A few weeks ago I began to rekindle my interest in BLEACH, an anime/manga series by Kubo Tite that I watched like 11 years ago. I had the season 16 (Shinigami Daikō Shōshitsu hen, Lost Agent arc) anime playing in the background during one of my spring clean sessions over the weekend. I also remembered about six years ago reading the final arc (Chitose Kessen Hen, Thousand-Year Blood War arc) but as the manga wasn’t finished yet I stopped reading the scanlations that were available online as I rather binge read the whole thing.

In the middle of June, I also began to hunt for BLEACH figures online. To date I only have two figures – a Megahouse 1/8 scale of Inoue and a Bandai non-scale of Matsumoto Rangiku, I opted for the Megahouse range and found Ichigo, Rukia and Rangiku, as well as a replacement for my bootleg Tier Harribel.

It wasn’t until I was informed that after all these years, there was an announcement last year that the final arc will receive its long-awaited anime treatment:

The date for the anime has not been announced yet although there will be an art exhibition in Shibuya later this year. Perhaps an announcement of the anime release date will be made then?

In the meantime, as the manga of the final arc was concluded in 2016, I saw that there was a box set of the manga available at Amazon. Working backwards, I bought the third set as I wanted to complete reading the final arc:

I haven’t read any of the chapters prior to the Lost Agent arc, and it was a fun read if I should say myself. For some strange reason, despite the manga was translated to English, I could imagine the Japanese voice actors “speaking” the English dialogue. Also, whenever there was the occasional comic relief moments, I could imagine the Ditty for Daddy theme from the OST playing in the background.

This final arc sees Soul Society facing an old enemy that is very formidable who calls themselves the Vandenreich. In this arc, we are also introduced to the realm of Reiokyu and its protectors, Squad Zero (zerobantai) – a bunch of high end shinigami that does not interfere in the affairs of the Gotei 13.

If you haven’t read this final arc, I won’t say any more but there are a few reveals, including those involving Ichigo, that I find pretty fascinating and I think nicely concludes the overall BLEACH story. In the process, there will be a few losses but as in life, sadness from the aforesaid loss(es) are balanced by gains, a few of which are somewhat expected, if not overtly surprising to those who know the lore.

Looking forward to the anime. 2022, please.