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Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Part 2 - What We Know So Far

And just like that, the final arc of "Bleach" has ended the first quarter of its anime run. Fortunately, the series isn't exactly going to end tomorrow. The final episode of "Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Part 1" might be out of the oven, but as its title implies, there's still plenty more where it came from. 

As anime fans know, the fact that "Bleach" is at endgame stage is significant. While the show based on Tite Kubo's soul reaper manga has its share of skippable filler episodes, it remains a major franchise, and its conclusion wraps up a sizable chunk of anime history. This may make waiting for new episodes a bittersweet experience — on one hand, we're marching ever so slowly toward the series finale, but on the other, fans will no doubt be waiting to see how "Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Part 2" continues the story. Let's take a closer look at the upcoming batch of episodes.

When will Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Part 2 be released?

The exact release date of "Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Part 2 – The Separation" is still kept under wraps, but fortunately there's already some information about the new episodes' arrival. According to a trailer clip that premiered on December 26, 2022 (via YouTube), the new season will arrive on July 2023. The official @BLEACHanimation Twitter account also confirms this information.

Incidentally, the July 2023 premiere of "Part 2" gives some insight about the entire timeframe of "Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War," as well. The anime adaptation of the final "Bleach" storyline will unfold in four cours (via Anime News Network), aka seasons that last roughly three months. The first cour, "Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Part 1," consists of 13 episodes, which originally aired between October 11 and December 27, 2022. If the six-month break between the first two cours is the norm, and each cour will have the same number of episodes, the series finale should air in spring 2025.

What is the plot of Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Part 2?

"Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Part 1" concentrates on the events described in the first five or six volumes of the manga arc, which should give fans a fairly good idea of where "Part 2" is going. The season finale, "The Blade Is Me," revolves around Ichigo Kurosaki's (voiced by Masakazu Morita in Japanese and Johnny Yong Bosch in the English dub) Zanpakuto upgrade and the exploration of his powers. The upcoming season's subheader, "The Separation," suggests that the show will continue on this path as Ichigo learns the ways of his new double-bladed soul sword and his full power set.

However, expect "Part 2" to also focus heavily on the full-scale conflict between the Soul Society and the Wandenreich empire's Sternritter forces. Without going into spoiler territory, this means fans can expect some of the coolest duels and fights yet, which is saying something considering how many such scenes "Bleach" already has to offer. It remains to be seen how much of the remaining story "Part 2" intends to adapt, but since the anime splits the "Thousand-Year Blood War" into four parts, the logical culmination point of "Part 2" might be somewhere around the "Marching Out the Zombies" story.  

Who is starring in Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Part 2?

Unless something truly surprising happens, you can expect the usual suspects to return in "Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Part 2." This includes folks like Masakazu Morita and Johnny Young Bosch as the Japanese and English voice actors of protagonist Ichigo Kurosaki,  Takayuki Sugo and Richard Epcar as the mustache-rocking Quincy villain Yhwach, and Yuki Matsuoka and Stephanie Sheh as Orihime Inoue. In fact, every voice actor from "Part 1" whose characters are still around should be back for "Part 2," so all of your favorite strongest "Bleach" characters should continue to sound familiar. Count on Looper to keep you informed if something changes on this front. 

Apart from the voice talent, you can also expect "Twin Star Exorcists" and "Akudama Drive" vet Tomohisa Taguchi to remain on the director's chair, having taken over from Studio Pierrot's usual "Bleach" director Noriyuki Abe in "Part 1."  

Is there a trailer for Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Part 2?

A new trailer for "Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War — The Separation" arrived on December 26, 2022 (via YouTube). The opening moments of the trailer confirm that the Wandenreich is indeed front and center this season, as the hidden Quincy empire's banner is prominently visible. "The time to restore the honor of the Quincies has arrived," a voiceover boasts. 

The actual content of the trailer is adequately mysterious, and focuses on atmosphere and flash cuts of individual characters. Prominent Quincy Sternritter members Uryu Ishida (Noriyaki Sugiyama and Derek Stephen Prince) and Bazz-B (Yuki Ono and Xander Mobus) receive name drops, and Zampakuto spirits Sode no Shirayuki (Mie Sonozaki and Tara Platt) and Zabimaru are also mentioned. Meanwhile, the image snippets we see include one of the eternally inventive and unnerving Mayuri Kurotsuchi (Ryosei Nakao and Terrence Stone) rocking a brightly lit costume, which teases a cool moment from the manga. Another "it's on" moment features Sternritter Bambietta Basterbine (Ayana Taketatsu and Anne Yatco) unleashing her Quincy: Vollständig ability, hinting at a very particular battle scene for those in the know. 

Fans of the manga will notice that the images and even lines remain quite faithful to Tite Kubo's manga, but the impressive visuals make perfectly clear that "The Separation" intends to deliver on the sky-high visual expectations of the first season — and, possibly, surpass them. 

Where to watch Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Part 1

You'd be forgiven for thinking that a show like "Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War" ends up on Crunchyroll by default. You might also be surprised by the unexpected place where you can stream the series online. As distributor VIZ Media announced on Twitter ahead of the season premiere, "Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Part 1" was made available for streaming on Hulu — but only if you live in the U.S. For other international distribution, the violent anime has received an arguably even stranger platform, as non-U.S. folks can check out the anime on Disney+. 

VIZ Media's Twitter announcement about "Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War, Part 2 – The Separation" noted that the sophomore cour of the show will also be available for streaming, presumably on the same platforms. For now, however, you're free to binge "Part 1" as many times as you like in anticipation of its follow-up. 

What will Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Part 2 be rated?

"Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Part 1" contains plenty of violence, sure, but as Common Sense Media notes, its rating is TV-14, making it appropriate for children aged 14 and up. However, per the site, kids themselves feel that the anime is perfectly suitable for ages 12 and older. A TV-14 rating puts "Thousand-Year Blood War" on the same category as the Marvel Cinematic Universe shows "Ms. Marvel" and "WandaVision" (via Reddit), as well as multiple "Star Wars" Disney+ shows like the "Rogue One" prequel "Andor." 

In all likelihood, it should be safe to expect that "Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Part 2 – The Separation" retains the violence levels — and therefore the rating — of the show's first cour. Considering the story it's based on and the fights that lay ahead, "Part 2" certainly has the opportunity to go all out on the color red should it so desire, but it's far more likely to get a TV-14 rating.