A new teaser visual gives fans a sneak peek of the upcoming continuation of the Bleach anime series, Thousand Year Blood War.
The image, which was posted on Twitter by Viz Media, features an intense-looking Ichigo Kurosaki poised for battle with his sword drawn. The impact of the visual is enhanced by its high-contrast limited color palette of white, black and orange.
Ichigo looks absolutely fierce in this key visual art for the upcoming Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War! pic.twitter.com/omcflgiUII— VIZ (@VIZMedia) December 18, 2021
Based on the manga series of the same name by Tite Kubo, the original Bleach anime debuted in Japan in October 2004 and ran until March 2012, producing a total of 366 episodes. The show was animated by Studio Pierrot, directed by Noriyuki Abe (Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files) and written by Masashi Sogo, Tsuyoshi Kida and Kento Shimoyama. It starred Masakazu Morita (One Piece, World Trigger) as Ichigo and Fumiko Orikasa (Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, Little Witch Academia) as Rukia Kuchiki.
Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War was first announced in March 2020 and adapts the manga arc of the same name, which was published after the conclusion of the original anime series. The new teaser image is only the latest piece of promotional material Viz Media has released to hype the iconic anime's return. Thousand Year Blood War's first trailer is also available on the distributor's Twitter, highlighting the updated animation style and serving to showcase many fan-favorite characters like Ichigo, Rukia, Orihime, Kenpachi and Soifon.
Moreover, there are other official developments in the Bleach franchise in the works aside from Thousand Year Blood War. Earlier this year, Kubo published the first new chapter in the manga since 2016, titled "No Breaths from Hell." While the chapter was described as a one-off, it actually set up a brand new adventure for Ichigo and his comrades. While Kubo and published Shueisha have not confirmed additional chapters, many fans have speculated that a sequel series is ultimately inevitable.
Bleach arguably already has a sequel series; Kubo's Burn the Witch made its debut in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump in July 2018 and is currently ongoing. The story is set in England and follows two witches, Ninny Spangcole and Noel Niihashi, who work for the Western Branch of the Soul Society. An anime film adaptation of the manga by Studio Colorido premiered in October 2020 and is available on Crunchyroll.
Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War is scheduled to begin airing in Japan in October 2022, and the original anime series can be found on Funimation, Crunchyroll and Netflix.