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Bleach Season 17 release date: Thousand-Year Blood War arc announcement planned for Jump Festa 2022

Bleach manga artwork
The Bleach 2020 20th anniversary project will include Bleach Season 17 and a new 2020 OVA episode. Pic credit: Tite Kubo

Bleach’s new season has finally been confirmed to be in production as part of the Bleach 20th anniversary project!

Weekly Shonen Jump Issue 17, 2021 reported that Bleach Season 17 will adapt the Thousand-Year Blood War story arc from the Bleach manga series by creator Tite Kubo.

On November 8, 2021, WSJ publisher Shueisha revealed that Jump Festa 2022 will contain an announcement concerning the Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War anime. The event takes place on December 18 and 19, 2021.

Besides the Bleach Season 17 announcement, Jump Festa 2022 will also have stage presentations for Spy X Family, World Trigger, Jujutsu Kaisen, Dr. STONE, My Hero Academia, Chainsaw Man, Platinum End, and many other anime.

What’s more, there will be a Bleach 2020 project that animates the Bleach: Burn The Witch story arc. Directed by Tatsuro Kawano (animation director for a season of the Psycho-Pass anime series), the Bleach OVA episode is being produced by animation company Studio Colorido. (See below for more details.)

The original Bleach anime ran from October 2004 through March 2012, ending with Episode 366 of Bleach Season 16. Presumably, Bleach’s new season will be called Bleach Season 17 and start with Bleach Episode 367.

The number of Bleach 2022 episodes have not yet been announced. However, the Thousand-Year Blood War arc is hundreds of chapters in the manga, so the Bleach 2022 anime is likely to run for many cours.

A “cour” is a three-month TV broadcasting unit based on the physical seasons, and anime seasons usually have between 10 to 13 episodes per cour. That means there will probably be Bleach Season 18, 19, and so on.

The main staff and animation studio that will produce the Bleach 2022 anime season has not yet been announced. Nor has the voice cast been announced.

However, Studio Pierrot produced the original 16 seasons. Since they’re well-known for producing long-running anime series like the Black Clover anime (see our article on the Black Clover Season 4 anime), the studio may return to produce Bleach’s new season.

The Bleach Season 17 opening (OP) theme song music and ending (ED) have not yet been announced.

  • Updated November 16, 2021: Bleach Thousand Year Blood War announcement confirmed for Jump Festa 2022.
  • Updated August 24, 2020: Bleach: Burn The Witch release date confirmed! Added trailer, key visual, and Crunchyroll streaming info.
  • Updated March 20, 2020: Added Bleach: Burn The Witch anime stills and trailer. Added Bleach: Thousand-Year War trailer.

This article provides everything that is known about Bleach Season 17 (Bleach 2022 anime/Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War) and all related news. As such, this article will be updated over time with news, rumors, and analysis. Meanwhile, let’s delve down into what is known for certain.

Bleach 2020 OVA episode adapts the Burn The Witch manga one-shot

Anime fans were hoping that the Bleach 2020 announcement would launch Bleach’s new season quickly. The good news is that the anime is coming back relatively quickly for a Bleach OVA episode.

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Studio Colorido is producing the new episode for a 2020 release. The studio is best known for producing Pokemon: Twilight Wings.

The studio is a subsidiary of Twin Engine, which owns the anime licensing rights to big names such as the Dororo anime and the Vinland Saga anime (see our Vinland Saga Season 2 anime article).

Direct Tatsuro Kawano was the animation director for Psycho-Pass 2. He was also the director for the fourth opening of the Boruto anime series.

Bleach: Burn The Witch was a one-shot manga chapter that Kubo released in Shonen Jump back on July 16, 2018. It was Kubo’s first new Bleach manga chapter since August 2016.

Originally, it was announced by Weekly Shonen Jump in mid-August 2020 that the Burn The Witch manga would only have four chapters, but then it was announced a week later that Burn The Witch Volume 1 would be released on October 2, 2020. Typically, if a manga series is only one volume it will be listed without a number.

Viz Media will be digitally publishing the official English translation of the Burn The Witch manga.

Bleach Burn The Witch Anime Screenshots
Screenshots from the Bleach: Burn The Witch anime. Pic credit: Studio Colorido

The two main Bleach characters for this story are named Noel Niihashi and Spangle Niniii. They will be voiced by Japanese voice actors Yuina Yamada and Asami Tano, respectively.

Set 12 years after the Quincy Blood War, Bleach: Burn The Witch told the story of two witches working for the Soul Society in Reverse London.

In this world, dragons are real, and in the ancient past, caused the majority of deaths in London.

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The modern residents of London cannot see dragons, so it’s up to the people in Reverse London to control the dragons and protect the people from a fiery death.

Bleach Burn The Witch Anime
The Bleach: Burn The Witch OVA episode will be released in Japanese movie theaters and on streaming platforms the same day. Pic credit: Studio Colorido

Bleach: Burn The Witch release date confirmed for fall 2020

The Bleach: Burn The Witch release date is scheduled for October 2, 2020, the fall 2020 anime season. In Japan, there will be theater screenings

On the same day, the Burn The Witch anime will be streaming in Japan on Amazon Prime Video. The streaming version will be split up into three episodes.

Internationally, Crunchyroll will be streaming Bleach: Burn The Witch in United States, Canda, South America, Europe, Oceania, Middle East, and Africa.

Bleach Burn The Witch OVA Episode Anime 2020
The Bleach: Burn The Witch OVA episode will adapt a Bleach manga one-shot. Pic credit: Weekly Shonen Jump

Bleach manga compared to the Bleach 2022 anime

The anime is based on the Bleach manga series by artist and writer Tite Kubo. Published in Weekly Shonen Jump from 2001 through 2016, the Bleach manga ended Volume 74 with Bleach Chapter 686.

The official English translation of the Bleach manga was released by North American publisher VIZ Media. The English Bleach Volume 74 came out back in October 2018.

The anime followed the manga’s story up until Episode 64 when multiple anime original story arcs were introduced in order to give Kubo more time to create new manga chapters. These filler episodes continued until Episode 110, but then the anime continued to rely on filler multiple times over the years.

Episodes 128 through 137 and Episodes 168 through 189 and Episodes 230 through 265 and Episode 311 through 342 were all filler. Needless to say, this amount of filler content is unusual for an anime series so reading the Bleach manga is like a different experience.

The Bleach Season 16 anime finished by adapting the Lost Substitute Shinigami arc, which was covered by manga chapters 424 through 479.

Bleach Season 17 anime will pick up with the Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War arc (also known as the Quincy arc), which includes chapters 480 through 686. Presumably, the anime will not overly rely on filler episodes this time around.

Therefore, assuming that Bleach’s new season adapts the entirety of the story arc, the anime could adapt the Bleach manga’s ending. But it will take multiple seasons since we’re talking about over 200 chapters, which is almost a third of the entire manga.

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The good news is that English-only manga readers can read ahead right now. The bad news is that Bleach’s new season run will likely be the ending of the anime series unless a Bleach manga sequel is announced.

Bleach 2020 Season 17 Announcement Weekly Shonen Jump
The Bleach 2020 announcement of Bleach Season 17 in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. Pic credit: Weekly Shonen Jump

Bleach Season 17 release date predictions

As of the last update, Weekly Shonen Jump or any company related to the production of the anime has not officially confirmed the exact Bleach Season 17 release date.

However, the production of a Bleach 2022 sequel has been announced.

Once the news is officially confirmed, this article will be updated with the relevant information. In the meantime, it’s possible to speculate about when the Bleach 2022 premiere date will occur in the future.

Considering the timing of the announcement, the Bleach 2022 anime may be coming out in Spring or Summer 2022. Let’s just be thankful that Bleach Season 17 is finally happening.

Bleach Thousand Year Blood War Manga Art
Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War is considered by some manga fans to be the best story arc of the entire series. Pic credit: Tite Kubo

Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War anime spoilers (plot summary/synopsis)

The last time we watched Ichigo Kurosaki he had lost his powers and struggled to regain them with the help of Rukia Kuchiki. With the help of other members of the Soul Society he faced off against Kugo Ginjo.

In the present, the hard-fought peace is broken when Hollows begin disappearing mysteriously and no one knows who is behind it. Eventually, a new group of warriors calling themselves the Wandenreich attack.

The Wandenreich, which translates as the Invisible Empire, is a secret group of the Quincy. A thousand years ago, the Quincy lost the war with the Shinigami and they escaped and created a hiding place. They have been biding their time and slowly gathering their power.

When the Wandenreich launch an assault on the Soul Society, an all-out war between the Quincy and the Shinigami has begun. The survival of the Soul Society is put to the test and Ichigo must survive super-intense training in order to have a chance at fighting back.

Unfortunately, anime fans will have to wait until the Bleach 2022 release date to watch what happens. Stay tuned!

Patrick Frye is Monsters and Critics' Anime Editor. He more

9 thoughts on “Bleach Season 17 release date: Thousand-Year Blood War arc announcement planned for Jump Festa 2022”

  1. I can’t wait I hope I am still alive (71 yrs old) when they do the other seasons. I really was hoping to get more of Bleach since it ended so abruptly. I will be so happy to spend more time with all of the characters!


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