Rukia Kuchiki is, as unlikely as it might have seemed, the latest Disney Princess now. Well, maybe not officially — both Disney fans and anime lovers are likely not entirely ready for that to happen — but iconic fantasy Bleach as become part of the larger Disney family with the news that Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War will stream on both Disney+ and Hulu starting later this month.
VIZ Media has acquired the exclusive international distribution rights for the new anime series based on Tite Kubo’s hugely successful manga series — “international” exclusive excluding Asian and Arabic-speaking African and Middle Eastern markets, that is — and has partnered with Disney to stream the series around the world. Hulu will screen the show in the U.S., with Disney+ taking the show globally beyond that.
VIZ’s distribution rights go beyond streaming, however; the company also controls video on demand, home video, television, and merchandising rights to the property.
In its original manga serialization, Bleach ran in Weekly Shonen Jump from 2001 through 2016; the new anime Thousand-Year Blood War, directed by award-winning anime director Tomohisa Taguchi, will adapt the final story arc of the manga.
In a statement, Brad Woods, chief marketing officer VIZ Media, said of his company’s new acquisition, “Through his visual genius, Tite Kubo has had an indelible impact on the fandom world and the course of manga and anime history. He is also a supremely gifted and accomplished storyteller, and it is a great honor for VIZ Media to acquire this final arc in his legendary catalogue Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War, for fans everywhere.”
The series will launch October 10, with new episodes being simulcast in the U.S. Watch the trailer here.
Want to read more about anime? Why not check out this interview with Crunchyroll’s Mitchel Berger?