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Bleach is considered one of the Big Three anime, but despite its place in the cultural zeitgeist, its television adaptation was canceled back in 2012. As such, the show never got to cover the final arc of Tite Kubo’s manga. However, fans will get the ending they deserve this fall. Bleach is coming back in October, with the anime bringing viewers the Thousand-Year Blood War arc. Read on to learn why the series was canceled and what we can expect from its big return.

Why was ‘Bleach’ canceled in 2012?

Ichigo Kurosaki in 'Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War,' which sees the anime coming back after 10 years. He's lifting his weapon over his head and yelling.
Ichigo in ‘Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War’ | VIZ Media

Bleach has long been considered a classic anime, quickly rising to fame after its 2004 premiere. Sadly, its popularity didn’t last — at least not on paper. By the time 2012 rolled around, the anime adaptation was canceled. According to Comic Book Resources, that’s because it was getting low ratings. This pushed the show to have a premature ending — despite the fact that Tite Kubo’s manga continued for several more years.

As such, Bleach fans were left without a proper conclusion to Ichigo Kurosaki’s story. And although they got one from the manga, many wished they could have seen it on the small screen. Fortunately, now they’ll have the chance. With Bleach coming back this fall, fans will finally get an anime adaptation of the Thousand-Year Blood War arc. So, when does Bleach make its big return?

‘Bleach’ returns this fall — when does the anime return?

The Bleach anime may have gotten canceled due to low ratings, but that isn’t stopping Studio Pierrot from reviving it and finally adapting the manga’s last arc. It was announced during Jump Festa 2022 that Bleach would be coming back during the fall anime season, and now we know when to expect it.

According to Crunchyroll, Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War begins on Oct. 10. It’s one of several highly anticipated anime premiering this October, and it’s arguably the biggest release of the season. After 10 years away from the Soul Society, fans are understandably eager to jump back into this anime.

According to a Twitter post from VIZ Media, Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War will be simulcast in the U.S., though it’s unclear what platform it will stream on. We’ll stay tuned for more updates about the series’ U.S. release. And while we await more details, let’s dig into what fans can expect from Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War when it debuts.

What to expect from ‘Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War’


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With Bleach coming back after all these years, fans can anticipate a proper adaptation of the Thousand-Year Blood War Arc. Judging by the trailer (via VIZ Media), this storyline is going to be every bit as action-packed and exciting as it is in the manga.

The series will pick up after the Lost Substitute Shinigami arc, which is the last storyline the anime covered. It will build on certain developments from that chapter, eventually leading to a war between the Quincy and the Soul Reapers.

Per Bleach‘s official website, here’s the official synopsis (translated from Japanese to English) for the Thousand-Year Blood War:

“It is observed that emptiness is disappearing one after another in this world, and the Soul Society and Technology Development Bureau are in an uproar. Meanwhile, in Karakura Town, the newly appointed Shinigami, Ryunosuke Yumiki and Shino Madarame, encounter the imaginary as soon as they arrive. It was Ichigo Kurosaki and his companions who helped the two who were helpless in a sudden attack. Two days later, a man wearing a mask appears in front of Ichigo and the others who are interacting with Ryunosuke, who has regained consciousness. On the other hand, strange things are happening in Soul Society…”

With so much happening, Bleach fans won’t want to miss the coming addition to the series. Hopefully, it’ll prove a more satisfying ending to the anime.

Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War debuts on Oct. 10, 2022.