It’s a great time to be an anime fan. Not only do we have a new One Piece movie on the horizon and the brand new (incredibly stylish) Chainsaw Man anime starting up, long-standing Shonen Jump favorite Bleach is returning to animation to finally finish out its final arc with Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War.
It’s been a full ten years since the Bleach anime has been on the air, and while the show lasted a whopping 300+ episodes, it never actually completed the story as told in Kubo Tite’s original manga series. Instead, the anime invented new story arcs called “filler” to mitigate the fact that the anime and the manga were often out of sync in their publication. The anime culminated in a filler arc, The Lost Agent, which brought it to its conclusion in 2012.
Now, however, as Bleach turns 20-years-old, the anime is being revived and the finale brought to life for the first time. Thousand-Year Blood War’s first episode has already premiered and will continue to air simultaneously in Japan and abroad on Hulu and Disney+ so fans across the globe can keep up with the action as it happens.
But there’s one issue. Not only has Bleach been off the air for ten years, Thousand-Year Blood War offers little to nothing in terms of a recap to bring fans up to speed. If you’re a hardcore Bleach fan, this certainly isn’t an issue, but if you’re a newcomer to the series looking for a jumping-on point, this was probably a little bit jarring. And, trust us, we get not wanting to have to go back and watch several hundred episodes of TV to get caught up–though we definitely would recommend hopping over to the manga if you’re looking for something to read, especially since Thousand-Year Blood War is, so far, basically torn right from the page.
But that’s not always feasible and if you want in on the hype right now with no homework, we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know about Bleach to jump right into Thousand-Year Blood War with its first episode.