anime ran from October 2004 through March 2012, ending with Episode 366 of Bleach Season 16. Presumably, Bleach’s new season will be called Bleach Season 17 and start with Bleach Episode 367.

The number of Bleach 2022 episodes has not yet been announced. However, the Thousand-Year Blood War arc is hundreds of chapters in the manga, so the Bleach 2022 anime is likely to run for many cours.

A “cour” is a three-month TV broadcasting unit based on the physical seasons, and anime seasons usually have between 10 to 13 episodes per cour. That means there will probably be Bleach Season 18, 19, and so on.

The main staff and animation studio producing the Bleach 2022 anime season were announced during Jump Festa 2022.

Studio Pierrot produced the original 16 seasons. Since they’re well-known for producing long-running anime series like the Black Clover anime (see our article on the Black Clover Season 4 anime), it’s not surprising that the  studio is returning to to produce Bleach’s new season.

Bleach character designer Masashi Kudo and music composer Shiro Sagisuo are both returning.

However, the biggest change to the main staff is that director Tomohisa Taguchi (Akudama Drive, Kino’s Journey) is replacing the previous director, Noriyuki Abe. The new director will also be handling the series composition writing.

The Bleach Season 17 opening (OP) theme song music and ending (ED) have not yet been announced. As previously noted, the Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War OP and ED were hand-picked by Tite Kubo himself.

What’s more, there was a Bleach 2020 project that animates the Bleach: Burn The Witch story arc. Directed by Tatsuro Kawano (animation director for a season of the Psycho-Pass anime series), the Bleach OVA episode is being produced by animation company Studio Colorido. (See below for more details.)

  • Updated June 7, 2022: Tite Kubo confirms Bleach audio dubbing has begun.
  • Updated April 21, 2022: Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War OP/ED picked by manga creator.
  • Updated December 18, 2021: Added Bleach Season 17 release date time frame, trailer, studio, staff, and Japanese cast.
  • Updated November 16, 2021: Bleach Thousand Year Blood War announcement confirmed for Jump Festa 2022.
  • Updated August 24, 2020: Bleach: Burn The Witch release date confirmed! Added trailer, key visual, and Crunchyroll streaming info.
  • Updated March 20, 2020: Added Bleach: Burn The Witch anime stills and trailer. Added Bleach: Thousand-Year War trailer.

This article provides everything that is known about Bleach Season 17 (Bleach 2022 anime/Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War) and all related news. As such, this article will be updated over time with news, rumors, and analysis. Meanwhile, let’s delve down into what is known for certain.

Bleach 2020 OVA episode adapts the Burn The Witch manga one-shot

Anime fans were hoping that the Bleach 2020 announcement would launch Bleach’s new season quickly. The good news is that the anime is coming back relatively quickly for a Bleach OVA episode.

Studio Colorido is producing the new episode for a 2020 release. The studio is best known for producing Pokemon: Twilight Wings.

The studio is a subsidiary of Twin Engine, which owns the anime licensing rights to big names such as the Dororo anime and the Vinland Saga anime (see our Vinland Saga Season 2 anime article).

Director Tatsuro Kawano was the animation director for Psycho-Pass 2. He was also the director for the fourth opening of the Boruto anime series.

Bleach: Burn The Witch was a one-shot manga chapter that Kubo released in Shonen Jump back on July 16, 2018. It was Kubo’s first new Bleach manga chapter since August 2016.

Originally, it was announced by Weekly Shonen Jump in mid-August 2020 that the Burn The Witch manga would only have four chapters, but then it was announced a week later that Burn The Witch Volume 1 would be released on October 2, 2020. Typically, if a manga series is only one volume it will be listed without a number.

Viz Media will be digitally publishing the official English translation of the Burn The Witch manga.

Bleach Burn The Witch Anime Screenshots
Screenshots from the Bleach: Burn The Witch anime. Pic credit: Studio Colorido

The two main Bleach characters for this story are named Noel Niihashi and Spangle Niniii. They will be voiced by Japanese voice actors Yuina Yamada and Asami Tano, respectively.

Set 12 years after the Quincy Blood War, Bleach: Burn The Witch told the story of two witches working for the Soul Society in Reverse London.

In this world, dragons are real, and in the ancient past, caused the majority of deaths in London.

The modern residents of London cannot see dragons, so it’s up to the people in Reverse London to control the dragons and protect the people from a fiery death.

Bleach Burn The Witch Anime
The Bleach: Burn The Witch OVA episode will be released in Japanese movie theaters and on streaming platforms the same day. Pic credit: Studio Colorido

Bleach manga compared to the Bleach 2022 anime

The anime is based on the Bleach manga series by artist and writer Tite Kubo. Published in Weekly Shonen Jump from 2001 through 2016, the Bleach manga ended Volume 74 with Bleach Chapter 686.

The official English translation of the Bleach manga was released by North American publisher VIZ Media. The English Bleach Volume 74 came out back in October 2018.

The anime followed the manga’s story up until Episode 64 when multiple anime original story arcs were introduced in order to give Kubo more time to create new manga chapters. These filler episodes continued until Episode 110, but then the anime continued to rely on filler multiple times over the years.

Episodes 128 through 137 and Episodes 168 through 189 and Episodes 230 through 265 and Episode 311 through 342 were all filler. Needless to say, this amount of filler content is unusual for an anime series so reading the Bleach manga is like a different experience.

The Bleach Season 16 anime finished by adapting the Lost Substitute Shinigami arc, which was covered by manga chapters 424 through 479.

Bleach Season 17 anime will pick up with the Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War arc (also known as the Quincy arc), which includes chapters 480 through 686. Presumably, the anime will not overly rely on filler episodes this time around.

Therefore, assuming that Bleach’s new season adapts the entirety of the story arc, the anime could adapt the Bleach manga’s ending. But it will take multiple seasons since we’re talking about over 200 chapters, which is almost a third of the entire manga.

The good news is that English-only manga readers can read ahead right now. The bad news is that Bleach’s new season run will likely be the ending of the anime series unless a Bleach manga sequel is announced.

Bleach 2020 Season 17 Announcement Weekly Shonen Jump
The Bleach 2020 announcement of Bleach Season 17 in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. Pic credit: Weekly Shonen Jump

Bleach Season 17 cast announced

Here is the Japanese voice cast for the Bleach 2022 sequel:

  • Masakazu Morita as Ichigo Kurosaki
  • Fumiko Orikasa as Rukia Kuchiki
  • Noriaki Sugiyama as Uryū Ishida
  • Yuki Matsuoka as Orihime Inoue
  • Hiroki Yasumoto as Yasutora Sado
  • Kentaro Ito as Renji Abarai
  • Shinichiro Miki as Kisuke Urahara
  • Satsuki Yukino as Yoruichi Shihōin
  • Binbin Takaoka as Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto
  • Houko Kuwashima as Suì-Fēng
  • Shouto Kashii as Rōjūrō Ōtoribashi
  • Aya Hisakawa as Retsu Unohana
  • Masaya Onosaka as Shinji Hirako
  • Ryotaro Okiayu as Byakuya Kuchiki
  • Tetsu Inada as Sajin Komamura
  • Akio Ohtsuka as Shunsui Kyōraku
  • Tomokazu Sugita as Kensei Muguruma
  • Romi Park as Tōshirō Hitsugaya
  • Fumihiko Tachiki as Kenpachi Zaraki
  • Ryusei Nakao as Mayuri Kurotsuchi
  • Hideo Ishikawa as Jūshirō Ukitake
  • Naomi Kusumi as Ichibē Hyōsube
  • Yōji Ueda as Ōetsu Mimaiya
  • Tomoyuki Shimura as Tenjirō Kirinji
  • Rina Satou as Senjumaru Shutara
  • Ayumi Tsunematsu as Kirio Hikifune
  • Takayuki Sugo as Yhwach
  • Yuichiro Umehara as Jugram Haschwalth
  • Shunsuke Takeuchi as Askin Nakk Le Vaar
  • Ayana Taketatsu as Bambietta Basterbine
  • Yūki Ono as Bazz-B
  • Yumi Uchiyama as Candice Catnipp
  • Natsuki Hanae as Gremmy Thoumeaux
  • Satoshi Hino as Lille Barro

A Bleach Season 17 English dub has’t been announced yet. Let’s just be thankful that Bleach Season 17 is finally happening.

Bleach Thousand Year Blood War Manga Art
Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War is considered by some manga fans to be the best story arc of the entire series. Pic credit: Tite Kubo

Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War anime spoilers (plot summary/synopsis)

The last time we watched Ichigo Kurosaki he had lost his powers and struggled to regain them with the help of Rukia Kuchiki. With the help of other members of the Soul Society he faced off against Kugo Ginjo.

In the present, the hard-fought peace is broken when Hollows begin disappearing mysteriously and no one knows who is behind it. Eventually, a new group of warriors calling themselves the Wandenreich attack.

The Wandenreich, which translates as the Invisible Empire, is a secret group of the Quincy. A thousand years ago, the Quincy lost the war with the Shinigami and they escaped and created a hiding place. They have been biding their time and slowly gathering their power.

When the Wandenreich launch an assault on the Soul Society, an all-out war between the Quincy and the Shinigami has begun. The survival of the Soul Society is put to the test and Ichigo must survive super-intense training in order to have a chance at fighting back.

Unfortunately, anime fans will have to wait until the Bleach 2022 release date to watch what happens. Stay tuned!


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