The final battle is only beginning
The official Twitter account for Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War announced that the finale for the first cours (quarter-year run of anime) of the show will be a one-hour special aired on December 26. This special will combine the 12th and 13th episodes of the series, following the 11th episode airing on December 19 as expected.
After an anticipated announcement, Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War began airing in Japan this season on October 10. It has also been simulcasting on Hulu in the United States, complete with an English dub released on November 4. Disney+ has the series streaming in other territories, including Japan. The series has been confirmed to run the length of four cours total, with breaks in between those parts.
The announcement of the one-hour finale was preceded by Aniplex streaming a video looking back at the previous ten episodes of the season up to now. This includes reflecting on the recent climactic battle between Kenpachi and Unohana, as well as teasing the forthcoming 11th episode, titled Everything But The Rain.
It marks the end of the first leg of what’s been a long journey for Bleach. The original anime adaptation of Tite Kubo’s hit manga ended its airing in 2012 after an eight-year run. Ten years later, the new Thousand-Year Blood War anime was announced to continue the story and adapt the final arc of the manga, which sees Ichigo and the Soul Reapers of the series pulled into a conflict with the Quincy, who were previously thought to be all but extinct. Many of the staff from the original anime returned for the continuation, save for Tomohisa Taguchi replacing Noriyuke Abe as the show’s director.
It’s felt like an impressive return to form for a series that’s downright nostalgic for many at this point. The original Bleach was a mainstay of anime fandom throughout the 2000’s, though mixed reactions to the original manga’s ending and the television series coasting to a stop left the series on a more contentious note for the intervening years. There is the question of how the thus-far well-received Thousand-Year Blood War anime will do at adapting the manga’s finale. Regardless, fans will get to cap off their celebration of this first season’s success when that one-hour finale airs on December 26.
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