There is a great difference between creating unnecessary continuations of successful works of art, and drawing a satisfying conclusion using existing material. And one of the biggest franchises that clearly needs to address the latter is Bleach.
Bleach is undoubtedly one of the most popular anime series to ever exist. Its extraordinary 16 season run was formative for a vast majority of modern anime fans. The combination of a wonderful cast of detailed characters, a vast world to explore, and a deep, rich lore made for brilliant television.
And yet, almost every single fan of the show would agree that the grand finale to such a long and beloved series was a massive letdown. Not in terms of the episode itself, but the fact that the show ended so abruptly and on that particular arc was disappointing and confusing.
As of 2016, the Bleach manga published its final chapter, bringing the iconic series to an end. But so far, there has been no word as to whether or not the last arc will be animated yet. Here are a few reasons that I (and many others) believe that the Thousand-Year Blood War Arc should be animated.
Spoiler Warning! I will be detailing some of the contents of the final arc of the Bleach manga. If you wish to wait to read/hopefully watch the arc yourself, READ NO FURTHER!
The Fullbringer Arc was NOT finale material.
Let’s be honest – the Fullbringer arc was not how anyone envisioned the show ending. It wasn’t a bad arc, but coming off the heat of the Fall Of The Espada Arc with Aizen, both the Gotei 13 Invading Army Arc and the Fullbringer Arc seemed to be building towards the next big thing.
Aizen had been the main villain of the whole series up to that point. Once he was gone and Ichigo lost his Soul Reaper powers, the fact that the series continued to the point that he regained them indicated that he would be needed to take down something even greater.
This proved to be true in the manga as the Wandenreich emerged and Yhwach became the true villain of the series. Admittedly there was a gap between content as the last episode of the Fullbringer Arc aired in Japan on March 27, 2012, and the first volume of the Thousand-Year Blood War Arc was published more than two months afterwards. But the show left the door open for the next adventure.
And now it has now been over five years since the last episode and we have no more Bleach. We need a better sendoff than what we got. The show deserves it.
The Thousand-Year Blood War Arc is AMAZING!
The grand finale of the manga was insane. In the best way. This arc brings a long standing feud between the Soul Reapers and the Quincy to a head, with Ichigo and Uryu stuck in the middle. Since these two had been rivals from the very beginning, this was a very interesting division.
So many more character details are revealed, such as Ichigo’s family, Unohana and Kenpachi, and the Soul King. The arc leaves a bloody trail and shows the whole Bleach crew pushed to their limits.
One of the most interesting points is the exploration of Ichigo’s true power, and the revelations regarding the beings we know as Old Man Zangetsu and Hollow Ichigo. The truth of the dynamic between these characters and what they mean to Ichigo stunned readers and left a mark on all parts of the story that came before.
So many things happen in this arc that are crucial to the overall Bleach story. It would be a shame to see the true final chapter of the series not be brought to the animated screen. I sincerely hope that we will see it soon.