Last month, it was announced that the popular Bleach manga will be coming back for a new commemorative special. Weekly Shōnen Jump #36/37 will feature a brand new Bleach story just in time to celebrate the landmark manga’s twentieth anniversary.
First appearing in 2001, the manga has been one of the top-selling stories of all time, created by mangaka Tite Kubo and tells the story of Ichigo Kurosaki, who becomes a Soul Reaper – leading souls to the afterlife and vanquishing evil spirits. It has been collected into 74 volumes comprising of 686 chapters, with a 687th chapter on the way.
The Twitter account for Shonen Jump News has reported that a 73-page chapter will be included in Weekly Shōnen Jump #36/37. This year is the manga’s twentieth anniversary. Other plans have already been unveiled to celebrate it – including an anime adaptation of the series’ final arc, which was previously not produced. No story details have been revealed thus far, leading to lots of speculation on what this special will be about.
Beyond the news regarding the “Thousand-Year Blood War” arc being adapted into anime, not much else had been announced for fans to be excited about. This new chapter reveal now has readers wondering what this special will cover. The last time Ichigo was seen, he had a son with Orihime, named Kazui, who was training to be a Soul Reaper – as was Rukia’s daughter, Ichika. With new manga series being based on the children of beloved heroes (for example, Boruto is based off Naruto), it is possible that this could be a look at the training or progress of the main characters’ offspring and a threat they may face. On the other hand, it could also avoid this route and instead provide a look at how the Soul Society has been faring since fans last spent time with it, or check-in with Ichigo and Rukia’s futures as parents and Soul Reapers.
Tite Kubo has recently been working on Burn the Witch, a new manga that began publishing in 2018 within Weekly Shōnen Jump, which takes place within the same world as Bleach. News for Bleach has been relatively slow as of late, so this return would definitely be worth getting excited about – even if it is just for a one-time special, especially since it has been a long time since Bleach has been in Shonen Jump. The twentieth anniversary is the perfect time to begin a comeback or give the series’ loyal fans a quick look at some of their favorite characters after an ending that many found to be highly disappointing. Time will tell how well it will turn out, but hey, at least there’s the Thousand Year War Blood Arc to look forward to if it doesn’t work out.