Updated on May 30, 2023, 7:10 p.m. (GMT+8): Season two of the Thousand Year Blood War saga premieres July 8. This article has been updated for relevancy.
The Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War (Sennen Kessen-hen) arc is finally animated, 10 years after the anime series ended in 2012.
If you aren’t one of the people who have waited a decade for the anime, or have held off on watching Bleach because of its reputation, it can be hard to understand why the response to TYBW’s anime has been so overwhelming.
Here are five reasons to be hyped for the anime return that’ll chronicle the exhilarating last arc to a manga that spanned 686 chapters and 15 years.
5 reasons why you should look forward to the Thousand Year Blood War anime
5. Everybody gets their Bankai
OK, well, maybe not everybody. But a sizeable portion, like a good two slices of cake instead of the whole thing, and it’s in a new flavor.
Some Bankai will make you go “… what?”, while some are completely unexplained. Other shinigami just never get one.
But there’s still a lot to look forward to. Besides the Bankai, there’s a whole host of other powers to disclose (and explain) from both allies and enemies.
The first season of the anime has already done right by us, greatly expanding on Unohana Yachiru’s Bankai, extending her fight and bestowing upon us a more complete view of why she remains one of the most feared captains in Soul Society.
Whether it’s an upgrade for your favorite character, some of the most hyped reveals in the manga’s history, or even previously unseen powers, there’s a lot to love here — especially now that they’ll be animated.
4. Shiro Sagisu’s score
♫ This is what you’ve waited for and it’s you that they all adore ♫
♫ So baby now you feel like number one, shining bright for everyone ♫
You’ve jammed to his scores, and you’ve sung along to Number One, one of the most distinct character themes in anime. And now, legendary composer Shiro Sagisu is coming back to compose the music for Thousand Year Blood War.
Having done the scores for Neon Genesis Evangelion, Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, and SSSS.Gridman, Sagisu’s experience and wide-ranging influences have made Bleach one of the best-sounding anime series. Whether it’s for heart-pumping battles, foreboding reveals, or the unexpectedly groovy Arrancars, there’ll definitely be some new additions to your playlist.
Who’s ready for another remix of Number One?
3. Stellar, uncensored animation
Have you started on your New Year’s gym resolution? It’s difficult to keep up, isn’t it? Good luck! But in the meantime, if you need an easy win in your life, here’s a resolution for you: watch the Bleach trailer every day — it’s guaranteed to send chills down your spine every time.
The preview gave us a glimpse at several characters, and they all looked amazing in their brief cameos. While some might be worried that the animation quality won’t hold, there’s reason to believe that Pierrot isn’t holding anything back.
If the rumors about Bleach airing at midnight turn out to be true, censorship should be at a minimum. For example, Soi Fon’s revealing outfit was censored in the anime, but seems to be back to its manga self in the trailer.
That means more blood and more brutal action, fitting for the Thousand Year Blood War. And, TYBW’s new director is no stranger to stylish action.
2. Bleach Thousand Year Blood War director Tomohisa Taguchi is stylish AF
Of the three staff — Shiro Sagisu (music), Masashi Kudo (character design), and Tomohisa Taguchi (director) — attached to the Thousand Year Blood War project, there’s an unfamiliar name. Taguchi is the only person that didn’t work with the original anime.
A relative newcomer in the scene, Taguchi’s directorial credits include Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna, Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World – The Animated Series, and several Persona adaptations. But it’s his most recent series — Akudama Drive, a stylish and gory show set in a cyberpunk future — that most visually resembles the trailer.
It bodes well for Thousand Year Blood War to have a director with such a capable eye for action, which should do justice to some of Bleach’s most anticipated fights.
Fans living in Southeast Asia can watch Akudama Drive for free on Muse Asia’s YouTube channel here.
1. The conclusion to a legendary manga
Many people will fight to the death over their favorite arc of the manga. (It’s objectively Turn Back The Pendulum, fight me.)
But the Thousand Year Blood War is the final and longest arc of Bleach, promising new villains and old fan favorites with outfits more stylish than the Paris Fashion Show, and names almost as bizarre as X Æ A-12. There are going to be battles, there’s going to be hype, and there’s going to be plenty of tissues.
For the tears. Because we are crying that the Bleach anime is finally back.
While many fans were disappointed with how the manga ended, the journey is still one to be appreciated. And with author Tite Kubo’s direct involvement, the anime’s fervent reception so far could prompt Studio Pierrot to make some adjustments to the manga’s rushed ending.
Even without the anime, Kubo has been keeping himself busy. A special one-shot for Bleach’s 20th anniversary seemingly promises a new arc to follow after the events of TYBW. There are heavy SPOILERS for anime-onlys or those who’ve not finished the manga, so stay away if you aren’t fully caught up with Bleach.
Or maybe you haven’t watched Bleach at all. Then, what are you waiting for?