Bleach Disney Plus streaming deal: What it means for uncensored blood, weekly episode release schedule

Bleach Thousand-Year Blood War official anime poster
Bleach Thousand-Year Blood War official anime poster. Pic credit: Studio Pierrot

The Bleach Thousand-Year Blood War release date is on October 10, 2022. There will be 48 to 52 Bleach 2022 episodes released as 4 cours or parts. The final Bleach Season 17 will be a split cour anime, which means there will be broadcasting breaks between some of the cours.

The rumored Bleach Disney+ streaming deal has many anime fans freaking out about how the House of Mouse might affect the Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War anime. After all, Disney+ is supposed to be a haven for family-friendly content, right?

Keep in mind this information regarding the Bleach Disney Plus deal hasn’t been officially confirmed yet, but it does come from a reliable source that has leaked anime news in the past. VIZ Media owns the rights to the Bleach franchise. Thus, it’s being reported that Crunchyroll lost the bidding war for the streaming rights licenses for Bleach Season 17.

Oddly enough, Walt Disney Company didn’t make the official announcement during D23 Expo 2022, which happened in Anaheim California on Friday, September 9, 2022, and Saturday, September 10, 2022.

Nor was the Disney Plus Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War streaming deal announced during Disney+ Day 2022 on September 8, 2022. Basically, Disney Plus Day 2022 is a day to celebrate the Disney+ streaming service with Disney+ announcements, special discounts, unique character meet-and-greets, and other special events.

During Aniplex Online Fest 2022 on September 24, 2022, the Bleach presentation showed off a new PV trailer based on Episode 1. They even teased audiences by talking about Americans watching Bleach, but there was no Disney+ confirmation or any specific streaming plans mentioned!

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Bleach Disney Plus
Bleach fans fear that Bleach’s final season will be “Mickey-fied” by Disney+. Pic credit: Studio Pierrot

Will anime fans watch Bleach uncensored on Disney+ streaming?

The first question that many anime fans have is whether they’ll be able to watch Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War uncensored on Disney+. After all, a fan in the official Bleach fan club Klub Outside directly asked manga creator Tite Kubo about the censorship issues and he indicated that the Japanese TV broadcast should feature Bleach uncensored since it’s a midnight broadcast time slot.

“At that time, there was a rule in the Jump that ‘Only the end of serialization work should be made into late night anime’ but now it is said that it will broadcast at midnight and follow the original,” Kubo explained. “Also, the figures of Harribel of Alpha Omega are based on the original.”

Well, that’s all well and good for the Japanese watching local TV stations, but what about the rest of the world that’ll be forced to watch the new Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War episodes via Disney+?

First of all, Disney+ has only acquired the streaming rights to the TV, which does not give them any creative control. Any blood and gore created by Japanese animation Studio Pierrot will be adjusted first based on the sensibilities of the Japanese audience.

Secondly, Disney+ is already streaming R-rated titles. While the vast majority of the Disney+ library is focused on kids they are also streaming Deadpool and Logan without censorship.

Third, if we look to Disney+ exclusive Summer Time Render anime as an example, Disney+ is already streaming an anime TV with very blatant gore and very graphic animated elements that follow the original source material in the Summer Time Render manga. They haven’t used light beams, black bars, or any Redo of Healer-level censorship where entire scenes were adjusted.

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As such, Disney+ should be streaming Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War uncensored.

Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War visual
Key visual for the upcoming anime arc Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War. Pic credit: @animotaku.fr

Will the Disney+ Bleach streaming schedule be weekly or binge-watching?

The Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War release date in Japan has been confirmed to be on October 10, 2022, the Fall 2022 anime season. Will Disney+ be releasing new Bleach episodes weekly or make international fans wait for months in order to satisfy binge-watching fans?

On September 11, 2022, VIZ Media specifically stated that the new episodes will be released on a simulcast schedule, which means weekly. But that doesn’t necessarily mean every territory will receive new episodes on the same schedule.

Again, we can look to Summer Time Render as an example. Disney+ made the TV show available first in Japan with a global release planned for later down the road. Disney+ Japan has been streaming episodes weekly but other Asaia-Pacific countries received their dubbed version at later dates.

For example, the anime was up to Summer Time Render Episode 19 in Japan by August 19, 2022, but in some countries, it was still back in Episode 11. The Disney dubs haven’t been released in batches. Instead, dubbed episodes have been released in multiple languages each with their own release schedule.

English-speaking countries still haven’t received a single episode as of the middle of September 2022 and it’s suspected that the two-cour Summer Time Render anime will be released for binge-watching in those territories.

While that does sound like a messy schedule, keep in mind that it’s just an example since Summer Time Render is relatively unknown thanks to limited-to-nonexistent advertising whereas Bleach is established in the minds of anime fans throughout the world. If Disney+ also wants to use Bleach to establish itself as an anime streaming platform then they can’t afford to mess it up in the eyes of the fans.

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Additionally, Disney+ does recognize the value of the weekly release schedule. While casual audiences prefer binge-watching, the superfans love to talk about each episode as they week, which in turn builds the hype surrounding the TV shows and helps a franchise thrive. This is why the Star Wars TV shows and Marvel shows like She-Hulk: Attorney at Law are released weekly.

Even Netflix has been trying different strategies for their anime exclusives. For example, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean is releasing the parts for binge-watching, but the episodes are released earlier than the weekly Japanese TV broadcast. In addition, Netflix TV shows such as Komi Can’t Communicate were released weekly.

As such, it’s tentatively predicted that Disney+ would give priority to streaming Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War weekly. But it’s probable that the Bleach English dub may be behind by several weeks, as well.

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Ken M
Ken M
3 days ago

As a huge fan and growing up watching Bleach with no media on Disney not even giving some indication of owning the rights. I’m considered as to when we’ll be able to watch it. We can only hope Disney does a good job but so far it’s a little depressing with little news.

Bankai!
Bankai!
6 minutes ago

I waited 10 years. Me and my buddy always belived that bleach will continue. Year after year. At one point we did not mentioned it anymore but in our hearts we knew. I am so exited to watch the anime now. It reminds me of my childhood and brings up only positive memories =)

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