A group of animators and die-hard Bleach fans are reportedly working on a fan-made anime adaptation of the manga's final arc, which was never made for TV.
Bleach had its ups and downs during its time on TV. The anime had at least four filler stories interspersed in between canonical arcs, and most of them were summarily dismissed by fans. Meanwhile, the manga — written and illustrated by Tite Kubo — kept rolling along the entire time, keeping one step ahead of the show. It did this so well, in fact, that there was an entire plot line in the final arc.
A team called Tensei Productions is looking to remedy this. In a video circulating social media, they have recorded dialogue from the Fullbring arc and set it to animated cuts from the manga, teasing how an anime adaptation of the last story would look. The video has been up on YouTube for just three days and it has collected 971 "likes," with just one single dislike. Additionally, it has generated excitement in the comments and across other social media platforms.
Fans marveled at the voice work, noting that it sounds remarkably similar to the originals. The actor behind Toshiro got particular praise for doing a spot on impression of Romi Pak, the main series' voice.
Tensei Productions' effort is just one of many attempts to get the series' final story made. As their video made the rounds, commenters wondered what kind of copyright issues it raised, and also speculated about whether Shueisha and Studio Pierrot would respond to the excitement by finally finishing the show in earnest.
"Soooo at this point someone's gotta force Shueisha's hand, right?" one fan wondered hopefully. "With the myriad of fan projects happening concurrently to get this done one way or another, surely SJ has noticed that there is a market for this, right? I can't imagine why they won't just move and give Studio Pierrot the go-ahead... They even recorded new lines for TYBW characters in a freaking mobile game, for crying out loud! The time is now, Shueisha, animate the final arcs of Bleach."
The Bleach anime ended with an adaptation of chapter 479. All told, there are 686 chapters of Bleach, leaving over 200 chapters of unplumbed material for TV. As many fans point out, this could easily yield about 100 episodes of anime, even without any filler.
Meanwhile, most Bleach fans are preoccupied with the upcoming live-action film adaptation, which premieres on Sept. 14. The movie already debuted in Japan, and Netflix recently announced that their streaming service would bring it to viewers in the U.S. next month.