Contrary to popular belief, the Bleach anime series was never cancelled by Studio Pierrot. In fact, the decision to adopt the final arc, the “Thousand Year Blood War arc” of the series, was made by the production committee in 2017.
The new information comes from Rukia’s voice actor, Fumiko Orikasa, who revealed during the pre-screening of Bleach’s first two episodes that Bleach TYBW arc anime was greenlit five years ago, shortly after the manga series ended its publication.
Previously, it was considered that Studio Pierrot cancelled Bleach anime because it was not profitable, which, as it turns out, isn’t the case. Anime studios generally wait for a manga series to finish an arc before announcing an anime adaptation. For example, One Punch Man season 3 was greenlit three years after season 2 came out. The main reason behind the late announcement of season 3 is that the production committee was waiting for the “Monster Association Arc” to finish in the manga, so they could adapt the complete arc without worrying about not having enough material.
Since studio Pierrot took its sweet time (5 years) to animate around 45 to 50 episodes, fans expect some high-quality animation (as seen in the new trailer). According to the Bleach fans who attended the pre-screening of the first two episodes of the Bleach TYBW arc, the animation looks phenomenal, and fans should expect a movie-like animation quality.
The final arc of Bleach is divided into four parts (each having at least 11 episodes) which won’t air consecutively. The first part of Bleach TYBW will air on Oct 10 in Japan. Viz Media has acquired the rights for Bleach TYBW arc anime, but the streaming service (Netflix, Crunchyroll, Disney Plus, or Hulu) is yet to be announced. According to some previous leaks, Disney won the rights for streaming Bleach, but no official confirmation has been made yet. Disney is currently the strongest contender for having Bleach streaming rights as they are slowly adding more anime shows and kdramas to their streaming platform.