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Bleach Season 18
The Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood anime TV series is confirmed to have 4 parts in total. Pic credit: Studio Pierrot

The Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War Season 2 release date is coming up in 2023.

Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War Episode 14 should continue the story in Bleach Season 18 (Bleach: TYBW Season 2).

On September 30, 2022, it was reported that the STAR sub-section of Disney+ Canada was listing “Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War: Season 1”, which implies that there will be a Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War Season 2 (Bleach Sennen Kessen-hen Season 2).

It’s also been officially confirmed by Oricon News that the Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War anime TV series will have 4 cours in total. But it’s a split cour broadcasting schedule where there will be seasonal breaks between the 4 parts.

READ: What the Bleach Disney+ streaming deal means for uncensored blood, weekly episode simulcast release schedule

What’s a “cour,” you might ask? For those unfamiliar with the lingo, a “cour” is a three-month block of TV broadcasting based on the physical seasons usually composed of 10 to 13 episodes.

A “split-cour” is where a single anime season takes a multi-month break before resuming TV broadcasting.

Studio Pierrot produced the original 16 seasons. Since they’re well-known for producing long-running anime series like Naruto and the Black Clover anime (see our article on the Black Clover Season 5 anime), it’s not surprising that the studio is returning to produce Bleach TYBW.

Bleach character designer Masashi Kudo and music composer Shiro Sagisuo both returned for creating Bleach TYBW.

However, the biggest change to the main staff was that director Tomohisa Taguchi (Akudama Drive, Kino’s Journey) replaced the previous director, Noriyuki Abe. The new director is also handling the series composition writing for Bleach Season 18.

The Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War Season 2 OP (opening) and ED (ending) theme song music hasn’t been announced yet. The first season featured the Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War OP song “Scar” as performed by Tatsuya Kitani.

TVアニメ『BLEACH 千年血戦篇』第1話スペシャルエンディングムービー/2022年10月10日テレビ東京系列ほかにて放送中

The Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Episode 1 ED special video features the music “Rapport” by Tatsuya Kitani.

Barring any delays in broadcasting, the first cour’s final episode, Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War Episode 13, will release on January 2, 2022.

This article provides everything that is known about Bleach Season 18 (Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Season 2 / Bleach TYBW Season 2) and all related news. As such, this article will be updated over time with news, rumors, and analysis. Meanwhile, let’s delve down into what is known for certain.

Bleach Season 18 release date predictions: Release schedule depends on the number of split cours

As of the last update, Studio Pierrot, producer Aniplex, publisher Shueisha, licensor VIZ Media, or any company related to the production of the anime has not officially confirmed the Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War Season 2 release date.

Nor has Bleach: TYBW Season 2 been given an official title. It could be officially listed as Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War Part 2.

Once the news is officially confirmed this article will be updated with the relevant information.

In the meantime, it’s impossible to speculate about when the Bleach Season 18 release date will occur in the future.

In this case, it’s possible that there will be multiple split cours where there is a broadcasting break between each cour. In that scenario, the Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War Season 2 release date will be in April 2023, the Spring 2023 anime season.

Assuming the broadcasting breaks are regular between each cour, that means the Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War Season 3 release date will be in October 2023, the Fall 2023 anime season. Then the final episode of Bleach Season 20 will be released in June 2023 assuming the Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War Season 4 release date is in April 2024, the Spring 2024 anime season.

It’s also possible that the first two cours will be broadcast back-to-back with 13 episodes each and then there’s a multi-month break after Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War Episode 26 releases in March 2023.

In that scenario, the Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War Season 2 release date will be in July 2023, the Summer 2023 anime season. Then the final episode of Bleach Season 18 would be released in December 2023.

Why does Bleach: TYBW Season 2 have a split-cour production schedule?

It wasn’t that long ago when a split-cour animation production schedule was considered to be fairly rare in the anime industry. But as studios became booked up and anime reached peak popularity during the COVID pandemic it became increasingly necessary for producers to plan out breaks in-between cours.

Does anyone recall the odd Bleach animation quality problems that the series had back in the day? Certainly, the continuous run of Bleach Season 1 through 16 had plenty of great moments, but even then the quality of the animation didn’t stand up next to Tite Kubo’s original artwork.

And then there were oddball moments where characters’ hands were swapped or when their faces were just plain goofy-looking in comparison tot he manga.

Thankfully, the Bleach 2022 anime came back with a new shiny coat of paint that’s largely thanks to the bombastic style of new series director Tomohisa Taguchi. But as kVin of Sakugo Blog notes the director “is indeed very busy” since “he’s been handling multiple projects essentially all the time as of late, which sometimes does reduce the attention he can spare to them.”

kVin doesn’t think this is “problematic” since Taguchi leaves “behind a clear blueprint to follow even when he’s not around to directly supervise the production process. If you like what you see, you shouldn’t worry too much about the show losing this new identity.” Still, kVin thinks “it remains to be seen whether the director’s eye-catching style will continue working its magic to the end, or whether it’ll make the technical cracks worse to the point of becoming too noticeable for most viewers.”

As such, the split-cour production schedule was likely necessary in order to maintain consistent production quality over the course of the project. Creating movie-like animation quality and shading takes time so anime fans will just have to be patient.

How many episodes will Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War have in total?

The anime TV series is based on the Bleach manga series by artist and writer Tite Kubo. Published in Weekly Shonen Jump from 2001 through 2016, the Bleach manga ended in Bleach Volume 74: Chapter 686.

The official English translation of the Bleach manga was released by North American publisher VIZ Media. The English Bleach Volume 74 came out back in October 2018.

The original anime, which had 366 episodes, followed the manga’s story up until Episode 64 when multiple anime original story arcs were introduced in order to give Kubo more time to create new manga chapters. These filler episodes continued until Episode 110, but then the anime continued to rely on filler multiple times over the years.

Episodes 128 through 137, Episodes 168 through 189, Episodes 230 through 265, and Episodes 311 through 342 were all filler. Needless to say, this amount of filler content is unusual for an anime series so reading the Bleach manga is like a different experience.

The Bleach Season 16 anime finished by adapting the Lost Substitute Shinigami arc, which was covered by manga chapters 424 through 479.

Bleach Season 17 anime picked up the story again with the Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War arc (also known as the Quincy arc), which includes chapters 480 through 686. Presumably, the anime will not include any filler episodes this time around.

The fact that the Bleach TYBW anime will only be four cours was actually a surprise to many manga readers. After all, we’re talking about adapting a story arc that’s 206 chapters in 20 tankoubon-format volumes, which is almost a third of the entire manga.

The adaptation pacing of the last three non-filler anime seasons (Bleach Season 12, 14, and 16) averaged around two manga chapters adapted per episode. If the Bleach TYBW pacing had maintained that average then it would have been over 100 episodes, or 9 cours in total.

Instead, the rumored Bleach: Thousand Year Blood Year episode count is less than half that expectation! On September 10, 2022, anime news leaker claimed that there will be only 52 episodes.

It seems like that leak is accurate based on the pacing of the first season. Each cour needs to adapt about five volumes and Bleach: TYBW Episode 1 adapted the first half of Volume 55.

Bleach Sennen Kessen-hen Season 2 anime spoilers (plot summary/summary

Note: All in all, if the first season is 1 cour it’s predicted that the first season will find a stopping point in Bleach Volume 59. If it’s 2 cours then the anime will leave us hanging in Volume 64. As such, these spoilers will be updated over time but they are currently based on Volume 60.

After the defeat of the Soul Reapers by the mysterious group of warriors calling themselves the Vandenreich, Ichigo heads to the royal palace to heal his wounds. With that accomplished, it’s time to get stronger! But does Ichigo have what it takes to survive some super-intense training?!

As the rain falls in Karakura Town, Isshin faces off against a mysterious Black Hollow. But when a familiar face joins the fight, Isshin will need all the help he can get.

Ichigo’s dark past is revealed and he finally learns the truth about his mother and his own connection to the Quincies.  Ichigo now faces off against his true Zanpakuto, but can he recover from the shock of finally learning the truth?!

Unfortunately, anime fans will have to wait until the Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War Season 2 release date to watch what happens next. Stay tuned!