When Bleach was released in 2004, Studio Pierrot’s initially bad animation didn’t stop it from being considered one of the greatest animes of the mid-2000s.
Bleach is full of magic, emotion, and, above all else, epic fights. It is one of few animes that has everything fantasy/action fans could ever want from an anime.
Though the show has impressively maintained a solid 8.2 stars out of 10 on IMDB, the anime began to lose popularity after fans were left unimpressed with season 7.
This resulted in a decline in the show’s general reception.
The last season to be released (season 16) is considered the most disliked Bleach season. At least, according to a fan-organized Reddit poll in 2015.
Studio Pierrot stopped making the anime in 2012, making many believe the show had been canceled because of its drop in popularity. Until now.
After 10 years of waiting (and 6 years since Tite Kubo wrapped up Bleach’s manga), the final 17th season of Bleach is on its way!
Bleach Season 17 Release Month Confirmed
In December 2021, Studio Pierrot announced via Jump Fest that season 17 of Bleach will air in October 2022 on TV Tokyo.
The exact release date is yet unconfirmed. Though there are only a few months left until October.
So, Studio Pierrot is not likely to wait much longer to reveal specific details about season 17’s release.
Bleach’s manga continued to be published even after the show’s cancellation until 2016 when the story concluded with the Thousand-Year Blood War arc.
This final arc tied up loose plot ends and provided a coherent ending for the series.
That was why fans were eager for the continuation of Bleach’s anime as there was only 1 final arc left to adapt and fans wanted a neat conclusion for the anime.
Yet no announcements were made of a 17th season until March 21st, 2020.
On this date, Shonen Jump released a trailer for the Bleach 20th anniversary project on their official YouTube channel.
Part of the project was the announcement of a spin-off manga titled Burn The Witch.
A special manga chapter was announced to act as a short epilogue/ sequel to the main Bleach narrative.
Alongside this, a Bleach exhibition was announced to take place in December 2021.
The project was a surprise to fans, so any announcements were already a great win for the Bleach fandom.
However, the project announcement trailer also hinted at the potential of season 17 of Bleach, which is what really hyped up fans.
The 20th-anniversary trailer used images from the manga’s final arc, suggesting that the anime would be making a comeback.
As part of Jump Fest 2022 (which happened on December 18th and 19th, 2021), season 17’s announcement trailer was released on December 18th, 2021.
The trailer confirmed that the season would indeed be released in October 2022 with a special screening of the first two episodes on September 11th 2022 (as confirmed at Anime Expo in July 2022).
This should have been expected as October tends to be the best season for new animes to be released. But fans appreciated the confirmation.
VIZ also Tweeted the trailer on the same day. They captioned the video with ‘Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War is finally here!’.
This clarified that season 17 will adapt the final manga arc.
Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War is finally here! ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/7NXLiO82HB— VIZ (@VIZMedia) December 18, 2021
Prediction: How Many Episodes in Bleach Season 17?
The number of episodes that season 17 will contain is still up for debate.
Unlike other animes (such as Hunter X Hunter or My Hero Academia), every season of Bleach has varied in length.
Each season of Bleach correlates to the size of the manga’s story arcs.
In season 1 of Bleach, there were 20 episodes. In season 14, there were 51 episodes, making it the longest season of Bleach.
This reflected the length of the Arrancar: Downfall arc, aka the concluding portion of the manga’s Arrancar arc.
Given that the Thousand-Year Blood War is one of the larger Bleach arcs told through 218 chapters manga chapters, fans can expect season 17 of Bleach to be between 30-50 episodes.
There is a chance that the arc could be split into two shorter seasons rather than one long season.
But considering the fall in the series’ popularity in previous seasons, it seems more likely Studio Pierrot wouldn’t take the financial risk to make two new seasons.
Bleach Season 17 Trailers
Bleach season 17 was announced with an action-packed trailer in December 2021, but since then there have been no new trailers or teasers to get fans excited.
However, Kubo shared with his fan club Klub Outside in June 2022 that there would be a brand new season 17 trailer dropping soon.
As discussed above, there was a trailer for Bleach’s 20th-anniversary project that was released on March 21st, 2020. But this only hinted at a season 17, so was more of a teaser.
Then the series was officially confirmed to be released in October 2022 through the use of a 1-minute and 50-second long trailer, shared by Jump Fest 2022 on December 18th, 2021.
Up to this point (June 2022), that initial trailer is the only teaser or trailer for season 17 that has been released.
Members of the Kubo’s fan club (Klub Outside) shared on social media a message from Tite Kubo himself.
According to @Karia13_ on Twitter, Kubo shared with his fan club that ‘“The PV is great, but the new music is really good, so look forward to it. ！！！！!”.
When fans can expect the new PV (promotional video) was not disclosed.
Bleach had its own panel (the BLEACH: Thousand-Year Blood War Panel) at Anime Expo that took place on July 2nd 2022.
Before the panel, Anime Expo teased on the panel’s official page that “new exclusive content” would be shown during the event.
Anime Expo also said that the panel would “be making announcements” about Bleach, suggesting that fans can expect more than a new promotional video on July 2nd.
Fans that attended the convention got to have the first look at the 2 minute 37 second long Official Trailer for season 17 before it was released on VIZ Media’s YouTuber channel on July 3rd 2022.
As the video is titled ‘Official Trailer #1’, fans can expect other trailers and teasers to be released before October 2022.
Bleach Season 17 Plot
Season 17 of Bleach will follow the Thousand-Year Blood War narrative as it is the only arc left of the main Bleach story to be adapted.
As the concluding arc of Bleach’s story, season 17’s plot will wrap up Ichigo Kurosaki’s journey while answering questions that season 16’s finale didn’t.
Season 16 followed Ichigo as he tried (and succeeded) to regain his Soul Reaper powers.
Luckily, he defeated the season’s protagonist (Kugo Ginjo) without all of his powers being fully functional and accepted the position of a Substitute Soul Reaper towards the end of the season.
The biggest plot twist of the season was the introduction of The Wandenreich.
Translated to the ‘Invisible Empire’, The Wandenreich are a group of Quincy who went into hiding a thousand years ago.
This made everyone in the world of Bleach believe that the Shinigami had destroyed the Quincy society.
Not much information was given about The Wandenreich in season 16 and the season’s conclusion was unsatisfying to fans.
Season 17’s depiction of the Thousand-Year Blood War will further explore The Wandenreich and their backstory.
All while they wage a revengeful war on the Shinigami and the Soul Society.
As such, plenty of fights and disagreements will be fueled by the thousand-year-long conflict between the Quincy and Shinigami societies.
Fans can expect season 17 of Bleach to be the most action-packed yet.
If season 17 is to be Bleach’s final season, then character developments and unanswered questions will be wrapped up between the fights.
Many fans were left unsatisfied with the ending of the Bleach manga.
Character resolutions felt rushed or didn’t have the impact they were supposed to have, especially regarding the series’ main villains.
There were too many loopholes and questions that were left unanswered.
Worst of all, the big, final fight of the story lacked the tension that should have kept fans on the edge of their seats.
Some of these story issues may be fixed with the big dramatics of animation. Others would require more content that the manga simply lacked.
Luckily, Kubo has suggested that the anime will justify and better explain Bleach’s ending than the manga did.
Kubo participated in a Q and A with his fan club (Klub Outside) in February 2022. A user on Reddit (suzefi) compiled and translated some of the more interesting answers given by Kubo.
In summary, Kubo already has the answers to the questions that the manga didn’t have the space or time to explain.
Later in the Q and A, Kubo confirmed he was involved with season 17 of Bleach to ensure that these answers were communicated correctly.
In a video message Kubo recorded specially for the Anime Expo Bleach panel, Kubo discussed his involvement in the new season of Bleach and spoke about potentially adding in scenes that he had to remove from the Thousand-Year Blood War arc in the manga.
This encouraged the hope that the Thousand-Year Blood War arc will be bigger and better than the manga’s telling.
Bleach Season 17 Characters
The Bleach 20th anniversary project trailer used manga images of Ichigo, Rukia Kuchiki, Uryū Ishida, and Renji Abarai during the Thousand-Year Blood War manga arc.
This was the first hint that they would be involved in the new anime.
Season 17’s official trailer confirmed that most of the main and side cast will return for the anime’s final story arc.
Likewise, there will be plenty of new characters introduced to the show as the arc progresses.
Fans will get to meet Yhwach, Bambietta Basterbine, Jugram Haschwalth, Bazz-B and many more.
Jump Fest also revealed that a lot of behind-the-scenes crew will be returning for season 17.
Fans were unsure if Studio Pierrot would be willing to animate the 17th season of Bleach.
However, the studio has picked up Bleach’s 17th season, which is something that fans are very grateful for.
For 16 seasons, Bleach was directed by Noriyuki Abe, who is not associated with Bleach season 17. The reasons as to why are yet unclear.
Instead, Tomohisa Taguchi will direct season 17 of Bleach.
There are big hopes for what Taguchi can bring to the series’ final season after his astounding work on Kino’s Journey and Akudama Drive in recent years.
With so many new characters being introduced to Bleach in season 17, it only makes sense that Bleach’s original character designer Masashi Kudo is involved in the new season.
Kudo did a lot of justice to the main cast’s anime adaption in the first 16 seasons of Bleach. His return to the series will help make the new characters fit into the pre-designed world seamlessly.
Better yet, Bleach’s legendary composer Shiro Sagisu will be returning to provide Bleach’s final season with an epic soundtrack.
There is no debate about how Bleach’s musical composition is stunning; it is intense, and heart-felt precisely when it needs to be.
Where Can I Watch Season 17 of Bleach?
Jump Fest confirmed that, unlike the first 16 seasons, Bleach season 17 will be uncensored.
This means that will most likely be airing later at night on TV Tokyo than in previous seasons.
The English dubbed season 17 of Bleach will probably premiere in the US after 9 pm on Adult Swim’s anime channel – Toonami.
Though it is unclear if the show will be shown in October 2022 like in Japan as Adult Swim has previously been quite sporadic with how they air Bleach seasons.
Season 1 – 16 of Bleach is currently available to stream on the US Netflix and Hulu.
But, like most animes, season 17 will not immediately join streaming sites until a few months/ a year after its release.
With the exception of Crunchyroll, which is more likely to have the show streaming on their site sooner than American streaming sites.
At Anime Expo, it was announced that there would be an advanced screening in Tokyo on September 11th 2022.
Only the first two episodes of season 17 will be shown, and the chances are that those who are permitted to see the episodes will not be able to speak much about it. However, if you are in Tokyo around that time, you may be able to watch season 17 early.
Also read: Bleach Characters: Heights, Age, and Birthday Analysis
Predictions Why Season 17 Of Bleach Was Delayed?
Many think that Bleach was canceled after its 16th season because of a significant drop in the show’s popularity.
Therefore, season 17 could have been delayed as it may never have been intended to be made in the first place.
It is important to remember that any kind of animated series is not cheap or easy to make.
The chance of a series renewal depends almost entirely on how popular that series is and how well it sells.