Why The Bleach Anime Ending Feels So Anti-Climactic

Adapting manga to a different medium, whether it's an anime series or a live-action adaptation, is a tricky endeavor. Sometimes the series will be a near-perfect translation from film to screen, such as "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood" or "YuYu Hakusho." Others leave out story arcs, or end before the manga is fully completed, like "Bleach."

Created by Tite Kubo, "Bleach" follows teenager Ichigo Kurosaki, who is transformed into a Soul Reaper — a being who protects the world from all manner of supernatural threats. "Bleach" is often regarded as one of the best shonen series ever created, but its anime adaptation ended before the final story was adapted. The anime series ended in 2012 with the adaptation of the Fullbringer story arc, while the manga's final story arc "The Thousand Year Blood War" wasn't adapted, leading to the discontent of longtime "Bleach" fans, who clamored for a proper ending to the anime for years.

There Will Be A Blood War

The "Thousand Year Blood War" story arc ties up nearly every loose end in the "Bleach" saga and features the greatest battle of Ichigo's life. When Hollows start disappearing and a mysterious group known as the Wandenreich declares war against the Soul Society, Ichigo is drawn into the conflict, learning more about the true nature of his powers and his past along the way. In addition to some of the series' most epic fights, the "Thousand Year Blood War" draws in nearly every character from across the "Bleach" mythos. AndI mean every character. If you have a favorite "Bleach" character, chances are they make an appearance in this story arc.

Given the scope of this storyline, fans were disappointed when it wasn't adapted and that disappointment only grew with the adaptation of the "Fullbringer" arc, which felt like a rehash of better stories that had preceded it. However, fans will be in for a treat this year, as the "Thousand Year Blood War" story is finally being animated.

Worth The Wait

As part of the 20th anniversary celebration of "Bleach," Kubo announced that the "Thousand Year Blood War" story would finally receive an anime adaptation. Studio Pierrot, who animated the original "Bleach" anime series, will return for animation duties alongside character designer Masashi Kudo. And better yet, a target release date of October 2022 has been announced, alongside an official trailer for the anime adaptation.

As someone who grew up watching "Bleach," I'm very much looking forward to "Thousand Year Blood War" being adapted. It'll provide a sense of closure, it's the chance to reunite with some fan-favorite anime characters, and the trailer boasts some seriously stunning animation from Pierrot. And let's be honest: "The Thousand Year Blood War" will probably reopen the debate on whether Ichigo should have married his fellow Soul Reaper Rukia or his classmate Orihime, a debate that rages to this day among hardcore Bleach fans. And what is the point of anime if we're not going to debate stuff like that?