Update: Anime adaptations of Bleach‘s Thousand-Year Blood War arc and the Burn The Witch one-shot have been confirmed. The promotional video is below. Details are still scarce, but you can hear the voice of Thousand-Year Blood War antagonist Yhwach.
Eight years after the Bleach anime ended, it seems that there will be new anime projects to mark the 20th anniversary of Tite Kubo’s manga, which concluded in 2016.
Twitter account @AIR_News01 shared screenshots of several Weekly Shonen Jump pages, which revealed that the new series will adapt the manga’s Thousand-Year Blood War arc. The arc sees Ichigo and Soul Society battling against a powerful Quincy empire called the Wandenreich, while also seeing their own Quincy pal Ishida questioning his allegiance.
(Also, some Soul Reaper captains show off their new bankais, become zombies, and somehow becomes an exercise for author Tite Kubo to tie all of this to Ichigo’s past. Retcon much? – Ed.)
There will also be an adaptation of one-shot manga Burn The Witch, which centers on two witches working in the Western branch of Soul Society.
The "Bleach" Thousand-Year Blood War arc anime adaptation has also been confirmed. pic.twitter.com/njNP5mYPKM
— A.I.R (Anime Intelligence (and) Research) (@AIR_News01) March 18, 2020
Burn The Witch will be produced by Studio Colorido, who produced the movie Penguin Highway and have a new movie called Nakitai Watashi wa Neko o Kaburu (no official English title yet) coming in June. Meanwhile, the production studio for the new Bleach anime doesn’t seem to have been revealed yet. The original series was produced by Studio Pierrot.
I never read the Bleach manga, but I did spend a chunk of time reading about the Thousand-Year Blood War arc and ending via the Bleach wiki. Though I remember seeing a lot of comments that expressed disappointment about the ending, I’m kind of looking forward to seeing the Wandenreich and the arc’s battles animated. I guess I’ll only know how bad things were when I watch it in motion.
There will also be an official stream (see above) about the 20th anniversary project and Kubo’s new project on March 21 at 8.45am. I’d wait for that, or an official post by Weekly Shonen Jump on Twitter, before treating this as confirmed news, but it sure does look like Ichigo is back.