Bleach is undoubtedly one of the most popular anime of the last decade. This shōnen manga series and then anime took over the world with its lore, premise, and characters. Some anime fans would say that Bleach is not the best anime on the market, but it is still incredibly popular. Fans closely followed the adventures of Ichigo for years, and the recent news of Crunchyroll pulling all of the Bleach episodes from their platform shocked some fans. In this article, we will discuss why Crunchyroll removed Bleach from their library and did Disney buy the rights to Bleach anime.
Crunchyroll removed Bleach from their streaming platform at the beginning of October – back in August, when the first reports of an unknown streaming company buying out the rights of popular anime surfaced. However, it seems that Disney acquired Bleach since the Hulu platform in the US is already streaming anime there. Disney is still quiet about this arrangement, but we expect the news soon.
We will discuss this topic more by setting up the timeline of the Bleach anime on streaming platforms and including all important news about Bleach’s inevitable movie to Disney. If you are interested in this topic, stay with us until the end.
Timeline of Bleach anime rumors
As we already mentioned, Bleach is one of this century’s most popular anime and manga series. It has produced over 300 episodes, which equals 16 seasons of this popular anime. The year 2016 marked the end of the manga series, but the last arc was never fully adapted to anime. The tales of Ichigo Kurosaki after he obtains the powers of Soul Reaper ended in the manga, but anime fans got the short end of the stick.
For years, Bleach fans waited for the last arc of the manga called Thousand-Year-Blood-War to be finally adapted to anime, and at the end of 2021, it was announced that Bleach: Thousand Year War anime series would be released.
The last Bleach episode aired ten years ago, and this new series came at the right moment and time. The release of the new series is celebrating 20 years of Tite Kubo and his work on the new Bleach series.
Fans got excited, but in 2022, the rumors of a new streaming service acquiring the rights to distribute Bleach started surfacing drastically. The first rumors came from YouTube and content creator JaymesHanson. He stated that a huge bidding war between Crunchyroll and Disney for acquiring the upcoming Bleach: TYBW and the overall rights of the anime were in full swing.
He also stated that the person leaking information to him stated there is a high possibility that Disney will win the bidding war because they are just financially superior. Crunchyroll spent a lot of money on other anime projects like Chainsaw Man and others.
JaymesHanson himself and the fans of Bleach expressed concerns about Disney buying Bleach rights since the anime is full of gore and does not fit the usual Disney formula.
The rumors resurfaced a few days ago when Crunchyroll removed all Bleach content from their platforms. The information circulating over the Internet for months is seemingly becoming true, and some fans, unfortunately, are not on board with it. Why? Let’s find out.
Why did Crunchyroll remove Bleach?
Now onto the article’s main question, why did Crunchyroll remove anime series from its library? Because Viz Media announced three days ago on Twitter that the new anime series Bleach: Thousand Years Blood War will be available on Hulu in the United States and Disney+ internationally.
Pair this announcement with the removal of all released Bleach episodes from Crunchyroll, and you will see that Disney won a bidding war against Sony and their anime-designated platform once again. The streaming platform Hulu is owned by Disney, and that fact was a dead giveaway for anime fans and the fate of the Bleach series.
The announcement and ultimate removal of the episode angered some fans since they needed to subscribe and pay for another streaming platform just to watch one anime.
Over the years, Crunchyroll became one of the world’s best Western anime libraries and streaming platforms, and fans got used to the platform and learned what to expect from it. Another complaint was the possible mellowing down the gore and bloody action scenes that include a lot of “reaping” and sword fighting.
Crunchyroll removed Bleach episodes because another streaming company bought the rights to the anime, and in the next section, we will explain how and why that happened.
Did Disney buy Bleach?
After months of speculation, keeping details of the Bleach anime future under the covers and finally removing the Bleach episodes from the Crunchyroll library ultimately led to this. We can confirm that Disney bought the rights for all of Bleach’s anime content, including all 16 seasons and a new series that covers the final arc of the series, Thousand Years Blood War.
In a few days, specifically, the 10th of October marks the premiere of the new show on Hulu for the American public, while Europeans will have the new Bleach series available on Disney+.
Disney+ started breaking into the anime market last year and even producing the Star Wars anime that is available on their platforms. Still, the acquirement of Black Rock Shooter, Tatami Time Machine Blues, Summertime Rendering, and recently Bleach shocked the fans of the genre.
If we look into those anime currently airing on Disney+, some of them just in Japan, you will notice that some are not unfit for the Disney platform. I researched Summertime Rendering, which is currently airing on Disney+ Japan, and how the anime is overwhelming violence and sexualization of teens for young audiences.
Bleach will be bloody, “gorry,” and utterly savage, and Disney will air it on their streaming platform. We hope that the new Bleach Thousand Year Blood War show will send out the Bleach anime series with a “bang” and adapt the story’s final arc in the best possible way.
We are counting on you, Disney – do not disappoint us.