When it comes to the Hell Arc, Bleach fans have been wondering for a long time if creator Tite Kubo intends on extending Bleach’s new arc “No Breaths From Hell” with more chapters in 2022. After all, the new Bleach chapter was released as a one-shot in August 2021 and it seemed to tease an opening for a Bleach sequel.
And since the Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War anime has turned out to be a commercial success it’s likely that producers would be interested in creating a Bleach Hell Arc anime.
Without getting into spoilers for anime-only fans, the Bleach: No Breaths From Hell manga ended on a cliffhanger note that practically demands a continuation. The final page included a message that teased a new Bleach arc since it stated, “And the story unfolds…”
Unfortunately, Kubo has made it clear he won’t be rushed into drawing Bleach: No Breaths From Hell Chapter 2.
Back in Fall 2021, Kubo was asked by a fan when he intended on continuing the Bleach Hell Arc manga. He reportedly replied, “I’m not good at drawing when I’m told to draw, so I’ll think about it when I’m not told to.”
He’s already busy working on Bleach: Burn The Witch Season 2, which he promised will receive an update in 2022, never mind his direct involvement with the animation production process for the Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War anime.
Bleach sequel teased by Tite Kubo in Summer 2022
Fast forward about half a year. Kubo has been answering fans’ questions via the exclusive fan club website Klub Outside, which often leaks info to outsiders.
In one post, a member asked, “Is there any chance of you introducing yet-to-be-revealed Zanpakutou or Bankai in any shape or form in the future?”
For fans new to the series (or those who need a refresher since Bleach ended years ago), the Bleach Zanpakutou is the weapon-like manifestation of the wielder’s spiritual energy, which usually takes the form of a sword. The Bankai is the true form of the Zanpakutou and one of the appeals of the Bleach TYBW arc was learning about the new Bankai that would be wielded by powerful characters like the Gotei 13 captains.
Kubo’s response was directly related to a Bleach sequel since he replied, “If I can find a medium that is recognized by many readers and given an appropriate number of pages to work with then I would like to do that someday.”
Yes, there is light at the end of the dark tunnel! Kubo is basically saying that he will introduce new Zanpakutou and Bankai if he’s given the proper platform in which to write a Bleach sequel. And it would make sense to develop these new weapons and powers in Bleach: Howls From the Jaws of Hell Arc.
Bleach: Final Arc anime no longer being advertised?
Arguably, while Kubo’s desire (or lack thereof) to create new Bleach chapters is definitely a factor, the publishers and all the companies involved in the anime production committee for Bleach: TYBW were probably waiting to first see if the new anime TV show reinvigorated the existing Bleach community in addition to drawing in a new generation of fans. Now that the Bleach: Sennen Kessen-hen anime is sitting pretty in the MyAnimeList Top 10 Anime list they have to be thinking about what’s next since anime productions are scheduled out several years in advance.
While Crunchyroll News, Disney+, Studio Pierrot, VIZ Media, and other official sources have advertised the Bleach TYBW anime by saying, “All things must come to an end—as Ichigo Kurosaki’s final battle begins,” that line comes from older ads originally written in 2021. Back then the new Bleach anime was specifically advertised as “Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War: Anime Final Arc”. However, in Fall 2022 they haven’t recently talked about the anime revival as being the “final season”.
On October 20, 2022, Bleach news leaker Jaymes Hanson asked, “Anyone notice that Bleach stopped getting marketed as ‘the final arc’?” Other Bleach fans noticed earlier on that there’s no “The Final Arc” in the Bleach PV trailers, which they claimed meant that “we are definitely getting A LOT more after TYBW!”
Of course, with only one chapter of Bleach: NBFH available as source material, the Bleach Hell Arc anime release date isn’t going to be any time soon. But that fact doesn’t preclude another Bleach movie or OVA episodes based on other existing continuations of the story.
And it’s not like there is a huge rush, either. The Bleach TYBW anime isn’t expected to finish releasing its final 4th cour until either Fall 2023 or Spring 2024 at the earliest. (It depends on how many split-cour broadcasting breaks are worked into the production schedule by the producers.) So if Kubo begins creating a Bleach sequel on a weekly basis in 2023 there would be plenty of chapters available for a Bleach anime sequel by 2025.
Is a Bleach: Can’t Fear Your Own World anime possible?
Besides a Bleach: Hell anime there is the Bleach: Can’t Fear Your Own World novel, which was written by Ryougo Narita under the supervision of Kubo. Bleach CFYOW was released as three volumes in 2018.
The story takes place after the Quincy Thousand Year Blood War is already over so it can act as a direct Bleach sequel. The book features a new antagonist named Tokinada Tsunayashiro who came to lead his clan after assassinations claimed the lives of anyone seeking the title.
Fighting begins in the Soul Society between the Arrancar, Quincy and Shinigami. Even in the human world, a mysterious religious cult called the Xcution has begun seizing power. Tokinada intends on creating a new Soul King and his plan could lead to total war across the realms.
The new protagonist Shuuhei Hisagi has been described by Kubo as “main character material” since Hisagi faces his weaknesses only to grow stronger. Hisagi is investigating the new head of the Tsunayashiro family since all the turmoil is connected back to this leader of one of the four great noble houses.
What is the story of Bleach: No Breaths From Hell?
The 73 pages of the Bleach: No Breaths From Hell manga introduced the next generation of Shinigami. The story has a major time skip since it’s set 12 years after King Yhwach was defeated by Ichigo Kurosaki.
Warning: The following contains major spoilers.
Ichigo is now married to Orihime Inoue and they have a 10-year-old son named Kazui Kurosaki. Perhaps due to his lineage, Kazui is already capable of manifesting Zanpakutou at will and can easily transform into his Shinigami form. He’s also capable of creating portals through rituals and can manifest an ethereal fish that he rides through the air.
Thus, the Bleach Hell Arc will likely give an important role to Ichigo’s son Kazui. Although this new character is still young in No Breaths From Hell it’s possible he could introduce a new Bankai to the world of the Soul Society.
Kazui becomes friends with Ichika Abarai, the daughter of Rukia Kuchiki and Renji Abarai. Since Ichika is also a Shinigami apprentice it’s likely the pair will begin developing their Shinigami powers and skills together.
The story follows Kazui, Ichika, and other characters as the next generation learns what it means to be a Shinigami during the Konsou Reisai Festival, which involves a funeral festival set 12 years after a captain dies in battle. Since captains rarely die the traditional customs of the ritual are not well-known. Only captains and vice-captains are allowed to attend but Ichigo is a hero of the Great War so, of course, he’s invited.
As part of the ritual, a Hollow is captured in the world of the living by the Soul Society members and then exterminated at the burial site of Captain Ukitake. Ichika doesn’t like being left out so she sneaks up on the gathering.
A nasty surprise awaits everyone as they are ambushed by a hoard of Hollows… and Szayelaporro Grantz has crawled out of the gates of Hell!
Early on in Bleach, Hell was introduced as a concept but it’s never been directly visited. Hollows and the Arranacar are banished to Hell and when the souls of human forms commit evil they are similarly sent to Hell.
The Bleach Hell Verse movie introduced an afterlife for the Shinigami. Bleach: No Breaths From Hell extended the concept by explaining that a soul reaper’s body is made of Reishi, so when they die their body turns into Reishi and returns to the earth of Soul Society.
However, if the spiritual energy is too powerful (Grade 3 or higher) their Reiatsu concentration can be too high or dense for an individual to remain in Soul Society and then be reincarnated. Typically, it’s taught at Soul Reaper Academy that a soul funeral festival allows such an individual to return.
In reality, a Reishi of Grade 3 or higher cannot return to the earth of Soul Society, so a powerful soul is exiled to the depths of Hell rather than continuing life as a spirit in Seireitei. So Szayelaporro claims that the soul reapers have been unwittingly been “sending their comrades down to hell”!
Due to the Great War, a tremendous amount of Reiatsu has been sent down to Hell. And Szayelaporro claims these actions have forced open the mouth of Hell.
Since Szayelaporro was capable of escaping Hell it’s implied that other powerful souls or Captains could stage a breakout from Hell. Besides the revival of a villain for a new generation to defeat, it’s also possible that a fallen hero could be rescued from Hell… perhaps even Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto?! (Keep in mind this is speculation at this point since Kubo hasn’t established this concept as canon.)
Yamamoto’s death at the hands of Yhwach was quite a surprise in Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War. Yamamoto’s body was completely obliterated by the Quincy Reishi blasts so only the broken Ryuujin Jakka was recovered.
When the Gotei 13 captains buried Yamamoto’s remains they performed the Konsou Reisai ritual at his grave in Soul Society. In the new Bleach: Howl From the Jaws of Hell Arc fans learned that performing this ritual caused Yamamoto to be cast in Hell where he’s called the Founder of the Gotei by Szayelaporro.
And the last thing readers see is young Kazui following a Hell Butterfly as he looks up in wonder at the gates of Hell.
Let’s just hope a Bleach Hell Arc anime is eventually released in the future. Stay tuned!