Tite Kubo’s Bleach is one of the “Big Three” anime and manga series, and one of the major works that contributed to the popularization of anime and manga around the world. This article will give you a thorough insight into the Bleach anime series. You’re going to get all the necessary information and a complete guide to watching the whole series, including the four anime movies that have been aired.
Editor’s note: Updated on October 2, with the latest episode 392, titled ‘Black.’
How many episodes and movies does Bleach have?
Bleach has, at the time of writing, 392 episodes and four movies spanning over impressive 14 arcs; the episode count will increase as the season progresses. If you’re interested in how many of those episodes are fillers, you can check out our Bleach filler guide and, most importantly, how to skip fillers in Bleach.
What is the best way to watch Bleach anime?
The best way to watch Bleach is to watch it chronologically. As far as the core anime series is concerned, you definitely need to watch it in order. As far as the filler seasons and the non-canon movies are concerned, you need not watch them in order as they’re not really connected to the main plot in any way, save for the Gotei 13 Invading Army anime arc.
Bleach watch order at a glance (chronologically)
- Bleach, episodes 1-117
- Bleach the Movie: Memories of Nobody (2016)
- Bleach, episodes 118-125
- Bleach the Movie 2: The DiamondDust Rebellion (2007)
- Bleach the Movie 3: Fade to Black (2008)
- Bleach, episodes 126-299
- Bleach the Movie 4: Hell Verse (2010)
- Bleach, episodes 300-366
- Bleach, episodes 367-ongoing
1. Bleach, episodes 1-117
Our Bleach watch order starts with the first 117 episodes of the anime series, including the first five seasons of the anime and roughly half of season six. Most of the content here is canon, save for the whole fourth season (The Bount), which features an original story focused on Ishida and a group of entities called Bounts (they’re similar to vampires).
This batch includes the whole Soul Society arc, where our main character Ichigo becomes a Shinigami and then has to enter Soul Society to save Rukia, but also the beginning of the Arrancar saga, marked by Aizen’s rebellion and the appearance of the Arrancar.
2. Bleach the Movie: Memories of Nobody (2016)
After returning from Soul Society and being in the human world, specifically Karakura Town, Ichigo Kurosaki, and Rukia Kuchiki are attacked by many unknown souls. While these spirits surround Ichigo and Rukia, a shinigami named Senna appears, a girl with purple hair and orange eyes who easily destroys the spirits with her Shikai.
As Senna denies answering any questions from Ichigo, the latter is forced to follow her. Meanwhile, a mysterious incident occurs in Soul Society: the stage of the human world will be projected in the sky of Soul Society. An official first-class readiness alert is sent to Gotei 13. Tōshirō Hitsugaya, captain of the 10th Division, and Rangiku Matsumoto, Lieutenant of the 10th Division, arrive in the human world to investigate the matter and meet Ichigo.
In the Urahara Shop, Kisuke Urahara explains to them that the dimension that unites Soul Society and the human world, known as the Valley of Screams, has expanded to connect the two worlds. Kisuke also explains that the souls that Ichigo had previously seen are called “Blanks,” which have been lost between the path between the worlds and their memory.
3. Bleach, episodes 118-125
This small batch continues where we left off in season six of the anime before it is again interrupted by two movies. The movies don’t really fit the chronology of the events, but they do fit the chronology of the development of Ichigo’s powers, which is why we advise you to watch them after episode 125 (Fade to Black can be watched anytime after episode 125, but it’s best to get it over with right away).
This batch continues Shinigami’s fight against the emerging Arrancar in Karakura Town and also introduces the Vizards.
4. Bleach the Movie 2: The DiamondDust Rebellion (2007)
Our Bleach watch order continues After the theft of an object of immense power, the “king’s seal” by mysterious individuals, Tōshirō Hitsugaya, who had been entrusted with the protection of the object together with his Division, who disappeared mysteriously, is considered an accomplice of the thief and traitor by Shigekuni Genryūsai Yamamoto.
After losing consciousness, Captain Hitsugaya awakens in the room of Ichigo Kurosaki, who, in the meantime, has learned of his alleged “betrayal” from Soifon. At the same time, in the Soul Society, the lieutenant of the Tenth Division, Rangiku Matsumoto, is under house arrest, while the entire Division is in danger of being dissolved. Rukia Kuchiki, Renji Abarai, and Shunsui Kyoraku come to his aid and decide to investigate what happened.
In the earthly world, Hitsugaya disappears again after colliding with two of the three mysterious thieves and involving Ichigo Kurosaki in the fight. In the Soul Society, it turns out, thanks to the research of Captain Kyoraku and his lieutenant Nanao Ise, that the leader of the thieves is actually Sojiro Kusaka, an old friend of Hitsugaya, who never left the Shinigami academy.
5. Bleach the Movie 3: Fade to Black (2008)
Next on our Bleach watch order is Bleach the Movie 3: Fade to Black (2008). In the laboratory of the 12th Division, Mayuri Kurotsuchi is attacked by a mysterious individual armed with a scythe, and a mysterious object is stolen.
After being hit, the captain loses his memory, and a strange liquid substance attacks the whole Soul Society. Rukia Kuchiki watches helplessly at the scene, and soon after, she is joined by a girl who tells her that everyone will forget about her existence.
That said, the Shinigami is also mowed. All the Shinigami thus forget about her existence. In the mundane world, Ichigo Kurosaki feels that Rukia is in trouble.
After visiting Kisuke Urahara, who doesn’t seem to remember Rukia, he heads to the Soul Society with Kon. Here Ichigo realizes that not only has Rukia been forgotten, but he too does not seem to be remembered by anyone Shinigami anymore.
After quick clashes with Shuhei Hisagi, Renji Abarai, and Sajin Komamura, Ichigo goes to the home of Byakuya Kuchiki. Here he sees the Captain in front of a photo of Hisana, her deceased wife, and her little lion mistakenly mistakes her for Rukia.
6. Bleach, episodes 126-299
This is the largest chunk of episodes you’ll watch without any interruptions (save for the filler seasons that aired in this period). This batch actually continues the Arrancar saga with two filler seasons, the shorter The New Captain Shūsuke Amagai arc and the longer Zanpakutō: The Alternate Tale arc, which interrupted the Soul Society’s fight against Aizen and the Arrancars.
The canon content in this batch is the best from the whole series, including the remaining episodes from the Arrancar saga you’ll watch in the next batch. Some individual filler episodes are scattered throughout the seasons, but there are not many of them.
As far as the filler seasons are concerned, The New Captain Shūsuke Amagai references events from the canon storyline, while the Zanpakutō: The Alternate Tale arc is completely unrelated (we’re not even sure when it’s supposed to take place, even roughly).
7. Bleach the Movie 4: Hell Verse (2010)
The film opens with the confrontation between Ichigo Kurosaki, transformed into Hollow, and Ulquiorra Schiffer, who is observed in a flame by a soul residing in Hell. Ichigo, after fixing some thugs for dropping flowers aimed at a dead child, is joined by Rukia and Renji to warn him that they are investigating something in Karakura, but they do not want to involve him by order of Byakuya Kuchiki.
Arriving at the school together with Orihime Inoue and Chad, right in front of them, some scaffolding seems to give way and is about to fall on a student, but Chad stands in the way, and thanks to her strength, he manages to save her. Convinced that it was not a simple accident, Ichigo returns to examine the place with Orihime, Chad, and Uryū Ishida.
At that moment, another incident occurs inside the school in which Tastuki, Keigo, and Mizuiro are involved, and they discover the architects: they are three beings wrapped in black cloaks, with white limbs and with a mask, who claim to be needing Ichigo’s help for a particular reason.
8. Bleach, episodes 300-366
The last batch is also the last (so far). It brings us to the conclusion of the Arrancar saga, which was a very emotional moment, a filler season (Gotei 13 Invading Army), and the Fullbringer arc, which deepens the mythology and sees Ichigo regain his Shinigami powers after he had lost them during his fight with Aizen.
The filler season is a direct continuation of the canon series, so even though it’s filler, it continues the events of the anime and leads into the Fullbringer arc. There is also a small number of individual filler episodes here.
9. Bleach, episodes 367-ongoing
It hasn’t been long since Ichigo regained his powers in the Lost Agent arc. Two new Shinigami are sent to Karakura Town to help, and they are immediately engulfed in a large-scale Hollow outbreak, during which Ichigo and his friends help them defeat some of them; the others, as Mayuri Kurotsuchi observes in Soul Society, are eradicated completely instead of purified.
Sometime later, a mysterious guy called Asguiaro Ebern appears and wants to battle Ichigo, who deals with him easily, even though the former tried to s(t)eal his Bankai. In the meantime, Hueco Mundo is attacked, and Nel comes to the Human World to ask for Ichigo’s help; Orihime, Chad, and Urahara go with him, while Ishida refuses as he cannot help a Hollow due to being a Quincy, but he goes on to investigate further.
The Soul Society is, at the same time, attacked by a group of mysterious attackers in white who kill Yamamoto’s Lieutenant, Sasakibe, and declare war on the Gotei 13. After Mayuri informs them that it is the Quincy, Yamamoto orders the Gotei 13 to prepare for war. Ichigo goes to Hueco Mundo, where he encounters the Sternritter Quilge Opie (“J” – The Jail), who was left in charge of Hueco Mundo, where he keeps killing the Hollows and the Arrancar.
After some Arrancar unsuccessfully confronts him, Ichigo arrives and battles him but ends up being locked inside a special Quincy prison from which he cannot escape.
Where to watch the Bleach anime series?
In the past, Bleach was tied to Crunchyroll, the biggest anime distributor in the world, like most anime. Hulu also had some of the episodes, and the series was partially and in a limited form available on Netflix as well at some point. But, with the premiere of Season 17, The Thousand-Year Blood War, Bleach shifted from Crunchyroll to Disney+, which managed to obtain the distribution rights for the Western market. Check out our full guide on how to watch Bleach dubbed for more details.
Do you need to watch Bleach in order?
You need to watch Bleach in order. The whole series is set up chronologically. As far as the filler seasons and the non-canon movies are concerned, you need not watch them in order as they’re not really connected to the main plot in any way (save for the Gotei 13 Invading Army anime arc, which is directly connected to the end of the Arrancar Saga, and The New Captain Shūsuke Amagai arc, which references events from the main plot but is nonetheless filler).
Will there be more Bleach anime?
Bleach finally returned in 2022 with the Thousand-Year Blood War arc adaptation. It’s the Bleach manga’s final and largest arc at the same time. Fans were shocked to hear that Bleach had been canceled and that the Quincy Blood War arc would not be adapted, especially since it was a truly great and shocking story. But as far as the latest updates state, we are definitely going to see more of Bleach in the future, as the season is currently being broadcast worldwide.