The latest Bleach anime production is headed for a physical release in Japan. In early 2023, people will be able to purchase the first 13 episodes of Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War on Blu-ray and DVD. The episodes will be collected into a single volume physical release, with a limited-run edition for those that want more. The first volume goes on sale on April 26, 2023 in Japan. [Thanks Comic Natalie!]
To commemorate the release, Tokyo’s Animate Hall Black event space will hold a release event. Members of the voice cast will be in attendance, including Masakazu Morita (Ichigo Kurosaki) and Noriaki Sugiyama (Uryuu Ishida). Fans who pre-order the Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Blu-ray or DVD will receive a lottery ticket giving them a chance to participate in the event.
The formal title of the first Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Blu-ray and DVD release is “Arc I.” This further confirms the announcement that the series is separated into four separate “cours” – blocks of episodes. Thus “Arc I” is also the first cour of the series. Future releases will likely contain subsequent arcs. Officially, Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War is divided into four production cours. If each cour is 13 episodes long, like the first, then fans can expect the whole arc to last 52 episodes. A physical release can also be expected to be split into four volumes.
The remaining question would be regarding the timing of the cours themselves. Anime that air continuously throughout the year are rare these days. Even lengthy serializations like My Hero Academia have their productions divided into seasons, with months-long breaks in-between. If that’s the case with Bleach, fans could be watching the show well into 2024, depending on the length of the interval.
The first Blu-ray and DVD volume of Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War will release on April 23, 2023 in Japan. The release event will take place on May 7, 2023. The series is currently airing on various streaming services, including Netflix, Crunchyroll, and Bilibili. The manga can be read in Shonen Jump, with English volumes published by Viz Media.