How to watch Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War on Disney Plus
Carolina, who originally hails from Argentina is a movie buff through and through. She enjoys nothing more than binge-watching the latest Netflix series and is a big fan of their 'Originals' line. Her favourite movie is Frozen and she's a big fan of The Good Place & The Dragon Prince.
Wait, what?! Bleach and Disney in the same sentence? Yes, my dear otaku reader, when you think nothing else could surprise you, bam! Disney acquires Bleach rights for their streaming platforms!
So, what happens if you don’t have Disney+ in your country or if you already have a Disney+ account, but Bleach is on another streaming service?
Don’t worry! Here I am to guide you through the Soul Society to unleash your Shinigami powers, and err to unblock Disney+ everywhere!
Is Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War on Disney+?
Yes, Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War is on Disney+. But before you jump to your TV to watch it, let me tell you that it’s not available everywhere.
Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War is on Disney+ only in the countries that include the Star hub: Canada, Europe, Australia, Singapore, South Korea, and Japan.
If you live in the US, you can find Bleach on Hulu. In Latin America, it’s available on Star+.
So, if you’re in a country where Disney+ hasn’t been launched yet, or you’re a US resident or a Latin American with a Disney+ subscription, you’ll need some help.
What do I need to watch?
If you want to watch Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War on Disney+, you need the help of a little but powerful app called VPN.
What is a VPN?
A VPN is a security app used to protect privacy online. When you use a VPN, you connect to the Internet through a server located in another country. This way, your real IP is hidden behind the IP address from the server.
This is very convenient to access streaming services in other countries.
For example, if you live in the US and you want to watch Bleach on Disney+, with a VPN, you can choose a server located in Canada or the UK, and Bleach will be ready for you.
Where to get a VPN?
When you do a quick search in Google, you’ll get hundreds of VPNs claiming they’re the best service for you.
Truth is only a few are worth your money and time. Although Disney+ is not as harsh as Netflix regarding VPNs, not all the VPN services can unblock it.
So, first you must be sure the VPN you choose works properly with Disney+, and second, you need a service with fast connection speeds to stream video in HD. Also, it’s important that the VPN has apps for several devices.
ExpressVPN is the VPN that meets all the above mentioned features. It’s the best VPN service you can find.
Of course, if you want more options to compare, I recommend you take a look at NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN. They’re good services too.
ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and Surfshark offer a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you aren’t satisfied with their service.
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How to watch Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War
Once you have chosen your VPN, you need to configure everything to access Bleach on Disney+.
For this reason, I’ve created this easy step-by-step guide. I use ExpressVPN as an example, but you can follow these steps with any other VPN.
Go to the ExpressVPN website and subscribe to a VPN plan. My piece of advice is to go for the annual plan because you get 49% off and three extra months for free.
Get the app from the ExpressVPN website or your device’s official app store. For security matters, don’t download it from anywhere else.
Open the ExpressVPN app and go to “Selected Location”, then choose a Canadian or the UK location and press Connect.
Go to Disney+ and log in with your account.
Now Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War is waiting for you.
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What’s Bleach about?
Let’s start with the basics.
If you aren’t familiar with Bleach, let me tell you that it’s been one of the most popular manga and anime series for the past 20 years. Back in time, Bleach and Naruto were head to head for the crown of most popular shounen manga and anime.
Bleach follows the adventures of Ichigo Kurosaki, a 15-year-old boy with the ability to see ghosts and spirits. The “I see dead people” kick-ass Japanese version.
Thanks to his powers, Ichigo can see a female Shinigami (death god) called Rukia Kikuchi.
Now Ichigo is in the middle of the battle between Shinigamis and Hollows, corrupted spirits that had turned into soul-eating spirits. Rukia transfers her Shinigami powers to Ichigo so he can protect his family and friends from the Hollows.
She remained under a human shell in the human world and along with Ichigo solved different cases regarding spirits.
But when two Shinigamis come from Soul Society to catch Rukia for breaking the rules, and she’s sentenced to death, Ichigo swears he’s going to save her even if this means going to the spirit world himself.
Of course, this is only the beginning of Ichigo and Rukia’s adventure!
One of the flaws of the Bleach anime TV series is the filler episodes. This was something very common when animation studios adapted long series like Bleach, Naruto, etc.
They needed to create original material that wasn’t in the manga to make time while the manga had new material published. If you don’t like fillers, you can skip them.
Thankfully this has changed now, and animation studios are making shorter seasons with hiatus between sagas to avoid fillers. A good example of this is Demon Slayer.
Overall, with 74 manga volumes, 6 movies, 366 anime episodes, and a new series currently being aired, Bleach is a great shounen series.
What’s Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War about?
Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War adapts the final arc from the manga and is a direct sequel to Bleach anime.
I’m not going to give details about the plot. If you already read the manga, you know what this is about. If not, you can start watching it.
In 2020, it was announced that an anime TV series was in production to adapt the final arc of Bleach manga, and in the Jump Festa ‘22 that was held in December 2021 the first trailer and visuals were released.
Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War is planned to last for four seasons with breaks in between.
The first season was released on TV Tokyo in October 2022, lasting for 13 episodes, and ended in December of the same year.
The second season will begin airing in July 2023.
Is Bleach the original series on Disney Plus?
Yes, the original anime series of Bleach is complete on Disney+, Hulu, and Star+.
It’s a great chance for those who haven’t watched it yet or those who want to pay a visit again to Soul Society. Having the whole series on a single platform is very handy.
The only material that has been left out is the movies, but it’s not a big loss since the films aren’t considered canon and aren’t based on the source.
The movies work like filler episodes, they’re mostly side stories that don’t affect the continuity of the story.
How did Disney get the exclusivity on Bleach?
The world of the licensing series is complex as any other business. But when we are talking about manga and anime, things get even more complicated.
Japanese companies sell their series to different print houses, streaming services, and TV stations around the world. They’re strict regarding quality and meeting some standards they impose.
Of course, the licenses aren’t sold forever, this is something that happens in the whole entertainment industry.
So, after years of Bleach anime scattered across several streaming platforms around the world, and with the announcement of Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War imminent release, Viz Media decided it was time to look for new rights holders.
Crunchyroll was the platform that had Bleach in most countries for the longest time. The series and some movies were also available in some Netflix countries.
However, in October 2022, anime fans around the world shared a panic attack when Crunchyroll, Netflix, and other streaming services removed all the Bleach episodes from their platforms.
At the same time, Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War began streaming exclusively on Hulu in the US.
Rumours were lurking on the internet about a big streaming service beating Crunchyroll for the rights. No one thought that it was Disney.
Of course, people started saying that Disney was going to censor Bleach, which is full of gore and violence, to align it with their content. Nothing of this happened.
In the US, Bleach is on Hulu. In Latin America, it’s on Star+. Both services belong to Disney, but they aim at a mature audience.
In Europe, Bleach is on Disney+ under the Star hub, the place where you can find all the content that doesn’t fit the other main Disney brands.
But Disney+ in Europe has something different: it has been having 16+ content for a very long time.
So, no worries about censorship on Bleach.
Why is Disney acquiring anime for their streaming platforms?
The short answer is money. Anime has left the niche of 10 years ago and has reached the mainstream.
Nowadays, you can easily find anime on any streaming platform. Of course, Disney doesn’t want to be left behind. Having anime on Disney+, and a big title like Bleach, it works in both ways: anime fans will subscribe to Disney+, and casual audiences will have access to anime.
If you ask me, this is a win-win situation.
Who stars in Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War?
When we talk about anime, the real stars are the Japanese voice actors, known as seiyuu in Japanese. The dub versions are just that, dubbing.
Bleach has an ensemble cast of seiyuu, and most of them are reprising their roles after a hiatus of 10 years.
Masakazu Morita – Ichigo Kurosaki
This senior seiyuu has been Ichigo’s voice since the beginning, including in video games.
He also provided the voice to Whis (Dragon Ball Super), Auel Neider (Gundam Seed Destiny), and Pegasus Seiya (Knights of the Zodiac: Saint Seiya 2019).
Fumiko Orikasa – Rukia Kikuchi
She’s a popular seiyuu who has been working in the anime industry for a long time. She has been providing her voice to Rukia always, including her appearances in video games and other media.
She’s also known for Shirley Fenette (Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion), Kyūbee Yagyū (Gintama), Hikari (Haibane Renmei), and Saori Kido/Athena (Knights of the Zodiac: Saint Seiya 2019).
Daiki Yamashita – Ryūnosuke Yuki
This popular seiyuu is widely known for his role as Izuku Midoriya (My Hero Academy). This is his first time joining Bleach since Ryūnosuke Yuki’s first appearance was in Thousand-Year Blood War.
Asami Seto – Shino Madarame
Seto is another young and prolific seiyuu, whose most popular character is Ichiyō Higuchi in Bungo Stray Dogs.
Along with Yamashita, she’s also a newcomer to the Bleach franchise because Shino Madarame is one of the new characters in the series.
So far, Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War has received positive reviews, achieving a median rating of very good in the Anime News Network portal, and a 9/10 punctuation in IMdB.
Keeping in mind, this is a direct sequel to a series that finished ten years ago, so it’s amazing.
Most reviews praise the animation quality, the storytelling, and the good balance between humour, suspense, and action.
Back in time, Bleach was a very popular series, and overall the animation was good for a long-running series. However, it was a standard long shounen anime and nothing else.
For this reason, it’s great this so-much-awaited sequel surpasses everybody’s expectations.
After 10 years, Bleach is back with a new anime series adapting the manga’s final arc.
If this fact is not surprising enough, Disney acquired the exclusive international distribution rights outside Japan, meaning Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War is available on Disney+, Hulu, and Star+.
However, if you live in a country where Disney+ is not available yet, you can watch Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War on Disney+ with the help of a VPN. I recommend ExpressVPN.
You can also enjoy the Bleach original series that is now only on Disney+ around the world.
Don’t waste more time! Grab your Zanpakuto and subscribe to ExpressVPN to enjoy the Bleach final arc!
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