Shonen anime fans rejoiced late Saturday evening when, at Los Angeles’ Anime Expo, new footage debuted for the return of Bleach. The popular Toonami series ended back in 2014, just two years before the manga by creator Tite Kubo would wrap up with 2016’s “Thousand-Year Blood War” arc. Late last year, it was announced that the anime would come back to bring things to its proper close, and now our new look at it looks really dang good.
Created by Kubo back in 2001, Bleach follows the adventures of teenager Ichigo Kurosaki, who becomes a Soul Reaper to defend humanity from evil spirits. Like with most shonen anime, it became extremely popular, leading to plenty of merchandise, including video games, anime films, a trading card game, and several musicals. Studio Pierrot (Naruto, Boruto, Legend of Korra) handled the original anime adaptation, and they’re returning for this final arc, with directing duties being handled by Tomohisa Taguchi (Akudama Drive). During the panel, Kubo released a video message telling fans to expect a “new and refreshing” viewing experience, and mentioned his close involvement with the anime’s development.
“Blood War” will see Ichigo and his returning allies — including Rukia Kukichi, Renji Abari, Byakuya Kukichi — come together to save the Soul Society from the Wandenreich. Led by Ywach, aka the “Quincy King,” the Wandenreich are going around killing Hollows in the World of the Living, and the trailer primarily exists to highlight the eclectic cast. Well, that and emphasise that Ywach needs to be taken out within nine days, lest the world end. During the panel, it was also revealed that several of the English voice cast would be returning, including Johnny Young Bosch (Ichigo) and Michelle Ruff (Rukia).
Expect Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War to hit this October. Peep the new key visual below, which includes a variety of returning characters.