Will "Bleach" Anime Return, and When?
Did Bleach the anime end permanently?
If you are here reading this article, you probably know everything you need to know about Bleach and want to know only one thing - and that is why Bleach anime ended at episode 366 and will they continue making it. Will Bleach anime return?
Bleach manga is ongoing - it has been coming out in Weekly Shonen Jump in Japan since August 2001 and is still being published weekly to this day. That means it is already coming out for over 12 years, and as of August 2013, Bleach manga has been compiled into 60 tankobon volumes which can be purchased all at once. Impressive, right? It sure is.
The animated television series (or to be simple, the anime) came out three years after the first publication of the manga in 2004 and has been keeping us entertained until its episode 366 that came out in 2012. This franchise also has four animated feature movies and two video games, as well as a sea of merchandise that involves action figures, sword replicas and a lot of other things. Everything for the fans, right? Well, yes, except for the continuation of the anime.
So what exactly happened with Bleach the anime?
All we know for sure is this - after episode 366 that was shown on 27th of March 2012, Bleach the anime series was cancelled. That was the last episode that was aired on TV Tokyo.
Are you a fan of Bleach (anime)?
Why was Bleach cancelled?
Bleach the anime was cancelled and that is all we can know for sure. Episode 366 was the last episode to air, and whether we will see another episode of this anime remains to be seen. However, there are a lot of rumors and speculations about the matter.
The primary question that we will try to answer in this part of the article is why Bleach was cancelled in the first place. There are several theories, but the most likely one is that Bleach the anime was cancelled simply because it was sub-par.
Let's first see what people are saying regarding this before we agree with this statement, though. There are two main opinions about the anime end at episode 366.
Bleach was sub-par and it had too many fillers
Let's view this from an objective angle. Bleach is one of the titles that can be regarded "the holy manga/anime trinity", along with Naruto and One Piece. Now, we all know that these anime shows are filler abundant, but in this aspect, Bleach indeed takes the cake. Why? Well, in comparison to Naruto and One Piece, that did have their respective shares of filler episodes, Bleach had filler seasons. For instance, the Zanpakuto arc in Bleach anime was literally a filler season. It did not happen in the manga.
Bleach is considered to be sub-par because almost half of the episodes were fillers, and some people were not satisfied with it quality-wise and considered the manga to be far superior.
Bleach anime stopped because it was catching up with the manga
Another group of Bleach fans believes that Bleach ended temporarily at episode 366 because it was catching up with the manga, so they had to stop making new episodes and take a break. This seems to be a bit further from the truth, actually, as this break has been going on for over a year and the anime still did not continue where it left off.
Considering that there is enough manga material that the Bleach anime had not covered, we would have expected it to have restarted sooner. But then again, if they do want to avoid filler episodes, waiting is a prudent choice.
The ominous facts
The main fact that needs to be mentioned immediately is that when this anime show ended, not a single person that was somehow involved with the making of this series mentioned that it will ever be continued. This immediately implies that any theory discussing the return of Bleach the anime is a bit far-fetched and revolves around a hopeless dream that the show WILL continue.
However, let's not be too hasty and agree with this.
Several shows in situations that awfully resemble the situation of Bleach anime have resurrected and started airing again. This is again a fact. In fact, if we think about it, most of these shows were not announced when they continued, and this was a great factor in the resurrections of their respective franchises. When we think about it from the marketing perspective, this is a brilliant solution to pull out a popularity-declining show from the mud.
More facts - and possibly good news for the anime
It has been confirmed that Tite Kubo is working hard on the final arc of the Bleach manga. Some fans are speculating that it is exactly because of this that the anime is on hiatus (and has not been cancelled) and that it might take some time for it to restart, but it most definitely will. Again, these are all assumptions, but they do make some sense.
Think of it from a marketing perspective again - if the anime started getting a lot of bad reviews it would make sense to call the gig off and end it right there. Temporarily or permanently - it's hard to say, but it's most likely the former. If something gets bad reviews, it needs to vanish from sight temporarily for two reasons and those are: 1. to be missed and to rebuild fandom and 2. to have enough time to rethink it and revamp it accordingly.
Bleach was by no standards a stereotypical anime and it had a lot going for it - a lot of these things can still be cashed in. Which brings us to the next part.
Can Bleach anime still earn?
Money is always a thing to consider in issues like show cancellations. For instance, it is pretty safe to say that the Bleach anime took a lot of money to make, but also earned quite a bit. Now, if the show was plummeting in popularity before the famous last episode 366, it would be logical to cut your losses and end it while you still can.
However, if the demand increases enough, and it is increasing substantially, there would be good reason to return the show once the hype builds up enough. And when will the hype build? To be fair, it s hard to state anything with certainty, but the final arc IS coming soon.
Would it be logical to just end with it once the manga is done and miss out on a really good opportunity to earn more with the anime? Or a better question, when you think about it. Do people want Bleach the anime to return? Yes. And there you have it - potential audience.
Do you think Bleach the anime will continue and when?
A lot of fans speculate that Bleach the anime will return sometime in the end of 2014 or during 2015, and this is mainly because the manga is supposedly nearing its end. If this should happen, we could expect to see a lot of people happy. However, there is still that distinct possibility that when this anime was cancelled, it was done so after a lot of elaborate consideration. Not announcing its continuation may not be a marketing ploy - which would make the episode 366 really the last one.
Anyway, if you enjoyed this article and would like to read more about anime, you can always read some speculations of when Naruto will end.
As for Bleach - only time will tell, but the odds seem to be slightly in its favor. It only remains to wait and see.