After a decade-long hiatus, one of the world’s most popular anime series is finally back with its last installment, Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War. The upcoming season will give Bleach fans the opportunity to see their favorite story’s epic conclusion on screen, starting on Oct. 10.
For those not familiar with Ichigo Kurosaki’s tale, Bleach follows the protagonist on his journey as a Soul Reaper, while he navigates conflicts within the Soul Society, and saves humans from corrupted spirits with supernatural abilities. As for Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War, it will continue the basic plot of the mainline anime series, but focus on its last arc. Judging by the trailers released so far, it promises to be filled with amazing action sequences, strong emotions, and lots of blood.
By now, action anime fans must be anxiously awaiting this upcoming release. If you’re new around these parts and want to get into Bleach before its final season airs, you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll find everything you need to catch up on to watch Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War.
What to watch before Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War
If you’re interested in watching Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War but have no prior knowledge about the series, the best way to get up to speed is to watch the Bleach anime adaptation, which aired from 2004 to 2012. This adaptation is based on the original manga of the same name and depicts Ichigo’s story from the very beginning until the events leading to the Thousand-Year Blood War arc.
The anime spans over 16 seasons and has a total of 366 episodes, which is certainly a lot to go through but still faster than reading the manga. Thankfully for you, a large number of Bleach episodes are not part of the series’ canonical timeline, meaning that you don’t necessarily have to watch every single episode before you can watch the Thousand-Year Blood War arc. If you’d like to skip all 164 filler episodes in Bleach, you can do so with the help of a detailed filler list, which you can find right here.
It’s also worth noting that in addition to the anime series, the Bleach franchise has four animated movies that take place before the Thousand-Year Blood War. However, none of them are required viewing since they are OVAs, and therefore don’t portray events featured in the manga. Despite this, some fans argue that the first movie, Bleach: Memories of Nobody, is part of the canonical timeline due to it being mentioned by the mangaka at the end of chapter 627. Thus, watch it if you want to, but you won’t miss out on any vital information if you don’t.
After this, you’ll be ready to start Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War. If you’re quick enough, you might even be able to catch up before the season premieres, so get to it – time is running out.