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The Rebirth of Bleach

Bleach is heralded as one of the top three Shonen anime franchises. Starting in October of 2004, the anime entertained fans for 366 episodes. The anime based on the manga of the same name by Tite Kubo was unfortunately cancelled in March of 2014, leaving its fans disappointed. 

Even though the anime had stopped airing, Kubo continued the Bleach Universe (Bleach-verse) through the manga, hoping to revive the anime. But as time went on, that hope diminished, and it was in 2021 that it was made public that Bleach would return and, in October 2022, adapt its ending arc, The Thousand-Year Blood War Arc, into an anime.


The Story of Bleach


Bleach tells us a story of a reckless teenager Ichigo Kurosaki, who gains the powers of a Soul Reaper after absorbing them from Rukia Kuchiki, a member of the Gotei 13 (The Thirteen Court Guard Squads). The story follows Ichigo and his friends, Uryu Ishida, Orihime Inoue, Yasitora Sado, or "Chad" (The Karakura Gang), as they try to navigate through the new worlds that have been introduced to them.


Why Was The Anime Cancelled?


Although the anime was good and garnered a large fan following, it did have flaws (which I can only get into by spoiling it). Due to these flaws, there was a drop in anime viewership. However, that wasn't the only reason for Bleach's downfall. 

Bleach was at a disadvantage from the start as it was aired on a later time slot on adult-swim as it was considered for a mature audience (at least in the US). It and declining interest in anime, in general, meant that the anime was not earning money for the studio and eventually was cancelled.



Why was this the perfect time for Bleach to return?


Anime, like any other TV show, has had a boom in popularity for a time. There are eras and periods where fans are crazy about one particular anime.

Bleach, Naruto & One Piece (Big Three Shonen Anime) replaced Dragon Ball Z. After the Big Three, animes like My Hero Academia, Attack on Titans, Black Clover, and Hunter x Hunter (and other animes that I'm forgetting) took over and reigned for some time over the anime community.

Now that the hype has died down over many of the animes, it is the perfect time for Bleach to capitalize on this and make this its era.


Thoughts on the Thousand Year Blood War Anime


As previously indicated, the anime was resurrected in October 2022 to a positive response from the audience. The anime has satisfied fans eager to see their beloved characters in an animated form.

The difference in animation from the original anime is night and day (or Soul Reapers and Hollows). Animation is fluid and has benefited from modern technology. The color schemes used in scenes are beautiful, especially in scenes where the color scheme remains neutral.


The pacing and tone of the anime are also very different from the original anime, with Kubo asking for the comedy to be cut down as he wants the somber aura to remain throughout the anime. The story is moving briskly, which can be tough to follow in some instances and could lead to problems like not letting moments breathe. However, the creators have used this well and adapted the source material as best as possible, leaving out very few moments. Additionally, crucial situations like the conflict between Yamamoto and Yhwach received adequate attention, and other scenes that enriched the narrative were added.


What Does The Future Hold For Bleach?


The anime has completed 12 episodes and has yet to show signs of slowing down. But with the success of this anime, there have been speculations of Tite Kubo continuing the Bleach verse with the "Hell Arc." 

Kubo released a single chapter that focused on the Hell Realm, a place we haven't been to and haven't heard about in the anime or the manga. This arc brings back some characters like Ukitake, we may get to see his Bankai, and he can also be the villain of that arc. 


How? Why? I don't know. I'm just speculating. 


Favourite Moments of TYBW




I will end this by describing some of my favorite anime moments until now, so if you don't want spoilers, stop reading.


The Introduction – How else can I start the list by mentioning the reintroduction to the anime Karakura Town and all our heroes? Nostalgia sells, and this moment shows it. They leaned heavily on nostalgia in the first episode, forgoing the opening theme and instead giving us the Karakura Gang fight off the Hollows as Number One played in the background (which is the best hype song in all of the anime). We also got to see the abilities of our heroes, which looked quite crisp, as mentioned previously, and it was phenomenal to see Ichigo's Bankai again (Although he probably didn't need it, I'll let it slide).


Yamamoto vs Yhubach – This fight was a visual spectacle. The anime added more scenes to the fight and even made Lieutenant Sasakeybe a hero as he stabbed Yhubach. Zankanotachi Source was creepy in the best way possible as skeletons rose from hell.

The fight's ending was shocking as Yhubach stole Yamamoto's Bankai and cut him in half. While we're on the subject, Yamamoto died like a boss with his lower body standing while the upper half slid and fell to the ground. Gruesome, heartbreaking, and shocking.

Ichigo's arrival – After the Soul Society has lost its strongest soldier, Ichigo finally arrives. The first-person POV was a great decision as we didn't see Ichigo's expression until the right moment. Ichigo goes over straight to Byakuya, who is on the verge of death. Here Byakuya forgoes his pride as he begs, pleads, and even cries, asking Ichigo to save the Soul Society.

The rain falling on Ichigo turns to steam because of the Spiritual Pressure he released, and then we see it. An angry, maniacal, and full of rage, Ichigo. Honestly, he hasn't been this angry since the Full-bringer Arc, where, Ginjo backstabbed him, and he wanted to kill him and Tsukishima.


Final Thoughts


I love that the anime is not Rated PG, which works in its favor as most of its fans have grown up and would love to see the uncensored bloody battles. As already showcased in the anime, they are not shy of blood and gore, resulting in beautiful violence. It also helps to get the desired impact on the audience, which translates even better on screen than in the manga. 

Fans have been waiting for this anime for a long time, and it is hard to believe that we have already ended the first season of it. It would be exciting to see what the future of anime holds and all the fantastic events we will experience.



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Tags: #Byakuya #Yamamoto #bleach #bleachanime #YamamotovsYhbach #Urahara #Chad #Zangetsu #thousandyearbloodwararc #Ichigo #Uryu #Yhbach #Orihime #Bankai #TYBW


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