Bleach is set to finally make its grand return when it comes to the world of animation, with the story of the Thousand Year Blood War Arc being produced by Studio Pierrot and set to arrive this fall. Though the original anime aired its last new episode a decade ago, the character designer for the series has continued periodically creating new sketches of the Soul Society, with Masashi Kudo sharing new art of Ichigo at this year's Anime Expo Convention.
The original Bleach anime had three hundred and sixty-six episodes to its name, with the anime series from Studio Pierrot covering both material from Tite Kubo's manga as well as forging a number of anime-only original stories that focused on the Soul Society throughout. With the final episode of Bleach originally airing in 2012 in Japan, it will have been a decade since Ichigo and his friends were front and center on the small screen. Fans were given a brief return to the world of the Soul Society recently however thanks in part to Bleach: Burn The Witch, though this spin-off story focused on witches rather than shinigami.
One Twitter User attending this year's Anime Expo in California was able to take a shot of Masashi Kudo's latest sketch for Bleach, with the artist proving that he hasn't lost his touch when it comes to drawing all things Soul Society and especially Ichigo and the many forms that he has taken as a substitute Soul Reaper:
Bleach has some big plans for Anime Expo, with the Shonen series set to have a panel at this year's festivities, though it seems that fans will have the opportunity to revisit the series on the big screen before the Thousand Year Blood War arc drops this October. Bleach: Hell Verse will apparently be releasing into theaters in North America this summer, with the fourth and final movie of the series seeing Ichigo and the Soul Society taking on opponents from the underworld.
What do you think of this new art for Bleach? Are you hyped for the final arc to finally receive an anime adaptation? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics, anime, and the world of Soul Society.