After nearly eight years off the air, Bleach’s anime is finally coming back to finish the series. According to reports from A.I.R. (Anime Intelligence and Research) on Twitter, the anime is returning to celebrate its 20-year anniversary.
According to the report from A.I.R., which appears to be from a translation of an early copy of Shonen Jump’s latest issue, the new season of the anime will be adapting the manga’s Thousand-Year Blood War story arc. This was the final story arc in the original Bleach manga but was never adapted for the anime, which ended in 2012. The original Bleach manga began in 2001, which makes a 2021 debut for the new anime adaptation seem likely. The Thousand-Year Blood War arc brought the manga to a close in 2016.
Studio Pierrot animated the original Bleach, which was heavy on fighting and had a reputation as one of the best looking shows in the industry at the time. There’s no word yet on whether or not the studio will return to animate the Thousand-Year Blood War arc.
According to the Bleach 20th Anniversary website, this announcement was scheduled to be made during the AnimeJapan 2020 event set for March 23. The event has since been canceled due to concerns over COVID-19. Instead, the announcement looks like it’s set to be made on the Bleach 20th Anniversary livestream which will begin on March 20 at 8:45 p.m. EDT. Meanwhile, the issue of Shonen Jump that this leak appears to come from is supposed to be released the next day.
During the 20th Anniversary announcement, Bleach’s creator Tite Kubo will also reveal his next manga, A.I.R. reports. This new project will be his first since 2018’s Burn the Witch. Burn the Witch is also getting an anime adaptation, according to A.I.R., that will likely be announced during the livestream as well.