Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Brings The Long-Awaited Final Arc To Disney+ And Hulu

Get ready for the next stage of the anime streaming wars, because Disney+ has now entered the race. While Crunchyroll continues to dominate via a monopoly, Netflix releases banger after banger, HIDIVE keeps releasing niche and weird shows, and Prime Video all but exits the fight, Disney has decided to compete in the big leagues by releasing the highly anticipated return of "Bleach."

There have been rumors and speculations about Disney acquiring the anime since it got removed from Crunchyroll, hinting that the anime giant would not be streaming the anticipated final arc. Well, it turns out the rumors were right, as it was announced that Viz Media, Disney+ and Hulu would partner to release "Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War" in the U.S. and outside of Japan. 

Disney, of course, is no stranger to anime distribution. Not only did they use to release the English dub version of Studio Ghibli films, but even this year they acquired seasonal shows like "Summer Time Rendering" and "The Tatami Time Machine Blues." Of course, while these two shows have been widely celebrated and praised, they are not available to stream in the U.S., with Disney+ locking them in a vault for the time being with no news of their release. Thankfully, that's not the case with "Bleach," which is getting an actual simulcast release!

A whole new world

"Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War" is the hugely anticipated return of the iconic anime, which started its run back in 2004. An adaptation of Tite Kubo's manga of the same name, it follows Ichigo Kurosaki, a Soul Reaper tasked with defending humans from evil spirits and guiding departed souls to the afterlife. 

It's been a whole decade since the anime originally ended, but "Bleach" is returning to finish its tale and adapt the final story arc in the manga, the "Thousand-Year Blood War." The anime is set to run for four cours, or a full year, with breaks in-between each quarter. Hulu is set to launch the series in simulcast in the U.S. on October 10, 2022, while Disney+ will release it internationally starting the same day.

This is huge news for anime fans, and a strange day for anime. It makes sense for Disney to send the show to Hulu, and they do have a good library of anime titles, but what's most impressive is that the show will be simulcast. Let's hope Disney continues this trend rather than go back to send shows to the vault.